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History for Middle School Kids - Kidipede

Grades
4 to 10
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This site, designed especially for middle school students, includes a HUGE amount of social studies topics. Although this site is recommended for middle school students, it is also...more
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This site, designed especially for middle school students, includes a HUGE amount of social studies topics. Although this site is recommended for middle school students, it is also appropriate for high school students studying the subject areas. It is mainly a "text" site, without interactives. However, this is a great resource for explaining complex topics, researching specific topics in social studies, and much more. Some of the general areas of the site include: Mesopotamia, North America, Ancient Africa, Ancient Egypt, Medieval Europe, Islamic Empire, Ancient China, Ancient Rome, and Ancient Greece. Each general area includes countless sub-topics. There is a search box available at the top of the page. There are also links to activities for students, project ideas, and Teacher's Guides. There are two caveats: there are some advertisements, nothing too distracting AND some of the suggested activities include "buying" a book from Amazon. You do NOT need to purchase anything to take advantage of this free resource!

tag(s): europe (75), greece (26), medieval (27), mesopotamia (6)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set in your history classes studying these topics. The information is simple to understand and would be useful for students struggling with a topic. Use the site for research about specific topics. Have teams of students explore each of the "sub-topics" within the main topic and then create an interactive presentation (Powerpoint, video, or blog) to share the information with their class. Why not list this link on your class website, so students can access the page both in and out of the classroom.

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Today in History - Library of Congress

Grades
4 to 12
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The Library of Congress offers this daily look at historical events - mostly American. There is typically more than one event listed per day, and the text integrates cultural, literary,...more
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The Library of Congress offers this daily look at historical events - mostly American. There is typically more than one event listed per day, and the text integrates cultural, literary, and political trends into the daily reporting. This makes this daily nugget far more than just a collection of "factoids."

tag(s): history day (23)

In the Classroom

This site provides excellent historical research! For a classroom-ready activity each day to build understanding of historical events in the context of your students' prior knowledge, also try TeachersFirst's Dates That Matter. Include both links on your teacher web page for instant access by students both in and out of class. Maybe start a class wiki for your own "This Day" collection and assign student groups a day of their own. Add to it from year to year. Or have students write blog responses on class or individual blogs as they choose an event for the day from several sources and react to it.

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Meet Amazing Americans - The Library of Congress

Grades
1 to 8
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This site offers some basic research on MANY "Amazing" Americans. Click to learn more about "Amazing" Leaders & Statesmen, U.S. Presidents, Activists & Reformers, Adventurers & Explorers,...more
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This site offers some basic research on MANY "Amazing" Americans. Click to learn more about "Amazing" Leaders & Statesmen, U.S. Presidents, Activists & Reformers, Adventurers & Explorers, Musicians & Composers, Writers & Artists, Industrialists & Entrepreneurs, Scientist & Inventors, or Athletes and Entertainers. Be prepared: when you click on one of the topics you may have a few people pop up OR more names than you can count! This is an excellent site for research, teaching students about American heroes, or using to enhance your social studies, science, or music curriculum. There are pictures, information, and even some interactives. There are also links to a Presidential Scavenger Hunt, a "Dynamite Presidents" interactive, and other "extras." Some of the activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): composers (21), explorers (61), inventors and inventions (101), presidents (130), scientists (68)

In the Classroom

This site could be used throughout the entire year. Why not highlight a "hero of the week." Share the information on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students write diary entries (or blogs) from the perspective of the "hero of the week." Use this site for individual research projects and have students create multimedia presentations about their hero: a Powerpoint, website, blog, wiki, or video. This site can be used in more than just social studies topics. Music classes, science classes, and gifted classes can also benefit from the many research areas.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Anoka - Halloween Capital of the World - Anoka Halloween, Inc.

Grades
2 to 8
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This simple site provides historical information about Anoka, Minnesota. Do you know what makes Anoka so interesting? It has the unique nickname of the "Halloween Capital of the World."...more
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This simple site provides historical information about Anoka, Minnesota. Do you know what makes Anoka so interesting? It has the unique nickname of the "Halloween Capital of the World." Do you want to know why it is the capital? Visit the site and read all about the history, celebrations, and more. Suddenly a community's claim to fame can become a way to introduce your students to the process of tracing local history.

tag(s): halloween (40), minnesota (4)

In the Classroom

Use this site when studying community and culture. There are many sites that offer Halloween games and printables, but this site offers some real history - check it out! Why not have students research the history of Halloween (or another holiday) in your hometown. Do they have a parade? If so, when did it begin? What year did trick-or-treating begin in your hometown?

