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Beacon Learning Center: Student Web Lessons - Beacon Learning Center

Grades
K to 12
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This website, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, provides an enormous collection of "web lessons" (interactives) for all grade levels. There are lessons in language...more
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This website, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, provides an enormous collection of "web lessons" (interactives) for all grade levels. There are lessons in language arts, math, science, social studies, and health. There are too many lesson plans to count - and all are projector, laptop, or whiteboard-ready. Just to give you an idea of some of these unique lessons, some of the titles include "Where is Japan?", "Walrus World", "Piece of Pie", "Medians", "Fence Me In", and "Critter Craze". On the main page, a brief description is provided for each lesson plan. Click Teacher Solutions > Lesson Plans to search by subject or grade level.

tag(s): charts and graphs (198), evolution (102), expository writing (44), industrial revolution (25), native americans (77), primary sources (93), probability (133), symmetry (54), writing (367)

In the Classroom

If you want ready-to-go lessons guaranteed to work well on your interactive whiteboard, this collection is a winner. You simply open the activity on the whiteboard and have students tap and drag their way through as you talk with the class. (Invite your most "active" student to be "Vanna White" for a great behavior management solution). Many lessons would work well on laptops or on a computer cluster center, as well.

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Learning from Lyrics - Johnathan Chase,

Grades
9 to 12
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This site offers a unit/lesson plan that provides the opportunity for students to use their own music to be involved in poetry and music. It also gives links to other ...more
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This site offers a unit/lesson plan that provides the opportunity for students to use their own music to be involved in poetry and music. It also gives links to other pertinent sites, such as a "Blues Bus Trip" that involves students in the history of their music. This is great for Humanitites-oriented classes.

tag(s): lyrics (20), poetry (225)

In the Classroom

Offering six 45-minute lessons, this is a wonderful site for your reluctant learners. While students are encouraged to use their own music, you can offer suggestions of different types of music (such as folk music or Celtic, opera or jazz or blues, etc.). You might adjust plans around the lessons given, assigning different music genres to small groups or individuals which would then incorporate research into the project. The links on this page offer a wide variety of places to go and things to do for students.

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Panoramas.dk

Grades
K to 12
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Have a high speed Internet connection? (Most schools do)The you MUST visit these 3D virtual tours of beautiful sites all over the world with your students. Read the Welcome message...more
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Have a high speed Internet connection? (Most schools do)The you MUST visit these 3D virtual tours of beautiful sites all over the world with your students. Read the Welcome message on the home page for directions and details, then explore the current features and several years of archives for 3D virtual tours from major world capitals to true "experiences" such as Times Square and white water rafting. Even the tour of a Banyan tree will amaze you. Bring the world into your classroom for geography, landforms, world cultures, foreign language study, or literary settings. Be in the midst of festivals or atop the Sydney Bridge. The site requires Quicktime. The Welcome section can help you troubleshoot. Or you can get Quicktime from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.. Just be sure to share in full screen (high band) view , if you can! Click the FULL SCREEN QTVR FEATURE > ARCHIVE to find more choices. There is also a link to Arounder, a collection of European Capitals in 3D tours.

tag(s): images (275), landforms (47)

In the Classroom

Use a projector--or better yet, an interactive whiteboard--to take students atop the Eiffel Tower, to the high Sierras, or aboard a Mars explorer. Allow student to navigate on the whiteboard. Nte that Shift and Ctrl keys alow you to zoom, as well. Be sure to click at the top of the 3D view to Read More about the image. These tours will make landforms real, culture come alive, and science a visual art form. As you introduce terms and place, use images! You could even use a tour as a writing prompt for poetry or descriptive writing. Include the link on your teacher web page for students to "tour the world" outside of class or feature one location a week to broaden class horizons on a classroom desktop.

