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Road Trip Through Washington - Bellingham Public Schools

Grades
3 to 5
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This interactive investigation involves planning a road trip through the state of Washington. This web activity provides an enormous amount of information. The steps of the project...more
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This interactive investigation involves planning a road trip through the state of Washington. This web activity provides an enormous amount of information. The steps of the project are detailed step-by-step. Students need to complete research and then create a brochure to persuade their parents to take this road trip.

tag(s): washington (35)

In the Classroom

This site provides a "Teacher Tips" page with details, lesson schedule, rubrics and more! You could use this as a model for similar investigations of other states, as well.

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ReadyKids - U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Grades
2 to 6
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This unique site is all about being prepared for emergencies and was created by the Department of Homeland Security. The information is presented in a "Kid Friendly", non-scary manner....more
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This unique site is all about being prepared for emergencies and was created by the Department of Homeland Security. The information is presented in a "Kid Friendly", non-scary manner. Topics include "Creating a Kit", "Making a Plan", "Knowing the Facts", and a "Graduate" quiz. There are also interactive games and resources for students, teacher and parents. Specific emergency situations include tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, fires, floods and terrorism. Some of the activities require FLASH.

tag(s): fire (27), fire safety (12), floods (10), safety (92), sun (71), terrorism (47)

In the Classroom

Get an interactive whiteboard and help your class prepare for severe weather, terrorism and more. Most activities are interactive, educational and fun! Check out the "Parents and Teachers" link for lesson plans, standards, activities and more.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Create your own R.A.F.T.S. Prompts for Social Studies - Northern Nevada Writing Project

Grades
4 to 12
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Looking for writing prompts that are fun and geared toward social studies? Trying to reinforce content knowledge using writing? Look no further! This web site offers a great ...more
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Looking for writing prompts that are fun and geared toward social studies? Trying to reinforce content knowledge using writing? Look no further! This web site offers a great way to create writing prompts simply by clicking on an icon and receiving the luck of the draw. The teacher chooses the subject and by random selection, the web site chooses the Role, Audience, Format, Topic and Strong Verb. Students can also create their own, though it may be tricky for lower grades (might require several walk-throughs). Great for students who struggle with brainstorming writing topics.

tag(s): writing (365), writing prompts (94)

In the Classroom

Use this for literature contracts or guided reading assignments. It is also helpful for teachers who are having writer's block! Great way to tie social studies to language arts.

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Flash Earth

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K to 12
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You may be familiar with Google Earth but may not have the ability to install their free software on your computer, either because you are not permitted to or because ...more
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You may be familiar with Google Earth but may not have the ability to install their free software on your computer, either because you are not permitted to or because your computer is not powerful enough to handle it. Try Flash Earth for a simpler tool to explore the earth as you teach geography to any age from kindergarten to seniors. Perhaps you just want to quickly show which way the Conestoga wagons crossed the U.S., or maybe to show where in the world a current events story is taking place. This simple tool, on a projector or interactive whiteboard, is just the trick. Note: You MUST have FLASH on your computer.

tag(s): globe (14), maps (292)

In the Classroom

Use a projector or whiteboard to share a location as art of the background knowledge for a lesson. Be sure to add this link to your teacher web page as a reference tool, as well. Be aware that some world locations have much "fuzzier" satellite images than others. Always preview before your lesson to be sure you can show the features you want students to see. Show elementary students where their "neighborhood" is, perhaps even their streets!

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Trading Card Maker - BigHugeLabs.com

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4 to 12
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Create photo trading cards using images you upload or store on Flickr. Imagine having your students create study aides about famous people using images they draw and scan or photos...more
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Create photo trading cards using images you upload or store on Flickr. Imagine having your students create study aides about famous people using images they draw and scan or photos of themselves impersonating the famous people, such as presidents, explorers, authors, and more. If you celebrate reading by having an "author's tea," why not follow up by asking students to make trading cards for the authors they "met"? Use a similar approach for famous historical figures or even for geometric shapes you photograph with the digital camera. If students write their own "biographies" of the shapes to study from, they will learn for sure! They can even trade each other for favorites.

tag(s): book reports (39), famous people (22), images (272)

In the Classroom

Upload and tag your photo, type information, and print cards. Download finished card to your computer. Use for book reports for literature circles with each student in the group making a card for a different character in the book. This is also an excellent idea for special occasions for special people: mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, school nurse, school secretary, school custodian, favorite aunt, or anyone else! Be sure to print onto cover stock and laminate (if possible). What fabulous (and memorable) gifts. Check out the Big Huge Labs educator account. Easily pre-register students to avoid creating logins, view and download their creations, and view the site advertisement free. You will find information about the Educator Account here.

