Grades5 to 8
In the ClassroomSeptember and October are perfect months for baseball fever, with the World Series right around the corner, so why not get on base with The Brooklyn Nine: A Novel in Nine Innings and make a double play by introducing your class to the historical fiction genre. Divide your students into teams of two or three players to complete this WebQuest over the course of several days, using a class set of computers for a "home game" or take them to the computer lab for an "away game." There are many projects to choose from; assign all of them, select just a few, or have different teams be responsible for various activities. One of the tasks involves students creating an information web, using Inspiration software. If your school does not have a license for that software or it is not already downloaded on your school's computers, you can use free web-based alternatives, such as bubble.us reviewed here or one of the many tools available from Teachersfirst toolbox. Even if you do not have time to do the entire WebQuest, the links provide valuable background information for shorter investigations.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this website as your online destination for teaching, researching, and starting a conversation about the primary people, changes, speeches, and events of the John F. Kennedy era. Do not miss the links at the upper left corner of the home page for the Legacy Gallery, Downloads and Resources, and "History Now" which provides an interactive timeline that links today's date to details of what transpired during JFK's presidency. Highlight the ideals articulated fifty years ago to serve as a springboard for today's students to become actively involved in public service by projecting the authentic broadcast reports, videos, newspaper accounts, and other media on your classroom whiteboard or projector. Team up with colleagues in other departments to engage in interdisciplinary learning projects. You may want to have students collaborate to put a new spin on a research report. Challenge them to create a newspaper article about the domestic affairs, foreign policies and diplomacy, the arts, or any of the other extensive topics found on JFK50 by using the Newspaper Clipping Generator. Polish it off by having students create magazine covers that reflect the content of their articles, essays, or reports by using Magazine Cover Maker reviewed here.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomWhen older students sign up for an account, be sure to tell them to use their code or acronym instead of their real name. For younger students you can create an account and as many groups as you need. Invite students to the group they will be working with. Older students can sign up for the program and create their own project and invite their group members. Have the students agree on tasks and who will complete them and post it on Wedoist. Use this site to help students organize for individual or collaborative research projects. Take the "time" to actually teach about time management skills, one of the most sought-after skills listed by today's employers.
Grades6 to 12
Maps are also available in PDF format so you can download and print for classroom use. Note however, the very specific terms of the license under which these maps are available. A limit of 25 maps can be used in a single project without special permission, and a link to Florida's ETC must be included when maps are used on websites. The license is clearly spelled out and would also serve as a good exemplar to use with students to teach them how to credit the resources they find on the internet.
tag(s): maps (292)
In the ClassroomEach of the maps is available as a GIF or JPEG file to use on an interactive whiteboard (or projector), or to insert in a document or website. Use this site for nearly any historical research project. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
Grades4 to 8
In the ClassroomThis is a must for any social studies or US History class. Start by checking out the teachers area so you can follow the progress of your students. Use the demo game on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector to introduce it to your students. Once classes are set up have your students work in cooperative groups and work their way through the activities. There are wonderful teacher resources available including models for instruction, tips, instructions and student handouts. Resources are available in both PDF and Word so you can customize the worksheets for your students. This feature is great for differentiating materials for various student levels. When all students are done have a class discussion about what side they chose and why?
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): note taking (43)
In the ClassroomIf you do not approve use of Wikipedia, you will want to state this up front to your students. Before turning your students loose with this program, use your interactive whiteboard, projector and Quicklyst to show them how to put information in their own words. Then you can have them use Quicklyst to take notes for any type of summarizing or research. Create separate accounts on Quicklyst for student research groups. Students can then easily share their notes with their group members. Create a class account, and use your interactive whiteboard and projector along with Quicklyst to have the class create a study guide for a test on any subject. These can be saved and used for notes for a final test. If there is a common class password, students will be able to access the notes from home.
