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Abraham Lincoln - American President - University of Virginia

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6 to 12
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This Lincoln page includes a quick fact sheet, a short biography, and links to additional information on Lincoln's advisors, administration, and accomplishments. It is part of a very...more
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This Lincoln page includes a quick fact sheet, a short biography, and links to additional information on Lincoln's advisors, administration, and accomplishments. It is part of a very complete collection of presidential resources that could be a staple of an American history curriculum.

At the bottom of the page you will find links to read Lincoln's most famous speeches. You have to scroll to his name. The list includes all presidents (up to G.W. Bush). You can also click to hear podcasts that are focused on Lincoln and the Civil War. The podcasts require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): lincoln (86), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Use this site for basic research about Lincoln, to read his speeches, and to even learn more about the former president by listening to the podcasts. Share the podcasts and photos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students write a fictitious blog entry through the eyes of Lincoln after reading one of his four famous speeches listed at this site.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Mrs. President: From Martha to Laura - Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum

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K to 12
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This downloadable PDF file offers very detailed lesson plans and classroom activities about the first ladies of America. There are lesson plans for grades K-3, 3-6, 6-12, and 9-12....more
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This downloadable PDF file offers very detailed lesson plans and classroom activities about the first ladies of America. There are lesson plans for grades K-3, 3-6, 6-12, and 9-12. The lesson plans all include Illinois standards, objectives, thinking questions, and explicit instructions. Some of the lessons include Dining Like a President, First Kids, Design a First Lady, How do they Compare, & First Ladies and the Media: Public Image and Private Influence. The site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): white house (14)

In the Classroom

Use these lessons during February as you celebrate President's Day. Have students complete research on the topic of the lesson (for example, the "Design a First Lady"). Then challenge students to create a multimedia presentation, a blog entry from the first lady whom the student researched, or a fictitious audio or video discussion between the current first lady and the "designed" first lady. Have a class discussion on what Mary Todd Lincoln would write if she could email (or text) Michelle Obama.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The American Civil War Homepage - Dr. George H. Hoemann and Mary E. Myers

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K to 12
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Although TeachersFirst doesn't usually highlight a "hotlist," this one definitely deserves a mention! This set of links (all about the Civil War) includes songs from the 1800s, lots...more
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Although TeachersFirst doesn't usually highlight a "hotlist," this one definitely deserves a mention! This set of links (all about the Civil War) includes songs from the 1800s, lots of general resource sites about the Civil War and the general time period, information about the battles, and much more. The list is huge, so be prepared! Thankfully they have the material divided into logical categories, and the site is simple to use. This site is updated frequently and includes everything from basic research to interactive videos to letters from a soldier in the Civil War. Some of the sites require Flash, Media Player, RealPlayer, and Adobe Acrobat. You can get them all from the a href="/tools.cfm">TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86), songs (52)

In the Classroom

Music teachers, why not share some music from the Civil War times. Students may be surprised that they already know some of these famous songs. All grade levels will find something here to share with their class, but you will need to spend some time searching through this list. Share the letters from the soldiers with your students. Have students write fictitious letters (or blog entries) taking on the persona of a soldier.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Presidency of the United States of America - Encyclopedia Britannica

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5 to 12
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This site provides concise information about the men who have held the nation's highest office, their first ladies, and the complex job of the American president. Historical election...more
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This site provides concise information about the men who have held the nation's highest office, their first ladies, and the complex job of the American president. Historical election results, descriptions of political parties, and a gallery of documents related to the presidency are also included. Investigate the audio and video features - where you'll find some true gems! Watch a video of Nixon discussing Watergate, see JFK deliver his NASA speech, view Ronald Reagan's Berlin Wall Speech, and see many animated videos from Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and more!!

