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Ourdocuments.gov - National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

Grades
8 to 12
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This site offers teachers and students the opportunity to explore documents of a 100 milestones in American history. The documents chronicle United States history from 1776 to 1965:...more
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This site offers teachers and students the opportunity to explore documents of a 100 milestones in American history. The documents chronicle United States history from 1776 to 1965: Lee Resolution, Treaty of Paris, Federalist Papers Bill of Rights, Missouri Compromise, Monroe Doctrine, Plessy v. Ferguson, Surrender of Japan, Marshall Plan, Brown v. Board of Education, and many more. The neat part about all the documents is that it shows the entire original document (it can be enlarged and zoomed in on) and then offers information about the document below. Now your students can experience primary sources with explanations.

There is a link called "Tools for Educators" that has a downloadable teacher sourcebook. (Although it's the 2004 edition, only the first part of the sourcebook is about a competition for the year 2005.) The book has resources, how to use the documents, lesson plans, follow up activities, printouts, etc. Although the site is slightly dated, it includes some real gems. The site also offers ideas for librarians, classroom integration tips, and photos and downloadable posters.

tag(s): bill of rights (29), constitution (82)

In the Classroom

Although this site has links for integrating the material for the classroom, teachers could also create a blog site which students can post their thoughts about a milestone document for discussion. A bingo game could be created based on the 100 Milestone documents. Don't let the age group deter you from doing this -students of all ages love a good game of bingo - especially with a prize incentive!

Why not assign individual documents to cooperative learning groups to investigate, read, and create a multimedia presentation to share with the class. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Non-violent Social Change - The King Center

Grades
4 to 12
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This site is one of two official Martin Luther King sites. Come to this site to learn more about Martin Luther King, Jr: his life, his legacy, the holiday honoring ...more
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This site is one of two official Martin Luther King sites. Come to this site to learn more about Martin Luther King, Jr: his life, his legacy, the holiday honoring him, his wife and family, and more. There are video and audio inserts, PDF printables, excellent research information, and a very inspiring Flash enabled speech. This site requires Adobe Acrobat and Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): africa (178), african american (113), martin luther king (38)

In the Classroom

Share the video and/or audio clips on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students use this site for research projects. Challenge students to write a blog from King's perspective. Have students pretend that he could write a blog for people to read in the 2000s. What would he say? Has his dream come true?
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The War in Europe - History Place

Grades
6 to 12
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Chronology & photos from The History Place. ...more
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Chronology & photos from The History Place.

tag(s): europe (75), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

Divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Have them look at the timeline, and then in groups select 5 events on the timeline that the site failed to go into detail on. Have the students create their own excerpts of those events, including what they think is the most important information. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here).

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Trenches on the Web

Grades
6 to 12
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Information and links on W.W.I. The site offers reference materials, thematic tours, poster reproductions, discussion groups, and more. ...more
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Information and links on W.W.I. The site offers reference materials, thematic tours, poster reproductions, discussion groups, and more.

tag(s): world war 1 (53)

In the Classroom

This site has a treasure trove of information about World War I! Use it as a reference point for standards terms, and to find information to supplement the textbook. One activity for the classroom is to access the section on the web site dedicated to displaying the posters from various countries. Assign cooperative learning groups a country and allow them to browse through that nation's war posters on classroom computers. Once students have looked through them all, have them create a contemporary poster for the country based on general trends they observed and using their knowledge about the conflict. We recommend using a site such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Have students share their end products with the class via interactive whiteboard or projector.

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We Shall Overcome - Historic Places of the Civil Rights Movement - National Park Service

Grades
4 to 12
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This is the National Park Service's guide to American sites that were important in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. It includes travel information as well as ...more
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This is the National Park Service's guide to American sites that were important in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. It includes travel information as well as background on the sites and their significance.

tag(s): africa (178), african american (113), civil rights (120)

In the Classroom

Divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Have them explore the site with the intention of picking three to research further. The text portions are challenging, so you should pair weaker readers with a partner as they research on this site. Have students pick the three the think are most significant or symbolic, which will be presented in poster form. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). This activity will teach students about some of the major events of the Civil rights movements in a way that provides relief from lectures.

