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Canku Ota
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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Favorite Sites
collected by Paul and Vicki
Science for Girls
In the thirty-five years since I was one of just a handful of women getting a computer science degree, you'd think the word would be out about what a great choice science is for both girls and boys. But apparently there are still plenty of myths that need busting. Learn more about how to encourage girls in science, technology and engineering with today's site roundup.

Brain Cake
"If I could change the world, I'd never stop dreaming, and life would get better every day!" The Girls, Math & Science Partnership from the Carnegie Science Center is an inspirational site for girls ages eleven to seventeen and their mentors. Although in-person events are only available in Arizona and Pennsylvania , the site has oodles to offer virtual visitors, including career explorations, scholarship contests, GirlTalk Radio (and podcasts), scientist bios, and links to sites that offer help with science homework.

Educational Equity Center: Science: It's a Girl Thing!
Based on the preschool program Playtime is Science (and with a grant from the National Science Foundation) this is a complete curriculum for parents (or caretakers or teachers) to use with girls ages four to eight. It revolves around ten fun at-home science activities, such as Creating a Mystery Bottle (with colored oil and water), Building with Wonderful Junk, and Making and Using Sieves (playing with water and sand.) The entire course is available online (for free, of course) in twelve downloadable, printable PDFs.

Engineer Girl!
What do engineers do exactly? Find out what and how at Engineer Girl! What else can you do at this fabulous site? Ask an engineer your questions, find out what classes to take in high school, see profiles of women engineers, and enter the upcoming Engineer Girl! Essay Contest (which will be posted in October.) "By becoming an engineer, you can help solve problems that are important to society. You could be controlling and preventing pollution, developing new medicines, creating advanced technologies, even exploring new worlds."

Engineer Your Life
"In very real and concrete ways, women who become engineers save lives, prevent disease, reduce poverty, and protect our planet. Dream Big. Love what you do. Become an engineer." Yup, it's another engineering site, but this one is specifically for high school girls. Not sure if engineering is the career for you? Start your site visit with a look at Ten Great Reasons Why You'll Love It. Other great clicks include Meet Inspiring Women, and Find Your Dream Job.

I Was Wondering
Inspired by the biography book series "Women's Adventures in Science, " this website for middle-school girls is supported by the National Academy of Sciences, and is my pick of the week. Learn about 10 Cool Scientists that you've probably never heard of, but are living and working their science dreams everyday in fields such as robotics, planetary science, forensic anthropology, and wildlife biology. Play games such as Make a Robot, or view a clickable timeline showcasing the accomplishments of twenty-five amazing female scientists.
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Reading Activities
Although printed books will probably be center stage for reading activities with preschoolers and early elementary grades, the Internet also has a huge stash of online reading activities and ideas for offline activities such as puppet play and making bookmarks. Compact for Reading & School-Home Links
The Compact for Reading outlines a partnership between families and schools to improve reading skills, but it's the School-Home Links Reading Kits I want you to look at. They are available in easy-to-print PDF format for four grade levels: K through 3. Weighing in at a hefty hundred pages each, they are chock full of printable reading activities and worksheets. Great stuff, but very elementary. You may find your own student ready to do the grade 3 level work at a much younger age. First Grade Reading Activities
Make a lunch box magnet board, tell a story with sock puppets, or go on a treasure hunt for the emperor's new clothes. has collected eighty illustrated reading activities and projects for first graders. As with most grade-level activities, your child may be ready for these in preschool or they may still be useful in second grade. You can find additional grade levels in the right-hand menu.

Reading Rockets: All Activities Articles
With sections for parents, teachers, principals and librarians, Reading Rockets is on a mission to launch young readers. This article archive contains more than forty reading activities for home and classroom, including dozens of literacy bags. What's a literacy bag? It's Ziploc bag with a printable activity, bookmark, and parent info sheet designed to be sent home by a teacher with a book. But the idea is also great for parents looking for portable reading activities.

Reading Planet: RIF Kids
Reading is Fundamental's divides their online activity center into two age groups: Reading Planet for ages six to fifteen, and Leading to Reading for zero (zero?) to five years old. With great graphics, and fun game play, these colorful online reading activities and interactive books are sure to please. In the Activity Lab for early elementary students, projects include Illustrate a Story, Printable Bookplates, and an interactive coloring book.

