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History Mystery - Scholastic

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4 to 8
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Turn a history lesson into an interactive investigation! Students can strengthen their skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, and Internet research as they become historical...more
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Turn a history lesson into an interactive investigation! Students can strengthen their skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, and Internet research as they become historical sleuths and work their way through these entertaining activities. Select from dozens of topics relating to American and world history. Some of the sleuthing activities require students to uncover the identity of a personality. Others send students on trails to discover a particular era or geographic location. This site can be used to introduce a unit, review important concepts, or enrich and expand regular classroom activities.

tag(s): webquests (29)

In the Classroom

Select one of the many mysteries and use it as a classroom activity to close up and review the content! Teachers can use this as a learning center or have cooperative learning groups complete it at the end of the unit/lesson. There are a LOT of mysteries here including series for US and World history, so be sure to pass it on to any other social studies peers who can use it.

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Seeds of Change Garden - Smithsonian

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2 to 7
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Take your students on a delightful trip back to the year 1492. As students move forward and backward in time, they will gain a fresh view of history as ...more
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Take your students on a delightful trip back to the year 1492. As students move forward and backward in time, they will gain a fresh view of history as observed through the evolution of food! Agriculture and cuisine from around the world and across centuries are examined. This site can be used as an entertaining computer-based station in the classroom for independent exploration, or as a foundation for more in-depth study. The strength of this site is truly in its incredibly creative, hands-on activities that explore history, cultural diversity, and gardening. Created by the Smithsonian Institute.

tag(s): agriculture (55)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite on classroom computers and use it as a learning center or station in your classroom. One way to guide students through the site is to have students complete a follow along as they navigate the pages. Another way is to have students in pairs and have them create an online poster summarizing what they think the main points are. Use an online poster creator, such as Padlet (reviewed here).

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March Into Spring - Education World

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1 to 6
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The month of March is filled with special events to commemorate. Use the many teaching resources on this site to develop activities for Women's History Month, National Nutrition Month,...more
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The month of March is filled with special events to commemorate. Use the many teaching resources on this site to develop activities for Women's History Month, National Nutrition Month, Youth Art Month, Music in Our Schools Month, and the Iditarod. Lesson plans, online projects, hands-on activities, and book reviews are provided. Created by Education World.

tag(s): iditarod (7), nutrition (154), women (101)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite on your classroom computer to allow for easy retrieval of information. This is a really helpful resource for any elementary school teacher.

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History Interactive - Michigan Epic

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1 to 12
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While it is a work in progress, Michigan Epic's flash-based K-12 world history and social studies offerings promise to be a wonderful addition to social studies teachers' inventory...more
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While it is a work in progress, Michigan Epic's flash-based K-12 world history and social studies offerings promise to be a wonderful addition to social studies teachers' inventory of lesson materials. Standards referenced and thoughtfully designed, these presentations will engage students while offering significant content. The precise approaches vary by topic and grade level, so there's always something new around the next corner. This one's a real winner.

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and resources concerning a variety of US history events. The resources include everything from simple lesson plans, to primary sources and web quests. Be sure to take a look at the site before you begin any unit to see what you can add to your classroom.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Gullah Net - South Carolina ETV

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4 to 8
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Gullah is the unique culture of African Americans living on and along the coastal waters of South Carolina and Georgia. This site offers a look at the traditions, customs, and ...more
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Gullah is the unique culture of African Americans living on and along the coastal waters of South Carolina and Georgia. This site offers a look at the traditions, customs, and folk tales of the Gullah people in a treatment that students will find both respectful and entertaining. Try it as an example of a regional American culture, or as part of a study of African American history.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113), georgia (4)

In the Classroom

Use the stories and materials on this site as a writing prompt. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector before allowing students to explore it individually. Allow students to listen to the stories in groups or individually on classroom computers. Once students have explored the Gullah Tales, have them create their own stories on the website. The stories students can create on the site have pre-determined story titles and themes, making them more appropriate for lower-level readers. However if there are a lot of advanced students in your class, use a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. This allows them to be a little more creative and put more work into designing their books. An interesting site for English class!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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America on the Move - Smithsonian Institution

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4 to 12
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Here's an extremely well-designed site about the history of American transportation that really moves. Users can approach the content in several ways: an eighteen part chronology filled...more
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Here's an extremely well-designed site about the history of American transportation that really moves. Users can approach the content in several ways: an eighteen part chronology filled with images, thematic presentations on immigration, technology, etc., or a sizeable collection of reproducible lessons and teaching materials. Middle schoolers should handle the writing level adequately, and the site is sufficiently visual that upper elementary users will follow the presentation. This one should be a welcome addition to anyone's transportation unit.

