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The Online Guide to Traditional Games - James Masters

Grades
8 to 12
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Clearly, students love playing games of all kinds. This website takes a look at the history of games from board games to lawn games. It both describes the pieces, the ...more
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Clearly, students love playing games of all kinds. This website takes a look at the history of games from board games to lawn games. It both describes the pieces, the boards, the rules, and the history. Since many of the games are from other places around the world, this site affords the opportunity to investigate how game playing relates to life in different times and places. This is a great site to get kids involved in history, games, and creativity. Not only can they learn about games from the Renaissance and before; they will laugh at names like "Toad in the Hole" and "Ringing the Bull." While many of these games will show the origins of games they play today, it will give students ideas on how to create their own games.

In the Classroom

Have students design gameboards or cards, game pieces, and rules to play variations of the games on the site. In your world cultures class, have students play and compare games from different cultures. Use game-creation as the culminating project at the end of a content or research unit or simply as a way to teach writing: both informational (directions) and creative. Have students role-play characters who might play original or historic games by writing character sketches and then performing them. Let the games begin!

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CommonCensus Map Project - Michael Baldwin

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9 to 12
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Today's world is increasingly mobile, and deep-seated regional identity may be fading into the background. This project seeks to redraw the map of the United States using responders'...more
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Today's world is increasingly mobile, and deep-seated regional identity may be fading into the background. This project seeks to redraw the map of the United States using responders' self-reported regional "identity" rather than political or geographic borders. For example, the city or US region you most closely identify with may be different from your mailing address. Aside from being a new way of thinking about the question "Where are you from?" this concept has enormous political implications as candidates focus on the regional issues that matter to voters. There are also important issues relative to immigration, national identity, and the ever-shrinking global economy reflected in this data.

tag(s): demographics (19)

In the Classroom

The website is a work in progress and depends upon users to respond to a brief questionnaire. It might be interesting to have students participate after a discussion of concepts of regional identification or the importance of political involvement. (The form does require the user to enter a home address, but no other identifying information). Your students could also invite their parents to participate or conduct a local drive to add data to the project and see what happens to the map. The information gathered from this site might also be helpful in talking about regional and local political representation during election years. The opportuniites for critical thinking abound with this site.

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National Women's History Museum - National Women's History Museum

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7 to 12
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The National Women's History Museum site includes a rich collection of resources. Although the collection is certainly deep on issues related to women's suffrage, there is also information...more
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The National Women's History Museum site includes a rich collection of resources. Although the collection is certainly deep on issues related to women's suffrage, there is also information on women in World War II, women and education, women and the Progressive movement, and women spies. There are good photographs of artifacts from the women's movement, and a nice collection of lesson plans, grouped by grade level.

tag(s): jamestown (11), women (92), womens suffrage (26), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

Of course, the site would be useful to students doing research on the women's movement in general, or on the role of women during several important historical eras. In the "educational resources" section, there is a collection of quotations from women that would be great for creating displays for women's history month. Challenge students to create a poster for one of the women quoted using a tool such as Adobe Spark, reviewed here. There is also a group of quizzes that could be adapted for classroom use. The section focused on the women of Jamestown includes the stories of Native American women as well as the role of early European settler women and could supplement the usual Thanksgiving lessons on the new American colonies. There are also free lesson plans and classroom activities that teachers should take advantage of!

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Time of Remembrance - Elk Grove Unified School District

Grades
9 to 12
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An admirable effort by a California school district to honor Japanese Americans who were discriminated against and sent to internment camps during World War II, this site contains a...more
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An admirable effort by a California school district to honor Japanese Americans who were discriminated against and sent to internment camps during World War II, this site contains a wealth of information for those doing research on this difficult chapter of American history. Although this site would be most useful for either teachers or students doing in-depth research on the topic, there are some more generally helpful gems here. Along with the wonderful interviews with people who were directly affected by discrimination, there are video clips and photographs that would be helpful in illustrating this time to students.

tag(s): california (27), japan (61), japanese (43), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

There are lesson plans (tied to California standards) and good resource lists for students and teachers. Skip the "guided tour" of the website, however, unless you are very new at using the Internet. Share this resource as one of several when studying civil rights, discrimination, and the U.S. Constitution in theory and practice. Have students create products to compare the internment camps to similar acts in history or create a presentation on the constitutional violations of such camps. Or include this as part of a study of the decades of the twentieth century.

