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State of the Union Bingo - National Constitution Center

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7 to 12
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Engage student interest in the annual State of the Union Address with this Bingo lesson plan. Background activities provide historical knowledge of the traditions of the speech. Follow...more
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Engage student interest in the annual State of the Union Address with this Bingo lesson plan. Background activities provide historical knowledge of the traditions of the speech. Follow up activities guide students through understanding current events.

tag(s): presidents (121), speeches (16)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this free lesson plan as a supplement to your current events lessons. The Bingo sheet was created in 2012, you may need to modify some terms to adapt to current events. Divide students into groups and compare State of the Union addresses from throughout any one president's terms. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here.
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FreeCol- The Colonization of America - FreeCol

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8 to 12
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FreeCol is a downloadable strategy game with the objective of the colonists creating an independent nation. Along the way trade with Europe and bring in the colonists while growing...more
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FreeCol is a downloadable strategy game with the objective of the colonists creating an independent nation. Along the way trade with Europe and bring in the colonists while growing your population. Attract colonists with money and/or religious freedom. Choose between becoming the Native Americans' friend or foe. Befriending them gives you new skills and items; while attacking their villages can result in lots of valuables while adding to the tensions. Choose from single or multiple player options and difficulty level.

tag(s): colonization (16), problem solving (227)

In the Classroom

Download FreeCol onto classroom computers for use as a computer center activity. Display on your interactive whiteboard or projector and discuss strategy options together as a class. Use a visual storytelling tool such as Check This, reviewed here, (no registration required) and have students write about strategies and decision-making processes.

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Primary Source Sets - Library of Congress

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4 to 12
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This collection of primary sources from the Library of Congress is organized around key topics and themes in American History. The Primary Source Set titles range from Abraham Lincoln...more
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This collection of primary sources from the Library of Congress is organized around key topics and themes in American History. The Primary Source Set titles range from Abraham Lincoln through Women's Suffrage. Choose any topic to view Teacher's Guides and analysis tools including graphic organizers for students. Sort information to find materials meeting Common Core, State Standards, or national organization standards.

tag(s): 20th century (43), authors (101), black history (52), civil war (144), commoncore (78), constitution (75), hispanic (18), jefferson (18), lincoln (83), new deal (6), primary sources (79), segregation (15), thanksgiving (33), veterans (23), washington (32), westward expansion (21), womens suffrage (18), wright brothers (25)

In the Classroom

When introducing a new unit, show students photos from the era and have them describe what they see and what period they think it is. Find plenty of questions and activities (including a blank analysis organizer for students) in the Teacher's Guides. Also look at Library of Congress: for Teachers, reviewed here. Encourage your students to use this tool for projects. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted for reproduction), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. Have students create a multimedia presentation using Voicethread, reviewed here. This tool allows users to narrate a picture. Include this site on your class webpage for students and parents to access as a reference.
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Invasion of Normandy - Naval History and Heritage Command

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8 to 12
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Explore D-Day events through the perspective of the U.S. Navy. Choose from different links explaining military operations such as Exercise Tiger and Operation Neptune. Watch a 1944...more
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Explore D-Day events through the perspective of the U.S. Navy. Choose from different links explaining military operations such as Exercise Tiger and Operation Neptune. Watch a 1944 newsreel telling of the liberation of Rome or learn about famous Rear Admirals Ford and Cabanillas and their role in D-Day.

tag(s): d day (10), navy (9), world war 2 (153)

In the Classroom

Be sure to help your weaker readers and ESL/ELL students by sharing the vocabulary words prior to reading, either in a handout or by projecting on an interactive whiteboard and highlighting them in the text as you come to them. The text portions are challenging, so you should pair weaker readers with a partner as they research on this site. Divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Have them share their findings with a simple infographic using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here.

