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Freecycle - The Freecycle Network

Grades
K to 12
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Need a bookcase or rug for your classroom or home office area? Perhaps you have extra, personally-purchased classroom supplies that you no longer use. There is a solution to both ...more
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Need a bookcase or rug for your classroom or home office area? Perhaps you have extra, personally-purchased classroom supplies that you no longer use. There is a solution to both dilemmas--Freecycle! Check this site to see if there is a local Freecycle group in your area. With 4,336 groups and growing, there's a good chance one is in your neighborhood. Twenty five states currently have participants. This grassroots, non-profit network's aim is to get unused 'stuff' into the hands of someone who can use it, and most importantly, they want to keep it out of our clogged landfills. Teachers are the most resourceful people on earth, and Freecycle is here to help fuel that creditable reputation. Membership is free -check it out!

tag(s): earth (228), earth day (112), environment (317)

In the Classroom

Share this site with your class as an idea for Earth Day or being "green." Encourage your school service club or student council to consider launching a Freecycle project. Be sure to list the link on your class website, so parents can freecycle too.

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TeachersFirst: Lesson Ideas for Lincoln - TeachersFirst

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1 to 12
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For Lincoln's birthday or any time of year, here are ideas to better acquaint students with the life, times, and work of the 16th president of the United States. These ...more
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For Lincoln's birthday or any time of year, here are ideas to better acquaint students with the life, times, and work of the 16th president of the United States. These ideas feature both technology-enhanced lessons and non-tech experiences. Choose from the lesson titles (sorted by level) to find lesson ideas best suited to your students and the subjects you teach.

tag(s): civil war (145), debate (41), lincoln (86), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

No matter what subject you teach, you can find something to fit in your plans for Presidents Day or the Lincoln Bicentennial. Use these ideas and adapt at will. You can even email an idea to your teacher colleague to save a friend time!

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American Heritage Education Foundation, Inc. - The American Heritage Education Foundation

Grades
K to 12
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Social studies, history, and government teachers - be warned - this site may be the best FREE gift you receive this year. To sum it up in one word - ...more
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Social studies, history, and government teachers - be warned - this site may be the best FREE gift you receive this year. To sum it up in one word - WOW! The highlight of this site is ready-to-go lesson plans (with standards) divided by age level (elementary, middle, and high school). These FREE lesson plans are available online via a PDF file or you may order a FREE CD (they say it is a $150 value).

The elementary topics range from Colonial America to U.S. Presidents (with a focus on George Washington) to the History of Thanksgiving to The Pledge of Allegiance and MANY others. The middle school topics include the Declaration of Independence, Our National Documents, The Gettysburg Address, Religious Expression in School, and several others. The high school topics vary from the Mayflower, to Federalists 47, the First Amendment, and more. Each grade level also includes lessons on character education.

In addition to the wonderful lesson plans, the site also highlights the four themes of the foundation: Unity, Progress, Freedom, and Responsibility. There are also links to some fantastic social studies sites and a wealth of research information about America. Some of the lesson plans and printables require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): colonial america (107), constitution (79), gettysburg (26), gettysburg address (18), presidents (131), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Obviously, the lesson plans are useful for all grade levels. Take advantage of these free resources. Many include printable activities for your students to try out. Although the site isn't highly interactive, it does have some great ideas to incorporate into your class to bring history alive.

Make the lesson plans more "technologically advanced" by having students create a wiki or blog entry. Have your high school students complete the lesson on the First Amendment and then have them have a virtual debate about the First Amendment via a class wiki. Have your elementary students complete the lesson on U.S. Presidents and then have each student write a blog entry pretending to be one of the presidents (a great mini-research project). Have your middle school students complete the lesson on the Gettysburg Address and then try to create their own "Address" to talk about the current state of our nation. Have them share their "Address" on a video using YouTube or or TeacherTube (explained here).
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Peace Corps Challenge - Peace Corps

Grades
4 to 12
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This site helps students make the global connections that we are all human and must help each other. The challenge is to help the people in the tiny village of ...more
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This site helps students make the global connections that we are all human and must help each other. The challenge is to help the people in the tiny village of Wanzuzu. Narina (your Peace Corps guide) will lead students throughout the many challenges of this website. Students meet up with the mayor to discuss the water contamination (and ways to fix the problem). Many natives meet up with students along the way to offer help and tips. Students learn about the overall health and health care by visiting the clinic. Many other points of interest are visited during the journey.

