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Here on Earth - NPR

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5 to 12
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This NPR site offers the weekly schedule and recorded programs in its "Here on Earth" series, offering cultural news from around the world. The programs are often part of a ...more
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This NPR site offers the weekly schedule and recorded programs in its "Here on Earth" series, offering cultural news from around the world. The programs are often part of a larger series, the archives of which are easily accessible as well. Previews for the five weekly programs, Monday through Friday include enticing photographs. Links on the pages of the programs offer opportunities for more information and links to related programs. Students also have the opportunity to see short, related videos and comment on ongoing programs. Programs cover a wide variety of subjects and fields.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), radio (27), religions (61)

In the Classroom

Teachers may want to preview the upcoming programs for each week to connect their ELL/ESL students with the programs that concern their part of the world. Students could do an introduction to their countries before the class listens to an appropriate program. Ask your students to visit the site, listen, research, and create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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Blog Divided - Dickinson College

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7 to 12
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This blog was created and is maintained by Dickinson College (in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, just north of Gettysburg and the Mason-Dixon Line) for those teaching about the American Civil...more
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This blog was created and is maintained by Dickinson College (in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, just north of Gettysburg and the Mason-Dixon Line) for those teaching about the American Civil War era. The site is indexed by theme and category, making it easy to search for information and resources related to topics from slavery to science and technology to religion. Not limited to information about battles, soldiers or generals, the site offers commentary about the culture and social issues of the mid-nineteenth century. There are links to other resources and projects maintained by Dickinson College and others.

tag(s): 1800s (44), civil war (145)

In the Classroom

While the site might be useful to students doing higher level research or working on a National History project, teachers are the principal audience. If this is a passion of yours, add it to your RSS feed or bookmark it and add to your own knowledge base on this important topic. Share relevant blog entries with your class on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge cooperative learning groups to read one of the blogs and share the information with the class by creating online posters on paper using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here).

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ArtsEdge - Kennedy Center

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K to 12
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This site, created by the Kennedy Center offers a wealth of interactive lesson plans for grades K-12 dealing with a variety of topics, all with an "arts" spin. Search by ...more
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This site, created by the Kennedy Center offers a wealth of interactive lesson plans for grades K-12 dealing with a variety of topics, all with an "arts" spin. Search by subject, keyword, or grade level (K-4, 5-8, or 9-12). Some examples of topics include Native Americans, Civil War, Shakespeare, myths, melodrama, adjectives, baseball, and countless others! There are many interactive lessons: some with video, audio, or slideshows. The lessons provide an estimate of time required and complete, step-by-step instructions. There are printables included with some of the lessons.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): african american (113), baseball (36), civil war (145), comics and cartoons (74), dance (28), folktales (65), greece (26), habitats (84), immigration (58), literature (275), mexico (34), musical instruments (48), myths and legends (25), native americans (78), painting (66), surrealism (4)

In the Classroom

Search this site for a topic that you are teaching in your class. Share the lesson on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Better yet, make the video or slideshow a learning station for students to do themselves in small groups.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Mr. Donn's Social Studies - Mr. Donn

Grades
K to 8
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This is a site that contains numerous links to lessons and websites on various social studies and world history subjects. There are numerous subjects: Age of Exploration, Roaring 20s,...more
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This is a site that contains numerous links to lessons and websites on various social studies and world history subjects. There are numerous subjects: Age of Exploration, Roaring 20s, 50 states, World Geography, African Kingdoms, and countless others. There are lesson plans, links, videos, and more.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 1920s (16), africa (180), archeology (32), china (66), civil rights (117), civil war (145), colonial america (107), egypt (67), great depression (24), greece (26), holidays (147), immigration (58), india (36), industrial revolution (25), japan (61), mayans (12), mesopotamia (6), native americans (78), psychology (64), religions (61), renaissance (34), resources (112), rome (27), slavery (72), westward expansion (29)

In the Classroom

This is the perfect site for Social Studies and History teachers. Use this site for background information when planning lessons. Place this link on your classroom computers to provide students with safe places to research. Several topics have video clips that are perfect for showing on a projector or interactive whiteboard. If using this site for research, challenge students to create 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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Independence Day Around the World - Chartsbin

