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Black History Month Resources - PBS

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K to 12
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Commemorate Black History Month with 20 lesson plans and resources covering a variety of topics including racial discrimination, civil rights, and discussions about race in current...more
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Commemorate Black History Month with 20 lesson plans and resources covering a variety of topics including racial discrimination, civil rights, and discussions about race in current events. Scroll through the page to view topics and grade level suggestions. Content ranges from a history of discrimination through current events such as debating race through the Trayvon Martin shooting. Some lessons also contain Common Core correlations.

tag(s): black history (59), civil rights (117), martin luther king (37), racism (18), video (253)

In the Classroom

Explore this site for many different lessons and resources to use during Black History Month and throughout the year. Use lessons found here to differentiate for students of different levels. Be sure to check out the Discrimination - fair or unfair? lesson plan that is designed specifically for students who have difficulty with verbal and written expression.
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Supply and Demand, Lessons from Toy Fads - Council for Economic Education/Chad Mares

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6 to 12
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Learn the concepts of supply and demand through case studies of Hula Hoops and Silly Bandz. Watch video clips that demonstrate how supply and demand interact with prices of in-demand...more
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Learn the concepts of supply and demand through case studies of Hula Hoops and Silly Bandz. Watch video clips that demonstrate how supply and demand interact with prices of in-demand toys, and then complete activities with case studies to learn about market demands. The assessment activity includes completing a supply and demand graph that represents the different components involved in this concept. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): supply and demand (5)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. This is a great find as an extension activity for gifted students! Encourage students to create their own list of items similar to Hula Hoops and Silly Bandz that were in high demand and low supply.
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Trends24 - Trends24

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9 to 12
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Track trending topics and tweets in any country you specify with Trends24. Select a country and view the breakdown of the trending tweets by minutes, hours, or days. Choose between...more
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Track trending topics and tweets in any country you specify with Trends24. Select a country and view the breakdown of the trending tweets by minutes, hours, or days. Choose between the Timeline breakdown or click on Cloud. Tweet trends show as a word cloud, with the most popular topics showing in a larger font. Click any hashtag name to view the tweets showing for that trend. Are you new to Twitter and hashtags? Find information to help you at TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.
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tag(s): microblogging (44), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to look at the topics that are trends in the various countries. Compare and contrast the top trends and how they differ from other countries that are neighbors or are far away. This tool is helpful in understanding political or cultural issues that extend worldwide or affect more than one region. Use the trending topics to understand the point of view of various countries. Look at news reports or causes for the change in the trend. Twitter trends could be useful in any subject area but especially useful for current events, civics, health, and economics.

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P 21 - Partnership For 21st Century Skills - P21

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1 to 12
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Join the community designed to educate students and all learners in 21st century learning. The mission consists of building collaborative partnerships between education, businesses,...more
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Join the community designed to educate students and all learners in 21st century learning. The mission consists of building collaborative partnerships between education, businesses, government, and community leaders to promote learning skills needed in the 21st century for life, work, and citizenship. P21 strives to prepare all students for the challenges of the future. Find a framework for student outcomes with support system outlines. Resources for educators include sample lesson ideas, Common Core alignment, P21 Common Core Tool Kit, professional development guides, 21st century skill maps in a variety of subject areas, case studies of exemplar schools, a newsletter, and a Blogazine. Resources for policymakers include information on definitions, framework, and implementing 21st century skills. A parents' guide contains information on 21st century skills and leadership. Most downloadable materials are free. Get a press kit or join an advocacy group or mailing list.
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tag(s): professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Investigate P21 to see if you are meeting your students' needs for the 21st century. Use the parent tip sheet, real world examples, or the PowerPoint to clarify your goals to parents and administration. Explore literacy maps and skills maps to compare your methods of instruction. Look for ways to support professional development in your school. Become more effective using Common Core Curriculum. Join the blog and change your world. This site contains great research, ideas, and goals to include in grants, mission statements, or strategic planning.
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Corkboard - Corkboard LLC

