Canku Ota Logo
Canku Ota
Canku Ota Logo
(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
pictograph divider
Favorite Web Sites
collected by Paul and Vicki
Soul of Nations
Soul of Nations is a for-purpose organization established to uplift the vast amounts of displaced Indigenous communities throughout the Americas. Established in 2015, Soul of Nations has dedicated majority of its efforts in supporting Indigenous youth through inspiring business creativity, encouraging academic excellence, and engagement in the arts.
Cherokee Nation Foundation
The Cherokee Nation Foundation is a nonprofit organization serving the Cherokee Nation, a federally recognized tribe of more than 300,000 citizens. Its mission is to provide educational opportunities to Cherokee students so they can reach their full potential. The Cherokee Nation Foundation is a tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
American Indian College Fund
Founded in 1989, the American Indian College Fund has been the nation's largest charity supporting Native higher education for more than 28 years. The College Fund believes "Education is the answer" and provided 6,548 scholarships last year totaling $7.6 million to American Indian students, with more than 125,000 scholarships totaling over $100 million since its inception.
pictograph divider
Kites date back 3000 years, when the Chinese made them from bamboo and silk. Over the centuries kites have been used in religious ceremonies, scientific experiments, military maneuvers and, of course, for fun. In honor of April’s status as National Kite Flying Month, today’s sites explore the history, the science and the sport of kite flying.
NASA: Kites
"An excellent way for students to gain a feel for aerodynamic forces is to fly a kite. " This NASA site starts with a short history of kites, and then introduces the forces that act on kites. "In fact, with the exception of thrust, the forces acting on a kite are also the same forces which act on an airliner or a fighter plane. Like an aircraft, kites are heavier than air and rely on aerodynamic forces to fly. " To progress through the Guided Tour about Forces on a Kite, use the blue arrow at the bottom of each page.
National Kite Month: Kite History
You'll find lots of great resources under the For Teachers link in the main horizontal menu. This page tells the history of kites, starting with the legend that a "Chinese farmer tied a string to his hat to keep it from blowing away in a strong wind." Other links include "Why Kites Fly", "How to Fly a Kite", and kite games and projects for use in a classroom.
G-Kites: Professor Kite and the Secrets of Kites
Professor Kite teaches us how to pick the right kite for different days. "Deltas, Diamonds and Dragon kites fly well in light to medium winds (approximately 6-15 mph) while Box Kites and stickless Parafoil kites fly better when the winds get a little stronger (approximately 8-25 mph)." Flying is most fun in a medium wind, when you can do more than just hold on for dear life. Look for movement in the leaves and bushes, but not blowing or shaking. The Professor also explains how to get your kite to fly and lists important safety rules.

Virtual Kite Zoo
"Come in and see my sketches and descriptions of kites of every shape and size, many of them also including historical, anecdotal, allegorical or aeronautical snippets of information." The Virtual Kite Zoo categorizes more than fifty types of kites. Start with the terminology page (unless you already know your longerons from your spreaders) and then take the guided tour. You can finish with the interactive kite quiz.

pictograph divider
Spring is here, and it’s time to get out of the house and into the garden. I’ve learned that most adult gardeners started their hobby as children. The good gardening experiences we give our kids today become great gardening memories tomorrow. Hopefully, these five site picks will inspire your family (or your classroom) to turn their devices off, and go plant something tasty, beautiful, or both.
Eartheasy: Gardening with Children
"Working in a garden, a child can experience the satisfaction that comes from caring for something over time, while observing the cycle of life firsthand. Gardening gives children a chance to learn an important life skill, one that is overlooked in standard school curricula. Gardening is also a great way to teach environmental awareness by exploring the workings of nature." Visit Eartheasy for a top-ten list of what to plant and tips for gardening with kids.
Exploratorium: Science of Gardening
"Like all great endeavors, gardening is both a science and an art. See how the plants we tend feed our bodies, our minds, and our senses." This multimedia exhibit is divided into Feed, Control, and Bloom. It covers topics as diverse as carnivorous plants, the science of soil, the benefits of biodiversity, humongous pumpkins, and the secret lives of flowers. Gardening Toolbox is a non-profit supporting "garden-based education" for kids. The Gardening Toolbox section includes advice on Gardening Basics and Gardening Activities, along with a Plant of the Month feature. Teachers will find curriculum and other classroom ideas listed under the Educator Resources menu item.
Kids' Valley Garden
From planning and planting your garden to maintaining it and entering your plants into competition, this site covers it all. Written expressly for kids, you'll find great advice ("Keep a Garden Journal to record how and when you worked on your garden and its results.") and step-by-step instructions. You'll also find a glossary to help with gardening terms from "annual" to "zone" and separate sections on growing flowers, veggies, herbs and shrubs.

