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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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TimeSearch History - HistoryWorld

Grades
6 to 12
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What Happened When? This useful site allows you to aggregate a text timeline by date, theme or geographic area using links to Google searches, Google images and content from HistoryWorld...more
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What Happened When? This useful site allows you to aggregate a text timeline by date, theme or geographic area using links to Google searches, Google images and content from HistoryWorld (with which the site is affiliated). Enter a date or keyword(s) for the event(s). You will see a text list with icons that lead to related Google, images, and HistoryWorld info. Try exploring by themes such as performing arts and science and entering a year to see what occurred during the same year. While the overall visual impact is fairly bland, it's a great "quick and easy" utility for putting events into a chronological context. If you search two very diverse events, you can discover unusual convergences. Additionally, it can be the jumping off point for a more complex search by helping students make connections among ideas, characters and events that may seem unrelated. For example, this is a wonderful tool to explore decades of the twentieth century or periods in the arts.

tag(s): search engines (50), timelines (46)

In the Classroom

Make this one of your bookmarks on classroom computers used for research, and suggest that students add it to their own research repertoire. Consider a classroom activity that begins with a common starting place (a date, an event, a character), and has groups of students follow their own self-guided path through the links. Where does each group end up? Why are the paths different? After having student explore on their own, have them "teach" how they found the information most important to them. A projector or interactive whiteboard is ideal for such a demo.

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Smarthistory Art History Conversation - Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker with Khan Academy

Grades
3 to 12
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Take a virtual field trip to explore world class museums and online art institute for free! Avoid budget restrictions and field trip limitations by joining this Webby award winning...more
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Take a virtual field trip to explore world class museums and online art institute for free! Avoid budget restrictions and field trip limitations by joining this Webby award winning site. Investigate the world of art history accompanied by two professors at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker. Smarthistory started as a a blog featuring free audio guides, podcasts, and videos. Later it became an interactive exploration of eras, styles, and artists. Smarthistory has recently merged with KahnAcademy utilizing the same concept: that high quality education should be free and available to all. Included in each video are informational resources to give extra information. Many universities use Smarthistory as a required part of their curriculum.

tag(s): art history (74), medieval (27), renaissance (32)

In the Classroom

A must for any art classroom, Smarthistory adds an extra dimension and deeper understanding to any history, social studies, or cultural studies classroom. Use in writing workshops to provide insights to art and culture and to into thoughts and feelings. Study written works alongside the art of past time periods. Tempt students into the amazing world of art history by watching the new videos. Bring unlimited, world-class resources to each class. All of the videos are easily adaptable to an interactive whiteboard or projector. Debate clubs can study techniques and develop their own styles of debate. Gifted classes will devour this website. Provide this link on your class website to offer students extra challenge and exploration.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Lyrics Gaps - lyricsgaps.com

Grades
5 to 12
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Learn a new language through music and lyrics! Choose English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portugese, Japanese, Russian, Greek, Dutch, Danish, or Romanian. Register for FREE and...more
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Learn a new language through music and lyrics! Choose English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portugese, Japanese, Russian, Greek, Dutch, Danish, or Romanian. Register for FREE and learn the new language. Each language has different activities: karaoke, interactive cloze activities, videos, and more. You can choose among three different difficulty levels. Some activities even have the option to "double click" to read a definition of a word. You also have the ability to submit your own songs and language activities to the site. Note that this site is fairly new and only ha a few hundred songs at the time of this review. Help contribute to the offerings!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (146), cultures (97), french (70), german (44), greek (30), italian (26), japanese (44), portuguese (18), russian (21), songs (40), spanish (94)

In the Classroom

This is a wonderful find for ENL/ESL and world language teachers. Teachers may prefer to do a class registration and use the offerings of the site with the entire class. Challenge your students to create (and submit) their own songs/activities in a new language. If school policy does not allow students to share songs on a site, have students create their own in-class presentations of songs and similar exercises using one selection from this site as a model.

