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Rome Reborn 1.0 - University of Virginia

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6 to 12
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Rome Reborn 1.0 is, as its title implies, a work in progress. Scholars at the University of Virginia are in the process of creating a digital representation of Rome ...more
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Rome Reborn 1.0 is, as its title implies, a work in progress. Scholars at the University of Virginia are in the process of creating a digital representation of Rome on June 21, 320 AD. Currently, several views are available (under Gallery), both as still views and as short video clips. The clips look like a cross between a "Google Earth" fly-in and the backdrop for a video game. While they have the potential to give students a "you are there" vision of ancient Rome, they might also disappoint in that the movement is much clunkier than the latest video games' resolution. Students might see the images as "old school" compared with what they are used to.

tag(s): latin (22), rome (27)

In the Classroom

The still views and video clips are ideal for use with an interactive whiteboard or projector during a discussion of ancient Rome. Use them as a companion to current photographs of the Colosseum, or the Roman Forum, for example. Ask your more creative students what suggestions they might have to portray Rome. What would they like to "see"? More "techie" humanities students may be interested in following the project and/or attempting to communicate with project participants.
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Universal Leonardo - University of the Arts, London

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6 to 12
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Leonardo da Vinci is one of history's greatest geniuses. This site looks at Leonardo's work in ways that highlight how comprehensive and interdisciplinary his impact has been. Of...more
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Leonardo da Vinci is one of history's greatest geniuses. This site looks at Leonardo's work in ways that highlight how comprehensive and interdisciplinary his impact has been. Of course, you can examine his individual works of art, but this site is organized along threads, which you can access through a traditional menu or through an interactive web. Follow Leonardo's influence in math, through his inventions, in his understanding of the human body or his examination of the natural world. There are also some just-plain-fun flash-enabled games to play: make the Mona Lisa smile broadly by correctly answering questions about her, practice mirror writing, or see if you can power his glider across a ravine.

tag(s): renaissance (34)

In the Classroom

Because Leonardo's work crosses so many curricular boundaries, teachers from many different disciplines might find this site useful as part of a lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard, particularly when painting "the big picture" for students (no pun intended!). Art teachers, of course, can access Leonardo's work, but science teachers can use the interactive games to illustrate principles of physics or early understanding of the human body. History or literature teachers might use the site to personify the term "Renaissance Man" for students studying the time period. Whatever your discipline, be sure to make the link available from your teacher web page for curious students to explore outside of class.
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National Museum of African American History and Culture - Smithsonian

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6 to 12
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Currently, the National Museum of African American History and Culture exists only virtually; it is not slated to be a physical location until 2015. Therefore, the creators of this...more
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Currently, the National Museum of African American History and Culture exists only virtually; it is not slated to be a physical location until 2015. Therefore, the creators of this website have to do much more than showcase a traditional museum and its artifacts and provide driving directions. The centerpiece of the site is its interactive web, which appears just below the "masthead" of the site. Enlarge it (which requires a "pop up"), and you can see a visual representation of the complex connections among issues, historical figures and cultural icons related to African American History. Click on any link on the web to be taken to further information. There are also traditional lesson plans (under the education link) and a great interactive timeline. This is a rich resource for Black History Month or an African American perspective on many historical topics.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113), black history (59)

In the Classroom

A great tool for individual research, add this site to your teacher web page so students can access it from home. Use the "threads" web on an interactive whiteboard to illustrate how culture, history and issues are related in complex and unexpected ways. Use the resources you can access through the "web" to illustrate lessons.
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Timeless Ideas for Teaching - Concord Monitor Publishing

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6 to 12
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Posted by the New Hampshire Concord Monitor Newspaper in the Classroom program, this website offers many interactive ideas that students can use either with a physical newspaper...more
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Posted by the New Hampshire Concord Monitor Newspaper in the Classroom program, this website offers many interactive ideas that students can use either with a physical newspaper in front of them, with an online news service such as CNN, or with online editions of newspapers that you find here. The examples used all refer to the New Hampshire newspaper, but are easily adaptable to whatever topic you want the students to deal with. This site includes such varied activities as creating a database and writing recipes. It covers every section of a newspaper. Students could create their own classroom newspaper using some of these activities or simply create journalistic articles based on whatever topic you are currently teaching. This is adaptable to almost any grade level and subject area.

tag(s): local history (13), news (261), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

Whether you use hard-copy papers or electronic editions, many of these ideas will work even better using technology: word processing, wikis, blogs (for editorials), graphic organizer tools, digital cameras, etc. Use today's tools to study this powerful medium as it goes through transition into an electronic world. Consider asking students to compare electronic vs. hard-copy newspapers and their pros/cons, as well.

