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Today in History - Library of Congress

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4 to 12
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The Library of Congress offers this daily look at historical events - mostly American. There is typically more than one event listed per day, and the text integrates cultural, literary,...more
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The Library of Congress offers this daily look at historical events - mostly American. There is typically more than one event listed per day, and the text integrates cultural, literary, and political trends into the daily reporting. This makes this daily nugget far more than just a collection of "factoids."

tag(s): history day (23)

In the Classroom

This site provides excellent historical research! For a classroom-ready activity each day to build understanding of historical events in the context of your students' prior knowledge, also try TeachersFirst's Dates That Matter. Include both links on your teacher web page for instant access by students both in and out of class. Maybe start a class wiki for your own "This Day" collection and assign student groups a day of their own. Add to it from year to year. Or have students write blog responses on class or individual blogs as they choose an event for the day from several sources and react to it.

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On This Day - New York Times

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6 to 12
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The New York Times offers this glimpse back into history in this daily feature. Events may be national or international, and frequently refer to contemporaneous Times coverage. The...more
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The New York Times offers this glimpse back into history in this daily feature. Events may be national or international, and frequently refer to contemporaneous Times coverage. The site also lists "famous" birthdays, copies of previous New York Times, and links to lesson plans (mainly current events).

tag(s): news (261)

In the Classroom

Try this one for a daily "historical current events" sampling. Take advantage of the "ready to go" lesson plans, which include interactive features.

This site also makes for decent research. For a classroom-ready activity each day to build understanding of historical events in the context of your students' prior knowledge, also try TeachersFirst's Dates That Matter. Include both links on your teacher web page for instant access by students both in and out of class. Maybe start a class wiki for your own "This Day" collection and assign student groups a day of their own. Add to it from year to year. Or have students write blog responses on class or individual blogs as they choose an event for the day from several sources and react to it.

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Today In History - Cowles

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6 to 12
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A very good site for the history buff or those struggling to understand historical events. The story links have real depth and are well written for easy comprehension. Pictures make...more
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A very good site for the history buff or those struggling to understand historical events. The story links have real depth and are well written for easy comprehension. Pictures make the history come alive and support the information given. There are links to particular events of the day, a daily quiz, and a picture of the day. Be aware: some dates do not have any information and other dates provide a very brief list of "happenings."

tag(s): expository writing (44), history day (23)

In the Classroom

This site would be ideal for research projects. For a classroom-ready activity each day to build understanding of historical events in the context of your students' prior knowledge, also try TeachersFirst's Dates That Matter. Include both links on your teacher web page for instant access by students both in and out of class. Maybe start a class wiki for your own "This Day" collection and assign student groups a day of their own. Add to it from year to year. Or have students write blog responses on class or individual blogs as they choose an event for the day from several sources and react to it.

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Meet Amazing Americans - The Library of Congress

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1 to 8
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This site offers some basic research on MANY "Amazing" Americans. Click to learn more about "Amazing" Leaders & Statesmen, U.S. Presidents, Activists & Reformers, Adventurers & Explorers,...more
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This site offers some basic research on MANY "Amazing" Americans. Click to learn more about "Amazing" Leaders & Statesmen, U.S. Presidents, Activists & Reformers, Adventurers & Explorers, Musicians & Composers, Writers & Artists, Industrialists & Entrepreneurs, Scientist & Inventors, or Athletes and Entertainers. Be prepared: when you click on one of the topics you may have a few people pop up OR more names than you can count! This is an excellent site for research, teaching students about American heroes, or using to enhance your social studies, science, or music curriculum. There are pictures, information, and even some interactives. There are also links to a Presidential Scavenger Hunt, a "Dynamite Presidents" interactive, and other "extras." Some of the activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): composers (21), explorers (61), inventors and inventions (101), presidents (131), scientists (69)

In the Classroom

This site could be used throughout the entire year. Why not highlight a "hero of the week." Share the information on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students write diary entries (or blogs) from the perspective of the "hero of the week." Use this site for individual research projects and have students create multimedia presentations about their hero: a Powerpoint, website, blog, wiki, or video. This site can be used in more than just social studies topics. Music classes, science classes, and gifted classes can also benefit from the many research areas.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Foreign Languages and Literature - MIT Open Courseware

