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Lincoln's 200th birthday coincides with Obama inauguration - The Earth Times

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6 to 12
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This website is essentially a news article highlighting the inauguration of Barack Obama (the first African-American president in U.S. history) and the celebration of the 200th birthday...more
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This website is essentially a news article highlighting the inauguration of Barack Obama (the first African-American president in U.S. history) and the celebration of the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln. This article compares the two American heroes. The theme of Obama's inauguration is Lincoln and how the two men are similar. Both took office during critical times in U.S. history, both faced huge challenges, both are from the state of Illinois, and both are known for their inspirational speeches.

tag(s): inauguration (11), lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

Share this article with your students. Have your class compare Lincoln and Obama. If they both had cellular phones, what do you think they might text to each other? Have students research the two men and then create a fictitious wiki that the men might have written back and forth to one another. Have students write their own articles comparing the two men.

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TeachersFirst: Lesson Ideas for Lincoln - TeachersFirst

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

tag(s): civil war (145), debate (45), lincoln (86), presidents (132)

In the Classroom

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

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NewsHour Extra Lesson Plan: What is the Role of Civil Disobedience - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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This site, affiliated with the PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, presents a lesson plan related to the history of civil disobedience. The site provides a short handout for students, and...more
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This site, affiliated with the PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, presents a lesson plan related to the history of civil disobedience. The site provides a short handout for students, and a more detailed summary for teachers to prepare for discussion on civil disobedience and its role in creating change. There is also a collection of historical quotes focused on the issue, including the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., Henry David Thoreau, and Bishop Desmond Tutu. You need Acrobat Reader to print the quotes and other downloadable documents. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil rights (123)

In the Classroom

Encouraging students to think of disobedience (of any kind) as a positive force for change will delight some students and confuse and trouble others. Depending upon their age and their intellectual and moral development, teachers should be prepared for these varied reactions. Although there is brief mention in the lesson plan of Cindy Sheehan, the anti-war protestor, there is no discussion of other contemporary issues related to terrorism, freedom versus security, or privacy. Teachers should also be prepared to have these topics enter the discussion. The historical quotes would make good bulletin board fodder or discussion (either verbal or written) prompts. Maybe try one on your class blog!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Google Trends - Google

Grades
6 to 12
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Want a concrete indicator of public curiosity and concerns from the source they use most? Try Google Trends (formerly known as Google Zeitgeist). This simple tool tells what people...more
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Want a concrete indicator of public curiosity and concerns from the source they use most? Try Google Trends (formerly known as Google Zeitgeist). This simple tool tells what people are searching most on Google (country by country), correlating it to the news and other major dates. Click on the year trends to view all of them and click on those of interest to you. Or scroll down the landing page instead to see the big headline makers of the year. For example, use the 2008 summary to see the spikes in certain Google searches connected with events during the 2008 U.S. political campaigns. Get a quick snapshot of popular culture "hot topics" or personal concerns during tough economic times, simple by seeing what people are searching on Google. If you are trying to build world-awareness and 21st century learners in your classroom, keep Google Trends handy to spark discussion and curiosity.

tag(s): consumers (21), politics (100)

In the Classroom

Teachers of gifted will want to share this as a must-read site, but all students would benefit from hypothesizing about the world trends that generate Google searches. Share this resource on your teacher web page or classroom computer for handy access. As you discuss current events, government, politics, of even consumer behavior, use Zeitgeist to ask questions: Why are people searching this now? What did people in other countries search while Americans were focused on Sarah Palin or bank bailouts? Show a Trends listing on your projector or interactive whiteboard and simply ask the question: Why? Challenge students to discuss possible reasons for what they see in small groups or in blog posts. Use a Trends finding as a prompt for a debate or essay in English class. Use the trends as indicators of consumer behavior for discussions in business or FCS classes. Use search wordings from other countries in your world language classes to sharpen awareness of cultural differences and similarities.

Just ask WHY? and watch your students leap to higher level thinking as you challenge them to prove it with other findings from the web or research.

