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World Geography Quizzes - Sheppard Software

Grades
3 to 12
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With such poor results as a nation on geography testing, we all should try these geography games to build student knowledge of U.S. and world geography. Students can click on ...more
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With such poor results as a nation on geography testing, we all should try these geography games to build student knowledge of U.S. and world geography. Students can click on the region of the world and practice at different levels of difficulty. Even adults can find a challenge. Offered in a "dial up version" for those accessing the sites from a slower connection. Note: the non-dial-up pages require FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): capitals (23), continents (51), countries (82), maps (294)

In the Classroom

Be sure to put a link for these online games and quizzes on your teacher web page for the summer and throughout the school year. Students can use them to practice for your geography quizzes or as extra challenges. The different levels of dificulty will allow you to differentiate your instruction easily.

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Blues Classroom - PBS

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6 to 12
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A true American art form, "the Blues" makes a great interdisciplinary study, and this site's lesson plans provide a well-researched foundation for that study. Our only regret is that...more
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A true American art form, "the Blues" makes a great interdisciplinary study, and this site's lesson plans provide a well-researched foundation for that study. Our only regret is that sites on this subject so rarely include sound files for the music they're describing.

tag(s): africa (166), african american (109), blues (17), jazz (16), songs (53)

In the Classroom

If you elect to use this site, talk with your school's music teacher about resources that will let students hear samples of the music.

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Terrorism and the Web - Washington Post

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9 to 12
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This is a chilling study of the ways in which terrorist groups make use of the Internet and the web to further their ambitions. While it has sensational elements, it ...more
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This is a chilling study of the ways in which terrorist groups make use of the Internet and the web to further their ambitions. While it has sensational elements, it is also an excellent example of propaganda and the use of technology for less-than-noble causes. NOTE: The site contains graphic material. Please PREVIEW THOROUGHLY before using this site.

tag(s): propaganda (11), terrorism (45), terrorist (15)

In the Classroom

Government, English, and AP world cultues teachers could use this site to frame a discussion about censorship, regulation of technology, and other issues.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Choices - Brown University

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10 to 12
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Secondary world cultures and government teachers will find a rich resource in Brown University's Choices program - lessons based on current international political situations. Each...more
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Secondary world cultures and government teachers will find a rich resource in Brown University's Choices program - lessons based on current international political situations. Each offers background and alternatives, then asks students to formulate effective responses and support their conclusions.

tag(s): air (145), politics (98)

In the Classroom

While ideal for an AP class, students at many levels can benefit from working with problems that have no obvious "right" answers. This site offers much to think about.

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FIFA World Cup - FIFA

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6 to 12
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The international soccer association's site includes more than 750 player profiles, score reports, video highlights, and more from the 2006 World Cup. The site includes live game updates...more
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The international soccer association's site includes more than 750 player profiles, score reports, video highlights, and more from the 2006 World Cup. The site includes live game updates and all the bells and whistles that well-connected sports fans demand. There's a great world cultures lesson in this site, since not all the competitors are from the usual "big name" nations.

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World Cup 2006 - German Republic

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6 to 12
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Soccer - what the rest of the world calls football - is truly the world's sport, so the World Cup is big news internationally. It's also a great time to ...more
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Soccer - what the rest of the world calls football - is truly the world's sport, so the World Cup is big news internationally. It's also a great time to link sport and world cultures. This site from the host country, Germany, offers games to play, background on the host country, and a sampling of the action from a German perspective.

tag(s): german (64)

In the Classroom

If in need of a fun game during a lesson on International sports OR more information about Germany, be sure to check this site out. For the former there is an interactive game, "dribble king," that students could play on classroom computers. For the latter, there is ample information about German industries, business, soccer culture, and even travel destinations. Though its a bit text heavy, this could be great brush-up material for teachers before teaching a lesson on some aspect of German culture. Foreign language teachers could incorporate this into student research projects or during a lesson discussing vocabulary centered around sports.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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World Citizen's Guide

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9 to 12
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Designed primarily for students traveling internationally, this little 6-page guide offers some practical suggestions to help Americans bridge the cultural differences they are sure...more
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Designed primarily for students traveling internationally, this little 6-page guide offers some practical suggestions to help Americans bridge the cultural differences they are sure to encounter abroad. They rage from the simple (how to wave good-bye) to the more subtle (the importance of listening; differences in pace). This one should be required reading for student groups traveling abroad.

tag(s): cultures (108)

In the Classroom

Beyond its use in travel, consider using this guide in an introductory world cultures class to give students a less "American-centric" view of themselves.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Kids Next Door - HUD

