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The Supreme Court

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6 to 12
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Though several law schools have maintained excellent Supreme Court sites for years, the Court now has its own site, containing dockets, decisions, historical information, and much more....more
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Though several law schools have maintained excellent Supreme Court sites for years, the Court now has its own site, containing dockets, decisions, historical information, and much more. This site is not written for students, so they may need help with some areas.

tag(s): supreme court (22)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource to find recent court cases that have come before the Supreme court as well as a means to search for opinions, writings, biographies, etc. US government teachers will be able to use this site during a unit or lesson on the judicial branch, or during a class debate about a specific piece of legislation.

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Oyez, Oyez - Northwestern University

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9 to 12
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A multimedia Supreme Court database developed at Northwestern University with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Includes case summaries indexed by name, date and...more
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A multimedia Supreme Court database developed at Northwestern University with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Includes case summaries indexed by name, date and subject, audio files of oral arguments, and biographies of Supreme Court justices. Audio files require RealAudio player.

tag(s): supreme court (22)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a point of reference for finding information on significant cases, justices, and the processes that go into a Supreme Court case. US government teachers can use this site in their classroom during a unit/lesson on the judicial branch or during a classroom debate of specific legislation.

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The Republican National Committee

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6 to 12
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It's the Republicans on-line. Scroll to the bottom section to view a menu that contains links to party history, platform, issues, and more . ...more
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It's the Republicans on-line. Scroll to the bottom section to view a menu that contains links to party history, platform, issues, and more .

tag(s): elections (75), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Use this site to help students understand one aspect of our two-party system. Compare the platform findings on this site to that of the Democratic party in order to help students understand the similarities and differences. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here.

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The Democratic Party On-Line

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6 to 12
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This is the Democrats' home page, with links to party positions and issues. ...more
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This is the Democrats' home page, with links to party positions and issues.

tag(s): elections (75), politics (99)

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The House of Representatives

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4 to 12
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The House home page contains links to member pages and biographies, committee links, House history, and procedural information. ...more
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The House home page contains links to member pages and biographies, committee links, House history, and procedural information.

tag(s): congress (33), house of representatives (9)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for class discussion and debates about current issues on the House Floor. This would be a useful resource for a US government class.

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USAGov - US Government

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4 to 12
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This Websiteis a federal government portal with a plus. In addition to offering links into most of the nooks and crannies of the federal government, USAgov also links to relevant ...more
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This Websiteis a federal government portal with a plus. In addition to offering links into most of the nooks and crannies of the federal government, USAgov also links to relevant resources from the rest of the world. If you're looking for statistics, information, regulations, or related information - federal, state, or local - this is a great starting point.

tag(s): branches of government (48)

In the Classroom

Use the free lesson plan about voting in the "elections" section of the website. In that same area is a link entitled "Kid's Guide to the election process," that would make an excellent learning center or station. The digital tour explains government and the process of elections that makes it easier to understand for elementary students. That particular section could be used for students as young as 2nd grade, so pass it on to fellow teachers in the younger grades if they are working on a unit about voting!

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Famous Trials of the Twentieth Century

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9 to 12
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This collection was developed at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. While intended for college students, it presents a wealth of information on more than a dozen different high-profile...more
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This collection was developed at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. While intended for college students, it presents a wealth of information on more than a dozen different high-profile 20th century court cases, including the Scopes trial. The site also includes references to other resources dealing with American courts in the 20th century.

tag(s): courts (15)

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Tour the U.S. Capitol - US Government

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6 to 12
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This site from the Architect of the U.S. Capitol offers historical information as well as a collection of photos showing key features. There is also an "interactive tour," but the ...more
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This site from the Architect of the U.S. Capitol offers historical information as well as a collection of photos showing key features. There is also an "interactive tour," but the site navigation is complex enough that you should probably do some serious previewing before turning students loose on this one.

tag(s): architecture (84)

In the Classroom

If teaching about initial plans for the construction of DC and how those developed, use the images from this site to compliment a class discussion or lecture. Within the teacher and students page, there are numerous images that detail L'enfant's original ideas for DC. Teachers can incorporate these in graphic organizers or even a slide-show over the interactive whiteboard.

