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Teaching about Japanese-American Internment - ERIC

Grades
9 to 12
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ERIC was a government-sponsored clearinghouse for educational resources that has recently lost funding. This site maintains some of the files from the ERIC database, and in this case,...more
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ERIC was a government-sponsored clearinghouse for educational resources that has recently lost funding. This site maintains some of the files from the ERIC database, and in this case, focuses on resources relative to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. It includes some very helpful suggestions for explaining this process to students and placing it in a larger context of civil rights, immigration, and the study of World War II.

tag(s): civil rights (117), japan (61), japanese (42), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Teachers have to walk a fine line between helping students see history as it was experienced at the time, and showing them what we may have learned from those events. This site can assist with the difficulty of discussing the blatant racism of Japanese-American internment while acknowledging its presence in American history.

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Anne Frank Center - Anne Frank Center USA

Grades
6 to 12
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This site would make a nice accompaniment for students reading "The Diary of Ann Frank." This site includes exerpts from Anne's diary, lesson plans and downloadable readers' guides...more
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This site would make a nice accompaniment for students reading "The Diary of Ann Frank." This site includes exerpts from Anne's diary, lesson plans and downloadable readers' guides for teachers. Go directly to "Ann Frank: Life and Times" to access the excerpts from her diary and the scrapbook. This include pictures and artifacts along with a biography of Anne Frank suitable for middle school students.

tag(s): anne frank (10), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

A "scrapbook" section would be very effective on a projector or interactive whiteboard. The scrapbook might function as a good anticipatory activity to set up a unit on the diary, although it does give away the ending of the story. There is also a section for teachers which includes some downloadable handouts, a bibliography and other resources.

If you are teaching about World War II, this would be a good resource to share on your teacher web pages for independent projects.

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The Vietnam War - Peter Leuhusen

Grades
9 to 12
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A photo essay slide show covering the Vietnam War. There are also timelines, maps, and a brief discussion of the war in general.The focus of this site is its ...more
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A photo essay slide show covering the Vietnam War. There are also timelines, maps, and a brief discussion of the war in general.The focus of this site is its outstanding images, most which have accompanying text, explaining and setting the context.

tag(s): vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

Because it is in a slide show format, this would be effective on a projector or interactive whiteboard. There is a soundtrack that accompanies the slide shows. Teachers should exercise caution, however, as some of the images might be upsetting or difficult for less mature students.

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Meltdown at Three Mile Island - PBS The American Experience

Grades
9 to 12
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PBS site associated with an American Experience episode on the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear power accident in Pennsylvania. There is a Shockwave animation showing how the meltdown...more
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PBS site associated with an American Experience episode on the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear power accident in Pennsylvania. There is a Shockwave animation showing how the meltdown happened, a chronology of events, maps and teacher resources.

In the Classroom

While the site uses the "watch the video and discuss" model, the questions listed in the teacher resources section would be appropriate for a more general discussion on nuclear power. There is a nice map showing the location of nuclear power plants in the United States. The Shockwave animation explaining the meltdown might be useful in a science class discussion on nuclear energy, and would display well on an interactive whiteboard.

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The Costumer's Manifesto - Tara Maginnis, Ph.D

Grades
7 to 12
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This is an amazing site for kids who ask, "But what did they WEAR?" In today's fashion-conscious society, looking at the past is often quite amusing, eye-opening, and insightful. A...more
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This is an amazing site for kids who ask, "But what did they WEAR?" In today's fashion-conscious society, looking at the past is often quite amusing, eye-opening, and insightful. A worthwhile site for teachers of theater, history, English, and even family and consumer science -- since the site even includes some patterns. Clicking on any of the options in the opening menu will take you to specific areas of that subject through history. The "Costume History sorted by Period" is truly fascinating as it offers drawings, patterns, and rationale for clothing of different time periods, including materials used and practical reasons for everything from codpieces to headdresses.

tag(s): costumes (6)

In the Classroom

This is a HUGE site worth dipping into for everything from history of clothing to wedding rituals and ceremonies of all kinds. As you introduce the setting of a new piece of literature or study of a new historical period, share this site to make another time "real" to your fashion-conscious teens. Include this site for fashion, costuming, or customs as one of the student research topics for a time period or lit study.

