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Surface Languages - Moonface

Grades
3 to 12
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Surface Languages is free site to learn basic survival words and phrases on a variety of topics in 37 different languages. Learn phrases in Afrikaans, Slovak, Arabic, Spanish, Bosnian,...more
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Surface Languages is free site to learn basic survival words and phrases on a variety of topics in 37 different languages. Learn phrases in Afrikaans, Slovak, Arabic, Spanish, Bosnian, Swahili, Bulgarian, Swedish, Catalan, Turkish, Chinese, Ukrainian, Croatian, Urdu, Czech, Welsh, Danish, Yiddish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Latin, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, and Russian. Phrases are organized into topics so use is simple. In addition to reading and hearing the words and phrases pronounced, the site has the capability of creating flash cards for each lesson. You choose yes or no to indicate if the card has the correct meaning. It also offers multiple choice items to test listening skills for the language and translating from English to the target language.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): arabic (21), chinese (51), cultures (107), french (90), german (65), greek (41), hebrew (19), italian (34), latin (22), phrases (6), portuguese (20), russian (28), spanish (109)

In the Classroom

This site would be very handy in introduction (and level 1) world language classes. Use this site as a learning station or center. Use this site as a reference for checking meanings of foreign words and phrases. Use this site when students are preparing a project about another culture. If you have students in world language, world culture, or even language arts classes who need enrichment - send them to this site to learn the basics of a new language or look for roots that show in English. self-motivated gifted students or those planning a semester abroad can learn language basics on their own here. Be sure to include this site during "Children of the World Day" or family heritage day activities.

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ChronoZoom - Microsoft Research

Grades
8 to 12
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Ready to think big? How about an interactive timeline that covers all of time from the Big Bang to today? Chronozoom is an ambitious project, just launched (at the time ...more
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Ready to think big? How about an interactive timeline that covers all of time from the Big Bang to today? Chronozoom is an ambitious project, just launched (at the time of this review), that seeks to create zoomable, interactive timelines for the entire history of time. At present, the site is still under construction, but it is visually stunning and a little overwhelming. You will need to set aside some time to watch the video tour and to tinker with the site before presenting it to students. Every move of the mouse, every click, seems to create "explosions" of graphs and timelines; you'll need to be patient and get the hang of navigation.

The site's creators freely admit that they don't really know where the project will lead, and what technologies might emerge that will help them create more content for the site. There are some caveats for using the site. First, the site assumes a particular theory of the creation of the universe, and the timeline of its existence. Second, the site can lend itself to aimless "mousing," or the temptation to simply click and move the mouse to see how the site will react, with no attention to the content at all.

tag(s): charts and graphs (196), evolution (102), timelines (64)

In the Classroom

This is a big idea, still in its early stages. Obviously it has usefulness as a way of visually demonstrating the sheer immensity of time, and the relative insignificance of human existence in comparison. You could use this site as an intro to any history or geology class simply to generate BIG questions that students want to know. Consider asking gifted students, or students interested in technology applications to imagine what the site COULD be. How would they create a visual overview of--forever? How can one prioritize what matters? But on an interactive whiteboard--WOW! If you, as current students seem to be, are comfortable with imagining the world as a series of hyperlinks rather than a linear march, this site has limitless potential.

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TimeSearch History - HistoryWorld

Grades
6 to 12
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What Happened When? This useful site allows you to aggregate a text timeline by date, theme or geographic area using links to Google searches, Google images and content from HistoryWorld...more
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What Happened When? This useful site allows you to aggregate a text timeline by date, theme or geographic area using links to Google searches, Google images and content from HistoryWorld (with which the site is affiliated). Enter a date or keyword(s) for the event(s). You will see a text list with icons that lead to related Google, images, and HistoryWorld info. Try exploring by themes such as performing arts and science and entering a year to see what occurred during the same year. While the overall visual impact is fairly bland, it's a great "quick and easy" utility for putting events into a chronological context. If you search two very diverse events, you can discover unusual convergences. Additionally, it can be the jumping off point for a more complex search by helping students make connections among ideas, characters and events that may seem unrelated. For example, this is a wonderful tool to explore decades of the twentieth century or periods in the arts.

tag(s): search engines (65), timelines (64)

In the Classroom

Make this one of your bookmarks on classroom computers used for research, and suggest that students add it to their own research repertoire. Consider a classroom activity that begins with a common starting place (a date, an event, a character), and has groups of students follow their own self-guided path through the links. Where does each group end up? Why are the paths different? After having student explore on their own, have them "teach" how they found the information most important to them. A projector or interactive whiteboard is ideal for such a demo.

