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Teaching Literacy Through History - Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Grades
K to 12
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Meet your ELA standards as you teach history! Explore over 40 free lesson plans aligned to the Common Core Standards. Browse all lesson plans or use the search feature to ...more
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Meet your ELA standards as you teach history! Explore over 40 free lesson plans aligned to the Common Core Standards. Browse all lesson plans or use the search feature to find lessons by keywords or grade level. Every lesson contains all materials and procedures needed. Sign up for a free subscription using your school email address to access all information.

tag(s): american revolution (65), bill of rights (26), black history (48), civil rights (89), columbus day (11), constitution (69), elections (62), electoral college (10), franklin (10), gettysburg (28), lincoln (80), roosevelt (9), symbols (17), terrorism (44), thanksgiving (29), washington (30), world war 1 (35), world war 2 (134)

In the Classroom

Use ideas from the lesson plans to supplement your current teaching materials. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their learning from the notes they took during the lesson. Use Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here. Challenge students to find a photo that represents a part of the lesson taught. Have students create a simple multimedia presentation using Yodio, reviewed here.. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Use Creative Commons images (with credit, of course). Try Compfight, reviewed here.
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Smarty Pins - Google

Grades
6 to 12
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Smarty Pins is an online game combining Google Maps with historical trivia questions. Start a game, and a trivia question pops up requiring an answer that can be mapped. The ...more
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Smarty Pins is an online game combining Google Maps with historical trivia questions. Start a game, and a trivia question pops up requiring an answer that can be mapped. The game gets you started in the right general location, but you have to drop a pin in the right spot to answer the question. Your score depends upon how close you are. Starting with 1000 points, you lose a point for every cumulative mile you are away from the target(s). The questions come from broad categories like science, history, current events and entertainment, and it's possible to narrow your questions to just one of the categories.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (68), map skills (70), maps (236), trivia (15)

In the Classroom

Smarty Pins would be great as a reward for students who finish work promptly, for advanced students who have completed an assignment before other students, or as a way to focus student attention quickly at the beginning of class. It can be used collaboratively from an interactive white board, or it launches from both the Android and the iOS Google map app or from a desktop. Challenge your students to design their own geography quizzes using Mapskip, reviewed here, adding their own "stories" with questions.

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Created Equal - National Endowment for the Humanities

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9 to 12
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Four documentary films related to the Civil Rights Movement, available to stream either in part or in their entirety, form the centerpiece of this effort from the National Endowment...more
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Four documentary films related to the Civil Rights Movement, available to stream either in part or in their entirety, form the centerpiece of this effort from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The films cover time periods beginning with the Abolitionist Movement and continuing through the Freedom Marches and the turbulent 1960s. Explore the meaning of freedom and equality in the United States with relevance still today. There are teacher resources, lesson plans, and suggestions for aligning lessons to the Common Core.

tag(s): bill of rights (26), black history (48), civil rights (89), civil war (129), emancipation proclamation (11), segregation (15)

In the Classroom

The documentaries, or the excerpts presented, are all available to stream from the site. While they may be too lengthy to show in their entirety during one class period, they have also been divided into clips according to themes. For example, Equality is part of the full video about Law and the Strategy of Nonviolence. This makes them more adaptable for classroom use. Share the videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. The issues raised by these documentaries may be easily incorporated into lessons related to the Civil Rights Movement, modern U.S. history, Black History Month, or civics and government. Use these videos as conversation starters in the classroom.
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Totally History - totallyhistory.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Totally History offers a brief overview on many historical events and topics. Choose from categories including art history, U.S. history, world history, famous history, and the history...more
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Totally History offers a brief overview on many historical events and topics. Choose from categories including art history, U.S. history, world history, famous history, and the history of technology. Within each topic, find facts and a several paragraph overview of the content.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): american revolution (65), art history (48), civil war (129), presidents (111), religions (47), vietnam (32), world war 1 (35), world war 2 (134)

In the Classroom

Totally History offers a starting point to find basic facts and information on many topics. Use material from the site to introduce any topic such as presidents or events in World or American History. Share with students to use as a resource for classroom projects and reports. 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 president or any person or event in history.

