TeachersFirst's American Presidents Related Resources

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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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Hindsight is always 20/20 - Luke Dubois

Grades
8 to 12
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Hindsight is Always 20/20 examines State of the Union addresses through a metaphor of vision charts (and words). This site highlights the sixty-six most used words in the annual...more
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Hindsight is Always 20/20 examines State of the Union addresses through a metaphor of vision charts (and words). This site highlights the sixty-six most used words in the annual State of the Union addresses given by former Presidents. Each address is exhibited in the style of a Snellen eye chart. Find the most frequently used words in place of the eye-chart characters, with the most often used word on the top line. Find a thumbnail of all the presidents along the bottom. Scroll over each one to view the chart. The name of the president and the period of time served is found along the bottom right of the chart. As the words are unique to each chart, the chart itself is a snapshot of each presidency and the time period each president served.

tag(s): presidents (121), speeches (19)

In the Classroom

Share this tool in January, before the annual State of the Union. Allow time for groups of students to view specific charts and report upon the words used and their meanings. Students can research the time period the president served to understand the cultural, religious, and political climate of the day. Does the most common word (or top 10) appear in more than one presidency? Are there presidents who faced the same challenges even if not from the same time period? How did their State of the Union addresses differ (or were similar?) Discuss the uses of various words of which students may be unfamiliar.

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Digital Docs in a Box - William & Mary, University of Kentucky, Library of Congress

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5 to 12
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Digital Docs in a Box presents packages of digital images and documents in "boxes" by category for use by students and teachers in creating their own historical documentary projects....more
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Digital Docs in a Box presents packages of digital images and documents in "boxes" by category for use by students and teachers in creating their own historical documentary projects. This still-growing archive includes kits related to Westward Expansion, Women's Suffrage, Immigration, Transportation, and Presidential Inaugurations, for example. Each kit contains sets of primary source documents, digital images, and (where possible) audio and visual clips, along with brief introductory information to help set the context for the archive. Also included is a very comprehensive introduction to creating documentaries in the classroom, with hints, templates, assessments, and timelines. This truly is a one-stop shop for beginning an educational documentary project.

tag(s): chinese (50), civil rights (121), great depression (27), immigration (59), industrial revolution (26), native americans (78), presidents (121), transportation (42), westward expansion (29), womens suffrage (25)

In the Classroom

You may have thought about a unit in which students create their own documentaries, but then felt overwhelmed by all the logistical considerations. Digital Docs in a Box is the answer. While there is not an enormous archive, it is still growing, and there is plenty here to get started. Students don't have to track down their own images, worry about their formatting or copyright, or be distracted with those pursuits. Instead, they can focus on the real point of the project: to take historical information and images and use it to tell a story they themselves devise. The TeachersFirst Edge has dozens of reviewed digital storytelling tools for your students to create projects from these "raw materials." As a teacher, you can also focus on the same issues and not spend hours setting up the project, deciding how to assess students' success in executing it, or keeping students focused on the project goal. Once you've used the site a few times, you might be able to create your own Docs in a Box kits and expand the topics covered.

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Young George Washington's Adventures - National Park Service

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3 to 8
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Learn about George Washington's early military career through this interactive that takes him on a mission to bring peace to the Ohio Valley. Along the way, stop to brainstorm items...more
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Learn about George Washington's early military career through this interactive that takes him on a mission to bring peace to the Ohio Valley. Along the way, stop to brainstorm items that he may have brought with him. Use the maps to find details, learn about clothing of the time, and meet other people involved with the mission.

tag(s): american revolution (86), native americans (78), presidents (121), washington (32)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start your study of George Washington or the American Revolution. Have students create an annotated image of George Washington or a related image including text boxes and links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students create maps using Animaps (reviewed here) of Washington's journey. Students can add text, images, and location stops! Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Nixon Tapes and Transcripts - Luke Nichter

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8 to 12
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As its name implies, Nixon Tapes and Transcripts is dedicated to the collection of the tapes secretly recorded by Richard Nixon during his presidency. The collection contains over 700...more
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As its name implies, Nixon Tapes and Transcripts is dedicated to the collection of the tapes secretly recorded by Richard Nixon during his presidency. The collection contains over 700 audio files containing 2300 hours of conversation. There are various file formats: mp3, pdf, and others.The site is searchable. Choose audio & transcripts to find conversations by primary participants or selected themes. Each conversation includes information on date and time as well as links to download audio or a transcript.

