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Canku Ota
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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Favorite Sites
collected by Paul and Vicki
Welcome to Celebrating Wildflowers!
Celebrating Wildflowers is dedicated to the enjoyment of the thousands of wildflowers growing on our national forests and grasslands, and to educating the public about the many values of native plants.
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Kites date back 3000 years, when the Chinese made them from bamboo and silk. Over the centuries kites have been used in religious ceremonies, scientific experiments, military maneuvers and, of course, for fun. In honor of April's status as National Kite Flying Month, today's sites explore the history, the science and the sport of kite flying.

20 Kids * 20 Kites * 20 Minutes
Can a classroom of twenty students make twenty kites, and be outside flying them in twenty minutes? You betcha! Uncle Jonathan from the Big Wind Kite Factory on the Hawaiian island of Molokai shares the kid-tested instructions he's been using with tour groups for fifteen years. The kites are folded from 8 ½ x 11 inch paper, so they are smaller than the usual kite, but the simple directions are easy enough for kindergartners, yet fun enough for big kids too!

How Does a Kite Fly?
This eye-pleasing site, created for a Physics course, starts with a short explanation of drag and lift, then quickly moves on to other disciplines. Don't miss the folk tales from China, Bali and Hawaii (found on History of Kites page) or the interviews with kiters Michael Graves and Peter Peters. Instructions for building a simple diamond kite and a large list of kite links complete this site.

NASA: Kites
"An excellent way for students to gain a feel for aerodynamic forces is to fly a kite. " This NASA site starts with a short history of kites, and then introduces the forces that act on kites. "In fact, with the exception of thrust, the forces acting on a kite are also the same forces which act on an airliner or a fighter plane. Like an aircraft, kites are heavier than air and rely on aerodynamic forces to fly. " To progress through the Guided Tour about Forces on a Kite, use the blue next arrow at the bottom of each page.

Professor Kite and the Secrets of Kites
Professor Kite teaches us how to pick the right kite for different days. "Deltas, Diamonds and Dragon kites fly well in light to medium winds (approximately 6-15 mph) while Box Kites and stickless Parafoil kites fly better when the winds get a little stronger (approximately 8-25 mph)." Flying is most fun in a medium wind, when you can do more than just hold on for dear life. Look for movement in the leaves and bushes, but not blowing or shaking. The Professor also explains how to get your kite to fly and lists important safety rules.

Virtual Kite Zoo
"Come in and see my sketches and descriptions of kites of every shape and size, many of them also including historical, anecdotal, allegorical or aeronautical snippets of information." The Virtual Kite Zoo categorizes more than fifty types of kites. Start with the terminology page (unless you already know your longerons from your spreaders) and then take the guided tour. You can finish with the JavaScript kite quiz.

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Printable Flashcards
Flashcards are a standard study tool, and are implemented on many sites as an interactive tool, but today's focus is just on sites where you can print flashcards for old-fashioned offline use. This week's collection includes a variety of sites that focus on a single topic (such as math or English), several flashcard creation tools, and a few community sites where you can use flashcards shared by members.

Aplus Math Flashcard Creator
In addition to oodles of interactive math flashcards, Aplus Math hosts two flashcard creators for designing and printing custom cards. The first, Flashcard Creator, prints a set of twelve cards (four cards per page) for any operation (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) and any set of operands (one through twelve). The second tool, called Custom Flashcards, lets you design math flashcards individually by inputting each problem (two operands and an operator). Each tool also lets you choose between four print sizes, from small to extra large.

ESL Flashcards
There are thousands of printable color flashcards in PDF format for learning English (or any other language) here at ESL Flashcards. The cards come in a variety of sizes, but they all have an image on one side, and are blank on the flip side. Topics include adjectives, alphabet, body parts, clothes, colors, emotions, occupations, sports and more. The large size is perfect for showing an entire class, and the smaller sizes can be used for games such as Go Fish.

Flashcard DB
FlashcardDB is my pick of the week because of the many ways it can be used. You can create your own flashcards, or use an existing set created by a community member. Online study can be paced by either the Leitner or Graded Spaced Repetition systems, which are two different algorithms for studying harder items (those with incorrect answers) more often than easy items (those you've answered correctly.) In addition to the print function, Flashcard DB also offers a multiple-choice interactive quiz for all the flashcard sets.
KitzKikz: Flashcard Maker
"Make your own flash cards and study aids. Print, Cut, Fold, and Study." KitzKikz does a fantastic job creating simple printable (PDF) flashcards from your own list. You can either type the front and back words into the form on the home page, or cut and paste from another document using the Import function. If your imported list uses a comma to separate the front and back phrases, use the Search/Replace button to replace all the commas with tabs. It's so easy!

ProProfs Flashcards
ProProfs is another community site, where you can create your own deck of flashcards, or use a deck created by someone else. Flashcards can include images and color (woo hoo!), but before you begin you will need to create a free account. Flashcards can be studied online, downloaded as a text file, or printed in your choice of text size (small, medium or large.) When browsing existing subjects, try using the "Most Liked" tab to view the listings, instead of the default "Most Recent."

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Pollination is the act of plant fertilization that occurs when pollen is moved from flower to flower. Pollination can be done by the wind, insects, birds or even by people. Pollination is important to our environment because beautiful flowers rely on it, but also because so much of our food comes from plants that require pollination to produce fruit. Bees and butterflies are famous pollinators, but all sorts of creatures also help out.

