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Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States - Digital Scholarship Lab, University of Richmond

Grades
7 to 12
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In 1932, Charles O. Paullin's Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States took US maps and used them to illustrate how geography influences history. This digital version...more
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In 1932, Charles O. Paullin's Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States took US maps and used them to illustrate how geography influences history. This digital version of that work updates it and uses today's technology to animate and enhance its presentation. Find maps illustrating, for example, how the rate of travel across the US has changed over time, the distribution of wealth in the US, the military history of the country, and how land use has changed. This is a remarkably rich resource for illuminating how the history of the people of the US is affected by the physical geography of the country. Each map has pop out text explaining the significance of the animated map. The maps can be viewed one at a time, or can be animated to flow in a continuous arc. Find the table of contents from the red button at the start or top right from any page once "inside" the Atlas.

tag(s): atlas (5), census (19), demographics (13), map skills (64), maps (229)

In the Classroom

The interactive whiteboard or projector is the perfect venue for using the Atlas to its greatest potential. Teachers of US History will find dozens of applications by searching the table of contents for relevant maps among the over 700 included. As an alternative to using the maps for a whole class, small groups of students might explore a topic within the Atlas and draw conclusions from the changes illustrated. For example, what does the change in the distribution of crops across geographic areas over time say about US history? What events in history might have influenced this change? Have students create screencast (or live) presentations of the map they study, verbally explaining the implications and their conclusions. Try a tool such as Screenr, reviewed here.

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Wonder Women - Wonder City Interactive Game - PBS

Grades
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 (71), heroes (19), media literacy (36), women (89)

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.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Smithsonian Digital Volunteers: Transcription Center - Smithsonian Institution

Grades
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 (11), primary sources (71)

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 (46), artists (51)

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

Grades
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 (46), civil rights (85), great depression (22), immigration (47), industrial revolution (20), native americans (57), presidents (111), transportation (32), westward expansion (18), womens suffrage (13)

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 (29), california (25), landmarks (21), new york (24)

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!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Reading Strategies for the Social Studies Classroom - Holt, Rinehart and Winston

Grades
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 (21), graphic organizers (44), reading comprehension (81), reading strategies (28), visual thinking (12), visualizations (14), vocabulary (302)

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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Nixon Tapes and Transcripts - Luke Nichter

Grades
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 (26), presidents (111)

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 (63), colonial america (100), colonization (16), constitution (67), declaration of independence (13), jefferson (16), primary sources (71), washington (29)

In the Classroom

Search and view information from this site on your interactive whiteboard or project. 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 (26), kennedy (24), presidents (111)

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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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 (26), kennedy (24), presidents (111)

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 (105), civil rights (85), courts (14), critical thinking (65), guided reading (37), independent reading (92), reading comprehension (81)

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.
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John F Kennedy Curricular Resources - John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

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K to 12
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This site offers curricular resources to teach about John F Kennedy for all grade levels. Choose from resources: elementary, middle, or high school. Each level includes several lesson...more
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This site offers curricular resources to teach about John F Kennedy for all grade levels. Choose from resources: elementary, middle, or high school. Each level includes several lesson plans as well as links to biographical resources. Lesson plans link to a PDF version for easy download and printing. Check out the full details including objectives and connections to national history standards. The elementary resources include a downloadable pdf "picture book" about Kennedy that would work well on tablets or on a projector or interactive whiteboard.

tag(s): civil rights (85), cold war (23), kennedy (24), presidents (111), vietnam (29)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this resource for use when teaching about John F Kennedy, the presidency, Civil Rights, or the Vietnam War. Share with teachers at other grade levels (k-12) for use with lesson planning.
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History of Halloween Traditions Timeline - Perfect Party UK

Grades
4 to 12
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Trace the roots of Halloween back to its origin as a Celtic Festival with this interesting timeline. Follow arrows to view the entire timeline or slide the bar to find ...more
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Trace the roots of Halloween back to its origin as a Celtic Festival with this interesting timeline. Follow arrows to view the entire timeline or slide the bar to find information for various periods in history. Along the way learn about cat superstitions, witch trials, the origin of the jack-o-lantern and much more!
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tag(s): halloween (40), holidays (126)

In the Classroom

Use this timeline to make Halloween a learning experience. View the timeline on your interactive whiteboard as a class or as a starting point for individual or group projects. 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 to tell the story of the history of Halloween. Create a scavenger hunt for your Halloween party. Have students locate and find different Halloween-related events on the timeline such as the date Halloween was introduced in the United States.

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The President's Desk - John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

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4 to 12
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Explore John F. Kennedy's desk interactively, examining treasured mementos and important documents. Don't miss the comprehensive resource guide for classroom use. Click on highlighted...more
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Explore John F. Kennedy's desk interactively, examining treasured mementos and important documents. Don't miss the comprehensive resource guide for classroom use. Click on highlighted areas of the desk to view videos, read documents, and explore important events from John F Kennedy's history. Download the pdf resource guidefor lessons, transcripts, and copies of included documents. This terrific interactive unfortunately requires Flash so will not work on iOS devices.

tag(s): 1960s (26), civil rights (85), kennedy (24), presidents (111), vietnam (29)

In the Classroom

Use the President's Desk as a highly engaging resource for getting to know more about John F. Kennedy's presidency. Show on your interactive whiteboard or projector and include suggested lesson activities to accompany the site. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about John F Kennedy. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles (reviewed here). Be sure to add a link to the site on you class website for students to access on their own or from home. Have your class create a presidential desk for another historic leader, creating their own annotated photo of the desktop using Thinglink reviewed here to explain the items on the desk.
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American Experience: Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald? - PBS

