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Liberty! The American Revolution - PBS

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7 to 12
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This outstanding resource provides students with a concise understanding of the establishment of the American republic - from the earliest rumblings of rebellion, to the creation of...more
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This outstanding resource provides students with a concise understanding of the establishment of the American republic - from the earliest rumblings of rebellion, to the creation of the Constitution. Although a companion to a PBS mini-series, the site is filled with fascinating information, interactive maps, and lesson plans that can easily stand alone. Click on "Chronicle of Revolution" to find a collection of newspaper articles that focus on historical headlines. An assortment of interactive activities allows students to experience daily life in the colonies, discover the differences between American and British soldiers, and test their "Revolutionary" knowledge. If the American Revolution is part of your curriculum, consider incorporating this well-organized resource into your classroom plans.

tag(s): american revolution (88), colonial america (107), evolution (102)

In the Classroom

Under the "Teachers Guide" section, there are 6 pre-prepared lessons or extended units based on different aspects of the revolution. Each Teacher Guide comes with standards, resources and extension activities if you think it could or should last longer in the classroom. Be sure to take a look at this site if covering any aspect of the American Revolution, regardless of the subject.

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Avoiding Plagiarism - Purdue University

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8 to 12
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This useful guide to maintaining academic honesty provides clear and succinct advice that secondary students can easily understand. The site explores topics including deliberate vs....more
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This useful guide to maintaining academic honesty provides clear and succinct advice that secondary students can easily understand. The site explores topics including deliberate vs. accidental plagiarism, when to document and when not to document, and "common knowledge." The "making sure you are safe" guide provides helpful tips for students at various stages of the research and writing process. A brief exercise for practice can be used to test students' understanding of plagiarism issues. Created by the Purdue University Online Writing Lab.

tag(s): cheating (3), plagiarism (37)

In the Classroom

Share this site on the interactive whiteboard to establish a set of rules before beginning a research project or paper with your class. Teachers can even post the site on their teacher webpage, emphasizing it's importance and allowing students to reference it both in and out of the classroom.

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World Conflict Map - Nobel Foundation

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7 to 12
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Help your secondary students gain a greater understanding of some of the 20th century's most devastating military conflicts with this compelling, interactive map. Students can discover...more
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Help your secondary students gain a greater understanding of some of the 20th century's most devastating military conflicts with this compelling, interactive map. Students can discover where specific wars took place, who the main protagonists were, and which regions of the world have experienced the most unrest. Brief explanations about each conflict are also provided along with statistical information on the geographic distribution of Nobel Peach Prize laureates and nominees from 1901 - 2001.

In the Classroom

Share this site over the interactive whiteboard to introduce a unit on the Modern century and the warfare that has plagued it. Introduce the site, answering any questions before allowing students to explore it in cooperative learning groups. Because there is a lot of information here, this site works best if students have a graphic organizer to guide them through and highlight what is most important. For help creating graphic organizers, we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).

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Geography Quiz - Learning Planet

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4 to 6
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This interactive quiz challenges students to recall and select correct state abbreviations, capitals, and locations. Make this available on a classroom computer and use as a practice...more
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This interactive quiz challenges students to recall and select correct state abbreviations, capitals, and locations. Make this available on a classroom computer and use as a practice and review activity.

tag(s): capitals (24), states (162)

In the Classroom

Use the geography quiz to help students review before an assessment! Students can use it as a learning center OR teachers can post the site on their teacher wiki or webpage to allow students to access it both in and out of the classroom to study.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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War Letters - PBS

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9 to 12
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Teach American history through the words of those who were there. This fascinating site focuses on personal narratives from man and women who captured the horror, sadness, and intensity...more
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Teach American history through the words of those who were there. This fascinating site focuses on personal narratives from man and women who captured the horror, sadness, and intensity of war. Experiences from the American Revolution to the Persian Gulf War are reflected in featured letters. Although this site is designed around a companion PBS special, much can be learned from the on-line materials without viewing the program. Visit the Teacher's Guide for suggestions on using personal narratives in history class. Other features include a gallery of wartime cartoons, an interactive timeline (1775-1994), and a military postal history trivia game.

tag(s): memorial day (12)

In the Classroom

History, Civics, Economics and Geography teachers will love the free lesson plans and activities offered in the "Teacher Guide" section. Beyond that the site also offers games and movie clips that would help make the site a useful lecture supplement or learning center.

