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iCivics, Win the White House - iCivics

Grades
4 to 12
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Make the presidential election process personal. Run for U.S. president by playing this free interactive online game which is best played on a computer using most current browsers....more
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Make the presidential election process personal. Run for U.S. president by playing this free interactive online game which is best played on a computer using most current browsers. In this lively, colorful simulation, students will experience being part of a campaign, including creating a candidate avatar, selecting either Democratic or Republican issues, participating in debates and developing a media campaign. Choose your level to start: elementary, middle, or high school and complete the easy-to-follow tasks which do involve some reading, especially the debates section. The "Campaign Manager" will lead you through the process ending with your final probability of winning. Loading the game may take a few moments. Sound begins immediately, but may be toggled off. Online assistance is available by clicking the Help button in the top right corner at each step of the game. Also, the Back button in the top left corner allows easy do-overs of sections. Students may play without registering, but will access more content, compete with others and earn badges after logging in. You can have separate accounts for students and teachers, but must have email addresses. An automatic username is generated when registering. The easy to use Extension Pack for Teachers provides more activities and assessments. Registered teachers can message students and create classes to give students a virtual class code to join without needing an email. If students register, they can check their My iCivics accounts to see points and message members of their groups which can be controlled by the teacher.

tag(s): elections (73), presidents (129)

In the Classroom

Start out using this site with your projector or interactive whiteboard with the whole class. Walk through the beginning of the game and demonstrate the built-in help which is useful for students who might need additional guidance. Have individuals play or create small group teams of campaign staff to guide the candidates. Students or groups may play multiple times. After registering, the site will save games and students can send messages. Use the Achievements badges and points for student assessments. Have students research the debate topics and compare the different aspects of the game to real-life examples in the news. An easy to use Extension Pack for Teachers provides more activities and assessments.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Election 2016: Our Teaching and Learning Homepage - The Learning Network/New York Times

Grades
5 to 12
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Select from the best and most "evergreen" resources for teaching about the 2016 election at this homepage for The Learning Network. Choose from a complete four-part election unit or...more
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Select from the best and most "evergreen" resources for teaching about the 2016 election at this homepage for The Learning Network. Choose from a complete four-part election unit or smaller lesson plans covering topics including comparing candidates and understanding primaries and caucuses. Other portions of the site include classroom discussion questions, articles, and free resources from around the web.

tag(s): elections (73), electoral college (16), politics (98)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many free activities and resources found on this site well after election 2016. Modify any of the materials to teach about local and state elections or adapt questions to fit any current topic. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts discussing the biggest issues surrounding an election. Use a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Television Commercial Analysis Chart - The Learning Network/New York Times

Grades
6 to 12
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This PDF provides a very easy to use chart for providing information found in political candidate's tv commercials. Fill in the blanks to describe what the commercial shows, what you...more
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This PDF provides a very easy to use chart for providing information found in political candidate's tv commercials. Fill in the blanks to describe what the commercial shows, what you hear, and what you think the producers want you to get from the commercial. The final box provides an opportunity to discuss your thoughts on the effectiveness of the ad.

tag(s): advertising (33), elections (73), presidents (129)

In the Classroom

Print and use this form to include with your election unit as you analzye the candidates and their pitch for votes. This form is pretty basic, use it as a starting point for a more in-depth look at political commercials. Ask students to list ideas to include on your form. Include information from your analysis of political commercials and have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools' reviewed here.'' 
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Political Party Quiz - PBS

Grades
8 to 12
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Where do you fit? Take this 11 question quiz to find how your views fit on the political spectrum. When finished, use options to view your beliefs against others of ...more
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Where do you fit? Take this 11 question quiz to find how your views fit on the political spectrum. When finished, use options to view your beliefs against others of similar age, gender, and religion.

tag(s): elections (73), polls and surveys (47), quiz (85)

In the Classroom

Share the Political Party Quiz with students to complete on their own as part of any election unit. Have them compare their responses to the platform of leading candidates. Ask students to write an editorial discussing an issue that is important to them, or have students write a letter to one of the candidates discussing an issue of importance.

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Does Your Vote Count? The Electoral College Explained - Christina Greer

Grades
4 to 12
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Many students (and adults) don't fully understand the role of the Electoral College in presidential elections. Does Your Vote Count? is a YouTube video providing a clear explanation...more
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Many students (and adults) don't fully understand the role of the Electoral College in presidential elections. Does Your Vote Count? is a YouTube video providing a clear explanation of the Electoral College and how it works as part of the election process. 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.

tag(s): elections (73), electoral college (16)

In the Classroom

Share this video on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) as part of any election unit. Have students research the number of electoral votes available in your state. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare the democratic process in the United States to that of another country. Have students create maps using Animaps, reviewed here, to identify the number of electoral votes available in each state. Students can add text, images, and additional information such as how the electoral votes were cast in previous elections.

