Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomDivide students into groups to peruse a given theme or an ancient civilization. Student groups can ask additional questions to begin a search for even more information and present their findings to the class. Discuss parallels among ancient civilizations through the discussion of these themes as well as comparisons and contrasts with present society. Create a visual display of life in these societies or share food and traditions that might have existed. Try some multimedia projects like a Venn Diagram comparing a certain theme of ancient civilization to present society using an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the themes. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): history day (24)
In the ClassroomShare this link on your class web page or use it as a jumping off point for students beginning research for National History Day projects or you school's own history celebration. Have students create their projects using free web based tools, such as those reviewed as part of the TeachersFirst Edge. To provide a way for students to help each other with the technology tasks, limit options to one or two tools such as ThingLink (,reviewed here,) for interviews or Bookemon (reviewed here) for creating interactive books. Or create a whole-class wiki with student group history projects on separate pages. Learn more about wikis from the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site in your World Cultures class as you teach students about Judaism. Have cooperative learning groups read this information and create multimedia presentations, such as an online book using Bookemon, reviewed here.
Grades3 to 12
tag(s): rosh hashanah (7)
In the ClassroomHave cooperative learning groups explore this site together to learn more about this holiday. Challenge students to create a multimedia presentation. How about a podcast using PodOMatic (reviewed here).
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomFind images to illustrate curriculum topics, such as historical photos and cultural images. Include them in activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Art teachers can use images freely to illustrate design concepts. Create montages of images from eras in history, a culture, or scientific concepts to give visual learners a way to remember new content. "Harvest" images for students to use in their own projects, saving them on a local drive or computer (copying these images is OK!). Have students select an image as an inspiration for a writing assignment or blog post. Upload images to ThingLink, reviewed here, and have students critique or explain it orally in a world language, science, or social studies class. Have student groups use these copyright-safe images (with credit, of course) in their online Bookemon books, reviewed here, about a curriculum concept.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomShare one or more clips (selected from a full episode) on a projector or interactive whiteboard as part of your study of a time period in history or assign students to research different events, asking them to answer big questions such as, "What role does climate play in a community's growth and government?" or "What might have happened if the weather had been different on this day?" Have students write a blog post as an eyewitness to the events or create a class wiki on the impact of geography, climate, and other "earthly" factors on the decisions that humans make. Create one wiki page per event and assign small groups to write the pages as newspaper articles at the time and another page using historical perspective. Don't forget to add mock news pages about what might have happened if the weather had been different! Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. The same assignment could also be done on video as a series of podcast "news" stories. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
Use these videos as part of your science study of weather so students relate the hard data to human events. Have students use a multi-angle approach using both scientific data and human data about the event to create a weather wiki or multimedia project such as mock interviews at the time of the event and ten years later.
Grades3 to 12
Registration does require an email address. Tip: rather than using your personal or work email, create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. This is explained here, and tells how to set up Gmail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. Using Gmail subaccounts will provide anonymous interaction within your class.
tag(s): countries (81)
In the ClassroomUse this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start your study of any country or culture. Another obvious use of this site is for any type of country research projects. This site allows students to explore their previous beliefs about cultures, in the "exploring your cultural baggage" section.This site is excellent for enrichment. Include it on your teacher web page for students to access both in and out of class. This site does include the ability for the general public to submit their own cultural information. Be sure to preview for content inappropriate for your classroom. You may want to limit use to whole-class activities or prohibit accessing the "add to the guide" portion of the site. ESL and ELL students will be proud to make reports to the class about their own countries using this site as backup and illustration. Share this site with language teachers who are taking students on trips beyond the U.S. or as a general resource for cultural information.
Grades6 to 12
You are able to post comments. You may want to preview the comments before allowing students to view. Posting comments requires an email address. Check your school's acceptable use policy regarding student email use. Rather than using your personal or work email, create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.
tag(s): news (260)
In the ClassroomThis site would be great for a multitude of subjects and may be best implemented with an interactive whiteboard or projector. One suggestion is to show a picture on the board as students enter the room and pose one question about it. It would create a great prompt for discussion or journaling. Students could also access pictures and create their own stories or presentations of the actual events. Students could create a news story and post it to the classroom wiki where available. Do you want to learn more about wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
Grades6 to 12
There are a number of short stories from all areas of science taken from Kettering's Radio talk shows. The general topics include "Introduction to Science and Invention," "Science and Invention in Transportation," "Science and Invention in War." Specific topics vary from Energy from the Sun to The Wright Way to Unraveling the Atom and many others.