Grades
1 to 12
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Tack up a digital corkboard and remember all of your lists, items to do, recipes, decorating, or share comments with others. This site offers a digital version of the corkboard ...more
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Tack up a digital corkboard and remember all of your lists, items to do, recipes, decorating, or share comments with others. This site offers a digital version of the corkboard from the "old days." Fill it with whatever you want! Even better than the traditional corkboard, you can create as many different digital corkboards as you want. Create the name, tags, and double click to add to your new corkboard. Keep it private or share with co-workers or friends. Go online to access, or use an iPhone app. Click on Corkboard Mobile to use with other mobile devices. Add the Corkboard bookmarklet to take a screen shot of a web page and save it.

tag(s): brainstorming (23), note taking (32)

In the Classroom

Think big and small when you use Corkboard! Use a Corkboard to communicate with each of your students' families. Add simple reminders, lists of spelling or vocabulary words, homework assignments, project directions, field trip dates, after school club dates, or general parent tips. Share the cork board(s) with all parents. There is also an easy way parents can go back and reference earlier Corkboards. When planning an event or field trip, make your list on Corkboard and let parents easily make their choice. Updates are immediate. Use this tool for brainstorming on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Post the link for the Corkboard and allow students to continue the brainstorm from home. Encourage collaboration between group members in a snap. Set up your parent conference schedule easily! Bring a bit of technology into language arts with class reflections, or even individual reflections. Have students create study guides together from home or even at centers. Reinforce concepts from any subject as a study guide. This tool makes it easy to conduct an author's chair. Document steps of a problem-based learning experience together. Watch current events come alive. No longer are you limited by wall space, digital corkboards are limitless!

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Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project - University of North Carolina Greensboro

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8 to 12
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The unique viewpoints of U.S. women veterans are well represented in this rich archive of photographs, oral histories, diaries, scrapbooks, and artifacts from the nineteenth century...more
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The unique viewpoints of U.S. women veterans are well represented in this rich archive of photographs, oral histories, diaries, scrapbooks, and artifacts from the nineteenth century to the present. The archive is particularly strong for women who served during World War II. It also includes World War I, Korea, Vietnam, The Cold War, Desert Storm, the Gulf Wars and the War on Terror. Search by date, branch of service, conflict, or by type of material, including over 350 oral histories.

tag(s): memorial day (13), oral history (12), primary sources (86), veterans (19), world war 1 (54), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Use this archive for rich, authentic primary source material on the lives of women in the military. Consider having students, individually or in groups, choose a veteran and present her story to classmates. Use a tool like Zoho Show (similar to Powerpoint, but easier and free), reviewed here. Supplement classroom materials associated with a wartime era with the photographs, posters, and diaries provided here. Use these stories as part of a special focus for Veterans Day, Memorial Day, or Women's History Month. The archive would also be a particularly rich resource for students considering National History Day Projects.
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Newswordy - Josh Smith

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K to 12
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We hear new buzzwords all of the time, but what do they really mean? Newswordy provides those answers. Each day Newswordy features a buzzword, definition, and its uses in articles ...more
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We hear new buzzwords all of the time, but what do they really mean? Newswordy provides those answers. Each day Newswordy features a buzzword, definition, and its uses in articles and tweets from trending topics. Find the previous day's buzzword by clicking the link on the bottom of the page or click the three bars on the top-right hand side of the page for a list of previous words. Click the title to go to the source and read the entire article.

tag(s): media literacy (58), news (261), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Newswordy is perfect for use on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Display the word of the day as students arrive in class as a great warm up for current events lessons. Share a link to the site on your class webpage. Tweak your students' interest in what is happening in the world by reading the excerpts of the articles and tweets at Newswordy. Have students bring in examples they find on the Internet or when watching T.V. Next, students can create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle, reviewed here, or WordItOut, reviewed here.

