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Price of Freedom - Americans at War - National Museum of American History

Grades
7 to 12
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American military conflicts, from the War of Independence to the War in Iraq, are presented in this beautifully designed multimedia exhibit that examines their effect on American society...more
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American military conflicts, from the War of Independence to the War in Iraq, are presented in this beautifully designed multimedia exhibit that examines their effect on American society and our nation's history. Click on the interactive time line to access movies, photographs, artifacts, and text that provide succinct and riveting overviews of each conflict. This site would make an excellent independent computer lab activity. To enhance the experience, develop some essential questions and a "road map" to guide your students - then turn them loose. Downloadable teacher's manual available.

tag(s): civil war (145), vietnam (36), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an introduction to this unit or as review. The site hosts vast amounts of information about almost every major American conflict in exhibit form. Go through the exhibits with students through out the lecture as the images are of high quality and can supplement the lecture being given. This site also has valuable information for students working on research projects or papers. If thats the case, save this site as a favorite and refer students with questions to it.
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What the World Thinks of America - Guardian Unlimited

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9 to 12
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Current Events, U.S. Government, U.S. History - Use this site to generate some heated discussion in your classroom, if you dare, and bring a global view to the 2004 Presidential ...more
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Current Events, U.S. Government, U.S. History - Use this site to generate some heated discussion in your classroom, if you dare, and bring a global view to the 2004 Presidential election. Although this resource was created for the 2004 election, the information is valuable for teaching about elections in general and for comparing elections as part of U.S. history. Summary articles and survey results from polls conducted throughout the world provide insight into peoples' opinions of the policies, president and people of the United States.

tag(s): foreign policy (16)

In the Classroom

Although the information is a little out of date, this could be useful for discussing the impact of globalization on American Politics. Share the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector, using it to start a discussion as to why this is important. Teachers can also use the information as a writing prompt. Pull up the results of the poll on the interactive whiteboard and have students write a short essay as to whether or not the results surprised them, what this could mean, and how this impacts foreign relations. This would be useful in either a civics or history class.

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Thanksgiving Clip Art - kidsdomain

Grades
1 to 8
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Use this small but good-quality collection of free seasonal clip art to spice up your classroom worksheets and handouts. Can be used in school publications and on Web pages. ...more
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Use this small but good-quality collection of free seasonal clip art to spice up your classroom worksheets and handouts. Can be used in school publications and on Web pages.

tag(s): clip art (10), images (275), thanksgiving (37)

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American Indian FAQ's for Kids

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4 to 7
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Although this informational site is heavy on text, it is filled with answers to many questions that kids typically ask about Native Americans. Design a simple scavenger hunt around...more
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Although this informational site is heavy on text, it is filled with answers to many questions that kids typically ask about Native Americans. Design a simple scavenger hunt around the site, or use as a reference for student research. Easy-to-navigate Q & A format.

tag(s): cultures (107), india (36), native americans (78)

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Perspectives on Terrorism - Terrorism Research Initiative

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10 to 12
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When does a freedom fighter or revolutionary become a terrorist? That's the central question in this presentation that introduces the issues of international law and cooperation that...more
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When does a freedom fighter or revolutionary become a terrorist? That's the central question in this presentation that introduces the issues of international law and cooperation that bear on the global pursuit of terrorists. The site combines multimedia presentations, web content, and extensive external links to help students understand the premises behind international cooperation, and the ways in which terrorism tests the limits of that cooperation.

tag(s): iran (12), iraq (32), terrorism (49), terrorist (16)

In the Classroom

Try this one in an AP government or history class, or as part of a World Cultures unit.
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Outline Maps

Grades
4 to 7
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This great collection of black and white, printer-friendly outline maps represent every continent, many countries, various regions of the United States. American historical maps - showing...more
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This great collection of black and white, printer-friendly outline maps represent every continent, many countries, various regions of the United States. American historical maps - showing the Lewis and Clarke routes, the original thirteen colonies, etc. - are also included. Each map is available with or without labels and royalty free for classroom and personal use. Requires Acrobat Reader.

tag(s): maps (292), states (164)

