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American Experience: D-Day - PBS

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

tag(s): d day (8), veterans (19), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

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

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

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

tag(s): d day (8), veterans (19), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

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

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

Grades
10 to 12
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Take a look at county by county income mobility in the U.S. using this interactive map. Click a county to read about the differences in income for children who grow ...more
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Take a look at county by county income mobility in the U.S. using this interactive map. Click a county to read about the differences in income for children who grow up in that county when they reach age 26, as compared with the national average. Note that the site is "smart" and senses where you are located to tell you about your area. You can also enter in any county in the U.S. in the search box or drag the map to other locations. The accompanying text explains the results in more detail, including differing mobility for boys and girls. The map may surprise you and cause you to wonder why. Read the full explanation or click the link to the related article. Note the importance of education in income results, but that is not the only factor.
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tag(s): demographics (19)

In the Classroom

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

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Black History Month Resources - PBS

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

tag(s): black history (59), civil rights (117), martin luther king (37), racism (18), video (253)

In the Classroom

Explore this site for many different lessons and resources to use during Black History Month and throughout the year. Use lessons found here to differentiate for students of different levels. Be sure to check out the Discrimination - fair or unfair? lesson plan that is designed specifically for students who have difficulty with verbal and written expression.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Preparing For The Oath - Smithsonian National Museum of American History

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

tag(s): immigration (58)

In the Classroom

Share this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on US history or citizenship. Take advantage of the video lessons on this site to teach and review topics pertaining to the United States. Be sure to share with your school's ESL/ELL teacher as an informative resource for students and parents.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project - University of North Carolina Greensboro

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

tag(s): memorial day (13), oral history (12), primary sources (86), veterans (19), world war 1 (54), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

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

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George Washington's Mount Vernon - Mount Vernon

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

tag(s): 1700s (23), presidents (130), virtual field trips (48)

In the Classroom

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

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Wide Angle Window Into Global History - PBS

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6 to 12
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Looking for videos and resources that peer into Global Issues? Start with this resource! Click the Video Bank to view resources by themes: conflict, power, human rights, social structures,...more
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Looking for videos and resources that peer into Global Issues? Start with this resource! Click the Video Bank to view resources by themes: conflict, power, human rights, social structures, migrations, economic systems, factors of production, or political systems. Also, view the video bank by location in the world. Videos in each theme are up to several minutes in length and are clips of larger videos. Click on the video of choice, to view the video on a larger screen, see the guiding questions, read the background essay and transcript, and find related links. Text can easily be printed using the print function along the bottom. Videos are easily downloaded, with directions for both PC and Mac users. View the country and region map along the left side along with the accompanying lesson plan. Additionally, click on Lesson Plans instead to display the following for each global issue: overview, learning objectives and standards, media components (with links), and materials. Be sure to note the Prep for Teachers along the bottom of each lesson plan.
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tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), cultures (105), maps (288)

In the Classroom

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

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Zoom In! - Education Development Center

Grades
5 to 12
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Zoom In! is a set of digital tools that support social studies teachers in aligning teaching with the Common Core Literacy Standards. In each lesson, students solve a historical problem...more
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Zoom In! is a set of digital tools that support social studies teachers in aligning teaching with the Common Core Literacy Standards. In each lesson, students solve a historical problem by analyzing and collecting evidence, organizing research, and creating a rough draft communicating the solution. Create your teacher account to begin. Browse through 10 lessons with topics as diverse as propaganda and Paul Revere, Labor on the World War II Homefront, Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers, and music in the Vietnam War. Create a class within each lesson to receive a class code for student access. View more information about this resource on their YouTube channel, here. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): american revolution (86), civil war (145), constitution (79), immigrants (20), immigration (58), lincoln (86), slavery (72), vietnam (36), westward expansion (29), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

