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Dr. Seuss and WWII: Analyzing Political Cartoons - National WWII Museum

Grades
7 to 12
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We all know Dr. Seuss, but how many know the important contribution he made to political commentary during World War II? His political cartoons, created while he served in the ...more
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We all know Dr. Seuss, but how many know the important contribution he made to political commentary during World War II? His political cartoons, created while he served in the US Army Information and Education Division were part of the Army's campaign to affect morale and influence public opinion in favor of the war effort. This lesson plan designed for grades 7-12 provides examples of those cartoons, and encourages students to consider the power of cartoons to influence perception of political ideas and events. It's also a welcome change from the inevitable "Boss Tweed" cartoons of Thomas Nast that are the usual focus of discussions of political cartoons.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), dr seuss (13), politics (99), propaganda (12), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Use this lesson instead of your usual Thomas Nast lesson on political cartooning. Geisel's cartoons are more recent, and may be more accessible to today's students. Consider also using this lesson with older students on Dr. Seuss's birthday when the focus is usually on his children's literature. Share the cartoons on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge students to create their own cartoons by drawing or using one of TeachersFirst's many reviewed comic/cartoon tools here.
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Backpack TV Educational Video Library - Backpack.tv

Grades
8 to 12
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Backpack.tv contains videos produced by teachers of lectures about particular topic areas. Search by topic, subject, duration, or presenter for videos ranging from 5 to 20 minutes in...more
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Backpack.tv contains videos produced by teachers of lectures about particular topic areas. Search by topic, subject, duration, or presenter for videos ranging from 5 to 20 minutes in length. General subject areas (at the times of this review) include Algebra, Calculus, Chemistry, Basic Math, Economics, Physics, Biology, and Art History. Currently videos include only a title without a description of the content, so you may need to take some time to find videos that meet your needs. Create an account to save videos in your queue for easy access.

tag(s): angles (88), atoms (56), decimals (133), equations (155), fractions (239), functions (70), homework (44), periodic table (50), variables (22), vectors (25), video (254)

In the Classroom

Use videos on your interactive whiteboard to introduce or review content. Share videos on your classroom website or blog for student use at home. Share videos with students using the Facebook, Twitter, or email button. Encourage students to share links to specific videos they find helpful on a "Video Reviews" (yes, that is a pun) page of your class wiki. For a very real challenge, have students create their own simple review videos and upload to SchoolTube reviewed here or YouTube, whichever works best in your school. Embed them on your class wiki for a year-to-year, student-made study guide!
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Edsitement - EdSitement

Grades
4 to 12
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Find lesson ideas and more for literature and language arts, foreign languages, art and culture, history and social studies at the reworked site that was once part of MarcoPolo. Book...more
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Find lesson ideas and more for literature and language arts, foreign languages, art and culture, history and social studies at the reworked site that was once part of MarcoPolo. Book articles, data bases, educational gaming, professional development events, sound, film, video resources, and resource website lists all aid teachers and learners. A calendar keeps you up to date with famous dates in history.

tag(s): art history (70), cultures (105), literacy (103)

In the Classroom

Use Edsitement for lesson ideas in language, history, literature, and cultures. Find multiple sources to give a deeper comprehension on the subject matter. In history classes, keep the ongoing calendar in your favorites to celebrate an important historical day every day. Lesson plans cover multiple grade levels in many different subject areas. Resources can enrich, or even to give further explanation to current topics of study.
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Today's Document - Jon White Studio

Grades
6 to 12
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Today's Document is an excellent daily history site based on an RSS feed from the National Archives. This specific page comes up on Constitution Day. Cartoons illustrate the history...more
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Today's Document is an excellent daily history site based on an RSS feed from the National Archives. This specific page comes up on Constitution Day. Cartoons illustrate the history of the document, and link each drawing to the original, primary source document on National Archives with an invitation to dig deeper. Search the archives for previous entries or scroll back through daily cartoons. Explanations often include links to further historical information or click on included tags for similar resources. This site includes documents for several days each month. The site seems to have stopped in 2010, but you can browse back through many valuable documents and explanations, since the "originals" being discussed are historic, not current.

tag(s): american revolution (86), civil war (145), constitution (79), jefferson (19), lincoln (86), presidents (131), segregation (15), washington (36)

In the Classroom

Today's Document would make a fantastic discussion starter in any classroom. It is an interesting, visual way for students to acquire background knowledge about American history and/or the Constitution and government. You may want to display a document on your interactive whiteboard as a bell-ringer (opener) activity, or as a story starter in English class. Cover up the cartoon explanation, and ask students to discuss events that they think took place. In U.S.history, government, or civics classes, use the site as an example, then challenge students to create their own comics to explain a topic using comic-creation tools from this TeachersFirst collection.

