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Voting America: United States Politics 1840-2008 - University of Richmond

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7 to 12
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Find interactive maps examining the results of elections from 1840 through 2008. With US politics increasingly dominated by election year strategizing, a historical look at how Americans...more
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Find interactive maps examining the results of elections from 1840 through 2008. With US politics increasingly dominated by election year strategizing, a historical look at how Americans have voted in both Presidential and Congressional elections can provide useful context. In a democracy, the power of popular elections to affect the lives of all citizens cannot be understated. In order to understand how changes in population--demography and distribution--have affected popular elections, it's important to see those changes in perspective. On this site, you can look at Presidential elections or Congressional elections, as well as population maps focused on African American and White population changes over the time period. Most of the maps are based on an advancing time line that maps data over time. For Presidential elections, there are also more detailed maps for each separate election.

tag(s): congress (24), elections (63), electoral college (11), maps (242), presidents (113), timelines (55)

In the Classroom

These maps, powerful when projected on an interactive whiteboard (or projector), make the impact of changes in population demographics and distribution visual. The maps might also provide a good resource for students studying a particular President or time period. Challenge students to create a newspaper about what they have learned (about the President or time period). Use a tool such as Zinepal (reviewed here). Click to "Start with a blank e-Book."

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ContextU: Understand Your World - ContextU

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7 to 12
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Although it is still in Beta, ContextU seeks to provide important context to major events in US History. With its American Revolution and Civil War modules up and running, a ...more
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Although it is still in Beta, ContextU seeks to provide important context to major events in US History. With its American Revolution and Civil War modules up and running, a table of contents allows you to select a person, place, event or theme relating to the broader subject. From that starting point, you can easily jump to a map, a brief biography of important characters, a hyperlinked timeline of events, or a flow chart of causes and effects. When so much of traditional instruction on US history consists of looking at discrete events without always understanding the larger framework and connections for these events, ContextU offers an important perspective for learning. Based on the site's table of context, future modules are planned for each of the larger wartime eras in US history.

tag(s): american revolution (67), civil war (131), timelines (55)

In the Classroom

Consider using the ContextU organizing framework as a regular touchpoint for a unit on either the American Revolution or the American Civil War. As you progress through the important events that comprise each era, return to the larger context to help students "see the forest" as well as the trees. ContextU might also be added to your storehouse of bookmarks for each unit so students could access it while doing outside assignments or projects. Find age-appropriate literature to share with your students about Colonial America and the Revolution or The Civil War and Slavery at TeachersFirst's CurriConnects booklists for all ages. Use class discussions or student essays to draw together what they learn from independent reading, this site, and their "regular" curriculum.

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Where We Came From and Where We Went State by State - New York Times

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7 to 12
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The New York Times looks at each state in the US and charts movement both into the state and out of the state since 1900. With immigration in the news, ...more
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The New York Times looks at each state in the US and charts movement both into the state and out of the state since 1900. With immigration in the news, it's sometimes helpful to remember that with a country as large as the United States, there has been a great deal of INTRA-state movement over the country's history. Explore the states via these interactive charts. Mousing over each component of each chart brings additional clarifying information about that state's intra-state migration statistics. The set of charts begins with California, Florida, and Nevada, three states with the most dynamic population changes. The remainder of the charts follow in alphabetical order. Each state's chart also contains a brief narrative explaining significant components.

tag(s): census (20), demographics (14), immigrants (11), immigration (47), migration (53), states (157), transportation (35), westward expansion (19)

In the Classroom

A great introduction to population change and the changing nature of social and physical mobility in the United States, these charts can prompt discussion about why families move. Although the charts begin in 1900, they are still useful in looking at Westward Migration in the US. Also explore such issues as changing job markets, natural resources and industries, movement between high density and low density areas, and the places where non-native born residents are most likely to settle. Invite students to create their own infographics about a certain state or region based on what they discover here. Learn about infographics in the classroom and the tools to make them in TeachersFirst's Now I See!.

