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Uncle Tom's Cabin and American Culture - University of Virginia

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8 to 12
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Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin was a cultural phenomenon when it was published, and continues to be an important window into the mid-19th century anti-slavery movement prior...more
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Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin was a cultural phenomenon when it was published, and continues to be an important window into the mid-19th century anti-slavery movement prior to the American Civil War. Here you will find important cultural context for a fuller discussion of the novel and its impact on American society and history. Browse the site for a variety of primary source material, or interpret the work's significance through one of several lenses: Anti-slavery texts, the influence of "minstrel shows," 19th century Christian revivalism, or Victorian sentimentality. There are several high school level lesson plans to give you ideas for using the enormous number of audio, visual, and text-based resources available to supplement either a literary examination of Uncle Tom's Cabin, or a cultural-historical one. Be advised that much of the primary material reflects the 19th century views on race that prevailed at the time. It should be carefully viewed and used within a discussion of its context.

tag(s): 1800s (41), abolition (8), african american (109), civil rights (101), civil war (142), racism (17), slavery (69)

In the Classroom

Whether you are approaching Uncle Tom's Cabin from a literary perspective or a historical perspective, the primary sources here are deep and offer a variety. Listen to minstrel songs, view advertisements for performances, or read poems and other literary responses to the work. Because much of the site contains material that is rooted in a 19th century perspective on race, you should screen images, texts, and lyrics, and ensure that students understand their context before using them in the classroom.
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David Rumsey Historical Map Collection - Cartography Associates

Grades
6 to 12
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In an age where digital maps are ubiquitous and take us down to house-by-house detail, we can forget how difficult it was to create accurate maps before satellite imaging. Historical...more
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In an age where digital maps are ubiquitous and take us down to house-by-house detail, we can forget how difficult it was to create accurate maps before satellite imaging. Historical maps are another tool for understanding the frame of reference of those who lived before us, and are important primary source documents. This collection includes over 50,000 historical maps, with an emphasis on 18th and 19th century maps of North and South America. The collection can be viewed from several platforms. Over 120 of the maps can be accessed using the Google Maps interface. A Georeferencer utility allows you to view a historical map laid over a modern map of the same area. And finally, the site's LUNA browser allows you to view multiple maps together, create embeddable links or Web Widgets that can be used in other applications, create slide shows of collections of maps, and annotate specific maps in the collection.

tag(s): 1700s (21), 1800s (41), map skills (83), maps (272), north america (20), south america (32)

In the Classroom

Use this historical map collection to highlight contemporary views of places featured in your history, literature, or geography lessons. Consider asking students to create a slideshow of maps that show how a location has changed over time, or how political boundaries have changed. Use a tool like Zoho Show (similar to Powerpoint, but easier and free) - reviewed here. Help students understand how culture influences map making and what historical maps can tell us other than information on geography.
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American Centuries: History and Art from New England - Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association

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6 to 10
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The New England states in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries acted as a crucible for the development of US culture into the present time. This collection of artifacts from ...more
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The New England states in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries acted as a crucible for the development of US culture into the present time. This collection of artifacts from a Massachusetts museum gives a glimpse into American life in New England during that time. Browse the collection for images and descriptions of specific artifacts. Explore themes like Shay's Rebellion, the lives of African-Americans in early rural New England, or the Civil War era in New England. Interactive activities allow you to look at Early American tools, examine artifacts using a 360 degree view or see what clothing was worn (down to the underwear!) by people of the time. A separate section of the site designed just for kids accesses more activities. The teachers' reference section includes lesson plans and other classroom suggestions.

tag(s): 1700s (21), 1800s (41), american revolution (76), civil war (142), clothing (10), colonial america (105), massachusetts (10), new hampshire (5), new york (26)

