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The Journey of Christopher Columbus - McGraw-Hill

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5 to 7
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Follow Christopher Columbus on his 1492 journey to the new world with this informational site that reveals details of his life before the voyage, excerpts from his journals, a timeline,...more
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Follow Christopher Columbus on his 1492 journey to the new world with this informational site that reveals details of his life before the voyage, excerpts from his journals, a timeline, descriptions of the native people he encountered, and his activities after his return. Nice resource for a unit on explorers.

tag(s): explorers (61)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on the famous explorer. Because of the large amount of information, this activity would work best with a guide to highlight for students what is most important. For help creating such graphic organizers, we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here). This would be a useful resource within a US history classroom.

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1492 - An Ongoing Voyage - Library of Congress

Grades
9 to 12
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This site from the Library of Congress takes a detailed look at the variety of peoples and civilizations that were thriving on the American continents before they were "discovered"...more
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This site from the Library of Congress takes a detailed look at the variety of peoples and civilizations that were thriving on the American continents before they were "discovered" by the Europeans. The content includes native peoples of the Caribbean, Mexico, South America, and North America. Try this one as a counterpoint to a traditional explorers unit, or as part of a study of the Maya, Inca, or other native cultures.

tag(s): explorers (61), native americans (78)

In the Classroom

Use the images on this site to create a picture walk activity in your classroom. Select 10-15 of the more descriptive images, preferably with different subjects. Assign students to stand at specific images, rotating every 30-45 seconds. In that time, students should quickly jot down what they observe, infer and predict about each. After the walk is done, have a class discussion based on the notes that students have taken. This is a great way to introduce the beginnings of the New World in a non-lecture format.

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Exploring a New Frontier - America's Space Program - Smithsonian

Grades
6 to 12
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This lesson unit from the National Park service offers a toolkit for learning about the space program of the 1960s. It introduces the formation of NASA and the evolution of ...more
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This lesson unit from the National Park service offers a toolkit for learning about the space program of the 1960s. It introduces the formation of NASA and the evolution of Cape Canaveral, Houston's manned spaceflight center, and other installations. While there's a lot of material here, teachers will no doubt need to use some of their own creativity to mold it into something that fits local needs. This site would be a great addition to a study of 20th century explorers.

tag(s): moon (72), nasa (39), space (205)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and classroom activities hosted on this site! Save this one as a favorite on your computer to allow for easy access and retrieval.

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Excellent Explorers - University of Richmond

Grades
3 to 4
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Designed for third graders, this webquest offers a great way for students to explore the explorer of their choice from a set of selected links. The site asks for independent ...more
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Designed for third graders, this webquest offers a great way for students to explore the explorer of their choice from a set of selected links. The site asks for independent research on each explorer, and it expects a portfolio of maps, descriptions, and other facts as the result. Depending on your requirements, this site could serve as a packaged explorers unit. Well worth a look. Aligned to national standards.

tag(s): explorers (61), webquests (29)

In the Classroom

Use this webquest to help students understand more about the explorers who came to the New World, as well as some critical thinking skills. Have students complete the task in cooperative learning groups to review and re-enforce content learned in lecture or discussion. Social Studies teachers will appreciate the hands-on activity!

Since the webquest was created, just a few of the links included have ceased working. Teachers will need to test all of them quickly and find replacements for sites where necessary.

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Discovering Lewis and Clark - VIAs Inc.

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7 to 12
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Capture the excitement and adventure of the Lewis and Clark Expedition with this beautifully crafted and continually evolving multimedia site. Choose one of ten discovery paths and...more
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Capture the excitement and adventure of the Lewis and Clark Expedition with this beautifully crafted and continually evolving multimedia site. Choose one of ten discovery paths and enter the unchartered lands of early 19th century America. Visitors can see and experience the western United States through the eyes of the explorers, learn about the geography, flora and fauna, native peoples, and values and visions that defined their journey. This site has many possibilities for classroom use, but it stands out as an excellent tool for independent student research.