Grades
2 to 12
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This site offers an interactive world map showing Independence Day dates from around the world. You simply hover the cursor over any country that was formerly a colony to see ...more
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This site offers an interactive world map showing Independence Day dates from around the world. You simply hover the cursor over any country that was formerly a colony to see the date of its independence from that country. All countries that used to be part of Great Britain are the same color; color coding for other former empires indicates the empire's former holdings. Data comes from reliable government and other statistical sources. At the bottom of the page, related charts that may be of interest show: Father's Day around the World, Mother's Day around the World, Halloween Celebrations around the world and more.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): colonial america (107), holidays (147), july 4th (9)

In the Classroom

Keep this site in mind as a reference source when students study world cultures or foreign languages. Challenge students to use this site to create research projects about individual (free) nations around the world. Have individual students or cooperative learning groups create a multimedia presentation using a tool such as Mapskip (reviewed here) to create a map of the country they researched (with audio stories and pictures included)!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Around the World (About 20,000 Times) - Wall Street Journal

Grades
5 to 12
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This site shares great summary of the U.S. space shuttle program. An interactive graph shows icons organized by year for each space mission. Clicking the icon shows the vital ...more
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This site shares great summary of the U.S. space shuttle program. An interactive graph shows icons organized by year for each space mission. Clicking the icon shows the vital information about each mission, including the date of the mission, distance it covered, the duration of its flight, its orbital altitude, and the number of earth orbits it made. Each icon has different symbols to describe the mission visually. There is a clear explanation of the icon meanings. Click on just one orbiter to see its missions; sort by date, mission type, mission duration, spacecraft, altitude, and number of orbits. There is a color coded summary of each of the shuttle (Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavor).
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): nasa (39), space (205), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

Challenge your students to use a site such as TimeRime reviewed here to create an interactive timeline of part or all of the space program. Assign your students to find online visuals (in the public domain) of certain aspects of the space shuttle program. Then have students create an online book of images and captions about their mission choice using Bookr (reviewed here). (Bookr uses Flickr images, so you must first upload or find the images on Flickr).

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South American Cultures - Discovery Education

Grades
5 to 9
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At this site you will learn about festivals in South America and create charts and essays based on the research. There is a lesson plan complete with discussion questions, links ...more
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At this site you will learn about festivals in South America and create charts and essays based on the research. There is a lesson plan complete with discussion questions, links (one of which was not working at the time of this review), vocabulary WITH audio, and more. Classes with international students can draw on them for knowledge and cultural object contribution. A video is available for purchase to add to information about South America, but the lesson plan suggestions will work without it.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), portuguese (18), south america (39), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Use this when studying South American countries or at a time when Americans celebrate traditional rites, such as Thanksgiving. This site offers a great opportunity to make your Mexican and other Spanish speaking students feel valued in the classroom. This is an excellent site for research.

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A Colonial Tour from TeachersFirst - TeachersFirst

Grades
4 to 12
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Take a virtual tour of major colonial sites along the U.S. east coast using reviewed resources from TeachersFirst. If you are planning a real vacation or simply want to tour ...more
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Take a virtual tour of major colonial sites along the U.S. east coast using reviewed resources from TeachersFirst. If you are planning a real vacation or simply want to tour via computer, this collection offers information and places to see in Boston, Plymouth, Philadelphia, Williamsburg, Jamestown, Roanoke Colony, and St. Augustine.

tag(s): boston (14), colonial america (107), jamestown (11), philadelphia (13), roanoke (7), williamsburg (12)

In the Classroom

Use this colonial tour as a starting point for a virtual experience of colonial America. Assign different student groups to each colonial location, and have them create an extended virtual "tour" using a tool such as Google Earth, reviewed here, or (simpler) Mapskip, reviewed here. Then have the groups take each other's tours to "discover" the colonies! If you don't have enough time for an extended project, share aspects of the tour and supplement by sharing photos from Google Earth's Panoramio layer on your projector or interactive whiteboard.

