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Memory Share - BBC

Grades
2 to 12
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On this site, students can see a variety of time lines that partially describe people's memories. Memories show up through the timeline, through a keyword, or through an individual...more
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On this site, students can see a variety of time lines that partially describe people's memories. Memories show up through the timeline, through a keyword, or through an individual url address. The archive of memories begins with 1900. For example, a page on the year 1968 yields information about a radio program popular that day. You can add your own memories to further describe the year 1968. Adding your own memories does require registration. Registration requires a member name and password, no private information is required. If you elect to have students use the site to share memories, we recommend that you follow guidelines on the TeachersFirst Edge Tips about memberships, schools policies, and safety.

The general site describes itself as a "gathering" of viewers' memories. Therefore, many of the events in Memory Share are personal, not global events. To begin, you click on the left side to select a particular year. Then scroll around a circular spiral which contains the memories others have submitted. To read a specific memory, you click on the "blob" on the spiral which represents the memory. The site also allows for storage of video memories. Both the written and the video memories are filed by keyword so they can be compared to other memories containing similar terms.

Since this site has content generated by the public, always preview information before you share it with your students!

tag(s): 20th century (51), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

Explore others' memories to gain a sense of a time period such as the 1920s, asking students what the memory tells then about life during that time. Have students interview an older family member or neighbor and add one of their own significant memories to the Memory Share site. This is also a great site to have students record holiday memories and favorite family holiday rituals. Use the site to explain what a primary source is, as well. Use memory writing as a way to practice sequencing skills and general narrative writing, publishing the final products on a timeline (protect identity, of course!). Have students create a timeline of their own memories concerning major world events such as the election of the first African American U.S. president. Share this link on your class website for students and parents to use together.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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World News for Kids - English Raven Educational Services

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2 to 8
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This site, powered by an Australian teacher, offers oral news clips of recent news events. A good introduction to world news, this site is also a great resource for ESL/ELL ...more
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This site, powered by an Australian teacher, offers oral news clips of recent news events. A good introduction to world news, this site is also a great resource for ESL/ELL students. The English spoken is fairly slow and easily understandable. Listeners can also record their own responses to the stories. The four stories offered every week are at graduated levels, from easy to medium-difficult.

The site explains the levels: Level 1 (Dove) - Elementary/Primary grades 3-4; Level 2 (Owl) - Elementary/Primary grades 4-5; Level 3 (Eagle) - Grades 5-7; Level 4 (Albatross) - Grades 6-8

tag(s): news (261)

In the Classroom

Use this site when talking about current world events. After viewing a few of these, you may want your students to write, read, and record their own newscasts about local news events. Try using a site such as Thinglink, reviewed here. This site allows students to narrate a picture from the news. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as a news report. Since the printable version of the news stories are only available for a fee, you may want to have your students write their own text version of the stories instead!

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Ideas Wisconsin - University of Wisconsin System

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K to 12
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This excellent site has hundreds of lesson plan ideas, interactive tools, videos, and more. All are organized according to grade level and subject, including ESL/ELL. Although some...more
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This excellent site has hundreds of lesson plan ideas, interactive tools, videos, and more. All are organized according to grade level and subject, including ESL/ELL. Although some focus on Wisconsin history and sites, most are useful to all teachers. Besides the lesson plans, there is a news section which offers guided activities with select news events. Teachers can email the site if they'd like to see the archive of news plan offerings. All lesson plans follow WI standards. An interesting place to begin looking at the site is under "New" where teachers can see the most recently added plans. Search by grade, subject, or keyword. Some lessons are simple ideas while others are very detailed and include lots of information.

tag(s): news (261)

In the Classroom

Check here for well-developed lesson plans for a specific topic you'd like to teach. Or scroll through the offerings for your grade level and subject. Complete directions for each lesson plan will guide you through how you can use it in the classroom. Share the interactive or photos on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Save this site in your favorites to visit often for some new ways to freshen up the content in your class.

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The Olympic Games - Enchanted Learning

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K to 5
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This site was originally created for the Summer Olympics, but many of the activities are useful for the Winter Olympics as well. Although some of the printables are available to ...more
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This site was originally created for the Summer Olympics, but many of the activities are useful for the Winter Olympics as well. Although some of the printables are available to members only, this site does includes some excellent FREE information on the history of the Olympics, maps, flags, Greek alphabet, writing activities, graphic organizers, "Invent a New Olympic Sport" challenge, and more. If nothing else, the printables offer some great ideas to implement in your classroom (for example, "Write a Sentence for Each Sports-Related Word").

tag(s): olympics (47), poetry (228), puzzles (208), sports (97)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the ideas presented at this site (if you are a member or not). Share certain maps or handouts on your interactive whiteboard. Use this site to teach your students more about the history of the games.

