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Shmoop: Biographies - Shmoop

Grades
6 to 12
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Shmoop, the study site created by Stanford grad students, now has an entire section of biographies of famous people, and they are not just famous authors! Click on the tabs ...more
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Shmoop, the study site created by Stanford grad students, now has an entire section of biographies of famous people, and they are not just famous authors! Click on the tabs at the top to read a summary, biography, or even a resume. You don't need to have an account to see the information on Shmoop. However, signing up (for free) gives you the ability to "clip" files and keep them in a folder. Registration does require an email address. Tip: rather than using your personal or work email, create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

tag(s): biographies (91), famous people (23)

In the Classroom

Introduce any of the authors biographies before reading a literary work or studying that famous leader or scientist. You could have the students go through the tabs and take notes on interesting facts, trivia, etc. Then have a class game where all students stand and the first student reads a fact from their notes and crosses it out. All other students have to cross that fact out, too. Then the next person states a different fact and every one else has to cross the fact out. Proceed in this manner until there is only one (or however many you want) students left standing. They are the winners. Another idea: Have your students create an interactive online poster about an individual using Lucidpress, reviewed here.

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Digital Karnak - University of California, Los Angelos

Grades
6 to 12
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At Digital Karnak you will find videos, photos, models, and PDF files with every thing known about Karnak in Egypt, one of the largest temple complexes in the world. On ...more
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At Digital Karnak you will find videos, photos, models, and PDF files with every thing known about Karnak in Egypt, one of the largest temple complexes in the world. On this massive site you'll be able to view the ruins as they look today and models of how they must have looked in ancient times. There are four options to choose from at the top of the home page or at the bottom is a link for the "Temple Complex Overview." There is so much to see and learn about the Karnuk Temple and the surrounding area that this is a must see for anyone who teaches ancient Egyptian History. A caution about the videos, the beginning of the videos shows architectural type drawings and animations; the middle to end of the videos will show models of how the buildings must have looked. For younger students, the middle to end of the videos will be of more interest.

tag(s): egypt (70)

In the Classroom

This site is so extensive, you'll want to go through it and pick out the concepts you think are important to your studies or you might want to have your students see how the temple developed over time during different dynasties. Have small groups of students look at the areas you choose for them to study, and then have them make presentations using your interactive whiteboard or projector and "Fine Tuna" reviewed here, highlighting the interesting and important facts about the temple and it's history.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Remembering 9/11 - CBS News

Grades
7 to 12
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This collection of stories from CBS have information about the effects of 9/11. They also host information about the victims, coverage about the opening of the new Trade Center, and...more
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This collection of stories from CBS have information about the effects of 9/11. They also host information about the victims, coverage about the opening of the new Trade Center, and information about the results of the re-building efforts on ground zero. To see a montage of the events that led up to 9/11, check out While America Slept, at here.

tag(s): sept11 (17), terrorism (47), terrorist (16)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a cooperative learning activity during a lesson or unit on the events of September 11th or as part of a broader discussion on international relations, terrorism, or the role of government in balancing personal liberties and national security. Create a graphic organizer to guide students through the site (or have them create their own in small groups), highlighting what's most important and the important facts and details. For help creating easy graphic organizers, try using Holt Interactive Graphic Organizer, reviewed here, or bubbl.us, reviewed here.

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While America Slept - The True Story of 9/11 - CBS News

Grades
7 to 12
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Often times students only hear about the catastrophe of 9/11, and not the events that lead up to it. Although it's a little "plain vanilla," this site from ABC offers ...more
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Often times students only hear about the catastrophe of 9/11, and not the events that lead up to it. Although it's a little "plain vanilla," this site from ABC offers a contextual timeline about the events leading up to 9/11. Starting from August 11, 2001, the timeline details what America was doing and what the hijackers were doing, day-by-day, and shows how CIA analysts and FBI agents try to sound the alarm about the rising threat, and were ignored.