The site includes eight detailed lesson plans with standards, video clips, online stories and games, and much more to enhance the lessons. Teachers, click on the Teachers link on the main page to access all of the lesson information. The actual activity opens in a new window, so you can easily go back to the lesson plans at any time throughout the journey. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): agriculture (55), environment (317), water (130)

In the Classroom

Use the ready-to-go lesson plans to take your students on this life-changing journey to Wanzuzu. The interactive tour and activities would work well on an interactive whiteboard or projector. However, if individual computers are available, have students work with a "Peace Corps Partner" to navigate the site together. The lesson plans and activities can be used in language arts classes, social studies, geography, health, and science class. Use this site to help students think globally not just locally.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Owen & Mzee - Turtle Pond Publications

Grades
1 to 8
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This colorful and creative website shares the beautiful true story of the friendship between Owen and Mzee (a young hippo and a 130-year old tortoise). The resources available at this...more
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This colorful and creative website shares the beautiful true story of the friendship between Owen and Mzee (a young hippo and a 130-year old tortoise). The resources available at this website are truly amazing. The sound clips alone are guaranteed to delight your students. Teachers will find several interdisciplinary lesson plans, documentary videos, a detailed teachers' guide, a "picture pond" slide show of the area of Kenya where Owen and Mzee reside, interactive activities to learn Swahili, and more. The beauty of this website (and story) is its ability to teach acceptance, resilience, diversity, African culture, and more in a fun and engaging style. This website is truly a MUST SEE for any elementary or middle school class. Don't miss the "KIDS BOMA" link. This highly engaging link includes sing-alongs, games, video makers, and even "Mzee's Swahili Rebus". Many of the activities require Flash, some require Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): diversity (36)

In the Classroom

Opportunities abound at this image-rich website. Share the documentaries, video clips, and the story of Owen and Mzee on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Take a peek at the "ready to go" lesson ideas for grades 2-7. Use this excellent resource as a springboard for a class meeting on acceptance and diversity. Use the link for "KIDS BOMA" as a learning center. Share the video slide show as an anticipatory set on a lesson about the animals of Africa.

Be sure to share this link with the parents of your students in a class newsletter or on your class website.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Kidlink - Kidlink

Grades
3 to 12
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This website provides an online connection to students from various areas of the world. There are links provided for students, families, and teachers. The website is available in various...more
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This website provides an online connection to students from various areas of the world. There are links provided for students, families, and teachers. The website is available in various languages - English, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, and Portuguese. Students can share stories, artwork, and more. The educational content includes life planning skills (careers), social studies (geography, government, history, etc.), writing, and many other academic areas. Free registration is required for each student and teacher. All content is monitored by volunteer moderators. What a fabulous resource to use in geography or language arts class. This website doesn't just teach students about countries throughout the world, but also allows students to interact with students of various cultures as they write and respond to each other in this safe environment.

tag(s): careers (132), cultures (105)

In the Classroom

Students need not have their own email to use this site. Kidlink explains that they are permitted to use the teacher's email address (which allows you to monitor their activities, as well). You might want to use your "extra" email account. Set up accounts for your students to communicate in your world language class or as part of your study of other continents. With younger students, you may want to communicate as a whole-class activity, composing on a projector or interactive whiteboard.

If your school policies limit your ability to use such a site, see the FAQ information and ready-to-go presentation explaining Kidlink. Share it with your principal and parents. ALWAYS get written parent permission when sharing student work/ideas online.

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ConnectSafely - Tech Parenting Group

Grades
K to 12
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This site is a discussion-opener on safe use of the "social web." Some of the tools included are social networking sites, virtual worlds, chat, cell phones, video-sharing, and more....more
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This site is a discussion-opener on safe use of the "social web." Some of the tools included are social networking sites, virtual worlds, chat, cell phones, video-sharing, and more. There are tips and advice for just about any medium kids and adults use today, as well as discussion forums where parents can ask questions and share information. Each article and advice section can be emailed at the click of a mouse. You can also download and share printable version (site creators do ask that you not modify them and that you simply tell them if you do download and share). While some posts may not represent your point of view, the important thing is to open dialog.

tag(s): internet safety (108), safety (91), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Include this link on your teacher or school web page for parents to access as part of a plan to work together. Consider using it as a hub for an evening discussion session with parents and students in a "round table" to air concerns and work together. Simply blocking or ignoring these tools is not educating or helping our kids. We want our students to grow into safe and responsible citizens both online and in person. If your school can involve and inform parents and students, you will have a better likelihood of using the new tools of the web in productive classroom settings, as well.