Comments

What a GREAT idea! Thank you. I found one with mountain biking and vistas. I'll put it up early in the period and come back to it in the end and have them write their exit cards about it. Then I will revisit it in a week or two when we start talking about metaphorical language. Shirley, CA, Grades: 6 - 12
I plan to use this as a way to start the school year with my sixth grade G/T kids. I will display a panorama on an interactive whiteboard-- one of mountains with peaks and valleys. I will ask, "Why would I show you this and say that this is our classroom this year?" The students will write down an idea on a slip of paper, guessing why I might use this as an introduction to my class. They will most likely introduce all of the classroom conduct and learning environment issues that I want to touch upon that first day: peaks and valleys during the year, some rugged terrain, studying mountains and geography, some amazing views (everyone's opinions), and more. It will also get them thinking in analogies and allow me to see how quickly some of them do this and how literal others are. Thinking, PA, Grades: 5 - 10

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Twain: Tom Sawyer--Mythic Adventurer - Jayne Karsten

Grades
8 to 12
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This lesson focuses on the content and style of development in Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and explores the nature of Tom Sawyer as a youthful "American Adam." Offered ...more
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This lesson focuses on the content and style of development in Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and explores the nature of Tom Sawyer as a youthful "American Adam." Offered in seven 45-minute lesson plans, this site has great activities, particularly for 8th and 9th graders. It incorporates Twain's classic with a humanities angle that gives students a broader view of what education and life were like in the mid-19th century in America.

In the Classroom

Use portions of these lessons; then allow students to choose among the various project options, perhaps using multiple intelligence approach to facilitate their choices.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Acceptance Speech by Doris Voitier - Doris Voitier/ John F. Kennedy Memorial Library Foundation

Grades
K to 12
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Doris Voitier, Superintendent of the St. Bernard Parish Schools in New Orleans area gave this speech in acceptance of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation's Profiles in Courage Award...more
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Doris Voitier, Superintendent of the St. Bernard Parish Schools in New Orleans area gave this speech in acceptance of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation's Profiles in Courage Award in 2007. Her account of the challenges during and after Hurricane Katrina and the response by the staff of the St. Bernard Parish schools is awe-inspiring and heartening to educators. Her oral history also provides a powerful view of FEMA and the U.S. government from the eyes of hurricane survivors and local public officials.

TeachersFirst is fortunate to have Doris Voitier as a member of the board of directors of our parent company and is proud to congratulate her on this prestigious award.

tag(s): hurricanes (40)

In the Classroom

Educators anywhere will respond to this account on a very personal level. In the classroom, however, this account can also spark discussion about the role of the government in natural disasters, the structure and functions of local government agencies, such as the schools, and the very nature of local economies. Share this real-life story as the beginning of a class discussion on history, government, or economics at the local, state, and federal level.

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National Women's Hall of Fame - National Women's Hall of Fame

Grades
6 to 12
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The National Women's Hall of Fame celebrates the contributions of women to society and each year nominates outstanding women for inclusion. This site contains brief biographies of...more
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The National Women's Hall of Fame celebrates the contributions of women to society and each year nominates outstanding women for inclusion. This site contains brief biographies of each of these women.

tag(s): women (92)

In the Classroom

This site would be useful as a resource for teachers who assign "heroes" biographies, particularly during Women's History month. As a class activity, or in small groups, brainstorm a list of modern women, not included on this site, for a future nomination. Challenge students to research one of these modern women and write up nominations. Create the new biographies, using the same format as this site, by using a tool like Sway, reviewed here.

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American Experience: New Orleans - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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The tragedy of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent efforts to rebuild the city of New Orleans have brought attention to this distinctive city. This site provides resources for helping...more
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The tragedy of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent efforts to rebuild the city of New Orleans have brought attention to this distinctive city. This site provides resources for helping students understand its unique history from historical and cultural perspectives.

There are several great interactive resources provided including audio clips and commentary about New Orleans' great musical tradition, and a flash-enabled map showing the growth of the city over time. Whether you're interested in teaching music, particularly American Jazz, or the history of New Orleans' diverse melting pot of cultures or the politics of race in the Katrina recovery process, you will find good content here. Teacher resources include lesson plans on history, civics, music and geography.

tag(s): jazz (15)

