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TeachersFirst Brain Twister - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 9
43 Favorites 0  Comments
These ten question quizzes, written by Thinking Teachers, change each Friday and are ready to go with one edition for middle school students and one for elementary students. The quiz...more
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These ten question quizzes, written by Thinking Teachers, change each Friday and are ready to go with one edition for middle school students and one for elementary students. The quiz presents ten questions, one at a time. You have only ONE try to pick the correct answer, so think carefully. You get points for each correct answer, totaling up to a possible 100. When you finish, you see your score and how long you spent. Questions are intended to stretch your thinking. Printable versions are available along with answers to the previous week's Twister. A new version of the Twister is mobile-friendly and adjusts to any screen size. Take the Twister with you wherever you go!

In the Classroom

Since elementary and middle school curriculum content varies from location to location, it is unlikely that every question will fall within the scope of your school's curriculum. High point questions may fall outside standard classroom fare. Five point questions tend to be at the knowledge/comprehension/application level of Bloom's taxonomy and closer to "normal" content. Ten pointers are more likely cross-curricular application/analysis, and twenty pointers require analytical thinking and a wider experience level, such as knowledge of current events or information beyond normal curricula. Twenty pointers may require more than one student's input.

Do the questions as a whole-class activity on a multimedia projector or interactive whiteboard with students contributing the portions of knowledge they do know toward solving the question. Using teamwork and thinking aloud can often help the group reach a conclusion that no single member could do on his/her own. They can each test different math answers to see which one is correct. This process will not only foster thinking aloud and group communication, but also model test-taking skills for multiple choice.

Alternatively, do the Twister in small groups, with one student an answer entry but others as researchers on neighboring computers to find out what the group does not know. It may be helpful to assign roles: moderator (assigns what to find out and helps the group reach consensus), keyboarder (enters responses, may conduct research in a new window), or researchers (find information as assigned). Use the Twisters to model ad teach information literacy skills in a high-motivation activity. Or offer the Twisters as an enrichment challenge or extra credit option for students to do at home. Ask parents to be on the honor system to sign a note indicating the score their child achieved. Since parents may be overly interested in helping, you may want to simply give extra credit for anyone completing the quiz, no matter the score. Be sure to mark this ready to go exclusive in your favorites and share it on your teacher class web page.

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The 50 States - TeachersFirst

Grades
4 to 8
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TeachersFirst's states project for students combines the usual "almanac" facts with narratives on native people, early history, economy, and landforms and geography. The result is a...more
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TeachersFirst's states project for students combines the usual "almanac" facts with narratives on native people, early history, economy, and landforms and geography. The result is a one-stop site for upper elementary and middle school students studying their own states, or someone else's.

tag(s): california (27), new york (26), states (164), texas (4)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start your study of the 50 states. One easy use would be for testing students on knowledge of the capitals. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector, and you can test students not only by state recognition on the map but with what the capitals are. State location and capitol information are not clearly stated until clicked on, so this would be a fairly easy formative assessment in review the information.

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TeachersFirst's Earthquake Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students understand how earthquakes happen and learn about famous earthquakes in history. Also...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students understand how earthquakes happen and learn about famous earthquakes in history. Also included are sites and tools well suited for projects about earthquakes.

tag(s): earthquakes (50), plate tectonics (25)

In the Classroom

Share this collection as a Favorite on your TeachersFirst public page so students can use the resources as part of a project during your unit on plate tectonics or natural disasters. Use the collection as a starting point, noting the resources that are more challenging for your more able students.

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Questioning Toolkit - From Now On

Grades
K to 12
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This site offers suggestions and examples of different types of questions to include in classrooms. Each type of question is explained and sample questions are included. For a visual...more
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This site offers suggestions and examples of different types of questions to include in classrooms. Each type of question is explained and sample questions are included. For a visual explanation of how questions work together, choose the Essential Questions link and scroll down to the diagram showing that this is center of all questions, then all other types of question serve to illuminating the Essential Questions. Links are included to additional information on each of the topics.

tag(s): critical thinking (112), questioning (33)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a guide when lesson planning. Demonstrate to older students how different types of questions will lead to further learning and strengthen critical thinking skills. Display the diagrams and information on the site on your interactive whiteboard to help students explore different questioning techniques. When studying a particular unit, challenge cooperative groups to create their own essential questions (and other types of questions) and create electronic "posters" or word graphics using tools such as Piclits (reviewed here) or Typogenerator (reviewed here).