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Clip Syndicate - clipsyndicate.com

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6 to 12
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Clip Syndicate provides professionally produced news videos and timely feature clips from television stations and other media outlets around the United States and the world. You can...more
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Clip Syndicate provides professionally produced news videos and timely feature clips from television stations and other media outlets around the United States and the world. You can easily embed these clips in your own web site, blog, or wiki. Clips DO include ads, but they are not hosted on YouTube. Choose from videos offered on several different channels such as science and technology, government and politics, or education. Registration isn't required to view and embed videos, but it does allow you to save and view statistics from videos you embed.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): news (169), video (183)

In the Classroom

Use the code provided to embed any video or channel directly onto your class blog or website. Bookmark and save Clip Syndicate as a resource for current event stories for classroom use. Ask your students to visit Clip Syndicate and create a multimedia presentation from the information they learn there and by reading additional news coverage of the event. Embed any channel onto your website or blog as a current events writing prompt, and have students create blog posts about them using Throwww ( reviewed here). Throwww allows you to create "quick and easy" blog posts to be used one time only. A unique URL is provided, and the tool is as easy as using a basic Word program! World language classes can look on this site for recent stories from other cultures to discuss in their new language. Science and social studies teachers will find current stories related to topics they teach, such as volcano footage or stories about conflicts and political tensions. Share a clip at the beginning of class to connect curriculum with the "real world."
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The Civil War - Teaching American History

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5 to 12
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This engaging Civil War site features interactive maps detailing many aspects of life during the time of the Civil War. Choose from tabs at the bottom of the main page ...more
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This engaging Civil War site features interactive maps detailing many aspects of life during the time of the Civil War. Choose from tabs at the bottom of the main page to explore railroads, slavery, cotton production, and more as it looked during the time. Each map includes a legend demonstrating statistics by date for all states and territories at the time.

tag(s): agriculture (45), civil rights (92), civil war (131), gettysburg (29), industrial revolution (22), railroads (9), slavery (63)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector to explore and understand different components of life during the Civil War period. Challenge students to create a presentation using Prezi, reviewed here, with information from this site. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare two states during Civil War times or to compare one state during the Civil War era to that state today. During your Civil War study, don't miss TeachersFirst's Gettysburg By the Numbers for more questions and data to use in your discussions.
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Stuff You Missed in History Class - Tracy Wilson and Holly Frey

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7 to 12
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Explore interesting history tidbits and background information about world events including topics from Atlantis to Vikings. Scroll through the list of topics and find links to various...more
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Explore interesting history tidbits and background information about world events including topics from Atlantis to Vikings. Scroll through the list of topics and find links to various podcast episodes with archives going back to 2008. Click to play the episodes or download any episode in mp3 format using the download link. Episodes are approximately 30 minutes in length. You can also search for specific topics using the search tool.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): archeology (24), black history (50), civil rights (92), civil war (131), cross cultural understanding (88), mental health (18), native americans (65), podcasts (42), religions (49), vikings (6), world war 1 (38), world war 2 (136)

In the Classroom

Use podcasts from Stuff You Missed in History to enrich current lessons or lure students into thinking history can actually be "cool." Provide a link on class computers or your class website for students use. Have students use a mapping tool such as Mapskip (reviewed here) to create a map of one of these events (with audio stories and pictures included)! Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about one of the people in these lesser known historic events.

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100 Leaders in World History - National History Day

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7 to 12
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National History Day has developed this gallery of 100 "significant" leaders in world history. You can browse the leaders individually or search by type (political, military, scientific),...more
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National History Day has developed this gallery of 100 "significant" leaders in world history. You can browse the leaders individually or search by type (political, military, scientific), sphere of geographic influence, or time period. Each leader's entry includes some brief biographical information, characteristics as a leader, and links to further information. Rather than providing extensive information about each person on the site, the gallery provides a context for considering and comparing individual leaders. A separate section provides extensive classroom resources for discussing leadership and using the site to illustrate the traits of leaders. There are downloadable posters for each leader as well as a poster that includes all 100 that can be printed for classroom use. There are, of course, lots of connections to the National History Day competition, but there is plenty of good content here regardless of whether students intend to enter.

tag(s): art history (55), black history (50), famous people (15), native americans (65)

In the Classroom

It goes without saying that this is a great resource for students thinking about a National History Day project. However, any course or lesson involving leadership will find lots of good supporting content here. Consider categories of leaders across time, for example. Do political leaders exhibit similar traits regardless of the time period in which they lived? Are there differences between male and female leaders? Are there different kinds of leaders? Are leaders always good? Share this site during Women's History Month, Black History Month, and other observances that highlight "significant" leaders.
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The Square of Life - The Center for Innovation in Science and Engineering