In the Classroom

Share the interactive portions on projector and speakers or laptops, as you ask your students to propose a better way for government agencies to prepare for and respond to disasters. Using this site and many others, they can gather evidence to support their proposals. Don't miss the accounts by the Superintendent of the St. Bernard Schools as another source.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The American Experience: Technology - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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A companion to a PBS series on the impact of technology on culture, this site links to discussions of three separate innovations: the telephone, the television and the New ...more
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A companion to a PBS series on the impact of technology on culture, this site links to discussions of three separate innovations: the telephone, the television and the New York City subway. There is also a nice technology time line that shows students the explosion of inventions beginning in the 19th century. Teachers' guides within each section provide lesson plan ideas.

tag(s): evolution (102), industrial revolution (25), vision (85)

In the Classroom

The Flash-enabled technology timeline would be a great illustration of the impact of the industrial revolution on American culture. Use this on an interactive whiteboard or projector as you ask students to imagine their worlds without these inventions and predict the next ground breaking technology. While the section on the New York City subway system may seem to be less important, students might be encouraged to think about the relative failure of public transportation in the US and how that impacts the current oil crisis.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Secrets of the Dead: The Sinking of the Andrea Doria - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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This site accompanies a PBS episode on the sinking of the Andrea Doria. Following a "crime scene investigation" model, the episode looks at the controversy behind the collision between...more
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This site accompanies a PBS episode on the sinking of the Andrea Doria. Following a "crime scene investigation" model, the episode looks at the controversy behind the collision between the Doria and the Stockholm in 1956, and efforts to examine the wreck off the coast of New England. The site's usefulness is not limited to history teachers, however! There is a significant portion devoted to the science of deep sea diving.

In the Classroom

Use the excellent flash-enabled interactive "Diving Deep" to illustrate the physical properties of deep-sea diving that can endanger the lives of divers. There is also a detailed lesson plan in the Teacher Toolbox section that offers hands-on activities for exploring gas laws that affect divers, and printable handouts that provide questions on the lessons.

As you study the decades of the 20th century, this site could also be an interesting independent project source for a student interested in the 50's. Gifted students as young as upper elementary might find it a springboard for a comparison of maritime disasters.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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American Bald Eagle Information - Hope Rutledge

Grades
3 to 12
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This website is filled with wonderful information about our national bird, the American Bald Eagle. It is a detailed site, with topics ranging from nesting and migration to eyesight...more
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This website is filled with wonderful information about our national bird, the American Bald Eagle. It is a detailed site, with topics ranging from nesting and migration to eyesight and hearing. The site is easy to read and simple to navigate. Be sure to click on the Myths and Legends to see how the Bald Eagle has been viewed throughout history. Students with reading disabilities or low reading levels may need to some assistance with Native American verbiage.

tag(s): endangered species (40), species (30)

In the Classroom

Use this site as the starting point for individual and group projects. Save it on your desktop as a center or enrichment activity, especially during a unit on American symbols. Note that the images are strictly copyrighted (see the notice at the bottom).

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Renaissance: The Elizabethan World - Maggi Ros

Grades
4 to 12
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This site has links to everything you ever wanted to know about the Elizabeth world from a Compendium of Life in Elizabethan England to Heraldry to the transcripts of the ...more
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This site has links to everything you ever wanted to know about the Elizabeth world from a Compendium of Life in Elizabethan England to Heraldry to the transcripts of the trials of the Earls of Essex and Southampton. It also includes a link to a list of more than a hundred recommended sites for the Renaissance and Elizabethan times.Teachers of everything from world history to Shakespeare will find something to mine at this site. The Compendium of Elizabethan Life is especially interesting to those students who want to know "how things worked" 500 years ago in the time of Will Shakespeare. While this is a great research sourcefor Shakespeare, it is also good for drama, literature, and history for all sorts of activities.

tag(s): elizabethan (16), renaissance (34)

In the Classroom

Share this resource on your teacher web page for students to choose different research topics related to Elizabethan or Renaissance times. As you teach Shakespeare, bring up a daily "factoid," text snippet, or image on a projector to take students back in time before you start class.

