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History for Middle School Kids - Kidipede

Grades
4 to 10
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This site, designed especially for middle school students, includes a HUGE amount of social studies topics. Although this site is recommended for middle school students, it is also...more
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This site, designed especially for middle school students, includes a HUGE amount of social studies topics. Although this site is recommended for middle school students, it is also appropriate for high school students studying the subject areas. It is mainly a "text" site, without interactives. However, this is a great resource for explaining complex topics, researching specific topics in social studies, and much more. Some of the general areas of the site include: Mesopotamia, North America, Ancient Africa, Ancient Egypt, Medieval Europe, Islamic Empire, Ancient China, Ancient Rome, and Ancient Greece. Each general area includes countless sub-topics. There is a search box available at the top of the page. There are also links to activities for students, project ideas, and Teacher's Guides. There are two caveats: there are some advertisements, nothing too distracting AND some of the suggested activities include "buying" a book from Amazon. You do NOT need to purchase anything to take advantage of this free resource!

tag(s): europe (73), greece (27), medieval (26), mesopotamia (6)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set in your history classes studying these topics. The information is simple to understand and would be useful for students struggling with a topic. Use the site for research about specific topics. Have teams of students explore each of the "sub-topics" within the main topic and then create an interactive presentation (Powerpoint, video, or blog) to share the information with their class. Why not list this link on your class website, so students can access the page both in and out of the classroom.

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Today in History - Library of Congress

Grades
4 to 12
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The Library of Congress offers this daily look at historical events - mostly American. There is typically more than one event listed per day, and the text integrates cultural, literary,...more
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The Library of Congress offers this daily look at historical events - mostly American. There is typically more than one event listed per day, and the text integrates cultural, literary, and political trends into the daily reporting. This makes this daily nugget far more than just a collection of "factoids."

tag(s): history day (24)

In the Classroom

This site provides excellent historical research! For a classroom-ready activity each day to build understanding of historical events in the context of your students' prior knowledge, also try TeachersFirst's Dates That Matter. Include both links on your teacher web page for instant access by students both in and out of class. Maybe start a class wiki for your own "This Day" collection and assign student groups a day of their own. Add to it from year to year. Or have students write blog responses on class or individual blogs as they choose an event for the day from several sources and react to it.

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Today In History - Cowles

Grades
6 to 12
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A very good site for the history buff or those struggling to understand historical events. The story links have real depth and are well written for easy comprehension. Pictures make...more
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A very good site for the history buff or those struggling to understand historical events. The story links have real depth and are well written for easy comprehension. Pictures make the history come alive and support the information given. There are links to particular events of the day, a daily quiz, and a picture of the day. Be aware: some dates do not have any information and other dates provide a very brief list of "happenings."

tag(s): expository writing (43), history day (24)

In the Classroom

This site would be ideal for research projects. For a classroom-ready activity each day to build understanding of historical events in the context of your students' prior knowledge, also try TeachersFirst's Dates That Matter. Include both links on your teacher web page for instant access by students both in and out of class. Maybe start a class wiki for your own "This Day" collection and assign student groups a day of their own. Add to it from year to year. Or have students write blog responses on class or individual blogs as they choose an event for the day from several sources and react to it.

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Ethnologue - SIL International

Grades
6 to 12
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This site is an index to languages of the world, including lesser known ones. There is also some reference information provided for most locations. Teachers and students can click on...more
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This site is an index to languages of the world, including lesser known ones. There is also some reference information provided for most locations. Teachers and students can click on a map of the world to come up with a list of continents and then a list of countries. Each country, no matter how obscure, displays a list of its languages and dialects and a short description of the location where the language is spoken. For example, the tiny West African country of Liberia lists over 30 languages and dialects, many of which are spoken in no locations outside this country.

In the Classroom

Use this site when social studies students are doing reports on world cultures. Check out your own state (or country) and see what you can learn. ESL and ELL students may enjoy sharing the information displayed here about their individual countries and languages with American students who might have no idea of the cultural differences among members of the same country. Use this map as a discussion starter I your world cultures class about migration patterns and the power of a common language to encourage cross-cultural pollination.