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2000 Census Data On-line - US Government

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K to 12
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This provides the 2000 U.S. census information. There are links to news, data tools, a message from the President (Obama, at the time of this review), employment information, fact sheets,...more
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This provides the 2000 U.S. census information. There are links to news, data tools, a message from the President (Obama, at the time of this review), employment information, fact sheets, and more. General categories include "People & Households," "Business & Industry," "Geography," "Newsroom," and "Special Topics." Each category has several topics. This historical census data is ideal for comparison with other, more recent years or for students to make predictions for an upcoming census based on past trends.

tag(s): census (19), data (148), states (163)

In the Classroom

This data would be great material for a US government or history class. Teachers can find all sorts of demograhic information for use during lessons on the political make-up of the country as well as representative numbers, migration trends, etc. There is a LOT here so be sure to give yourself time to search through it all for what you need. Have students use this site to research specific topics and create multimedia projects with a partner. Have cooperative learning groups create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Challenge groups to create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here).

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Americans and the Environment - National Humanities Center

Grades
4 to 12
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Created by the National Humanities Center, this collection of scholarly essays on Americans' relationship with the environment may be over the heads of most students. BUT teachers and...more
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Created by the National Humanities Center, this collection of scholarly essays on Americans' relationship with the environment may be over the heads of most students. BUT teachers and parents will find the subject matter fits nicely with most American History curricula, and the "guiding discussion" sections provide some new strategies and insights for teaching material that may have become too routine for students. If history (at any level) is your field, this one is worth a visit.

tag(s): conservation (127), ecology (135), environment (319)

In the Classroom

While this site is a little text-heavy, it is truly an excellent site for exploring the way the North American environment has been impacted by recent history. Select the time period that is appropriate to your unit, and introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students explore the rest of the site on classroom computers. To ensure that they're doing more than skimming the text, Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here).

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Biographies of Women Mathematicians - Agnes Scott College

Grades
7 to 12
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These pages are part of an on-going project at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Georgia, to illustrate the numerous achievements of women in the field of mathematics. The site includes...more
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These pages are part of an on-going project at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Georgia, to illustrate the numerous achievements of women in the field of mathematics. The site includes biographical essays or comments on the women mathematicians profiled, as well as additional resources about women in mathematics. Each time the home page is reloaded, a randomly selected photo is displayed. Click on the image to go to the profile of that woman. The site is also searchable by alphabetical order, chronological order, names by location of birth, the first PhD's in Mathematics of Women before 1930, and prizes, honors and awards for women mathematicians.

tag(s): biographies (88)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students as a resource when writing biographies of famous mathematicians (or women's history.) Share one woman mathematician on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) each day as students arrive in class. Use this site in history class to locate and research famous mathematicians alive during the time period being studied. Challenge students to research one of these famous women and create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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Zoho Show - ZOHO Corporation

Grades
K to 12
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Zoho Show is an online presentation and document creator tool. This program is somewhat simpler than PowerPoint, but runs on a similar format. Use this tool as you would PowerPoint...more
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Zoho Show is an online presentation and document creator tool. This program is somewhat simpler than PowerPoint, but runs on a similar format. Use this tool as you would PowerPoint with your students. It is very advantageous if you have assigned a project and students do not have access to PowerPoint at home. This can be accessed anywhere with no cost to the student, the parent, or you. Sharing and collaborating is also simple. Upload, edit, and save your documents easily.

tag(s): multimedia (62), slides (65)

In the Classroom

To use this site, you will need to create an account. You will need to navigate using onscreen instructions. There is a video tour of the features if you would like to view it, but it is just as fun and easy to play with the tool. Slide themes are limited, but the tools are simple and it is easy to publish to a URL that can be shared with everyone.

Use this tool to create presentations when students will need more than class time to finish. Have students make individual presentations. Instead of presenting on projector, have them share to the class wiki or within their zoho group to promote discussion and peer review. Assign a round-robin peer review so everyone gets some feedback.