Note: The site is not terribly attractive as a set of links. It also has advertising and links to "outside" topics. Give precise directions for where students should go.

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National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)

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K to 12
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The mission of National Council for the Social Studies is to provide leadership, service, and support for all social studies educators. ...more
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The mission of National Council for the Social Studies is to provide leadership, service, and support for all social studies educators.

In the Classroom

Within the Classroom Resources section of this website to look for free lesson plans and classroom activities. The lessons are organized by grade level, so be sure to pass it along to peers in other grade levels. Save this one as a favorite to allow for easy access and retrieval.

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My Hero - My Hero Project

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K to 12
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Looking for an online project-based interactive website that encourages literacy and cross-cultural communication? Looking for an alternative culminating project or process writing...more
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Looking for an online project-based interactive website that encourages literacy and cross-cultural communication? Looking for an alternative culminating project or process writing project for your secondary classes? Trying to help your high school juniors and seniors create an interesting college "essay" or portfolio piece? Join other adults and children from around the world by adding your essay, artwork or video about a hero on this non-profit, ad-free web site. You and your students can use this site with basic word processing knowledge -- or take it further if you are more technically capable.Site registration is required. Site is available in Spanish. Flash, Acrobat Reader and Quicktime are required. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): gifted (96), heroes (24), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Be sure to visit the Teacher's Resource section for helpful hints and links. Use any word processing program to type essays, then copy and paste into the My Hero class page. Provide a link to the class page on your teacher web page so students, parents, and relatives can read the essays. As always follow your district policies regarding posting student work on the Internet. It is HIGHLY advisable to get written parent permission for such a project!

Very young students could work together as a class to write their entry. Older students and those with more technology available will definitely want to try the videos! If you know iMovie or Windows Moviemaker, this is a terrific project. It is well-suited for gifted students, as well.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Dramatizing History in Arthur Miller's The Crucible - National Endowment for the Humanities

Grades
9 to 12
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This is a another wonderful site for the NEH that encompasses both history and literature in a study of the Salem witchcraft trials with Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible. It ...more
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This is a another wonderful site for the NEH that encompasses both history and literature in a study of the Salem witchcraft trials with Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible. It has a complete lesson plan for 10-12 days with included activities and final projects as well as lesson extensions, all in a printable format. This one is a real bonus for either English or history teachers!

tag(s): salem (6)

In the Classroom

While this site includes lesson plans for 10-12 days, it is easy to dip in and out of the activities, molding them to whatever it is you want to teach and the approach you want to take. It deals culturally with why Miller's plan "outdoes the historians" when making this history come alive as well as show the lessons in history as well as literature.

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How the Understanding of US History Changes - National Public Radio

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9 to 12
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This site provides an audio file of an NPR interview with author Kyle Ward ("History in the Making") about the changing interpretation of the Mexican-American War as reflected in history...more
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This site provides an audio file of an NPR interview with author Kyle Ward ("History in the Making") about the changing interpretation of the Mexican-American War as reflected in history text books beginning just after the War up until the present. This discussion illustrates that "history" is often a reflection of the historical context in which it is written. There are also links to three more interviews on the same general topic.

Students are fascinated with the concept that their history text books might be wrong, or biased. Although the interview doesn't mention it, this discussion was also well illustrated in James Loewen's "Lies My Teacher Told Me." The seven minute interview might be quite useful in helping advanced students understand that history isn't static, and that any account of a historical "fact" should be considered in light of its context and the political perspective of the times.

In the Classroom

This site would be helpful to students preparing to do research for your class or for National History Day projects which must be developed using primary documents: to illustrate that even primary documents are subject to interpretation and cannot always be accepted at face value!

