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P.A.C.E. Trek 2009: An Adventure in Alaska - Paul James Staso

Grades
K to 12
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Ready or not - PACE Trek 2009 is coming soon. This challenge (created by a former 5th grade teacher), encourages students to get fit while virtually "racing" Paul James Staso. ...more
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Ready or not - PACE Trek 2009 is coming soon. This challenge (created by a former 5th grade teacher), encourages students to get fit while virtually "racing" Paul James Staso. The PACE Trek 2009 is FREE and open to school groups of all ages (or individuals). The challenge runs from April 20, 2009 to May 12, 2009. And this year, students can learn about Alaska during this challenge! Students will encounter the Arctic Circle, Canada's border, glaciers, Denali National Park, Alaskan wildlife, native villages, vast wilderness, and more. The website provides specific details and requirements for students in elementary, middle, and high school.

The PACE Trek 2009 challenge all began because of a promise that Paul James Staso made to his daughter's 5th grade class. Mr. Staso promised that he would run solo across the United States. During the summer of 2006, Mr. Staso ran the 3,260 miles that he had promised. There is a video included at the website that highlights his journey. Since then, Paul James Staso has begun to challenge students to get fit (and he even teaches geography during the trek). This website requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): alaska (25), fitness (49)

In the Classroom

For the PACE Trek 2009, classes need to walk or run every day during the 17-day challenge. This totals no more than 10-minutes per day. Registration is free. Click on your age group to read overall curriculum goals, expectations, and to register your "team". Why not include the challenge as a joint project between your Health/P.E. classes and geography curriculum?

Mr. Staso will also teach about the geography of Alaska as he travels. What a wonderful way to get your students excited about exercise. Now, get going!
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Miniature Earth - Sustainability Institute

Grades
4 to 12
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This site shows a short but powerful video that breaks down the demographic makeup of the world if it were reduced to 100 people. Besides ethnic differences, it also shows ...more
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This site shows a short but powerful video that breaks down the demographic makeup of the world if it were reduced to 100 people. Besides ethnic differences, it also shows statistics for sex divisions, urban vs. rural living situations, percentage of people with disabilities, general living conditions, literacy/educational level, computer ownership/internet hookup, military presence, economic conditions, religions, and general material possessions.

The site can be viewed in English, Portuguese, Spanish, French, or German. Although the text and statistics are familiar, they have been updated for this video with its vivid closeups and haunting music. The text upon which the video is based is also online here. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): population (60), religions (61)

In the Classroom

Use this to introduce social studies units on countries in the third world. Use it as a jumping off point when asking your students thoughtful questions about the relative prosperity of people in the U.S. compared to a lot of the rest of the world. Use it also when studying recycling, tolerance, and world cultures.

Share the video on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students respond to what they found most surprising using a class wiki or blog. In math class, use this video to start a real-world statistics/data analysis project or a discussion of proportion.
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Vacations - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
3 to 9
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Explore vocabulary and word activities related to vacations on this extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more. Find interactive vocabulary activities the same list of using vacation...more
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Explore vocabulary and word activities related to vacations on this extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more. Find interactive vocabulary activities the same list of using vacation vocabulary words. There are printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): back to school (58), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Share the puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work with a partner to try out the puzzles on their own. Have students (or groups) create their own word puzzles to share as a class challenge as a student-run interactive whiteboard activity or share them on a class wiki.

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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 (288)

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 (67)

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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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 (89), inventors and inventions (101), literature (275), parts of speech (68), polar (19), speech (92), 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.
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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 (17), carbon footprint (11), earth (228), earth day (112), environment (317)

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.
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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 (288), 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.
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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 (288)

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 (131)

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 (41), lincoln (86), presidents (131)

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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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 (113), civil rights (117), martin luther king (37)

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 (113), civil rights (117), martin luther king (37)

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 (113), civil rights (117), martin luther king (37)

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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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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Civil War Time-Line - A Nation Divided - The History Place

Grades
4 to 12
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This site, created by The History Place offers a chronological listing of Civil War events (with pictures) and is easy to navigate. This site features topics such as Fort Sumter...more
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This site, created by The History Place offers a chronological listing of Civil War events (with pictures) and is easy to navigate. This site features topics such as Fort Sumter Attacked, Gettysburg, Shiloh, and several others. The timeline format is easy to understand. The photos are authentic and informative.

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

In the Classroom

Use this site for research about the Civil War. Have cooperative learning groups research various battles of the Civil War. Or have students create their own interactive timelines using a tool such as XTimeline (explained here).

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The life of Abraham Lincoln - History Place

Grades
4 to 12
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Although this site is "plain vanilla," it offers some nice research information and photos of five "Lincoln" topics: Lincoln Becomes President, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Battle...more
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Although this site is "plain vanilla," it offers some nice research information and photos of five "Lincoln" topics: Lincoln Becomes President, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Battle of Gettysburg, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and the Dred Scott Decision. Nearly all of this site is displayed in a timeline format. There are some basic advertisements at this site, nothing too distracting.

tag(s): emancipation proclamation (12), gettysburg (26), gettysburg address (18), lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

Have students recreate their own "Lincoln timeline" highlighting one are of Lincoln's life and legacy. Have students work in cooperative learning groups to create interactive timelines using a tool such as XTimeline (explained here).

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Abraham Lincoln Online - Abraham Lincoln Online

Grades
K to 12
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An extensive online collection of Lincoln information. This site has nearly everything you could want to learn about Lincoln. Some of the highlights include speeches, lesson ideas,...more
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An extensive online collection of Lincoln information. This site has nearly everything you could want to learn about Lincoln. Some of the highlights include speeches, lesson ideas, "This Week in History" (Lincoln history, that is), and more. Be sure to check out the Education link to find many classroom resource. Some of the links require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these ready to use classroom resources. There are lessons available for grades K-12. Use this site to share the speeches of the famous president. Have students dissect the words of one of the speeches, break it down into "today's language."
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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