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Mission US - Thirteen

Grades
4 to 8
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Mission US is a free online interactive US History adventure. Mission US offers amazing interactives that are set throughout US History. The first activity Mission 1: "For Crown or...more
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Mission US is a free online interactive US History adventure. Mission US offers amazing interactives that are set throughout US History. The first activity Mission 1: "For Crown or Colony?" has players becoming a 1770 14-year-old printer's apprentice named Nat Wheeler. As players move through the activities they meet characters from all walks of life and must choose where their loyalties lie. This site does require a log-in and password, but no email address is required.

tag(s): american revolution (86), evolution (100)

In the Classroom

This is a must for any social studies or US History class. Start by checking out the teachers area so you can follow the progress of your students. Use the demo game on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector to introduce it to your students. Once classes are set up have your students work in cooperative groups and work their way through the activities. There are wonderful teacher resources available including models for instruction, tips, instructions and student handouts. Resources are available in both PDF and Word so you can customize the worksheets for your students. This feature is great for differentiating materials for various student levels. When all students are done have a class discussion about what side they chose and why?
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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MagCloud - Hewlett-Packard Development Company, LP

Grades
K to 12
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Use this free service to create magazines from your Flickr account. Authorize MagCloud to access your flickr account to pull album pictures into a magazine. Registration on the site...more
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Use this free service to create magazines from your Flickr account. Authorize MagCloud to access your flickr account to pull album pictures into a magazine. Registration on the site is required using an email address though verification is not required. Magazines can be printed for a fee or shared and viewed online for free. Click Browse after creating your account to view already created magazines. Search using search terms and by clicking on popular topics. Click Publish to begin creating your own magazine. Enter a title, subtitle, description, and category. Next, create an issue title, decide whether it will be public or private, and choose tags. Connect with your Flickr account, choose your Flickr album, and create the album easily. Setting your album to public allows others to view and buy (which can provide income as well.) Set Bind/price to choose bindings and price. Check the box if you wish free download to iPad.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): flickr (7), images (265), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Users must have a Flickr account and be able to navigate the authorizing of flickr as well as choosing an album to publish. Be sure to create titles in Flickr since these are imported as well.

Be sure to check district policy about creating student accounts and publishing student pictures and/or other material before using this tool. Note that by choosing Public in creating the magazine, the magazine is viewable online. Check your District policy. When browsing existing magazines, note that these may not be monitored and check for possible classroom-inappropriate material (though none was detected at the time of the review.) Consider creating a class Flickr account for students to upload class and group pictures.

Use a class Flickr account to keep track of day to day happenings in the classroom (especially for younger grades). Create albums of specific events such as field trips, service projects, hands-on activities, field experiences such as watershed studies, and more. Uploaded photos can easily be manipulated into an online album. Art and photography classes can use the magazine format as a portfolio. Create a magazine of photos that portray different history and social topics, set the scenes for novels or stories, or explain a specific science concept. Anywhere photos can be used to showcase achievement or explain a concept, this service would be a great resource. Special ed teachers, speech teachers, or world language teachers can collect images into "magazines" for students to practice/develop speech and vocabulary.

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Lino - Infoteria Corporation

Grades
K to 12
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Create online sticky type bulletin boards to view from any online device using Lino. Click to try it first without even joining. The trial canvas has stickies explaining how to ...more
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Create online sticky type bulletin boards to view from any online device using Lino. Click to try it first without even joining. The trial canvas has stickies explaining how to use Lino. Join and create your own canvases to share stickies, reminders, files, and more. Change sticky colors from the menu in the upper right hand corner or use the easy editing tools that appear when the sticky is selected. Use the icons at the bottom of each sticky note to "peel them off," share, edit, and more. Create a group from your Lino page to share and collaborate on canvases. You can also share canvases publicly so anyone with the URL can participate. This is a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly.

tag(s): collages (17), creative fluency (8), creativity (109), DAT device agnostic tool (196), gamification (65), note taking (32)