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1 to 12
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Become a part of a local and global Internet based collaborative project studying your square meter of life. This project may look "plain vanilla," but the hands-on, real world learning...more
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Become a part of a local and global Internet based collaborative project studying your square meter of life. This project may look "plain vanilla," but the hands-on, real world learning is terrific. Once you choose your square meter, document and record data of all the living and nonliving things within your square. While sharing findings look for similarities. This project takes place multiple times a year. The guide offers lesson plans, extension activities, and worksheets. Also find assessment ideas, standards, and information for urban teachers. After creating an account, submit data, view data, and participate in the discussion area. Resources include student galleries, reference materials, ask an expert, project leader, and more. Some past student contributions are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): ecology (129), environment (283), scientific method (49)

In the Classroom

Bring a heightened awareness to your local and global environmental education. In lower elementary grades, do the project together as a class. Teach scientific observation using a hands-on project. You could also include this as part of a civics or government class discussing the environment and public policy. This well-defined project is ready made for you. Integrate observations, documentation, measurements, deeper inspection, and ways to identify living and nonliving materials. Take photographs and record written accounts. Create presentations in PowerPoint, Prezi, reviewed here, Google presentations, reviewed here, or other presentation tools to draw in language arts standards. Expand the project to each student's backyard. Are any squares in your school or local area severely damaged environments? Brainstorm with students to find a way to change them back to their original state.
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JFK American Experience - PBS American Experience

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7 to 12
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This site accompanies an episode of the PBS production American Experience, taking a new look at the life and legacy of John F. Kennedy. It was created in remembrance of ...more
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This site accompanies an episode of the PBS production American Experience, taking a new look at the life and legacy of John F. Kennedy. It was created in remembrance of the 50th anniversary of his assassination. The site combines primary sources with more scholarly articles examining the political context of his presidency and the policies and events we associate with that presidency. The primary source collection is rich and diverse, and there is also a nice contextual timeline of world events between 1961 and 1963. The teacher reference guide is designed primarily to be used in conjunction with viewing the American Experience episode itself, but includes important questions for discussion that are appropriate even for students who have not watched the full film.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 1960s (28), civil rights (92), kennedy (26), presidents (113)

In the Classroom

The 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy provides an opportunity to refresh students' knowledge of JFK as a man and a President. What important policy innovations can we attribute to his Presidency? How might the remainder of the turbulent decade of the 1960s have been different had he lived? And from a different perspective, while we all want to romanticize the legacy of "Camelot" and the glamour of the Kennedy family, what were his failings? This site provides some rich primary sources to include in a discussion of the Kennedy Presidency, as well as a brief preview of the American Experience film itself. Whether you choose to view the episode with your class or not, you are certain to obtain excellent information at this site.
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Teaching Literacy Through History - Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

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K to 12
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Meet your ELA standards as you teach history! Explore over 40 free lesson plans aligned to the Common Core Standards. Browse all lesson plans or use the search feature to ...more
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Meet your ELA standards as you teach history! Explore over 40 free lesson plans aligned to the Common Core Standards. Browse all lesson plans or use the search feature to find lessons by keywords or grade level. Every lesson contains all materials and procedures needed. Sign up for a free subscription using your school email address to access all information.

tag(s): american revolution (67), bill of rights (26), black history (50), civil rights (92), columbus day (11), constitution (69), elections (63), electoral college (11), franklin (10), gettysburg (29), lincoln (80), roosevelt (9), symbols (17), terrorism (44), thanksgiving (29), washington (30), world war 1 (38), world war 2 (136)

In the Classroom

Use ideas from the lesson plans to supplement your current teaching materials. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their learning from the notes they took during the lesson. Use Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here. Challenge students to find a photo that represents a part of the lesson taught. Have students create a simple multimedia presentation using Yodio, reviewed here.. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Use Creative Commons images (with credit, of course). Try Compfight, reviewed here.
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Created Equal - National Endowment for the Humanities

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9 to 12
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Four documentary films related to the Civil Rights Movement, available to stream either in part or in their entirety, form the centerpiece of this effort from the National Endowment...more
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Four documentary films related to the Civil Rights Movement, available to stream either in part or in their entirety, form the centerpiece of this effort from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The films cover time periods beginning with the Abolitionist Movement and continuing through the Freedom Marches and the turbulent 1960s. Explore the meaning of freedom and equality in the United States with relevance still today. There are teacher resources, lesson plans, and suggestions for aligning lessons to the Common Core.

