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KML Factbook - CIA World Factbook

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4 to 12
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Combine data sets from International agencies with the visualization of Google Earth 3D or Google Maps 2D for a great way to look at data. Search data such as population ...more
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Combine data sets from International agencies with the visualization of Google Earth 3D or Google Maps 2D for a great way to look at data. Search data such as population growth rates, birth rates, education expenditures, and age structure diagrams by clicking and highlighting the data set and then clicking the "preview in map button." Click "download kml file" to save this file for others to see. This file can be embedded into a blog, wiki, or website. Choose between 2D, 3D, or data views for the information as well as using different coloring for portions of data. Rotate the globe on the screen to view other areas. Click on a country to view a pop up box that displays detailed information. Data sets can be downloaded through the link at the bottom. If you do not have access to Google Earth (free, loadable) software, you can use the data in Google Maps without installing anything.

tag(s): countries (77), data (153), population (62), transportation (41)

In the Classroom

Assign students various countries within a data set to make comparisons. Tie the data to biological, geographical, cultural, and social issues that exist in the world. Bring a greater understanding to economic and environmental issues currently a problem in many countries throughout the world. World language classes can see this data to help students understand the cultures of the countries where the language is spoken. Have students use an online graphing tool such as Chartgo, reviewed here, to display results. Compare specific attributes of two countries using an online Venn Diagram, such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here. Another idea: have cooperative learning groups use this resource to create online books about the country using a resource such as Bookemon, reviewed here. How about having students research using this site and then create a project using Zeemaps, reviewed here. Zeemaps allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Election Comic Strip - Myvocabulary.com

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4 to 10
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This site features interactive word puzzles about elections, a wordlist of about ten words (perfect for teaching some new vocabulary words), an alphalary of even more Election vocabulary...more
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This site features interactive word puzzles about elections, a wordlist of about ten words (perfect for teaching some new vocabulary words), an alphalary of even more Election vocabulary words, a link to a comic strip activity, and more. The comic strip activity is found in the general "puzzles" section. Most of the puzzles are printable. This site does include some small advertisements.

tag(s): presidents (132)

In the Classroom

Have students work in cooperative learning groups, divide up the vocabulary words, and have each group find the definitions for their assigned vocabulary words. Have the groups share the meaning of a few of their words, by narrating a political picture using ThingLink, reviewed here. Have the groups share the pictures/stories on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to also check out the interactive word puzzles! They are of varying difficulty levels.

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Teaching with Historic Places - National Park Service

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4 to 12
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Do you have trouble finding suitable sites to teach state history for YOUR state? This site includes more than 130 "ready to go" lesson plans organized by state. You can ...more
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Do you have trouble finding suitable sites to teach state history for YOUR state? This site includes more than 130 "ready to go" lesson plans organized by state. You can also view the collection by states, social studies standards, U.S. History standards, specific skills, time period, or topic. This resource was pulled together by the National Park service. The specific topics vary from America's Space Program to Skagway: Gateway to the Klondike to Brown v. Board of Education to The Trail of Tears to Pearl Harbor to Lewis and Clark to the construction of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and countless others. Check out what it highlights for your state.

tag(s): cities (25), inventors and inventions (96), landmarks (27), maps (292), states (165)

In the Classroom

Search for your state and see what this site has to offer. Looking for a specific topic (i.e. Civil War or Pearl Harbor), search using topics. Take advantage of these ready to go lesson plans. Infuse your lessons with technology by creating a class wiki about the lesson/topic being discussed. Maybe make a wiki guidebook to your state. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Save this site in your favorites, and check back as you plan throughout the year.

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Presidents in Waiting - National Portrait Gallery

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6 to 12
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Fourteen US Vice-Presidents have gone on to become US Presidents. This site examines the lives of these fourteen men. Navigate the site by using the interactive timeline, and then focus...more
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Fourteen US Vice-Presidents have gone on to become US Presidents. This site examines the lives of these fourteen men. Navigate the site by using the interactive timeline, and then focus in on images of each of these men, along with brief biographies. There is a pull down bar that allows you to specify which president to learn about. In addition, there are video interviews with four of the five living Vice-Presidents: Dick Cheney, George H.W. Bush, Dan Quayle, and Walter Mondale.

tag(s): presidents (132)

