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Product Update for SIRS Discoverer
May 9, 2006

INFOhio provides this information from the SIRS Discoverer and WebFind newsletter and is not responsible for the content or the reliability of Web links. Your INFOhio username and password may be needed to open some links.


Our product development team is constantly reviewing customer feedback and making changes to our learning resources to meet your needs. Several updates to our SIRS family of products were recently completed and we wanted to bring them to your attention.

Map Activities

SIRS Discoverer map.Did you know that your Discoverer subscription also provides map activities geared for the younger researcher, from noteworthy sources including Scholastic News, Junior Scholastic and Current Events?

Students can learn how to read and decipher varied types of maps and answer discussion questions based on their observations. Visit a sampling of the following articles to learn more:

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News Map of the Week: Amazon Rain Forest

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Alexander the Great's Empire

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Earth Shifts

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Maps of the World: Middle East

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Explore the U.S.A. With Maps!: U.S. National Parks

Fresh Sample Searches: Live!

Conducting an upcoming training session? On the hunt for laser-focused sample searches to highlight the best content inside your subscriptions? Look no farther than our all-new sample search collection, SIRS Discoverer Sample Searches, April 2006 [PDF 2 pgs].

Political Cartoons in Discoverer

SIRS Discoverer image. Discoverer provides political cartoons geared for the younger researcher, from noteworthy sources including Junior Scholastic, Scholastic News, New York Times Upfront and Current Events.

Students can learn how to read and decipher political cartoons, as well as understand the writing devices employed in them (satire, irony, metaphor, etc.). In a hurry? The quickest route to all of our political cartoons is Database Features, Activities, Editorial Cartoons. Here’s just a few timely examples to get you started:

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Editorial Cartoon: American Jobs Overseas

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This Week's Editorial Cartoon: Appreciating Diversity

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Editorial Cartoon: 1906 San Francisco Earthquake

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Editorial Cartoon: Immigration Debate

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A True Native American

Subject Tree Updates

At SIRS, we’re continually reviewing the Discoverer and WebFind Subject Trees to provide a more comprehensive search function that reflects the carefully selected content available in the database.

Visit ACTIVITIES in the Database Features, to access articles and activities relating to Editorial Cartoons, Pro/Con discussions and Maps.

Current Events

Our editorial team updates our SIRS products every day with new articles and resources. Here's a short list of the timeliest and most topical articles added to your product this month. Publication dates may vary due to the editorial selection process.

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Depression, Anxiety in Katrina's Kids

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Scientists: Black Holes Energy-Efficient

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Earth Day in Congress

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Scientists Say Mars Had 3 Distinct Eras

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The New Frontier--Veterinary Telemedicine

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Remembering San Francisco's Great Quake

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Details Revealed About Huge Dinosaurs

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New Species in Thailand

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Robot Birth Simulator Gaining Popularity

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Visitors to National Parks Will Feel Squeeze of Budget Cuts

Suggested Research Topics

Tens of thousands of students mine SIRS resources for the latest information on the leading issues of the day. To help maximize their research time, our Suggested Research Topics feature offers instant access to relevant articles and resources on many of the most popular research subjects.

Here's this month's list of hot topics and timely issues in Discoverer:

Cloning Animals
Global Warming
Phillis Wheatley


May is Get Caught Reading Month. Reading is the fundamental skill that all students must develop to be successful in further education, careers, and in life. Reading is the primary focus of the No Child Left Behind Act and billions of Title I dollars.

Activity: Equally important is that reading is fun for students in grades 3-8 and Discoverer provides the resources for teachers to take advantage of this. Any one or more of the fiction collection in Discoverer can be printed for classroom reading and discussion, or students can summarize their favorites and present them to the class as part of a mini-research activity.

  1. Click the Fiction link on the right side of the Search page.
  2. Note the variety of Topics/Subtopics list on the right side.
  3. Students should choose the category that proves to be most engaging for them.
  4. Select two stories and read and summarize them.
  5. Present their summaries to the class in two to three minute oral reports.

- Each month, our SKS WebSelect™ and Discoverer WebFind™ editorial teams scour the Internet for top-quality sites that help teachers teach and students learn. Although no Internet site can supplant a quality research database, these vetted resources offer unique resources that are sure to be of interest.

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Cyberchase: The Quest
Solve a series of science and math puzzles to defeat the evil Hacker and save cyberspace. Create your own character and choose from one of two quests: Race for Radopolis or Mission: Motherboard. Organization: Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)

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Hercules Illustrated
"Hercules was the Roman name for the greatest hero of Greek mythology--Heracles. Like most authentic heroes, Heracles had a god as one of his parents, being the son of the supreme deity Zeus and a mortal woman." (JOEL SKIDMORE) The story of Hercules is told here with illustrations. In Greek and Roman mythology, Hercules was a son of Zeus, the greatest of the Greek heroes, and the only hero ever to become a god. Organization: Joel Skidmore

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The All-Star River Explorers
"Welcome to The All-Star River Explorers, an elementary program for third through fifth grade students. The All-Star River Explorers is designed to introduce students to the basics of hydrology and increase their understanding of how rivers are formed and their importance in our lives. Activities will enhance students' skills in math, science, language arts, social studies and art." (UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS) Organization: University of Illinois

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Last Updated on May 23, 2006

By INFOhio Webmaster