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Cat in the Hat Campaign Headquarters - Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P.

Grades
K to 8
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Cat in the Hat runs for president, and he wants children to decide the most important issues to address! His running mates are Thing 1 and Thing 2. Learn about ...more
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Cat in the Hat runs for president, and he wants children to decide the most important issues to address! His running mates are Thing 1 and Thing 2. Learn about the campaign and the causes - ocean conservation, environment, hunger, education, or kindness - by clicking either Video or Causes from the menu on the left. There are also free Activities downloadable in PDF format. See where each cause stands in the voting towards the bottom of the page. The cause and organization with the most votes will receive $10,000.00 from Dr. Seuss Enterprises and Random House Children's Books. All votes must be in by midnight November 8, 2016. The winning cause and organization will be announced December 1, 2016. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): elections (73), environment (317), oceans (147), presidents (129), service projects (25)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to get young students involved and thinking about the democratic process. Pique their interest by showing the video with your projector to the whole class. Break students into small groups and have them read and discuss the different causes. Have them take an initial vote within their group for the cause they would like to support. If there is not a consensus among the group, have each student, in turn, tell why they think the cause they like should be the most important and receive the vote. You could vote as a class or have students vote individually.

For older students, there is an opportunity to practice being persuasive; this is a perfect introduction to these causes, and students could research their favorite cause and learn facts about why it is indeed a cause or issue. Students could work on this in small groups supporting the same cause. They could then put together a multimedia presentation for their peers to try and convince them to vote for their cause. TeachersFirst has several Edge tools that would work well for this presentation: Ignite, reviewed here. With the web-based Ignite, students can collaborate on creating a multi-layered, unique multimedia project with text, images, and video. The iPad app allows them to add audio, too. Padlet, is an online bulletin board maker, reviewed here, or Thinglink, reviewed here, where students create an annotated, narrated image including text boxes and related links (even videos). If you would like your students to have a little pre-practice with using persuasion, you could have them complete the exercises on ThinkCerca, reviewed here, or Drafting Board, reviewed here.

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Electoral College - The Lou Frey Institute of Politics & Government

Grades
5 to 12
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This 5 minute YouTube video explores one of the misunderstood elements of presidential elections - the Electoral College. Using easy to understand language, the moderator explains the...more
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This 5 minute YouTube video explores one of the misunderstood elements of presidential elections - the Electoral College. Using easy to understand language, the moderator explains the role of the Electoral College and how the popular vote translates into votes in the Electoral College. 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.

tag(s): elections (73), electoral college (16)

In the Classroom

View this video together on an interactive whiteboard to illustrate the impact of the Electoral College voting on the election of the US President, both today and in the past. Alternatively, embed it in your class web page for the duration of your elections unit. Have students create their own "in plain English" video about a topic in government and share them using a tool such as SchoolTube, reviewed here. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare and contrast differences between the popular vote and Electoral College votes. Add questions to this video for students to explore further using a tool such as EdPuzzle (reviewed here).

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Diversity Workshop - USC School of Social Work

Grades
9 to 12
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Diversity Workshop is a training guide for facilitating discussions on diversity and the role of identity in social relationships. Training focuses on two key areas - the concept of...more
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Diversity Workshop is a training guide for facilitating discussions on diversity and the role of identity in social relationships. Training focuses on two key areas - the concept of culture and identity. Different activities offer participants the opportunity to learn about and practice ideas within each concept.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), cultures (105), diversity (36)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the activities shared within the guide to use as part of community building in your classroom or to teach diversity. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as WordItOut, reviewed here. Before and after activities have students or groups collect ideas and thoughts about diversity using Dotstorming, reviewed here. The Dotstorming application creates free online bulletin boards. Embed Dotstorming on your class website for students to access at home.

