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A Day in the Life: Dress the Part - History.org

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5 to 12
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Dress the Part is an interactive that teaches about eighteenth-century clothing and its relationship to social status in Virginia. Choose a member from different social statuses such...more
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Dress the Part is an interactive that teaches about eighteenth-century clothing and its relationship to social status in Virginia. Choose a member from different social statuses such as field slaves up to the gentry. Learn about that place in society and choose the proper clothing. When your member of society is appropriately dressed, read more about their situation and social status.
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tag(s): 1700s (23), slavery (72), virginia (16)

In the Classroom

Use this activity to introduce the idea of social classifications during the 1700's. Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects. Challenge students to create an interactive map and tell a digital story about a society member's ancestry and movements. Use a tool such as Tour Builder, reviewed here. With Tour Builder, you can add locations, text, images, and videos to build the story. A simpler project would be to ask students to use Cube Creator, reviewed here, and design a Bio Cube about different members of Virginia society.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Q-Files The Great Illustrated Encyclopedia - Q-Files Ltd

Grades
2 to 12
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Use Q-Files The Great Illustrated Encyclopedia to provide extra informational reading resources. Subject areas include prehistoric and ancient history, culture, geography, space, technology,...more
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Use Q-Files The Great Illustrated Encyclopedia to provide extra informational reading resources. Subject areas include prehistoric and ancient history, culture, geography, space, technology, science, life, and Earth. Each article includes pictures with accompanying text. This collection is continuing to grow. Q-Files is free, online, with no advertisements. Ebooks on nonfiction topics are available for purchase.

tag(s): aircraft (24), amphibians (20), animals (276), asia (73), aztecs (8), birds (50), china (66), cultures (105), dinosaurs (57), earth (228), earthquakes (48), ecosystems (88), electricity (88), energy (198), erosion (17), europe (75), forces (45), insects (69), literature (275), mammals (32), mayans (12), medicine (67), microscopes (13), moon (72), oceans (148), photography (160), planets (123), polar (19), population (60), religions (61), rocks (49), romans (35), scientists (69), solar system (119), space (205), sports (97), telescopes (8), vikings (10), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Use Q-Files as an informational reading source for a variety of subjects. In science and social studies use as a way to provide background information for inquiry-based projects. Have students use resources for multimedia projects such as Slidestory, reviewed here, Prezi reviewed here, or Flipboard, reviewed here, to share their findings. Pair these articles with literature to provide a better background information base, such as information on ancient China or Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin. Add as a bookmark to student computers and on your class website.

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FreeCol- The Colonization of America - FreeCol

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8 to 12
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FreeCol is a downloadable strategy game with the objective of the colonists creating an independent nation. Along the way trade with Europe and bring in the colonists while growing...more
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FreeCol is a downloadable strategy game with the objective of the colonists creating an independent nation. Along the way trade with Europe and bring in the colonists while growing your population. Attract colonists with money and/or religious freedom. Choose between becoming the Native Americans' friend or foe. Befriending them gives you new skills and items; while attacking their villages can result in lots of valuables while adding to the tensions. Choose from single or multiple player options and difficulty level.

tag(s): colonization (16), problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

Download FreeCol onto classroom computers for use as a computer center activity. Display on your interactive whiteboard or projector and discuss strategy options together as a class. Use a visual storytelling tool such as Check This, reviewed here, (no registration required) and have students write about strategies and decision-making processes.

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Andrew Carnegie's Story - Carnegie Corporation of New York

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7 to 12
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Learn about the life of Andrew Carnegie beginning with his humble beginnings all the way through his rise to the richest man in the world with this interactive storytelling tool. ...more
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Learn about the life of Andrew Carnegie beginning with his humble beginnings all the way through his rise to the richest man in the world with this interactive storytelling tool. Scroll through the site to read about Carnegie's youth and explore the timeline of his business. Continue reading to learn about his philanthropic side, including the founding of over 2,500 libraries across the United States. Use links at the top of the page to view specific portions of the site without having to scroll through all sections. The video at the end is hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable. You could always view it at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the video from YouTube.

tag(s): 1900s (33), biographies (87), business (58), railroads (10)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Include this resource with a study of the 19th Century, famous businessmen, or philanthropy. Have students create maps of libraries in your state funded by the Carnegie Foundation using Animaps, reviewed here. Students can add text, images, and location stops! Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about Andrew Carnegie and his peers. Use this site as a starting point to compare Andrew Carnegie to current businessmen and philanthropists such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.

