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Queen Victoria's Empire - PBS

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7 to 12
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Part of the PBS Empires series, this site provides a detailed look at the reign of Queen Victoria. With articles on the queen, her family, and the events of the ...more
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Part of the PBS Empires series, this site provides a detailed look at the reign of Queen Victoria. With articles on the queen, her family, and the events of the era, this site provides a wealth of useful information. There is also an interactive game to test your knowledge of the era, as well as a list of lesson plans for the site.

tag(s): britain (35), england (57), victorian (21)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and classroom activities listed on this page! The interactive game can also be used to help students review for an assessment on Queen Victoria within a learning center or station. This would be useful in a British or World History Classroom.

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Napoleon - PBS

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7 to 12
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This site examines Napoleon's rise and fall. Originally the companion to a four-part video series by the same title, this site has strong biographical information about Napoleon, as...more
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This site examines Napoleon's rise and fall. Originally the companion to a four-part video series by the same title, this site has strong biographical information about Napoleon, as well as interactive resources like a simulation of the Battle of Waterloo. There are also lesson plans for using the site.

tag(s): france (40), french (89)

In the Classroom

Select almost any of the Special Features on this site and use it as a learning center or station while reviewing a unit on Napoleon. There are also free lesson plans and classroom uses for the site within the classroom materials section. This is a great resource for the World History Classroom!

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Illuminating the Renaissance - Getty Museum

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6 to 12
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The Getty Museum has produced a fine site to accompany their exhibit of illuminated renaissance books, or "Flemish Manuscripts." Examine an online sampling of the paintings, or read...more
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The Getty Museum has produced a fine site to accompany their exhibit of illuminated renaissance books, or "Flemish Manuscripts." Examine an online sampling of the paintings, or read up on the background of the history of renaissance art as it can be found on the pages of these beautiful books.

tag(s): painting (66), renaissance (35)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector, clicking on the section entitled "Zoom & Explore." Use this site as an activator or introduction to a unit on interpreting Renaissance Art. The site provides dialogue about the paintings origins in addition to allowing users to zoom in on selected parts to see the very fine details. Art history teachers will love this one!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Mostly Medieval

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4 to 12
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Those studying castles, knights, and the feudal system will find a surprisingly rich collection of information and lifestyle trivia at this site. The emphasis is on life in the medieval...more
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Those studying castles, knights, and the feudal system will find a surprisingly rich collection of information and lifestyle trivia at this site. The emphasis is on life in the medieval era, from medicine and food to religion, music, heraldry, and folklore. Lots of tidbits and interesting ideas here. Elementary students will need lots of help with this one.

tag(s): medieval (27)

In the Classroom

Use the ballads on this site as a means to combine history and creative writing. Show students several of the ballad examples over the interactive whiteboard, allowing volunteers to read aloud some of the pieces. Based on the styles and lyrics seen, have students write their own ballads summarizing some point of Medieval culture or history. For a fun break, have students read aloud their ballads to the class - it's always interesting to see how creative people can get!

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Flight History

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6 to 12
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This British site includes a large collection of images of famous European and American aircraft, along with stories about many of them. Many of the stories concentrate on the circumstances...more
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This British site includes a large collection of images of famous European and American aircraft, along with stories about many of them. Many of the stories concentrate on the circumstances in which the aircraft were used. Try using this site as a supplement to a study of aeronautics or events of the early twentieth century.

tag(s): air (163), aircraft (24), aviation (39)

In the Classroom

While some of the information on this site is targeted towards travelers, there is useful information here that can be used to supplement a lecture on the origins of flight and the Wright Brothers. Open the section about the Wright Brothers on the interactive whiteboard or projector, and use the timeline provided as a guide for students to follow. This would also be a great jumping off point for students working on research projects or papers about the Wright Brothers - save this site on your class wiki or webpage to allow students to access it both in and out of the classroom. This would be useful in a US history or Physics classroom following the evolution of flight.

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Modernism - Minneapolis Institute of the Arts

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6 to 12
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This site from the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts is almost as good as a field trip. Stuffed with images, video clips, and text, it offers a presentation on Modernism ...more
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This site from the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts is almost as good as a field trip. Stuffed with images, video clips, and text, it offers a presentation on Modernism that runs from the British arts and crafts movement in the 1880s through to American Art Deco of the 1940s. There are images, text, and video narration for each segment, providing a nice evolutionary tour. Use the pieces together or individually as supplemental material for art history, or as an adjunct to an American or European history class.

