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Myths, Folktales, & Fairy Tales - Scholastic

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for some new tricks to teaching this genre (fairy tales, folktales, and Myths) to your students? Check out this site that provides lesson plans, interactives, class activities,...more
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Looking for some new tricks to teaching this genre (fairy tales, folktales, and Myths) to your students? Check out this site that provides lesson plans, interactives, class activities, reproducible pages, and more. The lesson plans and activities are divided by grade level (K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12). The site says that the lessons (for all levels) will take approximately one day/class period. Don't miss the colorful interactive: Myths Brainstorm Machine (designed for grades 3-8). This site requires Adobe Acrobat and Flash. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): air (145), folktales (50)

In the Classroom

The possibilities at this site are endless! Take advantage of the grade-appropriate activities, interactives, lesson plans, and printables. Have students work with a partner to try out the Brainstorm Machine. Use this site to create a writing station. After studying the genre, why not have students create illustrated virtual books of their own using a free tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Nystromnet - NYSTROM

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

tag(s): maps (294)

In the Classroom

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

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Veterans History Project - Library of Congress

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9 to 12
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The Veterans History Project is both a valuable historical resource and a terrific jumping off point for a serious student or group project. The Veterans History Project uses volunteer...more
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The Veterans History Project is both a valuable historical resource and a terrific jumping off point for a serious student or group project. The Veterans History Project uses volunteer contributors to gather remembrances from war veterans and civilians who worked in support industries. The Project includes audio interviews, interview transcripts, letters, and other primary documents related to US wars beginning with World War I up through the present conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Use the site to search for and access already preserved accounts, or to design a student project to gather new accounts (note however that volunteers are limited to students in 10th grade or older).

To fully experience this site, you need Adobe Acrobat and Real Player. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): afghanistan (8), iraq (30), korea (18), resources (106), veterans (16), vietnam (34), world war 1 (56), world war 2 (138)

In the Classroom

Primary documents are a vital link between the students of today and the experiences of real people from the past. Students can access these interviews and accounts through searching by time period (WWI through the present), branch of service, gender, or POW status. As your class studies a particular conflict, assign students different accounts to research and then have them "portray" that person in a panel discussion about the war. Compare the experiences of persons filling similar roles across conflicts. Examine gender differences or the differences between those serving in the Navy and the Army. For a powerful long-term project, download the site's "field kit" and consider gathering new accounts for the project in your community.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Google Trends - Google

Grades
6 to 12
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Want a concrete indicator of public curiosity and concerns from the source they use most? Try Google Trends (formerly known as Google Zeitgeist). This simple tool tells what people...more
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Want a concrete indicator of public curiosity and concerns from the source they use most? Try Google Trends (formerly known as Google Zeitgeist). This simple tool tells what people are searching most on Google (country by country), correlating it to the news and other major dates. Click on the year trends to view all of them and click on those of interest to you. Or scroll down the landing page instead to see the big headline makers of the year. For example, use the 2008 summary to see the spikes in certain Google searches connected with events during the 2008 U.S. political campaigns. Get a quick snapshot of popular culture "hot topics" or personal concerns during tough economic times, simple by seeing what people are searching on Google. If you are trying to build world-awareness and 21st century learners in your classroom, keep Google Trends handy to spark discussion and curiosity.

tag(s): consumers (18), politics (98)

In the Classroom

Teachers of gifted will want to share this as a must-read site, but all students would benefit from hypothesizing about the world trends that generate Google searches. Share this resource on your teacher web page or classroom computer for handy access. As you discuss current events, government, politics, of even consumer behavior, use Zeitgeist to ask questions: Why are people searching this now? What did people in other countries search while Americans were focused on Sarah Palin or bank bailouts? Show a Trends listing on your projector or interactive whiteboard and simply ask the question: Why? Challenge students to discuss possible reasons for what they see in small groups or in blog posts. Use a Trends finding as a prompt for a debate or essay in English class. Use the trends as indicators of consumer behavior for discussions in business or FCS classes. Use search wordings from other countries in your world language classes to sharpen awareness of cultural differences and similarities.

Just ask WHY? and watch your students leap to higher level thinking as you challenge them to prove it with other findings from the web or research.

