Grades4 to 8
In the ClassroomUse this site as a class webquest in conjunction with Marco Polo's Route to China and Back, reviewed here. Have students or groups research one area of this site and create a multimedia report to share with the class. Challenge students to narrate a picture using a tool such as Slidestory, reviewed here. Or have students create an online book using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): creative writing (165)
In the ClassroomThis poetry activity (aka Found Poetry) opens the doors to so many learning objectives. In a social studies or history classroom, you could direct your students to search for newspaper or magazine articles on topics that you have been studying, or current events. Suddenly you have social studies poetry! In an English language arts lesson, you might instruct students to blacken out all the words that are not nouns or verbs, or select other parts of speech. You could change the task to eliminate any word that is not part of the simple subject or predicate, and simultaneously teach or reinforce main idea. For classrooms with individual computers, students could access articles online. Copy the text into a document. Then, Instead of blackening out words with markers, they could get the same effect by highlighting over them with black, or changing the font color of the text to white, and printing them or saving a screenshot image. Another option is for students to email their Newspaper Blackout poems to the teacher. Each poem could then be put into a Power Point slide show for the class to see on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site to offer your students a new twist on Poetry Month (April). Take your new poetry collection to the world by uploading the PowerPoint to ThingLink, reviewed here, and having each student record a reading in his/her own voice. Make poetry a participatory experience, no matter what the subject. If your school permits, have students take photos of their paper poems -- or screenshots of ones done on the computer --and share them on this site. You may want students to start saving their work in a digital portfolio. Suggestions are bulb, reviewed here, for high school students, or Dropr, reviewed here, for fourth through eighth grade students.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): video (278)
In the ClassroomTry using these clips to introduce a topic in class. Share the clips on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students view the clips on individual computers, don't forget the headsets! Or, show a clip to start a conversation either in person or on the class wiki or webpage about a particular hot topic.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomThis is a great site for differentiated instruction. The interactive games, for example, the Bill of Rights Match game - can be played as individuals, and then they can print their certificate out (could be used as a "ticket to leave" for understanding). The "Preamble Scrabble Game" could be a timed exercise for groups or teams of students. The teacher could have the game on the projector or interactive whiteboard or again on individual workstations. Allow students to learn about the documents on their own, and then share their understanding by writing a blog post from the point of view of a person whose rights have been violated or a writer of the Constitution. Younger students will benefit from accessing the safety activity both at school and at home, Be sure to share this link with parents on your class web page.
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): census (19)
In the ClassroomWhether you spend one class or an entire unit on the census, the ideas included within the "In the Classroom" portion of reviews will launch discussions and meaningful projects for student-centered learning. Consider other census connections, such as using a data or graphing resource to collect and manipulate data from a school mini-census, learning math skills at the same time.
Grades5 to 12
tag(s): inventors and inventions (92)
In the ClassroomStudents looking for scientific discoveries to research will find a variety to choose from on this site. Use this site for free research and writing. Have students choose a discovery or article as a starting point for research of impact of the discovery and how it has changed through the years. Combine history and science by researching the political and cultural climate of the time period and its influence on scientific discovery. Create a class timeline century by century (or decade by decade) with student commentary and explanations of what they believe to be the most important discoveries and inventions.
GradesK to 12
While exploring, our reviewer visited the "Teacher" tab and clicked on "lesson plans" and found lesson for mapping, the history of the census, and relating the census to the student's classroom. There were two sets of lessons here for K-2 and 3-4. Standards/benchmarks for language arts, math, social studies, and geography for K-2 and 3-4 were included. There were worksheets to download for both levels, a story to read, "Who Counts," with comprehension questions to answer, and mapping activities. The site also had links for additional resources and a letter for the parents about the unit....and that was only ONE link on the "Teacher" tab. Whew! The rest of the site is just as thoroughly and professionally done as the lessons for K-4 lessons.
tag(s): census (19)
In the ClassroomThe K-4 lessons are perfect to use the way they are, or you might want to do some comparing of information between the different grade levels within your school. Another idea is to pair up third and fourth graders with the kindergartners or first and second graders to read the story and work on the worksheets together. Of course, using your projector and interactive whiteboard with the whole class is a must for explanations of the lessons. This site is very colorful, so project what you can! You may want to introduce this unit with a catchy, educational song and video about the census reviewed here. For teachers of older students there are "Lessons Using the 2000 Census Data," "Quick Facts," and much more. One last suggestion: Once you've completed your census unit, discussion, etc. You might want to have your class participate in the "100 People: A World Portrait" project reviewed here.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomYou could map your entire lesson, chapter or unit in one Prezi. Once you introduce the concept with this tool, you can go back to it often with your students as you move to different parts of the unit. It would provide a great way to connect prior knowledge with the next step if you share this on your interactive whiteboard or projector throughout the unit. Or you could post it to your web page or give kids the URL so they can review as often as they need it. Try having the students map a concept or chapter with this tool. In history class, create timelines of relevant events, or in science or math class have them map steps in a process. Have students create Prezis for different events, and then have them post the link to their product on a class blog or wiki. Add a peer review component and require students to comment on at least two other Prezis. The possibilities are endless!
