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Conquistadors - PBS

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6 to 12
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PBS site connected to their series on the Spanish Conquistadors Pizarro, Cortes, Orellana and Cabeza de Vaca. There are excellent multi-media presentations, an interactive timeline,...more
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PBS site connected to their series on the Spanish Conquistadors Pizarro, Cortes, Orellana and Cabeza de Vaca. There are excellent multi-media presentations, an interactive timeline, a teaching guide, lesson plans, and PDF worksheets covering each of the American cultures. This site provides good historical background on the conquistadors and would be a great supplement to a unit on early American exploration. While the site certainly suggests that we consider the ethical implications of conquest, it is not heavy handed.

tag(s): aztecs (9), mayans (13)

In the Classroom

The animations would be great for use on an interactive whiteboard.

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King Tut Exhibition - The King Tut Exhibition

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6 to 12
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What student doesn't love King Tut? This site is connected with the current tour of some of the King Tut artifacts across the United States. See Exhibition Menu> ...more
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What student doesn't love King Tut? This site is connected with the current tour of some of the King Tut artifacts across the United States. See Exhibition Menu> Preview for a beautiful animated gallery of some of the artifacts. Exhibition Menu > videos offers three informative videos. The King Tut menu includes informative background articles. Although King Tut was really just a minor king in the Egyptian history, the stunning beauty of the items discovered in his tomb is hard to resist. This site may change as the exhibit continues to travel.

tag(s): egypt (70)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector to introduce Egyptian history or use it in a scavenger hunt activity along with other Tut resources. Gifted enrichment teachers could create an opportunity for students to explore and compare this and other ancient civilizations.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Holocaust Lesson Plan - Vanderbilt University, University of Texas-Austin

Grades
6 to 12
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This comprehensive approach to studying the Holocaust has students reading, viewing the film Devil's Arithmetic, and doing research about a real person who was involved in the Holocaust....more
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This comprehensive approach to studying the Holocaust has students reading, viewing the film Devil's Arithmetic, and doing research about a real person who was involved in the Holocaust. The lesson plans include videos of the different phases of the plan for teachers who would like to see it modeled. The questioning encourages the development of higher order thinking skills, and presents a well-considered approach to the study of the Holocaust, providing students with a template for future historical study. Student final presentations include students preparing their own PowerPoint or Hyperstudio presentations, an appropriate use of technology to express their own observations and research findings. Detailed student outcomes are available to instructors who wish to use this plan. Examples of student projects as well as links to other sites about the Holocaust complete the site offerings.

tag(s): hitler (10), holocaust (41)

In the Classroom

Video files of the model lesson are large and take a long time to download (use Quicktime). You will also need to find a copy of the film licensed for school use. Teachers may want to use these lesson ideas and products as a springboard, picking and choosing from the activities.

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BBC Learning English - BBC (British Broadcasting Company)

Grades
3 to 12
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BBC offers the news with vocabulary support, exercises, video and audio features with related testing, a serial story with viewer input, a special grammar and vocabulary section, and...more
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BBC offers the news with vocabulary support, exercises, video and audio features with related testing, a serial story with viewer input, a special grammar and vocabulary section, and features just for students (Learner of the Day, a learning English blog, emailed newsletter, and message board.) This is a comprehensive site well worth your time. American speakers will find some "different" vocabulary, but this simply enriches the site. Some activities require Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): news (261)

In the Classroom

For teachers, there is a weekly lesson plan to accompany a selected news feature. The lesson plan includes highlighted vocabulary, a glossary, comprehension questions, a quiz, and links to more information about the subject of the story. This site is useful for far more than just ESL/ELL. Remedial reading teachers who struggle to find interactive comprehension activities will love the variety of reading selections and cloze passages, such as "Get That Job."
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Dates That Matter - TeachersFirst

Grades
5 to 12
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Dates That Matter provides a new perspective on history by placing each day-in-history event in broader context and explaining its long-term impact. History is a fabric woven of many...more
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Dates That Matter provides a new perspective on history by placing each day-in-history event in broader context and explaining its long-term impact. History is a fabric woven of many events, and Dates That Matter helps students see the full tapestry. The dates display on a projector-ready screen: A single sentence reveals something about the date. You then click to see a sequence of thought-provoking questions to guide students to a greater understanding of interrelationships as they try to guess the actual event. When the historical event finally shows on screen, a further explanation, Why does it matter?, fills in the remaining context and offers reviewed links to learn more. Teachers who work with low readers might try using these daily clues to teach the reading strategy of connecting what you read with prior knowledge to place new learning in context. A full, annotated version of each date is available from the Teacher page at the end so you can plan for student responses and have hints for guiding the discussion. You can also preview upcoming dates to choose those you may want to put in your weekly plans.

tag(s): calendars (46), substitutes (20)