Assign cooperative learning groups different cities throughout your state, and have students do "Halloween" (or holiday) research on that particular town. Have the groups create interactive presentations to share with the class. Try having students create videos to share using YouTube or TeacherTube (explained here).

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Gapminder World - Gapminder

Grades
6 to 12
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Use Gapminder World (with no login required) to see how countries vary and change over time in economics, health, and environment. Click the MAP tab as a good place to ...more
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Use Gapminder World (with no login required) to see how countries vary and change over time in economics, health, and environment. Click the MAP tab as a good place to start. Follow all trends and click play to animate the country bubbles through a timeline. Click on a specific bubble (country) to follow through time. Each axis of the graph can be customized for a large number of combinations. Video tutorials and a pdf of directions are available. Share your chart through the use of a link or take a snapshot of your screen using print screen functions. There is also this page of help and ideas specifically for teachers. Be patient. This site has a lot of information to load, so you may have to wait a bit!

tag(s): countries (77), environment (317)

In the Classroom

Be sure you and your students begin by "playing" with the controls to figure out the many tools available on this dynamic site. Be sure to peruse by this page of ideas specifically for teachers. Use this site to generate questions from students for continued research in health, environmental, and civics topics that students will relate to. Manipulate each axis (using pulldowns) to create a dynamic graph and follow all or a few of the countries (bubbles). Questions resulting from the graph can be used to define research leading to further understanding. Have students obtain background information that can lead to further research on social issues in the U.S. and around the World or use this tool as part of oral/visual presentations comparing countries and cultures. Be sure to use your interactive whiteboard or projector.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Cosmeo Atlas - Discovery education

Grades
6 to 12
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This interactive world map shares information in video format about culture, government, history, or the natural world. To view the information you may either click on the location...more
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This interactive world map shares information in video format about culture, government, history, or the natural world. To view the information you may either click on the location on the map, or use the Select a Location toolbar. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): climate (92), countries (77), environment (317)

In the Classroom

Students can be divided into groups and assigned a country. Each student can use the videos to create a snapshot of the country based upon the culture, government, history, and the natural world. Students can create their own videos outlining the information, a blog post to share with others, newsletters, or any other project that makes a comparison between cultures. Offer this as one of several resources for student research. Your learning support and ESL students will find it easier to follow this information in video than to use text-based resources.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Wonder How To - Wonder How To, Inc.

Grades
6 to 12
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This creative site offers "how to" videos on a WIDE variety of topics. Anyone is able to view the videos, but you must be a member (which is free) to ...more
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This creative site offers "how to" videos on a WIDE variety of topics. Anyone is able to view the videos, but you must be a member (which is free) to comment on the videos, grade the videos, or submit your own "how to" video. Topics vary; some are appropriate for the classroom - others are definitely NOT appropriate. Some of the general topics that may be useful in the middle school or high school classroom include: alcohol, autos, motorcycles, and planes, business and money, computers and programming, diet and health, education (which features a variety of science experiments and more), film and theater, language (English, Chinese, Hungarian, Russian, Finnish, sign language, Polish, and countless others), music and instruments, travel, and several other topics. Within each of these general topics, there are thousands of specific "how to" videos.

Membership is free and has many perks. You are able to comment and/or grade the video clips or even submit your own video. Registration does require some personal information: a username, password, email address, and date of birth. ALL USERS MUST BE OVER 13-years of age! Check with your administrator about allowing the students to register for this site using fictitious names. You may wish to set up a class registration instead of entering true data into the registration site. Another option is to create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

Warning: not all videos are suitable for the classroom. Be sure to preview what you wish to share. If you choose to allow your older students to navigate this site on their own (for research or a class project), be sure to set boundaries on which videos to watch, consequences for going elsewhere, and WATCH CAREFULLY! Some videos explain "how to" do things that are unsafe or inappropriate for school-ages audiences. Wonder How To does include unobtrusive advertisements. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): aircraft (24), business (58), money (193), russian (26), sign language (8)

In the Classroom

Use these fabulous "how to" videos for informative writing projects in speech, science, or even with your gifted students. The site does provide excellent research. You may want to link directly to the specific videos you want students to see in order to avoid other, less-desirable options. Share the "how to" videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an anticipatory set for a new lesson. For a final project, have students create and submit their own "how to" video using YouTube or using a tool such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).

