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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Civil War Trust - Civil War Trust

Grades
6 to 12
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The Civil War Trust website is a comprehensive collection of all things related to the Civil War. Find battlefields by searching by state, year, or name of the battle. Each ...more
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The Civil War Trust website is a comprehensive collection of all things related to the Civil War. Find battlefields by searching by state, year, or name of the battle. Each battle listed includes a short recap with pertinent information such as dates, union and confederate commander names, number of forces engaged, casualties, and end result. Links to maps and other articles are also included. There are lists of sites offering many lesson plans for elementary through high school level, a glossary of civil war terms, links to primary sources, coloring book and crossword puzzle pages, and overviews of the Civil War. The student section contains links to photos, books for kids, and websites geared towards kids. Be sure to also check out the links to photos, battle apps, news, and more located under the site title at the top of the home page. Another great portion of the site is the gallery of pictures in 3-D. Click the link provided to receive a free pair of 3-D viewing glasses! There is so much more to see on this site. It is a must-see for anyone interested in Civil War resources.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): battles (16), civil war (145), emancipation proclamation (12), gettysburg (26), gettysburg address (18), lincoln (86), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site as an excellent resource for Civil War materials. Display different battle information on your interactive whiteboard to discuss as a class. Share this site with students to use as a resource for class projects. Have students use a mapping tool such as Google Earth (reviewed here) to create an audio (and visual) tour of pertinent battle sites. Challenge your students to use a site such as TimeRime reviewed here to create an interactive timeline of important battles. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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The White House Tour - Google Maps

Grades
K to 12
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This White House tour uses Google Maps street view tools to "tour" the inside of America's home. Use the circle tool in the upper left corner to rotate around the ...more
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This White House tour uses Google Maps street view tools to "tour" the inside of America's home. Use the circle tool in the upper left corner to rotate around the room, and click on objects to get a closer view.

tag(s): presidents (131), white house (14)

In the Classroom

Take your students on a virtual field trip! This is a great way for kids to "visit" the White House. Include it during inauguration week or any time you are studying U.S. government. Show the website using a projector, and have students write a tour script or a tale of something that might happen in the White House. Younger students might want to write a story from the President's dog's (or other pet's) point of view! Before using the site, you should familiarize yourself with how to use the Google Maps street view tools to navigate through the house. Better yet, have a student operate the tour on the whiteboard or projector.

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Today's Document - Jon White Studio

Grades
6 to 12
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Today's Document is an excellent daily history site based on an RSS feed from the National Archives. This specific page comes up on Constitution Day. Cartoons illustrate the history...more
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Today's Document is an excellent daily history site based on an RSS feed from the National Archives. This specific page comes up on Constitution Day. Cartoons illustrate the history of the document, and link each drawing to the original, primary source document on National Archives with an invitation to dig deeper. Search the archives for previous entries or scroll back through daily cartoons. Explanations often include links to further historical information or click on included tags for similar resources. This site includes documents for several days each month. The site seems to have stopped in 2010, but you can browse back through many valuable documents and explanations, since the "originals" being discussed are historic, not current.

tag(s): american revolution (86), civil war (145), constitution (79), jefferson (19), lincoln (86), presidents (131), segregation (15), washington (36)

In the Classroom

Today's Document would make a fantastic discussion starter in any classroom. It is an interesting, visual way for students to acquire background knowledge about American history and/or the Constitution and government. You may want to display a document on your interactive whiteboard as a bell-ringer (opener) activity, or as a story starter in English class. Cover up the cartoon explanation, and ask students to discuss events that they think took place. In U.S.history, government, or civics classes, use the site as an example, then challenge students to create their own comics to explain a topic using comic-creation tools from this TeachersFirst collection.

