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Flash Earth

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K to 12
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You may be familiar with Google Earth but may not have the ability to install their free software on your computer, either because you are not permitted to or because ...more
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You may be familiar with Google Earth but may not have the ability to install their free software on your computer, either because you are not permitted to or because your computer is not powerful enough to handle it. Try Flash Earth for a simpler tool to explore the earth as you teach geography to any age from kindergarten to seniors. Perhaps you just want to quickly show which way the Conestoga wagons crossed the U.S., or maybe to show where in the world a current events story is taking place. This simple tool, on a projector or interactive whiteboard, is just the trick. Note: You MUST have FLASH on your computer.

tag(s): globe (14), maps (291)

In the Classroom

Use a projector or whiteboard to share a location as art of the background knowledge for a lesson. Be sure to add this link to your teacher web page as a reference tool, as well. Be aware that some world locations have much "fuzzier" satellite images than others. Always preview before your lesson to be sure you can show the features you want students to see. Show elementary students where their "neighborhood" is, perhaps even their streets!

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Virtual Seminars for Teaching English - P. Groves and S. D. Lee

Grades
8 to 12
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This ia a very interesting site for teaching the literature and humanities areas of WWI. You can follow interactive "paths" or create your own path. It highlights several lesser known...more
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This ia a very interesting site for teaching the literature and humanities areas of WWI. You can follow interactive "paths" or create your own path. It highlights several lesser known British poets and photographers from that time period and contains some things found nowhere else on the 'net. Some of the archives include media components, such as video. History teachers may want to use some of these materials to familiarize students with the culture of the times.

tag(s): literature (276), poetry (225)

In the Classroom

This could be used very easily as part of a webquestor web scavenger hunt. You could also use it in the classroom on a projector or whiteboard to show different elements or types of war poetry. Make sure you have the correct plug-ins if you are using video portions.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Trading Card Maker - BigHugeLabs.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Create photo trading cards using images you upload or store on Flickr. Imagine having your students create study aides about famous people using images they draw and scan or photos...more
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Create photo trading cards using images you upload or store on Flickr. Imagine having your students create study aides about famous people using images they draw and scan or photos of themselves impersonating the famous people, such as presidents, explorers, authors, and more. If you celebrate reading by having an "author's tea," why not follow up by asking students to make trading cards for the authors they "met"? Use a similar approach for famous historical figures or even for geometric shapes you photograph with the digital camera. If students write their own "biographies" of the shapes to study from, they will learn for sure! They can even trade each other for favorites.

tag(s): book reports (37), famous people (20), images (277)

In the Classroom

Upload and tag your photo, type information, and print cards. Download finished card to your computer. Use for book reports for literature circles with each student in the group making a card for a different character in the book. This is also an excellent idea for special occasions for special people: mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, school nurse, school secretary, school custodian, favorite aunt, or anyone else! Be sure to print onto cover stock and laminate (if possible). What fabulous (and memorable) gifts. 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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Salem: Witchcraft Hysteria - National Geographic

Grades
7 to 12
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This visually beautiful (though dark) tour through the background and events of the Salem witch trials explains the major figures of Tituba and others. It places you, the viewer, as...more
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This visually beautiful (though dark) tour through the background and events of the Salem witch trials explains the major figures of Tituba and others. It places you, the viewer, as a member of the community and portrays the feelings people had as part of the witch "hysteria."

tag(s): salem (6)

In the Classroom

This site is ideally suited for a projector, if you are taking a quick visit as an introduction to the time period in a history or literature class. Those studying The Crucible may want to build a lesson around having students explore the site to build their background knowledge of the historical events. A web scavenger hunt would work well, as would assigning this as one of a few sources for students to create a wiki page or blog about the trials. Be sure to preview the various navigational tools, such as links,scroll bars, and pulldowns, to find all the "hidden" parts of the site. It is easy to miss some of it.

