Tag Archives: middle school

Think Green, Teach Green – Earth Day 2020

April 22, 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

technoearth icon

On the first Earth Day in 1970, 20 million people in the United States demonstrated for a healthy, sustainable environment. They brought awareness to the extinction of wildlife, destruction caused by pollution, and loss of wilderness. In 1990, Earth Day became a global event with 141 countries and 200 million people organizing to campaign for environmental issues. As its 50 year milestone approaches this year, the movement continues to challenge everyone to make a difference. The energy and enthusiasm of young people is a powerful force to drive change and impact our planet.

Teacher Resources for Earth Day

Earth Day Online

Earth Day is just one of the many online sites available to teachers and students. It includes ideas and resources to inspire and drive climate action:

Register an Earth Day Event

View events in your area by zooming in on the Earth Day site map. See the range of events in the world. Or place a dot on the Earth Day site map by registering your own event. It can be a clean-up, rally, teach-in, art fair, or your own idea!

Get Informed on Environmental Issues

Read about the range of areas in which Earth Day initiatives are working. Sign up as an Earth Day School to get on the map to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Commit to what your school will do in 2020.

Download Educational Resources

Browse through activities and lessons provided specifically for educators, for example:

And there’s lots more!

TechnoKids Earth Day Event

Only from April 2 until April 15, 2020 get TechnoEarth technology project at special promotional pricing.

Teach the whole curriculum unit to create an interactive infographic using Google Sites based on a specific environmental issue. Step-by-step instructions support middle school learners as they explain the cause, harmful effects, stakeholder interests, location data, and solutions to a local or international problem.

Combine Google Docs, Slides, Sites, Sheets, My Maps, and Drawings to produce a web-based publication. Integrate the unit into a digital literacy, science, or geography unit to mark Earth Day 2020. Download the project into your TechnoKids digital library here.

Fun Activities to Take Earth Day Action

Have less class time? Pick a single, quick lesson to inspire and raise awareness as Earth Day approaches on April 22. Here are some ideas.

TechnoKids’ technology project TechnoEarth teaches students to become environmental stewards. But you can pick and choose some lessons to teach in a single day or just a few computer classes.

Explore a Sample Infographic

To encourage Earth Day action, students can examine the sample Acid Rain infographic provided in the TechnoEarth resources. In Assignment 2, they learn about the features of an infographic and the reasons to use this format to inspire awareness. They answer questions about the contents and design of the sample. In just one brief lesson, spark an interest in environmental concerns.

Discover TechnoEarth Fact Sheets

Included in the TechnoEarth resources are 13 fact sheets on a range of environmental issues. These are provided to support learning. Environmental topics are complicated issues with scientific detail and complex vocabulary. The fact sheets are simpler, one-page outlines that may replace online research to save class time or to meet individual student needs. As an Earth Day lesson or to spark further interest, students analyze the fact sheets:

environmental education lessons
13 fact sheets are included in TechnoEarth resources
  • Acid rain
  • Clear cutting
  • Endangered species
  • Garbage
  • Invasive species
  • Mountaintop mining
  • Nuclear energy
  • Oil sands
  • Overfishing
  • Plastic pollution
  • Poaching
  • Water consumption

Create an Image Carousel of Harmful Effects

TechnoEarth includes optional lessons to challenge students. Session 2 Extension Activity lists instructions to make an image carousel in Google Sites. A series of photographs is selected to portray the harmful effects of an environmental problem. The pictures create a photo gallery through which the viewer can scroll. Research the images individually or have students collaborate in pairs or groups on a specific topic. The collection creates a compelling view of the problem in one stand-alone activity.

Inform with a Pictograph

Another quick, Earth Day lesson is Session 3 Extension Activity. Use the Big number slide layout in Google Slides to make an eye-catching pictograph. With iconic, universally recognized symbols, students create a visual that graphically depicts the numerical data of an environmental issue.

earth day data
Simple, universally recognizable images are used in infographics.

Pinpoint a Problem Location

Produce a thematic map about a particular environmental issue using Google My Maps. In Session 4, a map is created to highlight worst offenders, best stewards, disaster sites, at-risk regions, successful conservation projects, or legally protected areas.  A marker locates the place, the icon style of the marker is customized, and interesting facts and photos are selected and included. Publishing just the map can be an engaging way to communicate the scope of an issue.

Google My Maps
When the viewer clicks on an icon, facts and photos of the location are displayed.

Boost Search Strategies Using Environmental Issues

TechnoEarth Session 1 Skill Review gives students tips about how to find information fast. They learn explicit, effective search strategies. Then they apply their skills to search online and find results for specific environmental topics.

TechnoEarth Technology Project and Activities

Whether you can allocate just one class or a complete unit of study to promote environmental awareness, TechnoEarth is an ideal resource for Earth Day celebrations. The half price promotion is only available April 2 – April 15, so act now and order here. Spark an interest in students to become environmental stewards!

