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American Immigration Past and Present

Grades
10 to 12
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As the national debate on immigration reform and border security continues, use this lesson to get your students thinking about this highly-charged issue. As they examine primary documents,...more
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As the national debate on immigration reform and border security continues, use this lesson to get your students thinking about this highly-charged issue. As they examine primary documents, participate in organized debates, analyze a variety of media, and practice editorial writing, students will gain an understanding of the historical, economic, and political facets of this controversial topic. Aligned to Standards.

tag(s): immigration (58), migration (59)

In the Classroom

This is a fairly demanding lesson requiring high student reading levels and strong analytical thinking skills. Consider incorporating this into your AP social studies curriculum.

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Grading on a Curve - New York Times

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6 to 12
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Just how effective are the six key issues of President Bush's domestic agenda? This lesson gives students a chance to assume the role of political analyst as they critically examine...more
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Just how effective are the six key issues of President Bush's domestic agenda? This lesson gives students a chance to assume the role of political analyst as they critically examine the Bush administration. The goal is to create a report card addressing the efficacy of selected domestic topics. Includes suggestions for interdisciplinary activities and projects. Aligned to standards.

tag(s): foreign policy (16), presidents (132)

In the Classroom

Though a bit outdated for a current events class, this would be a great lesson in a US government class looking at the Presidency of George H.W. Bush. Save this lesson as a favorite on your desktop to allow for easy retrieval later on - though be sure to look closely at the lesson and make sure that students have learned enough of the contextual information to be able to make sense of the article. For differentiation, peruse the article before-hand, creating a list of words that students may have trouble with or may not be familiar with. Create a follow-along for the article, defining those words selected to help students as they read. This will allow lower achieving readers to be able to process the information more efficiently and with more comprehension.

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Avian Influenza: What You Should Know - U.S. Centers for Disease Control

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6 to 12
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The CDC's home page for information on "bird flu" (avian influenza) offers a variety of content written at an adult level, including basic fact sheets, current outbreak updates, etc....more
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The CDC's home page for information on "bird flu" (avian influenza) offers a variety of content written at an adult level, including basic fact sheets, current outbreak updates, etc. Used selectively, this information offers an authoritative look at the evolution of this new disease and the international response to its spread.

tag(s): diseases (69)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an introduction to the avian flu during the seemingly always present flu-season. Have students explore the site in cooperative learning group with the intentions of finding three things that they can do to prevent themselves from getting the flu, or what the government is doing to prevent a spread. Have students create a short presentation with the information, making online posters that summarizes their findings. Use an online poster creator, such as Padlet (reviewed here). This would be great in a Health class, or in a government class studying government responses during crises or the impact of globalization.

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Pandemic Flu - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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9 to 12
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It's in the news everyday: Countries are struggling to develop strategies for combating what could be the world's next pandemic influenza outbreak. This U.S. government Web site from...more
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It's in the news everyday: Countries are struggling to develop strategies for combating what could be the world's next pandemic influenza outbreak. This U.S. government Web site from the Department of Health and Human Services provides factual information on the avian flu and the current national strategy for handling it. Includes U.S. and international surveillance reports, current research activities, and potential economic impacts.

In the Classroom

hare this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia presentations (focusing on causes, the flu itself, how it spreads, how to better protect themselves, etc.). Have groups create commercials about their topic, and complete additional research. Video the commercials and share them on a site such as Teachers.TV reviewed here.. Provide this link on your class website for students to share with their parents.

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Deadly Virus - National Archives and Records Administration

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8 to 12
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How does the threat of the bird flu compare with the actual influenza pandemic that swept the world in 1918, killing more people than died World War I? This ...more
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How does the threat of the bird flu compare with the actual influenza pandemic that swept the world in 1918, killing more people than died World War I? This site provides riveting photographs and commentary, detailing the development and spread of the virus that indiscriminately lowered average life expectancy in the United States by more than 12 years. Find out how it affected American society and read first-hand accounts of its path of destruction.

In the Classroom

The most descriptive part of this website are the images of civil servants in contact with the public wearing surgical masks while performing their everyday duties. Use these images to supplement your lecture on the epidemic, and to spur a class discussion on the comparison between people's reaction for diseases today such as the Swine flu or the Bird flu.

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Associated Press News - AP & Google

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9 to 12
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Make current events an interactive experience with this "mash up" that plots and superimposes current AP news stories on a Google map or satellite image of the U.S. Click ...more
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Make current events an interactive experience with this "mash up" that plots and superimposes current AP news stories on a Google map or satellite image of the U.S. Click on a marker to read the full story. National news, sports, business, technology, and "strange" happenings are represented topics.

tag(s): maps (293), news (265)

In the Classroom

Use as source for creating a classroom "bulletin board" map of national news. Project to serve as discussion-starter for current events issues.

