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Teaching Tolerance - Southern Poverty Law Center

Grades
K to 12
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Teaching Tolerance is a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center and seeks to provide educators with tools to reduce prejudice of all kinds. You might already be familiar with ...more
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Teaching Tolerance is a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center and seeks to provide educators with tools to reduce prejudice of all kinds. You might already be familiar with this group's "Mix it Up" initiative which seeks to get middle school and high school students to sit with someone new for one day during lunch at the cafeteria. This site contains lesson plans, links for teachers, parents, teens, and kids, current topics related to prejudice, an on-line version of the Teaching Tolerance magazine, an order form for free curriculum materials, and links to other resources.

The teacher's link offers classroom activities (many interactive) that tie in with the lesson plans. There is also a link to receive FREE kits and handbooks! The "Parents" link offers activities and ideas for ages 2-17! There are online activities, recommended books, "talking points" for parents, and more. The "For Teens" link includes a wealth of resources: video clips, lessons, 10 steps to take action, downloadable posters, essays, and true stories. The Kid's link offers "read," "Explore," and "Play" options for elementary (and younger middle school) students. A "sign up" box appears when you first enter the site, click on the X to remove the box.

tag(s): bullying (50), diversity (35), tolerance (9)

In the Classroom

Of course, the obvious uses for this site include preparing for Black History Month or Women's History Month, consult this site for more than that! Don't just visit the Teacher's link, but check out the kids and teens links for videos and interactive that you can share on your projector or interactive whiteboard. If you are unsure of how to approach a touchy subject with your students--either a subject from the news like the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" rules, or something that is happening in your school or community, this site can provide resources for you and your students. Subscribe to Tolerance.org's emailed newsletter, or order one of the curriculum kits; the newest one is Viva la Causa about Cesar Chavez and the struggle for justice for farmworkers in the 1960s. This is a great addition to your school's anti-bully program! Take advantage of the free lesson plans, class activities, interactive, and book recommendations. This is definitely one to list on your class website!
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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This houses a WEALTH of resources! Thank you, Teaching TOLERANCE. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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Race Bridges for Schools - Race Bridges for Schools

Grades
3 to 12
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This is a teacher and professional resource containing lesson plans and links for promoting diversity and addressing racial divides. This site contains excellent lesson plans on diversity,...more
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This is a teacher and professional resource containing lesson plans and links for promoting diversity and addressing racial divides. This site contains excellent lesson plans on diversity, discrimination, multiculturalism, and tolerance. Each plan focuses on a person or event of a specific racial group, or a problem common to all multicultural groups. The plans do not specify a grade level, though many could be adapted for use from middle elementary level to high school. From Japanese internment to celebrating Thanksgiving in an American school, the plans and activities are excellent, varied, and fresh. The lesson plans are VERY detailed and provide objectives, but no correlation to standards. Many of the individual stories are available in MP3 format. You can listen to the stories using Windows Media Player or on any MP3 player, as well. Some of the lesson plans require Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): black history (60), diversity (35), native americans (78), racism (18)

In the Classroom

Use the lesson plans that are relevant to your class as you study different cultures, history, racial tensions in the U.S. , or even character education. Share the stories on your interactive whiteboard or projector. With older students, have cooperative learning groups explore different lessons. Have the groups create a multi-media presentation sharing their discoveries. Have the groups create an online book using a tool such as Bookemon . You could also use this site as the core of a contemporary topics debate series.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Quest for the Golden Ticket - University of Richmond

Grades
2 to 4
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Quest for the Golden Ticket is a web quest aimed at teaching citizenship and character traits. After a class read aloud of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, students will work ...more
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Quest for the Golden Ticket is a web quest aimed at teaching citizenship and character traits. After a class read aloud of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, students will work in small groups to identify the characteristics of good citizenship as directed within the web quest. Each student is assigned a character from the story and must compare and contrast his/her strengths and weaknesses. As a small group, they will compile a list of positive characteristics and personality traits that will allow their characters to enter Charlie's new chocolate factory for a chance at the Golden Ticket. This site requires Adobe Acrobat. The link for the video clip requires QuickTime. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): chocolate (7), ethics (17)

In the Classroom

Extend this web quest beyond the classroom by having students create posters with good citizenship characteristics and post them throughout the school. Taking it one step further, have the class create a brief commercial about being a good citizen and post it to the class web page for parents, administration and other classes to watch. Have students share their commercials on a tool such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Freecycle - The Freecycle Network