In the Classroom

Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Students can use this when researching alone or in groups, sharing files, videos, and pictures quickly from one computer to another. Have students write tasks for each member of the group on a sticky so that everyone has a responsibility. Show them how to copy/paste URLs for sources onto notes, too. Use Lino as your virtual word wall for vocabulary development. Use a Lino for students to submit and share questions or comments about assignments and tasks they are working on. Use it as a virtual graffiti wall for students to make connections between their world and curriculum content, such as "I wonder what the hall monitor would say finding Lady Macbeth washing her hands in the school restroom... and what Lady M would say back." (Of course, you will want to have a PG-13 policy for student comments!) Encourage students to maintain an idea collection lino for ideas and creative inspirations they may not have used yet but do not want to "lose." They can color code and organize ideas later or send the stickies to a new project board later. In writing or art classes, use lino as a virtual writer's journal or design a notebook to collect ideas, images, and even video clips. In science classes, encourage students to keep a lino board with (classroom appropriate) questions and "aside" thoughts about science concepts being studied and to use these ideas in later projects so their creative ideas are not 'lost" before project time. A lino board can also serve as a final online "display" for students to "show what they know" as the culmination of a research project. Add videos, images, and notes in a carefully arranged display not unlike an electronic bulletin board. This is also a great tool to help you stay "personally" organized. Use this site as a resource to share information with other teachers, parents, or students.

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Polldaddy - Automattic

Grades
K to 12
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Use Polldaddy to create polls or surveys to place on a blog, wiki, or site. Sign up to register (email address is required.) Choose your template and style. Change various ...more
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Use Polldaddy to create polls or surveys to place on a blog, wiki, or site. Sign up to register (email address is required.) Choose your template and style. Change various features such as progress bar, restrictions, and notifications. Choose from Free Text, Multiple Choice, or a Matrix. Enter your question and choices. Upload media if desired. Click Finish and Embed when done with the survey. Use the embed codes and links for either creating a pop up page, or embedding directly into a page on a blog, wiki, or site. View reports of the results, locations, and participants of the survey.

tag(s): quiz (85), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to determine the question and possible responses to generate the poll online. Remember to Publish your quiz to be able to share it.

This tool does not show the individual votes of students. Though this tool can be used by students, it may be best used by a teacher. Students using this tool, need an email to register.

Use polls created using Polldaddy on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start a new unit, asking questions about the material. Discuss in groups why those in class would choose a particular answer to uncover misconceptions. Use for Daily quiz questions to gain knowledge of student understanding and a means of formative assessment. Have student groups alternate to create a new poll for the next day. Place a poll on your teacher web page as a homework inspiration or to ask questions to increase parent involvement. Older students may want to include polls on their student blogs to increase read involvement or create polls to use at the start of project presentations. Use polls to generate data for math class (graphing), during elections or for critical thinking activities dealing with interpretation of statistics. Use "real" data to engage students on issues that matter to them.

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Branches of the Government - Webvertising, Inc

Grades
3 to 7
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Sort the characteristics of the three branches of government by dragging leaves to the judicial, executive, or legislative branch of a tree. The leaves each contain a description about...more
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Sort the characteristics of the three branches of government by dragging leaves to the judicial, executive, or legislative branch of a tree. The leaves each contain a description about one of the three branches of government. The activity includes 16 leaves to sort.

tag(s): branches of government (48)

In the Classroom

This is a great activity to use quickly on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this as a review of the branches of government or as a lesson activator in your social studies class. Include the link on your class web page for students to review before a test, or use the activity as a formative assessment in a computer lab, walking around the room to check for correct answers.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Testmoz - testmoz.com

Grades
K to 12
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Use this very simple site to create a test that's accessible on the Internet. Create an automatically graded test easily and for free! Registration is not required to use or ...more
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Use this very simple site to create a test that's accessible on the Internet. Create an automatically graded test easily and for free! Registration is not required to use or to take the created tests. Simply click "Create a test," enter the test name, and create a password. Note: Be sure to remember the password somewhere because it is not possible to recover it. Read the directions on the Test Control Panel to adjust settings, add questions, and publish the test. Bookmark the URL of the finished test you make so you can find it later. After publishing, copy and paste the URL of the test into a wiki, blog, or site, for student access. View reports when students are done with the test.

tag(s): quiz (85)

In the Classroom

Skills required: Be sure to remember the password for your tests, as well as the unique URL. It would be wise to copy/paste them into a document you keep somewhere for reference. Users are unable to access the tests without the URL. Be sure to not share this ahead of time. Items in Testmoz are not made public.

