TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Feb 21, 2021

Here are this week's features. Clicking the tags in the description area of each listing will present a list of other resources with this topic. | Click here to return to the Featured Sites Archive

 

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Wisconsin Biographies - PBS Wisconsin Education

Grades
3 to 6
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Wisconsin Biographies is a robust collection of information sharing the stories of famous people from Wisconsin. Each biography includes an interactive featuring videos, images, teaching...more
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Wisconsin Biographies is a robust collection of information sharing the stories of famous people from Wisconsin. Each biography includes an interactive featuring videos, images, teaching activities, and leveled reading booklets. Use other site features to create trading cards and build graphic organizers and timelines. Learn more about Wisconsin through three thematic videos that analyze the stories and provide context for how events connect over time.

tag(s): agriculture (51), biographies (89), civil rights (142), environment (274), journalism (67), native americans (80), recycling (49), slavery (55), wisconsin (5), womens suffrage (31)

In the Classroom

Use this fabulous site as part of your lessons on biographies or as you learn about the states. Ask students to choose one of the biographies as a starting point for researching other Americans. For example, after learning about Walter Bresette, challenge students to learn about others who teach about American Indian rights and protecting the earth. Extend learning by using this site as a model for student-created projects or as a class project. Use a website creation tool like about.me, reviewed here, to build a webpage to tell about the famous person being researched. Include a video created using Adobe Spark for Education, reviewed here, to bring their story to life; find many ideas and templates to help students organize information on Read Write Think, reviewed here. When finished, upload student-created documents similar to the booklets found on the site. Use the idea maps found on the Wisconsin site to create a timeline or other graphic organizer and include it on the student webpage using a link or by uploading their saved PDF. Create and include a trading card using Canva Edu, reviewed here, and sharing a link on student pages.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Ford's Theatre Abraham Lincoln Teaching Resources - Ford's Theatre

Grades
3 to 12
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Where is a better place to find resources for teaching about Abraham Lincoln than Ford's Theatre? Use the filters on the site to locate videos, lessons, primary sources, and much ...more
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Where is a better place to find resources for teaching about Abraham Lincoln than Ford's Theatre? Use the filters on the site to locate videos, lessons, primary sources, and much more to use with students in grades 3 and up. Full lessons include correlation to Common Core Standards, handouts, and rubrics for assessment. The videos reside on YouTube. If your school blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable.

tag(s): civil war (132), lincoln (66), presidents (118), primary sources (100)

In the Classroom

Use the materials found on this site to supplement your lessons on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. Find additional Lincoln and Civil War materials at Actively Learn, reviewed here. Lessons on Actively Learn include embedded questions correlated to Common Core Standards for developing reading and comprehension skills. Organize your entire Lincoln unit and share materials (including videos with embedded questions) with students using Edmodo, reviewed here. Create an entire learning path with all of your materials using Symbaloo Learning Paths, reviewed here. Symbaloo Learning Paths includes options for embedding videos, texts, quizzes, and more. In addition, Symbaloo Learning Paths allows the creator to create optional paths for participants to follow allowing for differentiation of activities. Modify older students learning by having them create their own Learning Path as an alternative to a research project to share information they learned and create quizzes for fellow students.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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George Washington's Mount Vernon - Mount Vernon

Grades
6 to 12
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Take a virtual tour of Mount Vernon, the home of the first President of the United States, George Washington. Beautifully executed, and packed with special features, the tour is billed...more
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Take a virtual tour of Mount Vernon, the home of the first President of the United States, George Washington. Beautifully executed, and packed with special features, the tour is billed as the "second best way to visit Mount Vernon," and doesn't disappoint. Be sure and watch the tutorial so you don't miss any of the many tips and tricks to get the most out of your virtual tour.

tag(s): 1700s (32), presidents (118), virginia (15), virtual field trips (68)

In the Classroom

Ideal for use on an interactive whiteboard or for students to access individually, this virtual tour has many features. You can explore the buildings, zoom in on items in the buildings, access stories and discussions that highlight features of the property and the daily lives of those who lived at Mount Vernon. Enhance learning by having students share their impressions of and questions about Mount Vernon and more with video, using a tool like FlipGrid, reviewed here. FlipGrid provides a means for video responses to a question along with comments from peers. There are additional links to lesson plans and other student resources.

