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Galileo's Battle for the Heavens - PBS/Nova

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

tag(s): galileo (7), gravity (46), moon (72), renaissance (34), solar system (119)

In the Classroom

A teachers' guide is in the works, but was unavailable at the time of this review.
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Aneki.com- Country Information, Regional and World Rankings

Grades
6 to 12
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This Canadian site offers quick, easy access to vital statistics and rankings for 10 regions and more than 190 countries. This is a handy compilation of stats ranging from the ...more
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This Canadian site offers quick, easy access to vital statistics and rankings for 10 regions and more than 190 countries. This is a handy compilation of stats ranging from the typical like population and life expectancy to the less common such as nuclear arms, and HIV prevalence.

tag(s): atlas (6), countries (76)

In the Classroom

This quickly addicting site would be great in a Math classroom studying statistics OR in a World History class doing the same. Students can focus one one angle of a ratings list, or can look at a specific country and see how they rank across the spectrum. This could be used in a Government or World History classroom.

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The Long Walk of Nelson Mandela - PBS Frontline

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6 to 12
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A detailed look at Mandela's life and the revolution he helped lead. The site contains interviews, film clips, and a "viewers' and teachers' guide." The site is a well-organized companion...more
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A detailed look at Mandela's life and the revolution he helped lead. The site contains interviews, film clips, and a "viewers' and teachers' guide." The site is a well-organized companion to the PBS Frontline documentary of the same name.

tag(s): africa (180), racism (18), south africa (10)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities offered for ideas on how to integrate this site into your classroom! This would be a great resource for almost any Social Studies teacher.
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Adventure Learning Foundation

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6 to 12
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This searchable site provides resources for teaching geography and culture. Currently, the page's "expeditions" are limited to Baja California, American Southwest, Southern Africa,...more
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This searchable site provides resources for teaching geography and culture. Currently, the page's "expeditions" are limited to Baja California, American Southwest, Southern Africa, Oaxaca Mexico, and Peru.

tag(s): africa (180), mexico (34), peru (6)

In the Classroom

There are lesson plans and links for each expedition.

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Who2

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4 to 12
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This site wins mention for breadth, not depth. It offers hundreds of very brief biographical sketches on famous people, past and present. More importantly, it also provides links -...more
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This site wins mention for breadth, not depth. It offers hundreds of very brief biographical sketches on famous people, past and present. More importantly, it also provides links - many surprisingly good, to more detailed information on the personalities listed. Students could use this one as a starting point for wider web research on a particular personality.

tag(s): biographies (87)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a starting point for students working on research projects about a famous historical character. Though the bios are brief, they offer some solid information that could help students in the beginning phases of their research.

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Berlin Wall - The Newseum

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

tag(s): china (66), cold war (29), egypt (67), german (64), germany (28), iran (12), politics (99)

In the Classroom

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

Grades
9 to 12
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Maybe there really can be "too much of a good thing." This site is an immense catalog of resources (ie. other websites, lessons plans, content) for social studies teachers. Due ...more
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Maybe there really can be "too much of a good thing." This site is an immense catalog of resources (ie. other websites, lessons plans, content) for social studies teachers. Due to the sheer volume of material, it would be wise for teachers to have a clear idea of what they are looking for before opening up the site. Casual "grazing" here might easily lead to a becoming lost on the web.

tag(s): europe (75)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite on your classroom desktop and use it as a reference for virtually everything! It's amazing how many resources they have managed to find - incredibly more helpful than a Google search would have been.

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NPR Middle East Transcripts - National Public Radio

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6 to 12
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National Public Radio offers this index to transcripts and audio files of its recent reporting on the Middle East. Users can read or listen to each report. There are also ...more
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National Public Radio offers this index to transcripts and audio files of its recent reporting on the Middle East. Users can read or listen to each report. There are also additional links to middle east resources from NPR and other sources. Great site for "beyond the headlines" information.

tag(s): israel (17), palestine (7)

In the Classroom

The entire NPR news feed is also available at this site.

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Muslims - PBS

Grades
7 to 12
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From the PBS Frontline program by the same name, this teachers' guide expands significantly on the content of the film itself. There are lots of discussion ideas, an Islam timeline,...more
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From the PBS Frontline program by the same name, this teachers' guide expands significantly on the content of the film itself. There are lots of discussion ideas, an Islam timeline, background information on Muslim customs in several different countries, and nice summations of the major tenets and observations of the faith.

tag(s): religions (61)

In the Classroom

This content could be useful in social studies or world cultures classes, whether you use the film or not.

