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Where I Come From - National Endowment for the Humanities

Grades
3 to 5
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Using the traditional family tree activity as a springboard, this lesson plan takes students on a virtual journey across the planet to visit their ancestral homelands. In the process...more
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Using the traditional family tree activity as a springboard, this lesson plan takes students on a virtual journey across the planet to visit their ancestral homelands. In the process of connecting with their heritage, students practice map-reading skills, learn about geographic regions and cultures, and investigate the current events in that part of the world.

tag(s): cultures (107), immigration (58), migration (59)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plan hosted on this site! This would be a great lesson to use before a unit focused on immigration to the United States. Be sure to save this site as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval later on!

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On This Day - BBC

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8 to 12
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This daily listing of facts and images covers historical events from World War II to 2003. Click on an event to read more about it and experience some multimedia features. ...more
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This daily listing of facts and images covers historical events from World War II to 2003. Click on an event to read more about it and experience some multimedia features. Includes impressive video and audio clips. Good source for a daily bit of meaningful primary source trivia.

tag(s): calendars (46)

In the Classroom

Keep this site up on the interactive whiteboard or projector in the beginning of class while students are walking in and settling down. This is a great way to focus their attention and get their brains warmed up for a World history classroom.
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Encyclopedia of Chicago - Chicago Historical Society

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8 to 12
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This searchable electronic encyclopedia provides a comprehensive chronicle of Chicago's colorful and complex history. From Mrs. O'Leary's cow, to Al Capone and the city's infamous stockyards,...more
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This searchable electronic encyclopedia provides a comprehensive chronicle of Chicago's colorful and complex history. From Mrs. O'Leary's cow, to Al Capone and the city's infamous stockyards, the site provides thousands of articles, photos, maps, broadsides and newspapers, and interactive components. It's a fascinating research tool for understanding the evolution of an American city and the people and events that helped shape American society. Visit the "Users' Guide" for an overview of the site's many features.

tag(s): chicago (5), illinois (9)

In the Classroom

Use the images on this site to create a visual discovery activity in your classroom. The images span the decades, and can be easily searched to find one that matches a particular unit in your classroom. Open the image on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students discuss or write what they observe, infer and predict happening in the photograph. This is a great way to review activity in place of a practice assessment, as it requires to use what the have learned and apply it to the circumstances in the photo in order to interpret it.
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Monticello Explorer - Thomas Jefferson Foundation

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7 to 12
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This outstanding site takes visitors on an expansive tour of Jefferson's Monticello. Explore the 5,000 acre plantation with an interactive map, or navigate a three-dimensional recreation...more
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This outstanding site takes visitors on an expansive tour of Jefferson's Monticello. Explore the 5,000 acre plantation with an interactive map, or navigate a three-dimensional recreation of the house and learn about the people and objects that populated its rooms. Captioned videos lead visitors through a house tour and description of domestic life in the historic home. Headphones and a high speed connection are a must.

tag(s): american revolution (89), evolution (101), jefferson (20), virginia (16)

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Discovering Lewis and Clark - VIAs Inc.

Grades
7 to 12
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Capture the excitement and adventure of the Lewis and Clark Expedition with this beautifully crafted and continually evolving multimedia site. Choose one of ten discovery paths and...more
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Capture the excitement and adventure of the Lewis and Clark Expedition with this beautifully crafted and continually evolving multimedia site. Choose one of ten discovery paths and enter the unchartered lands of early 19th century America. Visitors can see and experience the western United States through the eyes of the explorers, learn about the geography, flora and fauna, native peoples, and values and visions that defined their journey. This site has many possibilities for classroom use, but it stands out as an excellent tool for independent student research.

tag(s): jefferson (20), lewis and clark (15), louisiana (11), louisiana purchase (7)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on the two explorers and western expansion. Based on what they read, have students create a multi-media presentation summarizing the main points. Have students create a presentation using UtellStory, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try PhotoPin, reviewed here. Have students report the exploration as though it were a current event, using images from the site or other approved sources.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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EASE History