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The Online Guide to Traditional Games - James Masters

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8 to 12
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Clearly, students love playing games of all kinds. This website takes a look at the history of games from board games to lawn games. It both describes the pieces, the ...more
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Clearly, students love playing games of all kinds. This website takes a look at the history of games from board games to lawn games. It both describes the pieces, the boards, the rules, and the history. Since many of the games are from other places around the world, this site affords the opportunity to investigate how game playing relates to life in different times and places. This is a great site to get kids involved in history, games, and creativity. Not only can they learn about games from the Renaissance and before; they will laugh at names like "Toad in the Hole" and "Ringing the Bull." While many of these games will show the origins of games they play today, it will give students ideas on how to create their own games.

In the Classroom

Have students design gameboards or cards, game pieces, and rules to play variations of the games on the site. In your world cultures class, have students play and compare games from different cultures. Use game-creation as the culminating project at the end of a content or research unit or simply as a way to teach writing: both informational (directions) and creative. Have students role-play characters who might play original or historic games by writing character sketches and then performing them. Let the games begin!

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CommonCensus Map Project - Michael Baldwin

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9 to 12
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Today's world is increasingly mobile, and deep-seated regional identity may be fading into the background. This project seeks to redraw the map of the United States using responders'...more
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Today's world is increasingly mobile, and deep-seated regional identity may be fading into the background. This project seeks to redraw the map of the United States using responders' self-reported regional "identity" rather than political or geographic borders. For example, the city or US region you most closely identify with may be different from your mailing address. Aside from being a new way of thinking about the question "Where are you from?" this concept has enormous political implications as candidates focus on the regional issues that matter to voters. There are also important issues relative to immigration, national identity, and the ever-shrinking global economy reflected in this data.

tag(s): demographics (19)

In the Classroom

The website is a work in progress and depends upon users to respond to a brief questionnaire. It might be interesting to have students participate after a discussion of concepts of regional identification or the importance of political involvement. (The form does require the user to enter a home address, but no other identifying information). Your students could also invite their parents to participate or conduct a local drive to add data to the project and see what happens to the map. The information gathered from this site might also be helpful in talking about regional and local political representation during election years. The opportuniites for critical thinking abound with this site.

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Spirit of the Season - NY Times

Grades
5 to 12
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This site is a collection of seasonally-appropriate lesson plans for winter and the holiday season, including philanthropy, winter sports, and weather. In addition to lesson plans,...more
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This site is a collection of seasonally-appropriate lesson plans for winter and the holiday season, including philanthropy, winter sports, and weather. In addition to lesson plans, there are timely crossword puzzles and questions and answers about winter weather.

tag(s): christmas (64), holidays (147), sports (97), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Use this to find a curriculum-appropriate way to include the holidays in your plans. It's a great place to give students info about symbols of international religions, for example, or to explain the history and applications of volunteerism and giving. If you advise a service club, there are fresh ideas here, as well.

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Haltadefinizione: The Last Supper in Detail - Hal9000

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6 to 12
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If you teach about DaVinci, the Renaissance, religion, or painting, this site is phenomenal to bring the closest thing to the actual painting of the Last Supper right up to ...more
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If you teach about DaVinci, the Renaissance, religion, or painting, this site is phenomenal to bring the closest thing to the actual painting of the Last Supper right up to your face. Unlike most online images, this one has been digitized to allow you to zoom in VERY closely and still have a sharp image. The exquisite detail will let you discuss technique, symbolism, and more. See context about how the online version was made by clicking on "HAL9000" and watching the "backstage" video. The video includes some street scenes outside in Milan. The site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

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

In the Classroom

Turn off the music if it interferes with your study, then open this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. If you have laptops available, let your students explore the painting on their own and make observations, as well, perhaps guided by some questions from you. As an interesting aside with high school students, talk about the issue of whether art masterpieces should be digitized and shared on the web for wider exposure. What does this experience do the the works? What does it do to the art viewing experience?
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Blogabond (beta) - Blogabond

