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History/Social Science Resources - Los Angeles Unified School District

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K to 12
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The Los Angeles Unified School District offers a large selection of resources for teaching history and social sciences aligned to Common Core Standards. Choose from elementary, middle,...more
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The Los Angeles Unified School District offers a large selection of resources for teaching history and social sciences aligned to Common Core Standards. Choose from elementary, middle, or high school to find curriculum maps and lessons. One very useful portion of the site includes lessons created in partnership with Reading Like a Historian, reviewed here, that engage students in the creation of historical knowledge. Both sites are a must-visit for anyone teaching Social Studies!

tag(s): assessment (99), commoncore (92), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for use throughout the school year. Be sure to take advantage of the lesson plans and curriculum guides. Share with other teachers as you collaborate and plan together.
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Pantheon People Rankings - MIT Media Lab

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7 to 12
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Explore and discover the most influential people in history using Pantheon People Rankings. Prepare to be immersed in the many different features of this site. Search by period, country,...more
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Explore and discover the most influential people in history using Pantheon People Rankings. Prepare to be immersed in the many different features of this site. Search by period, country, or domain to view rankings of the most influential people in that category. Set search parameters using drop down boxes to the left of the chart. Hover over colored result boxes to view specific information for each result. Click on any individual name to get a short Wikipedia overview and ranking information.

tag(s): cultures (105), explorers (61), politics (98), scientists (68), sociology (22), sports (95)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site for use throughout the year when looking for ideas for research projects, biographies, and more. Have students create a list of whom they think is most influential and compare their lists to the actual results. Use information to find the most influential people around the globe or throughout time. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles, reviewed here.

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The Global Flow of Refugees - Nikola Sander & Ramon Bauer

Grades
7 to 12
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The Global Flow of Refugees offers an interactive look at refugee flows between countries during the past few years. It is based on a New York Times visualization. Choose a ...more
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The Global Flow of Refugees offers an interactive look at refugee flows between countries during the past few years. It is based on a New York Times visualization. Choose a year to view the complete flow circle for that year. Click any segment to narrow down information to individual countries showing the flow to or from that country. In addition to the interactive chart, scroll down further on the page to view two static versions of the chart featuring 50 selected countries.

tag(s): continents (50), countries (77), cross cultural understanding (115), immigrants (20)

In the Classroom

Share this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to research and understand the flow of refugees throughout the world. Use this as an introduction to understanding complicated events in the Middle East and other volatile regions in the world. After viewing the interactive, have students study the regions for large migrations of refugees from one region to another. Have them share their findings with a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Have students use Little Memory, reviewed here, to create a diary entry as a refugee traveling to a new country.

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Five Myths - The Washington Post

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6 to 12
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Five Myths takes on everyday subjects and challenges widely held beliefs every time. For example, are panda bears really cuddly and gentle? Has technology really changed how we fight...more
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Five Myths takes on everyday subjects and challenges widely held beliefs every time. For example, are panda bears really cuddly and gentle? Has technology really changed how we fight wildfires? Each short article is written by a content expert and explores little-known facts to debunk commonly held beliefs.

tag(s): journalism (45), myths and legends (25)

In the Classroom

Share Five Myths on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an excellent starting point for lessons on the subjects included. Be sure to review comments on each section before sharing since they are unmoderated. After viewing the articles on this site, start a discussion about what students know about urban legends and Snopes. Have students research and find five myths for any topic, then create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here.

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The Great Human Odyssey - A World of Extremes - CBC

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6 to 12
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The Great Human Odyssey is a powerful journey into the lives of three different cultures and the lives of nomads. Explore the sea, desert, and tundra as you become the ...more
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The Great Human Odyssey is a powerful journey into the lives of three different cultures and the lives of nomads. Explore the sea, desert, and tundra as you become the nomad and view life from a first person perspective. Along the way click on icons as they pop-up to provide additional information through videos and photographs.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), deserts (10), oceans (147), tundra (14)

In the Classroom

The Great Human Odyssey is perfect for use with an interactive whiteboard or projector. View the different sections together to learn more about life in extreme climates. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about one of the nomads. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast student lifestyles with those on this site. Compare the three nomadic lifestyles presented with the Venn Diagram - 3 Circles, reviewed here. Have students create maps using Animaps, reviewed here, to locate places found on this site and explore areas close by. Students can add text, images, and location stops!

