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Election 2006 - New York Times

Grades
6 to 12
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Use a clickable national map to analyze the 2006 races for governor, senate, and house in all 50 states. See recent polling data, historical trends, and even predict outcomes to ...more
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Use a clickable national map to analyze the 2006 races for governor, senate, and house in all 50 states. See recent polling data, historical trends, and even predict outcomes to see their impact on Congress as a whole. You can save your "scenarios" for future reference. Note: you must join the New York Times online (FREE), a valuable resource for any classroom. You can make one account, and multiple computers can log in at once. Just don't forget your user name and password!

Although this resource was created for the 2006 election, the background information is valuable for teaching about elections in general and for comparing elections as part of U.S. history.

tag(s): elections (75), politics (99)

In the Classroom

This would be a great site to visit repeatedly throughout the ramp-up to the election. It would be terrific on an interactive whiteboard. You could also assign students to create their own log-ins and generate their own scenarios. based on their own research (encourage ownership!). Then compare their predictions with the actual results. Or role-play groups as they present their scenarios in Republican (or Democratic) National Committee budget meetings and decide strategies.

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Many Things.org Daily - Charles I. Kelly & Lawrence E. Kelly

Grades
4 to 12
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Part of "Interesting Things for ESL Students," this unadorned site changes daily and provides common slang (near the top of the page), idioms, or proverbs and definitions plus daily...more
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Part of "Interesting Things for ESL Students," this unadorned site changes daily and provides common slang (near the top of the page), idioms, or proverbs and definitions plus daily grammar quizzes. It also features an audio broadcast of a simplified news release backed up with archives (Click on links below Listening). Also available is a multilingual translating dictionary and access to three top search engines.

tag(s): grammar (216), idioms (44), news (261), slang (15), verbs (41)

In the Classroom

Use this to beef up vocabulary, to explore culture through idioms and proverbs, and for listening and discussion practice in response to news reports. Great to fill in 5 - 10 minutes at the beginning or end of classes! For the regular classroom teacher, this may provide an alternate way for ESL students to "study" current events. Be sure to mark it in Favorites on your classroom computer for these students to access (or place a shortcut on the desktop). Note: you need speakers for the audio!

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North Korea - CIA FactBook - CIA

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6 to 12
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The CIA's Factbook is pretty dry reading, but this site does provide some of the history of Korea, including the post-World War II division into North and South. There are ...more
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The CIA's Factbook is pretty dry reading, but this site does provide some of the history of Korea, including the post-World War II division into North and South. There are other facts about culture, government, and economy, but North Korea remains one of the world's least-known and least-understood nations. Could be a useful reference for discussion of current events or a research source for projects on countries.

tag(s): korea (15)

In the Classroom

Include this in your supplemental teacher links pages during a unit on Asia or Korea.

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War News Radio - Swarthmore College

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6 to 12
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Produced by a talented, well-trained group of college students, this online audio resource - available as podcasts, through RSS syndication, and on the web, presents detailed, well-researched...more
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Produced by a talented, well-trained group of college students, this online audio resource - available as podcasts, through RSS syndication, and on the web, presents detailed, well-researched short reports about the war in Iraq. Many segments include on-the-scene interviews with Iraqis and troops in the field. The site also includes a collection of background reports, like "Iraq 101" that help provide context for the reporting

tag(s): blogs (88), iraq (32), terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

Try this one as a current events source for personalized, less sensational reports on events in Iraq.

