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The American Presidents

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1 to 12
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tag(s): biographies (87), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a point of reference for information about our Presidents. Students could use this site as a spring board for research projects, or historical heads. For historical heads, have students draw inside of a blank outline of a human face graphic representations of the president chosen for their project. Students should be able to describe and explain all representations, but it's a great way for them to organize their ideas and provide more memorable symbols for facts that they need to know.

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Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness - Yale University

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1 to 12
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XX ...more
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tag(s): american revolution (86)

In the Classroom

If in need for some new material during a lesson on the American Revolution, take advantage of this one provided by Yale University. Just make sure to save it as a favorite on your classroom computer, to allow for easy retrieval later on.

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Raising the Titanic

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6 to 9
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This site from the Discovery Channel traces efforts to dive to the Titanic wreck, examine the remains of the liner, and determine precisely how and why the "unsinkable" ship sank. ...more
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This site from the Discovery Channel traces efforts to dive to the Titanic wreck, examine the remains of the liner, and determine precisely how and why the "unsinkable" ship sank. This site is an intriguing combination of history and state-of-the-art science. There are plenty of photos, as well as detailed explanations of both the ship and the high-tech effort to reach and explore the wreck.

tag(s): engineering (125)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on transportation developments in the early 20th century. Make sure to include headphones for this activity as the videos have audio. This activity also works best with a guide for students - we recommend using Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).

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Ellis Island - Original Images

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4 to 12
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This site from the California Museum of Photography uses original stereo photos of Ellis Island to give students a first-hand look at the largest entry point to America. Though the...more
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This site from the California Museum of Photography uses original stereo photos of Ellis Island to give students a first-hand look at the largest entry point to America. Though the quality of the images is uneven, some of the faces make wonderful starting points for a discussion of, "What's going on here..." or "How would you feel if..." If you're creative, this is nice raw material.

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

In the Classroom

Use the images on this site to create a "picture walk" in your classroom, introducing the topic of immigration in the 19th and 20th century. 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 the immigration experience. A great way to get students thinking about the content in a way that's more personal and lecture-less!

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Immigration Simulation - Ellis Island

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6 to 12
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On its surface, this site appears to be simply a "virtual tour" of Ellis Island. However, the Teacher's section contains a good deal of information on how to create an ...more
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On its surface, this site appears to be simply a "virtual tour" of Ellis Island. However, the Teacher's section contains a good deal of information on how to create an on-site, interdisciplinary immigration experience for students. There are tips on content, involving parents, and other aspects of the project. Well worth a look if you're studying this time period.

tag(s): ellis island (9), immigration (58), migration (59)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and classroom activities hosted on this site! Make sure to save this one as a favorite to allow for easier retrieval later on.

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Immigrant Wall of Honor

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6 to 12
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Information on immigration, Ellis Island, ethnic migrations. ...more
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Information on immigration, Ellis Island, ethnic migrations.

tag(s): ellis island (9), immigration (58), migration (59), new york (26)

In the Classroom

Use the "search names" option to allow students to search for their ancestors who came through Ellis Island, or even to see if they can find anyone with a like-name. The activity could be a great writing prompt, with students writing a diary entry of the person they found, detailing what it must have been like the pass through Ellis Island. There would have to be additional resources available about Ellis Island, but it could make for a great activity!

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The Ellis Island Museum

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5 to 12
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This site is maintained by the Ellis Island Museum, and it spends most of its space describing museum programs and publications. Still, there are bits of history scattered throughout,...more
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This site is maintained by the Ellis Island Museum, and it spends most of its space describing museum programs and publications. Still, there are bits of history scattered throughout, but web surfers will need several additional sources to create an adequate picture of the importance of this little island in the history of American immigration.

tag(s): ellis island (9), immigration (58), migration (59), new york (26)

In the Classroom

One of the more interesting details of this site is the timeline of Ellis Island that is showcased in the section entitled "Ellis Island." The background information is interesting and provides reason for Ellis Island's symbolic value. 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. Have students pick a detail from the timeline such as most interesting, most important or most symbolic.

