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Wrapped in Pride - Kente Cloth - Smithsonian Institution

Grades
4 to 12
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For an interesting lesson idea, start with this presentation on the creation and use of Ghanian Kente cloth, used in African festivals and ceremonies. This site from the Smithsonian...more
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For an interesting lesson idea, start with this presentation on the creation and use of Ghanian Kente cloth, used in African festivals and ceremonies. This site from the Smithsonian shows how the cloth is made and describes the various ways in which Africans use it. The content is adaptable to many age levels.

tag(s): africa (172), african american (112), kwanzaa (9)

In the Classroom

Use this activity here in your own classroom during a unit on African culture. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector to guide the classroom on how and when to wear Kente cloth. Students can do this with their own cloth, just so long as they are still grasping the significance of the real thing. This would be a fun activity during a class period that's devoted to presentations & the like.

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Virtual Chanukah

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3 to 8
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A Hanukkah site with lots of resources, information, and activities. There is also content to teach students the origin and meaning of this Jewish festival. ...more
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A Hanukkah site with lots of resources, information, and activities. There is also content to teach students the origin and meaning of this Jewish festival.

tag(s): hanukkah (14), holidays (146)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector around the holiday season. Allow students to peruse the site on their own to gain a better understanding of the holiday. In addition to Christmas activities, recreate some of the Hanukkah activities in the preceding days before winter break. Alternatively, create small groups and have each group research a different aspect of Chanukah and present their findings to the class. Use a bookmarking tool such as Wakelet, reviewed here. With Wakelet students can make their wakes distinctive by adding a cover image or symbol for their Chanukah topic, a background, and choose the layout. As a culminating activity have each student compare Chanukah and Christmas using the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, if your class is also learning about Kwanza, use the Interactive Three Circle Venn Diagram,reviewed here.

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Japanese Americans and the Constitution - Smithsonian Institution

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6 to 12
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The Smithsonian presents this nicely-designed site describing the internment and discrimination against Japanese Americans during World War II. Students can listen to an audio introduction...more
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The Smithsonian presents this nicely-designed site describing the internment and discrimination against Japanese Americans during World War II. Students can listen to an audio introduction which provides a summary of the events of the period, and sets the stage for the larger presentation. This one is well worth a visit.

tag(s): constitution (86), japan (60), japanese (45), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

This site is a great way to address the topics of racism and the Japanese internment in your classroom. Teachers can either save this and use it as a learning center or have the students do it together on classroom computers. Don't teach this topic without looking at this site first!

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Take a Walk in my Shoes - TeachersFirst

Grades
7 to 9
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A lesson that uses the original partition of Israel in 1947 to examine the cultural conflicts in the middle east. Students use a series of role plays to understand the ...more
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A lesson that uses the original partition of Israel in 1947 to examine the cultural conflicts in the middle east. Students use a series of role plays to understand the issues and emotions that abound in the region. This lesson plan was one of the winners in a lesson plan contest sponsored by TeachersFirst. TeachersFirst editors have added technology options where appropriate.

tag(s): israel (17), palestine (8)

In the Classroom

Ths lesson plan include student handouts and technology options for students to share their projects several ways. Teachers can easily differentiate the challenge level of projects by specifying which tools to use.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Inventors of the Industrial Revolution - TeachersFirst

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5 to 12
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This unit provides an on-line introduction to inventors and inventions of the industrial revolution in England and the United States. In addition to information on key inventors and...more
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This unit provides an on-line introduction to inventors and inventions of the industrial revolution in England and the United States. In addition to information on key inventors and their inventions, there are interactive activities designed for student involvement, timelines, and an interactive quiz. An extensive list of "invention links" lets students learn more about inventions and inventors.This unit is written for middle and high school but is also adaptable for upper elementary.

tag(s): evolution (99), industrial revolution (26), inventors and inventions (94)

In the Classroom

See the lesson ideas page for ways to use this on your interactive whiteboard or with students working on their own. There are several ideas for projects and competitions to engage, challenge, and assess. You will definitely want to share this link on your teacher web page as a review tool, as well.

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Greek vs. Contemporary Architecture - TeachersFirst

Grades
10 to 12
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A lesson examining the differences between classical Greek building styles and those of contemporary architects. This lesson plan was one of the winners in a lesson plan contest sponsored...more
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A lesson examining the differences between classical Greek building styles and those of contemporary architects. This lesson plan was one of the winners in a lesson plan contest sponsored by TeachersFirst. TeachersFirst editors have added technology options where appropriate.

tag(s): architecture (83), greek (41), greeks (32)

In the Classroom

The possibilities for this lesson expand exponentially with the use of web-based resources for images, research, and creation of student projects. Many of the activities would also be well-suited for interactive whiteboard.

