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Book TV - National Cable Satellite Corporation & C-SPAN

Grades
6 to 12
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Watch and listen as popular authors talk about their nonfiction books on this C-SPAN companion website. Book TV features 48 continuous hours of nonfiction books every weekend....more
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Watch and listen as popular authors talk about their nonfiction books on this C-SPAN companion website. Book TV features 48 continuous hours of nonfiction books every weekend. You can easily explore the archived programs, video library, or books and topics by searching the title, author, category, keyword, or browsing all of the listings. Watch the online videos or listen to podcasts of interviews with the authors from Book TV's After Words. There is a lot here to explore, and it appears to be ever-growing! You can find past telecast videos on YouTube, as well, in case you want to be able to download them to use offline. Click the YouTube menu. 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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): biographies (91), independent reading (129), interviews (16), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Use the online resources from this website to accompany your nonfiction literature. This collection is particularly useful when reading about historical figures. Make books and authors come alive for your students by accessing and projecting videos on your interactive whiteboard and sharing "Book Notes," biographies, and more. Lure students into independent reading by allowing them to explore the videos and find a book they might enjoy reading. After viewing a program or reading a book, have students share their opinions in a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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How Our Laws Are Made - Mike Wirth

Grades
6 to 12
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Remember "I'm Just a Bill"? This one screen infographic is today's equivalent. The site, which is zoomable, presents a graphic flowchart of how ideas become laws in the United States....more
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Remember "I'm Just a Bill"? This one screen infographic is today's equivalent. The site, which is zoomable, presents a graphic flowchart of how ideas become laws in the United States. A great, high impact, visual aid to understanding the process by which the US government enacts laws.

tag(s): branches of government (50), congress (34)

In the Classroom

Use the graphic as an introduction to a detailed discussion. Share the site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use it to reinforce the process once you've taught the lesson. Encourage students to bookmark it to review or test their understanding. Anyone who teaches civics, government or US history will be able to use this graphic on an interactive whiteboard. For that matter, it should be required viewing for citizens and politicians alike!

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The Learning Network - The New York Times Company

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6 to 12
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This New York Times site addresses many classroom needs. Scroll down the main section to find current event articles, photos, polls, and more. Find lesson plans by category, a student...more
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This New York Times site addresses many classroom needs. Scroll down the main section to find current event articles, photos, polls, and more. Find lesson plans by category, a student opinion section, contests, a daily news quiz, and timely articles connecting current events to thinking questions. Find many opportunities for a quick learning game or to express your opinion. There is even a student crossword. This site is frequently updated and includes a wide variety of subjects.

tag(s): news (263), vocabulary (325), writing prompts (94)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your class web page for students to find challenges or activities. Substitute teachers can always find an appropriate current events or vocabulary/writing activity if there are no lesson plans. English, social studies, and gifted teachers will want to explore the many lesson ideas that draw on current news stories. Find many prompts for student opinion blogs at this site. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Pen.io, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration.

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Speechable - Enluminari

Grades
K to 12
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Add a captivating or informative speech bubble to a picture from your computer or that you find (legally) online. Make the picture private and share with others. The public pictures...more
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Add a captivating or informative speech bubble to a picture from your computer or that you find (legally) online. Make the picture private and share with others. The public pictures on the home page change frequently, so be sure to check this just before SHARING with your students. Some of the captions could be considered offensive to some. . Be sure to make all of your pictures private.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (68), firstday (25), images (272)

In the Classroom

The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. Caption the homework directions on your teacher web page. Ask your students to create captions for class photos for all sorts of reasons. Use photos or digital drawings from your classroom, such as pictures taken during any hands-on activity. Have students draw in a paint program, save the file, and then add a caption. Spice up research projects about historic figures or important scientists. Have literary characters "talk" as part of a project. In a government class, add captions to photos explaining politicians' major platform planks during election campaigns. Caption the steps to math problem solving. Even primary students can make captions of an animal talking about his habitat or a "community helper" talking about his/her role. Make visual vocabulary/terminology sentences with an appropriate character using the term in context (a beaker explaining how it is different from a flask?). Students could also take pictures of themselves doing a lab and then caption the pictures to explain the concepts. This would be a great first day project (introducing yourself and breaking the ice). Share the class captions on your class web page or wiki! Leave directions to your class (for when a substitute is there). Use at back to school night to show your humorous side to the parents. Have students make talking photos of themselves as a visual tour of their new classroom for parents attending back to school night.

