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Marco Polo's Route to China and Back - EDSITEment

Grades
2 to 8
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Marco Polo's Route to China and Back shows students the travels of two historical journeys of Marco Polo. As students correctly answer questions about each route, they travel further...more
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Marco Polo's Route to China and Back shows students the travels of two historical journeys of Marco Polo. As students correctly answer questions about each route, they travel further along on the map. If students answer the questions incorrectly, they are given the opportunity to click on a resource link that takes them to the correct answer. This site is not only challenging but fun for young explorers. The site also includes some wonderful authentic photos and drawings.

tag(s): explorers (68), marco polo (6)

In the Classroom

Incorporate this site into a web quest to build student knowledge of Marco Polo, interesting geography facts, and the history of Asia. Create a class wiki about Marco Polo and have students add different facts they learned or questions they might have. Not sure how to create a class wiki? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
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Online Basic Skill Games - Jefferson County

Grades
K to 8
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This site provides links to basic skill games for math, language arts, science, and social studies. Although we don't typically review "hotlists" this one really has something to offer...more
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This site provides links to basic skill games for math, language arts, science, and social studies. Although we don't typically review "hotlists" this one really has something to offer anyone teaching elementary or middle school. Each subject area has several topics. Each topic has countless links for more information and/or activities. Language Arts topics include Letter Fun, Working with Words, Go Grammar, Spell It, and Read It. Science highlights Animals, Plants, Physics, Biology, Anatomy, Weather, and Space. Math includes everything from Money to Probability to Graphing to Patterns (and more). At the Social Studies link you will find Maps, 50 States, U.S. Presidents, History, The World, and Flags. The link to interactive websites includes activities for grades pre-K -12.

tag(s): charts and graphs (197), fractions (229), integers (40), money (184), patterns (87)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites on classroom computers and use it as a center. Students can focus on areas of strength or weakness on a math game day. Because this site offers multiple levels and activities for many topics, it is easy to differentiate for ability levels within your class. Include this site on your class web page for students and parents to access for home based skills practice. There is a LOT here to explore.
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A Family Farm Album: The Photographs of Frank Sadorus - Illinois State Museum

Grades
3 to 12
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Take a journey through the life of Frank Sadoras. This site has a wonderful collection of photographs and biographical documents that chronicles Frank's life growing up on a farm in...more
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Take a journey through the life of Frank Sadoras. This site has a wonderful collection of photographs and biographical documents that chronicles Frank's life growing up on a farm in Illinois from 1898-1912. By using this site, you and your students will get a view of what life was like growing up on a farm as well as the photographic techniques Frank used to take his photos.

tag(s): agriculture (58), genealogy (7), photography (155), primary sources (91)

In the Classroom

This site is a good site to use if you want to introduce more primary sources into your teaching. There is an extensive activities and resource section that covers the topics of photography, history, farming and genealogy. In addition, the PDF entitled the Turning Point would be a good resource to use in a lesson on narrative writing. Share the photos in art (or photography) class on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students create blog entries from the perspective of Frank Sadorus. Use the pictures for creative writing exercises. Why not have a photo of the week and have students write a short piece on the class wiki about what they feel the picture represents, what is happening in the photo, what the animal or person was doing/thinking in the photo, or whatever else is applicable in your class. Do you want to learn more about wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
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Visual Thesaurus Vocab Grabber - Thinkmap,Inc.

Grades
3 to 12
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The Visual Thesaurus VocabGrabber is a captivating interactive resource which can be used from elementary school to the college level for improving vocabulary in the context of your...more
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The Visual Thesaurus VocabGrabber is a captivating interactive resource which can be used from elementary school to the college level for improving vocabulary in the context of your selected content. The on line VocabGrabber tool quickly extracts vocabulary from a text within seconds to help teachers and students generate a list of the key vocabulary and see how those words are used in context. Additionally, by clicking on a word, the part of speech is revealed and students can listen to the correct pronunciation. The format is easy to use: simply copy text from any document or online source, (such as passages of literature found on the Gutenberg Project free website), paste the copied text into the box, and click the Grab Vocabulary button! In just seconds, an interactive concept map of vocabulary words and phrases appears. Can't find an online version of the text? No worries...type the text directly into the text box and voila! The words are "grabbed" or organized in comparison to the frequency of these words in standard written English. VocabGrabber can be used with any type of text: a newspaper article, a book chapter, a speech, or a historical document.

