Woodland Trust

Covenanter's Oak in Dalzell Estate - the oldest living thing in North Lanarkshire? Photo by byronv2 [Licence: CC BY-NC 2.0]

Covenanter’s Oak in Dalzell Estate – the oldest living thing in North Lanarkshire? Photo by byronv2 [Licence: CC BY-NC 2.0]

The Woodland Trust has a series of Education Resources, each one relevant to a particular woodland, but all full of ideas for learning outdoors applicable to any location. A bit annoying not to have all of the ideas together in one place, but undeniably useful to have information relevant to each place.

They also  run the Tree of the Year Competition, give away young packs of trees for planting, and do lots of good work to support and promote woods across the UK.  As you’d expect, they also provide detailed guides to trees – split into native and introduced (turns out Horse Chestnut trees are native to the Balkans!) – all sorts of woodland habitats and manage the Ancient Tree Inventory.

Over 50 woodlands are listed for North Lanarkshire, belonging to a variety of public and private owners, with directions for each and photos for most.

Worth considering as an addition to your catalogue.

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Libraries in the Internet Age

Useful video from Common Craft outlining the continuing value of Libraries in the Information or ‘Internet’ Age.

Common Craft have plenty of other videos explaining social media, internet safety, technology and using information.

I recommend the videos about wikipedia and zombies.

If you want to make your own videos using the Common Craft cut-outs, you can also join for a fee.


Categories: Advocacy, Communication, Creativity, Information Literacy, Resources, Social Media, Technology, Video clips, Websites | Tags: | Leave a comment

Scots Hoose

Lovely wee website, Scots Hoose, is all about, wait for it, the Scots language!

Learn mair aboot the language. Get guid at writing in it. Find oot what’s good to read and sing in Scots. And maybe you’ll get your poem or story published in the Scots Hoose webzine. Remember it’s a Skoosh

(Skoosh! is the name of their magazine by the way).

Sections include a picture dictionary, lists of Scots words, ideas for reading and writing, stories, songs, and links to other sites. Hopefully the Alan Bissett ghost stories will be working again by Hallowe’en.

It’s more obviously aimed at CfE levels 1 and 2, but there’s lots of useful ideas and resources.

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Will I get a white Christmas?

Obviously, we’re all wondering about Christmas in the middle of the summer holidays … ok, maybe not, but it’s always handy to collect something as soon as you see it.

whitechristmasThis is a bit of fun from Metcheck. Just type in a location, and get a percentage estimate of your chance of snow.

25% across North Lanarkshire at the moment apparently.

If your location isn’t listed, the website provides the opportunity to add it.

Link to Curriculum Links pages under 500s (Weather) and 200s (Christmas).

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Creative Commons and Public Domain

New pages have been added to the Three Ring Circus.

Creative Commons and Public Domain lists guides to copyright and the various licences in use, along with links to sources of copyright free and creative commons media.

World War I is a list of useful links to all aspects of the First World War.

Both are works in progress, and further links would be welcome.

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Lives of the First World War

The Imperial War Museum has launched Lives of the First World War, a project aimed at  pulling together the life stories of millions of people involved in World War I.

Those wanting to be involved need to register, and can then add additional information from various sources:

  • Official records (which may involve a charge)
  • Images
  • External references
  • Personal knowledge

The site is particularly interested in personal details, family and civilian life, military service and stories.

Scotland’s War is an unrelated, but similar, initiative to be launched in the near future.

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Pathe newreel

British Pathé have released thousands of newsreel clips onto YouTube.

Clips include the footage of Emily Davison’s death under the King’s horse, images from the First and Second World Wars, the Kennedy assassination, and news from across the 20th century. A fabulous collection of primary sources.

To unblock the videos for use in school, send a YouTube request in FirstClass.

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Overlap Maps

This is a rather cool wee website which allows you to compare two places on Earth by overlapping one onto the other.

It’s very simple to use: just select which places you want to compare and click the big green button. 


In the map above, Texas was supposed to map onto Scotland, but as you can see, Texas is too big! 

The other options are very limited at the moment, but it’s still a very easy to use online tool with great visual impact.

Categories: Maps, Resources, Websites | Tags: | 1 Comment

Trying out art

Interactive websites are always useful to have up your sleeve, handy for lunchtime activities, for when something goes wrong with  a planned lesson, or just for fun at the end of a busy class. Here’s some links that are part of the collection of fun links on the OLHS Library website, but these are also being added to the online tools for Challenge X.

These art websites appeal, perhaps because my hand faints at the thought of trying to sketch something. You could say I’m drawn to them  🙂 .

1. Mr Picasso Head

mrpicassoheadcropUsing shapes pulled from a variety of Picasso portraits, this website allows you to create your own Picasso painting, and then to pull it apart and recreate it.

Or of course, you could actually create a picture that actually looks like something.

Unfortunately, you can’t save or print the images, but it’s always possible to print the screen and then crop the bit you want.



Create your own splatter paintings in the style of Jackson Pollock (more or less). Very therapeutic.

You can make the space full size and change colour by clicking the mouse.  The colours are random, but that just adds to the fun.

3. NGA Kids Artzone

Jen2A smorgasbord of artistic stuff. The activities include collages, 3D designs, pattern design, landscapes, portraits and abstracts, and some can even be animated. Appears very simple on the surface, but is capable of producing very complex pieces of art. More to the point, it’s fun. Requires Shockwave to play online or can be downloaded.

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Sloganizer is a simple tool that provides snappy phrases for any keywords you add.

For example, the phrase,

the school library

came up with (amongst others)

the school library, you’ll love it!

Endless possibilities with the school library

The school library strikes back.

Where the hell is the school library?

Oh la la, the school library!

They’re not necessarily original, but it’s fun. The Librarydoor blog explains some ways it’s been used in education.

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For some ideas on how to put software into action to create something spectacular, have a look at Kingdom.

This is an outstanding piece of work by a teacher and a group of pupils at Porchester Junior School using a variety of online tools to create a whole world, its people, history and geography.

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The Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame

For all schools researching famous Scots, be they scientists, mathematicians or smart alec know-it-alls , the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame is a small but growing website which inducts a number of engineers each year.

So far, there’s information about the following people:

  • Douglas Anderson
  • John Elder
  • James Clerk Maxwell
  • Andrew Meikle
  • Percy Sinclair Pilcher
  • Dorothée Aurélie Marianne Pullinger
  • Thomas Telford
  • Sir William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin
  • James Watt
  • William Douglas Weir, 1st Viscount Weir
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In their own words: what bothers children online?

EU Kids Online is a network that researches young people’s use and experiences of the internet across Europe.

Their latest report is In their own words: what bothers children online? which questioned thousands of children about their online concerns, with interesting comments about YouTube, social networking and games sites.

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TESchats: speak up for school libraries

Head of Library and Resources (and new Vice-President of CILIP), Barbara Band, spoke in a TESchat at the beginning of November about the campaign for school libraries.

The other TESchats are worth a look at as well, including discussions with Frank Cottrell Boyce, Robert Winston, Anthony Horowitz, Julia Donaldson and Michael Rosen amongst many others.

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Storytelling tools

This article includes links to nine useful apps and websites that can help make reports a bit more interesting and visual. Unfortunately, the computers are on a go slow at school today, so I can’t explore the possibilities, and of course, any How-to videos are on YouTube so we can’t watch them in school.

Doesn’t stop the tools looking like a lot of fun and worth exploring.

9 Creative Storytelling Tools That Will Make You Wish You Were A Student Again

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