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Google Sites - Google

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Need to create a simple website without cost? Google Sites offers a simple interface that is easy to use to build websites. Use some advanced features such as fonts, text ...more
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Need to create a simple website without cost? Google Sites offers a simple interface that is easy to use to build websites. Use some advanced features such as fonts, text size, text color, and headings. Add images and videos from You Tube to your site. Revert to previous versions of the pages you create through the revision history. Add a Google map to your page easily. Use other Gadgets that are easy to plug in by choosing one of the many Google Gadgets. Create many different kinds of pages in your site. Choose your own privacy rules for the site as well.

tag(s): wikis (20)

In the Classroom

Users must have a Google account or sign up for an account. View the controls in Google sites before creating to get an idea of usable features. Find great hints and tips about using Google sites here.

Click "Create a new site" to name your site and begin the process. Choose from a variety of templates and begin building your pages. Click "Edit" on your page to bring up the editing options. Use the buttons on the editor bar to change font sizes, color, etc. Click "Insert" to view a drop down menu of a variety of content that can be included on the page. Use the other tabs such as "Format," "Table," and "Layout" to change other aspects of the page. Be sure to click the "Save" button when finished editing a page. Create a new page within the site by clicking "Create a page." Choose from a variety of pages that have different formats suited for a web page, announcements page, file cabinet, or list. Be sure to select where the page will be found such as the top level menu or as a subpage under a different page in the site. Click on "More actions" to bring up other menu items such as "Manage Site," changing page settings, moving or deleting a page, and more. Share your site with others and invite users who can also make changes on the site.

Use a Google Site to create a simple web page for communication with students and their families at any grade level. In middle and high school, use student-created site(s) as a way for students to collaborate and share with many of the same features as a wiki.

Comments

Very versatile for portfolios. Does take some work, not particularly well-documented. Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8

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Mapcrunch - MapCrunch

Grades
2 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use MapCrunch to go to places in the world without ever leaving the classroom. Explore the world's geography and cultures easily. View detailed "Google Street View" snapshots of towns,...more
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Use MapCrunch to go to places in the world without ever leaving the classroom. Explore the world's geography and cultures easily. View detailed "Google Street View" snapshots of towns, cities, and areas all over the globe. Randomly tour spots on the earth or choose a tour by continent. Use the navigation buttons to zoom in or out or shift the MapCrunch window to face a different direction. Click on the checkbox to use the slideshow feature. Share by using a link, through Facebook, or email.

tag(s): maps (289)

In the Classroom

Assign students various countries, regions, or continents to make comparisons. Identify the biological, geographical, cultural, and social issues that exist in the world, based on what the pictures show and what their research uncovers. 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 Venn Diagram, such as the one reviewed here. Another idea: have cooperative learning groups use this resource to create online books about the country of their tour using a resource such as Bookemon,
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Embed Plus - EmbedPlus

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Want to enhance the viewer experiences and discussions around the YouTube videos you embed? Enter the URL of your You Tube video to add DVD-like controls without altering the original...more
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Want to enhance the viewer experiences and discussions around the YouTube videos you embed? Enter the URL of your You Tube video to add DVD-like controls without altering the original content. Use EmbedPlus to add features such as scene skipping, movable zoom, third party annotations, slow motion on-demand, and instant replay. Set start time and scene markers if desired. Add your annotations during this set up process. When done, click get Code to either copy a new URL for your video or obtain an embed code to place in a blog, wiki, or site to share with others.

tag(s): movies (66), video (259)

In the Classroom

If using student created video, please check with district policy about sharing student work on the Internet. If using with students, be sure to discuss what is considered appropriate/inappropriate annotations to make on videos. These videos may not play in districts where You Tube videos are blocked. As EmbedPlus uses its own wrapper around the You Tube video, it may be viewable in your district depending upon the filter being used. Be sure to test this before using with students. Note: The "real time reactions" option pulls in and displays public comments when you click it. Use the "enhanced embed" wizard and be sure to click the checkbox that deactivates this feature. You may wish to monitor these for possible inappropriate content.

