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Social Studies Web Sites and Resources

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1 to 12
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Here's a treasure-trove of lessons, materials, ideas, units and resources. Lots and lots of great material here from sources as various as the academy Curriculum Exchange, Houghton...more
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Here's a treasure-trove of lessons, materials, ideas, units and resources. Lots and lots of great material here from sources as various as the academy Curriculum Exchange, Houghton Mifflin, Addison Wesley, AskERIC, Encarta and the Peace Corps. Print 'em out and turn 'em loose on the kids! This is definitely worth a browse!

tag(s): black history (58), oral history (11)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite it and browse it whenever in need of new lesson plans and materials within a social studies classroom. This is a great resource for new teachers, or for someone just looking for fresh ideas on how to cover a topic.

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Terrarum - A Guide to Physical Geography

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6 to 12
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This site offers a well-written guide to physical geography: climate, earth, land, sky, water, and energy. There is a discussion with references for each topic, and the narrative, while...more
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This site offers a well-written guide to physical geography: climate, earth, land, sky, water, and energy. There is a discussion with references for each topic, and the narrative, while loaded with real science is simple enough to keep students engaged. Excellent resource for independent study or enrichment.

tag(s): geology (81)

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Congo Trek - National Geographic

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4 to 8
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National Geographic works their predicable visual wizardry in this site which chronicles an ongoing expedition along the Congo river. The site blends images and sounds - (Turn your...more
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National Geographic works their predicable visual wizardry in this site which chronicles an ongoing expedition along the Congo river. The site blends images and sounds - (Turn your speakers on!) - to give vivid impressions of this jungle ecosystem. This site could be a wonderful addition to your unit on Africa, jungles, rain forest habitats, or related areas.

tag(s): africa (166), endangered species (40), species (30)

In the Classroom

There are a few lesson ideas in the "Classroom Ideas" area, but you probably have many more. Share the site on an interactive whiteboard as a great unit introduction or assign students to take the trek with a partner and find examples of human's impact on animal habitats or answer questions about elephants and their behavior and habitat. After the journey, have them write a journal or blog entry about what they saw and learned.

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U.S. Geologic Survey - Educational Resources - U.S. Department of the Interior

Grades
1 to 12
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Discover videos and animation, school yard geology, online lectures, citizen science, and more on this Education Resource page. Levels are divided into grades K-6, 7-12, and Undergraduate....more
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Discover videos and animation, school yard geology, online lectures, citizen science, and more on this Education Resource page. Levels are divided into grades K-6, 7-12, and Undergraduate. Once you land on the page for your grade level see topic links on the menu to the left. Each topic has a complete teaching module, structured classroom activities, and digital data or images.

tag(s): amphibians (21), animals (319), biomes (139), birds (52), caves (7), climate (93), climate change (70), earthquakes (51), ecosystems (91), environment (321), erosion (19), floods (12), fossils (45), geology (81), mammals (35), minerals (18), plate tectonics (23), rock cycle (11), rocks (52), soil (20), tsunamis (18), volcanoes (68), water (131)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and the wealth of information on this site. As you go through the lessons on this site have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. With Telegra.ph you just click on an icon to upload images from your computer, add a YouTube or Vimeo, or Twitter links. 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, challenge your students to create a blog using EasyBlog, reviewed here.

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Census Quick Facts - US Government

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3 to 12
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This easy to use site contains population and demographic information for any state or county in the nation. The data available includes population, ethnic composition, and other related...more
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This easy to use site contains population and demographic information for any state or county in the nation. The data available includes population, ethnic composition, and other related information. There is also a link for younger students with basic information on a more elementary level. At the time of this review, the data provided was from 2008.

tag(s): census (19), population (64)

In the Classroom

Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects. Have pairs of students create multimedia presentations about specific states or counties. Have students use a mapping tool such as as Zeemaps, reviewed here, to create a map of the locations they have researched (with audio stories and pictures included)!