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Transportation and Public Transit

Grades
3 to 6
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Here's an elementary-level introduction to the history of transportation from a public transit group. The focus is on how we move people, as opposed to products, but the content would...more
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Here's an elementary-level introduction to the history of transportation from a public transit group. The focus is on how we move people, as opposed to products, but the content would fit well with a unit on communities, cities, or how urban planning works. The site includes a quiz for each of its several units.

tag(s): transportation (40)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station to help students review information about a unit on transportation. The chapter quizzes at the end of the unit make a great formative assessment, to see where students are and where they need the most help. This is an excellent source for elementary school teachers!

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The Middle East Media Research Institute

Grades
9 to 12
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The Middle East Media Research Institute has assembled a fascinating collection of translated opinion and articles related to the middle east. Since much of what the Arab world is saying...more
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The Middle East Media Research Institute has assembled a fascinating collection of translated opinion and articles related to the middle east. Since much of what the Arab world is saying never makes it into English translation, this site could offer an interesting glimpse of opinions in the Arab world. Students will be interested in the range of opinions offered.

tag(s): arab (18), israel (17), palestine (7)

In the Classroom

Use the MEMRI translations as a resource for a current events themed assignment. Using this site and a US news organization such as the New York Times or Washington Post, have students find articles of similar subjects and compare the coverage between that of a Middle Eastern Country and American media sources. Have students note items such as bias, focus, information used as well as differences in coverage. Students can do this as a long term research project or as a quick in class activity with a Venn diagram. If completing it in class, use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here).

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Name the States - primarygames.com

Grades
1 to 3
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This is a simple state matching game suitable for primary students. Players match state outlines with their names, receiving correction or reinforcement as appropriate. Good site for...more
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This is a simple state matching game suitable for primary students. Players match state outlines with their names, receiving correction or reinforcement as appropriate. Good site for review of the states.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): states (162)

In the Classroom

Though the ads can be a bit distracting, this would be a great site to help students review their United States geography. Introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard before allowing the class to answer the questions as a whole. To motivate students to participate, let student volunteers come up and select their answers on the interactive whiteboard. Teams can compete to see which can do it the quickest or most correct to add a competitive edge to the activity.
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The Road from Coorain - PBS

Grades
7 to 12
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The web companion to the Masterpiece Theater presentation of Jill Ker Conway's story offers additional background information on the book and the author, as well as a visual feel for...more
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The web companion to the Masterpiece Theater presentation of Jill Ker Conway's story offers additional background information on the book and the author, as well as a visual feel for life in the Australian outback. This site could be a great supplement if this title is on your reading list.

tag(s): australia (35), authors (120)

In the Classroom

Use the teachers guide on this site to look for classroom activities and ideas to integrate the resources here into your classroom. This would be great for a Language Arts class.

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Origami Learning Center

Grades
4 to 12
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Part of a far larger site, this section offers lots of instructions on the basics of origami, the Japanese art of paper folding. There are examples galore, along with information ...more
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Part of a far larger site, this section offers lots of instructions on the basics of origami, the Japanese art of paper folding. There are examples galore, along with information on terminology, reading folding instructions, and sources for origami patterns. If you're looking for an art activity that requires very little equipment, try this one.

tag(s): japan (61), origami (17), paper folding (5)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an supplement to the book "One Thousand Paper Cranes." After the students have completed the book, use some class time to allow students to create their own cranes in class. Introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard before allowing students to explore it further in cooperative learning groups. Once students have created a crane, encourage them to try more complicated shapes and figures! This is a great way to lead into a conversation on the significance of origami and why it was so important in the book.

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Council on Foreign Relations

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6 to 12
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This regularly-updated site strives to provide straightforward information in a "what we do know; what we don't know..." format. The breadth of topics is significant, and there are...more
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This regularly-updated site strives to provide straightforward information in a "what we do know; what we don't know..." format. The breadth of topics is significant, and there are extensive links to outside sources whose authoritativeness varies. This one is a great starting point for studying the evolving response to terrorism.

tag(s): terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

Open this site on the interactive whiteboard or projector during a unit on modern politics. This link specifically focuses on Terrorism, but there is abundant information on other subjects that can be accessed by simply clicking on the other subject headings. Select an article and share it with the class. Once students have read the article, begin a class discussion based on their reaction and opinions. Teachers could also assign students articles, and have them report their findings to the class the next day as a news report.

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Newspapers in the US

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4 to 12
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Here's an extensive collection of links to online editions of hundreds of U.S. newspapers. This is a particularly valuable resource for students interested in activities in small towns...more
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Here's an extensive collection of links to online editions of hundreds of U.S. newspapers. This is a particularly valuable resource for students interested in activities in small towns and cities that receive less national coverage.

tag(s): news (261), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

This is a huge collection of links. Although they try to keep them updated, there will probably be some that will not load. The good thing is that there are many alternatives!

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Zaire - 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): africa (180), air (163)

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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Yugoslavia - Country Studies - Library of Congress

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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): europe (75), yugoslavia (2)

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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Vietnam - 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 (73), vietnam (36)

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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Venezuela - 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): south america (39)

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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