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New York State K-12 Social Studies Resource Toolkit - NYSED

Grades
K to 12
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This toolkit provides materials for teaching social studies topics through inquiry methods. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and begin by choosing from the three-grade level bands...more
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This toolkit provides materials for teaching social studies topics through inquiry methods. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and begin by choosing from the three-grade level bands to view available materials correlated to Common Core Standards. Each grade includes one annotated inquiry labeled with an asterisk. It is suggested to teach these inquiries first as they contain many suggestions and tips for teaching inquiry-based lessons. All inquiries include links to download in Word or PDF format.

tag(s): assessment (96), commoncore (92), professional development (121)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site for use when teaching social studies concepts throughout the year. Although created for New York teachers, activities correspond to Common Core Standards used throughout the country. Be sure to take advantage of all resources available such as worksheets, assessment suggestions, and teaching tips. Share with other teachers as you collaborate and plan together.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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An Illustrated Guide to Income Inequality in America (Shrinking Shares) - Andy Warner

Grades
8 to 12
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Learn about the growing gap between upper and lower income families in the United States through a series of cartoon images. Scroll through the page to see all images or ...more
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Learn about the growing gap between upper and lower income families in the United States through a series of cartoon images. Scroll through the page to see all images or click on any image to view as a slideshow. Each cartoon presents information beginning with the Great Depression to demonstrate the progression of the growing gap between top earners and all others.

tag(s): inequalities (29), money (192), statistics (122)

In the Classroom

Include this presentation with your lesson materials for any unit on the 20th Century or current events. Share on your whiteboard (or projector) during an election unit and have students research candidate's proposals for addressing income inequalities. Have students explore this topic further, then have them create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here. Use this information as a starting point for classroom debates on current events, economics, and more. Challenge students to create maps using Animaps, reviewed here, to include income information from around the country. Students can add text, images, and location stops with Animaps!

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KQED Education - KQED

Grades
6 to 12
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KQED Education offers a broad selection of resources for educators and students. Scroll through to find news articles and videos that are frequently published, relating to events around...more
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KQED Education offers a broad selection of resources for educators and students. Scroll through to find news articles and videos that are frequently published, relating to events around the world. Use the drop down box at the top of the site to view specific topics such as science or news and civics. The drop down for teachers includes links to resources for professional development and integrating articles into the classroom. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): independent reading (125), news (263), newspapers (93)

In the Classroom

Include a link to KQED Education on classroom computers. Be sure to help your weaker readers and ESL/ELL students by sharing the vocabulary words before reading, either on a handout or by projecting them on an interactive whiteboard (or projector). Highlight the vocabulary words in the text as you come to them. Teacher Librarians might want to keep this page open on computers for students who drop by the media center or include news notes from this site as part of your morning announcements. Do you have a student news show on your school TV channel? Find great material here for students to retell in their own words.

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Borderland - NPR (National Public Radio)

Grades
8 to 12
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Take a 2,428 mile road trip along the US/Mexican border to see and read the stories, culture, and goods that come together at the meeting points of these two countries. ...more
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Take a 2,428 mile road trip along the US/Mexican border to see and read the stories, culture, and goods that come together at the meeting points of these two countries. These 12 stories tell the tale of individuals along the border as told to reporters accompanied by US Border Patrol Agents. Each story includes stunning photography along with personal stories of those living on the border or attempting to cross into the US. The main page also includes a ticker that shows how many vehicles cross the border legally, how many pedestrians cross the border legally, how many people are detained for crossing illegally, and drug information. All of the numbers shown occur during your visit to the site Be sure to preview information before displaying for students as there is some content that may be inappropriate for younger classes.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (114), immigrants (19), immigration (57), mexico (34)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Assign a story to different student groups to explore and share with the class. Challenge students to create an infographic sharing their findings using Piktochart reviewed here.

