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Gatsby Webquest - Glatonbury Public Schools

Grades
9 to 12
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This is an interesting, teacher-created Webquest that includes several factors. It gives the students a task that involves both individual and group requirements. The PowerPoint required...more
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This is an interesting, teacher-created Webquest that includes several factors. It gives the students a task that involves both individual and group requirements. The PowerPoint required is modeled on the site by downloading a sample to show students. There are six group tasks that involve everything from Scott Fitzgerald's life through cultural aspects of the 1920s, including the changing role of women and the influence of Hollywood. The evaluation includes a rubric.

One of the nicest things on the site is the links that each group can use to access information they might use to complete their PowerPoints. These links all go to reputable sites and give students adequate information while showing the variety of sources to get information on a topic. At the time of this review, all research sites were working except one.

tag(s): 1920s (16), jazz (15)

In the Classroom

This Webquest assigns both individual and group tasks, so while students are working together, they are also working individually, great practice for the workplace. You might assign roles to students within the groups to encourage cooperation, such as the director of the PowerPoint, the writer, the editor, the layout editor, etc. This can isolate tasks for students while requiring them to know all the information necessary for the end product.

Instead of the traditional PowerPoint, consider having students use Google Presentation, a Google Docs tool reviewed here. This will allow students to automatically save their presentations, as well as easily share them from anywhere. Not to mention upload time is quick - a cure for the long waits in between student presentations.

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Presidential Biographies and Portraits - The White House

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4 to 12
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The "official" biographies of the nation's presidents, as contained on the White House web site. This site is up to date, easy to use, and includes a wealth of information. ...more
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The "official" biographies of the nation's presidents, as contained on the White House web site. This site is up to date, easy to use, and includes a wealth of information. There is an interesting picture slide show of all of the presidents.

tag(s): presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Share the slide show or other information with your class on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for great research information directly from the White House.

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The Presidents - George Welling

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4 to 12
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This Dutch site is an index of information on the presidents of the United States. Included are speeches, writings, and biographical information. Excellent resource for creating research...more
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This Dutch site is an index of information on the presidents of the United States. Included are speeches, writings, and biographical information. Excellent resource for creating research reports.

tag(s): presidents (130), speech (92), speeches (17)

In the Classroom

Share the inauguration speeches with your students on President's Day.

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Mr. President - Smithsonian Institution

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4 to 12
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The Smithsonian's presidential biographies resource offers basic biographical information and images on all American Presidents, along with highlights of their administrations. Useful...more
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The Smithsonian's presidential biographies resource offers basic biographical information and images on all American Presidents, along with highlights of their administrations. Useful for both its content and its comprehensiveness. The site offers some basic information about all presidents (Washington through Obama).

tag(s): biographies (86), politics (99), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a starting point for research projects. If you are teaching about the presidents, this site would be great on your projector or interactive whiteboard.

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The American Presidency - A Glorious Burden - Smithsonian Institution

Grades
6 to 12
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The Smithsonian has created a nice, technically up-to-date introduction to the presidents which can be useful for middle and high school students. Middle schoolers can work directly...more
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The Smithsonian has created a nice, technically up-to-date introduction to the presidents which can be useful for middle and high school students. Middle schoolers can work directly with the time line and individual biographies, while older students may want to examine the presidents in the context of the historical eras which are also available on the site. Our link starts at the collection of Adobe Acrobat lesson plans that accompany this site; full navigation is available from the menu at the left. If you click on Activities you will find some great interactives. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): biographies (86), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

This site is great to use for research projects or to find activity ideas for the entire class! Share the interactives on your projector or interactive whiteboard.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Visions of Christmas - American Antiquarian Society

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2 to 12
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Original illustrations of classic Christmas memorabilia highlight this no-frills site. If you need a quick explanation, with photos, about the origin of Christmas, Christmas trees,...more
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Original illustrations of classic Christmas memorabilia highlight this no-frills site. If you need a quick explanation, with photos, about the origin of Christmas, Christmas trees, and evolution of Santa, this site will suit your purpose well. The four main topics include: Origins of Christmas, Evolution of Santa, The Christmas Tree, and Twas the Night Before Christmas. Students researching old customs will appreciate the simple approach.

tag(s): christmas (64), trees (30)

In the Classroom

Art teachers, enlarge the antique photos and engravings by double clicking on the small picture. The enlarged image can be printed to be included in a vast choice of art projects. Around the holidays, project one of the pictures on your interactive whiteboard or projector for students to use as a writing prompt, as they write a story about what they feel the picture portrays.

