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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

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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 (47), elections (77), 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).
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Apollo 11 - 35 Years Later - NASA

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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 (74)

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!
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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 (83)

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

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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 (95), scientists (70)

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

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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

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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 (88)

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

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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 (162)

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

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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

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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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Famous Moments in Early American History

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6 to 12
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These eight, high-quality mini-movies highlight true stories of historical significance using scenes and portraits from Early America. Titles include "The Ben Franklin Story," "Declaring...more
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These eight, high-quality mini-movies highlight true stories of historical significance using scenes and portraits from Early America. Titles include "The Ben Franklin Story," "Declaring Independence," "The Treason of Benedict Arnold," "Paul Revere - Messenger of the Revolution," and more! Project in the classroom, or take your students to the computer lab for an impressive multimedia experience. A high speed connection is a must!

tag(s): colonial america (108), declaration of independence (13), franklin (12)

In the Classroom

Use these quick videos as a way to either review or introduce the American Revolution in your classroom. There is a lot of material in here, so we recommend creating some kind of graphic organizer or follow-along to help students digest and remember what's important.
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Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga - Smithsonian Natural History Museum

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5 to 12
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Climb aboard your own longship and take an amazing journey across the stormy Atlantic! The Viking Voyage, a narrated multi-media journey, is an amazing feature in this impressive online...more
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Climb aboard your own longship and take an amazing journey across the stormy Atlantic! The Viking Voyage, a narrated multi-media journey, is an amazing feature in this impressive online exhibition that documents the arrival of the Norsemen in the New World more than 1000 years ago. As the fascinating saga unfolds, students can learn how archaeology, saga studies, environmental studies, and human genetics have changed our understanding of the Vikings. This is a site to be explored in the computer lab with stereo headphones.

tag(s): ireland (12), vikings (10)

In the Classroom

Use the exhibit portion of this site as a learning center or station during a unit on the Vikings. For help creating a graphic organizer to accompany the center, we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).In the learning center there are also guides for both parents and teachers on how to use the site, so be sure to look for free lesson plans or classroom activities. This would be a helpful site for a world history classroom.
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Liberty! The American Revolution - PBS

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7 to 12
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This outstanding resource provides students with a concise understanding of the establishment of the American republic - from the earliest rumblings of rebellion, to the creation of...more
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This outstanding resource provides students with a concise understanding of the establishment of the American republic - from the earliest rumblings of rebellion, to the creation of the Constitution. Although a companion to a PBS mini-series, the site is filled with fascinating information, interactive maps, and lesson plans that can easily stand alone. Click on "Chronicle of Revolution" to find a collection of newspaper articles that focus on historical headlines. An assortment of interactive activities allows students to experience daily life in the colonies, discover the differences between American and British soldiers, and test their "Revolutionary" knowledge. If the American Revolution is part of your curriculum, consider incorporating this well-organized resource into your classroom plans.

tag(s): american revolution (88), colonial america (108), evolution (102)

In the Classroom

Under the "Teachers Guide" section, there are 6 pre-prepared lessons or extended units based on different aspects of the revolution. Each Teacher Guide comes with standards, resources and extension activities if you think it could or should last longer in the classroom. Be sure to take a look at this site if covering any aspect of the American Revolution, regardless of the subject.

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World Conflict Map - Nobel Foundation

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7 to 12
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Help your secondary students gain a greater understanding of some of the 20th century's most devastating military conflicts with this compelling, interactive map. Students can discover...more
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Help your secondary students gain a greater understanding of some of the 20th century's most devastating military conflicts with this compelling, interactive map. Students can discover where specific wars took place, who the main protagonists were, and which regions of the world have experienced the most unrest. Brief explanations about each conflict are also provided along with statistical information on the geographic distribution of Nobel Peach Prize laureates and nominees from 1901 - 2001.

In the Classroom

Share this site over the interactive whiteboard to introduce a unit on the Modern century and the warfare that has plagued it. Introduce the site, answering any questions before allowing students to explore it in cooperative learning groups. Because there is a lot of information here, this site works best if students have a graphic organizer to guide them through and highlight what is most important. For help creating graphic organizers, we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).