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Frontline: The Gulf War - WGBH Educational Foundation

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8 to 12
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While the US Gulf War may seem more a current event than history, the conflict is now 25 years in the past. Public Broadcasting's Frontline presents an overview of the ...more
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While the US Gulf War may seem more a current event than history, the conflict is now 25 years in the past. Public Broadcasting's Frontline presents an overview of the Persian Gulf crisis in 1990, including oral histories, maps, a timeline, and descriptions of the weapons and technology used by US and Allied forces. The site, first launched in 1996, now offers some fresh perspectives in light of current events.
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tag(s): 20th century (51), middle east (30), terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

War in the Middle East has been a fact of life for today's students. Use the resources here to help students understand the current conflict in the context of the Persian Gulf crisis of 1990. Many of the major decision makers involved in the Gulf War are still politically active today. Challenge students to explore their influence over time. How have attitudes toward this conflict changed as the violence has persisted?

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Invasion of Normandy - Naval History and Heritage Command

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8 to 12
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Explore D-Day events through the perspective of the U.S. Navy. Choose from different links explaining military operations such as Exercise Tiger and Operation Neptune. Watch a 1944...more
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Explore D-Day events through the perspective of the U.S. Navy. Choose from different links explaining military operations such as Exercise Tiger and Operation Neptune. Watch a 1944 newsreel telling of the liberation of Rome or learn about famous Rear Admirals Ford and Cabanillas and their role in D-Day.

tag(s): d day (8), navy (9), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Be sure to help your weaker readers and ESL/ELL students by sharing the vocabulary words prior to reading, either in a handout or by projecting on an interactive whiteboard and highlighting them in the text as you come to them. The text portions are challenging, so you should pair weaker readers with a partner as they research on this site. Divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Have them share their findings with a simple infographic using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here.

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Media History Digital Library - Media History Digital Library

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6 to 12
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Come to the Media History Digital Library to find digitized classic media periodicals available from the public domain. All of the collections pertain to the cinema, broadcasting, and...more
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Come to the Media History Digital Library to find digitized classic media periodicals available from the public domain. All of the collections pertain to the cinema, broadcasting, and sound. Periodicals such as Business Screen, Pictures and Story Magazine, Motion Picture Classics, and Radio Age have at least a five-year spread of content. Over 100 other periodicals are featured. When selecting a periodical, you may choose to read, download, or go directly to the site. Join the blog to discover recent additions, scholarship opportunities, events, and more.

tag(s): art history (70), media literacy (58), multimedia (56)

In the Classroom

Use Media History Digital Library in your classroom as a secondary resource to discover the culture and setting of a time period while studying literature or even through history classes. List the clues and details that provide further information. Analyze the article use and its influence on society by using close reading techniques. In a multimedia class, discover the history and progression of cinema, broadcasting, and sound. Use to discover the influence of critical world events such as world wars, depressions, economic influences, an industrial revolution, and more. Analyze the artistic changes throughout time.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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80 Years of Canadian Geographic Maps - The Royal Canadian Geographical Society

Grades
6 to 12
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Explore nearly 50 maps created over the past 80 years of publication of Canadian Geographic Maps. Browse through themes such as Exploration, Conflict and Borders, People, Wildlife,...more
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Explore nearly 50 maps created over the past 80 years of publication of Canadian Geographic Maps. Browse through themes such as Exploration, Conflict and Borders, People, Wildlife, and more. Choose Cartography 101 to find explanations of mapping techniques and technologies, and learn more about map making. Be sure to explore the Learning section to find several interesting lesson plans based on topics such as natural disasters and wildlife in an urban world. The lessons can be downloaded in Word or PDF formats.

tag(s): animal homes (41), canada (30), disasters (39), explorers (61), maps (287)

In the Classroom

Even if you do not teach in Canada be sure to explore this site for lesson plans and map making information applicable to any country. Adjust lesson plans to your particular area of study. Challenge advanced students to create a presentation using Swipe, reviewed here, demonstrating similar themes. Use an online tool such a Creately, reviewed here, to create diagrams, mindmaps, and other visual graphic organizers comparing and contrasting information found on different maps.
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The American Civil War: Then and Now - The Guardian

