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Engaging Students With Primary Sources - Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Grades
6 to 12
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The Smithsonian Institution offers a printable guide to using primary sources in any classroom. View examples of how to do it and suggestion! Explore each of the main sections including...more
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The Smithsonian Institution offers a printable guide to using primary sources in any classroom. View examples of how to do it and suggestion! Explore each of the main sections including documents, photographs, oral histories, and objects for ideas and tips. Each activity is aligned to National Center for History in the Schools standards. The guide is in PDF format for easy printing and use.

tag(s): primary sources (99)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for use throughout the year as a guide for using primary sources. Use some of the lesson strategies with other primary source collections
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Saylor - Free Online Courses Built by Professors - Michael J Saylor

Grades
8 to 12
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Choose from almost 300 courses to take for free at Saylor. Topics range from general education to computer science and professional development. There is a K-12 area that includes Common...more
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Choose from almost 300 courses to take for free at Saylor. Topics range from general education to computer science and professional development. There is a K-12 area that includes Common Core information (for teachers or parents), test prep, and English lessons. Explore a specific area of study to find courses or choose the course list to view all offerings. Some courses include a full textbook and/or a full set of video lectures and are listed on the content matrix. Each course lists learning outcomes, course requirements, and a course overview. Create your own eportfolio to enroll in courses, track progress, download transcripts, and engage with the online community. Pass the final exam of each course to receive a certificate of completion.

tag(s): professional development (262)

In the Classroom

Allow gifted students to enroll in courses that interest them or that provide enrichment beyond classroom content. Share with others in your building as a resource for professional development. Explore the topics yourself for some new, engaging topics to round out your own expertise. Allow students to enroll in a course that would fit into their career goals as an exploratory opportunity in that field.

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World Digital Library - Unesco

Grades
4 to 12
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The World Digital Library makes it possible to discover, study, and enjoy digitized cultural treasures from around the world. Resources include manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical...more
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The World Digital Library makes it possible to discover, study, and enjoy digitized cultural treasures from around the world. Resources include manuscripts, maps, rare books, musical scores, recordings, films, prints, photographs, and architectural drawings. Browse by place, time, topic, type of item, and contributing institution, or use the open-ended search available in many languages. Information included with items includes a description, place of event or item, date, location of the item, and tags for viewing items similar in nature or topic. Move the timeline to view items for specific time periods.

tag(s): 1600s (15), 1700s (33), 1800s (58), 1900s (51), 20th century (46), africa (137), asia (69), australia (27), china (59), cross cultural understanding (146), europe (69), images (254), north america (13), south america (38)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for viewing and learning about the many cultural treasures around the world. Display the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector to view images and documents from American and World History. Have students choose an item of interest to research further and then share using a tool like Zoho Show (similar to Powerpoint, but easier and free) - reviewed here. World language teachers can underscore culture lessons using these resources or have students explore and share their findings.

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The Secret Door - Safe Style UK

Grades
2 to 12
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Open a door to tour worldwide locations with this intriguing site. Clicking on the door transports you to indoor spaces from all over the world using a Google StreetMap mashup. ...more
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Open a door to tour worldwide locations with this intriguing site. Clicking on the door transports you to indoor spaces from all over the world using a Google StreetMap mashup. Click on the door again (or click "take me somewhere else") to be transported to another place. Visit famous landmarks, museums, and more. What a treat! The entire Secret Door interaction can be embedded in your blog or wiki using the embed code provided by clicking "embed this." Secret Door is random, so going to the same place again could be tricky. To return later to the same location, make a note of the location in top left (or copy it). Use Google Maps (reviewed here), search for the location that was named in the top left corner, and use Streetview (drag the little orange man on top of the landmark to look inside).

