TeachersFirst's National History Day Resources

Other TeachersFirst Special Topics Collections

Whether your students actually compete in National History Day or not, the annual themes and the challenge of hands-on, primary research wrapped into the History Day project format is an engaging way for students to participate in their own learning and produce rigorous, meaningful projects they will never forget. This collection of TeachersFirst resources pulls from our offerings on primary sources -- a requirement in the national history day competition.  Check the official National History Day site at the start of each school year for the specific theme of the year. Then search TeachersFirst for more resources related to that year's theme. Explore and share these offerings as you plan a "history day" type event for your school or to assist students participating in National History Day.

 

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The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History - The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Grades
6 to 12
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This ambitious site has something for anyone who teaches American history. In fact, if you love history, be prepared to completely lose track of time as you explore the site. ...more
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This ambitious site has something for anyone who teaches American history. In fact, if you love history, be prepared to completely lose track of time as you explore the site. From the homepage, click on "For Teachers and Students" to find lesson plans grouped into thematic modules, information about summer institutes for teachers, useful resources, and news about prizes and competitions for teachers and students. Clicking on "The Collection" provides access to a searchable database of primary documents, some themed online exhibitions, and a document of the week (check back often!). The portion of the site dedicated to Historians provides resources for more in-depth research, and may be useful to students working on History Day projects. From the homepage, you can access podcasts from historians, themed history slideshows, and a link to the Institute's regular journal History Now. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): history day (23), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

While you might turn to this site for a quick reference or document citation, this is the site you sit down with over the summer when you're planning your curriculum and lessons for the term or the year. There is simply so much here and so many good ways to access it that you will need to plan on spending significant time here.

Share the slideshows, podcasts, and primary documents on an interactive whiteboard or projector to supplement a lesson. Certainly you'll want to provide this link for your serious students who are doing research. Department chairs, be sure you pass along this resource to American History teachers throughout your district! Not only is it comprehensive, but it's user-friendly and easy to navigate.

Why not have cooperative learning groups explore various facets of this site and create multimedia presentations. Maybe a collaborative wiki about the topic researched. Not sure what a wiki is? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. How about having your students create podcasts using a site such as PodOMatic (reviewed here).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Crisis of the Union - Univ. of Pennsylvania

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6 to 12
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The department of history at the University of Pennsylvania developed this searchable collection of primary source materials dealing with the Civil War. The collection includes editorial...more
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The department of history at the University of Pennsylvania developed this searchable collection of primary source materials dealing with the Civil War. The collection includes editorial cartoons, images, and manuscripts, all grouped by subject and time period. While some of the material will require interpretation, this would be a useful site for secondary research that requires the use of primary sources. Some of the sources require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

Share this site with your students while researching the Civil War.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Lincoln Goes to War - National Endowment for the Humanities

Grades
7 to 12
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Get inside of the mind of our sixteenth president with this thoughtful lesson plan that analyzes the complex factors that led to the Civil War. Using primary source documents, students...more
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Get inside of the mind of our sixteenth president with this thoughtful lesson plan that analyzes the complex factors that led to the Civil War. Using primary source documents, students become part of the decision-making process as they consider the critical issues that faced the nation as Lincoln came into office, debate the risks and benefits of withdrawing Union troops from Fort Sumter, and investigate the Confederate reaction to Lincoln's ultimate decision. Students take on the roles of Secessionists, Non-Secessionists, Unionists, Abolitionists, or Compromise Proponents. This lesson is aligned to National Standards.

tag(s): civil war (145), debate (41), lincoln (86), slavery (72), states (162)

In the Classroom

This lesson plan is ready to go and offers step by step instructions! Divide your class into five groups (based on the roles listed above). Allow them time to research and prepare for the debate. Consider having students tape the debate using YouTube or TeacherTube (explained here). Why not have each group (or student) write a blog defending their position (role).

