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Magna Carta 800th Anniversary - Magna Carta 2015 Committee

Grades
8 to 12
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2015 marks the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, one of the founding documents of modern democratic society. In recognition of this anniversary, here are collected a number of resources...more
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2015 marks the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, one of the founding documents of modern democratic society. In recognition of this anniversary, here are collected a number of resources for celebrating and understanding its significance to history. An interactive timeline highlights events prior to and following the signing of Magna Carta. Essays discuss Magna Carta's impact on modern democracy. An interactive map places events in geographic contexts. And perhaps you're planning a trip to the UK for the celebrations? Find visitors' resources and a calendar of commemorative events. Check out the resources under Schools, including biographies of those involved (including a whole section on women) in the development of the document. There are lesson plans aligned with the UK's school system, and a quick Q&A overview of the importance of Magna Carta today. Don't miss the YouTube video explaining the work of Britain's Parliament in just over 60 seconds. If your district blocks YouTube, then this video (and others) 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): branches of government (48), democracy (12), great britain (16)

In the Classroom

No study of modern democratic political systems is complete without an understanding of Magna Carta. On its 800th anniversary, incorporate the interactive timeline into a discussion of the roots of the US Declaration of Independence or the post WW2 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Compare and contrast the different ways the principles that underpin Magna Carta have been transformed into democratically elected governments across the world.
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The Knotted Line - Evan Bissell

Grades
6 to 12
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The Knotted Line is a dynamic, interactive, multilayered timeline that examines the issues of freedom and confinement in U.S. history and into the future. You need to think about the...more
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The Knotted Line is a dynamic, interactive, multilayered timeline that examines the issues of freedom and confinement in U.S. history and into the future. You need to think about the question "How is freedom measured?" while exploring the 50 embedded paintings. The paintings depict historical (and future) moments from 1495-2025. Hover your mouse over images on the timeline to find the red dot. Click to see more information. Each of these links takes you to a short article including links to more information and discussion questions. Be sure to view the link on the home page with Educator Resources. This page contains a PDF download of the curriculum correlated to Common Core Standards and two videos introducing the site.

tag(s): 1700s (23), 1800s (44), 1900s (33), 20th century (51), freedom of speech (10), immigration (58), media literacy (58)

In the Classroom

The Knotted Line is perfect for use on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as you introduce and explore this site together. After introducing this site, have students explore on their own. Use this as a starting point to research and gather information on each topic. Have students create timelines depicting what they learned about each topic. Use a tool such as Capzles, reviewed here, which allows for music, photos, videos, and more on the timeline.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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News in Pictures - BBC

Grades
5 to 12
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See photographs and captions of current daily news from around the world. In addition to showing professional pictures, you can contribute your own special photos. Each photo included...more
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See photographs and captions of current daily news from around the world. In addition to showing professional pictures, you can contribute your own special photos. Each photo included a clickable caption. Click on the caption to view more photos and read simple explanations.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): news (261), newspapers (94), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Use the photos on this page as a jumping off site for many activities. Challenge students to read about the same topic/news using a different site and then writing a comparison essay. Students can submit their own photos for consideration. Students can learn summary writing by looking at these photos and writing briefly what happened. Have students create a multimedia presentation using Thinglink, reviewed here.This site allows users to narrate a picture. Challenge students to upload a copyright-safe photo, and then narrate as if it were a news report. Students of multiple ability levels can respond to the photos, each at their own ability level.

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WE THE ECONOMY 20 Short Films You Can't Afford to Miss - Vulcan Productions/Cinelan

Grades
9 to 12
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Build your understanding of the U.S. economy through a creative, well-organized collection of short films (5-8 min) designed to explain 20 key concepts that any informed citizen needs...more
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Build your understanding of the U.S. economy through a creative, well-organized collection of short films (5-8 min) designed to explain 20 key concepts that any informed citizen needs to understand. Unlike many informational films, these are quite engaging. The collection is divided into five chapters on Economy, Money, The Role of Government, Globalization, and Inequality. All of us can better understand how our economy works from watching these films and exploring some of the follow-up discussion suggestions, even among adults. Teachers can obtain a link to free, downloadable lesson materials, activities, and extensions by filling out a form with their email address. (The email comes within a few minutes but watch your SPAM filter. It may be better to request the link via a home email to avoid school filtering!) The teacher materials include correlations to CCSS standards in ELA, Math, and Writing. The content of the films and lessons supports many major concepts of economics and government included in state and other standards. App versions are available for both iOS and Android.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (199), money (193), supply and demand (5)

In the Classroom

Sign up to download the support materials and plan one or several lessons to demystify the economy as part of a civics/government class or an economics course. Assign students to watch films in small groups and create digital booklets explaining the key concepts to the class using a multimedia tool such as Calameo, reviewed here. As economic issues come up in current events or during an election cycle, use these films to explain the underlying issues.

