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Texas Law Related Games - Law Focused Education, Inc

Grades
2 to 8
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Texas Law Related Games provides many civics-related games, and many are not specific to Texas laws. Topics include American Symbols, branches of government, Constitution, Bill of Rights,...more
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Texas Law Related Games provides many civics-related games, and many are not specific to Texas laws. Topics include American Symbols, branches of government, Constitution, Bill of Rights, and others. There is a pledge of allegiance that is TEXAS ONLY and one that is U.S. so be sure you click the one you want. There is also an interactive Safety game available in both Spanish and English. Click any game to begin play; most include short instructions. If using an iPad, be sure to choose the link to access game versions that work with iPads. There is a link for teachers to access Lesson Plans and Curriculum in the footer of the page.

tag(s): bill of rights (28), branches of government (48), declaration of independence (13), presidents (130), safety (92), symbols (19)

In the Classroom

Several games require significant reading, so partner weaker and stronger readers if students work independently. Create a link to specific games on classroom computers as a center to use on President's Day, Constitution Day, or any class day studying U.S. Government. If studying your state's laws, use an online tool such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast differences between your state and Texas.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Let Freedom Swing - jacl.org

Grades
6 to 12
4 Favorites 1  Comments
    
Let Freedom Swing is an inspirational site showing democracy and jazz as parallels. The videos are the creation of, and inspired by, retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor...more
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Let Freedom Swing is an inspirational site showing democracy and jazz as parallels. The videos are the creation of, and inspired by, retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Wynton Marsalis, musician, composer, educator and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. The three six-minute videos feature; "We the People," "E Pluribus Unum" (From Many, One), and "A More Perfect Union". A study guide for each video includes questions for discussion, teaching activities, and additional resources.

tag(s): branches of government (48), democracy (12), jazz (15), music theory (42)

In the Classroom

Let Freedom Swing is ideal for social studies, humanities, and music classes in grades 6-12, although teachers may be able to adapt the materials for use with younger children. Use along with Common Core Standards to integrate art and music into the content area curriculum. Otherwise, use the website and ideas as a model for use in other subjects with the genre of music or art. Use in writing class to inspire writing in content areas. Find connections between the content areas of music or art. Use this to prompt the investigation of art or music in historical contexts or even in literary settings.

These intelligent, creative people have made incredibly cool analogies between jazz and democracy that enable your students to easily remember the branches of government and parts of the constitution. However, students often need time to think about unusual comparisons. Consider having the students watch the video at home with the questions embedded into the video. Use a program like Grokit/Answers, reviewed here, to achieve this. Also, for your quiet ones, consider having the classroom discussion via backchannel chat, giving everyone in the room a chance to have a voice. Use a program like Today's Meet, reviewed here, and project the discussion on your whiteboard (or projector), where everyone can see what everyone else is saying.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

Useful for Janet and music classes to discuss our nation's conception---flawed even at its inception---to create a place of equality. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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Poster My Wall - 250 Mills LCC

Grades
4 to 12
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Poster My Wall is a simple online tool to create posters. Make and download simple posters for free and without registration. Note that free downloads are not high-quality print resolution,...more
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Poster My Wall is a simple online tool to create posters. Make and download simple posters for free and without registration. Note that free downloads are not high-quality print resolution, so they may appear "fuzzy" if printed in large formats. The simple tools look and feel like a computer program. Choose or upload photos, backgrounds, Flickr photos, and clip-art. You can move and re-size using the floating symbols. Register to be able to email products to friends. (Registration requires email, but there is no waiting for a confirmation.) Obtain the poster url by emailing to yourself. (In the email, click "view larger" to get the link). Check out the reviewer sample here .

tag(s): collages (17), posters (36)

In the Classroom

Have students create posters to demonstrate understanding. After an assigned reading, have them create a poster to explain the text. Have students email their finished product to you as an informal assessment. Create a quick presentation of the best posters to share with the class when discussing the reading the next day. Offer posters as one of several options for students to share what they know with you and their peers. Of course, you will want to require proper credit for any images students use in their posters. Use student-made posters to reinforce class rules at the start of the year or to visually display concepts such as branches of government or story elements.

