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Breathing Earth - David Bleja

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3 to 12
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SEE the relative contributions to carbon dioxide emissions country by country. Students roll the mouse over countries on a flattened world map to see what the carbon dioxide emission...more
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SEE the relative contributions to carbon dioxide emissions country by country. Students roll the mouse over countries on a flattened world map to see what the carbon dioxide emission of each. The featured country's pertinent facts pop up, including emissions, populations, and birth/death rates. Countries are color-coded to indicate rates of carbon dioxide emissions. The pop-ups of births and deaths are fascinating (they occur in real-time). The bottom of the site includes a detailed legend; be sure to check it out. Note that spelling is Australian ("tonnes" vs "tons"). You can turn off the audio at the lower left. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): carbon (23), carbon dioxide (15), carbon footprint (11), earth (222), earth day (104), environment (321)

In the Classroom

This site has countless uses in the classroom of various grade levels. Share this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard. With younger classes, use this map to teach about map legends. Use this when studying ecosystems, environmental issues, economics, current events, world birth and death rates, pollution problems, and conservation. Leave the site open for a few hours for students to see the changes. This site is an excellent resource for research projects on countries throughout the world.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Census in Schools - U.S. Census Bureau

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4 to 10
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This site, created especially for students who need to understand information collected during the census (up to, and including the year 2000), offers five main areas: State Facts for...more
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This site, created especially for students who need to understand information collected during the census (up to, and including the year 2000), offers five main areas: State Facts for Students, Program Overview, Teaching Materials (K-adult), Reference Materials, and Highlights. The state pages include a generalized lesson plan and pertinent information for each state. The City map section under reference materials is especially interesting as it shows city growth from 1790 to 2000. The teaching materials section includes activities and downloadable, printable census kits for classroom use from kindergarten students to adults.

tag(s): census (19), maps (294), states (165)

In the Classroom

This historical census data is ideal for comparison with other, more recent years or for students to make predictions for an upcoming census based on past trends. Use this page when studying various states; students can make a quick comparison between targeted states with the facts ready to read all on one or two pages. If you teach data analysis and graphing in your math class, this data provides real world information for students to use in math exercises, spreadsheets, and graphs. You could even use it in Google Docs spreadsheets (reviewed here). If you have ESL and ELL students, check out the special ESL pages found under the teaching materials section. The easy to read materials include glossaries, exercises, and excellent maps, perfect for geography lessons.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Nystromnet - NYSTROM

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3 to 9
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Although most of this site is "for a fee." There are some excellent maps that are completely free! Each month, Nystromnet features "Maps of the Month." And the best part: ...more
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Although most of this site is "for a fee." There are some excellent maps that are completely free! Each month, Nystromnet features "Maps of the Month." And the best part: along with the free maps, you will find lesson plans, classroom ideas, and more. The site also lists previously available "Maps of the Month." Some of the recent maps available include Idaho (with the lesson, "Exploring the Ranges of Idaho"), Ontario, The Balkans, Panama, Brazil, Cuba, and various states in the USA. EACH location includes a map and lesson! This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): maps (294)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these FREE lesson plans and maps. Display the maps on an interactive whiteboard or projector and have students label, explain, and highlight portions of the map. Have students research the various locations and present multimedia presentations about the countries or states. Save this site in your favorites and check back monthly to see what is new.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Podcasts: Civil War Tours - civilwartraveler.com

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4 to 12
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This site includes 14+ podcasts focusing on famous battles of the Civil War. Each location also includes a detailed map, brief description, dates, and more. Most are rather lengthy...more
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This site includes 14+ podcasts focusing on famous battles of the Civil War. Each location also includes a detailed map, brief description, dates, and more. Most are rather lengthy ranging from twenty to fifty minutes. This site opens slowly at times and requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (142), gettysburg (25), lincoln (83)

In the Classroom

Share the podcasts on your projector or interactive whiteboard. (Download in advance to avoid delays). While listening to the podcast, project the map on the screen for students to view. After hearing a podcast have students create blog entries from the perspective of the soldiers at the battle. In younger grades, brainstorm ideas together before they start writing the blog entry. In the older grades, have a debate. Divide your class into two debate teams (Confederates or Union). Draw names randomly and allow the teams time to research the REASONS why they support their side of the war. For a shorter assignment, have a class discussion about how the Civil War and battles would have been different if the television (and YouTube) was around to broadcast the highlights of the battles. Would the war have ended more quickly or lasted longer? Why? Another idea: divide your class into groups and have the cooperative groups create local maps that highlight a location that has connections to Abraham Lincoln or the Civil War (if applicable).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Lincoln Bicentennial: 1809-2009 - Library of Congress

