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Uncle Tom's Cabin and American Culture - University of Virginia

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8 to 12
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Tap into this multimedia archive for a comprehensive understanding of the controversial popularity of Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel. Text, images, songs, three-D images, and film clips...more
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Tap into this multimedia archive for a comprehensive understanding of the controversial popularity of Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel. Text, images, songs, three-D images, and film clips come together to provide a unique historical perspective. Select the "Interpret Mode" for access to an interactive timeline, virtual exhibits, and suggestions on exploring the primary source materials.

tag(s): africa (172), african american (112), slavery (70)

In the Classroom

Bookmark as an online resource for student research or as a teacher source for lesson development.

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Multiple Choice Quizzes - SchoolHistory

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8 to 12
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Scan through this collection to find the interactive quiz that will best support your curriculum unit. Topics include Shakespeare, the Industrial Revolution, the Cold War, the USA in...more
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Scan through this collection to find the interactive quiz that will best support your curriculum unit. Topics include Shakespeare, the Industrial Revolution, the Cold War, the USA in the 1920s, and much more. Each quiz is self-correcting. Use as a review or as a pre-test to assess student knowledge.

tag(s): quiz (88), quizzes (101)

In the Classroom

Use this site to review students on important scanning many units of history. Save this site as a learning center or station, and allow students to use it in the days proceeding an assessment. Teachers can also print out some of the quizzes and use them to assess students background knowledge when entering a new unit.

Be sure to post these on your teacher wiki or webpage too, allowing students to review before a major assessment - both in and out of the classroom.

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Life in a Coal Mining Town

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

tag(s): coal (14), energy (204)

In the Classroom

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

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Quiz Tree - Sierra Vista Software

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

tag(s): quiz (88), quizzes (101)

In the Classroom

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

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A Concrete Curtain - Deutsches Historisches Museum

Grades
8 to 12
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This site examines the "Cold War" events that led to the construction of the Berlin Wall, life behind the Iron Curtain, stories of escapes, the political changes that brought about...more
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This site examines the "Cold War" events that led to the construction of the Berlin Wall, life behind the Iron Curtain, stories of escapes, the political changes that brought about the wall's demise, and what life is now like for those who no longer live behind the Curtain. Includes period photographs and a gallery of art work from the East side. Also available in German and French.

tag(s): cold war (30), communism (4), german (67), germany (28)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on the cold war in a history or government class. To show what they have learned, have students pick one of the topics and create a digital map summarizing what happened. Have students use a tool such as Woices (beta) (reviewed here). This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place.

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Bound for Glory: America in Color - Library of Congress

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8 to 12
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This online exhibition from the Library of Congress features more than 70 color photographs - taken between 1939 and 1943 - that vividly capture the effects of the Great Depression...more
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This online exhibition from the Library of Congress features more than 70 color photographs - taken between 1939 and 1943 - that vividly capture the effects of the Great Depression on rural and small-town America and highlight the economic growth that preceded World War II. This is great visual resource for a 20th century American history class. Photography students can use the site to examine how the "Kodachrome" era changed the way we view our collective past.

tag(s): great depression (27), photography (158)

In the Classroom

It's interesting how viewing the images in color makes the viewer feel as though the Great Depression was something far more recent - perhaps due to the dated feeling of black and white images. In a discussion of the Great Depression, spend some time comparing these images and the traditional black and white images seen on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Ask students about the differences and if one is more revealing or not. This can also lead into a discussion on the reliability of primary sources and the effects of seeing something rather than reading it.

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American Women Through Time - Ken Middleton

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8 to 12
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Learn about specific time periods in America's past through the lens of women's history. This site provides a chronology of women's contributions in the United States from the nation's...more
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Learn about specific time periods in America's past through the lens of women's history. This site provides a chronology of women's contributions in the United States from the nation's infancy through the twentieth century. Students can "read more about it" by following links to relevant web sites for each event, or explore helpful research sources (census data, newspapers, diaries, etc.) for each specified area.

tag(s): women (94)

In the Classroom

This is an excellent resource for piecing together American history by examining primary source documents. Have cooperative learning groups investigate women's contributions in various decades and create a video. Share the videos using a site such as SchoolTube reviewed here.

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The Arts of the 1940s - John F. Kennedy Center

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8 to 12
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Click on the "Learn More About the '40s" link on this Kennedy Center site to experience an interactive tour of this pivotal decade. The focus is not just on national ...more
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Click on the "Learn More About the '40s" link on this Kennedy Center site to experience an interactive tour of this pivotal decade. The focus is not just on national and world events, but on the cultural components that defined the era. Get a glimpse of the fashion, music, dance, and theater that emerged as World War II drew to a close and the Cold War dawned.

tag(s): 1940s (12), world war 2 (143)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an in-class activity that teaches about the culture of the 1940's in a non-lecture format. Placing students in cooperative learning groups, have the groups research different aspects of the presentation with the intentions of summarizing their findings with the intentions of teaching their peers. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). This would be a fun way to incorporate technology and content for a US history classroom!