tag(s): jefferson (19), lewis and clark (15), louisiana (11), louisiana purchase (7)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on the two explorers and western expansion. Based on what they read, have students create a multi-media presentation summarizing the main points. Have students create a presentation using UtellStory, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try PhotoPin, reviewed here. Have students report the exploration as though it were a current event, using images from the site or other approved sources.
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America's Stone Age Explorers - NOVA

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7 to 12
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Who were the very first Americans? This site explores evidence found by archeologists, examines artifacts found throughout the United States, and involves visitors in interpreting Stone...more
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Who were the very first Americans? This site explores evidence found by archeologists, examines artifacts found throughout the United States, and involves visitors in interpreting Stone Age tools. Includes interactive activities and a downloadable teacher's guide.

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans located in the classroom activities section. (located in the teacher guide) These lesson connect the history lesson to biology and the study of genetic traits, a very interesting inter-disciplinary focus.
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Young Explorers in the Amazon - World Wildlife Fund

Grades
6 to 8
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Follow a group of six young explorers on an expedition deep into the Amazon. Students can click on the "Explore" link to access diaries and videos documenting this rainforest ...more
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Follow a group of six young explorers on an expedition deep into the Amazon. Students can click on the "Explore" link to access diaries and videos documenting this rainforest adventure. Check out the "Act" link for suggestions on getting kids involved in saving this unique and valuable ecosystem.

tag(s): amazon (9), forests (29), rainforests (13)

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The Mighty Mississippi - MSNBC

Grades
8 to 12
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The history and splendor of one of America's most storied rivers is brought to life in this elegant site by MSNBC. An August 2004 trek down the full length ...more
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The history and splendor of one of America's most storied rivers is brought to life in this elegant site by MSNBC. An August 2004 trek down the full length of the Mississippi is carefully documented and interwoven with information about the geology, economic impact, navigation, history, and exploration of the river. A short video highlights the history of the Mississippi, from the days of its earliest explorers to the present. Each segment of the site offers slideshows, video, photographs, descriptive text, and interactive quizzes. Add this resource to an American history or geography lesson, or incorporate it into a literature unit on Mark Twain.

tag(s): literature (275), mark twain (10), mississippi (6)

In the Classroom

For a history classroom, use this site to complement almost a year long class of American History. Starting with the Louisiana purchase, the Mississippi became a vital component of American trade and settlement patterns, all of which can be reflected by the variety of stories found on every mile southward. With every unit in a history class, there is a mile on the Mississippi that is applicable. Tie in unit endings with the free resources offered by MSNBC, whether it be video, slides, quizzes or a story. Students will enjoy seeing the impacts of history in our world today!
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Solar System Exploration for Kids

Grades
5 to 8
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Add this challenging hands-on activity to a unit on space exploration and the solar system. Using downloadable instructions and patterns, kids can build paper models of the robot explorers...more
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Add this challenging hands-on activity to a unit on space exploration and the solar system. Using downloadable instructions and patterns, kids can build paper models of the robot explorers that are currently at work in outer space. Each model is rated for difficulty, and a link to a site offering tips on paper model construction is provided. This is a great group project, but it does require focus and attention to detail.

tag(s): planets (123), robotics (25), solar system (119)

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Polar Husky - NOMADS

Grades
1 to 12
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Participate in an amazing exploration with this virtual field trip of the Arctic. Follow the Team Arctic Transect 2004 and their 31 polar huskies on an unforgettable 3,000-mile adventure...more
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Participate in an amazing exploration with this virtual field trip of the Arctic. Follow the Team Arctic Transect 2004 and their 31 polar huskies on an unforgettable 3,000-mile adventure as they explore Nunavut, Canada's newest territory. Learn about arctic climate changes, meet Inuit Elders and students in remote communities, and discover the ecology of this isolated region. The team consists of six educators and explorers who comprehensively document their experiences on this interactive site. Free registration is required to download the curriculum and activity guide, and to participate in the on-line classroom features.

tag(s): arctic (44), canada (30)

In the Classroom

Use the GoNorth! adventures to supplement a unit on Geography or Climate changes. Make sure to save the site as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval later.

