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Using Primary Sources in the Classroom: World War I Unit - Alabama Department of Archives and History

Grades
6 to 12
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This museum site provides five different lessons plans about World War I. It offers learning objectives, activities, and links to primary documents. Though the site focuses on Alabama...more
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This museum site provides five different lessons plans about World War I. It offers learning objectives, activities, and links to primary documents. Though the site focuses on Alabama history, it is a good way to show multiple perspectives about the war. The site itself is no visual treat, but the activity ideas can bring a hundred-year old era to life.

tag(s): primary sources (86), world war 1 (54)

In the Classroom

Use the activities to help your students better understand World War I. Be sure to check out the activity in the Selective Service lesson. The activity has each student being assigned to a role. The students write a letter to Senator Bankhead which would explain their positions concerning conscription prior to the declaration of war. To extend the activity, have your students dress as their character and read their letters to the class. Or have students create blogs using Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary!

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Picturing Words: The Power of Book Illustrations - Smithsonian Institution Libraries

Grades
6 to 10
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Picturing Words is an online exhibit featuring 40 illustrated, rare books from history, science, and art. The illustrated books go back to the 1400's with illuminated manuscripts from...more
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Picturing Words is an online exhibit featuring 40 illustrated, rare books from history, science, and art. The illustrated books go back to the 1400's with illuminated manuscripts from The Canon of Medicine (980-1037) up to 1996 and The Graphic Alphabet. The categories include: Inspires, Informs, or Influences. Also included is a section on the process of illustration, detailed images, and examples organized by theme. Suddenly, you will notice illustrations!

tag(s): artists (74), medieval (27), primary sources (86), renaissance (34)

In the Classroom

History and English teachers studying the Medieval time period can show the primary source of the illuminated alphabet script on The Canon of Medicine. Then have students create a mini-bio for themselves, starting with illuminating the first letter of their name. Use this site to study how the power of pictures can enhance text. The Process section explains how the Gutenberg Press used wood blocks or metal cuts along with the letterpress to print a book with images. Have your students view the "Process" part of this site, and look at several books printed in the Gutenberg time period. You may want them to further investigate the workings of the Gutenberg Press and what it took to make a book (materials and time). Then have your students make a simple, illustrated book using a program like Bookemon reviewed here. Have them use Dipity reviewed here. to display the differences between publishing then and now. Dipity will display as a flip book, timeline, map, or list. In a gifted class, try some of these activities as you discuss Gutenberg, then ask how those illustrations compare in ease and efficiency to the digital means we have to add visual enhancements today. WHich do they consider more "valuable"?

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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 (100), timelines (62)

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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NOVA Body and Brain - NOVA/PBS

Grades
3 to 12
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Find great information and interactive activities about the human body and brain on this exciting site. Choose from tabs along the top from Body and Brain as well as Nature, ...more
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Find great information and interactive activities about the human body and brain on this exciting site. Choose from tabs along the top from Body and Brain as well as Nature, Planet Earth, and more. Click on the NOVA Education tab to find great lessons and ideas to use these materials for a variety of subjects and ages. View video clips as well as slide shows and other information. Preview these resources before sharing in class. Some parents/communities may consider some material controversial or inappropriate for younger students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): carbon dioxide (17), carbon footprint (11), earth (228), environment (317), human body (121), nuclear energy (24), nutrition (154), solar energy (38), space (205)

In the Classroom

Discover some terrific lessons about a variety of topics. For example, under Environment find a great lesson for Capturing Carbon: Where Do We Put It? Find background information to understand the material and questions for discussion that can be used with your class. Find additional resources along the side.
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Dib Dab Doo and Dilly too... A smarter safer way to search the Internet - Dibdabdoo.com

Grades
K to 7
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Here you will find a "kid-appropriate" search tool featuring countless general topics: Facts & Reference, Computers/The Internet, The Arts, Strange & Mysterious, Hot Topics, The World,...more
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Here you will find a "kid-appropriate" search tool featuring countless general topics: Facts & Reference, Computers/The Internet, The Arts, Strange & Mysterious, Hot Topics, The World, Science & Math, Reading, Writing, Speaking, Nature, and several others. Within each of the main topics are subtopics. For example, in the Classroom section you will find English, Foreign Langauges, Math, History, Reference Tools, Shapes, Woodwork, Colors, Art, Religion, Philosophy, Social Studies, and Homework Help. There is a ton here to explore! The information includes articles and images/photos.