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Going for the Gold - 2009 United States Olympic Committee

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2 to 12
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Follow the United States Olympic athletes at this interactive website. Find out current news about the athletes, read biographical information, read the athlete's blogs, watch video...more
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Follow the United States Olympic athletes at this interactive website. Find out current news about the athletes, read biographical information, read the athlete's blogs, watch video clips, explore the articles, and more. Click on "Resources" and then "U.S. Olympic Education" to find some lesson ideas to use in your classroom. There are some minor advertisements at this website.

tag(s): china (66), olympics (47)

In the Classroom

Use this site to research American athletes. Share the video clips, read the blogs, and view the pictures on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Don't miss the lesson ideas (in the "Resources" section). Share this site on your class website, so families can follow the U.S. Olympians.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Equal Exchange's Fair Trade Curriculum & Educational Resources - Equal Exchange

Grades
4 to 10
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This collection of pdf lesson plans centers around 3 main topics: how we get our food, what the Fair Trade movement is doing for farmers and eaters, and what coops ...more
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This collection of pdf lesson plans centers around 3 main topics: how we get our food, what the Fair Trade movement is doing for farmers and eaters, and what coops are. The complete curriculum is downloadable and printable, and the daily lessons at this site offer support and extra activities. One lesson, translated for Spanish teachers, offers students an activity so they can understand "What's Fair?" One of the most exciting parts of the website is a collection of videos of Dominican children talking in Spanish about cocoa production! The lesson plans include a variety of activities for students and include projects in math, writing, civics, research, geography, art, music, and international culture.

tag(s): air (163)

In the Classroom

Use these lessons as part of a unit in social studies, Family and Consumer Science, or several other subjects. Take your students on a visit to a local food coop or invite one of their members to speak to your class live or via Skype (explained here.). Have students do a project comparing coop grocery sales with the more commercial establishments. Maybe even have student groups create an online Venn Diagram comparing the two using a site such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). If you have international students from the Dominican Republic or other cocoa producing countries, share this site with them and allow them to compare what the students say on the video to their own experiences. Create your own videotaped interviews with food growers or their families. Share the videos using a tool such as Teachers.TV reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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TweenTribune - Alan Jacobson

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K to 12
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TweenTribune has joined with Smithsonian and now offers the news in Lexile levels for k-4, 5-8, 9-12. That is not the only change. The Smithsonian TweenTribune now has several ...more
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TweenTribune has joined with Smithsonian and now offers the news in Lexile levels for k-4, 5-8, 9-12. That is not the only change. The Smithsonian TweenTribune now has several new features, including a Dashboard for assignments and classrooms, assigning a story to all with one click, self-scoring quizzes for articles, and Smithsonian's STEM-based 1-minute videos. There are now free apps for the iPad and iPhone. TweenTribune continues to include open-ended critical thinking questions and a daily quiz using multiple sources. This site is still jam packed with current news stories that are chosen by site coordinators for all reading levels. The articles are easy to read, relate to, and understand. The site is easy to navigate with a subject indexed toolbar, and it is searchable. There is even a "your town" section for local news stories. All stories are current because the creators scour the internet weekly for age-appropriate material. It greatly reduces the pressure of searching by giving an article research tool that is much more specific than simply using a search engine.

tag(s): news (261), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

The sky is the limit for potential and possibilities with this website. There are some minor warnings. If you want to allow your students to post to a blog, you will need to create a class and then have them enroll. The great news is that is free. As the teacher, you can moderate or delete posts before they are public. There are lessons available on the site as well as a "Teacher's Lounge" where lesson ideas can be exchanged. In a language arts classroom, students could be assigned to read and blog as a weekly writing assignment. The teacher can assign a specific article or have students choose. Have students read their articles on a podcast using PodOmatic (reviewed here). In science, articles from this site could be used to supplement science textbook reading with current articles that better interest students. Articles are short and provide quick practice pieces for non-fiction reading comprehension. Project a story and ask students to write their own sentence for the main idea or to summarize. These quick pieces would fit well on your interactive whiteboard. SmithsonianTweenTribune Espanol allows students to read daily news articles in Spanish and post comments about the stories they read. Teachers moderate all comments before the comments are posted.

