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We Didn't Start the Fire - Ye Li

Grades
6 to 12
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Use music to teach history! (Allow plenty of time for the video to load.) If you have occasion to teach the Billy Joel song "We Didn't Start the Fire," this ...more
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Use music to teach history! (Allow plenty of time for the video to load.) If you have occasion to teach the Billy Joel song "We Didn't Start the Fire," this is a great site to use with students. This site would be useful in any class studying the twentieth century. It shows the lyrics (as well as plays the song) while flashing the appropriate pictures to go with the lyrics of the past 50 years. There is a full screen option. There are play and pause buttons. You may need to disable your pop-up blocker to view this video. The first 20-seconds of this video list the creator and a reference list. One thing worth mentioning: the video creator mentions using Google image search for free images but neglects to mention that many are copyrighted and are likely being used illegally in such broad distribution (not "fair use") unless he requested permission. You could have quite a class discussion (debate) on ethical use of electronic resources and whether the concept of copyright should be revisited, too!

tag(s): decades (14), lyrics (20)

In the Classroom

Since the site is so specific to the relevant lyrics, it's fun to have students see exactly what it is being visualized. Also, since the lyrics go fast, it is sometimes difficult to make out all the references, so this is helpful for that reason. This is a great conversation starter with high school students. Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Watch the entire video and then play it again and pause the video on topics that relate to your current units of study. Use this site to find research topics for individual students or cooperative learning groups. Have the groups create multi-media presentations about their research topics. How about creating their own videos and sharing them using Teachertube, reviewed here. Or have students find a picture sharing their research topic and narrate their picture using UtellStory, reviewed here. Other options include creating a wiki, blog, or PowerPoint.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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History of St. Patrick's Day - A&E

Grades
6 to 12
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You might not want to do an entire lesson on St Patrick's Day, but a few short activities in observance of the holiday could be a nice addition. This site ...more
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You might not want to do an entire lesson on St Patrick's Day, but a few short activities in observance of the holiday could be a nice addition. This site offers just that. The best feature is a short video that delves into the history of the holiday and explains why it is still celebrated today, but there are several other options. Test your students' knowledge of St. Patrick's Day trivia with two interactive quizzes. Or use some of the site's other links as the basis for a teacher-created "treasure hunt." Other highlights include recipes, reference information about many famous Irish men and women, parade information, and more.

This site is very well done and offers a lot of information. If you are doing any activities about St. Patrick's Day, don't miss this site. Be aware: there are advertisements. There is a short commercial (10-seconds) prior to the informative video. This site does require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): holidays (152), ireland (12), st patricks day (14)

In the Classroom

Share the video on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work in cooperative learning groups and complete research papers about the famous Irish people highlighted at this site or other research topics of interest. Have the cooperative learning groups create a multimedia presentation such as a blog or PowerPoint. Family and Consumer Science teachers could use this site to find some recipes to try out in class!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Political Dr. Seuss - Independent Television Service

Grades
6 to 12
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This gallery of World War II-era cartoons by Theodor Geisel, reveal the acerbic wit and political philosophy of the beloved children's author. The site also features audio and video...more
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This gallery of World War II-era cartoons by Theodor Geisel, reveal the acerbic wit and political philosophy of the beloved children's author. The site also features audio and video clips from Dr. Seuss on his career and a brief history of political cartooning. Two lesson plans - focusing on the American themes and social messages addressed by Geisel - are available for downloading (and include McRel standards). This site requires RealPlayer, Flash, and Adobe Acrobat. You can get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (72), dr seuss (13), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Have students research the history of political cartooning with Theodor Geisel (or others). Have cooperative learning groups create multi-media presentations such as a PowerPoint, or an online book, using a tool such as Bookemon reviewed here to share on an interactive whiteboard or projector.