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Like Father, Like Son: Presidential Families - National Endowment for the Humanities

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K to 2
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This lesson plan examines America's only two father-and-son presidents - John Adams and John Quincy Adams, and George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. Students investigate the role and...more
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This lesson plan examines America's only two father-and-son presidents - John Adams and John Quincy Adams, and George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. Students investigate the role and responsibilities of the presidency while comparing and contrasting each father-son pair. Includes suggested activities and links to online material about the presidents. The lesson plan is aligned to standards.

tag(s): presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this "ready to go" lesson plan, perfect for a President's Day celebration.

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If you were President - Scholastic

Grades
5 to 8
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Students can have a taste of what it's like to occupy the highest office in the land with this clever, interactive activity. The site guides them through the process of ...more
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Students can have a taste of what it's like to occupy the highest office in the land with this clever, interactive activity. The site guides them through the process of selecting a cabinet, balancing a budget, responding to questions from the press, and reading reactions in the daily papers! A very thought provoking and enlightening site for helping kids understand the complex issues faced by America's presidents. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Have students work on individual computers and try out being the president. Can they balance the budget? Choose the ideal cabinet members?
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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George Washington - American Presidents - University of Virginia

Grades
6 to 12
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This George Washington page includes a quick fact sheet, a short biography, and links to additional information on Washington's advisors, administration, and accomplishments. It is...more
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This George Washington page includes a quick fact sheet, a short biography, and links to additional information on Washington's advisors, administration, and accomplishments. It is part of a very complete collection of presidential resources that could be a staple of an American history curriculum. Some of the activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): presidents (130), washington (36)

In the Classroom

Use this site for research projects about the United States first president! Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an introduction to this unit or as review. On the site are copies of some of Washington's speeches that the Miller Center has put in transcript form. One that would be especially useful is the "Farewell Address," that came to influence US Foreign Policy through WWI. Share the speech on the interactive whiteboard or projector, and have students either read it aloud in pieces or individually. Even parts of the address incorporated into a lecture would help illustrate to students US isolationism and the resonating effect of the speech in other areas of Foreign Policy.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Biographies of the Presidents - The White House

Grades
4 to 12
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The White House web site includes short biographies of all the American presidents, suitable for introductory use or to compare presidencies. There are also a few facts about the presidents,...more
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The White House web site includes short biographies of all the American presidents, suitable for introductory use or to compare presidencies. There are also a few facts about the presidents, presidential "firsts," and the various administration. The site includes several video clips, some require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): presidents (130), white house (13)

In the Classroom

Share the historical video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for research projects on the U.S. Presidents. This site is a perfect addition to your Presidents' Day celebration!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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From Prejudice to Pride: An African American Journey - Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum

Grades
5 to 10
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Celebrate great African-Americans from this complete link. Research those famous in medicine, politics, arts & entertainment, armed forces, and sports. This site is actually a downloadable...more
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Celebrate great African-Americans from this complete link. Research those famous in medicine, politics, arts & entertainment, armed forces, and sports. This site is actually a downloadable PDF file of a Teacher's Guide with standards, objectives, printables, discussion questions, and specific activity ideas. The PDF file links to a site that provides a timeline of "prejudice to pride." Examples of activities include analyzing photos or poetry, research presentations, and writing exercises. This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): africa (180), black history (59)

In the Classroom

Use this site for research projects about amazing African-Americans. Most of the activity suggestions are more traditional projects and writing assignments. If you want to add some technology touches, why not have students create a fictitious blog from one of the heroes highlighted at this site, or a cross-time dialog via email or text message between a slave from the 1800s and Barack Obama, or create a PowerPoint resume about the man (or woman) they researched.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Myths, Folktales, & Fairy Tales - Scholastic

