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Documentary Heaven - Documentary Heaven

Grades
6 to 12
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This site has embedded videos from over 1600 documentaries located all over the internet. These videos are not necessarily "short" clips. Some are longer than 15 minutes. Search the...more
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This site has embedded videos from over 1600 documentaries located all over the internet. These videos are not necessarily "short" clips. Some are longer than 15 minutes. Search the videos via several methods: browse the library, most popular, recent videos, or by categories. The categories vary greatly and include the bullying of those with disabilities, 9/11, aftermath of the Japan Tsunami, import and export of oil, and countless other topics. Each video comes with a short explanation and ratings (out of 10 stars). Viewers can also leave their own rating. Many include suggestions for related videos. Be aware: some of topics may not be suitable for the classroom. Please preview before (or IF) you choose to allow students to peruse on their own. You may want to share only specific videos with the class. It has been noted that this website opens rather slowly at the busy times of the day. But it is WELL worth the wait. Note that videos are recommended for inclusion by the video creators, so there could be very strong bias in documentary presentations. What better way to challenge students to stop and ask, "What is the source of this information and can I trust it fully?"
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): archeology (32), biographies (87), bullying (52), disabilities (20), psychology (64), senses (28), sexuality (14), tsunamis (16)

In the Classroom

View videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector to correspond with classroom lessons. Be sure to discuss the source and possible bias of any documentary. "Documentary" does not necessarily mean "trustworthy" or "unbiased"! Link to specific videos on your classroom computer, website, or blog for students to view on their own. Assign different topics and allow students to choose a documentary to use as part of their research. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
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Budget Puzzle: You Fix the Budget - New York Times

Grades
8 to 12
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Solve and share solutions to the U.S. budget crisis with this interactive site from the New York Times. The goal is to close the projected budget gaps for both 2015 ...more
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Solve and share solutions to the U.S. budget crisis with this interactive site from the New York Times. The goal is to close the projected budget gaps for both 2015 and 2030 by making cuts or eliminating programs currently offered by the federal government. As each item is chosen, graphs are updated demonstrating how close you are to closing the gap. Once you have closed the gap for both years a message lets you know how your plan can be shared via twitter or with a link specific with your choices. There is a printable PDF version which is perfect for classroom use.
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tag(s): branches of government (48), charts and graphs (195), critical thinking (108), financial literacy (80), foreign policy (16), logic (235)

In the Classroom

Ask students to complete the PDF version offered on the site. After completion, allow students to share their thoughts via classroom discussion and journals. Explore the Room for the Debate section on the site to find out what others have discussed. Then ask students to do the exercise again to discover how thoughts have changed after discussion with other classmates. Share the best ideas (via URL) on your class website.
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BizKids - American Public Television

Grades
5 to 12
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Explore the many facets of the business world on this approachable site. All information is tied in to the T.V. show entitled "BizKids" which was created to teach kids about ...more
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Explore the many facets of the business world on this approachable site. All information is tied in to the T.V. show entitled "BizKids" which was created to teach kids about money and business. The site is divided into several different sections - for teachers and for students. The teacher section includes lesson ideas that tie into videos available on the website. This can be found under the link "Cool Biz Stuff": five lessons are available in both English and Spanish.

Students can sign up to receive a newsletter with money tips just for them. Also included is a blog with links to other financial sites for kids. Most resources for students are located under "Cool Biz Stuff," then go to "Tools for Kids." Some of the tools include a financial calculator to determine what it takes to become a millionaire, sample business plans, allowance budgeting, and investment basics. Under "The Show" link, short video segments are available for review. Shows are geared toward increasing student interest through the use of familiar cultural icons such as "The Intern" and a parody of the T.V. show "24."
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tag(s): business (58), college (43), financial literacy (80), money (193)

