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The Explorers' Graveyard - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 6
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Combine writing, an explorers' study, and fall celebrations using this activity which asks students to compose an epitaph for an explorer of their choice. Writing and art opportunities...more
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Combine writing, an explorers' study, and fall celebrations using this activity which asks students to compose an epitaph for an explorer of their choice. Writing and art opportunities abound, and the end product makes a great display for parent-teacher conferences.

tag(s): explorers (64), poetry (221)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this free and interactive lesson plan! Just be sure to save it as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval later on!

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Kids Pages - Iowa Department of Transportation - Iowa Department of Transportation

Grades
3 to 6
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Teachers and students will both appreciate all of the information offered at this site about transportation in the state of Iowa. Students can learn about some of Iowa's colorful characters...more
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Teachers and students will both appreciate all of the information offered at this site about transportation in the state of Iowa. Students can learn about some of Iowa's colorful characters such as Wild Bill Cody and their contribution to the development of today's modern transportation system located under the Transportation History section of the site. You don't need to reside in Iowa to benefit from the transportation related experiments and great project ideas found under the Teacher Resource section. Choose the games and activities portion to find slider puzzles, word searches, safety quizzes, and more.

tag(s): iowa (4), states (165), transportation (42)

In the Classroom

Display the site on your interactive whiteboard and share information about famous Iowans such as Amelia Earhart. Have students create a simple online poster using PicLits (reviewed here) containing information learned on the site. Share this site with students when working on state research projects.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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ConneCT Kids - State of Connecticut

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2 to 6
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The State of Connecticut offers this informative site just for kids loaded with information and facts in an easy to use format. Follow links on the home page to learn ...more
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The State of Connecticut offers this informative site just for kids loaded with information and facts in an easy to use format. Follow links on the home page to learn about Connecticut history, state symbols, and the state government. Other links lead to puzzles and games such as picture puzzles of Connecticut symbols such as the state flower and bird, word searches with state words, and coloring pages with everything from aquariums to zoos. Follow the Connecticut government link to take a pictorial tour of the state capitol filled with facts and history of the building.

tag(s): branches of government (47), connecticut (4), states (165)

In the Classroom

Have students create a simple online posters using PicLits (reviewed here) as an alternative to a traditional written report of the state. Share the site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) then allow students to explore on their own.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Democracy Kids - Center on Congress

Grades
2 to 8
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This site provides introductory information for both young and middle school-aged students about some facets of democracy and our legislators. The main topics addressed include the...more
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This site provides introductory information for both young and middle school-aged students about some facets of democracy and our legislators. The main topics addressed include the idea of democracy, who the legislators are, how to be a responsible citizen and how compromise affects the passing of our laws. Students can select any of the topics and read about them and, in some cases, see an animated video on the topic. Of special interest to students are the sections that show the daily activities and schedule of the legislators and the animated map of a community that shows the impact of the government in many areas. There are numerous interactives to incorporate into a unit on the United States government.

tag(s): branches of government (47), congress (31), democracy (13)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an introduction to social studies lessons on the Houses of Congress and the judicial and executive branches. Encourage your students to write letters to senators or representatives after learning about their accessibility here. Students can fill out a survey of interest to legislators with their parents here. Assign students specific government officials to research and prepare a multimedia presentation to share with the class. Have students create a Thinglink, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Have students create a simple online posters using PicLits (reviewed here). Rather than a traditional report, challenge students (independently or collaboratively) to create an online book using a site such as Mixbook (reviewed here).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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History of Vaccines - College of Physicians of Philadelphia

Grades
8 to 12
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This site includes fascinating, interactive timelines that feature diseases and interesting stories about their preventions, results, and perceptions from the 15th century to the present....more
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This site includes fascinating, interactive timelines that feature diseases and interesting stories about their preventions, results, and perceptions from the 15th century to the present. Other timelines focus on scientists involved in disease prevention, and also timelines on how science interacted with disease to improve people's lifespans and lives. Related articles, activities, and great photos support the events of the timelines. Four lesson plans for teachers accompany features of each of the time lines.

tag(s): diseases (74), medicine (71), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

This site is ideal for an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have the students open the site and use the whiteboard tools to do a general overview of the history of vaccines. Students can then select specific areas of interest and go to the articles section to get more information on areas of their choice. Have them do an online poster project combining information from here and from their own research using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Or have students create their own interactive timelines using a site such as TimeRime reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Anne Frank Guide - Anne Frank Stichting

Grades
8 to 12
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The site provides information about the life of Anne Frank and also enables you to see the role the United States played in the Second World War and the Holocaust. ...more
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The site provides information about the life of Anne Frank and also enables you to see the role the United States played in the Second World War and the Holocaust. This online guide, which can be viewed in almost twenty different languages, helps students create a project or prepare a talk. The Timeline gives an overview of the most important events in the life of Anne Frank and the Second World War. The Search function is a valuable tool that allows you to type in a word and see what sections of the site contains that word, so you get all the information in one place. Although you must register to use the online project maker, you can view images and information about a variety of themes related to the holocaust and World War II by just clicking on the topic or images, without having to log in.

