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Fold U.S. Candidate - Adi Marom

Grades
2 to 12
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Fold a US Candidate is a site that has paper foldable puppets of the US candidates for the 2008 election; however, it is still useful as a resource for templates ...more
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Fold a US Candidate is a site that has paper foldable puppets of the US candidates for the 2008 election; however, it is still useful as a resource for templates for President Obama and Mrs. Obama as well as other famous politicians: Biden, Clinton, Palin, McCain, etc.. Choose a person , click on the name, and the template will open in a new window ready to print in PDF format. There are instructions for cutting and folding, or watch a video demonstrating proper cutting and folding.

tag(s): elections (76), politics (100), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Use the foldable puppets when studying presidents or during your election unit. Share with students who are preparing presentations of political figures. You can also use this idea to create current candidate foldables from photos. If your students have simple movie making software such as iMovie, they could even act out campaign speeches, interviews, or debates and record them on video. Art teachers may want to use the templates as a guide for students who may want to try creating their own foldable puppets.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Spectra Visual Newsreader - MSNBC

Grades
5 to 12
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This very attractive site allows readers to select and compile the news they want to read. Readers can choose from U.S. or world news as well as from many news ...more
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This very attractive site allows readers to select and compile the news they want to read. Readers can choose from U.S. or world news as well as from many news categories such as politics, business, entertainment, health, technology, travel, and science. Each general category has up to 12 other choices of a more specific nature. After making those choices, a slideshow style player appears where readers can view a very brief summary of a news article to see if they would like to read the entire text. News videos and blogs are also available with just a click of your mouse. A "newscollector" allows readers to select and save featured stories for later reading.

tag(s): news (262), newspapers (95), reading comprehension (116), writing prompts (93)

In the Classroom

Use this tool for you and your students to find articles related to science, social studies, and cultural topics you are studying. Have students select, read, and compare two articles on the same subject. Have small groups of students take turns presenting weekly news. Use articles as practice for finding main idea and other comprehension skills. Create a selection of stories as writing prompts for persuasive writing pieces. Collect news sources related to an upcoming election to follow in a civics/government class. Have students create an online presentation on their selected news topics from categories you've assigned for your classroom news. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Wikipedia Race - Wikipedia

Grades
6 to 12
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Concerned that Wikipedia doesn't encourage higher-level thinking or is just the lazy way out? Here is a novel use for Wikipedia that teaches intellectual flexibility and creativity,...more
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Concerned that Wikipedia doesn't encourage higher-level thinking or is just the lazy way out? Here is a novel use for Wikipedia that teaches intellectual flexibility and creativity, and it's a whole lot of fun! While the site does all the set up for you, Wikipedia races require only a couple of computers and the Internet. Here's how it works. Choose as the destination a topic or word that has its own Wikipedia page. Try things like "apple pie" or "quilts" or nearly anything. Each "racer" goes to the Wikipedia main page and chooses "random article," and this page becomes his or her start page. The object of the challenge is to get from the random start page to the destination page by clicking on the hyperlinks within Wikipedia pages. No searching, just clicking. To make it more challenging, make some of the most broadly aggregated pages (like "United States" for example) off limits. First racer to the destination page wins. An example? Imagine your random start page is the biography page of a NASCAR driver, and your destination is "flashlight." One possible pathway might go from driver to automobile to car battery, to C battery, to flashlight.

tag(s): creative fluency (8), creativity (118), trivia (18)

In the Classroom

Wikipedia Races reward thinking that is divergent and flexible. Rather than having to narrowly focus on one right answer, racers win when they can generate lots of different associations among disparate ideas or items. Use Wikipedia Races when you have a little time left at the end of the period. A single race will last only 3 to 5 minutes for older students. It can be an individual competition among two or more racers, or students can work in small teams with one student at the mouse taking suggestions from the team. Consider being strategic with your destination pages, choosing topics related to your unit lesson, so students will need to have a broad understanding of those topics. ESL/ELL teachers can use this as a vocabulary development activity.

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TeachersFirst's Resources for Infographics - TeachersFirst

Grades
4 to 12
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Find a targeted collection of infographic resources including tools for creating them, collections of great infographic examples, and sites with professional information for teachers...more
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Find a targeted collection of infographic resources including tools for creating them, collections of great infographic examples, and sites with professional information for teachers planning to use infographics for student projects and assessments.

tag(s): infographics (43)

In the Classroom

Join the21st century trend of infographics as a way to share a lot of information, quantitative data, and relationships in a compact but effective visual space. Help students learn and construct meaning using infographics. Share this collection on your class web page as a starting point for students.

