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History/Social Science Resources - Los Angeles Unified School District

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K to 12
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The Los Angeles Unified School District offers a large selection of resources for teaching history and social sciences aligned to Common Core Standards. Choose from elementary, middle,...more
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The Los Angeles Unified School District offers a large selection of resources for teaching history and social sciences aligned to Common Core Standards. Choose from elementary, middle, or high school to find curriculum maps and lessons. One very useful portion of the site includes lessons created in partnership with Reading Like a Historian, reviewed here, that engage students in the creation of historical knowledge. Both sites are a must-visit for anyone teaching Social Studies!

tag(s): assessment (107), commoncore (95), professional development (156)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for use throughout the school year. Be sure to take advantage of the lesson plans and curriculum guides. Share with other teachers as you collaborate and plan together.
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Who Am I?: A History Mystery - Smithsonian Museum

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5 to 12
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Examine objects to determine the identity of the mystery character from the Civil War with this interactive activity from the Smithsonian Institute's exhibition The Price of Freedom:...more
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Examine objects to determine the identity of the mystery character from the Civil War with this interactive activity from the Smithsonian Institute's exhibition The Price of Freedom: Americans at War. Select a character to begin the challenge. Follow clues to select and drag the correct matching objects to the Evidence Folder. After choosing the two correct pieces of evidence, solve for the correct identity of the character to learn more about him and his role in the Civil War.

tag(s): black history (61), civil rights (122), civil war (144), mysteries (24)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce your Civil War unit on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Divide students into groups to research and investigate the different groups characters on the site belonged to. Have students use Cube Creator, reviewed here, and design a Bio Cube about one of these individuals.
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Civil Rights at 50 - Equal Justice Society

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7 to 12
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Civil Rights at 50 offers free lesson plans based on the book, Wherever There's a Fight, by Elaine Elinson and Stan Yogi. The six middle and high school lesson plans ...more
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Civil Rights at 50 offers free lesson plans based on the book, Wherever There's a Fight, by Elaine Elinson and Stan Yogi. The six middle and high school lesson plans revolve around the struggle to develop and protect rights in California. Click the download link to access and print the lessons in PDF format.

tag(s): california (27), civil rights (122)

In the Classroom

Although lessons are for a particular book, they can be adapted for classroom use without reading the book. Take advantage of these free lessons and handouts for use with any Civil Rights lesson or unit. These lessons would be great for use with gifted students or differentiating work for students. Have a group of students read Wherever There's a Fight and make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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25 Moments That Changed America - Time Magazine

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6 to 12
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Take a look at what leading experts consider the 25 moments that changed 20th century America in this interesting list from Time. Click through the slideshow or view all moments ...more
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Take a look at what leading experts consider the 25 moments that changed 20th century America in this interesting list from Time. Click through the slideshow or view all moments in one list. Each event, listed in chronological order, also includes a summary and photograph. A few also include a video clip. Click on the links at the bottom of each moment to view more information from the Time Vault.
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tag(s): 20th century (53), civil rights (122), presidents (132), womens suffrage (26)

In the Classroom

Use this site to introduce any lesson or unit on 20th century America with an interactive whiteboard or projector. At the end of a 20th century unit, have students create their own list individually or as a group before sharing this site. This site contains many events that may be unfamiliar to most younger Americans, use it as an opportunity to explore these events further. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here, to share information from different events. This is a good informational reading source to help meet your Common Core Standards.

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A Day in the Life: Dress the Part - History.org

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5 to 12
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Dress the Part is an interactive that teaches about eighteenth-century clothing and its relationship to social status in Virginia. Choose a member from different social statuses such...more
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Dress the Part is an interactive that teaches about eighteenth-century clothing and its relationship to social status in Virginia. Choose a member from different social statuses such as field slaves up to the gentry. Learn about that place in society and choose the proper clothing. When your member of society is appropriately dressed, read more about their situation and social status.
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tag(s): 1700s (29), slavery (72), virginia (16)

In the Classroom

Use this activity to introduce the idea of social classifications during the 1700's. Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects. Challenge students to create an interactive map and tell a digital story about a society member's ancestry and movements. Use a tool such as Tour Builder, reviewed here. With Tour Builder, you can add locations, text, images, and videos to build the story. A simpler project would be to ask students to use Cube Creator, reviewed here, and design a Bio Cube about different members of Virginia society.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Pantheon People Rankings - MIT Media Lab