There are additional features if you choose to subscribe, particularly the Visual Thesaurus interactive word maps, which can be saved and printed, and an online edition in multiple languages for English-speaking students learning other languages and ESL/ELL students.

Caution! Before purchasing a subscription, see if the free portion of the website satisfies your needs or take advantage of the 14-day risk-free trial to see all the features in action. When a school subscription is purchased, student workbooks and Teachers' Guide with lesson plans are included.

tag(s): maps (292), reading comprehension (128), synonyms (35), vocabulary (315), writing (364)

In the Classroom

Teachers and students can use the VocabGrabber on an interactive whiteboard, projector, or individual computers to highlight vocabulary specific to a literary work or curricular subject area, to improve reading comprehension by choosing key concepts and literary terms, and to build background knowledge for a given text. As an added benefit, have students click on the VocabGrabber when typing their own assignments such as a poem or an essay, to avoid repeating the same word. They simply type in a word and generate a list of synonyms and more descriptive words. VocabGrabber enables students to see how words are used in context, instead of memorizing word lists. Additionally, VocabGrabber is extremely helpful for students preparing for standardized tests. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice.
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Westward Ho - Cyberbee and Darlene Andre, The Wagonmistress

Grades
2 to 9
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Are you ready to travel the Oregon Trail? For eighteen years Westward Ho has allowed classes to role play and virtually travel the Oregon Trail. This website provides a 5 ...more
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Are you ready to travel the Oregon Trail? For eighteen years Westward Ho has allowed classes to role play and virtually travel the Oregon Trail. This website provides a 5 week collaborative adventure where students have to make decisions together in order to safely navigate the trail. Lesson ideas, resources, and tip sheets are all provided. Click on the "Scouts/Teachers" link to learn more.

tag(s): pioneers (9), westward expansion (31)

In the Classroom

Plan to use this site as the hub of your social studies units on westward expansion or related American History topics. What makes this site exciting is that students interact with other students from around the country. Through technology they get to meet online to make decision and chat with each other. At the end of the 5 weeks students could create a living museum by dressing up in character and present to parents how they accomplished their "journey." Have students videotape the living museums and share them using a resource such as SchoolTube reviewed here.
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Law Focused Education, Inc. - Law Focused Education, Inc

Grades
3 to 12
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This site provides good lesson plans and interactive web activities for civic and law-related education. Click on the "Lesson Plan & Curriculum Store" link for a simple search engine...more
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This site provides good lesson plans and interactive web activities for civic and law-related education. Click on the "Lesson Plan & Curriculum Store" link for a simple search engine that accesses a large database of PDF lessons plans from Law Focused Education, Inc. related to your search. Search by topic and grade level, to narrow your results to make selection easier. Click on "Online Games & Student Involvement" for interactive games designed for the Middle School level that deal with a wide variety of US Law related topics. Although this site is designed for educators in the state of Texas, most of the resources deal with topics that relate to US civics and Law.

tag(s): constitution (89)

In the Classroom

The lesson plans are in PDF format, so they can easily be saved and printed. While the lesson plans are aligned to Texas State standards, they can easily be adapted to other state standards. The activities are easy to follow and all the materials needed are generally supplied in the PDF document. The interactive activities can used in conjunction with many lesson plans for grades 5-8. They are perfect for your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have cooperative learning groups investigate various parts of this site and create multimedia presentations such as podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
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Google for Education - Google

Grades
K to 12
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Not sure how to use Google's innovative tools for your classroom activities? Follow lessons which include step by step directions with screenshots and self-check quizzes for many tools...more
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Not sure how to use Google's innovative tools for your classroom activities? Follow lessons which include step by step directions with screenshots and self-check quizzes for many tools including Calendar, Classroom, Google Docs, Google Play, Forms, Maps, Sheets, and much more. Choose from one of the many tools along the left side. View all the lessons available to learn about using the tool. Some of the training videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): maps (292), organizational skills (119), spreadsheets (21)

In the Classroom

Even those familiar with the Google tools will find information and uses they did not know about. Consider posting a link to your class web page for students to access. Your students are also valuable resources. Be sure to point out students who are able to use tools in unique ways that other students can learn from.

