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Nelson Mandela Biography - bio.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Explore the life of Nelson Mandela with this informative site from Biography.com. Contents include facts of Mandela's life, photos, and videos profiling his life and leadership. One...more
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Explore the life of Nelson Mandela with this informative site from Biography.com. Contents include facts of Mandela's life, photos, and videos profiling his life and leadership. One especially useful portion of the site includes a printable study guide including vocabulary, extension activities, and more. There is a lot here to explore.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 20th century (51), black history (59), civil rights (117), heroes (24), south africa (10)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector as an introduction to your Civil Rights, Black History, or Heroes unit. Allow students to explore on their own. Use the study guide as a resource for vocabulary, deepening understanding, or for extension activities. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare Nelson Mandela to other Civil Rights leaders such as Martin Luther King. Have students create timelines about Civil Rights (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 Civil Rights leaders.
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Nelson Mandela - BBC

Grades
3 to 8
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Find a good introduction and overview of the life of Nelson Mandela geared toward elementary students (and middle school). View basic information, such as why Mandela is famous. Take...more
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Find a good introduction and overview of the life of Nelson Mandela geared toward elementary students (and middle school). View basic information, such as why Mandela is famous. Take a look at young Mandela, problems in South Africa, and his life as a world statesman. Scroll through several fun facts about Mandela, play a game of Audience with Mandela, explore photographs and videos, or take a short quiz. This site was created in the UK. American English speakers may notice some slight spelling or vocabulary differences.

tag(s): biographies (87), civil rights (117), heroes (24), south africa (10)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson for Black History Month or about heroes in Civil Rights. As you discuss Martin Luther King, Jr, include discussion of major Civil Rights leaders from other countries. Have students create an annotated image of Nelson Mandela including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students create maps of Mandela's journeys using Animaps (reviewed here). Students can add text, images, and location stops! Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles (reviewed here).
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The Museum of Modern Art - Khan Academy - Khan Academy and The Museum of Modern Art

Grades
6 to 12
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The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), in partnership with the Khan Academy, offers several tutorials exploring the world of contemporary and modern art....more
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The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), in partnership with the Khan Academy, offers several tutorials exploring the world of contemporary and modern art. View information in categories such as Printmaking, Behind the scenes at MoMA, and Performance Art. Each section contains several short videos exploring the topic. 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): art history (71), artists (75)

In the Classroom

Display and use these very short videos on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to introduce and explore the world of art to students. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos based on other famous works of art and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. Do a collaborative project with your school's art teacher, having students write in English/LA class and discuss art in that class. Have older students explore areas of this site to find artwork from time periods studied in Social Studies classes. Display one of the works of art and view the short video. Use the art piece as inspiration for a creative writing project. Use videos during career exploration units to demonstrate the different career options available within the field of art. Create a link to videos on classroom computers for students to view on their own or use the embed code to add a video on your class website or blog for additional exploration. Teachers of gifted who have students interested in visual arts can use this site to take them further, even if art is not your expertise!

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Patchwork Nation - Jefferson Institute

Grades
9 to 12
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Is the US a melting pot? A tossed salad? The Jefferson Institute suggests it is a "Patchwork Nation." This site was originally developed to chronicle the 2008 US Presidential election,...more
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Is the US a melting pot? A tossed salad? The Jefferson Institute suggests it is a "Patchwork Nation." This site was originally developed to chronicle the 2008 US Presidential election, but has been maintained and updated since that time. It presents the vast diversity of the United States using demographic data and categorizing communities into one of a dozen community types. With names like "Campus and Careers," "Military Bastions," and "Evangelical Epicenters" each community type represents an important subset of what makes up the American Experience. This site drills down much deeper than the typical red state/blue state dichotomy and challenges us to think about what characteristics work to define US citizens.

tag(s): branches of government (48), census (19), communities (35), democracy (12), demographics (19), politics (99)

In the Classroom

This site could be useful in a variety of classroom settings. A sociology class might grapple with the generalizations inherent in each of the 12 community types. What does it mean to be a "Tractor Country" community? The associated charts and demographics can help prove or disprove those theories. A government class might consider the impact of these different community types all existing within one Congressional district. How might that legislator best represent those communities at the State level or the Federal level? An economics class might speculate on the distribution of wealth in the US. What factors influence that distribution? A US History class could speculate about how these different communities have come to be. What impact has immigration had? Industrialization? Geography? Are there regional differences that could stem from the Civil War? And a statistics class would find plenty of raw data to play around with. In a "Patchwork Nation," what does it mean to be "average"?
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Digital Docs in a Box - William & Mary, University of Kentucky, Library of Congress