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Film Story - Mnemonic Productions

Grades
3 to 12
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Film Story is a great listing of history films searchable by country, era, subject, and film type (feature film, documentary, or mini-series). Another helpful feature is when you roll...more
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Film Story is a great listing of history films searchable by country, era, subject, and film type (feature film, documentary, or mini-series). Another helpful feature is when you roll your cursor over the map, the region and how many films are available will pop up. Film Story's goal is to help you learn more about historical people, places, and events through film. Once you click on a film, you see the era, type of film, etc. and several themes. All of these are links to other films in these categories. Film story is simply a directory. Search out the films you find on your favorite search engine and borrow them from a library or video store. No registration required to use this site.

tag(s): afghanistan (7), africa (180), asia (73), black history (59), central america (13), china (66), cross cultural understanding (115), europe (75), middle east (30), movies (65), north america (19)

In the Classroom

Discover videos on Film Story to help build prior knowledge and illustrate what students are learning in history or world languages/cultures classes. Find several films and have small groups of students view them. Have students become "eyewitnesses" to history and watch the video assigned to them before they have a context for it. Then have them write or blog about what they think they are witnessing. Afterward they can research the event in more depth and write a follow-up reflection on what was actually happening in the video. Challenge your students to use a site such as Timetoast reviewed here, to create timelines of topics researched on the site. Use images from public domain sites, such as the collections reviewed here, to illustrate the events.

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Peter Rabbit Fun and Games - Frederick Warne & Co.

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K to 4
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Bring Beatrix Potter's incredible artistry to life. This whole site is fashioned into a virtual popup book where you can meet the characters, watch videos of the stories, play games,...more
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Bring Beatrix Potter's incredible artistry to life. This whole site is fashioned into a virtual popup book where you can meet the characters, watch videos of the stories, play games, and find fun things to make and do offline. Try to "Find Peter" (before Mr. McGregor does!), take part in an Easter egg hunt, collect snowflakes to earn special downloads, help Peter find his way through a maze, and play a vegetable picking game. Read character descriptions of each of Beatrix Potter's characters and even watch video clips of Peter Rabbit. Create an interactive Peter Rabbit puppet show and star in the puppet show by uploading a picture. Teacher's resources include six learning modules and printable posters and certificates.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): authors (120), literature (275), preK (281)

In the Classroom

Invite your students to star in their own puppet show. Each show will be unique as students make decisions about what will happen to their characters. Share the activities and stories on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Allow students to view each other's puppet shows. After reading through character descriptions, students can write their own Peter Rabbit tale, staying true to the character traits they read about on the site. Create a class book of the students stories (each student contributing 1-2 pages). Use an online tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
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Four Directions Teaching - 4D Interactive Inc.

Grades
5 to 12
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A Canadian site focused on five "first nations" central to Canada's history, Four Directions Teaching, uses Flash technology to create a visually beautiful site about the Blackfoot,...more
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A Canadian site focused on five "first nations" central to Canada's history, Four Directions Teaching, uses Flash technology to create a visually beautiful site about the Blackfoot, Cree, Ojibwe, Mohawk, and Mi'kmaq tribes. There are also extensive teacher resources, sorted by challenge level, to download, a photo collection, audio narration, and printables. These resources are appropriate not only for use by Canadians, but also for understanding the development of Native American culture throughout North America. (The Native Americans preceded any national boundaries!). Technical notes point out that you need to allow pop=ups from this site.

tag(s): canada (30), cross cultural understanding (115), cultures (105), native americans (78)

In the Classroom

The series of animated mini lessons are perfect for use on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) and help anchor the learning activities available for download. They could also be used as stand-alone resources to complement lessons you have designed. You might choose to look at creation myths across the various tribes or how each culture constructed shelters or conducted ceremonies. These themes make the lessons useful even for those not studying specifically Canadian history. Have students make a multimedia presentation on a chosen topic using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
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Beyond Little House - Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association

Grades
2 to 6
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This site was created by a group of expert Laura and Rose enthusiasts as a crossroads for everything you want to know about Laura Ingalls Wilder. Learn about Laura's different ...more
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This site was created by a group of expert Laura and Rose enthusiasts as a crossroads for everything you want to know about Laura Ingalls Wilder. Learn about Laura's different hometowns through links about each city. View videos of participants in Laurapalooza as they chronicle their visit to places mentioned in the Little House book series. Follow the Readalong of "The Golden Years" book as participants summarize each chapter and discuss contents and events taking place. One interesting portion of the site is the "Ask the Experts" section where you can ask about Laura Ingalls Wilder and her books. There are archives of previous question to read and explore.