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Stich - Stich.it

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Stich.it is a new link-shortening service that lets you combine several links into one and then plays them like a slideshow. View examples shown on the site. Some have descriptive ...more
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Stich.it is a new link-shortening service that lets you combine several links into one and then plays them like a slideshow. View examples shown on the site. Some have descriptive text found at the top of each slide and written by the user. Follow the helpful information along the side for using Stich.

tag(s): bookmarks (60)

In the Classroom

Use Stich.it for Internet scavenger hunts. Create a Stich with all the links needed to complete a project or for the entire unit. Students can create a Stich that showcases the websites that they used to complete an assignment or project. Use this with even the youngest students by sharing a Stich on your class website for students and parents to explore. Make a Stich of sites to learn to count, a stich for sites to learn the branches of government, a stich of sites to learn about tough biology concepts, a stich of sites to practice trigonometry, and pretty much anything else you can imagine!

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West Virginia Legislative Information Kids' Page - West Virginia Legislature

Grades
2 to 5
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Learn about the West Virginia legislature in two ways with this site. First, all information can be viewed by following links on the site. Information is presented in several different...more
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Learn about the West Virginia legislature in two ways with this site. First, all information can be viewed by following links on the site. Information is presented in several different ways such as short articles, matching games, and through images. The other way which is probably easiest adapted to most classrooms is the pdf version of information on the site. This 23 page booklet includes much more information than on the website, you can learn about the legislative process, branches of government, and view templates for students to use to write their own legislatures. The letter template doesn't have a state name on it so would be appropriate for any elementary age student to use.

tag(s): branches of government (48), states (163)

In the Classroom

Print and use pages from the website to share with students. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to create a visual comparison of your state's legislative process with that of West Virginia.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Annenberg Classroom - NPR/NY Times

Grades
6 to 12
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This collaborative website focuses on controversial contemporary issues, including juvenile justice, eco-topics, gun control, women's rights, voting rights, civil liberties in war,...more
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This collaborative website focuses on controversial contemporary issues, including juvenile justice, eco-topics, gun control, women's rights, voting rights, civil liberties in war, and affirmative action. Help students understand the role of the news media in a democracy. This website combines the radio broadcast resources of Justice Talking and written articles and features from the NY Times Learning Network. Lesson plans corresponding to each "hot topic" offer social studies, language arts, and science teachers opportunities to connect the real news with topics in their curricula. A glossary of words important to the democratic process and a link to the Constitution with a "what it says, what it means" feature allow students to understand authentic sources as well as historical references. "In Their Own Words" (accessible from the Site Guide) provides primary source documents and statements from each of the three branches of government, from the press, and from schools.

tag(s): civil rights (117), ecology (135), radio (27), women (101)

In the Classroom

Use this site to help students explore the branches of government in action as they address a "hot topic." Have groups of students listen to real broadcasts and analyze the issues as examples of the constitutional concepts you are studying. Make this link available from your teacher web page while studying the Constitution, the branches of government, and many other social studies topics. Use your interactive whiteboard or projection screen to share a video or audio clip to spark discussion on an issue or activate your lesson. Then, divide your class into teams and have a class debate about the issue. Have students prepare a pro/con wiki using links to the primary sources to support their position or create their own podcast commentaries with support for their opinions.

Comments

Too many resources to even summarize. I can't wait to share this resource. CONSTITUTION ON SEPT. 17. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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TeachersFirst's Presidents' Day Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Presidents' Day in this collection from TeachersFirst. Choices include information about various presidents, the White House, inaugurations,...more
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Presidents' Day in this collection from TeachersFirst. Choices include information about various presidents, the White House, inaugurations, first ladies, elections, and more.

tag(s): holidays (147), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Use these resources to connect Presidents' Day to your curriculum in almost any subject or select one or two ideas to highlight along with your regular lessons. This collection would also be useful during a unit on the three branches of government, specifically investigating the Executive branch.

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Branches of the Government - Webvertising, Inc

Grades
3 to 7
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Sort the characteristics of the three branches of government by dragging leaves to the judicial, executive, or legislative branch of a tree. The leaves each contain a description about...more
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Sort the characteristics of the three branches of government by dragging leaves to the judicial, executive, or legislative branch of a tree. The leaves each contain a description about one of the three branches of government. The activity includes 16 leaves to sort.

tag(s): branches of government (48)

In the Classroom

This is a great activity to use quickly on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this as a review of the branches of government or as a lesson activator in your social studies class. Include the link on your class web page for students to review before a test, or use the activity as a formative assessment in a computer lab, walking around the room to check for correct answers.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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SlideBoom - iSpring Solutions Inc.

