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Colonial Williamsburg Interactive - Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Grades
3 to 12
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Want to write with a quill pen? Play a paper doll game? Or how about make a colonial Valentine's Day card? Interest in colonial life will soar when students use ...more
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Want to write with a quill pen? Play a paper doll game? Or how about make a colonial Valentine's Day card? Interest in colonial life will soar when students use this interactive site sponsored by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Students will enjoy playing the many games from colonial life, or they may enjoy making an acrostic of their name. Slide shows of coinage, Gilbert's paintings, and the Queen's visit in 1957 add depth to students' education on Williamsburg. A comparison study between Queen Elizabeth's visits to Colonial Williamsburg in 1957 and 2007 opens the door to looking at differences in our world over a span of 50 years. Click on the Jigsaw Puzzle logo to enter the multitude of games and activities available. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): colonial america (107), colonization (16), handwriting (18), williamsburg (12), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Students may be paired or work individually to explore the activities found at this site. Make sure your computers are fairly fast or the games may be too slow to use.

To spice up a writing lesson or add interest to a writing center, have students send colonial postcards, via email (or blog), to classmates. Content of messages may require extra supervision. A safer way to send messages to fellow classmates would be to use the Colonial Card Creator where the students must print out the card, then handwrite their message in the cards. A printer needs to be accessible for the card creator. Older students can explore the interactive draft of the Constitution on an interactive whiteboard or projector.

Be sure to include this one on your teacher web page for students to continue to access from home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Growth of a Nation - Peter Mays

Grades
5 to 8
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Introduce or review the high points in America's history from westward expansion to the post Civil War era with this 10-minute animated movie and interactive atlas, complete with narration....more
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Introduce or review the high points in America's history from westward expansion to the post Civil War era with this 10-minute animated movie and interactive atlas, complete with narration. Roll your mouse over each state to reveal its name, or click to reveal historical information. An interactive timeline at the bottom of the map allows students to scroll to a particular year and play the movie from that point forward. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): lincoln (86), presidents (131), states (162)

In the Classroom

Don't forget some headsets! Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have groups investigate various historical aspects of specific states (and their history). Why not learn more about their home state?
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Harriet Beecher Stowe Center - Harriet Beech Stowe Center

Grades
9 to 12
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This informative site explores the life and works of Harriet Beecher Stowe - whose political and literary influences spurred the abolitionist movement and contributed to the outbreak...more
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This informative site explores the life and works of Harriet Beecher Stowe - whose political and literary influences spurred the abolitionist movement and contributed to the outbreak of the Civil War. You have to dig a bit, but there are some interesting gems here that would add a spark to a class discussion on causes of the Civil War, or depth to a literary unit on Mark Twain. There are lesson plans (see Teacher and Student Resources). Some of the printables at this site require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

Have students compare Harriet Beecher Stowe to a powerful woman (of their choice) of the 21st century. Challenge students to create a wiki between Harriet Beecher Stowe and the woman that they learned about from today.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Toys and Games Timeline - History Channel

Grades
5 to 12
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Take a unique and delightful approach to history with this site that examines the evolution of toys and games. To get the full benefit from this site, some creative teacher ...more
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Take a unique and delightful approach to history with this site that examines the evolution of toys and games. To get the full benefit from this site, some creative teacher planning is required, but the possibilities are endless. As students discover the origins of some of their favorite toys, as well as those enjoyed by their parents and grandparents, they can explore the cultural and societal influences that affected these diversionary inventions. Learn what goes into the production of some of our favorite toys and games, and meet the industry's most successful inventors. After exploring the site, take the interactive quiz and see how much you've learned. There is also a "Toy Timeline." You'll never look at Lincoln Logs or checkers in quite the same way! This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students further research some of their favorite toys and learn the science (in addition to history) of how some toys work. Why not bring in some of these famous toys that students might not be familiar with?
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Lincoln Log - Brown University

Grades
9 to 12
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Based on a daily chronology of Abraham Lincoln's public life, this site enables you to enter a date and see what the famous president was doing that day. While the ...more
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Based on a daily chronology of Abraham Lincoln's public life, this site enables you to enter a date and see what the famous president was doing that day. While the result will be a very narrow slice of history, the site could be used to show how Lincoln's approach to issues and events evolved over time. Secondary students learning to use primary sources could find this one useful, but it will take some work to use it effectively. There is also some additional research links at this site.

