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Social Studies for Kids

Grades
1 to 8
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This is a general "go-to" website all about social studies. There is information about current events, culture, holidays, languages, religion, economics, geography, maps, government,...more
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This is a general "go-to" website all about social studies. There is information about current events, culture, holidays, languages, religion, economics, geography, maps, government, U.S. presidents, timelines, and many other social studies topics. The highlight of this website is the Current Events segment. This is an easy way to incorporate age-appropriate current events in your classroom.
Note: an annoying audio ad plays when you first enter the site. Turn OFF your sound!

tag(s): holidays (147), maps (288), presidents (130), renaissance (34), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

Use the current events segment as weekly discussion starter or assignment in your social studies class. Share this link on your teacher web page for students to access outside of class. To really build a stronger sense of current events, start a class year-long current events "log" on a wiki and have a differnet student write a "week in review" each week throughout the year, based on the current events provided here or others he/she may know about. Reading teachers may also want to use the articles on this site to teach informational text reading skills on an interactive whiteboard. Reading levels are challenging for grades 1-3. Teachers will need to provide help by reading aloud or partnering readers.

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ILike2learn - Ilike2learn.com

Grades
3 to 10
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This website provides numerous interactive quizzes relating to geography and the language of Russian. Some specific topics include continents, Africa, Europe, USA, world lakes, oceans,...more
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This website provides numerous interactive quizzes relating to geography and the language of Russian. Some specific topics include continents, Africa, Europe, USA, world lakes, oceans, and many others. The interactive quizzes all ask users to find a specific area (by clicking on a map). Users are able to make 2nd (or 3rd) guesses for the correct locations. If you are not able to find the destination, you will receive a clue. This website requires Flash, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): continents (50), maps (288), mountains (13), oceans (148), rivers (21), russia (38), russian (26)

In the Classroom

This website is perfect for a single-computer learning center, on a classroom computer cluster, or as a review activity for older students. Save this website on your desktop and offer it from your teacher web page, so students can utilize this resource when you are teaching about states in the USA, continents, oceans, or other countries throughout the world. Warning: tell your students to steer clear of the "Take the Dumb Test" link at the bottom of the page. It is an annoying distraction and asks for an email address.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The American Experience - Hoover Dam - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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This excellent website, created by PBS, offers students information about the Hoover Dam. The information includes a timeline, maps, teacher's guide, information about other dams, and...more
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This excellent website, created by PBS, offers students information about the Hoover Dam. The information includes a timeline, maps, teacher's guide, information about other dams, and other pertinent information.

In the Classroom

This website was created to accompany the PBS movie "Hoover Dam", however it can also be useful independently to teach about the history of the Hoover Dam. Don't miss the Teacher's Guide. If you study geography, Hoover Dam is a fascinating study on the impact of WATER on human settlements. Include this as one of several web reources for students to research and discuss human interactions with and adaptations to landforms (in this case, desert).

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Can You Read a Map - Mrs. Bogucki

Grades
2 to 5
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This simple interactive quiz consists of five questions. Students must analyze a grid map and comprehend the cardinal directions north and south. This quick quiz is a perfect compliment...more
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This simple interactive quiz consists of five questions. Students must analyze a grid map and comprehend the cardinal directions north and south. This quick quiz is a perfect compliment to a map skills lesson. The map displays a peninsula and offers an excellent opportunity to teach students about this landform,as well.

tag(s): maps (288)

In the Classroom

Get an interactive whiteboard and use this quiz to introduce or reinforce map skills. Then have students work with partners to create a grid map of the classroom or school and place items on the map. Make the grid on graph paper or electronically -- using the "show grid" feature (in View menu)in PowerPoint. Provide students with digital pictures of classroom objects to place on their grids and let them ask each other questions similar to those in this web activity about their maps.

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Learning about Maps and Directions

Grades
K to 5
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Although this website appears "plain vanilla," it is a treasure chest. If you are teaching about reading maps or directions, this website has a wealth of information ready for you ...more
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Although this website appears "plain vanilla," it is a treasure chest. If you are teaching about reading maps or directions, this website has a wealth of information ready for you to use in your classroom. Some of the topics include spatial relations (around, between, left and right, and others-- great for primary grades and speech/language students), using a scale, following N,S,E,W directions, using a grid, and many additional topics. There are interactive games and activities, printable pages, and links to other online resources. This website has activities for very young students and more advanced learners. This website is truly a rare find. Many of the interactive map activities require Flash, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): directions (20)

In the Classroom

This website would offer an excellent learning center! There are so many activities available, that this website could be useful in nearly all of your geography lessons. Be sure to introduce this website using an interactive whiteboard, then allow students to explore at their own levels. Special Ed teachers will appreciate all the options of different ways to practice and reinforce skills.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Using Timeline Games and Mexican History to Improve Comprehension - IRA/NCTE

