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Critical Past Stock Footage Archive - Jim and Andy Erickson

Grades
6 to 12
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Critical Past offers a collection of more than 57,000 historical videos and more than 7 million historical photos. All of the photos and videos are royalty free, archival stock footage....more
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Critical Past offers a collection of more than 57,000 historical videos and more than 7 million historical photos. All of the photos and videos are royalty free, archival stock footage. The site is in the business of selling these images and clips. "Royalty free" means that purchasing an image/clip will not require additional fees to the photographer, but it does NOT mean that the images/clips are "free" to download and use at will. Most of the footage comes from U.S. Government Agency sources. All of the videos and photos can be viewed for free online and shared with others via url, Twitter, or Facebook. Search the site either by decade, topic, or keyword. Along the right side bar of Critical Past, you will find "related videos" that correlate to the current search.
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tag(s): 20th century (53), afghanistan (7), africa (179), american revolution (89), china (68), europe (75), north america (19), south america (40), video (275)

In the Classroom

Use photos or videos on Critical Past to help illustrate what students are learning in history. Ask students to be "eyewitnesses" of history and watch a video before they have context for it. Students can write or blog about what they think they are witnessing. Afterward they can research the event in more depth and write a follow-up reflection on what was actually happening in the clip. Challenge your students to use a site such as Timetoast reviewed here to create timelines of topics researched on the site. Use images from public domain sites, such as the collections reviewed here, to illustrate the events.
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Genographic Project - National Geographic Society

Grades
8 to 12
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This tool provides videos, interactives, and lesson plans to understand the genetics of humans and to explain migration, genetic markers, and more. Use these lessons to understand more...more
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This tool provides videos, interactives, and lesson plans to understand the genetics of humans and to explain migration, genetic markers, and more. Use these lessons to understand more about genetics across many disciplines. Suggested test kits are not required for the activities, though they might add interest if your school permits.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): genealogy (7), genetics (95)

In the Classroom

Bring many genetic topics to light and answer the question "Where do I come from?" The lesson plans are an important means to understand the scientific, political, and social impact of how we are all interconnected.
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Shakespeare Bookshelf - IPl2: Drexel-College of Information Science & Technology

Grades
7 to 12
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This attractive library of Shakespeare's literary works is organized just the way you want it: each poem, comedy, history, and tragedy is bound in its own volume and placed in ...more
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This attractive library of Shakespeare's literary works is organized just the way you want it: each poem, comedy, history, and tragedy is bound in its own volume and placed in alphabetical order on the appropriate shelf of the bookcase. The titles link to the 1914 edition of The Oxford Shakespeare at Bartleby and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare from Jeremy Hylton at MIT. This is truly a librarian's, English teacher's, or any lover of literature's delight! You can find the actual text of any Shakespeare work.
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tag(s): literature (274), shakespeare (126)

In the Classroom

Students and teachers will enjoy using this Shakespeare offering because it is just "As You Like It"! Include this site on your classroom web page to provide students, parents, and yourself ease of access to reputable on-line versions of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and all the other literary works. This website will come in handy for projecting text on your classroom whiteboard to highlight, compare, and interpret particular scenes and lines. If you assign students to create multimedia interpretations of sonnets or passages from the plays, this is a great way to find copy/pastable text, ready for any multimedia tool.

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Picturing US History - American Social History Project at CUNY

Grades
6 to 12
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This art based site uses "lessons in looking" as a way to view artwork to better understand U.S. History. Guided questions help walk students through the images. Topics include ...more
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This art based site uses "lessons in looking" as a way to view artwork to better understand U.S. History. Guided questions help walk students through the images. Topics include race, Colonial America, Civil War, and more.

tag(s): african american (114), civil war (145), colonial america (108), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

The site offers several "lessons in looking." Project the site on an interactive whiteboard and use the discussion questions to guide students through a look at history. The site provides a way for you to zoom into the artwork so students can get up and personal as if they were in a museum. Use the zoom tool to assist you with your classroom discussion.
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Book TV - National Cable Satellite Corporation & C-SPAN