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (146), landmarks (18)

In the Classroom

Teacher-librarians can use this to inspire research or non-fiction reading by embedding it in their website or displaying it on a computer in the media center! Use this site to learn drawing inferences about each of the places visited. Use the images as a class or in groups to determine where in the world it is located using clues from the picture. You will want to "hide" the location that shows in the top left corner. This is a great introduction into culture, building, design, etc. Project an image on an Interactive Whiteboard as a prompt for a short story, poem, or essay inspired by the image. Share an image as your students enter the classroom as the daily "travel mystery." Give your students 2-3 minutes of time to investigate WHERE the image is from. Brainstorm how the image is related to a story being discussed in class, a unit of study, or parallels to our culture. What creatures and cultures would be seen in this place? Ask and answer interesting questions related to the images. Teachers of gifted can use these images to inspire creation of text-based games to take place in these settings using descriptive writing and a tool such as Quest, reviewed here, or Playfic, reviewed here.

Comments

Very cool, easy to use site for when you have a few minutes. I think the age range could be k-12 as my 4 year old loved seeing where the door would take us. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because it is really hard to get back to a place that you previously visited. Diane, PA, Grades: 0 - 4

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Newspaper Map - newspapermap.com

Grades
5 to 12
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Use this colorful map to locate and read newspapers from around the world. Click on map pins to locate newspapers or search using filters such as languages. Use the key ...more
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Use this colorful map to locate and read newspapers from around the world. Click on map pins to locate newspapers or search using filters such as languages. Use the key to locate newspapers in each language. Yellow pins indicate English language newspapers, Spanish pink, etc. Don't worry if newspapers are not in a language you need. Choose the links provided to translate into one of many options. When ready, click on a pin to go to the newspaper's home website.

tag(s): arabic (13), cross cultural understanding (146), french (70), german (44), japanese (44), media literacy (88), newspapers (90), portuguese (18), russian (21), spanish (94)

In the Classroom

Newspaper Map is a great resource for locating news and culture from around the world. Share with your students to show them different perspectives on world events. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast coverage between two newspapers. After reading and comparing many different articles, have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Adobe Spark in K-12, Synth, Animatron, Renderforest, and Beautiful.AI. Explore this site during Newspaper in Education week or as part of a unit on the basics of journalistic writing. World language teachers can use newspapers to teach about both language and culture. Have world cultures or social studies students learn about local culture through advertisements and articles and share their findings using a screencast (or screenshots) of the newspaper and talking about their discoveries. A free tool like Screencast-o-matic, reviewed here, or Screencastify (Chrome app), reviewed here, works well for screencasts.

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If It Were My Home - Andy Lintner

Grades
3 to 12
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If it Were My Home compares living conditions of one country to those of another. Allow the site to use your location when accessing the home page. This allows a ...more
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If it Were My Home compares living conditions of one country to those of another. Allow the site to use your location when accessing the home page. This allows a comparison from your location to others places around the globe. Select a region on the globe to compare. Choose from countries included in that region. View a map comparison. See statistics and comparisons such as oil consumption, economic statistics, and birth rates. Expand comparisons by clicking on the arrow. Scroll down the page to view more information and suggested reading materials about your chosen country. Share comparisons using social media buttons located below the map or email using the link provided.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): africa (137), asia (69), australia (27), canada (23), cross cultural understanding (146), diseases (71), europe (69), globe (13), hiv/aids (19), south america (38), statistics (108)

In the Classroom

Ask each student to choose a country to compare to their country of origin. Have students pair up with a partner and compare their chosen countries to the country of origin. Tie in a creative writing project, and have students imagine that they are moving from their country of origin to their chosen country. Students can use the information and comparison as inspiration for their fictional story about what life would be like in their new home. Use the statistical data in If it Were My Home for some real world mathematical comparison between countries. Create infographics to compare the two countries using a tool such as Venngage, reviewed here.

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360Cities - 360 Cities s.r.o.