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6 to 12
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This new travel blog site is intended for travelers to document their trips to locations worldwide. The site is in "beta," which means that they are still working out kinks ...more
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This new travel blog site is intended for travelers to document their trips to locations worldwide. The site is in "beta," which means that they are still working out kinks and adding features. Although it would be nice to think that teachers can use the site for their own travels, it is far more likely that you will use it to share "real world" experiences from places around the world to make the maps and textbook images come to life. You can search Blogabond by geographic location using the world map (click Maps) to find markers indicating blog posts ( little speech bubble icon) and pictures (little camera icon) from worldwide locations.

tag(s): cities (25), continents (49), countries (76), maps (287)

In the Classroom

Find some travel bloggers who are visiting the places you are studying and share the pictures and posts on a projector. If you teach a foreign language, you can also find posts from people in other languages as they visit the U.S.! Of course you will want to preview to be sure the blog content is appropriate for the classroom. Your students would love to comment as a class and ask questions of someone "on location" in the continent/country of interest. Create a TEACHER log-in to do this as a group to protect student safety "talking to strangers." Your school filtering may block all URLs with the word "blogs." If this is the case, you may want to use your home computer to select a few specific travel blogs that are school-appropriate and support your curriculum and request that they be unblocked.

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Exploring Africa - Michigan State University

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6 to 12
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Wow, this website is amazing! Exploring Africa brings Africa into your classroom through numerous interdisciplinary lessons. There are 20 modules (within 4 general units of study)....more
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Wow, this website is amazing! Exploring Africa brings Africa into your classroom through numerous interdisciplinary lessons. There are 20 modules (within 4 general units of study). The general units include "Why Study Africa", "Studying Africa Through the Social Studies", "Studying Africa Through the Humanities", and "Regional Perspectives". Each module contains a teacher version that includes objectives, focus questions, activities, background information, and more. These teaching and learning activities all follow the "5 E's" format: Engage, Explore, Explain, Expand, and Evaluate. The website also provides links for specific country information and current events.

tag(s): africa (180), diversity (36)

In the Classroom

This website is literally a textbook online. The information is ready to go and easy to use. It may not be possible to cover all of the information included in this extensive website. Pick and choose the modules that will be useful in your own classroom. Modules can easily be used independently and include detailed teacher notes, evaluations, printable pages, and more. Many of the a ctivities will work well using technology, though the plans do not specify this. For example: Share some of the maps on your interactive whiteboard or have students draw some of their "preconceived notions" about Africa on the whiteboard as part of the introductory image activities.

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The Africa Guide - africaguide.com

Grades
2 to 12
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This website provides a colorful interactive map of Africa. Users are able to click on any country in Africa to learn more about that particular country. The website includes basic...more
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This website provides a colorful interactive map of Africa. Users are able to click on any country in Africa to learn more about that particular country. The website includes basic geographical information (capital cities, landforms, elevations, exact locations, etc.) along with other general information. The reading level is too high for younger students, so they will need an adult reader. Some of the links provide authentic music from the country, information about accommodations available, and tourist attractions. There are some interactive elements that require FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): africa (180)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous tool for online research or student-guided learning. This website presents a wonderful, concise summary of all of the countries in Africa. Why not assign individual students (or groups or 2) a specific country to research. Then the students can create an interactive PowerPoint or other presentation to share on a projection screen. With younger students, use your interactive whiteboard to share the site (turn up the speakers), allowing students to click and guide the class "trip." Music links go to Amazon, and only some have the listening feature available (scroll down the Amazon page to "Listen to Samples"). You will want to check before class.
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National Women's History Museum - National Women's History Museum

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7 to 12
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The National Women's History Museum site includes a rich collection of resources. Although the collection is certainly deep on issues related to women's suffrage, there is also information...more
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The National Women's History Museum site includes a rich collection of resources. Although the collection is certainly deep on issues related to women's suffrage, there is also information on women in World War II, women and education, women and the Progressive movement, and women spies. There are good photographs of artifacts from the women's movement, and a nice collection of lesson plans, grouped by grade level.

tag(s): jamestown (11), women (101), womens suffrage (26), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Of course, the site would be useful to students doing research on the women's movement in general, or on the role of women during several important historical eras. In the "educational resources" section, there is a collection of quotations from women that would be great for creating displays for women's history month. There is also a group of quizzes that could be adapted for classroom use. The section focused on the women of Jamestown includes the stories of Native American women as well as the role of early European settler women and could supplement the usual Thanksgiving lessons on the new American colonies. There are also free lesson plans and classroom activities that teachers should take advantage of!

