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The Best and Worst Places to Grow Up: How Your Area Compares - New York Times

Grades
10 to 12
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Take a look at county by county income mobility in the U.S. using this interactive map. Click a county to read about the differences in income for children who grow ...more
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Take a look at county by county income mobility in the U.S. using this interactive map. Click a county to read about the differences in income for children who grow up in that county when they reach age 26, as compared with the national average. Note that the site is "smart" and senses where you are located to tell you about your area. You can also enter in any county in the U.S. in the search box or drag the map to other locations. The accompanying text explains the results in more detail, including differing mobility for boys and girls. The map may surprise you and cause you to wonder why. Read the full explanation or click the link to the related article. Note the importance of education in income results, but that is not the only factor.
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tag(s): demographics (19)

In the Classroom

Share this interactive on students' devices for them to discuss in small groups. Share on a projector/interactive whiteboard for whole class discussion of the factors that might lead to these results. Why do poor children have greater income mobility than richer children in some areas? What about gender? What might be misleading about these statistics? Take a broad look at the country to talk about what cultural factors may be different in different areas. For a good exercise in digital citizenship and critical thinking, ask students to find out where the data came from and to write three questions that might dig into the "why" behind these stats. Ask them what else they would like to know after seeing this map -- and how it might influence their own decisions and future plans (if at all). In a government/civics class, the discussion naturally will move to how this information might influence elections and candidates' strategies in one county vs another. This same interactive is also important for teachers as professionals. Know your community and what happens to the children you teach. You may want to share it with administrators for some staff conversations about the impact of your school.

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80 Years of Canadian Geographic Maps - The Royal Canadian Geographical Society

Grades
6 to 12
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Explore nearly 50 maps created over the past 80 years of publication of Canadian Geographic Maps. Browse through themes such as Exploration, Conflict and Borders, People, Wildlife,...more
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Explore nearly 50 maps created over the past 80 years of publication of Canadian Geographic Maps. Browse through themes such as Exploration, Conflict and Borders, People, Wildlife, and more. Choose Cartography 101 to find explanations of mapping techniques and technologies, and learn more about map making. Be sure to explore the Learning section to find several interesting lesson plans based on topics such as natural disasters and wildlife in an urban world. The lessons can be downloaded in Word or PDF formats.

tag(s): animal homes (42), canada (30), disasters (39), explorers (63), maps (289)

In the Classroom

Even if you do not teach in Canada be sure to explore this site for lesson plans and map making information applicable to any country. Adjust lesson plans to your particular area of study. Challenge advanced students to create a presentation using Swipe, reviewed here, demonstrating similar themes. Use an online tool such a Creately, reviewed here, to create diagrams, mindmaps, and other visual graphic organizers comparing and contrasting information found on different maps.
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Grasswire - Grasswire

Grades
8 to 12
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You are the reporter on Grasswire, a collaborative Internet newsroom! Scroll through to read the most current, most popular stories, or view recent submissions on the right-hand side...more
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You are the reporter on Grasswire, a collaborative Internet newsroom! Scroll through to read the most current, most popular stories, or view recent submissions on the right-hand side of the screen. Create an account and sign in to submit your own stories, comment on articles, or up-vote newsworthy items. Since these are user-submitted, take caution in allowing students to explore on their own. Some grammatical errors were noted in a few of the articles. Challenge your students to be the editors and see if they can find any errors.

tag(s): journalism (51), news (261), newspapers (95)

In the Classroom

Share Grasswire on your interactive whiteboard or projector as part of any current events discussion. Since the readers submit the articles on Grasswire, have students browse articles to find information that may be untrue, misleading, or opinion instead of facts. Use articles as examples, and then have students write their own current events submissions. ELA teachers may want to have students correct articles with grammatical errors as a lesson in proof-reading. Have students make a multimedia presentation for the topic of the article they will submit using Zeemaps, reviewed here, where they can include text, audio and images on an interactive map.