Starfall offers four levels of interactive reading resources for pre-k through second-grade from ABC's and phonics to read-along plays and short stories. "Every word on the site is clickable and will read aloud. In this way, your child's speaking, reading, and writing vocabulary can grow alongside his curiosity." Although the interactive stories are the star of the show at Starfall, don't overlook the printable downloads which include a Reading and Writing Journal, Reading Awards, Phonics Puzzles, and printouts to accompany many of the stories. They can be accessed from the Download Center link at the very bottom of the home page.

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Cool Science Experiments
Who else wants to join us in the kitchen for some cool science experiments? These sites explain hundreds of experiments you can do at home or in a classroom with simple materials you probably already have, or can easily get at the grocery store.

The Naked Scientists: Kitchen Science Experiments
In addition to the usual instructions, these fab kitchen experiments include material lists, and both video and audio explanations. And for those experiments that are just too messy or too big for the kitchen, the Naked Scientists have a Garage Experiments category. These include making a cloud chamber from a fish tank, building a flame tornado using a turntable, and exploding eggs. Do I need to remind you to never do any of these without your parents' supervision? Consider yourself reminded.

Reeko's Mad Scientist: Experiments
"Here's a popular experiment that's been around for years and has left many kitchens in ruin (just kidding of course)." Reeko is a mad scientist with a sassy attitude and an engaging writing style. Best reasons to love Reeko, though, are his experiment rating system (Easy, Intermediate and Advanced), so we have some idea of what we are getting ourselves into, and the interesting science tidbits he includes in Parent's Notes at the bottom of most experiment pages. His mad experiments are divided into twelve categories, including a few you won't find elsewhere such as Cohesion and Flotation.

Science Bob: Experiments You Can Do at Home or School
"Science Bob" Pflugfelder is a science evangelist who's garnered some media attention for teaching science to young actors at TV and movie studios. "He also encourages parents and teachers to practice 'Random Acts of Science' by providing instructions and videos for interactive science experiments on his web site, as well as public presentations and workshops that help make science come alive." In addition to the experiments section, Science Bob also has a section of science fair ideas, and a separate video section in which he demonstrates some of his experiments.

Science Kids: Fun Science Experiments
"Can you control a ping pong ball as it floats above a hair dryer? Try it out and learn the important role that forces such as gravity and air pressure play in this simple experiment." In addition to the thirty-seven experiments in this section, the Science Kids site houses science games, quizzes, fun science facts, an image gallery, and videos. In fact, you'll find more experiments by clicking on over to Videos, and then choosing Experiments.

Steve Spangler Science: Experiments
After twelve years in the classroom, Steve Spangler is now a science teacher's teacher, and a media personality,. "This hands-on science library represents Steve's most requested science experiments from his weekly television appearances and live presentations throughout the country." Start with the Top Ten list on the front page, where you'll find Mentos Geyser - Diet Coke Eruption (be sure to read How Does It Work), along with the classic Egg in the Bottle trick. Alternatively, if you scroll past the Top Ten list, you can navigate the experiments via the category links.

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Colonial America
The colonial period of American history starts with the arrival of the first European settlers in the early seventeenth century, and continues until independence was declared in 1776. During this time, the settlers formed thirteen colonies along the Atlantic coast as they built a new way of life and laid the groundwork for a new nation.
Colonial Williamsburg: Kids Zone
Kids Zone games such as Colonial Gardener, 18th Century Paper Doll, Drum Corps Tryout and Revolutionary Fireworks Frenzy, are designed to give you a virtual taste of colonial life. Parents and teachers will find links to additional educational resources on the site, such as Meet the People and Experience the Life. Wandering back into the main site, under the Multimedia tab on the main horizontal menu, you'll find more games and interactive quizzes on the Interactive Features page.
Have Fun with History: Colonial America
Have Fun with History is a collection of history videos, some produced by Have Fun with History, and others from the public domain (i.e. so old that their copyright protection has expired!) Why watch videos made in the 1950's? HFwH answers the question this way. "Any form of recorded history reflects the time it was written or filmed as much as it does the time period it attempts to capture. But that's OK, because we get more bang for our history buck we can learn about both time periods."
Mr. Nussbaum: Interactive 13 Colonies
Mr. Nussbaum's Interactive 13 Colonies is my multimedia pick-of-the-day. First must-see activity is the interactive thirteen colonies map. Click on any of the colonies or cities to view the annotation. For quizzes, crosswords, scavenger hunts, and fill-in-the-blank cloze exercises, look in the left-hand menu under Integration. "The thirteen colonies were British colonies ______ between 1607 and 1732." Related topics, such as biographies of the founding fathers, can also be found in the left-hand menu.

