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Guide to British Life, Culture and Customs - Woodlands Junior School

Grades
3 to 8
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This website provides a one-stop adventure for anyone wishing to learn more about Great Britain. There are over 1500 pages of information and activities - all "kid-friendly", entertaining...more
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This website provides a one-stop adventure for anyone wishing to learn more about Great Britain. There are over 1500 pages of information and activities - all "kid-friendly", entertaining and educational. You will find information about British culture, history, flags, education, daily life, climate and weather, government, the royal family and more. There are also links available to classroom activities to use while teaching students about Great Britain. These activities include WebQuests, "Winnie the Pooh" adventures, comparisons of Great Britain to various states in the USA and other countries throughout the world, worksheets, interactive activities and other learning adventures. A true inspiration for your students is the fact that much of the content was created by students aged 7-11. Some of the activities require FLASH, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): britain (35), england (57), great britain (16), inventors and inventions (99), scotland (7)

In the Classroom

So many famous people and inventions are from Great Britain - J.K. Rowling, Shakespeare, the hovercraft vehicle, Darwin, Newton and countless others. If your class is learning about these famous people or inventions, use this website to further enhance their understanding of the people, inventions and culture of Great Britain.

As you study about what unites cultures into communities and countries, ask your class what they would include if they made a similar site about the city, state, or country where you teach. Use a wiki to start just such a site, including digital pictures. You can always start out simple and make a guide to your school itself -- including playground etiquette and favorite foods.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Panoramas.dk

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 2  Comments
Have a high speed Internet connection? (Most schools do)The you MUST visit these 3D virtual tours of beautiful sites all over the world with your students. Read the Welcome message...more
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Have a high speed Internet connection? (Most schools do)The you MUST visit these 3D virtual tours of beautiful sites all over the world with your students. Read the Welcome message on the home page for directions and details, then explore the current features and several years of archives for 3D virtual tours from major world capitals to true "experiences" such as Times Square and white water rafting. Even the tour of a Banyan tree will amaze you. Bring the world into your classroom for geography, landforms, world cultures, foreign language study, or literary settings. Be in the midst of festivals or atop the Sydney Bridge. The site requires Quicktime. The Welcome section can help you troubleshoot. Or you can get Quicktime from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.. Just be sure to share in full screen (high band) view , if you can! Click the FULL SCREEN QTVR FEATURE > ARCHIVE to find more choices. There is also a link to Arounder, a collection of European Capitals in 3D tours.

tag(s): images (266), landforms (45)

In the Classroom

Use a projector--or better yet, an interactive whiteboard--to take students atop the Eiffel Tower, to the high Sierras, or aboard a Mars explorer. Allow student to navigate on the whiteboard. Nte that Shift and Ctrl keys alow you to zoom, as well. Be sure to click at the top of the 3D view to Read More about the image. These tours will make landforms real, culture come alive, and science a visual art form. As you introduce terms and place, use images! You could even use a tour as a writing prompt for poetry or descriptive writing. Include the link on your teacher web page for students to "tour the world" outside of class or feature one location a week to broaden class horizons on a classroom desktop.

Comments

What a GREAT idea! Thank you. I found one with mountain biking and vistas. I'll put it up early in the period and come back to it in the end and have them write their exit cards about it. Then I will revisit it in a week or two when we start talking about metaphorical language. Shirley, CA, Grades: 6 - 12
I plan to use this as a way to start the school year with my sixth grade G/T kids. I will display a panorama on an interactive whiteboard-- one of mountains with peaks and valleys. I will ask, "Why would I show you this and say that this is our classroom this year?" The students will write down an idea on a slip of paper, guessing why I might use this as an introduction to my class. They will most likely introduce all of the classroom conduct and learning environment issues that I want to touch upon that first day: peaks and valleys during the year, some rugged terrain, studying mountains and geography, some amazing views (everyone's opinions), and more. It will also get them thinking in analogies and allow me to see how quickly some of them do this and how literal others are. Thinking, PA, Grades: 5 - 10

