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Radio Days: A Webquest - Cynthia Matzat

Grades
6 to 10
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This is a simple webquest to introduce students to many of the techniques used in radio that are still used in film production today. It also familiarizes students with the ...more
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This is a simple webquest to introduce students to many of the techniques used in radio that are still used in film production today. It also familiarizes students with the era of radio -- an important experience for those trying to understand history of the first half of the twentieth century. The webquest is almost deceptively simple. The age of your students and the sophistication with which they approach the task can determine the level you want to teach. It includes the elements of typical webquests from introduction through evaluation in an easy, step-by-step manner.

tag(s): 1930s (15), 1940s (13), decades (14), radio (26), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Although this was written for 6-8th graders, it is a lesson easily adaptable to older students. The list of resources is very good, and the kinds of embellishments you can make on the tasks are limitless. It is a great project for students to work on in small groups, allowing students of all abilities an opportunity for success.

If you ever considered podcasting, this webquest is the perfect lead-in. Your social studies(or language arts) students will love actually producing their scripts for "broadcast" on the web. Bring the 1930s to life in your classroom!

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Elizabethan Theatre: The Dawn of Modern Drama - William Eyerly

Grades
7 to 12
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Constructed by a practicing teacher, this webquest is simple, but very good. It takes students through a series of searches that lets them think about the difference between society...more
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Constructed by a practicing teacher, this webquest is simple, but very good. It takes students through a series of searches that lets them think about the difference between society and theatre of that time. While Mr. Eyerly has constructed the quest in such a way as to take the place of or significantly augment a unit plan (covering 45 days) on Elizabethan drama, with the culminating project being a student film, many parts of this are adaptable to shorter periods and less ambitious outcomes.

tag(s): elizabethan (17)

In the Classroom

There are many ways you can use this webquest to assist in teaching the beginning of modern drama, Elizabethan theatre, or Shakespeare. He goes through the quest process of introduction, task, process, and evaluation, but he also includes a teacher page with tips and ideas that is useful to the classroom teacher. If you have never done a complete webquest, why not consider trying ONE per year to see the benefits of a project-based approach, especially if someone else has already created the project for you. A grading rubric is includede in the Student Pages.

To assist in script editing and peer review, consider having students write and turn in their scripts on Google Docs, reviewed here. This can allow you an easier opportunity at giving timely feedback, and make it easier for groups to work in separate locations if need be - great for those with busy schedules.

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Homework High - 4Learning

Grades
5 to 10
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This is a great website to provide for your students to use at home. If they get stuck on a homework question, they can try searching for the answer ...more
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This is a great website to provide for your students to use at home. If they get stuck on a homework question, they can try searching for the answer at Homework High. The variety of topics includes math, science, history, geography, English and language (including French, German, and Spanish). The website also provides links to other websites for additional practice. There are also tips for improving study skills.

tag(s): french (88), german (64), homework (44), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Include a link to this website on your classroom newsletter or from your teacher web page for student help at home.

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What I Did for my Summer Vacation - Montana Historical Society

Grades
3 to 8
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This is no regular ol' vacation spot. Click your way through either a 1902 or 1916 vacation in Glacier National Park or Helena, Montana. Choose what you will ...more
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This is no regular ol' vacation spot. Click your way through either a 1902 or 1916 vacation in Glacier National Park or Helena, Montana. Choose what you will pack into your virtual luggage, then meet your relatives. Enjoy the vintage photos from that era, and at the end of your visit, you may choose to write about your experience. The Montana Historical Society posts the best stories in the Read a Story section of the website. Even though you're traveling through Montana at this website, from a historical aspect, it could be applied to most places in America during the early 1900s. Remember this one for your study of decades of the 20th century, as well.

tag(s): 1900s (33), decades (14), montana (4)

In the Classroom

Start the history lessons on Day One as your class compares vacationing today with vacations taken around the turn of the century -- 20th Century that is. Venn Diagrams make the comparisons easy to visualize. If you have a whiteboard or projector, your class will enjoy vintage vacationing together. With digital photography it is easy to turn your students' modern vacation pictures into sepia or black and white photos to create your own Historical Vacation Bulletin Board or PowerPoint show or "postcards" from a vacation in another era(prints easily into a Big Book).

