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The National Parks: America's Best Idea - PBS

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4 to 12
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Ken Burns has been busy again, this time creating a film about the US National Parks. This site carries many clips and even the full length film. There are many ...more
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Ken Burns has been busy again, this time creating a film about the US National Parks. This site carries many clips and even the full length film. There are many resources here about the US National Parks. To make the site more collaborative, you can submit a story and pictures about a visit to a national park. There is an extensive bank of other web resources as well. There are also lesson plans available at the "Educators Link."

tag(s): national parks (16)

In the Classroom

Share the film (or clips) on your interactive whiteboard or projector. One section of the site enables you to design a national park postcard to email to a friend. Groups of students might research individual national parks (links to the NPS site appear on this site) and circulate their own postcards to other groups. Students can also "collect" national park badges that can be cut and pasted into personal or class websites. You could also have cooperative learning groups create multimedia projects about various National Parks. Have students create online posters or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). If you are near a park, your students could create an online park tour to share with others far away! Try a tool such as Tabblo (reviewed here)to create it!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Digital Footlocker: The Home Fires--Montana in WWII - Thinking Through American History

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4 to 12
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Footlockers beckon to be opened. Likewise, a digital footlocker such as this site begs the visitor to click on its links to discover what being a Montana citizen was ...more
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Footlockers beckon to be opened. Likewise, a digital footlocker such as this site begs the visitor to click on its links to discover what being a Montana citizen was like during WWII. Open the footlocker and discover pdf versions of war bonds, listen to songs from the '40s, or imagine yourself in the clothing from that era. Not only is this site a glimpse into Montana during the 1940s, but you will find a little bit of your own region's history there, too. The site also includes history-oriented lesson plans available from the 1940s. More importantly, you may glean ideas from this site on how to create your own digital footlocker, an electronic collection of artifacts on a common topic.

tag(s): montana (4)

In the Classroom

Use this site to help students "feel" the realities of life during world war II. As you finish studying an era or concept, consider putting together a digital footlocker of your own on a wiki.

Want to know more about wikis? See the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. You may also want to google 'digital footlocker' to see other online footlockers assembled by teachers.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Ourdocuments.gov - National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

Grades
8 to 12
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This site offers teachers and students the opportunity to explore documents of a 100 milestones in American history. The documents chronicle United States history from 1776 to 1965:...more
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This site offers teachers and students the opportunity to explore documents of a 100 milestones in American history. The documents chronicle United States history from 1776 to 1965: Lee Resolution, Treaty of Paris, Federalist Papers Bill of Rights, Missouri Compromise, Monroe Doctrine, Plessy v. Ferguson, Surrender of Japan, Marshall Plan, Brown v. Board of Education, and many more. The neat part about all the documents is that it shows the entire original document (it can be enlarged and zoomed in on) and then offers information about the document below. Now your students can experience primary sources with explanations.

There is a link called "Tools for Educators" that has a downloadable teacher sourcebook. (Although it's the 2004 edition, only the first part of the sourcebook is about a competition for the year 2005.) The book has resources, how to use the documents, lesson plans, follow up activities, printouts, etc. Although the site is slightly dated, it includes some real gems. The site also offers ideas for librarians, classroom integration tips, and photos and downloadable posters.

tag(s): bill of rights (28), constitution (79)

In the Classroom

Although this site has links for integrating the material for the classroom, teachers could also create a blog site which students can post their thoughts about a milestone document for discussion. A bingo game could be created based on the 100 Milestone documents. Don't let the age group deter you from doing this -students of all ages love a good game of bingo - especially with a prize incentive!

