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The Great Idea Finder - Vaunt Design Group

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5 to 12
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TGIF! The Great Idea Finder, that is. Inventive ideas and history abound here. Some helpful highlights are Facts and Myths, Inventor Biography, Innovation Time line, and Games and trivia....more
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TGIF! The Great Idea Finder, that is. Inventive ideas and history abound here. Some helpful highlights are Facts and Myths, Inventor Biography, Innovation Time line, and Games and trivia. Within the features section, there is a "Did You Ever Wonder About?" which provides interesting history about common and popular items such as the American flag, the piggy bank, and the origins of holidays like Mother's Day.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (95)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a research resource for students. It would be great to use the "Did You Ever Wonder?" information as class starters to encourage thinking and creativity. Have students use this site to research an invention or something else highlighted at this site and then create a class Wikinvention - a wiki all about inventions and innovative thinking, including invention ideas of their own! Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.

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Elizabeth I - Class 8C

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5 to 8
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While this is a student-posted site, it contains good, simple information about the life and times of the Elizabethan era in England. It is a good source of info for ...more
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While this is a student-posted site, it contains good, simple information about the life and times of the Elizabethan era in England. It is a good source of info for the basics before studying Shakespeare.

tag(s): renaissance (35), shakespeare (112)

In the Classroom

While the info is good, not all the spelling IS. A good exercise for middle school kids is to have them proofread for spelling as they go through. It is also a good exercise in teaching how good content would be better with NO errors via proofreading. It is, however, too good a simple site to ignore.

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The Holocaust Lesson Plan - Vanderbilt University, University of Texas-Austin

Grades
6 to 12
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This comprehensive approach to studying the Holocaust has students reading, viewing the film Devil's Arithmetic, and doing research about a real person who was involved in the Holocaust....more
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This comprehensive approach to studying the Holocaust has students reading, viewing the film Devil's Arithmetic, and doing research about a real person who was involved in the Holocaust. The lesson plans include videos of the different phases of the plan for teachers who would like to see it modeled. The questioning encourages the development of higher order thinking skills, and presents a well-considered approach to the study of the Holocaust, providing students with a template for future historical study. Student final presentations include students preparing their own PowerPoint or Hyperstudio presentations, an appropriate use of technology to express their own observations and research findings. Detailed student outcomes are available to instructors who wish to use this plan. Examples of student projects as well as links to other sites about the Holocaust complete the site offerings.

tag(s): hitler (10), holocaust (39)

In the Classroom

Video files of the model lesson are large and take a long time to download (use Quicktime). You will also need to find a copy of the film licensed for school use. Teachers may want to use these lesson ideas and products as a springboard, picking and choosing from the activities.

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In Search of Shakespeare - PBS - Folger Library

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6 to 12
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In Search of Shakespeare is a 4 part video series shown on PBS. Though the series is quite good, you are likely to "lose" lower level students with it. If ...more
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In Search of Shakespeare is a 4 part video series shown on PBS. Though the series is quite good, you are likely to "lose" lower level students with it. If you own it, in conjunction with this site, you can't miss. But you don't have to use the video series to use the site effectively. The site contains a multitude of sources, lesson plans, supplementary materials--almost anything you want to teach in a basic through high academic course on Shakespeare is here. The site is divided into 4 parts: the investigation, for educators, the playwright game, and the show. Clicking on any of those links takes you to a specific site within PBS that digs deeply into the Bard's life, Elizabethan times in both Stratford and London, Folger Library lesson plans, creative writing assignments for students, plus actual summaries and guides for the series itself if you should choose to use it.

tag(s): elizabethan (16), england (58), shakespeare (112)

In the Classroom

Decide what you want your students to know and where you want to begin. Involving them in 16th century politics is fun, especially if you assign them roles to play such as Elizabeth, her sister Mary, the Spanish consul, etc. There are infinite ways to make these times come alive by talking about bear-baiting, cock-fighting, and theatre--the main sources of entertainment among the common people. You might assign different pieces of the site to different students or groups of students and have them report back to the class on what they discovered, using the website itself as a teaching tool. The possibilities of using this site are almost endless.Requires Real Player for video portions

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The Cave of Lascaux - France Ministry of Culture and Communication