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Wimp - wimp.com

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K to 12
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Wimp offers a wide variety of videos with family-friendly content. Browse through the site using a keyword search or choose categories such as popular, life, culture, learning, and...more
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Wimp offers a wide variety of videos with family-friendly content. Browse through the site using a keyword search or choose categories such as popular, life, culture, learning, and more. Choose a video to read a short description and view. Videos are imported from many different locations such as Vimeo, YouTube, and individual websites. Also, view Wimp on your mobile device by clicking on their link that is optimized for mobiles. If your district blocks YouTube, then 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. Although the content is family friendly, this site contains comments that aren't monitored. If sharing with students, go to the direct link provided with each video for viewing without some of the distractions (and possibly inappropriate comments).
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tag(s): animals (284), musical instruments (47), video (268)

In the Classroom

Bookmark Wimp as a resource for finding videos for lessons and activities. Share the direct link to individual videos on your class website or blog. To remove the distracting advertisements on video sharing sites and more, use a tool such as SafeShareTV, reviewed here, and create a shortcut to the SafeShare page directly on the desktop.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Black History Month Resources - PBS

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K to 12
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Commemorate Black History Month with 20 lesson plans and resources covering a variety of topics including racial discrimination, civil rights, and discussions about race in current...more
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Commemorate Black History Month with 20 lesson plans and resources covering a variety of topics including racial discrimination, civil rights, and discussions about race in current events. Scroll through the page to view topics and grade level suggestions. Content ranges from a history of discrimination through current events such as debating race through the Trayvon Martin shooting. Some lessons also contain Common Core correlations.

tag(s): black history (61), civil rights (119), martin luther king (37), racism (18), video (268)

In the Classroom

Explore this site for many different lessons and resources to use during Black History Month and throughout the year. Use lessons found here to differentiate for students of different levels. Be sure to check out the Discrimination - fair or unfair? lesson plan that is designed specifically for students who have difficulty with verbal and written expression.
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Supply and Demand, Lessons from Toy Fads - Council for Economic Education/Chad Mares

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6 to 12
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Learn the concepts of supply and demand through case studies of Hula Hoops and Silly Bandz. Watch video clips that demonstrate how supply and demand interact with prices of in-demand...more
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Learn the concepts of supply and demand through case studies of Hula Hoops and Silly Bandz. Watch video clips that demonstrate how supply and demand interact with prices of in-demand toys, and then complete activities with case studies to learn about market demands. The assessment activity includes completing a supply and demand graph that represents the different components involved in this concept. If your district blocks YouTube, then 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.

tag(s): supply and demand (5)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. This is a great find as an extension activity for gifted students! Encourage students to create their own list of items similar to Hula Hoops and Silly Bandz that were in high demand and low supply.
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Trends24 - Trends24

Grades
9 to 12
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Track trending topics and tweets in any country you specify with Trends24. Select a country and view the breakdown of the trending tweets by minutes, hours, or days. Choose between...more
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Track trending topics and tweets in any country you specify with Trends24. Select a country and view the breakdown of the trending tweets by minutes, hours, or days. Choose between the Timeline breakdown or click on Cloud. Tweet trends show as a word cloud, with the most popular topics showing in a larger font. Click any hashtag name to view the tweets showing for that trend. Are you new to Twitter and hashtags? Find information to help you at TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.
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tag(s): microblogging (45), twitter (51)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to look at the topics that are trends in the various countries. Compare and contrast the top trends and how they differ from other countries that are neighbors or are far away. This tool is helpful in understanding political or cultural issues that extend worldwide or affect more than one region. Use the trending topics to understand the point of view of various countries. Look at news reports or causes for the change in the trend. Twitter trends could be useful in any subject area but especially useful for current events, civics, health, and economics.

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Also check out Google Trends for great insight into what's trending in the world realtime and over time. , , Grades: 0 - 12

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P 21 - Partnership For 21st Century Skills - P21

Grades
1 to 12
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Join the community designed to educate students and all learners in 21st century learning. The mission consists of building collaborative partnerships between education, businesses,...more
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Join the community designed to educate students and all learners in 21st century learning. The mission consists of building collaborative partnerships between education, businesses, government, and community leaders to promote learning skills needed in the 21st century for life, work, and citizenship. P21 strives to prepare all students for the challenges of the future. Find a framework for student outcomes with support system outlines. Resources for educators include sample lesson ideas, Common Core alignment, P21 Common Core Tool Kit, professional development guides, 21st century skill maps in a variety of subject areas, case studies of exemplar schools, a newsletter, and a Blogazine. Resources for policymakers include information on definitions, framework, and implementing 21st century skills. A parents' guide contains information on 21st century skills and leadership. Most downloadable materials are free. Get a press kit or join an advocacy group or mailing list.
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tag(s): professional development (126)

