Grades2 to 8
In the ClassroomIncorporate this site into a web quest to build student knowledge of Marco Polo, interesting geography facts, and the history of Asia. Create a class wiki about Marco Polo and have students add different facts they learned or questions they might have. Not sure how to create a class wiki? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomSave this site in your favorites on classroom computers and use it as a center. Students can focus on areas of strength or weakness on a math game day. Because this site offers multiple levels and activities for many topics, it is easy to differentiate for ability levels within your class. Include this site on your class web page for students and parents to access for home based skills practice. There is a LOT here to explore.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site is a good site to use if you want to introduce more primary sources into your teaching. There is an extensive activities and resource section that covers the topics of photography, history, farming and genealogy. In addition, the PDF entitled the Turning Point would be a good resource to use in a lesson on narrative writing. Share the photos in art (or photography) class on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students create blog entries from the perspective of Frank Sadorus. Use the pictures for creative writing exercises. Why not have a photo of the week and have students write a short piece on the class wiki about what they feel the picture represents, what is happening in the photo, what the animal or person was doing/thinking in the photo, or whatever else is applicable in your class. Do you want to learn more about wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
Grades3 to 12
There are additional features if you choose to subscribe, particularly the Visual Thesaurus interactive word maps, which can be saved and printed, and an online edition in multiple languages for English-speaking students learning other languages and ESL/ELL students.
Caution! Before purchasing a subscription, see if the free portion of the website satisfies your needs or take advantage of the 14-day risk-free trial to see all the features in action. When a school subscription is purchased, student workbooks and Teachers' Guide with lesson plans are included.
In the ClassroomTeachers and students can use the VocabGrabber on an interactive whiteboard, projector, or individual computers to highlight vocabulary specific to a literary work or curricular subject area, to improve reading comprehension by choosing key concepts and literary terms, and to build background knowledge for a given text. As an added benefit, have students click on the VocabGrabber when typing their own assignments such as a poem or an essay, to avoid repeating the same word. They simply type in a word and generate a list of synonyms and more descriptive words. VocabGrabber enables students to see how words are used in context, instead of memorizing word lists. Additionally, VocabGrabber is extremely helpful for students preparing for standardized tests. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this website to engage your students to learn more about different eras of U.S. History. Challenge students to debate the issues found in "Point Counterpoint." Use the primary sources to discuss relevant historical issues or how the problems presented might be found in current events. Use the interactive U.S. Constitution to help with your Constitution Day activities. A link to a pdf file of the entire U.S. Constitution is available. Have students create a multimedia presentation using Thinglink, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report about the U.S. Constitution.
Grades2 to 9
In the ClassroomPlan to use this site as the hub of your social studies units on westward expansion or related American History topics. What makes this site exciting is that students interact with other students from around the country. Through technology they get to meet online to make decision and chat with each other. At the end of the 5 weeks students could create a living museum by dressing up in character and present to parents how they accomplished their "journey." Have students videotape the living museums and share them using a resource such as SchoolTube reviewed here.
Grades3 to 12
tag(s): constitution (87)
In the ClassroomThe lesson plans are in PDF format, so they can easily be saved and printed. While the lesson plans are aligned to Texas State standards, they can easily be adapted to other state standards. The activities are easy to follow and all the materials needed are generally supplied in the PDF document. The interactive activities can used in conjunction with many lesson plans for grades 5-8. They are perfect for your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have cooperative learning groups investigate various parts of this site and create multimedia presentations such as podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
Grades5 to 10
tag(s): bill of rights (29), branches of government (50), congress (34), constitution (87), courts (15), democracy (13), elections (78), game based learning (114), presidents (132), supreme court (24)
In the ClassroomAs you study the Constitution or U.S. government, have students participate in the activities, stopping to write blog entries as their legal character discussing the results they have achieved in court or in their role within other interactive simulations. Students can work individually or with a partner. Be sure to demonstrate the activities on an interactive whiteboard or projector so students understand how they work. Another option: Have students create a multimedia guide to one of the constitutional rights learned in the games. Use a tool such as Piktochart, reviewed here, to make an interactive poster or infographic on each right.