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K to 12
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If you are preparing for Lincoln's 200th birthday or a unit about the 16th President of the United States, check out this site. Designed for students in all grades, there ...more
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If you are preparing for Lincoln's 200th birthday or a unit about the 16th President of the United States, check out this site. Designed for students in all grades, there is an interactive timeline, online quiz, podcasts, detailed lesson plans for all grades K-12 (with standards), printable pages, research information, suggested literature for all ages, information about the Civil War, Gettysburg, and more! Much of the site requires Flash; some of the printables require Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (142), gettysburg (25), gettysburg address (17), lincoln (83), presidents (123)

In the Classroom

Be sure to save this site in your favorites! Share the interactive timeline, online quiz, and podcasts using your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site for research about our 16th President. Have students create a blog from Lincoln's point of view (or from a slave's point of view AFTER the Emancipation Proclamation). Use the lesson plans designed for the grades that you teach. (Don't miss the history, language arts and writing, and art lessons).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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TeachersFirst: Lesson Ideas for Lincoln - TeachersFirst

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1 to 12
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For Lincoln's birthday or any time of year, here are ideas to better acquaint students with the life, times, and work of the 16th president of the United States. These ...more
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For Lincoln's birthday or any time of year, here are ideas to better acquaint students with the life, times, and work of the 16th president of the United States. These ideas feature both technology-enhanced lessons and non-tech experiences. Choose from the lesson titles (sorted by level) to find lesson ideas best suited to your students and the subjects you teach.

tag(s): civil war (142), debate (45), lincoln (83), presidents (123)

In the Classroom

No matter what subject you teach, you can find something to fit in your plans for Presidents Day or the Lincoln Bicentennial. Use these ideas and adapt at will. You can even email an idea to your teacher colleague to save a friend time!

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Powerful Days in Black and White - Kodak

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4 to 12
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Kodak's site featuring the photos of Charles Moore contains many images of Dr. King and the nonviolent struggle for racial equality in the American south during the 1960s. These are...more
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Kodak's site featuring the photos of Charles Moore contains many images of Dr. King and the nonviolent struggle for racial equality in the American south during the 1960s. These are striking images. Preview before sharing with younger students.

tag(s): africa (166), african american (109), civil rights (120), martin luther king (36)

In the Classroom

Share the photos on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Discuss the pictures as a class. What were the lives of those in the photos like? Have students choose one photo that was the most powerful and write a journal entry about that photo.

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Day of Service - U.S. Government

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4 to 12
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Here's a site that asks students to live up to Dr. King's ideals by engaging in a service project to help those less fortunate than they. Learn about King, his ...more
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Here's a site that asks students to live up to Dr. King's ideals by engaging in a service project to help those less fortunate than they. Learn about King, his ideals, and how to serve.

tag(s): africa (166), african american (109), civil rights (120), martin luther king (36)

In the Classroom

Teachers looking for a meaningful way to honor Dr. King might find this approach attractive. Share the Why Serve link with your class and discuss how serving can change their lives. Why not come up with a class community service project to do in honor of Dr. King?

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Dr. King Timeline - Pocantico Hills School

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2 to 4
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Use this illustrated timeline of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life, created by kids, for kids, to help students understand the meaning of the holiday. The timeline is easy to ...more
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Use this illustrated timeline of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life, created by kids, for kids, to help students understand the meaning of the holiday. The timeline is easy to navigate: simply click the arrows. After viewing the timeline, the site offers word searches, coloring pages, printables, interactive quizzes, and other features.

tag(s): 1960s (27), africa (166), african american (109), civil rights (120), martin luther king (36)

In the Classroom

Use this site as the content for a lesson on creating timelines. Use this site (and others) to have students create their own timelines of King's life. Have students work in cooperative learning groups (or as a class) to create an interactive timeline using a tool such as Timeglider, reviewed here.

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This Day in the Civil War

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4 to 12
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Those interested in a different take on the Civil War will enjoy this one. Each day offers a different set of events drawn from Civil War history, along with links ...more
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Those interested in a different take on the Civil War will enjoy this one. Each day offers a different set of events drawn from Civil War history, along with links to oddities such as Civil War recipes (tread cautiously), trivia, birthdays, interactive puzzles, and the like. There are also message boards. So if you allow students to navigate independently, be sure to watch carefully!

tag(s): civil war (142), lincoln (83)

In the Classroom

While it's short on pure education, there's a wealth of spice here that could liven up a Civil War unit.

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Civil War Time-Line - A Nation Divided - The History Place

Grades
4 to 12
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This site, created by The History Place offers a chronological listing of Civil War events (with pictures) and is easy to navigate. This site features topics such as Fort Sumter...more
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This site, created by The History Place offers a chronological listing of Civil War events (with pictures) and is easy to navigate. This site features topics such as Fort Sumter Attacked, Gettysburg, Shiloh, and several others. The timeline format is easy to understand. The photos are authentic and informative.

tag(s): civil war (142), lincoln (83)

In the Classroom

Use this site for research about the Civil War. Have cooperative learning groups research various battles of the Civil War. Or have students create their own interactive timelines using a tool such as Timeglider, reviewed here.