In the Classroom

Watch the video on "How to Hold a Fundraiser" when planning a class economics project or before a school fundraiser event to get ideas on how to boost fundraising income. Watch a few of the short videos for creative ideas before creating classroom presentations of information studied in class. Divide up the online shows between students in your class and have students view and report back on the information presented in the videos. To show what they have learned from this site, challenge students to create an online graphic to share using Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, or PicLits, reviewed here. Ask students to create an economic plan using the allowance budget worksheet. Business teachers, family and consumer science classes, and young entrepreneurs will appreciate the many offerings on this site. College counselors will also want to share the college planning information.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Read the book -- then see the film - Christchurch City Librarires

Grades
2 to 12
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This site provides descriptions of children's and young adult movies and the books they come from. The site encourages kids to read the book first, or watch the movie first, ...more
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This site provides descriptions of children's and young adult movies and the books they come from. The site encourages kids to read the book first, or watch the movie first, whichever they prefer. The list has frequent updates, so students can check back on a regular basis to see if what they're reading has become a film yet. A link provides contact with the complete list of book-movie pairs including books and films for adults. Clicking the name of the book goes to the library catalog and the film goes to the IMDB (Internet Movie Database).

Besides the book-movie pairings, the site allows students to review books and also provides interactive reading guides for six subgenres of children's books: pirate books, fantasy, adventure, and more. Another separate section deals with books that become TV shows and TV shows that become books later. Since this is a site from New Zealand, however, the TV portion may not be applicable elsewhere.

tag(s): book lists (128), movies (65), video (254)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site to your class using your interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow students time to explore on their own about a book they want to read that has an accompanying movie. This could be a class book, and the treat after reading would be to watch the movie. Students could then write a compare contrast essay, or an essay that evaluates which was better, the book or the movie and why. Have students compare the book and movie using an online Venn diagram site such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here).

This site would also be a good site to use with ESL/ELL students and reluctant readers. Students could read a section of the book, then watch that section of the movie, and verbally compare or evaluate, ask questions, etc.

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Coal Cares Site a Brilliant Hoax - Fast Company

Grades
6 to 12
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This blog post calls our attention to a hoax site called "Coal Cares" which, on first sight, appears to be an educational outreach site maintained by a coal company. Coal ...more
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This blog post calls our attention to a hoax site called "Coal Cares" which, on first sight, appears to be an educational outreach site maintained by a coal company. Coal Cares is actually a parody site poking fun at Big Business and its attempts to put a positive spin on the dangerous side effects of its products.

tag(s): consumers (21), energy (198), environment (317), propaganda (12)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an example of how important it is to question what we find on the internet. Who is the author? What is the author's perspective? How believable is the information on the site? Is it influenced by a particular point of view? Help students question the information they find online and become good information consumers.

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Coal Cares - Coal Cares

Grades
6 to 12
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As teachers, we often look for ways to help students sift through the enormous amount of information on the Internet, and to help them discriminate among those that are reliable ...more
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As teachers, we often look for ways to help students sift through the enormous amount of information on the Internet, and to help them discriminate among those that are reliable and those that are not. The site "Coal Cares" might be a wonderful tool to use in this effort. First, coalcares.org is a spoof, a site purposely written to deceive. Although it looks perfectly legitimate on the surface--professionally created, and full of "facts"--a close reading of it soon reveals that it is designed to make fun of sites which try to put a positive spin on a negative issue.

tag(s): consumers (21), energy (198), environment (317), propaganda (12)

In the Classroom

Consider using this site to teach students to read carefully and evaluate the claims made on websites. You might divide the class into teams and have each group examine one of the page links from the site. One link provides paper and pencil games for kids. What can they find in these games that is ironic or reveals that the site is a spoof? (Hint: look for words in the word search that are not listed in the word bank!). Another link offers free inhalers for kids. Where do the links lead? Do students find anything strange about "baby's first inhaler"?