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Things to Learn With: Learning Almanac - Cheryl Davis

Grades
6 to 12
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Find meaningful ways to teach 21st century skills in all curricular areas. Spend some time with this collection of lesson ideas that utilize Google Docs, other Google tools, and some...more
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Find meaningful ways to teach 21st century skills in all curricular areas. Spend some time with this collection of lesson ideas that utilize Google Docs, other Google tools, and some 2.0 programs such as wikis and YouTube across the curriculum. Browse through the outstanding resources which are perfect for middle school and beyond.

tag(s): blogs (89), charts and graphs (195), communities (36), experiments (73), geology (83), literature (276), news (262), search strategies (30), spreadsheets (17), statistics (124), tutorials (47), wikis (20)

In the Classroom

For example, use the lesson It's a Statistical World to bring statistics and the use of spreadsheets into the classroom. Follow project ideas, suggestions, and how to's to complete the activity. Specific examples, suggestions, and tutorials for using the resources are given throughout. Find unbelievable ideas that are exceptional for many curricular areas. Mark this one in your Favorites to use when you need inspiration or a new approach to curriculum that never seems to "stick" the way you wish it would.
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Maps of War

Grades
9 to 12
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This site offers a collection of Flash presentations that illustrate geopolitical aspects of war and religion. It's an eclectic mix: one animation traces the spread of world religions...more
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This site offers a collection of Flash presentations that illustrate geopolitical aspects of war and religion. It's an eclectic mix: one animation traces the spread of world religions over time and over a world map. Another looks at the American death tolls associated with each U.S. conflict and associates the President and political party associated with each war. A third examines the various political entities that have held territory in the Middle East. Visually, the animations are fabulous, but in order to be more than good looking, they would need to be paired with significant teacher context-setting, which is not presented on the site. For example, what does it mean that there have been more U.S. casualties in wars under Presidents who were Democrats than in wars under Republican Presidents? That factoid is the subject of one of the animations. The creator of the site does not name him/herself, saying only that the animations are intended to be unbiased and factual.

tag(s): iraq (32), middle east (35), religions (66)

In the Classroom

The animations would be stunning on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and teachers doing a unit on world religions or trying to backfill a history of Iraq would find certain presentations very useful. Be sure to click "View Full Screen" to fill your projector or whiteboard screen. American history teachers could use the animation on U.S. wars and casualties as an overview. The animations can be streamed from the site, or the whole package can be downloaded for use locally. On the whole, however, the site still leaves questions: Why these topics? Despite claims to the contrary, is there a political message here somewhere? Be sure to open this discussion with your students, as well. Since the site has "professional looking" glitz, should we believe it without any knowledge of its creator? If not, how can we check its accuracy?
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Independence Day Around the World - Chartsbin

Grades
2 to 12
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This site offers an interactive world map showing Independence Day dates from around the world. You simply hover the cursor over any country that was formerly a colony to see ...more
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This site offers an interactive world map showing Independence Day dates from around the world. You simply hover the cursor over any country that was formerly a colony to see the date of its independence from that country. All countries that used to be part of Great Britain are the same color; color coding for other former empires indicates the empire's former holdings. Data comes from reliable government and other statistical sources. At the bottom of the page, related charts that may be of interest show: Father's Day around the World, Mother's Day around the World, Halloween Celebrations around the world and more.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): colonial america (108), holidays (152), july 4th (8)

In the Classroom

Keep this site in mind as a reference source when students study world cultures or foreign languages. Challenge students to use this site to create research projects about individual (free) nations around the world. Have individual students or cooperative learning groups create a multimedia presentation using a tool such as Mapskip (reviewed here) to create a map of the country they researched (with audio stories and pictures included)!
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The International Civil Rights Center & Museum - The International Civil Rights Center & Museum

Grades
5 to 12
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The International Civil Rights Center & Museum site highlights the non-violent protests of the 1960's Greensboro, NC sit-in movement. This site has links to the history of the sit in...more
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The International Civil Rights Center & Museum site highlights the non-violent protests of the 1960's Greensboro, NC sit-in movement. This site has links to the history of the sit in movement and other civil right movements. There is also a section of photos and videos that is continuously being updated, so be sure to check back frequently. Though this site is relatively new, there are several good historical timelines and chronologies.