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Powerpoint Palooza - Susan M. Pojer

Grades
9 to 12
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Sometimes you oversleep. Sometimes you just need to add a little extra "punch" to a tried-and-true lesson. Maybe you just got an interactive whiteboard and haven't had time ...more
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Sometimes you oversleep. Sometimes you just need to add a little extra "punch" to a tried-and-true lesson. Maybe you just got an interactive whiteboard and haven't had time to create a lot of visual resources to use with it. Maybe you just want a fresh perspective. This site contains nearly 200 PowerPoint slide shows focused on history lessons, particularly at the upper levels or Advanced Placement level.

In the Classroom

Download a PowerPoint presentation relevant to an upcoming set of lessons and use it as a starting point for your own version, or use the presentation as-is. The teacher who has created most of these, Susan M. Pojer, grants full permission to use these resources as long as she is credited as the original author. Some of the lessons have sound files, and they all have the usual PowerPoint bells and whistles. Of course, we don't want to commit "assault with a deadly bullet point" day after day, but these presentations may be just what you need in a pinch, or may give you a new way of looking at a stale lesson plan. Ready, set, download!

An alternative would be to give the PowerPoint file to your students (in small groups) and ask them to transform it into an interactive learning tool for their peers: add questions, feedback, more images, etc. so the show becomes a student-created tutorial on the topic of your lesson or unit. Of course, students will be graded on the accuracy of their information as well as their creativity. Think of it as inverse teaching. Prepare a rubric before you start or use our http://www.teachersfirst.com Rubrics to the Rescue to find one that shares your expectations with the class.

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Echoes of War: Stories from the Big Red One - Ball State University

Grades
8 to 12
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"The War," the PBS series by Ken Burns on World War II, has provided teachers with a fabulous new resource for teaching this time period. This site focuses on ...more
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"The War," the PBS series by Ken Burns on World War II, has provided teachers with a fabulous new resource for teaching this time period. This site focuses on one component--the 1st Infantry Division, or "The Big Red One,"-- and its role during that war. The site includes close-ups of artifacts, interviews with soldiers, a Flash-enabled video gallery featuring historical footage, and a great Q & A style quiz on tactics and weapons.

tag(s): veterans (20), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

This site will be useful on a number of "fronts." Provide a link to this site for students who are doing research on World War II. Use the documentary footage to introduce a lesson or to provide visual impact. Use the highlighted artifacts (projected on a screen or whiteboard) to give a cultural or anthropological slant to a discussion of the war. The soldiers' stories might provide inspiration for students to interview local veterans (perhaps from WWII, but more likely from Vietnam or more recent Middle East conflicts), or could prepare a class for a guest speaker.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Object of History - Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Grades
5 to 12
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The National Museum of American History contains some of the most beloved artifacts from US cultural and political history. This site highlights a handful of these artifacts, and uses...more
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The National Museum of American History contains some of the most beloved artifacts from US cultural and political history. This site highlights a handful of these artifacts, and uses them to teach students of history (both those in the desks and those at the front of the class) the power of artifacts to educate. For each of five artifacts, there is a Quick Time 360-degree look at the piece, and a number of context-setting resources associated with it. However, the most important aspect of this site is the section providing tips to teachers for how to use artifacts to add impact to a lesson.

tag(s): museums (50)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a mini lesson for yourself in the use of artifacts in the classroom. We are often called to make education more "hands on," and this is a prime example of how to do this effectively with history. Use the specific artifacts featured on this site (and project the 360 views on an interactive white board or screen for maximum punch), but consider how you could also bring artifacts into the classroom using the suggestions provided. They need not be priceless museum pieces; in fact, an academic discussion of the cultural impact of a familiar object like the iPod or the cell phone could be quite effective. Extend the activity by having students in small groups create an artifact collection on a wiki using digital pictures they take themselves. Document a local landmark, an era in your school, or even today's teen lifestyle through artifacts.

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HistoryBuff.com - R. J. Brown

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5 to 12
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This is a fascinating website begun by a man who was fascinated by first-person accounts of history. It is a newspaper-based site and offers something unique to the visitor. There ...more
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This is a fascinating website begun by a man who was fascinated by first-person accounts of history. It is a newspaper-based site and offers something unique to the visitor. There are such diverse things as the "Nameplate Hall of Fame," featuring interesting newspaper titles and primary source material for those who are doing serious research or who are just interested in the perspective of the time. Panoramas, which show pictures of a variety of historical characters and their backgrounds as well as interactive quizzes will get students enthused about the reality of history. The transcripts from actual newspapers on Jack the Ripper, Bonnie and Clyde, and the Louisiana Purchase were particularly fascinating. Note: the interactive newspaper archive requires Flash.

tag(s): news (265), newspapers (97), primary sources (90)

In the Classroom

This is a great site for sparking the imagination! Share a shot of a newspaper on a projector as an anticipatory set to a history lesson. SHOW the parts of a newspaper when you study this and have students annotated them on your interactive whiteboard. Opportunities for writing prompts also abound. After reading through some of the transcripts, students can post their own responses or letters to the editor as a blog. They can make their own podcasts after listening to some of the speeches or they can make their own newspapers after searching through some of the interesting nameplates and articles about actual historical events. The sky's the limit after perusing this innovative and complete site.

