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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 (58), genealogy (7), photography (158), primary sources (93)

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 (17)

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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NMAI: Identity by Design - Smithsonian

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6 to 12
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From the National Museum of the American Indian, this online exhibit is subtitled "Tradition, Change and Celebration in Native Women's Dresses." The exhibit uses 19th century Native...more
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From the National Museum of the American Indian, this online exhibit is subtitled "Tradition, Change and Celebration in Native Women's Dresses." The exhibit uses 19th century Native women's clothing as insight into Native American culture of the time period, and features stunning photographs of Native dresses and commentary by present-day Native women. The site both describes the ways Native women made their clothing in the 19th century and the ways that clothing can give us important clues about the role of women in Native society. Of interest also are the ways clothing began to reflect the influence of the dominant white culture on traditional Native practices. The site also includes information about today's Native Powwow dance competitions which bridge the distance between traditional culture and the modern world, and bring 19th century Native women's clothing and costume into the 21st century. The Resources link contains lesson plans and educational material. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): clothing (9), native americans (78), women (94)

In the Classroom

Traditionally, American history has been taught as the story of the dominant European culture's triumph over more primitive Native cultures. Native American culture is too often pictured as one-dimensional rather than as a rich collection of diverse tribes and cultures. If Native women are featured at all, they may be represented only by Pocahontas and Sacajawea. This site allows a fuller exploration of the variety of Native women's cultures and would serve as an outstanding supplement to a study of the European settlement of the West. The photographs of the women's dresses are lovely and would display nicely on an interactive whiteboard or projector. The commentary would be useful for any student doing more in-depth research into Native culture. The site's focus on women's roles and culture would also fit nicely with a unit on women's history. The Resources link contains lesson plans and educational material. To extend the clothing-as -culture approach in your classroom, ask students to create a wiki showing the role of clothing in ethnic subcultures of the U.S. today or at other places and times. Middle school grades might want to work together with the art or FCS teachers on this.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Ancient Mexico -The Art, Culture and History of Ancient Mesoamerica - Patrick Oliveras

Grades
4 to 12
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Take your students on a lively and colorful exploration of ancient Mexico! This visually stunning site leads explorers through the pantheon of Mayan Gods, the fall of the Aztec empire,...more
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Take your students on a lively and colorful exploration of ancient Mexico! This visually stunning site leads explorers through the pantheon of Mayan Gods, the fall of the Aztec empire, a clickable Mesoamerican time line and a wonderful interactive map. View the ruins of the cities of Pre-Columbian Mexico by clicking on their names on the map! Watch the conquest of Mexico as a flash animation of ancient drawings and music. Read the words of the Spanish explorers in the primary source documents of Mexico. Although Ancient Mexico is a commercial site, the advertising is limited to the books and DVD's for sale on the topic of Mesoamerica and some history-related Google ads.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): aztecs (9), mayans (13), mexico (35), spanish (109)

In the Classroom

Tour Ancient Mexico as a whole class activity with an interactive whiteboard or projector. If students have access to computers, let groups delve into selected topics and create interactive travel posters and brochures using a tool such as Sway, reviewed here, as their research projects. Students can look at the cities in ruins, explore architectural styles and ceremonial uses of the buildings, and find contemporary examples.

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Totem Poles - Pat Kramer

Grades
4 to 8
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Learn the basics and debunk the myths about totem poles using the site created by a "transplant" to the Pacific Northwest. Although the write is also selling a book, ...more
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Learn the basics and debunk the myths about totem poles using the site created by a "transplant" to the Pacific Northwest. Although the write is also selling a book, there is significant information, and the photos are helpful in understanding the iconography of totem poles.

In the Classroom

If you use the site with elementary children, you may want to let them partner-read some of the longer text portions. Use this site as part of a unit on indigenous peoples of the Americas, then have the students create their own totems in an authentic way. Art teachers may want to use this as an inspiration for a totem-like project in clay, wood, or other materials. The connections to oral history are fascinating and can lead to lengthy discussion in a history class about how we "know" what we say happened before written history.

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Native American Nations - Lisa Mitten

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3 to 12
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Find Native American nations' own sites and information in this alphabetical index by tribe(with notes as to most recent updates). ...more
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Find Native American nations' own sites and information in this alphabetical index by tribe(with notes as to most recent updates).

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for research papers and projects. Students can search for information about specific tribes or for information that the tribes themselves have put forward. This would be a great resource for a US history class.

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History of the Cherokee - Ken Martin and others

Grades
4 to 12
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This straightforward informational site provides history and images of the Cherokee nation, including important figures, Cherokee law, maps, and events from before European settlers...more
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This straightforward informational site provides history and images of the Cherokee nation, including important figures, Cherokee law, maps, and events from before European settlers until now. The site creator is himself a mixed blood Cherokee.

In the Classroom

Steer clear of the genealogy links. They are either selling something or they do not work. This is a great site for basic background information, such as you could seek with a scavenger hunt.