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Global Trend Map - Paul Bourke

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6 to 12
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Discover what is trending on Google with the interactive Global Trend Map. Use the drop down box to choose a country and change the visual appearance of the map if ...more
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Discover what is trending on Google with the interactive Global Trend Map. Use the drop down box to choose a country and change the visual appearance of the map if desired. The top Google searches for that country appear in a list with the top trend written across the chosen country. Click the Translate button to translate into English. Get the embed code to share this on your website or blog.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), maps (287), news (261)

In the Classroom

This site is excellent for enrichment during current events lessons. World language classes can keep up with hot topics in the countries where the language they are learning is spoken. Include this link on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class. Challenge students to compare and contrast trends across different countries using an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here. Have students create a presentation on any of the trending topics using Swipe, reviewed here.

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Q-Files The Great Illustrated Encyclopedia - Q-Files Ltd

Grades
2 to 12
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Use Q-Files The Great Illustrated Encyclopedia to provide extra informational reading resources. Subject areas include prehistoric and ancient history, culture, geography, space, technology,...more
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Use Q-Files The Great Illustrated Encyclopedia to provide extra informational reading resources. Subject areas include prehistoric and ancient history, culture, geography, space, technology, science, life, and Earth. Each article includes pictures with accompanying text. This collection is continuing to grow. Q-Files is free, online, with no advertisements. Ebooks on nonfiction topics are available for purchase.

tag(s): aircraft (24), amphibians (20), animals (277), asia (73), aztecs (8), birds (51), china (66), cultures (105), dinosaurs (57), earth (228), earthquakes (48), ecosystems (88), electricity (88), energy (197), erosion (17), europe (74), forces (44), insects (68), literature (275), mammals (32), mayans (12), medicine (67), microscopes (13), moon (72), oceans (147), photography (160), planets (122), polar (19), population (60), religions (61), rocks (49), romans (35), scientists (68), solar system (118), space (206), sports (95), telescopes (8), vikings (10), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Use Q-Files as an informational reading source for a variety of subjects. In science and social studies use as a way to provide background information for inquiry-based projects. Have students use resources for multimedia projects such as Slidestory, reviewed here, Prezi reviewed here, or Flipboard, reviewed here, to share their findings. Pair these articles with literature to provide a better background information base, such as information on ancient China or Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin. Add as a bookmark to student computers and on your class website.

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4 News Wall - Channel 4 Television News (UK)

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6 to 12
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4 News Wall presents the latest news condensed into animated GIFs. Each thumbnail also includes an animated title. Click the image to open and read the news story. Scroll through ...more
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4 News Wall presents the latest news condensed into animated GIFs. Each thumbnail also includes an animated title. Click the image to open and read the news story. Scroll through the site to view previous stories or click a date to highlight that day's news. The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English.

tag(s): images (261), journalism (45), news (261)

In the Classroom

Use the 4 News Wall as a quick and catchy way to capture student interest in world news. Although this is a UK site, news stories are from around the world and offer a variety of interesting topics for any classroom. Have students choose an article, then research how that information was presented by the US media or in other countries. Use this site as an example, and have students create animated GIFs as part of any multimedia project. Use the GIF Maker, reviewed here, to create and share images.