There is also a link about the famous 2008 Election. Learn about the candidates and election results. Some of the videos, animations, and audio require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): elections (75), lincoln (86), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Use this site to research candidates in the upcoming elections, and presidents of the past. Have students create a wiki to discuss the candidates viewpoints and if the students agree or disagree. Challenge students to create a political "blog" as a mock candidate. Have a "mock" presidential race in your class (using the mock candidates created by your students). Have the "candidates" go on the campaign trail, research the issues, and provide their solutions to America's problems.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Emancipation Proclamation - National Archives

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6 to 12
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This site from the National Archives provides images of the original proclamation, along with a brief analysis explaining the various limitations to Lincoln's document that freed the...more
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This site from the National Archives provides images of the original proclamation, along with a brief analysis explaining the various limitations to Lincoln's document that freed the slaves. The analysis sets the effort to free slaves into the political context of the Civil War.

tag(s): africa (180), african american (113), civil war (145), lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

Share the original document on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students take turns reading each section aloud to the class. After reading the entire document, have students write a journal entry from the viewpoint of the slaves - what were they thinking, feeling, did they even know this had happened?

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Today in History - Library of Congress

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4 to 12
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The Library of Congress offers this daily look at historical events - mostly American. There is typically more than one event listed per day, and the text integrates cultural, literary,...more
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The Library of Congress offers this daily look at historical events - mostly American. There is typically more than one event listed per day, and the text integrates cultural, literary, and political trends into the daily reporting. This makes this daily nugget far more than just a collection of "factoids."

tag(s): history day (23)

In the Classroom

This site provides excellent historical research! For a classroom-ready activity each day to build understanding of historical events in the context of your students' prior knowledge, also try TeachersFirst's Dates That Matter. Include both links on your teacher web page for instant access by students both in and out of class. Maybe start a class wiki for your own "This Day" collection and assign student groups a day of their own. Add to it from year to year. Or have students write blog responses on class or individual blogs as they choose an event for the day from several sources and react to it.

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On This Day - New York Times

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6 to 12
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The New York Times offers this glimpse back into history in this daily feature. Events may be national or international, and frequently refer to contemporaneous Times coverage. The...more
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The New York Times offers this glimpse back into history in this daily feature. Events may be national or international, and frequently refer to contemporaneous Times coverage. The site also lists "famous" birthdays, copies of previous New York Times, and links to lesson plans (mainly current events).

tag(s): news (261)

In the Classroom

Try this one for a daily "historical current events" sampling. Take advantage of the "ready to go" lesson plans, which include interactive features.

This site also makes for decent research. For a classroom-ready activity each day to build understanding of historical events in the context of your students' prior knowledge, also try TeachersFirst's Dates That Matter. Include both links on your teacher web page for instant access by students both in and out of class. Maybe start a class wiki for your own "This Day" collection and assign student groups a day of their own. Add to it from year to year. Or have students write blog responses on class or individual blogs as they choose an event for the day from several sources and react to it.

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Today In History - Cowles

Grades
6 to 12
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A very good site for the history buff or those struggling to understand historical events. The story links have real depth and are well written for easy comprehension. Pictures make...more
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A very good site for the history buff or those struggling to understand historical events. The story links have real depth and are well written for easy comprehension. Pictures make the history come alive and support the information given. There are links to particular events of the day, a daily quiz, and a picture of the day. Be aware: some dates do not have any information and other dates provide a very brief list of "happenings."

tag(s): expository writing (44), history day (23)

In the Classroom

This site would be ideal for research projects. For a classroom-ready activity each day to build understanding of historical events in the context of your students' prior knowledge, also try TeachersFirst's Dates That Matter. Include both links on your teacher web page for instant access by students both in and out of class. Maybe start a class wiki for your own "This Day" collection and assign student groups a day of their own. Add to it from year to year. Or have students write blog responses on class or individual blogs as they choose an event for the day from several sources and react to it.

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Meet Amazing Americans - The Library of Congress

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1 to 8
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This site offers some basic research on MANY "Amazing" Americans. Click to learn more about "Amazing" Leaders & Statesmen, U.S. Presidents, Activists & Reformers, Adventurers & Explorers,...more
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This site offers some basic research on MANY "Amazing" Americans. Click to learn more about "Amazing" Leaders & Statesmen, U.S. Presidents, Activists & Reformers, Adventurers & Explorers, Musicians & Composers, Writers & Artists, Industrialists & Entrepreneurs, Scientist & Inventors, or Athletes and Entertainers. Be prepared: when you click on one of the topics you may have a few people pop up OR more names than you can count! This is an excellent site for research, teaching students about American heroes, or using to enhance your social studies, science, or music curriculum. There are pictures, information, and even some interactives. There are also links to a Presidential Scavenger Hunt, a "Dynamite Presidents" interactive, and other "extras." Some of the activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): composers (21), explorers (61), inventors and inventions (101), presidents (131), scientists (69)