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The CIA on Afghanistan - CIA

Grades
6 to 12
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A thorough, factual rundown on the country, containing political, economic, geographic, and other background information. Good starting point for a study of the country itself. From...more
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A thorough, factual rundown on the country, containing political, economic, geographic, and other background information. Good starting point for a study of the country itself. From the CIA World Fact Book.

tag(s): afghanistan (8), terrorism (47), terrorist (16)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an introduction to current political problems in the Middle East. Open up factbook pages for the United States and some of the other countries bordering Afghanistan and compare and contrast their statistics. Could any of these statistics have an impact on the political problems there today? Use this site as a tool to spur discussion among students that deals with real world problems rather than those in a textbook.

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The Afghan Taliban - Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

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9 to 12
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A 1998 article from the Washington Report on Middle East affairs authored by a former professor at the University of Kabul. ...more
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A 1998 article from the Washington Report on Middle East affairs authored by a former professor at the University of Kabul.

tag(s): afghanistan (8), terrorism (47), terrorist (16)

In the Classroom

Although this is more than ten years out of date, there is a lot of reliable information here that can be used to establish a background for the current conflict in Afghanistan. Use this site as an activator for a unit on the modern conflict today. Have students read the article for a class discussion on it's accuracy and whether or not the events have played out as the author predicted. This would be useful in a Government or Cultural Geography classroom.

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Terrorism - Federation of American Scientists

Grades
9 to 12
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The Federation of American Scientists has created a frequently-updated listing of terrorism reports and resources, including government reports, background articles, and related information....more
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The Federation of American Scientists has created a frequently-updated listing of terrorism reports and resources, including government reports, background articles, and related information.

tag(s): terrorism (47), terrorist (16)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a reference for a class debate on the success of US intelligence in handling the threat of terrorism in the past decade. This site would obviously have to be supported by other resources, but would definitely be a great starting point for student research. This would be a useful resource in a US government class.

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Countering the Threat of International Terrorism - Federation of American Scientists

Grades
9 to 12
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The Federation of American Scientists published this report - authored by a distinguished group. It provides excellent summaries of terrorist activity and suggested responses, as well...more
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The Federation of American Scientists published this report - authored by a distinguished group. It provides excellent summaries of terrorist activity and suggested responses, as well as significant background information.

tag(s): terrorism (47), terrorist (16)

In the Classroom

The reading here is both dense and full of high-level vocabulary that almost limit its usage to that of an AP classroom. However, if your readers are able, this could be used in a class debate or discussion about current events in the Middle East.

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Voices of the Holocaust

Grades
6 to 12
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Illinois Institute of Technology hosts this site, developed to share first-hand experiences of holocaust survivors. The site is particularly interesting, because the memories were collected...more
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Illinois Institute of Technology hosts this site, developed to share first-hand experiences of holocaust survivors. The site is particularly interesting, because the memories were collected only a year or so after the end of the war, and were transcribed verbatim by interviewers. The result is a collection of several dozen interviews which are remarkable for their clarity. This site would be a great primary resource for any holocaust study.

tag(s): holocaust (40), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

These very powerful and graphic interviews from Dr. Boder could be extremely beneficial to a class studying the Holocaust - as long as the maturity level of your students is high enough to be able to take the content seriously. Have students listen to an interview as a starter or introduction to a unit or lesson on the genocide. Have the audio playing as students are coming into the class, with instructions written on the board explaining what the clip is and what students are to do while it's playing. Some teachers prefer for students to listen and reflect afterwards OR take notes of the audio for a class discussion afterwards. Regardless of what you choose, be sure students understand so that you can quickly move on to a discussion of the audio and how it represents what happened to victims of the Holocaust. Teachers could easily incorporate the interviews into learning centers, a cooperative group exercise or as a writing prompt to close the unit with. An excellent resource for any history teacher covering WWII.

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Women and the Holocaust

Grades
9 to 12
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A haunting, sometimes disturbing site that chronicles the experiences of women in the holocaust. This is an important story to tell. ...more
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A haunting, sometimes disturbing site that chronicles the experiences of women in the holocaust. This is an important story to tell.

tag(s): holocaust (40), women (94), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Teachers may want to think carefully about how and when it is presented.

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Women in World History

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6 to 12
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A collection of information and resources on famous women through history. ...more
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A collection of information and resources on famous women through history.

tag(s): women (94)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and resources put together on this website! There are also biographies of important women in history that could benefit a class more geared towards social history. Use the appropriate biographies to supplement the normal topics they would belong to.

