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American Cultural History: The Twentieth Century - Kingwood College Library

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9 to 12
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American History - Explore the turbulent, colorful, and world-changing events of 20th century America with this site that gives decade-by-decade summaries of what was happening in...more
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American History - Explore the turbulent, colorful, and world-changing events of 20th century America with this site that gives decade-by-decade summaries of what was happening in literature, education, music, scientific developments and artistic achievements. Vintage photographs and links to related resources are provided. There is quite a bit to read and investigate on this entertaining site which, unfortunately, is not searchable. But sift through the vast resources to isolate the areas that will fit best with your curriculum, and take your students to the computer lab for an independent Web hunt to introduce or enhance an American history lesson.

tag(s): 20th century (53)

In the Classroom

Find the time period that is applicable to your class unit and share the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Use the site as a resource for students working on research projects. The site offers information about architecture, art, literature, fashion, politics, etc. about every time period. The site would be an excellent jump-off point for students beginning their research or still in the process of selecting a research topic.

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American Cultural History - The Nineteenth Century - Kingwood College Library

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9 to 12
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Stroll through the decades of the 19th century and examine the dramatic changes experienced by American society with the onset of the Industrial Revolution. This site explores social...more
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Stroll through the decades of the 19th century and examine the dramatic changes experienced by American society with the onset of the Industrial Revolution. This site explores social movements, art and literature, pastimes, business, and immigration. Hyperlinks to related topics are liberally sprinkled throughout informative text. Many historic photographs and images are also included. There is A LOT to read and explore on this site, and although it is organized by decade, the site is not searchable. You'll need to rely on chronological knowledge to isolate the subjects you wish investigate with your students.

tag(s): 1800s (47), evolution (102), industrial revolution (25)

In the Classroom

During the units covering each of the decades in the 19th century, assign each student a different portion of the site. Have students work on their sections in pairs, eventually creating an online poster of a summary or what they thought were the most important parts. Use an online poster creator, such as Padlet (reviewed here). The best decades to do this will probably be the Antebellum south through the Gilded age.

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Debating Our Destiny - MacNeil/Lehrer

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8 to 12
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This site presents the presidential debates of the past through the eyes of those who were there. Video clips of debates from 1976 through 1996 are provided along with ...more
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This site presents the presidential debates of the past through the eyes of those who were there. Video clips of debates from 1976 through 1996 are provided along with reflective commentary from the former presidents on their individual performances. The "Behind the Podium" section offers some revealing information about debate preparation and the differences between debate formats (formal vs. town hall). This would be an excellent resource to explore with your students before this year's presidential debates. Use it to generate discussion and encourage analysis.

tag(s): elections (77), politics (100), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and classroom activities hosted on the "teachers" portion of this site. This would be a great way to connect current events to those of past elections - a useful resource for a US government class.

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Race: The Power of an Illusion - PBS

Grades
9 to 12
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This thoughtful resource examines race-related myths, misconceptions, and assumptions that often create injustice and inequity in our society. Students can independently explore an...more
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This thoughtful resource examines race-related myths, misconceptions, and assumptions that often create injustice and inequity in our society. Students can independently explore an interactive tutorial that investigates the concept of "race" and participate in interactive activities that reveal the dangers and difficulties of arbitrary racial classification. The content provides excellent material for class discussions. One of the outstanding features of the sight is a collection of beautifully constructed "slide shows" that focus on the significant role race plays in all of our lives. Considering combining this resource with a lesson on civil rights or immigration. Lesson plans and background readings are provided. Created by California Newsreel.

tag(s): africa (178), african american (114), segregation (15)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an in-class activity to provide students with the background knowledge of what race is before beginning a unit on civil rights and the racial strife of the 20th century.(and beyond if necessary) Have students create concept maps for the ideas presented in the piece, showing new information to them as well as how it's all connected. Use a tool such as bubbl.us (reviewed here) to create and share the concept maps.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Golden Gate Bridge - PBS

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8 to 12
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American history, economics, geography, and culture are explored in this site that presents unique insight into the construction of one of the world's most famous suspension bridges....more
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American history, economics, geography, and culture are explored in this site that presents unique insight into the construction of one of the world's most famous suspension bridges. Built hundreds of feet above the waters of the San Francisco Bay, the bridge stands as a symbol for many of the riveting themes in 20th century American history including the growth of urban areas, the continued development of the West, the New Deal, and the role of labor and labor unions. The site also features a timeline, video clips, a gallery of on-site construction photos, detailed information about people and events, a discussion of mathematical principles, and a helpful teacher's guide.

tag(s): california (27)