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America Goes to War: an Infographic - New England College

Grades
8 to 12
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What does it mean to go to war? This simple infographic shows the Constitutional process by which the United States declares war, traces the history of each of the U.S. ...more
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What does it mean to go to war? This simple infographic shows the Constitutional process by which the United States declares war, traces the history of each of the U.S. declarations of war, and differentiates among formal declarations, military actions, and Presidential or Congressional authorizations of force.

tag(s): civil war (145), congress (33), constitution (79), presidents (130), war of 1812 (14), world war 1 (54), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Was the U.S. at war? What powers does the U.S. President have to declare war, and how have Presidents used those powers historically? A powerful, but simple infographic delineates the legal and Constitutional differences among U.S. wars historically. Share the infographic on an interactive whiteboard, or embed on your classroom website for reference.

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InstaNerd - InstaNerd

Grades
8 to 12
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InstaNerd offers an endless stream of facts, providing you with smart, scientific and (a little nerdy) general knowledge. Click "Start" to begin. Continue clicking the next button (or...more
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InstaNerd offers an endless stream of facts, providing you with smart, scientific and (a little nerdy) general knowledge. Click "Start" to begin. Continue clicking the next button (or even easier, use the arrow on your computer keyboard) to view new and nerdy facts. Sign up to get new facts in your email box once a week. Although content appears to be appropriate, be sure to preview facts before sharing with students.
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tag(s): trivia (17)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save InstaNerd as a resource for thought-provoking trivia throughout the year. Share one item on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) at the beginning of each class for class discussion. Although content appears to be appropriate, be sure to preview facts before sharing on your interactive whiteboard or projector.

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Watch 1000 Years of European Borders Change in 3 Minutes - Nick Morenenko

Grades
7 to 12
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View the ever-changing borders of European countries through this time-lapse video. Beginning in 1141 with the domination of the Holy Roman and Byzantine Empires, watch borders change...more
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View the ever-changing borders of European countries through this time-lapse video. Beginning in 1141 with the domination of the Holy Roman and Byzantine Empires, watch borders change year by year until reaching Europe of 2012. This video provides an exciting, dynamic look at changes in Europe throughout the years.
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tag(s): england (57), europe (75), france (40), germany (28), italy (17), maps (288), russia (38), spain (9), video (253)

In the Classroom

This video is perfect for use on an interactive whiteboard or projector to provide an overview of the changes in European borders over many years. Pause the video as you watch to view and discuss changes. Use the embed or link code provided to share this site on your class web page. Have students create maps using Animaps, reviewed here, to demonstrate changes in borders. Students can add text, images, and location stops! Divide students into groups to explore different periods of time, then challenge students to create a presentation using Prezi, reviewed here. Use during current events lessons to help students understand that current European conflicts relate back to changes taking place over many hundreds of years.
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Digital Citizenship - NSW Department of Education and Communities

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K to 12
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Digital Citizenship offers a large number of resources for teaching digital citizenship for students of all ages, teachers, and parents. Choose from primary, secondary, or parents to...more
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Digital Citizenship offers a large number of resources for teaching digital citizenship for students of all ages, teachers, and parents. Choose from primary, secondary, or parents to begin. Each section includes videos, games, and activities for learning responsible digital citizenship. The site was created in Australia. American English speakers may notice some slight differences in spellings and pronunciations. The videos reside on sites other than Digital Citizenship. Some are on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): cyberbullying (43), digital citizenship (58), internet safety (108)

In the Classroom

Bookmark Digital Citizenship for use in any Internet safety lesson or unit. Create a link to individual games or activities on classroom computers. Be sure to share a link to this site with parents for use at home.
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The Crisis of Credit Visualized - Jonathan Jarvis

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8 to 12
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This video provides a short and simple explanation of the very complicated story of the credit crisis. The narrator provides the background of institutional banking and financing and...more
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This video provides a short and simple explanation of the very complicated story of the credit crisis. The narrator provides the background of institutional banking and financing and takes viewers up to the events leading to the mortgage crisis. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): financial literacy (80)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on finances on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Have small groups or pairs of students explore different groups mentioned in the video such as homeowners, banks, or Wall Street financiers. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here. Post a link to this video on your class web page for students and parents to view at home.