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Today in History - Library of Congress

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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 (23)

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

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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 (44), history day (23)

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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Real American Stories - Fox News Network

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5 to 12
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American stories, from celebrities or the neighbor next door, abound. Fox News Network collects 'our' stories at this website for all to hear and see. History teachers will appreciate...more
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American stories, from celebrities or the neighbor next door, abound. Fox News Network collects 'our' stories at this website for all to hear and see. History teachers will appreciate the authentic video stories from WWII heroes or from those whose ancestors came to America through Ellis Island. Stories that encourage the human spirit, and stories that motivate us to become all we can be, will certainly be a bonus to your educational program. Click on the Inspiration link to read the statements, view videos, or hear authentic recordings from our founding fathers and other notable Americans (like Walt Whitman and Susan B. Anthony).

You are also able to input your own "American Story." Directions are found under the Your Story link. Uploading your own story requires personal information to be included (i.e. name, state, email, phone, etc.). Be sure to check your school's Acceptable Use Policy (and check with parents) BEFORE uploading ANY student information. Audio and video plug ins are necessary and can be obtained here: TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): heroes (24)

In the Classroom

Through your TV circuit, your school could start each week with a Real American Story. Share the video clips on an interactive whiteboard or projector. History teachers will enjoy perusing the site to find stories that would aid content learning. As an English teacher, your students can write their own American story. Employ the photography teacher in a joint project to video the 'best' American story and submit it to the site. (Be sure to see warning: noted in the description). Classroom teachers, make a bulletin board of your students' "real American stories." Have students create a wiki about their own personal heroes (well-known or unknown). The stories on this site would also serve as primary sources to inspire History Day and other research projects. For a longer-range project, plan to document local history by interviewing local residents about major events that made your town what it is today. You might even get your local service clubs and organizations to help fund the project.
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National First Ladies' Library - National First Ladies' Library

Grades
6 to 12
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The wives of U.S. Presidents have often served a crucial, but unofficial and sometimes unrecognized, role in U.S. History. Hillary Clinton's recent run for the White House even prompted...more
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The wives of U.S. Presidents have often served a crucial, but unofficial and sometimes unrecognized, role in U.S. History. Hillary Clinton's recent run for the White House even prompted a spirited discussion of what her husband might be referred to if she became the first woman president.

The National First Ladies' Library, located in Canton, Ohio, is dedicated to teaching others about the contributions of the First Ladies of the United States, as well as other notable women in U.S. History. In fact, the library is housed in the former home of Ida Saxton McKinley, the wife of President William McKinley. The Library is both a physical resource, but also a comprehensive virtual library of information. The site contains biographies of US First Ladies, lesson plans, and a searchable timeline. There is an online catalog of the many resources available in the library itself; those who do not live nearby could still use the catalog to identify resources associated with former First Ladies. This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): biographies (87), first ladies (2), presidents (131), women (101)

In the Classroom

These resources might be useful to those doing First Lady biographies for Women's History Month or other famous Americans reports. Students doing more in-depth research for History Day projects will find the online catalog helpful. Check out the link to facts and trivia for a good First Ladies Trivia page.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Ancient Mexico -The Art, Culture and History of Ancient Mesoamerica - Patrick Oliveras

Grades
4 to 12
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Take your students on a lively and colorful exploration of ancient Mexico! This visually stunning site leads explorers through the pantheon of Mayan Gods, the fall of the Aztec empire,...more
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Take your students on a lively and colorful exploration of ancient Mexico! This visually stunning site leads explorers through the pantheon of Mayan Gods, the fall of the Aztec empire, a clickable Mesoamerican time line and a wonderful interactive map. View the ruins of the cities of Pre-Columbian Mexico by clicking on their names on the map! Watch the conquest of Mexico as a flash animation of ancient drawings and music. Read the words of the Spanish explorers in the primary source documents of Mexico. Although Ancient Mexico is a commercial site, the advertising is limited to the books and DVD's for sale on the topic of Mesoamerica and some history-related Google ads. This site requires Flash to enjoy the music and animation. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): mexico (34), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Tour Ancient Mexico as a whole class activity with an interactive whiteboard or projector. If students have access to computers, let groups delve into selected topics and create travel posters and brochures as their research projects. Students can look at the cities in ruins, explore architectural styles and ceremonial uses of the buildings, and find contemporary examples.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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LearnCalifornia - California State Archives