tag(s): sept11 (17)

In the Classroom

Use this site on the interactive whiteboard or projector to show students the context of the day. During a class discussion, display the timeline on a projector or interactive whiteboard for students to see and navigate together. Read the details aloud, or have student volunteers take turns reading the events aloud. Make sure that between each event you provide some sort of explanation, i.e. who the people mentioned are and what the significance was of each action. Include this discussion as you study the role of government in the protection of its citizens and balancing individual liberties with national security. Assign students to create multimedia posters using Lucidpress, reviewed here, or an infographic using Visme, reviewed here, showing the conflicting roles of government.

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9/11: The Day that Changed America - Scholastic, Inc.

Grades
1 to 8
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This site explains the events of 9/11 in kid friendly language and provides ideas for activities and lesson plans. It includes information on how kids and schools in the New ...more
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This site explains the events of 9/11 in kid friendly language and provides ideas for activities and lesson plans. It includes information on how kids and schools in the New York area were affected by the attacks, as well as an understandable summary of the events that transpired.

tag(s): sept11 (17)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite and use the lesson plans and activities in your classroom during a lesson or unit on 9/11. Use the articles as a reading activity, allowing reading pairs to read the articles after a discussion on the topic. Be sure to pair students, allowing weaker readers a partner to help them. Have students write and record a podcast "news" story about 9/11 using a simple tool such as Podomatic, reviewed here.

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September 11 Teacher Awards - Tribute World Trade Center Organization

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K to 12
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Are you looking for ways to inspire meaningful discussions of September 11th and to help make sense of this tragedy? The Tribute World Trade Center Visitor Center of New York ...more
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Are you looking for ways to inspire meaningful discussions of September 11th and to help make sense of this tragedy? The Tribute World Trade Center Visitor Center of New York City presents awards to honor teachers who have created exemplary educational projects for students to express and sustain the memory of September 11th. This site shares their projects from the globe and involving all aspects of the arts and humanities, including history, language arts, visual, media and performing arts. Although this site is mainly designed for grades 5-12, there are some activities for younger elementary students found in the "Resources for Your Classroom" section of the site.

tag(s): sept11 (17), terrorism (47), terrorist (16)

In the Classroom

Use these award winning ideas to commemorate September 11 in a lesson to demonstrate unity or build worldwide understanding. Use the concepts as a springboard to a collaborative project. Ideas vary from sending chains of origami cranes as a wish for peace, composing and singing a song for unity with an online tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here, writing letters to local politicians, creating poems and transforming them into digital videos or multimedia presentations using ThingLink, reviewed here, or taking responsibility for the environment while creating a sense of community by planting gardens. Choose from many ways to inspire students to recognize the importance of September 11 and to involve them in working together to become a more tolerant society. You might be so amazed with the results that you will want to submit your students' projects to be considered for next year's Tribute Center September 11th Teacher Awards. The annual award ceremony takes place on February 26, to commemorate the 1993 first attack on the World Trade Center.
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September 11 Timeline of Events - Tribute World Trade Center Organization

Grades
4 to 12
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This tribute to 9/11 is a series of interactive photographs that highlights the episodes that transpired from shortly after 8:00 a.m. when the American Airlines flight was hijacked...more
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This tribute to 9/11 is a series of interactive photographs that highlights the episodes that transpired from shortly after 8:00 a.m. when the American Airlines flight was hijacked and struck the first tower of the World Trade Center, to the aftermath when the pile of debris that was once the Twin Towers became flooded with volunteer rescue workers doing the indescribable heroic work of helping the surviving victims and recovering the remains of the human lives that were destroyed. Move your curser over the photographs to read actual descriptions from flight attendants, survivors, firefighters, family members and others who were part of tragic history in the making. This is an opportunity to "relive" that day, almost minute by minute, as if you were actually there.

tag(s): sept11 (17), terrorism (47), terrorist (16)

