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Podcasts from Colonial Williamsburg - Colonial Williamsburg

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4 to 12
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Listen to Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and many lesser known inhabitants and visitors to the colony. Even some of today's actors tell about their roles as craftspeople and "residents"...more
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Listen to Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and many lesser known inhabitants and visitors to the colony. Even some of today's actors tell about their roles as craftspeople and "residents" of Colonial Williamsburg.

tag(s): jefferson (19), williamsburg (12)

In the Classroom

You can play these through a regular computer. You need speakers for more than one person to hear or headphones in a lab. You can also download onto an iPod for portable listening, if you or your students have them. Uses Quicktime to play the audio and may take a bit to download and play. The wait is worth it.

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Historical Travel Itineraries - National Register of Historic Places

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4 to 9
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Designed for trip-planning, this site also works well for students researching a city or region, for planning an "imaginary adventure" or as part of a larger webquest or other online...more
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Designed for trip-planning, this site also works well for students researching a city or region, for planning an "imaginary adventure" or as part of a larger webquest or other online geography activity. The sites include scores of little-known places that have historic importance for one reason or another.

tag(s): architecture (83)

In the Classroom

Try this one as the basis for a "did you know" contest, asking students to unearth little-known facts about a topic of interest to them.

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American Revolution - National Park Service

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4 to 8
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This new (2006) site from NPS groups the parks associated with the American Revolution and suggests parks appropriate for study of particular revolutionary themes. While short on lessons...more
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This new (2006) site from NPS groups the parks associated with the American Revolution and suggests parks appropriate for study of particular revolutionary themes. While short on lessons and simulations, there is abundant information on many of the locations where important events during the revolution took place.

tag(s): american revolution (86), evolution (100)

In the Classroom

If in a state that was one of the original 13 colonies, use this site to discover a site that would be prime for a field trip. In addition, teachers can share this site on the interactive whiteboard or projector as a way to preview for students what they are about to see. In addition to the sites, the park service also offers a "Guide to the Revolution," that teachers can use as supplementary material in their classroom. Note - the guide is text heavy, so only use it if in an advanced class or or one where you feel comfortable with students reading abilities and interests.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Smithsonian Global Sound - Smithsonian Institution

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1 to 12
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Listen to and learn about traditional music from cultures around the world and through the ages. Browse this amazing collection of downloadable tunes to find musical enrichment to enhance...more
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Listen to and learn about traditional music from cultures around the world and through the ages. Browse this amazing collection of downloadable tunes to find musical enrichment to enhance a unit of study. Full downloads in MP3 or FLAC format are available for purchase but each offering is accompanied by a free audio sample. Note: this site opens rather slowly.Be patient, especially if you are on a dial-up connection.

tag(s): songs (52)

In the Classroom

Search this site for songs to supplement your unit in a US or World history class. This teacher was able to find a song about the suffrage movement, and was able to teach the beliefs of suffrage through student analysis of the lyrics and tone. Be sure to search - there are literally tons of songs that can be used for a variety of curriculum.

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Jamestown Online Adventure

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4 to 7
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Imagine that you are the governor of the Jamestown colony, relying on your problem-solving skills, information from fellow colonists, and advice from Native Americans to ensure the...more
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Imagine that you are the governor of the Jamestown colony, relying on your problem-solving skills, information from fellow colonists, and advice from Native Americans to ensure the success and growth of the settlement. This interactive game places visitors in that role as it keeps score of choices made regarding food, health, money, and morale. At the end, a detailed report on the state of the colony (based on the user's decisions) is generated.

tag(s): jamestown (11), virginia (16)

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Age of Exploration - Mariners' Museum

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3 to 7
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Learn about the courageous voyages that changed the course of human history with this comprehensive collection of activities, narratives, and teaching materials. Visual images and text...more
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Learn about the courageous voyages that changed the course of human history with this comprehensive collection of activities, narratives, and teaching materials. Visual images and text are woven together to create a useful resource for content enrichment and student research. Visit the "Activities for Students and Teachers" for ready-to-go activities with printable handouts that can be incorporated into transparencies, presentations, or reports.

tag(s): explorers (61)

In the Classroom

Use the activities portion of this site to add enrichment to your classroom. There are plenty of quick projects and lesson plans, but there are also two interactive web games that could be used to help students review information. Save those particular portions of the site as favorites on your computer and use them for a learning center or station.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Black History Month - Time, Inc.

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4 to 8
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This highly interactive site provides a kid-friendly overview of Black history, the fight for Civil Rights, and those Americans who have made a major impact on the African American...more
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This highly interactive site provides a kid-friendly overview of Black history, the fight for Civil Rights, and those Americans who have made a major impact on the African American dream. Students can listen to audio clips from pivotal speeches in African American history, participate in an interactive quiz on the fight for equal rights, and explore an interactive timeline.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113), civil rights (117), speech (92), speeches (17)

In the Classroom

This site is a great addition to a classroom unit on the civil rights movement. Save the site as a favorite on the classroom computers, and have students work on it pairs, or use it as a learning center. Some of the web quests are basically quizzes in disguise, making them appropriate for review. If using it for review, add the site to your teacher web page so students can access it both in and out of the classroom.

