Activate the Learning Environment

Your lesson is already half-way done. You've identified your students' needs, listed specific outcomes, and generated a list of useful resources. Now it's time to create an exciting learning environment. Provide meaningful, information-rich experiences that will activate your students. Ask yourself:

  • Are my students motivated and interested in learning?
  • Does the activity make good use of the Internet information?
  • Are students actively engaged in learning?

Springboard & Motivation

Collaboration & Communication

Internet Enhanced
Lesson Plans

Information Exploration

Culminating Projects & Closure

Unit Development

Active Involvement

Learning Online

Springboards & Motivation

Identify Internet resources that will be motivating and interesting for students. How can you grab the attention of your children?

Grandpa Tucker: start your unit with a silly poem

Bats: dispel myths before studying creatures of the night

Origami Page: begin your Japan unit with an art project

SpaceDay: kick off a science project on a special day

Information Exploration

There are many information-rich sites that can go beyond the traditional classroom resources. The key to effective integration is guidance. Students need a specific problem to solve, question to answer, or mission to complete. Rather than providing an entire site, bookmark a particular page at the site.

Time for Kids: write an article

Human Anatomy Online: explore the function of the heart

Government Information Sharing Project: create a graph

Little Explorers Picture Dictionary: compare types of whales

Documenting the American South: write a story

Douglass: Archives of American Public Address: critique a speech

New Deal Network: take action

Plants: identify a plant in your class garden

Voices from the Dust Bowl: compare with the book

First Ladies: nominate a first lady for a special award

Judy Blume: create your own list of writing tips

Active Involvement

Engage your students in meaningful activities. Remember that not all activities require students to be online. You may be able to download the project, print the resources, or simply replicate the project off-line. Be realistic when it comes to classroom management.

Jan Brett: send an electronic post card

EPatrol: try the energy conservation games

FDA for Kids: explore food issues

Shape Up American: create a meal and check out your body fat

Weather Eye: conduct investigations and experiments

Planet Earth: try an ecology activity

Puzzlemaker: create a puzzle

Mark Twain: send an electronic post card

Fun Brain: try the money game

Collaboration & Communication

Get students actively involved with learning by reaching outside your classroom and working with other teachers, students, community members, and experts.

Communication Projects


Africa Online Keypals


Monster Project

Ask an Expert
Virtual Reference Desk

Ask A+ Locator

Pitsco Ask An Expert


Ask An Astronaut

Science Whatzit?

Electronic PostCard Sites
Blue Mountain

All 4 Kids

Postcards from America

Jan Brett


Yahooligans Links

Address Locator Sites

Phone Numbers

Any Who

Big Foot

Big Yellow

Directory Assistance


Stuffed animals, books, science equipment and other materials can be shared among schools.

Patty Reed's Doll

Travel Buddy Project

Eduplace Exchanges

Looney Lobster

Culminating Projects & Closure

End the lesson on a high note. Ask students to transfer what they've learned to a new situation. Review the new skills students have learned.

Cartoon Corner: create a political cartoon for a particular time period.

Webquests are an excellent culminating project at the end of the unit. They bring everything together in a single project. They can also be used to kick off a new unit.

K-3 WebQuest Links

3-6 WebQuest Links

7-12 WebQuest Links 

Nuclear Power


Learning Online

Some websites put all the elements of a lesson together and provide a rich environment for learning from start to finish.
Online Learning Experiences

Air Travelers

Globe Program

Amazing Space

The ph Factor

Living Things

The Great Plant Escape

Chemistry 4 Kids

At Home in the Heartland

Online Textbooks and Tutorials


Computer Art

The Physics Classroom

IMO: Mathematics Site


Internet Enhanced Lesson Plans

You'll find many lesson plans on the Internet. Many of these lessons are rich with Internet resources.

Just Say No

SCORE Project

Unit Development

The key to an effective unit is matching outcomes with activities and assessments. Start building your unit by bringing together all of your resources and selecting those sites that will fit best at particular points in your unit.

Underground Railroad

Underground Railroad

American Memories

Sweet Clara /Freedom Quilt

The North Star

Student Slide Show Project

Underground Railroad


Kid's Web Japan

Jump into Japan

Japanese Online

Kid's Window Japan

Tailing the Samurai's Tale

Spin the Web!

Let's start our own web project.

Review the website resources you've selected. Where in a lesson or unit would they be most effective?

Think about a learning outcome related to your topic. If you're having trouble, try the Active Alternatives page for ideas.

Brainstorm engaging activities. Come on. You can think of something more exciting that "writing a paragraph." Try the Engaging Embers page for possible activities.

Open Claris Home Page and type a fun alliteration that matches your topic such as Math Mania, Animal Antics, or Historic Happenings.

Write a short paragraph containing an overview of the topic. Create a short task for your students to complete. Also, create a short title and description for the web pages you want students to use.

Go back to your web browser and copy the URL from one of the web pages you bookmarked.

Create a link to the page in Claris Home Page.