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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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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 (176), african american (114), 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

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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 (151), homes (11), 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

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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 (92), world war 2 (141)

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 (78), 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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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White House Historical Association

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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 (132), 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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Picturing Modern America 1880-1920 - Educational Development Center, Inc.

Grades
6 to 12
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American society experienced a tremendous amount of change and growth during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This site is filled with primary source images from the...more
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American society experienced a tremendous amount of change and growth during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This site is filled with primary source images from the Library of Congress and interactive exercises that bring the era to life. The "Image Detective" activity is especially impressive. After selecting a picture from the collection, students are presented with a critical question and guided through the process of gathering clues, reading background information, and drawing conclusions. The Investigations link challenges students to interact with visual sources to gain perspective and understanding. This is an outstanding resource for strengthening skills in historical research and critical thinking! The Exhibit Builder link apparently no longer functions, but students can copy images under Fair Use (check the collection information) to create a slide show or exhibit using images from the site along and their own explanatory text.

In the Classroom

Use this site as an in class activity for various units in your classroom, including the early 1900's, immigration, the roaring 20's, etc. Have students complete their investigations in pairs, having a class competition to see who can get the most right! A very fun way to review and encourage critical thinking skills.

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Graphic Witness

Grades
9 to 12
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Visual arts and social commentary come together in this site that looks at human history through the lens of artists and illustrators. Topics include graphic arts in wartime, 19th century...more
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Visual arts and social commentary come together in this site that looks at human history through the lens of artists and illustrators. Topics include graphic arts in wartime, 19th century news illustrations, 9-11 aftermath, and art under duress. Use this site to provoke discussion, guide reflective writing, or inspire personal artistic expression. These compelling images would make very effective anticipatory sets when projected in the classroom.

tag(s): sept11 (17)

In the Classroom

Use the images to create a visual discovery activity in your classroom - for example, use the collection of drawings to teach the events of 9/11 to your students. Share the images on the interactive whiteboard or projector, with students filling out reflections about each image. Reflections should focus on what they observe, infer and predict about each image. After showing a few of the more powerful images, have a class discussion as to what students wrote in their reflections. Going back to each image - what did we learn? What can we assume? What does this picture tell us about this event? You would be surprised about the emotional impact students learn, in addition to the content. This would be a good activity to do as a review, when students are able to use the information on class to project about the images. A great resource for a US history course.

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The New Americans - PBS

Grades
7 to 12
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Take your students on a virtual adventure that will help them to understand the personal lives and experiences of 21st century immigrants to America. Students can meet the various families...more
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Take your students on a virtual adventure that will help them to understand the personal lives and experiences of 21st century immigrants to America. Students can meet the various families profiled on the site, learn about their cultural traditions, and take a quiz on the myths and realities of immigration. The site features interactive maps, timelines, and exercises in determining the effect of immigration on the American society. Be sure to investigate the resources for educators and the eleven lesson plans, aligned to national standards, which challenge students to analyze demographic data, investigate U.S. immigration policy, and conduct oral history interviews with first or second generation immigrants. Created by PBS and Independent Lens.

tag(s): immigrants (21), immigration (58), migration (59)

In the Classroom

Use the myths and realities quiz on this site to assess student preconceptions before beginning a unit on immigration or a unit on immigration reform. Have students complete the quiz on individual computers in class, and print their results. Use the results as a way to start a class discussion on immigration and what surprised students. Focus on what students learned and what they had assumed previously. This would be a great activity for a civics or US history course.

