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Seeds of Change Garden - Smithsonian

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2 to 7
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Take your students on a delightful trip back to the year 1492. As students move forward and backward in time, they will gain a fresh view of history as ...more
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Take your students on a delightful trip back to the year 1492. As students move forward and backward in time, they will gain a fresh view of history as observed through the evolution of food! Agriculture and cuisine from around the world and across centuries are examined. This site can be used as an entertaining computer-based station in the classroom for independent exploration, or as a foundation for more in-depth study. The strength of this site is truly in its incredibly creative, hands-on activities that explore history, cultural diversity, and gardening. Created by the Smithsonian Institute.

tag(s): agriculture (54)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite on classroom computers and use it as a learning center or station in your classroom. One way to guide students through the site is to have students complete a follow along as they navigate the pages. Another way is to have students in pairs and have them create an online poster summarizing what they think the main points are. Use an online poster creator, such as Padlet (reviewed here).

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Lewis and Clark National Bicentennial Exhibition - Missouri Historical Society

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6 to 12
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This on-line exhibition allows visitors to follow the footsteps of Lewis and Clark, explore the cultural landscape they encountered, and browse through a collection of over 350 artifacts...more
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This on-line exhibition allows visitors to follow the footsteps of Lewis and Clark, explore the cultural landscape they encountered, and browse through a collection of over 350 artifacts that document the first transcontinental journey across North America. Highlights of this beautifully designed site include an interactive map, audio clips providing sounds associated with each place along the journey, and readings from words written by members of the expedition. Links to related themes are provided throughout the site. This is an outstanding resource that accurately presents many facets of this pivotal even in American history.

tag(s): lewis and clark (15), louisiana (11), louisiana purchase (7)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and classroom activities hosted on this site! This would be a great resource for a US history site, regardless of the grade level. Save this site as a favorite on your classroom computer to allow for easy retrieval when necessary.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Advertising Campaigns That Have Made a Difference - The Ad Council

Grades
7 to 12
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Throughout the 20th century, advertisements have influenced public behavior and opinion while leaving enduring icons and slogans in their wake. Explore some of these snapshots of American...more
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Throughout the 20th century, advertisements have influenced public behavior and opinion while leaving enduring icons and slogans in their wake. Explore some of these snapshots of American culture in this Ad Council site that provides printed and multi-media glimpses of its public service milestones - from war bonds, to Smokey the Bear, to Vince and Larry, the crash test dummies. View the examples in class and challenge students to design their own ad campaigns to address contemporary issues in America society.

tag(s): advertising (33)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on the interactive whiteboard during a class discussion of a debate in current politics or while preparing for a debate in your own classroom. Allow students to explore the site with the intentions of creating their own propaganda for their debate side or for both sides if used in a more general discussion. This is a great way to get students to start thinking about persuasion in the media, and how politicians can use it. Excellent resource for a US government class!

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Slates, Slide Rules, and Software: Teaching Math in America - Smithsonian

Grades
7 to 12
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Create an interdisciplinary link between math and social studies with this informative site that chronicles the development of teaching tools to help students master abstract mathematical...more
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Create an interdisciplinary link between math and social studies with this informative site that chronicles the development of teaching tools to help students master abstract mathematical concepts. Simple text and graphics make this a very usable site for students of any level. Created by the National Museum of American History

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station at the beginning of the year in an algebra class to get students thinking about the materials they use and how they can aid learning. This could be a fun accompaniment to syllabus-day or later on in the first week.

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Drawing from Life - Smithsonian

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7 to 12
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Spice up a history class and generate discussion with cartoons taken from the Smithsonian Institution's American Art/Portrait Gallery Library Collection. Images, dating from 1862 to...more
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Spice up a history class and generate discussion with cartoons taken from the Smithsonian Institution's American Art/Portrait Gallery Library Collection. Images, dating from 1862 to 1955, reflect the power and popularity of this medium throughout American history. Can be browsed by title, artist, or subject.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74)

In the Classroom

Art and History teachers will love this online collection of comic drawings houses by the Smithsonian. In a class discussion of validity of sources select a few images that were created to reflect on society or satire it. (We recommend Hogarth's engravings if your class is mature enough) Share the images on the interactive whiteboard or projector with the class. Start a discussion as to what students think the meaning and purpose of the image is. Do a few as a class and have students complete the rest of the images on their own. Have students write up a few quick sentences on the remaining images. Teachers can either finish the activity there or have students share their answers later in a discussion.