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Animaps - Animaps

Grades
8 to 12
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Use Animaps to go beyond Google's My Maps, adding animation. You can add text, multiple location stops, and images to maps. Maps that you make can be shared with anyone ...more
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Use Animaps to go beyond Google's My Maps, adding animation. You can add text, multiple location stops, and images to maps. Maps that you make can be shared with anyone or kept private. Connect your Animaps to Facebook and Twitter for direct photo and map sharing. This tool's major advantage is that it adds the factor of time to the map.

tag(s): map skills (82), maps (293), timelines (64)

In the Classroom

To use this tool, create an account and start playing with the features. There are also tutorials and showcases featured on the site to show what can be done. This would be great for creating time lines in social studies class, showing different places and teaching geography and social studies together. Foreign language students could create maps explaining culture aspects of the language or trace the origins of language. Assign students in math or family consumer sciences to be travel agents and plan vacations, including the costs of the trip.

As part of a book project, have your students show the setting of a novel they are reading, with images that annotate their impression of what the setting looks like. Have students create visual current events, especially for events that take place over time, such as the primaries and Presidential Elections.

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FORA.tv - FORA.tv

Grades
9 to 12
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FORA.tv's claim to fame is as the Web's largest collection of conference and event videos. These videos come from sources such as universities, think tanks, and other intelligent discourses....more
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FORA.tv's claim to fame is as the Web's largest collection of conference and event videos. These videos come from sources such as universities, think tanks, and other intelligent discourses. While one can sign up for this service, it is not required. Joining for free does have some perks such as the ability to rate or comment on videos. At the time of this review, there were over 10,000 FREE videos. An additional 500 videos were available for a FEE.

Videos can be shared through email, embedded, or linked with the URL by copying and pasting it to your own blog or website. Video content is categorized into business, environment, politics, science, technology, and culture. Each category has numerous sub-categories available. Please preview anything before you share it with your students. At the time of this review there was a subcategory "Sex" which may not be appropriate for most classrooms. But always preview! Teachers may want to share ONLY specific video links.
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tag(s): business (58), cultures (107), elections (78), energy (203), environment (321), evolution (102), genetics (95), investing (10), news (265), politics (100), psychology (65), religions (67), sexuality (14), stock market (13), sustainability (20), video (274)

In the Classroom

Search to find videos relevant to the subjects that you are teaching. Videos are thought provoking and suggest different viewpoints. Once you select a video, show it as an inepth look into a topic you are already studying. Share the video and start a class discussion about the viewpoints of the video and the students' own viewpoints. From here, students could write a position paper from their own side or do further research for a class debate. Challenge your students to create their own video about topics being discussed/learned in class. Share the videos using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Smarthistory Art History Converstaion - Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker with Khan Academy

Grades
3 to 12
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Take a virtual field trip to explore world class museums and online art institute for free! Avoid budget restrictions and field trip limitations by joining this Webby award winning...more
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Take a virtual field trip to explore world class museums and online art institute for free! Avoid budget restrictions and field trip limitations by joining this Webby award winning site. Investigate the world of art history accompanied by two professors at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker. Smarthistory started as a a blog featuring free audio guides, podcasts, and videos. Later it became an interactive exploration of eras, styles, and artists. Smarthistory has recently merged with KahnAcademy utilizing the same concept: that high quality education should be free and available to all. Included in each video are informational resources to give extra information. Many universities use Smarthistory as a required part of their curriculum.

tag(s): art history (72), medieval (27), renaissance (35)

In the Classroom

A must for any art classroom, Smarthistory adds an extra dimension and deeper understanding to any history, social studies, or cultural studies classroom. Use in writing workshops to provide insights to art and culture and to into thoughts and feelings. Study written works alongside the art of past time periods. Tempt students into the amazing world of art history by watching the new videos. Bring unlimited, world-class resources to each class. All of the videos are easily adaptable to an interactive whiteboard or projector. Debate clubs can study techniques and develop their own styles of debate. Gifted classes will devour this website. Provide this link on your class website to offer students extra challenge and exploration.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Virtual Field Trip - Utah Education Network