Teaching Ideas for Programming with TechnoCode

coding with Scratch

TechnoKids’ newest release is TechnoCode, a technology project that introduces coding with Scratch to elementary and middle school students. It is an ideal project for Grades 4 and up. Jam-packed with programming activities, TechnoCode sparks an interest in computer science. Step by step instructions explain how to build animations, stories, games, art, music, and simulations.

Empower students with real-world skills they can use in the workplace. The instructional materials in TechnoCode encourage students to think like programmers. Resources include sample videos to inspire imaginations, planning sheets with guiding questions to help design scripts, assessment tools to evaluate student work, and coding journal logs to reflect upon learning.

Ideas for Implementation

The TechnoCode project has students create animated scenes, construct mazes, broadcast stories, engineer games, design artwork, compose music, build a diorama, and more! The activities are suitable for any teaching situation. Select the option that works best for you and your students:

  • Coding Unit with Elementary Students: Assignments in Sessions 1-3 in TechnoCode are ideal for students new to Scratch. The activities are perfect for Grades 4 and up. Students design animations, create art, develop games, and compose music. The emphasis is on coding basics including how to build scripts, sequence commands, control action with if then conditions, and create simple loops. The activities focus upon directing movement, synchronizing sound, and understanding x and y coordinates.
  • Coding Unit with Middle School Students: Once students understand the fundamentals of coding in Sessions 1-3, they extend their learning in Sessions 4-6. The activities are ideal for students that understand the fundamentals and are ready for a challenge. The critical and computational thinking required is ideal for students in Grades 6-8. They produce a story, engineer a game, develop a treasure hunt, build a diorama, and remix a project. The emphasis is on having students manipulate the appearance of sprites, direct the timing of events with broadcasting, and create original artifacts using conditions, variables, and operators.
  • Scratch activities for kids.

    Build games using Scratch. Learn how to use variables to track the score.

  • Computer Science Course: TechnoCode has 25 assignments designed to ignite an interest in computer science. The focus is on thinking like a programmer. Each coding activity is divided into four parts – exploration, practice, freestyle, and reflection. Using a question and answer format, students discover the function of command blocks. Next, they follow guided instructions to build scripts. Afterwards, they apply their skills to complete open-ended challenges. Once a Scratch project is finished, students write a coding journal entry to reflect upon the experience.
  • Hour of Code: If you only have one class to teach coding there are many assignments in TechnoCode that can be used for this purpose. If your students are beginners, they can develop simple animations. Assignment 5 targets how to build a script, Assignment 6 explores directing movement, and Assignment 14 focuses upon changing the appearance of a sprite. If your students have existing knowledge of Scratch, the skill reviews in Sessions 2-5 are excellent challenges.
  • Coding Workshop Series: If you are running a workshop series as part of an after-school program or community event, then you will need to select assignments that fit the number of classes offered. As well, consider the age range and coding abilities of students.

Coding with Scratch is highly addictive and fun! Your students will develop a host of essential technology skills as they create unique games, interactive stories, animations, and more!

Updated Internet Activities for Kids

NOTE: The technology project, TechnoJourney was replaced with TechnoInternet. The activities are similar.

Internet Activities for Kids

TechnoJourney internet activities

TechnoJourney internet activities have been recently revised, with new and improved lessons for elementary and middle school grades. The Internet is constantly changing and so are TechnoKids projects! TechnoJourney is a fun introduction to the Internet and it has just been completely updated. Have your students become Internet savvy with TechnoKids authentic online experiences.

Teachers, do your technology curriculum objectives include any of the following?

internet activities

  • internet safety
  • digital citizenship
  • research skills
  • copyright awareness
  • cyberbullying
  • e-mail etiquette

TechnoJourney teaches these concepts and more with fun, engaging activities. Students travel the Internet with a passport in hand. Choose a destination: Visitor’s Center, e-Library, e-Media Center, e-Playground, e-Mail Depot, or e-Cafe. At each stop students explore the sites, complete activities, and receive a stamp in their passport. This online expedition allows students to discover the wonders online as they learn the importance of responsible digital citizenship.

TechnoJourney internet activities

Learning objectives achieved in TechnoJourney internet activities include:
  1. demonstrate responsible, ethical, and safe behavior
  2. use search strategies to locate online resources
  3. bookmark web pages and organize them in a folder
  4. assess trustworthiness of web-based information
  5. watch educational and entertaining videos
  6. play online games, listen to music, view webcams
  7. communicate with e-mail using netiquette
  8. prevent cyberbullying
  9. communicate using chat
  10. evaluate forms of social media

internet activitiesWhen you order TechnoJourney you receive a teacher guide, digital student worksheets, and customizable resources. Additional materials such as an Internet map, Internet passport, Internet citizenship card, assessment tools, and enrichment activities support learning.

Transform your students into Internet experts with TechnoJourney internet activities!