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Explore.org - Annenberg

Grades
3 to 12
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"Never stop learning" with this wonderful, high quality, and easy to use site. View videos, documents, and photos about people around the world who have devoted their lives to extraordinary...more
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"Never stop learning" with this wonderful, high quality, and easy to use site. View videos, documents, and photos about people around the world who have devoted their lives to extraordinary causes. Search through a wide range of places or causes. View a range of topics from health, animal rights, spiritualism, and education. Explore a variety of global issues to bring cultures and issues into perspective. View videos in HD. Download and embed videos for reuse. Remixing videos is against the acceptable use policy of the site. Read descriptions which provide the necessary background information and view links of related content and materials. This site is a must see! Selected videos can be used with younger elementary classes, depending on the curriculum connections.

tag(s): heroes (25)

In the Classroom

Find photos that speak to students and use them as an activator at the start of class. After viewing the picture, provide time for writing questions about the picture These questions will lead to search terms to find more information about culture, pollution, and socioeconomic problems. Encourage students to create poster or blog campaigns outlining problems and possible solutions. Why not create multimedia posters using a site such as Padlet (reviewed here). Find other areas in the world where similar or related problems are occurring. Identify the historical, economic, or geographical reasons for the problems. Challenge students to create a thematic Mapskip (reviewed here) This tool allows you to create a map with audio! Students can use this site as inspiration for "I believe..." style essays, photos, or videos. Looking for a FREE video sharing tool? Check out TeacherTube reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Shmoop US History, American History - Shmoop

Grades
9 to 12
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Useful for either teachers or students, Shmoop is a virtual cram session on a variety of topics. In this history section, choose a time period and you get a tabbed ...more
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Useful for either teachers or students, Shmoop is a virtual cram session on a variety of topics. In this history section, choose a time period and you get a tabbed overview of the era including a quick review, a more in-depth coverage, a timeline, important people, fun facts, web links, and a test review. There are featured stories, Hot Topics, and study guides. It's all written in a breezy, accessible style that students will appreciate, but it's not superficial.

tag(s): blues (19), civil war (145), constitution (82), fashion (10), gold rush (19), war of 1812 (15)

In the Classroom

Students will love this site for reviewing and preparing for exams. Share this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom. Take advantage of the FREE study guides. Why not have cooperative learning groups investigate specific topics relative to your current unit of study and create multimedia presentation. Create podcasts, using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Have students create a Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report about the event or topic. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here. Teachers can also use this site to differentiate between the typical lectures used to teach a US history project. Use the images on this site to create a "picture walk" in your classroom, introducing any one of the topics offered. Select 10-15 of the more powerful and diverse images, hanging them up in different locations around your classroom. Have students rotate around the classroom every 30-45 seconds, jotting down what they observe and infer about each image until the entire class has completed the circuit. After the class is back in their seats, have a class discussion based on what they observed and what this says about the topic.

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Women's History Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about Women's History and to plan related projects and classroom activities....more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about Women's History and to plan related projects and classroom activities. Whether you spend one class or an entire unit on Women's History, the ideas included within the "In the Classroom" portion of reviews will launch discussions and meaningful projects for student-centered learning.

tag(s): women (92)

In the Classroom

Use the resources in this collection to supplement a classroom during a Women's History unit. The resources on this site can be used for webquests, learning centers, lesson plans & the like!

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National Hispanic Heritage Month Resources - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students celebrate National Hispanic Heritage month and the important contributions of those...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students celebrate National Hispanic Heritage month and the important contributions of those whose heritage traces to Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America through related projects and classroom activities.

tag(s): hispanic (17)

In the Classroom

Use the resources in the collection to supplement classroom material during a unit on Hispanic Heritage. The resources listed here can be used for webquests, learning centers, lesson plans & the like!

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Constitution Day Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about the United States Constitution and to plan projects and classroom activities...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about the United States Constitution and to plan projects and classroom activities so students can experience the Constitution as a "living document." Whether you spend one class in celebration of Constitution Day or an entire unit on the Constitution, the ideas included in the "In the Classroom" portion of reviews will launch discussions and projects your students will not forget.

tag(s): american revolution (88), bill of rights (29), branches of government (48), constitution (82)

In the Classroom

Use the resources in this collection to supplement a unit on the American Constitution. The resources on this site could be used for webquests, learning centers, lesson plans & the like. American History teachers will love this one!