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in Our Own Backyard: The Hidden Problem of Child Farmworkers - AFT

Grades
8 to 12
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This site presents facts, video, activities, and thoughtful questions about the treatment of migrant children today in the U.S. Help students learn first hand about social problems,...more
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This site presents facts, video, activities, and thoughtful questions about the treatment of migrant children today in the U.S. Help students learn first hand about social problems, the possibility of social change, the role of legislation, critical thinking, and the power of original documents.

tag(s): immigration (58), migration (59)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a launch point for debates, class discussion, or student projects on the history of labor, the contributions of minorities in American life, and the hot current events discussions of border control. Consider this topic for possible social action projects or political letter-writing and more. Examples of projects other classrooms have created are available on the website as well as teacher testimonials on teaching about child labor.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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HippoCampus - Monterey Institute for Technology and Education

Grades
9 to 12
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Find multimedia content and lessons ready to go, and customizable by your preferences on this incredible, free, online learning site. Whether you need a comprehensive curriculum for...more
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Find multimedia content and lessons ready to go, and customizable by your preferences on this incredible, free, online learning site. Whether you need a comprehensive curriculum for selected high school courses, a way to differentiate instruction, or materials to reinforce challenging topics, this site has it. The current subjects include Algebra, American Government, Biology, Calculus, Environmental Science, Physics, Religion, and U.S. History. The subjects extend through high school and into AP and college level material. Open a course at the left and browse the topics, especially the multimedia offerings. A free instructor account allows you to select the modules you want your students to see and share them via a unique URL for assignments or at-home review. Since the content is offered collaboratively from multiple sources, the courses each have their own "look." The ones our review team explored all included audio-- a real plus for ESL/ELL or low level readers. Requires Flash and Quicktime. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): environment (321)

In the Classroom

Explore the curriculum topics for your subject area and select some options for students to use in class or for review. This is also an excellent option for leaving plans for a substitute who may have no expertise in your subject area! Many of the multimedia modules are well-suited for interactive whiteboard or projector (or for students to navigate at an individual pace on laptops). Have gifted students? Allow them to "compact" new content and extend into higher levels using this site. Be sure to share a link from your teacher web page for students who need an alternate presentation of material or for absentees. Share this site at the beginning of the school year for students wanting more of a challenge.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Opensecrets.org - Open Secrets

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9 to 12
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A compilation of data about fund-raising and the financing of political candidates in the United States, this site contains a massive amount of information. You can drill down to the...more
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A compilation of data about fund-raising and the financing of political candidates in the United States, this site contains a massive amount of information. You can drill down to the zip code level and find out who in your local area is donating how much to which political candidates and parties. You can search by politician or by candidates and see where their financial support comes from. You can track particular issues or take a historical look at campaign and political finance.

tag(s): elections (77), politics (100)

In the Classroom

Put this site on your TeachersFirst favorites list or teacher web page so students can use it for research on political candidates and issues. Civics teachers will find it useful in demonstrating the importance of lobbying and campaign finance in the political arena. Economics teachers can use these data to illustrate the connection between wealth and political power. Teachers doing lessons focused on the upcoming elections can track current Presidential candidates and their major contributors.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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September 11,2001 documentary project - Library of Congress

Grades
7 to 12
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From the Library of Congress' American Memory project, this site links to a large collection of audio, video, text, and artwork related the events of September 11, 2001. Users ...more
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From the Library of Congress' American Memory project, this site links to a large collection of audio, video, text, and artwork related the events of September 11, 2001. Users can search by media, by topic or by title.

tag(s): new york (26), sept11 (21), terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

This site would be most useful to students doing research on the 9/11 attacks, but also could provide teachers with supplemental material for a lesson on the events of that date. Although teachers will remember the day vividly, most students were young enough when it occurred that their memories will be clouded. Another use for this site is as an example of the power and necessity of primary sources in documenting any event. Compare these resources to accounts we have of Pearl Harbor and other major events as you ask student to conduct an interviewing project of their own, perhaps of local history.