Use the controls to add annotations or student thoughts to sections of the videos. Students can make these comments on their own videos or on a different groups contribution. Use this just to add playback controls that allow for greater viewing of You Tube videos. Have students find a video (or assign one) and annotate it with curriculum related discussion, criticism, vocabulary, etc. Students can then embed this product in his/her blog or a class wiki or site. Consider creating a glog using GlogsterEDU, reviewed here. Make an annotated video with question prompts in annotations and embed in wiki or glog to share with your classes. Playback using the slow motion and zoom would be a great item to show on a whiteboard or projector.
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Jewish - Holidays - Chanukah - Jacob Richman

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
This hotlist of Chanukah/Hanukkah sites has everything you might want to learn about the holiday, Jewish culture, and traditions. In addition to sites in English, there are sites in...more
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This hotlist of Chanukah/Hanukkah sites has everything you might want to learn about the holiday, Jewish culture, and traditions. In addition to sites in English, there are sites in Hebrew, Russian, and other languages, all about the holiday. You can even find sources for Chanukah/Hanukkah clip art. Although TeachersFirst does not normally review "hotlists," this collection is comprehensive and updated regularly as a "labor of love."

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

In the Classroom

Make this treasury a starting point for multicultural study of holidays around the world or for a more in depth study of Jewish traditions. Assign student groups to learn about specific aspects of the holiday and share their findings on a class holiday guide wiki. ith younger students, share specific links on a projector or interactive whiteboard and give students a chance to share and compare their own holiday traditions with the ones mentioned. You could even use some of these resources in upper elementary or middle school as reading comprehension exercises during the holiday season: write a summary or formulate a statement of a text-based site's main idea.

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The 18th Century Paper Doll Game - Colonial Williamsburg

Grades
K to 5
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Dress an 18th century paper doll in the "The Kids Zone" portion of the Colonial Williamsburg website. You need to dress the young girl in the correct sequence and will ...more
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Dress an 18th century paper doll in the "The Kids Zone" portion of the Colonial Williamsburg website. You need to dress the young girl in the correct sequence and will learn the correct terminology for clothing worn by women in the 1700's. This activity is a quick and engaging way to demonstrate the complexity of a woman's wardrobe in the 1700's.

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector during a unit on the 18th century. Allow your class a short historic diversion and have students dress an 18th century paper doll. There are other fun activities on this page that also address the life and times of citizens in 18th century Williamsburg. Post a link to this page on the class website for enrichment activities at home. The non-verbal aspect of this activity may help ESL and ELL students gain a better understanding of the customs and traditions typical of this period of time in the United States. Those classrooms planning to visit Colonial Williamsburg will definitely want to utilize this site. Students in schools too far away to make this journey can enjoy a "virtual" field trip to Colonial Williamsburg via the Internet.
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Snowflake Bentley - Jericho Historical Society

Grades
3 to 8
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This site offers many links to information about Snowflake Bentley and other resources for studying snow crystals. Wilson (Snowflake) A. Bentley is credited with the discovery that...more
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This site offers many links to information about Snowflake Bentley and other resources for studying snow crystals. Wilson (Snowflake) A. Bentley is credited with the discovery that no two snowflakes are alike. His research and studies on snowflakes were conducted in the small Vermont town of Jericho. Snowflake pioneered the science of photographing snow crystals by attaching a microscope to his camera. The most in-depth section of the site offers resources to learn more about snowflakes such as an educational unit on snowflakes, computer recreations of snowflakes and math sites studying patterns and symmetry.

tag(s): pioneers (8), snow (21)

In the Classroom

Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects about famous pioneers, weather research, or famous characters from books. This site is a perfect addition to any winter activities. Have cooperative learning groups investigate a specific section of this site and share their findings on your class wiki. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.

