TeachersFirst Special Topics Collections

TeachersFirst's Special Topics collections help you find just what you and your students need, just in time for an upcoming unit, a holiday, focused research, student-directed exploration, or projects on a curriculum topic or event. You can be comfortable sharing the Special Topic links with students or parents, knowing that TeachersFirst’s Thinking Teachers have selected and reviewed each resource. Find classroom and project suggestions within each review, use the collection to find just what you need for your lessons. Some teachers assign these lists as the core resources for a broader student assignment. Editor’s Choice collections offer "the best of the best" for topics of particular interest. TeachersFirst also offers collections on professional special topics to help you meet particular teaching challenges.

 

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Resources for Ramadan - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 12
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See TeachersFirst's collection of resources to help students learn the customs and traditions of the Muslim Ramadan month of fasting. ...more
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See TeachersFirst's collection of resources to help students learn the customs and traditions of the Muslim Ramadan month of fasting.

tag(s): holidays (147), ramadan (10)

In the Classroom

This collection could be useful in a study of world religions, an exploration of the mideast, or a world cultures class. Include the link on your class web page as students investigate different holiday traditions.

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Resources for Writing Prompts - TeachersFirst

Grades
1 to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources includes many types of writing prompts, both visual and verbal, to inspire writing. Whether you want students to try their hand at poetry or informational...more
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This collection of reviewed resources includes many types of writing prompts, both visual and verbal, to inspire writing. Whether you want students to try their hand at poetry or informational writing, there are ideas here to help. Make this collection available for students to find their own inspiration for open-ended, creative writing assignments. Teachers can also use this list to find 2-3 possible choices for a targeted writing assignment. Student choice is key in helping student voice come through in their writing.

tag(s): creative writing (166), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Make this collection available for students to find their own inspiration for open-ended, creative writing assignments. Teachers can also use this list to find 2-3 possible choices for a targeted writing assignment.

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Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur Resources - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur fall early in the school year and provide an opportunity to promote multi-cultural and religious understanding. These resources will help acquaint students...more
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Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur fall early in the school year and provide an opportunity to promote multi-cultural and religious understanding. These resources will help acquaint students and teachers who may not know much about the Jewish High Holy Days with the history and cultural traditions of these holidays.

tag(s): holidays (147), rosh hashanah (7), yom kippur (7)

In the Classroom

Use the resources on this site to supplement a classroom during a lesson or unit on these prominent Jewish holidays. The resources listed here can be used as webquests, learning centers, lesson plans & the like!

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School Violence Resources - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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This collection of professional resources deals with topics related to school violence and how schools and teachers should respond. ...more
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This collection of professional resources deals with topics related to school violence and how schools and teachers should respond.

tag(s): school violence (12)

In the Classroom

Keep this bookmarked for handy reference when incidents in the news raise concerns in your school.

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Special Occasion Ideas for the Classroom: TeachersFirst Editors' Choices - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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Check out this collection for classroom ideas and custom-made gifts (both "hard copy" and electronic). Special occasions give students a chance to recognize special people: moms, dads,...more
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Check out this collection for classroom ideas and custom-made gifts (both "hard copy" and electronic). Special occasions give students a chance to recognize special people: moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents, teachers, secretaries, school custodians, librarians, and more. Stretch your students' creative thinking, writing skills, and problem solving skills as they create projects to honor special people on special occasions or just as a surprise "thank you." Create memories for special people as your learners show what they know and how much they care.

tag(s): fathers day (12), mothers day (13), parents (56)

In the Classroom

Stretch your students' creative thinking, writing skills, and problem solving skills as they create projects to honor special people on special occasions or just as a surprise "thank you." Create memories for special people as your learners show what they know and how much they care. Share this collection as a link from your class web page for students and parents to use from home or during vacations and holidays.

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TeachersFirst First Day of School Icebreakers - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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No matter what level you teach, establishing rapport with a new group of students is key to knowing how to help them learn. Here is a list of reviewed resources ...more
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No matter what level you teach, establishing rapport with a new group of students is key to knowing how to help them learn. Here is a list of reviewed resources that offer a chance for you and your students to get to know one another.

In the Classroom

Mark this list in your favorites to try new ideas on the first day of school or even at the start of a new marking period.

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TeachersFirst HIV and AIDS Resources - TeachersFirst

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6 to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn more about HIV and AIDS and to plan curriculum-related projects and classroom...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn more about HIV and AIDS and to plan curriculum-related projects and classroom activities related to this sensitive but important topic. Whether you are teaching about the global economic impact of HIV and AIDS or simply helping students understand HIV and AIDS as a health topic, this list of reviewed resources and classroom ideas will provide a solid foundation.