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Chartle - Dieter Krachtus

Grades
6 to 12
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Create various types of graphs and charts - easily! Input data quickly, and explore multiple ways to show the data using the various types of graphs available. Easily see the ...more
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Create various types of graphs and charts - easily! Input data quickly, and explore multiple ways to show the data using the various types of graphs available. Easily see the relationships between the data as you play with the graphic. Note: Take (and save) a screen shot of your chart as not all charts have been saved correctly. Once a chart has been published, it can no longer be edited. There is a short video tutorial on the homepage explaining how to use this site. This site uses Java.

tag(s): charts and graphs (192)

In the Classroom

You will want to play with this tool before using it in class. Use anywhere numerical data is collected and is best shown in a chart. Collect data in a science, survey, or math class and display it using different graphs to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using each graph type. Use for quick creation and sharing of created graphs. Create charts together easily on an interactive whiteboard when introducing the different types. Have students operate the board while others offer instructions on what to do next. Use graphs to portray different sets of data about a topic in a new and unique way. Use this tool to create graphs and charts for presentations and reports. Make quick charts students can share with others such as "How I spend my time" and "Places I have visited." During political campaign seasons, create charts to better visualize what the pollsters are saying.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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John F. Kennedy Presidential Library - JFK Library

Grades
7 to 12
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Recently, a large archive of material has been released by the JFK Library focused on the life of John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline. This site provides contextual information...more
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Recently, a large archive of material has been released by the JFK Library focused on the life of John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline. This site provides contextual information about these newly released records, as well as transcripts of oral history interviews. For example, you can now download previously secret audio recordings that were made during White House meetings, transcripts of oral history interviews with Jacqueline Kennedy, and a rich archive of other materials related to the Kennedy Presidency. This newly released material gives us insight into Kennedy's brief time as President, including his involvement in the Cuban Missile Crisis, his attitudes toward the Cold War relationship with the USSR and the build up of US troops in Vietnam. There are teacher resources and lesson plans that make use of the available archival material.

tag(s): history day (24), kennedy (27), presidents (131), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

All of these topics are of interest to students doing research into 20th century US and international history, and might be particularly useful to students working on in depth projects for National History Day. After researching a specific topic, have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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TES Teaching Resources - TSL Education

Grades
K to 12
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This amazing site contains thousands of lesson plans and activities for students of all ages (ages 3-16+). Simple registration is required with an email address and password. Choose...more
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This amazing site contains thousands of lesson plans and activities for students of all ages (ages 3-16+). Simple registration is required with an email address and password. Choose a grade range to search for activities. Note that terminology for lessons is from the UK, so you may need to "translate" for U.S. curriculum topics and spelling. Choose subjects then further categorized into topics. Many links include complete lessons plans with items such as PowerPoint lessons, videos, quizzes, worksheets, and much more. Other options on the site allows you to save items as favorites, follow other users, save searches, and upload materials. Another offering is the "Whole School" category that includes resources for school needs such as behavior and assemblies.

tag(s): bullying (51), business (58), creativity (121), preK (292), psychology (66), religions (68), sociology (22), teaching strategies (24)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite to use as a resource when searching for lesson plans and classroom activities. Why reinvent the wheel? Take advantage of these ready to go resources!
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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New Math - Craig Damrauer

