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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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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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Antarctica - BBC

Grades
3 to 12
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This website (created by BBC) is all about Antarctica. The focus is on research information about Antarctica, animals from Antarctica, Global Warming issues and a student's visit to...more
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This website (created by BBC) is all about Antarctica. The focus is on research information about Antarctica, animals from Antarctica, Global Warming issues and a student's visit to Antarctica. Students will enjoy the pictures and games on this website. The use of a peer (student) visitor sharing information will make this site more appealing to students.

tag(s): antarctica (29), arctic (44)

In the Classroom

With Global Warming issues being discussed frequently, use this website as a simple guide to group discussions on the topic or to introduce the lesser-known continent to your youger students. Don't forget to use a projector or whiteboard to share this authentic footage with your class.

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Story Corps - NPR

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3 to 12
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NPR is amassing a collection of oral histories by traveling across the country and talking to average people. On this website, users can read or listen to the stories ...more
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NPR is amassing a collection of oral histories by traveling across the country and talking to average people. On this website, users can read or listen to the stories told by a wide variety of Americans. Click "Tell your story" to find Locations & Reservations for traveling Mobile Booths or directions to record on your own. The Do It Yourself guide includes tips on interview questions and an interview check list. Started in 2003, the site has many stories in its archives and frequently adds updates.

In the Classroom

Use this site to reconnect your students with those of other generations and geographic locations. Turn up your speakers and listen to some examples in your classroom. You can even use the story collection site as a model to start your own oral history project for your class or the entire school. You may not want to actually place your recording on the NPR site but instead house them locally in your school or community web site. As major events occur in your community, such as an anniversary or the opening of a new school, engage your students in documenting the event. The general interview guides offer useful interview techniques for school newspapers or news broadcasts, as well.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Anne Frank Center - Anne Frank Center USA

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6 to 12
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This site would make a nice accompaniment for students reading "The Diary of Ann Frank." This site includes exerpts from Anne's diary, lesson plans and downloadable readers' guides...more
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This site would make a nice accompaniment for students reading "The Diary of Ann Frank." This site includes exerpts from Anne's diary, lesson plans and downloadable readers' guides for teachers. Go directly to "Ann Frank: Life and Times" to access the excerpts from her diary and the scrapbook. This include pictures and artifacts along with a biography of Anne Frank suitable for middle school students.

tag(s): anne frank (10), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

A "scrapbook" section would be very effective on a projector or interactive whiteboard. The scrapbook might function as a good anticipatory activity to set up a unit on the diary, although it does give away the ending of the story. There is also a section for teachers which includes some downloadable handouts, a bibliography and other resources.

If you are teaching about World War II, this would be a good resource to share on your teacher web pages for independent projects.

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Learn Spanish - Jacob Richman

Grades
1 to 12
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This site provides pronunciation of Spanish words. Options include seeing the word in Spanish or seeing it in a combination of English, Spanish, and its phonetic pronunciation form....more
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This site provides pronunciation of Spanish words. Options include seeing the word in Spanish or seeing it in a combination of English, Spanish, and its phonetic pronunciation form. Pronunciation is clear and always in Spanish. By selecting the Spanish-English option, users can also use it as an English to Spanish dictionary. This site requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): pronunciation (44), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Keep this link handy on your teacher web page or classroom computer if you have Spanish-speaking students. Your English speakers will enjoy learning how to communicate with their classmate, and you may find this tool very helpful in bridging communication gaps with your ELL student!

