TeachersFirst's Resources for American Presidents

Other TeachersFirst Special Topics Collections

Whether you are celebrating Presidents Day or learning about the Executive Branch of the U.S. government, this collection of reviewed resources about presidents provides a rich starting point for research, class study, or multimedia projects. If this list is too broad, use the search tool at the left of this page to find resources on a specific president or within a certain grade range. You may also be interested in TeachersFirst's Resources for U.S. Elections or TeachersFirst's Resources for U.S. Presidential Inaugurations.

 

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Of the People: Art and History of the White House - Discovery Education

Grades
6 to 12
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Go behind the scenes for an in-depth video discussion of the art and history of the White House with White House Curator William Allman. The actual discussion begins after the ...more
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Go behind the scenes for an in-depth video discussion of the art and history of the White House with White House Curator William Allman. The actual discussion begins after the 14-minute mark on the video with an interview led by a high school student. Questions include those submitted by students all over the country.

tag(s): art history (70), presidents (131), white house (14)

In the Classroom

Before viewing this video, challenge students to brainstorm what a curator's job is and what kind of artifacts they might find in the White House. After viewing, have students create a simple infographic of important White House artifacts sharing their findings using Venngage, reviewed here. Ask students to curate their own collection of items such as things found in their room at home, a collection of items from your school, or a collection of artifacts from your hometown. Create a book featuring these items using Ourboox, reviewed here. Ourboox creates beautiful page-flipping digital books in minutes, and you can embed video, music, animation, games, maps and more.

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iCivics, Win the White House - iCivics

Grades
4 to 12
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Make the presidential election process personal. Run for U.S. president by playing this free interactive online game which is best played on a computer using most current browsers....more
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Make the presidential election process personal. Run for U.S. president by playing this free interactive online game which is best played on a computer using most current browsers. In this lively, colorful simulation, students will experience being part of a campaign, including creating a candidate avatar, selecting either Democratic or Republican issues, participating in debates and developing a media campaign. Choose your level to start: elementary, middle, or high school and complete the easy-to-follow tasks which do involve some reading, especially the debates section. The "Campaign Manager" will lead you through the process ending with your final probability of winning. Loading the game may take a few moments. Sound begins immediately, but may be toggled off. Online assistance is available by clicking the Help button in the top right corner at each step of the game. Also, the Back button in the top left corner allows easy do-overs of sections. Students may play without registering, but will access more content, compete with others and earn badges after logging in. You can have separate accounts for students and teachers, but must have email addresses. An automatic username is generated when registering. The easy to use Extension Pack for Teachers provides more activities and assessments. Registered teachers can message students and create classes to give students a virtual class code to join without needing an email. If students register, they can check their My iCivics accounts to see points and message members of their groups which can be controlled by the teacher.

tag(s): elections (75), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Start out using this site with your projector or interactive whiteboard with the whole class. Walk through the beginning of the game and demonstrate the built-in help which is useful for students who might need additional guidance. Have individuals play or create small group teams of campaign staff to guide the candidates. Students or groups may play multiple times. After registering, the site will save games and students can send messages. Use the Achievements badges and points for student assessments. Have students research the debate topics and compare the different aspects of the game to real-life examples in the news. An easy to use Extension Pack for Teachers provides more activities and assessments.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Television Commercial Analysis Chart - The Learning Network/New York Times

Grades
6 to 12
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This PDF provides a very easy to use chart for providing information found in political candidate's tv commercials. Fill in the blanks to describe what the commercial shows, what you...more
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This PDF provides a very easy to use chart for providing information found in political candidate's tv commercials. Fill in the blanks to describe what the commercial shows, what you hear, and what you think the producers want you to get from the commercial. The final box provides an opportunity to discuss your thoughts on the effectiveness of the ad.

tag(s): advertising (33), elections (75), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Print and use this form to include with your election unit as you analzye the candidates and their pitch for votes. This form is pretty basic, use it as a starting point for a more in-depth look at political commercials. Ask students to list ideas to include on your form. Include information from your analysis of political commercials and have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools'?reviewed here.''?
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Cat in the Hat Campaign Headquarters - Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P.

