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State and Local Governments

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6 to 12
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Piperinfo's state government site offers a meta-index of each state's web presence. The results are generally only as good as the information offered by the states themselves, but this...more
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Piperinfo's state government site offers a meta-index of each state's web presence. The results are generally only as good as the information offered by the states themselves, but this site can save tons of time in searching the sites for the precise information you're after.

tag(s): states (164)

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State and Local Government Resources - Library of Congress

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6 to 12
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This collection from the Library of Congress includes links to state-specific govenment and legal information from a variety of official and independent sources. There are collections...more
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This collection from the Library of Congress includes links to state-specific govenment and legal information from a variety of official and independent sources. There are collections of state statutes, web site directories, state constitutions, and much more. Very useful resource for state history assignments or any study of state-specific government.

tag(s): states (164)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource if making state profiles during an American History or Government class. Assign students different states to study, allowing them to research specific aspects about their assigned state. To show what they have learned from this site, challenge students to create an online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here.

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Winning the Vote - Smithsonian Institution

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4 to 12
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This site, part of the Smithsonian Institution's "Art to Zoo" series, presents an introduction to political campaigns, advertising strategies, and electioneering. The entire unit, including...more
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This site, part of the Smithsonian Institution's "Art to Zoo" series, presents an introduction to political campaigns, advertising strategies, and electioneering. The entire unit, including teacher guide, discussion questions, and lesson plans, is available as a series of downloadable Adobe Acrobat PDF files which can be printed and used at home or in the classroom.

tag(s): elections (78), politics (100)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans hosted on this site! This would be a great addition to a US government class, just make sure to save it as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval later on.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Thomas Legislative Database - Library of Congress

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6 to 12
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Maintained by the Library of Congress, Thomas contains information on the status of federal legislation, Federal Register, and daily schedules including committee meetings. Thomas is...more
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Maintained by the Library of Congress, Thomas contains information on the status of federal legislation, Federal Register, and daily schedules including committee meetings. Thomas is geared to provide current status on as much legislation as possible. Required reading for those studying American government.

tag(s): congress (34), house of representatives (9), senate (9)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a reference for finding information about specific legislation to supplement your unit. For example, teachers working on a unit about civil rights can find information about laws regarding equality and the progress that has been made. Likewise, this can be used during discussions on the Legislative Branch, Separation of powers, Healthcare reform, environmental policy, etc. A great resource for a US government class.

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U.S. Senate - U. S. Senate

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9 to 12
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Use this well-organized, comprehensive resource to explore the structure, function, history, and art of the Senate. Students can connect with their state senators and learn about legislative...more
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Use this well-organized, comprehensive resource to explore the structure, function, history, and art of the Senate. Students can connect with their state senators and learn about legislative leadership; research and track bills, votes, or nominations; explore related art and exhibits; and discover books, documents, and other resources about Congress and the U.S. government. There is quite a bit to investigate on this site, and it is definitely worth a few class periods in the computer lab.

tag(s): congress (34), senate (9)

In the Classroom

Within the section on the Oral History Project are clips on various subjects. Most importantly for a Modern US history course is a clip on de facto segregation that could be played for students over a projector and speaker system. This would be a great supplement to a textbook, as well primary sources and oral history.

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Supreme Court Database - Cornell Univesity

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9 to 12
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This is Cornell University's Supreme Court site, containing decisions past and current, court schedules, biographical information, and decision analyses. The information is well organzed,...more
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This is Cornell University's Supreme Court site, containing decisions past and current, court schedules, biographical information, and decision analyses. The information is well organzed, though sometimes bit dense for young users.

tag(s): supreme court (23)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a point of reference for finding incredibly detailed information about cases that can be used in your US government or history classroom. Cases are organized by topic, author, etc making them extremely easy to find a case that can accompany your already determined unit.

