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Earth Album - Europa Technologies

Grades
K to 12
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This breath-taking website allows you to explore amazing photos from all around the world courtesy of Flickr and Google Maps. You are presented with a map of the world.Simply click...more
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This breath-taking website allows you to explore amazing photos from all around the world courtesy of Flickr and Google Maps. You are presented with a map of the world.Simply click on the specific area where you want to view pictures of. Some of the pictures feature simply a title. Others go into great details about the picture (many in English, others in the native language of the area). The picture info is entered by the people who share the pictures on Flickr.You can zoom in on specific areas to view pictures (i.e. you can zoom in on specific states or countries within the continents). Click on the smaller picture to enlarge and view details about the picture. The website even allows you to view pictures of the oceans, seas, and other bodies of water throughout the world. The pictures are beautiful and introduce students to the culture of the specific area. When you click to go to an area, a row of pictures appear. To return to the main map, simply click on the icon with the globe and magnifying glass. This site is extremely simple to use. Images change as the public enters new photos. Be sure to check back frequently for new photos.

Safety warning: Since Flickr photos are contributed by the general public, you will want to preview what comes up on Flickr or join Flickr and tag your own set of photos to use.

tag(s): africa (166), antarctica (29), arctic (46), asia (73), australia (37), europe (72), maps (294), north america (18), south america (40)

In the Classroom

Share this fabulous website with your class. You may want to use an interactive whiteboard or projector with younger students to "take them on a journey around the world." As you read literature selections about far-away places, use these pictures to help students "picture" the stories. Ask the students to choose the state, country, or continent to tour. You could also use this site for independent research, but you will have to preview the possible choices ahead of time. Share this link on your class newsletter or website for families to view together at home.

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GeoBeats - GeoBeats, Inc.

Grades
3 to 12
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This multi-sensory website features video clips from around the world. This website is an amazing visual treat for students (and teachers). GeoBeats, based out of Washington, D.C.,...more
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This multi-sensory website features video clips from around the world. This website is an amazing visual treat for students (and teachers). GeoBeats, based out of Washington, D.C., has filmmakers throughout 45 countries. All video clips promise reliability, personality, and relevance. All facts are research based. You have the choice of location AND the choice of topic. Some examples of locations include Austria, Egypt, Finland, Canada, Greece, India, Mexico, Japan, Philippines, Thailand, and many other countries. The topics you can choose from vary by location. Some examples of possible topics include chocolate shops (in Paris), the Colosseum, local etiquette, and many others. The neat thing about the topics is they vary from tourist attractions, local customs, food, city life, modes of transportation, and countless others. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): canada (31), india (32), italy (15)

In the Classroom

Take your students on a journey around the world. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share specific video clips with your class. This website is also useful for individual research on numerous destinations throughout the world. Why not assign each student a different country to research. Provide time for the students to view the video clips relevant to their country. Have a class "World Day," and have students present multi-media presentations about their country. World language teachers will also love the rich options within this site.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Guns Germs, & Steel - PBS

Grades
9 to 12
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Jared Diamond's book Guns Germs & Steel won a Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction. This website presents an overview of some of the major threads of Diamond's thesis as ...more
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Jared Diamond's book Guns Germs & Steel won a Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction. This website presents an overview of some of the major threads of Diamond's thesis as presented in the PBS special based upon the book. Diamond suggests that geography may have been the single most important factor in the rise and fall of civilizations over the course of human history. The site examines some of the variables that have contributed to the success or failure of societies through history, including crops, animals, technology, and climate. There are lesson plans tied to national standards associated with each of the televised episodes. While viewing the series is an option, much can be gained by examining the lesson plans even without watching the series.

tag(s): cultures (108)

In the Classroom

The information contained here will be most helpful in planning lessons on the interdependence of culture, geography and technology. Students may find information here for research purposes, but this site should be considered mostly for its usefulness to teachers in advance of unit planning.

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Yale University Art Gallery - Yale University

Grades
5 to 12
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Art and world history come alive through this dazzling collection of the Yale University Art Gallery. The collections span time and continents: African art, American painting, sculpture...more
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Art and world history come alive through this dazzling collection of the Yale University Art Gallery. The collections span time and continents: African art, American painting, sculpture and decorative arts, ancient art, art of the ancient Americans, Asian art, coins and medals, and early European, modern, and contemporary art. Each collection is easily viewed in a slide show format with detailed descriptions, which combine art and history. The "What is Art?" section of the website encourages students and teachers to explore the meaning of art through gallery tour podcasts produced by Yale students. The website includes resources for K12 educators with three language arts/social studies lesson plans and art detective games for students. The podcasts require Flash for viewing. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to take your students on a virtual field trip through the narrated slide shows. Be sure to turn up the volume! The art collection is best viewed at 1024 x 768 screen resolution. The lesson plans, complete with images, are downloadable for classroom use. The writing prompts can be easily adapted for use with other works of art. Consider using the writing prompts for student blog posts on art with links to some of the artworks on this site.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Africa Focus: Sights and Sounds of a Continent - University of Wisconsin Digital Collections