In the Classroom

Students might consider how the role of the Vice-President has changed over the course of US history. While the duties of the Vice-President are actually fairly limited, several of these Vice-Presidents became Presidents as a consequence of the death or assassination of the President. Students doing research on any of these fourteen former Presidents might find the information about their Vice-Presidencies useful. The images from this site would also be helpful projected on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia presentations to share with the class. Use a site such as ThingLink, reviewed here. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. 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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Elections - Myvocabulary.com

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4 to 12
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Explore vocabulary and word activities related to Elections on this extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more. Find interactive vocabulary activities the same list of using election...more
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Explore vocabulary and word activities related to Elections on this extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more. Find interactive vocabulary activities the same list of using election vocabulary words. There are printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): inauguration (11)

In the Classroom

Share the puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work with a partner to try out the puzzles on their own. Have students (or groups) create their own word puzzles to share as a class challenge as a student-run interactive whiteboard activity or share them on a class wiki.

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Real Clear Politics - Real Clear Politics

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9 to 12
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If you are a politics geek, this site will occupy you for hours! "Real Clear Politics" is a collection of video clips, editorials, blog postings, and news stories on current ...more
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If you are a politics geek, this site will occupy you for hours! "Real Clear Politics" is a collection of video clips, editorials, blog postings, and news stories on current politics. The site strives to capture both the left and the right, and "everything in between" and carries the full range from Limbaugh to Olbermann; from the Wall Street Journal to the Nation. If you and your students don't have time to catch all the evening commentary programs, read half a dozen papers, and search the blogsphere for facts and opinion (and who does?) this site might be a great place to start each day. Stories are categorized by date and by topic and there is a link to video content.

tag(s): politics (99)

In the Classroom

Make this site available in Favorites on your classroom computer for students to refer to often when they have questions about current events or politics or build deeper understanding. You may also want to list this link on your class website or wiki, so students can access the page both in and out of the class. Consider using the site as an icebreaker at the beginning of a class: pick one of the polls or short video clips (share it on your interactive whiteboard or projector) and discuss. Use the site to demonstrate how to negotiate the partisanship in political reporting on television and to teach students about how political bias affects the tenor of the conversation about current events. After doing research, have cooperative learning groups create podcasts or video commercials highlighting a recent event or political figure. Create FREE podcasts using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Share student-made videos on a site such as Teachers.TV reviewed here.
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Frontline: Breaking the Bank - PBS

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9 to 12
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A website connected to an episode of Frontline, this site looks at the recent collapse of several large "superbanks," and how these bank failures have been connected to the general...more
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A website connected to an episode of Frontline, this site looks at the recent collapse of several large "superbanks," and how these bank failures have been connected to the general economic downturn. Many PBS shows' sites are built around the concept of having students "watch the show and discuss"; these require teachers to buy or find a copy of episode. However, this site includes access to the full episode (requires Flash), which can be viewed as a whole or in sections. The resource list is very comprehensive and would give students who are researching national or global economics many good sources. Finally, there is analysis, set up in Q&A format that stands alone, and could be used if you don't want to use classtime to view the video episode.

tag(s): banks (10), money (186), recession (3)

In the Classroom

Although this site deals with the 2008-2009 banking crisis at a level that is probably more in-depth than most teachers have the opportunity to deal with, it would be useful for an economics class or a recent American history class. You might consider some portions of it during a discussion of the Great Depression in the 1930s, to help students connect that economic time with the present. Finally, this might be a good resource site for students who are interested or who are working on more comprehensive projects. Why not have students create a multimedia presentation of their own demonstrating their understanding of the connection between the bank failures and the economic downturn. Have students create (and respond) on class wikis. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
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Constitution Day - Myvocabulary.com

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4 to 12
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for Constitution Day. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Constitution-related...more
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for Constitution Day. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Constitution-related vocabulary words. You will also find printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): constitution (87)

In the Classroom

Have students work in cooperative learning groups, divide up the vocabulary words, and have each group find the definitions for their assigned vocabulary words. Have the groups share their words and definitions in an online book, using a tool such as Bookemon (reviewed here). Have the groups share the online books on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If you don't have the time to complete online books, have students share the definitions using a class wiki. Be sure to also check out the interactive word puzzles!