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Prism - Scholar's Lab

Grades
6 to 12
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Prism is a tool for "crowdsourcing interpretation" of text. Create your own Prism or browse through Prisms available on the site. To create a Prism, add text and choose options ...more
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Prism is a tool for "crowdsourcing interpretation" of text. Create your own Prism or browse through Prisms available on the site. To create a Prism, add text and choose options for highlighting such as red for demonstrating foreshadowing or blue for feminism. Before finishing, add the title and author and include credit for the work using their drop-down tool providing options. Watch the introductory video, which resides on YouTube, for a full overview of how to create and use Prism. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): collaboration (3), DAT device agnostic tool (192), literature (275), reading comprehension (114)

In the Classroom

Use Prism to explore text collaboratively with your students. Paste in portions of any text and have students highlight indicated features or ask them to highlight areas of confusion. Students will need a Prism account; however, their work is anonymous when added to Prisms. Use the completed Prisms to assess student understanding and as a springboard for classroom discussions. Use across the curriculum to highlight and interpret texts in all subjects. Create Prisms for newspaper articles from different sources, have students highlight factual information, then compare and contrast information found using an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here. If students cannot have their own email accounts, consider using a "class set" of Gmail subaccounts, explained here; this tells how to set up Gmail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. Using Gmail subaccounts will provide anonymous interaction within your class.

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Stem in 30 - Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Grades
5 to 10
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Stem in 30 is an interactive classroom offering 30-minute webcasts for middle school students. Interact with scientists by asking questions, participate in polls, and receive resources...more
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Stem in 30 is an interactive classroom offering 30-minute webcasts for middle school students. Interact with scientists by asking questions, participate in polls, and receive resources for follow-up activities. Don't worry if you can't attend, view the archives of all past presentations to enjoy at your convenience. Previous topics include Moon Rocks!, Time and Navigation, and WW1: How History Shaped Technology. Most archived recordings include correlation to Next Generation Science Standards. If your district blocks YouTube, then the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them 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.

tag(s): earth (228), earth day (112), ecology (135), ecosystems (88), flight (36), mars (41), molecules (43), space (206), STEM (123), world war 1 (53)

In the Classroom

Share webinars on your class website for students to view at home. Check the site's homepage for upcoming webinars, then participate with your class. Check Twitter to see if your class can follow any of the presenting scientists. If you are lucky enough to live in the Washington, DC area, contact the museum to attend a live taping. After viewing a webinar, have students create a multimedia presentation using Voicethread, reviewed here. Voicethread allows users to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. STEM in 30 is also a great resource for gifted students to get involved with their own challenges and pursuits.

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Primary vs Secondary Sources - The Minnesota Historical Society

Grades
6 to 12
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Primary vs. Secondary Sources is an excellent YouTube video explaining the difference between these two types of sources. The video provides several examples of each type of source...more
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Primary vs. Secondary Sources is an excellent YouTube video explaining the difference between these two types of sources. The video provides several examples of each type of source and tells why it fits into that category. If your district blocks YouTube, then this video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): primary sources (84)

In the Classroom

Share this video with students as they begin any research project. Be sure to add a link to this site on your class website for reference at home. Have students create a simple infographic with examples of both types of resources using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here. Have students upload a photo they have taken of a source and add voice bubbles to explain why it fits into a particular category using a tool such as Superlame, reviewed here.

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Carrd - carrd.co

Grades
1 to 12
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Carrd is a simple to use, one-page website creator. Think of it as similar to an online business card. Begin by choosing from available templates or start with a blank ...more
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Carrd is a simple to use, one-page website creator. Think of it as similar to an online business card. Begin by choosing from available templates or start with a blank page. A quick page of instructions provides an overview of tools available to use, including adding images, links to social media accounts, tables, and more. When complete, save and publish to your unique carrd.co URL. Please check out the templates and published wording used. It may be inappropriate for your students.

tag(s): blogs (88), multimedia (52)

In the Classroom

Use this site for students to post simple projects such as stories, poems, and art projects. For easy access, collect a master list of links to student pages on your classroom website, wiki, blog, or create an interactive Google doc or form for collecting these. If students are creating pages, be sure to check with your district's policy on publishing student work. Each website created has a private URL. Students can use this tool at home for presentations and email you the URL for their completed work. Compile the presentation URLs on your class blog or wiki, or a Google doc so all students have access. Integrate all subjects into Carrd. The simplicity of this site would make it an easy tool for younger students to create eportfolios with links to and explanations of their various projects located elsewhere on the web.

