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TPS-Barat Primary Source Nexus - Barat Education Foundation

Grades
2 to 12
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Find high interest primary sources for anything from teddy bears to Abraham Lincoln to King Kamehameha and much more. There are also primary sources for world connections for Serbia,...more
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Find high interest primary sources for anything from teddy bears to Abraham Lincoln to King Kamehameha and much more. There are also primary sources for world connections for Serbia, Iran, and Cambodia. Common Core emphasizes "reading" of visual sources of information, and this is the perfect source. This is a growing resource, so be sure to sign up for their newsletter. The Primary Source Nexus is the online support resource for the TPS-Barat Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Program. This is a great place to look for ideas to use for History Day! Preview before sharing with students.

tag(s): advertising (33), black history (61), cross cultural understanding (116), history day (23), immigration (57), journalism (51), lincoln (86), martin luther king (37), poetry (226), presidents (130), primary sources (86), professional development (126), roosevelt (16), slavery (71), writing prompts (93)

In the Classroom

Take a look at the free professional development for using primary sources for teachers. In the Archives for Connecting to the Common Core, there are writing prompts for K-5 plus a link to the triangle activity. Download and use the PDF for the Thinking Triangle. Have older students research an interest and report to the class using a tool like Zoho Show (similar to PowerPoint, but easier and free) reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Florence Nightingale Museum - The Florence Nightingale Museum

Grades
6 to 12
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The Lady With the Lamp, Florence Nightingale, is best known as the inspiration for the International Red Cross. Find out more about her life, and see some of the things ...more
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The Lady With the Lamp, Florence Nightingale, is best known as the inspiration for the International Red Cross. Find out more about her life, and see some of the things she wore. View things that she used in her career as a nurse during the 19th century. There is a searchable collection and a comprehensive biography.

tag(s): biographies (87), heroes (24), medicine (68)

In the Classroom

Florence Nightingale is a favorite subject for biographies, particularly during Women's History Month. The biography and digital artifacts from her life will be useful to students who are researching the impact she made on modern medicine and nursing. Use this research information to create a simple infographic about Nightingale, using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here.

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Under His Hat: Discovering Lincoln's Story From Primary Sources - Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation

Grades
4 to 12
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History buffs will delight in the information about Abraham Lincoln found at Under His Hat. Bring Lincoln to life by viewing personal artifacts such as his wedding certificate,...more
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History buffs will delight in the information about Abraham Lincoln found at Under His Hat. Bring Lincoln to life by viewing personal artifacts such as his wedding certificate, his writing utensils, and his famous top hat. There are eight categories showcasing digital versions of primary sources related to Abraham Lincoln. Click on a category of interest and click on an artifact to enlarge to a 3D version and read about it.

tag(s): civil war (144), lincoln (86), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Click on "In the Classroom" to find activities for each artifact for elementary, middle school, and high school. Personalize Abe Lincoln for your students by sharing some of the artifacts on your interactive whiteboard. Have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Students can then create a word cloud of the important terms they learn using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here). Use ideas from Engaging Students With Primary Sources reviewed here to help high school students analyze primary source documents they find on Under Lincoln's Hat.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Civil War Daily Gazette - Eric Wittenburg

Grades
6 to 12
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Imagine reading a daily news blog as the Civil War unfolds 150 years ago! This is the premise of Civil War Daily Gazette. The first post appeared on November 10, ...more
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Imagine reading a daily news blog as the Civil War unfolds 150 years ago! This is the premise of Civil War Daily Gazette. The first post appeared on November 10, 2010 to commemorate the Civil War's sesquicentennial, and daily posts will continue through 2015. Each post is fairly short (700-1000 words) allowing for quick reading with an overview of each day's events.

tag(s): civil war (144), gettysburg (26), gettysburg address (18), lincoln (86), slavery (71)