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Constructing an Aqueduct - NOVA - WGBH

Grades
3 to 8
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This site challenges you to act as a chief water engineer, creating an aqueduct for the ancient Roman city of Aqueductis. You have the choice of five different ways to ...more
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This site challenges you to act as a chief water engineer, creating an aqueduct for the ancient Roman city of Aqueductis. You have the choice of five different ways to build the duct. When you put the items in the correct order, the city will receive water. The activity provides guidance to help you choose the right structure.

tag(s): problem solving (273), romans (35), rome (27)

In the Classroom

For a whole group activity, share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. This site would be great to use with small groups of students. Have students work together and see how long it takes for them to get water to the city. Use the manual to help students identify and learn about the five different structures (covered trench, tunnel, pressurized pipe, wall, and arcade). Compare the ancient structures with the way we move water today, including modern day aqueducts. Have groups share their success stories by narrating a picture using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.
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Branches of the Government - Webvertising, Inc

Grades
3 to 7
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Sort the characteristics of the three branches of government by dragging leaves to the judicial, executive, or legislative branch of a tree. The leaves each contain a description about...more
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Sort the characteristics of the three branches of government by dragging leaves to the judicial, executive, or legislative branch of a tree. The leaves each contain a description about one of the three branches of government. The activity includes 16 leaves to sort.

tag(s): branches of government (48)

In the Classroom

This is a great activity to use quickly on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this as a review of the branches of government or as a lesson activator in your social studies class. Include the link on your class web page for students to review before a test, or use the activity as a formative assessment in a computer lab, walking around the room to check for correct answers.
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Madlibber - Sean Huber

Grades
2 to 12
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Madlibs have come a long way since 1953 when they were invented. This site has an online Madlib creator you can use in many different ways. It's easy to access, ...more
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Madlibs have come a long way since 1953 when they were invented. This site has an online Madlib creator you can use in many different ways. It's easy to access, and there is no registration needed. Just click on "create a new madlib" and you'll be presented with a template. There is a sample story so you get the idea of how to create one. You will also get to put in tags so you can find your Madlibber again. The site also lists current madlibs that others have created. Beware of some of the content of the already created madlibs, if you intend to allow students to use this site independently.

In the Classroom

Create a Madlib using Madlibber and share it with your class using your interactive white board and projector to reinforce curriculum topics such as types of plants or famous inventors. Either show the students how to make one about the curriculum topic, or have students operate the board/computer while others suggest words to fill in the blanks in one you have prepared. Madlibs can be used in so may ways: teaching parts of speech, reviewing for a quiz, introducing a new subject, or even as a "Cloze" reading story. Use this site as a station on one of the computers in your class. Put the direct web address (URL) for your Madlibber on your class web page, since some of the public Madlibbers may not be appropriate for your students. Give extra credit to those who work outside school to create classroom-appropriate madlibbers for others to use as review (and share the direct links on your class web page).

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Classrooms Around the World - Matador Network

Grades
2 to 12
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This photo essay shows classrooms and conditions in schools all around the world. As might be expected, there is a great deal of variation in comfort, school supplies, facilities, students...more
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This photo essay shows classrooms and conditions in schools all around the world. As might be expected, there is a great deal of variation in comfort, school supplies, facilities, students per room, etc. IMPORTANT NOTE: Preview photo details before sharing this with children as some contain material that you might not find suitable to share. (For example, one photo contains vocabulary terms regarding pornography and sexual addiction!) Also, be aware that there are some advertisements on this page. At the time of this review, one of the particular advertisements was about the "Best Nude Beaches In the World."

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), cultures (105), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Use this site when discussing world cultures or economics. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. To avoid displaying certain content, you can selectively take screenshots (CTRL+PrtScrn on Windows, Command+Shft+4 on Mac) or copy images temporarily into PowerPoint slides or a whiteboard file-- with credit--to show them alone. Use it to jump off into a discussion or unit on some of the countries displayed here. Have students create original photo essays online following this model, using Have students create original photo essays online following this model, using Slidestory, reviewed here. Slidestory allows you to narrate the slides and images. Challenge students to find photos and then narrate the photos as if in a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here. Other areas where this website might be useful are when you do units on world education, world poverty, etc. Have students do comparison/contrast essays using these photos as introductions to the differences between classrooms. Or have students compare/contrast using a site such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). The many small details that differ from place to place would make getting details and examples easy. Ask students also to extrapolate differences in teaching methods just by viewing these photos.