Grades
K to 12
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The 360Cities panoramas are a new way to showcase places, businesses, and events from around the world. Looking for a new virtual field trip? 360Cities will have your students spinning...more
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The 360Cities panoramas are a new way to showcase places, businesses, and events from around the world. Looking for a new virtual field trip? 360Cities will have your students spinning in circles with excitement. The pictures are out of this world! View 360 degree panoramic pictures from Mars or under the sea. Travel to snowy mountain tops and many more of the Internet's largest collection of uploaded panoramic images. 360Cities panoramic aerial shots are also available as well as navigable views of cities, natural landscapes, and more. The most popular panoramic pictures are listed for your convenience. This website has panoramic views of all Seven Wonders of the World, which include the Colosseum in Rome, The Great Wall of China, Petra in Jordan, The Taj Mahal in India, Machu Picchu in Peru, Christ Redeemer in Rio, and Chichen Itza in Mexico. Are you looking for a site to showcase your own panoramic shots or do you want to learn how to take panoramic shots? 360Cities "how to" section offers tools to create and upload your own panoramic pictures. View the existing pictures for free or use an email address to create a free account to upload your own panoramic pictures. Paid upgrades are available. 360Cities also has an app for iOS devices. View the 360Cities blog linked on the site for more information.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (254), landforms (37), landmarks (18), virtual field trips (66)

In the Classroom

The 360Cities panoramic pictures provide a vivid visual experience to enhance any lesson. Students can search and view the panoramic setting of a reading passage or novel. Need to paint a picture for students about a historical topic? View the image on 360Cities. Activate schema with these vivid images. Bring Science to life as you explore the many natural wonders of our world and even space. Explore these exciting worlds through the panoramic pictures. Visit businesses and famous landmarks around the world for a free virtual tour. Looking for creative writing prompts? Use the images for poems or story starters. Teaching geometry? Have students locate geometric figures in the pictures. Provide students an image and challenge them to create a virtual tour as they explore the image. Use web 2.0 tools or the students' artistic talents to create travel brochures for the panoramic pictures. Record the tours as a screencast or present orally. Use the "how-to" section to have your students create their own panoramic pictures. Take a panoramic shot of your classroom to post on your website or blog. Use DSLR cameras or cell phones to create your panoramic pictures.

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From Cave Paintings to the Internet - Jeremy Norman and Co., Inc.

Grades
9 to 12
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This amazing online project documents the history of information and media. The project covers a huge scope of time, starting with entries from 2,500,000 BC up to the present time....more
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This amazing online project documents the history of information and media. The project covers a huge scope of time, starting with entries from 2,500,000 BC up to the present time. Use the Google Maps based interface (Map View) to explore the records geographically. Select from a large number of themes including archaeology, writing, or paleontology. You can also explore this tool by historical era or regions. Search the tool using the tabs Outline View, Expanded View, or Map View. Explore the Narrative and Analysis tab for valuable information.

tag(s): 1600s (15), 1700s (33), 1800s (58), 1900s (51), animals (264), art history (74), caves (6), genealogy (7), genetics (67), geologic time (9), geology (60), maps (220), sculpture (19)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to research the history of writing, communication, and technology through the ages. Connect each of these discoveries with other events including political, religious, or social changes also occurring at the time. Assign cooperative learning groups different areas of this website to explore. Challenge students to use a mapping tool such as Click2Map, reviewed here, to create a map of their own (display markers featuring text, photos, and videos!).

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Women in World History - Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media

Grades
10 to 12
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Women in World History offers sophisticated, high-level learning opportunities for exploration and research into the role of women throughout the world. Choose website reviews to find...more
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Women in World History offers sophisticated, high-level learning opportunities for exploration and research into the role of women throughout the world. Choose website reviews to find scholarly reviews of online archives and resources. View more than 200 primary sources with essays analyzing gender. View case studies from teachers discussing primary sources. Classroom modules offer lesson plans for several topics: the British Empire, Western Views of Chinese Women, and the Soviet Dictatorship. The lesson plans include everything you need: ways to differentiate the lesson, objectives, materials, time needed, and additional strategies.

tag(s): 1600s (15), 1700s (33), 1800s (58), 1900s (51), 20th century (46), africa (137), asia (69), central america (14), europe (69), great britain (17), north america (13), russia (30), south america (38), women (99)

In the Classroom

Use modules from this site to supplement current teaching materials. If you are teaching about primary sources, be sure to share that part of this website. Students can search by region: Africa, The Americas, East Asia, Europe, Mid-East/North Africa, Russia, South Asia, or Southeast Asia. Information on this site is written at a very high level. Use this with gifted and AP students as a source for research information or extended lessons in current content.

