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Slavery and the Making of America - WNET

Grades
7 to 12
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Follow the development of slavery in America from its beginning in 1619 to Reconstruction. This companion site to a PBS special examines the climate in which the institution existed...more
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Follow the development of slavery in America from its beginning in 1619 to Reconstruction. This companion site to a PBS special examines the climate in which the institution existed and brings some very human, very compelling stories to light. Features include historical essays and personal narratives, primary source documents, sound files depicting the music in slave life, an interactive time line, and audio recordings of interviews with former slaves.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities hosted on this site within "K-12 Learning." Save this site as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval for a unit on Slavery leading up to the Civil War.

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You are the Archaeologist - Association for Preservation of Virginia Antiquities

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4 to 7
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Become a virtual archaeologist and help excavate a site in Jamestown Virginia to reconstruct the life and culture of colonial America. After spending some time in the "field" unearthing...more
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Become a virtual archaeologist and help excavate a site in Jamestown Virginia to reconstruct the life and culture of colonial America. After spending some time in the "field" unearthing artifacts, visitors can enter the virtual lab and begin to catalog and analyze the objects. Students are challenged to identify and determine the approximate ages of the artifacts, while strengthening creative problem-solving skills. Another virtual activity on the site guides budding archaeologists through the historical recreation of a 17th century structure from a single posthole.

tag(s): jamestown (11), virginia (16)

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Place the State - Sheppard Software

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4 to 8
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Drag each state to its correct position on the map. This interactive game keeps track of "average miles of error" and challenges students to learn more about names and locations ...more
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Drag each state to its correct position on the map. This interactive game keeps track of "average miles of error" and challenges students to learn more about names and locations of states. No hints are provided.This site requires FLASH.

tag(s): states (162)

In the Classroom

What a great way to have students know American geography better than physically moving the states in their places? Introduce this site on the interactive whiteboard before allowing cooperative learning groups to complete the activity on classroom computers. Have a class challenge as students try and compete to see which group can get the lowest average error mileage. This would be a great refresher before a US history class (particularly before a unit on the Civil War where state geography is important) or during a Geography class first learning the basics!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Declaration of Independence - National Archives

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7 to 12
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The National Archives has created an intriguing site that reveals some little known information about this historic document. Discover the number of signers who were born in Europe,...more
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The National Archives has created an intriguing site that reveals some little known information about this historic document. Discover the number of signers who were born in Europe, meet the signer who was a musician, and find out who was the youngest at the time of the signing. A special feature allows you to add your own signature to the document. Also includes a time line detailing the creation of the document.

tag(s): american revolution (86), declaration of independence (13), evolution (100)

In the Classroom

Use the "Meet the founding fathers" section as the basis of character roles for a in-class town hall meeting, recreating the events of the constitutional convention. Assign students different roles, i.e. founding fathers, and have them use the biographies of this site to allow them to research who their role was and what their beliefs were for a debate as to whether or not to sign the Declaration of Independence. If students stick to their assigned perspectives, the town-hall meeting can be a great way to review the important reasons for independence and the various perspectives that existed.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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How Everyday Things are Made - Stanford University

Grades
4 to 8
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Take the art of problem-solving to a new level with this intriguing site that gives students a front-row seat in the manufacturing process. Ever wonder how jelly bean are made ...more
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Take the art of problem-solving to a new level with this intriguing site that gives students a front-row seat in the manufacturing process. Ever wonder how jelly bean are made or how they get those "M's" on the "M&M's?" What about jumbo jets or denim jeans? Click directly on a product of interest, view and respond to the "Think About it" questions, read the responses of others, then watch a narrated video. "Apply it" questions, which follow each video, require students to use reasoning skills as they formulate responses based on what they've just learned. A great tool for teaching sequencing!

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Price of Freedom - Americans at War - National Museum of American History

Grades
7 to 12
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American military conflicts, from the War of Independence to the War in Iraq, are presented in this beautifully designed multimedia exhibit that examines their effect on American society...more
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American military conflicts, from the War of Independence to the War in Iraq, are presented in this beautifully designed multimedia exhibit that examines their effect on American society and our nation's history. Click on the interactive time line to access movies, photographs, artifacts, and text that provide succinct and riveting overviews of each conflict. This site would make an excellent independent computer lab activity. To enhance the experience, develop some essential questions and a "road map" to guide your students - then turn them loose. Downloadable teacher's manual available.

tag(s): civil war (145), vietnam (36), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an introduction to this unit or as review. The site hosts vast amounts of information about almost every major American conflict in exhibit form. Go through the exhibits with students through out the lecture as the images are of high quality and can supplement the lecture being given. This site also has valuable information for students working on research projects or papers. If thats the case, save this site as a favorite and refer students with questions to it.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Thanksgiving Clip Art - kidsdomain

Grades
1 to 8
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Use this small but good-quality collection of free seasonal clip art to spice up your classroom worksheets and handouts. Can be used in school publications and on Web pages. ...more
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Use this small but good-quality collection of free seasonal clip art to spice up your classroom worksheets and handouts. Can be used in school publications and on Web pages.

