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Just War - The Carter Center's Case - The Carter Center

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9 to 12
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The concept of "a just war" has been debated for decades as a logical way to establish whether the use of force in a specific situation carries any moral weight. ...more
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The concept of "a just war" has been debated for decades as a logical way to establish whether the use of force in a specific situation carries any moral weight. This page from the Carter Center reprints an Op-Ed article by former president Jimmy Carter in which he asserts that current operations in Iraq fail the "just war" test on several grounds. Lots of interesting discussion possibilities with this one.

tag(s): ethics (16)

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International Atomic Energy Agency - United Nations

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9 to 12
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This news page from IAEA's web site includes both background and current information on the agencies efforts in Iraq and North Korea, as well as information on other activities designed...more
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This news page from IAEA's web site includes both background and current information on the agencies efforts in Iraq and North Korea, as well as information on other activities designed to halt the destructive proliferation of nuclear capabilities.

tag(s): energy (198), united nations (8)

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Facing History

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9 to 12
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This one is different; it's a site built around exposing students to issues in history that have tested ethical and behavioral boundaries. Focusing on topics like anti-Semitism, eugenics,...more
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This one is different; it's a site built around exposing students to issues in history that have tested ethical and behavioral boundaries. Focusing on topics like anti-Semitism, eugenics, and genocide, the content requires students to think about the moral, political, and practical effects of actions by individuals and nations. The structure varies by subject area, and there is a combination of free and "registration required" areas. Secondary history and social sciences teachers will want to browse this one thoroughly.

tag(s): ethics (16)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson and plans and classroom activities offered on this web page. Simply go to the "educator resources" section and teachers can search for materials by theme, time period or sequence. Definitely save this one as a favorite and refer to it for new material or lesson plans!

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Political Science - MIT Open Courseware - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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9 to 12
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...more
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tag(s): advanced placement (21)

In the Classroom

High school government and history teachers, especially those teaching AP students, may find MIT's online course materials useful. MIT has committed to putting its entire curriculum on the web, and these early offerings include syllabi, reading materials, and a variety of subject-specific class notes. Before using these pages, teachers, students, and parents should all be aware of what Open Courseware is and is not.

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Japanese American Internment Curriculum - National Japanese American Historical Society

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6 to 12
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Developed by the National Japanese American Historical Society, this page is a well-organized meta-list of lessons relating to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War...more
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Developed by the National Japanese American Historical Society, this page is a well-organized meta-list of lessons relating to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. The lessons include material for all grade levels, and they address the historical, literary, and constitutional aspects of these Americans' experiences. Today's students can learn much from this experience.

tag(s): constitution (79), japan (61), japanese (42), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities offered on this site! Save this site as a favorite for easy use and retrieval for future unit planning. Social studies teachers will love this one!

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WorldoMeters - Osearth

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6 to 12
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World cultures or government classes will find the multidimensional counters on this site a wonderful way to illustrate the growth (or depletion) population, resources, and other global...more
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World cultures or government classes will find the multidimensional counters on this site a wonderful way to illustrate the growth (or depletion) population, resources, and other global activity. It's a very tangible illustration of the rate at which things are changing in our world. Teachers can be creative with this one.

tag(s): ecology (135), population (60), resources (112)

In the Classroom

This is a really great way to demonstrate a lot of the concepts taught in a Cultural Geography or US government class. Assign cooperative learning groups to investigate a portion of this site, based on what's being taught at the time. A good example would be having environmental sustainability group looking at water and land resources, as well as the growing population. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here

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International Justice on Trial - Minnesota Public Radio

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9 to 12
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What is the proper role of international courts in keeping world order? This site from the American Radioworks series examines the precedents, premises, and problems inherent in using...more
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What is the proper role of international courts in keeping world order? This site from the American Radioworks series examines the precedents, premises, and problems inherent in using international law to punish war criminals and keep the peace internationally. AP high school students will find this one a challenging issue.

tag(s): courts (15)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on International Trials or the legal consequences of Genocide in a US government or history course. The site is a little text-heavy, and would work best with higher level high school classes. To assess student learning and differentiate between the trial events, have students create a timeline describing the events of all three events. We recommend using an online tool such as Who What When (reviewed here)
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Bill of Rights Defense Committee

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9 to 12
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This is the home page for one of many organizations that have sprung up over the past year seeking to protect Constitutional rights in the face of increasing government efforts ...more
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This is the home page for one of many organizations that have sprung up over the past year seeking to protect Constitutional rights in the face of increasing government efforts to learn more about individual activities. They voice concerns about aspects of the USA Patriot Act and several other executive orders issued since the 9/11 attacks. This content could be the basis for an interesting "What do you think..." discussion in a social studies, history, or government course.

tag(s): bill of rights (28), constitution (79), terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a source for a class debate on the entire bill of rights, or a particular one. Provide this site for students on the teacher webpage to allow students to access it both in and out of the classroom.

