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The New Americans - PBS

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7 to 12
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Take your students on a virtual adventure that will help them to understand the personal lives and experiences of 21st century immigrants to America. Students can meet the various families...more
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Take your students on a virtual adventure that will help them to understand the personal lives and experiences of 21st century immigrants to America. Students can meet the various families profiled on the site, learn about their cultural traditions, and take a quiz on the myths and realities of immigration. The site features interactive maps, timelines, and exercises in determining the effect of immigration on the American society. Be sure to investigate the resources for educators and the eleven lesson plans, aligned to national standards, which challenge students to analyze demographic data, investigate U.S. immigration policy, and conduct oral history interviews with first or second generation immigrants. Created by PBS and Independent Lens.

tag(s): immigrants (20), immigration (58), migration (59)

In the Classroom

Use the myths and realities quiz on this site to assess student preconceptions before beginning a unit on immigration or a unit on immigration reform. Have students complete the quiz on individual computers in class, and print their results. Use the results as a way to start a class discussion on immigration and what surprised students. Focus on what students learned and what they had assumed previously. This would be a great activity for a civics or US history course.

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Cuban Missile Crisis - National Security Archive at George Washington University

Grades
9 to 12
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One of the most crucial and riveting events of the Cold War is carefully documented through this impressive collection of declassified documents, photographs, audio clips from the Kennedy...more
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One of the most crucial and riveting events of the Cold War is carefully documented through this impressive collection of declassified documents, photographs, audio clips from the Kennedy White House, and submarine naval charts. A detailed chronology and analyses by contemporary historians is also included. This is a wonderful collection of primary source documents that can enrich your study of the Cold War and America during the 1960s.

tag(s): kennedy (27), russia (38)

In the Classroom

Use the images on this site to create a visual discovery activity for a unit on the Cold War and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Choose 3-5 images, and place them in a PowerPoint. Create a worksheet follow-along for the images, and use the images to teach about the event in a student-centered activity. Focus on observe, infer and predict prompts on the worksheet and students can use the worksheet answers in a subsequent classroom discussion.

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Three Mile Island 1979 Emergency - Dickinson College

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9 to 12
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This site chronicles the history-changing event that occurred in March of 1979 at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant. General information on nuclear energy, governmental regulations,...more
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This site chronicles the history-changing event that occurred in March of 1979 at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant. General information on nuclear energy, governmental regulations, and a timeline of events provide a basic overview of what happened before, during, and after the accident. But the most impressive feature of the site is an extensive collection of interview transcripts (audio and text) that help visitors understand how residents from all walks of life reacted to the accident. Other primary source information available on the site includes photographs, newspaper articles, and government documents. .

In the Classroom

Although text heavy, the science section of this site has some really helpful printable PDFs that explain the basics of how a powerplant works, what it does, and what went wrong in this specific incident. The first two would be relly great tutorials to review in class before discussing the Cold war or the arms race. Understanding nuclear capabilities could even help students understand the nuclear proliferation problems that are plaguing politics today. Use these PDFs to review the information and introduce new material. Very useful for a government or History classroom.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Lessons from the Land - Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre

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4 to 12
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Expand a unit on Native American culture with this interactive, multimedia site that takes visitors on a virtual journey of Canada's Northwest Territories and provides cross-curricular...more
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Expand a unit on Native American culture with this interactive, multimedia site that takes visitors on a virtual journey of Canada's Northwest Territories and provides cross-curricular connections. The searchable site focuses on topics such as birch bark canoes, fishing, caribou hunting, and burial practices. Elementary students can participate in the illustrated on-line storybook that includes activities and games. Secondary students can explore the historical and cultural significance of eight sites on a traditional aboriginal trail.

tag(s): native americans (78)

In the Classroom

A teacher's guide and a downloadable lesson plan package are available.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Lost Liners - PBS

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7 to 12
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World history, U.S. history, rhetoric and debate, health, and technology are addressed by this comprehensive examination of some of the greatest disasters in maritime history - the...more
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World history, U.S. history, rhetoric and debate, health, and technology are addressed by this comprehensive examination of some of the greatest disasters in maritime history - the Titanic, the Lusitania, and the Empress of Ireland. Full lesson plans (these are really outstanding!), aligned with national standards are provided. Topics include The Blame Game (a great role-playing experience), Bigger, Faster, Stronger, Higher (a comparison of the Titanic and Challenger disasters), and Titanic Artifacts (what we've discovered about the lives of those lost). Students can even learn about effective Internet search strategies in the Lost Liners scavenger hunt activity.

