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Comics Head - Next Wave Multimedia

Grades
4 to 12
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Create one frame cartoons or entire comic books -- easily! Start by uploading a funny picture and create a comic from that. You can create your comics anywhere from any ...more
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Create one frame cartoons or entire comic books -- easily! Start by uploading a funny picture and create a comic from that. You can create your comics anywhere from any device and access them from the same device or any other. The drag and drop interface ensures ease of creation. Choose from a variety of options for characters, layout options, backgrounds, props, captions, and special effects. Choose options to use and drag and drop them onto the comic page. Simply undo or delete objects, move objects backward, forward, add text captions, and zoom in and out of the page. Register with the site (email required) to save, share, and print out creations. You can create a single page comic or full book length comics. You can download as a pdf or even share as an ebook! Some of the instruction videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube. Mobile apps are available, including "lite" (free) versions.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (69), DAT device agnostic tool (170), digital storytelling (153)

In the Classroom

In classes with younger students, use a whole class account under teacher control. In a BYOD classroom, let students set up their own accounts and use the app versions. When studying characterization, create a dialog to show (not tell) about a character. Use the dialog box (bubbles) to explain the sequence of a story, a science concept, or school news! Create a political cartoon. Why not use the comic strips for conflict resolution or other guidance issues (such as bullying). Emotional support and autistic support teachers can work with students to create strips about appropriate interpersonal responses and/or feelings. Sometimes it is easier for students to write it down (or create pictures) than use the actual words. World language and ESL/ELL teachers can assign students to create dialog strips as an alternate to traditional written assessments. Let your creative (or gifted) students take the comics even further by making them into entire books!

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Random Acts of Kindness - Random Acts of Kindness Foundation

Grades
K to 12
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Inspire people to practice kindness and pass it on to others. The Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Foundation is a non-profit organization founded upon the powerful belief in kindness....more
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Inspire people to practice kindness and pass it on to others. The Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Foundation is a non-profit organization founded upon the powerful belief in kindness. It is dedicated to providing resources and tools that encourage acts of kindness. Discover inspirational quotes, kindness ideas, and share your own ideas. Explore lesson plans, classroom materials, projects, ideas for courses, and RAK clubs. Discover research, videos, and stories about random acts of kindness. Sign up for the newsletter or join the blog.

tag(s): classroom management (150), emotions (35), service projects (27)

In the Classroom

Become a "RAKTIVIST" and start a kindness raid on unsuspecting communities, classes, or schools! Give children power and voice through their actions. Partner this with character education programs to make a difference in all the lives you touch. During social studies, find ways kindness has changed the world. Look for times in which kindness was thwarted, such as during civil wars, dictatorships, or wars. Start a research project on world leaders who have changed the world through nonviolence, education, or generosity. Explain the power of nonprofit organizations and all the lives affected. Look into your own community and school to find needs that are waiting for active, caring participants. Create school or classroom rules to promote the power of kindness. Challenge student to create "kindness" commercials. Share them using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here. Emotional Support or Autistic Support teachers may find some of the ideas here helpful for talking about how others feel and ways to show kindness in a very deliberate way.
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The Places We Live - Jonas Bendikson

Grades
6 to 12
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Visit four of the world's poorest slums through this powerful collection of stories, images, and sounds. Following the introduction, choose a city: Caracas, Venezuela, Nairobi, Kenya,...more
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Visit four of the world's poorest slums through this powerful collection of stories, images, and sounds. Following the introduction, choose a city: Caracas, Venezuela, Nairobi, Kenya, Jakarta, Indonesia, or Mumbai, India. Hear each family's story by choosing from images at the top of each page or view the slideshow including images, audio, and facts about the region.

tag(s): africa (176), cross cultural understanding (120), india (37)

In the Classroom

Be sure to include The Places We Live with any unit on poverty around the world or in a general world cultures class. Share this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further exploration. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here). Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare life in your area to the life of teens shown here. Share the images, with no sound, as writing prompts for students to imagine themselves in the slums. What would their lives be like? What would be the same or different? What could they do to help their family to get out of those living conditions? Is there anything anyone can do to help?
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Media Smarts - Canada's Centre for Digital and Media Literacy

Grades
6 to 12
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Media Smarts is a comprehensive Canadian site devoted to media literacy and critical thinking skills for children and youth. Browse through several topics such as digital and media...more
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Media Smarts is a comprehensive Canadian site devoted to media literacy and critical thinking skills for children and youth. Browse through several topics such as digital and media literacy to explore articles related to television, Internet, and gender issues. An extensive teacher resource section offers many lessons and resources searchable by grade, subject, and media type. Download lessons in PDF format using links in the lesson description.

