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Futurestates - Independent Television Service

Grades
9 to 12
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You need to spend a large proportion of your time teaching concrete skills and concepts. But wrestling with the unknown "what ifs" of the future is also important in preparing ...more
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You need to spend a large proportion of your time teaching concrete skills and concepts. But wrestling with the unknown "what ifs" of the future is also important in preparing students for their lives as adults. This series of short films presents some of the most compelling "what ifs" about the future: What would happen if only the very wealthy could afford housing? What impact will immigration have? Will virtual reality become indistinguishable from true reality? While these short films (and the questions and discussions they might generate) may not fit neatly into any particular curriculum, they offer great value in helping young adults struggle with the possibilities of their future.

tag(s): computers (94), debate (41), environment (317), ethics (16), immigration (58), migration (59)

In the Classroom

These films would work well for a more unstructured gifted/talented seminar style class, a current issues class, or a Real Life 101-type class. Some may also be appropriate within an economics, biology, or environmental science curriculum. A civics class might debate the proper governmental role in resolving some of the dilemmas presented. Challenge students to create podcasts using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here), describing other possible future "what ifs."
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China's Economy - PBS NewsHour

Grades
9 to 12
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This lesson plan from PBS Newshour focuses on the economic relationship between China and the United States. The lesson specifically looks at the differing economic policies between...more
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This lesson plan from PBS Newshour focuses on the economic relationship between China and the United States. The lesson specifically looks at the differing economic policies between the two countries, and how those policies have affected their economies thus far. Great lesson plan for a government, economics, or world history classroom.

tag(s): china (66)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans on this site! Even if you don't have time for the entire lesson plan, be sure to check it out to see what can be included in your classroom. Be sure to save the site as a favorite to allow for easy reference later on.

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The Secret Millionaire's Club - AOL Kids

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5 to 8
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The Secret Millionaire's Club (SMC) will enhance any math, economics, language arts, or social studies lesson. This site provides students with financial and investing advice. The site...more
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The Secret Millionaire's Club (SMC) will enhance any math, economics, language arts, or social studies lesson. This site provides students with financial and investing advice. The site is a partnership between AOL Kids and Warren Buffett. The site provides many areas for students to visit. There are episodes that students can watch that tackle a financial issue. The site also provides games for students to play and there is blog that is written by one of the kids in the SMC. In addition, students can sign up to participate in the Buffett Bucks stock exchange where they can earn Buffett Bucks.

tag(s): letter writing (21), money (193), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Following the format of Radley's blog, present to the class one of the challenges from Radley's blog, then have students work in small groups to analyze the challenge and come up with a solution. When groups are finished do a comparison between the SMC's solution and the students solution. To practice letter writing have students use the "Ask Warren" section and email him a financial question they may have. Use the existing Q&A's that are there for examples. Have students use the interactives during free time or as a reward if they finish their work early.
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TeachersFirst's Oil Spill Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about oil spills and the short and long term impact on the environment caused...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about oil spills and the short and long term impact on the environment caused by these environmental disasters. As students read and see images of animals, be aware that younger students may have more questions than they can explain.

tag(s): disasters (39), environment (317), oil (45), oil spill (21)

In the Classroom

Use 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.

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You Decide: Challenge Your Assumptions - WQED

Grades
9 to 12
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Does it sometimes seem as though students come to class with their minds already made up about so many complex subjects? You Decide is a site that guides students through ...more
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Does it sometimes seem as though students come to class with their minds already made up about so many complex subjects? You Decide is a site that guides students through a reasoned approach to making decisions about timely topics. Because this site is designed for the general public, not just for an educational setting, not all the questions will be relevant for students, however, there are plenty of engaging debates. Each question asks students to take a stand first, and then consider relevant information that may influence their opinions. Some of the topics at this time of this review included: Green Jobs, College Costs, Government Spending, Underwater Mortgages, Own or Rent, Spend or Save, and several others. There is a discussion forum and then a series of links to further information presented for each topic.

tag(s): politics (99)

In the Classroom

Divide 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.