If you have gifted students n your class, offer Prezi as one alternative for sharing extensions to the regular curriculum. If they already know the material, have them investigate a related process or example and share it in the form of a Prezi.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Includes teacher tools for registering and/or monitoring students
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a pre-assessment for a new unit or as a mind bending class challenge. Reinforce and review lessons previously learned with your students. This is a terrific site during the run-up to high stakes testing. Use the questions as classroom conversation starters after taking the quizzes. Print out questions from the quizzes and provide your students with the correct answers and see if they can match them up with the questions. List this link on your class website for students to practice at home. Challenge small groups of students to create their own set of 5 questions about a current unit of study and create a multimedia presentation. Why not have cooperative learning groups create online books (one question per page) using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
Grades6 to 8
In the ClassroomThis hero unit includes endless ideas, from comparing and contrasting real life heroes with fictional superheroes. Have your students try an online Venn diagram tool such as the one (reviewed here).
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomAsk your students to visit the site and create a multimedia presentation from the information about any specific year they see there. Or have them compare life in two different decades. Have students create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Or challenge students to create an online poster using Padlet (reviewed here).
When studying literature, point out this site as a source authors might use for cultural background information in their writing. Pick out the details while reading a novel, for example, that might be found at this site. Or before studying a historical period, use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students collect information tidbits and predict what might be put into the site for the current year.
Ask your ESL/ELL students to share similar information about the years they were born and the events that occurred in their home cultures. Use the site when preparing a unit on summarizing or informational paragraphs, showing the students how to select and condense relevant information from the site into a few sentences.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomAsk your students to visit the site and create a brochure based on the impact of a particular event they learned about. Brochures can be made using Microsoft Publisher or Apple's Pages. They could also use a tool like Adobe Spark, reviewed here, to create an interactive poster about one of the famous African Americans on the site. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson. Using it on a projector or interactive whiteboard will really make the videos come alive.
Grades3 to 12
This is a very comprehensive map program. Do you want your students to learn continents, major water bodies? Do they need to learn countries and their states or provinces? No, problem. They are all represented here.
In the ClassroomOne idea is to have students compete against each other as partners when they finish early with their work, or you can include this as one station that students rotate through. Another idea is to split the class in half and make the competition somewhat like a jeopardy game, allowing student teams to select which level (or category) they want for different points. Everyone gets a review when this is posted via your classroom projector or interactive whiteboard. List this link on your class website for students to use for practice at home (before the big test).
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThis activity could be used by individual students or in small groups. An interactive whiteboard or projector would also work fine. Since there is no right or wrong advice, students could tap in on the resources as they research to support their decisions and to speculate on how history might have turned out differently had Lincoln made other decisions. Perhaps have them write a blog post as Lincoln trying to make a decision. Have groups create multimedia presentations to share their decisions and possible outcomes. How about a podcast using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Or have students create news reports and video to share with the class. Share the videos using a site such as Teachers.TV reviewed here.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): lincoln (84)
In the ClassroomThis site is a great way to introduce a lesson or unit on Abraham Lincoln, Washington D.C., the Civil War, or civil rights. When used on an interactive whiteboard, students will feel like they are at the memorial. The site provides tools for you to zoom in and explore all the memorial has to offer. In addition, by clicking on HTML you are brought to the download section of the website. All interviews and panoramas are available for download, both audio and video. Have your students work in cooperative groups to download the audio of the park rangers and import it into PhotoStory or iMovie. They can then add their own photos to correspond with the narration. If you aren't using a MAC, create a similar presentation using Thinglink, reviewed here.
Grades2 to 8
In the ClassroomIncorporate this site into a web quest to build student knowledge of Marco Polo, interesting geography facts, and the history of Asia. Create a class wiki about Marco Polo and have students add different facts they learned or questions they might have. Not sure how to create a class wiki? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomSave this site in your favorites on classroom computers and use it as a center. Students can focus on areas of strength or weakness on a math game day. Because this site offers multiple levels and activities for many topics, it is easy to differentiate for ability levels within your class. Include this site on your class web page for students and parents to access for home based skills practice. There is a LOT here to explore.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site is a good site to use if you want to introduce more primary sources into your teaching. There is an extensive activities and resource section that covers the topics of photography, history, farming and genealogy. In addition, the PDF entitled the Turning Point would be a good resource to use in a lesson on narrative writing. Share the photos in art (or photography) class on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students create blog entries from the perspective of Frank Sadorus. Use the pictures for creative writing exercises. Why not have a photo of the week and have students write a short piece on the class wiki about what they feel the picture represents, what is happening in the photo, what the animal or person was doing/thinking in the photo, or whatever else is applicable in your class. Do you want to learn more about wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
Grades3 to 12
There are additional features if you choose to subscribe, particularly the Visual Thesaurus interactive word maps, which can be saved and printed, and an online edition in multiple languages for English-speaking students learning other languages and ESL/ELL students.
Caution! Before purchasing a subscription, see if the free portion of the website satisfies your needs or take advantage of the 14-day risk-free trial to see all the features in action. When a school subscription is purchased, student workbooks and Teachers' Guide with lesson plans are included.