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Picturing US History - American Social History Project at CUNY

Grades
6 to 12
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This art based site uses "lessons in looking" as a way to view artwork to better understand U.S. History. Guided questions help walk students through the images. Topics include ...more
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This art based site uses "lessons in looking" as a way to view artwork to better understand U.S. History. Guided questions help walk students through the images. Topics include race, Colonial America, Civil War, and more.

tag(s): african american (113), civil war (145), colonial america (107), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

The site offers several "lessons in looking." Project the site on an interactive whiteboard and use the discussion questions to guide students through a look at history. The site provides a way for you to zoom into the artwork so students can get up and personal as if they were in a museum. Use the zoom tool to assist you with your classroom discussion.
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Book TV - National Cable Satellite Corporation & C-SPAN

Grades
6 to 12
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Watch and listen as popular authors talk about their nonfiction books on this C-SPAN companion website. Book TV features 48 continuous hours of nonfiction books every weekend....more
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Watch and listen as popular authors talk about their nonfiction books on this C-SPAN companion website. Book TV features 48 continuous hours of nonfiction books every weekend. You can easily explore the archived programs, video library, or books and topics by searching the title, author, category, keyword, or browsing all of the listings. Watch the online videos or listen to podcasts of interviews with the authors from Book TV's After Words. There is a lot here to explore, and it appears to be ever-growing! You can find past telecast videos on YouTube, as well, in case you want to be able to download them to use offline. Click the YouTube menu. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): biographies (86), independent reading (126), interviews (16), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Use the online resources from this website to accompany your nonfiction literature. This collection is particularly useful when reading about historical figures. Make books and authors come alive for your students by accessing and projecting videos on your interactive whiteboard and sharing "Book Notes," biographies, and more. Lure students into independent reading by allowing them to explore the videos and find a book they might enjoy reading. After viewing a program or reading a book, have students share their opinions in a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
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TED - TED staff

Grades
6 to 12
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TED is the home of the award-winning TEDTalks video site, a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. In the beginning, the TEDTalks mission was to bring together people from...more
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TED is the home of the award-winning TEDTalks video site, a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. In the beginning, the TEDTalks mission was to bring together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, and Design. However, its scope has broadened to challenge the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers to give the talk of their lives (in approximately 18 minutes or less). At the time of this review, TED.com has more than 1,100 of the best talks and performances by speakers with powerful ideas from around the world. The talks are free and the collection continues to grow. The goal of the foundation is to foster the spread of great ideas, thus it aims to provide a platform for the world's smartest thinkers, greatest visionaries, and most-inspiring teachers, so that millions of people can gain a better understanding of the biggest issues faced by the world, and a desire to help create a better future. Easily search the site by topics, disciplines, newest releases, or most favorite. TEDTalks offers subtitles in various languages which enhances the accessibility for the hearing-impaired, and for those who speak English as a second language.

tag(s): cultures (105), politics (99)

In the Classroom

If you are looking for a clearinghouse that offers free inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, this ever-evolving site is perfect for engaging your students with digital videos of the global issues facing our world today. Use your projector or interactive whiteboard to project videos. Watch your students' enthusiastic reactions in science, social studies, or English classrooms as they view a TED video and then follow-up with a debate on the future or the impact of technology on society, or use them as a springboard for interesting writing prompts or to spark a discussion connected with a unit of study. Challenge students to do a compare/contrast activity using an online Venn Diagram tool (reviewed here). Most of the videos are less than twenty minutes, which makes it real doable to embed in a one-period class lesson.
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Using Primary Sources in the Classroom: World War I Unit - Alabama Department of Archives and History

Grades
6 to 12
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This museum site provides five different lessons plans about World War I. It offers learning objectives, activities, and links to primary documents. Though the site focuses on Alabama...more
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This museum site provides five different lessons plans about World War I. It offers learning objectives, activities, and links to primary documents. Though the site focuses on Alabama history, it is a good way to show multiple perspectives about the war. The site itself is no visual treat, but the activity ideas can bring a hundred-year old era to life.

tag(s): primary sources (86), world war 1 (54)

In the Classroom

Use the activities to help your students better understand World War I. Be sure to check out the activity in the Selective Service lesson. The activity has each student being assigned to a role. The students write a letter to Senator Bankhead which would explain their positions concerning conscription prior to the declaration of war. To extend the activity, have your students dress as their character and read their letters to the class. Or have students create blogs using Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary!