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Refdesk - Refdesk

Grades
2 to 12
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Use this free site for finding the best information on the Internet. Enter the search term directly into the fields you wish. Refdesk provides many search engines to choose from. ...more
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Use this free site for finding the best information on the Internet. Enter the search term directly into the fields you wish. Refdesk provides many search engines to choose from. Use the dictionary and thesaurus, search literature, scan news, or read about articles, pictures, or headlines of the day. Refdesk provides one place to find an abundant amount of information at your fingertips. Students should be cautioned to not click on ads which are scattered throughout the site.

tag(s): news (261), thesaurus (24)

In the Classroom

Use this link in the resources section of your wiki, blog, or website for students to quickly find or use information from the Internet. Build information literacy as your students do research. As a beginning activity, have students use the same search term but use different search engines and identify the differences in the top results. Use Refdesk to find interesting information for writing prompts or discussions/blog posts for the day. Use this site for research projects, homework help, and more.

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News for You Online - New Readers Press

Grades
4 to 10
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This online version of the traditionally used ESL/ELL newspaper, "News for You," has a few up to date stories available for free and an archive of stories from the past ...more
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This online version of the traditionally used ESL/ELL newspaper, "News for You," has a few up to date stories available for free and an archive of stories from the past few months as well. Besides reading the stories, students can also hear them. The accompanying teacher's guide in pdf format has comprehension and discussion questions, vocabulary help, and a loosely related grammar activity. A separate classroom ideas section has something appropriate for nearly all classrooms.

To read/listen to the articles, you must put in an email address. Tip: rather than using your personal or work email, create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

tag(s): news (261)

In the Classroom

Have students make a vocabulary list of new words they see/hear from the stories each week. Include a story from NFY every week to present a slightly different take on the television news or paper news headlines. Have your students create their own "headline" news and video the projects! Share the videos using a tool such as TeacherTube reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Swine Flu: What you Need to Know - Nemours

Grades
K to 12
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Nemours' balanced approach makes this explanation of swine flu very helpful for parents, teachers, and kids alike. Not only does the article share the basic facts and simple strategies...more
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Nemours' balanced approach makes this explanation of swine flu very helpful for parents, teachers, and kids alike. Not only does the article share the basic facts and simple strategies fo staying healthy. Included are links to related articles for kids and for teens. In the lower area of the page (just below the clickable page numbers), look for "More on this topic" and click on the tab "For Kids" or "For Teens." The common-sense approach will help prevent spread of the disease and reassure frightened students in terms they can understand.

In the Classroom

Share this resource with your building principal and with parents to help control any panic about a possible pandemic.

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Kidscoop - Kid Scoop

Grades
1 to 6
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This website accompanies Kidscoop, a feature in many local newspapers, but it is not necessary to have this section in your paper to enjoy the benefits of the site. Find ...more
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This website accompanies Kidscoop, a feature in many local newspapers, but it is not necessary to have this section in your paper to enjoy the benefits of the site. Find activities for kids, parents, and teachers that focus on the real news of the day. Interactive activities for kids include news summaries with pictures, word searches, book reviews, quizzes and polls of the week among many other activities. Teacher offerings include links to Newspapers in Education materials already familiar to many educators. Also, there are lesson plan banks, coupons, activity ideas to use with newspapers, weblinks, etc. Take some time to explore this great resource! Other offerings include a free subscription to a weekly newsletter and weekly writing prompts. Although many resources are available for purchase, there is plenty of free content that will be useful. Some features require Adobe Acrobat Reader. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): news (261), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

Find classroom follow-ups for leading news stories. Have your children write their own stories and create their own activities using these as models. Use the writing prompts to help children better grasp important news issues. Why not create an online newspaper for your class on a wiki? Learn more about wikis at TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through

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Immigration Explorer - NY Times

Grades
3 to 12
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This site offers an interactive map that displays the population and ethnicity of the counties of the United States. Readers can select various ethnic groups and find out where they...more
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This site offers an interactive map that displays the population and ethnicity of the counties of the United States. Readers can select various ethnic groups and find out where they settled. A drop down menu has lists of immigrant groups. The color coded map of the U.S. displays settlement locations for specified groups. Separate countries available include many Asian and European countries. African countries are not listed separately, unfortunately. Another feature allows students to move the timeline marker to show immigration in different years. The timeline includes the 1880s through the 2000s. This interactive map does require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

