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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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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

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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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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

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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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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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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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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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Panoramas.dk

Grades
K to 12
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Have a high speed Internet connection? (Most schools do)The you MUST visit these 3D virtual tours of beautiful sites all over the world with your students. Read the Welcome message...more
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Have a high speed Internet connection? (Most schools do)The you MUST visit these 3D virtual tours of beautiful sites all over the world with your students. Read the Welcome message on the home page for directions and details, then explore the current features and several years of archives for 3D virtual tours from major world capitals to true "experiences" such as Times Square and white water rafting. Even the tour of a Banyan tree will amaze you. Bring the world into your classroom for geography, landforms, world cultures, foreign language study, or literary settings. Be in the midst of festivals or atop the Sydney Bridge. The site requires Quicktime. The Welcome section can help you troubleshoot. Or you can get Quicktime from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.. Just be sure to share in full screen (high band) view , if you can! Click the FULL SCREEN QTVR FEATURE > ARCHIVE to find more choices. There is also a link to Arounder, a collection of European Capitals in 3D tours.

tag(s): images (265), landforms (45)

In the Classroom

Use a projector--or better yet, an interactive whiteboard--to take students atop the Eiffel Tower, to the high Sierras, or aboard a Mars explorer. Allow student to navigate on the whiteboard. Nte that Shift and Ctrl keys alow you to zoom, as well. Be sure to click at the top of the 3D view to Read More about the image. These tours will make landforms real, culture come alive, and science a visual art form. As you introduce terms and place, use images! You could even use a tour as a writing prompt for poetry or descriptive writing. Include the link on your teacher web page for students to "tour the world" outside of class or feature one location a week to broaden class horizons on a classroom desktop.

Comments

What a GREAT idea! Thank you. I found one with mountain biking and vistas. I'll put it up early in the period and come back to it in the end and have them write their exit cards about it. Then I will revisit it in a week or two when we start talking about metaphorical language. Shirley, CA, Grades: 6 - 12
I plan to use this as a way to start the school year with my sixth grade G/T kids. I will display a panorama on an interactive whiteboard-- one of mountains with peaks and valleys. I will ask, "Why would I show you this and say that this is our classroom this year?" The students will write down an idea on a slip of paper, guessing why I might use this as an introduction to my class. They will most likely introduce all of the classroom conduct and learning environment issues that I want to touch upon that first day: peaks and valleys during the year, some rugged terrain, studying mountains and geography, some amazing views (everyone's opinions), and more. It will also get them thinking in analogies and allow me to see how quickly some of them do this and how literal others are. Thinking, PA, Grades: 5 - 10

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Interactive World Map - Mr. Nussbaum

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4 to 12
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This delightful map of the world encourages students to scroll across the map; facts about the selected country appear at the bottom of the page. The data includes the country's ...more
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This delightful map of the world encourages students to scroll across the map; facts about the selected country appear at the bottom of the page. The data includes the country's capital, population, and size. Other information specific to each country appears in an adjoining paragraph. Check out the Interactive Scavenger Hunt for up to 20 questions related to the map. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): capitals (24), countries (77)

In the Classroom

Use this scavenger hunt as a competitive activity on laptops or interactive whiteboard while reviewing world geography. If your require students to learn the world map, be sure to include this link on your teacher web page for review. As an extra challenge, ask students to compose their own questions that may or may not be answered within the information available here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Mapping Our World - OxFam- Cool Planet for Teachers

Grades
3 to 8
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Explore world geography in an interactive site ideally suited for interactive whiteboard or individual exploration. Content includes map skills, the globe, terms, geographical context,...more
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Explore world geography in an interactive site ideally suited for interactive whiteboard or individual exploration. Content includes map skills, the globe, terms, geographical context, and more. This site is created to align with British curriculum, but the topics are quite parallel to those in the U.S.

tag(s): globe (14), maps (288)

In the Classroom

Use the curriculum links Acrobat .pdf file to find the topics that connect to your curriculum needs, then open the page on your interactive whiteboard and get started. Include the link on your teacher web age for students to use as review, as well.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Map of Valley Forge National Historical Park - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 8
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This PDF file provides a detailed (and very well done) map of the Valley Forge National Historical Park. This map is suitable for viewing and/or printing. So before ...more
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This PDF file provides a detailed (and very well done) map of the Valley Forge National Historical Park. This map is suitable for viewing and/or printing. So before you head to Valley Forge, be sure to print this helpful map. The map requires Acrobat Reader. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): colonial america (107), map skills (80), philadelphia (13)

