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Watergate Revisited - Washington Post

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7 to 12
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The unmasking of "deep throat," the shadowy informant in the Watergate saga, has prompted a new wave of interest in the sandal that changed American government forever. This retrospective...more
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The unmasking of "deep throat," the shadowy informant in the Watergate saga, has prompted a new wave of interest in the sandal that changed American government forever. This retrospective from the Washington Post provides not only a current summary, but a review of the original coverage, from the newspaper that broke the story.

tag(s): 1970s (12), water (130)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Have students explore the site with the intentions of creating a summary of the most important events. Have cooperative learning groups create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Students can write the book from the perspective of Nixon or Deep throat...a great way to introduce the topic in a non-lecture format.

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History Explorer - Smithsonian

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6 to 12
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This multimedia site explores various facets of American history through Lessons, interactives, Themes and more. Visitors can view objects that are part of the Smithsonian collection,...more
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This multimedia site explores various facets of American history through Lessons, interactives, Themes and more. Visitors can view objects that are part of the Smithsonian collection, navigate between historical eras, or filter the information by selected themes (Arts and Culture, Politics and Reform, etc.) Items in the exhibit are linked to National Museum of American History websites that provide more in-depth information.

tag(s): agriculture (55), american revolution (86), famous people (19), japan (61), japanese (42), jazz (15), lincoln (86), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects. There is enough information in "exhibit" details to provide a starting point for students trying to decide what to base a research project on. Recommend the site to students who are having difficulty picking a project subject.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Painless Guide to the Branches of Government: Judicial Branch - United Learning

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5 to 8
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This nineteen minute streaming video focuses on the judicial branch, but also gives a brief historical overview of legislative and executive responsibilities. Includes a nice summarizing...more
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This nineteen minute streaming video focuses on the judicial branch, but also gives a brief historical overview of legislative and executive responsibilities. Includes a nice summarizing review and video quiz. Display full screen for projection in the classroom or use with headphones in the computer lab.

tag(s): courts (15), supreme court (22)

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Kids and Teens Action without Borders - Action Without Borders

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3 to 12
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This site presents thoughtful and inspiring ways for kids to take an active role in improving the community around them. Click on the "Take a Lead" link for practical ways ...more
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This site presents thoughtful and inspiring ways for kids to take an active role in improving the community around them. Click on the "Take a Lead" link for practical ways to turn your ideas into reality. Plenty of real-life examples are provided, but some creative brainstorming in your classroom is a must. Dozens of lesson plans, covering everything from environmental issues to economics and human rights are provided in the "For Teachers" section.

tag(s): civil rights (117)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site in a civics or government course in order to show students how important political awareness and activism can be - and how they can get involved. Dependent on your class, it may not be important to advocate that they join the cause - but more introduce it and let them know that they can. This might be better at the end of a civics course, culminating all the information they have learned thus far and showing a practical application of it.

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Declaration of Independence - National Archives

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7 to 12
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The National Archives has created an intriguing site that reveals some little known information about this historic document. Discover the number of signers who were born in Europe,...more
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The National Archives has created an intriguing site that reveals some little known information about this historic document. Discover the number of signers who were born in Europe, meet the signer who was a musician, and find out who was the youngest at the time of the signing. A special feature allows you to add your own signature to the document. Also includes a time line detailing the creation of the document.

tag(s): american revolution (86), declaration of independence (13), evolution (100)

In the Classroom

Use the "Meet the founding fathers" section as the basis of character roles for a in-class town hall meeting, recreating the events of the constitutional convention. Assign students different roles, i.e. founding fathers, and have them use the biographies of this site to allow them to research who their role was and what their beliefs were for a debate as to whether or not to sign the Declaration of Independence. If students stick to their assigned perspectives, the town-hall meeting can be a great way to review the important reasons for independence and the various perspectives that existed.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Kids in the House - Office of the Clerk, U.S. Capitol

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4 to 8
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This site introduces students to the role of the Clerk of the House of Representatives, and then takes them on an entertaining journey that culminates in an understanding of America's...more
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This site introduces students to the role of the Clerk of the House of Representatives, and then takes them on an entertaining journey that culminates in an understanding of America's legislative system. The structure of Congress and the process by which a bill becomes a law are presented, along with a collection of fun facts, activities and puzzles. Click on "Time Traveler" to discover important people, events, and works of art that have played a role in the history of the House. Students can even take virtual tours of Capitol Hill, the House Chamber, and Statuary Hall. This site requires FLASH player for the site to work.

tag(s): congress (33), house of representatives (9)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities hosted on this site. The plans are all separated by grade level, and range from elementary school to high school. All utilize the site and are great for a government or civics class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Vote: The Machinery of Democracy - Smithsonian