Use where automatically graded tests are required, such as for formative assessments to check student understanding. Use as a "ticket out the door" to see what students know at the end of class. Be sure that this is the medium you want to use for testing. Be flexible with students who find it difficult to take online testing. Entering all the material ahead of time can be time consuming, so this may not be the best format for long tests. Use this quiz application to create study quizzes for review for students to complete as homework (or during class time). Have students rotate to create daily check quizzes for their peers (earning a grade for test-creation). Learning support students and others who need a little extra review might like to make quizzes to challenge each other or themselves. Have students who are preparing to give oral presentations in any subject prepare a short Testmoz for their peers to take at the end.

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Timelines: Sources from History - British Library

Grades
4 to 12
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This site, created in the United Kingdom, offers many timelines with a simple click to launch an amazing 3-dimensional page. Timelines are organized by subject matter and include samplings...more
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This site, created in the United Kingdom, offers many timelines with a simple click to launch an amazing 3-dimensional page. Timelines are organized by subject matter and include samplings from literature, sociology, history, everyday life, science, technology, explorers, medicine, and more. With another click, you can zoom from one century to another. Start in the 1210s and work your way through the years. View the context of history using visual artifacts from DaVinci's contemporaries to shopping in the 1890s. Connect historical events or technological accomplishments by seeing them alongside simultaneous events, precursors, or results. An additional option allows you to save favorite timelines and/or events.

tag(s): europe (75), literature (275), politics (99)

In the Classroom

This site is excellent for research projects or to provide visual context to your curriculum in social studies, world cultures, world history, literature, art, or western heritage classes. Offer this set of timelines as a research source for history, social studies, and literature classes. Show students these timelines on an interactive whiteboard. Or have students research various topics on their own using this fabulous tool. Pique their interest by letting them browse to find out what else happened at the same time as events in the standard history curriculum -- then ask WHY. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create online posters displaying their findings using an online poster creator, such as Padlet (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Symbols of America - Pearson

Grades
2 to 6
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The videos offer explanations of American symbols and offer insight into what could have been. For example, what if the turkey had been our national bird instead of the bald ...more
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The videos offer explanations of American symbols and offer insight into what could have been. For example, what if the turkey had been our national bird instead of the bald eagle? These interactive lessons have been designed for use on interactive whiteboards or projectors. Animated maps show what the different parts of the flag represent. Additional maps show the development of the flag into our current model. Upcoming videos to be released (after the time of this review) will include lessons on other American symbols such as Mt. Rushmore, The Liberty Bell, and monuments in Washington, DC.

tag(s): symbols (19)

In the Classroom

Show the video on your interactive whiteboard or projector to introduce a lesson on American Symbols. Ask students to brainstorms symbols that they know and discuss why they have become so important to Americans. Have students research one of the symbols discussed or one they have found on their own. Have students narrate a picture of the symbol using a tool such as ThingLink, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Thought Audio - thoughtaudio.com

Grades
K to 12
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This free audio book site offers classical literature and philosophy books in the public domain for download at no charge. In addition to typical classics, it offers recordings of the...more
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This free audio book site offers classical literature and philosophy books in the public domain for download at no charge. In addition to typical classics, it offers recordings of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, some Mark Twain, and a few Christmas recordings for children including "Twas the Night Before Christmas," "The Gift of the Magi," and "Scrooge: A Christmas Carol."

In the Classroom

Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers as a reference. Suggest it to students as something they can use on their mp3 players. Share this link on your class website for students and parents to access at home. Learning support teachers may want to use selections from this site as alternatives to reading print literature selections. Play a story on your computer speakers as a listening activity in younger grades.