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America in Caricature: 1765 - 1865 - University of Indiana

Grades
7 to 12
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This site, by the Lily Library of Indiana University, features the wry wit and artistic talents of America's best political cartoonists. Three distinct and turbulent periods in American...more
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This site, by the Lily Library of Indiana University, features the wry wit and artistic talents of America's best political cartoonists. Three distinct and turbulent periods in American history are represented: The Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. Especially notable are the political cartoons from election years 1860 and 1864. Challenge students to think about how these caricatures compare with those found in today's newspapers.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Select the images that correspond to the unit being covered in your classroom. Print out the caricatures, laminate and bring to class. Seperate students into groups and have them all work on at least one of the images obtained from the class. Have students analyze and dissect the images to gauge the meaning, purpose and intent. This is an activity that does require some substance of background knowledge, so do this more towards the end of a unit as review.

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Presidency in Action - American Presidents - University of Virginia

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6 to 12
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This is a thematic look at the conduct and evolution of the American presidency since the founding of the republic. It examines the executive structures that manage domestic, economic,...more
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This is a thematic look at the conduct and evolution of the American presidency since the founding of the republic. It examines the executive structures that manage domestic, economic, foreign, and legislative activities in more than enough detail for secondary students. Even a quick tour will demonstrate the current complexity of the executive branch.

In the Classroom

This site has a variety of uses within a US government or history classroom. To begin with, teachers can use this site as a resource for research projects; a source for speeches and writings, as well as a learning center during a unit on a particular president or time period. A very useful and flexible source that can easily be worked into your curriculum!

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Dream of Flight - Library of Congress

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6 to 12
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Highlighting the incredible courage, ingenuity, and determination of Orville and Wilbur Wright, this Library of Congress site traces the importance of flight through history as it chronicles...more
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Highlighting the incredible courage, ingenuity, and determination of Orville and Wilbur Wright, this Library of Congress site traces the importance of flight through history as it chronicles the brothers' amazing achievement in Kitty Hawk, NC. Rich in text, photographs, and primary source documents, this electronic exhibit could form the basis for a teacher-created Web hunt, or serve as a visual supplement for a unit on American history and inventors.

tag(s): air (163), aircraft (24), aviation (39), flight (36), wright brothers (25)

In the Classroom

Within the section entitled "the dream" is a collection of primary resources that reflect society's obsession with flight. Print out or download these images separately on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Once students are in groups, assign each student a resource - with each group analyzing and interpreting the meaning of the pieces of art. After each group has dissected their resource, have a classroom debate as to which is the most reflective of human desire to fly? Which is the most inspirational? Which was the most scientific? Not only will the debate explore each of the sources but it will depend on students background knowledge of the history of flight. Because of this, this activity is probably best served at the end of a unit when it can be used as an informal review.

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Voices from the Days of Slavery - Library of Congress

Grades
7 to 12
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This collection of digital sound recordings (in MP3, RealAudio, and wav formats), corresponding transcripts, and photographs provide an authentic experience in the study of slavery...more
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This collection of digital sound recordings (in MP3, RealAudio, and wav formats), corresponding transcripts, and photographs provide an authentic experience in the study of slavery in America. Interviews conducted between 1932 and 1975, reveal how former slaves felt about their owners, their families, and their freedom. All recording are taken from the American Folklife Collection of the Library of Congress.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113), civil war (145), oral history (12), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on the interactive whiteboard during a unit on slavery in the 19th century. Have students explore the site in cooperative learning groups, with the intentions of presenting a summary of the information they've seen. Students can present the information from a particularly perspective or as though they're reteaching it to their peers. Have the groups present with a podcast, using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).

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History Interactive - Michigan Epic

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1 to 12
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While it is a work in progress, Michigan Epic's flash-based K-12 world history and social studies offerings promise to be a wonderful addition to social studies teachers' inventory...more
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While it is a work in progress, Michigan Epic's flash-based K-12 world history and social studies offerings promise to be a wonderful addition to social studies teachers' inventory of lesson materials. Standards referenced and thoughtfully designed, these presentations will engage students while offering significant content. The precise approaches vary by topic and grade level, so there's always something new around the next corner. This one's a real winner.