In the Classroom

Use the Civil War Daily Gazette in conjunction with your Civil War lessons. Find some great informational literature! Search the blog for an overview of events on any particular day. Have students create maps of Civil War events using Animaps (reviewed here). Students can add text, images, and location stops! Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles (reviewed here). Be sure to create a link to the Daily Gazette on your class website or blog for students to view at home. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a soldier, slave, farmer, or any other person living during Civil War times. Subscribe to the blog using your RSS feed reader or "like" on Facebook to follow along. For more Civil War connections, be sure to explore Gettysburg by the Numbers

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Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum - 2012 Seminole Tribe of Florida

Grades
2 to 10
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The Seminole Tribe of Florida's Ah-TAh-THI-Ki is a place to learn about Seminoles and a place to remember. The museum showcases over 30,000 unique artifacts. Even though the website...more
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The Seminole Tribe of Florida's Ah-TAh-THI-Ki is a place to learn about Seminoles and a place to remember. The museum showcases over 30,000 unique artifacts. Even though the website includes information about visiting the actual museum, there is much to explore without ever going there. Find podcasts of oral history about alligator wrestling, patchwork, beadwork, dolls, Civil Rights, Brighton Day School, and tribal leaders. The Online Connections Collection features 2,500 books and periodicals.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): native americans (78)

In the Classroom

Explore the Seminole Tribe through the online collections and museums. Use the sources as primary and secondary to supplement other class materials. Use the Seminole Tribe to compare and contrast the native American tribes found in your area. Explore the Seminole Tribe in your unit on Civil Rights. Use this site to discover the leadership that lead to the Seminole Tribe of today. Be sure to begin your study with an anticipation guide. End your unit with a post assessment dispelling the myths in the anticipation guide.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Here There Everywhere- News for Kids - Claudia David Heitler - News for Kids, Inc.

Grades
4 to 10
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Find news features on current events, politics, space, weather, sports, and more. This would be useful in any classroom where a "knowledge of the now" is a focus. At the ...more
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Find news features on current events, politics, space, weather, sports, and more. This would be useful in any classroom where a "knowledge of the now" is a focus. At the time of this review some of the specific topics included granting a wish to a terminally ill young child, remembering JFK 50 years after his assassination, a football game honoring a special needs student, the discovery of new planets, and much more. Subscribe to their newsletter to receive updates on new articles. For an interesting discussion about who writes these news stories, take a look at "About." The site creator used to be a producer for the Today Show!

tag(s): news (261)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for current events. The reading level of the stories is generally upper elementary, but the topics are of interest through high school. These short articles would be great for practice with informational texts. Keep this site as part of a list for students to access, including weaker readers and ESL/ELL students who can use the videos to aid understanding. Have students research whats going on via this news site, and present a small presentation at the beginning of class. Students can either present orally or, for the technologically inclined, create a short video summarizing the same information. Consider using a bookmark site such as Diigo, reviewed here, to share newsworthy items that correlate with your class curriculum.

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The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History - Gilder Lehrman

Grades
4 to 12
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Discover American History through images, exhibits, primary sources, and more with The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. As a teacher or student, you can have free access...more
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Discover American History through images, exhibits, primary sources, and more with The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. As a teacher or student, you can have free access to the website. Find history by era beginning in the 1620's. Look at Native Americans, Colonization, The American Revolution, National Expansionism, Civil War and Reconstruction, Industrial America, The Great Depression and World War II, all the way to current times. There are special programs and exhibits for teachers and students. A large collection of primary sources complements many studies in social studies-- and literacy. As a member, save all of your favorites and make lists for each area of study. The multimedia tab reveals documentaries, videos and virtual field trips. History Now publishes monthly newsletters.

tag(s): 1600s (12), american revolution (88), civil war (144), colonization (16), great depression (25), industrial revolution (25), literacy (107), native americans (78), westward expansion (29), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

Find many lesson plans, resources, and primary documents to enrich your history lessons. Make a splash with visual learners by starting class with artifacts from an era displayed on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Explore primary sources and historic texts as part of a Common Core literacy program cooperating among English, reading, and history teachers. Have your students sign up to enjoy access to all the resources. Challenge cooperative learning groups to choose a specific historical time period and become "experts." Have the groups create presentations to share with the class about what they learn. Use a tool like Zoho Show (similar to Powerpoint, but easier and free) reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Ellis Island - PBS/Library of Congress