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Collapse: Why Do Civilizations Fail? - Annenberg Media

Grades
6 to 12
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This site looks at the collapse of several ancient civilizations and suggests why these civilizations did not last. The text is easy to read and is highlighted by learning ...more
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This site looks at the collapse of several ancient civilizations and suggests why these civilizations did not last. The text is easy to read and is highlighted by learning activities and games that illustrate the issues under discussion. Featured civilizations include the Maya, Mesopotamia, the Anasazi of North America and the West African societies of Mali and Songhai. The strength of this site is its suggestion that there are commonalities that help us understand the collapse of a society. There are web links to further resources, and a summary featuring Percy Shelley's poem "Ozymandias", a nice literary connection. There are "hands on" activities scattered throughout, many including cross-curricular links to science or literature.

tag(s): gifted (94), mayans (12), mesopotamia (6), nasa (39)

In the Classroom

This site gives good concrete information, but its real power is in the greater consideration of the rise and fall of civilizations through history. This is a VERY thought-provoking collection of resources. Teachers interested in tying this discussion to current events might discuss the future of civilization in Iraq considering the criteria for maintaining a society given in this site. Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on ancient civilizations' collapse. This site could be specifically tailored to teach about Mesoamerican cultures as three of the 4 ancient civilizations were located in South America. To make that simpler, we recommend creating a guide for students through a website such as Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here). This would be a great resource for a World History classroom! Teachers of gifted could also use this site as the basis for a great social studies unit. If you own the old favorite computer game Civilization, you could put together some scenarios using that, as well.

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The American Experience: Remember the Alamo - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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Another great PBS site, this one focused on the history of Texas statehood and the battle at the Alamo. There are interviews, a timeline, and a nifty interactive map ...more
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Another great PBS site, this one focused on the history of Texas statehood and the battle at the Alamo. There are interviews, a timeline, and a nifty interactive map of the early history of Texas. The Alamo has become one of those myths that have contributed to our sense of American history, and a dose of reality about the event is important. For example, there were survivors of the battle, and some of their stories are told here.

tag(s): texas (4)

In the Classroom

The included lesson plans may focus too much on the standard "watch the film, and discuss" format, but there is a nice plan that asks students to compare several different rallying cries from American history ("Remember Pearl Harbor," "I have not yet begun to fight," "Don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes," and "Remember the Maine") that could provide a nice overview of how society comes to embrace a war as a patriotic duty.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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BBC Schools Online: World War One - BBC

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9 to 12
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This site contains a number of activities and Flash-enabled simulation games centered on World War One. Students can choose various weapons and try to win a mission, listen to ...more
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This site contains a number of activities and Flash-enabled simulation games centered on World War One. Students can choose various weapons and try to win a mission, listen to eyewitness accounts, and discover various roles played by those on the homefront. There are also lesson plans for teachers. The site is clearly designed for use in British schools and comes from the British viewpoint, but could be very useful in American classrooms as well. Because our country was not part of the war theatre, it can be hard to imagine the war's impact. This site more clearly shows the impact.

In the Classroom

The simulation games and other visual activites would work well on an interactive white board.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Daily Lesson Plan: A Tale of Two Wars - New York Times

Grades
9 to 12
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One of the New York Times Learning Network's daily lesson plans, this site focuses on making comparisions between the Vietnam War and the Iraq War. It's a one-period lesson ...more
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One of the New York Times Learning Network's daily lesson plans, this site focuses on making comparisions between the Vietnam War and the Iraq War. It's a one-period lesson plan with links to a NY Times article to read and discuss with a very comprehensive list of questions. There is a printable blank Venn diagram student groups could use to compare the two wars. The opening exercise suggests students create stereotypical Republican and Democratic bumper stickers relative to the war.

tag(s): iraq (32), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

This is a timely discussion and might be useful for a class that features current events or political parties (e.g. civics). The best part of the discussion might be helping students put the current situation into a broader historical context. Caution should be used, however, in using the suggested commercial website to research actual political bumper stickers for comparision. Many of the featured stickers probably aren't appropriate for classrooms, and will probably generate the wrong kind of discussion!

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NOVA Wings of Madness - PBS

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6 to 12
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From a recent PBS Nova episode, this site deals with the early efforts of pioneer aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont. Santos-Dumont had the revolutionary idea that enabling humans to fly...more
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From a recent PBS Nova episode, this site deals with the early efforts of pioneer aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont. Santos-Dumont had the revolutionary idea that enabling humans to fly would contribute to world peace, because people would experience a new, more pure, perspective on the world from above. A contemporary of the Wright Brothers, Santos-Dumont's designs influenced modern "ultralight" planes of today. The site includes biographical information about Santos-Dumont and a very nice slideshow of failed airplane designs. There is an interactive view of one of Santos-Dumont's planes showing its features. Under the teacher's guide, a classroom activity provides plans for various forms of paper airplanes illustrating principles of aerodynamics.

tag(s): air (163), aviation (39)