In the ClassroomThis site would be a helpful alternative text in the science classroom. Use this site for research projects or explaining some famous inventions. Extend reading into an online journaling project or even a classroom blog or wiki. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. The opportunity for collaboration, reflection, and eventually creating their own stories of their projects is wonderful. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia presentations. To show what they have learned from this site, challenge students to create an online graphic to share using Lucidpress, reviewed here. Have groups create news reports using Biteable, reviewed here, and share them using a tool such as SchoolTube, reviewed here.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomAssign students various countries within a data set to make comparisons. Tie the data to biological, geographical, cultural, and social issues that exist in the world. Bring a greater understanding to economic and environmental issues currently a problem in many countries throughout the world. World language classes can see this data to help students understand the cultures of the countries where the language is spoken. Have students use an online graphing tool such as Chartgo, reviewed here, to display results. Compare specific attributes of two countries using an online Venn Diagram, such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here. Another idea: have cooperative learning groups use this resource to create online books about the country using a resource such as Bookemon, reviewed here. How about having students research using this site and then create a project using Zeemaps, reviewed here. Zeemaps allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place.
Grades5 to 12
NOTE: Music on this site is submitted by the general musical public and may include lyrics inappropriate for school. The "Hip Hop" genre includes some inappropriate offerings, so teachers will want to decide the best way to handle use of this site by students. Each genre has its own URL, so it is possible to make only certain areas available. The "classical," "jazz" and other instrumental areas are safer. Depending on the maturity and trustworthiness of students, teachers may want to directly supervise use of this site.
Listeners can find their favorite music by browsing through the many genre categories or trying some of the daily featured artists.Besides music files, there are artist and album profiles, and listeners can star favorites.
tag(s): air (146)
In the ClassroomStudents can use files from this site when preparing multimedia class presentations that require music or background sounds. Use this site when preparing lessons on plagiarism, copyright, and the open source software concept. If your students are mature enough, share the link to this site via your class web page (with a disclaimer about possibly inappropriate lyrics). Music teachers with talented composer/performer students may want to share the site as a potential place for students to share their work (with parent permission).
GradesK to 12
NOTE: Although the videos are listed on this site, they actually "live" elsewhere on the Internet, so some videos may be blocked in your school (those on YouTube, for example). Always pretest to be sure the video you hope to use is accessible at school!
In the ClassroomShare these videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. This is a great site to use when planning for substitute teachers, as an introduction to a new unit, or even as additional information on a specific topic.
Challenge cooperative learning groups to create their own videos about topics being studied in social studies, science, math, or nearly any other topic. Include this link on your class web page for students to access outside of schools for reinforcement and further exploration of concepts.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomEncourage parents to use this site as a study-at-home tool for their students. Link your blog or website to this site by entering your url at the bottom of the homepage. Make sure your guidance counselor at your school is aware of this site as a tool for studying those college entrance tests. Be sure to save this site in your favorites.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): timelines (57)
In the ClassroomYounger students might grasp the timeline concept more easily using this website as a starting place. Older students may enjoy just "noodling" around on this site and seeing how different topics and times inter-relate. Check out the "Today in History" section together on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge students to research a topic and create their own online timelines using a tool such as Timeglider, reviewed here.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomMost of the graphics here are perfect for a one shot view on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Teachers should be aware that it's possible to comment on each of the graphics. Scrolling down reveals whatever someone may have sent in as a comment; preview carefully. One particular graphic, the consumer spending pie chart, would be useful in a consumer math class or "Real Life 101" class. Any of the charts could be used for real life data in a math class, or to teach students how to interpret charts and graphs, a topic appearing on most standardized state tests.
GradesK to 12
Click the "Go" button to start your activity. Click on the correct answer to the question and then a new question appears. Prompts to try again appear if the answer is wrong and a percent right appears on your screen as you progress. Click on the teacher's link in the upper right hand corner for more information on becoming registered. Once registered, teachers can create their own games for the site. Your teacher ID can be entered by students to access created games.