PBS: Colonial House
It's reality TV meets Colonial America when two dozen "modern-day time travelers find out the hard way what early American colonial life was really like when they take up residence" in Colonial House for public television's history series of the same name. Best clicks are the ten interactive activities (filed under Interactive History), such as Dress Me Up and 'Tis a Very Dirty Manner of Life. For lesson plans and classroom activities, follow the For Teachers link at the bottom of the page.

Scholastic Teachers: Our America: Colonial Period
"In the early days of the colonial period, the settlers did not know how to live in the wilderness, and they faced many hardships. In Massachusetts, for example, the Plymouth settlers, spent most of their first winter (1620-21) on board the Mayflower." Colonial American is one of seven periods of American history covered in Scholastic's Our America for grades three to eight. It includes excepts from diaries written by Mayflower Puritan Patience Whipple (from 1621), and Pennsylvania Quaker Catherine Carey Logan (from 1763) as well as a journal writing exercise, and an online Thanksgiving activity.

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Dairy Foods
Dairy is an important food group because of the role that calcium and vitamin D play in building bones and strong teeth. Although the daily minimum calcium requirements vary by age, it is important throughout all of life's stages. Sit down with a tall glass of milk (or a yummy fruit latte) and learn more about the importance of dairy at these sites.

Nutrition Explorations
"How many servings of Milk Group foods do you think you need every day? Three or more." Explore the world of nutrition with the National Dairy Council. Play games, learn about the food guide pyramid, and get recipes for healthy snacks like a Carrot Cake Smoothie. Games include Arianna's Food Force One ("Go on a global adventure to find ingredients for combination foods"), Quintricious (match foods from five food groups as they fall arcade-style), and Nutrition Mixer (use your knowledge of serving quantities to "mix" a song for a rock band.)

got milk?
With a playful, fanciful design, the California Milk Processor Board explains the myriad health benefits of milk. Click on the treadmill-running horse for a multimedia game designed to teach how milk rebuilds muscle. Or visit the X-Ray 9000 to play Help Mr. Osseous Rescue Cartoons and learn how milk fights osteoporosis. The site also includes dairy recipes, a news archive, links to related resources, and a Spanish sister site: Toma Leche.

"Welcome to, a fun and educational website about cows and milk with facts, contests, games and recipes." Published by the Circle H Dairy of Turlock, California, MooMilk combines interesting, educational videos (about topics such as Cattle Rustlers) with a bit of fun and games. For classroom usage, look through the Teacher's Resources sections. Kids should head directly to the Fun Menu for the Milk the Cow game, and the MooMilk Quiz (to test your "cowledge".) Do you know how many pounds of milk a cow produces in a month? You'll find the answer at MooMilk.

Oregon Dairy Council: Calcium Check Up
"Everyone needs calcium. Even you!" My favorite click here at the Oregon Dairy Council is the multimedia Calcium Quick Check: Are You Getting Enough? Based on your age, this interactive calculator will tell you how many milligrams of calcium you should be getting every day. Then, by choosing how many servings you usually eat from a list of calcium-rich foods, it shows you whether or not you are getting enough. This page also includes off-site links to lesson plans for teachers, and calcium games for kids.

Dairy Council of California: Kids Games
These online games for kids and teens are produced by the Dairy Council of California. They also provide printable K-12 materials for teachers at a small cost (but free if you are in California!) The online materials include a MyPyramid Match Game ("Discover how many food servings and physical activity you need every day."), a virtual pizza maker, an interactive dairy farm, and a calcium calculator.

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Students And Teachers Against Racism announces their new website that offers insight into the Native American perspective to teachers and educators.
Changing Winds Advocacy Center
Through presentations, classroom sessions, curriculum, fund raising, charitable works, and multi-media efforts, we seek to raise public awareness of the stereotyping, discrimination, racism and other unique situations facing Native Americans.
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Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.
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The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the
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