In the Classroom

Investigate P21 to see if you are meeting your students' needs for the 21st century. Use the parent tip sheet, real world examples, or the PowerPoint to clarify your goals to parents and administration. Explore literacy maps and skills maps to compare your methods of instruction. Look for ways to support professional development in your school. Become more effective using Common Core Curriculum. Join the blog and change your world. This site contains great research, ideas, and goals to include in grants, mission statements, or strategic planning.
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Corkboard - Corkboard LLC

Grades
1 to 12
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Tack up a digital corkboard and remember all of your lists, items to do, recipes, decorating, or share comments with others. This site offers a digital version of the corkboard ...more
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Tack up a digital corkboard and remember all of your lists, items to do, recipes, decorating, or share comments with others. This site offers a digital version of the corkboard from the "old days." Fill it with whatever you want! Even better than the traditional corkboard, you can create as many different digital corkboards as you want. Create the name, tags, and double click to add to your new corkboard. Keep it private or share with co-workers or friends. Go online to access, or use an iPhone app. Click on Corkboard Mobile to use with other mobile devices. Add the Corkboard bookmarklet to take a screen shot of a web page and save it.

tag(s): brainstorming (23), note taking (35)

In the Classroom

Think big and small when you use Corkboard! Use a Corkboard to communicate with each of your students' families. Add simple reminders, lists of spelling or vocabulary words, homework assignments, project directions, field trip dates, after school club dates, or general parent tips. Share the cork board(s) with all parents. There is also an easy way parents can go back and reference earlier Corkboards. When planning an event or field trip, make your list on Corkboard and let parents easily make their choice. Updates are immediate. Use this tool for brainstorming on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Post the link for the Corkboard and allow students to continue the brainstorm from home. Encourage collaboration between group members in a snap. Set up your parent conference schedule easily! Bring a bit of technology into language arts with class reflections, or even individual reflections. Have students create study guides together from home or even at centers. Reinforce concepts from any subject as a study guide. This tool makes it easy to conduct an author's chair. Document steps of a problem-based learning experience together. Watch current events come alive. No longer are you limited by wall space, digital corkboards are limitless!

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Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project - University of North Carolina Greensboro

Grades
8 to 12
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The unique viewpoints of U.S. women veterans are well represented in this rich archive of photographs, oral histories, diaries, scrapbooks, and artifacts from the nineteenth century...more
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The unique viewpoints of U.S. women veterans are well represented in this rich archive of photographs, oral histories, diaries, scrapbooks, and artifacts from the nineteenth century to the present. The archive is particularly strong for women who served during World War II. It also includes World War I, Korea, Vietnam, The Cold War, Desert Storm, the Gulf Wars and the War on Terror. Search by date, branch of service, conflict, or by type of material, including over 350 oral histories.

tag(s): memorial day (12), oral history (12), primary sources (86), veterans (19), world war 1 (53), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

Use this archive for rich, authentic primary source material on the lives of women in the military. Consider having students, individually or in groups, choose a veteran and present her story to classmates. Use a tool like Zoho Show (similar to Powerpoint, but easier and free), reviewed here. Supplement classroom materials associated with a wartime era with the photographs, posters, and diaries provided here. Use these stories as part of a special focus for Veterans Day, Memorial Day, or Women's History Month. The archive would also be a particularly rich resource for students considering National History Day Projects.
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Newswordy - Josh Smith

Grades
K to 12
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We hear new buzzwords all of the time, but what do they really mean? Newswordy provides those answers. Each day Newswordy features a buzzword, definition, and its uses in articles ...more
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We hear new buzzwords all of the time, but what do they really mean? Newswordy provides those answers. Each day Newswordy features a buzzword, definition, and its uses in articles and tweets from trending topics. Find the previous day's buzzword by clicking the link on the bottom of the page or click the three bars on the top-right hand side of the page for a list of previous words. Click the title to go to the source and read the entire article.

tag(s): media literacy (57), news (261), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Newswordy is perfect for use on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Display the word of the day as students arrive in class as a great warm up for current events lessons. Share a link to the site on your class webpage. Tweak your students' interest in what is happening in the world by reading the excerpts of the articles and tweets at Newswordy. Have students bring in examples they find on the Internet or when watching T.V. Next, students can create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle, reviewed here, or WordItOut, reviewed here.

