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Voices of Civil Rights - Leadership Conference on Civil Rights

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8 to 12
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Use this site as an on-line classroom resource for an in-depth study of the civil right movement in America. Essays, interviews, and special reports provide historical and contemporary...more
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Use this site as an on-line classroom resource for an in-depth study of the civil right movement in America. Essays, interviews, and special reports provide historical and contemporary perspectives. The Stories section of the site, which contains an array of personal stories from America's civil rights past, is especially riveting. An interactive, illustrated timeline details America's struggle with civil rights issues from 1868 to the present, and the Photo Gallery provides striking images, complete with captions. Use the interactive quiz to test for prior knowledge or as a review.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113), civil rights (117), racism (18)

In the Classroom

Use the featured stories on this site to provide students with a more personal view of the Civil Rights movement. Divide students into 4-5 groups, with each group receiving a different story. Have each group analyze their story, eventually presenting their results to the class. Use this to spark a class discussion of how the civil rights movement was more than the prominent figures heard about in history class - it affected people everywhere.

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Gold Rush - PBS

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4 to 8
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This kid-friendly site takes students on an unforgettable journey with the "forty-niners" as they leave their homes and families to seek their fortunes in California. The resource explains...more
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This kid-friendly site takes students on an unforgettable journey with the "forty-niners" as they leave their homes and families to seek their fortunes in California. The resource explains the sweeping gold fever of 19th century America and introduces some famous people - like Levi Strauss and Phillip Armour - whose lives were forever changed by the event. A helpful guide for teachers provides useful tips on using this site in class.

tag(s): california (27), gold rush (19)

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Vietnam Project - Texas Tech University

Grades
7 to 12
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Although this site is still very much a work in progress, it contains some riveting resources that would be valuable for use in a 20th century American History class. The ...more
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Although this site is still very much a work in progress, it contains some riveting resources that would be valuable for use in a 20th century American History class. The "Teachers' Web" is not yet up and running, but the oral history interviews, available as audio files, are wonderfully revealing primary sources. If you are interesting in presenting the Vietnam War from a very personal, human perspective, consider using this on-line archive. The site also provides a collection of historical photographs and tips for conducting Oral History interviews - an unforgettable learning experience for your students!

tag(s): 1960s (30), 1970s (12), asia (73), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

Access the section entitled "Teachers Resource Web," and take advantage of the free lesson plans and collection resources.
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Separate is Not Equal - National Museum of American History

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4 to 12
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The 50th anniversary of the historic Brown vs. the Board of Education decision is commemorated in this site that traces the history of segregation, the battle for education, and the...more
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The 50th anniversary of the historic Brown vs. the Board of Education decision is commemorated in this site that traces the history of segregation, the battle for education, and the events leading to the Supreme Court decision. Visit the teacher's guide (click on Resources) to find downloadable unit and lesson plans (aligned to national standards) which address the time period from Reconstruction to the Civil Rights movement. Teacher briefing sheets and student handouts are included - in fact, nearly everything required for an engaging and purposeful learning experience is there! This site is an online companion to a Smithsonian National Museum of American History exhibit. If you can't take your students to Washington, take them to the computer lab or project this site in class, and spend some time with this outstanding resource.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113), segregation (15)

In the Classroom

Access the section on the homesite entitled "resources." On that page there is a section entitled "Teacher Guide," which has an abundance of free lesson plans that range topics of segregation, racism, and the civil rights movement. Take advantage of the guides and use them to address the more difficult subjects of race in recent American History.

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Powers of Persuasion - National Archives

Grades
8 to 12
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The psychology of wartime patriotism is presented in this thought-provoking site that examines an impressive collection of propaganda posters used by the U. S. Government to promote...more
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The psychology of wartime patriotism is presented in this thought-provoking site that examines an impressive collection of propaganda posters used by the U. S. Government to promote the war effort in Europe and the Pacific during World War II. The on-line exhibit is divided into two thematic groups: posters that were designed to instill patriotism, and those that were created to show the horrors of war. The works of some well-known American artists, including Norman Rockwell, are represented. How did these words and images affect the hearts and minds of America citizens? How does this sanctioned propaganda compare with what the American government is communicating to its citizens during this current time of war? Use this impressive resource to generate discussion in a history or current events class.

tag(s): posters (36), propaganda (12)

In the Classroom

Use these images on this site to create a visual discovery activity. Select 3-5 of the more powerful images and put them on a PowerPoint, with each image showing for 1-2 minutes over the interactive whiteboard. Have students fill out a graphic organizer concerning each image, focusing on what students observe, infer and can predict. (To create the graphic organizer, try using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).)After the class has reviewed all of the images, have a class discussion based on their findings. Teachers will be surprised how much content is discussed. This activity works best as a review.