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Mayflower History - Caleb Johnson

Grades
2 to 12
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The Mayflower comes alive as you explore the passenger list with accompanying personal history and genealogy. Click on the Pilgrim History link for a history of Thanksgiving and other...more
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The Mayflower comes alive as you explore the passenger list with accompanying personal history and genealogy. Click on the Pilgrim History link for a history of Thanksgiving and other Mayflower-era topics, including authentic recipes.

tag(s): genealogy (7), pilgrims (17), primary sources (86), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Only a visit to a far away museum could get any better than having the full-text primary sources which are available with a click on the left menu. The Mayflower experience would come to life as students fictitiously become one of the voyagers. Perhaps students could adopt a Mayflower 'ancestor' and write how they are alike or unlike. Around Thanksgiving, teachers may want to try some of the original recipes for an authentic Mayflower 'flavor' to their lesson plans.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Beacon Learning Center: Student Web Lessons - Beacon Learning Center

Grades
K to 12
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This website, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, provides an enormous collection of "web lessons" (interactives) for all grade levels. There are lessons in language...more
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This website, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, provides an enormous collection of "web lessons" (interactives) for all grade levels. There are lessons in language arts, math, science, social studies, and health. There are too many lesson plans to count - and all are projector, laptop, or whiteboard-ready. Just to give you an idea of some of these unique lessons, some of the titles include "Where is Japan?", "Walrus World", "Piece of Pie", "Medians", "Fence Me In", and "Critter Craze". On the main page, a brief description is provided for each lesson plan. Click Teacher Solutions > Lesson Plans to search by subject or grade level.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), evolution (100), expository writing (44), industrial revolution (25), native americans (78), primary sources (86), probability (130), symmetry (55), writing (359)

In the Classroom

If you want ready-to-go lessons guaranteed to work well on your interactive whiteboard, this collection is a winner. You simply open the activity on the whiteboard and have students tap and drag their way through as you talk with the class. (Invite your most "active" student to be "Vanna White" for a great behavior management solution). Many lessons would work well on laptops or on a computer cluster center, as well.

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Panoramas.dk

Grades
K to 12
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Have a high speed Internet connection? (Most schools do)The you MUST visit these 3D virtual tours of beautiful sites all over the world with your students. Read the Welcome message...more
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Have a high speed Internet connection? (Most schools do)The you MUST visit these 3D virtual tours of beautiful sites all over the world with your students. Read the Welcome message on the home page for directions and details, then explore the current features and several years of archives for 3D virtual tours from major world capitals to true "experiences" such as Times Square and white water rafting. Even the tour of a Banyan tree will amaze you. Bring the world into your classroom for geography, landforms, world cultures, foreign language study, or literary settings. Be in the midst of festivals or atop the Sydney Bridge. The site requires Quicktime. The Welcome section can help you troubleshoot. Or you can get Quicktime from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.. Just be sure to share in full screen (high band) view , if you can! Click the FULL SCREEN QTVR FEATURE > ARCHIVE to find more choices. There is also a link to Arounder, a collection of European Capitals in 3D tours.

tag(s): images (266), landforms (45)

In the Classroom

Use a projector--or better yet, an interactive whiteboard--to take students atop the Eiffel Tower, to the high Sierras, or aboard a Mars explorer. Allow student to navigate on the whiteboard. Nte that Shift and Ctrl keys alow you to zoom, as well. Be sure to click at the top of the 3D view to Read More about the image. These tours will make landforms real, culture come alive, and science a visual art form. As you introduce terms and place, use images! You could even use a tour as a writing prompt for poetry or descriptive writing. Include the link on your teacher web page for students to "tour the world" outside of class or feature one location a week to broaden class horizons on a classroom desktop.