In the Classroom

A great supplement to lessons about early American life in the New England states, there are activities suitable for use on an interactive whiteboard to projector. Or challenge students to peruse this site independently in groups. Have students view early tools and guess what they were used for. Short video clips will help them discover if they were right. Students can examine historical documents up close and learn how to decipher early handwriting.
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Retronaut via Mashable - Timescape

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7 to 12
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Retronaut is an archive of historical photos, though not your typical photos. These images are sometimes quirky, and generally unexpected. Many have explanations about the period. View...more
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Retronaut is an archive of historical photos, though not your typical photos. These images are sometimes quirky, and generally unexpected. Many have explanations about the period. View images of 1970's rock stars with their parents (Elton John, Frank Zappa, Eric Clapton to name a few). See Selma's Children, What Parisian Fancy Ladies wore in 1906, history's first women aviators, and much more. Explore the site by Most Popular, Featured, or The Latest. Click on an image to view a "capsule" with other related images. Some of the images have links under them for attribution, and you can see and read even more about that topic. Under latest, this reviewer found topics that were just added five days before, so you may want to check back if you do not find what you're looking for. Warning: At the time of this review there were two topics that may be inappropriate for the classroom. Use the URL of the topic you wish to share in a new window or tab of your web browser.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 1700s (21), 1800s (41), 1900s (28), 20th century (41), advertising (31), cultures (92), images (237), maps (272), medicine (58), politics (92), transportation (38)

In the Classroom

Share Retronaut via Mashable with students to explore images from a given time or relating to any historic topic to get an interesting perspective not typically seen in textbooks. Create capsules using images to share for any classroom project or allow students to create their own in conjunction with classroom presentations. Use Wellcome Images, reviewed here, with over 100,000 historical images if you do not find what you want on Retronaut. Galleries are not moderated, so check before sharing on your interactive whiteboard or projector. You can always use the URL of the topic you wish to share on a new tab of your web browser.

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Our Nation's Leaders - Minnesota State University

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3 to 12
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Learn about the first 43 Presidents at this interactive site. Read a brief portrait of each with a short narrative about his Presidency and accomplishments. A picture is also included...more
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Learn about the first 43 Presidents at this interactive site. Read a brief portrait of each with a short narrative about his Presidency and accomplishments. A picture is also included with each president. Unfortunately, it does not yet include President Obama and beyond.

tag(s): presidents (119)

In the Classroom

Use this site to introduce a specific president. Share this site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this tool for research projects. There are several short paragraphs devoted to each President, and they would be perfect to teach how to take notes or summary writing. Have your class write a proposed piece about the current President and have the class vote on the best one.
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A Sailor's Life for Me! - USS Constitution Museum

Grades
5 to 12
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What was it like to be a sailor aboard the USS Constitution? Take an interactive tour of "Old Ironsides" and meet the sailors, see where they live and work, and ...more
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What was it like to be a sailor aboard the USS Constitution? Take an interactive tour of "Old Ironsides" and meet the sailors, see where they live and work, and learn about the ship from their perspective. Or, Meet Your Shipmates and find out about the men needed to crew a ship like the Constitution. You'll even meet the ship's dog! Finally, there is an interactive game, playable either as a one-time-only game, or by creating a log in and being able to save a game in progress. There are resources for teachers with lesson plans and suggestions for using components of the site for classroom activities. This activity is available for download on your iPad.

tag(s): transportation (38), war of 1812 (14), whales (15)

In the Classroom

The great sailing ships of the 18th and 19th century were important both to the nation's defense and to the growth of the US economy. There are hours of content here and the frustration will be selecting what you can use within the classroom timeframe you have. Consider introducing the site with some small portions on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Allow accelerated students to spend time with further exploration for enrichment.
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100 Years of Parcel Post - Smithsonian National Postal Museum