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Mugeda - mugeda.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Try this high interest animation tool without expensive programs, downloads, or installations. Mugeda is a free, cloud-based HTML5 animation platform, where you can create, share, and...more
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Try this high interest animation tool without expensive programs, downloads, or installations. Mugeda is a free, cloud-based HTML5 animation platform, where you can create, share, and publish HTML5 animation. Basic tutorials guide you to create content with easy to follow instructions. Animation applications include; games, ads, cartoons, tutorials, or persuasive commercials. Use tablets, PCs, smartphones, or tablets. Note that HTML5 works on iPads and iTouches, where most Flash-based sites do not.

tag(s): animation (63), comics and cartoons (74), DAT device agnostic tool (196)

In the Classroom

Bring along Mugeda in your bag of tricks to capture and intrigue all of your students. Use Mugeda to illustrate class content, support debate, persuade, and entertain. The possibilities are endless! Add the creations to your website to share with your community. Use on school news programs to add student content without cost, and make information available for all levels of student abilities. Create commercials for your content or to convey information. In history classes go back in time to envision popular opinion that made history happen. Use during campaigns to promote your side of the debate. Science fairs will never be the same. Highlight projects to create anticipation. Send messages to students using the embedded tool. This programming tool has applications in all subject areas. Gifted students, ELL/ESL students, and remedial students will be captivated by this high interest way of expressing themselves.

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How Our Laws Are Made - Mike Wirth

Grades
6 to 12
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Remember "I'm Just a Bill"? This one screen infographic is today's equivalent. The site, which is zoomable, presents a graphic flowchart of how ideas become laws in the United States....more
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Remember "I'm Just a Bill"? This one screen infographic is today's equivalent. The site, which is zoomable, presents a graphic flowchart of how ideas become laws in the United States. A great, high impact, visual aid to understanding the process by which the US government enacts laws.

tag(s): branches of government (48), congress (33)

In the Classroom

Use the graphic as an introduction to a detailed discussion. Share the site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use it to reinforce the process once you've taught the lesson. Encourage students to bookmark it to review or test their understanding. Anyone who teaches civics, government or US history will be able to use this graphic on an interactive whiteboard. For that matter, it should be required viewing for citizens and politicians alike!

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CK-12 - CK-12 Foundation

Grades
5 to 12
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CK-12 offers a large variety of lessons and resources in STEM topics mostly geared for sixth grade and higher. Choose to access the site as a student or teacher to ...more
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CK-12 offers a large variety of lessons and resources in STEM topics mostly geared for sixth grade and higher. Choose to access the site as a student or teacher to begin. Search by specific content or to find standards-aligned flexbook textbooks. Download flexbooks in several formats such as PDF or mobi and epub format for use on Kindle and e-readers. Create an account and add flexbooks to your list. Add your own files and resources. Specific topic searches provide links to information from flexbooks as well as available study aids, activities, and assessments.

tag(s): atoms (55), cells (102), charts and graphs (195), decades (14), energy (197), engineering (125), equations (155), fractions (239), genetics (90), inequalities (29), landforms (45), measurement (159), oceans (148), organisms (21), periodic table (50), probability (130), pythagorean theorem (35), rocks (49), scientific method (64), seasons (37), solar energy (38), solar system (119), statistics (122), STEM (134), test prep (96), variables (22)