Level I Spanish teachers will want to include this link on their teacher web page to help beginners with pronunciation.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Costumer's Manifesto - Tara Maginnis, Ph.D

Grades
7 to 12
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This is an amazing site for kids who ask, "But what did they WEAR?" In today's fashion-conscious society, looking at the past is often quite amusing, eye-opening, and insightful. A...more
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This is an amazing site for kids who ask, "But what did they WEAR?" In today's fashion-conscious society, looking at the past is often quite amusing, eye-opening, and insightful. A worthwhile site for teachers of theater, history, English, and even family and consumer science -- since the site even includes some patterns. Clicking on any of the options in the opening menu will take you to specific areas of that subject through history. The "Costume History sorted by Period" is truly fascinating as it offers drawings, patterns, and rationale for clothing of different time periods, including materials used and practical reasons for everything from codpieces to headdresses.

tag(s): costumes (6)

In the Classroom

This is a HUGE site worth dipping into for everything from history of clothing to wedding rituals and ceremonies of all kinds. As you introduce the setting of a new piece of literature or study of a new historical period, share this site to make another time "real" to your fashion-conscious teens. Include this site for fashion, costuming, or customs as one of the student research topics for a time period or lit study.

Note: The site is not terribly attractive as a set of links. It also has advertising and links to "outside" topics. Give precise directions for where students should go.

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National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)

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K to 12
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The mission of National Council for the Social Studies is to provide leadership, service, and support for all social studies educators. ...more
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The mission of National Council for the Social Studies is to provide leadership, service, and support for all social studies educators.

In the Classroom

Within the Classroom Resources section of this website to look for free lesson plans and classroom activities. The lessons are organized by grade level, so be sure to pass it along to peers in other grade levels. Save this one as a favorite to allow for easy access and retrieval.

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My Hero - My Hero Project

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K to 12
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Looking for an online project-based interactive website that encourages literacy and cross-cultural communication? Looking for an alternative culminating project or process writing...more
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Looking for an online project-based interactive website that encourages literacy and cross-cultural communication? Looking for an alternative culminating project or process writing project for your secondary classes? Trying to help your high school juniors and seniors create an interesting college "essay" or portfolio piece? Join other adults and children from around the world by adding your essay, artwork or video about a hero on this non-profit, ad-free web site. You and your students can use this site with basic word processing knowledge -- or take it further if you are more technically capable.Site registration is required. Site is available in Spanish. Flash, Acrobat Reader and Quicktime are required. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): gifted (96), heroes (24), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Be sure to visit the Teacher's Resource section for helpful hints and links. Use any word processing program to type essays, then copy and paste into the My Hero class page. Provide a link to the class page on your teacher web page so students, parents, and relatives can read the essays. As always follow your district policies regarding posting student work on the Internet. It is HIGHLY advisable to get written parent permission for such a project!

Very young students could work together as a class to write their entry. Older students and those with more technology available will definitely want to try the videos! If you know iMovie or Windows Moviemaker, this is a terrific project. It is well-suited for gifted students, as well.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Flash Earth

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K to 12
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You may be familiar with Google Earth but may not have the ability to install their free software on your computer, either because you are not permitted to or because ...more
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You may be familiar with Google Earth but may not have the ability to install their free software on your computer, either because you are not permitted to or because your computer is not powerful enough to handle it. Try Flash Earth for a simpler tool to explore the earth as you teach geography to any age from kindergarten to seniors. Perhaps you just want to quickly show which way the Conestoga wagons crossed the U.S., or maybe to show where in the world a current events story is taking place. This simple tool, on a projector or interactive whiteboard, is just the trick. Note: You MUST have FLASH on your computer.

tag(s): globe (14), maps (287)

In the Classroom

Use a projector or whiteboard to share a location as art of the background knowledge for a lesson. Be sure to add this link to your teacher web page as a reference tool, as well. Be aware that some world locations have much "fuzzier" satellite images than others. Always preview before your lesson to be sure you can show the features you want students to see. Show elementary students where their "neighborhood" is, perhaps even their streets!

