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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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ESL Monkeys Story Room - Mary and David Monkey

Grades
1 to 12
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This site offers many readable stories; short, long, and classic stories are available in full by clicking on the links on the opening page. There are also tools for using ...more
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This site offers many readable stories; short, long, and classic stories are available in full by clicking on the links on the opening page. There are also tools for using current events selections. A reading tool allows students to copy and paste a puzzling text into a box and get definitions from words in that text by clicking on the unknown words. For teachers, there are many "teaching reading" hints and links to lesson plans. Although the site focuses on ESL students, the variety and number of short stories makes it useful to all aspiring readers.

tag(s): short stories (25)

In the Classroom

Use the selections from this page to teach specific reading skills on an interactive whiteboard or for students to practice reading and language skills independently at a computer center or on laptops. If you allow students to select their own stories (ages are noted to help them find the appropriate level), they may be more interested in the story, as well.

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Social Studies for Kids

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1 to 8
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This is a general "go-to" website all about social studies. There is information about current events, culture, holidays, languages, religion, economics, geography, maps, government,...more
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This is a general "go-to" website all about social studies. There is information about current events, culture, holidays, languages, religion, economics, geography, maps, government, U.S. presidents, timelines, and many other social studies topics. The highlight of this website is the Current Events segment. This is an easy way to incorporate age-appropriate current events in your classroom.
Note: an annoying audio ad plays when you first enter the site. Turn OFF your sound!

tag(s): holidays (147), maps (288), presidents (131), renaissance (34), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

Use the current events segment as weekly discussion starter or assignment in your social studies class. Share this link on your teacher web page for students to access outside of class. To really build a stronger sense of current events, start a class year-long current events "log" on a wiki and have a differnet student write a "week in review" each week throughout the year, based on the current events provided here or others he/she may know about. Reading teachers may also want to use the articles on this site to teach informational text reading skills on an interactive whiteboard. Reading levels are challenging for grades 1-3. Teachers will need to provide help by reading aloud or partnering readers.

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World News - WN Network

Grades
4 to 12
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This is a wonderful compilation site of news from all over the world. Users can read the home page or search news of a specific geographic region. An ...more
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This is a wonderful compilation site of news from all over the world. Users can read the home page or search news of a specific geographic region. An excellent plus here is the ability to choose to read the news in a variety of languages. World Photos today, multimedia, global weather, and sports are just a few of the many attractive sections that add to this site's appeal.

tag(s): news (261)

In the Classroom

Share this site with your school's foreign language teachers. Have students do comparisons between English and foreign language versions of the news. If you teach writing, you can find controversial topics as writing prompts for persuasive writing among the articles, as well, and have students find facts to support their positions. Make this site available from your teacher web page for current events assignments. Reading teachers will want to use the articles on an interactive whiteboard to teach main idea and summarizing: highlight key words to use in a main idea or summary sentence you write together below the article.

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TeachersFirst Middle East Interactive Activities - TeachersFirst

Grades
6 to 12
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Understanding the nuances of the Middle East is a challenge for anyone. TeachersFirst offers these interactive activities to help students grasp the basic political geography and religious...more
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Understanding the nuances of the Middle East is a challenge for anyone. TeachersFirst offers these interactive activities to help students grasp the basic political geography and religious make-up of the region. The activities include some basic facts to acquaint students with historical events, resentments, and alliances in the region. With this foundation, you can move on to meaningful discussions of the many interrelationships in the Middle East and their impact on the world today.

tag(s): arab (18), iran (12), iraq (32), israel (17), middle east (30)

In the Classroom

These interactive activities are well-suited for both individual student use and interactive whiteboards. There is a link at the bottom of the page to different lesson plan ideas to use these activities in the classroom for varying purposes. Be sure to include the link on your teacher web page if you are asking students to learn all the country names. They will be able to use the activities to practice at home or in study halls.
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Ask the White House - White House and government officials