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The Supreme Court

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6 to 12
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Though several law schools have maintained excellent Supreme Court sites for years, the Court now has its own site, containing dockets, decisions, historical information, and much more....more
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Though several law schools have maintained excellent Supreme Court sites for years, the Court now has its own site, containing dockets, decisions, historical information, and much more. This site is not written for students, so they may need help with some areas.

tag(s): supreme court (23)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource to find recent court cases that have come before the Supreme court as well as a means to search for opinions, writings, biographies, etc. US government teachers will be able to use this site during a unit or lesson on the judicial branch, or during a class debate about a specific piece of legislation.

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Oyez, Oyez - Northwestern University

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9 to 12
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A multimedia Supreme Court database developed at Northwestern University with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Includes case summaries indexed by name, date and...more
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A multimedia Supreme Court database developed at Northwestern University with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Includes case summaries indexed by name, date and subject, audio files of oral arguments, and biographies of Supreme Court justices. Audio files require RealAudio player.

tag(s): supreme court (23)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a point of reference for finding information on significant cases, justices, and the processes that go into a Supreme Court case. US government teachers can use this site in their classroom during a unit/lesson on the judicial branch or during a classroom debate of specific legislation.

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Famous Trials of the Twentieth Century

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9 to 12
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This collection was developed at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. While intended for college students, it presents a wealth of information on more than a dozen different high-profile...more
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This collection was developed at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. While intended for college students, it presents a wealth of information on more than a dozen different high-profile 20th century court cases, including the Scopes trial. The site also includes references to other resources dealing with American courts in the 20th century.

tag(s): courts (15)

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Tour the U.S. Capitol - US Government

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6 to 12
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This site from the Architect of the U.S. Capitol offers historical information as well as a collection of photos showing key features. There is also an "interactive tour," but the ...more
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This site from the Architect of the U.S. Capitol offers historical information as well as a collection of photos showing key features. There is also an "interactive tour," but the site navigation is complex enough that you should probably do some serious previewing before turning students loose on this one.

tag(s): architecture (85)

In the Classroom

If teaching about initial plans for the construction of DC and how those developed, use the images from this site to compliment a class discussion or lecture. Within the teacher and students page, there are numerous images that detail L'enfant's original ideas for DC. Teachers can incorporate these in graphic organizers or even a slide-show over the interactive whiteboard.

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The Capitol - An Interactive Tour - University of Virginia

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6 to 12
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Well, sort of. This site from the University of Virginia offers lots of images of artwork and statues in the U.S. Capitol, as well as additional references, but interactive 3D ...more
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Well, sort of. This site from the University of Virginia offers lots of images of artwork and statues in the U.S. Capitol, as well as additional references, but interactive 3D it isn't. Still, it's an interesting collection of images for those interested in a glimpse of what's inside.

tag(s): architecture (85)

In the Classroom

Use any of the separate sections on this website as learning center or stations during lesson(s) on the architecture and symbolism of our capitol's historic buildings. Have students explore the site individually or cooperative learning groups as an introductory activity. Because there is a lot of material on the site, create follow-alongs to guide students and highlight what is most important on the site. For help making easy graphic organizers, try: Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).

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Congressional Quarterly Online

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9 to 12
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The on-line edition of CQ offers up-to-the-minute "inside thebeltway" reporting on Congressional activities, pending legislation, and related news. ...more
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The on-line edition of CQ offers up-to-the-minute "inside thebeltway" reporting on Congressional activities, pending legislation, and related news.

tag(s): congress (34), senate (9)

In the Classroom

Great resource for the political junkies in your class!

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Congressional Directory

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1 to 12
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x ...more
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tag(s): biographies (88), congress (34)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a starting point for students working on biographies or research projects about specific congressmen. Although the biographies are short, they provide other resources that could easily be followed up with!

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The American Presidents

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1 to 12
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x ...more
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tag(s): biographies (88), presidents (132)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a point of reference for information about our Presidents. Students could use this site as a spring board for research projects, or historical heads. For historical heads, have students draw inside of a blank outline of a human face graphic representations of the president chosen for their project. Students should be able to describe and explain all representations, but it's a great way for them to organize their ideas and provide more memorable symbols for facts that they need to know.

