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China Blue - PBS--Independent Lens

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9 to 12
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A companion to an independent film focusing on the conditions facing workers who make blue jeans for the Western market, this site provides information about "sweatshops" in China and...more
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A companion to an independent film focusing on the conditions facing workers who make blue jeans for the Western market, this site provides information about "sweatshops" in China and other developing countries. There is specific information about the sources for several well-known jeans manufacturers, and stories of the young workers in these factories and their brutal working conditions.

The site would be useful in an economics class during a discussion of the emerging global economy. In addition, it would be a good supplement to a discussion of China in general, or as part of a comparison with 19th century sweatshop labor in the United States and the development of the labor union movement. There are also links to other web-based sources on human rights, China, and the global economy.

tag(s): china (66)

In the Classroom

Share the film clips on a projector or whiteboard (in either RealPlayer or Quicktime formats). Discussion could work well in either a whole-class format or in a follow-up small group activity where each group creates a Venn diagram comparing the sweat shops of today with those in Weestern countries in the 19th century.

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American Experience The Gold Rush - PBS

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6 to 12
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From a PBS American Experience episode on the Gold Rush, this site includes a good timeline for the Gold Rush, transcripts of interviews concerning the immigrant contribution to settling...more
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From a PBS American Experience episode on the Gold Rush, this site includes a good timeline for the Gold Rush, transcripts of interviews concerning the immigrant contribution to settling California and pursing gold, lesson plans focused on history, economics, geography and civics. There is a nice Flash-powered simulation game in which students can choose a character to navigate the rigors of the Gold Rush. Characters include a Chinese immigrant and a woman.

tag(s): california (27), civil war (145), gold rush (19), immigration (58), lincoln (86), migration (59)

In the Classroom

The Gold Rush era in American history usually gets folded into a discussion of immigration or western expansion. The timeline helps put the discussion into a broader context that includes the Civil War. The simulation game would be a good extension activity for students who master material more quickly, or for students to do at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Stockwatch-Catch, Cash and Community - Defra

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9 to 12
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This is an online simulation game focuses on sustainable fishing (NOT the Stock Market as the title might lead one to believe!). Students can manipulate variables (numbers of fishing...more
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This is an online simulation game focuses on sustainable fishing (NOT the Stock Market as the title might lead one to believe!). Students can manipulate variables (numbers of fishing boats, catch quotas) and see how those changes affect both the bottom line and the environment. Each change results in a year's worth of data (up to 15 year's worth), and then reactions from different stakeholders. The game can be played at a basic level and at an advanced level.

tag(s): environment (317), fish (24), resources (112)

In the Classroom

The game could be helpful in showing students that "success" in a business that affects the environment can be measured in a number of ways: cash flow, environmental impact, community support. The game could be played cooperatively by groups of students on an interactive whiteboard, or could be played individually by students. Since it's available on-line, students could be instructed to play the game at home or during study halls and then be prepared to share their individual data in group discussion. Requires FLASH!
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Death and Taxes: A Visual Guide to Where Your Federal Tax Dollars Go - Jesse Bachman

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8 to 12
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See a graphical representation of the United States Federal Budget, clickable down to the little details. Although you can order this graphic organizer as a poster, the online version...more
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See a graphical representation of the United States Federal Budget, clickable down to the little details. Although you can order this graphic organizer as a poster, the online version allows you and your class to click and burrow down through the bureaucracy to see where the taxes go. Important note: Patience is worth it in waiting for this site to open (don't even bother on a dial-up). Requires the most current version of FLASH.Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

High demand can make this site slow to open fully. Be patient.

In the Classroom

Definitely place this link on your teacher web site for students to view with their parents at home. In class, consider assigning students to use the site to collect evidence for a debate on the size of government or simply open it and navigate as a class on an interactive whiteboard as you discuss the branches of government. You will be amazed what you find using this medium so "native" to your students.

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My Wonderful World - National Geographic and partners

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6 to 12
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After miserable results on a world geography test, National Geographic launched this site as part of a campaign to re-ignite interest and provide resources for students, teachers, and...more
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After miserable results on a world geography test, National Geographic launched this site as part of a campaign to re-ignite interest and provide resources for students, teachers, and parents to learn more about geography. The site is designed blog-style, with many places to comment or join into discussion. There are separate sections for educators (start a geography club, evaluate your school's program, etc.), parents, and kids. Be sure to try the Test Your Global IQ link. There are also many links for further materials and ideas to bolster your instruction in geography.