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Map of Philadelphia - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 12
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This PDF file, provides a detailed map of Philadelphia. Before you head to Philadelphia, print out this useful map. The map requires Acrobat Reader. Get it from the ...more
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This PDF file, provides a detailed map of Philadelphia. Before you head to Philadelphia, print out this useful map. The map requires Acrobat Reader. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): colonial america (108), map skills (82), philadelphia (13)

In the Classroom

Share this and other sections of the TeachersFirst Colonial America tour as part of your study of the colonies so students can see what these historic locations look like today. Share the map on an interactive whiteboard and use the tools to highlight important aspects of a colonial city.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Teachers' Guide to Valley Forge Events - Tom Beccone

Grades
9 to 12
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This guide to the events at Valley Forge was created by an 11th grade high school teacher and his class for their use in studying the Revolution. It presents a ...more
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This guide to the events at Valley Forge was created by an 11th grade high school teacher and his class for their use in studying the Revolution. It presents a comprehensive look at Washington's troops and their circumstances during the winter at Valley Forge.

tag(s): colonial america (108), philadelphia (13)

In the Classroom

Share this and other sections of the TeachersFirst Colonial America tour as part of your study of the colonies so students can see what these historic locations look like today.

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Franklin Institute - The Franklin Institute Science Museum

Grades
2 to 12
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This website includes information about Benjamin Franklin, lesson ideas for the classroom, field trip ideas for visiting the Franklin Institute and information about the many unique...more
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This website includes information about Benjamin Franklin, lesson ideas for the classroom, field trip ideas for visiting the Franklin Institute and information about the many unique and educational exhibits at the museum. Ben Franklin is one of America's most colorful patriots. His accomplishments as legislator, diplomat, and scientist were recognized as extraordinary even in his own day. Philadelphia's Franklin Institute has a memorial to Franklin. You can include it in your Philadelphia visit, or learn more about it here.

tag(s): colonial america (108), franklin (12), philadelphia (13)

In the Classroom

Share this and other sections of the TeachersFirst Colonial America tour as part of your study of the colonies so students can see what these historic locations look like today.

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Pyramids: The Inside Story - NOVA: PBS

Grades
5 to 12
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Learn about each Egyptian pyramid by following explorers through the excavations, and learn about the exciting history of pyramid discovery and uncovering! View detailed inside views...more
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Learn about each Egyptian pyramid by following explorers through the excavations, and learn about the exciting history of pyramid discovery and uncovering! View detailed inside views of each site. Learn how to decipher hieroglyphics as you make your way through this fascinating site. Read about current digs and restoration efforts. The virtual exploration portions of the site require Quicktime. There is a link to download it, or you can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): archeology (32), egypt (70), pyramids (29)

In the Classroom

Use the lesson plan to build a scale model of a pyramid in your classroom or assign your students to explore the pyramids and collect information to compare them to burial customs of other ancient civilizations. You will definitely want to make this site available as a link from your teacher web page for further exploration. Teachers of gifted could use this as a springboard for an entire Egypt unit.

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Colonial Williamsburg: Virtual Tour of the Town - Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Grades
5 to 12
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Walk through the streets of Colonial Williamsburg and learn about the many inhabitants and buildings along the way. This amazing virtual tour through the streets makes it seem like...more
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Walk through the streets of Colonial Williamsburg and learn about the many inhabitants and buildings along the way. This amazing virtual tour through the streets makes it seem like you are there. This site is actually part of the Williamsburg Interactive page, but its value to historical understanding warranted its own TeachersFirst review. Hold your cursor over buildings and the page dims to highlight just that area. Then, you will be given information about that area and its inhabitants. Follow the links to additional web pages for more information. You will need Flash for this site. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): colonial america (108), williamsburg (12)

In the Classroom

If you have a whiteboard or projector, you will have a captivated class. Individual or paired computer experience will allow your students to walk through the streets on their own. How about having a cyber-scavenger hunt? You will need to walk through the town yourself to find tidbits along the way, then later, ask the students to find them. They must give you the location where they were found.