University of Illinois Extension: My First Garden
"Take a walk around your yard and look for spots that have good sunlight, are easy to get water to, and aren't in the way of somebody else trying to have fun in the yard." My First Garden from the University of Illinois Extension is blooming with step-by-step gardening instructions for elementary kids, and the parents and teachers helping them. Best clicks are Garden in Unbelievable Places (how about planting in your old tennis shoes?) and a downloadable, reproducible Garden Journal template.

pictograph divider
Years ago, while standing in my driveway at night, a frog hopped onto my foot. I probably screamed (wouldn’t you?) but when I saw what it was, I bent down to pick him up. We kept the frog for awhile, feeding him live crickets and naming him Hoppy, before releasing him into a wetlands preserve near our house. These sites are for you, Hoppy. Wherever you may be.
All About Frogs
"Frogs are members of the zoological class called Amphibia. Amphibians are cold-blooded (or poikilothermic) vertebrate animals. They differ from reptiles in that they lack scales and generally return to water to breed." From facts to fun, All About Frogs covers all the froggie bases. For school reports, you'll find "true, weird and wacky facts" as well as a brief explanation of the environment threats faced by frogs. For pet owners, there is a guide to buying your first frog, and an FAQ covering common questions.
American Museum of Natural History: Frogs: A Chorus of Colors
This AMNH site is my frog pick of the day, with frog sounds, a Dart Poison Frog Vivarium (visit to learn why the dart poison frogs on display at the museum in New York are actually harmless), a peek into the work of the museum's professional herpetologists, and fun frog facts. "Frogs were the first land animals with vocal cords. Male frogs have vocal sacs - pouches of skin that fill with air. These balloons resonate sounds like a megaphone, and some frog sounds can be heard from a mile away."
Exploratorium: Frogs
The Exploratorium's online frog exhibit brings us well-written articles, illustrated with photos and video clips. The lead feature, The Amazing Adaptable Frog, is a must see, as is the click-and-hear (ribbit, ribbit) Frog Tracker exhibit. For something a little different, venture beyond biology with Tales and Tours, where you can become acquainted with Frog City, Louisiana or learn about Frog Myths Across Cultures.
Kiddyhouse: All About Frogs for Kids and Teachers
Oodles of frog facts organized as questions and answers make All About Frogs an excellent destination. Beyond the Q's and A's you'll find frog crafts, songs and poems, original froggie clipart (free for non-commercial use), and links to lesson plans for K-8 teachers. Although the bulk of this site is for elementary students, middle and high-school students will find links to sites with more in-depth coverage under More Frog Facts and Information.

KidZone: Frogs
Wow! With excellent content for elementary and middle-school students and dozens of printable worksheets for elementary grades, this KidZone section is surely a crowd pleaser. Frog Facts is organized into thirteen chapters, from "Frogs are Amphibians" to "Frog Species" such as Darwin's Frog and Goliath Frog. Frog Activities is my favorite click, because it houses more than a dozen printable worksheets such as the Life Cycle of Frogs and a Frog Picture Book.