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How the Five Major Religions Spread Across the World - Business Insider

Grades
5 to 12
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Discover how the five major religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have spread over the world. Follow this interactive timeline video that highlights the areas...more
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Discover how the five major religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have spread over the world. Follow this interactive timeline video that highlights the areas of the globe where the religion started, as well as the spread of each religion.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): explorers (61), religions (61)

In the Classroom

Give a basic overview of the timeline and events leading to each of the major religions in the world. Use as a resource to examine the cultural effects of a single person starting each religion and the reasons why the religion spread. Analyze the reasons leading to the spread of each religion. Use this in conjunction with a unit on explorers. The video is slow to load, so preload and check before using in class.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Global Post - Philip S. Balboni

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6 to 12
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Global Post is a digital news site covering world events. It was the home-base of reporter James Foley who was held prisoner for almost two years by the Islamic State ...more
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Global Post is a digital news site covering world events. It was the home-base of reporter James Foley who was held prisoner for almost two years by the Islamic State in Syria. Scroll through the home page to find breaking news, latest articles, and editor's picks. Find specific topics and trending news using the menu bar on the site. Preview topics before sharing with students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): journalism (45), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

Broaden student perspectives about world issues by sharing articles from Global Post on an interactive whiteboard or projector as part of current events lessons. Create a link to this site on classroom computers and have students read and share articles with the class. Be sure to add a link to this site on your class webpage for students to access at home. After exploring articles and information in-depth, have students use a tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here, to give a recap of the article and state their opinion about the topic. Zeemaps allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place.

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Listly Virtual Field Trips - CSISD Tech

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4 to 12
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Bring the world to your classroom with this excellent list of virtual field trips. At the time of this review, there were nearly 50 field trips available! Take a trip ...more
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Bring the world to your classroom with this excellent list of virtual field trips. At the time of this review, there were nearly 50 field trips available! Take a trip to the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, or Rome. Choose any of the titles to visit the home site for the virtual field trip. Some of the titles have several virtual tours listed, i.e. 7 Wonders Panorama. Share any link via social media, email, or by using the code to embed in a website or blog. Some field trips require Quick Time or Java while others require Flash.

tag(s): africa (181), cultures (105), museums (49), rome (26), virtual field trips (48), white house (13)

In the Classroom

Immerse your students in your studies with a close up in depth look through virtual field trips. Visit places where time, money, and mileage inhibit your dreams for bringing your students into wondrous worlds. Find ways to visit where your class has never gone before. Find ways to motivate your most reluctant learners. For history teachers who teach ancient Rome, the history of the Islamic religion, ancient China, or just about any other historical topic, this would be a real treat for students. Help them recognize that these cultures were once real people, with skills, and goals. World languages teachers will be able to introduce different cultures from a new perspective. Small groups or individual students can focus on one of the tours. ESL/ELL learners will appreciate the visit. Reach all types of learners through a class visit. Use field trips as a whole class anticipatory guide, a center activity, a home connection, or even as extra credit. Challenge your gifted students to be guides to their own learning. Make your class go global!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Media History Digital Library - Media History Digital Library

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6 to 12
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Come to the Media History Digital Library to find digitized classic media periodicals available from the public domain. All of the collections pertain to the cinema, broadcasting, and...more
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Come to the Media History Digital Library to find digitized classic media periodicals available from the public domain. All of the collections pertain to the cinema, broadcasting, and sound. Periodicals such as Business Screen, Pictures and Story Magazine, Motion Picture Classics, and Radio Age have at least a five-year spread of content. Over 100 other periodicals are featured. When selecting a periodical, you may choose to read, download, or go directly to the site. Join the blog to discover recent additions, scholarship opportunities, events, and more.

tag(s): art history (69), media literacy (56), multimedia (52)

In the Classroom

Use Media History Digital Library in your classroom as a secondary resource to discover the culture and setting of a time period while studying literature or even through history classes. List the clues and details that provide further information. Analyze the article use and its influence on society by using close reading techniques. In a multimedia class, discover the history and progression of cinema, broadcasting, and sound. Use to discover the influence of critical world events such as world wars, depressions, economic influences, an industrial revolution, and more. Analyze the artistic changes throughout time.
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Wimp - wimp.com