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6 to 12
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The American Civil War was one of the first major conflicts for which we have a photographic record. For the 150th anniversary of the war, photographer David Levene traveled to ...more
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The American Civil War was one of the first major conflicts for which we have a photographic record. For the 150th anniversary of the war, photographer David Levene traveled to the sites of 23 iconic Civil War photographs and captured the same view as it exists today. Using a simple slider button, shift watch as the scene transforms from the past to the present. Along with each photograph is a brief narrative, and an audio interview related to the scene with more detail about the changes over the last 150 years. Don't forget to click on the associated article for important background information from Levene about the project and his reflections on what he learned.
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tag(s): battles (16), civil war (145), photography (160)

In the Classroom

It is tempting to scroll through the photographs quickly, but each deserves time for study and reflection. What is pictured in the original photograph? What is being communicated to the viewer? Challenge students to predict what the modern photo will show (you will need to hold the slider button to keep the photograph from changing automatically). What would Civil War-era soldiers think if they could see the modern photograph? What responsibility do we have to preserve sites like these in their original condition?

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Black History Month Resources - PBS

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K to 12
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Commemorate Black History Month with 20 lesson plans and resources covering a variety of topics including racial discrimination, civil rights, and discussions about race in current...more
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Commemorate Black History Month with 20 lesson plans and resources covering a variety of topics including racial discrimination, civil rights, and discussions about race in current events. Scroll through the page to view topics and grade level suggestions. Content ranges from a history of discrimination through current events such as debating race through the Trayvon Martin shooting. Some lessons also contain Common Core correlations.

tag(s): black history (59), civil rights (117), martin luther king (37), racism (18), video (254)

In the Classroom

Explore this site for many different lessons and resources to use during Black History Month and throughout the year. Use lessons found here to differentiate for students of different levels. Be sure to check out the Discrimination - fair or unfair? lesson plan that is designed specifically for students who have difficulty with verbal and written expression.
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Earliest Voices - Michigan State University

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6 to 12
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We are accustomed to hearing the voices of celebrities and important leaders today, but it has been less than 150 years since the invention of sound recording technology. Earliest Voices...more
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We are accustomed to hearing the voices of celebrities and important leaders today, but it has been less than 150 years since the invention of sound recording technology. Earliest Voices is an archive of recordings from the earliest years between 1877 and 1927. Hear Booker T. Washington speak about race relations or William Jennings Bryan's "Cross of Gold" speech. Listen to Thomas Edison (who was the inventor of the technology) speak about advances in technology and electricity. Find a short biography and images along with the recordings. A Real Player plugin is required.

tag(s): inventors and inventions (97), oral history (12), politics (99), sound (101)

In the Classroom

Bringing early voices to life in the classroom can help connect students with these important figures from history. Do their voices sound as you expected? Along with the audio records, you'll find important contextual information about early audio recordings, and about the circumstances surrounding each speech or recording.

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Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project - University of North Carolina Greensboro

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8 to 12
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The unique viewpoints of U.S. women veterans are well represented in this rich archive of photographs, oral histories, diaries, scrapbooks, and artifacts from the nineteenth century...more
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The unique viewpoints of U.S. women veterans are well represented in this rich archive of photographs, oral histories, diaries, scrapbooks, and artifacts from the nineteenth century to the present. The archive is particularly strong for women who served during World War II. It also includes World War I, Korea, Vietnam, The Cold War, Desert Storm, the Gulf Wars and the War on Terror. Search by date, branch of service, conflict, or by type of material, including over 350 oral histories.

tag(s): memorial day (13), oral history (12), primary sources (86), veterans (19), world war 1 (54), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Use this archive for rich, authentic primary source material on the lives of women in the military. Consider having students, individually or in groups, choose a veteran and present her story to classmates. Use a tool like Zoho Show (similar to Powerpoint, but easier and free), reviewed here. Supplement classroom materials associated with a wartime era with the photographs, posters, and diaries provided here. Use these stories as part of a special focus for Veterans Day, Memorial Day, or Women's History Month. The archive would also be a particularly rich resource for students considering National History Day Projects.
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America Goes to War: an Infographic - New England College

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8 to 12
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What does it mean to go to war? This simple infographic shows the Constitutional process by which the United States declares war, traces the history of each of the U.S. ...more
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What does it mean to go to war? This simple infographic shows the Constitutional process by which the United States declares war, traces the history of each of the U.S. declarations of war, and differentiates among formal declarations, military actions, and Presidential or Congressional authorizations of force.

tag(s): civil war (145), congress (33), constitution (79), presidents (131), war of 1812 (14), world war 1 (54), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Was the U.S. at war? What powers does the U.S. President have to declare war, and how have Presidents used those powers historically? A powerful, but simple infographic delineates the legal and Constitutional differences among U.S. wars historically. Share the infographic on an interactive whiteboard, or embed on your classroom website for reference.