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7 to 12
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Voting methods in the United States are examined in this beautifully designed on-line exhibit created by the Museum of American History. The varied practices within individual states...more
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Voting methods in the United States are examined in this beautifully designed on-line exhibit created by the Museum of American History. The varied practices within individual states are explored as well as the historical evolution of our ballots and voting systems. Use this site to help students understand the Florida 2000 crisis, as well as the role technology and innovation have played in shaping our experiences at the polls. Although this resource was created for the 2000 election, the background information is valuable for teaching about elections in general and for comparing elections as part of U.S. history. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): college (43), elections (75), electoral college (16)

In the Classroom

Use the interactive exhibition portion of this site as a learning center or station during a unit on the US election process. (extra bonus if your class is specifically studying the 2000 election!)Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made Modern America - NY Historical Society

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7 to 12
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He's more than just a pretty face on the $10 bill! Alexander Hamilton's life and influence are examined in this site that presents a timeline of events during and after ...more
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He's more than just a pretty face on the $10 bill! Alexander Hamilton's life and influence are examined in this site that presents a timeline of events during and after his life, highlights from his writings, and a biographical gallery of his peers. Visitors can even test their knowledge of his life and accomplishments with a twenty-question interactive quiz. This is probably more information than your students need to know about Mr. Hamilton, but the site provides a unique approach to understanding some significant events in American history.

tag(s): constitution (79)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a introductory activity for a lesson on the founding fathers. Introduce this site on the interactive whiteboard or projector before allowing students to explore it on their own. We recommend creating a graphic organizer or follow-along for the website to insure students are getting the most out of it. What is great about it is that it provides students with a lot of historical and biographical information about Hamilton. This would be a great resource for a US history or Civics class.

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Core Documents of U.S. Democracy - Government Printing Office

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7 to 12
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Access current and historical U.S. government documents with the click of a mouse. This electronic collection includes the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Gettysburg Address, Emancipation...more
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Access current and historical U.S. government documents with the click of a mouse. This electronic collection includes the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Gettysburg Address, Emancipation Proclamation, as well as Supreme Court decisions, the Budget of the United States Government, and so much more. Selected and authenticated by the Government Printing Office's GPO Access service.

tag(s): american revolution (86)

In the Classroom

Use this as a resource for research projects or papers, particularly those debating a specific court decision or amendment. Useful resource for a US government class!

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U.S. Capitol Virtual Tour - U.S. Senate

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6 to 12
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If taking your students to Washington, D.C., just isn't a possibility, this site is the next best thing to being there. The interactive and user friendly multi-media tour provides panoramic...more
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If taking your students to Washington, D.C., just isn't a possibility, this site is the next best thing to being there. The interactive and user friendly multi-media tour provides panoramic views, fascinating historical information, and interesting details about many of the objects encountered along the way. This is an extensive tour, so a teacher-created map with explicit directions is strongly suggested before students embark on the virtual field trip. This one works best with a high speed connection.

tag(s): house of representatives (9), senate (9)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on the branches and houses of government. Students will be able to connect the visual images with the content, and also gain more insight from the text. To highlight whats more important from the site, have students complete a follow-along guide of questions. For help creating one, we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).

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Presidency in Action - American Presidents - University of Virginia

Grades
6 to 12
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This is a thematic look at the conduct and evolution of the American presidency since the founding of the republic. It examines the executive structures that manage domestic, economic,...more
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This is a thematic look at the conduct and evolution of the American presidency since the founding of the republic. It examines the executive structures that manage domestic, economic, foreign, and legislative activities in more than enough detail for secondary students. Even a quick tour will demonstrate the current complexity of the executive branch.

In the Classroom

This site has a variety of uses within a US government or history classroom. To begin with, teachers can use this site as a resource for research projects; a source for speeches and writings, as well as a learning center during a unit on a particular president or time period. A very useful and flexible source that can easily be worked into your curriculum!

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Constitution for Kids - Constitution Center

Grades
4 to 12
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Philadelphia's new Constitution Center offers a full collection of online information and activities for students. Both format and quality vary, but the Flash activity about the Bill...more
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Philadelphia's new Constitution Center offers a full collection of online information and activities for students. Both format and quality vary, but the Flash activity about the Bill of Rights is a good start. Click elsewhere to learn lots more about the Constitution, how it was created, and what it means today. Requires FLASH.

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

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on the constitution and the creation of the bill of rights. This would be a great tool to use for a review session, and could break up the monotony of a study guide. Very useful for a US history course.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Lesson Plans from the State Department - U.S. State Department

Grades
6 to 12
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The U.S. State Department offers a surprisingly rich collection of lesson plans and related information about American history and foreign policy, past and present. The units on Vietnam...more
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The U.S. State Department offers a surprisingly rich collection of lesson plans and related information about American history and foreign policy, past and present. The units on Vietnam and the Cuban missile crisis look particularly interesting.

tag(s): cultures (105), foreign policy (16)

In the Classroom

There's a wealth of information here; teachers will need to examine it closely to see how it might fit into secondary government or history curricula.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Rulers

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6 to 12
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Deceptively simple and not at all pretty, this site offers a wealth of information on the historical governance of scores of countries. (Where else could you find a chronological list...more
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Deceptively simple and not at all pretty, this site offers a wealth of information on the historical governance of scores of countries. (Where else could you find a chronological list of the prime ministers of Spain?) It doesn't offer complete histories, but secondary students studying the history of other countries may find its synopsis-by-ruler an interesting starting point.

tag(s): countries (76), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite on your class wiki or webpage and refer students to it for reference. It's best use would be to help students compile the executive history of a country and search that way, rather than searching for information on a specific ruler. This would be a great starting point for a student studying monarchy in a particular country such as Britain or Saudi Arabia.