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Exploratorium Magazine Online: The Evolution of Languages - Exploratorium Magazine

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5 to 12
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This fascinating website investigates the origin and evolution of languages. Topics include "Where do Languages Come From?", "Table: An Example of Language Similarities", "Table: Global...more
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This fascinating website investigates the origin and evolution of languages. Topics include "Where do Languages Come From?", "Table: An Example of Language Similarities", "Table: Global Roots of the Words One and Two", "Examine Words", and "Learn How to Find the Histories and Origins of Words". Some of the audio features require FLASH or Real Player. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): greek (41), japan (61), japanese (42), latin (22), portuguese (18)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous tool to study the origins of language. Explore comparisons are made between English, Latin, Japanese, Classical Greek, Portuguese, and Sanskrit. This would be a great site to use during world languages week or as an introduction to a world cultures class. Gifted students would find it fascinating. Have students create a digital "dictionary" of particularly interesting words that have evolved in unusual ways, perhaps computer terms. They can make it in the form of anything from a word document to a wiki!
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16th Century Renaissance English Literature - Anion Jokinen

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9 to 12
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While there are countless sites on Shakespeare, this one offers the OTHER authors from the greatest period of English literature. This site doesn't even bother with Shakespeare, sending...more
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While there are countless sites on Shakespeare, this one offers the OTHER authors from the greatest period of English literature. This site doesn't even bother with Shakespeare, sending the reader to a different source for that information. The site divides the plays into Tudor, Elizabethan, and Jacobean periods. This is an impressive array that focuses on the history of the Tudors as background for Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Kyd, Hooker, Spenser, and dozens more. There is a new section on Renaissance drama and another on religious writers, who were very influential at this time. The variety offered here, particularly for those who think the only writer of this time was Shakespeare, is amazing. The small Google ads are unobtrusive.

tag(s): elizabethan (17), literature (275), marlowe (2)

In the Classroom

This is a great site for research and sharing with students. It gives them a taste beyond what they think they know about the English Renaissance. Most of the author-specific pages have links to discussion forums for that author, and students can quickly find other aficionados for obscure writers of this period. Share an author a day as you read Shakespeare, then ask students to research a favorite and create a digital museum piece about him/her on a wiki or write a blog entry as if from their person's journal.

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Gapminder - Gapminder

Grades
7 to 12
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Gapminder is an interactive site designed to present world demographic information in a highly visual way. Using either a world map, or a chart with "bubbles" sized according to ...more
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Gapminder is an interactive site designed to present world demographic information in a highly visual way. Using either a world map, or a chart with "bubbles" sized according to each country's population, users can track 30 years of change in a wide variety of economic and social indicators (for example, population size, percentage of GNP dedicated to military spending, proportion of girls in school, infant mortality). Math teachers can use the site to demonstrate data analysis skills with meaningful data. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): data (148), demographics (19)

In the Classroom

The site would be best used on an interactive whiteboard, although computer-savvy students could access it individually. The world data presented might supplement lessons in economics, civics, world cultures, current events or modern history. Teachers should plan to spend a chunk of time previewing the site before using, however, as the interface is not entirely intuitive. There is a tutorial, but it will take some experimentation to discover the various ways to manipulate the data and present it graphically. There is also this page of ideas specifically for teachers. You can compare individual countries, or zoom into geographic regions. "Mature" teachers who learned bar graphs and pie charts may find the choices a little overwhelming, but with a little noodling around, will be able to graphically illustrate concepts in ways never before possible.br br Challenge your students to retrieve and use some of the data in support of an essay thesis, oral presentation, or debate.
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September 11 Digital Archive - Center for History and New Media

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7 to 12
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A good start for accessing a wealth of information related to the events of September 11, 2001, this site provides links to research databases, first person accounts and photo and ...more
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A good start for accessing a wealth of information related to the events of September 11, 2001, this site provides links to research databases, first person accounts and photo and sound galleries. For most teachers, 9/11 is a very recent event and is fresh in our minds. However, for students, the details of that terrible day may be fuzzy either because they were young when it happened, or because they were shielded from much of the news coverage. This site can help present the account. Among the "Special Collections" is a link to an innovative sound memorial site that provides a montage of voices and sounds recorded on September 11. Although the main site does not, some of the linked sites require Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): new york (26), sept11 (21), terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

Preview carefully for younger students. Use the site in your discussions of current events and terrorism-related topics or share it as a resource for high school students doing research projects. As politicians talk about Sept 11, this site can help fill the gaps in your students' background. You can easily demonstrate primary and secondary sources with these engaging examples.
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The Victorian Web - George P. Landow