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Where Children Sleep - Daily Telegraph

Grades
2 to 12
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This photo essay shows rooms and conditions where children sleep all around the world. As might be expected, there is great variation in comfort levels, personal belongings, people...more
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This photo essay shows rooms and conditions where children sleep all around the world. As might be expected, there is great variation in comfort levels, personal belongings, people per room, etc. This "gallery" of photos is from a complete hard copy book on the subject. This site offers only a quick glimpse at living conditions, with only 13 photos available at the time of this review. Be aware: this site does include some minor advertisements. At the time of this review all were appropriate, but be sure to check out the site before sharing with your students.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), homes (12), space (207)

In the Classroom

Use this site when discussing economics in the U.S. or the world. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Use it to launch a discussion or unit on some of the countries displayed here. Have students create original photo essays online following this model, Slidestory, reviewed here. This tool allows you to narrate the slides and images. Challenge students to find or take photos and narrate the photos as if it were a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here. This website might also be useful for units on world cultures or in world language classes. In upper grades, combine these visual images with visualizations of world statistics from Many Eyes, reviewed here.

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Clothes Around the World - ELCivics

Grades
2 to 10
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This site offers colorful pictures of different kinds of traditional dress from around the world: Scotland, South Africa, Italy, Spain, Nigeria, Egypt, China, Vietnam, Sweden, Brazil,...more
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This site offers colorful pictures of different kinds of traditional dress from around the world: Scotland, South Africa, Italy, Spain, Nigeria, Egypt, China, Vietnam, Sweden, Brazil, and others. An accompanying PowerPoint lesson plan allows instructors to display the clothing graphics on a screen; the PowerPoint contains extra information about the clothing and cultures they represent. The target group for this lesson is beginning language learners. You must have PowerPoint software to open the downloadable PowerPoint shows. Be aware: this site does include many advertisements which may be rather distracting.

tag(s): clothing (9)

In the Classroom

Use this site with beginning world language lessons; select appropriate slides from the cultures speaking the target language. Have students consult with relatives about other forms of traditional dress and draw their own color illustrations. Have students find photos and create a multimedia presentation to share with the class. Try Compfight reviewed here to locate Creative Commons images students may use. Challenge students to narrate a picture using Slidestory, reviewed here. Use the lesson plan as a jumping off point for student research projects on other countries and cultures. Younger students may enjoy printing the clothing slides and creating puzzles with similar shaped pieces. Mix the pieces and have students assemble the clothing correctly and name the countries involved.

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Wylio - wylio.com

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Find and use copyright-free pictures using simple tools and copy/paste to get the embed code. Use Wylio to search for a picture in the topic of your choice. Enter a ...more
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Find and use copyright-free pictures using simple tools and copy/paste to get the embed code. Use Wylio to search for a picture in the topic of your choice. Enter a search term, view the possible pictures, and click on your choice. Change the alignment of the picture and the size it will appear using the simple tools. When done, click "Get The Code" to view the embeddable code. Copy and paste the code into a site, blog, or wiki to share with others. What is special about Wylio? The attribution to the picture's author is embedded into the code, so you are modeling ethical use of electronic resources!