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and resources concerning a variety of US history events. The resources include everything from simple lesson plans, to primary sources and web quests. Be sure to take a look at the site before you begin any unit to see what you can add to your classroom.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Gullah Net - South Carolina ETV

Grades
4 to 8
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Gullah is the unique culture of African Americans living on and along the coastal waters of South Carolina and Georgia. This site offers a look at the traditions, customs, and ...more
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Gullah is the unique culture of African Americans living on and along the coastal waters of South Carolina and Georgia. This site offers a look at the traditions, customs, and folk tales of the Gullah people in a treatment that students will find both respectful and entertaining. Try it as an example of a regional American culture, or as part of a study of African American history.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113), georgia (4)

In the Classroom

Use the stories and materials on this site as a writing prompt. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector before allowing students to explore it individually. Allow students to listen to the stories in groups or individually on classroom computers. Once students have explored the Gullah Tales, have them create their own stories on the website. The stories students can create on the site have pre-determined story titles and themes, making them more appropriate for lower-level readers. However if there are a lot of advanced students in your class, use a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. This allows them to be a little more creative and put more work into designing their books. An interesting site for English class!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Historical Ciphers - Trinity College, Hartford

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6 to 12
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This presentation by students and faculty at Trinity College, Hartford includes discussions of some of history's more famous cipher and encryption machines, including the infamous German...more
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This presentation by students and faculty at Trinity College, Hartford includes discussions of some of history's more famous cipher and encryption machines, including the infamous German enigma machines. Along the way, there's a presentation on some of the basics of encryption. Students interested in math or computer security will find this one an interesting introduction to a hugely complex topic.

In the Classroom

Use this site as a quick lesson during a history or statistics class, in an attempt to teach students about how some ciphers were solved and how it affected history. Peruse a few of the ciphers as a class on the interactive whiteboard, as a challenge have students try to make or solve one on their own! Students can present their ciphers on the interactive whiteboard, and try to stump their peers!

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America on the Move - Smithsonian Institution

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4 to 12
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Here's an extremely well-designed site about the history of American transportation that really moves. Users can approach the content in several ways: an eighteen part chronology filled...more
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Here's an extremely well-designed site about the history of American transportation that really moves. Users can approach the content in several ways: an eighteen part chronology filled with images, thematic presentations on immigration, technology, etc., or a sizeable collection of reproducible lessons and teaching materials. Middle schoolers should handle the writing level adequately, and the site is sufficiently visual that upper elementary users will follow the presentation. This one should be a welcome addition to anyone's transportation unit.

tag(s): air (163), railroads (10), transportation (40)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities hosted on this site! Most detail specific ways to use the site itself in a lesson & would compliment a unit based on transportation and the effect of technologies such as railroads and the automobile.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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San Francisco Historical Photographs - San Francisco Public Library

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6 to 12
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The San Francisco Public Library offers a searchable online collection of photos, with information about additional collections available locally. While this collection will be of interest...more
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The San Francisco Public Library offers a searchable online collection of photos, with information about additional collections available locally. While this collection will be of interest primarily in northern California, its collection of images taken after the 1906 earthquake would be useful for any study of earthquakes and their effects. Read the basics on the home page, then click to Search Digitized Images or Browse one of the collections.

tag(s): air (163), earth (228), earthquakes (48)

In the Classroom

Allow students to use the images (with appropriate citations under Fair Use, of course) as part of their reports or PowerPoint presentations on California, earthquakes, the twentieth century, and more!

