TeachersFirst's Resources for American Presidents

Other TeachersFirst Special Topics Collections

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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African-American Soldiers in the Civil War - Library of Congress

Grades
6 to 12
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The Library of Congress demonstrates the depth of its archival image and documents collection in this site, which records first-hand accounts of the accomplishments and difficulties...more
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The Library of Congress demonstrates the depth of its archival image and documents collection in this site, which records first-hand accounts of the accomplishments and difficulties of African-American soldiers during the Civil War. Although rather "plain vanilla" this site is definitely one to explore if you or one of your students are interested in the Civil War.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (114), civil war (145), lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

The site could be the basis for dozens of lesson ideas, as well as an ideal starting point for a research paper. Have students view authentic letters from Abraham Lincoln on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge students to write a letter (or a blog) in response to Lincoln's letter.

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Held accountable - New York Times

Grades
6 to 12
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The lesson plans are frequently updated; include McRel standards, links to more information, and lots of detail! ...more
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The lesson plans are frequently updated; include McRel standards, links to more information, and lots of detail!

tag(s): africa (180), black history (62), civil war (145), lincoln (86), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

Teachers can pick and choose easily from among several strands of thought among these lesson plans, either to supplement a unit on the Civil War, for use during Black History observations, or in an English class focused on story telling and personal voice. It could also provide interesting materials for reading comprehension practice using content area materials. All the plans follow a pretty regular format: link to the Times article, read it and discuss, but this kind of break from the use of a standard textbook can be refreshing. Many plans include a vocabulary list, ideas for extension activities and focus on making the lesson as interdisciplinary as possible. As you celebrate Presidents Day (especially Lincoln's 200th birthday in 2009), check out this site for Lincoln resources!

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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 (45), lincoln (86), slavery (72), states (163)

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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Abraham Lincoln - American President - University of Virginia

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6 to 12
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This Lincoln page includes a quick fact sheet, a short biography, and links to additional information on Lincoln's advisors, administration, and accomplishments. It is part of a very...more
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This Lincoln page includes a quick fact sheet, a short biography, and links to additional information on Lincoln's advisors, administration, and accomplishments. It is part of a very complete collection of presidential resources that could be a staple of an American history curriculum.

At the bottom of the page you will find links to read Lincoln's most famous speeches. You have to scroll to his name. The list includes all presidents (up to G.W. Bush). You can also click to hear podcasts that are focused on Lincoln and the Civil War. The podcasts require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): lincoln (86), presidents (132)

In the Classroom

Use this site for basic research about Lincoln, to read his speeches, and to even learn more about the former president by listening to the podcasts. Share the podcasts and photos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students write a fictitious blog entry through the eyes of Lincoln after reading one of his four famous speeches listed at this site.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Civil War Traveler - civilwartraveler.com

Grades
4 to 12
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This site offers information for touring regional Civil War historical sites, from Virginia through Pennsylvania. Lists events, reenactments, new openings, and self-guided tours. Also...more
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This site offers information for touring regional Civil War historical sites, from Virginia through Pennsylvania. Lists events, reenactments, new openings, and self-guided tours. Also includes a timeline and links. This site is frequently updated and now features several podcasts - don't miss them! Check back frequently for more updates. The podcasts require Windows Media Player. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86), pennsylvania (6), virginia (16)

In the Classroom

Use this fabulous resource for research. Turn your students into virtual "Civil War Travelers" by sharing the Podcasts and pictures on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students complete interactive research projects about these famous locations. Have students create a news broadcast, wiki, blog, or PowerPoint presentation. If you want to video the broadcast try YouTube or another tool such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).

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Abraham Lincoln for Primary Children - Mrs. Payton

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1 to 5
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Here's a site about Lincoln by and for elementary students. Easy for young ones to use, with just enough information to make it all interesting. This site is FULL of ...more
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Here's a site about Lincoln by and for elementary students. Easy for young ones to use, with just enough information to make it all interesting. This site is FULL of fun and educational activities to do as a class or for individual research: online quiz, full animation of the addition of states to the USA, "Ask Lincoln a Question" section, picture gallery, ready to go classroom activities, and an online treasure hunt! If you are preparing for the 200th birthday of Lincoln, President's Day, or research on the 16th president - don't miss this site.

tag(s): lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

This site takes out a lot of the "leg work" for teachers. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share the online quiz, animated activities, pictures, and more. Have students complete the online treasure hunt in cooperative learning groups. Challenge students to write their own questions to "Honest Abe."