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IbisEye Hurricane Tracking - Herald Tribune

Grades
6 to 12
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Here's an elegant hurricane tracking resource that provides both current hurricane data and historical tracks, complete with damage totals. The site also shows current weather alerts...more
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Here's an elegant hurricane tracking resource that provides both current hurricane data and historical tracks, complete with damage totals. The site also shows current weather alerts and other storm-planning information.

tag(s): weather (188)

In the Classroom

This is a marvelous hurricane teaching tool. It's unclear, however, whether the site will be a reliable resource for real-time disaster response.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Basics of Fusion - Princeton

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6 to 12
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In May, 2006, an unusual international consortium signed a treaty that could lead to the eventual construction of the world's first commercial fusion reactor. With it would come the...more
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In May, 2006, an unusual international consortium signed a treaty that could lead to the eventual construction of the world's first commercial fusion reactor. With it would come the key to almost limitless energy. This backgrounder from a similar European consortium provides a much more basic introduction to how fusion works and why it presents such a challenge.

tag(s): energy (198), nuclear energy (24)

In the Classroom

In addition to its obvious applications in physics, this issue could have widespread economic and environmental implications. There are lots of "What if..." questions you could develop around this one.

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Losing Louisiana

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7 to 12
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Examine the current situation in Louisiana - a region still struggling to recover from the devastating effects of hurricane Katrina - through the lens of this compelling site. Visitors...more
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Examine the current situation in Louisiana - a region still struggling to recover from the devastating effects of hurricane Katrina - through the lens of this compelling site. Visitors are greeted with a beautifully designed introduction that leads to an interactive aerial view of the affected area. Click on a number of locations to explore photographs and audio segments featuring interviews with coastal restoration experts as well as residents who were directly affected by the hurricane.

tag(s): hurricanes (35), louisiana (11), wetlands (9)

In the Classroom

Everyone has heard about the catastrophic damage that occurred in New Orleans, yet these images show the full extent of the damage - even months after the event. This site provides some great 360 degrees visual imagery of the damage, as well as provides information about the levees and the flooding history/subsidence in new Orleans. There is also a great landloss map that shows the loss Louisiana has faced, dating back to 1932. This would be a great learning center or classroom activity in a cultural geography, US history or US government class. Have students research and explore the site, and use it as a starting point for a class discussion to the events, the impact, and ultimately the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This could also be a great way to lead into a lesson about government aid and interventions in times of crises!
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Limerick Savant

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10 to 12
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This is much more than a mere collection of contemporary limericks. It is rather a witty and provocative poetic commentary on politics, government, and economics. Original creations...more
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This is much more than a mere collection of contemporary limericks. It is rather a witty and provocative poetic commentary on politics, government, and economics. Original creations - inspired by what is in the news - are posted each day, and previous contributions can be perused by scrolling. It's acerbic ("Mr. Bush, we have heard you would banish our national anthem in Spanish...") and not for the easily offended, but it does provide a creative way to begin a class discussion on a hot topic. This is a personal blog site, so preview carefully before sharing with students.

tag(s): humor (15), poetry (228), satire (5)

In the Classroom

Challenge students to combine their creative writing skills with knowledge of poetic forms to fashion their own limericks using headline news as a prompt.

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Decisions, Decisions - New York Times

Grades
8 to 12
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Explore the many factors involved in the recent sentencing of Zacarias Moussaoui. This lesson plan asks students to examine statements made by families of 9/11 victims, read and discuss...more
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Explore the many factors involved in the recent sentencing of Zacarias Moussaoui. This lesson plan asks students to examine statements made by families of 9/11 victims, read and discuss an article about the suspected terrorist, and explore the mitigating factors that contributed to the jurors' final decision. Finally, students must prepare mock statements that might have been made by defense or prosecuting attorneys during the sentencing hearing. Aligned to standards.

In the Classroom

Though a little out of date for a current events class, this would be a great lesson for use in a US government class or US history. Be sure to save the site as a favorite for easy retrieval later on! For differentiation, peruse the article before-hand, creating a list of words that students may have trouble with or may not be familiar with. Create a follow-along for the article, defining those words selected to help students as they read. This will allow lower achieving readers to be able to process the information more efficiently and with more comprehension.

