Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomSearching the "For Educators" page gives you a wide variety of ideas for using this site and these essays. Since students enjoy using first person point of view in their writing, this might be an inspiration for some. You can use some of these essays as conversation starters on topics you are studying in class. (Example: Penn Jillette wrote his essay stating that he believes there is no god. This could be related to many books studied, such as 1984 or Brave New World.) Have students write their essays as blog entries or record them as podcasts using a tool such as Podomatic, reviewed here, or as an illustrated essay using ThingLink, reviewed here. Spanish teachers will want to explore the options to listen to or write essays in Spanish, as well.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): civil war (145)
In the ClassroomThe site is a gold mine of information, and would be useful to either students doing in-depth research, or for teachers who want to highlight the specific contrasts between communities from the North and the South during the Civil War. Teachers who wish to differentiate instruction will find paper topics which could be assigned to students who want to extend the lesson. Additionally, paper topics give options for creative essays, traditional essays or research papers, which can be adapted to different learning styles. Why not have students create a fictitious ongoing wiki between folks living on either side of the "line." What might they say to one another? Not sure what a wiki is? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomWhile you might turn to this site for a quick reference or document citation, this is the site you sit down with over the summer when you're planning your curriculum and lessons for the term or the year. There is simply so much here and so many good ways to access it that you will need to plan on spending significant time here.
Share the slideshows, podcasts, and primary documents on an interactive whiteboard or projector to supplement a lesson. Certainly you'll want to provide this link for your serious students who are doing research. Department chairs, be sure you pass along this resource to American History teachers throughout your district! Not only is it comprehensive, but it's user-friendly and easy to navigate.
Why not have cooperative learning groups explore various facets of this site and create multimedia presentations. Maybe a collaborative wiki about the topic researched. Not sure what a wiki is? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. How about having your students create podcasts using a site such as PodOMatic (reviewed here).
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): presidents (130)
In the ClassroomIf your students do Presidential biographies, this is a perfect site to save in your favorites for their use in preparing these. In addition, the multimedia gallery could be helpful in providing images to accompany lesson plans or other classroom presentations.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): july 4th (9)
In the ClassroomUse this site as a lead-in to July 4 OR prior to a field trip (real or virtual) to Philadelphia and Independence Hall.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site is ready to use in class. Have cooperative learning groups explore various aspects of the holiday and Mexican culture.If you have time, have them make their results into a class wiki with a page for each angle. Have students write a journal entry (as a blog) from the perspective of someone living in Mexico during the 1800s. Share maps of Mexico on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have cooperative learning groups create commercials highlighting what they have learned (be sure they include some new vocabulary words) or even a video advertisement for your class's Cinco de Mayo celebration. Share the videos using a tool such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomUse a Padlet to collaborate in collecting ideas, brainstorming, and more. Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Padlet does not show which work is attributable to which student, so you may want to require that students initial their contributions in order to get credit. If allowing all students to post to the wall or make comments, you may want to discuss internet safety and etiquette and establish specific class rules and consequences. Making the setting private again will prohibit content from later being replaced by classmate "vandalism."
Use a Padlet to collect webquest links and information to share with students. By leaving the wall open to comments, solicit input, discussions, or viewpoints from students. They can even contribute other sources they find. Color code resources to indicate different reading levels or "high challenge" sources for your more able students. Assign a student project where students choose their theme and design a wall around it. For example, have students create a wall about an environmental issue. They can include pictures, audio or video, links, and other information to display. Use as a new format for book reports. Do your students have favorites such as music or sports? Create a wall around these favorites or hobbies. Use a wall for grammar or vocabulary words. Create walls for debates or viewpoints. Post assignments, reminders, or study skills on a wall. Do you use student scribes or reporters? Use the Padlet site to create a wall with the goings-on in class. Embed your walls in a blog, wiki or website. See a similar tool (and more ideas to use either tool) in the TeachersFirst review of Lino here. Decide which one you prefer! Unfortunately, the Padlet embedded viewer is very small but can be scrolled in both directions.
Use Padlet as a class space during snow days and school breaks. Share the link to a teacher-created, public wall where students can share notes about what they did during the snow day or respond to a thought-provoking question.
Encourage creativity and organization by having your gifted students (or anyone doing independent projects) create Padlets to collect ideas, images, quotes, and more in an "idea bin." Require them to share a brainstorming Padlet to show you the ideas they considered before they launch into a project. Have them brainstorm (and later sort/color code) the possibilities for a creative problem solving or "Maker Faire" project. In writing or art classes, use Padlet as a virtual writer's journal or design notebook to collect ideas, images, and even video clips.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Includes social features, such as "friends," comments, ratings by others
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomShare this map on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use with your ESL/ELL students to show the class where most settlers from their specific countries go. Talk about your American students' origins and check to see where their ancestors may have settled. Use this interactive map to teach about various kinds of map making and map keys. Use this site to reinforce your students' understanding of timelines. Have cooperative learning groups investigate a specific decade. Challenge the groups to create multimedia presentations to share with the class: blog post from a settler during their "decade" or maybe an interactive timeline of a fictitious settler family using a tool such as TimeRime (explained here).
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomThe long term nature of the treasure hunt would make this a good enrichment activity or extra credit project for students. Alteratively, the class could act as a team and undertake one chapter at a time as an ongoing project. The project might also make a good summer enrichment opportunity for students, be good for home schools, or work well with summer day camp groups.
Grades3 to 12
tag(s): flash cards (45)
In the ClassroomBe sure to save this site in your favorites. SAT tutors need to know about Cramberry. Sign up all your students (check school policy first!). You may want to use a teacher email account and subaccounts for registration to establish the memberships by "number" and to provide complete monitoring of what students do. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.
Rotate the job of "card creator" throughout the school year and have the card creator share the word set with the rest of the class. Foreign language teachers will find this a must-have for teaching new words. This site could truly be useful in any subject area that teaches new vocabulary, dates, terms, formulas, and more: history, math, science, reading, etc. Of course, ESL, ELL, and special education students would benefit from the use of this site also.
Grades4 to 10
In the ClassroomUse this site to reinforce and support vocabulary as you study Lewis and Clark. Share the word puzzles on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students create their own word activities from the same vocabulary list, such as matching or ranking challenges for their peers to try on the interactive whiteboard.
Grades3 to 12
tag(s): egypt (67)
In the ClassroomBy providing picture clues, have students try to solve names using the Egyptian symbols. If students want to seek the scribe and delve into hieroglyphs a bit further, click on Scribe at the bottom of the page. They will be directed to the University of Pennsylvania Museum website for detailed information regarding the Egyptian culture. Are you looking for a site to use with younger students? Check out Journey to Egypt (reviewed here). Click on the link for Hieroglyphics to learn more.
Use this site as part of a study of different alphabets and coded symbols, even comparing them to mathematical or musical symbols as a means of communicating meaning. Gifted students will enjoy exploring and comparing different symbol systems.
Grades4 to 12
Be sure to check out the videos, which include commercials from the 1960s! Many of the video and audio features require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomThis site has so much to offer, the possibilities are endless. Obviously, this site is handy with ESL and ELL students. But there is SO much here to explore for teachers of elementary (social studies or language arts), AND secondary teachers trying to reinforce grammar skills, connect history and writing, and more.
Share portions of this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. With primary students, set up learning stations. Have cooperative learning groups explore the site together. Have groups investigate a specific area of this site and create a multimedia presentation to share with the class: wiki, blog entry, podcast, online book, or video. Need some "technology tips?" How about having students create a podcast using Podomatic (reviewed here). Share the "student-created" videos on a tool such as TeacherTube (explained here). Have students write online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.