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8 to 12
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This site offers free comprehensive, interactive language and literature courses developed by MIT staff as part of their open course ware program. All courses include a regular syllabus...more
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This site offers free comprehensive, interactive language and literature courses developed by MIT staff as part of their open course ware program. All courses include a regular syllabus that features assignments, interactive activities, and other resources such as videos and slideshows. There is a wide range of language offerings; the cultural courses complement the language instruction and include topics such as popular culture, history, economics, media , and thinking skills. There are courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): chinese (48), french (88), german (64), india (36), japan (61), japanese (42), latin (22), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

AP history, language, and economics students may find MIT's online course materials useful. MIT has committed to putting its entire curriculum on the web, and these early offerings include syllabi, reading materials, and a variety of subject-specific class notes. Before using these pages, students and parents should all be aware of what Open Courseware is and is not. Teachers at smaller schools may welcome the availability of language alternatives. Teachers of gifted who are looking for acceleration options will also find these courses valuable, though you will need to develop a means of doing assessment if your students are to earn credit for them.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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America's Story - Library of Congress

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3 to 8
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The stories of America's past come alive in this fun and entertaining site that is filled with interactive activities, engaging glimpses of historical figures, music, animation, and...more
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The stories of America's past come alive in this fun and entertaining site that is filled with interactive activities, engaging glimpses of historical figures, music, animation, and more! Students can jump back in time to experience an historic era, explore America's favorite pastimes, or investigate some vintage music, cartoons, and films. Throughout the site, visitors are presented with interesting side trips, glimpses of historic documents and photographs, and interactive trivia questions. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74)

In the Classroom

Interested students could spend hours on this site, so provide some specific directions for use before turning them loose! Use to supplement the study of a particular time period in American history or as an enrichment activity.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Anoka - Halloween Capital of the World - Anoka Halloween, Inc.

Grades
2 to 8
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This simple site provides historical information about Anoka, Minnesota. Do you know what makes Anoka so interesting? It has the unique nickname of the "Halloween Capital of the World."...more
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This simple site provides historical information about Anoka, Minnesota. Do you know what makes Anoka so interesting? It has the unique nickname of the "Halloween Capital of the World." Do you want to know why it is the capital? Visit the site and read all about the history, celebrations, and more. Suddenly a community's claim to fame can become a way to introduce your students to the process of tracing local history.

tag(s): halloween (40), minnesota (4)

In the Classroom

Use this site when studying community and culture. There are many sites that offer Halloween games and printables, but this site offers some real history - check it out! Why not have students research the history of Halloween (or another holiday) in your hometown. Do they have a parade? If so, when did it begin? What year did trick-or-treating begin in your hometown?

Assign cooperative learning groups different cities throughout your state, and have students do "Halloween" (or holiday) research on that particular town. Have the groups create interactive presentations to share with the class. Try having students create videos to share using YouTube or TeacherTube (explained here).

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Cosmeo Atlas - Discovery education

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6 to 12
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This interactive world map shares information in video format about culture, government, history, or the natural world. To view the information you may either click on the location...more
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This interactive world map shares information in video format about culture, government, history, or the natural world. To view the information you may either click on the location on the map, or use the Select a Location toolbar. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): climate (92), countries (76), environment (317)

In the Classroom

Students can be divided into groups and assigned a country. Each student can use the videos to create a snapshot of the country based upon the culture, government, history, and the natural world. Students can create their own videos outlining the information, a blog post to share with others, newsletters, or any other project that makes a comparison between cultures. Offer this as one of several resources for student research. Your learning support and ESL students will find it easier to follow this information in video than to use text-based resources.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Who Were The Pilgrims - Plimoth Plantation

Grades
1 to 6
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This informative website presents the students with information on numerous "Pilgrim" topics. There are authentic pictures and a lot of information. Topics include "Who Were The Pilgrims,"...more
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This informative website presents the students with information on numerous "Pilgrim" topics. There are authentic pictures and a lot of information. Topics include "Who Were The Pilgrims," "Who Were The Wampanoag," "The Mayflower," "Building a Home," and more!

On the right side of the website, there is a list of other relevant topics (Thanksgiving, Growing Food, What to Wear, Playing and Learning, What's for Dinner, and several others).

tag(s): colonial america (107), pilgrims (17), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

A teacher could use this website for research projects. Incorporate this website into your lessons on pilgrims, the Mayflower, and Thanksgiving. Use this site to help prepare for Colonial Days at your school.