Share the video/audio clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Take advantage of the FREE lesson plans that connect geography, history, reading, and writing.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Big Huge Labs: Map Maker - John Watson: Big Huge Labs

Grades
2 to 12
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Create maps -- for multiple reasons -- with ease. As you 'travel' through your geography or history course, create an ongoing map of the places you've visited and embed/post it ...more
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Create maps -- for multiple reasons -- with ease. As you 'travel' through your geography or history course, create an ongoing map of the places you've visited and embed/post it on your blog or any webpage. Simply type in the title of your map, choose the land masses you wish to include, and then click on the correct boxes for your particular locations. When finished, click the You're Ready box at the bottom of the screen. Now scroll to the top to see what your map will look like. The embed code (geek-speak term for computer gobble-dee-gook that tells your computer how to find and display the map you have made) for your map is ready to copy and paste into your webpage. You can find the embed code to the right of the map. There is also a button to Reset and Start Over.

tag(s): maps (293)

In the Classroom

Create a map to track where your students went on summer vacation (or have ever traveled). Create a map of places you have visited in a work of literature, or where students have written about going on fantasy vacations. Share the maps on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have cooperative learning groups work together to create maps related to lessons in your social studies, history, or literature classes. Embed multiple student project maps in your class wiki along with student writings that accompany the maps. Check out the Big Huge Labs educator account. Easily pre-register students to avoid creating logins, view and download their creations, and view the site advertisement free. You will find information about the Educator Account here.

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Virtual Tours - Egyptvoyager.com

Grades
3 to 12
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Through Egyptvoyager.com, students can take several virtual tours of multiple locations in Egypt. Egyptvoyager.com provides panoramic tours of places in Cairo, Dendera, Giza, Karnak,...more
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Through Egyptvoyager.com, students can take several virtual tours of multiple locations in Egypt. Egyptvoyager.com provides panoramic tours of places in Cairo, Dendera, Giza, Karnak, Saqqara and Wissa Wassef. Students can move the footage around to view the entire environment from the ground view to the sky. Simply click on the picture, and move your arrow buttons to the left or right to view the entire panoramic tour. There are also interactive 3D illustrations of three of the locations (with text explanations). This site requires Java. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): air (163), egypt (70)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an introduction into the cultures of Egypt. Using the interactive whiteboard or projector, have students complete a KWL chart about Egypt. After watching the panoramic video(s), have students brainstorm the similarities and differences between Egyptian cultures and those of other countries such as the U.S. Have students create an interactive Venn Diagram highlighting their findings, using a site such as Interactive Venn Diagram (reviewed here). If you have access to Google Earth, be sure to look up these same Egyptian locations and zoom in on the surrounding landscape on your projector to see the terrain.

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Blues Journey - Kennedy Center

Grades
9 to 12
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If you are looking for an interactive site that combines music with theatre and culture, this is a good one. Incorporating the "page to the stage" idea, the site allows ...more
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If you are looking for an interactive site that combines music with theatre and culture, this is a good one. Incorporating the "page to the stage" idea, the site allows students to read about the main character and background and then listen to the blues with an introduction by Scot Reese, the director of the play. Students can see clips of the actual play, too. Another section deals with the music and includes a history and a walkthrough to the present. Don't miss the interactive map! This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): blues (19), chicago (5), jazz (15), louisiana (11), mississippi (6)

In the Classroom

Students will love listening to the clips as well as watching the play excerpts. Share the clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. The site invites them to try the blues themselves, and this is a good class or small group exercise. Use this site in music or U.S. history classes. Have students write a fictitious blog from the viewpoint of one of the music composers: what were they thinking? What was their life like? In music class, have students compose their own "Blues." Video the songs and share them on using TeacherTube (explained here). Gifted students, especially those with an interest in music, could use this site as a springboard for their own compositions.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Pete's Powerpoint Station - mrdonn and phillip martin

