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Gettysburg Address on Vimeo - Adam Gault

Grades
6 to 12
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Our students are accustomed to having both audio and video content to the information they access. Consequently, just reading something like the Gettysburg Address can seem dry and...more
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Our students are accustomed to having both audio and video content to the information they access. Consequently, just reading something like the Gettysburg Address can seem dry and sterile to them. This video provides both a rich reading of Lincoln's famous speech, but an accompanying video track to illustrate it.

tag(s): civil war (145), gettysburg (26), gettysburg address (18), lincoln (86), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

For those who are not strong readers, the audio-video combination provided here may make the concepts in the Gettysburg Address more accessible. For other students, there may be deeper, more complex questions sparked by the video. Did the creator of the video capture the concepts authored by Abraham Lincoln adequately? This video could be the "jumping off place" for a variety of questions the class might consider or project ideas for individual students. How might you do it differently? What about other well-known speeches or documents? How would you illustrate them for a similar video? Challenge students to create their own video accompanying a famous speech and share the video using a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).
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Embed Plus - EmbedPlus

Grades
K to 12
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Want to enhance the viewer experiences and discussions around the YouTube videos you embed? Enter the URL of your You Tube video to add DVD-like controls without altering the original...more
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Want to enhance the viewer experiences and discussions around the YouTube videos you embed? Enter the URL of your You Tube video to add DVD-like controls without altering the original content. Use EmbedPlus to add features such as scene skipping, movable zoom, third party annotations, slow motion on-demand, and instant replay. Set start time and scene markers if desired. Add your annotations during this set up process. When done, click get Code to either copy a new URL for your video or obtain an embed code to place in a blog, wiki, or site to share with others.

tag(s): movies (65), video (254)

In the Classroom

If using student created video, please check with district policy about sharing student work on the Internet. If using with students, be sure to discuss what is considered appropriate/inappropriate annotations to make on videos. These videos may not play in districts where You Tube videos are blocked. As EmbedPlus uses its own wrapper around the You Tube video, it may be viewable in your district depending upon the filter being used. Be sure to test this before using with students. Note: The "real time reactions" option pulls in and displays public comments when you click it. Use the "enhanced embed" wizard and be sure to click the checkbox that deactivates this feature. You may wish to monitor these for possible inappropriate content.

Use the controls to add annotations or student thoughts to sections of the videos. Students can make these comments on their own videos or on a different groups contribution. Use this just to add playback controls that allow for greater viewing of You Tube videos. Have students find a video (or assign one) and annotate it with curriculum related discussion, criticism, vocabulary, etc. Students can then embed this product in his/her blog or a class wiki or site. Consider creating a glog using GlogsterEDU, reviewed here. Make an annotated video with question prompts in annotations and embed in wiki or glog to share with your classes. Playback using the slow motion and zoom would be a great item to show on a whiteboard or projector.
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Google US Government Search - Google

Grades
6 to 12
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Google has added another tool to its formidable tool box: a US Government search engine. Use to search exclusively within US Government sites. ...more
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Google has added another tool to its formidable tool box: a US Government search engine. Use to search exclusively within US Government sites.

tag(s): search engines (65)

In the Classroom

Add a link to Google's UncleSam search engine to your classroom bookmarks as a tool for students to search for information exclusively from US federal government-maintained sites. Using this kind of search may be useful when searching for official information about a government agency, about pieces of legislation, US politicians, or about federal policy or practice. While no information is completely without bias, students will know that searches through UncleSam will return information that is not posted by groups trying to influence public policy or present a specific point of view.

