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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

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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 (160)

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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Historical Treasure Chests - Stevens Institute of Technology

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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 (86)

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

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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!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Salem - National Geographic

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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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Interactive Tour of Ellis Island - Scholastic

Grades
6 to 8
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This site gives students a very personal glimpse of the Ellis Island experience through the eyes of the more than 40 million immigrants who passed through its doors. Vintage photographs,...more
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This site gives students a very personal glimpse of the Ellis Island experience through the eyes of the more than 40 million immigrants who passed through its doors. Vintage photographs, videos, and audio interviews document each step of the process, and provide a riveting account of this period in American history. The video takes time to download and uses the Quicktime plug-in. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): ellis island (9), immigration (58), migration (59)

In the Classroom

On its surface, this site appears to be simply a "virtual tour" of Ellis Island. However, the Teacher's section contains a good deal of information on how to create an on-site, interdisciplinary immigration experience for students. There are tips on content, involving parents, and other aspects of the project. Well worth a look if you're studying this time period or immigration in general.

Use this site as a learning center or station. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector to introduce it to students, before allowing them to explore the site in groups. Note: portions of this site have audio, so be sure to include headphones.

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Salem Witch Trials - Discovery.com

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5 to 8
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Explore the streets of 17th century Salem and uncover the religious, economic, and social issues that contributed to the infamous witch-hunt of 1692. Why did that community accept such...more
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Explore the streets of 17th century Salem and uncover the religious, economic, and social issues that contributed to the infamous witch-hunt of 1692. Why did that community accept such a practice? Watch the six-minute video for some eye-opening answers. Visit the "Teachers' Tip" for ideas on using this resource in your classroom. Links to National Standards are provided.

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

In the Classroom

Use this site as an introductory activity during a lesson on the Salem Witch Trials. Have cooperative learning groups read through the information with the intentions of presenting a summary in a multimedia presentation. Have students create a timeline of the events of the trials, as well as those leading up to in the form of a timeline. Do it the old fashioned way, i.e. paper, or an online program such as Xtimeline, (reviewed here). Not only does it focus students on the events, but it helps them get into the practice of creating short, chronological summaries.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Harriet Tubman - Pocantico Hills School

Grades
2 to 3
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A group of second grade students in Sleepy Hollow, New York assembled this impressive collection of information about Harriet Tubman and her work on the Underground Railroad. You'll...more
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A group of second grade students in Sleepy Hollow, New York assembled this impressive collection of information about Harriet Tubman and her work on the Underground Railroad. You'll find an illustrated "slide-show" timeline, original poetry, crossword puzzles, quizzes, and an interactive "Vocabulary Quilt" that's worth the visit. Use these student-designed activities with your own students or challenge them to create their own Underground Railroad resource.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113), slavery (72), underground railroad (11)

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American Women's Rights Movement - Infoplease

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8 to 12
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This helpful timeline details the major events and players in the Women's Rights Movement and provides hyperlinks to related notes and articles. A great reference site for Women's History...more
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This helpful timeline details the major events and players in the Women's Rights Movement and provides hyperlinks to related notes and articles. A great reference site for Women's History Month activities.

tag(s): 1920s (16), women (101), womens suffrage (26)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start your study of the Women's Rights movement. There are a lot of interesting yet random facts that can supplement lecture material. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector and use it to guide students along the lecture. You can also print the information out for students to use as a follow-along if a PowerPoint is a part of your lecture. Either way it's a great organizer for putting the time period into perspective.

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Civil War for Fifth Graders - Radford University

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5 to 7
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It's not the flashiest Civil War site, but if you're looking for a kid-friendly resource, this one won't disappoint you. You'll find a concise, well-written overview of the pivotal...more
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It's not the flashiest Civil War site, but if you're looking for a kid-friendly resource, this one won't disappoint you. You'll find a concise, well-written overview of the pivotal events, people, and places that shaped the War Between the States - perfect for the upper elementary classroom. Older students can use it as a helpful research and review tool.

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

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plan ideas and activities in this site. There are printable treasure maps and new "fort Sumter Art." Refer to this site if ever looking for activity ideas in a Civil War unit.

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Powerful Days in Black and White - Kodak

Grades
9 to 12
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This site brings the many faces and struggles of the Civil Rights Movement into focus with riveting images by photographer Charles Moore. These moving scenes of riots, segregation,...more
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This site brings the many faces and struggles of the Civil Rights Movement into focus with riveting images by photographer Charles Moore. These moving scenes of riots, segregation, and triumph will make an unforgettable impact on your students. Use to generate reactions and open discussion in a 20th century American history class.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113), civil rights (117), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Take some of the more powerful images in this site and use it to create a visual discovery activity. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector, and go through the images one at a time - giving enough time for students to analyze and interpret the images individually. Have students focus on observations, inferences and predictions they can make from the images. This activity works best if used with a graphic organizer.