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Dr. King Timeline - Pocantico Hills School

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

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

In the Classroom

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

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March on Washington Lesson - PBS Newshour

Grades
6 to 12
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This lesson, from the web site for the PBS Newshour, offers both a set of structuring questions about integration and racism and a set of resources that documents Dr. King ...more
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This lesson, from the web site for the PBS Newshour, offers both a set of structuring questions about integration and racism and a set of resources that documents Dr. King and the struggle for equal rights in America. The lesson includes links to important documents (some PDF files, others require Flash), extension activities, thinking questions, audio and video footage, and correlations to National Standards in history, civics, culture, and more. This site requires Adobe Acrobat and Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

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

In the Classroom

This lesson plan is ready to use and easy to follow! The extension activities offer some excellent higher order thinking questions. After sharing video footage with your students, why not project one of the extension activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students create a blog answering the questions in the extension activities.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Six Calendars of Special Days and Festivals - Woodlands Junior School( Project Britain)

Grades
K to 8
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This informative and resourceful website provides information about numerous holidays collected into six different calendar pages. The pages are created by Woodlands Junior School,...more
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This informative and resourceful website provides information about numerous holidays collected into six different calendar pages. The pages are created by Woodlands Junior School, a British school well known for their online interactive activities, many created by students and teachers together! Although this website was created for use in the United Kingdom, it provides a great deal of knowledge about holidays celebrated in many countries throughout the world. Be aware that there are some links within these pages that do not seem to work, but most do. The content seems to be updated in time for new calendar years, at least on some of the calendars. Some of the specific topics include New Years, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Christmas, and other holidays. Use this website to help your students gain a better understanding of numerous holidays in other cultures. This website provides information about the history of holidays, how the holidays are celebrated and much more.

tag(s): calendars (47), christmas (55), easter (13), holidays (138), st patricks day (13), valentines day (13)

In the Classroom

As you study other cultures, be sure to include this resource for students to research the celebrations there. Or include the link on your teacher web page with the title "Every Day is a Holiday?" asking students to use the holiday calendar to become more be aware of different cultures. Instead of reporting on a current event from the newspaper, give them the option of reporting on a holiday that occurred this week in another part of the world.

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Chinese New Year

Grades
5 to 8
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Learn about the Chinese calendar and and more with this informational site about the Chinese New Year. Learn about the animals in the Chinese zodiac, the significance of dragons in...more
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Learn about the Chinese calendar and and more with this informational site about the Chinese New Year. Learn about the animals in the Chinese zodiac, the significance of dragons in Chinese mythology, several "special" facts about various years, and how the date of the New Year is determined. Get some great ideas from this site for activities in your classroom.

tag(s): china (65), chinese (50), chinese new year (3)

In the Classroom

Share the "what's special about..." section with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students judge which year was the most special and write journal entries or blogs about WHY.

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Download a 12 Sided Calendar - Ole Arntzen

Grades
4 to 10
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This interesting web activity enables students to create and print calendars in either PDF format or PostScript format. Students can mark holidays and birthdays in the PostScript format....more
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This interesting web activity enables students to create and print calendars in either PDF format or PostScript format. Students can mark holidays and birthdays in the PostScript format. Once the calendar is printed, the website provides explicit instructions about how to fold the paper into a 12 sided calendar. This website is a fabulous tool to reinforce geometry skills, calendar math, following directions, and reading. The files are available in PDF format and require Adobe. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): holidays (138), new years (11), paper folding (4)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous craft to complete at the beginning of the calendar year (January). Take your class to the computer lab and have the students fill in the blanks to print their calendars. Then use an interactive whiteboard or projection screen to share the instructions for folding the calendar.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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New Year's Resolutions - Goalsguy Learning Systems, Inc.

Grades
5 to 12
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Celebrate New Year's Resolution Week in your classroom with this site that offers a brief history of New Year's observances, good luck traditions practiced around the world, a list...more
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Celebrate New Year's Resolution Week in your classroom with this site that offers a brief history of New Year's observances, good luck traditions practiced around the world, a list of common resolutions, and a resolution contract, which can be easily adapted to grade level. A list of famous people born on New Years Day and New Years songs round out this mix.

