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CurriConnects Booklist: By the People - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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Find books about how our U.S. government works and how to take part in that process. These books include topics such as with what it means to be a citizen, ...more
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Find books about how our U.S. government works and how to take part in that process. These books include topics such as with what it means to be a citizen, how our government works, and the tough decisions that people make -- both citizens and those who work in government. Discover civics-related topics such as voting, creating laws, enforcing laws, and the underlying principles of democracy. The collection includes both true and fictional tales about communities and government and books for all grade levels. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles''''® to match student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. For more on text complexity and Lexiles''''®, see this information from the Lexile Framework. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly. If your library does not have the books, try interlibrary loan!

tag(s): book lists (126), branches of government (48), congress (33), constitution (79), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Encourage students to select independent reading from this list as part of a citizenship unit, as a focus for Constitution Day, or in a civics/government class.

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40 Maps That Explain the World - The Washington Post

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5 to 12
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The Washington Post offers this interesting variety of maps illustrating many different viewpoints and realities around the world. Topics include best and worst place to be born, child...more
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The Washington Post offers this interesting variety of maps illustrating many different viewpoints and realities around the world. Topics include best and worst place to be born, child poverty in the developed world, and the world seen from space over a 12 month time-lapse. Click to enlarge any of the maps. Several include links for further information.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): agriculture (54), cross cultural understanding (115), cultures (105), ecology (135), inferencing (5), maps (288), religions (61)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for use with many social studies, reading, and higher level thinking topics. Use them to teach about interpreting graphical information in texts. Display on your interactive whiteboard and explore with your students. Use these maps to ask deep questions about meaning in maps. What inferences/conclusions can you draw based on this map? These maps are a perfect starting point for research projects on many subjects. Have students brainstorm questions they wonder about or collect ideas for possible projects on a collaborative bulletin board like Scrumblr, reviewed here (quick start- no membership required!).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Green Vegetation - NOAA

Grades
8 to 12
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See an amazingly detailed map of the vegetation found on the Earth. Data for the interactive is collected by a satellite every week so the image is up to date. ...more
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See an amazingly detailed map of the vegetation found on the Earth. Data for the interactive is collected by a satellite every week so the image is up to date. Use tools to rotate or zoom in/out. Allow a few second for the zoomed in view to fully load and for the image to get "sharp."

tag(s): forests (29), plants (144), producers (8)

In the Classroom

Look at the map on an Interactive Whiteboard (or projector) to look at the different colors and determine what they represent. Zoom in to the Nile region to view the stark contrast between the Nile River delta and the desert that surrounds it. Brainstorm how vegetation changes can indicate potential forest fires or drought and how weather is predicted based upon vegetation, humidity, runoff, and surface temperature. Compare the locations of high vegetation to those with low or no vegetation. What factors change the locations of these areas? Watch this interactive over a period of time (possibly the whole school year) to identify changes in areas around the world. Create a presentation about the changes in vegetation including research as to why it is very important. Find great tools on TeachersFirst for creating presentations or Infographics. Tie discussion of this map into economics, political policy, our food system, health statistics, and more.

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Battle of Gettysburg - Esri.com

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6 to 12
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View an interactive map and timeline of decisive moments of the Battle of Gettysburg. Click on each numbered event to view the location on the map. Display the map in ...more
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View an interactive map and timeline of decisive moments of the Battle of Gettysburg. Click on each numbered event to view the location on the map. Display the map in either satellite or historical view. Each event includes links to a panoramic view of the area along with a short description of events taking place and important figures in the battle. View the sources link for a PDF including maps and atlases used for research.

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

In the Classroom

Explore the map and timeline on your interactive whiteboard with your class. Use the sources PDF and this page from TeachersFirst's Gettysburg by the Numbers to find additional Civil War and Gettysburg information. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore the map independently or in small groups. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Use information from this site and have students create their own battle timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles (reviewed here).
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Saylor - Free Online Courses Built by Professors - Michael J Saylor

Grades
8 to 12
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Choose from almost 300 courses to take for free at Saylor. Topics range from general education to computer science and professional development. There is a K-12 area that includes Common...more
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Choose from almost 300 courses to take for free at Saylor. Topics range from general education to computer science and professional development. There is a K-12 area that includes Common Core information (for teachers or parents), test prep, and English lessons. Explore a specific area of study to find courses or choose the course list to view all offerings. Some courses include a full textbook and/or a full set of video lectures and are listed on the content matrix. Each course lists learning outcomes, course requirements, and a course overview. Create your own eportfolio to enroll in courses, track progress, download transcripts, and engage with the online community. Pass the final exam of each course to receive a certificate of completion.

tag(s): professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Allow gifted students to enroll in courses that interest them or that provide enrichment beyond classroom content. Share with others in your building as a resource for professional development. Explore the topics yourself for some new, engaging topics to round out your own expertise. Allow students to enroll in a course that would fit into their career goals as an exploratory opportunity in that field.