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Painless Guide to the Branches of Government: Judicial Branch - United Learning

Grades
5 to 8
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This nineteen minute streaming video focuses on the judicial branch, but also gives a brief historical overview of legislative and executive responsibilities. Includes a nice summarizing...more
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This nineteen minute streaming video focuses on the judicial branch, but also gives a brief historical overview of legislative and executive responsibilities. Includes a nice summarizing review and video quiz. Display full screen for projection in the classroom or use with headphones in the computer lab.

tag(s): courts (15), supreme court (22)

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The Underground Railroad - National Geographic

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7 to 12
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Follow in the footsteps of a slave on the Underground Railroad, with this riveting site that explores the system that helped many African slaves reach freedom and safety. Begin ...more
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Follow in the footsteps of a slave on the Underground Railroad, with this riveting site that explores the system that helped many African slaves reach freedom and safety. Begin with an interactive, virtual journey from Maryland to Canada, then examine a map of the escape routes and meet many abolitionists and civil rights leaders who played pivotal roles in the journey to freedom.

tag(s): abolition (7), slavery (72), underground railroad (11)

In the Classroom

Use the activity as a learning center or station during a unit on Slavery in the colonies. Introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard before allowing students to complete it in pairs or individually, dependent on the number of classroom computers available. Even if you do not have time to do the entire webquest, the links provide good background information for shorter investigations.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Slavery and the Making of America - WNET

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7 to 12
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Follow the development of slavery in America from its beginning in 1619 to Reconstruction. This companion site to a PBS special examines the climate in which the institution existed...more
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Follow the development of slavery in America from its beginning in 1619 to Reconstruction. This companion site to a PBS special examines the climate in which the institution existed and brings some very human, very compelling stories to light. Features include historical essays and personal narratives, primary source documents, sound files depicting the music in slave life, an interactive time line, and audio recordings of interviews with former slaves.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities hosted on this site within "K-12 Learning." Save this site as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval for a unit on Slavery leading up to the Civil War.

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Face to Face: Stories from an Aftermath of Infamy - ITVS

Grades
8 to 12
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This collection of real-life stories from Japanese Americans and Arab and Muslim Americans explores the issues of civil liberties in the wake of two days that changed the world forever...more
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This collection of real-life stories from Japanese Americans and Arab and Muslim Americans explores the issues of civil liberties in the wake of two days that changed the world forever - December 7, 1941, and September 11, 2001. Racial hatred, fear, distrust, national loyalty, and the validity of constitutional rights are just a few of the complex issues addressed in the riveting audio interviews. A series of lesson plans guides teachers and students through a comparison of how America responded to these two ethnic groups after the two respective tragedies.

tag(s): racism (18), sept11 (21), terrorism (49), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities hosted on this site. The oral interviews would make a great in-class activity, playing them over the projector or interactive whiteboard. Select a section and play the interviews, usually around 5-10 minutes total. Have students listen to the interviews, and write or discuss a response afterwards. Very moving interviews, making a solid base for a class discussion on racism and the effects of globalization.

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You are the Archaeologist - Association for Preservation of Virginia Antiquities

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4 to 7
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Become a virtual archaeologist and help excavate a site in Jamestown Virginia to reconstruct the life and culture of colonial America. After spending some time in the "field" unearthing...more
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Become a virtual archaeologist and help excavate a site in Jamestown Virginia to reconstruct the life and culture of colonial America. After spending some time in the "field" unearthing artifacts, visitors can enter the virtual lab and begin to catalog and analyze the objects. Students are challenged to identify and determine the approximate ages of the artifacts, while strengthening creative problem-solving skills. Another virtual activity on the site guides budding archaeologists through the historical recreation of a 17th century structure from a single posthole.

tag(s): jamestown (11), virginia (16)

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Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State - Community Television of Southern California

Grades
9 to 12
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This is much more than a site about Auschwitz. In addition to presenting a portrait of one of Europe's most infamous concentration camps, the site explores the historical context in...more
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This is much more than a site about Auschwitz. In addition to presenting a portrait of one of Europe's most infamous concentration camps, the site explores the historical context in which Hitler and the Nazis rose to power and follows the chain of events that led to the development of mass extermination camps. There is much riveting and chilling information to be found in this resource - from interactive, captioned maps to reflections from victims and perpetrators.

tag(s): hitler (10), holocaust (39), jews (20), nazis (10), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and resources located on this site! A very interesting resource for a US or World History classroom.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Place the State - Sheppard Software

Grades
4 to 8
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Drag each state to its correct position on the map. This interactive game keeps track of "average miles of error" and challenges students to learn more about names and locations ...more
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Drag each state to its correct position on the map. This interactive game keeps track of "average miles of error" and challenges students to learn more about names and locations of states. No hints are provided.This site requires FLASH.

tag(s): states (162)

In the Classroom

What a great way to have students know American geography better than physically moving the states in their places? Introduce this site on the interactive whiteboard before allowing cooperative learning groups to complete the activity on classroom computers. Have a class challenge as students try and compete to see which group can get the lowest average error mileage. This would be a great refresher before a US history class (particularly before a unit on the Civil War where state geography is important) or during a Geography class first learning the basics!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Stars and Stripes - Library of Congress

Grades
9 to 12
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The American Soldiers' Newspaper during World War I is the focus of this online collection that provides the complete 71-week run of the publication. Search by keyword or browse by...more
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The American Soldiers' Newspaper during World War I is the focus of this online collection that provides the complete 71-week run of the publication. Search by keyword or browse by date. This is an excellent resource for introducing students to the value of primary source documents.

tag(s): journalism (46)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free images and printables from this site. The site not only provides primary sources, but maps and timelines that could also be used to supplement your lecture. Be sure to look at this site before designing any presentations.

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Newspaper Pictorials: WWI Rotogravures - Library of Congress

Grades
8 to 12
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In the second decade of the twentieth century, rotogravure printing provided newspaper publishers with a new and high-quality process for reproducing images. The Library of Congress...more
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In the second decade of the twentieth century, rotogravure printing provided newspaper publishers with a new and high-quality process for reproducing images. The Library of Congress has assembled a searchable collection of these vivid illustrations as part of a photo exhibition on World War I. Flip through these images for a visual history lesson reflecting American culture, wartime sentiment, and the people and places that played a significant role in America's history during that era.

tag(s): 20th century (51)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the images on this site to supplement text in an ESL classroom. Include the images in your classroom and presentations to give students a visual concept to grasp on to while learning the terms and concepts of WWI.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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