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Mrs. President: From Martha to Laura - Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum

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K to 12
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This downloadable PDF file offers very detailed lesson plans and classroom activities about the first ladies of America. There are lesson plans for grades K-3, 3-6, 6-12, and 9-12....more
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This downloadable PDF file offers very detailed lesson plans and classroom activities about the first ladies of America. There are lesson plans for grades K-3, 3-6, 6-12, and 9-12. The lesson plans all include Illinois standards, objectives, thinking questions, and explicit instructions. Some of the lessons include Dining Like a President, First Kids, Design a First Lady, How do they Compare, & First Ladies and the Media: Public Image and Private Influence. The site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): white house (14)

In the Classroom

Use these lessons during February as you celebrate President's Day. Have students complete research on the topic of the lesson (for example, the "Design a First Lady"). Then challenge students to create a multimedia presentation, a blog entry from the first lady whom the student researched, or a fictitious audio or video discussion between the current first lady and the "designed" first lady. Have a class discussion on what Mary Todd Lincoln would write if she could email (or text) Michelle Obama.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The American Civil War Homepage - Dr. George H. Hoemann and Mary E. Myers

Grades
K to 12
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Although TeachersFirst doesn't usually highlight a "hotlist," this one definitely deserves a mention! This set of links (all about the Civil War) includes songs from the 1800s, lots...more
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Although TeachersFirst doesn't usually highlight a "hotlist," this one definitely deserves a mention! This set of links (all about the Civil War) includes songs from the 1800s, lots of general resource sites about the Civil War and the general time period, information about the battles, and much more. The list is huge, so be prepared! Thankfully they have the material divided into logical categories, and the site is simple to use. This site is updated frequently and includes everything from basic research to interactive videos to letters from a soldier in the Civil War. Some of the sites require Flash, Media Player, RealPlayer, and Adobe Acrobat. You can get them all from the a href="/tools.cfm">TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86), songs (53)

In the Classroom

Music teachers, why not share some music from the Civil War times. Students may be surprised that they already know some of these famous songs. All grade levels will find something here to share with their class, but you will need to spend some time searching through this list. Share the letters from the soldiers with your students. Have students write fictitious letters (or blog entries) taking on the persona of a soldier.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Presidency of the United States of America - Encyclopedia Britannica

Grades
5 to 12
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This site provides concise information about the men who have held the nation's highest office, their first ladies, and the complex job of the American president. Historical election...more
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This site provides concise information about the men who have held the nation's highest office, their first ladies, and the complex job of the American president. Historical election results, descriptions of political parties, and a gallery of documents related to the presidency are also included. Investigate the audio and video features - where you'll find some true gems! Watch a video of Nixon discussing Watergate, see JFK deliver his NASA speech, view Ronald Reagan's Berlin Wall Speech, and see many animated videos from Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and more!!

There is also a link about the famous 2008 Election. Learn about the candidates and election results. Some of the videos, animations, and audio require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): elections (78), lincoln (86), presidents (132)

In the Classroom

Use this site to research candidates in the upcoming elections, and presidents of the past. Have students create a wiki to discuss the candidates viewpoints and if the students agree or disagree. Challenge students to create a political "blog" as a mock candidate. Have a "mock" presidential race in your class (using the mock candidates created by your students). Have the "candidates" go on the campaign trail, research the issues, and provide their solutions to America's problems.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Emancipation Proclamation - National Archives

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6 to 12
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This site from the National Archives provides images of the original proclamation, along with a brief analysis explaining the various limitations to Lincoln's document that freed the...more
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This site from the National Archives provides images of the original proclamation, along with a brief analysis explaining the various limitations to Lincoln's document that freed the slaves. The analysis sets the effort to free slaves into the political context of the Civil War.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (114), civil war (145), lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

Share the original document on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students take turns reading each section aloud to the class. After reading the entire document, have students write a journal entry from the viewpoint of the slaves - what were they thinking, feeling, did they even know this had happened?

