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The Battle of Gettysburg

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6 to 12
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This site from Militaryhistoryonline.com offers a complete military historian's resource for understanding the three days of the Gettysburg battle. This details in this site will be...more
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This site from Militaryhistoryonline.com offers a complete military historian's resource for understanding the three days of the Gettysburg battle. This details in this site will be overkill for all but the most enthusiastic civil war buffs, but it provides an excellent overview of the events of the battle. If a field trip to Gettysburg is in your schedule, this site would be a great starting point for either teachers or students.

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

In the Classroom

Use this site to supplement a lecture on the battle of Gettysburg. The site offers a lot of battle layouts and images that would be useful if pulled up on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Before the lecture pull up the images needed on the interactive whiteboard to have them ready for class. The images are mostly battle lay-outs and diagrams, but are helpful to to portray the events of that battle.

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A Time Remembered - University of Rochester

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6 to 12
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Treasured moments from the 1850s are relived in the archived collection of Godey's Lady's Book, the periodical that many scholars say changed the role of the American woman. Each book...more
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Treasured moments from the 1850s are relived in the archived collection of Godey's Lady's Book, the periodical that many scholars say changed the role of the American woman. Each book is full of poetry, sketches and articles by well-known authors of the time. From the University of Rochester.

tag(s): women (101), womens suffrage (26)

In the Classroom

One interesting feature of these books are the articles considering etiquette. During a unit on suffrage or the Women's rights movement, pass out this article or have it projected on to the board as students are coming in to your classroom. Direct students to immediately read the article and respond in some way, whether or be verbal or written in some sort of journal. This is a great comparison to make to the expectations of the suffragettes, and the rules that most in society thought were appropriate. An interesting point would be if someone said this today - are they still right? Why or why not? What things have changed that makes this statement inapplicable now? A great way to connect past and present while getting students connected to the content!

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The Making of America - University of Micigan

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9 to 12
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Journal and periodical articles from antebellum period through reconstruction. Most articles are images of the actual publication. From the University of Michigan. ...more
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Journal and periodical articles from antebellum period through reconstruction. Most articles are images of the actual publication. From the University of Michigan.

tag(s): civil war (145)

In the Classroom

Teachers can either use this site to refer students who are working on research project and are in need of primary sources, or they can use it to search for sources for their own classroom. The sources are primarily from the 19th century, so it would be perfect for studying the Civil War, the Industrial Revolution, or the "Gilded Age."

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The Mexican American War - PBS

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9 to 12
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Here's a site from the PBS station in Dallas that examines the reasons behind the Mexican American War (1846-1848). This is one of the nation's least-studied conflicts, so this resource...more
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Here's a site from the PBS station in Dallas that examines the reasons behind the Mexican American War (1846-1848). This is one of the nation's least-studied conflicts, so this resource could be particularly helpful to students or American History teachers.

tag(s): mexico (34)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities on this site! There is also a great interactive timeline on this site that could be used on the interactive whiteboard or projector to display for students how political boundaries were changed due to the war. This is an excellent resource for a US history classroom.

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The Star Spangled Banner - Smithsonian Institution

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6 to 12
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This site from the Smithsonian documents the historic importance of the flag that flew over Fort McHenry when Francis Scott Key wrote the song that has become our national anthem. ...more
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This site from the Smithsonian documents the historic importance of the flag that flew over Fort McHenry when Francis Scott Key wrote the song that has become our national anthem.

tag(s): war of 1812 (14)

In the Classroom

The site, apparently still under construction, includes a resource page for teachers.

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War of 1812 - Fort Erie Home Page

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9 to 12
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Information and links about the War of 1812. ...more
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Information and links about the War of 1812.

tag(s): war of 1812 (14)

In the Classroom

Use the letters from soldiers about Fort Erie to teach the content in a less direct way. Divide students into 5-6 groups, with each group assigned a different primary source to read and evaluate. Have the groups present quick summaries of their source to the class, making sure to mention who the author is and whether or not there could be bias. After all have presented, have each team pick a representative to argue in front of the class as to why their source is the most reliable and valid. After all have made their argument, have the class vote off the least reliable "survivor style" until you are left with just one! Once students are done, they are not only left with a method of critiquing sources, but the content seen in all 6 letters. A great way to indirectly teach two lessons at once in a social studies classroom!