In the Classroom

Use the maps on this site as an introductory activity for any and all history units that correspond with geography. Use the blank maps as formative assessments to determine what students already know about the spacial context of the events being studied. After the unit is over have students fill out the blank maps again to assess how much they learned over the course of the unit. Save this one as a favorite on your classroom computer!
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The War of 1812 - History Channel

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7 to 12
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This companion site to a History Channel special provides some outstanding background information and multimedia presentations documenting the complex and tragic events of the War of...more
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This companion site to a History Channel special provides some outstanding background information and multimedia presentations documenting the complex and tragic events of the War of 1812. Even if you don't view the program, the video clips, timelines, lists of key players, and connections to the world news of the day are worth investigating.

tag(s): pennsylvania (6), war of 1812 (15)

In the Classroom

Open this site on the interactive whiteboard or projector to access some of the extremely informative videos that are offered about the War of 1812. The videos take several different perspectives, some from James Madison, the British, or from the eye of a historian. Select one of the videos and watch it with the class - although we highly recommend creating a follow along to accompany it.

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Viking Quest - BBC

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6 to 8
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Take your student to the computer lab, bring out the headphones, and take a virtual field trip to the year AD 793. This interactive multimedia game places students in the ...more
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Take your student to the computer lab, bring out the headphones, and take a virtual field trip to the year AD 793. This interactive multimedia game places students in the role of planning and executing a Viking voyage. Players must build a ship, hire crew members, cross the seas, loot a monastery, and return home safely. A great site for teaching history as well as problem-solving skills. This sites requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): vikings (10)

In the Classroom

Use this online challenge as a learning center or station during a unit on the Vikings. The interactive game would be a great way to help students review in addition to expanding upon that knowledge base. Every world History teacher will love this one.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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September 11: Bearing Witness to History - Smithsonian

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10 to 12
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This virtual exhibit provides a collection of stories, images, and objects that represent a material record of September 11, 2001. More than just another 9.11 Web site, this resource...more
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This virtual exhibit provides a collection of stories, images, and objects that represent a material record of September 11, 2001. More than just another 9.11 Web site, this resource sensitively documents the people and stories behind the commonplace objects that survived and were carefully preserved. Audio clips of personal narratives by museum curators are included. This is a thought-provoking, awe-inspiring site that could be used to generate a discussion about the value of material artifacts in historical interpretation. Use with AP or Honors level history students.

tag(s): sept11 (21), terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

The portion of this site with the most impact is the video posted with live footage of the ABC broadcast as the events of 9/11 were unfolding. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector, and play the video for students as a way to introduce the topic. What's nice about it is that it brings everyone to the same page, as some kids may not remember the details or may have forgotten the extreme emotion involved in that moment. It is a very powerful video, and really relays the significance and the pure shock on the part of News Anchors and Civilians alike on that day. Use the video to lead into a lecture or conversation about what followed the report.

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A 9.11 Moment - ITS

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8 to 12
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How has American life changed since September 11, 2001? This collection of short, reflective videos captures the thoughts and reactions of dozens of individuals, from all walks of life,...more
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How has American life changed since September 11, 2001? This collection of short, reflective videos captures the thoughts and reactions of dozens of individuals, from all walks of life, who ponder the effect of "the tragedy that shook the world." Click on the "video synopses" link to learn about the background and content of each clip. A great primer for class discussions.

tag(s): sept11 (21), terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on the interactive whiteboard to introduce a unit on 9/11 and the events that followed immediately afterward. Have students explore the site in cooperative learning groups, listening to as many of the class videos as they can in the time allotted. To show what they have learned from this site, challenge students to create an online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here. Be sure to include headphones so the various groups don't distract each other.

