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Who2

Grades
4 to 12
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This site wins mention for breadth, not depth. It offers hundreds of very brief biographical sketches on famous people, past and present. More importantly, it also provides links -...more
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This site wins mention for breadth, not depth. It offers hundreds of very brief biographical sketches on famous people, past and present. More importantly, it also provides links - many surprisingly good, to more detailed information on the personalities listed. Students could use this one as a starting point for wider web research on a particular personality.

tag(s): biographies (87)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a starting point for students working on research projects about a famous historical character. Though the bios are brief, they offer some solid information that could help students in the beginning phases of their research.

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Berlin Wall - The Newseum

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6 to 12
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The Berlin Wall and the Press is a short video (just over 14 minutes) that presents life on both sides of the Berlin Wall including escapes and protests. Find three ...more
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The Berlin Wall and the Press is a short video (just over 14 minutes) that presents life on both sides of the Berlin Wall including escapes and protests. Find three activities (downloadable in PDF format) to prepare students to analyze the impact of the Berlin Wall. The video is a fascinating presentation with primary sources about the origins of the wall from both western and Soviet perspectives. There are also nine Optional Extension Activities; these cover everything from graffiti art on the wall, to writing personal journals as one of the residents of East Berlin, to researching the unification of Berlin after the wall came down, and even more. Two of the activities help increase student awareness of political unrest in other parts of the world (China's Tiananmen Square Nov. 1989; Tehran, Iran June 2009; Tunis, Tunisia Jan. 2011; and Cairo, Egypt Jan. 2011), asking students to research challenges and criticisms of the press while trying to report on them.

tag(s): china (66), cold war (29), egypt (67), german (64), germany (28), iran (12), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Teachers should plan on spending ample time previewing the site before using it in class. Initially view the video as a class and have a discussion. You might want to use a backchannel tool like TodaysMeet, reviewed here, for the discussion. The advantage of a backchannel chat is that every student has a voice, no matter how shy. Have small groups choose which of the extension activities they would like to investigate. Allow students to create a final project other than an essay to share their findings and present to the class. Suggest something like an online poster using Checkthis, reviewed here, or a simple infographic using Easel.ly, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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NPR Middle East Transcripts - National Public Radio

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6 to 12
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National Public Radio offers this index to transcripts and audio files of its recent reporting on the Middle East. Users can read or listen to each report. There are also ...more
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National Public Radio offers this index to transcripts and audio files of its recent reporting on the Middle East. Users can read or listen to each report. There are also additional links to middle east resources from NPR and other sources. Great site for "beyond the headlines" information.

tag(s): israel (17), palestine (7)

In the Classroom

The entire NPR news feed is also available at this site.

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Muslims - PBS

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7 to 12
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From the PBS Frontline program by the same name, this teachers' guide expands significantly on the content of the film itself. There are lots of discussion ideas, an Islam timeline,...more
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From the PBS Frontline program by the same name, this teachers' guide expands significantly on the content of the film itself. There are lots of discussion ideas, an Islam timeline, background information on Muslim customs in several different countries, and nice summations of the major tenets and observations of the faith.

tag(s): religions (61)

In the Classroom

This content could be useful in social studies or world cultures classes, whether you use the film or not.

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The Road from Coorain - PBS

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7 to 12
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The web companion to the Masterpiece Theater presentation of Jill Ker Conway's story offers additional background information on the book and the author, as well as a visual feel for...more
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The web companion to the Masterpiece Theater presentation of Jill Ker Conway's story offers additional background information on the book and the author, as well as a visual feel for life in the Australian outback. This site could be a great supplement if this title is on your reading list.

tag(s): australia (35), authors (120)

In the Classroom

Use the teachers guide on this site to look for classroom activities and ideas to integrate the resources here into your classroom. This would be great for a Language Arts class.

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Origami Learning Center

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4 to 12
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Part of a far larger site, this section offers lots of instructions on the basics of origami, the Japanese art of paper folding. There are examples galore, along with information ...more
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Part of a far larger site, this section offers lots of instructions on the basics of origami, the Japanese art of paper folding. There are examples galore, along with information on terminology, reading folding instructions, and sources for origami patterns. If you're looking for an art activity that requires very little equipment, try this one.

tag(s): japan (61), origami (17), paper folding (5)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an supplement to the book "One Thousand Paper Cranes." After the students have completed the book, use some class time to allow students to create their own cranes in class. Introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard before allowing students to explore it further in cooperative learning groups. Once students have created a crane, encourage them to try more complicated shapes and figures! This is a great way to lead into a conversation on the significance of origami and why it was so important in the book.

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Council on Foreign Relations

Grades
6 to 12
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This regularly-updated site strives to provide straightforward information in a "what we do know; what we don't know..." format. The breadth of topics is significant, and there are...more
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This regularly-updated site strives to provide straightforward information in a "what we do know; what we don't know..." format. The breadth of topics is significant, and there are extensive links to outside sources whose authoritativeness varies. This one is a great starting point for studying the evolving response to terrorism.

tag(s): terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

Open this site on the interactive whiteboard or projector during a unit on modern politics. This link specifically focuses on Terrorism, but there is abundant information on other subjects that can be accessed by simply clicking on the other subject headings. Select an article and share it with the class. Once students have read the article, begin a class discussion based on their reaction and opinions. Teachers could also assign students articles, and have them report their findings to the class the next day as a news report.

