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Lewis & Clark Lessons - PBS

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6 to 12
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This group of seventeen lessons seeks to determine the importance of geographic, scientific, and other discoveries made by Lewis and Clark throughout their expedition. The site focuses...more
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This group of seventeen lessons seeks to determine the importance of geographic, scientific, and other discoveries made by Lewis and Clark throughout their expedition. The site focuses on the expeditions' importance to American History and illustrates the many ways in which the journey influenced modern American science and culture. The lessons are categorized by their primary subject area and cover social studies, mathematics, science, and language arts topics.

tag(s): lewis and clark (15)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and classroom activities for this site! There are a lot of interdisciplinary uses for the tale of Lewis and Clark listed.

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New Perspectives on the West - PBS

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6 to 12
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This PBS site has ten lessons that examine "new perspectives" on the westward expansion of the United States during the Nineteenth Century. The lesson plans are part of a larger ...more
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This PBS site has ten lessons that examine "new perspectives" on the westward expansion of the United States during the Nineteenth Century. The lesson plans are part of a larger site, rich with additional resources for researching and teaching about the America's movement westward. Specific lessons touch upon topics such as the transcontinental railroad, Mark Twain, the creation of the literary "west," and the role influence of disease and natural disasters upon western lifestyles.

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans on this site! Make sure to save it as a favorite on your desktop to allow for easy retrieval later on.

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Abolitionism in America - Cornell University

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7 to 12
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This Cornell University online exhibit provides a detailed portrait of the abolitionist movement in America ready for classroom use. The site examines the origins of the movement, provides...more
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This Cornell University online exhibit provides a detailed portrait of the abolitionist movement in America ready for classroom use. The site examines the origins of the movement, provides detailed descriptions of life as a slave, and discusses the importance of the emancipation proclamation and the thirteenth amendment in the struggle against slavery. The site combines historic narrative with literary and biographical resources to highlight the important cultural role the abolitionist movement played in the United States.

tag(s): abolition (7), africa (180), african american (113), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

Use the images on this site to create a "picture walk" in your classroom, introducing the topic of Abolitionism. Select 10-15 of the more powerful and diverse images, hanging them up in different locations around your classroom. Have students rotate around the classroom every 30-45 seconds, jotting down what they observe and infer about each image until the entire class has completed the circuit. After the class is back in their seats, have a class discussion based on what they observed and what this says about abolitionism as well as slavery. A great way to get students thinking about the content in a way that's more personal and lecture-less!

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Steamboats

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4 to 8
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This virtual museum explores the world of paddlewheel riverboats through collections of photographs of a number of famous boats. There are also exhibits and articles to view and read....more
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This virtual museum explores the world of paddlewheel riverboats through collections of photographs of a number of famous boats. There are also exhibits and articles to view and read. The site's Learning Center highlights which exhibits may be most useful in developing lesson plans, including a site that examines the science behind steam engines.

tag(s): mississippi (6)

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Oral Histories of the Holocaust

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6 to 12
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This site, created by High School Students in San Francisco, presents personal oral Holocaust accounts in written and audio formats. The site provides a unique perspective on the manner...more
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This site, created by High School Students in San Francisco, presents personal oral Holocaust accounts in written and audio formats. The site provides a unique perspective on the manner in which the Holocaust affected so many lives, by providing the detailed accounts of six survivors. Due to the nature of the subject matter, teachers may want to limit access of this site to older students.

tag(s): holocaust (39), jews (20), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Beyond the obvious testimonials this provides to the content, this site can also be used as the perfect example of how students can complete a similar project. During a modern history unit, select a topic that students have the potential to interview their own family members on. Instead of the typical tape recording, try a new technology similar to one used on the website. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).

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Life in Williamsburg - Colonial Williamsburg

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4 to 12
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A remarkable history resource for all ages. If you can't make the journey to Colonial Williamsburg in person, this site provides detailed descriptions of life in the era. Explore Williamsburg...more
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A remarkable history resource for all ages. If you can't make the journey to Colonial Williamsburg in person, this site provides detailed descriptions of life in the era. Explore Williamsburg clothing, politics, food, religion, and more through detailed articles, photos, and lesson plans.

tag(s): colonial america (107), virginia (16), williamsburg (12)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an introduction to this unit or as review. Allow students to explore the site further individually or in cooperative learning groups. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Teach Vietnam - The Learning Experience - Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Fund

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6 to 12
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Created by the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Fund, the full title of this site is "Echoes From The Wall: History, Learning and Leadership through the Lens of The Vietnam War Era." ...more
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Created by the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Fund, the full title of this site is "Echoes From The Wall: History, Learning and Leadership through the Lens of The Vietnam War Era." The approaches the Vietnam War era with a focus on history, leadership, citizenship, and civic responsibility. The site has good primary source research materials and an interactive timeline, as well as a detailed teacher's guide with teaching modules.

tag(s): 1960s (30), memorial day (13), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities offered on this site! All are related back to standards of learning, and provide great resources for teachers who need to cover the Vietnam War. Save the site as a favorite on your classroom computer and refer to it when in need of fresh ideas.

