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Wrapped in Pride - Kente Cloth - Smithsonian Institution

Grades
4 to 12
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For an interesting lesson idea, start with this presentation on the creation and use of Ghanian Kente cloth, used in African festivals and ceremonies. This site from the Smithsonian...more
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For an interesting lesson idea, start with this presentation on the creation and use of Ghanian Kente cloth, used in African festivals and ceremonies. This site from the Smithsonian shows how the cloth is made and describes the various ways in which Africans use it. The content is adaptable to many age levels.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113), kwanzaa (9)

In the Classroom

Use this activity here in your own classroom during a unit on African culture. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector to guide the classroom on how and when to wear Kente cloth. Students can do this with their own cloth, just so long as they are still grasping the significance of the real thing. This would be a fun activity during a class period that's devoted to presentations & the like.

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Japanese Americans and the Constitution - Smithsonian Institution

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6 to 12
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The Smithsonian presents this nicely-designed site describing the internment and discrimination against Japanese Americans during World War II. Students can listen to an audio introduction...more
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The Smithsonian presents this nicely-designed site describing the internment and discrimination against Japanese Americans during World War II. Students can listen to an audio introduction which provides a summary of the events of the period, and sets the stage for the larger presentation. This one is well worth a visit.

tag(s): constitution (79), japan (61), japanese (42), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

This site is a great way to address the topics of racism and the Japanese internment in your classroom. Teachers can either save this and use it as a learning center or have the students do it together on classroom computers. Don't teach this topic without looking at this site first!

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Advertising in America - Library of Congress

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6 to 12
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The Library of Congress has created a site which presents information and images from early American adverstising efforts - 1850-1920. The site uses the Library's standard HTML layout,...more
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The Library of Congress has created a site which presents information and images from early American adverstising efforts - 1850-1920. The site uses the Library's standard HTML layout, and as usual, the stars of the exhibit are the archival images that have been digitized and included. If advertising is a measure of society's interests, this site offers a unique glimpse into the past.

tag(s): advertising (33), industrialization (15), news (261), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector during a unit on the Industrial Revolution. The site shows the growth of the economy and its impact on the private sector in a way students most likely have not thought about. Separate students into cooperative learning groups and have them create advertisements for the many inventions and technologies that were developed during the time period. Use the site for inspiration!

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History Matters - George Mason University

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9 to 12
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George Mason University has created what is almost a one stop shopping site for American History. This is a rich resource of primary source materials, introductions to historical analysis,...more
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George Mason University has created what is almost a one stop shopping site for American History. This is a rich resource of primary source materials, introductions to historical analysis, factual material, and much more. The site concentrates on both historical content and the craft of teaching history. This makes it an ideal starting point for social studies or history teachers interested in a fresh approach to their curriculum.

tag(s): states (162)

In the Classroom

This site offers a treasure trove of primary sources that would be useful for any history classroom. Teachers can either use the sources to supplement their lectures, or can use them to start a debate with students on the qualities of effective primary sources. Separate students into groups, and provide each group with a different primary source, although from the same time frame you are studying in class. Have the groups analyze the sources, and a list of reasons as to why or why not their source is a reliable source. From then on, have the groups debate in class which is the most reliable by way of class debate. Not only will the kids synthesize the important information within the sources, but they will also get a handle as to what makes a source reliable.

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Inventors of the Industrial Revolution - TeachersFirst

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5 to 12
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This unit provides an on-line introduction to inventors and inventions of the industrial revolution in England and the United States. In addition to information on key inventors and...more
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This unit provides an on-line introduction to inventors and inventions of the industrial revolution in England and the United States. In addition to information on key inventors and their inventions, there are interactive activities designed for student involvement, timelines, and an interactive quiz. An extensive list of "invention links" lets students learn more about inventions and inventors.This unit is written for middle and high school but is also adaptable for upper elementary.

tag(s): evolution (100), industrial revolution (25), inventors and inventions (101)

In the Classroom

See the lesson ideas page for ways to use this on your interactive whiteboard or with students working on their own. There are several ideas for projects and competitions to engage, challenge, and assess. You will definitely want to share this link on your teacher web page as a review tool, as well.