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Totem Poles - Pat Kramer

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4 to 8
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Learn the basics and debunk the myths about totem poles using the site created by a "transplant" to the Pacific Northwest. Although the write is also selling a book, ...more
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Learn the basics and debunk the myths about totem poles using the site created by a "transplant" to the Pacific Northwest. Although the write is also selling a book, there is significant information, and the photos are helpful in understanding the iconography of totem poles.

In the Classroom

If you use the site with elementary children, you may want to let them partner-read some of the longer text portions. Use this site as part of a unit on indigenous peoples of the Americas, then have the students create their own totems in an authentic way. Art teachers may want to use this as an inspiration for a totem-like project in clay, wood, or other materials. The connections to oral history are fascinating and can lead to lengthy discussion in a history class about how we "know" what we say happened before written history.

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Native American Nations - Lisa Mitten

Grades
3 to 12
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Find Native American nations' own sites and information in this alphabetical index by tribe(with notes as to most recent updates). ...more
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Find Native American nations' own sites and information in this alphabetical index by tribe(with notes as to most recent updates).

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for research papers and projects. Students can search for information about specific tribes or for information that the tribes themselves have put forward. This would be a great resource for a US history class.

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History of the Cherokee - Ken Martin and others

Grades
4 to 12
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This straightforward informational site provides history and images of the Cherokee nation, including important figures, Cherokee law, maps, and events from before European settlers...more
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This straightforward informational site provides history and images of the Cherokee nation, including important figures, Cherokee law, maps, and events from before European settlers until now. The site creator is himself a mixed blood Cherokee.

In the Classroom

Steer clear of the genealogy links. They are either selling something or they do not work. This is a great site for basic background information, such as you could seek with a scavenger hunt.

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Native Tech: Native American Technology and Art - Tara Prindle

Grades
3 to 12
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This site features art and cultural information of native Americans, focusing especially on the Eastern Woodlands region. There is information on , Birds & Feathers, Clay & Pottery,...more
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This site features art and cultural information of native Americans, focusing especially on the Eastern Woodlands region. There is information on , Birds & Feathers, Clay & Pottery, Leather & Clothes, Metalwork, Plants & Trees, Porcupine Quills, Stonework & Tools, and Weaving & Cordage. Some of the text passages may be a bit lengthy, but there are also interactive ways for students to get a "hands on" feel, such as with the beadwork interactive game. The sections under Special Features are certain to make the culture come alive for elementary and middle school students.

In the Classroom

Give students a scavenger hunt to learn the basics about the culture you are studying, then allow them to try some of the interactive games, ass based on the content of the site. This would be a great way to build background knowledge while studying American history or literature that deals with Native Americans.

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Indigenous Peoples Literature - Glenn Welker

Grades
4 to 12
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This site is a wealth of resources on indigenous peoples of the Americas, including both North and South America. You can find poetry, artwork, daily wisdom, information about languages...more
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This site is a wealth of resources on indigenous peoples of the Americas, including both North and South America. You can find poetry, artwork, daily wisdom, information about languages and leaders, and much more. Be sure to scroll down within the frame set or you will miss most of the content. The maps of the native languages are especially interesting if you teach about westward expansion in the U.S. This site would also provide excellent background for reading of any literature about life among the native Americans, such as A Light in the Forest.

In the Classroom

Use this site to build background knowledge and understanding as part of literature, social studies, or art units. Share portions on a projector.There are times when the frame set of the site is annoying. If it gets in your way, go back on click and RIGHT click on the link you want, choosing "open in new window" to escape the box!

