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Declaring Independence - Library of Congress

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6 to 12
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This extensive site from the Library of Congress explains the details of the drafting of the Declaration of Independence as well as the obstacles the Continental Congress faced in publishing...more
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This extensive site from the Library of Congress explains the details of the drafting of the Declaration of Independence as well as the obstacles the Continental Congress faced in publishing their work. Like many of the LoC sites, the narrative works best for secodary students, but the images will be fascinating to younger classes as well. This is a great addition to American history or government units on American independence.

tag(s): american revolution (89), declaration of independence (13), evolution (101)

In the Classroom

Open this site on the interactive whiteboard or projector, and go through the "exhibits" offered with students. Allow students to peruse it on their own in cooperative learning groups. This would be a great review activity, as students may only grasp the importance of the primary documents once they have learned the greater context. To show what they have learned from this site, challenge students to create an online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here.

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When Johnny Went Marching Off - SCORE

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6 to 12
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This site is a group research project that could serve as the culminating activity for a Civil War unit. It asks students to "enlist" for a tour of duty and ...more
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This site is a group research project that could serve as the culminating activity for a Civil War unit. It asks students to "enlist" for a tour of duty and then chronicle the events and emotions that soldiers might have experienced during that tour. The site offers a collection of web links for beginning research, but students could also tackle this content using a school-approved search engine. Lots of creative possibilities here.

tag(s): civil war (143), webquests (27)

In the Classroom

For the end project, have students create their memoir in an online book, using a site such as Bookemon, reviewed here. This will make it easier for them to update and share the project.

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The Endurance - Kodak

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6 to 12
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Kodak offers a highly visual site about an ill-fated Antarctic expedition. Learn about the scientific inquiries at the turn of the century and the circumstances that led the ship Endurance...more
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Kodak offers a highly visual site about an ill-fated Antarctic expedition. Learn about the scientific inquiries at the turn of the century and the circumstances that led the ship Endurance to its sorry fate. It's a great scientific adventure.

tag(s): antarctica (29), arctic (46), explorers (63)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on exploration in Antarctica. Students can take the virtual tour, filling out a guide or graphic organizer along the way. For help making graphic organizers, we recommend using Mindomo, (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Twain's Hanibal - Library of Congress

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9 to 12
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This unit from the Library of Congress offers students an exposure to the use of primary resources in the study of history and literature. The Library's collection for this time ...more
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This unit from the Library of Congress offers students an exposure to the use of primary resources in the study of history and literature. The Library's collection for this time period is rich, so there are many highly visual ways to expose students to Twain's world. Students will need to spend some time with this one.

tag(s): mark twain (10)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans on this site! Be sure to save it as a favorite on your desktop to allow for easy retrieval.

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AMDOCS - Univ. of Kansas

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6 to 12
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Created at the University of Kansas, this collection of primary sources offers coverage from the 15th century through the present, making it useful for both early and contemporary history....more
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Created at the University of Kansas, this collection of primary sources offers coverage from the 15th century through the present, making it useful for both early and contemporary history. Many of the documents are on third-party sites, so expect some level of change over time.

tag(s): american revolution (89), history day (24)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the hundreds of available primary sources on this site. History teachers can use these documents for a variety of activities, from supplementing the text to using them to teach students how to analyze the validity of sources. The documents are organized by date, and can benefit both World History classes in addition to American History.

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September 11, 2001 - New York Times

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9 to 12
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This site is a collection of the New York Times biographical sketches of those who died in the 9-11 attacks. Poignant, simple, and inspiring, this is a site which invites ...more
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This site is a collection of the New York Times biographical sketches of those who died in the 9-11 attacks. Poignant, simple, and inspiring, this is a site which invites a response.

tag(s): sept11 (17), terrorism (47), terrorist (16)

In the Classroom

Try using it with students as a springboard for writing or other creative expression.

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Mark Twain in his Times - University of Virginia

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6 to 12
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This site from the University of Virginia is a welcome addition to the general lack of good Twain material on the web. The site concentrates on Twain's career and the ...more
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This site from the University of Virginia is a welcome addition to the general lack of good Twain material on the web. The site concentrates on Twain's career and the manner in which Sam Clemens turned Twain into an institution. There are also links to critical information and e-texts of Twain's major works, along with illustrations.

tag(s): biographies (91), mark twain (10)

In the Classroom

Good site for lesson ideas, or for independent use by students.