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The life of Abraham Lincoln - History Place

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4 to 12
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Although this site is "plain vanilla," it offers some nice research information and photos of five "Lincoln" topics: Lincoln Becomes President, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Battle...more
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Although this site is "plain vanilla," it offers some nice research information and photos of five "Lincoln" topics: Lincoln Becomes President, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Battle of Gettysburg, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and the Dred Scott Decision. Nearly all of this site is displayed in a timeline format. There are some basic advertisements at this site, nothing too distracting.

tag(s): emancipation proclamation (12), gettysburg (25), gettysburg address (17), lincoln (83)

In the Classroom

Have students recreate their own "Lincoln timeline" highlighting one are of Lincoln's life and legacy. Have students work in cooperative learning groups to create interactive timelines using a tool such as Timeglider, reviewed here.

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Abraham Lincoln Online - Abraham Lincoln Online

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K to 12
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An extensive online collection of Lincoln information. This site has nearly everything you could want to learn about Lincoln. Some of the highlights include speeches, lesson ideas,...more
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An extensive online collection of Lincoln information. This site has nearly everything you could want to learn about Lincoln. Some of the highlights include speeches, lesson ideas, "This Week in History" (Lincoln history, that is), and more. Be sure to check out the Education link to find many classroom resource. Some of the links require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): lincoln (83)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these ready to use classroom resources. There are lessons available for grades K-12. Use this site to share the speeches of the famous president. Have students dissect the words of one of the speeches, break it down into "today's language."
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Abraham Lincoln for Primary Children - Mrs. Payton

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1 to 5
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Here's a site about Lincoln by and for elementary students. Easy for young ones to use, with just enough information to make it all interesting. This site is FULL of ...more
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Here's a site about Lincoln by and for elementary students. Easy for young ones to use, with just enough information to make it all interesting. This site is FULL of fun and educational activities to do as a class or for individual research: online quiz, full animation of the addition of states to the USA, "Ask Lincoln a Question" section, picture gallery, ready to go classroom activities, and an online treasure hunt! If you are preparing for the 200th birthday of Lincoln, President's Day, or research on the 16th president - don't miss this site.

tag(s): lincoln (83)

In the Classroom

This site takes out a lot of the "leg work" for teachers. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share the online quiz, animated activities, pictures, and more. Have students complete the online treasure hunt in cooperative learning groups. Challenge students to write their own questions to "Honest Abe."

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The American Civil War Homepage - Dr. George H. Hoemann and Mary E. Myers

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K to 12
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Although TeachersFirst doesn't usually highlight a "hotlist," this one definitely deserves a mention! This set of links (all about the Civil War) includes songs from the 1800s, lots...more
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Although TeachersFirst doesn't usually highlight a "hotlist," this one definitely deserves a mention! This set of links (all about the Civil War) includes songs from the 1800s, lots of general resource sites about the Civil War and the general time period, information about the battles, and much more. The list is huge, so be prepared! Thankfully they have the material divided into logical categories, and the site is simple to use. This site is updated frequently and includes everything from basic research to interactive videos to letters from a soldier in the Civil War. Some of the sites require Flash, Media Player, RealPlayer, and Adobe Acrobat. You can get them all from the a href="/tools.cfm">TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (142), lincoln (83), songs (53)

In the Classroom

Music teachers, why not share some music from the Civil War times. Students may be surprised that they already know some of these famous songs. All grade levels will find something here to share with their class, but you will need to spend some time searching through this list. Share the letters from the soldiers with your students. Have students write fictitious letters (or blog entries) taking on the persona of a soldier.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Glossopedia - Globio

Grades
2 to 8
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View articles of the day, areas around the world, or animals students recognize to learn more about issues and information through interesting articles. Each piece of information has...more
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View articles of the day, areas around the world, or animals students recognize to learn more about issues and information through interesting articles. Each piece of information has highlighted words. Clicking on these words brings up a dictionary definition and pronunciation. Answer the question of the week. Click on "Educators" at the bottom to view standards and lesson plans. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): animals (319), earth (222), ecology (133), environment (321)

In the Classroom

Use the information on the site as background information for additional research. The glossary feature will allow students to create individual dictionaries of new vocabulary as they read! The pronunciations allow ESL students to learn new vocabulary as they follow current events. Students can divide into groups to take an area of the world and use the site to gather information about that region for presentation to the class. Have the groups create a multimedia presentation (video, PowerPoint, or blog) to share their findings. Use this site to determine issues that seem to be affecting more than one area of the world. Use the question of the week to research possible solutions and debate or vote as a class.
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History for Middle School Kids - Kidipede

