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HistoryBuff.com - R. J. Brown

Grades
5 to 12
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This is a fascinating website begun by a man who was fascinated by first-person accounts of history. It is a newspaper-based site and offers something unique to the visitor. There ...more
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This is a fascinating website begun by a man who was fascinated by first-person accounts of history. It is a newspaper-based site and offers something unique to the visitor. There are such diverse things as the "Nameplate Hall of Fame," featuring interesting newspaper titles and primary source material for those who are doing serious research or who are just interested in the perspective of the time. Panoramas, which show pictures of a variety of historical characters and their backgrounds as well as interactive quizzes will get students enthused about the reality of history. The transcripts from actual newspapers on Jack the Ripper, Bonnie and Clyde, and the Louisiana Purchase were particularly fascinating. Note: the interactive newspaper archive requires Flash.

tag(s): news (261), newspapers (95), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

This is a great site for sparking the imagination! Share a shot of a newspaper on a projector as an anticipatory set to a history lesson. SHOW the parts of a newspaper when you study this and have students annotated them on your interactive whiteboard. Opportunities for writing prompts also abound. After reading through some of the transcripts, students can post their own responses or letters to the editor as a blog. They can make their own podcasts after listening to some of the speeches or they can make their own newspapers after searching through some of the interesting nameplates and articles about actual historical events. The sky's the limit after perusing this innovative and complete site.

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in Our Own Backyard: The Hidden Problem of Child Farmworkers - AFT

Grades
8 to 12
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This site presents facts, video, activities, and thoughtful questions about the treatment of migrant children today in the U.S. Help students learn first hand about social problems,...more
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This site presents facts, video, activities, and thoughtful questions about the treatment of migrant children today in the U.S. Help students learn first hand about social problems, the possibility of social change, the role of legislation, critical thinking, and the power of original documents.

tag(s): immigration (57), migration (58)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a launch point for debates, class discussion, or student projects on the history of labor, the contributions of minorities in American life, and the hot current events discussions of border control. Consider this topic for possible social action projects or political letter-writing and more. Examples of projects other classrooms have created are available on the website as well as teacher testimonials on teaching about child labor.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Search for Monsters of Mystery - National Geographic Kids

Grades
3 to 8
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Terrifically "scary," this website thrills students with information about various monsters. Students learn the geographic location and numerous facts about several famous "monsters"....more
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Terrifically "scary," this website thrills students with information about various monsters. Students learn the geographic location and numerous facts about several famous "monsters". The fascinating study includes Bigfoot, Nessie, Storsie, Yeti, Champ, and Mokele-Mbembe. Note: Some of the information on the monsters comes up in pop-ups. Turn off any pop-up blockers (this would include those that work as part of the Google or Yahoo toolbar).

tag(s): halloween (39), holidays (148)

In the Classroom

Use this website as a starting point for researching the history of famous monsters. This is a great way to teach about fact vs fiction and the information literacy skill of evaluating web site reliability, using a topic that students will love. After they collect facts, have a monster "trial" in your classroom "courthouse" where two teams try to prove that each monster is FACT or FICTION, using "evidence" from this site and further research. Differentiate the tasks by assigning some of your brighter students to conduct the questioning (and perhaps challenge the web sources). Then have a the class-member "jury" reach a verdict: Fact or Fiction?

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HippoCampus - Monterey Institute for Technology and Education

Grades
9 to 12
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Find multimedia content and lessons ready to go, and customizable by your preferences on this incredible, free, online learning site. Whether you need a comprehensive curriculum for...more
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Find multimedia content and lessons ready to go, and customizable by your preferences on this incredible, free, online learning site. Whether you need a comprehensive curriculum for selected high school courses, a way to differentiate instruction, or materials to reinforce challenging topics, this site has it. The current subjects include Algebra, American Government, Biology, Calculus, Environmental Science, Physics, Religion, and U.S. History. The subjects extend through high school and into AP and college level material. Open a course at the left and browse the topics, especially the multimedia offerings. A free instructor account allows you to select the modules you want your students to see and share them via a unique URL for assignments or at-home review. Since the content is offered collaboratively from multiple sources, the courses each have their own "look." The ones our review team explored all included audio-- a real plus for ESL/ELL or low level readers. Requires Flash and Quicktime. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): environment (319)

