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Adventures in the Past- Virtual Site Visits - US Bureau of Land Management

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3 to 12
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"Archaeological, historic, and fossil sites are unique portals to the past," declares this site as it invites you to visit locations around the U.S. as ways to learn about archelogical...more
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"Archaeological, historic, and fossil sites are unique portals to the past," declares this site as it invites you to visit locations around the U.S. as ways to learn about archelogical finds, natural formations, and historical preservation sites that teach about the early U.S. and its Native American predecessors. Many of the virtual visits are created by BLM, and those that are not warn you before you leave the site. The locations included spread across most of the western U.S. and Alaska.

tag(s): archeology (32), fossils (46)

In the Classroom

Take your class on a "field trip" without leaving the classroom. Give them a list of things to find out as they explore a location on their own computers or "travel" together on a projector. Younger students will need help with text passages.

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Explore Pennsylvania History

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4 to 12
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Learn about Pennsylvania history, see and learn about historical sites within Pennsylvania, and find lesson plans for elementary through high school on this site. There are three different...more
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Learn about Pennsylvania history, see and learn about historical sites within Pennsylvania, and find lesson plans for elementary through high school on this site. There are three different avenues into the site, including the link to lesson plans (Teach PA History). Standards correlation is to Pennsylvania standards, but the content is appropriate for any history class studying the many events that occurred in Pennsylvania as part of U.S. history. Reading levels may be challenging for younger students.

tag(s): colonial america (108), pennsylvania (6)

In the Classroom

Follow a lesson ready-made plan or design your own web treasure hunt for students to read, see, and learn about history by navigating this site. You could also feature a "historical marker a day" as an anticipatory set on a projector during your units on PA history in Pennsylvania classrooms.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Black Wings: African American Pioneer Aviators - Smithsonian- National Air and Space Museum

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5 to 12
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Inspire future aviators or encourage students to pursue their dreams with this site that traces African American aviators through the years. There are many images and short passages...more
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Inspire future aviators or encourage students to pursue their dreams with this site that traces African American aviators through the years. There are many images and short passages of text. The reading levels are not for younger students. The site includes three classroom activities. One activity actually guides students through a series of questions they answer on a web page as they learn about a single aviator. Black Wings permits students to download and use images in their reports, as long as they are classroom projects, either printed or electronic, such as in PowerPoint. Images may not be published on web pages or burned to CD. Be sure to visit the What's New section for featured interviews with aviators. What a terrific and interesting primary source!

tag(s): africa (180), african american (114)

In the Classroom

Use this one as part of reading comprehension practice and find that your students are actually interested in what they read. Have students create projects about their favorite aviator or aircraft on a poster, in a PowerPoint presentation, or using Inspiration software.

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Election 2006 - New York Times

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6 to 12
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Use a clickable national map to analyze the 2006 races for governor, senate, and house in all 50 states. See recent polling data, historical trends, and even predict outcomes to ...more
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Use a clickable national map to analyze the 2006 races for governor, senate, and house in all 50 states. See recent polling data, historical trends, and even predict outcomes to see their impact on Congress as a whole. You can save your "scenarios" for future reference. Note: you must join the New York Times online (FREE), a valuable resource for any classroom. You can make one account, and multiple computers can log in at once. Just don't forget your user name and password!

Although this resource was created for the 2006 election, the background information is valuable for teaching about elections in general and for comparing elections as part of U.S. history.

tag(s): elections (78), politics (100)

In the Classroom

This would be a great site to visit repeatedly throughout the ramp-up to the election. It would be terrific on an interactive whiteboard. You could also assign students to create their own log-ins and generate their own scenarios. based on their own research (encourage ownership!). Then compare their predictions with the actual results. Or role-play groups as they present their scenarios in Republican (or Democratic) National Committee budget meetings and decide strategies.

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Calisphere - University of California

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4 to 12
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Find an extensive collections of primary sources, including images and texts, from California history and culture. Many of these topics are part of a US history course, as well: Gold...more
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Find an extensive collections of primary sources, including images and texts, from California history and culture. Many of these topics are part of a US history course, as well: Gold Rush, World War II, etc. Materials are searchable and also organized into thematic collections for teachers.These collections include information on historical context and CA. standards.

tag(s): california (27), cultures (107), gold rush (19), japan (62), japanese (43), primary sources (90)

In the Classroom

Teachers and students have permission to print, or download these collections for classroom use. Make bulletin boards or let students include the images in their PowerPoint or movie presentations. You do not have permission to place these images on a web page or use them for other purposes without specific permission to do so.

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Podcasts from Colonial Williamsburg - Colonial Williamsburg

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4 to 12
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Listen to Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and many lesser known inhabitants and visitors to the colony. Even some of today's actors tell about their roles as craftspeople and "residents"...more
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Listen to Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and many lesser known inhabitants and visitors to the colony. Even some of today's actors tell about their roles as craftspeople and "residents" of Colonial Williamsburg.

tag(s): jefferson (20), williamsburg (12)

In the Classroom

You can play these through a regular computer. You need speakers for more than one person to hear or headphones in a lab. You can also download onto an iPod for portable listening, if you or your students have them. Uses Quicktime to play the audio and may take a bit to download and play. The wait is worth it.

