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Mr. President - Smithsonian Institution

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4 to 12
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The Smithsonian's presidential biographies resource offers basic biographical information and images on all American Presidents, along with highlights of their administrations. Useful...more
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The Smithsonian's presidential biographies resource offers basic biographical information and images on all American Presidents, along with highlights of their administrations. Useful for both its content and its comprehensiveness. The site offers some basic information about all presidents (Washington through Obama).

tag(s): biographies (88), politics (100), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a starting point for research projects. If you are teaching about the presidents, this site would be great on your projector or interactive whiteboard.

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The American Presidency - A Glorious Burden - Smithsonian Institution

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6 to 12
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The Smithsonian has created a nice, technically up-to-date introduction to the presidents which can be useful for middle and high school students. Middle schoolers can work directly...more
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The Smithsonian has created a nice, technically up-to-date introduction to the presidents which can be useful for middle and high school students. Middle schoolers can work directly with the time line and individual biographies, while older students may want to examine the presidents in the context of the historical eras which are also available on the site. Our link starts at the collection of Adobe Acrobat lesson plans that accompany this site; full navigation is available from the menu at the left. If you click on Activities you will find some great interactives. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): biographies (88), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

This site is great to use for research projects or to find activity ideas for the entire class! Share the interactives on your projector or interactive whiteboard.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Visions of Christmas - American Antiquarian Society

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2 to 12
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Original illustrations of classic Christmas memorabilia highlight this no-frills site. If you need a quick explanation, with photos, about the origin of Christmas, Christmas trees,...more
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Original illustrations of classic Christmas memorabilia highlight this no-frills site. If you need a quick explanation, with photos, about the origin of Christmas, Christmas trees, and evolution of Santa, this site will suit your purpose well. The four main topics include: Origins of Christmas, Evolution of Santa, The Christmas Tree, and Twas the Night Before Christmas. Students researching old customs will appreciate the simple approach.

tag(s): christmas (66), trees (30)

In the Classroom

Art teachers, enlarge the antique photos and engravings by double clicking on the small picture. The enlarged image can be printed to be included in a vast choice of art projects. Around the holidays, project one of the pictures on your interactive whiteboard or projector for students to use as a writing prompt, as they write a story about what they feel the picture portrays.

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If you were President - Scholastic

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5 to 8
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Students can have a taste of what it's like to occupy the highest office in the land with this clever, interactive activity. The site guides them through the process of ...more
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Students can have a taste of what it's like to occupy the highest office in the land with this clever, interactive activity. The site guides them through the process of selecting a cabinet, balancing a budget, responding to questions from the press, and reading reactions in the daily papers! A very thought provoking and enlightening site for helping kids understand the complex issues faced by America's presidents. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Have students work on individual computers and try out being the president. Can they balance the budget? Choose the ideal cabinet members?
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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George Washington - American Presidents - University of Virginia

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6 to 12
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This George Washington page includes a quick fact sheet, a short biography, and links to additional information on Washington's advisors, administration, and accomplishments. It is...more
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This George Washington page includes a quick fact sheet, a short biography, and links to additional information on Washington's advisors, administration, and accomplishments. It is part of a very complete collection of presidential resources that could be a staple of an American history curriculum. Some of the activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): presidents (130), washington (36)

In the Classroom

Use this site for research projects about the United States first president! Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an introduction to this unit or as review. On the site are copies of some of Washington's speeches that the Miller Center has put in transcript form. One that would be especially useful is the "Farewell Address," that came to influence US Foreign Policy through WWI. Share the speech on the interactive whiteboard or projector, and have students either read it aloud in pieces or individually. Even parts of the address incorporated into a lecture would help illustrate to students US isolationism and the resonating effect of the speech in other areas of Foreign Policy.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Biographies of the Presidents - The White House

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4 to 12
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The White House web site includes short biographies of all the American presidents, suitable for introductory use or to compare presidencies. There are also a few facts about the presidents,...more
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The White House web site includes short biographies of all the American presidents, suitable for introductory use or to compare presidencies. There are also a few facts about the presidents, presidential "firsts," and the various administration. The site includes several video clips, some require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): presidents (130), white house (14)

In the Classroom

Share the historical video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for research projects on the U.S. Presidents. This site is a perfect addition to your Presidents' Day celebration!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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From Prejudice to Pride: An African American Journey - Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum

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5 to 10
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Celebrate great African-Americans from this complete link. Research those famous in medicine, politics, arts & entertainment, armed forces, and sports. This site is actually a downloadable...more
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Celebrate great African-Americans from this complete link. Research those famous in medicine, politics, arts & entertainment, armed forces, and sports. This site is actually a downloadable PDF file of a Teacher's Guide with standards, objectives, printables, discussion questions, and specific activity ideas. The PDF file links to a site that provides a timeline of "prejudice to pride." Examples of activities include analyzing photos or poetry, research presentations, and writing exercises. This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): africa (178), black history (60)

