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Ellis Island - PBS/Library of Congress

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6 to 12
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View the hopeful immigrants of Ellis Island as they await entry to the U.S. at the inspection station. These images date from the first decade of the 1900's. The annotated ...more
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View the hopeful immigrants of Ellis Island as they await entry to the U.S. at the inspection station. These images date from the first decade of the 1900's. The annotated photos, from the Library of Congress, describe the steps a new immigrant had to take to enter the United States.

tag(s): ellis island (9), immigrants (20), immigration (58), new york (26)

In the Classroom

Consider using this site as an introduction to a unit on immigration. Before showing the text, have students discuss what they think is happening in the different rooms, ask about clothing, and what they think the people are feeling. Share this site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. You might want to use the Interactive Tour of Ellis Island, reviewed here, in conjunction with these photos and annotations. Write a blog entry from the perspective of an immigrant. Use a tool such as Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. A unique URL is provided and this site is as easy as using a basic Word program!
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Presidential Classroom - Miller Center, University of Virgina

Grades
6 to 12
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The Presidential Classroom offers resources for students and teachers that provide insight into historic events, the presidency, and U.S. government. Contents include lesson plans,...more
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The Presidential Classroom offers resources for students and teachers that provide insight into historic events, the presidency, and U.S. government. Contents include lesson plans, presidential profiles, video clips, and teachable exhibits. Explore exhibits by historical event or sort by administration. Exhibits provide a look at specific moments during a presidential administration including transcripts, videos, and audio of events. Choose the presidents link to get a look at each of the US presidents including quick facts, personal information, and cabinet members. Lesson plans include topics such as Space, Vietnam, and Cuba and include correlations to Virginia state standards.

tag(s): jefferson (19), kennedy (27), lincoln (86), presidents (130), space (205), vietnam (36), washington (36), white house (13)

In the Classroom

If your students do Presidential biographies or projects, this is a perfect site to share. Have students explore the exhibits while doing research on presidents and historical events. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a president.
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Letters of Note - Shaun Usher

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8 to 12
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Letters of Note is a blog that shares letters from a book of the same name, but you never have to buy the book! The collection includes over 900 interesting ...more
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Letters of Note is a blog that shares letters from a book of the same name, but you never have to buy the book! The collection includes over 900 interesting letters from many different sources such as Leonardo da Vinci's 's job application, a letter from Steve Albini to the band Nirvana, and Virginia Woolf's suicide letter. Start from the archives to find over 900 more examples sorted in different ways such as typed/handwritten, by date, name, or correspondence type. Or click in the sidebar to access most popular or even view a random letter. Most letters include an image along with a short description of the context of the correspondence included. Letters include the original language so be sure to read for yourself before sharing with students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): acting (27), authors (120), europe (75), letter writing (21), politics (99), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

Find letters from authors to read when studying their novels. Choose letters from different time periods to share with students as an authentic look at life during that time (primary sources!). Have students share what they learned using a tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here. Zeemaps allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a president, famous scientist, or nearly any other real or fictitious person.

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Migrations Map - Martin De Wulf

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6 to 12
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Where are migrants coming from and where have migrants left? Find answers using Migrations Map's interactive map. Click on any country to view a short overview of population, gross...more
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Where are migrants coming from and where have migrants left? Find answers using Migrations Map's interactive map. Click on any country to view a short overview of population, gross domestic product per capita, child mortality, disease rate, and more. Choose arrivals or departures to view the number of immigrants to and emigrants from the country and percentages on where they come from or go. Simply click on the country of your choice to begin. Note that much of the data displayed is from 2007, so is better for longer term trends than for recent times. Read "About" for more about the data sources.

tag(s): immigration (58), maps (288), population (60)

In the Classroom

Use Migrations Map during your study of any country to view immigration and emigration statistics in social studies, science, health, or even world language classes. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Ask WHY these immigration patterns exist. What factors lead to immigration? What environmental impacts does it have? Be sure to point out the data lag -- is from 2007. You can also send them to find updated stats at the World Bank and other online sources. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Have students create maps using Animaps (reviewed here). Students can add text, images, and location stops!

