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American Experience: Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald? - PBS

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7 to 12
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This site accompanies an episode of the PBS series Frontline which examines the life of Lee Harvey Oswald, the presumed killer of John F. Kennedy. Because Oswald himself was assassinated...more
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This site accompanies an episode of the PBS series Frontline which examines the life of Lee Harvey Oswald, the presumed killer of John F. Kennedy. Because Oswald himself was assassinated before a full examination of the crime could be completed, mystery surrounds the man and his possible motivations for killing the President. Did he act alone? Here you will find a summary of the major conspiracy theories, a timeline of Oswald's life (including a psychiatric report from his teenage years), and an overview of the events surrounding the assassination. Note that the actual video of the show is not available for free, but there is much information to explore.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): kennedy (27), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Students are often fascinated by conspiracy theories, and the mystery of whether Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone or was part of a larger plot to kill the President represents one of US history's most enduring. Certainly the site will be useful in a discussion of the event itself. However, it can be used more generally as a springboard for discussion of conspiracy theories themselves. See the lesson ideas in the Teachers Guide section. What evidence do we require to decide if something is true or not? Who can be trusted to tell the story of an emotional event? Is "seeing" always "believing"? How can resolve the fact that eyewitnesses do not all have the same recollection of the event? Have your gifted and highly able students do a special project investigating conspiracy theories in history and sharing them as a role play or video for the rest of the class.

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Engaging Students With Primary Sources - Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Grades
6 to 12
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The Smithsonian Institution offers a printable guide to using primary sources in any classroom. View examples of how to do it and suggestion! Explore each of the main sections including...more
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The Smithsonian Institution offers a printable guide to using primary sources in any classroom. View examples of how to do it and suggestion! Explore each of the main sections including documents, photographs, oral histories, and objects for ideas and tips. Each activity is aligned to National Center for History in the Schools standards. The guide is in PDF format for easy printing and use.

tag(s): primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for use throughout the year as a guide for using primary sources. Use some of the lesson strategies with other primary source collections
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Beyond The Bubble - Stanford History Education Group

Grades
6 to 12
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Beyond the Bubble offers a new generation of history assessments that work hand in hand with Common Core Standards to provide a window into student thinking and promote academic literacy....more
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Beyond the Bubble offers a new generation of history assessments that work hand in hand with Common Core Standards to provide a window into student thinking and promote academic literacy. Refered to as "HATS" (History Assessment of Thinking), assessments go beyond recall to applying facts in context. Choose the assessment link to explore topics such as "Civil Rights Movement in Context" or "Edison and a Kansas Housewife." Lessons also include an interactive rubric and sample student responses. Don't miss the going deeper activities, such as videos. Click links to download materials available in PDF format.

tag(s): 1920s (16), assessment (99), civil rights (117), civil war (145), cold war (29), colonial america (107), immigrants (20), immigration (58), rubrics (32), slavery (72), thanksgiving (37), war of 1812 (14), womens suffrage (26)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this excellent site as a resource for Common Core social studies literacy assessments. Many of these activities (and videos) are ideal for your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share the interactive rubric BEFORE the lesson, so students are aware of exactly what is expected. Use activities and materials provided on the site. Create your own similiar activities. Explore this site during professional development sessions for ideas for rubrics and lesson planning. Click on tags for "same assessment type" to find additional assessments not in the main list.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Racial Dot Map - Dustin A. Cable

Grades
7 to 12
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Get a snapshot of America using this visualization of the geographic distribution, population density, and racial diversity of the American people. The map represents every neighborhood...more
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Get a snapshot of America using this visualization of the geographic distribution, population density, and racial diversity of the American people. The map represents every neighborhood in the United States. Each dot represents one person residing in the United States at the location during the count of the 2010 Census. Each ethnicity is represented by a different color dot. Zoom in and out as needed.

tag(s): diversity (36), maps (288), population (60)

In the Classroom

Discuss the cultural, political, economic, or geographic principles that affect the distribution of the dots on the map. Create blog posts, wiki edits, or other projects students can create to identify the reasons over time for the distribution in the map. The information gathered from this site might also be helpful in talking about regional and local political representation during election years. The opportunities for critical thinking abound with this site. Begin by asking, "Why does it look like this?"