In the Classroom

Try putting the Global IQ Test up on a projector to "pretest" your class or include it on your teacher web page for extra challenge.

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Be A Historian - Industrialization - Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area

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5 to 10
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This teacher friendly site has it all - thinking questions, facts, research activities and more! This site is designed for grades 6-8, but could be useful in grades 5-10. ...more
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This teacher friendly site has it all - thinking questions, facts, research activities and more! This site is designed for grades 6-8, but could be useful in grades 5-10. The students are taken back to the late 1800s by authentic pictures and creative learning activities. Topics include working women, railroads and other forms of transportation and mass production.

tag(s): industrialization (15)

In the Classroom

Use the interactive graphic organizers for students to complete individual or guided learning experiences. These would also work well on an interactive whiteboard.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Quintessential Careers - Quintessential Careers

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7 to 12
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A thorough site on planning for a career. Includes timelines, options, many links to different career paths and college planning resources, even a cover letter generator. the site does...more
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A thorough site on planning for a career. Includes timelines, options, many links to different career paths and college planning resources, even a cover letter generator. the site does have some advertising, but it is tolerable (turn on your pop-up blocker). Special Education teachers working with students on transition planning will also find this site helpful in providing a structured approach.

tag(s): careers (132), college (43), financial aid (12)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in the Favorites on a classroom computer or make it available for students to use independently after you share it for basic navigation tips. You may even want to assign certain tasks on the site as part of your careers unit.

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World Mapper - University of Sheffield

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6 to 12
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What would a world map look like if countries and continents were sized not by land area, but by population, number of elderly, various type of imports, or emigration? ...more
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What would a world map look like if countries and continents were sized not by land area, but by population, number of elderly, various type of imports, or emigration? This site presents dozens of cartograms - or density-equalizing maps - in which each country is resized according to a specific variable. Each map is accompanied by a downloadable Excel file and a printable poster.

tag(s): immigration (58), maps (287), migration (59), population (60)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector. The population maps would be extremely useful for any class discussion on the world use of resources, and the financial disparities that exist among nations. Use the animations provided on the interactive whiteboard or projector to show students the demographic differences between nations. World Mapper is an wonderful addition to any geography,civics or social studies class, particularly during units on the UN, natural resources, world conflict, and economic disparity.
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New Sense, Inc. vs. Fish Till U Drop - EconEdLink

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9 to 12
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Here's an economics lesson for high school students that explores the rights of individuals versus the obligations of government to preserve and protect natural resources. The site...more
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Here's an economics lesson for high school students that explores the rights of individuals versus the obligations of government to preserve and protect natural resources. The site presents opposing economic theories and asks students to evaluate the merits of each as they apply to a hypothetical example. While written as an economics lesson, this example could also work as part of a government class. Aligned to national standards.

tag(s): natural resources (59), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this free lesson plan about the economics of natural resources. Be sure to save the site as a favorite on your classroom computer to allow for easy retrieval later on.

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Time Value of Money - National Council on Economic Education

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6 to 12
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Give your students some real-world experience with the concept of interest rates over time. This authentic lesson plan puts students in the driver's seat as they contemplate lending...more
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Give your students some real-world experience with the concept of interest rates over time. This authentic lesson plan puts students in the driver's seat as they contemplate lending money to a sibling. Is it more lucrative to demand payment at once, or accept a series of installments? Great basic introduction to a vital economic concept. Aligned to National Standards.