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The Mint: Fun Financial Literacy Activities for Kids, Teens, Parents and Teachers - Northwestern Mutual Foundation

Grades
6 to 12
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Economics and the stock market have taken center stage since the crises of 2008. This site provides a nice overview of the world of personal investment including sections on earning,...more
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Economics and the stock market have taken center stage since the crises of 2008. This site provides a nice overview of the world of personal investment including sections on earning, saving, spending, investing, giving, owing, safeguarding, and tracking. There are also a number of interactive features that can provide insight into the student's attitudes toward money. Online calculators help students understand how finance charges affect the "bottom line" for purchases bought on credit, and how saving in interest-bearing accounts can increase assets. The "Ideas for Teachers" link includes lesson plans and other tips for using the site in an educational setting. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): business (58), money (190)

In the Classroom

This site provides some great tools for use by students in a personal finance or "Real World" class, as well as information to supplement a discussion of economics or current events. You could also use it as a real world application of many math concepts or team teach middle school math and social studies together. Consider assigning the interactive quizzes as independent work, and using the topical overviews to accompany a lecture or class discussion. One drawback: the "sounds" that accompany mousing over your choices are very distracting. Consider turning down the sound (or hitting mute) on your computer if you use this site on an interactive whiteboard. Challenge students to write "financial" blogs offering advice, based on the information learned at this site. Or assign them to demonstrate competence with concepts such as per cent and interest by creating a financial advice column for a student online newspaper.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Held accountable - New York Times

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6 to 12
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The lesson plans are frequently updated; include McRel standards, links to more information, and lots of detail! ...more
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The lesson plans are frequently updated; include McRel standards, links to more information, and lots of detail!

tag(s): africa (180), black history (62), civil war (145), lincoln (86), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

Teachers can pick and choose easily from among several strands of thought among these lesson plans, either to supplement a unit on the Civil War, for use during Black History observations, or in an English class focused on story telling and personal voice. It could also provide interesting materials for reading comprehension practice using content area materials. All the plans follow a pretty regular format: link to the Times article, read it and discuss, but this kind of break from the use of a standard textbook can be refreshing. Many plans include a vocabulary list, ideas for extension activities and focus on making the lesson as interdisciplinary as possible. As you celebrate Presidents Day (especially Lincoln's 200th birthday in 2009), check out this site for Lincoln resources!

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On This Day - New York Times

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6 to 12
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The New York Times offers this glimpse back into history in this daily feature. Events may be national or international, and frequently refer to contemporaneous Times coverage. The...more
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The New York Times offers this glimpse back into history in this daily feature. Events may be national or international, and frequently refer to contemporaneous Times coverage. The site also lists "famous" birthdays, copies of previous New York Times, and links to lesson plans (mainly current events).

tag(s): news (265)

In the Classroom

Try this one for a daily "historical current events" sampling. Take advantage of the "ready to go" lesson plans, which include interactive features.

This site also makes for decent research. For a classroom-ready activity each day to build understanding of historical events in the context of your students' prior knowledge, also try TeachersFirst's Dates That Matter. Include both links on your teacher web page for instant access by students both in and out of class. Maybe start a class wiki for your own "This Day" collection and assign student groups a day of their own. Add to it from year to year. Or have students write blog responses on class or individual blogs as they choose an event for the day from several sources and react to it.

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Gallup Daily - Gallup, Inc.

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1 to 12
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The Gallup Daily offers detailed information about elections, current events, video clips, and much more. There are also graphs and statistical information. Some of this site...more
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The Gallup Daily offers detailed information about elections, current events, video clips, and much more. There are also graphs and statistical information. Some of this site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): elections (78), statistics (124)

In the Classroom

Use this site to share current events with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Study the statistics of the election in your math class. Have a mock election in your class, analyze the results of your class election using graphs and statistics.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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5 Sources for Free and Legal Images - The Blog Herald

Grades
K to 12
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These five sources provide Creative Commons images and videos for use in your blog/wiki/web site LEGALLY. Model your ethical use of media by sharing these with your blogging...more
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These five sources provide Creative Commons images and videos for use in your blog/wiki/web site LEGALLY. Model your ethical use of media by sharing these with your blogging students or using them on your whole-class blog or wiki. The sources include abstract photos and current events new stories, as well as general photos. Each has its own search/browse features. The services include: Voxant Newsroom, PicApp, GumGum, Zemanta, and PhotoDropper.

tag(s): blogs (90), images (275)

In the Classroom

Since each site has its own directions, our review team will not explain the how-to's of each here. Some require access to install a plug-in on your blog, such as wordpress. Many school blogging sites do not provide this access. Others permit embedding an image simple by copy/pasting code into your blog or wiki. Two are actually extensions you add to Firefox or Internet Explorer and may require tech department authorization or installation on school computers.