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

In the Classroom

Share this map on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use with your ESL/ELL students to show the class where most settlers from their specific countries go. Talk about your American students' origins and check to see where their ancestors may have settled. Use this interactive map to teach about various kinds of map making and map keys. Use this site to reinforce your students' understanding of timelines. Have cooperative learning groups investigate a specific decade. Challenge the groups to create multimedia presentations to share with the class: blog post from a settler during their "decade" or maybe an interactive timeline of a fictitious settler family using a tool such as TimeRime (explained here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Banned Books Week - American Library Association

Grades
3 to 12
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To celebrate America's history of the freedom to read, the American Library Association sets aside one week every year to celebrate that freedom by bringing the most important banned...more
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To celebrate America's history of the freedom to read, the American Library Association sets aside one week every year to celebrate that freedom by bringing the most important banned books to the attention of everyone. Traditionally the last week of September, in 2009 it is being held September 26 - October 3rd. Go to the website and vote for your favorite banned book and have your older students do the same! Find out what books have been most frequently challenged. Find out about the history of book burning, print out posters for your classroom, and find out how support of this week adds to the intellectual freedom of all readers: students, teachers, librarians, and other adults.

In the Classroom

Compare the banned book list with your curriculum. Find out how many of your students' favorite books (like To Kill a Mockingbird) have been on the list.

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Pixcetera - AOL

Grades
2 to 12
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This is a great source for a massive number of pictures on the web, especially recent pictures. Students and teachers can search for pictures, video, news photos, a specific topic ...more
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This is a great source for a massive number of pictures on the web, especially recent pictures. Students and teachers can search for pictures, video, news photos, a specific topic etc. and have many pictures to choose from. The pictures are well organized and easy to search. They are displayed in Flash, however, so you cannot download them or use them elsewhere. You CAN link to a gallery of images or display it on a projector or computer screen. To get the link for a gallery, click share, choose "email" and copy the link that appears in the email that pops open.

Be aware: this site does include some unobtrusive advertisements. Some of the slideshows and videos require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): news (261), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Include this site in assignments students have to prepare for presentations. Look for photos of any recent news event, even events obscure enough not to be included in American newspapers. Share an image or gallery of images on your projector or interactive whiteboard in a world language class as you discuss it in the language and learn about the culture and news in far off places. Link to certain galleries from your class web page or from student presentations to show examples of concepts and life in other places. Save this site in your favorites, for students to easily access during research projects. Use the photos as a writing prompt in current events or writing classes. Or create a visual current events "quiz" by displaying a gallery of mages and asking students to explain the background of the story. Speech or ESL/ELL teachers can also share images and ask student to talk about or describe them. Let the students select the image they wish to discuss!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Google News - Google

Grades
K to 12
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Google News provides a quick way to find news stories from all over the globe, including print media, television, and web articles on any topic you enter. Use Google search ...more
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Google News provides a quick way to find news stories from all over the globe, including print media, television, and web articles on any topic you enter. Use Google search terms just as you would for a general Internet search. you can also customize your Google News page to "serve up" topics of interest to you, assuming you have an iGoogle account.

tag(s): news (261)

In the Classroom

Set up specialized Google News searches for topics relevant to what you teach: biodiversity, current events topics that connect to your curriculum, or even your school name. Set Google News as the computer's home page and you have an instant "connection" to the real world right in your classroom. You can also customize Google News to education topics of interest to you for professional growth, such as special education, autism, NCLB, etc. Social studies teachers will also want to compare news articles collected on Google News for a current topic to help students see that news coverage is not always balanced. Ask students to compare articles from within the U.S. and those on the same topic written in other countries or by varied sources.

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Capitol Words - Sunlight Foundation

Grades
4 to 12
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This site provides a visual map of the words used every day by members of Congress. Students can see a map of the U.S. to check out how their states ...more
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This site provides a visual map of the words used every day by members of Congress. Students can see a map of the U.S. to check out how their states compare in number of words with other states. They can also enter their state and pick out a specific lawmaker to see his/her words on any given day. The words appear in both a word cloud, where the most used words are the largest, and also in list form. Students can also search from two special lists, one of the most talkative, and one of the quietest lawmakers! When students are interested in a particular word in the word cloud, clicking on it leads to a graph of its past usage. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): congress (33), speech (92)

In the Classroom

Use this site when studying specific states and their Congressional representatives. It's also a great site to use when preparing students to give speeches. Talk about whether the most popular words are overused or should be included in speeches at all times. Use this site as an anticipatory set to introduce a unit or lesson on government.