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Meet Amazing Americans - The Library of Congress

Grades
1 to 8
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This site offers some basic research on MANY "Amazing" Americans. Click to learn more about "Amazing" Leaders & Statesmen, U.S. Presidents, Activists & Reformers, Adventurers & Explorers,...more
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This site offers some basic research on MANY "Amazing" Americans. Click to learn more about "Amazing" Leaders & Statesmen, U.S. Presidents, Activists & Reformers, Adventurers & Explorers, Musicians & Composers, Writers & Artists, Industrialists & Entrepreneurs, Scientist & Inventors, or Athletes and Entertainers. Be prepared: when you click on one of the topics you may have a few people pop up OR more names than you can count! This is an excellent site for research, teaching students about American heroes, or using to enhance your social studies, science, or music curriculum. There are pictures, information, and even some interactives. There are also links to a Presidential Scavenger Hunt, a "Dynamite Presidents" interactive, and other "extras." Some of the activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): composers (21), explorers (65), inventors and inventions (95), presidents (132), scientists (70)

In the Classroom

This site could be used throughout the entire year. Why not highlight a "hero of the week." Share the information on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students write diary entries (or blogs) from the perspective of the "hero of the week." Use this site for individual research projects and have students create multimedia presentations about their hero: a Powerpoint, website, blog, wiki, or video. This site can be used in more than just social studies topics. Music classes, science classes, and gifted classes can also benefit from the many research areas.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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American Heritage Education Foundation, Inc. - The American Heritage Education Foundation

Grades
K to 12
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Social studies, history, and government teachers - be warned - this site may be the best FREE gift you receive this year. To sum it up in one word - ...more
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Social studies, history, and government teachers - be warned - this site may be the best FREE gift you receive this year. To sum it up in one word - WOW! The highlight of this site is ready-to-go lesson plans (with standards) divided by age level (elementary, middle, and high school). These FREE lesson plans are available online via a PDF file or you may order a FREE CD (they say it is a $150 value).

The elementary topics range from Colonial America to U.S. Presidents (with a focus on George Washington) to the History of Thanksgiving to The Pledge of Allegiance and MANY others. The middle school topics include the Declaration of Independence, Our National Documents, The Gettysburg Address, Religious Expression in School, and several others. The high school topics vary from the Mayflower, to Federalists 47, the First Amendment, and more. Each grade level also includes lessons on character education.

In addition to the wonderful lesson plans, the site also highlights the four themes of the foundation: Unity, Progress, Freedom, and Responsibility. There are also links to some fantastic social studies sites and a wealth of research information about America. Some of the lesson plans and printables require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): colonial america (108), constitution (87), gettysburg (26), gettysburg address (18), presidents (132), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Obviously, the lesson plans are useful for all grade levels. Take advantage of these free resources. Many include printable activities for your students to try out. Although the site isn't highly interactive, it does have some great ideas to incorporate into your class to bring history alive.

Make the lesson plans more "technologically advanced" by having students create a wiki or blog entry. Have your high school students complete the lesson on the First Amendment and then have them have a virtual debate about the First Amendment via a class wiki. Have your elementary students complete the lesson on U.S. Presidents and then have each student write a blog entry pretending to be one of the presidents (a great mini-research project). Have your middle school students complete the lesson on the Gettysburg Address and then try to create their own "Address" to talk about the current state of our nation. Have them share their "Address" on a video using YouTube or or TeacherTube (explained here).
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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1st Grade Home Page - Kidport

Grades
K to 2
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This site was created for first grade students (and their teachers) and truly has something for every classroom. The site offers links to activities in math, science, social studies,...more
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This site was created for first grade students (and their teachers) and truly has something for every classroom. The site offers links to activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library. Some of the subject areas only offer one or two activities, while others offer countless topics (see math and language arts - wow)! The topics vary greatly and include a poem creator, letter blends, alphabet, shapes, short and tall, matching words with numbers, place value, number recognition, number sentences, money, time, the sea, animal habitats, maps, signs, U.S. presidents, flags of the world, continents, and more! Some links are highly interactive, while others are simply an online quiz.

This site does have some advertisements, but they are not distractive. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): habitats (85), money (191), place value (56), poetry (224), presidents (132), time (141)

In the Classroom

Visit the Language Arts or Math pages to get an idea of the multitude of interactives and lessons available at this site. Use the activities at this site as an anticipatory activity for a new topic, or review prior to the big quiz. The site's activities would work well on an interactive whiteboard or projector. List this site in your class newsletter and on your class website for students to use for additional practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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6th Grade Home Page - Kidport

Grades
5 to 7
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This site, created by Kidport for sixth grade students, offers links to lessons and activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library....more
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This site, created by Kidport for sixth grade students, offers links to lessons and activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library. Some of the subject areas only offer one or two activities, while others offer several. Some examples of topics include adding and subtracting decimals, angles, human body (heart, bones, muscles, and more), vertebrates, invertebrates, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, the structure of the U.S. government, U.S. constitution, presidents, homophones, contractions, drawing, and others.