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American Heritage Education Foundation, Inc. - The American Heritage Education Foundation

Grades
K to 12
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Social studies, history, and government teachers - be warned - this site may be the best FREE gift you receive this year. To sum it up in one word - ...more
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Social studies, history, and government teachers - be warned - this site may be the best FREE gift you receive this year. To sum it up in one word - WOW! The highlight of this site is ready-to-go lesson plans (with standards) divided by age level (elementary, middle, and high school). These FREE lesson plans are available online via a PDF file or you may order a FREE CD (they say it is a $150 value).

The elementary topics range from Colonial America to U.S. Presidents (with a focus on George Washington) to the History of Thanksgiving to The Pledge of Allegiance and MANY others. The middle school topics include the Declaration of Independence, Our National Documents, The Gettysburg Address, Religious Expression in School, and several others. The high school topics vary from the Mayflower, to Federalists 47, the First Amendment, and more. Each grade level also includes lessons on character education.

In addition to the wonderful lesson plans, the site also highlights the four themes of the foundation: Unity, Progress, Freedom, and Responsibility. There are also links to some fantastic social studies sites and a wealth of research information about America. Some of the lesson plans and printables require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): colonial america (107), constitution (79), gettysburg (26), gettysburg address (18), presidents (130), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Obviously, the lesson plans are useful for all grade levels. Take advantage of these free resources. Many include printable activities for your students to try out. Although the site isn't highly interactive, it does have some great ideas to incorporate into your class to bring history alive.

Make the lesson plans more "technologically advanced" by having students create a wiki or blog entry. Have your high school students complete the lesson on the First Amendment and then have them have a virtual debate about the First Amendment via a class wiki. Have your elementary students complete the lesson on U.S. Presidents and then have each student write a blog entry pretending to be one of the presidents (a great mini-research project). Have your middle school students complete the lesson on the Gettysburg Address and then try to create their own "Address" to talk about the current state of our nation. Have them share their "Address" on a video using YouTube or or TeacherTube (explained here).
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Wanderlust: GOOD traces the most famous trips in history - GOOD magazine

Grades
5 to 12
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Visually interesting, this site offers brief (3--5 stop) illustrated trips reflecting a combination of real-life and fictional journeys, including those by Amelia Earhart, Captain Ahab,...more
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Visually interesting, this site offers brief (3--5 stop) illustrated trips reflecting a combination of real-life and fictional journeys, including those by Amelia Earhart, Captain Ahab, Magellan, Marco Polo, Jack Kerouac, Pizarro, and Phileas Fogg. The site opens with a world map with each of the journeys traced and keyed to the name of the journey. Clicking on a journey brings up photographs, literary illustrations, or drawings from the time period showing highlights of the trip. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): columbus day (11), explorers (61), lewis and clark (15), literature (275), marco polo (5)

In the Classroom

The individual journeys are brief, but would provide a nice accompaniment to a lesson, either in literature or history. When introduce Hudson the explorer, share his voyage as an anticipatory set or activator for the lesson. They would be particularly effective on an interactive whiteboard or projector. As your students read other literature or study other events in history, challenge them to create similar "maps" of the journeys in Google Earth.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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mapdango

Grades
4 to 12
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This online mapping tool is really a "mash-up" (online technology combo) of many tools that allows you to see various cities and countries throughout the world. The site is powered...more
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This online mapping tool is really a "mash-up" (online technology combo) of many tools that allows you to see various cities and countries throughout the world. The site is powered by GoogleMaps, but clicking on Map opens up other content. There is a "place of the day" offered daily. In addition to showing the location on the map, there are photos, news stories, current weather conditions, articles about the location, events happening in the area, videos (powered by YouTube), and demographic information about the area. There is a link on the top of the page, Countries , as well as a search box to search by location name. Note that the "Social" link leads to many social tools possibly inappropriate for the classroom. Since much of the content is designed for the general public, it is s good idea to preview places you plan to "feature" in class.