If you do allow students to join a site, be sure to adhere to school policies. As always, we recommend previewing the content available on each site before recommending it to your students. These images sites are NOT education-only, so some image content may not be classroom-appropriate. Have a policy and consequences in place before turning your students loose.

Art teachers or writing teachers can use the abstract images from the GumGum option as writing prompts or to launch discussion on design principles. If your students have individual blogs, allow them to personalize the "look" using these legal images. Be sure to model thinking aloud about why you are using a legal image source. Use news images or videos from Vixant Newsroom as prompts for current events discussions on your blog or wiki, or assign students to select a news story and write an in-depth analysis of it to accompany the image/video. English or social studies teachers teaching persuasive writing can assign students to use their multimedia skills as they present arguments both verbally and visually on a class "issues" wiki. Younger students can help select images to include on a whole-class wiki or blog then add their own writing about them. A teacher can embed a sequence of photos and ask student to tell the story that explains it. Be sure to include this link on your teacher web page for your tech-savvy teens to use as they generate projects with LEGAL images. Of course you will require them to document their sources.
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Gapminder World - Gapminder

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6 to 12
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Use Gapminder World (with no login required) to see how countries vary and change over time in economics, health, and environment. Click the MAP tab as a good place to ...more
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Use Gapminder World (with no login required) to see how countries vary and change over time in economics, health, and environment. Click the MAP tab as a good place to start. Follow all trends and click play to animate the country bubbles through a timeline. Click on a specific bubble (country) to follow through time. Each axis of the graph can be customized for a large number of combinations. Video tutorials and a pdf of directions are available. Share your chart through the use of a link or take a snapshot of your screen using print screen functions. There is also this page of help and ideas specifically for teachers. Be patient. This site has a lot of information to load, so you may have to wait a bit!

tag(s): countries (78), environment (321)

In the Classroom

Be sure you and your students begin by "playing" with the controls to figure out the many tools available on this dynamic site. Be sure to peruse by this page of ideas specifically for teachers. Use this site to generate questions from students for continued research in health, environmental, and civics topics that students will relate to. Manipulate each axis (using pulldowns) to create a dynamic graph and follow all or a few of the countries (bubbles). Questions resulting from the graph can be used to define research leading to further understanding. Have students obtain background information that can lead to further research on social issues in the U.S. and around the World or use this tool as part of oral/visual presentations comparing countries and cultures. Be sure to use your interactive whiteboard or projector.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Stormpulse - Stormpulse

Grades
6 to 12
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Scroll through the earth to watch the current paths of tropical storms/hurricanes. View satellite imagery, news, up to date coastal weather, or view storm archives from 1850 to present....more
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Scroll through the earth to watch the current paths of tropical storms/hurricanes. View satellite imagery, news, up to date coastal weather, or view storm archives from 1850 to present. This is not considered an actual weather source but is an aggregate of information on storms. Probabilities of storms and hurricanes are given, based upon weather movement. This interactive site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): hurricanes (40), weather (194)