Grades
3 to 6
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The IRA/NCTE has created this wonderful resource that incorporates timelines, Mexican history, and comprehension. The unit is broken down into eight 45-minute sessions. The website...more
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The IRA/NCTE has created this wonderful resource that incorporates timelines, Mexican history, and comprehension. The unit is broken down into eight 45-minute sessions. The website challenges students to study some basic information about Mexican history. Then the students are asked to create an illustrated timeline. There are numerous other "mini" activities available within this lesson plan. If your class doesn't have the time to complete this entire unit, pick and choose what works for your class. The lesson plans are ready to go, easy to follow, include interactive elements, and are highly motivational. This website requires Flash, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): aztecs (8), mexico (34), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

The interactive timeline maker tool linked in this lesson is outstanding for ANY timeline you want students to make. The final product is printed and is NOT saved anywhere, however. Make sure you allow enough time to complete the work and print.

Use this lesson plan to teach your students Mexican history, how to use/create a timeline, and to improve their reading comprehension. Your students with family heritage from Mexico would benefit twice from using this lesson for comprehension activities. This is truly an interdisciplinary unit, and includes directions, objectives, standards, and more. The lessons would work well as independent study in the computer lab, cooperative learning activities, or whole class research using an interactive whiteboard.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Location - National Grid for Learning (UK)

Grades
K to 2
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This interactive site teaches young children about location and position. Pictures of toys are used to demonstrate various locations or positions (i.e. above, to the left, or inside)....more
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This interactive site teaches young children about location and position. Pictures of toys are used to demonstrate various locations or positions (i.e. above, to the left, or inside). There are three main lessons - all are easy to use, interactive and motivational. Note that the lessons require reading basic words. This website requires Flash, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): speech (92)

In the Classroom

Use this website as a learning center. Speech/language teachers and ESL teachers can also use the activities to practice reading, saying, and understanding basic "position" words with students. If you have an interactive whiteboard, students will LOVE practicing the skills in small groups.
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National Atlas - United States Department of the Interior

Grades
2 to 12
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This all-encompassing atlas site provides a broad variety of information and activities. The subject areas include agriculture, biology, boundaries, climate, environment, geology, government,...more
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This all-encompassing atlas site provides a broad variety of information and activities. The subject areas include agriculture, biology, boundaries, climate, environment, geology, government, history, mapping, transportation, people, and water. All of the subjects incorporate the United States (for example, the agriculture pages discuss the agriculture of the USA). The map features are phenomenal and include both printable maps and "dynamic maps" which are interactive and awesome! Some of interactive maps include topics such as relief and elevation, West Nile virus, volcanoes and more. This site is a perfect addition to any science class that is studying volcanoes, climate, biology and more. It is also useful in a geography class studying the various uses and types of maps. Some of the activities at this site require Flash, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): agriculture (54), climate (92), environment (317), geology (81), maps (288)

In the Classroom

Have your students work in cooperative learning groups to investigate the "dynamic maps". Assign each group a topic to explore (there are 7). Have the students research the information using the maps and then report their findings to the class, perhaps displaying examples on a projector or interactive whiteboard. In teaching any of the related subjects, using a projector to share a map will make the content more "real," such as displaying the butterfly layer in the map maker so students can see how the butterfly population their home state compares with other locations.
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World News - WN Network

Grades
4 to 12
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This is a wonderful compilation site of news from all over the world. Users can read the home page or search news of a specific geographic region. An ...more
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This is a wonderful compilation site of news from all over the world. Users can read the home page or search news of a specific geographic region. An excellent plus here is the ability to choose to read the news in a variety of languages. World Photos today, multimedia, global weather, and sports are just a few of the many attractive sections that add to this site's appeal.

tag(s): news (261)

In the Classroom

Share this site with your school's foreign language teachers. Have students do comparisons between English and foreign language versions of the news. If you teach writing, you can find controversial topics as writing prompts for persuasive writing among the articles, as well, and have students find facts to support their positions. Make this site available from your teacher web page for current events assignments. Reading teachers will want to use the articles on an interactive whiteboard to teach main idea and summarizing: highlight key words to use in a main idea or summary sentence you write together below the article.