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CoSketch - cosketch.com

Grades
9 to 12
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This free site provides an instant whiteboard for collaboration by multiple people. Brainstorm, add text or shapes, or upload and annotate an image. Use Google Maps to add a background....more
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This free site provides an instant whiteboard for collaboration by multiple people. Brainstorm, add text or shapes, or upload and annotate an image. Use Google Maps to add a background. Create a graphic from scratch using the geometric shapes. Share the whiteboard to brainstorm with both words and shapes. Include photos or other images as part of your collective visual "thinking." A chat function exists on the whiteboard space, as well.

tag(s): chat (51), multimedia (56)

In the Classroom

Users need to know how to locate and upload a picture from the computer and how to manage basic tools, etc. Use the temporary room for use by you or a group of collaborators. Invite others to collaborate by sharing the URL of the whiteboard. Change your nickname so that others can recognize you. Tools are easy to use and require very little play to be comfortable. Click "Save sketch as embeddable image" to save the creation as an easily embedded image file. You can also use the print screen function (PrtSc button on a PC) or apple/shift/4 combination on a mac. For schools needing more photo mash up options to alter artwork or photos, this is an alternative.

The site includes a chat function. Be sure to caution students about appropriate use. Continuous monitoring by teachers is essential!

Use pictures from a science lab or experiment to write information on the picture. Have student groups collaborate to create a diagram of the steps in a process shown in a photograph. Have students add annotations to art images or ad layouts, showing design elements and the path of your eye as you view the image. Show math concepts using geometric shapes. Create images as a group or use for tutorials. Create artwork or use for brainstorming. Have students create their own whiteboard as part of a research project. Project the image on your interactive whiteboard or projector as you begin a unit or lesson or to recap the steps in a process with the entire class. Collaborate with others outside the classroom as you create a community map or action plan together. Encourage students to use this site to review or plan together.

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Radio Diaries - National Public Radio

Grades
6 to 12
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This site provides a large, indexed database of first person accounts and contemporaneous accounts of important eras and events in history. Primary sources can give the sense of "you...more
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This site provides a large, indexed database of first person accounts and contemporaneous accounts of important eras and events in history. Primary sources can give the sense of "you are there" that can make history come alive. They can also give valuable insight into the context and culture of a time and place remote from our own. Without the interpretation, summarization, and dilution that comes from textbook accounts, these narratives are invaluable to understand history in its purest sense. Search by time period or general topic and get speeches, diaries, and eyewitness accounts. Use the "Voices" tab to access audio recordings (requiring RealPlayer). Use the "History in Motion" tab to view film clips (requiring Flash). SnapShots provides photo montages from recent history. The home page is updated regularly to include "this month in history" features, a photo of the week, and a list of new entries to the database. A collection of the audio essays ("Teenage Diaries")draws on the experiences of a diverse group of teens who describe their lives, what's important, and what they're thinking. It's fun to browse and explore, but there is also a comprehensive index if you're searching for something in particular. One downside is the liberal use of moving advertising that can be distracting. This website requires Flash and RealPlayer.

tag(s): writing (359)

In the Classroom

This is a fabulous resource for augmenting generic textbook accounts of history with primary source material. Whether we like it or not, our students are more visual than we were; they will love the film clips and photo montages from recent events. Use these on an interactive whiteboard or projector for full impact (although the film clips are fairly small to maintain resolution). If you teach social studies, this is a site you'll want to bookmark and visit often. English teachers will want to use the teenage diaries as inspiration for creative writing assignments, or even as a source of ideas for college admissions essays. Challenge students to create their own visual complements to the audio essays using a tool such as GlogsterEDU, reviewed here.

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The 18th Century Paper Doll Game - Colonial Williamsburg

Grades
K to 5
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Dress an 18th century paper doll in the "The Kids Zone" portion of the Colonial Williamsburg website. You need to dress the young girl in the correct sequence and will ...more
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Dress an 18th century paper doll in the "The Kids Zone" portion of the Colonial Williamsburg website. You need to dress the young girl in the correct sequence and will learn the correct terminology for clothing worn by women in the 1700's. This activity is a quick and engaging way to demonstrate the complexity of a woman's wardrobe in the 1700's.

