Resources for Teachers

Multimedia 3-5

Here you can find multimedia items that may be useful in classrooms 3-5.

Biology/Ecosystems|| Geography|| Geology|| Global Change|| Natural Hazards|| Oceans/Coasts|| Water|| Other

Biology/Ecosystems

Dendroica: An Aid to Identifying North American Birds- Photos
Multiple photos and sounds for most bird species in North America.

Sea Otters- Background Information and Video
Learn about sea otter basics and follow links to USGS podcasts, a film, a fact sheet, and other information about sea otters.

Manatees- Background Information and Photos
Read an information sheets about manatees, access photographs, and learn about USGS research on manatees.

Geography

Satellite Image of Your State- Photos
Download and print a spectacular free image of your state created by combining satellite imagery with the National Elevation Dataset data.

Printable Outline Maps of States (plus reference maps and more!)- Maps
Download hundreds of reference maps for individual states and for all of the United States. These are specifically designed to print on 8.5"x11" paper for classroom use. Includes unlabeled outline maps of the U.S. Formerly available on the National Atlas website.

Routes of the Principal Explorers Paper Map- Map
Purchase this paper map showing routes of explorers in the contiguous 48 states, 1501-1844. Product #101216. 

EROS Satellite Image Resources for the Classroom- Background Information and Photos
USGS Fact with a handy list of educational resources available through our Earth Resources Observation and Science Center (EROS), which manages all USGS satellite imagery.

Earthshots: Satellite Images of Environmental Change- Photos
Earthshots is an e-book of before-and-after Landsat images (1972-present), showing recent environmental events and introducing the concept of remote sensing. Each set of images includes a detailed description, photographs and maps, a list of references, and a question/answer. Images are best used on-line.

TerraLook- Photos
Download free, high-resolution satellite images in georeferenced PDF format, which allows for visual interpretation and comparison without the need for complicated software.

EarthNow! Near-Real Time Satellite Image Viewer- Background Information and Photos
Currently only works in Internet Explorer. What does a satellite see as it passes over our planet? This mesmerizing, near-real time viewer displays data received from the Landsat 5 and Landsat 7 satellites as they pass over the United States.

Satellite Image of Your State- Photos
Download and print a spectacular free image of your state created by combining satellite imagery with the National Elevation Dataset data.

Free Digital USGS Topographic Map Quadrangles- Maps
Download free USGS topographic map quadrangles in georeferenced PDF (GeoPDF) format by clicking on "Map Locator" on the USGS Store Web site. These files were created using high-resolution scans and average 10-17 megabytes in size.

US Topo: The Next Generation Topographic Map-Maps
Do you teach about maps, or do you use them in the classroom? The USGS has developed a new map series called the US Topo. Modeled on the old topographic series, these maps are derived from digital data that allow the entire contiguous U.S. to be remapped every three years. Download free digital US Topo maps through the Map Locator. Download PDF files of historical topographic maps at the same site.

Printable Outline Maps of States (plus reference maps and more!)- Photos
Download hundreds of reference maps for individual states and for all of the United States. These are specifically designed to print on 8.5"x11" paper for classroom use. Includes unlabeled outline maps of the U.S. Formerly available on the National Atlas website.

Public Land Surveys Map- Map
A highly detailed paper map showing the growth of territory of the United States from 1776 through 1965; National parks and monuments, national forests, Indian Reservations, National Wildlife Refuge, and Public Lands; and Principal Meridians and Baselines, Townships, and Ranges from the U.S. Public Land Surveys (product #101208). Use this map to teach and learn about how the country grew, and the affect of the Public Land Survey System on the present-day arrangement of roads and cities. Web site includes a link to a list of questions that can be used with the map. This paper product is a cost item that can be purchased through the USGS Store.   

Federal Lands and Indian Reservations - Printable Maps- Maps
Maps showing Federal lands and Indian Reservations for the entire U.S. or individual states. Maps print on 8.5"x11" paper.   

Indian Land Areas Paper Maps- Maps
Four different paper maps showing Indian Land Areas Judicially Established (product #101505); Indian Land Areas on a planimetric map (product #101502); Indian Land Areas on a colorful shaded relief map (product #101516); and Early Indian Tribes, Culture Areas, and Linguistic Stocks (product #101013). These paper products are cost items that can be purchased through the USGS Store.  

An Emerging Nation Map- Map
A reproduction of a map that shows the United States as it existed about the time the Constitution was written. The original map was produced in 1784 and was the first map of the United States created by an American cartographer. Download a free PDF (24Mb) or purchase a paper copy through the USGS Store.   

Tapestry of Time and Terrain- Map
Shaded relief and geology are combined on this map of the 48 conterminous states. It is a useful resource for discussing physiographic provinces and for viewing the location of rocks deposited during different geologic time periods. Download a PDF version or purchase a paper wall-size version through the USGS Store. This is one of the most eye-catching maps produced by the USGS.

Geologic Map of North America- Map
Click on "Map Images" (icon that looks like a framed picture) to download a map and explanation sheet for the Geologic Map of North American at different resolutions.

Geology

3D Photographs of Geology in National Parks- Photos
Photographic tours of National Parks (primarily in the western U.S.) in both 3D and standard photographs.