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1936 Olympics - Smithsonian Holocaust Museum

Grades
6 to 12
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This site, based on an exhibit from the American Holocaust Museum, uses the 1936 games as a starting point for a visual synopsis of the evolution of the Nazi regime, ...more
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This site, based on an exhibit from the American Holocaust Museum, uses the 1936 games as a starting point for a visual synopsis of the evolution of the Nazi regime, with a particular focus on its racial and ethnic policies. The result is a succinct, though stark, introduction that should be useful for many students. The site features an online exhibition with video clips, pictures, and articles of interest.

tag(s): german (68), germany (28), olympics (49), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Use this site to spark a discussion and study of the role of the Olympics in politics and foreign policy (especially during an Olympic year as an extension of your study of current events). You may want to share some of the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Why not have a class debate about the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Yugoslavia and the Balkans - BBC

Grades
7 to 12
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This BBC site presents an elegant retracing of the history of the Balkans and their ethnic divisions. While it concentrates on the present, the information includes timelines going...more
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This BBC site presents an elegant retracing of the history of the Balkans and their ethnic divisions. While it concentrates on the present, the information includes timelines going back hundreds of years which show the origins of many present-day conflicts. Good resource for teachers or students working individually or in groups.

tag(s): yugoslavia (2)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on WWII and how borders and political boundaries were changed in the aftermath. This activity will work best if students have a graphic organizer to follow with, we recommend Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).

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Ukraine Information and Resources

Grades
6 to 12
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This site offers a collection of cultural, government, and economic information and resources about the Ukraine. It includes information on the roles of women, as well as a historical...more
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This site offers a collection of cultural, government, and economic information and resources about the Ukraine. It includes information on the roles of women, as well as a historical chronology of the nation.

tag(s): women (94)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Have students compare and contrast the stories they find about the Ukraine and what's predominantly showcased in American newspapers. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). This would be a great activity during a unit on post-cold war politics, and how the old USSR states have since changed.

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Scottish History - BBC

Grades
6 to 12
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This on-line treatment from the BBC offers lots of depth, particularly in its treatment of early and medieval Scotland. It's not turf that's found in the typical American curriculum,...more
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This on-line treatment from the BBC offers lots of depth, particularly in its treatment of early and medieval Scotland. It's not turf that's found in the typical American curriculum, but this site might appeal to students interested in a world cultures report with a different twist. The site could also be useful as background for study of English literature.

tag(s): britain (33), scotland (6)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on Scottish History or specifically a lesson on Mary Queen of Scots, or the Reformation. Be sure to save the section you want to use as a favorite on classroom computers to ensure easy access for students & to help keep them on task. This learning center would work best with a graphic organizer. To help make one for your class, we recommend Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).

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The Renaissance

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9 to 12
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This elegant site - part of a college-level world culture series - presents the Italian Renaissance and discusses the social, political, and economic trends which contributed to the...more
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This elegant site - part of a college-level world culture series - presents the Italian Renaissance and discusses the social, political, and economic trends which contributed to the flowering of renaissance art and culture. Excellent, dense content would be suitable for advanced high school research, or as background reading for teachers working with this subject. From Washington State University.

tag(s): renaissance (31)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a source for research projects! The information is a little text heavy, but it provides a lot of great information for students to search for a start to their thesis.

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Remembering the Great War - BBC

Grades
6 to 12
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This site from the BBC presents a distinctly European remembrance of World War I. There are links to first-hand accounts, as well as to some of the literature written during ...more
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This site from the BBC presents a distinctly European remembrance of World War I. There are links to first-hand accounts, as well as to some of the literature written during the war. It's an appropriate way to show how deeply Europe suffered from the events of that war.

tag(s): primary sources (92), world war 1 (56)

In the Classroom

The most powerful elements of this site are the "images and newsreel" and "archive radio interviews" section. Open the site on the Interactive whiteboard or projector and play the segments for the class. The sound clips and images help exhibit the tremendous strain the Great War put on Europe, and pushes students to understand the events beyond the textbook.

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Number 10 Downing Street

Grades
9 to 12
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This is the official site of the British Prime Minister, offering current news, the histories of famous prime ministers, and background information on political issues in the United...more
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This is the official site of the British Prime Minister, offering current news, the histories of famous prime ministers, and background information on political issues in the United Kingdom. Lots of flash and design; a good site to include in researching British government.

tag(s): britain (33), england (54)

In the Classroom

Use this site on the interactive whiteboard or projector to introduce a unit on British History. Use the biographies of the prime ministers in your classroom to help discuss and discover important politicians of the time period being studied. Students could use the site to identify important political leaders during the American Revolution or WWI for example.

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