After students have dissected the site and discovered all the misleading statements and "propaganda," encourage them to read the blog post at Coal Cares Site a Brilliant Hoax, reviewed here, for more information about the hoax, and how it was devised. Then, discuss the implications of this example. How can it make them better internet consumers? Challenge groups to create multimedia projects sharing their finding. Have students use one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
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The Writing Site - Stephanie Krajicek

Grades
6 to 12
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This site is a valuable resource for teachers to use for cross-curricular writing tips. Articles are added daily. Topics include Affect vs Effect, Writing Numbers - 5 Rules to Remember,...more
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This site is a valuable resource for teachers to use for cross-curricular writing tips. Articles are added daily. Topics include Affect vs Effect, Writing Numbers - 5 Rules to Remember, What is an Oxymoron, and many others. Click previous entries to access additional articles of interest.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): grammar (216), grammar review (37), journals (21), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Print articles to use in class for writing lessons in class. Use several articles and have students present information to the class. Have each student in your class read one article and report back to the class. Challenge students to create electronic "posters" or word graphics for adopted word using tools such as Piclits (reviewed here) or Typogenerator (reviewed here). Another idea, use the articles as examples for students to write their own writing tips articles. Check the site weekly and share one article per week with students to use in writing journals.

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Take Part - Take part,LLC

Grades
4 to 12
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Are your students frustrated with issues and problems of today? Wish to create a more enlightened and responsible generation? Use the resources at Take Part to bring issues and possibilities...more
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Are your students frustrated with issues and problems of today? Wish to create a more enlightened and responsible generation? Use the resources at Take Part to bring issues and possibilities to light. Search issues by category, read news stories, find actions and communities, and even create communities and actions. Read the must read of the week and view important facts and ideas. View video clips, read articles, and more. Join the community though this is not necessary to use the resources.
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tag(s): environment (317), movies (65), news (261), newspapers (94), problem solving (272), sexuality (14)

In the Classroom

Non-fiction reading and background knowledge have found a new emphasis with The Common Core State Standards. It is more important now than ever to help connect students with quality non-fiction reading material and viewing material. Find great resources, actions, and possibilities for many of the best documentaries students can view such as "Inconvenient Truth" and "Food, Inc." Be sure to check out the lesson plans available at this site.
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5min Life Videopedia - 5 Min Media, Ltd.

Grades
7 to 12
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Need to be in the know -- now? 5min Life Videopedia gives you five minute stories about current news in a range of areas including arts, business, health, video games ...more
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Need to be in the know -- now? 5min Life Videopedia gives you five minute stories about current news in a range of areas including arts, business, health, video games and much more! The how-to videos are great too! The main page features current news highlights. You can join this site, but it is not necessary to view the videos. Please be advised that not all topics are class or school appropriate. The "Knowledge" section has many school-related topics, but there are also useful How-tos in other areas. Preview and select what to share. Videos include short ads at the start. Once the ad is over, you can click the small link icon to find a direct link or embed code for that video.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): business (58), dance (28), fashion (10), fitness (49), news (261), nutrition (154), origami (17), photography (160), video (254)

In the Classroom

This resource would be fantastic as a lesson or as a class opener to get students thinking about a particular topic. It also would be helpful for relating classroom topics and content to real life events. Filter the appropriate videos for your students by embedding them in a on your own website or wiki so that students are not distracted. With older students, you can have them use this as a resource to embed video clips or links in presentations and projects for their own classes. Try sharing one of the How To videos with your students in science class, and then have them make their own how to five minute video to demonstrate a lab. Share the videos using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here.

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Google Archive News Search - Google

Grades
3 to 12
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This interesting site (created by Google), provides an easy way to search and explore historical archives. In addition, the search can also create timelines from relevant time periods...more
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This interesting site (created by Google), provides an easy way to search and explore historical archives. In addition, the search can also create timelines from relevant time periods by using the advance search table that pops up on the landing page.

tag(s): journalism (46), primary sources (86), search engines (65), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

This site will complement any social studies, history class, or English class. Use the search to bring history alive for students. Show actual news articles on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students use this tool for research. Have them use the advanced search table that pops up to find events that happened during a particular time period. English teachers will also find this a useful tool to show how journalism has evolved through the years.
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Global SchoolNet - Global School Net