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History Engine: Tools for Collaborative Education and Research - The University of Richmond

Grades
8 to 12
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Contribute to ongoing historical research by submitting your own 500-word (or so) "episodes" to the History Engine. Each episode is designed to analyze and examine a particular event...more
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Contribute to ongoing historical research by submitting your own 500-word (or so) "episodes" to the History Engine. Each episode is designed to analyze and examine a particular event or small story, using primary sources and supporting research. The study of history is an ever-evolving process of continuing research and collaboration. While younger students may see history as something that has already been discovered, settled, written down and agreed upon, more advanced learners recognize that history is really much more interpretive and contextual.

The site is designed for use by college professors in designing research projects for individual students or student groups, but there is nothing here that would prevent advanced high school students from using the site or its materials as the basis for a research project. As the site is designed, instructors are to register prior to assigning research so that students can use an authorization code when submitting their research. If you decide to use the resources without submitting student work to the site, no registration is required. It should be noted that the terms of submission make the work the property of the University of Richmond; be sure that's consistent with your goals before you decide to submit.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): advanced placement (23), history day (23), local history (13)

In the Classroom

The site and the research it encourages is designed for college students, so secondary school use would need to be either in an upper level or Advanced Placement course, or perhaps for a student doing research for a National History Day project. As an alternative, the site can be used even in less advanced classes simply as a resource to explore the "episodes" already submitted by others.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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With Liberty and Justice for All - The Henry Ford Museum

Grades
4 to 12
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With Liberty and Justice for All is a special exhibit at the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan. The focus is on the American quest for equal rights, with a special ...more
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With Liberty and Justice for All is a special exhibit at the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan. The focus is on the American quest for equal rights, with a special emphasis on the Women's Suffrage Movement and the Civil Rights Movement. The site includes a video tour of the exhibit and lesson plans with standards for grade levels between fourth grade and twelfth grade. The lesson plans presume a visit to the museum, but could be adapted fairly easily for groups who are unable to visit the museum itself.

tag(s): branches of government (48), civil rights (120), constitution (82), freedom of speech (10), womens suffrage (25)

In the Classroom

While the site is focused on preparing students for a visit to the Henry Ford Museum, the site provides good resources and lesson plans for the study of both the Women's Suffrage Movement and the Civil Rights Movement. The video tour of the exhibit also provides a "virtual field trip" experience.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

This is a virtual field trip that groups resources for 6-8 grades and will be extremely useful at all levels towards a discussion of justice through evidence evaluation, pro and con using various issues from our history. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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Critical Past Stock Footage Archive - Jim and Andy Erickson

Grades
6 to 12
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Critical Past offers a collection of more than 57,000 historical videos and more than 7 million historical photos. All of the photos and videos are royalty free, archival stock footage....more
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Critical Past offers a collection of more than 57,000 historical videos and more than 7 million historical photos. All of the photos and videos are royalty free, archival stock footage. The site is in the business of selling these images and clips. "Royalty free" means that purchasing an image/clip will not require additional fees to the photographer, but it does NOT mean that the images/clips are "free" to download and use at will. Most of the footage comes from U.S. Government Agency sources. All of the videos and photos can be viewed for free online and shared with others via url, Twitter, or Facebook. Search the site either by decade, topic, or keyword. Along the right side bar of Critical Past, you will find "related videos" that correlate to the current search.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 20th century (53), afghanistan (7), africa (178), american revolution (88), china (67), europe (75), north america (19), south america (39), video (270)

In the Classroom

Use photos or videos on Critical Past to help illustrate what students are learning in history. Ask students to be "eyewitnesses" of history and watch a video before they have context for it. Students can write or blog about what they think they are witnessing. Afterward they can research the event in more depth and write a follow-up reflection on what was actually happening in the clip. Challenge your students to use a site such as Timetoast reviewed here to create timelines of topics researched on the site. Use images from public domain sites, such as the collections reviewed here, to illustrate the events.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Book TV - National Cable Satellite Corporation & C-SPAN

Grades
6 to 12
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Watch and listen as popular authors talk about their nonfiction books on this C-SPAN companion website. Book TV features 48 continuous hours of nonfiction books every weekend....more
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Watch and listen as popular authors talk about their nonfiction books on this C-SPAN companion website. Book TV features 48 continuous hours of nonfiction books every weekend. You can easily explore the archived programs, video library, or books and topics by searching the title, author, category, keyword, or browsing all of the listings. Watch the online videos or listen to podcasts of interviews with the authors from Book TV's After Words. There is a lot here to explore, and it appears to be ever-growing! You can find past telecast videos on YouTube, as well, in case you want to be able to download them to use offline. Click the YouTube menu. 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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): biographies (87), independent reading (130), interviews (17), politics (100)