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PicFont - Picfont.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Create a poster (meme), postcard, or add captions to a photo. Also, resize and crop images. Save in medium or best quality to your device or download as a PDF ...more
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Create a poster (meme), postcard, or add captions to a photo. Also, resize and crop images. Save in medium or best quality to your device or download as a PDF or Word doc easily with Picfont. No registration is required. Choose images from your computer or device or select a picture from the gallery. Change not just the color and size of the font, but add an outline in any color and size, place it anywhere on the photo, and many more effects. Use Picfont to spice up social media postings; select to create a Facebook header, and a post with photos, a Twitter header and an In-stream, an Instagram Post, a LinkedIn cover, or select from several ad sizes. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click features for directions about how to use the different features of Picfont.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (192), digital storytelling (135), editing (58), images (261)

In the Classroom

Use this easy tool to add captions to images, create memes, or posters for your bulletin boards. Use this easy tool with students during back to school time as a way for them to get to know each other. Have students upload a picture of themselves doing their favorite activity and label it with amusing text or a favorite quote (or song lyrics?). Have them upload images that represent their interests and character traits. Print the images with text for a back-to-school bulletin board. Use after a field trip for students to write captions on the photos they took. Be sure to share the photos on your class web page, blog, or wiki. Haven't started blogging yet? Check out TeachersFirst's Blog Basics. For other uses, have students practice new words in a world language class by labeling and identifying images in that language. Create writing prompts using several annotated images. Have students create annotated images to explain key terms in science class. In ELA class, make homophone or vocabulary images to show the correct word along with a picture that explains it.

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Where in the World? - SuperBreak

Grades
5 to 12
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Can you guess the secret location? Explore landmarks from all over the world and try to guess the country where you are located. Begin by choosing your interests from categories ...more
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Can you guess the secret location? Explore landmarks from all over the world and try to guess the country where you are located. Begin by choosing your interests from categories such as history or entertainment. Begin play, but think quickly! Choose the correct location of each image within 12 seconds before it is marked wrong. As you select an answer, information is provided about the location of the correct response.

tag(s): landmarks (26)

In the Classroom

Where in the World? is a great activity to play together on your interactive whiteboard when you have a few extra minutes of class time. Explore famous landmarks from the comfort of your room. Share the locations using Google Earth, reviewed here.

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American Panorama - Digital Scholarship Lab, University of Richmond

Grades
6 to 12
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American Panorama includes interactive maps demonstrating changes in the United States since the 1800's. This ongoing project will be adding additional maps, current ones provide information...more
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American Panorama includes interactive maps demonstrating changes in the United States since the 1800's. This ongoing project will be adding additional maps, current ones provide information on The Forced Migration of Enslaved People, Trails, Canals, and Foreign-Born Population. Click on any map to explore the many features including keyword searches and interactive timelines.

tag(s): african american (114), immigrants (20), immigration (58), maps (287), migration (59), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

Bookmark these interactive maps for use throughout the year to examine American issues in deeper detail. Share the locations using Google Earth, reviewed here, to get a first-hand look at the geography of the region. This tool is a great find for gifted students. Have them explore in-depth different changes to America over the past two centuries. Challenge students to make a multimedia presentation using information found in their research. Use a tool like Zeetings, reviewed here. Zeetings allows adding polls, videos, embeds, web links, PowerPoint, and PDFs.

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Geopedia - geopedia.de

Grades
6 to 12
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Geopedia incorporates maps with Wikipedia to show Wikipedia articles for any location. Enter a location in the search bar to view a map with placeholders indicating Wikipedia articles...more
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Geopedia incorporates maps with Wikipedia to show Wikipedia articles for any location. Enter a location in the search bar to view a map with placeholders indicating Wikipedia articles in different areas on the map. Click on the placeholder to read the article. Change preferences for the search radius, number of results, and language using the settings link.

tag(s): continents (50), countries (77), earth (228), landmarks (26), maps (287)

In the Classroom

Assign students various countries, regions, or continents to make comparisons of information found in the Wikipedia articles. Bring a greater understanding to current economic and environmental issues in many countries. World language (or World Cultures) classes can help students understand the cultures of the countries where the language is spoken. Compare specific attributes of two countries using an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here. Have cooperative learning groups use this resource to create online books about the country of their tour using a resource such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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Civil Rights Movement Interactive Map - NewseumEd

Grades
8 to 12
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This interactive map includes links to newspaper coverage of civil rights stories from around the nation beginning with 1954 through 1965. Choose any year to view several front pages...more
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This interactive map includes links to newspaper coverage of civil rights stories from around the nation beginning with 1954 through 1965. Choose any year to view several front pages with coverage of major events. Read each front page by clicking "view larger image". For additional information on similar topics, scroll to the bottom of the page to find links to more artifacts.

tag(s): black history (59), civil rights (117), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

Share a link to this site on your class website and allow students to explore on their own. Discuss their findings and interpretations of media coverage of civil rights events in class. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast media coverage in two different cities. Ask students to investigate newspapers from additional locations, then create a presentation sharing their findings using Prezi, reviewed here.