In the Classroom

Display this pictorial interactive September 11th timeline of the attack on the World Trade Center on your classroom projector or interactive whiteboard. After reading real accounts of what happened, have students work with a partner to create podcasts (news broadcasts, mock interviews with survivors and others involved, or even a student perspective of how that day changed the United States forever). Have students create podcasts using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Alternatively, have them narrate an image using ThingLink, reviewed here.
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September 11 Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help students understand the events of September 11, 2001, and to plan lessons or discussions so students can...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help students understand the events of September 11, 2001, and to plan lessons or discussions so students can see the events of September 11 in connection with history, current events, and the challenges and balances of national security. Whether you stop to observe September 11 separately from your regular curriculum or include it through curricular connections to writing and social studies topics, these resources can help today's students imagine the events of a day before their memory but ever present in the American consciousness.

tag(s): sept11 (17), terrorism (47)

In the Classroom

Include one or more of these sites as your observe September 11 in your classroom or make the link available on your class web site for students who ask about the events of this pivotal day. You will find many specific project or class activity ideas within the reviews themselves.

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NEN Gallery - National Education Network

Grades
K to 12
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Here is free gallery of over 50,000 high quality images, video clips, and audio files for the educational community. View the gallery online and download free files, without having...more
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Here is free gallery of over 50,000 high quality images, video clips, and audio files for the educational community. View the gallery online and download free files, without having to register or create an account. Registration is necessary for the uploading of files. Moderators review all content on the site before posting. Registered users can store content in separate online albums. Search the site's resources by keyword, subject, instructional age, or phrase. The site originates from the United Kingdom so you may notice some spelling differences from American English. The gallery files reflect this particular geographic location, history, culture and language. The rights and permissions say they "may be downloaded and used for Educational Purposes only. This includes the editing and repurposing of these resources for use in education" (NOT commercial use). (See Teachers >> Further info to learn more.)

tag(s): animals (309), architecture (83), england (55), fashion (10), medieval (26), plants (166), transportation (42)

In the Classroom

Bring history lessons about the 20th century alive by reviewing World War II photographs, videos, and interviews with survivors from the United Kingdom. Then ask your class to upload photographs of artifacts, people, film clips or conduct interviewers with survivors in their own community. Record the interview with a site such as Vocaroo reviewed here. Compare and contrast the experiences of both groups during the War. Have students in family and consumer science research fashion, clothing, food, and/or drink from various locations and time periods. Enrich an anticipatory set about William Shakespeare with photographs of his birthplace, Macduff's castle, the Globe Theatre, and his cottage in Stratford. Younger children will enjoy the numerous digital images of animals and antique toys. Prepare a series of topic albums for students to access and use for research by using the sites "My Album" feature.

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School by Fire - Museum of Glass

Grades
4 to 12
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Let your class transform hot molten glass into art without having to call the fire department. School by Fire is a virtual interactive glassblowing activity that demonstrates the process...more
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Let your class transform hot molten glass into art without having to call the fire department. School by Fire is a virtual interactive glassblowing activity that demonstrates the process of creating "macchia" glass. Students experience the complete sequence of steps while keeping a close eye on the temperature of the fire. When students finish their glass project, they can print it out. The Museum of Glass has other interactive features such as "Spontaneous Design," videos, and live Hot Shop viewing of glassmaking. There is also a "Museum of Glass" YouTube channel full of interviews and glassblowing demonstrations.

tag(s): artists (78), sculpture (21)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector and then let students explore the site alone. Art and science teachers could use this interactive technology to demonstrate the interconnected nature of the two disciplines. Art teachers can use this interactive to give students a chance to understand an art form not available at school. Science teachers could use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on heat and molecules. Science and Chemistry students may enjoy the "Science and Glass" page found under the "Learn" tab. World history courses studying ancient Rome, Middle Ages and Renaissance could use this fun interactive and their video "Fire Gods" to launch a comparative study development of how glassblowing (art) effect the social and economic influence of a region. This site is excellent for enrichment. Include it on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class. Schools in the Tacoma Washington area can take advantage of the Science and Art curriculum, schedule field trips, or look into having the Mobile Hot Spot come to your school.
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Colonial House - PBS