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Legislative Explorer - Center for American Politics and Public Policy

Grades
9 to 12
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With so much data out there, how are we, as citizens, to manage this information to make good choices? The University of Washington's Center for American Politics and Public Policy...more
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With so much data out there, how are we, as citizens, to manage this information to make good choices? The University of Washington's Center for American Politics and Public Policy takes the massive amount of information about US legislative activity from 1973 to the present and helps us visualize the progress of bills through the legislative branch. Color-coded "particles" represent each bill on an interactive field for each two-year legislative session. Set the field in motion and watch bills move through committees and onto the floor of the House or the Senate. Notice how many "particles" (each representing a bill) remain clustered in committees throughout the legislative session and how many actually make it to the President's desk and become law. The animation is much more powerful (and informative) when you select an issue, a state, a legislator, a committee, or a party from the drop down menus, but the "big picture" visuals are also informative.

tag(s): advanced placement (15), branches of government (39), congress (23)

In the Classroom

Despite being fairly wonky (political geeks will LOVE this site!), Legislative Explorer will also help civics and government teachers present the overall picture of how a bill makes its way (or doesn't) through the legislative branch. On an interactive whiteboard (or projector), the visual impact of how many bills are proposed in a session is stunning. Once past that, however, students can research the activities of their local legislators, by name or by state. What issues matter enough to them to result in bill sponsorship? Alternatively, divide students into groups and have each group research a specific committee. What bills come to that committee? How successful is that committee in moving bills to the President's desk? How does the activity in the most recent Congress compare to that from 40 years ago? Have the issues changed?

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Inequality.org - Institute for Policy Studies

Grades
8 to 12
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Inequality.org aspires to be a portal for those seeking information on the impact of inequalities in areas such as income, health, race, and more. Choose the topic of Data and ...more
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Inequality.org aspires to be a portal for those seeking information on the impact of inequalities in areas such as income, health, race, and more. Choose the topic of Data and Statistics to view charts, graphs, and discussions of inequalities and changes over time. For example, you can view several videos with topics such as CEO pay, Tax the Rich Fairy Tale, and Wealth Inequalities. Although this site certainly has a one-sided point of view as its focus, it is one that is sure to get you thinking.

tag(s): inequalities (24), racism (15), statistics (108)

In the Classroom

Have students explore this website then search for alternate points of view. Use this information as a starting point for classroom debate on current events, economics, and more. Have students create maps using Animaps (reviewed here). Students can add text, images, and location stops to "map" the information given on this site. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare and contrast different points of view. Don't be surprised if your more news-savvy students (or those whose parents discuss political views openly) have very strong opinions about the ideas on this site. What better way to spark a discussion in a government/civics class? This would be a useful site to share with your gifted or more able students during an election year and have them create a position paper or video for a fictitious candidate on one of the inequity issues. In a math class, use some of the statistics here to work with plotting and interpreting data. The topics are certain to engage student interest!

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Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States - University of Richmond Digital Scholarship Lab

Grades
6 to 12
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Explore this amazingly detailed and interactive look at United States history and movement across the country through the perspective of maps. Maps date back to the late 1400s and include...more
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Explore this amazingly detailed and interactive look at United States history and movement across the country through the perspective of maps. Maps date back to the late 1400s and include many major cartography projects. Customize your viewing experience by choosing options in the table of contents to add text and see legends. Choose the animate option to watch changes in population over time, view changing state boundaries, and much more. View the introductory video to learn more about this fabulous site.

tag(s): atlas (6), map skills (70), maps (236), states (157), statistics (108)

In the Classroom

This site is a must bookmark for any American history teacher! This is also a great way to hook students on the power of maps. Share different types of maps during a unit on map skills and types of maps. View The Atlas on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) throughout the year to visualize changes in the United States such as population growth, distribution of wealth, and political changes over time. Use this site as a learning station or center. Challenge cooperative learning groups to explore a specific historical topic and create a timeline (with music and more) using Capzles (reviewed here).

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Top Documentary Films - topdocumentaryfilms.com

Grades
7 to 12
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Top Documentary Films contains a large collection of documentaries from around the world. Choose "Browse Documentaries" to explore documentaries available, or click on categories to...more
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Top Documentary Films contains a large collection of documentaries from around the world. Choose "Browse Documentaries" to explore documentaries available, or click on categories to view by topics such as Politics, Science, etc. Choose the documentary list to view a complete listing of all available films. Each listing includes a short description along with a link to view the video. Videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, 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. Be sure to PREVIEW videos before showing to a class as they are unmoderated. Comments are also unmoderated. There is a wonderful disclaimer at the lower left of the home page about bias and documentaries. It is well worth noting as you watch ANY "documentary."
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): advanced placement (15), animals (218), artists (55), biographies (37), drugs and alcohol (7), environment (279), evolution (97), hiv/aids (17), humor (12), media literacy (43), mental health (17), money (172), politics (82), psychology (48), religions (47), sports (78), vietnam (32)