In the Classroom

Use the online resources from this website to accompany your nonfiction literature. This collection is particularly useful when reading about historical figures. Make books and authors come alive for your students by accessing and projecting videos on your interactive whiteboard and sharing "Book Notes," biographies, and more. Lure students into independent reading by allowing them to explore the videos and find a book they might enjoy reading. After viewing a program or reading a book, have students share their opinions in a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
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How Our Laws Are Made - Mike Wirth

Grades
6 to 12
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Remember "I'm Just a Bill"? This one screen infographic is today's equivalent. The site, which is zoomable, presents a graphic flowchart of how ideas become laws in the United States....more
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Remember "I'm Just a Bill"? This one screen infographic is today's equivalent. The site, which is zoomable, presents a graphic flowchart of how ideas become laws in the United States. A great, high impact, visual aid to understanding the process by which the US government enacts laws.

tag(s): branches of government (48), congress (33)

In the Classroom

Use the graphic as an introduction to a detailed discussion. Share the site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use it to reinforce the process once you've taught the lesson. Encourage students to bookmark it to review or test their understanding. Anyone who teaches civics, government or US history will be able to use this graphic on an interactive whiteboard. For that matter, it should be required viewing for citizens and politicians alike!

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The Learning Network - The New York Times Company

Grades
6 to 12
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This New York Times site addresses many classroom needs. Scroll down the main section to find current event articles, photos, polls, and more. Find lesson plans by category, a student...more
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This New York Times site addresses many classroom needs. Scroll down the main section to find current event articles, photos, polls, and more. Find lesson plans by category, a student opinion section, contests, a daily news quiz, and timely articles connecting current events to thinking questions. Find many opportunities for a quick learning game or to express your opinion. There is even a student crossword. This site is frequently updated and includes a wide variety of subjects.

tag(s): news (262), vocabulary (325), writing prompts (93)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your class web page for students to find challenges or activities. Substitute teachers can always find an appropriate current events or vocabulary/writing activity if there are no lesson plans. English, social studies, and gifted teachers will want to explore the many lesson ideas that draw on current news stories. Find many prompts for student opinion blogs at this site. Have students create blogs using Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary!

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What's Going On Now - John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Grades
8 to 12
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Are we living in the worst of times? Or is history simply repeating? This site looks at the tumultuous 1960s and 1970s through the lens of Marvin Gaye's 1971 album ...more
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Are we living in the worst of times? Or is history simply repeating? This site looks at the tumultuous 1960s and 1970s through the lens of Marvin Gaye's 1971 album "What's Going On." But more importantly, the site challenges us to examine the similarities between those days and the world the youth of today has inherited. The French have a saying, "Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose," or the more things change, the more they remain the same. Compare the unrest related to the environment, to social change, to veterans issues. What about drugs, poverty, and faith? How are these issues expressed through popular music? This site presents compelling resources in music, video, and historical commentary, as well as strong teacher guidance to enable you to create powerful, involved lessons based on these questions. Fifty years ago, it was a call for "relevance" in the classroom; today, we search for "authentic" instruction. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

tag(s): 1960s (30), civil rights (120), cross cultural understanding (116), ecology (135), racism (18), veterans (19), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

History teachers struggle for "coverage," or the ability to teach across all eras. U.S. History teachers often don't get to the Vietnam era, but these resources are a superb reason for pressing forward. Teacher resources include a number of guided investigations and classroom listening guides that can be incorporated in their entirety or adapted to complement lessons on the Vietnam era in a recent U.S. History class, on social change for a Sociology class, or on contemporary music as an agent of political protest for a music class. For independent or gifted learners, this site could provide the basis for sustained small group inquiry as part of curriculum differentiation. Start by asking students to explore the site and write a blog post about their initial impressions.
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Speechable - Enluminari

Grades
K to 12
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Add a captivating or informative speech bubble to a picture from your computer or that you find (legally) online. Make the picture private and share with others. The public pictures...more
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Add a captivating or informative speech bubble to a picture from your computer or that you find (legally) online. Make the picture private and share with others. The public pictures on the home page change frequently, so be sure to check this just before SHARING with your students. Some of the captions could be considered offensive to some. . Be sure to make all of your pictures private.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (72), images (275)

