NAVIGATING THE WEB
The Virtual Tourist -Geography Lessons Online
At www.alwaysadventure.net students can read about the recent journey of three daring Canadians through the Empty Quarter, the world's largest sand desert. The site is maintained by the Calgary School Board, and offers a wide variety of information about this adventure. Many students have been following the saga of the crossing and return since January, when the story began. Much of the available information can be used with students who have intermediate to high reading skills. As well as the information about crossing the Empty Quarter, there is a section which includes "plug-ins" which can be downloaded if required. It is an ideal site to tie into a lesson on geography, or for using for a virtual field trip.
www.arctic-travel.com offers information on the new territory of Nunavut. As well as a photo tour, students can hear vocabulary from Inuktitut, the Inuit language, and see and hear the English translations. (This feature requires a computer with a sound card.) Students can also send a 'postcard' by choosing scenes from Nunavut and typing a message to the recipient. One of the drawbacks is that several locations on the site encourage the user to purchase a handbook on Nunavut, which slows progress through the site. If the user avoids the handbook options, there is a wealth of interesting information available for instructor/student use. Instructors may want to explore the site and print out the opening screen. This could be copied and the interesting sections highlighted in advance, so students can easily choose the most useful sections once online.
National Atlas on on SchoolNet at http://www-nais.ccrs.NRCan.GC.CA/ schoolnet is an interactive learning site which provides geography lessons in both official languages. Topics include making maps, facts about Canada, geographical names and features on Canadian issues. There are also online quizzes and teacher resources. The quizzes have several categories and levels of difficulty. Another feature is called "Our Home" and offers information about selected Canadian communities representative of all areas of Canada.
www.nunatour.ct.ca/home.html is the Nunuvut Tourism site. It is an excellent source of information about the new territory, providing information on almost every aspect of Northern life. Topics include history, climate, scientific research, and even the type of food eaten in the Canadian north. The illustrated passages are short and most are easy to read, making this an interesting site for all but beginner levels. In the activities section, students can learn about many kinds of outdoor activities popular in the north, such as dog sledding or touring ice floes. Students (and teachers) can even use the onsite email option to request additional information about Nunavut.
At www.inac.gc.ca/nunavut/index.html there is background information on Nunavut's original concept, development and the realization of the dream, as well as links to other related sites, including the exhibition of Iuit art and sculptures at the Canadian Museum of Civilization.
www.cbull.com/canadian.htm provides links to a wide range of Canadian sites, including many educational and special interest sites.
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