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Capzles - Capzles

Grades
2 to 12
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Use this free online tool to create timelimes embedded with media that can be shared with others. Create timelines that include music, pictures and photos, video, and text. Change backgrounds...more
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Use this free online tool to create timelimes embedded with media that can be shared with others. Create timelines that include music, pictures and photos, video, and text. Change backgrounds and customize your timeline for a personal and creative touch.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): multimedia (62), timelines (64)

In the Classroom

Teachers need to be able to identify material to be used in the creation of the timeline and strategies to help students be prepared for student assignments (checklists, goal sheets, or presentation planners). Click "Create" to begin making a "Capzles." Use the buttons on the left to follow the creation process and create with the following: Add titles, description, tags, content and media, set privacy, and share. Watch a video tutorial to learn steps to create a timeline. Click "Explore" along the top to view previously made timelines. Click on "Share" to send email links to others.

Consider creating a class account for easier access. You may want to send students directly to URLs for their own projects or use the site as a whole-class activity using a teacher-created Capzles to spark discussion.

Create Capzles that introduce new topics and content for great student discussion. Students can use pieces of the capzle to brainstorm questions, initiate research, and learn more about the topic. Capzles are an interesting way for students to tell stories about a project, research, or as a class activity. Use to showcase fun items such as "what I did on my summer vacation," "the story of my dog," family, etc. Create Capzles from the point of view of a literary character or historical figure telling his/her story. Remember to teach about copyright, since using copyrighted images in a Capzle would not be "fair use" due to unlimited distribution. Look for images in the public domain or with Creative Commons licensing and model giving attribution for them.

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The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History - The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Grades
6 to 12
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This ambitious site has something for anyone who teaches American history. In fact, if you love history, be prepared to completely lose track of time as you explore the site. ...more
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This ambitious site has something for anyone who teaches American history. In fact, if you love history, be prepared to completely lose track of time as you explore the site. From the homepage, click on "For Teachers and Students" to find lesson plans grouped into thematic modules, information about summer institutes for teachers, useful resources, and news about prizes and competitions for teachers and students. Clicking on "The Collection" provides access to a searchable database of primary documents, some themed online exhibitions, and a document of the week (check back often!). The portion of the site dedicated to Historians provides resources for more in-depth research, and may be useful to students working on History Day projects. From the homepage, you can access podcasts from historians, themed history slideshows, and a link to the Institute's regular journal History Now. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): history day (24), primary sources (93)

In the Classroom

While you might turn to this site for a quick reference or document citation, this is the site you sit down with over the summer when you're planning your curriculum and lessons for the term or the year. There is simply so much here and so many good ways to access it that you will need to plan on spending significant time here.

Share the slideshows, podcasts, and primary documents on an interactive whiteboard or projector to supplement a lesson. Certainly you'll want to provide this link for your serious students who are doing research. Department chairs, be sure you pass along this resource to American History teachers throughout your district! Not only is it comprehensive, but it's user-friendly and easy to navigate.

Why not have cooperative learning groups explore various facets of this site and create multimedia presentations. Maybe a collaborative wiki about the topic researched. Not sure what a wiki is? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. How about having your students create podcasts using a site such as PodOMatic (reviewed here).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Hunt - ThanksUSA

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4 to 12
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ThanksUSA is a site dedicated to raising money to support the families of those serving in the armed forces. The centerpiece of the site is a virtual treasure hunt focused ...more
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ThanksUSA is a site dedicated to raising money to support the families of those serving in the armed forces. The centerpiece of the site is a virtual treasure hunt focused on the history of the United States. Each year there is a new theme. This year the focus in on the histories of Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, and Rhode Island, along with the histories of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps and the history of ThanksUSA. There are crosswords, wordokus, word searches, kakuros, anagrams and more at the end of each chapter as you try to unlock that chapter's treasure chest. Although the site requires registration to access the treasure hunt (FREE), the game can be played on line, or by downloading materials and printing them out. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. Get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

In the Classroom

The long term nature of the treasure hunt would make this a good enrichment activity or extra credit project for students. Alteratively, the class could act as a team and undertake one chapter at a time as an ongoing project. The project might also make a good summer enrichment opportunity for students, be good for home schools, or work well with summer day camp groups.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Inauguration Scrapbook - Inauguration Scrapbook.com

Grades
3 to 12
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This site offers a very eclectic sampling of publicly-submitted photographs (slideshow) from the 2009 inauguration of President Obama. Photographs include captions, personal stories,...more
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This site offers a very eclectic sampling of publicly-submitted photographs (slideshow) from the 2009 inauguration of President Obama. Photographs include captions, personal stories, items created to celebrate the event (for example, a skateboard), ice sculptures, and MANY others. If you plan to print any pictures, be sure to check on the permission to re-use.