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Ask the Judge - Tom Jacobs

Grades
9 to 12
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Ask the Judge provides information and answers for teens relating to the law. Scroll through the homepage to view the latest blog entries relating to court and law issues. Choose ...more
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Ask the Judge provides information and answers for teens relating to the law. Scroll through the homepage to view the latest blog entries relating to court and law issues. Choose the Teen Help Network link to find resources by state, including attorneys, classes for teens, drug treatment programs, and more. Receive answers to questions about the law in the teen chat room by posting your question or reading through questions and responses provided by Judge Tom. Be sure to check out the "Your Rights" portion of the site with extensive information about teen rights at school, on the Internet, and much more.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bill of rights (27), civil rights (110), courts (14), digital citizenship (53)

In the Classroom

Ask the Judge explores many topics of high interest to teens; introduce it on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here, to demonstrate different rights of teens. Share with school counselors as an excellent resource of information for students and as a resource for finding specific help in your state for youth who are in trouble. Use as part of a civil rights unit as you research real cases involving teens, have students find other similar situations and compare legal outcomes.

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World Affairs Council - Resources

Grades
6 to 12
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The World Affairs Council (WAC) is online to help you understand global issues. Find free lesson plans and templates categorized by Comparative World Affairs, Conflict Analysis/Mapping,...more
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The World Affairs Council (WAC) is online to help you understand global issues. Find free lesson plans and templates categorized by Comparative World Affairs, Conflict Analysis/Mapping, Culture and Communication, Freedom of the Press, and Justice. You'll also find links to Other Materials and Webinars.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): africa (181), climate change (63), cross cultural understanding (114), ecology (133), foreign policy (16), germany (27), news (263), terrorism (49), terrorist (16)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these free lesson plans and templates hosted by WAC. Use these in conjunction with their archive on YouTube for their weekly program World Affairs TODAY. Their YouTube channel contains various topics; some are specific such as Spying on Germany and Other Allies or Emerging Africa, and some are more general like global warming (or climate change) and the failure of the global economy.

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World Affairs Council - Washington, DC - World Affairs Council - Washington, DC

Grades
6 to 12
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In today's world, we need to understand and get involved in global issues. The World Affairs Council (WAC) is online to help you do that. Click on About Us to ...more
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In today's world, we need to understand and get involved in global issues. The World Affairs Council (WAC) is online to help you do that. Click on About Us to read the history of the World Affairs Council (WAC), find an explanation about their Global Education Program, information about their summer institute, and read about their Public Programs with the weekly national television program World Affairs TODAY; find out where to see the broadcast or get a link to the YouTube channel. There is a student section that describes their annual contest called WorldQuest. Explore the drop down menu tabs across the top and find free lesson plans and templates (under Resources), upcoming events, local WAC councils, and much more. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): africa (181), climate change (63), cross cultural understanding (114), ecology (133), foreign policy (16), germany (27), news (263), terrorism (49), terrorist (16)

In the Classroom

Thanks to instantaneous news shows and social media, the students of the 21st Century are very aware of global issues. That is not to say they understand them. Start a current events program in your class, you may want to look at Newsela, reviewed here, TweenTribune, reviewed here, or Flocabulary, reviewed here. Then turn to the World Affairs Council and their YouTube channel to get explanations about global issues. The topics are extensive; some are specific and some are more general like global warming (or climate change) and the failure of the global economy. All are current, and all will give your students a different perspective on the topic. With older students, each week you could put a different small group in charge of featuring a current event and ask them to research its history, and see if they can also find the topic on the WAC YouTube channel. Have those students create an annotated, narrated image including text boxes and related links using a multimedia tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here, to present to the class.
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Bystander Revolution - Take the Power Out of Bullying - MacKenzie Bezos

Grades
4 to 12
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Take a stand against bullying with practical ideas and information from Bystander Revolution. Choose the All Videos link to filter solutions from different perspectives, or filter by...more
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Take a stand against bullying with practical ideas and information from Bystander Revolution. Choose the All Videos link to filter solutions from different perspectives, or filter by specific problems or solutions. Most videos run less than two minutes in length. The presenters include well-known celebrities as well as "typical" students. Sign up for the weekly newsletter that includes a simple transformative task to complete each week along with other helpful tips and videos. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): bullying (54)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to talk to your class about bullying with these videos. 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 view at home with their students. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create their own videos addressing bullying issues. Start with Amazon Storybuilder, reviewed here, for students to plan their skit. Share them on a site such as SchoolTube, reviewed here. Be sure to share this site with your school's counselors and anyone else who deals with students who are being bullied.

