Senin, 05 Desember 2011

Science Projects on Wind Power Generators for the Third Grade

Several simple projects introduce the concept of wind energy to third graders.

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The power of wind has been used by ancient mariners to sail their ships and by farmers to grind their grains and to pump water. The generation of wind power has quadrupled between the years 2000 to 2006, and at this growth rate, wind power will account for one-third of the world’s energy needs by 2050 says the "National Geographic." There are several experiments and projects that can demonstrate the functioning of a wind power generator. Although some of these projects are complicated, a few may be appropriate for young third graders as well.

Related Searches: Rocket Pinwheel

You can demonstrate the power of wind by simply creating a rocket pinwheel and using air to move it. Attach a balloon to the long end of a bendy straw with the help of some tape. Do not squish the straw while taping and make sure the seal is tight. Place the straw on the table and bend it such that the smaller part of the straw is pointing away from the straw. Pass a long straight pin through the straw, about 2 inches below the balloon and use the pin to attach it to the eraser on top of a pencil so the entire straw will spin on top of the pencil. When you blow air into this balloon from the straw, the air helps move the rocket pinwheel, thereby demonstrating the power of wind.

Wind Turbine

Building a wind turbine involves extensive calculations that may be beyond the ability of a third grader. However, you may use the standard templates provided by Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization on their website (see Resources). Print the template, cut it with the scissors and follow the instructions on the website to help your third grader build a simple wind turbine.

Straw Turbine

You may also build a simple wind turbine using materials in your house. Cut a drinking straw in half. Cut each half straw length-wise so that each tube is exactly the same. Make a similar diagonal cut in each straw piece to make the blades of the turbine. Fan out the pieces and glue them together. Make the base of the turbine using another straw and attach the fan and base of the turbine using the eraser pulled out of a pencil. Place the turbine in front of a fan to see it move.

Wind Turbine With Electric Motor

If your child is ready for it and you have some extra time to spend with your child, you may build a wind power generator. Attach a small electric motor to a ruler. The wires from the motor outlet are connected to a voltage meter using insulated alligator clips. Straighten the outer loops of four paper clips and stick them to four rectangular cardboard pieces 1-inch-by-10-inch in size. Pierce the open ends of the clips into the center of a cork so that the cardboard pieces of the fans are facing outwards. Twist the cardboard blades at 45-degree angles and attach the shaft of the motor to the center of the cork. Place the turbine in front of a fan. The fan will turn the cardboard pieces; this will generate wind energy, which will power the engine. This is shown as a reading in the voltage meter. This project requires adult supervision as it involves working with live wires and electricity.

ReferencesNational Geographic: Wind PowerWind Power Science Project -- Rocket PinwheelPBS: Wind PowerResourcesCommonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization: Wind TurbinesPhoto Credit Hemera Technologies/ ImagesRead Next:

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Why Did My Yahoo! Chat Box Disappear?

Yahoo Instant Messenger and chat rooms allow you to communicate with others through the Internet, but when the chat box disappears, it can cut your conversations short. Some users of Yahoo Instant Messenger or the Yahoo chat rooms have experienced is...

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Smart Board Lessons for Fifth-Grade Science

will help engage students with the material.

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A Smart Board is an interactive whiteboard designed by Smart Technologies to be used in place of a chalk or standard white board in classrooms. While preset lessons are available online, many teachers choose to create their own smart board lessons using their computers and Power Point technology. They then synthesize them with the touch-screen technology of the Smart Board.

Related Searches: Measurement Instructional Lesson

Using a Smart Board, you can teach your class the various units of measurement that will directly apply to the beakers and test tubes used in science class. Your measurement instructional lesson will go through each unit of measurement, complete with images of the beakers and items they correspond to. Have your students take notes as you go through the lesson. From here, select two kids to go up to the Smart Board and answer questions based on milliliters, liters and other units of measurement.

Scientific Method

Before moving directly into course material, a basic Smart Board lesson on the Scientific Method will help your students understand the types of rigorous tests and methods that have been adopted by the scientific community. The lesson can begin with a concise definition of the Scientific Method and its goal of collecting objective and verifiable data. From here, showcase a variety of experiments properly using the Scientific Method versus individuals who merely use guesswork and hearsay to make their assertions. Once the method has been described, have your students develop their own hypothesis, writing them on the Smart Board one at a time.

Sound Energy

A basic, sound energy lesson plan is designed to help teach students how vibrations generate sound and pitch. Using the speaker plug on your laptop, you can synchronize sound with the visual portion of your Smart Board lesson plan, allowing your students to actually see how pitch corresponds to specific visual waveforms. In the lesson, you can also explain how volume levels increase as wave forms grow larger. Students can also bring their own music in to class, giving you real-life examples of pitch and sonic energy.

Jeopardy Science Lesson

You can program your Smart Board to reveal questions and categories pertaining to sound and matter. In the lesson, give the questions in each category a point value from 100 to 800 points, making the hardest questions worth the most points. Categories will depend on your students' knowledge, but they can include to questions on matter, particles, elements and any other topic you plan on covering in your course work. You can break up students into groups or have them compete individually against each other.

ReferencesUniversity of Sioux Falls: Fifth Grade Smart Board SitesRockingham County Public Schools: 5th Grade ScienceResourcesLongwood Central School District: All Longwood Smartboard LessonsPhoto Credit Hemera Technologies/ ImagesRead Next:

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When You Log Into AOL, Does It Tell You the Last Time You Logged In?

Print this articleAOL used to be available exclusively by disc or CD software installation, but the service is now available to anyone with a Web browser through the AOL website. While AOL does not explicitly give you the date of your last login, there are ways to ascertain an approximate date for the last time your account was used.

Related Searches: AOL Mail

AOL mail can be accessed from any Web browser. The site works best with Internet connections that are not dial-up, such as broadband or DSL. You can also log into your account from any computer, as long as it has an Internet connection. There is no "Last Login Date" line anywhere on the AOL home page or the Mail screen that lets you know when you last logged in and checked your account.

Read Mail

If you read all new messages when you access your account, there is a way to determine the approximate date of your last login. Unread messages have bold subject lines and sender information in the inbox. The first email in your inbox that is not in bold indicates mail you read in your last session on AOL. Look at the date of that email; assuming you received it on or about the date of your last login, you will know how long it has been since you checked your mail.

Automatic Sign Off

Navigating away from your AOL page is not enough to log you out of your account. By default, the site will leave you logged in for 24 hours unless you manually log out. Go to the "Settings" link in the top right corner of the site and look in the "Automatically sign me off if I'm inactive for..." line to see how long you stay logged in. If, for instance, your settings keep you logged in for 48 hours, if you are still logged in, you will know that your account was accessed in the last two days.


If you are concerned about the last login date because you think your account is being accessed by another person, change your password right away. A password can be changed by going to the "Settings" menu and choosing the "Account" link on the left side of the page. Click "Change your password" to begin the process.