Grades
4 to 10
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This site, designed especially for middle school students, includes a HUGE amount of social studies topics. Although this site is recommended for middle school students, it is also...more
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This site, designed especially for middle school students, includes a HUGE amount of social studies topics. Although this site is recommended for middle school students, it is also appropriate for high school students studying the subject areas. It is mainly a "text" site, without interactives. However, this is a great resource for explaining complex topics, researching specific topics in social studies, and much more. Some of the general areas of the site include: Mesopotamia, North America, Ancient Africa, Ancient Egypt, Medieval Europe, Islamic Empire, Ancient China, Ancient Rome, and Ancient Greece. Each general area includes countless sub-topics. There is a search box available at the top of the page. There are also links to activities for students, project ideas, and Teacher's Guides. There are two caveats: there are some advertisements, nothing too distracting AND some of the suggested activities include "buying" a book from Amazon. You do NOT need to purchase anything to take advantage of this free resource!

tag(s): europe (72), greece (27), medieval (27), mesopotamia (6)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set in your history classes studying these topics. The information is simple to understand and would be useful for students struggling with a topic. Use the site for research about specific topics. Have teams of students explore each of the "sub-topics" within the main topic and then create an interactive presentation (Powerpoint, video, or blog) to share the information with their class. Why not list this link on your class website, so students can access the page both in and out of the classroom.

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Today in History - Library of Congress

Grades
4 to 12
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The Library of Congress offers this daily look at historical events - mostly American. There is typically more than one event listed per day, and the text integrates cultural, literary,...more
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The Library of Congress offers this daily look at historical events - mostly American. There is typically more than one event listed per day, and the text integrates cultural, literary, and political trends into the daily reporting. This makes this daily nugget far more than just a collection of "factoids."

tag(s): history day (24)

In the Classroom

This site provides excellent historical research! For a classroom-ready activity each day to build understanding of historical events in the context of your students' prior knowledge, also try TeachersFirst's Dates That Matter. Include both links on your teacher web page for instant access by students both in and out of class. Maybe start a class wiki for your own "This Day" collection and assign student groups a day of their own. Add to it from year to year. Or have students write blog responses on class or individual blogs as they choose an event for the day from several sources and react to it.

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Meet Amazing Americans - The Library of Congress

Grades
1 to 8
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This site offers some basic research on MANY "Amazing" Americans. Click to learn more about "Amazing" Leaders & Statesmen, U.S. Presidents, Activists & Reformers, Adventurers & Explorers,...more
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This site offers some basic research on MANY "Amazing" Americans. Click to learn more about "Amazing" Leaders & Statesmen, U.S. Presidents, Activists & Reformers, Adventurers & Explorers, Musicians & Composers, Writers & Artists, Industrialists & Entrepreneurs, Scientist & Inventors, or Athletes and Entertainers. Be prepared: when you click on one of the topics you may have a few people pop up OR more names than you can count! This is an excellent site for research, teaching students about American heroes, or using to enhance your social studies, science, or music curriculum. There are pictures, information, and even some interactives. There are also links to a Presidential Scavenger Hunt, a "Dynamite Presidents" interactive, and other "extras." Some of the activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): composers (21), explorers (68), inventors and inventions (89), presidents (123), scientists (69)

In the Classroom

This site could be used throughout the entire year. Why not highlight a "hero of the week." Share the information on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students write diary entries (or blogs) from the perspective of the "hero of the week." Use this site for individual research projects and have students create multimedia presentations about their hero: a Powerpoint, website, blog, wiki, or video. This site can be used in more than just social studies topics. Music classes, science classes, and gifted classes can also benefit from the many research areas.
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Anoka - Halloween Capital of the World - Anoka Halloween, Inc.

Grades
2 to 8
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This simple site provides historical information about Anoka, Minnesota. Do you know what makes Anoka so interesting? It has the unique nickname of the "Halloween Capital of the World."...more
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This simple site provides historical information about Anoka, Minnesota. Do you know what makes Anoka so interesting? It has the unique nickname of the "Halloween Capital of the World." Do you want to know why it is the capital? Visit the site and read all about the history, celebrations, and more. Suddenly a community's claim to fame can become a way to introduce your students to the process of tracing local history.

tag(s): halloween (38), minnesota (4)

In the Classroom

Use this site when studying community and culture. There are many sites that offer Halloween games and printables, but this site offers some real history - check it out! Why not have students research the history of Halloween (or another holiday) in your hometown. Do they have a parade? If so, when did it begin? What year did trick-or-treating begin in your hometown?

Assign cooperative learning groups different cities throughout your state, and have students do "Halloween" (or holiday) research on that particular town. Have the groups create interactive presentations to share with the class. Try having students create videos to share using YouTube or TeacherTube (explained here).

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