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Exploring Florida in 3D - Florida Center for Instructional Technology

Grades
3 to 12
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Use this site to view pictures of Florida in 3D. Yes, you do need 3D glasses. Use inexpensive red and blue lens glasses to view these pictures which have ...more
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Use this site to view pictures of Florida in 3D. Yes, you do need 3D glasses. Use inexpensive red and blue lens glasses to view these pictures which have been altered to be more accessible to students. Most stereoscopic pictures require special viewer glasses. Follow the directions to be sure you are using the red/blue lenses correctly. View pictures of the cities and towns, landscape, military history, environment, and transportation. Looking for something in particular? Click on "Search Exploring Florida" to find a specific item.

tag(s): florida (11), geology (77)

In the Classroom

Use this site with any social studies curriculum related to Florida locations to provide a sense of scale, make measurements of items seen, provide an overview of areas being studied, and a better context for what they are studying. For earth science, view pictures of landscapes to identify geologic structures learned in class. In any curricular area, view the 3D pictures to gain perspective into the structures, environment, and lives of the people in Florida's history. Challenge cooperative learning groups to explore one of the many topics presented at this site and create a multimedia presentation. Have groups create an interactive online poster using Adobe Spark, reviewed here.

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Ideas Wisconsin - University of Wisconsin System

Grades
K to 12
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This excellent site has hundreds of lesson plan ideas, interactive tools, videos, and more. All are organized according to grade level and subject, including ESL/ELL. Although some...more
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This excellent site has hundreds of lesson plan ideas, interactive tools, videos, and more. All are organized according to grade level and subject, including ESL/ELL. Although some focus on Wisconsin history and sites, most are useful to all teachers. Besides the lesson plans, there is a news section which offers guided activities with select news events. Teachers can email the site if they'd like to see the archive of news plan offerings. All lesson plans follow WI standards. An interesting place to begin looking at the site is under "New" where teachers can see the most recently added plans. Search by grade, subject, or keyword. Some lessons are simple ideas while others are very detailed and include lots of information.

tag(s): news (258)

In the Classroom

Check here for well-developed lesson plans for a specific topic you'd like to teach. Or scroll through the offerings for your grade level and subject. Complete directions for each lesson plan will guide you through how you can use it in the classroom. Share the interactive or photos on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Save this site in your favorites to visit often for some new ways to freshen up the content in your class.

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Explore - Annenberg

Grades
3 to 12
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"Never stop learning" with this wonderful, high quality, and easy to use site. View videos and live cams, documents, and photos about people around the world who have devoted their...more
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"Never stop learning" with this wonderful, high quality, and easy to use site. View videos and live cams, documents, and photos about people around the world who have devoted their lives to extraordinary causes. Search through a wide range of places or causes. View a range of topics from health, animal rights, spiritualism, and education. Explore a variety of global issues to bring cultures and issues into perspective. View videos in HD. Download and embed videos for reuse. Remixing videos is against the acceptable use policy of the site. Read descriptions which provide the necessary background information and view links of related content and materials. This site is a must see! Selected videos can be used with younger elementary classes, depending on the curriculum connections.

tag(s): heroes (24)

In the Classroom

Find photos that speak to students and use them as an activator at the start of class. After viewing the picture, provide time for writing questions about the picture These questions will lead to search terms to find more information about culture, pollution, and socioeconomic problems. Encourage students to create poster or blog campaigns outlining problems and possible solutions. Why not create multimedia posters using a site such as Padlet, reviewed here. Find other areas in the world where similar or related problems are occurring. Identify the historical, economic, or geographical reasons for the problems. Challenge students to create a thematic Zeemaps, reviewed here. Zeemaps allows you to create a map with audio! Students can use this site as inspiration for "I believe..." style essays, photos, or videos. Looking for a FREE video sharing tool? Check out TeacherTube, reviewed here.
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Women's History Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about Women's History and to plan related projects and classroom activities....more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about Women's History and to plan related projects and classroom activities. Whether you spend one class or an entire unit on Women's History, the ideas included within the "In the Classroom" portion of reviews will launch discussions and meaningful projects for student-centered learning.

tag(s): women (99)

In the Classroom

Use the resources in this collection as a supplement to classroom activities during a Women's History unit. The resources on this site can be used for webquests, learning centers, lesson plans & the like!