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Hive Mindmap - Hivemindmap.com

Grades
9 to 12
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View the most popular hashtags of the week on Twitter. When you first arrive at the site, click the small ? to access the tips for using this interesting tool. ...more
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View the most popular hashtags of the week on Twitter. When you first arrive at the site, click the small ? to access the tips for using this interesting tool. The text size indicates the popularity of the tag. Line colors identify clusters of related tags while the thickness shows the number of times the tags were used at the same time. Zoom in to see the tags used. Click on the info icon ("i") to view stats about the tag. View the actual top Tweets, the tags, and users of the Tweets. Use the tools along the top to show trends by hour. Search specific tags using the search bar. New to Twitter? Learn more from TeachersFirst Twitter for Teachers page.

tag(s): microblogging (44), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to show how trending topics and current events are interrelated and to brainstorm inferences about their connections, especially in terms of current events and "hot topics" in the news. Of course, the Hive Mindmap content will include pop culture and anything being discussed on Twitter, so you may encounter topics that are not curriculum related in any way. Just click to another area. Trace the tweets of trending topics and find viewpoints from a variety of people in order to understand complex issues. Use this tool in discussions of world events, politics, science discoveries, communications, information literacy, media literacy, and more. This could also serve as a prompt for students to find a topic they wish to research in depth, such as the latest Nobel announcements for science class or up to date information about a country in turmoil for a world cultures class.

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Teaching Kids News - Jonathan Tilly, Joyce Grant, and Kathleen Tilly

Grades
2 to 8
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Teaching Kids News is an online news magazine designed for kids in grades 2-8. New articles are published frequently (almost daily) throughout the school year, relating to events...more
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Teaching Kids News is an online news magazine designed for kids in grades 2-8. New articles are published frequently (almost daily) throughout the school year, relating to events around the world. Choose from content topics such as news, entertainment, science, or sports. Choose the in-class ideas portion to get ideas for using articles in the classroom. Browse the archives for past articles, or click on tags to view articles with similar content. Articles include comprehension questions, student activities, and more.

tag(s): guided reading (47), independent reading (126), news (261), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

Include a link to Teaching Kids News on classroom computers. ESL/ELL teachers and those who work with learning support students can recommend this site to students with lower reading levels when students are required to report on current events, even in upper grades. Have students choose an article to share with the class. Use the in-class ideas for additional lesson ideas. Have students create online posters individually or together as a class reviewing an article using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here. Find other articles with similar content then use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare 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. 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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White House Tapes - The President Calling - American Radio Works

Grades
8 to 12
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The White House Tapes takes a look at the secret tapes recorded by three American presidents and how each president used one on one politics to shape history. Listen to ...more
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The White House Tapes takes a look at the secret tapes recorded by three American presidents and how each president used one on one politics to shape history. Listen to conversations recorded by John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon, and Lyndon B. Johnson. Read an introduction to each president, then go in-depth to explore particular events such as the Vietnam Dilemna and Watergate. Note: Although the transcripts are available on the site, the option to play the actual audio files requires Real Player. Check your computer to be sure you have this plugin.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): kennedy (27), presidents (130), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

Include the tapes and transcripts as part of any unit involving the 1960's, Vietnam, presidents, and more. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles (reviewed here) and include information gathered on the audio tapes. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about characters involved in the audio tapes.

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Artifacts & Analysis - Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies

Grades
9 to 12
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Smithsonian's Artifacts & Analysis offers strategies and resources for incorporating historical documents and resources into the teaching of U.S. history, particularly the decades of...more
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Smithsonian's Artifacts & Analysis offers strategies and resources for incorporating historical documents and resources into the teaching of U.S. history, particularly the decades of the 20th century. Use the details of everyday life to help focus understanding of a time period. Choose from the four main sections: Artifacts & Documents, Teaching Guide, Writing Assignments, or Essay. The sample artifacts offered include a Furnace Salesman's Kit (1920s), Fiestaware (1930s-40s), Pennants (1950s-60s), Barbie Doll (1958), Jeans (1970s), and Lunchboxes (1950s-80s).

tag(s): 1930s (15), 1960s (30), 20th century (51), cultures (105), decades (14)

In the Classroom

Start off with a visit to the Teaching Guide to find some great ideas to incorporate in your class. Use materials from this site to enhance and bring historical teaching to life. Print the student guide for writing effective essays for students to include with history notebooks. Use questions from the teaching materials here to add to your current teaching plans or as discussion topics. Create a link on your class website for students to view this site at home. Have students research and find documents and artifacts in your own community or online to share in the classroom. Have them create curated collections in digital form with accompanying writings to explain them. Students could create annotated images including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.

