A Colonial Tour from TeachersFirst: Boston

Boston was the largest of the colonial New England cities, and it became a focal point for opposition to English policy toward the colonies. Paul Revere, the Boston Tea Party, and the Boston Massacre have all become famous as elements leading up to the break from English rule.

Boston is still a major city with many historical and cultural attractions. There are all sorts of things to see. The links below will help you find the places that were important during the colonial period.

Photo Credit: Image: 'Paul Revere at Old North Church'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/36935554@N00/25381092

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CurriConnects Booklist: Award Winning Books - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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There are many awards for excellent children's books. This collection of books includes winners of many awards, including the Caldecott Medal, Newbery Medal, Boston Globe/Horn Book...more
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There are many awards for excellent children's books. This collection of books includes winners of many awards, including the Caldecott Medal, Newbery Medal, Boston Globe/Horn Book Award, and the Coretta Scott King Book Award. Although the topics vary, the level of quality is consistently the same. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles'® to match student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. For more on text complexity and Lexiles'®, see this information from the Lexile Framework. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly. If your library does not have the books, try interlibrary loan!

tag(s): authors (118), book lists (124), independent reading (125)

In the Classroom

Develop your students' love of reading using these fabulous books. This collection could accompany a unit about famous authors and texts. These books provide experience with both fiction and nonfiction informational texts. This list is ideal for book reports or projects. Allow students (or partners) to choose their own book. Challenge students to create presentation or small group projects to share their story. Share this list with your school library/media specialist or public library, as well, for them to "pull" books in support of your units.

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The Patriot Spy - National Park Service

Grades
4 to 10
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Explore the background of the American Revolution. This activity challenges you to try to deliver a letter from a rebel Patriot to the real Paul Revere. You must walk a ...more
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Explore the background of the American Revolution. This activity challenges you to try to deliver a letter from a rebel Patriot to the real Paul Revere. You must walk a dangerous path in Boston to get to Paul Revere's house, facing many challenges along the way. The interactivity with the quest may make you forget that you are learning important history along the way!

tag(s): american revolution (86), colonial america (107)

In the Classroom

Assign this activity in pairs when studying the American Revolution's beginnings. This activity would work well at a learning station or on individual computers. The activity takes about 20 minutes. The student challenges not only teach about the revolutionary period, but also explains the steps a park ranger takes when investigating a historical artifact or document. The text portions might be challenging. Pair weak readers with a strong reader.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Rootbook - Rootbook

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2 to 12
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Rootbook is a choose your own adventure interactive story reading and writing program. Without signing up, you can read Game Books and add what is called a Bookmark (a branch) ...more
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Rootbook is a choose your own adventure interactive story reading and writing program. Without signing up, you can read Game Books and add what is called a Bookmark (a branch) to the stories. Once registered (requires an email, player name & password), you can create your own stories to save. You can also save the bookmarks you add to other stories. Registering allows you to submit reviews of the interactive stories available on the site. Rootbook says they will soon have filters to monitor inappropriate language. Until then, read stories and branches prior to sharing with young people. Leave a comment if you find anything offensive, and they will remove it.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (167), digital storytelling (135), interactive stories (31), narrative (24), writing (355)

In the Classroom

To use Rootbook and save work, students will need an email account. If students cannot have their own email accounts, consider using a "class set" of Gmail sub-accounts, explained here. This will provide anonymous interaction within your class, and you (as the Gmail account holder) will be able to go into each Rootbook account to check progress. Begin by choosing a story and reading it as a class. Give the students scratch paper to create storyboards and have them continue the story. Then collect the papers and have them write their continuation again on someone else's paper. Next, ask students to end the story and switch again, and write their ending on this new paper. Doing this will help younger students understand the "branching" story line. If students are sitting in groups of four, they can just rotate the papers around for this activity. When students want to create their story on Rootbook, be sure to have them upload an image for the cover first and plan the story using a graphic organizer! As subject matter for stories in any curriculum area, tell a science story, such as the life of a butterfly or a history story such as what happened (and could have happened) at the Boston Tea Party.

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Mighty Book - Mighty Book

Grades
K to 3
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Engage young children in this colorful site, packed with songs, interactive books, art and music interactives, and emergent reading activities. Reaching a wide range of grades, this...more
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Engage young children in this colorful site, packed with songs, interactive books, art and music interactives, and emergent reading activities. Reaching a wide range of grades, this site offers over 50 different engaging activities. Visit the stories made by children. The free part of this site includes a great variety of topics: Boston Tea Party, alphabet, making mistakes, metamorphosis, Mars, a variety of popular children's songs, nouns, upper case and lower case, Beatrix Potter, jokes, Bach & Van Gogh, Mona and Beethoven, and much more! Some of the activities are also available in Spanish. There are extensive advertisements, so adults will need to help guide children away from them!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): alphabet (92), independent reading (125), preK (275), sight words (37), songs (52)