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Fold U.S. Candidate - Adi Marom

Grades
2 to 12
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Fold a US Candidate is a site that has paper foldable puppets of the US candidates for the 2008 election; however, it is still useful as a resource for templates ...more
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Fold a US Candidate is a site that has paper foldable puppets of the US candidates for the 2008 election; however, it is still useful as a resource for templates for President Obama and Mrs. Obama as well as other famous politicians: Biden, Clinton, Palin, McCain, etc.. Choose a person , click on the name, and the template will open in a new window ready to print in PDF format. There are instructions for cutting and folding, or watch a video demonstrating proper cutting and folding.

tag(s): elections (75), politics (99), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Use the foldable puppets when studying presidents or during your election unit. Share with students who are preparing presentations of political figures. You can also use this idea to create current candidate foldables from photos. If your students have simple movie making software such as iMovie, they could even act out campaign speeches, interviews, or debates and record them on video. Art teachers may want to use the templates as a guide for students who may want to try creating their own foldable puppets.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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John F. Kennedy Presidential Library - JFK Library

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7 to 12
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Recently, a large archive of material has been released by the JFK Library focused on the life of John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline. This site provides contextual information...more
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Recently, a large archive of material has been released by the JFK Library focused on the life of John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline. This site provides contextual information about these newly released records, as well as transcripts of oral history interviews. For example, you can now download previously secret audio recordings that were made during White House meetings, transcripts of oral history interviews with Jacqueline Kennedy, and a rich archive of other materials related to the Kennedy Presidency. This newly released material gives us insight into Kennedy's brief time as President, including his involvement in the Cuban Missile Crisis, his attitudes toward the Cold War relationship with the USSR and the build up of US troops in Vietnam. There are teacher resources and lesson plans that make use of the available archival material.

tag(s): history day (23), kennedy (27), presidents (131), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

All of these topics are of interest to students doing research into 20th century US and international history, and might be particularly useful to students working on in depth projects for National History Day. After researching a specific topic, have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Running for Office--Cartoons of Clifford K. Berryman - The National Archives

Grades
7 to 12
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Each Presidential election cycle brings with it a new crop of political cartoons and caricatures of politicians. Clifford K. Berryman drew political cartoons at the turn of the 20th...more
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Each Presidential election cycle brings with it a new crop of political cartoons and caricatures of politicians. Clifford K. Berryman drew political cartoons at the turn of the 20th century and US Presidents from Grover Cleveland to Harry Truman. This site profiles both the cartoons themselves, and the issues and personalities behind the cartoons. Visually attractive, the site also permits downloading cartoons so they can be printed and studied.

As an important primary source, political cartoons provide an important insight into the issues and controversies of their time period. More than simply who did what, and what happened where, these drawings show us the emotions and conflict involved in the ugly and messy business of politics.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), elections (75), politics (99), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Students can gain insight into the events of the first half of the 20th century as well as draw parallels between the issues of that time and today. How are Presidential campaigns different and how are they similar? Challenge students to create their own political comics using one of TeachersFirst's many comic/cartoon tools reviewed here.

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Biography Read-alouds - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This readaloud collection is part of theHelp I lost my library/media specialist series, written by an experienced elementary library/media specialist. Although nothing can replace...more
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This readaloud collection is part of theHelp I lost my library/media specialist series, written by an experienced elementary library/media specialist. Although nothing can replace the specialized knowledge of a teacher-librarian, this collection of biographies to read aloud and accompanying activities will teach information literacy skills about what biographies are while exciting students to read some on their own. If your library does not have the books you want from this list, try using the ISBN numbers to borrow them on interlibrary loan from a public library nearby.

tag(s): biographies (87), famous people (19), independent reading (128)

In the Classroom

Mark this readaloud in your Favorites for use when studying famous Americans or as a wonderful lead-in to Martin Luther King Day or Presidents Day.

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Social Studies Foldables - Susie Orr

Grades
4 to 8
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Find downloadable pdfs and templates to support US History social studies curriculum. An extensive list of offerings includes items from maps to events to documents etc. The site also...more
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Find downloadable pdfs and templates to support US History social studies curriculum. An extensive list of offerings includes items from maps to events to documents etc. The site also includes limited suggestions on how to use the offerings. There are also links to other maps at this carefully documented site. Scroll down to see the letter from the person who created the originals, as the "Read Me First" note suggests.

tag(s): abolition (7), american revolution (86), bill of rights (28), black history (59), colonial america (107), declaration of independence (13), history day (23), inventors and inventions (101), louisiana purchase (7), maps (288), native americans (78), politics (99), presidents (131), slavery (72), states (163), washington (36)