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National Hispanic Heritage Month Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students celebrate National Hispanic Heritage month and the important contributions of those...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students celebrate National Hispanic Heritage month and the important contributions of those whose heritage traces to Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America through related projects and classroom activities.

tag(s): hispanic (13)

In the Classroom

Use the resources in the collection to supplement classroom material during a unit on Hispanic Heritage. The resources listed here can be used for webquests, learning centers, lesson plans & the like!

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Constitution Day Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about the United States Constitution and to plan projects and classroom activities...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about the United States Constitution and to plan projects and classroom activities so students can experience the Constitution as a "living document." Whether you spend one class in celebration of Constitution Day or an entire unit on the Constitution, the ideas included in the "In the Classroom" portion of reviews will launch discussions and projects your students will not forget.

tag(s): american revolution (85), bill of rights (28), branches of government (54), constitution (89)

In the Classroom

Use the resources in this collection to supplement a unit on the American Constitution. The resources on this site could be used for webquests, learning centers, lesson plans & the like. American History teachers will love this one!

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Veteran's Day Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Explore these resources for ideas you can use to connect classroom curriculum to Veterans Day. Whether you choose to focus on Veterans Day and its history for one class period ...more
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Explore these resources for ideas you can use to connect classroom curriculum to Veterans Day. Whether you choose to focus on Veterans Day and its history for one class period or to include a special curriculum project in honor of veterans, these ideas and resources will get you started.

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the resources in this collection to add to your classroom during a unit on Veteran's Day. The links on this site could be used for lesson plans, webquests, learning centers & the like!

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Native American Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about the rich heritage and legacy of Native Americans and to plan projects...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about the rich heritage and legacy of Native Americans and to plan projects and classroom activities so students can explore the contributions and experiences of the native nations of North and South America. Whether you spend one class exploring these resources or plan an entire unit on Native Americans, the ideas included in the "In the Classroom" portion of reviews will launch discussions and projects your students will not forget.

tag(s): india (32), native americans (78)

In the Classroom

Use the resources in this collection to help supplement and plan for a unit on Native American cultures. Use the links here for webquests, learning centers, lesson plans & the like.

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Pearl Harbor and World War II Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students honor Pearl Harbor Day and the important events of World War II through related projects...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students honor Pearl Harbor Day and the important events of World War II through related projects and classroom activities. Whether you focus on Pearl Harbor for one class or spend an entire unit on World War II, the ideas included within the "In the Classroom" portion of reviews will launch discussions and meaningful projects for student-centered learning. Take your classes beyond infamy to inspiration.

tag(s): pearl harbor (13), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

Use this collection of resources to add to your classroom, both inside and out during a unit on the Second World War. Materials range from webquests, learning centers, lesson plans & then some. Make sure to save this one as a favorite!

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Which Founder are You? - The National Constitution Center

Grades
4 to 10
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This website offers an eleven question quiz about which founding father you are most like. Much like personality quizzes in pre-teen and teen magazines, this site will appeal to students....more
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This website offers an eleven question quiz about which founding father you are most like. Much like personality quizzes in pre-teen and teen magazines, this site will appeal to students. It is a different take on history and the men who formed our country's foundation. This is a great site to demonstrate qualities found in true leaders.

tag(s): constitution (89)

In the Classroom

Have students take this quiz individually on laptops to hook them into the Constitution. Have students pair and share their answers. Then have students further research the founding father with which they have the most in common. Have students create a multimedia presentation comparing themselves to the founding father they are most like. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Or have them create a mock Faecbook "profile" and updates for their founder of choice (not on the real Facebook, but perhaps on a class wiki).
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International Kids Club - Planet Pals