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Hindsight is always 20/20 - Luke Dubois

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8 to 12
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Hindsight is Always 20/20 examines State of the Union addresses through a metaphor of vision charts (and words). This site highlights the sixty-six most used words in the annual...more
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Hindsight is Always 20/20 examines State of the Union addresses through a metaphor of vision charts (and words). This site highlights the sixty-six most used words in the annual State of the Union addresses given by former Presidents. Each address is exhibited in the style of a Snellen eye chart. Find the most frequently used words in place of the eye-chart characters, with the most often used word on the top line. Find a thumbnail of all the presidents along the bottom. Scroll over each one to view the chart. The name of the president and the period of time served is found along the bottom right of the chart. As the words are unique to each chart, the chart itself is a snapshot of each presidency and the time period each president served.

tag(s): presidents (130), speeches (17)

In the Classroom

Share this tool in January, before the annual State of the Union. Allow time for groups of students to view specific charts and report upon the words used and their meanings. Students can research the time period the president served to understand the cultural, religious, and political climate of the day. Does the most common word (or top 10) appear in more than one presidency? Are there presidents who faced the same challenges even if not from the same time period? How did their State of the Union addresses differ (or were similar?) Discuss the uses of various words of which students may be unfamiliar.

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Ruby Bridges: Connecting Lives - Scholastic

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5 to 8
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Find a complete two-part lesson plan for middle school lessons on Ruby Bridges. Read about Ruby Bridges in selected texts and write about your reactions in a double-entry journal. Another...more
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Find a complete two-part lesson plan for middle school lessons on Ruby Bridges. Read about Ruby Bridges in selected texts and write about your reactions in a double-entry journal. Another activity entails designing and building a suspension bridge, connecting the strength of the bridge with Ruby's personal strength. An interesting interview with Ruby Bridges is the highlight of the lessons.

tag(s): african american (113), black history (59), civil rights (117), racism (18)

In the Classroom

Follow the directions to have your class build suspension bridges, individually or in pairs. Challenge your students to use a site such as TimeRime, reviewed here, to create an interactive timeline of Ruby Bridges' life. Have students create an online book of images and captions about Ruby Bridges using Bookr, reviewed here. (Bookr uses Flickr images, so first upload or find the images on Flickr). This activity could be an alternative to the double entry journal.
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Cinco de Mayo - Scholastic

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K to 5
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Explore this wealth of information and activities about the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo. Learn about contributions of those of Latino culture to their own heritage, recognize a few...more
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Explore this wealth of information and activities about the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo. Learn about contributions of those of Latino culture to their own heritage, recognize a few Spanish words, and get a beginning knowledge of some Mexican history. In addition, learn how to make some typical Latino crafts and snacks. Take an Internet "field trip" to see famous historical Mexican sites. Links to additional resources and reading about Mexico complete the site's offerings.

tag(s): cinco de mayo (12), holidays (147), mexico (34), preK (279)

In the Classroom

Select your Cinco de Mayo activities from these pages. Set up a series of "stations" for students to rotate through so they can experience as many activities as possible. Share the crafts and snack instructions on your class website in May!

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Wonder Women - Wonder City Interactive Game - PBS

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6 to 12
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Wonder Woman's legacy lives on! This activity accompanies the PBS special, "Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines" (NOT available on the site) and explores American...more
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Wonder Woman's legacy lives on! This activity accompanies the PBS special, "Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines" (NOT available on the site) and explores American pop culture's evolving attitudes toward powerful women. The game (even without the film) investigates the causes and effects of gender stereotypes in the media and considers how they influence real-life attitudes and behaviors. Through this book game, you have the opportunity to identify your own heroic qualities and make empowered choices. Did you know that Wonder Woman's original, radical World War II presence, was created by a Harvard-trained pop psychologist? Do you remember her uninspiring 1960s incarnation as a fashion boutique owner? After that, she was resurrected by feminist Gloria Steinem and the women of Ms. Magazine. Explore the history of Wonder Woman and feminist issues using this program.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), heroes (24), media literacy (58), women (101)