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High School Art Activities With Symmetry

Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man is a classic example of a study in symmetry.

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Symmetrical designs exist everywhere, and art projects in symmetry develop both the artistic and the mathematical skills of high school students. Leonardo da Vinci pioneered the art and science of symmetry, and studying his diagrams and drawings is a good exercise for students to start thinking about symmetry. From there, students can explore the world, looking for examples of symmetry and inspiration for their art.

Related Searches: Nature

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Minggu, 04 Desember 2011

Golden Ratio Lessons for Middle School

The golden ratio is found throughout nature, including in the spiral shape of some shells.

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The golden ratio is a mathematical concept that, along with a string of numbers known as the Fibonacci sequence, is commonly found in nature. Middle school students can find the golden ratio interesting because of its appearance in everyday life, and teachers can use it as a way of introducing ratios and number sequences into their curriculum.

Related Searches: Golden Ratio Concept

The golden ratio is a ratio between two different lines or dimensions that is often considered to be aesthetically appealing to the eye. Technically, the golden ratio is the ratio between the mathematical constant Phi and 1. The value of Phi is approximately 1.62, so a golden ratio is any ratio in which the relationship between the two numbers is close to 1.62-to-1.

Introducing the Golden Ratio to Students

The golden ratio, or various approximations thereof, can be found in many different objects, especially rectangles. Rectangles that have a length of 1.62 times their width are called "golden rectangle." One example of a near-golden rectangle that middle school students may be familiar with is the 3-by-5-inch note card. Golden rectangles are also thought to be more aesthetically appealing to the human eye, so you can have students either draw a sample rectangle or pick their "favorite" rectangle from a collection of rectangles. Golden rectangles are also found in many works of art and architecture, including many pieces by Leonardo DaVinci.

Fibonacci and the Golden Ratio

You can use the golden ratio to introduce another mathematical concept: the Fibonacci sequence. With the Fibonacci sequence, the next number in the sequence is the sum of the previous two numbers; the beginning of the sequence is 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13. As the Fibonacci sequence extends, the ratio between each number in the sequence and the number before it, such as 13 and 8, gets closer and closer to the golden ratio. This can serve as another interesting aspect of the golden ratio and can also introduce middle school students to the concept of sequences.

Applying the Golden Ratio

One way you can expand upon a golden ratio lesson plan is to have students try to find more examples of golden rectangles, either in common objects or in nature. You can also show students how the golden ratio appears in shell spirals, and how the Fibonacci sequence appears in flower petals. Once students understand the concept of the golden ratio you can also then use it as a launching pad for working with ratios. For example, you could give students a worksheet in which they are given the value of one dimension of a rectangle and are told to determine the other dimension in order to make it a golden rectangle. Fibonacci Numbers and Golden SectionUniversity of Minnesota, The Geometry Center: The Golden RatioUniversity of Surrey: Fibonacci Rectangles and Shell SpiralsPhoto Credit Jupiterimages/ ImagesRead Next:

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4th Grade Science Project on Salt, Pepper and Static

The charge from static electricity moves lightweight objects.

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Science can be a difficult subject for some young students to grasp, especially when it comes to explaining atoms. Creating enjoyable, in-class experiments brings the topics to life, allowing visual learners to comprehend complex ideas. Using simple table spices and an inflated balloon, static electricity demonstrates the relationship between negative and positive charges.

Related Searches: Discuss the Background

Begin the discussion by explaining the atom -- both its function and parts. Atoms form all physical objects in the universe and are made up of positively charged protons, negatively charged electrons, and neutrally charged neutrons. Different materials can have negative, positive or neutral charges, depending on the charges of the atom make-up. When opposite charges come together they are attracted. Static electricity adds negative charges to the surface of an object, which causes a reaction against positively charged materials.

Form the Hypothesis

Create a pile of salt and pepper on a center desk, and ask the children how long it would take to remove the pepper from the salt pile. Ask the students how they might expedite the process and what tools they might use. Discuss whether or not they think static electricity might help to separate the spices. Have the children form a hypothesis, whether it is that static electricity can help to move the spices apart, or that it can't. Let them decide which hypothesis they want to go with.

Perform the Demonstration

Have the children gather around the center desk, and mix the salt and pepper together well with a spoon. Rub an inflated balloon on your head or sweater, and show the students how your hair moves with the balloon after it is charged with static electricity. Move the balloon slowly to the salt and pepper and hold it a few inches over the plate. Keep inching the balloon closer until the pepper jumps up and attaches to the surface of the balloon. Both spices are attracted, but the pepper is lighter so it moves before the salt.

Explain How it Works

Ask children what they noticed when you rubbed the balloon against your head or sweater and how it happened. If they don't guess correctly, explain that when you rub the balloon, you give it a negative charge. Discuss the ability of static electricity to move the pepper due to the negative charge introduced to the surface of the balloon by the static electricity, and the positive charge of pepper. Ask the students what charges exist in an atom and which charges attract or repel. Objects with the same charge repel each other, while the different charges attract each other. This is how the balloon was able to move the pepper.

ReferencesIndianapolis Marion County Library: Static Electricity: Salt & Pepper SeparaterUniversity of Florida Outreach Program: Separate Salt and Pepper with Static ElectricityPhoto Credit Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty ImagesRead Next:

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How to Make a Homemade Skeleton for a 7th Grade Project

The basics of a skeleton are easily replicated.

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Making a skeleton for a 7th grade class project can be done with the most basic of materials: paper plates, twine or paper clips and some imagination. This skeleton design is an inexpensive project, and you can make it as silly or scary as you want. Use real anatomy books for reference on how to draw the eye sockets in the face and remember to make the legs longer than the arms by adding an extra bone when you assemble the limbs.

Related Searches:Difficulty:EasyInstructions Things You'll Need18 white paper platesHole punchTwine or paper clipsMarker or pencilPair of scissorsSuggest Edits1

Draw each piece of the skeleton on a paper plate. You will need one head, one collarbone, one rib cage, one pelvis, two hands, two feet and 10 arm and leg bones. You can sketch these to your own creative whims or follow templates. This requires 18 plates.


Cut each of the shapes out from the paper plate sketches.


Punch holes at the points of each bone where the joints will meet.


Draw a face on the skeleton head cutout. Make it as detailed or as simple as you wish. Cartoon eyes may require colored markers or fill them in black to resemble a real skull. Add any other artistic embellishments as you see fit.


Attach the bone cutouts to one another in the designated areas, starting with the head and collarbone and adding the shoulders and rib cage. The arms require two bone lengths and the legs require three strung together. Tie them in place through the punched holes with 3-inch segments of twine or link a pair of paper clips for each joint. Add the hands and feet.


Hang the skeleton on a wall or from a ceiling.