pictograph divider
Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein, known as one of the greatest scientists of all time, was born on March 14, 1879 in Ulm, Germany. The following sites explore his life and his work. I was struck by how accessible Einstein’s theories can be when explained with examples and illustrations.
American Institute of Physics: Einstein: Image and Impact
The American Institute of Physics site (my pick of the day) explores Einstein's life through historical accounts, photographs and sound clips. The Brief Version (recommended for elementary students and anyone not wanting to read all one hundred pages of the Main Exhibit) can be traversed by following the Next Page link at the very bottom of each page. Clicking on any other links for more detail will take you into the Main Exhibit. To return to your tour through the Brief Version, use your browser back button, or start again at the home page.
BrainyQuote: Albert Einstein Quotes
"It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer." While I might argue with Einstein's first statement, I can't agree more with his conclusion about the importance of effort. Want to understand relativity? Here's Einstein's short version: "Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That's relativity."
E = mc2 Explained
"Albert Einstein published his Special Theory of Relativity in 1905 and, in doing so, demonstrated that mass and energy are actually the same thing, with one a tightly compressed manifestation of the other. This mass-energy equivalence has had a major impact on all our lives, although how and why isn't always obvious." Take a walk through Einstein's famous formula.
"Today, the practical applications of Einstein's theories include the development of the television, remote control devices, automatic door openers, lasers, and DVD-players. Recognized as TIME magazine's 'Person of the Century' in 1999, Einstein's intellect, coupled with his strong passion for social justice and dedication to pacifism, left the world with infinite knowledge and pioneering moral leadership." Calling itself "The Official Site", has a short biography, a photo gallery, a quote page, but very little about his theories and his work.

The Why Files: The Importance of Being Einstein
For middle- and high-school science enthusiasts, The Why Files dive into Einstein's theories about the speed of light and the space-time continuum. Twentieth century physics "has been a long trail of vindication for Einstein's theories." And this great Why Files site takes you by the hand to show how black holes and neutron stars offer proof of theories Einstein made eighty years earlier.

pictograph divider
Alexander Graham Bell
Alexander Graham Bell was born March 3, 1847 in Edinburgh, Scotland. March is also the anniversary of his most famous invention: the telephone. In 1875, after receiving a patent for the transmission of multiple telegraph signals on a single wire, Bell and his assistant Thomas Watson, set out to invent the telephone. Success came on March 10, 1876.

Biography: Alexander Graham Bell
"Bell's education was largely received through numerous experiments in sound and the furthering of his father's work on Visible Speech for the deaf. Bell worked with Thomas Watson on the design and patent of the first practical telephone. In all, Bell held 18 patents in his name alone and 12 that he shared with collaborators." Visit for quick facts, Bell quotes, and three videos, including a full-length (43 minute) biography video. It's Alexander Graham Bell Day
Alexander Graham Bell was nominated in 2004 as one of Canada's favorite sons. This page tells Bell's story, with emphasis on the time he spent in Canada. "Although Bell was born in Scotland, he moved with his parents to Ontario [Canada] when he was 23. He ended up moving and settling in the United States just a year later, but he bought a summer home in Nova Scotia [Canada] in 1885, and ended up living there until he died."

Ducksters: Alexander Graham Bell
Bell "first became interested in the science of sound because both his mother and wife were deaf. His experiments in sound eventually let him to want to send voice signals down a telegraph wire." Elementary and middle-school students should visit Duckster for fun facts, and links to bios of other inventors and scientists.

Library of Congress: Alexander Graham Bell: Articles and Essays
For high-school students and adult learners, the Library of Congress collection includes a timeline, and articles about Bell's life as an inventor and scientist. "The telegraph and telephone are both wire-based electrical systems, and Alexander Graham Bell's success with the telephone came as a direct result of his attempts to improve the telegraph."

Library of Congress: Everyday Mysteries
"Who is credited as inventing the telephone? Was it Alexander Graham Bell, Elisha Gray, or Antonio Meucci?" This Library of Congress site answers the complicated question of why Bell is credited with the invention of the telephone, even though Gray and Mesucci were working on similar devices at the same time. "So, if someone asks who is credited with inventing the telephone, you can explain the controversy that still surrounds this question. The answer is Bell, but be sure to mention Meucci and Gray, because they played important roles in its development."

pictograph divider
Home PageFront PageArchivesOur AwardsAbout Us
Kid's PageColoring BookCool LinksGuest BookEmail Us
pictograph divider
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 - 2018 of Vicki Williams Barry and Paul Barry.
Canku Ota Logo   Canku Ota Logo
The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the
Copyright © 1999 - 2018 of Paul C. Barry.
All Rights Reserved.

Site Meter
Thank You

Valid HTML 4.01!