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National Museum of the American Indian - Smithsonian

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8 to 12
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The only national museum dedicated to the Native people of the Americas provides this beautiful collection of online multimedia exhibitions on a variety of cultural and historical subjects....more
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The only national museum dedicated to the Native people of the Americas provides this beautiful collection of online multimedia exhibitions on a variety of cultural and historical subjects. The Education link offers downloadable classroom guides and gentle suggestions on how to avoid stereotyping when teaching your students about Native American culture. Although the site strongly emphasizes artistic contributions of Native Americans, several exhibits (Who Stole the Tee Pee?) examine the tragic loss of native traditions at the hands of social reformers.

tag(s): india (36)

In the Classroom

Use the images on this site to create a picture walk in your classroom during a unit on Native American culture. Select 10-15 of the more descriptive and diverse images, hanging them around the classroom in different places. Have students rotate around the classroom, moving every 30-45 seconds jotting down what they see in each image. At the end of the walk, have a class discussion based on what students saw in the images and what the walk has portrayed about Native American culture in the time period being studied. This is a great way to introduce the unit in a non-lecture format.

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Nostalgia Central

Grades
8 to 12
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Students can gain insight into the fads, fashions, movies, and music that formed the fabric of America during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Year-by-year synopses feature calendars that...more
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Students can gain insight into the fads, fashions, movies, and music that formed the fabric of America during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Year-by-year synopses feature calendars that highlight political and cultural events. This is a great resource for gaining an understanding of American life during the mid to late 20th century.

tag(s): 1960s (30), 1970s (12), 1980s (9)

In the Classroom

Use this site to teach students about the counter-culture movement of the 60's in a non-lecture format. Use this site on the interactive whiteboard to showcase popular culture in that decade. This would be a great resource for a US history course focusing on the modern century.

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The Mighty Mississippi - MSNBC

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8 to 12
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The history and splendor of one of America's most storied rivers is brought to life in this elegant site by MSNBC. An August 2004 trek down the full length ...more
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The history and splendor of one of America's most storied rivers is brought to life in this elegant site by MSNBC. An August 2004 trek down the full length of the Mississippi is carefully documented and interwoven with information about the geology, economic impact, navigation, history, and exploration of the river. A short video highlights the history of the Mississippi, from the days of its earliest explorers to the present. Each segment of the site offers slideshows, video, photographs, descriptive text, and interactive quizzes. Add this resource to an American history or geography lesson, or incorporate it into a literature unit on Mark Twain.

tag(s): literature (274), mark twain (10), mississippi (6)

In the Classroom

For a history classroom, use this site to complement almost a year long class of American History. Starting with the Louisiana purchase, the Mississippi became a vital component of American trade and settlement patterns, all of which can be reflected by the variety of stories found on every mile southward. With every unit in a history class, there is a mile on the Mississippi that is applicable. Tie in unit endings with the free resources offered by MSNBC, whether it be video, slides, quizzes or a story. Students will enjoy seeing the impacts of history in our world today!
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Vote: The Machinery of Democracy - Smithsonian

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7 to 12
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Voting methods in the United States are examined in this beautifully designed on-line exhibit created by the Museum of American History. The varied practices within individual states...more
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Voting methods in the United States are examined in this beautifully designed on-line exhibit created by the Museum of American History. The varied practices within individual states are explored as well as the historical evolution of our ballots and voting systems. Use this site to help students understand the Florida 2000 crisis, as well as the role technology and innovation have played in shaping our experiences at the polls. Although this resource was created for the 2000 election, the background information is valuable for teaching about elections in general and for comparing elections as part of U.S. history. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): college (48), elections (78), electoral college (17)

In the Classroom

Use the interactive exhibition portion of this site as a learning center or station during a unit on the US election process. (extra bonus if your class is specifically studying the 2000 election!)Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
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80 Days that Changed the World - CNN

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8 to 12
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Major events in 20th century history are presented in this impressive CNN site. Visitors can select an era, choose an event, and read a brief synopsis. The video gallery offers ...more
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Major events in 20th century history are presented in this impressive CNN site. Visitors can select an era, choose an event, and read a brief synopsis. The video gallery offers a collection of riveting clips, including the Oklahoma City bombing, the Great Crash of 1929, and the fall of Saigon. Follow the link to a Time Magazine site to find special reports on life-changing events that have taken place over the course of the past eight decades. This is an outstanding supplement to a 20th century American history class.

tag(s): stock market (13), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

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Apollo 11 - 35 Years Later - NASA