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Veteran's Day Resources - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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Explore these resources for ideas you can use to connect classroom curriculum to Veterans Day. Whether you choose to focus on Veterans Day and its history for one class period ...more
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Explore these resources for ideas you can use to connect classroom curriculum to Veterans Day. Whether you choose to focus on Veterans Day and its history for one class period or to include a special curriculum project in honor of veterans, these ideas and resources will get you started.

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the resources in this collection to add to your classroom during a unit on Veteran's Day. The links on this site could be used for lesson plans, webquests, learning centers & the like!

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Native American Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about the rich heritage and legacy of Native Americans and to plan projects...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about the rich heritage and legacy of Native Americans and to plan projects and classroom activities so students can explore the contributions and experiences of the native nations of North and South America. Whether you spend one class exploring these resources or plan an entire unit on Native Americans, the ideas included in the "In the Classroom" portion of reviews will launch discussions and projects your students will not forget.

tag(s): india (36), native americans (78)

In the Classroom

Use the resources in this collection to help supplement and plan for a unit on Native American cultures. Use the links here for webquests, learning centers, lesson plans & the like.

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Pearl Harbor and World War II Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students honor Pearl Harbor Day and the important events of World War II through related projects...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students honor Pearl Harbor Day and the important events of World War II through related projects and classroom activities. Whether you focus on Pearl Harbor for one class or spend an entire unit on World War II, the ideas included within the "In the Classroom" portion of reviews will launch discussions and meaningful projects for student-centered learning. Take your classes beyond infamy to inspiration.

tag(s): pearl harbor (12), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

Use this collection of resources to add to your classroom, both inside and out during a unit on the Second World War. Materials range from webquests, learning centers, lesson plans & then some. Make sure to save this one as a favorite!

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Opposing Views - Opposing Views, Inc.

Grades
8 to 12
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This searchable, current website provides information on both sides of a number of controversial topics. Two slight drawbacks to this website are that there are some advertisements,...more
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This searchable, current website provides information on both sides of a number of controversial topics. Two slight drawbacks to this website are that there are some advertisements, however the information is still very good and the ads are not overly distracting. NOTE: some content may be too mature for younger readers. See suggestions below.

tag(s): autism (20), debate (43), persuasive writing (55), sexuality (14)

In the Classroom

Use this site for debate topics for students to see both sides of the argument either before they choose their topic, or as part of their research for the topic. The issues change regularly and could serve a powerful prompts for persuasive writing. Some readings on this site would also work as texts to use on interactive whiteboard for teaching non-fiction reading skills such as main idea, summarizing, or fact vs opinion. Teachers will want to closely monitor students using this site, since sidebars offer links to other topics, and some comments left by readers may not be classroom-friendly. Be sure to visit the link to Civility 101 at the bottom of the page and share it with your students! Have cooperative learning groups choose a side and create a multimedia presentation defending their choice. Use a site such as Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be uploaded), and then narrate the photo as if it were a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Which Founder are You? - The National Constitution Center

Grades
4 to 10
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This website offers an eleven question quiz about which founding father you are most like. Much like personality quizzes in pre-teen and teen magazines, this site will appeal to students....more
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This website offers an eleven question quiz about which founding father you are most like. Much like personality quizzes in pre-teen and teen magazines, this site will appeal to students. It is a different take on history and the men who formed our country's foundation. This is a great site to demonstrate qualities found in true leaders.

tag(s): constitution (82)

In the Classroom

Have students take this quiz individually on laptops to hook them into the Constitution. Have students pair and share their answers. Then have students further research the founding father with which they have the most in common. Have students create a multimedia presentation comparing themselves to the founding father they are most like. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Or have them create a mock Faecbook "profile" and updates for their founder of choice (not on the real Facebook, but perhaps on a class wiki).
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KitZu - Orange County Department of Education, CA

Grades
3 to 12
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KitZu offers teachers and students a cache of copyright-safe and ready-to use "raw materials" for specific curriculum topics. As the site explains, "For students, this becomes the construction...more
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KitZu offers teachers and students a cache of copyright-safe and ready-to use "raw materials" for specific curriculum topics. As the site explains, "For students, this becomes the construction paper of the 21st century --allowing them to create reports and projects filled with rich, immersive media for communicating their vision of whatever subjects they chose." Developed by the Orange County Department of Education (CA), KitZu offers collections of free media resources revolving around themes. Photos, background music, narratives, video, and text are some of the possible items found in the kits. KitZu invites authentic assessment as measured by the products students produce from using KitZu resources. As students, teachers or organizations build their own resources, new kits can be uploaded (see right side link for contributor information to KitZu). Search for topics by grade level or by subject. Click on the appropriate links on the left side. You will appreciate the fact that downloadable items are copyright-friendly and include all the necessary information to give appropriate credit to the sources (see the pdf file in each zipped folder). The pdf file also includes California standards related to the topic. Offerings are especially rich in science and social studies, but include arts topics and literature/language arts collections. There are even 11 collections for math topics (at the time of this review).