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start your study of modernism in the past two centuries. Use the site's images and virtual exhibits to showcase the movement being talked about to compliment your class lectures. Another useful item is that some of the exhibits have a quick video clip that can help introduce the idea to your class in a way that foreshadows the rest of your lecture. Make sure your technology allows for the videos to be seen and not just heard!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Chateau Versailles - Chateau Versailles

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6 to 12
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While most of this site deals with visiting Versailles, students will find sections dealing with the King's daily routine and the life of the French court in the 17th and ...more
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While most of this site deals with visiting Versailles, students will find sections dealing with the King's daily routine and the life of the French court in the 17th and 18th centuries. In addition, there are images of some of the more notable artwork, and of course, large sections available "seulement en Francais," which we hope will please the foreign language teachers. There's nothing like it elsewhere.

tag(s): france (40)

In the Classroom

Use the menus to explore the "hidden" content. The site requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
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Elie Weisel - First Person Singular - PBS

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6 to 12
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This web site from the PBS program by the same name offers a biography of the author and Nobel Peace Prize winner, as well as a teaching guide linked to ...more
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This web site from the PBS program by the same name offers a biography of the author and Nobel Peace Prize winner, as well as a teaching guide linked to the program itself. History, social studies, or English teachers may find this content useful in a unit on the holocaust or in a discussion of World War II.

tag(s): holocaust (39), jews (26), nazis (10), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

This site is a very moving resource for covering WWII and the Jewish Holocaust. Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities offered in the teaching guide on this site. US and World history teachers will appreciate this one.

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Galileo's Battle for the Heavens - PBS/Nova

Grades
6 to 12
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This site from the PBS Nova series chronicles Galileo's life, experiments, and scientific accomplishments. Users will find a detailed time line, articles about Galileo's accomplishments,...more
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This site from the PBS Nova series chronicles Galileo's life, experiments, and scientific accomplishments. Users will find a detailed time line, articles about Galileo's accomplishments, and a nice series of interactive "experiments" illustrating his fundamental discoveries. Great site for the study of astronomy, inventors, or the Renaissance.

tag(s): galileo (7), gravity (50), moon (74), renaissance (35), solar system (123)

In the Classroom

A teachers' guide is in the works, but was unavailable at the time of this review.
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Berlin Wall - The Newseum

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6 to 12
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The Berlin Wall and the Press is a short video (just over 14 minutes) that presents life on both sides of the Berlin Wall including escapes and protests. Find three ...more
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The Berlin Wall and the Press is a short video (just over 14 minutes) that presents life on both sides of the Berlin Wall including escapes and protests. Find three activities (downloadable in PDF format) to prepare students to analyze the impact of the Berlin Wall. The video is a fascinating presentation with primary sources about the origins of the wall from both western and Soviet perspectives. There are also nine Optional Extension Activities; these cover everything from graffiti art on the wall, to writing personal journals as one of the residents of East Berlin, to researching the unification of Berlin after the wall came down, and even more. Two of the activities help increase student awareness of political unrest in other parts of the world (China's Tiananmen Square Nov. 1989; Tehran, Iran June 2009; Tunis, Tunisia Jan. 2011; and Cairo, Egypt Jan. 2011), asking students to research challenges and criticisms of the press while trying to report on them.

tag(s): china (67), cold war (29), egypt (70), german (65), germany (28), iran (12), politics (100)

In the Classroom

Teachers should plan on spending ample time previewing the site before using it in class. Initially view the video as a class and have a discussion. You might want to use a backchannel tool like TodaysMeet, reviewed here, for the discussion. The advantage of a backchannel chat is that every student has a voice, no matter how shy. Have small groups choose which of the extension activities they would like to investigate. Allow students to create a final project other than an essay to share their findings and present to the class. Suggest something like an online post using Checkthis, reviewed here, or a simple infographic using Easel.ly, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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1936 Olympics - Smithsonian Holocaust Museum

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6 to 12
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This site, based on an exhibit from the American Holocaust Museum, uses the 1936 games as a starting point for a visual synopsis of the evolution of the Nazi regime, ...more
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This site, based on an exhibit from the American Holocaust Museum, uses the 1936 games as a starting point for a visual synopsis of the evolution of the Nazi regime, with a particular focus on its racial and ethnic policies. The result is a succinct, though stark, introduction that should be useful for many students. The site features an online exhibition with video clips, pictures, and articles of interest.

tag(s): german (65), germany (28), olympics (48), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

Use this site to spark a discussion and study of the role of the Olympics in politics and foreign policy (especially during an Olympic year as an extension of your study of current events). You may want to share some of the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Why not have a class debate about the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Yugoslavia and the Balkans - BBC

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7 to 12
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This BBC site presents an elegant retracing of the history of the Balkans and their ethnic divisions. While it concentrates on the present, the information includes timelines going...more
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This BBC site presents an elegant retracing of the history of the Balkans and their ethnic divisions. While it concentrates on the present, the information includes timelines going back hundreds of years which show the origins of many present-day conflicts. Good resource for teachers or students working individually or in groups.

tag(s): yugoslavia (2)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on WWII and how borders and political boundaries were changed in the aftermath. This activity will work best if students have a graphic organizer to follow with, we recommend Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).

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Ukraine Information and Resources

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6 to 12
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This site offers a collection of cultural, government, and economic information and resources about the Ukraine. It includes information on the roles of women, as well as a historical...more
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This site offers a collection of cultural, government, and economic information and resources about the Ukraine. It includes information on the roles of women, as well as a historical chronology of the nation.

tag(s): women (92)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Have students compare and contrast the stories they find about the Ukraine and what's predominantly showcased in American newspapers. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). This would be a great activity during a unit on post-cold war politics, and how the old USSR states have since changed.