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Where Did All the Money Go? - National Council on Economic Education

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9 to 12
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Use deductive reasoning skills to isolate the diverse factors that contributed to the Great Depression. This standards-based lesson plan leads students through Internet research and...more
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Use deductive reasoning skills to isolate the diverse factors that contributed to the Great Depression. This standards-based lesson plan leads students through Internet research and analysis of related economic writings to the creation of a concept map illustrating the interdependence between businesses in a market economy. Aligned to National Standards.

tag(s): business (58)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this free lesson plan in your classroom on a unit about the Great Depression. Not only would this be great in an economics class, but try using it in history or math - it has an interdisciplinary approach that shows the practical application of the math.
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Economic Literacy - Quia Corporation

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10 to 12
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Practice and review basic economic vocabulary with this online matching activity. Click "Start Over to reset the game with a new set of words and definitions. Teachers may wish to ...more
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Practice and review basic economic vocabulary with this online matching activity. Click "Start Over to reset the game with a new set of words and definitions. Teachers may wish to check out the "List of Terms" for a consolidated glossary of all concepts used in the activity.

tag(s): vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Use this site as either an activator to assess how much students do know going into a unit, OR as a review tool assessing what needs practice before an exam. Have students complete the site individually on classroom computers, either simultaneously - or as a learning center or station. Student results can help teachers better tailor their instruction, catering to what the class most needs extra instruction in.

Be sure to post the site on your teacher wiki or webpage too, allowing students to review before an assessment both in and out of the classroom.

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The Mighty Mississippi - MSNBC

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8 to 12
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The history and splendor of one of America's most storied rivers is brought to life in this elegant site by MSNBC. An August 2004 trek down the full length ...more
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The history and splendor of one of America's most storied rivers is brought to life in this elegant site by MSNBC. An August 2004 trek down the full length of the Mississippi is carefully documented and interwoven with information about the geology, economic impact, navigation, history, and exploration of the river. A short video highlights the history of the Mississippi, from the days of its earliest explorers to the present. Each segment of the site offers slideshows, video, photographs, descriptive text, and interactive quizzes. Add this resource to an American history or geography lesson, or incorporate it into a literature unit on Mark Twain.

tag(s): literature (275), mark twain (10), mississippi (6)

In the Classroom

For a history classroom, use this site to complement almost a year long class of American History. Starting with the Louisiana purchase, the Mississippi became a vital component of American trade and settlement patterns, all of which can be reflected by the variety of stories found on every mile southward. With every unit in a history class, there is a mile on the Mississippi that is applicable. Tie in unit endings with the free resources offered by MSNBC, whether it be video, slides, quizzes or a story. Students will enjoy seeing the impacts of history in our world today!
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Cyberschoolbus - United Nations

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5 to 12
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This expansive site promotes understanding of global issues using background information on the mission of the United Nations, country profiles, and downloadable curricula and lesson...more
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This expansive site promotes understanding of global issues using background information on the mission of the United Nations, country profiles, and downloadable curricula and lesson plans. A variety of cleverly designed interactive games challenge students to match countries and flags, test their knowledge of geography, or go on an interactive mission with "Pook" to save the world. There are many options for using this site in the classroom. Make the interactive activities part of an independent learning center, use the country profiles to introduce a geography lesson, or use the student-friendly resource to introduce the functions of the U.N. Qualify for free materials for your classroom by volunteering to review and test the site's features.

tag(s): countries (76), cultures (105), flags (21), united nations (8)

In the Classroom

WOW are there a lot of resources on this site! Use the quizzes and games to help students review before an assessment or practice the content after instruction. There are also webquests that could be used as introductory activities or as the starting point for individual or group projects. Save this site as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval and to keep up to date on updates added. This would be great in a Government or World History class.
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80 Days that Changed the World - CNN

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8 to 12
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Major events in 20th century history are presented in this impressive CNN site. Visitors can select an era, choose an event, and read a brief synopsis. The video gallery offers ...more
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Major events in 20th century history are presented in this impressive CNN site. Visitors can select an era, choose an event, and read a brief synopsis. The video gallery offers a collection of riveting clips, including the Oklahoma City bombing, the Great Crash of 1929, and the fall of Saigon. Follow the link to a Time Magazine site to find special reports on life-changing events that have taken place over the course of the past eight decades. This is an outstanding supplement to a 20th century American history class.

tag(s): stock market (13), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

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What was the exchange Rate Then? - Economic History Service

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9 to 12
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Add a little bit of economic reality to a 20th century American history lesson. Just choose a country and year, and this site will provide exchange rate data between the ...more
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Add a little bit of economic reality to a 20th century American history lesson. Just choose a country and year, and this site will provide exchange rate data between the United State dollar and foreign currency. Changes in currency units for countries throughout the world and links to related resources are included.

tag(s): currency (20)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an aid for discussing the price differences and comparisons between todays world and now. This information would be great when discussing early American history, when most books and colonizers make reference to British currency. Teachers can either translate the currency before class, or can have students complete it as an in-class activity. One way to do so would be to find a primary document or textbook article that mentions the severity of a tax on the 13 colonies. Have students complete the calculator to find out what colonists were really paying in comparison to what British-bound citizens were paying. use this to spur a discussion that then pro's and con's how severe taxes were and whether they were ample reason to revolt against Great Britiain.

