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The Costumer's Manifesto - Tara Maginnis, Ph.D

Grades
7 to 12
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This is an amazing site for kids who ask, "But what did they WEAR?" In today's fashion-conscious society, looking at the past is often quite amusing, eye-opening, and insightful. A...more
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This is an amazing site for kids who ask, "But what did they WEAR?" In today's fashion-conscious society, looking at the past is often quite amusing, eye-opening, and insightful. A worthwhile site for teachers of theater, history, English, and even family and consumer science -- since the site even includes some patterns. Clicking on any of the options in the opening menu will take you to specific areas of that subject through history. The "Costume History sorted by Period" is truly fascinating as it offers drawings, patterns, and rationale for clothing of different time periods, including materials used and practical reasons for everything from codpieces to headdresses.

tag(s): costumes (6)

In the Classroom

This is a HUGE site worth dipping into for everything from history of clothing to wedding rituals and ceremonies of all kinds. As you introduce the setting of a new piece of literature or study of a new historical period, share this site to make another time "real" to your fashion-conscious teens. Include this site for fashion, costuming, or customs as one of the student research topics for a time period or lit study.

Note: The site is not terribly attractive as a set of links. It also has advertising and links to "outside" topics. Give precise directions for where students should go.

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National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)

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K to 12
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The mission of National Council for the Social Studies is to provide leadership, service, and support for all social studies educators. ...more
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The mission of National Council for the Social Studies is to provide leadership, service, and support for all social studies educators.

In the Classroom

Within the Classroom Resources section of this website to look for free lesson plans and classroom activities. The lessons are organized by grade level, so be sure to pass it along to peers in other grade levels. Save this one as a favorite to allow for easy access and retrieval.

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My Hero - My Hero Project

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K to 12
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Looking for an online project-based interactive website that encourages literacy and cross-cultural communication? Looking for an alternative culminating project or process writing...more
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Looking for an online project-based interactive website that encourages literacy and cross-cultural communication? Looking for an alternative culminating project or process writing project for your secondary classes? Trying to help your high school juniors and seniors create an interesting college "essay" or portfolio piece? Join other adults and children from around the world by adding your essay, artwork or video about a hero on this non-profit, ad-free web site. You and your students can use this site with basic word processing knowledge -- or take it further if you are more technically capable.Site registration is required. Site is available in Spanish. Flash, Acrobat Reader and Quicktime are required. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): gifted (96), heroes (24), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Be sure to visit the Teacher's Resource section for helpful hints and links. Use any word processing program to type essays, then copy and paste into the My Hero class page. Provide a link to the class page on your teacher web page so students, parents, and relatives can read the essays. As always follow your district policies regarding posting student work on the Internet. It is HIGHLY advisable to get written parent permission for such a project!

Very young students could work together as a class to write their entry. Older students and those with more technology available will definitely want to try the videos! If you know iMovie or Windows Moviemaker, this is a terrific project. It is well-suited for gifted students, as well.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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43 Folders Cornell Notes - 43 Folders

Grades
6 to 12
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Looking for a simple way to teach note-taking skills? This wiki web site provides a template and simple instructions for taking notes Cornell style. The template contains a ...more
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Looking for a simple way to teach note-taking skills? This wiki web site provides a template and simple instructions for taking notes Cornell style. The template contains a 4 section layout that includes a section for demographics such as name and topic, a section for simple, bullet-style notes, a section for review questions based on the notes and lastly, a section for a summary. Simple and easy - a tool every student can benefit from utilizing.

tag(s): note taking (32)

In the Classroom

Special Ed teachers will find this system quite helpful for their struggling students. Consider teaming up with content-area teachers to require it of ALL students! Teachers may want to use the template in their own graduate coursework, as well.

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Create your own R.A.F.T.S. Prompts for Social Studies - Northern Nevada Writing Project

Grades
4 to 12
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Looking for writing prompts that are fun and geared toward social studies? Trying to reinforce content knowledge using writing? Look no further! This web site offers a great ...more
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Looking for writing prompts that are fun and geared toward social studies? Trying to reinforce content knowledge using writing? Look no further! This web site offers a great way to create writing prompts simply by clicking on an icon and receiving the luck of the draw. The teacher chooses the subject and by random selection, the web site chooses the Role, Audience, Format, Topic and Strong Verb. Students can also create their own, though it may be tricky for lower grades (might require several walk-throughs). Great for students who struggle with brainstorming writing topics.

tag(s): writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Use this for literature contracts or guided reading assignments. It is also helpful for teachers who are having writer's block! Great way to tie social studies to language arts.

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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 (288)

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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Autobiography Time line - National Geographic

Grades
2 to 8
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Autobiography Time Line is a back-to-basics tool for creating simple time lines. With the user-friendly format for entering information, this site could be a great method by which...more
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Autobiography Time Line is a back-to-basics tool for creating simple time lines. With the user-friendly format for entering information, this site could be a great method by which to begin time line introduction lessons as well as for organizing and writing informational pieces. The time line capability could be utilized for either autobiographies or biographies. Be prepared for the simplicity of this site. It does not contain a variety of editing options.

tag(s): time (144)

In the Classroom

Perfect for an interactive white board demonstration of time lines. A great add-on to informational pieces as an appendix, supplemental material or visual explanation. Include the time line activity as part of a social studies unit on family history or as part of research projects on authors or famous people.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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 (36), famous people (19), images (266)

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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Totem Poles - Pat Kramer

Grades
4 to 8
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Learn the basics and debunk the myths about totem poles using the site created by a "transplant" to the Pacific Northwest. Although the write is also selling a book, ...more
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Learn the basics and debunk the myths about totem poles using the site created by a "transplant" to the Pacific Northwest. Although the write is also selling a book, there is significant information, and the photos are helpful in understanding the iconography of totem poles.

In the Classroom

If you use the site with elementary children, you may want to let them partner-read some of the longer text portions. Use this site as part of a unit on indigenous peoples of the Americas, then have the students create their own totems in an authentic way. Art teachers may want to use this as an inspiration for a totem-like project in clay, wood, or other materials. The connections to oral history are fascinating and can lead to lengthy discussion in a history class about how we "know" what we say happened before written history.

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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 (96), 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.
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NOVA Wings of Madness - PBS

Grades
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

Grades
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 (205)

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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American Experience The Gold Rush - PBS

Grades
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 (58), lincoln (86), migration (59)

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

Grades
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!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Native American Nations - Lisa Mitten

Grades
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

Grades
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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