Why not assign individual documents to cooperative learning groups to investigate, read, and create a multimedia presentation to share with the class. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Non-violent Social Change - The King Center

Grades
4 to 12
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This site is one of two official Martin Luther King sites. Come to this site to learn more about Martin Luther King, Jr: his life, his legacy, the holiday honoring ...more
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This site is one of two official Martin Luther King sites. Come to this site to learn more about Martin Luther King, Jr: his life, his legacy, the holiday honoring him, his wife and family, and more. There are video and audio inserts, PDF printables, excellent research information, and a very inspiring Flash enabled speech. This site requires Adobe Acrobat and Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113), martin luther king (37)

In the Classroom

Share the video and/or audio clips on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students use this site for research projects. Challenge students to write a blog from King's perspective. Have students pretend that he could write a blog for people to read in the 2000s. What would he say? Has his dream come true?
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The War in Europe - History Place

Grades
6 to 12
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Chronology & photos from The History Place. ...more
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Chronology & photos from The History Place.

tag(s): europe (75), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Have them look at the timeline, and then in groups select 5 events on the timeline that the site failed to go into detail on. Have the students create their own excerpts of those events, including what they think is the most important information. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here).

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Trenches on the Web

Grades
6 to 12
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Information and links on W.W.I. The site offers reference materials, thematic tours, poster reproductions, discussion groups, and more. ...more
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Information and links on W.W.I. The site offers reference materials, thematic tours, poster reproductions, discussion groups, and more.

tag(s): world war 1 (54)

In the Classroom

This site has a treasure trove of information about World War I! Use it as a reference point for standards terms, and to find information to supplement the textbook. One activity for the classroom is to access the section on the web site dedicated to displaying the posters from various countries. Assign cooperative learning groups a country and allow them to browse through that nation's war posters on classroom computers. Once students have looked through them all, have them create a contemporary poster for the country based on general trends they observed and using their knowledge about the conflict. We recommend using a site such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Have students share their end products with the class via interactive whiteboard or projector.

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We Shall Overcome - Historic Places of the Civil Rights Movement - National Park Service

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4 to 12
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This is the National Park Service's guide to American sites that were important in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. It includes travel information as well as ...more
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This is the National Park Service's guide to American sites that were important in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. It includes travel information as well as background on the sites and their significance.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113), civil rights (117)

In the Classroom

Divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Have them explore the site with the intention of picking three to research further. The text portions are challenging, so you should pair weaker readers with a partner as they research on this site. Have students pick the three the think are most significant or symbolic, which will be presented in poster form. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). This activity will teach students about some of the major events of the Civil rights movements in a way that provides relief from lectures.

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2000 Census Data On-line - US Government

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K to 12
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This provides the 2000 U.S. census information. There are links to news, data tools, a message from the President (Obama, at the time of this review), employment information, fact sheets,...more
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This provides the 2000 U.S. census information. There are links to news, data tools, a message from the President (Obama, at the time of this review), employment information, fact sheets, and more. General categories include "People & Households," "Business & Industry," "Geography," "Newsroom," and "Special Topics." Each category has several topics. This historical census data is ideal for comparison with other, more recent years or for students to make predictions for an upcoming census based on past trends.

tag(s): census (19), data (148), states (162)

In the Classroom

This data would be great material for a US government or history class. Teachers can find all sorts of demograhic information for use during lessons on the political make-up of the country as well as representative numbers, migration trends, etc. There is a LOT here so be sure to give yourself time to search through it all for what you need. Have students use this site to research specific topics and create multimedia projects with a partner. Have cooperative learning groups create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Challenge groups to create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here).

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Americans and the Environment - National Humanities Center

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4 to 12
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Created by the National Humanities Center, this collection of scholarly essays on Americans' relationship with the environment may be over the heads of most students. BUT teachers and...more
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Created by the National Humanities Center, this collection of scholarly essays on Americans' relationship with the environment may be over the heads of most students. BUT teachers and parents will find the subject matter fits nicely with most American History curricula, and the "guiding discussion" sections provide some new strategies and insights for teaching material that may have become too routine for students. If history (at any level) is your field, this one is worth a visit.

tag(s): conservation (127), ecology (135), environment (317)

In the Classroom

While this site is a little text-heavy, it is truly an excellent site for exploring the way the North American environment has been impacted by recent history. Select the time period that is appropriate to your unit, and introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students explore the rest of the site on classroom computers. To ensure that they're doing more than skimming the text, Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here).