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Pictolang - Michael R. Shaughnessy

Grades
5 to 12
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Pictolang offers four image-based language/culture learning activities. Visual Word Trainer provides flashcards with images and the word it represents from a choice of several languages...more
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Pictolang offers four image-based language/culture learning activities. Visual Word Trainer provides flashcards with images and the word it represents from a choice of several languages (Arabic, French, Italian, German, Japanese, Spanish, and more). Choose your language and the type of photos you wish to find. Picture Match offers a word with an assortment of images to match correctly. Word Match is the opposite of Picture Match - one image is offered with several words. Choose the correct word to match the image. Both of these activities also ask you to choose the language. The most difficult game is the Analyst Game. This activity "tests your visual intelligence." One image is presented, you choose the correct culture represented by the image. (Try it - not as easy as it sounds!)

tag(s): arabic (13), chinese (41), cross cultural understanding (146), french (70), german (44), images (254), italian (26), japanese (44), maps (220), spanish (94)

In the Classroom

Use Pictolang to help students learn and review languages on their own. This is a perfect site for ESL/ELL students, world cultures class, and world language studies. Display the Analyst Game on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) and play together as a class or as a small group center. Discuss images featured and why they represent different cultures. Allow ESL/ELL students to explore the site using the ESL (North America) option to match images to the English word. This is a great link to add to your class website for world language (or ESL/ELL) students to use for additional practice.

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World History TimeMap - TimeMaps Ltd

Grades
5 to 12
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See the history of the world from 3500BC to 2005AD! TimeMaps offers a look at every nation, empire, and civilization as one story using maps. Choose a date or time ...more
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See the history of the world from 3500BC to 2005AD! TimeMaps offers a look at every nation, empire, and civilization as one story using maps. Choose a date or time period to begin exploration. Use pinpoints located on the map to view specific information about that location. Use timelines located under the map to narrow down topics within a time period. For example, at 100 AD choose to view information by Ancient Rome, Mayan Civilization, Medieval India, or Ancient China. This is an excellent site for providing an overview and exploration of world civilizations during any given time period. Choose the "Are You a History Teacher" link to find several suggestions for using TimeMap in your classroom along several different lesson plans.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 1600s (15), 1700s (33), 1800s (58), 1900s (51), 20th century (46), africa (137), asia (69), china (59), egypt (43), europe (69), greeks (29), india (26), israel (14), maps (220), mayans (9), north america (13), romans (31), timelines (46)

In the Classroom

Explore time periods together on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Find the time period you are teaching then explore pins to view more information about different civilizations during that time. Assign students different civilizations to research during a time period using TimeMaps as a starting point. Have students create their own comics to explain a civilization using comic-creation tools from this collection.

Comments

Excellent interactive and visual timeline for students!! It's free!! Jackson, MD, Grades: 6 - 12

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Google Cultural Institute - Google

Grades
9 to 12
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Google has assembled a series of multimedia presentations focused on historical themes. It begins in 1905 and the influence of colonial and imperial power on East Asia and finishes...more
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Google has assembled a series of multimedia presentations focused on historical themes. It begins in 1905 and the influence of colonial and imperial power on East Asia and finishes in 2008 and Nelson Mandela's impact on young people. Each theme contains photographs, video clips, text and other media that provide context for a discussion of the theme. Other themes include the Holocaust, Apartheid and South African history, and the Spanish Civil War. The content here is visually rich, relying on the impact of the photographs and video much more than any textual descriptions, and is therefore a great companion to the study of these issues, rather than being an in-depth examination of any one topic. Don't miss the search tool to find content related to a place or event (try Vietnam, for example).

tag(s): 1900s (51), 1910s (7), 1920s (13), 1930s (18), 1940s (12), 1950s (7), 1960s (27), 1970s (10), 1980s (8), 20th century (46), africa (137), asia (69), civil rights (152), cross cultural understanding (146), holocaust (39), jews (23), south africa (11), spain (11)