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D-Day: Teachers' Sources - Imperial War Museums

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8 to 12
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Investigate the events of D-Day and their impact on World War II with this simple but interesting resource. Scroll through the photos and short captions to see first-hand images of...more
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Investigate the events of D-Day and their impact on World War II with this simple but interesting resource. Scroll through the photos and short captions to see first-hand images of Allied Commanders, Hitler, soldiers going ashore, and more. Scroll all the way down the page to find a downloadable PDF with suggested activities, a D-Day PowerPoint, and a Hands on Science and Technology Challenge.

tag(s): d day (10), veterans (23), world war 2 (153)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a World War II unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a soldier, commander, or loved one during the D-Day invasion. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles, reviewed here. Make your D-Day lessons interdisciplinary by sharing the Hands on Science and Technology lesson with science teachers at your site.
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American Experience: D-Day - PBS

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8 to 12
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This companion site for the PBS program of the same name offers a substantial number of resources with information about D-Day. Read the complete program transcript, stories from soldiers,...more
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This companion site for the PBS program of the same name offers a substantial number of resources with information about D-Day. Read the complete program transcript, stories from soldiers, and emotional letters sent to loved ones at home. Scroll through the timeline to understand how the events unfolded from 1939 through 1945. Choose the Teacher's Guide for several activities useful for understanding the impact of D-Day in the American and Global cultures.

tag(s): d day (10), veterans (23), world war 2 (153)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or as a guide for a lecture about D-Day within a US or World History Course. Have students create D-Day or World War II timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles, reviewed here. Have students make a multimedia presentation incorporating information found on this site using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools, reviewed here.

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National D-Day Memorial - National D-Day Memorial Foundation

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8 to 12
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This informative site uses photographs, articles, maps, and videos to recapture the remarkable events of June 6, 1944. Choose the History tab to learn about D-Day events beginning with...more
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This informative site uses photographs, articles, maps, and videos to recapture the remarkable events of June 6, 1944. Choose the History tab to learn about D-Day events beginning with an overview of events leading up to the storming of the beaches of Normandy. Find background information on some of the important characters of this historic event. Be sure to scroll down the right side of the webpage to find links to Educational Tools such as lesson plans and first-hand accounts from Veterans of D-Day. At the time of review, some pages were still under construction so you may want to check back for updates. At least one of the videos is presented via YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): d day (10), veterans (23), world war 2 (153)

In the Classroom

Feature this site during a single lesson on D-Day or as part of any World War II unit. Challenge students to make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools, reviewed here. Assign students to create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Direct students to use a mapping tool such as Mapskip, reviewed here, to create a map of local landforms (with audio stories and pictures included)! Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a soldier, leader, or politician involved with D-Day events.

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Academically and/or Intellectually Gifted Instructional Resources Project - Social Studies - Public Schools of North Carolina

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K to 6
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The Academically and/or Intellectually Gifted Instructional Resources Project (AIG~IRP) provides a large selection of instructional resources for Social Studies. Choose from grade level...more
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The Academically and/or Intellectually Gifted Instructional Resources Project (AIG~IRP) provides a large selection of instructional resources for Social Studies. Choose from grade level bands to begin viewing available resources. Currently lessons are available for grades K, 2, 3, and 5. The project is continually adding lessons so it is worth checking occasionally for other grade levels. Download lessons and materials in Word format. Lessons include Common Core Standards and complete lesson plans including assessments.

tag(s): communities (30), constitution (75), cultures (93), gifted (92), supply and demand (4), timelines (61), women (91)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site as a resource for finding enrichment lessons and for working with gifted students. Share this project with your school's gifted teacher to use with students. Modify and use lessons from this site in your regular classroom, differentiate as needed for different student needs.

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The Best and Worst Places to Grow Up: How Your Area Compares - New York Times

Grades
10 to 12
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Take a look at county by county income mobility in the U.S. using this interactive map. Click a county to read about the differences in income for children who grow ...more
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Take a look at county by county income mobility in the U.S. using this interactive map. Click a county to read about the differences in income for children who grow up in that county when they reach age 26, as compared with the national average. Note that the site is "smart" and senses where you are located to tell you about your area. You can also enter in any county in the U.S. in the search box or drag the map to other locations. The accompanying text explains the results in more detail, including differing mobility for boys and girls. The map may surprise you and cause you to wonder why. Read the full explanation or click the link to the related article. Note the importance of education in income results, but that is not the only factor.
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tag(s): demographics (18)