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George Washington's Mount Vernon - Mount Vernon

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6 to 12
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Take a virtual tour of Mount Vernon, the home of the first President of the United States, George Washington. Beautifully executed, and packed with special features, the tour is billed...more
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Take a virtual tour of Mount Vernon, the home of the first President of the United States, George Washington. Beautifully executed, and packed with special features, the tour is billed as the "second best way to visit Mount Vernon," and doesn't disappoint. Be sure and watch the tutorial so you don't miss any of the many tips and tricks to get the most out of your virtual tour.

tag(s): 1700s (23), presidents (131), virtual field trips (48)

In the Classroom

Ideal for use on an interactive white board, or for students to access individually, this virtual tour has lots of features. You can explore the buildings, zoom in on items in the buildings, access stories and discussions that highlight features of the property and the daily lives of those who lived at Mount Vernon. There are additional links to lesson plans and other student resources.

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Wide Angle Window Into Global History - PBS

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6 to 12
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Looking for videos and resources that peer into Global Issues? Start with this resource! Click the Video Bank to view resources by themes: conflict, power, human rights, social structures,...more
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Looking for videos and resources that peer into Global Issues? Start with this resource! Click the Video Bank to view resources by themes: conflict, power, human rights, social structures, migrations, economic systems, factors of production, or political systems. Also, view the video bank by location in the world. Videos in each theme are up to several minutes in length and are clips of larger videos. Click on the video of choice, to view the video on a larger screen, see the guiding questions, read the background essay and transcript, and find related links. Text can easily be printed using the print function along the bottom. Videos are easily downloaded, with directions for both PC and Mac users. View the country and region map along the left side along with the accompanying lesson plan. Additionally, click on Lesson Plans instead to display the following for each global issue: overview, learning objectives and standards, media components (with links), and materials. Be sure to note the Prep for Teachers along the bottom of each lesson plan.
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tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), cultures (105), maps (287)

In the Classroom

These resources and videos are extremely flexible for classroom use. Use the film clips for current events, and to also highlight events from the past. Use a video segment to get students thinking about past incidents, solutions, and whether today's environment has changed from that of the past. View a variety of clips from one theme and discuss events in the clip or use a writing assignment to provide time to process the events. Discuss in what ways these clips are similar and other societal, economic, and political factors that affected them. Use any of these videos to find any current events that are still dealing with the same issue today. Be sure to brainstorm how different people, in other areas of the world, would view these issues. Research these issues using resources from other areas of the world to see editorials and news clippings that are not American. Note: Use the country code after your search term or use this news search. Were there other people interviewed about any of these issues? Who are they and what did they say? Consider creating videos showcasing a variety of viewpoints. Use one of the video tools reviewed at the TeachersFirst Edge. Besides the viewpoint of each video, what would be a common question that all videos within the theme have in common? How does the bubble of our American culture hamper our understanding of other people both here in the U.S. and abroad? Research the history and culture of the various areas to identify factors responsible for the themes portrayed by this resource.

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The Roosevelts - PBS

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7 to 12
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PBS offers this series of lessons aligned to their popular mini-series, The Roosevelts. All lessons include alignment to standards, background information, discussion questions, and...more
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PBS offers this series of lessons aligned to their popular mini-series, The Roosevelts. All lessons include alignment to standards, background information, discussion questions, and evaluation rubrics. Choose from full-length Lesson Plans or Snapshot Lessons containing quick, adaptable activities for classroom use.
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tag(s): 1900s (33), presidents (131), roosevelt (16)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans offered to supplement your current lessons based on the Roosevelt family. Have groups of students complete different Snapshot Lessons then share with the class. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Multimedia Edge tools, reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a member of the Roosevelt family.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Digital Declaration of Independence - David McClure