In the Classroom

Even if you do not have time to explore all the offerings, check the list of activities often to enrich your background information on U.S. historical events and people and your lessons. Search for templates or maps that are useful to what you are currently studying.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The History of Thanksgiving and its Celebrations - Holidays on the Net

Grades
K to 6
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Welcome to your one stop holiday shop filled with a plethora of Thanksgiving ideas. Information, stories, recipes, blogs, crafts and Ecards fill the site. Fun facts and folklore give...more
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Welcome to your one stop holiday shop filled with a plethora of Thanksgiving ideas. Information, stories, recipes, blogs, crafts and Ecards fill the site. Fun facts and folklore give the extras you might not even know about. Presidential proclamations from the past five presidents give insight into our country historical perspectives and first hand information. Videos of recipes from the appetizers to the desserts help give a detailed explanation to make the perfect dish. An interactive fun game of Turkey Bowl puts you in the Thanksgiving spirit. This is a great site for much needed Thanksgiving information and celebrations.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): blogs (88), crafts (41), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Lead your students to this site filled with information. Research can determine the many myths and true information about Thanksgiving. Allow students to plan and make parts of their Thanksgiving feast. Find fun activities, crafts, decorations to make your celebration perfect with your students and families. Add at a center for timely fun information and research time. Link this to your class website or wiki for parent information and extensions at home.

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Aaron's Awesome Adventure - Metmuseum.org

Grades
2 to 7
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This interactive story revolves around a young boy's reactions each time he visits the Metropolitan. Sara Bradshaw, the winner of the Metropolitan Museum of Art story-writing contest...more
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This interactive story revolves around a young boy's reactions each time he visits the Metropolitan. Sara Bradshaw, the winner of the Metropolitan Museum of Art story-writing contest in 2007, is the author. The story focuses on Aaron's fascination with; Ancient Egypt's "Temple of Denbur", the painting "Washington Crossing the Delaware," ancient funerary masks from Peru, and European coats of arms. Additional links provide students more background information and reference materials about the pieces mentioned in the story. You can choose to read the text themselves or have it read to them.

tag(s): egypt (67), pyramids (29), washington (36)

In the Classroom

Project this story onto an interactive whiteboard or projector for shared reading or have students listen to it in small groups at a computer station. Ask students to explore the "About the Art" tab, and research one of the four artworks featured in the story. Afterwards, have them present their findings to the class. Integrate the study of Art with writing lessons by inviting the class to compose an additional chapter and research page to this story. Let students decide what additional awesome adventures Aaron might have with other pieces of art in the Metropolitan. Let students choose artwork found in their database collection. If you are lucky enough to live within field trip distance to the Metropolitan, have students select a work of art while touring the museum. Consider having students post their stories on Thinglink, (reviewed here), or create a comic strip version of their chapter with Comic Creator, (reviewed here). Include a link to this site and the class stories on your class webpage.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Maps of War

Grades
9 to 12
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This site offers a collection of Flash presentations that illustrate geopolitical aspects of war and religion. It's an eclectic mix: one animation traces the spread of world religions...more
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This site offers a collection of Flash presentations that illustrate geopolitical aspects of war and religion. It's an eclectic mix: one animation traces the spread of world religions over time and over a world map. Another looks at the American death tolls associated with each U.S. conflict and associates the President and political party associated with each war. A third examines the various political entities that have held territory in the Middle East. Visually, the animations are fabulous, but in order to be more than good looking, they would need to be paired with significant teacher context-setting, which is not presented on the site. For example, what does it mean that there have been more U.S. casualties in wars under Presidents who were Democrats than in wars under Republican Presidents? That factoid is the subject of one of the animations. The creator of the site does not name him/herself, saying only that the animations are intended to be unbiased and factual.

tag(s): iraq (32), middle east (30), religions (61)

In the Classroom

The animations would be stunning on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and teachers doing a unit on world religions or trying to backfill a history of Iraq would find certain presentations very useful. Be sure to click "View Full Screen" to fill your projector or whiteboard screen. American history teachers could use the animation on U.S. wars and casualties as an overview. The animations can be streamed from the site, or the whole package can be downloaded for use locally. On the whole, however, the site still leaves questions: Why these topics? Despite claims to the contrary, is there a political message here somewhere? Be sure to open this discussion with your students, as well. Since the site has "professional looking" glitz, should we believe it without any knowledge of its creator? If not, how can we check its accuracy?
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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African Odyssey - Kennedy Center