Grades
4 to 8
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Watch twenty-eight residents of the 21st century transform into 17th century New England colonists. This PBS project is a historian's version of reality television. Using only tools...more
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Watch twenty-eight residents of the 21st century transform into 17th century New England colonists. This PBS project is a historian's version of reality television. Using only tools and technology available in 1628, these time travelers struggle to survive and create a productive working colony. Listen to audio and video diaries containing the perspectives of Pilgrims, Native Americans, and indentured servants. Look behind the scenes and hear producers and historians discuss their research and describe the creation of this PBS project. On the interactive history page dress a 1628 New World colonist, view maps that describe events in other U.S. locations during 1628, or enjoy a panoramic 360-degree view of colonial homes. The teacher resource page contains lesson plans and activities. There are additional resources of websites and books that contain examples of primary documents from this same historical period.

tag(s): 1600s (14), colonial america (105), colonization (15)

In the Classroom

Divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site then send them on a treasure hunt through the Colonial House site. Ask them to find quotes demonstrating friendship, frustration, determination, resentment, or feelings of isolation in the Colonist interviews. Gather photos or screen shots while locating artifacts, household items, historical documents, or identify various architectural elements and art forms. As they answer each clue, students can begin to create an interactive poster using Genial.ly, reviewed here of what they found. Each found object or quote can include background information, a short description, and reasoning for his or her answer. Genial.ly allows students to insert images, videos, music, add text and more. Issue new clues on student's interactive poster with each new entry.

Check with your administrator to be sure that your school allows students to set up individual accounts on on-line sites such as Glenial.ly. Be sure to preview this Website and the broadcast program before sharing it with the class. Some of the material is not appropriate for young students.
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Quiznator - Quiznator

Grades
2 to 12
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Quiznator is a free, web-based worksheet, test, and any other type of learning document creator. Membership is free and is promised to always be free. You are able to access ...more
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Quiznator is a free, web-based worksheet, test, and any other type of learning document creator. Membership is free and is promised to always be free. You are able to access your creations online from anywhere! Email is required to join, however, verification is not required. Add your documents, test questions, and worksheets and let Quiznator organize and update them for you. This makes creating multiple version of the same exam quick and painless. This is a great way to back up files on the web for school!

tag(s): worksheets (62)

In the Classroom

Upload your test questions during the summer and feel free to add more as your school year progresses, but use this tool to save a bundle of time on test and quiz creation. Put your worksheet or activity sheet questions into the program and use the questions on quizzes.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Jamendo - Sylvain Zimmer

Grades
K to 12
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Published under Creative Commons license, Jamendo offers a great variety of copyright-free music. This makes a great addition to your technology resource list as both you and your students...more
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Published under Creative Commons license, Jamendo offers a great variety of copyright-free music. This makes a great addition to your technology resource list as both you and your students can use this site to create soundtracks for videos, use music in podcasts, and just download music to play for students during activities. Once you click on a song that you want to play or download, there is a screen that asks if you would like to make a donation to the musician. This is completely optional and not required to download. However, it may help you to discuss ethical music practices and copyrights with your students. One thing to keep in mind when using this website is that to keep the music, computers must have downloaded permission from your district. If this is a problem and this is a tool you want to use, try talking to your technology department and/or your administration for special, educational permission.

tag(s): copyright (51), sound (103)

In the Classroom

Music teachers and content area teachers alike have a perfect opportunity to explicitly teach ethical use of internet materials and especially music. This discussion could spark a debate about plagiarism, patents or inventors rights depending upon the course that is being taught. Also, older students who are talented musicians could be encourage or just inspired to use Jamendo to post their own music from home for sale. Depending on district policies, this could be used as a take home lesson for upper level music classes.
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A New Way to Lecture - Michael Zimmer

