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Collapse: Why Do Civilizations Fail? - Annenberg Media

Grades
6 to 12
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This site looks at the collapse of several ancient civilizations and suggests why these civilizations did not last. The text is easy to read and is highlighted by learning ...more
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This site looks at the collapse of several ancient civilizations and suggests why these civilizations did not last. The text is easy to read and is highlighted by learning activities and games that illustrate the issues under discussion. Featured civilizations include the Maya, Mesopotamia, the Anasazi of North America and the West African societies of Mali and Songhai. The strength of this site is its suggestion that there are commonalities that help us understand the collapse of a society. There are web links to further resources, and a summary featuring Percy Shelley's poem "Ozymandias", a nice literary connection. There are "hands on" activities scattered throughout, many including cross-curricular links to science or literature.

tag(s): gifted (96), mayans (12), mesopotamia (6), nasa (39)

In the Classroom

This site gives good concrete information, but its real power is in the greater consideration of the rise and fall of civilizations through history. This is a VERY thought-provoking collection of resources. Teachers interested in tying this discussion to current events might discuss the future of civilization in Iraq considering the criteria for maintaining a society given in this site. Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on ancient civilizations' collapse. This site could be specifically tailored to teach about Mesoamerican cultures as three of the 4 ancient civilizations were located in South America. To make that simpler, we recommend creating a guide for students through a website such as Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here). This would be a great resource for a World History classroom! Teachers of gifted could also use this site as the basis for a great social studies unit. If you own the old favorite computer game Civilization, you could put together some scenarios using that, as well.

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The American Experience: Remember the Alamo - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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Another great PBS site, this one focused on the history of Texas statehood and the battle at the Alamo. There are interviews, a timeline, and a nifty interactive map ...more
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Another great PBS site, this one focused on the history of Texas statehood and the battle at the Alamo. There are interviews, a timeline, and a nifty interactive map of the early history of Texas. The Alamo has become one of those myths that have contributed to our sense of American history, and a dose of reality about the event is important. For example, there were survivors of the battle, and some of their stories are told here.

tag(s): texas (4)

In the Classroom

The included lesson plans may focus too much on the standard "watch the film, and discuss" format, but there is a nice plan that asks students to compare several different rallying cries from American history ("Remember Pearl Harbor," "I have not yet begun to fight," "Don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes," and "Remember the Maine") that could provide a nice overview of how society comes to embrace a war as a patriotic duty.
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BBC Schools Online: World War One - BBC

Grades
9 to 12
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This site contains a number of activities and Flash-enabled simulation games centered on World War One. Students can choose various weapons and try to win a mission, listen to ...more
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This site contains a number of activities and Flash-enabled simulation games centered on World War One. Students can choose various weapons and try to win a mission, listen to eyewitness accounts, and discover various roles played by those on the homefront. There are also lesson plans for teachers. The site is clearly designed for use in British schools and comes from the British viewpoint, but could be very useful in American classrooms as well. Because our country was not part of the war theatre, it can be hard to imagine the war's impact. This site more clearly shows the impact.

In the Classroom

The simulation games and other visual activites would work well on an interactive white board.
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Daily Lesson Plan: A Tale of Two Wars - New York Times

Grades
9 to 12
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One of the New York Times Learning Network's daily lesson plans, this site focuses on making comparisions between the Vietnam War and the Iraq War. It's a one-period lesson ...more
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One of the New York Times Learning Network's daily lesson plans, this site focuses on making comparisions between the Vietnam War and the Iraq War. It's a one-period lesson plan with links to a NY Times article to read and discuss with a very comprehensive list of questions. There is a printable blank Venn diagram student groups could use to compare the two wars. The opening exercise suggests students create stereotypical Republican and Democratic bumper stickers relative to the war.

tag(s): iraq (32), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

This is a timely discussion and might be useful for a class that features current events or political parties (e.g. civics). The best part of the discussion might be helping students put the current situation into a broader historical context. Caution should be used, however, in using the suggested commercial website to research actual political bumper stickers for comparision. Many of the featured stickers probably aren't appropriate for classrooms, and will probably generate the wrong kind of discussion!