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September 11 Digital Archive - Center for History and New Media

Grades
7 to 12
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A good start for accessing a wealth of information related to the events of September 11, 2001, this site provides links to research databases, first person accounts and photo and ...more
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A good start for accessing a wealth of information related to the events of September 11, 2001, this site provides links to research databases, first person accounts and photo and sound galleries. For most teachers, 9/11 is a very recent event and is fresh in our minds. However, for students, the details of that terrible day may be fuzzy either because they were young when it happened, or because they were shielded from much of the news coverage. This site can help present the account. Among the "Special Collections" is a link to an innovative sound memorial site that provides a montage of voices and sounds recorded on September 11. Although the main site does not, some of the linked sites require Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): new york (26), sept11 (21), terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

Preview carefully for younger students. Use the site in your discussions of current events and terrorism-related topics or share it as a resource for high school students doing research projects. As politicians talk about Sept 11, this site can help fill the gaps in your students' background. You can easily demonstrate primary and secondary sources with these engaging examples.
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Alphabet Organizer - Read Write Think (Iron Monkey Interactive)

Grades
K to 12
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This Alphabet Organizer makes learning words and terminology exciting-- and organized. All levels may use this--from primary students learning the alphabet to secondary students learning...more
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This Alphabet Organizer makes learning words and terminology exciting-- and organized. All levels may use this--from primary students learning the alphabet to secondary students learning advanced vocabulary. On the interactive keypad, key in the beginning letter of a word. Key in the rest of the word on the blanks provided. You also have the option of typing in the word's meaning. When your list is entered, you may choose a booklet or a chart format for the presentation of your information. Studying content-area words or vocabulary meanings have never been so easy.

tag(s): alphabet (90), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Think outside the 'box' when considering this application. Teachers may opt to teach the elements of the story through entering character traits, setting, plot events, etc., then printing a chart to teach those concepts. Special Ed or ESL/ELL teachers and teachers will love using this organizer to help students organize new words they must learn. If students use a three-ring notebook, new words can be added over time. Mark this tool as a favorite on your classroom computer for students to access as needed.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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World News - WN Network

Grades
4 to 12
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This is a wonderful compilation site of news from all over the world. Users can read the home page or search news of a specific geographic region. An ...more
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This is a wonderful compilation site of news from all over the world. Users can read the home page or search news of a specific geographic region. An excellent plus here is the ability to choose to read the news in a variety of languages. World Photos today, multimedia, global weather, and sports are just a few of the many attractive sections that add to this site's appeal.

tag(s): news (265)

In the Classroom

Share this site with your school's foreign language teachers. Have students do comparisons between English and foreign language versions of the news. If you teach writing, you can find controversial topics as writing prompts for persuasive writing among the articles, as well, and have students find facts to support their positions. Make this site available from your teacher web page for current events assignments. Reading teachers will want to use the articles on an interactive whiteboard to teach main idea and summarizing: highlight key words to use in a main idea or summary sentence you write together below the article.

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American Centuries ...view from New England - Memorial Hall Museum Online

Grades
4 to 12
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There is so much to explore on this site, you will need to place limitations on it! Digital Collections of everything from clothing to chronology, turns of the century exhibits, ...more
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There is so much to explore on this site, you will need to place limitations on it! Digital Collections of everything from clothing to chronology, turns of the century exhibits, in the classroom activities, curricula, New England architecture and tools, manuscripts from people who lived in the time-- this site is truly a museum on the web made student-friendly. The activities section is full of ways to involve students with real objects from history. Students can actually hear some of the artists and writers reading their own words -- which is remarkable. If you teach American literature or history or are interested in artifacts from the past, this is a great site. If you choose, you or your students can create a login and save to "my collection." Many sections require Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): colonial america (108), england (57), slavery (71)

In the Classroom

If you plan to share objects as part of a lesson "collect" them in a personal collection so you can pull them up easily. Challenge secondary students to use the activity labeled "Create a chronology" to group artifacts from the collections to illustrate a concept, such as slavery, clothing, or background of an author, artist, or historical event. With younger students, use one or more of the activities on an interactive whiteboard or projector or design a simple scavenger hunt within YOUR collection of objects for students to find out about colonial life and times. If you turn them loose on the entire site, you will never get them back.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Hyper History Online - The World History Project