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K to 12
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Wimp offers a wide variety of videos with family-friendly content. Browse through the site using a keyword search or choose categories such as popular, life, culture, learning, and...more
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Wimp offers a wide variety of videos with family-friendly content. Browse through the site using a keyword search or choose categories such as popular, life, culture, learning, and more. Choose a video to read a short description and view. Videos are imported from many different locations such as Vimeo, YouTube, and individual websites. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube. Although the content is family friendly, this site contains comments that aren't monitored. If sharing with students, go to the direct link provided with each video for viewing without some of the distractions (and possibly inappropriate comments).
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (277), DAT device agnostic tool (193), musical instruments (47), video (251)

In the Classroom

Bookmark Wimp as a resource for finding videos for lessons and activities. Share the direct link to individual videos on your class website or blog. To remove the distracting advertisements on video sharing sites and more, use a tool such as SafeShareTV, reviewed here, and create a shortcut to the SafeShare page directly on the desktop.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Data - The World Bank - The World Bank Group

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5 to 12
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Just the facts and lots of them! The World Bank offers an extensive array of data about the countries of the world. Sort either by country (from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe) ...more
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Just the facts and lots of them! The World Bank offers an extensive array of data about the countries of the world. Sort either by country (from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe) or by topic (agriculture to urban development). Look at zoomable, color-coded maps, and analyze rankings by topic. The interface is simple and direct, so if you are just looking for a statistic, you will find it quickly and easily. If you are looking at masses of authentic data to analyze or compare, you'll find that too. Click to download data in several formats.

tag(s): agriculture (54), atlas (6), climate change (64), data (149), energy (197), environment (317), infographics (42), map skills (80), maps (287), natural resources (59), resources (111), united nations (8)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site for student research, whether it be for individual country data or for comparative data by topic. Use the maps on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) to provide a visual representation of the data. This is a great source for authentic data for students to practice their analytic skills, or just to find out what the GDP of Antigua and Barbuda is. This is a resource that will see frequent use. Share it during math units on data, as well, so students have authentic numbers to "play with." Have them write their own data problems and questions for classmates to solve. Challenge your most able student to determine why two countries are so different.

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NationStates - Max Barry

Grades
6 to 12
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There are plenty of simulation interactives for major life events such as pandemics, but what happens in everyday life? NationStates brings to life daily decisions. This multiplayer...more
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There are plenty of simulation interactives for major life events such as pandemics, but what happens in everyday life? NationStates brings to life daily decisions. This multiplayer online interactive features you as the head of your nation to create and shape how you see fit. To get started, create your nation by giving it a name. Customize various aspects, such as the flag, history, and national animal. Then get into the heart of your nation: political, social, and economic issues. These choices determine the initial status of your nation. As you play, these problems will change with your choices. Every day an issue is presented and the choices you make affect the outcome of your nation. Your choices become the national law in your nation. Warning: There is one problem a day, but you can change that to two in your account settings. As you play, various aspects of your nation change and the type of government shifts (maybe even including anarchy). Choose to stay an independent nation or join others to create a region. Participate in the World Assembly (the pretend U.N.). View debates in the forum that actually touch on current events in the game and in real life. One thing to note: If you are not attentive to the issues that come up each day, the game ends quickly. The good news is that it takes very little time to view the issue, act, and see the result. Note: This interactive is loosely based on the novel Jennifer Government by Max Barry.
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tag(s): foreign policy (16), money (192), politics (98), sociology (22)

In the Classroom

Students can use this interactive individually, making connections to their choice, results, and connections to actual world events, present and past. Additionally, students can join a region and see how their decisions affect other nations. A great lesson is to allow students to run their nation according to their political views and see the results as they unfold through play. Be sure to treat this seriously as the issues presented here are actual issues that governments must deal with daily. Even making a decision within your political viewpoint can lead to results that are not anticipated. Require students to discuss their viewpoint, why they believe they are right, the resulting consequence, and how it has changed what they believe. Following the play, give time for students to research an initiative or action a country made and the resulting consequences that have resulted. Present, discuss, or debate these with the class. Allow every student in class to have a voice by using a student response system such as Infuse Learning, reviewed here, or GoSoapBox, reviewed here.

