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Smithsonian Learning Lab - The Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access

Grades
4 to 12
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Discover, create, and share digital resources from the Smithsonian Museum, the National Zoo, and nine major research centers with this visually appealing site. Use the search feature...more
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Discover, create, and share digital resources from the Smithsonian Museum, the National Zoo, and nine major research centers with this visually appealing site. Use the search feature to find digital resources including photos, recordings, videos, and text. Sign up to create your own collections, including those found on the site and your own resources. Add annotations and develop quizzes. Easily share your creations or curated collections using social networking links provided. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): animals (275), architecture (81), art history (69), aviation (41), black history (56), civil war (146), dinosaurs (56), explorers (61), images (258), inventors and inventions (104), scientists (65)

In the Classroom

The Smithsonian Learning Lab is a must-add to your list of classroom bookmarks! Search for collections and information throughout the year on all topics. Add a link to classroom computers for the entire site or specific collections. Be sure to take advantage of the many features of this site to create customized collections, then have students add additional resources. Have students create quizzes for review of topics. Challenge students to create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here.

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The Wright Brothers - Who Were Wilbur & Orville? - Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum

Grades
K to 12
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Learn how two ordinary bicycle mechanics changed the world with this in-depth look at the life of Orville & Wilbur Wright. Follow the timeline beginning in 1630 to learn about ...more
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Learn how two ordinary bicycle mechanics changed the world with this in-depth look at the life of Orville & Wilbur Wright. Follow the timeline beginning in 1630 to learn about the first American Wright, Samuel, as he arrived in Massachusetts with the Puritans. Continue learning about the Wright family's settlement in Ohio and their work with bicycles leading on up to their famous flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903. Be sure to check out the interactive experiments, classroom activities, and lesson plans linked near the bottom of the page.

tag(s): aviation (41), flight (35), wright brothers (26)

In the Classroom

What a perfect addition to a lesson about the Wright brothers or a science unit about aviation (physics and more)! Have students work in cooperative learning groups and research a specific topic found at this site. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about one of the Wright brothers or as a spectator viewing one of the first flying machines. Be sure to take advantage of the free experiments and activities available on the site.

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PBS Election Central - PBS Learning Media

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3 to 12
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Stay up to date with current elections and learn about the electoral process with this all-inclusive site from PBS Learning. Take virtual field trips to the floor of Congress and ...more
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Stay up to date with current elections and learn about the electoral process with this all-inclusive site from PBS Learning. Take virtual field trips to the floor of Congress and Presidential Libraries to explore historical themes. Follow the election process with the interactive map to track candidates as they campaign across the country. Other content examines the election process and takes an inside look at the debates. Be sure to check out the Election Collection containing several activities such as Inside the Voting Booth and You're the Campaign Manager.

tag(s): debate (42), elections (74), electoral college (13), presidents (126), speech (92)

In the Classroom

Include Election Central as part of any election unit. Have students research candidate information and compare and contrast points of view. Use an online tool such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, or the Interactive Three Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here. Pose a controversial question about an election issue and have students answer as one of the candidates. Use a tool such as WeJIT, reviewed here, for that exercise. Or, challenge students to use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a candidate's journey through the election process. Or, using Fakebook, have two candidates debate an issue. Be sure to take advantage of the free lesson plans offered on this site correlated to National History Standards.
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New York State K-12 Social Studies Resource Toolkit - NYSED

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K to 12
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This toolkit provides materials for teaching social studies topics through inquiry methods. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and begin by choosing from the three-grade level bands...more
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This toolkit provides materials for teaching social studies topics through inquiry methods. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and begin by choosing from the three-grade level bands to view available materials correlated to Common Core Standards. Each grade includes one annotated inquiry labeled with an asterisk. It is suggested to teach these inquiries first as they contain many suggestions and tips for teaching inquiry-based lessons. All inquiries include links to download in Word or PDF format.