Grades
1 to 12
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Save hundreds of dollars spicing up your curriculum with virtual field trips! This site has "field trips" to take, instructions for creating, and resources for other virtual field trip...more
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Save hundreds of dollars spicing up your curriculum with virtual field trips! This site has "field trips" to take, instructions for creating, and resources for other virtual field trip sites. Field trips for; Career, fine arts, foreign language, health and PE, language arts, math, library, media, professional development, science, social studies, and technology are given. There is a plethora of topics - perfect for research and "virtual" travel. The topics are too broad to list all of them, but some include tessellations, dinosaurs, water cycle, medieval times, Civil War, oil painting, and much more! Receive a detailed tutorial for finding instructions on asking permission for field trips, creating virtual field trips, and evaluating the experience. No bus required! At the time of this review, three of the links under "Visit Related Sites" were not working.

tag(s): animals (290), baseball (36), biomes (115), business (58), charts and graphs (196), civil war (145), dinosaurs (57), egypt (70), field trips (12), immigrants (21), immigration (58), japan (62), maps (293), mayans (12), medieval (27), mexico (34), multiple intelligences (11), musical instruments (47), nutrition (158), olympics (49), painting (66), probability (131), religions (67), rocks (50), russia (38), sports (98), statistics (124), tessellations (6), test prep (96), virtual field trips (51), volcanoes (65), water cycle (33)

In the Classroom

Immerse your students into your studies with a close up in depth look through virtual field trips. Visit places where time, money, and mileage inhibit your dreams for bringing your students into wondrous worlds. Find ways to visit where your class has never gone before. Create a personalized field trip to meet your every need with the detailed tutorials given. Find ways to motivate your most reluctant learners. ESL/ELL learners will appreciate the visit. Reach all types of learners through a class visit. Use field trips as a whole class anticipatory guide, a center activity, a home connection, or even as extra credit. Challenge your gifted students to be guides to their own learning. Make your class go global!

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Sqworl - Caleb Brown

Grades
K to 12
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Sqworl is a site for combining multiple links into one single link. Registration is required; however, it is very easy. You create a username and password, add your email and ...more
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Sqworl is a site for combining multiple links into one single link. Registration is required; however, it is very easy. You create a username and password, add your email and it is done. After registering, a personal homepage is created, this is where the magic can begin! The homepage is where groups will be created to combine url's. Then adding some groups of link begins the process of creating groups. At this point a title is given to the group being created (examples might be Math sites, American History, etc.). The final step is to add a short description. After choosing start, simply copy and paste the url you want to use and add a short description and click finish. Once a group is created, it can be shared through the url shown on the page. Sqworl also has a bookmarklet that can be added to the browser toolbar making it easier to add items to your groups without having to open the homepage. There is also a mobile app for iPhone.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bookmarks (64)

In the Classroom

In the classroom use this site to combine url's of online class projects into one group. Create a group of resources for students or parents for different subjects and share the url through your classroom website or newsletter. Create a group with videos relating to classroom content. Create a classroom account and let students add resources they have found to groups to share with others. Show students how to follow other groups on Sqworl and share resources by creating their own groups. Share this site with others in your building or district as an easy way to save and share online resources.

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Wonderful Houses Around the World - Yoshio Komatsu

Grades
3 to 8
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This site offers a look into homes around the world, complete with fascinating shapes and photos from the inside and outside. The site is actually the table of contents for ...more
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This site offers a look into homes around the world, complete with fascinating shapes and photos from the inside and outside. The site is actually the table of contents for a book. You could buy the book (but it is not necessary). Simply visit this site to enjoy this marvelous array homes. The inside view of the homes features residents going about their daily activities. Since the images are small, you may want to use the Zoom controls on your computer to enlarge for a better view. (Command and + on a Mac, Ctrl and + on a Windows machine).
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): architecture (85), cross cultural understanding (117), cultures (107), design (83), homes (11)

In the Classroom

Include this as you study homes and communities. Talk about why homes vary from place to place. Talk about the role of local resources in home design. Have students do similar drawings of their own homes and investigate building materials and their sources in your area. Check out the ancestry of your students and see who has origins that might include houses from these locations. Ask your international students to share information and drawings of the types of homes featured in their countries. Have your students design a new type of home for today's world, incorporating some of the interesting features from these homes; they can display them using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here or PicLits (reviewed here or an online poster creator, such as Padlet (reviewed here).