Comments

What a GREAT idea! Thank you. I found one with mountain biking and vistas. I'll put it up early in the period and come back to it in the end and have them write their exit cards about it. Then I will revisit it in a week or two when we start talking about metaphorical language. Shirley, CA, Grades: 6 - 12
I plan to use this as a way to start the school year with my sixth grade G/T kids. I will display a panorama on an interactive whiteboard-- one of mountains with peaks and valleys. I will ask, "Why would I show you this and say that this is our classroom this year?" The students will write down an idea on a slip of paper, guessing why I might use this as an introduction to my class. They will most likely introduce all of the classroom conduct and learning environment issues that I want to touch upon that first day: peaks and valleys during the year, some rugged terrain, studying mountains and geography, some amazing views (everyone's opinions), and more. It will also get them thinking in analogies and allow me to see how quickly some of them do this and how literal others are. Thinking, PA, Grades: 5 - 10

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Acceptance Speech by Doris Voitier - Doris Voitier/ John F. Kennedy Memorial Library Foundation

Grades
K to 12
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Doris Voitier, Superintendent of the St. Bernard Parish Schools in New Orleans area gave this speech in acceptance of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation's Profiles in Courage Award...more
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Doris Voitier, Superintendent of the St. Bernard Parish Schools in New Orleans area gave this speech in acceptance of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation's Profiles in Courage Award in 2007. Her account of the challenges during and after Hurricane Katrina and the response by the staff of the St. Bernard Parish schools is awe-inspiring and heartening to educators. Her oral history also provides a powerful view of FEMA and the U.S. government from the eyes of hurricane survivors and local public officials.

TeachersFirst is fortunate to have Doris Voitier as a member of the board of directors of our parent company and is proud to congratulate her on this prestigious award.

tag(s): hurricanes (35)

In the Classroom

Educators anywhere will respond to this account on a very personal level. In the classroom, however, this account can also spark discussion about the role of the government in natural disasters, the structure and functions of local government agencies, such as the schools, and the very nature of local economies. Share this real-life story as the beginning of a class discussion on history, government, or economics at the local, state, and federal level.

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National Women's Hall of Fame - National Women's Hall of Fame

Grades
6 to 12
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The National Women's Hall of Fame celebrates the contributions of women to society and each year nominates outstanding women for inclusion. This site contains brief biographies of...more
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The National Women's Hall of Fame celebrates the contributions of women to society and each year nominates outstanding women for inclusion. This site contains brief biographies of each of these women.

tag(s): women (101)

In the Classroom

This site would be useful as a resource for teachers who assign "heroes" biographies, particularly during Women's History month. Students might also research and write nominations for additional women to be included in the future as a class activity.

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American Experience: New Orleans - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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The tragedy of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent efforts to rebuild the city of New Orleans have brought attention to this distinctive city. This site provides resources for helping...more
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The tragedy of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent efforts to rebuild the city of New Orleans have brought attention to this distinctive city. This site provides resources for helping students understand its unique history from historical and cultural perspectives.

There are several great interactive resources provided including audio clips and commentary about New Orleans' great musical tradition, and a flash-enabled map showing the growth of the city over time. Whether you're interested in teaching music, particularly American Jazz, or the history of New Orleans' diverse melting pot of cultures or the politics of race in the Katrina recovery process, you will find good content here. Teacher resources include lesson plans on history, civics, music and geography.

tag(s): jazz (15)