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Curating Change - Global Fund For Women

Grades
6 to 12
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Curating Change offers a showcase of women from different cultures telling stories of how they have made a positive change in their life or community. Each featured woman also includes...more
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Curating Change offers a showcase of women from different cultures telling stories of how they have made a positive change in their life or community. Each featured woman also includes a curated exhibition of inspiring stories from other women. Examples include filmmakers discussing their fight against gender barriers, health workers taking on poverty, and activists showcasing those that speak out for change for themselves and future generations. Scroll down the page to find similarly curated exhibitions from 2011 through 2013. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): women (100), womens suffrage (26)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook from the perspective of one of the featured women or someone that they have helped.

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Parable of the Polygons - Vi Hart and Nicky Case

Grades
6 to 12
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Parable of the Polygons is a playful, yet serious, interactive look at how racism shapes our communities. The underlying theory is that people are generally tolerant and will only want...more
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Parable of the Polygons is a playful, yet serious, interactive look at how racism shapes our communities. The underlying theory is that people are generally tolerant and will only want to move if less than 1/3 of their neighbors look like them. Using that pretext, you move unhappy polygons until everyone is happy through an ongoing scenario of different situations.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (114), percent (84), racism (18), ratios (52)

In the Classroom

Parable of the Polygons is excellent for use in both math and social studies classes. Use in your social studies class to discover how bias affects diversity beginning with small situations through a larger picture. Challenge students to explore and interact through different scenarios to view changes. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a site such as PodOmatic, reviewed here. Share this site as an excellent interactive for use during math fairs.

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Panoramio - Joaquin Abela, Jose Conde and Eduardo Aguilar

Grades
1 to 12
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Panoramio uses Google Maps to encourage you to "share and explore the world in photos." Type in any place in the world to view the map and click on images ...more
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Panoramio uses Google Maps to encourage you to "share and explore the world in photos." Type in any place in the world to view the map and click on images submitted by other users. Browse by choosing the Explore option to see the world map, tags, or cool places. Double click on any image to view the full size image and additional information.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (185), directions (20), maps (285), photography (155)

In the Classroom

If you teach geography, this one is a must. It is also helpful for showing students WHERE a story or news event takes place. In lower grades, use it to show students basics of their community. Teach map skills by showing students their own community. Zoom in on their street or the school. Connect your Google account to Panoramio and upload student pictures of your community.
 

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I Side With - Taylor Peck and Nick Boutelier

Grades
6 to 12
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Two friends with opposing political views created I Side With as a resource for engaging in political discussion and learning about different points of view. Take the online...more
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Two friends with opposing political views created I Side With as a resource for engaging in political discussion and learning about different points of view. Take the online quiz to learn which candidate aligns with your beliefs the most. Explore the many polls on the site to view results from across the country. Break down information from the polls into additional information such as by state, city, party affiliation, ethnicity, and income.

tag(s): elections (77), politics (100), polls and surveys (46)

In the Classroom

I Side With is an excellent resource for use during an election unit. Have students research candidate information and compare and contrast points of view. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, or the Interactive Three Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here. Have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Ask your students to visit the site and create a multimedia presentation with the information they learn. Create a link to the News portion of the site on classroom computers and your class website to use as part of your current events resources.

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SheHeroes - sheheroes.org

Grades
2 to 12
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SheHeroes is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering girls from ages 8-14 to dream big and pursue any interests regardless of gender. Articles feature well-known and everyday...more
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SheHeroes is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering girls from ages 8-14 to dream big and pursue any interests regardless of gender. Articles feature well-known and everyday females that serve as inspiration for young girls. Choose the Features link to browse articles by categories such as engineering and sports. The video link offers several short videos of prominent women discussing how they have grown in their careers. Each includes a link to discussion questions for further exploration. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): careers (125), women (100), womens suffrage (26)

In the Classroom

Use SheHeroes as part of your Career Day or career unit resources. Add a link on classroom computers for students (male and female) to explore on their own. Take advantage of the further discussion questions to encourage students to think about the obstacles faced by women in business and society. Ask a prominent local business woman to speak to your class and discuss obstacles she has faced and how she was able to overcome those issues. Although the site is dedicated to girls from ages 8-14, share with both boys and girls from ages 8 and up as part of any unit on gender inequalites.
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NewseumED - Newseum.org