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TESL/TEFL/TESOL/ESL/EFL/ESOL Links - ITESLJ

Grades
1 to 12
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This compilation of sites is a standard source for ESL and ELL teachers and contains links to whatever type of vocabulary enrichment activity you might be looking for. Although this...more
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This compilation of sites is a standard source for ESL and ELL teachers and contains links to whatever type of vocabulary enrichment activity you might be looking for. Although this site is "plain vanilla" and not high-tech, it has been around for a long time and offers a comprehensive list of sites to use with ESL and ELL students. English/language arts teachers will also find the vocabulary development options helpful for any student, especially those who may need extra learning support.

Be sure to check out "What's New" for recent additions. Go to "Main Page" and try the search box; it's a good place to try to find the links you remember from awhile back but have lost track of.

tag(s): holidays (146), idioms (45), sight words (36), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Provide this link on your class website. Use this site for vocabulary ideas with your ESL and ELL students AND in your world language classes or mainstream language arts classes. The variety at this site offers something for every classroom learning English or another language.

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Beeline TV - Beeline Software Express

Grades
1 to 12
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This online TV resource offers instant streaming of TV news, sports, music, and cultural programs from up to 400 different countries in many languages. With a Windows Media Player or...more
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This online TV resource offers instant streaming of TV news, sports, music, and cultural programs from up to 400 different countries in many languages. With a Windows Media Player or other player (downloading directions given at the site), teachers can have television on classroom computers instantly. Foreign language teachers can show programs featuring their language group. English language TV comes from the U.S. and the U.K. Some examples of "TV" places include Dubai, France, Jordan, Kuwait, Japan, Korea, China, Poland, Denmark, Russia, and countless others.

Be sure to preview stations and programs to be certain the offerings are appropriate for your classrooms and student ages. International students will enjoy the opportunity to check out news and other events from their original countries. Some of the European TV sites offer bilingual programming; English language summaries often accompany the news in many languages.

tag(s): news (261), sports (97)

In the Classroom

Add interest to a foreign language class by checking out the news in your target language using this site. Supplement language study with cultural opportunities by using the music sites. During major world events, compare news coverage from different English-speaking sites to see the different angles provided from different cultures. As you read stories or study customs from other lands, use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to share a taste of the world with your elementary students. If your school has a student handbook or special supplement for international students, recommend this site as a way to check the news and cultural happenings from their first countries. All students will enjoy coverage of international sporting events.

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Gapminder World - Gapminder

Grades
6 to 12
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Use Gapminder World (with no login required) to see how countries vary and change over time in economics, health, and environment. Click the MAP tab as a good place to ...more
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Use Gapminder World (with no login required) to see how countries vary and change over time in economics, health, and environment. Click the MAP tab as a good place to start. Follow all trends and click play to animate the country bubbles through a timeline. Click on a specific bubble (country) to follow through time. Each axis of the graph can be customized for a large number of combinations. Video tutorials and a pdf of directions are available. Share your chart through the use of a link or take a snapshot of your screen using print screen functions. There is also this page of help and ideas specifically for teachers. Be patient. This site has a lot of information to load, so you may have to wait a bit!

tag(s): countries (80), environment (322)

In the Classroom

Be sure you and your students begin by "playing" with the controls to figure out the many tools available on this dynamic site. Be sure to peruse by this page of ideas specifically for teachers. Use this site to generate questions from students for continued research in health, environmental, and civics topics that students will relate to. Manipulate each axis (using pulldowns) to create a dynamic graph and follow all or a few of the countries (bubbles). Questions resulting from the graph can be used to define research leading to further understanding. Have students obtain background information that can lead to further research on social issues in the U.S. and around the World or use this tool as part of oral/visual presentations comparing countries and cultures. Be sure to use your interactive whiteboard or projector.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Cosmeo Atlas - Discovery education

Grades
6 to 12
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This interactive world map shares information in video format about culture, government, history, or the natural world. To view the information you may either click on the location...more
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This interactive world map shares information in video format about culture, government, history, or the natural world. To view the information you may either click on the location on the map, or use the Select a Location toolbar. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): climate (94), countries (80), environment (322)

