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300 Spartan Warriors - 300spartanwarriors.com

Grades
7 to 12
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This is a privately maintained website dedicated to the warfare of the Spartans, with a specific focus on the Battle of Thermopylae. Clicking battle-related topics on the grid of ...more
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This is a privately maintained website dedicated to the warfare of the Spartans, with a specific focus on the Battle of Thermopylae. Clicking battle-related topics on the grid of possibilities opens longer menus with subtopics. The site has extensive text passages and includes ads. There are good photos of the battlefield today, pictures and descriptions of the combatants, and information about the battle. Site creators have notified TeachersFirst to tell us that they are expanding materials on the Battle of Marathon in time for its 2500th anniversary. Teachers of literature, teaching about Greek mythology may also want to tie in this site as part of a look at Greek culture. The movie "300" may generate some interest in this famous battle and having the facts is useful in bridging students' interest in Hollywood's depiction of the event with the historical truth.

tag(s): greek (41), greeks (30)

In the Classroom

Include this site as one of the resources you offer from your teacher website for students doing individual or group projects on Sparta, the Greeks, or mythology. The site offers some useful research information and some good visuals.

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The Assassination of King Tut - Discovery Channel

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6 to 12
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This Discovery Channel site features a speculative exploration of King Tut's death. There is a nice narrated slide show that recreates the discovery of the tomb, a 360 degree ...more
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This Discovery Channel site features a speculative exploration of King Tut's death. There is a nice narrated slide show that recreates the discovery of the tomb, a 360 degree view of an artist's conception of what King Tut may have looked like, and some nice photos of artifacts from the tomb.

tag(s): egypt (67)

In the Classroom

There is much here that would be great on an interactive whiteboard or projector. The narrated slide show brings the excitement of the tomb's discovery to life. While the discussion of King Tut's possible assassination is pure speculation, it will also serve to spark students' imagination. If you study archaeology or ancient history, this site will give you a chance to discuss the inquiry/hypothesis-testing process that archaeologists must follow.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Pocahontas Myth - The Powhatan Renape Nation

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6 to 12
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The story of the first settlement at Jamestown usually features the brave Indian princess Pocahontas. This site provides a retelling of the Pocahantas story by the people of the ...more
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The story of the first settlement at Jamestown usually features the brave Indian princess Pocahontas. This site provides a retelling of the Pocahantas story by the people of the Powhatan tribe-- a rewriting that questions whether Pocahontas actually saved John Smith at all. The site takes particular exception to the recent Disney movie, Pocahontas. The discussion outlined here would make a very good "counterpoint" lesson on the generally accepted story of the Jamestown settlement.

tag(s): debate (41), jamestown (11)

In the Classroom

Students usually enjoy "debunking" myths of history and learning ways that their teachers or textbooks might be wrong. This site provides another viewpoint in the well-known Pocahontas story. There are also possibilities here for discussions of racial stereotyping and the way Pocahontas is portrayed in the media, particularly in the Walt Disney film. Use this discussion to prompt a persuasive writing assignment or history essay on differeing views of history.

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Geographia - interKnowledge Corp

Grades
6 to 12
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Although this site advertises itself as a travel destination site, it offers far more than the ordinary travelogue. Each of the areas chronicled includes lots of information about...more
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Although this site advertises itself as a travel destination site, it offers far more than the ordinary travelogue. Each of the areas chronicled includes lots of information about culture, history, and interesting tidbits about the area. The list of countries or areas covered is not exhaustive, and lacks anything in North America, and not much on South America. There is some advertising, and the usual "where to stay" information, but the focus is squarely on people and culture and not on booking cruises and the like.

tag(s): africa (180), asia (73), europe (75), latin (22)

In the Classroom

This would be a good reference resource for students doing "country and culture" reports or displays or for background when reading a novel from another culture. World language teachers can also use this as a source for cultural information. Note: the reading level is comparable to the Wall Street Journal, so you may want to partner weaker readers with others or offer multiple options for sites to use.

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In Search of Safety - BBC

Grades
6 to 12
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This website is all about Sudan. Visitors to this website will find a wealth of information including quizzes, interactive videos, diaries written by students, authentic pictures,...more
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This website is all about Sudan. Visitors to this website will find a wealth of information including quizzes, interactive videos, diaries written by students, authentic pictures, a guide to what it means to be a refugee, information on Darfur and more. Many of the activities require Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

Use a projector or interactive whiteboard to "tour" Sudan as part of a study of the African continent or world trouble spots. Although the topic of genocide is quite difficult, this site could spark discussions of international relations and would be a good accompaniment while studying the U.N., international relations, and current events. Include the link on your tecaher web page and allow students to choose from several world hot spots as they group or individual reports.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Middle East - BBC

Grades
4 to 12
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This site provides an eclectic mix of information about the Middle East. The BBC has created this up-to-date website that includes information guides, interviews, message boards, pictures,...more
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This site provides an eclectic mix of information about the Middle East. The BBC has created this up-to-date website that includes information guides, interviews, message boards, pictures, quizzes and more. The message boards pose some interesting discussion questions for students. This is an excellent, student-friendly source for current events and debate background. It also provides short, non-fiction texts for comprehension practice with remedial readers.

tag(s): iran (12), iraq (32), israel (17), middle east (30)

In the Classroom

Include this link on your teacher page for middle and high school students to use as a reference and build better understanding of this tumultuous region. It will help even younger students understand the region, but parts of this website are not appropriate for elementary students. Preview before you take your elementary class on a virtual field trip to the Middle East.