In the Classroom

Explore the curriculum topics for your subject area and select some options for students to use in class or for review. This is also an excellent option for leaving plans for a substitute who may have no expertise in your subject area! Many of the multimedia modules are well-suited for interactive whiteboard or projector (or for students to navigate at an individual pace on laptops). Have gifted students? Allow them to "compact" new content and extend into higher levels using this site. Be sure to share a link from your teacher web page for students who need an alternate presentation of material or for absentees. Share this site at the beginning of the school year for students wanting more of a challenge.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Opensecrets.org - Open Secrets

Grades
9 to 12
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A compilation of data about fund-raising and the financing of political candidates in the United States, this site contains a massive amount of information. You can drill down to the...more
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A compilation of data about fund-raising and the financing of political candidates in the United States, this site contains a massive amount of information. You can drill down to the zip code level and find out who in your local area is donating how much to which political candidates and parties. You can search by politician or by candidates and see where their financial support comes from. You can track particular issues or take a historical look at campaign and political finance.

tag(s): elections (75), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Put this site on your TeachersFirst favorites list or teacher web page so students can use it for research on political candidates and issues. Civics teachers will find it useful in demonstrating the importance of lobbying and campaign finance in the political arena. Economics teachers can use these data to illustrate the connection between wealth and political power. Teachers doing lessons focused on the upcoming elections can track current Presidential candidates and their major contributors.
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The Home Front - Snaith Primary School

Grades
6 to 9
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This British website looks at life in London during World War II, with a focus on the Blitz. Written with younger students in mind, the site is easy to ...more
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This British website looks at life in London during World War II, with a focus on the Blitz. Written with younger students in mind, the site is easy to navigate and highlights the difficulty of rationing, living in fear of German bombing and the need for the entire family to contribute to the war effort. Middle School teachers planning lessons on World War II will find good resources here. Students may be amused by the subtle differences between British terminology and American English. The writing style is youth-oriented, and may be help U.S. students get a feeling for what it might be like to live in a war zone.

tag(s): england (56), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

Assign students to navigate the site with a partner on laptops or in a lab, making a list of things that changed for the people at home in Britain during the war. Have them orally share "surprises" they discovered about the experience or write a "blog entry" from the point of view of a Brit during the war.

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Way Back: Technology in 1900 - WGBH for PBS

Grades
5 to 8
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Start your unit on inventions/technology or the decades of the 20th century with a 1900 music video from this site to show how advanced we have become. Students will ...more
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Start your unit on inventions/technology or the decades of the 20th century with a 1900 music video from this site to show how advanced we have become. Students will explore technology, such as telephone operators, music, and automobiles with a click on the links. Laugh at the Max Morath interview as he predicts that all the futurists are wrong. That interview will stir up your class.

tag(s): decades (14)

In the Classroom

Share the video on a projector then read the amazing 1900 Technology Predictions from the Ladies Home Journal and have your class make their own technology predictions for 2100. Invite an engineer into your class or share a dialog via email to talk about how many of the class predictions could possibly come true.

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Way Back: Stand Up For Your Rights - WGBH for PBS

Grades
4 to 8
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Boost understanding of civil rights issues by reading the interviews and playing the games at this site. Choose answers from interactive games, then read biographies of civil rights...more
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Boost understanding of civil rights issues by reading the interviews and playing the games at this site. Choose answers from interactive games, then read biographies of civil rights leaders in various issues --from farm workers to black rights. An extensive interview by Melba Beals (one of the Little Rock Nine), articles on women's rights, and religious freedom round out this site on civil rights in America.

tag(s): civil rights (119), women (91)

In the Classroom

Students will enjoy competition from the interactive games when presented on the whiteboard. This site is a great starting place for reports or in-class investigations on the featured civil rights leaders. Start a "What's Right is Rights" wiki for students to share their new knowledge and connect it to their study of the Constitution.
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Way Back: Family Ties - WGBH for PBS

Grades
4 to 8
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Doing a unit on Family Ties or family history? Download the Family Tree Maker (or use the online vesion) so you can record your family's roots. Or, read ...more
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Doing a unit on Family Ties or family history? Download the Family Tree Maker (or use the online vesion) so you can record your family's roots. Or, read about the Still family who has one of the longest running family reunions in America. Take the interactive quiz about "Keeping in Touch," communication avenues through our history.