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Wrapped in Pride - Kente Cloth - Smithsonian Institution

Grades
4 to 12
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For an interesting lesson idea, start with this presentation on the creation and use of Ghanian Kente cloth, used in African festivals and ceremonies. This site from the Smithsonian...more
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For an interesting lesson idea, start with this presentation on the creation and use of Ghanian Kente cloth, used in African festivals and ceremonies. This site from the Smithsonian shows how the cloth is made and describes the various ways in which Africans use it. The content is adaptable to many age levels.

tag(s): africa (173), african american (112), kwanzaa (9)

In the Classroom

Use this activity here in your own classroom during a unit on African culture. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector to guide the classroom on how and when to wear Kente cloth. Students can do this with their own cloth, just so long as they are still grasping the significance of the real thing. This would be a fun activity during a class period that's devoted to presentations & the like.

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Japanese Americans and the Constitution - Smithsonian Institution

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6 to 12
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The Smithsonian presents this nicely-designed site describing the internment and discrimination against Japanese Americans during World War II. Students can listen to an audio introduction...more
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The Smithsonian presents this nicely-designed site describing the internment and discrimination against Japanese Americans during World War II. Students can listen to an audio introduction which provides a summary of the events of the period, and sets the stage for the larger presentation. This one is well worth a visit.

tag(s): constitution (87), japan (61), japanese (45), world war 2 (144)

In the Classroom

This site is a great way to address the topics of racism and the Japanese internment in your classroom. Teachers can either save this and use it as a learning center or have the students do it together on classroom computers. Don't teach this topic without looking at this site first!

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Advertising in America - Library of Congress

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6 to 12
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The Library of Congress has created a site which presents information and images from early American adverstising efforts - 1850-1920. The site uses the Library's standard HTML layout,...more
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The Library of Congress has created a site which presents information and images from early American adverstising efforts - 1850-1920. The site uses the Library's standard HTML layout, and as usual, the stars of the exhibit are the archival images that have been digitized and included. If advertising is a measure of society's interests, this site offers a unique glimpse into the past.

tag(s): advertising (35), industrialization (14), news (263), newspapers (96)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector during a unit on the Industrial Revolution. The site shows the growth of the economy and its impact on the private sector in a way students most likely have not thought about. Separate students into cooperative learning groups and have them create advertisements for the many inventions and technologies that were developed during the time period. Use the site for inspiration!

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History Matters - George Mason University

Grades
9 to 12
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George Mason University has created what is almost a one stop shopping site for American History. This is a rich resource of primary source materials, introductions to historical analysis,...more
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George Mason University has created what is almost a one stop shopping site for American History. This is a rich resource of primary source materials, introductions to historical analysis, factual material, and much more. The site concentrates on both historical content and the craft of teaching history. This makes it an ideal starting point for social studies or history teachers interested in a fresh approach to their curriculum.

tag(s): states (165)

In the Classroom

This site offers a treasure trove of primary sources that would be useful for any history classroom. Teachers can either use the sources to supplement their lectures, or can use them to start a debate with students on the qualities of effective primary sources. Separate students into groups, and provide each group with a different primary source, although from the same time frame you are studying in class. Have the groups analyze the sources, and a list of reasons as to why or why not their source is a reliable source. From then on, have the groups debate in class which is the most reliable by way of class debate. Not only will the kids synthesize the important information within the sources, but they will also get a handle as to what makes a source reliable.

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Inventors of the Industrial Revolution - TeachersFirst

Grades
5 to 12
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This unit provides an on-line introduction to inventors and inventions of the industrial revolution in England and the United States. In addition to information on key inventors and...more
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This unit provides an on-line introduction to inventors and inventions of the industrial revolution in England and the United States. In addition to information on key inventors and their inventions, there are interactive activities designed for student involvement, timelines, and an interactive quiz. An extensive list of "invention links" lets students learn more about inventions and inventors.This unit is written for middle and high school but is also adaptable for upper elementary.

tag(s): evolution (101), industrial revolution (25), inventors and inventions (94)

In the Classroom

See the lesson ideas page for ways to use this on your interactive whiteboard or with students working on their own. There are several ideas for projects and competitions to engage, challenge, and assess. You will definitely want to share this link on your teacher web page as a review tool, as well.