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Intelligent Design in American Classrooms - NPR

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8 to 12
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The debate over the teaching of intelligent design in the public school classroom is explored in this informational Web site that focuses on the recent controversy in Kansas and Pennsylvania....more
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The debate over the teaching of intelligent design in the public school classroom is explored in this informational Web site that focuses on the recent controversy in Kansas and Pennsylvania. Links to relevant news articles and audio clips of National Public Radio broadcasts are provided.

tag(s): darwin (9), design (94), evolution (99)

In the Classroom

If willing to deal with the possible religious discussion, this article would be a great starting point for a class debate on the costs and benefits of teaching intelligent design in the classroom. Based on what the article has written, begin a class discussion as to whether or not some of the actions taken by states have crossed any constitutional boundaries? Where would that boundary lie? (etc) This could lead to a heated discussion, but is a great way to get students discussing the importance of the establishment clause and its' practical application in society.

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Perilous Fight - Timeline - PBS

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8 to 12
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Supplement a unit on World War II with this impressive interactive timeline. The pivotal events that occurred between 1933 and 1945 are represented against stunning photographic backdrops....more
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Supplement a unit on World War II with this impressive interactive timeline. The pivotal events that occurred between 1933 and 1945 are represented against stunning photographic backdrops. Links to more detailed descriptions are provided.

tag(s): timelines (63), world war 2 (143)

In the Classroom

Use the interactive timeline on the projector as a way to introduce battlefront events during a unit on WWII. This could be used to accompany a lecture, or again at the end of the unit as a means for students to review the main events of the war. This is a great resource for a US or World history classroom.

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Rosa Parks - NPR

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8 to 12
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This NPR article provides an overview of the life and influences of "the mother of the civil rights movement." Click on the links to hear excerpts and full length ...more
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This NPR article provides an overview of the life and influences of "the mother of the civil rights movement." Click on the links to hear excerpts and full length interviews in which Parks recounts the events of that historic day in 1955 when she refused to relinquish her bus seat to a white man. A compelling resource to add to a discussion of civil rights in America.

tag(s): africa (172), african american (112), civil rights (120), rosa parks (6), segregation (16)

In the Classroom

The most intriguing part of this site are the audio portions where Parks recounts her story. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector and play the portions during and within a lecture on Parks. Hearing Parks tell her story will add a different element than pictures and lecture provide.

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Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute

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8 to 12
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This is the site for the foundation created by Rosa Parks to assist children in learning about the civil rights struggle. The site also includes biographical information on Rosa Parks...more
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This is the site for the foundation created by Rosa Parks to assist children in learning about the civil rights struggle. The site also includes biographical information on Rosa Parks and her achievements.

tag(s): africa (172), african american (112), civil rights (120), rosa parks (6), segregation (16)

In the Classroom

Refer students working on research projects or papers on Rosa Parks to this site. There is a very text-heavy biography, but the information is all useful and reliable.

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Remembering Rosa Parks - Academy of Achievement

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6 to 12
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Rosa Parks' confrontation on a Birmingham, AL, bus helped spark the American civil rights movement. Her death in October, 2005, offered an opportunity to remember that contribution...more
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Rosa Parks' confrontation on a Birmingham, AL, bus helped spark the American civil rights movement. Her death in October, 2005, offered an opportunity to remember that contribution to American society. This site's biography offers background on the story that could be used in a number of instructional settings.

tag(s): africa (172), african american (112), civil rights (120), rosa parks (6)

In the Classroom

Within the site is an interview with Parks, in which she accounts segregation in her childhood as well as the bus boycott that made her so famous. Play this for students during a unit on the Civil Rights movement in place of a lecture, or afterwards to review the content.

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1492 - An Ongoing Voyage - Library of Congress

Grades
9 to 12
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This site from the Library of Congress takes a detailed look at the variety of peoples and civilizations that were thriving on the American continents before they were "discovered"...more
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This site from the Library of Congress takes a detailed look at the variety of peoples and civilizations that were thriving on the American continents before they were "discovered" by the Europeans. The content includes native peoples of the Caribbean, Mexico, South America, and North America. Try this one as a counterpoint to a traditional explorers unit, or as part of a study of the Maya, Inca, or other native cultures.

tag(s): explorers (63), native americans (78)

In the Classroom

Use the images on this site to create a picture walk activity in your classroom. Select 10-15 of the more descriptive images, preferably with different subjects. Assign students to stand at specific images, rotating every 30-45 seconds. In that time, students should quickly jot down what they observe, infer and predict about each. After the walk is done, have a class discussion based on the notes that students have taken. This is a great way to introduce the beginnings of the New World in a non-lecture format.