Grades
K to 8
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Cat in the Hat runs for president, and he wants children to decide the most important issues to address! His running mates are Thing 1 and Thing 2. Learn about ...more
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Cat in the Hat runs for president, and he wants children to decide the most important issues to address! His running mates are Thing 1 and Thing 2. Learn about the campaign and the causes - ocean conservation, environment, hunger, education, or kindness - by clicking either Video or Causes from the menu on the left. There are also free Activities downloadable in PDF format. See where each cause stands in the voting towards the bottom of the page. The cause and organization with the most votes will receive $10,000.00 from Dr. Seuss Enterprises and Random House Children's Books. All votes must be in by midnight November 8, 2016. The winning cause and organization will be announced December 1, 2016. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): elections (75), environment (317), oceans (148), presidents (131), service projects (25)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to get young students involved and thinking about the democratic process. Pique their interest by showing the video with your projector to the whole class. Break students into small groups and have them read and discuss the different causes. Have them take an initial vote within their group for the cause they would like to support. If there is not a consensus among the group, have each student, in turn, tell why they think the cause they like should be the most important and receive the vote. You could vote as a class or have students vote individually.

For older students, there is an opportunity to practice being persuasive; this is a perfect introduction to these causes, and students could research their favorite cause and learn facts about why it is indeed a cause or issue. Students could work on this in small groups supporting the same cause. They could then put together a multimedia presentation for their peers to try and convince them to vote for their cause. TeachersFirst has several Edge tools that would work well for this presentation: Ignite, reviewed here. With the web-based Ignite, students can collaborate on creating a multi-layered, unique multimedia project with text, images, and video. The iPad app allows them to add audio, too. Padlet, is an online bulletin board maker, reviewed here, or Thinglink, reviewed here, where students create an annotated, narrated image including text boxes and related links (even videos). If you would like your students to have a little pre-practice with using persuasion, you could have them complete the exercises on ThinkCerca, reviewed here, or Drafting Board, reviewed here.

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'Watergate' Video Lesson - NewseumED

Grades
8 to 12
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This NewseumED video lesson explores the role of the press in the 1970's Watergate scandal. Activities include watching a video and completing a comprehension worksheet. In addition...more
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This NewseumED video lesson explores the role of the press in the 1970's Watergate scandal. Activities include watching a video and completing a comprehension worksheet. In addition to the 30-minute lesson, several ideas for extension activities are included. To find related activities on Newseum, scroll to the bottom of the page for additional ideas. Sign up for NewseumED (FREE) to access all materials.

tag(s): 1970s (12), journalism (46), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Include this site with any lessons on the power of the press, the 70's, or presidents. This site is perfect for a flipped classroom activity, have students view the video and complete the worksheet questions at home before going in-depth with the material at school. Have students create a timeline of events related to Watergate (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles, reviewed here. Allow students to be journalists and create their own newspaper using a site such as Zinepal, reviewed here. Click "Start with a blank e-Book."
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Interactive Dust Bowl - PBS/Ken Burns

Grades
7 to 12
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This interactive based on the Ken Burns film, The Dust Bowl, takes you on a journey showing what life was like during the Dust Bowl of the southern Great Plains. ...more
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This interactive based on the Ken Burns film, The Dust Bowl, takes you on a journey showing what life was like during the Dust Bowl of the southern Great Plains. Make decisions affecting your farm along the way as you "play it safe" or strive for greater profit. Take advantage of the other portions of this site, including videos, a photo gallery, and biographies of Dust Bowl survivors. The video about the Dust Bowl with Ken Burns as a guest resides on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): 1930s (15), agriculture (55), roosevelt (16)

In the Classroom

Use this tool as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce your unit about America in the 1930's. Share on a projector or interactive whiteboard, then have students explore the interactive on their own. Be sure to share a link to the site on your class webpage for students to explore at home. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of life during the time of the Dust Bowl. Use a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here.

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PBS Election Central - PBS Learning Media

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3 to 12
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Stay up to date with current elections and learn about the electoral process with this all-inclusive site from PBS Learning. Take virtual field trips to the floor of Congress and ...more
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Stay up to date with current elections and learn about the electoral process with this all-inclusive site from PBS Learning. Take virtual field trips to the floor of Congress and Presidential Libraries to explore historical themes. Follow the election process with the interactive map to track candidates as they campaign across the country. Other content examines the election process and takes an inside look at the debates. Be sure to check out the Election Collection containing several activities such as Inside the Voting Booth and You're the Campaign Manager.

tag(s): debate (41), elections (75), electoral college (16), presidents (131), speech (92)