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Maps and Map Skills - Jim Cornish

Grades
K to 12
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This extremely useful website provides links to numerous maps. There are maps of every continent, the world, political maps, physical maps, time zone maps, map activities, suggestions...more
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This extremely useful website provides links to numerous maps. There are maps of every continent, the world, political maps, physical maps, time zone maps, map activities, suggestions for use in the classroom and more! The best feature of this website is the simple descriptions that are provided with most of the links. Some of the activities require Acrobat Reader. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): maps (287), time (144), time zones (8)

In the Classroom

At the bottom of this website, the author includes "map activities for students". All of these activities would be excellent supplemental activities in numerous grade levels.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Virtual Seminars for Teaching English - P. Groves and S. D. Lee

Grades
8 to 12
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This ia a very interesting site for teaching the literature and humanities areas of WWI. You can follow interactive "paths" or create your own path. It highlights several lesser known...more
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This ia a very interesting site for teaching the literature and humanities areas of WWI. You can follow interactive "paths" or create your own path. It highlights several lesser known British poets and photographers from that time period and contains some things found nowhere else on the 'net. Some of the archives include media components, such as video. History teachers may want to use some of these materials to familiarize students with the culture of the times.

tag(s): literature (275), poetry (228)

In the Classroom

This could be used very easily as part of a webquestor web scavenger hunt. You could also use it in the classroom on a projector or whiteboard to show different elements or types of war poetry. Make sure you have the correct plug-ins if you are using video portions.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Trading Card Maker - BigHugeLabs.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Create photo trading cards using images you upload or store on Flickr. Imagine having your students create study aides about famous people using images they draw and scan or photos...more
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Create photo trading cards using images you upload or store on Flickr. Imagine having your students create study aides about famous people using images they draw and scan or photos of themselves impersonating the famous people, such as presidents, explorers, authors, and more. If you celebrate reading by having an "author's tea," why not follow up by asking students to make trading cards for the authors they "met"? Use a similar approach for famous historical figures or even for geometric shapes you photograph with the digital camera. If students write their own "biographies" of the shapes to study from, they will learn for sure! They can even trade each other for favorites.

tag(s): book reports (35), famous people (19), images (266)

In the Classroom

Upload and tag your photo, type information, and print cards. Download finished card to your computer. Use for book reports for literature circles with each student in the group making a card for a different character in the book. This is also an excellent idea for special occasions for special people: mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, school nurse, school secretary, school custodian, favorite aunt, or anyone else! Be sure to print onto cover stock and laminate (if possible). What fabulous (and memorable) gifts. Check out the Big Huge Labs educator account. Easily pre-register students to avoid creating logins, view and download their creations, and view the site advertisement free. You will find information about the Educator Account here.

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World Flag Database - Graham Bartram

Grades
3 to 12
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Users can find any flag in the world in this well-updated database. To search for a specific country's flag, simply click on the first letter of the country and thumbprint ...more
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Users can find any flag in the world in this well-updated database. To search for a specific country's flag, simply click on the first letter of the country and thumbprint flags from all countries beginning with that letter come up. Besides coming to a full sized representation of the flag, readers also see important statistics such as religion, currency, and languages as well as important organizations the country belongs to such as the U.N. In one click, a contextual map of the country comes up.

tag(s): flags (21), maps (287), statistics (122)

In the Classroom

This is an easy-to-use fast reference tool for students. The site also sells flags, but you can ignore the sales portion. If your students do country reports, this is a one-stop site for them to find their country's flag. Perhaps they can use these ideas to design a flag for their own mythical country as part of a unit on government.

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Wikipedia: List of Faux Pas

Grades
6 to 12
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Although this site is a wiki and therefore editable by anyone who chooses to change the content, it highlights the differences between cultures and how people interpret behavior. Find...more
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Although this site is a wiki and therefore editable by anyone who chooses to change the content, it highlights the differences between cultures and how people interpret behavior. Find out about what is considered "good" and "bad" etiquette in places all over the world. Perhaps your students would even like to write their own additions? It is worth mentioning to your secondary students that the authorship of wiki content is unknown and would therefore be unacceptable as an "academic" source.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), cultures (105)

In the Classroom

Use this as a discussion-opener in your world language or world cultures class. If you put the Faux Pas wiki up on a projector or allow your students to explore it, assigning each group to find one thing that is perfectly acceptable in your home country but considered offensive in another, you can then discuss the differences one needs to consider in learning the language or history of that country. As a a follow-up in a world cultures class, ask students to write up their own etiquette guide for their school or home town.