In the Classroom

Introduce CK-12 to your students (and parents) on your interactive whiteboard and demonstrate ways to use the site at home. Be sure to create a link to the site on your class website or blog for easy access at any time. Create an account and upload your own resources and activities to create your own flexbooks for use with students. CK-12 is available in many languages. Use this site with your ESL/ELL students as a supplement to classroom resources.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Mining the Riches of History: Creating Oral Histories - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 9
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This installment in the Help I lost my library/media specialist series offers a step by step approach to an oral history research unit, written by an experienced elementary library/media...more
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This installment in the Help I lost my library/media specialist series offers a step by step approach to an oral history research unit, written by an experienced elementary library/media specialist. Although nothing can replace the specialized knowledge of a teacher-librarian, this plan will inspire any teacher to incorporate interviewing skills and oral histories into your teaching. Lesson ideas and resources for interviewing, primary sources, and sharing make this unit especially exciting.

tag(s): interviews (16), local history (13), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

Mark this in your Favorites as a way to develop information literacy in your classes, even if you no longer have a library/media specialist to help out.

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Re-Living the Wright Way - Tom Benson - NASA

Grades
3 to 12
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This site provides information and resources about the Wright Brothers, their flights, and the science behind their work. The site was created to celebrate the centennial anniversary...more
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This site provides information and resources about the Wright Brothers, their flights, and the science behind their work. The site was created to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Wright Brothers historic flight. Although the site may appear simple in design, it has many nooks and crannies to explore.

tag(s): aviation (39), flight (36), gravity (45), inventors and inventions (101), motion (58), scientists (68), wright brothers (25)

In the Classroom

This site provides teachers with resources on the topics of Newton's Laws of Motion, The Four Forces of Flight, Lift, Drag, Thrust, Weight, Center of Gravity, Roll, and Pitch. View the videos using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Download the simulations to your classroom computers and have students work in groups to solve them. Have students work cooperatively to complete one of the many activities found on the site like building a model airplane. Students can then conduct an investigation to see whose plane can fly the farthest.
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GroupCard - Interactive Gift Corporation

Grades
K to 8
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Create and send e-cards with this online card creator: birthdays, holidays, thank you cards, and countless other events. Each topic includes several choices of cards. After choosing...more
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Create and send e-cards with this online card creator: birthdays, holidays, thank you cards, and countless other events. Each topic includes several choices of cards. After choosing a card, enter the recipient's name, a message, and sign. Cards can be "signed" by multiple members of a group. There is even an option to upload a picture next to the sender's signature. Once finished, cards can be sent via email or posted to Facebook.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): fathers day (12), holidays (147), mothers day (13)

In the Classroom

Students can create and send birthday cards to historical figures, sympathy cards to widows of slain leaders, thank you cards to persons that have had a big impact in our world, famous scientists, good luck to presidential candidates, etc. After creating cards, students can send them to your email account to be printed and included as part of bigger classroom projects. Teach how to write a friendly note, then post the results on a class bulletin board.

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John F. Kennedy Presidential Library - JFK Library

Grades
7 to 12
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Recently, a large archive of material has been released by the JFK Library focused on the life of John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline. This site provides contextual information...more
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Recently, a large archive of material has been released by the JFK Library focused on the life of John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline. This site provides contextual information about these newly released records, as well as transcripts of oral history interviews. For example, you can now download previously secret audio recordings that were made during White House meetings, transcripts of oral history interviews with Jacqueline Kennedy, and a rich archive of other materials related to the Kennedy Presidency. This newly released material gives us insight into Kennedy's brief time as President, including his involvement in the Cuban Missile Crisis, his attitudes toward the Cold War relationship with the USSR and the build up of US troops in Vietnam. There are teacher resources and lesson plans that make use of the available archival material.

tag(s): history day (23), kennedy (27), presidents (130), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

All of these topics are of interest to students doing research into 20th century US and international history, and might be particularly useful to students working on in depth projects for National History Day. After researching a specific topic, have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Story Home - Purple Button Media

