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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 (101), russia (37), 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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North Korea - CIA FactBook - CIA

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6 to 12
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The CIA's Factbook is pretty dry reading, but this site does provide some of the history of Korea, including the post-World War II division into North and South. There are ...more
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The CIA's Factbook is pretty dry reading, but this site does provide some of the history of Korea, including the post-World War II division into North and South. There are other facts about culture, government, and economy, but North Korea remains one of the world's least-known and least-understood nations. Could be a useful reference for discussion of current events or a research source for projects on countries.

tag(s): korea (15)

In the Classroom

Include this in your supplemental teacher links pages during a unit on Asia or Korea.

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World Geography Quizzes - Sheppard Software

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3 to 12
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With such poor results as a nation on geography testing, we all should try these geography games to build student knowledge of U.S. and world geography. Students can click on ...more
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With such poor results as a nation on geography testing, we all should try these geography games to build student knowledge of U.S. and world geography. Students can click on the region of the world and practice at different levels of difficulty. Even adults can find a challenge. Offered in a "dial up version" for those accessing the sites from a slower connection. Note: the non-dial-up pages require FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): capitals (25), continents (49), countries (80), maps (292)

In the Classroom

Be sure to put a link for these online games and quizzes on your teacher web page for the summer and throughout the school year. Students can use them to practice for your geography quizzes or as extra challenges. The different levels of dificulty will allow you to differentiate your instruction easily.

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Blues Classroom - PBS

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6 to 12
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A true American art form, "the Blues" makes a great interdisciplinary study, and this site's lesson plans provide a well-researched foundation for that study. Our only regret is that...more
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A true American art form, "the Blues" makes a great interdisciplinary study, and this site's lesson plans provide a well-researched foundation for that study. Our only regret is that sites on this subject so rarely include sound files for the music they're describing.

tag(s): africa (172), african american (112), blues (18), jazz (15), songs (53)

In the Classroom

If you elect to use this site, talk with your school's music teacher about resources that will let students hear samples of the music.

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Terrorism and the Web - Washington Post

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9 to 12
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This is a chilling study of the ways in which terrorist groups make use of the Internet and the web to further their ambitions. While it has sensational elements, it ...more
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This is a chilling study of the ways in which terrorist groups make use of the Internet and the web to further their ambitions. While it has sensational elements, it is also an excellent example of propaganda and the use of technology for less-than-noble causes. NOTE: The site contains graphic material. Please PREVIEW THOROUGHLY before using this site.

tag(s): propaganda (11), terrorism (47), terrorist (16)

In the Classroom

Government, English, and AP world cultues teachers could use this site to frame a discussion about censorship, regulation of technology, and other issues.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Choices - Brown University

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10 to 12
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Secondary world cultures and government teachers will find a rich resource in Brown University's Choices program - lessons based on current international political situations. Each...more
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Secondary world cultures and government teachers will find a rich resource in Brown University's Choices program - lessons based on current international political situations. Each offers background and alternatives, then asks students to formulate effective responses and support their conclusions.

tag(s): air (146), politics (98)

In the Classroom

While ideal for an AP class, students at many levels can benefit from working with problems that have no obvious "right" answers. This site offers much to think about.

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FIFA World Cup - FIFA

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6 to 12
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The international soccer association's site includes more than 750 player profiles, score reports, video highlights, and more from the 2006 World Cup. The site includes live game updates...more
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The international soccer association's site includes more than 750 player profiles, score reports, video highlights, and more from the 2006 World Cup. The site includes live game updates and all the bells and whistles that well-connected sports fans demand. There's a great world cultures lesson in this site, since not all the competitors are from the usual "big name" nations.