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What's Up In Finance? - Educational Broadcasting Corporation

Grades
7 to 12
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What's Up in Finance is a 30 minute reality show teaching money smarts for teens. This accompanying site offers interactives, videos, and activities to support features on the...more
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What's Up in Finance is a 30 minute reality show teaching money smarts for teens. This accompanying site offers interactives, videos, and activities to support features on the show. Explore articles about financial careers. Try interactives to learn about smart financial decisions. Choose from several lesson plans offered (including materials list and national math standards). Please note that although the site does offer links to former shows and segments, those videos are no longer available. The materials on the site are still worth your while!

tag(s): careers (132), financial literacy (80)

In the Classroom

View and modify lesson plans to meet your classroom needs. This site is highly appealing to the older student! Allow students to play the interactive games as part of your financial literacy unit. Have students create online posters individually or together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here. Include information from the career portion of your site as part of any career exploration activities.
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Pulitzer Center Lesson Plans - Pulitzer Center

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3 to 12
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Find lesson plans at the Pulitzer Center for grades 3-12 that identify global issues and ways to address them. Topics include subjects such as International Adoptions: Ethics and Effects...more
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Find lesson plans at the Pulitzer Center for grades 3-12 that identify global issues and ways to address them. Topics include subjects such as International Adoptions: Ethics and Effects and America's Responsibility for the Welfare and Safety of Chinese Workers and many other intriguing topics. Each lesson plan includes big ideas, essential questions, Common Core standards, vocabulary, assessments, and additional resources. Bring lessons to life through journalist visits (in larger cities) or Skype visits (using the request a class visit option on the site).

tag(s): africa (180), careers (132), china (66), debate (41), earthquakes (48), ethics (16), food chains (22), hiv/aids (18), india (36), journalism (46), media literacy (58), water (130), women (101)

In the Classroom

Use the lesson plans on the site as a resource for discussing and debating global issues. If there is no time to complete a full unit, explore resources from each topic for ideas to use in your classroom. For example, try the ideas on interviewing individuals who migrated to the United States offered in the "How Did I Become the Person That I Am" unit. Share this site with students interested in journalism careers as a resource for learning more about the profession and some of its members.

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History Labs - A Guided Approach to Historical Inquiry in the K-12 Classroom - UMBC Center for History Education

Grades
2 to 12
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The Center for History Education offers this resource to teach a variety of topics in American History via an inquiry approach. Sample topics include Native Americans, Colonization,...more
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The Center for History Education offers this resource to teach a variety of topics in American History via an inquiry approach. Sample topics include Native Americans, Colonization, Civil Rights, Slavery, the American Revolution, and many more. All labs include central questions, source materials, and step by step explanations to implement the lab. The approach is well suited to social studies literacy standards of Common Core, as students explore and evaluate sources (informational texts) and eventually "Develop, present, defend, and refine their evidence-based answers." Choose from History Labs or Lesson Plans to find resources then scroll through the dates to view available materials. Use links to print materials in PDF format. Although the site title indicates materials for all levels of students, most resources are geared toward middle and high school grades. Some of the videos are hosted on YouTube. 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): african american (113), american revolution (86), civil rights (117), civil war (145), colonial america (107), colonization (16), great depression (24), iran (12), jefferson (19), kennedy (27), native americans (78), roosevelt (16), slavery (72), washington (36), womens suffrage (26), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for use with any American History topic as a complete lesson or to offer another angle on current lessons. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Before beginning a unit, have students brainstorm or collect ideas on a collaborative bulletin board like Scrumblr, reviewed here (quick start- no membership required!).
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GR8CTZ - Great Cities of the World - Vadim Temkin

Grades
8 to 12
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GR8CTZ - Great Cities of the World is a geoguessing game where you are transported to a world city and have to guess the location based on views from Google ...more
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GR8CTZ - Great Cities of the World is a geoguessing game where you are transported to a world city and have to guess the location based on views from Google Maps street views. Look and walk around a bit before attempting a guess. You have three tries to get it right. Start the game after choosing options such as levels, language (English, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish), and city subset options. Although very simple looking, this is an intriguing option for exploring the world without leaving home!

tag(s): countries (77), cross cultural understanding (115), map skills (80), maps (288)

In the Classroom

Use this tool on an Interactive Whiteboard (or projector) with an entire class. Students can work as a class, individually, or in groups to identify locations based on clues. Use the clues to discuss information about social structure, livelihood, religion, landforms, and other cultural information. Use this information to uncover and correct misconceptions and discuss cultural differences in countries outside the US. Go beyond the map to learn about the various foods, agriculture, and other aspects of their lives. Research the local ecosystem to determine native plants and animals found in the country. Create a poem or story set in that locale using information learned through research. Are you a connected educator? Find other educators around the World using Twitter (reviewed here) to make connections between classrooms. Join the Across the World Once a Week project ( here) to share about the culture where you live.