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After 9/11 - SSRC Teaching Resources - Social Studies Research Council

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9 to 12
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The Social Studies Research Council has collected an impressive collection of essays and articles on topics relating to the aftermath of 9/11 and American foreign and domestic policies...more
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The Social Studies Research Council has collected an impressive collection of essays and articles on topics relating to the aftermath of 9/11 and American foreign and domestic policies since then. Thematically indexed, it offers a wide range of perspectives on issues such as balancing personal freedoms and national security. AP government, social studies, and history teachers will find this one especially useful.

tag(s): constitution (79), freedom of speech (10), speech (92), terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

Use these teaching guides and lesson plans in your classroom. The site also has lists internet sources that could be good resources for any students working on a research paper or project. If applicable, list the site on the class wiki or web page to allow students to explore the resources listed on their own.

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Life in the White House - US Government

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4 to 12
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Created by the White House, this "inside look" offers lots of current photos, images and interviews. There are also a number of historical tidbits scattered through the site - just...more
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Created by the White House, this "inside look" offers lots of current photos, images and interviews. There are also a number of historical tidbits scattered through the site - just enough to show how the nation's first home has changed over the years. Add this one to your list of "What's it really like???" sites.

tag(s): white house (14)

In the Classroom

Have cooperative learning groups explore this site during a lesson on the White House and its' history. Have students create a multimedia presentation using UtellStory, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report - summarizing the history of the White House. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try PhotoPin, reviewed here. This would be a great review activity before an end of the year assessment, or a quiz on the topic.
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National Constitution Center

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K to 12
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This center for the study of the U.S. Constitution provides a nice introduction to the Constitution and the principles of governance on which it is based. Resources include an interactive...more
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This center for the study of the U.S. Constitution provides a nice introduction to the Constitution and the principles of governance on which it is based. Resources include an interactive Constitution, podcasts, and educational resources including lesson plans and games.

tag(s): bill of rights (28), civil rights (117), constitution (79)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many games and lesson plans featured on this site. Include with your Constitution Day activities.
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World War II Relocation Camps - National Park Service

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9 to 12
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Part of the National Park Service "Teaching with Historic Places" series, this site uses the Manzanar Japanese-American internment camp as a starting point for an exploration of the...more
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Part of the National Park Service "Teaching with Historic Places" series, this site uses the Manzanar Japanese-American internment camp as a starting point for an exploration of the internment activities that took place during World War II. As with other lessons in this series, the lesson asks students to interpret archival photos and draw conclusions from the images and contemporary accounts of the internment.

tag(s): japan (61), japanese (42), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

This is a very detailed and intricate lesson that can easily last a few days. However it is very informative and provides information about Japanese internment camps that is often brushed over in the book. Take advantage of this great lesson plan during a unit on WWII or discrimination in the United States.

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History and Politics Out Loud

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9 to 12
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Here's a small site we hope will grow quickly. There are recordings of famous political speeches - including William Jennings Bryan's "cross of gold" and Churchill's famous "iron curtain"...more
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Here's a small site we hope will grow quickly. There are recordings of famous political speeches - including William Jennings Bryan's "cross of gold" and Churchill's famous "iron curtain" speech. Interestingly, many of these are in their entirety, making for listening sessions of an hour or more. History teachers will find numerous possibilities for this one, especially if the collection continues to grow. You'll need the RealPlayer for the sound files.

tag(s): politics (99), speech (92), speeches (17)

In the Classroom

Use this site to supplement a lecture on Martin Luther King and the impact of his "I have a dream" speech. Browse the results by speaker and select the speech under King's collection. After discussing King's role in civil rights, play the clip or as much of it as you can for students. Use the audio as a writing prompt, in which students respond to the difference in hearing vs reading the speech. Students should also respond to the emotional appeal of the speech, in addition to the overall message presented. This activity would be a great short review at the end of a unit on MLK Jr.
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Face to Face - Stories from the Aftermath of Infamy - ITVS

Grades
9 to 12
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You will need a high speed connection to use this site, but those who have one will find it an insightful collection of spoken narratives dealing with reactions to the ...more
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You will need a high speed connection to use this site, but those who have one will find it an insightful collection of spoken narratives dealing with reactions to the September 11 attacks from Muslim and Japanese Americans. While the experiences of these two groups vary significantly, these audio essays raise important issues in a thoughtful way that invites further discussion and examination.