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

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The Roosevelts - PBS

Grades
7 to 12
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PBS offers this series of lessons aligned to their popular mini-series, The Roosevelts. All lessons include alignment to standards, background information, discussion questions, and...more
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PBS offers this series of lessons aligned to their popular mini-series, The Roosevelts. All lessons include alignment to standards, background information, discussion questions, and evaluation rubrics. Choose from full-length Lesson Plans or Snapshot Lessons containing quick, adaptable activities for classroom use.
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tag(s): 1900s (33), presidents (130), roosevelt (16)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans offered to supplement your current lessons based on the Roosevelt family. Have groups of students complete different Snapshot Lessons then share with the class. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Multimedia Edge tools, reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a member of the Roosevelt family.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Socratic Smackdown - Institute of Play

Grades
7 to 12
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Use this activity to practice discussion and argument strategies. Socratic Smackdown has thorough instructions and handouts for a Socratic discussion. View the short video overview...more
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Use this activity to practice discussion and argument strategies. Socratic Smackdown has thorough instructions and handouts for a Socratic discussion. View the short video overview and download the PDF Print & Play Pack to begin. The Game Play Pack provides complete information on setting up the discussion, a checklist for when students are participating, scoresheets, a rubric, and other resources for students and teachers. It also includes a correlation to 8th Grade Common Core Speaking Standards. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): debate (41)

In the Classroom

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

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

tag(s): american revolution (86), declaration of independence (13), franklin (12), jefferson (19)

In the Classroom

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

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edX - Anant Agarwal

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

tag(s): aeronautics (13), architecture (83), china (66), circuits (20), civil rights (117), computers (94), electricity (89), engineering (125), environment (317), evolution (100), folktales (65), greeks (30), magnetism (35), medicine (67), nutrition (154), poetry (227), psychology (64), religions (61), shakespeare (131), solar energy (38), speech (92), statistics (122), terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

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

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Help Lincoln Get to the White House - National Park Service

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

tag(s): elections (75), lincoln (86), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

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

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Been Here So Long - Slave Narratives - New Deal Network

Grades
8 to 12
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Read seventeen of the more than 2,000 first-person accounts of what it was like to live in bondage. These seventeen narratives, told by aging African Americans during the New Deal ...more
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Read seventeen of the more than 2,000 first-person accounts of what it was like to live in bondage. These seventeen narratives, told by aging African Americans during the New Deal era in America, are remarkable and are accompanied by teaching resources, photos, and suggested projects.

tag(s): 1930s (15), african american (113), black history (59), narrative (24), new deal (6), primary sources (86), roosevelt (16), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

There are lessons and projects for the narratives, many of which take four or more class periods. Try something that won't eat up so much time: Choose one of the narratives and use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share it with your class. Then, as suggested in the lesson plans, have "a discussion about the strengths and limitations of using the ex-slave narratives and other oral histories as primary sources in the study of history." Have students break into small groups and have each group read two of the narratives. Have them make comparisons of those two narratives and the one shared with the entire class, using an online tool such as the Interactive Three Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here. Then have the class share out and find commonalities for all the narratives (other than they were all slaves). Use this site in an American History class studying the New Deal and the 1930s or in any language arts or social studies class during Black History Month. These narratives are about the "regular" people, not the famous people usually read about.

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Smart Voter - League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Grades
8 to 12
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Smart Voter provides nonpartisan information about elections and voting. Information includes lists of upcoming elections and ballot issues as well as candidate information. Enter your...more
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Smart Voter provides nonpartisan information about elections and voting. Information includes lists of upcoming elections and ballot issues as well as candidate information. Enter your address to view your polling place and voter registration information. Individual candidates provide bio information, and it is not checked for accuracy, it is, however, reviewed to make sure content does not refer to opposing candidates.

tag(s): elections (75)

In the Classroom

Include Smart Voter as part of any election unit. Have students research candidate information and compare and contrast points of view. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here, to present information about candidates or ballot topics.