In the ClassroomUse these activities for review of concepts or terminology with your class on specific topics/subjects. Wish there were a review game for a missing topic? Request a teacher ID, and have groups of students create the questions. Enter the information for the game and students can review by playing their game or one created by another group. Share the student-created games on your interactive whiteboard or projector.These games would be great to both help students review and help them figure out what kind of study methods work best for them.
Grades8 to 12
tag(s): greece (26)
In the ClassroomThe collection of videos is ever-expanding, and comments can be left by any member of the public who chooses to join. While our editors found no inappropriate content, teachers would be wise to preview in case some "clever" folks decide to throw inappropriate comments onto one of these outstanding videos. If you join the site (for free), you can collect Favorite videos for quick access to show in class as well as add class comments to videos. We recommend a whole-class account for most uses, at least initially. Assign groups to take turns posting comments to your collected videos, adding their initials so you know who did them. Have art or art history students watch an assigned video or study an artist in small groups and explore the connections available in Notes. Then have them share a concept map about that particular work, historical period, or artist, including the "notes" they would add from their own connections, reactions, and related research. Use a tool such as bubbl.us (reviewed here) to create and share the concept maps.
Grades9 to 12
One of the nicest features on the site is the "Script Archive," which gives access to full-length plays, one-act plays, 10-minute plays, and monologues. This is a fabulous source for theatre and speech teachers alike.
Be aware: this is a commercial site, so there are links to purchase books, but it is more subtle than most sites, and all the links are freely given without a need to register. There are also advertisements, preview for appropriateness before sharing with your class, as these ads change without notice.
tag(s): plays (35)
In the ClassroomAs theatre is inextricably linked to the history of a country, divide categories among a class of students and have them research on the site, creating humanity links between the theatre and culture of the time. Have them report their findings to the class in a panel discussion, PowerPoint, a video (share the video using Teachers.tv (reviewed here), or an online book using tool such as Bookemon (reviewed here).
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site is ready to use in class. Have cooperative learning groups explore various aspects of the holiday and Mexican culture.If you have time, have them make their results into a class wiki with a page for each angle. Have students write a journal entry (as a blog) from the perspective of someone living in Mexico during the 1800s. Share maps of Mexico on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have cooperative learning groups create commercials highlighting what they have learned (be sure they include some new vocabulary words) or even a video advertisement for your class's Cinco de Mayo celebration. Share the videos using a tool such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomUse a Padlet to collaborate in collecting ideas, brainstorming, and more. 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. Padlet does not show which work is attributable to which student, so you may want to require that students initial their contributions in order to get credit. If allowing all students to post to the wall or make comments, you may want to discuss internet safety and etiquette and establish specific class rules and consequences. Making the setting private again will prohibit content from later being replaced by classmate "vandalism."
Use a Padlet to collect webquest links and information to share with students. By leaving the wall open to comments, solicit input, discussions, or viewpoints from students. They can even contribute other sources they find. Color code resources to indicate different reading levels or "high challenge" sources for your more able students. Assign a student project where students choose their theme and design a wall around it. For example, have students create a wall about an environmental issue. They can include pictures, audio or video, links, and other information to display. Use as a new format for book reports. Do your students have favorites such as music or sports? Create a wall around these favorites or hobbies. Use a wall for grammar or vocabulary words. Create walls for debates or viewpoints. Post assignments, reminders, or study skills on a wall. Do you use student scribes or reporters? Use the Padlet site to create a wall with the goings-on in class. Embed your walls in a blog, wiki or website. See a similar tool (and more ideas to use either tool) in the TeachersFirst review of Lino here. Decide which one you prefer! Unfortunately, the Padlet embedded viewer is very small but can be scrolled in both directions.
Use Padlet as a class space during snow days and school breaks. Share the link to a teacher-created, public wall where students can share notes about what they did during the snow day or respond to a thought-provoking question.
Encourage creativity and organization by having your gifted students (or anyone doing independent projects) create Padlets to collect ideas, images, quotes, and more in an "idea bin." Require them to share a brainstorming Padlet to show you the ideas they considered before they launch into a project. Have them brainstorm (and later sort/color code) the possibilities for a creative problem solving or "Maker Faire" project. In writing or art classes, use Padlet as a virtual writer's journal or design notebook to collect ideas, images, and even video clips.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Includes social features, such as "friends," comments, ratings by others
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL