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Coal Cares Site a Brilliant Hoax - Fast Company

Grades
6 to 12
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This blog post calls our attention to a hoax site called "Coal Cares" which, on first sight, appears to be an educational outreach site maintained by a coal company. Coal ...more
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This blog post calls our attention to a hoax site called "Coal Cares" which, on first sight, appears to be an educational outreach site maintained by a coal company. Coal Cares is actually a parody site poking fun at Big Business and its attempts to put a positive spin on the dangerous side effects of its products.

tag(s): consumers (21), energy (198), environment (317), propaganda (12)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an example of how important it is to question what we find on the internet. Who is the author? What is the author's perspective? How believable is the information on the site? Is it influenced by a particular point of view? Help students question the information they find online and become good information consumers.

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Coal Cares - Coal Cares

Grades
6 to 12
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As teachers, we often look for ways to help students sift through the enormous amount of information on the Internet, and to help them discriminate among those that are reliable ...more
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As teachers, we often look for ways to help students sift through the enormous amount of information on the Internet, and to help them discriminate among those that are reliable and those that are not. The site "Coal Cares" might be a wonderful tool to use in this effort. First, coalcares.org is a spoof, a site purposely written to deceive. Although it looks perfectly legitimate on the surface--professionally created, and full of "facts"--a close reading of it soon reveals that it is designed to make fun of sites which try to put a positive spin on a negative issue.

tag(s): consumers (21), energy (198), environment (317), propaganda (12)

In the Classroom

Consider using this site to teach students to read carefully and evaluate the claims made on websites. You might divide the class into teams and have each group examine one of the page links from the site. One link provides paper and pencil games for kids. What can they find in these games that is ironic or reveals that the site is a spoof? (Hint: look for words in the word search that are not listed in the word bank!). Another link offers free inhalers for kids. Where do the links lead? Do students find anything strange about "baby's first inhaler"?

After students have dissected the site and discovered all the misleading statements and "propaganda," encourage them to read the blog post at Coal Cares Site a Brilliant Hoax, reviewed here, for more information about the hoax, and how it was devised. Then, discuss the implications of this example. How can it make them better internet consumers? Challenge groups to create multimedia projects sharing their finding. Have students use 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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World Sites Atlas - sitesatlas.com

Grades
3 to 12
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Look up countries, continents, animals and other features to make the world come alive using this interactive site. One of the easiest ways to find maps available is to choose ...more
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Look up countries, continents, animals and other features to make the world come alive using this interactive site. One of the easiest ways to find maps available is to choose the map link near the top of the site to get a listing of all maps available. You can also scroll down and search by state. Selections include physical and political world maps, maps by continent or region, countries and territories, U.S. states and Canadian provinces, maps of U.S. cities, and thematic world maps. Next to each map is a search or dropdown box allowing you to focus in on particular areas with ease. The thematic world map may be particularly useful in some classrooms as it offers interesting statistical information such as public debt, internet users, and many more topics.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): continents (50), countries (77), maps (288), states (163), statistics (122)

In the Classroom

Share this site with your students on your interactive whiteboard or projector, and then allow them to explore on their own on classroom computers. Create a scavenger hunt for students to find information included on maps located on the site. Have students find interesting facts, then prepare a scavenger hunt for other students.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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SlateBox - SlateBox

Grades
4 to 12
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Use this free site for mind mapping (concept maps) and collaboration. Sign up is easy by using existing Google/OpenID/Facebook logins or creating a new login. Review the simple tutorial...more
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Use this free site for mind mapping (concept maps) and collaboration. Sign up is easy by using existing Google/OpenID/Facebook logins or creating a new login. Review the simple tutorial after sign up for the basics. The FREE account is only for ONE user. So if you plan to have students use the site, you will have to have each student register individually, or each group create an individual account. Note that free accounts make all your "slates" public for others to collaborate/change.