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Inventor of the Week - MIT Lemelson Center

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6 to 12
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The Lemelson Center at MIT offers a weekly profile of an inventor - some famous, many less so. If you're doing a unit on scientists, creativity, or economic/industrial growth, this...more
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The Lemelson Center at MIT offers a weekly profile of an inventor - some famous, many less so. If you're doing a unit on scientists, creativity, or economic/industrial growth, this site can help students understand how many advances are the result of small, incremental improvements rather than revolutionary breakthroughs.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (95), scientists (70)

In the Classroom

Use the inventor of the week section as an activator at the beginning of every week in a science or Physics classroom. This could be used as an activator over the interactive whiteboard or as a learning center or station. This could be used every week or before inventive projects, serving as a motivator!

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Heritage Travel - Historical Travel Itineraries - National Register of Historic Places

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4 to 9
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Designed for trip-planning, this site also works well for students researching a city or region, for planning an "imaginary adventure" or as part of a larger webquest or other online...more
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Designed for trip-planning, this site also works well for students researching a city or region, for planning an "imaginary adventure" or as part of a larger webquest or other online geography activity. The sites include scores of little-known places that have historic importance for one reason or another.

tag(s): architecture (85)

In the Classroom

Try this one as the basis for a "did you know" contest, asking students to unearth little-known facts about a topic of interest to them.

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American History - Primary Documents - Library of Congress

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6 to 12
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This collection of the key documents of American history puts "all the important stuff" in one place. At the moment, the collections only run through the reconstruction period (1877),...more
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This collection of the key documents of American history puts "all the important stuff" in one place. At the moment, the collections only run through the reconstruction period (1877), and it can be difficult to find copies of some documents that are actually readable by students. (Several are photos of original manuscripts.)

tag(s): primary sources (90)

In the Classroom

Try using this site as a way to actually connect students to the time periods they are studying.

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Blues Classroom - PBS

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6 to 12
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A true American art form, "the Blues" makes a great interdisciplinary study, and this site's lesson plans provide a well-researched foundation for that study. Our only regret is that...more
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A true American art form, "the Blues" makes a great interdisciplinary study, and this site's lesson plans provide a well-researched foundation for that study. Our only regret is that sites on this subject so rarely include sound files for the music they're describing.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (114), blues (19), jazz (15), songs (53)

In the Classroom

If you elect to use this site, talk with your school's music teacher about resources that will let students hear samples of the music.

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American Revolution - National Park Service

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4 to 8
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This new (2006) site from NPS groups the parks associated with the American Revolution and suggests parks appropriate for study of particular revolutionary themes. While short on lessons...more
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This new (2006) site from NPS groups the parks associated with the American Revolution and suggests parks appropriate for study of particular revolutionary themes. While short on lessons and simulations, there is abundant information on many of the locations where important events during the revolution took place.

tag(s): american revolution (89), evolution (102)

In the Classroom

If in a state that was one of the original 13 colonies, use this site to discover a site that would be prime for a field trip. In addition, teachers can share this site on the interactive whiteboard or projector as a way to preview for students what they are about to see. In addition to the sites, the park service also offers a "Guide to the Revolution," that teachers can use as supplementary material in their classroom. Note - the guide is text heavy, so only use it if in an advanced class or or one where you feel comfortable with students reading abilities and interests.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Smithsonian Global Sound - Smithsonian Institution

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1 to 12
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Listen to and learn about traditional music from cultures around the world and through the ages. Browse this amazing collection of downloadable tunes to find musical enrichment to enhance...more
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Listen to and learn about traditional music from cultures around the world and through the ages. Browse this amazing collection of downloadable tunes to find musical enrichment to enhance a unit of study. Full downloads in MP3 or FLAC format are available for purchase but each offering is accompanied by a free audio sample. Note: this site opens rather slowly.Be patient, especially if you are on a dial-up connection.

tag(s): songs (53)

In the Classroom

Search this site for songs to supplement your unit in a US or World history class. This teacher was able to find a song about the suffrage movement, and was able to teach the beliefs of suffrage through student analysis of the lyrics and tone. Be sure to search - there are literally tons of songs that can be used for a variety of curriculum.

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Jamestown Online Adventure

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4 to 7
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Imagine that you are the governor of the Jamestown colony, relying on your problem-solving skills, information from fellow colonists, and advice from Native Americans to ensure the...more
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Imagine that you are the governor of the Jamestown colony, relying on your problem-solving skills, information from fellow colonists, and advice from Native Americans to ensure the success and growth of the settlement. This interactive game places visitors in that role as it keeps score of choices made regarding food, health, money, and morale. At the end, a detailed report on the state of the colony (based on the user's decisions) is generated.

tag(s): jamestown (11), virginia (16)

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Intelligence in the Civil War - U.S. Central Intelligence Agency

Grades
7 to 12
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Discover the spies, treachery, and intrigue that were a vital part of how the North and the South gathered and used information during the Civil War. This illustrated report details...more
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Discover the spies, treachery, and intrigue that were a vital part of how the North and the South gathered and used information during the Civil War. This illustrated report details the missions and personalities - off the battlefield and behind the scenes - that contributed to the successes, failures, and eventual outcome of the War Between the States.

tag(s): civil war (145)

In the Classroom

This is a great find for gifted students. If assigning research projects, encourage your students to look at this site as it provides information that is pertinent but rarely touched upon in classes. The site offers intriguing information about Pinkertons, spies, and a secret service-like organization. Students interested in the topic will love the in-depth information provided.