tag(s): bill of rights (26), black history (50), civil rights (92), civil war (131), emancipation proclamation (11), segregation (15)

In the Classroom

The documentaries, or the excerpts presented, are all available to stream from the site. While they may be too lengthy to show in their entirety during one class period, they have also been divided into clips according to themes. For example, Equality is part of the full video about Law and the Strategy of Nonviolence. This makes them more adaptable for classroom use. Share the videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. The issues raised by these documentaries may be easily incorporated into lessons related to the Civil Rights Movement, modern U.S. history, Black History Month, or civics and government. Use these videos as conversation starters in the classroom.
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Legislative Explorer - Center for American Politics and Public Policy

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9 to 12
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With so much data out there, how are we, as citizens, to manage this information to make good choices? The University of Washington's Center for American Politics and Public Policy...more
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With so much data out there, how are we, as citizens, to manage this information to make good choices? The University of Washington's Center for American Politics and Public Policy takes the massive amount of information about US legislative activity from 1973 to the present and helps us visualize the progress of bills through the legislative branch. Color-coded "particles" represent each bill on an interactive field for each two-year legislative session. Set the field in motion and watch bills move through committees and onto the floor of the House or the Senate. Notice how many "particles" (each representing a bill) remain clustered in committees throughout the legislative session and how many actually make it to the President's desk and become law. The animation is much more powerful (and informative) when you select an issue, a state, a legislator, a committee, or a party from the drop down menus, but the "big picture" visuals are also informative.

tag(s): advanced placement (16), branches of government (39), congress (24)

In the Classroom

Despite being fairly wonky (political geeks will LOVE this site!), Legislative Explorer will also help civics and government teachers present the overall picture of how a bill makes its way (or doesn't) through the legislative branch. On an interactive whiteboard (or projector), the visual impact of how many bills are proposed in a session is stunning. Once past that, however, students can research the activities of their local legislators, by name or by state. What issues matter enough to them to result in bill sponsorship? Alternatively, divide students into groups and have each group research a specific committee. What bills come to that committee? How successful is that committee in moving bills to the President's desk? How does the activity in the most recent Congress compare to that from 40 years ago? Have the issues changed?

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Numbeo - Numbeo

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9 to 12
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Numbeo is a crowd-sourced database of statistical information about cities across the world. It includes information about quality of life factors like cost-of-living, crime, health...more
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Numbeo is a crowd-sourced database of statistical information about cities across the world. It includes information about quality of life factors like cost-of-living, crime, health care, pollution, and traffic. Select a category and a city to view data about that location. Compare locations on that criterion. See the information displayed on a map. There is an enormous amount of data here; however, keep in mind that the data is user-generated and will only reflect what others have entered. Consequently, it is constantly being updated and revised. Numbeo provides real-time numbers that students can use to learn how to analyze statistical information and graphs.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): consumers (18), statistics (108)

In the Classroom

Send students to this site to research quality of life factors across the globe. How does the price of gas in Indonesia compare to the price of gas in their hometown? What income is required to rent an apartment in New York City? At another level of inquiry, WHY is the cost of living higher in some parts of the world than it is in others? What factors contribute to the quality of life? In a math class, use this data as "meat" to learn about comparing and displaying data. Your students will find the data interesting enough to pay attention.

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Fracking Across the United States - Earth Justice Org.

Grades
6 to 12
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View this interactive Google map to discover where "fraccidents" have occurred and a description of what happened. A "fraccident" is when something goes wrong at a fracking site. Hydraulic...more
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View this interactive Google map to discover where "fraccidents" have occurred and a description of what happened. A "fraccident" is when something goes wrong at a fracking site. Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" is drilling to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas. Fracking is a controversial technology, and this site is one organization's efforts to slow the pace of industrial gas development. So you will notice some bias. Find out if anything like this has happened near you. At the bottom of the page is a video, "Finding Their Way." It is about a Williamsport, PA couple who developed strategies to stop industrial gas development in Rider Park, land consisting of forests, rivers, and fields. The video also gives statistics about how quickly fracking wells were built in Pennsylvania from 2007 - 2010.