View the video for a quick introduction on copying, moving, and linking boxes. Use the template panel to drop nodes needed for your new slate into the drop panel. Hovering over the box shows tools for editing text, creating links to other boxes (click and hold on the icon while dragging to another box.) Control the colors, borders, template, etc. in the right navigation pane. Export your slate to a pdf document or create an embed code to place into a wiki or blog.

tag(s): concept mapping (22), mind map (25)

In the Classroom

Create a template mindmap and add collaborator leaders (perhaps one in each group) who can --in turn-- add the rest of the group to collaborate. Assign portions of a template to a group of students. Groups can collaborate on paper or your whiteboard and then choose the best ideas for the slate being created. You can also use Slatebox with a whole-class account. Show SlateBox creations using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Edit or change elements easily with class input. Use for mapping content being studied in the current unit, problem solving, vocabulary, and more. Use this site to help students interact with and organize ideas. Construct points of a short story, identify main points of passages, or generate a map of the basic points of paragraph development. Wrap up a lesson by having the students create a "diagram of the day" (the main points of the lesson). Students can use this site to map ideas in passages of a textbook. If each student or group maps a specific passage, ideas from chapters can be seen visually. Be sure to include the links to student-created "diagrams" on a class wiki or web page so students can use them for review. If your students have Internet access outside of class, assign them to create a simple diagram of an assigned reading as homework and embed it into a wiki or blog.

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Homework hotline - homeworkhotline.org

Grades
3 to 12
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Have a student stumped by homework? Find exercises and extra help in various subject areas in this kid friendly site. Navigate through the various resources and friendly graphics to...more
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Have a student stumped by homework? Find exercises and extra help in various subject areas in this kid friendly site. Navigate through the various resources and friendly graphics to areas of the site such as "Sweet Stuff" which features neat interactives, "Needed Knowledge" with great tips, "Book review" to view video book reviews, and "Getting Historical." Watch informative (don't confuse with boring) videos of various math problems whether it be basic math, solving word problems, or even geometry. Find videos for other subjects such as science, language arts, social studies, health, and art. Review information in various subjects by trying age-appropriate interactives. This site also boasts "Dial A Teacher." Students can use a toll-free number to speak with a real teacher Monday through Thursday between the hours of 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. EST.

tag(s): homework (44), tutorials (47)

In the Classroom

Visit the "Boring Stuff' link for parents and teachers to find a PDF of 10 Ways to Use the Homework Helper Site in Your Classroom. Find segment guides, scripts, and book reviews beneficial for in class or use by students outside of class. Share this link at Back to School Night and put the link directly on your class website. Encourage middle schoolers to build independent work habits using this site.

Consider creating helpful information, videos, and tutorials of information students need answers to and creating your own help site as a school. Use students to create book reviews, math tutorials, etc. Use a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here to share the videos.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Take Part - Take part,LLC

Grades
4 to 12
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Are your students frustrated with issues and problems of today? Wish to create a more enlightened and responsible generation? Use the resources at Take Part to bring issues and possibilities...more
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Are your students frustrated with issues and problems of today? Wish to create a more enlightened and responsible generation? Use the resources at Take Part to bring issues and possibilities to light. Search issues by category, read news stories, find actions and communities, and even create communities and actions. Read the must read of the week and view important facts and ideas. View video clips, read articles, and more. Join the community though this is not necessary to use the resources.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): environment (317), movies (64), news (261), newspapers (94), problem solving (272), sexuality (14)

In the Classroom

Non-fiction reading and background knowledge have found a new emphasis with The Common Core State Standards. It is more important now than ever to help connect students with quality non-fiction reading material and viewing material. Find great resources, actions, and possibilities for many of the best documentaries students can view such as "Inconvenient Truth" and "Food, Inc." Be sure to check out the lesson plans available at this site.
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5min Life Videopedia - 5 Min Media, Ltd.

Grades
7 to 12
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Need to be in the know -- now? 5min Life Videopedia gives you five minute stories about current news in a range of areas including arts, business, health, video games ...more
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Need to be in the know -- now? 5min Life Videopedia gives you five minute stories about current news in a range of areas including arts, business, health, video games and much more! The how-to videos are great too! The main page features current news highlights. You can join this site, but it is not necessary to view the videos. Please be advised that not all topics are class or school appropriate. The "Knowledge" section has many school-related topics, but there are also useful How-tos in other areas. Preview and select what to share. Videos include short ads at the start. Once the ad is over, you can click the small link icon to find a direct link or embed code for that video.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): business (58), dance (28), fashion (10), fitness (49), news (261), nutrition (154), origami (17), photography (160), video (253)

In the Classroom

This resource would be fantastic as a lesson or as a class opener to get students thinking about a particular topic. It also would be helpful for relating classroom topics and content to real life events. Filter the appropriate videos for your students by embedding them in a on your own website or wiki so that students are not distracted. With older students, you can have them use this as a resource to embed video clips or links in presentations and projects for their own classes. Try sharing one of the How To videos with your students in science class, and then have them make their own how to five minute video to demonstrate a lab. Share the videos using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here.

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Study Blue - StudyBlue

Grades
K to 12
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This site lets you keep study notes with you anywhere you go! Create flashcards and study even on your mobile phone. Share notes, flashcards, study guides, and quizzes with others ...more
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This site lets you keep study notes with you anywhere you go! Create flashcards and study even on your mobile phone. Share notes, flashcards, study guides, and quizzes with others for excellent collaboration. Study Blue also provides hints to help students study. Create a folder in "My Backpack." Make flashcards to get started or search flashcards already created by others.

tag(s): flash cards (46)

In the Classroom

Use as a study aid for students. This is a great tool for older students (who own cell phones). Students can study their flashcards on the bus, in the backseat of the family car, or while waiting for their dentist appointment! Have students create individual accounts and collaborate with others or create a class account for all to use. Have groups collaborate on the creation of flashcards for students to use or have groups create flashcards for specific parts of the unit. Learning support students can take their extra help along with them.

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Google Archive News Search - Google

Grades
3 to 12
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This interesting site (created by Google), provides an easy way to search and explore historical archives. In addition, the search can also create timelines from relevant time periods...more
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This interesting site (created by Google), provides an easy way to search and explore historical archives. In addition, the search can also create timelines from relevant time periods by using the advance search table that pops up on the landing page.

tag(s): journalism (46), primary sources (86), search engines (65), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

This site will complement any social studies, history class, or English class. Use the search to bring history alive for students. Show actual news articles on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students use this tool for research. Have them use the advanced search table that pops up to find events that happened during a particular time period. English teachers will also find this a useful tool to show how journalism has evolved through the years.
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Global SchoolNet - Global School Net

Grades
4 to 12
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Find ways to include your class in online, project based learning. This site offers living curriculum in a world laboratory that promotes lifelong learning. A series of different programs,...more
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Find ways to include your class in online, project based learning. This site offers living curriculum in a world laboratory that promotes lifelong learning. A series of different programs, including International school Cyber Fair, Doors to Diplomacy, Mosaics of Life, Geogame, Online Expedition, and Letters to Santa all encourage global technology. Global SchoolNet engages youth in project based, online learning activities to promote creativity and communication, while increasing global understanding. A Projects Registry and Collaborative Learning Center contains great ideas for projects. Webby award winner Global SchoolNet has been a top ten educational website for five years in a row. This is a great resource for busy teachers!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), service projects (25)

In the Classroom

Go global with your class this year! Set your technology goals to include many of the different global project based learning sites in a condensed easy to find manner. Link your class to other classes around the world. Join in online expeditions, competitions for your students, or even an online teacher award. Join in the Newsday Project and have your students publish articles for the world to see. Several International resources provide lesson plans for teachers for problem based technology projects. Information for different competitions bring your class into the cutting edge of global technology problem based learning. Join the list serve to keep updated with the latest happening in global education.

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Vodburner - Netralia Pty Ltd

Grades
K to 12
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Use Vodburner to record Skype calls for later viewing and use. Save your high quality video and audio Skype calls easily. Download the Vodburner software...more
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Use Vodburner to record Skype calls for later viewing and use. Save your high quality video and audio Skype calls easily. Download the Vodburner software (an email must be entered to begin the download) and install the plugin on Windows machines only. Whenever you make a Skype call, Vodburner automatically records both sides of the conversation (both users must have Vodburner installed.) Choose recording of either side or both sides of the conversation. Note: It is recommended that you inform the other party that recording will be taking place as notification is not given through Skype. Use this service for free for 30 days. After 30 days it is still free, but a watermark with the Vodburner logo will appear in all recordings. Purchase the paid version to avoid the watermark. Use the built-in editor to edit recorded videos before finalizing. Find a FAQ section as well as great information for "Getting Started." Having troubles with the program? Be sure to check out the "Troubleshooting" section.

tag(s): chat (51), skype (12), video (253)

In the Classroom

Users will need the to download/install Skype (free) and create an account. Follow the simple instructions for using and recording. Be sure to check out all the help tabs found on the Vodburner site.

As noted above, it is a good idea to let those you are Skyping with know that you are recording calls with Vodburner. Be sure to discuss appropriate use of this resource and consequences for inappropriate use before using with students.

Use for any subject matter to record Skype calls with others for later review and discussion. Using Vodburner would be a great addition to Skype calls to professionals, enhancing content in your classroom. For specific ideas on using Skype, check out the Skype In the Classroom section.

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YouTube Play: Live from the Guggenheim - Youtube Play

Grades
5 to 12
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Join YouTube and the Guggenheim Museum in recognizing a biennial review of the best online videos from around the world. As a form of modern and contemporary art, celebrate free ...more
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Join YouTube and the Guggenheim Museum in recognizing a biennial review of the best online videos from around the world. As a form of modern and contemporary art, celebrate free access every day for your virtual field trip from a Webby award winning nominee site for 2011. A panel of 20-25 experts chooses from a selection of over 23,000 videos submitted. Explore art, music, movement, poetry, and prose on this creative video site. The option of subscribing to recent uploads is available at no charge. Click "continue" to see thumbnails of all available winners. Not all comments posted are appropriate and videos should be previewed before viewing in the classroom setting.

tag(s): computers (95), video (253)

In the Classroom

Capture your students' interest in the modern world of technology. Share this video on your interactive whiteboard or projector (be sure to use full screen mode). YouTube Play can be used in a variety of classroom settings; art, music, technology, language art, drama, science, or political science. If your district blocks YouTube, then this site may not be viewable. You could always view selected 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.

In the art classroom, explore the emerging world of creative video. Determine elements of design, technology, photography, and movement. Discover the integration of music, sound, and movement in video in many creative ways. Use the site to demonstrate how to convey a message through creative animation. Express a creative editorial on a current events or important issues that challenge our world such as over-population, fossil fuels, or pollution. Have students create innovative political campaign videos. Take your technology classes to a new level of excellence. Add a visual component to poems, prose, or narratives as an additional interpretation device. Introduce storyboarding techniques to create videos. Have your students make their own videos and share them via TeacherTube, reviewed here.
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Listen a Minute - Sean Banville

Grades
5 to 12
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Find one minute listening exercises on such common activities as babysitting, chickens, and exercise. The listening selections are alphabetized with several selections for each letter...more
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Find one minute listening exercises on such common activities as babysitting, chickens, and exercise. The listening selections are alphabetized with several selections for each letter of the alphabet. Each listening selection has a multitude of activities you can download (along with the reading text) in Word and pdf formats. Find Cloze paragraphs, fill in the blanks, words to unscramble, and much more. Many activities can also be viewed online. Each selection has two interactive quizzes. Though targeted for the ESL/ELL student, listening is one of the language arts standards, and this is a good way for any classroom teacher to address listening skills.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): dance (28), listening (91), reading comprehension (116), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Use the selections and activities with individual students as an assignment or independent practice on your classroom computer. The reading and activities are easy to work on independently because of the listening feature. Don't forget to provide headsets. Small groups of students can listen at one of several literacy stations in your classroom. Provide this link for the families of ESL/ELL students to read (or listen) to the selections together. Learning support teachers will also appreciate the option to provide audio and text together to improve student comprehension.
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CIS: Kids' Zone - Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth

Grades
2 to 8
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Learn all about the Commonwealth of Massachusetts including it's historic beginnings, fun facts, and the state government at this website just for kids. The site is divided into eight...more
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Learn all about the Commonwealth of Massachusetts including it's historic beginnings, fun facts, and the state government at this website just for kids. The site is divided into eight categories including State House trivia through Reconstruct MA Artifacts. One especially interesting area is The Ladybug Story, the true story of how a second grade class helped to make a new law. Also, be sure to take the Massachusetts history quiz to learn about the early setters of the commonwealth. If you are looking for state facts, there is a section just for this with almost anything you would want to know from symbols all the way through to famous sons and daughters of the state. This information is also available to download as a pdf.

tag(s): american revolution (86), massachusetts (10), states (163)

In the Classroom

Challenge your students to go past PowerPoint and make an online presentation using Animoto (reviewed here) or another reviewed presentation tool from the TeachersFirst Edge. Share the site with students as a resource for state research projects. Use The Ladybug Story with younger students to demonstrate the bill-creation process, then compare with your state's procedures.
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Here on Earth - NPR

Grades
5 to 12
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This NPR site offers the weekly schedule and recorded programs in its "Here on Earth" series, offering cultural news from around the world. The programs are often part of a ...more
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This NPR site offers the weekly schedule and recorded programs in its "Here on Earth" series, offering cultural news from around the world. The programs are often part of a larger series, the archives of which are easily accessible as well. Previews for the five weekly programs, Monday through Friday include enticing photographs. Links on the pages of the programs offer opportunities for more information and links to related programs. Students also have the opportunity to see short, related videos and comment on ongoing programs. Programs cover a wide variety of subjects and fields.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), radio (27), religions (61)

In the Classroom

Teachers may want to preview the upcoming programs for each week to connect their ELL/ESL students with the programs that concern their part of the world. Students could do an introduction to their countries before the class listens to an appropriate program. Ask your students to visit the site, listen, research, and create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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ArtsEdge - Kennedy Center

Grades
K to 12
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This site, created by the Kennedy Center offers a wealth of interactive lesson plans for grades K-12 dealing with a variety of topics, all with an "arts" spin. Search by ...more
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This site, created by the Kennedy Center offers a wealth of interactive lesson plans for grades K-12 dealing with a variety of topics, all with an "arts" spin. Search by subject, keyword, or grade level (K-4, 5-8, or 9-12). Some examples of topics include Native Americans, Civil War, Shakespeare, myths, melodrama, adjectives, baseball, and countless others! There are many interactive lessons: some with video, audio, or slideshows. The lessons provide an estimate of time required and complete, step-by-step instructions. There are printables included with some of the lessons.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): african american (113), baseball (36), civil war (145), comics and cartoons (74), dance (28), folktales (65), greece (26), habitats (84), immigration (58), literature (275), mexico (34), musical instruments (48), myths and legends (25), native americans (78), painting (66), surrealism (4)

In the Classroom

Search this site for a topic that you are teaching in your class. Share the lesson on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Better yet, make the video or slideshow a learning station for students to do themselves in small groups.
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Democracy Kids - Center on Congress

Grades
2 to 8
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This site provides introductory information for both young and middle school-aged students about some facets of democracy and our legislators. The main topics addressed include the...more
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This site provides introductory information for both young and middle school-aged students about some facets of democracy and our legislators. The main topics addressed include the idea of democracy, who the legislators are, how to be a responsible citizen and how compromise affects the passing of our laws. Students can select any of the topics and read about them and, in some cases, see an animated video on the topic. Of special interest to students are the sections that show the daily activities and schedule of the legislators and the animated map of a community that shows the impact of the government in many areas. There are numerous interactives to incorporate into a unit on the United States government.