In the Classroom

Because of the visual impact of this resource, it's perfect for use on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) as a complement to a study of the historical period or issue serving as the focus for each theme. Students can hear the voices of children who were affected by the Holocaust, see photographs of Apartheid era South Africa, and view primary source documents related to the life of activist Steve Biko. Allow yourself a little time to play with the site before you use it, as it may not be immediately intuitive. Overall, however, the impact of the images and video found here will add real power to your lessons. Challenge your students to use the search tool to find visual media related to events or topics you are studying and to explain the relationships. Even world language teachers will find the media available here a way to share a rich nuances of another culture.

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AirPano - AirPano.com

Grades
3 to 12
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AirPano is a stunning collection of aerial panoramic 360-degree images of famous locations around the world. They incorporate Google map technology. Peer down at the hustle and bustle...more
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AirPano is a stunning collection of aerial panoramic 360-degree images of famous locations around the world. They incorporate Google map technology. Peer down at the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong harbor or the tranquil scenery of Fiordland in New Zealand. At the time of this review, there were well over 100 AMAZING images to view. Rotate any 3D image and zoom in to see the details in finer clarity. Click on links within images to view nearby sites of interest. Read articles included with panoramas for an overview of locations. Embed a rotating image on to your site using the link found at the top left corner of each panoramic photo. Zoom in and out of photos, read articles about each location, turn sound on and off using links included with images. Based on the device used for viewing, choose from high or low resolution and iPhone or iPad links to view panoramas. Panoramas open in a new tab/window.

tag(s): asia (69), australia (27), canada (23), china (59), england (52), europe (69), france (34), germany (25), images (254), india (26), italy (13), maps (220), new york (22), north america (13), pyramids (15), russia (30), south africa (11), south america (38)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for use when discussing well-known places around the world. View 3D panoramic images on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Take your students to Moscow, Paris, Vietnam, the Grand Canyon, on a hot air balloon, or many other options. This tool could be useful in science, social studies, and current event classes. Share these panoramas with world language and world cultures classes and when literature settings include some of these famous sites. Have students give a class tour, explaining as they navigate on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use the embed function to embed panoramas on your website or blog for student use at home. Share this site with students to use for research projects.

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Promethean Planet - Promethean, Inc

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Looking for resources to use on your interactive whiteboard? If so, this site is a tremendous resource for all whiteboard users, not just those with a Promethean Board. View, search,...more
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Looking for resources to use on your interactive whiteboard? If so, this site is a tremendous resource for all whiteboard users, not just those with a Promethean Board. View, search, and download from over 60,000 resources in all subject areas and grade levels. Use the Resources tab to search by state standard, content, grade level, or resource type. Register on the site to enable download ability as well as many other features such as saving favorites, reviewing resources, asking questions on the technical forum, following specific users, and uploading your own resources. Each resource includes a short description, grade level recommendation, file format, and size. Another great feature is the slide show included with each download for previewing different pages used on each chart.

tag(s): iwb (32), numbers (121), preK (231), resources (85)

In the Classroom

Before you try any of these activities, think about how you can make the lesson more student-centered. Find ideas in TeachersFirst's Hands off, Vanna! Giving Students Control of Interactive Whiteboard Learning . Browse the site for interactive whiteboard resources to download for classroom use. Bookmark and save favorites for later use. Download any resource, then tweak it to your individual needs. Have questions about creating Promethean Flipcharts? Post your question on the technical board to receive helpful replies. If you have a SmartBoard, be sure to check out the SmartBoard lessons and resources page located here. You will need to download the ActivInspire software (free).