Grades
6 to 12
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Click "Add to Cart," enter your credit card information, and a package arrives at your doorstep as soon as the next day. But it wasn't always that way. The Smithsonian ...more
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Click "Add to Cart," enter your credit card information, and a package arrives at your doorstep as soon as the next day. But it wasn't always that way. The Smithsonian Postal Museum provides a look at the history of package delivery in the United States, with an emphasis on the early 20th century. How did the US Postal Service deliver goods across long distances? Why did Congress authorize a government agency to deliver packages? And don't miss the section detailing some of the strangest packages ever mailed!

tag(s): transportation (38)

In the Classroom

The ability to mail packages across the country is an important factor in the growth of the US and has contributed to an ever-more-mobile society. Incorporate some of the historic images here into a discussion of changes in transportation and communication over the 20th and early 21st centuries. Ask students to brainstorm the items in their own bedrooms that might have arrived via Parcel Post. How would their lives be different without package delivery? Why is it important for the US Government to be involved in package delivery? Have students share their findings and thoughts by creating online posters individually or together as a class. Use a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here.

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Jewish Women's Archive - Jewish Women's Archive

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8 to 12
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The Jewish Women's Archive exists to tell the stories of Jewish women, with an emphasis on North America. The Archive can be searched by name or by collection. Collections include ...more
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The Jewish Women's Archive exists to tell the stories of Jewish women, with an emphasis on North America. The Archive can be searched by name or by collection. Collections include categories like Women of Valor, Power Couples, Western Pioneers, and the Feminist Revolution. Filter results by date of birth, place of birth, topic, or occupation. Each profile includes a short biography, often an image, and links to further reading and resources. There is a rich Resources section with lesson plans sorted by topic or keyword.

tag(s): biographies (48), jews (18), women (90), womens suffrage (17)

In the Classroom

This site offers an outstanding addition to your resources for student biographical projects, particularly focused on Women's History Month. Students will find stories of women from every walk of life, whose stories have not been often told. Consider browsing the lesson plans and incorporating one of them into a preexisting unit to provide balance and diverse viewpoints.

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The Ancestral Pueblo People - National Park Service

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6 to 10
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Discover a wealth of information about the Bandelier National Monument, the Pueblo people in New Mexico and their historical significance beginning 15,000 years ago. Gorgeous pictures...more
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Discover a wealth of information about the Bandelier National Monument, the Pueblo people in New Mexico and their historical significance beginning 15,000 years ago. Gorgeous pictures bring the history of the Pueblo people to life in screens with short, informative pieces to read. After an introduction, there are interactive tasks to complete. For example, learn about building materials or gardening practices and, after reading brief passages, get to choose the correct materials to complete the picture.

tag(s): archeology (27), geology (79), native americans (70)

In the Classroom

Assign this activity in pairs when studying native Americans. The interactive activity would work well at a learning station or in a computer lab. The activity takes about 20 minutes. The student challenges teach about the Ancestral Pueblo people and how they adapted to their harsh environment. The text portions might be challenging. Pair weak readers with a strong reader. Allow your ESL/ELL students to try using Sound Gecko, reviewed here, a text to speech program, that will allow these students to follow the text as the article or passage is read to them.
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Explore America - Ballard-Tighe

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5 to 12
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This site is an excellent way for ESL/ELL students to learn more about the history of America. Beginning before Columbus discovered America, and continuing into the present, it presents...more
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This site is an excellent way for ESL/ELL students to learn more about the history of America. Beginning before Columbus discovered America, and continuing into the present, it presents interactive activities, reference assistance, vocabulary activities, and a glossary to ensure student interest and comprehension. Authentic sounds and great attention to detail make the site attractive to students. Complete lesson plans help instructors incorporate the website material with background knowledge using a variety of skills. The Student Research Guide suggests fiction and nonfiction books to read. A built-in dictionary allows students to translate key terms into Spanish, Arabic, Korean and Hmong.

tag(s): colonial america (105), cross cultural understanding (93), cultures (92)