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Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made Modern America - NY Historical Society

Grades
7 to 12
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He's more than just a pretty face on the $10 bill! Alexander Hamilton's life and influence are examined in this site that presents a timeline of events during and after ...more
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He's more than just a pretty face on the $10 bill! Alexander Hamilton's life and influence are examined in this site that presents a timeline of events during and after his life, highlights from his writings, and a biographical gallery of his peers. Visitors can even test their knowledge of his life and accomplishments with a twenty-question interactive quiz. This is probably more information than your students need to know about Mr. Hamilton, but the site provides a unique approach to understanding some significant events in American history.

tag(s): constitution (79)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a introductory activity for a lesson on the founding fathers. Introduce this site on the interactive whiteboard or projector before allowing students to explore it on their own. We recommend creating a graphic organizer or follow-along for the website to insure students are getting the most out of it. What is great about it is that it provides students with a lot of historical and biographical information about Hamilton. This would be a great resource for a US history or Civics class.

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Golden Gate Bridge - PBS

Grades
8 to 12
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American history, economics, geography, and culture are explored in this site that presents unique insight into the construction of one of the world's most famous suspension bridges....more
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American history, economics, geography, and culture are explored in this site that presents unique insight into the construction of one of the world's most famous suspension bridges. Built hundreds of feet above the waters of the San Francisco Bay, the bridge stands as a symbol for many of the riveting themes in 20th century American history including the growth of urban areas, the continued development of the West, the New Deal, and the role of labor and labor unions. The site also features a timeline, video clips, a gallery of on-site construction photos, detailed information about people and events, a discussion of mathematical principles, and a helpful teacher's guide.

tag(s): california (27)

In the Classroom

This site is an excellent accompaniment to the movie with the same name by PBS. The teacher guide offers free lesson plans and activities for history, civics, economics, and geography classes. Beyond that there are also online games, discussion boards, and biography information that would make the site a great learning center or station. Save this site as a favorite and refer to it when discussing architecture, the Golden Gate Bridge, or a period lecture on the 1930's.
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FED101

Grades
7 to 12
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Your students will actually enjoy learning about the Federal Reserve System, its purpose, history, structure, and functions with this interactive site that includes activities and simulations....more
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Your students will actually enjoy learning about the Federal Reserve System, its purpose, history, structure, and functions with this interactive site that includes activities and simulations. Students can follow how a check clears through the banking system and understand how monetary policies affect the economy. A teacher's guide provides downloadable lesson plans, printable versions of quizzes, and links to Federal Reserve materials that can be ordered at no cost. Check out the Classroom Guide link for tips on presenting the information to your students. Hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Flash Required.

tag(s): money (193)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a way to visually explain to students to processes of the Federal Reserve and our banking system. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard and guide students through the guide. The basic definitions will require more explanation but they provide excellent starting points and lecture guides. This would be a great resource/activity in a US history course before explaining the Great Depression. This will help students grasp the greater consequences, particularly the economics portion that is typically tricky to explain.
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Stories from a Small Planet - PBS Frontline

Grades
9 to 12
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Bring current events to life in your classroom with this resource that connects students with international events. Politics, economics, geography, and culture are addressed by lesson...more
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Bring current events to life in your classroom with this resource that connects students with international events. Politics, economics, geography, and culture are addressed by lesson plans (aligned to national standards) that challenge students to think deeply about global issues. Articles are written at a fairly high reading level and issues are complex. This is definitely a high-powered resource for concentrated analysis and serious discussion.

tag(s): air (163), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and readings to help connect students to the content being taught in your social studies class. Be sure to save this site as a favorite to allow easy retrieval later on.

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