In the Classroom

Share this interactive on students' devices for them to discuss in small groups. Share on a projector/interactive whiteboard for whole class discussion of the factors that might lead to these results. Why do poor children have greater income mobility than richer children in some areas? What about gender? What might be misleading about these statistics? Take a broad look at the country to talk about what cultural factors may be different in different areas. For a good exercise in digital citizenship and critical thinking, ask students to find out where the data came from and to write three questions that might dig into the "why" behind these stats. Ask them what else they would like to know after seeing this map -- and how it might influence their own decisions and future plans (if at all). In a government/civics class, the discussion naturally will move to how this information might influence elections and candidates' strategies in one county vs another. This same interactive is also important for teachers as professionals. Know your community and what happens to the children you teach. You may want to share it with administrators for some staff conversations about the impact of your school.

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Black History Month Resources - PBS

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K to 12
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Commemorate Black History Month with 20 lesson plans and resources covering a variety of topics including racial discrimination, civil rights, and discussions about race in current...more
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Commemorate Black History Month with 20 lesson plans and resources covering a variety of topics including racial discrimination, civil rights, and discussions about race in current events. Scroll through the page to view topics and grade level suggestions. Content ranges from a history of discrimination through current events such as debating race through the Trayvon Martin shooting. Some lessons also contain Common Core correlations.

tag(s): black history (52), civil rights (101), martin luther king (34), racism (17), video (215)

In the Classroom

Explore this site for many different lessons and resources to use during Black History Month and throughout the year. Use lessons found here to differentiate for students of different levels. Be sure to check out the Discrimination - fair or unfair? lesson plan that is designed specifically for students who have difficulty with verbal and written expression.
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Preparing For The Oath - Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Grades
6 to 12
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Could you pass the U.S. Naturalization Test? Preparing For The Oath offers learning opportunities and a practice test. Practice listening, reading and oral skills as you take the practice...more
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Could you pass the U.S. Naturalization Test? Preparing For The Oath offers learning opportunities and a practice test. Practice listening, reading and oral skills as you take the practice test. As you check for correct answers, use the Review This Question link to learn and practice more information. Additional links offer lesson plans and guides for teachers, word lists, and full transcripts of resources.

tag(s): immigration (56)

In the Classroom

Share this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on US history or citizenship. Take advantage of the video lessons on this site to teach and review topics pertaining to the United States. Be sure to share with your school's ESL/ELL teacher as an informative resource for students and parents.
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Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project - University of North Carolina Greensboro

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8 to 12
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The unique viewpoints of U.S. women veterans are well represented in this rich archive of photographs, oral histories, diaries, scrapbooks, and artifacts from the nineteenth century...more
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The unique viewpoints of U.S. women veterans are well represented in this rich archive of photographs, oral histories, diaries, scrapbooks, and artifacts from the nineteenth century to the present. The archive is particularly strong for women who served during World War II. It also includes World War I, Korea, Vietnam, The Cold War, Desert Storm, the Gulf Wars and the War on Terror. Search by date, branch of service, conflict, or by type of material, including over 350 oral histories.

tag(s): memorial day (13), oral history (11), primary sources (79), veterans (23), world war 1 (50), world war 2 (153)

In the Classroom

Use this archive for rich, authentic primary source material on the lives of women in the military. Consider having students, individually or in groups, choose a veteran and present her story to classmates. Use a tool like Zoho Show (similar to Powerpoint, but easier and free), reviewed here. Supplement classroom materials associated with a wartime era with the photographs, posters, and diaries provided here. Use these stories as part of a special focus for Veterans Day, Memorial Day, or Women's History Month. The archive would also be a particularly rich resource for students considering National History Day Projects.
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George Washington's Mount Vernon - Mount Vernon

Grades
6 to 12
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Take a virtual tour of Mount Vernon, the home of the first President of the United States, George Washington. Beautifully executed, and packed with special features, the tour is billed...more
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Take a virtual tour of Mount Vernon, the home of the first President of the United States, George Washington. Beautifully executed, and packed with special features, the tour is billed as the "second best way to visit Mount Vernon," and doesn't disappoint. Be sure and watch the tutorial so you don't miss any of the many tips and tricks to get the most out of your virtual tour.

tag(s): 1700s (21), presidents (121), virtual field trips (46)

In the Classroom

Ideal for use on an interactive white board, or for students to access individually, this virtual tour has lots of features. You can explore the buildings, zoom in on items in the buildings, access stories and discussions that highlight features of the property and the daily lives of those who lived at Mount Vernon. There are additional links to lesson plans and other student resources.

