Teacher Tip: Great Resources and Using Unit Supplements

Renzulli Learning provides your students with many outstanding “Type I” experiences – activities designed to expose students to a wide variety of disciplines, topics, occupations, hobbies, persons, places, and events that would not ordinarily be covered in the regular curriculum – as detailed in the Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM) by Dr. Joseph Renzulli and Dr. Sally Reis. 

Type I experiences are general exploratory activities that help students develop or pursue an interest. Type II are critical and creative thinking activities that extend and challenge students. And the most advanced part of the SEM are Type III activities, that enable students to produce projects and pursue problem-based learning in their areas of interest.

Once an interest is developed, Type III studies provide a unique opportunity to enable students to participate in authentic learning experiences and project-based learning. Many of your students will enjoy the opportunities to peak their interests, develop their creative and critical thinking, and start a short project that may actually end up being something that they can pursue in more depth. The Renzulli Learning Project Wizard enables students to independently embark on Type III Investigations.

For more ideas to connect enrichment activities with your curriculum, please visit the Unit Supplements on the Teacher Site, under “Teach.”

Below are some of the most popular Type I, II, and III enrichment opportunities students accessed in Renzulli Learning during the last week.

Science – Butterflies

Type I Activities

Journey North: A Global Study of Wildlife Migration and Seasonal Change
Become a “Global Citizen Scientist” as you track the spring migration and seasonal changes of animals and plants around the world. You can share your own field observations with students across North America. Follow the migration patterns of monarch butterflies, bald eagles, robins, hummingbirds, manatees, and whooping cranes, as well as the budding of plants and other natural events.


Type II Activities 

Life Cycle of a Butterfly
Ready for the lowdown on one of nature’s most beautiful insects? Then check out our butterfly life cycle facts! We all love butterflies for their beautiful, brightly-colored wings. But did you know that these fab flyers begin life as something completely different? Have fun exploring the transformation of a beautiful insect.

Butterfly Wings
Have you ever heard of a Blue Morpho butterfly? A Blue Morpho has the fascinating ability to change the color of its wings from blue to green. This website features a short, online video that will help you discover how they’re able to do it! Adobe Flash Player is required for this website.

Children’s Butterfly Site
Butterflies and moths are some of the world’s most fascinating creatures! This site is dedicated to these beauties of the sky! You’ll study the butterfly and moth life cycle, read fictional butterfly and moth tales, find out the answers to frequently asked questions, and so much more!


Project Ideas that might spark a Type III

Have you ever wanted to have a pet butterfly, but you didn’t want to put it in a jar? This site allows you to make your own creative butterfly, and the best part is that you don’t have
to feed it!

Use Symmetry to Make a Butterfly!
Find out how symmetry works through this project. You will use colored paper, scissors, and glue to make a butterfly whose two sides are like mirror images.

You could also head on over to the Wizard Project Maker and check out the Super Starter Project Animal Adaptations!

Social Studies – Early Exploration of U.S. History

Type I Activities

Traveling with Lewis and Clark
After Thomas Jefferson doubled the size of the United States with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, he assembled an expedition to explore this vast territory.  Leading the expedition were two former army captains – Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.  Braving unfamiliar territory and dangerous conditions for more than two years, Lewis and Clark successfully crossed the entire western United States, mapping the territory and discovering its resources.  Click “Discover” to experience the journey for yourself.  Amazing!


Type II Activities 

Go West Across America with Lewis and Clark
It’s your lucky day! The famous explorers, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, have invited you to join their expedition across western North America. Your tasks include finding the Northwest Passage (“an easy water route from coast to coast”), befriending Native Americans, and establishing trade in the West. Are you up for the challenge?

Dear America: Colonial Period
Colonial America refers to the time between 1607 and 1776. During this period, European settlers immigrated to America and established the first colonies, which later became a new nation. At this site, you can learn how the colonists lived, what they ate, how they dressed, and how they spent their spare time! Click on the two scrapbooks to learn what it was like to be a child in Colonial America!

The Constitutional Convention
Meet our Founding Fathers! At this site, you have the opportunity to explore the legacy of our Founding Fathers through special features, exhibits, classroom activities, and more. You can even sign and print your own copy of the Declaration of Independence! Adobe Flash Player is required for some activities at this website. Or, if you are interested in art, click on the Faulkner murals and explore the faces of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Do you know the stories of any of them? How many names do you know?


