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Gold Rush - California - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Explore vocabulary and word activities related to the Gold Rush on this extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more. Find interactive vocabulary activities the same list of using...more
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Explore vocabulary and word activities related to the Gold Rush on this extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more. Find interactive vocabulary activities the same list of using Gold Rush vocabulary words. There are printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): california (27), gold rush (19)

In the Classroom

Share the puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work with a partner to try out the puzzles on their own. Have students (or groups) create their own word puzzles to share as a class challenge as a student-run interactive whiteboard activity or share them on a class wiki.

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Memorial Day - May 30th - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Explore vocabulary and word activities related to Memorial Day on this extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more. Find interactive vocabulary activities the same list of using...more
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Explore vocabulary and word activities related to Memorial Day on this extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more. Find interactive vocabulary activities the same list of using Memorial Day vocabulary words. There are printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): holidays (147), memorial day (13), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Have students work in cooperative learning groups, divide up the vocabulary words, and have each group responsible to find the definitions for their assigned vocabulary words. Have the groups share their words and definitions in an online book, using a tool such as Bookemon (reviewed here). Have the groups share the online books on your interactive whiteboard or projector. And of course, don't miss the interactive word puzzles!

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April Fools' Day - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
2 to 12
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for April Fools Day. Find interactive vocabulary activities using April Fools...more
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for April Fools Day. Find interactive vocabulary activities using April Fools vocabulary words. You will also find printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): holidays (147), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Share the puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector or make them available as links on your teacher public page. Have students (or groups) create their own illustrated dictionaries of terms using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. As you add more vocabulary lists during the year, have them select their favorite 6-10 terms from each list to add to their "book."

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St. Patrick's Day - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
2 to 12
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for St. Patrick's Day. Find interactive vocabulary activities using St. Patrick's...more
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for St. Patrick's Day. Find interactive vocabulary activities using St. Patrick's Day vocabulary words. You will also find printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): ireland (12), st patricks day (14)

In the Classroom

Use this site to reinforce and support vocabulary as you study the holiday. Share the word puzzles on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students create their own word activities from the same vocabulary list, such as matching or ranking challenges for their peers to try on the interactive whiteboard.

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Women in History - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
5 to 12
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area about Women in History. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Women...more
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area about Women in History. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Women in History vocabulary words. You will also find printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): vocabulary (323), women (101)

In the Classroom

Share the puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work with a partner to try out the puzzles on their own. Have students (or groups) create their own word puzzles to share as a class challenge as a student-run interactive whiteboard activity or share them on a class wiki.

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Creating Dramatic Monologues from Grapes of Wrath - Alisa Soderquist

Grades
9 to 12
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If you are looking for a new way to involve students in literature, this is a great idea. This site offers a two-day plan for students to create dramatic monologues ...more
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If you are looking for a new way to involve students in literature, this is a great idea. This site offers a two-day plan for students to create dramatic monologues for different characters in Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. The lesson does require that students research sources for authenticity and suggests that students work in groups to come up with the monologues. The lesson includes standards, extension activities, vocabulary words (with audio) and links to other resources. This site requires Media Player. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): writing (359)

In the Classroom

This site works on so many levels from teaching what a monologue is and how it suits a particular character in literature to researching primary sources and understanding what they tell you. This is a good group project that could work for other novels as well as The Grapes of Wrath. Try using an online digital recording tool such as Podomatic (reviewed here)for students to record and share their monologues as a podcast.

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We Didn't Start the Fire - Ye Li

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6 to 12
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Use music to teach history! (Allow plenty of time for the video to load.) If you have occasion to teach the Billy Joel song "We Didn't Start the Fire," this ...more
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Use music to teach history! (Allow plenty of time for the video to load.) If you have occasion to teach the Billy Joel song "We Didn't Start the Fire," this is a great site to use with students. This site would be useful in any class studying the twentieth century. It shows the lyrics (as well as plays the song) while flashing the appropriate pictures to go with the lyrics of the past 50 years. There is a full screen option. There are play and pause buttons. You may need to disable your pop-up blocker to view this video. The first 20-seconds of this video list the creator and a reference list. One thing worth mentioning: the video creator mentions using Google image search for free images but neglects to mention that many are copyrighted and are likely being used illegally in such broad distribution (not "fair use") unless he requested permission. You could have quite a class discussion (debate) on ethical use of electronic resources and whether the concept of copyright should be revisited, too!