This site offers a variety of interactive elements (online quizzes, interactive maps and diagrams, and other learning exercises). Some of the pages do have advertisements, but they are not distractive. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): angles (87), constitution (87), decimals (132), egypt (70), grammar (214), greece (26), presidents (132), rome (28)

In the Classroom

Check out the unique mix available at this website. Share it with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for enrichment, learning stations, or as a whole class activity. List this site on your class website for students to use for additional practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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7th Grade Home Page - Kidport

Grades
6 to 8
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This site, created by Kidport for seventh grade students, offers links to lessons and activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library....more
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This site, created by Kidport for seventh grade students, offers links to lessons and activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library. Some of the subject areas only offer one or two activities, while others offer several. Some examples of topics include adding and subtracting decimals, angles, human body (heart, bones, muscles, and more), vertebrates, invertebrates, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, the structure of the U.S. government, world geography, U.S. constitution, presidents, kinds of verbs, kinds of nouns, sentence structure, drawing, and others.

This site offers a variety of interactive elements (online quizzes, interactive maps and diagrams, and other learning exercises). Some of the pages do have advertisements, but they are not distractive. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): angles (87), constitution (87), decimals (132), grammar (214), presidents (132)

In the Classroom

Check out the eclectic mix of activities available at this website. Share it with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for enrichment during certain units, learning stations, or as a whole class activity. List this site on your class website for students to use for additional practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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8th Grade Home Page - Kidport

Grades
7 to 9
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This site, created for eighth grade students, offers links to activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library. Some of the subject...more
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This site, created for eighth grade students, offers links to activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library. Some of the subject areas only offer one or two activities, while others offer several topics. The topics vary greatly and include measuring angles, multiplying decimals, the human body (skeleton, heart, muscles), vertebrates and invertebrates, the Civil War, the War of 1812, and some language arts topics (writing topic sentences, using figurative language, analogies, writing about cause and effect, and several others). Be aware: some of the language arts topics lead you to another educational site and are not as simple to use as in other subject areas. The language arts link is under construction and several are currently unavailable.

Although some of the activities are not highly interactive (some are simple online quizzes), they are well done and could be very useful in the classroom. There are also interactive diagrams and more. Some of the pages do have advertisements, but they are not distractive. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), decimals (132), figurative language (16), heart (44), lincoln (86), war of 1812 (15)

In the Classroom

Check out the eclectic mix of activities available at this website. Share it with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for enrichment, learning stations, or as a whole class activity, depending on the subject matter. List this site on your class website for students to use for additional practice at home.
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Pathways to Freedom: Maryland & The Underground Railroad - Maryland Public Television

Grades
3 to 9
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This informative and interactive website provides information about Maryland's role in the Underground Railroad. Some of the highlights include video clips about Harriet Tubman, lesson...more
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This informative and interactive website provides information about Maryland's role in the Underground Railroad. Some of the highlights include video clips about Harriet Tubman, lesson plans and class activities, printable pages, reference information, details about signs and symbols of the Underground Railroad, and MUCH more. If you are teaching about the Civil War and the Underground Railroad - this site is a must see. Another interesting activity is the "Make Your Own Secret Quilt Message." Be sure to check out the link Classroom Resources for some interesting ways to incorporate this site into your lessons. It would also be a terrific accompaniment for TeachersFirst's Signs in Stitches and Song unit. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat, you can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): 1800s (47), civil war (145), lincoln (86), maryland (8), slavery (72), underground railroad (11)

In the Classroom

Start your exploration at the link for teachers Classroom Resources. The lesson plans (which include standards) are ready to go and easy to use. Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for research projects. Have students write fictitious blog posts pretending they are traveling the Underground Railroad or an illustrated wiki account of their travels.
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Patriotic Songs - National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Grades
K to 8
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Need lyrics to your favorite patriotic song? Find a wealth of patriotic lyrics here with a quick click. . Play the instrumental audio file, as well. Find Yankee Doodle, Navy ...more
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Need lyrics to your favorite patriotic song? Find a wealth of patriotic lyrics here with a quick click. . Play the instrumental audio file, as well. Find Yankee Doodle, Navy Hymn, America the Beautiful, and about twenty other patriotic songs.

Note: Please assume that most songs are copyrighted, so please honor the authors and musicians by not distributing these songs. This is intended for classroom use only. This site requires Quicktime and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): lyrics (20), memorial day (13), presidents (132), songs (53)

In the Classroom

Enhance your reading program with music. Have students listen to the songs while following the lyrics. Keep this site handy for those patriotic holidays. Use this site in social studies classes to learn the meaning behind some of the most popular patriotic songs. Play the sound in the background during class skits for Presidents' Day or other patriotic occasions.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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