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Here on Earth - NPR

Grades
5 to 12
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This NPR site offers the weekly schedule and recorded programs in its "Here on Earth" series, offering cultural news from around the world. The programs are often part of a ...more
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This NPR site offers the weekly schedule and recorded programs in its "Here on Earth" series, offering cultural news from around the world. The programs are often part of a larger series, the archives of which are easily accessible as well. Previews for the five weekly programs, Monday through Friday include enticing photographs. Links on the pages of the programs offer opportunities for more information and links to related programs. Students also have the opportunity to see short, related videos and comment on ongoing programs. Programs cover a wide variety of subjects and fields.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), radio (26), religions (61)

In the Classroom

Teachers may want to preview the upcoming programs for each week to connect their ELL/ESL students with the programs that concern their part of the world. Students could do an introduction to their countries before the class listens to an appropriate program. Ask your students to visit the site, listen, research, and create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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Scientific American: Slide Shows - Scientific American, A division of Nature America, Inc.

Grades
6 to 12
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The slide show portion of the Scientific American website is a great visual resource for science teachers. The shows are organized in reverse chronological order from most recent to...more
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The slide show portion of the Scientific American website is a great visual resource for science teachers. The shows are organized in reverse chronological order from most recent to the oldest. The page is not searchable, but the site is. This would be great for science current events to tie into class. Some slide shows are graphic (a removed human brain!) and may need disclaimers when being shared with students.

tag(s): human body (121), microorganisms (14), oil (45), oil spill (21), organisms (21), slides (63), space (205)

In the Classroom

Try using this site when discussing how science relates to our current world. For instance, show the ten most dangerous moments for the space shuttle and the station history when studying astronomy. Incorporate the slide show about the Gulf oil spill and reading into a class blog for a biology unit on bacteria. This slide show demonstrates how microbes are used to clean up the oil. The pictures of the organisms are wonderful! Or, incorporate it into an environmental science class dealing with the impact of human behavior on the environment. Have students read and view the slide show as homework, and then discuss what they have learned via your class wiki or in class. Challenge students to create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Have students further discuss the potential problems with associated new microbes into the oil spill area.
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Wide Angle: AIDS Warriors - PBS

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9 to 12
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The Wide Angle PBS series is geared towards bringing students to a greater understanding of global current events through briefings, interactive maps, and additional resources. This...more
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The Wide Angle PBS series is geared towards bringing students to a greater understanding of global current events through briefings, interactive maps, and additional resources. This 2003 episode focuses on the battle against HIV/AIDS on Angola. There is a full length video, photo-essay, interview, and much more. While this episode is now past, it provides a solid timeline of the history of the region.

tag(s): africa (180), hiv/aids (18)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an introductory vignette of one African country in your world cultures class or as a case study on HIV/AIDS in Africa. Combine the simpler maps here with the visualization tools for current data through tools such as Many Eyes, (reviewed here) to present AIDS data in a visual form for sharing on an interactive whiteboard or projector (Search Many Eyes for "AIDS" to find many visualized forms of HIV/AIDS data from around the world).

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Vancouver 2010: With Glowing Hearts - The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic

Grades
K to 12
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This eclectic site has something for everyone about the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. For younger students, be sure to meet the mascots of the site, view the interactives, and more. Students...more
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This eclectic site has something for everyone about the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. For younger students, be sure to meet the mascots of the site, view the interactives, and more. Students of all ages can use this site to learn about the schedule, view photos and videos, learn about each sport in the winter 2010 Olympics, trace the torch relay, view a spectator guide, meet the athletes, view the interactive map, and more.

tag(s): olympics (47), sports (97)

In the Classroom

Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Introduce the mascots to your students and discuss their relevance. Have students research various athletes or sports and create a multimedia presentation. Use the Olympics as the theme for your study of world geography. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Have cooperative learning groups create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
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HealthMap - Clark Freifeld and John Brownstein

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7 to 12
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Use HealthMap (Powered by Google Maps) to view the status of different diseases around the world, compare between countries,and identify trends. HealthMap brings up to date data from...more
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Use HealthMap (Powered by Google Maps) to view the status of different diseases around the world, compare between countries,and identify trends. HealthMap brings up to date data from multiple sources into one place for better visualizing. Click on the Blog link to access specific information about diseases including symptoms and treatment. Refine your search on the map by disease, category, or region of the world. This site can be viewed in French, Spanish, and several other languages.

tag(s): scientists (69)

In the Classroom

Use this site whether you are discussing illness and viruses, socioeconomic factors that affect disease rates, or looking to offer a critical thinking exercise for your students. Have groups of students choose a continent. As a group, have them investigate the diseases, where they are concentrated, and the factors involved in the transmission. Students can share findings on posters or using a wiki or blog. For quicker projects, create electronic "posters" or word graphics using tools such as Piclits (reviewed here) or Typogenerator (reviewed here).