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World Cup 2006 - German Republic

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6 to 12
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Soccer - what the rest of the world calls football - is truly the world's sport, so the World Cup is big news internationally. It's also a great time to ...more
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Soccer - what the rest of the world calls football - is truly the world's sport, so the World Cup is big news internationally. It's also a great time to link sport and world cultures. This site from the host country, Germany, offers games to play, background on the host country, and a sampling of the action from a German perspective.

tag(s): german (67)

In the Classroom

If in need of a fun game during a lesson on International sports OR more information about Germany, be sure to check this site out. For the former there is an interactive game, "dribble king," that students could play on classroom computers. For the latter, there is ample information about German industries, business, soccer culture, and even travel destinations. Though its a bit text heavy, this could be great brush-up material for teachers before teaching a lesson on some aspect of German culture. Foreign language teachers could incorporate this into student research projects or during a lesson discussing vocabulary centered around sports.
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World Citizen's Guide

Grades
9 to 12
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Designed primarily for students traveling internationally, this little 6-page guide offers some practical suggestions to help Americans bridge the cultural differences they are sure...more
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Designed primarily for students traveling internationally, this little 6-page guide offers some practical suggestions to help Americans bridge the cultural differences they are sure to encounter abroad. They rage from the simple (how to wave good-bye) to the more subtle (the importance of listening; differences in pace). This one should be required reading for student groups traveling abroad.

tag(s): cultures (108)

In the Classroom

Beyond its use in travel, consider using this guide in an introductory world cultures class to give students a less "American-centric" view of themselves.
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Smithsonian Global Sound - Smithsonian Institution

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1 to 12
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Listen to and learn about traditional music from cultures around the world and through the ages. Browse this amazing collection of downloadable tunes to find musical enrichment to enhance...more
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Listen to and learn about traditional music from cultures around the world and through the ages. Browse this amazing collection of downloadable tunes to find musical enrichment to enhance a unit of study. Full downloads in MP3 or FLAC format are available for purchase but each offering is accompanied by a free audio sample. Note: this site opens rather slowly.Be patient, especially if you are on a dial-up connection.

tag(s): songs (53)

In the Classroom

Search this site for songs to supplement your unit in a US or World history class. This teacher was able to find a song about the suffrage movement, and was able to teach the beliefs of suffrage through student analysis of the lyrics and tone. Be sure to search - there are literally tons of songs that can be used for a variety of curriculum.

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Pigments Through the Ages - Institute for Dynamic Educational Advancement

Grades
10 to 12
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This site traces the origins of paints and pigments used by artists from prehistoric times to the 20th century. Serious art students will enjoy exploring the "paintings" link that offers...more
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This site traces the origins of paints and pigments used by artists from prehistoric times to the 20th century. Serious art students will enjoy exploring the "paintings" link that offers a detailed, illustrated description of the process of oil painting during the Renaissance. An interesting resource for an art history class.

tag(s): art history (74), painting (65)

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Dioramas - American Museum of Natural History

Grades
4 to 10
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If you can't make the journey to the Washington, D.C.'s American Museum of Natural History then take your students to this website for an online tour of the panoramic dioramas ...more
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If you can't make the journey to the Washington, D.C.'s American Museum of Natural History then take your students to this website for an online tour of the panoramic dioramas that are among the museum's most impressive features. Short videos, audio clips, 360? panoramic views, and descriptions of geographic locations and species round out the virtual experience. This aesthetically pleasing site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): species (29)

In the Classroom

If your students are studying a particular geographic location or animal species, send them to this multimedia site for some interactive research. Regions represented include the Upper Nile, Alaska's Denali National Forest, the Everglades, and the American plains.
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Pics4Learning - Tech4Learning

Grades
1 to 12
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This impressive collection of thousands of copyright-friendly images - graciously donated by students, teachers, and amateur photographers - is a wonderful resource for teachers and...more
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This impressive collection of thousands of copyright-friendly images - graciously donated by students, teachers, and amateur photographers - is a wonderful resource for teachers and student needing good quality, educational photos for projects and presentations. Browse by topic or use the site's search feature. Includes a nice collection of related lesson plans, organized by subject.

tag(s): air (146), images (273)

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World Mapper - University of Sheffield

Grades
6 to 12
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What would a world map look like if countries and continents were sized not by land area, but by population, number of elderly, various type of imports, or emigration? ...more
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What would a world map look like if countries and continents were sized not by land area, but by population, number of elderly, various type of imports, or emigration? This site presents dozens of cartograms - or density-equalizing maps - in which each country is resized according to a specific variable. Each map is accompanied by a downloadable Excel file and a printable poster.