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Michigan Kids! - Michigan.gov

Grades
2 to 6
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Find facts, play games, and learn about Michigan at this kid-friendly site. At first glance there doesn't appear to be much to the site, however; there is a great deal ...more
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Find facts, play games, and learn about Michigan at this kid-friendly site. At first glance there doesn't appear to be much to the site, however; there is a great deal of information found by exploring the links on the left-hand side of the home page. Games and internet safety information are available through the links on the main portion of the home page. The history link on the left includes many interesting and unique resources such as Tweets from "A Boy at Fort Mackinac: Diary of Harold Dunbar Corbusier 1883-1884" recounts adventures of a 10-year-old boy on Mackinac Island. Follow him on Twitter to learn what it was like to grow up on the island in the late 1800's. State symbols and facts are also available through a link on the left portion of the home page. Some information, such as the Getting to Know Michigan booklet, is available for easy printing in pdf format.

tag(s): michigan (3), states (162)

In the Classroom

Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to create a visual comparison of life in the late 1800's vs life today. Share the site with students to use as a resource for state research projects. Read how a bill becomes a law in Michigan and compare it to the law-making process in your state.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Indiana Info for Kids - State of Indiana

Grades
4 to 8
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This site offers facts and information about the Hoosier State for kids. Learn about Indiana's current governor, Mitch Daniels, such as his favorite flavor of ice cream. The Fun Facts...more
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This site offers facts and information about the Hoosier State for kids. Learn about Indiana's current governor, Mitch Daniels, such as his favorite flavor of ice cream. The Fun Facts portion includes trivia such as the official stone, river, and poem of Indiana. The state symbol's portion is the most comprehensive portion of the site offering answers to questions such as "What is the meaning behind the Indiana State Flag" and "What is the Indiana State Bird?"

tag(s): states (162)

In the Classroom

Have students create a simple online posters instead of traditional state reports using PicLits (reviewed here. Share this site with students to use when finding information for state research projects.

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About Illinois - State of Illinois

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4 to 8
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If you are looking for facts and figures about the state of Illinois, then this is the site for you! Each set of links from this page takes the user ...more
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If you are looking for facts and figures about the state of Illinois, then this is the site for you! Each set of links from this page takes the user to specific categories of information such as agriculture, history, and economy. Most useful for teachers and students will be the History & Culture and State Symbols links. The History & Culture page includes a historical timeline of the state beginning in 1673 with the arrival of Louis Jolliet and Father Marquette in the state all the way through to the 2005 World Series win of the Chicago White Sox. Learn about state symbols such as the official state snack food and state amphibian while exploring the State Symbols portion of the site.

tag(s): chicago (5), illinois (9)

In the Classroom

Challenge your students to create a web exhibit collection about Illinois using a tool such as Bag The Web (reviewed here) to share all of the important links, information, and even brief descriptions. Share the site on your interactive whiteboard with your students to help them find portions useful for research, then allow them to explore on their own. Create a scavenger hunt for students to search the site to find facts about the state.

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Biographies of Women Mathematicians - Agnes Scott College

Grades
7 to 12
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These pages are part of an on-going project at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Georgia, to illustrate the numerous achievements of women in the field of mathematics. The site includes...more
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These pages are part of an on-going project at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Georgia, to illustrate the numerous achievements of women in the field of mathematics. The site includes biographical essays or comments on the women mathematicians profiled, as well as additional resources about women in mathematics. Each time the home page is reloaded, a randomly selected photo is displayed. Click on the image to go to the profile of that woman. The site is also searchable by alphabetical order, chronological order, names by location of birth, the first PhD's in Mathematics of Women before 1930, and prizes, honors and awards for women mathematicians.

