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By George! It’s a President’s Day Lesson

Don’t miss out on your opportunity for students to learn more about George Washington and our other presidents with this fun lesson suitable for elementary or secondary classrooms. Everything you need to build the game along with a lesson is included.

By George! It’s a Presidents Day Lesson

Dreams Progress: MLK Day Lesson

In this free lesson from TCI, students watch/listen to Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and answer questions. In a Social Studies Skill Builder, students are assigned an excerpt from the speech. Pairs work together to find an image to showcase that depicts progress (or lack of) towards that dream. Pairs then travel to see all the excerpts and images created. In a whole class debrief using a human spectrum, students evaluate the total level of progress. Individually, students then create a photo collage which brings to life one of the excerpts.

MLK Day Lesson by TCI

Buying Curriculum…Like Buying a House?


Imagine you are house hunting. You are looking at one neighborhood with two houses on the market. The pricing is virtually the same. But the houses are very different.

House #1 is custom built to your needs and ready to move in.

House #2 is older with promise of remodeling the house to meet your needs. You can move in now but the remodel will take time. You *might* have what you need in 2 years.

Which would you choose?

This scenario is what’s happening with school districts looking at science curriculum today. The Next Generation Science Standards were released spring 2013.

House #1 (TCI) waited for NGSS to be finalized so it could be the foundation of our curriculum to build every one of our components on. Classroom Presentations, Student Text, Tutorials, Interactive Student Notebook, etc. were developed to meet NGSS standards.

House #2 (existing science curriculum companies 2) are trying to take their existing curriculum and “retrofit” it to be aligned to NGSS. They want you to buy now with the promise that overtime they will be aligned.

Again, which would you choose?

TCI Free Lesson: Is Slime a Liquid or Solid

In this free lesson activity from TCI, have your students create slime and then debate it's properties!

In this free lesson activity from TCI, have your students create slime and then debate it’s properties!

Are you ready for some TCI Halloween Science fun!?  Use this fun activity to have students create slime and then debate it’s properties!


Essential Question

Is Slime a Liquid or Solid?



1.  As students enter class, divide them into heterogeneous groups of three.
2.  Prepare the materials needed for groups to make their own slime using the recipe sheet (attached) OR consider having some slime made in advance of the class.  If you have time, have the students make it though, as that’s half the fun!
3.  Challenge the students to try to make their slime into forms like a ball.




1.  Tell groups that they will have 7-10 minutes to prepare an answer to the essential question and provide evidence to support the argument.  They may use their text, the web, or other resources you provide to help them.
2.  Provide the students with links to resources that might help them….like:,, and
3.  Make sure to pick one person per group who will act as group spokesperson to share their argument with the class.
4.  When it is time, ask each group spokesperson to stand up.  Allow the groups to respond to the discussion question.
5.  Consider having the discussion scored by challenging students to paraphrase previous presenters, ask probing questions, and behaving in a civil way when disagreeing with another group.  For more ideas on how to run the discussion portion of this exercise, visit:
6.  After all the groups have completed, share your thoughts as well as ask the students where they might find other Non-Newtonian liquids such as slime?




1.  Consider having the students create a faux monster movie poster (circa the 1950s) that uses the terms such as Slime, Non-Newtonian Liquid or polymer as part of the poster.  Include other terms as you see fit.
2.  Students could use software or apps like PowerPoint, Phoster or create the poster on paper and color with markers/colored pencils/crayons.



Recipe for Slime



-white glue (like Elmer’s™)
-food coloring (unless you want uncolored white slime)



There are two components to slime. There is a borax and water solution and a glue, water, and food coloring solution. Prepare them separately.