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Map Outlines - Houghton Mifflin

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3 to 8
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This site offers a collection of outline maps for the continents, the US, and other nations suitable for reproduction and reuse in the classroom. Most are GIF files, but there ...more
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This site offers a collection of outline maps for the continents, the US, and other nations suitable for reproduction and reuse in the classroom. Most are GIF files, but there are a few PDF files as well.

tag(s): maps (294)

In the Classroom

This site is an excellent addition to any government, history or geography classroom. A majority of the maps are in worksheet form, so all that is left to do is print and distribute among your students. Use the maps without labels to test students on their knowledge on a given region of the world, or those with labels to introduce or review the subject. An excellent way to insure students are familiar with the political boundaries of the global region they are studying.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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California Webquest - Gold Ridge School

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3 to 5
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California Webquest provides a good introduction to basic facts and information about the state of California. Follow links to learn about the different regions of California, find...more
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California Webquest provides a good introduction to basic facts and information about the state of California. Follow links to learn about the different regions of California, find basic geographic information, and discover the state's seal and symbols.

tag(s): california (26), states (165)

In the Classroom

Explore this site together with your class on your interactive whiteboard. Share with students to use when researching states. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Have students use Ourboox, reviewed here, to create a beautiful page-flipping digital book in minutes, where you can embed video, music, animation, games, maps and more.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Sochi 2014: An Olympic Preview - The Atlantic

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6 to 12
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Take a look at Sochi, Russia as it prepares for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. This site offers 26 images starting in December 2012 showing progress in constructing Olympic venues ...more
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Take a look at Sochi, Russia as it prepares for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. This site offers 26 images starting in December 2012 showing progress in constructing Olympic venues and infrastructure in preparation for the February 2014 event. Some images demonstrate the effect on local people as well as showing construction progress.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): olympics (52), russia (35), sports (99)

In the Classroom

Use images from this site as story starters. For example - use image 17 showing the family with their demolished home and ask students to write about the Olympics from their point of view. Challenge students to find current images of construction projects and compare progress made since 2012. Have students create maps of Olympic venues using Animaps (reviewed here). Students can add text, images, and location stops!

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BrainPOP Free Stuff - BrainPop

Grades
K to 12
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Visit this fabulously FREE site, created by BrainPop, to find a wealth of interactives, videos, lesson plans, and more. Wow - doesn't even begin to describe the wide array of ...more
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Visit this fabulously FREE site, created by BrainPop, to find a wealth of interactives, videos, lesson plans, and more. Wow - doesn't even begin to describe the wide array of topics and subjects. The best part is the FREE stuff for BrainPop Espanol, BrainPop Jr, and BrainPop ESL. Some of the specific topics include: Harlem Renaissance, Civil War, Blogs, Angles, DNA, Stocks & Shares, Digital Animation, and MANY others. These were the FREE topics at the time of this review, and of course is subject to change.

tag(s): angles (87), blogs (84), charts and graphs (196), civil war (142), digital storytelling (154), dna (64), energy (210), grammar (210), harlem (8), internet safety (116), main idea (8), mars (40), martin luther king (36), nutrition (159), shakespeare (110), stock market (14), women (96)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to find lessons and/or animations in a variety of topic areas. There are "ready to go" movies and more in health, social studies, art & music, engineering & technology, and other topics. Share the sites on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Provide this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the class. Save this link in your favorites and check back to see "what's new."
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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65 History Twitter Feeds - Glenn Wiebe

Grades
8 to 12
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This site offers a wonderful list of Twitter feeds to consider if you are just starting out or if you are adding to your feed related to history. The list ...more
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This site offers a wonderful list of Twitter feeds to consider if you are just starting out or if you are adding to your feed related to history. The list includes the Twitter name with a link and a short description. Feeds include the Library of Congress, quotes and sayings from Thomas Jefferson, and HistoryDay (see what happened on this day in history). Feeds are separated into categories such as media, educators and students, and military to help navigate the different types.

tag(s): congress (35), history day (24), twitter (42)

In the Classroom

Create a classroom twitter account and choose feeds to follow that relate to classroom studies. Assign different students to follow the feed each week to summarize and review. Challenge students to find other history Twitter feeds to follow. Have students create a Twitter account as a historical figure as part of research projects. Looking for more ways to use twitter in the classroom? Read more about Twitter from TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.