Grades
6 to 12
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Watch and listen as popular authors talk about their nonfiction books on this C-SPAN companion website. Book TV features 48 continuous hours of nonfiction books every weekend....more
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Watch and listen as popular authors talk about their nonfiction books on this C-SPAN companion website. Book TV features 48 continuous hours of nonfiction books every weekend. You can easily explore the archived programs, video library, or books and topics by searching the title, author, category, keyword, or browsing all of the listings. Watch the online videos or listen to podcasts of interviews with the authors from Book TV's After Words. There is a lot here to explore, and it appears to be ever-growing! You can find past telecast videos on YouTube, as well, in case you want to be able to download them to use offline. Click the YouTube menu. 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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): biographies (88), independent reading (129), interviews (17), politics (100)

In the Classroom

Use the online resources from this website to accompany your nonfiction literature. This collection is particularly useful when reading about historical figures. Make books and authors come alive for your students by accessing and projecting videos on your interactive whiteboard and sharing "Book Notes," biographies, and more. Lure students into independent reading by allowing them to explore the videos and find a book they might enjoy reading. After viewing a program or reading a book, have students share their opinions in a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
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Quiz Factor - Quiz Factor Limited

Grades
4 to 12
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Quiz Factor offers quizzes that are not about your typical "education" topics. There are both popular and specialist subjects. Some topic examples are: Animals and Nature, Cinema and...more
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Quiz Factor offers quizzes that are not about your typical "education" topics. There are both popular and specialist subjects. Some topic examples are: Animals and Nature, Cinema and Actors, Fashion and Design, History and Politics, Religion and Traditions, Science, Sports and Games, Technology and Manufacturing, and many more. At Quiz Factor you can climb the Leaderboards and win prizes. There are three types of quizzes: The Ladder, Time Trials, and True/False. You can also make your own quizzes. (At the time of this review, this feature was "coming soon.") This site is from the UK, and some questions in the General Knowledge section test facts you would know if you've been to the UK.

tag(s): animals (290), cultures (107), design (83), fashion (10), quiz (89), quizzes (101), radio (27), religions (67), sports (98), substitutes (21)

In the Classroom

Set up a computer or two in your classroom for those earlier finishers to take a quiz on a topic of their choice. Do you have students who have a deep interest in a certain topic or subject? Allow them to create a quiz for Quiz Factor. Have the student save the quiz, so you can view it before submission. This would be a great activity for some gifted students! Have students create quizzes after they have completed a research project. They could present their findings to the class, then allow the class to use their notes from the presentation to complete the quiz.

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Yong's China Quest - Lotherton Hall, Leeds Museums and Galleries

Grades
K to 7
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Yong's China Quest is an excellent learning game set in China. Learn about the country while solving puzzles in three different levels. Explore Beijing Olympic mascots, ivory figurines,...more
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Yong's China Quest is an excellent learning game set in China. Learn about the country while solving puzzles in three different levels. Explore Beijing Olympic mascots, ivory figurines, dragon robes, and the use of authentic swords while gaining wisdom to help solve puzzles. Playing is simple. Point and click to learn about China and its traditions. This link will lead you to the main page. From here, you can click Start Interactive to begin at level 1. At the bottom of the screen there are links to go to level 2 or level 3.

tag(s): china (68), cross cultural understanding (117), cultures (107)

In the Classroom

Use the activity in a center as part of your Chinese New Year lesson activities. Allow students to try the quest on your interactive whiteboard as a center activity. Keep a list of items found while solving puzzles, and have students research more information on them.
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TED - TED staff

Grades
6 to 12
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TED is the home of the award-winning TEDTalks video site, a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. In the beginning, the TEDTalks mission was to bring together people from...more
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TED is the home of the award-winning TEDTalks video site, a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. In the beginning, the TEDTalks mission was to bring together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, and Design. However, its scope has broadened to challenge the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers to give the talk of their lives (in approximately 18 minutes or less). At the time of this review, TED.com has more than 1,100 of the best talks and performances by speakers with powerful ideas from around the world. The talks are free and the collection continues to grow. The goal of the foundation is to foster the spread of great ideas, thus it aims to provide a platform for the world's smartest thinkers, greatest visionaries, and most-inspiring teachers, so that millions of people can gain a better understanding of the biggest issues faced by the world, and a desire to help create a better future. Easily search the site by topics, disciplines, newest releases, or most favorite. TEDTalks offers subtitles in various languages which enhances the accessibility for the hearing-impaired, and for those who speak English as a second language.

