TeachersFirst's Thanksgiving Resources

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Take a look at these rich resources, sure to make you thankful! This collection includes Thanksgiving resources for all grades in a variety of subjects. Teach your students about the "true" Thanksgiving story; use this time as an opportunity to help your students learn about Native Americans; take your students on a virtual trip to Plimouth Plantation; or try many other seasonal resources and activities. 

 

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Have Fun With History - havefunwithhistory.com

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Have Fun With History offers a large selection of history videos on American History topics. These videos (and the topic selection) are a MUST see! Browse through videos coinciding...more
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Have Fun With History offers a large selection of history videos on American History topics. These videos (and the topic selection) are a MUST see! Browse through videos coinciding with monthly topics or sort by people and events. Search using the timelines (People Timeline and Events Timeline). Use the search bar to locate content by specific topic. Videos include links to similar topics and related activities. Don't miss some of the fun in the Thanksgiving section, including presidential turkeys! If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): 1900s (21), aircraft (19), american flag (12), american revolution (67), artists (59), bill of rights (26), civil rights (92), civil war (131), colonial america (102), flags (19), industrial revolution (22), kennedy (26), lincoln (80), martin luther king (33), native americans (65), pearl harbor (9), railroads (9), slavery (63), space (171), thanksgiving (29), underground railroad (11), war of 1812 (12), world war 1 (38), world war 2 (136)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your favorites for use with almost any history unit. Your visual learners will find history more understandable using the video and interactive options. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here). Share links to specific videos on your class website or blog for students to view at home. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles (reviewed here). Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a person in a video.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Map Your Recipe - Wilfried Houjebek

Grades
5 to 12
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Enter any recipe to find to map the origins of vegetables/plants included. After submitting the recipe a world map shows the highlighted locations of the original sources for the vegetables....more
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Enter any recipe to find to map the origins of vegetables/plants included. After submitting the recipe a world map shows the highlighted locations of the original sources for the vegetables. These are the sources where the pants first came from, not necessarily where they can be found today. Also find a list of countries and their products. Click the example recipes included or copy and paste your own recipes right into the ingredient box. Our editors noticed that some fruits also could be mapped. Try entering cocoa to find out where the cocoa beans first came form.

tag(s): christmas (61), cooking (29), holidays (129), maps (242), nutrition (138), plants (112), species (30), thanksgiving (29)

In the Classroom

Use Map Your Recipe when teaching holiday traditions such as Thanksgiving or Christmas Around the World. Use this engaging way to find out where the vegetables (and some fruits) were originally domesticated. Include with a geography lesson and attempt to find recipes with ingredients native to countries located on the map and to your own region. In science class, talk about the conditions that allow a plant to find a new home on another continent. Are all plant species welcome? What conditions must be present for a plant to thrive in a new location?

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The History of Thanksgiving and its Celebrations - Holidays on the Net

Grades
K to 6
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Welcome to your one stop holiday shop filled with a plethora of Thanksgiving ideas. Information, stories, recipes, blogs, crafts and Ecards fill the site. Fun facts and folklore give...more
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Welcome to your one stop holiday shop filled with a plethora of Thanksgiving ideas. Information, stories, recipes, blogs, crafts and Ecards fill the site. Fun facts and folklore give the extras you might not even know about. Presidential proclamations from the past five presidents give insight into our country historical perspectives and first hand information. Videos of recipes from the appetizers to the desserts help give a detailed explanation to make the perfect dish. An interactive fun game of Turkey Bowl puts you in the Thanksgiving spirit. This is a great site for much needed Thanksgiving information and celebrations.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): blogs (80), crafts (34), thanksgiving (29)

In the Classroom

Lead your students to this site filled with information. Research can determine the many myths and true information about Thanksgiving. Allow students to plan and make parts of their Thanksgiving feast. Find fun activities, crafts, decorations to make your celebration perfect with your students and families. Add at a center for timely fun information and research time. Link this to your class website or wiki for parent information and extensions at home.