Have students create their own "word cloud" using a site such as Wordle (reviewed here by TeachersFirst). Students could create a Wordle about any topic area being studied. Share your students' Wordles on an interactive whiteboard or projector.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Speak Out- PBS Kids Go! - PBS and National Black Programming Consortium's

Grades
1 to 6
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PBS Go's Speak Out encourages your students to have a voice about civic issues. Students submit ideas they would like to discuss with President Obama. Putting democracy to work,...more
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PBS Go's Speak Out encourages your students to have a voice about civic issues. Students submit ideas they would like to discuss with President Obama. Putting democracy to work, students vote on which ideas they like best. The winning issues are featured at this site in the form of video or written message to the President. The digital messages will change over time, depending on the youth's changing concerns and recommended solutions. At the time of this review the issues included: Our Earth, Our School, and Staying Healthy. Your students vote on which of the three is the most pertinent issue in their lives. They also may leave comments that may be published online at this site. Check your school's Acceptable Use Policy regarding posting students' work, photos, or videos. And be sure to obtain parental permission. This site requires Flash. You can get it at the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): democracy (12), inauguration (11)

In the Classroom

Make a "Speak Out" bulletin board, and videotape your students as they speak out on issues that relate to your school, community, and nation. Issues may be submitted for voting by going to Big Dialog (explained here). Click on the 'About' link at this site for submission voting information.
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Human Footprint - National Geographic

Grades
3 to 10
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This interactive takes a look at the effect of typical human consumption on the planet. Students can see how the bread they eat or the newspapers they read tax the ...more
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This interactive takes a look at the effect of typical human consumption on the planet. Students can see how the bread they eat or the newspapers they read tax the resources of our earth. There is also information about water consumption, diapers (and the crude oil they require), eggs, and more. The highly visual display of the site is well balanced with facts. Comparisons between the U.S., the U.K, and Japan provide interesting contrasts in resource usage between nations.

tag(s): earth (228), earth day (112), environment (317), natural resources (59), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Fire up the projector or interactive whiteboard to use this site when beginning a unit on natural resources, agriculture, environment, green living, or cultural comparisons. Ask your students to research other items that might be included in the comparison besides newspapers, potatoes, gas, etc. Have them make charts or online presentations to display consumption information in a similar fashion. Save this site in your favorites to use for Earth Day.
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Breathing Earth - David Bleja

Grades
3 to 12
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SEE the relative contributions to carbon dioxide emissions country by country. Students roll the mouse over countries on a flattened world map to see what the carbon dioxide emission...more
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SEE the relative contributions to carbon dioxide emissions country by country. Students roll the mouse over countries on a flattened world map to see what the carbon dioxide emission of each. The featured country's pertinent facts pop up, including emissions, populations, and birth/death rates. Countries are color-coded to indicate rates of carbon dioxide emissions. The pop-ups of births and deaths are fascinating (they occur in real-time). The bottom of the site includes a detailed legend; be sure to check it out. Note that spelling is Australian ("tonnes" vs "tons"). You can turn off the audio at the lower left. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): carbon (21), carbon dioxide (17), carbon footprint (11), earth (228), earth day (112), environment (317)

In the Classroom

This site has countless uses in the classroom of various grade levels. Share this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard. With younger classes, use this map to teach about map legends. Use this when studying ecosystems, environmental issues, economics, current events, world birth and death rates, pollution problems, and conservation. Leave the site open for a few hours for students to see the changes. This site is an excellent resource for research projects on countries throughout the world.
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Climate Chaos - BBC

Grades
4 to 10
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One word describes this all-encompassing website: amazing! If you are teaching students about global warming, climates, types of energy, recycling or any other "green" topic - you must...more
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One word describes this all-encompassing website: amazing! If you are teaching students about global warming, climates, types of energy, recycling or any other "green" topic - you must visit this website. At the website you will find interactive activities and games, guides and information about numerous topics, quizzes, votes, and chats! This site is frequently updated. Some of the activities require FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): earth (228), earth day (112), energy (198), recycling (57)

In the Classroom

Share this one on an interactive whiteboard or projector to help your students to understand the effects of global warming. Include the link on your teacher web page as you study weather, climate, and environmental concerns. This site would also make a great "scavenger hunt" for students to learn the basics about global warming. Ask each to write some questions for the hunt, then have the whole class try it! Have cooperative learning groups explore various facets of this site and create a multi-media presentation.
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