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Cuban Missile Crisis - National Security Archive at George Washington University

Grades
9 to 12
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One of the most crucial and riveting events of the Cold War is carefully documented through this impressive collection of declassified documents, photographs, audio clips from the Kennedy...more
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One of the most crucial and riveting events of the Cold War is carefully documented through this impressive collection of declassified documents, photographs, audio clips from the Kennedy White House, and submarine naval charts. A detailed chronology and analyses by contemporary historians is also included. This is a wonderful collection of primary source documents that can enrich your study of the Cold War and America during the 1960s.

tag(s): kennedy (27), russia (38)

In the Classroom

Use the images on this site to create a visual discovery activity for a unit on the Cold War and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Choose 3-5 images, and place them in a PowerPoint. Create a worksheet follow-along for the images, and use the images to teach about the event in a student-centered activity. Focus on observe, infer and predict prompts on the worksheet and students can use the worksheet answers in a subsequent classroom discussion.

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Three Mile Island 1979 Emergency - Dickinson College

Grades
9 to 12
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This site chronicles the history-changing event that occurred in March of 1979 at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant. General information on nuclear energy, governmental regulations,...more
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This site chronicles the history-changing event that occurred in March of 1979 at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant. General information on nuclear energy, governmental regulations, and a timeline of events provide a basic overview of what happened before, during, and after the accident. But the most impressive feature of the site is an extensive collection of interview transcripts (audio and text) that help visitors understand how residents from all walks of life reacted to the accident. Other primary source information available on the site includes photographs, newspaper articles, and government documents. .

In the Classroom

Although text heavy, the science section of this site has some really helpful printable PDFs that explain the basics of how a powerplant works, what it does, and what went wrong in this specific incident. The first two would be relly great tutorials to review in class before discussing the Cold war or the arms race. Understanding nuclear capabilities could even help students understand the nuclear proliferation problems that are plaguing politics today. Use these PDFs to review the information and introduce new material. Very useful for a government or History classroom.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Lessons from the Land - Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre

Grades
4 to 12
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Expand a unit on Native American culture with this interactive, multimedia site that takes visitors on a virtual journey of Canada's Northwest Territories and provides cross-curricular...more
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Expand a unit on Native American culture with this interactive, multimedia site that takes visitors on a virtual journey of Canada's Northwest Territories and provides cross-curricular connections. The searchable site focuses on topics such as birch bark canoes, fishing, caribou hunting, and burial practices. Elementary students can participate in the illustrated on-line storybook that includes activities and games. Secondary students can explore the historical and cultural significance of eight sites on a traditional aboriginal trail.

tag(s): native americans (78)

In the Classroom

A teacher's guide and a downloadable lesson plan package are available.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Future - PBS

Grades
2 to 6
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Catch a glimpse of the future through the perspective of the 1950s. Elementary students can find out what kids in the '50s predicted about the future; compare job possibilities then...more
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Catch a glimpse of the future through the perspective of the 1950s. Elementary students can find out what kids in the '50s predicted about the future; compare job possibilities then and now; and discover the amazing substance that came into its own during the 1950s - plastic. After learning about the various types of plastic and tracking how frequently it is found in their everyday lives, students can create virtual plastic products online in the Multi-Functional Plastics Production Lab. Try some original "plastic" experiments in the classroom with downloaded recipes for making slime and silly putty.

tag(s): 1950s (12), plastics (9)

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Lost Liners - PBS

Grades
7 to 12
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World history, U.S. history, rhetoric and debate, health, and technology are addressed by this comprehensive examination of some of the greatest disasters in maritime history - the...more
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World history, U.S. history, rhetoric and debate, health, and technology are addressed by this comprehensive examination of some of the greatest disasters in maritime history - the Titanic, the Lusitania, and the Empress of Ireland. Full lesson plans (these are really outstanding!), aligned with national standards are provided. Topics include The Blame Game (a great role-playing experience), Bigger, Faster, Stronger, Higher (a comparison of the Titanic and Challenger disasters), and Titanic Artifacts (what we've discovered about the lives of those lost). Students can even learn about effective Internet search strategies in the Lost Liners scavenger hunt activity.