Grades
9 to 12
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This site covers the Victorian period (roughly 1837 through 1901) and addresses everything from political and social history to gender matters, authors, periodicals, philosophy, religion,...more
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This site covers the Victorian period (roughly 1837 through 1901) and addresses everything from political and social history to gender matters, authors, periodicals, philosophy, religion, technology, and more. Since this covers much of the development of industry in the Western world, it is an invaluable source for studying the arts and humanities. History teachers who study the Industrial Revolution will like this site for its connections between technology and other areas of society. Note that music is included in the "theatre and popular entertainment" section. The composer of every high school student's favorite theme song, "Pomp and Circumstance," is included among the profiles. Can you find him/her?

tag(s): evolution (100), industrial revolution (25), victorian (21)

In the Classroom

In English, history, art or music classes, have students research aspects of Victorian times and present those pieces to the class. Everything from dressing up in costume to displaying the appropriate manners is game! Portraying authors, actors, and others at the popular soir?es using the language of the time would be a great learning experience for students. In fact, there are more than enough authors and others listed to have quite a party of in full regalia and language. What a dinner party that might be!

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Endangered Animals in Africa - Africa Conservation Fund

Grades
3 to 12
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This site offers up-to-date news on conservation issues and incidents in Africa. Organized by reporters in the different regions of this large continent, the site gives users the option...more
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This site offers up-to-date news on conservation issues and incidents in Africa. Organized by reporters in the different regions of this large continent, the site gives users the option of selecting news, videos, or blogs with videos to keep themselves informed on the very latest events impacting animals, both good and bad. The fastest way to find the animal information is to click on "Find Blogs about Hippos, Gorillas, Colobus monkey, Rhinos, amd other Endangered Animals"

tag(s): africa (180), animals (276), conservation (127), environment (317)

In the Classroom

Once you become familiar with specific naturalist bloggers on this site, you may want to revisit their posts throughout your unit on animals, biodiversity, or the environment. These real world connections would be good lesson starters. Teachers may also use this site when studying world cultures and geography of Africa. Elementary teachers will want to share selected portions of this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector as they teach about animal habitats and adaptations. Since some of the incidents that threaten the animals may be involve violence or be frightening to students, teachers should preview before sharing with younger students. The reading levels are adult, so this is not a good site to suggest for elementary students to use independently.

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Hyper History Online - The World History Project

Grades
6 to 12
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This comprehensive history/culture resource is the mother of all timelines with over 3000 years of history available in "synchronoptic" form, that is, in parallel timelines. Users...more
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This comprehensive history/culture resource is the mother of all timelines with over 3000 years of history available in "synchronoptic" form, that is, in parallel timelines. Users can view by searching year, event, people, stories, subjects, events, political movements, and maps. Constant updates to the events section and additional "people" lines ensure the timeliness of this amazing site. (The site does NOT include people who are still alive). The span of the timelines and people, events, and cultures is extensive. Timeline elements are clickable for more information. We recommend the site for grades 6 and up purely because of the level of exposure necessary to appreciate all the information and because of the reading level.

tag(s): biographies (87), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Use this site for context regarding what was going on all over the world at any given time, especially as you launch class discussion of a new topic or time period. Help students see relationships between what they know and what else was occurring at the same time. Use it to pose questions about how events and people may be related, as well. This site will work very well on a projector or interactive whiteboard.

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World Climate - Robert Hoare

Grades
5 to 12
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Users can find average temperature readings by clicking on common locations or entering any world city into a search box. Answers show three readings, Average Maximum Temps, Average...more
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Users can find average temperature readings by clicking on common locations or entering any world city into a search box. Answers show three readings, Average Maximum Temps, Average Minimum, 24 hour readings, as well as longitude and latitude.. Depending on the area, other data includes rainfall, sea-level pressure, station level pressure, and general information about the area's geography. Searchers must use native language spellings of larger cities and must settle for information about the main cities of the world.

tag(s): climate (92), earth (228), earth day (112), environment (317), temperature (29), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Use the data along with world maps (or Google Earth) for students to draw conclusions about geographic features and weather or to collect weather data over a time period to compare seasonal differences between northern and southern hemispheres. As part of an Earth Day or climate comparison activity, have students create a color-coded climate data "globe" in small groups, showing major cities and their weather data by color. You can use basketballs and sticky colored contact paper to cut out continents and climate zones, or have students make the map on an interactive whiteboard using a globe projection and highlghter tools in different colors. Older students can use the raw data as part of study of climate and cultural differences, environmental issues, or related topics.

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