In the Classroom

This site is an excellent accompaniment to the movie with the same name by PBS. The teacher guide offers free lesson plans and activities for history, civics, economics, and geography classes. Beyond that there are also online games, discussion boards, and biography information that would make the site a great learning center or station. Save this site as a favorite and refer to it when discussing architecture, the Golden Gate Bridge, or a period lecture on the 1930's.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Building America - National Building Museum

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8 to 12
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Explore American architectural design, planning, and construction with this impressive, thought-provoking exhibit of photographs, browsable timelines, audio clips, illustrated essays,...more
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Explore American architectural design, planning, and construction with this impressive, thought-provoking exhibit of photographs, browsable timelines, audio clips, illustrated essays, and much more! Enrich art or history classes with hundreds of images showcasing many monumental and enduring structures - from the U.S. Capitol to the Empire State Building - as well as those that reflect the daily lives of Americans: shopping centers, offices, and suburban homes.

tag(s): architecture (84)

In the Classroom

Challenge students to examine the world we have built and analyze the relationship between our architectural achievements and our national experiences, character, and values. This extensive, easy to navigate site has many interdisciplinary possibilities. Explore it through the lens of your particular curriculum and develop a focus for your students before turning them loose.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Lest We Forget: The Triumph Over Slavery - Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture

Grades
9 to 12
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This outstanding site documents the transatlantic slave trade and examines the extraordinary triumphs of African people in the Americas. Through vivid images and sensitively written...more
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This outstanding site documents the transatlantic slave trade and examines the extraordinary triumphs of African people in the Americas. Through vivid images and sensitively written text, students can gain an understanding of and appreciation for the rich culture, fierce struggles, and enduring legacies of African Americans. Available in Spanish and French.

tag(s): africa (178), african american (114), slavery (71)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on slavery and it's history in America.Divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. To show what they have learned from this site, challenge students to create an online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here. This would be a great way to introduce the topic without a lecture.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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U.S. Capitol Virtual Tour - U.S. Senate

Grades
6 to 12
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If taking your students to Washington, D.C., just isn't a possibility, this site is the next best thing to being there. The interactive and user friendly multi-media tour provides panoramic...more
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If taking your students to Washington, D.C., just isn't a possibility, this site is the next best thing to being there. The interactive and user friendly multi-media tour provides panoramic views, fascinating historical information, and interesting details about many of the objects encountered along the way. This is an extensive tour, so a teacher-created map with explicit directions is strongly suggested before students embark on the virtual field trip. This one works best with a high speed connection.

tag(s): house of representatives (9), senate (9)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on the branches and houses of government. Students will be able to connect the visual images with the content, and also gain more insight from the text. To highlight whats more important from the site, have students complete a follow-along guide of questions. For help creating one, we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).

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Living Room Candidate - American Museum of the Moving Image

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8 to 12
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How does this year's presidential race differ from those of the past? Are there significant similarities or differences? This collection of 183 campaign commercials from 1952 through...more
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How does this year's presidential race differ from those of the past? Are there significant similarities or differences? This collection of 183 campaign commercials from 1952 through 2000 provides a revealing and thought-provoking glimpse of the art of politics over the decades. An analysis of partisan advertising campaigns is included for each election year, along with a map showing election results. Click on "Highlights and Themes" to explore attack ads, the multiple roles expected of a president (family man, commander in chief, "regular guy," and leader), and biographical information. The Desktop Candidate section discusses the impact of the Internet on the voting public. Be sure to check out the link to Educational Materials, which includes a teacher's guide and suggested activities. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): elections (77), politics (100)

In the Classroom

Use the information at this site to compare past campaign commercials with current ads for the 2008 presidential election. Search the Internet for recent commercials (using whatever video websites are permitted at your school). Share a sample of commercials from the 1950s - the present. Have students discuss the similarities and differences. Have students create their own ad commercials about a presidential candidate that they support or a "mock" candidate that they created. To upload the students' commercials, use a tool such as TeacherTube (explained here). Be sure to obtain parental permission before videotaping any students.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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White House Historical Association

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1 to 12
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This entertaining and informational site about that famous residence on Pennsylvania Avenue is filled with something for everyone. Younger students can focus on the colors and shapes...more
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This entertaining and informational site about that famous residence on Pennsylvania Avenue is filled with something for everyone. Younger students can focus on the colors and shapes found throughout this historic home while meeting some "first kids" and famous "first pets." Older students can listen to audio clips of presidents during the last century, take several outstanding White House tours, and discover many historic treasures located throughout this famous home. Elementary and Middle School students will love the informational and interactive "Bird Watching Expedition," led by Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, Teddy Roosevelt and several other animated presidential personalities.

tag(s): presidents (131), white house (14)

In the Classroom

Use this site to provide background information for a unit on 19th and 20th century American history, to form the basis of a lesson or unit on the American presidency, or as a stand-alone enrichment activity for your history classroom. Lesson plans in printable PDF formats are available for all grade levels
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Picturing Modern America 1880-1920 - Educational Development Center, Inc.