Comments

This is the go-to site for Promethean flipchart downloads. Most files were created by teachers. The only downside is that the files are hit-or-miss. There are many gems, but you might have to browse some not-so-great files to find them. Tim, , Grades: 0 - 6

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Edsitement - EdSitement

Grades
K to 12
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Find lesson ideas and more for literature and language arts, foreign languages, art and culture, history and social studies at the reworked site that was once part of MarcoPolo. Book...more
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Find lesson ideas and more for literature and language arts, foreign languages, art and culture, history and social studies at the reworked site that was once part of MarcoPolo. Book articles, data bases, educational gaming, professional development events, sound, film, video resources, and resource website lists all aid teachers and learners. A calendar keeps you up to date with famous dates in history.

tag(s): art history (74), cultures (97), literacy (83)

In the Classroom

Use Edsitement for lesson ideas in language, history, literature, and cultures. Find multiple sources to give a deeper comprehension on the subject matter. In history classes, keep the ongoing calendar in your favorites to celebrate an important historical day every day. Lesson plans cover multiple grade levels in many different subject areas. Resources can enrich, or even to give further explanation to current topics of study.

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Culture Talk - Five College Center for the Study of World Languages

Grades
2 to 12
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Explore culture through interviews and discussions taped by people from countries around the world. The interviewees vary in age and social economic status. Find cultural snippets...more
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Explore culture through interviews and discussions taped by people from countries around the world. The interviewees vary in age and social economic status. Find cultural snippets by area of the world; each country has many offerings organized by subject. The index also offers the same pages organized by topic. Video pieces are also divided into different grade levels: elementary, middle, and high school. Written text accompanies each video clip so you can read what you are hearing. Some interviews are in English. However, most are in the language of the country and translated into English. There is a disclaimer on the site that reads, "... be aware that these videos reflect actual authentic speech, with all the stops, starts, and hesitations that come with everyday conversation. We have not corrected grammatical errors, and the videos sometimes show highly colloquial language, local slang, and region-specific speech patterns."

tag(s): cultures (97), interviews (13), journalism (66), video (242)

In the Classroom

Explore world cultures in today's vernacular: video.Challenge students to write a comparative essay, contrasting information from similar culture talks about different countries. Have cooperative learning groups make a Livebinder, reviewed here to compile and share information from all over the web on one or more countries once they gain an overview from this site. Be sure to require they critique the sources they find and annotate/organize them into subtopics, etc. to show their understanding of how the pieces fit together. Of course you will want to model and teach appropriate documentation of any sources of images and media you use. Be sure to use copyrighted works legally. To help your students with this, try using a site such as Bibme, reviewed here. Challenge ESL/ELL (or any) students to make similar culture videos about their countries of origin or their family heritage as part of a world cultures exploration.

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Asian Pacific American Book List - Amer. Indian Lib. Assn & the Asian/Pacific American Lib. Assn.

Grades
K to 12
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Enjoy perusing this list of Asian American children's books, divided by country. Select the area of your interest: Cambodian, Hawaiian, Japanese, Mongolian, Tibetan, and several others....more
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Enjoy perusing this list of Asian American children's books, divided by country. Select the area of your interest: Cambodian, Hawaiian, Japanese, Mongolian, Tibetan, and several others. The lists include a wide range of selections, from picture books to young adult books and from folk tales to non-fiction titles. There is also a list of recommended authors and illustrators. If you are interested in similar book lists, TeachersFirst's CurriConnects found here offers several other curriculum-related, leveled booklists.

tag(s): asia (69), book lists (123), chinese (41), cross cultural understanding (146), hawaii (6), independent reading (105), japanese (44), korea (17), vietnam (30)

In the Classroom

Refer your class to this list for multicultural reading and reports. If you have any ESL/ELL students from these areas, they may enjoy reading literature from (or about) their homeland. Challenge students to read one of the books on this list and research the location. Have cooperative learning groups create a mash-up map using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge Tools reviewed here. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Google My Maps, Adobe Spark in K-12, StoryMap JS, Renderforest, and Genially.