In the Classroom

Share this and other sections of the TeachersFirst Colonial America tour as part of your study of the colonies so students can see what these historic locations look like today. Share the map on an interactive whiteboard, so you can use the tools to highlight different areas.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Map of Philadelphia - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 12
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This PDF file, provides a detailed map of Philadelphia. Before you head to Philadelphia, print out this useful map. The map requires Acrobat Reader. Get it from the ...more
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This PDF file, provides a detailed map of Philadelphia. Before you head to Philadelphia, print out this useful map. The map requires Acrobat Reader. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): colonial america (107), map skills (80), philadelphia (13)

In the Classroom

Share this and other sections of the TeachersFirst Colonial America tour as part of your study of the colonies so students can see what these historic locations look like today. Share the map on an interactive whiteboard and use the tools to highlight important aspects of a colonial city.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Cogito - Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth

Grades
7 to 12
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This powerful site will challenge your brightest students and get everyone thinking. Designed to spark interest of young scientists and thinkers in real world issues, this site is run...more
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This powerful site will challenge your brightest students and get everyone thinking. Designed to spark interest of young scientists and thinkers in real world issues, this site is run by Johns Hopkins' famous program for gifted youth. Find feature articles on current research, Nobel laureates, and hot topics such as global warming. Explore the links for MANY outstanding sites not specifically for "education" as much as for real-world investigation and learning.

tag(s): careers (132), energy (197), gifted (96), summer (12)

In the Classroom

Teachers with high level, AP, or gifted students will want to explore this site during the summer months for inspiration and resources to use throughout the year. If your gifted program requires individual projects, send your students here to find ideas and to get energized! Even "regular" teachers, especially in the sciences, will want to share some of the current research topics and interviews that fit their curriculum. If you are looking for ways students and environmental clubs can get involved, check out the "Get Involved" section in the Sites and Tools menu.

One simple way to use the Interviews in a regular science classroom would be to have students research and act out an interview with a "mock" scientist, explaining what he/she does in order to expose students to the many fields included in the sciences.

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Wearin O' The Green - kate.net

Grades
K to 12
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Wearin O' The Green offers a comprehensive listing of Irish information for both adults and children. Teachers should be able to find lots of ideas and facts here (information about...more
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Wearin O' The Green offers a comprehensive listing of Irish information for both adults and children. Teachers should be able to find lots of ideas and facts here (information about Ireland, St. Patrick's Day, Irish Dancing, language and more). Some of the links require FLASH. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

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

In the Classroom

Search this site to find activities relevant to your class. Have students use this site to find research information about various topics related to St. Patrick's Day. Have students create multi-media projects: a wiki, blog, PowerPoint, or another.
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National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)

Grades
K to 12
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The mission of National Council for the Social Studies is to provide leadership, service, and support for all social studies educators. ...more
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The mission of National Council for the Social Studies is to provide leadership, service, and support for all social studies educators.

In the Classroom

Within the Classroom Resources section of this website to look for free lesson plans and classroom activities. The lessons are organized by grade level, so be sure to pass it along to peers in other grade levels. Save this one as a favorite to allow for easy access and retrieval.

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Flash Earth

Grades
K to 12
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You may be familiar with Google Earth but may not have the ability to install their free software on your computer, either because you are not permitted to or because ...more
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You may be familiar with Google Earth but may not have the ability to install their free software on your computer, either because you are not permitted to or because your computer is not powerful enough to handle it. Try Flash Earth for a simpler tool to explore the earth as you teach geography to any age from kindergarten to seniors. Perhaps you just want to quickly show which way the Conestoga wagons crossed the U.S., or maybe to show where in the world a current events story is taking place. This simple tool, on a projector or interactive whiteboard, is just the trick. Note: You MUST have FLASH on your computer.

tag(s): globe (14), maps (288)

In the Classroom

Use a projector or whiteboard to share a location as art of the background knowledge for a lesson. Be sure to add this link to your teacher web page as a reference tool, as well. Be aware that some world locations have much "fuzzier" satellite images than others. Always preview before your lesson to be sure you can show the features you want students to see. Show elementary students where their "neighborhood" is, perhaps even their streets!

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Maps and Map Skills - Jim Cornish

Grades
K to 12
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This extremely useful website provides links to numerous maps. There are maps of every continent, the world, political maps, physical maps, time zone maps, map activities, suggestions...more
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This extremely useful website provides links to numerous maps. There are maps of every continent, the world, political maps, physical maps, time zone maps, map activities, suggestions for use in the classroom and more! The best feature of this website is the simple descriptions that are provided with most of the links. Some of the activities require Acrobat Reader. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): maps (288), time (144), time zones (8)

In the Classroom

At the bottom of this website, the author includes "map activities for students". All of these activities would be excellent supplemental activities in numerous grade levels.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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