TeachersFirst's American Presidents Related Resources

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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George Washington's World for Kids - MountVernon.org 2009 Mount Vernon Ladies Association

Grades
5 to 12
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This informative site gives an entertaining education about life in George Washington's 18th Century world. Click to learn about Washington's Treasures, Harpsichord Hero, Bombarding...more
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This informative site gives an entertaining education about life in George Washington's 18th Century world. Click to learn about Washington's Treasures, Harpsichord Hero, Bombarding Yorktown, Jigsaw Puzzles, or the Archeology Memory Game. This site offers several educational games. An additional benefit of the site is that it is visually appealing and students can learn about the life of that time period by just looking at the images. The animation is fairly realistic. Some parts are read to the students; other parts they will have to read themselves.

Certain parts of this site require Unity web player. You may be asked to download the player (it's free), in order to try the 3D interactives.

tag(s): evolution (99), washington (29)

In the Classroom

This site could be used in several ways. Individual students can visit the site when finished with class work or use it as part of a learning center about Washington's life. (You will need a dedicated computer or two.) Cooperative learning groups could explore specific topics within this website and create multimedia presentations to share with the class. Challenge the students to find images for the information, put captions and animation with them using a site such as Animoto, reviewed here.

Teachers who use this site with fifth graders, be aware that some of the parts that are not read to the students are written at the 8th grade level. You may want to lead the students up to the point where the game starts. Once the students get to the games, they will have no trouble.

A good project to accompany "Washington's World" is to have students research another President's world in another time period i.e. Lincoln. Teachers and students together can decide on the type of information found in Washington's world and research it for Lincoln's world. Each group of students could be in charge of different types of information. Have students create a project to compare life during both presidents time periods. How about an interactive Venn diagram using a site such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Playing History: Your Source for Historical Games - Trevor Owens and Jim Safley

Grades
3 to 12
9 Favorites 1  Comments
  
Playing History is a directory of free historical games, interactives, and simulations. There is a growing body of research about the value of educational games and this site...more
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Playing History is a directory of free historical games, interactives, and simulations. There is a growing body of research about the value of educational games and this site is a database for high quality games and simulations. You will find not only games for history, but for different cultural knowledge, too. This collaborative site currently has 132 humanities learning games and is growing monthly. You can suggest your own favorite humanities based games and simulations to be included in this collection. This site does not host these games. It is a sharing point for teachers/enthusiasts of history to recommend games and find them.

At this site the quality of the games varies from deep thinking to factual to cute. Learn everything from the history of dating to the geography of China to "Do I Have a Right?" exploring the Bill of Rights.

tag(s): cultures (105), supreme court (24)

In the Classroom

There is a wide variety of topics for the study of cultures and history here, so be sure to look through this site as you plan your new unit or lesson! There are many, many uses for this site in the class room: Share a game from this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector for a whole class review, choose a game from this website to use as a center, a review, or to provide a student reward on individual computers. Some of the games can be downloaded into a pdf and printed out and used as a traditional card, or board group game. Since this is a collaborative website, you and your students can "rate" the games to give feedback for other users.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

Oh MY GOSH! Who knew? This is a wealth of information available through game-playing. By searching the term "social justice," I arrived at numerous options for delving into the various aspects of a complex problem. I cannot wait to share this resource. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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America: The Story of Us - History Channel

Grades
6 to 12
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The History Channel's newest addition to the broad, sweeping genre of American history series is America: The Story of Us (don't miss the play on words: Us/US), airing over 12 ...more
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The History Channel's newest addition to the broad, sweeping genre of American history series is America: The Story of Us (don't miss the play on words: Us/US), airing over 12 hours, two episodes at a time. Each episode is about 45 minutes in length. Website copy is added as the episodes air. At the time of this review there were brief episode guides, video clips from episodes, a PDF version of a classroom study guide that can be downloaded for free, links to download episodes on itunes (for a FEE), classroom contests, and a number of other promotional links. You can also order the entire series on DVD, which will be available after the entire series as premiered. Some historians will turn up their noses as the History Channel attempts to cover the history of the United States in 12 hours, including commercials. Important issues will be missed, historic players will be overlooked, and complex topics will be over-simplified. However, it is precisely this sort of effort that can hook kids who aren't ordinarily interested in history in taking a second look.