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Science Update Podcasts - American Association for the Advancement of Science

Grades
6 to 12
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Head to this site to subscribe to a free, weekly podcast on interesting news and developments in all areas of science. These weekly audio files run 3-5 minutes each. While ...more
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Head to this site to subscribe to a free, weekly podcast on interesting news and developments in all areas of science. These weekly audio files run 3-5 minutes each. While not designed specifically for instructional use, they provide current science news in an easily accessible format.

tag(s): news (261)

In the Classroom

Try this one for your own professional development, or play it in science class as students are getting settled in for their class period.

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American Immigration Past and Present

Grades
10 to 12
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As the national debate on immigration reform and border security continues, use this lesson to get your students thinking about this highly-charged issue. As they examine primary documents,...more
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As the national debate on immigration reform and border security continues, use this lesson to get your students thinking about this highly-charged issue. As they examine primary documents, participate in organized debates, analyze a variety of media, and practice editorial writing, students will gain an understanding of the historical, economic, and political facets of this controversial topic. Aligned to Standards.

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

In the Classroom

This is a fairly demanding lesson requiring high student reading levels and strong analytical thinking skills. Consider incorporating this into your AP social studies curriculum.

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Grading on a Curve - New York Times

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6 to 12
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Just how effective are the six key issues of President Bush's domestic agenda? This lesson gives students a chance to assume the role of political analyst as they critically examine...more
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Just how effective are the six key issues of President Bush's domestic agenda? This lesson gives students a chance to assume the role of political analyst as they critically examine the Bush administration. The goal is to create a report card addressing the efficacy of selected domestic topics. Includes suggestions for interdisciplinary activities and projects. Aligned to standards.

tag(s): foreign policy (16), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Though a bit outdated for a current events class, this would be a great lesson in a US government class looking at the Presidency of George H.W. Bush. Save this lesson as a favorite on your desktop to allow for easy retrieval later on - though be sure to look closely at the lesson and make sure that students have learned enough of the contextual information to be able to make sense of the article. For differentiation, peruse the article before-hand, creating a list of words that students may have trouble with or may not be familiar with. Create a follow-along for the article, defining those words selected to help students as they read. This will allow lower achieving readers to be able to process the information more efficiently and with more comprehension.

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Avian Influenza: What You Should Know - U.S. Centers for Disease Control

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6 to 12
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The CDC's home page for information on "bird flu" (avian influenza) offers a variety of content written at an adult level, including basic fact sheets, current outbreak updates, etc....more
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The CDC's home page for information on "bird flu" (avian influenza) offers a variety of content written at an adult level, including basic fact sheets, current outbreak updates, etc. Used selectively, this information offers an authoritative look at the evolution of this new disease and the international response to its spread.

tag(s): diseases (66)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an introduction to the avian flu during the seemingly always present flu-season. Have students explore the site in cooperative learning group with the intentions of finding three things that they can do to prevent themselves from getting the flu, or what the government is doing to prevent a spread. Have students create a short presentation with the information, making online posters that summarizes their findings. Use an online poster creator, such as Padlet (reviewed here). This would be great in a Health class, or in a government class studying government responses during crises or the impact of globalization.

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Pandemic Flu - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Grades
9 to 12
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It's in the news everyday: Countries are struggling to develop strategies for combating what could be the world's next pandemic influenza outbreak. This U.S. government Web site from...more
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It's in the news everyday: Countries are struggling to develop strategies for combating what could be the world's next pandemic influenza outbreak. This U.S. government Web site from the Department of Health and Human Services provides factual information on the avian flu and the current national strategy for handling it. Includes U.S. and international surveillance reports, current research activities, and potential economic impacts.

In the Classroom

hare this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia presentations (focusing on causes, the flu itself, how it spreads, how to better protect themselves, etc.). Have groups create commercials about their topic, and complete additional research. Video the commercials and share them on a site such as Teachers.TV reviewed here.. Provide this link on your class website for students to share with their parents.

