Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomUse your interactive whiteboard or projector to take your class on a virtual field trip to Amsterdam to visit the Secret Annex where they can realize what it was actually like for Anne Frank's family and four others to live inside a hidden space, with the constant fear of being discovered by the Nazis. Help the words in Anne's diary come alive by showing what the outside and inside of the building looked like, by viewing the painstaking ways that were taken to keep them safe, and by looking at the space where Anne ate, slept, and hung her pictures. Students will be more likely to relate to Anne as a real person, instead of a fictional character, and admire her optimism, courage, and resiliency. Use this to initiate journal entries for students to reflect on how they would handle two years of hiding and sharing a small space with others, as well as what they would do to remain positive, or use the online exhibit to shed some light on a dark period in history and to strengthen the personal account of the hiding period and the deportation to the camps. Assign class members to read about one of the house members or helpers to research, then have them write a diary (or blog entry) from that person's point of view. Assign teams to debate who was the most important member of the household or if this situation could take place in today's society. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.Have groups compare two people they learned about using a tool such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Create a class wiki for students to share their journal articles and respond to others.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomHaving one of these 7 Wonders up and rotating through the view (on your interactive whiteboard) while studying ancient Rome, the history of the Islamic religion, ancient China, or any of the others would be a real treat for students and can help them recognize that these cultures were once real people, with skills, and goals. Small groups or individual students can focus on one of the 7 Wonders. Students should research why the structure was built, its history (how long it took, how it was funded, etc), the type of materials, and the style of architecture used. Students would then report out to the rest of the class. Using the interactive whiteboard students can simultaneously navigate the structure they researched and annotate the different parts of the structure. Older students can annotate using an online tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. If you don't have an interactive whiteboard, have students use Canva, reviewed here or a wiki to post their information, images and a link to the panoramic view they researched.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThe audio and video clips would be particularly useful on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Otherwise, the site is a good reference tool for students researching JFK or the space program in general.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomIn addition to using the provided lesson plans, use this site on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector. Use the whiteboard tools to highlight special features of the map. Print out the maps and have students label them with the provided vocabulary words. Use a drawing program like KidPix and have students create their own "historical" maps based on their own lives. Use the additional photos from the resource section and have students create an interactive online poster using Genial.ly, reviewed here about why their map is significant to history.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): creative writing (169)
In the ClassroomThis poetry activity (aka Found Poetry) opens the doors to so many learning objectives. In a social studies or history classroom, you could direct your students to search for newspaper or magazine articles on topics that you have been studying, or current events. Suddenly you have social studies poetry! In an English language arts lesson, you might instruct students to blacken out all the words that are not nouns or verbs, or select other parts of speech. You could change the task to eliminate any word that is not part of the simple subject or predicate, and simultaneously teach or reinforce main idea. For classrooms with individual computers, students could access articles online. Copy the text into a document. Then, Instead of blackening out words with markers, they could get the same effect by highlighting over them with black, or changing the font color of the text to white, and printing them or saving a screenshot image. Another option is for students to email their Newspaper Blackout poems to the teacher. Each poem could then be put into a Power Point slide show for the class to see on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site to offer your students a new twist on Poetry Month (April). Take your new poetry collection to the world by uploading the PowerPoint to ThingLink, reviewed here, and having each student record a reading in his/her own voice. Make poetry a participatory experience, no matter what the subject. If your school permits, have students take photos of their paper poems -- or screenshots of ones done on the computer --and share them on this site. You may want students to start saving their work in a digital portfolio. Suggestions are bulb, reviewed here, for high school students, or Dropr, reviewed here, for fourth through eighth grade students.