tag(s): authors (120), book reports (35), literature (275), minnesota (4), prairie (10)

In the Classroom

Use the Readalong portion of The Golden Years as a guide to creating your own summary of a Laura Ingalls Wilder book and share through a class wiki with all comments. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. View videos of the Laurapalooza conference as a class to learn about the Mankato area of Laura's youth and listen to insights from experts.
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Negro Leagues Baseball Museum - Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Kansas State University

Grades
6 to 12
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This site has strong content focused on the historical importance of the Negro Leagues Baseball teams. It also has a very rich assortment of lesson plans for teaching about the ...more
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This site has strong content focused on the historical importance of the Negro Leagues Baseball teams. It also has a very rich assortment of lesson plans for teaching about the Negro Leagues. There is an introductory video for a good overview of the Leagues themselves, the offerings of the NLB Museum, and a searchable archive of photographs and multimedia resources that can be used either in conjunction with the lesson plans (which include national standards benchmarks), or independently.

tag(s): baseball (36), black history (59), civil rights (117), sports (97)

In the Classroom

This is a great resource for "hooking" students who are interested in sports into the study of the Civil Rights Movement or modern US History. Consider including the resources here in your recognition of Black History Month as well. Share the introductory video on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Challenge cooperative learning groups to explore a specific part of this site and create an online poster 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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With Liberty and Justice for All - The Henry Ford Museum

Grades
4 to 12
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With Liberty and Justice for All is a special exhibit at the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan. The focus is on the American quest for equal rights, with a special ...more
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With Liberty and Justice for All is a special exhibit at the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan. The focus is on the American quest for equal rights, with a special emphasis on the Women's Suffrage Movement and the Civil Rights Movement. The site includes a video tour of the exhibit and lesson plans with standards for grade levels between fourth grade and twelfth grade. The lesson plans presume a visit to the museum, but could be adapted fairly easily for groups who are unable to visit the museum itself.

tag(s): branches of government (48), civil rights (117), constitution (79), freedom of speech (10), womens suffrage (26)

In the Classroom

While the site is focused on preparing students for a visit to the Henry Ford Museum, the site provides good resources and lesson plans for the study of both the Women's Suffrage Movement and the Civil Rights Movement. The video tour of the exhibit also provides a "virtual field trip" experience.
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Comments

This is a virtual field trip that groups resources for 6-8 grades and will be extremely useful at all levels towards a discussion of justice through evidence evaluation, pro and con using various issues from our history. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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American Indian/Alaskan Native Book List - Talk Story

Grades
K to 12
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Search this list for children's books about American Indians and Alaskans. Choose from a wide range of selections: Picture Books, Elementary School Books, Middle School Books, Young...more
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Search this list for children's books about American Indians and Alaskans. Choose from a wide range of selections: Picture Books, Elementary School Books, Middle School Books, Young Adult Books, and Additional Resources. Learn tips about how to select the best books for your needs. If you are interested in similar book lists, TeachersFirst's CurriConnects found here offers several other curriculum-related, leveled booklists.

tag(s): alaska (25), cross cultural understanding (115), independent reading (128), native americans (78)

In the Classroom

Encourage students to select books about a culture that interests them. Include this list during a multicultural unit. Have students create an online book of images and captions about their target culture using bookr (reviewed here). (Bookr uses Flickr images, so you must first upload or find the images on Flickr reviewed here.)
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Asian Pacific American Book List - Amer. Indian Lib. Assn & the Asian/Pacific American Lib. Assn.

Grades
K to 12
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Enjoy perusing this list of Asian American children's books, divided by country. Select the area of your interest: Cambodian, Hawaiian, Japanese, Mongolian, Tibetan, and several others....more
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Enjoy perusing this list of Asian American children's books, divided by country. Select the area of your interest: Cambodian, Hawaiian, Japanese, Mongolian, Tibetan, and several others. The lists include a wide range of selections, from picture books to young adult books and from folk tales to non-fiction titles. There is also a list of recommended authors and illustrators. If you are interested in similar book lists, TeachersFirst's CurriConnects found here offers several other curriculum-related, leveled booklists.

tag(s): asia (73), book lists (128), chinese (48), cross cultural understanding (115), hawaii (7), independent reading (128), japanese (42), korea (15), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

Refer your class to this list for multicultural reading and reports. If you have any ESL/ELL students from these areas, they may enjoy reading literature from (or about) their homeland. Challenge students to read one of the books on this list and research the location. Have cooperative learning groups create a mash-up map using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge Tools reviewed here.

