Grades2 to 7
In the ClassroomBecause of its size, thoroughly introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Have students use the News Maker to create a brief written piece about a Colonial topic. Check out all of the lesson ideas.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Users need the basic understanding of how to upload pictures, videos, and other media, especially a user adding personalized content. Use stock images and media available through the site if you prefer. To create a show, simply click on the create button and follow the onscreen instructions. If adding personal images and video, the program allows searching through files. Add music from the site bank or from personal music sources (copyright-free, of course). Finalize the video with the last click and view your video. Share easily from the codes or export tools provided. Use Animoto to make commercials, science fair previews, and animated shorts in any content area. Have students make "advertisements" for an organism or a literary character. Make a travel commercial for a country being studied or for cultural sites in a world language class. Be sure to share the presentations on your projector or interactive whiteboard.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Includes social features, such as "friends," comments, ratings by others
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Premium version (not free) includes additional features or storage
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Includes teacher tools for registering and/or monitoring students
Grades3 to 12
tag(s): authors (121)
In the ClassroomOne of the ideas presented is the "Interview." Use your interactive whiteboard for students to create questions to ask the author or an expert about the book or the subject of the book. Video the interview, or save the video conference, and have students reflect on the quality of the questions once the students have had the opportunity to illicit answers to their questions. Use your interactive whiteboard to have students brainstorm what they would do differently next time as far as developing good questions.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site is ideal for an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have the students open the site and use the whiteboard tools to visit each area of the supreme court. Share the video clips. This site is also a good tool to use to prepare for a field trip to the Supreme Court. In addition it can be used as a review tool after a field trip. Students can work cooperatively and research one of the areas on the site. They can then use the interactive whiteboard and site as a visual aid for their presentation. Art teachers can use the pictures on the site to teach about historical architectural features. Have art students narrate a picture using ThingLink, reviewed here.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomUse a whole-class account created using a teacher (memberships) email for students to create comics that can be easily monitored/managed by the teacher. Click on buttons to learn the basics that can be used to create the comic. To use, click "Create" and then on "New drawing." Use the tools to create shapes, draw lines, change points, and drag segments easily. Click on the camera icon to take or upload a picture. Click Text tab to add caption bubbles and text. When finished, easily save your comic by adding a title and description. Comics can also be marked private, if you wish. Share completed online comics by copy/pasting the URL of the "finished" comic. Be sure to KEEP a record of these URLs or manage them using "My Comics."
Provide only the link to the "Create" portion of the site to remove possible viewing of public comics. If desired, require students to take a screenshot of their comic instead of saving to the site. Take a snapshot using the print screen (PrtScrn) button on a PC or using the screenshot shortcut in a Mac (apple/shift/4.) Images can then be uploaded to a blog, wiki, or other site for display.