In the Classroom

Watch storm movement and predict potential path. Use archives to determine common paths, areas where storms are more prevalent, change in numbers of hurricanes in different decades, etc. Use this site as a springboard for further research and better understanding of causes of hurricanes, factors that change the movement, destruction from hurricanes, or how best to prepare for hurricanes. Students can create traditional (poster, bulletin board) or multimedia presentations (newscasts, wiki, blog) on storms or even "create" a mythical storm of the future that follows predictable patterns, documenting it on a class weatherwiki.
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The Online NewsHour Extra: Video Clipboard - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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Are you looking for a new way to get your students excited about current events and the news? This site (a new feature of the PBS NewsHour) provides daily (Monday ...more
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Are you looking for a new way to get your students excited about current events and the news? This site (a new feature of the PBS NewsHour) provides daily (Monday - Friday) video blogs. The blogs come complete with a video clip, summary, quotes, thinking questions, and more. (Don't miss the link to "How to Use this" with tips for downloading veido in advance of your class and how to use it). Video topics relate to current events but extend back into background that lead up to today's events. Some of the "extras" include transcripts, printables, and the ability to post comments. If you post a comment, you must provide your name, city, state, and email address. BE CERTAIN to check your school's Acceptable Use Policy and obtain parental permission before allowing students to comment on the video blogs.

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. The videos require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): news (265)

In the Classroom

Share these video blogs with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector as you discuss current events and related issues. Share this link on your class web page as an option for weekly current events articles you require from students. Take advantage of the free resources (quotes, warm up questions, discussion questions, printables, and other resources). If you teach reading or are working to help learning support students build comprehension, you will find terrific passages for teaching comprehension, inferencing, summarizing, and more, all with meaningful news stories as the focus. If your school's Acceptable Use Policy allows, have students post their own comments to the video blogs. Another idea: have your students create their own wiki about current events in local and/or national news. Invite students to create their own multimedia packages using video clips and their own text to explain an issue and its history.
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Screencast-o-matic - Big Nerd Software

Grades
4 to 12
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Use this simple and free tool to create a video recording of your screen to upload and share on a teacher web page, wiki. blog, etc.. This is an easy ...more
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Use this simple and free tool to create a video recording of your screen to upload and share on a teacher web page, wiki. blog, etc.. This is an easy way to create a tutorial from your own computer screen. When you visit sites that have tutorials on how to use their software, you are looking at a screencast. Use this site to give specific directions on how to use different applications in and out of the classroom. Audio is not necessary for the screencasts but may be beneficial, depending upon the tutorial. An example can be found here.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): tutorials (48)

In the Classroom

Users will need to know how to use whatever computer software, website, or skill they are demonstrating. Following basic directions and managing browser windows or tabs are a must, as well as the managing settings of the computer being used. The site demonstrates how to troubleshoot problems on both PC's and Mac's.

Click "create" to start. As the screencast is being created, files will need to be written temporarily to the desktop. A security screen will pop up that asks to run the application. You will be asked to "trust" or "not trust" the security certificate. Depending upon your school's Acceptable Use Policy and computer security settings, you may not be able to complete these steps. Choose the screen size when played and whether audio will be needed (audio can be tested here as well, which is recommended: settings may need to be adjusted for different microphones.) Open a new tab or browser window and enter the web address of the site (or software) that will be the subject of your screencast. Drag the black frame by clicking the line and dragging it in order to choose what will be recorded during the screencast. The microphone icon has a green bar that shows recording levels. A green arrow showing instead of a green bar denotes that sound is not being captured. The red button is used to start recording while the black "X" stops the recording. Once you stop recording, click on your screencast tab or browser window and preview your recording. You can then either upload or discard your screencast. At this point you can create an account easily. Save your screencast to a channel of your own. Use the embed code to place your screencast into a blog, wiki, or other site. You can also use a widget code to embed the screencast player into a website. Screencasts can then be made from your other site and will save directly to your screencast channel. Screencasts can be set to different levels of privacy and comments can be turned on or off.

Teachers who must request certificate approval by tech staff may want to try this tool at home and create some sample projects to convince administration of its educational value. Unless checked to turn off comments, this site will allow comments on your work. Many districts prohibit such interaction and steps should be taken to prohibit commenting from others. When using the widget, the tool does not attribute work to specific students. You may wish to have the students identify their work while creating the screencast. Screencasts will only be able to be viewed when using an embed code in a site, wiki, or blog. By marking the screencast "searchable," it can be available to the public. Recently created screencasts do not appear on the home page of screencast-o-matic. Students are able to self-register, but you may want to keep a record of logins and passwords for students who forget.