1.  Mix 1 teaspoon borax in 1 cup of water. Stir until the borax is dissolved.
2.  In a separate container, mix 1/2 cup (4 oz) white glue with 1/2 cup water. Add food coloring, if desired.
3.  After you have dissolved the borax and diluted the glue, you are ready to combine the two solutions. Stir one slime solution into the other. Your slime will begin to polymerize immediately.
4.  The slime will become hard to stir after you mix the borax and glue solutions. Try to mix it up as much as you can, then remove it from the bowl and finish mixing it by hand. It’s okay if there is some colored water remaining in the bowl.
5.  The slime will start out as a highly flexible polymer. You can stretch it and watch it flow. As you work it more, the slime will become stiffer and more like putty. Then you can shape it and mold it, though it will lose its shape over time. Don’t eat your slime and don’t leave it on surfaces that could be stained by the food coloring.
6.  Store your slime in a sealed ziplock bag, preferably in the refrigerator. Insect pests will leave slime alone because borax is a natural pesticide, but you’ll want to chill the slime to prevent mold growth if you live in an area with high mold count. The main danger to your slime is evaporation, so keep it sealed when you’re not using it.

Halloween Lesson for Elementary Students

Play a game of “What’s behind the blocks” with your students.

If you teach elementary school and want a fun activity that teaches some of the trivia related to Halloween in under 30 minutes, we have just the thing for you!

This activity uses a PowerPoint  provided by  You can download this template by clicking on the picture or clicking here. Halloween Game

    1. 1.  Print slide 5 and make 10-15 copies. Cut apart.
    2. 2.  Split the class into two teams.  Tell the students that they will play a Halloween trivia game in ten minutes.
    3. 3.  Pass out a set of trivia questions so that there are enough for two tothree students to share.  Tell the students they have ten minutes to read the questions and answers before playing.
    4. 4.  Have one of the teams begin (choosing questions at random) by answering the first question.  If they are correct, click the remove button (ONLY ONCE).  If the group is incorrect, allow the other team to answer.  A correct response is worth one point.
    5. 5.  Once there are three or fewer boxes remaining on the board, allow a team to try to guess the subject of the image beneath after they have responded to a question correctly.
  • The image is an oil painting by John Quidor entitled, “The Headless Horseman Pursuing Ichabod Crane” (1858).
  • When the game is over, you could give the students additional information regarding this wonderful Halloween story by Washington Irving and how Quidor used Irving’s vivid details when he painted the image.  Visit this great website by the Smithsonian for more info: .  You might even consider reading portions of the book to students as you look at Quidor’s painting.
  1. 6.  If a team correctly guesses the subject of the painting, award them two bonus points. Continue playing until all the boxes have been removed.

Salem Witchcraft Activity – Dot Game

View more presentations from Brian Thomas.
Are you a middle school or high school teacher that covers the Salem witchcraft trials?  If so, we have a great seasonal activity to try out with your students.  Following the idea from another TCI activity from the cold war era, we have adapted our popular Dot Game activity to be run to cover the suspicion-filled atmosphere surrounding the Salem colonies in 1692.
Download this slide share (above) as well as the activity directions (below) to conduct this 45 minute activity with your students.  This lesson strategy uses an Experiential Exercise to create a strong emotional response to content.  Make sure you save enough time to debrief the simulation and make a connection to the historical content.
Enjoy this thrilling activity with your students and examine an important part of history for the New England colonies at the same time.  For more great lessons from TCI, stop over and visit our social studies programs across grade levels.

Trouble Signing In?

Yesterday our corporate website,, was unavailable from 4:30-6:30pm Pacific. This made it difficult for some students to find our “Student Sign In” button so they could sign in and do their homework. Our sincerest apologies.

If this ever happens again there are a couple things students can do…because the subscriptions themselves were never down.

1. Students can Google “teachtci sign in” and Google will find the page for them.
2. Students can access the sign in page from

Bring Science Alive! An Animated Introduction

TCI Funny: A Teacher Summer

It feels true…doesn’t it!?

A Teacher Summer


Summer-ize Your Students Guide

Mariners winterize their boats. Teachers should summer-ize their students. Get your students ready for summer break by providing resources and outlets for their learning to continue. You’ll discover enrichment activities and opportunities your students and their families can embrace. Summer-ize Your Students – How to get your students ready for next year.

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