tag(s): civil war (143), evolution (99), great depression (27), lincoln (85), memorial day (13)

In the Classroom

The History Channel is providing a lot of support for teachers who might want to assign watching the series as extra credit or enrichment, as well as those who can use video clips for lesson introductions or reinforcement. Share the relevant video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Or have cooperative learning groups each view individual videos and create multimedia presentations about their topic. How about creating an interactive online brochure highlighting the important facts learned from the video? Use a site such as Sway, reviewed here for this. At the very least, the teachers' study guide will provide you with some new ideas or resources!
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Oyez: Supreme Court Tour - The Oyez Project

Grades
5 to 12
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This site provides a complete virtual tour of the US Supreme Court. 360-degree panoramic views of the US Supreme Court make you feel like you are right there. Navigation controls ...more
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This site provides a complete virtual tour of the US Supreme Court. 360-degree panoramic views of the US Supreme Court make you feel like you are right there. Navigation controls are available so you can zoom in and out and move around each room. View the exterior and interior areas of the courts. Each view has a written description of what you are viewing. Interior views include a peek into four Supreme Court Justice's chambers. There is also a visual history of the Supreme Court available for viewing. Many of the areas also include video clips with additional information.

tag(s): architecture (82), supreme court (24), washington (29)

In the Classroom

This site is ideal for an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have the students open the site and use the whiteboard tools to visit each area of the supreme court. Share the video clips. This site is also a good tool to use to prepare for a field trip to the Supreme Court. In addition it can be used as a review tool after a field trip. Students can work cooperatively and research one of the areas on the site. They can then use the interactive whiteboard and site as a visual aid for their presentation. Art teachers can use the pictures on the site to teach about historical architectural features. Have art students narrate a picture using ThingLink, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Abraham Lincoln's Crossroads - National Constitution Center

Grades
6 to 12
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Advise Abraham Lincoln as he makes important decisions that affect the future of the nation. History comes alive through this free interactive and animated educational activity. It's...more
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Advise Abraham Lincoln as he makes important decisions that affect the future of the nation. History comes alive through this free interactive and animated educational activity. It's a cinch that your students will better understand what our nation experienced during Lincoln's presidency. Each of thirteen "chapters" of history comes with rich resources and hyperlinks.

tag(s): civil war (143), constitution (85), lincoln (85)

In the Classroom

This activity could be used by individual students or in small groups. An interactive whiteboard or projector would also work fine. Since there is no right or wrong advice, students could tap in on the resources as they research to support their decisions and to speculate on how history might have turned out differently had Lincoln made other decisions. Perhaps have them write a blog post as Lincoln trying to make a decision. Have groups create multimedia presentations to share their decisions and possible outcomes. How about a podcast using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Or have students create news reports and video to share with the class. Share the videos using a site such as Teachers.TV reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Lincoln Memorial Interactive - National Mall and Memorial Parks

Grades
4 to 12
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Don't live near the Lincoln Memorial but would like to take your class on a field trip? This interactive site is the perfect one for you and your students. Panoramic ...more
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Don't live near the Lincoln Memorial but would like to take your class on a field trip? This interactive site is the perfect one for you and your students. Panoramic views of the memorial make you feel like you are right there. Hear from park rangers as they give you a glimpse into history through their own experiences and words.

tag(s): lincoln (85)

In the Classroom

This site is a great way to introduce a lesson or unit on Abraham Lincoln, Washington D.C., the Civil War, or civil rights. When used on an interactive whiteboard, students will feel like they are at the memorial. The site provides tools for you to zoom in and explore all the memorial has to offer. In addition, by clicking on HTML you are brought to the download section of the website. All interviews and panoramas are available for download, both audio and video. Have your students work in cooperative groups to download the audio of the park rangers and import it into PhotoStory or iMovie. They can then add their own photos to correspond with the narration. If you aren't using a MAC, create a similar presentation using Thinglink, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Mathwire.com - Terry Kawas