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America Goes to War: an Infographic - New England College

Grades
8 to 12
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What does it mean to go to war? This simple infographic shows the Constitutional process by which the United States declares war, traces the history of each of the U.S. ...more
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What does it mean to go to war? This simple infographic shows the Constitutional process by which the United States declares war, traces the history of each of the U.S. declarations of war, and differentiates among formal declarations, military actions, and Presidential or Congressional authorizations of force.

tag(s): civil war (144), congress (33), constitution (82), presidents (130), war of 1812 (15), world war 1 (53), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

Was the U.S. at war? What powers does the U.S. President have to declare war, and how have Presidents used those powers historically? A powerful, but simple infographic delineates the legal and Constitutional differences among U.S. wars historically. Share the infographic on an interactive whiteboard, or embed on your classroom website for reference.

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InstaNerd - InstaNerd

Grades
8 to 12
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InstaNerd offers an endless stream of facts, providing you with smart, scientific and (a little nerdy) general knowledge. Click "Start" to begin. Continue clicking the next button (or...more
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InstaNerd offers an endless stream of facts, providing you with smart, scientific and (a little nerdy) general knowledge. Click "Start" to begin. Continue clicking the next button (or even easier, use the arrow on your computer keyboard) to view new and nerdy facts. Sign up to get new facts in your email box once a week. Although content appears to be appropriate, be sure to preview facts before sharing with students.
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tag(s): trivia (18)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save InstaNerd as a resource for thought-provoking trivia throughout the year. Share one item on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) at the beginning of each class for class discussion. Although content appears to be appropriate, be sure to preview facts before sharing on your interactive whiteboard or projector.

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Watch 1000 Years of European Borders Change in 3 Minutes - Nick Morenenko

Grades
7 to 12
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View the ever-changing borders of European countries through this time-lapse video. Beginning in 1141 with the domination of the Holy Roman and Byzantine Empires, watch borders change...more
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View the ever-changing borders of European countries through this time-lapse video. Beginning in 1141 with the domination of the Holy Roman and Byzantine Empires, watch borders change year by year until reaching Europe of 2012. This video provides an exciting, dynamic look at changes in Europe throughout the years.
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tag(s): england (56), europe (75), france (40), germany (28), italy (17), maps (289), russia (38), spain (9), video (268)

In the Classroom

This video is perfect for use on an interactive whiteboard or projector to provide an overview of the changes in European borders over many years. Pause the video as you watch to view and discuss changes. Use the embed or link code provided to share this site on your class web page. Have students create maps using Animaps, reviewed here, to demonstrate changes in borders. Students can add text, images, and location stops! Divide students into groups to explore different periods of time, then challenge students to create a presentation using Prezi, reviewed here. Use during current events lessons to help students understand that current European conflicts relate back to changes taking place over many hundreds of years.
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Digital Citizenship - NSW Department of Education and Communities

Grades
K to 12
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Digital Citizenship offers a large number of resources for teaching digital citizenship for students of all ages, teachers, and parents. Choose from primary, secondary, or parents to...more
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Digital Citizenship offers a large number of resources for teaching digital citizenship for students of all ages, teachers, and parents. Choose from primary, secondary, or parents to begin. Each section includes videos, games, and activities for learning responsible digital citizenship. The site was created in Australia. American English speakers may notice some slight differences in spellings and pronunciations. The videos reside on sites other than Digital Citizenship. Some are on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them 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.

tag(s): cyberbullying (41), digital citizenship (63), internet safety (104)

In the Classroom

Bookmark Digital Citizenship for use in any Internet safety lesson or unit. Create a link to individual games or activities on classroom computers. Be sure to share a link to this site with parents for use at home.
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The Crisis of Credit Visualized - Jonathan Jarvis

Grades
8 to 12
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This video provides a short and simple explanation of the very complicated story of the credit crisis. The narrator provides the background of institutional banking and financing and...more
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This video provides a short and simple explanation of the very complicated story of the credit crisis. The narrator provides the background of institutional banking and financing and takes viewers up to the events leading to the mortgage crisis. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): financial literacy (80)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on finances on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Have small groups or pairs of students explore different groups mentioned in the video such as homeowners, banks, or Wall Street financiers. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here. Post a link to this video on your class web page for students and parents to view at home.

