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Teachable Moment - Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility

Grades
K to 12
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Teachable Moments provides lesson ideas and plans for "just in time" events happening around the world. All of the activities foster a positive classroom environment and focus on critical...more
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Teachable Moments provides lesson ideas and plans for "just in time" events happening around the world. All of the activities foster a positive classroom environment and focus on critical thinking. Lessons can be found for elementary, middle, and high school students. Lessons contain some combination of text, links, video, and audio. Some lesson plans available at the time of this review included Islam and Islamaphobia, Just How Broken is the Senate, and many others. All lessons are presented in a "standard" lesson plan format and provides the time needed for each portion of the lesson. The offerings can also help misinformed or alarmed students to better understand events in a context appropriate for their age, unlike the screaming headlines they may hear on the television or elsewhere on the web.

In the Classroom

This site will fit perfectly into any social studies, history, or current events class. Use the lessons to discuss important events that are happening right now. Several of the lessons have links to video so use them with an interactive whiteboard or projector. In addition to lessons on current events, use the essays and ideas on teaching strategies to improve your teaching skills. Teachers of gifted will appreciate this site to help their students who are often well beyond their years in their concern over news events.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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TeachersFirst's Oil Spill Resources - TeachersFirst

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3 to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about oil spills and the short and long term impact on the environment caused...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about oil spills and the short and long term impact on the environment caused by these environmental disasters. As students read and see images of animals, be aware that younger students may have more questions than they can explain.

tag(s): disasters (39), environment (317), oil (45), oil spill (21)

In the Classroom

Use these resources together with your class to help students find ways they can contribute to a greater good after such a devastating event spreads across the news. Extend the opportunity to teach about persuasive writing (letters to legislators or the editor), careers in environmental science, and more.

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You Decide: Challenge Your Assumptions - WQED

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9 to 12
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Does it sometimes seem as though students come to class with their minds already made up about so many complex subjects? You Decide is a site that guides students through ...more
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Does it sometimes seem as though students come to class with their minds already made up about so many complex subjects? You Decide is a site that guides students through a reasoned approach to making decisions about timely topics. Because this site is designed for the general public, not just for an educational setting, not all the questions will be relevant for students, however, there are plenty of engaging debates. Each question asks students to take a stand first, and then consider relevant information that may influence their opinions. Some of the topics at this time of this review included: Green Jobs, College Costs, Government Spending, Underwater Mortgages, Own or Rent, Spend or Save, and several others. There is a discussion forum and then a series of links to further information presented for each topic.

tag(s): politics (99)

In the Classroom

Divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Have them choose a topic to explore and debate and then take turns using the resources provided to help build their arguments. A terrific component of this site is the ability to embed a widget into your classroom website that takes students directly to the site and one of its decision-making activities. You can also subscribe to an RSS feed that makes the widget update regularly. There is an archive of previous debates to explore. This site includes a forum/discussion board. Determine whether students may do this under your school's policies and whether forum submissions may display student names or initials. Then spell out both permissible use and consequences before you send students to this site. Some teachers obtain parent permission for students to participate in such a site. You may want to participate in the forum/discussion board as a class, using your own login.

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TeachersFirst's September 11 Resources - TeachersFirst

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2 to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help students understand the events of September 11, 2001, and to plan lessons or discussions so students can...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help students understand the events of September 11, 2001, and to plan lessons or discussions so students can see the events of September 11 in connection with history, current events, and the challenges and balances of national security. Whether you stop to observe September 11 separately from your regular curriculum or include it through curricular connections to writing and social studies topics, these resources can help today's students imagine the events of a day before their memory but ever present in the American consciousness.

tag(s): terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

Include one or more of these sites as your observe September 11 in your classroom or make the link available on your class web site for students who ask about the events of this pivotal day. You will find many specific project or class activity ideas within the reviews themselves.

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PWSRCAC - PWSRCAC

Grades
K to 12
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Prince William Sound Regional Citizen's Advisory Council provides a free curriculum that is geared toward teaching about oil and oil spills. While this curriculum is about Alaska's...more
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Prince William Sound Regional Citizen's Advisory Council provides a free curriculum that is geared toward teaching about oil and oil spills. While this curriculum is about Alaska's Exxon Valdez oil spill, the information would be very helpful in teaching about other oil spills in recent news. It would be a great place to help develop lessons where students compare and contrast two spills, their magnitude and their effects on the environment.

tag(s): environment (317), oil (45), oil spill (21)

In the Classroom

Use the whole curriculum in environmental science classes or pick and choose pieces that you want to incorporate into your curriculum. Have students research and understand about oil spills in general using this tool, and then have students expand by comparing and contrasting the Exxon spill to the BP spill in 2010. Have students create Venn Diagrams using a tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare these two spills or other oil spills.