Grades
6 to 12
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This comprehensive history/culture resource is the mother of all timelines with over 3000 years of history available in "synchronoptic" form, that is, in parallel timelines. Users...more
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This comprehensive history/culture resource is the mother of all timelines with over 3000 years of history available in "synchronoptic" form, that is, in parallel timelines. Users can view by searching year, event, people, stories, subjects, events, political movements, and maps. Constant updates to the events section and additional "people" lines ensure the timeliness of this amazing site. (The site does NOT include people who are still alive). The span of the timelines and people, events, and cultures is extensive. Timeline elements are clickable for more information. We recommend the site for grades 6 and up purely because of the level of exposure necessary to appreciate all the information and because of the reading level.

tag(s): biographies (88), politics (100)

In the Classroom

Use this site for context regarding what was going on all over the world at any given time, especially as you launch class discussion of a new topic or time period. Help students see relationships between what they know and what else was occurring at the same time. Use it to pose questions about how events and people may be related, as well. This site will work very well on a projector or interactive whiteboard.

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Essay Exchange Unit - George Cassutto

Grades
9 to 12
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This unit plan gives students the opportunity to get feedback on their writing from a totally impartial source. Students research and write position papers on a variety of topics, working...more
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This unit plan gives students the opportunity to get feedback on their writing from a totally impartial source. Students research and write position papers on a variety of topics, working step by step from to thesis statement to writing. The students then email their papers via e-mail to other schools and students for feedback. The students' final papers are posted to the school's web site for global access.

While this site does give a template of lessons for students to follow as a guide, teachers have a wide range of flexibility with it. Topics can be about anything of your choosing; the length of time given to the lesson and the type and amount of feedback is controlled. While this project started within the subject of Social Studies, this unit can be used in conjunction with any subject.

tag(s): writing (362)

In the Classroom

Teachers can adapt the assignment to use other genres of expression to evaluate student performance. All subject area teachers can integrate the procedures listed to develop on-line projects for their students. The ideal places to post papers for feedback and final publication would be on a blog (for comments) or wiki (for collaborative editing and additions).

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U.S. Presidential Speeches Tag Cloud - Chirag Mehta

Grades
9 to 12
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SHOW your students the changes in U.S. presidential politics and policy over time using this "tag cloud" of word frequencies from presidential speeches (and a few before we even HAD...more
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SHOW your students the changes in U.S. presidential politics and policy over time using this "tag cloud" of word frequencies from presidential speeches (and a few before we even HAD a president) 1776-2007. If you have never seen a tag cloud, it is simply a way of using the relative size of words to show the frequency with which that word appears. Slide the slider across the timeline at the top of the tag cloud to see words appear, shrink, disappear, etc from the language of U.S. leaders over time. Note the introduction of new terms (terrorism) and when they appear. What a marvelous way to build perspective on history and awareness of the importance of rhetoric in the role of a leader.

tag(s): debate (45), elections (77), politics (100), speech (92), speeches (17)

In the Classroom

Share the tag cloud on a projector-- or ideally interactive whiteboard-- as you ask students to hypothesize about the words that appear at key times: the start of a war, after Sept 11, etc. Then include the link on your teacher web page so you can assign them (in or out of class) to write an essay or prepare a visual presentation explaining why certain terms were vital in the political and policy landscape of the times. Using primary sources from the Library of Congress American Memory Collection, students can create multimedia (PowerPoint or video) shows "portraying" a year, decade, or era and the importance of its tagged words (Word art would make a great way to show the words on screen).

With the 2008 presidential election quickly approaching, have students analyze presidential speeches and create their own Speech Tag Clouds about the message. Or have students create a "mock" candidate and then design a "tag cloud" about the candidate.

Note that this tag cloud site DOES identify its sources-- something you want to be sure to highlight to your students. Then ask if students think the choice of sources is the best possible--should it include others?

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Paper Toys - PaperToys.com

Grades
3 to 10
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This crafty website provides students (and teachers) with directions to create paper toys. The patterns are printables on the web page. The website provides instructions for approximately...more
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This crafty website provides students (and teachers) with directions to create paper toys. The patterns are printables on the web page. The website provides instructions for approximately 100 unique models. The types of models vary from monuments (such as the Chrysler Building or the Eiffel Tower) to holiday creations. There are printable instructions provided for each model. This website is a refreshing activity for art classes, social studies classes or any class seeking a creative method to use to re-create famous monuments and other objects or buildings.

tag(s): architecture (84), paper folding (5)

In the Classroom

The paper folding activities would work well with cooperative learning groups. For example, during a unit on architecture or structures, have each group recreate a different monument or architectural design. Then teach about the various concepts of architecture by using the groups' models. Ask gifted/talented students to analyze how the paper fold-ups work then design a model of your school. Some of the options are purely entertainment oriented. You may want to print the paper patterns yourself instead of sending students to the site.

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