tag(s): anne frank (10), holocaust (41), jews (26), nazis (10), remembrance day (6), women (94), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

You can use this online guide in a variety of ways ranging from simplistic to complex. It can give you project ideas, and you can collect relevant information and images on a variety of related themes, such as persecution and the liberation and aftermath, right from this site. Use this site for research and challenge your students to use a site such as Timeglider, reviewed here, to create and share interactive timelines. Have students or student groups create an online, interactive poster using Padlet, reviewed here. Students must register to start an online project, which allows them to save all the information they have collected, so that they may come back and continue their work from where they left off. Since your user name is the name that the computer recognizes you by, students can make one up, but teachers should keep a list of the fictitious log in information for future reference.
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Our Documents - 100 Milestone Documents - National Archives

Grades
6 to 12
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This site, a collaborative effort among the National Archives, National History Day and USA Freedom Corps, highlights the most important documents in US history. Each of these "milestone"...more
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This site, a collaborative effort among the National Archives, National History Day and USA Freedom Corps, highlights the most important documents in US history. Each of these "milestone" documents is detailed and photographed on a separate page; the photo can be enlarged for presentation on an interactive whiteboard. What is most helpful for teachers, however, is the link to tools for educators: a downloadable sourcebook, suggestions for using the documents to meet specific national social studies, economics, English, arts, civics, history, geography and technology standards, and lesson plans. This site was clearly designed with teachers in mind!

tag(s): history day (24), primary sources (92)

In the Classroom

The use of primary sources in teaching has been greatly increased by our digital access to documents like these. Peruse the list of "milestone" documents, and commit to using the photographs on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) when the document comes up in a lesson or discussion. For teachers who are supporting student projects for National History Day, this site also has a link to specific tips, although it appears the site has not been kept up to date with current information on individual competitions. Challenge cooperative learning groups to investigate one of the documents and create a multimedia project of their choice. Looking for some inspiration? How about having groups create a podcast using PodOmatic (reviewed here). Or have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Have students narrate a photo of the document (using a FREE and LEGAL photo) using a site such as Thinglink, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The National Parks: America's Best Idea - PBS

Grades
4 to 12
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Ken Burns has been busy again, this time creating a film about the US National Parks. This site carries many clips and even the full length film. There are many ...more
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Ken Burns has been busy again, this time creating a film about the US National Parks. This site carries many clips and even the full length film. There are many resources here about the US National Parks. To make the site more collaborative, you can submit a story and pictures about a visit to a national park. There is an extensive bank of other web resources as well. There are also lesson plans available at the "Educators Link."

tag(s): national parks (20)

In the Classroom

Share the film (or clips) on your interactive whiteboard or projector. One section of the site enables you to design a national park postcard to email to a friend. Groups of students might research individual national parks (links to the NPS site appear on this site) and circulate their own postcards to other groups. Students can also "collect" national park badges that can be cut and pasted into personal or class websites. You could also have cooperative learning groups create multimedia projects about various National Parks. Have students create online posters or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). If you are near a park, your students could create an online park tour to share with others far away! Try a tool such as Tabblo (reviewed here)to create it!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Digital Footlocker: The Home Fires--Montana in WWII - Thinking Through American History

Grades
4 to 12
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Footlockers beckon to be opened. Likewise, a digital footlocker such as this site begs the visitor to click on its links to discover what being a Montana citizen was ...more
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Footlockers beckon to be opened. Likewise, a digital footlocker such as this site begs the visitor to click on its links to discover what being a Montana citizen was like during WWII. Open the footlocker and discover pdf versions of war bonds, listen to songs from the '40s, or imagine yourself in the clothing from that era. Not only is this site a glimpse into Montana during the 1940s, but you will find a little bit of your own region's history there, too. The site also includes history-oriented lesson plans available from the 1940s. More importantly, you may glean ideas from this site on how to create your own digital footlocker, an electronic collection of artifacts on a common topic.

tag(s): montana (3)

In the Classroom

Use this site to help students "feel" the realities of life during world war II. As you finish studying an era or concept, consider putting together a digital footlocker of your own on a wiki.