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Who What When

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6 to 12
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This site is an interesting resource for history research. The database allows you to build timelines based upon specific dates, people, and events. The timelines are helpful for putting...more
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This site is an interesting resource for history research. The database allows you to build timelines based upon specific dates, people, and events. The timelines are helpful for putting events into their appropriate historical context and the events themselves contain links to a Google search to find more information on the topic

tag(s): timelines (62)

In the Classroom

Use this site to help students review before an assessment. Have students create their own timelines concerning the events of the unit. This would also be useful in the context of a World History class. Before a final SOL or class assessment, this would be a great way to show students how some of the events studied may or may not have been occurring at or around the same time.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Experiencing War - Library of Congress

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6 to 12
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No, it's not blood and gore up close, but rather a collection of audio reminiscences from American veterans about their experiences in wartime. Created by the Library of Congress as...more
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No, it's not blood and gore up close, but rather a collection of audio reminiscences from American veterans about their experiences in wartime. Created by the Library of Congress as part of their American Folklife series, these stories are surprisingly personal and therefore all the more powerful. A faster connection improves performance.

tag(s): korea (15), memorial day (13), veterans (19), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Use the audio interviews over the interactive whiteboard to show students what the war was like from the perspective of people on the ground, and the difference between the first hand account and the textbook. This is a great way to not only teach the content, but display for students the difference between a primary and secondary source. To further argue a point, use a Venn diagram on the interactive whiteboard to graphically display the differences. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Einstein - American Museum of Natural History

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4 to 8
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How (and why) do you introduce Einstein to an elementary student? Here's a presentation that does it effectively, drawing on Einstein's love of trying something new and his willingness...more
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How (and why) do you introduce Einstein to an elementary student? Here's a presentation that does it effectively, drawing on Einstein's love of trying something new and his willingness to "think outside the box." While it's mostly text, this site would be a great introduction for a student who is already curious about inventors, scientists, or the universe. This unit is part of the American Museum of Natural History's "Ology" series that explores different aspects of the life sciences. This site requires Adobe Acrobat and Flash. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): scientists (68)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to introduce your students to the creative mind of Albert Einstein.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Supreme Court Historical Society

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6 to 12
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This site offers one-stop shopping for a history of the Supreme Court and the ways in which it operates. There are additional links from this site to more complete anthologies ...more
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This site offers one-stop shopping for a history of the Supreme Court and the ways in which it operates. There are additional links from this site to more complete anthologies of court decisions and their interpretation. Middle schoolers could use elements of this one for basic research about the separation of powers and branches of government; high school students should find many uses for the additional materials.

tag(s): constitution (79), supreme court (22)

In the Classroom

This would be a great resource in a civics or government class. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard and tour students through the make-up of the court today. Each Judge has his own separate biography that can also be explored to demonstrate the political alliances of the court. Assign cooperative learning groups different judges to research, with the intent of presenting the material to the class. Try something new, like a podcast! Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Our Time Lines

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6 to 12
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While designed as a research tool for people working on genealogies, students will find this site an interesting way to observe and compare events that happened within specific time...more
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While designed as a research tool for people working on genealogies, students will find this site an interesting way to observe and compare events that happened within specific time periods. Teachers will appreciate the feature that allows inclusion or omission of specific types of events. Try these in different combinations depending on the subject at hand.

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Living the Revolution: America - 1789-1820 - National Humanities Center

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7 to 12
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Developed as part of the National Humanities Center's Online Professional Development "Toolbox" series, this site offers history and government teachers a wonderfully succinct resource...more
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Developed as part of the National Humanities Center's Online Professional Development "Toolbox" series, this site offers history and government teachers a wonderfully succinct resource kit for building one or more lesson units. Divided into five sections: religion, predicaments, politics, expansion, and equality, the site offers introductions and a set of primary source readings for each, along with presentation guidelines and discussion suggestions. Lots of critical analysis opportunities here.

tag(s): constitution (79), courts (15), evolution (100)

In the Classroom

This site provides both excellent discussion questions and the primary sources needed to base it on. To begin with, copy down some of the recommended topic questions on the front page of the site before opening it on an interactive whiteboard or projector. For the students, share the primary documents available by clicking on the topic, and then selecting the one in desire. After the class has read them, begin your discussion with the questions copied earlier!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Chinese Exclusion Act - Separate Lives; Broken Dreams

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6 to 12
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From the 1880s to the 1940s, the Chinese Exclusion act prevented immigrants of Chinese descent from gaining full citizenship. The site includes background information on how the act...more
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From the 1880s to the 1940s, the Chinese Exclusion act prevented immigrants of Chinese descent from gaining full citizenship. The site includes background information on how the act came to be, as well as a discussion of its repercussions.

tag(s): chinese (48), immigration (58), migration (59)

In the Classroom

Consider using this one as part of a study of immigration in the late 19th century.