tag(s): cultures (107), politics (100)

In the Classroom

If you are looking for a clearinghouse that offers free inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, this ever-evolving site is perfect for engaging your students with digital videos of the global issues facing our world today. Use your projector or interactive whiteboard to project videos. Watch your students' enthusiastic reactions in science, social studies, or English classrooms as they view a TED video and then follow-up with a debate on the future or the impact of technology on society, or use them as a springboard for interesting writing prompts or to spark a discussion connected with a unit of study. Challenge students to do a compare/contrast activity using an online Venn Diagram tool (reviewed here). Most of the videos are less than twenty minutes, which makes it real doable to embed in a one-period class lesson.
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Using Primary Sources in the Classroom: World War I Unit - Alabama Department of Archives and History

Grades
6 to 12
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This museum site provides five different lessons plans about World War I. It offers learning objectives, activities, and links to primary documents. Though the site focuses on Alabama...more
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This museum site provides five different lessons plans about World War I. It offers learning objectives, activities, and links to primary documents. Though the site focuses on Alabama history, it is a good way to show multiple perspectives about the war. The site itself is no visual treat, but the activity ideas can bring a hundred-year old era to life.

tag(s): primary sources (90), world war 1 (53)

In the Classroom

Use the activities to help your students better understand World War I. Be sure to check out the activity in the Selective Service lesson. The activity has each student being assigned to a role. The students write a letter to Senator Bankhead which would explain their positions concerning conscription prior to the declaration of war. To extend the activity, have your students dress as their character and read their letters to the class. Or have students create blogs using Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary!

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Picturing Words: The Power of Book Illustrations - Smithsonian Institution Libraries

Grades
6 to 10
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Picturing Words is an online exhibit featuring 40 illustrated, rare books from history, science, and art. The illustrated books go back to the 1400's with illuminated manuscripts from...more
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Picturing Words is an online exhibit featuring 40 illustrated, rare books from history, science, and art. The illustrated books go back to the 1400's with illuminated manuscripts from The Canon of Medicine (980-1037) up to 1996 and The Graphic Alphabet. The categories include: Inspires, Informs, or Influences. Also included is a section on the process of illustration, detailed images, and examples organized by theme. Suddenly, you will notice illustrations!

tag(s): artists (76), medieval (27), primary sources (90), renaissance (35)

In the Classroom

History and English teachers studying the Medieval time period can show the primary source of the illuminated alphabet script on The Canon of Medicine. Then have students create a mini-bio for themselves, starting with illuminating the first letter of their name. Use this site to study how the power of pictures can enhance text. The Process section explains how the Gutenberg Press used wood blocks or metal cuts along with the letterpress to print a book with images. Have your students view the "Process" part of this site, and look at several books printed in the Gutenberg time period. You may want them to further investigate the workings of the Gutenberg Press and what it took to make a book (materials and time). Then have your students make a simple, illustrated book using a program like Bookemon reviewed here. Have them use Dipity reviewed here. to display the differences between publishing then and now. Dipity will display as a flip book, timeline, map, or list. In a gifted class, try some of these activities as you discuss Gutenberg, then ask how those illustrations compare in ease and efficiency to the digital means we have to add visual enhancements today. WHich do they consider more "valuable"?

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ChronoZoom - Microsoft Research

Grades
8 to 12
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Ready to think big? How about an interactive timeline that covers all of time from the Big Bang to today? Chronozoom is an ambitious project, just launched (at the time ...more
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Ready to think big? How about an interactive timeline that covers all of time from the Big Bang to today? Chronozoom is an ambitious project, just launched (at the time of this review), that seeks to create zoomable, interactive timelines for the entire history of time. At present, the site is still under construction, but it is visually stunning and a little overwhelming. You will need to set aside some time to watch the video tour and to tinker with the site before presenting it to students. Every move of the mouse, every click, seems to create "explosions" of graphs and timelines; you'll need to be patient and get the hang of navigation.