tag(s): immigration (59), maps (292), migration (59), population (63)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector. The population maps would be extremely useful for any class discussion on the world use of resources, and the financial disparities that exist among nations. Use the animations provided on the interactive whiteboard or projector to show students the demographic differences between nations. World Mapper is an wonderful addition to any geography,civics or social studies class, particularly during units on the UN, natural resources, world conflict, and economic disparity.
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CIA Word Factbook: Iran - CIA

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6 to 12
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The CIA's Factbook offers a wealth of information on most of the world's nations. This is a direct link to the page for Iran. ...more
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The CIA's Factbook offers a wealth of information on most of the world's nations. This is a direct link to the page for Iran.

tag(s): iran (13), terrorism (47)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on the interactive whiteboard before allowing students to explore it in cooperative learning groups. Have the groups explore different aspects of the factbook, with the intentions of presenting the highlights to the rest of the class. Have students use a tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here. This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place.

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Evolution of the Medieval Book - Cornell University Library

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10 to 12
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It may be a weighty title, but this user-friendly site provides a fascinating glimpse of how the development of moveable type during the Middle Ages completely revolutionized human...more
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It may be a weighty title, but this user-friendly site provides a fascinating glimpse of how the development of moveable type during the Middle Ages completely revolutionized human communication, transforming Europe and, eventually, the entire world. From the earliest manuscripts and prayer books, to the very first books printed with Gutenberg's metal type, students can gain an understanding of how the metamorphosis of the written word affected human society. Includes images of manuscripts, bindings, and illustrations, along with descriptive commentary.

In the Classroom

Although this site lends itself to a study of influences that affected European history during the Middle Ages, art students can explore the illuminations and letterforms that appear on the pages of these early manuscripts and books as part of a study of printmaking techniques.

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Folk Songs for the Five Points - Lower East Side Tenement Museum

Grades
9 to 12
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Explore the vibrant and diverse culture of New York City's Lower East Side with this beautifully designed multimedia site. Using an interactive map, visitors can click on distinct dots,...more
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Explore the vibrant and diverse culture of New York City's Lower East Side with this beautifully designed multimedia site. Using an interactive map, visitors can click on distinct dots, each representing a different audio sample at that particular location (steam coming through a manhole cover, the Second Avenue train, buskers, and so much more). Using the on-screen tools, visitors can toggle sounds on and off to create their own unique audio-mix. The resulting textures and colors are amazing, and students can spend quite a bit of time immersed in the rich cultural fabric of this urban neighborhood.

tag(s): new york (27), sound (103), sounds (70)

In the Classroom

This cultural gem should be experienced individually with headphones, and followed by reflection and discussion. Use as a catalyst to get students involved in listening for and recording the sounds in their own communities. What similarities and differences can be discovered?
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What Are We Fighting For Over There? - Library of Congress

Grades
10 to 12
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This beautifully designed unit examines the twentieth century's first worldwide conflict and emphasizes the rich primary source material that places a human face on the Great War. Audio...more
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This beautifully designed unit examines the twentieth century's first worldwide conflict and emphasizes the rich primary source material that places a human face on the Great War. Audio recordings, vintage newspaper articles, and transcripts of historic speeches provide students with a treasure of resources for use in building a personal understanding of the devastation and effects of World War I. Aligned to standards.

tag(s): foreign policy (16), world war 1 (55)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this free lesson plan in your classroom during a unit on WWI - the documents are all very revealing and an excellent example for students of reliable primary sources.

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Asia for Educators - Columbia University

Grades
10 to 12
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This impressive and extensive multimedia site explores the history and culture of China and Japan, and provides a wealth of teaching materials and resources. Each featured topic is...more
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This impressive and extensive multimedia site explores the history and culture of China and Japan, and provides a wealth of teaching materials and resources. Each featured topic is accompanied by a related lesson plan and an annotated list of supporting online sources. Browse by subject or by time period.

tag(s): asia (71), china (63), japan (60)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans hosted on this site! There are also timelines about both China and Japan available that can help guide your classroom unit about the history of either. Share a timeline on the interactive whiteboard or projector to introduce the unit and show the direction of progress. This would be a great resource for a world history classroom.
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