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Inventing Entertainment - the Edison Recordings - Library of Congress

Grades
6 to 12
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Much of the content in this Library of Congress site about Thomas Edison and his phonographs is beyond the scope of middle schoolers. However, there are sound recordings from the ...more
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Much of the content in this Library of Congress site about Thomas Edison and his phonographs is beyond the scope of middle schoolers. However, there are sound recordings from the original machines that let students listen to the product of Edison's work, and the basic biographical information will be useful for those studying inventors. Explore this one in some depth; there's a lot here.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (101)

In the Classroom

Download some of the sounds and recordings from the database, and use them as part of a learning center during a unit on Inventions & Inventors. Have students listen to the recordings (make sure to include headphones) on classroom computers, writing a short reflection afterwards about what they heard and what their impression was. Students could also compare and contrast the quality of the recordings, noting the vast differences in technology between then and now. This would be a very interesting resource for a US history classroom!

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FirstGov for Kids - US Government

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3 to 8
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This site offers one-stop surfing for federal agencies' offerings for younger students. The collection covers topics from government to ecology to physics, and the offering vary from...more
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This site offers one-stop surfing for federal agencies' offerings for younger students. The collection covers topics from government to ecology to physics, and the offering vary from very good to mediocre. Nonetheless, this is a convenient, safe starting point for students interested in working with government sources.

tag(s): branches of government (48)

In the Classroom

Within each of the grades menu options are links to learning activities and games that can be used to compliment almost any unit within a civics or government class. Use the classroom activities as review games through out the year, helping students constantly review information for a final end of the year assessment. (especially use for standards testing!) Many of them would also make great learning centers or stations throughout the year.

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Boston Navy Yard - National Park Service

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1 to 12
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The National Park's site on the Boston Naval Shipyard. ...more
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The National Park's site on the Boston Naval Shipyard.

tag(s): navy (9)

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How the Grinch Stole Election Day

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1 to 12
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Humor for election day (based on the election of 2000). Although this resource was created for the 2000 election, the background information and story is valuable for teaching about...more
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Humor for election day (based on the election of 2000). Although this resource was created for the 2000 election, the background information and story is valuable for teaching about elections in general and for comparing elections as part of U.S. history.

tag(s): elections (75)

In the Classroom

This would be a cute way to teach students about the events of the 2000 election and the voting process. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector, either playing the audio version or have students take turns reading the lyrics. VERY useful for a US history or Government classroom.

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Presidential Biographies - IPL

Grades
4 to 12
3 Favorites 2  Comments
Though the title is probably misleading, this site's collection of information about the presidencies of our nation's leaders has plenty of facts, but little context. One of the more...more
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Though the title is probably misleading, this site's collection of information about the presidencies of our nation's leaders has plenty of facts, but little context. One of the more interesting features are the links to historical documents from different presidencies. This one's useful for very basic research, but it lacks the "who did what" aspects that can make history really interesting.

tag(s): presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Because this is a very organized presentation of the presidents, it would be extremely easy to compare presidents about very specific points. This would be useful in a class discussion of political party differences, campaign spending & finance, and legislation decisions. For comparison purposes, we recommend using an online Venn Diagram to be used on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here).

Comments

This would be good for students doing their own research. Dan, OR, Grades: 0 - 6
This would be great for students doing their own research. Dan, OR, Grades: 0 - 6

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The Democratic National Committee

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1 to 12
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Homepage of the Democratic National Committee. ...more
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Homepage of the Democratic National Committee.

tag(s): politics (99)

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Hayes vs. Tilden - Harpweek.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Compare the 2000 election controversy to the 1876 presidential election, in which the Electoral College ended up deciding the presidency. This site is especially noteworthy for its...more
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Compare the 2000 election controversy to the 1876 presidential election, in which the Electoral College ended up deciding the presidency. This site is especially noteworthy for its use of historical political cartoons and its day-by-day recounting of the events following the general election. From Harpweek.com, which creates resources from archival editions of Harper's Weekly.

Although this resource was created based on the 2000 election, the background information and historical comparisons are valuable for teaching about elections in general and for comparing elections as part of U.S. history.

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

In the Classroom

Use the political cartoons as starters or introductory activities during a lesson on the controversial election. Find a cartoon that you think would be the best understood boy your students as well as the one that will most likely get them communicating and thinking about the topic on hand. Posting the image on the projector, have students reflect on the image either verbally or in some sort of journal writing. To differentiate it for a higher-level class, have the students respond to a specific component of the image, such as perspective, point of view, bias, intent, various layers, etc.

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The Berlin Airlift - Project Whistlestop

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4 to 12
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This site chronicles the airlift that kept West Berlin alive during the period immediately after World War II. Though written from an American perspective, there is coverage of the...more
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This site chronicles the airlift that kept West Berlin alive during the period immediately after World War II. Though written from an American perspective, there is coverage of the broader European involvement in one of the first cold war crises.

tag(s): cold war (29)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource to find primary sources about the Cold War and the end of WWII. Primary sources could be used to teach both the content and historical thinking skills in your classroom. Divide students into 5-6 groups, with each group assigned a different primary source to read and evaluate. (Sources should come from various perspectives to make the game more interesting) Have the groups present quick summaries of their source to the class, making sure to mention who the author is and whether or not there could be bias. After all have presented, have each team pick a representative to argue in front of the class as to why their source is the most reliable and valid. After all have made their argument, have the class vote off the least reliable "survivor style" until you are left with just one!