In the Classroom

The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. Caption the homework directions on your teacher web page. Ask your students to create captions for class photos for all sorts of reasons. Use photos or digital drawings from your classroom, such as pictures taken during any hands-on activity. Have students draw in a paint program, save the file, and then add a caption. Spice up research projects about historic figures or important scientists. Have literary characters "talk" as part of a project. In a government class, add captions to photos explaining politicians' major platform planks during election campaigns. Caption the steps to math problem solving. Even primary students can make captions of an animal talking about his habitat or a "community helper" talking about his/her role. Make visual vocabulary/terminology sentences with an appropriate character using the term in context (a beaker explaining how it is different from a flask?). Students could also take pictures of themselves doing a lab and then caption the pictures to explain the concepts. This would be a great first day project (introducing yourself and breaking the ice). Share the class captions on your class web page or wiki! Leave directions to your class (for when a substitute is there). Use at back to school night to show your humorous side to the parents. Have students make talking photos of themselves as a visual tour of their new classroom for parents attending back to school night.

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Chartle - Dieter Krachtus

Grades
6 to 12
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Create various types of graphs and charts - easily! Input data quickly, and explore multiple ways to show the data using the various types of graphs available. Easily see the ...more
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Create various types of graphs and charts - easily! Input data quickly, and explore multiple ways to show the data using the various types of graphs available. Easily see the relationships between the data as you play with the graphic. Note: Take (and save) a screen shot of your chart as not all charts have been saved correctly. Once a chart has been published, it can no longer be edited. There is a short video tutorial on the homepage explaining how to use this site. This site uses Java.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195)

In the Classroom

You will want to play with this tool before using it in class. Use anywhere numerical data is collected and is best shown in a chart. Collect data in a science, survey, or math class and display it using different graphs to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using each graph type. Use for quick creation and sharing of created graphs. Create charts together easily on an interactive whiteboard when introducing the different types. Have students operate the board while others offer instructions on what to do next. Use graphs to portray different sets of data about a topic in a new and unique way. Use this tool to create graphs and charts for presentations and reports. Make quick charts students can share with others such as "How I spend my time" and "Places I have visited." During political campaign seasons, create charts to better visualize what the pollsters are saying.
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John F. Kennedy Presidential Library - JFK Library

Grades
7 to 12
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Recently, a large archive of material has been released by the JFK Library focused on the life of John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline. This site provides contextual information...more
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Recently, a large archive of material has been released by the JFK Library focused on the life of John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline. This site provides contextual information about these newly released records, as well as transcripts of oral history interviews. For example, you can now download previously secret audio recordings that were made during White House meetings, transcripts of oral history interviews with Jacqueline Kennedy, and a rich archive of other materials related to the Kennedy Presidency. This newly released material gives us insight into Kennedy's brief time as President, including his involvement in the Cuban Missile Crisis, his attitudes toward the Cold War relationship with the USSR and the build up of US troops in Vietnam. There are teacher resources and lesson plans that make use of the available archival material.

tag(s): history day (23), kennedy (27), presidents (130), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

All of these topics are of interest to students doing research into 20th century US and international history, and might be particularly useful to students working on in depth projects for National History Day. After researching a specific topic, have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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TES Teaching Resources - TSL Education

Grades
K to 12
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This amazing site contains thousands of lesson plans and activities for students of all ages (ages 3-16+). Simple registration is required with an email address and password. Choose...more
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This amazing site contains thousands of lesson plans and activities for students of all ages (ages 3-16+). Simple registration is required with an email address and password. Choose a grade range to search for activities. Note that terminology for lessons is from the UK, so you may need to "translate" for U.S. curriculum topics and spelling. Choose subjects then further categorized into topics. Many links include complete lessons plans with items such as PowerPoint lessons, videos, quizzes, worksheets, and much more. Other options on the site allows you to save items as favorites, follow other users, save searches, and upload materials. Another offering is the "Whole School" category that includes resources for school needs such as behavior and assemblies.

tag(s): bullying (50), business (58), creativity (118), preK (288), psychology (64), religions (66), sociology (22), teaching strategies (24)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite to use as a resource when searching for lesson plans and classroom activities. Why reinvent the wheel? Take advantage of these ready to go resources!
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New Math - Craig Damrauer

Grades
6 to 12
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Take a different look at math (and many other topics) through intriguing word equations! View a series of slides with many different equations such as secret = whisper - whisper ...more
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Take a different look at math (and many other topics) through intriguing word equations! View a series of slides with many different equations such as secret = whisper - whisper again, unicycle = bicycle + oddness, among many others. Some of the concepts relate to life, government, and current events, not "math." Slides can be viewed in several different ways: choose random to view a random slide from the selections, or change the view to scrolling to go down the catalog of slides offered. Each slide contains a link so you can share it in through Facebook, Twitter, email, and more. The SHARE button is on the bottom left side of the screen.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creativity (118), logic (236), puzzles (205), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Display a new slide on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) weekly as a conversation-starter in a math class, social studies class, or gifted classroom. Ask students to explain what the equation might mean. Challenge students to create their own new math word equations and share them using a talking avatar using a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced). Use a site such as Blabberize (reviewed here). Much of the vocabulary used with the equations is very advanced. Use this in English class for vocabulary development. Then challenge students to create some of their own "equations" with other new vocabulary words.

