Library Links

"Content that might be of interest to Teacher-Librarians..."


Open Yale Courses

Open access to courses from Yale University

The lecture videos might be a good way to provide a "visiting lecturer" for some high school classes. (ie Poetry, Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy, etc.) Each lesson is delivered in video format with notes. Teachers might find ideas that they might use in their own course content.

"Open Yale Courses provides free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University. The aim of the project is to expand access to educational materials for all who wish to learn."

"Each course includes a full set of class lectures produced in high-quality video accompanied by such other course materials as syllabi, suggested readings, exams, and problem sets. The lectures are available as downloadable videos, and an audio-only version is also offered. In addition, searchable transcripts of each lecture are provided."


Physics - PhET Simulations

Interactive simulations of physical phenomena

"PhET provides interactive, research-based simulations of physical phenomena. They enable students to make connections between real-life phenomena and the underlying science, deepening their understanding and appreciation of the physical world."

"PhET simulations animate what is invisible to the eye through the use of graphics and intuitive controls such as click-and-drag manipulation, sliders and radio buttons. In order to further encourage quantitative exploration, the simulations also offer measurement instruments including rulers, stop-watches, voltmeters and thermometers."


Geometry Playground: Activities and Links

Hands-on activities that will help spark students' interest in geometry. Designed for classroom use, they can also be done by families or other groups.


Five-Minute Film Festival to celebrate Earth Day

A playlist of Earth Day videos

Video playlist, lesson ideas and other links

"Earth Day has deep roots in education. The first one was in 1970, held as a "national teach-in on the environment." It was groundbreaking in that it brought together people with different beliefs and backgrounds to fight for a single cause. We celebrate on April 22nd, but you can teach your students about sustainability and environmental stewardship all year round. It doesn't take much for kids to feel like they can make a difference for our planet, mobilizing them to be life-long environmentalists! "



BBC - Languages - Spanish - Mi Vida Loca

An interactive video drama and Spanish course

"Mi Vida Loca takes you on an intrigue mystery adventure to Madrid and beyond in 22 episodes, each 10 min, covering basic learning points for Spanish absolute beginners. A learning section complements each episode. Go through the vocabulary and grammar in more detail and at your own pace, then complete activities for practice. (Created by the BBC.)

Select the interactive version (video-only version is for the UK only.) It may take a few moments to load.


Elementary French 1 Online - Open and Free

An interactive video-based French course

French Online is an interactive video-based course intended for use by university students and independent learners on the Internet.  The first-semester course is divided into fifteen lessons of one week duration in a university context, for a total duration of fifteen weeks.  The beginning of each lesson is always a set sequence, from simple recognition of language in a video dialogue to written and spoken production of variations on that language.


BBC - Languages - French - Ma France - video clips

24 interactive video units

"Ma France will help you improve or brush up your basic French with the help of Stéphane Cornicard and 24 interactive video units. The language you'll learn is spoken and up-to-date. It will help you to deal with a range of practical situations and conversational topics: Directions, dating, house-buying, food and wine etc. The idea is to follow the units in order but you can just dip into them."


For FSL - French Podcast by Linguistica 360

"News in Slow French"

On iTunes

From the Website

Learn French online with us! In our course we emphasize all aspects of language learning from listening comprehension, rapid vocabulary expansion, exposure to French grammar and common idiomatic expressions, to pronunciation practice and interactive grammar exercises. In our program we discuss the Weekly News, French grammar, and French expressions, and much more in simplified French at a slow pace so that you can understand almost every word and sentence.

To get all the features (quiz, lesson plan etc.), you will need to subscribe to the site. The iTunes content is free. Some expressions are European rather than Canadian.


Smarthistory: a multimedia web-book about art and art history

A multi-media survey of Art History web-book. is a free, not-for-profit, multi-media web-book designed as a dynamic enhancement (or even substitute) for the traditional art history textbook. This multi-media survey of art history web-book features works of art found in standard art history survey texts, organized stylistically and chronologically, with added text and still images.


shakespeareanimated - Playlists

BBC's Animated Shakespeare

Aired between 1992 and 1994 on the BBC and HBO, The Animated Shakespeare brings to life 12 famous Shakespeare plays. Leon Garfield, a well-known British children's author, wrote the scripts, mainly using Shakespearian language. (Watch many of his plays in animated format with original text.)