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UPI Photo Library - UPI

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4 to 12
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This searchable library of UPI news photos could be a great addition to in-class current events discussions. ...more
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This searchable library of UPI news photos could be a great addition to in-class current events discussions.

tag(s): images (265), news (261)

In the Classroom

We've looked in vain for copyright statements regarding educational use. While there's a wealth of content here, tread carefully if you plan to use these outside the classroom.

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Technology and the Future - Privately published

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6 to 12
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This is a collection of annotated columns about technology issues over the past fifty years or so, and how society has coped with them. There's a surprisingly wide range of ...more
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This is a collection of annotated columns about technology issues over the past fifty years or so, and how society has coped with them. There's a surprisingly wide range of subject areas, and the implications of some of these innovations has been vast. Try this one when making connections between the scientific and social implications of inventions.

tag(s): computers (94)

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AMU Cartoon Reprints

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6 to 12
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This site is a searchable archive of cartoons (both comics and editorials) available ONLY FOR USE IN THE CLASSROOM. It's a wonderful source of discussion starters and topical humor,...more
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This site is a searchable archive of cartoons (both comics and editorials) available ONLY FOR USE IN THE CLASSROOM. It's a wonderful source of discussion starters and topical humor, but please read the copyright information carefully. Government and social studies teachers will find the editorial collections particularly interesting.

tag(s): air (163), comics and cartoons (74)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a means to search for political cartoons or cartoons that reflect upon current political events. Showing the image on the interactive whiteboard, use them as a springboard to have a class discussion on where we get information and biases from in the media. What is it that these artists are trying to say? Is humor more effective in getting a point across than text? A very interesting resource for a US government class.

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Lost Labor

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6 to 12
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Social studies students and teachers will find this photo collection fascinating. The images document jobs and industries that no longer exist, but which were important in their day...more
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Social studies students and teachers will find this photo collection fascinating. The images document jobs and industries that no longer exist, but which were important in their day to keep the economy moving. The images date from around 1900 through the 1930s and 40s. Try this one to help answer the question, "What kind of jobs did people have back then?"

In the Classroom

Use the images on this site to create a "picture walk" in your classroom, introducing the topic of manual labor before the technological revolution after WWII. Select 10-15 of the more powerful and diverse images, hanging them up in different locations around your classroom. Have students rotate around the classroom every 30-45 seconds, jotting down what they observe and infer about each image until the entire class has completed the circuit. After the class is back in their seats, have a class discussion based on what they observed and what this says about life pre-modern technology. A great way to get students thinking about the content in a way that's more personal and lecture-less!

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Lyndon Johnson Library - University of Texas

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6 to 12
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Lyndon B. Johnson was a politician's politician, and the site from his presidential library offers tools that both scholars and students can use to trace his career and the accomplishments...more
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Lyndon B. Johnson was a politician's politician, and the site from his presidential library offers tools that both scholars and students can use to trace his career and the accomplishments of his administration. There's an extensive "Kids' Section" with information on the Johnson Administration.

tag(s): civil rights (117), presidents (130), texas (4)

In the Classroom

Use the kids portion of this site as a learning center or station during a lesson on the Johnson Presidency. Based on what they've learned in the site, have students resummarize it in a "breaking news 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. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try PhotoPin, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Centennial of Flight Commission - US government

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4 to 12
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This government site offers information the celebration of the Wright Brothers' Flight centennial, as well as a great collection of printable posters and commemorative lesson materials....more
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This government site offers information the celebration of the Wright Brothers' Flight centennial, as well as a great collection of printable posters and commemorative lesson materials. These could make great classroom decorations, and the lesson materials are thorough and grade-specific. Try this one on students interested in the physics of flight or a career in aviation.

tag(s): aviation (39), north carolina (4), wright brothers (25)

In the Classroom

Use the games on this site as a way to help students review the information in learning centers or during a lull in class time. Teachers can also post this on their class wiki to allow students to access it both in and out of the classroom!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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