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The new $100 Note - Dept. of Treasury

Grades
3 to 12
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Get to know the new $100 bill through this resource provided by the Department of Treasury. There is an interactive video quiz and an applet to design your own bill. ...more
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Get to know the new $100 bill through this resource provided by the Department of Treasury. There is an interactive video quiz and an applet to design your own bill. The video quiz can also be seen with captions. In addition, there is a link to materials that can be downloaded for classroom use.

tag(s): currency (20)

In the Classroom

Take the quiz together as a class to learn about the features of the $100 bill. Research the reasons for changing from the old bill to the new style. Create and design a new bill that incorporates various security features and relevant symbols. You could also include this in your unit on national symbols and how they are used.
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MIT World - Distributed Intelligence - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Grades
10 to 12
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Massachusetts Institute of Technology has provided a search-able, online video lecture database. Looking for up to date, current topics that would benefit older students? This is the...more
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Massachusetts Institute of Technology has provided a search-able, online video lecture database. Looking for up to date, current topics that would benefit older students? This is the site for you. Videos are categorized by content and the site is easy to navigate. The content is definitely usable with seniors in high school, and with preparation and proper questioning, could be used with slightly younger high school students. Gifted students can also find content at an advanced level through this site. See "real world" experts such as Bill Gates or noted thinkers such as Thomas Friedman on video -- sometimes more accessible to understand than reading text.

tag(s): money (193)

In the Classroom

Choose 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.
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Online Personal Finance and Economics Game - Council for Economic Education

Grades
5 to 12
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This online interactive personal finance game has students work their way through 15 personal finance missions. Within each 30-minute mission, students are asked to help someone solve...more
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This online interactive personal finance game has students work their way through 15 personal finance missions. Within each 30-minute mission, students are asked to help someone solve a personal finance situation. Students create, choose teams and use online tools like the mission brief and geo-locator to help solve the mission.

tag(s): financial literacy (80), money (193)

In the Classroom

Divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Have students work together to form their mission groups and create a friendly competition within your class. Another option is to work on this as a whole class and compete against another classroom. Use the training videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector to prepare students for the missions. Have students blog or journal their experiences as they complete each mission. Lesson plans and materials are available at an additional cost. Teachers can sign up for their class.
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Zfacts - Steve Stoft

Grades
7 to 12
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Looking for zee facts and nothing but zee facts? Check this site for constant updates on national debt, energy issues, and even health care issues. Created by a PhD economist, ...more
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Looking for zee facts and nothing but zee facts? Check this site for constant updates on national debt, energy issues, and even health care issues. Created by a PhD economist, this site boasts balanced and "unbiased" figures and explanations about many social and environmental matters. Read descriptions of the science, history, and reasons for much of the reporting going on today. View video clips of recent news. Find information about Green Energy, Hurricanes, Global Warming, Gas prices, National Debt, and more. What do you think? Does this site have bias?

tag(s): energy (197), hurricanes (35), population (60)

In the Classroom

This site is a must for critically evaluating much of reporting that students may hear in the world today. Use this site along with others to compare information, seek reasons for bias, and spark true discussion about the complexity of world issues. Use the information as tickers or clocks that can be placed on your website, wiki, or blog for students to use to draw conclusions or offer explanations. For example, discussion of gas prices, supply and demand, and issues in global oil trade can grow out of looking at average gas price tickers. If embedding information from this site into your own site, be advised that the author requests attribution by a link back to this site. Have cooperative learning groups investigate one of the topics further and create a multimedia presentation. Have students create news broadcasts and record them on video. Share the video clips using a site such as SchoolTube reviewed here.
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Comments

Be careful of this site....it is politically biased toward democrat ideologies. The author says he's not biased...perhaps he really believes he's being objective. But no way....just good a cocercing graphs to fit the ideology. If you want to slant your students minds to the left...this site is for you. John, , Grades: 9 - 12

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Census in Schools - Scholastic and U.S. Census Bureau

Grades
K to 12
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This census site is huge! It will help you teach your students what they count and why! Developed by Scholastic, this site is for grades K-12. "Census in Schools" has ...more
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This census site is huge! It will help you teach your students what they count and why! Developed by Scholastic, this site is for grades K-12. "Census in Schools" has so many resources they can't all be given justice here. There are four tabs at the top for teachers, kids, teens, and materials. There are other tabs that have word games, memory games, and quizzes. There are a plethora of links to other sources on each page.