Grades
K to 12
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Need a bookcase or rug for your classroom or home office area? Perhaps you have extra, personally-purchased classroom supplies that you no longer use. There is a solution to both ...more
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Need a bookcase or rug for your classroom or home office area? Perhaps you have extra, personally-purchased classroom supplies that you no longer use. There is a solution to both dilemmas--Freecycle! Check this site to see if there is a local Freecycle group in your area. With 4,336 groups and growing, there's a good chance one is in your neighborhood. Twenty five states currently have participants. This grassroots, non-profit network's aim is to get unused 'stuff' into the hands of someone who can use it, and most importantly, they want to keep it out of our clogged landfills. Teachers are the most resourceful people on earth, and Freecycle is here to help fuel that creditable reputation. Membership is free -check it out!

tag(s): earth (231), earth day (111), environment (319)

In the Classroom

Share this site with your class as an idea for Earth Day or being "green." Encourage your school service club or student council to consider launching a Freecycle project. Be sure to list the link on your class website, so parents can freecycle too.

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TeachersFirst: Lesson Ideas for Lincoln - TeachersFirst

Grades
1 to 12
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For Lincoln's birthday or any time of year, here are ideas to better acquaint students with the life, times, and work of the 16th president of the United States. These ...more
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For Lincoln's birthday or any time of year, here are ideas to better acquaint students with the life, times, and work of the 16th president of the United States. These ideas feature both technology-enhanced lessons and non-tech experiences. Choose from the lesson titles (sorted by level) to find lesson ideas best suited to your students and the subjects you teach.

tag(s): civil war (145), debate (44), lincoln (86), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

No matter what subject you teach, you can find something to fit in your plans for Presidents Day or the Lincoln Bicentennial. Use these ideas and adapt at will. You can even email an idea to your teacher colleague to save a friend time!

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American Heritage Education Foundation, Inc. - The American Heritage Education Foundation

Grades
K to 12
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Social studies, history, and government teachers - be warned - this site may be the best FREE gift you receive this year. To sum it up in one word - ...more
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Social studies, history, and government teachers - be warned - this site may be the best FREE gift you receive this year. To sum it up in one word - WOW! The highlight of this site is ready-to-go lesson plans (with standards) divided by age level (elementary, middle, and high school). These FREE lesson plans are available online via a PDF file or you may order a FREE CD (they say it is a $150 value).

The elementary topics range from Colonial America to U.S. Presidents (with a focus on George Washington) to the History of Thanksgiving to The Pledge of Allegiance and MANY others. The middle school topics include the Declaration of Independence, Our National Documents, The Gettysburg Address, Religious Expression in School, and several others. The high school topics vary from the Mayflower, to Federalists 47, the First Amendment, and more. Each grade level also includes lessons on character education.

In addition to the wonderful lesson plans, the site also highlights the four themes of the foundation: Unity, Progress, Freedom, and Responsibility. There are also links to some fantastic social studies sites and a wealth of research information about America. Some of the lesson plans and printables require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): colonial america (108), constitution (82), gettysburg (26), gettysburg address (18), presidents (130), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Obviously, the lesson plans are useful for all grade levels. Take advantage of these free resources. Many include printable activities for your students to try out. Although the site isn't highly interactive, it does have some great ideas to incorporate into your class to bring history alive.

Make the lesson plans more "technologically advanced" by having students create a wiki or blog entry. Have your high school students complete the lesson on the First Amendment and then have them have a virtual debate about the First Amendment via a class wiki. Have your elementary students complete the lesson on U.S. Presidents and then have each student write a blog entry pretending to be one of the presidents (a great mini-research project). Have your middle school students complete the lesson on the Gettysburg Address and then try to create their own "Address" to talk about the current state of our nation. Have them share their "Address" on a video using YouTube or or TeacherTube (explained here).
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Kids Reading to Kids - Norma Krasinski and Don Marx

Grades
K to 6
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Start your own Kids Reading to Kids program. Focusing on underachievers, KRTK provides a free DVD, a sample book, and other resources to show how to boost the reading and ...more
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Start your own Kids Reading to Kids program. Focusing on underachievers, KRTK provides a free DVD, a sample book, and other resources to show how to boost the reading and develop character of elementary students. Some of the material does have a shipping and handling fee. Sign up for the Educator's Guidelines to learn how you can begin. There are links for teachers, parents, and students.

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this free resource in your classroom. Share the link on your class website, so parents can use the information at home. Or set up a service project school-wide to help boost reading and more.