In the Classroom

Use this site to find videos in a wide range of topics to share on your interactive whiteboard, on a projector, or as a link on your class web page. Use videos to demonstrate different points of view. Then use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare and contrast information. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from any film using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here). Want to engage students WHILE they watch a video? Why not set up a backchannel chat using Todaysmeet, reviewed here. Be sure to ask your class if there could have been any bias in the video you watch together. What film techniques influence our thinking?
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GeoSettr - Create your own GeoGuessr Challenge - GeoSettr.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Create your own GeoGuessr game using five Google Map street view locations. NO membership is required! These challenges show actual views of mystery locations for people to guess where...more
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Create your own GeoGuessr game using five Google Map street view locations. NO membership is required! These challenges show actual views of mystery locations for people to guess where they are. (See this reviewof GeoGuessr to see how the challenges work.) Move the person to the desired map location to set a location for each round. When complete, GeoSettr generates a URL that will take people to your unique GeoGuessr page.

tag(s): map skills (70), maps (236)

In the Classroom

Make geography come to life by gamifying it! Create (or have students create) landform games (what do these locations have in common), culture games, travel collections, etc. Use this tool to explore world cultures (or languages), geography, historical locations, famous battle locations, and more. Demonstrate how to create a game, then have students create and play games of their own. Pair this activity with What Was There (reviewed here) and have students use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare and contrast changes over time.

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NCES Kids' Zone - NCES

Grades
4 to 12
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NCES Kids' Zone offers enrichment and informational data. Explore This Day in History, updated daily. Take a poll and compare your own answers with others. Try your problem solving...more
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NCES Kids' Zone offers enrichment and informational data. Explore This Day in History, updated daily. Take a poll and compare your own answers with others. Try your problem solving skills with the mindbender. Learn (and use) the word of the day. The Dare to Compare button leads to short quizzes where you can compare your knowledge with others. You can also explore data about your local schools and libraries and even find college information. Note that the upper menus do not work in all browsers, so not all areas of the site are readily accessible.

tag(s): charts and graphs (183), probability (105)

In the Classroom

Strike an interest in your school and community by finding out where you rank. Investigate college choices. After short quizzes, have a daily comparison of your students to see how they compare in civics, economics, geography, history, mathematics, and science at multiple grade levels. Inspire students to collect data and make their own graphs about school wide topics. Have students create an online graph using Amblegraph (reviewed here). Dig into probability problems to discover the odds.
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Achieve the Core - Student Achievement Partners

Grades
K to 12
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Find lessons and materials to jump into Common Core. Whether you are already a Common Core whiz or just a beginner, this site will help you grow and learn. Search ...more
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Find lessons and materials to jump into Common Core. Whether you are already a Common Core whiz or just a beginner, this site will help you grow and learn. Search the site by selecting subject area, grade level(s), and your role/position. Begin your professional development with instructional modules. Modules include a facilitators guide, a video, and hands on activity with discussion ideas. Content includes both ELA and Math. Some lessons can be found (in ELA) that also incorporate science and social studies. Search by individual grade level or by elementary, middle school, or high school. Under ELA/Literacy, examine text dependent questions and text complexity. You will also find instructional videos, sample lesson and assessment questions, instructional practices, and aligning materials. Math activities include videos, examining the shifts, and evaluating yourself. Another area to explore is the Leadership Tools.

tag(s): commoncore (51)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site for professional development. Find the self evaluation tools to use before your evaluation by administrators. Start a Common Core study group, and explore and share together. Ready made parent materials make parent involvement easy. Learn ways to become involved with the Common Core movement. And of course, don't miss the fabulous "ready to go" lessons!
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The Historical Marker Database - HMdb.org

Grades
5 to 12
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The Historical Marker Database is an illustrated and searchable website for finding and viewing historical road markers. Information includes photographs, marker locations, and more....more
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The Historical Marker Database is an illustrated and searchable website for finding and viewing historical road markers. Information includes photographs, marker locations, and more. Search and browse the site in several ways. Find markers near your location, enter a keyword in the search bar, or choose from category options. Most entries include a short description, map location of the marker, the transcription, and links to other nearby markers. This site is rather text-heavy. It is full of great information. There is also a link to a free Google Field Trip app that uses these markers.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 20th century (32), american revolution (65), anthropology (10), civil rights (89), civil war (129), disasters (35), explorers (51), heroes (20), hispanic (16), labor day (4), native americans (63), natural disasters (18), natural resources (47), vietnam (32), war of 1812 (12), world war 1 (35), world war 2 (134)

In the Classroom

Use the Historical Marker Database to find information and locations of important events near your hometown or relating to any area of study. For example, choose the Civil Rights link to find markers noting important events related to Civil Rights. Then have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Have students create maps using Animaps (reviewed here). Students can add text, images, and location stops! Have students create timelines of historic events near your school (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles (reviewed here).