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Plimoth Plantation - Plimoth Plantation

Grades
3 to 8
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Plimoth Plantation (That's the original spelling) is a reconstruction of the Pilgrim settlement at Plymouth. Take a field trip to the Plimoth Plantation just in time for Thanksgiving....more
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Plimoth Plantation (That's the original spelling) is a reconstruction of the Pilgrim settlement at Plymouth. Take a field trip to the Plimoth Plantation just in time for Thanksgiving. Take a virtual field trip to an English village and Wampanoag home site from 1627. Go inside a Wetu, or home, and look. Become a historian and uncover what really happened in the first Thanksgiving. Primary sources give accounts from the Wampanoag traditions to the English home of Pilgrim Mary Allerton. Each student will finish with a printed exhibition panel. Dig into your ancestry to find out if you are a pilgrim. Find actual genealogical profiles. Explore the museum collections of artifacts.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): colonial america (102), pilgrims (16), thanksgiving (29)

In the Classroom

Change the commercial traditions of tradition and bring on a study of history. Fascinating worlds of primary resources are at your computer! Virtual field trips, historical sleuthing, genealogy, and so much more. Challenge your students to take a closer look and decide for themselves. Debate information lines the pages of this website. Study history not false information. Share this and other sections of the TeachersFirst Colonial America tour as part of your study of the colonies so students can see what these historic locations look like today.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Real Story of Thanksgiving - Manataka American Indian Council

Grades
3 to 6
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This site offers three stories about the "Real Story of Thanksgiving." Discover the real story of Thanksgiving, a teacher introduction, and the Plymouth Thanksgiving Story. The Manatake...more
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This site offers three stories about the "Real Story of Thanksgiving." Discover the real story of Thanksgiving, a teacher introduction, and the Plymouth Thanksgiving Story. The Manatake are trying to preserve and protect their history and place of worship. Find fascinating information on Thanksgiving from a different perspective.

tag(s): native americans (65), thanksgiving (29)

In the Classroom

Challenge your students to take a different point of view on Thanksgiving. Follow the historical information of the Manatake to see their Thanksgiving story. Lead students through a Socratic seminar to think about who really was thankful. Why should the people at the time celebrate? Write essays using reflections on the purpose of reflection and celebration. Determine if similar situations still exist today. Lead your students to a service-learning project to help others.

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Legends and Stories to Share for Thanksgiving - Apples 4 the Teacher

Grades
K to 6
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Discover a fun site just in time for Thanksgiving! Several short stories provide nice, short comprehension passages. Thanksgiving articles and tips provide helpful information on stress,...more
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Discover a fun site just in time for Thanksgiving! Several short stories provide nice, short comprehension passages. Thanksgiving articles and tips provide helpful information on stress, parties, meals, centerpieces, and crafts. Thanksgiving stories, books, and reading activities add academic content to the holiday. Learning activities add new lesson ideas. A thematic unit provides Native American games, poems, reading lists, and jigsaw puzzles. Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday in school.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): crafts (34), holidays (129), native americans (65), poetry (211), puzzles (181), reading lists (66), thanksgiving (29)

In the Classroom

Be prepared for the Thanksgiving holiday with the ones you are thankful for, your students! Enjoy the academic content and party ideas to make it the best Thanksgiving yet!

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Giving Thanks: A Compare-and-Contrast Lesson - Gary Hopkins for Education World

Grades
7 to 12
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This activity is a good one for the Thanksgiving season or anytime. A powerful five minute video gets students reflecting on their lives and appreciating how much they have when ...more
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This activity is a good one for the Thanksgiving season or anytime. A powerful five minute video gets students reflecting on their lives and appreciating how much they have when compared to children in other parts of the world.

tag(s): critical thinking (65), thanksgiving (29)