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Quilting Techniques: Math Lesson Plans - Quilting Assistant

Grades
2 to 12
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The primary purpose of this site is to offer information and techniques for quilters; however, they also offer 3 lesson plans that can be used in elementary, middle, or high ...more
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The primary purpose of this site is to offer information and techniques for quilters; however, they also offer 3 lesson plans that can be used in elementary, middle, or high school classrooms. The elementary lesson focuses on learning fractions through dividing up quilt squares including basic and advanced activities. The middle school lesson focuses on proportions. The high school activity is based upon polynomials. These would be fun activities for students to apply these math concepts through hands-on activities.

tag(s): angles (86), fractions (234), polynomials (30), symmetry (54)

In the Classroom

During Black History month or when learning about western expansion or colonial days, students may enjoy making quilts from fabric or paper and learning about the different patterns used in quilt making. Introduce this activity and have students label the different fractional amounts in the quilt squares. Practice adding fractions by writing the equations generated by making different quilt squares. Hang completed quilts in the classroom or hallway for an interesting display of work with fractions and proportion.

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Facts for Features: Thanksgiving Day 2010 - U.S. Census Bureau

Grades
3 to 12
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The Census Bureau offers lots of Thanksgiving statistics, from the total weight of all the turkeys raised in the US to the total amount of food consumed on Thanksgiving. You ...more
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The Census Bureau offers lots of Thanksgiving statistics, from the total weight of all the turkeys raised in the US to the total amount of food consumed on Thanksgiving. You can plan a huge party with this one!

tag(s): thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Choose a statistic your students can estimate then use this site to help develop estimation and number sense--all in a holiday spirit. Gobble, Gobble! Perhaps create an infographic to display your favorite data. An interesting question to ask: what other data would you like to learn from the U.S. census the next time they do one?

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Celebrating America's Freedoms - Department of Veterans Affairs

Grades
4 to 8
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This site explores the history behind many of America's most beloved customs and symbols. While the reading level is a bit challenging for younger students, the content is excellent...more
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This site explores the history behind many of America's most beloved customs and symbols. While the reading level is a bit challenging for younger students, the content is excellent for lesson-planning. Topics include flag etiquette, and the origins of Veterans' Day, our National Anthem, and the Pledge of Allegiance.

tag(s): american flag (11), flag day (6), memorial day (13), national anthem (4), veterans (21)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities hosted on this site! This would be a great resource on a unit about patriotism, nationalism, or even Veterans day itself. Have students make an interactive book about a national symbol or holiday using Bookemon, reviewed here and share it with "little buddies" in a lower grade class.

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The Listening Doll - Joyce Payne

Grades
K to 4
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Students discuss the process of storytelling and listening to stories. Then, they create a listening doll in the tradition of the Native American storyteller dolls.The lesson is in...more
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Students discuss the process of storytelling and listening to stories. Then, they create a listening doll in the tradition of the Native American storyteller dolls.The lesson is in 2 45-minute segments. The students will learn about Native American storyteller dolls, create their own image of a person listening to a story, discuss and assess the various listening dolls created by the class.

tag(s): native americans (78)

In the Classroom

Some arts & crafts materials are needed for these lessons. This would be a great option to accompany the study of Native Americans in an elementary classroo, drawing in your language arts time for story writing and telling.

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Thanksgiving in American Memory - Library of Congress

Grades
4 to 8
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A part of the Library's American Memory series, this Thanksgiving site concentrates on the historical origins of the holiday and how its celebration has evolved since the original Thanksgiving...more
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A part of the Library's American Memory series, this Thanksgiving site concentrates on the historical origins of the holiday and how its celebration has evolved since the original Thanksgiving proclamation. Be sure to check out the Thanksgiving Timeline

tag(s): thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Make this site the basis for a scavenger hunt for Thanksgiving information.

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The National Baseball Hall of Fame - National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc

Grades
4 to 12
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The National Baseball Hall of Fame offers lots of information on famous players and the history of the game. It's a great starting point for students interested in baseball's impact...more
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The National Baseball Hall of Fame offers lots of information on famous players and the history of the game. It's a great starting point for students interested in baseball's impact on American culture, especially in the early 20th century. Visit the Sights and Sounds link to view videos, hear authentic news clips and interviews, and more. This site does requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): baseball (36)

In the Classroom

Share the videos, interviews, and more on your interactive whiteboard or projector. As baseball season begins, have cooperative learning groups explore different elements of this site. Have the groups prepare a multi-media production. Perhaps a video clip of their own!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Classroom Jeopardy - superteachtools.com

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for an easy to use free jeopardy game? Look no further than this site. Download the application for free or create the activity to be played online. View and ...more
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Looking for an easy to use free jeopardy game? Look no further than this site. Download the application for free or create the activity to be played online. View and try activities already created online. If you like your project you can save it to a folder on your computer. There is a short video in the "How To" section that will walk you through the process of making, saving, and playing a Flash Jeopardy game. Those of you who have used the PowerPoint Jeopardy will find this flash version much less time consuming to create and to recreate new Jeopardy games.

tag(s): grammar review (39), matching (24)

In the Classroom

Use this great resource to create Jeopardy games for any content area. This resource is perfect for use on an interactive whiteboard or projector with a student emcee. Use for vocabulary/terms, identifying parts of anything, and reviewing for any curriculum topic. Use as an opener to a unit to determine what students already know. Play as a review game to assist learning for all students. Encourage students to create the clues and answers to their own Jeopardy review games as a creative way to review and reinforce. Learning support teachers may want to have students create review games together.