Grades
K to 8
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This award-winning site contains both original and classic short stories and children's tales in audio form. On the left sidebar you can choose the genre. Each selection has a brief...more
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This award-winning site contains both original and classic short stories and children's tales in audio form. On the left sidebar you can choose the genre. Each selection has a brief summary on the opening page, so you can decide whichever story appeals to you. In addition to the mostly shorter selections, there is a fairly extensive list of stories that are around 10 minutes in length. Some stories are audio only (no text). You do NOT need to pay to simply listen from the website. Click the "play" button to play. Downloads cost money.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): listening (91), preK (279), reading comprehension (116), short stories (25)

In the Classroom

Have students try out this site with headphones on individual computers. Turn up your speakers and share this on your projector or interactive whiteboard as a listening activity. Use this site as extra listening practice for ELL/ESL students or any class. Create some reading/listening comprehension questions for students. Or better yet, have cooperative learning groups listen to DIFFERENT short stories and create 3-4 comprehension questions. Then have students rotate stories and try out the comprehension questions created by their classmates. Since nearly all stories are audio only, this site is excellent for listening practice. If you have print versions of these classics, be sure to have them handy at a listening center for beginning readers to follow along.
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TimeSearch History - HistoryWorld

Grades
6 to 12
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What Happened When? This useful site allows you to aggregate a text timeline by date, theme or geographic area using links to Google searches, Google images and content from HistoryWorld...more
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What Happened When? This useful site allows you to aggregate a text timeline by date, theme or geographic area using links to Google searches, Google images and content from HistoryWorld (with which the site is affiliated). Enter a date or keyword(s) for the event(s). You will see a text list with icons that lead to related Google, images, and HistoryWorld info. Try exploring by themes such as performing arts and science and entering a year to see what occurred during the same year. While the overall visual impact is fairly bland, it's a great "quick and easy" utility for putting events into a chronological context. If you search two very diverse events, you can discover unusual convergences. Additionally, it can be the jumping off point for a more complex search by helping students make connections among ideas, characters and events that may seem unrelated. For example, this is a wonderful tool to explore decades of the twentieth century or periods in the arts.

tag(s): search engines (65), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

Make this one of your bookmarks on classroom computers used for research, and suggest that students add it to their own research repertoire. Consider a classroom activity that begins with a common starting place (a date, an event, a character), and has groups of students follow their own self-guided path through the links. Where does each group end up? Why are the paths different? After having student explore on their own, have them "teach" how they found the information most important to them. A projector or interactive whiteboard is ideal for such a demo.

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Game Up: Brain Pop Games - Game Up Brainpop games

Grades
K to 12
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This new "freebie" from Brainpop goes beyond the usual videos and quizzes. It includes several engaging interactives, some created by Brainpop and others linked to outside sources....more
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This new "freebie" from Brainpop goes beyond the usual videos and quizzes. It includes several engaging interactives, some created by Brainpop and others linked to outside sources. Game Up, a free area of Brain Pop, is a collection of free online games that are linked to Common Core and State Standards. Science, math, social studies, and health activities provide challenge for every learner. This free gem also includes activities for grades K-3 and ESL/ELL students. Some of the topics (at the time of this review) included: Drake Equation, Court Quest, Cell Command, Blood Typing, Make Me Sick, The Diabetic Dog Game, and Food Fight.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): branches of government (48), cells (102), debate (41), diseases (66), fractions (239), game based learning (103), logic (235), matter (56), myplate (28), nutrition (154), oceans (148), planets (123), plants (144), puzzles (208), solar system (119), supreme court (22)

In the Classroom

Use Game Up to introduce, illustrate, review, or assess concepts. Share the activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector for students to operate as a class activity. Use one of the activities as a learning center. Be sure to put this as a link on your website to allow students a great way to reinforce learning both in and out of your class.
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Running for Office--Cartoons of Clifford K. Berryman - The National Archives

Grades
7 to 12
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Each Presidential election cycle brings with it a new crop of political cartoons and caricatures of politicians. Clifford K. Berryman drew political cartoons at the turn of the 20th...more
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Each Presidential election cycle brings with it a new crop of political cartoons and caricatures of politicians. Clifford K. Berryman drew political cartoons at the turn of the 20th century and US Presidents from Grover Cleveland to Harry Truman. This site profiles both the cartoons themselves, and the issues and personalities behind the cartoons. Visually attractive, the site also permits downloading cartoons so they can be printed and studied.