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Sqworl - Caleb Brown

Grades
K to 12
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Sqworl is a site for combining multiple links into one single link. Registration is required; however, it is very easy. You create a username and password, add your email and ...more
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Sqworl is a site for combining multiple links into one single link. Registration is required; however, it is very easy. You create a username and password, add your email and it is done. After registering, a personal homepage is created, this is where the magic can begin! The homepage is where groups will be created to combine url's. Then adding some groups of link begins the process of creating groups. At this point a title is given to the group being created (examples might be Math sites, American History, etc.). The final step is to add a short description. After choosing start, simply copy and paste the url you want to use and add a short description and click finish. Once a group is created, it can be shared through the url shown on the page. Sqworl also has a bookmarklet that can be added to the browser toolbar making it easier to add items to your groups without having to open the homepage. There is also a mobile app for iPhone.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bookmarks (49)

In the Classroom

In the classroom use this site to combine url's of online class projects into one group. Create a group of resources for students or parents for different subjects and share the url through your classroom website or newsletter. Create a group with videos relating to classroom content. Create a classroom account and let students add resources they have found to groups to share with others. Show students how to follow other groups on Sqworl and share resources by creating their own groups. Share this site with others in your building or district as an easy way to save and share online resources.

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Learning Chocolate - learningchocolate.com

Grades
K to 12
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This ESL/ELL vocabulary site has words and related pictures organized into over 100 categories. Example categories include animals, body, birds, Christmas, camping, phonic, days of...more
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This ESL/ELL vocabulary site has words and related pictures organized into over 100 categories. Example categories include animals, body, birds, Christmas, camping, phonic, days of the week, Europe, Fruit, Work Site Problems, Medical Jobs, and much more! Click on a category and you get common vocabulary as well as five review games for that category. Each word has sound, and many of the review activities are based on hearing the word to complete the required work. An added benefit to the site is that it is easy to switch the target language from English to three other languages: Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): chinese (41), japan (54), japanese (44), spanish (94), vocabulary (231)

In the Classroom

Save/bookmark this site on your classroom computers to serve as a vocabulary resource for ESL/ELL and also world language students. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Share this site with Chinese, Japanese and Spanish teachers as well as with special needs professionals for help with vocabulary development and articulation. You could also have students create their own narrations of photos (similar to this site) using a site such as Thinklink reviewed here.

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Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon - Michael Shaughnessy & Jason Parkhill

Grades
K to 12
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This site features a wonderfully specific pictorial database of "every day" images that define cultures. Images are Creative Commons licensed and can be used by download (three sizes)...more
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This site features a wonderfully specific pictorial database of "every day" images that define cultures. Images are Creative Commons licensed and can be used by download (three sizes) or direct link. At the time of this review, general topics included German, ESL (American,) French, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Spanish, Russian, Ukrainian, and a few others. Besides offering a photograph (in three sizes) of something specifically Chinese or something only found in Japan, the vocabulary label for the object shown as well as its translation into its language of origin is available and indexed. There is also a detailed guide for teachers offering many wonderful suggestions of how to use CAPL in the classroom. The suggested activities include using images as objects, visual "texts," media illustrations, and narratives as well as ideas for using the images to teach vocabulary and culture. More is added to this site frequently, so be sure to check back!

tag(s): arabic (13), architecture (62), china (59), cross cultural understanding (146), cultures (97), france (34), germany (25), japan (54), russia (30), spanish (94)

In the Classroom

Language students can use these images to create online posters using a tool such as Poster Wizard (reviewed here or PicLits (reviewed here. Have students make a visual lexicon of new vocabulary words. Use interest in some of the pics here as a jumping off point for more cultural exploration. Talk about what items we would photograph in the U.S. that are culturally specific and rich in cultural meaning (for example, the Green Bay Packers stadium).

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ThatQuiz - ThatQuiz

Grades
3 to 12
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ThatQuiz is an online assessment tool for teachers of all subjects and grade levels. Create an account to gain access to record keeping tools. You can make your own tests ...more
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ThatQuiz is an online assessment tool for teachers of all subjects and grade levels. Create an account to gain access to record keeping tools. You can make your own tests using questions within the site. Students do not need to register since additional features are only for teachers. After choosing a category, different options are available within each of the quizzes to increase difficulty and add features. Quizzes can be timed or completed at the students' own pace. There is also an option to create a url for an individual quiz that can be linked to Facebook or Twitter accounts.

tag(s): africa (137), angles (52), asia (69), cells (80), charts and graphs (157), conversions (31), europe (69), exponents (34), factors (27), fractions (163), french (70), geometric shapes (129), german (44), human body (93), inequalities (21), measurement (131), money (123), north america (13), place value (37), probability (94), quiz (63), quizzes (83), spanish (94), time (91)

In the Classroom

Assign quizzes to students to complete on classroom computers or in computer labs. Modify activities for different student levels. Create a teacher account and modify quizzes to meet your own needs. Challenge students to complete quizzes and then increase the difficulty level. Share this link on your classroom website for students to access (to practice skills) while both in and out of the classroom. Consider allowing students to create quizzes for each other using a class account during review times or in small groups. It is much more fun to "study" by creating a quiz!