In the Classroom

Students can be divided into groups and assigned a country. Each student can use the videos to create a snapshot of the country based upon the culture, government, history, and the natural world. Students can create their own videos outlining the information, a blog post to share with others, newsletters, or any other project that makes a comparison between cultures. Offer this as one of several resources for student research. Your learning support and ESL students will find it easier to follow this information in video than to use text-based resources.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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American Heritage Education Foundation, Inc. - The American Heritage Education Foundation

Grades
K to 12
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Social studies, history, and government teachers - be warned - this site may be the best FREE gift you receive this year. To sum it up in one word - ...more
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Social studies, history, and government teachers - be warned - this site may be the best FREE gift you receive this year. To sum it up in one word - WOW! The highlight of this site is ready-to-go lesson plans (with standards) divided by age level (elementary, middle, and high school). These FREE lesson plans are available online via a PDF file or you may order a FREE CD (they say it is a $150 value).

The elementary topics range from Colonial America to U.S. Presidents (with a focus on George Washington) to the History of Thanksgiving to The Pledge of Allegiance and MANY others. The middle school topics include the Declaration of Independence, Our National Documents, The Gettysburg Address, Religious Expression in School, and several others. The high school topics vary from the Mayflower, to Federalists 47, the First Amendment, and more. Each grade level also includes lessons on character education.

In addition to the wonderful lesson plans, the site also highlights the four themes of the foundation: Unity, Progress, Freedom, and Responsibility. There are also links to some fantastic social studies sites and a wealth of research information about America. Some of the lesson plans and printables require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): colonial america (105), constitution (87), gettysburg (27), gettysburg address (18), presidents (121), thanksgiving (32)

In the Classroom

Obviously, the lesson plans are useful for all grade levels. Take advantage of these free resources. Many include printable activities for your students to try out. Although the site isn't highly interactive, it does have some great ideas to incorporate into your class to bring history alive.

Make the lesson plans more "technologically advanced" by having students create a wiki or blog entry. Have your high school students complete the lesson on the First Amendment and then have them have a virtual debate about the First Amendment via a class wiki. Have your elementary students complete the lesson on U.S. Presidents and then have each student write a blog entry pretending to be one of the presidents (a great mini-research project). Have your middle school students complete the lesson on the Gettysburg Address and then try to create their own "Address" to talk about the current state of our nation. Have them share their "Address" on a video using YouTube or or TeacherTube (explained here).
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Wanderlust: GOOD traces the most famous trips in history - GOOD magazine

Grades
5 to 12
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Visually interesting, this site offers brief (3--5 stop) illustrated trips reflecting a combination of real-life and fictional journeys, including those by Amelia Earhart, Captain Ahab,...more
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Visually interesting, this site offers brief (3--5 stop) illustrated trips reflecting a combination of real-life and fictional journeys, including those by Amelia Earhart, Captain Ahab, Magellan, Marco Polo, Jack Kerouac, Pizarro, and Phileas Fogg. The site opens with a world map with each of the journeys traced and keyed to the name of the journey. Clicking on a journey brings up photographs, literary illustrations, or drawings from the time period showing highlights of the trip. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): columbus day (9), explorers (64), lewis and clark (15), literature (273), marco polo (5)

In the Classroom

The individual journeys are brief, but would provide a nice accompaniment to a lesson, either in literature or history. When introduce Hudson the explorer, share his voyage as an anticipatory set or activator for the lesson. They would be particularly effective on an interactive whiteboard or projector. As your students read other literature or study other events in history, challenge them to create similar "maps" of the journeys in Google Earth.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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6th Grade Home Page - Kidport

Grades
5 to 7
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This site, created by Kidport for sixth grade students, offers links to lessons and activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library....more
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This site, created by Kidport for sixth grade students, offers links to lessons and activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library. Some of the subject areas only offer one or two activities, while others offer several. Some examples of topics include adding and subtracting decimals, angles, human body (heart, bones, muscles, and more), vertebrates, invertebrates, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, the structure of the U.S. government, U.S. constitution, presidents, homophones, contractions, drawing, and others.