Grades
K to 6
5 Favorites 1  Comments
 
This fabulous site provides seasonal math activities that are high interest and supported by National Math Standards. As the site states, "What we learn with pleasure, we never forget!"...more
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This fabulous site provides seasonal math activities that are high interest and supported by National Math Standards. As the site states, "What we learn with pleasure, we never forget!" There are a plethora of games, templates, links to Internet sites, and downloadable templates that provide teachers with ready to use materials for the classroom.

tag(s): census (19), holidays (144), literature (272), olympics (52), presidents (124), symmetry (51)

In the Classroom

Use the archives to find activities sorted by season and math strands making it easy to find just the right activity for whatever strand you are teaching. Then allow students to learn through exploration and constructivist learning. Mark this site in your Favorites as a regular stop to look for seasonal alternatives. Consider sharing some areas of the site with parents for students to find math activities that are fun to retain skills over long breaks. Take photos of the completed projects and have students demonstrate their understanding of the concepts by narrating one of the photos using Slidestory, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Sharon, OH, Grades: 3 - 5

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iCivics - iCivics Inc.

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

tag(s): bill of rights (27), branches of government (47), congress (31), constitution (85), courts (15), democracy (13), elections (74), game based learning (132), presidents (124), supreme court (24)

In the Classroom

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

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Mt. St. Helens Panoramic view - fullscreen360.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Use this resource to zoom in and turn around panoramic pictures of Mt. St. Helens in 2003, 2006, and show both as a comparison. Find more information about Mt. St. ...more
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Use this resource to zoom in and turn around panoramic pictures of Mt. St. Helens in 2003, 2006, and show both as a comparison. Find more information about Mt. St. Helens by clicking on the link in the upper right. The top of the site also includes several links to more information.

tag(s): volcanoes (65), washington (29)

In the Classroom

Use this when discussing volcanoes and Earth events. Use news accounts, videos, and other materials to identify specific eruption events, detection of potential eruptions, and locations of volcanoes around the world. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia presentations about specific topics presented at this site. Have students create a project that includes a narrated, annotated image, with text boxes, and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students find a Creative Commons photo (with credit, of course), use Compfight, reviewed here.

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Random Facts - Random History.com

Grades
5 to 12
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Random Facts offers exactly what it says, with one featured fact and several lists of "most popular facts" and "newest facts" in the sidebar. Since "popular facts" can include some...more
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Random Facts offers exactly what it says, with one featured fact and several lists of "most popular facts" and "newest facts" in the sidebar. Since "popular facts" can include some classroom-inappropriate topics (love-marriage, kissing, marijuana), you may want to limit your use of this site to the teacher, but you can find many facts to use as ideas for the day, tidbits for research, and more on this site. Familiarize yourself with fact lists that connect to your curriculum, such as health facts, fast food facts, human body, U.S. presidents, and various animal fact lists. The "next fact" button yields both interesting and surprising information, always displayed with a link to a further list of related facts. Advertisements are included on the home page and sidebars of fact lists. Each list includes a complete list of references and footnotes indicating the source from that list.

tag(s): animals (308), politics (97), presidents (124)

In the Classroom

Share a current events or curriculum-related fact list or single fact on a projector or interactive whiteboard at the start of class to start the wheels turning. Or list three facts from a list along with a myth, asking students to use clickers or hands to indicate their vote for the bogus "fact." Have students create similar "fact lists" as a first step in researching a topic, before moving to presenting comparisons, connections, or explanations of WHY these facts are true. Use the reference lists as examples so students understand why sources matter. Have them try searching some of the facts and look for further, deeper information from the same sources. Use a class wiki to generate a 99 fact list on your current unit topic once students have seen a few examples.

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Sporcle - Sporcle, Inc.