In the Classroom

Introduce Mighty Book on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for learning as a whole group, learning centers, or individual laptops for reinforcement or enrichment. Since there are extensive ads, you may want to bookmark or create shortcuts directly to the activity you want children to use and avoid having them get "lost" in the many links that take you off the site. Share the songs and discuss the lyrics and what they are teaching. Use this site in art class to introduce famous artists to even the youngest of learners. After listening to the jokes, have students make up their own jokes. Poems with activities offer a kinesthetic approach to poetry. Songs about colors and the days of the week catch your auditory learners. Share this link on your class website for students to explore (and enjoy) both in and out of the classroom.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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50th Anniversary of JFK Assassination - Associated Press

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7 to 12
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It's said that a picture is worth a thousand words. This site from the Associated Press brings together a large collection of photographs related to the assassination of John F. ...more
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It's said that a picture is worth a thousand words. This site from the Associated Press brings together a large collection of photographs related to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The photos are copyrighted, and therefore carry a watermark, but they do represent a good cross section of the photos taken by journalists of the events surrounding the assassination.

tag(s): kennedy (27), presidents (129)

In the Classroom

This site represents a good "quick access" point for photos related to the JFK assassination. Use them to illustrate a discussion of the event, or consider asking students to analyze the perspective presented in the photos. What is the photo communicating? How have these photos influenced the way we remember this important event? Students might be asked to compare the photographic "evidence" that was part of the investigation of this crime with the resources that are available today when a similar incident occurs. For example, how is this documentation different from that which was used to identify the Boston Marathon bombing suspects? In English class, use the photos as prompts for students to write informational texts about the Kennedy Assassination in journalistic or historic styles. Since there is such fascination with the Kennedy assassination, you could use this as a chance to discuss purpose and audience, writing to spin the same information several ways.

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History for Kids - history-for-kids.com

Grades
K to 6
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Join lyrical rhyming adventures of history in poetry! Find poems summarizing famous people or periods from history. Explore the topics in the left sidebar: Ancient History, Middle Ages,...more
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Join lyrical rhyming adventures of history in poetry! Find poems summarizing famous people or periods from history. Explore the topics in the left sidebar: Ancient History, Middle Ages, British History, American History, Myths & Legends, and Pirates. The American History poems include: The California Gold Rush, The Statue of Liberty, The Moon Landing, The Voyage of the Mayflower, The Boston Tea Party, and a few others. Each poem includes additional facts about the event or people, along with drawings submitted by students. You will also find coloring pages, interviews, jokes, and more. Be aware: this site does include a lot of advertisements. At the time of this review, all advertisements were completely "kid-appropriate." However, it may be wise to advise students not to click on any of the links/pictures.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): boston (14), california (27), dinosaurs (57), england (57), gold rush (19), greece (26), myths and legends (25), olympics (47), romans (35), vikings (10)

In the Classroom

Make history (and mythology) come alive in your classroom with a little rhythm and rhyme! Use the poems to supplement your instruction while even adding tambourines, clapping, tapping, or toe tapping reaching all learners. Share the actual poem on your projector or Interactive whiteboard. If you want students to have a hard copy of the poem (to use as a study guide), print it out. Otherwise, save paper and share the link on your class website. If you can't find the history or mythology topic you are studying, it is time for your students to make their own rhymes. Have students create poems for photos and images using UtellStory, reviewed here. This tool allows narrating and adding text to a picture.To find Creative Commons images for student poems (with credit, of course), try PhotoPin, reviewed here. Have a poetry day featuring what you have studied in history. Be sure to add your students' projects to your class website or blog. Gifted students will enjoy the challenge while struggling learners will enjoy the reinforcement of the main ideas.

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Mapping Revolutionary Boston - Bostonian Society and Wellesley College

Grades
4 to 12
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Explore and learn about Boston from 1760 - 1776 with this interactive guide to the city and its inhabitants. Choose from 4 themes pinned on the map of Boston: Boston's ...more
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Explore and learn about Boston from 1760 - 1776 with this interactive guide to the city and its inhabitants. Choose from 4 themes pinned on the map of Boston: Boston's Places, Making a Living, People of Boston, and Political Crisis. Choose pinned areas from each theme to view information about the location of the pin. Many descriptions include a "read more" option with additional information and links to related topics. Choose the lesson plan link to view and download four lessons in PDF format. The reading levels on some of the text may require that an adult help upper elementary students.

tag(s): american revolution (86), boston (14)

In the Classroom

This site is a great resource to accompany any American Revolution unit and help today's vsual students "see" history. Display the map on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) and view pins to guide understanding to events and actions taking place in Boston. Print and use lesson plans available on the site as a supplement to your current activities. Share the link to the site with students and have them compare and contrast Boston Today with early Boston using links available on the site. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Click "Boston today" to see a Google Maps view of Boston (both map and Satellite view) and see what has become of the colonial sites.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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H.S.I. - College of William & Mary School of Education