Grades
6 to 12
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Make history relevant to the world today and learn more about First Amendment issues at the same time. Find lesson plans, a multimedia collection of primary sources and artifacts, interactive...more
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Make history relevant to the world today and learn more about First Amendment issues at the same time. Find lesson plans, a multimedia collection of primary sources and artifacts, interactive tools, and worksheets. These are searchable by type, topic, and time-period. The focus of the lessons is historical connections, media literacy, and civics and citizenship. At the time of this review, there were three EdCollections titled "Making a Change," "Women, Their Rights and Nothing Less," and "Freedom in the Balance." The latter focuses on teaching and learning about 9/11 and the attacks in Paris, France 2015, and adhering to the First Amendment freedoms and concerns for safety and the public good. All of this is free with an email sign up.

tag(s): civil rights (110), freedom of speech (7), terrorism (49), terrorist (16)

In the Classroom

If you teach or even discuss civil rights, the First Amendment and its freedoms and ideals, current events, or the presidential elections be sure to look at the lessons provided here. The lessons will also help you show students how to tell facts from opinions in current events. Use ideas from the lesson plans to supplement your current teaching materials. Challenge small groups of students to create a simple infographic sharing their learning from the notes they took during the lesson. Use Piktochart reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Youth Radio - National Science Foundation

Grades
8 to 12
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Youth Radio offers training and resources for students to learn how to produce marketable media for large audiences. Listen to student podcasts created through the tutelage of Youth...more
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Youth Radio offers training and resources for students to learn how to produce marketable media for large audiences. Listen to student podcasts created through the tutelage of Youth Radio mentors. Features include discussions on current events, tech, health, and much more. Choose the For Teachers link to find many free lessons on how to use storytelling resources. These excellent lessons include videos and links to all printable materials required for teaching the lesson. The Creative Studio link features podcasts allowing young students to share their feelings, explore their passions, and build connections through creative projects. Preview topics before you share as some many not be appropriate for your classroom, depending on the age and maturity level of your students.

tag(s): digital storytelling (131), journalism (44), media literacy (51), podcasts (52), radio (27)

In the Classroom

Share student-created podcasts found on Youth Radio for use as a model during digital storytelling lessons. Take advantage of the free lessons offered on the site for use in your classroom. Share a link on your class website for students to explore and find podcasts that interest them. After listening to these student podcasts, have cooperative learning groups create podcasts of their own. Use a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here. Before creating their own podcast, have students create a storyboard using a tool like Amazon Storybuilder, reviewed here. They will also need to develop a script and practice. Try using Penflip, reviewed here, for students to write collaboratively. This tool allows groups of three or more to write together with complete version control.

Comments

This is one of the best sites on the web for engaging teens in the world around them. The "Teacher Resources" are phenomenal. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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Charity Navigator - Charity Navigator

Grades
1 to 12
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Discover a database of charities that include a rating system done by financial analysts to help you make an informed decision about which charities to support. Top ten lists select...more
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Discover a database of charities that include a rating system done by financial analysts to help you make an informed decision about which charities to support. Top ten lists select charities based on most followed, celebrity related, routinely in the red, relying on public contributions, top notch, low rated, charity worth watching, as well as many more categories. Learn about charities formed to help recent events such as an earthquake, Ebola outbreaks, or supporting our troops. Learn tips for donating like tax benefits, a guide to volunteering, giving in the workplace, or questions to ask before donating.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): communities (37), problem solving (257), service projects (24)

In the Classroom

Inspire your students to find worthy causes to give back and help other people in need. Give character education programs real purpose by discovering the many ways people need help. Challenge students to become an active part of your community and help others. Each class can choose a favorite charity to support through time or donations. Throughout the year, find ways to volunteer, collect money, or make a difference. Challenge each class to highlight the journey of giving in your community through a video documentary using a tool like Wevideo, reviewed here. Share videos using a tool like Schooltube, reviewed here. Keep a class blog documenting progress, plans, ideas, and experiences. New to blogging? Check out TeachersFirst's Blog Basics.