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Story Maps - Esri

Grades
5 to 12
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Story Maps takes learning in a new direction. Interactive maps tell a story through videos, images, audio, and links. Learn more about the topics in text that accompanies each map....more
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Story Maps takes learning in a new direction. Interactive maps tell a story through videos, images, audio, and links. Learn more about the topics in text that accompanies each map. A timeline of "dots" allows you to move through the story step by step. A satellite view is available on some maps, and legends give you important information to read the map accurately. A wide variety of topics are available to inform and educate. Use the search bar to find a map to meet your needs. Travel to the most visited National Parks or explore an interactive map of the three days and decisive moments of the battle of Gettysburg. It is important to pay as much attention to the text pop-ups as the cartography and other aspects of the map. New stories are added every two weeks. so come back often! This review was for the free area of the site that allows you to view the map stories. There are extensive directions on how to create your own maps, but these suggest purchase of maps, etc. from ArcGIS, an affiliate of Esri. Some of the map storytelling ideas could be used with other free mapping tools, however.

tag(s): gettysburg (26), map skills (80), maps (288), measurement (159)

In the Classroom

Map out interactive virtual field trips on Story Maps. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Have a team competition as students navigate the site on an interactive whiteboard to complete a scavenger hunt. Students can find geometric shapes in real life objects on the images with the maps. Calculate distances or time if the map is a timeline of events. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Be sure to help your weaker readers and ESL/ELL students by sharing the vocabulary words prior to reading, either on a handout or by projecting them on an interactive whiteboard and highlighting them in the text as you come to them. Have students create online posters to summarize what they learned from the map, individually or together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here. Ask students to write informational essays on the topics or use the maps to write creative stories. Challenge your most tech-savvy or gifted students to explore the step by step map storytelling directions and try their hand using google Maps or other map tools. The advice in these directions is excellent.

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Textbook Revolution - textbookrevolution.org

Grades
9 to 12
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Textbook Revolution provides links to free (and paid) online textbooks and other educational materials. Some of the books are PDF files, others are viewable online as e-books, or some...more
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Textbook Revolution provides links to free (and paid) online textbooks and other educational materials. Some of the books are PDF files, others are viewable online as e-books, or some are simply web sites containing course or multimedia content. Search for specific textbooks or topics using the search bar. Choose the book for download. This link provides bibliographical data on the book and a link for download. Click to go to the download link to get the book in PDF format.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): book lists (126), search engines (65)

In the Classroom

Use Textbook Revolution as a resource for supplemental classroom materials or to use with gifted or advanced students. Share links to educational material on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Documentary Wire - DocumentaryWire

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4 to 12
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Documentary Wire.com features an incredible collection of documentary films for free. Browse through the collection or find the latest documentaries sent to your email. Join free and...more
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Documentary Wire.com features an incredible collection of documentary films for free. Browse through the collection or find the latest documentaries sent to your email. Join free and follow Documentary Wire on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. No membership is required to watch the videos or receive their newsletter with the latest documentaries. Videos are actually hosted on YouTube and other video sharing services. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube. Enjoy blogging with others by being a member, individually or within a group to discuss your latest ideas on a documentary. Be aware: some of the content on this site may not be appropriate for all ages. Always remember to preview!

tag(s): primary sources (86), video (253)

In the Classroom

Documentary Wire provides documentaries for all your classes. Not sure what topics are available? Search the documentary list. Use a documentary to help students understand primary (such as interviews) and secondary sources. Consider examining point of view through many different choices of films. Study industry and government regulations. Research to discover if any documentary caused a change in the law. Look at the persuasive techniques used to convey a strong message. Study the formatting of the documentary to use as a framework for your own student research projects. Look at documentaries in your study of ethics. Challenge gifted learners in the search for new information.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Boundless - Ariel Diaz

Grades
9 to 12
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Save money, learn faster with free digital textbooks from Boundless. Boundless creates interactive textbooks including flashcards, interactive searches, and highlighting options. It...more
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Save money, learn faster with free digital textbooks from Boundless. Boundless creates interactive textbooks including flashcards, interactive searches, and highlighting options. It includes 18 college level subjects from Accounting through Writing. Choose any subject to begin. Create a free account enabling access to a search engine and additional study tools.