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Wide Angle Window Into Global History - PBS

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6 to 12
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Looking for videos and resources that peer into Global Issues? Start with this resource! Click the Video Bank to view resources by themes: conflict, power, human rights, social structures,...more
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Looking for videos and resources that peer into Global Issues? Start with this resource! Click the Video Bank to view resources by themes: conflict, power, human rights, social structures, migrations, economic systems, factors of production, or political systems. Also, view the video bank by location in the world. Videos in each theme are up to several minutes in length and are clips of larger videos. Click on the video of choice, to view the video on a larger screen, see the guiding questions, read the background essay and transcript, and find related links. Text can easily be printed using the print function along the bottom. Videos are easily downloaded, with directions for both PC and Mac users. View the country and region map along the left side along with the accompanying lesson plan. Additionally, click on Lesson Plans instead to display the following for each global issue: overview, learning objectives and standards, media components (with links), and materials. Be sure to note the Prep for Teachers along the bottom of each lesson plan.
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tag(s): cross cultural understanding (94), cultures (93), maps (272)

In the Classroom

These resources and videos are extremely flexible for classroom use. Use the film clips for current events, and to also highlight events from the past. Use a video segment to get students thinking about past incidents, solutions, and whether today's environment has changed from that of the past. View a variety of clips from one theme and discuss events in the clip or use a writing assignment to provide time to process the events. Discuss in what ways these clips are similar and other societal, economic, and political factors that affected them. Use any of these videos to find any current events that are still dealing with the same issue today. Be sure to brainstorm how different people, in other areas of the world, would view these issues. Research these issues using resources from other areas of the world to see editorials and news clippings that are not American. Note: Use the country code after your search term or use this news search. Were there other people interviewed about any of these issues? Who are they and what did they say? Consider creating videos showcasing a variety of viewpoints. Use one of the video tools reviewed at the TeachersFirst Edge. Besides the viewpoint of each video, what would be a common question that all videos within the theme have in common? How does the bubble of our American culture hamper our understanding of other people both here in the U.S. and abroad? Research the history and culture of the various areas to identify factors responsible for the themes portrayed by this resource.

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Zoom In! - Education Development Center

Grades
5 to 12
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Zoom In! is a set of digital tools that support social studies teachers in aligning teaching with the Common Core Literacy Standards. In each lesson, students solve a historical problem...more
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Zoom In! is a set of digital tools that support social studies teachers in aligning teaching with the Common Core Literacy Standards. In each lesson, students solve a historical problem by analyzing and collecting evidence, organizing research, and creating a rough draft communicating the solution. Create your teacher account to begin. Browse through 10 lessons with topics as diverse as propaganda and Paul Revere, Labor on the World War II Homefront, Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers, and music in the Vietnam War. Create a class within each lesson to receive a class code for student access. View more information about this resource on their YouTube channel, here. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos 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): american revolution (76), civil war (144), constitution (75), immigrants (16), immigration (56), lincoln (83), slavery (69), vietnam (37), westward expansion (21), world war 2 (153)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these free lesson plans for use in teaching social studies aligned to Common Core Standards. Even if you cannot use whole lessons, browse through to find resources to add to your current lessons. Create classes and assign different lessons to different groups of students based on ability and interest. After completing a unit, have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools, reviewed here.

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The Roosevelts - PBS

Grades
7 to 12
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PBS offers this series of lessons aligned to their popular mini-series, The Roosevelts. All lessons include alignment to standards, background information, discussion questions, and...more
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PBS offers this series of lessons aligned to their popular mini-series, The Roosevelts. All lessons include alignment to standards, background information, discussion questions, and evaluation rubrics. Choose from full-length Lesson Plans or Snapshot Lessons containing quick, adaptable activities for classroom use.
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tag(s): 1900s (29), presidents (121), roosevelt (15)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans offered to supplement your current lessons based on the Roosevelt family. Have groups of students complete different Snapshot Lessons then share with the class. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Multimedia Edge tools, reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a member of the Roosevelt family.
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Socratic Smackdown - Institute of Play