ResourcesPickup Some Creativity: Paper Plate Skeleton TemplatesPhoto Credit Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty ImagesRead Next:

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How to Make a Trace Base in DeviantART

Print this articleDeviantART is an online community where artists and writers can connect with other creators and post work in Internet galleries. Some artists create base art, which is a template that other artists can download and draw on. Similar to a digital coloring book or a dress-up doll, a base can be of people, animals or popular characters. While some bases are hand-drawn and original, a trace base is a type of base created by tracing over an existing piece of digital artwork.

Related Searches:Difficulty:ModerateInstructions Things You'll NeedGraphic design programSuggest Edits1

Open the picture you want to trace in a graphic design program, such as Photoshop, GIMP or Painter. The program you use must have the ability to make layers.


Create a new layer on top of the base image. Click the “Layer” menu and select “Add New” or “New Layer.” This layer allows you to draw over top of the image without changing the bottom picture.


Click the “Paint Brush” tool and select a small, hard brush for outlining your base image.


Click the color palette and select the outline color. This is usually black, but you can use any color you need.


Trace the outline of the base using the “Paint Brush” tool on the top layer. You will see the line appear over top of the original image as you draw. Draw the outline as smoothly as you can and ensure that all of the lines connect and are closed.


Draw any other details you need such facial features. Many bases do not include hair or clothing and provide only the basic body form that other artists can draw on.


Select an internal color from the palette. This can be white if you want to leave the base completely blank or a skintone color if you are drawing a person base.


Click the “Paint Bucket” or “Fill” tool, then click inside of your outline to fill your base with the color. Repeat this process for other features until you have colored your base.


Select the bottom image in the “Layers” window and create a second new layer. This will place a layer between your base and the original picture.


Use the “Paint Bucket” tool to fill this layer with a background color such as white. This will cover the rest of the bottom image and leave just your base.


Flatten the layers from the “Layer” menu and save the changes to your image.


Log in to your deviantART account and click “Submit” from the top toolbar.


Fill out the form to upload the new trace base to your deviantART gallery. Ensure that you upload the image to the “Trace Base” section under the “Pixel Art” category.

Tips & Warnings

You can add a layer of shading on top of your base if you like, but it is not required.

Ensure that you have permission to trace another creator's artwork before making a trace base.

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ReferencesPhotoshop: Layer BasicsdeviantART: How Do I Submit Artwork, Flash Animations or Literature?Read Next:

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Variables in a MATLAB Function

Print this articleMATLAB offers several features for managing programming data, interactive tools for designing and developing mathematical functions, as well as 2D and 3D graphics functions for developing custom graphical user interfaces. MATLAB functions can also be integrated with external applications such as C, C

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Fun Interactive Activities With the Future Tense for Spanish Class

Top 10 To TryHow to Teach the Future Tense in SpanishClassroom Activities for Present Tense SpanishSpanish Class Smartboard ActivitiesHow to Teach Past, Present, Future TensesHow to Conjugate Spanish Verbs in the Past, Present & Future TenseSpanish Present Progressive ActivitiesGames for Future Verbs in SpanishFun Games for Spanish ClassActivities With Spanish NumbersMore

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Sabtu, 03 Desember 2011

How to Calculate Developed Length in Plumbing

PVC is a common material used to construct pipes for plumbing.

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The length of a pipe that is used in plumbing is an important calculation. This measurement helps plumbers to calculate the amount and cost of supplies needed for a project. Pipe length also is an important consideration when it comes to water pressure. The developed length of a pipe is a measurement that is conducted along the center of a pipe. This plumbing measurement also takes into account the lengths of the fittings on either end of the pipe.

Related Searches:Difficulty:ModerateInstructions Things You'll NeedTape measurePencil and paperSuggest Edits1

Align a tape measure along the center of a pipe and measure the pipe's length. Write down the measurement. For example, the pipe might be 8 inches long.


Write down the appropriate measurement for the fitting that is used on the specific type of pipe. For example, the socket depth for a 1-inch plastic pipe is 3/4 inch.


Multiply the fitting measurement times 2 to account for the fittings on either end. Using the previous example of a 3/4-inch fitting, you would multiply 3/4 times 2 to get 1 1/2 inches.


Add your answer from Step Three to the length from Step One to get the determined length of the pipe. In this example, you would add 1 1/2 to 8 to get a determined length of 9 1/2 inches.

ReferencesThe Official Website for the State of New Jersey: National Standard Plumbing Code3d Plumbing: Fixture Drain RequirementsResourcesKeidel: Pipe Measurement ChartPhoto Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty ImagesRead Next:

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How to Make PS3 Commentaries

Print this articleTo make a PlayStation 3 game commentary there is only one device that you really need, and that is a game capture device. This type of device takes the video/audio feed from your PS3 game and saves it directly to your computer as a video file, and you can then record your commentary directly to the video with the included software. This is the ideal solution for showing off your skills or creating in-game tutorials.

Related Searches:Difficulty:Moderately EasyInstructions Things You'll NeedGame capture deviceMicrophoneSuggest Edits1

Connect your game capture device to your PS3 and computer and install the included software program. Depending on the brand of device you purchased the process will be a bit different, so consult the device documentation to learn the specifics.


Click the “Record” button in the program and begin playing the desired game on your PS3. As soon as the game is finished or you reach the spot where you want to stop, click the “Stop” button.


Connect a microphone to your computer and select the “Add voice,” or similarly named option in the program. Say what you want about your gameplay video and then click the “Stop recording” button to end your commentary.


Click the “Save” button in the software to save your PS3 commentary video to your computer. It is now ready for sharing on a social media website or uploading to a video sharing website.

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Science Fair Projects on Measuring Variables

Several simple experiments can demonstrate the concept of measuring variables.

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Experiments are methodical procedures that aim to establish cause and effect relationships between two factors, and thereby help validate a theory by observing how changes in one factor alter the other factor. These changing quantities are knows as variables. A good science fair project on measuring variables consists of variables that can be measured and quantified accurately using calibrated devices. The project should also have an independent variable that can be altered by the researcher or the student, and can cause changes in the other variable, known as the dependent variable. All the other factors, or controlled variables, involved in the procedure should remain constant.

Related Searches: Sugar and Water

A simple experiment that involves heating a cup of water to determine if it will dissolve more sugar can help demonstrate the concept of measuring variables. The temperature of the water is the independent variable, and is measured in degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit. The dependent variable is the amount of sugar that can be dissolved in the hot water and measured in grams. The amount of water, the type of sugar and stirring are the controlled variables and should remain stable throughout the experiment.

Electric Motor and Voltage

Set up this experiment by attaching an electric motor to a wheel. Vary the voltage of the motor and observe the changes in the motor's output. The voltage is measured in volts and is the independent variable. The output is indicated by the movement of the wheel, and measured in revolutions per minute. The controlled variables, including the motor and the wheel, remain same through the experiment.