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Endangered Animals in Africa - Africa Conservation Fund

Grades
3 to 12
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This site offers up-to-date news on conservation issues and incidents in Africa. Organized by reporters in the different regions of this large continent, the site gives users the option...more
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This site offers up-to-date news on conservation issues and incidents in Africa. Organized by reporters in the different regions of this large continent, the site gives users the option of selecting news, videos, or blogs with videos to keep themselves informed on the very latest events impacting animals, both good and bad. The fastest way to find the animal information is to click on "Find Blogs about Hippos, Gorillas, Colobus monkey, Rhinos, amd other Endangered Animals"

tag(s): africa (180), animals (276), conservation (127), environment (317)

In the Classroom

Once you become familiar with specific naturalist bloggers on this site, you may want to revisit their posts throughout your unit on animals, biodiversity, or the environment. These real world connections would be good lesson starters. Teachers may also use this site when studying world cultures and geography of Africa. Elementary teachers will want to share selected portions of this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector as they teach about animal habitats and adaptations. Since some of the incidents that threaten the animals may be involve violence or be frightening to students, teachers should preview before sharing with younger students. The reading levels are adult, so this is not a good site to suggest for elementary students to use independently.

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World Climate - Robert Hoare

Grades
5 to 12
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Users can find average temperature readings by clicking on common locations or entering any world city into a search box. Answers show three readings, Average Maximum Temps, Average...more
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Users can find average temperature readings by clicking on common locations or entering any world city into a search box. Answers show three readings, Average Maximum Temps, Average Minimum, 24 hour readings, as well as longitude and latitude.. Depending on the area, other data includes rainfall, sea-level pressure, station level pressure, and general information about the area's geography. Searchers must use native language spellings of larger cities and must settle for information about the main cities of the world.

tag(s): climate (92), earth (228), earth day (112), environment (317), temperature (29), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Use the data along with world maps (or Google Earth) for students to draw conclusions about geographic features and weather or to collect weather data over a time period to compare seasonal differences between northern and southern hemispheres. As part of an Earth Day or climate comparison activity, have students create a color-coded climate data "globe" in small groups, showing major cities and their weather data by color. You can use basketballs and sticky colored contact paper to cut out continents and climate zones, or have students make the map on an interactive whiteboard using a globe projection and highlghter tools in different colors. Older students can use the raw data as part of study of climate and cultural differences, environmental issues, or related topics.

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TeachersFirst Middle East Interactive Activities - TeachersFirst

Grades
6 to 12
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Understanding the nuances of the Middle East is a challenge for anyone. TeachersFirst offers these interactive activities to help students grasp the basic political geography and religious...more
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Understanding the nuances of the Middle East is a challenge for anyone. TeachersFirst offers these interactive activities to help students grasp the basic political geography and religious make-up of the region. The activities include some basic facts to acquaint students with historical events, resentments, and alliances in the region. With this foundation, you can move on to meaningful discussions of the many interrelationships in the Middle East and their impact on the world today.

tag(s): arab (18), iran (12), iraq (32), israel (17), middle east (30)

In the Classroom

These interactive activities are well-suited for both individual student use and interactive whiteboards. There is a link at the bottom of the page to different lesson plan ideas to use these activities in the classroom for varying purposes. Be sure to include the link on your teacher web page if you are asking students to learn all the country names. They will be able to use the activities to practice at home or in study halls.
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NationMaster - Luke Metcalfe

Grades
6 to 12
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Created in response to the CIA Factbook and other data sources, NationMaster draws together data from multiple sources so students (and adults) can compare and contrast using the tools...more
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Created in response to the CIA Factbook and other data sources, NationMaster draws together data from multiple sources so students (and adults) can compare and contrast using the tools of the web site itself. Use pulldowns to select a statistic to compare, such as Education, and the specific statistic you wish to look at (Average years of schooling of adults, for example). You will see the actual data as well as a bar graph or switch to a colored world map representing the data. The site makes working with data more student-friendly. You will have to ignore some of the ads along the top and left side of the page.

tag(s): data (148), statistics (122)

In the Classroom

Provide this resource as a link on your teacher web page or in class for supporting data to be used in discussions or debates. In math classes, use the data to create and compare alternate graphical representations of real-world data. In geography classes, use the site tools to see correlations provided for many types of data. World language classes can study and compare the various nations that speak the language they are studying. If you are lucky enough to have an interactive whiteboard, highlight data and create graphs for comparisons on the board using the board tools and spreadsheet software, as well.

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CIA World Factbook - Central Intelligence Agency

Grades
6 to 12
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Get the facts fast. Use a simple pull-down to find a country of the world and learn all about its significant data. The information is separated into categories:Introduction, Geography,...more
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Get the facts fast. Use a simple pull-down to find a country of the world and learn all about its significant data. The information is separated into categories:Introduction, Geography, People, Government, Economy, Communications, Transportation, Military, and Transnational Issues. All the information is presented in a dry, factual format (mostly numbers) but provides an excellent way to compare countries, draw inferences, and predict trends, hypothesize cause/effect, and more. By researching the data, your class can look for possible connections between demographics and economics, for example.

tag(s): data (148), demographics (19), population (60)

In the Classroom

Provide this resource as a link on your teacher web page or in class for supporting data to be used in discussions or debates. In math classes, use the data to create and compare graphical representations of real-world data. In geography classes, use the information to draw connections between physical features of a nation and its economy. World language classes can compare the various nations that speak the language they are studying.