Grades
K to 12
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Need a PowerPoint? Check this site first to find one on a topic you need from the vast array available. The free PowerPoints and interactive activities are easily downloaded. To ...more
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Need a PowerPoint? Check this site first to find one on a topic you need from the vast array available. The free PowerPoints and interactive activities are easily downloaded. To find the FREE PowerPoint presentations, click on the FREE Presentations in PowerPoint Format link found directly under the red train. There are literally hundreds of topics (over 1,200 at the time of this review). Topics are listed in alphabetical order. There are so many topics: Plagiarism, Integers, Interjections, IQ Tests, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Graphic Organizers, Graphs, Gold Rush, the Bible, Economics, Amelia Earhart (and many other heroes), Descriptive Writing, Coral Reefs, Civil Rights Movement, Autism, Ancient Civilizations, Presidents, Louisiana Purchase, Money, Music Instruments, How to Write an Outline, Rosa Parks, Resumes, Terrorism, Vietnam War, and many MANY others. Primary teachers will appreciate simple activities on Dolch words and other sight vocabulary! Pages are arranged in topics such as "Plants and Animals," "World History," "Biology, Chemistry, and Physics," and "Problem Solving." There are many professional topics on exceptionalities, as well. Each page includes a vast array of subtopics. Other links on the page include "Greta's Game Station" and "Hannah's Help" which offers information on researching. Some of the links at "Greta's Game Station" require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): adhd (28), back to school (58), electricity (90), inventors and inventions (95), literature (276), parts of speech (67), polar (19), speech (94), states (163)

In the Classroom

Use these PowerPoints to provide background information for projects or further inquiry in class. For example, use a PowerPoint on cells to give background information. Create questions for students to answer while viewing the PowerPoint or add your own "lecture" notes while showing to a class. Remember that PowerPoint does not HAVE to be shown on a screen. Students can watch them as tutorials at a center or computer cluster. Learning support teachers will appreciate having an alternate way to present basic concepts to visual learners. Assign students a particular cell part to research more information about the part. Explore professional topics on your own or together with colleagues during inservice time.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Breathing Earth - David Bleja

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

tag(s): carbon (21), carbon dioxide (16), carbon footprint (11), earth (231), earth day (112), environment (321)

In the Classroom

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

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Census in Schools - U.S. Census Bureau

Grades
4 to 10
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This site, created especially for students who need to understand information collected during the census (up to, and including the year 2000), offers five main areas: State Facts for...more
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This site, created especially for students who need to understand information collected during the census (up to, and including the year 2000), offers five main areas: State Facts for Students, Program Overview, Teaching Materials (K-adult), Reference Materials, and Highlights. The state pages include a generalized lesson plan and pertinent information for each state. The City map section under reference materials is especially interesting as it shows city growth from 1790 to 2000. The teaching materials section includes activities and downloadable, printable census kits for classroom use from kindergarten students to adults.

tag(s): census (19), maps (293), states (163)

In the Classroom

This historical census data is ideal for comparison with other, more recent years or for students to make predictions for an upcoming census based on past trends. Use this page when studying various states; students can make a quick comparison between targeted states with the facts ready to read all on one or two pages. If you teach data analysis and graphing in your math class, this data provides real world information for students to use in math exercises, spreadsheets, and graphs. You could even use it in Google Docs spreadsheets (reviewed here). If you have ESL and ELL students, check out the special ESL pages found under the teaching materials section. The easy to read materials include glossaries, exercises, and excellent maps, perfect for geography lessons.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Nystromnet - NYSTROM

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3 to 9
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Although most of this site is "for a fee." There are some excellent maps that are completely free! Each month, Nystromnet features "Maps of the Month." And the best part: ...more
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Although most of this site is "for a fee." There are some excellent maps that are completely free! Each month, Nystromnet features "Maps of the Month." And the best part: along with the free maps, you will find lesson plans, classroom ideas, and more. The site also lists previously available "Maps of the Month." Some of the recent maps available include Idaho (with the lesson, "Exploring the Ranges of Idaho"), Ontario, The Balkans, Panama, Brazil, Cuba, and various states in the USA. EACH location includes a map and lesson! This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): maps (293)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these FREE lesson plans and maps. Display the maps on an interactive whiteboard or projector and have students label, explain, and highlight portions of the map. Have students research the various locations and present multimedia presentations about the countries or states. Save this site in your favorites and check back monthly to see what is new.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Podcasts: Civil War Tours - civilwartraveler.com