Balloon and Vinyl Tubes

Insert pieces of vinyl tubing, available at most hardware stores, into the mouth of the balloon and then, blow it. Measure the diameter of the balloon before releasing it, and measure the distance travelled by the vinyl tubing as it flies out of the balloon. The diameter of the balloon is the independent variable while the distance travelled is the dependent one. Both can be measured in centimeters or meters. The type of balloon and the pumping device should remain constant as they are the controlled variables.

Household Cleaners and Bacteria

Inoculate a sterile petri-dish containing nutrient agar with a strain of common bacteria such as Escherichia coli or Staphylococcus species. Use a sterile cotton swab to distribute the bacteria uniformly across the petri-dish. Take two small squares of blotting paper with exactly same dimensions. Soak one of them in the cleaning agent of your choice and the other one in sterile water. Place both the squares on the petri-dish and incubate overnight at 37 degrees Celsius in an incubator. If the bacteria are killed by the cleaning agent, they will not grow around the square with cleaning agent but grow everywhere else. Measuring the area of clearing around the sensitivity square in millimeters indicates the effectiveness of the cleaning agent. Repeat the experiment using other agents. The concentration and type of clearing agents used are the independent variables while the area of clearing is the dependent variable. Controlled variables such as type of bacteria, time and temperature of incubation, and type of agar should remain constant.

ReferencesKids Invent: Kids Science Fair ProjectsScience Buddies: Variables in Your Science ProjectHome Science Tools: Bacteria Science Project ToolsIrvine Unified School District: Ideas for Science Fair ProjectsPhoto Credit Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty ImagesRead Next:

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Science Activities That Teach Math Concepts

Science activities can offer kids a valuable reference for learning math concepts.

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Since measurements and data collecting typically involve a certain amount of mathematics, science activities offer an interactive method for learning basic math concepts. While some activities can be performed with hands-on tools, others can provoke mathematical calculations by posing thought experiments and other mental exercises. For best results, try different approaches to see which activities work best for your students.

Related Searches: The Ramp Experiment

The ramp experiment is an easy activity than can introduce students to the basics of physics and geometry. Begin by leaning a plywood board against a large block and having students roll a number of balls of different sizes and weights down the ramp. Suggest experimentation by asking your students questions about different scientific factors. For example, ask them what would happen if the height of the ramp changed, if larger balls go faster than smaller balls, or what would happen if two balls began rolling from the top of the ramp at the same time. Have your students collect data on the distance traveled by different balls using different ramp elevations and angles.

The Egg-Drop

The Houghton Mifflin website recommends this classic activity for introducing students to basic addition and subtraction equations. The egg-drop experiment asks your students to devise a container that keeps the egg from being broken when dropped from heights of 10 to 30 feet. Suggest materials such as foam, cardboard, aluminum cans, tape, bubble-wrap and other containers, and have your students break into groups to construct different egg capsules. Label each capsule to its appropriate group and drop each egg from the roof of a one- to three-story building. Have your students compare the data, depending on the thickness of each capsule versus the dropping height. Data from this experiment can introduce a number of math concepts, for instance, if a 1-inch-thick foam capsule protects the egg at 10 feet but not at 20 feet. Have your students compare data to determine which material provides the most protection to the egg.

Liquid Volume Activity

This science activity offers a hands-on approach to understanding the volumes of different shapes. Begin your class by going over the formula for determining the volume of a rectangular prism: base or length multiplied by width or height. Select different rectangular prism containers such as tins, Tupperware containers and other water-resistant packages and fill each one with water. Have your students measure the width and height of each container and multiply them together to determine the cubic centimeters of the container. Next, carefully pour out the water from each container into a labeled measuring cup to illustrate that cubic centimeters are equal in size to milliliter since both measurements are a thousandth of a meter.

Lesson Safety

Always have your kids wear goggles and gloves when working with wood, liquids or sharp metals. When performing the egg-drop experiment, do not allow children on the roof or elevated platform to prevent injury.

ReferencesHoughton Mifflin: The Egg-Drop Experiment: A Hands-On Investigative MathProject 2061: Dialogue On Early Childhood Science, Mathematics, and Technology EducationDisney Magnet School: Liquid VolumePhoto Credit Ableimages/Lifesize/Getty ImagesRead Next:

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Activities on Topic Sentences for Middle Schoolers

Help your middle-school student succeed in writing -- through interactive activities.

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Proper paragraph structure plays an essential role in learning how to write, especially in regards to a proper topic sentence. The topic sentence traditionally is the first sentence in an expository paragraph, and is responsible for laying out the main idea of the paragraph. While students may learn about topic sentences starting in elementary school, it is middle school where children begin writing at a more adult level, creating a greater need for proper paragraph structure. To help students learn about topic sentences, there are several activities you can try.

Related Searches: Underlining

Underlining worksheets provide visual activities for students to learn how to identify topic sentences, and place the sentences of a paragraph in the right order. Give your middle-school student a worksheet with several paragraphs written on it. Ask the student to underline the topic sentence in a colored pen, and then rewrite the paragraph in the correct order below it.

Sentence Jumble

Sentence jumbles provide another activity that allows your students to visually see how to identify a topic sentence and place it in the correct area of a paragraph. Set up stations around the room with different sentences written on heavy stock paper, such as poster board. At each station, ask the student to put the sentences in the correct order and identify the topic sentence. Once each student has finished, ask him to switch stations.

Student Match-Up

Another way to allow your students the chance to get up and move around the room, while learning about topic sentences at the same time, is to play a student match-up game. Divide several different paragraphs into sentences and pass out one sentence to each student. Have the students move around the room and talk to each other, to find the other sentences that fit their paragraph. As a group, ask the students to determine which sentence is the topic sentence.

Picture Writing

Picture-writing activities allow your students to learn to develop topic sentences from scratch, which helps prepare them for future writing assignments. Cut out different pictures from magazines, one for each student in your class. Pass out the pictures randomly, and ask each student to correctly write a paragraph about the photo. Ask them to underline the topic sentence. If time allows, have the students switch photos with other students around them -- and write a new paragraph for each photo.

ReferencesSt. Paul Public School District: Practice with Topic Sentences and Detail SentencesBusy Teacher's Cafe: How to Write a Paragraph -- Lessons and ActivitiesNorthern Berkshire Adult Basic Education Program: Writing a Topic Sentence ActivityPhoto Credit Jack Hollingsworth/Digital Vision/Getty ImagesRead Next:

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Difference Between Outlining and Pre-Writing

Pre-writing and outlining are useful tools for writing papers.

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Pre-writing is the first step in the writing process for creating an organized, clearly written and well-researched essay or paper. Pre-writing uses outlines as part of the process, but outlines do not make up all of the steps. Outlines assist writers in organizing the main points of a paper and deciding how to present the information. However, you might also use outlining in other stages of the writing process after pre-writing.