Grades
4 to 12
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Take virtual tour of the famous cave paintings of Lascaux in France, read about their discovery, learn to interpret the drawings, and find out fragile environment of the caves. ...more
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Take virtual tour of the famous cave paintings of Lascaux in France, read about their discovery, learn to interpret the drawings, and find out fragile environment of the caves. The site itself is beautiful to explore, letting you experience the caves with a virtual "flashlight" as you enter.

tag(s): archeology (32), painting (65)

In the Classroom

Use a projector to introduce the site, if you must, but allow your students to navigate this one alone or with a partner. The thrill of discovery through the site's design is more than worth any management challenges. Give the students a specific set of questions to answer and things to find, if you are concerned that they may not stay on task. Compare these primitive drawings to those found in other cultures and continents as you discuss common themes in religion and mythology.

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Renaissance Connection - Allentown Art Museum

Grades
6 to 8
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This educational website for middle school students focuses on the art, history, scientific inventions, and art patronage of the Renaissance. With a delightfully interactive flair,...more
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This educational website for middle school students focuses on the art, history, scientific inventions, and art patronage of the Renaissance. With a delightfully interactive flair, the site features digital images, maps, a timeline, glossary, and lesson plans. Students can role play the experience of commissioning a piece of artwork or trace today's innovations back to their Renaissance beginnings, while developing skills in literacy, analysis, and problem solving. Includes a collection of interdisciplinary lesson plans. Aligned to Academic Standards.

tag(s): europe (74), renaissance (35)

In the Classroom

Explore the lesson plans and objectives first, then incorporate these imaginative lessons into your curriculum to meet specific content objectives. From word problems and analytical interpretation, to point-of-view and the five themes of geography, there is something here to fit many disciplines and curriculum objectives.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Children in Victorian Britain - BBC

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4 to 7
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Catch a glimpse of what life was like for children in England during the age of Queen Victoria with this delightful resource. Enter the Interactive portion of the site and ...more
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Catch a glimpse of what life was like for children in England during the age of Queen Victoria with this delightful resource. Enter the Interactive portion of the site and choose one of three portals - school, work, or play. Each section offers a captioned video presentation, audio clips with accompanying transcripts, and an interactive game. Printable activity sheets are included.

tag(s): britain (35), england (58), victorian (21)

In the Classroom

Use as an independent computer station in your classroom to strengthen reading comprehension. Just add a worksheet of content-based questions. Or project and view the videos in class to generate a discussion of how the lives of children in Victorian England differed from the lives of children in 19th century America.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Journey of Christopher Columbus - McGraw-Hill

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5 to 7
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Follow Christopher Columbus on his 1492 journey to the new world with this informational site that reveals details of his life before the voyage, excerpts from his journals, a timeline,...more
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Follow Christopher Columbus on his 1492 journey to the new world with this informational site that reveals details of his life before the voyage, excerpts from his journals, a timeline, descriptions of the native people he encountered, and his activities after his return. Nice resource for a unit on explorers.

tag(s): explorers (65)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on the famous explorer. Because of the large amount of information, this activity would work best with a guide to highlight for students what is most important. For help creating such graphic organizers, we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here). This would be a useful resource within a US history classroom.

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Create a Timeline - Ourtimelines.com

Grades
1 to 12
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This online tool lets you create a timeline of an individual's life using dates from 1000 AD to the present year. Enter the person's name and dates, add events (historic ...more
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This online tool lets you create a timeline of an individual's life using dates from 1000 AD to the present year. Enter the person's name and dates, add events (historic or personal) and their beginning/ending dates, and click the "generate" button.

tag(s): timelines (64)

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A Personal Holocaust Remembrance - MSNBC

Grades
7 to 12
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A Michigan teen has produced his own documentary based on first-person interviews with his grandparents about their experiences as holocaust victims. The interviews were the first time...more
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A Michigan teen has produced his own documentary based on first-person interviews with his grandparents about their experiences as holocaust victims. The interviews were the first time they had spoken with a family member about those events. Includes video clips.

tag(s): holocaust (39), nazis (10), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

Open this site on the interactive whiteboard or projector to introduce a unit on the Holocaust during a World or US history class. Have students read aloud the information, or summarize the main points yourself before previewing the video in class. This is a great way to make the events of the Holocaust more real and personal.