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NationStates - Max Barry

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6 to 12
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There are plenty of simulation interactives for major life events such as pandemics, but what happens in everyday life? NationStates brings to life daily decisions. This multiplayer...more
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There are plenty of simulation interactives for major life events such as pandemics, but what happens in everyday life? NationStates brings to life daily decisions. This multiplayer online interactive features you as the head of your nation to create and shape how you see fit. To get started, create your nation by giving it a name. Customize various aspects, such as the flag, history, and national animal. Then get into the heart of your nation: political, social, and economic issues. These choices determine the initial status of your nation. As you play, these problems will change with your choices. Every day an issue is presented and the choices you make affect the outcome of your nation. Your choices become the national law in your nation. Warning: There is one problem a day, but you can change that to two in your account settings. As you play, various aspects of your nation change and the type of government shifts (maybe even including anarchy). Choose to stay an independent nation or join others to create a region. Participate in the World Assembly (the pretend U.N.). View debates in the forum that actually touch on current events in the game and in real life. One thing to note: If you are not attentive to the issues that come up each day, the game ends quickly. The good news is that it takes very little time to view the issue, act, and see the result. Note: This interactive is loosely based on the novel Jennifer Government by Max Barry.
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tag(s): foreign policy (16), money (193), politics (99), sociology (22)

In the Classroom

Students can use this interactive individually, making connections to their choice, results, and connections to actual world events, present and past. Additionally, students can join a region and see how their decisions affect other nations. A great lesson is to allow students to run their nation according to their political views and see the results as they unfold through play. Be sure to treat this seriously as the issues presented here are actual issues that governments must deal with daily. Even making a decision within your political viewpoint can lead to results that are not anticipated. Require students to discuss their viewpoint, why they believe they are right, the resulting consequence, and how it has changed what they believe. Following the play, give time for students to research an initiative or action a country made and the resulting consequences that have resulted. Present, discuss, or debate these with the class. Allow every student in class to have a voice by using a student response system such as Infuse Learning, reviewed here, or GoSoapBox, reviewed here.

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Science Behind the News - NBC Learn

Grades
5 to 12
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The twelve videos on this site explore the science, technology, engineering, and math found in current events. These videos look behind the news at topics such as tornadoes, opinion...more
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The twelve videos on this site explore the science, technology, engineering, and math found in current events. These videos look behind the news at topics such as tornadoes, opinion polls, allergies, and drug-resistant bacteria. Each video includes a transcript that opens or closes for use while watching videos.
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tag(s): bacteria (30), computers (94), foreign policy (16), news (261), planets (123), plants (144), politics (99), STEM (134), tornadoes (16), video (253)

In the Classroom

Introduce the videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Ask students to form small groups depending on which video topic they are interested in further exploring. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools, reviewed here, to present what they learned to their classmates. Have older students use these videos as a springboard for further research into the topics found.
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Socratic Smackdown - Institute of Play

Grades
7 to 12
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Use this activity to practice discussion and argument strategies. Socratic Smackdown has thorough instructions and handouts for a Socratic discussion. View the short video overview...more
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Use this activity to practice discussion and argument strategies. Socratic Smackdown has thorough instructions and handouts for a Socratic discussion. View the short video overview and download the PDF Print & Play Pack to begin. The Game Play Pack provides complete information on setting up the discussion, a checklist for when students are participating, scoresheets, a rubric, and other resources for students and teachers. It also includes a correlation to 8th Grade Common Core Speaking Standards. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): debate (41)

In the Classroom

Use Socratic Smackdown for students to debate and discuss current events, themes in literature, or historic events. Use Socratic Smackdown with your school's debate team. After your "Smackdown," have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here. Share Socratic Smackdown with teachers at your site.
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Global Climate Change - NASA

Grades
3 to 12
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Find great background information on Climate Change with this site. Find up to date information about sea and land ice cover, amount of deforestation, carbon dioxide amounts in the...more
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Find great background information on Climate Change with this site. Find up to date information about sea and land ice cover, amount of deforestation, carbon dioxide amounts in the atmosphere, sea level rise, and more along the bottom. Scroll down to view News and Features, What is Climate Change (and find your answers to the Evidence, Causes, Effects, and Solutions), and explore interactives and other information.