Related Searches: Pre-Writing

Pre-writing lays the foundation for your paper. The process begins with establishing the purpose of the paper, the type of writing and your audience. You must decide on your main argument and consider who is going to read the paper. Writing a paper for a college audience is different than writing for a younger audience. Research is the next stage of pre-writing. Find references, write a reference list and collect evidence for your paper. Writing an outline might follow research, or you might begin writing down ideas and quotes in a research outline.

Pre-Writing Outlines

An outline lists the main points and subpoints of a paper. As you read through your reference material, you can either take notes or create a research outline that places supporting evidence and quotes under their related topics. Another option is to wait until after you finish your research and have a complete picture in your head of what to say. Write a brief or detailed outline using your research notes. A basic outline structure includes a brief introduction, thesis, background, three pieces of evidence, conclusion and references.

Formal Outlines

A professor might require a formal outline with a paper. This type of outline acts as a guide to your paper by laying out the main points and subpoints for your readers. Write this outline after you complete your paper. Some people write formal outlines as sentence outlines. These outlines are long and use complete sentences to clearly express the points of the outline. Topic outlines are the second type of formal outlines. Topic outlines are brief and use shorter phrases. Both types of formal outlines use Roman characters instead of the bullets or dashes found in informal outlines.

Fiction Outlines

A fiction writer might do pre-writing before starting a project to flush out the plot, characters and settings. An author might also create a storyboard for a play or movie as a graphic representation of the storyline. A storyboard is an outline with pictures. After an author writes a draft, he might then revise the original outline before writing a new draft. Fiction writers might also use outlines for individual scenes before or after the pre-writing stage. Outlines are optional for fiction.

ReferencesYale Graduate School Writing Center: Pre-Writing (pdf)Indiana University Bloomington: Using OutlinesCapella University: Writing Process (pdf) Rich Prewriting Enhances Revising the Outline scenesPhoto Credit Jack Hollingsworth/Digital Vision/Getty ImagesRead Next:

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Jumat, 02 Desember 2011

Types of Magnetic Ink in a Character Reader

Magnetic ink and MICR help keep your checking account safe.

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Magnetic Ink Character Readers (MICR) are tools for banks to process checks and other financial documents automatically. Banks, credit unions and other institutions print financial documents such as checks and money orders using magnetically chargeable ink or toner that an MICR can identify. This makes it easier to process large quantities of checks, and also to detect when the numbers are altered.

Related Searches: History

The stylized numbers printed on the bottom of your checks date back to 1958, when the American Banking Association (ABA) adopted the original E-138 MICR system. The American National Standards Institutes sets the standards for the MICR font, the placement of the characters and other details. The MICR line must be printed correctly so that MICR readers can scan them for information, such as your account number and the financial institution holding the account.


The Federal Reserve and the ABA both require that banks use magnetic ink to print the bottom line on their checks. Optical scanners recognize and translate the MICR font; magnetic scanners react to the ink, even if the numbers are stained or marked over. Banks, credit unions and businesses that print up their own checks can program MICR printers so that if there's no magnetic toner in the cartridge, it won't print at all.


A number of companies, including Troy Group, CheckWriter and VersaCheck, market different brands of magnetic ink and toner. Cartridges are available for most brands of MICR-compatible printers, including both laser-printers and inkjets. The inks have to meet the ABA magnetic standard, and as a practical matter, they have to be durable enough to go through magnetic readers without losing any information. Some inks included added chemicals, such as substances that stain the check if anyone alters MICR markings chemically.


If you print up your own checks for business or your personal use, use magnetic ink for the MICR line of the check. For the rest of it -- the date, the payee name, the lines for writing on -- use ordinary non-magnetic ink. As you're not a bank, the ABA rules don't mandate that you use magnetic ink, but doing so reduces the risk of fraud. Checks also pass through the system faster if the bank can use a magnetic reader.

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eCommerce Benefits for the Promotion of Schools

Schools can benefit from the implementation of e-commerce solutions.

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E-commerce, the buying and selling of goods over the Internet, revolutionized the economy in the dot com boom of the 1990s, reducing costs for retailers, directly connecting producers and consumers and simplifying the purchasing experience for many customers. Although they receive less attention than the benefits to private industry, the opportunities for the public sector and non-profit groups that implement these technologies are also substantial. In the case of schools, for instance, e-commerce offers a series of benefits for the promotion and simplification of academic activity.

Related Searches: Purchasing: Cost Savings

Retailers are able to provide extremely competitive prices over the Internet because automated e-commerce solutions reduce overhead costs of warehouses, stores and employees. E-commerce also makes it easier for producers to offer their products directly to the public and for consumers to access these offers along with factory-direct pricing. Both public and private schools can take advantage of this pricing when purchasing everything from art supplies and athletic equipment to computers and construction materials over the Internet. Automated ordering systems also make it easier for schools to form purchasing cooperatives or organize on a county level to achieve further bulk savings.

Purchasing: Logistics

Beyond direct cost-savings, e-commerce also offers logistical benefits for schools. Particularly as software designers and product vendors pay increasing attention to the academic market, e-commerce can be integrated with a school's financial and grounds management systems to easily and automatically generate purchasing orders or alerts for certain products as they become needed. These systems represent a significant reduction in paperwork costs and time spent over old paper-based procurement systems that required numerous accounting and administrative steps. School administrators can also see on-line ordering histories to more easily manage purchasing budgets–without resorting to time-consuming systems like stamping purchasing orders or compiling receipts at the end of the semester.

Selling: Supplementary Payments

Schools not only make payments, but often receive them and can become e-commerce vendors in themselves. Even public schools often charge students and parents supplementary fees for field trips, special courses or athletic events. In fact, according to the Association of School Business Officials, school districts process an average of 32 payments per student per year. Creating on-line e-commerce interfaces for schools can not only save parents a good number of headaches, but can make these accounts easier to manage than the sea of checks and cash schools traditionally receive in these situations.

Selling: Fundraising and Auctions

Impersonal e-commerce solutions are unlikely to replace the time-honored tradition of school groups going door-to-door selling fundraising items and creating strong community ties. The increased reach of globally accessible e-commerce interfaces, however, can supplement these activities and increase income. Parents or former students who no longer live in the community but remain committed to a certain school or district, for example, could continue to make donations or participate in fund-raising events from across the world on an e-commerce interface. E-commerce and Internet auctions also provide an easy and effective way for schools to resell used goods like old desks or textbooks, a process that can become a viable income stream, with good management.