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Plimouth Plantation Just for Kids - Plimouth Plantation

Grades
K to 5
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Hear and see the language of the pilgrims, try recipes, make crafts, read stories, and more with these kids activities from Plimouth Plantation. This site also has printable pages for...more
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Hear and see the language of the pilgrims, try recipes, make crafts, read stories, and more with these kids activities from Plimouth Plantation. This site also has printable pages for younger students. Note: the sound files for the Pilgrim talk require FLASH, and you must turn up your computer's volume! You can get Flash from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

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

In the Classroom

Share this link on your teacher web site for November or try some of the activities in your elementary classroom. The stories would make great read-alouds during Thanksgiving week. Share the stories on your interactive whiteboard or projector.
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American Heritage Education Foundation, Inc. - The American Heritage Education Foundation

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K to 12
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Social studies, history, and government teachers - be warned - this site may be the best FREE gift you receive this year. To sum it up in one word - ...more
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Social studies, history, and government teachers - be warned - this site may be the best FREE gift you receive this year. To sum it up in one word - WOW! The highlight of this site is ready-to-go lesson plans (with standards) divided by age level (elementary, middle, and high school). These FREE lesson plans are available online via a PDF file or you may order a FREE CD (they say it is a $150 value).

The elementary topics range from Colonial America to U.S. Presidents (with a focus on George Washington) to the History of Thanksgiving to The Pledge of Allegiance and MANY others. The middle school topics include the Declaration of Independence, Our National Documents, The Gettysburg Address, Religious Expression in School, and several others. The high school topics vary from the Mayflower, to Federalists 47, the First Amendment, and more. Each grade level also includes lessons on character education.

In addition to the wonderful lesson plans, the site also highlights the four themes of the foundation: Unity, Progress, Freedom, and Responsibility. There are also links to some fantastic social studies sites and a wealth of research information about America. Some of the lesson plans and printables require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): colonial america (107), constitution (79), gettysburg (26), gettysburg address (18), presidents (131), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Obviously, the lesson plans are useful for all grade levels. Take advantage of these free resources. Many include printable activities for your students to try out. Although the site isn't highly interactive, it does have some great ideas to incorporate into your class to bring history alive.

Make the lesson plans more "technologically advanced" by having students create a wiki or blog entry. Have your high school students complete the lesson on the First Amendment and then have them have a virtual debate about the First Amendment via a class wiki. Have your elementary students complete the lesson on U.S. Presidents and then have each student write a blog entry pretending to be one of the presidents (a great mini-research project). Have your middle school students complete the lesson on the Gettysburg Address and then try to create their own "Address" to talk about the current state of our nation. Have them share their "Address" on a video using YouTube or or TeacherTube (explained here).
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Wanderlust: GOOD traces the most famous trips in history - GOOD magazine

Grades
5 to 12
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Visually interesting, this site offers brief (3--5 stop) illustrated trips reflecting a combination of real-life and fictional journeys, including those by Amelia Earhart, Captain Ahab,...more
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Visually interesting, this site offers brief (3--5 stop) illustrated trips reflecting a combination of real-life and fictional journeys, including those by Amelia Earhart, Captain Ahab, Magellan, Marco Polo, Jack Kerouac, Pizarro, and Phileas Fogg. The site opens with a world map with each of the journeys traced and keyed to the name of the journey. Clicking on a journey brings up photographs, literary illustrations, or drawings from the time period showing highlights of the trip. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): columbus day (11), explorers (61), lewis and clark (15), literature (275), marco polo (5)

In the Classroom

The individual journeys are brief, but would provide a nice accompaniment to a lesson, either in literature or history. When introduce Hudson the explorer, share his voyage as an anticipatory set or activator for the lesson. They would be particularly effective on an interactive whiteboard or projector. As your students read other literature or study other events in history, challenge them to create similar "maps" of the journeys in Google Earth.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Real American Stories - Fox News Network

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5 to 12
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American stories, from celebrities or the neighbor next door, abound. Fox News Network collects 'our' stories at this website for all to hear and see. History teachers will appreciate...more
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American stories, from celebrities or the neighbor next door, abound. Fox News Network collects 'our' stories at this website for all to hear and see. History teachers will appreciate the authentic video stories from WWII heroes or from those whose ancestors came to America through Ellis Island. Stories that encourage the human spirit, and stories that motivate us to become all we can be, will certainly be a bonus to your educational program. Click on the Inspiration link to read the statements, view videos, or hear authentic recordings from our founding fathers and other notable Americans (like Walt Whitman and Susan B. Anthony).