tag(s): assessment (95), commoncore (90), professional development (118)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site for use when teaching social studies concepts throughout the year. Although created for New York teachers, activities correspond to Common Core Standards used throughout the country. Be sure to take advantage of all resources available such as worksheets, assessment suggestions, and teaching tips. Share with other teachers as you collaborate and plan together.
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TPS Teachers Network - Metropolitan State University of Denver

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K to 12
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TPS Teachers Network is a social networking site for social studies and history teachers. The Library of Congress funded this as part of their Teaching With Primary Sources Program....more
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TPS Teachers Network is a social networking site for social studies and history teachers. The Library of Congress funded this as part of their Teaching With Primary Sources Program. Create an account to begin using features on the site (email and password required). Once enrolled, options include participating in a chat, adding friends, and searching using keywords. Use the tag cloud on the main page to find specific information by grade level or topics such as primary source sets. Create albums on the site, including primary and secondary sources, to easily share with students or fellow teachers. Be sure to check out the Help section at the bottom of the page when you first get started for Quick Tip Tutorials to make the most of the site. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): bookmarks (57), primary sources (83), professional development (118), social media (21), social networking (104)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save TPS Teachers Network as an excellent professional development and social networking site. Share with your colleagues to create your own professional learning network on the site. Create albums with primary sources for use throughout the year in one easy to find location.

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Engaging Elementary Students with Primary Sources - Library of Congress

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K to 5
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This excellent resource is a PDF version of the Fall 2010 Teaching with Primary Sources Quarterly newsletter. Contents include articles on teaching primary sources to elementary students...more
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This excellent resource is a PDF version of the Fall 2010 Teaching with Primary Sources Quarterly newsletter. Contents include articles on teaching primary sources to elementary students and information on the latest research on this subject. Scroll through the newsletter to find two learning activities linked to standards for classroom use.

tag(s): primary sources (83)

In the Classroom

Use information from this article when including primary sources in your Common Core based lessons. Take advantage of the free included lesson plans. Be sure to click on the links in each lesson activity to be directed to the complete lesson plan. Share information with your teaching colleagues. Use images from the lessons (with proper credit, of course) and create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.
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History/Social Science Resources - Los Angeles Unified School District

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K to 12
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The Los Angeles Unified School District offers a large selection of resources for teaching history and social sciences aligned to Common Core Standards. Choose from elementary, middle,...more
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The Los Angeles Unified School District offers a large selection of resources for teaching history and social sciences aligned to Common Core Standards. Choose from elementary, middle, or high school to find curriculum maps and lessons. One very useful portion of the site includes lessons created in partnership with Reading Like a Historian, reviewed here, that engage students in the creation of historical knowledge. Both sites are a must-visit for anyone teaching Social Studies!

tag(s): assessment (95), commoncore (90), professional development (118)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for use throughout the school year. Be sure to take advantage of the lesson plans and curriculum guides. Share with other teachers as you collaborate and plan together.
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Primary Source Sets - Library of Congress

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4 to 12
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This collection of primary sources from the Library of Congress is organized around key topics and themes in American History. The Primary Source Set titles range from Abraham Lincoln...more
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This collection of primary sources from the Library of Congress is organized around key topics and themes in American History. The Primary Source Set titles range from Abraham Lincoln through Women's Suffrage. Choose any topic to view Teacher's Guides and analysis tools including graphic organizers for students. Sort information to find materials meeting Common Core, State Standards, or national organization standards.

tag(s): 20th century (49), authors (118), black history (56), civil war (146), commoncore (90), constitution (72), hispanic (18), jefferson (19), lincoln (85), new deal (6), primary sources (83), segregation (15), thanksgiving (36), veterans (19), washington (36), westward expansion (30), womens suffrage (26), wright brothers (26)