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Constitution for Kids - Constitution Center

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4 to 12
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Philadelphia's new Constitution Center offers a full collection of online information and activities for students. Both format and quality vary, but the Flash activity about the Bill...more
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Philadelphia's new Constitution Center offers a full collection of online information and activities for students. Both format and quality vary, but the Flash activity about the Bill of Rights is a good start. Click elsewhere to learn lots more about the Constitution, how it was created, and what it means today. Requires FLASH.

tag(s): bill of rights (28), constitution (79)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on the constitution and the creation of the bill of rights. This would be a great tool to use for a review session, and could break up the monotony of a study guide. Very useful for a US history course.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Lewis & Clark Lesson - National Park Service

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5 to 8
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A part of the Teaching with Historic Places series from the National Park Service, this lesson presents artifacts, maps, and images from the Lewis and Clark expedition and asks students...more
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A part of the Teaching with Historic Places series from the National Park Service, this lesson presents artifacts, maps, and images from the Lewis and Clark expedition and asks students to draw conclusions about the nature of the expedition and its activities. There is a wealth of other supplementary material and background information as well.

tag(s): lewis and clark (15), native americans (78)

In the Classroom

Teachers will need to spend some time customizing these lesson materials for their own circumstances.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Countdown to Kitty Hawk - Experimental Aviation Association

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6 to 12
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A site maintained by the Experimental Aviation Association and the Ford Motor Company, it is focused on the replication of the "Wright Flyer" the plane flown by the Wright Brothers...more
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A site maintained by the Experimental Aviation Association and the Ford Motor Company, it is focused on the replication of the "Wright Flyer" the plane flown by the Wright Brothers in 1903. Most of the site consists of side by side comparisons between the original Flyer and the 2003 replica. Not as rich as many of the other sites about the Wrights.

tag(s): aviation (39), flight (36), wright brothers (25)

In the Classroom

Use the images on this site to supplement powerpoint lectures and displays about the Wright Brothers. Students can also use this site as a resource for research projects, for images and primary sources.

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Wright Brothers Aeroplane Company

Grades
6 to 12
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Billed as a virtual museum, the site is divided into "wings." There is an enormous amount of information on this site! The History "wing" includes biographies of the ...more
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Billed as a virtual museum, the site is divided into "wings." There is an enormous amount of information on this site! The History "wing" includes biographies of the Wright Brothers, information about the history of flight and some little known facts in an area called "aviation's attic." Along the side are links to music files with music of the early 1900s such as the Wrights might have listened to. The Adventure "wing" looks at models of airplanes and the science of flight, and includes more music files. The "Information Desk" includes news about local Dayton, Ohio commemorations of the centennial of flight. No lesson plans and no areas specifically for educators, but lots of facts and pictures spread out all over the site.

tag(s): aviation (39), flight (36), wright brothers (25)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an introduction to a lesson on the Wright Brothers and their impact on flight. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Assign each group a "wing" or subsection to read and research with the intent being for them to present their findings to their peers. Have students create a multimedia presentation using UtellStory, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report that their classmates know virtually nothing about. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try PhotoPin, reviewed here. This makes the most sense if the reports and presented chronologically so students can piece together the history of the Wrights brothers.

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The Wright Brothers - Henry Ford Museum

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6 to 12
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Maintained by the Henry Ford Museum, a small site focused on biographies of the Wright Brothers and a time line of their flights. The main Henry Ford Museum site ...more
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Maintained by the Henry Ford Museum, a small site focused on biographies of the Wright Brothers and a time line of their flights. The main Henry Ford Museum site has more information on the historical context of the times in which the Wrights lived.

tag(s): aviation (39), flight (36), wright brothers (25)

In the Classroom

Although it's a short site, this would make a great learning center during a unit on the Wright brothers and the history of flight. Based on the information on the site, have students create "historical heads" about the wright brothers. Simply have students draw the outline of a head, and fill the head with illustrations that represent the achievements and events in the brothers' lives! This would be a great tool to help students review as well as introduce the topic.

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The Wright Stuff - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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From the PBS American Experience Site, this site includes both RealAudio clips and transcripts of interviews with two historians about the Wright Brothers, a Quick Time movie of a recreation...more
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From the PBS American Experience Site, this site includes both RealAudio clips and transcripts of interviews with two historians about the Wright Brothers, a Quick Time movie of a recreation of the Wright Brothers' flight, and narrative about the PBS American Experience program on the Wright Brothers. "Read More Learn More" is simply a (non-hyperlinked) bibliography.

tag(s): aviation (39), flight (36), wright brothers (25)

In the Classroom

Use the audio interviews as a group activity during a lesson on the Wright Brothers and the history of flight. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. To show what they have learned from this site, challenge students to create an online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here.

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