tag(s): alphabet (92), animals (276), animation (63), clip art (10), colors (79), comics and cartoons (74), cooking (34), crafts (40), creative writing (166), cross cultural understanding (115), cultures (105), dance (28), dinosaurs (57), disabilities (20), diseases (66), drawing (77), fitness (49), flags (21), folktales (65), geometric shapes (163), grammar (216), homework (44), insects (69), journalism (46), measurement (157), museums (49), mysteries (25), numbers (203), nutrition (154), oceans (148), operations (125), origami (17), painting (66), photography (160), poetry (228), psychology (64), rainforests (13), religions (61), search engines (65), seasons (37), sign language (8), social networking (112), spelling (168), sports (97), trivia (17), vocabulary (323), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Help students learn about narrowing and refining research by demonstrating this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard. As you start a project, take the time to SHOW how to use this tool to save time and find appropriate resources. Allow students to explore this site on their own finding relevant information from the various topics. If time permits, have students research a specific topic and create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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The Learning Network - The New York Times Company

Grades
6 to 12
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This New York Times site addresses many classroom needs. Scroll down the main section to find current event articles, photos, polls, and more. Find lesson plans by category, a student...more
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This New York Times site addresses many classroom needs. Scroll down the main section to find current event articles, photos, polls, and more. Find lesson plans by category, a student opinion section, contests, a daily news quiz, and timely articles connecting current events to thinking questions. Find many opportunities for a quick learning game or to express your opinion. There is even a student crossword. This site is frequently updated and includes a wide variety of subjects.

tag(s): news (261), vocabulary (323), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your class web page for students to find challenges or activities. Substitute teachers can always find an appropriate current events or vocabulary/writing activity if there are no lesson plans. English, social studies, and gifted teachers will want to explore the many lesson ideas that draw on current news stories. Find many prompts for student opinion blogs at this site. Have students create blogs using Throwww (reviewed here). This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. There is no registration necessary!

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What's Going On Now - John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Grades
8 to 12
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Are we living in the worst of times? Or is history simply repeating? This site looks at the tumultuous 1960s and 1970s through the lens of Marvin Gaye's 1971 album ...more
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Are we living in the worst of times? Or is history simply repeating? This site looks at the tumultuous 1960s and 1970s through the lens of Marvin Gaye's 1971 album "What's Going On." But more importantly, the site challenges us to examine the similarities between those days and the world the youth of today has inherited. The French have a saying, "Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose," or the more things change, the more they remain the same. Compare the unrest related to the environment, to social change, to veterans issues. What about drugs, poverty, and faith? How are these issues expressed through popular music? This site presents compelling resources in music, video, and historical commentary, as well as strong teacher guidance to enable you to create powerful, involved lessons based on these questions. Fifty years ago, it was a call for "relevance" in the classroom; today, we search for "authentic" instruction. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

tag(s): 1960s (30), civil rights (117), cross cultural understanding (115), ecology (135), racism (18), veterans (19), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

History teachers struggle for "coverage," or the ability to teach across all eras. U.S. History teachers often don't get to the Vietnam era, but these resources are a superb reason for pressing forward. Teacher resources include a number of guided investigations and classroom listening guides that can be incorporated in their entirety or adapted to complement lessons on the Vietnam era in a recent U.S. History class, on social change for a Sociology class, or on contemporary music as an agent of political protest for a music class. For independent or gifted learners, this site could provide the basis for sustained small group inquiry as part of curriculum differentiation. Start by asking students to explore the site and write a blog post about their initial impressions.
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Charts Bin - Chartsbin.com