In the Classroom

Click Classroom to find Lesson Plan 2 for using the game. Try using this Wonder Women lesson along with The HTML 5 Gender in Advertising Remixing reviewed here. This site may help students draw conclusions about advertisers targeting boys and girls differently. Then you can relate their newfound knowledge back to the gender stereotypes they discovered in Wonder Women. Next you might consider introducing students to the modern heroine Cat, who represents an unconventional superheroine in My So Called Secret Identity reviewed here. For a complete unit, add a project where students collect and annotate a group of web links that show gender stereotypes. Use a bookmarking tool from the TeachersFirst Edge.
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Smithsonian Digital Volunteers: Transcription Center - Smithsonian Institution

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9 to 12
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The Smithsonian invites amateur historians to contribute to the massive task of transcribing their collection of written documents to make them available in digitized, searchable form....more
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The Smithsonian invites amateur historians to contribute to the massive task of transcribing their collection of written documents to make them available in digitized, searchable form. Finding authentic projects for students can be a challenge. Here, students can create an account, choose a project, and contribute their transcriptions of historic documents. Current projects include diaries, field notes, and other primary sources.

tag(s): local history (13), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

A wonderful extension or enrichment project for responsible high school students, the Transcription Center allows students to interact with primary sources, learn about the importance of everyday records of the lives of those who go before us, and have the satisfaction of knowing they are contributing to the universe of information that will be available to future scholars. Small groups of students could share a transcription project and check each other's before submitting, or discuss the texts they have transcribed. Students interested in independent research might find a transcription project that adds to their understanding of a particular subject. You might even consider using transcription as a community service project or an initiative in your gifted ed class.

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The Museum of Modern Art - Khan Academy - Khan Academy and The Museum of Modern Art

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6 to 12
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The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), in partnership with the Khan Academy, offers several tutorials exploring the world of contemporary and modern art....more
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The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), in partnership with the Khan Academy, offers several tutorials exploring the world of contemporary and modern art. View information in categories such as Printmaking, Behind the scenes at MoMA, and Performance Art. Each section contains several short videos exploring the topic. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): art history (69), artists (75)

In the Classroom

Display and use these very short videos on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to introduce and explore the world of art to students. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos based on other famous works of art and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. Do a collaborative project with your school's art teacher, having students write in English/LA class and discuss art in that class. Have older students explore areas of this site to find artwork from time periods studied in Social Studies classes. Display one of the works of art and view the short video. Use the art piece as inspiration for a creative writing project. Use videos during career exploration units to demonstrate the different career options available within the field of art. Create a link to videos on classroom computers for students to view on their own or use the embed code to add a video on your class website or blog for additional exploration. Teachers of gifted who have students interested in visual arts can use this site to take them further, even if art is not your expertise!

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Digital Docs in a Box - William & Mary, University of Kentucky, Library of Congress

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5 to 12
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Digital Docs in a Box presents packages of digital images and documents in "boxes" by category for use by students and teachers in creating their own historical documentary projects....more
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Digital Docs in a Box presents packages of digital images and documents in "boxes" by category for use by students and teachers in creating their own historical documentary projects. This still-growing archive includes kits related to Westward Expansion, Women's Suffrage, Immigration, Transportation, and Presidential Inaugurations, for example. Each kit contains sets of primary source documents, digital images, and (where possible) audio and visual clips, along with brief introductory information to help set the context for the archive. Also included is a very comprehensive introduction to creating documentaries in the classroom, with hints, templates, assessments, and timelines. This truly is a one-stop shop for beginning an educational documentary project.

tag(s): chinese (48), civil rights (117), great depression (24), immigration (58), industrial revolution (25), native americans (78), presidents (130), transportation (40), westward expansion (29), womens suffrage (26)

In the Classroom

You may have thought about a unit in which students create their own documentaries, but then felt overwhelmed by all the logistical considerations. Digital Docs in a Box is the answer. While there is not an enormous archive, it is still growing, and there is plenty here to get started. Students don't have to track down their own images, worry about their formatting or copyright, or be distracted with those pursuits. Instead, they can focus on the real point of the project: to take historical information and images and use it to tell a story they themselves devise. The TeachersFirst Edge has dozens of reviewed digital storytelling tools for your students to create projects from these "raw materials." As a teacher, you can also focus on the same issues and not spend hours setting up the project, deciding how to assess students' success in executing it, or keeping students focused on the project goal. Once you've used the site a few times, you might be able to create your own Docs in a Box kits and expand the topics covered.