Grades
6 to 12
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Take a different look at math (and many other topics) through intriguing word equations! View a series of slides with many different equations such as secret = whisper - whisper ...more
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Take a different look at math (and many other topics) through intriguing word equations! View a series of slides with many different equations such as secret = whisper - whisper again, unicycle = bicycle + oddness, among many others. Some of the concepts relate to life, government, and current events, not "math." Slides can be viewed in several different ways: choose random to view a random slide from the selections, or change the view to scrolling to go down the catalog of slides offered. Each slide contains a link so you can share it in through Facebook, Twitter, email, and more. The SHARE button is on the bottom left side of the screen.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creativity (121), logic (236), puzzles (203), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Display a new slide on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) weekly as a conversation-starter in a math class, social studies class, or gifted classroom. Ask students to explain what the equation might mean. Challenge students to create their own new math word equations and share them using a talking avatar using a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced). Use a site such as Blabberize (reviewed here). Much of the vocabulary used with the equations is very advanced. Use this in English class for vocabulary development. Then challenge students to create some of their own "equations" with other new vocabulary words.

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Game Up: Brain Pop Games - Game Up Brainpop games

Grades
K to 12
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This new "freebie" from Brainpop goes beyond the usual videos and quizzes. It includes several engaging interactives, some created by Brainpop and others linked to outside sources....more
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This new "freebie" from Brainpop goes beyond the usual videos and quizzes. It includes several engaging interactives, some created by Brainpop and others linked to outside sources. Game Up, a free area of Brain Pop, is a collection of free online games that are linked to Common Core and State Standards. Science, math, social studies, and health activities provide challenge for every learner. This free gem also includes activities for grades K-3 and ESL/ELL students. Some of the topics (at the time of this review) included: Drake Equation, Court Quest, Cell Command, Blood Typing, Make Me Sick, The Diabetic Dog Game, and Food Fight.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): branches of government (50), cells (104), debate (43), diseases (71), fractions (228), game based learning (119), logic (236), matter (59), myplate (26), nutrition (154), oceans (156), planets (126), plants (156), puzzles (203), solar system (119), supreme court (24)

In the Classroom

Use Game Up to introduce, illustrate, review, or assess concepts. Share the activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector for students to operate as a class activity. Use one of the activities as a learning center. Be sure to put this as a link on your website to allow students a great way to reinforce learning both in and out of your class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Running for Office--Cartoons of Clifford K. Berryman - The National Archives

Grades
7 to 12
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Each Presidential election cycle brings with it a new crop of political cartoons and caricatures of politicians. Clifford K. Berryman drew political cartoons at the turn of the 20th...more
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Each Presidential election cycle brings with it a new crop of political cartoons and caricatures of politicians. Clifford K. Berryman drew political cartoons at the turn of the 20th century and US Presidents from Grover Cleveland to Harry Truman. This site profiles both the cartoons themselves, and the issues and personalities behind the cartoons. Visually attractive, the site also permits downloading cartoons so they can be printed and studied.

As an important primary source, political cartoons provide an important insight into the issues and controversies of their time period. More than simply who did what, and what happened where, these drawings show us the emotions and conflict involved in the ugly and messy business of politics.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (68), elections (78), politics (99), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Students can gain insight into the events of the first half of the 20th century as well as draw parallels between the issues of that time and today. How are Presidential campaigns different and how are they similar? Challenge students to create their own political comics using one of TeachersFirst's many comic/cartoon tools reviewed here.

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Payscale Cost of Living Calculator - Payscale, Inc.