Grades
8 to 12
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Got a question regarding the economy? Energy efficiency? The military? Trade revenue? Anything? This site, launched in 2003, allows anyone to post a question and ...more
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Got a question regarding the economy? Energy efficiency? The military? Trade revenue? Anything? This site, launched in 2003, allows anyone to post a question and government officials thoroughly and expertly responds. Also, archives of chat discussions can be found through this address. What other place can the average American citizen discuss politics or economics or education or any number of topics with high-ranking officials?

tag(s): news (261), white house (14)

In the Classroom

Civics teachers may want to post key questions from the class and ask students to predict what the response might be. Teachers may ask students to research any of many subjects introduced through the "Ask the White House" questions. Students doing research on civics or economic topics will appreciate the authentic expertise offered by the officials at this site. Of course, some discussion of "netiquette" on phrasing questions would be a good idea! A great follow-up would be a letter-writing activity to government officials, especially to prompt juniors and seniors to become active citizens.

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Common Sense Media - Common Sense Media Inc.

Grades
1 to 12
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This site has current movie reviews from the parents' point of view: What current movies are appropriate? What ages are they appropriate for? In addition to current films, there ...more
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This site has current movie reviews from the parents' point of view: What current movies are appropriate? What ages are they appropriate for? In addition to current films, there are reviews of TV programs, new DVD's, games, websites, books, music, etc. The site uses its own rating system: "Appropriate for age," "Know your kid," and "Not appropriate for age." Along with written reviews and Q/A approaches, there are video clips and tips. Each category of entertainment has several recommended and reviewed items with age ranges. There is also a newsletter and in-depth articles on subjects of concern to kids and parents.

tag(s): internet safety (109), movies (64), parents (56), safety (92)

In the Classroom

Let your students' parents know about this site via your teacher web page or class newsletter. You may also want to share it with your school PTO or PTA.

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American Experience: New Orleans - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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The tragedy of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent efforts to rebuild the city of New Orleans have brought attention to this distinctive city. This site provides resources for helping...more
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The tragedy of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent efforts to rebuild the city of New Orleans have brought attention to this distinctive city. This site provides resources for helping students understand its unique history from historical and cultural perspectives.

There are several great interactive resources provided including audio clips and commentary about New Orleans' great musical tradition, and a flash-enabled map showing the growth of the city over time. Whether you're interested in teaching music, particularly American Jazz, or the history of New Orleans' diverse melting pot of cultures or the politics of race in the Katrina recovery process, you will find good content here. Teacher resources include lesson plans on history, civics, music and geography.

tag(s): jazz (15)

In the Classroom

Share the interactive portions on projector and speakers or laptops, as you ask your students to propose a better way for government agencies to prepare for and respond to disasters. Using this site and many others, they can gather evidence to support their proposals. Don't miss the accounts by the Superintendent of the St. Bernard Schools as another source.
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Feedback on Educational Technology to the U.S. Dept of Education - US DOE

Grades
K to 12
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If you have opinions on educational technology and its effectiveness, you should take the time to provide feedback from the trenches on the role technology plays in your students' success...more
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If you have opinions on educational technology and its effectiveness, you should take the time to provide feedback from the trenches on the role technology plays in your students' success and global competitiveness. You can also state your opinion on the Federal government's role in educational technology. Whether you have experienced blazing success or tentative competence using technology as part of your teaching repertoire, this feedback form gives you a chance to speak up. The form was posted May 4, 2007, and no specific deadline is listed, but a timely response would be more likely to make it "onto the radar screen."

tag(s): spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Share this link with your teaching colleagues, parents, and students on your teacher web page. What a great challenge for a writing prompt!

Comments

I shared this with my grade 11 English class as an option for persuasive writing. The length limits really forced them to be economical with their words! Thinking, PA, Grades: 5 - 10

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Newz Crew - Global Kids, Inc.

Grades
9 to 12
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This site serves as a launching pad for "newz crews": on line discussion groups focused on current events. The discussion groups (which students can join individually or as ...more
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This site serves as a launching pad for "newz crews": on line discussion groups focused on current events. The discussion groups (which students can join individually or as a class group with teacher oversight) are facilitated by a group of high school students with regular prompts to read a current events article and discuss its implications.