In the Classroom

Begin your social studies class once or twice a week by sharing a Date That Matters on a projector or interactive whiteboard to foster broader understanding of the connections that form world history. Or use the links at the end as an extra credit or enrichment opportunity or for gifted students to investigate more. Focus class attention as everyone enters by projecting the date and starting sentence. Make this one a link on your teacher web page for students (and parents) to access outside of school. Substitutes will also appreciate this meaningful and engaging way to connect today with students' prior history knowledge for more than isolated factoid. It's a lesson ready to go!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

This is a terrific site for daily writing and "Do Nows" for my ELA classes. In addition, the site can be used for Morning Meeting/Advisory. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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Where in the World and What in the World is Money? - International Monetary Fund

Grades
6 to 12
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A brief, fairly simplistic game that illustrates the different forms that money can take: gold, paper money, items of value, a promise to pay in the future. The ...more
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A brief, fairly simplistic game that illustrates the different forms that money can take: gold, paper money, items of value, a promise to pay in the future. The game involves a trip through time in which the player needs to choose various objects to use as currency. Wrong answers re-direct the user back to the list of choices. Right answers advance the user through the game.

tag(s): currency (19), money (180)

In the Classroom

This might make a nice kick off activity (10 minutes)to a unit on money--from an economic perspective rather than a counting perspective--or a unit about a country or society that uses a different form of currency.

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Conservation Investigation: Seahorses - Shedd Aquarium and Educational Adventures

Grades
9 to 12
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This interactive website is amazing - both informative and entertaining. Students are sent on a mission as an investigative reporter from a local newspaper. This interactive lesson...more
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This interactive website is amazing - both informative and entertaining. Students are sent on a mission as an investigative reporter from a local newspaper. This interactive lesson takes students up close to the Philippines to observe seahorses. Students also complete their investigations by interviews and library research all pre-created at the Shedd Aquarium. The culminating activity requires students to prepare a persuasive article. This site is extremely well done and students will enjoy the videos, unique activities and the original way that the information is presented. Note: our editors had difficulty accessing some of the interview videos. There's apparently a codec issue with these. That's geek speak for, "They don't work." The rest of the site works fine, however, just be sure to pre-test videos you assign to students.

tag(s): conservation (130)

In the Classroom

Use this investigation to spice up your conservation, marine biology or general science classes. It is multi-disciplinary and very interesting.

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Communicating With Gestures - Everything ESL: Judie Haynes

Grades
2 to 12
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Learn about gestures from other cultures and share the discussion through this lesson plan as part of your language class or as an activity to help students communicate with ESL/ELL...more
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Learn about gestures from other cultures and share the discussion through this lesson plan as part of your language class or as an activity to help students communicate with ESL/ELL peers. Gestures can have VERY differnet meanings in other cultures, so this site is a must before any foreign language trips abroad!

In the Classroom

ELL/ESL teachers will appreciate this free lesson plan hosted by everythingesl.net. Be sure to save it as a favorite on your classroom desktop to allow for easy retrieval later on.

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My Wonderful World - National Geographic and partners

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6 to 12
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After miserable results on a world geography test, National Geographic launched this site as part of a campaign to re-ignite interest and provide resources for students, teachers, and...more
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After miserable results on a world geography test, National Geographic launched this site as part of a campaign to re-ignite interest and provide resources for students, teachers, and parents to learn more about geography. The site is designed blog-style, with many places to comment or join into discussion. There are separate sections for educators (start a geography club, evaluate your school's program, etc.), parents, and kids. Be sure to try the Test Your Global IQ link. There are also many links for further materials and ideas to bolster your instruction in geography.

In the Classroom

Try putting the Global IQ Test up on a projector to "pretest" your class or include it on your teacher web page for extra challenge.

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WorldWise Schools Lesson Plans - Peace Corps

Grades
2 to 12
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This site is a much-expanded remake of the Peace Corps collection of lesson plans and activities for cross-cultural understanding around the world. Teachers can search for lesson plans...more
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This site is a much-expanded remake of the Peace Corps collection of lesson plans and activities for cross-cultural understanding around the world. Teachers can search for lesson plans by topic, region of the world, grade level, or academic subject. All readings and materials are included (many as pdf - Acrobat Reader files). Many lessons include readings that would also work well for teaching reading comprehension, espceially for your less-than-proficient readers. Simply choose the area of the world, subject, and/or grade level for which you want a lesson plan, and you will see quite a list.

tag(s): cultures (108)