In the Classroom

Start off by asking students to write a journal entry to answer and explain, "Do you ever think that you might have it easier compared to some other kids?" Show the video on your classroom whiteboard or projector. Have students use one of TeachersFirst online compare/contrast graphic organizers such as the Venn Diagram tool (reviewed here) or another one of your choice that can be printed from Freeology (reviewed here) to juxtapose their way of life with the way of life of people their age who have very little compared to them. Teenagers need reality checks when it comes to their wants verses their needs. As a follow up, have students work in groups to brainstorm ways that they could actually make a difference for children who endure lives of poverty. Check with your school nurse or social worker to see if there is a family in the community that could use some extra kindness and have your students come up with a plan that your class could put into action right now. Let them experience the enduring lesson and joy that comes from helping others.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Vocab-u-lous! - Education World

Grades
7 to 12
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Use Education World's Vocab-u-lous! features to help build your students' vocabulary. There are numerous word banks for students to use as they figure out which of the challenging...more
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Use Education World's Vocab-u-lous! features to help build your students' vocabulary. There are numerous word banks for students to use as they figure out which of the challenging words fits in the context of the sentences. The activity sheets are arranged by the words' beginning sound, and by holiday categories, such as Thanksgiving words and Presidents' Day words.

Be aware: this site has several advertisements, some pop-up.

tag(s): sound (87), sounds (67), vocabulary (306)

In the Classroom

Just try to take the dictionaries away from your students when you project a Vocab-u-lous activity sheet on your whiteboard (or projector) or hand them the printable version of the worksheet. These are useful for SAT preparation and other tests that assess vocabulary, as well as building a strong vocabulary necessary for better reading comprehension and oral and written communication. When using this activity with a class set of computers, provide a link from your class web page to a reputable online dictionary. For additional practice, provide this link on your class website for students to access at home.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Thanksgiving Story - Wilstar

Grades
3 to 6
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This site contains a short text explanation of events leading up to the first Thanksgiving held in 1621 and how that has led to today's traditions and celebration of the ...more
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This site contains a short text explanation of events leading up to the first Thanksgiving held in 1621 and how that has led to today's traditions and celebration of the holiday. Although it is fairly short, it contains many facts which would be useful in a classroom study of Thanksgiving. There is a short quiz at the end based on the information included that can be reproduced and used in the classroom.

Note - there is a link to a YouTube video midway through the information on the page, students may need to be cautioned that it isn't part of the activity.

tag(s): holidays (129), pilgrims (16), thanksgiving (29)

In the Classroom

Type up the quiz (or use copy/paste, but GIVE CREDIT) and give it to your students before studying Thanksgiving to assess prior knowledge. Use the story page on an interactive whiteboard for students to highlight key words and write a main idea sentence or do practice comprehension or notetaking skills during Thanksgiving season. Older students can read the site on their own at a classroom center and complete the quiz at the end of their session. After reading the story, ask students to write their own story from the perspective of one of the first Thanksgiving participants. Create a class book using their stories using a site such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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Colonial Williamsburg - History for Kids Daily Jigsaw Puzzles - Colonial Williamsburg

Grades
3 to 8
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This site provides a daily jigsaw puzzle depicting an aspect of life at Colonial Williamsburg. Choose the current daily puzzle or a different one from the archives. Archive categories...more
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This site provides a daily jigsaw puzzle depicting an aspect of life at Colonial Williamsburg. Choose the current daily puzzle or a different one from the archives. Archive categories are broken down into: Trades, Animals, Spring, Sites, People, Misc, Winter, Military, Valentines, Christmas, Autumn, and Thanksgiving. Jigsaw puzzles teach visual/spatial skills in addition to providing an engaging way to present history.

tag(s): colonial america (102), evolution (98), virginia (16), williamsburg (12)

In the Classroom

This site can be used in several different ways. Use it on an interactive whiteboard or projector as a center during social studies time. Have students solve the puzzle and then write about what they've revealed. Put it on classroom computers and have students use it for a morning warm up. This site will work for all ability levels because you are able to change the number and style of the pieces in the puzzle window.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Tagxedo - Hardy Leung