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Within These Walls - Smithsonian Institution

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6 to 12
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The Smithsonian Museum of American History created this site to document the history of life in a 250+ year old Massachusetts house. Owned by six families through the centuries, the...more
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The Smithsonian Museum of American History created this site to document the history of life in a 250+ year old Massachusetts house. Owned by six families through the centuries, the site shows how life in the house, and the people who lived there, have changed over the years. This site could be a great starting point for a "What's different? What's the same?" discussion about history.

tag(s): family (59), massachusetts (10)

In the Classroom

The "Go Back in time" activity would be a quick and interesting way for students to review primary evidences and determine what time period they would be from. This can be done as a class on the interactive whiteboard. Complete the activity, and afterwards let it lead into a class discussion of what sources are and how historians determine validity. This would be a great way to review the information before a big research project or paper, when students will be collecting their own sources.

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Religion and the Founding of the American Republic

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6 to 12
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This site from the Library of Congress traces the role of religion in the founding of both individual colonies and the American federal government using primary sources and documents....more
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This site from the Library of Congress traces the role of religion in the founding of both individual colonies and the American federal government using primary sources and documents. It would be useful for introducing students to primary research, or for any exploration of the different purposes for which Europeans came to America.

tag(s): colonial america (107), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

Use the images on this site to create a "picture walk" in your classroom, introducing the topic of religion in US politics and government. 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 the people's desire for an establishment clause. A great way to get students thinking about the content in a way that's more personal and lecture-less!

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Picturing the Century - National Archives

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4 to 12
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The National Archives does it again... This on-line exhibit offers more than 100 images of Americans during the past century. While each is part of a major theme in its ...more
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The National Archives does it again... This on-line exhibit offers more than 100 images of Americans during the past century. While each is part of a major theme in its own right, these images are a perfect way to get students thinking about what people were doing and thinking at the time.

tag(s): images (266)

In the Classroom

History and social studies teachers should see this one.

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Living History Farms

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4 to 12
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Living History Farms is an Iowa-based recreation of agricultural communities from three different time periods in American history. Located on adjoining properties, these three sites...more
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Living History Farms is an Iowa-based recreation of agricultural communities from three different time periods in American history. Located on adjoining properties, these three sites afford an opportunity to compare and contrast farming and life styles at three different points in our nation's development. The web site offers pictures, text, and descriptions for each of the three periods, permitting students to take a virtual tour of life at three points in American history.

tag(s): agriculture (55)

In the Classroom

Each farm section has limited information offered, so this activity would best be used as an quick introduction to a unit rather than a major activity. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector, and examine each farm with the class. Pull out important characteristics offered, and compare and contrast the farms. We recommend a Venn diagram tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here).This would be a useful activity to discuss the differences in habitats, and different ways people have subsisted on the same land.

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At Home in the Heartland

Grades
4 to 12
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A project from the University of Illinois describing how life has changed throughout American development. Materials and lesson plans for all age levels. ...more
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A project from the University of Illinois describing how life has changed throughout American development. Materials and lesson plans for all age levels.

tag(s): 20th century (51), cultures (105)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station to accompany US history curriculum. Find the time period that's most appropriate for the unit being studied, with students working in pairs to explore the site. This would be a better tool to help review since not all the material is need to know for National standards, but serves as great supplementary information that students can connect the content to.

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A Biography of America - CPB/Annenberg

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6 to 12
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This American History survey site from the Annenberg Project was created as a companion to the video series of the same name. The chief resource avialable is a collection of ...more
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This American History survey site from the Annenberg Project was created as a companion to the video series of the same name. The chief resource avialable is a collection of transcripts of the programs. There are also timelines, discussion questions, and far fewer images than one would imagine in such a project. This could be a resource for discussion ideas on American history topics or an introductory survey for a student searching for an independent study project.

tag(s): american revolution (86)

In the Classroom

The possibilities for this site are virtually limitless. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector and select one of the many topics that is applicable to your unit. Teachers can play the video for students to review material, use the map to provide something for visual learners can connect to, or use the time-line to guide student learning. This is really an amazing tool for teachers trying to utilize technology in the classroom!

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U. S. Historical Documents

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7 to 12
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A more extensive collection, helpfully organized. From the University of Oklahoma. ...more
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A more extensive collection, helpfully organized. From the University of Oklahoma.

tag(s): primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

Primary sources could be used to teach both the content and historical thinking skills in your classroom. Divide students into 5-6 groups, with each group assigned a different primary source to read and evaluate. (Sources should come from various perspectives to make the game more interesting) Have the groups present quick summaries of their source to the class, making sure to mention who the author is and whether or not there could be bias. After all have presented, have each team pick a representative to argue in front of the class as to why their source is the most reliable and valid. After all have made their argument, have the class vote off the least reliable "survivor style" until you are left with just one!