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Important Dates and Events in History - Hisdates.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Find out what happened on any date in history with this informative site. Each event is listed with a short description. Historic events are listed chronologically from oldest to current...more
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Find out what happened on any date in history with this informative site. Each event is listed with a short description. Historic events are listed chronologically from oldest to current times. (Some dates are several pages long, be sure to click the "read more" link to continue to newer dates.) Information includes birthdays, discoveries, events, and more. Searches by specific years, months, and famous birthdays. You are able to add events and comments. Note that the general public can also add comments, so preview before projecting in class!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): calendars (44), timelines (62)

In the Classroom

Use this site to display an interesting "this day in history" on your interactive whiteboard or projector each day. Use as a resource for students to research events during historical time periods being studied in class. Create a scavenger hunt to review dates in history - give students a list of events and have students find them on the calendar. For a more in=depth experience, share TeachersFirst's Dates That Matter, then have students create their own set of Dates That Matter style question prompts and provide a "Why Does it Matter" response for one of the events found here. Share their student-created Dates That Matter in PowerPoint slides or using an online presentation tool.

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A Teacher's Guide to Folklife Resources for K-12 Classrooms - Library of Congress

Grades
1 to 12
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A comprehensive guide developed by the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress. Appropriate for teachers/media specialists/librarians - This is an excellent resource guide for...more
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A comprehensive guide developed by the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress. Appropriate for teachers/media specialists/librarians - This is an excellent resource guide for any teacher/ librarian planning a unit of folklife. It is a copy of a publication available free from the Library of Congress. There is a wealth of information and addresses for planning purposes. State Folklife Centers are also included in the list of addresses.

tag(s): communities (35)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource in a research project, or a webquest. Be sure help your weaker readers and ESL students by sharing the vocabulary words prior to reading, either on a handout or by projecting on an interactive whiteboard and highlighting them in the text as you come to them.

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Chocolate- All About Chocolate - Field Museum

Grades
4 to 8
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Suitable for Halloween, Valentine's, or any chocolate-covered holiday, All About Chocolate offers basics about how chocolate is made and an excellent cllection of lessons in the "Educator's...more
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Suitable for Halloween, Valentine's, or any chocolate-covered holiday, All About Chocolate offers basics about how chocolate is made and an excellent cllection of lessons in the "Educator's Resources" area (click at the right). Lessons delve into the South American cultures and environments in which the cacao bean grows. Students can explore chocolate's impact on the economies and environment of these countries, and can also examine chocolate's ancient cultural connections. Sweet!

tag(s): chocolate (7), south america (39)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans hosted on this site! Save this site as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval - a creative source for a cultural geography, history or earth science classroom! Use Google Earth, reviewed here, to explore the regions where chocolate grows and find photos to bring these locations to life on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Make natural resources a tasty lesson.

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Vistas - Dr. Dana Leibsohn and Dr. Barbara Mundy

Grades
6 to 12
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At this site you will find a wealth of material about the culture of Spanish America. This includes color images, essays, and a glossary. The Spanish American culture thrived from ...more
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At this site you will find a wealth of material about the culture of Spanish America. This includes color images, essays, and a glossary. The Spanish American culture thrived from the 16th century to the early 19th century, and ran from California to Chile. This site can be viewed in English or Spanish. There are DVDs offered with primary documents, more images, etc., but these are not free. This review is for the free internet site only.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), cultures (105), hispanic (18)

In the Classroom

You could share this site with your students on your interactive whiteboard or projector and at the same time create a timeline for the Spanish Americas using a tool such as xtimeline (reviewed here.). What a wonderful resource for higher level students during Hispanic Heritage Month!

There are several themes listed on the site. You might want to put small groups of students in charge of a theme, and have them explore the site for what their theme is all about. Have the small groups use a tool such as Mindmeister (reviewed here) to create and share concept maps of the important ideas about their theme. They may want to use the images from the site, too, so be sure to remind your students that they must cite their source, and give credit to the people who created this site when they create a project on line.