The site's creators freely admit that they don't really know where the project will lead, and what technologies might emerge that will help them create more content for the site. There are some caveats for using the site. First, the site assumes a particular theory of the creation of the universe, and the timeline of its existence. Second, the site can lend itself to aimless "mousing," or the temptation to simply click and move the mouse to see how the site will react, with no attention to the content at all.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), evolution (101), timelines (64)

In the Classroom

This is a big idea, still in its early stages. Obviously it has usefulness as a way of visually demonstrating the sheer immensity of time, and the relative insignificance of human existence in comparison. You could use this site as an intro to any history or geology class simply to generate BIG questions that students want to know. Consider asking gifted students, or students interested in technology applications to imagine what the site COULD be. How would they create a visual overview of--forever? How can one prioritize what matters? But on an interactive whiteboard--WOW! If you, as current students seem to be, are comfortable with imagining the world as a series of hyperlinks rather than a linear march, this site has limitless potential.

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NOVA Body and Brain - NOVA/PBS

Grades
3 to 12
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Find great information and interactive activities about the human body and brain on this exciting site. Choose from tabs along the top from Body and Brain as well as Nature, ...more
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Find great information and interactive activities about the human body and brain on this exciting site. Choose from tabs along the top from Body and Brain as well as Nature, Planet Earth, and more. Click on the NOVA Education tab to find great lessons and ideas to use these materials for a variety of subjects and ages. View video clips as well as slide shows and other information. Preview these resources before sharing in class. Some parents/communities may consider some material controversial or inappropriate for younger students.
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tag(s): carbon dioxide (16), carbon footprint (11), earth (231), environment (318), human body (126), nuclear energy (24), nutrition (158), solar energy (40), space (217)

In the Classroom

Discover some terrific lessons about a variety of topics. For example, under Environment find a great lesson for Capturing Carbon: Where Do We Put It? Find background information to understand the material and questions for discussion that can be used with your class. Find additional resources along the side.
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Dib Dab Doo and Dilly too... A smarter safer way to search the Internet - Dibdabdoo.com

Grades
K to 7
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Here you will find a "kid-appropriate" search tool featuring countless general topics: Facts & Reference, Computers/The Internet, The Arts, Strange & Mysterious, Hot Topics, The World,...more
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Here you will find a "kid-appropriate" search tool featuring countless general topics: Facts & Reference, Computers/The Internet, The Arts, Strange & Mysterious, Hot Topics, The World, Science & Math, Reading, Writing, Speaking, Nature, and several others. Within each of the main topics are subtopics. For example, in the Classroom section you will find English, Foreign Langauges, Math, History, Reference Tools, Shapes, Woodwork, Colors, Art, Religion, Philosophy, Social Studies, and Homework Help. There is a ton here to explore! The information includes articles and images/photos.

tag(s): alphabet (89), animals (290), animation (65), clip art (10), colors (80), comics and cartoons (71), cooking (35), crafts (43), creative writing (170), cross cultural understanding (117), cultures (107), dance (28), dinosaurs (57), disabilities (21), diseases (69), drawing (81), fitness (50), flags (22), folktales (59), geometric shapes (165), grammar (214), homework (45), insects (71), journalism (55), measurement (159), museums (50), mysteries (24), numbers (199), nutrition (158), oceans (153), operations (123), origami (17), painting (66), photography (162), poetry (224), psychology (65), rainforests (15), religions (67), search engines (65), seasons (38), sign language (8), social networking (112), spelling (167), sports (98), trivia (18), vocabulary (324), weather (194)

In the Classroom

Help students learn about narrowing and refining research by demonstrating this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard. As you start a project, take the time to SHOW how to use this tool to save time and find appropriate resources. Allow students to explore this site on their own finding relevant information from the various topics. If time permits, have students research a specific topic and create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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The Learning Network - The New York Times Company