In the Classroom

Search for lessons on a specific region as you teach about it or use these selections as general readings for comprehension. They may also be helpful in getting to know students who enter your classroom from other cultures. The lessons would be very helpful in developing background knowledge to understand cross-cultural literature selections in a language arts class.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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NOW for Educators: Global Warming - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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This site, affliated with the PBS program NOW, offers a lesson plan on global warming. There are a variety of materials available, including a good Venn-diagram style worksheet (requires...more
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This site, affliated with the PBS program NOW, offers a lesson plan on global warming. There are a variety of materials available, including a good Venn-diagram style worksheet (requires Acrobat Reader) that helps students organize the arguments for and against global warming, a list of possible projects which illustrate both sides of the argument. There is a link to transcripts of a NOW segment on global warming and discussion questions, or you can purchase a tape of the program.

tag(s): climate (94), environment (322)

In the Classroom

The site includes a link to a great slide show with Flash animation that explains the science of global warming, suitable for middle school students, which would make a good stand-alone mini lesson for teachers with a SmartBoard or projector.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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In Search of Shakespeare - PBS - Folger Library

Grades
6 to 12
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In Search of Shakespeare is a 4 part video series shown on PBS. Though the series is quite good, you are likely to "lose" lower level students with it. If ...more
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In Search of Shakespeare is a 4 part video series shown on PBS. Though the series is quite good, you are likely to "lose" lower level students with it. If you own it, in conjunction with this site, you can't miss. But you don't have to use the video series to use the site effectively. The site contains a multitude of sources, lesson plans, supplementary materials--almost anything you want to teach in a basic through high academic course on Shakespeare is here. The site is divided into 4 parts: the investigation, for educators, the playwright game, and the show. Clicking on any of those links takes you to a specific site within PBS that digs deeply into the Bard's life, Elizabethan times in both Stratford and London, Folger Library lesson plans, creative writing assignments for students, plus actual summaries and guides for the series itself if you should choose to use it.

tag(s): elizabethan (15), england (55), shakespeare (104)

In the Classroom

Decide what you want your students to know and where you want to begin. Involving them in 16th century politics is fun, especially if you assign them roles to play such as Elizabeth, her sister Mary, the Spanish consul, etc. There are infinite ways to make these times come alive by talking about bear-baiting, cock-fighting, and theatre--the main sources of entertainment among the common people. You might assign different pieces of the site to different students or groups of students and have them report back to the class on what they discovered, using the website itself as a teaching tool. The possibilities of using this site are almost endless.Requires Real Player for video portions

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The Cultures and History of America - Library of Congress

Grades
6 to 12
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This site accompanies an exhibition of 4,000 rare books, maps, documents, paintings, prints, and ojects focused on the early Americas from the time of the indigenous people of Mexico,...more
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This site accompanies an exhibition of 4,000 rare books, maps, documents, paintings, prints, and ojects focused on the early Americas from the time of the indigenous people of Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean through the period of European contact, exploration, and settlement. The site showcases two interactive artifacts: A 3-D view of the Tortuguero box, a seventh-century Mayan object, and a seventeenth-century book, The Buccaneers of America. The book features a page-by-page examination of the book along with written and audio translations of its contents. There is a nice picture gallery of other exhibits and a comprehensive bibliography.This site provides some nice visuals for a unit on indiginous peoples of the Americas. The picture gallery has some lovely maps from the Francis Drake expedition, and the information about buccaneers would provide a nice balance to the "Pirates of the Carribean" fantasy depiction of pirates. Some of the interactive features require FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): aztecs (9), explorers (64), mayans (13), spanish (111)

In the Classroom

Use portions of this site on a projector in class or spend a day on a "web hunt" with students answering questions you give them to find within the site. There is plenty to explore.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Calendars through the Ages - Institute for Dynamic Educational Advancement

Grades
6 to 12
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This information-packed site focuses on calendars through the ages. It includes sections on the astronomy of calendars (e.g. moon cycles), the history of calendars, differences among...more
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This information-packed site focuses on calendars through the ages. It includes sections on the astronomy of calendars (e.g. moon cycles), the history of calendars, differences among various international calendars, derivation of the names of the months, and loads of other trivia about calendars.

tag(s): calendars (46)

In the Classroom

Lots of great stuff for "did you know?" discussions or as an extension of a study of timelines and other graphic organizers of information. A few interesting visuals, but the strength of this site is in its information. Might be a good source for monthly bulletin boards or an enrichment area for gifted students.

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Adventures in the Past- Virtual Site Visits - US Bureau of Land Management

Grades
3 to 12
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"Archaeological, historic, and fossil sites are unique portals to the past," declares this site as it invites you to visit locations around the U.S. as ways to learn about archelogical...more
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"Archaeological, historic, and fossil sites are unique portals to the past," declares this site as it invites you to visit locations around the U.S. as ways to learn about archelogical finds, natural formations, and historical preservation sites that teach about the early U.S. and its Native American predecessors. Many of the virtual visits are created by BLM, and those that are not warn you before you leave the site. The locations included spread across most of the western U.S. and Alaska.

tag(s): archeology (32), fossils (45)

In the Classroom

Take your class on a "field trip" without leaving the classroom. Give them a list of things to find out as they explore a location on their own computers or "travel" together on a projector. Younger students will need help with text passages.