ReferenceseCommerce: eCommerce Clicks with Public SchoolsCollege Planning and Management: E-BuyCollege Planning and Management: E-Procurement 101American School and University: The E-Commerce QuandaryAmerican School and University: The Road to E-CommerceResourcesNational Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities: Online Purchasing Systems for School FacilitiesPhoto Credit Polka Dot/Polka Dot/Getty ImagesRead Next:

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Writing Performance Objectives in Lesson Planning

Writing exact performance objectives supports best teaching practices.

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One of the key segments in lesson planning concerns writing performance objectives. Teachers use these objectives to guide individual lessons and to measure student progress. Writing effective performance objectives requires backward planning to ensure that you follow a logical sequence of lessons that align with your final assessments. Focus on writing with precise language and active verbs and your lesson plans will provide a rubric with which to gauge students' mastery of the content.

Related Searches: Align Your Goals

You cannot write excellent performance objectives in a vacuum. Before writing your lesson plans, consult the teacher's edition of your curriculum to ensure that you have the same goals. In addition, some schools have site-based initiatives regarding performance -- particularly in relationship with standardized tests -- that may drive your lesson-planning. You should also consider district-wide goals, state standards and the plans of your teaching team when writing your performance objectives.

Work Backward

Backward planning is essential to effective teaching. Focus on your ultimate instructional goals for the end of the year; these goals will drive your shorter-term objectives for the semester and units. At this level, the objectives will be more general, allowing for changes in your pacing, focus and direction depending upon students' learning styles and their progress. After you have general unit goals outlined, break down your current unit into its discrete lessons and its associated performance objectives.

Use Exact Language

Make your objectives specific and focused on observable behaviors. Objectives stating that students will know, observe or discuss something are too general to measure well. Use active verbs, exact language and specific tasks to write effective performance objectives. You may ask students to provide examples demonstrating a hypothesis, demonstrate how to perform a task, identify patterns, argue the merits and disadvantages of a particular practice or conduct an experiment to show specific results.

Include Tasks Demanding Critical Thinking

Your objectives should cover the range of cognitive performance as outlined in Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. The lowest level focuses merely on recall. The next level involves showing proof of comprehension. The next level, application, requires students to use a rule to show examples. The following level is analysis, or the ability to show relationships. Next is synthesis, the act of creating a new element from existing elements. The task associated with highest-order thinking is evaluation, the ability to justify a conclusion based on disparate criteria.

ReferencesIllinois State University Department of Physics: Writing Inquiry-Oriented Student Performance ObjectivesPhoto Credit Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty ImagesRead Next:

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Science Fair Projects for 4th Graders on Oil Spills

Oil spills can have a disastrous effect on nature for decades.

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With the British Petroleum oil rig disaster still fresh in teachers' minds, discussing the event with grade-school children, including the long-term effects and damage to the Gulf's ecosystem, can be challenging. There is a lot of excitement and enthusiasm in fresh young minds that want to understand the oil spill and learn from it, to seek out ideas for either preventing future oil spills or cleaning them up quickly and safely, limiting the damage to the environment. At a science fair, a few projects that can demonstrate how oil spills happen and why they are so damaging to the water can have a lasting effect on everyone.

Related Searches: Creating and Cleaning an Oil Spill

A fun science experiment that explains the progression of an oil spill's effects and clean-up efforts can be created by using some aluminum foil, shaping it like a boat with a hollow center, then filling it carefully with vegetable oil. An aquarium or some other large container for water can be used to carefully place the homemade boat inside. Creating waves around the boat will eventually cause it to rock violently and spill some of the oil into the water. Have various clean-up tools on hand, such as cotton balls, spoons, and pieces of cardboard. Have a checklist and a survey on hand for others to fill out, explaining which of the tools was easiest and worked the fastest to minimize the spill.

Oil Can Also Sink

Oil doesn't just affect the surface of the water. Grade-school children need to understand how some variations and mixes of the substance can penetrate the surface and sink deep into the water, all the way to the bottom. Show how oil, when mixed with certain additives, becomes fuel oil or bunker fuel, and has a tendancy to sink. Filling the pre-made foil container with vegetable oil mixed with salt is a good way to demonstrate this. The added chemicals of sodium and chloride from the salt in the vegetable oil create the extra weight that makes some of the oil lose its buoyancy. A timer can be used to record how long it takes oil and salt deposits to touch the bottom of the tank. Measuring the tank from top to bottom can also give students an idea how many feet per minute the deposits would travel.

What is Left Behind?

As the substance spreads on the bottom, you'll notice that globs of vegetable oil will start to pull away from the salty mix and rise back up to the surface. This is because the salt in the vegetable oil base is heavier than the water it's in, and can't stay attached to the oil. This same reaction can be explained as it relates to oil spills that sink deep into the water and then come back up over time, leaving harmful, toxic hydrocarbons and alkanes behind.

Damage to the Bottom

You can further illustrate the damage that can be done on the bottom of the ocean or lake by dipping a long stick into the tank and running it through the collected oil and salt globules left on the bottom. Clumps of the oil will start to swirl around the stick, creating a small vortex whereby the clumps scatter in several directions and then land again in different parts of the tank. This is a good way to show how sunken oil, caught by an ocean's strong current, can become more damaging as it intersperses across the bottom.

ReferencesNational Engineers Week Foundation: How to Make a Vegetable Oil TankerPhoto Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty ImagesRead Next:

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327 300 HP Chevy History

The design flair of vintage American automobiles is undeniable.

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Chevrolet, ubiquitously referred to as Chevy, is a division of General Motors. It’s 327 cubic inch motor was a small-block V8 engine that enjoyed some popularity through the 1960s, and was an option on two different marques; the Corvette and the Chevelle.; Both were known as "muscle cars" during that era, in part because of the extra kick that this 300-horsepower beast delivered.

Related Searches: Small Block Engines

The term “small block” is often used to denote an engine of 350 cubic inches or below, which has become the cause of some confusion. In fact, the difference between a small block and a big block is not determined by an ethereal displacement ceiling, but rather by the external physical dimensions of the block itself. Oldsmobile once built a 455 cubic inch small block, and General Motors have produced 400 cubic inch engines on both small and large blocks. The smaller block size was the result of closer bore spacing, which allowed for cheaper production costs and -- more importantly -- a lighter unit that increased the power-to-weight ratio.

History of the Small Block

(REF 2) The small block V8 engine was debuted by Chevrolet in 1955, with a displacement of 265 cubic inches. It has been available in a myriad different forms ever since, with numerous smaller as well as larger displacements offered in response to market forces and technological advances. Increases in maximum bore available progressed as follows: In 1957 the bore was increased to 283, in 1962 to 327, in 1967 to 350 and in 1970 to 400 cubic inches.

The Corvette

(REF 1) Chevrolet introduced the Corvette at the end of June 1953. The original engine was a 235 cubic inch in-line 6, offered in two configurations. It was not until 1962 that a 327 cubic inch V8 became available; of four configurations, one was the 300 horsepower. That year the 300 was the mid-range engine. By 1966 it was the smallest engine, which it remained until 1971. The engine has not been available as a Corvette factory option since the 1972 model year.