In the Classroom

Click on the section entitled "teacher resources" and take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities offered. Most require a basic knowledge of the 5 major liners that sank, so the day before activities have students explore the site on the interactive whiteboard or individual computers. To assess what students are learning, put them in groups and have groups select a liner that they will be researching. Groups will go through the information offered by the site and possibly other sites in an effort to attain images and information about their lost ship. Have groups create an online graphic telling the story of their liner and its immediate impact. Have students use a tool such as Woices (beta) (reviewed here). This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place.

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Unearthing Secret America - PBS

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6 to 12
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Life in colonial America is revealed through a series of archeological explorations documented in this PBS site. Archeologists reveal fascinating information about the first settlers...more
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Life in colonial America is revealed through a series of archeological explorations documented in this PBS site. Archeologists reveal fascinating information about the first settlers of Jamestown and the hardships they endured. The lives of slaves are also examined through artifacts that reveal specific details of their daily lives. Students can discover what a forensic anthropologist looks for when examining ancient human remains through an interactive "Digging for Clues" feature. Use this site to enhance a unit on Colonial America. It truly provides a historically accurate glimpse of the European and African cultures that made up the fabric of early America.

tag(s): colonial america (107)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans hosted on the "educators" portion of this site! Save this site as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval - a great resource for a US history classroom.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Audio Interviews - BBC

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7 to 12
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Some of the most riveting cultural, political, and scientific figures of the 20th and 21st centuries are represented on this site that provides interviews drawn from BBC's archives....more
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Some of the most riveting cultural, political, and scientific figures of the 20th and 21st centuries are represented on this site that provides interviews drawn from BBC's archives. Bring the voices, thoughts, and insights of Virginia Woolf, Aaron Copland, Agatha Christie, Mohandas Gandhi, Andy Warhol, and Charles Schulz, into your classroom. The audio interviews are organized by name and subject area. This is truly an impressive resource that can create quite an impact in the classroom

tag(s): interviews (16)

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eHistory - Ohio State University

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7 to 12
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This incredible resource is not just for history fans! The comprehensive and well-organized site includes a timeline of events, a glossary, battle outlines, biographies, and thousands...more
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This incredible resource is not just for history fans! The comprehensive and well-organized site includes a timeline of events, a glossary, battle outlines, biographies, and thousands of images and maps. Topics include ancient history, the Civil War, World War II, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and much more. A true gold mine for history teachers and students.

tag(s): battles (16), maps (287), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

The great resources offered by this site include the primary sources collection and the vast amount of multi-media presentations offered. Search this site for resources you can use in your own classroom - the video collection would be particularly helpful to supplement information from the previous and current century.

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Games We Play - Cornell University

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6 to 12
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Take a unique approach to American History! Games have been used for generations to advance political agendas and propaganda, or to solicit support for social causes. This site includes...more
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Take a unique approach to American History! Games have been used for generations to advance political agendas and propaganda, or to solicit support for social causes. This site includes early nineteenth-century geographical board games; a Civil War game; suffrage games that aided in the battle for women's votes; and a selection of games inspired by television programming. Explore these selections in class and challenge students to consider games that are popular today. What will our pastimes reveal to the historians of the future?

tag(s): civil war (145), women (101), womens suffrage (26)

In the Classroom

Have students try out this site on individual computers, or as a learning center. Students can use the site to learn about the evolution of leisure time in America and the inferences historians can make from games. To assess students learning, print out the crossword puzzle at the end and have them complete it after they tour the site.

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New York Public Library's Digital Library Collection

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6 to 12
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Explore images, documents, and rare materials in this impressive collection of on-line archives. Search for a specific topic of interest by using the Archival Finding Aids, tour the...more
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Explore images, documents, and rare materials in this impressive collection of on-line archives. Search for a specific topic of interest by using the Archival Finding Aids, tour the many on-line exhibitions that cover a wide range of topics, or follow a link to one of beautifully presented portfolios on themes ranging from Small-town America to Surveyors of the American West. Use for your own background research or as a resource for your students. Created by the New York Public Library.

tag(s): primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

Use this site to search for images that can be used in your classroom for a visual discovery activity. Select 3-5 of the more powerful images, placing them on separate slides of a PowerPoint show. Show each slide to the class for 1-2 minutes each, allowing students time to jot down what they observe, predict and infer about each image. After the class has finished with the slides, have a class discussion based on the notes that students took accompanying a replaying of the slide show. This is a great way to introduce or review a topic in a non-lecture format.

