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Core Documents of U.S. Democracy - Government Printing Office

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7 to 12
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Access current and historical U.S. government documents with the click of a mouse. This electronic collection includes the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Gettysburg Address, Emancipation...more
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Access current and historical U.S. government documents with the click of a mouse. This electronic collection includes the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Gettysburg Address, Emancipation Proclamation, as well as Supreme Court decisions, the Budget of the United States Government, and so much more. Selected and authenticated by the Government Printing Office's GPO Access service.

tag(s): american revolution (89)

In the Classroom

Use this as a resource for research projects or papers, particularly those debating a specific court decision or amendment. Useful resource for a US government class!

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Time and Life Pictures - Getty Images

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7 to 12
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Art, Literature, U.S. History - Works by some of the greatest photographers of the 20th century are represented in this massive collection of powerful images documenting memorable events...more
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Art, Literature, U.S. History - Works by some of the greatest photographers of the 20th century are represented in this massive collection of powerful images documenting memorable events in American politics and culture. Project selected photos in class to introduce an event in history, inspire student photographers, or introduce a writing prompt. The sight is searchable and quite user-friendly. A fee is required to download images.

tag(s): photography (162)

In the Classroom

Use the photos found in this site for writing prompts. Search within the site or browse the subjects offered to find one that corresponds to a unit being studied. A good example would be the images taken of the Great Depression. Pull up a select few of the images and prompt students to tell the story of what is happening in the image, the emotions seen, and what kind of impact this is meant to have of the viewer. An activity like this does require some background knowledge so this might better suited towards the end of a unit as review. This site would benefit teachers of nearly any subject, especially history, language arts, civics and science.

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Childe Hassam: American Impressionist - Metropolitan Museum of Art

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9 to 12
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Take your art students on a virtual tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art with this impressive retrospective highlighting the work of Childe Hassam, one of America's leading impressionist...more
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Take your art students on a virtual tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art with this impressive retrospective highlighting the work of Childe Hassam, one of America's leading impressionist artists. More than 120 oil paintings, watercolors, pastels and prints are featured, depicting nostalgic views of well-known sites across America and Europe. Details of each image can be explored with the click of a mouse, and descriptive captions are provided for each work. A lengthy chronology of Hassam's life is included along with an excerpt from a delightful silent film (produced by the Met in 1932) about the artist. Portions of this site would be quite at home in an American history class! Be sure to investigate the "Family Feature" link which offers an interactive "Meet the Artist" activity, timeline, and several "Closer Look" activities designed for younger students.

tag(s): artists (76), painting (66)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an introductory activity on the interactive whiteboard to impressionism in the US. The images on the site are excellent representations of impressionism and can be used as examples to help students characterize it.

Divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Have them compare and contrast what they note about impressionism to other styles that have been studied before in class. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Have students print out their diagrams OR display their findings on the interactive whiteboard to their peers.

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History Detectives - PBS

Grades
6 to 8
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Although this site is a companion to a PBS series by the same name, many of the activities can be used independently to tap into your students deductive reasoning abilities. ...more
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Although this site is a companion to a PBS series by the same name, many of the activities can be used independently to tap into your students deductive reasoning abilities. Prowl through the rooms of a virtual house to investigate clues and determine its age; open a time capsule to examine its contents and decide when it was originally buried; and learn about the many techniques used by historical sleuths, including forensic anthropology, DNA analysis, timber dating, and document examination. Some very creative interdisciplinary connections between science and historical research can be drawn from the resources on this site. Let your imagination run with this one!

tag(s): anthropology (11)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities offered on this site. Some can actually be used for other subjects beyond history - for example, there is a lesson on how to interview eye-witnesses that would be useful in a writing or English class. There are also videos of the show that can pertain to a particular unit. A few exist on the civil war that would be great to play during a US history course to add more interest and intrigue to the study of the war. Save this site as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval of lesson plans and activities!