tag(s): air (163)

In the Classroom

At the simplest, you can open image files on your interactive whiteboard to make lessons more visual. Share images, video clips, and more as quick-starts for your lessons on your projector, interactive whiteboard, or speakers. Then share the collections of raw materials with your students as they create projects of their own on an assigned topic or one of several options. For example, have groups research and present their own creative ThingLink, reviewed here, on 18th century authors or historic sites in your state. ThingLink allows users to narrate a picture. You will need to browse or search what is available on Kitzu before making any assignments! Downloads are in zipped format. This means that the file must be saved on your computer (try your desktop for starters), then double clicked to extract, unzip, or unpack. The result is a folder of files -- or kit. Share this folder via your school network or on a USB stick. You can also send more savvy students to download from the site themselves. You might want to demonstrate on a projector or interactive whiteboard so you can include a demo of how they should give credit to their sources.

Some ideas: have students use the materials on a class wiki (learn more about wikis reviewed here), for narrated ThingLink (reviewed here) on a topic or to make Bookemon (reviewed here) interactive books. Anywhere you can use images, sound, and video you can use Kitzu contents as raw material!
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Hypercities Beta 2 - UCLA Academic Technology Svcs

Grades
4 to 12
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This beta site, created at UCLA and powered in part by Google, allows students, teachers, and parents to explore selected world cities. Users can also slide a timeline to view ...more
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This beta site, created at UCLA and powered in part by Google, allows students, teachers, and parents to explore selected world cities. Users can also slide a timeline to view images of that city in the past, compare its changes throughout the years, and study old and new maps. More cities will appear in the future. The site still has a few bugs, but it keeps improving. It sometimes loads slowly. Some web browsers do not work properly, so PREVIEW in your classroom. Internet Explorer 8 users will get a message: "HyperCities is optimized to work in Firefox or Safari. If you do not have Firefox installed, you can download it here" and will have to load an alternate browser to use this site.

tag(s): maps (290)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on the cities or on maps using on a projector. Have students create a map in the old style of a city they are studying today. ESL and ELL students and weaker readers can easily use this site since there are few words! Have your ESL students check to see if cities in their countries are available here; have them do an introduction to the city and comment on what is different about the cities now. Use the timeline views to explore the impacts of world trade, transportation, and changes in government on different parts of the world.

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Teach MidEast - Middle East Policy Council

Grades
5 to 12
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Use Google Maps or Google Earth and a variety of sources to learn more information about the Middle East. Choose one of the eight topics along the top: "Stereotypes and ...more
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Use Google Maps or Google Earth and a variety of sources to learn more information about the Middle East. Choose one of the eight topics along the top: "Stereotypes and Reality," "Geography," "History," "People and Languages," "Religion," "Culture," "Current Issues," and "Pedagogy." View and navigate through Google Earth tours, read blog posts and other articles, participate in activities, and view other multimedia content. This provides ready to use classroom activities in all areas, photos, interactives and much more. Identify more than just what is in a textbook using this interactive site. Note that clicking "View in Google Earth" requires you to have the free, downloadable Google Earth program reviewed here, installed on that computer.

tag(s): arab (18), easter (20), maps (290), middle east (35)

In the Classroom

Use this site to help students identify misconceptions, discuss points of view, and search for information that is free from bias. Use many of these topics as springboards for projects, additional blog posts, public service announcements, letter and video campaigns, etc. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia projects about one of the topics highlighted at this site. Gifted students, with their heightened sense of "fairness," will especially enjoy breaking through stereotypes using this site. Create a class wiki to discuss the topics. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the topics using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Have groups narrate a photo using a site such as ThingLink, reviewed here. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it were a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here.
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Free Documentaries - freedocumentaries.org