Be aware: there are some minor advertisements at this site. There is also a short interactive countdown activity that requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): new years (11)

In the Classroom

Have students use this site as a starting point in creating their own New Year's Resolutions. Have cooperative learning groups research the various holidays in December and January. Challenge students to create a multimedia presentation (video, PowerPoint, or blog) to share their findings about the holiday. Have a "World Celebrations" day and have students share information about the holiday (such as customs, food, significance, and any other pertinent information).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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New Year's in America - Jerilyn Watson

Grades
3 to 6
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This online quiz focuses on New Year's traditions in America, but tests knowledge of grammar and word choice. The quiz has about forty questions (all related to New Year's and ...more
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This online quiz focuses on New Year's traditions in America, but tests knowledge of grammar and word choice. The quiz has about forty questions (all related to New Year's and grammar). This is a great activity for ESL and ELL students or elementary students practicing grammar skills. This site does require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): new years (11), states (165)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector and take this quiz together. Or use this website as a learning station during your Language Arts or Social Studies class. In younger classes (or beginning ESL or ELL) allow students to work with a partner. Challenge students to create their own quiz on New Years (or another holiday) that incorporates grammar practice.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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New Year Traditions - Australian Media Pty. Ltd.

Grades
4 to 6
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Learn about New Year's celebrations around the world. Click on the name of a country to read a brief synopsis of its customs and traditions. Includes links to New Year's-inspired ...more
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Learn about New Year's celebrations around the world. Click on the name of a country to read a brief synopsis of its customs and traditions. Includes links to New Year's-inspired recipes, poetry, and songs. Some of the songs provide lyrics only, while others have sound. A few of the links require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): new years (11), poetry (221), songs (53)

In the Classroom

Play one of the New Year's songs in the background while your students use this site for research about specific countries.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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New Year's Customs Worldwide - TOPICS Online Magazine

Grades
4 to 8
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Happy New Year! Come to this site to learn more about New Year's celebrations from around the world. One country believes that if you sleep on New Year's Eve - ...more
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Happy New Year! Come to this site to learn more about New Year's celebrations from around the world. One country believes that if you sleep on New Year's Eve - your eyebrows will turn white! Can you figure out which one? Come to this site to explore many traditions, read personal stories (written by students), view video clips of New Year's celebrations, take an online quiz, and more. Some of the activities at this site require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): new years (11)

In the Classroom

Around the New Years holiday, share this site with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students read through the various country celebrations and choose their favorite and least favorite customs. Have students write a short story or blog entry describing why they made the choices that they did. Have cooperative learning groups explore this site together and take the online quiz.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Using Art to Define the Renaissance - TeachersFirst

Grades
6 to 10
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This unit, ideal for classes in Art, World Cultures, or World History, can also be used in conjunction with the study of Renaissance literature. Students should already have a basic...more
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This unit, ideal for classes in Art, World Cultures, or World History, can also be used in conjunction with the study of Renaissance literature. Students should already have a basic understanding of the Classical Period and the Middle Ages. Beginning from the premise that "art imitates life," the unit connects art with the philosophical underpinnings of the Renaissance. This unit will take students through a process in which they will not only experience masterpieces from the Renaissance, but will also learn to analyze art, draw conclusions, and, at the advanced level, apply lessons from the art to their own lives. In doing so, students will gain an understanding of the characteristics that define the Renaissance.

tag(s): renaissance (32)

In the Classroom

This unit was developed to be used by a wide range of ages and abilities. It can be altered for different ability levels. TeachersFirst editors have included options for more student-centered, project-based activities using technology throughout the unit. You can adjust the time requirements depending on which activities you decide to do.