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Voices of Civil Rights - Leadership Conference on Civil Rights

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8 to 12
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Use this site as an on-line classroom resource for an in-depth study of the civil right movement in America. Essays, interviews, and special reports provide historical and contemporary...more
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Use this site as an on-line classroom resource for an in-depth study of the civil right movement in America. Essays, interviews, and special reports provide historical and contemporary perspectives. The Stories section of the site, which contains an array of personal stories from America's civil rights past, is especially riveting. An interactive, illustrated timeline details America's struggle with civil rights issues from 1868 to the present, and the Photo Gallery provides striking images, complete with captions. Use the interactive quiz to test for prior knowledge or as a review.

tag(s): africa (179), african american (114), civil rights (119), racism (18)

In the Classroom

Use the featured stories on this site to provide students with a more personal view of the Civil Rights movement. Divide students into 4-5 groups, with each group receiving a different story. Have each group analyze their story, eventually presenting their results to the class. Use this to spark a class discussion of how the civil rights movement was more than the prominent figures heard about in history class - it affected people everywhere.

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Gold Rush - PBS

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4 to 8
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This kid-friendly site takes students on an unforgettable journey with the "forty-niners" as they leave their homes and families to seek their fortunes in California. The resource explains...more
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This kid-friendly site takes students on an unforgettable journey with the "forty-niners" as they leave their homes and families to seek their fortunes in California. The resource explains the sweeping gold fever of 19th century America and introduces some famous people - like Levi Strauss and Phillip Armour - whose lives were forever changed by the event. A helpful guide for teachers provides useful tips on using this site in class.

tag(s): california (27), gold rush (19)

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Vietnam Project - Texas Tech University

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7 to 12
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Although this site is still very much a work in progress, it contains some riveting resources that would be valuable for use in a 20th century American History class. The ...more
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Although this site is still very much a work in progress, it contains some riveting resources that would be valuable for use in a 20th century American History class. The "Teachers' Web" is not yet up and running, but the oral history interviews, available as audio files, are wonderfully revealing primary sources. If you are interesting in presenting the Vietnam War from a very personal, human perspective, consider using this on-line archive. The site also provides a collection of historical photographs and tips for conducting Oral History interviews - an unforgettable learning experience for your students!

tag(s): 1960s (30), 1970s (12), asia (73), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

Access the section entitled "Teachers Resource Web," and take advantage of the free lesson plans and collection resources.
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Separate is Not Equal - National Museum of American History

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4 to 12
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The 50th anniversary of the historic Brown vs. the Board of Education decision is commemorated in this site that traces the history of segregation, the battle for education, and the...more
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The 50th anniversary of the historic Brown vs. the Board of Education decision is commemorated in this site that traces the history of segregation, the battle for education, and the events leading to the Supreme Court decision. Visit the teacher's guide (click on Resources) to find downloadable unit and lesson plans (aligned to national standards) which address the time period from Reconstruction to the Civil Rights movement. Teacher briefing sheets and student handouts are included - in fact, nearly everything required for an engaging and purposeful learning experience is there! This site is an online companion to a Smithsonian National Museum of American History exhibit. If you can't take your students to Washington, take them to the computer lab or project this site in class, and spend some time with this outstanding resource.

tag(s): africa (179), african american (114), segregation (15)

In the Classroom

Access the section on the homesite entitled "resources." On that page there is a section entitled "Teacher Guide," which has an abundance of free lesson plans that range topics of segregation, racism, and the civil rights movement. Take advantage of the guides and use them to address the more difficult subjects of race in recent American History.

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Powers of Persuasion - National Archives

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8 to 12
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The psychology of wartime patriotism is presented in this thought-provoking site that examines an impressive collection of propaganda posters used by the U. S. Government to promote...more
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The psychology of wartime patriotism is presented in this thought-provoking site that examines an impressive collection of propaganda posters used by the U. S. Government to promote the war effort in Europe and the Pacific during World War II. The on-line exhibit is divided into two thematic groups: posters that were designed to instill patriotism, and those that were created to show the horrors of war. The works of some well-known American artists, including Norman Rockwell, are represented. How did these words and images affect the hearts and minds of America citizens? How does this sanctioned propaganda compare with what the American government is communicating to its citizens during this current time of war? Use this impressive resource to generate discussion in a history or current events class.

tag(s): posters (36), propaganda (12)

In the Classroom

Use these images on this site to create a visual discovery activity. Select 3-5 of the more powerful images and put them on a PowerPoint, with each image showing for 1-2 minutes over the interactive whiteboard. Have students fill out a graphic organizer concerning each image, focusing on what students observe, infer and can predict. (To create the graphic organizer, try using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).)After the class has reviewed all of the images, have a class discussion based on their findings. Teachers will be surprised how much content is discussed. This activity works best as a review.