Make how-to demos for instructions on using and navigating your class home page, class wiki or blog, or other applications you wish the students to use in creation of classroom content. By narrating how you want students to navigate through a certain site or section, you can eliminate confusion, provide an opportunity for students to use the information as a refresher for the future, and maintain a record for absent students. Software demonstrations add an increased flexibility with helping students who need it while allowing students to begin and work at their own pace. Added audio is a great asset for many students including learning support and those who might need to access the material in smaller "chunks." Use this site for students to give "tours" of their own wiki or blog page. The presentation of their web-based projects and resources can be more engaging. Use screencasts to critique or show the validity of websites, identify a resource site they believe is most valuable, or explain how to navigate an online game. Challenge your gifted students to create a screencast as a final project rather than a more traditional project. Social studies teachers could assign students to critique a political candidate's web page using a screencast. Reading/language arts teachers could have student teams analyze a web site to show biased language, etc. For a powerful writing experience, have students "think aloud" their writing choices as the record a screencast of a revision or writing session. You will probably need to model this process, but writing will NEVER be the same! Math teachers using software such as Geometer's Sketchpad could have students create their own narrated demonstrations of geometry concepts as review (and to save as future learning aids). Teachers at any level can create screencasts to demonstrate a computer skill or assignment, such as for a center in your classroom or in a computer lab. Students can replay the "tutorial" on their own from your class web page and follow the directions.

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mapdango

Grades
4 to 12
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This online mapping tool is really a "mash-up" (online technology combo) of many tools that allows you to see various cities and countries throughout the world. The site is powered...more
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This online mapping tool is really a "mash-up" (online technology combo) of many tools that allows you to see various cities and countries throughout the world. The site is powered by GoogleMaps, but clicking on Map opens up other content. There is a "place of the day" offered daily. In addition to showing the location on the map, there are photos, news stories, current weather conditions, articles about the location, events happening in the area, videos (powered by YouTube), and demographic information about the area. There is a link on the top of the page, Countries , as well as a search box to search by location name. Note that the "Social" link leads to many social tools possibly inappropriate for the classroom. Since much of the content is designed for the general public, it is s good idea to preview places you plan to "feature" in class.

Be aware: this site also has advertisements for books for sale. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): map skills (82)

In the Classroom

Navigating the site is fairly easy. Manipulate the map as you would on Google Maps (zoom, drag, etc). Simply click to read the articles, weather reports, and view the photos or video clips (teacher-previewed, of course). Use this fabulous site as an addition to your geography class or as a reference when looking up ANY world location from current events, literary settings, and more. Take your students virtually to a new location every day! Share the site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge students to write a blog as a native from the highlighted country. In world language classes, have students plot a trip or write an imaginary story of their dream trip to Spain, Mexico, France, China (or whatever country/language they are studying). Take your students on a virtual trip to the native countries where the language is spoken. Have your ESL or ELL students take the class on a virtual tour of their home country.

For a more extensive project, have your students work on "building up" the Mapdango resources available for your area using the various tools that Mapdango draws upon. Of course, you will need to work within school policies to access these tools. Add more pictures to Panoramio, contribute more detailed articles to wikipedia, etc. Be sure to include the link to YOUR town's Mapdango entry on your class web page!

Safety/Security Concerns: Registration is required to use the social features, but they are not necessary for "exploring" a location. Make sure you have a clear class policy and consequences regarding the social features of the site. This site is so rich in information that it is a good one to use to teach ethical and safe use of web resources, especially how to avoid non-essential portions of a good site.
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After the Deluge - Smith Magazine

Grades
6 to 12
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This issue of Smith Magazine features an online graphic novel of the events of Hurricane Katrina and its effects on New Orleans and related communities. Since there are very few ...more
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This issue of Smith Magazine features an online graphic novel of the events of Hurricane Katrina and its effects on New Orleans and related communities. Since there are very few words, it's perfect for students of all ages and English ability levels. The drawings are in chronological order and include weather pictures and before and after pictures, as well as specific events of the hurricane.