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Life in a Coal Mining Town

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4 to 12
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The January, 2006, mine tragedy in West Virginia is a reminder that the dangers of mining coal have changed very little in the last 150 years. American dependence on this ...more
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The January, 2006, mine tragedy in West Virginia is a reminder that the dangers of mining coal have changed very little in the last 150 years. American dependence on this fuel remains high, despite moves by other industrialized nations to other fuels. This site chronicles the life and memories of miners in a Pennsylvania coal town in the early 20th century. It offers a personalized look at a hard life.

tag(s): coal (14), energy (198)

In the Classroom

Use the "McIntyre" portion of this site as a learning center or station during a lesson on coal's predominance in the 20th century and what the life of a miner was like. Assign cooperative learning groups different portions of the site, with the intentions of summarizing the main points to teach their peers about their separate sections. Have students use a mapping tool such as Mapskip (reviewed here) to create a map of local landforms (with audio stories and pictures included)!

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Quiz Tree - Sierra Vista Software

Grades
1 to 12
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You'll find a huge collection of interactive quizzes on this site, testing student comprehension in many subject areas, including elementary math, foreign language (Spanish, French,...more
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You'll find a huge collection of interactive quizzes on this site, testing student comprehension in many subject areas, including elementary math, foreign language (Spanish, French, Italian), SAT content, science, history, and economics. Some quizzes are multiple choice, others drag-and-drop, but all offer immediate feedback with sound effects. Some quizzes use FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): quiz (84), quizzes (96)

In the Classroom

A great resource for reviewing content or investigating new information. Headphones highly recommended.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Civil War for Kids - Pocantico Hills Central School

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3 to 5
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This site, created for students, by students, provides kid-friendly information about the Civil War - including a timeline of significant events, bar graphs containing data about the...more
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This site, created for students, by students, provides kid-friendly information about the Civil War - including a timeline of significant events, bar graphs containing data about the North and South, easy-to-read maps, depictions of Union and Confederate flags, and much more. Includes biographies of important Civil War-era personalities, links to related sites, and activity sheets.

tag(s): biographies (87), civil war (145), flags (21), lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station to supplement a classroom unit on the Civil War. Have students look at all the aspects of the site, as some of the visuals are unique and provide something more tangible to bookwork and lectures.

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My America Field Trip - Tramline

Grades
4 to 7
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Step through this virtual field trip to "visit" some of America's most treasured national symbols - including the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Mount Rushmore, Ft. McHenry, and much...more
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Step through this virtual field trip to "visit" some of America's most treasured national symbols - including the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Mount Rushmore, Ft. McHenry, and much more . Includes a list of vocabulary words that may be encountered along the journey and some rather interesting "side trips." This is a "ready to go" activity, but you may wish to add a scavenger hunt component to focus your students as they explore.

tag(s): landmarks (26), symbols (19)

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History of Thanksgiving - History Channel

Grades
3 to 6
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Find out what was on the menu for the first Thanksgiving, debunk some common holiday myths, and listen to pilgrim interviews. This informational multi-media site also features a beautifully...more
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Find out what was on the menu for the first Thanksgiving, debunk some common holiday myths, and listen to pilgrim interviews. This informational multi-media site also features a beautifully designed video that details the history of this American institution - perfect for individual viewing. Note: this site "pauses" before opening. Be patient.

tag(s): holidays (147), pilgrims (17), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a way to introduce the Thanksgiving holidays in a way that is both educational and fun for students. Share the site with students on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Examine the interesting facts for interesting and little known information, or bring up the document entitled "a Thanksgiving proclamation." Have students read the document aloud, in turns or by volunteers. The document will help students understand the actual v. the myth of Thanksgiving. The site can also be saved as a favorite on classroom computers to be used as a learning center if that method is more appropriate for your classroom.

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Learning About Research and Writing using the American Revolution - NCTE/IRA

Grades
3 to 5
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This lesson creates a wonderful interdisciplinary connection between creative writing and American history. After using a variety of resources to learn more about the American Revolution,...more
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This lesson creates a wonderful interdisciplinary connection between creative writing and American history. After using a variety of resources to learn more about the American Revolution, students select an historical figure from that era, and compose an acrostic poem describing that individual's contributions. Aligned to National Standards.

tag(s): creative writing (166), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this free lesson plan as a way to study the American Revolution from an interdisciplinary standpoint. This lesson plan mixes creative writing and poetry with history as a way to relate different concepts concerning the American Revolution.