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Inventing Entertainment - the Edison Recordings - Library of Congress

Grades
6 to 12
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Much of the content in this Library of Congress site about Thomas Edison and his phonographs is beyond the scope of middle schoolers. However, there are sound recordings from the ...more
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Much of the content in this Library of Congress site about Thomas Edison and his phonographs is beyond the scope of middle schoolers. However, there are sound recordings from the original machines that let students listen to the product of Edison's work, and the basic biographical information will be useful for those studying inventors. Explore this one in some depth; there's a lot here.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (101)

In the Classroom

Download some of the sounds and recordings from the database, and use them as part of a learning center during a unit on Inventions & Inventors. Have students listen to the recordings (make sure to include headphones) on classroom computers, writing a short reflection afterwards about what they heard and what their impression was. Students could also compare and contrast the quality of the recordings, noting the vast differences in technology between then and now. This would be a very interesting resource for a US history classroom!

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The Midnight Ride - Paul Revere House

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1 to 12
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A stockpile if information on Paul Revere's midnight ride. There is an interactive map, copies of primary sources, and a few illustrated depictions of his journey. ...more
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A stockpile if information on Paul Revere's midnight ride. There is an interactive map, copies of primary sources, and a few illustrated depictions of his journey.

tag(s): american revolution (86)

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Independence Hall - National Park Service

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1 to 12
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A history of Independence Hall, as well as images and descriptions of the site - as preserved by the National Park Service. ...more
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A history of Independence Hall, as well as images and descriptions of the site - as preserved by the National Park Service.

tag(s): american revolution (86)

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The Pilgrims - National Park Service

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1 to 12
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A Short history of the Pilgrims, from the National Park Service. They also have images, videos and information on Cape Cod National Park. ...more
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A Short history of the Pilgrims, from the National Park Service. They also have images, videos and information on Cape Cod National Park.

tag(s): colonial america (107)

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How the Grinch Stole Election Day

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1 to 12
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Humor for election day (based on the election of 2000). Although this resource was created for the 2000 election, the background information and story is valuable for teaching about...more
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Humor for election day (based on the election of 2000). Although this resource was created for the 2000 election, the background information and story is valuable for teaching about elections in general and for comparing elections as part of U.S. history.

tag(s): elections (75)

In the Classroom

This would be a cute way to teach students about the events of the 2000 election and the voting process. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector, either playing the audio version or have students take turns reading the lyrics. VERY useful for a US history or Government classroom.

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Presidential Biographies - IPL

Grades
4 to 12
3 Favorites 2  Comments
Though the title is probably misleading, this site's collection of information about the presidencies of our nation's leaders has plenty of facts, but little context. One of the more...more
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Though the title is probably misleading, this site's collection of information about the presidencies of our nation's leaders has plenty of facts, but little context. One of the more interesting features are the links to historical documents from different presidencies. This one's useful for very basic research, but it lacks the "who did what" aspects that can make history really interesting.

tag(s): presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Because this is a very organized presentation of the presidents, it would be extremely easy to compare presidents about very specific points. This would be useful in a class discussion of political party differences, campaign spending & finance, and legislation decisions. For comparison purposes, we recommend using an online Venn Diagram to be used on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here).

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This would be good for students doing their own research. Dan, OR, Grades: 0 - 6
This would be great for students doing their own research. Dan, OR, Grades: 0 - 6

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Apollo 11

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4 to 12
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Brief narrative with clickable photos and audio files recounts the course of the mission. From The History Place. ...more
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Brief narrative with clickable photos and audio files recounts the course of the mission. From The History Place.

tag(s): moon (72), space (205)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start your study of Space travel. The audio and images on this site would work really well either on the whiteboard or placed within a powerpoint lecture. This would be a useful resource for an American History course, especially as all the information is practically laid out in lecture format.

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1968 - The Whole World was Watching - Brown University

Grades
6 to 12
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This is a fascinating oral history project, created by Rhode Island high school students and Brown University, which documents individual recollections of the turbulent events of 1968,...more
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This is a fascinating oral history project, created by Rhode Island high school students and Brown University, which documents individual recollections of the turbulent events of 1968, from the war in Viet Nam to assassinations and political upheaval. Written texts as well as audio files make the information available using any browser. Great discussion starter; can also be used as a reference for more detailed study.

tag(s): vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

Play these interview within your own classroom to supplement text or lecture material about Vietnam, Civil rights or Women's Rights. Play the interviews over the interactive whiteboard or projector, allowing students to follow along with the transcripts for better comprehension. One way to assess what students are hearing and learning from the interviews is to have students create an online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here. This would be an excellent resource for a US history course.