tag(s): media literacy (62)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site to explore and use with lessons related to digital and media literacy. Share articles on gender and body image with students. Have students find examples on tv and use an online poster creator, such as PicLits, reviewed here to demonstrate examples. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle, reviewed here, Tagxedo, reviewed here, or WordItOut, reviewed here. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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CurriConnects Book List: Childhood Here and There - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This CurriConnects collection of books shares tales of childhood in many cultures and countries. Find books that help you realize that what is "typical" for the kids at your school...more
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This CurriConnects collection of books shares tales of childhood in many cultures and countries. Find books that help you realize that what is "typical" for the kids at your school may seem odd to those who grew up somewhere else. Discover what was typical for our grandparents is not the same as what is typical today. This collection includes tales of growing up in many circumstances, books to make you stop and wonder what "typical childhood" means. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles'® (where available) to match student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. For more on text complexity and Lexiles'®, see this information from the Lexile Framework. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly. If your library does not have the books, try interlibrary loan!

tag(s): book lists (133), cross cultural understanding (120), independent reading (129)

In the Classroom

Include these books for independent reading during a unit on world cultures, in a guidance class about differences, or in a reading unit about drawing inferences. Spark discussions about what we assume is "normal" and what we should realize about our own upbringing. The conversations will easily evolve into projects where students can compare and contrast or create "profiles" of childhood in different places and cultures.

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The HistoryMakers - The HistoryMakers

Grades
6 to 12
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The HistoryMakers offers an incredibly rich and deep collection of biographies and oral histories of 2000 African Americans who have made history in their respective fields. The database...more
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The HistoryMakers offers an incredibly rich and deep collection of biographies and oral histories of 2000 African Americans who have made history in their respective fields. The database allows you to search across 15 fields, for example, for "Artmakers," "Educationmakers," or "Sciencemakers." Special Collections curate additional groups of HistoryMakers such as Negro Baseball Players. The Advanced Search tool allows a search by birthplace, occupation, and even something like favorite food. Each entry includes a photograph, a brief biography, some fun facts about the person; some entries also include a video clip of the oral history interview collected as a part of this project. The collection goes far beyond the usual luminaries. There are musicians, scientists, politicians, athletes, artists, doctors, scientists, and more, many of whom are little known and whose lives can seem more accessible than those who are famous. The HistoryMakers desires to be a resource for biographies of people from all walks of life whose accomplishments can inspire and inform. Access to the full video archives requires a membership fee, but there is plenty of content here at no cost.

tag(s): african american (114), artists (76), biographies (90), black history (61), business (57), heroes (24), medicine (70), politics (99), scientists (70), sports (98)

In the Classroom

Of course The HistoryMakers is ideal as a resource for projects for Black History Month, but this collection goes far beyond the usual luminaries who are often featured during February. Use the Advanced Search feature to compile a list of HistoryMakers from your home state or who attended a nearby school or college. Who among these 2000 has the same favorite color as you do? Who also loves ice cream? Students will find ways to relate directly to many of these HistoryMakers. Include this resource when investigating famous scientists, musicians, etc. in classes other than social studies and at times OTHER than Black History Month! Create an infographic about a HistoryMaker using a tool such as Easel.ly, reviewed here.
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The Hunger Games Gender Empowerment Lesson Plan - Glenn Wiebe

Grades
8 to 12
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Use the popularity of The Hunger Games books and movies to teach about gender empowerment and gender roles in society using this complete lesson plan. This lesson includes three...more
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Use the popularity of The Hunger Games books and movies to teach about gender empowerment and gender roles in society using this complete lesson plan. This lesson includes three activities focusing on gender relationships found within The Hunger Games . Explore features of the main characters through ratings charts, writing activities, and class discussion. This lesson is in PDF format for easy download and printing.

tag(s): book reports (37), characterization (16), creative writing (171), sociology (22)

In the Classroom

Download and save this lesson plan for use when reading The Hunger Games in your classroom or as an extension when discussing gender roles and stereotypes. Have students share what they have learned by creating personalized images (with text) using Pinwords reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about one of the main characters in The Hunger Games . Use these lesson ideas less formally in an afterschool book club.
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The Florence Nightingale Museum - The Florence Nightingale Museum

Grades
6 to 12
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The Lady With the Lamp, Florence Nightingale, is best known as the inspiration for the International Red Cross. Find out more about her life, and see some of the things ...more
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The Lady With the Lamp, Florence Nightingale, is best known as the inspiration for the International Red Cross. Find out more about her life, and see some of the things she wore. View things that she used in her career as a nurse during the 19th century. There is a searchable collection and a comprehensive biography.

tag(s): biographies (90), heroes (24), medicine (70)

In the Classroom

Florence Nightingale is a favorite subject for biographies, particularly during Women's History Month. The biography and digital artifacts from her life will be useful to students who are researching the impact she made on modern medicine and nursing. Use this research information to create a simple infographic about Nightingale, using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here.