In the Classroom

Use this site for research projects about amazing African-Americans. Most of the activity suggestions are more traditional projects and writing assignments. If you want to add some technology touches, why not have students create a fictitious blog from one of the heroes highlighted at this site, or a cross-time dialog via email or text message between a slave from the 1800s and Barack Obama, or create a PowerPoint resume about the man (or woman) they researched.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Myths, Folktales, & Fairy Tales - Scholastic

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for some new tricks to teaching this genre (fairy tales, folktales, and Myths) to your students? Check out this site that provides lesson plans, interactives, class activities,...more
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Looking for some new tricks to teaching this genre (fairy tales, folktales, and Myths) to your students? Check out this site that provides lesson plans, interactives, class activities, reproducible pages, and more. The lesson plans and activities are divided by grade level (K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12). The site says that the lessons (for all levels) will take approximately one day/class period. Don't miss the colorful interactive: Myths Brainstorm Machine (designed for grades 3-8). This site requires Adobe Acrobat and Flash. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): air (163), folktales (65)

In the Classroom

The possibilities at this site are endless! Take advantage of the grade-appropriate activities, interactives, lesson plans, and printables. Have students work with a partner to try out the Brainstorm Machine. Use this site to create a writing station. After studying the genre, wy not have students create illustrated virtual books of their own using a free tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Daryl Cagle's Professional Cartoonists Index - MSNBC

Grades
6 to 12
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We know that today's students are far more accustomed to learning through images than students of the past. This site is a collection of the work of dozens of political ...more
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We know that today's students are far more accustomed to learning through images than students of the past. This site is a collection of the work of dozens of political cartoonists and is constantly updated to provide fresh content tied to the news of the day. The site is surprisingly deep, however, and has cartoon galleries that go back at least five years.

Teachers should be aware of several cautions however: Preview the cartoons collections for age-appropriateness; understand that the site does contain advertisements; and recognize that the images are copyright protected. Teachers are advised to post links to specific cartoons rather than trying to "cut and paste" the cartoons into websites or other documents.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (72), politics (100)

In the Classroom

Use the political cartoons on this site to introduce a class discussion on current events, civics, or government. Try using a cartoon as a writing prompt either for individual students or for collaborative work. Post a link to a particular cartoon or cartoon series on your classroom blog for discussion. Have students try to create a cartoon (either drawing or using computer generated images) depicting current events in the news.

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Lincoln 200 Years - C-Span

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6 to 12
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This site, created by C-Span, examines numerous areas of Abraham Lincoln's life and legacy. Main areas of this site include Schedule, Timeline, Videos, In His Own Words, & Gallery....more
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This site, created by C-Span, examines numerous areas of Abraham Lincoln's life and legacy. Main areas of this site include Schedule, Timeline, Videos, In His Own Words, & Gallery. The highlight of this site is the video link. Click and find video clips (some reenactments, others lectures) about the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, Gettysburg Address, Pre-Presidency, and his Assassination. This site also highlights the release of four new pennies in February 2009.

Be aware: the links in the left sidebar will take you to the parent site (C-Span), not the Lincoln information. The right sidebar provides a list of recommended websites about Lincoln. This site requires Real Player, you can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), emancipation proclamation (12), lincoln (86), slavery (71)

In the Classroom

If you are planning for the 200th birthday of Lincoln or any study of the Lincoln era, check out this site! This is a phenomenal site for any secondary class. Use this site for research projects. Share the videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students create their own videos of reenactments based on their research. Share the videos on TeacherTube (explained here).

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Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Grades
3 to 12
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This simple site offers several "Classroom Connections" to use in conjunction with a field trip to the museum. However, many of these ideas could easily be adapted into research projects...more
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This simple site offers several "Classroom Connections" to use in conjunction with a field trip to the museum. However, many of these ideas could easily be adapted into research projects or writing assignments for students in social studies or history class without a museum visit. All topics relate to Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, or 19th Century Kids.

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a starting point for projects about our 16th president. Although most relate to exhibits found at the museum, similar research can be found online. Have students choose one of the several topics to research further.