tag(s): disasters (35), energy (165), environment (283), geology (70), natural resources (49), oil (44), resources (101)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector during a study of fossil fuels, geology, or energy and government policy. Show students an overview of the interactive map and the states listed below it. Have partners select a state, click on the skull and crossbones, and read about the "fraccidents" that have happened. Have students record the state and the facts about the "fraccident" using an online bulletin board and stickies such as Lino reviewed here. At this point, have students research the positive side of fracking and/or alternative versions of what happened in this "fraccident." Students could then write argument/persuasive papers. Math students could determine the frequency of accidents from fracking over the years and predict what might happen in the states targeted for fracking in the future (listed below the map). Students could view the video at the bottom of the page and discuss the steps taken to stop fracking in Williamsport, PA.
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Smithsonian: Energy Innovation - Smithsonian

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6 to 12
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Explore the leading U.S. states in the production of natural gas by hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking." There are three parts to this interactive map. Major Shale Plays shows where...more
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Explore the leading U.S. states in the production of natural gas by hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking." There are three parts to this interactive map. Major Shale Plays shows where extraction is considered both technically possible and profitable. In State by State Comparison, simply click on each state to show a chart of production rates and reserves. Where is Fracking Happening? provides a legend displaying Shale gas wells and Plays and Basins. Click on the map to zoom in. The accompanying article provides information about technology, earthquakes, and the liquids used in fracking.
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tag(s): energy (165), environment (283), geology (70), natural resources (49), oil (44), resources (101)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site with an interactive whiteboard or projector and big screen. View together as a class to show students how the interactive map works. Have pairs of students go through the interactive maps and write down key phrases for information they learn. Then have the pairs create a word cloud of the important terms learned from this site using a tool such as Wordle, reviewed here. This site could be used in a unit on contemporary environmental issues or energy. Use it for background research for a class debate on fracking. It would also provide evidence for a Common Core-style writing piece developing an argument and supporting evidence. In a government or civics class, this information could be part of a class discussion on how government policies can affect the environment.

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Extracting Natural Gas From Rock - New York Times

Grades
5 to 12
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Learn the steps in extracting natural gas using hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" with this interactive. The platform shows each step in drilling to fracture shale rocks to release...more
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Learn the steps in extracting natural gas using hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" with this interactive. The platform shows each step in drilling to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas. On the left side of many of the frames are explanations of problems that may occur in that step in the process.
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tag(s): energy (165), environment (283), geology (70), natural resources (49), oil (44), resources (101)

In the Classroom

Use this resource in science, current events, government or civics classes when studying environmental issues or for issues about regulation. Before sharing this interactive article with students, identify concepts that need an explanation in class. Have students create a four square chart (fold paper "hamburger" style) and list what they know about fracking in one square. Students then explore this interactive to determine whether their statements are correct or false. In the square next to their brainstorm, have students correct their misunderstandings. In the third square, they can list the possible problems with each step. Use ProConIt, reviewed here, and search for fracking debates. In the fourth square have students record the "pros" for fracking in the ProConIt debates. Students in current events and language arts classes can then write opinion pieces or argument and persuasive papers. Read the site to become informed about this controversial topic as it may become a political issue in upcoming elections in some locations. For younger students, have pairs go through the interactive sections and write down key phrases for information they learn. Then have the pairs create a word cloud of the important terms learned from this site using a tool such as Wordle, reviewed here, Tagxedo, reviewed here, or WordItOut, reviewed here.
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Great Lakes Echo - MSU Department of Telecommunications, Info Studies, and Media

Grades
6 to 12
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Find a constantly updated collection of informational articles about the environment of the Great Lakes. Subscribe to receive news of current feature articles. The variety of article...more
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Find a constantly updated collection of informational articles about the environment of the Great Lakes. Subscribe to receive news of current feature articles. The variety of article topics is sure to catch the interest of almost any reader. The articles have Creative Commons Attribution - Share Alike licenses so are free to use and recopy (be sure to attribute!).
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tag(s): animals (219), fish (24), insects (59), plants (112), pollution (64), water (111), watersheds (13), weather (168)

In the Classroom

Use this resource in a science or environmental science classroom to identify and learn about various problems affecting the Great Lakes. Many of the concerns are representative of watersheds and freshwater bodies in other locations, as well. These articles are also valuable to examine current events in a social studies or civics classroom, identifying the impact of current environmental challenges on society and of society on the environment. Use these articles to provide experience with reading informational texts. Annotate an article using one of many annotation tools such as Scrible or Crocodoc, as part of "close reading." Compare the environmental issues of the Great Lakes with those of other water areas. Add this link to a bank of resources for students to use in research of issues affecting waterways.