You or your students can copy and paste the HTML code for any game on your web page, wiki, or blog for easy access to any Flash Jeopardy Game.

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They Had a Dream Too - TeachersFirst

Grades
1 to 4
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They had a Dream Too is a unit on overcoming obstacles for grades K-4. It offers profiles of several dozen famous people and asks students to research how one of ...more
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They had a Dream Too is a unit on overcoming obstacles for grades K-4. It offers profiles of several dozen famous people and asks students to research how one of these achieved success despite an impediment. The unit can be used as part of Black History month, a culminating project for a biography unit, or in any context studying accomplishments.

tag(s): africa (176), african american (114), black history (61), martin luther king (38)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities offered on this site - a great resource for a Social Studies class.

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Remembering Martin Luther King - TeachersFirst

Grades
1 to 4
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This primary-level unit offers language, math, and science activities, all built around the themes of equality and non-violence that Dr. King espoused. The activities include word banks,...more
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This primary-level unit offers language, math, and science activities, all built around the themes of equality and non-violence that Dr. King espoused. The activities include word banks, science experiments (some with eggs), and more. Ready to print PDF files make this unit easy to use. This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): africa (176), african american (114), civil rights (122), holidays (151), martin luther king (38)

In the Classroom

Students can hone counting skills with the "Birmingham Bus" or test their powers of scientific observation by comparing brown and white eggs.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Daytum - Ryan Case and Nicholas Feltron

Grades
K to 12
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Are you looking to collect and analyze class data easily? Choose from 16 different ways to view data. Decide the items you wish to count (the free plan allows up ...more
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Are you looking to collect and analyze class data easily? Choose from 16 different ways to view data. Decide the items you wish to count (the free plan allows up to 1000 different things to be counted.) Also determine the category the items can be placed into (use up to 24 different categories in the free account.) Add a statement panel to your display panel to add notes and make comments about the data. Be sure to click the How To at the bottom of the home page to learn how to use the Daytum site. Also click the "Watch A Screencast" link for additional help. Data can also be collected via text or Twitter tweets.

tag(s): data (152), infographics (47), statistics (124), visualizations (13)

In the Classroom

Some of the best data to collect is anything that is a habit: types of drinks students drink at home, hours watching TV/playing games/doing homework, meals/fast food, etc. Use the site to collect data from other students or classes for a Math, Social Studies, or Psychology class. Use Daytum for a Science class by counting animals at a feeder, recycling efforts, amount of paper used in the classroom, days of rain/no rain, etc. Anything that can be counted can be used by Daytum! Be sure to identify students who will be counters and recorders of the data.

Before using Daytum, be sure to follow the directions on the How To page. Be sure to decide the goal first and the data to be collected. Having an idea of the kind of data to be collected as well as how it will be displayed is necessary before using. This tool is best used as a class activity rather than creating individual accounts. Create a class account and use a class computer or computer attached to a projector or whiteboard to collect data as students enter the room. Set up the parameters of the data to be collected (or enlist the help of an ambitious student.)

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Preceden - Matt Mazur

Grades
3 to 12
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Preceden is a free service that allows you to create timelines with multi-layers for overlapping events. The different layers are visually interesting and allow you to easily see the...more
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Preceden is a free service that allows you to create timelines with multi-layers for overlapping events. The different layers are visually interesting and allow you to easily see the sequence of events in several different ways. You can input your own time increments such as by day, week, month, year, decade, etc. In addition, you can create your own labels for events. You need to create a FREE account to make a timeline. Timelines can be embedded on your blog or shared by url.

tag(s): timelines (64)

In the Classroom

Create an ever-growing timeline throughout the school year by adding events discussed in class so students understand where events relate to each other in history. Create a timeline with events in American History and add a layer of authors' works to connect literature's time periods to history.

Have your students use Preceden to create a timeline of their life and their family's life. Then use events from their life for writing a memoir, poetry, etc. Science students could create a timeline for the stages of mitosis for a cell or the life cycle of a forest or an animal. Have students in government or history create timelines related to topics you are learning about in class.