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Hiroshima Peace Museum - Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

Grades
8 to 12
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Explore the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum site to learn about the effects and aftermath of nuclear war. View guided tours and images of over 57 monuments located in Hiroshima. These...more
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Explore the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum site to learn about the effects and aftermath of nuclear war. View guided tours and images of over 57 monuments located in Hiroshima. These monuments were constructed as memorials to those who lost their lives. Visit the Kids Peace Station for activities geared toward younger students. Explore the virtual museum to view exhibits such as damage caused by the atomic bomb blast and recorded testimony of survivors.

tag(s): atomic bomb (11), japan (57), virtual field trips (36), world war 2 (134)

In the Classroom

Take your class on a virtual field trip to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum to get a first-hand look at the effects of an atomic bomb. Display on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Provide students time to explore on their own. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a survivor of the bomb. Have students create a timeline using Xtimeline (reviewed here) of events leading up to the bombing and following. Be sure to include a look at the museum during your World War II unit. This site would also provide good research material for a class debate about nuclear weapons.
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Highlighting Our History: Colonial Times Read-alouds PLUS for the Common Core - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This "Read-alouds PLUS" article will show you how you can leverage the power of daily read-alouds in your elementary classroom to practice some Common Core Standards for the English...more
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This "Read-alouds PLUS" article will show you how you can leverage the power of daily read-alouds in your elementary classroom to practice some Common Core Standards for the English Language Arts while infusing some social studies content, specifically the early colonial period. If you fear that social studies has taken a back seat to tested content or that students may be losing a sense of our history and heritage, this is a way to fortify your students' knowledge of early American history and heritage together with their skills in reading and writing. The article includes book suggestions as well as discussion questions and writing activities connected to CCSS Standards. Don't miss our other articles on implementing Common Core in elementary. The book suggestions are not necessarily ones your students would read on their own, but nestle in well as read-alouds in social studies curriculum across elementary grades.

tag(s): book lists (96), colonial america (102), commoncore (51), writing prompts (81)

In the Classroom

Mark this article in your Favorites and take the book suggestions with you to the library (or search for interlibrary loans) to help "fit" social studies into your read-alouds, making every minute count! Consider using them as part of a "Then and Now" or "Past and Present" focus in kindergarten or first grade, or with middle elementary students as part of a unit related to early settlements or the thirteen colonies. Be sure to look at the suggestions for connecting the read-alouds to CCSS-aligned writing prompts or for short, focused research projects to include as follow-up.

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Edward S. Curtis's The North American Indian - Northwestern University

Grades
9 to 12
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Between 1909 and 1930, photographer Edward Curtis set out to document the life and culture of the North American Indians, and this site shares his work. Like so many of ...more
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Between 1909 and 1930, photographer Edward Curtis set out to document the life and culture of the North American Indians, and this site shares his work. Like so many of his time, he viewed Native Americans as a "primitive" race of people whose customs were a source of curiosity. As westward expansion began to destroy the culture of indigenous people, Curtis wanted to record, through photographs and narratives, what he believed was a savage and mysterious world before it disappeared. While Curtis' work represented the popular viewpoint of his time, today we recognize that it is, at best, the impressions of someone who neither understood nor particularly valued what he was recording. This digital reproduction of the entire project needs to be carefully previewed and introduced so that we don't perpetuate this way of viewing Native American life. In fact, some of the images of the ceremonial life were never intended to be seen by "outsiders," and their use today is controversial. The site does a good job of setting the context for the use of Curtis's work and helps establish respectful boundaries.

tag(s): native americans (63)

In the Classroom

We have come a long way from the study of Native Americans as a single generic group. Careful use of the images and narratives from Curtis' work can help illustrate that outdated mindset and provide a contrast to today's understanding of the contributions indigenous Americans have made to US history and culture. Share these images on your interactive whiteboard or projector as part of a guided discussion.