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Mr. Lincoln's Attic - Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum

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3 to 9
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This downloadable PDF file offers a very detailed lesson plan and classroom activities about Abraham Lincoln. Topics include "Who Do We Collect Artifacts," "Do Objects Talk," "What's...more
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This downloadable PDF file offers a very detailed lesson plan and classroom activities about Abraham Lincoln. Topics include "Who Do We Collect Artifacts," "Do Objects Talk," "What's In A Name," and "Oral History Interviews." Although this site was created as a "Teacher's Guide" for classes visiting the museum, the lessons can be used independently without a trip to Illinois! Each topic includes standards, discussion questions, printable pages, pictures, and more. This site requires Adobe Acrobat, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): letter writing (21), lincoln (86), presidents (130), writing (364)

In the Classroom

This "Teacher's Guide" is ready to go and easily adaptable to various grade levels. Project the discussion questions on your interactive whiteboard or projector, have students write responses to the questions or have a class debate. Print out the activities, and use this site as a mini unit. Have students interview a family member for the "Oral History Interview," and have students learn the meaning behind their own names with the lesson, "What's In a Name."
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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No Rest for the Weary - The New York Times on the Web

Grades
6 to 12
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This website features a "ready to go" lesson plan highlighting key events in Abraham Lincoln's life from 1862-1864. The lesson includes objectives, standards, thinking questions, interactives,...more
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This website features a "ready to go" lesson plan highlighting key events in Abraham Lincoln's life from 1862-1864. The lesson includes objectives, standards, thinking questions, interactives, a culminating exercise, and more. Students will browse articles from the New York Times, research key questions using interactives, and write reaction papers. Use this site to celebrate Lincoln's 200th birthday in 2009! This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

teach about our 16th president? Use this easy-to-follow lesson plan with your class. Share the interactives on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Rather than having students write reaction papers, have students complete a multi-media presentation, such as a PowerPoint or even a news broadcast. Share the video of the news broadcast on SchoolTube (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Podcasts: Civil War Tours - civilwartraveler.com

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4 to 12
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This site includes 14+ podcasts focusing on famous battles of the Civil War. Each location also includes a detailed map, brief description, dates, and more. Most are rather lengthy...more
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This site includes 14+ podcasts focusing on famous battles of the Civil War. Each location also includes a detailed map, brief description, dates, and more. Most are rather lengthy ranging from twenty to fifty minutes. This site opens slowly at times and requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), gettysburg (26), lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

Share the podcasts on your projector or interactive whiteboard. (Download in advance to avoid delays). While listening to the podcast, project the map on the screen for students to view. After hearing a podcast have students create blog entries from the perspective of the soldiers at the battle. In younger grades, brainstorm ideas together before they start writing the blog entry. In the older grades, have a debate. Divide your class into two debate teams (Confederates or Union). Draw names randomly and allow the teams time to research the REASONS why they support their side of the war. For a shorter assignment, have a class discussion about how the Civil War and battles would have been different if the television (and YouTube) was around to broadcast the highlights of the battles. Would the war have ended more quickly or lasted longer? Why? Another idea: divide your class into groups and have the cooperative groups create local maps that highlight a location that has connections to Abraham Lincoln or the Civil War (if applicable).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Lincoln Bicentennial: 1809-2009 - Library of Congress

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K to 12
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If you are preparing for Lincoln's 200th birthday or a unit about the 16th President of the United States, check out this site. Designed for students in all grades, there ...more
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If you are preparing for Lincoln's 200th birthday or a unit about the 16th President of the United States, check out this site. Designed for students in all grades, there is an interactive timeline, online quiz, podcasts, detailed lesson plans for all grades K-12 (with standards), printable pages, research information, suggested literature for all ages, information about the Civil War, Gettysburg, and more! Much of the site requires Flash; some of the printables require Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), gettysburg (26), gettysburg address (18), lincoln (86), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Be sure to save this site in your favorites! Share the interactive timeline, online quiz, and podcasts using your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site for research about our 16th President. Have students create a blog from Lincoln's point of view (or from a slave's point of view AFTER the Emancipation Proclamation). Use the lesson plans designed for the grades that you teach. (Don't miss the history, language arts and writing, and art lessons).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Illinois Lincoln Bicentennial Commission - Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission

Grades
K to 12
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This site, designed for older students and adults, offers a wealth of information about the 16th President of the USA. There are "Lincoln Links" for more information, celebration ideas...more
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This site, designed for older students and adults, offers a wealth of information about the 16th President of the USA. There are "Lincoln Links" for more information, celebration ideas (for the bicentennial), Lincoln organizations, and more. This site is best suited for research projects, although the Celebration Ideas offer 101 exciting ways for students of ALL grade levels to celebrate the 200th birthday of one of the United State's greatest leaders. Some of the links and information require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): illinois (9), lincoln (86), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Use this site to take your middle and high school students on a walk in Lincoln's shoes. Share his home, legacy, photos, and more on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Try something new to excite your students about learning history: create a blog, wiki, video, website, or PowerPoint presentation.