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Yacapaca! - Chalkface Project

Grades
4 to 12
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This easy to use site allows you to make interactive online quizzes or use pre-made quizzes sorted by subject. You can upload classes, assign quizzes, and receive scores (if students...more
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This easy to use site allows you to make interactive online quizzes or use pre-made quizzes sorted by subject. You can upload classes, assign quizzes, and receive scores (if students are registered.) Current quizzes available range from Drama to Law to Math (and all core subjects). The format allows for any topic, and the enjoyable characters help to maintain student interest. Note: This site was created in the United Kingdom and follows the curriculum of the United Kingdom. You may notice slight spelling/pronunciation differences.

tag(s): assessment (107), quiz (88), quizzes (100)

In the Classroom

You can create and/or assign quizzes for any topic. You need not register students to simply assign an activity, but registration is required to keep and report scores. You simply check which countries to include to narrow activity searches, so decide whether alternate spellings might be an issue for your curriculum topic. Students can use quizzes either at home or in school. Use this site to help students review concepts and receive immediate feedback on their performance. There is a direct link in the quizzes to send a link to registered students or to share on social networking sites such as Facebook, iGoogle and Blogger. Assign small groups of students to create their own quiz for any topic you might be studying. Students can challenge their peers as a review.

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Native American Crafts Unit - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 6
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This is a collection of craft projects based on toys or articles that Native American or colonial children might have used. There are complete instructions for each item, with illustrations....more
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This is a collection of craft projects based on toys or articles that Native American or colonial children might have used. There are complete instructions for each item, with illustrations.

tag(s): crafts (43), native americans (78), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Try using this unit with a study of Thanksgiving, colonial settlements, or Native Americans of the eastern U.S. Share the hands-on crafts and be sure to take digital pictures. Ask students to write explanations of the crafts on your class wiki (with the accompanying pictures)! Or include the link to directions for one of these crafts on your class web page for students to try as a summer activity.

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Interesting Ways - Tom Barrett

Grades
3 to 12
10 Favorites 1  Comments
    
Interesting Ways will help you find new ways to present old material, or give you ideas about how to use new programs, web tools, and technologies in your classroom. ...more
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Interesting Ways will help you find new ways to present old material, or give you ideas about how to use new programs, web tools, and technologies in your classroom. Topics range from "Ideas for Class Blog Posts" to "Use Web Conferencing in the Classroom" to "Use QR Codes In the Classroom" and countless other topics. Many Google Tools are listed here also. There is so much more on this site that you just have to go and investigate! This is definitely a must-see.

Users can comment on this site and the contents. Be sure to preview before having students investigate on their own. And be sure students are clear about your expectations regarding their own commenting on this site.

tag(s): qr codes (22), tutorials (48)

In the Classroom

This is a professional resource to save in your favorites and share with your friends! With older students, challenge cooperative learning groups to investigate one "interesting way" and then create a project (using the suggestions in their "interesting way") to teach the class about a topic currently being taught. Make the choices on this page the options for a student research presentation. What a fabulous way to truly learn the material.... teach it to the rest of the class! Students will also gain expertise at choosing the best tool for the task, a true 21st century skill!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

This should now read "Thirty-Two Interesting Ways to Use Wallwisher".

Editorial Note: we have updated our review. Thank you
Shirley, CA, Grades: 6 - 12

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TeachersFirst's Presidents' Day Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Presidents' Day in this collection from TeachersFirst. Choices include information about various presidents, the White House, inaugurations,...more
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Presidents' Day in this collection from TeachersFirst. Choices include information about various presidents, the White House, inaugurations, first ladies, elections, and more.

tag(s): holidays (151), presidents (132)

In the Classroom

Use these resources to connect Presidents' Day to your curriculum in almost any subject or select one or two ideas to highlight along with your regular lessons. This collection would also be useful during a unit on the three branches of government, specifically investigating the Executive branch.

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TeachersFirst Resources for U.S. Presidential Inaugurations - TeachersFirst

Grades
1 to 12
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Every four years, the U.S. celebrates the peaceful transition of power from one administration to the next. We all note 2009 as an especially historic year in U.S. history, with ...more
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Every four years, the U.S. celebrates the peaceful transition of power from one administration to the next. We all note 2009 as an especially historic year in U.S. history, with the juxtaposition of Lincoln's 200th birthday and the inauguration of President Barack Obama. No matter what grade level you teach or candidate you support, Inauguration Day is an important event worthy of notice in your classroom. This list of reviewed resources from the TeachersFirst database will help you find ways to include the inauguration and its historical significance in the context of your curriculum. Since news sources often generate specialized but temporary web resources just in time for Inauguration Day (January 20), you will also want to use a Google News search for the most timely information, such as news articles and images. Combine these with the historical background and ideas below to help students gain perspective and a deeper understanding.

In the Classroom

Since news sources often generate specialized but temporary web resources just in time for Inauguration Day (January 20), you will want to use these resources in combination with a Google News search for the most timely information, such as news articles and images. Assign older students to compare historical background and current practice in a chosen aspect of the inauguration and create a multimedia presentation, wiki page, or mock "news" video about the day's events. Share selected images and explanation with younger students using your projector or interactive whiteboard.

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