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

In the Classroom

Use this resource for some excellent background information on climate change. Create public service announcements outlining the key points from this site. Create a campaign for making small changes in our lives that can add up to a big difference. Assign small groups to explore one facet of this site and create a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
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Optimum Community - CSC Holdings LLC

Grades
3 to 12
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Optimum Community, part of Cablevision, tries to connect, engage, and empower people in their communities. Charity Champions organize schools and communities to engage in volunteerism...more
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Optimum Community, part of Cablevision, tries to connect, engage, and empower people in their communities. Charity Champions organize schools and communities to engage in volunteerism in charities promoting leadership and stewardship. The Past Winners section shows an activity plan and portfolios of previous winners. The section Digital Smarts includes a blog, online tools, and resources that encourage safe use of technology. The participating areas of New Jersey, Greater Hudson Valley, Long Island, New York City, and Connecticut show events organized to help and educate the community.
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tag(s): communities (35), digital citizenship (58), problem solving (272), service projects (25)

In the Classroom

In your classroom, look at this site for ways to inspire ideas for stewardship, volunteering, leadership, and for problem-based learning community projects. View the topics from past winners, and examine your community to see what areas of need there are. Gifted classes can find ideas for problem-based learning projects.
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Hstry - Thomas Ketchell, Jonathan Ketchell, Yoran Brondsema, Steven Chi

Grades
2 to 12
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Create an interactive timeline, view the Timeline of the Month, or browse through Hstry's library of ready-made timelines. The Hstry timelines in the library are the creation of Hstry's...more
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Create an interactive timeline, view the Timeline of the Month, or browse through Hstry's library of ready-made timelines. The Hstry timelines in the library are the creation of Hstry's team of historians and teachers and are Common Core Standards aligned. When creating a timeline, it can include video, audio, a quiz, and comments and questions from viewers. Sign up with your email and get a link to start with a walk-through tutorial to help set up classes, students, and timelines. Students will need the class code. There is a part of the site that has timelines and lessons bundled for a fee. This review is for the free part of this tool. Hstry will work on any device.
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tag(s): american revolution (86), civil war (145), DAT device agnostic tool (196), immigration (58), photosynthesis (33), timelines (62), womens suffrage (26), world war 1 (54)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to share timelines about historical events and more. Have students create timelines for research projects. Create author biographies, animal life cycles, or timelines of events and causes of wars. Challenge students to create a timeline of the plot of a novel. If you teach chemistry, have students create illustrated sequences explaining oxidation or reduction (or both). Have elementary students interview grandparents and create a class timeline about their grandparents for Grandparents' Day. In world language classes, have students create a timeline of their family in the language to master using vocabulary about relatives, jobs, and more (and verb tenses!). Students learn about photo selection, detail writing, chronological order, and more while creating the timelines of their choice. Making a timeline is also a good way to review the history of a current event or cultural developments.