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Time Shutter - Dinah Darvas

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6 to 12
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Time Shutter allows you to look at cities a hundred years ago and now. At the time of this review, you can click to choose San Fransisco or New York. ...more
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Time Shutter allows you to look at cities a hundred years ago and now. At the time of this review, you can click to choose San Fransisco or New York. View it on an iOs app for specific functionalities or use any Internet browser to interact with a Google map with placemarkers of older photos. After choosing a city, click on any of the map pins. View information and images representing both then and now with a short text history and information up to current times. View as a list to find all available landmarks. Optional registration allows you to upload your own photos of landmarks. Check back for more cities to be available in the future.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 20th century (51), california (27), landmarks (26), new york (26)

In the Classroom

Time Shutter provides an interesting look and comparison of landmarks across two time periods. Share Time Shutter on your interactive whiteboard when discussing events of the previous century or to explore landmarks from San Francisco or New York. Have students compare images and descriptions then use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Challenge students to create their own then and now maps using Animaps (reviewed here). Students can add text, images, and location stops!
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Reading Strategies for the Social Studies Classroom - Holt, Rinehart and Winston

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5 to 12
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This is an excellent resource of materials and strategies for comprehension of Social Studies reading materials. Each strategy provides one activity targeted at U.S. History and one...more
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This is an excellent resource of materials and strategies for comprehension of Social Studies reading materials. Each strategy provides one activity targeted at U.S. History and one targeted at World Studies. Strategies include ideas such as previewing text and visualizing information. It also provides an overview and teaching materials. Choose any resource to view in PDF format for easy printing.

tag(s): concept mapping (22), graphic organizers (43), reading comprehension (116), reading strategies (44), visual thinking (10), visualizations (14), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Although geared toward struggling readers and Social Studies, this site is excellent for use with any content area reading lessons. Choose an activity for each month as a focus lesson. Incorporate the strategy throughout all lessons by modifying questions and included activities. Share with ESL/ELL and special education teachers as a resource for improving reading comprehension. This site works well with Common Core strategies for informational text throughout the curriculum.
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Children's Literature with Social Studies Themes - University of Delaware Center for Teacher Education

Grades
K to 6
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Discover book titles to use with elementary level Social Studies content. Choose from grade level bands and the topics of Civics, History, Geography, and Economics. Each link leads...more
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Discover book titles to use with elementary level Social Studies content. Choose from grade level bands and the topics of Civics, History, Geography, and Economics. Each link leads to a list of book titles including author, subject, and a brief description. Some titles also include a "more" link leading to a short article referring to use of the book. This site includes a great mix of genres. Don't miss the nonfiction/informative text, perfect for meeting your Common Core standards.

tag(s): book lists (126), branches of government (48), guided reading (47), independent reading (126), literature (275)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save for reference throughout the school year for use with Social Studies lessons. Save as a resource when choosing books for your classroom or school library. Use the included articles for ideas to include books with your Social Studies lessons and units. Need more book ideas to support curriculum? See TeachersFirst's CurriConnects.

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Young George Washington's Adventures - National Park Service

Grades
3 to 8
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Learn about George Washington's early military career through this interactive that takes him on a mission to bring peace to the Ohio Valley. Along the way, stop to brainstorm items...more
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Learn about George Washington's early military career through this interactive that takes him on a mission to bring peace to the Ohio Valley. Along the way, stop to brainstorm items that he may have brought with him. Use the maps to find details, learn about clothing of the time, and meet other people involved with the mission.

tag(s): american revolution (86), native americans (78), presidents (130), washington (36)

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 George Washington or the American Revolution. Have students create an annotated image of George Washington or a related image including text boxes and links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students create maps using Animaps (reviewed here) of Washington's journey. Students can add text, images, and location stops! Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles (reviewed here).
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Nixon Tapes and Transcripts - Luke Nichter