tag(s): decades (14), lyrics (20)

In the Classroom

Since the site is so specific to the relevant lyrics, it's fun to have students see exactly what it is being visualized. Also, since the lyrics go fast, it is sometimes difficult to make out all the references, so this is helpful for that reason. This is a great conversation starter with high school students. Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Watch the entire video and then play it again and pause the video on topics that relate to your current units of study. Use this site to find research topics for individual students or cooperative learning groups. Have the groups create multi-media presentations about their research topics. How about creating their own videos and sharing them using Teachertube, reviewed here. Or have students find a picture sharing their research topic and narrate their picture using UtellStory, reviewed here. Other options include creating a wiki, blog, or PowerPoint.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Capitol Words - Sunlight Foundation

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4 to 12
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This site provides a visual map of the words used every day by members of Congress. Students can see a map of the U.S. to check out how their states ...more
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This site provides a visual map of the words used every day by members of Congress. Students can see a map of the U.S. to check out how their states compare in number of words with other states. They can also enter their state and pick out a specific lawmaker to see his/her words on any given day. The words appear in both a word cloud, where the most used words are the largest, and also in list form. Students can also search from two special lists, one of the most talkative, and one of the quietest lawmakers! When students are interested in a particular word in the word cloud, clicking on it leads to a graph of its past usage. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): congress (33), speech (92)

In the Classroom

Use this site when studying specific states and their Congressional representatives. It's also a great site to use when preparing students to give speeches. Talk about whether the most popular words are overused or should be included in speeches at all times. Use this site as an anticipatory set to introduce a unit or lesson on government.

Have students create their own "word cloud" using a site such as Wordle (reviewed here by TeachersFirst). Students could create a Wordle about any topic area being studied. Share your students' Wordles on an interactive whiteboard or projector.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Baseball Cards 1887-1914 - Library of Congress

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3 to 10
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The Library of Congress has collected this exhibit of 2,100 early baseball trading cards, published at a time when collecting was a passion among adults, not children. The site is ...more
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The Library of Congress has collected this exhibit of 2,100 early baseball trading cards, published at a time when collecting was a passion among adults, not children. The site is interesting as a reflection of cultures and interests at the turn of the century, and also for its portrayals of some of the greats of the game as their contemporaries saw them. Click "View All" to see the trading cards.

tag(s): baseball (36)

In the Classroom

Share this link on your class website for your baseball card collectors! Use the site to teach about the early days of baseball. Have younger students create a Venn Diagram comparing baseball today with baseball of the 1880s. Have older students create a blog entry from a famous baseball player of the past.

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By Popular Demand: Jackie and other Baseball Highlights 1860s-1960s - Library of Congress

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6 to 12
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This Library of Congress collection has information on Jackie Robinson and lots more. As always, the images are the star of the show, and there are pictures of early teams, ...more
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This Library of Congress collection has information on Jackie Robinson and lots more. As always, the images are the star of the show, and there are pictures of early teams, documentation about Robinson's entry into the big leagues, and much more. Students can click on a time period (1860s-1890s, 1900s-1930s, 1940-1946, 1947-1956, 1957-1961, or 1962-1972) to learn more about the history of African-Americans and baseball.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113), baseball (36)

In the Classroom

Provide your students with this website and a good 20-minutes of exploration time. Then, have your class write journal entries through the eyes of the African-American baseball stars. Or divide up the class into cooperative learning groups. Have each group research a specific time period and share their finding with the class.

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The Political Dr. Seuss - Independent Television Service

Grades
6 to 12
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This gallery of World War II-era cartoons by Theodor Geisel, reveal the acerbic wit and political philosophy of the beloved children's author. The site also features audio and video...more
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This gallery of World War II-era cartoons by Theodor Geisel, reveal the acerbic wit and political philosophy of the beloved children's author. The site also features audio and video clips from Dr. Seuss on his career and a brief history of political cartooning. Two lesson plans - focusing on the American themes and social messages addressed by Geisel - are available for downloading (and include McRel standards). This site requires RealPlayer, Flash, and Adobe Acrobat. You can get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), dr seuss (13), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Have students research the history of political cartooning with Theodor Geisel (or others). Have cooperative learning groups create multi-media presentations such as a PowerPoint, or an online book, using a tool such as Bookemon reviewed here to share on an interactive whiteboard or projector.