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Thematic Mapping Engine - Bjorn Sandvik

Grades
6 to 12
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What is a .kmz file and how do you make one? A .kmz file, when opened, launches Google Earth and the files needed to view specific portions of the globe, ...more
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What is a .kmz file and how do you make one? A .kmz file, when opened, launches Google Earth and the files needed to view specific portions of the globe, map overlays, and other information. There are several ways to create a .kmz file to share with others for specific content to be learned. Thematic Mapping Engine provides you with a very simple way to create Google Earth .kmz files. This tool uses data from the United Nations to create maps of all types of development and environmental data. Follow the instructions in the yellow box along the right side of this tool. Select a statistical indicator category from the dropdown (for example, Life expectancy or population). Then, select a year or range of years, and the manner in which they would like the data displayed in Google Earth. Preview and download the .kmz file. Share this file on your blog, wiki, or web page. Click on and then download the file. Once the file is opened, Google Earth then opens and the data is seen within Google Earth. Note: Google Earth must be installed on student computers. Check with your technology department about the availability of Google Earth in your schools. See more information about Google Earth, reviewed here.

tag(s): climate change (64), diseases (66), earth (228), landmarks (26), news (261), population (60)

In the Classroom

Use this tool with Google Earth to discuss population changes, incidence of various diseases, or look at environmental data such as carbon dioxide emissions. Use this tool when discussing various countries and populations throughout the world, looking at the various factors that affect countries. Use this information to question the history and current state of various populations. Create more than one .kmz file to place on your class website. Provide time for student groups to look at one of the files and draw conclusions or report on their findings. Use class time to look at the information from all groups to obtain a snapshot of various regions, looking at populations, diseases, and more. For younger grades, use an interactive whiteboard or projector to show these files in Google Earth and compare what students know about the United States or other areas in unfamiliar countries. This tool would be perfect for gifted students to use to extend learning in a Science or History/World Cultures class to better understand the world around them.
 

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Eyes on the Earth - NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Grades
5 to 12
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Looking for views of orbiting satellites with actual data about the Earth? Find it here with the Eyes on the Earth tool. Note: This tool requires a one-time download. After ...more
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Looking for views of orbiting satellites with actual data about the Earth? Find it here with the Eyes on the Earth tool. Note: This tool requires a one-time download. After installing, launch from the web page (the install button turns into a start button). Be sure to view in full-screen mode for the best effect. Change your perspective of the Earth by changing the tilt (hold down the mouse and rotate). Zoom in and out with the tool along the right (much like the tool in Google Earth or Maps). Choose from among the tools along the top. As you click on a tool, read information in the window to the left. Be sure to click Turn Audio On to hear the narrative. Use the additional links there for more information. Visible Earth shows the movement of two satellites and the images from both. Choose the speed of the motion of the satellites with the slider along the bottom. Other tools include Temperature, Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Sea Level, Antarctic Zone, and Water and Ice. Click on the last two tools to view the actual datasets and missions. Some of the tools have relief maps, showing a 3D representation of the data. Click Show relief to really capture student attention. The tools in the lower right corner control the brightness of the image and full or partial screen.

tag(s): antarctica (29), arctic (44), carbon dioxide (17), climate (92), climate change (64), earth (228), glaciers (14), temperature (29), water (130)

In the Classroom

Be sure to share this tool using an interactive whiteboard or projector in the classroom. Provide a link to this tool on your website or bookmark on a class computer. Use this tool to introduce students to questioning and the scientific method. Why collect data on the Earth? Show a tool to the whole class or provide time for groups of students to view the visuals and develop questions and make observations. Challenge students to find answers to some of their questions. Help students figure out what they need to know to answer the questions. For a unit on the environment, begin the unit showing a few of the tools, namely the carbon dioxide and temperature tool. Compare two different tools side by side to note differences in patterns. For example, are the carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide patterns similar? Why or why not? Research the various gases, how they originate, and problems they cause in the atmosphere. Why is the carbon dioxide higher in some areas and not others? Research the carbon footprint of various regions and compare. Are those same areas showing the greatest or least effects of climate change? When discussing technology, view the different missions featured in this tool and the various engineering feats needed to accomplish these missions. Provide time for students to propose a "fantasy" mission for NASA. What should be measured, what would you call the mission? What kind of data would need to be collected? How do you think the Earth image data would look? Draft the proposal and create the possible image for review. Note: Students can focus on biological, chemical, or physical data for their proposal.

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