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Tundra - National Geographic

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2 to 10
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Learn about the dry, cold, and windy tundra at this site. There is also information about tundra threats, a photo gallery, and maps! This tundra site is also a web ...more
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Learn about the dry, cold, and windy tundra at this site. There is also information about tundra threats, a photo gallery, and maps! This tundra site is also a web resource for the TeachersFirst interactive Biomes of the World Unit for grades 4-8.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (319), arctic (46), biomes (139), tundra (20)

In the Classroom

Have cooperative learning groups explore specific areas of this site and create a multimedia presentation to share with the class. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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World Biomes: TUNDRA - Kids Do Ecology

Grades
K to 1
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At this site you will learn about the tundra: location, plants, animals, people, weather, and more. This tundra site is also a web resource for the TeachersFirst interactive...more
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At this site you will learn about the tundra: location, plants, animals, people, weather, and more. This tundra site is also a web resource for the TeachersFirst interactive Biomes of the World Unit for grades 4-8.

tag(s): arctic (46), biomes (139), tundra (20)

In the Classroom

Have cooperative learning groups explore specific areas of this site and create a multimedia presentation to share with the class. Have students create a UtellStory, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be uploaded), and then narrate the photo as if it were a news report. Or, bring even more geography skills into the project by having groups create a as Zeemaps, reviewed here, showing exactly WHERE the tundra is located (with audio stories and pictures included)!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Rainforest Alliance: Species Profiles - Rainforest Alliance

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2 to 10
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This site offers an extensive list (and information) about the amphibians, birds, insects, mammals, and plants of the rainforest. The site is also part of the TeachersFirst interactive...more
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This site offers an extensive list (and information) about the amphibians, birds, insects, mammals, and plants of the rainforest. The site is also part of the TeachersFirst interactive Biomes of the World Unit. If you are teaching about the biomes of the world, be sure to check out this site!

tag(s): animals (319), biomes (139), habitats (108), rainforests (21)

In the Classroom

Have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia projects about one of the topics presented at this site using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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Deciduous Forest - Connie T., Blue Planet Biomes

Grades
2 to 10
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Come to this site to learn more about the deciduous forest: plants, animals, climate, and Northeast Asian Deciduous Forests. This website is also part of the TeachersFirst interactive...more
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Come to this site to learn more about the deciduous forest: plants, animals, climate, and Northeast Asian Deciduous Forests. This website is also part of the TeachersFirst interactive Biomes of the World Unit. If you are teaching about the biomes of the world, be sure to check out this site!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): biomes (139), forests (34)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia projects about one of the topics presented at this site. Challenge groups to create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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Fall Colors: Depend on Weather Changes - USA Today

Grades
2 to 12
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Looking for information about leaf color changes? Check out this informative site, brought to you by USA Today. This website is also part of the TeachersFirst interactive...more
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Looking for information about leaf color changes? Check out this informative site, brought to you by USA Today. This website is also part of the TeachersFirst interactive Biomes of the World Unit. If you are teaching about the biomes of the world, be sure to check out this site!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): colors (78), fall (12), forests (34)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia projects using UtellStory, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture (in this case, of a leaf - of course.)

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Coniferous Forest: Mission: Biomes - Earth Observatory

Grades
2 to 12
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This site offers a great deal of information about the coniferous forest: temperature, vegetation, location, maps, and more. This website is also part of the TeachersFirst interactive...more
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This site offers a great deal of information about the coniferous forest: temperature, vegetation, location, maps, and more. This website is also part of the TeachersFirst interactive Biomes of the World Unit. If you are teaching about the biomes of the world, be sure to check out this site!

tag(s): biomes (139), forests (34)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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Forest Service Kids: Sierras

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2 to 12
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Learn about the Sierras at this website for kids! This website is also part of the TeachersFirst interactive Biomes of the World...more
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Learn about the Sierras at this website for kids! This website is also part of the TeachersFirst interactive Biomes of the World Unit. If you are teaching about the biomes of the world, be sure to check out this site!