Grades
6 to 12
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View the hopeful immigrants of Ellis Island as they await entry to the U.S. at the inspection station. These images date from the first decade of the 1900's. The annotated ...more
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View the hopeful immigrants of Ellis Island as they await entry to the U.S. at the inspection station. These images date from the first decade of the 1900's. The annotated photos, from the Library of Congress, describe the steps a new immigrant had to take to enter the United States.

tag(s): ellis island (9), immigrants (20), immigration (57), new york (26)

In the Classroom

Consider using this site as an introduction to a unit on immigration. Before showing the text, have students discuss what they think is happening in the different rooms, ask about clothing, and what they think the people are feeling. Share this site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. You might want to use the Interactive Tour of Ellis Island, reviewed here, in conjunction with these photos and annotations. Write a blog entry from the perspective of an immigrant. Use a tool such as Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. A unique URL is provided and this site is as easy as using a basic Word program!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Presidential Classroom - Miller Center, University of Virgina

Grades
6 to 12
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The Presidential Classroom offers resources for students and teachers that provide insight into historic events, the presidency, and U.S. government. Contents include lesson plans,...more
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The Presidential Classroom offers resources for students and teachers that provide insight into historic events, the presidency, and U.S. government. Contents include lesson plans, presidential profiles, video clips, and teachable exhibits. Explore exhibits by historical event or sort by administration. Exhibits provide a look at specific moments during a presidential administration including transcripts, videos, and audio of events. Choose the presidents link to get a look at each of the US presidents including quick facts, personal information, and cabinet members. Lesson plans include topics such as Space, Vietnam, and Cuba and include correlations to Virginia state standards.

tag(s): jefferson (19), kennedy (27), lincoln (86), presidents (130), space (213), vietnam (36), washington (36), white house (14)

In the Classroom

If your students do Presidential biographies or projects, this is a perfect site to share. Have students explore the exhibits while doing research on presidents and historical events. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a president.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Sinking of the Titanic - NBC Learn/Scientific American

Grades
4 to 12
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Sink into the Titanic using this boatload of FREE resources. A collection of archival news videos, Scientific American articles, photos, and other teaching and learning resources commemorate...more
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Sink into the Titanic using this boatload of FREE resources. A collection of archival news videos, Scientific American articles, photos, and other teaching and learning resources commemorate this historic event. View a video of a live report from a ship doing a 3-D scan of the wreckage or an interview with oceanographer, Dr. Robert Ballard, discoverer of the Titanic wreckage. Each video has a transcript, and support is available if you are having trouble viewing the videos. You can also read a photocopy of the hand-written account by the captain of the RMS Carpathia describing his response to the distress signal received "by wireless" from the RMS Titanic on April 15, 1912, after the Titanic collided with an iceberg. NBC Learn charges for access to many of their resources but offers this collection for free.

tag(s): 20th century (53), decades (14)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for teaching the Titanic as part of an early twentieth century history lesson or as enrichment when reading any novel about the Titanic. Include the Titanic as one of many topics for twentieth century "decades" research projects. Discuss the difference between primary and secondary sources. Share the images on your interactive whiteboard or projector for the students to analyze and discuss. Have cooperative learning groups research the time period and the exploration of the wreckage. Have them write journal entries (blogs) from the point of view of one of the cruisers on board or as an explorer of the wreckage. Have students create blogs using Throwww ( here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. Compare and contrast the students' accounts of the sinking of the Titanic.

