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Napoleon - PBS

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7 to 12
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This site examines Napoleon's rise and fall. Originally the companion to a four-part video series by the same title, this site has strong biographical information about Napoleon, as...more
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This site examines Napoleon's rise and fall. Originally the companion to a four-part video series by the same title, this site has strong biographical information about Napoleon, as well as interactive resources like a simulation of the Battle of Waterloo. There are also lesson plans for using the site.

tag(s): france (40), french (88)

In the Classroom

Select almost any of the Special Features on this site and use it as a learning center or station while reviewing a unit on Napoleon. There are also free lesson plans and classroom uses for the site within the classroom materials section. This is a great resource for the World History Classroom!

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Illuminating the Renaissance - Getty Museum

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6 to 12
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The Getty Museum has produced a fine site to accompany their exhibit of illuminated renaissance books, or "Flemish Manuscripts." Examine an online sampling of the paintings, or read...more
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The Getty Museum has produced a fine site to accompany their exhibit of illuminated renaissance books, or "Flemish Manuscripts." Examine an online sampling of the paintings, or read up on the background of the history of renaissance art as it can be found on the pages of these beautiful books.

tag(s): painting (66), renaissance (34)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector, clicking on the section entitled "Zoom & Explore." Use this site as an activator or introduction to a unit on interpreting Renaissance Art. The site provides dialogue about the paintings origins in addition to allowing users to zoom in on selected parts to see the very fine details. Art history teachers will love this one!
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Proceedings of the Old Bailey London

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9 to 12
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This is an interesting collection of primary resources for those interested in British History ; the site has the texts of over 100,000 proceedings of London's Central Criminal Court....more
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This is an interesting collection of primary resources for those interested in British History ; the site has the texts of over 100,000 proceedings of London's Central Criminal Court. There is also a good introduction in the "For Schools" section on how to structure a legal and civic history lessons using the site. The teacher's page is geared towards British Curriculum standards, but it is still helpful in describing the site's application to British History.

tag(s): britain (35), courts (15), england (57), great britain (16)

In the Classroom

Beyond the free lesson plans, use this site to obtain plenty of primary resources from early to modern England. During a unit on the American Revolution, use this site as a way to address the treason of Benedict Arnold. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector and search for crimes related to treason or espionage. Go through the cases with students, highlighting sentencing and judicial opinions related to the offense. Once you have gone through a few cases, use the results you found to discuss what British attitudes may have been towards their own "turncoat" and how this may have impacted Benedict Arnold's future working for the British Empire. This would also be a great activity to discuss how these same attitudes in combination with Arnold's actions impacted American legislation towards treason. This could be used in either a civics or American History course.

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Mostly Medieval

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4 to 12
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Those studying castles, knights, and the feudal system will find a surprisingly rich collection of information and lifestyle trivia at this site. The emphasis is on life in the medieval...more
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Those studying castles, knights, and the feudal system will find a surprisingly rich collection of information and lifestyle trivia at this site. The emphasis is on life in the medieval era, from medicine and food to religion, music, heraldry, and folklore. Lots of tidbits and interesting ideas here. Elementary students will need lots of help with this one.

tag(s): medieval (27)

In the Classroom

Use the ballads on this site as a means to combine history and creative writing. Show students several of the ballad examples over the interactive whiteboard, allowing volunteers to read aloud some of the pieces. Based on the styles and lyrics seen, have students write their own ballads summarizing some point of Medieval culture or history. For a fun break, have students read aloud their ballads to the class - it's always interesting to see how creative people can get!

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Flight History

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6 to 12
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This British site includes a large collection of images of famous European and American aircraft, along with stories about many of them. Many of the stories concentrate on the circumstances...more
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This British site includes a large collection of images of famous European and American aircraft, along with stories about many of them. Many of the stories concentrate on the circumstances in which the aircraft were used. Try using this site as a supplement to a study of aeronautics or events of the early twentieth century.

tag(s): air (163), aircraft (24), aviation (39)

In the Classroom

While some of the information on this site is targeted towards travelers, there is useful information here that can be used to supplement a lecture on the origins of flight and the Wright Brothers. Open the section about the Wright Brothers on the interactive whiteboard or projector, and use the timeline provided as a guide for students to follow. This would also be a great jumping off point for students working on research projects or papers about the Wright Brothers - save this site on your class wiki or webpage to allow students to access it both in and out of the classroom. This would be useful in a US history or Physics classroom following the evolution of flight.

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Modernism - Minneapolis Institute of the Arts

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6 to 12
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This site from the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts is almost as good as a field trip. Stuffed with images, video clips, and text, it offers a presentation on Modernism ...more
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This site from the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts is almost as good as a field trip. Stuffed with images, video clips, and text, it offers a presentation on Modernism that runs from the British arts and crafts movement in the 1880s through to American Art Deco of the 1940s. There are images, text, and video narration for each segment, providing a nice evolutionary tour. Use the pieces together or individually as supplemental material for art history, or as an adjunct to an American or European history class.