tag(s): 1960s (27), presidents (121)

In the Classroom

Use portions of tapes and transcripts during lessons on the Vietnam War, Richard Nixon, presidents, the 1960s and 70s, and more. Share a link to specific conversations on your class website, and have students create blogs. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about participants in conversations during the Nixon era.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Founders Online - National Archives and University of Virginia

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6 to 12
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Founders Online is an archive from the National Archives of over 119,000 fully annotated primary source documents from six of the nation's founding fathers: George Washington, Benjamin...more
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Founders Online is an archive from the National Archives of over 119,000 fully annotated primary source documents from six of the nation's founding fathers: George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison. Enter any search term or browse by author, recipient, or time period. Each document includes information such as author, recipient, date, and links to other similar documents if available.

tag(s): american revolution (86), colonial america (105), colonization (15), constitution (87), declaration of independence (13), franklin (12), jefferson (19), primary sources (92), washington (32)

In the Classroom

Search and view information from this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Find documents from similar time periods and events to compare and contrast different points of view. Have students download to create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. 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 any of the founding fathers included on this site.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Backpack Practice - Backpack Practice

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K to 12
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Backpack Practice, available only via Google Chrome, offers practice with skills from preK number recognition through Algebra and ACT/SAT test prep. Choose from topics such as math,...more
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Backpack Practice, available only via Google Chrome, offers practice with skills from preK number recognition through Algebra and ACT/SAT test prep. Choose from topics such as math, science, history, or languages to begin. Be sure to allow the program to access your computer microphone when prompted. Some answers are given as a spoken response. View the image and respond to the prompt: identify the president, say the number of dots on the dice, etc. If unsure, you can pass. Your number of correct responses and passes display on the left of the screen throughout the task. Be sure to speak clearly for Backpack Practice to recognize your response. Our editors did notice that the program sometimes gets behind in "hearing" your response, and we also noticed an occasional typo.

tag(s): addition (223), animals (307), continents (49), countries (80), division (159), grammar (210), map skills (81), money (180), multiplication (210), numbers (195), phonics (72), preK (294), presidents (121), speech (92), sports (97), states (165), subtraction (184), test prep (96), time (139), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Share Backpack Practice with students for a quick practice of math facts, continents, presidents, and much more. Explore the various topics available for your grade level/subject area. Challenge students to improve their time or score for completing activities. Since many of the activities require speaking, not typing, this site is useful for all ages and abilities. Provide this link on your class website for students to access at home (if they have Google Chrome).

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Cuban Missile Crisis - Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center

Grades
8 to 12
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The Cuban Missile Crisis offers a great resource for learning and teaching about the 1962 missile crisis. Explore the site to find many primary documents, an excellent timeline, and...more
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The Cuban Missile Crisis offers a great resource for learning and teaching about the 1962 missile crisis. Explore the site to find many primary documents, an excellent timeline, and lessons. The Educators section of the site includes many tools such as lesson plans, reading lists, and videos. If your district blocks YouTube, then 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): 1960s (27), kennedy (25), presidents (121)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site (or save it in your favorites). Use the resources for any unit that includes the Cuban Missile Crisis, presidents, or John F. Kennedy. Watch videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share a link on your class website for students to view at home. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about any of the characters involved with the crisis. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare the point of view of the U.S. vs Cuba or to compare outcomes based on possible decisions made during the crisis.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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John F Kennedy Curricular Resources - John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

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K to 12
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This site offers curricular resources to teach about John F Kennedy for all grade levels. Choose from resources: elementary, middle, or high school. Each level includes several lesson...more
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This site offers curricular resources to teach about John F Kennedy for all grade levels. Choose from resources: elementary, middle, or high school. Each level includes several lesson plans as well as links to biographical resources. Lesson plans link to a PDF version for easy download and printing. Check out the full details including objectives and connections to national history standards. The elementary resources include a downloadable pdf "picture book" about Kennedy that would work well on tablets or on a projector or interactive whiteboard.

tag(s): civil rights (121), cold war (30), kennedy (25), presidents (121), vietnam (35)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this resource for use when teaching about John F Kennedy, the presidency, Civil Rights, or the Vietnam War. Share with teachers at other grade levels (k-12) for use with lesson planning.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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John F Kennedy Lesson - Sean Banville