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4 to 12
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It's July 20, 1969 and millions of Americans are glued to their television watching Neil Armstrong take that first historic step on the surface of the moon. This multimedia NASA ...more
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It's July 20, 1969 and millions of Americans are glued to their television watching Neil Armstrong take that first historic step on the surface of the moon. This multimedia NASA site recreates that Apollo 11 mission, from its launch to its splashdown. Students can view vintage photographs, listen to the mission's audio recording, browse news articles, and tour the video gallery.

tag(s): moon (73)

In the Classroom

Use the video clips over the interactive whiteboard to supplement the text in discussing the Apollo missions. The clip of the first landing would be a great way to introduce the topic, putting all students at the same level of understanding before beginning a lecture or class discussion. Great resource for a US history classroom!
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What was the exchange Rate Then? - Economic History Service

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9 to 12
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Add a little bit of economic reality to a 20th century American history lesson. Just choose a country and year, and this site will provide exchange rate data between the ...more
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Add a little bit of economic reality to a 20th century American history lesson. Just choose a country and year, and this site will provide exchange rate data between the United State dollar and foreign currency. Changes in currency units for countries throughout the world and links to related resources are included.

tag(s): currency (19)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an aid for discussing the price differences and comparisons between todays world and now. This information would be great when discussing early American history, when most books and colonizers make reference to British currency. Teachers can either translate the currency before class, or can have students complete it as an in-class activity. One way to do so would be to find a primary document or textbook article that mentions the severity of a tax on the 13 colonies. Have students complete the calculator to find out what colonists were really paying in comparison to what British-bound citizens were paying. use this to spur a discussion that then pro's and con's how severe taxes were and whether they were ample reason to revolt against Great Britiain.

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Humor's Edge: Cartoons by Ann Telnaes - Library of Congress

Grades
9 to 12
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This site features the Pulitzer Prize-winning talent of Ann Telnaes, a contemporary political cartoonist who accurately depicts the drama and news of the day with clarity and wit. Use...more
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This site features the Pulitzer Prize-winning talent of Ann Telnaes, a contemporary political cartoonist who accurately depicts the drama and news of the day with clarity and wit. Use these online examples from Library of Congress exhibit to introduce current political issues or challenge your students to design their own political cartoons.

In the Classroom

Use the images on this site to discuss the role political cartoons can play in US government. Select a few of Telnaes's images, displaying them over the projector. Have a class discussion about the images, discussing perspectives, effects and what is being portrayed by the cartoons. This is a great way to discover how humor can affect opinions, and dissect how it is done.

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Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made Modern America - NY Historical Society

Grades
7 to 12
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He's more than just a pretty face on the $10 bill! Alexander Hamilton's life and influence are examined in this site that presents a timeline of events during and after ...more
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He's more than just a pretty face on the $10 bill! Alexander Hamilton's life and influence are examined in this site that presents a timeline of events during and after his life, highlights from his writings, and a biographical gallery of his peers. Visitors can even test their knowledge of his life and accomplishments with a twenty-question interactive quiz. This is probably more information than your students need to know about Mr. Hamilton, but the site provides a unique approach to understanding some significant events in American history.

tag(s): constitution (87)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a introductory activity for a lesson on the founding fathers. Introduce this site on the interactive whiteboard or projector before allowing students to explore it on their own. We recommend creating a graphic organizer or follow-along for the website to insure students are getting the most out of it. What is great about it is that it provides students with a lot of historical and biographical information about Hamilton. This would be a great resource for a US history or Civics class.

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They Made America - WGBH

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7 to 12
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Although this is a companion site to a PBS mini-series airing in November 2004, the content easily stands alone. Students can investigate the stories of influential "great minds" whose...more
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Although this is a companion site to a PBS mini-series airing in November 2004, the content easily stands alone. Students can investigate the stories of influential "great minds" whose entrepreneurial spirits dramatically affected American industry and culture and then play an NCAA-style "tournament" to isolate the most influential innovator. Information can be accessed via an index, an interactive map of the United States, or a timeline which juxtaposes American innovations and major events in history.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (95), scientists (70)

In the Classroom

Use the free lesson plans and activities offered on this site! Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start your study of the Invention Era. This would be helpful for a a US history class.
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