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The Center on Congress - Indiana University

Grades
7 to 12
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Indiana University's Center on Congress partners with the Library of Congress and its effort to promote teaching with primary sources to provide a rich set of resources, lesson plans,...more
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Indiana University's Center on Congress partners with the Library of Congress and its effort to promote teaching with primary sources to provide a rich set of resources, lesson plans, and activities related to the history, function, and actions of the US Congress. Activities are divided by theme, such as citizen participation, criticism of Congress, and the impact of Congress. Many activities include comics to keep your attention. There is a good overview of using primary sources in teaching. Lesson plans are tied to state standards. In addition to the lesson plans developed by the Center on Congress, there is also a bank of teacher-submitted lesson plans.

tag(s): branches of government (48), civil rights (117), comics and cartoons (74), congress (33), politics (99), primary sources (86), womens suffrage (26)

In the Classroom

Clearly, this is a great resource for those teaching civics or US government. These activities will also be useful to US History teachers, as the issues covered span important political eras. For example, there are activities related to women's suffrage, the child labor movement, the GI Bill and the development of the Interstate Highway system. Lesson plans range from those designed to cover several days, to short "Congressional moments" videos perfect for introducing a concept or sparking class discussion. A number of the lesson plans and activities are designed specifically for iPads. Of note also is the fact that the video clips on the site are not links to YouTube, so will not pose an access problem for school districts that block the site.

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PBS Newshour Extra - PBS NewsHour Productions LLC

Grades
7 to 12
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Find news and resources for grades 7-12 at PBS Newshour Extra. Search the site by Subject Area, Videos, Arts and Media, Science, and more. Explore news articles written for students...more
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Find news and resources for grades 7-12 at PBS Newshour Extra. Search the site by Subject Area, Videos, Arts and Media, Science, and more. Explore news articles written for students with the background and context needed to understand complex topics. The Daily Videos are ad-free and have related stories along the right side of the page. Read the current events news stories and follow the Extra Twitter feed. Don't miss the many free lesson plans including current events, American history, health, government, holidays, and more. Lesson plans are all aligned to the Common Core standards. Lesson plan topics vary from "Personal reflections on the poetry of Maya Angelou" to "Selma to Montgomery: An introduction to the 1965 marches" and countless others! Look for the Student Voices and Student Reporting Labs for those who would like to be published or to help a local PBS station produce the news.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): civil rights (117), elections (75), holocaust (39), memorial day (13), news (261), poetry (228), video (254), women (101)

In the Classroom

Watch the news together on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow students to watch independently on laptops or at a learning station. Use any video or article as a current events writing prompt. Challenge students to create blog posts about them using Throwww, reviewed here. Throwww allows you to create "quick and easy" blog posts for one-time use only. Don't forget the many free lesson plans (already aligned to Common Core standards). Click on the Lesson Plans link to explore the countless topics available (Poetry, Veterans, Elections, Ebola, Civil Rights, and more). For articles and videos about conflicts and tension, you might want to have your students engage in a debate using a tool such as ProConIt, reviewed here. Keep your class up-to-date on the news using this site. Provide this link on your class website for students (and families) to access both in and out of your classroom.
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Listen Current - Listen Current

Grades
6 to 12
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The availability of high quality visual resources has exploded in recent years, but we should not forget about the value of listening, undistracted by color and movement. Listen Current...more
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The availability of high quality visual resources has exploded in recent years, but we should not forget about the value of listening, undistracted by color and movement. Listen Current has gathered together stories from public radio broadcasts and organized them into a rich resource for learning about current events, English language arts, social studies, and science. Each audio story is accompanied by lesson plans tied to state standards and the Common Core. Use the keyword search to discover resources by topic, or access Listen Current every day for timely current events stories. Sort topics by grade level (middle school or high school), topic, or curriculum area. Using the site requires registration, and there is a fee-based Premium version. The free version, however, includes lesson plans, current events and resources such as vocabulary lists and listening guides.
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tag(s): listening (91), news (261)