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Yahooligans News - Yahoo

Grades
2 to 8
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Children see the latest news stories (Sports, Entertainment, Top Stories, Animals, Science and Nature, and Grab Bag) organized into slide slows so there is minimal reading and a new...more
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Children see the latest news stories (Sports, Entertainment, Top Stories, Animals, Science and Nature, and Grab Bag) organized into slide slows so there is minimal reading and a new photo for each focus item. In addition, there is another link to the most important story, for a recent movie, and an opportunity for children to vote on a news question.

tag(s): movies (71), news (263)

In the Classroom

Share a current events story on a projector or interactive whiteboard as a day-starter while children trickle in from the bus. Note: if you send students to this site on their own, they may be distracted by numerous "fun" offerings from Yahooligans (music videos, celebrity info, etc). You may want to give them specific guidleines about where they are permitted to go.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Laura Ingalls Wilder - Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society

Grades
K to 6
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This informative site offers the students information, educational activities and games. For younger students there are age-appropriate photos, text, coloring pages and simple interactive...more
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This informative site offers the students information, educational activities and games. For younger students there are age-appropriate photos, text, coloring pages and simple interactive learning activities. For older children, there are photos, research, a quiz and interactive checkers. Some pages of this site require FLASH.

tag(s): authors (121)

In the Classroom

Try an interactive whiteboard and introduce your students to the lovely Laura Ingalls Wilder. There are activities here for all elementary-aged students.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Thanksgiving Writing Prompts and More - ABC Teach

Grades
1 to 5
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On this webpage you will discover reading comprehension activities (for primary and upper elementary), coloring pages, interactive activities for most subject areas, and writing prompts...more
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On this webpage you will discover reading comprehension activities (for primary and upper elementary), coloring pages, interactive activities for most subject areas, and writing prompts all based on a Thanksgiving theme.

tag(s): reading comprehension (121), thanksgiving (33), writing (365)

In the Classroom

Use the entertaining prompts to start your class blog entries or journal writing activities for Thanksgiving. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Pen.io, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration. If you are teaching younger students and looking for an easy way to integrate technology and check for understanding, challenge your students to create a blog using EasyBlog, reviewed here. After completing a couple of the writing prompts, challenge older students to choose one and create a script for their story; then put it into a Thanksgiving podcast. Use a tool like Buzzsprout, reviewed here.

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Thanksgiving History - Fourth World Documentation Project

Grades
3 to 5
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This simple, text-based site includes a narrative about Thanksgiving, recipes, and more. The narrative provides an excellent resource for a unit that examines the first inhabitants...more
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This simple, text-based site includes a narrative about Thanksgiving, recipes, and more. The narrative provides an excellent resource for a unit that examines the first inhabitants of the Plymouth region (the Wampanoag), their culture, and the impact of the arrival of the Pilgrims upon their lives. The site describes the establishment and eventual deterioration of friendships between the early colonists and the Wampanoag. A study guide and discussion questions are included, along with ideas for enrichment. This is more than the usual cute Thanksgiving story and seeks to debunk many myths.

tag(s): thanksgiving (33)

In the Classroom

Use this site as background for your pre-Thanksgiving lessons or create a scavenger hunt using the questions from the More Information for Teachers section. Have students wok in teams to create a booklet or PowerPoint presentation from a different angle: A Virtual Tour of the First Thanksgiving or a Guide for European Settlers to Life Among the Wampanoags.

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You are the Historian Investigating the First Thanksgiving - Plimouth Plantation

Grades
3 to 6
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Investigating the First Thanksgiving - What was it really like?? Plimoth Plantation museum offers a Flash-based Thanksgiving lesson that will introduce students to the cultures and...more
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Investigating the First Thanksgiving - What was it really like?? Plimoth Plantation museum offers a Flash-based Thanksgiving lesson that will introduce students to the cultures and customs of both the Pilgrim and Wampanoag peoples. This presentation blends information about lots of everyday activities and customs with a look at what the actual "first Thanksgiving" might have looked like. Requires Flash. A message on the site warns that traffic near Thanksgiving can make the site very sluggish and offers directions to download it to your local computer.

tag(s): pilgrims (16), thanksgiving (33)

In the Classroom

A complete teachers guide gives you ideas for using this resource in the classroom. Use a projector or interactive whiteboard to introduce the site, then assign students to complete the investigation in small groups or with a partner. You can spread the activity over several days at a computer cluster in your classroom or do it all at once in a lab.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The First Thanksgiving - Scholastic