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NOVA Wings of Madness - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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From a recent PBS Nova episode, this site deals with the early efforts of pioneer aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont. Santos-Dumont had the revolutionary idea that enabling humans to fly...more
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From a recent PBS Nova episode, this site deals with the early efforts of pioneer aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont. Santos-Dumont had the revolutionary idea that enabling humans to fly would contribute to world peace, because people would experience a new, more pure, perspective on the world from above. A contemporary of the Wright Brothers, Santos-Dumont's designs influenced modern "ultralight" planes of today. The site includes biographical information about Santos-Dumont and a very nice slideshow of failed airplane designs. There is an interactive view of one of Santos-Dumont's planes showing its features. Under the teacher's guide, a classroom activity provides plans for various forms of paper airplanes illustrating principles of aerodynamics.

tag(s): air (163), aviation (39)

In the Classroom

Flying has always fascinated us, and flying failures are sometimes more interesting than successes. Students will know all about the Wright Brothers; they are unlikely to have heard of Alberto Santos-Dumont. The interactives are terrific and the paper airplanes would make a good hands-on activity. The readings about Santos-Dumont would also make good selections for a reading teacher trying to find motivating readings to teach comprehension strategies.
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Milestones of Flight - Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Grades
6 to 12
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From the Smithsonian, the site is simple: it is a chronological timeline of the history of flight. Each point on the timeline links to a full page description ...more
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From the Smithsonian, the site is simple: it is a chronological timeline of the history of flight. Each point on the timeline links to a full page description of the craft (plane or spaceship) with photographs.

tag(s): aviation (39), space (205)

In the Classroom

Sometimes you need complexity, but sometimes you just need a simple set of graphics. This site is the latter, but it does it so well! The timeline is marked by thumbnail pictures of each flying machine. Clicking on the machine brings you to a complete desciption of the craft and its significance. Of course this is part of the complete National Air and Space Museum site which is crammed full of interesting stuff. But this section cuts to the chase: what machines flew and when?

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Prohibition and Temperance - OSU Department of History

Grades
9 to 12
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From the Ohio State University history department, this site includes resources related to the prohibition and temperance movement in the US. There is a good, straightforward summary...more
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From the Ohio State University history department, this site includes resources related to the prohibition and temperance movement in the US. There is a good, straightforward summary of prohibition including hyperlinks, information about the Women's crusade against alcohol and the Women's Christian Temperance Union, and contemporary opinion pieces about prohibition. Of particular use is a series of political cartoons from the period which illustrate contemporary political viewpoints. There is a brief audio clip of prohibition era music (ragtime).

In the Classroom

This site is best used as a supplementary set of resources for further exploration. Teachers might use some of the contemporary illustrations or narratives to expand understanding, or students working on an independent project might find the resources helpful. You could also design a brief web scavenger hunt within the site to introduce the topic a new way.

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American Experience The Gold Rush - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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From a PBS American Experience episode on the Gold Rush, this site includes a good timeline for the Gold Rush, transcripts of interviews concerning the immigrant contribution to settling...more
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From a PBS American Experience episode on the Gold Rush, this site includes a good timeline for the Gold Rush, transcripts of interviews concerning the immigrant contribution to settling California and pursing gold, lesson plans focused on history, economics, geography and civics. There is a nice Flash-powered simulation game in which students can choose a character to navigate the rigors of the Gold Rush. Characters include a Chinese immigrant and a woman.

tag(s): california (27), civil war (145), gold rush (19), immigration (58), lincoln (86), migration (59)

In the Classroom

The Gold Rush era in American history usually gets folded into a discussion of immigration or western expansion. The timeline helps put the discussion into a broader context that includes the Civil War. The simulation game would be a good extension activity for students who master material more quickly, or for students to do at home.
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American Indian Heritage Month - U.S. Department of Defense

Grades
5 to 12
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This Native American website is bursting with rich history about Native American culture and the many contributions it has made to our country and the world. Users will find ...more
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This Native American website is bursting with rich history about Native American culture and the many contributions it has made to our country and the world. Users will find topics related to Native American contributors such as Sacagawea, the first Native American astronaut, Code Talkers and the Iwo Jima Flag Raiser. This site goes above and beyond utilization for Native American History Month. It is a tool that can be used all year.

tag(s): india (36), native americans (78)

In the Classroom

The site could be used for a web quest or link for research project. The photos would be great on a projector during lesson presentation/discussion. Can be used in either FLASH or HTML versions. Keep this link on your teacher web page during your unit on indigenous peoples so students can try some recipes at home, as well!
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Native American Nations - Lisa Mitten

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3 to 12
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Find Native American nations' own sites and information in this alphabetical index by tribe(with notes as to most recent updates). ...more
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Find Native American nations' own sites and information in this alphabetical index by tribe(with notes as to most recent updates).