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The Holocaust: A Learning Site for Students - Holocaust Memorial Museum

Grades
8 to 12
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This well-organized site presents an authentic and factual view of the Holocaust in a format appropriate for middle and high school students. Text, historical photographs, maps, images...more
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This well-organized site presents an authentic and factual view of the Holocaust in a format appropriate for middle and high school students. Text, historical photographs, maps, images of artifacts, and audio clips provide a riveting experience for visitors. This resource is organized by themes which include Nazi Rule, Jews in Germany, the "Final Solution," Nazi Camps, and Rescue and Resistance. Each theme is supported by in-depth information, a helpful glossary and timeline, and a list of key dates and events.

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

In the Classroom

Use the images on this site to design a picture walk in your classroom about the holocaust. Select 10-15 of the more powerful images, choosing a variety of subjects. Assign students to begin at specific numbers, before allowing the class to rotate around the classroom every 30-45 seconds. At each image, students should quickly write down what they observe, infer and predict about each image. At the end of the picture walk, have a class discussion based on the notes students took during the walk. This would be a very interesting way to introduce the topic in a non-lecture format. For help creating the graphic organizers, we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).

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American Cultural History: The Twentieth Century - Kingwood College Library

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9 to 12
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American History - Explore the turbulent, colorful, and world-changing events of 20th century America with this site that gives decade-by-decade summaries of what was happening in...more
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American History - Explore the turbulent, colorful, and world-changing events of 20th century America with this site that gives decade-by-decade summaries of what was happening in literature, education, music, scientific developments and artistic achievements. Vintage photographs and links to related resources are provided. There is quite a bit to read and investigate on this entertaining site which, unfortunately, is not searchable. But sift through the vast resources to isolate the areas that will fit best with your curriculum, and take your students to the computer lab for an independent Web hunt to introduce or enhance an American history lesson.

tag(s): 20th century (51)

In the Classroom

Find the time period that is applicable to your class unit and share the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Use the site as a resource for students working on research projects. The site offers information about architecture, art, literature, fashion, politics, etc. about every time period. The site would be an excellent jump-off point for students beginning their research or still in the process of selecting a research topic.

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Civil War Through a Child's Eye - Library of Congress

Grades
4 to 8
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This lesson plan from the Library of Congress helps students develop an understanding of the Civil War as they study primary sources and works of historical fiction. Students begin...more
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This lesson plan from the Library of Congress helps students develop an understanding of the Civil War as they study primary sources and works of historical fiction. Students begin by viewing a multimedia slide show, then examine and interpret photographs of Civil War-era children. Finally, students are asked to read several literary selections, and discuss the various war-time perspectives that are represented. A well-organized teacher's guide, links to on-line resources, and complete lesson plans aligned to national standards are provided.

tag(s): civil war (145)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this free lesson plan offered by the Library of Congress. The lesson plan has a nice interdisciplinary twist, so it could be utilized in either an English or History class.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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American Cultural History - The Nineteenth Century - Kingwood College Library

Grades
9 to 12
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Stroll through the decades of the 19th century and examine the dramatic changes experienced by American society with the onset of the Industrial Revolution. This site explores social...more
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Stroll through the decades of the 19th century and examine the dramatic changes experienced by American society with the onset of the Industrial Revolution. This site explores social movements, art and literature, pastimes, business, and immigration. Hyperlinks to related topics are liberally sprinkled throughout informative text. Many historic photographs and images are also included. There is A LOT to read and explore on this site, and although it is organized by decade, the site is not searchable. You'll need to rely on chronological knowledge to isolate the subjects you wish investigate with your students.

tag(s): 1800s (44), evolution (100), industrial revolution (25)

In the Classroom

During the units covering each of the decades in the 19th century, assign each student a different portion of the site. Have students work on their sections in pairs, eventually creating an online poster of a summary or what they thought were the most important parts. Use an online poster creator, such as Padlet (reviewed here). The best decades to do this will probably be the Antebellum south through the Gilded age.

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Debating Our Destiny - MacNeil/Lehrer

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8 to 12
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This site presents the presidential debates of the past through the eyes of those who were there. Video clips of debates from 1976 through 1996 are provided along with ...more
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This site presents the presidential debates of the past through the eyes of those who were there. Video clips of debates from 1976 through 1996 are provided along with reflective commentary from the former presidents on their individual performances. The "Behind the Podium" section offers some revealing information about debate preparation and the differences between debate formats (formal vs. town hall). This would be an excellent resource to explore with your students before this year's presidential debates. Use it to generate discussion and encourage analysis.

tag(s): elections (75), politics (99), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and classroom activities hosted on the "teachers" portion of this site. This would be a great way to connect current events to those of past elections - a useful resource for a US government class.