Grades
3 to 12
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Africa Focus offers a wealth of digital images and sound recordings from contemporary Africa. This collection from the University of Wisconsin contains more than 3000 slides, 500 photographs,...more
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Africa Focus offers a wealth of digital images and sound recordings from contemporary Africa. This collection from the University of Wisconsin contains more than 3000 slides, 500 photographs, and 50 hours of sounds from 45 different countries. Click Search the Collection to see image categories which include artisans, buildings and structures, cities and towns, education, landscape, religion, and women. Sound recordings include drums, greetings, rites and ceremonies, songs, and signing. The site is easily searched by keyword or by subject heading. This site requires RealPlayer. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): africa (166), air (145), architecture (84), black history (58)

In the Classroom

Teachers will find this site rich in resources for units on science, social studies, geography, architecture, music, art, and culture. Make Africa a "real" place by sharing on a projector as you share stories or learn about homes ("Structures")and habitats or landforms ("Landscape") with younger students. Use the sound recordings for lessons on oral history, myths, languages, and music. Assign student groups a topic area, which they can research and present to the class as a PowerPoint or another multi-media format using an interactive whiteboard or projector.

Images, text, or other content downloaded from the collection may be freely used for non-profit educational and research purposes under Fair Use. That means that you may NOT put them on the web in a public site, blog, or wiki, since you would not be limiting access to class members. If you want students to create blog or wiki pages, create passworded access for class members only to areas displaying these images and resources. Check the website for instructions on how students can cite this source in their bibliographies.

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Archeology and Storytelling - Discovery Education

Grades
6 to 12
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This detailed lesson plan begins with students exploring events from their own lives and talking about where they came from. Students prepare an oral presentation based on a family...more
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This detailed lesson plan begins with students exploring events from their own lives and talking about where they came from. Students prepare an oral presentation based on a family story, heirloom, or other artifact. Students go on to explore the world of archeology with a greater understanding of archeologists' work unearthing facts and stories of other family groups. This lesson plan is adaptable for middle school or high school students. The lesson plan includes national standards, links, vocabulary with audio reading, and more. Parts of this site require Windows Media Player. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): archeology (31), forensics (26)

In the Classroom

Adapt this site and use it with ESL/ ELL students to draw the other cultures into your classes. Ask students to look for examples of family stories in international literature. Plan a forum or special event night where students can share the stories they've prepared with family and community members.

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Renaissance Pleasure Faire Costuming - Renaissance Entertainment Productions

Grades
9 to 12
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If you are teaching anything related to the Renaissance time period, this is a nifty site for studying costuming of the period. It gives detailed information on the materials, colors,...more
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If you are teaching anything related to the Renaissance time period, this is a nifty site for studying costuming of the period. It gives detailed information on the materials, colors, and types of clothing worn in the Elizabethan era.

tag(s): renaissance (32)

In the Classroom

Whether working in theatre, art, or family & consumer science, this site works as a resource and a template for students to create authentic costuming. Using what is described; students can create their own designs of costumes for peasants through noblemen from headwear to footwear. There is a glossary of terms for proper identification. Students might want to design the clothing for Hamlet or Romeo & Juliet, using the language and information given on this site.

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Maps and Graphics - United Nations Environment Programme

Grades
9 to 12
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Looking for a way to graphically display world or environmental problems? These world maps can be used to view complicated topics in a way that students can "see." Choose Freshwater,...more
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Looking for a way to graphically display world or environmental problems? These world maps can be used to view complicated topics in a way that students can "see." Choose Freshwater, Diversity and Conservation, Climate Change, Pollution, Environment and Poverty, and Urban Issues. Search global and regional data to create your own interactive map. View materials and maps by region, category, or collection. Graphics can be downloaded in pdf (readable in Acrobat Reader) or graphic png files (readable in Picture/Fax viewer or your built-in image program).

tag(s): climate (93), conservation (123), data (157), environment (321), pollution (65), statistics (126), water (131)