While exploring, our reviewer visited the "Teacher" tab and clicked on "lesson plans" and found lesson for mapping, the history of the census, and relating the census to the student's classroom. There were two sets of lessons here for K-2 and 3-4. Standards/benchmarks for language arts, math, social studies, and geography for K-2 and 3-4 were included. There were worksheets to download for both levels, a story to read, "Who Counts," with comprehension questions to answer, and mapping activities. The site also had links for additional resources and a letter for the parents about the unit....and that was only ONE link on the "Teacher" tab. Whew! The rest of the site is just as thoroughly and professionally done as the lessons for K-4 lessons.

tag(s): census (19)

In the Classroom

The K-4 lessons are perfect to use the way they are, or you might want to do some comparing of information between the different grade levels within your school. Another idea is to pair up third and fourth graders with the kindergartners or first and second graders to read the story and work on the worksheets together. Of course, using your projector and interactive whiteboard with the whole class is a must for explanations of the lessons. This site is very colorful, so project what you can! You may want to introduce this unit with a catchy, educational song and video about the census reviewed here. For teachers of older students there are "Lessons Using the 2000 Census Data," "Quick Facts," and much more. One last suggestion: Once you've completed your census unit, discussion, etc. You might want to have your class participate in the "100 People: A World Portrait" project reviewed here.

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Basic Intergenerational Financial Literacy - National Center for Family Literacy

Grades
2 to 12
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This site provides tools for financial literacy including an introduction to basic financial ideas and vocabulary, budget decision practices, and ideas for including students in conversations...more
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This site provides tools for financial literacy including an introduction to basic financial ideas and vocabulary, budget decision practices, and ideas for including students in conversations about money. Although the page looks very text-heavy the linked activities are more interactive. Activities may be introduced at school but are well-suited for parents and students to do together at home.

tag(s): money (193)

In the Classroom

Use the resources on this site to enrich a mathematics unit on money or a mini-society social studies unit. Share the site links and printables with parents at open house or conferences, so students can further engage in financial literacy topics. Use the value ranking resource as a discussion starter for older students. Students can complete activities independently and then share with a peer.
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Dare to Compare - Nation Center for Education Statistics

Grades
4 to 12
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Students will enjoy comparing their knowledge with students around the country and the world through the interactive quizzes on this site. Six subject categories are offered (math,...more
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Students will enjoy comparing their knowledge with students around the country and the world through the interactive quizzes on this site. Six subject categories are offered (math, civics, history, geography, science, and economics)at 3 different grade levels (4th, 8th, and 12th). You can also choose 5, 10, 15, or 20 questions. Upon completion of quizzes, scores are shown along with all correct answers. Questions are provided from Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), Civic Education Study (CivEd) and National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) - all are institutes which are involved in assessing student achievement and performance. The questions are higher level, and many include diagrams and other visual aids.

tag(s): quiz (85), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a pre-assessment for a new unit or as a mind bending class challenge. Reinforce and review lessons previously learned with your students. This is a terrific site during the run-up to high stakes testing. Use the questions as classroom conversation starters after taking the quizzes. Print out questions from the quizzes and provide your students with the correct answers and see if they can match them up with the questions. List this link on your class website for students to practice at home. Challenge small groups of students to create their own set of 5 questions about a current unit of study and create a multimedia presentation. Why not have cooperative learning groups create online books (one question per page) using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
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Year by Year - Infoplease

Grades
3 to 12
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Build students' sense of historical context year by year. Help them to realize that Gershwin did not write during the Vietnam War and that World War II preceded the Beatles. ...more
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Build students' sense of historical context year by year. Help them to realize that Gershwin did not write during the Vietnam War and that World War II preceded the Beatles. This site gives an overview of any year students click on from 1900 to the present, including cultural events, national and world news, politics, sports, prize winners, movie releases, deaths, and --for more recent years -- links to news focusing on other topics such as science and people. It provides an interesting summary of any particular year; most students find it interesting to check the year of their birth and those of their family members. Many highlighted keywords link to the Infoplease encyclopedia and other reference sources.

tag(s): news (261), politics (99), sports (96)

In the Classroom

Ask your students to visit the site and create a multimedia presentation from the information about any specific year they see there. Or have them compare life in two different decades. Have students create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Or challenge students to create an online poster using Padlet (reviewed here).