tag(s): art history (69), business (58), ebooks (41), microorganisms (14), politics (99), sociology (22)

In the Classroom

Although geared toward college textbooks, Boundless is an excellent resource for many high school classrooms. Choose sections of books to use as lessons on your interactive whiteboard or assign for students to read on their own. Challenge students to create a presentation using Prezi (reviewed here) demonstrating concepts learned. Use flashcards and quizzes embedded in Boundless books to review concepts. Boundless is an excellent resource for gifted or AP students. Use as a source for enrichment of your current curriculum.

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Advanced Energy Legislation Tracker - Colorado State University's Center for the New Energy Economy

Grades
9 to 12
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State legislatures in the US are considering thousands of bills that will influence energy systems and how energy is purchased and used. This tool is an online database to identify...more
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State legislatures in the US are considering thousands of bills that will influence energy systems and how energy is purchased and used. This tool is an online database to identify possible changes in energy policy without having to gain access from a variety of sources. The tracker identifies bills organized into the following categories: Electricity Generation, Energy Efficiency, Financing, Regulatory, Natural Gas, Emissions, Transportation, Infrastructure, Economic Development, and Other Energy. Search across all 50 states or choose from a selection of states. Identify proposed bills, action on the bills, and information about the sponsors of the bill. The database also shows an analysis of policy trends.

tag(s): debate (41), energy (197), environment (317), persuasive writing (55), politics (99), solar energy (38)

In the Classroom

Use this resource in an Energy or Environmental unit or as an applied way to study civics and government. Students can search their State and compare to other States. Discuss the different bills being proposed and how they would affect consumers or businesses. As a project idea, assign student groups the task of creating a bill that they would like to see adopted by their State. Challenge students to share their bill and ideas by using Prezi (reviewed here) to create a presentation. Consider making this an authentic experience in civics by having students compose persuasive letters with their suggestions (with the link to their presentation) to send to legislators. The many bills shared on this site would also provide excellent topics for debate or persuasive writing in English classes.

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English For Everyone - The Read Theory Team

Grades
1 to 12
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EnglishForEveryone.org is a great resource for printable English/Grammar worksheets. This site contains hundreds of worksheets that are broken down by category. Each category contains...more
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EnglishForEveryone.org is a great resource for printable English/Grammar worksheets. This site contains hundreds of worksheets that are broken down by category. Each category contains a lesson explanation with links to PDF worksheet with answers.

tag(s): grammar (216), grammar review (37), spelling (168), worksheets (59)

In the Classroom

English, writing, and language arts teachers: use the worksheets to reinforce skills taught in class. Project the PDF on your interactive whiteboard and use the whiteboard pens to complete the worksheet with the whole class. Have your students complete a word search and crossword puzzle when they finish their classwork. Civics teachers give your students the US Citizen test and see how they do.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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StudySC: Civil War - South Carolina State Library

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4 to 12
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Learn more about the Civil War. Information on people, battles, culture and more is provided. Though the site is South Carolina specific, the links provide lots of general information...more
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Learn more about the Civil War. Information on people, battles, culture and more is provided. Though the site is South Carolina specific, the links provide lots of general information about the Civil War and offer a different perspective than that of "northerners." This collection is listed in the "elementary" section of this site but reading levels in some resources are more appropriate for older students.

tag(s): battles (16), civil war (145), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

Use this site to explore the many aspects of the Civil War. Watch a short video from the "Price of Freedom" link to introduce your students to the Civil War. Use the culture section to explore woman's fashion of the Civil War era. See what woman were doing while the men were at home. Partner weaker readers with stronger ones to manage the text passages. Have students write a letter from the perspective of a wife, mother or sister to a soldier using the Letter Writing Generator (reviewed here).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Create a Map - BatchGeo - BatchGeo, LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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BatchGeo creates maps with multiple location points easily and quickly from information imported from your own spreadsheets or using their spreadsheet template. Choose "validate and...more
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BatchGeo creates maps with multiple location points easily and quickly from information imported from your own spreadsheets or using their spreadsheet template. Choose "validate and set options" to begin. Copy and paste location data into the box provided. When finished, save and choose a name for your map. Choose public or private sharing options to receive the unique url of your completed map.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): maps (288)

In the Classroom

Map any location data collected by your class using zip codes. Use data sets of various things online for mapping such as museums or libraries nearby. Research similar communities by demographics or census data and "map" them using this tool. Make an online Google forms survey (shared via twitter!) that includes zip codes and map those who respond: biology classes collecting water quality data, schools participating in a collaborative project, etc. Map anything that can be put into a spreadsheet with zip codes such as historic sites, toxic waste dumps, etc. You could even map locations where your Flat Stanley has traveled!

