TeachersFirst's Resources for American Presidents

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Whether you are celebrating Presidents Day or learning about the Executive Branch of the U.S. government, this collection of reviewed resources about presidents provides a rich starting point for research, class study, or multimedia projects. If this list is too broad, use the search tool at the left of this page to find resources on a specific president or within a certain grade range. You may also be interested in TeachersFirst's Resources for U.S. Elections or TeachersFirst's Resources for U.S. Presidential Inaugurations.

 

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The Roosevelts - PBS

Grades
7 to 12
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PBS offers this series of lessons aligned to their popular mini-series, The Roosevelts. All lessons include alignment to standards, background information, discussion questions, and...more
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PBS offers this series of lessons aligned to their popular mini-series, The Roosevelts. All lessons include alignment to standards, background information, discussion questions, and evaluation rubrics. Choose from full-length Lesson Plans or Snapshot Lessons containing quick, adaptable activities for classroom use.
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tag(s): 1900s (33), presidents (131), roosevelt (16)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans offered to supplement your current lessons based on the Roosevelt family. Have groups of students complete different Snapshot Lessons then share with the class. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Multimedia Edge tools, reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a member of the Roosevelt family.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Help Lincoln Get to the White House - National Park Service

Grades
5 to 12
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This interactive timeline shows the route Lincoln took to become the President. Along the way, answer questions about his progress and life. ...more
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This interactive timeline shows the route Lincoln took to become the President. Along the way, answer questions about his progress and life.

tag(s): elections (75), lincoln (86), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Have younger students create an online book of images and captions about Lincoln's life using Bookr, reviewed here, (Bookr uses Flickr images, so you must first upload or find the images on Flickr). For older students - challenge cooperative learning groups (or partners) to create a similar story about another president using pictures, themes, and other prompts generated by the site StoryBird, reviewed here. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Been Here So Long - Slave Narratives - New Deal Network

Grades
8 to 12
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Read seventeen of the more than 2,000 first-person accounts of what it was like to live in bondage. These seventeen narratives, told by aging African Americans during the New Deal ...more
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Read seventeen of the more than 2,000 first-person accounts of what it was like to live in bondage. These seventeen narratives, told by aging African Americans during the New Deal era in America, are remarkable and are accompanied by teaching resources, photos, and suggested projects.

tag(s): 1930s (15), african american (113), black history (59), narrative (24), new deal (6), primary sources (86), roosevelt (16), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

There are lessons and projects for the narratives, many of which take four or more class periods. Try something that won't eat up so much time: Choose one of the narratives and use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share it with your class. Then, as suggested in the lesson plans, have "a discussion about the strengths and limitations of using the ex-slave narratives and other oral histories as primary sources in the study of history." Have students break into small groups and have each group read two of the narratives. Have them make comparisons of those two narratives and the one shared with the entire class, using an online tool such as the Interactive Three Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here. Then have the class share out and find commonalities for all the narratives (other than they were all slaves). Use this site in an American History class studying the New Deal and the 1930s or in any language arts or social studies class during Black History Month. These narratives are about the "regular" people, not the famous people usually read about.

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Sakura: Cherry Blossoms as Living Symbols of Friendship - Library of Congress

Grades
8 to 12
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In 1912, the city of Tokyo, Japan donated 3,000 cherry trees to the city of Washington, DC, as a symbol of friendship. The trees, planted around the Capitol's tidal basin, ...more
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In 1912, the city of Tokyo, Japan donated 3,000 cherry trees to the city of Washington, DC, as a symbol of friendship. The trees, planted around the Capitol's tidal basin, have become part of a treasured tradition. Viewing the cherry blossoms in the spring draws millions of visitors. The Library of Congress offers a brief history of the cherry blossoms and connects cherry trees to their cultural significance in Japanese culture.

tag(s): japan (61), japanese (42), trees (30), washington (36)

In the Classroom

Cherry Blossoms are both a symbol of spring, and a legacy of the historical relationship between the people of Japan and the United States. Make a brief detour during a lesson on Asian history, on the development of Washington, D.C. as the US capital, or on important American cultural symbols, and look at the roots of this tradition. There are primary sources to explore, and links to contemporary photos of the Cherry Blossom Festival.