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Project Mosaic: Zora Neale Hurston - Rollins College

Grades
7 to 12
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Discover Zora Neale Hurston through African-American history combined with traditional liberal arts subjects such as art, art education, anthropology, education, and history. Enhance...more
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Discover Zora Neale Hurston through African-American history combined with traditional liberal arts subjects such as art, art education, anthropology, education, and history. Enhance your awareness of African American History and of Hurston, famed novelist of Their Eyes Were Watching God and other 20th century works, through the primary and secondary sources featured on the site. Art work, articles, exhibitions, and lesson plans feature life in the time of Zora Neale Hurston.

tag(s): authors (121), literature (275)

In the Classroom

In the classroom, use Project Mosaic to enhance your study of civil rights, storytelling, women studies, Florida history, or literature. The primary and secondary sources provide a deeper look into life in the early 1900's. In your leadership unit, examine the challenges Zora Neale Hurston faced in her life and how she turned these problems into stepping stones to meet her goals. Expand into other areas such as history and culture during World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, or even Desert Storm using primary and secondary sources. Have students interview groups of people who lived during those time periods, discovering how opinions greatly influence world events. Extend the study into literature and artwork of the period. Encourage students to become involved in local, state, or world events. Have students create their own renderings of the time period using one of the multimedia TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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Letters of Note - Shaun Usher

Grades
8 to 12
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Letters of Note is a blog that shares letters from a book of the same name, but you never have to buy the book! The collection includes over 900 interesting ...more
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Letters of Note is a blog that shares letters from a book of the same name, but you never have to buy the book! The collection includes over 900 interesting letters from many different sources such as Leonardo da Vinci's 's job application, a letter from Steve Albini to the band Nirvana, and Virginia Woolf's suicide letter. Start from the archives to find over 900 more examples sorted in different ways such as typed/handwritten, by date, name, or correspondence type. Or click in the sidebar to access most popular or even view a random letter. Most letters include an image along with a short description of the context of the correspondence included. Letters include the original language so be sure to read for yourself before sharing with students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): acting (27), authors (121), europe (75), letter writing (21), politics (99), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

Find letters from authors to read when studying their novels. Choose letters from different time periods to share with students as an authentic look at life during that time (primary sources!). Have students share what they learned using a tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here. Zeemaps allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place. 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.

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Hindsight is always 20/20 - Luke Dubois

Grades
8 to 12
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Hindsight is Always 20/20 examines State of the Union addresses through a metaphor of vision charts (and words). This site highlights the sixty-six most used words in the annual...more
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Hindsight is Always 20/20 examines State of the Union addresses through a metaphor of vision charts (and words). This site highlights the sixty-six most used words in the annual State of the Union addresses given by former Presidents. Each address is exhibited in the style of a Snellen eye chart. Find the most frequently used words in place of the eye-chart characters, with the most often used word on the top line. Find a thumbnail of all the presidents along the bottom. Scroll over each one to view the chart. The name of the president and the period of time served is found along the bottom right of the chart. As the words are unique to each chart, the chart itself is a snapshot of each presidency and the time period each president served.

tag(s): presidents (130), speeches (17)

In the Classroom

Share this tool in January, before the annual State of the Union. Allow time for groups of students to view specific charts and report upon the words used and their meanings. Students can research the time period the president served to understand the cultural, religious, and political climate of the day. Does the most common word (or top 10) appear in more than one presidency? Are there presidents who faced the same challenges even if not from the same time period? How did their State of the Union addresses differ (or were similar?) Discuss the uses of various words of which students may be unfamiliar.

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Minilogs - Minilogs

Grades
7 to 12
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Collect and curate media and links with Minilogs. Create one short URL to share multiple URLs. Make your own playlists. Explore the list created by others in Minilogs. Save ...more
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Collect and curate media and links with Minilogs. Create one short URL to share multiple URLs. Make your own playlists. Explore the list created by others in Minilogs. Save videos and audio files from YouTube, Vimeo, Sound Cloud, Spotify, and more. This tool can also be used as a bookmarklet to keep interesting blog posts or other items from the Internet. Along with each URL, Minilogs also shows a thumbnail and allows you to easily write notes next to each of the images. Publish your playlists on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. Collaborate with your friends or colleagues on Minilogs. Watch the video for more information on how to use Minilogs and explore the gallery of Minilogs to see how they work. Note: VERY few of the topics in the public "Explore" galleries are of educational value. We do not recommend sending classes of students to explore. While most of the Minilog videos currently shared on the site are hosted on YouTube, a few were on Vimeo. You appear to be able to use any content that you wish. So if YouTube is blocked at your school, there are many other options to use.

tag(s): bookmarks (60), video (268)