Grades4 to 8
Every year, people across the country pause on April 15 to celebrate the historic event that marks the anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball in 1947. Use this educational program to bring the significance of Jackie Robinson's legacy to your classrooms. Although Breaking Barriers centers around an essay contest, you may choose to simply use the ideas to offer and assist your students in learning opportunities to teach them values that will enable them to face their own barriers and express themselves in written form. There are lessons, printables, book lists, and more that align with language arts, math, and social studies national standards.
tag(s): civil rights (121)
In the ClassroomShare the video of Jackie Robinson's daughter, Sharon Robinson, on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Listen to her personal story of her famous baseball player Dad's courage, determination, integrity, and persistence to break the color barrier on and off the playing field. Use an online tool like bubble.us, reviewed here, to replace paper and pencil and engage students in whole class brainstorming of some of the real life barriers that students face today, and then lead into a blog writing activity for students to think about how to use Jackie Robinson's values to face and overcome barriers in their own lives. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, again, exchange paper and pen and have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Pen.io, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration. If you are teaching younger students and looking for an easy way to integrate technology and check for understanding, again, change out paper and pencil and challenge your students to create a blog using Edublog, reviewed here. Whether you are celebrating the anniversary of Jackie Robinson Day, Black History month, a unit on courage and heroes, or introducing these concepts anytime during the year, the downloadable and whiteboard ready materials will increase the richness of your class discussions and broaden students' understanding of how to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of others.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): inventors and inventions (85)
In the ClassroomFind information for science and technology reports on this site. Allow students to view the dates of many of the inventions to determine what scientific principle was just known to push technological thinking. Create a timeline of inventions to determine the impact of science, economy, and society on inventions. Use a site such as TimeRime reviewed here. Choose an invention and research other forms of that model, alternatives before and after, and what we are using today. Discuss environmental impacts, how the invention changed society, and other impacts.
GradesK to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomUsers must have a Flickr account and be able to navigate the authorizing of flickr as well as choosing an album to publish. Be sure to create titles in Flickr since these are imported as well.
Be sure to check district policy about creating student accounts and publishing student pictures and/or other material before using this tool. Note that by choosing Public in creating the magazine, the magazine is viewable online. Check your District policy. When browsing existing magazines, note that these may not be monitored and check for possible classroom-inappropriate material (though none was detected at the time of the review.) Consider creating a class Flickr account for students to upload class and group pictures.
Use a class Flickr account to keep track of day to day happenings in the classroom (especially for younger grades). Create albums of specific events such as field trips, service projects, hands-on activities, field experiences such as watershed studies, and more. Uploaded photos can easily be manipulated into an online album. Art and photography classes can use the magazine format as a portfolio. Create a magazine of photos that portray different history and social topics, set the scenes for novels or stories, or explain a specific science concept. Anywhere photos can be used to showcase achievement or explain a concept, this service would be a great resource. Special ed teachers, speech teachers, or world language teachers can collect images into "magazines" for students to practice/develop speech and vocabulary.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Multiple users can collaborate on the same project
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomOf course Women in History month is the perfect time to make this site available to your students, however, you may use this link anytime as a fascinating way to discover women's contributions to history. Use it in a general manner by displaying and demonstrating it on your classroom whiteboard to introduce the many female heroes who have contributed to and made a difference in our lives, or use it more specifically to springboard a research assignment. As an alternative to writing a report and to modify student learning, have them create an interactive online poster using Genial.ly, reviewed here. or for those even more advanced technology users, redefine student learning by having students collaborate to create a multimedia, interactive timeline with text, images, audio, and collaboration by working with Timeline JS, reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Students can use this when researching alone or in groups, sharing files, videos, and pictures quickly from one computer to another. Have students write tasks for each member of the group on a sticky so that everyone has a responsibility. Show them how to copy/paste URLs for sources onto notes, too. Use Lino as your virtual word wall for vocabulary development. Use a Lino for students to submit and share questions or comments about assignments and tasks they are working on. Use it as a virtual graffiti wall for students to make connections between their world and curriculum content, such as "I wonder what the hall monitor would say finding Lady Macbeth washing her hands in the school restroom... and what Lady M would say back." (Of course, you will want to have a PG-13 policy for student comments!) Encourage students to maintain an idea collection lino for ideas and creative inspirations they may not have used yet but do not want to "lose." They can color code and organize ideas later or send the stickies to a new project board later. In writing or art classes, use lino as a virtual writer's journal or design a notebook to collect ideas, images, and even video clips. In science classes, encourage students to keep a lino board with (classroom appropriate) questions and "aside" thoughts about science concepts being studied and to use these ideas in later projects so their creative ideas are not 'lost" before project time. A lino board can also serve as a final online "display" for students to "show what they know" as the culmination of a research project. Add videos, images, and notes in a carefully arranged display not unlike an electronic bulletin board. This is also a great tool to help you stay "personally" organized. Use this site as a resource to share information with other teachers, parents, or students.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomGive students some background knowledge before they start reading for a unit. Put the slideshow on your own site so the captions don't show. Then use your projector or interactive whiteboard to show the images to the students while they jot down what they observe and infer about each image. Once the students have finished, have a class discussion based on what they observed and what this says about the topic. Then click on "full size." This will take you to Shmoop to see what the captions say about the picture. At this point you can click on one of the orange tabs at the top to read the summary for the topic, view a timeline, etc.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomShare this presentation on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If individual computers are available, have students explore on their own (with headsets). Create a class wiki to share their thoughts and reflections on what they saw. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. The 23 photographs in this slideshow are very powerful. Ranging from those that capture the scope and power of the blast itself to a series that show the impact of the blast, students who have not really considered what it means to detonate a nuclear device will find these images sobering. Use the slide show to introduce a lesson on the Cold War, on the end of World War II or on the issue of atomic energy.