tag(s): inauguration (11), presidents (132)

In the Classroom

Share this slideshow on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Choose a picture to use as a writing prompt. Share this site around President's Day. Have students find (or create) their own picture or photo of President Obama. Challenge students to narrate the photo using an online tool such as UtellStory, reviewed here.
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President Lincoln's White House on Emancipation Day Visit - The White House Historical Association

Grades
3 to 8
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Take your students on this colorful journey to the White House in 1863, the day that Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Tad Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln's son, is your guide....more
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Take your students on this colorful journey to the White House in 1863, the day that Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Tad Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln's son, is your guide. Learn about the roles of congressmen, messengers, widows, diplomats, and society women/spies. Choose the proper attire from the 1860s. Learn more about famous Americans: Abraham Lincoln, Mary Todd Lincoln, Tad Lincoln, William Seward, Noah Brooks, Elizabeth Keckley, and several others. Use your arrow keys to explore the grounds and rooms of the White House. Authentic representations of sounds you may have heard in 1863 are sprinkled throughout the pages of this site. What a fabulous addition to President's Day, a unit on slavery, or any unit on the 1860s. This site does require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): emancipation proclamation (12), lincoln (86), slavery (72), white house (14)

In the Classroom

Share a brief introduction to this rich website on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work with a partner and explore the MANY facets of this unique website. Have groups choose to research the roles of a congressman, messenger, widow, diplomat, or society woman/spy. After they have explored the site, have the groups create a fictitious wiki between the role they explored (congressman, messenger, etc..) and President Obama. What would the president say to these people from the past? What interactions would occur?
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Quest for the Golden Ticket - University of Richmond

Grades
2 to 4
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Quest for the Golden Ticket is a web quest aimed at teaching citizenship and character traits. After a class read aloud of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, students will work ...more
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Quest for the Golden Ticket is a web quest aimed at teaching citizenship and character traits. After a class read aloud of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, students will work in small groups to identify the characteristics of good citizenship as directed within the web quest. Each student is assigned a character from the story and must compare and contrast his/her strengths and weaknesses. As a small group, they will compile a list of positive characteristics and personality traits that will allow their characters to enter Charlie's new chocolate factory for a chance at the Golden Ticket. This site requires Adobe Acrobat. The link for the video clip requires QuickTime. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): chocolate (7), ethics (18)

In the Classroom

Extend this web quest beyond the classroom by having students create posters with good citizenship characteristics and post them throughout the school. Taking it one step further, have the class create a brief commercial about being a good citizen and post it to the class web page for parents, administration and other classes to watch. Have students share their commercials on a tool such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).
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Lincoln Birthday - February 12 - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
4 to 12
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for Abraham Lincoln. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Lincoln-related...more
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for Abraham Lincoln. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Lincoln-related vocabulary words. You will also find printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): lincoln (86), presidents (132)

In the Classroom

Be sure to check out the interactive word puzzles! Have students work in cooperative learning groups, divide up the vocabulary words, and have each group find the definitions for their assigned vocabulary words. Have students locate a picture of Lincoln. Challenge students to narrate the picture using UtellStory, reviewed here. Have the groups share the photos and presidents on your interactive whiteboard or projector.

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We Didn't Start the Fire - Ye Li

Grades
6 to 12
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Use music to teach history! (Allow plenty of time for the video to load.) If you have occasion to teach the Billy Joel song "We Didn't Start the Fire," this ...more
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Use music to teach history! (Allow plenty of time for the video to load.) If you have occasion to teach the Billy Joel song "We Didn't Start the Fire," this is a great site to use with students. This site would be useful in any class studying the twentieth century. It shows the lyrics (as well as plays the song) while flashing the appropriate pictures to go with the lyrics of the past 50 years. There is a full screen option. There are play and pause buttons. You may need to disable your pop-up blocker to view this video. The first 20-seconds of this video list the creator and a reference list. One thing worth mentioning: the video creator mentions using Google image search for free images but neglects to mention that many are copyrighted and are likely being used illegally in such broad distribution (not "fair use") unless he requested permission. You could have quite a class discussion (debate) on ethical use of electronic resources and whether the concept of copyright should be revisited, too!