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Wide Angle Window Into Global History - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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Looking for videos and resources that peer into Global Issues? Start with this resource! Click the Video Bank to view resources by themes: conflict, power, human rights, social structures,...more
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Looking for videos and resources that peer into Global Issues? Start with this resource! Click the Video Bank to view resources by themes: conflict, power, human rights, social structures, migrations, economic systems, factors of production, or political systems. Also, view the video bank by location in the world. Videos in each theme are up to several minutes in length and are clips of larger videos. Click on the video of choice, to view the video on a larger screen, see the guiding questions, read the background essay and transcript, and find related links. Text can easily be printed using the print function along the bottom. Videos are easily downloaded, with directions for both PC and Mac users. View the country and region map along the left side along with the accompanying lesson plan. Additionally, click on Lesson Plans instead to display the following for each global issue: overview, learning objectives and standards, media components (with links), and materials. Be sure to note the Prep for Teachers along the bottom of each lesson plan.
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tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), cultures (105), maps (287)

In the Classroom

These resources and videos are extremely flexible for classroom use. Use the film clips for current events, and to also highlight events from the past. Use a video segment to get students thinking about past incidents, solutions, and whether today's environment has changed from that of the past. View a variety of clips from one theme and discuss events in the clip or use a writing assignment to provide time to process the events. Discuss in what ways these clips are similar and other societal, economic, and political factors that affected them. Use any of these videos to find any current events that are still dealing with the same issue today. Be sure to brainstorm how different people, in other areas of the world, would view these issues. Research these issues using resources from other areas of the world to see editorials and news clippings that are not American. Note: Use the country code after your search term or use this news search. Were there other people interviewed about any of these issues? Who are they and what did they say? Consider creating videos showcasing a variety of viewpoints. Use one of the video tools reviewed at the TeachersFirst Edge. Besides the viewpoint of each video, what would be a common question that all videos within the theme have in common? How does the bubble of our American culture hamper our understanding of other people both here in the U.S. and abroad? Research the history and culture of the various areas to identify factors responsible for the themes portrayed by this resource.

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Thematic Mapping Engine - Bjorn Sandvik

Grades
6 to 12
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What is a .kmz file and how do you make one? A .kmz file, when opened, launches Google Earth and the files needed to view specific portions of the globe, ...more
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What is a .kmz file and how do you make one? A .kmz file, when opened, launches Google Earth and the files needed to view specific portions of the globe, map overlays, and other information. There are several ways to create a .kmz file to share with others for specific content to be learned. Thematic Mapping Engine provides you with a very simple way to create Google Earth .kmz files. This tool uses data from the United Nations to create maps of all types of development and environmental data. Follow the instructions in the yellow box along the right side of this tool. Select a statistical indicator category from the dropdown (for example, Life expectancy or population). Then, select a year or range of years, and the manner in which they would like the data displayed in Google Earth. Preview and download the .kmz file. Share this file on your blog, wiki, or web page. Click on and then download the file. Once the file is opened, Google Earth then opens and the data is seen within Google Earth. Note: Google Earth must be installed on student computers. Check with your technology department about the availability of Google Earth in your schools. See more information about Google Earth, reviewed here.

tag(s): climate change (64), diseases (66), earth (228), landmarks (26), news (261), population (60)

In the Classroom

Use this tool with Google Earth to discuss population changes, incidence of various diseases, or look at environmental data such as carbon dioxide emissions. Use this tool when discussing various countries and populations throughout the world, looking at the various factors that affect countries. Use this information to question the history and current state of various populations. Create more than one .kmz file to place on your class website. Provide time for student groups to look at one of the files and draw conclusions or report on their findings. Use class time to look at the information from all groups to obtain a snapshot of various regions, looking at populations, diseases, and more. For younger grades, use an interactive whiteboard or projector to show these files in Google Earth and compare what students know about the United States or other areas in unfamiliar countries. This tool would be perfect for gifted students to use to extend learning in a Science or History/World Cultures class to better understand the world around them.
 