When studying literature, point out this site as a source authors might use for cultural background information in their writing. Pick out the details while reading a novel, for example, that might be found at this site. Or before studying a historical period, use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students collect information tidbits and predict what might be put into the site for the current year.

Ask your ESL/ELL students to share similar information about the years they were born and the events that occurred in their home cultures. Use the site when preparing a unit on summarizing or informational paragraphs, showing the students how to select and condense relevant information from the site into a few sentences.

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MyMiniCity - Motion Twin

Grades
3 to 6
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If you ever wanted to build your own city, this is the place! Starting out with a blank canvas, you can add to your population, transportation, industry, security and more. ...more
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If you ever wanted to build your own city, this is the place! Starting out with a blank canvas, you can add to your population, transportation, industry, security and more. You can share your city with friends; they can post comments about your new world. Statistics are also posted for unemployment, crime, pollution and other events.

tag(s): cities (25), pollution (66), problem solving (272), transportation (40)

In the Classroom

Use in the classroom to demonstrate the effects of events on the environment. Show students what happens when your population becomes too big without making accommodations for sufficient transportation, security, etc. Use to demonstrate how pollution will occur if too much industry takes place in a small area. Students can problem solve solutions to maintaining a city and apply this to real life situations. Have students write letters to their local government expressing concerns over local environmental problems. Use this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector to demonstrate cause and effect. Have small groups create cities together and then write a blog entry about their city.

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The Story of Stuff - The Story of Stuff Project

Grades
6 to 12
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The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute web cartoon that illustrates how all the "stuff" we use affects our lives and our planet. While the cartoon clearly has a liberal-leaning ...more
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The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute web cartoon that illustrates how all the "stuff" we use affects our lives and our planet. While the cartoon clearly has a liberal-leaning political agenda, that should not deter you from using it. In fact, asking students to point out its biases would be an important lesson in sorting out perspective in a persuasive argument. The site adds cartoons dealing with other "wasteful" topics fairly often, such as the "cap and trade" energy issue, bottled water, and electronics. The "downloads" tab offers PDF versions of the script, posters and other promotional material, and short teaser video clips of the film.

tag(s): environment (317), sociology (22)

In the Classroom

Useful in classes on economics, ecology, consumer living, sociology or current events, the film would provide a wonderful discuss lead-in on topics ranging from consumer decision making to the environment. Because the site operates under the "Creative Commons" copyright agreement, you can download your own copy of the film for educational use or order a DVD copy.
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Financial Football - Ulsa, Inc.

Grades
8 to 12
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Help teens understand practical money skills using the interactive game of Financial Football. Teaching Modules include Fundamentals of Investment, Strength Training (Savings and Interest),...more
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Help teens understand practical money skills using the interactive game of Financial Football. Teaching Modules include Fundamentals of Investment, Strength Training (Savings and Interest), Defensive Spending, and The Game Plan (budgeting). Complete pdf teaching information is available for each module. Launch the game and get fired up for financial well-being, complete with theme music!

tag(s): financial literacy (80), money (193)

In the Classroom

Plan your financial unit to coincide with the SuperBowl or the opening of NFL football, then use these ready-made activities to train better consumers and money managers. As they do the activities and learn, challenge your sports-minded groups to write up an illustrated financial game plan on Glogster EDU, reviewed here. Imagine all the X's and O's! The less grid-oriented might to opt for creating an illustrated financial planbook using Bookemon, reviewed here.