In the Classroom

Flying has always fascinated us, and flying failures are sometimes more interesting than successes. Students will know all about the Wright Brothers; they are unlikely to have heard of Alberto Santos-Dumont. The interactives are terrific and the paper airplanes would make a good hands-on activity. The readings about Santos-Dumont would also make good selections for a reading teacher trying to find motivating readings to teach comprehension strategies.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Milestones of Flight - Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

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6 to 12
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From the Smithsonian, the site is simple: it is a chronological timeline of the history of flight. Each point on the timeline links to a full page description ...more
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From the Smithsonian, the site is simple: it is a chronological timeline of the history of flight. Each point on the timeline links to a full page description of the craft (plane or spaceship) with photographs.

tag(s): aviation (39), space (215)

In the Classroom

Sometimes you need complexity, but sometimes you just need a simple set of graphics. This site is the latter, but it does it so well! The timeline is marked by thumbnail pictures of each flying machine. Clicking on the machine brings you to a complete desciption of the craft and its significance. Of course this is part of the complete National Air and Space Museum site which is crammed full of interesting stuff. But this section cuts to the chase: what machines flew and when?

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Prohibition and Temperance - OSU Department of History

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9 to 12
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From the Ohio State University history department, this site includes resources related to the prohibition and temperance movement in the US. There is a good, straightforward summary...more
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From the Ohio State University history department, this site includes resources related to the prohibition and temperance movement in the US. There is a good, straightforward summary of prohibition including hyperlinks, information about the Women's crusade against alcohol and the Women's Christian Temperance Union, and contemporary opinion pieces about prohibition. Of particular use is a series of political cartoons from the period which illustrate contemporary political viewpoints. There is a brief audio clip of prohibition era music (ragtime).

In the Classroom

This site is best used as a supplementary set of resources for further exploration. Teachers might use some of the contemporary illustrations or narratives to expand understanding, or students working on an independent project might find the resources helpful. You could also design a brief web scavenger hunt within the site to introduce the topic a new way.

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American Experience The Gold Rush - PBS

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6 to 12
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From a PBS American Experience episode on the Gold Rush, this site includes a good timeline for the Gold Rush, transcripts of interviews concerning the immigrant contribution to settling...more
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From a PBS American Experience episode on the Gold Rush, this site includes a good timeline for the Gold Rush, transcripts of interviews concerning the immigrant contribution to settling California and pursing gold, lesson plans focused on history, economics, geography and civics. There is a nice Flash-powered simulation game in which students can choose a character to navigate the rigors of the Gold Rush. Characters include a Chinese immigrant and a woman.

tag(s): california (27), civil war (145), gold rush (19), immigration (57), lincoln (86), migration (58)

In the Classroom

The Gold Rush era in American history usually gets folded into a discussion of immigration or western expansion. The timeline helps put the discussion into a broader context that includes the Civil War. The simulation game would be a good extension activity for students who master material more quickly, or for students to do at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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American Indian Heritage Month - U.S. Department of Defense

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5 to 12
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This Native American website is bursting with rich history about Native American culture and the many contributions it has made to our country and the world. Users will find ...more
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This Native American website is bursting with rich history about Native American culture and the many contributions it has made to our country and the world. Users will find topics related to Native American contributors such as Sacagawea, the first Native American astronaut, Code Talkers and the Iwo Jima Flag Raiser. This site goes above and beyond utilization for Native American History Month. It is a tool that can be used all year.

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

In the Classroom

The site could be used for a web quest or link for research project. The photos would be great on a projector during lesson presentation/discussion. Can be used in either FLASH or HTML versions. Keep this link on your teacher web page during your unit on indigenous peoples so students can try some recipes at home, as well!
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Native American Nations - Lisa Mitten

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3 to 12
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Find Native American nations' own sites and information in this alphabetical index by tribe(with notes as to most recent updates). ...more
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Find Native American nations' own sites and information in this alphabetical index by tribe(with notes as to most recent updates).

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for research papers and projects. Students can search for information about specific tribes or for information that the tribes themselves have put forward. This would be a great resource for a US history class.

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History of the Cherokee - Ken Martin and others

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4 to 12
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This straightforward informational site provides history and images of the Cherokee nation, including important figures, Cherokee law, maps, and events from before European settlers...more
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This straightforward informational site provides history and images of the Cherokee nation, including important figures, Cherokee law, maps, and events from before European settlers until now. The site creator is himself a mixed blood Cherokee.

