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October 2002

The Shape of Life
The mysteries of life, a site to accompany the 8-part PBS TV series.
Grade Level: K-12

The Shape of Life, from PBS, is the accompanying website to the eight-part television series that, according to the homepage description, reveals the dramatic rise of the animal kingdom through the breakthroughs of scientific discovery."
This site is of extremely high quality, with stunning photos, videos, and a user-friendly layout. RealPlayer is required for viewing the video.
Users will find this site easy to navigate in several ways. Each of the eight episodes can be entered from the main page by clicking on the representative photo. There is also a top navigation bar for accessing the major areas of the site. Internal pages have top and bottom navigation bars as well as a left-side sub menu for moving within the section.
The Shape of Life "tells the story of the great diversity of animal life on Earth." Students and teachers from grades K-12 will find something of interest here. Each of the eight episodes deals with one aspect of the evolution of animal life from finding the first animal to how humans fit into the shape of life. By clicking on the Image Guide link in the top menu, users are taken to a comprehensive index of photos of the scientists and animals featured in the series. Activities and Resources include a few learning activities that can be used from the Web page and the entire activity guide with a wide variety of projects can be downloaded in .pdf format. For research, students can click on the Animals link to find information and photos grouped according to phyla. Explorations and Scientists features biographical information and career sketches of the scientists and videos of their investigations. Additionally there is a glossary and links to related resources for further exploration.

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