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Typeform - Robert Munoz

Grades
K to 12
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Typeform offers an interactive method to ask and answer questions online. Use the form builder to create visually rich and engaging questions. Drag and drop features make it easy to...more
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Typeform offers an interactive method to ask and answer questions online. Use the form builder to create visually rich and engaging questions. Drag and drop features make it easy to add and personalize content such as different question choices, images, backgrounds, and more. When complete, share using your unique URL or embed your Typeform using provided HTML. Go to the Help Center and under Dashboard, read more about your options for sharing your Typeform. Choose options for receiving and tracking visits to your form in your configuration settings.
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tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (198), polls and surveys (48), quizzes (96)

In the Classroom

This free tool is a great way to identify a value or rating of various items. Use this in science class to poll students on various types of renewable and nonrenewable energies as cheap/expensive and clean/dirty for the environment. Poll students on types of cars, rating the cost and gas mileage. Follow up with research into the various makes and models. Poll about famous presidents and various influences on the economy and society. Compare characters in various novels in measures of motivation and other characteristics. In younger grades, gather data about students favorite animals and why (such as fluffy/ferocious) or favorite colors and mood. Learn more about your students through polling of various social and cultural topics such as fashion, movies, and songs. Use this to identify misconceptions and resistance to various subject areas. Identify foods and feelings for each specific kind of food in Family and Consumer Science or attitudes towards various sports. Conduct specific polls for Introduction to Psychology or Sociology about various topics and reactions to the topics. Use to poll students on project ideas or to determine reactions to current events. Older students may want to include polls on their student blogs or wiki pages to increase involvement or create polls to use at the start of project presentations. Use polls to generate data for math class (graphing), during elections, or for critical thinking activities dealing with the interpretation of statistics. Use "real" data to engage students in issues that matter to them. For Professional development, rate different technology tools for ease of use/difficulty and high/low value for instruction. Place a poll on your teacher web page as a homework inspiration or to increase parent involvement. Gifted students would love this tool to dig deeply into the multiple facets of issues they worry about.

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JFK Assassination Timeline - Washington Post

Grades
7 to 12
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The Washington Post offers an interesting timeline detailing events of the day of JFK's assassination as well as the effect on how the Secret Service protects the president. Scroll...more
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The Washington Post offers an interesting timeline detailing events of the day of JFK's assassination as well as the effect on how the Secret Service protects the president. Scroll through the page to view the story from the president's arrival through the time Oswald flees the scene. Along the way listen to short audio clips from a former director of the Secret Service with how each event impacts changes to the security of the president.
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tag(s): kennedy (27), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

This site is ideal for an interactive whiteboard or projector. Open the site and view together as a class during a study of the presidents or elections. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast presidential security for JFK to today's president. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here. Have them create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook from the perspective of John Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald, or a Secret Service agent documenting the day's events.

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Ducksters - Technological Solutions, Inc. (TSI)

Grades
2 to 8
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Ducksters is a safe, extensive, educational portal for kids. Find a wide choice of content such as interactives, sports, movies, and music. Begin by choosing a category to explore choices....more
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Ducksters is a safe, extensive, educational portal for kids. Find a wide choice of content such as interactives, sports, movies, and music. Begin by choosing a category to explore choices. The study category includes extensive information such as world history, many biographies, science explanations, and information on all continents and many countries. Interactive subjects include math times tables, checkers, and guess the country. There is a TON here to explore.
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tag(s): addition (251), african american (113), american revolution (86), animal homes (41), animals (276), artists (75), biographies (87), china (66), civil rights (117), civil war (145), cold war (29), continents (49), countries (76), data (148), division (172), egypt (67), elements (36), energy (198), environment (317), explorers (61), fractions (239), friction (12), geometric shapes (163), greece (26), habitats (84), human body (121), inventors and inventions (99), keyboarding (38), mean (25), median (22), mode (15), multiplication (227), planets (123), presidents (131), puzzles (208), recycling (57), renaissance (34), rome (27), solar system (119), sound (101), sports (97), subtraction (208), sun (71), world war 1 (54), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

This site is a perfect addition for use with a biography unit. Explore and share information categorized by topics such as Civil Rights, the Cold War, and Ancient Greece. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a president, famous scientist, or nearly any other real or fictitious person. Be sure to create a link to the site on your class webpage or newsletter for students to explore at home. Create a link on classroom computers for students to use the interactives during center time.
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Very safe and reliable. Everyone else is my school thinks ducksters is stupid but I love ducksters. Ry, CA, Grades: 6 - 12

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Our Nation's Leaders - Minnesota State University

