It is 2:45pm on a Friday. You’re teaching your students about natural selection using the classic example of the dark and light morphs of the moths. Not unexpectedly, your audience is beginning to drift. What to do? Here’s a suggestion — use the images and videos at ARKive.org to spice up your presentation.
As the tag line of this website suggests, at ARKive you will find images and videos of living things. Not just animals either — there are sections for plants and fungi too! The mission of the website is to highlight the world’s biodiversity in order to stimulate conservation. The images are stunning, and in addition to them, you also get information on each organism — a thorough description, and even a trip on Google Earth to view its habitat. Best of all, these images and videos are free for educational use.
So how can you use this in the classroom? Well, back to our moth-morph scenario. There is a handy dandy education section that includes PowerPoints and related handouts that use the images and videos from ARKive. And, they happen to be focused on Darwin, his voyage on the Beagle, and his theory of natural selection. Peppered moths, here we come! In addition to the PowerPoints and handouts (called “Learning Resources“), there are also educational games geared toward teaching about animal survival, animal habitats, and animal-life stages.
Finally, this site would be spectacular for your students to use as a research base. You can be assured the information is factual, and the pictures and videos are more reliable than what they might find by searching YouTube or Google.
Overall, ARKive is a wonderful site and you will certainly find it useful, no matter what grade level you teach.