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Lesson Plan: Oil Spill Solutions - TryEngineering.org

Grades
8 to 12
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This classroom simulation of an oil spill encourages students to think about how engineers work to find fast but effective solutions to oil spills. There are PDF student handouts. ...more
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This classroom simulation of an oil spill encourages students to think about how engineers work to find fast but effective solutions to oil spills. There are PDF student handouts.

tag(s): environment (317), oil (45), oil spill (21)

In the Classroom

Introduce the concept by talking about current events such as the British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Provide students with the student worksheets. Have the students work through the laboratory, and debrief by having students discussion their answers to questions. Have students relate their solutions to attempts to clean up real life oil spills. Create a class wiki to discuss oil spills and clean-up options. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Mashpedia - Mashpedia

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6 to 12
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Use Mashpedia to search a vast array of different sources on your topic in one search. Enter your search phrase. View a wikipedia entry and links to related videos arranged ...more
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Use Mashpedia to search a vast array of different sources on your topic in one search. Enter your search phrase. View a wikipedia entry and links to related videos arranged as little video screens. Hover over the video to view the title. Scroll down the page to find other information on your topic such as: twitter posts, news, blog posts, information from websites, books, facebook comments, and images. View trending topics of the day or topics that are currently in the news.

tag(s): news (261)

In the Classroom

Use this site to find a wealth of information quickly and easily. Use trending topic for current events. View how the posts and website information changes daily for the trending topics. Be sure to instruct students how to correctly attribute and cite the actual source of the information being used.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Inventors and Their Inventions - Time Magazine

Grades
4 to 12
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Time Magazine presents 9 current inventors and their inventions. These little known inventors have created items that are familiar to many of us today - items include the sticky note...more
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Time Magazine presents 9 current inventors and their inventions. These little known inventors have created items that are familiar to many of us today - items include the sticky note (Post-It), a pizza box with perforated sections for plates, and a huggable pacifier. This slideshow is easy to use. Just click on the next button after each slide to find the next inventor.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (101)

In the Classroom

After presenting the slideshow on your interactive whiteboard or projector, ask students to create their own list of modern inventions that are in general use. Students can then research their inventors and how the invention came about. Have a "Create an Invention" Day where students design and build their own invention that would make their lives easier. Have students share their inventions and how they work on video. Share the videos using a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here). Another possibility is to include this slideshow in your study of the Industrial Revolution. Share TeachersFirst's interactive introduction to Inventors of the Industrial Revolution, and ask students to compare the circumstances around successful inventions today vs then.

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Climate Challenge - BBC

Grades
6 to 12
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In this interactive students pretend that they are the president of a European nation. The object of the "game" is to take on climate change and stay popular with voters ...more
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In this interactive students pretend that they are the president of a European nation. The object of the "game" is to take on climate change and stay popular with voters so they can stay in office. Students have to make decisions on what issues they will support and the local newspaper will let them know how the people are feeling. Students can even buy ads in the local paper to support their cause.

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

In the Classroom

This is a great site to help students better understand what is happening with climate change. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. This site is a good way to bring in the topic of climate change and how it is effecting the entire globe. This is also a great way to discuss the topic of political popularity. When students have finished the simulation, have them choose a topic to do more research on. Have them each write a news article and create a class newspaper on climate change. Teachers be sure to check out the Science Behind Climate Change. It provides information and additional links about climate change.
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TodaysMeet - James Socol

Grades
5 to 12
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This simple-to-use tool allows anyone with the link to today's discussion to participate in a live chat. A simpler and safer alternative to Twitter or text messaging, this tool allows...more
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This simple-to-use tool allows anyone with the link to today's discussion to participate in a live chat. A simpler and safer alternative to Twitter or text messaging, this tool allows anyone with the URL for a specific chat stream to join in, using short (140 characters) messages. Participants can be in the same room or across the globe. The only "skill" needed is being able to type! Save a transcript via the link at the bottom of the chat and switch to "projector-friendly" view with one click so a group can follow the chat on screen. TodaysMeet does not require a membership to access these features, but creating a free account with an email address unlocks more features to meet your needs. The free account allows you to archive your rooms for up to one year, and custom organization of your rooms is available for easy access. You can only archive rooms for up to one month without creating an account. Filter participants, moderate their content, and use speaker colors to take control of your rooms. A TodaysMeet account also offers three different QR code sizes to share access to your room as well as the ability to allow participants to download the transcript. TodaysMeet may be blocked through some web filters as a social media site.