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Latino Vote Map - Latino Decisions

Grades
8 to 12
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The Latino Vote Map takes an interactive look at the Latino vote in the 2012 election. Move the slider bars to change the Latino Portion of the US electorate to ...more
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The Latino Vote Map takes an interactive look at the Latino vote in the 2012 election. Move the slider bars to change the Latino Portion of the US electorate to view changes in state voting when the Latino population increases or decreases. Another slider allows for adjustment to the voting percentage of Latinos to see changes based on voting percentages. To view more in-depth information such as growth in Latino voters, portion of the state electorate, and the total number of Latino eligible voters click on each state. Click the "Copy Data" link to copy information to your clipboard and paste into any program such as Word. Scroll further down the page to find a state by state summary.

tag(s): elections (75), electoral college (16), hispanic (18)

In the Classroom

Although the Latino Vote Map specifically looks at the 2012 election, it is still useful as a tool for teaching any election unit. Show the map on an interactive whiteboard or projector and discuss changes based on moving the sliders. Have students predict what will happen before moving the sliders. Challenge students to create a timeline using Dipity, reviewed here, to track data about Latino voters in upcoming elections or previous elections. Have students compare how many Latinos are currently registered to vote with how many live in the area and draw conclusions from that information. Include information from this site to create a newspaper using a site such as Zinepal, reviewed here. Click to "Start with a blank e-Book."

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Sunnylands Civics Games - The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands

Grades
4 to 12
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Sunnylands Civics Games offers a small but excellent selection of games about the Constitution and related topics. Topics include Branches of Power, The First Amendment, the Bill of...more
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Sunnylands Civics Games offers a small but excellent selection of games about the Constitution and related topics. Topics include Branches of Power, The First Amendment, the Bill of Rights, and more. You can try to be the leader of the Legislative Branch. Choose three main issues and the most productive way to succeed in your cause. Most activities begin with a short video followed by questions. Most activities also include a glossary of terms used.

tag(s): bill of rights (28), branches of government (48), constitution (79), game based learning (103), supreme court (22)

In the Classroom

Use the Sunnylands Civics Games to introduce Constitution-related topics to your class using an interactive whiteboard or projector. View videos together and pause as needed to discuss information. Challenge students to try the interactive activities on individual computers or at home. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about Americans described in the games. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles, reviewed here, to trace the path of a bill or the writing of the Constitution.
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JFK Assassination Timeline - Washington Post

Grades
7 to 12
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The Washington Post offers an interesting timeline detailing events of the day of JFK's assassination as well as the effect on how the Secret Service protects the president. Scroll...more
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The Washington Post offers an interesting timeline detailing events of the day of JFK's assassination as well as the effect on how the Secret Service protects the president. Scroll through the page to view the story from the president's arrival through the time Oswald flees the scene. Along the way listen to short audio clips from a former director of the Secret Service with how each event impacts changes to the security of the president.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): kennedy (27), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

This site is ideal for an interactive whiteboard or projector. Open the site and view together as a class during a study of the presidents or elections. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast presidential security for JFK to today's president. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here. Have them create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook from the perspective of John Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald, or a Secret Service agent documenting the day's events.

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White House Student Film Festival: Official Selections - The White House

Grades
4 to 12
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Marvel at the talent of U.S. K-12 student video makers and at the powerful messages they capture in these top 15 videos from the 2015 annual student film festival sponsored ...more
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Marvel at the talent of U.S. K-12 student video makers and at the powerful messages they capture in these top 15 videos from the 2015 annual student film festival sponsored by the White House. All the videos focus on themes related to citizenship, volunteerism, community, giving back, service, social justice, or other themes of character and caring. See what students can do with today's technology (even phone or tablet camera), good writing, and a creative desire to communicate a message in three minutes or less. Watch them all or select one or two. You are guaranteed to be impressed by the film makers and to be uplifted by this positive example of what today's youth can do. Don't miss the Archer Hadley Story as an example of the power of one and a revealing look at what "accessibility" really means. If this contest repeats in future years, encourage budding film makers to enter! The general time frame for making videos and entering is October- February. Many of the already-created videos require YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they 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): communities (35), competitions (16), disabilities (20), media literacy (58), service projects (25), video (253)

In the Classroom

Share this collection in social studies or career classes as part of a lesson about giving back to your community. Have student groups select one video and describe its message in one sentence. Then challenge them to think of a citizenship message they would like to deliver on video. Take some class time to analyze why these videos "work": the camera shots, the voices and words, the music. Have groups write a script of their own (digital writing for Common Core!) and produce it as part of a school video festival. If you have a service club in your school or community, they might be willing to help sponsor the festival. Teachers of gifted can use this idea for independent student projects.

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