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America's Stone Age Explorers - NOVA

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7 to 12
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Who were the very first Americans? This site explores evidence found by archeologists, examines artifacts found throughout the United States, and involves visitors in interpreting Stone...more
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Who were the very first Americans? This site explores evidence found by archeologists, examines artifacts found throughout the United States, and involves visitors in interpreting Stone Age tools. Includes interactive activities and a downloadable teacher's guide.

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans located in the classroom activities section. (located in the teacher guide) These lesson connect the history lesson to biology and the study of genetic traits, a very interesting inter-disciplinary focus.
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The Mighty Mississippi - MSNBC

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8 to 12
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The history and splendor of one of America's most storied rivers is brought to life in this elegant site by MSNBC. An August 2004 trek down the full length ...more
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The history and splendor of one of America's most storied rivers is brought to life in this elegant site by MSNBC. An August 2004 trek down the full length of the Mississippi is carefully documented and interwoven with information about the geology, economic impact, navigation, history, and exploration of the river. A short video highlights the history of the Mississippi, from the days of its earliest explorers to the present. Each segment of the site offers slideshows, video, photographs, descriptive text, and interactive quizzes. Add this resource to an American history or geography lesson, or incorporate it into a literature unit on Mark Twain.

tag(s): literature (223), mark twain (9), mississippi (6)

In the Classroom

For a history classroom, use this site to complement almost a year long class of American History. Starting with the Louisiana purchase, the Mississippi became a vital component of American trade and settlement patterns, all of which can be reflected by the variety of stories found on every mile southward. With every unit in a history class, there is a mile on the Mississippi that is applicable. Tie in unit endings with the free resources offered by MSNBC, whether it be video, slides, quizzes or a story. Students will enjoy seeing the impacts of history in our world today!
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Polar Husky - NOMADS

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1 to 12
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Participate in an amazing exploration with this virtual field trip of the Arctic. Follow the Team Arctic Transect 2004 and their 31 polar huskies on an unforgettable 3,000-mile adventure...more
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Participate in an amazing exploration with this virtual field trip of the Arctic. Follow the Team Arctic Transect 2004 and their 31 polar huskies on an unforgettable 3,000-mile adventure as they explore Nunavut, Canada's newest territory. Learn about arctic climate changes, meet Inuit Elders and students in remote communities, and discover the ecology of this isolated region. The team consists of six educators and explorers who comprehensively document their experiences on this interactive site. Free registration is required to download the curriculum and activity guide, and to participate in the on-line classroom features.

tag(s): arctic (45), canada (25)

In the Classroom

Use the GoNorth! adventures to supplement a unit on Geography or Climate changes. Make sure to save the site as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval later.

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Dutch Exploration in America - Library of Congress

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9 to 12
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This excellent effort by the Library of Congress at narrating the explorations and effects of Dutch exploration in North America is really better suited to post-secondary students....more
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This excellent effort by the Library of Congress at narrating the explorations and effects of Dutch exploration in North America is really better suited to post-secondary students. That said, motivated students will find the basics on the history of Dutch exploration and settlement, and some interesting background on the Dutch place names that persist in the U.S. today. Those interested in digging more deeply can learn more about the extent and influence of eighteenth century Dutch trade and exploration on the emerging American nation.

tag(s): explorers (64), new york (26)

In the Classroom

Include the images and maps in the website to supplement your lecture. The text is probably too heavy for students to read, but it can easily be included in a class lecture. Save this site as a favorite and refer to it for images and primary sources. (although keep in mind - all the sources are in Dutch)

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American Journeys - Wisconsin Historical Society

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9 to 12
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The Wisconsin Historical Society offers this collection of first-hand accounts of historical events, from the early explorers through the settling of the United States. After a quirky...more
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The Wisconsin Historical Society offers this collection of first-hand accounts of historical events, from the early explorers through the settling of the United States. After a quirky search process, the site ultimately displays scanned images of venerable publications containing the material. While this approach is certainly historically accurate, it may be limiting for use with secondary students.

tag(s): primary sources (100)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and classroom activities hosted on the "teachers" portion of this site! Teachers can also use this site to search for primary sources that can be utilized in their classroom during a unit on early American exploration.

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Historic Wings - Feature Stories

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6 to 12
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If you'd like to incorporate elements of the history of aviation into a unit on science or history, this site's nice collection of features on significant aviation history events could...more
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If you'd like to incorporate elements of the history of aviation into a unit on science or history, this site's nice collection of features on significant aviation history events could be useful. There's a nice selection of items that spread over the years from the 1920s through the present. There could be more depth, but the essential information is presented well.

tag(s): air (119), aircraft (18), aviation (32), explorers (64)

In the Classroom

Each of the individual web explorations could easily be used to introduce separate units within a history class. When applicable, select the exploration you would like students to work on and save it as a favorite on classroom computers. Have students go through the information and make a quick and small poster to show what they have learned. We recommend an online poster creator such as Padlet, reviewed here. The site offers information commonly left out of textbooks, but still relevant enough to apply to the Standards of Learning. They definitely make for interesting activators or introductions to units.