tag(s): branches of government (48), congress (33), democracy (12)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an introduction to social studies lessons on the Houses of Congress and the judicial and executive branches. Encourage your students to write letters to senators or representatives after learning about their accessibility here. Students can fill out a survey of interest to legislators with their parents here. Assign students specific government officials to research and prepare a multimedia presentation to share with the class. Have students create a Thinglink, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Have students create a simple online posters using PicLits (reviewed here). Rather than a traditional report, challenge students (independently or collaboratively) to create an online book using a site such as Mixbook (reviewed here).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Our Documents - National Archives

Grades
6 to 12
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This site, a collaborative effort among the National Archives, National History Day and USA Freedom Corps, highlights the most important documents in US history. Each of these "milestone"...more
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This site, a collaborative effort among the National Archives, National History Day and USA Freedom Corps, highlights the most important documents in US history. Each of these "milestone" documents is detailed and photographed on a separate page; the photo can be enlarged for presentation on an interactive whiteboard. What is most helpful for teachers, however, is the link to tools for educators: a downloadable sourcebook, suggestions for using the documents to meet specific national social studies, economics, English, arts, civics, history, geography and technology standards, and lesson plans. This site was clearly designed with teachers in mind!

tag(s): history day (23), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

The use of primary sources in teaching has been greatly increased by our digital access to documents like these. Peruse the list of "milestone" documents, and commit to using the photographs on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) when the document comes up in a lesson or discussion. For teachers who are supporting student projects for National History Day, this site also has a link to specific tips, although it appears the site has not been kept up to date with current information on individual competitions. Challenge cooperative learning groups to investigate one of the documents and create a multimedia project of their choice. Looking for some inspiration? How about having groups create a podcast using PodOmatic (reviewed here). Or have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Have students narrate a photo of the document (using a FREE and LEGAL photo) using a site such as Thinglink, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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2000 Census Data On-line - US Government

Grades
K to 12
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This provides the 2000 U.S. census information. There are links to news, data tools, a message from the President (Obama, at the time of this review), employment information, fact sheets,...more
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This provides the 2000 U.S. census information. There are links to news, data tools, a message from the President (Obama, at the time of this review), employment information, fact sheets, and more. General categories include "People & Households," "Business & Industry," "Geography," "Newsroom," and "Special Topics." Each category has several topics. This historical census data is ideal for comparison with other, more recent years or for students to make predictions for an upcoming census based on past trends.

tag(s): census (19), data (148), states (163)

In the Classroom

This data would be great material for a US government or history class. Teachers can find all sorts of demograhic information for use during lessons on the political make-up of the country as well as representative numbers, migration trends, etc. There is a LOT here so be sure to give yourself time to search through it all for what you need. Have students use this site to research specific topics and create multimedia projects with a partner. Have cooperative learning groups create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Challenge groups to create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here).

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Americans and the Environment - National Humanities Center

Grades
4 to 12
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Created by the National Humanities Center, this collection of scholarly essays on Americans' relationship with the environment may be over the heads of most students. BUT teachers and...more
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Created by the National Humanities Center, this collection of scholarly essays on Americans' relationship with the environment may be over the heads of most students. BUT teachers and parents will find the subject matter fits nicely with most American History curricula, and the "guiding discussion" sections provide some new strategies and insights for teaching material that may have become too routine for students. If history (at any level) is your field, this one is worth a visit.

tag(s): conservation (127), ecology (135), environment (317)

In the Classroom

While this site is a little text-heavy, it is truly an excellent site for exploring the way the North American environment has been impacted by recent history. Select the time period that is appropriate to your unit, and introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students explore the rest of the site on classroom computers. To ensure that they're doing more than skimming the text, Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here).

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