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

Use this site for research projects. Share the "Lincoln Log" everyday in February to celebrate his birthday. Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to share his daily accomplishments, schedules, and more that occurred in February.

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Crisis of the Union - Univ. of Pennsylvania

Grades
6 to 12
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The department of history at the University of Pennsylvania developed this searchable collection of primary source materials dealing with the Civil War. The collection includes editorial...more
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The department of history at the University of Pennsylvania developed this searchable collection of primary source materials dealing with the Civil War. The collection includes editorial cartoons, images, and manuscripts, all grouped by subject and time period. While some of the material will require interpretation, this would be a useful site for secondary research that requires the use of primary sources. Some of the sources require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

Share this site with your students while researching the Civil War.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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NMAI: Identity by Design - Smithsonian

Grades
6 to 12
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From the National Museum of the American Indian, this online exhibit is subtitled "Tradition, Change and Celebration in Native Women's Dresses." The exhibit uses 19th century Native...more
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From the National Museum of the American Indian, this online exhibit is subtitled "Tradition, Change and Celebration in Native Women's Dresses." The exhibit uses 19th century Native women's clothing as insight into Native American culture of the time period, and features stunning photographs of Native dresses and commentary by present-day Native women. The site both describes the ways Native women made their clothing in the 19th century and the ways that clothing can give us important clues about the role of women in Native society. Of interest also are the ways clothing began to reflect the influence of the dominant white culture on traditional Native practices. The site also includes information about today's Native Powwow dance competitions which bridge the distance between traditional culture and the modern world, and bring 19th century Native women's clothing and costume into the 21st century. The Resources link contains lesson plans and educational material. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): clothing (9), native americans (78), women (101)

In the Classroom

Traditionally, American history has been taught as the story of the dominant European culture's triumph over more primitive Native cultures. Native American culture is too often pictured as one-dimensional rather than as a rich collection of diverse tribes and cultures. If Native women are featured at all, they may be represented only by Pocahontas and Sacajawea. This site allows a fuller exploration of the variety of Native women's cultures and would serve as an outstanding supplement to a study of the European settlement of the West. The photographs of the women's dresses are lovely and would display nicely on an interactive whiteboard or projector. The commentary would be useful for any student doing more in-depth research into Native culture. The site's focus on women's roles and culture would also fit nicely with a unit on women's history. The Resources link contains lesson plans and educational material. To extend the clothing-as -culture approach in your classroom, ask students to create a wiki showing the role of clothing in ethnic subcultures of the U.S. today or at other places and times. Middle school grades might want to work together with the art or FCS teachers on this.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Interactive-Learning.com.au - K.O'Regan

Grades
6 to 12
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Don't let the simple appearance fool you! This site is a smorgasbord of interactive lessons on history, English, and music. Wonderful for the Humanities teacher, it allows teachers...more
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Don't let the simple appearance fool you! This site is a smorgasbord of interactive lessons on history, English, and music. Wonderful for the Humanities teacher, it allows teachers of any of those subjects to pick and choose what best fits their plans. Some examples of topics include archaeology, ancient Rome, South American Empires, ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, letter writing, gorgeous grammar, common spelling errors, the Renaissance, the Middle Ages, poetry, the theatre, film, composers, and at least twenty other topics. The site declares itself "student self-directed (self-explanatory)." The links are functional, the graphics are attractive, and, while some of the activities are simple and straightforward, many of them take students into analysis and synthesis without them even realizing they are thinking on higher levels and producing work with more depth. Many of the activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): australia (35), civil rights (117), grammar (216), listening (91), medieval (27), poetry (228), renaissance (34), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