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First Headlines - Rentz Data Systems

Grades
8 to 12
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Get the latest front page news from U.S. and international newspapers and network news sites with this impressive current events site. Browse through the featured articles and click...more
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Get the latest front page news from U.S. and international newspapers and network news sites with this impressive current events site. Browse through the featured articles and click on a headline to access the full story. If you can't find what you're looking for on the home page, scan through the site's current stories, organized by topic or region of the world.

tag(s): news (265)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for current events projects - assign students various weeks through out the semester in which they are to be the class news reporter, keeping their peers up to date and informed. Have students research whats going on via this news site, and present a small presentation at the beginning of class every day during their week. Students can either orally present, or for the technologically inclined, create a short video summarizing the same information. Have students create news briefs and share them using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here. Create a standing assignment for snow days: If it snows and school is closed, search this site (or Google News) for the most amazing snow story to share when we return to class! Share the stories from home on a class wiki or blog.

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Intelligent Design in American Classrooms - NPR

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8 to 12
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The debate over the teaching of intelligent design in the public school classroom is explored in this informational Web site that focuses on the recent controversy in Kansas and Pennsylvania....more
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The debate over the teaching of intelligent design in the public school classroom is explored in this informational Web site that focuses on the recent controversy in Kansas and Pennsylvania. Links to relevant news articles and audio clips of National Public Radio broadcasts are provided.

tag(s): darwin (11), design (83), evolution (101)

In the Classroom

If willing to deal with the possible religious discussion, this article would be a great starting point for a class debate on the costs and benefits of teaching intelligent design in the classroom. Based on what the article has written, begin a class discussion as to whether or not some of the actions taken by states have crossed any constitutional boundaries? Where would that boundary lie? (etc) This could lead to a heated discussion, but is a great way to get students discussing the importance of the establishment clause and its' practical application in society.

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ABYZ News Links

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9 to 12
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Choose a country and publication, then tap into the latest news of the day with this easy-to-use directory that links to newspaper Web sites from around the world. This is ...more
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Choose a country and publication, then tap into the latest news of the day with this easy-to-use directory that links to newspaper Web sites from around the world. This is an excellent resource for building authentic reading comprehension skills in a world language class.

tag(s): news (265)

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Saddam Hussein on Trial - National Public Radio

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9 to 12
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Supplement discussions of headline news with this collection of audio files of news programs on the first Saddam Hussein trial (October 2005) which focuses on Hussein's role in the...more
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Supplement discussions of headline news with this collection of audio files of news programs on the first Saddam Hussein trial (October 2005) which focuses on Hussein's role in the deaths of more than 140 Iraqis in the village of Dujail. The site also discusses the establishment of the war crimes tribunal, reactions to the trial, and how this trial differs from those in American courts.

tag(s): iraq (32)

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Avian Bird Flu - MacNeil Lehrer

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9 to 12
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Keep up-to-date on the latest information regarding the impending flu pandemic threat. This "NewsHour Extra" article provides concise information about the potential outbreak, suggestions...more
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Keep up-to-date on the latest information regarding the impending flu pandemic threat. This "NewsHour Extra" article provides concise information about the potential outbreak, suggestions for preventing wide-spread infection, and thoughts on what may happen if the flu spreads to the United States.

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Records Pertaining to John G. Roberts - National Archives

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9 to 12
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This collection of records of the professional career of John Roberts offers an interesting, if daunting, primary resource for examining the Supreme Court nominee's past decisions....more
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This collection of records of the professional career of John Roberts offers an interesting, if daunting, primary resource for examining the Supreme Court nominee's past decisions. AP history or government students may find this one a useful research tool.

tag(s): supreme court (24)

In the Classroom

Too often in the upper levels students have extreme problems interpreting and comprehending decisions and memorandums written by Congress of the Supreme Court. Use this site to help students get accustomed and assimilated to the language and writing style commonly used in Judicial writings. And activity such as this would be useful before interpreting important court decisions such as Plessy v. Ferguson or Brown v Board of Education. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector, and open one of the memorandums written by Judge Roberts. Analyze with students each of the seperate sections or paragraph to give them familiarity. Teachers can leave it at this, or have students practice writing their own memorandums after wards, using one of his as an example.

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John Roberts Nominated as Chief Justice - NPR

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6 to 12
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NPR's collection of stories about the Roberts nomination includes background on his career, a look at the confirmation process, and discussions of Roberts and the rare opportunity to...more
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NPR's collection of stories about the Roberts nomination includes background on his career, a look at the confirmation process, and discussions of Roberts and the rare opportunity to fill two court vacancies. Useful for individual or group use.

tag(s): senate (9), supreme court (24)

In the Classroom

Though there have been judges nominated and appointed more recently than Roberts, this site provides some excellent information that makes it a great resource for a lesson on judicial nominations. Use this site as a hands-on activity after a class discussion or lecture on the topic. Have cooperative learning groups explore the site with the intentions of showing how Roberts moved through the processes to become a judge. Have students create graphic organizers or concept maps demonstrating the process. Use a tool such as bubbl.us (reviewed here) to create and share the concept maps.