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Yacapaca! - Chalkface Project

Grades
4 to 12
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This easy to use site allows you to make interactive online quizzes or use pre-made quizzes sorted by subject. You can upload classes, assign quizzes, and receive scores (if students...more
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This easy to use site allows you to make interactive online quizzes or use pre-made quizzes sorted by subject. You can upload classes, assign quizzes, and receive scores (if students are registered.) Current quizzes available range from Drama to Law to Math (and all core subjects). The format allows for any topic, and the enjoyable characters help to maintain student interest. Note: This site was created in the United Kingdom and follows the curriculum of the United Kingdom. You may notice slight spelling/pronunciation differences.

tag(s): assessment (100), quiz (85), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

You can create and/or assign quizzes for any topic. You need not register students to simply assign an activity, but registration is required to keep and report scores. You simply check which countries to include to narrow activity searches, so decide whether alternate spellings might be an issue for your curriculum topic. Students can use quizzes either at home or in school. Use this site to help students review concepts and receive immediate feedback on their performance. There is a direct link in the quizzes to send a link to registered students or to share on social networking sites such as Facebook, iGoogle and Blogger. Assign small groups of students to create their own quiz for any topic you might be studying. Students can challenge their peers as a review.

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Native American Crafts Unit - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 6
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This is a collection of craft projects based on toys or articles that Native American or colonial children might have used. There are complete instructions for each item, with illustrations....more
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This is a collection of craft projects based on toys or articles that Native American or colonial children might have used. There are complete instructions for each item, with illustrations.

tag(s): crafts (41), native americans (78), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Try using this unit with a study of Thanksgiving, colonial settlements, or Native Americans of the eastern U.S. Share the hands-on crafts and be sure to take digital pictures. Ask students to write explanations of the crafts on your class wiki (with the accompanying pictures)! Or include the link to directions for one of these crafts on your class web page for students to try as a summer activity.

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Cool Earth - Mark Ellingham

Grades
K to 12
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Cool Earth is an organization that works to protect the Rainforest from deforestation and prevent climate change. The site is a valuable resource for information about the Rainforest....more
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Cool Earth is an organization that works to protect the Rainforest from deforestation and prevent climate change. The site is a valuable resource for information about the Rainforest. There is a variety of ways for schools to participate. The site contains valuable information useful for research projects, short videos, galleries full of rainforest imagery, submit questions, and read blog entries written by visitors currently in the Amazon. Schools can register with Cool Earth to receive regular updates, news, and participate in site competitions. Classrooms looking for a service project may want to participate in the "cool school" project. Students raise money or find funding from local businesses to buy an acre of Rainforest. Cool Earth then provides a map marking the exact location of your plot of land for students to view. Cool Earth also explains ways to cut carbon emissions.

Be aware: this site also includes some items for sale. You may want to advise students to steer clear of these links.

tag(s): carbon (21), climate (92), ecology (135), environment (317), sustainability (19)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site by sharing photos or videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Include this site on a list of hotlinks for students to access when researching the Rainforest, climate change, sustainability, or carbon footprints. Save this site in your favorites on classroom computers for students to view rainforest maps, ask questions, or read magazine articles. Ask students to visit the site and create a multimedia presentation from the information they learn there. Have your students create an interactive online poster ("glog") using Glogster EDU, reviewed here. Register your school with Cool Earth and take advantage of the free lesson plans and resources they offer. The ultimate experience would be to personalize student learning and sponsor a tree or organize a fundraiser to purchase an acre of land. Ask students to research their tree, or the biome biodiversity characteristic of their acre. Include a link to this site on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class.

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The Anne Frank House - The Anne Frank Stichting

Grades
5 to 12
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The Anne Frank House has been a museum since 1960. The history of the former hiding place where the Frank family and four other Jews lived in secrecy comes alive ...more
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The Anne Frank House has been a museum since 1960. The history of the former hiding place where the Frank family and four other Jews lived in secrecy comes alive on this website. Starting with 1940 photographs of the building known as Opekta factory, see and learn how the office space was transformed into the Secret Annex where Anne Frank hid for more than two years until the betrayal and arrest by the Nazis. Find out about the four employees who risked their lives to make the hiding possible. The rooms of the Secret Annex have been preserved in their authentic state and salvaged documents and objects belonging to the eight people in hiding are on display. Three short films are included on the website to place the significance of this personal story in a historical context. See Anne Frank's hiding place in 3D and meet the people that helped those hidden inside. After clicking on the secret bookcase, you will be taken behind the scenes of the house to see how Anne and others lived in the communal room, the front office, the attic and more. View the painstaking ways that were taken to keep them safe, and by looking at the space where Anne ate, slept, and hung her pictures.