The world is open on this site. Choose any activity your students are interested in and this site can help you mold it into what you want for your curriculum. Students interested in fantasy? Have them investigate and write from the "Fantasy-Myths and Legends" prompt. Trouble with grammar? Have them print off the worksheets from "Gorgeous Grammar" and play online, interactive, Grammar Gorillas. This site's use is only limited by your imagination! From virtual site studies to student web projects-- it's all here!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Goody Parsons Witchcraft Case - Historic Northhampton

Grades
8 to 12
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Complete with copies of historic documents detailing court testimony, timelines, family trees, and paintings of the participants, this site is fascinating for those with an interest...more
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Complete with copies of historic documents detailing court testimony, timelines, family trees, and paintings of the participants, this site is fascinating for those with an interest in the New England witchcraft frenzy of the 17th century. It tells the story of Mary Parsons and her family and their differences with neighbors that dissolved into slander and witchcraft accusations. This site is well-developed and laid out, divided into the story, the participants, the slander and witchcraft trials, and maps showing where the participants came from in England and settled in America. The reality of the story and the depth of information lend a reality to the story that better known stories might lack. Clicking on links will show photographs of the participants, such as William Pynchon and written records of the trials.

tag(s): salem (6)

In the Classroom

Depending on the level of student you teach, this site could be divided into parts for investigation and group teaching, having students use an interactive whiteboard to work through each part. Research could be expanded into further historical study of those involved. As a class project, after or while studying The Crucible, this could be a great comparison of a real situation outside of (and before) the Salem Witch trials. The interactive maps are especially fun for students who might take on the roles of those characters to portray in the class discussion.

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Edward Lear - Marco Graziosi

Grades
4 to 12
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Enjoy Nonsense as only Edward Lear, the mid-1800s artist and poet, mastered it. This site highlights his Book of Nonsense and many others of his nonsense limericks and poetry....more
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Enjoy Nonsense as only Edward Lear, the mid-1800s artist and poet, mastered it. This site highlights his Book of Nonsense and many others of his nonsense limericks and poetry. Original covers of his books have been scanned and shown at this site. Your students will appreciate nonsense verse through this near-complete compilation of his works.

tag(s): literature (275), poetry (228)

In the Classroom

If you're a huge fan of nonsense lit, you can learn more by signing up for the free newsletter at this site. Share this "nonsense" on your interactive whiteboard or projector and have students attempt to create their own nonsense limericks collaboratively on the whiteboard (it's harder than you think!). Or use them as writing prompts during a humor unit.

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Lincoln Goes to War - National Endowment for the Humanities

Grades
7 to 12
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Get inside of the mind of our sixteenth president with this thoughtful lesson plan that analyzes the complex factors that led to the Civil War. Using primary source documents, students...more
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Get inside of the mind of our sixteenth president with this thoughtful lesson plan that analyzes the complex factors that led to the Civil War. Using primary source documents, students become part of the decision-making process as they consider the critical issues that faced the nation as Lincoln came into office, debate the risks and benefits of withdrawing Union troops from Fort Sumter, and investigate the Confederate reaction to Lincoln's ultimate decision. Students take on the roles of Secessionists, Non-Secessionists, Unionists, Abolitionists, or Compromise Proponents. This lesson is aligned to National Standards.

tag(s): civil war (145), debate (41), lincoln (86), slavery (72), states (162)

In the Classroom

This lesson plan is ready to go and offers step by step instructions! Divide your class into five groups (based on the roles listed above). Allow them time to research and prepare for the debate. Consider having students tape the debate using YouTube or TeacherTube (explained here). Why not have each group (or student) write a blog defending their position (role).

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Abraham Lincoln for Primary Children - Mrs. Payton

Grades
1 to 5
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Here's a site about Lincoln by and for elementary students. Easy for young ones to use, with just enough information to make it all interesting. This site is FULL of ...more
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Here's a site about Lincoln by and for elementary students. Easy for young ones to use, with just enough information to make it all interesting. This site is FULL of fun and educational activities to do as a class or for individual research: online quiz, full animation of the addition of states to the USA, "Ask Lincoln a Question" section, picture gallery, ready to go classroom activities, and an online treasure hunt! If you are preparing for the 200th birthday of Lincoln, President's Day, or research on the 16th president - don't miss this site.

tag(s): lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

This site takes out a lot of the "leg work" for teachers. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share the online quiz, animated activities, pictures, and more. Have students complete the online treasure hunt in cooperative learning groups. Challenge students to write their own questions to "Honest Abe."