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector during a unit on the 18th century. Allow your class a short historic diversion and have students dress an 18th century paper doll. There are other fun activities on this page that also address the life and times of citizens in 18th century Williamsburg. Post a link to this page on the class website for enrichment activities at home. The non-verbal aspect of this activity may help ESL and ELL students gain a better understanding of the customs and traditions typical of this period of time in the United States. Those classrooms planning to visit Colonial Williamsburg will definitely want to utilize this site. Students in schools too far away to make this journey can enjoy a "virtual" field trip to Colonial Williamsburg via the Internet.
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Snowflake Bentley - Jericho Historical Society

Grades
3 to 8
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This site offers many links to information about Snowflake Bentley and other resources for studying snow crystals. Wilson (Snowflake) A. Bentley is credited with the discovery that...more
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This site offers many links to information about Snowflake Bentley and other resources for studying snow crystals. Wilson (Snowflake) A. Bentley is credited with the discovery that no two snowflakes are alike. His research and studies on snowflakes were conducted in the small Vermont town of Jericho. Snowflake pioneered the science of photographing snow crystals by attaching a microscope to his camera. The most in-depth section of the site offers resources to learn more about snowflakes such as an educational unit on snowflakes, computer recreations of snowflakes and math sites studying patterns and symmetry.

tag(s): pioneers (8), snow (21)

In the Classroom

Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects about famous pioneers, weather research, or famous characters from books. This site is a perfect addition to any winter activities. Have cooperative learning groups investigate a specific section of this site and share their findings on your class wiki. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.

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Wylio - wylio.com

Grades
K to 12
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Find and use copyright-free pictures using simple tools and copy/paste to get the embed code. Use Wylio to search for a picture in the topic of your choice. Enter a ...more
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Find and use copyright-free pictures using simple tools and copy/paste to get the embed code. Use Wylio to search for a picture in the topic of your choice. Enter a search term, view the possible pictures, and click on your choice. Change the alignment of the picture and the size it will appear using the simple tools. When done, click "Get The Code" to view the embeddable code. Copy and paste the code into a site, blog, or wiki to share with others. What is special about Wylio? The attribution to the picture's author is embedded into the code, so you are modeling ethical use of electronic resources!

tag(s): creative commons (21), images (266), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Users must be knowledgeable about embed codes and how to use them in a site, blog, or wiki. Be sure to test out embedding a picture on your site to anticipate problems when students use Wylio. Use Wylio to find copyright-free pictures for teacher use in any subject area or for student use as soon as they learn to copy/paste embed codes. This tool would be a great asset to a photography or art class but can be used in any subject area. Use pictures that showcase life around us or in a Math class to show various Math functions in man made structures and nature. Use this site to take your geography class around the world (virtually). Have students create presentations in any subject area and narrate the pictures rather than doing a traditional oral report. Use a site such as Slidestory, reviewed here, to narrate the pictures. Speech and language in lower grades or ESL/ELL teachers could use pictures for vocabulary development and allow students to add words or sentences to go with the pictures. In Science, find pictures that represent various concepts and encourage explanations of these concepts for better understanding. Embeddable pictures also work very well in "glogs" (online posters made using GlogsterEDU, reviewed here) or on your class wiki. Note: embedded picture only show on computers connected to the Internet since the embed command "goes and gets" the pictures using the web.
 

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ccMixter - Dig - ArtisTech Media

Grades
K to 12
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This site offers a library of legal, copyright-safe, free music available for download and podcast use. Students looking for pod-safe audio, music remixes, and background music will...more
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This site offers a library of legal, copyright-safe, free music available for download and podcast use. Students looking for pod-safe audio, music remixes, and background music will be delighted to utilize this dandy library of recordings. You do not need to join in order to listen and/or download the MP3 files. Music and sounds are organized by use categories such as podsafe, soundtracks, and general listening. The songs include current hits, historical music from the U.S. and around the world, and much more. Note that the public can submit works, so -- although our editors have not seen any-- the submissions could include lyrics not appropriate for listening in school.

tag(s): copyright (47), sound (101), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

A music site that is not just for musicians and music teachers! Students in all classes can use files from this site when preparing multimedia class presentations that require music or background sounds. Use this site when preparing lessons on plagiarism, copyright, and the open source software concept. Musically inclined students who enjoy this site should check out ccMixter reviewed here for more enriching types of musical interaction and collaboration!