Grades
7 to 12
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Try this excellent tool when teaching budgeting, comparing salaries and cost of living in different areas, and money management. Enter two locations and a salary and occupation. Graphs...more
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Try this excellent tool when teaching budgeting, comparing salaries and cost of living in different areas, and money management. Enter two locations and a salary and occupation. Graphs show the difference between cost of groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, and health care in the two places. A comparison shows how much salary you would need to maintain the present standard of living in the other location. You can also compare the cost of living to other major cities.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): careers (140), money (182)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to determine how far a dollar goes in various locations. Allow students the opportunity to play with a standard salary and occupation to look at the differences in costs of living. Report on trends for cities in different areas of the country. Create a list locally of the various items that would be found in each category and the salary for that occupation where you live. Create a budget that allows for savings and vacation or large purchases. Use the data for practice with graphing and creating infographics. In government classes, use this tool and census data to make hypotheses or draw conclusions about patterns of population movement and economic trends in various areas of the country, especially in connection with political trends and election data.

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Mapping the 2010 U.S. Census - The New York Times

Grades
4 to 12
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This interactive map project shows the population growth and decline, changes in racial and ethnic concentrations, and patterns of housing development in the U.S., based on information...more
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This interactive map project shows the population growth and decline, changes in racial and ethnic concentrations, and patterns of housing development in the U.S., based on information from the Census Bureau's 2010 survey. The map is zoomable so that you can view neighborhoods delineated by specific streets or zip codes.

tag(s): census (19), maps (292), population (63)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Encourage your students to use this tool for projects and organization including making assumptions about neighborhood breakdowns, relationship to poverty levels, effects of industrialization and assumptions about why certain areas had an increase or decrease in population.
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Digg.com - Digg Inc.

Grades
7 to 12
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Digg is a social news network similar in some qualities to Facebook and other such social media. You can post stories you find interesting and browse "Top Stories" which are ...more
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Digg is a social news network similar in some qualities to Facebook and other such social media. You can post stories you find interesting and browse "Top Stories" which are more or less the most popular stories shared by others on the Internet. It is meant to share a snapshot of the most interesting, relevant, quirky, and fun content on the web! Once you sign up, you can start to Digg your own favorites. This site also features "Digg Dialogg" where members submit questions to notable leaders and community members decide on which questions will be asked and interviews are shared on the site. Be sure to preview items that you wish to share. Noted were a few "violent" warnings at the time of this review, but the other 99% of the shared items were excellent for use in the classroom.

tag(s): debate (43), news (263), social networking (113)

In the Classroom

Try using Digg as a warm up Internet activity in the beginning of the school year by having older students sign up for their own account. Have them scan and read as part of current events teaching. The articles can be controversial which provides a great place to start debates. Are you beginning to integrate technology into your classroom? Use a tool such as WeJIT, reviewed here, or if you are a more experienced technology user try ProConIt, reviewed here, to formalize a debate topic. Digg also provides an excellent resource for research. Have students make a multimedia presentation using Genial.ly, reviewed here. Genial.ly allows you to add polls, videos, embeds, web links, PowerPoint, PDFs, and you can create a variety of formats like interactive posters, images, infographics, charts, presentations, and more.
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Show(R) USA - SHOW(R)

Grades
6 to 12
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See a new way to look at the USA (or the World, or Japan). This site resizes countries on the map in relation to various issues: population, resources, employment, religion, ...more
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See a new way to look at the USA (or the World, or Japan). This site resizes countries on the map in relation to various issues: population, resources, employment, religion, death, business, the environment, and more. Each main topic also has numerous sub-topics to explore. Maps adjust to correspond to data. For example, click on "unemployed" on the U.S. map and you see the states in proportion to the number of unemployed workers. Mouse over the state and you can see the percentage of unemployed workers. A list on the right ranks states from 1 to 50 for the percentage of unemployed (or other specified topic). New maps/topics are constantly being added, and you can make suggestions as to what types of maps you would like to see.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): agriculture (58), elections (78), energy (203), environment (322), infographics (47), maps (292), politics (99), population (63), religions (68), resources (109), sports (98)