Grades
4 to 12
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Step back into California's golden past with LearnCalifornia.org! This lively site combines the collections of the California State Archives with Internet resources to bring students...more
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Step back into California's golden past with LearnCalifornia.org! This lively site combines the collections of the California State Archives with Internet resources to bring students and teachers along the exciting journey through California history. Even teachers in other places will find curriculum resources and activities relevant to major events that had an impact well beyond California. Click the Student section to select among many research topics such as the Great Depression, the Gold Rush, California regions, Japanese interment, and planning a railroad. Each topic has links to scholarly research, primary and secondary sources, photographs, maps, and student response work sheets. Click the Teacher section to explore the online and offline lesson plans that accompany the topics and are aligned with the California Department of Education's History-Social Science content standards. The site includes a test bank with multiple-choice tests that are appropriate for grades 4 through 12. The extensive resources of LearnCalifornia are searchable by keywords and contain links to other sources of historical information that can be used in the classroom. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): california (27), primary sources (86), westward expansion (29)

In the Classroom

Use the online lessons to introduce historical topics in whole class activities with an interactive whiteboard or projector. Offline lessons can be used where there is not student access to computers and can be printed and reproduced for classroom use. Students can choose a topic to research, write, and present to the class using the wonderful documentation and photographic collections of the California State Archives.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Digital Vaults - National Archives

Grades
3 to 12
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This site offers digitized National Archives of the U.S. organized according to general category. You can finally explore and share primary source documents interactively through this...more
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This site offers digitized National Archives of the U.S. organized according to general category. You can finally explore and share primary source documents interactively through this Flash site. Start from eight featured topics. For a more in depth look at each subject and its associated categories, click on What's Interesting. A search feature is also available. An added feature at the bottom of the opening page is the "Pathways" tab. Students can participate in a "challenge" (in different levels) to find links between certain historical items. Students can also create their own pathways, writing about connections they find between certain archived items. In another section, students can create their own historical posters and movies from the archives. You can create a collection of items from the archives to retrieve or look at later, as well. This feature requires a free membership created by email address. There are also extensive lesson ideas and information for teachers at the small link, "Educators and Students," at the bottom of the page. Roll your mouse down to find it against the dark background. Note: the entire site is done in Flash (an HTML version is available from a small link at the bottom of the page). Get Flash from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (101), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set for a unit in history or on inventions. Share a collection of images or invention drawings on a projector or whiteboard and ask what the invention will do. Or use the site as the starting point for individual or group projects. After demonstrating on an interactive whiteboard or projector, have students use laptops or lab computers to "collect" resources related to their assigned inventor, decade, or era in American history. Check your school policy regarding accessing student email. 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.Students can use their log-ins to collect resources.

Since the documents are in the public domain (are not copyrighted), students may also download and use the files as part of other projects, such as video compilations, Powerpoint presentations, or multimedia of any sort. To access the resources in non-Flash format, click the small link to "research this record in ARC" in the detailed view of the item. You can then view and Save As for use elsewhere. Be sure you teach students about copying the URL and relevant information from this ARC page to cite the source and give credit in any presentation they make. This site is excellent for enrichment or projects for the gifted, as well. Include it on your teacher web page for students to access both in and out of class for students who are working in History Day projects or other assignments for your class.