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The Geography of Slavery in Virginia - University of Virginia

Grades
4 to 12
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The University of Virginia has collected the 19th century ads for runaway and captured slaves and indentured servants covering the period between 1736 and 1803 into a digital archive....more
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The University of Virginia has collected the 19th century ads for runaway and captured slaves and indentured servants covering the period between 1736 and 1803 into a digital archive. This searchable data base reveals a rich archive of information about daily life in Virginia, including geographic detail, the habits, appearance, clothing, and behavior of slaves and indentured servants, and general cultural attitudes of times regarding slavery. The site also offers commentary and resources helpful in understanding the database.

tag(s): primary sources (86), slavery (72), virginia (16)

In the Classroom

Students will certainly gain a more concrete and visceral understanding of attitudes toward slaves when reading these advertisements. The concepts are not necessarily Virginia-specific! Use some of the "personal profiles" to help students get to know one of the runaway slaves or servants more intimately. Have students review the diary entries of slaveowners to cut through our modern interpretations of what plantation owners thought or believed. Use these primary sources to guide a frank discussion on the role of slavery in Virginia and the South prior to the Civil War. The site is also an important resource for students doing research on antebellum Virginia.

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Spicynodes - IDEA

Grades
6 to 12
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Create a website map or mindmap easily with this free site. Create a login (requires an email address.) Add interest to your site as visitors choose a node and new ...more
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Create a website map or mindmap easily with this free site. Create a login (requires an email address.) Add interest to your site as visitors choose a node and new options open up for them. Spicynodes is a mindmap but all portions are not displayed until they are clicked on, activating greater interactivity to your sitemap or mindmap.

tag(s): graphic organizers (43), mind map (25)

In the Classroom

Create a new map by entering the details such as a title. Choose from the template styles given. Preview the template, zoom in and out, and scroll around the mindmap using the simple tools. Click the "Edit Content" tab to change each node in your mindmap. Edit the name of the node, the description, and upload or link to a picture. Nodes can also link to a You tube video. When done, click preview to not only see the finished mindmap, but to publish on the Spicynodes site or copy the embed code for placing on a wiki, blog, or other site.

There are countless possibilities at this mental mapping site. Demonstrate the activity on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and then allow students to try to create their own graphic organizers. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics of study. Use this site to create family trees. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given subject. Create a site map that guides users throughout the features of your class website.

Collaborative Projects: Have small groups research together a topic such as unsolved mysteries of the world, planets, legends from their countries, plants, famous mathematicians, or any topic that can be broken down into parts. Each student would have their own node and color and would then upload pictures, videos, links, and other information they have found about their part of the topic. If the whole class is researching a topic, students with the "like" assignments could get together to share information and create their part of the small group node (also know as jigsaw in cooperative learning). Once all the nodes are completed, the original small group would share information with each other. There are a variety of ways students could use this mindmap. You could just leave it at the small group share out. Or, you could have the groups decide what information is important enough to present to the class and put their ideas on a Writeboard document reviewed here. A third step could be that once they've honed down the information, they could create a presentation for the class in a variety of formats: Glogster reviewed here, or Animoto reviewed here are only two of the many presentation formats we have reviewed on TeachersFirst.

Student project ideas: Have students... organize any concepts you study; color-code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, question; map out a story, plotline, or LIFETIME; map out a step-by-step process (life cycle); map a real historical event as a choose-your-own-adventure with alternate endings(?) based on pivotal points; plan a "tour" for a "thought museum."

Use this mapping website as an alternative to a traditional test, quiz, or homework assignment in literature or social studies: have students demonstrate their understanding by completing a graphic organizer about the main points. Be sure that they RENAME it before they start work to an individual name so you know who did it (they could EMAIL it to you!) or have them print their results to turn them in.