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8 to 12
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As its name implies, Nixon Tapes and Transcripts is dedicated to the collection of the tapes secretly recorded by Richard Nixon during his presidency. The collection contains over 700...more
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As its name implies, Nixon Tapes and Transcripts is dedicated to the collection of the tapes secretly recorded by Richard Nixon during his presidency. The collection contains over 700 audio files containing 2300 hours of conversation. There are various file formats: mp3, pdf, and others.The site is searchable. Choose audio & transcripts to find conversations by primary participants or selected themes. Each conversation includes information on date and time as well as links to download audio or a transcript.

tag(s): 1960s (30), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Use portions of tapes and transcripts during lessons on the Vietnam War, Richard Nixon, presidents, the 1960s and 70s, and more. Share a link to specific conversations on your class website, and have students create blogs using Throwww ( reviewed here). This tool allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about participants in conversations during the Nixon era.
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Founders Online - National Archives and University of Virginia

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6 to 12
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Founders Online is an archive from the National Archives of over 119,000 fully annotated primary source documents from six of the nation's founding fathers: George Washington, Benjamin...more
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Founders Online is an archive from the National Archives of over 119,000 fully annotated primary source documents from six of the nation's founding fathers: George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison. Enter any search term or browse by author, recipient, or time period. Each document includes information such as author, recipient, date, and links to other similar documents if available.

tag(s): american revolution (86), colonial america (107), colonization (16), constitution (79), declaration of independence (13), franklin (12), jefferson (19), primary sources (86), washington (36)

In the Classroom

Search and view information from this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Find documents from similar time periods and events to compare and contrast different points of view. Have students download to create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles, reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about any of the founding fathers included on this site.
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Cuban Missile Crisis - Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center

Grades
8 to 12
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The Cuban Missile Crisis offers a great resource for learning and teaching about the 1962 missile crisis. Explore the site to find many primary documents, an excellent timeline, and...more
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The Cuban Missile Crisis offers a great resource for learning and teaching about the 1962 missile crisis. Explore the site to find many primary documents, an excellent timeline, and lessons. The Educators section of the site includes many tools such as lesson plans, reading lists, and videos. If your district blocks YouTube, then the videos may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): 1960s (30), kennedy (27), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site (or save it in your favorites). Use the resources for any unit that includes the Cuban Missile Crisis, presidents, or John F. Kennedy. Watch videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share a link on your class website for students to view at home. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about any of the characters involved with the crisis. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare the point of view of the U.S. vs Cuba or to compare outcomes based on possible decisions made during the crisis.
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John F. Kennedy: Life Portrait Video Lesson Plan - C-Span

Grades
6 to 12
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This site offers a complete lesson plan using video clips from C-Span's American Presidents program on John F. Kennedy. The lesson encompasses three sections: his legacy, assassination,...more
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This site offers a complete lesson plan using video clips from C-Span's American Presidents program on John F. Kennedy. The lesson encompasses three sections: his legacy, assassination, and conspiracy. Each portion includes links to video clips along with questions for follow up discussion. The videos require QuickTime Player. At the time of this review, the videos would only load on PC and not MAC computers.

tag(s): 1960s (30), kennedy (27), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Share on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as part of any study about John F. Kennedy, the 1960's, or American presidents. Create a link for students to watch at home, then use as part of your classroom discussions. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles (reviewed here) to document the life of John F. Kennedy.

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Lesson Plans and Activities for Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer - Penguin Group

Grades
6 to 12
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Find a thorough pdf lesson plan guide aligned with the Common Core standards and so much more. Through this guide, middle school students will learn about the U.S. court system ...more
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Find a thorough pdf lesson plan guide aligned with the Common Core standards and so much more. Through this guide, middle school students will learn about the U.S. court system and the anatomy of a criminal trial. They will also learn about the rights of the accused, the jury system, and career opportunities. The materials support the book by providing more accurate and state-specific information on the legal process. There are plenty of interactive activities suggested so students are not just passive readers.
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tag(s): careers (132), civil rights (117), courts (15), critical thinking (108), guided reading (47), independent reading (126), reading comprehension (116)

In the Classroom

Use this unit as a whole, or pick and choose the activities you think your students will be most interested in. Collaborate with your social studies teacher to teach about the judicial system as you read this book. If you have students who have previously read "Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer," they can still read along and will learn so much more from the activities. Or those who have read this book may want to read another book in the series but can still follow the activities from this guide.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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