You are also able to input your own "American Story." Directions are found under the Your Story link. Uploading your own story requires personal information to be included (i.e. name, state, email, phone, etc.). Be sure to check your school's Acceptable Use Policy (and check with parents) BEFORE uploading ANY student information. Audio and video plug ins are necessary and can be obtained here: TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): heroes (24)

In the Classroom

Through your TV circuit, your school could start each week with a Real American Story. Share the video clips on an interactive whiteboard or projector. History teachers will enjoy perusing the site to find stories that would aid content learning. As an English teacher, your students can write their own American story. Employ the photography teacher in a joint project to video the 'best' American story and submit it to the site. (Be sure to see warning: noted in the description). Classroom teachers, make a bulletin board of your students' "real American stories." Have students create a wiki about their own personal heroes (well-known or unknown). The stories on this site would also serve as primary sources to inspire History Day and other research projects. For a longer-range project, plan to document local history by interviewing local residents about major events that made your town what it is today. You might even get your local service clubs and organizations to help fund the project.
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Quiz School: Create a Quiz Online - Proprofs QuizSchool

Grades
1 to 12
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The site calls itself the "YouTube of Quizzes." This site allows you to create ONLINE quizzes. You MUST register to use this site. Registration does require an email address, user ...more
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The site calls itself the "YouTube of Quizzes." This site allows you to create ONLINE quizzes. You MUST register to use this site. Registration does require an email address, user name, and password. Registration takes less than ten seconds, and is very simple.

Once registered, you click to create a quiz. Then you are asked to choose between a personality quiz or a scored quiz. This site offers extraordinary details. At the scored quiz, you are able to provide a title, tags, description, and choose the type of questions (multiple choice, essay, or fill in the blank). It is simple to insert images, change font styles, insert links, and even score the online quiz. You can create a pass/fail quiz, a graded quiz (with YOU determining what qualifies as an A, B, etc..). You are also able to set a time limit, issue a certificate of achievement, and fill in the possible total score.

Once students have taken the quiz, immediate feedback is provided (including a scale of all participants, the correct answers, final score, and grade). This is a fantastic tool to use to create online quizzes!

Caution: this site does include some minor advertisements. At the time of this review, all advertisements were appropriate. But it would be wise to advise students NOT to click off of the quiz onto any of the advertisements or links.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): quiz (85)

In the Classroom

Use this site to create online quizzes. Create a quiz as a review to share on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students take the quiz independently or in cooperative learning groups. Have students create their own quizzes to use for review or as a final project. Embed your quiz (or provide a link to it) on your class website.

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4th Grade Home Page - Kidport

Grades
3 to 5
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This site, created by Kidport for fourth grade students, offers links to lessons and activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library....more
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This site, created by Kidport for fourth grade students, offers links to lessons and activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library. Some of the subject areas only offer one or two activities, while others offer several. The topics include California Missions, arithmetic practice, the food chain, animal comparisons, U.S. presidents, Mexican American War, California Gold Rush, homophones, and other grammar activities.

Although some of the activities are not highly interactive, they are well done and could be very useful in the classroom. Some of the pages do have advertisements, but they are not distractive. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): addition (251), california (27), gold rush (19), grammar (216), homophones (17), multiplication (227), subtraction (208)

In the Classroom

Check out the unique mix available at this website. Share it with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for enrichment, learning stations, or indoor recess options. List this site in your class newsletter and on your class website for students to use for additional practice at home.
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5th Grade Home Page - Kidport

Grades
4 to 6
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This site, created by Kidport for fifth grade students, offers links to lessons and activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library....more
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This site, created by Kidport for fifth grade students, offers links to lessons and activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library. Some of the subject areas only offer one or two activities, while others offer several. Some examples of math topics include measuring angles, adding and subtracting decimals, and measuring distance. Language arts topics include contractions, antonyms, synonyms, compound words, and homophones. Science topics vary greatly and include the heart, human body, bones, muscles, the animal kingdom and more! Social studies lessons focus on the pilgrims, U.S. states and capitals, and the American Revolution.