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Tripline - Byron Dumbrill

Grades
4 to 12
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Tripline is a great visual for putting stories on a map. It was built to work with Google Maps, then be enhanced by each individual to fit their needs. What ...more
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Tripline is a great visual for putting stories on a map. It was built to work with Google Maps, then be enhanced by each individual to fit their needs. What a fabulous way to integrate literature and geography, history and geography, or many other subject areas. To create a trip, type in a starting point and select it from a suggested list of matching places. Add places to your trip in the same way, places can be rearranged in any order. From this list, a map will be created showing the itinerary. Push play and the map comes to life, stopping at each creation point. To further enhance the experience, pictures can be uploaded that will show as icons as each stop is reached. Maps can be shared with other users, via email, web link, or Facebook.

To create a new trip, you must register at the site. Registration requires a username, password, and valid email address.

tag(s): maps (287)

In the Classroom

Suggested uses on the Tripline site are to use along with moments in history such as Paul Revere's ride and Lewis and Clark's expedition to demonstrate stops along their path. Other classrooms uses would be for students to create a Tripline map of their summer vacation to use as an enhancement to a regular report, map out your favorite sports team's schedule, historic state sites, and much more.

Registration does require an email address. Tip: rather than using your personal or work email, create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.
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History of Memorial Day - History Channel

Grades
6 to 12
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Use this quick resource for a lesson, or even an organizing activity at the beginning or end of a class, related to Memorial Day or in recognition of veterans. There ...more
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Use this quick resource for a lesson, or even an organizing activity at the beginning or end of a class, related to Memorial Day or in recognition of veterans. There are several video clips, links to further information, and other resources. There is advertising, both at the beginning of the video clips, and in the margins.

tag(s): battles (16), holidays (147), memorial day (13), veterans (19)

In the Classroom

Use one of the videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector to deliver a quick lesson on the history of Memorial Day. There are also links to good content on military history, military leaders, and the various physical memorial sites that honor US military veterans.
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SlideBoom - iSpring Solutions Inc.

Grades
7 to 12
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The simplicity of this online slide presentation tool can be used by anyone! SlideBoom is an online presentation share and store site. The site is somewhat "vanilla" in that there ...more
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The simplicity of this online slide presentation tool can be used by anyone! SlideBoom is an online presentation share and store site. The site is somewhat "vanilla" in that there are not a lot of extras or flash, however in some situations it may be very handy. Access other people's slide presentations and share your own with the world. This is the free version, so its capabilities are limited. But it would be great for kids to use to move presentations back and forth between school and home if Google applications are blocked.

tag(s): images (266), photography (160), slides (63)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to locate files on their computers to upload. Beyond that, a few clicks that follow onscreen instructions will complete the job!

Use this site as transportation to and from school when students are working on powerpoint presentations for class. This tool could be used in any subject or topic area. If Powerpoint isn't available at your school, use this site to create presentations instead of traditional book reports. Use this tool in social studies to have students create presentations about the branches of government, continents, or economics. The possibilities are endless.

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Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Webquest - Pershing Middle School teachers-San Diego, California

Grades
5 to 8
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This engaging, standards based webquest enables students to put themselves in the same time and place as the characters of this historical fiction novel to gain a better understanding...more
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This engaging, standards based webquest enables students to put themselves in the same time and place as the characters of this historical fiction novel to gain a better understanding of life for the African Americans during the 1930s, while reading Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. The integrated language arts tasks take students through the process of analyzing the characters and their motivation for reacting the way they do. Easy to use rubrics are provided for evaluating students' work. Several of the research links (under Process) are not active. However, this webquest could still be very useful, as the material is solid, students would simply need to find their own research to use.

tag(s): black history (59), racism (18)