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Art 21: Art in the Twenty-First Century - PBS

Grades
9 to 12
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See eighteen featured, twenty-first century artists and their work in slideshows and over 200 streaming video clips that accompany the third season of this PBS series. The artists speak...more
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See eighteen featured, twenty-first century artists and their work in slideshows and over 200 streaming video clips that accompany the third season of this PBS series. The artists speak quite articulately about their creative process and messages they wish to convey. The site is highly interactive and includes links to multiple subject areas. Educators from social studies and language arts helped to correlate to standards across disciplines, create lesson plans, and generate a teaching guide for the series.

tag(s): artists (78), creativity (121)

In the Classroom

Explore the lesson plans or make the site a link from your teacher web page for your art students to explore for inspiration. May of the video clips would also be great introductions to studio assignments, cultural discussions, or writing assignments if shown on a projector. Requires Quicktime!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Weaving Art Museum

Grades
6 to 12
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See annotated details of ancient and more recent weavings from many cultures using the interactive "exhibits" of the museum. See work from Egypt, Kashmir, Persia, and many more. Decode...more
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See annotated details of ancient and more recent weavings from many cultures using the interactive "exhibits" of the museum. See work from Egypt, Kashmir, Persia, and many more. Decode some of the iconography in Asian carpets. Some exhibits are text-heavy, while others offer many plates and details for your art students to study and use as references. World cultures classes will be able to envision ancient times by looking at the beautiful images on this site.

tag(s): archeology (32)

In the Classroom

Include this on your classroom computer Favorites when students are beginning a weaving or printmaking unit so they can find inspiration in the graphical patterns and story-telling elements. This would also be a great way to introduce a weaving unit or a unit on ancient Asian civilizations on a projector.

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The Cave of Lascaux - France Ministry of Culture and Communication

Grades
4 to 12
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Take virtual tour of the famous cave paintings of Lascaux in France, read about their discovery, learn to interpret the drawings, and find out fragile environment of the caves. ...more
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Take virtual tour of the famous cave paintings of Lascaux in France, read about their discovery, learn to interpret the drawings, and find out fragile environment of the caves. The site itself is beautiful to explore, letting you experience the caves with a virtual "flashlight" as you enter.

tag(s): archeology (32), painting (67)

In the Classroom

Use a projector to introduce the site, if you must, but allow your students to navigate this one alone or with a partner. The thrill of discovery through the site's design is more than worth any management challenges. Give the students a specific set of questions to answer and things to find, if you are concerned that they may not stay on task. Compare these primitive drawings to those found in other cultures and continents as you discuss common themes in religion and mythology.

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Alexander Palace Time Machine - Bob Atchison

Grades
6 to 12
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The tragic story of the lost princess Anastasia is often of interest to students and can serve as an introduction to the story of the Russian Revolution. The Alexander Palace ...more
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The tragic story of the lost princess Anastasia is often of interest to students and can serve as an introduction to the story of the Russian Revolution. The Alexander Palace site certainly illustrates the extreme wealth and extravagance of the Romanov court and how this brought about the Russian Revolution and the rise of communism. This site includes everything: diaries and letters, photographs of the palace pets, and information about the life of Tsar Alexander, the last tsar of Russia. Although the level of detail would be very useful for someone doing research into Russian history, the chief benefit of this site for classroom teachers is its photographs of the palace and its treasures. There are photo tours of the palace and each of its rooms. Of particular interest are zoom-able photos of eleven jeweled and decorated Faberge eggs. The site would also be useful for art teachers in illustrating the craftsmanship and beauty of the Faberge eggs, perhaps before asking students to design their own. This site requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): eggs (6), evolution (99), russia (36), russian (29)

In the Classroom

Send your students on a tour, looking for evidence to support a poitn of view about tsarist Russia. Or try a scavenger hunt where students find answers to specific questions. Even simpler, use a projector to give a "tour" as the opening activity of your unit, then have students revisit the site in individual computers later on in the unit for specific research.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Muslims and Westerners - The Great Divide - Pew Trusts

Grades
9 to 12
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World cultures teachers interested in the mideast could get many interesting discussions from this Pew Trusts report sampling the differences in Muslims' and Westerners' perceptions...more
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World cultures teachers interested in the mideast could get many interesting discussions from this Pew Trusts report sampling the differences in Muslims' and Westerners' perceptions of one another. The report - detailed by nation - finds surprising contradictions, yet remains hopeful that bridges between these two cultures will continue to form.

In the Classroom

Try using this report as a resource for examining the problem of reconciling realities with perceptions, and the role of governments and social systems in keeping these tensions in check.

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