In the Classroom

While you could certainly pass along information about this site to your students to use individually, it would also serve as a great class project. Each discussion "crew" is slated to last only about a month, so there is no long term commitment. Teachers who register their own class groups can monitor the discussions their students are having as a way to ensure participation. While students may prefer their own social networking sites, this site can incorporate that technology into an educationally relevant activity. This site may be particularly helpful for getting more introverted students "talking."

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CNN.com - Audio and Video Podcasts - Cable News Network

Grades
6 to 12
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This interactive website offers daily video -- and podcasts -- for students. Look in the left column for the "CNN Student News" link. At the "CNN Student News" link ...more
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This interactive website offers daily video -- and podcasts -- for students. Look in the left column for the "CNN Student News" link. At the "CNN Student News" link you are able to click to "watch" or click to "iTunes". Detailed directions lead you through using the daily news either on your computer or downloaded to your iPod. You can also subscribe to the feed so you can play them in your classroom daily or play selections weekly.

tag(s): news (261)

In the Classroom

Use this free site to keep your students up to date on current events. Play the podcasts on an interactive whtboard/projector and speakers. If you assign students to find and report current events stories, include this link on your teacher web page as a possible source. Of course you will want to ask high school students to compare the coverage of different sources for "spin."
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Cogito - Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth

Grades
7 to 12
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This powerful site will challenge your brightest students and get everyone thinking. Designed to spark interest of young scientists and thinkers in real world issues, this site is run...more
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This powerful site will challenge your brightest students and get everyone thinking. Designed to spark interest of young scientists and thinkers in real world issues, this site is run by Johns Hopkins' famous program for gifted youth. Find feature articles on current research, Nobel laureates, and hot topics such as global warming. Explore the links for MANY outstanding sites not specifically for "education" as much as for real-world investigation and learning.

tag(s): careers (132), energy (198), gifted (96), summer (12)

In the Classroom

Teachers with high level, AP, or gifted students will want to explore this site during the summer months for inspiration and resources to use throughout the year. If your gifted program requires individual projects, send your students here to find ideas and to get energized! Even "regular" teachers, especially in the sciences, will want to share some of the current research topics and interviews that fit their curriculum. If you are looking for ways students and environmental clubs can get involved, check out the "Get Involved" section in the Sites and Tools menu.

One simple way to use the Interviews in a regular science classroom would be to have students research and act out an interview with a "mock" scientist, explaining what he/she does in order to expose students to the many fields included in the sciences.

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When the Personal Becomes Presidential - New York Times Learning Network

Grades
6 to 12
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This is a New York Times lesson plan focused on a recent article about the personal lives of Presidential candidates. The lesson plan asks students to look at the ...more
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This is a New York Times lesson plan focused on a recent article about the personal lives of Presidential candidates. The lesson plan asks students to look at the extent to which candidates and their personal pasts will influence voters' willingness to support them, and focuses on the fact that several candidates have had messy divorces.

The lesson plan starts with the familiar "read the story and discuss" format, but there are a number of good essential questions and extension activities provided that could be tailored into a strong classroom plan. The lesson plans have cross-curricular suggestions, and are tied to standards.

tag(s): elections (75), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Be sure help your weaker readers and ELL students by sharing the listed vocabulary words prior to reading, either on a handout or by projecting on an interactive whiteboard and highlighting them in the text as you come to them.

Use this lesson to discuss current events in politics (which changes daily). Have students discuss and debate the current issues. Have the students write a wiki about a current event in politics (for example, Governor Palin being the first woman VP on the GOP ticket).

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In Search of Safety - BBC

Grades
6 to 12
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This website is all about Sudan. Visitors to this website will find a wealth of information including quizzes, interactive videos, diaries written by students, authentic pictures,...more
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This website is all about Sudan. Visitors to this website will find a wealth of information including quizzes, interactive videos, diaries written by students, authentic pictures, a guide to what it means to be a refugee, information on Darfur and more. Many of the activities require Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

Use a projector or interactive whiteboard to "tour" Sudan as part of a study of the African continent or world trouble spots. Although the topic of genocide is quite difficult, this site could spark discussions of international relations and would be a good accompaniment while studying the U.N., international relations, and current events. Include the link on your tecaher web page and allow students to choose from several world hot spots as they group or individual reports.
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Middle East - BBC