Warning: Be sure to PREVIEW each section before you show it to the class since there is some profanity in the speech of some characters.

tag(s): graphic novels (7), hurricanes (40), novels (24)

In the Classroom

In light of the increase of hurricane activity, this is a wonderful resource to introduce this weather topic. Use it also in art class, graphic design, and with ESL and ELL students learning to tell stories. Use this site to introduce the world of graphic novels to students who are reluctant readers. Have your class make their own graphic novel about another catastrophic or historical event, either in groups or individually. Check with your administration to be sure it's OK to use this site at student computers since there are spaces for students to respond and also to submit their own work. If that's a problem, use it with your classroom computer and project the novel on the whiteboard (avoiding scenes with questionable vocabulary). Extend the lesson by having students create their own collaborative graphic account of a local history event or fictional tale in small groups.

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Hurricane Hunters Association - Hurricane Hunter Association

Grades
4 to 12
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Hurricane Hunters is a resource to find photos and data from past hurricanes. Hurricanes and data are archived by year. Find photos from above a hurricane with logs and information...more
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Hurricane Hunters is a resource to find photos and data from past hurricanes. Hurricanes and data are archived by year. Find photos from above a hurricane with logs and information from the planes that follow the storms. Research more information about science and meteorology by using the multitude of links provided. Real time data of current storm conditions in the world are available on the website. View spectacular photos in the "Photos" section or click on "Questions" to read the most often asked questions and their answers. In the "Questions" is a link to a cyberflight that walks through the before, during, and after of a Hurricane Hunter flight. This site is mostly text and pictures.

A link to a "Hurricane Hunters Gift shop" is found on the main page and students should be advised to avoid such an advertisement. The site requires Flash for storm updates. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): hurricanes (40), weather (194)

In the Classroom

Compare numbers of hurricanes of various years. Plot locations, and storm paths on the same chart (or in Google Earth) to determine the origination point and landfall or end point of the hurricanes to draw conclusions. Use the information to determine the physical characteristics of the hurricanes (instead of looking them up in an encyclopedia). Determine the areas of the world where hurricanes occur in order to understand factors responsible for hurricane formation. Have students track a current hurricane and use information learned on this site to predict the spot where it will make landfall and provide reasoning for their choice.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Open Book Scenarios - Teaching Australia

Grades
K to 12
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This professional resource offers a possible look (scenarios) into the future of education. This site is a good illustration of the fact that teachers all around the world are aware...more
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This professional resource offers a possible look (scenarios) into the future of education. This site is a good illustration of the fact that teachers all around the world are aware of the changes that are necessary in education to respond to new technologies and globalization. The goal of the scenarios is to look at the possible education system in Australia in 2030. The creators narrowed down the futuristic world into four categories/scenarios. The first scenario offers a tolerant and harmonious society. The second scenario depicts a highly competitive world. Scenario three represents the society as polarized. The final scenario shows a world violent and fractured. The seeds of each of the possible societies are visible today. The scenarios demonstrate the importance of engaging with change and how THAT creates your ability to anticipate issues in the future, raise awareness, and create change! Click on Teaching for Uncertain Futures to view the book in its entirety. The links require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): australia (35)

In the Classroom

Teacher ed institutions and graduate classes you are taking on contemporary issues in education may want to explore these scenarios for discussion. Even high school classes exploring careers or trends in current events may discuss the reshaping of education over the next 20+ years as today's high schoolers become tomorrow's teachers. Teachers of Gifted working with forecasting and futures will find this an interesting model.

Any teacher planing to remain in the profession will want to think about how these scenarios might affect YOUR classroom in some way in the near future.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Behind the News - ABC News Australia

Grades
6 to 12
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This site presents an oral and visual summary of weekly news stories from Australia. Transcripts of the broadcasts are also available. Look at the new stories, but also enjoy the ...more
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This site presents an oral and visual summary of weekly news stories from Australia. Transcripts of the broadcasts are also available. Look at the new stories, but also enjoy the archives. The Teacher Zone page includes worksheets and other suggestions of ways to use the stories for learning. The Student Zone shows videos and still photos of related news stories submitted by other students. There are also quizzes, polls, and other features..