Grades
4 to 12
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Find ways to include your class in online, project based learning. This site offers living curriculum in a world laboratory that promotes lifelong learning. A series of different programs,...more
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Find ways to include your class in online, project based learning. This site offers living curriculum in a world laboratory that promotes lifelong learning. A series of different programs, including International school Cyber Fair, Doors to Diplomacy, Mosaics of Life, Geogame, Online Expedition, and Letters to Santa all encourage global technology. Global SchoolNet engages youth in project based, online learning activities to promote creativity and communication, while increasing global understanding. A Projects Registry and Collaborative Learning Center contains great ideas for projects. Webby award winner Global SchoolNet has been a top ten educational website for five years in a row. This is a great resource for busy teachers!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), service projects (25)

In the Classroom

Go global with your class this year! Set your technology goals to include many of the different global project based learning sites in a condensed easy to find manner. Link your class to other classes around the world. Join in online expeditions, competitions for your students, or even an online teacher award. Join in the Newsday Project and have your students publish articles for the world to see. Several International resources provide lesson plans for teachers for problem based technology projects. Information for different competitions bring your class into the cutting edge of global technology problem based learning. Join the list serve to keep updated with the latest happening in global education.

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Vodburner - Netralia Pty Ltd

Grades
K to 12
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Use Vodburner to record Skype calls for later viewing and use. Save your high quality video and audio Skype calls easily. Download the Vodburner software...more
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Use Vodburner to record Skype calls for later viewing and use. Save your high quality video and audio Skype calls easily. Download the Vodburner software (an email must be entered to begin the download) and install the plugin on Windows machines only. Whenever you make a Skype call, Vodburner automatically records both sides of the conversation (both users must have Vodburner installed.) Choose recording of either side or both sides of the conversation. Note: It is recommended that you inform the other party that recording will be taking place as notification is not given through Skype. Use this service for free for 30 days. After 30 days it is still free, but a watermark with the Vodburner logo will appear in all recordings. Purchase the paid version to avoid the watermark. Use the built-in editor to edit recorded videos before finalizing. Find a FAQ section as well as great information for "Getting Started." Having troubles with the program? Be sure to check out the "Troubleshooting" section.

tag(s): chat (51), skype (12), video (254)

In the Classroom

Users will need the to download/install Skype (free) and create an account. Follow the simple instructions for using and recording. Be sure to check out all the help tabs found on the Vodburner site.

As noted above, it is a good idea to let those you are Skyping with know that you are recording calls with Vodburner. Be sure to discuss appropriate use of this resource and consequences for inappropriate use before using with students.

Use for any subject matter to record Skype calls with others for later review and discussion. Using Vodburner would be a great addition to Skype calls to professionals, enhancing content in your classroom. For specific ideas on using Skype, check out the Skype In the Classroom section.

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Rethinking Schools - rethinkingschools.org

Grades
7 to 12
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This map activity displays a map of the Middle East and its surrounding countries (including North Africa.) You simply have to drag the name of the country to its map ...more
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This map activity displays a map of the Middle East and its surrounding countries (including North Africa.) You simply have to drag the name of the country to its map location. If you are correct, the name stays on the country and the country becomes highlighted. If the location is incorrect, a red X shows up.

tag(s): africa (180), continents (49), countries (76), maps (287), middle east (30)

In the Classroom

Use this as an introduction to a unit on countries, geography, natural resources, or current events in the Middle East. Use also as a review for a geography or map test. Share this map on your interactive whiteboard or projector and try to figure out the countries together.
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YouTube Play: Live from the Guggenheim - Youtube Play