Grades
4 to 12
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This site includes 14+ podcasts focusing on famous battles of the Civil War. Each location also includes a detailed map, brief description, dates, and more. Most are rather lengthy...more
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This site includes 14+ podcasts focusing on famous battles of the Civil War. Each location also includes a detailed map, brief description, dates, and more. Most are rather lengthy ranging from twenty to fifty minutes. This site opens slowly at times and requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), gettysburg (26), lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

Share the podcasts on your projector or interactive whiteboard. (Download in advance to avoid delays). While listening to the podcast, project the map on the screen for students to view. After hearing a podcast have students create blog entries from the perspective of the soldiers at the battle. In younger grades, brainstorm ideas together before they start writing the blog entry. In the older grades, have a debate. Divide your class into two debate teams (Confederates or Union). Draw names randomly and allow the teams time to research the REASONS why they support their side of the war. For a shorter assignment, have a class discussion about how the Civil War and battles would have been different if the television (and YouTube) was around to broadcast the highlights of the battles. Would the war have ended more quickly or lasted longer? Why? Another idea: divide your class into groups and have the cooperative groups create local maps that highlight a location that has connections to Abraham Lincoln or the Civil War (if applicable).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Lincoln Bicentennial: 1809-2009 - Library of Congress

Grades
K to 12
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If you are preparing for Lincoln's 200th birthday or a unit about the 16th President of the United States, check out this site. Designed for students in all grades, there ...more
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If you are preparing for Lincoln's 200th birthday or a unit about the 16th President of the United States, check out this site. Designed for students in all grades, there is an interactive timeline, online quiz, podcasts, detailed lesson plans for all grades K-12 (with standards), printable pages, research information, suggested literature for all ages, information about the Civil War, Gettysburg, and more! Much of the site requires Flash; some of the printables require Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), gettysburg (26), gettysburg address (18), lincoln (86), presidents (132)

In the Classroom

Be sure to save this site in your favorites! Share the interactive timeline, online quiz, and podcasts using your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site for research about our 16th President. Have students create a blog from Lincoln's point of view (or from a slave's point of view AFTER the Emancipation Proclamation). Use the lesson plans designed for the grades that you teach. (Don't miss the history, language arts and writing, and art lessons).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Looking for Lincoln - History Hunt - Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition

Grades
2 to 8
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This site, originally created for students to use during a family field trip around central Illinois, shares information all about Lincoln. Students click to choose a location (Lincoln's...more
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This site, originally created for students to use during a family field trip around central Illinois, shares information all about Lincoln. Students click to choose a location (Lincoln's Law Office, Lincoln Courthouse, Lincoln's Tomb, and several others). Once "at" the location, students are given some basic facts about the locations, a "History Hunt Question" with several clues to help them solve the mystery, and a "Mystery History Object" with pictures of artifacts from the time period and a brief description of the picture. This site is excellent, but does not provide the answers to the "History Hunt Questions." However, most are easy to find at the site. What a fabulous way to celebrate the 200th birthday of one of the USA's greatest leaders.

tag(s): illinois (9), lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

Take your students on this virtual hunt during the month of February. Why not visit a new place each day, share the information, ask the History Hunt Question, and share the picture and information about the artifact. Share the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students create their own "History Hunt Questions" about the town where you live and any connections to Lincoln: Underground Railroad Houses, a courthouse that defends the rights of all races, or even a mint where they make Lincoln pennies. Have students share their History Hunt Questions on a class wiki or online as a Place Spotting challenge (Read more about Place Spotting here ).

Younger students will need to do the "hunt" as a whole class activity because of the reading level and sophistication of some of the History Hunt pages. If you have the chance for lower elementary students to work together with older "buddies," they could enjoy the hunt together without teacher guidance. Gifted students and better readers in lower grades could also work on their own.