Grades
3 to 12
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Learn about the first 43 Presidents at this interactive site. Read a brief portrait of each with a short narrative about his Presidency and accomplishments. A picture is also included...more
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Learn about the first 43 Presidents at this interactive site. Read a brief portrait of each with a short narrative about his Presidency and accomplishments. A picture is also included with each president. Unfortunately, it does not yet include President Obama and beyond.

tag(s): presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Use this site to introduce a specific president. Share this site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this tool for research projects. There are several short paragraphs devoted to each President, and they would be perfect to teach how to take notes or summary writing. Have your class write a proposed piece about the current President and have the class vote on the best one.
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Learn the Address - Ken Burns

Grades
3 to 12
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This amazing yet simple site devotes itself to the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. It encourages all Americans to video record themselves reading or reciting the speech....more
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This amazing yet simple site devotes itself to the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. It encourages all Americans to video record themselves reading or reciting the speech. Scroll through to view the many videos already uploaded by presidents, journalists, actors, and everyday people. Share your recording using the simple steps provided on the site to become involved in this piece of history. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): civil war (145), gettysburg address (18), lincoln (86), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

View a different video daily as part of your class warm up activities. Start with the Old Sturbridge Village to convey the setting and set the tone. Record your class reciting the Gettysburg Address and upload to the site. Encourage others to share their video. Make this part of a class community service project, encourage students to find community members to record a video or go to nursing homes and hospitals to get recordings from patients. While learning the Gettysburg Address have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle, reviewed here, Tagxedo, reviewed here, or WordItOut, reviewed here.

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Sixteen Months to Sumter - American Historical Association

Grades
8 to 12
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Advanced study of history requires increased attention to primary sources. Collected here are over 1,000 newspaper editorials written in the 16 months leading up to the start of the...more
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Advanced study of history requires increased attention to primary sources. Collected here are over 1,000 newspaper editorials written in the 16 months leading up to the start of the US Civil War. Along with a useful timeline of events during the same period, the site offers search either by the location of the publication or by the name of the publication. Editorials come from newspapers across the US, not just from those in states most often associated with the Civil War. The opinion expressed may offer a fresh perspective on what people were thinking just prior to the firing on Ft. Sumter. For example, we might view Abraham Lincoln as one of the greatest of American Presidents, but an editorial from the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Daily Patriot and Union concludes with the words, "We confess we shudder as we contemplate the future in the person of this weak and ignorant man." (February 21, 1861).

tag(s): civil war (145), newspapers (94), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

This is a wonderful resource for adding primary source material to a study of the US Civil War. It is particularly useful for advanced students, or those doing research. Consider choosing a newspaper that is located near you, if possible, and introduce students to a perspective that's close to home. Or choose editorials from two newspapers--one from the North and one from the South--written at the same time and contrast the perspectives expressed. Compare and contrast using an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here).

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Remember Pearl Harbor - New York Times: The Learning Network

Grades
6 to 12
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Remember Pearl Harbor is a lesson plan for teaching about Pearl Harbor using historic articles and social media. The complete lesson includes many ideas for deep student learning such...more
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Remember Pearl Harbor is a lesson plan for teaching about Pearl Harbor using historic articles and social media. The complete lesson includes many ideas for deep student learning such as creating a gallery walk, a Twitter project, and a historic headlines project. Click on highlighted links to get access to all resources included on the site including Common Core Standards. If your district blocks YouTube, some links may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.
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tag(s): japan (61), pearl harbor (12), roosevelt (16), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plan for use in your World War II unit or Pearl Harbor lesson. Use this site to differentiate activities for students. Be sure to "mine" the links within the site for additional resources to add to your current lesson plans. Have students create a simple infographic about Pearl Harbor using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Have students or groups collect ideas and findings about the Day That Will Live in Infamy using Padlet, reviewed here. The Padlet application creates free online bulletin boards.
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Learn About Pearl Harbor - Pearson/Prentice Hall

Grades
6 to 12
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Explore this quick overview of events on December 7, 1941. Move the slider bar through four different areas to read about Japanese Expansion, Air Attack, War, and the American Battle...more
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Explore this quick overview of events on December 7, 1941. Move the slider bar through four different areas to read about Japanese Expansion, Air Attack, War, and the American Battle Cry.

tag(s): japan (61), pearl harbor (12), roosevelt (16), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