In the Classroom

Include Election Central as part of any election unit. Have students research candidate information and compare and contrast points of view. Use an online tool such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, or the Interactive Three Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here. Pose a controversial question about an election issue and have students answer as one of the candidates. Use a tool such as WeJIT, reviewed here, for that exercise. Or, challenge students to use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a candidate's journey through the election process. Or, using Fakebook, have two candidates debate an issue. Be sure to take advantage of the free lesson plans offered on this site correlated to National History Standards.
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Washington NatureMapping Program - NatureMapping Foundation

Grades
4 to 12
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The Washington NatureMapping Program provides information and programs to support environmental stewardship and the collection of data to inventory and monitor wildlife. Although primarily...more
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The Washington NatureMapping Program provides information and programs to support environmental stewardship and the collection of data to inventory and monitor wildlife. Although primarily geared toward the states of Washington and California, many of the support materials include information of interest for all locations. Choose the Resources link to find educational materials, animal fact sheets, and more. Be sure to check out the Biodiversity Data that includes several modules with information divided into categories such as marine animals, plants, and wildlife.

tag(s): animal homes (41), animals (276), data (148), environment (317)

In the Classroom

If you don't live in a state included in the NatureMapping Program, use this site as a model to begin collecting data on wildlife in your area. You may want to share the video Leapin Lizards! found on the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector to inspire students to do their own field research. Have students create online posters individually or together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, or PicLits, reviewed here, to show different animals and habitats in your region.
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George Washington's Mount Vernon - Mount Vernon Ladies' Association

Grades
5 to 12
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You don't need to take an actual visit to Mount Vernon to enjoy a look at the life and times of America's first president with this comprehensive website. Choose from ...more
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You don't need to take an actual visit to Mount Vernon to enjoy a look at the life and times of America's first president with this comprehensive website. Choose from The Estate and Gardens or George Washington links to explore information about Washington's life and home. Each section includes full articles, including images and some videos. Be sure to check out the Educational Resources for students and teachers including lesson plans, interactive maps, animated presentations, and more.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): american revolution (86), presidents (131), primary sources (86), slavery (72), washington (36)

In the Classroom

Be sure to bookmark and save this site for use with any President's Day or American Revolution lessons. Take advantage of the free lesson plans for use in your classroom. Create a link to maps and animated presentations on classroom computers for students to explore on their own. You may also want students to take a virtual tour of George Washington's Mount Vernon, reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about George or Martha Washington, one of his slaves, or a soldier in his army. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) about the life of George Washington using Hstry, reviewed here.
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Hip Hughes History - Keith Hughes

Grades
8 to 12
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This YouTube channel offers over 300 videos for U.S. and World History, current events, political science, and American Government. Other videos teach test taking and essay writing...more
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This YouTube channel offers over 300 videos for U.S. and World History, current events, political science, and American Government. Other videos teach test taking and essay writing skills. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): china (66), classroom management (135), constitution (79), elections (75), foreign policy (16), politics (99), presidents (131), russia (38)

In the Classroom

Show videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector to your class as an introduction to a new unit or class discussion. Flip your lesson and assign videos for students to view at home or in the computer lab and discuss questions at the next class meeting. Prep for this by asking questions during the video using Comment Bubble, reviewed here. Use the videos as a springboard for engaging writing prompts or to spark a discussion connected with a unit of study. Have students create a simple infographic with information learned from videos using Easel.ly, reviewed here. Be sure to check out some of the classroom management tips and advice for new teachers for some fresh ideas to use in your classroom!

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Mr. Beat's Social Studies Channel - Matt Beat

Grades
5 to 12
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Mr. Beat's YouTube Channel provides educational Social Studies videos in a storytelling format. There are a few other topics: Primary and Secondary Sources, Guide to Critical Thinking,...more
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Mr. Beat's YouTube Channel provides educational Social Studies videos in a storytelling format. There are a few other topics: Primary and Secondary Sources, Guide to Critical Thinking, and others. Be sure to check out the music video and song for each of the presidents. Other topics include using Google Earth, Presidential Elections, and Story Time with Mr. Beat. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): alaska (25), elections (75), explorers (61), gettysburg address (18), lincoln (86), presidents (131), primary sources (86), washington (36)

In the Classroom

Share these videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector. FLIP your classroom and have students view the videos at home to discuss and apply the next day in class (this is an excellent option if your school blocks YouTube). Use the videos to introduce any topic and assign others from the series for homework. Be sure to provide this link on your class website for students (and their families) to access at home.