In the Classroom

Use a graphic comparison between different areas of the world as a starting point for environmental or social problems discussions. An interactive whiteboard with drawing and highlighting tools will allow your students to "work" with the data both visually and tactilely. Students can gain a global perspective to problems and better grasp the meaning of data. Students can then research specifics or reasons behind the statistics shown on the graphic. For example, use a map of Population of World by Poverty. Students can then research the populations of the countries as well as the possible reasons for the poverty. Students can calculate the percent differences between countries or different years. Have students make comparisons into multimedia or traditional presentations. Students can also have class discussions, debates about policies, or create a wiki to show information and sides of the issues and to make the data "show" something more meaningful than a simple number.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Timeline of Art History - Metropolitan Museum of Art

Grades
6 to 12
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The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City offers this site. View World Maps, Timelines, Thematic Essays, and more. Click on the "Works of Art" link to search by ...more
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The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City offers this site. View World Maps, Timelines, Thematic Essays, and more. Click on the "Works of Art" link to search by time period, geographical region, or thematic category. Time periods include 8000 BC to the present. Thematic categories include African, Renaissance, Colonial, Medieval, Modern, and more. The timeline features nearly every continent and many categories of art.

tag(s): art history (81), medieval (27), renaissance (32)

In the Classroom

Art teachers will find it easy to search for themes. History teachers can access items by date. Any of the "thematic essays" could be projected on an interactive whiteboard (or projection screen) to accompany a lecture in class. Or have students use this excellent resource for independent research or to illustrate their own presentations. Challenge groups to choose a time period and create blogs about the "mood" of the art. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration! Or have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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Biographical Dictionary - s9.com

Grades
3 to 12
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This Wikipedia-type dictionary includes more than 33,000 biographies on men and women from ancient times to today. Search by birth or death dates, professions, achievements, name or...more
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This Wikipedia-type dictionary includes more than 33,000 biographies on men and women from ancient times to today. Search by birth or death dates, professions, achievements, name or other keywords. Anyone can register to edit or add to a biography. If you do recommend this site as a source for research, be sure to have the discussion about its unknown authorship and usefulness as a general information tool but not as a "scholarly" resource.

tag(s): critical thinking (118)

In the Classroom

This site could be a terrific way to publish student research projects to the real world. When you assign research projects on a famous scientist, author, famous American, musician, etc., have students create their written projects in a format that will fit into this online dictionary, including providing links and references for their information. Younger students could write an entry together as a class (perhaps on an author whose book you have just read). Challenge middle and high school students to find articles in your research area that contain possible inaccuracies or bias (and the research to prove it) and present both the original and their proposed changes to the class before putting them online. What a critical thinking challenge!

Be sure to follow your district's acceptable use policy if you are allowing students to contribute to this site. Make sure you have written parent permission to post student work online.

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Language Menu Activities - Learnwell Oy

Grades
6 to 12
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Choose from Vocabulary or Picture Vocabulary for many topics. There are currently 36 languages to choose from. (From matching games to picture recognition to translation practice,...more
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Choose from Vocabulary or Picture Vocabulary for many topics. There are currently 36 languages to choose from. (From matching games to picture recognition to translation practice, the site offers fairly sophisticated word practice. A flag-country matching game is of general interest to all students, not just language learners. There are many advantages in using this site for ESL or ELL students. The main advantage is the capability to choose a different language for questions and answers, thus assuring specific understanding of specific words with the definitions in their first language.

tag(s): capitals (23), flags (22), vocabulary (316), vocabulary development (120)

In the Classroom

Mark this site in Favorites on your classroom computers for ESL and ELL students.. Provide information about this site to foreign language teachers in your school. This is a wonderful site to list in your class newsletter (if applicable) or on your class website.

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National Museum of African American History and Culture - Smithsonian

Grades
6 to 12
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The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted to documentation of African-American life in the United States. Explore the virtual museum...more
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The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted to documentation of African-American life in the United States. Explore the virtual museum through collections, exhibitions, stories, and more. Search collections by topic, era, or name to view artifacts including photographs, maps, and much more.

tag(s): africa (166), african american (109), black history (58)

In the Classroom

This site is a great tool for individual research, add this site to your teacher web page so students can access it from home. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare information from different time periods or locations in the United States. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts providing information about African-American life throughout the years, or as a newscast from one particular time or event. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Rome Reborn 1.0 - University of Virginia