Grades
6 to 12
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This New York Times site addresses many classroom needs. Scroll down the main section to find current event articles, photos, polls, and more. Find lesson plans by category, a student...more
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This New York Times site addresses many classroom needs. Scroll down the main section to find current event articles, photos, polls, and more. Find lesson plans by category, a student opinion section, contests, a daily news quiz, and timely articles connecting current events to thinking questions. Find many opportunities for a quick learning game or to express your opinion. There is even a student crossword. This site is frequently updated and includes a wide variety of subjects.

tag(s): news (265), vocabulary (324), writing prompts (94)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your class web page for students to find challenges or activities. Substitute teachers can always find an appropriate current events or vocabulary/writing activity if there are no lesson plans. English, social studies, and gifted teachers will want to explore the many lesson ideas that draw on current news stories. Find many prompts for student opinion blogs at this site. Have students create blogs using Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary!

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What's Going On Now - John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Grades
8 to 12
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Are we living in the worst of times? Or is history simply repeating? This site looks at the tumultuous 1960s and 1970s through the lens of Marvin Gaye's 1971 album ...more
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Are we living in the worst of times? Or is history simply repeating? This site looks at the tumultuous 1960s and 1970s through the lens of Marvin Gaye's 1971 album "What's Going On." But more importantly, the site challenges us to examine the similarities between those days and the world the youth of today has inherited. The French have a saying, "Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose," or the more things change, the more they remain the same. Compare the unrest related to the environment, to social change, to veterans issues. What about drugs, poverty, and faith? How are these issues expressed through popular music? This site presents compelling resources in music, video, and historical commentary, as well as strong teacher guidance to enable you to create powerful, involved lessons based on these questions. Fifty years ago, it was a call for "relevance" in the classroom; today, we search for "authentic" instruction. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

tag(s): 1960s (30), civil rights (123), cross cultural understanding (117), ecology (135), racism (19), veterans (21), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

History teachers struggle for "coverage," or the ability to teach across all eras. U.S. History teachers often don't get to the Vietnam era, but these resources are a superb reason for pressing forward. Teacher resources include a number of guided investigations and classroom listening guides that can be incorporated in their entirety or adapted to complement lessons on the Vietnam era in a recent U.S. History class, on social change for a Sociology class, or on contemporary music as an agent of political protest for a music class. For independent or gifted learners, this site could provide the basis for sustained small group inquiry as part of curriculum differentiation. Start by asking students to explore the site and write a blog post about their initial impressions.
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Charts Bin - Chartsbin.com

Grades
9 to 12
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Find great Infographics about a variety of topics. Use the beautiful arrangement of data to uncover relationships between various pieces of information. Easily share or embed the chart...more
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Find great Infographics about a variety of topics. Use the beautiful arrangement of data to uncover relationships between various pieces of information. Easily share or embed the chart where needed. Click on References and Data Table to look at the raw data and origins of the information. Choose from major topics in the tabs above such as Country Information, Environment, Food and Agriculture, and more. Search your own topics with the search bar.
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tag(s): business (58), charts and graphs (195), data (151), infographics (45), maps (292)

In the Classroom

Introduce a topic by sharing the Infographic and allowing time for students to identify various items that they notice about the chart. Allow time to think-pair-share in class and list questions for further understanding. Consider creating Infographics of material learned in class and for better understanding and connection with other topics and the world around them. Make curriculum content more real with infographics that students can relate to.
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World Memory Project - U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and Ancestry.com

Grades
8 to 12
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See firsthand documents that paint the grim picture of the lives and deaths of the millions of Holocaust victims. The project which culminated in this site digitized thousands and thousands...more
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See firsthand documents that paint the grim picture of the lives and deaths of the millions of Holocaust victims. The project which culminated in this site digitized thousands and thousands of papers, photos and other memorabilia of the Holocaust and made them available online for free. In some cases, the documents are not available, but references to the articles are. Families of survivors, student researchers, and professional writers can use the historical documents available here. Easy to use search tools explain the process clearly.