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7 to 12
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Explore and discover the most influential people in history using Pantheon People Rankings. Prepare to be immersed in the many different features of this site. Search by period, country,...more
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Explore and discover the most influential people in history using Pantheon People Rankings. Prepare to be immersed in the many different features of this site. Search by period, country, or domain to view rankings of the most influential people in that category. Set search parameters using drop down boxes to the left of the chart. Hover over colored result boxes to view specific information for each result. Click on any individual name to get a short Wikipedia overview and ranking information.

tag(s): cultures (110), explorers (64), politics (99), scientists (70), sociology (22), sports (98)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site for use throughout the year when looking for ideas for research projects, biographies, and more. Have students create a list of whom they think is most influential and compare their lists to the actual results. Use information to find the most influential people around the globe or throughout time. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles, reviewed here.

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Five Myths - The Washington Post

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6 to 12
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Five Myths takes on everyday subjects and challenges widely held beliefs every time. For example, are panda bears really cuddly and gentle? Has technology really changed how we fight...more
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Five Myths takes on everyday subjects and challenges widely held beliefs every time. For example, are panda bears really cuddly and gentle? Has technology really changed how we fight wildfires? Each short article is written by a content expert and explores little-known facts to debunk commonly held beliefs.

tag(s): journalism (55), myths and legends (25)

In the Classroom

Share Five Myths on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an excellent starting point for lessons on the subjects included. Be sure to review comments on each section before sharing since they are unmoderated. After viewing the articles on this site, start a discussion about what students know about urban legends and Snopes. Have students research and find five myths for any topic, then create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here.

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State of the Union Bingo - National Constitution Center

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7 to 12
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Engage student interest in the annual State of the Union Address with this Bingo lesson plan. Background activities provide historical knowledge of the traditions of the speech. Follow...more
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Engage student interest in the annual State of the Union Address with this Bingo lesson plan. Background activities provide historical knowledge of the traditions of the speech. Follow up activities guide students through understanding current events.

tag(s): presidents (132), speeches (18)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this free lesson plan as a supplement to your current events lessons. The Bingo sheet was created in 2012, you may need to modify some terms to adapt to current events. Divide students into groups and compare State of the Union addresses from throughout any one president's terms. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here.
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Andrew Carnegie's Story - Carnegie Corporation of New York

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7 to 12
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Learn about the life of Andrew Carnegie beginning with his humble beginnings all the way through his rise to the richest man in the world with this interactive storytelling tool. ...more
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Learn about the life of Andrew Carnegie beginning with his humble beginnings all the way through his rise to the richest man in the world with this interactive storytelling tool. Scroll through the site to read about Carnegie's youth and explore the timeline of his business. Continue reading to learn about his philanthropic side, including the founding of over 2,500 libraries across the United States. Use links at the top of the page to view specific portions of the site without having to scroll through all sections. The video at the end is hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view it at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): 1900s (37), biographies (90), business (57), railroads (11)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Include this resource with a study of the 19th Century, famous businessmen, or philanthropy. Have students create maps of libraries in your state funded by the Carnegie Foundation using Animaps, reviewed here. Students can add text, images, and location stops! Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about Andrew Carnegie and his peers. Use this site as a starting point to compare Andrew Carnegie to current businessmen and philanthropists such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.

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Primary Source Sets - Library of Congress

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4 to 12
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This collection of primary sources from the Library of Congress is organized around key topics and themes in American History. View Primary Source Set titles in alphabetical order from...more
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This collection of primary sources from the Library of Congress is organized around key topics and themes in American History. View Primary Source Set titles in alphabetical order from Abraham Lincoln through Women's Suffrage. Choose any topic to view Teacher's Guides and analysis tools including graphic organizers for students. Sort information to find materials meeting Common Core Standards, State Standards, or national organization standards.

tag(s): 20th century (53), authors (121), black history (61), civil war (144), constitution (87), hispanic (17), jefferson (20), lincoln (86), new deal (6), primary sources (93), segregation (15), thanksgiving (37), veterans (21), washington (35), westward expansion (29), womens suffrage (26), wright brothers (25)