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National Grandparents Day - National Grandparents Day Council

Grades
K to 6
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This site focuses on those important people: grandparents. Learn about the history of the holiday, when the holiday is celebrated, and find numerous classroom ideas to celebrate these...more
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This site focuses on those important people: grandparents. Learn about the history of the holiday, when the holiday is celebrated, and find numerous classroom ideas to celebrate these important people in our students' lives. There is a link For Teachers with a WebQuest (designed for middle to upper level elementary or middle school students). Under the link The Task you will find several individual activities that students of any age could do with their grandparent. Another link Activities and Resources offers a lot of information for teachers and parents. There are video clips, songs, printable pages, and more. This site requires Flash, Media Player, and Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): family (59), parents (58), poetry (225)

In the Classroom

Be aware that some students may have recently lost a grandparent; be sure to provide other options for some of the activities (for example, interview an aunt or uncle, rather than a grandparent).

Share the video clips (about the history of the holiday) on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Visit the Task page to learn several ways to incorporate this holiday into your language arts, social studies, or even music classes. You may want to share this site with families on your website or in your class newsletter.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Animalia - PBS Kids GO!

Grades
K to 5
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Join your child guides, Zoe and Alex, as they travel to Animalia (an interesting world of talking animals). This CGI-animated series is based on the best-selling children's book by...more
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Join your child guides, Zoe and Alex, as they travel to Animalia (an interesting world of talking animals). This CGI-animated series is based on the best-selling children's book by Graeme Base. At the Parents and Teachers link the site explains that Animalia teaches creativity, cooperation, persistence, world cultures, and language arts. Take a tour of Animalia, go to the Games and Activities link to find writing activities, art fun, creativity builders, and even mystery codes. There are also links to watch video clips! This interactive site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): creativity (119), literature (276)

In the Classroom

Use this site to spruce up language arts class! Take a tour of Animalia together on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work on individual computer to watch video clips and try the interactives. Have students write the story or "crack the code" at the Games and Activities link. Save this site in your favorites on your classroom computers so students can visit during language arts class or when work is complete. Use this site to help your ESL and ELL students further familiarize themselves with the English language. Gifted student respond well to this book. Consider extending your study of animals or writing by creating your own books modeled on Animalia.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Peace Corps Challenge - Peace Corps

Grades
4 to 12
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This site helps students make the global connections that we are all human and must help each other. The challenge is to help the people in the tiny village of ...more
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This site helps students make the global connections that we are all human and must help each other. The challenge is to help the people in the tiny village of Wanzuzu. Narina (your Peace Corps guide) will lead students throughout the many challenges of this website. Students meet up with the mayor to discuss the water contamination (and ways to fix the problem). Many natives meet up with students along the way to offer help and tips. Students learn about the overall health and health care by visiting the clinic. Many other points of interest are visited during the journey.

The site includes eight detailed lesson plans with standards, video clips, online stories and games, and much more to enhance the lessons. Teachers, click on the Teachers link on the main page to access all of the lesson information. The actual activity opens in a new window, so you can easily go back to the lesson plans at any time throughout the journey. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): agriculture (56), environment (319), water (130)

In the Classroom

Use the ready-to-go lesson plans to take your students on this life-changing journey to Wanzuzu. The interactive tour and activities would work well on an interactive whiteboard or projector. However, if individual computers are available, have students work with a "Peace Corps Partner" to navigate the site together. The lesson plans and activities can be used in language arts classes, social studies, geography, health, and science class. Use this site to help students think globally not just locally.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Pacer Kids Against Bullying - National Center for Bully Prevention

Grades
2 to 6
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This interactive site, geared toward the elementary school-aged child, highlights the signs and repercussions of bullying. Your students can play games or watch webisodes to learn about...more
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This interactive site, geared toward the elementary school-aged child, highlights the signs and repercussions of bullying. Your students can play games or watch webisodes to learn about this hot topic. Your students may want to enter the continuously-running essay contest at any time of the year. For Bully Prevention Awareness Week, this fun site is your one-stop place for information.