In the Classroom

Create a class Minilog account to keep a running account of useful articles, videos, and items for use in class. Add content that the students find and discuss in class. Use for students to keep a running account of current events in the classroom, science news and the impact on society, and more. Minilogs could be used in music, art, government, and nearly any other subject. Create Minilogs about current (or past) presidents. Create a Minilog to share a specific art style or music genre. Collect videos on a certain topic, even from several content video sites like Khan Academy to "flip" your class with an entire playlist of options. The possibilities are endless. Challenge students to create their own Minilogs in cooperative learning groups or independently. If you are teaching about media literacy or advertising bias, Minilogs are the perfect way for students to create curated collections of videos with accompanying notes.

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Open Yale Courses - Yale University

Grades
9 to 12
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Open Yale Courses offers free (non-credit) introductory courses taught by teachers and scholars at Yale University. Open access allows participants to view videos, download transcripts,...more
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Open Yale Courses offers free (non-credit) introductory courses taught by teachers and scholars at Yale University. Open access allows participants to view videos, download transcripts, and receive all related course materials at any time. Choose from courses in topics ranging from English, History, African-American Studies, Languages, and many more. They offer countless topics: Art History, Psychology, various languages and literatures (Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian), Chemistry, American History, and many more.

tag(s): african american (114), american revolution (88), art history (72), atmosphere (28), business (58), civil war (144), ecology (135), ecosystems (89), engineering (127), evolution (102), financial literacy (80), france (40), greece (26), greeks (30), novels (24), poetry (226), psychology (64), religions (62), romans (35), sociology (22), space (213)

In the Classroom

This is an excellent resource for gifted students as well as students interested in viewing high quality college level course material. Browse through topics of interest for your AP or IB classroom and use selected videos for viewing on your interactive whiteboard (or projector). Share a link on your class webpage for students to view at home. Teachers of gifted may want to suggest that students form small cohorts to explore one of the course of particular interest to them. Music and art history teachers will find rich materials to include in their high school courses, as well.
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Wonder Women - Wonder City Interactive Game - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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Wonder Woman's legacy lives on! This activity accompanies the PBS special, "Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines" (NOT available on the site) and explores American...more
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Wonder Woman's legacy lives on! This activity accompanies the PBS special, "Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines" (NOT available on the site) and explores American pop culture's evolving attitudes toward powerful women. The game (even without the film) investigates the causes and effects of gender stereotypes in the media and considers how they influence real-life attitudes and behaviors. Through this book game, you have the opportunity to identify your own heroic qualities and make empowered choices. Did you know that Wonder Woman's original, radical World War II presence, was created by a Harvard-trained pop psychologist? Do you remember her uninspiring 1960s incarnation as a fashion boutique owner? After that, she was resurrected by feminist Gloria Steinem and the women of Ms. Magazine. Explore the history of Wonder Woman and feminist issues using this program.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), heroes (24), media literacy (57), women (91)

In the Classroom

Click Classroom to find Lesson Plan 2 for using the game. Try using this Wonder Women lesson along with The HTML 5 Gender in Advertising Remixing reviewed here. This site may help students draw conclusions about advertisers targeting boys and girls differently. Then you can relate their newfound knowledge back to the gender stereotypes they discovered in Wonder Women. Next you might consider introducing students to the modern heroine Cat, who represents an unconventional superheroine in My So Called Secret Identity reviewed here. For a complete unit, add a project where students collect and annotate a group of web links that show gender stereotypes. Use a bookmarking tool from the TeachersFirst Edge.
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Smithsonian Digital Volunteers: Transcription Center - Smithsonian Institution

Grades
9 to 12
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The Smithsonian invites amateur historians to contribute to the massive task of transcribing their collection of written documents to make them available in digitized, searchable form....more
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The Smithsonian invites amateur historians to contribute to the massive task of transcribing their collection of written documents to make them available in digitized, searchable form. Finding authentic projects for students can be a challenge. Here, students can create an account, choose a project, and contribute their transcriptions of historic documents. Current projects include diaries, field notes, and other primary sources.

tag(s): local history (13), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

A wonderful extension or enrichment project for responsible high school students, the Transcription Center allows students to interact with primary sources, learn about the importance of everyday records of the lives of those who go before us, and have the satisfaction of knowing they are contributing to the universe of information that will be available to future scholars. Small groups of students could share a transcription project and check each other's before submitting, or discuss the texts they have transcribed. Students interested in independent research might find a transcription project that adds to their understanding of a particular subject. You might even consider using transcription as a community service project or an initiative in your gifted ed class.