Missouri Botanical Gardens: Biology of Plants: Pollination
With a pollination song (sung to the tune of "This Land is Your Land") and a printable handout for classroom use, this plant biology site from Missouri Botanical Gardens is a great resource for middle-school students and their teachers. "When animals such as bees, butterflies, moths, flies, and hummingbirds pollinate plants, it's accidental. They are not trying to pollinate the plant. Usually they are at the plant to get food, the sticky pollen or a sweet nectar made at the base of the petals."

Pollinator Partnership
The Pollinator Partnership is a non-profit dedicated to protecting pollinators such as bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and geckos. Visit their site to download a regional planting guide, which lists plants needed in your specific area to support pollinator populations. "By adding plants to your landscape that provide food and shelter for pollinators throughout their active seasons and by adopting pollinator friendly landscape practices, you can make a difference to both the pollinators and the people that rely on them."

University of Illinois Extension: Great Plant Escape: Pollination
Help Dectective La Plant discover how one plant can create many plants. Start with the Case Brief, and then read the Facts of the Case (flower biology, pollination, and nonflowering plants.) Now you have enough background information to solve the two mysteries: "What Are the Parts of the Plants?" and "Do Plants Use Seeds to Reproduce?" and complete the three online activities. Great for upper elementary and middle-school students. The site is also available in Spanish.

University of Missouri: Pollinating Fruit Crops
For high-school and college students, this article from the Missouri Department of Horticulture, defines pollination terms such as intersterile and self-fruitful, and explains how various fruit trees are planted in patterns to maximize cross-pollination. "Honeybees are the most important natural carriers of pollen. As the bee flies from flowers on one tree to those on another in the orchard, pollen sticks to its body hairs. The bee rubs off the pollen onto the stigma and transfers additional pollen from the anthers as it visits the flowers."

US Forest Service: Celebrating Wildflowers: Pollinators
"Pollinators are responsible for one out of every three bits of food you eat!" This is my pollination pick-of-the-week site because of the depth of information presented and the friendly layout. Topics covered (for middle and high school students) include What is Pollination, Animal Pollination, Environmental Benefits, and Cultural Importance. "Native peoples were the first to recognize the role of pollination and to plant corn in such a way that they could hybridize certain types of corn for particular characteristics and purposes. Native Americans are known as the "first hybridizers" for their scientific talents in cross-pollination and hybridization."

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Space Day
Although there are a number of Space Days (Florida Space Day was celebrated on March 3, 2010), the most well known is the one started by Lockheed Martin in 1997 that is celebrated on the first Friday of May. Today's links are in honor of the upcoming celebration of Space Day (May 7, 2010) and are also quite timely after President Obama's recent remarks on expanding space exploration in 21st century.

Amazing Space
At the core of Amazing Space is a set of eleven interactive educational activities (such as The Truth About Black Holes and Galaxies Galore) created by the educational team at Space Telescope Science Institute (the Hubble Telescope people.) Also visit for news about Hubble's twentieth anniversary, and to explore astronomy in the Capture the Cosmos feature. Teachers and homeschooling parents will find teaching tools and astronomy resources under the Educators/Developers tab.

Lockheed Martin Space Day
"Since its launch in 1997, the Space Day educational initiative, which takes place on the first Friday of each May, has evolved into a massive grassroots effort dedicated to the extraordinary achievements, benefits and opportunities in the exploration and use of space." Visit the official site for news, resources for organizing a local Space Day event, lesson plans and games. Games (woo hoo!) include a word search, jigsaw puzzle, and Star Search, "a game dedicated to the identification and appreciation of the constellations."
NASA: Space Place
NASA's Space Place is the place for hands-on elementary-age space crafts ("Make your own jewel in the sky, a model Saturn decoration"), space activities ("Play our Intergalactic Adventures board game and be the first to explore a black hole and live to tell about it!") and space experiments ("Test a new spacecraft material.") You'll also find a smattering of fun space facts, but not exhaustive reference material.
NASA: Students
With links to grade-level content for grades K-4, 5-8, 9-12, and college students, the NASA student portal certainly has something for everyone. Great clicks includes Homework Topics (for homework help), Stuff You Can Do (submit your name to be included on a microchip being sent to Mars in 2011), and watch videos ("Why does NASA study Earth from space?") For the youngest kids (K-4) there are space-themed games and stories. For those wanting a customized NASA homepage, or a place to bookmark NASA content and videos, MyNASA is available without registration on one computer (it uses cookies) or create a free account to access your saved goodies from any computer. is a news aggregator, calling itself "the world's No. 1 source for news of astronomy, skywatching, space exploration, commercial spaceflight and related technologies." The front page displays Top Stories and Recent Headlines, while section tabs feature stories in Space Flight, Science, Technology, NightSky, SpaceViews (image galleries) and Entertainment (such a voting for your favorite space movie!)

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Students And Teachers Against Racism announces their new website that offers insight into the Native American perspective to teachers and educators.
Changing Winds Advocacy Center
Through presentations, classroom sessions, curriculum, fund raising, charitable works, and multi-media efforts, we seek to raise public awareness of the stereotyping, discrimination, racism and other unique situations facing Native Americans.
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Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.
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The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the
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