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Age of Exploration - Mariners' Museum

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3 to 7
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Learn about the courageous voyages that changed the course of human history with this comprehensive collection of activities, narratives, and teaching materials. Visual images and text...more
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Learn about the courageous voyages that changed the course of human history with this comprehensive collection of activities, narratives, and teaching materials. Visual images and text are woven together to create a useful resource for content enrichment and student research. Visit the "Activities for Students and Teachers" for ready-to-go activities with printable handouts that can be incorporated into transparencies, presentations, or reports.

tag(s): explorers (65)

In the Classroom

Use the activities portion of this site to add enrichment to your classroom. There are plenty of quick projects and lesson plans, but there are also two interactive web games that could be used to help students review information. Save those particular portions of the site as favorites on your computer and use them for a learning center or station.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Child Labor in America - The History Place

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7 to 12
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This collection of haunting images chronicles the lives of working children in America from 1908 through 1912. The photos, taken by Lewis Hine, reveal the dangerous and dismal conditions...more
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This collection of haunting images chronicles the lives of working children in America from 1908 through 1912. The photos, taken by Lewis Hine, reveal the dangerous and dismal conditions in factories, fields, mills, and mines across the United States. Captions provide insight into the wages, responsibilities, and ages of these young workers. A chilling glimpse of child exploitation at the dawn of the 20th century.

tag(s): air (163)

In the Classroom

Project these images in your classroom to add some visual realism to a study of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. An excellent primary source to help students understand the significance of the Fair Labor and Standards Act that eventually ended this practice.

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James River Plantations - National Park Service

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7 to 12
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Studying Colonial America? Don't just rely on the facts in the textbook. View the past through the lens of the everyday life of the gentry, and take a virtual field ...more
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Studying Colonial America? Don't just rely on the facts in the textbook. View the past through the lens of the everyday life of the gentry, and take a virtual field trip along the James River to view the stately 18th century homes of Virginia. This site explores the architecture, lifestyle, and history of the era, and offers an interactive map, essays describing the significance of each plantation in American history, and many vintage sketches of the individual locations.

tag(s): colonial america (108), jamestown (11), virginia (16)

In the Classroom

This site clamors to be the focus of a virtual field trip for secondary students. After prowling through the site yourself, create an itinerary (with related discussion questions) to guide your students through the content.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Black History Month - Time, Inc.

Grades
4 to 8
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This highly interactive site provides a kid-friendly overview of Black history, the fight for Civil Rights, and those Americans who have made a major impact on the African American...more
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This highly interactive site provides a kid-friendly overview of Black history, the fight for Civil Rights, and those Americans who have made a major impact on the African American dream. Students can listen to audio clips from pivotal speeches in African American history, participate in an interactive quiz on the fight for equal rights, and explore an interactive timeline.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (114), civil rights (123), speech (93), speeches (17)

In the Classroom

This site is a great addition to a classroom unit on the civil rights movement. Save the site as a favorite on the classroom computers, and have students work on it pairs, or use it as a learning center. Some of the web quests are basically quizzes in disguise, making them appropriate for review. If using it for review, add the site to your teacher web page so students can access it both in and out of the classroom.

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Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary - Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary

Grades
7 to 12
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Much more than a biographical resource, this site is filled with interactive treasures and multimedia features. Click on "Online Exhibition" to access a wealth of visual treats and...more
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Much more than a biographical resource, this site is filled with interactive treasures and multimedia features. Click on "Online Exhibition" to access a wealth of visual treats and activities. Set type and print your name on an 18th century printing press, listen to the wisdom of Silence Dogood, or test your knowledge of classic Franklin proverbs and aphorisms. This is an outstanding tribute to the legacy of one of America's most beloved founding fathers.

tag(s): colonial america (108), franklin (12)

In the Classroom

Beyond the items mentioned in the review, this site has a variety of free lesson plans offered for grades k-12. They also list several programs and free resources that can help teachers find more information about Franklin.

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Lighting a Revolution - Smithsonian

Grades
5 to 8
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This online exhibition from the National Museum of American History examines the process of invention, breaking it down into five distinct stages. Enter one of the virtual laboratory...more
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This online exhibition from the National Museum of American History examines the process of invention, breaking it down into five distinct stages. Enter one of the virtual laboratory doors to discover the similarities and differences between Edison's 19th century work on the electric lamp and the development of 20th century lighting devices. The site includes links to materials that explain the science and engineering behind electric lighting and the factors used to determine energy efficiency.

tag(s): electricity (90), inventors and inventions (95)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to frame a student invention unit based on the five stages detailed on the site. Focus the invention process on current or future needs brainstormed by students in class.

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