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Historic Documents of the United States of America - Brigham Young University

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5 to 12
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A simple, complete documents collection. ...more
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A simple, complete documents collection.

tag(s): primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a point of reference for finding important primary sources and government documents, useful for a US government or history classroom. Be sure to save this one as a favorite.

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National Archives: The Digital Classroom - National Archives

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4 to 8
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This site is meant to assist teachers in their use of archival documents when teaching. Choose "Primary Sources and Activities" for reproducible primary documents, photographs, and...more
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This site is meant to assist teachers in their use of archival documents when teaching. Choose "Primary Sources and Activities" for reproducible primary documents, photographs, and lesson plans correlated to the National History Standards, and cross-curricular connections. The site includes interesting activities for use in studying events in U.S. History.

tag(s): primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

This is an excellent site for any history, art history, or civics teacher attempting to put forth something more tangible for students to grasp. Click on "Images of the American Revolution," and open up the pictures on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Question students as to the meaning and context of the illustrations, to help them understand how images were used to convey certain meanings. Ask the students to create their own cartoons about something controversial in their town, or about the unit being studied, and encourage them to use some of the same subtle concepts the original illustrators did.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Colonial Charters - Yale University

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6 to 12
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This collection from the Avalon Project at Yale University offers a collection of primary documents dealing with all the American colonies except Virginia and Vermont. The page includes...more
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This collection from the Avalon Project at Yale University offers a collection of primary documents dealing with all the American colonies except Virginia and Vermont. The page includes a search engine as well as links to specific documents. Good resource for exploring the various motives in colonizing the new world.

tag(s): colonial america (107)

In the Classroom

Primary sources could be used to teach both the content and historical thinking skills in your classroom. Divide students into 5-6 groups, with each group assigned a different primary source to read and evaluate. (Sources should come from various perspectives to make the game more interesting) Have the groups present quick summaries of their source to the class, making sure to mention who the author is and whether or not there could be bias. After all have presented, have each team pick a representative to argue in front of the class as to why their source is the most reliable and valid. After all have made their argument, have the class vote off the least reliable "survivor style" until you are left with just one!

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The Avalon Project - Yale University

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6 to 12
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Developed by the Law School at Yale University, the Avalon Project is a compilation of primary source documents of American History from the 15th century onward. The resources are available...more
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Developed by the Law School at Yale University, the Avalon Project is a compilation of primary source documents of American History from the 15th century onward. The resources are available by time period, and there is also a search feature. Users searching for a more linear presentation may want to use the Project's American History Timeline. The collection is a great research for research projects or any study of American history.

tag(s): primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite and reference it for primary sources for history units. The timespan covered spans virtually all that would be covered in any US history course, and also offers many documents that would also apply to World or European history courses. Teachers can also refer students to this site for research projects or papers.

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Statistical Abstract of the United States - US Government

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6 to 12
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The government's concise presentation of statistical information on hundreds of aspects of life in the United States. Although this site only goes up to 2000 (at the time of this ...more
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The government's concise presentation of statistical information on hundreds of aspects of life in the United States. Although this site only goes up to 2000 (at the time of this review), it could be very useful in comparing historical data. Make sure to reference back for new stats after the 2010 census is done!

tag(s): demographics (19), population (60), statistics (122)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a point of reference for any and all statistical information about the US population. Teachers can use this to find voter and state information, which would be useful in a discussion about apportion of state delegates in the House of Representatives.

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Immigration History Firsthand - Library of Congress

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4 to 8
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This unit is designed to help elementary students learn to use the Internet for research, as well as broaden their understanding of history. In the first lesson, students gather and...more
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This unit is designed to help elementary students learn to use the Internet for research, as well as broaden their understanding of history. In the first lesson, students gather and discuss personal artifacts to gain an understanding of what makes a "collection." During the second lesson, students use their local archives to discover how collections are organized, then try organizing some documents themselves. In the final lesson, students transition to a national topic and research the archives online. The gradual steps of the lesson help make it easier to search through the immense amount of material available online.

tag(s): local history (13)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities offered by the Library of Congress! The lessons all come equipped with corresponding standards, so teachers can rest assured this is all valid information that will help satisfy their requirements.

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