tag(s): creative commons (22), images (269), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Users must be knowledgeable about embed codes and how to use them in a site, blog, or wiki. Be sure to test out embedding a picture on your site to anticipate problems when students use Wylio. Use Wylio to find copyright-free pictures for teacher use in any subject area or for student use as soon as they learn to copy/paste embed codes. This tool would be a great asset to a photography or art class but can be used in any subject area. Use pictures that showcase life around us or in a Math class to show various Math functions in man made structures and nature. Use this site to take your geography class around the world (virtually). Have students create presentations in any subject area and narrate the pictures rather than doing a traditional oral report. Use a site such as Slidestory, reviewed here, to narrate the pictures. Speech and language in lower grades or ESL/ELL teachers could use pictures for vocabulary development and allow students to add words or sentences to go with the pictures. In Science, find pictures that represent various concepts and encourage explanations of these concepts for better understanding. Embeddable pictures also work very well in "glogs" (online posters made using GlogsterEDU, reviewed here) or on your class wiki. Note: embedded picture only show on computers connected to the Internet since the embed command "goes and gets" the pictures using the web.
 

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TeachersFirst's China and Cross-Cultural Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students build a better understanding of other cultures, especially China, through related...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students build a better understanding of other cultures, especially China, through related projects and classroom activities. Every culture tends to focus on its own way of thinking and doing. In order to prepare our students for life, twenty-first century classrooms must foster cross-cultural understanding as a vital aspect of learning in today's global society. This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students build a better understanding of other cultures, especially China, through related projects and classroom activities. TeachersFirst welcomes suggestions of additional free teaching resources for our team to review. Please mention "cross-cultural" in your message.

tag(s): china (66)

In the Classroom

Share this collection as a starter page for projects when your class is studying China. Have students create their own cross-cultural projects using an online poster tool such as GlogsterEDU, reviewed here or a comic creator from this collection.

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ccMixter - Dig - ArtisTech Media

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This site offers a library of legal, copyright-safe, free music available for download and podcast use. Students looking for pod-safe audio, music remixes, and background music will...more
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This site offers a library of legal, copyright-safe, free music available for download and podcast use. Students looking for pod-safe audio, music remixes, and background music will be delighted to utilize this dandy library of recordings. You do not need to join in order to listen and/or download the MP3 files. Music and sounds are organized by use categories such as podsafe, soundtracks, and general listening. The songs include current hits, historical music from the U.S. and around the world, and much more. Note that the public can submit works, so -- although our editors have not seen any-- the submissions could include lyrics not appropriate for listening in school.

tag(s): copyright (47), sound (101), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

A music site that is not just for musicians and music teachers! Students in all classes can use files from this site when preparing multimedia class presentations that require music or background sounds. Use this site when preparing lessons on plagiarism, copyright, and the open source software concept. Musically inclined students who enjoy this site should check out ccMixter reviewed here for more enriching types of musical interaction and collaboration!

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Venn Diagram Shape Sorter - Shodor

Grades
3 to 8
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This site provides the opportunity to explore Venn Diagrams through the use of shapes. Different ways to create the diagrams are provided by choosing one or two circles and choices...more
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This site provides the opportunity to explore Venn Diagrams through the use of shapes. Different ways to create the diagrams are provided by choosing one or two circles and choices of circle placement. With the "Guess the Rule" option, players try to find the rule based on shapes that are allowed into the design. The learner area provides a background on Venn diagrams and how they might be used in everyday living. The instructor area provides printable exploration questions, links to standards, classroom preparation tips, and links to similar resources.

tag(s): logic (237), problem solving (273)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Ask students to create their own Venn Diagram and have other students guess the rule. Consider using a site such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Use the site to demonstrate Venn Diagrams that might be used with different subjects: Science - use to sort animals by different characteristics, Social Studies - sort countries by different types of rule over a given time period. The possibilities are endless.
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The Geography of Slavery in Virginia - University of Virginia

Grades
4 to 12
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The University of Virginia has collected the 19th century ads for runaway and captured slaves and indentured servants covering the period between 1736 and 1803 into a digital archive....more
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The University of Virginia has collected the 19th century ads for runaway and captured slaves and indentured servants covering the period between 1736 and 1803 into a digital archive. This searchable data base reveals a rich archive of information about daily life in Virginia, including geographic detail, the habits, appearance, clothing, and behavior of slaves and indentured servants, and general cultural attitudes of times regarding slavery. The site also offers commentary and resources helpful in understanding the database.

