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Behind the News - ABC News Australia

Grades
6 to 12
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This site presents an oral and visual summary of weekly news stories from Australia. Transcripts of the broadcasts are also available. Look at the new stories, but also enjoy the ...more
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This site presents an oral and visual summary of weekly news stories from Australia. Transcripts of the broadcasts are also available. Look at the new stories, but also enjoy the archives. The Teacher Zone page includes worksheets and other suggestions of ways to use the stories for learning. The Student Zone shows videos and still photos of related news stories submitted by other students. There are also quizzes, polls, and other features..

Be aware, although most of this site is free, there are a few items (for example, CDs) that are for a fee. This site opens slowly and requires a FAST Internet connection. This site requires Flash and Windows Media Viewer. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): australia (35), news (261), point of view (9)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a way to teach point of view and bias in news reporting. Have students compare the Australian broadcast on topics that are also covered by U.S. media. How do the presentations of the main points differ? Have your students rewrite an American news story from what they think the Australian point of view might be. Use this site when teaching current events or world cultures, particularly Oceania. If you have technically-capable students, have them create annotated, side-by side comparisons using multimedia/video software and clips from these and American broadcasts (with appropriate citations, of course).
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Play the News Game - Impact Games

Grades
9 to 12
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In this current events activity, students (or all members of your class working together) choose current news events and assume character roles. After viewing the latest hot event in...more
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In this current events activity, students (or all members of your class working together) choose current news events and assume character roles. After viewing the latest hot event in the particular news item and reading some background, students (or your class) assume one of the characters' roles. They must make decisions, consult advisers, hone predictions, and make choices to steer tomorrow's news today. They can come back later to compare their predictions to what happened with the situation in the real news. Thus current events are no longer isolated factoids but become dynamic processes. News topics vary greatly and can include violence and other ugliness happening in the world today. Preview carefully before recommending a game to students, depending on the standards of your school community. Some topics include actual violence occurring in the world. Topics cover world news, U.S. politics, technology, and even entertainment. At one time, there are up to 20 news "games" going on. Players can see what other players have decided. Some games are closed; that is, their decisions are final. Members (your class as a whole?) also gain rank and opinion rating depending on how active they are on the website and how their opinions compare to those of the mainstream. As of this review, this site is still in "beta." This site requires Flash 9 or newer. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

To use many features of the site, you must create a membership (requires email). There are many "social" features within the site that make it a potential safety issue if all students are allowed to use it on their own. See ideas for handling these concerns below.

tag(s): news (261)

In the Classroom

Try this site as a regular part of your secondary discussions on current events or choose selected "games" that connect with your current curriculum topic. For example, explore stories from African nations as you study world cultures in Africa.

Classroom teachers will want to start by conducting this activity using a whole-class account (use your "extra" email account to create a single account, monitored by you). Use the game to facilitate discussion and build students' global citizenship by allowing them to make choices and see the results. Be sure to talk about the line between fantasy and reality: which parts of these games have actually happened and which are part of the "game" hypotheses. Include the link on your teacher web page for students to access both in and out of class if you believe they are ready to handle it on their own. Check your school policies on allowing students to participate in online decision making and sharing, and obtain written parent permission before individual students are allowed to log on. As an alternative for students who may not have permission, you can pose some of the same questions and provide newspaper and news magazine articles for background. But you know which tool your students will prefer!
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Power Point Activities - Kim Overstreet

Grades
3 to 8
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This site has a collection of PowerPoint programs which can be used as learning reviews, particularly academic forms of the popular TV jeopardy game. Other popular games in PowerPoint...more
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This site has a collection of PowerPoint programs which can be used as learning reviews, particularly academic forms of the popular TV jeopardy game. Other popular games in PowerPoint form here include Who Wants to be a Millionaire and Hollywood Squares . For those who want to create their own games for review, detailed directions are available. Other ideas for using PowerPoint lessons in teaching include math activities and literature accompaniments. Links to other PowerPoint lesson collections complete the offerings of this site. These are great tools for studying and helping students understand how they learn best.