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Project Vote Smart

Grades
6 to 12
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One of the more complete election sites, Vote Smart offers a wide array of campaign information at federal, state, and local levels. There are also backgrounders on the election process,...more
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One of the more complete election sites, Vote Smart offers a wide array of campaign information at federal, state, and local levels. There are also backgrounders on the election process, the Electoral College, and election laws and voting.

tag(s): college (43), elections (75), electoral college (16)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start your study of representative democracy. Select a few choice politicians from your state through the "Issue Positions" section. This activity would work even better if politicians selected were representative of your local area or hometown. Seperate students into groups and have them research the politicians based on certain issues. We recommend using issues such as crime, guns, and immigration. Have students compare and contrast the politicians stance to voting records in their area, or teachers can have students vote on the issues just in their classroom to determine their own "public opinions." Have the groups compare the public opinion to the voting record of the politician via venn diagram. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here. Have students use their results in a class discussion of the pros and cons of a representative government. Where are potential problems? What are the benefits? This would be extremely useful in a AP Government or Civics course.

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The Color of Money - U.S. Bureau of Engraving

Grades
3 to 8
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This U.S. Bureau of Engraving site is dedicated to exploring the recent changes to the U.S. $20 note. The site provides an interactive look at the new bill and the ...more
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This U.S. Bureau of Engraving site is dedicated to exploring the recent changes to the U.S. $20 note. The site provides an interactive look at the new bill and the changes made to prevent counterfeiting. There is also an interactive learning center with flash sites where students can explore the new bill, design their own currency, and play a currency trivia game.

tag(s): currency (20), money (193)

In the Classroom

Use the interactive video quiz as an activator or introductory activity during a unit or lesson on US currency. The information on the $100 bill is interesting, relevant, and does a great job at hooking students into the content. This would be useful for an economics or government classroom.

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Supreme Court Historical Society

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6 to 12
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This site offers one-stop shopping for a history of the Supreme Court and the ways in which it operates. There are additional links from this site to more complete anthologies ...more
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This site offers one-stop shopping for a history of the Supreme Court and the ways in which it operates. There are additional links from this site to more complete anthologies of court decisions and their interpretation. Middle schoolers could use elements of this one for basic research about the separation of powers and branches of government; high school students should find many uses for the additional materials.

tag(s): constitution (79), supreme court (22)

In the Classroom

This would be a great resource in a civics or government class. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard and tour students through the make-up of the court today. Each Judge has his own separate biography that can also be explored to demonstrate the political alliances of the court. Assign cooperative learning groups different judges to research, with the intent of presenting the material to the class. Try something new, like a podcast! Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Chinese Exclusion Act - Separate Lives; Broken Dreams

Grades
6 to 12
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From the 1880s to the 1940s, the Chinese Exclusion act prevented immigrants of Chinese descent from gaining full citizenship. The site includes background information on how the act...more
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From the 1880s to the 1940s, the Chinese Exclusion act prevented immigrants of Chinese descent from gaining full citizenship. The site includes background information on how the act came to be, as well as a discussion of its repercussions.

tag(s): chinese (48), immigration (58), migration (59)

In the Classroom

Consider using this one as part of a study of immigration in the late 19th century.

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AMU Cartoon Reprints

Grades
6 to 12
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This site is a searchable archive of cartoons (both comics and editorials) available ONLY FOR USE IN THE CLASSROOM. It's a wonderful source of discussion starters and topical humor,...more
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This site is a searchable archive of cartoons (both comics and editorials) available ONLY FOR USE IN THE CLASSROOM. It's a wonderful source of discussion starters and topical humor, but please read the copyright information carefully. Government and social studies teachers will find the editorial collections particularly interesting.

tag(s): air (163), comics and cartoons (74)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a means to search for political cartoons or cartoons that reflect upon current political events. Showing the image on the interactive whiteboard, use them as a springboard to have a class discussion on where we get information and biases from in the media. What is it that these artists are trying to say? Is humor more effective in getting a point across than text? A very interesting resource for a US government class.

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Military Fact Files from BBC - BBC

Grades
6 to 12
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Prepared as background material to the increasing tensions in Iraq and the rest of the mideast, this page offers summaries of military capabilities of the various nations that have...more
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Prepared as background material to the increasing tensions in Iraq and the rest of the mideast, this page offers summaries of military capabilities of the various nations that have troops in the area. These pages offer reams of information on capabilities, training, missions, etc.

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