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 modernism in the past two centuries. Use the site's images and virtual exhibits to showcase the movement being talked about to compliment your class lectures. Another useful item is that some of the exhibits have a quick video clip that can help introduce the idea to your class in a way that foreshadows the rest of your lecture. Make sure your technology allows for the videos to be seen and not just heard!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Napoleon Series

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9 to 12
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This is a privately produced, web-only resource about Napoleon, the French Revolution, and related historical topics. While the content is extensive and well-written, there is no biographical...more
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This is a privately produced, web-only resource about Napoleon, the French Revolution, and related historical topics. While the content is extensive and well-written, there is no biographical information on the authors. While we assume the facts are presented accurately, teachers may want to proceed cautiously in other areas.

tag(s): evolution (100), france (40), french (88)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for students working on a research project or paper on Napoleon Bonaparte. Make it easier for students to access the site in and out of the classroom and include it on your teacher wiki or web page! This would be a useful resource in a World History classroom studying the famous statesman.

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Chateau Versailles - Chateau Versailles

Grades
6 to 12
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While most of this site deals with visiting Versailles, students will find sections dealing with the King's daily routine and the life of the French court in the 17th and ...more
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While most of this site deals with visiting Versailles, students will find sections dealing with the King's daily routine and the life of the French court in the 17th and 18th centuries. In addition, there are images of some of the more notable artwork, and of course, large sections available "seulement en Francais," which we hope will please the foreign language teachers. There's nothing like it elsewhere.

tag(s): france (40)

In the Classroom

Use the menus to explore the "hidden" content. The site requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
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First World War.com - Privately Published

Grades
9 to 12
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This remarkably well-organized site provides extensive background, chronological, and biographical information on the people and events of World War I. While the writing is best suited...more
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This remarkably well-organized site provides extensive background, chronological, and biographical information on the people and events of World War I. While the writing is best suited to high school or undergraduate students, the time lines and other features could be useful to younger students studying this time period.

tag(s): england (57), france (40), german (64), germany (28), russia (38), world war 1 (54)

In the Classroom

This one would be a great "term paper" site!

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Uniting the Kingdoms - British National Archives

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9 to 12
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This site from Britain's National Archives documents the political evolution of England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and France from about 1066 through the death of Elizabeth I. While...more
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This site from Britain's National Archives documents the political evolution of England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and France from about 1066 through the death of Elizabeth I. While most of this content is absent from American curricula, this site does an elegant job of summarizing the people and events that ultimately resulted in the emergence of the United Kingdom.

tag(s): england (57), france (40), ireland (12), scotland (7)

In the Classroom

American teachers will find background here for the study of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Those elsewhere may be able to put the material to more direct use.

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Bauhaus Design Museum

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9 to 12
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This German site offers a well-illustrated history of German architect Walter Gropius and his vision for a new form of design and architecture that came to be know as Bauhaus. ...more
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This German site offers a well-illustrated history of German architect Walter Gropius and his vision for a new form of design and architecture that came to be know as Bauhaus. Elements of this style came to be incorporated into art, stage, photography, and other disciplines. Beyond its obvious interest to art teachers, those teaching secondary history or social studies may also find this material useful.

tag(s): architecture (84), design (84)

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Elie Weisel - First Person Singular - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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This web site from the PBS program by the same name offers a biography of the author and Nobel Peace Prize winner, as well as a teaching guide linked to ...more
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This web site from the PBS program by the same name offers a biography of the author and Nobel Peace Prize winner, as well as a teaching guide linked to the program itself. History, social studies, or English teachers may find this content useful in a unit on the holocaust or in a discussion of World War II.

tag(s): holocaust (39), jews (20), nazis (10), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

This site is a very moving resource for covering WWII and the Jewish Holocaust. Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities offered in the teaching guide on this site. US and World history teachers will appreciate this one.

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History and Politics Out Loud

Grades
9 to 12
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Here's a small site we hope will grow quickly. There are recordings of famous political speeches - including William Jennings Bryan's "cross of gold" and Churchill's famous "iron curtain"...more
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Here's a small site we hope will grow quickly. There are recordings of famous political speeches - including William Jennings Bryan's "cross of gold" and Churchill's famous "iron curtain" speech. Interestingly, many of these are in their entirety, making for listening sessions of an hour or more. History teachers will find numerous possibilities for this one, especially if the collection continues to grow. You'll need the RealPlayer for the sound files.

tag(s): politics (99), speech (92), speeches (17)

In the Classroom

Use this site to supplement a lecture on Martin Luther King and the impact of his "I have a dream" speech. Browse the results by speaker and select the speech under King's collection. After discussing King's role in civil rights, play the clip or as much of it as you can for students. Use the audio as a writing prompt, in which students respond to the difference in hearing vs reading the speech. Students should also respond to the emotional appeal of the speech, in addition to the overall message presented. This activity would be a great short review at the end of a unit on MLK Jr.
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Galileo's Battle for the Heavens - PBS/Nova