Just How Small is an Atom? - TED edu

The scale of the atom

In this new video from TED Education, teacher and author Jonathan Bergmann uses colorful analogies to help us visualize the scale of the atom and its nucleus.


Education 2.0 - OISE Video Project

A reflection on current issues in education

This stop motion animation was created as a final project for a graduate-level course entitled "Technology and Education" (KMD2003/TPS1447) at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.

"Alisa Acosta's video brings together the current educational gurus in a way that makes sense. (I9 minutes long.) Why are kids in school in the first place?"


Video clips from the writer's site - figmentdotcom

Figmentdotcom's Video Channel

A collection of clips featured on figmentdotcom related to writing. Especially good are the clips by Geoff Herback, a writer and university professor - see a sample below. (Clips are more appropriate for High School students.)

Sample Clip: Cracked Dialogue
Author Geoff Herbach ("Stupid Fast" and "Nothing Special") treats Figment Readers to a lesson in realistic dialogue.


PicMonkey - Photo Editing Made Easy

Loved Picnik? Want the same easy photoediting?

The world's friendliest photo-editor got a chance to start again. If you loved Picnik, PicMonkey is back in town and better than ever. It's faster, more powerful, and easier to use. Upload your pics, edit, crop, stamp, colourize and download form a simple, elegant web-based application.


News (Current events) for the classroom

Want places to get current events? with a Canadian focus?

News For Kids
NewsForKids summarizes important stories in language that is accessible to kids. (plus teaching materials)

CBC site:
There are some good materials available via the CBC site, (ie. the "National in 10 minutes".) and check out the CBC archives site for a look back in time.

Local /Regional / National Paper
The 24 hours paper is available in digital format. Each issue is a mix of local, regional, national and international news. Articles are short and often have a Canadian focus.

For a less "canado-centric" perspective:

Gogo News

Time For Kids

New York Times for Kids

PBS News for Kids

BBC News for Kids



Morse Code made easy

Tap out patterns to send a message!

Mastering Morse Code means learning the unique pattern for each letter of the alphabet, and each punctuation mark. Being able to "do" Morse Code means that you tap out patterns to send a message, and decipher the taps to understand it.

Use the tutorial (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced) to teach yourself the patterns.

With all the talk about the message from the Titanic, students might want to investigate this further.


IdeaLabs: Sizing Up the Universe

If the earth was a golf ball...
(Flash animation)

In this interactive challenge, you guess relative sizes in outer space, and then do the math to check your guesses. (Won't work on iOS devices.) Very good for giving a perspective on the world, the solar system and everything else. A Googlemap plots the relative sizes of objects in relation to your hometown.


Kids | Smithsonian

Smithsonian Kids

From Art to Zoo, the Smithsonian has something to interest kids and students of all ages. Begin your Smithsonian adventure by visiting some of the websites on this, interviews, animations and more


Video Editor - iPad app

Create video blogs, short films, or video diaries

Video Editor FREE is video-editing tool. It allows users to edit multiple video clips. The app also features a tap function for precision frame-by-frame trimming. Users can choose to combine existing video clips from the camera roll or record a new video.

It will upload videos to popular social networks including Facebook and YouTube. Video Editor is essential for people who love to create video blogs, short films, or video diaries.


Flipped Classroom - a reversed teaching model

What is the flipped classroom?

"It is a reversed teaching model that delivers instruction at home through interactive, teacher-created videos and moves "homework" to the classroom. Moving lectures outside of the classroom allows teachers to spend more 1:1 time with each student. Students have the opportunity to ask questions and work through problems with the guidance of their teachers and the support of their peers - creating a collaborative learning environment."