tag(s): microblogging (44), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

No special skills needed except the ability to create a name for your chat and to share the URL with others. Create "room" by giving it a name; decide how long you want it to last; and add a Twitter hashtag (optional). The room name becomes part of the URL. For example, The room called tfedge has URL http://todaysmeet.com/tfedge. Give participants the room URL. They join in simply by entering a name (or initials, to keep it safe) and clicking Join.

Use backchannel chat on laptops during a video or student presentations. Pose questions for all to answer/discuss in the backchannel, or ask students to pose their own "I wonder if..." questions as they watch and listen. Keep every student engaged and THINKING as an active listener. The first time you use backchannel, you will want to establish some etiquette and accountability rules, such as respectful language and constructive criticism. Assign students to watch a news program or political show and have a backchannel chat during the broadcast. Revisit the chat on a projector in class the next day or post the chat transcript to a class blog or wiki and have students respond further in blog posts or on the wiki discussion tab. The advantage of backchannel chat is that every student has a voice, no matter how shy.

In world language classes or even autistic support class, have students backchannel descriptions of what they see as classmates act out a scene from a video, using new language vocabulary and/or describing the feelings of the actors. In studying literature, collaborate with another class to have students role-play a chat between two characters or - in history class - between soldiers on two sides of the Civil War or different sides of the Scopes Money trial. Make brevity an impetus for well-focused thoughts and use instantaneous response as an incentive for engagement.

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Oil Spill Lesson Plans and Resources - NOAA

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3 to 12
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Learn about the impact of oil spills. Use these lessons and information to compare the impact of spills past and present. The site provides details about cleaning up oil spills, ...more
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Learn about the impact of oil spills. Use these lessons and information to compare the impact of spills past and present. The site provides details about cleaning up oil spills, as well as the science of oil dispersal, how to clean animals, and more.

tag(s): disasters (39), oil (45), oil spill (21)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and classroom activities on this site! Be sure to save this site as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval later on. Students can select different aspects of oil spill cleanup and mitigation and play the role of experts in a mock blog post playing their role. Have students continue their role play by commenting on each other's posts.

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Prince William Sound: An Ecosystem in Transition - NOAA

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6 to 12
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Learn about the lasting impact of oil spills and how the environment does and does not recover, specifically from the Exxon-Valdez spill of 1989. Use this information to compare the...more
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Learn about the lasting impact of oil spills and how the environment does and does not recover, specifically from the Exxon-Valdez spill of 1989. Use this information to compare the impact of this spill to others past and present. The site provides details about the impact the spill had on the sound and wildlife, as well as how recovery has progressed over the years.

tag(s): environment (317), oil (45), oil spill (21)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a springboard for discussions about the environmental impact of oil spills and, in a broader sense, of human activity in general. Share some of the text portions on a projectir or divide up the site among different student groups. Have student groups explore various aspects of oil spills and report to the class, perhaps sharing visuals from this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students create a multimedia presentation using UtellStory, reviewed here. This tool allows for to narrating and adding text to a picture. Challenge students to find a photo of the oil spill, and then narrate the photo as if it were a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here.

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Oil Spill Crisis Map

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3 to 12
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Learn about the impact of oil spills, specifically the BP spill of 2010. Use this information to compare the impact of this spill to others past and present. The site ...more
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Learn about the impact of oil spills, specifically the BP spill of 2010. Use this information to compare the impact of this spill to others past and present. The site provides details about the land, animals and human health that have been negatively affected by the spill - all in map form.

tag(s): oil (45), oil spill (21)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a springboard for discussions about the environmental impact of oil spills and, in a broader sense, of human activity in general. Have student groups explore various aspects of the map, and report back to the class how the environment, wildlife, and humans in the area were affected. Have students use a tool such as Woices (beta) (reviewed here). This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place.