In the Classroom

When introducing a new unit, show students photos from the era and have them describe what they see and what period they think it is. Find plenty of questions and activities (including a blank analysis organizer for students) in the Teacher's Guides. Also look at Library of Congress: for Teachers, reviewed here. Encourage your students to use this tool for projects. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted for reproduction), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. Have students create a multimedia presentation using Voicethread, reviewed here. This tool allows users to narrate a picture. Include this site on your class webpage for students and parents to access as a reference.
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Listly Virtual Field Trips - CSISD Tech

Grades
4 to 12
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Bring the world to your classroom with this excellent list of virtual field trips. At the time of this review, there were nearly 50 field trips available! Take a trip ...more
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Bring the world to your classroom with this excellent list of virtual field trips. At the time of this review, there were nearly 50 field trips available! Take a trip to the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, or Rome. Choose any of the titles to visit the home site for the virtual field trip. Some of the titles have several virtual tours listed, i.e. 7 Wonders Panorama. Share any link via social media, email, or by using the code to embed in a website or blog. Some field trips require Quick Time or Java while others require Flash.

tag(s): africa (181), cultures (103), museums (52), rome (27), virtual field trips (48), white house (13)

In the Classroom

Immerse your students in your studies with a close up in depth look through virtual field trips. Visit places where time, money, and mileage inhibit your dreams for bringing your students into wondrous worlds. Find ways to visit where your class has never gone before. Find ways to motivate your most reluctant learners. For history teachers who teach ancient Rome, the history of the Islamic religion, ancient China, or just about any other historical topic, this would be a real treat for students. Help them recognize that these cultures were once real people, with skills, and goals. World languages teachers will be able to introduce different cultures from a new perspective. Small groups or individual students can focus on one of the tours. ESL/ELL learners will appreciate the visit. Reach all types of learners through a class visit. Use field trips as a whole class anticipatory guide, a center activity, a home connection, or even as extra credit. Challenge your gifted students to be guides to their own learning. Make your class go global!
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America By Air - Smithsonian Institution

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1 to 12
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Learn about the early years of air transportation through the jet age using this site from the Smithsonian. Click the interactive map to see what it was like to fly ...more
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Learn about the early years of air transportation through the jet age using this site from the Smithsonian. Click the interactive map to see what it was like to fly across America (from New York to San Francisco) in the early 1920s through to the present. Click Objects and Images to read an explanation of the earliest to newest planes, mail carrier uniforms, and documents. Find thirteen interactive activities that range from appropriately dressing pilots to purchasing airline tickets based on particular criteria. Use your math skills and the airline price meter activity to learn about the costs of a ticket.

tag(s): 1920s (16), 20th century (49), aircraft (24), aviation (41), flight (35)

In the Classroom

This site will work well in any social studies or math class. Have groups of students use the airline price meter activity to try and buy a ticket for $300. Then have students use computers and visit a travel site and see if they can replicate the activity for real. Using the "At Your Service Section" have your students create 1950s style airline ad posters. Use the baggage claim activity to talk about scales and weight. Bring in some empty suitcases and let students fill them up and try to guess the weight. In language arts or social studies classes use a projector or interactive whiteboard and read a few entries from the Stories section with your students. Ask students to write about a flight they remember (or any mode of transportation for a trip) in the same manner as the examples. In addition, language arts or social studies teachers can use this site's nonfiction reading to help satisfy student's reading goals for the Common Core Standards.
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Hstry - Thomas Ketchell, Jonathan Ketchell, Yoran Brondsema, Steven Chi