Grades
7 to 12
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The simplicity of this online slide presentation tool can be used by anyone! SlideBoom is an online presentation share and store site. The site is somewhat "vanilla" in that there ...more
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The simplicity of this online slide presentation tool can be used by anyone! SlideBoom is an online presentation share and store site. The site is somewhat "vanilla" in that there are not a lot of extras or flash, however in some situations it may be very handy. Access other people's slide presentations and share your own with the world. This is the free version, so its capabilities are limited. But it would be great for kids to use to move presentations back and forth between school and home if Google applications are blocked.

tag(s): images (265), photography (160), slides (63)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to locate files on their computers to upload. Beyond that, a few clicks that follow onscreen instructions will complete the job!

Use this site as transportation to and from school when students are working on powerpoint presentations for class. This tool could be used in any subject or topic area. If Powerpoint isn't available at your school, use this site to create presentations instead of traditional book reports. Use this tool in social studies to have students create presentations about the branches of government, continents, or economics. The possibilities are endless.

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Learn About Congress - Indiana University

Grades
6 to 12
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The Indiana University Center on Congress has prepared a series of learning modules to teach students about the role, history, and responsibilities of the US Congress. Access each of...more
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The Indiana University Center on Congress has prepared a series of learning modules to teach students about the role, history, and responsibilities of the US Congress. Access each of the modules separately, or consider the summary module that incorporates the other, more in-depth modules. Each module functions as a popup, so be sure you have your popup blocker turner off.

tag(s): branches of government (48), congress (33)

In the Classroom

Use these mini lessons on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an introduction to the roles and responsibility of Congress in a history, civics, government or current events class. This could also be part of in-depth looks at all three branches of government. As an alternative, students can work independently or in small groups on these modules, and then report back to the class as a whole on what they've learned. Have groups create podcasts about Congress using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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iCivics - iCivics Inc.

Grades
5 to 10
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iCivics is a web-based education project designed to teach students civics and encourage them to participate in the democratic process. The project is spearheaded by Justice Sandra...more
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iCivics is a web-based education project designed to teach students civics and encourage them to participate in the democratic process. The project is spearheaded by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and includes law professors and educators from around the country. iCivics.org provides detailed lessons designed for very specific judicial and constitutional concepts as well as for the executive and legislative branches. Some of the lessons have videos and links to other relevant websites. In addition to the lessons, iCivics features several engaging interactives on civics topics, democracy, branches of government, citizenship, elections and campaigns, and the constitution. Several include full teacher manuals (PDF) and a detailed report of student game performance -- very useful for assessment. There are webquests on civics topics, as well. In addition, iCivics.org has a useful feature that helps locate other websites with resources specifically correlated to your state standards. You can also search using grade level. The site continues to grow and add new materials and activities on an ongoing basis. Don't miss the interactive called "Cast Your Vote" to prioritize issues and evaluate candidates! Videos from iCivics reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): bill of rights (28), branches of government (48), congress (33), constitution (79), courts (15), democracy (12), elections (75), game based learning (103), presidents (130), supreme court (22)

In the Classroom

As you study the Constitution or U.S. government, have students participate in the activities, stopping to write blog entries as their legal character discussing the results they have achieved in court or in their role within other interactive simulations. Students can work individually or with a partner. Be sure to demonstrate the activities on an interactive whiteboard or projector so students understand how they work. Another option: Have students create a multimedia guide to one of the constitutional rights learned in the games. Use a tool such as Piktochart, reviewed here, to make an interactive poster or infographic on each right.

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Congress For Kids

Grades
4 to 10
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This website provides students with a wealth of information on the federal government. Specific topics include independence, constitution, branches of government, elections and more....more
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This website provides students with a wealth of information on the federal government. Specific topics include independence, constitution, branches of government, elections and more. The "for kids" title inaccurately characterizes some fairly sophisticated topics and vocabulary. There are three quizzes, plus activities on nearly every page. Some of the activities are interactive and require FLASH. This site has won numerous awards - check it out! Some of the text is too challenging for younger students and will require an adult or more able reader.

tag(s): congress (33), constitution (79)

In the Classroom

Try an interactive whiteboard and introduce your students to the United States government. There are numerous interactive activities provided at this website. Then turn them loose to investigate a specific topic or set of questions on their own or with a partner.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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CIA for Kids - CIA