If you teach ANY level, don't miss the Celebration Ideas. There are activities listed for grades K-12. They are ready to go and mostly easy to do. There are 101 to choose from!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Looking for Lincoln - History Hunt - Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition

Grades
2 to 8
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This site, originally created for students to use during a family field trip around central Illinois, shares information all about Lincoln. Students click to choose a location (Lincoln's...more
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This site, originally created for students to use during a family field trip around central Illinois, shares information all about Lincoln. Students click to choose a location (Lincoln's Law Office, Lincoln Courthouse, Lincoln's Tomb, and several others). Once "at" the location, students are given some basic facts about the locations, a "History Hunt Question" with several clues to help them solve the mystery, and a "Mystery History Object" with pictures of artifacts from the time period and a brief description of the picture. This site is excellent, but does not provide the answers to the "History Hunt Questions." However, most are easy to find at the site. What a fabulous way to celebrate the 200th birthday of one of the USA's greatest leaders.

tag(s): illinois (9), lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

Take your students on this virtual hunt during the month of February. Why not visit a new place each day, share the information, ask the History Hunt Question, and share the picture and information about the artifact. Share the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students create their own "History Hunt Questions" about the town where you live and any connections to Lincoln: Underground Railroad Houses, a courthouse that defends the rights of all races, or even a mint where they make Lincoln pennies. Have students share their History Hunt Questions on a class wiki or online as a Place Spotting challenge (Read more about Place Spotting here ).

Younger students will need to do the "hunt" as a whole class activity because of the reading level and sophistication of some of the History Hunt pages. If you have the chance for lower elementary students to work together with older "buddies," they could enjoy the hunt together without teacher guidance. Gifted students and better readers in lower grades could also work on their own.

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One Life: The Mask of Lincoln - Smithsonian

Grades
6 to 12
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Art, history, and government teachers will all delight in this informative website about Lincoln. There are pictures, detailed information, and even podcasts answering some famous questions...more
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Art, history, and government teachers will all delight in this informative website about Lincoln. There are pictures, detailed information, and even podcasts answering some famous questions (such as Why Did Lincoln Grow a Beard). You will also see the works of Mathew Brady. Take your students on the "Audio Tour" of the exhibit - be sure to turn up the volume! Specific topics cover "The Rise of Lincoln," "The Civil War," and "Lincoln's Contemporaries." This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86), oil (45), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to take your students on the audio tour of the exhibit which features several podcasts. Art teachers, share the pictures with your students (especially the podcast about the cracked portrait). This site also provides some excellent research information. Have students work in cooperative learning groups to explore this site and then create a project: blog entry, wiki, video, PowerPoint, or something more "traditional."
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Dear Mrs. Roosevelt - New Deal Network

Grades
6 to 9
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This site uses letters written to Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt, during the Depression, to teach lessons about that difficult time to younger students. Transcripts...more
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This site uses letters written to Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt, during the Depression, to teach lessons about that difficult time to younger students. Transcripts of the letters are indexed, and most include the responses sent by Mrs. Roosevelt's secretary. In nearly all of the cases, the responses simply say that Mrs. Roosevelt gets so many requests for help that she cannot grant the children's requests. While this is certainly understandable, some students may find it surprising, as they have gotten used to "feel good" stories in the press about poor persons' wishes being granted. This may serve as an important discussion tool in helping students understand the very real distress suffered by many families during the Depression. The remainder of the site looks at several larger social service projects that Eleanor Roosevelt strongly supported, and which helped the poor in much more important ways than the granting of small requests by children.

tag(s): franklin (12), great depression (25), new deal (6), roosevelt (16)

In the Classroom

This site might serve as an important resource during a study of the Great Depression. It can be helpful for students to appreciate the individual hardships suffered by families; these stories are more real than the more complex accounts of financial disasters and bank failures. Students might also be encouraged to compare the requests of these children to their own "wish lists," or consider the ways that social service agencies ought to focus their efforts to assist the poor. Because this is a part of a larger site focused on the New Deal, there are extensive classroom resources and ideas for projects and lesson plans under the "classroom" link. The "library" link leads to a photo archive that could be used as part of a presentation on an Interactive Whiteboard or projector, and the "timeline" link places the Depression into a larger historical context.

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Lincoln's 200th birthday coincides with Obama inauguration - The Earth Times

Grades
6 to 12
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This website is essentially a news article highlighting the inauguration of Barack Obama (the first African-American president in U.S. history) and the celebration of the 200th birthday...more
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This website is essentially a news article highlighting the inauguration of Barack Obama (the first African-American president in U.S. history) and the celebration of the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln. This article compares the two American heroes. The theme of Obama's inauguration is Lincoln and how the two men are similar. Both took office during critical times in U.S. history, both faced huge challenges, both are from the state of Illinois, and both are known for their inspirational speeches.

tag(s): inauguration (11), lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

Share this article with your students. Have your class compare Lincoln and Obama. If they both had cellular phones, what do you think they might text to each other? Have students research the two men and then create a fictitious wiki that the men might have written back and forth to one another. Have students write their own articles comparing the two men.

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