Grades
2 to 12
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Try these interactives, available in a variety of subjects: Geography, History, Language, Literature, Movies, Music, Religion, Science, and others. Sporcle tests memorized knowledge...more
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Try these interactives, available in a variety of subjects: Geography, History, Language, Literature, Movies, Music, Religion, Science, and others. Sporcle tests memorized knowledge against a timer. Accessing the comments below can lead to spoilers that reveal answers. Become stumped during a game? Click on "Give up" to end the game and reveal the rest of the answers. Teachers should preview and provide the DIRECT link to the games or section (such as geography) they wish students to use. The "popular" listings and some advertising on this site may include questionable content for classrooms. . These games would be great study tools for students, both in and out of the classroom!

tag(s): elements (34), literature (272), maps (295), phonics (71), presidents (124), vowels (12)

In the Classroom

Share specific activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Teachers should provide the address URL of the actual game to prevent students from accessing other games (or advertisements that you may wish to avoid). Use these interactives as individual activities or in groups to learn a variety of data. For example, play "Element by Symbol" to review the names of the elements of the periodic table by knowing the names of the symbols. This game entertained this science teacher editor and her chemistry student son for fifteen minutes. Enjoy other science games or in subjects such as Geography, History, or Literature. Use the unknown answers that are shown at the end to create study cards in order to improve scores the next time.

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Election Comic Strip - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
4 to 10
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This site features interactive word puzzles about elections, a wordlist of about ten words (perfect for teaching some new vocabulary words), an alphalary of even more Election vocabulary...more
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This site features interactive word puzzles about elections, a wordlist of about ten words (perfect for teaching some new vocabulary words), an alphalary of even more Election vocabulary words, a link to a comic strip activity, and more. The comic strip activity is found in the general "puzzles" section. Most of the puzzles are printable. This site does include some small advertisements.

tag(s): presidents (124)

In the Classroom

Have students work in cooperative learning groups, divide up the vocabulary words, and have each group find the definitions for their assigned vocabulary words. Have the groups share the meaning of a few of their words, by narrating a political picture using ThingLink, reviewed here. Have the groups share the pictures/stories on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to also check out the interactive word puzzles! They are of varying difficulty levels.

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Presidents in Waiting - National Portrait Gallery

Grades
6 to 12
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Fourteen US Vice-Presidents have gone on to become US Presidents. This site examines the lives of these fourteen men. Navigate the site by using the interactive timeline, and then focus...more
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Fourteen US Vice-Presidents have gone on to become US Presidents. This site examines the lives of these fourteen men. Navigate the site by using the interactive timeline, and then focus in on images of each of these men, along with brief biographies. There is a pull down bar that allows you to specify which president to learn about. In addition, there are video interviews with four of the five living Vice-Presidents: Dick Cheney, George H.W. Bush, Dan Quayle, and Walter Mondale.

tag(s): presidents (124)

In the Classroom

Students might consider how the role of the Vice-President has changed over the course of US history. While the duties of the Vice-President are actually fairly limited, several of these Vice-Presidents became Presidents as a consequence of the death or assassination of the President. Students doing research on any of these fourteen former Presidents might find the information about their Vice-Presidencies useful. The images from this site would also be helpful projected on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia presentations to share with the class. Use a site such as ThingLink, reviewed here. 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 Compfight, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Diffen - Diffen

Grades
2 to 12
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Do you sometimes just want to compare two things and not need a lengthy explanation of either? Diffen offers the simple goal of entering two terms and instantly receiving the ...more
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Do you sometimes just want to compare two things and not need a lengthy explanation of either? Diffen offers the simple goal of entering two terms and instantly receiving the similarities and differences in a table format. View simple definitions under the information table. Need more information? Wikipedia style entries of information area also available on the page. There is a Top 5 list. At the time of this review, the Top 5 included "Gross vs. Net," "Affected vs. Effected," "Meiosis vs. Mitosis," "DNA vs. RNA," and "Fruit vs. Vegetable. While not ALL topics are included, the variety is impressive. You can add your own comparison of terms to the list. You may want to discuss with your class the fact that the information here is only as reliable as the people who submitted it, and ask them whether they agree with the comparisons you find here. NOTE: If you explore some of the ready-mades or requested topics, there are some topics "compared" that are not school oriented, such as comparisons of popular television characters. Preview before turning students loose or simply direct them to a specific "diffen."