In the Classroom

Steer clear of the genealogy links. They are either selling something or they do not work. This is a great site for basic background information, such as you could seek with a scavenger hunt.

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Native Tech: Native American Technology and Art - Tara Prindle

Grades
3 to 12
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This site features art and cultural information of native Americans, focusing especially on the Eastern Woodlands region. There is information on , Birds & Feathers, Clay & Pottery,...more
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This site features art and cultural information of native Americans, focusing especially on the Eastern Woodlands region. There is information on , Birds & Feathers, Clay & Pottery, Leather & Clothes, Metalwork, Plants & Trees, Porcupine Quills, Stonework & Tools, and Weaving & Cordage. Some of the text passages may be a bit lengthy, but there are also interactive ways for students to get a "hands on" feel, such as with the beadwork interactive game. The sections under Special Features are certain to make the culture come alive for elementary and middle school students.

In the Classroom

Give students a scavenger hunt to learn the basics about the culture you are studying, then allow them to try some of the interactive games, ass based on the content of the site. This would be a great way to build background knowledge while studying American history or literature that deals with Native Americans.

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Indigenous Peoples Literature - Glenn Welker

Grades
4 to 12
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This site is a wealth of resources on indigenous peoples of the Americas, including both North and South America. You can find poetry, artwork, daily wisdom, information about languages...more
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This site is a wealth of resources on indigenous peoples of the Americas, including both North and South America. You can find poetry, artwork, daily wisdom, information about languages and leaders, and much more. Be sure to scroll down within the frame set or you will miss most of the content. The maps of the native languages are especially interesting if you teach about westward expansion in the U.S. This site would also provide excellent background for reading of any literature about life among the native Americans, such as A Light in the Forest.

In the Classroom

Use this site to build background knowledge and understanding as part of literature, social studies, or art units. Share portions on a projector.There are times when the frame set of the site is annoying. If it gets in your way, go back on click and RIGHT click on the link you want, choosing "open in new window" to escape the box!

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Not For Ourselves Alone - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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Here you will find a PBS site connected to a Ken Burns film about Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony which contains some very nice resources on the women's ...more
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Here you will find a PBS site connected to a Ken Burns film about Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony which contains some very nice resources on the women's movement. Scroll to the bottom and view the menu item for Resources. Explore the Resource section which has lesson plans, primary documents, a photo gallery, and biographical information.

tag(s): biographies (88), women (92), womens suffrage (25)

In the Classroom

If you're looking for one site on the early women's movement or the women's suffrage movement, this one may do it. Take advantage of the lesson plans and resources therein. Once students know the history of the early women's movement, brainstorm more current information about women's rights and the women involved that could be included on this page. Have students or groups collect ideas and findings using Dotstorming, reviewed here. Dotstorming will allow students to include video, images, text, audio, voting & a chat box.
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Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling - Bernard R. Robin, Ph.D.

Grades
5 to 12
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A fantastic and complete site that tells you all you need to know about making digital stories with students. The wide grade level range shows the versatility of the site ...more
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A fantastic and complete site that tells you all you need to know about making digital stories with students. The wide grade level range shows the versatility of the site for use with any student based upon his readiness to tell stories. The site includes everything from goals to resources to the step-by-step process used to create the stories. An example is also shown. Adobe Acrobat is necessary to see some examples.

tag(s): authors (121), digital storytelling (156)

In the Classroom

Fabulous for use with any subject that can be turned into a story. This is especially good for author projects, history reports, and adaptations of stories. It can be used by teachers from intermediate grades through college, depending on the topic, need, and abilities of the students. Be sure to explore the many links to see how other schools and students have used digital storytelling.
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Mark's Guide to Whose Line is it Anyway

Grades
7 to 12
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This site has an A-Z listing of all the games played on the popular TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway? as played in the original show in Great Britain ...more
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This site has an A-Z listing of all the games played on the popular TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway? as played in the original show in Great Britain and the American version hosted by Drew Carey. For the simplest games, there is just a description. For the ones that need further explanation, there are links to click on and a sample shows as the game was played with the actual script as it happened.

tag(s): literature (276)

In the Classroom

This can be a great lesson starter, particularly on those dreary days when kids don't want to work. For lower level kids, it is a brain exercise for such things as the alphabet game (which is more difficult than it first seems!). For higher level kids, you can substitute characters from literature with a situation from the story itself or from history with imaginative "what if" dialogue for actual events.

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