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Youth Leadership Initiative - Center for Politics - University of Virginia

Grades
3 to 12
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This site is a civic education program that encourages students to be involved in the electoral and policy making process of the US government. Through interactive multimedia, the site...more
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This site is a civic education program that encourages students to be involved in the electoral and policy making process of the US government. Through interactive multimedia, the site offers technology-based civic education resources that foster long-term civic engagement. There are parts of this site that are available to non-members, while other features are "member only." Membership requires name of school, email, and address. Teachers and curriculum leaders can sign up for a free account, and approval takes 2 - 3 days. Once approved, you will have access to several multimedia rich content areas.

tag(s): congress (33), elections (75), senate (9)

In the Classroom

Use the site with an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work in cooperative groups and take part in the mock congress. They will develop critical thinking and collaboration skills as they research, draft, and pass original legislation. Use the downloadable campaign simulation software (free), and have your students role play and run a senatorial campaign.
br> If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Lincoln Log - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Grades
4 to 10
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This site provides a daily chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln. Information can be accessed by conducting a general search, by year, using a calendar to search, or by ...more
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This site provides a daily chronology of the Life of Abraham Lincoln. Information can be accessed by conducting a general search, by year, using a calendar to search, or by clicking on search this day. Links to supporting documents and additional information is embedded in the entries.

tag(s): lincoln (86), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

This site will fit perfectly into any social studies or history class. Have students explore this site independently or in small groups. If used independently put the site on a classroom computer and use as a center. Create a class job for a student called Historian. They can check the website to see what was happening that day and report it to the class. Have students choose an event from the site, find an image of Lincoln and upload it to Blabberize reviewed here They can then have Lincoln "talk" about an important day of his life.

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9/11: The Day that Changed America - Scholastic, Inc.

Grades
1 to 8
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This site explains the events of 9/11 in kid friendly language and provides ideas for activities and lesson plans. It includes information on how kids and schools in the New ...more
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This site explains the events of 9/11 in kid friendly language and provides ideas for activities and lesson plans. It includes information on how kids and schools in the New York area were affected by the attacks, as well as an understandable summary of the events that transpired.

tag(s): sept11 (21)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite and use the lesson plans and activities in your classroom during a lesson or unit on 9/11. Use the articles as a reading activity, allowing reading pairs to read the articles after a discussion on the topic. Be sure to pair students, allowing weaker readers a partner to help them. Have students write and record a podcast "news" story about 9/11 using a simple tool such as Podomatic, reviewed here.

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TeachersFirst's September 11 Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help students understand the events of September 11, 2001, and to plan lessons or discussions so students can...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help students understand the events of September 11, 2001, and to plan lessons or discussions so students can see the events of September 11 in connection with history, current events, and the challenges and balances of national security. Whether you stop to observe September 11 separately from your regular curriculum or include it through curricular connections to writing and social studies topics, these resources can help today's students imagine the events of a day before their memory but ever present in the American consciousness.

tag(s): terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

Include one or more of these sites as your observe September 11 in your classroom or make the link available on your class web site for students who ask about the events of this pivotal day. You will find many specific project or class activity ideas within the reviews themselves.

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Quiznator - Quiznator

Grades
2 to 12
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Quiznator is a free, web-based worksheet, test, and any other type of learning document creator. Membership is free and is promised to always be free. You are able to access ...more
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Quiznator is a free, web-based worksheet, test, and any other type of learning document creator. Membership is free and is promised to always be free. You are able to access your creations online from anywhere! Email is required to join, however, verification is not required. Add your documents, test questions, and worksheets and let Quiznator organize and update them for you. This makes creating multiple version of the same exam quick and painless. This is a great way to back up files on the web for school!

tag(s): worksheets (59)

In the Classroom

Upload your test questions during the summer and feel free to add more as your school year progresses, but use this tool to save a bundle of time on test and quiz creation. Put your worksheet or activity sheet questions into the program and use the questions on quizzes.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The new $100 Note - Dept. of Treasury

Grades
3 to 12
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Get to know the new $100 bill through this resource provided by the Department of Treasury. There is an interactive video quiz and an applet to design your own bill. ...more
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Get to know the new $100 bill through this resource provided by the Department of Treasury. There is an interactive video quiz and an applet to design your own bill. The video quiz can also be seen with captions. In addition, there is a link to materials that can be downloaded for classroom use.

tag(s): currency (20)