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Held accountable - New York Times

Grades
6 to 12
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The lesson plans are frequently updated; include McRel standards, links to more information, and lots of detail! ...more
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The lesson plans are frequently updated; include McRel standards, links to more information, and lots of detail!

tag(s): africa (180), black history (59), civil war (145), lincoln (86), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

Teachers can pick and choose easily from among several strands of thought among these lesson plans, either to supplement a unit on the Civil War, for use during Black History observations, or in an English class focused on story telling and personal voice. It could also provide interesting materials for reading comprehension practice using content area materials. All the plans follow a pretty regular format: link to the Times article, read it and discuss, but this kind of break from the use of a standard textbook can be refreshing. Many plans include a vocabulary list, ideas for extension activities and focus on making the lesson as interdisciplinary as possible. As you celebrate Presidents Day (especially Lincoln's 200th birthday in 2009), check out this site for Lincoln resources!

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Abraham Lincoln - American President - University of Virginia

Grades
6 to 12
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This Lincoln page includes a quick fact sheet, a short biography, and links to additional information on Lincoln's advisors, administration, and accomplishments. It is part of a very...more
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This Lincoln page includes a quick fact sheet, a short biography, and links to additional information on Lincoln's advisors, administration, and accomplishments. It is part of a very complete collection of presidential resources that could be a staple of an American history curriculum.

At the bottom of the page you will find links to read Lincoln's most famous speeches. You have to scroll to his name. The list includes all presidents (up to G.W. Bush). You can also click to hear podcasts that are focused on Lincoln and the Civil War. The podcasts require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): lincoln (86), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Use this site for basic research about Lincoln, to read his speeches, and to even learn more about the former president by listening to the podcasts. Share the podcasts and photos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students write a fictitious blog entry through the eyes of Lincoln after reading one of his four famous speeches listed at this site.
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Civil War Traveler - civilwartraveler.com

Grades
4 to 12
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This site offers information for touring regional Civil War historical sites, from Virginia through Pennsylvania. Lists events, reenactments, new openings, and self-guided tours. Also...more
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This site offers information for touring regional Civil War historical sites, from Virginia through Pennsylvania. Lists events, reenactments, new openings, and self-guided tours. Also includes a timeline and links. This site is frequently updated and now features several podcasts - don't miss them! Check back frequently for more updates. The podcasts require Windows Media Player. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86), pennsylvania (6), virginia (16)

In the Classroom

Use this fabulous resource for research. Turn your students into virtual "Civil War Travelers" by sharing the Podcasts and pictures on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students complete interactive research projects about these famous locations. Have students create a news broadcast, wiki, blog, or PowerPoint presentation. If you want to video the broadcast try YouTube or another tool such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).

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Mrs. President: From Martha to Laura - Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum

Grades
K to 12
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This downloadable PDF file offers very detailed lesson plans and classroom activities about the first ladies of America. There are lesson plans for grades K-3, 3-6, 6-12, and 9-12....more
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This downloadable PDF file offers very detailed lesson plans and classroom activities about the first ladies of America. There are lesson plans for grades K-3, 3-6, 6-12, and 9-12. The lesson plans all include Illinois standards, objectives, thinking questions, and explicit instructions. Some of the lessons include Dining Like a President, First Kids, Design a First Lady, How do they Compare, & First Ladies and the Media: Public Image and Private Influence. The site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): white house (14)

In the Classroom

Use these lessons during February as you celebrate President's Day. Have students complete research on the topic of the lesson (for example, the "Design a First Lady"). Then challenge students to create a multimedia presentation, a blog entry from the first lady whom the student researched, or a fictitious audio or video discussion between the current first lady and the "designed" first lady. Have a class discussion on what Mary Todd Lincoln would write if she could email (or text) Michelle Obama.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The American Civil War Homepage - Dr. George H. Hoemann and Mary E. Myers