Grades
6 to 8
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Appropriate for students High School and above as well as a resource for educators. This site is divided into three sections. The first lists African and African American arts and ...more
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Appropriate for students High School and above as well as a resource for educators. This site is divided into three sections. The first lists African and African American arts and cultural events at the Kennedy Center, in Washington DC and around the world. Another sections contains information and resources for learning and teaching about African arts and culture. The Interactive Opportunities section contains links to online discussions, events and educational projects. A very valuable site to those studying African Art and Culture! This site is maintained by the Kennedy Center and sponsored by American Express.

tag(s): africa (180)

In the Classroom

The K-12 Teacher's Resource has many links to organizations dealing with these topics.

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This Day in History - A&E Television Network

Grades
5 to 12
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This historical site features short videos (1 minute in length) that highlight "This Day in History." Topics include a mix of everything: government, world geography, world history,...more
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This historical site features short videos (1 minute in length) that highlight "This Day in History." Topics include a mix of everything: government, world geography, world history, health history, discoveries, and much more. The video clips highlight several events from each day. They span the past few centuries and include various subjects and topics. Be aware with the videos, if you stay on the site and do not click "pause" or click on another link, you will automatically go to the video for the following day. So if you don't want your students to "peek ahead," be sure to click "pause." There is a short advertisement when you arrive at this site, so you may want to click on the site before you use it with your students and then click "pause" at the start of the video clip.

Although the videos are the highlight of this site, there is much more to explore! On the right side bar you will find text boxes to enter ANY date and choose the category. Some examples of categories include Civil War, Cold War, Presidential, Sports, Old West, World War I and II, Entertainment, and several others. On the left side bar there are even more topics and links to explore. Once you click on the subject area, specific "story topics" are provided under the subject. Both of the features on the right and left side of the site display text information, not video clips. This site does require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): presidents (131)

In the Classroom

You can add this in your RSS reader. Why not use the RSS feature to remind you of the day's events? Share the site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. The topics on the left and right side bars make excellent research references.

For a classroom-ready activity each day to build understanding of historical events in the context of your students' prior knowledge, also try TeachersFirst's Dates That Matter. Include both links on your teacher web page for instant access by students both in and out of class. Maybe start a class wiki for your own "This Day" collection and assign student groups a day of their own. Add to it from year to year. Or have students write blog responses on class or individual blogs as they choose an event for the day from several sources and react to it.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Perfect resource for stimulating interest on a variety of topics. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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TeachersFirst's Presidents' Day Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Presidents' Day in this collection from TeachersFirst. Choices include information about various presidents, the White House, inaugurations,...more
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Presidents' Day in this collection from TeachersFirst. Choices include information about various presidents, the White House, inaugurations, first ladies, elections, and more.

tag(s): holidays (147), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Use these resources to connect Presidents' Day to your curriculum in almost any subject or select one or two ideas to highlight along with your regular lessons. This collection would also be useful during a unit on the three branches of government, specifically investigating the Executive branch.

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The American Journey: Modern Times - McGraw Hill

Grades
6 to 12
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McGraw Hill publishes this set of videos as a companion to their textbook "American Journey: Modern Times" which covers US History from the Civil War to the Present. This collection...more
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McGraw Hill publishes this set of videos as a companion to their textbook "American Journey: Modern Times" which covers US History from the Civil War to the Present. This collection of over 50 short videos is designed to accompany sections of the text; the videos are labeled according to the section of the text. There is a short title that will help you locate videos focused on various eras even if you are not using this particular textbook. If that's the case, however, you'll need to do a little digging to see what each video covers, as the titles are very general.