tag(s): primary sources (86), slavery (72), virginia (16)

In the Classroom

Students will certainly gain a more concrete and visceral understanding of attitudes toward slaves when reading these advertisements. The concepts are not necessarily Virginia-specific! Use some of the "personal profiles" to help students get to know one of the runaway slaves or servants more intimately. Have students review the diary entries of slaveowners to cut through our modern interpretations of what plantation owners thought or believed. Use these primary sources to guide a frank discussion on the role of slavery in Virginia and the South prior to the Civil War. The site is also an important resource for students doing research on antebellum Virginia.

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Tripline - Byron Dumbrill

Grades
4 to 12
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Tripline is a great visual for putting stories on a map. It was built to work with Google Maps, then be enhanced by each individual to fit their needs. What ...more
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Tripline is a great visual for putting stories on a map. It was built to work with Google Maps, then be enhanced by each individual to fit their needs. What a fabulous way to integrate literature and geography, history and geography, or many other subject areas. To create a trip, type in a starting point and select it from a suggested list of matching places. Add places to your trip in the same way, places can be rearranged in any order. From this list, a map will be created showing the itinerary. Push play and the map comes to life, stopping at each creation point. To further enhance the experience, pictures can be uploaded that will show as icons as each stop is reached. Maps can be shared with other users, via email, web link, or Facebook.

To create a new trip, you must register at the site. Registration requires a username, password, and valid email address.

tag(s): maps (289)

In the Classroom

Suggested uses on the Tripline site are to use along with moments in history such as Paul Revere's ride and Lewis and Clark's expedition to demonstrate stops along their path. Other classrooms uses would be for students to create a Tripline map of their summer vacation to use as an enhancement to a regular report, map out your favorite sports team's schedule, historic state sites, and much more.

Registration does require an email address. Tip: rather than using your personal or work email, create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.
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Wolf Quest - Minnesota Zoo

Grades
3 to 8
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Can you survive the call of the wild as a wolf? This exciting, interactive game (requires download) is a 3D wildlife simulation that allows you to learn about the life ...more
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Can you survive the call of the wild as a wolf? This exciting, interactive game (requires download) is a 3D wildlife simulation that allows you to learn about the life of a wolf in Yellowstone Park. In the first episode, players learn how to survive in the wild and find a mate. Episode two delves further into a wolves life where they will now establish a den, find a mate and raise pups. There is also an online community where players can share artwork, take online quizzes, compete for prizes and more. The site also has many educational materials to be used in the classroom. Note - the game has to be downloaded to your computer before playing.

tag(s): animals (277)

In the Classroom

Share this site on the interactive whiteboard or projector as an introduction to an animal unit or geography unit about the western United States. Use material from the site's photo and video gallery to support student's research.
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Kaboose - Walt Disney Internet Group

Grades
K to 6
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Kaboose is a potpourri chock full of new ideas for gifts to make for special occasions, holiday crafts and recipes with easy-to-follow directions, slide shows, puzzles, games,...more
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Kaboose is a potpourri chock full of new ideas for gifts to make for special occasions, holiday crafts and recipes with easy-to-follow directions, slide shows, puzzles, games, and more all based on seasonal activities and celebrations. The page is "busy" with lots of links to related resources and advertisements, but with very little exploration you will find entertaining, creative ideas for projects that can be done in the classroom. Be sure to check the copyright restrictions on the bottom of the web page.

tag(s): crafts (40), holidays (147)

In the Classroom

How many times have you taught the siblings of your current students and are now looking for a new project or gift for them to bring home? Bookmark this site in your favorites or in your folder for holiday/seasonal arts and craft ideas. Invite parents in to work with small groups to give you plenty of extra pairs of hands. During classroom celebrations, project a selection of the related interactives on your classroom whiteboard to keep students educationally engaged and prevent them from "wandering" too far from the holiday theme.
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