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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 (21), 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 (70)

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 (87), supreme court (23)

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 (87), courts (15), evolution (101)

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 (50), 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 (275), news (265)

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 (92)

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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 (160), comics and cartoons (71)

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 (123), presidents (132), 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.
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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!
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Wright Brothers' History - Centennial of Flight Commission

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6 to 12
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The US Centennial of Flight Commission has prepared an extensive look at the Wright Brothers and their efforts to build a successful aircraft. This section of a larger site offers ...more
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The US Centennial of Flight Commission has prepared an extensive look at the Wright Brothers and their efforts to build a successful aircraft. This section of a larger site offers details on the journals, the specifications, and the reconstruction of the original Wright flyer. History and physics teachers alike will enjoy this one.

tag(s): air (160), aviation (39), north carolina (4), wright brothers (25)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities offered! There are also games that teachers can either print out and use as quick review activities or as a learning center or station. If using as a learning station, save the site as a favorite and have kids peruse it during a unit on Flight, the evolution of transportation or the Industrial Growth of the early 20th century.
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Wright Flyer Project

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6 to 12
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The 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first flight is in fall of 2003, and this site documents an effort to replicate that achievement by replicating the original Wright Flyer....more
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The 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first flight is in fall of 2003, and this site documents an effort to replicate that achievement by replicating the original Wright Flyer. In turns out to be more difficult than even the experts imagined. Learn more here.

tag(s): air (160), aviation (39), inventors and inventions (95), wright brothers (25)

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Connecting Minnesota - Forests, Fields, and the Falls

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3 to 8
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This is a nicely done animated site about the history of Minnesota for elementary students. It concentrates on major industries of the state as the basis for a portrayal of ...more
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This is a nicely done animated site about the history of Minnesota for elementary students. It concentrates on major industries of the state as the basis for a portrayal of life in Minnesota in the late 1800s. the illustrations and stories have a sort of "comic book" feel, but the information is well designed and well presented. Students in other states will find this a nice introduction to nineteenth century life on the prairie.

tag(s): minnesota (4), states (164)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an introductor or activator on a lesson concerning Westward Expansion. Introduce the site on the Interactive whiteboard or projector, before allowing students to explore the site in pairs. 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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Voices of the Colorado Plateau

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6 to 12
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This intriguing site uses images, audio, and video clips to relate the history of the "four corners" region of Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. The site lets users focus ...more
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This intriguing site uses images, audio, and video clips to relate the history of the "four corners" region of Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. The site lets users focus on people, places, or topics, and teachers may find the last of these most useful. Because the site concentrates primarily on audio, it may be more appropriate for middle and high school students.

tag(s): mexico (34), states (164), utah (2)

In the Classroom

Use these oral interviews to enlighten students about a variety of topics that affected people in the Colorado Plateau. One topic includes the Great Depression, which is not entirely Colorado specific. Open this site on the interactive whiteboard or projector, and play the oral interviews concerning the Depression to students. There are a variety of other topics, but this was one in particular that was valid all over the US. This site would be useful in a US history course.
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Connecticut History Online

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4 to 12
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This is a large, rich resource about both Connecticut history and industry and commerce in nineteenth century America. There is a collection of archival photos and photo essays. ...more
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This is a large, rich resource about both Connecticut history and industry and commerce in nineteenth century America. There is a collection of archival photos and photo essays.

tag(s): connecticut (4), states (164)

In the Classroom

The classroom section includes lesson plans, as well as a series of very well done "journeys" that describe the industries and people that have had an effect on Connecticut history. Many of these are suitable for use in other states. There's lots of great content in this one.
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Flight History

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6 to 12
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This British site includes a large collection of images of famous European and American aircraft, along with stories about many of them. Many of the stories concentrate on the circumstances...more
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This British site includes a large collection of images of famous European and American aircraft, along with stories about many of them. Many of the stories concentrate on the circumstances in which the aircraft were used. Try using this site as a supplement to a study of aeronautics or events of the early twentieth century.

tag(s): air (160), aircraft (24), aviation (39)

In the Classroom

While some of the information on this site is targeted towards travelers, there is useful information here that can be used to supplement a lecture on the origins of flight and the Wright Brothers. Open the section about the Wright Brothers on the interactive whiteboard or projector, and use the timeline provided as a guide for students to follow. This would also be a great jumping off point for students working on research projects or papers about the Wright Brothers - save this site on your class wiki or webpage to allow students to access it both in and out of the classroom. This would be useful in a US history or Physics classroom following the evolution of flight.

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Immigration - The Changing Face of America - Library of Congress

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6 to 12
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The American Memory Collection at the Library of Congress does it again with this survey of the waves of immigration that have swept the American shores. While this site has ...more
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The American Memory Collection at the Library of Congress does it again with this survey of the waves of immigration that have swept the American shores. While this site has a number of incomplete "exhibit" areas, the associated lesson plans are there, and well worth a look for those whose curricula include immigration. It may take some trial and error to find those resources that fit best.

tag(s): africa (177), african american (113), china (68), chinese (50), immigration (58), japan (62), japanese (43), migration (59)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and classroom activities hosted on this site! Be sure to save this one as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval later on.
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From Slavery to Civil Rights - Library of Congress

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6 to 12
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Secondary social studies teachers with a love for primary documents will love this Library of Congress edition of an African American time line. For each time period there are links...more
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Secondary social studies teachers with a love for primary documents will love this Library of Congress edition of an African American time line. For each time period there are links to primary documents - it's a rich collection - for that period. This is the sort of "the way it really was" context that can give life to historical events. Add a little creativity and you can have some great lesson ideas.

tag(s): africa (177), african american (113), civil rights (123), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

Use the images on this site to create a "picture walk" in your classroom, introducing the topic of African American's struggle for equality. 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 what is equal in our society. A great way to get students thinking about the content in a way that's more personal and lecture-less!
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