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Newspapers in the US

Grades
4 to 12
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Here's an extensive collection of links to online editions of hundreds of U.S. newspapers. This is a particularly valuable resource for students interested in activities in small towns...more
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Here's an extensive collection of links to online editions of hundreds of U.S. newspapers. This is a particularly valuable resource for students interested in activities in small towns and cities that receive less national coverage.

tag(s): news (261), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

This is a huge collection of links. Although they try to keep them updated, there will probably be some that will not load. The good thing is that there are many alternatives!

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Science and the Olympics - WhyFiles

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4 to 10
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This site was developed for the 1996 Atlanta games, and updated in 2013. It offers some timeless information about the science behind the sports that is useful during any Olympic ...more
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This site was developed for the 1996 Atlanta games, and updated in 2013. It offers some timeless information about the science behind the sports that is useful during any Olympic year! The WhyFiles presentation shows the hundreds of scientific connections to modern sports. There are eight main categories (for example, Ancient Olympics, Computers In Sports, and Sports Doctors: Athletic Ethics). Although this site isn't highly interactive, there are some explicitly detailed photographs and extensive information on all topics highlighted.

tag(s): olympics (47), sports (97)

In the Classroom

Why not do an eight day unit based on this website. Highlight a new category each day on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Or divide your students into small groups and assign each group one of the eight topics to explore. This site would tie into social studies, health, physical education, technology, and other subject areas.

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MidEast Backgrounder - CNNFyi

Grades
6 to 12
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Providing a complete background on the troubles in the mideast region is a challenge even for this experts. This site offers lots of background information, chronologies, and biographical...more
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Providing a complete background on the troubles in the mideast region is a challenge even for this experts. This site offers lots of background information, chronologies, and biographical data to help students understand this complex issue.

tag(s): arab (18), israel (17), salem (6)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plan on this site guiding teachers on successful ways to use this site in their classroom. This site can also be used as a learning center or station during a unit on one or more of the conflicts in the Middle East. Save this site as a favorite on classroom computers to allow for easy student access and retrieval. Have students research further on the site one of the specific conflicts with the intentions of presenting their results to the class. Have students use a tool such as Woices (beta) (reviewed here). This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place. Students can retell the events of the conflict in a way that visually corresponds with their descriptions. This would be a great resource for a Government or Cultural Geography class.

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Wrapped in Pride - Kente Cloth - Smithsonian Institution

Grades
4 to 12
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For an interesting lesson idea, start with this presentation on the creation and use of Ghanian Kente cloth, used in African festivals and ceremonies. This site from the Smithsonian...more
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For an interesting lesson idea, start with this presentation on the creation and use of Ghanian Kente cloth, used in African festivals and ceremonies. This site from the Smithsonian shows how the cloth is made and describes the various ways in which Africans use it. The content is adaptable to many age levels.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113), kwanzaa (9)

In the Classroom

Use this activity here in your own classroom during a unit on African culture. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector to guide the classroom on how and when to wear Kente cloth. Students can do this with their own cloth, just so long as they are still grasping the significance of the real thing. This would be a fun activity during a class period that's devoted to presentations & the like.

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Japanese Americans and the Constitution - Smithsonian Institution

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6 to 12
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The Smithsonian presents this nicely-designed site describing the internment and discrimination against Japanese Americans during World War II. Students can listen to an audio introduction...more
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The Smithsonian presents this nicely-designed site describing the internment and discrimination against Japanese Americans during World War II. Students can listen to an audio introduction which provides a summary of the events of the period, and sets the stage for the larger presentation. This one is well worth a visit.

tag(s): constitution (79), japan (61), japanese (42), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

This site is a great way to address the topics of racism and the Japanese internment in your classroom. Teachers can either save this and use it as a learning center or have the students do it together on classroom computers. Don't teach this topic without looking at this site first!

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Virtual Chanukah

Grades
3 to 8
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A Hanukkah site with lots of resources, information, and activities. There is also content to teach students the origin and meaning of this Jewish festival. ...more
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A Hanukkah site with lots of resources, information, and activities. There is also content to teach students the origin and meaning of this Jewish festival.

tag(s): hanukkah (16), holidays (147)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector around the holiday season. Allow students to peruse the site on their own to gain a better understanding of the holiday. In addition to Christmas activities, recreate some of the Hanukkah activities in the preceding days before winter break.