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Make a Child Smile - Make a Child Smile Organization

Grades
K to 12
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Who wouldn't want to make a child smile? This tax-exempt organization solicits cards to be sent to their featured children. Click on the "Send a Card" area in the ...more
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Who wouldn't want to make a child smile? This tax-exempt organization solicits cards to be sent to their featured children. Click on the "Send a Card" area in the center of the home page. Each month different children with dire physical ailments are featured. The site provides addresses of each of these children in hopes of their receiving much encouraging mail. Your students will enjoy reading about the different children featured.

tag(s): holidays (147), service projects (25)

In the Classroom

Classroom teachers are always on the lookout for ways to teach generosity, caring, and service to others. Students can choose one child to "adopt" during the school year. Cards and letters (and gifts?) can be sent throughout the year, and especially during any of the holiday periods, when the spirit of 'giving' is foremost on our minds. Adopting a child through this organization promotes acceptance of diverse physically-challenged children. School counselors should embrace this site to promote the goodwill of men (children). Perhaps your student council or service club is looking for a project. Share this site as a possibility.

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Understanding and Raising Boys - PBS

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K to 12
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It isn't easy being a boy growing up during the 2000s. This revealing website discusses how parents (or teachers) can better understand and raise boys. The objective is to help ...more
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It isn't easy being a boy growing up during the 2000s. This revealing website discusses how parents (or teachers) can better understand and raise boys. The objective is to help parents to raise boys who feel confident, succeed in school, and grow up resilient and responsible. The interactive features include slideshows and videos. The topics of this helpful website include "Boys in School," "The Search for Masculinity," "Active or Aggressive Boys," and "Emotionally Strong Boys". There is also a question/answer section. Some of the activities require FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

Provide this website in your class newsletter or as a link from your teacher web page. There is also pertinent information for teachers at this website. Use this site to help better understand the boys in your class before you pick up the phone to call home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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National Women's Hall of Fame - National Women's Hall of Fame

Grades
6 to 12
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The National Women's Hall of Fame celebrates the contributions of women to society and each year nominates outstanding women for inclusion. This site contains brief biographies of...more
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The National Women's Hall of Fame celebrates the contributions of women to society and each year nominates outstanding women for inclusion. This site contains brief biographies of each of these women.

tag(s): women (101)

In the Classroom

This site would be useful as a resource for teachers who assign "heroes" biographies, particularly during Women's History month. Students might also research and write nominations for additional women to be included in the future as a class activity.

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Academy of Achievement - Academy of Achievement

Grades
5 to 12
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This site profiles a wide variety of achievers from the arts, science, sports, and business. Each achiever profile features a short biography, a discussion of his or her significance,...more
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This site profiles a wide variety of achievers from the arts, science, sports, and business. Each achiever profile features a short biography, a discussion of his or her significance, a photo gallery and an interview. Most of the interviews feature audio and video clips of the achiever as well. The achievers are grouped by area and in an alphabetical drop down list. One great feature is that the achievers are also grouped by character attribute (referred to as their "key to success"): passion, courage, perseverance, integrity, and a neat category called "The American Dream." This site requires Flash and Quicktime. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): heroes (24), pioneers (8)

In the Classroom

If you assign any kind of "hero," "pioneer," or "leader" biography project, this site is a fabulous resource for students. The list of achievers includes many who may not be instantly recognizable to students and therefore provide more potential for discovery. In addition, the site is large enough and well-enough organized that students can start with this site and "dig" for a possible achiever to research, either by achievement area or by character trait. The site includes a diverse group of achievers, so is also useful if you're doing Women's History or Black History projects. Include this site on your teacher web page for students and parents to access as a reference.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Investigates Arson - BBC

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7 to 12
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This site has factual information about arson. It includes video footage, authentic cases of arson, surveys, what to do to help, and more. Take advantage of this website, created especially...more
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This site has factual information about arson. It includes video footage, authentic cases of arson, surveys, what to do to help, and more. Take advantage of this website, created especially for pre-teens and teenagers, as one of many current issues topics when studying current events or safety. Flash is required for some of the activities. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): fire (25), fire safety (11), safety (91)

In the Classroom

Share this link as one of several project topics for health, current events, or a criminal justice elective. It could also be a good source for background information in a debate class or club.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Bullying - BBC