Grades
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 (48), civil rights (117), great depression (24), immigration (58), industrial revolution (25), native americans (78), presidents (130), transportation (41), westward expansion (29), womens suffrage (26)

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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Time Shutter - Dinah Darvas

Grades
6 to 12
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Time Shutter allows you to look at cities a hundred years ago and now. At the time of this review, you can click to choose San Fransisco or New York. ...more
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Time Shutter allows you to look at cities a hundred years ago and now. At the time of this review, you can click to choose San Fransisco or New York. View it on an iOs app for specific functionalities or use any Internet browser to interact with a Google map with placemarkers of older photos. After choosing a city, click on any of the map pins. View information and images representing both then and now with a short text history and information up to current times. View as a list to find all available landmarks. Optional registration allows you to upload your own photos of landmarks. Check back for more cities to be available in the future.
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tag(s): 20th century (51), california (27), landmarks (26), new york (26)

In the Classroom

Time Shutter provides an interesting look and comparison of landmarks across two time periods. Share Time Shutter on your interactive whiteboard when discussing events of the previous century or to explore landmarks from San Francisco or New York. Have students compare images and descriptions then use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Challenge students to create their own then and now maps using Animaps (reviewed here). Students can add text, images, and location stops!
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Reading Strategies for the Social Studies Classroom - Holt, Rinehart and Winston

Grades
5 to 12
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This is an excellent resource of materials and strategies for comprehension of Social Studies reading materials. Each strategy provides one activity targeted at U.S. History and one...more
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This is an excellent resource of materials and strategies for comprehension of Social Studies reading materials. Each strategy provides one activity targeted at U.S. History and one targeted at World Studies. Strategies include ideas such as previewing text and visualizing information. It also provides an overview and teaching materials. Choose any resource to view in PDF format for easy printing.

tag(s): concept mapping (22), graphic organizers (42), reading comprehension (115), reading strategies (46), visual thinking (10), visualizations (13), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Although geared toward struggling readers and Social Studies, this site is excellent for use with any content area reading lessons. Choose an activity for each month as a focus lesson. Incorporate the strategy throughout all lessons by modifying questions and included activities. Share with ESL/ELL and special education teachers as a resource for improving reading comprehension. This site works well with Common Core strategies for informational text throughout the curriculum.
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Children's Literature with Social Studies Themes - University of Delaware Center for Teacher Education

Grades
K to 6
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Discover book titles to use with elementary level Social Studies content. Choose from grade level bands and the topics of Civics, History, Geography, and Economics. Each link leads...more
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Discover book titles to use with elementary level Social Studies content. Choose from grade level bands and the topics of Civics, History, Geography, and Economics. Each link leads to a list of book titles including author, subject, and a brief description. Some titles also include a "more" link leading to a short article referring to use of the book. This site includes a great mix of genres. Don't miss the nonfiction/informative text, perfect for meeting your Common Core standards.

tag(s): book lists (131), branches of government (48), guided reading (47), independent reading (129), literature (275)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save for reference throughout the school year for use with Social Studies lessons. Save as a resource when choosing books for your classroom or school library. Use the included articles for ideas to include books with your Social Studies lessons and units. Need more book ideas to support curriculum? See TeachersFirst's CurriConnects.

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Mosey - Mosey.com

Grades
6 to 12
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"Create and Discover New Adventures on the Go" with Mosey. Find and create tours of your favorite cities, restaurants, the outdoors, and more. A "Mosey" is similar to a collection ...more
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"Create and Discover New Adventures on the Go" with Mosey. Find and create tours of your favorite cities, restaurants, the outdoors, and more. A "Mosey" is similar to a collection of placemarkers with your own notes and comments for Google Maps, but you do not need to be a Google aficionado to make and share one! Create a Mosey account to build your own journey including pictures and descriptions. Type in the name of any location. Mosey lists possible addresses to choose from. Add a picture from their library and a short description or comments on what to do there. Do this for each stop in your journey to create you own Mosey that includes map pins and location descriptions. Share using the url offered when finishing your Mosey. This tool is currently available to use on the web version or to "carry with you" on iOs devices. View an example (here) made in less than 10 minutes!