In the Classroom

Find ideas and more as you plan for upcoming lessons on this powerful topic.

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TeachersFirst Hurricane Resources - TeachersFirst

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1 to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students understand hurricanes and the historic events surrounding major hurricanes. Explore...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students understand hurricanes and the historic events surrounding major hurricanes. Explore these resources during a unit on weather or disasters and include related projects and classroom activities. Classrooms in hurricane-prone areas may want to stop to observe anniversaries of local hurricane history or even to conduct local history projects in conjunction with some of these starter resources. Turn frightening natural disasters into positive learning using the background on these helpful sites.

tag(s): disasters (39), hurricanes (35), natural disasters (20), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Use this complete list as a research source for student projects during a unit on weather or choose one or two specific sites to use. These reviews all include ideas for classroom use.

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TeachersFirst Resources for Baseball Season - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 12
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Looking for a way to include baseball in your teaching? Whether it is time for Spring Training or the World Series, browse these options for curriculum connections to engage the ...more
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Looking for a way to include baseball in your teaching? Whether it is time for Spring Training or the World Series, browse these options for curriculum connections to engage the sports fans in your classroom.

tag(s): baseball (36), statistics (122)

In the Classroom

As spring or the World Series approaches, look to this collection for connections between your curriculum and baseball. Invite students to create their own baseball-related activities using the concepts you are studying right now: math word problems, scientific analysis of baseball physics, baseball writing ideas, or primary source interviewing about baseball.

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TeachersFirst Resources for Black History - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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These reviewed resources from the TeacherFirst database include teaching ideas, research material, and interactive sites for studying Black History in all grades. ...more
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These reviewed resources from the TeacherFirst database include teaching ideas, research material, and interactive sites for studying Black History in all grades.

tag(s): black history (59)

In the Classroom

Browse this collection as you approach Black History month or simply to add multi-cultural dimension to many history lessons.

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TeachersFirst Resources for Dr. Seuss - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources is terrific on Dr. Seuss' birthday in March or to find resources to share via your teacher web page. There is information for ALL grade ...more
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This collection of reviewed resources is terrific on Dr. Seuss' birthday in March or to find resources to share via your teacher web page. There is information for ALL grade levels, and the subjects include everything from reading to history to science to math! Many of the sites are interactive, some include lesson plans, and others are great for research!

tag(s): preK (279), read across america (5)

In the Classroom

Why not find some special projects and activities for March 2? Whatever subject and grade you teach, you are sure to find something useful here.

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TeachersFirst Resources for Elections: An Editors' Choice page - Teachersfirst

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K to 12
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Whether it is a presidential year or an off-year election cycle, there are many excellent election resources on the web to help your students understand and become involved in the ...more
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Whether it is a presidential year or an off-year election cycle, there are many excellent election resources on the web to help your students understand and become involved in the electoral process. This collection highlights the TeachersFirst editors' favorite election resources for all levels.

If you wish to choose from a more extensive list election-related resources or to narrow your list for a specific topic and grade level, try entering your topic and elections as search terms in the TeachersFirst keyword search (under Search menu), setting the grade level you seek, as well.

tag(s): elections (75)

In the Classroom

Use this handy "spcial topics" collection to find just the right student activity or reference information when you are studying elections. You can also share it on your teacher web page as an "approved" list of election resources for home and school study.

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TeachersFirst Resources for Martin Luther King, Jr. - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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These resources from the TeachersFirst database provide lesson ideas, activities, research materials, and interactive sites for studying Martin Luther King, Jr. ...more
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These resources from the TeachersFirst database provide lesson ideas, activities, research materials, and interactive sites for studying Martin Luther King, Jr.

tag(s): civil rights (117), martin luther king (37)

In the Classroom

Use this collection to inspire lessons for January 15 (or the Monday holiday nearby) or during any unit on civil rights.

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TeachersFirst Resources for the Olympics - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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Winter or summer, the Olympics provide teaching opportunities across the curriculum for students of all ages. Browse these options for curriculum connections to light the Olympic flame...more
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Winter or summer, the Olympics provide teaching opportunities across the curriculum for students of all ages. Browse these options for curriculum connections to light the Olympic flame in your classroom.

tag(s): china (66), olympics (47)

In the Classroom

Use these Olympics resources to plan an entire unit during the Olympics or make them available as links from your teacher web page for enrichment if the Olympics fall during school breaks. Not enough time for an Olympics unit? Perhaps students can use these links to generate ideas and projects to share on an Olympics extra credit wiki. Teachers of gifted will find many ways to spark new projects usig these links.