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The Bean Game - Jana Darrington Utah State University Extension

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn to manage money while having fun living on a 20 "bean" salary using this printable game. Use the directions and discussion questions to play two rounds of the game. ...more
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Learn to manage money while having fun living on a 20 "bean" salary using this printable game. Use the directions and discussion questions to play two rounds of the game. Although it is possible to play with individual players, the site recommends groups of between 2 and 5 players for optimal results. Even though this game is "low tech," it is a great teaching tool!

tag(s): financial literacy (80)

In the Classroom

Use the Bean Game as part of your financial literacy unit as a center activity. When finished, have students create blogs using Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary!
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Documentary Tube - DocumentaryTube.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Watch full length documentaries online for free. Find your favorites through daily suggestions, browsing the top 100, or searching categories: 9/11, activism, art, aviation, business,...more
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Watch full length documentaries online for free. Find your favorites through daily suggestions, browsing the top 100, or searching categories: 9/11, activism, art, aviation, business, comedy, crime, disaster, drugs, economics, environmental, food/drink, health, media, medicine, music, nature, performing arts, philosophy, political, religion, science, social, sport, strange, technology, travel, and many more. Look at film festivals and films featured in each. If you do not find what you are looking for, submit your request. A link to Amazon brings you to DVD's. Some are free, and others are for sale.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): video (253)

In the Classroom

Discover the power of documentaries while studying point of view, primary and secondary resources, and debate skills. Examine the aspects shown in documentaries and help students find structure to provide an unbiased research project. Challenge existing knowledge in many areas. Help students become active thinkers and become involved in current events. Sharpen your own understandings.
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Documentary Storm - 2013 DocumentaryStorm

Grades
4 to 12
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Dive into Documentary Storm to discover 100% free documentary films. The goal of the website is to share knowledge spread ideas, and have fun. Search the different channels to find...more
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Dive into Documentary Storm to discover 100% free documentary films. The goal of the website is to share knowledge spread ideas, and have fun. Search the different channels to find exactly what you are seeking. Topics included are art, biography, conspiracy, culture, drugs, environment, health, indie films, lifestyle, mockumentaries, money, nature, politics, psychology, religion, science, society, sports, technology, war, and many more. Search in the top 100 documentaries, or click use"surprise me." Connect with Facebook, RSS, Twitter, or email.

tag(s): video (253)

In the Classroom

With documentaries challenge your students' understanding of food, history, politics, or people. Use to provide another point of view which might not be available in traditional text books. Use to explain primary and secondary sources, as well as an example of a way to extend thinking. Provide a documentary as an example for your students to do an in depth research project. Use documentaries to challenge knowledge, create new knowledge, and learn.
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Teach + Learn: National September 11 Memorial and Museum - National September 11 Memorial and Museum

Grades
K to 12
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Tech and learn all about September 11 using interactives, timelines, lesson plans, and more from the Memorial Museum in New York. Learn all about the history of the World Trade ...more
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Tech and learn all about September 11 using interactives, timelines, lesson plans, and more from the Memorial Museum in New York. Learn all about the history of the World Trade Center, explore primary sources about 9/11, and much more. Do not miss the interactive Lady Liberty exhibit under the Teach and Learn menu to see a clickable photo of the artifacts left as an impromptu memorial created at a NY firehouse that lost 15 of it men. The FAQ page is a great starting point for those unfamiliar with the events of 9/11. A special section provides ideas for talking with children about 9/11. The site includes many media files: interviews, video and more to help understand September 11.

tag(s): sept11 (21), terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

Check the teacher lesson plans for ideas. the plans range from kindergarten to grade 12. Incorporate some of the interactives as part of your class commemoration of September 11. Have students record their own video or audio interviews (try Spreaker, reviewed here) with adults who recall the day and add them to a class or school wiki memorial. Add a Speakpipe widget (reviewed here) to your wiki page so visitors can add their own recollections. If you do not have time to spend more than one class period on 9/11, this site will provide rich experiences and material for discussion. Be sure to allow your students time to talk and ask questions about this disturbing day in history.