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Collapse: Why Do Civilizations Fail? - Annenberg Media

Grades
6 to 12
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This site looks at the collapse of several ancient civilizations and suggests why these civilizations did not last. The text is easy to read and is highlighted by learning ...more
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This site looks at the collapse of several ancient civilizations and suggests why these civilizations did not last. The text is easy to read and is highlighted by learning activities and games that illustrate the issues under discussion. Featured civilizations include the Maya, Mesopotamia, the Anasazi of North America and the West African societies of Mali and Songhai. The strength of this site is its suggestion that there are commonalities that help us understand the collapse of a society. There are web links to further resources, and a summary featuring Percy Shelley's poem "Ozymandias", a nice literary connection. There are "hands on" activities scattered throughout, many including cross-curricular links to science or literature.

tag(s): gifted (96), mayans (12), mesopotamia (6), nasa (39)

In the Classroom

This site gives good concrete information, but its real power is in the greater consideration of the rise and fall of civilizations through history. This is a VERY thought-provoking collection of resources. Teachers interested in tying this discussion to current events might discuss the future of civilization in Iraq considering the criteria for maintaining a society given in this site. Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on ancient civilizations' collapse. This site could be specifically tailored to teach about Mesoamerican cultures as three of the 4 ancient civilizations were located in South America. To make that simpler, we recommend creating a guide for students through a website such as Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here). This would be a great resource for a World History classroom! Teachers of gifted could also use this site as the basis for a great social studies unit. If you own the old favorite computer game Civilization, you could put together some scenarios using that, as well.

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BBC Schools Online: World War One - BBC

Grades
9 to 12
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This site contains a number of activities and Flash-enabled simulation games centered on World War One. Students can choose various weapons and try to win a mission, listen to ...more
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This site contains a number of activities and Flash-enabled simulation games centered on World War One. Students can choose various weapons and try to win a mission, listen to eyewitness accounts, and discover various roles played by those on the homefront. There are also lesson plans for teachers. The site is clearly designed for use in British schools and comes from the British viewpoint, but could be very useful in American classrooms as well. Because our country was not part of the war theatre, it can be hard to imagine the war's impact. This site more clearly shows the impact.

In the Classroom

The simulation games and other visual activites would work well on an interactive white board.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Japan In-Depth - Japanese National Tourist Organization

Grades
6 to 12
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This site gives a very clear overview of major components of ancient Japanese culture. The page is separated into a wide variety of subsections including architecture, shrines, religious...more
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This site gives a very clear overview of major components of ancient Japanese culture. The page is separated into a wide variety of subsections including architecture, shrines, religious observations, clothing, art, floral design, theatre and dance. Each section links to simple line-drawings with an explanation of the significance of each cultural component.

tag(s): japan (61)

In the Classroom

The simple explanations and illustrations would be great for use with an interactive whiteboard, and would provide a nice supplement to a study of Japanese culture or while reading Japanese folk tales or Japanese-American literature.

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American Experience The Gold Rush - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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From a PBS American Experience episode on the Gold Rush, this site includes a good timeline for the Gold Rush, transcripts of interviews concerning the immigrant contribution to settling...more
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From a PBS American Experience episode on the Gold Rush, this site includes a good timeline for the Gold Rush, transcripts of interviews concerning the immigrant contribution to settling California and pursing gold, lesson plans focused on history, economics, geography and civics. There is a nice Flash-powered simulation game in which students can choose a character to navigate the rigors of the Gold Rush. Characters include a Chinese immigrant and a woman.

tag(s): california (27), civil war (145), gold rush (19), immigration (58), lincoln (86), migration (59)

In the Classroom

The Gold Rush era in American history usually gets folded into a discussion of immigration or western expansion. The timeline helps put the discussion into a broader context that includes the Civil War. The simulation game would be a good extension activity for students who master material more quickly, or for students to do at home.
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