As the groups find information, they may find parallels to other group's work that can spark discussions between the groups. Through use of this site, encourage student groups to look beyond the biology of diseases to research living conditions in other areas of the world.

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Fire Prevention Week - National Fire Protection Association

Grades
2 to 12
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This collection, provided by the National Fire Protection Association is amazing. Here you will find fire prevention facts, products to help families stay safe, special materials for...more
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This collection, provided by the National Fire Protection Association is amazing. Here you will find fire prevention facts, products to help families stay safe, special materials for parents (and teachers, too), an online quiz for both students and families, and more! At the time of this review, the message for the year was "Protecting Your Families and Loved Ones From Fire." The approach, at the time of this review, is multimedia; in addition to the quiz, there are audio public service announcements, a blog, an upcoming webinar, and safety videos. For younger children, the familiar Sparky the Dog offers fun activities. Accompanying safety tip sheets benefit everyone, and a focus on high-risk populations assures you that everyone will have a fighting chance against fire.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): fire prevention (10), fire safety (11), homes (12)

In the Classroom

Try pair teaching after introducing the important facts available on this page. Have the first of a pair give the other student the facts and then have the second add to what the first has missed. Have your class make their own posters using this year's campaign logo. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Have your class create check sheets they can take home and do their own domestic assessment with. Ask if they know any members of the population that might be higher at risk for fires, and see if they can think of ways to make contact and help this group.
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3rd World Farmer - Frederik Hermund

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6 to 12
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This activity simulates some of the real-world mechanisms that cause and sustain poverty in 3rd World countries. You get to manage an African farm and are soon confronted with the ...more
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This activity simulates some of the real-world mechanisms that cause and sustain poverty in 3rd World countries. You get to manage an African farm and are soon confronted with the difficult choices that poverty and conflict can cause. Unlike typical interactives where it's always possible to prosper by playing cleverly and making the right choices, it is not always like that in 3rd World Farmer. Just as real people die from starvation in desperate situations that they are not responsible for, all it takes for things to go wrong in this activity is one bad harvest, an unfortunate encounter with corrupt officials, a raid by guerrillas, a civil war, a sudden fluctuation in market prices, or another random event that might never happen in industrialized countries. Begin by buying crops, place them in your fields, then continue on to the next steps. A short commercial plays when you enter the site and before access to the activity.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): africa (180), agriculture (55)

In the Classroom

Try this activity as a class on your interactive whiteboard (or projector), discussing choices and events that happen throughout the game. Allow individual students to try this activity and journal their experiences and the effect that events can have on farmers in 3rd world countries. Compare/contrast the effects of events on 3rd World farmers vs the same events in a student's life. Download a worksheet for students to record activities here.
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Maps of War

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9 to 12
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This site offers a collection of Flash presentations that illustrate geopolitical aspects of war and religion. It's an eclectic mix: one animation traces the spread of world religions...more
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This site offers a collection of Flash presentations that illustrate geopolitical aspects of war and religion. It's an eclectic mix: one animation traces the spread of world religions over time and over a world map. Another looks at the American death tolls associated with each U.S. conflict and associates the President and political party associated with each war. A third examines the various political entities that have held territory in the Middle East. Visually, the animations are fabulous, but in order to be more than good looking, they would need to be paired with significant teacher context-setting, which is not presented on the site. For example, what does it mean that there have been more U.S. casualties in wars under Presidents who were Democrats than in wars under Republican Presidents? That factoid is the subject of one of the animations. The creator of the site does not name him/herself, saying only that the animations are intended to be unbiased and factual.

tag(s): iraq (32), middle east (30), religions (61)