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Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum - 2012 Seminole Tribe of Florida

Grades
2 to 10
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The Seminole Tribe of Florida's Ah-TAh-THI-Ki is a place to learn about Seminoles and a place to remember. The museum showcases over 30,000 unique artifacts. Even though the website...more
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The Seminole Tribe of Florida's Ah-TAh-THI-Ki is a place to learn about Seminoles and a place to remember. The museum showcases over 30,000 unique artifacts. Even though the website includes information about visiting the actual museum, there is much to explore without ever going there. Find podcasts of oral history about alligator wrestling, patchwork, beadwork, dolls, Civil Rights, Brighton Day School, and tribal leaders. The Online Connections Collection features 2,500 books and periodicals.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): native americans (78)

In the Classroom

Explore the Seminole Tribe through the online collections and museums. Use the sources as primary and secondary to supplement other class materials. Use the Seminole Tribe to compare and contrast the native American tribes found in your area. Explore the Seminole Tribe in your unit on Civil Rights. Use this site to discover the leadership that lead to the Seminole Tribe of today. Be sure to begin your study with an anticipation guide. End your unit with a post assessment dispelling the myths in the anticipation guide.
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Here There Everywhere- News for Kids - Claudia David Heitler - News for Kids, Inc.

Grades
4 to 10
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Find news features on current events, politics, space, weather, sports, and more. This would be useful in any classroom where a "knowledge of the now" is a focus. At the ...more
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Find news features on current events, politics, space, weather, sports, and more. This would be useful in any classroom where a "knowledge of the now" is a focus. At the time of this review some of the specific topics included granting a wish to a terminally ill young child, remembering JFK 50 years after his assassination, a football game honoring a special needs student, the discovery of new planets, and much more. Subscribe to their newsletter to receive updates on new articles. For an interesting discussion about who writes these news stories, take a look at "About." The site creator used to be a producer for the Today Show!

tag(s): news (265)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for current events. The reading level of the stories is generally upper elementary, but the topics are of interest through high school. These short articles would be great for practice with informational texts. Keep this site as part of a list for students to access, including weaker readers and ESL/ELL students who can use the videos to aid understanding. Have students research whats going on via this news site, and present a small presentation at the beginning of class. Students can either present orally or, for the technologically inclined, create a short video summarizing the same information. Consider using a bookmark site such as Diigo, reviewed here, to share newsworthy items that correlate with your class curriculum.

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Breakaway - Emergent Media Center

Grades
3 to 10
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Breakaway is an online learning game designed for students ages 8-15 to learn how to deal with real life situations (peer pressure, bullying, and negative stereotypes). Included is...more
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Breakaway is an online learning game designed for students ages 8-15 to learn how to deal with real life situations (peer pressure, bullying, and negative stereotypes). Included is a facilitator's guide which includes learning goals, teaching options, and supplemental activities. Activities provide opportunities for collaboration and group decision making discussions. Learn more at the "About the Game" link. Create a username (email required) to get started with the game.

tag(s): bullying (53), school violence (13)

In the Classroom

Create a link on classroom computers and use as a classroom center. Use the facilitator's guide to choose portions of the game or lessons as applicable in your classroom situation. Choose portions relating to bullying, for example, if that is a problem in your class. Demonstrate how to use this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share this site during your weekly class meeting.
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OK2Ask''®: Building Ethical Digital Citizens (including Copyright images) January 2014 - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Learn more about resources (and ideas) to help increase your students' awareness of their digital footprint. Explore opportunities to teach ethical uses of online resources. Learn more...more
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Learn more about resources (and ideas) to help increase your students' awareness of their digital footprint. Explore opportunities to teach ethical uses of online resources. Learn more about citing and fair use of copyrighted/creative common images. Participants will be given time to explore. A question/answer period will also be available. This session is appropriate for teachers at beginner/intermediate technology comfort levels.