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Adventures in the Past- Virtual Site Visits - US Bureau of Land Management

Grades
3 to 12
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"Archaeological, historic, and fossil sites are unique portals to the past," declares this site as it invites you to visit locations around the U.S. as ways to learn about archelogical...more
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"Archaeological, historic, and fossil sites are unique portals to the past," declares this site as it invites you to visit locations around the U.S. as ways to learn about archelogical finds, natural formations, and historical preservation sites that teach about the early U.S. and its Native American predecessors. Many of the virtual visits are created by BLM, and those that are not warn you before you leave the site. The locations included spread across most of the western U.S. and Alaska.

tag(s): archeology (32), fossils (44)

In the Classroom

Take your class on a "field trip" without leaving the classroom. Give them a list of things to find out as they explore a location on their own computers or "travel" together on a projector. Younger students will need help with text passages.

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Create a Timeline - Ourtimelines.com

Grades
1 to 12
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This online tool lets you create a timeline of an individual's life using dates from 1000 AD to the present year. Enter the person's name and dates, add events (historic ...more
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This online tool lets you create a timeline of an individual's life using dates from 1000 AD to the present year. Enter the person's name and dates, add events (historic or personal) and their beginning/ending dates, and click the "generate" button.

tag(s): timelines (64)

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History Explorer - Smithsonian

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6 to 12
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This multimedia site explores various facets of American history through Lessons, interactives, Themes and more. Visitors can view objects that are part of the Smithsonian collection,...more
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This multimedia site explores various facets of American history through Lessons, interactives, Themes and more. Visitors can view objects that are part of the Smithsonian collection, navigate between historical eras, or filter the information by selected themes (Arts and Culture, Politics and Reform, etc.) Items in the exhibit are linked to National Museum of American History websites that provide more in-depth information.

tag(s): agriculture (58), american revolution (89), famous people (22), japan (61), japanese (45), jazz (15), lincoln (85), politics (99)

In the Classroom

Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects. There is enough information in "exhibit" details to provide a starting point for students trying to decide what to base a research project on. Recommend the site to students who are having difficulty picking a project subject.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Sport of Life and Death - Mint Museum of Art

Grades
5 to 7
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Learn about the land and culture of Mesoamerica with this engaging site that draws visitors into the ancient world of athletes and gods. After exploring maps and timelines, and learning...more
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Learn about the land and culture of Mesoamerica with this engaging site that draws visitors into the ancient world of athletes and gods. After exploring maps and timelines, and learning about the elements of the sport, visitor can participate in a unique version of the Mesoamerican Ballgame - the most outstanding feature of the site. To play, students must enter correct responses to content-specific questions. Points are earned by choosing correct answers. Lose the game, and find out why this was know as "the sport of life and death!" Contains great material for a Web hunt.

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on Meso-American history. Introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard before allowing students to explore it on classroom computers in their cooperative learning groups. This would be a great center in a World History course, primarily for Middle School grades.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Life at the End of the Road - University of North Carolina

Grades
6 to 12
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This beautifully illustrated site explores the people, land, and culture of Patagonia. Visitors can investigate each of three thematic sections and experience the lives and landscape...more
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This beautifully illustrated site explores the people, land, and culture of Patagonia. Visitors can investigate each of three thematic sections and experience the lives and landscape of this remote region through audio interviews and photographs. Click on the "Timeline of Patagonia" link to take an interactive tour through the amazing history of the region - from 9,000 BC to the present.

tag(s): south america (38)

In the Classroom

You'll have to provide the framework for use of this site in the classroom, but it's an outstanding resource for a study of South American culture. Also available in Spanish.
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Official U.S. Time - National Institute of Standards

Grades
2 to 12
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Click on the interactive map of the United States to select a time zone and view the exact time (within .02 seconds) as well as a map of the world ...more
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Click on the interactive map of the United States to select a time zone and view the exact time (within .02 seconds) as well as a map of the world that shows where the sun is shining and where it is night.

tag(s): time (139)

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Costa Rica: Land of Pure Life - PBS

Grades
5 to 7
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From volcanoes to marine turtles, explore some of Costa Rica's natural wonders. Two lesson plans - one on frogs, the other on volcanic soil - are included in the Teacher ...more
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From volcanoes to marine turtles, explore some of Costa Rica's natural wonders. Two lesson plans - one on frogs, the other on volcanic soil - are included in the Teacher Resources section. While a bit heavy on text, and a bit lacking in photographs, the site has great content for student research. Aligned to national standards.

tag(s): oil (43), soil (18), volcanoes (66)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and classroom activities hosted within the "Teacher Resources" portion of this site. This could be a great resource for a World History classroom, or for a Earth Sciences class.