Be aware: this site also has advertisements for books for sale. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): map skills (80)

In the Classroom

Navigating the site is fairly easy. Manipulate the map as you would on Google Maps (zoom, drag, etc). Simply click to read the articles, weather reports, and view the photos or video clips (teacher-previewed, of course). Use this fabulous site as an addition to your geography class or as a reference when looking up ANY world location from current events, literary settings, and more. Take your students virtually to a new location every day! Share the site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge students to write a blog as a native from the highlighted country. In world language classes, have students plot a trip or write an imaginary story of their dream trip to Spain, Mexico, France, China (or whatever country/language they are studying). Take your students on a virtual trip to the native countries where the language is spoken. Have your ESL or ELL students take the class on a virtual tour of their home country.

For a more extensive project, have your students work on "building up" the Mapdango resources available for your area using the various tools that Mapdango draws upon. Of course, you will need to work within school policies to access these tools. Add more pictures to Panoramio, contribute more detailed articles to wikipedia, etc. Be sure to include the link to YOUR town's Mapdango entry on your class web page!

Safety/Security Concerns: Registration is required to use the social features, but they are not necessary for "exploring" a location. Make sure you have a clear class policy and consequences regarding the social features of the site. This site is so rich in information that it is a good one to use to teach ethical and safe use of web resources, especially how to avoid non-essential portions of a good site.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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7th Grade Home Page - Kidport

Grades
6 to 8
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This site, created by Kidport for seventh grade students, offers links to lessons and activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library....more
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This site, created by Kidport for seventh grade students, offers links to lessons and activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library. Some of the subject areas only offer one or two activities, while others offer several. Some examples of topics include adding and subtracting decimals, angles, human body (heart, bones, muscles, and more), vertebrates, invertebrates, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, the structure of the U.S. government, world geography, U.S. constitution, presidents, kinds of verbs, kinds of nouns, sentence structure, drawing, and others.

This site offers a variety of interactive elements (online quizzes, interactive maps and diagrams, and other learning exercises). Some of the pages do have advertisements, but they are not distractive. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): angles (88), constitution (79), decimals (133), grammar (216), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Check out the eclectic mix of activities available at this website. Share it with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for enrichment during certain units, learning stations, or as a whole class activity. List this site on your class website for students to use for additional practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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8th Grade Home Page - Kidport

Grades
7 to 9
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This site, created for eighth grade students, offers links to activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library. Some of the subject...more
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This site, created for eighth grade students, offers links to activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library. Some of the subject areas only offer one or two activities, while others offer several topics. The topics vary greatly and include measuring angles, multiplying decimals, the human body (skeleton, heart, muscles), vertebrates and invertebrates, the Civil War, the War of 1812, and some language arts topics (writing topic sentences, using figurative language, analogies, writing about cause and effect, and several others). Be aware: some of the language arts topics lead you to another educational site and are not as simple to use as in other subject areas. The language arts link is under construction and several are currently unavailable.

Although some of the activities are not highly interactive (some are simple online quizzes), they are well done and could be very useful in the classroom. There are also interactive diagrams and more. Some of the pages do have advertisements, but they are not distractive. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), decimals (133), figurative language (16), heart (42), lincoln (86), war of 1812 (14)

In the Classroom

Check out the eclectic mix of activities available at this website. Share it with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for enrichment, learning stations, or as a whole class activity, depending on the subject matter. List this site on your class website for students to use for additional practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Build Planet Earth - reachtheworld.org

Grades
2 to 8
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This site offers two interactive geography challenges. Choose either Build Planet Earth or Map Countries and Cities . Both activities require students to drag and...more
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This site offers two interactive geography challenges. Choose either Build Planet Earth or Map Countries and Cities . Both activities require students to drag and drop various geographical locations onto a blank globe. Some of the "places" that students drag and drop onto the globe include the North Pole, South Pole, continents, bodies of water, countries, and cities. Although the placement is a bit tricky, the globe grabs the item when it is close to being in the correct position. If students choose to continue, they can opt for the easy or difficult level to add smaller bodies of water and mountain ranges. This is a great way to make geography come alive. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): cities (25), continents (50), countries (77), rivers (21), water (130)