The Geologic Time Spiral - A Path to the Past- Posters
The centerfold illustration from the popular USGS pamphlet "Geologic Time" is now available as a downloadable poster in both page-size and poster-size resolutions. This diagram is a wonderful representation of the age of the Earth from its creation, through the different geologic eras, and up to the present. Perfect for classroom walls!

Geology of the Southern Appalachians- Map
This double-sided map was published in 2008 for classroom and public use. It consists of a geologic map draped over a shaded-relief background, photographs of interesting geologic features, diagrams of tectonic plate movement, and more. A 23-page booklet, Birth of the Mountains: The Geologic Story of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, is a companion product. A Teacher's Guide(designed to go with a film that's no longer available) has 17 suggested activities.

Tapestry of Time and Terrain- Map
Shaded relief and geology are combined on this map of the 48 conterminous states. It is a useful resource for discussing physiographic provinces and for viewing the location of rocks deposited during different geologic time periods. Download a PDF version or purchase a paper wall-size version through the USGS Store. This is one of the most eye-catching maps produced by the USGS.

Geologic Map of North America- Maps
Click on "Map Images" (icon that looks like a framed picture) to download a map and explanation sheet for the Geologic Map of North American at different resolutions.

A Brief Introduction to Geomagnetism- Background Information and Photos
The USGS uses ground-based observatories to provide continuous records of the Earth's magnetic field variations. This simplified description uses images and a time-lapse animation to explain phenomena created by the magnetic field that can be easily monitored and studied.

Minerals in our Environment- Poster
A color poster (approximate dimensions 36 x 60 inches) showing how we use minerals in our everyday life. Download the PDF file and print at full size or page size. A Spanish-language version of this poster is also available.

Mineral Resources: Out of the Ground . . . Into our Daily Lives- Poster
A 29 inch x 41 inch poster showing the common usage of mineral resources in our homes, offices, and equipment we use daily. Download a PDF or postscript file to print at full size or page size.

Karst in the United States- Maps
A report with 2014 digital maps delineating areas of the U.S. having karst or the potential for development of karst. Open the Report file and click on Figure 1 to open a separate, high-resolution file of the map (26 Mb; download the file for faster viewing and printing), or view the KML file in appropriate software.

Global Change

Natural Hazards

Earthquake Summary Posters- Posters
Download a summary poster showing the details of major earthquakes. These posters are typically released within 24 hours of a major global event and include maps of the earthquake location and its tectonic setting, maps of shaking hazards, and a brief review of the area's earthquake history. A great resource when discussing a specific event in the classroom.

Map of Current Volcano Activity- Map
The newly revised USGS Volcano Hazards Web site now includes a real-time status map of volcanoes, Quick Links to popular volcano information, and an expanded Resource Page for Educators!Volcano Photos and Webcams
View and download free photos of volcanoes in the United States.

Photo Glossary of Volcano Terms- Photos
Brief descriptions and illustrative photographs of over 60 volcano terms.

Geologic Hazards at Volcanoes- Poster
Download a pdf file of this 18 inch x 27 inch poster showing a diagram of a cut-away volcano and the various hazards associated with volcanoes either during or between eruptions. The poster can also be ordered for free through the USGS Store($5.00 handling fee). Product number 208285.Regional Volcano Observatories
News and consolidated information about volcanic activity in several regions around the U.S.

Caldera Demonstration Model- Video
What is a caldera and how does it form? In this video, a USGS scientist performs a simple demonstration using flour, a balloon, and bicycle pump that can be also used in the classroom. Explore more USGS information about calderas here.

Volcanic and Seismic Hazards on the Island of Hawaii- Background Information and Photos
A general interest publication that provides an excellent description, with photographs, of the hazards associated with living in an active volcanic region and the topics that potential homeowners and land-use planners must consider.

Oceans/Coasts

Water

 

The Water Cycle for Kids- Poster
A cartoon poster that shows water droplets traveling through the water cycle. Select the "interactive" option and choose the Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced versions to get more information. Download the poster (PDF) for free in multiple languages. There's also a version for older students.

Water Education Posters- Posters
Download posters covering nine different water topics that are drawn in a cartoon format. Posters are downloadable in both color or black and white and some are also available in Spanish. The reverse sides of the color posters contain educational activities: one version for grades 3-5 (Elementary School) and the other with activities for grades 6-8 (Middle School). The black-and-white posters are blank on the back and are intended for coloring. Activities include:

  • Water, Floods, and Flood Plains -Use simple materials and a spray bottle to learn about watersheds and floods.
  • Hazardous Waste Cleanup - Students experience the difficulty of cleaning up contaminated water.
  • The Value of Water - Students use "water dollars" to pay for the water that they use throughout the day, learning the ways we use water and its importance in day-to-day living.
  • Where Does Your Used Water Go? - Learn what happens to wastewater and the importance of treatment facilities.
  • Recharge -- Discharge - Use gravel, twigs, and water to create a valley model that demonstrates the movement of groundwater.

Other

Astrogeology Maps- Maps and Photos
A good starting point for exploring interesting maps and images of planets and moons, including anaglyphs, Apollo landing panoramas, globes, and mosaics.

Regional Planetary Image Facility- Activites, Videos and Photos
Don't let the name of the website scare you off. The USGS was heavily involved in the Apollo missions; those activities are archived here in the form of fun videosphotos, and online exhibits, along with materials from more recent spacecraft missions.