tag(s): california (26), mountains (16)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia projects about one of the topics presented at this site. Challenge groups to create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery for Kids - Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Grades
3 to 8
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This interactive site is especially designed to give upper elementary students an introduction to ancient civilizations, World War 2, and the Victorian era. It contains interactives,...more
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This interactive site is especially designed to give upper elementary students an introduction to ancient civilizations, World War 2, and the Victorian era. It contains interactives, artwork, printables and quizzes.

tag(s): egypt (65), greeks (33), rome (25), victorian (20)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector and try the activities as a whole class. Or have small groups rotate to a whiteboard and manipulate the activities together. Put a link to the activities on your class website and let students use as a center. Use the quizzes as a pretest to see what students already know. When you have finished studying the unit have students retake the quiz to see how much they learned. Print out the provided activities and use for homework or to provide extension activities for more advanced students.
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CyberKidz Educational Games - Chato

Grades
K to 5
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Cyberkidz is a site that provides educational games for students aged 4 through 12. Activities are available in math, literacy, geography, arts, music, and science. The interactives...more
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Cyberkidz is a site that provides educational games for students aged 4 through 12. Activities are available in math, literacy, geography, arts, music, and science. The interactives are broken down by age. In addition, the activities are available in different languages. There are ads are on the site, so advise students to only click on game links.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): editing (74), maps (294), preK (284)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for use on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students interact with the site as a whole group or place on your classroom computers and use as a center. Use this site with older students, especially the Find the Typo activity. This is a really good way to strengthen proofreading skills. The geography quizzes will be another great addition to your teaching. Quizzes are available for several countries and all the continents. Share this site with your students and parents via your class website or newsletter. This is an excellent tool to use for basic practice during the summer, to avoid "summer slide."
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Lightbox - Time

Grades
4 to 12
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Explore cutting-edge technology and video from the photo editors of Time with a daily blog from Lightbox. Time Lightbox features photos and videos of current events, behind the scenes,...more
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Explore cutting-edge technology and video from the photo editors of Time with a daily blog from Lightbox. Time Lightbox features photos and videos of current events, behind the scenes, new exhibits, books, and technology. Take another critical view of current events with photos never released or ways never portrayed. This daily, behind the scenes look, lets you know what is happening on the front lines, through photojournalism with portraits, faces, and events that are changing our history. The images give you a mix into the artistic world of photojournalism with a closer look at our world.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (125), images (283), photography (157)

In the Classroom

Lightbox offers applications into many subject areas in the classroom. In social studies, world histories, or current events look closer at the portrayal of current events. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Analyze the viewpoint given by the media and compare to the behind the scenes look at Lightbox. What are the stories, experiences, and effects behind the news? How does history change the lives of people? Discover multiple viewpoints that might come to life from these riveting images. Follow current events and bring them to a personal level for students. In Art classes, dive into the art of photojournalism with composition, style, space, and elements of design. Bring to life a study of current photographers portraying messages in unique manners. In Language Arts class, determine characterization, story, or details discovered in each image. Challenge students to link to one of the photos, and then narrate the photo as if it were a news report using UtellStory, reviewed here. Create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place with Zeemaps, reviewed here. Use images as ready-made writing prompts for current events or writing classes. Develop multiple points of view into well-known events to share, debate, and discover how people are affected. Lightbox will make any blog become dazzling and poignant. Keep students active, reflective, and involved in current events in an intriguing, visual way. ELL/ESL learners will benefit from the extra information shown in each photograph. Challenge gifted learners to analyze and synthesize current events in ways that they have yet to discover! Remember that these images are copyrighted, so the best way to display them on a blog or other web project is as a LINKED image. COPY the direct image URL by RIGHT-clicking on the image itself and choosing "copy image location" on a Mac or "Properties" on a windows computer. Most web tools allow you to insert images by URL, so you can paste the URL to make it display on your blog, wiki, UtellStory, Glog, etc.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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