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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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In addition to lesson plans and student activities, the Museum also offers many resources that can be used in classroom units or lessons – or just to learn more about a topic!

Resource Groups:

  • Discovering and Understanding
    Life’s Diversity
  • Formation and Evolution of the Earth and Solar System
  • Human Culture and Diversity

 

Discovering and Understanding
Life’s Diversity:

Encyclopedia of Life
The Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) is an ambitious project to organize and make available via the Internet virtually all information about life present on Earth. At its heart lies a series of Web sites: One for each of the approximately 1.8 million known species. Each site is constantly evolving and features content ranging from historical literature and biological descriptions to stunning images, videos and distribution maps.

Encyclopedia Smithsonian
From Art to Zoology, chose a topic related to Smithsonian Collections to explore!

Ocean Science at the National Museum of Natural History
Students can explore the marine collections of the Museum, explore field stations where our scientists collect specimens and conduct research, and discover the marine science program.

Ocean Living Photo Gallery
The ocean teems with life—from dazzling green anemones to adorable seal pups. You and your students can take a closer look at a sampling of the incredibly diverse aquatic community in the National Zoo’s Ocean Living Photo Gallery. It includes links to fact sheets about some of the animals featured.

Monterey Bay Aquarium Online Field Guide
The Monterey Bay Aquarium showcases marine life in the Monterey Bay and beyond. With a 28-foot-tall giant kelp forest, sea otters, penguins, and many more marine creatures, it's an excellent place to see ocean wildlife up close. Students can learn about the animals and their habitats through the aquarium’s online field guide.

What You Can Do (for the Ocean)This list presents some common – and not-so-common – ways for students to learn how they can help preserve the Ocean and its diversity for future generations.

Jellyfish Romance
This article presents the surprising and fascinating reproductive activity of these soft-bodied animals.

Measuring Biodiversity across North America
Bring biodiversity field data into the classroom using state-of-the-art interactive mapping technology. This resource combines an in-class lesson plan with interactive online components for students with which they can compare the richness of biodiversity across two or more geographic areas.

Annotated Mammals Resource List
The list has helpful notes on more than a dozen books on mammals from Africa to the Americas that you can use in your classroom.

Beaked Whales Identification Guide
See whales as you have never before seen them in the Beaked Whale Identification Guide.

Dinosaurs! at NMNH
An extensive resource for both teachers and students, Dinosaurs! provides a wealth of  information about dinosaurs, the Museum’s collections and how they are used to learn more about dinosaurs, and multiple web-based interactives.

 

Formation and Evolution of the Earth and Solar System

The Dynamic Earth
An extensive resource for both teachers and students, the Dynamic Earth provides a wealth of information about the Earth. The interactive webpages are divided into four sections based on the research conducted at the Museum: Plate Tectonics and Volcanoes, Gems and Minerals, the Solar System, and Rocks and Mining.

Global Volcanism Program
The Smithsonian Institution's Global Volcanism Program (GVP) is devoted to a better understanding of Earth's active volcanoes and their eruptions during the last 10,000 years. Their website includes a dynamic map of the Earth, maps and photos of volcanoes, and current updates on volcanic activity around the world.
The Splendor of Diamonds
The Splendor of Diamonds is an online exhibition introduces the extraordinary features of seven diamonds.

 

Human Culture and Diversity

AnthroNotes
Published twice a year, this publication contains articles on current anthropological research by leading anthropologists, teaching activities and strategies, and reviews of teaching resources. To receive an electronic version of AnthroNotes, sign up at http://anthropology.si.edu/outreach/outrch1.html.

Department of Anthropology Collections
Middle and high school students and their teachers can search the online collections of the NMNH Department of Anthropology, including African objects. For photos of artifacts and objects, use the advanced search option to narrow your search to entries with pictures.

Anthropology Explored: Professional Enrichment Expand your professional knowledge of Anthropology with Anthropology Explored, a collection of 36 essays written in a light and easy-to-read style by some of the world’s leading anthropologists. The chapters trace the emergence of humans, describe archaeologists’ understanding of early settlements, and explore the diversity of past and present cultures.

African Voices Exhibition HomeThe exhibition homepage is an excellent source for learning about African history and culture. It also includes a learning center, with links to additional online resources.

Dread History: the African Diaspora, Ethiopianism, and Rastafari
This online exhibition provides unique insight and information on the origins and development of Rastafari culture, including an extensive collection of photos.

Human Origins Program HomepageResearchers in the Human Origins Program are dedicated to understanding the biological and cultural foundations of human life. The program’s homepage provides excellent and detailed information about human evolution.

Department of Anthropology Collections
Middle and high school students and their teachers can search the online collections of the NMNH Department of Anthropology. For photos of artifacts and objects, use the advanced search option to narrow your search to entries with pictures.

Dread History: the African Diaspora, Ethiopianism, and Rastafari
This online exhibition provides unique insight and information on the origins and development of Rastafari culture, including an extensive collection of photos.

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