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Critical Past Stock Footage Archive - Jim and Andy Erickson

Grades
6 to 12
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Critical Past offers a collection of more than 57,000 historical videos and more than 7 million historical photos. All of the photos and videos are royalty free, archival stock footage....more
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Critical Past offers a collection of more than 57,000 historical videos and more than 7 million historical photos. All of the photos and videos are royalty free, archival stock footage. The site is in the business of selling these images and clips. "Royalty free" means that purchasing an image/clip will not require additional fees to the photographer, but it does NOT mean that the images/clips are "free" to download and use at will. Most of the footage comes from U.S. Government Agency sources. All of the videos and photos can be viewed for free online and shared with others via url, Twitter, or Facebook. Search the site either by decade, topic, or keyword. Along the right side bar of Critical Past, you will find "related videos" that correlate to the current search.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 20th century (46), afghanistan (6), africa (137), american revolution (74), china (59), europe (69), north america (13), south america (38), video (242)

In the Classroom

Use photos or videos on Critical Past to help illustrate what students are learning in history. Ask students to be "eyewitnesses" of history and watch a video before they have context for it. Students can write or blog about what they think they are witnessing. Afterward they can research the event in more depth and write a follow-up reflection on what was actually happening in the clip. Challenge your students to use a site such as Sutori, reviewed here, to create timelines of topics researched on the site. Use images from public domain sites, such as the collections, reviewed here, to illustrate the events.

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Edublogs - Edublogs.org

Grades
K to 12
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Blog your way into the latest social technology using Edublogs. Use the free service to set up a blog as a student, teacher, or campus. This education friendly tool avoids ...more
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Blog your way into the latest social technology using Edublogs. Use the free service to set up a blog as a student, teacher, or campus. This education friendly tool avoids some of the "public interaction" that can offer inappropriate content. Upgrade to more advanced features, to include more options. The additional information on blogging makes this site very valuable even if you already have a blogging platform. Find a plethora of advice, tutorials, PDFs, and lesson plans for blogging. This site is a great reference site for all who are beginning to use blogs, or even look for more varied and effective ways to blog with students, or even other classes. Compare this tool to other free blogging tools mentioned in TeachersFirst's Blog Basics for the Classroom . This is a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): blogs (73), communication (137), DAT device agnostic tool (166)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite for all of your blogging needs. Find very informative instructions on blogging, and follow the student blogging challenge lesson plans. Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Peruse through the various subjects and discover how other teachers use blogging in their classrooms. Using the given PDFs on blogging start up, parent guidelines, incorporating into subject areas, and adapt to make them suitable for you. Look at a variety of examples to help devise your own unique style to meet your students' needs.

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ChronoZoom - Microsoft Research

Grades
8 to 12
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Ready to think big? How about an interactive timeline that covers all of time from the Big Bang to today? Chronozoom is an ambitious project, just launched (at the time ...more
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Ready to think big? How about an interactive timeline that covers all of time from the Big Bang to today? Chronozoom is an ambitious project, just launched (at the time of this review), that seeks to create zoomable, interactive timelines for the entire history of time. At present, the site is still under construction, but it is visually stunning and a little overwhelming. You will need to set aside some time to watch the video tour and to tinker with the site before presenting it to students. Every move of the mouse, every click, seems to create "explosions" of graphs and timelines; you'll need to be patient and get the hang of navigation.

The site's creators freely admit that they don't really know where the project will lead, and what technologies might emerge that will help them create more content for the site. There are some caveats for using the site. First, the site assumes a particular theory of the creation of the universe, and the timeline of its existence. Second, the site can lend itself to aimless "mousing," or the temptation to simply click and move the mouse to see how the site will react, with no attention to the content at all.

tag(s): charts and graphs (157), evolution (86), Microsoft (65), timelines (46)

In the Classroom

This is a big idea, still in its early stages. Obviously it has usefulness as a way of visually demonstrating the sheer immensity of time, and the relative insignificance of human existence in comparison. You could use this site as an intro to any history or geology class simply to generate BIG questions that students want to know. Consider asking gifted students, or students interested in technology applications to imagine what the site COULD be. How would they create a visual overview of--forever? How can one prioritize what matters? But on an interactive whiteboard--WOW! If you, as current students seem to be, are comfortable with imagining the world as a series of hyperlinks rather than a linear march, this site has limitless potential.

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