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Free Magazines Online - James Hubbs

Grades
7 to 12
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This site has a number of current magazines available online including Forbes, Scientific American, Men's Health, and countless others, organized by category. Many could be used for...more
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This site has a number of current magazines available online including Forbes, Scientific American, Men's Health, and countless others, organized by category. Many could be used for educational purposes (see the Science & Learning section, for example). Other general topics include Arts, Business, Computers, News, Sports, and more. Besides regular magazines, there are a number of columns and blogs by famous people. A few magazines, such as Forbes and Scientific American, display feature article titles when you click on their names, but most open to the magazine home page in a new window.

tag(s): blogs (88), news (261), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

For ESL/ELL students, use magazines at this site to teach vocabulary and American culture. For current events classes, display the latest news online on your projector or interactive whiteboard, finding it quickly with just a few clicks. Have groups explore current news headlines and compare coverage or create their own videos (news or infomercials) using a site such as Teachers.TV reviewed here. This may also be a link that you would want to list on your class website for both students and parents to use at home. If you require current events article summaries each week, your students can use this site to find the latest at no cost. Reading teachers can easily find passages to use for comprehension skills such as main idea, summarizing, inferencing and more, all from current articles and ready to project on your interactive whiteboard for underlining, highlighting and discussion.

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Moviesheets - Christopher Sheehan

Grades
6 to 12
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Use this database to find teacher created sheets that follow movies shown in the classroom. Provide a change of pace for your students by using different questioning to challenge them....more
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Use this database to find teacher created sheets that follow movies shown in the classroom. Provide a change of pace for your students by using different questioning to challenge them. Be sure to preview, as this collection is only as good as the materials submitted. Check with your administration on rules for using "home videos" as they can be a violation of licensing or deemed inappropriate. Even though videos appear here, they may not be educationally appropriate. Be sure to check out the notices at the start of any "entertainment" video to be sure of legality. Keep in mind that these worksheets should not replace good interactive and thought provoking activities. Be sure to use other means to involve students in thought and action beyond the worksheets themselves. Find worksheets in either PDF or Word formats.

tag(s): business (58), climate (92), geology (81), movies (64)

In the Classroom

Use the worksheets to get students thinking about the science (or math, or other subjects) beyond these videos. Encourage students to create their own questions from the movie (reminding them of the relevance to your subject area) and choose the best worksheets to use and submit. Require students to add additional questions that are thought provoking and tied to the content for additional consideration. Use questions that go beyond factual recall to tie concepts together, explain phenomena, or uncover misconceptions. Continue discussion of concepts further than the paper through open discussion or blog posting. Rather than creating a worksheet, have your students create an interactive online poster ("glog") using Glogster EDU, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Consumers - Department of Economic Education

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1 to 4
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The Department of Economic Education aims at educating students on the intricacies and importance of economics. This brief interactive slide presentation about Consumers has colorful...more
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The Department of Economic Education aims at educating students on the intricacies and importance of economics. This brief interactive slide presentation about Consumers has colorful drawings, easy vocabulary, and concepts understandable for students. There is also a simple drag and drop activity. This site can be used in conjunction with another presentation about Producers (reviewed here) to teach the concepts of consumers and producers as well as goods and services.

tag(s): consumers (21), producers (8)

In the Classroom

Have students watch these presentations as an introduction to an Economics unit about Producers and Consumers during center time or as a whole group activity. Extend these presentations into a theme unit that includes goods and services. Have students create online books displaying their understanding using a site such as Bookemon reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Producers - Council for Economic Education

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1 to 4
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Economics can be a challenging concept to exemplify especially for younger students. "Producers" is a very brief presentation that includes colorful drawings, easy vocabulary, a drag...more
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Economics can be a challenging concept to exemplify especially for younger students. "Producers" is a very brief presentation that includes colorful drawings, easy vocabulary, a drag and drop activity, and is simple for students to understand. This site can be used in conjunction with the Consumer presentation (reviewed here) to teach the concepts of consumers and producers.

tag(s): consumers (21), producers (8)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use these sites as an introduction to a simple Economics unit about Producers and Consumers. This would be a great opportunity to begin using money as a method of payment or a discussion on trading and bartering. Extend these presentations into a theme unit that includes goods and services. Have students create online books displaying their understanding using a site such as Bookemon reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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