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Every Second on the Internet - designly.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Explore what happens every second on the Internet with this interesting and engaging site. View how many Skype calls and Tweets are issued each second. Find out how many happened ...more
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Explore what happens every second on the Internet with this interesting and engaging site. View how many Skype calls and Tweets are issued each second. Find out how many happened just since you began exploring the site. Keep scrolling to see graphics of Google searches, Facebook likes, and emails sent. Each action is represented with an icon making this visualization stunning and mind boggling at the same time. It provides a sense of the magnitude of information offered on the Internet each and every second.

tag(s): internet safety (108), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for use on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) during lessons on computer use or Internet safety. Have students predict the number of Google searches, emails sent, etc. each second before displaying the actual number. Use information on this site as part of a lesson on comparisons, fractions, or number sense with large numbers. Share with parents during your Open House to offer an understanding of the impact of computers and social networks on their students lives.

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My Great Maps - Mr Nussbaum

Grades
3 to 12
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Create and personalize many different types of maps at this colorful and useful site! Choose from available maps such as states, historical maps, world maps, and countries. Add colors,...more
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Create and personalize many different types of maps at this colorful and useful site! Choose from available maps such as states, historical maps, world maps, and countries. Add colors, key words, icons, and more to label and identify map information. Sign up for a free account and create interactive maps! The interactive maps allow you to scroll over portions of the map and view added captions.

tag(s): continents (50), countries (77), map skills (80), maps (288), states (163)

In the Classroom

Create maps for your state including state bird, flower, flag, landmarks, and more. Embed maps on your class website using the code in the "embed" box. Have students create maps featuring landmarks, historic information, or landforms. Print for bulletin board displays or embed into your classroom website or wiki for viewing at home.

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The Nature of Overfishing - New York University Interactive Telecommunications Program

Grades
4 to 12
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Scroll visually through the past 100 years of fishing history with this interactive tool. As you move through the years, you see the numbers of big predatory fish and small ...more
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Scroll visually through the past 100 years of fishing history with this interactive tool. As you move through the years, you see the numbers of big predatory fish and small prey fish as they vanish or multiply. The swimming fish change in numbers, and the percent change is shown below as the slider is moved. Click on the information icon ("i") for more information about the data.

tag(s): ecology (135), environment (317), fish (24), food chains (22)

In the Classroom

Though a simple resource, this interactive can open up discussions into ecosystems, ocean resources, and environmental problems. Display on an Interactive Whiteboard (or projector) for the class to view together. Allow students the opportunity to manipulate the slider and view the data. Brainstorm possible reasons for the sudden loss in big fish during one decade. Students can focus on policy, lifestyles of various cultures, or environmental problems. Research the various fish that have been lost to overfishing, and assign students a specific group of fish to explore. Create a display online or in the classroom to share their information. Have students share what they have learned by creating personalized images (with text) using Pinwords reviewed here. Use the information about the species researched to determine the other members of the food chain.

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Perspectives on Peace and Security: The Manhattan Project - The Carnegie Corporation

Grades
6 to 12
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Take a virtual tour of eleven Manhattan buildings, and discover their importance to the development of nuclear weaponry during the twentieth century. Much of the political tension in...more
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Take a virtual tour of eleven Manhattan buildings, and discover their importance to the development of nuclear weaponry during the twentieth century. Much of the political tension in today's international relations can be traced to concerns about the potential use of nuclear weapons. Who has the power to make nuclear weapons? Who can be trusted with this power? What would be the impact of using nuclear weapons globally? This site adds important historical perspective to the history of nuclear weapons with its examination of the Manhattan Project. The site features the many locations within the Borough of Manhattan, New York in which critical components of the Project were developed. See the buildings as they were and as they are now, and meet some of the central participants of the Manhattan Project. An interactive timeline featuring images, documents, audio recordings and maps can help put the history of the Project into the context of twentieth century history. Finally, a brief history of the Project helps flesh out the previous two components of this site.

tag(s): 20th century (51), atomic bomb (11), foreign policy (16), politics (99), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

The importance of the Manhattan Project to modern global history can hardly be underestimated. Use the interactive timeline to help place the development of nuclear power and nuclear weapons into the context of modern politics, and to deepen understanding of the US role in the end of World War II. Consider the current debate about privacy, secrecy and security by comparing today's issues with the Manhattan Project. How could such a large scale, national effort have been kept so secret? Ask students to take different perspectives: How would modern history been different had the Manhattan Project NOT been secret? SHOULD it have been kept from the US public? Are today's issues of privacy and security different? A group of students might research other US and international sites that were important to the Manhattan Project and create a national "tour" or map of these sites to complement the Manhattan map available on this site. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. This site could also inspire a terrific research project for National History Day or a unit of study in a gifted class.

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