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NOVA--World in the Balance - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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This is a companion site to a PBS series on the forces world wide that are affecting global population. There is a wealth of information here on historical trends ...more
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This is a companion site to a PBS series on the forces world wide that are affecting global population. There is a wealth of information here on historical trends in population growth, the impact of population on the environment, and the continuing imbalance between the rich and the poor in the world. There are flash-enabled slide shows illustrating global population growth over history, and the impact of that growth on the environment. Don't miss the population counter that starts when you load the home page. It shows how many babies are born in the world since the page first loaded, and the impact is startling! A teacher's guide gives further information about using the resources in the classroom.

tag(s): demographics (19), environment (317), population (60)

In the Classroom

Several excellent interactives might make a strong visual impact if used on an interactive whiteboard. There is an interactive quiz that might be a good discussion starter, and matching "game" that shows demographic trends in four contrasting countries: the US, Japan, Kenya and India. These interactives give impact to discussions of the global economy, world wide environmental changes and the balance of power between "developing" and "developed" countries. Put the population counter up on a projector as student enter the room to activate prior knowledge or provide an anticipatory set.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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China Blue - PBS--Independent Lens

Grades
9 to 12
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A companion to an independent film focusing on the conditions facing workers who make blue jeans for the Western market, this site provides information about "sweatshops" in China and...more
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A companion to an independent film focusing on the conditions facing workers who make blue jeans for the Western market, this site provides information about "sweatshops" in China and other developing countries. There is specific information about the sources for several well-known jeans manufacturers, and stories of the young workers in these factories and their brutal working conditions.

The site would be useful in an economics class during a discussion of the emerging global economy. In addition, it would be a good supplement to a discussion of China in general, or as part of a comparison with 19th century sweatshop labor in the United States and the development of the labor union movement. There are also links to other web-based sources on human rights, China, and the global economy.

tag(s): china (66)

In the Classroom

Share the film clips on a projector or whiteboard (in either RealPlayer or Quicktime formats). Discussion could work well in either a whole-class format or in a follow-up small group activity where each group creates a Venn diagram comparing the sweat shops of today with those in Weestern countries in the 19th century.

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Renaissance: The Elizabethan World - Maggi Ros

Grades
4 to 12
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This site has links to everything you ever wanted to know about the Elizabeth world from a Compendium of Life in Elizabethan England to Heraldry to the transcripts of the ...more
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This site has links to everything you ever wanted to know about the Elizabeth world from a Compendium of Life in Elizabethan England to Heraldry to the transcripts of the trials of the Earls of Essex and Southampton. It also includes a link to a list of more than a hundred recommended sites for the Renaissance and Elizabethan times.Teachers of everything from world history to Shakespeare will find something to mine at this site. The Compendium of Elizabethan Life is especially interesting to those students who want to know "how things worked" 500 years ago in the time of Will Shakespeare. While this is a great research sourcefor Shakespeare, it is also good for drama, literature, and history for all sorts of activities.

tag(s): elizabethan (17), renaissance (34)

In the Classroom

Share this resource on your teacher web page for students to choose different research topics related to Elizabethan or Renaissance times. As you teach Shakespeare, bring up a daily "factoid," text snippet, or image on a projector to take students back in time before you start class.

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The History of Costume - Braun & Schneider

Grades
6 to 12
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This is a simple site, but extremely useful in helping students understand how "clothes make the man." Whether you are talking about costuming a play or how clothes represented classes...more
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This is a simple site, but extremely useful in helping students understand how "clothes make the man." Whether you are talking about costuming a play or how clothes represented classes in social studies, this site will enable students to see how clothing has helped make that "first impression" since the beginning of time.