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4 to 12
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This site provides an eclectic mix of information about the Middle East. The BBC has created this up-to-date website that includes information guides, interviews, message boards, pictures,...more
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This site provides an eclectic mix of information about the Middle East. The BBC has created this up-to-date website that includes information guides, interviews, message boards, pictures, quizzes and more. The message boards pose some interesting discussion questions for students. This is an excellent, student-friendly source for current events and debate background. It also provides short, non-fiction texts for comprehension practice with remedial readers.

tag(s): iran (12), iraq (32), israel (17), middle east (30)

In the Classroom

Include this link on your teacher page for middle and high school students to use as a reference and build better understanding of this tumultuous region. It will help even younger students understand the region, but parts of this website are not appropriate for elementary students. Preview before you take your elementary class on a virtual field trip to the Middle East.

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Iraq - BBC

Grades
4 to 12
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This site provides information about Iraq and the war. There are information guides, quizzes, pictures and more. The BBC keeps this page very up-to-date. This site does a ...more
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This site provides information about Iraq and the war. There are information guides, quizzes, pictures and more. The BBC keeps this page very up-to-date. This site does a good job explaining the war and views of the war to children. Remember this site was created in Britain, so the comments and language are not American. This may surprise younger students at first but will provide a new angle.

tag(s): iraq (32)

In the Classroom

If you do current events study or have students with family members in Iraq, be sure to include this site as a link from your teacher web page. As the 2008 U.S. elections approach, you may want to begin a "current events" collection of resources for students to use to develop better understanding of election issues.
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Islam - BBC

Grades
4 to 12
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This site introduces students to the religion of Islam. There is a 26-minute video, which includes questions and answers submitted by students. There are also informative guides,...more
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This site introduces students to the religion of Islam. There is a 26-minute video, which includes questions and answers submitted by students. There are also informative guides, chats, quizzes, pictures, interviews and much, much more. Some of the activities require FLASH.

tag(s): middle east (30)

In the Classroom

If you are teaching your students about the religion of Islam or trying to introduce world cultures, this is one resource that you simply cannot do without. Include it as a resource for students trying to understand currenet events in a broader context.
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Children of Iraq - BBC

Grades
3 to 8
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This website introduces students to the children of Iraq and Iraq as a country. Highlights of this website include an interactive video clip (which requires FLASH), informational guides,...more
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This website introduces students to the children of Iraq and Iraq as a country. Highlights of this website include an interactive video clip (which requires FLASH), informational guides, pictures and many other resources. If you have students whose parents are serving in the military, this topic may be emotional, but it will also highlight what children all over the world have in common.

tag(s): iraq (32)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard to introduce your students to the children of Iraq, share the video, and take the quiz to find out what your students know about Iraq.
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Drought In Africa - BBC

Grades
4 to 10
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This site (created by BBC) includes a wealth of information on the drought in Africa and the continent of Africa. There are videos, music clips from each country, demographic ...more
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This site (created by BBC) includes a wealth of information on the drought in Africa and the continent of Africa. There are videos, music clips from each country, demographic information, authentic pictures and diary entries, interactive maps and numerous articles on specific topics relating to Africa. Some of the interactive learning requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): africa (180), climate (92), climate change (64)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to take your students on an African visit. The main topic of this website is the drought in Africa, however there is a great deal of information on many African subjects. Include this on your teacher web page as one of several links on different continents as you study world geography, cultures, or climate change.
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Investigates Arson - BBC

Grades
7 to 12
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This site has factual information about arson. It includes video footage, authentic cases of arson, surveys, what to do to help, and more. Take advantage of this website, created especially...more
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This site has factual information about arson. It includes video footage, authentic cases of arson, surveys, what to do to help, and more. Take advantage of this website, created especially for pre-teens and teenagers, as one of many current issues topics when studying current events or safety. Flash is required for some of the activities. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): fire (25), fire safety (11), safety (92)

In the Classroom

Share this link as one of several project topics for health, current events, or a criminal justice elective. It could also be a good source for background information in a debate class or club.
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