Grades
4 to 12
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At this site you will find a slide show with at least fourteen different programs you can use instead of PowerPoint for your lectures. Are your PowerPoint lectures boring you ...more
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At this site you will find a slide show with at least fourteen different programs you can use instead of PowerPoint for your lectures. Are your PowerPoint lectures boring you and your students? Take a look at this online slide show, and choose one of fourteen different programs to convert just one of your PowerPoint lectures. Not only is each program explained, but many have suggestions for integrating your lectures with the program. Take a look. Learn about some great web 2.0 sites (Prezi, TypeWith.me, Animoto, ToonDoo, and many others). Note that many of the tools mentioned are also reviewed on TeachersFirst in greater detail if you want to learn more.

tag(s): chat (54), comics and cartoons (65), digital storytelling (151)

In the Classroom

Surprise your students and yourself with how effective any one of these programs can be with your material or THEIR presentations. Create a comic strip to replace a traditional grammar lesson. Use a class wiki to discuss and debate topics in history class. Once you see a tool that sounds interesting, read its full review on TeachersFirst to find even more ways to use it.
 

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PhotoPeach - Nota, Inc

Grades
3 to 12
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This site allows you to upload photos, create captions, and add music to a slideshow in minutes. It is fun and easy to use. Check out the reviewer's sample ...more
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This site allows you to upload photos, create captions, and add music to a slideshow in minutes. It is fun and easy to use. Check out the reviewer's sample here. Shows can be shared or embedded into other social networking type sites.

tag(s): images (274), photography (159), slides (65)

In the Classroom

You also must be able to locate files on your computer to upload. Follow onscreen instructions to create a project. The instructions are very easy to understand. In a few short steps, there is a finished product. Share the finished show by URL or embed code (for those who know how to copy/paste this code).

Use this site in science class to make a slideshow of a completed lab as an alternative to a laboratory report. Use this in history class to create short videos about different people and places in history. Use in math to have students explain a word problem or complex algebra problems in a slide by slide (step by step) manner. In lower grades, use a whole class account to create a slideshow about a class project or special event such as pumpkin day and all the calculations you do with pumpkin seeds, the weight of pumpkins, etc. Share the slideshow as an embedded object on your class web page/wiki or share the link with parents so they can ask their child about the activity and reinforce the concepts simply by having him/her talk about it at home.

If students create their own shows using images from the web, be sure they are using Creative Commons licensed photos or images without copyright restrictions, sine the products are shared online. Of course you will want to require a credit for any photo used to be included in the show.

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Pullfolio - pullfolio.com

Grades
8 to 12
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Create an online portfolio created from your flickr set of specific photos. Choose your photos by choosing a set or a specific tag. Pictures are displayed in an elegant and ...more
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Create an online portfolio created from your flickr set of specific photos. Choose your photos by choosing a set or a specific tag. Pictures are displayed in an elegant and beautiful format. Since Pullfolio is not flash based, the ipod/iphone app is another plus. Pullfolio instantly updates as you update your flickr set or continue to use the tag. Use the free version or go pro to use your own domain and access additional features.

tag(s): flickr (7), images (274), photography (159)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to add pictures to a set on flickr or use a specific tag for particular pictures. Be sure to choose your username carefully as it becomes part of the url of your portfolio. Follow the directions to identify your flickr account with Pullfolio.

Have students create their own pullfolio, but why not create a class pullfolio that showcases student work? If using as a class pullfolio, pictures will not be attributed to the individual students. Create some way of identifying pictures to various students. Require students to tag their pictures with their initials as well or create a comment with their initials in the picture's description.