In the Classroom

When studying a specific topic in class (unemployment, AIDS, drunk driving, religion, energy resources, crops, etc.), share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Ask students why certain state or countries might differ from others. Are there issues that appear to be related, such as alcoholism and unemployment? Is it cause/effect or simply a coincidence? During election years, explore political leanings/polls and other statistics from this site. Have cooperative learning groups explore a specific topic (or state) and possible reasons for the data. To show what they have learned from this site, challenge groups to create an online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Remember that you can always take screenshots of a map using PrtScrn key in Windows (then paste it where you want it) or using Command+Shift+4 on a Mac to save the image on your computer. Use the screenshots in explanations and presentations.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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IndyKids - IndyKids

Grades
3 to 8
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IndyKids is an online newspaper for kids. This online version is the same as the printable version that produces 10,000 copies of each issue, reaching kids in 36 states of ...more
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IndyKids is an online newspaper for kids. This online version is the same as the printable version that produces 10,000 copies of each issue, reaching kids in 36 states of the US. Articles are written by both kids and adults, featuring topics related to current events and topics of interest to kids. Articles written by kids are noted as such and include the writer's age. At the time of this review, some of the "kid written articles" included Growing Poverty: Hard to Ignore At Home, Wasps: Do I Know You, and several others. Be sure to check out the category search on the lower right-hand portion of the site with topics such as: Kids Around the World, Culture and Activism, Education, and much more. Newspapers are archived in PDF format for easy printing and dated back several years.

tag(s): creative writing (168), expository writing (43), journalism (55), persuasive writing (55), writing (365)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students and have students choose an article to read, summarize, or expand upon. After reading articles on the site, have students choose a current topic that interests them and have them write an article as practice of informational writing. In science or social studies, study the newspaper format as students write articles reporting on scientific discoveries or famous people. Use the format of this newsletter as a resource for creating and publishing your own classroom newsletter online. During newspapers in education month, use this site to findaccessible articles for any age. Create a newspaper using a site such as Zinepal (reviewed here). Click to "Start with a blank e-Book."
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Infographics archive - Infographics Archive

Grades
7 to 12
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Find fascinating Infographics on a variety of topics: Technology, Environment, Business, Food Facts, Politics, Health Safety, and even Interesting Facts. What are Infographics? A graphic...more
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Find fascinating Infographics on a variety of topics: Technology, Environment, Business, Food Facts, Politics, Health Safety, and even Interesting Facts. What are Infographics? A graphic visual representation of information, data, or knowledge.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): charts and graphs (192), data (150), graphic design (35), infographics (47)

In the Classroom

Use as an introduction to a lesson or unit. Use Think-Pair-Share to list and share information provided by the graphic. Develop questions to be answered to understand the information or questions that they just wonder. Allow students or groups of students to choose an Infographic that interests them and report on the information given. Consider assigning the creation of an Infographic as an assignment to understand content and connect it with the real world, such as showing the many ways electricity is used in the world or the impact of slavery on an economy. Or have them explain an experiment and report the results with graphical information to provide meaning. Since infographics are often key to understanding an article, reading teachers will appreciate this large collection to use in teaching/practicing how to interpret informational graphics within a text. Share one each day for students to practice telling you the "main idea" of the graphic.

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Docs Teach - The National Archives

Grades
6 to 12
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Explore collections of primary documents from US History enhanced with tools for teaching. This site adds the ability to manipulate primary documents to build informative and challenging...more
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Explore collections of primary documents from US History enhanced with tools for teaching. This site adds the ability to manipulate primary documents to build informative and challenging lessons. While a few of the documents and lessons are available for the casual visitor to the site, you need to register (and it's free!) in order to make full use of the amazing resources here. Once you have registered, you can access all the documents and use the activity builder to create lessons which use primary documents to teach sequencing, mapping, weighing evidence, interpreting data, and seeing the big picture. Please note that you do not HAVE to create anything, you can simply use what is already here. (And they do already have a lot to offer.) You will need to create a project if you want to package an activity that you can use now and again later.