This site offers a variety of interactive elements (online quizzes, interactive maps and diagrams, and other learning exercises). Some of the pages do have advertisements, but they are not distractive. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): antonyms (26), capitals (24), heart (43), pilgrims (17), synonyms (38)

In the Classroom

Share this site with your families by listing it on your class website for additional at-home practice and enrichment. Use this site with younger gifted students. Share the site with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for learning stations, or indoor recess options.
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6th Grade Home Page - Kidport

Grades
5 to 7
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This site, created by Kidport for sixth grade students, offers links to lessons and activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library....more
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This site, created by Kidport for sixth grade students, offers links to lessons and activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library. Some of the subject areas only offer one or two activities, while others offer several. Some examples of topics include adding and subtracting decimals, angles, human body (heart, bones, muscles, and more), vertebrates, invertebrates, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, the structure of the U.S. government, U.S. constitution, presidents, homophones, contractions, drawing, and others.

This site offers a variety of interactive elements (online quizzes, interactive maps and diagrams, and other learning exercises). Some of the pages do have advertisements, but they are not distractive. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): angles (88), constitution (79), decimals (133), egypt (67), grammar (216), greece (26), presidents (131), rome (27)

In the Classroom

Check out the unique mix available at this website. Share it with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for enrichment, learning stations, or as a whole class activity. List this site on your class website for students to use for additional practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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7th Grade Home Page - Kidport

Grades
6 to 8
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This site, created by Kidport for seventh grade students, offers links to lessons and activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library....more
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This site, created by Kidport for seventh grade students, offers links to lessons and activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library. Some of the subject areas only offer one or two activities, while others offer several. Some examples of topics include adding and subtracting decimals, angles, human body (heart, bones, muscles, and more), vertebrates, invertebrates, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, the structure of the U.S. government, world geography, U.S. constitution, presidents, kinds of verbs, kinds of nouns, sentence structure, drawing, and others.

This site offers a variety of interactive elements (online quizzes, interactive maps and diagrams, and other learning exercises). Some of the pages do have advertisements, but they are not distractive. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): angles (88), constitution (79), decimals (133), grammar (216), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Check out the eclectic mix of activities available at this website. Share it with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for enrichment during certain units, learning stations, or as a whole class activity. List this site on your class website for students to use for additional practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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8th Grade Home Page - Kidport

Grades
7 to 9
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This site, created for eighth grade students, offers links to activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library. Some of the subject...more
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This site, created for eighth grade students, offers links to activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library. Some of the subject areas only offer one or two activities, while others offer several topics. The topics vary greatly and include measuring angles, multiplying decimals, the human body (skeleton, heart, muscles), vertebrates and invertebrates, the Civil War, the War of 1812, and some language arts topics (writing topic sentences, using figurative language, analogies, writing about cause and effect, and several others). Be aware: some of the language arts topics lead you to another educational site and are not as simple to use as in other subject areas. The language arts link is under construction and several are currently unavailable.

Although some of the activities are not highly interactive (some are simple online quizzes), they are well done and could be very useful in the classroom. There are also interactive diagrams and more. Some of the pages do have advertisements, but they are not distractive. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), decimals (133), figurative language (16), heart (43), lincoln (86), war of 1812 (14)

In the Classroom

Check out the eclectic mix of activities available at this website. Share it with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for enrichment, learning stations, or as a whole class activity, depending on the subject matter. List this site on your class website for students to use for additional practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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After the Deluge - Smith Magazine

Grades
6 to 12
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This issue of Smith Magazine features an online graphic novel of the events of Hurricane Katrina and its effects on New Orleans and related communities. Since there are very few ...more
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This issue of Smith Magazine features an online graphic novel of the events of Hurricane Katrina and its effects on New Orleans and related communities. Since there are very few words, it's perfect for students of all ages and English ability levels. The drawings are in chronological order and include weather pictures and before and after pictures, as well as specific events of the hurricane.

Warning: Be sure to PREVIEW each section before you show it to the class since there is some profanity in the speech of some characters.

tag(s): graphic novels (7), hurricanes (35), novels (24)

In the Classroom

In light of the increase of hurricane activity, this is a wonderful resource to introduce this weather topic. Use it also in art class, graphic design, and with ESL and ELL students learning to tell stories. Use this site to introduce the world of graphic novels to students who are reluctant readers. Have your class make their own graphic novel about another catastrophic or historical event, either in groups or individually. Check with your administration to be sure it's OK to use this site at student computers since there are spaces for students to respond and also to submit their own work. If that's a problem, use it with your classroom computer and project the novel on the whiteboard (avoiding scenes with questionable vocabulary). Extend the lesson by having students create their own collaborative graphic account of a local history event or fictional tale in small groups.

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