In the Classroom

This site could be used throughout the entire year. Why not highlight a "hero of the week." Share the information on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students write diary entries (or blogs) from the perspective of the "hero of the week." Use this site for individual research projects and have students create multimedia presentations about their hero: a Powerpoint, website, blog, wiki, or video. This site can be used in more than just social studies topics. Music classes, science classes, and gifted classes can also benefit from the many research areas.
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America's Story - Library of Congress

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3 to 8
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The stories of America's past come alive in this fun and entertaining site that is filled with interactive activities, engaging glimpses of historical figures, music, animation, and...more
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The stories of America's past come alive in this fun and entertaining site that is filled with interactive activities, engaging glimpses of historical figures, music, animation, and more! Students can jump back in time to experience an historic era, explore America's favorite pastimes, or investigate some vintage music, cartoons, and films. Throughout the site, visitors are presented with interesting side trips, glimpses of historic documents and photographs, and interactive trivia questions. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74)

In the Classroom

Interested students could spend hours on this site, so provide some specific directions for use before turning them loose! Use to supplement the study of a particular time period in American history or as an enrichment activity.
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Gallup Daily - Gallup, Inc.

Grades
1 to 12
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The Gallup Daily offers detailed information about elections, current events, video clips, and much more. There are also graphs and statistical information. Some of this site...more
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The Gallup Daily offers detailed information about elections, current events, video clips, and much more. There are also graphs and statistical information. Some of this site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): elections (75), statistics (122)

In the Classroom

Use this site to share current events with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Study the statistics of the election in your math class. Have a mock election in your class, analyze the results of your class election using graphs and statistics.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Cosmeo Atlas - Discovery education

Grades
6 to 12
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This interactive world map shares information in video format about culture, government, history, or the natural world. To view the information you may either click on the location...more
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This interactive world map shares information in video format about culture, government, history, or the natural world. To view the information you may either click on the location on the map, or use the Select a Location toolbar. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): climate (92), countries (77), environment (317)

In the Classroom

Students can be divided into groups and assigned a country. Each student can use the videos to create a snapshot of the country based upon the culture, government, history, and the natural world. Students can create their own videos outlining the information, a blog post to share with others, newsletters, or any other project that makes a comparison between cultures. Offer this as one of several resources for student research. Your learning support and ESL students will find it easier to follow this information in video than to use text-based resources.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Online NewsHour Extra: Video Clipboard - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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Are you looking for a new way to get your students excited about current events and the news? This site (a new feature of the PBS NewsHour) provides daily (Monday ...more
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Are you looking for a new way to get your students excited about current events and the news? This site (a new feature of the PBS NewsHour) provides daily (Monday - Friday) video blogs. The blogs come complete with a video clip, summary, quotes, thinking questions, and more. (Don't miss the link to "How to Use this" with tips for downloading veido in advance of your class and how to use it). Video topics relate to current events but extend back into background that lead up to today's events. Some of the "extras" include transcripts, printables, and the ability to post comments. If you post a comment, you must provide your name, city, state, and email address. BE CERTAIN to check your school's Acceptable Use Policy and obtain parental permission before allowing students to comment on the video blogs.