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Edison Invents - Smithsonian

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3 to 8
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The National Museum of American History created this concentration-based game to help students learn more about Thomas Edison and the impact of his inventions. While most students know...more
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The National Museum of American History created this concentration-based game to help students learn more about Thomas Edison and the impact of his inventions. While most students know about the light bulb and the phonograph, this site peers into the full repertoire of Edison's invention inventory, giving the story of how one man became a sort of national invention hero.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (97)

In the Classroom

This site requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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California's Gold Rush - Oakland Museum

Grades
4 to 8
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The Oakland Museum offers this collection of "untold stories" about the gold rush in California. The site includes lesson plans linked to California standards, sections on art; natives...more
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The Oakland Museum offers this collection of "untold stories" about the gold rush in California. The site includes lesson plans linked to California standards, sections on art; natives and immigrants; and more. Lots of possibilities if you're in California, and a great addition to a unit on westward exploration for others.

tag(s): california (27), gold rush (19), native americans (78)

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Google Maps - Google

Grades
1 to 12
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Google Maps gives you live visuals of any location, ideal for planning a trip, picturing the relationship between places, and viewing physical characteristics of almost anywhere in...more
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Google Maps gives you live visuals of any location, ideal for planning a trip, picturing the relationship between places, and viewing physical characteristics of almost anywhere in the world. Type or paste in an address and click "search maps." If you click Satellite or hybrid versions of the map, you will see actual satellite images of the terrain. Zoom in and out, use the street view "orange man" to walk among the buildings and trees, or plan and share a route easily with Google Maps. Using your (free) Google membership allows you to save favorite places and more. Find businesses and other features near a specific map location: hotels, restaurants, schools, parks, and more. Google Maps has become more and more sophisticated, now offering many features previously only available in Google Earth, such as opening and/or saving placemarker files. Unlike Google Earth, Google Maps does not require software installation and does not use as much bandwidth for constant reloading. You can even play a tour of places you mark in Google Maps. They just keep adding more features! Google Maps is available as a free app for Android and iOS, too. The handy embed codes let you put any Google Map in a web page, blog, or wiki. Of course you do not need a membership or any special skills to simply SEE, share, or navigate a map. Membership gives you more ways to save.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (198), directions (20), maps (287)

In the Classroom

If you teach geography, this one's a must. It is also helpful for showing students WHERE a story or news event takes place. In lower grades, use it to show students basics of their community. Teach map skills by showing students their own community. Zoom in on their street or on the school. This site and its more sophisticated cousin, Google Earth, are great on an interactive whiteboard. Set up a class Google account (or use student accounts if permitted). Have students create their own custom route plans to tour historic sites. Challenge math students to plan the most economical route to visit several vacation destinations, including gas mileage and gas prices. Have students create placemarker files of the important places in the life of a famous person or the route traveled by a particular unit during the Civil War. Have student groups create placemarker files to show environmental sites, habitats, landforms, or anything you can place on a map. Embed projects in a class wiki using the handy embed code offered as a sharing option.

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Distant Cousins - EDSITEment

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3 to 5
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Learn about life in colonial America and compare everyday life in two different 18th century colonies - one in Delaware and one in Massachusetts. This lesson brings students in contact...more
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Learn about life in colonial America and compare everyday life in two different 18th century colonies - one in Delaware and one in Massachusetts. This lesson brings students in contact with artifacts from the thirteen original colonies, takes them to some outstanding interactive Web sites for background information, and asks them to write letters from the point of view of the colonists in each location. Downloadable worksheets provided. Aligned to National Standards.

tag(s): colonial america (107), massachusetts (10)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plan offered by EDSITEment! This would be a great lesson for an American HIstory course - there are even options to extend the lesson.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The First Amendment: What's Fair in a Free Country? - National Endowment for the Humanities

Grades
3 to 6
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The cherished right of Freedom of Speech is carefully analyzed in this thoughtful unit plan that illustrates the delicate balance between rights and responsibilities in a free society....more
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The cherished right of Freedom of Speech is carefully analyzed in this thoughtful unit plan that illustrates the delicate balance between rights and responsibilities in a free society. A series of six lessons guides upper elementary students through an authentic scenario in which the expressive rights of individuals are in question, provides connections to constitutional interpretations, and analyzes related Supreme Court cases. Aligned to Standards.

tag(s): bill of rights (28), freedom of speech (10), speech (92)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this free lesson plan about the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights! To help ELL students, share the vocabulary with them beforehand OR make and print out easy to understand definitions of words that these students may have trouble with. Be sure to save this site as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval later on.

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Where I Come From - National Endowment for the Humanities

Grades
3 to 5
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Using the traditional family tree activity as a springboard, this lesson plan takes students on a virtual journey across the planet to visit their ancestral homelands. In the process...more
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Using the traditional family tree activity as a springboard, this lesson plan takes students on a virtual journey across the planet to visit their ancestral homelands. In the process of connecting with their heritage, students practice map-reading skills, learn about geographic regions and cultures, and investigate the current events in that part of the world.

tag(s): cultures (105), immigration (58), migration (59)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plan hosted on this site! This would be a great lesson to use before a unit focused on immigration to the United States. Be sure to save this site as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval later on!

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Memorial Day Activities - David Merchant

Grades
3 to 8
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This nice collection of activities and puzzles - some printable and some interactive - teaches and reinforces the history and meaning behind Memorial Day celebrations. Choose from a...more
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This nice collection of activities and puzzles - some printable and some interactive - teaches and reinforces the history and meaning behind Memorial Day celebrations. Choose from a variety of formats and difficulty levels.

tag(s): holidays (147), memorial day (13)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities on this site! There are also some practice quizzes and puzzles that would be fun ways to assess students, or have them use the tools to help review the content.

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