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3 to 6
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Find several short activities related to John F. Kennedy. Read a short article about his presidency. Complete a fill in the gap or correct the spelling on an activity. Several ...more
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Find several short activities related to John F. Kennedy. Read a short article about his presidency. Complete a fill in the gap or correct the spelling on an activity. Several writing prompts are included as well as homework extensions.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 1960s (27), kennedy (25), presidents (121)

In the Classroom

Although quite simple, these activities are excellent starting points and ideas for use with any John F. Kennedy or presidents unit. Use the homework ideas for in or out of class activities. Have students create online posters individually or together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, or PicLits, reviewed here. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Pen.io, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration. If you are teaching younger students and looking for an easy way to integrate technology and check for understanding, challenge your students to create a blog using EasyBlog, reviewed here.

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Mount Washington Observatory - Mount Washington Observatory

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5 to 12
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The Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire is the "Home of the World's Worst Weather," but they also provide one of the world's best interactive weather websites. The combination...more
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The Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire is the "Home of the World's Worst Weather," but they also provide one of the world's best interactive weather websites. The combination of extreme cold, wet, high winds, icing conditions, and consistent low visibility helped Mount Washington earn its coveted title as the "Home of the World's Worst Weather." The Observatory continues to record and disseminate weather information. It also serves as a benchmark station for many types of severe weather research and testing. The Mount Washington station is one of the only mountaintop scientific stations to have remained in continuous operation with an active and expanding mission. They offer an unparalleled look at the Home of the World's Worst Weather. You can also purchase the opportunity to bring the science and excitement of Mount Washington into your classroom with live, interactive video conferencing technology. Premium content on the site is available for purchase. This review only includes the free portions.
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tag(s): new hampshire (5), snow (21), weather (197), webcams (7)

In the Classroom

Connect your classroom through the Mount Washington webcams, weather forecasts, photo galleries, and more. The Mount Washington Observatory website provides diverse, innovative educational opportunities from its summit into your classroom. Close your textbooks and view the magnificent multimedia on the site. Explore the photo galleries for a vivid view of the everyday life on the mountain. Use the photos for writing prompts where students need to integrate weather related information into their creative writing. As long as you provide a direct link to the Mount Washington Observatory website you have permission to use their photos on your site. The site offers seven different live web cam views to explore with your students. Record your own weather observations from the webcams. Listen to an mp3 of the weather forecast from Mount Washington. Challenge your students to create their own weather forecast recordings. Explore the Frequently Asked Questions page to learn how the Mount Washington Weather Observatory works. Have students track weather data at two contrasting locations (such as this one and one in the tropics) and graph them both on the same graph to show the differences. Include this link in your Snow Day links on your class web page for students who think the weather is bad where YOU are...!
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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John F Kennedy White House Diary - John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Grades
4 to 12
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Click an interactive calendar to experience the day by day schedule of President John F. Kennedy, Jr., including digital scans of his actual appointment diary for any given day as ...more
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Click an interactive calendar to experience the day by day schedule of President John F. Kennedy, Jr., including digital scans of his actual appointment diary for any given day as well as video, audio, and photos of the day's events. Choose any date on the calendar to view information or scroll through page by page. Choose View Appointments to see a copy of the appointment calendar for the date or click In The News to view New York Times stories from the same dates.

tag(s): civil rights (121), kennedy (25), presidents (121), vietnam (35)

In the Classroom

This is a must-use site for any lesson or unit about John F Kennedy, presidents, the Vietnam War, or Civil Rights! What, exactly, does a president do? Include information on timelines to demonstrate what the president's schedule looked like on important dates. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles (reviewed here). Have students explore on their own then choose a date to investigate further. Use a tool such as Padlet, (reviewed here) to present information.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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A great tool to see the Presidency of Kennedy from inauguration to assassination Allen, OH, Grades: 6 - 12

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The President's Desk - John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

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4 to 12
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Explore John F. Kennedy's desk interactively, examining treasured mementos and important documents. Don't miss the comprehensive resource guide for classroom use. Click on highlighted...more
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Explore John F. Kennedy's desk interactively, examining treasured mementos and important documents. Don't miss the comprehensive resource guide for classroom use. Click on highlighted areas of the desk to view videos, read documents, and explore important events from John F Kennedy's history. Download the pdf resource guidefor lessons, transcripts, and copies of included documents. This terrific interactive unfortunately requires Flash so will not work on iOS devices.