In the Classroom

Click on the section entitled "teacher resources" and take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities offered. Most require a basic knowledge of the 5 major liners that sank, so the day before activities have students explore the site on the interactive whiteboard or individual computers. To assess what students are learning, put them in groups and have groups select a liner that they will be researching. Groups will go through the information offered by the site and possibly other sites in an effort to attain images and information about their lost ship. Have groups create an online graphic telling the story of their liner and its immediate impact. Have students use a tool such as Woices (beta) (reviewed here). This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place.

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Unearthing Secret America - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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Life in colonial America is revealed through a series of archeological explorations documented in this PBS site. Archeologists reveal fascinating information about the first settlers...more
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Life in colonial America is revealed through a series of archeological explorations documented in this PBS site. Archeologists reveal fascinating information about the first settlers of Jamestown and the hardships they endured. The lives of slaves are also examined through artifacts that reveal specific details of their daily lives. Students can discover what a forensic anthropologist looks for when examining ancient human remains through an interactive "Digging for Clues" feature. Use this site to enhance a unit on Colonial America. It truly provides a historically accurate glimpse of the European and African cultures that made up the fabric of early America.

tag(s): colonial america (108)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans hosted on the "educators" portion of this site! Save this site as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval - a great resource for a US history classroom.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Audio Interviews - BBC

Grades
7 to 12
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Some of the most riveting cultural, political, and scientific figures of the 20th and 21st centuries are represented on this site that provides interviews drawn from BBC's archives....more
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Some of the most riveting cultural, political, and scientific figures of the 20th and 21st centuries are represented on this site that provides interviews drawn from BBC's archives. Bring the voices, thoughts, and insights of Virginia Woolf, Aaron Copland, Agatha Christie, Mohandas Gandhi, Andy Warhol, and Charles Schulz, into your classroom. The audio interviews are organized by name and subject area. This is truly an impressive resource that can create quite an impact in the classroom

tag(s): interviews (17)

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eHistory - Ohio State University

Grades
7 to 12
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This incredible resource is not just for history fans! The comprehensive and well-organized site includes a timeline of events, a glossary, battle outlines, biographies, and thousands...more
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This incredible resource is not just for history fans! The comprehensive and well-organized site includes a timeline of events, a glossary, battle outlines, biographies, and thousands of images and maps. Topics include ancient history, the Civil War, World War II, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and much more. A true gold mine for history teachers and students.

tag(s): battles (19), maps (293), timelines (64)

In the Classroom

The great resources offered by this site include the primary sources collection and the vast amount of multi-media presentations offered. Search this site for resources you can use in your own classroom - the video collection would be particularly helpful to supplement information from the previous and current century.

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Travel Back to Colonial Times

Grades
4 to 6
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If you have never used a WebQuest before, take the plunge and try this one! Faced with the task of discovering what information a time traveler to colonial America ...more
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If you have never used a WebQuest before, take the plunge and try this one! Faced with the task of discovering what information a time traveler to colonial America would need, students are asked to think creatively, work cooperatively, analyze information, and create a graphic organizer to represent their findings. Teacher notes, resources, and an assessment tool are provided. Created by Melissa Warren.

Note: 2-3 of the links are not working anymore, so teachers using the site should find replacements before using the webquest.

tag(s): colonial america (108), webquests (30)

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Games We Play - Cornell University

Grades
6 to 12
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Take a unique approach to American History! Games have been used for generations to advance political agendas and propaganda, or to solicit support for social causes. This site includes...more
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Take a unique approach to American History! Games have been used for generations to advance political agendas and propaganda, or to solicit support for social causes. This site includes early nineteenth-century geographical board games; a Civil War game; suffrage games that aided in the battle for women's votes; and a selection of games inspired by television programming. Explore these selections in class and challenge students to consider games that are popular today. What will our pastimes reveal to the historians of the future?

tag(s): civil war (145), women (92), womens suffrage (26)

In the Classroom

Have students try out this site on individual computers, or as a learning center. Students can use the site to learn about the evolution of leisure time in America and the inferences historians can make from games. To assess students learning, print out the crossword puzzle at the end and have them complete it after they tour the site.

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