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Walking Around Europe - Learningtogether.net

Grades
6 to 12
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Choose your language - English, French, German, or Italian - and participate in interactive games that teach European culture and geography. Includes many click and drag activities....more
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Choose your language - English, French, German, or Italian - and participate in interactive games that teach European culture and geography. Includes many click and drag activities.

tag(s): cultures (110), french (90), german (65), italian (34)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on culture within a foreign language class. Have students try out the site in the other language to allow them to practice their language immersion-style.

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Viking Quest - BBC

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6 to 8
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Take your student to the computer lab, bring out the headphones, and take a virtual field trip to the year AD 793. This interactive multimedia game places students in the ...more
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Take your student to the computer lab, bring out the headphones, and take a virtual field trip to the year AD 793. This interactive multimedia game places students in the role of planning and executing a Viking voyage. Players must build a ship, hire crew members, cross the seas, loot a monastery, and return home safely. A great site for teaching history as well as problem-solving skills. This sites requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): vikings (10)

In the Classroom

Use this online challenge as a learning center or station during a unit on the Vikings. The interactive game would be a great way to help students review in addition to expanding upon that knowledge base. Every world History teacher will love this one.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga - Smithsonian Natural History Museum

Grades
5 to 12
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Climb aboard your own longship and take an amazing journey across the stormy Atlantic! The Viking Voyage, a narrated multi-media journey, is an amazing feature in this impressive online...more
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Climb aboard your own longship and take an amazing journey across the stormy Atlantic! The Viking Voyage, a narrated multi-media journey, is an amazing feature in this impressive online exhibition that documents the arrival of the Norsemen in the New World more than 1000 years ago. As the fascinating saga unfolds, students can learn how archaeology, saga studies, environmental studies, and human genetics have changed our understanding of the Vikings. This is a site to be explored in the computer lab with stereo headphones.

tag(s): ireland (12), vikings (10)

In the Classroom

Use the exhibit portion of this site as a learning center or station during a unit on the Vikings. For help creating a graphic organizer to accompany the center, we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).In the learning center there are also guides for both parents and teachers on how to use the site, so be sure to look for free lesson plans or classroom activities. This would be a helpful site for a world history classroom.
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Camelot Village: the Tower of London - Knight International

Grades
7 to 12
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Take a virtual field trip to one of the most famous and intriguing historic structures in the world. The Tower of London's crucial role in English history is provided along ...more
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Take a virtual field trip to one of the most famous and intriguing historic structures in the world. The Tower of London's crucial role in English history is provided along with an interactive map of the entire complex that permits independent investigation of every nook and cranny. Students can meet the prisoners who met their fate within the tower and those who succeeded in escaping. Read some spine-tingling ghost stories and discover the legend behind those ever-present ravens. Consider spicing up a study of the history of Great Britain with this entertaining and educational site.

tag(s): britain (35), england (58)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a guide for a group activity researching the Tower of London. Seperate students in groups, randomly assigning each one of the many subject headings within the site. Have the groups read and interpret the contents of their section, to be presented to the class as a whole. Have students narrate and add text to an image using UtellStory, reviewed here. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try PhotoPin, reviewed here. Something like this will take up a whole class period, so only use it if you have the flexibility schedule-wise.
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Shakespeare for Kids - Folger Library

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6 to 12
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Make the Bard more approachable for younger students with this clever, interactive resource. Kids of all ages can enjoy delving into the life of Queen Elizabeth and the works of ...more
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Make the Bard more approachable for younger students with this clever, interactive resource. Kids of all ages can enjoy delving into the life of Queen Elizabeth and the works of William Shakespeare. Explore full texts of plays in PDF format, word games and puzzles, historical lessons (some are interactive), and fun facts about Shakespeare and his theater. A word of caution: many of the activities on this site require prior knowledge of Shakespearean plays and characters. Choose wisely based on the level and language skills of your students, and the depth of your study of Shakespeare. Use to introduce the Elizabethan era, review important concepts, or extend a literature unit with a bit of history. Created by the Folger Shakespeare Library. Requires Adobe Acrobat.

tag(s): elizabethan (16), england (58), plays (36), shakespeare (112)