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Mr. Donn's Social Studies - Mr. Donn

Grades
K to 8
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This is a site that contains numerous links to lessons and websites on various social studies and world history subjects. There are numerous subjects: Age of Exploration, Roaring 20s,...more
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This is a site that contains numerous links to lessons and websites on various social studies and world history subjects. There are numerous subjects: Age of Exploration, Roaring 20s, 50 states, World Geography, African Kingdoms, and countless others. There are lesson plans, links, quizzes, and more.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 1920s (13), africa (137), archeology (22), china (59), civil rights (152), civil war (129), colonial america (92), egypt (43), great depression (25), greece (25), holidays (122), immigration (54), india (26), industrial revolution (20), japan (54), mayans (9), mesopotamia (4), native americans (81), psychology (64), religions (64), renaissance (32), resources (85), rome (19), slavery (56), westward expansion (35)

In the Classroom

This is the perfect site for Social Studies and History teachers. Use this site for background information when planning lessons. Place this link on your classroom computers to provide students with safe places to research. Several topics have video clips that are perfect for showing on a projector or interactive whiteboard. If using this site for research, challenge students to create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Multicultural Canada: Wayang Kulit - Lynn Copeland, Simon Fraser University

Grades
3 to 12
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This unique site by Multicultural Canada is part of a digitization project that aims to tell the stories of the cultures that make up Canada. Other modules include Chinese, ...more
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This unique site by Multicultural Canada is part of a digitization project that aims to tell the stories of the cultures that make up Canada. Other modules include Chinese, Japanese, Scottish, Indonesian, Italian, Jewish, Vietnamese,and Pakistan collections are included in the learning modules. Detailed lesson plans, related resources, with rubrics are included. IN this module, Simon Fraser University shares their collection of Wayang Kulit, or shadow puppetry from Indonesia. Wayang Kulit often portrays moral or political messages. The university featured the exhibit, Crossing Oceans, Crossing Cultures, which includes the shadow puppets and stories about good and evil, respect, duty, friendship, and loyalty. The website shows some of the Wayang Kulit shadow puppets, as well as providing information on traditional stories. Photographs of several intricate shadow puppets are included. Ideas for projects using a variety of free downloads are suggested. There is also an introductory video.

tag(s): canada (23), myths and legends (23), readers theater (10), stories and storytelling (30)

In the Classroom

In language arts classes, study universal stories and myths while discovering the culture of Indonesia and shadow puppetry. Dramatize the elements of good versus evil, characterization, and plot. Discover a unique twist to Readers' Theater. Storyboarding opportunities allow for a simpler construction of a story performance with fewer background scenery or props necessary. Sound and musical accompaniments can add to the creativity of the performance. Reluctant readers through gifted learners will enjoy the flexibility and creativity of the art of shadow puppetry.

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Important Dates and Events in History - Hisdates.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Find out what happened on any date in history with this informative site. Each event is listed with a short description. Historic events are listed chronologically from oldest to current...more
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Find out what happened on any date in history with this informative site. Each event is listed with a short description. Historic events are listed chronologically from oldest to current times. (Some dates are several pages long, be sure to click the "read more" link to continue to newer dates.) Information includes birthdays, discoveries, events, and more. Searches by specific years, months, and famous birthdays. You are able to add events and comments. Note that the general public can also add comments, so preview before projecting in class!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): calendars (38), timelines (46)

In the Classroom

Use this site to display an interesting "this day in history" on your interactive whiteboard or projector each day. Use as a resource for students to research events during historical time periods being studied in class. Create a scavenger hunt to review dates in history - give students a list of events and have students find them on the calendar. For a more in=depth experience, share TeachersFirst's Dates That Matter, then have students create their own set of Dates That Matter style question prompts and provide a "Why Does it Matter" response for one of the events found here. Share their student-created Dates That Matter in PowerPoint slides or using an online presentation tool.