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The Monticello Classroom - Thomas Jefferson Foundation

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4 to 12
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Invite your students to step into Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and experience colonial life. This educational website is beautifully designed for both students and teachers to use...more
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Invite your students to step into Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and experience colonial life. This educational website is beautifully designed for both students and teachers to use the extensive resources to learn about Jefferson, Monticello, and daily life. The Monticello Classroom provides a student portal with fact and resource sheets, an image gallery, online activities, and a saved favorites section. Web pages offer information by reading levels: elementary, middle, and high school. The image gallery contains a slide show builder for students to create a presentation using the images and copies of primary source documents. The presentations can be saved, printed, or emailed. Students can register for an account to save favorites and other resources. Registration requires a user name, password, first name and last name. Check your school's policies before allowing student accounts, especially with full names! See more hints below.
Teachers can register for a teacher area to create assignments for classes, review the available lesson plans, or build your own, and save your favorites on your personal Monticello Classroom web page. Each class has its own log-in and password and students are able to submit their completed activities to the teacher for review.

tag(s): black history (59), jefferson (19)

In the Classroom

This site can serve a a hub for your unit on colonial life, Jefferson, or even inventors. If you wish your students to register for accounts, be sure to check the students' acceptable use policies or get parent permission in writing. Instead of students using their real first and last names, have students create their own colonial names for registration. Be sure to keep a list of these names to be able to review and assess student work. Give a class introduction to the Monticello Classroom using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to help your weaker readers and ESL and ELL students by sharing the vocabulary words prior to reading, either on a handout or by projecting on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Highlight the vocabulary words in the text as you come to them. Search the lesson plans, and teachers will find a few that will be particularly helpful for Black History month!

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EyeWitness to History - Ibis Communications

Grades
6 to 12
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Primary sources can give students that sense of "you are there" that can make history come alive. They can also give valuable insight into the context and culture of the ...more
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Primary sources can give students that sense of "you are there" that can make history come alive. They can also give valuable insight into the context and culture of the time and place that is remote from our own. Without the interpretation, summarization, and dilution that comes from textbook accounts written by committee, these narratives are invaluable to those who want to understand history in its purest sense. This site provides a large, indexed database of first person accounts and contemporaneous accounts of important eras and events in history. Search by time period or general topic and get speeches, diaries, and eyewitness accounts. Use the "Voices" tab to access audio recordings (requiring RealPlayer). Use the "History in Motion" tab to view film clips (requiring Flash). SnapShots provides photo montages from recent history. The home page is updated regularly to include "this month in history" features, a photo of the week, and a list of new entries to the database. It's fun to browse and explore on its own, but there is also a comprehensive index if you're searching for something in particular. One downside is the liberal use of moving advertising that can be distracting. This website requires Flash and RealPlayer. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

This is a fabulous teacher resource for augmenting generic textbook accounts of history with primary source material. Whether we like it or not, our students are more visual than we were; they will love the film clips and photo montages from recent events. Use these on an interactive whiteboard or projector for full impact (although the film clips are fairly small to maintain resolution). If you teach social studies, this is a site you'll want to bookmark and visit often.
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A Teacher's guide to the Holocaust - Florida Center for Instructional Technology

Grades
4 to 12
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This website features a wealth of information regarding the holocaust, including primary source documents, galleries, maps, and movies Browse the incredible amount of information available...more
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This website features a wealth of information regarding the holocaust, including primary source documents, galleries, maps, and movies Browse the incredible amount of information available at this guide. Identify plays and other resources used to document history from the Holocaust. The resources also include software and their sources, as well as interactive quizzes. Other links include a Holocaust timeline, People (groups that played a role in the Holocaust such as victims, resisters, bystanders, etc.), and the Arts. The activities include lesson plans for elementary, middle, and high school. The lesson plans include social studies, arts, language arts, thinking/research, and ethics/responsibility. This website requires QuickTime. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): hitler (10), holocaust (39), jews (20), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Use the activities presented on the site, such as Bioethics of Eugenics or the role of Propaganda during the Holocaust. You can use many of these resources to compare present day beliefs or thoughts about the holocaust, or to evaluate current websites/blogs for accuracy. Social responsibility and action from that period can be compared to current crises in the World today. Students can also use the information to determine the reasoning behind the actions of each of the groups and write an editorial about that group's beliefs or create a piece of artwork depicting their thoughts and emotions.