tag(s): family (59)

In the Classroom

Make sure your students use the downloadable family tree maker, since the online version erases data when you click off the site. Check out the Teachers and Parents section for more family ties activities. This site could also be an effective adjunct to literature study of books about family. You might even want to create family trees of characters from books students are reading or famous families from history in a biography unit.
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September 11,2001 documentary project - Library of Congress

Grades
7 to 12
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From the Library of Congress' American Memory project, this site links to a large collection of audio, video, text, and artwork related the events of September 11, 2001. Users ...more
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From the Library of Congress' American Memory project, this site links to a large collection of audio, video, text, and artwork related the events of September 11, 2001. Users can search by media, by topic or by title.

tag(s): new york (26), sept11 (21), terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

This site would be most useful to students doing research on the 9/11 attacks, but also could provide teachers with supplemental material for a lesson on the events of that date. Although teachers will remember the day vividly, most students were young enough when it occurred that their memories will be clouded. Another use for this site is as an example of the power and necessity of primary sources in documenting any event. Compare these resources to accounts we have of Pearl Harbor and other major events as you ask student to conduct an interviewing project of their own, perhaps of local history.

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September 11 Digital Archive - Center for History and New Media

Grades
7 to 12
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A good start for accessing a wealth of information related to the events of September 11, 2001, this site provides links to research databases, first person accounts and photo and ...more
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A good start for accessing a wealth of information related to the events of September 11, 2001, this site provides links to research databases, first person accounts and photo and sound galleries. For most teachers, 9/11 is a very recent event and is fresh in our minds. However, for students, the details of that terrible day may be fuzzy either because they were young when it happened, or because they were shielded from much of the news coverage. This site can help present the account. Among the "Special Collections" is a link to an innovative sound memorial site that provides a montage of voices and sounds recorded on September 11. Although the main site does not, some of the linked sites require Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): new york (26), sept11 (21), terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

Preview carefully for younger students. Use the site in your discussions of current events and terrorism-related topics or share it as a resource for high school students doing research projects. As politicians talk about Sept 11, this site can help fill the gaps in your students' background. You can easily demonstrate primary and secondary sources with these engaging examples.
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Alphabet Organizer - Read Write Think (Iron Monkey Interactive)

Grades
K to 12
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This Alphabet Organizer makes learning words and terminology exciting-- and organized. All levels may use this--from primary students learning the alphabet to secondary students learning...more
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This Alphabet Organizer makes learning words and terminology exciting-- and organized. All levels may use this--from primary students learning the alphabet to secondary students learning advanced vocabulary. On the interactive keypad, key in the beginning letter of a word. Key in the rest of the word on the blanks provided. You also have the option of typing in the word's meaning. When your list is entered, you may choose a booklet or a chart format for the presentation of your information. Studying content-area words or vocabulary meanings have never been so easy.

tag(s): alphabet (91), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Think outside the 'box' when considering this application. Teachers may opt to teach the elements of the story through entering character traits, setting, plot events, etc., then printing a chart to teach those concepts. Special Ed or ESL/ELL teachers and teachers will love using this organizer to help students organize new words they must learn. If students use a three-ring notebook, new words can be added over time. Mark this tool as a favorite on your classroom computer for students to access as needed.
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firstfind.info - Westchester Library System

Grades
3 to 8
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This site offers a quick way to find basic information on many topics written in very simple English. There are 9 major topic areas which users can choose from ...more
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This site offers a quick way to find basic information on many topics written in very simple English. There are 9 major topic areas which users can choose from and each area has a variety of inside divisions. Of particular interest to K-12 students would be Government, History, Travel (includes maps), and Health. Especially useful for ESL students are the online magazines written in simplified language and the dictionary link.

In the Classroom

Suggest this site to your students from other countries when they are assigned a research project. Keep this one in Favorites on your teacher web page or classroom computers for ESL students to use the Dictionary or find simplified information on your government, history and health lessons. Special Ed teachers with students of low reading ability can also find adapted resources here.