Grades
8 to 12
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This website is a source of free, downloadable documentaries. It is a nonprofit site. The site explains, "you can stream interesting and provocative documentary films for free!" Teachers...more
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This website is a source of free, downloadable documentaries. It is a nonprofit site. The site explains, "you can stream interesting and provocative documentary films for free!" Teachers will want to preview before you share with your class simply because of what "provocative" could mean. Most films are full length, but some are short. There is a helpful menu of topics on the right hand side of the computer screen. This menu makes it easy to navigate and find the type of documentary that is needed. Documentaries range from 9/11 and the London Bombing to The Road to Guantanamo to The Panama Deception to many others.

tag(s): movies (70), politics (100), sept11 (21)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. View clips relevant to your topics of study. Use this website to contrast a documentary with the facts that are being taught. Use this site as a point-counterpoint to other perspectives available on the web as part of a discussion of bias. Compare and contrast analysis of the materials versus the known facts is one good use for this website. A short documentary could be shown during class as a launch point for students to create their own documentary style video projects. Share the videos using a site such as Teachers.TV (explained here). Teachers of gifted and high achievers will great possibilities for challenging critical thinking using this site.
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International Kids Club - Planet Pals

Grades
2 to 10
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This International Kids Club site has activities, books, and crafts to help students understand each other around the world. Information links include lots of material on world clocks,...more
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This International Kids Club site has activities, books, and crafts to help students understand each other around the world. Information links include lots of material on world clocks, religions, customs, organizations, and art. Specific links include "I" Kids, "I" Share, "I" Shop, "I" Learn, "I" Craft, and "I" Play. One fun part is finding out how speakers of different languages think animals sound. What is "meow" in an Asian language, for example? Sound files give examples of the sounds of many languages, as well. Some of the links are slow to open at times, so you may want to open them before you are ready to use them in class.

tag(s): flags (22), maps (290), tolerance (9)

In the Classroom

Use parts of this site when doing units on prejudice, diversity, and discrimination. Refer students to do research in some of the books listed here on those subjects. Have students interview people from other cultures to check the information given here on aspects of their cultures. Do they agree with what is said here? Even younger students will enjoy learning about flags and peace symbols. Make the craft links available for students doing reports on different countries or preparing for an International Day. Have students copy flags or other country symbols. Ask them to create their own "country" from these models. Challenge cooperative learning groups to research a specific topic at this site and prepare a podcast to share with the class using PodOmatic (reviewed here).
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Automotivator - Zach Beane

Grades
K to 12
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Create your own motivational poster easily and effortlessly. Choose a random picture, one from the Internet, or one chosen from your computer. Choose colors to border the picture and...more
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Create your own motivational poster easily and effortlessly. Choose a random picture, one from the Internet, or one chosen from your computer. Choose colors to border the picture and the type of text to be used. Enter your text and preview the result. Once complete, save to Flickr, your computer, or print using a separate site. Remember you can use a saved image in PowerPoint shows and on a class wiki, as well.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (274), photography (161), posters (37)

In the Classroom

You need to know how to browse and upload a file from your computer or find the URL of an image already on the web (one you can legally use, of course!).

Make sure students are aware of copyright laws. Use this site to encourage proper use of photographs that students have the authorization to use. Model including appropriate photo credits on the posters.

Younger students can use this tool together as a whole-class activity or simply enjoy the posters their teacher creates. Have students create a picture about what has been studied with a caption of what has been learned. For example, create posters about predators and prey or classifications of animals. Students can create a poster of a study skill or learning activity that helps them learn. Create a caption that explains how the student learns the best. Every subject area can use this resource to create interesting presentation posters for display or as springboards to talk about what was learned. For example, in Biology, students could create a poster about a cell part with a clever caption about the importance of the job. In Literature or History, students can create posters about the perspectives of others in the story or at that time of history. Rather than a traditional research project. Have cooperative learning groups use this site to show their knowledge in any subject area. Ask students to apply concepts such as constitutional rights by illustrating them in poster images with captions. Teachers can create bulletin board images, as well. Have a classroom motivation poster competition to start off the school year! Share the winners on your class wiki or in a PowerPoint presentation at back to school night/open house. As special occasions approach, have students bring in or take a digital picture they can make into a poster as a family gift with their own inspirational saying.