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Gold Rush - PBS

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4 to 8
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This kid-friendly site takes students on an unforgettable journey with the "forty-niners" as they leave their homes and families to seek their fortunes in California. The resource explains...more
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This kid-friendly site takes students on an unforgettable journey with the "forty-niners" as they leave their homes and families to seek their fortunes in California. The resource explains the sweeping gold fever of 19th century America and introduces some famous people - like Levi Strauss and Phillip Armour - whose lives were forever changed by the event. A helpful guide for teachers provides useful tips on using this site in class.

tag(s): california (27), gold rush (19)

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Vietnam Project - Texas Tech University

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7 to 12
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Although this site is still very much a work in progress, it contains some riveting resources that would be valuable for use in a 20th century American History class. The ...more
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Although this site is still very much a work in progress, it contains some riveting resources that would be valuable for use in a 20th century American History class. The "Teachers' Web" is not yet up and running, but the oral history interviews, available as audio files, are wonderfully revealing primary sources. If you are interesting in presenting the Vietnam War from a very personal, human perspective, consider using this on-line archive. The site also provides a collection of historical photographs and tips for conducting Oral History interviews - an unforgettable learning experience for your students!

tag(s): 1960s (30), 1970s (12), asia (72), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

Access the section entitled "Teachers Resource Web," and take advantage of the free lesson plans and collection resources.
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Separate is Not Equal - National Museum of American History

Grades
4 to 12
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The 50th anniversary of the historic Brown vs. the Board of Education decision is commemorated in this site that traces the history of segregation, the battle for education, and the...more
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The 50th anniversary of the historic Brown vs. the Board of Education decision is commemorated in this site that traces the history of segregation, the battle for education, and the events leading to the Supreme Court decision. Visit the teacher's guide (click on Resources) to find downloadable unit and lesson plans (aligned to national standards) which address the time period from Reconstruction to the Civil Rights movement. Teacher briefing sheets and student handouts are included - in fact, nearly everything required for an engaging and purposeful learning experience is there! This site is an online companion to a Smithsonian National Museum of American History exhibit. If you can't take your students to Washington, take them to the computer lab or project this site in class, and spend some time with this outstanding resource.

tag(s): africa (178), african american (114), segregation (15)

In the Classroom

Access the section on the homesite entitled "resources." On that page there is a section entitled "Teacher Guide," which has an abundance of free lesson plans that range topics of segregation, racism, and the civil rights movement. Take advantage of the guides and use them to address the more difficult subjects of race in recent American History.

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Civil War Through a Child's Eye - Library of Congress

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4 to 8
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This lesson plan from the Library of Congress helps students develop an understanding of the Civil War as they study primary sources and works of historical fiction. Students begin...more
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This lesson plan from the Library of Congress helps students develop an understanding of the Civil War as they study primary sources and works of historical fiction. Students begin by viewing a multimedia slide show, then examine and interpret photographs of Civil War-era children. Finally, students are asked to read several literary selections, and discuss the various war-time perspectives that are represented. A well-organized teacher's guide, links to on-line resources, and complete lesson plans aligned to national standards are provided.

tag(s): civil war (145)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this free lesson plan offered by the Library of Congress. The lesson plan has a nice interdisciplinary twist, so it could be utilized in either an English or History class.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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U.S. Capitol Virtual Tour - U.S. Senate

Grades
6 to 12
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If taking your students to Washington, D.C., just isn't a possibility, this site is the next best thing to being there. The interactive and user friendly multi-media tour provides panoramic...more
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If taking your students to Washington, D.C., just isn't a possibility, this site is the next best thing to being there. The interactive and user friendly multi-media tour provides panoramic views, fascinating historical information, and interesting details about many of the objects encountered along the way. This is an extensive tour, so a teacher-created map with explicit directions is strongly suggested before students embark on the virtual field trip. This one works best with a high speed connection.

tag(s): house of representatives (9), senate (9)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on the branches and houses of government. Students will be able to connect the visual images with the content, and also gain more insight from the text. To highlight whats more important from the site, have students complete a follow-along guide of questions. For help creating one, we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).

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White House Historical Association

Grades
1 to 12
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This entertaining and informational site about that famous residence on Pennsylvania Avenue is filled with something for everyone. Younger students can focus on the colors and shapes...more
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This entertaining and informational site about that famous residence on Pennsylvania Avenue is filled with something for everyone. Younger students can focus on the colors and shapes found throughout this historic home while meeting some "first kids" and famous "first pets." Older students can listen to audio clips of presidents during the last century, take several outstanding White House tours, and discover many historic treasures located throughout this famous home. Elementary and Middle School students will love the informational and interactive "Bird Watching Expedition," led by Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, Teddy Roosevelt and several other animated presidential personalities.

tag(s): presidents (131), white house (14)

In the Classroom

Use this site to provide background information for a unit on 19th and 20th century American history, to form the basis of a lesson or unit on the American presidency, or as a stand-alone enrichment activity for your history classroom. Lesson plans in printable PDF formats are available for all grade levels
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