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Connecting Learning and Instruction in Olathe (CLIO) - Olathe United School District

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5 to 12
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CLIO provides American History resources for 5th through 12th grade teachers. Information includes lesson plans, reading lists, and general teaching resources. The most detailed portion...more
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CLIO provides American History resources for 5th through 12th grade teachers. Information includes lesson plans, reading lists, and general teaching resources. The most detailed portion of the site is the lesson plan section that includes many printable lesson plans beginning with Creating a New Nation through Year of the Boar and Native Americans in Contemporary America. Be sure to check out the General Teaching Resources section for additional printables including a Historic "Moment in Time" Poem worksheet and resources for teaching Historical Writing.

tag(s): american revolution (86), civil rights (117), civil war (145), cold war (29), great depression (24), lincoln (86), martin luther king (37), native americans (78), roosevelt (16), rosa parks (6), vietnam (36), washington (36), world war 1 (54), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

If you teach American history, be sure to bookmark this site for use throughout the year. New teachers will especially appreciate having a stockpile of ready-made lessons they can tweak and make their own, and of course, any American history teacher can take advantage of the free lesson plans and teaching resources included here. Use activities from this site to differentiate learning within your classroom. Be sure to share with other American History teachers on your campus.
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25 Moments That Changed America - Time Magazine

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6 to 12
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Take a look at what leading experts consider the 25 moments that changed 20th century America in this interesting list from Time. Click through the slideshow or view all moments ...more
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Take a look at what leading experts consider the 25 moments that changed 20th century America in this interesting list from Time. Click through the slideshow or view all moments in one list. Each event, listed in chronological order, also includes a summary and photograph. A few also include a video clip. Click on the links at the bottom of each moment to view more information from the Time Vault.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 20th century (51), civil rights (117), presidents (131), womens suffrage (26)

In the Classroom

Use this site to introduce any lesson or unit on 20th century America with an interactive whiteboard or projector. At the end of a 20th century unit, have students create their own list individually or as a group before sharing this site. This site contains many events that may be unfamiliar to most younger Americans, use it as an opportunity to explore these events further. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here, to share information from different events. This is a good informational reading source to help meet your Common Core Standards.

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Tom Richey's YouTube Channel for AP History - Tom Richey

Grades
9 to 12
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This engaging YouTube channel offers an excellent variety of videos for AP U.S. and European History and AP Government. Additional offerings include review sessions about South Carolina...more
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This engaging YouTube channel offers an excellent variety of videos for AP U.S. and European History and AP Government. Additional offerings include review sessions about South Carolina history. Each video explains different topics in history through lecture. Videos range in length from one minute to over an hour. 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 KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 1700s (23), 1800s (44), 1900s (33), advanced placement (21), american revolution (86), black history (59), colonial america (107), england (57), france (40), germany (28), greece (26), greeks (30), industrial revolution (25), jefferson (19), romans (35), rome (27), russia (38), spain (9), video (254), washington (36), world war 1 (54)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your teacher favorites to find videos to use in AP History and Government classes. Be sure to share videos with students and parents, especially videos with study plans for AP tests. Create a link to this YouTube channel on your class website or blog for students to access at home.

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State of the Union Bingo - National Constitution Center

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7 to 12
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Engage student interest in the annual State of the Union Address with this Bingo lesson plan. Background activities provide historical knowledge of the traditions of the speech. Follow...more
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Engage student interest in the annual State of the Union Address with this Bingo lesson plan. Background activities provide historical knowledge of the traditions of the speech. Follow up activities guide students through understanding current events.

tag(s): presidents (131), speeches (17)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this free lesson plan as a supplement to your current events lessons. The Bingo sheet was created in 2012, you may need to modify some terms to adapt to current events. Divide students into groups and compare State of the Union addresses from throughout any one president's terms. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here.
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Primary Source Sets - Library of Congress

Grades
4 to 12
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This collection of primary sources from the Library of Congress is organized around key topics and themes in American History. The Primary Source Set titles range from Abraham Lincoln...more
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This collection of primary sources from the Library of Congress is organized around key topics and themes in American History. The Primary Source Set titles range from Abraham Lincoln through Women's Suffrage. Choose any topic to view Teacher's Guides and analysis tools including graphic organizers for students. Sort information to find materials meeting Common Core, State Standards, or national organization standards.