tag(s): american revolution (89), civil war (143), digital storytelling (154), great depression (27), industrial revolution (25), primary sources (93), westward expansion (29), world war 1 (54), world war 2 (144)

In the Classroom

If you teach history or social studies, you know what a great emphasis is being placed on the use of primary documents in helping students develop an awareness of the perspectives of those who lived during a particular era. Use this site to develop sophisticated lessons using primary documents on US History with the activity builder. Use the ready-made activities (the majority of which are available once you've registered), on an interactive whiteboard or projector for the whole class or assign groups of students to work independently at a computer workstation or at home. These activities encourage higher order thinking among students rather than simply the memorization of facts.

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IBM: The Smarter City - IBM

Grades
6 to 12
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IBM asks us to imagine what a "smarter" city would be like, looking at various aspects of city life: education, business, transportation, energy, public safety and so on. The site ...more
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IBM asks us to imagine what a "smarter" city would be like, looking at various aspects of city life: education, business, transportation, energy, public safety and so on. The site is interactive and graphically interesting and attractive. There is an introductory video, and each of the aspects examined has links to subcategories to explore.

tag(s): cities (26), computers (99), energy (203), transportation (41)

In the Classroom

Students love to imagine what the future might be like. This site can help frame some of the questions that can start the discussion. What might schools be like in the future? How can technology help make cities "smarter"? How can transportation problems be solved using computers? The site is perfect for use on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) and could be helpful in a civics/government discussion on the allocation of resources, or on a unit on consumer awareness. The site would also be perfect for a discovery unit in a pull out program for gifted students. Another plus? Each of the individual sections can be downloaded so bandwidth issues won't disrupt the flow of your presentation.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Social Studies Foldables - Susie Orr

Grades
4 to 8
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Find downloadable pdfs and templates to support US History social studies curriculum. An extensive list of offerings includes items from maps to events to documents etc. The site also...more
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Find downloadable pdfs and templates to support US History social studies curriculum. An extensive list of offerings includes items from maps to events to documents etc. The site also includes limited suggestions on how to use the offerings. There are also links to other maps at this carefully documented site. Scroll down to see the letter from the person who created the originals, as the "Read Me First" note suggests.

tag(s): abolition (7), american revolution (89), bill of rights (29), black history (60), colonial america (108), declaration of independence (13), history day (24), inventors and inventions (94), louisiana purchase (7), maps (292), native americans (78), politics (99), presidents (131), slavery (71), states (165), washington (35)

In the Classroom

Even if you do not have time to explore all the offerings, check the list of activities often to enrich your background information on U.S. historical events and people and your lessons. Search for templates or maps that are useful to what you are currently studying.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Big Think - Big Think

Grades
7 to 12
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News and information from top thinkers and doers around the world, screened so that it is condensed to that which is significant, relevant, and applicable, that is Big Think. This ...more
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News and information from top thinkers and doers around the world, screened so that it is condensed to that which is significant, relevant, and applicable, that is Big Think. This website is a phenomenal source for information and news. The philosophy of Big Think is that as we "move to the knowledge era" that you will be able to better function if you know more and understand what you know. This website was awarded one of TIME magazine's best websites of 2011 for news and information. Please screen any articles that you wish to share BEFORE sharing with your students. Some content is NOT appropriate for the classroom. This is not a site you want to send students off to explore on their own.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): brain (72), business (58), cross cultural understanding (122), environment (322), news (263), politics (99), psychology (66)

In the Classroom

Choose a story that relates to your topic that you are teaching such as science or even music with a story such as "How Music is Good for Your Brain." Share the story with your students. Discuss the writings, and then use it as a platform on how students should approach the things that they are learning in class. This way they develop critical thinking skills and extract the most important information and leave the accessory facts to the side. Assign specific articles to cooperative learning groups to read and explore together. Then have students create a multimedia project to share with the class using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
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