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for some new tricks to teaching this genre (fairy tales, folktales, and Myths) to your students? Check out this site that provides lesson plans, interactives, class activities,...more
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Looking for some new tricks to teaching this genre (fairy tales, folktales, and Myths) to your students? Check out this site that provides lesson plans, interactives, class activities, reproducible pages, and more. The lesson plans and activities are divided by grade level (K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12). The site says that the lessons (for all levels) will take approximately one day/class period. Don't miss the colorful interactive: Myths Brainstorm Machine (designed for grades 3-8). This site requires Adobe Acrobat and Flash. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): air (163), folktales (65)

In the Classroom

The possibilities at this site are endless! Take advantage of the grade-appropriate activities, interactives, lesson plans, and printables. Have students work with a partner to try out the Brainstorm Machine. Use this site to create a writing station. After studying the genre, wy not have students create illustrated virtual books of their own using a free tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Daryl Cagle's Professional Cartoonists Index - MSNBC

Grades
6 to 12
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We know that today's students are far more accustomed to learning through images than students of the past. This site is a collection of the work of dozens of political ...more
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We know that today's students are far more accustomed to learning through images than students of the past. This site is a collection of the work of dozens of political cartoonists and is constantly updated to provide fresh content tied to the news of the day. The site is surprisingly deep, however, and has cartoon galleries that go back at least five years.

Teachers should be aware of several cautions however: Preview the cartoons collections for age-appropriateness; understand that the site does contain advertisements; and recognize that the images are copyright protected. Teachers are advised to post links to specific cartoons rather than trying to "cut and paste" the cartoons into websites or other documents.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Use the political cartoons on this site to introduce a class discussion on current events, civics, or government. Try using a cartoon as a writing prompt either for individual students or for collaborative work. Post a link to a particular cartoon or cartoon series on your classroom blog for discussion. Have students try to create a cartoon (either drawing or using computer generated images) depicting current events in the news.

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Lincoln 200 Years - C-Span

Grades
6 to 12
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This site, created by C-Span, examines numerous areas of Abraham Lincoln's life and legacy. Main areas of this site include Schedule, Timeline, Videos, In His Own Words, & Gallery....more
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This site, created by C-Span, examines numerous areas of Abraham Lincoln's life and legacy. Main areas of this site include Schedule, Timeline, Videos, In His Own Words, & Gallery. The highlight of this site is the video link. Click and find video clips (some reenactments, others lectures) about the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, Gettysburg Address, Pre-Presidency, and his Assassination. This site also highlights the release of four new pennies in February 2009.

Be aware: the links in the left sidebar will take you to the parent site (C-Span), not the Lincoln information. The right sidebar provides a list of recommended websites about Lincoln. This site requires Real Player, you can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), emancipation proclamation (12), lincoln (86), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

If you are planning for the 200th birthday of Lincoln or any study of the Lincoln era, check out this site! This is a phenomenal site for any secondary class. Use this site for research projects. Share the videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students create their own videos of reenactments based on their research. Share the videos on TeacherTube (explained here).

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Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Grades
3 to 12
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This simple site offers several "Classroom Connections" to use in conjunction with a field trip to the museum. However, many of these ideas could easily be adapted into research projects...more
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This simple site offers several "Classroom Connections" to use in conjunction with a field trip to the museum. However, many of these ideas could easily be adapted into research projects or writing assignments for students in social studies or history class without a museum visit. All topics relate to Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, or 19th Century Kids.

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a starting point for projects about our 16th president. Although most relate to exhibits found at the museum, similar research can be found online. Have students choose one of the several topics to research further.

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Mr. Lincoln's Attic - Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum

Grades
3 to 9
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This downloadable PDF file offers a very detailed lesson plan and classroom activities about Abraham Lincoln. Topics include "Who Do We Collect Artifacts," "Do Objects Talk," "What's...more
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This downloadable PDF file offers a very detailed lesson plan and classroom activities about Abraham Lincoln. Topics include "Who Do We Collect Artifacts," "Do Objects Talk," "What's In A Name," and "Oral History Interviews." Although this site was created as a "Teacher's Guide" for classes visiting the museum, the lessons can be used independently without a trip to Illinois! Each topic includes standards, discussion questions, printable pages, pictures, and more. This site requires Adobe Acrobat, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): letter writing (21), lincoln (86), presidents (130), writing (358)