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7 to 12
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This site accompanies an episode of the PBS series Frontline which examines the life of Lee Harvey Oswald, the presumed killer of John F. Kennedy. Because Oswald himself was assassinated...more
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This site accompanies an episode of the PBS series Frontline which examines the life of Lee Harvey Oswald, the presumed killer of John F. Kennedy. Because Oswald himself was assassinated before a full examination of the crime could be completed, mystery surrounds the man and his possible motivations for killing the President. Did he act alone? Here you will find a summary of the major conspiracy theories, a timeline of Oswald's life (including a psychiatric report from his teenage years), and an overview of the events surrounding the assassination. Note that the actual video of the show is not available for free, but there is much information to explore.
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tag(s): kennedy (24), presidents (111)

In the Classroom

Students are often fascinated by conspiracy theories, and the mystery of whether Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone or was part of a larger plot to kill the President represents one of US history's most enduring. Certainly the site will be useful in a discussion of the event itself. However, it can be used more generally as a springboard for discussion of conspiracy theories themselves. See the lesson ideas in the Teachers Guide section. What evidence do we require to decide if something is true or not? Who can be trusted to tell the story of an emotional event? Is "seeing" always "believing"? How can resolve the fact that eyewitnesses do not all have the same recollection of the event? Have your gifted and highly able students do a special project investigating conspiracy theories in history and sharing them as a role play or video for the rest of the class.

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50th Anniversary of JFK Assassination - Associated Press

Grades
7 to 12
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It's said that a picture is worth a thousand words. This site from the Associated Press brings together a large collection of photographs related to the assassination of John F. ...more
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It's said that a picture is worth a thousand words. This site from the Associated Press brings together a large collection of photographs related to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The photos are copyrighted, and therefore carry a watermark, but they do represent a good cross section of the photos taken by journalists of the events surrounding the assassination.

tag(s): kennedy (24), presidents (111)

In the Classroom

This site represents a good "quick access" point for photos related to the JFK assassination. Use them to illustrate a discussion of the event, or consider asking students to analyze the perspective presented in the photos. What is the photo communicating? How have these photos influenced the way we remember this important event? Students might be asked to compare the photographic "evidence" that was part of the investigation of this crime with the resources that are available today when a similar incident occurs. For example, how is this documentation different from that which was used to identify the Boston Marathon bombing suspects? In English class, use the photos as prompts for students to write informational texts about the Kennedy Assassination in journalistic or historic styles. Since there is such fascination with the Kennedy assassination, you could use this as a chance to discuss purpose and audience, writing to spin the same information several ways.

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Engaging Students With Primary Sources - Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Grades
6 to 12
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The Smithsonian Institution offers a printable guide to using primary sources in any classroom. View examples of how to do it and suggestion! Explore each of the main sections including...more
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The Smithsonian Institution offers a printable guide to using primary sources in any classroom. View examples of how to do it and suggestion! Explore each of the main sections including documents, photographs, oral histories, and objects for ideas and tips. Each activity is aligned to National Center for History in the Schools standards. The guide is in PDF format for easy printing and use.

tag(s): primary sources (71)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for use throughout the year as a guide for using primary sources. Use some of the lesson strategies with other primary source collections
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Beyond The Bubble - Stanford History Education Group

Grades
6 to 12
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Beyond the Bubble offers a new generation of history assessments that work hand in hand with Common Core Standards to provide a window into student thinking and promote academic literacy....more
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Beyond the Bubble offers a new generation of history assessments that work hand in hand with Common Core Standards to provide a window into student thinking and promote academic literacy. Refered to as "HATS" (History Assessment of Thinking), assessments go beyond recall to applying facts in context. Choose the assessment link to explore topics such as "Civil Rights Movement in Context" or "Edison and a Kansas Housewife." Lessons also include an interactive rubric and sample student responses. Don't miss the going deeper activities, such as videos. Click links to download materials available in PDF format.

tag(s): 1920s (12), assessment (53), civil rights (85), civil war (125), cold war (23), colonial america (100), commoncore (82), immigrants (10), immigration (47), rubrics (22), slavery (63), thanksgiving (27), war of 1812 (10), womens suffrage (13)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this excellent site as a resource for Common Core social studies literacy assessments. Many of these activities (and videos) are ideal for your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share the interactive rubric BEFORE the lesson, so students are aware of exactly what is expected. Use activities and materials provided on the site. Create your own similiar activities. Explore this site during professional development sessions for ideas for rubrics and lesson planning. Click on tags for "same assessment type" to find additional assessments not in the main list.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Racial Dot Map - Dustin A. Cable

Grades
7 to 12
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Get a snapshot of America using this visualization of the geographic distribution, population density, and racial diversity of the American people. The map represents every neighborhood...more
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Get a snapshot of America using this visualization of the geographic distribution, population density, and racial diversity of the American people. The map represents every neighborhood in the United States. Each dot represents one person residing in the United States at the location during the count of the 2010 Census. Each ethnicity is represented by a different color dot. Zoom in and out as needed.

tag(s): diversity (39), maps (229), population (47)

In the Classroom

Discuss the cultural, political, economic, or geographic principles that affect the distribution of the dots on the map. Create blog posts, wiki edits, or other projects students can create to identify the reasons over time for the distribution in the map. The information gathered from this site might also be helpful in talking about regional and local political representation during election years. The opportunities for critical thinking abound with this site. Begin by asking, "Why does it look like this?"

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