tag(s): japan (61), terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

This site could be used as a "trigger" for a high school history or government class. Teachers will want to preview this material, and should be prepared for lively discussions that it will likely generate.
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Civil War Classroom Activities - PBS

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6 to 12
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Based on the Ken Burns PBS production that aired in 1990, this collection of lesson plans is complete, thought-provoking, and covers a wide range of topics whose relevance extends well...more
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Based on the Ken Burns PBS production that aired in 1990, this collection of lesson plans is complete, thought-provoking, and covers a wide range of topics whose relevance extends well beyond the war itself. Designed for use in grades 7-12, these one- and two-period lessons are well-annotated, include lots of web links, and come complete with downloadable PDF files. Students will find these an interesting set of source ideas for reports and the like, and teachers will be able to take this content in many different directions. Well worth a look!

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and classroom activities offered in this site! The majority are somehow tied into the video, but there are some that also are broad enough that showing the video is not necessary.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Star Spangled Banner - Smithsonian

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6 to 12
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Learn about the flag that inspired the National Anthem at this Smithsonian site. The site includes a quiz, a teacher section, and descriptive information about the flag, the War of...more
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Learn about the flag that inspired the National Anthem at this Smithsonian site. The site includes a quiz, a teacher section, and descriptive information about the flag, the War of 1812, and the battle at Fort McHenry that inspired Francis Scott Key's poem.

tag(s): national anthem (4), war of 1812 (14)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an introductory activity for a lesson on the Flag's creating during a unit on the American Revolutionary War. Introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard before allowing students to explore it in cooperative learning groups on classroom computers. Have the students search the site with, answering specific questions on a follow-along (created by you) that encourages them to explore the site in depth. For help with making that follow-along, we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here). Afterward, have a class discussion or some sort of reflection piece to allow students to vocalize questions and opinions about the information presented.

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American History Timeline Links - Smithsonian

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4 to 12
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The Smithsonian's timeline links are a sort of chronological trip through the Smithsonian's attic. Each presents an exhibit, artifact, or other piece of history from a particular period....more
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The Smithsonian's timeline links are a sort of chronological trip through the Smithsonian's attic. Each presents an exhibit, artifact, or other piece of history from a particular period. Part of the attractiveness of this site is the eclectic nature of the results that you get from the various links. If you're interested in teaching history from different angles, there are lots of resources here.

In the Classroom

For virtually every topic in history, there is a corresponding site and activity here! Every topic has a variety of resources, from webquests to free lesson plans. Look at the time-line for your corresponding unit, and take advantage of the free resources the Smithsonian has put together! An excellent resource for any Social Studies teacher.

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Endgame - Ethics and Values in America - PBS

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9 to 12
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PBS tackles greed, honesty, and the gray areas that separate vice from virtue in this series on America's ethics. While many viewers will think about the business implications of the...more
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PBS tackles greed, honesty, and the gray areas that separate vice from virtue in this series on America's ethics. While many viewers will think about the business implications of the series, the producers put the focus at a more personal level. Depending on your local situation, this site could be useful in business, guidance, or similar applications - or simply as a homeroom discussion starter for older students.

tag(s): ethics (16)

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Best of History Web Sites

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9 to 12
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Maybe there really can be "too much of a good thing." This site is an immense catalog of resources (ie. other websites, lessons plans, content) for social studies teachers. Due ...more
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Maybe there really can be "too much of a good thing." This site is an immense catalog of resources (ie. other websites, lessons plans, content) for social studies teachers. Due to the sheer volume of material, it would be wise for teachers to have a clear idea of what they are looking for before opening up the site. Casual "grazing" here might easily lead to a becoming lost on the web.

tag(s): europe (75)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite on your classroom desktop and use it as a reference for virtually everything! It's amazing how many resources they have managed to find - incredibly more helpful than a Google search would have been.

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Charters of Freedom - National Archives

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6 to 12
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Though part of a larger site about America's historic documents, this collection of biographies of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention will find plenty of use by itself....more
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Though part of a larger site about America's historic documents, this collection of biographies of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention will find plenty of use by itself. These delegates wrote our Constitution, but today's students know very little about any of them. Find the details of each man's life here!

tag(s): american revolution (86), constitution (79), evolution (100)

In the Classroom

This is a great site to introduce the American Founding Fathers, or for reference around Presidents Day weekend. Introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector, during a lesson on the individual fathers. Have students look at the site, and select one image that they think represents a particular Founding Father. Have students create a multimedia presentation using UtellStory, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try PhotoPin, reviewed here. Have them report a story on the founding fathers as if the issue of the constitution is a current one, and they are informing the public of its happenings.

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