In the Classroom

The interactive activities would work well at a learning station or in a computer lab. The text portions might be challenging. Pair weaker readers with a stronger reader. After completing the interactive activities, have students create their own comics to highlight a specific historical era using comic-creation tools from TeachersFirst's Comic Resources. Or challenge your students to use a site such as Timetoast, reviewed here, to create timelines of important historical events and periods.
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CurriConnects Book List - 20th Century America, Part 2 (1945-2000) - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Do your students remember 2000? How about 1950? This booklist explores the times of JFK and Reagan, the tumultuous 60s and Woodstock, Civil Rights, and so much more. CurriConnects thematic...more
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Do your students remember 2000? How about 1950? This booklist explores the times of JFK and Reagan, the tumultuous 60s and Woodstock, Civil Rights, and so much more. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles'® to match student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. For more on text complexity and Lexiles'®, see this information from the Lexile Framework. This list features books for all levels of readers. Let students choose a book in one area of interest during the 20th century and share with the class about times (probably) long before they were born. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly. If your library does not have the books, try interlibrary loan!

tag(s): 20th century (41), book lists (108), independent reading (113), kennedy (28), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

Make the 1950s and beyond come alive during your unit on American History. Have students choose a book from this list and present their impressions from it in the form of a blog post from the times using a tool such as Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary! Have students interview parents about different times that they learn about. Have students include the interview in the blogs. Collect the links to all the student posts on your class web page for students to browse and gather a "human" experience of history.

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History on the Net - Heather Wheeler

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7 to 12
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History on the Net contains a wide variety of resources for a broad range of history topics. Begin a search by exploring history topics or by searching resources such as ...more
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History on the Net contains a wide variety of resources for a broad range of history topics. Begin a search by exploring history topics or by searching resources such as online lessons or worksheets. Explore the Titanic, World War I, Vikings, Mayans, and so much more! Look through a large selection of reference materials: dictionaries, timelines, and more. History on the Net is a great starting point when looking for lessons and materials for teaching history across the ages!
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tag(s): african american (109), aztecs (7), battles (15), black history (51), britain (36), civil rights (101), cold war (27), egypt (66), elizabethan (18), greeks (27), mayans (10), myths and legends (24), native americans (70), olympics (43), romans (30), victorian (21), vikings (9), worksheets (51), world war 1 (48), world war 2 (147)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects. This site is a perfect addition to use with President's Day activities, when learning about the Olympics, or as part of a Black History Month lesson. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a president, a passenger on the Titanic, a famous scientist, or another person learned about on this site.
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Timeline: US-Cuba Relations - Council on Foreign Relations

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6 to 12
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With the normalization of relations between the US and Cuba, it's helpful to understand the context of the often-troubled relationship between these two countries since the onset of...more
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With the normalization of relations between the US and Cuba, it's helpful to understand the context of the often-troubled relationship between these two countries since the onset of the Cold War. This interactive timeline provides images, historical information and links for further explanation for the time period from 1959 through the present. It's also possible to share the timeline or to embed it into a website or blog.

tag(s): cold war (27), communism (4)

In the Classroom

No lesson on the Spanish American War, the Cold War, or US diplomatic relations within the Americas is complete without an examination of the tensions between the US and Cuba. The timeline is suitable for use on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Share or embed this tool into a classroom website or blog.

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LearnEnglish232.com - learnenglish232.com

Grades
8 to 12
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Learn English 232 offers up to date video lessons on current English slang, phrasal verbs, and common phrases. The lessons are all in video format and contain humor as well ...more
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Learn English 232 offers up to date video lessons on current English slang, phrasal verbs, and common phrases. The lessons are all in video format and contain humor as well as multiple definitions. The large section of podcasts offer ongoing comic dialogues created by two brothers living in China. The dialogues are in the form of a talk show. You can comment on current events and learn what is happening around the world. Learn up-to-date slang and expressions heard in the news. With archives dating back to 2006, there is plenty of material here for lots of listening practice and cultural enhancement. You can download any podcasts as MP3s. The dialogues use plenty of idioms found in current English usage. Many of 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. WARNING: this site does include some mature content (slang). PREVIEW before sharing with the class.
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tag(s): idioms (43), podcasts (46), slang (15), vocabulary development (116)