In the Classroom

The animations would be stunning on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and teachers doing a unit on world religions or trying to backfill a history of Iraq would find certain presentations very useful. Be sure to click "View Full Screen" to fill your projector or whiteboard screen. American history teachers could use the animation on U.S. wars and casualties as an overview. The animations can be streamed from the site, or the whole package can be downloaded for use locally. On the whole, however, the site still leaves questions: Why these topics? Despite claims to the contrary, is there a political message here somewhere? Be sure to open this discussion with your students, as well. Since the site has "professional looking" glitz, should we believe it without any knowledge of its creator? If not, how can we check its accuracy?
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News English Lessons - Sean Banville

Grades
4 to 12
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This site, created by Australian Sean Banville of "Breaking News English" (reviewed here), has high interest, "easier" news for students to read and...more
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This site, created by Australian Sean Banville of "Breaking News English" (reviewed here), has high interest, "easier" news for students to read and many teaching materials to go with them. Though the look of the site is cluttered with advertising and plain text, the content is worthwhile. Developed for ESL/ELL students and teachers, the site would also work well in a subject area, learning support, or reading classroom. There are MANY articles "ready to go," including mp3 audio files to listen to the articles. At the time of this review there were 200+ new additions! Each article includes several types of activities such as "online gap fill" (a Cloze reading activity), vocabulary flashcards, and hangman, and matching. A full script is available in pdf form. There is also an online, interactive quiz for students. The articles, and a lot more activities, can be downloaded and printed, too.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): diseases (66), listening (91), news (261)

In the Classroom

The articles are short and interesting, a perfect match for non-fiction reading comprehension. With so many different activities to choose from, it will be easy for the classroom teacher to differentiate. There is an mp3 audio version of each article so students can listen as they read. Assign small groups of students to present the news each week, using the interactive whiteboard to show others the country and city from which the article originated. Make the newscasting experience even more real by having students read scripts of these news stories or their own original stories using a Easyprompter, reviewed here. Students can then go to another news source such as "Mapeas" (reviewed here) and click on the country of origin to see what else is happening in the news there. For a project, have the small groups create a "talking map" using a site such as Woices (beta) (reviewed here). This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (where their article/story took place). What a fabulous way to share the article with the rest of the class!

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Newsmap - Marcos Weskamp

Grades
6 to 12
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There are times when a simple idea, augmented by the power of the 'Net,' can transform the way you look at something; this site represents one of those times. Using ...more
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There are times when a simple idea, augmented by the power of the 'Net,' can transform the way you look at something; this site represents one of those times. Using the Google News aggregator to compile a visual representation of the news, news headlines are coded by color into categories (world, nation, business, technology, entertainment, sports and health) and then sized according to the number of articles representing that headline. The result is a one-screen visual image of the moment's most important headlines (updated throughout the day). A simple click allows you to focus on just one category, switch to other nations' headlines, or search the news back in time. Clicking on the headline takes you directly to the story (not to the Google News page). Teachers should be cautioned: the site does not screen the stories, and some links may lead to sources that may not be appropriate for all ages.

tag(s): business (58), diseases (66), news (261), politics (99)

In the Classroom

A quick class warm up covering the news of the day is easy using this site. Use the different nation views to illustrate the relative importance of different issues to different people. Save the site in your favorites so students can keep up-to-date on the news independently. If you require current events presentations or summaries, this site provides a terrific place for students to get started. Share this on your interactive whiteboard or projector as students enter your classroom.
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School Digger - Schooldigger.com

Grades
K to 12
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This site has assembled statistical data about the best and worst schools, public and private, state by state. Besides ranking, the site compares schools by student test scores. It...more
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This site has assembled statistical data about the best and worst schools, public and private, state by state. Besides ranking, the site compares schools by student test scores. It also offers tons of other data about student and teacher make up. The school search feature is invaluable to parents who are contemplating moving their student to a different school, district, or area. Before moving, parents can check the school in the area and even find a list of homes for sale in the district.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): statistics (122)

In the Classroom

Refer visiting parents to this site when they make an initial school visit.