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The Making of America - Cornell University

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6 to 12
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Cornell University created this site based on a collection of magazines and other printed materials covering the period from roughly 1840 - 1890. The listings show images of the actual...more
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Cornell University created this site based on a collection of magazines and other printed materials covering the period from roughly 1840 - 1890. The listings show images of the actual pages from the journals, so students can see images and text as they originally appeared. This makes the site a great way for students to understand just what people of the period were seeing and reading.

tag(s): journals (21)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource to find primary sources, whether it be for in class activities or for students working on research projects & papers. If using for classroom activities, consider having the pictures serve as prompts, introductory activities, wrap-ups or even as an analytical activity. Students can analyze whats in the picture or primary source for a variety of purposes. If using as a resource for research projects, make sure to include the site on any handouts as well as post on your class wiki or web page.

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The Lewis & Clark Expedition - National Geographic

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4 to 6
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The National Geographic Society authored this site dealing with the Lewis & Clark Expedition. It offers an elementary "you're on board" version of the famous expedition. Students will...more
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The National Geographic Society authored this site dealing with the Lewis & Clark Expedition. It offers an elementary "you're on board" version of the famous expedition. Students will learn the basics of who, what, where, and when, and the format is entertaining.

tag(s): explorers (61), lewis and clark (15)

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Lawmaking for a New Nation - Library of Congress

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9 to 12
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Early Congressional Journals - From the Library of Congress. This site offers access to journals of the first U.S. Congresses. These journals were the precursor to today's Congressional...more
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Early Congressional Journals - From the Library of Congress. This site offers access to journals of the first U.S. Congresses. These journals were the precursor to today's Congressional Record. Primary source material for study of the Federalist period.

tag(s): congress (33), constitution (79)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for finding primary sources that can be used in your classroom. One great way way to do so is through visual discovery, introducing the topic of the Continental Congress. Select 3-5 images from this site, choosing the most powerful and moving images. Placing the images on individual slides, allow students 1-2 minutes to observe each image. During that time period, students should be taking notes based on what they observe, predict and infer about each image. The more powerful and detailed the image is, the more information students can take out. After the class has observed all the chosen images, have a class discussion based on the notes students took. This is a great way to introduce content in a way that gets students thinking, as well as avoiding the typical lecture format.

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The Constitutional Convention

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5 to 12
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Interactive orginal paintings from the Convention, a great resource. ...more
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Interactive orginal paintings from the Convention, a great resource.

tag(s): constitution (79)

In the Classroom

Look at this site before planning your unit on the Founding Fathers and the New Republic in an American History class. Lloyd has provided a new take on the convention, creating a 4 day drama that summarizes the main events. There are a lot of primary sources and fresh takes on the convention here, making this site extremely beneficial to planning ahead for your unit.

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California As I Saw It - Library of Congress

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6 to 12
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The Library of Congress has collected original writings by settlers and explorers in California during the period 1850-1900. Indexed by author, subject, and title, this site offers...more
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The Library of Congress has collected original writings by settlers and explorers in California during the period 1850-1900. Indexed by author, subject, and title, this site offers lots of starting points for talented students interested in using primary source materials for research in history or social studies.

tag(s): california (27), explorers (61), gold rush (19)

In the Classroom

This would be a very useful site for covering the Gold Rush in a US history classroom. Select several documents and images that could be used for a document-centered activity in your classroom. Assign students to groups, with each receiving a different document and/or image. Have students fill out graphic organizers about each document, with the intentions of rotating all until students have received every one. At the end of the activity, have a class discussion of what students found and what their answers indicate. A refreshing way to teach Gold Rush history without another lecture.

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Archiving Early America

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7 to 12
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An Archivist's approach to early American documents and related information. A unique array of original newspapers, maps and writings come to life on screen just as they appeared to...more
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An Archivist's approach to early American documents and related information. A unique array of original newspapers, maps and writings come to life on screen just as they appeared to our forebears more than 200 years ago. These archival materials-- forming as they do a historical record of a significant time in the American experience-- are displayed in their original formats. Special Features: Material from 18th Century America-- all displayed digitally. Historic early American documents, trivia, life in Colonial times, Colonial crossword puzzle.

tag(s): colonial america (107)

In the Classroom

Not only is this site excellent for finding primary sources, but there is a great quiz offered that would be useful during a lesson reviewing a unit about the Revolution through the New Republic. If using learning centers incorporate the site, OR post the site on your class wiki to allow students to access it in and out of the classroom to practice. Very useful for an American history class!