GradesK to 12
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In the ClassroomEven those familiar with the Google tools will find information and uses they did not know about. Consider posting a link to your class web page for students to access. Your students are also valuable resources. Be sure to point out students who are able to use tools in unique ways that other students can learn from.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse the worksheets to get students thinking about the science (or math, or other subjects) beyond these videos. Encourage students to create their own questions from the movie (reminding them of the relevance to your subject area) and choose the best worksheets to use and submit. Require students to add additional questions that are thought provoking and tied to the content for additional consideration. Use questions that go beyond factual recall to tie concepts together, explain phenomena, or uncover misconceptions. Continue discussion of concepts further than the paper through open discussion or blog posting. Rather than creating a worksheet, have your students create an interactive online poster using Genial.ly, reviewed here.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site with any social studies curriculum related to Florida locations to provide a sense of scale, make measurements of items seen, provide an overview of areas being studied, and a better context for what they are studying. For earth science, view pictures of landscapes to identify geologic structures learned in class. In any curricular area, view the 3D pictures to gain perspective into the structures, environment, and lives of the people in Florida's history. Challenge cooperative learning groups to explore one of the many topics presented at this site and create a multimedia presentation. Have groups create an interactive online poster using Adobe Spark, reviewed here.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): news (265)
In the ClassroomUse this website as an activity for small groups of students working on laptops, or use the interactive whiteboard or projector to complete parts in large group instruction. Complete in the style of a Know/Want to Learn/Learned activity. As a class, have students fill in the blanks that they already know. Divide up the remaining questions between pairs of students. Have students click through the links to find the answers. Then, to conclude have the student pairs share their answers with their classmates. Since the questions are numbered, it would be simple to divide up the questions. Observe students carefully and advise them NOT to click on the answer link! Assign students a partner (or let them choose) and have the groups do further investigation about the specific question or questions they were assigned. Challenge the groups to create news reports about the events and share them using a site such as Teachers.TV reviewed here. Consider creating a similar 50 image review of your school year's curriculum using images taken throughout the year (or found on copyright-safe web sources), having student groups select the images from your collection and write the accompanying questions. A wiki would be a terrific place to create such a "Year in Review."
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): cultures (110)
In the ClassroomIn American history courses, use this site as a resource for research on decades projects. This site could also be used in science classes to compare old thoughts and techniques to new and accepted thoughts and techniques. As a challenge, have students create a "Bad Fads" wiki page about today's trends or interview older family members about past fads for comparison. Make comparisons using a tool such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Help your students understand references to past objects, cartoons, etc. that today's students no longer know about (ex. the Smurfs!).
Grades2 to 12
The general site describes itself as a "gathering" of viewers' memories. Therefore, many of the events in Memory Share are personal, not global events. To begin, you click on the left side to select a particular year. Then scroll around a circular spiral which contains the memories others have submitted. To read a specific memory, you click on the "blob" on the spiral which represents the memory. The site also allows for storage of video memories. Both the written and the video memories are filed by keyword so they can be compared to other memories containing similar terms.
Since this site has content generated by the public, always preview information before you share it with your students!
In the ClassroomExplore others' memories to gain a sense of a time period such as the 1920s, asking students what the memory tells then about life during that time. Have students interview an older family member or neighbor and add one of their own significant memories to the Memory Share site. This is also a great site to have students record holiday memories and favorite family holiday rituals. Use the site to explain what a primary source is, as well. Use memory writing as a way to practice sequencing skills and general narrative writing, publishing the final products on a timeline (protect identity, of course!). Have students create a timeline of their own memories concerning major world events such as the election of the first African American U.S. president. Share this link on your class website for students and parents to use together.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomPlan virtual field trips for your students, or put the research in their hands and have them create their own online field trips. Have them post their trip to the classroom wiki. Follow up by requiring students to try out other students trips. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Or, have students view online exhibits from the site, and then have them create their own exhibits.
Grades6 to 9
tag(s): photography (161)
In the ClassroomThis website would be an excellent resource for researching in American History courses. Challenge students to take the information beyond plain vanilla. Try having students create an online tour of places along the Oregon Trail or a tour of mining towns of the gold rush. Have students use a mapping tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here, to create a map of the historic locations (with audio stories and pictures included)! Or challenge students to narrate an image using Thinglink, reviewed here. Thinglink site allows users to narrate a picture.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): news (265)
In the ClassroomCheck here for well-developed lesson plans for a specific topic you'd like to teach. Or scroll through the offerings for your grade level and subject. Complete directions for each lesson plan will guide you through how you can use it in the classroom. Share the interactive or photos on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Save this site in your favorites to visit often for some new ways to freshen up the content in your class.
Grades3 to 12
tag(s): heroes (24)
In the ClassroomFind photos that speak to students and use them as an activator at the start of class. After viewing the picture, provide time for writing questions about the picture These questions will lead to search terms to find more information about culture, pollution, and socioeconomic problems. Encourage students to create poster or blog campaigns outlining problems and possible solutions. Why not create multimedia posters using a site such as Padlet, reviewed here. Find other areas in the world where similar or related problems are occurring. Identify the historical, economic, or geographical reasons for the problems. Challenge students to create a thematic Zeemaps, reviewed here. Zeemaps allows you to create a map with audio! Students can use this site as inspiration for "I believe..." style essays, photos, or videos. Looking for a FREE video sharing tool? Check out TeacherTube, reviewed here.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomStudents will love this site for reviewing and preparing for exams. Share this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom. Take advantage of the FREE study guides. Why not have cooperative learning groups investigate specific topics relative to your current unit of study and create multimedia presentation. Create podcasts, using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Have students create a Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report about the event or topic. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here. Teachers can also use this site to differentiate between the typical lectures used to teach a US history project. Use the images on this site to create a "picture walk" in your classroom, introducing any one of the topics offered. Select 10-15 of the more powerful and diverse images, hanging them up in different locations around your classroom. Have students rotate around the classroom every 30-45 seconds, jotting down what they observe and infer about each image until the entire class has completed the circuit. After the class is back in their seats, have a class discussion based on what they observed and what this says about the topic.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): women (92)