tag(s): map skills (80), maps (288), virtual field trips (48)

In the Classroom

Share some of the ready-made presentations on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Search their current presentations for those that would be useful in your class. Use Mosey to create virtual field trips to anywhere. Create Moseys for your hometown featuring interesting places to visit. Create a Mosey with state capitals, lakes and landforms, or important battlefields. Create Moseys for any mapping projects. If you are lucky enough to go on real field trips, create a Mosey telling students and chaperones what to do at each location on the trip, and have students make their own when you return! World language students can create Moseys for cultural sites -- and use their language in the comments!

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Young George Washington's Adventures - National Park Service

Grades
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 (130), washington (36)

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).
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Nixon Tapes and Transcripts - Luke Nichter

Grades
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 (30), presidents (130)

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 using Throwww ( reviewed here). This tool allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about participants in conversations during the Nixon era.
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Next Vista for Learning - Rushton Hurley

Grades
3 to 12
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Next Vista offers Learning videos for teachers looking for alternatives to YouTube. At the time of this review, they offered over 1,000 videos (most useful for in the classroom). Videos...more
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Next Vista offers Learning videos for teachers looking for alternatives to YouTube. At the time of this review, they offered over 1,000 videos (most useful for in the classroom). Videos are made by teachers and/or students. Search by three main topics: Light Bulbs, Global View, or Seeing Service. Better yet, use the right sidebar to search by topic: Math, Science, World Languages, History & Culture, Performing Arts, and more.Next Vista offers an extensive collection of career videos to use as a resource for exploring and discovering career opportunities. View videos directly on site or share using the link or embed code provided. Throughout the school year, Next Vista hosts video creation contests for students and teachers. Submit your own videos less than 5 minutes in length using directions provided. They even offer small prizes for winners.

tag(s): africa (180), asia (73), careers (132), computers (92), europe (75), literature (275), musical instruments (47), musical notation (35), north america (19), parts of speech (68), poetry (228), shakespeare (130), south america (39), speech (92), video (262)

In the Classroom

Explore the various topics to share with your students. In the math section, share the "How to Show Your Work" video on your projector or interactive whiteboard. There are useful videos in all sections, offered at a variety of levels. Bookmark and save this site for use throughout the year for student and teacher created videos. Challenge students to create a video to submit for one of the site's contests; who knows, they may win!

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CurriConnects Book List - Real Life in Wartime - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Explore the human experience of civilian life during wartime, through the eyes of those who lived it. Learn what life was like for ordinary people during wartime, specifically major...more
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Explore the human experience of civilian life during wartime, through the eyes of those who lived it. Learn what life was like for ordinary people during wartime, specifically major 20th century conflicts. This booklist includes offerings about two World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam, along with smaller conflicts/crises. Discover both nonfiction and historic fiction about every day life and the impact of war on what people do, think, eat, plan, say, and more. Find books for all grade levels. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles'''''® (where available) to match student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. For more on text complexity and Lexiles'''''®, see this information from the Lexile Framework. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly. If your library does not have the books, try interlibrary loan!

tag(s): 20th century (51), korea (15), vietnam (36), world war 1 (54), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Add a layer of human reality to the "facts" students study about wars that to them seem "long ago and far way." Go beyond the textbook by encouraging students to choose a book to make connections. Encourage them to share what they learn through writings, fictitious blog posts, or creative presentations using tools from the TeachersFirst Edge.

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The ReDistricting Game - USC Annenberg Center

Grades
8 to 12
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Learn, explore, and discover the realities of political redistricting through this intriguing game. Explore how abuses undermine the system and learn about reform initiatives. Play...more
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Learn, explore, and discover the realities of political redistricting through this intriguing game. Explore how abuses undermine the system and learn about reform initiatives. Play each of the five missions in the fictional location of Jefferson. Choose from basic or advanced levels. To move through each mission, you must achieve mission goals and receive approval of the legislature as well as the governor. Following that, the plan must pass any court challenges before receiving approval.

tag(s): congress (33), maps (288), politics (99)