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Seeing America - Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester

Grades
6 to 12
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An artist sees the world and then tries to communicate that vision through his or her work. The Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester presents 17 works of ...more
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An artist sees the world and then tries to communicate that vision through his or her work. The Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester presents 17 works of art, each illustrating the artist's view of America. Each piece is indexed by theme such as Meeting America's People or Telling America's Stories and is accompanied by a rich set of resources including lesson plans, classroom activities, and a printable image that can be duplicated. There are works from as early as the 18th century up until the present time. An interactive timeline helps pinpoint pieces according to the dates they were created.

tag(s): art history (48), artists (55)

In the Classroom

Aside from its obvious usefulness to an art history class, consider choosing an image from an era under study in a history course --or from the time period of a piece of American literature --and incorporating a look at the time through the eyes of an artist. How did events from that time influence the artist's vision of the world? What was America like to that artist? How is that different today? These are great "plug and play" resources that can be used to design an entire unit around using one of the themes or can be as short as an activating activity at the beginning of a class. Ask: When do you think this was painted? What tells you that? What is the artist trying to tell us about his or her view of America? The only limitation here is that it's difficult to view the images in full screen; you will need to use your browser's zoom function to use the images effectively on an interactive whiteboard (or projector).
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American Car Brochures - Hans Tangerud

Grades
6 to 12
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Cars are more than a way to get from point A to point B, and Hans Tangerud, a Norwegian car enthusiast, recognizes American's love of cars in this historic collection ...more
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Cars are more than a way to get from point A to point B, and Hans Tangerud, a Norwegian car enthusiast, recognizes American's love of cars in this historic collection of sales brochures. Cars, particularly in the United States, represent an important part of the culture. Their design, their advertising, their features all communicate something about what matters to the people who bought them. Tangerud has scanned images of American Car advertising and brochures back as far as the 1920s up through the present. A very deep resource, there are well over 100 brochures here, part of a larger site that focuses on his obsession with cars, particularly those from the US.

tag(s): 20th century (32), advertising (27), history day (19), transportation (33)

In the Classroom

Teens are fascinated with cars. Why not give them the opportunity to research the design and features of cars from a historical era being studied in a history class, or that match the time period with that of literary work. What did the cars look like when the Joad family made its way to California? What did Jay Gatsby drive? What was the "hottest ride" during the Vietnam War? As you try to communicate the culture of an era, consider using an image or two on the whiteboard (or projector) from the appropriate year to help students envision the world of that time. Cars and the way they are advertised also speak volumes about trends in graphic design and advertising. How does automobile advertising today differ from that in the 1950s? What emotions and needs were marketers appealing to? This resource would also be great as a springboard for a National History Day project comparing car design (or advertisements) across the 20th century and linking it to events of that time period. Teacher-librarians will love this resource to teach about primary sources and actually have students be interested!

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Diigo - Education - Diigo, Inc. 2010

Grades
1 to 12
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This interactive social bookmarking and collaboration tool does so much more than any ordinary bookmarking tool. It is a research tool, knowledge-sharing community, website annotation...more
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This interactive social bookmarking and collaboration tool does so much more than any ordinary bookmarking tool. It is a research tool, knowledge-sharing community, website annotation tool, and social information network all rolled into one "cloud" package. To get started, check out the About link. You will find information and videos on the uses of Diigo. Set up an account, being sure to click the FREE education edition upgrade. This is a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly.

This tool can be used as a basic bookmarking tool, simply allowing YOU to save, sort, and access your own bookmarks from ANY computer or mobile device (once you are logged in). You have the choice whether your bookmarks are public or private. You can gradually ease into more advanced and interactive features: highlight parts of sites and save or share those annotations, add sticky notes to parts of websites, pictures, screen-shots, documents, audio, and more. Do group collaborative research. Organize your bookmarks by tags. Unlike sorting bookmarks into file folders, adding tags permits you to put multiple tags or "labels" on one site. The same site you tag for book reports could also be tagged for biographies, for example. Aditional Diigo features include groups (a way to share and exchange bookmarks with a certain group of Diigo users), messaging, and search features. You can search all the public bookmarks made by others and discover other people with similar interests, already bookmarked and ready for you to mark as your own. There are many groups you can join, such as those with a specific teaching interest or hobby. See "Tools" for many helpful options, including bookmarklets to make bookmarking instant on multiple devices. Bookmarklets drag directly to the toolbars on your computer and are well worth it. It goes beyond simple bookmarking and adds options like highlight, capture, send, read later, comment, search bar and Diigo message options. You decide your own level of use and desired tools to be shown on the bar. If choosing not to install the toolbar, then there is an applet called Diigolet that will be used in its place. It is not as strong a tool as the toolbar, but will work well if the toolbar installation is not possible. Check our sample group. You can also install a widget on your blog (or class web page) that will show your bookmarks there.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bookmarks (58), DAT device agnostic tool (68), forum (17), social networking (102)

In the Classroom

Teachers even in very early grades can use Diigo simply to share links with students and parents. To get more ideas on the potential education uses of this site, see this SlideShare powerpoint here. Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have.