In the Classroom

Carving out some regular classroom time for students to "put on their listening ears" and focus on an auditory experience helps develop an important learning skill. Share the stories on a projector or interactive whiteboard. If you are in a BYOD classroom, have students listen on their own computers (with earbuds). Start the day with a short (4-5 minute) current event story and keep students engaged in timely news discussions. Choose a keyword or topic relevant to an ongoing lesson and introduce authentic participant voices to the discussion. Flip your classroom and have students listen to the story at home before the lesson. Have students report back to the class or a small group about what they learned. Consider using these audio lessons for English language learners to develop their skills using rich, relevant content.

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Engaging, CCSS-aligned, and easy to use. Highly recommend. Warren, TN, Grades: 6 - 12

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CurriConnects Book List - 20th Century America, Part 1 (1900-1945) - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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What was life like in 20th century America? Explore the major events and watershed moments, as well as everyday life during the decades. Read both fiction and nonfiction books about...more
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What was life like in 20th century America? Explore the major events and watershed moments, as well as everyday life during the decades. Read both fiction and nonfiction books about times that brought the Model T, an influenza epidemic, and flappers. Dig deep into the Depression and life during wartimes. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles''® to match student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. For more on text complexity and Lexiles''®, see this information from the Lexile Framework. This list features books for all levels of readers. Let students choose a book in one area of interest during the 20th century and share with the class about times long before they were born. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly. If your library does not have the books, try interlibrary loan!

tag(s): 1900s (33), 1910s (9), 1920s (16), 1930s (15), 1940s (13), 20th century (51), book lists (128), great depression (24), independent reading (128), world war 1 (54), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Make the first half of the 20th century come alive during your unit on American History. Have students choose a book from this list and present their impressions from it in the form of a blog post from the times using a tool such as Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary! Collect the links to all the student posts on your class web page for students to browse and gather a "human" experience of history.

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Annenberg Learner - The Annenberg Foundation

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K to 12
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The Annenberg Learner Foundation's goal is to advance excellent teaching in American schools. Annenberg Learner's multimedia resources help teachers increase their expertise in their...more
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The Annenberg Learner Foundation's goal is to advance excellent teaching in American schools. Annenberg Learner's multimedia resources help teachers increase their expertise in their fields and improve teaching methods in all grade levels in all subjects. There are video resources for all subject areas. Find lesson plans for all subjects by grade level. A variety of interactives accompany lessons or can also stand alone. Follow the monthly updates and blogs for the latest information.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): art history (70), butterflies (13), conversions (23), critical thinking (108), dna (69), earth (228), environment (317), geometric shapes (163), immigrants (20), medieval (27), native americans (78), patterns (85), periodic table (50), renaissance (34), rocks (49), russia (38), south africa (10), spelling (168), statistics (122), volcanoes (61), weather (188)

In the Classroom

In your classroom, explore the interactives available to enhance your lessons. Use the lesson plan library to add a new twist to your subject matter. Organize a professional study of your area of concentration for your department or grade level.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Wake Up, America! World War I Propaganda Posters - University of North Carolina

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6 to 12
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Governments have used propaganda throughout history to shape public opinion. During World War I, average Americans were not in favor of getting involved in what began as a European...more
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Governments have used propaganda throughout history to shape public opinion. During World War I, average Americans were not in favor of getting involved in what began as a European conflict. The US Government used propaganda posters in an attempt to change that attitude and convince the populace that US intervention was needed. This collection of 23 World War I era propaganda posters chronicles that attempt, and provides insight into why particular images were chosen and how these images were designed to sway beliefs about the war.

tag(s): advertising (33), england (57), europe (75), france (40), germany (28), propaganda (12), world war 1 (54)

In the Classroom

The study of propaganda is an important adjunct to understanding how governments can shape the views of their citizens; the US is no exception. This slideshow can provide visual impact to a discussion of the US decision to enter World War I. Are there images used today that are designed to change public opinion? How can we learn to recognize propaganda and distinguish it from more unbiased information? Use this tool in art class and challenge students to create their own propaganda (or advertisement) posters. Discuss what moods certain colors evoke in the pictures. Unfortunately, there seems to be no good way to present the images full screen, which would give them more impact on an interactive whiteboard or projector. The slideshow would also be a useful resource for students researching propaganda in general.