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Inequality.org - Institute for Policy Studies

Grades
8 to 12
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Inequality.org aspires to be a portal for those seeking information on the impact of inequalities in areas such as income, health, race, and more. Choose the topic of Data and ...more
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Inequality.org aspires to be a portal for those seeking information on the impact of inequalities in areas such as income, health, race, and more. Choose the topic of Data and Statistics to view charts, graphs, and discussions of inequalities and changes over time. For example, you can view several videos with topics such as CEO pay, Tax the Rich Fairy Tale, and Wealth Inequalities. Although this site certainly has a one-sided point of view as its focus, it is one that is sure to get you thinking.

tag(s): inequalities (24), racism (15), statistics (108)

In the Classroom

Have students explore this website then search for alternate points of view. Use this information as a starting point for classroom debate on current events, economics, and more. Have students create maps using Animaps (reviewed here). Students can add text, images, and location stops to "map" the information given on this site. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare and contrast different points of view. Don't be surprised if your more news-savvy students (or those whose parents discuss political views openly) have very strong opinions about the ideas on this site. What better way to spark a discussion in a government/civics class? This would be a useful site to share with your gifted or more able students during an election year and have them create a position paper or video for a fictitious candidate on one of the inequity issues. In a math class, use some of the statistics here to work with plotting and interpreting data. The topics are certain to engage student interest!

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Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States - University of Richmond Digital Scholarship Lab

Grades
6 to 12
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Explore this amazingly detailed and interactive look at United States history and movement across the country through the perspective of maps. Maps date back to the late 1400s and include...more
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Explore this amazingly detailed and interactive look at United States history and movement across the country through the perspective of maps. Maps date back to the late 1400s and include many major cartography projects. Customize your viewing experience by choosing options in the table of contents to add text and see legends. Choose the animate option to watch changes in population over time, view changing state boundaries, and much more. View the introductory video to learn more about this fabulous site.

tag(s): atlas (6), map skills (74), maps (242), states (157), statistics (108)

In the Classroom

This site is a must bookmark for any American history teacher! This is also a great way to hook students on the power of maps. Share different types of maps during a unit on map skills and types of maps. View The Atlas on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) throughout the year to visualize changes in the United States such as population growth, distribution of wealth, and political changes over time. Use this site as a learning station or center. Challenge cooperative learning groups to explore a specific historical topic and create a timeline (with music and more) using Capzles (reviewed here).

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Top Documentary Films - topdocumentaryfilms.com

Grades
7 to 12
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Top Documentary Films contains a large collection of documentaries from around the world. Choose "Browse Documentaries" to explore documentaries available, or click on categories to...more
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Top Documentary Films contains a large collection of documentaries from around the world. Choose "Browse Documentaries" to explore documentaries available, or click on categories to view by topics such as Politics, Science, etc. Choose the documentary list to view a complete listing of all available films. Each listing includes a short description along with a link to view the video. Videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube. Be sure to PREVIEW videos before showing to a class as they are unmoderated. Comments are also unmoderated. There is a wonderful disclaimer at the lower left of the home page about bias and documentaries. It is well worth noting as you watch ANY "documentary."
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tag(s): advanced placement (16), animals (219), artists (59), biographies (39), drugs and alcohol (8), environment (283), evolution (98), hiv/aids (17), humor (12), media literacy (43), mental health (18), money (175), politics (82), psychology (49), religions (49), sports (80), vietnam (32)

In the Classroom

Use this site to find videos in a wide range of topics to share on your interactive whiteboard, on a projector, or as a link on your class web page. Use videos to demonstrate different points of view. Then use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare and contrast information. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from any film using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here). Want to engage students WHILE they watch a video? Why not set up a backchannel chat using Todaysmeet, reviewed here. Be sure to ask your class if there could have been any bias in the video you watch together. What film techniques influence our thinking?
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