Grades
K to 12
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Want a word Cloud with Style? Create one here! A word cloud is an image of words that show the most frequent word in a larger font than the others. ...more
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Want a word Cloud with Style? Create one here! A word cloud is an image of words that show the most frequent word in a larger font than the others. Create a visual representation of a passage to pull out and identify important words or show the text in an interactive, visually appealing way. The resulting cloud pops out the words as you roll over them, so viewers can "see" each word separately. See a sample, created by the TF Edge review team. Explore the gallery for many inspiring examples, including some that use the customizable image shapes uploaded from your own computer (premium feature). Some features may change slightly after the beta phase, but developer Hardy Leung assures TeachersFirst users, "Even after beta you'll be able to save the animated version of the Tagxedo for free to your computer or to the web without the paid version. I may require a membership, though unlikely, but even then I'll make sure there is a free version for teachers and students."

Tagxedo requires Silverlight. The site will appear as a blank page with the "Install Silverlight Plugin" button if your computer does not have it installed. See your tech folks to allow download and installation of this plug-in if school computers do not have it and/or are "locked down."

tag(s): vocabulary (306), word choice (25), word clouds (7)

In the Classroom

NO membership required to create a cloud, though saving may require a (free) membership in the future, according to developer Hardy Leung. Click "Create" and then "Words." Paste URL to "cloud" words from a web page or copy/paste (or type) a passage of words into the given field. (Repeat words to make them larger). Experiment with various settings and "themes" to create the different colors and shapes of the word cloud. Change the theme, shape, direction, layout, and other parameters easily. Click SAVE to easily download a static image of various sizes or take a screenshot using shortcut keys. Saved images do not have the cool "pop-out" feature (rats!), though the developer tells TeachersFirst that users will be able to download animated versions in the future. You can also save and obtain the direct URL to your animated cloud. Be sure to bookmark it or copy/paste the URL for safe keeping in a document, wiki, etc. During beta, the tool allows you to save and copy embed code, but this feature will cost money later.

In the classroom: This is a terrific visual tool to share on an interactive whiteboard or projector. In primary grades. Enter a group of related words into the text box, such as sight words, words with the same spelling cluster, or vocabulary terms. Then have students roll over the words to read them aloud as they pop out (only works in the ONLINE version of the clouds). Paste in a passage or URL for a political speech to visualize the politician's "message." Analyze advertising propaganda by visualizing the language used in TV or print ads. Create word clouds of historical texts of inauguration speeches as time capsules of the issues of the day. Use this site as a way to help students see and memorize terms and important vocabulary, especially visual learners. Use it also when writing poetry or reading passages of great literature to "see" themes and motifs of repeated words and images. Have students paste in their own writing to spot repeated (and monotonous) language when teaching lessons on word choice. Students will be surprised to see what words appear to be dominant. ESL and ELL students will eagerly use this site since word order will no longer be a problem for them. Have students work in groups to create word posters of vocabulary words with related meanings, such as different ways to say "walk" or "said" and decorate your classroom with these visual reminders of the richness of language. Use themes and shapes that coordinate with the word cloud (for example, use a bird shape when creating a cloud about flight or a heart when interpreting a love poem. Consider using a word cloud as a first week of school activity where students discuss summer vacation or what they did over the summer. As a first day activity, students could also make a cloud with words about themselves, then have classmates guess which cloud matches which person.

For a free gift for special occasions, make word clouds about mom for Mother's Day or Thanksgiving "I am thankful" visual poems. Share them by emailing the URL or in printed form.

Comments

Very versatile, creates word clouds in specific shapes. Adds another dimension. Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8

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Vocaroo - Vocaroo

Grades
K to 12
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Record a message and embed it into your favorite site or provide a link to share for free. Send to a friend by entering your email and the email of ...more
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Record a message and embed it into your favorite site or provide a link to share for free. Send to a friend by entering your email and the email of the recipient. Here is an example of a Vocaroo created by the Teacher's First Review Team, explaining a biology concept for high schoolers. Recording the message is easy and embedding into a site such as a wiki or blog has never been simpler! No login or registration is needed. Although, if you choose to send a message via email, you must choose a password to use at the site. Vocaroos are stored on their server. Created messages can also be downloaded to individual computers. Visit their FAQ's for frequent questions and responses.

tag(s): speech (88)

In the Classroom

Users need to be able to navigate controls on the website and sound levels on their computer. Copy/pasting embed codes is also a necessary skill for insertion in a website. Email the sound clip very easily.