Note: At the time of this review, some links were "under construction." This site requires Real Player. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): bullying (50), cyberbullying (42)

In the Classroom

On your interactive whiteboard or projector, show the webisodes of bullying scenarios to spark conversations about this problem. After watching the webisodes, divide your class into small groups to create their own real-life anti-bullying 'webisode' to perform for the class. For Awareness Week, create your own poster contest against bullying
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Community Club - Scholastic

Grades
K to 3
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Learn about people in your neighborhood and the jobs they do: veterinarian, librarian, pizza maker, utility worker, mayor, police officer, firefighter, and pediatrician. Click on any...more
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Learn about people in your neighborhood and the jobs they do: veterinarian, librarian, pizza maker, utility worker, mayor, police officer, firefighter, and pediatrician. Click on any of the "people" to walk and talk through an informative tour about that career. You can click on the audio button to hear the information read aloud. There are also lesson plans and standards available at the Teachers Guide link that is available with each of the "people." The site also features online quizzes, lots of pictures, printables, and more.

tag(s): careers (134), fire (27)

In the Classroom

Use this site to help your students understand the concepts of community and community helpers. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share these useful people with your class. Highlight a career each week (or day) during a unit about community. Divide students into 8 groups (2-3 students per group) and have each group learn about a different career. Have the groups create simple PowerPoint presentations to share with the class on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Remember that PowerPoint shows print well into "big books." Extend your "community" by creating a class wiki about your school community, complete with digital pictures and interviews!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Owen & Mzee - Turtle Pond Publications

Grades
1 to 8
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This colorful and creative website shares the beautiful true story of the friendship between Owen and Mzee (a young hippo and a 130-year old tortoise). The resources available at this...more
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This colorful and creative website shares the beautiful true story of the friendship between Owen and Mzee (a young hippo and a 130-year old tortoise). The resources available at this website are truly amazing. The sound clips alone are guaranteed to delight your students. Teachers will find several interdisciplinary lesson plans, documentary videos, a detailed teachers' guide, a "picture pond" slide show of the area of Kenya where Owen and Mzee reside, interactive activities to learn Swahili, and more. The beauty of this website (and story) is its ability to teach acceptance, resilience, diversity, African culture, and more in a fun and engaging style. This website is truly a MUST SEE for any elementary or middle school class. Don't miss the "KIDS BOMA" link. This highly engaging link includes sing-alongs, games, video makers, and even "Mzee's Swahili Rebus". Many of the activities require Flash, some require Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): diversity (35)

In the Classroom

Opportunities abound at this image-rich website. Share the documentaries, video clips, and the story of Owen and Mzee on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Take a peek at the "ready to go" lesson ideas for grades 2-7. Use this excellent resource as a springboard for a class meeting on acceptance and diversity. Use the link for "KIDS BOMA" as a learning center. Share the video slide show as an anticipatory set on a lesson about the animals of Africa.

Be sure to share this link with the parents of your students in a class newsletter or on your class website.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Kidlink - Kidlink

Grades
3 to 12
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This website provides an online connection to students from various areas of the world. There are links provided for students, families, and teachers. The website is available in various...more
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This website provides an online connection to students from various areas of the world. There are links provided for students, families, and teachers. The website is available in various languages - English, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, and Portuguese. Students can share stories, artwork, and more. The educational content includes life planning skills (careers), social studies (geography, government, history, etc.), writing, and many other academic areas. Free registration is required for each student and teacher. All content is monitored by volunteer moderators. What a fabulous resource to use in geography or language arts class. This website doesn't just teach students about countries throughout the world, but also allows students to interact with students of various cultures as they write and respond to each other in this safe environment.

tag(s): careers (134), cultures (107)

In the Classroom

Students need not have their own email to use this site. Kidlink explains that they are permitted to use the teacher's email address (which allows you to monitor their activities, as well). You might want to use your "extra" email account. Set up accounts for your students to communicate in your world language class or as part of your study of other continents. With younger students, you may want to communicate as a whole-class activity, composing on a projector or interactive whiteboard.

If your school policies limit your ability to use such a site, see the FAQ information and ready-to-go presentation explaining Kidlink. Share it with your principal and parents. ALWAYS get written parent permission when sharing student work/ideas online.

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ConnectSafely - Tech Parenting Group

Grades
K to 12
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This site is a discussion-opener on safe use of the "social web." Some of the tools included are social networking sites, virtual worlds, chat, cell phones, video-sharing, and more....more
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This site is a discussion-opener on safe use of the "social web." Some of the tools included are social networking sites, virtual worlds, chat, cell phones, video-sharing, and more. There are tips and advice for just about any medium kids and adults use today, as well as discussion forums where parents can ask questions and share information. Each article and advice section can be emailed at the click of a mouse. You can also download and share printable version (site creators do ask that you not modify them and that you simply tell them if you do download and share). While some posts may not represent your point of view, the important thing is to open dialog.

tag(s): internet safety (105), safety (91), social networking (115)

In the Classroom

Include this link on your teacher or school web page for parents to access as part of a plan to work together. Consider using it as a hub for an evening discussion session with parents and students in a "round table" to air concerns and work together. Simply blocking or ignoring these tools is not educating or helping our kids. We want our students to grow into safe and responsible citizens both online and in person. If your school can involve and inform parents and students, you will have a better likelihood of using the new tools of the web in productive classroom settings, as well.