tag(s): anne frank (10), holocaust (39), remembrance day (6), women (101), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to take your class on a virtual field trip to Amsterdam to visit the Secret Annex where they can realize what it was actually like for Anne Frank's family and four others to live inside a hidden space, with the constant fear of being discovered by the Nazis. Help the words in Anne's diary come alive by showing what the outside and inside of the building looked like, by viewing the painstaking ways that were taken to keep them safe, and by looking at the space where Anne ate, slept, and hung her pictures. Students will be more likely to relate to Anne as a real person, instead of a fictional character, and admire her optimism, courage, and resiliency. Use this to initiate journal entries for students to reflect on how they would handle two years of hiding and sharing a small space with others, as well as what they would do to remain positive, or use the online exhibit to shed some light on a dark period in history and to strengthen the personal account of the hiding period and the deportation to the camps. Assign class members to read about one of the house members or helpers to research, then have them write a diary (or blog entry) from that person's point of view. Assign teams to debate who was the most important member of the household or if this situation could take place in today's society. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.Have groups compare two people they learned about using a tool such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Create a class wiki for students to share their journal articles and respond to others.
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A Family Farm Album: The Photographs of Frank Sadorus - Illinois State Museum

Grades
3 to 12
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Take a journey through the life of Frank Sadoras. This site has a wonderful collection of photographs and biographical documents that chronicles Frank's life growing up on a farm in...more
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Take a journey through the life of Frank Sadoras. This site has a wonderful collection of photographs and biographical documents that chronicles Frank's life growing up on a farm in Illinois from 1898-1912. By using this site, you and your students will get a view of what life was like growing up on a farm as well as the photographic techniques Frank used to take his photos.

tag(s): agriculture (55), genealogy (7), photography (160), primary sources (86)

In the Classroom

This site is a good site to use if you want to introduce more primary sources into your teaching. There is an extensive activities and resource section that covers the topics of photography, history, farming and genealogy. In addition, the PDF entitled the Turning Point would be a good resource to use in a lesson on narrative writing. Share the photos in art (or photography) class on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students create blog entries from the perspective of Frank Sadorus. Use the pictures for creative writing exercises. Why not have a photo of the week and have students write a short piece on the class wiki about what they feel the picture represents, what is happening in the photo, what the animal or person was doing/thinking in the photo, or whatever else is applicable in your class. Do you want to learn more about wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
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National Hispanic Heritage Month Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students celebrate National Hispanic Heritage month and the important contributions of those...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students celebrate National Hispanic Heritage month and the important contributions of those whose heritage traces to Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America through related projects and classroom activities.

tag(s): hispanic (18)

In the Classroom

Use the resources in the collection to supplement classroom material during a unit on Hispanic Heritage. The resources listed here can be used for webquests, learning centers, lesson plans & the like!

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Taking the Fifth - Pearson Education

Grades
3 to 6
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This site offers a quick 5-question quiz. Test your students' knowledge Cinco de Mayo with this quiz. Be aware: there are LARGE advertisements at this site (all appropriate, but a ...more
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This site offers a quick 5-question quiz. Test your students' knowledge Cinco de Mayo with this quiz. Be aware: there are LARGE advertisements at this site (all appropriate, but a bit distracting).

tag(s): cinco de mayo (12), mexico (34)

In the Classroom

While studying Cinco de Mayo and/or Mexico, share this quick quiz on your interactive whiteboard or projector.

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Holiday Zone: Cinco de Mayo - Julie Vickery- Smith

Grades
2 to 6
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This Cinco de Mayo site offers a small but nice collection of recipes, games, activities, language exercises, and crafts to incorporate into a class celebration. At the time...more
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This Cinco de Mayo site offers a small but nice collection of recipes, games, activities, language exercises, and crafts to incorporate into a class celebration. At the time of this review, one of the interactive games was not working. There are also links to more information (several of which are out of date). However, the links that are active, offer lots of detailed information. Be aware: this site does include unobtrusive advertisements.

tag(s): cinco de mayo (12), mexico (34)

In the Classroom

Use this site to prepare for your classroom's Cinco de Mayo celebration. Have cooperative learning groups explore one of the additional sites or a specific topic and create a multimedia presentation: a PowerPoint, video, or blog entry.

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