In the Classroom

As a class, listen to a podcast and ask students to discuss the news story they heard. Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. In pairs have students list idioms they did not understand. Create another list of new vocabulary words. Have students try Funnelbrain, reviewed here, to create flashcards of the new idioms and vocabulary to help them bring the words into their active vocabulary.
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Magna Carta 800th Anniversary - Magna Carta 2015 Committee

Grades
8 to 12
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2015 marks the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, one of the founding documents of modern democratic society. In recognition of this anniversary, here are collected a number of resources...more
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2015 marks the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, one of the founding documents of modern democratic society. In recognition of this anniversary, here are collected a number of resources for celebrating and understanding its significance to history. An interactive timeline highlights events prior to and following the signing of Magna Carta. Essays discuss Magna Carta's impact on modern democracy. An interactive map places events in geographic contexts. And perhaps you're planning a trip to the UK for the celebrations? Find visitors' resources and a calendar of commemorative events. Check out the resources under Schools, including biographies of those involved (including a whole section on women) in the development of the document. There are lesson plans aligned with the UK's school system, and a quick Q&A overview of the importance of Magna Carta today. Don't miss the YouTube video explaining the work of Britain's Parliament in just over 60 seconds. If your district blocks YouTube, then this video (and others) 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): branches of government (42), democracy (14), great britain (16)

In the Classroom

No study of modern democratic political systems is complete without an understanding of Magna Carta. On its 800th anniversary, incorporate the interactive timeline into a discussion of the roots of the US Declaration of Independence or the post WW2 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Compare and contrast the different ways the principles that underpin Magna Carta have been transformed into democratically elected governments across the world.
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Teach World War One History with Food - American Historical Association

Grades
7 to 12
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Teaching about World War I usually involves a little international politics, a little national politics, and a side trip into the innovations of waging war. Why not include something...more
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Teaching about World War I usually involves a little international politics, a little national politics, and a side trip into the innovations of waging war. Why not include something a little more personal and relatable--like food? Four short (under 5 minutes) videos introduce the idea that Americans' role in providing food aid to Europe in the early stages of the war was part of the larger Progressive movement. The videos also focus on the actual preparation of a World War I era meal. Information about the actual recipes is interwoven with further political and cultural commentary about life in the US during the World War I era. Videos are hosted on Vimeo, so Flash isn't required.

tag(s): nutrition (150), world war 1 (48)

In the Classroom

Use these short videos to make life during World War I come alive. Consider asking students to make some of these recipes themselves at home, or if it's feasible, prepare an authentic meal at school as a treat during the unit. Students might discuss the issue of food rationing during both World War I and II as a contrast to the widespread availability of all kinds of food today. How is food rationing a patriotic act? Challenge students to find other popular recipes from this time in history. Have students video the preparation and explanation of the recipe. Share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.

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Maptia - A World of Stories - Dorothy Sanders, Dean Fischer, and Johnny Miller

Grades
6 to 12
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Maptia is a bold, beautiful world of thoughtful and inspiring stories told through photographs by photographers, adventurers, and writers. Explore stories categorized by places, themes,...more
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Maptia is a bold, beautiful world of thoughtful and inspiring stories told through photographs by photographers, adventurers, and writers. Explore stories categorized by places, themes, and storytellers. Stories focus on portraying an individual perspective of the location and why it matters on a personal level. Find a collection of inspiring stories by people and organizations who are making a difference in many corners of the world. When browsing through offerings, information includes a short synopsis along with the location featured and an estimate of time to read the story. Create an account to add your stories. Bookmark and save favorites for viewing at any time. Maptia works well for viewing in all browsers, but it is optimized for Chrome and Safari when creating stories.

tag(s): creative writing (151), digital storytelling (109), narrative (22), photography (145)

In the Classroom

Share Maptia on your interactive whiteboard or projector to discover personal stories from anywhere in the world. Share with students as examples of personal narrative writing. Challenge students to create an account and add their own personal stories. To find even more stories like those under Causes see The Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heros, reviewed here, and follow their ten steps for writing about people who make a difference. Create a class account and bookmark favorites. Share with students through a link on your class web page. Display photographs for use as a creative writing prompt.