In the Classroom

Share the interactive portions on projector and speakers or laptops, as you ask your students to propose a better way for government agencies to prepare for and respond to disasters. Using this site and many others, they can gather evidence to support their proposals. Don't miss the accounts by the Superintendent of the St. Bernard Schools as another source.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The American Experience: Technology - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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A companion to a PBS series on the impact of technology on culture, this site links to discussions of three separate innovations: the telephone, the television and the New ...more
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A companion to a PBS series on the impact of technology on culture, this site links to discussions of three separate innovations: the telephone, the television and the New York City subway. There is also a nice technology time line that shows students the explosion of inventions beginning in the 19th century. Teachers' guides within each section provide lesson plan ideas.

tag(s): evolution (100), industrial revolution (25), vision (87)

In the Classroom

The Flash-enabled technology timeline would be a great illustration of the impact of the industrial revolution on American culture. Use this on an interactive whiteboard or projector as you ask students to imagine their worlds without these inventions and predict the next ground breaking technology. While the section on the New York City subway system may seem to be less important, students might be encouraged to think about the relative failure of public transportation in the US and how that impacts the current oil crisis.
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Secrets of the Dead: The Sinking of the Andrea Doria - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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This site accompanies a PBS episode on the sinking of the Andrea Doria. Following a "crime scene investigation" model, the episode looks at the controversy behind the collision between...more
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This site accompanies a PBS episode on the sinking of the Andrea Doria. Following a "crime scene investigation" model, the episode looks at the controversy behind the collision between the Doria and the Stockholm in 1956, and efforts to examine the wreck off the coast of New England. The site's usefulness is not limited to history teachers, however! There is a significant portion devoted to the science of deep sea diving.

In the Classroom

Use the excellent flash-enabled interactive "Diving Deep" to illustrate the physical properties of deep-sea diving that can endanger the lives of divers. There is also a detailed lesson plan in the Teacher Toolbox section that offers hands-on activities for exploring gas laws that affect divers, and printable handouts that provide questions on the lessons.

As you study the decades of the 20th century, this site could also be an interesting independent project source for a student interested in the 50's. Gifted students as young as upper elementary might find it a springboard for a comparison of maritime disasters.
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American Bald Eagle Information - Hope Rutledge

Grades
3 to 12
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This website is filled with wonderful information about our national bird, the American Bald Eagle. It is a detailed site, with topics ranging from nesting and migration to eyesight...more
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This website is filled with wonderful information about our national bird, the American Bald Eagle. It is a detailed site, with topics ranging from nesting and migration to eyesight and hearing. The site is easy to read and simple to navigate. Be sure to click on the Myths and Legends to see how the Bald Eagle has been viewed throughout history. Students with reading disabilities or low reading levels may need to some assistance with Native American verbiage.

tag(s): endangered species (38), species (29)

In the Classroom

Use this site as the starting point for individual and group projects. Save it on your desktop as a center or enrichment activity, especially during a unit on American symbols. Note that the images are strictly copyrighted (see the notice at the bottom).

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Renaissance: The Elizabethan World - Maggi Ros

Grades
4 to 12
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This site has links to everything you ever wanted to know about the Elizabeth world from a Compendium of Life in Elizabethan England to Heraldry to the transcripts of the ...more
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This site has links to everything you ever wanted to know about the Elizabeth world from a Compendium of Life in Elizabethan England to Heraldry to the transcripts of the trials of the Earls of Essex and Southampton. It also includes a link to a list of more than a hundred recommended sites for the Renaissance and Elizabethan times.Teachers of everything from world history to Shakespeare will find something to mine at this site. The Compendium of Elizabethan Life is especially interesting to those students who want to know "how things worked" 500 years ago in the time of Will Shakespeare. While this is a great research sourcefor Shakespeare, it is also good for drama, literature, and history for all sorts of activities.

tag(s): elizabethan (17), renaissance (34)

In the Classroom

Share this resource on your teacher web page for students to choose different research topics related to Elizabethan or Renaissance times. As you teach Shakespeare, bring up a daily "factoid," text snippet, or image on a projector to take students back in time before you start class.