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Exploring a New Frontier - America's Space Program - Smithsonian

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6 to 12
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This lesson unit from the National Park service offers a toolkit for learning about the space program of the 1960s. It introduces the formation of NASA and the evolution of ...more
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This lesson unit from the National Park service offers a toolkit for learning about the space program of the 1960s. It introduces the formation of NASA and the evolution of Cape Canaveral, Houston's manned spaceflight center, and other installations. While there's a lot of material here, teachers will no doubt need to use some of their own creativity to mold it into something that fits local needs. This site would be a great addition to a study of 20th century explorers.

tag(s): moon (72), nasa (37), space (220)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and classroom activities hosted on this site! Save this one as a favorite on your computer to allow for easy access and retrieval.

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9/11 - Voices of Reflection - NPR

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6 to 12
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This collection of first-person accounts, reflections, and musical offerings makes an interesting retrospective on the September 11 attacks, and one that classes can listen and react...more
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This collection of first-person accounts, reflections, and musical offerings makes an interesting retrospective on the September 11 attacks, and one that classes can listen and react to together. These recordings could offer a variety of ways in which to focus a discussion of those events.

tag(s): sept11 (17)

In the Classroom

Use some of the first hand accounts as a way to teach both about primary sources and the events of 9/11. Divide the class into cooperative learning groups, preferably with 4-5 differing groups. Assign each group a different primary source from the site, with the intentions of presenting a summary to the class. Once all the groups have presented their summaries, play a quick game "survivor" style in which students defend their pieces by validity and reliability. Have a representative from each group go to the front of the classroom, presenting a brief argument where theirs is the most reliable source. After each has presented, have the class vote off sources in rounds until there is only one left! This is a fun way to both teach the content & incorporate historical thinking skills.

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Benjamin Franklin: An Extaordinary Life, An Electric Mind - PBS

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7 to 12
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Learn about the colorful life and world of Ben Franklin through this series of eight downloadable lesson plans that explore the statesman's many talents and contributions. Topics include...more
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Learn about the colorful life and world of Ben Franklin through this series of eight downloadable lesson plans that explore the statesman's many talents and contributions. Topics include Poor Richard's Almanack, superstition vs. science, volunteerism and citizenship, colonial "broadsides" and almanacs, the art of invention, and more. Aligned to National Standards.

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities hosted on this site! This would be a great resource for an early American history class, be sure to save it as a favorite on your computer!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Google Maps - Google

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

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (174), directions (18), maps (291)

In the Classroom

If you teach geography, this one's a must. It is also helpful for showing students WHERE a story or news event takes place. In lower grades, use it to show students basics of their community. Teach map skills by showing students their own community. Zoom in on their street or on the school. This site and its more sophisticated cousin, Google Earth, are great on an interactive whiteboard. Set up a class Google account (or use student accounts if permitted). Have students create their own custom route plans to tour historic sites. Challenge math students to plan the most economical route to visit several vacation destinations, including gas mileage and gas prices. Have students create placemarker files of the important places in the life of a famous person or the route traveled by a particular unit during the Civil War. Have student groups create placemarker files to show environmental sites, habitats, landforms, or anything you can place on a map. Embed projects in a class wiki using the handy embed code offered as a sharing option. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.

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American history: 8000 Years of Forest Management - Forest History Society and Duke University

Grades
7 to 12
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How do historians piece together details of ancient cultures when no written records exist? This detailed lesson plan introduces students to the process of analyzing artifacts and architecture...more
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How do historians piece together details of ancient cultures when no written records exist? This detailed lesson plan introduces students to the process of analyzing artifacts and architecture to reveal important cultural outlooks and practices. With a specific emphasis on the environmental attitudes of Native Americans, the activities challenge students to assume the roles of historians, anthropologists, archaeologists, and geographers; analyze clues from the past, make inferences based on factual research, and apply their knowledge to the creation of a modern day environmental legend. All materials are provided as downloadable documents. Aligned to National Standards.

tag(s): anthropology (11), architecture (84), native americans (78)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities offered on the site! The lessons are all traced back to Standards of Learning, so teachers can rest assured that these are valid activities. Save this site as a favorite, and refer to it when looking for new ways to cover Indigenous Societies or the procurement of historical Evidence. This site could potentially be used in a History, Social Studies or Science classroom.

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Where Did All the Money Go? - National Council on Economic Education

Grades
9 to 12
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Use deductive reasoning skills to isolate the diverse factors that contributed to the Great Depression. This standards-based lesson plan leads students through Internet research and...more
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Use deductive reasoning skills to isolate the diverse factors that contributed to the Great Depression. This standards-based lesson plan leads students through Internet research and analysis of related economic writings to the creation of a concept map illustrating the interdependence between businesses in a market economy. Aligned to National Standards.

tag(s): business (58)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this free lesson plan in your classroom on a unit about the Great Depression. Not only would this be great in an economics class, but try using it in history or math - it has an interdisciplinary approach that shows the practical application of the math.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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