Future saving of Vocaroos is unsure depending upon server space. Before using with students, you may wish to obtain permission from administration and/or parents. Be sure to check your school's acceptable use policy. Students should be made aware of acceptable use and consequences of misuse of the service.

Record snippets of information as reminders on your class web site or instructions for students to follow. This is terrific for learning support students or non-readers! Have students describe aspects of classroom learning experiences to share with others, such as what they learned from a science experiment or found out about life in colonial America. Record a quick message for an absentee and email the link to him/her explaining how to catch up on missing work. Create tutorial pieces that students can use as study aids (or have them create them for each other). Use this site in world language classes or for ELL students: have students record and listen to their own pronunciation or send short messages to each other to translate. Have students use this site to practice speeches before the presentation to hear their speed, tone, and words. Use this site for research presentations, instructions for a substitute, or many other possibilities. With younger students, read a short story on Vocaroo, and have student follow along using a picture book. Or have the students read their own stories into Vocaroo and email the readings to their parents! For Mothers Day, why not have students record messages for mom or grandma? Another idea: create a class wiki where parents can "find" the entire selection of Vocaroos for Mother's Day (or another holiday). Record Vocaroos of each student talking about the importance of Moms for Mother's Day or how grateful they are for certain things at Thanksgiving. Embed them all in a class wiki to share with parents. Just email the URL for the collection.

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Race Bridges for Schools - Race Bridges for Schools

Grades
3 to 12
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This is a teacher and professional resource containing lesson plans and links for promoting diversity and addressing racial divides. This site contains excellent lesson plans on diversity,...more
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This is a teacher and professional resource containing lesson plans and links for promoting diversity and addressing racial divides. This site contains excellent lesson plans on diversity, discrimination, multiculturalism, and tolerance. Each plan focuses on a person or event of a specific racial group, or a problem common to all multicultural groups. The plans do not specify a grade level, though many could be adapted for use from middle elementary level to high school. From Japanese internment to celebrating Thanksgiving in an American school, the plans and activities are excellent, varied, and fresh. The lesson plans are VERY detailed and provide objectives, but no correlation to standards. Many of the individual stories are available in MP3 format. You can listen to the stories using Windows Media Player or on any MP3 player, as well. Some of the lesson plans require Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): black history (50), diversity (37), native americans (65), racism (15)

In the Classroom

Use the lesson plans that are relevant to your class as you study different cultures, history, racial tensions in the U.S. , or even character education. Share the stories on your interactive whiteboard or projector. With older students, have cooperative learning groups explore different lessons. Have the groups create a multi-media presentation sharing their discoveries. Have the groups create an online book using a tool such as Bookemon . You could also use this site as the core of a contemporary topics debate series.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Native American Booklist - NEA

Grades
K to 12
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This site celebrates the major works by Native American authors. There are three booklist levels, grades K-4, grades 5-8, and grades 9-12 and above. As part of NEA's Read Across ...more
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This site celebrates the major works by Native American authors. There are three booklist levels, grades K-4, grades 5-8, and grades 9-12 and above. As part of NEA's Read Across America program, links to tools to help parents and teachers encourage more reading among the young. Books include fiction, essays, poetry, and nonfiction articles.

tag(s): book lists (102), literature (216), thanksgiving (29)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a reference when picking extra reading materials during a Native American unit or as you approach November and Thanksgiving. Teach students how to find book reviews online after they've selected a book they would like to read. Have students create multi-media book "reports." Give students choices like a wiki, blog, PowerPoint, or even an online book review using a tool such at Bookemon (reviewed here).