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Map of Valley Forge National Historical Park - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 8
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This PDF file provides a detailed (and very well done) map of the Valley Forge National Historical Park. This map is suitable for viewing and/or printing. So before ...more
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This PDF file provides a detailed (and very well done) map of the Valley Forge National Historical Park. This map is suitable for viewing and/or printing. So before you head to Valley Forge, be sure to print this helpful map. The map requires Acrobat Reader. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): colonial america (107), map skills (79), philadelphia (13)

In the Classroom

Share this and other sections of the TeachersFirst Colonial America tour as part of your study of the colonies so students can see what these historic locations look like today. Share the map on an interactive whiteboard, so you can use the tools to highlight different areas.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Map of Philadelphia - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 12
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This PDF file, provides a detailed map of Philadelphia. Before you head to Philadelphia, print out this useful map. The map requires Acrobat Reader. Get it from the ...more
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This PDF file, provides a detailed map of Philadelphia. Before you head to Philadelphia, print out this useful map. The map requires Acrobat Reader. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): colonial america (107), map skills (79), philadelphia (13)

In the Classroom

Share this and other sections of the TeachersFirst Colonial America tour as part of your study of the colonies so students can see what these historic locations look like today. Share the map on an interactive whiteboard and use the tools to highlight important aspects of a colonial city.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Franklin Institute - The Franklin Institute Science Museum

Grades
2 to 12
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This website includes information about Benjamin Franklin, lesson ideas for the classroom, field trip ideas for visiting the Franklin Institute and information about the many unique...more
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This website includes information about Benjamin Franklin, lesson ideas for the classroom, field trip ideas for visiting the Franklin Institute and information about the many unique and educational exhibits at the museum. Ben Franklin is one of America's most colorful patriots. His accomplishments as legislator, diplomat, and scientist were recognized as extraordinary even in his own day. Philadelphia's Franklin Institute has a memorial to Franklin. You can include it in your Philadelphia visit, or learn more about it here.

tag(s): colonial america (107), franklin (12), philadelphia (13)

In the Classroom

Share this and other sections of the TeachersFirst Colonial America tour as part of your study of the colonies so students can see what these historic locations look like today.

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Carpenters' Hall - Independence Hall Association

Grades
3 to 8
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Carpenters' Hall was the site of the first Continental Congress. Carpenters' Hall was a key meeting spot during the struggle for independence. This website provides information about...more
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Carpenters' Hall was the site of the first Continental Congress. Carpenters' Hall was a key meeting spot during the struggle for independence. This website provides information about the history of Carpenters' Hall and a lot of other information about the past and present.

tag(s): colonial america (107), philadelphia (13)

In the Classroom

Share this and other sections of the TeachersFirst Colonial America tour as part of your study of the colonies so students can see what these historic locations look like today.

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Freedom Trail Map - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 8
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Here's a map of the Freedom Trail and downtown Boston. It's a big file (186kb), so it will take a few minutes to download. The file reuqires Acrobat Reader. Get ...more
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Here's a map of the Freedom Trail and downtown Boston. It's a big file (186kb), so it will take a few minutes to download. The file reuqires Acrobat Reader. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): boston (14), colonial america (107), map skills (79)

In the Classroom

Share this and other sections of the TeachersFirst Colonial America tour as part of your study of the colonies so students can see what these historic locations look like today. Project the map on an interactive whiteboard, and use the tools to highlight interrelationships between important Colonial Boston sites.
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Independence Hall - National Park Service

Grades
3 to 8
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This website provides information about Independence Hall. There are photos and brief descriptions of the State House (now Independence Hall). The website also provides details about...more
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This website provides information about Independence Hall. There are photos and brief descriptions of the State House (now Independence Hall). The website also provides details about the events that took place there.

tag(s): colonial america (107), philadelphia (13)

In the Classroom

Share this and other sections of the TeachersFirst Colonial America tour as part of your study of the colonies so students can see what these historic locations look like today.

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