Tip: rather than using your personal or work email, create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. The videos require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): news (261)

In the Classroom

Share these video blogs with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector as you discuss current events and related issues. Share this link on your class web page as an option for weekly current events articles you require from students. Take advantage of the free resources (quotes, warm up questions, discussion questions, printables, and other resources). If you teach reading or are working to help learning support students build comprehension, you will find terrific passages for teaching comprehension, inferencing, summarizing, and more, all with meaningful news stories as the focus. If your school's Acceptable Use Policy allows, have students post their own comments to the video blogs. Another idea: have your students create their own wiki about current events in local and/or national news. Invite students to create their own multimedia packages using video clips and their own text to explain an issue and its history.
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American Heritage Education Foundation, Inc. - The American Heritage Education Foundation

Grades
K to 12
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Social studies, history, and government teachers - be warned - this site may be the best FREE gift you receive this year. To sum it up in one word - ...more
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Social studies, history, and government teachers - be warned - this site may be the best FREE gift you receive this year. To sum it up in one word - WOW! The highlight of this site is ready-to-go lesson plans (with standards) divided by age level (elementary, middle, and high school). These FREE lesson plans are available online via a PDF file or you may order a FREE CD (they say it is a $150 value).

The elementary topics range from Colonial America to U.S. Presidents (with a focus on George Washington) to the History of Thanksgiving to The Pledge of Allegiance and MANY others. The middle school topics include the Declaration of Independence, Our National Documents, The Gettysburg Address, Religious Expression in School, and several others. The high school topics vary from the Mayflower, to Federalists 47, the First Amendment, and more. Each grade level also includes lessons on character education.

In addition to the wonderful lesson plans, the site also highlights the four themes of the foundation: Unity, Progress, Freedom, and Responsibility. There are also links to some fantastic social studies sites and a wealth of research information about America. Some of the lesson plans and printables require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): colonial america (107), constitution (79), gettysburg (26), gettysburg address (18), presidents (131), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Obviously, the lesson plans are useful for all grade levels. Take advantage of these free resources. Many include printable activities for your students to try out. Although the site isn't highly interactive, it does have some great ideas to incorporate into your class to bring history alive.

Make the lesson plans more "technologically advanced" by having students create a wiki or blog entry. Have your high school students complete the lesson on the First Amendment and then have them have a virtual debate about the First Amendment via a class wiki. Have your elementary students complete the lesson on U.S. Presidents and then have each student write a blog entry pretending to be one of the presidents (a great mini-research project). Have your middle school students complete the lesson on the Gettysburg Address and then try to create their own "Address" to talk about the current state of our nation. Have them share their "Address" on a video using YouTube or or TeacherTube (explained here).
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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How Collectors Coins are Made - U S Mint

Grades
1 to 8
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The US Mint offers two thorough tours about the process of creating collector coins and circulating coins. On the first page of this site, you can choose which tour you ...more
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The US Mint offers two thorough tours about the process of creating collector coins and circulating coins. On the first page of this site, you can choose which tour you would like to complete.

At the Collectors Coin tour, watch as coins are created and released into the collector population. Learn about the difference between collector coins and circulation coins. The US Mint tour takes guests virtually through how coins are made, the history of the Mint, the connection with the government, and how the coins are placed into circulation.

Both tours are thorough and the speaker is clear and to-the-point allowing for various age groups to benefit from watching the video. Choose from a video option or slide show format. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): coins (8), currency (20), money (193)

In the Classroom

Share the short videos (less than five minutes each) on an interactive whiteboard or projector during your money and measurement unit or as you study economics. Follow up with center time based on creating money and sorting as well as counting various types of money. Also include money from other countries for students to compare and contrast. Have older students summarize the video by using the classroom computer to create a flow chart about the money making process or a graphic organizer with the main points of the videos. This might be a terrific way to teach the study skill of graphic organizers! Students can present their documents on the interactive whiteboard or projectors. Include it on your teacher web page for students to access both in and out of class for enrichment or individual research.
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Quiz School: Create a Quiz Online - Proprofs QuizSchool

Grades
1 to 12
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The site calls itself the "YouTube of Quizzes." This site allows you to create ONLINE quizzes. You MUST register to use this site. Registration does require an email address, user ...more
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The site calls itself the "YouTube of Quizzes." This site allows you to create ONLINE quizzes. You MUST register to use this site. Registration does require an email address, user name, and password. Registration takes less than ten seconds, and is very simple.

Once registered, you click to create a quiz. Then you are asked to choose between a personality quiz or a scored quiz. This site offers extraordinary details. At the scored quiz, you are able to provide a title, tags, description, and choose the type of questions (multiple choice, essay, or fill in the blank). It is simple to insert images, change font styles, insert links, and even score the online quiz. You can create a pass/fail quiz, a graded quiz (with YOU determining what qualifies as an A, B, etc..). You are also able to set a time limit, issue a certificate of achievement, and fill in the possible total score.