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Interactives: Historical and Cultural Contexts - Annenberg Media

Grades
6 to 12
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This website teaches students to recognize different kinds of primary documents, interpret them by using context clues, and apply what they've learned to better understand the past....more
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This website teaches students to recognize different kinds of primary documents, interpret them by using context clues, and apply what they've learned to better understand the past. Professional historians rely heavily on primary documents in their research. The world wide web has opened up a wealth of primary documents for use by a broader audience, and students can gain valuable insight into the past by understanding and analyzing them. Advanced classes, particularly AP-level, emphasize the importance of primary documents. What is particularly good about this site is that it is written at a level accessible to younger students. This allows teachers to begin using primary documents much sooner. The Speed Round requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

The site would work well on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) as a classroom activity. With the teacher leading and clarifying, the class might walk through several simple document analyses to gain an understanding of primary documents and their uses. If you do History Day competition, this activity would be a good starter early in the process. Alternatively, students could be instructed to complete the activity independently as an introduction to a more complex discussion of primary documents or to prepare for the dreaded DBQs ("document-based questions") in AP History classes.
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HistoryBuff.com - R. J. Brown

Grades
5 to 12
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This is a fascinating website begun by a man who was fascinated by first-person accounts of history. It is a newspaper-based site and offers something unique to the visitor. There ...more
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This is a fascinating website begun by a man who was fascinated by first-person accounts of history. It is a newspaper-based site and offers something unique to the visitor. There are such diverse things as the "Nameplate Hall of Fame," featuring interesting newspaper titles and primary source material for those who are doing serious research or who are just interested in the perspective of the time. Panoramas, which show pictures of a variety of historical characters and their backgrounds as well as interactive quizzes will get students enthused about the reality of history. The transcripts from actual newspapers on Jack the Ripper, Bonnie and Clyde, and the Louisiana Purchase were particularly fascinating. Note: the interactive newspaper archive requires Flash.

tag(s): news (261), newspapers (94), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

This is a great site for sparking the imagination! Share a shot of a newspaper on a projector as an anticipatory set to a history lesson. SHOW the parts of a newspaper when you study this and have students annotated them on your interactive whiteboard. Opportunities for writing prompts also abound. After reading through some of the transcripts, students can post their own responses or letters to the editor as a blog. They can make their own podcasts after listening to some of the speeches or they can make their own newspapers after searching through some of the interesting nameplates and articles about actual historical events. The sky's the limit after perusing this innovative and complete site.

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Mayflower History - Caleb Johnson

Grades
2 to 12
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The Mayflower comes alive as you explore the passenger list with accompanying personal history and genealogy. Click on the Pilgrim History link for a history of Thanksgiving and other...more
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The Mayflower comes alive as you explore the passenger list with accompanying personal history and genealogy. Click on the Pilgrim History link for a history of Thanksgiving and other Mayflower-era topics, including authentic recipes.

tag(s): genealogy (7), pilgrims (17), primary sources (86), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Only a visit to a far away museum could get any better than having the full-text primary sources which are available with a click on the left menu. The Mayflower experience would come to life as students fictitiously become one of the voyagers. Perhaps students could adopt a Mayflower 'ancestor' and write how they are alike or unlike. Around Thanksgiving, teachers may want to try some of the original recipes for an authentic Mayflower 'flavor' to their lesson plans.
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Beacon Learning Center: Student Web Lessons - Beacon Learning Center