tag(s): 1960s (27), civil rights (121), kennedy (25), presidents (121), vietnam (35)

In the Classroom

Use the President's Desk as a highly engaging resource for getting to know more about John F. Kennedy's presidency. Show on your interactive whiteboard or projector and include suggested lesson activities to accompany the site. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about John F Kennedy. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles (reviewed here). Be sure to add a link to the site on you class website for students to access on their own or from home. Have your class create a presidential desk for another historic leader, creating their own annotated photo of the desktop using Thinglink reviewed here to explain the items on the desk.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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American Presidents: Life Portraits - C-Span

Grades
6 to 12
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American Presidents: Life Portraits is a site created to accompany C-Span's series of the same name. Search for any president or choose from the drop-down box to begin. View and ...more
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American Presidents: Life Portraits is a site created to accompany C-Span's series of the same name. Search for any president or choose from the drop-down box to begin. View and print teachers guides and lesson plans for all 41 programs, explore facts related to specific presidencies, view C-Span programming, and much more. This site does require a bit of exploration to find exactly what you are looking for. However, it is worth the time!

tag(s): presidents (121)

In the Classroom

Use American Presidents: Life Portraits as a great starting point for lessons relating to any presidency or period in American History. Share with students to use when researching presidents for any type of report or presentation. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about any of the presidents. Create a newspaper detailing events from any period of American History or any president's tenure using a site such as Zinepal (reviewed here). Click to "Start with a blank e-Book."
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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American Experience: Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald? - PBS

Grades
7 to 12
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This site accompanies an episode of the PBS series Frontline which examines the life of Lee Harvey Oswald, the presumed killer of John F. Kennedy. Because Oswald himself was assassinated...more
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This site accompanies an episode of the PBS series Frontline which examines the life of Lee Harvey Oswald, the presumed killer of John F. Kennedy. Because Oswald himself was assassinated before a full examination of the crime could be completed, mystery surrounds the man and his possible motivations for killing the President. Did he act alone? Here you will find a summary of the major conspiracy theories, a timeline of Oswald's life (including a psychiatric report from his teenage years), and an overview of the events surrounding the assassination. Note that the actual video of the show is not available for free, but there is much information to explore.
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tag(s): kennedy (25), presidents (121)

In the Classroom

Students are often fascinated by conspiracy theories, and the mystery of whether Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone or was part of a larger plot to kill the President represents one of US history's most enduring. Certainly the site will be useful in a discussion of the event itself. However, it can be used more generally as a springboard for discussion of conspiracy theories themselves. See the lesson ideas in the Teachers Guide section. What evidence do we require to decide if something is true or not? Who can be trusted to tell the story of an emotional event? Is "seeing" always "believing"? How can resolve the fact that eyewitnesses do not all have the same recollection of the event? Have your gifted and highly able students do a special project investigating conspiracy theories in history and sharing them as a role play or video for the rest of the class.

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50th Anniversary of JFK Assassination - Associated Press

Grades
7 to 12
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It's said that a picture is worth a thousand words. This site from the Associated Press brings together a large collection of photographs related to the assassination of John F. ...more
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It's said that a picture is worth a thousand words. This site from the Associated Press brings together a large collection of photographs related to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The photos are copyrighted, and therefore carry a watermark, but they do represent a good cross section of the photos taken by journalists of the events surrounding the assassination.

tag(s): kennedy (25), presidents (121)

In the Classroom

This site represents a good "quick access" point for photos related to the JFK assassination. Use them to illustrate a discussion of the event, or consider asking students to analyze the perspective presented in the photos. What is the photo communicating? How have these photos influenced the way we remember this important event? Students might be asked to compare the photographic "evidence" that was part of the investigation of this crime with the resources that are available today when a similar incident occurs. For example, how is this documentation different from that which was used to identify the Boston Marathon bombing suspects? In English class, use the photos as prompts for students to write informational texts about the Kennedy Assassination in journalistic or historic styles. Since there is such fascination with the Kennedy assassination, you could use this as a chance to discuss purpose and audience, writing to spin the same information several ways.