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The Holocaust: A Learning Site for Students - Holocaust Memorial Museum

Grades
8 to 12
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This well-organized site presents an authentic and factual view of the Holocaust in a format appropriate for middle and high school students. Text, historical photographs, maps, images...more
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This well-organized site presents an authentic and factual view of the Holocaust in a format appropriate for middle and high school students. Text, historical photographs, maps, images of artifacts, and audio clips provide a riveting experience for visitors. This resource is organized by themes which include Nazi Rule, Jews in Germany, the "Final Solution," Nazi Camps, and Rescue and Resistance. Each theme is supported by in-depth information, a helpful glossary and timeline, and a list of key dates and events.

tag(s): holocaust (39), jews (20), nazis (10), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

Use the images on this site to design a picture walk in your classroom about the holocaust. Select 10-15 of the more powerful images, choosing a variety of subjects. Assign students to begin at specific numbers, before allowing the class to rotate around the classroom every 30-45 seconds. At each image, students should quickly write down what they observe, infer and predict about each image. At the end of the picture walk, have a class discussion based on the notes students took during the walk. This would be a very interesting way to introduce the topic in a non-lecture format. For help creating the graphic organizers, we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).

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American Cultural History: The Twentieth Century - Kingwood College Library

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9 to 12
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American History - Explore the turbulent, colorful, and world-changing events of 20th century America with this site that gives decade-by-decade summaries of what was happening in...more
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American History - Explore the turbulent, colorful, and world-changing events of 20th century America with this site that gives decade-by-decade summaries of what was happening in literature, education, music, scientific developments and artistic achievements. Vintage photographs and links to related resources are provided. There is quite a bit to read and investigate on this entertaining site which, unfortunately, is not searchable. But sift through the vast resources to isolate the areas that will fit best with your curriculum, and take your students to the computer lab for an independent Web hunt to introduce or enhance an American history lesson.

tag(s): 20th century (53)

In the Classroom

Find the time period that is applicable to your class unit and share the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Use the site as a resource for students working on research projects. The site offers information about architecture, art, literature, fashion, politics, etc. about every time period. The site would be an excellent jump-off point for students beginning their research or still in the process of selecting a research topic.

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Civil War Through a Child's Eye - Library of Congress

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4 to 8
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This lesson plan from the Library of Congress helps students develop an understanding of the Civil War as they study primary sources and works of historical fiction. Students begin...more
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This lesson plan from the Library of Congress helps students develop an understanding of the Civil War as they study primary sources and works of historical fiction. Students begin by viewing a multimedia slide show, then examine and interpret photographs of Civil War-era children. Finally, students are asked to read several literary selections, and discuss the various war-time perspectives that are represented. A well-organized teacher's guide, links to on-line resources, and complete lesson plans aligned to national standards are provided.

tag(s): civil war (144)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this free lesson plan offered by the Library of Congress. The lesson plan has a nice interdisciplinary twist, so it could be utilized in either an English or History class.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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American Cultural History - The Nineteenth Century - Kingwood College Library

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9 to 12
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Stroll through the decades of the 19th century and examine the dramatic changes experienced by American society with the onset of the Industrial Revolution. This site explores social...more
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Stroll through the decades of the 19th century and examine the dramatic changes experienced by American society with the onset of the Industrial Revolution. This site explores social movements, art and literature, pastimes, business, and immigration. Hyperlinks to related topics are liberally sprinkled throughout informative text. Many historic photographs and images are also included. There is A LOT to read and explore on this site, and although it is organized by decade, the site is not searchable. You'll need to rely on chronological knowledge to isolate the subjects you wish investigate with your students.

tag(s): 1800s (47), evolution (102), industrial revolution (25)

In the Classroom

During the units covering each of the decades in the 19th century, assign each student a different portion of the site. Have students work on their sections in pairs, eventually creating an online poster of a summary or what they thought were the most important parts. Use an online poster creator, such as Padlet (reviewed here). The best decades to do this will probably be the Antebellum south through the Gilded age.

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Debating Our Destiny - MacNeil/Lehrer

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8 to 12
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This site presents the presidential debates of the past through the eyes of those who were there. Video clips of debates from 1976 through 1996 are provided along with ...more
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This site presents the presidential debates of the past through the eyes of those who were there. Video clips of debates from 1976 through 1996 are provided along with reflective commentary from the former presidents on their individual performances. The "Behind the Podium" section offers some revealing information about debate preparation and the differences between debate formats (formal vs. town hall). This would be an excellent resource to explore with your students before this year's presidential debates. Use it to generate discussion and encourage analysis.

tag(s): elections (75), politics (99), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and classroom activities hosted on the "teachers" portion of this site. This would be a great way to connect current events to those of past elections - a useful resource for a US government class.