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Tramline Virtual Field Trips - Tramline

Grades
1 to 12
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This website is dedicated to delivering a variety of virtual field trips. The trips are listed by content. Each trip contains objectives, concepts, and terms to know. There are lesson...more
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This website is dedicated to delivering a variety of virtual field trips. The trips are listed by content. Each trip contains objectives, concepts, and terms to know. There are lesson plans linked in the Teacher Resource section of the page, and extra information on the topic. The trips themselves are a lot like guided web quests. The websites that are used in the field trips show good variety. And standards are even provided! The trips include grade levels. Examples of topics include hurricanes, dinosaurs, deserts, natural wonders, dark ages, and American Presidency.

tag(s): field trips (12), investing (10), mars (42), oceans (152), shakespeare (131), virtual field trips (49)

In the Classroom

Virtual field trips from this website could be used on the interactive whiteboard or projector as a whole class activity. A better use could be to create a question sheet that mirrors the trip and have students work through the field trip at their own pace in lab, either with partners or individually. Follow up by challenging student groups to create an interactive guidebook to their topic using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. With younger students, make a class book together.
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Reuters: Times of Crisis - Reuters

Grades
9 to 12
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See a visual timeline of the worldwide economic crisis beginning in 2008, from the point of view of a non-U.S. source. Reuters shares 365 days of upheaval beginning in fall, ...more
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See a visual timeline of the worldwide economic crisis beginning in 2008, from the point of view of a non-U.S. source. Reuters shares 365 days of upheaval beginning in fall, 2008 via pictures, captions, videos, articles, facts, and more in a highly interactive timeline.

In the Classroom

Explore the timeline on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a class or ask students or groups to explore it on their own, looking for key points and terms that help them better understand this complex crisis. Ask student "guides" to trace and elaborate on trends they find or to highlight key moments as they explain orally to the class. Have students respond to a single image using an online tool to narrate an image such asThingLink, reviewed here, or in a blog post. Find an event to which they can connect from their own personal or family perspective. Compare these vignettes with others from the Great Depression photos of great photographers. Keep the link to this interactive timeline on your class web page or wiki as a reference or as a venue for sharing students responses.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Great Debates in American History - Peter Pappas

Grades
9 to 12
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This collection of downloadable PDF documents provides lesson plans, handouts, and text readings to accompany the twelve units in Daniel Boorstin's A History of the United States...more
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This collection of downloadable PDF documents provides lesson plans, handouts, and text readings to accompany the twelve units in Daniel Boorstin's A History of the United States Daniel (Needham: Prentice-Hall, 1989). Though the materials are very traditional (paper, pencil), the concepts demand a more thoughtful, sophisticated approach to U.S. history via essential questions. The units are intended to serve as support materials for debates in one of several formats explained in the Overview document.

tag(s): bill of rights (29), constitution (82), foreign policy (16), immigration (57), migration (58)

In the Classroom

Teachers do not need to start from scratch to develop the themes, nor do they need to be using Boorstin's book to use these activities. Use these handouts and themes to prompt traditional debates or challenge student teams to prepare position videos or multimedia presentations using resource images and texts both from these files and from public domain files and other resources from the Library of Congress. Invite your students to choose from the many multimedia tools on the web to present their position. See the TeachersFirst Edge for reviewed suggestions including ThingLink, SchoolTube. or TeacherTube for videos, or (Podomatic for audio-only arguments. Embed the products on your class blog or wiki and let classes vote on the debate "winners."
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Watch Know Learn - Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi

Grades
K to 12
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What is Watch Know? Short for "You Watch, You Know," it provides explanations for students. Finding bits of information to help students can be frustrating as resources are disorganized...more
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What is Watch Know? Short for "You Watch, You Know," it provides explanations for students. Finding bits of information to help students can be frustrating as resources are disorganized on the web and may be hard to find." Watch Know" is a free site that organizes small video clips to help with the understanding of a variety of topics in subject areas. Search by age (3-18+). You can click and drag the age filter to the youngest and oldest ages to include. Videos are also organized by sequence of topics taught. The site is an ongoing project with input from educators and organizations interested in education of children. Registration is not required to view the videos. Creating and saving videos to the site, as well as commenting, require registration. You can monitor site recent changes and additions using the "Change Log."

tag(s): computers (92), crafts (41), decimals (131), environment (318), ethics (17), fractions (235), holidays (152), scientific method (64), vocabulary development (125), writing (363)

In the Classroom

Search for videos relevant to your upcoming units or share the link with older students to search on their own. Use clips as engaging openings to units or as a review at the end. Have students identify the main points in the video and relate it back to class information. Students can use the examples on the site to create their own videos about a topic they have studied that could be beneficial to others.

If you do join the site to submit videos (for more adventurous technology users), we recommend uploading, commenting, and participating in the project (the creation and growth of WatchKnow) as a whole-class collaborative activity. If your students create videos, critique them locally before submitting them to the site as the "bests" from your class.

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