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Social Studies for Kids

Grades
1 to 8
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This is a general "go-to" website all about social studies. There is information about current events, culture, holidays, languages, religion, economics, geography, maps, government,...more
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This is a general "go-to" website all about social studies. There is information about current events, culture, holidays, languages, religion, economics, geography, maps, government, U.S. presidents, timelines, and many other social studies topics. The highlight of this website is the Current Events segment. This is an easy way to incorporate age-appropriate current events in your classroom.
Note: an annoying audio ad plays when you first enter the site. Turn OFF your sound!

tag(s): holidays (148), maps (289), presidents (130), renaissance (34), timelines (64)

In the Classroom

Use the current events segment as weekly discussion starter or assignment in your social studies class. Share this link on your teacher web page for students to access outside of class. To really build a stronger sense of current events, start a class year-long current events "log" on a wiki and have a differnet student write a "week in review" each week throughout the year, based on the current events provided here or others he/she may know about. Reading teachers may also want to use the articles on this site to teach informational text reading skills on an interactive whiteboard. Reading levels are challenging for grades 1-3. Teachers will need to provide help by reading aloud or partnering readers.

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Big Apple History - PBS Kids

Grades
5 to 9
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PBS has created this wonderful website that presents the history of New York City. The history goes back as far as before the 1600s and runs through the 1960s. The ...more
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PBS has created this wonderful website that presents the history of New York City. The history goes back as far as before the 1600s and runs through the 1960s. The main topics of the website include New York Living, Business and Politics, Arts and Entertainment, Building the Big Apple, Early New York, and Coming to America. The topics each include an interactive timeline that can be used to share historical information with students. As you scroll across the timeline small descriptions appear at the bottom. If you click on the text you are directed to a mock news article about the topic. Lesson plans are also accessible by clicking on the "Parents and Teachers" link (find this link at the very bottom of the page). There are well over 30 excellent lesson plans (most include interactive elements). Some examples of the lesson plan topics include "History or Mis-Story", "Engineer a Solution", "United we Stand?", and "Get Rich Quick". There is even a link to learn more about the history of your own city (see the "Parents and Teachers" link). This website requires Flash, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): great depression (25), harlem (9), jazz (15), new york (26), stock market (13), timelines (64)

In the Classroom

Get your interactive whiteboards ready for this timeline adventure! Don't forget to utilize the FREE lesson plans. What an excellent way to teach the history of New York City, the stock market, and economics all in one lesson (see "Get Rich Quick")! If you teach about local history, inspire your students by sharing this site first, then have them create a wiki about your town!
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World News - WN Network

Grades
4 to 12
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This is a wonderful compilation site of news from all over the world. Users can read the home page or search news of a specific geographic region. An ...more
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This is a wonderful compilation site of news from all over the world. Users can read the home page or search news of a specific geographic region. An excellent plus here is the ability to choose to read the news in a variety of languages. World Photos today, multimedia, global weather, and sports are just a few of the many attractive sections that add to this site's appeal.

tag(s): news (261)

In the Classroom

Share this site with your school's foreign language teachers. Have students do comparisons between English and foreign language versions of the news. If you teach writing, you can find controversial topics as writing prompts for persuasive writing among the articles, as well, and have students find facts to support their positions. Make this site available from your teacher web page for current events assignments. Reading teachers will want to use the articles on an interactive whiteboard to teach main idea and summarizing: highlight key words to use in a main idea or summary sentence you write together below the article.

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American Centuries ...view from New England - Memorial Hall Museum Online

Grades
4 to 12
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There is so much to explore on this site, you will need to place limitations on it! Digital Collections of everything from clothing to chronology, turns of the century exhibits, ...more
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There is so much to explore on this site, you will need to place limitations on it! Digital Collections of everything from clothing to chronology, turns of the century exhibits, in the classroom activities, curricula, New England architecture and tools, manuscripts from people who lived in the time-- this site is truly a museum on the web made student-friendly. The activities section is full of ways to involve students with real objects from history. Students can actually hear some of the artists and writers reading their own words -- which is remarkable. If you teach American literature or history or are interested in artifacts from the past, this is a great site. If you choose, you or your students can create a login and save to "my collection." Many sections require Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): colonial america (107), england (56), slavery (71)