tag(s): 20th century (51), authors (120), black history (59), civil war (145), commoncore (94), constitution (79), hispanic (18), jefferson (19), lincoln (86), new deal (6), primary sources (86), segregation (15), thanksgiving (37), veterans (19), washington (36), westward expansion (29), womens suffrage (26), wright brothers (25)

In the Classroom

When introducing a new unit, show students photos from the era and have them describe what they see and what period they think it is. Find plenty of questions and activities (including a blank analysis organizer for students) in the Teacher's Guides. Also look at Library of Congress: for Teachers, reviewed here. Encourage your students to use this tool for projects. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted for reproduction), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. Have students create a multimedia presentation using Voicethread, reviewed here. This tool allows users to narrate a picture. Include this site on your class webpage for students and parents to access as a reference.
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Earliest Voices - Michigan State University

Grades
6 to 12
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We are accustomed to hearing the voices of celebrities and important leaders today, but it has been less than 150 years since the invention of sound recording technology. Earliest Voices...more
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We are accustomed to hearing the voices of celebrities and important leaders today, but it has been less than 150 years since the invention of sound recording technology. Earliest Voices is an archive of recordings from the earliest years between 1877 and 1927. Hear Booker T. Washington speak about race relations or William Jennings Bryan's "Cross of Gold" speech. Listen to Thomas Edison (who was the inventor of the technology) speak about advances in technology and electricity. Find a short biography and images along with the recordings. A Real Player plugin is required.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (101), oral history (12), politics (99), sound (101)

In the Classroom

Bringing early voices to life in the classroom can help connect students with these important figures from history. Do their voices sound as you expected? Along with the audio records, you'll find important contextual information about early audio recordings, and about the circumstances surrounding each speech or recording.

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America Goes to War: an Infographic - New England College

Grades
8 to 12
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What does it mean to go to war? This simple infographic shows the Constitutional process by which the United States declares war, traces the history of each of the U.S. ...more
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What does it mean to go to war? This simple infographic shows the Constitutional process by which the United States declares war, traces the history of each of the U.S. declarations of war, and differentiates among formal declarations, military actions, and Presidential or Congressional authorizations of force.

tag(s): civil war (145), congress (33), constitution (79), presidents (131), war of 1812 (14), world war 1 (54), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Was the U.S. at war? What powers does the U.S. President have to declare war, and how have Presidents used those powers historically? A powerful, but simple infographic delineates the legal and Constitutional differences among U.S. wars historically. Share the infographic on an interactive whiteboard, or embed on your classroom website for reference.

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George Washington's Mount Vernon - Mount Vernon

Grades
6 to 12
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Take a virtual tour of Mount Vernon, the home of the first President of the United States, George Washington. Beautifully executed, and packed with special features, the tour is billed...more
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Take a virtual tour of Mount Vernon, the home of the first President of the United States, George Washington. Beautifully executed, and packed with special features, the tour is billed as the "second best way to visit Mount Vernon," and doesn't disappoint. Be sure and watch the tutorial so you don't miss any of the many tips and tricks to get the most out of your virtual tour.

tag(s): 1700s (23), presidents (131), virtual field trips (48)

In the Classroom

Ideal for use on an interactive white board, or for students to access individually, this virtual tour has lots of features. You can explore the buildings, zoom in on items in the buildings, access stories and discussions that highlight features of the property and the daily lives of those who lived at Mount Vernon. There are additional links to lesson plans and other student resources.

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Zoom In! - Education Development Center

Grades
5 to 12
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Zoom In! is a set of digital tools that support social studies teachers in aligning teaching with the Common Core Literacy Standards. In each lesson, students solve a historical problem...more
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Zoom In! is a set of digital tools that support social studies teachers in aligning teaching with the Common Core Literacy Standards. In each lesson, students solve a historical problem by analyzing and collecting evidence, organizing research, and creating a rough draft communicating the solution. Create your teacher account to begin. Browse through 10 lessons with topics as diverse as propaganda and Paul Revere, Labor on the World War II Homefront, Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers, and music in the Vietnam War. Create a class within each lesson to receive a class code for student access. View more information about this resource on their YouTube channel, here. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): american revolution (86), civil war (145), constitution (79), immigrants (20), immigration (58), lincoln (86), slavery (72), vietnam (36), westward expansion (29), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these free lesson plans for use in teaching social studies aligned to Common Core Standards. Even if you cannot use whole lessons, browse through to find resources to add to your current lessons. Create classes and assign different lessons to different groups of students based on ability and interest. After completing a unit, have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools, reviewed here.

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