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Take a Walk in my Shoes - TeachersFirst

Grades
7 to 9
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A lesson that uses the original partition of Israel in 1947 to examine the cultural conflicts in the middle east. Students use a series of role plays to understand the ...more
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A lesson that uses the original partition of Israel in 1947 to examine the cultural conflicts in the middle east. Students use a series of role plays to understand the issues and emotions that abound in the region. This lesson plan was one of the winners in a lesson plan contest sponsored by TeachersFirst. TeachersFirst editors have added technology options where appropriate.

tag(s): israel (17), palestine (7)

In the Classroom

Ths lesson plan include student handouts and technology options for students to share their projects several ways. Teachers can easily differentiate the challenge level of projects by specifying which tools to use.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Inventors of the Industrial Revolution - TeachersFirst

Grades
5 to 12
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This unit provides an on-line introduction to inventors and inventions of the industrial revolution in England and the United States. In addition to information on key inventors and...more
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This unit provides an on-line introduction to inventors and inventions of the industrial revolution in England and the United States. In addition to information on key inventors and their inventions, there are interactive activities designed for student involvement, timelines, and an interactive quiz. An extensive list of "invention links" lets students learn more about inventions and inventors.This unit is written for middle and high school but is also adaptable for upper elementary.

tag(s): evolution (100), industrial revolution (25), inventors and inventions (101)

In the Classroom

See the lesson ideas page for ways to use this on your interactive whiteboard or with students working on their own. There are several ideas for projects and competitions to engage, challenge, and assess. You will definitely want to share this link on your teacher web page as a review tool, as well.

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The CIA on Afghanistan - CIA

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6 to 12
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A thorough, factual rundown on the country, containing political, economic, geographic, and other background information. Good starting point for a study of the country itself. From...more
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A thorough, factual rundown on the country, containing political, economic, geographic, and other background information. Good starting point for a study of the country itself. From the CIA World Fact Book.

tag(s): afghanistan (7), terrorism (49), terrorist (16)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an introduction to current political problems in the Middle East. Open up factbook pages for the United States and some of the other countries bordering Afghanistan and compare and contrast their statistics. Could any of these statistics have an impact on the political problems there today? Use this site as a tool to spur discussion among students that deals with real world problems rather than those in a textbook.

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Voices of the Holocaust

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6 to 12
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Illinois Institute of Technology hosts this site, developed to share first-hand experiences of holocaust survivors. The site is particularly interesting, because the memories were collected...more
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Illinois Institute of Technology hosts this site, developed to share first-hand experiences of holocaust survivors. The site is particularly interesting, because the memories were collected only a year or so after the end of the war, and were transcribed verbatim by interviewers. The result is a collection of several dozen interviews which are remarkable for their clarity. This site would be a great primary resource for any holocaust study.

tag(s): holocaust (39), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

These very powerful and graphic interviews from Dr. Boder could be extremely beneficial to a class studying the Holocaust - as long as the maturity level of your students is high enough to be able to take the content seriously. Have students listen to an interview as a starter or introduction to a unit or lesson on the genocide. Have the audio playing as students are coming into the class, with instructions written on the board explaining what the clip is and what students are to do while it's playing. Some teachers prefer for students to listen and reflect afterwards OR take notes of the audio for a class discussion afterwards. Regardless of what you choose, be sure students understand so that you can quickly move on to a discussion of the audio and how it represents what happened to victims of the Holocaust. Teachers could easily incorporate the interviews into learning centers, a cooperative group exercise or as a writing prompt to close the unit with. An excellent resource for any history teacher covering WWII.

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Women in World History

Grades
6 to 12
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A collection of information and resources on famous women through history. ...more
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A collection of information and resources on famous women through history.

tag(s): women (101)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and resources put together on this website! There are also biographies of important women in history that could benefit a class more geared towards social history. Use the appropriate biographies to supplement the normal topics they would belong to.

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1936 Olympics - Smithsonian Holocaust Museum

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6 to 12
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This site, based on an exhibit from the American Holocaust Museum, uses the 1936 games as a starting point for a visual synopsis of the evolution of the Nazi regime, ...more
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This site, based on an exhibit from the American Holocaust Museum, uses the 1936 games as a starting point for a visual synopsis of the evolution of the Nazi regime, with a particular focus on its racial and ethnic policies. The result is a succinct, though stark, introduction that should be useful for many students. The site features an online exhibition with video clips, pictures, and articles of interest.

tag(s): german (64), germany (28), olympics (47), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Use this site to spark a discussion and study of the role of the Olympics in politics and foreign policy (especially during an Olympic year as an extension of your study of current events). You may want to share some of the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Why not have a class debate about the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Yugoslavia and the Balkans - BBC

Grades
7 to 12
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This BBC site presents an elegant retracing of the history of the Balkans and their ethnic divisions. While it concentrates on the present, the information includes timelines going...more
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This BBC site presents an elegant retracing of the history of the Balkans and their ethnic divisions. While it concentrates on the present, the information includes timelines going back hundreds of years which show the origins of many present-day conflicts. Good resource for teachers or students working individually or in groups.

tag(s): yugoslavia (2)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on WWII and how borders and political boundaries were changed in the aftermath. This activity will work best if students have a graphic organizer to follow with, we recommend Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).

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