Grades6 to 12
Take caution when using the Google images search feature: the images that can be generated may not all be appropriate for classroom use.
tag(s): timelines (57)
In the ClassroomHistoryWorld is likely to be most useful as one of a set of resources to be included on your classroom favorites, for example, rather than for in-class use. Like Wikipedia and other broad encyclopedic references, it simply isn't deep enough to really provide more than a summary. This site would be a great place to get the basics of a topic or to use as a starting point for research.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomFirst, it's important for students to know that the US Constitution requires a census, and second, that the information gathered is used in a variety of important ways that affect them directly. The first data posted looks at how shifts in population density will change the way various geographic areas of the country are represented in the US government. Consider reading the Director's blog for further analysis of how census data is being used on a local, state, and national level. Of course, the data are perfect for using in math and civics classes for teaching graph reading and creation, and for providing real-life information to use in statistical analysis. A civics or sociology class might download a copy of the census form and consider what the questions tell us about how families live in the 21st century. What questions might students add to a future census form that would reflect how things are changing for their generation?
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomShare these word clouds on interactive whiteboard or projector to analyze the presidential agendas in a civics or government class. Have students make their own clouds of text from other speeches using Wordle, reviewed here or similar word cloud tools to add to the comparison options. During political campaigns, share this comparison and invite students to create ones of their own between different candidates. In English/language arts classes, use the word clouds to spark discussion of propaganda techniques, word choice, and effective speech techniques. Share this discussion in debate club, as well, to point out the importance of carefully crafted messages. Have students create and compare clouds of their own speech drafts while studying persuasive writing.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUsers must be able to determine the question and possible responses to generate the poll online. Remember to Publish your quiz to be able to share it. This tool does not show the individual votes of students. Though this tool can be used by students, it may be best used by a teacher. Students using this tool, need an email to register.
In the classroom: Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start your study by asking questions about the material. Discuss in groups why those in class would choose a particular answer to uncover misconceptions. Use for Daily quiz questions to gain knowledge of student understanding and a means of formative assessment. Place on a teacher web page as a homework inspiration or to ask questions to increase parent involvement.
Grades9 to 12
While it is exciting to see an image of the actual documents describing events we know from our study of history, the site falls short of being "great." Yet the images themselves are unique enough to be useful -- with some caveats. The text of the papers is not searchable nor do they allow you to zoom in on particular parts of the document. There is no searchable data base of information overall. The links under "education" and "resources" take you to off site content (preview carefully). In one case, the text that accompanies the images of an edition of a historical newspaper references Wikipedia as its source; teachers will want to discuss with your class the risks/benefits of wikipedia as a source.
In the ClassroomThere are many uses for this site. Use this source to demonstrate primary resources. Share the short video clips on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have cooperative learning groups investigate a specific topic on this site and report back to the class with a multimedia presentation. Challenge students to create their own videos and share using a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomFor those who are not strong readers, the audio-video combination provided here may make the concepts in the Gettysburg Address more accessible. For other students, there may be deeper, more complex questions sparked by the video. Did the creator of the video capture the concepts authored by Abraham Lincoln adequately? This video could be the "jumping off place" for a variety of questions the class might consider or project ideas for individual students. How might you do it differently? What about other well-known speeches or documents? How would you illustrate them for a similar video? Challenge students to create their own video accompanying a famous speech and share the video using a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomIf 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. Don't have one of those? Consider using WebNode, reviewed here. Make an annotated video with question prompts in annotations and embed in wiki to share with your classes. Playback using the slow motion and zoom would be a great item to show on a whiteboard or projector.