In the Classroom

When introducing a new unit, show students photos from the era and have them describe what they see and what period they think it is. Find plenty of questions and activities (including a blank analysis organizer for students) in the Teacher's Guides. Also look at Library of Congress: for Teachers, reviewed here. Encourage your students to use this tool for projects. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted for reproduction), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. Have students create a multimedia presentation using Voicethread, reviewed here. This tool allows users to narrate a picture. Include this site on your class webpage for students and parents to access as a reference.
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Khan Academy YouTube Channel - Khan Academy

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7 to 12
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Khan Academy, reviewed here, offers an extensive playlist of math and science videos and tutorials on this YouTube channel. Scroll through to view...more
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Khan Academy, reviewed here, offers an extensive playlist of math and science videos and tutorials on this YouTube channel. Scroll through to view available topics such as calculus, biology, SAT preparation, and much more. 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.

tag(s): computers (92), equations (153), financial literacy (80), probability (132), STEM (153), test prep (96), video (276)

In the Classroom

Flip your classroom and use a video as homework. Have students take notes about the material and write down questions they still have and topics that confuse them. That activity can uncover misconceptions. Show the video to the class, and then discuss the concept at length. For more advanced classes, provide time for students to choose a video to view and research the underlying concept. Set up a video chat time using one of these YouTube videos and a tool such as Watch Together, reviewed here.

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Listly Virtual Field Trips - CSISD Tech

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4 to 12
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Bring the world to your classroom with this excellent list of virtual field trips. At the time of this review, there were nearly 50 field trips available! Take a trip ...more
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Bring the world to your classroom with this excellent list of virtual field trips. At the time of this review, there were nearly 50 field trips available! Take a trip to the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, or Rome. Choose any of the titles to visit the home site for the virtual field trip. Some of the titles have several virtual tours listed, i.e. 7 Wonders Panorama. Share any link via social media, email, or by using the code to embed in a website or blog. Some field trips require Quick Time or Java while others require Flash.

tag(s): africa (176), cultures (110), museums (50), rome (27), virtual field trips (50), white house (14)

In the Classroom

Immerse your students in your studies with a close up in depth look through virtual field trips. Visit places where time, money, and mileage inhibit your dreams for bringing your students into wondrous worlds. Find ways to visit where your class has never gone before. Find ways to motivate your most reluctant learners. For history teachers who teach ancient Rome, the history of the Islamic religion, ancient China, or just about any other historical topic, this would be a real treat for students. Help them recognize that these cultures were once real people, with skills, and goals. World languages teachers will be able to introduce different cultures from a new perspective. Small groups or individual students can focus on one of the tours. ESL/ELL learners will appreciate the visit. Reach all types of learners through a class visit. Use field trips as a whole class anticipatory guide, a center activity, a home connection, or even as extra credit. Challenge your gifted students to be guides to their own learning. Make your class go global!
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OldNYC - Mapping Historical Photographs of New York City - New York Public Library's Milstein Collection

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6 to 12
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Discover New York City's rich historical past with this collection of photographs from the 1870's through the 1970's. View photos placed according to location using Google Maps. Scroll...more
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Discover New York City's rich historical past with this collection of photographs from the 1870's through the 1970's. View photos placed according to location using Google Maps. Scroll through popular photos or explore the map to find images from around all of New York City.

tag(s): 1900s (37), 20th century (53), images (274), new york (26), photography (161)

In the Classroom

If you teach about local history, inspire students by sharing this site first, then have them create a wiki about your town! Not comfortable with wikis? Check out TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. Get your interactive whiteboard or projector ready for this photographic journey. Share photos from different time periods as you study different eras from the 19th and 20th centuries.