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Making a Change: The First Amendment and the Civil Rights Movement - NewseumED

Grades
8 to 12
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Explore how the First Amendment influenced the Civil Rights Movement through this collection of resources from Newseum. The collection includes three teaching units with topics of Historical...more
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Explore how the First Amendment influenced the Civil Rights Movement through this collection of resources from Newseum. The collection includes three teaching units with topics of Historical Connections, Media Literacy, and Civics & Citizenship. In addition, an interactive timeline beginning in 1791 demonstrates the Civil Rights journey. A Google Civil Rights map includes links to important American newspapers and their coverage of civil rights events and leaders. Be sure to sign up for your free NewseumED account for complete access to all materials.

tag(s): black history (59), civil rights (117), constitution (79), journalism (45), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

Use any or all of the units and interactives with any Civil Rights lessons; this site isn't just for Black History Month! Share with journalism students as they explore the role of the press in shaping and telling the story of a nation. Have small groups or pairs of students make a multimedia presentation exploring the First Amendment and the role of the press using a tool such as Ignite, reviewed here. With the web-based Ignite, you can include text, images, and video. The iPad app allows you to add audio, too. To illustrate different press coverage around the nation, have students create maps using Animaps, reviewed here; students can add text, images, and location stops!
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'Watergate' Video Lesson - NewseumED

Grades
8 to 12
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This NewseumED video lesson explores the role of the press in the 1970's Watergate scandal. Activities include watching a video and completing a comprehension worksheet. In addition...more
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This NewseumED video lesson explores the role of the press in the 1970's Watergate scandal. Activities include watching a video and completing a comprehension worksheet. In addition to the 30-minute lesson, several ideas for extension activities are included. To find related activities on Newseum, scroll to the bottom of the page for additional ideas. Sign up for NewseumED (FREE) to access all materials.

tag(s): 1970s (12), journalism (45), presidents (129)

In the Classroom

Include this site with any lessons on the power of the press, the 70's, or presidents. This site is perfect for a flipped classroom activity, have students view the video and complete the worksheet questions at home before going in-depth with the material at school. Have students create a timeline of events related to Watergate (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles, reviewed here. Allow students to be journalists and create their own newspaper using a site such as Zinepal, reviewed here. Click "Start with a blank e-Book."
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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'What's News?' Video Lesson - NewseumED

Grades
6 to 12
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From love to war, life to death, and romance to hate, this video presents significant events of our time to demonstrate how the news touches every facet of our day. ...more
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From love to war, life to death, and romance to hate, this video presents significant events of our time to demonstrate how the news touches every facet of our day. In addition to the video, find an Acitivity (lesson plans) with before and after viewing questions, a list of historical figures and their relation to the issue from the period, a viewing guide worksheet for students to fill in, and extension activities. All of these are downloads in PDF or Word formats. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find additional activities.

tag(s): journalism (45), news (261), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

Using the Activity lesson plan/viewing guide, share the before viewing discussion with the class. Consider giving all students a chance to voice their opinions (even the shyest ones) by using a tool like Backchannel Chat, reviewed here. Then, show the video to the whole class, or "flip" the class and have students watch it at home. Either way, the viewing guide questions could be inserted into the video using a tool such as EDpuzzle, reviewed here. After the video, use the discussion questions and Backchannel Chat again. Next, have students (or small groups) choose one of the extension activities to complete and share with classmates. Lastly, have students (or small groups) choose one of the extension activities to complete and share with classmates.

The reviewers at TeachersFirst have some suggestions for online tools to use for those final (extension) projects: Items 1 and 2 suggest creating a video newscast or newspaper. Consider starting with Sports Network 2, reviewed here, where students take on the role of a news show producer. Also, Be An Editor Game, reviewed here, gives students practice in the basics of newspaper editing. Possibly follow these up with Pulitzer Center Lesson Plans, reviewed here, that shows students how to identify global issues.

If you don't feel comfortable showing student faces on the Internet via video, you may want to have them create a radio show instead; for that use either Youth Radio, reviewed here, or Radionomy, reviewed here.

Item 3 includes a timeline. Have students create a multimedia timeline (it can include video, audio, images, a quiz, interactive questions, and comments) using Hstry, reviewed here. Items 4, 6, and 7 suggest making a collage. An easy online tool such as Fotojet, reviewed here, will make beautiful collages for your student projects. Item 5 suggests you use Facebook. If your district blocks Facebook, use Fakebook, reviewed here. For managing projects like #8-10 use a tool like Google Keep, reviewed here, and a presentation tool like Sway, reviewed here.
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