Type III— Resources to Inspire Type IIIs

Here’s your chance to express your creativity! The following is a list of different projects you  could create:

  • Take on the role of a native inhabitant of a place that was explored and claimed during the time of American expansion. Research the specific events that occurred in your territory, and then share your findings through the eyes of the natives in a series of letters. You can write these letters in your journal on Renzulli Learning. You may wish to start by selecting a native tribe at the introductory website. For example, if you click North Dakota, you could be from the Hidatsa or the Mandan tribe.
  • Research the tools, weapons, and gear needed for early American exploration. Replicate several artifacts by building models using clay, popsicle sticks, paper-mache, or any other material that you find appropriate. Then write a description explaining why each item was important and how it contributed to the explorers’ success. Present the models in an exhibit to share with the class.
  • You can also head on over to the Project Wizard and check out the Super Starter Project: Create Colonial America! By completing this project you will discover what it was like to live in the colonies during the period from pilgrim days to the Revolutionary War. Through research, you will learn about the challenging and exciting events experienced by colonial kids. You can choose to use your imagination to write a diary as if you were a young person living in the 1600s or 1700s or you can build a diorama showing what a home, schoolhouse, or town may have looked like during these times.

Social Studies – American Revolution

Type I Activities

Frontier Forts in the American Revolution
During the American Revolution, frontier forts played an important role. They were places where colonists could take refuge from British soldiers or from hostile Native American patrols. Forts also protected important roads, rivers, or materials needed in the fighting. Here, you can learn about the people who lived in these forts and what their lives were like, and you can take a virtual tour of a frontier fort.

Scholastic: Beyond the Battlefield
Join Lauren Tarshis, author of the I Survived series on a virtual field trip to the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Museum of the American Revolution is one of the only places in the United States with such a large collection. She joins Adrienne Whaley to introduce students to the different parts of the exhibits!


Type II Activities

Chronicle of the Revolution
Imagine yourself in America during the Revolutionary War. No radio. No television. No telephone. No e-mail or Internet. But there were newspapers, and that is how most people learned how the war was going. This site rewrites the events of the period as a series of newspaper stories, so that you can experience the excitement and uncertainty of the colonists. This is a great way to relive history!

Dear America: Revolutionary War
On April 19, 1775, the first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired in Lexington, Massachusetts. For six years, Americans fought the British to win independence. Learn more about the American Revolution through crafts, journal entries, recipes, games, and more. Adobe Flash Player is required for some activities at this website.


Type III— Resources to Inspire Type IIIs

A Revolutionary WebQuest
This WebQuest will teach you about many aspects of the American Revolution, including: key events, heroes of the Revolution, lifestyle and culture, major battles, and the Declaration of Independence. To begin, just click an icon that you would like to learn more about. Be sure to play the “Road to Independence” simulation game to finish!

You can also head on over to the Project Wizard and Check out the Super Starter Project A Revolutionary War Experience! Students will use research to discover the events that led up to the war and check out key battles between the Continental and British armies. Then create a final product to showcase your learning.

Social Studies – Credibility and Bias

Type I Activities

Fact or Opinion?
Do you believe everything you hear? Sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference between what is true and what is false. However, there are tricks that we can use to sort out the differences. Check out this website for a quick tutorial and online quiz on identifying what’s true or false. Created by Bill Willis.

Type II Activities

What Are They Selling?
What are they selling? Nowadays, there are advertisements for everything you could imagine, from grocery stores to credit card offers! Check out this activity and see if you can identify various types of advertisements. Learn about persuasive writing, exaggeration, scare tactics, and more! You can also watch related videos.

Binary Opposition
What do politics and art have in common? The answer is binary opposition! According to structuralists, we subconsciously think in terms of binary opposites given to us by our culture. These binary pairs shape our interpretations of texts and events. Learn more about this influential theory concerning the ways in which people create meaning!

PBS Frontline
In television news coverage, “speed trumps insight.” The pundits who offer their opinions are selected for their extreme, polarized views; none ever expresses ambivalence or discusses the complexities of an issue. Talk radio is male and political, while TV talk shows are female and personal. Study these and other observations shared by newspaper columnist Ellen Goodman. Then note that this interview dates from 1996! Has anything changed?

Type III— Resources to Inspire Type IIIs

Your Perspective on the United States in Iraq

Do you have an opinion on the U.S. presence in Iraq? Where did you gather the information to form this opinion? See the role that propaganda plays in times of peace and war. Look at various news sources to determine the types of propaganda that are used. Learn to evaluate sources of information. Note: Since these news articles are addressing war, there may be violent or graphic images.

Head on over to the Project Wizard and Check out the Super Starter Project Historical Newspaper! Students will research a historical event that occurred in the mid- to late 1900’s. Then examine articles in local and national newspapers to familiarize themselves with ways in which journalistic information is presented in print.