The "History of Costume" was printed from 1861 to 1880 in Munich by the publishing firm of Braun and Schneider. It was originally published as individual plates in a German magazine. Later, these plates were collected and bound into book form. The total publication consisted of 125 pages, with four pictures per pages, for a total of 500 costume designs. These plates consisted of historical dress from antiquity to the end of the 19th century. This book is an excellent source for students who are studying the history of fashion and for costume designers. One must be aware though, that these illustrations have a Victorian perspective to their designs. The last 35 pages consist of contemporary folk dress (c.1880) from most European, Asian, and African countries. These provides a source for researching plays which take place during the Victorian period, such as "The King and I" or "The Sea Gull". The original book was published in German, so at times, the English translation is confusing. This is especially noticeable in the contemporary folk dress plates where many of the countries mentioned now have different names or no longer exist.

tag(s): clothing (9), costumes (6)

In the Classroom

Share some of the images on a projector as you read literature or study the cultures of these time periods. You should also make the link available as students create their own plays, presnetaions, or posters about people from history. FCS students could also use the images to help them plan advanced sewing projects.

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Amazing Kids Ezine - amazing-kids.org

Grades
3 to 8
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This site encourages children to read and write by sharing what other students have written and inviting them to submit writings of their own. They can write poetry, fiction, or ...more
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This site encourages children to read and write by sharing what other students have written and inviting them to submit writings of their own. They can write poetry, fiction, or non-fiction, including essays. The authors featured on the website are international, too. A carefully screened pen pal option allows children to sign up for pen pals from around the world. In the Global Village section, articles featuring countries around the globe change monthly.

tag(s): poetry (228)

In the Classroom

Use this site and its opportunities to submit work as an writing motivator to encourage development of more in-depth writing. Students will also enjoy "meeting" pen pals from around the world. Always get written parent permission before submitting student work.

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Pyramids: The Inside Story - NOVA: PBS

Grades
5 to 12
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Learn about each Egyptian pyramid by following explorers through the excavations, and learn about the exciting history of pyramid discovery and uncovering! View detailed inside views...more
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Learn about each Egyptian pyramid by following explorers through the excavations, and learn about the exciting history of pyramid discovery and uncovering! View detailed inside views of each site. Learn how to decipher hieroglyphics as you make your way through this fascinating site. Read about current digs and restoration efforts. The virtual exploration portions of the site require Quicktime. There is a link to download it, or you can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): archeology (32), egypt (67), pyramids (29)

In the Classroom

Use the lesson plan to build a scale model of a pyramid in your classroom or assign your students to explore the pyramids and collect information to compare them to burial customs of other ancient civilizations. You will definitely want to make this site available as a link from your teacher web page for further exploration. Teachers of gifted could use this as a springboard for an entire Egypt unit.

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Mythology - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
5 to 12
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Explore vocabulary and word activities related to Mythology on this extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more. Find interactive vocabulary activities the same list of using Mythology...more
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Explore vocabulary and word activities related to Mythology on this extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more. Find interactive vocabulary activities the same list of using Mythology vocabulary words. There are printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): greek (41)

In the Classroom

Use this site to reinforce and support vocabulary as you study Mythology. Share the word puzzles on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students create their own word activities from the same vocabulary list, such as matching or ranking challenges for their peers to try on the interactive whiteboard.

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300 Spartan Warriors - 300spartanwarriors.com

Grades
7 to 12
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This is a privately maintained website dedicated to the warfare of the Spartans, with a specific focus on the Battle of Thermopylae. Clicking battle-related topics on the grid of ...more
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This is a privately maintained website dedicated to the warfare of the Spartans, with a specific focus on the Battle of Thermopylae. Clicking battle-related topics on the grid of possibilities opens longer menus with subtopics. The site has extensive text passages and includes ads. There are good photos of the battlefield today, pictures and descriptions of the combatants, and information about the battle. Site creators have notified TeachersFirst to tell us that they are expanding materials on the Battle of Marathon in time for its 2500th anniversary. Teachers of literature, teaching about Greek mythology may also want to tie in this site as part of a look at Greek culture. The movie "300" may generate some interest in this famous battle and having the facts is useful in bridging students' interest in Hollywood's depiction of the event with the historical truth.

tag(s): greek (41), greeks (30)

In the Classroom

Include this site as one of the resources you offer from your teacher website for students doing individual or group projects on Sparta, the Greeks, or mythology. The site offers some useful research information and some good visuals.