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Manifest Destiny - The Story of the US Told in 141 Maps - Michael Porath

Grades
6 to 12
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Manifest Destiny is an excellent interactive map site demonstrating the growth of the United States from March 1789 through the present. Click on each of the maps to view and ...more
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Manifest Destiny is an excellent interactive map site demonstrating the growth of the United States from March 1789 through the present. Click on each of the maps to view and highlight changes. Click on highlighted words to view areas on the map. Use the legend on the right side of the page to help interpret what each color represents on the map. Jump ahead to the Civil War (or a few other notable US History events), by clicking the links on the main page. Read "about" to learn about the Swiss information scientist who created this page from information available on Wikipedia.

tag(s): 1800s (44), 1900s (33), 20th century (51), civil war (145), colonization (16), maps (288)

In the Classroom

Use Manifest Destiny as a resource for any American History unit. Share the maps on your projector or interactive whiteboard. The many maps are an excellent visual demonstration of the growth of the US. Use information from the site to have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles (reviewed here). Include this site in lessons about information literacy and evaluating sources in your history course. Challenge students to verify the accuracy of the information depicted. Was wikipedia right?

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Climate Commons - Earth Journalism Network

Grades
9 to 12
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This tool is a map-based interactive platform containing layers of news and information on climate change in the US. It includes the latest data, stories on the causes and impacts,...more
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This tool is a map-based interactive platform containing layers of news and information on climate change in the US. It includes the latest data, stories on the causes and impacts, and the response to climate change. View the most recent data, including temperature, precipitation, and carbon dioxide emissions. Filter stories by a variety of categories (such as Oceans.) Each dot displays a story.

tag(s): climate (92), climate change (64)

In the Classroom

Use the data and geotagged stories to understand more about climate change. Create multimedia (podcast, video, blog, wiki, etc.) or conventional products (poster or bulletin board) to explain the basics of climate change. Click on different dots on the map to view specific stories that are being published there. Compare the tone and substance of the different articles found in each of the areas. Are there certain regions that are more skeptical (or less) about this issue? Have students select a story to research in terms of its local implications at that location, such as a story about fracking in the Marcellus Shale region. Civics/government classes can use this site to trace political issues, news, and related policy initiatives related to climate change.

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Historic Places - historicplaces.net

Grades
4 to 12
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Find and learn about almost 100,000 historic places in North America pinned on Google Maps. Click on place markers to view additional information on each location. Most include a link...more
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Find and learn about almost 100,000 historic places in North America pinned on Google Maps. Click on place markers to view additional information on each location. Most include a link to further information at an independent site. Use the search box to find historic places by city or state. Zoom in and out on the map to view placemarks by state or location. Don't forget to view "Street View" by clicking and dragging the "orange guy" where you want to go!

tag(s): canada (30), local history (13), maps (288), north america (19)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Take your students to "ground level" by using Street View. Create a scavenger hunt for important places and challenge students to locate them on this site. Have students research historical sites in your town or those related to events studied in Social Studies class. If you teach about states or regions of the U.S. or Canada, this is a great resource for students to eplore in small groups. Have students create maps using Animaps (reviewed here). Students can add text, images, and location stops describing historic events.

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Abbreviations - STANDS4 LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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Abbreviations.com is a directory and search engine for abbreviations, acronyms, and initial-isms across the Internet. It includes hundreds of thousands of entries organized into a large...more
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Abbreviations.com is a directory and search engine for abbreviations, acronyms, and initial-isms across the Internet. It includes hundreds of thousands of entries organized into a large variety of categories. Search for an abbreviation or acronym using the search bar and choose from abbreviation to term, term to abbreviation, or a word in the term. Browse items by choosing any letter to find items listed or choose from specific communities such as medical or business. Although this site has a lot of advertisements, the content found is worth looking past them.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): search engines (65)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site for reference to find or to decipher abbreviations or acronyms. Share with students on your website or blog as a resource at home.

