TeachersFirst's Resources for American Presidents
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.
Grades4 to 12
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In the ClassroomThis free tool is a great way to identify a value or rating of various items. Use this in science class to poll students on various types of renewable and nonrenewable energies as cheap/expensive and clean/dirty for the environment. Poll students on types of cars, rating the cost and gas mileage. Follow up with research into the various makes and models. Poll about famous presidents and various influences on the economy and society. Compare characters in various novels in measures of motivation and other characteristics. In younger grades, gather data about students favorite animals and why (such as fluffy/ferocious) or favorite colors and mood. Learn more about your students through polling of various social and cultural topics such as fashion, movies, and songs. Use this to identify misconceptions and resistance to various subject areas. Identify foods and feelings for each specific kind of food in Family and Consumer Science or attitudes towards various sports. Conduct specific polls for Introduction to Psychology or Sociology about various topics and reactions to the topics. Use to poll students on project ideas or to determine reactions to current events. Older students may want to include polls on their student blogs or wiki pages to increase involvement or create polls to use at the start of project presentations. Use polls to generate data for math class (graphing), during elections, or for critical thinking activities dealing with the interpretation of statistics. Use "real" data to engage students in issues that matter to them. For Professional development, rate the various types of technology tools for ease of use/difficulty and high/low value for instruction. Place a poll on your teacher web page as a homework inspiration or to increase parent involvement. Gifted students would love this tool to dig deeply into the multiple facets of issues they worry about.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): 1900s (36), aircraft (24), american flag (11), american revolution (88), artists (76), bill of rights (29), civil rights (120), civil war (145), colonial america (108), flags (22), industrial revolution (25), kennedy (27), lincoln (86), martin luther king (38), native americans (78), pearl harbor (12), railroads (11), slavery (71), space (215), thanksgiving (37), underground railroad (11), war of 1812 (15), world war 1 (53), world war 2 (141)
In the ClassroomMark this one in your favorites for use with almost any history unit. Your visual learners will find history more understandable using the video and interactive options. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here). Share links to specific videos on your class website or blog for students to view at home. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles (reviewed here). Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a person in a video.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site is perfect for your projector or interactive whiteboard. Studying the Battle of Gettysburg? Access a photograph of Abraham Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address simply by searching for Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Wondering what your town or state looked like 50 or 100 years ago? See what images have been uploaded for places near you. Taking a field trip? Compare the "Then/Now" views and find the actual spot the photograph was taken and from what vantage point. Wondering what a famous person in history saw when she looked out her window or travelled around her town? Check to see what Sepia Town images are available for that time period or geographic area. How have cities grown and changed over the past 100 years? What factors lead to those changes? What do you see in the images that you would not see today? A horse drawn delivery truck? What don't you see? Power lines? Sepia Town is one of those sites that can simply be enjoyed by accessing random views and using those images as a platform for discussion or discovery. Be sure to include this when learning about local or state history! Ask students to explore and list the changes they find to bring back and share with the class. Students can take screenshots of the same site at two different time periods and put them onto a presentation slide they can explain orally or put them on a class wiki along with an explanation of how and why things have changed.
Grades2 to 8
In the ClassroomSeveral 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.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): advertising (33), african american (113), architecture (84), branches of government (48), cities (25), conservation (127), cultures (107), environment (319), immigration (57), industrialization (14), literature (276), maps (291), native americans (78), north america (19), presidents (130), religions (66), sports (97), women (92)
In the ClassroomUse American Memory in your study of either state, or United States history providing further primary and secondary resources to bring life into your subject matter. Discover point of view or popular opinion found in the collections. Use on your interactive whiteboard with the class, or even as a resource on projects to give a personal reference. Combine with literature for understanding of a place or time in American history. Look at the year of birth for your students to compare and contrast for today. Use as an example for your year of learning in your subject area or even grade level. Be sure to list as a resource on student computers or your class website.
Grades5 to 12
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tag(s): 1800s (47), 1900s (36), 1910s (9), 1930s (15), 1940s (13), agriculture (56), civil war (145), flight (36), great depression (25), images (277), immigrants (20), immigration (57), lincoln (86), native americans (78), photography (162), slavery (71), states (163)
In the ClassroomThis site is ideal for an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have the students open the site and use the whiteboard tools to view and discuss photographs. Take your students on a trip back in time through these photographs. After sharing a portrait of an era or a defining moment, have students create their own projects to explain it in their own creative way. For example, they could do a project about life during the Civil War. Use urls for these images in projects that can "pull" images by url. (Right click to get the image url.) Alternatively, find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students create maps using Animaps, reviewed here. Students can add text, images, and location stops! Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook after researching people and events found on Old Pictures. Include this site on your class web page for students and parents to access as a reference.