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Information Finder - BBC

Grades
1 to 3
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This unusual website is interactive and provides students with the unique challenge of determining which types of reference books should be used to find specified information. Some...more
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This unusual website is interactive and provides students with the unique challenge of determining which types of reference books should be used to find specified information. Some of the reference books include an atlas, a book about flags, a book about wildlife, and a few specialized weather books. The website provides a Teachers/Parents link that provides general standards for this interactive game. The entire activity requires Flash, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): animals (276), atlas (6), matching (24), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard and let students take turns to help your students understand the various forms of informational texts. Or set up this site as a center in the library/media center to remind students where to look for information.
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Barnaby Bear Stories - BBC

Grades
K to 1
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This website is an awesome introduction to geography and more! The site offers two illustrated, interactive stories. Both involve an adorable bear named Barnaby. One story takes students...more
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This website is an awesome introduction to geography and more! The site offers two illustrated, interactive stories. Both involve an adorable bear named Barnaby. One story takes students to Paris, the other to Australia. The stories also contain new vocabulary words to learn, engaging questions, and creative storylines. The entire activity requires Flash, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): australia (35), france (40)

In the Classroom

Use the site with or without audio (don't forget headphones or speakers). Use this website as a learning center for small groups of students to explore together. Or make the journey a class adventure by using an interactive whiteboard. This website could also be used to teach basic geography vocabulary, awareness of geographic locations (Australia), and reading skills together.
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Homework High - 4Learning

Grades
5 to 10
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This is a great website to provide for your students to use at home. If they get stuck on a homework question, they can try searching for the answer ...more
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This is a great website to provide for your students to use at home. If they get stuck on a homework question, they can try searching for the answer at Homework High. The variety of topics includes math, science, history, geography, English and language (including French, German, and Spanish). The website also provides links to other websites for additional practice. There are also tips for improving study skills.

tag(s): french (88), german (64), homework (44), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Include a link to this website on your classroom newsletter or from your teacher web page for student help at home.

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History Detectives Kids - PBS

Grades
3 to 6
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This History Detective for Kids site features the same stars that investigate on the adult program. Your class will find many things to do, including examining the parts of ...more
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This History Detective for Kids site features the same stars that investigate on the adult program. Your class will find many things to do, including examining the parts of a detective's kit, submitting a photo of a mystery object, coming back to the site weekly to check for a new clue, and solving a real mystery. With video clips of mysteries in history and mystery games, children will forget they're "in school." Users can create an individual identity by joining the detective's club. For safety's sake at school, you may want to create a teacher account that you use as a class. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

Use the History Scene Investigators area to teach basic geography and U.S. landmarks on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Find many lesson ideas for teaching inquiry, hypothesis-testing, and problem-solving processes in your science curriculum using the games available on this site---see the Teacher Area.
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My Wonderful World - National Geographic Education Foundation

Grades
3 to 12
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This website is all about our Wonderful World - Geography! There is something here for everyone (students, teachers, and parents). The website provides information, quizzes, interactive...more
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This website is all about our Wonderful World - Geography! There is something here for everyone (students, teachers, and parents). The website provides information, quizzes, interactive games, and more than can be mentioned. The interactive maps will make the study of world cultures far more engaging and "real" as your students navigate on their own. The site draws together resources that National Geographic had separately and add links to other good interactive sources. You truly have to explore this website to understand all of the material available. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): cultures (105), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Start out by checking the teachers' link. Get your interactive whiteboards ready for the games and activities, and be sure to share the link on your teacher web page for serious global involvement.
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You Do It: Safety - The Alaskan Pipeline

Grades
4 to 8
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This unique (and quick) web activity challenges students to examine various sections of Alaskan terrain and choose the type of pipeline strategy that works best for each. There are...more
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This unique (and quick) web activity challenges students to examine various sections of Alaskan terrain and choose the type of pipeline strategy that works best for each. There are details and a survey guide provided. Use this activity to help students with problem solving skills and to further their understanding of plate tectonics, landforms, and climate in a real world application. Be sure to extend it in talking about the challenges of any geographic feature or landform in building structures. If you are studying basic geography concepts or structures, be sure to include the challengs of terrain and climate in your own region.

tag(s): alaska (25), plate tectonics (23)

In the Classroom

This activity would work well individually or as a whole class project using an interactive whiteboard. A great follow-up would be to create photographic slides of geographic challenges and the structures used to meet them in your own area (use a digital camera!).

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