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7 to 12
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Take a deeper look into the Declaration of Independence and the signers with this unique interactive. The interactive has three main parts: a high-resolution scan of The Declaration...more
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Take a deeper look into the Declaration of Independence and the signers with this unique interactive. The interactive has three main parts: a high-resolution scan of The Declaration of Independence with a full transcription of text, an annotated version of John Trumbull's painting of the signing, and an interactive map plotting the signer's hometowns and giving a mini biography. Use buttons on the site to move between the three portions. Be sure to view the instructions for a complete overview of all of the interactive offers.

tag(s): american revolution (86), declaration of independence (13), franklin (12), jefferson (19)

In the Classroom

Challenge students to find other paintings depicting famous events in United States (or another country). Have cooperative learning groups create a multimedia presentation about the paintings. Create fictitious blog entries from one character in a painting to another character within another painting at another famous event. What would John F. Kennedy write to Benjamin Franklin? Assign students different roles, i.e. founding fathers, and have them use the biographies on this site to allow them to research what their role was and what their beliefs were for a debate as to whether or not to sign the Declaration of Independence.

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Columbia River - National Geographic

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5 to 12
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How has the damming of the mighty Columbia River changed the people and the environment around it? Follow the Columbia downstream to find facts and information about the dams, the ...more
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How has the damming of the mighty Columbia River changed the people and the environment around it? Follow the Columbia downstream to find facts and information about the dams, the Columbia, and its inhabitants. Choose between the full version or the light version of this site (the full version has motion animation throughout). Hover your mouse over items to read a preview. Click to expand and read information about how people have used the Columbia, threats throughout, and various animals found there. Click Downstream to shift the viewing frame to another section of the river. Click on Resources and Links at the bottom of the Interactive for links to more information.
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tag(s): ecosystems (88), electricity (88), rivers (21), watersheds (16)

In the Classroom

Show this interactive to the whole class on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Identify areas that are interesting, hovering over them and sharing the information. Take notes of the various impacts on the river system and how the dams have changed them. Use other resources such as Google Earth, reviewed here, to look at the Columbia River firsthand. As a project, research hydroelectric power and the advantages and disadvantages. Research and compare the uses of the Columbia River with others throughout the country. Identify problems with the rivers. For a history class, how have the uses of water changed throughout the years? Look locally at your own watershed. Research the history of the watershed and its uses throughout the history of your area. Create a multimedia project that showcases the information. Use one of the many TeachersFirst Edge Multimedia tools, reviewed here.
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Help Lincoln Get to the White House - National Park Service

Grades
5 to 12
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This interactive timeline shows the route Lincoln took to become the President. Along the way, answer questions about his progress and life. ...more
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This interactive timeline shows the route Lincoln took to become the President. Along the way, answer questions about his progress and life.

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

In the Classroom

Have younger students create an online book of images and captions about Lincoln's life using Bookr, reviewed here, (Bookr uses Flickr images, so you must first upload or find the images on Flickr). For older students - challenge cooperative learning groups (or partners) to create a similar story about another president using pictures, themes, and other prompts generated by the site StoryBird, reviewed here. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here.
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A Journey to a New Land - Simon Fraser University Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology

Grades
1 to 12
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Venture over 12,000 years into the past to look at the first people to live in the Canadian regions of North America. This site from a B.C. museum offers different ...more
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Venture over 12,000 years into the past to look at the first people to live in the Canadian regions of North America. This site from a B.C. museum offers different levels of information, videos, and interactive media about the first peoples and their migration across the land bridge from Europe. The site is available in both English and French language. Instructor materials support use from primary to post-secondary levels. Watch native video greetings in several languages, learn about settlements, the geography and change of the actual water and land masses, the archaeology and dating of artifacts, and much more. The Site Map offers a good way to see the scope of the offerings.

tag(s): archeology (32), native americans (78)

In the Classroom

Include this resource as you teach about Native Americans. These peoples did not divide themselves as "Canadian" or "American," so much of the information here is applicable in a U.S. classroom as well! Differentiate for high or low students easily using the different levels of the site. The primary level requires far less reading so offers a good introduction for weaker readers or ESL/ELL students. Have students write a script and create a video or simply compose a blog post about daily life as one of the people migrating into North America (but be sure to talk about the fact that they probably did not actually know how to write). Use a visual blogging tool such as Check This (reviewed here) - no registration required!
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