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Outline Maps

Grades
4 to 7
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This great collection of black and white, printer-friendly outline maps represent every continent, many countries, various regions of the United States. American historical maps - showing...more
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This great collection of black and white, printer-friendly outline maps represent every continent, many countries, various regions of the United States. American historical maps - showing the Lewis and Clarke routes, the original thirteen colonies, etc. - are also included. Each map is available with or without labels and royalty free for classroom and personal use. Requires Acrobat Reader.

tag(s): maps (292), states (165)

In the Classroom

Use the maps on this site as an introductory activity for any and all history units that correspond with geography. Use the blank maps as formative assessments to determine what students already know about the spacial context of the events being studied. After the unit is over have students fill out the blank maps again to assess how much they learned over the course of the unit. Save this one as a favorite on your classroom computer!
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Polar Husky - NOMADS

Grades
1 to 12
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Participate in an amazing exploration with this virtual field trip of the Arctic. Follow the Team Arctic Transect 2004 and their 31 polar huskies on an unforgettable 3,000-mile adventure...more
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Participate in an amazing exploration with this virtual field trip of the Arctic. Follow the Team Arctic Transect 2004 and their 31 polar huskies on an unforgettable 3,000-mile adventure as they explore Nunavut, Canada's newest territory. Learn about arctic climate changes, meet Inuit Elders and students in remote communities, and discover the ecology of this isolated region. The team consists of six educators and explorers who comprehensively document their experiences on this interactive site. Free registration is required to download the curriculum and activity guide, and to participate in the on-line classroom features.

tag(s): arctic (46), canada (31)

In the Classroom

Use the GoNorth! adventures to supplement a unit on Geography or Climate changes. Make sure to save the site as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval later.

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Mummies in Peru - National Public Radio

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7 to 12
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Enrich a study of Latin America with this intriguing article and related links from National Public Radio. In 2002, the National Geographic Society announced the discovery of more than...more
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Enrich a study of Latin America with this intriguing article and related links from National Public Radio. In 2002, the National Geographic Society announced the discovery of more than 2,000 Inca mummies in Peru. Photographs, images, and sound bytes provide a glimpse into the work done by on-site archaeologists. Follow related links to learn more about the process of mummification and what mummies can tell us about the societies in which they lived.

tag(s): peru (7)

In the Classroom

Use the images on the site to show students examples of archaeological digs, and the mummies found from this specific time period. Show the images of the interactive whiteboard, allowing sufficient time for students to describe what they observe in each picture. These images could be made into a visual discovery activity or to supplement a lecture.

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Lewis and Clark National Bicentennial Exhibition - Missouri Historical Society

Grades
6 to 12
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This on-line exhibition allows visitors to follow the footsteps of Lewis and Clark, explore the cultural landscape they encountered, and browse through a collection of over 350 artifacts...more
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This on-line exhibition allows visitors to follow the footsteps of Lewis and Clark, explore the cultural landscape they encountered, and browse through a collection of over 350 artifacts that document the first transcontinental journey across North America. Highlights of this beautifully designed site include an interactive map, audio clips providing sounds associated with each place along the journey, and readings from words written by members of the expedition. Links to related themes are provided throughout the site. This is an outstanding resource that accurately presents many facets of this pivotal even in American history.

tag(s): lewis and clark (15), louisiana (11), louisiana purchase (7)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and classroom activities hosted on this site! This would be a great resource for a US history site, regardless of the grade level. Save this site as a favorite on your classroom computer to allow for easy retrieval when necessary.
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Sweet Science of Chocolate - Exploratorium

Grades
4 to 8
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This truly engaging site will whet your students' appetites for learning. The history and origin of chocolate (from its start in the Amazon rainforests to its invasion of Europe) is...more
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This truly engaging site will whet your students' appetites for learning. The history and origin of chocolate (from its start in the Amazon rainforests to its invasion of Europe) is presented through photographs, images, and an easy to understand text. Possible health effects, both positive and negative, are discussed, and the process of "tempering" is explored with a step by step experiment that can be reproduced in the classroom. A virtual tour takes visitors inside the Scharffen Berger Chocolate Factory in San Francisco for an up-close look at the chocolate making process. Created by the Exploratorium. (Requires RealVideo)

tag(s): chocolate (7)

In the Classroom

The article entitled "Chocolate invades Europe" is a great way to show how one good can affect the entire economy of a continent. Share the article on the interactive whiteboard or projector to allow students to read together in class. As a class create a Venn Diagram discussing what they know about chocolate now to another product such as sugar, tobacco, or even slaves if your class is mature enough to look at the economics of the issue. This is a great find for US and World history teachers.

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The Exploration of Canada- Pathfinders and Passageways - National Library of Canada

Grades
4 to 12
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This site has wonderful resources for learning about Canadian history and Canadian explorers. Whether you're interested in early exploration in general, or specific history of the Nation,...more
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This site has wonderful resources for learning about Canadian history and Canadian explorers. Whether you're interested in early exploration in general, or specific history of the Nation, this site has information on each of Canada's multiple explorers, as well as a sequential look at the evolution of the landmass. A great site for social studies resources from the 11th through 20th Centuries.

tag(s): canada (31), landforms (48)

In the Classroom

This site is a little text heavy, but the information is all interesting and pertinent to a study of world explorers. Use this site as a point of reference when learning about the explorers who began to colonize our neighbor to the North. The site has a lot of information but would also be great for shorter investigations. Refer students to the site if working on research projects of papers about explorers. The information makes for a great jumping off point, and is reliable.

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