tag(s): civil war (145), great depression (24), presidents (131), world war 1 (54), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Use these videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector as a class opener, or as a transition between lecture and an activity. Their length (2 to 3 minutes) makes them perfect for helping visual learners focus on the main events, or for providing a preview or summary of lecture topics. They may not form the centerpiece of your lesson, but they're nice to have in your "back pocket" to use as an enhancement.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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JFK 50 - John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Grades
7 to 12
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This web site honors the legacy of President John F. Kennedy in recognition of the fifty years that have passed since his inauguration on January 20, 1961, when he first ...more
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This web site honors the legacy of President John F. Kennedy in recognition of the fifty years that have passed since his inauguration on January 20, 1961, when he first captured the hearts of Americans and memorialized a moment in history with his words, "Ask not what this country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." JFK50 is filled with cutting-edge multimedia that inspires and invites students to explore the themes of public service, civil rights, leadership, and more to discover how relevant they remain to social and political issues today.

tag(s): kennedy (27), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Use this website as your online destination for teaching, researching, and starting a conversation about the primary people, changes, speeches, and events of the John F. Kennedy era. Do not miss the links at the upper left corner of the home page for the Legacy Gallery, Downloads and Resources, and "History Now" which provides an interactive timeline that links today's date to details of what transpired during JFK's presidency. Highlight the ideals articulated fifty years ago to serve as a springboard for today's students to become actively involved in public service by projecting the authentic broadcast reports, videos, newspaper accounts, and other media on your classroom whiteboard or projector. Team up with colleagues in other departments to engage in interdisciplinary learning projects. You may want to have students collaborate to put a new spin on a research report. Challenge them to create a newspaper article about the domestic affairs, foreign policies and diplomacy, the arts, or any of the other extensive topics found on JFK50 by using the Newspaper Clipping Generator. Polish it off by having students create magazine covers that reflect the content of their articles, essays, or reports by using Magazine Cover Maker reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Springfield Library-Google Options - Joyce Valenza

Grades
4 to 12
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Find a collection of Google search tools all in one place! For those trying to figure out all of the wonderful options for searching on Google, this is the site. ...more
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Find a collection of Google search tools all in one place! For those trying to figure out all of the wonderful options for searching on Google, this is the site. It was created using GlogsterEDU reviewed here which makes this site interactive. Just click on the type of Google search you want to learn about, and you will be there! Whether you need to search for books online, scholarly articles, or want to search the New York Times or the Washington Post, this is the place to start. Whether your search is professional, for research, or personal, make it easy on yourself and start with this site.

tag(s): search engines (65)

In the Classroom

Share on your projector or interactive whiteboard to give kids an overview--or explore yourself to learn all the options! This is a great resource for searching through different tools. Students could each take one of the sites for video and dissect it to look for things like intended audience, subject matter it's best for, and advantages and disadvantages of the site as a source. This is a great link to share on your class website for students (and parents) to use at home.

TV and Yearbook Classes: The links under "Copyright-friendly" would be a great starting point for a dialogue on what is fair or unfair to use, and would be a wealth of resources for students as they work to complete projects and pages. TV: The student video portion as a go-to for high-quality student-produced content is a must for any class in production. Have students share news from around the world posting on your class Wiki. Not familiar with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Have student groups "Advertise" different Google tools by doing a live demo on projector or interactive whiteboard for the class. Then use a poll such as Flisti, reviewed here, to find out which tool students vote as "most useful."
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State of the Union Address 2011 - guardian.co.uk

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
See a comparison of State of the Union Address language from President Obama, 2011, to past presidents and speeches. These word clouds offer a visual comparison of the most frequent...more
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See a comparison of State of the Union Address language from President Obama, 2011, to past presidents and speeches. These word clouds offer a visual comparison of the most frequent words in different presidential speeches. You can make your own clouds of speech text using Wordle, reviewed here and similar word cloud tools to add to the comparison options.

tag(s): presidents (131), speech (92), speeches (17)

In the Classroom

Share these word clouds on interactive whiteboard or projector to analyze the presidential agendas in a civics or government class. Have students make their own clouds of text from other speeches using Wordle, reviewed here or similar word cloud tools to add to the comparison options. During political campaigns, share this comparison and invite students to create ones of their own between different candidates. In English/language arts classes, use the word clouds to spark discussion of propaganda techniques, word choice, and effective speech techniques. Share this discussion in debate club, as well, to point out the importance of carefully crafted messages. Have students create and compare clouds of their own speech drafts while studying persuasive writing.

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