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Inventing Entertainment - the Edison Recordings - Library of Congress

Grades
6 to 12
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Much of the content in this Library of Congress site about Thomas Edison and his phonographs is beyond the scope of middle schoolers. However, there are sound recordings from the ...more
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Much of the content in this Library of Congress site about Thomas Edison and his phonographs is beyond the scope of middle schoolers. However, there are sound recordings from the original machines that let students listen to the product of Edison's work, and the basic biographical information will be useful for those studying inventors. Explore this one in some depth; there's a lot here.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (94)

In the Classroom

Download some of the sounds and recordings from the database, and use them as part of a learning center during a unit on Inventions & Inventors. Have students listen to the recordings (make sure to include headphones) on classroom computers, writing a short reflection afterwards about what they heard and what their impression was. Students could also compare and contrast the quality of the recordings, noting the vast differences in technology between then and now. This would be a very interesting resource for a US history classroom!

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The Midnight Ride - Paul Revere House

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1 to 12
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A stockpile if information on Paul Revere's midnight ride. There is an interactive map, copies of primary sources, and a few illustrated depictions of his journey. ...more
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A stockpile if information on Paul Revere's midnight ride. There is an interactive map, copies of primary sources, and a few illustrated depictions of his journey.

tag(s): american revolution (89)

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Independence Hall - National Park Service

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1 to 12
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A history of Independence Hall, as well as images and descriptions of the site - as preserved by the National Park Service. ...more
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A history of Independence Hall, as well as images and descriptions of the site - as preserved by the National Park Service.

tag(s): american revolution (89)

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The Pilgrims - National Park Service

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1 to 12
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A Short history of the Pilgrims, from the National Park Service. They also have images, videos and information on Cape Cod National Park. ...more
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A Short history of the Pilgrims, from the National Park Service. They also have images, videos and information on Cape Cod National Park.

tag(s): colonial america (108)

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How the Grinch Stole Election Day

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1 to 12
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Humor for election day (based on the election of 2000). Although this resource was created for the 2000 election, the background information and story is valuable for teaching about...more
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Humor for election day (based on the election of 2000). Although this resource was created for the 2000 election, the background information and story is valuable for teaching about elections in general and for comparing elections as part of U.S. history.

tag(s): elections (78)

In the Classroom

This would be a cute way to teach students about the events of the 2000 election and the voting process. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector, either playing the audio version or have students take turns reading the lyrics. VERY useful for a US history or Government classroom.

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Presidential Biographies - IPL

Grades
4 to 12
3 Favorites 2  Comments
Though the title is probably misleading, this site's collection of information about the presidencies of our nation's leaders has plenty of facts, but little context. One of the more...more
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Though the title is probably misleading, this site's collection of information about the presidencies of our nation's leaders has plenty of facts, but little context. One of the more interesting features are the links to historical documents from different presidencies. This one's useful for very basic research, but it lacks the "who did what" aspects that can make history really interesting.

tag(s): presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Because this is a very organized presentation of the presidents, it would be extremely easy to compare presidents about very specific points. This would be useful in a class discussion of political party differences, campaign spending & finance, and legislation decisions. For comparison purposes, we recommend using an online Venn Diagram to be used on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here).

Comments

This would be good for students doing their own research. Dan, OR, Grades: 0 - 6
This would be great for students doing their own research. Dan, OR, Grades: 0 - 6

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Apollo 11

Grades
4 to 12
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Brief narrative with clickable photos and audio files recounts the course of the mission. From The History Place. ...more
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Brief narrative with clickable photos and audio files recounts the course of the mission. From The History Place.

tag(s): moon (72), space (217)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start your study of Space travel. The audio and images on this site would work really well either on the whiteboard or placed within a powerpoint lecture. This would be a useful resource for an American History course, especially as all the information is practically laid out in lecture format.

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1968 - The Whole World was Watching - Brown University

Grades
6 to 12
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This is a fascinating oral history project, created by Rhode Island high school students and Brown University, which documents individual recollections of the turbulent events of 1968,...more
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This is a fascinating oral history project, created by Rhode Island high school students and Brown University, which documents individual recollections of the turbulent events of 1968, from the war in Viet Nam to assassinations and political upheaval. Written texts as well as audio files make the information available using any browser. Great discussion starter; can also be used as a reference for more detailed study.

tag(s): vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

Play these interview within your own classroom to supplement text or lecture material about Vietnam, Civil rights or Women's Rights. Play the interviews over the interactive whiteboard or projector, allowing students to follow along with the transcripts for better comprehension. One way to assess what students are hearing and learning from the interviews is to have students create an online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here. This would be an excellent resource for a US history course.

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