In the Classroom

Share this site as a way to review before tests. Have students create their own PowerPoint game shows to review concepts learned in class. Share the PowerPoint presentations on an interactive whiteboard or projector.

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English as a Second Language Podcast - Center for Educational Development

Grades
6 to 12
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These up to date podcasts of high interest differ from other podcast sites: the language used and the speed of delivery are simpler and slower. ESL and ELL students will ...more
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These up to date podcasts of high interest differ from other podcast sites: the language used and the speed of delivery are simpler and slower. ESL and ELL students will readily comprehend the podcasts and learn new vocabulary in context. Difficult vocabulary is explained. Summaries of each podcast on the opening webpage provide the main content and pedagogical focus. The podcasts on this site are free; students can listen to them directly from the web, download to a local computer, or place on an MP3 player. Each podcast does contain a brief advertisement for other purchasable features, including Learning Guides, complete transcripts, cultural information, and vocabulary assistance. Be sure to preview the podcasts before sharing them with your students to ensure age appropriateness. Topics are generally for older students or adults. If you download the podcasts to the computer, you will need Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): listening (91), podcasts (52), vocabulary (323), vocabulary development (125)

In the Classroom

Have your ESL and ELL students listen and write their own summaries in groups or independently. Or ask them to write comprehension questions and answers to check their own understanding and challenge classmates. Have them compare information from the podcast to information on the same subject from other sources. Challenge students to present a one-minute summary. Have them prepare their own podcasts using the same format on subjects of their choice.
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On-Line ESL News - VOA

Grades
5 to 12
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This site features news stories and articles of general interest in simpler language. Text scripts of the news features appear on the screen as students open the page. Most of ...more
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This site features news stories and articles of general interest in simpler language. Text scripts of the news features appear on the screen as students open the page. Most of these news articles offer streaming audio for listening as students follow the text.The general interest articles range in topic from science and technology to global culture to studying in America. There are minor advertisements at this website. The news is available using RealAudio. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): listening (91), news (261), vocabulary (323), vocabulary development (125)

In the Classroom

Ask intermediate to upper level ESL and ELL students to research, write, and record a podcast of similar news. Poll students to find out which words in the broadcast are difficult for them, and assign a few words to each student to look up and explain. Ask ESL and ELL students to share similar stories from their home cultures. Learning support teachers will want to share these easy-to-understand news stories for their students' weekly current events "articles."

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Nations Illustrated - AMIXIMA Corp.

Grades
K to 12
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Are you looking for pictures of countries throughout the world? If so, this website is your one-stop destination. At this website you will find over 7,000 pictures (more are added ...more
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Are you looking for pictures of countries throughout the world? If so, this website is your one-stop destination. At this website you will find over 7,000 pictures (more are added everyday). The pictures are from countries in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Oceania, and Africa. The countries are each broken down into sub-categories by city or even topic (such as "The Morocco Landscape"). In addition to the pictures, you can also break down many of the pictures into slide puzzles to recreate or even send them as an e-card to friends or family.

The Terms of use state that photos may be used for personal, non-commercial use and that you must abide by copyright restrictions with each photo. Any restrictions to use are listed in the information below each picture. Be sure to personally model ethical behavior and have your students learn to credit the photos, no matter how they are used. Use any photo information provided, including the title and URL where you can see the picture.

Caution - although this website is appropriate for all ages, since users can submit photographs, please view the photos before sharing them with your class. Some of the activities at this website require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): africa (180), air (163), architecture (83), asia (73), countries (76), europe (75), south america (39)

In the Classroom

There are countless ways to integrate this website into your lesson plans. Why not use your interactive whiteboard to visit a different location every week. Or simply share images of the "real world" setting of a story you are reading or current events article. This website also enables students to locate "real" pictures for research projects. Why not create a scavenger hunt (using PowerPoint or another program). Provide clues for the countries to "scavenge" and then have students research the information to figure out the correct country and use the Nations Illustrated website to copy/paste pictures from each of the locations. The students can create a picture scrapbook of their scavenger hunt.
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Online Newspapers - Web Wombat Pty Ltd.