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for research papers and projects. Students can search for information about specific tribes or for information that the tribes themselves have put forward. This would be a great resource for a US history class.

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History of the Cherokee - Ken Martin and others

Grades
4 to 12
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This straightforward informational site provides history and images of the Cherokee nation, including important figures, Cherokee law, maps, and events from before European settlers...more
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This straightforward informational site provides history and images of the Cherokee nation, including important figures, Cherokee law, maps, and events from before European settlers until now. The site creator is himself a mixed blood Cherokee.

In the Classroom

Steer clear of the genealogy links. They are either selling something or they do not work. This is a great site for basic background information, such as you could seek with a scavenger hunt.

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Native Tech: Native American Technology and Art - Tara Prindle

Grades
3 to 12
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This site features art and cultural information of native Americans, focusing especially on the Eastern Woodlands region. There is information on , Birds & Feathers, Clay & Pottery,...more
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This site features art and cultural information of native Americans, focusing especially on the Eastern Woodlands region. There is information on , Birds & Feathers, Clay & Pottery, Leather & Clothes, Metalwork, Plants & Trees, Porcupine Quills, Stonework & Tools, and Weaving & Cordage. Some of the text passages may be a bit lengthy, but there are also interactive ways for students to get a "hands on" feel, such as with the beadwork interactive game. The sections under Special Features are certain to make the culture come alive for elementary and middle school students.

In the Classroom

Give students a scavenger hunt to learn the basics about the culture you are studying, then allow them to try some of the interactive games, ass based on the content of the site. This would be a great way to build background knowledge while studying American history or literature that deals with Native Americans.

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Indigenous Peoples Literature - Glenn Welker

Grades
4 to 12
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This site is a wealth of resources on indigenous peoples of the Americas, including both North and South America. You can find poetry, artwork, daily wisdom, information about languages...more
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This site is a wealth of resources on indigenous peoples of the Americas, including both North and South America. You can find poetry, artwork, daily wisdom, information about languages and leaders, and much more. Be sure to scroll down within the frame set or you will miss most of the content. The maps of the native languages are especially interesting if you teach about westward expansion in the U.S. This site would also provide excellent background for reading of any literature about life among the native Americans, such as A Light in the Forest.

In the Classroom

Use this site to build background knowledge and understanding as part of literature, social studies, or art units. Share portions on a projector.There are times when the frame set of the site is annoying. If it gets in your way, go back on click and RIGHT click on the link you want, choosing "open in new window" to escape the box!

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Children's Encyclopedia of Women - Pocantico Hills School

Grades
2 to 5
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A very interesting resource developed by children at an elementary school in New York, this project began in 1998 and has been updated every year since then. For children doing ...more
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A very interesting resource developed by children at an elementary school in New York, this project began in 1998 and has been updated every year since then. For children doing research on a woman or a topic that involves important women, this would be a great place to start looking for information. There are brief biographies of many women and a timeline. Although the entries are short and basic, they include the very information that would interest young children. This is a great resource for Women's History month in March.

tag(s): women (101)

In the Classroom

A great example of an ongoing classroom project!! Also, a great way to show children an outcome of learning website making skills. This is an example of a class project for which you could use a class wiki. See the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through for more about wikis (VERY easy!).

