Grades4 to 9
In the ClassroomSave this site in your favorites and use it as a jumping off point for research or lessons on the various topics offered at this site. If you have a history buff in your class, share this site with him/her as a place to spark an individual project, even in world language classes where history and culture are part of the curriculum.
Grades9 to 12
To use many features of the site, you must create a membership (requires email). There are many "social" features within the site that make it a potential safety issue if all students are allowed to use it on their own. See ideas for handling these concerns below.
tag(s): news (258)
In the ClassroomTry this site as a regular part of your secondary discussions on current events or choose selected "games" that connect with your current curriculum topic. For example, explore stories from African nations as you study world cultures in Africa.
Classroom teachers will want to start by conducting this activity using a whole-class account (use your "extra" email account to create a single account, monitored by you). Use the game to facilitate discussion and build students' global citizenship by allowing them to make choices and see the results. Be sure to talk about the line between fantasy and reality: which parts of these games have actually happened and which are part of the "game" hypotheses. Include the link on your teacher web page for students to access both in and out of class if you believe they are ready to handle it on their own. Check your school policies on allowing students to participate in online decision making and sharing, and obtain written parent permission before individual students are allowed to log on. As an alternative for students who may not have permission, you can pose some of the same questions and provide newspaper and news magazine articles for background. But you know which tool your students will prefer!
Grades4 to 12
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In the ClassroomTour Ancient Mexico as a whole class activity with an interactive whiteboard or projector. If students have access to computers, let groups delve into selected topics and create interactive travel posters and brochures using a tool such as Sway, reviewed here, as their research projects. Students can look at the cities in ruins, explore architectural styles and ceremonial uses of the buildings, and find contemporary examples.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomUse the online lessons to introduce historical topics in whole class activities with an interactive whiteboard or projector. Offline lessons can be used where there is not student access to computers and can be printed and reproduced for classroom use. Students can choose a topic to research, write, and present to the class using the wonderful documentation and photographic collections of the California State Archives.
Grades7 to 12
Teachers can present a sweeping historical overview with any of the nine Big Eras in a few class periods or delve into an era in deeper detail with their students. Each of the nine Big Eras of world history, plus the History, Geography, and Time and the Past and Future sections, offers one Panorama Teaching Unit with a PowerPoint Overview presentation. Panorama units address very large-scale developments in world history through landscape teaching units and close-up teaching units.
Besides helping teachers meet state and national standards, this site offers teachers fabulous research-based curricular activities and makes history into a manageable content area for instruction. The site includes a clickable "Curriculum at a Glance" overview feature that takes you to the standards, teaching units, three essential questions, and seven key themes. This site requires Flash and Adobe. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..
In the ClassroomWorld History for Us All provides teachers pedagogical support to develop both a curriculum and a mindset to present history in a manner that engages students and elicits their curiosity. Complete units are available as web pages or downloadable PDF documents. The PowerPoint presentations can be viewed online or downloaded into PowerPoint on classroom computers. This informational, user-friendly site is a must for new teachers to help augment their adopted textbook. Consider spending an inservice day with your history department exploring the site together.
Grades3 to 12
tag(s): civil rights (121), congress (36), courts (16), first ladies (3), immigration (61), inventors and inventions (85), lewis and clark (17), presidents (125), primary sources (91), slavery (66), womens suffrage (25), world war 1 (56), world war 2 (141)
In the ClassroomUse this site as an anticipatory set for a unit in history or on inventions. Share a collection of images or invention drawings on a projector or whiteboard and ask what the invention will do. Or use the site as the starting point for individual or group projects. After demonstrating on an interactive whiteboard or projector, have students use laptops or lab computers to "collect" resources related to their assigned inventor, decade, or era in American history. Check your school policy regarding accessing student email. If students cannot have their own email accounts, consider using a "class set" of GMail subaccounts (managed by you), explained here. This tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. This would provide anonymous interaction within your class. Students can use their log-ins to collect resources.
Since the documents are in the public domain (are not copyrighted), students may also download and use the files as part of other projects, such as video compilations, Powerpoint presentations, or multimedia of any sort. To access the resources in non-Flash format, click the small link to "research this record in ARC" in the detailed view of the item. You can then view and Save As for use elsewhere. Be sure you teach students about copying the URL and relevant information from this ARC page to cite the source and give credit in any presentation they make. This site is excellent for enrichment or projects for the gifted, as well. Include it on your teacher web page for students to access both in and out of class for students who are working in History Day projects or other assignments for your class.
Grades4 to 10
In the ClassroomUse this website as a resource for a research project about inventors. Share the timeline on an interactive whiteboard or projector during a unit about inventors, engineers, or aviation.
Grades3 to 8
In the ClassroomShare this site as a way to review before tests. Have students create their own PowerPoint game shows to review concepts learned in class. Share the PowerPoint presentations on an interactive whiteboard or projector.