Want to know more about wikis? See the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. You may also want to google 'digital footlocker' to see other online footlockers assembled by teachers.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Ourdocuments.gov - National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

Grades
8 to 12
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This site offers teachers and students the opportunity to explore documents of a 100 milestones in American history. The documents chronicle United States history from 1776 to 1965:...more
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This site offers teachers and students the opportunity to explore documents of a 100 milestones in American history. The documents chronicle United States history from 1776 to 1965: Lee Resolution, Treaty of Paris, Federalist Papers Bill of Rights, Missouri Compromise, Monroe Doctrine, Plessy v. Ferguson, Surrender of Japan, Marshall Plan, Brown v. Board of Education, and many more. The neat part about all the documents is that it shows the entire original document (it can be enlarged and zoomed in on) and then offers information about the document below. Now your students can experience primary sources with explanations.

There is a link called "Tools for Educators" that has a downloadable teacher sourcebook. (Although it's the 2004 edition, only the first part of the sourcebook is about a competition for the year 2005.) The book has resources, how to use the documents, lesson plans, follow up activities, printouts, etc. Although the site is slightly dated, it includes some real gems. The site also offers ideas for librarians, classroom integration tips, and photos and downloadable posters.

tag(s): bill of rights (29), constitution (87)

In the Classroom

Although this site has links for integrating the material for the classroom, teachers could also create a blog site which students can post their thoughts about a milestone document for discussion. A bingo game could be created based on the 100 Milestone documents. Don't let the age group deter you from doing this -students of all ages love a good game of bingo - especially with a prize incentive!

Why not assign individual documents to cooperative learning groups to investigate, read, and create a multimedia presentation to share with the class. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Non-violent Social Change - The King Center

Grades
4 to 12
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This site is one of two official Martin Luther King sites. Come to this site to learn more about Martin Luther King, Jr: his life, his legacy, the holiday honoring ...more
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This site is one of two official Martin Luther King sites. Come to this site to learn more about Martin Luther King, Jr: his life, his legacy, the holiday honoring him, his wife and family, and more. There are video and audio inserts, PDF printables, excellent research information, and a very inspiring Flash enabled speech. This site requires Adobe Acrobat and Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): africa (172), african american (112), martin luther king (36)

In the Classroom

Share the video and/or audio clips on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students use this site for research projects. Challenge students to write a blog from King's perspective. Have students pretend that he could write a blog for people to read in the 2000s. What would he say? Has his dream come true?
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The War in Europe - History Place

Grades
6 to 12
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Chronology & photos from The History Place. ...more
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Chronology & photos from The History Place.

tag(s): europe (73), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Have them look at the timeline, and then in groups select 5 events on the timeline that the site failed to go into detail on. Have the students create their own excerpts of those events, including what they think is the most important information. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here).

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Trenches on the Web

Grades
6 to 12
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Information and links on W.W.I. The site offers reference materials, thematic tours, poster reproductions, discussion groups, and more. ...more
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Information and links on W.W.I. The site offers reference materials, thematic tours, poster reproductions, discussion groups, and more.

tag(s): world war 1 (56)

In the Classroom

This site has a treasure trove of information about World War I! Use it as a reference point for standards terms, and to find information to supplement the textbook. One activity for the classroom is to access the section on the web site dedicated to displaying the posters from various countries. Assign cooperative learning groups a country and allow them to browse through that nation's war posters on classroom computers. Once students have looked through them all, have them create a contemporary poster for the country based on general trends they observed and using their knowledge about the conflict. We recommend using a site such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Have students share their end products with the class via interactive whiteboard or projector.

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We Shall Overcome - Historic Places of the Civil Rights Movement - National Park Service

Grades
4 to 12
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This is the National Park Service's guide to American sites that were important in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. It includes travel information as well as ...more
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This is the National Park Service's guide to American sites that were important in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. It includes travel information as well as background on the sites and their significance.

tag(s): africa (172), african american (112), civil rights (121)

In the Classroom

Divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Have them explore the site with the intention of picking three to research further. The text portions are challenging, so you should pair weaker readers with a partner as they research on this site. Have students pick the three the think are most significant or symbolic, which will be presented in poster form. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). This activity will teach students about some of the major events of the Civil rights movements in a way that provides relief from lectures.

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2000 Census Data On-line - US Government

Grades
K to 12
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This provides the 2000 U.S. census information. There are links to news, data tools, a message from the President (Obama, at the time of this review), employment information, fact sheets,...more
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This provides the 2000 U.S. census information. There are links to news, data tools, a message from the President (Obama, at the time of this review), employment information, fact sheets, and more. General categories include "People & Households," "Business & Industry," "Geography," "Newsroom," and "Special Topics." Each category has several topics. This historical census data is ideal for comparison with other, more recent years or for students to make predictions for an upcoming census based on past trends.

tag(s): census (19), data (158), states (165)

In the Classroom

This data would be great material for a US government or history class. Teachers can find all sorts of demograhic information for use during lessons on the political make-up of the country as well as representative numbers, migration trends, etc. There is a LOT here so be sure to give yourself time to search through it all for what you need. Have students use this site to research specific topics and create multimedia projects with a partner. Have cooperative learning groups create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Challenge groups to create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here).