tag(s): biographies (87)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students as a resource when writing biographies of famous mathematicians (or women's history.) Share one woman mathematician on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) each day as students arrive in class. Use this site in history class to locate and research famous mathematicians alive during the time period being studied. Challenge students to research one of these famous women and create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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Zoho Show - ZOHO Corporation

Grades
K to 12
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Zoho Show is an online presentation and document creator tool. This program is somewhat simpler than PowerPoint, but runs on a similar format. Use this tool as you would PowerPoint...more
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Zoho Show is an online presentation and document creator tool. This program is somewhat simpler than PowerPoint, but runs on a similar format. Use this tool as you would PowerPoint with your students. It is very advantageous if you have assigned a project and students do not have access to PowerPoint at home. This can be accessed anywhere with no cost to the student, the parent, or you. Sharing and collaborating is also simple. Upload, edit, and save your documents easily.

tag(s): multimedia (56), slides (63)

In the Classroom

To use this site, you will need to create an account. You will need to navigate using onscreen instructions. There is a video tour of the features if you would like to view it, but it is just as fun and easy to play with the tool. Slide themes are limited, but the tools are simple and it is easy to publish to a URL that can be shared with everyone.

Use this tool to create presentations when students will need more than class time to finish. Have students make individual presentations. Instead of presenting on projector, have them share to the class wiki or within their zoho group to promote discussion and peer review. Assign a round-robin peer review so everyone gets some feedback.

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Things to Learn With: Learning Almanac - Cheryl Davis

Grades
6 to 12
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Find meaningful ways to teach 21st century skills in all curricular areas. Spend some time with this collection of lesson ideas that utilize Google Docs, other Google tools, and some...more
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Find meaningful ways to teach 21st century skills in all curricular areas. Spend some time with this collection of lesson ideas that utilize Google Docs, other Google tools, and some 2.0 programs such as wikis and YouTube across the curriculum. Browse through the outstanding resources which are perfect for middle school and beyond.

tag(s): blogs (88), charts and graphs (195), communities (35), experiments (71), geology (81), literature (275), news (261), search strategies (30), spreadsheets (17), statistics (122), tutorials (47), wikis (19)

In the Classroom

For example, use the lesson It's a Statistical World to bring statistics and the use of spreadsheets into the classroom. Follow project ideas, suggestions, and how to's to complete the activity. Specific examples, suggestions, and tutorials for using the resources are given throughout. Find unbelievable ideas that are exceptional for many curricular areas. Mark this one in your Favorites to use when you need inspiration or a new approach to curriculum that never seems to "stick" the way you wish it would.
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Maryland Kids Page - Maryland Secretary of State

Grades
3 to 8
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Learn about the state of Maryland and its' laws, history, symbols, and more at this site presented by the Secretary of State of Maryland. The site is divided into sections ...more
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Learn about the state of Maryland and its' laws, history, symbols, and more at this site presented by the Secretary of State of Maryland. The site is divided into sections with sub-categories included on the home page. The history portion includes a great deal of information including a timeline of Maryland, women's history, Native American history, and African-American history, plus famous Marylanders. The government portion of site includes a very nice graphic demonstrating the bill-creation process. Learn all the state symbols such as the state song, bird, and even the state dog in the state symbols portion of the site. Be sure to visit the geography links and choose fun stuff to find lots of fun facts and state trivia.

tag(s): biographies (87), maryland (8), states (162)

In the Classroom

Challenge your students to go past PowerPoint and make an online presentation using Animoto (reviewed here) or another reviewed presentation tool from the TeachersFirst Edge. Share the page with the bill-creation process on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) with students and have them compare with other states' processes. Create a scavenger hunt including information from the site and have students explore the pages to find answers. Share the site with students as a resource for state research or famous American projects.