Grades
2 to 12
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Create an interactive timeline, view the Timeline of the Month, or browse through Hstry's library of ready-made timelines. The Hstry timelines in the library are the creation of Hstry's...more
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Create an interactive timeline, view the Timeline of the Month, or browse through Hstry's library of ready-made timelines. The Hstry timelines in the library are the creation of Hstry's team of historians and teachers and are Common Core Standards aligned. When creating a timeline, it can include video, audio, a quiz, and comments and questions from viewers. Sign up with your email and get a link to start with a walk-through tutorial to help set up classes, students, and timelines. Students will need the class code. There is a part of the site that has timelines and lessons bundled for a fee. This review is for the free part of this tool. Hstry will work on any device.
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tag(s): american revolution (84), civil war (146), DAT device agnostic tool (180), immigration (58), photosynthesis (32), timelines (63), womens suffrage (26), world war 1 (55)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to share timelines about historical events and more. Have students create timelines for research projects. Create author biographies, animal life cycles, or timelines of events and causes of wars. Challenge students to create a timeline of the plot of a novel. If you teach chemistry, have students create illustrated sequences explaining oxidation or reduction (or both). Have elementary students interview grandparents and create a class timeline about their grandparents for Grandparents' Day. In world language classes, have students create a timeline of their family in the language to master using vocabulary about relatives, jobs, and more (and verb tenses!). Students learn about photo selection, detail writing, chronological order, and more while creating the timelines of their choice. Making a timeline is also a good way to review the history of a current event or cultural developments.

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Free Tiiu Pix - Tiiu Roiser

Grades
K to 12
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Discover a large collection of free to use images for presentations, slide shows, reports, and more at Free Tiiu Pix. The creator of this site designed all images available. Go ...more
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Discover a large collection of free to use images for presentations, slide shows, reports, and more at Free Tiiu Pix. The creator of this site designed all images available. Go to the image gallery to browse images sorted by categories. The categories range from Architecture, Food, Animals, Insects, Plants and more. Right click to save images or choose optional links for different resolution sizes. In addition to the image gallery, be sure to check out the slide presentation gallery including visually appealing PowerPoint presentations on many topics. There is also a link to Learn How to Draw Your Own Clip Art with free clip art to use. These are FREE to use. However, be sure to read and understand the Terms of Use! Note: you must be 18 to use this site. So while this is an excellent site for teachers to find resources, this shouldn't be shared with students to use independently.
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tag(s): images (258), photography (156), slides (58)

In the Classroom

Bookmark Free Tiiu Pix to access images for any presentation. Create multimedia presentations for your subject or any presentation for staff or parents using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Be sure to share Free Tiiu Pix with other teachers on your campus.

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Common Sense for Common Core - Scholastic Inc

Grades
K to 12
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See these free Common Core resources and materials, sample lesson plans, and book lists to help you implement the Common Core Standards with success! English Language Arts, Math, Social...more
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See these free Common Core resources and materials, sample lesson plans, and book lists to help you implement the Common Core Standards with success! English Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, and Science lesson plans span K-12. Detailed plans include teaching nonfiction within integrated content areas. Find detailed book lists by grade level, literature titles, or professional development areas. News and Resources include articles describing a variety of concerns teachers face in today's classroom including, using one iPad in a classroom, reaching every reader, math Common Core tips, and much more. Get answers to some frequently asked questions involving Common Core. Get back to the basics of Common Core through the explanatory sites. Expert videos highlight important aspects of using Common Core Standards. The Editor's Corner gives full units that span the range of the grades with titles such as War Stories, Poetry; Explore the Power of Words, and Life, Death, and Stories in Between. Still have a burning question? Submit your question and get an emailed response. Join the conversation with educators discussing different aspects of Common Core. A parent Common Core Area uses the Common Core Basics, News and Resources, and a list of books to use by grade level. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
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tag(s): assessment (95), commoncore (90), questioning (33), test prep (95), writing (356)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site on your computer! Find answers to all of your questions with resources to challenge your students. Share in your professional learning communities with a different area each meeting. Document your professional development growth for your evaluation. Need to explain Common Core to parents? Begin here!
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A Journey to a New Land - Simon Fraser University Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology