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8 to 12
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This unique, searchable, multimedia site examines 20th century American history using three major themes: historical events, political campaign ads, and core values. Visitors can choose...more
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This unique, searchable, multimedia site examines 20th century American history using three major themes: historical events, political campaign ads, and core values. Visitors can choose an entry point, then browse through hundreds of annotated photographs and video clips, organized by topic within each theme. Choose from three different viewing interfaces to facilitate analysis and comparison. To get the most from this site, take advantage of the "Tour" link to see an overview of the site's many features. Visit the "Learning Guide" for activity suggestions and discussion questions.

In the Classroom

One of the most interesting portions of this site is the database of political campaign ads, beginning in 1954. The site even houses the famous "daisy" ad used in LBJ's campaign of 1964. That ad in particular could lead into a very interesting discussion or lesson plan concerning cold war fears and it's impact on American Society. Open the site and ad on the interactive whiteboard or projector to allow students to watch. Note: make sure your system has sound, as thats one of the most important components of the ads!
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Memorial Day Activities - David Merchant

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3 to 8
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This nice collection of activities and puzzles - some printable and some interactive - teaches and reinforces the history and meaning behind Memorial Day celebrations. Choose from a...more
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This nice collection of activities and puzzles - some printable and some interactive - teaches and reinforces the history and meaning behind Memorial Day celebrations. Choose from a variety of formats and difficulty levels.

tag(s): holidays (151), memorial day (13)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities on this site! There are also some practice quizzes and puzzles that would be fun ways to assess students, or have them use the tools to help review the content.

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A Personal Holocaust Remembrance - MSNBC

Grades
7 to 12
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A Michigan teen has produced his own documentary based on first-person interviews with his grandparents about their experiences as holocaust victims. The interviews were the first time...more
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A Michigan teen has produced his own documentary based on first-person interviews with his grandparents about their experiences as holocaust victims. The interviews were the first time they had spoken with a family member about those events. Includes video clips.

tag(s): holocaust (39), nazis (10), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Open this site on the interactive whiteboard or projector to introduce a unit on the Holocaust during a World or US history class. Have students read aloud the information, or summarize the main points yourself before previewing the video in class. This is a great way to make the events of the Holocaust more real and personal.

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History Explorer - Smithsonian

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6 to 12
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This multimedia site explores various facets of American history through Lessons, interactives, Themes and more. Visitors can view objects that are part of the Smithsonian collection,...more
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This multimedia site explores various facets of American history through Lessons, interactives, Themes and more. Visitors can view objects that are part of the Smithsonian collection, navigate between historical eras, or filter the information by selected themes (Arts and Culture, Politics and Reform, etc.) Items in the exhibit are linked to National Museum of American History websites that provide more in-depth information.

tag(s): agriculture (57), american revolution (89), famous people (21), japan (62), japanese (43), jazz (15), lincoln (86), politics (100)

In the Classroom

Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects. There is enough information in "exhibit" details to provide a starting point for students trying to decide what to base a research project on. Recommend the site to students who are having difficulty picking a project subject.
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Foreign War and Domestic Freedom - Public Affairs Television

Grades
9 to 12
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Should government restrict the civil liberties of its citizens during times of war or threatened national security? This beautifully organized lesson plan guides students in an exploration...more
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Should government restrict the civil liberties of its citizens during times of war or threatened national security? This beautifully organized lesson plan guides students in an exploration of the tensions that exist between external threats and internal liberties in democratic societies. Includes a downloadable PowerPoint show and worksheets.

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plan during a unit on the homefront during a modern war or the construction of the Constitution. Save this one as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval.