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Kids and Guns - Common Sense

Grades
5 to 12
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This site strives to present facts, news headlines, safety issues, gun information websites, and state by state information about gun safety and the dangers of guns in the home. Although...more
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This site strives to present facts, news headlines, safety issues, gun information websites, and state by state information about gun safety and the dangers of guns in the home. Although the site is definitely pro gun control, the presence of many fact pages and articles by reputable sources provides balance and objectivity.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): safety (91)

In the Classroom

Use this site when students are preparing to debate the controversial topic of guns. Have students work in cooperative learning groups and explore a portion of this site and then complete a multimedia project using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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I Rule Money - DoughMain

Grades
8 to 12
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This site offers informative 30 second videos to answer teens' questions on different financial matters related to their lives. Choose from categories such as credit and debt, housing,...more
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This site offers informative 30 second videos to answer teens' questions on different financial matters related to their lives. Choose from categories such as credit and debt, housing, cars, jobs, and more. Within each category are questions from typical teenagers with links to the video response. Banking & Loans questions include "How can I get a college loan," "Why do some ATM's charge me a fee to withdraw money," and other bank-related concerns.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): financial aid (12), financial literacy (80), money (193)

In the Classroom

Use these short videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector to introduce financial literacy topics in the classroom. Share videos with students as models then have them create their own 30 second video response to other financial topics discussed in class. Share the videos using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here.

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Science Daily - ScienceDaily LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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Looking for collection of current science research articles? This is your one stop shop! Science Daily is current, searchable, and interesting! Encompassing many, if not all, areas...more
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Looking for collection of current science research articles? This is your one stop shop! Science Daily is current, searchable, and interesting! Encompassing many, if not all, areas of science, this site could make your classroom science research easy. The major categories are: Health & Medicine, Mind & Brain, Plants & Animals, Earth & Climate, Space & Time, Matter & Energy, Computers & Math, and Fossils & Ruins.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (276), brain (72), climate (92), computers (95), data (148), earth (228), energy (198), fossils (44), matter (58), medicine (67), news (261), planets (123), plants (145), space (205), time (144)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a research tool or to provide practice reading informational texts in the content areas. Choose an article relevant to what you are teaching, post it on your website or wiki, and have your students discuss what the article means and how it made them think. Since the articles are heavy with text, you may want to have students work in small groups to read the article you have selected for them, and use a tool such as Mindmeister (reviewed here) or bubbl.us (reviewed here) to create a concept map of the important ideas and their details for the article. Each article has several related links. Have each group choose a different one to explore, and create a concept map to share on your interactive whiteboard or projector so all can benefit from the related articles. Once created, the concept maps can be posted as links or embedded on your teacher website or wiki for review and to share with parents. If the text of the articles is simply too challenging without some "before reading" help, show students how to preview it using WordSift, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Science IQ - Science IQ. com

Grades
8 to 12
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This website features answers to new science questions everyday. If the simple answer is not enough for you, there are helpful links, and suggested additional reading if you would like...more
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This website features answers to new science questions everyday. If the simple answer is not enough for you, there are helpful links, and suggested additional reading if you would like a greater understanding of the concept. Even more information is available through using the categorized science facts found on the left side of the screen. Questions are also searchable by keyword. Subjects include: physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology, mathematics, geology, engineering, and medicine.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): area (66), carbon (21), carbon footprint (11), chemicals (40), coal (14), earthquakes (48), energy (198), engineering (125), fossil fuels (18), fossils (44), glaciers (14), machines (30), matter (58), moon (72), natural resources (59), ozone (10), ph (4), planets (123), prime numbers (31), pythagorean theorem (35), questioning (31), space (205), square roots (24), stars (61), sun (71), volume (45)

In the Classroom

Try using this site's questions on a weekly or daily basis in science or math class to start discussions and provoke student thinking. Allow students to view the question on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then brainstorm possible answers. Once enough thoughts have been seeded, share the real answers. Or, allow students to work at the answer as the lesson continues for a few days and reveal the correct answer as a finale to the lesson.

This site could also be used as a learning station for the question of the day or the week.

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Flu Trends - Google

Grades
4 to 12
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This site shows graphs of flu cases in the U.S., and with an easy click, allows students and teachers to check similar graphs in countries around the world. At the ...more
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This site shows graphs of flu cases in the U.S., and with an easy click, allows students and teachers to check similar graphs in countries around the world. At the time of this review, the graphs were updated through 2009. Google uses aggregated data to make the flu trend data into graphic form. In an accompanying narrative, Google suggests that people who search for flu trends are often suffering from flu themselves. The site also compares the data Google collects and the published data from each country's health services.

tag(s): graphic organizers (43), medicine (67)