Grades
5 to 12
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H.S.I. or Historical Scene Investigation takes the work out of locating primary sources, and provides you with an interesting way for students to "investigate" history. This site presents...more
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H.S.I. or Historical Scene Investigation takes the work out of locating primary sources, and provides you with an interesting way for students to "investigate" history. This site presents "case histories" for "Dropping the Bomb," "Antonio the Slave," "Children in the Civil War," "The Boston Massacre" and many others. For each "case" there is a student view and a teacher view. The teacher view is a lesson plan with a list of objectives, additional contextual information and resources as well as instructional strategies, and suggestions for such things as age group and further questions to explore. The student view is set up as a mystery to solve. Students are presented with the situation and given a question to guide their inquiry. There are three steps for students to follow "Investigating the Evidence" where students are provided links to appropriate digital primary sources, "Searching for Clues" where students are provided with a set of questions to guide their analysis of the evidence, and "Cracking the Case" when students give their answers and cite the evidence they found to support their answers. This site is definitely the C.S.I for history!

tag(s): american revolution (86), atomic bomb (11), civil war (145), primary sources (84), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

You might want to do the first investigation as a class using your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students help analyze and annotate the information they are learning from the primary sources. This way you can also point out different points of view on the topic so students will know to look for this in other investigations. Have students "become one of the people" in the historical event and put together a web page or "Glog" (online poster), using a site such as Glogster reviewed here portraying that person and justifying their point of view. This could be done in small groups where each student, or partners, portrays a different (or opposing) character in the event and tells the story from their point of view, citing the evidence to justify that point of view.

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The Boston Massacre Files - The Bostonian Society

Grades
6 to 12
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This site, jazzed up to look at the Boston Massacre as though it were a modern crime scene, challenges students to truly investigate the event by reading trial testimony, examining...more
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This site, jazzed up to look at the Boston Massacre as though it were a modern crime scene, challenges students to truly investigate the event by reading trial testimony, examining primary documents, and interacting with the site in the role of private investigator. The Boston Massacre is usually presented as one of the pivotal incidents leading up to the American Revolution. What students may not understand completely is that the story was a masterful piece of propaganda on the part of those encouraging revolution.

tag(s): american revolution (86), boston (14), evolution (100)

In the Classroom

Use this site for a group investigation, or ask students to work individually in a computer lab. The site is also usable on an interactive whiteboard or projector as a whole class activity, but may have too many choices and possible paths to be as effective for that use. The site may be more appealing to younger students; the "private investigator" role play may be too contrived for older, more sophisticated learners. There is a lot of information here, and students may have difficulty focusing on a single narrative without some direction or prompting as they explore. Overall, the site is a good way to introduce students to the value of primary documents and the importance of understanding context in historical narrative.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Primary Research: Bring History Closer to Home - Primary Research

Grades
9 to 12
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Primary Research is an archive of student projects related to local history near Beverly, Massachusetts. Projects range from an examination of local cemeteries and tombstones...more
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Primary Research is an archive of student projects related to local history near Beverly, Massachusetts. Projects range from an examination of local cemeteries and tombstones to the lives of African Americans in antebellum Boston. The site represents an excellent example of the kind of innovative projects student groups can undertake, and might spark ideas for similar projects regardless of the location. The "Library" section of the site provides primary documents used in the student projects, while the "Guides" section gives additional instruction used in the analytical sections of the projects.

tag(s): history day (23), local history (13)

In the Classroom

Provide this site to students who are considering group History Day projects, and it will surely encourage creative ideas. Consider adapting one of the projects to your local area for an entire class, or for a group of students looking for additional challenge. Why not make the projects even more interactive, by having students create multimedia projects. Have students narrate a photo using a site such as ThingLink, (reviewed here. Have students create online books using a tool such as Bookemon (reviewed here). Have students create and share videos using a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here). "Map out" your local history using a tool such as Mapskip, reviewed here. The project possibilities are endless!

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Baseball Physics Fun Stuff - bostonbaseball.com

Grades
6 to 12
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This site shares a sample of physics as it relates to baseball, from a Boston Red Sox fan information collection. Other highlights include the effects of temperature, altitude, and...more
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This site shares a sample of physics as it relates to baseball, from a Boston Red Sox fan information collection. Other highlights include the effects of temperature, altitude, and wind. There is also an interesting discussion of the physics behind corked bats.

tag(s): baseball (36), temperature (29)

In the Classroom

Excite your students about physics using this simple site!