Use engaging videos to create customized lessons. You can use, tweak, or completely redo any lesson featured on TED-Ed, or create lessons from scratch based on any video from YouTube. Watch the video to learn how.


Do your students do powerpoint?

Help students create a better Powerpoint project.

What is it with Powerpoint that seems to bring out the worst in student presentations? Too much text, bad font choice, horrible colours, clashing backgrounds, reading from the slides: it seems to go from bad to worse! Here are some ideas to help students create a better Powerpoint project.

Important Design Ideas:

Guy Kawasaki clip

Some good points to keep in mind (video)

Presentation Zen principles

A couple of Powerpoints about powerpoints

A PPT about PPT

Effective PowerPoint lesson

Some additional tips

9 tips for students
Powerpoint no-nos


O Canada CD for Schools ~ for the kids, by the kids.

One World Youth Arts Project - O Canada
If you are looking for some alternate versions of O Canada, take a look at this CD.

Samples from the CD

"Students and graduates of One World Youth Arts Project have created a CD compilation of renditions of the Canadian National Anthem in various styles (including a French version) for school opening exercises.

The CD also includes five instrumental accompaniment tracks that your school soloists or choir can use for public performance or to record their own anthem performance for at school assemblies. To order a copy of this CD, send an email to <> with your mailing information and they will send the CD along with an invoice for $20."



Think deeply about the writing we do with HS students

Just Write! Guide (For adult learners, and HS)

Ideas and insights for teaching writing to adults. Has some good applications for senior English writing instruction.

"The Just Write! Guide is a resource guide for ABE teachers, intended to increase familiarity with evidence-based writing instruction and to facilitate translation of research findings into teaching practices and products that will enhance the quality of instruction delivered to adult learners. We hope that the guide will inspire adult education teachers to write more, think more deeply about the writing they do with their students, and consider how to enhance their instruction overall."

(Thanks Patricia S for the heads-up)


firstgrade Wiki - Writing - Persuasive

15 persuasive writing lessons

"These 15 persuasive writing lessons, written in Lucy Calkin's 4-part mini-lesson format, were written collaboratively by first grade teachers at Chets Creek. These lessons are currently being rewritten and divided to make 15 kindergarten and 15 first grade lessons."

See also


Mackin Spring Booktalk - webinar

Find out what's new in YA and kid fiction

Mackin Educational Resources has just put up their spring webcasts.  They have looked at books published in the last about 6 months and and chosen about 130 or so in all the curricular areas, fiction, and easy.  In the webcast, which is in the format of an audiovideo PowerPoint, you will find a "booktalk" about each book. Select the elementary webcast or the middle/high, and at the bottom of the page you can also choose to watch the fall 2011 webcast.  (Registration required - free.)



Owl Landing - Slow motion

See an Owl land in slow motion
Slow motion film of an owl coming in to land right at a security camera. 

Other animal videos - mostly of pets - some wild animals

Creating a reference set - virtually

Virtual Text Sets
How can we support teachers and students if we don't always have the print resources? Don't forget to explore the material we have in Worldbook, EBSCO and the Gale Virtual Reference Library. Links to the articles and books can be shared on a website or emailed to your teaching colleague. (No password needed for school access, ID and PW needed to view from home.)


Here are some examples for a unit:
Virtual Text Set -Socials Grade 7- Mesopotamia

WorldBook Encyclopedia
(different reading levels depending on which version you access.)

Middle School Entry for "Mesopotamia"

Other references in the Middle School version

Advanced Version references

Gale Virtual Reference Library:
Ancient Civilizations Encyclopedia (Images and text)
LINK here]
Global Issues in Context
World Religions Reference Library.
LINK here]
Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia (in EBSCO - text only)

Content from magazines in EBSCO

War in the First Cities - Scholastic Dig Magazine 

Built for a God - Scholastic Dig Magazine 

What the horses wore - Scholastic Dig Magazine

The Lion Bowl - Scholastic Dig Magazine 
The World in-between - Archeology Magazine
[LINK to article]

O WORLD Project

Celebrating the diversity of human culture

The O World Project is a multi-media initiative with a mission to celebrate the diversity of human culture and to add another voice of inspiration for a new paradigm of global community and consciousness.