In the Classroom

This "Teacher's Guide" is ready to go and easily adaptable to various grade levels. Project the discussion questions on your interactive whiteboard or projector, have students write responses to the questions or have a class debate. Print out the activities, and use this site as a mini unit. Have students interview a family member for the "Oral History Interview," and have students learn the meaning behind their own names with the lesson, "What's In a Name."
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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No Rest for the Weary - The New York Times on the Web

Grades
6 to 12
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This website features a "ready to go" lesson plan highlighting key events in Abraham Lincoln's life from 1862-1864. The lesson includes objectives, standards, thinking questions, interactives,...more
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This website features a "ready to go" lesson plan highlighting key events in Abraham Lincoln's life from 1862-1864. The lesson includes objectives, standards, thinking questions, interactives, a culminating exercise, and more. Students will browse articles from the New York Times, research key questions using interactives, and write reaction papers. Use this site to celebrate Lincoln's 200th birthday in 2009! This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

teach about our 16th president? Use this easy-to-follow lesson plan with your class. Share the interactives on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Rather than having students write reaction papers, have students complete a multi-media presentation, such as a PowerPoint or even a news broadcast. Share the video of the news broadcast on SchoolTube (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Podcasts: Civil War Tours - civilwartraveler.com

Grades
4 to 12
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This site includes 14+ podcasts focusing on famous battles of the Civil War. Each location also includes a detailed map, brief description, dates, and more. Most are rather lengthy...more
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This site includes 14+ podcasts focusing on famous battles of the Civil War. Each location also includes a detailed map, brief description, dates, and more. Most are rather lengthy ranging from twenty to fifty minutes. This site opens slowly at times and requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), gettysburg (26), lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

Share the podcasts on your projector or interactive whiteboard. (Download in advance to avoid delays). While listening to the podcast, project the map on the screen for students to view. After hearing a podcast have students create blog entries from the perspective of the soldiers at the battle. In younger grades, brainstorm ideas together before they start writing the blog entry. In the older grades, have a debate. Divide your class into two debate teams (Confederates or Union). Draw names randomly and allow the teams time to research the REASONS why they support their side of the war. For a shorter assignment, have a class discussion about how the Civil War and battles would have been different if the television (and YouTube) was around to broadcast the highlights of the battles. Would the war have ended more quickly or lasted longer? Why? Another idea: divide your class into groups and have the cooperative groups create local maps that highlight a location that has connections to Abraham Lincoln or the Civil War (if applicable).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Lincoln Bicentennial: 1809-2009 - Library of Congress

Grades
K to 12
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If you are preparing for Lincoln's 200th birthday or a unit about the 16th President of the United States, check out this site. Designed for students in all grades, there ...more
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If you are preparing for Lincoln's 200th birthday or a unit about the 16th President of the United States, check out this site. Designed for students in all grades, there is an interactive timeline, online quiz, podcasts, detailed lesson plans for all grades K-12 (with standards), printable pages, research information, suggested literature for all ages, information about the Civil War, Gettysburg, and more! Much of the site requires Flash; some of the printables require Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), gettysburg (26), gettysburg address (18), lincoln (86), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Be sure to save this site in your favorites! Share the interactive timeline, online quiz, and podcasts using your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site for research about our 16th President. Have students create a blog from Lincoln's point of view (or from a slave's point of view AFTER the Emancipation Proclamation). Use the lesson plans designed for the grades that you teach. (Don't miss the history, language arts and writing, and art lessons).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Illinois Lincoln Bicentennial Commission - Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission

Grades
K to 12
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This site, designed for older students and adults, offers a wealth of information about the 16th President of the USA. There are "Lincoln Links" for more information, celebration ideas...more
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This site, designed for older students and adults, offers a wealth of information about the 16th President of the USA. There are "Lincoln Links" for more information, celebration ideas (for the bicentennial), Lincoln organizations, and more. This site is best suited for research projects, although the Celebration Ideas offer 101 exciting ways for students of ALL grade levels to celebrate the 200th birthday of one of the United State's greatest leaders. Some of the links and information require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): illinois (9), lincoln (86), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Use this site to take your middle and high school students on a walk in Lincoln's shoes. Share his home, legacy, photos, and more on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Try something new to excite your students about learning history: create a blog, wiki, video, website, or PowerPoint presentation.

If you teach ANY level, don't miss the Celebration Ideas. There are activities listed for grades K-12. They are ready to go and mostly easy to do. There are 101 to choose from!
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