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The American Civil War: Then and Now - The Guardian

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6 to 12
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The American Civil War was one of the first major conflicts for which we have a photographic record. For the 150th anniversary of the war, photographer David Levene traveled to ...more
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The American Civil War was one of the first major conflicts for which we have a photographic record. For the 150th anniversary of the war, photographer David Levene traveled to the sites of 23 iconic Civil War photographs and captured the same view as it exists today. Using a simple slider button, shift watch as the scene transforms from the past to the present. Along with each photograph is a brief narrative, and an audio interview related to the scene with more detail about the changes over the last 150 years. Don't forget to click on the associated article for important background information from Levene about the project and his reflections on what he learned.
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tag(s): battles (19), civil war (144), photography (161)

In the Classroom

It is tempting to scroll through the photographs quickly, but each deserves time for study and reflection. What is pictured in the original photograph? What is being communicated to the viewer? Challenge students to predict what the modern photo will show (you will need to hold the slider button to keep the photograph from changing automatically). What would Civil War-era soldiers think if they could see the modern photograph? What responsibility do we have to preserve sites like these in their original condition?

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Preparing For The Oath - Smithsonian National Museum of American History

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6 to 12
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Could you pass the U.S. Naturalization Test? Preparing For The Oath offers learning opportunities and a practice test. Practice listening, reading and oral skills as you take the practice...more
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Could you pass the U.S. Naturalization Test? Preparing For The Oath offers learning opportunities and a practice test. Practice listening, reading and oral skills as you take the practice test. As you check for correct answers, use the Review This Question link to learn and practice more information. Additional links offer lesson plans and guides for teachers, word lists, and full transcripts of resources.

tag(s): immigration (58)

In the Classroom

Share this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on US history or citizenship. Take advantage of the video lessons on this site to teach and review topics pertaining to the United States. Be sure to share with your school's ESL/ELL teacher as an informative resource for students and parents.
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Earliest Voices - Michigan State University

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6 to 12
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We are accustomed to hearing the voices of celebrities and important leaders today, but it has been less than 150 years since the invention of sound recording technology. Earliest Voices...more
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We are accustomed to hearing the voices of celebrities and important leaders today, but it has been less than 150 years since the invention of sound recording technology. Earliest Voices is an archive of recordings from the earliest years between 1877 and 1927. Hear Booker T. Washington speak about race relations or William Jennings Bryan's "Cross of Gold" speech. Listen to Thomas Edison (who was the inventor of the technology) speak about advances in technology and electricity. Find a short biography and images along with the recordings. A Real Player plugin is required.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (95), oral history (12), politics (99), sound (105)

In the Classroom

Bringing early voices to life in the classroom can help connect students with these important figures from history. Do their voices sound as you expected? Along with the audio records, you'll find important contextual information about early audio recordings, and about the circumstances surrounding each speech or recording.

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George Washington's Mount Vernon - Mount Vernon

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6 to 12
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Take a virtual tour of Mount Vernon, the home of the first President of the United States, George Washington. Beautifully executed, and packed with special features, the tour is billed...more
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Take a virtual tour of Mount Vernon, the home of the first President of the United States, George Washington. Beautifully executed, and packed with special features, the tour is billed as the "second best way to visit Mount Vernon," and doesn't disappoint. Be sure and watch the tutorial so you don't miss any of the many tips and tricks to get the most out of your virtual tour.

tag(s): 1700s (29), presidents (132), virtual field trips (50)

In the Classroom

Ideal for use on an interactive white board, or for students to access individually, this virtual tour has lots of features. You can explore the buildings, zoom in on items in the buildings, access stories and discussions that highlight features of the property and the daily lives of those who lived at Mount Vernon. There are additional links to lesson plans and other student resources.

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NationStates - Max Barry

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6 to 12
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There are plenty of simulation interactives for major life events such as pandemics, but what happens in everyday life? NationStates brings to life daily decisions. This multiplayer...more
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There are plenty of simulation interactives for major life events such as pandemics, but what happens in everyday life? NationStates brings to life daily decisions. This multiplayer online interactive features you as the head of your nation to create and shape how you see fit. To get started, create your nation by giving it a name. Customize various aspects, such as the flag, history, and national animal. Then get into the heart of your nation: political, social, and economic issues. These choices determine the initial status of your nation. As you play, these problems will change with your choices. Every day an issue is presented and the choices you make affect the outcome of your nation. Your choices become the national law in your nation. Warning: There is one problem a day, but you can change that to two in your account settings. As you play, various aspects of your nation change and the type of government shifts (maybe even including anarchy). Choose to stay an independent nation or join others to create a region. Participate in the World Assembly (the pretend U.N.). View debates in the forum that actually touch on current events in the game and in real life. One thing to note: If you are not attentive to the issues that come up each day, the game ends quickly. The good news is that it takes very little time to view the issue, act, and see the result. Note: This interactive is loosely based on the novel Jennifer Government by Max Barry.
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tag(s): foreign policy (16), money (186), politics (99), sociology (22)