tag(s): air (163), railroads (10), transportation (40)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities hosted on this site! Most detail specific ways to use the site itself in a lesson & would compliment a unit based on transportation and the effect of technologies such as railroads and the automobile.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Constitution for Kids - Constitution Center

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4 to 12
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Philadelphia's new Constitution Center offers a full collection of online information and activities for students. Both format and quality vary, but the Flash activity about the Bill...more
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Philadelphia's new Constitution Center offers a full collection of online information and activities for students. Both format and quality vary, but the Flash activity about the Bill of Rights is a good start. Click elsewhere to learn lots more about the Constitution, how it was created, and what it means today. Requires FLASH.

tag(s): bill of rights (28), constitution (79)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on the constitution and the creation of the bill of rights. This would be a great tool to use for a review session, and could break up the monotony of a study guide. Very useful for a US history course.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Railroad Pictures

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4 to 12
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This searchable collection of old railroad photos could be a useful reference for a student doing a research paper on American history, industrialization, transportation or commerce....more
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This searchable collection of old railroad photos could be a useful reference for a student doing a research paper on American history, industrialization, transportation or commerce. While the site permits very specific searches, most students will likely find even a general search returns useful images.

tag(s): railroads (10)

In the Classroom

Use the images from this site to supplement a lecture on transportation and the railroads. They are extremely detailed images and can be searched to find those that meet the time period being studied.

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Tall Ship Rose

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4 to 12
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Though no longer used as a training vessel, this site about the Rose continues to show how sailing ships functioned as military vessels. There are several 360 degree quicktime images,...more
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Though no longer used as a training vessel, this site about the Rose continues to show how sailing ships functioned as military vessels. There are several 360 degree quicktime images, a "ropes" quiz, and a variety of text to explain how it all fit together. Tie this one into a discussion of explorers, the growth of international commerce, or the American clipper ships and gold rush.

tag(s): navy (9)

In the Classroom

Use the virtual tour on the interactive whiteboard to explore what ships were like in the early 18th century and before. This would be a great resource during a discussion of the military resources Americans had during the Revolution - the site can also be used as a learning center through incorporating the quizzes on classroom computers. A very cool site for a US history class!
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Washington State Pioneer Life - University of Washington

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3 to 12
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Washington State's pioneer life database includes lots of archival photos presented in a searchable format that's light-years ahead of many similar efforts in other states. Teachers...more
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Washington State's pioneer life database includes lots of archival photos presented in a searchable format that's light-years ahead of many similar efforts in other states. Teachers and students will likely find the sections on early Alaska, the Klondike, and the Yukon of particular interest. There's great term-paper fodder in this one!

tag(s): alaska (25), gold rush (19), washington (36)

In the Classroom

Use this site to search for primary sources during a unit on the Gold Rush that brought so many people to the Alaskan frontier. Primary sources could be used to teach both the content and historical thinking skills in your classroom. Divide students into 5-6 groups, with each group assigned a different primary source to read and evaluate. (Sources should come from various perspectives to make the game more interesting) 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!
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National Park Photographs - National Park Service

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4 to 12
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The National Park Service manages both an incredible inventory of natural wonders and many of America's most historic places. This site makes professional quality images of these -...more
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The National Park Service manages both an incredible inventory of natural wonders and many of America's most historic places. This site makes professional quality images of these - searchable by park - available for classroom use. In a world where copyright is always an issue, this site is a welcome addition.

tag(s): air (163), national parks (16)

In the Classroom

Use this site to search for images of a particular region being studied in a Physical geography class. These images can be incorporated into lectures, projects, displays etc. Just research before-hand what parks are in the specific area, and search away!

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Art of the Stamp - National Postal Museum

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4 to 12
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Art and Social Studies teachers will find this collection of contemporary stamp artwork interesting both for its style and for the range of themes that have been incorporated into stamps....more
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Art and Social Studies teachers will find this collection of contemporary stamp artwork interesting both for its style and for the range of themes that have been incorporated into stamps. The oversize artwork helps illustrate the details in these images.

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

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a lesson on the evolution of mail services in the US, and how services such as the pony express was affected by Westward expansion. Allow students to explore the site on classroom computers, using the stamp template as a formative assessment of their understanding. To make the stamp activity more content-based, have students design their stamps to reflect what they learned rather than allowing them to draw anything they can think of. History teachers will like this one!