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The Capitol - An Interactive Tour - University of Virginia

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6 to 12
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Well, sort of. This site from the University of Virginia offers lots of images of artwork and statues in the U.S. Capitol, as well as additional references, but interactive 3D ...more
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Well, sort of. This site from the University of Virginia offers lots of images of artwork and statues in the U.S. Capitol, as well as additional references, but interactive 3D it isn't. Still, it's an interesting collection of images for those interested in a glimpse of what's inside.

tag(s): architecture (84)

In the Classroom

Use any of the separate sections on this website as learning center or stations during lesson(s) on the architecture and symbolism of our capitol's historic buildings. Have students explore the site individually or cooperative learning groups as an introductory activity. Because there is a lot of material on the site, create follow-alongs to guide students and highlight what is most important on the site. For help making easy graphic organizers, try: Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).

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Congressional Quarterly Online

Grades
9 to 12
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The on-line edition of CQ offers up-to-the-minute "inside thebeltway" reporting on Congressional activities, pending legislation, and related news. ...more
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The on-line edition of CQ offers up-to-the-minute "inside thebeltway" reporting on Congressional activities, pending legislation, and related news.

tag(s): congress (33), senate (9)

In the Classroom

Great resource for the political junkies in your class!

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Congressional Directory

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1 to 12
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x ...more
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tag(s): biographies (87), congress (33)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a starting point for students working on biographies or research projects about specific congressmen. Although the biographies are short, they provide other resources that could easily be followed up with!

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The American Presidents

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1 to 12
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x ...more
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tag(s): biographies (87), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a point of reference for information about our Presidents. Students could use this site as a spring board for research projects, or historical heads. For historical heads, have students draw inside of a blank outline of a human face graphic representations of the president chosen for their project. Students should be able to describe and explain all representations, but it's a great way for them to organize their ideas and provide more memorable symbols for facts that they need to know.

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Democracy in America - C-SPAN

Grades
9 to 12
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This site is devoted to the work of Alexis DeToqueville, whose extensive accounts of American life and character in the 1840's remains a staple for the study of American history. ...more
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This site is devoted to the work of Alexis DeToqueville, whose extensive accounts of American life and character in the 1840's remains a staple for the study of American history. This site offers text, images, background, and additional references. An accompanying set of lesson modules, developed by C-Span, can be found in the TeachersFirst American History lessons.

tag(s): primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

Use the journal entries portion of this site to help students not only learn the content, but to learn to retrieve information from primary sources. Divide students into groups, and assign them each one of the states Tocqueville wrote about. Have students analyze and interpret what was written, with the intentions of presenting their findings to the class. To connect it to the content being studied at the time, have a discussion with students about whether Congress was also concerned or if we see some of the issues he talked about still prevalent today.

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A Biography of America - CPB/Annenberg

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6 to 12
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This American History survey site from the Annenberg Project was created as a companion to the video series of the same name. The chief resource avialable is a collection of ...more
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This American History survey site from the Annenberg Project was created as a companion to the video series of the same name. The chief resource avialable is a collection of transcripts of the programs. There are also timelines, discussion questions, and far fewer images than one would imagine in such a project. This could be a resource for discussion ideas on American history topics or an introductory survey for a student searching for an independent study project.

tag(s): american revolution (86)

In the Classroom

The possibilities for this site are virtually limitless. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector and select one of the many topics that is applicable to your unit. Teachers can play the video for students to review material, use the map to provide something for visual learners can connect to, or use the time-line to guide student learning. This is really an amazing tool for teachers trying to utilize technology in the classroom!