In the Classroom

Take the quiz together as a class to learn about the features of the $100 bill. Research the reasons for changing from the old bill to the new style. Create and design a new bill that incorporates various security features and relevant symbols. You could also include this in your unit on national symbols and how they are used.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Flag Day Resources - Fact Monster

Grades
1 to 12
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TeachersFirst doesn't normally review lists of "links," but this hotlist from Fact Monster was good enough to pass our review team. The links here provide all kinds of ideas for ...more
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TeachersFirst doesn't normally review lists of "links," but this hotlist from Fact Monster was good enough to pass our review team. The links here provide all kinds of ideas for classroom activities for Flag Day, including quizzes, puzzles, and a flag timeline. There's also additional information about the national anthem and Betsy Ross.

tag(s): american flag (11), american revolution (86), evolution (100), flag day (6)

In the Classroom

Use the U.S. flag quiz on this site as a learning center or station during a Flag Day celebration or national symbol unit. Have students complete the quiz in cooperative learning groups, allowing them to assist each other when there is confusion.

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The Star Spangled Banner - Smithsonian Institue

Grades
3 to 12
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This site from the Smithsonian provides ample information about the American Flag, as well as early American history. The Explore option on the site allows you to investigate and discover...more
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This site from the Smithsonian provides ample information about the American Flag, as well as early American history. The Explore option on the site allows you to investigate and discover important facts about the flag and its creation. There is also a section about the National Anthem, as well as an interactive quiz about the early days of American government. A great site for Flag Day or early U.S. history!

tag(s): american flag (11), american revolution (86), evolution (100), flag day (6), national anthem (4)

In the Classroom

Use the interactive quiz on this site as a review tool before an assessment or to introduce a mini-unit on the flag. Introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard before allowing students to complete the quiz individually on classroom computers. Because of the amount of reading on the site, be sure to provide lower achieving readers with the vocabulary beforehand or a tool to help them look up complex words. Younger students would do better with partner readers or whole-class reading on an interactive whiteboard where they could highlight new words.

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History of the American Flag - FoundingFathers.info

Grades
3 to 12
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Although this site may look pretty simple, it has some great information on the history and evolution of the American Flag. The site hosts images of all the flags, including ...more
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Although this site may look pretty simple, it has some great information on the history and evolution of the American Flag. The site hosts images of all the flags, including the famous "Don't tread on me," flag from the revolutionary period. Besides images, each flag hosted on the site has a brief history accompanying it.

tag(s): american flag (11), american revolution (86), evolution (100), flag day (6)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource during Flag Day celebrations or a unit on national symbols. Use the site as an activity to help students better understand the significance of Flag Day, as well as the American Flag. Introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector before allowing cooperative learning groups loose on the site. Have students investigate the "story" of the flag, presenting the information in a multimedia presentation. Have cooperative learning groups or the whole class (younger students) create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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Flag Day Cyberhunt - Scholastic Teachers

Grades
1 to 6
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This cyberhunt from Scholastic helps students review and find important information about the American Flag, as well as early American history. Great activity for Flag Day! ...more
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This cyberhunt from Scholastic helps students review and find important information about the American Flag, as well as early American history. Great activity for Flag Day!

tag(s): american flag (11), flag day (6)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a review activity on Flag Day or during a national symbols unit, with cooperative learning groups competing to finish the web for time and correct answers. Introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector, before allowing groups to complete it on classroom computers. Not only is this a fun activity for students, but it's great review both in their search for answers and in the review of answers afterwards. Once all groups are done, as a class demonstrate the correct answers on a projector or the interactive whiteboard.

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Oil Spill Lesson Plans and Resources - NOAA

Grades
3 to 12
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Learn about the impact of oil spills. Use these lessons and information to compare the impact of spills past and present. The site provides details about cleaning up oil spills, ...more
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Learn about the impact of oil spills. Use these lessons and information to compare the impact of spills past and present. The site provides details about cleaning up oil spills, as well as the science of oil dispersal, how to clean animals, and more.

tag(s): disasters (39), oil (45), oil spill (21)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and classroom activities on this site! Be sure to save this site as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval later on. Students can select different aspects of oil spill cleanup and mitigation and play the role of experts in a mock blog post playing their role. Have students continue their role play by commenting on each other's posts.

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