Share the video/audio clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Take advantage of the FREE lesson plans that connect geography, history, reading, and writing.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Ballparks of Baseball

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4 to 12
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Here is a tribute to baseball as an essential part of American culture. Learn everything you every wanted to know about each of the Major League ballparks, from seating charts ...more
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Here is a tribute to baseball as an essential part of American culture. Learn everything you every wanted to know about each of the Major League ballparks, from seating charts to attendance figures, to the history behind former ballparks, you'll find it here. The site does include some minor advertisements. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): baseball (36), sports (97)

In the Classroom

Gearing up for baseball season? Share this site with your students in history, physical education, or other relevant classes.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Baseball and Jackie Robinson: Early Baseball Pictures - Library of Congress

Grades
6 to 12
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Baseball and history fans will love this Library of Congress site with historical pictures that trace the heritage of our nation's pastime. Each page of pictures provides the historical...more
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Baseball and history fans will love this Library of Congress site with historical pictures that trace the heritage of our nation's pastime. Each page of pictures provides the historical context for the shot. The site also has a special presentation on Jackie Robinson and his historic breaking of baseball's color line.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113), baseball (36)

In the Classroom

Share these authentic pictures with your students! Use this site to teach about baseball history, African-American history, and more.

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Presidential Baseball - Northwestern University

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6 to 12
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You'll need to be a real baseball fan to avoid striking out at this online game that compares presidents and baseball players. The players are mostly obscure, but even a ...more
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You'll need to be a real baseball fan to avoid striking out at this online game that compares presidents and baseball players. The players are mostly obscure, but even a good guess or two makes this one fun. It's done by the folks who created Northwestern University's Oyez, Oyez about the Supreme Court. Different, but worth a visit. This site require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): baseball (36), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Divide your class into two teams and play a round of Presidential Baseball! Share the questions on an interactive whiteboard or projector.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Big Huge Labs: Map Maker - John Watson: Big Huge Labs

Grades
2 to 12
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Create maps -- for multiple reasons -- with ease. As you 'travel' through your geography or history course, create an ongoing map of the places you've visited and embed/post it ...more
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Create maps -- for multiple reasons -- with ease. As you 'travel' through your geography or history course, create an ongoing map of the places you've visited and embed/post it on your blog or any webpage. Simply type in the title of your map, choose the land masses you wish to include, and then click on the correct boxes for your particular locations. When finished, click the You're Ready box at the bottom of the screen. Now scroll to the top to see what your map will look like. The embed code (geek-speak term for computer gobble-dee-gook that tells your computer how to find and display the map you have made) for your map is ready to copy and paste into your webpage. You can find the embed code to the right of the map. There is also a button to Reset and Start Over.

tag(s): maps (287)

In the Classroom

Create a map to track where your students went on summer vacation (or have ever traveled). Create a map of places you have visited in a work of literature, or where students have written about going on fantasy vacations. Share the maps on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have cooperative learning groups work together to create maps related to lessons in your social studies, history, or literature classes. Embed multiple student project maps in your class wiki along with student writings that accompany the maps. Check out the Big Huge Labs educator account. Easily pre-register students to avoid creating logins, view and download their creations, and view the site advertisement free. You will find information about the Educator Account here.

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Poll Junkie (beta) - eppyjerk.com

Grades
K to 12
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Use this site to create polls for your students (or have students create their own). The polls are embeddable in your wiki, blog, or class website. The site is still ...more
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Use this site to create polls for your students (or have students create their own). The polls are embeddable in your wiki, blog, or class website. The site is still in beta. You can create a name, an expiration date for the survey, questions (multiple choice, yes or no, and ranking), and input your email address to be informed as results come into the site. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. Registration is not required to use this site. There are some advertisements and external links at this site (all appropriate at the time of this review). So if you allow students to use this site on their own, be sure to watch carefully.

tag(s): data (148), polls and surveys (48)

In the Classroom

Use this site to collect data for math activities and graphing. Use it for people to rate student-created projects or for social studies projects about elections, or other social issues. Have students make wiki pages on an issue and include a poll and then graph the poll results in math class. Poll parents and grandparents on your class web page to involve them in decisions or use their experiences to help students understand times "long ago."