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Critical Past Stock Footage Archive - Jim and Andy Erickson

Grades
6 to 12
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Critical Past offers a collection of more than 57,000 historical videos and more than 7 million historical photos. All of the photos and videos are royalty free, archival stock footage....more
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Critical Past offers a collection of more than 57,000 historical videos and more than 7 million historical photos. All of the photos and videos are royalty free, archival stock footage. The site is in the business of selling these images and clips. "Royalty free" means that purchasing an image/clip will not require additional fees to the photographer, but it does NOT mean that the images/clips are "free" to download and use at will. Most of the footage comes from U.S. Government Agency sources. All of the videos and photos can be viewed for free online and shared with others via url, Twitter, or Facebook. Search the site either by decade, topic, or keyword. Along the right side bar of Critical Past, you will find "related videos" that correlate to the current search.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 20th century (51), afghanistan (7), africa (180), american revolution (86), china (66), europe (75), north america (19), south america (39), video (254)

In the Classroom

Use photos or videos on Critical Past to help illustrate what students are learning in history. Ask students to be "eyewitnesses" of history and watch a video before they have context for it. Students can write or blog about what they think they are witnessing. Afterward they can research the event in more depth and write a follow-up reflection on what was actually happening in the clip. Challenge your students to use a site such as Timetoast reviewed here to create timelines of topics researched on the site. Use images from public domain sites, such as the collections reviewed here, to illustrate the events.
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Edublog - Edublogs.org

Grades
K to 12
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Blog your way into the latest social technology using Edublogs. Use the free service to set up a blog as a student, teacher, or campus. This education friendly tool avoids ...more
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Blog your way into the latest social technology using Edublogs. Use the free service to set up a blog as a student, teacher, or campus. This education friendly tool avoids some of the "public interaction" that can offer inappropriate content. Upgrade to more advanced features, to include more options. The additional information on blogging makes this site very valuable even if you already have a blogging platform. Find a plethora of advice, tutorials, pdfs, and lesson plans for blogging. This site is a great reference site for all who are beginning to use blogs, or even look for more varied and effective ways to log with students, or even other classes. Compare this tool to other free blogging tools mentioned in TeachersFirst's Blog Basics for the Classroom . This is a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): blogs (88)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite for all of your blogging needs. Find very informative instructions on blogging, and follow the student blogging challenge lesson plans. ) Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Peruse through the various subjects and discover how other teachers use blogging in their classrooms. Using the given PDFs on blogging start up, parent guidelines, incorporating into subject areas, and adapt to make them suitable for you. Look at a variety of examples to help devise your own unique style to meet your students' needs.

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Oh Freedom! Teaching African American Civil Rights Through American Art at the Smithsonian - Smithsonian American Art Museum

Grades
5 to 12
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Oh Freedom! is an introduction to the Civil Rights movement through the art of the Smithsonian. The site provides educators with new ways to teach about the Civil Rights movement ...more
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Oh Freedom! is an introduction to the Civil Rights movement through the art of the Smithsonian. The site provides educators with new ways to teach about the Civil Rights movement visually. Through interactive timelines, artists, and lesson plans, students will learn in different ways.

tag(s): african american (113), art history (70), artists (75), civil rights (117)

In the Classroom

This site is a must for any Art, Art History, or Social Studies classroom. The site really lends itself to discussion. Visit the Artists area, choose an artist, and project the artwork on an interactive whiteboard. Using the "looking questions" have a class discussion. Assign groups and give each group a different picture. Let them discuss using the questions and then jigsaw them so they can share with each other.
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Picturing US History - American Social History Project at CUNY

Grades
6 to 12
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This art based site uses "lessons in looking" as a way to view artwork to better understand U.S. History. Guided questions help walk students through the images. Topics include ...more
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This art based site uses "lessons in looking" as a way to view artwork to better understand U.S. History. Guided questions help walk students through the images. Topics include race, Colonial America, Civil War, and more.

tag(s): african american (113), civil war (145), colonial america (107), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

The site offers several "lessons in looking." Project the site on an interactive whiteboard and use the discussion questions to guide students through a look at history. The site provides a way for you to zoom into the artwork so students can get up and personal as if they were in a museum. Use the zoom tool to assist you with your classroom discussion.
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The Dream Flag Project - Jeff Harlan and Sandy Crow