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National Constitution Center Lesson Plans

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6 to 12
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The teacher section of this site offers a collection of topical lesson plans and discussion themes on current events issues with constitutional implications. Topics include Internet...more
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The teacher section of this site offers a collection of topical lesson plans and discussion themes on current events issues with constitutional implications. Topics include Internet speech, the Electoral College, and school vouchers. Each presentation presents pro-con arguments along with the relevant constitutional issues.

tag(s): constitution (79)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and classroom activities hosted on this site! Within the classroom resources page are plenty of online games and quizzes that can be used to help students review. Post the site on your class wiki or webpage to allow students to review it both in and out of the classroom!

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What do YOU see?

Grades
5 to 12
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Students learn to analyze photographs for key information in the course of this unit. From selected Civil War photographs, students must answer questions about what they see, and come...more
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Students learn to analyze photographs for key information in the course of this unit. From selected Civil War photographs, students must answer questions about what they see, and come up with some of their own. More detailed captions are then provided, and students are expected to re-evaluate their original conclusions. Once they have learned to analyze the given pictures, they must find their own, draw conclusions, and present their findings to the class. After studying the pictures and captions in this manner, students will recognize links between the Civil War and American industrialization.

tag(s): civil war (145), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this free lesson plan about pictures and interpreting history. This activity could be done on the interactive whiteboard or projector as a class, but could also work having students separated into cooperative learning groups.

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You Be The Historian - Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History.

Grades
4 to 8
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Play the role of a historian using objects to figure out what life was like in another time. Look at historic objects from New Castle, Delaware and think about how ...more
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Play the role of a historian using objects to figure out what life was like in another time. Look at historic objects from New Castle, Delaware and think about how objects from today might be viewed by future historians looking back at our times. The 'what about you?' sections of the activity encourage you to think about the study of history at a personal level. What can future historians learn about your school, your class, etc. What evidence are you leaving behind? This site provides questions to think about, especially if you are interested in careers that use History.

tag(s): careers (132), local history (13), museums (49)

In the Classroom

You Be the Historian can be an excellent springboard for class discussion about primary and secondary sources and the historical process. The activity can also be used as an introduction (or supplemental material) when studying life in the late 1700s. Special Features include a teacher's guide to using this web site in the classroom on or offline.

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Perceptions: Asian Americans - Ask Asia

Grades
5 to 12
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Separate fact from opinion in this lesson from Ask Aisa on the truths about Asian Americans. ...more
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Separate fact from opinion in this lesson from Ask Aisa on the truths about Asian Americans.

tag(s): asia (73), chinese (48), japan (61), japanese (42)

In the Classroom

Use this article as a means to teach about stereotypes, and what kind of negative impacts they can have. Introduce the article on the interactive whiteboard, leading into a class discussion based on student responses to the article. Because there is a lot of text, it might proceed quicker if you pick out a few choice highlights of the article rather than showing the whole text.

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Wisconsin

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4 to 12
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The state's home page. ...more
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The state's home page.

tag(s): states (163), wisconsin (3)

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Illinois

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4 to 12
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The state's home page. ...more
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The state's home page.

tag(s): illinois (9), states (163)

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Pennsylvania

Grades
4 to 12
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The state's home page. ...more
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The state's home page.

tag(s): pennsylvania (6), states (163)

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Learning About Immigration Through Oral History

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6 to 8
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Designed as a year-long project, this unit can be adapted for a short-term lesson. The goal is to give students a realistic experience of oral history and its place in ...more
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Designed as a year-long project, this unit can be adapted for a short-term lesson. The goal is to give students a realistic experience of oral history and its place in our history, focusing on American immigrants. Students will use visual and information literacy exercises to gain an understanding of how to identify and interpret primary historical sources. There are a total of six activities; each one can serve as a "stand-alone" unit. The activities cover topics such as "Oral history methodology" and "Making meaning out of an archive," and students get to work alone and in groups.

tag(s): immigrants (20), immigration (58), migration (59)

In the Classroom

The library of Congress has put together an excellent lesson plan that simultaneously addresses the standards teachers need to focus on and one of the most important elements of history - oral evidence. Take advantage of this free lesson plan.

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Ohio

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4 to 12
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The state's home page. ...more
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The state's home page.

tag(s): states (163)

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Stately Knowlege

Grades
4 to 12
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This site from the Internet Public Library offers quick summaries about each of the 50 states: capital, state birds, flowers, etc., population, and other information. There are also...more
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This site from the Internet Public Library offers quick summaries about each of the 50 states: capital, state birds, flowers, etc., population, and other information. There are also additional links for those who need more information.

tag(s): states (163)

In the Classroom

In a unit or lesson on the 50 states, incorporate some of the interesting details from this site to supplement the basic content. Some of the information could help students remember capitols or information about congressional representation. At bare minimum, this site does a great job of providing a lot of context to learning about the 50 states. Very nifty resource for civics or US history teachers.

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State and Local Governments

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6 to 12
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Piperinfo's state government site offers a meta-index of each state's web presence. The results are generally only as good as the information offered by the states themselves, but this...more
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Piperinfo's state government site offers a meta-index of each state's web presence. The results are generally only as good as the information offered by the states themselves, but this site can save tons of time in searching the sites for the precise information you're after.

tag(s): states (163)

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State and Local Government Resources - Library of Congress

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6 to 12
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This collection from the Library of Congress includes links to state-specific govenment and legal information from a variety of official and independent sources. There are collections...more
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This collection from the Library of Congress includes links to state-specific govenment and legal information from a variety of official and independent sources. There are collections of state statutes, web site directories, state constitutions, and much more. Very useful resource for state history assignments or any study of state-specific government.

tag(s): states (163)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource if making state profiles during an American History or Government class. Assign students different states to study, allowing them to research specific aspects about their assigned state. To show what they have learned from this site, challenge students to create an online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here.

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