This site provides a very quick look at events. However, it may be worthwhile to use as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce your lessons on Pearl Harbor. Share the site on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Share this site with students as an example of summarizing important events. Use this quick activity as a starting point on a more in-depth look at events leading up to World War 2. Divide students into groups to further explore each of the different areas shown on the site.
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Attack on Pearl Harbor - Holt, Rinehart, and Winston

Grades
6 to 12
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This interactive map depicts the Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor with animations and short quizzes. Read short descriptions of events in chronological order and click on indicated...more
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This interactive map depicts the Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor with animations and short quizzes. Read short descriptions of events in chronological order and click on indicated areas on the map to view additional information on people, places, and ships. Proceed through the interactive by providing correct responses to quiz questions for each section. Although there is a Video link, there doesn't appear to be an active video at this time.

tag(s): japan (61), pearl harbor (12), roosevelt (16), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Share this activity on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as a quick overview of events at Pearl Harbor. If you flip your classroom, have students watch at home before coming to class. Have students create an annotated image describing Pearl Harbor events including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students create maps of World War II events using Animaps (reviewed here). Students can add text, images, and location stops. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about President Roosevelt, the Japanese Commander, or sailors stationed in Pearl Harbor.
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The Year We Had Two Thanksgivings - Marist College

Grades
5 to 12
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Learn the story behind the year with two U.S. Thanksgivings from this simple, yet interesting site. The short article tells the tale of President Roosevelt's journey to declare the...more
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Learn the story behind the year with two U.S. Thanksgivings from this simple, yet interesting site. The short article tells the tale of President Roosevelt's journey to declare the official date for all states to celebrate Thanksgiving. View several documents, including letters and telegrams to the president voicing opinions on setting an official date for Thanksgiving.

tag(s): primary sources (86), roosevelt (16), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Use information from the article and documents as part of any lesson about Thanksgiving. Share the documents as part of a unit on primary resources. Print and share documents with students and challenge them to present an opposing point of view or write a reply from President Roosevelt. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare and contrast different points of view. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook "as" President Roosevelt or one of the writers of letters to the president.

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Voting America: United States Politics 1840-2008 - University of Richmond

Grades
7 to 12
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Find interactive maps examining the results of elections from 1840 through 2008. With US politics increasingly dominated by election year strategizing, a historical look at how Americans...more
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Find interactive maps examining the results of elections from 1840 through 2008. With US politics increasingly dominated by election year strategizing, a historical look at how Americans have voted in both Presidential and Congressional elections can provide useful context. In a democracy, the power of popular elections to affect the lives of all citizens cannot be understated. In order to understand how changes in population--demography and distribution--have affected popular elections, it's important to see those changes in perspective. On this site, you can look at Presidential elections or Congressional elections, as well as population maps focused on African American and White population changes over the time period. Most of the maps are based on an advancing time line that maps data over time. For Presidential elections, there are also more detailed maps for each separate election.

tag(s): congress (33), elections (75), electoral college (16), maps (287), presidents (131), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

These maps, powerful when projected on an interactive whiteboard (or projector), make the impact of changes in population demographics and distribution visual. The maps might also provide a good resource for students studying a particular President or time period. Challenge students to create a newspaper about what they have learned (about the President or time period). Use a tool such as Zinepal (reviewed here). Click to "Start with a blank e-Book."

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JFK American Experience - PBS American Experience

Grades
7 to 12
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This site accompanies an episode of the PBS production American Experience, taking a new look at the life and legacy of John F. Kennedy. It was created in remembrance of ...more
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This site accompanies an episode of the PBS production American Experience, taking a new look at the life and legacy of John F. Kennedy. It was created in remembrance of the 50th anniversary of his assassination. The site combines primary sources with more scholarly articles examining the political context of his presidency and the policies and events we associate with that presidency. The primary source collection is rich and diverse, and there is also a nice contextual timeline of world events between 1961 and 1963. The teacher reference guide is designed primarily to be used in conjunction with viewing the American Experience episode itself, but includes important questions for discussion that are appropriate even for students who have not watched the full film.
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tag(s): 1960s (30), civil rights (117), kennedy (27), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