Grades
9 to 12
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Find great Infographics about a variety of topics. Use the beautiful arrangement of data to uncover relationships between various pieces of information. Easily share or embed the chart...more
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Find great Infographics about a variety of topics. Use the beautiful arrangement of data to uncover relationships between various pieces of information. Easily share or embed the chart where needed. Click on References and Data Table to look at the raw data and origins of the information. Choose from major topics in the tabs above such as Country Information, Environment, Food and Agriculture, and more. Search your own topics with the search bar.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): business (58), charts and graphs (195), data (148), infographics (42), maps (287)

In the Classroom

Introduce a topic by sharing the Infographic and allowing time for students to identify various items that they notice about the chart. Allow time to think-pair-share in class and list questions for further understanding. Consider creating Infographics of material learned in class and for better understanding and connection with other topics and the world around them. Make curriculum content more real with infographics that students can relate to.
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World Memory Project - U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and Ancestry.com

Grades
8 to 12
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See firsthand documents that paint the grim picture of the lives and deaths of the millions of Holocaust victims. The project which culminated in this site digitized thousands and thousands...more
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See firsthand documents that paint the grim picture of the lives and deaths of the millions of Holocaust victims. The project which culminated in this site digitized thousands and thousands of papers, photos and other memorabilia of the Holocaust and made them available online for free. In some cases, the documents are not available, but references to the articles are. Families of survivors, student researchers, and professional writers can use the historical documents available here. Easy to use search tools explain the process clearly.

tag(s): family (59), germany (28), hitler (10), holocaust (39), jews (20), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Challenge your students to use a site such as TimeRime reviewed here to create an interactive timeline of individual families' involvements in the Holocaust or of the days of the Holocaust itself. Have interested students create a family tree using documents from this site. Make World War II history more real with these actual accounts.
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Zoodles - Mark Williamson & Rich Humphrey

Grades
K to 3
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Zoodles offers a safe web platform for kids that includes fun and educational games, videos, and activities. The BASIC membership to this tool includes countless activities in a variety...more
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Zoodles offers a safe web platform for kids that includes fun and educational games, videos, and activities. The BASIC membership to this tool includes countless activities in a variety of subject areas. Many of the activities come from other sites (Starfall, PBS kids, etc.). But this is a nice compilation of subjects and activities. The safety in this program is that once it is downloaded and opened, children don't view the regular computer toolbars anymore. Thus they can't search the web on their own. To exit the program, click QUIT and OK.

There is a parent play-along mode that helps guide learning experiences in a more personal way. Zoodles has been created to work on virtually any type of computer, including tablets and smart phones. Games are searchable by age (toddler to 8 yrs old), and subject. Many games will also have parent ratings with the educational and fun value of the activity. Creating an account is easy and requires simple user information including email and the child's age. This is used to populate age-appropriate games. There is a premium membership with more features.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): addition (250), body systems (57), constitution (79), counting (119), grammar (216), numbers (203), operations (125), phonics (75), preK (281), subtraction (207)

In the Classroom

Create 2 or 3 (or more, as needed) classroom accounts with different age levels to provide diversity for students. Each account then be bookmarked on classroom computers for student use. Share this site through your classroom blog or newsletter as a resource for learning games at home. Use activities from the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a classroom activity. Provide this link to parents to use on rainy days or during the summer.
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Festisite Money - Festisite

Grades
K to 12
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Have you ever wanted to see your own face on a dollar bill? Use this online image editor to personalized bills with your own picture. Just upload your picture (or ...more
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Have you ever wanted to see your own face on a dollar bill? Use this online image editor to personalized bills with your own picture. Just upload your picture (or any image) using the photo link at the bottom of the page. Images can be moved around within the picture frame, and there is an option to adjust the image size by zooming in or out. Save the edited image by right-clicking the image and selecting "save" to download the output image to your computer. Then print the dollar bill with your image. The site offers currency from many different countries from Antarctica to Yugoslavia, and you can create posters, decks of cards, and more.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): currency (19), financial literacy (80), money (192)

In the Classroom

Have fun creating personalized money for students to practice counting! Allow students to buy classroom rewards using your own classroom dollars generated using this site. Use class-made manipulatives from this site to teach basic economic concepts with simulations: running a small business, supply and demand, or simply making change. Use custom made currency as a behavior incentive system to help emotional support students build self-control. If students study different cultures, why not have them design their own country, complete with currency? Share this site with parents to use at home with their students or for the PTO/PTA to create fun money for school events.
 