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TeachersFirst: Lesson Ideas for Lincoln - TeachersFirst

Grades
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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Remembering Jim Crow - Minnesota Public Radio

Grades
6 to 12
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This site from the American Radioworks series uses a series of documentary audio recordings along with text and images to tell the story of the Jim Crow segregation laws in ...more
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This site from the American Radioworks series uses a series of documentary audio recordings along with text and images to tell the story of the Jim Crow segregation laws in the United States. Featuring remembrances by those who where there, the site offers an engaging perspective on an era that ended more recently than many realize. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (114), civil rights (123), racism (19), segregation (15)

In the Classroom

Try this one along with Martin Luther King, Black History, or American history activities. Share the images and audio on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students write captions for the pictures or a blog entry from the perspective of the individuals in the photos.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Powerful Days in Black and White - Kodak

Grades
4 to 12
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Kodak's site featuring the photos of Charles Moore contains many images of Dr. King and the nonviolent struggle for racial equality in the American south during the 1960s. These are...more
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Kodak's site featuring the photos of Charles Moore contains many images of Dr. King and the nonviolent struggle for racial equality in the American south during the 1960s. These are striking images. Preview before sharing with younger students.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (114), civil rights (123), martin luther king (38)

In the Classroom

Share the photos on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Discuss the pictures as a class. What were the lives of those in the photos like? Have students choose one photo that was the most powerful and write a journal entry about that photo.

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Day of Service - U.S. Government

Grades
4 to 12
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Here's a site that asks students to live up to Dr. King's ideals by engaging in a service project to help those less fortunate than they. Learn about King, his ...more
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Here's a site that asks students to live up to Dr. King's ideals by engaging in a service project to help those less fortunate than they. Learn about King, his ideals, and how to serve.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (114), civil rights (123), martin luther king (38)

In the Classroom

Teachers looking for a meaningful way to honor Dr. King might find this approach attractive. Share the Why Serve link with your class and discuss how serving can change their lives. Why not come up with a class community service project to do in honor of Dr. King?

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Dr. King Timeline - Pocantico Hills School

Grades
2 to 4
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Use this illustrated timeline of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life, created by kids, for kids, to help students understand the meaning of the holiday. The timeline is easy to ...more
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Use this illustrated timeline of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life, created by kids, for kids, to help students understand the meaning of the holiday. The timeline is easy to navigate: simply click the arrows. After viewing the timeline, the site offers word searches, coloring pages, printables, interactive quizzes, and other features.

tag(s): 1960s (30), africa (180), african american (114), civil rights (123), martin luther king (38)

In the Classroom

Use this site as the content for a lesson on creating timelines. Use this site (and others) to have students create their own timelines of King's life. Have students work in cooperative learning groups (or as a class) to create an interactive timeline using a tool such as XTimeline (explained here).

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Citizen King - PBS Online

Grades
8 to 12
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This companion site to a PBS special focuses on the last five years of Dr. Martin Luther King's life, from his "I Have a Dream" Speech in 1963 to his ...more
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This companion site to a PBS special focuses on the last five years of Dr. Martin Luther King's life, from his "I Have a Dream" Speech in 1963 to his assassination in 1968. Highlights include a discussion of his non-violence philosophy, video perspectives, an interactive map of civil rights hot spots throughout the United States, several links to interactive timelines, and a teacher's guide. Several of the timelines focus on King's entire life (not just the final five years). This is a great resource for a 20th century American history class. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): 1960s (30), africa (180), african american (114), black history (62), civil rights (123), martin luther king (38)

In the Classroom

Share the interactive videos clips and timelines on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Take advantage of the ready-to-go teacher's guide (don't miss the "hints," that offer additional tips for using this site in your classroom). Use this site for research about the civil rights movement or the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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This Day in the Civil War

Grades
4 to 12
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Those interested in a different take on the Civil War will enjoy this one. Each day offers a different set of events drawn from Civil War history, along with links ...more
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Those interested in a different take on the Civil War will enjoy this one. Each day offers a different set of events drawn from Civil War history, along with links to oddities such as Civil War recipes (tread cautiously), trivia, birthdays, interactive puzzles, and the like. There are also message boards. So if you allow students to navigate independently, be sure to watch carefully!

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

While it's short on pure education, there's a wealth of spice here that could liven up a Civil War unit.

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