The Chevelle

The 1964 Chevelle was offered with a factory 327 cubic inch 300 horse at the very end of the production year. This makes it an extremely uncommon and valuable automobile; only 1,737 were produced. Most cars produced with a 327 through the ’64 model year generated 250 horsepower. Even rarer still, the engine was a factory option in the Malibu SS model Chevelle, a convertible. Before 1968, by which time big blocks had taken over the muscle car market, (REF 4) the engine was one of the most powerful available from any factory.

Mythbusters: The Camaro

(REF 3) Chevrolet introduced the Camaro in 1967 to compete with the massively successful Ford Mustang. One engine configuration offered was a 327-cubic-inch small-block V8; with a two-barrel carb the engine generated 210-horsepower, and with a four-barrel carb 275 horsepower. The second generation Camaro, debuted with the 1970 model year, was offered in an SS -- Super Sport -- version with a 350 cubic inch engine; fed by a four-barrel carb it generated 300 horsepower. The marque was never offered by the factory with a 327 cubic inch, 300 horsepower engine.

ReferencesEngine Factory: Corvette HistoryMonte Carlo SS: History of the Small Block ChevyEdmunds: Chevrolet Camaro HistoryStreet Legal TV: Muscle Cars You Should Know; ’68 Chevrolet Chevelle 300 327 L79ResourcesYouTube: 1968 Chevelle 300 Deluxe Burnout 2 327 L-79YouTube: 1963 Chevrolet Impala 327-300 4-speedPhoto Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty ImagesRead Next:

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Literature Activities on "The Magic Finger"

eHow.comFoodHomeStyleMoneyFamilyHealthShiftMoreParentingFor MomEducation This SeasonSimplify the SeasonFriendsgivingTailgating HomeEducationLearning to ReadLiterature ActivitiesLiterature Activities on "The Magic Finger"Literature Activities on "The Magic Finger"Print this article

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Kamis, 01 Desember 2011

Things to Know About the Egyptian Mau Cat

Egyptian Maus can be fierce hunters if let outside.

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Egyptian Mau cats, while domesticated, share many characteristics with wild cats. Egyptian Maus have markings that are similar to jungle cats, as well as a natural ability to run at fast speeds. Egyptian Maus can run up to 30 mph. Before purchasing or adopting this interesting breed of cat, learn more about its history, personality and traits to make sure that the Egyptian Mau is the right pet for you and your home.

Related Searches: History

The Egyptian Mau breed can trace its beginnings to ancient Egypt. Most cat enthusiasts consider the breed one of the oldest in the history of domesticated felines. Maus have been depicted in papyrus drawings and hieroglyphics dating back to 2200 B.C. The breed became scarce and endangered around World War II. The cats were struggling to survive after the war. Exiled Russian princess Nathalie Troubetskoy made a concerted effort to save the breed after being given a stray Egyptian Mau kitten in Italy. Troubetskoy brought three purebred Egyptian Maus to the United States in 1956. She started a cattery where she bred and promoted the breed. Over the years, other breeders have received permission to bring Maus into the U.S. to refresh the bloodlines. Today, the breed thrives.

Coloring and Markings

Egyptian Maus are one of only two naturally spotted registered breeds that remain in existence. The spots are in the fur as well as on the skin of the cat. The head markings of the Egyptian Maus are very distinct. The cats have mark on the forehead that resembles an “M.” This is also called a scarab beetle mark. Two dark lines mark the sides of the cat’s face. One of the lines looks similar to eyeliner, as it circles the eye and sweeps out to the cheek. Legend has it that ancient Egyptian women mimicked the Mau’s markings with kohl eyeliner to create their famous look. Egyptian Maus come in base colors of silver, bronze and smoke. The smoke variety can range from hues of dark grey to black to even a bluish hue. The silver and bronze varieties have a coat that is denser than the smoke-colored cats, which are silkier.

Breed Traits and Features

Egyptian Maus are considered a medium-sized feline breed. The cats have graceful lines and thin legs. The front legs are a little shorter than the hind legs. The coat is a medium length and requires only the occasional brushing to remove dead hair. The cats have large, almond-shaped, light-green eyes that slant toward the ears. The head of an Egyptian Mau is shaped similar to a rounded wedge. The ears are medium sized and are in an alert position. The breed is said to have a slightly concerned expression. The cats can run at very fast speeds and are an athletic breed. Egyptian Maus are very good a playing fetch, much like a dog. The cats have been depicted in Egyptian history as duck hunting companions. The owners would shoot ducks with arrows and the cats would retrieve them after they fell from the sky.

Temperament and Personality

The Egyptian Mau is described as a devoted cat. The cats tend to bond to one or two owners and will exhibit an unwavering loyalty towards the chosen people. This devotion does not lend the cat to adapting to new families easily. The cats are active and like to play games. Egyptian Maus can be trained to do tricks and walk on a leash. The breed is very intelligent and has a strong memory. The cats are vocal, but not overly so, and like to communicate with humans. They have voices that are described as melodious and will let you know if the food bowl is empty or if they need some attention by meowing. A happy Mau will wave its tail, tread its feet and chortle to let you know its contentment.

ReferencesPetfinder: Egyptian Mau CatFanciers Breeder Referral List: Egyptian MauCat Facts: Egyptian MauThe Cat Breed Guide: The Egyptian Mau Cat ProfileTraditional Cat Association: History of Egyptian MauTerrific Cats: Egyptian Mau Breed InformationPhoto Credit George Doyle & Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty ImagesRead Next:

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Non-Fiction Activities for the Third Grade

Help students identify non-fictional elements in fictional books.

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Students in the third grade are learning to gather information from their reading and to convey information in their writing. Part of this developing skill set is the ability to tell fact from fiction; equally important is the ability to recognize linear story sequences and logical progressions. Students can practice these skills by connecting fictional stories to factual information, researching topics of interest to them and writing fictional and non-fictional stories based on their research.

Related Searches: Family History

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DNA Mutation Activities for School

Making DNA activities fun provides motivation.

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DNA is genetic material that influences your physiology and the way you look. A mutation is a permanent change in the DNA sequence of a gene. Reproductive mutations are passed on to offspring, while nonreproductive mutations are not. Not all gene mutations produce negative effects. For example, some gene mutations cause rare eye colors, such as violet. DNA mutation activities help students understand how mutations occur and what effects they produce.

Related Searches: Mutation

Proteins are composed of amino acids, which contain three nucleotides that make up a DNA sequence. In science, letters represent amino acids. For example, the letter C represents the amino acid cysteine, and the DNA sequence is TGC TGT. Changing the sequence in any way causes a mutation.