Grades
5 to 12
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Never again wonder where to find a newspaper. This site accesses thousands of newspapers with just a simple sign-in from the drop down information search page. There are newspapers...more
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Never again wonder where to find a newspaper. This site accesses thousands of newspapers with just a simple sign-in from the drop down information search page. There are newspapers included from South East Asia, Central America, Middle East, and nearly every country throughout the world. There are some minor advertisements at this website.

tag(s): africa (180), asia (73), central america (13), middle east (30), news (261), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

Students can update reports and research by accessing newspapers from around the world. Any of your favorite newspaper learning activities can transfer to a newspaper in another part of the USA or world. Foreign language teachers and students will enjoy using the foreign presses for authentic learning. Social Studies teachers can assign students to compare points of view on world issues or perceptions of the U.S. via various newspapers.

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A Teacher's guide to the Holocaust - Florida Center for Instructional Technology

Grades
4 to 12
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This website features a wealth of information regarding the holocaust, including primary source documents, galleries, maps, and movies Browse the incredible amount of information available...more
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This website features a wealth of information regarding the holocaust, including primary source documents, galleries, maps, and movies Browse the incredible amount of information available at this guide. Identify plays and other resources used to document history from the Holocaust. The resources also include software and their sources, as well as interactive quizzes. Other links include a Holocaust timeline, People (groups that played a role in the Holocaust such as victims, resisters, bystanders, etc.), and the Arts. The activities include lesson plans for elementary, middle, and high school. The lesson plans include social studies, arts, language arts, thinking/research, and ethics/responsibility. This website requires QuickTime. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): hitler (10), holocaust (39), jews (20), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Use the activities presented on the site, such as Bioethics of Eugenics or the role of Propaganda during the Holocaust. You can use many of these resources to compare present day beliefs or thoughts about the holocaust, or to evaluate current websites/blogs for accuracy. Social responsibility and action from that period can be compared to current crises in the World today. Students can also use the information to determine the reasoning behind the actions of each of the groups and write an editorial about that group's beliefs or create a piece of artwork depicting their thoughts and emotions.

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Season Sequence Stories - Crayola

Grades
K to 4
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This mini-lesson plan teaches children sequence, observation, season awareness, and creative expression. The children either make multiple drawings or cards which capture the outdoor...more
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This mini-lesson plan teaches children sequence, observation, season awareness, and creative expression. The children either make multiple drawings or cards which capture the outdoor scene of the present season. They also put the cards or drawings in sequential order. Children who can't write can dictate their comments to the teacher. As the children share their sequential stories with each other, they all practice listening skills, learn new vocabulary, and understand differences in points of view. Children can also take their classmates' pictures and cards and rearrange them and tell or write new stories.

tag(s): drawing (78), seasons (37), sequencing (31)

In the Classroom

Use this activity in response to a field trip or outdoor excursion around the school. This lesson allows ESL and ELL students who can't express themselves as well as the rest of the class to be full participants. Teachers might want to review pertinent meta-questions before taking a trip, such as "What is the name of that?," "How do you spell that word?," and "Can you repeat that?" before going outside the classroom.

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OnGuard Online - U.S. Government

Grades
4 to 12
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Onguard Online has compiled resources for computer users to help keep their computers safe and internet transactions worry free. Topics range from e-mail scams to Identity Theft, Internet...more
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Onguard Online has compiled resources for computer users to help keep their computers safe and internet transactions worry free. Topics range from e-mail scams to Identity Theft, Internet Auctions, Spyware, Wireless Security, Phishing, Social Networking Sites, Online Shopping, Peer-to-Peer File-Sharing (P2P), VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), Laptop Security, and Investing Online. There are games for Elementary students as well as useful tools and tips for more sophisticated users including adults. Spanish speakers can switch the site to Spanish for their convenience. The Federal Trade Commission maintains the site, but the information comes from an impressive collection of agencies including The Office of Homeland Security and i-Safe.