Be aware, although most of this site is free, there are a few items (for example, CDs) that are for a fee. This site opens slowly and requires a FAST Internet connection. This site requires Flash and Windows Media Viewer. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): australia (35), news (265), point of view (9)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a way to teach point of view and bias in news reporting. Have students compare the Australian broadcast on topics that are also covered by U.S. media. How do the presentations of the main points differ? Have your students rewrite an American news story from what they think the Australian point of view might be. Use this site when teaching current events or world cultures, particularly Oceania. If you have technically-capable students, have them create annotated, side-by side comparisons using multimedia/video software and clips from these and American broadcasts (with appropriate citations, of course).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Play the News Game - Impact Games

Grades
9 to 12
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In this current events activity, students (or all members of your class working together) choose current news events and assume character roles. After viewing the latest hot event in...more
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In this current events activity, students (or all members of your class working together) choose current news events and assume character roles. After viewing the latest hot event in the particular news item and reading some background, students (or your class) assume one of the characters' roles. They must make decisions, consult advisers, hone predictions, and make choices to steer tomorrow's news today. They can come back later to compare their predictions to what happened with the situation in the real news. Thus current events are no longer isolated factoids but become dynamic processes. News topics vary greatly and can include violence and other ugliness happening in the world today. Preview carefully before recommending a game to students, depending on the standards of your school community. Some topics include actual violence occurring in the world. Topics cover world news, U.S. politics, technology, and even entertainment. At one time, there are up to 20 news "games" going on. Players can see what other players have decided. Some games are closed; that is, their decisions are final. Members (your class as a whole?) also gain rank and opinion rating depending on how active they are on the website and how their opinions compare to those of the mainstream. As of this review, this site is still in "beta." This site requires Flash 9 or newer. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

To use many features of the site, you must create a membership (requires email). There are many "social" features within the site that make it a potential safety issue if all students are allowed to use it on their own. See ideas for handling these concerns below.

tag(s): news (265)

In the Classroom

Try this site as a regular part of your secondary discussions on current events or choose selected "games" that connect with your current curriculum topic. For example, explore stories from African nations as you study world cultures in Africa.

Classroom teachers will want to start by conducting this activity using a whole-class account (use your "extra" email account to create a single account, monitored by you). Use the game to facilitate discussion and build students' global citizenship by allowing them to make choices and see the results. Be sure to talk about the line between fantasy and reality: which parts of these games have actually happened and which are part of the "game" hypotheses. Include the link on your teacher web page for students to access both in and out of class if you believe they are ready to handle it on their own. Check your school policies on allowing students to participate in online decision making and sharing, and obtain written parent permission before individual students are allowed to log on. As an alternative for students who may not have permission, you can pose some of the same questions and provide newspaper and news magazine articles for background. But you know which tool your students will prefer!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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English as a Second Language Podcast - Center for Educational Development

Grades
6 to 12
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These up to date podcasts of high interest differ from other podcast sites: the language used and the speed of delivery are simpler and slower. ESL and ELL students will ...more
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These up to date podcasts of high interest differ from other podcast sites: the language used and the speed of delivery are simpler and slower. ESL and ELL students will readily comprehend the podcasts and learn new vocabulary in context. Difficult vocabulary is explained. Summaries of each podcast on the opening webpage provide the main content and pedagogical focus. The podcasts on this site are free; students can listen to them directly from the web, download to a local computer, or place on an MP3 player. Each podcast does contain a brief advertisement for other purchasable features, including Learning Guides, complete transcripts, cultural information, and vocabulary assistance. Be sure to preview the podcasts before sharing them with your students to ensure age appropriateness. Topics are generally for older students or adults. If you download the podcasts to the computer, you will need Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): listening (92), podcasts (55), vocabulary (325), vocabulary development (125)

In the Classroom

Have your ESL and ELL students listen and write their own summaries in groups or independently. Or ask them to write comprehension questions and answers to check their own understanding and challenge classmates. Have them compare information from the podcast to information on the same subject from other sources. Challenge students to present a one-minute summary. Have them prepare their own podcasts using the same format on subjects of their choice.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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