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Rediscovering Jamestown - Virginia Historical Society

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6 to 12
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This site, created by the Virginia Historical Society, provides a look at recent archaeological activities around the site of the original Jamestown fort and settlement. In addition...more
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This site, created by the Virginia Historical Society, provides a look at recent archaeological activities around the site of the original Jamestown fort and settlement. In addition to descriptions and a number of photos, the site offers additional links to other sites dealing with Jamestown and early English settlements in Virginia.

tag(s): explorers (61)

In the Classroom

Use the map of Jamestown as a supplement to a lesson on the colony, and how early settlers lived. There is also information about the early settlement of Jamestown and the complications the recent immigrants faced while there. Beyond the map, students can use this site to find out information on James Fort and what these excavations are showing about life then. If in need of an activity, use this site in conjunction with several others, having students create a multimedia presentation detailing the Jamestown colony and what life was like then. After students have completed their research about Jamestown, have them create a multimedia presentation using UtellStory, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report about Jamestown. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try PhotoPin, reviewed here.

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Florida Archaeology - Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research

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9 to 12
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This site from the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research provides pictures, downloadable Abode Acrobat files, and discussions about life in Florida from pre-history through the...more
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This site from the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research provides pictures, downloadable Abode Acrobat files, and discussions about life in Florida from pre-history through the present. There are sections on ancient cultures, sunken Spanish ships, and many other topics, each presented in enough detail for high school level research papers.

tag(s): explorers (61)

In the Classroom

For research projects and papers, make sure to list this site on any handouts as well as on your class wiki or webpage. This allows students to reference the material both in and out of the classroom.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Columbus Navigation Homepage

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4 to 8
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This is a privately maintained site offering detailed information on each of Columbus' several voyages to the New World. Good resources on navigation in the 15th century. Lots of information,...more
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This is a privately maintained site offering detailed information on each of Columbus' several voyages to the New World. Good resources on navigation in the 15th century. Lots of information, though visually less-than-stunning.

tag(s): explorers (61)

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Welcome To The West - PBS

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4 to 8
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This site provides students with several options in order to fully explore the era known as the Westward Expansion. "Events In The West" is an interactive timeline tracing events from...more
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This site provides students with several options in order to fully explore the era known as the Westward Expansion. "Events In The West" is an interactive timeline tracing events from ancient times to the early twentieth century. "Places In The West" is an interactive map covering the territory and times. "Tour The West" contains a multimedia guide which follows the eight-part PBS documentary series. For students completing research reports, I recommend clicking on " Archives of The West" which contains materials including memoirs, journals, letters, photos, and transcripts used in creating the documentary.

tag(s): westward expansion (29)

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Ghost Towns of the West

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4 to 8
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Ghost towns are a great "hook" to get students interested in how and why frontier towns were settled, and the reasons those towns died out - sometimes only a few ...more
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Ghost towns are a great "hook" to get students interested in how and why frontier towns were settled, and the reasons those towns died out - sometimes only a few years later. This site has ghost towns indexed by state, with maps and a brief history of each town. Visually interesting history with a different twist.

tag(s): gold rush (19), westward expansion (29)

In the Classroom

This may not be the most valid information for your classroom, but it is a way to introduce students to frontier towns and discuss the results of the gold rush and the end of it. Save the game as a favorite on your computer desktop and use it as a learning center or station.

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Gallery of the Open Frontier - University of Nebraska

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4 to 8
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A work in progress from the University of Nebraska. ...more
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A work in progress from the University of Nebraska.

tag(s): westward expansion (29)

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Pony Express History

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4 to 8
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A detailed, text-heavy account of the formation and history of the pony express mail service in the western United States. What this site lacks in visuals it more than makes ...more
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A detailed, text-heavy account of the formation and history of the pony express mail service in the western United States. What this site lacks in visuals it more than makes up for with its collection of colorful stories about the owners and riders in this uniquely American communication service.

tag(s): westward expansion (29)

In the Classroom

Save the "bunkhouse" portion of this site as a favorite and allow students to use it as a learning center. There are many sections student can research as well as a quiz section teachers can use to assess their participation in the webquest. This site would be a great supplement during a unit on Westward expansion.

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The Oregon Trail

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4 to 8
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Another trail site, this one is based on the PBS program by the same name. This resource includes stories from the trail, a chronolgy of the trail's development, and an ...more
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Another trail site, this one is based on the PBS program by the same name. This resource includes stories from the trail, a chronolgy of the trail's development, and an on-line teachers' guide. The site has interesting graphics and a focus on the stories of the people who walked and rode the trail.

tag(s): westward expansion (29)

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