Use Chogger to explain vocabulary words or other concepts from any class or subject area. Use comics to write summaries of current events, responses to reading assignments, expressions of teen problems, and creative works of humor. With younger students, use an interactive whiteboard or projector to share or create a class comic on a current topic of study, such as the life cycle of the frog or ways to conserve energy. Use this site to integrate an art and writing lesson. Why not have students create comics to demonstrate a concept in science or social studies, rather than a traditional paper/pencil quiz? World language teachers and ESL/ELL teachers will love the chance for students to demonstrate written language skills in the "context" of their comic situations. Emotional support /autistic support teachers and students can create comics to help explain social interactions.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomUse your interactive whiteboard or projector to take your class on a virtual field trip to Amsterdam to visit the Secret Annex where they can realize what it was actually like for Anne Frank's family and four others to live inside a hidden space, with the constant fear of being discovered by the Nazis. Help the words in Anne's diary come alive by showing what the outside and inside of the building looked like, by viewing the painstaking ways that were taken to keep them safe, and by looking at the space where Anne ate, slept, and hung her pictures. Students will be more likely to relate to Anne as a real person, instead of a fictional character, and admire her optimism, courage, and resiliency. Use this to initiate journal entries for students to reflect on how they would handle two years of hiding and sharing a small space with others, as well as what they would do to remain positive, or use the online exhibit to shed some light on a dark period in history and to strengthen the personal account of the hiding period and the deportation to the camps. Assign class members to read about one of the house members or helpers to research, then have them write a diary (or blog entry) from that person's point of view. Assign teams to debate who was the most important member of the household or if this situation could take place in today's society. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.Have groups compare two people they learned about using a tool such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Create a class wiki for students to share their journal articles and respond to others.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomHaving one of these 7 Wonders up and rotating through the view (on your interactive whiteboard) while studying ancient Rome, the history of the Islamic religion, ancient China, or any of the others would be a real treat for students and can help them recognize that these cultures were once real people, with skills, and goals. Small groups or individual students can focus on one of the 7 Wonders. Students should research why the structure was built, its history (how long it took, how it was funded, etc), the type of materials, and the style of architecture used. Students would then report out to the rest of the class. Using the interactive whiteboard students can simultaneously navigate the structure they researched and annotate the different parts of the structure. Older students can annotate using an online tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. If you don't have an interactive whiteboard, have students use Glogster EDU, reviewed here or a wiki to post their information, images and a link to the panoramic view they researched.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThe map is a good visual for any discussion of the US as a nation of immigrants. The map is ideal for a projector or interactive whiteboard. Additionally, it would provide a large data set for "real life" statistics in a math class. Asking students to predict the ebb and flow of immigrants from various parts of the world as you slide through the years should spark some good class conversation. Have cooperative learning groups investigate specific time periods and create multimedia presentations sharing their findings. Have students create an online poster using Glogster EDU, reviewed here. Another option, have students create videos and share them using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here. What will the map show after the next US Census?
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThe audio and video clips would be particularly useful on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Otherwise, the site is a good reference tool for students researching JFK or the space program in general.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomIn addition to using the provided lesson plans, use this site on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector. Use the whiteboard tools to highlight special features of the map. Print out the maps and have students label them with the provided vocabulary words. Use a drawing program like KidPix and have students create their own "historical" maps based on their own lives. Use the additional photos from the resource section and have students create an interactive online poster ("glog") using Glogster EDU, reviewed here about why their map is significant to history.
Grades4 to 8
In the ClassroomUse this site as a class webquest in conjunction with Marco Polo's Route to China and Back, reviewed here. Have students or groups research one area of this site and create a multimedia report to share with the class. Challenge students to narrate a picture using a tool such as Slidestory, reviewed here. Or have students create an online book using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): creative writing (168)
In the ClassroomThis poetry activity opens the doors to so many learning objectives. In a social studies or history classroom, you could direct your students to search for newspaper or magazine articles on topics that you have been studying, or current events. Suddenly you have social studies poetry! In an English language arts lesson, you might instruct students to blacken out all the words that are not nouns or verbs, or select other parts of speech. You could change the task to eliminate any word that is not part of the simple subject or predicate, and simultaneously teach or reinforce main idea. For classrooms with individual computers, students could access articles online. Copy the text into a document. Then, Instead of blackening out words with markers, they could get the same effect by highlighting over them with black, or changing the font color of the text to white, and printing them or saving a screenshot image. Another option is for students to email their Newspaper Blackout poems to the teacher. Each poem could then be put into a Power Point slide show for the class to see on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site to offer your students a new twist on Poetry Month (April). Take your new poetry collection to the world by uploading the PowerPoint to ThingLink, reviewed here, and having each student record a reading in his/her own voice. Make poetry a participatory experience, no matter what the subject. If your school permits, have students take photos of their paper poems -- or screenshots of ones done on the computer --and share them on this site.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): video (270)
In the ClassroomTry using these clips to introduce a topic in class. Share the clips on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students view the clips on individual computers, don't forget the headsets! Or, show a clip to start a conversation either in person or on the class wiki or webpage about a particular hot topic.