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The National Archives Activities and Games - The British National Archives

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1 to 12
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Explore award-winning resources related to British History presented by the British National Archives. Choose from Medieval Times through the present. You can also choose by Key Stage...more
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Explore award-winning resources related to British History presented by the British National Archives. Choose from Medieval Times through the present. You can also choose by Key Stage (similar to grade level bands). If you aren't familiar with Key Stages: Stage 1 is K-2, Stage 2 is grades 3-5, Stage 3 is grades 6-8, Stage 4 is grades 9-10, and Stage 5 is grades 11-12. While this site does have materials for all stages, there isn't a huge selection for Stage 1.

Download lessons, Resource Packs, and Podcasts. Be sure to check out the extensive section for students including games, study skill tips and advice, and information on using primary sources. Learn about important people, government officials, and heroes of the past and present such as Charles Dickens and Florence Nightingale. Explore and research famous events/times such as American Civil Rights Movement or Life During War Times. The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from American English. A very few resources require Flash, but there is so much more here, that the site is worth your time.

tag(s): dickens (8), great britain (18), heroes (21), industrial revolution (22), medieval (26), victorian (17), world war 1 (54), world war 2 (137)

In the Classroom

Keep this site in mind as an easy place to find games and lessons related to British history (and even some world history topics). Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Present the same time period, such as World War II, from a British and American point of view using this site and similar primary source images from U.S. collections like this one or this one. Have students create timelines using Timeline JS, reviewed here. Timeline JS offers the option to upload and add photos, videos, audio, Tweets, and Google Maps making it interactive. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a British resident during any time periods involved with these activities. Take advantage of the ready to go lesson plans, interactives, podcasts, and videos. Literature teachers will also want to explore and share the information about British authors.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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edX - Anant Agarwal

Grades
8 to 12
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edX offers access to many of the best courses offered at top learning institutions - for FREE! Institutions include MIT, Harvard, and Berkley. Classes are available to complete for...more
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edX offers access to many of the best courses offered at top learning institutions - for FREE! Institutions include MIT, Harvard, and Berkley. Classes are available to complete for a Certificate of Achievement or as an audit. Choose from courses with topics in many areas including computers, literature, and humanities. Each course listing offers a short description of the course, details about the university offering the course, estimated time involved, course staff, and available options for taking the course. Start any course at any time. Take the edX Demo course to get a good idea of how courses work and find out about the online learning experience.

tag(s): aeronautics (10), architecture (73), china (59), circuits (17), civil rights (142), computers (102), electricity (76), engineering (110), environment (274), evolution (97), folktales (39), greeks (30), magnetism (36), medicine (59), nutrition (147), poetry (195), psychology (65), religions (62), shakespeare (89), solar energy (37), speech (78), statistics (119), terrorism (43)

In the Classroom

Share with students on your interactive whiteboard and take the demo course together. This is perfect for use with gifted and advanced students as an option for college level courses and enrichment. Allow gifted students to enroll in courses that interest them or that provide enrichment beyond classroom content. Share with others, in your building, as a resource for professional development. Explore the topics yourself for some new, engaging topics to round out your own expertise. Allow students to enroll in a course that would fit into their career goals as an exploratory opportunity in that field.