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Race: The Power of an Illusion - PBS

Grades
9 to 12
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This thoughtful resource examines race-related myths, misconceptions, and assumptions that often create injustice and inequity in our society. Students can independently explore an...more
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This thoughtful resource examines race-related myths, misconceptions, and assumptions that often create injustice and inequity in our society. Students can independently explore an interactive tutorial that investigates the concept of "race" and participate in interactive activities that reveal the dangers and difficulties of arbitrary racial classification. The content provides excellent material for class discussions. One of the outstanding features of the sight is a collection of beautifully constructed "slide shows" that focus on the significant role race plays in all of our lives. Considering combining this resource with a lesson on civil rights or immigration. Lesson plans and background readings are provided. Created by California Newsreel.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113), segregation (15)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an in-class activity to provide students with the background knowledge of what race is before beginning a unit on civil rights and the racial strife of the 20th century.(and beyond if necessary) Have students create concept maps for the ideas presented in the piece, showing new information to them as well as how it's all connected. Use a tool such as bubbl.us (reviewed here) to create and share the concept maps.
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Coins Are...History in Your Pocket - US Mint

Grades
1 to 6
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This outstanding, incredibly creative site is truly a "treasure" for elementary classroom teachers! Information about coins, the U.S. Mint, and American history are presented in a...more
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This outstanding, incredibly creative site is truly a "treasure" for elementary classroom teachers! Information about coins, the U.S. Mint, and American history are presented in a fun and interactive format with many choices for visitors! For teachers, there are extensive resources including lesson and unit plans, an on-line community for idea-sharing, and a large selection of project ideas for the classroom. Students can follow links to games and interactive cartoons, step into a time machine (coin operated, of course) to learn about significant coin-related events in our nation's history, and join Camp Coin - an online camp where kids can learn about coin collecting. The site also includes information on National Coin Week (did you know there was one?), the new nickel, and the coin of the month.

tag(s): coins (8), money (193)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite on classroom computers and use it as a learning center or station! There are word games, time machines, and art projects that can all be done on this site. Some of the games can also be printed out if that technique works better in your classroom. This is an excellent site to accompany any unit on currency or the Treasury Department in the United States.
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Golden Gate Bridge - PBS

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8 to 12
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American history, economics, geography, and culture are explored in this site that presents unique insight into the construction of one of the world's most famous suspension bridges....more
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American history, economics, geography, and culture are explored in this site that presents unique insight into the construction of one of the world's most famous suspension bridges. Built hundreds of feet above the waters of the San Francisco Bay, the bridge stands as a symbol for many of the riveting themes in 20th century American history including the growth of urban areas, the continued development of the West, the New Deal, and the role of labor and labor unions. The site also features a timeline, video clips, a gallery of on-site construction photos, detailed information about people and events, a discussion of mathematical principles, and a helpful teacher's guide.

tag(s): california (27)

In the Classroom

This site is an excellent accompaniment to the movie with the same name by PBS. The teacher guide offers free lesson plans and activities for history, civics, economics, and geography classes. Beyond that there are also online games, discussion boards, and biography information that would make the site a great learning center or station. Save this site as a favorite and refer to it when discussing architecture, the Golden Gate Bridge, or a period lecture on the 1930's.
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Building America - National Building Museum

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8 to 12
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Explore American architectural design, planning, and construction with this impressive, thought-provoking exhibit of photographs, browsable timelines, audio clips, illustrated essays,...more
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Explore American architectural design, planning, and construction with this impressive, thought-provoking exhibit of photographs, browsable timelines, audio clips, illustrated essays, and much more! Enrich art or history classes with hundreds of images showcasing many monumental and enduring structures - from the U.S. Capitol to the Empire State Building - as well as those that reflect the daily lives of Americans: shopping centers, offices, and suburban homes.

tag(s): architecture (84)

In the Classroom

Challenge students to examine the world we have built and analyze the relationship between our architectural achievements and our national experiences, character, and values. This extensive, easy to navigate site has many interdisciplinary possibilities. Explore it through the lens of your particular curriculum and develop a focus for your students before turning them loose.
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Lest We Forget: The Triumph Over Slavery - Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture

Grades
9 to 12
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This outstanding site documents the transatlantic slave trade and examines the extraordinary triumphs of African people in the Americas. Through vivid images and sensitively written...more
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This outstanding site documents the transatlantic slave trade and examines the extraordinary triumphs of African people in the Americas. Through vivid images and sensitively written text, students can gain an understanding of and appreciation for the rich culture, fierce struggles, and enduring legacies of African Americans. Available in Spanish and French.

