How do humans see? Vision and eye anatomy can be hard for students of all ages to understand. Join us as we look for the Web's best sites for sight! Included: Sites geared toward the elementary, middle, and high school students, with crossword puzzles, Spanish translations, movies of the eye, and much more!
How do humans "see?" Vision and the anatomy of the eye can be hard to understand in K-12 classrooms. Read on to see the web's best sites for sight!
How Stuff Works -- Eyes
How Stuff Works should be on any teacher's short list of sites for science information. As always, this entry on eyes is concise and easy-to-read. Information is arranged on 13 pages, each of which focuses (!) on just one topic, such as color blindness. Graphics, including a flash movie of light entering the eye, help explain the concept of vision. This is in an excellent source for students working on a science fair project. Best for grades 6-9, but be sure to warn students of the number of advertisements on this site. The ads can be distracting.
Part of the BBC's Interactive Body site, this well written, but short, explanation of the parts of the eye will help students better understand the vision process. The site includes two interactive graphics -- one showing the eye as it sees something (with the iris contracting and expanding), and the other showing a man seeing a tree. Excellent for grades 4-6, this site also could be used by a teacher during whole group instruction (especially in conjunction with the study of other systems in the human body).
A Big Look at the Eye
This site, a one page summary of the eye and how we see, is the best choice on the list for students in grades 2-5. The language is easy-to-understand, with simple, sound-it-out instructions on how to say "retina" and other terms. This would be wonderful for a KWL activity at the beginning of a unit, particularly at a classroom center. (Go to the computer and read this article; write five new facts on an index card; and add a few things you'd like to know about the eye.). Special note: This article also is available in Spanish!
Neuroscience for Kids: The Eye
With pages of details, quizzes, fun facts, and more, this site is an excellent choice for middle school and freshman biology classes. The material is too advanced for most elementary students (even though the site is titled "For Kids"), but sections are short and include graphics and fun activities to keep students interested. Most activities can be conducted sitting at the computer. The site includes crossword puzzles, quizzes, trivia, and a full lesson plan for teachers with links to standards and other resources. Don't miss this site!
Safe Eye Quiz
This site is best used at the end of a unit or as an enrichment or homework activity. Students click a particular eye danger -- fireworks, for example -- and then answer a few safety questions. Explanations of each answer allow students to see if they answered correctly and why they did or didn't. Coloring pages for each danger are included. This site is great as a tech integration activity for the health classroom or as a supplement to a human body unit in an elementary science class.
Learn about more great sites for students, parents, and educators by visiting Education World's Site Reviews Archives.
Article by Lorrie Jackson
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