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New France - New Horizons - Canadian Archives

Grades
9 to 12
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This history of French exploration and settlement in what is now Canada is elegantly designed, and it shows the striking contrast between the aims of French colonists and those of ...more
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This history of French exploration and settlement in what is now Canada is elegantly designed, and it shows the striking contrast between the aims of French colonists and those of their English counterparts to the south. Because the site relies almost entirely on archival images - with minimal explanatory text - it may be difficult for some students to use effectively. Still, the site offers a marked contrast to the "colonizing America" stories students hear more frequently.

tag(s): canada (30), colonial america (107), explorers (61), france (40)

In the Classroom

Use the images from this site to create a visual discovery activity. Select a few of the most powerful images and put them in a slideshow to show students. Show the images to students via interactive whiteboard or projector, and have students write down what they observe, infer and predict from each. After the class has finished with their reflections, go back to the images and discuss with students what they wrote down. Make sure when explaining the images and their importance that you are sure of what you are trying to portray with them. There is not a lot of information on this site beyond photos, so it will require information from elsewhere. Regardless, this is a great way to lead students through a lesson rather than a straight lecture.
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Dutch Exploration in America - Library of Congress

Grades
9 to 12
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This excellent effort by the Library of Congress at narrating the explorations and effects of Dutch exploration in North America is really better suited to post-secondary students....more
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This excellent effort by the Library of Congress at narrating the explorations and effects of Dutch exploration in North America is really better suited to post-secondary students. That said, motivated students will find the basics on the history of Dutch exploration and settlement, and some interesting background on the Dutch place names that persist in the U.S. today. Those interested in digging more deeply can learn more about the extent and influence of eighteenth century Dutch trade and exploration on the emerging American nation.

tag(s): explorers (61), new york (26)

In the Classroom

Include the images and maps in the website to supplement your lecture. The text is probably too heavy for students to read, but it can easily be included in a class lecture. Save this site as a favorite and refer to it for images and primary sources. (although keep in mind - all the sources are in Dutch)

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American Journeys - Wisconsin Historical Society

Grades
9 to 12
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The Wisconsin Historical Society offers this collection of first-hand accounts of historical events, from the early explorers through the settling of the United States. After a quirky...more
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The Wisconsin Historical Society offers this collection of first-hand accounts of historical events, from the early explorers through the settling of the United States. After a quirky search process, the site ultimately displays scanned images of venerable publications containing the material. While this approach is certainly historically accurate, it may be limiting for use with secondary students.

tag(s): primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and classroom activities hosted on the "teachers" portion of this site! Teachers can also use this site to search for primary sources that can be utilized in their classroom during a unit on early American exploration.

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Tall Ship Rose

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4 to 12
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Though no longer used as a training vessel, this site about the Rose continues to show how sailing ships functioned as military vessels. There are several 360 degree quicktime images,...more
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Though no longer used as a training vessel, this site about the Rose continues to show how sailing ships functioned as military vessels. There are several 360 degree quicktime images, a "ropes" quiz, and a variety of text to explain how it all fit together. Tie this one into a discussion of explorers, the growth of international commerce, or the American clipper ships and gold rush.

tag(s): navy (9)

In the Classroom

Use the virtual tour on the interactive whiteboard to explore what ships were like in the early 18th century and before. This would be a great resource during a discussion of the military resources Americans had during the Revolution - the site can also be used as a learning center through incorporating the quizzes on classroom computers. A very cool site for a US history class!
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Historic Wings - Feature Stories

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6 to 12
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If you'd like to incorporate elements of the history of aviation into a unit on science or history, this site's nice collection of features on significant aviation history events could...more
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If you'd like to incorporate elements of the history of aviation into a unit on science or history, this site's nice collection of features on significant aviation history events could be useful. There's a nice selection of items that spread over the years from the 1920s through the present. There could be more depth, but the essential information is presented well.