In the Classroom

Students can use this interactive individually, making connections to their choice, results, and connections to actual world events, present and past. Additionally, students can join a region and see how their decisions affect other nations. A great lesson is to allow students to run their nation according to their political views and see the results as they unfold through play. Be sure to treat this seriously as the issues presented here are actual issues that governments must deal with daily. Even making a decision within your political viewpoint can lead to results that are not anticipated. Require students to discuss their viewpoint, why they believe they are right, the resulting consequence, and how it has changed what they believe. Following the play, give time for students to research an initiative or action a country made and the resulting consequences that have resulted. Present, discuss, or debate these with the class. Allow every student in class to have a voice by using a student response system such as Infuse Learning, reviewed here, or GoSoapBox, reviewed here.

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Wide Angle Window Into Global History - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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Looking for videos and resources that peer into Global Issues? Start with this resource! Click the Video Bank to view resources by themes: conflict, power, human rights, social structures,...more
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Looking for videos and resources that peer into Global Issues? Start with this resource! Click the Video Bank to view resources by themes: conflict, power, human rights, social structures, migrations, economic systems, factors of production, or political systems. Also, view the video bank by location in the world. Videos in each theme are up to several minutes in length and are clips of larger videos. Click on the video of choice, to view the video on a larger screen, see the guiding questions, read the background essay and transcript, and find related links. Text can easily be printed using the print function along the bottom. Videos are easily downloaded, with directions for both PC and Mac users. View the country and region map along the left side along with the accompanying lesson plan. Additionally, click on Lesson Plans instead to display the following for each global issue: overview, learning objectives and standards, media components (with links), and materials. Be sure to note the Prep for Teachers along the bottom of each lesson plan.
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tag(s): cross cultural understanding (120), cultures (110), maps (293)

In the Classroom

These resources and videos are extremely flexible for classroom use. Use the film clips for current events, and to also highlight events from the past. Use a video segment to get students thinking about past incidents, solutions, and whether today's environment has changed from that of the past. View a variety of clips from one theme and discuss events in the clip or use a writing assignment to provide time to process the events. Discuss in what ways these clips are similar and other societal, economic, and political factors that affected them. Use any of these videos to find any current events that are still dealing with the same issue today. Be sure to brainstorm how different people, in other areas of the world, would view these issues. Research these issues using resources from other areas of the world to see editorials and news clippings that are not American. Note: Use the country code after your search term or use this news search. Were there other people interviewed about any of these issues? Who are they and what did they say? Consider creating videos showcasing a variety of viewpoints. Use one of the video tools reviewed at the TeachersFirst Edge. Besides the viewpoint of each video, what would be a common question that all videos within the theme have in common? How does the bubble of our American culture hamper our understanding of other people both here in the U.S. and abroad? Research the history and culture of the various areas to identify factors responsible for the themes portrayed by this resource.

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Zoom In! - Education Development Center

Grades
5 to 12
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Zoom In! is a set of digital tools that support social studies teachers in aligning teaching with the Common Core Literacy Standards. In each lesson, students solve a historical problem...more
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Zoom In! is a set of digital tools that support social studies teachers in aligning teaching with the Common Core Literacy Standards. In each lesson, students solve a historical problem by analyzing and collecting evidence, organizing research, and creating a rough draft communicating the solution. Create your teacher account to begin. Browse through 10 lessons with topics as diverse as propaganda and Paul Revere, Labor on the World War II Homefront, Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers, and music in the Vietnam War. Create a class within each lesson to receive a class code for student access. View more information about this resource on their YouTube channel, here. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos 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.

tag(s): american revolution (89), civil war (144), constitution (87), immigrants (21), immigration (58), lincoln (86), slavery (72), vietnam (36), westward expansion (29), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these free lesson plans for use in teaching social studies aligned to Common Core Standards. Even if you cannot use whole lessons, browse through to find resources to add to your current lessons. Create classes and assign different lessons to different groups of students based on ability and interest. After completing a unit, have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools, reviewed here.

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