Many companies and organizations offer free educational materials to teachers. Some are terrific. Some aren't. This week, Education World tells you about a few that are worth your time. Included are freebies for younger students, for older students, and for everyone! Topics include diet and nutrition, pet care, money, recycling, and gardening. Also: Free software sites for educators!
Editor's Note: Internet stories have long shelf lives, but free teaching materials do not! Note that the following freebies story is being published on Education World in December, 1998. According to the sources of the materials listed below, all the highlighted freebies are currently available and will be for several months to come. But a word of caution: If you've unearthed this story from an archived Internet source, you shouldn't assume that these materials are still available many months later! [Be sure to see another Education World story this week, Fabulous Freebies (Part 2)].
If you're planning a nutrition unit for younger students, you won't want to do it without the excellent materials available through Dole Food Company's Nutrition Program. The materials, provided free to elementary school teachers, consist of several highly interactive and informative educational components designed to encourage children to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Developed for children ages 5 to 9, the program includes:
In addition, Dole's 5 A Day Educators Page provides lots of free online resources to use or download, including lesson plans, crossword puzzles, coloring pages, and games.
To order any of the Dole Nutrition Program products, send your request, on school letterhead, to Dole Nutrition Program, 155 Bovet Rd., Suite 476, San Mateo, CA 94402. Or you can fax it to 650-570-5250. Include your name, school address, and school phone number.
Younger elementary school students will also enjoy using The American Kennel Club's Best Friends Teaching Kit, a set of educational materials that teach children about pets, caring, and responsibility. Developed for students in grades K-6, the materials are most appropriate for students through grade 3. The kit includes:
Additional free AKC publications include:
Be sure to visit Best Friends Online to find additional games, download the printed materials from the Best Friends Teaching Kit, or order the Best Friends video and wall poster.
The AKC will provide one free Best Friends Teaching Kit, with the video and wall poster, to each elementary school. You can order it, or any of the other materials above, by writing to the American Kennel Club, 5580 Centerview Drive, Raleigh, NC 27606-3390; phone: 919-233-9767; fax: 919-233-3627.
Money, its history, uses, abuses, and implications, is the topic of a variety of free publications available from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Publications appropriate for older elementary students include:
Six additional comic-book style booklets are recommended for high school students, although some can be used with older middle school students as well. They include:
Three additional booklets appropriate for high school students and above are also available from the FRBNY. All are clearly written and well laid out, and each tackles a sophisticated topic in a straightforward informational style. They are Understanding the Federal Debt and Deficit, Understanding the Ms in Monetary Policy, and The Basics of Foreign Trade and Exchange.
In addition to these publications, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Education page includes instructional materials, information about educational initiatives, links to money sites for kids, and more.
You can obtain up to 35 copies of each of the above publications free of charge. To obtain additional information about the materials, or to order electronically, visit the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Web site at http://www.ny.frb.org/pihome/puborder.html.
Are you tired of recycling the same old environmental lessons? Looking for something new on the subject? The Environmental Protection Agency might have just the thing for you -- a complete program on recycling and solid waste management for students in grades K-12. Recycle Today! includes four components focusing on the effects of trash and recycling on the environment. They include:
In addition, The EPA's Environmental Education Center provides a number of resources for students and teachers, including background information, curriculum resources, student activities, and announcements of programs, projects, and awards.
To order the publications, visit the EPA's Web site or contact the EPA's National Center for Environmental Publications and Information at U.S. EPA/NCEPI, P.O. Box 42419, Cincinnati, Ohio 45242-2419. Publications can be ordered by phone at 1-800/490-9198, by fax at 513/489-8695, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include the following product codes:
The Wonders of Aloe, a booklet published by the National Gardening Association, though the smallest of our featured freebies, is packed full of ideas that will give new life to your science curriculum. This tiny teacher's guide does, of course, tell you how to grow aloe, "a plant that thrives on neglect," but it doesn't stop there. Cross-curricular activities galore grow from the fertile minds of its authors. Various articles invite students to imagine life in Africa 4000 years ago, learn about the parts of an aloe plant, and read about the healing powers of plants.
Suggested activities include mapmaking, classifying substances, and researching folklore. Younger students can experiment with the best conditions for growing aloe, while older students compare the pH of aloe in the morning and at night. Other activities will help your students answer questions such as Does aloe really help heal burns? Can aloe inhibit the growth of bacteria? and What's a stomata? Read a label! Study a timeline! Write a commercial! Run a fundraiser! It's all there -- in 12 short pages!
To order The Wonders of Aloe teachers' guide, call 1-800-538-7476. Also, be sure to explore NG Online's Kids and Classrooms to find additional activities and to learn how your students can participate in the organization's 16th Annual Youth Garden Grants.
The following resources, though less extensive, will also prove helpful for teaching a variety of topics.
Shareware is a way of marketing software in which software can be downloaded and used for a limited time without any cost or obligation. Payment is required only if the user wishes to continue using the software beyond the evaluation period. To find sources of educational shareware, visit one of these sites:
Article by Linda Starr
Copyright © 1998 Education World