EcoKids.ca is a Canadian site for kids and teachers that gives information about the environment, recycling, and living more sustainably. The site is free for both kids and teachers, but to access the teacher resources you need to sign up. Visually interesting, the site isn’t a typical “go to this site and learn” educational website. It is very colorful and some of the stories are told though comic strips, which is often a more engaging way for kids to read.
Most kids who visit the site will go directly to the games. When you visit the area you will find it divided into groups. Kids click on a topic and they are given choices of games to play. Some games are fairly basic, such as Ladybug Breakdown. In this game you click on groups of colored ladybugs to try and remove all of them from the gameboard. Other games require more reading, such as I Don’t Want to Clean my Room, where Anita has to clean her room, putting the recycleables in the correct bin, composting food, and giving away usable items.
If you click on “Homework Help” you have a choice of 9 different categories to choose from such as “Wildlife” or “Waste”. As I clicked though”Climate Change”, I found a really interesting unit on Tree Ring Analysis. Even as an adult, I learned more about what a tree ring can tell you about the climate and environment. To ‘show what you know’ the reader completes a report and submits it. If it is completed correctly, a certificate is generated to print.
There are other features as well. If you live in Canada, it looks like you can start an EcoKids club. There are coloring pages, contests and a blog. This site seems aimed at upper elementary school kids, although younger kids can play many of the games with help on the directions. Some middle school kids may also enjoy the site.
I have not spent much time exploring the Teachers side of the site. The lessons they have available are based on the Ontario Elementary Science and Technology curriculum, grades 1-8. There are printables and free stuff (only shipped to Canada) and ESL lessons as well. This side of the site is newer and is not as well developed yet. It might be helpful for homeschoolers as well as teachers, and I’m hoping it will have more content added in the next months and years.