tag(s): clip art (10), images (266), thanksgiving (37)

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American Indian FAQ's for Kids

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4 to 7
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Although this informational site is heavy on text, it is filled with answers to many questions that kids typically ask about Native Americans. Design a simple scavenger hunt around...more
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Although this informational site is heavy on text, it is filled with answers to many questions that kids typically ask about Native Americans. Design a simple scavenger hunt around the site, or use as a reference for student research. Easy-to-navigate Q & A format.

tag(s): cultures (105), india (36), native americans (78)

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Outline Maps

Grades
4 to 7
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This great collection of black and white, printer-friendly outline maps represent every continent, many countries, various regions of the United States. American historical maps - showing...more
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This great collection of black and white, printer-friendly outline maps represent every continent, many countries, various regions of the United States. American historical maps - showing the Lewis and Clarke routes, the original thirteen colonies, etc. - are also included. Each map is available with or without labels and royalty free for classroom and personal use. Requires Acrobat Reader.

tag(s): maps (287), states (162)

In the Classroom

Use the maps on this site as an introductory activity for any and all history units that correspond with geography. Use the blank maps as formative assessments to determine what students already know about the spacial context of the events being studied. After the unit is over have students fill out the blank maps again to assess how much they learned over the course of the unit. Save this one as a favorite on your classroom computer!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The War of 1812 - History Channel

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7 to 12
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This companion site to a History Channel special provides some outstanding background information and multimedia presentations documenting the complex and tragic events of the War of...more
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This companion site to a History Channel special provides some outstanding background information and multimedia presentations documenting the complex and tragic events of the War of 1812. Even if you don't view the program, the video clips, timelines, lists of key players, and connections to the world news of the day are worth investigating.

tag(s): pennsylvania (6), war of 1812 (14)

In the Classroom

Open this site on the interactive whiteboard or projector to access some of the extremely informative videos that are offered about the War of 1812. The videos take several different perspectives, some from James Madison, the British, or from the eye of a historian. Select one of the videos and watch it with the class - although we highly recommend creating a follow along to accompany it.

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Viking Quest - BBC

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6 to 8
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Take your student to the computer lab, bring out the headphones, and take a virtual field trip to the year AD 793. This interactive multimedia game places students in the ...more
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Take your student to the computer lab, bring out the headphones, and take a virtual field trip to the year AD 793. This interactive multimedia game places students in the role of planning and executing a Viking voyage. Players must build a ship, hire crew members, cross the seas, loot a monastery, and return home safely. A great site for teaching history as well as problem-solving skills. This sites requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): vikings (10)

In the Classroom

Use this online challenge as a learning center or station during a unit on the Vikings. The interactive game would be a great way to help students review in addition to expanding upon that knowledge base. Every world History teacher will love this one.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Vote: The Machinery of Democracy - Smithsonian

Grades
7 to 12
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Voting methods in the United States are examined in this beautifully designed on-line exhibit created by the Museum of American History. The varied practices within individual states...more
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Voting methods in the United States are examined in this beautifully designed on-line exhibit created by the Museum of American History. The varied practices within individual states are explored as well as the historical evolution of our ballots and voting systems. Use this site to help students understand the Florida 2000 crisis, as well as the role technology and innovation have played in shaping our experiences at the polls. Although this resource was created for the 2000 election, the background information is valuable for teaching about elections in general and for comparing elections as part of U.S. history. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): college (43), elections (75), electoral college (16)

In the Classroom

Use the interactive exhibition portion of this site as a learning center or station during a unit on the US election process. (extra bonus if your class is specifically studying the 2000 election!)Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Apollo 11 - 35 Years Later - NASA

Grades
4 to 12
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It's July 20, 1969 and millions of Americans are glued to their television watching Neil Armstrong take that first historic step on the surface of the moon. This multimedia NASA ...more
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It's July 20, 1969 and millions of Americans are glued to their television watching Neil Armstrong take that first historic step on the surface of the moon. This multimedia NASA site recreates that Apollo 11 mission, from its launch to its splashdown. Students can view vintage photographs, listen to the mission's audio recording, browse news articles, and tour the video gallery.

tag(s): moon (72)

In the Classroom

Use the video clips over the interactive whiteboard to supplement the text in discussing the Apollo missions. The clip of the first landing would be a great way to introduce the topic, putting all students at the same level of understanding before beginning a lecture or class discussion. Great resource for a US history classroom!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made Modern America - NY Historical Society

Grades
7 to 12
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He's more than just a pretty face on the $10 bill! Alexander Hamilton's life and influence are examined in this site that presents a timeline of events during and after ...more
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He's more than just a pretty face on the $10 bill! Alexander Hamilton's life and influence are examined in this site that presents a timeline of events during and after his life, highlights from his writings, and a biographical gallery of his peers. Visitors can even test their knowledge of his life and accomplishments with a twenty-question interactive quiz. This is probably more information than your students need to know about Mr. Hamilton, but the site provides a unique approach to understanding some significant events in American history.

tag(s): constitution (79)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a introductory activity for a lesson on the founding fathers. Introduce this site on the interactive whiteboard or projector before allowing students to explore it on their own. We recommend creating a graphic organizer or follow-along for the website to insure students are getting the most out of it. What is great about it is that it provides students with a lot of historical and biographical information about Hamilton. This would be a great resource for a US history or Civics class.