Assign students a research topic and allow them to use Diigo collaboratively to collect and share resources. Share teacher-selected options (complete with comments or directions) easily using Diigo. The research and conversations created through highlighting and annotating what they read can greatly enhance both their research skills and their online interaction on academic level skills. Or use Diigo to post discussion assignments on specific articles or even parts of articles using the highlighting tool. Find a relevant article for your subject, highlight the part that you want students to read. (If students are younger, keep it short to reduce the intimidating reality of too much information for kids.) Attach a sticky note with a discussion question for the students. Have them comment on the link in a "class discussion" as a homework assignment. If you are fortunate enough to have all students with computer access in your class and at home, such as in one to one laptop program schools, you can organize many assignments using Diigo. Use this site to help all of your students stay organized. Share this resource with your (not so organized) gifted students to help them manage projects and not "lose" the information they "found somewhere." Post assignments, readings, online interactive labs, and more. The site even allows students to submit responses by adding a comment. Of course others will see what they said, so you may not want the comments to be the only thing they do! If you assign gifted students to do projects beyond the regular curriculum, consider having them curate and annotate a collection of resources on a higher level topic. For example, extend your study of World War II by having them collect web-based primary sources showing the propaganda leading up to the war, political cartoons during the war, and advertisements from the time. Have them annotate the collection explaining each artifact and how it reflects the sentiments and biases of certain groups. That same collection could provide other students a class opportunity to interact with "objects" from the time. If you have contact with other teachers of gifted students, they could collaborate across different schools or classrooms.

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Truman S. Library: Idealogical Foundations of the Cold War - The Truman Library

Grades
9 to 12
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The Presidential Library of Harry S. Truman offers an extensive archive of resources to help us understand the idealogical foundations of the Cold War era. The Cold War shaped much...more
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The Presidential Library of Harry S. Truman offers an extensive archive of resources to help us understand the idealogical foundations of the Cold War era. The Cold War shaped much of the history of the second half of the twentieth century, particularly in the Western world. Included are a chronology of the era, photographs, oral histories (text based), profiles of important figures, primary documents, and lesson plans. The lesson plans were developed by a group of teachers who attended a summer institute at the Truman Library and can be downloaded as either Word documents or PowerPoint presentations. The documents can be viewed online or downloaded in a printable format.

tag(s): cold war (24), europe (64), primary sources (72), russia (28)

In the Classroom

While much of what you find here will be useful for your own lesson planning, the photograph archive will be useful for images related to the Cold War era. Some of the documents could be printed and used for small group discussions or analysis. Consider referring students who are doing research for a National History Day project to this resource. Challenge students to research the information shared at this site and create blogs as Cold War personalities using a site such as Throwww ( here). This tool allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only.

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Teach Dear America - Colonial Period - Scholastic

Grades
2 to 8
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Teach Dear America offers a large array of resources to learn and understand about life and times in Colonial America. Begin with a short overview of the time period including ...more
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Teach Dear America offers a large array of resources to learn and understand about life and times in Colonial America. Begin with a short overview of the time period including a timeline and information about the home and school life of Colonial children. Explore the large collection of downloadables including maps, timelines, sheet music, artist prints, and more. Choose from a large selection of student activities such as quizzes, arts and crafts, and recipes. The Books and Authors links include suggestions for reading material to include with any Colonial America unit.

tag(s): 1600s (11), 1700s (16), colonial america (102)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site and combine it with TeachersFirst's CurriConnects leveled reading list forColonial America and the Revolution and Frontier Forts on the American Revolution for multiple offerings and angles on the Colonial and Revolutionary time period. Create a link to various activities, quizzes, and downloadables for students to explore on classroom computers. Include crafts and recipes from the site during your unit. Have students create an annotated image about Colonial times including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here to demonstrate concepts learned when making crafts or recipes. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare Colonial life to present day. 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 student their age living in Colonial America.

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