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Tracking the Oil Spill in the Gulf - NY Times

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6 to 12
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Follow the footprint of the Gulf Oil Spill 2010 in this interactive map. Use this information to compare the impact of this spill to others past and present. The site ...more
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Follow the footprint of the Gulf Oil Spill 2010 in this interactive map. Use this information to compare the impact of this spill to others past and present. The site provides details about mapping the spill, as well as the geographic range the spill has affected.

tag(s): oil (45), oil spill (21)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a springboard for discussions about the environmental impact of oil spills and, in a broader sense, of human activity in general. Use the map on the interactive whiteboard or projector to show students the physical location of the spill, as well as where the spill has had an immediate impact. For another view of the map, try this resource which allows you to superimpose the area effected onto your home town.

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Prince William's Oily Mess: A Tale of Recovery - NOAA

Grades
6 to 12
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"How does an ecosystem recover from a major one-time insult such as an oil spill?" This site provides details about the impact the Exxon-Valdez spill of 1989 on the environment, ...more
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"How does an ecosystem recover from a major one-time insult such as an oil spill?" This site provides details about the impact the Exxon-Valdez spill of 1989 on the environment, as well as how the recovery that has occurred in the area. Learn about the impact of oil spills, in general. Use this information to compare the impact of this spill to others past and present.

tag(s): environment (317), oil (45), oil spill (21), sound (101)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a springboard for current events or environmental science discussions about the environmental impact of oil spills and, in a broader sense, of human activity in general. Have student groups explore various aspects of oil spills and report to the class, perhaps sharing visuals form this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. As a class or in groups, collect oil spill information on a class wiki, GlogsterEDU (reviewed here) or good, old-fashioned bulletin board.

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Ifitwasmyhome - Ifitwasmyhome.com

Grades
3 to 12
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This site hosts an interactive map, along with bountiful information about the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill of 2010. The interactive map updates daily during the aftermath of the ...more
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This site hosts an interactive map, along with bountiful information about the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill of 2010. The interactive map updates daily during the aftermath of the spill, allowing users to chart the gradual growth of the spill in the Gulf Coast. It also allows users to "move the spill" to their hometown, providing a better perspective of how big the spill actually is. The information on the site is mostly specific to this spill, but there are connections to how wildlife has been affected by this and others like it in the past. Note the links on the bottom that host information about other spills, and the dramatic pictures of the wildlife suffering from the sludge. The images are graphic, so use with caution in an elementary classroom where students are apt to react strongly to images of animals suffering.

tag(s): oil (45), oil spill (21)

In the Classroom

This site and information it hosts are great at capturing two essential skills in Social Studies. To begin with, it's an excellent map reading source, especially to demonstrate regarding map distortions and how they can change the shape of something like a projected oil spill. It also highlights concerns about deep-sea drilling, a heavily contested topic, particularly after the oil spill of 2010. Both government and earth science classrooms could investigate aspects of drilling as real world topics related to the curriculum.

Introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard before allowing cooperative learning groups to explore, giving the teacher a chance to explain how the map works and what kind of information is on the site. Have cooperative learning groups explore the site and summarize important details, such as how people and wildlife are affected by environmental disasters. This would be a great review activity before a debate on deep-sea drilling. Classes can also chart the growth of the spill for a period of days to trace how much it changes, providing evidence for the debate. Government classes could use this and other references as part of a simulation on how the U.S. government reacts to environmental disasters and discussions of related policy issues. Younger students will need assistance reading some of the text-based material.

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Hulu - Hulu LLC.

Grades
K to 12
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This website is an up-to-date catalog of television shows, clips, cartoons and anything else that could be viewed on major television. No membership is needed to use this website. If...more
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This website is an up-to-date catalog of television shows, clips, cartoons and anything else that could be viewed on major television. No membership is needed to use this website. If you see something on television that you would like to use in your classroom, all you need to do is find it on here and you can show it in class via your television or interactive whiteboard. There are commercial television shows and some movies available on the site. Search by channel, recently added, TV or Movie, Trailers, or many other search options. Note: many schools may block this site to prevent student access to entertainment. Use it from home to find specific curriculum-related programs and request that those URLs be unblocked for class viewing.

In the Classroom

Use this to watch episodes of Glee in sociology class, and have student compare and contrast the television show with their real life high school experiences. Use science movies to reinforce concepts in class, or embed the codes given into your class website or wiki and assign television as homework! Have cooperative learning groups investigate a certain news story or current event and create multimedia presentations. Challenge students to create a video and share using a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).