Comments

This is a "gift" to those who are interested in having their students realize that where they donate can be researched. Furthermore it shows how many are working to improve the world across multiple categories. This helps foster critical analysis. My students will be selecting a charity and arguing for its support. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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301 Prompts for Argumentative/Persuasive writing - New York Times

Grades
7 to 12
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Find 301 prompts from the New York Times (NYT) Learning Network's Student Opinion feature. Find a multitude of topics of interest to teens and they will have an opinion about ...more
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Find 301 prompts from the New York Times (NYT) Learning Network's Student Opinion feature. Find a multitude of topics of interest to teens and they will have an opinion about at least a few of them! However, their opinion is not all they are supposed to give. To submit, teens will need to have evidence-based, concise editorials much like the ones the NYT publishes daily. Once submitted the NYT and the Center for News Literacy at Stony Brook University will use a rubric to select winners, and then publish those on The Learning Network. We suggest obtaining parental permission before submitting anything.

tag(s): news (263), persuasive writing (54), writing (356), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

English/writing, social studies, and current events teachers are sure to find something here for their students to write about. Introduce a few of the prompts and the winning student editorials using an interactive whiteboard or projector to get students interested. Have students define what concise means and what it should mean in their writing. Point out the good writing habits of the student winners. Students should read the NYT's article(s) that give information about the topic of the prompt(s). At this time, you could have students choose a topic, or you could select several from which students could choose. You could also use one prompt a day as an opener or closer quick write. Another idea would be to have students respond on a class blog to the prompts and then make comments on each other's opinions. Haven't started blogging yet? Check out TeachersFirst's Blog Basics.

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TeachersFirst's Climate Change Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of resources about climate change is selected to help teachers and students learn more about the short and long term impact of climate change. As students read ...more
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This collection of resources about climate change is selected to help teachers and students learn more about the short and long term impact of climate change. As students read and see images of climate change then, now, and in the future, they will gain a better understanding. Younger students may have more questions as you explore together.

tag(s): climate change (63)

In the Classroom

Use these resources with your students to find ways you all can make a difference. Use this opportunity to teach about persuasive writing (letters to the editor or government officials), careers in science, current events, and more.

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America's Heritage: A History of Immigration - immigrationcouncil

Grades
6 to 12
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Explore America's History of Immigration through the thirty-two interactive events on this timeline beginning in 1492. Scroll the timeline bar to any area on the timeline to view events...more
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Explore America's History of Immigration through the thirty-two interactive events on this timeline beginning in 1492. Scroll the timeline bar to any area on the timeline to view events for that period. Click the arrows on each box to read more about that event.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): immigrants (19), immigration (57), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

Share this timeline on your interactive whiteboard as an introduction to your unit on immigration. You could show the history of immigration and discuss the U.S. as a nation of immigrants. Use a tool such as Socratic Smackdown, reviewed here, for students to debate about this topic, or any hot topic. It is interesting to note that there are many more events for the most recent twenty-five years than there are for all the previous years. Use this as a starting point for students to research and find additional information to add. Have students create their own timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles, reviewed here.

Comments

This is a comprehensive, yet kid-friendly, overview of US immigration policy in an interactive timeline. It ends with an Executive Order in November 2014. I hope the Heritage foundation continues to update this resource. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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TPS Teachers Network - Metropolitan State University of Denver

Grades
K to 12
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TPS Teachers Network is a social networking site for social studies and history teachers. The Library of Congress funded this as part of their Teaching With Primary Sources Program....more
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TPS Teachers Network is a social networking site for social studies and history teachers. The Library of Congress funded this as part of their Teaching With Primary Sources Program. Create an account to begin using features on the site (email and password required). Once enrolled, options include participating in a chat, adding friends, and searching using keywords. Use the tag cloud on the main page to find specific information by grade level or topics such as primary source sets. Create albums on the site, including primary and secondary sources, to easily share with students or fellow teachers. Be sure to check out the Help section at the bottom of the page when you first get started for Quick Tip Tutorials to make the most of the site. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): bookmarks (60), primary sources (83), professional development (121), social networking (113)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save TPS Teachers Network as an excellent professional development and social networking site. Share with your colleagues to create your own professional learning network on the site. Create albums with primary sources for use throughout the year in one easy to find location.

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