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Game Up: Brain Pop Games - Game Up Brainpop games

Grades
K to 12
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This new "freebie" from Brainpop goes beyond the usual videos and quizzes. It includes several engaging interactives, some created by Brainpop and others linked to outside sources....more
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This new "freebie" from Brainpop goes beyond the usual videos and quizzes. It includes several engaging interactives, some created by Brainpop and others linked to outside sources. Game Up, a free area of Brain Pop, is a collection of free online games that are linked to Common Core and State Standards. Science, math, social studies, and health activities provide challenge for every learner. This free gem also includes activities for grades K-3 and ESL/ELL students. Some of the topics (at the time of this review) included: Drake Equation, Court Quest, Cell Command, Blood Typing, Make Me Sick, The Diabetic Dog Game, and Food Fight.
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tag(s): branches of government (48), cells (104), debate (43), diseases (68), fractions (235), game based learning (109), logic (236), matter (61), myplate (28), nutrition (155), oceans (152), planets (126), plants (153), puzzles (205), solar system (123), supreme court (22)

In the Classroom

Use Game Up to introduce, illustrate, review, or assess concepts. Share the activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector for students to operate as a class activity. Use one of the activities as a learning center. Be sure to put this as a link on your website to allow students a great way to reinforce learning both in and out of your class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Running for Office--Cartoons of Clifford K. Berryman - The National Archives

Grades
7 to 12
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Each Presidential election cycle brings with it a new crop of political cartoons and caricatures of politicians. Clifford K. Berryman drew political cartoons at the turn of the 20th...more
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Each Presidential election cycle brings with it a new crop of political cartoons and caricatures of politicians. Clifford K. Berryman drew political cartoons at the turn of the 20th century and US Presidents from Grover Cleveland to Harry Truman. This site profiles both the cartoons themselves, and the issues and personalities behind the cartoons. Visually attractive, the site also permits downloading cartoons so they can be printed and studied.

As an important primary source, political cartoons provide an important insight into the issues and controversies of their time period. More than simply who did what, and what happened where, these drawings show us the emotions and conflict involved in the ugly and messy business of politics.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (72), elections (76), politics (100), presidents (130)

In the Classroom

Students can gain insight into the events of the first half of the 20th century as well as draw parallels between the issues of that time and today. How are Presidential campaigns different and how are they similar? Challenge students to create their own political comics using one of TeachersFirst's many comic/cartoon tools reviewed here.

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Payscale Cost of Living Calculator - Payscale, Inc.

Grades
7 to 12
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Try this excellent tool when teaching budgeting, comparing salaries and cost of living in different areas, and money management. Enter two locations and a salary and occupation. Graphs...more
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Try this excellent tool when teaching budgeting, comparing salaries and cost of living in different areas, and money management. Enter two locations and a salary and occupation. Graphs show the difference between cost of groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, and health care in the two places. A comparison shows how much salary you would need to maintain the present standard of living in the other location. You can also compare the cost of living to other major cities.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): careers (133), money (190)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to determine how far a dollar goes in various locations. Allow students the opportunity to play with a standard salary and occupation to look at the differences in costs of living. Report on trends for cities in different areas of the country. Create a list locally of the various items that would be found in each category and the salary for that occupation where you live. Create a budget that allows for savings and vacation or large purchases. Use the data for practice with graphing and creating infographics. In government classes, use this tool and census data to make hypotheses or draw conclusions about patterns of population movement and economic trends in various areas of the country, especially in connection with political trends and election data.

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Mapping the 2010 U.S. Census - The New York Times

Grades
4 to 12
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This interactive map project shows the population growth and decline, changes in racial and ethnic concentrations, and patterns of housing development in the U.S., based on information...more
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This interactive map project shows the population growth and decline, changes in racial and ethnic concentrations, and patterns of housing development in the U.S., based on information from the Census Bureau's 2010 survey. The map is zoomable so that you can view neighborhoods delineated by specific streets or zip codes.

tag(s): census (19), maps (290), population (61)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Encourage your students to use this tool for projects and organization including making assumptions about neighborhood breakdowns, relationship to poverty levels, effects of industrialization and assumptions about why certain areas had an increase or decrease in population.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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