Younger students will need to be shown how to cyber-walk through the streets. You can ask them to report to you about the citizens they meet along the way. Ask students to draw their own colonial town based upon a layout like Williamsburg.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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History is Fun: Jamestown and Yorktown - Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation

Grades
5 to 12
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Indeed, history appears to be 'fun' when you see the extensive historical action at this official Jamestown and Yorktown website. This site promotes learning about America's early history...more
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Indeed, history appears to be 'fun' when you see the extensive historical action at this official Jamestown and Yorktown website. This site promotes learning about America's early history in the Jamestown area through a variety of venues. Watch quick videos, plan your Jamestown field trip or vacation, or take advantage of the abundant curriculum materials available to educators, including .pdf documents: timelines, comprehensive lesson plans, and resource materials. Scroll to the bottom of the curriculum materials page for thorough summary documents of Jamestown and Yorktown.

tag(s): colonial america (108), colonization (17), india (37), jamestown (11)

In the Classroom

Using a projector or interactive whiteboard, you may enhance your lesson by viewing the short one-minute videos. What a great activator or anticipatory set! With a quick click, this site allows you to buy tickets to these two historical places, so you will want to monitor students.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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EASE History - EASE History

Grades
9 to 12
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EASE History is a novel approach to viewing and learning from historical film clips and photographs. EASE (Experience Acceleration Support Environment) allows students and teachers...more
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EASE History is a novel approach to viewing and learning from historical film clips and photographs. EASE (Experience Acceleration Support Environment) allows students and teachers to search about 600 clips and photos by subject matter, core value subject, and within the special category of presidential campaign ads. Once a category is selected, it is possible to position clips side by side to compare them and discuss, or to thread through a series of ideas by clicking matching icons. The availability of these short film clips is valuable... the interface and ability to draw connections is an added bonus. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): advertising (34)

In the Classroom

Teachers can select clips for use on an interactive whiteboard or projector, or students can explore the site individually by following themes or searching under concepts. The site takes a little time to understand, although students may find it more intuitive. Demonstrate it first to save valuable time. It is designed to encourage flexible thinking styles and student creativity. One small drawback to the site is that the film clips are all quite short; they are designed more to generate discussion than to fully recount the event. Simply showing multiple short clips from an era will help students get a richer experience of the times and perhaps launch a longer lesson.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Academy of Achievement - Academy of Achievement

Grades
5 to 12
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This site profiles a wide variety of achievers from the arts, science, sports, and business. Each achiever profile features a short biography, a discussion of his or her significance,...more
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This site profiles a wide variety of achievers from the arts, science, sports, and business. Each achiever profile features a short biography, a discussion of his or her significance, a photo gallery and an interview. Most of the interviews feature audio and video clips of the achiever as well. The achievers are grouped by area and in an alphabetical drop down list. One great feature is that the achievers are also grouped by character attribute (referred to as their "key to success"): passion, courage, perseverance, integrity, and a neat category called "The American Dream." This site requires Flash and Quicktime. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): heroes (24), pioneers (8)

In the Classroom

If you assign any kind of "hero," "pioneer," or "leader" biography project, this site is a fabulous resource for students. The list of achievers includes many who may not be instantly recognizable to students and therefore provide more potential for discovery. In addition, the site is large enough and well-enough organized that students can start with this site and "dig" for a possible achiever to research, either by achievement area or by character trait. The site includes a diverse group of achievers, so is also useful if you're doing Women's History or Black History projects. Include this site on your teacher web page for students and parents to access as a reference.
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When the Personal Becomes Presidential - New York Times Learning Network

Grades
6 to 12
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This is a New York Times lesson plan focused on a recent article about the personal lives of Presidential candidates. The lesson plan asks students to look at the ...more
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This is a New York Times lesson plan focused on a recent article about the personal lives of Presidential candidates. The lesson plan asks students to look at the extent to which candidates and their personal pasts will influence voters' willingness to support them, and focuses on the fact that several candidates have had messy divorces.

The lesson plan starts with the familiar "read the story and discuss" format, but there are a number of good essential questions and extension activities provided that could be tailored into a strong classroom plan. The lesson plans have cross-curricular suggestions, and are tied to standards.

tag(s): elections (78), presidents (132)

In the Classroom

Be sure help your weaker readers and ELL students by sharing the listed vocabulary words prior to reading, either on a handout or by projecting on an interactive whiteboard and highlighting them in the text as you come to them.

Use this lesson to discuss current events in politics (which changes daily). Have students discuss and debate the current issues. Have the students write a wiki about a current event in politics (for example, Governor Palin being the first woman VP on the GOP ticket).

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