Grades
5 to 12
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Join YouTube and the Guggenheim Museum in recognizing a biennial review of the best online videos from around the world. As a form of modern and contemporary art, celebrate free ...more
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Join YouTube and the Guggenheim Museum in recognizing a biennial review of the best online videos from around the world. As a form of modern and contemporary art, celebrate free access every day for your virtual field trip from a Webby award winning nominee site for 2011. A panel of 20-25 experts chooses from a selection of over 23,000 videos submitted. Explore art, music, movement, poetry, and prose on this creative video site. The option of subscribing to recent uploads is available at no charge. Click "continue" to see thumbnails of all available winners. Not all comments posted are appropriate and videos should be previewed before viewing in the classroom setting.

tag(s): computers (95), video (254)

In the Classroom

Capture your students' interest in the modern world of technology. Share this video on your interactive whiteboard or projector (be sure to use full screen mode). YouTube Play can be used in a variety of classroom settings; art, music, technology, language art, drama, science, or political science. If your district blocks YouTube, then this site may not be viewable. You could always view selected 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.

In the art classroom, explore the emerging world of creative video. Determine elements of design, technology, photography, and movement. Discover the integration of music, sound, and movement in video in many creative ways. Use the site to demonstrate how to convey a message through creative animation. Express a creative editorial on a current events or important issues that challenge our world such as over-population, fossil fuels, or pollution. Have students create innovative political campaign videos. Take your technology classes to a new level of excellence. Add a visual component to poems, prose, or narratives as an additional interpretation device. Introduce storyboarding techniques to create videos. Have your students make their own videos and share them via TeacherTube, reviewed here.
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Headline Clues - Michigan State University

Grades
8 to 12
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Solve headline mysteries using verbal clues and inferencing in this current events activity. You are presented with a SHORT passage (newspaper story headline) and then a few fill in...more
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Solve headline mysteries using verbal clues and inferencing in this current events activity. You are presented with a SHORT passage (newspaper story headline) and then a few fill in the blank phrases. What an excellent tool for researching and reading comprehension! There are three levels of difficulty. Choose from favorite news topics on the main page: sports, world and U.S. news, technology, off-beat, entertainment, and even the New York Times. Other publications available for headline finding are NPR and New Scientist. Although this is an activity in "game" format, it is an excellent reading skill builder. Students can see how many letters are missing; they use both semantic and syntactic clues to complete the headlines. Options include a timer and a speed meter. As you play, ask the site for clues to help. Due to the graphic nature of some of the headlines, this site is recommended for mature middle school students or high school students.

tag(s): context clues (8), descriptive writing (41), newspapers (94), summarizing (13)

In the Classroom

Use this "game" as an introduction when studying the latest news stories and/or basic reading comprehension. Teach reading in context when explaining to students how the activity works. Use the headline builder as a jumping off point for teaching summary writing based on news stories. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector as an "ice-breaker" for the start of class or as one of several reading activities during newspapers in education week.
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Financial Education in the Math Classroom - The Math Forum @ Drexel University

Grades
4 to 12
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This site offers in-depth information on finance topics including credit & debt and financial planning & money management. Each of these topics highlights tools and information available...more
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This site offers in-depth information on finance topics including credit & debt and financial planning & money management. Each of these topics highlights tools and information available to teach financial literacy. One example is the Debt Payoff Calculator which is a tool to help explore options for paying off debt and how changing factors will affect payoff rates, interest, and other options for paying off debt. Similar tools are available for analyzing monthly payments, paying off credit card debt, and more. You will need to create a free account to access the Financial Education Problems of the Week, but other resources are available without signing in. Be sure to check out Dr. Math Financial FAQ's on the right side of the page for more resources pertaining to loans, interest, and debt.

tag(s): calculators (41), coins (8), currency (20), financial literacy (80), investing (10), stock market (13)

In the Classroom

Use tools available on the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector to explore how different factors influence finances. Have students predict outcomes before inputting information into the tools on the site. Use the tools when creating a mini-economy in the classroom.
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Here on Earth - NPR