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The Assassination of King Tut - Discovery Channel

Grades
6 to 12
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This Discovery Channel site features a speculative exploration of King Tut's death. There is a nice narrated slide show that recreates the discovery of the tomb, a 360 degree ...more
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This Discovery Channel site features a speculative exploration of King Tut's death. There is a nice narrated slide show that recreates the discovery of the tomb, a 360 degree view of an artist's conception of what King Tut may have looked like, and some nice photos of artifacts from the tomb.

tag(s): egypt (67)

In the Classroom

There is much here that would be great on an interactive whiteboard or projector. The narrated slide show brings the excitement of the tomb's discovery to life. While the discussion of King Tut's possible assassination is pure speculation, it will also serve to spark students' imagination. If you study archaeology or ancient history, this site will give you a chance to discuss the inquiry/hypothesis-testing process that archaeologists must follow.
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The Pocahontas Myth - The Powhatan Renape Nation

Grades
6 to 12
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The story of the first settlement at Jamestown usually features the brave Indian princess Pocahontas. This site provides a retelling of the Pocahantas story by the people of the ...more
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The story of the first settlement at Jamestown usually features the brave Indian princess Pocahontas. This site provides a retelling of the Pocahantas story by the people of the Powhatan tribe-- a rewriting that questions whether Pocahontas actually saved John Smith at all. The site takes particular exception to the recent Disney movie, Pocahontas. The discussion outlined here would make a very good "counterpoint" lesson on the generally accepted story of the Jamestown settlement.

tag(s): debate (41), jamestown (11)

In the Classroom

Students usually enjoy "debunking" myths of history and learning ways that their teachers or textbooks might be wrong. This site provides another viewpoint in the well-known Pocahontas story. There are also possibilities here for discussions of racial stereotyping and the way Pocahontas is portrayed in the media, particularly in the Walt Disney film. Use this discussion to prompt a persuasive writing assignment or history essay on differeing views of history.

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Geographia - interKnowledge Corp

Grades
6 to 12
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Although this site advertises itself as a travel destination site, it offers far more than the ordinary travelogue. Each of the areas chronicled includes lots of information about...more
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Although this site advertises itself as a travel destination site, it offers far more than the ordinary travelogue. Each of the areas chronicled includes lots of information about culture, history, and interesting tidbits about the area. The list of countries or areas covered is not exhaustive, and lacks anything in North America, and not much on South America. There is some advertising, and the usual "where to stay" information, but the focus is squarely on people and culture and not on booking cruises and the like.

tag(s): africa (180), asia (73), europe (75), latin (22)

In the Classroom

This would be a good reference resource for students doing "country and culture" reports or displays or for background when reading a novel from another culture. World language teachers can also use this as a source for cultural information. Note: the reading level is comparable to the Wall Street Journal, so you may want to partner weaker readers with others or offer multiple options for sites to use.

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In Search of Safety - BBC

Grades
6 to 12
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This website is all about Sudan. Visitors to this website will find a wealth of information including quizzes, interactive videos, diaries written by students, authentic pictures,...more
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This website is all about Sudan. Visitors to this website will find a wealth of information including quizzes, interactive videos, diaries written by students, authentic pictures, a guide to what it means to be a refugee, information on Darfur and more. Many of the activities require Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

Use a projector or interactive whiteboard to "tour" Sudan as part of a study of the African continent or world trouble spots. Although the topic of genocide is quite difficult, this site could spark discussions of international relations and would be a good accompaniment while studying the U.N., international relations, and current events. Include the link on your tecaher web page and allow students to choose from several world hot spots as they group or individual reports.
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Middle East - BBC

Grades
4 to 12
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This site provides an eclectic mix of information about the Middle East. The BBC has created this up-to-date website that includes information guides, interviews, message boards, pictures,...more
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This site provides an eclectic mix of information about the Middle East. The BBC has created this up-to-date website that includes information guides, interviews, message boards, pictures, quizzes and more. The message boards pose some interesting discussion questions for students. This is an excellent, student-friendly source for current events and debate background. It also provides short, non-fiction texts for comprehension practice with remedial readers.

tag(s): iran (12), iraq (32), israel (17), middle east (30)

In the Classroom

Include this link on your teacher page for middle and high school students to use as a reference and build better understanding of this tumultuous region. It will help even younger students understand the region, but parts of this website are not appropriate for elementary students. Preview before you take your elementary class on a virtual field trip to the Middle East.