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Popcorn! - The Popcorn Board

Grades
1 to 6
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Popcorn! offers a bowlful of information on that universally-loved food. Not only does it list the history behind the food, but it provides games, trivia, arts and crafts, printables,...more
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Popcorn! offers a bowlful of information on that universally-loved food. Not only does it list the history behind the food, but it provides games, trivia, arts and crafts, printables, reading and math lessons, science and health lessons and a booklist dedicated to the topic of...POPCORN! Who knew there were so many children's books based on this simple treat?

This site requires Flash. Some of the lessons and printables require Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

In the Classroom

The site can also be incorporated into social studies and history for the many uses of popcorn by various cultures. For example, include the site in a Thanksgiving unit. Follow the seed to plant information for a life cycle unit in science. Add it to a health curriculum under healthy eating habits and food groups. Do not forget to check out the worksheets and lessons for math and reading.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Mrs. Cassidy's Web Page - Fall and Thanksgiving - Mrs. Cassidy

Grades
K to 3
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This seasonal website was created by a teacher. It offers many enrichment activities all about Fall and Thanksgiving. Some examples of activities include: "Catch the Falling Leaves,"...more
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This seasonal website was created by a teacher. It offers many enrichment activities all about Fall and Thanksgiving. Some examples of activities include: "Catch the Falling Leaves," "Fun in the Garden," and "Find the Differences." Educational topics include numbers, counting, problem solving, logic, and art. Many of these activities require JAVA and/or FLASH. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): fall (15), holidays (129), thanksgiving (29)

In the Classroom

Your class will "eat up" these free resources all related to Fall and Thanksgiving. All of these activities are ready for your interactive whiteboard (or projector).

Provide this link in your fall newsletter as free (educational) activities for students to use during the fall break.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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National Women's History Museum - National Women's History Museum

Grades
7 to 12
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The National Women's History Museum site includes a rich collection of resources. Although the collection is certainly deep on issues related to women's suffrage, there is also information...more
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The National Women's History Museum site includes a rich collection of resources. Although the collection is certainly deep on issues related to women's suffrage, there is also information on women in World War II, women and education, women and the Progressive movement, and women spies. There are good photographs of artifacts from the women's movement, and a nice collection of lesson plans, grouped by grade level.

tag(s): jamestown (10), women (87), womens suffrage (13), world war 2 (136)

In the Classroom

Of course, the site would be useful to students doing research on the women's movement in general, or on the role of women during several important historical eras. In the "educational resources" section, there is a collection of quotations from women that would be great for creating displays for women's history month. There is also a group of quizzes that could be adapted for classroom use. The section focused on the women of Jamestown includes the stories of Native American women as well as the role of early European settler women and could supplement the usual Thanksgiving lessons on the new American colonies. There are also free lesson plans and classroom activities that teachers should take advantage of!

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South American Cultures - Discovery Education

Grades
5 to 9
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At this site you will learn about festivals in South America and create charts and essays based on the research. There is a lesson plan complete with discussion questions, links ...more
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At this site you will learn about festivals in South America and create charts and essays based on the research. There is a lesson plan complete with discussion questions, links (one of which was not working at the time of this review), vocabulary WITH audio, and more. Classes with international students can draw on them for knowledge and cultural object contribution. A video is available for purchase to add to information about South America, but the lesson plan suggestions will work without it.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (88), portuguese (16), south america (31), spanish (98)

In the Classroom

Use this when studying South American countries or at a time when Americans celebrate traditional rites, such as Thanksgiving. This site offers a great opportunity to make your Mexican and other Spanish speaking students feel valued in the classroom. This is an excellent site for research.

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Mayflower History - Caleb Johnson

Grades
2 to 12
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The Mayflower comes alive as you explore the passenger list with accompanying personal history and genealogy. Click on the Pilgrim History link for a history of Thanksgiving and other...more
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The Mayflower comes alive as you explore the passenger list with accompanying personal history and genealogy. Click on the Pilgrim History link for a history of Thanksgiving and other Mayflower-era topics, including authentic recipes.

tag(s): genealogy (6), pilgrims (16), primary sources (73), thanksgiving (29)

