Friday, March 28, 2008

Mapping the US Census, from Your Country, to Your State and Zip Code

Play around with The New York Timesinteractive package based on data from the US Census tells you about your neighborhood.

Start broad: Consider the different states. Which one (or region), based on the census, seems most interesting to you and why?
End local: Consider your own neighborhood. Again, what information seems most interesting to you and why?

In writing your story, introduce the US Census. What is it, and why might it matter to your audience, the readers of The Hillwood Herald? Consult the following sources below in your research:

The New York Times census "explainer"
US Census website

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Lord of the Flies: A Review

Student Assignment: Brigette and Julian F.
(Thank Irene for your assignment!)

This assignment should tell Herald readers both about Google Books and the book The Lord of the Flies by William Golding. (You may also want to include biographical material about the author, who -- interestingly -- won a Nobel Prize for Literature.)

First, look at the book on Google Books. Tell readers about the experience -- what is Google Books and how might students use it? Then, write a review about the book. Read this Wikipedia entry about Google Books.

Be sure to link to a variety of places regarding the book and include images.

The Pigman: A Review

Student Assignment: Rubina and Lance
(Thank Irene for your assignment!)

This assignment should tell Herald readers both about Google Books and the book The Pigman by Paul Zindel. (You may also want to include biographical material about the author, who -- interestingly -- worked as a science teacher.)

First, look at the book on Google Books. Tell readers about the experience -- what is Google Books and how might students use it? Then, write a review about the book. Read this Wikipedia entry about Google Books.

The History of St. Paddy's Day

Student Assignment: Brendon
(Thank Irene for this assignment!)

~St. Patty's Day History, Legends, Traditions,Modern Celebrations

What is the tradition of Saint Patrick's Day? Read this story on History.com, and then write a feature story that is at least 15 sentences in length.

Include links and explanitory text to the following activities found on National Geographic:
Clover puzzles
Pot of gold

Monday, March 10, 2008

What Was President Obama Doing This Week?

Watch the news video from the White House this week. What was the president doing this week, and how did education into it?

How Do Kangaroos Bounce?

Read this article on the BBC website, and watch the associated  video. What are scientist learning about how kangaroos bounce? Take screen grabs of the video to help tell your story.

Pick and Then Write About An Animal

Pick an animal, and then report on it using the National Geographic Kids site.

Remember to include links and image, as well as sources

Write About Dan's Wild Wild Weather Page

Tell Hillwood Herald readers what you think about this meteorologist's webpage for kids. What do you find interesting? And what did you learn? You may want to watch this video first and read his biographical information on the site. What is "peer-reviewed science," and why is it important to him?

Remember to include images and to embed video.

The Earthquake in Japan — and How to Prepare for a Bay Area Quake

Give Herald readers an update about the earthquake in Japan, and use this an introduction to tell readers about how they can prepare for an earthquake. Use the following as sources:

The New York Times
US Geological Survey: Science for a Changing World (glance over the site's FAQ, or "frequently asked questions," and read this page on earthquake preparedness)
Red Cross Earthquake preparedness
An archived news article about San Francisco's 1906 earthquake (from The Times)

Write About the Making of ‘Mars Needs ’

Read this article on The New York Times, and watch the videos along the left side of the webpage. Write a preview of the film. Remember to answer the five W's of a good story, and include information about whether or not you think the film will be interesting to watch and why. Also, explain why the actors all have dots on their faces.

Include at least three images in your post. (Consider pulling images from the slideshow on The Times, but remember to cite your source.)

Make Over a Planet

Extreme Planet Makeover lets visitors create new worlds, instantly, online. The website—a collaboration between NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab and Caltech—lets you adjust your planet's size and age, its distance from the sun, and the kind of star that sun is. You can make gas giants or tiny, Pluto-like rocks, or aim for the sweet spots in between. When you're done, visit the Planet Gallery and stack your world up against other planets in our own solar system—or a few that lie far beyond it.

Create and take a screen grab of your own planet. Then write an article about this website. Remember to answer the five W's of a good story: who, what, when, where, and why. Then, tell Herald readers how your planet compares to those in our solar system/