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SchoolsWorld.tv - SchoolsWorld

Grades
K to 12
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Find a huge collection of educational videos for students and teachers at SchoolsWorld.tv. Select Pupils/Students or Education Professionals from the menu bar at the top, a list of...more
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Find a huge collection of educational videos for students and teachers at SchoolsWorld.tv. Select Pupils/Students or Education Professionals from the menu bar at the top, a list of levels will drop down. Since this is a British site, the levels are Early Years, Primary, and Secondary. The Teachers/Professionals section also includes a Special Education section. Once you have made your selection, click on the subject in the left menu bar and allow your mouse to hover there. Age ranges will appear. There are instructional videos, interviews with experts, mini-documentaries, and demonstration videos. Clicking on the video picture will take you to that video and a text description of the program. The Pupils/Students tab offers links to lesson plans. There are also PDFs, slides, and games to use with students, although they are not available for every video. The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): professional development (123), video (251)

In the Classroom

YouTube does not host these videos; you should not have a problem showing them at your school. There is no embed code. Have students go directly to the link supplied by you. While looking at your subject area on SchoolsWorld.tv, do not forget there are lesson plans under the Pupil/Student category and the Series tab. There is so much to find here that one may want to use a program like Zeeik, reviewed here, which creates collection boards for video resources. Review and choose videos to collect and curate on various boards. Share video resources or whole boards with others.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Gods and Mythology of the Vikings - History.com and Column Five

Grades
6 to 12
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This impressive infographic shows information about Viking or Nordic Mythology. Find short explanations for Yggdrasil, Asgard, Vallaha, Odin, Thor, Freyr, Frigg, Loki, Midgard, Valkyries,...more
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This impressive infographic shows information about Viking or Nordic Mythology. Find short explanations for Yggdrasil, Asgard, Vallaha, Odin, Thor, Freyr, Frigg, Loki, Midgard, Valkyries, and Hel. Click on the infographic to make it smaller or larger.

tag(s): myths and legends (25), vikings (10)

In the Classroom

Use this infographic in conjunction with a study of Viking Mythology. Divide the students into small groups to investigate the different terms mentioned on the infographic. Have the students present their findings to the class by creating a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools, reviewed here. You might consider having students use Nordic Gods, reviewed here, to gather some basic information about the gods, Asgaard, etc.

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Nordic Gods - Jo Edkins

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn about the ancient Nordic Gods by using this simple, yet thorough, site. Learn about Tyr, Thor, Freya, Odin, and others. Click on a god's name and find out where ...more
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Learn about the ancient Nordic Gods by using this simple, yet thorough, site. Learn about Tyr, Thor, Freya, Odin, and others. Click on a god's name and find out where and what s/he reigned. Learn about Yggdrasill, the World Tree, and Asgard where the gods lived. See the meaning of Germanic, Old English or Old Norse names.

tag(s): myths and legends (25), vikings (10)

In the Classroom

Include this site when studying Nordic or Viking mythology. Have a link to this site on your class web page for students to use at home. You might also like to share the infographic Gods and Mythology of Vikings, reviewed here. Divide students into small groups to investigate the gods and where they lived. Have them present their findings to the class by creating a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools, reviewed here. You might consider having students use Fakebook, reviewed here. Have them create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook from the perspective of any of the gods. Ask students to create a short story involving one or more of the gods and using the Old Norse names for other characters in their story. You might suggest the definition of the name indicate what that character is about.

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