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Who Was Nelson Mandela? - BBC

Grades
3 to 8
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Find a good introduction and overview of the life of Nelson Mandela geared toward elementary students (and middle school). View basic information, such as why Mandela is famous. Take...more
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Find a good introduction and overview of the life of Nelson Mandela geared toward elementary students (and middle school). View basic information, such as why Mandela is famous. Take a look at young Mandela, problems in South Africa, and his life as a world statesman. Scroll through several fun facts about Mandela, play a game of Audience with Mandela, explore photographs and videos, or take a short quiz. This site was created in the UK. American English speakers may notice some slight spelling or vocabulary differences. The video may not play in your area, but the information and interactive make this site worth a visit.

tag(s): biographies (89), civil rights (142), heroes (21), south africa (11)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson for Black History Month or about heroes in Civil Rights. As you discuss Martin Luther King, Jr, include discussion of major Civil Rights leaders from other countries. Have students create an annotated image of Nelson Mandela including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students collaborate to create maps of Mandela's journeys using Maphub, reviewed here. Students can add icons, text, images, and location stops! Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Timeline JS, reviewed here.

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CurriConnects Book List - Inventors and Inventions - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Use this CurriConnects list to find books related to Inventions. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels...more
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Use this CurriConnects list to find books related to Inventions. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles''® to match with student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly.

tag(s): book lists (120), inventors and inventions (76), reading lists (69)

In the Classroom

Build student literacy skills, reinforce what students are learning about Inventions, and help students build the important reading strategy of connecting what they read to prior (classroom!) knowledge. Share this link on your class web page or wiki so students can select independent reading books to accompany your unit on Inventions. Don't forget to share the list with the school and local libraries so they can bring in some of the books on interlibrary loan. CurriConnects are a great help for teachers who have lost school library/media specialists due to budget cuts.

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Rosa Parks: How I Fought for Civil Rights - Scholastic

Grades
4 to 8
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The Rosa Parks: How I Fought for Civil Rights website includes free printable lesson plans, worksheets, an interview, a biography, and other reading material that can be easily...more
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The Rosa Parks: How I Fought for Civil Rights website includes free printable lesson plans, worksheets, an interview, a biography, and other reading material that can be easily viewed full-screen on your classroom interactive whiteboard (or with a projector). The site is easy to navigate with links built right into the text for vocabulary and other relevant information. The activities help students understand the importance and necessity of every individual citizen in a democracy working together to contribute to a better way of life for all.

tag(s): black history (78), civil rights (142), martin luther king (32), rosa parks (5), tolerance (9), women (101)

In the Classroom

Spark your students' interest in how one brave individual changed history by not giving up her bus seat to a white passenger. Whether you are doing a unit on people who make a difference, civil rights, tolerance, or studying women and events in history, this self-contained website provides resources and materials that you can display on your classroom whiteboard (or with a projector). Involve students in using the interactive links to enhance learning and springboard discussions on what still needs to be done in regards to acceptance and embracing racial, ethnic, and cultural differences. Use an online tool like The Interactive Three-Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast discrimination in our country then with similar challenges we face today, and what still needs to be accomplished for a better tomorrow. Broaden the concepts to include that even when we are brave and have courage, change doesn't come about immediately; it takes time and continued perseverance. Culminate the unit with a writing prompt for students to reflect on and explain: Have you ever faced something that you thought you couldn't stand up to?

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Inventors and Inventions Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Invent and Innovate! This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers, parents, and students learn about inventors and inventions. Use these resources...more
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Invent and Innovate! This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers, parents, and students learn about inventors and inventions. Use these resources for science or social studies lessons and activities about innovation and invention, in observance of National Inventors' Day (celebrated on February 11, Thomas Edison's birthday), or at any time during the school year. Whether you are simply learning about the history of invention or planning a schoolwide Invention Convention, these resources will provide inspiration and project possibilities.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (76)

In the Classroom

This collection includes resources for all grades. Each review includes several classroom use ideas. These are excellent tools to use to study science, social studies, and more! Explore the activities suggested. Share sites on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Provide the link on your class website for students to access both in and out of class.