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Make a Child Smile - Make a Child Smile Organization

Grades
K to 12
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Who wouldn't want to make a child smile? This tax-exempt organization solicits cards to be sent to their featured children. Click on the "Send a Card" area in the ...more
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Who wouldn't want to make a child smile? This tax-exempt organization solicits cards to be sent to their featured children. Click on the "Send a Card" area in the center of the home page. Each month different children with dire physical ailments are featured. The site provides addresses of each of these children in hopes of their receiving much encouraging mail. Your students will enjoy reading about the different children featured.

tag(s): holidays (152), service projects (27)

In the Classroom

Classroom teachers are always on the lookout for ways to teach generosity, caring, and service to others. Students can choose one child to "adopt" during the school year. Cards and letters (and gifts?) can be sent throughout the year, and especially during any of the holiday periods, when the spirit of 'giving' is foremost on our minds. Adopting a child through this organization promotes acceptance of diverse physically-challenged children. School counselors should embrace this site to promote the goodwill of men (children). Perhaps your student council or service club is looking for a project. Share this site as a possibility.

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Holiday List to Santa - Funbrain

Grades
K to 2
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Children type in their Holiday wish list through this interactive site. There is some advertising, but it is easily ignored. After keying in the list, print it and send it ...more
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Children type in their Holiday wish list through this interactive site. There is some advertising, but it is easily ignored. After keying in the list, print it and send it on to...Santa? Home in the backpacks? This site requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): christmas (66)

In the Classroom

Turn this experience into a service project by creating holiday wish lists of items to collect and give to needy families. Or make "pretend" lists of items your favorite characters from books would ask for and posting them in your classroom. Sometimes it is hard for students to "put themselves in someone else's shoes" during the holiday season, but this activity might provide the incentive to think less selfishly.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Understanding and Raising Boys - PBS

Grades
K to 12
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It isn't easy being a boy growing up during the 2000s. This revealing website discusses how parents (or teachers) can better understand and raise boys. The objective is to help ...more
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It isn't easy being a boy growing up during the 2000s. This revealing website discusses how parents (or teachers) can better understand and raise boys. The objective is to help parents to raise boys who feel confident, succeed in school, and grow up resilient and responsible. The interactive features include slideshows and videos. The topics of this helpful website include "Boys in School," "The Search for Masculinity," "Active or Aggressive Boys," and "Emotionally Strong Boys". There is also a question/answer section. Some of the activities require FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

Provide this website in your class newsletter or as a link from your teacher web page. There is also pertinent information for teachers at this website. Use this site to help better understand the boys in your class before you pick up the phone to call home.
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Bullying - BBC

Grades
2 to 10
5 Favorites 1  Comments
  
This site addresses the important issue of bullying. It includes videos, reports, information guides, quizzes, polls, and more. This site also talks about the less frequently discussed...more
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This site addresses the important issue of bullying. It includes videos, reports, information guides, quizzes, polls, and more. This site also talks about the less frequently discussed forms of bullying - such as girls bullying girls, cellular phone bullying and other less "traditional" forms of bullying (which unfortunately are becoming more common).

tag(s): bullying (50), cyberbullying (42)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to talk to your class about bullying. Perhaps you can even use this discussion to prompt a journal entry, skit, or other personal response on the topic of bullying and how to handle it. Provide this link for parents to read at home with their students. Parents need to know what could be going on in their students' lives and how to help.
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Comments

Great Lydia, OR, Grades: 7 - 8

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The Giving Tree Lesson - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 8
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
A Christmas gift from one of our own staff, this lesson based on Shel Silverstein's book The Giving Tree is sure to get you students thinking about the Christmas spirit. ...more
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A Christmas gift from one of our own staff, this lesson based on Shel Silverstein's book The Giving Tree is sure to get you students thinking about the Christmas spirit. We're also offering a place for you to share your students' responses on TeachersFirst's own giving tree.

tag(s): christmas (66)

In the Classroom

This lesson can be adapted for use in language arts class with students of varying ability levels in grades 2 - 8. This lesson is also well-suited to a multi-age activity with "big buddies" and "little buddies" from upper and lower grades working together. School counselors and emotional support teachers may find this activity helpful for small groups working on social skills, as well.

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