tag(s): 1960s (30), african american (113), black history (60), civil rights (120)

In the Classroom

Have your students use the information about the people of the sit-in movement to write a biography. Add drama to your classroom and have students pretend to be one of the protesters. Have them write a monologue and present it to the class. Have students create public service announcement posters using Piclits (reviewed here). Use the announcements that can be found in the image gallery for examples.
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Around the World (About 20,000 Times) - Wall Street Journal

Grades
5 to 12
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This site shares great summary of the U.S. space shuttle program. An interactive graph shows icons organized by year for each space mission. Clicking the icon shows the vital ...more
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This site shares great summary of the U.S. space shuttle program. An interactive graph shows icons organized by year for each space mission. Clicking the icon shows the vital information about each mission, including the date of the mission, distance it covered, the duration of its flight, its orbital altitude, and the number of earth orbits it made. Each icon has different symbols to describe the mission visually. There is a clear explanation of the icon meanings. Click on just one orbiter to see its missions; sort by date, mission type, mission duration, spacecraft, altitude, and number of orbits. There is a color coded summary of each of the shuttle (Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavor).
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): nasa (39), space (215), timelines (64)

In the Classroom

Challenge your students to use a site such as TimeRime reviewed here to create an interactive timeline of part or all of the space program. Assign your students to find online visuals (in the public domain) of certain aspects of the space shuttle program. Then have students create an online book of images and captions about their mission choice using Bookr (reviewed here). (Bookr uses Flickr images, so you must first upload or find the images on Flickr).

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Snag Learnng - Snagfilms LLC

Grades
3 to 12
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Use SnagLearning to present high-quality documentaries to promote meaningful discussions in your classroom. Find great videos about many issues of today such as nuclear tipping point,...more
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Use SnagLearning to present high-quality documentaries to promote meaningful discussions in your classroom. Find great videos about many issues of today such as nuclear tipping point, the history of various forms of music, effects of desert winds, and more. Choose your subject matter from the tab along the top. Choose a grade level band as well to find videos appropriate for different age groups. Warning: as topics frequently change, be sure to preview before you share.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): movies (70), twitter (51), video (273)

In the Classroom

Use videos in your subject area to inform students about the topic being studied. Share on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Consider using backchannel while viewing the documentary to allow students to express their feelings and thoughts. Try using the site "Get your students talking about what you want them to talk about" (reviewed here). Follow viewing with blog posts that include student reactions and topics related to what has been discussed in class.
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Blackbaseball's Negro Baseball Leagues - Blackbaseball

Grades
6 to 12
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This new site focuses on the Negro Baseball Leagues from their beginnings in the late 19th century until the time that Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947. Much ...more
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This new site focuses on the Negro Baseball Leagues from their beginnings in the late 19th century until the time that Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947. Much of the content is the work of James A. Riley, one of the foremost experts in the study of the Negro Leagues. The site includes information on players, teams, video clips, resources and current issues.
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tag(s): baseball (36), black history (60), civil rights (120), sports (97)

In the Classroom

Use the site as a resource during Black History Month for students who are researching the Negro Baseball Leagues, or players who were part of the leagues. Tie together current events (during baseball season) with this historical site. Have cooperative learning groups create venn diagrams using an online tool such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare the Negro Baseball Leagues to the baseball teams of today. What was the same, what is different? The site might also be useful in discussions of the Civil Rights movement or as a part of a look at segregation in the early 20th century. Check back frequently, as the site is clearly expanding and will have more information in the future.
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A Colonial Tour from TeachersFirst - TeachersFirst

Grades
4 to 12
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Take a virtual tour of major colonial sites along the U.S. east coast using reviewed resources from TeachersFirst. If you are planning a real vacation or simply want to tour ...more
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Take a virtual tour of major colonial sites along the U.S. east coast using reviewed resources from TeachersFirst. If you are planning a real vacation or simply want to tour via computer, this collection offers information and places to see in Boston, Plymouth, Philadelphia, Williamsburg, Jamestown, Roanoke Colony, and St. Augustine.

tag(s): boston (14), colonial america (108), jamestown (11), philadelphia (13), roanoke (7), williamsburg (12)

In the Classroom

Use this colonial tour as a starting point for a virtual experience of colonial America. Assign different student groups to each colonial location, and have them create an extended virtual "tour" using a tool such as Google Earth, reviewed here, or (simpler) Mapskip, reviewed here. Then have the groups take each other's tours to "discover" the colonies! If you don't have enough time for an extended project, share aspects of the tour and supplement by sharing photos from Google Earth's Panoramio layer on your projector or interactive whiteboard.