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TeachersFirst Resources for U.S. Presidential Inaugurations - TeachersFirst

Grades
1 to 12
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Every four years, the U.S. celebrates the peaceful transition of power from one administration to the next. We all note 2009 as an especially historic year in U.S. history, with ...more
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Every four years, the U.S. celebrates the peaceful transition of power from one administration to the next. We all note 2009 as an especially historic year in U.S. history, with the juxtaposition of Lincoln's 200th birthday and the inauguration of President Barack Obama. No matter what grade level you teach or candidate you support, Inauguration Day is an important event worthy of notice in your classroom. This list of reviewed resources from the TeachersFirst database will help you find ways to include the inauguration and its historical significance in the context of your curriculum. Since news sources often generate specialized but temporary web resources just in time for Inauguration Day (January 20), you will also want to use a Google News search for the most timely information, such as news articles and images. Combine these with the historical background and ideas below to help students gain perspective and a deeper understanding.

In the Classroom

Since news sources often generate specialized but temporary web resources just in time for Inauguration Day (January 20), you will want to use these resources in combination with a Google News search for the most timely information, such as news articles and images. Assign older students to compare historical background and current practice in a chosen aspect of the inauguration and create a multimedia presentation, wiki page, or mock "news" video about the day's events. Share selected images and explanation with younger students using your projector or interactive whiteboard.

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TeachersFirst Resources on Autism Spectrum Disorders and Asperger's - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources will help you to better understand these students with special challenges and find strategies for working with them in your classroom. ...more
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This collection of reviewed resources will help you to better understand these students with special challenges and find strategies for working with them in your classroom.

tag(s): aspergers (6), autism (22), preK (279)

In the Classroom

Share this collection with parents and colleagues using the "email this" link.

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TeachersFirst Resources: Man Soars Into Flight - TeachersFirst

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1 to 12
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This collection of flight-related resources was originally featured in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers historic 1903 accomplishments in Kitty Hawk. This collection...more
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This collection of flight-related resources was originally featured in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers historic 1903 accomplishments in Kitty Hawk. This collection provides many angles on the Wright brothers, flight, and the science and and major figures involved in manned flight.

tag(s): famous people (19), flight (36), inventors and inventions (101), wright brothers (25)

In the Classroom

Use this collection as a starting point for flight-related investigations by student groups. This project could also be an option during a broader unit on invention or the lives of scientists or famous Americans. Ask students to create a multimedia "poster" depicting some aspect of the Wright Brothers' work or a principle of aerodynamics that made it all possible. Use a simple software tool such as PowerPoint or a rich, online tool such as Glogster EDU reviewed here, to create and share the projects.

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TeachersFirst Shakespeare Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
7 to 12
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Shakespeare resources abound on the web. These original and reviewed resources are an attempt to collect information on the works most commonly encountered in a K-12 curriculum, using...more
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Shakespeare resources abound on the web. These original and reviewed resources are an attempt to collect information on the works most commonly encountered in a K-12 curriculum, using materials geared to high school and introductory college level students. In addition, TeachersFirst has included links to related sources dealing with the English monarchy and life and customs in Elizabethan England. TeachersFirst's original Shakespeare lessons and activities appear at the top of the list.

tag(s): literature (275), shakespeare (131)

In the Classroom

Mark this collection in your favorites for teacher planning or share it during your unit on Shakespeare, his plays, or his sonnets.

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TeachersFirst's Inventors and Inventions Resources - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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Invent and Innovate! This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers, parents, and students learn about inventors and inventions. Use these resources...more
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Invent and Innovate! This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers, parents, and students learn about inventors and inventions. Use these resources for science or social studies lessons and activities about innovation and invention, in observance of National Inventors' Day (celebrated on February 11, Thomas Edison's birthday), or at any time during the school year.. Whether you are simply learning about the history of invention or planning a schoolwide Invention Convention, these resources will provide inspiration and project possibilities.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (101)

In the Classroom

Use these resources for science or social studies lessons and activities about innovation and invention, in observance of National Inventors' Day (celebrated on February 11, Thomas Edison's birthday), or at any time during the school year. Whether you are simply learning about the history of invention or planning a schoolwide Invention Convention, these resources will provide inspiration and project possibilities.

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TeachersFirst's Oil Spill Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about oil spills and the short and long term impact on the environment caused...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about oil spills and the short and long term impact on the environment caused by these environmental disasters. As students read and see images of animals, be aware that younger students may have more questions than they can explain.

tag(s): disasters (39), environment (317), oil (45), oil spill (21)

In the Classroom

Use these resources together with your class to help students find ways they can contribute to a greater good after such a devastating event spreads across the news. Extend the opportunity to teach about persuasive writing (letters to legislators or the editor), careers in environmental science, and more.

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