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Origami Club - Fumiaki Shingu

Grades
K to 8
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The Origami Club makes the art of folding paper child's play. The animated video tutorials and printable directions take the guesswork out of making origami. There is a wide variety...more
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The Origami Club makes the art of folding paper child's play. The animated video tutorials and printable directions take the guesswork out of making origami. There is a wide variety of directions for creating animals, creatures, food, holiday gifts, and accessories. The site also includes printable origami paper, links to other origami sites and new designs each month. There are some minor advertisements at this site.

tag(s): origami (15)

In the Classroom

Learn about the culture of Japan, geometry, and art with Origami. Use these video tutorials to create clever objects for holiday gifts while teaching mathematical principals about 2D and 3D figures, line, area, perimeter, and planes. Demonstrate how to create an origami object by projecting the site's animated videos directions. Stop and pause the video as students follow along. Save this site in your favorites on classroom computers so students can practice paper folding independently. Afterward, discuss the benefits of oral, visual, or animated directions. Ask students to describe the folding process with geometric terms such as fractional parts, symmetry, faces, edges, rotations, lines, triangle, angles, and shapes. Consider having students use a variety of multimedia presentation platforms to publish their personal version of directions. Have students create multimedia presentations that add narration to each fold with Thinglink, reviewed here. Alternatively, share video directions on SchoolTube, reviewed here, or TeacherTube reviewed here. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating how to create origami with sites such as PodOmatic, reviewed here.

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Learn Korean - learn-korean.net

Grades
4 to 12
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Students can begin to learn the Korean language at this site, although lessons are neither multi-media nor interactive. Basic Korean letters and words make up the biggest part of this...more
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Students can begin to learn the Korean language at this site, although lessons are neither multi-media nor interactive. Basic Korean letters and words make up the biggest part of this language learning site. Another offering is the possibility of connecting to a "language partner" to correspond with while studying Korean; you can participate in a language forum as well. In addition, there is valuable cultural information about the mores of Korean behavior.

tag(s): korea (17)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an introduction to language learning or the Korean culture. Its on-site dictionary may also be helpful if you have a Korean student. Foreign exchange students preparing to go to Korea may wish to begin their study of Korean letters here. Have students studying Korean create online books in Korean using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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Weaving Art Museum

Grades
6 to 12
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See annotated details of ancient and more recent weavings from many cultures using the interactive "exhibits" of the museum. See work from Egypt, Kashmir, Persia, and many more. Decode...more
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See annotated details of ancient and more recent weavings from many cultures using the interactive "exhibits" of the museum. See work from Egypt, Kashmir, Persia, and many more. Decode some of the iconography in Asian carpets. Some exhibits are text-heavy, while others offer many plates and details for your art students to study and use as references. World cultures classes will be able to envision ancient times by looking at the beautiful images on this site.

tag(s): archeology (22)

In the Classroom

Include this on your classroom computer Favorites when students are beginning a weaving or printmaking unit so they can find inspiration in the graphical patterns and story-telling elements. This would also be a great way to introduce a weaving unit or a unit on ancient Asian civilizations on a projector.

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North Korea - CIA FactBook - CIA

Grades
6 to 12
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The CIA's Factbook is pretty dry reading, but this site does provide some of the history of Korea, including the post-World War II division into North and South. There are ...more
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The CIA's Factbook is pretty dry reading, but this site does provide some of the history of Korea, including the post-World War II division into North and South. There are other facts about culture, government, and economy, but North Korea remains one of the world's least-known and least-understood nations. Could be a useful reference for discussion of current events or a research source for projects on countries.

tag(s): korea (17)

In the Classroom

Include this in your supplemental teacher links pages during a unit on Asia or Korea.

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Create a Timeline - Ourtimelines.com

Grades
1 to 12
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This online tool lets you create a timeline of an individual's life using dates from 1000 AD to the present year. Enter the person's name and dates, add events (historic ...more
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This online tool lets you create a timeline of an individual's life using dates from 1000 AD to the present year. Enter the person's name and dates, add events (historic or personal) and their beginning/ending dates, and click the "generate" button.

tag(s): timelines (46)

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Ancient China - British Musem

Grades
7 to 12
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Discover the culture of ancient China with this outstanding, interactive site that explores its artisans, geography, tombs, writings, and more. Each section of the site provides historical...more
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Discover the culture of ancient China with this outstanding, interactive site that explores its artisans, geography, tombs, writings, and more. Each section of the site provides historical information, a story, an in-depth exploration, and a challenge. The challenge activities promote higher level thinking and are ideal for independent practice and review.

tag(s): china (59), chinese (41)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on Ancient China. There is a lot of content on the site, so it would be beneficial to create a graphic organizer for students to help organize their notes. (If looking for an easy find, we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).) Teachers can also use the challenges to assess student participation, not to mention that kids will enjoy the brief respite from note-taking! A very useful resource for the world history classroom.

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