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NMAI: Identity by Design - Smithsonian

Grades
6 to 12
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From the National Museum of the American Indian, this online exhibit is subtitled "Tradition, Change and Celebration in Native Women's Dresses." The exhibit uses 19th century Native...more
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From the National Museum of the American Indian, this online exhibit is subtitled "Tradition, Change and Celebration in Native Women's Dresses." The exhibit uses 19th century Native women's clothing as insight into Native American culture of the time period, and features stunning photographs of Native dresses and commentary by present-day Native women. The site both describes the ways Native women made their clothing in the 19th century and the ways that clothing can give us important clues about the role of women in Native society. Of interest also are the ways clothing began to reflect the influence of the dominant white culture on traditional Native practices. The site also includes information about today's Native Powwow dance competitions which bridge the distance between traditional culture and the modern world, and bring 19th century Native women's clothing and costume into the 21st century. The Resources link contains lesson plans and educational material. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): clothing (8), native americans (80), women (96)

In the Classroom

Traditionally, American history has been taught as the story of the dominant European culture's triumph over more primitive Native cultures. Native American culture is too often pictured as one-dimensional rather than as a rich collection of diverse tribes and cultures. If Native women are featured at all, they may be represented only by Pocahontas and Sacajawea. This site allows a fuller exploration of the variety of Native women's cultures and would serve as an outstanding supplement to a study of the European settlement of the West. The photographs of the women's dresses are lovely and would display nicely on an interactive whiteboard or projector. The commentary would be useful for any student doing more in-depth research into Native culture. The site's focus on women's roles and culture would also fit nicely with a unit on women's history. The Resources link contains lesson plans and educational material. To extend the clothing-as -culture approach in your classroom, ask students to create a wiki showing the role of clothing in ethnic subcultures of the U.S. today or at other places and times. Middle school grades might want to work together with the art or FCS teachers on this.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Interactive-Learning.com.au - K.O'Regan

Grades
6 to 12
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Don't let the simple appearance fool you! This site is a smorgasbord of interactive lessons on history, English, and music. Wonderful for the Humanities teacher, it allows teachers...more
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Don't let the simple appearance fool you! This site is a smorgasbord of interactive lessons on history, English, and music. Wonderful for the Humanities teacher, it allows teachers of any of those subjects to pick and choose what best fits their plans. Some examples of topics include archaeology, ancient Rome, South American Empires, ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, letter writing, gorgeous grammar, common spelling errors, the Renaissance, the Middle Ages, poetry, the theatre, film, composers, and at least twenty other topics. The site declares itself "student self-directed (self-explanatory)." The links are functional, the graphics are attractive, and, while some of the activities are simple and straightforward, many of them take students into analysis and synthesis without them even realizing they are thinking on higher levels and producing work with more depth. Many of the activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): australia (37), civil rights (120), grammar (210), listening (86), medieval (27), poetry (221), renaissance (32), spelling (166)

In the Classroom

The world is open on this site. Choose any activity your students are interested in and this site can help you mold it into what you want for your curriculum. Students interested in fantasy? Have them investigate and write from the "Fantasy-Myths and Legends" prompt. Trouble with grammar? Have them print off the worksheets from "Gorgeous Grammar" and play online, interactive, Grammar Gorillas. This site's use is only limited by your imagination! From virtual site studies to student web projects-- it's all here!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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History for Middle School Kids - Kidipede

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

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

In the Classroom

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

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Today in History - Library of Congress

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

tag(s): history day (24)

In the Classroom

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

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Today In History - Cowles

Grades
6 to 12
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A very good site for the history buff or those struggling to understand historical events. The story links have real depth and are well written for easy comprehension. Pictures make...more
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A very good site for the history buff or those struggling to understand historical events. The story links have real depth and are well written for easy comprehension. Pictures make the history come alive and support the information given. There are links to particular events of the day, a daily quiz, and a picture of the day. Be aware: some dates do not have any information and other dates provide a very brief list of "happenings."

tag(s): expository writing (40), history day (24)

In the Classroom

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

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Modern Languages - Learning Space Open University

Grades
8 to 12
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This site offers free courses with a great deal of depth on topics featuring modern European languages and English. It is a not a site for beginning language learners or ...more
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This site offers free courses with a great deal of depth on topics featuring modern European languages and English. It is a not a site for beginning language learners or low-level ESL and ELL students. Courses explore language topics, mostly with textual readings. Some of the featured units follow language textbooks. In addition to language topics, there are several offerings in business English. Students can choose what to study in a variety of ways: by topic, time of course, and course number or code.

You can put this in your RSS reader. Some of the activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): business (59)

In the Classroom

Introduce your AP language and world culture students to the materials on this site. Gifted students or those seeking independent language study could also use these courses.Older ESL and ELL students interested in business careers may also find it useful.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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