As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: Browse and explore sample class policies to develop your own student-centered, safe classroom policy, Explore resources and ideas to build student awareness of their digital footprint, Learn strategies to help students understand ethical use of online resources, such as citing and fair use of copyrighted/creative commons images, Discuss strategies to develop positive student "netiquette.," and (Follow-up) Create a lesson for your own classroom or position using one of the tools or strategies shared. Applicable NETS-T standards (2008)*: 1d, 3a, 4a and c, 5d. * The text of these standards is copyrighted. Please read the full text at ISTE's NETS-T page.

tag(s): copyright (49), digital citizenship (65)

In the Classroom

View this archived webinar to learn ways to make your students better digital citizens. Share with your students the information about citing, fair use of copyrighted/creative common images, and more. Take a look at the resource page for a complete list of tools shared during the session! Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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K-12 Digital Literacy & Citizenship Curriculum - Common Sense Education

Grades
K to 12
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Common Sense Education offers this series of lessons related to Common Core standards and materials for teaching responsibility and proper behavior in the digital world. Be sure to...more
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Common Sense Education offers this series of lessons related to Common Core standards and materials for teaching responsibility and proper behavior in the digital world. Be sure to browse the online video library for topics of interest. Refine your search to specific topics such as celebrity influence on kids or marketing to children. Explore the interactive scope and sequence to find lessons for all grade levels in many topics. For example, you will find lessons and videos for Digital Footprint & Reputation, Self Image & Identity, Relationships & Communication, Cyberbullying, Internet Safety, Copyright, and more. Other educational resources include posters, interactive assessments, curricular toolkits, and self-guided lessons for high school students.

tag(s): cyberbullying (44), digital citizenship (65), internet safety (108), media literacy (62), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this website as your first stop for any lessons related to responsible digital behavior. Share a link to videos on your classroom website or blog for students (and parents) to view at home. Download and use lesson plans and materials as part of Common Core lesson planning. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Word Clouds for Kids, reviewed here, for younger students, or Wordle, reviewed here, for older students. Ask students collect ideas on a collaborative bulletin board like Scrumblr, reviewed here, (quick start- no membership required!) demonstrating information presented from these Digital Literacy & Citizenship lessons. For example, ask them to anonymously share, "Things that surprised me."
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Mission - A Game About Homelessness - Ottawa Mission

Grades
7 to 12
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Mission is an interactive telling the story of four homeless men from the Ottawa Mission. It is noteworthy that the real four men participated in creating the game. Each ...more
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Mission is an interactive telling the story of four homeless men from the Ottawa Mission. It is noteworthy that the real four men participated in creating the game. Each episode takes you on the journey through the life of one of the men, including significant milestones and items of sentimental value to each of them. Collect icons throughout the activity. These icons represent significant events in each man's life and are the original artwork of each of the men.

tag(s): sociology (22)

In the Classroom

Share this game with students and allow them to explore and play during a unit or lesson on poverty, homelessness, or issues in government. Make homelessness a more concrete concern for students who may not have empathy for the challenges of economics and circumstance. Introduce the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students retell the story of the homeless men using an uploaded photo and add voice bubbles to explain what they learned using a tool such as Superlame, reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about one of the men or a fictional homeless person and their struggle. Discuss the role that government and social services do or do not play in combating homelessness. Include this as part of an "issues" series during political campaigns.

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TeachersFirst's Resources for the Sochi Olympics - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Find resources to help you learn more about the Sochi Olympics, 2014. Explore the curriculum-related projects and classroom activities centered around the Olympic winter games in Sochi....more
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Find resources to help you learn more about the Sochi Olympics, 2014. Explore the curriculum-related projects and classroom activities centered around the Olympic winter games in Sochi.

tag(s): olympics (49)

In the Classroom

Use these resources to plan a special lesson or unit within your curriculum during the Olympics. Share articles for practice with informational text. Include the Olympics in study of world cultures, lessons on health and fitness, or discussions about personal goal setting and persistence. Share the link on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class for enrichment or individual projects.

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2014 Sochi Olympics Fast Facts - CNN

Grades
7 to 12
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Prepare for the 2014 Olympics with these fast facts about Sochi, Russia. Information includes a short background on the city of Sochi. There is also background on controversies surrounding...more
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Prepare for the 2014 Olympics with these fast facts about Sochi, Russia. Information includes a short background on the city of Sochi. There is also background on controversies surrounding the choice of a Russian city for the Winter Olympics. Explore an interesting timeline beginning with the choice of Sochi for the 2014 Olympics through November 2013 with the Olympic torch's involvement with a spacewalk as part of the Olympic torch relay.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): olympics (49), sports (98)

In the Classroom

Share information from this article as part of your preparation for the Winter Olympics. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles (reviewed here).