In the Classroom

Only a visit to a far away museum could get any better than having the full-text primary sources which are available with a click on the left menu. The Mayflower experience would come to life as students fictitiously become one of the voyagers. Perhaps students could adopt a Mayflower 'ancestor' and write how they are alike or unlike. Around Thanksgiving, teachers may want to try some of the original recipes for an authentic Mayflower 'flavor' to their lesson plans.
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VoiceThread - VoiceThread

Grades
K to 12
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Voicethread allows you to upload images (from your digital camera, scanner, or even paint program). You can also upoad PowerPoint slides. Then students can record or write their own...more
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Voicethread allows you to upload images (from your digital camera, scanner, or even paint program). You can also upoad PowerPoint slides. Then students can record or write their own comments and/or narration about the images/slides. Other listeners can "comment" back, as well. TeachersFirst is providing the link to the VoiceThread home page but suggests that you first watch this quick explanation about two types of FREE educator memberships being offered for classroom teachers (one free, the other with premium features and more students, but at a cost). You can click to go to the home page from there. Access to the ed.voicethread site (as opposed to www.voicethread) is restricted to grades K-12 students, educators, and administrators. VoiceThread explains how to set up a classroom account and has some ideas for classroom use, as well. Ideas from the TeachersFirst Edge review team are listed below, under "In the classroom."

Voicethread now offers a free iOS app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It is free through the iTunes app store. Projects work seamlessly on both computer and mobile iOS devices, so projects started on one machine can be edited and/or viewed on another. Your ed.Voicethread account works in both places.

tag(s): digital storytelling (87), speech (88)

In the Classroom

You will be logged into your account immediately after you fill in the registration form. You must "apply" to designate your account as an educator account once it is set up. Click on "browse" to see many examples, including tutorials. Watch the "One Minute Voicethread" to get a very quick overview of how easy it is to create a digital story. Set up student identities. Use first names only. You need to know how to locate and upload saved pictures or PowerPoint files. If you want to use audio, the COOL tool,you WILL need a microphone, either plugged into your computer or built in. They can be purchased for less than $10 at a discount or electronics store. Once you create a Voicethread, it can be shared by clicking :share" from the menu or at the end of viewing it and copying the URL to send via email or other means, inviting others to comment back. Ed voicethreads have comment moderation turned on by default and are private by default. As the teacher, you can change these settings.

Of course, you should be sure that you have the RIGHTS to any images you upload. Fair Use does not apply when you put an image on the web!

Invite parents to share in the results (The VoiceThread classroom page tells you more about this). TeachersFirst does not recommend using actual, identifiable pictures of children. Let them draw a picture or take a digital picture of an object that somehow represents them (middle schoolers will love that idea!). If you allow others to "comment" on student Voicethreads, the experience can be both wonderful and a bit intimidating. Use this opportunity to promote ethical and kind interaction with other students and their projects.

Elementary classes can create or take pictures, then ask each child to talk about the images. Each child can comment on the SAME pictures, creating a collaborative collection of responses. After a field trip or special class event, you can assign groups of students to explain each of the digital pictures you took and how they relate to curriculum topics. In art class, students can critique works of their own or of fellow students. In language arts classes, students can scan and comment on writing pieces as part of a reflective phase of the writing process. Or post an image as a prewriting activity and allow students to respond orally in an idea-generating phase. In social studies, have students provide a picture of a grandparent then narrate what they learned about that grandparent from interviewing him/her. Have students create narrated pictures as gifts (for parents or other care givers) for special occasions, winter holidays, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc.. During a science experiment or demo, have a student take pictures of the steps. Then ask students to "narrate" them by commenting on what is happening. The narration assignment could even be a center activity or an assignment on a few classroom computers for students to rotate through. What a great way to review and apply key vocabulary! Be sure they identify their voices if you are using a single class account and want to be able to assess understanding. Other ideas: narrated local history projects (pictures of local sites), audio "museum tours" of artifacts (photos) or war veterans telling their stories along with images of their uniforms or old photos. Speech/language, ESL/ELL or early childhood teachers could use this tool to promote vocabulary development and oral expression.

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