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Gettysburg National Military Park Virtual Tour - National Park Service

Grades
7 to 12
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The story of the decisive battle of Gettysburg is told through battle images, tactical diagrams, biographies and eyewitness accounts. Distinctive sections provide insight on each day...more
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The story of the decisive battle of Gettysburg is told through battle images, tactical diagrams, biographies and eyewitness accounts. Distinctive sections provide insight on each day of the battle and allow visitors to "tour" the actual sites involved in the conflict. Students can experience the historical value of primary source information when they click on "Voices of Battle" link, which includes reminiscences from those who witnessed the bloodshed. While this site provides a beautifully detailed account of the battle, students may become bogged down by the extensive text. Use as a resource for in-class research, or as the focus of a Web hunt activity.

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

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Famous Moments in Early American History

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6 to 12
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These eight, high-quality mini-movies highlight true stories of historical significance using scenes and portraits from Early America. Titles include "The Ben Franklin Story," "Declaring...more
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These eight, high-quality mini-movies highlight true stories of historical significance using scenes and portraits from Early America. Titles include "The Ben Franklin Story," "Declaring Independence," "The Treason of Benedict Arnold," "Paul Revere - Messenger of the Revolution," and more! Project in the classroom, or take your students to the computer lab for an impressive multimedia experience. A high speed connection is a must!

tag(s): colonial america (108), declaration of independence (13), franklin (12)

In the Classroom

Use these quick videos as a way to either review or introduce the American Revolution in your classroom. There is a lot of material in here, so we recommend creating some kind of graphic organizer or follow-along to help students digest and remember what's important.
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Death of the Dream - KTCA

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9 to 12
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This Website presents the stories behind the farms, homes, people, and culture of Midwestern America. The American Dream is traced through historical photographs documenting the booming...more
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This Website presents the stories behind the farms, homes, people, and culture of Midwestern America. The American Dream is traced through historical photographs documenting the booming family farms that once dotted the landscape. Students can take a virtual tour of a prairie farmhouse, and explore the "literary connection" by following links to classic works inspired by rural America. This would be an excellent addition to a unit on westward expansion or twentieth century American literature.

tag(s): agriculture (57)

In the Classroom

Use the "virtual farmhouse" as a learning center or station during a unit on Westward expansion or while establishing background for the Dustbowl. If using to provide context for the Great Depression, have students compare the prairie of the site to what the prairie turned into during the great drought of the 30's. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Using the tool, students can create their own in groups or do it as a class on the interactive whiteboard.
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Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga - Smithsonian Natural History Museum

Grades
5 to 12
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Climb aboard your own longship and take an amazing journey across the stormy Atlantic! The Viking Voyage, a narrated multi-media journey, is an amazing feature in this impressive online...more
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Climb aboard your own longship and take an amazing journey across the stormy Atlantic! The Viking Voyage, a narrated multi-media journey, is an amazing feature in this impressive online exhibition that documents the arrival of the Norsemen in the New World more than 1000 years ago. As the fascinating saga unfolds, students can learn how archaeology, saga studies, environmental studies, and human genetics have changed our understanding of the Vikings. This is a site to be explored in the computer lab with stereo headphones.

tag(s): ireland (12), vikings (10)

In the Classroom

Use the exhibit portion of this site as a learning center or station during a unit on the Vikings. For help creating a graphic organizer to accompany the center, we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).In the learning center there are also guides for both parents and teachers on how to use the site, so be sure to look for free lesson plans or classroom activities. This would be a helpful site for a world history classroom.
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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 (89), colonial america (108), evolution (101)

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

Grades
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 (2), plagiarism (35)

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

Grades
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

Grades
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 (163)

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.
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War Letters - PBS

Grades
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 (13)

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 (123), racism (19)

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

Grades
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 (72), 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

Grades
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

Grades
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 (39), 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 (26), nazis (10), world war 2 (142)

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

Grades
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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