In the Classroom

Use this when studying the various continents or as an introduction to world geography. For a variation, have students draw the continents, mountains, and bodies of water and make their own matching activities. Have the ESL and ELL students in your classroom show where they're from and let them talk about special geographic features.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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After the Deluge - Smith Magazine

Grades
6 to 12
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This issue of Smith Magazine features an online graphic novel of the events of Hurricane Katrina and its effects on New Orleans and related communities. Since there are very few ...more
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This issue of Smith Magazine features an online graphic novel of the events of Hurricane Katrina and its effects on New Orleans and related communities. Since there are very few words, it's perfect for students of all ages and English ability levels. The drawings are in chronological order and include weather pictures and before and after pictures, as well as specific events of the hurricane.

Warning: Be sure to PREVIEW each section before you show it to the class since there is some profanity in the speech of some characters.

tag(s): graphic novels (7), hurricanes (35), novels (24)

In the Classroom

In light of the increase of hurricane activity, this is a wonderful resource to introduce this weather topic. Use it also in art class, graphic design, and with ESL and ELL students learning to tell stories. Use this site to introduce the world of graphic novels to students who are reluctant readers. Have your class make their own graphic novel about another catastrophic or historical event, either in groups or individually. Check with your administration to be sure it's OK to use this site at student computers since there are spaces for students to respond and also to submit their own work. If that's a problem, use it with your classroom computer and project the novel on the whiteboard (avoiding scenes with questionable vocabulary). Extend the lesson by having students create their own collaborative graphic account of a local history event or fictional tale in small groups.

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The Story of Anne Arundel County - Maryland Public Television

Grades
4 to 8
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This site takes students on a web hunt throughout Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Visit BWI airport, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, and several other famous landmarks. On the homepage,...more
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This site takes students on a web hunt throughout Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Visit BWI airport, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, and several other famous landmarks. On the homepage, there are links for kids and teachers. The Kids link takes you directly to the web hunt. The Teachers Page includes ways to implement the lessons into your curriculum, resource links, project ideas, and more.

tag(s): maryland (8)

In the Classroom

Use this site for individual research projects about the eight famous places listed at this site. Assign cooperative learning groups to explore the sites together. Use the link for Shady Side to introduce peninsulas to your students. "Take" your students to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis without leaving school.

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Pathways to Freedom: Maryland & The Underground Railroad - Maryland Public Television

Grades
3 to 9
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This informative and interactive website provides information about Maryland's role in the Underground Railroad. Some of the highlights include video clips about Harriet Tubman, lesson...more
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This informative and interactive website provides information about Maryland's role in the Underground Railroad. Some of the highlights include video clips about Harriet Tubman, lesson plans and class activities, printable pages, reference information, details about signs and symbols of the Underground Railroad, and MUCH more. If you are teaching about the Civil War and the Underground Railroad - this site is a must see. Another interesting activity is the "Make Your Own Secret Quilt Message." Be sure to check out the link Classroom Resources for some interesting ways to incorporate this site into your lessons. It would also be a terrific accompaniment for TeachersFirst's Signs in Stitches and Song unit. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat, you can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): 1800s (44), civil war (145), lincoln (86), maryland (8), slavery (72), underground railroad (11)

In the Classroom

Start your exploration at the link for teachers Classroom Resources. The lesson plans (which include standards) are ready to go and easy to use. Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for research projects. Have students write fictitious blog posts pretending they are traveling the Underground Railroad or an illustrated wiki account of their travels.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Exploring Maryland's Roots - Maryland Public Television

Grades
3 to 9
4 Favorites 2  Comments
    
This amazing historical site, created by Maryland Public Television, offers information about Maryland's roots (focusing on the 1600s and 1700s). Click on Classroom Resources ...more
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This amazing historical site, created by Maryland Public Television, offers information about Maryland's roots (focusing on the 1600s and 1700s). Click on Classroom Resources to find several lesson plans and activities (all linked to Maryland standards). Lesson plans focus on topics such as plantations and slavery, the colonists' arrival in the New World, the history of the Yaocomaco Indians, and several others. The lessons include interactive activities and/or video clips. There are also printables and a wealth of historical information (great for research). This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): 1600s (11), chesapeake bay (4), colonial america (107), india (36), maryland (8), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