Grades4 to 12
Teachers can register for a teacher area to create assignments for classes, review the available lesson plans, or build your own, and save your favorites on your personal Monticello Classroom web page. Each class has its own log-in and password and students are able to submit their completed activities to the teacher for review.
In the ClassroomThis site can serve a a hub for your unit on colonial life, Jefferson, or even inventors. If you wish your students to register for accounts, be sure to check the students' acceptable use policies or get parent permission in writing. Instead of students using their real first and last names, have students create their own colonial names for registration. Be sure to keep a list of these names to be able to review and assess student work. Give a class introduction to the Monticello Classroom using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to help your weaker readers and ESL and ELL students by sharing the vocabulary words prior to reading, either on a handout or by projecting on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Highlight the vocabulary words in the text as you come to them. Search the lesson plans, and teachers will find a few that will be particularly helpful for Black History month!
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse this website to create personalized quizzes and tests for your students. You could also ask students to design their own tests for each other to review using your teacher log-in or appoint a student "quizmaker" each week for the content your class has covered, making this an assignment that each student does once per semester.
Grades3 to 12
tag(s): literature (264)
In the ClassroomTeach Internet safety by having students create a mock profile to use on social networking sites. Printing out those profiles makes editing in small groups a breeze. Yearbook or newspaper staff may want to use this Profile Publisher to gain more information about people of interest. History comes alive when you profile historical figures or interview veterans and generate profiles of local heroes. Imagine students creating a blog entry by George Washington. Or ask students to profile a type of cell, an endangered animal, or a science concept such as climate change. With this tool and some creative thinking, anything is possible.
Be SURE to warn students to PRINT before closing. The site does NOT save work. You may want them to draft their work in a saved document before pasting it into the profiler, just in case work is interrupted by a fire drill or the bell.
Grades2 to 8
In the ClassroomUse this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site as a preview before a museum visit or to begin a unit on ancient Egypt. Review the objects you've seen with hieroglyphs by playing this game. This activity would work well for individual or pairs of students on computers. Have students design their own set of hieroglyphs with meanings and write short notes to each other.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomDownloading the scripts would offer an opportunity for groups of students to act out the episodes, always a popular idea. Having 5 groups of students watch different episodes and then report on them is another way to use the site. You can also have students watch certain episodes as assignments or enrichment. Be sure to check out the additional resources shown at the end of each episode. Social studies teachers assigning research projects may want to make these tutorials available for reference at research time.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomAll material at this site is copyrighted, so it must be viewed online. For students who do best with step-by-step instructions, this site is a gem! You might have one group research authors from a particular country while others do artists, musicians, scientists, etc. A class report from each of these groups would do a good job of encapsulating a country or area of the world within any given time period. Teachers seeking independent projects for students who "test out" of a unit can assign this site's step-by-step instructions as a meaningful alternate activity.
GradesK to 3
In the ClassroomHave students use this website for research projects about the famous people. Create a learning center featuring this website. Have students choose one person to learn about, view the slideshow, and then take the online quiz. If individual computers aren't available, all of the activities are ideal for an interactive whiteboard or projector. Why not highlight one famous person each week during a unit about explorers. Share the slideshow early in the week and then review using the quiz and journey activities. Have students help to create a bulletin board highlighting the famous people by drawing pictures, writing stories, or creating a map that relates to the "famous person of the week." Once you have "met" some world-famous people, connect to your local world by doing a class "report" on a "famous person" within your school community using PowerPoint: perhaps the head cook in the lunchroom or the principal. Be sure to include digital pictures.
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): air (144)
In the ClassroomUse these templates with any subject you wish to review: foreign language word lists, social studies terms and concepts, science, language arts, art, music, sped, etc. These activities offer an excellent method to review information through a fun and different approach. Teachers can also have students create their own versions of review games.
Grades6 to 12
Be aware: during election season, this site opens slowly. But it is well worth the wait.
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In the ClassroomUse the site on an interactive whiteboard to illustrate the impact of Electoral College voting on the election of the US President, both today and in the past. Perhaps we will finally raise a generation who completely understands the Electoral College and how it works!
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomTeachers or students seeking some basic demographic data about their own town or city, or wishing to compare it with another location, will find this site useful. Civics, government, or economics lessons could be enriched with local data which might be compared to the more general information offered by textbooks in answer to the question "How do we compare to this?" Math teachers and reading teachers who teach graphical data analysis might get some mileage out of using the graphs and tables from their own towns or communities for computations rather than using generic information from a textbook. Project the graphs on a whiteboard and have students manipulate to explain the meaning of changes in the visuals. Think of the higher level thinking questions you could generate during a political year! Of course, the terminally curious can probably waste a good hour or two just noodling with the data.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): primary sources (91)