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Race: The Power of an Illusion - PBS

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9 to 12
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This thoughtful resource examines race-related myths, misconceptions, and assumptions that often create injustice and inequity in our society. Students can independently explore an...more
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This thoughtful resource examines race-related myths, misconceptions, and assumptions that often create injustice and inequity in our society. Students can independently explore an interactive tutorial that investigates the concept of "race" and participate in interactive activities that reveal the dangers and difficulties of arbitrary racial classification. The content provides excellent material for class discussions. One of the outstanding features of the sight is a collection of beautifully constructed "slide shows" that focus on the significant role race plays in all of our lives. Considering combining this resource with a lesson on civil rights or immigration. Lesson plans and background readings are provided. Created by California Newsreel.

tag(s): africa (179), african american (114), segregation (15)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an in-class activity to provide students with the background knowledge of what race is before beginning a unit on civil rights and the racial strife of the 20th century.(and beyond if necessary) Have students create concept maps for the ideas presented in the piece, showing new information to them as well as how it's all connected. Use a tool such as bubbl.us (reviewed here) to create and share the concept maps.
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h.i.p. Pocket Change - US Mint

Grades
1 to 6
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This outstanding, incredibly creative site is truly a "treasure" for elementary classroom teachers! Information about coins, the U.S. Mint, and American history are presented in a...more
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This outstanding, incredibly creative site is truly a "treasure" for elementary classroom teachers! Information about coins, the U.S. Mint, and American history are presented in a fun and interactive format with many choices for visitors! For teachers, there are extensive resources including lesson and unit plans, an on-line community for idea-sharing, and a large selection of project ideas for the classroom. Students can follow links to games and interactive cartoons, step into a time machine (coin operated, of course) to learn about significant coin-related events in our nation's history, and join Camp Coin - an online camp where kids can learn about coin collecting. The site also includes information on National Coin Week (did you know there was one?), the new nickel, and the coin of the month.

tag(s): coins (7), money (190)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite on classroom computers and use it as a learning center or station! There are word games, time machines, and art projects that can all be done on this site. Some of the games can also be printed out if that technique works better in your classroom. This is an excellent site to accompany any unit on currency or the Treasury Department in the United States.
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Golden Gate Bridge - PBS

Grades
8 to 12
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American history, economics, geography, and culture are explored in this site that presents unique insight into the construction of one of the world's most famous suspension bridges....more
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American history, economics, geography, and culture are explored in this site that presents unique insight into the construction of one of the world's most famous suspension bridges. Built hundreds of feet above the waters of the San Francisco Bay, the bridge stands as a symbol for many of the riveting themes in 20th century American history including the growth of urban areas, the continued development of the West, the New Deal, and the role of labor and labor unions. The site also features a timeline, video clips, a gallery of on-site construction photos, detailed information about people and events, a discussion of mathematical principles, and a helpful teacher's guide.

tag(s): california (27)

In the Classroom

This site is an excellent accompaniment to the movie with the same name by PBS. The teacher guide offers free lesson plans and activities for history, civics, economics, and geography classes. Beyond that there are also online games, discussion boards, and biography information that would make the site a great learning center or station. Save this site as a favorite and refer to it when discussing architecture, the Golden Gate Bridge, or a period lecture on the 1930's.
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Building America - National Building Museum

Grades
8 to 12
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Explore American architectural design, planning, and construction with this impressive, thought-provoking exhibit of photographs, browsable timelines, audio clips, illustrated essays,...more
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Explore American architectural design, planning, and construction with this impressive, thought-provoking exhibit of photographs, browsable timelines, audio clips, illustrated essays, and much more! Enrich art or history classes with hundreds of images showcasing many monumental and enduring structures - from the U.S. Capitol to the Empire State Building - as well as those that reflect the daily lives of Americans: shopping centers, offices, and suburban homes.

tag(s): architecture (84)

In the Classroom

Challenge students to examine the world we have built and analyze the relationship between our architectural achievements and our national experiences, character, and values. This extensive, easy to navigate site has many interdisciplinary possibilities. Explore it through the lens of your particular curriculum and develop a focus for your students before turning them loose.
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Lest We Forget: The Triumph Over Slavery - Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture

Grades
9 to 12
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This outstanding site documents the transatlantic slave trade and examines the extraordinary triumphs of African people in the Americas. Through vivid images and sensitively written...more
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This outstanding site documents the transatlantic slave trade and examines the extraordinary triumphs of African people in the Americas. Through vivid images and sensitively written text, students can gain an understanding of and appreciation for the rich culture, fierce struggles, and enduring legacies of African Americans. Available in Spanish and French.

tag(s): africa (179), african american (114), slavery (71)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on slavery and it's history in America.Divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. To show what they have learned from this site, challenge students to create an online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here. This would be a great way to introduce the topic without a lecture.
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