ThinkQuest USA is an annual website competition for grades three through twelve with over 400 entries. Today's five picks are among those winning the highest honors. To see all the winning sites and learn about registering for next year's competition, visit ThinkQuest USA.
"Looking for farm information for a school report? Or just love farms, and things that mooooo? You have come to the right place!" Dairy, livestock, poultry and crop farming are all covered in this lower-division grand prize winner written by four eleven-year old boys. Although none of the team members live on farms, their research involving visiting some for hands-on learning and photo shoots. In addition to the original articles, the site includes lots of links to farm-related games, puzzles and coloring pages.
Creating a collection of interactive German lessons for both English and Spanish speakers won this high-school team a second place prize. The site is organized so that it can be used sequentially as a complete introduction to German, or randomly, jumping to specific units as you need them. To study the units in sequence, simply follow the left-hand menu from Diagnosis to Lessons. For a quick overview of German pronunciation and grammar, try the "compressed tutorial" German on the Go!
Three young men from Connecticut won the high-school grand prize with this biology entry about the human brain. Starting with anatomy and function, and progressing to disorders and psychology, this site is well-written, has a great design and is peppered with interactivity. My favorite clicks are found in Interact, which provides a complete list of all the site's quizzes, polls, and rich-media illustrations and games.
A group of elementary students from Roosevelt School in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin pondered the question of what makes a good world leader. Why do some pursue peace, while others lead into war? Their efforts won them second-place in the lower-division ThinkQuest USA competition. The bulk of the site is found in the twenty-five bios of leaders as varied as Charlemagne, Ben Franklin, Winston Churchill , Ho Chi Minh, Ayatollah Khomeini and Jimmy Carter. If you're doing a school report, be sure to look in the citation sections for links to additional online resources.
From George and Martha to George and Laura, the Presidential Facts Page lists important stats about each of our Presidents and First Ladies. Other sections worth visiting are Presidents Before Washington (little known facts about our early leaders), the Lincoln-Kennedy Connection, and Presidential Cousins. Games (always on my must visit list) include a word search, hangman and an Abraham Lincoln scramble puzzle.