tag(s): vocabulary (318)

In the Classroom

The options are endless. Search the differences between two types of soils, mitosis and meiosis, presidents or those running for office, of geometric figures, artists or musicians, places to visit. As a way to build higher order thinking skills, this site is ideal, since comparison of attributes requires analysis.

Try creating some lists of your own as a class after using the ready-made ones here. This activity would be easy to do on an interactive whiteboard, with students hand writing the characteristics and dragging them into Similarities and Differences columns before entering them into Diffen. This site could be used in nearly every subject area. Share this site on your class blog or website, for students to access both in and out of the classroom. This is definitely one to save in your favorites.

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American President - Miller Center of Public Affairs

Grades
6 to 12
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A great, concise, focused site on the American Presidents. Click on any President (including Barack Obama), and you get a thumbnail sketch of that President, as well as a more ...more
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A great, concise, focused site on the American Presidents. Click on any President (including Barack Obama), and you get a thumbnail sketch of that President, as well as a more in depth resource list of primary documents and essays. There is also a multimedia gallery related to each President. You can access audio recordings of either the President himself, or of others reading his words, and there is a link to oral histories related to the presidents. There are narratives about each first lady and timelines that detail significant events in each administration. The "Ask a Question" feature allows visitors to submit a question to the site's editors and researchers.This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): presidents (124)

In the Classroom

If your students do Presidential biographies, this is a perfect site to save in your favorites for their use in preparing these. In addition, the multimedia gallery could be helpful in providing images to accompany lesson plans or other classroom presentations.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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President Lincoln's White House on Emancipation Day Visit - The White House Historical Association

Grades
3 to 8
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Take your students on this colorful journey to the White House in 1863, the day that Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Tad Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln's son, is your guide....more
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Take your students on this colorful journey to the White House in 1863, the day that Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Tad Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln's son, is your guide. Learn about the roles of congressmen, messengers, widows, diplomats, and society women/spies. Choose the proper attire from the 1860s. Learn more about famous Americans: Abraham Lincoln, Mary Todd Lincoln, Tad Lincoln, William Seward, Noah Brooks, Elizabeth Keckley, and several others. Use your arrow keys to explore the grounds and rooms of the White House. Authentic representations of sounds you may have heard in 1863 are sprinkled throughout the pages of this site. What a fabulous addition to President's Day, a unit on slavery, or any unit on the 1860s. This site does require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): emancipation proclamation (12), lincoln (85), slavery (67), white house (14)

In the Classroom

Share a brief introduction to this rich website on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work with a partner and explore the MANY facets of this unique website. Have groups choose to research the roles of a congressman, messenger, widow, diplomat, or society woman/spy. After they have explored the site, have the groups create a fictitious wiki between the role they explored (congressman, messenger, etc..) and President Obama. What would the president say to these people from the past? What interactions would occur?
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Inauguration Scrapbook - Inauguration Scrapbook.com

Grades
3 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
This site offers a very eclectic sampling of publicly-submitted photographs (slideshow) from the 2009 inauguration of President Obama. Photographs include captions, personal stories,...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

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This site offers a very eclectic sampling of publicly-submitted photographs (slideshow) from the 2009 inauguration of President Obama. Photographs include captions, personal stories, items created to celebrate the event (for example, a skateboard), ice sculptures, and MANY others. If you plan to print any pictures, be sure to check on the permission to re-use.

tag(s): inauguration (11), presidents (124)

In the Classroom

Share this slideshow on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Choose a picture to use as a writing prompt. Share this site around President's Day. Have students find (or create) their own picture or photo of President Obama. Challenge students to narrate the photo using an online tool such as UtellStory, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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