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Film Story - Mnemonic Productions

Grades
3 to 12
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Film Story is a great listing of history films searchable by country, era, subject, and film type (feature film, documentary, or mini-series). Another helpful feature is when you roll...more
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Film Story is a great listing of history films searchable by country, era, subject, and film type (feature film, documentary, or mini-series). Another helpful feature is when you roll your cursor over the map, the region and how many films are available will pop up. Film Story's goal is to help you learn more about historical people, places, and events through film. Once you click on a film, you see the era, type of film, etc. and several themes. All of these are links to other films in these categories. Film story is simply a directory. Search out the films you find on your favorite search engine and borrow them from a library or video store. No registration required to use this site.

tag(s): afghanistan (7), africa (177), asia (72), black history (61), central america (12), china (68), cross cultural understanding (117), europe (75), middle east (35), movies (72), north america (19)

In the Classroom

Discover videos on Film Story to help build prior knowledge and illustrate what students are learning in history or world languages/cultures classes. Find several films and have small groups of students view them. Have students become "eyewitnesses" to history and watch the video assigned to them before they have a context for it. Then have them write or blog about what they think they are witnessing. Afterward they can research the event in more depth and write a follow-up reflection on what was actually happening in the video. Challenge your students to use a site such as Timetoast reviewed here, to create timelines of topics researched on the site. Use images from public domain sites, such as the collections reviewed here, to illustrate the events.

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Critical Past Stock Footage Archive - Jim and Andy Erickson

Grades
6 to 12
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Critical Past offers a collection of more than 57,000 historical videos and more than 7 million historical photos. All of the photos and videos are royalty free, archival stock footage....more
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Critical Past offers a collection of more than 57,000 historical videos and more than 7 million historical photos. All of the photos and videos are royalty free, archival stock footage. The site is in the business of selling these images and clips. "Royalty free" means that purchasing an image/clip will not require additional fees to the photographer, but it does NOT mean that the images/clips are "free" to download and use at will. Most of the footage comes from U.S. Government Agency sources. All of the videos and photos can be viewed for free online and shared with others via url, Twitter, or Facebook. Search the site either by decade, topic, or keyword. Along the right side bar of Critical Past, you will find "related videos" that correlate to the current search.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): 20th century (53), afghanistan (7), africa (177), american revolution (89), china (68), europe (75), north america (19), south america (40), video (276)

In the Classroom

Use photos or videos on Critical Past to help illustrate what students are learning in history. Ask students to be "eyewitnesses" of history and watch a video before they have context for it. Students can write or blog about what they think they are witnessing. Afterward they can research the event in more depth and write a follow-up reflection on what was actually happening in the clip. Challenge your students to use a site such as Timetoast reviewed here to create timelines of topics researched on the site. Use images from public domain sites, such as the collections reviewed here, to illustrate the events.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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 (50), cultures (107), french (90), german (65), greek (40), hebrew (19), italian (34), latin (22), phrases (6), portuguese (20), russian (28), spanish (108)

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 (195), evolution (101), 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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John F. Kennedy Presidential Library - JFK Library

Grades
7 to 12
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Recently, a large archive of material has been released by the JFK Library focused on the life of John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline. This site provides contextual information...more
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Recently, a large archive of material has been released by the JFK Library focused on the life of John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline. This site provides contextual information about these newly released records, as well as transcripts of oral history interviews. For example, you can now download previously secret audio recordings that were made during White House meetings, transcripts of oral history interviews with Jacqueline Kennedy, and a rich archive of other materials related to the Kennedy Presidency. This newly released material gives us insight into Kennedy's brief time as President, including his involvement in the Cuban Missile Crisis, his attitudes toward the Cold War relationship with the USSR and the build up of US troops in Vietnam. There are teacher resources and lesson plans that make use of the available archival material.

tag(s): history day (24), kennedy (27), presidents (132), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

All of these topics are of interest to students doing research into 20th century US and international history, and might be particularly useful to students working on in depth projects for National History Day. After researching a specific topic, have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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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 (81), maps (292), 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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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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Lyrics Gaps - lyricsgaps.com

Grades
5 to 12
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Learn a new language through music and lyrics! Choose English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portugese, Japanese, Russian, Greek, Dutch, Danish, or Romanian. Register for FREE and...more
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Learn a new language through music and lyrics! Choose English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portugese, Japanese, Russian, Greek, Dutch, Danish, or Romanian. Register for FREE and learn the new language. Each language has different activities: karaoke, interactive cloze activities, videos, and more. You can choose among three different difficulty levels. Some activities even have the option to "double click" to read a definition of a word. You also have the ability to submit your own songs and language activities to the site. Note that this site is fairly new and only ha a few hundred songs at the time of this review. Help contribute to the offerings!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (117), cultures (107), french (90), german (65), greek (40), italian (34), japanese (43), portuguese (20), russian (28), songs (53), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

This is a wonderful find for ESL/ELL and world language teachers. Teachers may prefer to do a class registration and use the offerings of the site with the entire class. Challenge your students to create (and submit) their own songs/activities in a new language. If school policy does not allow students to share songs on a site, have students create their own in-class presentations of songs and similar exercises using one selection from this site as a model.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Keeping Score - San Francisco Symphony

Grades
3 to 12
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Keeping Score takes you on a creative historical journey through the composers, conflicts, and culture of some of music's most beloved and classical works. This first-class website...more
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Keeping Score takes you on a creative historical journey through the composers, conflicts, and culture of some of music's most beloved and classical works. This first-class website contains interactives for composers such as Beethoven, Copeland, Stravinsky, and Tchaikovsky. You can see pictures and listen to stories about the lives and times of the composers, hear the music, read personal reflections or quotes of the composers, and listen to commentary of other musical professionals. Also included are podcasts of the San Francisco radio show, 13 Days When Music Changed Forever which is about musical revolutions. The education link is full of ideas for incorporating music into any and all subjects. It also has time saving, standards guided lesson plans to be used in all educational settings. Musical education websites do not get cooler than this! This type of site can connect with today's learners by bringing them all the information that they need in a one stop, multimedia package. It is classy, concise, and easy to navigate.