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

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on slavery and it's history in America.Divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. To show what they have learned from this site, challenge students to create an online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here. This would be a great way to introduce the topic without a lecture.
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U.S. Capitol Virtual Tour - U.S. Senate

Grades
6 to 12
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If taking your students to Washington, D.C., just isn't a possibility, this site is the next best thing to being there. The interactive and user friendly multi-media tour provides panoramic...more
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If taking your students to Washington, D.C., just isn't a possibility, this site is the next best thing to being there. The interactive and user friendly multi-media tour provides panoramic views, fascinating historical information, and interesting details about many of the objects encountered along the way. This is an extensive tour, so a teacher-created map with explicit directions is strongly suggested before students embark on the virtual field trip. This one works best with a high speed connection.

tag(s): house of representatives (9), senate (9)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on the branches and houses of government. Students will be able to connect the visual images with the content, and also gain more insight from the text. To highlight whats more important from the site, have students complete a follow-along guide of questions. For help creating one, we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).

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Building a Sod House - National Museum of American History

Grades
2 to 5
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Visitors to this on-line activity are immediately engaged by the scenario. "Imagine that you're a settler on the open prairie." Using logic, background knowledge, and a few helpful...more
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Visitors to this on-line activity are immediately engaged by the scenario. "Imagine that you're a settler on the open prairie." Using logic, background knowledge, and a few helpful hints, students are challenged to construct a virtual sod house. After the successful construction, students become "darkroom detectives" as they analyze historic photographs and reconstruct the sights, smells, and feel of life in a house on the prairie more than a century ago.

tag(s): air (163), homes (12), prairie (10)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite and use it as a class activity on the interactive whiteboard OR as a learning center or station. It doesn't take too long, but it is a great review tool of how settlers picked their homesteads and why location was so important. This would be a great resource in an American history class.

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Our Story in History - National Museum of American History

Grades
2 to 6
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This small but creative collection of activities spans a diverse range of topics from American history and taps into the imaginative minds of elementary students. Visit the "Try It...more
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This small but creative collection of activities spans a diverse range of topics from American history and taps into the imaginative minds of elementary students. Visit the "Try It At Home" section to learn about great women of the past, WWII Japanese interment camps, or slave life and the Underground Railroad. Each topic includes background information, links to related children's literature, and ideas for hands-on activities. The "Try it On-Line" section provides interactive activities that immerse students in creating Native American buffalo hide paintings, building a sod home, and looking at life through the eyes of an historian.

tag(s): underground railroad (11), women (101), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite and use it as a learning center or station during a US history class!

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Living Room Candidate - American Museum of the Moving Image

Grades
8 to 12
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How does this year's presidential race differ from those of the past? Are there significant similarities or differences? This collection of 183 campaign commercials from 1952 through...more
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How does this year's presidential race differ from those of the past? Are there significant similarities or differences? This collection of 183 campaign commercials from 1952 through 2000 provides a revealing and thought-provoking glimpse of the art of politics over the decades. An analysis of partisan advertising campaigns is included for each election year, along with a map showing election results. Click on "Highlights and Themes" to explore attack ads, the multiple roles expected of a president (family man, commander in chief, "regular guy," and leader), and biographical information. The Desktop Candidate section discusses the impact of the Internet on the voting public. Be sure to check out the link to Educational Materials, which includes a teacher's guide and suggested activities. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

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

In the Classroom

Use the information at this site to compare past campaign commercials with current ads for the 2008 presidential election. Search the Internet for recent commercials (using whatever video websites are permitted at your school). Share a sample of commercials from the 1950s - the present. Have students discuss the similarities and differences. Have students create their own ad commercials about a presidential candidate that they support or a "mock" candidate that they created. To upload the students' commercials, use a tool such as TeacherTube (explained here). Be sure to obtain parental permission before videotaping any students.
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White House Historical Association

Grades
1 to 12
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This entertaining and informational site about that famous residence on Pennsylvania Avenue is filled with something for everyone. Younger students can focus on the colors and shapes...more
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This entertaining and informational site about that famous residence on Pennsylvania Avenue is filled with something for everyone. Younger students can focus on the colors and shapes found throughout this historic home while meeting some "first kids" and famous "first pets." Older students can listen to audio clips of presidents during the last century, take several outstanding White House tours, and discover many historic treasures located throughout this famous home. Elementary and Middle School students will love the informational and interactive "Bird Watching Expedition," led by Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, Teddy Roosevelt and several other animated presidential personalities.

tag(s): presidents (131), white house (14)

In the Classroom

Use this site to provide background information for a unit on 19th and 20th century American history, to form the basis of a lesson or unit on the American presidency, or as a stand-alone enrichment activity for your history classroom. Lesson plans in printable PDF formats are available for all grade levels
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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