Grades
K to 12
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Although TeachersFirst doesn't usually highlight a "hotlist," this one definitely deserves a mention! This set of links (all about the Civil War) includes songs from the 1800s, lots...more
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Although TeachersFirst doesn't usually highlight a "hotlist," this one definitely deserves a mention! This set of links (all about the Civil War) includes songs from the 1800s, lots of general resource sites about the Civil War and the general time period, information about the battles, and much more. The list is huge, so be prepared! Thankfully they have the material divided into logical categories, and the site is simple to use. This site is updated frequently and includes everything from basic research to interactive videos to letters from a soldier in the Civil War. Some of the sites require Flash, Media Player, RealPlayer, and Adobe Acrobat. You can get them all from the a href="/tools.cfm">TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86), songs (52)

In the Classroom

Music teachers, why not share some music from the Civil War times. Students may be surprised that they already know some of these famous songs. All grade levels will find something here to share with their class, but you will need to spend some time searching through this list. Share the letters from the soldiers with your students. Have students write fictitious letters (or blog entries) taking on the persona of a soldier.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Presidency of the United States of America - Encyclopedia Britannica

Grades
5 to 12
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This site provides concise information about the men who have held the nation's highest office, their first ladies, and the complex job of the American president. Historical election...more
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This site provides concise information about the men who have held the nation's highest office, their first ladies, and the complex job of the American president. Historical election results, descriptions of political parties, and a gallery of documents related to the presidency are also included. Investigate the audio and video features - where you'll find some true gems! Watch a video of Nixon discussing Watergate, see JFK deliver his NASA speech, view Ronald Reagan's Berlin Wall Speech, and see many animated videos from Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and more!!

There is also a link about the famous 2008 Election. Learn about the candidates and election results. Some of the videos, animations, and audio require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): elections (75), lincoln (86), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Use this site to research candidates in the upcoming elections, and presidents of the past. Have students create a wiki to discuss the candidates viewpoints and if the students agree or disagree. Challenge students to create a political "blog" as a mock candidate. Have a "mock" presidential race in your class (using the mock candidates created by your students). Have the "candidates" go on the campaign trail, research the issues, and provide their solutions to America's problems.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Emancipation Proclamation - National Archives

Grades
6 to 12
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This site from the National Archives provides images of the original proclamation, along with a brief analysis explaining the various limitations to Lincoln's document that freed the...more
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This site from the National Archives provides images of the original proclamation, along with a brief analysis explaining the various limitations to Lincoln's document that freed the slaves. The analysis sets the effort to free slaves into the political context of the Civil War.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113), civil war (145), lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

Share the original document on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students take turns reading each section aloud to the class. After reading the entire document, have students write a journal entry from the viewpoint of the slaves - what were they thinking, feeling, did they even know this had happened?

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History for Middle School Kids - Kidipede

Grades
4 to 10
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This site, designed especially for middle school students, includes a HUGE amount of social studies topics. Although this site is recommended for middle school students, it is also...more
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This site, designed especially for middle school students, includes a HUGE amount of social studies topics. Although this site is recommended for middle school students, it is also appropriate for high school students studying the subject areas. It is mainly a "text" site, without interactives. However, this is a great resource for explaining complex topics, researching specific topics in social studies, and much more. Some of the general areas of the site include: Mesopotamia, North America, Ancient Africa, Ancient Egypt, Medieval Europe, Islamic Empire, Ancient China, Ancient Rome, and Ancient Greece. Each general area includes countless sub-topics. There is a search box available at the top of the page. There are also links to activities for students, project ideas, and Teacher's Guides. There are two caveats: there are some advertisements, nothing too distracting AND some of the suggested activities include "buying" a book from Amazon. You do NOT need to purchase anything to take advantage of this free resource!

tag(s): europe (75), greece (26), medieval (27), mesopotamia (6)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set in your history classes studying these topics. The information is simple to understand and would be useful for students struggling with a topic. Use the site for research about specific topics. Have teams of students explore each of the "sub-topics" within the main topic and then create an interactive presentation (Powerpoint, video, or blog) to share the information with their class. Why not list this link on your class website, so students can access the page both in and out of the classroom.

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