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MoOm: The Museum of Online Museums - Coudal Partners

Grades
6 to 12
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You'll be enlightened, amazed, and even mystified by this eclectic collection of online museums that tout the bizarre, the practical, and the mundane. Interspersed among the "traditional'...more
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You'll be enlightened, amazed, and even mystified by this eclectic collection of online museums that tout the bizarre, the practical, and the mundane. Interspersed among the "traditional' exhibits featuring the likes of Van Gogh and Ansel Adams are those covering a dizzying array of interests and obsessions. Check out the Gallery of Stove Burners, Ephemera Now, or the Museum of Norwegian Manhole Covers (we're not kidding). In addition to making some interesting cultural statements, the exhibits provide great ideas and insights for art and photography students.

tag(s): artists (76), inventors and inventions (95), museums (50), trivia (18)

In the Classroom

Select a display that fits your classroom needs and share it on the interactive whiteboard or projector. A lot of the art displays based on the site focus on creativity and the ingenuous of design, easily motivating students to create their own original art pieces.

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Battle of the Atlantic - BBC

Grades
8 to 12
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Outwit German U-boats and lead your convoy of valuable supply ships safely across the North Atlantic with this interactive game. Players assume the role of a British Senior Officer...more
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Outwit German U-boats and lead your convoy of valuable supply ships safely across the North Atlantic with this interactive game. Players assume the role of a British Senior Officer Escort who must complete a series of virtual training courses (to learn about the enemy, Morse code, tactics and more), take command of the fleet, and find the best tactical solutions to a variety of scenarios.

tag(s): game based learning (113), navy (9), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a fun learning center or station during a unit on World War II. This would be a great way to break up a series of more serious or text heavy centers, as well as provide some review for students. BBC always delivers in providing interesting and fun review games!
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Child Labor in America - Library of Congress

Grades
7 to 12
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This lesson plan explores child labor in America as an historical and social issue. After assuming the roles of historian, photojournalist, and news reporter, students are asked to...more
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This lesson plan explores child labor in America as an historical and social issue. After assuming the roles of historian, photojournalist, and news reporter, students are asked to critically respond to vintage 19th and 20th century photographs. Links to extensive online resources are provided. Good introduction to historical research using primary sources. Add to a unit on the Industrial Revolution.

tag(s): evolution (101), industrial revolution (25)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plan hosted on this site! Save this one as a favorite on your classroom computer, to allow for easy retrieval later on.

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Do History - Harvard University

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9 to 12
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Using an 18th century New England midwife as a case study, this site introduces students to the intricate business of piecing together history from the fragments that have survived....more
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Using an 18th century New England midwife as a case study, this site introduces students to the intricate business of piecing together history from the fragments that have survived. Students can browse an online diary, use the site's "magic lens" tool to read the text, and gain some insight into the nuances of transcribing centuries-old handwriting. Challenge your students to explore and develop an understanding of the life and times of this colonial woman through her own words. The site also offers a chance to investigate a criminal case from 1789, using diary entries and corresponding court records.

tag(s): colonial america (108), england (58)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities offered on this site! The "Doing History" section would make an excellent webquest or classroom activity if teachers are willing to print out the resources. If doing it as a class, introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector before dispersing materials and having students work on the activity in groups. The activity is a great way for students to understand bias, validity and differences that historians find among primary sources. This would also be an interesting way to reflect on the roles of women in society and how they may have changes.

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Wright Brothers and the Invention of the Aerial Age - Smithsonian

Grades
8 to 12
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This site offers beautiful illustrations, photographs and interactive activities, all designed to acquaint visitors with the challenges and achievements of the Wright Brothers. In...more
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This site offers beautiful illustrations, photographs and interactive activities, all designed to acquaint visitors with the challenges and achievements of the Wright Brothers. In addition to excellent content - organized by topic in timeline format - the site features an artifact gallery and several well-planned classroom activities. An interactive "pitch, roll, and yaw" experiment is coming soon.

tag(s): wright brothers (25)

In the Classroom

Use the images on this site to create a visual discovery activity in your classroom to introduce the topic of the Wright brothers. Select 3-5 of the more powerful images, placing them on separate slides in a Powerpoint, to be displayed over the projector. Have students write down what they observe, predict and infer about each image jotting them down on a graphic organizer. (For help making graphic organizers, try: Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).) Once the class has gone through all of the images, have a class discussion based on the notes that students took during the process. This activity can be used to introduce or review, in a non-lecture format.