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American Rhetoric

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9 to 12
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Rhetoric can be a difficult concept for students to grasp in isolation. This collection of full-text speeches and audio/video clips from political speeches, legal proceedings, interviews,...more
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Rhetoric can be a difficult concept for students to grasp in isolation. This collection of full-text speeches and audio/video clips from political speeches, legal proceedings, interviews, debates, news broadcasts, and movies can really get the discussion going in speech and composition class! Definitions/interpretations of rhetoric are provided, along with a few interactive activities that make students think. A great resource for analyzing how wordsmiths use language to elicit a desired response from the audience. Created for American Rhetoric by Michael Eidenmuller. MP3 player required.

tag(s): debate (41), politics (99), speech (92), speeches (17)

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Brown v. Board of Education - University of Michigan

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9 to 12
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The University of Michigan chronicles the landmark Supreme Court case in this on-line archive. Historical events related to this case are documented through articles and images from...more
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The University of Michigan chronicles the landmark Supreme Court case in this on-line archive. Historical events related to this case are documented through articles and images from 1896 (Plessy v. Ferguson) to the present. Main areas of interest on the site include Supreme Court cases, school integration efforts, and recent re-segregation trends in American schools. Use as a springboard for a discussion on Civil Rights or the American Justice System.

tag(s): civil rights (117), segregation (15), supreme court (22)

In the Classroom

Recommend this site to students working on a research project or paper about the monumental case. There is a wealth of information here - teachers can also take advantage of the court case information, the primary sources and the images.

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Lewis and Clark National Bicentennial Exhibition - Missouri Historical Society

Grades
6 to 12
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This on-line exhibition allows visitors to follow the footsteps of Lewis and Clark, explore the cultural landscape they encountered, and browse through a collection of over 350 artifacts...more
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This on-line exhibition allows visitors to follow the footsteps of Lewis and Clark, explore the cultural landscape they encountered, and browse through a collection of over 350 artifacts that document the first transcontinental journey across North America. Highlights of this beautifully designed site include an interactive map, audio clips providing sounds associated with each place along the journey, and readings from words written by members of the expedition. Links to related themes are provided throughout the site. This is an outstanding resource that accurately presents many facets of this pivotal even in American history.

tag(s): lewis and clark (15), louisiana (11), louisiana purchase (7)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and classroom activities hosted on this site! This would be a great resource for a US history site, regardless of the grade level. Save this site as a favorite on your classroom computer to allow for easy retrieval when necessary.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Advertising Campaigns That Have Made a Difference - The Ad Council

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7 to 12
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Throughout the 20th century, advertisements have influenced public behavior and opinion while leaving enduring icons and slogans in their wake. Explore some of these snapshots of American...more
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Throughout the 20th century, advertisements have influenced public behavior and opinion while leaving enduring icons and slogans in their wake. Explore some of these snapshots of American culture in this Ad Council site that provides printed and multi-media glimpses of its public service milestones - from war bonds, to Smokey the Bear, to Vince and Larry, the crash test dummies. View the examples in class and challenge students to design their own ad campaigns to address contemporary issues in America society.

tag(s): advertising (33)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on the interactive whiteboard during a class discussion of a debate in current politics or while preparing for a debate in your own classroom. Allow students to explore the site with the intentions of creating their own propaganda for their debate side or for both sides if used in a more general discussion. This is a great way to get students to start thinking about persuasion in the media, and how politicians can use it. Excellent resource for a US government class!

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Slates, Slide Rules, and Software: Teaching Math in America - Smithsonian

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7 to 12
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Create an interdisciplinary link between math and social studies with this informative site that chronicles the development of teaching tools to help students master abstract mathematical...more
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Create an interdisciplinary link between math and social studies with this informative site that chronicles the development of teaching tools to help students master abstract mathematical concepts. Simple text and graphics make this a very usable site for students of any level. Created by the National Museum of American History

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station at the beginning of the year in an algebra class to get students thinking about the materials they use and how they can aid learning. This could be a fun accompaniment to syllabus-day or later on in the first week.