As an important primary source, political cartoons provide an important insight into the issues and controversies of their time period. More than simply who did what, and what happened where, these drawings show us the emotions and conflict involved in the ugly and messy business of politics.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), elections (75), politics (99), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Students can gain insight into the events of the first half of the 20th century as well as draw parallels between the issues of that time and today. How are Presidential campaigns different and how are they similar? Challenge students to create their own political comics using one of TeachersFirst's many comic/cartoon tools reviewed here.

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Educreations - Educreations, Inc.

Grades
6 to 12
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Use Educreations' simple web-based whiteboard (works in any browser that supports flash) or the iPad app to record lessons and share with your students. Create your course(s) and control...more
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Use Educreations' simple web-based whiteboard (works in any browser that supports flash) or the iPad app to record lessons and share with your students. Create your course(s) and control privacy settings from the beginning. Make the content pubic, private to your students, or private to all within the school. Create a lesson by using the online whiteboard and your microphone. Easily upload images from your computer and switch between whiteboard screens. Click on the Students tab to provide a link for students to be able to find your course. Students can self-register using the unique classroom code. Each lesson has a unique URL you can share, as well. Students can access your lessons via the web or an iPad. You can remove students from registration lists in this section.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): homework (44), video (253)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to create homework help for students to peruse when they are stuck on their own trying to complete assignments. Create mini lessons for students to review or learn the material they may have missed. Consider allowing students to use your account to write a script and record mini lessons for use by other students. Even two recordings of the same lesson is valuable as information can be explained differently from more than one person. Be sure to include this link on your class website for students (and parents) to access at home.

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Pinterest - Pinterest.com

Grades
K to 12
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Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. Browse the site without registration. Type Edu in the search ...more
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Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. Browse the site without registration. Type Edu in the search bar, and find an Education area with menu tabs like Science, Elementary, English, Higher, STEM, and more. Images have a short caption; clicking on a picture gives the option to Repin or Like. To create/add to your pinboards, register for free. If you have an account, you can Repin the picture to a pinboard you have titled and created within your account. Click on the image again to visit the original site of the image. Often this is just what you are looking for to learn specific details. You can also search Pinterest for specific items such as Guided Reading, File Folder Activities, or other classroom needs. Pinterest members can "follow" other users and see their new items as they add them to their pinboards. Use Pinterest on any device or computer, and there is a related Facebook app.

tag(s): architecture (83), cooking (34), creativity (109), DAT device agnostic tool (196), fashion (10), guided reading (47), nutrition (154), organizational skills (122), professional development (123), social media (16), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for finding printables and other items for classroom use. Create your own pinboards for organizing classroom resources found on the web. Create pinboards for students to view and/or add to as a whole class activity, such as "things that use energy," food groups, or groups of items for primary level vocabulary/practice (clothing items, farm animals, clock faces for telling time, etc.). Maybe even create "which one does not belong?" pinboards for PreK and early grades to view and change on an interactive whiteboard and repeat at home. In higher grades, make pinboards for different subjects or units where you collect videos, images, classroom blogs and websites, etc. Share your pinboards with students and parents by putting the link on your class website. Challenge your older students to create their own pinboards as a research project. Use Pinterest to show their hobbies/passions, wise quotes, recipes that fit a specific theme, art/lyrics, or a travel Itinerary. Follow other teachers using Pinterest to see items that they are adding and using in their classrooms. Add TeachersFirst to your pinboards! Note: Take a screenshot of something you find to upload to Pinterest!