During your Colonial Unit, share the video of the "Diary of the Colonial - Jenny Steiner." Check out all of the lesson plans when teaching about the history of the 13 colonies, slavery, plantation life, life in the 1600s and 1700s. Be sure to read the teacher tips for more ideas. This site is also an excellent resource for research on individual states or colonies (Maryland).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

My fifth graders LOVE this website. Well done. Gail, MI, Grades: 4 - 6
My fifth graders LOVED this website. Gail, MI, Grades: 4 - 6

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Scribble States - Armor Games Inc.

Grades
3 to 8
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At this site, students learn about each of the 50 states. They connect dots to create the outline of a state. Students can choose from an assorted number of "exam" ...more
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At this site, students learn about each of the 50 states. They connect dots to create the outline of a state. Students can choose from an assorted number of "exam" questions; they can also choose whether to have questions on the name of the state, its capital, or its state name. The speed of the questions varies also. Students receive a score on the accuracy of their drawing with the mouse and the answer to the question about the state.

This site does have some minor advertisements. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): capitals (24), drawing (78), states (163)

In the Classroom

Use this activity as practice with states state capitals, or state shapes. Your visual and kinesthetic learners will benefit from this different approach. This site is accessible to ESL and ELL students; provide them with a map of the states and they can use this activity to familiarize themselves with state names, pronunciation, shape, location, etc.

This site is "interactive whiteboard ready." Try the activity as a class challenge (at the beginning of social studies class). Have students take turns "drawing" the state, and then use the "quiz" questions a class (or team) activity. Once students are familiar with this site, allow them to explore on their own. Have students create their own dot to dot state papers and quizzes to share with the class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Google Lit Trips - Google Earth

Grades
3 to 12
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Google Lit Trips collects annotated maps on Google Earth to illustrate the travels found in great works of literature. The site presents the work of teachers and others and continues...more
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Google Lit Trips collects annotated maps on Google Earth to illustrate the travels found in great works of literature. The site presents the work of teachers and others and continues to add maps and content. Literary works are divided by grade level. Each map also provides links to other online material related to the work illustrated, and some trips are accompanied by related podcasts.

"Lit trips" can be reviewed by users so teachers can see comments left by other users. This site uses Google Earth which must be downloaded first. Find full info on Google Earth in the TeachersFirst review, including the link to download.

tag(s): earth (228), literature (275), maps (288)

In the Classroom

Each "lit trip" is extensively annotated and linked to further content, making this an incredibly rich resource for teachers to use in conjunction with teaching works of literature. Students can see graphically the travels of such characters as the Joads in The Grapes of Wrath , or Odysseus in Homer's Odyssey . Using these lit trips on an interactive whiteboard or projector will greatly enhance a class study of the associated work of literature. Alternatively, students might be encouraged to explore these lit trips independently, at home, or in a computer lab, so they can follow links that are of particular individual interest. As a really ambitious project, make it a class task to create a lit trip for a work of literature you are studying, assigning student groups to choose locations and create the placemarkers, then submit it to the Lit Trips site.

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Ben's Guide to U.S. Government - Government Printing Office

Grades
1 to 12
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Here's an introduction to American government that even the youngest students can appreciate. Divided into four grade levels, the site explains the structure and purpose of American...more
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Here's an introduction to American government that even the youngest students can appreciate. Divided into four grade levels, the site explains the structure and purpose of American government in age-appropriate terms for everyone from Kindergarteners to high school students. For example, there are four interactive games for your primary students (grades k-2)that make learning about our government fun. Have students learn states' locations by placing them on the map. Color the USA flag, help Ben Franklin out of a maze, or find your way around the liberty bell. There are also age-specific activities divided into grades 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): constitution (79), franklin (12), states (163)

In the Classroom

With younger grades, use an interactive whiteboard or projector to learn the states' locations with the entire group. This simple site would be great to use in your computer center for individual learning or for some indoor recess enrichment fun. Secondary teachers looking for more than the basics will want to supplement this site with other resources. There is a link for parents and teachers, be sure to take a look!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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