Grades8 to 12
tag(s): cold war (30)
In the ClassroomPrimary sources could be used to teach both the content and historical thinking skills in your classroom. Divide students into 5-6 groups, with each group assigned a different primary source to read and evaluate. (Sources should come from various perspectives to make the game more interesting, but should have the same general topic) Have the groups present quick summaries of their source to the class, making sure to mention who the author is and whether or not there could be bias. After all have presented, have each team pick a representative to argue in front of the class as to why their source is the most reliable and valid. After all have made their argument, have the class vote off the least reliable "survivor style" until you are left with just one!
Grades9 to 12
tag(s): literature (264)
In the ClassroomUse a projector or interactive whiteboard so everyone can view the Rare Book Room at once. Small groups can write down their observations about the art and text, and then share out with the whole class. You can also have small groups of students investigate Rare Books from certain authors or time periods. Navigating and annotating the books on the interactive whiteboard and sharing their findings with the whole class. The interactive whiteboard is the ideal tool for annotating. Older students can also annotate them using an online tool such as Fine Tuna, reviewed here : reviewed here.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomThis is a great site for differentiated instruction. The interactive games, for example, the Bill of Rights Match game - can be played as individuals, and then they can print their certificate out (could be used as a "ticket to leave" for understanding). The "Preamble Scrabble Game" could be a timed exercise for groups or teams of students. The teacher could have the game on the projector or interactive whiteboard or again on individual workstations. Allow students to learn about the documents on their own, and then share their understanding by writing a blog post from the point of view of a person whose rights have been violated or a writer of the Constitution. Younger students will benefit from accessing the safety activity both at school and at home, Be sure to share this link with parents on your class web page.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomStudents will not be bored when you turn them on to this site. The links can be put on a classroom webpage or blog. Use the primary resources section under Best of the Web to help students make real world connections. Students can use the photos provided on the site to create a PhotoStory or iMovie. The provided questions would be great to use for a classroom debate. To make learning more accessible, students can even download the guides to any handheld device that supports ebooks such as ipod touches or Kindles. Please note that some videos are from You Tube so they may be blocked by your school's filter.
Share one of the slide shows on a projector or interactive whiteboard as you introduce a unit or allow students to use portions of the slide shows as part of their own presentations on a specific civics topic, such as political parties or one of the amendments in the Bill of Rights.
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): census (19)
In the ClassroomWhether you spend one class or an entire unit on the census, the ideas included within the "In the Classroom" portion of reviews will launch discussions and meaningful projects for student-centered learning. Consider other census connections, such as using a data or graphing resource to collect and manipulate data from a school mini-census, learning math skills at the same time.
Grades5 to 12
tag(s): inventors and inventions (85)
In the ClassroomStudents looking for scientific discoveries to research will find a variety to choose from on this site. Use this site for free research and writing. Have students choose a discovery or article as a starting point for research of impact of the discovery and how it has changed through the years. Combine history and science by researching the political and cultural climate of the time period and its influence on scientific discovery. Create a class timeline century by century (or decade by decade) with student commentary and explanations of what they believe to be the most important discoveries and inventions.
GradesK to 12
While exploring, our reviewer visited the "Teacher" tab and clicked on "lesson plans" and found lesson for mapping, the history of the census, and relating the census to the student's classroom. There were two sets of lessons here for K-2 and 3-4. Standards/benchmarks for language arts, math, social studies, and geography for K-2 and 3-4 were included. There were worksheets to download for both levels, a story to read, "Who Counts," with comprehension questions to answer, and mapping activities. The site also had links for additional resources and a letter for the parents about the unit....and that was only ONE link on the "Teacher" tab. Whew! The rest of the site is just as thoroughly and professionally done as the lessons for K-4 lessons.