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Not Just Halloween: Festivals of the Dead from around the World - EDSITEment

Grades
4 to 12
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This 2006 site (all about Halloween) offers a different perspective of the "festival of the dead" on October 31st. This site highlights celebrations from America, Japan, Mexico, Cambodia,...more
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This 2006 site (all about Halloween) offers a different perspective of the "festival of the dead" on October 31st. This site highlights celebrations from America, Japan, Mexico, Cambodia, and a few other locations. Although this site is text heavy, it would be very useful in upper elementary grades and beyond. The site includes background information, conclusion questions, and class activity suggestions. Very basic standards are included.

tag(s): halloween (40), japan (61), mexico (34)

In the Classroom

If you are looking for a new twist to Halloween? Use this site for research and more. Divide the students into cooperative learning groups and have each group research Halloween in various countries (maybe even some countries not included at this site). Have the groups create multi-media presentations to share with the class on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students write a blog entry about Halloween in the country they researched, or create a video (with costumes, even better). Share the videos using a resource such as TeacherTube (explained here).

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Our Fading Heritage: Civics Quiz - Intercollegiate Studies Institute

Grades
5 to 12
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Share this Civics Quiz with your students. Are your students more knowledgeable than the average U.S. Citizen? The site says the average score is a 55%! The quiz consists of...more
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Share this Civics Quiz with your students. Are your students more knowledgeable than the average U.S. Citizen? The site says the average score is a 55%! The quiz consists of approximately 30 questions, all related to the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence, the three branches of the government, the roles of the president, and much more. A final score is provided at the end of the quiz.

tag(s): constitution (79), supreme court (22)

In the Classroom

Have students complete this quiz on individual computers or with a partner (if there are not enough computers). Why not have your older civics or government students create their own interactive surveys using Google Docs (reviewed here), or quizzes using Quizschool (reviewed here). Or create one together as a class. Have students share their quizzes/surveys with the class on an interactive whiteboard or projector or as links from your class wiki or web page for use outside of class. Be sure to invite parents and other teachers to respond! What is important for citizens to know, in your students' view?

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The Uninsured in America - PBS NewsHour

Grades
6 to 12
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One of the central issues in the 2008 Presidential election was the state of the U.S. health care system. This site from PBS NewsHour pulls together a number of resources ...more
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One of the central issues in the 2008 Presidential election was the state of the U.S. health care system. This site from PBS NewsHour pulls together a number of resources that could be helpful in discussing this issue with students. There are video and MP3 format interviews with Americans talking about how the health care crisis has affected them. Lesson plans are included. There is analysis focused on how President Obama might address the issue. Graphic information shows how many are uninsured in the U.S., how the U.S. compares with other nations, and a timeline of the history of health insurance in this country. One link focuses on special health care programs aimed at children. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): medicine (67)

In the Classroom

Many students may not realize that health insurance is a relatively new phenomenon. This site has a rich variety of resources that can set a context for a discussion on how the cost of health care is contributing to today's economic concerns. Assign students to review several of the reports on this site to prepare for a class debate. Use the video content on an interactive whiteboard or projector to spark discussion. Supplement a geography lesson with comparisons of health care systems in other nations. Use this site as one of several current issues topics for students studying government, and have them prepare a policy proposal for their own "cabinet."
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The History of Money - The History Channel

Grades
6 to 12
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With the news dominated by problems with the world economy, this site on this history of money might provide a good baseline for further discussion. The video gallery features historic...more
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With the news dominated by problems with the world economy, this site on this history of money might provide a good baseline for further discussion. The video gallery features historic newsreel clips and other content associated with currency and economics. An image gallery shows the history of US coinage. There is a page of quotes related to money as well as a resources page with links to other sites with further information. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): currency (19), great depression (24), money (192)

In the Classroom

Use the video clips to introduce a lesson or reinforce content on the history of the Great Depression, or the significance of the gold standard, for example. Use the "coined phrases" as writing prompts or as thoughts to ponder, posted in the classroom. The interactive timeline shows the history of US currency and would work well on an interactive whiteboard or projector.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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