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Smithsonian Education - Smithsonian

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4 to 12
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Divided into resources for educators, parents, and students, this Smithsonian site has a wealth of information. ...more
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Divided into resources for educators, parents, and students, this Smithsonian site has a wealth of information.

In the Classroom

The lesson plans in the educator's section are sorted subject area and cover arts and design, language arts, history and culture, and science and technology. The site also has helpful hints for planning a field trip to the Smithsonian, as well as a searchable database that allows educators to browse the lesson plans in search of a particular subject.
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Steamboats

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4 to 8
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This virtual museum explores the world of paddlewheel riverboats through collections of photographs of a number of famous boats. There are also exhibits and articles to view and read....more
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This virtual museum explores the world of paddlewheel riverboats through collections of photographs of a number of famous boats. There are also exhibits and articles to view and read. The site's Learning Center highlights which exhibits may be most useful in developing lesson plans, including a site that examines the science behind steam engines.

tag(s): mississippi (6)

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Life in Williamsburg - Colonial Williamsburg

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4 to 12
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A remarkable history resource for all ages. If you can't make the journey to Colonial Williamsburg in person, this site provides detailed descriptions of life in the era. Explore Williamsburg...more
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A remarkable history resource for all ages. If you can't make the journey to Colonial Williamsburg in person, this site provides detailed descriptions of life in the era. Explore Williamsburg clothing, politics, food, religion, and more through detailed articles, photos, and lesson plans.

tag(s): colonial america (107), virginia (16), williamsburg (12)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an introduction to this unit or as review. Allow students to explore the site further individually or in cooperative learning groups. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Einstein - American Museum of Natural History

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4 to 8
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How (and why) do you introduce Einstein to an elementary student? Here's a presentation that does it effectively, drawing on Einstein's love of trying something new and his willingness...more
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How (and why) do you introduce Einstein to an elementary student? Here's a presentation that does it effectively, drawing on Einstein's love of trying something new and his willingness to "think outside the box." While it's mostly text, this site would be a great introduction for a student who is already curious about inventors, scientists, or the universe. This unit is part of the American Museum of Natural History's "Ology" series that explores different aspects of the life sciences. This site requires Adobe Acrobat and Flash. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): scientists (69)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to introduce your students to the creative mind of Albert Einstein.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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UPI Photo Library - UPI

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4 to 12
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This searchable library of UPI news photos could be a great addition to in-class current events discussions. ...more
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This searchable library of UPI news photos could be a great addition to in-class current events discussions.

tag(s): images (266), news (261)

In the Classroom

We've looked in vain for copyright statements regarding educational use. While there's a wealth of content here, tread carefully if you plan to use these outside the classroom.

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Centennial of Flight Commission - US government

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4 to 12
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This government site offers information the celebration of the Wright Brothers' Flight centennial, as well as a great collection of printable posters and commemorative lesson materials....more
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This government site offers information the celebration of the Wright Brothers' Flight centennial, as well as a great collection of printable posters and commemorative lesson materials. These could make great classroom decorations, and the lesson materials are thorough and grade-specific. Try this one on students interested in the physics of flight or a career in aviation.

tag(s): aviation (38), north carolina (4), wright brothers (24)

In the Classroom

Use the games on this site as a way to help students review the information in learning centers or during a lull in class time. Teachers can also post this on their class wiki to allow students to access it both in and out of the classroom!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Connecting Minnesota - Forests, Fields, and the Falls

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3 to 8
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This is a nicely done animated site about the history of Minnesota for elementary students. It concentrates on major industries of the state as the basis for a portrayal of ...more
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This is a nicely done animated site about the history of Minnesota for elementary students. It concentrates on major industries of the state as the basis for a portrayal of life in Minnesota in the late 1800s. the illustrations and stories have a sort of "comic book" feel, but the information is well designed and well presented. Students in other states will find this a nice introduction to nineteenth century life on the prairie.

tag(s): minnesota (4), states (162)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an introductor or activator on a lesson concerning Westward Expansion. Introduce the site on the Interactive whiteboard or projector, before allowing students to explore the site in pairs. 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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Connecticut History Online

Grades
4 to 12
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This is a large, rich resource about both Connecticut history and industry and commerce in nineteenth century America. There is a collection of archival photos and photo essays. ...more
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This is a large, rich resource about both Connecticut history and industry and commerce in nineteenth century America. There is a collection of archival photos and photo essays.

tag(s): connecticut (4), states (162)

In the Classroom

The classroom section includes lesson plans, as well as a series of very well done "journeys" that describe the industries and people that have had an effect on Connecticut history. Many of these are suitable for use in other states. There's lots of great content in this one.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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