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History and Politics Out Loud - WyzAnt Tutoring

Grades
6 to 12
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Listen to famous speeches by influential leaders of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Choose from the list of leaders including Winston Churchill, Richard Nixon, and Martin...more
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Listen to famous speeches by influential leaders of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Choose from the list of leaders including Winston Churchill, Richard Nixon, and Martin Luther King, Jr, and many others. View a short biography and background along with links to a famous speech (or speeches) given by that person. Some speeches are audio only, others are YouTube videos. If your district blocks YouTube, videos may not be viewable. You could always download the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.
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tag(s): churchill (5), declaration of independence (13), inauguration (11), kennedy (27), martin luther king (37), persuasive writing (55), presidents (130), roosevelt (16)

In the Classroom

Share speeches from this site on your class webpage or blog for students to view at home. Share them with your class using your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a president, famous scientist, or nearly any other real or fictitious person after viewing and listening to speeches on this site. Use the text of speeches to create a word cloud (try Wordle, -reviewed here) to analyze a leader's priorities and emphasis. Use these examples as students prepare their own persuasive (or propaganda) speeches in English or civics classes. Teachers or ELL students can offer speeches with accompanying texts to help build vocabulary and listening skills.
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Digital Public Library of America - Digital Public Library of America

Grades
5 to 12
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The Digital Public Library of America is a central portal pulling together the collections of US libraries, archives and museums. These individual collections are available in a single...more
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The Digital Public Library of America is a central portal pulling together the collections of US libraries, archives and museums. These individual collections are available in a single large database. The DPLA does not actually have any collection of its own; rather it provides direct links to individual artifacts that reside in other collections across the US. Artifacts include text, images, video clips, and more. You can search the DPLA using a timeline, using a map, or using a more traditional search box. The timeline feature makes accessing topics such as "civil rights" by decade very helpful. Creating a free account allows you to save searches. The DPLA also "collects" groups of artifacts into exhibitions.

tag(s): 1910s (9), 1920s (16), 1930s (15), 1940s (13), 1950s (12), 1960s (30), 1970s (12), 1980s (9), 20th century (51), data (148), museums (49), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

Adding the DPLA to your classroom bookmarks or introducing students to this resource will put a wealth of information into students' hands, aggregated into one place. Consider this a museum/archive/library specific search engine. Because each search links to an artifact or document which may actually be the property of any of dozens of different entities, students will need to understand that copyright and the ability to download material may vary depending upon where the original item "lives." Be sure to demonstrate how to FIND the rights information. Challenge students to explore basics on an artist, an author, or a social studies topic such as "civil rights" or "Martin Luther King" to see an overview in many media using the timeline display. Be sure to test the searches in advance to know which terms yield reasonable results.

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What So Proudly We Hail: Making American Citizens Through Literature - Amy and Leon Kass

Grades
5 to 12
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Be inspired to love American History! Development citizenship and awareness by using this ten-part curriculum of short stories, speeches, and songs. The curriculum consists of three...more
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Be inspired to love American History! Development citizenship and awareness by using this ten-part curriculum of short stories, speeches, and songs. The curriculum consists of three categories. The Meaning of America explores the American character and identity through the "close reading" of classical short stories such as "To Build a Fire" and "Man Without a Country." The American Calendar examines the purpose of the American holiday, proposing the celebrations help to unite us and attach us to our country. Songs for Free Men and Women scrutinizes national songs for meaning and how they emotionally attach us to our nation. All of this curriculum is inquiry based. It also offers suggested discussion questions, study guides, author biographies, and video discussions to model how higher-level-thinking conversations about each text should sound. What So Proudly We Hail uses primary texts, has rigor, is inquiry based, and has many essay topics and writing prompts aligned to the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies. A few of the blog entries include helpful information about the Common Core standards.
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tag(s): democracy (12), guided reading (47), holidays (147), literacy (103), literature (275)

In the Classroom

This comprehensive program can be a bit overwhelming at first look. You might want to pick just one, high interest short story lesson, perhaps Jack London's "To Build a Fire." This lesson and many others lends itself to small group discussion and work. The introduction makes observations and asks questions to encourage active reading and deep discussions that you may want to use as a class. Whether you and your students complete the lesson as a class or in small groups, you may want to use a program like Today's Meet reviewed here to enable all students to have a voice. If using small groups, have students post what the group decided are the answers on Today's Meet so everyone can see all answers. Where answers differ, have students go back into the reading and cite evidence to support their answer on Today's Meet for all to see. Teachers of gifted and music can choose selected ideas from this site, as well. A teaching team could make this site the focus of a year-long effort with so much material available. Upper elementary teachers and higher can make holidays and patriotic songs far more meaningful through close reading and class discussions
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