Grades
6 to 12
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Rome Reborn 1.0 is, as its title implies, a work in progress. Scholars at the University of Virginia are in the process of creating a digital representation of Rome ...more
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Rome Reborn 1.0 is, as its title implies, a work in progress. Scholars at the University of Virginia are in the process of creating a digital representation of Rome on June 21, 320 AD. Currently, several views are available (under Gallery), both as still views and as short video clips. The clips look like a cross between a "Google Earth" fly-in and the backdrop for a video game. While they have the potential to give students a "you are there" vision of ancient Rome, they might also disappoint in that the movement is much clunkier than the latest video games' resolution. Students might see the images as "old school" compared with what they are used to.

tag(s): latin (21), rome (25)

In the Classroom

The still views and video clips are ideal for use with an interactive whiteboard or projector during a discussion of ancient Rome. Use them as a companion to current photographs of the Colosseum, or the Roman Forum, for example. Ask your more creative students what suggestions they might have to portray Rome. What would they like to "see"? More "techie" humanities students may be interested in following the project and/or attempting to communicate with project participants.
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Universal Leonardo - University of the Arts, London

Grades
6 to 12
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Leonardo da Vinci is one of history's greatest geniuses. This site looks at Leonardo's work in ways that highlight how comprehensive and interdisciplinary his impact has been. Of...more
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Leonardo da Vinci is one of history's greatest geniuses. This site looks at Leonardo's work in ways that highlight how comprehensive and interdisciplinary his impact has been. Of course, you can examine his individual works of art, but this site is organized along threads, which you can access through a traditional menu or through an interactive web. Follow Leonardo's influence in math, through his inventions, in his understanding of the human body or his examination of the natural world. There are also some just-plain-fun flash-enabled games to play: make the Mona Lisa smile broadly by correctly answering questions about her, practice mirror writing, or see if you can power his glider across a ravine.

tag(s): renaissance (32)

In the Classroom

Because Leonardo's work crosses so many curricular boundaries, teachers from many different disciplines might find this site useful as part of a lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard, particularly when painting "the big picture" for students (no pun intended!). Art teachers, of course, can access Leonardo's work, but science teachers can use the interactive games to illustrate principles of physics or early understanding of the human body. History or literature teachers might use the site to personify the term "Renaissance Man" for students studying the time period. Whatever your discipline, be sure to make the link available from your teacher web page for curious students to explore outside of class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Timeless Ideas for Teaching - Concord Monitor Publishing

Grades
6 to 12
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Posted by the New Hampshire Concord Monitor Newspaper in the Classroom program, this website offers many interactive ideas that students can use either with a physical newspaper...more
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Posted by the New Hampshire Concord Monitor Newspaper in the Classroom program, this website offers many interactive ideas that students can use either with a physical newspaper in front of them, with an online news service such as CNN, or with online editions of newspapers that you find here. The examples used all refer to the New Hampshire newspaper, but are easily adaptable to whatever topic you want the students to deal with. This site includes such varied activities as creating a database and writing recipes. It covers every section of a newspaper. Students could create their own classroom newspaper using some of these activities or simply create journalistic articles based on whatever topic you are currently teaching. This is adaptable to almost any grade level and subject area.

tag(s): local history (15), news (260), newspapers (98)

In the Classroom

Whether you use hard-copy papers or electronic editions, many of these ideas will work even better using technology: word processing, wikis, blogs (for editorials), graphic organizer tools, digital cameras, etc. Use today's tools to study this powerful medium as it goes through transition into an electronic world. Consider asking students to compare electronic vs. hard-copy newspapers and their pros/cons, as well.

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The Online Guide to Traditional Games - James Masters

Grades
8 to 12
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Clearly, students love playing games of all kinds. This website takes a look at the history of games from board games to lawn games. It both describes the pieces, the ...more
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Clearly, students love playing games of all kinds. This website takes a look at the history of games from board games to lawn games. It both describes the pieces, the boards, the rules, and the history. Since many of the games are from other places around the world, this site affords the opportunity to investigate how game playing relates to life in different times and places. This is a great site to get kids involved in history, games, and creativity. Not only can they learn about games from the Renaissance and before; they will laugh at names like "Toad in the Hole" and "Ringing the Bull." While many of these games will show the origins of games they play today, it will give students ideas on how to create their own games.

In the Classroom

Have students design gameboards or cards, game pieces, and rules to play variations of the games on the site. In your world cultures class, have students play and compare games from different cultures. Use game-creation as the culminating project at the end of a content or research unit or simply as a way to teach writing: both informational (directions) and creative. Have students role-play characters who might play original or historic games by writing character sketches and then performing them. Let the games begin!