The arts phase of the project is based on an original song entitled 'O World'. The project enlisted musicians from around the world to adapt the original alternative rock version of 'O World' to their particular style, genre, and musical tradition.
(Scroll through the videos to hear different versions of the song - compare the Rock, Bluegrass and Rap versions.)


Flipping classroom instruction with videos

Leveraging web videos to truly flip the classroom       
(Ari Bader-Natal)
LINK    (Presentation starts at 4min15 start)

Ari talks about the value of using streamed clips to "flip" the classroom.


Keeping the Wicket : PBS LearningMedia

The sport of cricket (4min46 clip on the sport)

"The sport of cricket is still popular today in those countries, as well as many others that were a part of the British Empire, such as Australia. In America, cricket developed into more modern forms of baseball. Cricket involves three actions: batting, bowling, and fielding without gloves. The object of the game is to protect one's team's wicket (similar to a base in baseball or softball)."

American video

Staying strong and healthy - video clip

Knees Lifted High: (Book 2- American First Nations Resource)

Running Time: (7:36) Release Date: 8/4/2008
Clip can be downloaded in wmv or mp4 formats for later viewing.

"Mr. Eagle describes to Rain That Dances and Thunder Cloud, two American Indian boys, how people used to be strong and healthy because they kept their bodies moving by working hard and playing outside every day. Mr. Eagle is sad because he no longer sees children playing and because they spend too much time sitting. He tells the boys how many people are now sick with diabetes and explains that there are ways to prevent the disease. Together, they discuss fun ways to move their bodies and become healthier."

Through the Eyes of the Eagle (Book 1)

Plate of Color (Book 3)

Tricky Treats (Book 4)


What Are You Teaching Today? Poetry That Inspires!

Kick-start the use of poetry in your classroom

"April's theme of National Poetry Month can be a great way to kick-start the use of poetry in your classroom. I'm keeping this book on my desk in April: She Walks in Beauty: A Woman's Journey Through Poems, selected and introduced by Caroline Kennedy. It's a reminder to myself to read poems from it daily, and enjoy the experience. Do you have a favorite book on poetry? Can you think of one, dig it out and start to share it with your students?"


How did Shakespeare speak?

'Speak ... as I Pronounced It to You, Trippingly on the Tongue'

"The British Library has released a set of scenes and speeches on CD that claim to be performed as Shakespeare would have intended. How do they know? To learn the answer, I had to work my way past the clips from the CD release that can be found on the Web or downloaded from the British Library. [read the whole article]"

Sonnet 116: [LINK]
"Original Pronunciation" movement [Link]


Holocaust Commemoration - C-SPAN Video Library

Annual commemoration of the Holocaust

President Obama is introduced by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel. (Mr. Wiesel speaks movingly about the responsibility of all countries to take a stand when human rights are threatened. - Obama speaks from 10min30 on)

"President Obama spoke at the annual commemoration of the Holocaust and the Holocaust Museum. In his speech he announced a plan that would allow the U.S. to impose sanctions against foreign entities, specifically Iran and Syria, for using technology to carry out human rights abuses."


Images Sources for projects

Looking for some "student-usable" images?

Infotopia has assembled a set of sites to help find images. (Remind students to cite the source, even if they are public domain! Some of the links are to copyrighted material (ie political cartoons.) Always check to see if there are restrictions on use.


BBC - Religion: Interfaith holy days and festivals calendar

Interfaith calendar

Holy Days for the following faiths: Bahá'í, Hindu, Muslim, Shinto, Buddhist, Jain, Pagan, Sikh, Christian, Jewish, Rastafari, Zoroastrian.

"All dates are shown using the Gregorian (Western) calendar. The calendar is accurate, but some dates may vary regionally because they are determined by the lunar calendar. (Note: Jewish festivals usually begin at sundown on the previous day.)"