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Freedom Trail Map - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 8
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Here's a map of the Freedom Trail and downtown Boston. It's a big file (186kb), so it will take a few minutes to download. The file reuqires Acrobat Reader. Get ...more
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Here's a map of the Freedom Trail and downtown Boston. It's a big file (186kb), so it will take a few minutes to download. The file reuqires Acrobat Reader. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): boston (14), colonial america (107), map skills (80)

In the Classroom

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. Project the map on an interactive whiteboard, and use the tools to highlight interrelationships between important Colonial Boston sites.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Freedom Trail - Boston National Historical Park

Grades
3 to 8
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The Freedom Trail Page provides information on this Boston "trail" and the historic places you'll see along the way. ...more
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The Freedom Trail Page provides information on this Boston "trail" and the historic places you'll see along the way.

tag(s): boston (14), colonial america (107)

In the Classroom

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.

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The U.S.S. Constitution Museum - U.S.S. Constitution Museum

Grades
3 to 8
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The U.S.S. Constitution Museum has lots of additional information about the U.S.S. Constitution. This website provides some great information about the famous ship (U.S.S. Constitution)....more
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The U.S.S. Constitution Museum has lots of additional information about the U.S.S. Constitution. This website provides some great information about the famous ship (U.S.S. Constitution).

tag(s): boston (14), colonial america (107), constitution (79)

In the Classroom

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. Share this as one of several sites for student reports on colonial times.

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Charlestown Navy Yard - Boston National Historical Park

Grades
3 to 8
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The Charlestown Navy Yard is home to the U.S.S. Constitution (Old Ironsides), one of the Navy's oldest ships. You can visit this and several other old ships and buildings. This ...more
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The Charlestown Navy Yard is home to the U.S.S. Constitution (Old Ironsides), one of the Navy's oldest ships. You can visit this and several other old ships and buildings. This is the Park Service guide to the area.

tag(s): boston (14), colonial america (107)

In the Classroom

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.

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Paul Revere Biography - Paul Revere Memorial Association

Grades
3 to 8
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A Biography of Paul Revere will tell you a little more about Revere's career as a silversmith and his activities as a patriot. ...more
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A Biography of Paul Revere will tell you a little more about Revere's career as a silversmith and his activities as a patriot.

tag(s): boston (14), colonial america (107)

In the Classroom

If you teach Johnny Tremain, you should include this site as a resource connected to the historical novel. Or share this as one of several sites for student reports on colonial times. 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.

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The Midnight Ride - Paul Revere Memorial Association

Grades
3 to 8
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Wow - this website is very engaging! Paul Revere's Ride is one of the American Revolution's most famous events. Here's a description, with a link to a famous poem. Be ...more
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Wow - this website is very engaging! Paul Revere's Ride is one of the American Revolution's most famous events. Here's a description, with a link to a famous poem. Be sure to check out the interactive "ride."

tag(s): boston (14), colonial america (107)

In the Classroom

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. Get an interactive whiteboard and treat your class to the informative interactive "ride."

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Commanding Heights - WGBH

Grades
9 to 12
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Subtitled "The Battle for the New Economy" this is an extremely well-crafted site about international economics and economic development from 1910 to the present. It concentrates on...more
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Subtitled "The Battle for the New Economy" this is an extremely well-crafted site about international economics and economic development from 1910 to the present. It concentrates on the emergence of a single international economy. Produced by Boston PBS station WGBH, this site is unique in that the broadband version includes most of the video materials from the television version of the series, but in more "user-friendly" chunks. This would be an outstanding supplement to a secondary study of macroeconomics, world cultures, or international development. If at all possible, use the broadband version. Super!! Requires Quicktime. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

In the Classroom

Use the interactive timeline as a supplement to a lecture or discussion on international use and dependance on oil. Introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard, allowing student volunteers to read and continue through the timeline. The lesson plans provided in the educators guide can provide other ideas on how to use the site - be sure to look through them if working on a lesson on globalization in the economy!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Character Education Curriculum Resources - Boston University

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1 to 12
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The Center for the Advancement of Ethics and Character at Boston University has created a character education site that is both successful and apolitical. This page offers a reading...more
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The Center for the Advancement of Ethics and Character at Boston University has created a character education site that is both successful and apolitical. This page offers a reading list, information on the Six E's of character education, and a large collection of lesson plans and ideas that integrate character education with other subject areas.

tag(s): characterization (16), social skills (20)

In the Classroom

Teachers will want to explore the lesson themes in detail; each introduces many possibilities.

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About Character Education - Boston University

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1 to 12
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The Center for Character Education at Boston University has created a character education site that is both successful and apolitical. This page offers an introduction to what character...more
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The Center for Character Education at Boston University has created a character education site that is both successful and apolitical. This page offers an introduction to what character education is and is not, along with resources for further exploration. Parents and teacher alike will find the information useful as a guideline for integrating character education into other curricula and activities.

tag(s): characterization (16)

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