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The Center on Congress - Indiana University

Grades
7 to 12
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Indiana University's Center on Congress partners with the Library of Congress and its effort to promote teaching with primary sources to provide a rich set of resources, lesson plans,...more
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Indiana University's Center on Congress partners with the Library of Congress and its effort to promote teaching with primary sources to provide a rich set of resources, lesson plans, and activities related to the history, function, and actions of the US Congress. Activities are divided by theme, such as citizen participation, criticism of Congress, and the impact of Congress. Many activities include comics to keep your attention. There is a good overview of using primary sources in teaching. Lesson plans are tied to state standards. In addition to the lesson plans developed by the Center on Congress, there is also a bank of teacher-submitted lesson plans.

tag(s): branches of government (42), civil rights (101), comics and cartoons (75), congress (26), politics (92), primary sources (78), womens suffrage (17)

In the Classroom

Clearly, this is a great resource for those teaching civics or US government. These activities will also be useful to US History teachers, as the issues covered span important political eras. For example, there are activities related to women's suffrage, the child labor movement, the GI Bill and the development of the Interstate Highway system. Lesson plans range from those designed to cover several days, to short "Congressional moments" videos perfect for introducing a concept or sparking class discussion. A number of the lesson plans and activities are designed specifically for iPads. Of note also is the fact that the video clips on the site are not links to YouTube, so will not pose an access problem for school districts that block the site.

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Sixteen Months to Sumter - American Historical Association

Grades
8 to 12
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Advanced study of history requires increased attention to primary sources. Collected here are over 1,000 newspaper editorials written in the 16 months leading up to the start of the...more
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Advanced study of history requires increased attention to primary sources. Collected here are over 1,000 newspaper editorials written in the 16 months leading up to the start of the US Civil War. Along with a useful timeline of events during the same period, the site offers search either by the location of the publication or by the name of the publication. Editorials come from newspapers across the US, not just from those in states most often associated with the Civil War. The opinion expressed may offer a fresh perspective on what people were thinking just prior to the firing on Ft. Sumter. For example, we might view Abraham Lincoln as one of the greatest of American Presidents, but an editorial from the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Daily Patriot and Union concludes with the words, "We confess we shudder as we contemplate the future in the person of this weak and ignorant man." (February 21, 1861).

tag(s): civil war (142), newspapers (54), primary sources (78)

In the Classroom

This is a wonderful resource for adding primary source material to a study of the US Civil War. It is particularly useful for advanced students, or those doing research. Consider choosing a newspaper that is located near you, if possible, and introduce students to a perspective that's close to home. Or choose editorials from two newspapers--one from the North and one from the South--written at the same time and contrast the perspectives expressed. Compare and contrast using an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here).

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Battle Tactics - Animated History

Grades
5 to 12
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This complex history lesson about the Revolutionary War shows the battlefield. It goes on to explain various aspects both orally and in text. Click anywhere on the screen (picture)...more
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This complex history lesson about the Revolutionary War shows the battlefield. It goes on to explain various aspects both orally and in text. Click anywhere on the screen (picture) to learn more about that specific area (or topic). You can also click on the "Choose an item from the menu" in the upper right corner. There you will find information about weaponry, tactics, descriptions of both armies involved, and information about the soldier himself. There is an option to print the spoken/printed text.

tag(s): american revolution (76)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site as a way to review what students are learning about the Revolutionary War. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students create their own comics to illustrate and expand on what they have learned. Use a comic-creation tools from the TeachersFirst collection.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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