Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomSearch for your state and see what this site has to offer. Looking for a specific topic (i.e. Civil War or Pearl Harbor), search using topics. Take advantage of these ready to go lesson plans. Infuse your lessons with technology by creating a class wiki about the lesson/topic being discussed. Maybe make a wiki guidebook to your state. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Save this site in your favorites, and check back as you plan throughout the year.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): presidents (130)
In the ClassroomStudents might consider how the role of the Vice-President has changed over the course of US history. While the duties of the Vice-President are actually fairly limited, several of these Vice-Presidents became Presidents as a consequence of the death or assassination of the President. Students doing research on any of these fourteen former Presidents might find the information about their Vice-Presidencies useful. The images from this site would also be helpful projected on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia presentations to share with the class. Use a site such as ThingLink, reviewed here. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): inauguration (11)
In the ClassroomShare 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.
Grades9 to 12
tag(s): politics (100)
In the ClassroomMake this site available in Favorites on your classroom computer for students to refer to often when they have questions about current events or politics or build deeper understanding. You may also want to list this link on your class website or wiki, so students can access the page both in and out of the class. Consider using the site as an icebreaker at the beginning of a class: pick one of the polls or short video clips (share it on your interactive whiteboard or projector) and discuss. Use the site to demonstrate how to negotiate the partisanship in political reporting on television and to teach students about how political bias affects the tenor of the conversation about current events. After doing research, have cooperative learning groups create podcasts or video commercials highlighting a recent event or political figure. Create FREE podcasts using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Share student-made videos on a site such as Teachers.TV reviewed here.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomAlthough this site deals with the 2008-2009 banking crisis at a level that is probably more in-depth than most teachers have the opportunity to deal with, it would be useful for an economics class or a recent American history class. You might consider some portions of it during a discussion of the Great Depression in the 1930s, to help students connect that economic time with the present. Finally, this might be a good resource site for students who are interested or who are working on more comprehensive projects. Why not have students create a multimedia presentation of their own demonstrating their understanding of the connection between the bank failures and the economic downturn. Have students create (and respond) on class wikis. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): constitution (82)
In the ClassroomHave students work in cooperative learning groups, divide up the vocabulary words, and have each group find the definitions for their assigned vocabulary words. Have the groups share their words and definitions in an online book, using a tool such as Bookemon (reviewed here). Have the groups share the online books on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If you don't have the time to complete online books, have students share the definitions using a class wiki. Be sure to also check out the interactive word puzzles!
Grades2 to 12
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In the ClassroomTeachers need to be able to identify material to be used in the creation of the timeline and strategies to help students be prepared for student assignments (checklists, goal sheets, or presentation planners). Click "Create" to begin making a "Capzles." Use the buttons on the left to follow the creation process and create with the following: Add titles, description, tags, content and media, set privacy, and share. Watch a video tutorial to learn steps to create a timeline. Click "Explore" along the top to view previously made timelines. Click on "Share" to send email links to others.
Consider creating a class account for easier access. You may want to send students directly to URLs for their own projects or use the site as a whole-class activity using a teacher-created Capzles to spark discussion.
Create Capzles that introduce new topics and content for great student discussion. Students can use pieces of the capzle to brainstorm questions, initiate research, and learn more about the topic. Capzles are an interesting way for students to tell stories about a project, research, or as a class activity. Use to showcase fun items such as "what I did on my summer vacation," "the story of my dog," family, etc. Create Capzles from the point of view of a literary character or historical figure telling his/her story. Remember to teach about copyright, since using copyrighted images in a Capzle would not be "fair use" due to unlimited distribution. Look for images in the public domain or with Creative Commons licensing and model giving attribution for them.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Includes social features, such as "friends," comments, ratings by others
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomWhile you might turn to this site for a quick reference or document citation, this is the site you sit down with over the summer when you're planning your curriculum and lessons for the term or the year. There is simply so much here and so many good ways to access it that you will need to plan on spending significant time here.
Share the slideshows, podcasts, and primary documents on an interactive whiteboard or projector to supplement a lesson. Certainly you'll want to provide this link for your serious students who are doing research. Department chairs, be sure you pass along this resource to American History teachers throughout your district! Not only is it comprehensive, but it's user-friendly and easy to navigate.
Why not have cooperative learning groups explore various facets of this site and create multimedia presentations. Maybe a collaborative wiki about the topic researched. Not sure what a wiki is? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. How about having your students create podcasts using a site such as PodOMatic (reviewed here).
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomThe long term nature of the treasure hunt would make this a good enrichment activity or extra credit project for students. Alteratively, the class could act as a team and undertake one chapter at a time as an ongoing project. The project might also make a good summer enrichment opportunity for students, be good for home schools, or work well with summer day camp groups.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomShare this slideshow on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Choose a picture to use as a writing prompt. Share this site around President's Day. Have students find (or create) their own picture or photo of President Obama. Challenge students to narrate the photo using an online tool such as UtellStory, reviewed here.
Grades3 to 8
In the ClassroomShare a brief introduction to this rich website on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work with a partner and explore the MANY facets of this unique website. Have groups choose to research the roles of a congressman, messenger, widow, diplomat, or society woman/spy. After they have explored the site, have the groups create a fictitious wiki between the role they explored (congressman, messenger, etc..) and President Obama. What would the president say to these people from the past? What interactions would occur?
Grades2 to 4
In the ClassroomExtend this web quest beyond the classroom by having students create posters with good citizenship characteristics and post them throughout the school. Taking it one step further, have the class create a brief commercial about being a good citizen and post it to the class web page for parents, administration and other classes to watch. Have students share their commercials on a tool such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomBe sure to check out the interactive word puzzles! Have students work in cooperative learning groups, divide up the vocabulary words, and have each group find the definitions for their assigned vocabulary words. Have students locate a picture of Lincoln. Challenge students to narrate the picture using UtellStory, reviewed here. Have the groups share the photos and presidents on your interactive whiteboard or projector.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomSince 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.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site when studying specific states and their Congressional representatives. It's also a great site to use when preparing students to give speeches. Talk about whether the most popular words are overused or should be included in speeches at all times. Use this site as an anticipatory set to introduce a unit or lesson on government.
Have students create their own "word cloud" using a site such as Wordle (reviewed here by TeachersFirst). Students could create a Wordle about any topic area being studied. Share your students' Wordles on an interactive whiteboard or projector.
Grades4 to 8
In the ClassroomHealth and PE teachers can collaborate with classroom teachers and present White House-related health initiatives while students are learning about the presidency in the classroom. Challenge students to explore a specific area of this site and create a project to share with the class using a tool such as Prezi (reviewed here)
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomHave 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.
Grades3 to 9
tag(s): women (92)
In the ClassroomUse this site for research projects about famous females. Most of the activity suggestions are more traditional projects and writing assignments. If you want to add some technology touches, why not have students create a fictitious blog from a famous woman, or a wiki discussion between a famous woman from the early 1900s and a famous woman nowadays, or create a PowerPoint or podcast sharing information about their famous female.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomHave students complete this quiz on individual computers or with a partner (if there are not enough computers). Why not have your older civics or government students create their own interactive surveys using Google Docs (reviewed here), or quizzes using Quizschool (reviewed here). Or create one together as a class. Have students share their quizzes/surveys with the class on an interactive whiteboard or projector or as links from your class wiki or web page for use outside of class. Be sure to invite parents and other teachers to respond! What is important for citizens to know, in your students' view?
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): medicine (70)