tag(s): family (59), germany (28), hitler (10), holocaust (39), jews (26), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Challenge your students to use a site such as TimeRime reviewed here to create an interactive timeline of individual families' involvements in the Holocaust or of the days of the Holocaust itself. Have interested students create a family tree using documents from this site. Make World War II history more real with these actual accounts.
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Zoodles - Mark Williamson & Rich Humphrey

Grades
K to 3
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Zoodles offers a safe web platform for kids that includes fun and educational games, videos, and activities. The BASIC membership to this tool includes countless activities in a variety...more
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Zoodles offers a safe web platform for kids that includes fun and educational games, videos, and activities. The BASIC membership to this tool includes countless activities in a variety of subject areas. Many of the activities come from other sites (Starfall, PBS kids, etc.). But this is a nice compilation of subjects and activities. The safety in this program is that once it is downloaded and opened, children don't view the regular computer toolbars anymore. Thus they can't search the web on their own. To exit the program, click QUIT and OK.

There is a parent play-along mode that helps guide learning experiences in a more personal way. Zoodles has been created to work on virtually any type of computer, including tablets and smart phones. Games are searchable by age (toddler to 8 yrs old), and subject. Many games will also have parent ratings with the educational and fun value of the activity. Creating an account is easy and requires simple user information including email and the child's age. This is used to populate age-appropriate games. There is a premium membership with more features.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): addition (239), body systems (58), constitution (87), counting (120), grammar (214), numbers (199), operations (123), phonics (71), preK (289), subtraction (199)

In the Classroom

Create 2 or 3 (or more, as needed) classroom accounts with different age levels to provide diversity for students. Each account then be bookmarked on classroom computers for student use. Share this site through your classroom blog or newsletter as a resource for learning games at home. Use activities from the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a classroom activity. Provide this link to parents to use on rainy days or during the summer.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Festisite Money - Festisite

Grades
K to 12
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Have you ever wanted to see your own face on a dollar bill? Use this online image editor to personalized bills with your own picture. Just upload your picture (or ...more
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Have you ever wanted to see your own face on a dollar bill? Use this online image editor to personalized bills with your own picture. Just upload your picture (or any image) using the photo link at the bottom of the page. Images can be moved around within the picture frame, and there is an option to adjust the image size by zooming in or out. Save the edited image by right-clicking the image and selecting "save" to download the output image to your computer. Then print the dollar bill with your image. The site offers currency from many different countries from Antarctica to Yugoslavia, and you can create posters, decks of cards, and more.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): currency (19), financial literacy (80), money (190)

In the Classroom

Have fun creating personalized money for students to practice counting! Allow students to buy classroom rewards using your own classroom dollars generated using this site. Use class-made manipulatives from this site to teach basic economic concepts with simulations: running a small business, supply and demand, or simply making change. Use custom made currency as a behavior incentive system to help emotional support students build self-control. If students study different cultures, why not have them design their own country, complete with currency? Share this site with parents to use at home with their students or for the PTO/PTA to create fun money for school events.
 
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John F. Kennedy Presidential Library - JFK Library

Grades
7 to 12
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Recently, a large archive of material has been released by the JFK Library focused on the life of John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline. This site provides contextual information...more
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Recently, a large archive of material has been released by the JFK Library focused on the life of John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline. This site provides contextual information about these newly released records, as well as transcripts of oral history interviews. For example, you can now download previously secret audio recordings that were made during White House meetings, transcripts of oral history interviews with Jacqueline Kennedy, and a rich archive of other materials related to the Kennedy Presidency. This newly released material gives us insight into Kennedy's brief time as President, including his involvement in the Cuban Missile Crisis, his attitudes toward the Cold War relationship with the USSR and the build up of US troops in Vietnam. There are teacher resources and lesson plans that make use of the available archival material.

tag(s): history day (24), kennedy (27), presidents (132), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

All of these topics are of interest to students doing research into 20th century US and international history, and might be particularly useful to students working on in depth projects for National History Day. After researching a specific topic, have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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