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Website Evaluations

Unit- Butterflies

1. http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/animals/butterfly.html Who The creator of this website is named, Rene Smith. Mr. Smith studied science at Canterbury University and has taught in different countries. There is a short biography, along with contact information, for Renee Smith under the About Science Kids section of the website. What Mr. Smith has an interest in science, technology, and education. His passions led him to create the site, which has become an educational source for teachers, parents, and children. The site is user friendly because the content is organized into tabs. The user clicks on the desired tab, and then searches under a specific scientific subject. This website is being used for the purpose of butterfly research; however, it is different from other websites because it covers other scientific topics as well. It can be used for lessons or research for other subjects in the future. It is kidfriendly because the pictures and colors are very appropriate. Also, it is easy to navigate. When Science Kids was created in August of 2007. The site was last updated on July, 13 2013. Where There is no evident sources page which would mention where the website content came from. One can only make an assumption that the creator of the site used his knowledge and expertise to compose the content himself. To ask questions or leave comments, the creator can be reached at smallscience@gmail.com. Why This page is useful for my unit because it provides the students with basic facts about butterflies. The information is not too difficult for the students to understand, and it provides terms that are significant to the butterfly unit. It is not necessarily better than other websites, but the Butterfly Facts are very useful for student research.

2. http://kids.sandiegozoo.org/animals/insects/butterfly Who This website is by San Diego Zoo Global, a non-profit organization that runs the entire San Diego Zoo facility. The organization is under the guidance of the institute director, Allison Alberts, Ph.D. To find out more about San Diego Zoo Global and its programs, visit http://www.sandiegozooglobal.org/icr/purpose. What The purpose of San Diego Zoo Global is to save species from endangerment. This non-profit organization has a family of sites, all based around the actual zoo and its other facilities. The website in which is recommended for the butterfly unit is called, San Diego Zoo Kids. This site is meant as a resource to educate children about the zoo animals, in an interactive way. San

Diego Zoo Kids is easy to use because it is specifically designed for the use of children. It offers facts about animals, interactive games and activities, animal videos, and information about jobs at the zoo. This site not only offers interesting facts about butterflies, but it also provides the students with an assortment of photos. Also, there are a couple of hands-on activities that the children can complete at home (with or without the help of an adult). When San Diego Zoo updates this website frequently with new information and activities. Where The information on San Diego Zoo Kids comes from the experts who work for San Diego Zoo Global. For more information about San Diego Zoo Global, visit http://www.sandiegozoo.org/disclaimers/aboutus.html. Why San Diego Zoo Kids offers significant information about butterflies, that the students can use in there exploratory project. They are provided with facts and photos which are useful for inquirybased learning. In addition, the site provides multiple follow-up activities that the students can do for fun.

3. http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/animals/creaturefeature/monarch-butterflies/ Who The National Geographic Kids website is run by the National Geographic Society. This group is one of the leading nonprofit science-based, educational establishments globally. For more information about this organization, visit http://www.nationalgeographic.com/about/#. What The purpose of the National Geographic Kids website is to educate children on geographic content around the world. The main National Geographic site is based off of the magazine, and it includes a kid-friendly site in order to reach out to younger explorers. National Geographic Kids is created specifically for children, so it is designed to be easy to navigate. The children can click on the tab that they desire. These tabs include headings such as games, videos, photos, and fun stuff. There is pertinent information about butterflies; however, this site could be used to explore other topics as well. When The website was established by the National Geographic Society in 1996, and it is ongoing as of 2013. Where The information comes from team members who are with the National Geographic Society. More information about this group can be found at http://www.nationalgeographic.com/about#.

Why National Geographic Kids has a whole section on monarch butterflies. The site includes a slideshow with information and an assortment of photos on this particular type of butterfly. The slideshow provides noteworthy details of the monarch life cycle. In addition to the photo slideshow, there is a video about monarch migration and a map to reference where they live. The video enhances the exploration experience for the students because it adds a visual and audio component to those who best learn in that manner.

4. http://earthsbirthday.org/butterflies/butterfly-lifecycle Who The website is sponsored by Earths Birthday Project, an educational organization that promotes the conservation of the earths beauty and resources. The founder of the organization is an educator named, Cliff Ross. More information about Mr. Ross can be located at http://earthsbirthday.org/about/meet-cliff-ross. What The purpose of the website is to provide resources to teachers and students about how to make environmentally friendly choices at home and school. The organization strives to make activities and resources inexpensive to they can be available to anyone with any budget. The students may need assistance (depending on the age) from an adult when navigating the site. Though the site is not difficult to use, there are some sections that are focused for teachers and parents. This site is different from other ones because it encourages children to care for the environment, but there is still an emphasis on butterflies. When The organization has been active since 1989. There is no information posted about when the website was created, or last updated. Where The information comes from the Earths Birthday Project organization, and its team members. The following website provides more information about the organization and its founder: http://earthsbirthday.org/about. Why This website offers a great deal of information to students and educators on butterflies. The important part of the site is the detail provided about the life cycle. The site provides a photo which displays full metamorphosis, and it even provides a time element for each stage of the cycle. It also offers a great deal of handouts and other resources in which parents and teachers can use to in conjunction with a butterfly unit.

5. http://www.learner.org/jnorth/monarch/ Who Journey North is sponsored by Annenberg Learner, a site for teacher resources and professional development. The Annenberg Learner website is part of the Annenberg Foundation which was started by philanthropist, Walter H. Annenberg. To find out more about the sponsor, visit http://www.learner.org/. What The Journey North website provides an array of information about monarch butterflies. The site touches on topics such as characteristics, life cycle, and migration. The sponsors intention was to create student-directed investigations. It is a science project which is open to the public, and promotes exploration. Younger children may need the assistance of an adult. This website offers a great deal of resources which include, but are not limited to fact sheets, slideshows, articles, activities, experiments, maps, and audio clips. The Journey North site had the best variety of resources which is important when teaching a diverse group of students. When Journey North website has been active from 1997 to 2013. There is a scheduled update for November 2013. Where Journey North is presented by its sponsor, Annenberg Learning. It is a citizen science project for children. Participation is open to the public. Content of this site comes from participants of this project, while being directed by the sponsor. Why The website is useful for the butterfly unit because it provides a substantial amount of resources. The purpose of the site is to promote self-exploration and student-directed studies, which is the idea behind the inquiry-based butterfly web quest. This website is different from others because it touches on many other aspects of monarch butterflies that the other sites did not.