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Maine Secretary of State Kids' Page - Maine Secretary of State

Grades
3 to 8
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Learn all about Maine (for kids) without having to leave the room! The "All About Maine" portion of the site includes information about the state including famous people, a history...more
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Learn all about Maine (for kids) without having to leave the room! The "All About Maine" portion of the site includes information about the state including famous people, a history timeline, maps, state symbols, and more. Be sure to check out the "Tree of Facts" that includes information outlined in the image of a tree. Another useful link takes you to a list of children's books about Maine. The "Fun and Games" section includes several activities for kids including a symbols matching game, recipes, a coloring book, and more.

tag(s): maine (4), states (162)

In the Classroom

Challenge your students to go past PowerPoint and make an online presentation using Animoto (reviewed here) or another reviewed presentation tool from the TeachersFirst Edge. Review the list of books about Maine to use as resources for Guided Reading or class read-alouds. Share the site with students when preparing state research projects. Demonstrate the Tree of Facts and challenge students to create their own Tree of Facts for the state they are researching.
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Louisiana Kids Page - Louisiana House of Representatives

Grades
3 to 6
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This easy to navigate site includes basic information for kids about the state of Louisiana. Click on each of the icons to go to a different place on the site ...more
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This easy to navigate site includes basic information for kids about the state of Louisiana. Click on each of the icons to go to a different place on the site such as state symbols, learning about how a bill becomes a law, activity and coloring books/pages, and a quiz on state facts. Note: completing the quiz online requires entering your institution (school) name and email address before answers can be submitted. Rather than using your personal or professional email, create a FREE gmail account. Activity book pages can all be easily printed by using the print portion of your toolbar.

tag(s): branches of government (48), louisiana (11), states (162)

In the Classroom

Share the portion of the site on How a Bill Becomes a Law on your interactive whiteboard and compare to your state's law-making procedures. Have your students create an online "scrapbook" on states using Smilebox (reviewed here). Allow students to explore the site to gather information for state research projects.

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Kentucky Secretary of State Kids' Website - Kentucky Secretary of State

Grades
3 to 6
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Find interesting facts and information about the state of Kentucky at this site created for kids. The site is divided into several portions including Kentucky Government, Kentucky Civics...more
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Find interesting facts and information about the state of Kentucky at this site created for kids. The site is divided into several portions including Kentucky Government, Kentucky Civics for Kids, Games, and more. Each section is broken into smaller categories to make finding information easier. Choose "All About Kentucky" to find symbols, geography, a history timeline, places, business and industry, and Kentucky facts and fun. The government page includes an explanation of the state constitution, framework, and information about elected officials. Teachers from all states may find the civics glossary useful that is located in the civics section of the site.
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tag(s): branches of government (48), states (162)

In the Classroom

Create a scavenger hunt including information from the site for students to complete while exploring the site. Have your students create an online "scrapbook" on each of the states using Smilebox (reviewed here). Print and use activities from this site with students.
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Kansas Kids - Kansas Secretary of State

Grades
3 to 6
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Explore and learn about Kansas with this bright, kid-friendly website. Click on the flower icons to learn about the state with printable activities. Activities include a math skills...more
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Explore and learn about Kansas with this bright, kid-friendly website. Click on the flower icons to learn about the state with printable activities. Activities include a math skills quiz, Kansas information true/false, and an activity matching hometowns to famous Kansans. Be sure to visit the "Lets Color" link for coloring pages that include facts and information about the state that can be easily printed and copied. The car icon sends you to the "Lets Travel" portion of the site with links to interesting places to visit in the state including the Eisenhower Museum, the Governor's Mansion, and the Kansas State Fair. Teachers, be sure to visit the teachers and parents portion of the site. It is a bit hidden, so search on the bottom left-hand portion of the home page for the words "Teachers and Parents". Click on the link to find a printable Kansas Fun Book, Kansas at a Glance, and much more.

tag(s): biographies (87), states (162)

In the Classroom

Have your students create an online "scrapbook" on states using Smilebox (reviewed here) and including information found on the site. Print out coloring pages and quizzes from the site for students. Share this site with students when doing research for state projects or famous Americans.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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