Grades
K to 12
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The Dream Flag Project is a poetry-humanity project that fits into any unit on writing, poetry, character development, history, art, social issues, or community service. Reading, writing,...more
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The Dream Flag Project is a poetry-humanity project that fits into any unit on writing, poetry, character development, history, art, social issues, or community service. Reading, writing, critical thinking, and artistic expression activities are available for a wide range of abilities and grades. Start with Langston Hughes, "The Dream Keeper" and his collection of poetry. Explore an introduction to the Harlem Renaissance and black history or focus on goal-setting to make the dream come true. This collaborative project is created by teachers for teachers with a step-by-step approach. The resources include ideas, lesson plans, printable handouts, opportunities to collaborate, and examples.

tag(s): black history (59), poetry (228), service projects (25)

In the Classroom

Transform your classroom into a community of poets and dreamers and even choose to participate in a global project by writing and sharing poems with students around the world. Share this site during Poetry Month. You'll love seeing the pride in students as they engage in reading, writing, creating, and sharing poetry that reflects their hopes and dreams for today and the future. Introduce the extensive photos, videos, and other resources on a projector or an interactive whiteboard. There are "quick links" to an abundance of resources. The outcomes can range from poetry reading and writing to integrating music, theater, videotaping, or social networking (be sure to check with your school's policies). Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. This can be done in a sixty minute lesson or expanded to a year long theme. It's your choice!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Using Primary Sources in the Classroom: World War I Unit - Alabama Department of Archives and History

Grades
6 to 12
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This museum site provides five different lessons plans about World War I. It offers learning objectives, activities, and links to primary documents. Though the site focuses on Alabama...more
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This museum site provides five different lessons plans about World War I. It offers learning objectives, activities, and links to primary documents. Though the site focuses on Alabama history, it is a good way to show multiple perspectives about the war. The site itself is no visual treat, but the activity ideas can bring a hundred-year old era to life.

tag(s): primary sources (86), world war 1 (54)

In the Classroom

Use the activities to help your students better understand World War I. Be sure to check out the activity in the Selective Service lesson. The activity has each student being assigned to a role. The students write a letter to Senator Bankhead which would explain their positions concerning conscription prior to the declaration of war. To extend the activity, have your students dress as their character and read their letters to the class. Or have students create blogs using Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary!

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ChronoZoom - Microsoft Research

Grades
8 to 12
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Ready to think big? How about an interactive timeline that covers all of time from the Big Bang to today? Chronozoom is an ambitious project, just launched (at the time ...more
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Ready to think big? How about an interactive timeline that covers all of time from the Big Bang to today? Chronozoom is an ambitious project, just launched (at the time of this review), that seeks to create zoomable, interactive timelines for the entire history of time. At present, the site is still under construction, but it is visually stunning and a little overwhelming. You will need to set aside some time to watch the video tour and to tinker with the site before presenting it to students. Every move of the mouse, every click, seems to create "explosions" of graphs and timelines; you'll need to be patient and get the hang of navigation.

The site's creators freely admit that they don't really know where the project will lead, and what technologies might emerge that will help them create more content for the site. There are some caveats for using the site. First, the site assumes a particular theory of the creation of the universe, and the timeline of its existence. Second, the site can lend itself to aimless "mousing," or the temptation to simply click and move the mouse to see how the site will react, with no attention to the content at all.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), evolution (100), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

This is a big idea, still in its early stages. Obviously it has usefulness as a way of visually demonstrating the sheer immensity of time, and the relative insignificance of human existence in comparison. You could use this site as an intro to any history or geology class simply to generate BIG questions that students want to know. Consider asking gifted students, or students interested in technology applications to imagine what the site COULD be. How would they create a visual overview of--forever? How can one prioritize what matters? But on an interactive whiteboard--WOW! If you, as current students seem to be, are comfortable with imagining the world as a series of hyperlinks rather than a linear march, this site has limitless potential.

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American Indian Response to Environmental Changes - National Museum of the American Indian

Grades
4 to 12
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This site documents how four Native American communities are responding to changes in the environment where they live. Through videos and primary sources, you can explore these four...more
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This site documents how four Native American communities are responding to changes in the environment where they live. Through videos and primary sources, you can explore these four Native American cultures. Each tribe's section is broken down into the following areas: Getting Started, Meet the People, About Our Homeland, Our Environmental Challenge, Our Strategies, and Our Future.

tag(s): environment (317), native americans (78), natural resources (59)

In the Classroom

Project this site on an interactive whiteboard and watch the videos on each of the tribes. If you have laptops available, have students navigate on their own. Have the class take the included interactive quizzes to see what they've learned. Group students and have each group read about a different tribe. Then using the online story project planner, have students create a presentation about their tribe that can be uploaded to the site. Be sure to visit the teacher area for lesson plans, links and other resources.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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