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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 (23), kennedy (27), presidents (131), 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.
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The Story Home - Purple Button Media

Grades
K to 8
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This award-winning site contains both original and classic short stories and children's tales in audio form. On the left sidebar you can choose the genre. Each selection has a brief...more
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This award-winning site contains both original and classic short stories and children's tales in audio form. On the left sidebar you can choose the genre. Each selection has a brief summary on the opening page, so you can decide whichever story appeals to you. In addition to the mostly shorter selections, there is a fairly extensive list of stories that are around 10 minutes in length. Some stories are audio only (no text). You do NOT need to pay to simply listen from the website. Click the "play" button to play. Downloads cost money.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): listening (91), preK (281), reading comprehension (116), short stories (25)

In the Classroom

Have students try out this site with headphones on individual computers. Turn up your speakers and share this on your projector or interactive whiteboard as a listening activity. Use this site as extra listening practice for ELL/ESL students or any class. Create some reading/listening comprehension questions for students. Or better yet, have cooperative learning groups listen to DIFFERENT short stories and create 3-4 comprehension questions. Then have students rotate stories and try out the comprehension questions created by their classmates. Since nearly all stories are audio only, this site is excellent for listening practice. If you have print versions of these classics, be sure to have them handy at a listening center for beginning readers to follow along.
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TES Teaching Resources - TSL Education

Grades
K to 12
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This amazing site contains thousands of lesson plans and activities for students of all ages (ages 3-16+). Simple registration is required with an email address and password. Choose...more
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This amazing site contains thousands of lesson plans and activities for students of all ages (ages 3-16+). Simple registration is required with an email address and password. Choose a grade range to search for activities. Note that terminology for lessons is from the UK, so you may need to "translate" for U.S. curriculum topics and spelling. Choose subjects then further categorized into topics. Many links include complete lessons plans with items such as PowerPoint lessons, videos, quizzes, worksheets, and much more. Other options on the site allows you to save items as favorites, follow other users, save searches, and upload materials. Another offering is the "Whole School" category that includes resources for school needs such as behavior and assemblies.

tag(s): bullying (52), business (58), creativity (108), preK (281), psychology (64), religions (61), sociology (22), teaching strategies (24)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite to use as a resource when searching for lesson plans and classroom activities. Why reinvent the wheel? Take advantage of these ready to go resources!
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Many Books.net - Manybooks.net

Grades
4 to 12
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Many Book.net is a free web site offering eBooks from Project Gutenburg, The Human Genome Project and audio books, and creative commons works. Using author, title, genre, language,...more
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Many Book.net is a free web site offering eBooks from Project Gutenburg, The Human Genome Project and audio books, and creative commons works. Using author, title, genre, language, and recommended eBooks find your favorite reads. Join an RSS feed or Twitter to receive updates of the latest eBooks. Submit your work for consideration and possibly to be added to the selections. Register to create your own bookshelf with eBooks you have read. Keep it private, share as an embedded URL, or share on the actual site. Find conversion tools to help with any formats required. Explore the devices available to read the eBooks.

tag(s): audio books (32), ebooks (42), independent reading (128)

In the Classroom

Fill your classroom library with all the ebooks from the classics. Encourage your students to keep bookshelves of the books they read, while you make your bookshelf available to use for assignment choices or options. Encourage the continual exploration of author, time period, subject matter, and genre. Enchant your voracious and gifted readers alike!