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Deadly Virus - National Archives and Records Administration

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8 to 12
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How does the threat of the bird flu compare with the actual influenza pandemic that swept the world in 1918, killing more people than died World War I? This ...more
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How does the threat of the bird flu compare with the actual influenza pandemic that swept the world in 1918, killing more people than died World War I? This site provides riveting photographs and commentary, detailing the development and spread of the virus that indiscriminately lowered average life expectancy in the United States by more than 12 years. Find out how it affected American society and read first-hand accounts of its path of destruction.

In the Classroom

The most descriptive part of this website are the images of civil servants in contact with the public wearing surgical masks while performing their everyday duties. Use these images to supplement your lecture on the epidemic, and to spur a class discussion on the comparison between people's reaction for diseases today such as the Swine flu or the Bird flu.

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Associated Press News - AP & Google

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9 to 12
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Make current events an interactive experience with this "mash up" that plots and superimposes current AP news stories on a Google map or satellite image of the U.S. Click ...more
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Make current events an interactive experience with this "mash up" that plots and superimposes current AP news stories on a Google map or satellite image of the U.S. Click on a marker to read the full story. National news, sports, business, technology, and "strange" happenings are represented topics.

tag(s): maps (288), news (261)

In the Classroom

Use as source for creating a classroom "bulletin board" map of national news. Project to serve as discussion-starter for current events issues.

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First Headlines - Rentz Data Systems

Grades
8 to 12
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Get the latest front page news from U.S. and international newspapers and network news sites with this impressive current events site. Browse through the featured articles and click...more
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Get the latest front page news from U.S. and international newspapers and network news sites with this impressive current events site. Browse through the featured articles and click on a headline to access the full story. If you can't find what you're looking for on the home page, scan through the site's current stories, organized by topic or region of the world.

tag(s): news (261)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for current events projects - assign students various weeks through out the semester in which they are to be the class news reporter, keeping their peers up to date and informed. Have students research whats going on via this news site, and present a small presentation at the beginning of class every day during their week. Students can either orally present, or for the technologically inclined, create a short video summarizing the same information. Have students create news briefs and share them using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here. Create a standing assignment for snow days: If it snows and school is closed, search this site (or Google News) for the most amazing snow story to share when we return to class! Share the stories from home on a class wiki or blog.

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Intelligent Design in American Classrooms - NPR

Grades
8 to 12
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The debate over the teaching of intelligent design in the public school classroom is explored in this informational Web site that focuses on the recent controversy in Kansas and Pennsylvania....more
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The debate over the teaching of intelligent design in the public school classroom is explored in this informational Web site that focuses on the recent controversy in Kansas and Pennsylvania. Links to relevant news articles and audio clips of National Public Radio broadcasts are provided.

tag(s): darwin (11), design (84), evolution (100)

In the Classroom

If willing to deal with the possible religious discussion, this article would be a great starting point for a class debate on the costs and benefits of teaching intelligent design in the classroom. Based on what the article has written, begin a class discussion as to whether or not some of the actions taken by states have crossed any constitutional boundaries? Where would that boundary lie? (etc) This could lead to a heated discussion, but is a great way to get students discussing the importance of the establishment clause and its' practical application in society.

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ABYZ News Links

Grades
9 to 12
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Choose a country and publication, then tap into the latest news of the day with this easy-to-use directory that links to newspaper Web sites from around the world. This is ...more
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Choose a country and publication, then tap into the latest news of the day with this easy-to-use directory that links to newspaper Web sites from around the world. This is an excellent resource for building authentic reading comprehension skills in a world language class.

tag(s): news (261)

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Saddam Hussein on Trial - National Public Radio

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9 to 12
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Supplement discussions of headline news with this collection of audio files of news programs on the first Saddam Hussein trial (October 2005) which focuses on Hussein's role in the...more
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Supplement discussions of headline news with this collection of audio files of news programs on the first Saddam Hussein trial (October 2005) which focuses on Hussein's role in the deaths of more than 140 Iraqis in the village of Dujail. The site also discusses the establishment of the war crimes tribunal, reactions to the trial, and how this trial differs from those in American courts.

tag(s): iraq (32)

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