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MIT World - Distributed Intelligence - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Grades
10 to 12
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Massachusetts Institute of Technology has provided a search-able, online video lecture database. Looking for up to date, current topics that would benefit older students? This is the...more
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Massachusetts Institute of Technology has provided a search-able, online video lecture database. Looking for up to date, current topics that would benefit older students? This is the site for you. Videos are categorized by content and the site is easy to navigate. The content is definitely usable with seniors in high school, and with preparation and proper questioning, could be used with slightly younger high school students. Gifted students can also find content at an advanced level through this site. See "real world" experts such as Bill Gates or noted thinkers such as Thomas Friedman on video -- sometimes more accessible to understand than reading text.

tag(s): money (193)

In the Classroom

Choose one of these videos and have students view it as a homework assignment. Or share some videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students participate in an online discussion or classroom discussion about the topic. Why not discuss the topics on your class wiki. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
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Timeglider - Mnemograph LLC

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Want an incredibly intuitive timeline software that can be used on the web and with more than on person? Use Timeglider as one of the best applications for the planning, ...more
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Want an incredibly intuitive timeline software that can be used on the web and with more than on person? Use Timeglider as one of the best applications for the planning, creating and sharing of history and other projects. You can simply look at timelines related to various topics in history or even current events. Or you can create your own timeline. Users grab the timeline and drag it in order to see different time periods and centuries. Create event spans that can overlap each other and create a greater understanding of how events can influence other events. Zoom out for a broader scope and view of time. Further enhancements will broaden the extent of the zooming capability. As it is web based, use this for collaboration among students. Enter the information for your first timeline including target year. After agreeing to terms, your timeline will open around your target years. Click the green arrow on your timeline box to edit parameters of your timeline and find the share/embed information. Use the mouse to drag along the timeline to a new area. Double click the space in the timeline to enter a title, description, time parameters, importance of the event, etc. or by clicking the "New event/image" tab. Import flickr photos, Wikipedia events, and more by clicking on the "Import" tab. Click on the wrench icon in the upper right for even more tools. Be sure if sharing to click "edit" to edit the timeline and make sure the "Make timeline public" box is checked. This will allow the timeline to be shared with others.

tag(s): timelines (62)

In the Classroom

Browse through the already created timelines and find a timeline sequence of articles on a specific topic. Social studies and science classes can trace current events over time or follow the changes that occur on a topic such as the latest research on cures for cancer or global warming.

Create timelines for any type of class in determining events that were important to its study. For example, discoveries associated with our understanding of the cell, events that shaped our understanding of environmental problems, events that shaped the Industrial Revolution, World Wars, Religion, etc. (Wow! This could go on and on!) Share the timeline on a wiki, blog, or site. Use for presentations on a whiteboard in front of the class for a great way to pace and deliver a presentation. Create a timeline for the teacher to show and then provide time for students to zone in on various areas of the timeline to add more information or find other events in to add to it. reate a class timeline highlighting your class's yearly events, units, assignments, and more.

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Stone - Leonardo da Vinci's Resume - Marc Cenedella

Grades
10 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
Are you looking for a novel way to inspire your students to write a resume, cover letter, or an application for college, a job, or internship? You will definitely seize ...more
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Are you looking for a novel way to inspire your students to write a resume, cover letter, or an application for college, a job, or internship? You will definitely seize their attention with this article, which includes and is based on Leonardo da Vinci's letter written in 1482 to the Duke of Milan, stating his capabilities and requesting to be considered for employment. Even 500 years later, this remarkable artist can teach us something about how to showcase our skills and qualifications to have potential employers and other competitive markets begging your students to choose them.

tag(s): college (43)

In the Classroom

Imagine projecting the museum image of Leonardo da Vinci's "resume" with its translation on your white board, to model for your class how one of the world's renowned geniuses might have earned his big break and got his foot in the door. Use it to identify how he "painted" his character traits and then, apply it as an inspiration for a unit on careers or business, or adapt the "resume" activity for classes studying famous and accomplished figures from history, including artists, musicians, writers, and political leaders. English classes would welcome this as a creative alternative to a book report or for a unique way to describe literary characters. Use a resume as a product for research on any famous person in a history or science class. As a new spin on current events or government, ask students to create a resume for any newsmaker. What would he/she promote as his/her greatest accomplishments?

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