Grades
5 to 12
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This NPR site offers the weekly schedule and recorded programs in its "Here on Earth" series, offering cultural news from around the world. The programs are often part of a ...more
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This NPR site offers the weekly schedule and recorded programs in its "Here on Earth" series, offering cultural news from around the world. The programs are often part of a larger series, the archives of which are easily accessible as well. Previews for the five weekly programs, Monday through Friday include enticing photographs. Links on the pages of the programs offer opportunities for more information and links to related programs. Students also have the opportunity to see short, related videos and comment on ongoing programs. Programs cover a wide variety of subjects and fields.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), radio (27), religions (61)

In the Classroom

Teachers may want to preview the upcoming programs for each week to connect their ELL/ESL students with the programs that concern their part of the world. Students could do an introduction to their countries before the class listens to an appropriate program. Ask your students to visit the site, listen, research, and create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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Scientific American: Slide Shows - Scientific American, A division of Nature America, Inc.

Grades
6 to 12
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The slide show portion of the Scientific American website is a great visual resource for science teachers. The shows are organized in reverse chronological order from most recent to...more
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The slide show portion of the Scientific American website is a great visual resource for science teachers. The shows are organized in reverse chronological order from most recent to the oldest. The page is not searchable, but the site is. This would be great for science current events to tie into class. Some slide shows are graphic (a removed human brain!) and may need disclaimers when being shared with students.

tag(s): human body (121), microorganisms (14), oil (45), oil spill (21), organisms (21), slides (63), space (205)

In the Classroom

Try using this site when discussing how science relates to our current world. For instance, show the ten most dangerous moments for the space shuttle and the station history when studying astronomy. Incorporate the slide show about the Gulf oil spill and reading into a class blog for a biology unit on bacteria. This slide show demonstrates how microbes are used to clean up the oil. The pictures of the organisms are wonderful! Or, incorporate it into an environmental science class dealing with the impact of human behavior on the environment. Have students read and view the slide show as homework, and then discuss what they have learned via your class wiki or in class. Challenge students to create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Have students further discuss the potential problems with associated new microbes into the oil spill area.
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Wide Angle: AIDS Warriors - PBS

Grades
9 to 12
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The Wide Angle PBS series is geared towards bringing students to a greater understanding of global current events through briefings, interactive maps, and additional resources. This...more
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The Wide Angle PBS series is geared towards bringing students to a greater understanding of global current events through briefings, interactive maps, and additional resources. This 2003 episode focuses on the battle against HIV/AIDS on Angola. There is a full length video, photo-essay, interview, and much more. While this episode is now past, it provides a solid timeline of the history of the region.

tag(s): africa (180), hiv/aids (18)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an introductory vignette of one African country in your world cultures class or as a case study on HIV/AIDS in Africa. Combine the simpler maps here with the visualization tools for current data through tools such as Many Eyes, (reviewed here) to present AIDS data in a visual form for sharing on an interactive whiteboard or projector (Search Many Eyes for "AIDS" to find many visualized forms of HIV/AIDS data from around the world).

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ESL Holidays Lessons - Sean Banville

Grades
1 to 8
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Look no further for holiday activities for your ESL and ELL students (or for reading/listening comprehension activities you can use with all learners! This site lists conventional and...more
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Look no further for holiday activities for your ESL and ELL students (or for reading/listening comprehension activities you can use with all learners! This site lists conventional and unusual holidays by month. Click the holiday you would like to feature to find a complete lesson including a tape script, an oral recording of the script, and a variety of review exercises. The printable activities include matching, several varieties of fill-in-the-blank, word choices, spelling, reordering events and sentences from the holiday information, and writing activities. An online clickable reading activity presents parts of sentences, so students must select which sentence part comes first. The screen changes when the correct part comes up, and students select the next part.

tag(s): holidays (147)

In the Classroom

Use this site to help ESL/ELL students improve listening, reading, writing, and cultural knowledge. Invite an ESL/ELL student to present a holiday from their home country to the class using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Many of the review activities would also work well as reading comprehension practice on interactive whiteboard, especially if students use highlighters and pens to mark up the text passage to locate key terms, etc.

Have students create online holiday posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Share this site with families of your ESL/ELL students to learn more about American holidays.
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