Once students have taken the quiz, immediate feedback is provided (including a scale of all participants, the correct answers, final score, and grade). This is a fantastic tool to use to create online quizzes!

Caution: this site does include some minor advertisements. At the time of this review, all advertisements were appropriate. But it would be wise to advise students NOT to click off of the quiz onto any of the advertisements or links.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): quiz (85)

In the Classroom

Use this site to create online quizzes. Create a quiz as a review to share on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students take the quiz independently or in cooperative learning groups. Have students create their own quizzes to use for review or as a final project. Embed your quiz (or provide a link to it) on your class website.

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6th Grade Home Page - Kidport

Grades
5 to 7
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This site, created by Kidport for sixth grade students, offers links to lessons and activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library....more
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This site, created by Kidport for sixth grade students, offers links to lessons and activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library. Some of the subject areas only offer one or two activities, while others offer several. Some examples of topics include adding and subtracting decimals, angles, human body (heart, bones, muscles, and more), vertebrates, invertebrates, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, the structure of the U.S. government, U.S. constitution, presidents, homophones, contractions, drawing, and others.

This site offers a variety of interactive elements (online quizzes, interactive maps and diagrams, and other learning exercises). Some of the pages do have advertisements, but they are not distractive. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): angles (88), constitution (79), decimals (133), egypt (67), grammar (216), greece (26), presidents (131), rome (27)

In the Classroom

Check out the unique mix available at this website. Share it with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for enrichment, learning stations, or as a whole class activity. List this site on your class website for students to use for additional practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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7th Grade Home Page - Kidport

Grades
6 to 8
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This site, created by Kidport for seventh grade students, offers links to lessons and activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library....more
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This site, created by Kidport for seventh grade students, offers links to lessons and activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library. Some of the subject areas only offer one or two activities, while others offer several. Some examples of topics include adding and subtracting decimals, angles, human body (heart, bones, muscles, and more), vertebrates, invertebrates, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, the structure of the U.S. government, world geography, U.S. constitution, presidents, kinds of verbs, kinds of nouns, sentence structure, drawing, and others.

This site offers a variety of interactive elements (online quizzes, interactive maps and diagrams, and other learning exercises). Some of the pages do have advertisements, but they are not distractive. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): angles (88), constitution (79), decimals (133), grammar (216), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Check out the eclectic mix of activities available at this website. Share it with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for enrichment during certain units, learning stations, or as a whole class activity. List this site on your class website for students to use for additional practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Election 2016 - Scholastic

Grades
3 to 8
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Track the entire election process with your elementary and middle school students. This site developed by Scholastic is loaded with activities for kids and tools for teachers. Features...more
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Track the entire election process with your elementary and middle school students. This site developed by Scholastic is loaded with activities for kids and tools for teachers. Features include candidate interviews conducted by students, explanations of the election process in kid-friendly terms, lesson plans on various election topics (Political Parties, Campaigning, Electoral College, Candidates and Issues, and others), printable pages, election interactives, and more.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): elections (75)

In the Classroom

Share the interactives and video clips on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Use the ready to go lesson plans (which include standards) to keep your students informed of election news. With older students, create a class wiki to discuss presidential views and issues.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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How the President Gets Elected - Factmonster

Grades
4 to 12
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This simple seven-step users' guide is a great refresher for older students and an easy-to-understand introduction for those just learning about the election process. The site explains...more
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This simple seven-step users' guide is a great refresher for older students and an easy-to-understand introduction for those just learning about the election process. The site explains common election terminology (caucus, Electoral College, primary) and outlines requirements that must be met to vote and to run for public office. Use this guide to frame discussions and chart the progress in this year's presidential election.

tag(s): elections (75), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Have your students follow this guide to create a fictitious candidate. Challenge students to create a blog about their mock candidate. What issues are important to your students? Do any of the IRL (Internet lingo for "in real life") candidates share the same views as the students' mock candidate?

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