Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomA great classroom discussion starter, and perfect for displaying on an interactive whiteboard, the Better Life Index allows students to consider and debate what makes for a "better life." And once (or if) they can reach a consensus on those factors, where could that life be found in the world? Of course, once you discover that people are healthiest, for example, in Australia, what does that mean? Why are they healthy there? What community, government, and institutional factors make Australia healthy? Do they make choices other countries don't? This is a wonderful tool for guiding discussion about the public policy decisions made by citizens and governments, and how those decisions affect the quality of life. It would also provide powerful information for persuasive writing or debates. If you talk about utopias and dystopias, this is another way for students to decide what the criteria are for each. If you study world cultures, this site can provide a whole different lens to promote crosscultural understanding. Assign students to compare and contrast factors that matter most to them across multiple countries. Gifted students who are designing an "ideal civilization" can find meaningful data here to use as part of their plans.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomConsider the many ways your class could collaborate. Science students can collaborate on labs, history students on research, and math students can solve some of the world's most difficult equations together. ESL/ELL students might collaborate with students who want to know about their experiences where one does not speak the language.
Partner teachers can choose a collaborative platform students can use to brainstorm ideas they have about the other country and culture before they meet. Use a projector and Lino, reviewed here, (no membership required) to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge about the culture with whom they will be working. Once the project is underway, go back to Lino occasionally, and add what they learned and whether it coincides with the students' original ideas. Ask the partner class if they will fill in the areas and ideas missed on your Lino. Also, consider asking the partner school to blog together. It is amazing the improvement you will see in student writing when they know they have an authentic audience! If you never blogged before, you might want to check out TeachersFirst Blog Basics for the Classroom. Use the blogs as a way to discuss topics related to both culture AND your curriculum: environmental topics, different types of government, or simply day to day life.
I intend to use this. It sounds like a great idea., MD, Grades: 1 - 1
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomUse Trove to create student-navigated lessons or review materials for any topic. Create a whole class Trove account to follow Troves safely under teacher supervision. Allow students to set up their own accounts if over 13 and permitted under school policies. Have students work together in groups to create their Trove on current articles they can use in a research project. Have student groups create Troves of articles in the news related to the curriculum topic you are studying. For example, collect articles about disappearing habitats, design concepts that use new engineering materials, food and religion in a certain culture, or climate change and weather. Demonstrate a new math concept using articles found on the Internet. Create a class study guide for students to access before the big science test! Include Trove as part of your current events lessons and allow students to explore articles demonstrating different points of view. Use Trove as a professional resource for following current topics in education such as standardized testing or Common Core Standards. Speaking of Common Core, the articles collected in Trove could serve as practice with informational texts. Library/media specialists can collect Troves to teach students about using media in research projects.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomMake geography come to life by gamifying it! Create (or have students create) landform games (what do these locations have in common), culture games, travel collections, etc. Use this tool to explore world cultures (or languages), geography, historical locations, famous battle locations, and more. Demonstrate how to create a game, then have students create and play games of their own. Pair this activity with What Was There, reviewed here, and have students use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast changes over time.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on exploration on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students create maps using Animaps, reviewed here. Students can add text, images, and location stops. Have students create their own timelines of explorers (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles, reviewed here. Have students use Fakebook reviewed here to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about one of the explorers mentioned on this site.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomBecome a "RAKTIVIST" and start a kindness raid on unsuspecting communities, classes, or schools! Give children power and voice through their actions. Partner this with character education programs to make a difference in all the lives you touch. During social studies, find ways kindness has changed the world. Look for times in which kindness was thwarted, such as during civil wars, dictatorships, or wars. Start a research project on world leaders who have changed the world through nonviolence, education, or generosity. Explain the power of nonprofit organizations and all the lives affected. Look into your own community and school to find needs that are waiting for active, caring participants. Create school or classroom rules to promote the power of kindness. Challenge student to create "kindness" commercials. Share them using a tool such as SchoolTube reviewed here. Emotional Support or Autistic Support teachers may find some of the ideas here helpful for talking about how others feel and ways to show kindness in a very deliberate way.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomBe sure to include The Places We Live with any unit on poverty around the world or in a general world cultures class. Share this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further exploration. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here). Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare life in your area to the life of teens shown here. Share the images, with no sound, as writing prompts for students to imagine themselves in the slums. What would their lives be like? What would be the same or different? What could they do to help their family to get out of those living conditions? Is there anything anyone can do to help?
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomView this site in the classroom using a projector or interactive whiteboard. View the reconstruction of these artifacts from information collected during its discovery. Use the 3D tour to view the Necropolis, join a guided tour of the monuments, and look at the collected objects reconstructed from the site. Bring the history of Egypt to life. This is a powerful tool to show the role of Archaeology in reconstructing history. Compare this site to the work of archaeologists at Jamestown or other historic locations to talk about different techniques of science used to reveal history.
Grades5 to 12
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In the ClassroomUse the Historical Marker Database to find information and locations of important events near your hometown or relating to any area of study. For example, choose the Civil Rights link to find markers noting important events related to Civil Rights. Then have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. Have students create maps using Animaps (reviewed here). Students can add text, images, and location stops! Have students create timelines of historic events near your school (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Capzles (reviewed here).
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomView exhibits and information together with your class on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow students to explore the site on their own. Have students create a timeline of artworks and more using Timeglider, reviewed here. Challenge students to create a presentation using Prezi, reviewed here. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms (or people) they learn about the Hermitage using a tool such as Wordle, reviewed here, or WordItOut, reviewed here.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomWhile much of what you find here will be useful for your own lesson planning, the photograph archive will be useful for images related to the Cold War era. Some of the documents could be printed and used for small group discussions or analysis. Consider referring students who are doing research for a National History Day project to this resource. Challenge students to research the information shared at this site and create blogs as Cold War personalities. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Loose Leaves, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration.
Grades6 to 12
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In the ClassroomIncrease your learning by finding others to follow -- and learn from their tweets. If using with a class, find those who can help with content students are learning. For example, follow scientists, artists, or writers to enhance your class discussion and learn from others outside the classroom. World language classes may want to follow experts on certain cultures. Earth science classes could follow experts on plate tectonics or volcanoes. Library/Media specialists will want to add this to your reference tools to help teachers or students seeking content experts. Be sure to follow the recommendations in the TeachersFirst review of (Twitter). This is a great tool to help students build a personal learning network in an area of interest, especially for gifted students who may have unusual interests and need the challenge of contact and collaboration with "real world" experts.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): anthropology (11), archeology (32), architecture (83), business (58), engineering (128), environment (320), geology (81), german (67), marine biology (33), medicine (70), paleontology (40), politics (99), psychology (66), religions (68), sociology (22)
In the ClassroomUse materials from Cosmo Learning as part of any unit or lesson plan. Use materials on the site for flipped lessons or share with gifted learners as an enhancement to current course content. Using the flipped classroom format is helpful if YouTube is blocked at your school. Share lessons on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Teachers of gifted can share this with their students whose interests fall outside typical school curriculum to encourage independent study or projects. Provide the link to this site on your class wiki or website for students (and families) to access anytime.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): 1900s (37), aircraft (24), american flag (11), american revolution (89), artists (76), bill of rights (29), civil rights (121), civil war (144), colonial america (108), flags (22), industrial revolution (25), kennedy (27), lincoln (86), martin luther king (36), native americans (77), pearl harbor (12), railroads (11), slavery (72), space (217), thanksgiving (37), underground railroad (11), war of 1812 (15), world war 1 (53), world war 2 (142)