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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.
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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.
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Children of Iraq - BBC

Grades
3 to 8
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This website introduces students to the children of Iraq and Iraq as a country. Highlights of this website include an interactive video clip (which requires FLASH), informational guides,...more
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This website introduces students to the children of Iraq and Iraq as a country. Highlights of this website include an interactive video clip (which requires FLASH), informational guides, pictures and many other resources. If you have students whose parents are serving in the military, this topic may be emotional, but it will also highlight what children all over the world have in common.

tag(s): iraq (32)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard to introduce your students to the children of Iraq, share the video, and take the quiz to find out what your students know about Iraq.
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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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China - BBC

Grades
K to 8
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This website (created by BBC), provides a wealth of information on China. It was updated in 2007, so is slightly out of date. But the information still provides solid research ...more
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This website (created by BBC), provides a wealth of information on China. It was updated in 2007, so is slightly out of date. But the information still provides solid research and information about the country. Visitors to the website will find information about saving the pandas, China's one-child policy, famous Chinese landmarks and authentic accounts of visits to China (through the eyes and words of other students).

tag(s): china (66), cultures (105), olympics (47)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to take your students on a virtual field trip to China! The students are sure to enjoy the pictures and "student guides" of China. As a comparison across cultures, have your students create a "student guide" that compares their own culture with another. Middle school students could use issues such as the "one child policy" and some social policies as writing prompts for persuasive essays or debate topics in their world cultures class.

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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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The Legacy of Ireland - Ireland Now

Grades
2 to 8
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This site provides an overview of Irish myths and legends from Ireland Now. Specific topics include The Shamrock, The Giant Rat, Children of Lir, and several others. There are...more
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This site provides an overview of Irish myths and legends from Ireland Now. Specific topics include The Shamrock, The Giant Rat, Children of Lir, and several others. There are also links to learn more about Ireland: Government, Irish Castles, Symbols & Flags, and more! This site does include some small advertisements.

tag(s): ireland (12), st patricks day (14)

In the Classroom

Use this site for research about St. Patrick's Day or Ireland. Have cooperative learning groups research various topics at this site. Have the groups create a multimedia presentation: PowerPoint, blog, wiki, or video. Share the videos on a tool such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).

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Story Corps - NPR

Grades
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

Grades
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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Archaeology - National Museum of Natural History

Grades
3 to 8
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This archaeological site is interactive, educational and engaging. This site has numerous activities and facts. Some of the topics include "Inca Investigation", "The Ancient City...more
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This archaeological site is interactive, educational and engaging. This site has numerous activities and facts. Some of the topics include "Inca Investigation", "The Ancient City of Petra" and "Up Close With a Zapotec Urn". The "Big Idea" link provides an overview of archeology. The interactive activities are diverse and informative. Flash is required for some portions. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

In the Classroom

Introduce the site and the "Big Idea" on a projector or interactive whiteboard, then assign students to complete one of the many interactive activities. Share the results with the class on a projector as groups complete the activity. Include this link on your teacher web page for enrichment and at-home exploration.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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.
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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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Mysteries of Catalhoyuk - Science Museum of Minnesota

Grades
3 to 8
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Investigate a real-life archaeological dig of a Neolithic city that is over 9,000 years old. Students can view what life was like for the ancient people of Catalhoyuk at ...more
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Investigate a real-life archaeological dig of a Neolithic city that is over 9,000 years old. Students can view what life was like for the ancient people of Catalhoyuk at a time when most humans were moving around as hunters and gatherers. As you study indigenous peoples and life before written history, this site is a must! The site offers video tours and interviews of the dig as well as a lengthy time line starting some 6 million years ago. Uses Quicktime and Flash. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): archeology (32)

In the Classroom

The Activities section includes terrific options for an interactive whiteboard or a projected lesson. You may also want to assign students to do an activity with a partner on laptops or lab computers. The interactive time line is helpful for students having difficulty with the "time line" concept. It includes major historical events to help place Catalhoyuk in context with events students might know, such as the Declaration of Independence. Your students will definitely want you to include this link on your teacher web page for free-time and at-home exploration!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Elizabeth I - Class 8C

Grades
5 to 8
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While this is a student-posted site, it contains good, simple information about the life and times of the Elizabethan era in England. It is a good source of info for ...more
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While this is a student-posted site, it contains good, simple information about the life and times of the Elizabethan era in England. It is a good source of info for the basics before studying Shakespeare.

tag(s): renaissance (34), shakespeare (131)

In the Classroom

While the info is good, not all the spelling IS. A good exercise for middle school kids is to have them proofread for spelling as they go through. It is also a good exercise in teaching how good content would be better with NO errors via proofreading. It is, however, too good a simple site to ignore.

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