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43 Folders Cornell Notes - 43 Folders

Grades
6 to 12
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Looking for a simple way to teach note-taking skills? This wiki web site provides a template and simple instructions for taking notes Cornell style. The template contains a ...more
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Looking for a simple way to teach note-taking skills? This wiki web site provides a template and simple instructions for taking notes Cornell style. The template contains a 4 section layout that includes a section for demographics such as name and topic, a section for simple, bullet-style notes, a section for review questions based on the notes and lastly, a section for a summary. Simple and easy - a tool every student can benefit from utilizing.

tag(s): note taking (32)

In the Classroom

Special Ed teachers will find this system quite helpful for their struggling students. Consider teaming up with content-area teachers to require it of ALL students! Teachers may want to use the template in their own graduate coursework, as well.

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

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

tag(s): writing (358), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

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

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Flash Earth

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

tag(s): globe (14), maps (288)

In the Classroom

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

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Virtual Seminars for Teaching English - P. Groves and S. D. Lee

Grades
8 to 12
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This ia a very interesting site for teaching the literature and humanities areas of WWI. You can follow interactive "paths" or create your own path. It highlights several lesser known...more
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This ia a very interesting site for teaching the literature and humanities areas of WWI. You can follow interactive "paths" or create your own path. It highlights several lesser known British poets and photographers from that time period and contains some things found nowhere else on the 'net. Some of the archives include media components, such as video. History teachers may want to use some of these materials to familiarize students with the culture of the times.

tag(s): literature (275), poetry (227)

In the Classroom

This could be used very easily as part of a webquestor web scavenger hunt. You could also use it in the classroom on a projector or whiteboard to show different elements or types of war poetry. Make sure you have the correct plug-ins if you are using video portions.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Trading Card Maker - BigHugeLabs.com

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

tag(s): book reports (36), famous people (19), images (265)

In the Classroom

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

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Salem: Witchcraft Hysteria - National Geographic

Grades
7 to 12
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This visually beautiful (though dark) tour through the background and events of the Salem witch trials explains the major figures of Tituba and others. It places you, the viewer, as...more
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This visually beautiful (though dark) tour through the background and events of the Salem witch trials explains the major figures of Tituba and others. It places you, the viewer, as a member of the community and portrays the feelings people had as part of the witch "hysteria."

tag(s): salem (6)

In the Classroom

This site is ideally suited for a projector, if you are taking a quick visit as an introduction to the time period in a history or literature class. Those studying The Crucible may want to build a lesson around having students explore the site to build their background knowledge of the historical events. A web scavenger hunt would work well, as would assigning this as one of a few sources for students to create a wiki page or blog about the trials. Be sure to preview the various navigational tools, such as links,scroll bars, and pulldowns, to find all the "hidden" parts of the site. It is easy to miss some of it.

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Collapse: Why Do Civilizations Fail? - Annenberg Media

Grades
6 to 12
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This site looks at the collapse of several ancient civilizations and suggests why these civilizations did not last. The text is easy to read and is highlighted by learning ...more
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This site looks at the collapse of several ancient civilizations and suggests why these civilizations did not last. The text is easy to read and is highlighted by learning activities and games that illustrate the issues under discussion. Featured civilizations include the Maya, Mesopotamia, the Anasazi of North America and the West African societies of Mali and Songhai. The strength of this site is its suggestion that there are commonalities that help us understand the collapse of a society. There are web links to further resources, and a summary featuring Percy Shelley's poem "Ozymandias", a nice literary connection. There are "hands on" activities scattered throughout, many including cross-curricular links to science or literature.

tag(s): gifted (96), mayans (12), mesopotamia (6), nasa (39)

In the Classroom

This site gives good concrete information, but its real power is in the greater consideration of the rise and fall of civilizations through history. This is a VERY thought-provoking collection of resources. Teachers interested in tying this discussion to current events might discuss the future of civilization in Iraq considering the criteria for maintaining a society given in this site. Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on ancient civilizations' collapse. This site could be specifically tailored to teach about Mesoamerican cultures as three of the 4 ancient civilizations were located in South America. To make that simpler, we recommend creating a guide for students through a website such as Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here). This would be a great resource for a World History classroom! Teachers of gifted could also use this site as the basis for a great social studies unit. If you own the old favorite computer game Civilization, you could put together some scenarios using that, as well.