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3 to 12
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Divided into introductions at two levels, K- 5 and 6 - 12, the home pages explain briefly what the CIA does. Sites of interest for children include information ...more
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Divided into introductions at two levels, K- 5 and 6 - 12, the home pages explain briefly what the CIA does. Sites of interest for children include information about the Canine Corps, a story about pigeons, games and a feature on saying no to drugs. Links from the two levels of homepages do not necessarily go to reading matter of the level; for example, the "Who We Are and What We Do" pages require a sophisticated vocabulary and high reading level (9+). Links from features like "Spy-Fi Archives" display some inconsistency in formatting, but the source is a good general one for older children. An extensive book list on drug awareness and abuse prevention is helpful.

In the Classroom

Include this site when studying the three branches of government as a concrete example of one thing the Executive Branch does. Students could explore it on a "scavenger hunt" to learn answers to questions you pose, or the whole class could visit on a projector to learn about what the CIA does. If you ask students to research different government agancies, this would be a great reference site for them to use.

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Death and Taxes: A Visual Guide to Where Your Federal Tax Dollars Go - Jesse Bachman

Grades
8 to 12
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See a graphical representation of the United States Federal Budget, clickable down to the little details. Although you can order this graphic organizer as a poster, the online version...more
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See a graphical representation of the United States Federal Budget, clickable down to the little details. Although you can order this graphic organizer as a poster, the online version allows you and your class to click and burrow down through the bureaucracy to see where the taxes go. Important note: Patience is worth it in waiting for this site to open (don't even bother on a dial-up). Requires the most current version of FLASH.Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

High demand can make this site slow to open fully. Be patient.

In the Classroom

Definitely place this link on your teacher web site for students to view with their parents at home. In class, consider assigning students to use the site to collect evidence for a debate on the size of government or simply open it and navigate as a class on an interactive whiteboard as you discuss the branches of government. You will be amazed what you find using this medium so "native" to your students.

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NewsHour Extra Lesson Plan: Checks and Balances in Supreme Court Nominations - PBS

Grades
7 to 12
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This site is affiliated with the PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and presents a lesson plan focused on Supreme Court nominations and the ongoing balance of power in the US ...more
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This site is affiliated with the PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and presents a lesson plan focused on Supreme Court nominations and the ongoing balance of power in the US government. There are excellent discussion guides, a link to streaming video from the NewsHour, with an accompanying transcript that can be distributed, and a PDF version of a Chicago Tribune article on the issue. There is a nice vocabulary list. There is a good handout on the process of nominating a Supreme Court judge and a worksheet that accompanies it.

tag(s): supreme court (22)

In the Classroom

There is a really nice "balance of powers" exercise that goes way beyond a simple discussion of the Supreme Court. Students look at all three branches of government and determine which branch has power in a variety of contemporary situations. This lesson plan is good as a stand-alone, but also provides a lot of jumping off places for further discussion and adaptation. Use a projector, as the plan suggests, to share the short video clips, available in several formats.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Painless Guide to the Branches of Government: Judicial Branch - United Learning

Grades
5 to 8
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This nineteen minute streaming video focuses on the judicial branch, but also gives a brief historical overview of legislative and executive responsibilities. Includes a nice summarizing...more
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This nineteen minute streaming video focuses on the judicial branch, but also gives a brief historical overview of legislative and executive responsibilities. Includes a nice summarizing review and video quiz. Display full screen for projection in the classroom or use with headphones in the computer lab.

tag(s): courts (15), supreme court (22)

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Supreme Court Historical Society

Grades
6 to 12
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This site offers one-stop shopping for a history of the Supreme Court and the ways in which it operates. There are additional links from this site to more complete anthologies ...more
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This site offers one-stop shopping for a history of the Supreme Court and the ways in which it operates. There are additional links from this site to more complete anthologies of court decisions and their interpretation. Middle schoolers could use elements of this one for basic research about the separation of powers and branches of government; high school students should find many uses for the additional materials.

tag(s): constitution (79), supreme court (22)

In the Classroom

This would be a great resource in a civics or government class. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard and tour students through the make-up of the court today. Each Judge has his own separate biography that can also be explored to demonstrate the political alliances of the court. Assign cooperative learning groups different judges to research, with the intent of presenting the material to the class. Try something new, like a podcast! Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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