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25 Maps and Charts That Explain America Today - Washington Post

Grades
8 to 12
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Learn about the states of our nation through maps and charts exploring who we are and how we live. Maps explore financial situations through income, number of millionaires, and home...more
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Learn about the states of our nation through maps and charts exploring who we are and how we live. Maps explore financial situations through income, number of millionaires, and home ownership. Other maps display political and religious divisions by state, tax rates, and housing statistics. Some maps delineate topics more suited for adult readers. Click links in each map description to view articles with more in-depth information. Preview specific maps before you share, as some content may not be appropriate for your classroom.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): demographics (19), financial literacy (80), maps (287), politics (99), religions (61)

In the Classroom

This site is excellent for enrichment or critical thinking about the U.S. and societal/governmental issues. Display a map on your projector or interactive whiteboard during political campaigns to ask why different politicians/parties have gained a foothold in certain states or locations. Include links to specific maps from it on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Venngage reviewed here. Have students create maps including local information using Animaps (reviewed here). Students can add text, images, and location stops!

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Learn About Pearl Harbor - Pearson/Prentice Hall

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6 to 12
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Explore this quick overview of events on December 7, 1941. Move the slider bar through four different areas to read about Japanese Expansion, Air Attack, War, and the American Battle...more
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Explore this quick overview of events on December 7, 1941. Move the slider bar through four different areas to read about Japanese Expansion, Air Attack, War, and the American Battle Cry.

tag(s): japan (61), pearl harbor (12), roosevelt (16), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

This site provides a very quick look at events. However, it may be worthwhile to use as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce your lessons on Pearl Harbor. Share the site on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Share this site with students as an example of summarizing important events. Use this quick activity as a starting point on a more in-depth look at events leading up to World War 2. Divide students into groups to further explore each of the different areas shown on the site.
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Attack on Pearl Harbor - Holt, Rinehart, and Winston

Grades
6 to 12
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This interactive map depicts the Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor with animations and short quizzes. Read short descriptions of events in chronological order and click on indicated...more
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This interactive map depicts the Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor with animations and short quizzes. Read short descriptions of events in chronological order and click on indicated areas on the map to view additional information on people, places, and ships. Proceed through the interactive by providing correct responses to quiz questions for each section. Although there is a Video link, there doesn't appear to be an active video at this time.

tag(s): japan (61), pearl harbor (12), roosevelt (16), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Share this activity on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as a quick overview of events at Pearl Harbor. If you flip your classroom, have students watch at home before coming to class. Have students create an annotated image describing Pearl Harbor events including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students create maps of World War II events using Animaps (reviewed here). Students can add text, images, and location stops. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about President Roosevelt, the Japanese Commander, or sailors stationed in Pearl Harbor.
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Collapsus: The Energy Risk Conspiracy - Submarine Channel

Grades
8 to 12
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Collapsus is a simulation that combines interactivity, animation, fiction, and documentary to look into the future as an imminent energy crisis affects ten young people. Participants...more
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Collapsus is a simulation that combines interactivity, animation, fiction, and documentary to look into the future as an imminent energy crisis affects ten young people. Participants make decisions about solutions to the energy crisis and leave a mark on a national and global scale. Live action footage along with animation helps characters understand each situation while vlog posts offer up to date information about the world and personal situations.

tag(s): energy (198), environment (317), problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

Collapsus is a great way to make students think about and discuss a real-world issue in a science class or even in a government class where you talk about the role of public policy in energy use. Explore and play Collapsus on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as you debate and discuss choices. Have students explore individually or in groups and compare the impact of different decisions. Use an online tool such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast two different decision choices. Create a quick poll (with no membership required) using using Kwiqpoll, reviewed here, to use when making decisions as a class.
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Women, Their Rights and Nothing Less - Newseum Digital Classroom