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Iraq - BBC

Grades
4 to 12
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This site provides information about Iraq and the war. There are information guides, quizzes, pictures and more. The BBC keeps this page very up-to-date. This site does a ...more
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This site provides information about Iraq and the war. There are information guides, quizzes, pictures and more. The BBC keeps this page very up-to-date. This site does a good job explaining the war and views of the war to children. Remember this site was created in Britain, so the comments and language are not American. This may surprise younger students at first but will provide a new angle.

tag(s): iraq (32)

In the Classroom

If you do current events study or have students with family members in Iraq, be sure to include this site as a link from your teacher web page. As the 2008 U.S. elections approach, you may want to begin a "current events" collection of resources for students to use to develop better understanding of election issues.
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Islam - BBC

Grades
4 to 12
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This site introduces students to the religion of Islam. There is a 26-minute video, which includes questions and answers submitted by students. There are also informative guides,...more
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This site introduces students to the religion of Islam. There is a 26-minute video, which includes questions and answers submitted by students. There are also informative guides, chats, quizzes, pictures, interviews and much, much more. Some of the activities require FLASH.

tag(s): middle east (30)

In the Classroom

If you are teaching your students about the religion of Islam or trying to introduce world cultures, this is one resource that you simply cannot do without. Include it as a resource for students trying to understand currenet events in a broader context.
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Children of Iraq - BBC

Grades
3 to 8
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This website introduces students to the children of Iraq and Iraq as a country. Highlights of this website include an interactive video clip (which requires FLASH), informational guides,...more
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This website introduces students to the children of Iraq and Iraq as a country. Highlights of this website include an interactive video clip (which requires FLASH), informational guides, pictures and many other resources. If you have students whose parents are serving in the military, this topic may be emotional, but it will also highlight what children all over the world have in common.

tag(s): iraq (32)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard to introduce your students to the children of Iraq, share the video, and take the quiz to find out what your students know about Iraq.
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Drought In Africa - BBC

Grades
4 to 10
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This site (created by BBC) includes a wealth of information on the drought in Africa and the continent of Africa. There are videos, music clips from each country, demographic ...more
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This site (created by BBC) includes a wealth of information on the drought in Africa and the continent of Africa. There are videos, music clips from each country, demographic information, authentic pictures and diary entries, interactive maps and numerous articles on specific topics relating to Africa. Some of the interactive learning requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): africa (180), climate (92), climate change (64)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to take your students on an African visit. The main topic of this website is the drought in Africa, however there is a great deal of information on many African subjects. Include this on your teacher web page as one of several links on different continents as you study world geography, cultures, or climate change.
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China - BBC

Grades
K to 8
2 Favorites 0  Comments
This website (created by BBC), provides a wealth of information on China. It was updated in 2007, so is slightly out of date. But the information still provides solid research ...more
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This website (created by BBC), provides a wealth of information on China. It was updated in 2007, so is slightly out of date. But the information still provides solid research and information about the country. Visitors to the website will find information about saving the pandas, China's one-child policy, famous Chinese landmarks and authentic accounts of visits to China (through the eyes and words of other students).

tag(s): china (66), cultures (105), olympics (47)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to take your students on a virtual field trip to China! The students are sure to enjoy the pictures and "student guides" of China. As a comparison across cultures, have your students create a "student guide" that compares their own culture with another. Middle school students could use issues such as the "one child policy" and some social policies as writing prompts for persuasive essays or debate topics in their world cultures class.

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