tag(s): census (19)
In the ClassroomThe K-4 lessons are perfect to use the way they are, or you might want to do some comparing of information between the different grade levels within your school. Another idea is to pair up third and fourth graders with the kindergartners or first and second graders to read the story and work on the worksheets together. Of course, using your projector and interactive whiteboard with the whole class is a must for explanations of the lessons. This site is very colorful, so project what you can! You may want to introduce this unit with a catchy, educational song and video about the census reviewed here. For teachers of older students there are "Lessons Using the 2000 Census Data," "Quick Facts," and much more. One last suggestion: Once you've completed your census unit, discussion, etc. You might want to have your class participate in the "100 People: A World Portrait" project reviewed here.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomYou could map your entire lesson, chapter or unit in one Prezi. Once you introduce the concept with this tool, you can go back to it often with your students as you move to different parts of the unit. It would provide a great way to connect prior knowledge with the next step if you share this on your interactive whiteboard or projector throughout the unit. Or you could post it to your web page or give kids the URL so they can review as often as they need it. Try having the students map a concept or chapter with this tool. In history class, create timelines of relevant events, or in science or math class have them map steps in a process. Have students create Prezis for different events, and then have them post the link to their product on a class blog or wiki. Add a peer review component and require students to comment on at least two other Prezis. The possibilities are endless!
If you have gifted students n your class, offer Prezi as one alternative for sharing extensions to the regular curriculum. If they already know the material, have them investigate a related process or example and share it in the form of a Prezi.
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Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a pre-assessment for a new unit or as a mind bending class challenge. Reinforce and review lessons previously learned with your students. This is a terrific site during the run-up to high stakes testing. Use the questions as classroom conversation starters after taking the quizzes. Print out questions from the quizzes and provide your students with the correct answers and see if they can match them up with the questions. List this link on your class website for students to practice at home. Challenge small groups of students to create their own set of 5 questions about a current unit of study and create a multimedia presentation. Why not have cooperative learning groups create online books (one question per page) using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomAsk your students to visit the site and create a multimedia presentation from the information about any specific year they see there. Or have them compare life in two different decades. Have students create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Or challenge students to create an online poster using Padlet (reviewed here).
When studying literature, point out this site as a source authors might use for cultural background information in their writing. Pick out the details while reading a novel, for example, that might be found at this site. Or before studying a historical period, use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students collect information tidbits and predict what might be put into the site for the current year.
Ask your ESL/ELL students to share similar information about the years they were born and the events that occurred in their home cultures. Use the site when preparing a unit on summarizing or informational paragraphs, showing the students how to select and condense relevant information from the site into a few sentences.
Grades3 to 12
This is a very comprehensive map program. Do you want your students to learn continents, major water bodies? Do they need to learn countries and their states or provinces? No, problem. They are all represented here.
In the ClassroomOne idea is to have students compete against each other as partners when they finish early with their work, or you can include this as one station that students rotate through. Another idea is to split the class in half and make the competition somewhat like a jeopardy game, allowing student teams to select which level (or category) they want for different points. Everyone gets a review when this is posted via your classroom projector or interactive whiteboard. List this link on your class website for students to use for practice at home (before the big test).
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThis activity could be used by individual students or in small groups. An interactive whiteboard or projector would also work fine. Since there is no right or wrong advice, students could tap in on the resources as they research to support their decisions and to speculate on how history might have turned out differently had Lincoln made other decisions. Perhaps have them write a blog post as Lincoln trying to make a decision. Have groups create multimedia presentations to share their decisions and possible outcomes. How about a podcast using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Or have students create news reports and video to share with the class. Share the videos using a site such as Teachers.TV reviewed here.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): lincoln (82)
In the ClassroomThis site is a great way to introduce a lesson or unit on Abraham Lincoln, Washington D.C., the Civil War, or civil rights. When used on an interactive whiteboard, students will feel like they are at the memorial. The site provides tools for you to zoom in and explore all the memorial has to offer. In addition, by clicking on HTML you are brought to the download section of the website. All interviews and panoramas are available for download, both audio and video. Have your students work in cooperative groups to download the audio of the park rangers and import it into PhotoStory or iMovie. They can then add their own photos to correspond with the narration. If you aren't using a MAC, create a similar presentation using Thinglink, reviewed here.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomThis 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.
Grades3 to 12
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.