tag(s): internet safety (108), safety (91), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Survey students about their online usage and behaviors. This can be done informally as a class discussion or as an online survey that is filled out by students. Create a quick poll using SurveyPlanet, reviewed here. Use a projector and or a whiteboard to display the results and discuss the results of the survey with the class. Emphasize the importance of online safety and introduce the OnGuard Online website as an important resource for accurate and current information. Why not have cooperative learning groups investigate one of the topic areas provided (such as identity theft). Then have the groups make a multimedia presentation to present their findings to the class. Use one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Younger students can be introduced to the online games that teach appropriate and ethical online behavior. A scavenger hunt or questionnaire can be created for older students to explore the many issues that arise while online. As an extension activity students can role play different scenarios that they are confronted with when they are online and how they can respond in a safe ethical manner.
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NPR: Election 2008 - National Public Radio

Grades
6 to 12
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Sifting through the volume of information on the 2008 Presidential elections could be a full-time job! If you want a handful of sites that give you current, unbiased (as much ...more
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Sifting through the volume of information on the 2008 Presidential elections could be a full-time job! If you want a handful of sites that give you current, unbiased (as much as any political information can be!) data about the election, consider using this NPR site. It starts with a flash-enabled US map that is currently reflecting the status of primaries and caucuses. You can link to a nice side-by-side comparison of candidates' views on central issues like Iraq, the economy, health care, and climate change. There is a helpful primary calendar that keeps you posted on where we are in the process. Finally, there is updated news and commentary about the campaign season. This site requires FLASH, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): elections (75), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Of course, civics and government teachers focus on Presidential elections past and present and will find this site quite useful. Other teachers who regularly do "current events" discussions can also find simple, direct, and up-to-date information that can be used to inform, debate, or share on an interactive whiteboard. Make this site a Favorite and share it on your teacher web page for students to use for research on individual candidate platforms. Encourage students to check the site regularly for updates. Use it to help students stage a mock debate or mock election.
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Statistics - Cast Your Vote! - Annenberg Media

Grades
8 to 12
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This timely website follows a year in a fictitious election campaign. The website is set-up like a news report (via radio) that takes an inside look at the mathematics behind ...more
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This timely website follows a year in a fictitious election campaign. The website is set-up like a news report (via radio) that takes an inside look at the mathematics behind the polls, and the political news and updates that you hear everyday. The introduction asks students to complete a short poll (which is not affiliated with any political party; it is all fictitious). Once the poll is completed, you are taken to the main website. The specific topics include - How Random is Random, +/-5%, Being Confident, What Can Go Wrong, In Daily Life, and Related Resources.

tag(s): critical thinking (108), elections (75), politics (99), statistics (122)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous way to integrate math, government, and current events! Use this activity as an anticipatory set to an election unit or a statistics lesson. Once the lesson is completed, extend the activities by looking at current polls on elections in your area (or national elections). Have students work in small groups to analyze and find possible "loopholes" in the meaning and "spin" of poll data.
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NIE Custom Classroom lesson Plans - NIE Online

Grades
9 to 12
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These are lesson plans geared to provoke discussion and provide activity for students using current events. Clicking on any of the newspapers listed will take you to "Newspaper Activities...more
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These are lesson plans geared to provoke discussion and provide activity for students using current events. Clicking on any of the newspapers listed will take you to "Newspaper Activities for Teaching." In the right-hand column, click on "Go to lessons for grades 9-12" to find 5 activities for the week using the newspaper as a catalyst. You can print them out using the "printer friendly" format offered. Substitutes stranded without plans will love the readily-available lesson plans that are always timely and worthwhile.

tag(s): blogs (88), journalism (46), news (261), substitutes (21)

In the Classroom

The actual lesson plans can easily be varied to suit your needs for online sleuthing and discussion on contemporary issues. Remedial reading and ESL/ELL teachers will find these lessons helpful in providing non-fiction reading practice, as well. One of the extras on this site is the ability to go back for a year for more ideas. Using different media websites such as CNN News, MSNBC, ABC, Fox News, NY Times, etc. will keep students working and interested in the world around them. Try assigning students to different types of articles, i.e., a news story, an editorial agreeing with and one disagreeing with it, a cartoon about it, etc. Use this site as instant "blog fodder" to get students writing and interacting with the real world.