Grades
2 to 8
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This informative and interactive website introduces students to the first Thanksgiving. The three main areas of this site include Voyage of the Mayflower, Daily Life, and The Thanksgiving...more
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This informative and interactive website introduces students to the first Thanksgiving. The three main areas of this site include Voyage of the Mayflower, Daily Life, and The Thanksgiving Feast. There are video and audio clips, compare/contrast activities and more. This site required FLASH.

tag(s): pilgrims (16), thanksgiving (33)

In the Classroom

Get an interactive whiteboard and take your students back to the 1600s! Teachers can utilize the comparing and contrasting activities to help their students have a better understanding of the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags. After completing the activities, challenge your students to put themselves back in time and become either a Pilgrim or a Wamphoag and create journals entries for the days leading up to this year's Thanksgiving holiday. Use a tool like Penzu, reviewed here. With Penzu you can add images or your own artwork as illustrations. Another idea would be to have students create a moov on moovly, reviewed here, to show comparisons of Thanksgiving now and then. Be sure students give credit for any images them may use from the Internet. A good tool to make sure this gets done is to require they use a Creative Commons tool such as Photo Pin, reviewed here. Study history not false information. Check out the Teacher's Guides and the More Teaching Ideas.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Dust Bowl Memories - Lyndon and Barbara Irwin

Grades
4 to 8
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This powerful WebQuest takes students back to the "Dust Bowl". Research, pictures and videos are provided. The final tasks include an interview, writing an original "tall tale," and...more
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This powerful WebQuest takes students back to the "Dust Bowl". Research, pictures and videos are provided. The final tasks include an interview, writing an original "tall tale," and creating a PowerPoint presentation. Quicktime is required for the video clips. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): agriculture (58), great depression (27)

In the Classroom

To provide something new and get students interested, consider having them use a tool like Google Docs, reviewed here
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Moving To The Land of the Big Red Apple - Lyndon Irwin

Grades
3 to 6
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This unique WebQuest is about Laura Ingalls Wilder's move from South Dakota to Missouri. Topics include prairies, apples, wheat, beans, history of Laura Ingalls Wilder and more! The...more
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This unique WebQuest is about Laura Ingalls Wilder's move from South Dakota to Missouri. Topics include prairies, apples, wheat, beans, history of Laura Ingalls Wilder and more! The tasks include writing, diagramming a map and preparing a chart. An evaluative tool is provided.

tag(s): agriculture (58), air (146), prairie (10)

In the Classroom

This is a great cross-curricular activity involving science, language arts, history and geography! Don't forget to check out the "teachers page" that provides a lot of details for the web activities.

Include this webquest as you study westward expansion or American rural culture. You could also share portions of a Laura Ingalls Wilder book aloud as your after-recess reading selection.

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An A-Maize-ing Plant- Corn - Cheryl McGinness

Grades
2 to 6
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This simple WebQuest introduces students to the various uses of corn. The task involves "teaching" Christopher Columbus (who has arrived via time capsule) about the many uses of corn....more
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This simple WebQuest introduces students to the various uses of corn. The task involves "teaching" Christopher Columbus (who has arrived via time capsule) about the many uses of corn. Students are asked to create an oral presentation to share with the class. A detailed rubric is provided.

tag(s): pilgrims (16)

In the Classroom

It might be good to review this WebQuest as a class and then send students to a few specific sites to gather their research. There are numerous links provided. Great information, but younger students will need assistance navigating this site.

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Colonial Williamsburg Multimedia Pages - Colonial Williamsburg

Grades
3 to 12
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This site provides over 30 photographs of scenes at Colonial Williamsburg that can be downloaded at no cost. They can be used as computer wallpaper, or could be compiled ...more
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This site provides over 30 photographs of scenes at Colonial Williamsburg that can be downloaded at no cost. They can be used as computer wallpaper, or could be compiled into a slide show. There are also links to podcasts and downloadable ring tones.

tag(s): colonial america (108), williamsburg (11)

In the Classroom

History teachers with a computer cluster in the classroom could use these various wallpapers to "set the mood" for an early American unit. Really hard core American history fans can download colonial ringtones (is that an oxymoron?) for their cell phones including fife and drums, Patrick Henry's "Give Me Liberty" speech or colonial African American songs. If you are using an interactive whiteboard or projector for your American History lesson, why not use a multimedia activator/anticipatory set at the start of your lesson?

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