Grades
K to 8
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This site addresses the important issue of bullying. It includes an interactive video, reports, information guides, quizzes, polls, and more. This site also talks about the less frequently...more
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This site addresses the important issue of bullying. It includes an interactive video, reports, information guides, quizzes, polls, and more. This site also talks about the less frequently discussed forms of bullying - such as cyber bullying, girls bullying girls, cellular phone bullying and other less "traditional" forms of bullying (which unfortunately are becoming more common). FLASH is required for some of the activities.

tag(s): bullying (52)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to talk to your class about bullying. Perhaps you can even use this discussion to prompt a journal entry, skit, or other personal response on the topic of bullying and how to handle it. Provide this link for parents to read at home with their students. Parents need to know what could be going on in their students' lives and how to help.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

Great Lydia, OR, Grades: 7 - 8

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The Giving Tree Lesson - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 8
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A Christmas gift from one of our own staff, this lesson based on Shel Silverstein's book The Giving Tree is sure to get you students thinking about the Christmas spirit. ...more
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A Christmas gift from one of our own staff, this lesson based on Shel Silverstein's book The Giving Tree is sure to get you students thinking about the Christmas spirit. We're also offering a place for you to share your students' responses on TeachersFirst's own giving tree.

tag(s): christmas (64)

In the Classroom

This lesson can be adapted for use in language arts class with students of varying ability levels in grades 2 - 8. This lesson is also well-suited to a multi-age activity with "big buddies" and "little buddies" from upper and lower grades working together. School counselors and emotional support teachers may find this activity helpful for small groups working on social skills, as well.

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It's My Life - Castleworks, Inc.

Grades
5 to 10
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Visit the many links (and view the videos) on topics such as Emotions, Money, Food Smarts, and more. This site offers many topics about nutrition. Learn about serving sizes, understand...more
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Visit the many links (and view the videos) on topics such as Emotions, Money, Food Smarts, and more. This site offers many topics about nutrition. Learn about serving sizes, understand food labels, learn the importance of healthy choices, and more. Be sure to check out the videos under the Food Smarts section. Other video topic areas include Time Management, Sibling Rivalry, Depression, Dealing with Anger, and many others!

tag(s): bullying (52), emotions (35), mental health (26), myplate (28), nutrition (154), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Share the videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Looking for high interest nutrition videos or activities? This is the perfect place with highly engaging material. Share this link with parents on your class website. Have students create blogs using Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Character Education Curriculum Resources - Boston University

Grades
1 to 12
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The Center for the Advancement of Ethics and Character at Boston University has created a character education site that is both successful and apolitical. This page offers a reading...more
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The Center for the Advancement of Ethics and Character at Boston University has created a character education site that is both successful and apolitical. This page offers a reading list, information on the Six E's of character education, and a large collection of lesson plans and ideas that integrate character education with other subject areas.

tag(s): characterization (16), social skills (20)

In the Classroom

Teachers will want to explore the lesson themes in detail; each introduces many possibilities.

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About Character Education - Boston University

Grades
1 to 12
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The Center for Character Education at Boston University has created a character education site that is both successful and apolitical. This page offers an introduction to what character...more
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The Center for Character Education at Boston University has created a character education site that is both successful and apolitical. This page offers an introduction to what character education is and is not, along with resources for further exploration. Parents and teacher alike will find the information useful as a guideline for integrating character education into other curricula and activities.

tag(s): characterization (16)

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My Hero

Grades
4 to 12
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Here is proof that you need not be famous to be a hero. This site offers capsule biographies of hundreds of people who have made remarkable contributions to our world ...more
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Here is proof that you need not be famous to be a hero. This site offers capsule biographies of hundreds of people who have made remarkable contributions to our world through their lives and activities. There are featured heroes and a large collection of biographies indexed by theme. This is a great site for students who ask, "Sure, but what can I do...?"

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Indiana Clearinghouse for Citizenship and Character Education - ERIC

Grades
1 to 12
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This ERIC Clearinghouse is a searchable collection of resources on character education in a variety of school and community settings. Parents and educators alike may find useful information...more
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This ERIC Clearinghouse is a searchable collection of resources on character education in a variety of school and community settings. Parents and educators alike may find useful information here, but the wide range of content will require some thorough examination to ensure that resources are easily adaptable to local circumstances.

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Violence in American Schools

Grades
1 to 12
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Websites and information on violence prevention in schools. ...more
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Websites and information on violence prevention in schools.

tag(s): bullying (52), school violence (12)

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