Grades
2 to 3
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This handy resource helps students understand the diverse people, occupations, and functions that form a community. Start with the "Meet Cool People" link to learn about the many jobs...more
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This handy resource helps students understand the diverse people, occupations, and functions that form a community. Start with the "Meet Cool People" link to learn about the many jobs that must be done to keep a community operational. Move on to "See Neat Things," a virtual playground where kids can build their own communities, complete a scavenger hunt; or explore the "Places" link to experience some virtual tours and investigate kid-friendly Web sites. Throughout the site, look for links to pages that detail ways kids can get involved in improving their own communities.

tag(s): communities (38)

In the Classroom

Use these activity ideas to compliment a lesson on community awareness. Some of the activities can be tailored for classroom or home use, so be sure to post the site on your class wiki or webpage to allow students & parents to access it out of the classroom. The scavenger hunt in particular could be used as a review game for the lesson, although be sure to take a look at the others to see if they could work in your room too.

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Smithsonian Global Sound - Smithsonian Institution

Grades
1 to 12
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Listen to and learn about traditional music from cultures around the world and through the ages. Browse this amazing collection of downloadable tunes to find musical enrichment to enhance...more
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Listen to and learn about traditional music from cultures around the world and through the ages. Browse this amazing collection of downloadable tunes to find musical enrichment to enhance a unit of study. Full downloads in MP3 or FLAC format are available for purchase but each offering is accompanied by a free audio sample. Note: this site opens rather slowly.Be patient, especially if you are on a dial-up connection.

tag(s): songs (53)

In the Classroom

Search this site for songs to supplement your unit in a US or World history class. This teacher was able to find a song about the suffrage movement, and was able to teach the beliefs of suffrage through student analysis of the lyrics and tone. Be sure to search - there are literally tons of songs that can be used for a variety of curriculum.

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You Think! - World Bank

Grades
6 to 8
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Delve into global issues with this outstanding site that explores topics like education, conflict, nutrition, the environment, and more, within the context of what matters to kids....more
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Delve into global issues with this outstanding site that explores topics like education, conflict, nutrition, the environment, and more, within the context of what matters to kids. Students can read factual summaries of the problems then investigate the related photographs, videos, galleries, and games. Click on the "Issues" link to view all available topics. Includes downloadable materials for teachers.

tag(s): air (145)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free ideas and classroom guides provided in the "4teachers" section. This would be a useful accompaniment to a government or Geography class.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Playing with Shadows - Kennedy Center

Grades
4 to 6
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Introduce your students to the ancient Chinese art of shadow puppetry with this delightful and interactive site. In addition to revealing the basic mechanics of the art, this resource...more
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Introduce your students to the ancient Chinese art of shadow puppetry with this delightful and interactive site. In addition to revealing the basic mechanics of the art, this resource provides historical background, descriptions of traditional stories and characters used in shadow puppetry, and videos of actual shows performed by the Shaanxi Folk Art Theater - a renowned Chinese puppetry troupe. After observing the step-by-step process of puppet and stage creation, visitors can construct virtual puppets and create their own shows.

tag(s): cultures (108)

In the Classroom

This site might provide some inspiration for a very different kind of multicultural class project. Create your own shadow puppets from straws, tape, paper fasteners, and scissors; then add a simple cotton screen and light source. Instructions and illustrations are provided.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Pigments Through the Ages - Institute for Dynamic Educational Advancement

Grades
10 to 12
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This site traces the origins of paints and pigments used by artists from prehistoric times to the 20th century. Serious art students will enjoy exploring the "paintings" link that offers...more
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This site traces the origins of paints and pigments used by artists from prehistoric times to the 20th century. Serious art students will enjoy exploring the "paintings" link that offers a detailed, illustrated description of the process of oil painting during the Renaissance. An interesting resource for an art history class.

tag(s): art history (81), painting (65)

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Where's Buster? - WGBH

Grades
1 to 3
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This simple but entertaining activity gives students a chance to practice and refine basic map skills. Students must analyze a set of three directional clues to discover Buster's location...more
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This simple but entertaining activity gives students a chance to practice and refine basic map skills. Students must analyze a set of three directional clues to discover Buster's location within the United States.

tag(s): states (165)

In the Classroom

Use the "find Buster" game to help students review their American geography and boost map comprehension skills. Have students work on the site as a learning center or station, individually, to help them best review the material.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Dioramas - American Museum of Natural History

Grades
4 to 10
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If you can't make the journey to the Washington, D.C.'s American Museum of Natural History then take your students to this website for an online tour of the panoramic dioramas ...more
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If you can't make the journey to the Washington, D.C.'s American Museum of Natural History then take your students to this website for an online tour of the panoramic dioramas that are among the museum's most impressive features. Short videos, audio clips, 360? panoramic views, and descriptions of geographic locations and species round out the virtual experience. This aesthetically pleasing site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): species (30)