Grades8 to 12
tag(s): cold war (29)
In the ClassroomPrimary sources could be used to teach both the content and historical thinking skills in your classroom. Divide students into 5-6 groups, with each group assigned a different primary source to read and evaluate. (Sources should come from various perspectives to make the game more interesting, but should have the same general topic) Have the groups present quick summaries of their source to the class, making sure to mention who the author is and whether or not there could be bias. After all have presented, have each team pick a representative to argue in front of the class as to why their source is the most reliable and valid. After all have made their argument, have the class vote off the least reliable "survivor style" until you are left with just one!
Grades9 to 12
tag(s): literature (275)
In the ClassroomUse a projector or interactive whiteboard so everyone can view the Rare Book Room at once. Small groups can write down their observations about the art and text, and then share out with the whole class. You can also have small groups of students investigate Rare Books from certain authors or time periods. Navigating and annotating the books on the interactive whiteboard and sharing their findings with the whole class. The interactive whiteboard is the ideal tool for annotating. Older students can also annotate them using an online tool such as Fine Tuna, reviewed here : reviewed here.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomThis is a great site for differentiated instruction. The interactive games, for example, the Bill of Rights Match game - can be played as individuals, and then they can print their certificate out (could be used as a "ticket to leave" for understanding). The "Preamble Scrabble Game" could be a timed exercise for groups or teams of students. The teacher could have the game on the projector or interactive whiteboard or again on individual workstations. Allow students to learn about the documents on their own, and then share their understanding by writing a blog post from the point of view of a person whose rights have been violated or a writer of the Constitution. Younger students will benefit from accessing the safety activity both at school and at home, Be sure to share this link with parents on your class web page.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomStudents will not be bored when you turn them on to this site. The links can be put on a classroom webpage or blog. Use the primary resources section under Best of the Web to help students make real world connections. Students can use the photos provided on the site to create a PhotoStory or iMovie. The provided questions would be great to use for a classroom debate. To make learning more accessible, students can even download the guides to any handheld device that supports ebooks such as ipod touches or Kindles. Please note that some videos are from You Tube so they may be blocked by your school's filter.
Share one of the slide shows on a projector or interactive whiteboard as you introduce a unit or allow students to use portions of the slide shows as part of their own presentations on a specific civics topic, such as political parties or one of the amendments in the Bill of Rights.
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): census (19)
In the ClassroomWhether you spend one class or an entire unit on the census, the ideas included within the "In the Classroom" portion of reviews will launch discussions and meaningful projects for student-centered learning. Consider other census connections, such as using a data or graphing resource to collect and manipulate data from a school mini-census, learning math skills at the same time.
Grades5 to 12
tag(s): inventors and inventions (95)
In the ClassroomStudents looking for scientific discoveries to research will find a variety to choose from on this site. Use this site for free research and writing. Have students choose a discovery or article as a starting point for research of impact of the discovery and how it has changed through the years. Combine history and science by researching the political and cultural climate of the time period and its influence on scientific discovery. Create a class timeline century by century (or decade by decade) with student commentary and explanations of what they believe to be the most important discoveries and inventions.
GradesK to 12
While exploring, our reviewer visited the "Teacher" tab and clicked on "lesson plans" and found lesson for mapping, the history of the census, and relating the census to the student's classroom. There were two sets of lessons here for K-2 and 3-4. Standards/benchmarks for language arts, math, social studies, and geography for K-2 and 3-4 were included. There were worksheets to download for both levels, a story to read, "Who Counts," with comprehension questions to answer, and mapping activities. The site also had links for additional resources and a letter for the parents about the unit....and that was only ONE link on the "Teacher" tab. Whew! The rest of the site is just as thoroughly and professionally done as the lessons for K-4 lessons.
tag(s): census (19)