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The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion - Annette Whipple

Grades
K to 6
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Discover the pioneer world of Laura Ingalls Wilder with this blog. Under "Live Like Laura" from the top menu find Activities, Crafts, Recipes, and Pioneer Living. Find blog posts and...more
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Discover the pioneer world of Laura Ingalls Wilder with this blog. Under "Live Like Laura" from the top menu find Activities, Crafts, Recipes, and Pioneer Living. Find blog posts and a few videos about the Cat's Cradle game, Gardening Activities, information about the Grasshopper Plague, Word Searches, Trivia Searches, and too much more to list here. This informative site is a must see for anyone who loves Laura Ingalls Wilder or teaches the books with all puzzles, activities, and images of people in clothing of the time and places in Laura's life.

tag(s): authors (97), crafts (42)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to introduce your students to the lovely Laura Ingalls Wilder. After introducing the site, ask students to read parts of the blog in pairs or small groups. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students replace pen and paper and create their own blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Weebly, reviewed here. If you are teaching younger students and looking for an easy way to integrate technology and check for understanding challenge your students to replace pencil and paper and create a blog using Seesaw, reviewed here. Take this a step further with older students and enhance student learning by asking them to use their blog entries to create an interactive timeline of Laura's life using Knightlab's multimedia timeline creator, reviewed here.

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Thomas Edison's Inventive Life - Smithsonian

Grades
3 to 8
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Learn about Thomas Edison and the impact of his inventions. While most students know about the light bulb and the phonograph, this site peers into the full repertoire of Edison's ...more
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Learn about Thomas Edison and the impact of his inventions. While most students know about the light bulb and the phonograph, this site peers into the full repertoire of Edison's invention inventory, giving the story of how one man became a sort of national invention hero. Scroll down the page a bit and click the tag on the right titled Legendary inventors to find information about Edison and tatoos, the phonograph, his places of invention, and Thomas Edidson letters and documents.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (76)

In the Classroom

Share this site at the beginning of a unit on inventors and inventions using your whiteboard or projector. Create a Padlet, reviewed here, with columns for students to list and describe Edison's inventions. Enhance learning by asking small groups of students students to look through the tag Legendary inventors to find another inventor to read about and research. Then challenge the groups to choose one of the following tools to create a presentation about what they learned to share with their peers: a multimedia presentation using Adobe Spark for Education, reviewed here, a video using Typito, reviewed here, a podcast using Buzzsprout, reviewed here, or a blog post using Edublog, reviewed here.

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Charles Lindbergh

Grades
8 to 12
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Fans of the famous pilot will find this site has almost anything ever recorded about the aviator and his journeys. There is also information on several efforts to recreate the ...more
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Fans of the famous pilot will find this site has almost anything ever recorded about the aviator and his journeys. There is also information on several efforts to recreate the Ryan aircraft that Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic to Paris. Try this site as an add-in to a unit on the 1920s, an examination of the history of flight, or a unit on famous explorers or Americans.

tag(s): 1920s (5), aviation (32), explorers (64)

In the Classroom

Open this site on the interactive whiteboard or projector and use it to introduce a lesson on the history of flight. Play the video clips for students before or after a lecture, depending on whether or not you want to preview or re-enforce the information. You will need RealPlayer to view the video clips.

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Judy Blume's Home Base

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3 to 9
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Appropriate for all levels, elementary through adult! - This is the homepage of well-known author, Judy Blume. It is a treasure chest for Judy Blume fans! The site includes writing...more
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Appropriate for all levels, elementary through adult! - This is the homepage of well-known author, Judy Blume. It is a treasure chest for Judy Blume fans! The site includes writing tips, bio and photos, messages from Judy, book information, and a kid's page. Blume has a section focused on writing, and even offers advice for young writers who want to make a career out of it! Highly recommended site for all!

tag(s): independent reading (106), writing (294)

In the Classroom

This website is an excellent addition to any teacher introducing a creative writing project. Include this link on your class website (or wiki) for students to examine both in and out of the classroom. Recommend the site for any who seem to be having writer's block or need a bit of inspiration. Like Judy, start with a writers notebook, engaging students by using Google Keep, reviewed here, to jot down their ideas about characters, setting, dialogue, etc. Google Keep can be accessed from any device.

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