In the Classroom

If your students are studying a particular geographic location or animal species, send them to this multimedia site for some interactive research. Regions represented include the Upper Nile, Alaska's Denali National Forest, the Everglades, and the American plains.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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A Story of Epic Proportions - National Endowment for the Humanities

Grades
6 to 8
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Find out about the history, heroes, and patterns behind the epic poem, with this middle-school level lesson. Students can learn to recognize the epic hero cycle, and the patterns and...more
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Find out about the history, heroes, and patterns behind the epic poem, with this middle-school level lesson. Students can learn to recognize the epic hero cycle, and the patterns and events characteristic of this genre. The lesson also introduces students to the mnemonic devices used by generations of storytellers to help with recall of long and often complicated tales. Includes downloadable worksheets, a glossary of literary terms, and ideas for lesson extensions. Aligned to Standards.

In the Classroom

What would an epic poem of the 21st century look like? Challenge students to write and 'perform" their own epic work based on the characteristics and patterns uncovered in the lesson.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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World Mapper - University of Sheffield

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6 to 12
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What would a world map look like if countries and continents were sized not by land area, but by population, number of elderly, various type of imports, or emigration? ...more
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What would a world map look like if countries and continents were sized not by land area, but by population, number of elderly, various type of imports, or emigration? This site presents dozens of cartograms - or density-equalizing maps - in which each country is resized according to a specific variable. Each map is accompanied by a downloadable Excel file and a printable poster.

tag(s): immigration (60), maps (294), migration (58), population (64)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector. The population maps would be extremely useful for any class discussion on the world use of resources, and the financial disparities that exist among nations. Use the animations provided on the interactive whiteboard or projector to show students the demographic differences between nations. World Mapper is an wonderful addition to any geography,civics or social studies class, particularly during units on the UN, natural resources, world conflict, and economic disparity.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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CIA Word Factbook: Iran - CIA

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6 to 12
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The CIA's Factbook offers a wealth of information on most of the world's nations. This is a direct link to the page for Iran. ...more
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The CIA's Factbook offers a wealth of information on most of the world's nations. This is a direct link to the page for Iran.

tag(s): iran (11), terrorism (45)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on the interactive whiteboard before allowing students to explore it in cooperative learning groups. Have the groups explore different aspects of the factbook, with the intentions of presenting the highlights to the rest of the class. Have students use a tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here. This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place.

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Evolution of the Medieval Book - Cornell University Library

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10 to 12
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It may be a weighty title, but this user-friendly site provides a fascinating glimpse of how the development of moveable type during the Middle Ages completely revolutionized human...more
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It may be a weighty title, but this user-friendly site provides a fascinating glimpse of how the development of moveable type during the Middle Ages completely revolutionized human communication, transforming Europe and, eventually, the entire world. From the earliest manuscripts and prayer books, to the very first books printed with Gutenberg's metal type, students can gain an understanding of how the metamorphosis of the written word affected human society. Includes images of manuscripts, bindings, and illustrations, along with descriptive commentary.

In the Classroom

Although this site lends itself to a study of influences that affected European history during the Middle Ages, art students can explore the illuminations and letterforms that appear on the pages of these early manuscripts and books as part of a study of printmaking techniques.

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Play Amazon Explorer

Grades
3 to 6
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Discover the mysteries within the Amazon basin with this engaging activity in which students assume the role of Sam Smith, natural historian. Before boarding the virtual plane to Amazonia,...more
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Discover the mysteries within the Amazon basin with this engaging activity in which students assume the role of Sam Smith, natural historian. Before boarding the virtual plane to Amazonia, students must make note of the questions their research should answer. Once in the rainforest, students can explore the river, forest floor, and canopy to learn about the flora and fauna that live in these regions. At the end of the journey, students are asked to share their answers to the research questions.

tag(s): amazon (9)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on biomes, specifically the Amazon River and the Jungle surrounding it. Allow students to work on the site individually or cooperative learning groups, helping them review the content. This site is excellent for enrichment. Include it on your teacher web page for students to access both in and out of class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Age of Exploration - Mariners' Museum

Grades
3 to 7
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Learn about the courageous voyages that changed the course of human history with this comprehensive collection of activities, narratives, and teaching materials. Visual images and text...more
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Learn about the courageous voyages that changed the course of human history with this comprehensive collection of activities, narratives, and teaching materials. Visual images and text are woven together to create a useful resource for content enrichment and student research. Visit the "Activities for Students and Teachers" for ready-to-go activities with printable handouts that can be incorporated into transparencies, presentations, or reports.

tag(s): explorers (68)

In the Classroom

Use the activities portion of this site to add enrichment to your classroom. There are plenty of quick projects and lesson plans, but there are also two interactive web games that could be used to help students review information. Save those particular portions of the site as favorites on your computer and use them for a learning center or station.
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