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Taming Terrorism - PBS

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9 to 12
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Since September 11, 2001, terrorism has been an ever-present topic in current events discussions. This lesson plan addresses the question of how to stop international terrorism. After...more
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Since September 11, 2001, terrorism has been an ever-present topic in current events discussions. This lesson plan addresses the question of how to stop international terrorism. After preparing a timeline of recent terrorist activities, students examine characteristics of terrorist groups, research the efforts of various organizations who are working to eliminate terrorism, and develop recommendations for possible solutions. Aligned to National Standards.

tag(s): terrorism (47), terrorist (16), timelines (64)

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Where I Come From - National Endowment for the Humanities

Grades
3 to 5
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Using the traditional family tree activity as a springboard, this lesson plan takes students on a virtual journey across the planet to visit their ancestral homelands. In the process...more
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Using the traditional family tree activity as a springboard, this lesson plan takes students on a virtual journey across the planet to visit their ancestral homelands. In the process of connecting with their heritage, students practice map-reading skills, learn about geographic regions and cultures, and investigate the current events in that part of the world.

tag(s): cultures (110), immigration (58), migration (59)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plan hosted on this site! This would be a great lesson to use before a unit focused on immigration to the United States. Be sure to save this site as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval later on!

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Foreign War and Domestic Freedom - Public Affairs Television

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9 to 12
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Should government restrict the civil liberties of its citizens during times of war or threatened national security? This beautifully organized lesson plan guides students in an exploration...more
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Should government restrict the civil liberties of its citizens during times of war or threatened national security? This beautifully organized lesson plan guides students in an exploration of the tensions that exist between external threats and internal liberties in democratic societies. Includes a downloadable PowerPoint show and worksheets.

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plan during a unit on the homefront during a modern war or the construction of the Constitution. Save this one as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval.

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Cross-Curricular Math - KQED and WBGH

Grades
9 to 12
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These two thought-provoking lesson plans challenge high school students to analyze relevant issues related to population growth and the depletion of oil reserves. Using math skills,...more
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These two thought-provoking lesson plans challenge high school students to analyze relevant issues related to population growth and the depletion of oil reserves. Using math skills, students must calculate when oil reserves in various countries will run out, project the percentage of increase in world and U.S. oil demand between now and the year 2020, graph and analyze population data over a period of years for a city in Brazil, and participate in related discussion questions. Links to national standards are provided.

tag(s): population (62), problem solving (273)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free and interactive lesson plans hosted on this site! This is a great way to incorporate various subjects in a history or government class to connect various principles and make it more interesting at the same time.

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Al-Islam - Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project

Grades
9 to 12
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Use this searchable resource to foster understanding of Islamic history, law, and practice. The "Discover Islam" section provides a beginner's introduction to understanding Islam and...more
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Use this searchable resource to foster understanding of Islamic history, law, and practice. The "Discover Islam" section provides a beginner's introduction to understanding Islam and Muslim traditions, as well as essays addressing similarities and differences between Islam and Christianity. The site includes a Shi'ite encyclopedia, photos of sites sacred to Islam, examples of Islamic artwork, and a collection of downloadable fact sheets - available in numerous languages - covering a range of topics.

tag(s): religions (68)

In the Classroom

This site would be extremely useful in an upper-level course, in which teachers are comfortable with the student's reading ability. Some of the articles explain the background of Islam in a way that is both easy to understand and concise. Use the articles to supplement the textbook! This site would also be great for students working on research projects about Islam. Post the site on the teacher wiki or web page to allow them to access it both in and out of the classroom.

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Mideast Files

Grades
9 to 12
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This continually updated, site created and hosted by college seniors at Yale and New York Universities - provides great in-depth analysis of Middle East politics, foreign policy, the...more
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This continually updated, site created and hosted by college seniors at Yale and New York Universities - provides great in-depth analysis of Middle East politics, foreign policy, the Arab-Israeli peace process, terrorism, security, religion and much more. Visitors can read translated versions of Middle Eastern newspapers and related commentary on the news of the day. A thought provoking resource for a discussion of recent events in the Arab world.

tag(s): arab (18), iran (13), iraq (32), israel (17), palestine (7)

In the Classroom

Use this site to include up-to-date information about current events in the Middle East, an excellent addition to a U.S. government or history class. Assign cooperative learning groups specific days or weeks to study and present a report on current events, educating their peers for discussion or other various classroom activities. Have cooperative learning groups create online books of the current events using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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2004 - The Year in Pictures - New York Times

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6 to 12
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The Times' review of 2004 includes some of the most powerful images from the past 12 months. While there's nothing here that hasn't already been published, teachers may want to ...more
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The Times' review of 2004 includes some of the most powerful images from the past 12 months. While there's nothing here that hasn't already been published, teachers may want to exercise some discretion with the images from the war in Iraq.

In the Classroom

Whether studying the War in Iraq or the election campaign, use these images to create a visual discovery activity to preface a lecture or classroom discussion on either. Select 3-5 images from this site, choosing the most powerful and moving images. Placing the images on individual slides, allow students 1-2 minutes to observe each image. During that time period, students should be taking notes based on what they observe, predict and infer about each image. The more powerful and detailed the image is, the more information students can take out. After the class has observed all the chosen images, have a class discussion based on the notes students took. This is a great way to introduce content in a way that gets students thinking, as well as avoiding the typical lecture format.
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