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The American Experience: Remember the Alamo - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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Another great PBS site, this one focused on the history of Texas statehood and the battle at the Alamo. There are interviews, a timeline, and a nifty interactive map ...more
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Another great PBS site, this one focused on the history of Texas statehood and the battle at the Alamo. There are interviews, a timeline, and a nifty interactive map of the early history of Texas. The Alamo has become one of those myths that have contributed to our sense of American history, and a dose of reality about the event is important. For example, there were survivors of the battle, and some of their stories are told here.

tag(s): texas (4)

In the Classroom

The included lesson plans may focus too much on the standard "watch the film, and discuss" format, but there is a nice plan that asks students to compare several different rallying cries from American history ("Remember Pearl Harbor," "I have not yet begun to fight," "Don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes," and "Remember the Maine") that could provide a nice overview of how society comes to embrace a war as a patriotic duty.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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BBC Schools Online: World War One - BBC

Grades
9 to 12
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This site contains a number of activities and Flash-enabled simulation games centered on World War One. Students can choose various weapons and try to win a mission, listen to ...more
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This site contains a number of activities and Flash-enabled simulation games centered on World War One. Students can choose various weapons and try to win a mission, listen to eyewitness accounts, and discover various roles played by those on the homefront. There are also lesson plans for teachers. The site is clearly designed for use in British schools and comes from the British viewpoint, but could be very useful in American classrooms as well. Because our country was not part of the war theatre, it can be hard to imagine the war's impact. This site more clearly shows the impact.

In the Classroom

The simulation games and other visual activites would work well on an interactive white board.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Daily Lesson Plan: A Tale of Two Wars - New York Times

Grades
9 to 12
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One of the New York Times Learning Network's daily lesson plans, this site focuses on making comparisions between the Vietnam War and the Iraq War. It's a one-period lesson ...more
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One of the New York Times Learning Network's daily lesson plans, this site focuses on making comparisions between the Vietnam War and the Iraq War. It's a one-period lesson plan with links to a NY Times article to read and discuss with a very comprehensive list of questions. There is a printable blank Venn diagram student groups could use to compare the two wars. The opening exercise suggests students create stereotypical Republican and Democratic bumper stickers relative to the war.

tag(s): iraq (32), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

This is a timely discussion and might be useful for a class that features current events or political parties (e.g. civics). The best part of the discussion might be helping students put the current situation into a broader historical context. Caution should be used, however, in using the suggested commercial website to research actual political bumper stickers for comparision. Many of the featured stickers probably aren't appropriate for classrooms, and will probably generate the wrong kind of discussion!

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NOVA Wings of Madness - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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From a recent PBS Nova episode, this site deals with the early efforts of pioneer aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont. Santos-Dumont had the revolutionary idea that enabling humans to fly...more
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From a recent PBS Nova episode, this site deals with the early efforts of pioneer aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont. Santos-Dumont had the revolutionary idea that enabling humans to fly would contribute to world peace, because people would experience a new, more pure, perspective on the world from above. A contemporary of the Wright Brothers, Santos-Dumont's designs influenced modern "ultralight" planes of today. The site includes biographical information about Santos-Dumont and a very nice slideshow of failed airplane designs. There is an interactive view of one of Santos-Dumont's planes showing its features. Under the teacher's guide, a classroom activity provides plans for various forms of paper airplanes illustrating principles of aerodynamics.

tag(s): air (163), aviation (39)

In the Classroom

Flying has always fascinated us, and flying failures are sometimes more interesting than successes. Students will know all about the Wright Brothers; they are unlikely to have heard of Alberto Santos-Dumont. The interactives are terrific and the paper airplanes would make a good hands-on activity. The readings about Santos-Dumont would also make good selections for a reading teacher trying to find motivating readings to teach comprehension strategies.
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