tag(s): decades (14), lyrics (20)

In the Classroom

Since the site is so specific to the relevant lyrics, it's fun to have students see exactly what it is being visualized. Also, since the lyrics go fast, it is sometimes difficult to make out all the references, so this is helpful for that reason. This is a great conversation starter with high school students. Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Watch the entire video and then play it again and pause the video on topics that relate to your current units of study. Use this site to find research topics for individual students or cooperative learning groups. Have the groups create multi-media presentations about their research topics. How about creating their own videos and sharing them using Teachertube, reviewed here. Or have students find a picture sharing their research topic and narrate their picture using UtellStory, reviewed here. Other options include creating a wiki, blog, or PowerPoint.
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Capitol Words - Sunlight Foundation

Grades
4 to 12
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This site provides a visual map of the words used every day by members of Congress. Students can see a map of the U.S. to check out how their states ...more
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This site provides a visual map of the words used every day by members of Congress. Students can see a map of the U.S. to check out how their states compare in number of words with other states. They can also enter their state and pick out a specific lawmaker to see his/her words on any given day. The words appear in both a word cloud, where the most used words are the largest, and also in list form. Students can also search from two special lists, one of the most talkative, and one of the quietest lawmakers! When students are interested in a particular word in the word cloud, clicking on it leads to a graph of its past usage. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): congress (34), speech (94)

In the Classroom

Use this site when studying specific states and their Congressional representatives. It's also a great site to use when preparing students to give speeches. Talk about whether the most popular words are overused or should be included in speeches at all times. Use this site as an anticipatory set to introduce a unit or lesson on government.

Have students create their own "word cloud" using a site such as Wordle (reviewed here by TeachersFirst). Students could create a Wordle about any topic area being studied. Share your students' Wordles on an interactive whiteboard or projector.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Let's Move - White House

Grades
4 to 8
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The close relationship between promoting physical fitness and the White House can be followed through the many topics at this site: Learn the Facts, Eat Healthy, Get Active, Take Action,...more
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The close relationship between promoting physical fitness and the White House can be followed through the many topics at this site: Learn the Facts, Eat Healthy, Get Active, Take Action, and Join Us. Some of the more specific topics highlight how to limit TV time, the importance of trying new fruits and vegetables, planting a garden, and more.

tag(s): fitness (51), myplate (27), nutrition (159), presidents (132)

In the Classroom

Health and PE teachers can collaborate with classroom teachers and present White House-related health initiatives while students are learning about the presidency in the classroom. Challenge students to explore a specific area of this site and create a project to share with the class using a tool such as Prezi (reviewed here)
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Political Dr. Seuss - Independent Television Service

Grades
6 to 12
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This gallery of World War II-era cartoons by Theodor Geisel, reveal the acerbic wit and political philosophy of the beloved children's author. The site also features audio and video...more
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This gallery of World War II-era cartoons by Theodor Geisel, reveal the acerbic wit and political philosophy of the beloved children's author. The site also features audio and video clips from Dr. Seuss on his career and a brief history of political cartooning. Two lesson plans - focusing on the American themes and social messages addressed by Geisel - are available for downloading (and include McRel standards). This site requires RealPlayer, Flash, and Adobe Acrobat. You can get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (69), dr seuss (12), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Have students research the history of political cartooning with Theodor Geisel (or others). Have cooperative learning groups create multi-media presentations such as a PowerPoint, or an online book, using a tool such as Bookemon reviewed here to share on an interactive whiteboard or projector.

Share the video/audio clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Take advantage of the FREE lesson plans that connect geography, history, reading, and writing.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Celebrate Women's History Month - Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum

Grades
3 to 9
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This downloadable PDF file offers a list of activities for the classroom to celebrate Women's History Month! The PDF file links to a great site all about famous and empowered ...more
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This downloadable PDF file offers a list of activities for the classroom to celebrate Women's History Month! The PDF file links to a great site all about famous and empowered women. There are also ten (or more) activities that could be used in various grade levels. This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): women (92)

In the Classroom

Use this site for research projects about famous females. Most of the activity suggestions are more traditional projects and writing assignments. If you want to add some technology touches, why not have students create a fictitious blog from a famous woman, or a wiki discussion between a famous woman from the early 1900s and a famous woman nowadays, or create a PowerPoint or podcast sharing information about their famous female.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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