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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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Imaging Everest - Royal Geographic Society

Grades
6 to 12
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Would-be explorers chained to their computers will find this British chronicle of mountain-climbing in Nepal a great escape. The photo collections are available thematically, and they...more
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Would-be explorers chained to their computers will find this British chronicle of mountain-climbing in Nepal a great escape. The photo collections are available thematically, and they include some interesting categories dealing with the culture of the Himalayas. Of course, there are the obligatory homages to the climbers, especially Hillary. Many of these images aren't available elsewhere.

tag(s): mountains (16)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an activator, introducing the topic of Mt. Everest. This website would benefit a Geography class, exploring the significance of the Himalayas while simultaneously studying the geographic forces that made the mountain chain.

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The Exploration of Canada- Pathfinders and Passageways - National Library of Canada

Grades
4 to 12
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This site has wonderful resources for learning about Canadian history and Canadian explorers. Whether you're interested in early exploration in general, or specific history of the Nation,...more
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This site has wonderful resources for learning about Canadian history and Canadian explorers. Whether you're interested in early exploration in general, or specific history of the Nation, this site has information on each of Canada's multiple explorers, as well as a sequential look at the evolution of the landmass. A great site for social studies resources from the 11th through 20th Centuries.

tag(s): canada (25), landforms (41)

In the Classroom

This site is a little text heavy, but the information is all interesting and pertinent to a study of world explorers. Use this site as a point of reference when learning about the explorers who began to colonize our neighbor to the North. The site has a lot of information but would also be great for shorter investigations. Refer students to the site if working on research projects of papers about explorers. The information makes for a great jumping off point, and is reliable.

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Lost in the Grand Canyon - PBS

Grades
9 to 12
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This companion site from the PBS American Experience series offers a profile of John Wesley Powell's first exploration of the Grand Canyon. While the teacher's section is closely linked...more
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This companion site from the PBS American Experience series offers a profile of John Wesley Powell's first exploration of the Grand Canyon. While the teacher's section is closely linked to the film itself, the site offers interactive maps, biographies, and background information on the discovery of one of America's natural wonders.

tag(s): explorers (64), rivers (18)

In the Classroom

Try this one as a "compare and contrast" with Lewis and Clark's expedition or today's adventurers.

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Lewis and Clark - In Their Footsteps - Sierra Club

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4 to 12
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The Sierra Club's treatment of the Lewis and Clark expedition concentrates on the wilderness areas the explorers found, what they thought of them, and what those same areas are like...more
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The Sierra Club's treatment of the Lewis and Clark expedition concentrates on the wilderness areas the explorers found, what they thought of them, and what those same areas are like today. You can read from the explorer journals, visit a selection of sites, and learn how to protect the wilderness areas that still exist. The site does a good job with both the historical content and the naturalist's perspective.

tag(s): jefferson (21), lewis and clark (17), louisiana (9), louisiana purchase (5)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center during a unit on Lewis and Clark and their exploration of the West. Because there is a lot of information on this site, we recommend providing students with a graphic organizer to guide them through and highlight what is most important. For help creating graphic organizers, try - Mindomo, (reviewed here).

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Lewis & Clark and the Revealing of America - Library of Congress

Grades
6 to 12
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This online exhibition site offers a glimpse of some of the many documents associated with the Lewis and Clark expedition, ranging from maps drawn by the explorers to Thomas Jefferson's...more
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This online exhibition site offers a glimpse of some of the many documents associated with the Lewis and Clark expedition, ranging from maps drawn by the explorers to Thomas Jefferson's secret cipher for sending coded messages. The text includes excerpts from the journals the explorers kept.

tag(s): jefferson (21), lewis and clark (17)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a lesson on Lewis and Clark and their travels. Introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard before allowing students to explore the site in cooperative learning groups on classroom computers. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).Students can summarize their entire journey, or focus on one specific aspect, such as the explorers interactions with Native Americans. American history teachers will definitely be able to incorporate this one into their classroom.

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Antarctic Explorations - The Exploratorium

Grades
6 to 12
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Follow a team of scientists visiting Antarctica from December, 2001 to January, 2002. If you miss the live events, there are lots of reports filed on activities conducted during the...more
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Follow a team of scientists visiting Antarctica from December, 2001 to January, 2002. If you miss the live events, there are lots of reports filed on activities conducted during the visit. This site also has background sections on the Antarctic climate, the history of exploration, and the scientific tools and tasks involved in Antarctic science. From the Exploratorium.

tag(s): antarctica (28), arctic (45), explorers (64)

In the Classroom

Use this videos on this site as a learning center or station during a unit on the water cycle or Continental Drift during an Earth Sciences or Physical Geography class. This activity would work best with a graphic organizer - we recommend Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).

The link concerning continental drift, entitled Gondwanaland, would also be a great activator to that unit. Share the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector to help students visualize how the spreading of the continents took place over the eons.