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The Papers of George Washington - University of Virginia

Grades
8 to 12
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This site includes letters written both to and from George Washington. Important papers and letters are singled out, as well as an entire section of selected Revolutionary War documents....more
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This site includes letters written both to and from George Washington. Important papers and letters are singled out, as well as an entire section of selected Revolutionary War documents. This site would be of value to students serious about completing in depth research on the man or his major historical events in his life.

tag(s): presidents (131), primary sources (86), washington (36)

In the Classroom

In a discussion of the Revolutionary War or the Founding Fathers, use the pictures and images to supplement your lecture. Very rarely do students get to see time-period appropriate maps, and those provided on the site can be used to show and diagram major battles. The site also provides some excellent primary sources that complement such a unit. An excellent one to look at is his famed "Farewell Address," which can be used for both a revolutionary unit and any on American Diplomacy. Have students read the address as a class, following it with a discussion on how this speech impacted American foreign relations for the next 200 years. A great site for any resources on Washington!

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Supreme Court Decisions

Grades
9 to 12
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Searchable database of decisions from 1937-1975. ...more
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Searchable database of decisions from 1937-1975.

tag(s): supreme court (22)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a point of reference for finding material for debates in a US history classroom. Teachers can search for materials to base a debate on, or have students use this site to find supportive evidence for their side of the debate.

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U. S. Historical Documents

Grades
7 to 12
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A more extensive collection, helpfully organized. From the University of Oklahoma. ...more
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A more extensive collection, helpfully organized. From the University of Oklahoma.

tag(s): primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

Primary sources could be used to teach both the content and historical thinking skills in your classroom. Divide students into 5-6 groups, with each group assigned a different primary source to read and evaluate. (Sources should come from various perspectives to make the game more interesting) Have the groups present quick summaries of their source to the class, making sure to mention who the author is and whether or not there could be bias. After all have presented, have each team pick a representative to argue in front of the class as to why their source is the most reliable and valid. After all have made their argument, have the class vote off the least reliable "survivor style" until you are left with just one!

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Historic Documents of the United States of America - Brigham Young University

Grades
5 to 12
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A simple, complete documents collection. ...more
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A simple, complete documents collection.

tag(s): primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a point of reference for finding important primary sources and government documents, useful for a US government or history classroom. Be sure to save this one as a favorite.

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National Archives: The Digital Classroom - National Archives

Grades
4 to 8
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This site is meant to assist teachers in their use of archival documents when teaching. Choose "Primary Sources and Activities" for reproducible primary documents, photographs, and...more
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This site is meant to assist teachers in their use of archival documents when teaching. Choose "Primary Sources and Activities" for reproducible primary documents, photographs, and lesson plans correlated to the National History Standards, and cross-curricular connections. The site includes interesting activities for use in studying events in U.S. History.

tag(s): primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

This is an excellent site for any history, art history, or civics teacher attempting to put forth something more tangible for students to grasp. Click on "Images of the American Revolution," and open up the pictures on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Question students as to the meaning and context of the illustrations, to help them understand how images were used to convey certain meanings. Ask the students to create their own cartoons about something controversial in their town, or about the unit being studied, and encourage them to use some of the same subtle concepts the original illustrators did.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Colonial Charters - Yale University

Grades
6 to 12
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This collection from the Avalon Project at Yale University offers a collection of primary documents dealing with all the American colonies except Virginia and Vermont. The page includes...more
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This collection from the Avalon Project at Yale University offers a collection of primary documents dealing with all the American colonies except Virginia and Vermont. The page includes a search engine as well as links to specific documents. Good resource for exploring the various motives in colonizing the new world.

tag(s): colonial america (107)

In the Classroom

Primary sources could be used to teach both the content and historical thinking skills in your classroom. Divide students into 5-6 groups, with each group assigned a different primary source to read and evaluate. (Sources should come from various perspectives to make the game more interesting) Have the groups present quick summaries of their source to the class, making sure to mention who the author is and whether or not there could be bias. After all have presented, have each team pick a representative to argue in front of the class as to why their source is the most reliable and valid. After all have made their argument, have the class vote off the least reliable "survivor style" until you are left with just one!

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