In the Classroom

Use this site when teaching graph reading and also data collection presentation when students are doing research. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on graphic organizers on a projector or interactive whiteboard. The site includes an active graph that adds data by time period as students view it. To show what they have learned from this site, challenge students to create a different type of online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here. Discuss with your students other types of data that Google might be able to collect in a more up-to-date manner than public agencies.
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Earth Pulse: State of the Earth 2010 - National Geographic

Grades
5 to 12
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What exactly is the state of the Earth now (well, 2010)? Learn from topics such as "Crowding Our Planet," "Satisfying Our Demands," and "Straining Our Resources." Read about focus stories,...more
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What exactly is the state of the Earth now (well, 2010)? Learn from topics such as "Crowding Our Planet," "Satisfying Our Demands," and "Straining Our Resources." Read about focus stories, take an EarthPulse quiz, or view Vital Statistics. View impressive photos, read essays, and view a multitude of resources.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): ecology (135), population (60), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Use photos for students to develop their own point of view essays or suggestions to make the planet better for the future. Use focus stories to ask questions about sustainability, resources, and population. Search other areas of the web for better understanding of issues and our involvement in them (even if they are far removed from where we live.) Create conventional or multimedia presentations of the material for discussions and engagement of others within or outside the school community. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Create an awareness plan to teach other classes or members of the community about local and global issues.
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Important Dates and Events in History - Hisdates.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Find out what happened on any date in history with this informative site. Each event is listed with a short description. Historic events are listed chronologically from oldest to current...more
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Find out what happened on any date in history with this informative site. Each event is listed with a short description. Historic events are listed chronologically from oldest to current times. (Some dates are several pages long, be sure to click the "read more" link to continue to newer dates.) Information includes birthdays, discoveries, events, and more. Searches by specific years, months, and famous birthdays. You are able to add events and comments. Note that the general public can also add comments, so preview before projecting in class!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): calendars (44), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

Use this site to display an interesting "this day in history" on your interactive whiteboard or projector each day. Use as a resource for students to research events during historical time periods being studied in class. Create a scavenger hunt to review dates in history - give students a list of events and have students find them on the calendar. For a more in=depth experience, share TeachersFirst's Dates That Matter, then have students create their own set of Dates That Matter style question prompts and provide a "Why Does it Matter" response for one of the events found here. Share their student-created Dates That Matter in PowerPoint slides or using an online presentation tool.

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Learning to Give - Points of Light Institute

Grades
K to 12
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The goal of this site is to educate youth about philanthropy and giving their time and knowledge for the global good. To do this, they offer over 1400 free lesson ...more
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The goal of this site is to educate youth about philanthropy and giving their time and knowledge for the global good. To do this, they offer over 1400 free lesson plans for teachers, parents, and community leaders. Lessons are coded to state standards and can be searched by grade level, keyword, subject, or academic or philanthropy standard. Some lessons are geared toward private or religious schools and are clearly labeled as such. Lessons include subject, key concepts, vocabulary, objectives, materials needed, approximate time, procedures, extensions, handouts, and much more. An example of a grade 3-5 lesson would be Cool Kids Compost which explores responsible use of resources by gathering data about lunchroom waste. Don't let the concept of philanthropy keep you from exploring the site, there are many great classroom lessons available for all subjects.

tag(s): african american (113), animal homes (41), animals (276), charts and graphs (195), colonial america (107), communities (35), data (148), diversity (36), ecology (135), environment (317), heroes (24), money (193), recycling (57)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for all subject matters, search for subject and browse resources. Share with other teachers in your building or district including teachers of the arts. Get your students involved! Challenge cooperative learning groups to create a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here discussing one of the topics at this site.

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Environmental Graffiti - Chris Ingraham Brook

Grades
6 to 12
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Looking for interesting stories and tidbits about the environment and its inhabitants? Find information and facts at this blog. Click "Submit Your News" if you have interesting information...more
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Looking for interesting stories and tidbits about the environment and its inhabitants? Find information and facts at this blog. Click "Submit Your News" if you have interesting information that would be a good story. Find stories that can easily apply to any science subject.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): ecology (135), environment (317)

In the Classroom

Use these stories as writing prompts, prompts for further research, or sparks to learn about something new. Consider assigning students to find and share related information to share with the rest of their class. One idea for students to show they understand the consequences or implications of an article would be to have students write diary entries, in the first person, much the same as Diary of a Worm reviewed here. Have students publish their diary with Simplebooklet, reviewed here,to share with classmates and parents.
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