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History's Heroes - E2BN

Grades
4 to 12
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Discover some of history's real life heroes at History's Heroes. Learn the story of little-known people from history, explore their timeline, read and hear other's views and opinions,...more
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Discover some of history's real life heroes at History's Heroes. Learn the story of little-known people from history, explore their timeline, read and hear other's views and opinions, listen/view audio stories with more information, then decide for yourself if each person is really a hero using the interactive activity. There are also links to Encode a Message or Record Your Own Speech. Explore the teacher resources for lesson ideas and curriculum links. Heroes range from Anne Askew to Elizabeth Fry to Allen Turing and many others.

tag(s): american revolution (89), england (58), heroes (24), holocaust (39), slavery (72), world war 1 (53), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

Use History's Heroes as a resource for teaching about unsung or little known heroes. Share the information on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Highlight a "Hero of the Week" from this website. Have students view activities on their own. Challenge cooperative learning groups to use the information to write a story persuading others that this person is or is not a real hero. (Common Core asks for evidence in supporting written opinions!) This site is excellent for enrichment or for gifted. Include it on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about any person featured on this site. Challenge students to "find" and create projects to share about other unsung heroes. Looking for some engaging presentation tools? Check out the TeachersFirst Edge Multimedia tools reviewed here. As you study local history, have students discover and describe the unsung heroes of your community. In higher level literature discussions, talk about the definition of "hero" and how these real life heroes compare to those in literature.
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My Pop Studio - Media Education Lab, Temple University

Grades
6 to 12
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My Pop Studio is a creative play experience that strengthens critical thinking skills about television, music, magazines and online media directed. Some of the activities are geared...more
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My Pop Studio is a creative play experience that strengthens critical thinking skills about television, music, magazines and online media directed. Some of the activities are geared towards girls, but many could be used with any teenager. Choose from four opportunities to learn more about mass media: Music, TV, Magazines, or Digital. Choose a studio to begin. Registration is optional but allows you the opportunity to save progress within activities. Go behind the scenes to think about the meaning of song lyrics: how songs and media sell items and ideas. Think about how magazines alter images by viewing before and after images. Be sure to check out the section for parents and the teachers portion of the site for ideas to use the site as well as lesson plans and supplemental activities for download.

tag(s): advertising (35), media literacy (62)

In the Classroom

This site would be perfect for use with an after school program directed at teenagers or as part of a unit on propaganda and media literacy. Use lessons and activities to inspire debate and discussion on the role of media in society and especially its effect on young girls. Talk about the impact of advertising on our ideas of what matters. Include this as part of a character education or consumerism unit. Use as an independent in-class activity for girls in the classroom. Allow students to explore the site then challenge students to create a presentation using Prezi (reviewed here) to explore issues related to media literacy.
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GE Focus Forward - GE & Cinelan.com

Grades
6 to 12
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GE Focus Forward offers a series of 30 three-minute videos featuring stories about innovators. Directed by award-winning documentary film makers, the films range in topics from a "Journey...more
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GE Focus Forward offers a series of 30 three-minute videos featuring stories about innovators. Directed by award-winning documentary film makers, the films range in topics from a "Journey Under the Sea" to a look at the "Secrets of Trees." Hover over any film icon to view a short description of the topic. Click to begin. Share films using social networking buttons within the film. Copy the embed code to embed on any website or blog. Videos are hosted on Vimeo, which is accessible in most schools.

tag(s): environment (318), inventors and inventions (95), medicine (70), mental health (27), nutrition (159), oceans (150), robotics (24), solar energy (40), STEM (153), trees (29), video (276)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students explore this site independently or in small groups. There is one film about sanitation that refers to "poop," so you may want to avoid classroom giggles from less mature students by setting the tone for scientific viewing. Use as any part of a career unit, as a look at explorers and innovators, or when discussing character education. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice. Challenge students to choose a topic to further explore and create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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John F Kennedy Curricular Resources - John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Grades
K to 12
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This site offers curricular resources to teach about John F Kennedy for all grade levels. Choose from resources: elementary, middle, or high school. Each level includes several lesson...more
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This site offers curricular resources to teach about John F Kennedy for all grade levels. Choose from resources: elementary, middle, or high school. Each level includes several lesson plans as well as links to biographical resources. Lesson plans link to a PDF version for easy download and printing. Check out the full details including objectives and connections to national history standards. The elementary resources include a downloadable pdf "picture book" about Kennedy that would work well on tablets or on a projector or interactive whiteboard.

tag(s): civil rights (122), cold war (28), kennedy (27), presidents (132), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this resource for use when teaching about John F Kennedy, the presidency, Civil Rights, or the Vietnam War. Share with teachers at other grade levels (k-12) for use with lesson planning.
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