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CommonCensus Map Project - Michael Baldwin

Grades
9 to 12
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Today's world is increasingly mobile, and deep-seated regional identity may be fading into the background. This project seeks to redraw the map of the United States using responders'...more
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Today's world is increasingly mobile, and deep-seated regional identity may be fading into the background. This project seeks to redraw the map of the United States using responders' self-reported regional "identity" rather than political or geographic borders. For example, the city or US region you most closely identify with may be different from your mailing address. Aside from being a new way of thinking about the question "Where are you from?" this concept has enormous political implications as candidates focus on the regional issues that matter to voters. There are also important issues relative to immigration, national identity, and the ever-shrinking global economy reflected in this data.

tag(s): demographics (19)

In the Classroom

The website is a work in progress and depends upon users to respond to a brief questionnaire. It might be interesting to have students participate after a discussion of concepts of regional identification or the importance of political involvement. (The form does require the user to enter a home address, but no other identifying information). Your students could also invite their parents to participate or conduct a local drive to add data to the project and see what happens to the map. The information gathered from this site might also be helpful in talking about regional and local political representation during election years. The opportuniites for critical thinking abound with this site.

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Inspiration Lane - Susan Alyn

Grades
4 to 12
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This dynamic site offers a blog-style newspaper for ESL/ELL students and could also be used in other academic areas. The daily entries follow the same basic format: "Quote of the ...more
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This dynamic site offers a blog-style newspaper for ESL/ELL students and could also be used in other academic areas. The daily entries follow the same basic format: "Quote of the Day," "This Day in History," "Article of the Day," "Comic Creators," "Cooking State," "Match Up," "Museum Town," and "Caption Central." All change daily! "Today's English Lesson" changes on weekdays. Like a newspaper, teachers and students can read a single feature or the entire sheet. Interspersed with the information are grammar reminders and practical applications. For foreign language students and beginning language learners, there is an option to translate the page into Korean, French, German, Italian, Portuguese,Spanish, Japanese, simplified Chinese and even Arabic!

tag(s): cooking (34), news (261), pronunciation (44), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Project this on your whiteboard at the start of your lesson as students enter or to wrap up the final five minutes with interesting clips from history, quotes, ESL in music etc. Encourage your students to try a new vocabulary word each day on their own. If your students have Internet access outside of class (even in study hall), require a weekly current events response for writing practice--perhaps on a class blog?
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Opensecrets.org - Open Secrets

Grades
9 to 12
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A compilation of data about fund-raising and the financing of political candidates in the United States, this site contains a massive amount of information. You can drill down to the...more
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A compilation of data about fund-raising and the financing of political candidates in the United States, this site contains a massive amount of information. You can drill down to the zip code level and find out who in your local area is donating how much to which political candidates and parties. You can search by politician or by candidates and see where their financial support comes from. You can track particular issues or take a historical look at campaign and political finance.

tag(s): elections (75), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Put this site on your TeachersFirst favorites list or teacher web page so students can use it for research on political candidates and issues. Civics teachers will find it useful in demonstrating the importance of lobbying and campaign finance in the political arena. Economics teachers can use these data to illustrate the connection between wealth and political power. Teachers doing lessons focused on the upcoming elections can track current Presidential candidates and their major contributors.
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Gapminder - Gapminder

Grades
7 to 12
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Gapminder is an interactive site designed to present world demographic information in a highly visual way. Using either a world map, or a chart with "bubbles" sized according to ...more
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Gapminder is an interactive site designed to present world demographic information in a highly visual way. Using either a world map, or a chart with "bubbles" sized according to each country's population, users can track 30 years of change in a wide variety of economic and social indicators (for example, population size, percentage of GNP dedicated to military spending, proportion of girls in school, infant mortality). Math teachers can use the site to demonstrate data analysis skills with meaningful data. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): data (148), demographics (19)