tag(s): air (163), aircraft (24), aviation (39), explorers (61)

In the Classroom

Each of the individual web explorations could easily be used to introduce separate units within a history class. When applicable, select the exploration you would like students to work on and save it as a favorite on classroom computers. Have students go through the information and make a quick and small poster to show what they have learned. We recommend an online poster creator such as Padlet (reviewed here). The site offers information commonly left out of textbooks, but still relevant enough to apply to the Standards of Learning. They definitely make for interesting activators or introductions to units.
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Charles Lindbergh

Grades
8 to 12
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Fans of the famous pilot will find this site has almost anything ever recorded about the aviator and his journeys. There is also information on several efforts to recreate the ...more
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Fans of the famous pilot will find this site has almost anything ever recorded about the aviator and his journeys. There is also information on several efforts to recreate the Ryan aircraft that Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic to Paris. Try this site as an add-in to a unit on the 1920s, an examination of the history of flight, or a unit on famous explorers or Americans.

tag(s): 1920s (2), aviation (39), explorers (61)

In the Classroom

Open this site on the interactive whiteboard or projector and use it to introduce a lesson on the history of flight. Play the video clips for students before or after a lecture, depending on whether or not you want to preview or re-enforce the information.

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Imaging Everest - Royal Geographic Society

Grades
6 to 12
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Would-be explorers chained to their computers will find this British chronicle of mountain-climbing in Nepal a great escape. The photo collections are available thematically, and they...more
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Would-be explorers chained to their computers will find this British chronicle of mountain-climbing in Nepal a great escape. The photo collections are available thematically, and they include some interesting categories dealing with the culture of the Himalayas. Of course, there are the obligatory homages to the climbers, especially Hillary. Many of these images aren't available elsewhere.

tag(s): mountains (13)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an activator, introducing the topic of Mt. Everest. This website would benefit a Geography class, exploring the significance of the Himalayas while simultaneously studying the geographic forces that made the mountain chain.

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Environmental Explorers' Club - Environmental Protection Agency

Grades
4 to 6
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This site has a wealth of eco-friendly activities for elementary students looking to learn more about the environment. There are art activities, science activities, and interactive...more
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This site has a wealth of eco-friendly activities for elementary students looking to learn more about the environment. There are art activities, science activities, and interactive activities designed to raise environmental awareness while educating students.

tag(s): conservation (127), ecology (135), environment (317)

In the Classroom

There is also an additional section for teachers, as well as a link to resources more appropriate for middle and high school students.

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The Exploration of Canada- Pathfinders and Passageways - National Library of Canada

Grades
4 to 12
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This site has wonderful resources for learning about Canadian history and Canadian explorers. Whether you're interested in early exploration in general, or specific history of the Nation,...more
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This site has wonderful resources for learning about Canadian history and Canadian explorers. Whether you're interested in early exploration in general, or specific history of the Nation, this site has information on each of Canada's multiple explorers, as well as a sequential look at the evolution of the landmass. A great site for social studies resources from the 11th through 20th Centuries.

tag(s): canada (30), landforms (45)

In the Classroom

This site is a little text heavy, but the information is all interesting and pertinent to a study of world explorers. Use this site as a point of reference when learning about the explorers who began to colonize our neighbor to the North. The site has a lot of information but would also be great for shorter investigations. Refer students to the site if working on research projects of papers about explorers. The information makes for a great jumping off point, and is reliable.

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Mars Fun Zone - NASA

Grades
4 to 8
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NASA's Mars page for kids offers lots of interactive exploration options and an interactive Mars viewer. Teachers will also find links to more extensive NASA classroom resources on...more
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NASA's Mars page for kids offers lots of interactive exploration options and an interactive Mars viewer. Teachers will also find links to more extensive NASA classroom resources on Mars and plans for further explorations. NASA's web resources are huge, and finding suitable materials can sometimes require some experimenting. This site will certainly interest elementary-level explorers.

tag(s): mars (41), robotics (25), space (205)

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