This tool would be a great asset to a photography or art class but can be used in any subject area. Create a pullfolio of pictures that showcase life around us, or in a Math class to show various Math functions in man made structures and nature. Use this site to take your geography class around the world (virtually). Have students create presentations in any subject area and narrate the pictures rather than doing a traditional oral report. Speech and language on lower grades or ESL/ELL teachers could create pullfolios for vocabulary development, tagging them for positions, feelings, etc. Involve students in taking the pictures, then share the resulting pullfolios for them to practice their new words.

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The new $100 Note - Dept. of Treasury

Grades
3 to 12
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Get to know the new $100 bill through this resource provided by the Department of Treasury. There is an interactive video quiz and an applet to design your own bill. ...more
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Get to know the new $100 bill through this resource provided by the Department of Treasury. There is an interactive video quiz and an applet to design your own bill. The video quiz can also be seen with captions. In addition, there is a link to materials that can be downloaded for classroom use.

tag(s): currency (19)

In the Classroom

Take the quiz together as a class to learn about the features of the $100 bill. Research the reasons for changing from the old bill to the new style. Create and design a new bill that incorporates various security features and relevant symbols. You could also include this in your unit on national symbols and how they are used.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Inventors and Their Inventions - Time Magazine

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4 to 12
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Time Magazine presents 9 current inventors and their inventions. These little known inventors have created items that are familiar to many of us today - items include the sticky note...more
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Time Magazine presents 9 current inventors and their inventions. These little known inventors have created items that are familiar to many of us today - items include the sticky note (Post-It), a pizza box with perforated sections for plates, and a huggable pacifier. This slideshow is easy to use. Just click on the next button after each slide to find the next inventor.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (93)

In the Classroom

After presenting the slideshow on your interactive whiteboard or projector, ask students to create their own list of modern inventions that are in general use. Students can then research their inventors and how the invention came about. Have a "Create an Invention" Day where students design and build their own invention that would make their lives easier. Have students share their inventions and how they work on video. Share the videos using a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here). Another possibility is to include this slideshow in your study of the Industrial Revolution. Share TeachersFirst's interactive introduction to Inventors of the Industrial Revolution, and ask students to compare the circumstances around successful inventions today vs then.

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Flag Day Resources - Fact Monster

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1 to 12
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TeachersFirst doesn't normally review lists of "links," but this hotlist from Fact Monster was good enough to pass our review team. The links here provide all kinds of ideas for ...more
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TeachersFirst doesn't normally review lists of "links," but this hotlist from Fact Monster was good enough to pass our review team. The links here provide all kinds of ideas for classroom activities for Flag Day, including quizzes, puzzles, and a flag timeline. There's also additional information about the national anthem and Betsy Ross.

tag(s): american flag (10), american revolution (86), evolution (99), flag day (6)

In the Classroom

Use the U.S. flag quiz on this site as a learning center or station during a Flag Day celebration or national symbol unit. Have students complete the quiz in cooperative learning groups, allowing them to assist each other when there is confusion.

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The Star Spangled Banner - Smithsonian Institue

Grades
3 to 12
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This site from the Smithsonian provides ample information about the American Flag, as well as early American history. The Explore option on the site allows you to investigate and discover...more
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This site from the Smithsonian provides ample information about the American Flag, as well as early American history. The Explore option on the site allows you to investigate and discover important facts about the flag and its creation. There is also a section about the National Anthem, as well as an interactive quiz about the early days of American government. A great site for Flag Day or early U.S. history!

tag(s): american flag (10), american revolution (86), evolution (99), flag day (6), national anthem (4)

In the Classroom

Use the interactive quiz on this site as a review tool before an assessment or to introduce a mini-unit on the flag. Introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard before allowing students to complete the quiz individually on classroom computers. Because of the amount of reading on the site, be sure to provide lower achieving readers with the vocabulary beforehand or a tool to help them look up complex words. Younger students would do better with partner readers or whole-class reading on an interactive whiteboard where they could highlight new words.

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