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6 to 12
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American society experienced a tremendous amount of change and growth during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This site is filled with primary source images from the...more
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American society experienced a tremendous amount of change and growth during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This site is filled with primary source images from the Library of Congress and interactive exercises that bring the era to life. The "Image Detective" activity is especially impressive. After selecting a picture from the collection, students are presented with a critical question and guided through the process of gathering clues, reading background information, and drawing conclusions. The Investigations link challenges students to interact with visual sources to gain perspective and understanding. This is an outstanding resource for strengthening skills in historical research and critical thinking! The Exhibit Builder link apparently no longer functions, but students can copy images under Fair Use (check the collection information) to create a slide show or exhibit using images from the site along and their own explanatory text.

In the Classroom

Use this site as an in class activity for various units in your classroom, including the early 1900's, immigration, the roaring 20's, etc. Have students complete their investigations in pairs, having a class competition to see who can get the most right! A very fun way to review and encourage critical thinking skills.

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Graphic Witness

Grades
9 to 12
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Visual arts and social commentary come together in this site that looks at human history through the lens of artists and illustrators. Topics include graphic arts in wartime, 19th century...more
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Visual arts and social commentary come together in this site that looks at human history through the lens of artists and illustrators. Topics include graphic arts in wartime, 19th century news illustrations, 9-11 aftermath, and art under duress. Use this site to provoke discussion, guide reflective writing, or inspire personal artistic expression. These compelling images would make very effective anticipatory sets when projected in the classroom.

tag(s): sept11 (21)

In the Classroom

Use the images to create a visual discovery activity in your classroom - for example, use the collection of drawings to teach the events of 9/11 to your students. Share the images on the interactive whiteboard or projector, with students filling out reflections about each image. Reflections should focus on what they observe, infer and predict about each image. After showing a few of the more powerful images, have a class discussion as to what students wrote in their reflections. Going back to each image - what did we learn? What can we assume? What does this picture tell us about this event? You would be surprised about the emotional impact students learn, in addition to the content. This would be a good activity to do as a review, when students are able to use the information on class to project about the images. A great resource for a US history course.

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The New Americans - PBS

Grades
7 to 12
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Take your students on a virtual adventure that will help them to understand the personal lives and experiences of 21st century immigrants to America. Students can meet the various families...more
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Take your students on a virtual adventure that will help them to understand the personal lives and experiences of 21st century immigrants to America. Students can meet the various families profiled on the site, learn about their cultural traditions, and take a quiz on the myths and realities of immigration. The site features interactive maps, timelines, and exercises in determining the effect of immigration on the American society. Be sure to investigate the resources for educators and the eleven lesson plans, aligned to national standards, which challenge students to analyze demographic data, investigate U.S. immigration policy, and conduct oral history interviews with first or second generation immigrants. Created by PBS and Independent Lens.

tag(s): immigrants (21), immigration (58), migration (59)

In the Classroom

Use the myths and realities quiz on this site to assess student preconceptions before beginning a unit on immigration or a unit on immigration reform. Have students complete the quiz on individual computers in class, and print their results. Use the results as a way to start a class discussion on immigration and what surprised students. Focus on what students learned and what they had assumed previously. This would be a great activity for a civics or US history course.

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Cuban Missile Crisis - National Security Archive at George Washington University

Grades
9 to 12
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One of the most crucial and riveting events of the Cold War is carefully documented through this impressive collection of declassified documents, photographs, audio clips from the Kennedy...more
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One of the most crucial and riveting events of the Cold War is carefully documented through this impressive collection of declassified documents, photographs, audio clips from the Kennedy White House, and submarine naval charts. A detailed chronology and analyses by contemporary historians is also included. This is a wonderful collection of primary source documents that can enrich your study of the Cold War and America during the 1960s.

tag(s): kennedy (27), russia (38)

In the Classroom

Use the images on this site to create a visual discovery activity for a unit on the Cold War and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Choose 3-5 images, and place them in a PowerPoint. Create a worksheet follow-along for the images, and use the images to teach about the event in a student-centered activity. Focus on observe, infer and predict prompts on the worksheet and students can use the worksheet answers in a subsequent classroom discussion.

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Three Mile Island 1979 Emergency - Dickinson College

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9 to 12
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This site chronicles the history-changing event that occurred in March of 1979 at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant. General information on nuclear energy, governmental regulations,...more
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This site chronicles the history-changing event that occurred in March of 1979 at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant. General information on nuclear energy, governmental regulations, and a timeline of events provide a basic overview of what happened before, during, and after the accident. But the most impressive feature of the site is an extensive collection of interview transcripts (audio and text) that help visitors understand how residents from all walks of life reacted to the accident. Other primary source information available on the site includes photographs, newspaper articles, and government documents. .