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Rethinking Schools - rethinkingschools.org

Grades
7 to 12
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This map activity displays a map of the Middle East and its surrounding countries (including North Africa.) You simply have to drag the name of the country to its map ...more
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This map activity displays a map of the Middle East and its surrounding countries (including North Africa.) You simply have to drag the name of the country to its map location. If you are correct, the name stays on the country and the country becomes highlighted. If the location is incorrect, a red X shows up.

tag(s): africa (180), continents (49), countries (78), maps (293), middle east (35)

In the Classroom

Use this as an introduction to a unit on countries, geography, natural resources, or current events in the Middle East. Use also as a review for a geography or map test. Share this map on your interactive whiteboard or projector and try to figure out the countries together.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Geolover - geolover.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Use Geolover to plan and organize trips anywhere in the world. Mark places you like. Print to create your own travel map and guide. Click on a location, find sites ...more
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Use Geolover to plan and organize trips anywhere in the world. Mark places you like. Print to create your own travel map and guide. Click on a location, find sites of interest, and click "Add to my list." Click on your lists to view in map view and use other tools. Add your own places of interest easily. As with any site that shares photos and video clips, be sure to preview what you plan to share BEFORE you share the site with your class. There is also an app version of this site for those using iPads or iTouches.

tag(s): countries (78), cultures (107), map skills (82), maps (293)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to find important points of interest in places around the world. Use to learn more about other countries and cultures, determine distances between points of interest, or create travel guides for particular purposes such as religious, governmental, or historical interest. Create a travel guide of a country you would love to visit. Share travel guides or use as the basis of presentations to the class. Use the information at this site to have your students create conventional or multimedia projects. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Have students create an online book or brochure of images and captions about their travel guide using a site such as bookr (reviewed here.) (Bookr uses Flickr images, so you must first upload or find the images on Flickr reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Resources for Ramadan - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 12
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See TeachersFirst's collection of resources to help students learn the customs and traditions of the Muslim Ramadan month of fasting. ...more
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See TeachersFirst's collection of resources to help students learn the customs and traditions of the Muslim Ramadan month of fasting.

tag(s): holidays (152), ramadan (10)

In the Classroom

This collection could be useful in a study of world religions, an exploration of the mideast, or a world cultures class. Include the link on your class web page as students investigate different holiday traditions.

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Middle East Studies Resources - Columbia University

Grades
9 to 12
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This collection from Columbia University offers listings of web sites covering historical and current political events in the middle east, with emphasis on resources created in middle...more
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This collection from Columbia University offers listings of web sites covering historical and current political events in the middle east, with emphasis on resources created in middle eastern countries. Some material may be overly advanced for K12 use, but interested students can find lots of information at this site.

tag(s): cultures (107), middle east (35)

In the Classroom

This site offers a lot of information about the Middle East that is both revealing and at times surprising. During a unit on the Middle East, access the page on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Select the unit that applies to your unit or subject, and have students explore the site on their own. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). If individual posters are desired, assign each student a subheading and have them read the articles further on their own, then creating a poster summarizing what they have learned. There is information on this page that would work in any history, civics or geography course.

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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 (108), holidays (152), july 4th (8)

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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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 (46), timelines (64)

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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Who Are the Taleban - BBC

Grades
6 to 12
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A background report from the BBC's South Asia service. ...more
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A background report from the BBC's South Asia service.

tag(s): terrorism (49), terrorist (16)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a means to provide students with background information on who the Taliban is, how they were formed, and what their goals are. This site could be used as a learning center during a unit on modern wars in the Middle East. Have cooperative learning groups explore different sections of the site, with the intentions of summarizing the main parts and teaching it to their classmates via online poster project on the interactive whiteboard. Use an online poster creator, such as Padlet (reviewed here).