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Truman Presidential Library

Grades
6 to 12
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The Truman Library site contains resources from the Truman administration, including photos, documents, and links to other resources dealing with the Truman presidency. ...more
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The Truman Library site contains resources from the Truman administration, including photos, documents, and links to other resources dealing with the Truman presidency.

tag(s): presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Within the "education" section of the site are several lesson plans, for both elementary and secondary teachers. Lessons aren't solely excluded to Truman, but ran the gamit for U.S. history or government. Be sure to save this one as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval later on.

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Red Files - PBS

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6 to 12
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From the PBS series of the same name. The site chronicles the cold war spying duel between the Russian KGB and the western intelligence services. Seductive design and captioning will...more
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From the PBS series of the same name. The site chronicles the cold war spying duel between the Russian KGB and the western intelligence services. Seductive design and captioning will attract the "spy freaks" in your class!

tag(s): cold war (29)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a lesson or unit on the cold war. There is a LOT of information on this sites so teachers can either try to incorporate on several different days or tailor the center to focus on one specific aspect of the KGB. In order to better guide students through the site, we recommend creating a follow-along. For help making easy graphic organizers, try Mindomo, (reviewed here).

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Sputnik - New York Times

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6 to 12
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The New York Times assisted in the creation of this site, which chronicles the Russian launch of the first orbital satellite and the American reaction which followed. Pictures, documentation,...more
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The New York Times assisted in the creation of this site, which chronicles the Russian launch of the first orbital satellite and the American reaction which followed. Pictures, documentation, and context.

tag(s): 1950s (12), cold war (29)

In the Classroom

The primary sources listed on this page could easily supplement a lecture or discussion about sputnik and its' effect on the Cold War. Use the primary sources for research projects or for a class activity requiring students to interpret the various headlines. Assign cooperative learning groups a small collection of the headlines available on the site and have students interpret the events that happened from the sources. The activity could compare and contrast the bias in the various sources OR students could put together a short news brief based on what they see in the headlines. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).

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Congressional Bunker Tour - Carnegie Mellon University

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6 to 12
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Your middle schoolers will love this tour of the 1960s - vintage bunker built under the Greenbrier Hotel to house members of Congress in the event of a nuclear attack. ...more
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Your middle schoolers will love this tour of the 1960s - vintage bunker built under the Greenbrier Hotel to house members of Congress in the event of a nuclear attack. While it may seem humorous today, these photos illustrate the deadly seriousness of the Cold War. The site was created by Carnegie Mellon University.

tag(s): 1950s (12), cold war (29)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an introductory activity before beginning a lesson on the Cold War and how it affected the American morale & psyche. Project the site on the interactive whiteboard, letting students take turns reading aloud the information or reading silently. Have students respond to the information, verbally or in written form, the probability of Congress ever using the bunker. Students can question how realistic the bunker would have been to use, what this says about American fears, or whether or not they would have felt the same fear during this time period. A very interesting resource!

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Cold War Links

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6 to 12
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A collection of resources relating to the Cold War and the 1950s. ...more
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A collection of resources relating to the Cold War and the 1950s.

tag(s): 1950s (12), cold war (29)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite on your desktop if planning for a unit on the Cold War - a lot of information for teachers in need of ideas and a refresher on the content!

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The American 1950s - University of Pennsylvania

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6 to 12
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A look at American politics and society in the 1950s - from the University of Pennsylvania. ...more
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A look at American politics and society in the 1950s - from the University of Pennsylvania.

tag(s): cold war (29)

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The Wars for Vietnam - Vassar College

Grades
9 to 12
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Historical perspective on Vietnam, its history, and the evolution of American involvement. ...more
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Historical perspective on Vietnam, its history, and the evolution of American involvement.

tag(s): vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

This site hosts a TON of information about the Vietnam war - from overviews to primary sources! During a unit studying the Vietnam war, have students use this site as a means to learn some of the basic concepts in a non-lecture format. Create a follow-along for this site using a tool such as Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here). Have students read through the overview offered on classroom computers, while filling out their organizers.

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