Identifying the DNA mutations that cause certain characteristics is an engaging activity for students. Divide your students into groups of four. Write down mutation characteristics such as polydactyly, a DNA mutation that causes a person to have six or more fingers on each hand. Shuffle the mutations and place them in a bag, then have a leader from each group pull a mutation from the bag. Set your timer and give the students 90 seconds to write the proper DNA sequence for their specific mutation.

Connect the Mutation

Matching activities are a good way for students to remember DNA mutation sequences. Write a list of 10 DNA mutations on the chalk board, then write a list of sequences across from it. Divide the students into groups of three and have each student draw a line from the DNA mutation to the corresponding sequence. It helps to use different colored chalk for each group. The first group to match the most sequences wins.

Bag of Mutations

A bag of mutations activity is fun and interactive. Pick four DNA mutations such as extremely long fingernails. Use items to correspond with each mutation. For example, for the fingernail mutation, you can use costume fingernails that slide onto the front of the fingertips. Divide your class into four groups and have each group grab a mutation from the bag. Have one group display their mutations while the other groups try to determine the name and sequence of the mutation. The first group to answer correctly wins.

Reverse Mutation

Assign each student a letter to represent an amino acid. Write a list of corresponding mutations on the board. Instruct students to write the corresponding amino acid that matches their letter and correct the sequence to remove the mutation. A student with the letter C for cysteine would correct a mutation to get the appropriate DNA sequence of TGC TGT.

ReferencesLearning about DNA, Grades 4 to 8; Debbie DNA & RNA Lesson Prescribed Learning Outcomes Grade 10 Science - Life Science - GeneticsPhoto Credit Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty ImagesRead Next:

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School Projects: How to Make a Town Diorama

Children must understand towns to create dioramas.

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Dioramas are models encased in glass, often found at museums. They give people a sense of how things works by providing a visual representation. The classroom might use dioramas to teach children about how towns are set up, helping children understand the logic of town development. Dioramas also give children an opportunity to express their creativity. They can incorporate man-made and natural objects to create a model that looks more realistic.

Related Searches:Difficulty:ModerateInstructions Things You'll NeedPencilPaperBoxesGluePaintPaintbrushModeling clayToothpicksCardboardAdhesiveFoliage or green mossSuggest Edits1

Draw a picture of the diorama to get a sense of what you will do with it. By drawing with a pencil, create several plans and decide which plan matches what you want to eventually create.


Find several different-sized boxes, such as cereal boxes and other empty food containers. These boxes can serve as town buildings.


Paint over each building with a different color, using a paintbrush. Some buildings have bright colors, but most use muted colors. Choose one color per building to start with. Wait for the paint to dry.


Paint details on the buildings. Try to keep the buildings flat so that the paint doesn’t drip downward, staining the wrong areas. Don't paint doors or other details near the bottom of the buildings, since you will place modeling clay at the bottom, which cover part of the bottom of each building.


Apply glue to the bottom of each box and place each one in the proper location. Wait for the glue to dry.


Place lumps of clay on the base of the diorama. Vary the height of the clay at different points to give the ground an uneven surface that looks more natural.


Paint grassy areas green and paint the roads grayish-black. Use a ruler to keep the roads straight. For added realism, wait for the paint to dry and add faint white lines down the center.


Use toothpicks to create trees. Paint the toothpicks brown and wait for them to dry. Break some of them in half to use as branches. Glue the broken toothpick pieces to the intact pieces.


Purchase a bag of foliage or collect green moss outside. Apply adhesive to the toothpicks. Read the directions to find out how long the adhesive takes to become tacky. Stick the tree into the bag of foliage, or quickly put the green moss on the tree top. Wait for the glue to dry and stick the toothpicks into the clay. Alternatively, use real sticks to heighten realism.


Cut pieces of cardboard, with some pieces shaped like octagons and others shaped like squares. Paint the octagons red and let the paint dry while you paint toothpicks white or grey. Glue the octagons to the toothpicks to create stop signs. Do the same for the squares, but paint them white to serve as speed limit signs.

Tips & Warnings

Improve realism by taking grass, moss and twigs from outside and placing them on the ground, to give the diorama a rougher texture. Rocks placed in the diorama will look like boulders.

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ReferencesKnow it All: A Natural StateStorm the Castle: How to make Miniature Trees for Dioramas and Model RailroadsPhoto Credit Hemera Technologies/ ImagesRead Next:

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Science Projects Having to Do With Symmetry

Students can learn about symmetry by studying butterflies.

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Symmetry can be observed everywhere, from architecture to nature. It is the result of exactly similar parts either facing each other or around an axis. Since most biological organisms display some form of symmetry, incorporating science projects about symmetry during a life science course can increase the students' understanding of symmetry. Specific projects should be tailored to the grade level and the comprehension of class members.

Related Searches: Introduction to Symmetry

Allow students to identify a number of basic shapes cut out of paper. For example, they can identify a square, triangle, circle, rectangle and parallelogram. Ask students to fold the paper shapes and see if they match up. Students will learn that when certain parts of an object match up, it is symmetrical. Break down the different shapes into which ones are symmetrical and which are not. Use an unframed mirror to continue the experiment of familiar objects and symmetry.

Ask students to hold up objects next to the mirror's edge, with half the object obscured. If the object looks the same when viewed through the mirror, the object is symmetrical. If the object doesn't look right, it isn't considered symmetrical. Allow students to experiment with objects around the classroom and categorize them.

Butterfly Wings

Students can learn about symmetry by examining butterfly wings and how they are symmetrical in shape and markings. After reviewing photographs of butterfly wings and studying symmetry, allow the students to take a piece of construction paper. After they fold the paper in half exactly, have them cut out wings that connect at the fold. When they open the wings, allow them to drop three to four small drops of paint on one side of the wings. Students should fold the wings carefully and press down. When they open the wings, they will see that the paint has made a mirror image design and they will have a real-world example of symmetry. The teacher can then guide students to discuss other examples of symmetry in nature.

Human Faces

Ask students whether people are symmetrical, particularly a person's face. Scanning front-facing photographs of themselves, teachers, family members or friends into photo manipulation software allows students to cut and splice faces together. If the face is truly symmetrical, the right half matched with the right half in mirror image should look just like the original face. Students can present their findings by comparing the original face to right-spliced faces and left-spliced faces.

Fossil Symmetry

Students can learn about different categories of symmetry when studying fossils. Explain the differences between radial, bilateral, pentagonal and asymmetrical. Give students a chance to examine photographs of many different kinds of fossils. Students can then group and categorize the fossil images and even make a chart of their findings.

ReferencesPBS Kids: Sid the Science Kid: Searching for SymmetryJVC's Science Fair Projects: Symmetry: Butterfly WingsOswego City School District: Photo Activity for SymmetryScience Olympiad Student Center: Fossil SymmetryPhoto Credit Nicholas Cope/Lifesize/Getty ImagesRead Next:

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