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Sharon, OH, Grades: 4 - 12

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Smarthistory Art History Converstaion - Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker with Khan Academy

Grades
3 to 12
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Take a virtual field trip to explore world class museums and online art institute for free! Avoid budget restrictions and field trip limitations by joining this Webby award winning...more
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Take a virtual field trip to explore world class museums and online art institute for free! Avoid budget restrictions and field trip limitations by joining this Webby award winning site. Investigate the world of art history accompanied by two professors at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker. Smarthistory started as a a blog featuring free audio guides, podcasts, and videos. Later it became an interactive exploration of eras, styles, and artists. Smarthistory has recently merged with KahnAcademy utilizing the same concept: that high quality education should be free and available to all. Included in each video are informational resources to give extra information. Many universities use Smarthistory as a required part of their curriculum.

tag(s): art history (69), medieval (27), renaissance (34)

In the Classroom

A must for any art classroom, Smarthistory adds an extra dimension and deeper understanding to any history, social studies, or cultural studies classroom. Use in writing workshops to provide insights to art and culture and to into thoughts and feelings. Study written works alongside the art of past time periods. Tempt students into the amazing world of art history by watching the new videos. Bring unlimited, world-class resources to each class. All of the videos are easily adaptable to an interactive whiteboard or projector. Debate clubs can study techniques and develop their own styles of debate. Gifted classes will devour this website. Provide this link on your class website to offer students extra challenge and exploration.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Docs Teach - The National Archives

Grades
6 to 12
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Explore collections of primary documents from US History enhanced with tools for teaching. This site adds the ability to manipulate primary documents to build informative and challenging...more
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Explore collections of primary documents from US History enhanced with tools for teaching. This site adds the ability to manipulate primary documents to build informative and challenging lessons. While a few of the documents and lessons are available for the casual visitor to the site, you need to register (and it's free!) in order to make full use of the amazing resources here. Once you have registered, you can access all the documents and use the activity builder to create lessons which use primary documents to teach sequencing, mapping, weighing evidence, interpreting data, and seeing the big picture. Please note that you do not HAVE to create anything, you can simply use what is already here. (And they do already have a lot to offer.) You will need to create a project if you want to package an activity that you can use now and again later.

tag(s): american revolution (86), civil war (145), digital storytelling (142), great depression (24), industrial revolution (25), primary sources (86), westward expansion (29), world war 1 (54), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

If you teach history or social studies, you know what a great emphasis is being placed on the use of primary documents in helping students develop an awareness of the perspectives of those who lived during a particular era. Use this site to develop sophisticated lessons using primary documents on US History with the activity builder. Use the ready-made activities (the majority of which are available once you've registered), on an interactive whiteboard or projector for the whole class or assign groups of students to work independently at a computer workstation or at home. These activities encourage higher order thinking among students rather than simply the memorization of facts.

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National Jukebox - Library of Congress

Grades
4 to 12
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The National Jukebox is a historical music library collected by the Library of Congress (LOC). It includes recordings, genres, artists, playlists, and the Victrola Book of the Opera....more
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The National Jukebox is a historical music library collected by the Library of Congress (LOC). It includes recordings, genres, artists, playlists, and the Victrola Book of the Opera. Search by category, vocal type, language, place, target audience, label, date range, composer, performer, author, lyricist, and genre or combine several categories to do an advanced search. The attractive opening page offers a sampling of several types of music, playlists, artists and genres. The LOC player is right on the page as well. No membership is required to create a playlist. Send it to yourself via email, share it with friends on a social network, or embed it on a website or blog. Learn related information, such as what acoustical recording is and how gramophones affected the lives of millions of Americans.

tag(s): composers (21), listening (91), lyrics (19), sound (100)

In the Classroom

Introduce a class novel, a unit in the 20th century, the Great Depression, or WWII by having the class listen to music from that time period. You can also couple this site with the Old Radio World site, reviewed here, to help students get an overview of what life and entertainment was like.

Challenge your students to use a site such as TimeRime, reviewed here, to create an interactive timeline of artists during a specific musical era.

Have your students create an online "scrapbook" of a specific composer using Smilebox, (reviewed here.) Throw out the tests and have students demonstrate what they have learned by creating a scrapbook full of information!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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