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Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness - Yale University

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1 to 12
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XX ...more
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XX

tag(s): american revolution (89)

In the Classroom

If in need for some new material during a lesson on the American Revolution, take advantage of this one provided by Yale University. Just make sure to save it as a favorite on your classroom computer, to allow for easy retrieval later on.

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Raising the Titanic

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6 to 9
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This site from the Discovery Channel traces efforts to dive to the Titanic wreck, examine the remains of the liner, and determine precisely how and why the "unsinkable" ship sank. ...more
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This site from the Discovery Channel traces efforts to dive to the Titanic wreck, examine the remains of the liner, and determine precisely how and why the "unsinkable" ship sank. This site is an intriguing combination of history and state-of-the-art science. There are plenty of photos, as well as detailed explanations of both the ship and the high-tech effort to reach and explore the wreck.

tag(s): engineering (127)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on transportation developments in the early 20th century. Make sure to include headphones for this activity as the videos have audio. This activity also works best with a guide for students - we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).

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The Myth of the Melting Pot - Washington Post

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9 to 12
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A site which takes a new twist on immigration, suggesting that cultures meld into the American tapestry differently than they once did. Pictures, readings, and suggestions for further...more
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A site which takes a new twist on immigration, suggesting that cultures meld into the American tapestry differently than they once did. Pictures, readings, and suggestions for further discussion.

tag(s): cultures (107), immigration (58), migration (59)

In the Classroom

Teachers looking for another perspective to add to a class discussion on assimilation or immigration should add this article to their curriculum. Have students read the article as homework or as an in-class activity, via individual classroom computers. Students should read quietly and then respond or reflect in some manner. Teachers can do this via classroom discussion, or can have students work on this via blogpost on your class wiki. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.

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Ellis Island - Original Images

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4 to 12
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This site from the California Museum of Photography uses original stereo photos of Ellis Island to give students a first-hand look at the largest entry point to America. Though the...more
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This site from the California Museum of Photography uses original stereo photos of Ellis Island to give students a first-hand look at the largest entry point to America. Though the quality of the images is uneven, some of the faces make wonderful starting points for a discussion of, "What's going on here..." or "How would you feel if..." If you're creative, this is nice raw material.

tag(s): immigration (58), migration (59)

In the Classroom

Use the images on this site to create a "picture walk" in your classroom, introducing the topic of immigration in the 19th and 20th century. Select 10-15 of the more powerful and diverse images, hanging them up in different locations around your classroom. Have students rotate around the classroom every 30-45 seconds, jotting down what they observe and infer about each image until the entire class has completed the circuit. After the class is back in their seats, have a class discussion based on what they observed and what this says about the immigration experience. A great way to get students thinking about the content in a way that's more personal and lecture-less!

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Immigration Simulation - Ellis Island

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6 to 12
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On its surface, this site appears to be simply a "virtual tour" of Ellis Island. However, the Teacher's section contains a good deal of information on how to create an ...more
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On its surface, this site appears to be simply a "virtual tour" of Ellis Island. However, the Teacher's section contains a good deal of information on how to create an on-site, interdisciplinary immigration experience for students. There are tips on content, involving parents, and other aspects of the project. Well worth a look if you're studying this time period.

tag(s): ellis island (9), immigration (58), migration (59)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and classroom activities hosted on this site! Make sure to save this one as a favorite to allow for easier retrieval later on.

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Immigrant Wall of Honor

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6 to 12
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Information on immigration, Ellis Island, ethnic migrations. ...more
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Information on immigration, Ellis Island, ethnic migrations.

tag(s): ellis island (9), immigration (58), migration (59), new york (26)

In the Classroom

Use the "search names" option to allow students to search for their ancestors who came through Ellis Island, or even to see if they can find anyone with a like-name. The activity could be a great writing prompt, with students writing a diary entry of the person they found, detailing what it must have been like the pass through Ellis Island. There would have to be additional resources available about Ellis Island, but it could make for a great activity!

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