In the Classroom

As you plan to teach the novel, include this well-organized webquest as part of the ongoing and post reading learning activities. Use it in its entirety or choose parts to meet your time frame and purpose. Attention is given to all aspects of literacy: reading, critical thinking, writing, infusion of technology, and presentation. Both individual tasks and group work is involved. Students are active participants, and everything they need to increase their appreciation for this literary work is available to them, including vocabulary, clear instructions, and links for further information and details. You may want to find some additional research links for students to use to replace the links no longer active. You may want to share the project with social studies teachers for a joint effort and shared time. Introduce it on your classroom whiteboard or projector, and then make sure that you have scheduled time in the computer lab or with a class set of laptops. Students can jazz up their multi-media presentations by creating an online book using Bookemon reviewed here, or a podcast by using Podomatic (reviewed here). Be sure to make them directly available from your class webpage to share with colleagues and parents.
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A Class Divided - Frontline/PBS-WGBH Educational Foundation

Grades
6 to 12
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This is one of the most requested programs for effectively conveying the reality of discrimination, what it feels like, and how it can change a person. Frontline, the PBS news-magazine...more
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This is one of the most requested programs for effectively conveying the reality of discrimination, what it feels like, and how it can change a person. Frontline, the PBS news-magazine show, produced this gripping piece that tackles the controversy, complexity, and consequences of discrimination that have shaped our society. This film and collection of activities are based on the 1970 documentary of the daring lesson that teacher Jane Elliott taught her third-grade class to give them a firsthand experience in the meaning of discrimination, immediately following the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. The film shows what she taught the children and the impact that lesson had on their lives. It includes three major segments: the footage of the original documentary of Jane Elliott's third-graders, (approximately 20 minutes), the reunion of those third-graders 14 years later who talk about the effect her lesson has had on their lives, (approximately 7 minutes), and also Elliott teaching her lesson to adult employees of Iowa's prison system and how their reactions to her exercise were similar to those of the children, (approximately 20 minutes). A Teachers' Guide, as well as an abundance of supplementary materials that allow students to wrestle with realistic ideas, are available on this site.

tag(s): black history (59), bullying (52), civil rights (117), diversity (36), racism (18), segregation (15), tolerance (10)

In the Classroom

Help your students understand why Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and raise their awareness of discrimination and the struggle for civil rights by involving them in active viewing of A Class Divided projected on your classroom interactive whiteboard or projector. You can view the film in its entirety, or in separate chapters followed by the Discussion Questions. You may want to give students a specific task to do during the film. For example, you might ask them to listen for a particular issue or the answers to a set of questions, or take notes in preparation for one of the post-viewing activities. Replay the video or pause for discussion whenever you choose for focused, in depth exploration. Depending on your students' background knowledge and grade level, you may want to review or introduce some of the basic tenets of the United States Constitution that provide the legal grounding for equality and protection of individual rights. Explain that there are examples in American history when individuals' rights were denied and that many civil rights activists were arrested for either challenging demonstrating or breaking rules that they thought were unfair. Pose some of the questions for written assignments and discussion. This is a perfect lesson for Black History Month! Divide the class into groups to brainstorm situations that exist today within our own communities, and how they would feel and deal with it if they were the subjects. Students can easily create mind maps using free tools from Teachersfirst, such as diagrammr.com reviewed here or bubbl.us reviewed here. Have students choose words from songs to explore themes of freedom and equality, using Stories Behind the Songs reviewed here. High school students could extend this to a reading and study of the final chapter of "One America in the 21st Century," the 1998 report of President Bill Clinton's Initiative on Race, which lists 10 things that every American should do to promote racial reconciliation. Ask students to add anything they think is missing and make a commitment to continue the crusade to end discrimination.