tag(s): composers (21), music theory (41), musical instruments (47), songs (53)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow students to explore specific composers on their own (or in cooperative learning groups). Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

U.S. and world history teachers will love this site! (As well as music teachers) Use interactives to integrate music into history classes, math classes (for timing and fractions), and English classes (reading and writing about music). All teachers can check out the thematic links for their subject to music. Take advantage of the FREE lesson plans. Chances are good that you could incorporate music into every type of class. Simply check out the education link, and your imagination and educational wheels will start spinning!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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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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Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon - Michael Shaughnessy & Jason Parkhill

Grades
K to 12
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This site features a wonderfully specific pictorial database of "every day" images that define cultures. Images are Creative Commons licensed and can be used by download (three sizes)...more
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This site features a wonderfully specific pictorial database of "every day" images that define cultures. Images are Creative Commons licensed and can be used by download (three sizes) or direct link. At the time of this review, general topics included German, ESL (American,) French, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Spanish, Russian, Ukrainian, and a few others. Besides offering a photograph (in three sizes) of something specifically Chinese or something only found in Japan, the vocabulary label for the object shown as well as its translation into its language of origin is available and indexed. There is also a detailed guide for teachers offering many wonderful suggestions of how to use CAPL in the classroom. The suggested activities include using images as objects, visual "texts," media illustrations, and narratives as well as ideas for using the images to teach vocabulary and culture. More is added to this site frequently, so be sure to check back!

tag(s): arabic (21), architecture (85), china (68), cross cultural understanding (117), cultures (107), france (40), germany (28), japan (62), russia (38), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Language students can use these images to create online posters using a tool such as Poster Wizard (reviewed here or PicLits (reviewed here. Have students make a visual lexicon of new vocabulary words. Use interest in some of the pics here as a jumping off point for more cultural exploration. Talk about what items we would photograph in the U.S. that are culturally specific and rich in cultural meaning (for example, the Green Bay Packers stadium).

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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 (81), maps (292)

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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ArtsEdge - Kennedy Center

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

tag(s): african american (113), baseball (36), civil war (145), comics and cartoons (71), dance (28), folktales (59), greece (26), habitats (84), immigration (58), literature (274), mexico (34), musical instruments (47), myths and legends (25), native americans (78), painting (66), surrealism (4)

In the Classroom

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

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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 (151), 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)!
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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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Alexander Palace Time Machine - Bob Atchison

Grades
6 to 12
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The tragic story of the lost princess Anastasia is often of interest to students and can serve as an introduction to the story of the Russian Revolution. The Alexander Palace ...more
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The tragic story of the lost princess Anastasia is often of interest to students and can serve as an introduction to the story of the Russian Revolution. The Alexander Palace site certainly illustrates the extreme wealth and extravagance of the Romanov court and how this brought about the Russian Revolution and the rise of communism. This site includes everything: diaries and letters, photographs of the palace pets, and information about the life of Tsar Alexander, the last tsar of Russia. Although the level of detail would be very useful for someone doing research into Russian history, the chief benefit of this site for classroom teachers is its photographs of the palace and its treasures. There are photo tours of the palace and each of its rooms. Of particular interest are zoom-able photos of eleven jeweled and decorated Faberge eggs. The site would also be useful for art teachers in illustrating the craftsmanship and beauty of the Faberge eggs, perhaps before asking students to design their own. This site requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): eggs (6), evolution (101), russia (38), russian (28)

In the Classroom

Send your students on a tour, looking for evidence to support a poitn of view about tsarist Russia. Or try a scavenger hunt where students find answers to specific questions. Even simpler, use a projector to give a "tour" as the opening activity of your unit, then have students revisit the site in individual computers later on in the unit for specific research.
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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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Russia - Country Studies - Library of Congress

Grades
8 to 12
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This site is part of a set of detailed cultural, political, and historical summaries created by the Library's Federal Research Service. The emphasis is on less commonly studied nations,...more
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This site is part of a set of detailed cultural, political, and historical summaries created by the Library's Federal Research Service. The emphasis is on less commonly studied nations, and the material will be challenging for some students.

tag(s): asia (72), europe (75), russia (38)

In the Classroom

Teachers will find these summaries useful for their comprehensive scope, which frequently includes historical and cultural background information. Much of the content is 5 or more years old, so these pages are best used for historical or background information.

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Face to Face with the Czars

Grades
9 to 12
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For the history buff, this site offers everything you want to know about the Romanov Dynasty, from 1613 to its end in 1917. Click on different dates in the timeline ...more
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For the history buff, this site offers everything you want to know about the Romanov Dynasty, from 1613 to its end in 1917. Click on different dates in the timeline to see all of royal Russia, from Mikhail Feodorovich to Nicholas II. There are pictures of each ruler, as well as a succinct biography, complete with links to a glossary of terms. Even those who aren't as enthralled with history will enjoy reading about the more uncommon rulers such as Catherine the Great - she used to correspond with Voltaire, you know.

tag(s): biographies (88), russia (38)

In the Classroom

One of the most useful aspects of this site are all the images and the background information on them included. These alone could be used to supplement any lecture on the Russian Czars - hang them around your classroom or on display boards. For student work, randomly assign partners a ruler to research. Have students create a poster relaying the most interesting facts about their ruler, in poster format. We recommend a site such as Padlet (reviewed here).

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