Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site to compare info from older websites with the ones today. Ask your students to visit the site and create a multimedia presentation from the information they learn there. Have students compare an "inactive" site and a newer site (on the same topic) and then highlight the differences using the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Alternatively, elicit ideas from your class about how websites have changed and then have the students take a look to see more differences. More advanced social studies classes can compare the historical perspective on events as recent as five years ago to see how points of view and presentation of information change over time.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomThis site will fit perfectly into any social studies, history, or current events class. Use the lessons to discuss important events that are happening right now. Several of the lessons have links to video so use them with an interactive whiteboard or projector. In addition to lessons on current events, use the essays and ideas on teaching strategies to improve your teaching skills. Teachers of gifted will appreciate this site to help their students who are often well beyond their years in their concern over news events.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse these resources together with your class to help students find ways they can contribute to a greater good after such a devastating event spreads across the news. Extend the opportunity to teach about persuasive writing (letters to legislators or the editor), careers in environmental science, and more.
Grades9 to 12
tag(s): politics (99)
In the ClassroomDivide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Have them choose a topic to explore and debate and then take turns using the resources provided to help build their arguments. A terrific component of this site is the ability to embed a widget into your classroom website that takes students directly to the site and one of its decision-making activities. You can also subscribe to an RSS feed that makes the widget update regularly. There is an archive of previous debates to explore. This site includes a forum/discussion board. Determine whether students may do this under your school's policies and whether forum submissions may display student names or initials. Then spell out both permissible use and consequences before you send students to this site. Some teachers obtain parent permission for students to participate in such a site. You may want to participate in the forum/discussion board as a class, using your own login.
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): terrorism (49)
In the ClassroomInclude one or more of these sites as your observe September 11 in your classroom or make the link available on your class web site for students who ask about the events of this pivotal day. You will find many specific project or class activity ideas within the reviews themselves.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse the whole curriculum in environmental science classes or pick and choose pieces that you want to incorporate into your curriculum. Have students research and understand about oil spills in general using this tool, and then have students expand by comparing and contrasting the Exxon spill to the BP spill in 2010. Have students create Venn Diagrams using a tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare these two spills or other oil spills.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomIntroduce the concept by talking about current events such as the British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Provide students with the student worksheets. Have the students work through the laboratory, and debrief by having students discussion their answers to questions. Have students relate their solutions to attempts to clean up real life oil spills. Create a class wiki to discuss oil spills and clean-up options. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): news (261)
In the ClassroomUse this site to find a wealth of information quickly and easily. Use trending topic for current events. View how the posts and website information changes daily for the trending topics. Be sure to instruct students how to correctly attribute and cite the actual source of the information being used.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): inventors and inventions (97)
In the ClassroomAfter presenting the slideshow on your interactive whiteboard or projector, ask students to create their own list of modern inventions that are in general use. Students can then research their inventors and how the invention came about. Have a "Create an Invention" Day where students design and build their own invention that would make their lives easier. Have students share their inventions and how they work on video. Share the videos using a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here). Another possibility is to include this slideshow in your study of the Industrial Revolution. Share TeachersFirst's interactive introduction to Inventors of the Industrial Revolution, and ask students to compare the circumstances around successful inventions today vs then.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThis is a great site to help students better understand what is happening with climate change. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. This site is a good way to bring in the topic of climate change and how it is effecting the entire globe. This is also a great way to discuss the topic of political popularity. When students have finished the simulation, have them choose a topic to do more research on. Have them each write a news article and create a class newspaper on climate change. Teachers be sure to check out the Science Behind Climate Change. It provides information and additional links about climate change.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomNo special skills needed except the ability to create a name for your chat and to share the URL with others. Create "room" by giving it a name; decide how long you want it to last; and add a Twitter hashtag (optional). The room name becomes part of the URL. For example, The room called tfedge has URL http://todaysmeet.com/tfedge. Give participants the room URL. They join in simply by entering a name (or initials, to keep it safe) and clicking Join.
Use backchannel chat on laptops during a video or student presentations. Pose questions for all to answer/discuss in the backchannel, or ask students to pose their own "I wonder if..." questions as they watch and listen. Keep every student engaged and THINKING as an active listener. The first time you use backchannel, you will want to establish some etiquette and accountability rules, such as respectful language and constructive criticism. Assign students to watch a news program or political show and have a backchannel chat during the broadcast. Revisit the chat on a projector in class the next day or post the chat transcript to a class blog or wiki and have students respond further in blog posts or on the wiki discussion tab. The advantage of backchannel chat is that every student has a voice, no matter how shy.