Grades
K to 12
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This website, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, provides an enormous collection of "web lessons" (interactives) for all grade levels. There are lessons in language...more
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This website, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, provides an enormous collection of "web lessons" (interactives) for all grade levels. There are lessons in language arts, math, science, social studies, and health. There are too many lesson plans to count - and all are projector, laptop, or whiteboard-ready. Just to give you an idea of some of these unique lessons, some of the titles include "Where is Japan?", "Walrus World", "Piece of Pie", "Medians", "Fence Me In", and "Critter Craze". On the main page, a brief description is provided for each lesson plan. Click Teacher Solutions > Lesson Plans to search by subject or grade level.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), evolution (100), expository writing (44), industrial revolution (25), native americans (78), primary sources (86), probability (130), symmetry (55), writing (359)

In the Classroom

If you want ready-to-go lessons guaranteed to work well on your interactive whiteboard, this collection is a winner. You simply open the activity on the whiteboard and have students tap and drag their way through as you talk with the class. (Invite your most "active" student to be "Vanna White" for a great behavior management solution). Many lessons would work well on laptops or on a computer cluster center, as well.

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Colorin Colorado - WETA

Grades
1 to 10
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This totally bilingual website (a collaboration between Reading Rockets and the American Federation of Teachers) is packed with information for both ELL/ESL and regular classroom instructors...more
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This totally bilingual website (a collaboration between Reading Rockets and the American Federation of Teachers) is packed with information for both ELL/ESL and regular classroom instructors about how to encourage reading. Although the focus is on Spanish speaking students, the information is specific and easily adaptable for all reading learners. Lots of information is available on the site concerning not only reading instructional techniques, but building partnerships with families of Hispanic students, placement and assessment, and important authors. Webcast information programs include accompanying reading and discussion questions. This site is a good resource to help meet the needs of increasing numbers of students born speaking other languages. Videos and webcasts reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the they may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): hispanic (18), parents (56)

In the Classroom

All classroom teachers who have ELL/ESL students should consider this a primary source of information about how to teach and help second language learners. Share this link on your teacher web page and/or in a parent newsletter for those who are concerned with the challenges of the increasing number of ELL/ESL students.
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Remembering Pearl Harbor - National Geographic

Grades
6 to 12
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This site focuses on the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It includes an outstanding interactive multimedia map and narrative of the attack that integrates audio (complete with a scratchy...more
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This site focuses on the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It includes an outstanding interactive multimedia map and narrative of the attack that integrates audio (complete with a scratchy old-time radio sound), 1940s style maps and a "you are there" interface that is really stunning. There is also a searchable archive of survivor stories. This first person "memory book" provides eyewitness accounts that give an immediacy to the study of the attack not possible with text book narrative. Related NatGeo features add dimension to understanding of Pearl Harbor.

tag(s): pearl harbor (12), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

This site would be perfect for use on a projector or interactive whiteboard. It will give students a great introduction to the bombing at Pearl Harbor. Ask students whether Pearl Harbor or September 11 was the most devastating attacks ever made on American soil...and why. If you have the technical capability, challenge your students to create their own (historical fiction) "memory book" accounts of World War II events-- or of events happening today. This is an ideal topic for podcasts.
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How the Understanding of US History Changes - National Public Radio

Grades
9 to 12
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This site provides an audio file of an NPR interview with author Kyle Ward ("History in the Making") about the changing interpretation of the Mexican-American War as reflected in history...more
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This site provides an audio file of an NPR interview with author Kyle Ward ("History in the Making") about the changing interpretation of the Mexican-American War as reflected in history text books beginning just after the War up until the present. This discussion illustrates that "history" is often a reflection of the historical context in which it is written. There are also links to three more interviews on the same general topic.

Students are fascinated with the concept that their history text books might be wrong, or biased. Although the interview doesn't mention it, this discussion was also well illustrated in James Loewen's "Lies My Teacher Told Me." The seven minute interview might be quite useful in helping advanced students understand that history isn't static, and that any account of a historical "fact" should be considered in light of its context and the political perspective of the times.

In the Classroom

This site would be helpful to students preparing to do research for your class or for National History Day projects which must be developed using primary documents: to illustrate that even primary documents are subject to interpretation and cannot always be accepted at face value!

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