Curriculum resources

It’s summer and maybe some of us are involved in writing/revising the science curriculum for our schools. Rather than just creating a laundry list of topics to be “covered” based on a textbook table of contents, you might be looking for some resources that combine content with inquiry processes, that are a comprehensive set of classroom activities with materials and multimedia components, and that include references to your state’s standards.
I recently came across the materials available through the Office of Science Education at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The main page has many resources and is worth a look, but I was impressed by what I found when I clicked on the Curriculum Supplements link. These are arranged by grade level (high school, middle school, and elementary levels). You can request a print copy for some of them, but the complete resource is available on line for all of them.
These are called “supplements,” but these are more complete that most resources I’ve seen! Each one has a content summary, and the web versions have suggestions for classroom use and links to multimedia activities. The teacher’s guide has background information on the topic, a wealth of classroom resources including a student manual, and all of the materials can be downloaded as PDF files. The student activities link leads to the multimedia and animations that complement the print and web-based materials.
Another neat feature is the alignment of these supplements to the state standards. On the page listing the supplements for each level, there is a link to the “state standards” for each one. I clicked on my state for one of the supplements, and not only were the relevant science standards listed, but also the relevant standards in mathematics, health, and communications!
Some of the topics in the high school supplements include cell biology and cancer, infectious diseases, human genetics, the brain, and cellular/molecular biology. The middle school topics include inquiry, healthy behaviors, the skeletal and muscular systems, the brain, mental illness, and chemicals in the environment. The elementary topic (right now there is only one) is on teeth and oral health.
Many of these individual supplements have been added to SciLinks over the years. They rate highly in the SciLinks rubrics for design and resource integration. It’s great to see all of the NIH resources in one place! Why re-create what you can get here?

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