Grades
9 to 12
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The Newseum pulls together an enormous collection of primary sources about the women's suffrage movement, with rich resources for using these primary sources in an educational setting....more
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The Newseum pulls together an enormous collection of primary sources about the women's suffrage movement, with rich resources for using these primary sources in an educational setting. There is an interactive timeline, a "media map" that plots primary sources on a US map for a visual representation of the geography of the movement, and nearly a dozen lesson plans (including videos) that feature the use of primary sources to broaden understanding. The site requires registration to use, but there is no cost.

tag(s): civil rights (117), women (101), womens suffrage (26)

In the Classroom

It can be tempting to relegate resources like this one to a special unit during Women's History Month, but the primary sources here need to be integrated throughout any study of civil rights in general and the importance of universal suffrage to a modern democracy. While the sources may all be related to the fight for votes for women, much of the content is also relevant in understanding the social and political history of the United States, particularly during the 19th and early 20th century. The lesson plans are comprehensive and include printable discussion guides and worksheets, as well as extension activities. They are standards aligned and Common Core compatible.
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The Year We Had Two Thanksgivings - Marist College

Grades
5 to 12
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Learn the story behind the year with two U.S. Thanksgivings from this simple, yet interesting site. The short article tells the tale of President Roosevelt's journey to declare the...more
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Learn the story behind the year with two U.S. Thanksgivings from this simple, yet interesting site. The short article tells the tale of President Roosevelt's journey to declare the official date for all states to celebrate Thanksgiving. View several documents, including letters and telegrams to the president voicing opinions on setting an official date for Thanksgiving.

tag(s): primary sources (86), roosevelt (16), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Use information from the article and documents as part of any lesson about Thanksgiving. Share the documents as part of a unit on primary resources. Print and share documents with students and challenge them to present an opposing point of view or write a reply from President Roosevelt. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare and contrast different points of view. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook "as" President Roosevelt or one of the writers of letters to the president.

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Zip Lookup - esri.com

Grades
6 to 12
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What does your zip code tell you about the demographics and lifestyle of your community? Find out with Zip Lookup. Type in any zip code for quick information on the ...more
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What does your zip code tell you about the demographics and lifestyle of your community? Find out with Zip Lookup. Type in any zip code for quick information on the "Tapestry" of your area. View the top three demographic segments of the community such as "Boomburbs" or "Savvy Surbanites." Use the drop-down box for an explanation of each segment. Click on tabs to further narrow down information such as income, age, and population density comparing each zip code to the county, state, and the entire United States.

tag(s): communities (35), demographics (19), population (60)

In the Classroom

Use Zip Lookup to compare and contrast any areas of the United States using several different categories. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on states and communities on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Include it in discussions of politics and election strategies or local and state government. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Have students create maps using Animaps (reviewed here). Students can add information learned using the zipcode, other text, images, and location stops.

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Cartoons for the Classroom - The Association for American Editorial Cartoonists

Grades
6 to 12
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A picture is worth a thousand words, and editorial cartoonists have been boiling down the foibles of politicians and public figures throughout history. One needs only to know about...more
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A picture is worth a thousand words, and editorial cartoonists have been boiling down the foibles of politicians and public figures throughout history. One needs only to know about Thomas Nast and his cartoons of Boss Tweed during the 19th century to know that cartoons have a deep impact on political discourse. Cartoons for the Classroom offers over 250 one-page downloadable lessons featuring two or three political cartoons related to current events and several questions for discussion that relate to those cartoons. Alternatively, download the cartoons alone along with space to "draw" your own conclusions.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), politics (99), satire (5)

In the Classroom

These one-page discussion starters could help students keep up with current political issues, provide an opening or closing activity, or serve as an enrichment activity for students who move through other assignments more quickly. Available either with or without guiding questions, and covering a wide range of relevant and timely topics, they are perfect to keep as a Plan B or for an emergency substitute teacher activity. Elsewhere on the site are links to other information about political cartooning through history; most of these links connect to outside sites so be sure and preview carefully. In Art class, create a "political" option during a line drawing unit for current events enthusiasts to draw their own political cartoons. Include these cartoons during a unit on humor and satire in an English/Language Arts class or gifted program.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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

Grades
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 (33), elections (75), electoral college (16), maps (287), presidents (131), timelines (62)

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

Grades
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 (86), civil war (145), timelines (62)

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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