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Old Radio World - OldRadioWorld.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Find a treasury of old radio shows from the 1930's, 1940's and 1950's. There are seven genres from which to choose (comedy, mystery, western, drama, etc..), and each genre has ...more
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Find a treasury of old radio shows from the 1930's, 1940's and 1950's. There are seven genres from which to choose (comedy, mystery, western, drama, etc..), and each genre has at least ten different old radio shows for your selection. There is a miscellaneous section that has such treasures as "Voices From History," "World War II News Broadcasts," and "Fireside Chat with Franklin D. Roosevelt." To listen to this program you will need to have QuickTime on your computer. Download of the mp3 files takes a while, so be patient.
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tag(s): 1930s (15), 1940s (13), 1950s (12), listening (91), oral history (12), radio (27), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

As a class, listen to a couple of radio shows, taking note about the sound effects heard. Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to list the sounds. Have the class speculate about what objects could have created each sound. Post the radio site on your web page and assign the students to determine what household objects are responsible for the sounds for homework. Back in class the next day, use your interactive white board to share the student discoveries. From here it would be natural to have your students create a two or three minute radio show for a topic being studied in history or science. Students could also turn part of a short story into reader's theater (including sound effects) and record it as a radio broadcast. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).

Another idea would be to introduce a unit on the 20th century, the Great Depression, or WWII or by having the class listen to a broadcast from that time period. Have them experience radio as it was, with everyone huddled around to listen (and no multitasking!).Talk about how the changes in entertainment formats have changed the way we interact in our homes.

To hone in on listening skills, you could create a worksheet with questions to answer, or have students take two column notes, asking questions about what they are hearing in the left column.

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Virtual Jamestown - Virtual Jamestown

Grades
6 to 12
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In commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, this site offers a terrific set of resources on the Jamestown colony. Click on the map on this home ...more
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In commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, this site offers a terrific set of resources on the Jamestown colony. Click on the map on this home page to see all the offerings. There are lesson plans, videos, animations, and searchable documents. A searchable database of indentured servant records brings students closer to the lives of real people who lived in early American colonies. A virtual view of the fort at Jamestown has much greater impact than a picture in a book, and it allows you to feel as though you are really there. One section of the site is devoted to the Native American perspective on the settlement of Jamestown; listen to Chesapeake Indians. Some of the other activities include viewing John Smith's voyage maps, browsing through real records of the Virginia Company at Jamestown, and reading the actual letters of major colonization participants from the latter 1500s and early 1600s. This site intends to be the one-stop shop for authentic Jamestown research.

tag(s): colonial america (108), colonization (17), india (36), jamestown (11)

In the Classroom

Spend a few minutes at this site, and you will be swept away to life on the James River 400 years ago. The zoomable maps and rotating views of Jamestown artifacts would be effective on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Plan a day to explore together or with partners to find out specifics about the colony. You will need to scroll down to the bottom of the main page and click on "Teaching Materials" to find several wonderful lesson plans on Jamestown. For teachers who want to bring authentic, first-hand accounts and records into the classroom, this site provides a wealth of actual documentation. We strongly suggest you use the Site Index to get the extensive view of this website's offerings.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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TeachersFirst's Earthquake Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students understand how earthquakes happen and learn about famous earthquakes in history. Also...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students understand how earthquakes happen and learn about famous earthquakes in history. Also included are sites and tools well suited for projects about earthquakes.

tag(s): earthquakes (50), plate tectonics (25)

In the Classroom

Share this collection as a Favorite on your TeachersFirst public page so students can use the resources as part of a project during your unit on plate tectonics or natural disasters. Use the collection as a starting point, noting the resources that are more challenging for your more able students.

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