Grades
2 to 10
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This International Kids Club site has activities, books, and crafts to help students understand each other around the world. Information links include lots of material on world clocks,...more
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This International Kids Club site has activities, books, and crafts to help students understand each other around the world. Information links include lots of material on world clocks, religions, customs, organizations, and art. Specific links include "I" Kids, "I" Share, "I" Shop, "I" Learn, "I" Craft, and "I" Play. One fun part is finding out how speakers of different languages think animals sound. What is "meow" in an Asian language, for example? Sound files give examples of the sounds of many languages, as well. Some of the links are slow to open at times, so you may want to open them before you are ready to use them in class.

tag(s): flags (22), maps (292), tolerance (9)

In the Classroom

Use parts of this site when doing units on prejudice, diversity, and discrimination. Refer students to do research in some of the books listed here on those subjects. Have students interview people from other cultures to check the information given here on aspects of their cultures. Do they agree with what is said here? Even younger students will enjoy learning about flags and peace symbols. Make the craft links available for students doing reports on different countries or preparing for an International Day. Have students copy flags or other country symbols. Ask them to create their own "country" from these models. Challenge cooperative learning groups to research a specific topic at this site and prepare a podcast to share with the class using PodOmatic (reviewed here).
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Automotivator - Zach Beane

Grades
K to 12
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Create your own motivational poster easily and effortlessly. Choose a random picture, one from the Internet, or one chosen from your computer. Choose colors to border the picture and...more
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Create your own motivational poster easily and effortlessly. Choose a random picture, one from the Internet, or one chosen from your computer. Choose colors to border the picture and the type of text to be used. Enter your text and preview the result. Once complete, save to Flickr, your computer, or print using a separate site. Remember you can use a saved image in PowerPoint shows and on a class wiki, as well.
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tag(s): firstday (25), images (279), photography (155), posters (41)

In the Classroom

You need to know how to browse and upload a file from your computer or find the URL of an image already on the web (one you can legally use, of course!).

Make sure students are aware of copyright laws. Use this site to encourage proper use of photographs that students have the authorization to use. Model including appropriate photo credits on the posters.

Younger students can use this tool together as a whole-class activity or simply enjoy the posters their teacher creates. Have students create a picture about what has been studied with a caption of what has been learned. For example, create posters about predators and prey or classifications of animals. Students can create a poster of a study skill or learning activity that helps them learn. Create a caption that explains how the student learns the best. Every subject area can use this resource to create interesting presentation posters for display or as springboards to talk about what was learned. For example, in Biology, students could create a poster about a cell part with a clever caption about the importance of the job. In Literature or History, students can create posters about the perspectives of others in the story or at that time of history. Rather than a traditional research project. Have cooperative learning groups use this site to show their knowledge in any subject area. Ask students to apply concepts such as constitutional rights by illustrating them in poster images with captions. Teachers can create bulletin board images, as well. Have a classroom motivation poster competition to start off the school year! Share the winners on your class wiki or in a PowerPoint presentation at back to school night/open house. As special occasions approach, have students bring in or take a digital picture they can make into a poster as a family gift with their own inspirational saying.

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Tramline Virtual Field Trips - Tramline

Grades
1 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This website is dedicated to delivering a variety of virtual field trips. The trips are listed by content. Each trip contains objectives, concepts, and terms to know. There are lesson...more
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This website is dedicated to delivering a variety of virtual field trips. The trips are listed by content. Each trip contains objectives, concepts, and terms to know. There are lesson plans linked in the Teacher Resource section of the page, and extra information on the topic. The trips themselves are a lot like guided web quests. The websites that are used in the field trips show good variety. And standards are even provided! The trips include grade levels. Examples of topics include hurricanes, dinosaurs, deserts, natural wonders, dark ages, and American Presidency.

tag(s): field trips (11), investing (8), mars (41), oceans (164), shakespeare (110), virtual field trips (55)

In the Classroom

Virtual field trips from this website could be used on the interactive whiteboard or projector as a whole class activity. A better use could be to create a question sheet that mirrors the trip and have students work through the field trip at their own pace in lab, either with partners or individually. Follow up by challenging student groups to create an interactive guidebook to their topic using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. With younger students, make a class book together.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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