In world language classes or even autistic support class, have students backchannel descriptions of what they see as classmates act out a scene from a video, using new language vocabulary and/or describing the feelings of the actors. In studying literature, collaborate with another class to have students role-play a chat between two characters or - in history class - between soldiers on two sides of the Civil War or different sides of the Scopes Money trial. Make brevity an impetus for well-focused thoughts and use instantaneous response as an incentive for engagement.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the free lesson plans and classroom activities on this site! Be sure to save this site as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval later on. Students can select different aspects of oil spill cleanup and mitigation and play the role of experts in a mock blog post playing their role. Have students continue their role play by commenting on each other's posts.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as a springboard for discussions about the environmental impact of oil spills and, in a broader sense, of human activity in general. Share some of the text portions on a projectir or divide up the site among different student groups. Have student groups explore various aspects of oil spills and report to the class, perhaps sharing visuals from this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students create a multimedia presentation using UtellStory, reviewed here. This tool allows for to narrating and adding text to a picture. Challenge students to find a photo of the oil spill, and then narrate the photo as if it were a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as a springboard for discussions about the environmental impact of oil spills and, in a broader sense, of human activity in general. Have student groups explore various aspects of the map, and report back to the class how the environment, wildlife, and humans in the area were affected. Have students use a tool such as Woices (beta) (reviewed here). This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as a springboard for discussions about the environmental impact of oil spills and, in a broader sense, of human activity in general. Use the map on the interactive whiteboard or projector to show students the physical location of the spill, as well as where the spill has had an immediate impact. For another view of the map, try this resource which allows you to superimpose the area effected onto your home town.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as a springboard for current events or environmental science discussions about the environmental impact of oil spills and, in a broader sense, of human activity in general. Have student groups explore various aspects of oil spills and report to the class, perhaps sharing visuals form this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. As a class or in groups, collect oil spill information on a class wiki, GlogsterEDU (reviewed here) or good, old-fashioned bulletin board.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site and information it hosts are great at capturing two essential skills in Social Studies. To begin with, it's an excellent map reading source, especially to demonstrate regarding map distortions and how they can change the shape of something like a projected oil spill. It also highlights concerns about deep-sea drilling, a heavily contested topic, particularly after the oil spill of 2010. Both government and earth science classrooms could investigate aspects of drilling as real world topics related to the curriculum.
Introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard before allowing cooperative learning groups to explore, giving the teacher a chance to explain how the map works and what kind of information is on the site. Have cooperative learning groups explore the site and summarize important details, such as how people and wildlife are affected by environmental disasters. This would be a great review activity before a debate on deep-sea drilling. Classes can also chart the growth of the spill for a period of days to trace how much it changes, providing evidence for the debate. Government classes could use this and other references as part of a simulation on how the U.S. government reacts to environmental disasters and discussions of related policy issues. Younger students will need assistance reading some of the text-based material.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse this to watch episodes of Glee in sociology class, and have student compare and contrast the television show with their real life high school experiences. Use science movies to reinforce concepts in class, or embed the codes given into your class website or wiki and assign television as homework! Have cooperative learning groups investigate a certain news story or current event and create multimedia presentations. Challenge students to create a video and share using a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).
Grades10 to 12
tag(s): money (190)
In the ClassroomChoose one of these videos and have students view it as a homework assignment. Or share some videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students participate in an online discussion or classroom discussion about the topic. Why not discuss the topics on your class wiki. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): timelines (64)
In the ClassroomBrowse through the already created timelines and find a timeline sequence of articles on a specific topic. Social studies and science classes can trace current events over time or follow the changes that occur on a topic such as the latest research on cures for cancer or global warming.
Create timelines for any type of class in determining events that were important to its study. For example, discoveries associated with our understanding of the cell, events that shaped our understanding of environmental problems, events that shaped the Industrial Revolution, World Wars, Religion, etc. (Wow! This could go on and on!) Share the timeline on a wiki, blog, or site. Use for presentations on a whiteboard in front of the class for a great way to pace and deliver a presentation. Create a timeline for the teacher to show and then provide time for students to zone in on various areas of the timeline to add more information or find other events in to add to it. reate a class timeline highlighting your class's yearly events, units, assignments, and more.
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