In the Classroom

If you plan to share objects as part of a lesson "collect" them in a personal collection so you can pull them up easily. Challenge secondary students to use the activity labeled "Create a chronology" to group artifacts from the collections to illustrate a concept, such as slavery, clothing, or background of an author, artist, or historical event. With younger students, use one or more of the activities on an interactive whiteboard or projector or design a simple scavenger hunt within YOUR collection of objects for students to find out about colonial life and times. If you turn them loose on the entire site, you will never get them back.
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Hyper History Online - The World History Project

Grades
6 to 12
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This comprehensive history/culture resource is the mother of all timelines with over 3000 years of history available in "synchronoptic" form, that is, in parallel timelines. Users...more
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This comprehensive history/culture resource is the mother of all timelines with over 3000 years of history available in "synchronoptic" form, that is, in parallel timelines. Users can view by searching year, event, people, stories, subjects, events, political movements, and maps. Constant updates to the events section and additional "people" lines ensure the timeliness of this amazing site. (The site does NOT include people who are still alive). The span of the timelines and people, events, and cultures is extensive. Timeline elements are clickable for more information. We recommend the site for grades 6 and up purely because of the level of exposure necessary to appreciate all the information and because of the reading level.

tag(s): biographies (87), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Use this site for context regarding what was going on all over the world at any given time, especially as you launch class discussion of a new topic or time period. Help students see relationships between what they know and what else was occurring at the same time. Use it to pose questions about how events and people may be related, as well. This site will work very well on a projector or interactive whiteboard.

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Essay Exchange Unit - George Cassutto

Grades
9 to 12
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This unit plan gives students the opportunity to get feedback on their writing from a totally impartial source. Students research and write position papers on a variety of topics, working...more
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This unit plan gives students the opportunity to get feedback on their writing from a totally impartial source. Students research and write position papers on a variety of topics, working step by step from to thesis statement to writing. The students then email their papers via e-mail to other schools and students for feedback. The students' final papers are posted to the school's web site for global access.

While this site does give a template of lessons for students to follow as a guide, teachers have a wide range of flexibility with it. Topics can be about anything of your choosing; the length of time given to the lesson and the type and amount of feedback is controlled. While this project started within the subject of Social Studies, this unit can be used in conjunction with any subject.

tag(s): writing (363)

In the Classroom

Teachers can adapt the assignment to use other genres of expression to evaluate student performance. All subject area teachers can integrate the procedures listed to develop on-line projects for their students. The ideal places to post papers for feedback and final publication would be on a blog (for comments) or wiki (for collaborative editing and additions).

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U.S. Presidential Speeches Tag Cloud - Chirag Mehta

Grades
9 to 12
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SHOW your students the changes in U.S. presidential politics and policy over time using this "tag cloud" of word frequencies from presidential speeches (and a few before we even HAD...more
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SHOW your students the changes in U.S. presidential politics and policy over time using this "tag cloud" of word frequencies from presidential speeches (and a few before we even HAD a president) 1776-2007. If you have never seen a tag cloud, it is simply a way of using the relative size of words to show the frequency with which that word appears. Slide the slider across the timeline at the top of the tag cloud to see words appear, shrink, disappear, etc from the language of U.S. leaders over time. Note the introduction of new terms (terrorism) and when they appear. What a marvelous way to build perspective on history and awareness of the importance of rhetoric in the role of a leader.

tag(s): debate (43), elections (75), politics (99), speech (92), speeches (17)

In the Classroom

Share the tag cloud on a projector-- or ideally interactive whiteboard-- as you ask students to hypothesize about the words that appear at key times: the start of a war, after Sept 11, etc. Then include the link on your teacher web page so you can assign them (in or out of class) to write an essay or prepare a visual presentation explaining why certain terms were vital in the political and policy landscape of the times. Using primary sources from the Library of Congress American Memory Collection, students can create multimedia (PowerPoint or video) shows "portraying" a year, decade, or era and the importance of its tagged words (Word art would make a great way to show the words on screen).

With the 2008 presidential election quickly approaching, have students analyze presidential speeches and create their own Speech Tag Clouds about the message. Or have students create a "mock" candidate and then design a "tag cloud" about the candidate.

Note that this tag cloud site DOES identify its sources-- something you want to be sure to highlight to your students. Then ask if students think the choice of sources is the best possible--should it include others?

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