Comments

Terry , NY, Grades: 1 - 8

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Yahooligans News - Yahoo

Grades
2 to 8
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Children see the latest news stories (Sports, Entertainment, Top Stories, Animals, Science and Nature, and Grab Bag) organized into slide slows so there is minimal reading and a new...more
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Children see the latest news stories (Sports, Entertainment, Top Stories, Animals, Science and Nature, and Grab Bag) organized into slide slows so there is minimal reading and a new photo for each focus item. In addition, there is another link to the most important story, for a recent movie, and an opportunity for children to vote on a news question.

tag(s): movies (65), news (261)

In the Classroom

Share a current events story on a projector or interactive whiteboard as a day-starter while children trickle in from the bus. Note: if you send students to this site on their own, they may be distracted by numerous "fun" offerings from Yahooligans (music videos, celebrity info, etc). You may want to give them specific guidleines about where they are permitted to go.
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Laura Ingalls Wilder - Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society

Grades
K to 6
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This informative site offers the students information, educational activities and games. For younger students there are age-appropriate photos, text, coloring pages and simple interactive...more
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This informative site offers the students information, educational activities and games. For younger students there are age-appropriate photos, text, coloring pages and simple interactive learning activities. For older children, there are photos, research, a quiz and interactive checkers. Some pages of this site require FLASH.

tag(s): authors (120)

In the Classroom

Try an interactive whiteboard and introduce your students to the lovely Laura Ingalls Wilder. There are activities here for all elementary-aged students.
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Thanksgiving History - Fourth World Documentation Project

Grades
3 to 5
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This simple, text-based site includes a narrative about Thanksgiving, recipes, and more. The narrative provides an excellent resource for a unit that examines the first inhabitants...more
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This simple, text-based site includes a narrative about Thanksgiving, recipes, and more. The narrative provides an excellent resource for a unit that examines the first inhabitants of the Plymouth region (the Wampanoag), their culture, and the impact of the arrival of the Pilgrims upon their lives. The site describes the establishment and eventual deterioration of friendships between the early colonists and the Wampanoag. A study guide and discussion questions are included, along with ideas for enrichment. This is more than the usual cute Thanksgiving story and seeks to debunk many myths.

tag(s): thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Use this site as background for your pre-Thanksgiving lessons or create a scavenger hunt using the questions from the More Information for Teachers section. Have students wok in teams to create a booklet or PowerPoint presentation from a different angle: A Virtual Tour of the First Thanksgiving or a Guide for European Settlers to Life Among the Wampanoags.

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You are the Historian Investigating the First Thanksgiving - Plimouth Plantation

Grades
3 to 6
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Investigating the First Thanksgiving - What was it really like?? Plimoth Plantation museum offers a Flash-based Thanksgiving lesson that will introduce students to the cultures and...more
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Investigating the First Thanksgiving - What was it really like?? Plimoth Plantation museum offers a Flash-based Thanksgiving lesson that will introduce students to the cultures and customs of both the Pilgrim and Wampanoag peoples. This presentation blends information about lots of everyday activities and customs with a look at what the actual "first Thanksgiving" might have looked like. Requires Flash. A message on the site warns that traffic near Thanksgiving can make the site very sluggish and offers directions to download it to your local computer.

tag(s): pilgrims (17), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

A complete teachers guide gives you ideas for using this resource in the classroom. Use a projector or interactive whiteboard to introduce the site, then assign students to complete the investigation in small groups or with a partner. You can spread the activity over several days at a computer cluster in your classroom or do it all at once in a lab.
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Thanksgiving Story Starters - ABC Teach

Grades
1 to 5
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Use these entertaining prompts to start your class blog entries or writing activities for Thanksgiving.aybe even write a script for a Thanksgiving podcast? ...more
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Use these entertaining prompts to start your class blog entries or writing activities for Thanksgiving.aybe even write a script for a Thanksgiving podcast?

tag(s): thanksgiving (37)

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The First Thanksgiving - Scholastic

Grades
2 to 8
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This informative and interactive website introduces students to the first Thanksgiving. The three main areas of this site include "Voyage of the Mayflower", "Daily Life" and "The Thanksgiving...more
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This informative and interactive website introduces students to the first Thanksgiving. The three main areas of this site include "Voyage of the Mayflower", "Daily Life" and "The Thanksgiving Feast". There are video and audio clips, compare/contrast activities and more. This site required FLASH.

tag(s): pilgrims (17), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Get an interactive whiteboard and take your students back to the 1600s! Teachers can utilize the comparing and contrasting activities to help their students have a better understanding of the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags. Check out the "For Teachers" section of this site, Scholastic will be providing a detailed teaching guide in November 2006.
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