In putting together the Seymour Simon sampler of websites, we first focused on three texts that might not be as familiar to some of you as Simon’s books about space and the human body. Our strategy in putting together this list was to read each book, and as we were reading, use post-it notes to mark sections where we were either left with questions, or felt the need, or interest, in learning additional information. For example, when we read Wildfires we had some questions about a drip torch: What did it look like? What exactly is it used for? How is it operated? To find answers for these questions, we searched for, and found, a website which provided those answers by way of labeled drawings, step-by-step instructions, and illustrations. Many of the following website selections were chosen because they satisfied our need to know more. This same strategy can be used with authors and books that you use with your class.
See "Books Galore" to find
our list of Seymour Simon books.
Now You See It, Now You Don’t: The Amazing World of Optical Illusions
- M. C. Escher—The Official Website
“On this website, you can find information about the use of M. C. Escher’s work, a short biography, news, bibliography, links, and some fun stuff like a Virtual ride through some of his works.”
- Optical Illusions
- Colorcube.com invites you to “play with the complexities of the human eye”. Learn about the blinking effect, dither dots, and bordering. Take part in an “exercise [that] is designed to isolate your blind spot” and see “how different backgrounds affect our ability to distinguish colors”.
The 100+ original exhibits at this site include a musical illusion, the “Phantom Movement”, “Impossible Objects”, distortion illusions and many more. You can also learn about the history of illusion and be introduced to some of the masters of illusion.
- Victor Vasarely—The Official Artist Website by Michele Vasarely
Visit the Virtual Gallery and Photo Gallery of the father of Op-Art. Learn more about Vasarely from the chronology and biography, and read the artist’s own words in “Vasarely Talks”. Don’t forget to check the upcoming exhibits!
Out of Sight: Pictures of Hidden Worlds
Shows pictures of objects which are too small, too far away, or too fast to see without mechanical assistance such as microscopes, telescopes, X-rays, and other techniques.
- The Galileo Project
Rice University sponsors this site that is dedicated to Galileo’s astronomy, experiments, trial and culture. View the family’s living quarters, visit the portrait gallery and read Galileo’s biography. You will also want to check out the feature devoted to Galileo’s daughter, Maria Celeste.
- The Hubble Space Telescope Project
Learn about the history and future of the Hubble Telescope. Find out what makes the Hubble work. Read about the latest Hubble developments and view Hubble-related images, animation, and live video.
- Molecular Expressions Photo Gallery
Florida State University maintains this site which has “thousands of full color photomicrographs (photographs taken through a microscope” and digital images selected from [their] many collections”. Collections include amino acids, cell and virus structure, the crime collection, dinosaur bones, the education collection and numerous others.
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The “NOAA’s National Weather Service is the primary source of weather data, forecasts and warnings for the United States”. You can explore the ocean, view satellite images, “search for 107 years of archived weather data for the United States” and that’s not all!
- Online microscopes
The Moody Medical Library hosts an online exhibit of historical microscopes from the 1760s to the 1920s.
Presents wildfires as neither good nor bad but as part of the endless cycle of change in forests and grasslands.
Slash pines, ponderosa pines, and lodgepole pines are just three of the 4,800 plants and animals that you can find on the enature online field guides.
- Everglades National Park
What are the endangered species in Everglades National Park? What types of insects live in the Everglades? At this site, you’ll find the answers to these questions and just about any others that you might ask about the Everglades.
- How to Use a Drip Torch
This site is offered by the Boulder Mountain Fire Department and uses labeled drawings and step-by-step instructions to explain and illustrate how to use a drip torch.
- Smokey the Bear
“Discover the science of wildfires, the difference between good fires and bad fires, and ways you can help prevent wildfires from occurring.”
- United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service Fire and Aviation Management
At this site you can learn about the Living Memorials Project, link to some “Fall Foliage Hotspots”, obtain a free brochure of national forest locations, stay informed about the latest fire alerts, and find out much, much, more.
- Yellowstone National Park—The Official Home Page
Electronic field trips are available for teachers and students. For the 2002-2003 school year, Wonderland Webcasts include “Fire Ecology”, “Yellowstone History”, the “Bears of Yellowstone” and several additional offerings. The site’s other features include a “Just for Kids!”, “Yellowstone Wildlife Pages” and an online tour of the Old Faithful Area.
The above websites work particularly with the book with which they are grouped. There are other websites, however, that can be used as companions for several of Seymour Simon’s books.
HowStuffWorks is an excellent resource for just about any book. Science categories include animals, astronomy, building & engineering, chemistry, DNA & genetics, energy & electrical power, environment, light, machines, nuclear, physics, space, time, utilities, and weather. Find out how lightning works or how planet hunting works. “Recognized internationally as the leading provider of information on how things work”, this site is not kidding when it claims it “explains the world from the inside out!”
- Human Anatomy Online
Select an image—the skeletal system, the muscle system, the digestive system, the lymphatic system, the endocrine system, the nervous system, and the cardiovascular system are among your choices. Information is provided through text, illustrations, and diagrams. Use with Seymour Simon’s The Brain, The Heart, Muscles, and Bones.
Don’t forget this oldie-but-goodie website when you are using Seymour Simon’s space books. You’ll want to make certain to access their Resources for Educators. You might also want to visit Nine Planets (http://seds.lpl.arizona.edu/nineplanets/nineplanets/nineplanets.html), where you can take a multimedia tour of the solar system. This site is an “overview of the history, mythology, and current scientific knowledge of each of the planets and moons in our solar system.
This website claims to be the “complete gateway to the natural world of North America”. The site contains detailed information about the plants, animals and physical environment of North America. Earthquakes, endangered species, mammals, sharks, snakes and lizards, and weather are some perfect categorical match-ups for your Seymour Simon texts.
- The Field Trips Site
If you and your students are reading Simon’s Deserts, Oceans, Tornadoes, Shark, Volcanoes, or Wildfires, you might want to make this website your next stop. At this site, you and your students can experience virtual field trips to further explore these topics without leaving the classroom.
- Weather Channel
When you are doing your unit on weather, your first online visit should be the Weather Channel, where you can check your local forecasts, receive updates about severe weather alerts, and watch the forecasts. This site is great to use with Weather, Lightning, Storms, and Simon’s other weather related books.
All materials featured on this site are the property of the Elementary Science Integration Projects (ESIP) and/or their respective authors, and may not be reproduced or distributed in any form, printed or electronic, without express written permission.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 9912078. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.