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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 (62)

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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Game Up: Brain Pop Games - Game Up Brainpop games

Grades
K to 12
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This new "freebie" from Brainpop goes beyond the usual videos and quizzes. It includes several engaging interactives, some created by Brainpop and others linked to outside sources....more
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This new "freebie" from Brainpop goes beyond the usual videos and quizzes. It includes several engaging interactives, some created by Brainpop and others linked to outside sources. Game Up, a free area of Brain Pop, is a collection of free online games that are linked to Common Core and State Standards. Science, math, social studies, and health activities provide challenge for every learner. This free gem also includes activities for grades K-3 and ESL/ELL students. Some of the topics (at the time of this review) included: Drake Equation, Court Quest, Cell Command, Blood Typing, Make Me Sick, The Diabetic Dog Game, and Food Fight.
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tag(s): branches of government (48), cells (102), debate (41), diseases (66), fractions (239), game based learning (103), logic (235), matter (58), myplate (28), nutrition (154), oceans (148), planets (123), plants (145), puzzles (208), solar system (119), supreme court (22)

In the Classroom

Use Game Up to introduce, illustrate, review, or assess concepts. Share the activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector for students to operate as a class activity. Use one of the activities as a learning center. Be sure to put this as a link on your website to allow students a great way to reinforce learning both in and out of your class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Great Graphic Novels - YALSA, American Library Association.

Grades
8 to 12
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Increase your knowledge of the popular but sometimes puzzling genre, graphic literature, with this updated reading list from the American Library Association. The Young Adult Library...more
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Increase your knowledge of the popular but sometimes puzzling genre, graphic literature, with this updated reading list from the American Library Association. The Young Adult Library Services Association branch guarantees quality literature and general appeal to teen subject interests in this annotated list. In addition to the 56 annotated titles, divided into both fiction and non-fiction categories, there is a link to the top ten recommended titles.

tag(s): book lists (128), reading lists (75)

In the Classroom

If you are confused about which graphic novels to recommend to teens, share this fantastic annotated list. Compare the themes of the non-fiction offerings with your class curriculum. Offer the names of some of the fiction for outside readings for your students. Have students select one choice from this list and compare it to a "traditional" fiction or non-fiction work on the same subject.

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Shared Talk - Rosetta Stone

Grades
9 to 12
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By the makers of the language learning software Rosetta Stone, this free site offers language learners an opportunity to have an online pen pal. You can choose to use the ...more
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By the makers of the language learning software Rosetta Stone, this free site offers language learners an opportunity to have an online pen pal. You can choose to use the chat or email function and practice your language skills in the languages of your choice. After a free registration, you can use either voice chat, written chat, or email. You can share as little or as much information as you choose to in your profile. To begin, simply choose a native language for your language partner as well as the language you would like to use to communicate in! There is the option to choose more than one chat partner as well. With an authentic language partner from another culture the opportunity to learn about culture, idiomatic language, things of interest to young people, etc. is a terrific bonus for you. Develop a network of friends at this site.

tag(s): arabic (20), chat (51), chinese (48), french (88), german (64), hebrew (14), idioms (44), italian (33), japanese (42), russian (26), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Use this site with your world language students. Warning: Due to interaction with the public, be sure to check your school's policy on allowing students to register on a site such as this. We strongly recommend parent permission, as well. Discuss safety issues in advance, such as what to do if the "pal" enters into inappropriate discussions.

If you have a group of students participating, prepare a list of interview questions and have your students make culture reports using the information they gather from their partners. You could give them a choice of presentation tools, so all in the class can learn from the other cultures. Use a presentation tool such as authorSTREAM reviewed here, My Brochure Maker reviewed here, or Bookemon reviewed here.

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Digg.com - Digg Inc.

Grades
7 to 12
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Digg is a social news network. Similar in some qualities to Facebook and other such social media. You can post stories you find interesting and browse "Top Stories" which are ...more
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Digg is a social news network. Similar in some qualities to Facebook and other such social media. You can post stories you find interesting and browse "Top Stories" which are more or less the most popular stories being shared on the Internet. It is meant to be a snapshot of the most interesting, relevant, quirky, and fun content on the web! Once you sign up, you can start to Digg your own favorites. This site also features "Digg Dialogg" where members submit questions to notable leaders and community members decide on which questions will be asked and interviews are shared on the site. Be sure to preview items that you wish to share. A few "violent" warnings were noted at the time of this review, but the other 99% of the shared items were excellent for using in the classroom.

tag(s): debate (41), news (261), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Try using Digg as a warm up Internet activity in the beginning of the school year by having older students sign up for their own account. Have them scan and read as part of current events teaching. The articles can be controversial which provides a great place to start debates. It also provides a great resource for research. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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