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White House Tapes - The President Calling - American Radio Works

Grades
8 to 12
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The White House Tapes takes a look at the secret tapes recorded by three American presidents and how each president used one on one politics to shape history. Listen to ...more
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The White House Tapes takes a look at the secret tapes recorded by three American presidents and how each president used one on one politics to shape history. Listen to conversations recorded by John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon, and Lyndon B. Johnson. Read an introduction to each president, then go in-depth to explore particular events such as the Vietnam Dilemna and Watergate. Note: Although the transcripts are available on the site, the option to play the actual audio files requires Real Player. Check your computer to be sure you have this plugin.
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tag(s): kennedy (25), presidents (121), vietnam (35)

In the Classroom

Include the tapes and transcripts as part of any unit involving the 1960's, Vietnam, presidents, and more. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles (reviewed here) and include information gathered on the audio tapes. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about characters involved in the audio tapes.

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History Labs - A Guided Approach to Historical Inquiry in the K-12 Classroom - UMBC Center for History Education

Grades
2 to 12
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The Center for History Education offers this resource to teach a variety of topics in American History via an inquiry approach. Sample topics include Native Americans, Colonization,...more
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The Center for History Education offers this resource to teach a variety of topics in American History via an inquiry approach. Sample topics include Native Americans, Colonization, Civil Rights, Slavery, the American Revolution, and many more. All labs include central questions, source materials, and step by step explanations to implement the lab. The approach is well suited to social studies literacy standards of Common Core, as students explore and evaluate sources (informational texts) and eventually "Develop, present, defend, and refine their evidence-based answers." Choose from History Labs or Lesson Plans to find resources then scroll through the dates to view available materials. Use links to print materials in PDF format. Although the site title indicates materials for all levels of students, most resources are geared toward middle and high school grades. Some of the videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they 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): african american (110), american revolution (86), civil rights (121), civil war (143), colonial america (105), colonization (15), great depression (27), iran (12), jefferson (19), kennedy (25), native americans (78), roosevelt (16), slavery (68), washington (32), womens suffrage (25), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for use with any American History topic as a complete lesson or to offer another angle on current lessons. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Before beginning a unit, have students brainstorm or collect ideas on a collaborative bulletin board like Scrumblr, reviewed here (quick start- no membership required!).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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TeachersFirst's Resources for John F. Kennedy, Jr. - TeachersFirst

Grades
1 to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn more about President John F. Kennedy, Jr. and the important events of his presidency,...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn more about President John F. Kennedy, Jr. and the important events of his presidency, including related projects and classroom activities.

tag(s): kennedy (25), presidents (121)

In the Classroom

Whether you focus on Kennedy for one class or spend an entire unit on U.S. presidents, the ideas included within the "In the Classroom" portion of reviews will launch discussions and meaningful projects for student-centered learning. Find more presidential resources in TeacherFirst's Resources for American Presidents.

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Let Freedom Swing - jacl.org

Grades
6 to 12
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Let Freedom Swing is an inspirational site showing democracy and jazz as parallels. The videos are the creation of, and inspired by, retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor...more
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Let Freedom Swing is an inspirational site showing democracy and jazz as parallels. The videos are the creation of, and inspired by, retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Wynton Marsalis, musician, composer, educator and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. The three six-minute videos feature; "We the People," "E Pluribus Unum" (From Many, One), and "A More Perfect Union". A study guide for each video includes questions for discussion, teaching activities, and additional resources.

tag(s): branches of government (47), democracy (13), jazz (15), music theory (44)

In the Classroom

Let Freedom Swing is ideal for social studies, humanities, and music classes in grades 6-12, although teachers may be able to adapt the materials for use with younger children. Use along with Common Core Standards to integrate art and music into the content area curriculum. Otherwise, use the website and ideas as a model for use in other subjects with the genre of music or art. Use in writing class to inspire writing in content areas. Find connections between the content areas of music or art. Use this to prompt the investigation of art or music in historical contexts or even in literary settings.

These intelligent, creative people have made incredibly cool analogies between jazz and democracy that enable your students to easily remember the branches of government and parts of the constitution. However, students often need time to think about unusual comparisons. Consider having the students watch the video at home with the questions embedded into the video. Use a program like Grokit/Answers, reviewed here, to achieve this. Also, for your quiet ones, consider having the classroom discussion via backchannel chat, giving everyone in the room a chance to have a voice. Use a program like Today's Meet, reviewed here, and project the discussion on your whiteboard (or projector), where everyone can see what everyone else is saying.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

Useful for Janet and music classes to discuss our nation's conception---flawed even at its inception---to create a place of equality. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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