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Nelson Mandela Biography - bio.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Explore the life of Nelson Mandela with this informative site from Biography.com. Contents include facts of Mandela's life, photos, and videos profiling his life and leadership. One...more
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Explore the life of Nelson Mandela with this informative site from Biography.com. Contents include facts of Mandela's life, photos, and videos profiling his life and leadership. One especially useful portion of the site includes a printable study guide including vocabulary, extension activities, and more. There is a lot here to explore.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 20th century (53), black history (61), civil rights (119), heroes (24), south africa (10)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector as an introduction to your Civil Rights, Black History, or Heroes unit. Allow students to explore on their own. Use the study guide as a resource for vocabulary, deepening understanding, or for extension activities. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare Nelson Mandela to other Civil Rights leaders such as Martin Luther King. Have students create timelines about Civil Rights (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles (reviewed here). Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about Civil Rights leaders.
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The Museum of Modern Art - Khan Academy - Khan Academy and The Museum of Modern Art

Grades
6 to 12
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The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), in partnership with the Khan Academy, offers several tutorials exploring the world of contemporary and modern art....more
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The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), in partnership with the Khan Academy, offers several tutorials exploring the world of contemporary and modern art. View information in categories such as Printmaking, Behind the scenes at MoMA, and Performance Art. Each section contains several short videos exploring the topic. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they 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.

tag(s): art history (72), artists (76)

In the Classroom

Display and use these very short videos on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to introduce and explore the world of art to students. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos based on other famous works of art and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. Do a collaborative project with your school's art teacher, having students write in English/LA class and discuss art in that class. Have older students explore areas of this site to find artwork from time periods studied in Social Studies classes. Display one of the works of art and view the short video. Use the art piece as inspiration for a creative writing project. Use videos during career exploration units to demonstrate the different career options available within the field of art. Create a link to videos on classroom computers for students to view on their own or use the embed code to add a video on your class website or blog for additional exploration. Teachers of gifted who have students interested in visual arts can use this site to take them further, even if art is not your expertise!

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Patchwork Nation - Jefferson Institute

Grades
9 to 12
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Is the US a melting pot? A tossed salad? The Jefferson Institute suggests it is a "Patchwork Nation." This site was originally developed to chronicle the 2008 US Presidential election,...more
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Is the US a melting pot? A tossed salad? The Jefferson Institute suggests it is a "Patchwork Nation." This site was originally developed to chronicle the 2008 US Presidential election, but has been maintained and updated since that time. It presents the vast diversity of the United States using demographic data and categorizing communities into one of a dozen community types. With names like "Campus and Careers," "Military Bastions," and "Evangelical Epicenters" each community type represents an important subset of what makes up the American Experience. This site drills down much deeper than the typical red state/blue state dichotomy and challenges us to think about what characteristics work to define US citizens.

tag(s): branches of government (48), census (19), communities (35), democracy (12), demographics (19), politics (99)

In the Classroom

This site could be useful in a variety of classroom settings. A sociology class might grapple with the generalizations inherent in each of the 12 community types. What does it mean to be a "Tractor Country" community? The associated charts and demographics can help prove or disprove those theories. A government class might consider the impact of these different community types all existing within one Congressional district. How might that legislator best represent those communities at the State level or the Federal level? An economics class might speculate on the distribution of wealth in the US. What factors influence that distribution? A US History class could speculate about how these different communities have come to be. What impact has immigration had? Industrialization? Geography? Are there regional differences that could stem from the Civil War? And a statistics class would find plenty of raw data to play around with. In a "Patchwork Nation," what does it mean to be "average"?
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