Grades
7 to 12
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Use this activity to practice discussion and argument strategies. Socratic Smackdown has thorough instructions and handouts for a Socratic discussion. View the short video overview...more
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Use this activity to practice discussion and argument strategies. Socratic Smackdown has thorough instructions and handouts for a Socratic discussion. View the short video overview and download the PDF Print & Play Pack to begin. The Game Play Pack provides complete information on setting up the discussion, a checklist for when students are participating, scoresheets, a rubric, and other resources for students and teachers. It also includes a correlation to 8th Grade Common Core Speaking Standards. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video 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): debate (37)

In the Classroom

Use Socratic Smackdown for students to debate and discuss current events, themes in literature, or historic events. Use Socratic Smackdown with your school's debate team. After your "Smackdown," have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here. Share Socratic Smackdown with teachers at your site.
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The Digital Declaration of Independence - David McClure

Grades
7 to 12
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Take a deeper look into the Declaration of Independence and the signers with this unique interactive. The interactive has three main parts: a high-resolution scan of The Declaration...more
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Take a deeper look into the Declaration of Independence and the signers with this unique interactive. The interactive has three main parts: a high-resolution scan of The Declaration of Independence with a full transcription of text, an annotated version of John Trumbull's painting of the signing, and an interactive map plotting the signer's hometowns and giving a mini biography. Use buttons on the site to move between the three portions. Be sure to view the instructions for a complete overview of all of the interactive offers.

tag(s): american revolution (76), declaration of independence (14), franklin (11), jefferson (18)

In the Classroom

Challenge students to find other paintings depicting famous events in United States (or another country). Have cooperative learning groups create a multimedia presentation about the paintings. Create fictitious blog entries from one character in a painting to another character within another painting at another famous event. What would John F. Kennedy write to Benjamin Franklin? Assign students different roles, i.e. founding fathers, and have them use the biographies on this site to allow them to research what their role was and what their beliefs were for a debate as to whether or not to sign the Declaration of Independence.

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edX - Anant Agarwal

Grades
8 to 12
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edX offers access to the best courses offered at top learning institutions - for FREE! Institutions include MIT, Harvard, and Berkley. Classes are available to complete for a Certificate...more
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edX offers access to the best courses offered at top learning institutions - for FREE! Institutions include MIT, Harvard, and Berkley. Classes are available to complete for a Certificate of Achievement or as an audit. Choose from courses with topics in many areas including computers, literature, and humanities. Each course listing offers a short description of the course, details about the university offering the course, estimated time involved, course staff, and available options for taking the course. Start any course at any time. Take the edX Demo course to get a good idea of how courses work and find out about the online learning experience.

tag(s): aeronautics (11), architecture (70), china (62), circuits (16), civil rights (101), computers (61), electricity (81), engineering (100), environment (310), evolution (103), folktales (63), greeks (27), magnetism (31), medicine (58), nutrition (150), poetry (221), psychology (53), religions (54), shakespeare (133), solar energy (35), speech (90), statistics (118), terrorism (46)

In the Classroom

Share with students on your interactive whiteboard and take the demo course together. This is perfect for use with gifted and advanced students as an option for college level courses and enrichment. Allow gifted students to enroll in courses that interest them or that provide enrichment beyond classroom content. Share with others, in your building, as a resource for professional development. Explore the topics yourself for some new, engaging topics to round out your own expertise. Allow students to enroll in a course that would fit into their career goals as an exploratory opportunity in that field.

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Help Lincoln Get to the White House - National Park Service

Grades
5 to 12
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This interactive timeline shows the route Lincoln took to become the President. Along the way, answer questions about his progress and life. ...more
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This interactive timeline shows the route Lincoln took to become the President. Along the way, answer questions about his progress and life.

tag(s): elections (67), lincoln (83), presidents (121)

In the Classroom

Have younger students create an online book of images and captions about Lincoln's life using Bookr, reviewed here, (Bookr uses Flickr images, so you must first upload or find the images on Flickr). For older students - challenge cooperative learning groups (or partners) to create a similar story about another president using pictures, themes, and other prompts generated by the site StoryBird, reviewed here. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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