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The Lewis & Clark Expedition - National Geographic

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4 to 6
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The National Geographic Society authored this site dealing with the Lewis & Clark Expedition. It offers an elementary "you're on board" version of the famous expedition. Students will...more
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The National Geographic Society authored this site dealing with the Lewis & Clark Expedition. It offers an elementary "you're on board" version of the famous expedition. Students will learn the basics of who, what, where, and when, and the format is entertaining.

tag(s): explorers (64), lewis and clark (17)

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California As I Saw It - Library of Congress

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6 to 12
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The Library of Congress has collected original writings by settlers and explorers in California during the period 1850-1900. Indexed by author, subject, and title, this site offers...more
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The Library of Congress has collected original writings by settlers and explorers in California during the period 1850-1900. Indexed by author, subject, and title, this site offers lots of starting points for talented students interested in using primary source materials for research in history or social studies.

tag(s): california (23), explorers (64), gold rush (19)

In the Classroom

This would be a very useful site for covering the Gold Rush in a US history classroom. Select several documents and images that could be used for a document-centered activity in your classroom. Assign students to groups, with each receiving a different document and/or image. Have students fill out graphic organizers about each document, with the intentions of rotating all until students have received every one. At the end of the activity, have a class discussion of what students found and what their answers indicate. A refreshing way to teach Gold Rush history without another lecture.

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Rediscovering Jamestown - Virginia Historical Society

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6 to 12
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This site, created by the Virginia Historical Society, provides a look at recent archaeological activities around the site of the original Jamestown fort and settlement. In addition...more
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This site, created by the Virginia Historical Society, provides a look at recent archaeological activities around the site of the original Jamestown fort and settlement. In addition to descriptions and a number of photos, the site offers additional links to other sites dealing with Jamestown and early English settlements in Virginia.

tag(s): explorers (64)

In the Classroom

Use the map of Jamestown as a supplement to a lesson on the colony, and how early settlers lived. There is also information about the early settlement of Jamestown and the complications the recent immigrants faced while there. Beyond the map, students can use this site to find out information on James Fort and what these excavations are showing about life then. If in need of an activity, use this site in conjunction with several others, having students create a multimedia presentation detailing the Jamestown colony and what life was like then. After students have completed their research about Jamestown, have them create a multimedia presentation using UtellStory, reviewed here. This site 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 about Jamestown. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try PhotoPin, reviewed here.

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Florida Archaeology - Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research

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9 to 12
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This site from the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research provides pictures, downloadable Abode Acrobat files, and discussions about life in Florida from pre-history through the...more
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This site from the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research provides pictures, downloadable Abode Acrobat files, and discussions about life in Florida from pre-history through the present. There are sections on ancient cultures, sunken Spanish ships, and many other topics, each presented in enough detail for high school level research papers.

tag(s): explorers (64)

In the Classroom

For research projects and papers, make sure to list this site on any handouts as well as on your class wiki or webpage. This allows students to reference the material both in and out of the classroom.
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The Journals of Lewis & Clark - University of Virginia

Grades
9 to 12
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This site from the University of Virginia provides an edited version of Lewis & Clark's journals recounting their two-year journey to the Pacific and back. Good site for students interested...more
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This site from the University of Virginia provides an edited version of Lewis & Clark's journals recounting their two-year journey to the Pacific and back. Good site for students interested in primary sources.

tag(s): explorers (64), lewis and clark (17), westward expansion (34)

In the Classroom

Use these journal pages to supplement a unit on Westward expansion and these two men's travels. Select specific journal articles that would interest your students, sharing them on the interactive whiteboard while students have their own copies at their desks too. Read aloud the specific quotes you think are important, or have a volunteer do the same, asking students what this means, the impact, perspective, etc. This is a great way to segway into a lesson about analyzing, as well as summarization. At the end of the activity, have students summarize the articles in a journal, afterwards responding to a specific aspect they did or did not agree with. Interesting resource for a US history teacher.

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Lewis & Clark Go West - National Geographic

Grades
2 to 6
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National Geographic takes an elementary-level look at the Lewis & Clark expedition. This site is suitable for hands-on use by elementary-level students. The design, content, and artwork...more
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National Geographic takes an elementary-level look at the Lewis & Clark expedition. This site is suitable for hands-on use by elementary-level students. The design, content, and artwork are all of the quality you would expect from National Geographic.

tag(s): explorers (64), lewis and clark (17)

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Lewis & Clark - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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This is the web site for Ken Burns' PBS series on the travels of Lewis and Clark. It provides a significant resource for studying the explorers' travels, along with study ...more
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This is the web site for Ken Burns' PBS series on the travels of Lewis and Clark. It provides a significant resource for studying the explorers' travels, along with study suggestions.

tag(s): explorers (64), lewis and clark (17)

In the Classroom

Such a great site! Use this site as a resource for anything and everything concerning Lewis and Clark. Use the interactive map over the projector to show students how far their travels extended, as well as to show the growing size of the United States at that time. There is also an interactive story that could be used as a learning center, primary sources that could be used in discussion, and various other activity ideas on this site. US history teachers will appreciate this one!

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