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Humanitarian News and Analysis - UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Grades
8 to 12
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From the United Nations, this site brings news and analysis on current humanitarian efforts in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. As you help students evaluate and sift through the ...more
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From the United Nations, this site brings news and analysis on current humanitarian efforts in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. As you help students evaluate and sift through the huge volume of news content available to you, you can use sites like this to help students focus on specific issues and geographic areas. Much of what is found here will never appear on their Yahoo or Google news feed; that does not diminish its importance. The site allows you to sort content based on themes like education, gender, health, or human rights, or by continent or country.

tag(s): africa (180), asia (72), cross cultural understanding (117), cultures (107), middle east (35), news (265)

In the Classroom

If you focus on current events or on the history or culture of "non-Western" countries, this site should be among your bookmarks or favorites. Encourage students to consider news sources outside of the major US networks or internet based aggregators. Have students or student groups create an online, interactive poster or simple web page using Tackk, reviewed here, to demonstrate the topic they researched.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Mesopotamia-The British Museum - The British Museum

Grades
6 to 12
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The British Museum presents this visually stunning site about the "cradle of civilization," Mesopotamia. Approach your study from one of several perspectives: geography, time, gods...more
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The British Museum presents this visually stunning site about the "cradle of civilization," Mesopotamia. Approach your study from one of several perspectives: geography, time, gods and goddesses, or writing. Each module has information, some extension narrative, and a challenge game (with requires Shockwave). For teachers, the best part is the Staffroom section which offers step by step information about using the site in the classroom. Start there to quickly discover how you can best use this resource.

tag(s): architecture (85), mesopotamia (6), middle east (35), writing (366)

In the Classroom

An interactive whiteboard or projector will take advantage of the strong visual impact of this site, but it will also be useful for individual exploration by students either in a computer cluster or from home. Students can try the "challenge" games as an extension, or for those who finish other work quickly. Bookmark the site (or save in favorites) for independent research.

Challenge students to research a various portion of this site and create a multimedia presentation (either independently or in cooperative learning groups.) How about having students use a tool such as Woices (beta) (reviewed here). This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place. Challenge students to narrate while the exact location is shown on a map! What a fabulous way to link history, geography, and presentation skills!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Teach MidEast - Middle East Policy Council

Grades
5 to 12
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Use Google Maps or Google Earth and a variety of sources to learn more information about the Middle East. Choose one of the eight topics along the top: "Stereotypes and ...more
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Use Google Maps or Google Earth and a variety of sources to learn more information about the Middle East. Choose one of the eight topics along the top: "Stereotypes and Reality," "Geography," "History," "People and Languages," "Religion," "Culture," "Current Issues," and "Pedagogy." View and navigate through Google Earth tours, read blog posts and other articles, participate in activities, and view other multimedia content. This provides ready to use classroom activities in all areas, photos, interactives and much more. Identify more than just what is in a textbook using this interactive site. Note that clicking "View in Google Earth" requires you to have the free, downloadable Google Earth program reviewed here, installed on that computer.

tag(s): arab (18), easter (20), maps (293), middle east (35)

In the Classroom

Use this site to help students identify misconceptions, discuss points of view, and search for information that is free from bias. Use many of these topics as springboards for projects, additional blog posts, public service announcements, letter and video campaigns, etc. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia projects about one of the topics highlighted at this site. Gifted students, with their heightened sense of "fairness," will especially enjoy breaking through stereotypes using this site. Create a class wiki to discuss the topics. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts demonstrating their understanding of one of the topics using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Have groups narrate a photo using a site such as ThingLink, reviewed here. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it were a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Children of Iraq - BBC

Grades
3 to 8
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This website introduces students to the children of Iraq and Iraq as a country. Highlights of this website include an interactive video clip (which requires FLASH), informational guides,...more
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This website introduces students to the children of Iraq and Iraq as a country. Highlights of this website include an interactive video clip (which requires FLASH), informational guides, pictures and many other resources. If you have students whose parents are serving in the military, this topic may be emotional, but it will also highlight what children all over the world have in common.

tag(s): iraq (32)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard to introduce your students to the children of Iraq, share the video, and take the quiz to find out what your students know about Iraq.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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