Grades
6 to 12
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This site from the PBS Nova series chronicles Galileo's life, experiments, and scientific accomplishments. Users will find a detailed time line, articles about Galileo's accomplishments,...more
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This site from the PBS Nova series chronicles Galileo's life, experiments, and scientific accomplishments. Users will find a detailed time line, articles about Galileo's accomplishments, and a nice series of interactive "experiments" illustrating his fundamental discoveries. Great site for the study of astronomy, inventors, or the Renaissance.

tag(s): galileo (7), gravity (46), moon (72), renaissance (34), solar system (119)

In the Classroom

A teachers' guide is in the works, but was unavailable at the time of this review.
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Berlin Wall - The Newseum

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6 to 12
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The Berlin Wall and the Press is a short video (just over 14 minutes) that presents life on both sides of the Berlin Wall including escapes and protests. Find three ...more
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The Berlin Wall and the Press is a short video (just over 14 minutes) that presents life on both sides of the Berlin Wall including escapes and protests. Find three activities (downloadable in PDF format) to prepare students to analyze the impact of the Berlin Wall. The video is a fascinating presentation with primary sources about the origins of the wall from both western and Soviet perspectives. There are also nine Optional Extension Activities; these cover everything from graffiti art on the wall, to writing personal journals as one of the residents of East Berlin, to researching the unification of Berlin after the wall came down, and even more. Two of the activities help increase student awareness of political unrest in other parts of the world (China's Tiananmen Square Nov. 1989; Tehran, Iran June 2009; Tunis, Tunisia Jan. 2011; and Cairo, Egypt Jan. 2011), asking students to research challenges and criticisms of the press while trying to report on them.

tag(s): china (66), cold war (29), egypt (67), german (64), germany (28), iran (12), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Teachers should plan on spending ample time previewing the site before using it in class. Initially view the video as a class and have a discussion. You might want to use a backchannel tool like TodaysMeet, reviewed here, for the discussion. The advantage of a backchannel chat is that every student has a voice, no matter how shy. Have small groups choose which of the extension activities they would like to investigate. Allow students to create a final project other than an essay to share their findings and present to the class. Suggest something like an online poster using Checkthis, reviewed here, or a simple infographic using Easel.ly, reviewed here.
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Yugoslavia - Country Studies - Library of Congress

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8 to 12
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This site is part of a set of detailed cultural, political, and historical summaries created by the Library's Federal Research Service. The emphasis is on less commonly studied nations,...more
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This site is part of a set of detailed cultural, political, and historical summaries created by the Library's Federal Research Service. The emphasis is on less commonly studied nations, and the material will be challenging for some students.

tag(s): europe (75), yugoslavia (2)

In the Classroom

Teachers will find these summaries useful for their comprehensive scope, which frequently includes historical and cultural background information. Much of the content is 5 or more years old, so these pages are best used for historical or background information.

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Spain - Country Studies - Library of Congress

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8 to 12
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This site is part of a set of detailed cultural, political, and historical summaries created by the Library's Federal Research Service. The emphasis is on less commonly studied nations,...more
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This site is part of a set of detailed cultural, political, and historical summaries created by the Library's Federal Research Service. The emphasis is on less commonly studied nations, and the material will be challenging for some students.

tag(s): europe (75), spain (9)

In the Classroom

Teachers will find these summaries useful for their comprehensive scope, which frequently includes historical and cultural background information. Much of the content is 5 or more years old, so these pages are best used for historical or background information.

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Romania - Country Studies - Library of Congress

Grades
8 to 12
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This site is part of a set of detailed cultural, political, and historical summaries created by the Library's Federal Research Service. The emphasis is on less commonly studied nations,...more
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This site is part of a set of detailed cultural, political, and historical summaries created by the Library's Federal Research Service. The emphasis is on less commonly studied nations, and the material will be challenging for some students.

tag(s): europe (75)

In the Classroom

Teachers will find these summaries useful for their comprehensive scope, which frequently includes historical and cultural background information. Much of the content is 5 or more years old, so these pages are best used for historical or background information.

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Portugal - Country Studies - Library of Congress

Grades
8 to 12
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This site is part of a set of detailed cultural, political, and historical summaries created by the Library's Federal Research Service. The emphasis is on less commonly studied nations,...more
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This site is part of a set of detailed cultural, political, and historical summaries created by the Library's Federal Research Service. The emphasis is on less commonly studied nations, and the material will be challenging for some students.

tag(s): europe (75)

In the Classroom

Teachers will find these summaries useful for their comprehensive scope, which frequently includes historical and cultural background information. Much of the content is 5 or more years old, so these pages are best used for historical or background information.

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Poland - Country Studies - Library of Congress

Grades
8 to 12
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This site is part of a set of detailed cultural, political, and historical summaries created by the Library's Federal Research Service. The emphasis is on less commonly studied nations,...more
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This site is part of a set of detailed cultural, political, and historical summaries created by the Library's Federal Research Service. The emphasis is on less commonly studied nations, and the material will be challenging for some students.

tag(s): europe (75)

In the Classroom

Teachers will find these summaries useful for their comprehensive scope, which frequently includes historical and cultural background information. Much of the content is 5 or more years old, so these pages are best used for historical or background information.

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