In the Classroom

This game is a MUST during any unit on the electoral process or about Congress and Congressional districts! Introduce the ReDistricting Game on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow older students to explore on their own or in small groups. Take screen shots of different redistricting options and have students share their experiences in mapping out favorable and non-approved districts. Challenge students to create presentations arguing why their redistricting plans are the best. Use a tool such as Infinite Canvas (reviewed here) to create online montages using images, slideshows, and more.
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History's Heroes - E2BN

Grades
4 to 12
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Discover some of history's real life heroes at History's Heroes. Learn the story of little-known people from history, explore their timeline, read and hear other's views and opinions,...more
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Discover some of history's real life heroes at History's Heroes. Learn the story of little-known people from history, explore their timeline, read and hear other's views and opinions, listen/view audio stories with more information, then decide for yourself if each person is really a hero using the interactive activity. There are also links to Encode a Message or Record Your Own Speech. Explore the teacher resources for lesson ideas and curriculum links. Heroes range from Anne Askew to Elizabeth Fry to Allen Turing and many others.

tag(s): american revolution (86), england (56), heroes (24), holocaust (39), slavery (72), world war 1 (54), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Use History's Heroes as a resource for teaching about unsung or little known heroes. Share the information on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Highlight a "Hero of the Week" from this website. Have students view activities on their own. Challenge cooperative learning groups to use the information to write a story persuading others that this person is or is not a real hero. (Common Core asks for evidence in supporting written opinions!) This site is excellent for enrichment or for gifted. Include it on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about any person featured on this site. Challenge students to "find" and create projects to share about other unsung heroes. Looking for some engaging presentation tools? Check out the TeachersFirst Edge Multimedia tools reviewed here. As you study local history, have students discover and describe the unsung heroes of your community. In higher level literature discussions, talk about the definition of "hero" and how these real life heroes compare to those in literature.
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Founders Online - National Archives and University of Virginia

Grades
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 (107), colonization (16), constitution (79), declaration of independence (13), franklin (12), jefferson (19), primary sources (86), washington (36)

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.
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Backpack Practice - Backpack Practice

Grades
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 (249), animals (277), continents (49), countries (76), division (172), grammar (217), map skills (80), money (192), multiplication (227), numbers (203), phonics (74), preK (283), presidents (130), speech (92), sports (97), states (162), subtraction (206), test prep (95), time (144), vocabulary (324)

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 (30), kennedy (27), presidents (130)

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: Life Portrait Video Lesson Plan - C-Span

Grades
6 to 12
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This site offers a complete lesson plan using video clips from C-Span's American Presidents program on John F. Kennedy. The lesson encompasses three sections: his legacy, assassination,...more
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This site offers a complete lesson plan using video clips from C-Span's American Presidents program on John F. Kennedy. The lesson encompasses three sections: his legacy, assassination, and conspiracy. Each portion includes links to video clips along with questions for follow up discussion. The videos require QuickTime Player. At the time of this review, the videos would only load on PC and not MAC computers.

tag(s): 1960s (30), kennedy (27), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Share on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) as part of any study about John F. Kennedy, the 1960's, or American presidents. Create a link for students to watch at home, then use as part of your classroom discussions. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles (reviewed here) to document the life of John F. Kennedy.

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Map Treasure Hunt - Class Tools

Grades
5 to 12
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Create a virtual treasure hunt using the tools and maps on this resource. Follow simple directions to add clues to find any location on the globe. When finished, save to ...more
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Create a virtual treasure hunt using the tools and maps on this resource. Follow simple directions to add clues to find any location on the globe. When finished, save to receive a unique url for your treasure hunt. Players follow your clues to find coins at each location along the way. After finding a coin, clues provide information for the next stop. There is a small learning curve for following and creating treasure hunts. But once you figure out the first one, the activity becomes quite simple to understand. See a very short treasure hunt sample here.

tag(s): game based learning (110), map skills (80), maps (288)

In the Classroom

Add virtual treasure hunts to many classroom lessons. Share treasure hunts on your projector or interactive whiteboard, perhaps for students to do as a center. Create treasure hunts to announce field trips, locate areas of interest for social studies lessons, or point out locations in novels and other reading material. Have students create their own virtual treasure hunt for a favorite location, where they were born, or to begin a biography of a famous person or series of historic events such as the civil rights movement. In science class, have students create a treasure hunt of habitats or environmental disaster sites. Create student-made mapquests for math skill practice as students calculate distances, map scale, and trip costs using a treasure hunt.

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