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Jean-Antoine Houdan:Sculptor of the Enlightenment - J. Paul Getty Museum

Grades
9 to 12
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Houdan's work captured an historic period of revolution and unrest in France and America. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Napoleon are among his subjects. Rotate the sculptures...more
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Houdan's work captured an historic period of revolution and unrest in France and America. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Napoleon are among his subjects. Rotate the sculptures in this virtual museum exhibit to examine details and learn about the artist's techniques. Best suited for use with advanced art students.

tag(s): sculpture (21)

In the Classroom

Share the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector to illustrate to students the more finite details of Houdan's work. Students can explore the site on their own if more help is necessary. This site would be useful not only for exploring Houdan, but for providing a 3D image students can attempt to analyze or model their own work after.

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Drawing from Life - Smithsonian

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7 to 12
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Spice up a history class and generate discussion with cartoons taken from the Smithsonian Institution's American Art/Portrait Gallery Library Collection. Images, dating from 1862 to...more
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Spice up a history class and generate discussion with cartoons taken from the Smithsonian Institution's American Art/Portrait Gallery Library Collection. Images, dating from 1862 to 1955, reflect the power and popularity of this medium throughout American history. Can be browsed by title, artist, or subject.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74)

In the Classroom

Art and History teachers will love this online collection of comic drawings houses by the Smithsonian. In a class discussion of validity of sources select a few images that were created to reflect on society or satire it. (We recommend Hogarth's engravings if your class is mature enough) Share the images on the interactive whiteboard or projector with the class. Start a discussion as to what students think the meaning and purpose of the image is. Do a few as a class and have students complete the rest of the images on their own. Have students write up a few quick sentences on the remaining images. Teachers can either finish the activity there or have students share their answers later in a discussion.

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America in Caricature: 1765 - 1865 - University of Indiana

Grades
7 to 12
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This site, by the Lily Library of Indiana University, features the wry wit and artistic talents of America's best political cartoonists. Three distinct and turbulent periods in American...more
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This site, by the Lily Library of Indiana University, features the wry wit and artistic talents of America's best political cartoonists. Three distinct and turbulent periods in American history are represented: The Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. Especially notable are the political cartoons from election years 1860 and 1864. Challenge students to think about how these caricatures compare with those found in today's newspapers.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Select the images that correspond to the unit being covered in your classroom. Print out the caricatures, laminate and bring to class. Seperate students into groups and have them all work on at least one of the images obtained from the class. Have students analyze and dissect the images to gauge the meaning, purpose and intent. This is an activity that does require some substance of background knowledge, so do this more towards the end of a unit as review.

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Presidency in Action - American Presidents - University of Virginia

Grades
6 to 12
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This is a thematic look at the conduct and evolution of the American presidency since the founding of the republic. It examines the executive structures that manage domestic, economic,...more
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This is a thematic look at the conduct and evolution of the American presidency since the founding of the republic. It examines the executive structures that manage domestic, economic, foreign, and legislative activities in more than enough detail for secondary students. Even a quick tour will demonstrate the current complexity of the executive branch.

In the Classroom

This site has a variety of uses within a US government or history classroom. To begin with, teachers can use this site as a resource for research projects; a source for speeches and writings, as well as a learning center during a unit on a particular president or time period. A very useful and flexible source that can easily be worked into your curriculum!

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Dream of Flight - Library of Congress

Grades
6 to 12
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Highlighting the incredible courage, ingenuity, and determination of Orville and Wilbur Wright, this Library of Congress site traces the importance of flight through history as it chronicles...more
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Highlighting the incredible courage, ingenuity, and determination of Orville and Wilbur Wright, this Library of Congress site traces the importance of flight through history as it chronicles the brothers' amazing achievement in Kitty Hawk, NC. Rich in text, photographs, and primary source documents, this electronic exhibit could form the basis for a teacher-created Web hunt, or serve as a visual supplement for a unit on American history and inventors.

tag(s): air (163), aircraft (24), aviation (39), flight (36), wright brothers (25)

In the Classroom

Within the section entitled "the dream" is a collection of primary resources that reflect society's obsession with flight. Print out or download these images separately on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Once students are in groups, assign each student a resource - with each group analyzing and interpreting the meaning of the pieces of art. After each group has dissected their resource, have a classroom debate as to which is the most reflective of human desire to fly? Which is the most inspirational? Which was the most scientific? Not only will the debate explore each of the sources but it will depend on students background knowledge of the history of flight. Because of this, this activity is probably best served at the end of a unit when it can be used as an informal review.

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