In the Classroom

Although text heavy, the science section of this site has some really helpful printable PDFs that explain the basics of how a powerplant works, what it does, and what went wrong in this specific incident. The first two would be relly great tutorials to review in class before discussing the Cold war or the arms race. Understanding nuclear capabilities could even help students understand the nuclear proliferation problems that are plaguing politics today. Use these PDFs to review the information and introduce new material. Very useful for a government or History classroom.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Lessons from the Land - Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre

Grades
4 to 12
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Expand a unit on Native American culture with this interactive, multimedia site that takes visitors on a virtual journey of Canada's Northwest Territories and provides cross-curricular...more
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Expand a unit on Native American culture with this interactive, multimedia site that takes visitors on a virtual journey of Canada's Northwest Territories and provides cross-curricular connections. The searchable site focuses on topics such as birch bark canoes, fishing, caribou hunting, and burial practices. Elementary students can participate in the illustrated on-line storybook that includes activities and games. Secondary students can explore the historical and cultural significance of eight sites on a traditional aboriginal trail.

tag(s): native americans (78)

In the Classroom

A teacher's guide and a downloadable lesson plan package are available.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Lost Liners - PBS

Grades
7 to 12
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World history, U.S. history, rhetoric and debate, health, and technology are addressed by this comprehensive examination of some of the greatest disasters in maritime history - the...more
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World history, U.S. history, rhetoric and debate, health, and technology are addressed by this comprehensive examination of some of the greatest disasters in maritime history - the Titanic, the Lusitania, and the Empress of Ireland. Full lesson plans (these are really outstanding!), aligned with national standards are provided. Topics include The Blame Game (a great role-playing experience), Bigger, Faster, Stronger, Higher (a comparison of the Titanic and Challenger disasters), and Titanic Artifacts (what we've discovered about the lives of those lost). Students can even learn about effective Internet search strategies in the Lost Liners scavenger hunt activity.

In the Classroom

Click on the section entitled "teacher resources" and take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities offered. Most require a basic knowledge of the 5 major liners that sank, so the day before activities have students explore the site on the interactive whiteboard or individual computers. To assess what students are learning, put them in groups and have groups select a liner that they will be researching. Groups will go through the information offered by the site and possibly other sites in an effort to attain images and information about their lost ship. Have groups create an online graphic telling the story of their liner and its immediate impact. 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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Unearthing Secret America - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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Life in colonial America is revealed through a series of archeological explorations documented in this PBS site. Archeologists reveal fascinating information about the first settlers...more
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Life in colonial America is revealed through a series of archeological explorations documented in this PBS site. Archeologists reveal fascinating information about the first settlers of Jamestown and the hardships they endured. The lives of slaves are also examined through artifacts that reveal specific details of their daily lives. Students can discover what a forensic anthropologist looks for when examining ancient human remains through an interactive "Digging for Clues" feature. Use this site to enhance a unit on Colonial America. It truly provides a historically accurate glimpse of the European and African cultures that made up the fabric of early America.

tag(s): colonial america (108)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans hosted on the "educators" portion of this site! Save this site as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval - a great resource for a US history classroom.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Audio Interviews - BBC

Grades
7 to 12
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Some of the most riveting cultural, political, and scientific figures of the 20th and 21st centuries are represented on this site that provides interviews drawn from BBC's archives....more
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Some of the most riveting cultural, political, and scientific figures of the 20th and 21st centuries are represented on this site that provides interviews drawn from BBC's archives. Bring the voices, thoughts, and insights of Virginia Woolf, Aaron Copland, Agatha Christie, Mohandas Gandhi, Andy Warhol, and Charles Schulz, into your classroom. The audio interviews are organized by name and subject area. This is truly an impressive resource that can create quite an impact in the classroom

tag(s): interviews (17)

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eHistory - Ohio State University

Grades
7 to 12
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This incredible resource is not just for history fans! The comprehensive and well-organized site includes a timeline of events, a glossary, battle outlines, biographies, and thousands...more
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This incredible resource is not just for history fans! The comprehensive and well-organized site includes a timeline of events, a glossary, battle outlines, biographies, and thousands of images and maps. Topics include ancient history, the Civil War, World War II, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and much more. A true gold mine for history teachers and students.

tag(s): battles (18), maps (292), timelines (64)

In the Classroom

The great resources offered by this site include the primary sources collection and the vast amount of multi-media presentations offered. Search this site for resources you can use in your own classroom - the video collection would be particularly helpful to supplement information from the previous and current century.

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