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They Made America - WGBH

Grades
7 to 12
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Although this is a companion site to a PBS mini-series airing in November 2004, the content easily stands alone. Students can investigate the stories of influential "great minds" whose...more
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Although this is a companion site to a PBS mini-series airing in November 2004, the content easily stands alone. Students can investigate the stories of influential "great minds" whose entrepreneurial spirits dramatically affected American industry and culture and then play an NCAA-style "tournament" to isolate the most influential innovator. Information can be accessed via an index, an interactive map of the United States, or a timeline which juxtaposes American innovations and major events in history.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (101), scientists (69)

In the Classroom

Use the free lesson plans and activities offered on this site! Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start your study of the Invention Era. This would be helpful for a a US history class.
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1904 World's Fair - Missouri Historical Society

Grades
7 to 12
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Experience the charm, excitement, and innovation of turn-of-the-century America with this delightful trip back through time to the St. Louis World's Fair. This impressive site pays...more
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Experience the charm, excitement, and innovation of turn-of-the-century America with this delightful trip back through time to the St. Louis World's Fair. This impressive site pays homage to this monumental event, held to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase. Visitors can take a birds-eye virtual tour of the fair and explore over 20 of the structures, investigate "the Pike", and check out many of the innovations and oddities found along the way. The historical significant of the fair and its effect on American culture is also discussed. The period photographs, alone, make this a valuable resource for a unit on the Gilded Age or Progressive Era.

tag(s): air (163)

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Core Documents of U.S. Democracy - Government Printing Office

Grades
7 to 12
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Access current and historical U.S. government documents with the click of a mouse. This electronic collection includes the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Gettysburg Address, Emancipation...more
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Access current and historical U.S. government documents with the click of a mouse. This electronic collection includes the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Gettysburg Address, Emancipation Proclamation, as well as Supreme Court decisions, the Budget of the United States Government, and so much more. Selected and authenticated by the Government Printing Office's GPO Access service.

tag(s): american revolution (86)

In the Classroom

Use this as a resource for research projects or papers, particularly those debating a specific court decision or amendment. Useful resource for a US government class!

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Time and Life Pictures - Getty Images

Grades
7 to 12
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Art, Literature, U.S. History - Works by some of the greatest photographers of the 20th century are represented in this massive collection of powerful images documenting memorable events...more
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Art, Literature, U.S. History - Works by some of the greatest photographers of the 20th century are represented in this massive collection of powerful images documenting memorable events in American politics and culture. Project selected photos in class to introduce an event in history, inspire student photographers, or introduce a writing prompt. The sight is searchable and quite user-friendly. A fee is required to download images.

tag(s): photography (160)

In the Classroom

Use the photos found in this site for writing prompts. Search within the site or browse the subjects offered to find one that corresponds to a unit being studied. A good example would be the images taken of the Great Depression. Pull up a select few of the images and prompt students to tell the story of what is happening in the image, the emotions seen, and what kind of impact this is meant to have of the viewer. An activity like this does require some background knowledge so this might better suited towards the end of a unit as review. This site would benefit teachers of nearly any subject, especially history, language arts, civics and science.

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History Detectives - PBS

Grades
6 to 8
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Although this site is a companion to a PBS series by the same name, many of the activities can be used independently to tap into your students deductive reasoning abilities. ...more
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Although this site is a companion to a PBS series by the same name, many of the activities can be used independently to tap into your students deductive reasoning abilities. Prowl through the rooms of a virtual house to investigate clues and determine its age; open a time capsule to examine its contents and decide when it was originally buried; and learn about the many techniques used by historical sleuths, including forensic anthropology, DNA analysis, timber dating, and document examination. Some very creative interdisciplinary connections between science and historical research can be drawn from the resources on this site. Let your imagination run with this one!

tag(s): anthropology (11)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities offered on this site. Some can actually be used for other subjects beyond history - for example, there is a lesson on how to interview eye-witnesses that would be useful in a writing or English class. There are also videos of the show that can pertain to a particular unit. A few exist on the civil war that would be great to play during a US history course to add more interest and intrigue to the study of the war. Save this site as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval of lesson plans and activities!

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Gettysburg National Military Park Virtual Tour - National Park Service

Grades
7 to 12
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The story of the decisive battle of Gettysburg is told through battle images, tactical diagrams, biographies and eyewitness accounts. Distinctive sections provide insight on each day...more
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The story of the decisive battle of Gettysburg is told through battle images, tactical diagrams, biographies and eyewitness accounts. Distinctive sections provide insight on each day of the battle and allow visitors to "tour" the actual sites involved in the conflict. Students can experience the historical value of primary source information when they click on "Voices of Battle" link, which includes reminiscences from those who witnessed the bloodshed. While this site provides a beautifully detailed account of the battle, students may become bogged down by the extensive text. Use as a resource for in-class research, or as the focus of a Web hunt activity.

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

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