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Stories of the Wrights' Flight - Smithsonian

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8 to 12
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Learn about a pivotal event in American history while strengthening research skills. This lesson plan combines primary source documents authored by the Wright brothers with newspaper...more
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Learn about a pivotal event in American history while strengthening research skills. This lesson plan combines primary source documents authored by the Wright brothers with newspaper accounts of the Kitty Hawk accomplishments. Students are asked to compare and contrast the two sources to identify discrepancies and isolate the most reliable documents.

tag(s): flight (36), wright brothers (25)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plan that's offered on this site! There is even a pre-prepared graphic organizer that is available to help students catalog the information.

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Modern Ruins: Photographic Essays - Shaun O'Boyle

Grades
8 to 12
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Human history is elegantly presented in this collection of photographic essays depicting the architecture and objects we've left behind. Abandoned steel mills, insane asylums, coalmines,...more
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Human history is elegantly presented in this collection of photographic essays depicting the architecture and objects we've left behind. Abandoned steel mills, insane asylums, coalmines, and train yards are captured in stark images that create powerful impressions. Some of the photographs have been combined into multimedia Flash movies that are definitely worth viewing. Add this resource to a unit on 20th century American history, use the images as prompts for creative writing, or project in your classroom to inspire student photographers.

tag(s): photography (162)

In the Classroom

The photos on this website are beautiful and could easily be included in presentations to give students something more tangible to hold on to in a history class. Teachers could also use this photos as writing prompts. Save the webpage as a favorite and refer students to it during a unit on any of the places photographed. Have students write a short essay as to what they see in the picture, and what they can infer. Teachers can use these images to prompt letter writing, journal entries, newspaper reports, etc.
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Historical Treasure Chests - Stevens Institute of Technology

Grades
5 to 8
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Personal history, U.S. history, and research combine in this "not-quite-a-WebQuest-but-close" activity. Part I asks students to compare and contrast primary and secondary sources of...more
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Personal history, U.S. history, and research combine in this "not-quite-a-WebQuest-but-close" activity. Part I asks students to compare and contrast primary and secondary sources of information. In Part II, students work in groups to analyze a variety of virtual primary source documents. The extension activities involve students in investigating their family's own "treasure chest" of primary source documents.

tag(s): primary sources (90)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite on classroom computers and use it as a web quest-like activity. The site has an interdisciplinary focus that combines writing with history. Take advantage of this web quest in your classroom!

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Inside Tunnel - WGBH

Grades
8 to 12
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Experience one of World War II's most daring prison breaks with this interactive site that takes visitors to the Nazi POW camp Stalag Luft III. There students can take learn ...more
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Experience one of World War II's most daring prison breaks with this interactive site that takes visitors to the Nazi POW camp Stalag Luft III. There students can take learn about the clever construction of a 300 foot escape tunnel - engineered by Allied airmen, and built using tools fashioned from tin cans.

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on WWII. Because it's an interactive activity, it may not need a worksheet to accompany it, but if including it in a series of stations it might work best if there is a space for students to reflect on this one. Great resource for the US history class!
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Salem - National Geographic

Grades
7 to 9
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What was it like to live in Salem, MA during the infamous Witch Trials? This interactive site places a visitor in the role of a Salem resident who unwittingly finds ...more
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What was it like to live in Salem, MA during the infamous Witch Trials? This interactive site places a visitor in the role of a Salem resident who unwittingly finds herself at the center of the witchcraft hysteria. Will she survive? Enter this chilling online drama and find out. The navigation is a bit awkward throughout the site - look for the scroll bars on each page indicating additional text to the right or below. Much information appears in explanatory "windows" so make sure that pop-ups are not blocked on this site.

tag(s): massachusetts (10), salem (6)

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