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): advertising (33), black history (60), cross cultural understanding (116), history day (24), immigration (57), journalism (52), lincoln (86), martin luther king (38), poetry (225), presidents (130), primary sources (88), professional development (132), roosevelt (16), slavery (71), writing prompts (94)
In the ClassroomTake a look at the free professional development for using primary sources for teachers. In the Archives for Connecting to the Common Core, there are writing prompts for K-5 plus a link to the triangle activity. Download and use the PDF for the Thinking Triangle. Have older students research an interest and report to the class using a tool like Zoho Show (similar to PowerPoint, but easier and free) reviewed here.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomClick on "In the Classroom" to find activities for each artifact for elementary, middle school, and high school. Personalize Abe Lincoln for your students by sharing some of the artifacts on your interactive whiteboard. Have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Students can then create a word cloud of the important terms they learn using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here). Use ideas from Engaging Students With Primary Sources reviewed here to help high school students analyze primary source documents they find on Under Lincoln's Hat.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse the Civil War Daily Gazette in conjunction with your Civil War lessons. Find some great informational literature! Search the blog for an overview of events on any particular day. Have students create maps of Civil War events using Animaps (reviewed here). Students can add text, images, and location stops! Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles (reviewed here). Be sure to create a link to the Daily Gazette on your class website or blog for students to view at home. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a soldier, slave, farmer, or any other person living during Civil War times. Subscribe to the blog using your RSS feed reader or "like" on Facebook to follow along. For more Civil War connections, be sure to explore Gettysburg by the Numbers
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomIf your students do Presidential biographies or projects, this is a perfect site to share. Have students explore the exhibits while doing research on presidents and historical events. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a president.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomShare this tool in January, before the annual State of the Union. Allow time for groups of students to view specific charts and report upon the words used and their meanings. Students can research the time period the president served to understand the cultural, religious, and political climate of the day. Does the most common word (or top 10) appear in more than one presidency? Are there presidents who faced the same challenges even if not from the same time period? How did their State of the Union addresses differ (or were similar?) Discuss the uses of various words of which students may be unfamiliar.
Grades5 to 12
tag(s): chinese (50), civil rights (120), great depression (25), immigration (57), industrial revolution (25), native americans (78), presidents (130), transportation (41), westward expansion (29), womens suffrage (25)
In the ClassroomYou may have thought about a unit in which students create their own documentaries, but then felt overwhelmed by all the logistical considerations. Digital Docs in a Box is the answer. While there is not an enormous archive, it is still growing, and there is plenty here to get started. Students don't have to track down their own images, worry about their formatting or copyright, or be distracted with those pursuits. Instead, they can focus on the real point of the project: to take historical information and images and use it to tell a story they themselves devise. The TeachersFirst Edge has dozens of reviewed digital storytelling tools for your students to create projects from these "raw materials." As a teacher, you can also focus on the same issues and not spend hours setting up the project, deciding how to assess students' success in executing it, or keeping students focused on the project goal. Once you've used the site a few times, you might be able to create your own Docs in a Box kits and expand the topics covered.
Grades3 to 8
In the ClassroomUse this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start your study of George Washington or the American Revolution. Have students create an annotated image of George Washington or a related image including text boxes and links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students create maps using Animaps (reviewed here) of Washington's journey. Students can add text, images, and location stops! Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles (reviewed here).
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomUse portions of tapes and transcripts during lessons on the Vietnam War, Richard Nixon, presidents, the 1960s and 70s, and more. Share a link to specific conversations on your class website, and have students create blogs using Throwww ( reviewed here). This tool allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about participants in conversations during the Nixon era.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomSearch and view information from this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Find documents from similar time periods and events to compare and contrast different points of view. Have students download to create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles, reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about any of the founding fathers included on this site.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): addition (238), animals (287), continents (49), countries (77), division (167), grammar (214), map skills (81), money (190), multiplication (220), numbers (199), phonics (72), preK (290), presidents (130), speech (92), sports (97), states (163), subtraction (198), test prep (96), time (141), vocabulary (325)