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1 to 12
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Venture over 12,000 years into the past to look at the first people to live in the Canadian regions of North America. This site from a B.C. museum offers different ...more
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Venture over 12,000 years into the past to look at the first people to live in the Canadian regions of North America. This site from a B.C. museum offers different levels of information, videos, and interactive media about the first peoples and their migration across the land bridge from Europe. The site is available in both English and French language. Instructor materials support use from primary to post-secondary levels. Watch native video greetings in several languages, learn about settlements, the geography and change of the actual water and land masses, the archaeology and dating of artifacts, and much more. The Site Map offers a good way to see the scope of the offerings.

tag(s): archeology (31), native americans (82)

In the Classroom

Include this resource as you teach about Native Americans. These peoples did not divide themselves as "Canadian" or "American," so much of the information here is applicable in a U.S. classroom as well! Differentiate for high or low students easily using the different levels of the site. The primary level requires far less reading so offers a good introduction for weaker readers or ESL/ELL students. Have students write a script and create a video or simply compose a blog post about daily life as one of the people migrating into North America (but be sure to talk about the fact that they probably did not actually know how to write). Use a visual blogging tool such as Check This (reviewed here) - no registration required!
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The Patriot Spy - National Park Service

Grades
4 to 10
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Explore the background of the American Revolution. This activity challenges you to try to deliver a letter from a rebel Patriot to the real Paul Revere. You must walk a ...more
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Explore the background of the American Revolution. This activity challenges you to try to deliver a letter from a rebel Patriot to the real Paul Revere. You must walk a dangerous path in Boston to get to Paul Revere's house, facing many challenges along the way. The interactivity with the quest may make you forget that you are learning important history along the way!

tag(s): american revolution (84), colonial america (107)

In the Classroom

Assign this activity in pairs when studying the American Revolution's beginnings. This activity would work well at a learning station or on individual computers. The activity takes about 20 minutes. The student challenges not only teach about the revolutionary period, but also explains the steps a park ranger takes when investigating a historical artifact or document. The text portions might be challenging. Pair weak readers with a strong reader.
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Sunnylands Civics Games - The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands

Grades
4 to 12
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Sunnylands Civics Games offers a small selection of games about the Constitution and related topics. Topics include Branches of Power, The First Amendment, the Bill of Rights, and more....more
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Sunnylands Civics Games offers a small selection of games about the Constitution and related topics. Topics include Branches of Power, The First Amendment, the Bill of Rights, and more. You can try to be the leader of the Legislative Branch. Choose three main issues and the most productive way to succeed in your cause. Most activities begin with a short video followed by questions. Most activities also include a glossary of terms used.

tag(s): bill of rights (27), branches of government (47), constitution (72), game based learning (85), supreme court (21)

In the Classroom

Use the Sunnylands Civics Games to introduce Constitution-related topics to your class using an interactive whiteboard or projector. View videos together and pause as needed to discuss information. Challenge students to try the interactive activities on individual computers or at home. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about Americans described in the games. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles, reviewed here, to trace the path of a bill or the writing of the Constitution.
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Ducksters - Technological Solutions, Inc. (TSI)

Grades
2 to 8
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Ducksters is a safe, extensive, educational portal for kids. Find a wide choice of content such as interactives, sports, movies, and music. Begin by choosing a category to explore choices....more
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Ducksters is a safe, extensive, educational portal for kids. Find a wide choice of content such as interactives, sports, movies, and music. Begin by choosing a category to explore choices. The study category includes extensive information such as world history, many biographies, science explanations, and information on all continents and many countries. Interactive subjects include math times tables, checkers, and guess the country. There is a TON here to explore.
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tag(s): addition (252), african american (113), american revolution (84), animal homes (41), animals (275), artists (76), biographies (85), china (65), civil rights (111), civil war (146), cold war (28), continents (50), countries (74), data (151), division (174), egypt (66), elements (36), energy (194), environment (314), explorers (61), fractions (242), friction (11), geometric shapes (162), greece (27), habitats (84), human body (110), inventors and inventions (104), keyboarding (39), mean (28), median (25), mode (17), multiplication (228), planets (120), presidents (126), puzzles (207), recycling (57), renaissance (35), rome (27), solar system (116), sound (99), sports (94), subtraction (209), sun (70), world war 1 (55), world war 2 (156)