In the Classroom

The site would be best used on an interactive whiteboard, although computer-savvy students could access it individually. The world data presented might supplement lessons in economics, civics, world cultures, current events or modern history. Teachers should plan to spend a chunk of time previewing the site before using, however, as the interface is not entirely intuitive. There is a tutorial, but it will take some experimentation to discover the various ways to manipulate the data and present it graphically. There is also this page of ideas specifically for teachers. You can compare individual countries, or zoom into geographic regions. "Mature" teachers who learned bar graphs and pie charts may find the choices a little overwhelming, but with a little noodling around, will be able to graphically illustrate concepts in ways never before possible.br br Challenge your students to retrieve and use some of the data in support of an essay thesis, oral presentation, or debate.
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September 11,2001 documentary project - Library of Congress

Grades
7 to 12
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From the Library of Congress' American Memory project, this site links to a large collection of audio, video, text, and artwork related the events of September 11, 2001. Users ...more
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From the Library of Congress' American Memory project, this site links to a large collection of audio, video, text, and artwork related the events of September 11, 2001. Users can search by media, by topic or by title.

tag(s): new york (26), sept11 (21), terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

This site would be most useful to students doing research on the 9/11 attacks, but also could provide teachers with supplemental material for a lesson on the events of that date. Although teachers will remember the day vividly, most students were young enough when it occurred that their memories will be clouded. Another use for this site is as an example of the power and necessity of primary sources in documenting any event. Compare these resources to accounts we have of Pearl Harbor and other major events as you ask student to conduct an interviewing project of their own, perhaps of local history.

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September 11 Digital Archive - Center for History and New Media

Grades
7 to 12
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A good start for accessing a wealth of information related to the events of September 11, 2001, this site provides links to research databases, first person accounts and photo and ...more
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A good start for accessing a wealth of information related to the events of September 11, 2001, this site provides links to research databases, first person accounts and photo and sound galleries. For most teachers, 9/11 is a very recent event and is fresh in our minds. However, for students, the details of that terrible day may be fuzzy either because they were young when it happened, or because they were shielded from much of the news coverage. This site can help present the account. Among the "Special Collections" is a link to an innovative sound memorial site that provides a montage of voices and sounds recorded on September 11. Although the main site does not, some of the linked sites require Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): new york (26), sept11 (21), terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

Preview carefully for younger students. Use the site in your discussions of current events and terrorism-related topics or share it as a resource for high school students doing research projects. As politicians talk about Sept 11, this site can help fill the gaps in your students' background. You can easily demonstrate primary and secondary sources with these engaging examples.
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Elllo( English Language Listening Lab Online) - Todd Beuckens

Grades
5 to 12
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This site offers a wide variety of listening activities specifically for ESL students. The site is updated weekly with new interviews, games, news, talking points, and songs, all available...more
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This site offers a wide variety of listening activities specifically for ESL students. The site is updated weekly with new interviews, games, news, talking points, and songs, all available for free. A huge audio archive stores items from previous weeks, months, and years. "Mixers" include opinions of several people. Students can listen to these short sessions, answer a main idea question and also see the transcript of the piece. Another feature allows users to see the transcript of interviews as they listen. There are quiz questions available after each interview. Video links connect users to offsite videos from a variety of courses; these are available with some articles and interviews.

Note: Teachers should PREVIEW content before using it in class or assigning it. Some slang and topics are not appropriate for younger students, though most of it is excellent. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.. Downloads for mp3 players are available for free.

tag(s): listening (91), news (261)

In the Classroom

Share chosen activities from this site on laptops or computers with headphones to build ESL/ ELL student confidence and listening skills. Some activities are well-suited for speech/language students to improve listening comprehension skills, as well.
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