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CommonCensus Map Project - Michael Baldwin

Grades
9 to 12
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Today's world is increasingly mobile, and deep-seated regional identity may be fading into the background. This project seeks to redraw the map of the United States using responders'...more
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Today's world is increasingly mobile, and deep-seated regional identity may be fading into the background. This project seeks to redraw the map of the United States using responders' self-reported regional "identity" rather than political or geographic borders. For example, the city or US region you most closely identify with may be different from your mailing address. Aside from being a new way of thinking about the question "Where are you from?" this concept has enormous political implications as candidates focus on the regional issues that matter to voters. There are also important issues relative to immigration, national identity, and the ever-shrinking global economy reflected in this data.

tag(s): demographics (19)

In the Classroom

The website is a work in progress and depends upon users to respond to a brief questionnaire. It might be interesting to have students participate after a discussion of concepts of regional identification or the importance of political involvement. (The form does require the user to enter a home address, but no other identifying information). Your students could also invite their parents to participate or conduct a local drive to add data to the project and see what happens to the map. The information gathered from this site might also be helpful in talking about regional and local political representation during election years. The opportuniites for critical thinking abound with this site.

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Haltadefinizione: The Last Supper in Detail - Hal9000

Grades
6 to 12
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If you teach about DaVinci, the Renaissance, religion, or painting, this site is phenomenal to bring the closest thing to the actual painting of the Last Supper right up to ...more
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If you teach about DaVinci, the Renaissance, religion, or painting, this site is phenomenal to bring the closest thing to the actual painting of the Last Supper right up to your face. Unlike most online images, this one has been digitized to allow you to zoom in VERY closely and still have a sharp image. The exquisite detail will let you discuss technique, symbolism, and more. See context about how the online version was made by clicking on "HAL9000" and watching the "backstage" video. The video includes some street scenes outside in Milan. The site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): italy (15), renaissance (32)

In the Classroom

Turn off the music if it interferes with your study, then open this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. If you have laptops available, let your students explore the painting on their own and make observations, as well, perhaps guided by some questions from you. As an interesting aside with high school students, talk about the issue of whether art masterpieces should be digitized and shared on the web for wider exposure. What does this experience do the the works? What does it do to the art viewing experience?
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Blogabond (beta) - Blogabond

Grades
6 to 12
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This new travel blog site is intended for travelers to document their trips to locations worldwide. The site is in "beta," which means that they are still working out kinks ...more
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This new travel blog site is intended for travelers to document their trips to locations worldwide. The site is in "beta," which means that they are still working out kinks and adding features. Although it would be nice to think that teachers can use the site for their own travels, it is far more likely that you will use it to share "real world" experiences from places around the world to make the maps and textbook images come to life. You can search Blogabond by geographic location using the world map (click Maps) to find markers indicating blog posts ( little speech bubble icon) and pictures (little camera icon) from worldwide locations.

tag(s): cities (27), continents (51), countries (82), maps (294)

In the Classroom

Find some travel bloggers who are visiting the places you are studying and share the pictures and posts on a projector. If you teach a foreign language, you can also find posts from people in other languages as they visit the U.S.! Of course you will want to preview to be sure the blog content is appropriate for the classroom. Your students would love to comment as a class and ask questions of someone "on location" in the continent/country of interest. Create a TEACHER log-in to do this as a group to protect student safety "talking to strangers." Your school filtering may block all URLs with the word "blogs." If this is the case, you may want to use your home computer to select a few specific travel blogs that are school-appropriate and support your curriculum and request that they be unblocked.

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Exploring Africa - Michigan State University

Grades
6 to 12
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Wow, this website is amazing! Exploring Africa brings Africa into your classroom through numerous interdisciplinary lessons. There are 20 modules (within 4 general units of study)....more
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Wow, this website is amazing! Exploring Africa brings Africa into your classroom through numerous interdisciplinary lessons. There are 20 modules (within 4 general units of study). The general units include "Why Study Africa", "Studying Africa Through the Social Studies", "Studying Africa Through the Humanities", and "Regional Perspectives". Each module contains a teacher version that includes objectives, focus questions, activities, background information, and more. These teaching and learning activities all follow the "5 E's" format: Engage, Explore, Explain, Expand, and Evaluate. The website also provides links for specific country information and current events.

tag(s): africa (166), diversity (33)

In the Classroom

This website is literally a textbook online. The information is ready to go and easy to use. It may not be possible to cover all of the information included in this extensive website. Pick and choose the modules that will be useful in your own classroom. Modules can easily be used independently and include detailed teacher notes, evaluations, printable pages, and more. Many of the a ctivities will work well using technology, though the plans do not specify this. For example: Share some of the maps on your interactive whiteboard or have students draw some of their "preconceived notions" about Africa on the whiteboard as part of the introductory image activities.

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