The 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy provides an opportunity to refresh students' knowledge of JFK as a man and a President. What important policy innovations can we attribute to his Presidency? How might the remainder of the turbulent decade of the 1960s have been different had he lived? And from a different perspective, while we all want to romanticize the legacy of "Camelot" and the glamour of the Kennedy family, what were his failings? This site provides some rich primary sources to include in a discussion of the Kennedy Presidency, as well as a brief preview of the American Experience film itself. Whether you choose to view the episode with your class or not, you are certain to obtain excellent information at this site.
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Teaching Literacy Through History - Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Grades
K to 12
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Meet your ELA standards as you teach history! Explore over 40 free lesson plans aligned to the Common Core Standards. Browse all lesson plans or use the search feature to ...more
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Meet your ELA standards as you teach history! Explore over 40 free lesson plans aligned to the Common Core Standards. Browse all lesson plans or use the search feature to find lessons by keywords or grade level. Every lesson contains all materials and procedures needed. Sign up for a free subscription using your school email address to access all information.

tag(s): american revolution (86), bill of rights (28), black history (59), civil rights (117), columbus day (11), constitution (79), elections (75), electoral college (16), franklin (12), gettysburg (26), lincoln (86), roosevelt (16), symbols (19), terrorism (49), thanksgiving (37), washington (36), world war 1 (54), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Use ideas from the lesson plans to supplement your current teaching materials. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their learning from the notes they took during the lesson. Use Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here. Challenge students to find a photo that represents a part of the lesson taught. Have students create a multimedia presentation using UtellStory, reviewed here. This tool allows narrating and adding text to a picture. Use Creative Commons images (with credit, of course). Try Compfight, reviewed here.
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Totally History - totallyhistory.com

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Totally History offers a brief overview on many historical events and topics. Choose from categories including art history, U.S. history, world history, famous history, and the history...more
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Totally History offers a brief overview on many historical events and topics. Choose from categories including art history, U.S. history, world history, famous history, and the history of technology. Within each topic, find facts and a several paragraph overview of the content.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): american revolution (86), art history (70), civil war (145), presidents (131), religions (61), vietnam (36), world war 1 (54), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Totally History offers a starting point to find basic facts and information on many topics. Use material from the site to introduce any topic such as presidents or events in World or American History. Share with students to use as a resource for classroom projects and reports. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles, reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a president or any person or event in history.

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Scattervox - Scattervox

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Use Scattervox to conduct a poll visually! For each of the possible items, poll responders click their answer on a graph. The result is an interactive poll that looks like ...more
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Use Scattervox to conduct a poll visually! For each of the possible items, poll responders click their answer on a graph. The result is an interactive poll that looks like an Infographic! To vote: Click on one of the possible items on the right and then click the spot on the graph to correspond to your answer. Once plotted, replace your choices by clicking on the item again and your new answer on the graph. Click "Vote" to record your choices. To "Create Poll": Enter a title, tags, and a description. Label the axes of the graph with two different variables to value the items such as expensive and inexpensive. (There are two different sets of axes to use for rating.) Enter the chart items that will be rated with your set values. Embed your Scattervox or share using email, Facebook, Google Plus, or Twitter. Browse the gallery to get an idea of how the tool works. Membership is required to create a poll, but not to vote.
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tag(s): critical thinking (108), polls and surveys (48)

In the Classroom

This free tool is a great way to identify a value or rating of various items. Use this in science class to poll students on various types of renewable and nonrenewable energies as cheap/expensive and clean/dirty for the environment. Poll students on types of cars, rating the cost and gas mileage. Follow up with research into the various makes and models. Poll about famous presidents and various influences on the economy and society. Compare characters in various novels in measures of motivation and other characteristics. In younger grades, gather data about students favorite animals and why (such as fluffy/ferocious) or favorite colors and mood. Learn more about your students through polling of various social and cultural topics such as fashion, movies, and songs. Use this to identify misconceptions and resistance to various subject areas. Identify foods and feelings for each specific kind of food in Family and Consumer Science or attitudes towards various sports. Conduct specific polls for Introduction to Psychology or Sociology about various topics and reactions to the topics. Use to poll students on project ideas or to determine reactions to current events. Older students may want to include polls on their student blogs or wiki pages to increase involvement or create polls to use at the start of project presentations. Use polls to generate data for math class (graphing), during elections, or for critical thinking activities dealing with the interpretation of statistics. Use "real" data to engage students in issues that matter to them. For Professional development, rate the various types of technology tools for ease of use/difficulty and high/low value for instruction. Place a poll on your teacher web page as a homework inspiration or to increase parent involvement. Gifted students would love this tool to dig deeply into the multiple facets of issues they worry about.

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Michael, NY, Grades: 0 - 12

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