In the Classroom

This site is a perfect addition for use with a biography unit. Explore and share information categorized by topics such as Civil Rights, the Cold War, and Ancient Greece. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a president, famous scientist, or nearly any other real or fictitious person. Be sure to create a link to the site on your class webpage or newsletter for students to explore at home. Create a link on classroom computers for students to use the interactives during center time.
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Create Your Visited States Map - Jeremy Nixon

Grades
3 to 12
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Where have you been? Create a color-coded map of the United States or Canada that highlights states that you have visited. Go through the list of states and choose a ...more
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Where have you been? Create a color-coded map of the United States or Canada that highlights states that you have visited. Go through the list of states and choose a color for each state. There are four colors to choose from indicating your amount of time spent in that state. Just click on the state and then find your color. Or use the list of states found under the map. Choose an image width and pick the "Create" button to make your personalized image map. Save the map to your computer in png format. Please note: this is part of an individual's travel blog, and posts are not moderated for school use. Be sure to check out content links before sharing or student use. Or better yet, advise students NOT to click on any external links.

tag(s): maps (284), north america (20), states (162)

In the Classroom

Creating this would make an interesting map to create as a class project when learning about the 50 states. Go through the states list on your interactive whiteboard and create your class map to print or share as a digital image on your class website. Do a map as a class to see which states MOST students have visited. If you feel students may be embarrassed at their lack of travel, this may be better done on individual computers or on a personal response form given to you to input privately. For a whole class activity, divide your class into groups to create separate maps. Compare and contrast states visited. Send home a link to the website for students to create a map with their families. For older students, use the map for content and reassign colors as needed. For example, create a map showing the birthplace of U.S. Presidents: assign red to states without a president, yellow with one president, and green with two or more. This same format could be used in nearly any subject while studying differences in states (democrat or republican, most popular agriculture product, how many - if any - NFL teams, teen pregnancy rate, and much more).

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Our Nation's Leaders - Minnesota State University

Grades
3 to 12
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Learn about the first 43 Presidents at this interactive site. Read a brief portrait of each with a short narrative about his Presidency and accomplishments. A picture is also included...more
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Learn about the first 43 Presidents at this interactive site. Read a brief portrait of each with a short narrative about his Presidency and accomplishments. A picture is also included with each president. Unfortunately, it does not yet include President Obama and beyond.

tag(s): presidents (126)

In the Classroom

Use this site to introduce a specific president. Share this site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this tool for research projects. There are several short paragraphs devoted to each President, and they would be perfect to teach how to take notes or summary writing. Have your class write a proposed piece about the current President and have the class vote on the best one.
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CurriConnects Book List - 20th Century America, Part 2 (1945-2000) - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Do your students remember 2000? How about 1950? This booklist explores the times of JFK and Reagan, the tumultuous 60s and Woodstock, Civil Rights, and so much more. CurriConnects thematic...more
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Do your students remember 2000? How about 1950? This booklist explores the times of JFK and Reagan, the tumultuous 60s and Woodstock, Civil Rights, and so much more. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles'® to match student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. For more on text complexity and Lexiles'®, see this information from the Lexile Framework. This list features books for all levels of readers. Let students choose a book in one area of interest during the 20th century and share with the class about times (probably) long before they were born. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly. If your library does not have the books, try interlibrary loan!

tag(s): 20th century (49), book lists (123), independent reading (123), kennedy (28), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

Make the 1950s and beyond come alive during your unit on American History. Have students choose a book from this list and present their impressions from it in the form of a blog post from the times using a tool such as Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary! Have students interview parents about different times that they learn about. Have students include the interview in the blogs. Collect the links to all the student posts on your class web page for students to browse and gather a "human" experience of history.

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