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Scottish History - BBC

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6 to 12
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This on-line treatment from the BBC offers lots of depth, particularly in its treatment of early and medieval Scotland. It's not turf that's found in the typical American curriculum,...more
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This on-line treatment from the BBC offers lots of depth, particularly in its treatment of early and medieval Scotland. It's not turf that's found in the typical American curriculum, but this site might appeal to students interested in a world cultures report with a different twist. The site could also be useful as background for study of English literature.

tag(s): britain (35), scotland (7)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on Scottish History or specifically a lesson on Mary Queen of Scots, or the Reformation. Be sure to save the section you want to use as a favorite on classroom computers to ensure easy access for students & to help keep them on task. This learning center would work best with a graphic organizer. To help make one for your class, we recommend Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).

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Remembering the Great War - BBC

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6 to 12
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This site from the BBC presents a distinctly European remembrance of World War I. There are links to first-hand accounts, as well as to some of the literature written during ...more
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This site from the BBC presents a distinctly European remembrance of World War I. There are links to first-hand accounts, as well as to some of the literature written during the war. It's an appropriate way to show how deeply Europe suffered from the events of that war.

tag(s): primary sources (90), world war 1 (53)

In the Classroom

The most powerful elements of this site are the "images and newsreel" and "archive radio interviews" section. Open the site on the Interactive whiteboard or projector and play the segments for the class. The sound clips and images help exhibit the tremendous strain the Great War put on Europe, and pushes students to understand the events beyond the textbook.

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Internet Modern European History Sourcebook

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6 to 12
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Fordham University has created this outline of European history since about 1500, complete with links to quotable (no copyright) primary documents from various periods. It's an easy...more
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Fordham University has created this outline of European history since about 1500, complete with links to quotable (no copyright) primary documents from various periods. It's an easy to use research resource for term papers or other assignments, and also a simple way to bring historical documents into the classroom.

tag(s): primary sources (90)

In the Classroom

Use this site to obtain primary sources that can supplement classroom lectures. This site runs the gammit for World History II courses, so save it as a favorite on your classroom computer to reference it for new materials. One way to combine learning the content with learning how to interpret primary sources is to pair students in groups, with each assigned a different primary source. Have students analyze the source with the intentions of presenting it to the class. Once every group has presented their source, the class will vote "survivor style" which source is the most reliable. You would be surprised how much students get into it!

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Knighthood, Chivalry, and Tournaments

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4 to 8
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Here's a site for the fans of knights in armor. There are details about life in the middle ages, how knights were expected to behave, how they fought, and their ...more
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Here's a site for the fans of knights in armor. There are details about life in the middle ages, how knights were expected to behave, how they fought, and their place in society. There are also a number of links to medieval reenactor groups and activities. Great resource for elementary reports and students interested in lots of detail.

tag(s): feudalism (3), medieval (27)

In the Classroom

This is a great find for gifted students as they can do more in-depth research on knights, chivalry, and the like. To show what they have learned from this site, challenge students to create an online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here. This would be a good way to review the topic after instruction, useful for a world history classroom.

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Iceland

Grades
6 to 12
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This site offers a historical and cultural introduction to Iceland, its people, and its culture. Well illustrated, with useful information on each section. Students may need a little...more
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This site offers a historical and cultural introduction to Iceland, its people, and its culture. Well illustrated, with useful information on each section. Students may need a little help with the cryptic section headings.

tag(s): cultures (107)

In the Classroom

Open this site on the interactive whiteboard or projector during a world history unit. Allow students to explore the site, and then as a class compare the facts they have learned about Iceland and compare it to the United States. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). This can also be opened on the Interactive Whiteboard or projector. A site like this would be great at the end of the year so students have the knowledge to compare it to the United States.

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Holocaust Timeline

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6 to 12
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A holocaust time line from the History Place. Adult supervision suggested ...more
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A holocaust time line from the History Place. Adult supervision suggested

tag(s): holocaust (39), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

Use this timeline as a guide to classroom presentations during a unit on the second World War. Introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector before allowing students to look at it individually with the intentions of selecting one major event to present to the class. Allow sufficient class time for students to research and prepare presentations, to be presented adjacent to the timeline in chronological order. For more tailored results, highlight specific events that students can choose among rather than the broad spectrum on the timeline. This would be a great way to teach the events of WWII in a non-lecture format, most likely at the high school level. For projects, have students create a multimedia presentation using UtellStory, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try PhotoPin, reviewed here.

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Genealogy of the Kings & Queens of Europe

Grades
6 to 12
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Relationships and biographies of important monarchs ...more
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Relationships and biographies of important monarchs

tag(s): britain (35)

In the Classroom

Although it is a little text-heavy, this website is a great way to relay the inter-connectivity between early British monarchs and Christianity. Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on the early monarchs and religion. To direct students, we recommend using a graphic organizer to help them focus in on what are the most important parts of the site. For help creating easy graphic organizers, we recommend using a site such as Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).

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