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The Wilbur and Orville Wright Papers - Library of Congress

Grades
6 to 12
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The Library of Congress offers this collection of photographs, letters, and other documents related to the lives of aviation pioneers Wilbur and Orville Wright. Images and documents...more
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The Library of Congress offers this collection of photographs, letters, and other documents related to the lives of aviation pioneers Wilbur and Orville Wright. Images and documents in the archive provide primary sources on the history of flight. The archive is easy to navigate and includes a timeline of the brothers' lives, a family tree hyperlinked to relevant documents, and the expected photographs of Wilbur and Orville and their flying machines. Of special interest to many would be the story of the brothers' early failed enterprises, demonstrating that even famous inventors fail before finding success, as well as the many letters between the Wrights and other well known people of the time such as Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh.

tag(s): aviation (38), flight (35), inventors and inventions (97), wright brothers (24)

In the Classroom

Students doing research on the Wright brothers will find this site invaluable. Have students work in cooperative learning groups and research a specific topic found at this site. Challenge students to create a multimedia presentation. Have students use a tool such as Woices (beta) (reviewed here). This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place.

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Dogs Serving Veterans - New York Times

Grades
3 to 12
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This site offers a great starting point for class discussions of Veterans Day. It is an eight slide show about service dogs and how they are helping veterans who have ...more
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This site offers a great starting point for class discussions of Veterans Day. It is an eight slide show about service dogs and how they are helping veterans who have been disabled and as a way to dealing with stress. Each slide focuses on a veteran and his/her service dog and how the dog has enriched their daily life.

tag(s): disabilities (20), memorial day (13), veterans (19)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you study Veterans Day, the effects of war, or people with disabilities. Ask students to discuss a time when they have seen service animals and how they have been used to help someone. Discuss the information on the site and locate the countries where the veterans served on a map to help students understand what it means to go to war. Ask students to choose one slide and write a story based on what they see in the image. If your school is looking for a schoolwide service project, consider raising funds for service dogs.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Thanksgiving Story - Wilstar

Grades
3 to 6
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This site contains a short text explanation of events leading up to the first Thanksgiving held in 1621 and how that has led to today's traditions and celebration of the ...more
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This site contains a short text explanation of events leading up to the first Thanksgiving held in 1621 and how that has led to today's traditions and celebration of the holiday. Although it is fairly short, it contains many facts which would be useful in a classroom study of Thanksgiving. There is a short quiz at the end based on the information included that can be reproduced and used in the classroom.

Note - there is a link to a YouTube video midway through the information on the page, students may need to be cautioned that it isn't part of the activity.

tag(s): holidays (147), pilgrims (17), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Type up the quiz (or use copy/paste, but GIVE CREDIT) and give it to your students before studying Thanksgiving to assess prior knowledge. Use the story page on an interactive whiteboard for students to highlight key words and write a main idea sentence or do practice comprehension or notetaking skills during Thanksgiving season. Older students can read the site on their own at a classroom center and complete the quiz at the end of their session. After reading the story, ask students to write their own story from the perspective of one of the first Thanksgiving participants. Create a class book using their stories using a site such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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The Boston Massacre Files - The Bostonian Society

Grades
6 to 12
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This site, jazzed up to look at the Boston Massacre as though it were a modern crime scene, challenges students to truly investigate the event by reading trial testimony, examining...more
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This site, jazzed up to look at the Boston Massacre as though it were a modern crime scene, challenges students to truly investigate the event by reading trial testimony, examining primary documents, and interacting with the site in the role of private investigator. The Boston Massacre is usually presented as one of the pivotal incidents leading up to the American Revolution. What students may not understand completely is that the story was a masterful piece of propaganda on the part of those encouraging revolution.

tag(s): american revolution (86), boston (14), evolution (100)

In the Classroom

Use this site for a group investigation, or ask students to work individually in a computer lab. The site is also usable on an interactive whiteboard or projector as a whole class activity, but may have too many choices and possible paths to be as effective for that use. The site may be more appealing to younger students; the "private investigator" role play may be too contrived for older, more sophisticated learners. There is a lot of information here, and students may have difficulty focusing on a single narrative without some direction or prompting as they explore. Overall, the site is a good way to introduce students to the value of primary documents and the importance of understanding context in historical narrative.
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