In the Classroom

Share some Shakespearean insults and vocabulary by way of introduction to students on a projector or interactive whiteboard before allowing students to use it individually or with a partner. Access the section entitled "games, coloring and puzzles," and save it as a favorite on classroom computers for use as a learning center or station. Have students complete some of the puzzles or crosswords as a way to review a unit on the Playwright or courtship, courtly love and of course - Queen Elizabeth. Challenge students explore the site and create a quick presentation of what they learned. Students can create brief online posters using a tool such as Padlet, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Medici - Godfathers of the Renaissance - PBS

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6 to 12
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Take an interactive, insider's tour of 15th century Florence, and explore the Renaissance through several different themes: art, politics, architecture and science, and religion. Meet...more
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Take an interactive, insider's tour of 15th century Florence, and explore the Renaissance through several different themes: art, politics, architecture and science, and religion. Meet the "godfathers" of the Renaissance who will give you tips on how to be a Medici mobster. Discover which Renaissance figure you most resemble. The companion art gallery includes gorgeous images of Renaissance art. If projecting images in the classroom, remember that clothing is a bit scarce in the Sistine Chapel, so consider the maturity level of your students.

tag(s): italy (16), renaissance (35)

In the Classroom

Use the interactive timeline in your classroom on your interactive whiteboard or projector to give students more context about the Renaissance. The site provides some valuable information about the Medici family, who were an important influence on the Renaissance.
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Stonehenge Project

Grades
6 to 12
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While designed to keep Britons informed about current efforts to preserve Stonehenge, this site offers a detailed history of the mysterious monument begun in about 3000 BC. American...more
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While designed to keep Britons informed about current efforts to preserve Stonehenge, this site offers a detailed history of the mysterious monument begun in about 3000 BC. American audiences will likely want to know more about the people who did the building and the purpose of this huge project. Archaeologists still puzzle over how the construction was accomplished.

tag(s): calendars (46)

In the Classroom

Teachers may want to try this one as an adjunct to an astronomy unit, or as part of a study of ancient civilizations.
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Churchill - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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One of the twentieth century's real giants, Churchill's accomplishments go well beyond the content on this companion site to the PBS series of the same name. While most famous as ...more
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One of the twentieth century's real giants, Churchill's accomplishments go well beyond the content on this companion site to the PBS series of the same name. While most famous as a World War II leader, his influence on the British government stretched from the 1920s well into the 1950s. This site is a great introduction, but serious secondary students should be prepared to delve more deeply.

tag(s): churchill (5), middle east (35), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on WWII. Because there is a lot of information on this site, it would probably work best if students had a graphic organizer to guide them through. For help creating graphic organizers, we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).
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Perilous Fight - World War II in Color - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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American History teachers should turn their visual learners loose on this one. Based largely on collections of color still photos taken during World War II, the site - a companion ...more
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American History teachers should turn their visual learners loose on this one. Based largely on collections of color still photos taken during World War II, the site - a companion to the PBS show of the same name - examines the progress of the war in Europe, in the Pacific, and on the home front. The narrative is secondary to the photos and provides only a synopsis of some events, but visually, this is powerful stuff.

tag(s): world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

Save this site on classroom computers and use it as a learning center or station. Some of the content does have sound, so make sure to include headphones for student use. This site does have a lot of information, and would perfectly be utilized during a unit on WWII or on the evolution of aircrafts in general. Tech-geeks will love this one!
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Anne Frank the Writer - Smithsonian

Grades
6 to 12
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This site documents the US Holocaust Museum's recent exhibit about Anne Frank's unpublished writings. The site includes an introduction, interviews, excerpts from a number of unpublished...more
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This site documents the US Holocaust Museum's recent exhibit about Anne Frank's unpublished writings. The site includes an introduction, interviews, excerpts from a number of unpublished works, and a series of links for additional information. This one could be an interesting bridge between a writing assignment and the study of World War II.

tag(s): anne frank (10), holocaust (39), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

Use the virtual exhibit as a learning center or station during a unit on WWII in a history class or during a study of her book in an English class. This would be a great way to introduce Anne Frank, the exhibit serving to put all students at the same level of understanding of her life. If in need of some sort of assessment to see what students have learned from the site, challenge students to create an online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here.
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