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Americans and the Environment - National Humanities Center

Grades
4 to 12
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Created by the National Humanities Center, this collection of scholarly essays on Americans' relationship with the environment may be over the heads of most students. BUT teachers and...more
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Created by the National Humanities Center, this collection of scholarly essays on Americans' relationship with the environment may be over the heads of most students. BUT teachers and parents will find the subject matter fits nicely with most American History curricula, and the "guiding discussion" sections provide some new strategies and insights for teaching material that may have become too routine for students. If history (at any level) is your field, this one is worth a visit.

tag(s): conservation (130), ecology (139), environment (323)

In the Classroom

While this site is a little text-heavy, it is truly an excellent site for exploring the way the North American environment has been impacted by recent history. Select the time period that is appropriate to your unit, and introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students explore the rest of the site on classroom computers. To ensure that they're doing more than skimming the text, Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here).

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Michigan Kids! - Michigan.gov

Grades
2 to 6
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Find facts, play games, and learn about Michigan at this kid-friendly site. At first glance there doesn't appear to be much to the site, however; there is a great deal ...more
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Find facts, play games, and learn about Michigan at this kid-friendly site. At first glance there doesn't appear to be much to the site, however; there is a great deal of information found by exploring the links on the left-hand side of the home page. Games and internet safety information are available through the links on the main portion of the home page. The history link on the left includes many interesting and unique resources such as Tweets from "A Boy at Fort Mackinac: Diary of Harold Dunbar Corbusier 1883-1884" recounts adventures of a 10-year-old boy on Mackinac Island. Follow him on Twitter to learn what it was like to grow up on the island in the late 1800's. State symbols and facts are also available through a link on the left portion of the home page. Some information, such as the Getting to Know Michigan booklet, is available for easy printing in pdf format.

tag(s): michigan (3), states (165)

In the Classroom

Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to create a visual comparison of life in the late 1800's vs life today. Share the site with students to use as a resource for state research projects. Read how a bill becomes a law in Michigan and compare it to the law-making process in your state.
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Indiana Info for Kids - State of Indiana

Grades
4 to 8
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This site offers facts and information about the Hoosier State for kids. Learn about Indiana's current governor, Mitch Daniels, such as his favorite flavor of ice cream. The Fun Facts...more
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This site offers facts and information about the Hoosier State for kids. Learn about Indiana's current governor, Mitch Daniels, such as his favorite flavor of ice cream. The Fun Facts portion includes trivia such as the official stone, river, and poem of Indiana. The state symbol's portion is the most comprehensive portion of the site offering answers to questions such as "What is the meaning behind the Indiana State Flag" and "What is the Indiana State Bird?"

tag(s): states (165)

In the Classroom

Have students create a simple online posters instead of traditional state reports using PicLits (reviewed here. Share this site with students to use when finding information for state research projects.

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About Illinois - State of Illinois

Grades
4 to 8
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If you are looking for facts and figures about the state of Illinois, then this is the site for you! Each set of links from this page takes the user ...more
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If you are looking for facts and figures about the state of Illinois, then this is the site for you! Each set of links from this page takes the user to specific categories of information such as agriculture, history, and economy. Most useful for teachers and students will be the History & Culture and State Symbols links. The History & Culture page includes a historical timeline of the state beginning in 1673 with the arrival of Louis Jolliet and Father Marquette in the state all the way through to the 2005 World Series win of the Chicago White Sox. Learn about state symbols such as the official state snack food and state amphibian while exploring the State Symbols portion of the site.

tag(s): chicago (5), illinois (9)

In the Classroom

Challenge your students to create a web exhibit collection about Illinois using a tool such as Bag The Web (reviewed here) to share all of the important links, information, and even brief descriptions. Share the site on your interactive whiteboard with your students to help them find portions useful for research, then allow them to explore on their own. Create a scavenger hunt for students to search the site to find facts about the state.

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Biographies of Women Mathematicians - Agnes Scott College

Grades
7 to 12
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These pages are part of an on-going project at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Georgia, to illustrate the numerous achievements of women in the field of mathematics. The site includes...more
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These pages are part of an on-going project at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Georgia, to illustrate the numerous achievements of women in the field of mathematics. The site includes biographical essays or comments on the women mathematicians profiled, as well as additional resources about women in mathematics. Each time the home page is reloaded, a randomly selected photo is displayed. Click on the image to go to the profile of that woman. The site is also searchable by alphabetical order, chronological order, names by location of birth, the first PhD's in Mathematics of Women before 1930, and prizes, honors and awards for women mathematicians.

tag(s): biographies (91)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students as a resource when writing biographies of famous mathematicians (or women's history.) Share one woman mathematician on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) each day as students arrive in class. Use this site in history class to locate and research famous mathematicians alive during the time period being studied. Challenge students to research one of these famous women and create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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