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NationStates - Max Barry

Grades
6 to 12
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There are plenty of simulation interactives for major life events such as pandemics, but what happens in everyday life? NationStates brings to life daily decisions. This multiplayer...more
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There are plenty of simulation interactives for major life events such as pandemics, but what happens in everyday life? NationStates brings to life daily decisions. This multiplayer online interactive features you as the head of your nation to create and shape how you see fit. To get started, create your nation by giving it a name. Customize various aspects, such as the flag, history, and national animal. Then get into the heart of your nation: political, social, and economic issues. These choices determine the initial status of your nation. As you play, these problems will change with your choices. Every day an issue is presented and the choices you make affect the outcome of your nation. Your choices become the national law in your nation. Warning: There is one problem a day, but you can change that to two in your account settings. As you play, various aspects of your nation change and the type of government shifts (maybe even including anarchy). Choose to stay an independent nation or join others to create a region. Participate in the World Assembly (the pretend U.N.). View debates in the forum that actually touch on current events in the game and in real life. One thing to note: If you are not attentive to the issues that come up each day, the game ends quickly. The good news is that it takes very little time to view the issue, act, and see the result. Note: This interactive is loosely based on the novel Jennifer Government by Max Barry.
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tag(s): foreign policy (16), money (190), politics (99), sociology (22)

In the Classroom

Students can use this interactive individually, making connections to their choice, results, and connections to actual world events, present and past. Additionally, students can join a region and see how their decisions affect other nations. A great lesson is to allow students to run their nation according to their political views and see the results as they unfold through play. Be sure to treat this seriously as the issues presented here are actual issues that governments must deal with daily. Even making a decision within your political viewpoint can lead to results that are not anticipated. Require students to discuss their viewpoint, why they believe they are right, the resulting consequence, and how it has changed what they believe. Following the play, give time for students to research an initiative or action a country made and the resulting consequences that have resulted. Present, discuss, or debate these with the class. Allow every student in class to have a voice by using a student response system such as Infuse Learning, reviewed here, or GoSoapBox, reviewed here.

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Science Behind the News - NBC Learn

Grades
5 to 12
0 Favorites 1  Comments
  
The twelve videos on this site explore the science, technology, engineering, and math found in current events. These videos look behind the news at topics such as tornadoes, opinion...more
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The twelve videos on this site explore the science, technology, engineering, and math found in current events. These videos look behind the news at topics such as tornadoes, opinion polls, allergies, and drug-resistant bacteria. Each video includes a transcript that opens or closes for use while watching videos.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bacteria (30), computers (92), foreign policy (16), news (261), planets (127), plants (152), politics (99), STEM (143), tornadoes (17), video (268)

In the Classroom

Introduce the videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Ask students to form small groups depending on which video topic they are interested in further exploring. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools, reviewed here, to present what they learned to their classmates. Have older students use these videos as a springboard for further research into the topics found.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

Love these videos! Very engaging and extremely informative especially since they are all around five minutes! Cyndy, MN, Grades: 9 - 12

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Socratic Smackdown - Institute of Play

Grades
7 to 12
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Use this activity to practice discussion and argument strategies. Socratic Smackdown has thorough instructions and handouts for a Socratic discussion. View the short video overview...more
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Use this activity to practice discussion and argument strategies. Socratic Smackdown has thorough instructions and handouts for a Socratic discussion. View the short video overview and download the PDF Print & Play Pack to begin. The Game Play Pack provides complete information on setting up the discussion, a checklist for when students are participating, scoresheets, a rubric, and other resources for students and teachers. It also includes a correlation to 8th Grade Common Core Speaking Standards. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view the video 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.

tag(s): debate (43)

In the Classroom

Use Socratic Smackdown for students to debate and discuss current events, themes in literature, or historic events. Use Socratic Smackdown with your school's debate team. After your "Smackdown," have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the concepts. Use a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here. Share Socratic Smackdown with teachers at your site.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Global Climate Change - NASA

Grades
3 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Find great background information on Climate Change with this site. Find up to date information about sea and land ice cover, amount of deforestation, carbon dioxide amounts in the...more
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Find great background information on Climate Change with this site. Find up to date information about sea and land ice cover, amount of deforestation, carbon dioxide amounts in the atmosphere, sea level rise, and more along the bottom. Scroll down to view News and Features, What is Climate Change (and find your answers to the Evidence, Causes, Effects, and Solutions), and explore interactives and other information.

tag(s): climate (92), climate change (64)

In the Classroom

Use this resource for some excellent background information on climate change. Create public service announcements outlining the key points from this site. Create a campaign for making small changes in our lives that can add up to a big difference. Assign small groups to explore one facet of this site and create a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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