This site offers a variety of interactive elements (online quizzes, interactive maps and diagrams, and other learning exercises). Some of the pages do have advertisements, but they are not distractive. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): angles (85), constitution (87), decimals (124), egypt (70), grammar (210), greece (27), presidents (121), rome (26)

In the Classroom

Check out the unique mix available at this website. Share it with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for enrichment, learning stations, or as a whole class activity. List this site on your class website for students to use for additional practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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7th Grade Home Page - Kidport

Grades
6 to 8
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This site, created by Kidport for seventh grade students, offers links to lessons and activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library....more
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This site, created by Kidport for seventh grade students, offers links to lessons and activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library. Some of the subject areas only offer one or two activities, while others offer several. Some examples of topics include adding and subtracting decimals, angles, human body (heart, bones, muscles, and more), vertebrates, invertebrates, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, the structure of the U.S. government, world geography, U.S. constitution, presidents, kinds of verbs, kinds of nouns, sentence structure, drawing, and others.

This site offers a variety of interactive elements (online quizzes, interactive maps and diagrams, and other learning exercises). Some of the pages do have advertisements, but they are not distractive. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): angles (85), constitution (87), decimals (124), grammar (210), presidents (121)

In the Classroom

Check out the eclectic mix of activities available at this website. Share it with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for enrichment during certain units, learning stations, or as a whole class activity. List this site on your class website for students to use for additional practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Web Poster Wizard - 4Teachers.org

Grades
K to 12
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Use this terrific online tool for your students to create posters or short reports in a poster format. Create lessons, worksheets, or class pages and instantly publish them online using...more
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Use this terrific online tool for your students to create posters or short reports in a poster format. Create lessons, worksheets, or class pages and instantly publish them online using this free Web Poster Wizard. The teacher sets up an account (for free), and follows simple directions so students can upload images and write about their project or pictures. The site even includes management tools so you can keep separate classes of students and see their work by class.

Plan to spend some time reading through the directions and trying out this tool before you assign it to students. Teachers and students must register and login each time they use this tool. Students can share the URL for their posters with grandparents or parents to show off their good work!

Students will need to know how to locate and upload a file for an image (such as a digital picture) to place it in their poster. If you allow them to use images from the web, the tool asks them to give information on their image source, as well (hooray for ethical use of the Internet!). If you use digital pictures of students, be SURE that you do NOT use full names on the site. You should get parent permission for uploading any student images, even if anonymous.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): posters (39)

In the Classroom

Some uses for this simple tool: book reports (take a digital photo of the book cover), biographical posters of famous people (images from the web), "all about me" posters, posters about community members such as veterans of World War II whom students interview and photograph, author posters, fictitious character studies, science posters on processes or terms with accompanying digital pictures to illustrate, etc. The possibilities are endless. Once students know the tool, they can use it over and over.

Teachers, make sure you select the archive option to keep student projects live online for more than a month. Use the Teacher Feature option to create one web page of your class' archived projects. You will want to put your created web page link prominently on your class homepage.

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Peace Corps Challenge - Peace Corps

Grades
4 to 12
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This site helps students make the global connections that we are all human and must help each other. The challenge is to help the people in the tiny village of ...more
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This site helps students make the global connections that we are all human and must help each other. The challenge is to help the people in the tiny village of Wanzuzu. Narina (your Peace Corps guide) will lead students throughout the many challenges of this website. Students meet up with the mayor to discuss the water contamination (and ways to fix the problem). Many natives meet up with students along the way to offer help and tips. Students learn about the overall health and health care by visiting the clinic. Many other points of interest are visited during the journey.

The site includes eight detailed lesson plans with standards, video clips, online stories and games, and much more to enhance the lessons. Teachers, click on the Teachers link on the main page to access all of the lesson information. The actual activity opens in a new window, so you can easily go back to the lesson plans at any time throughout the journey. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): agriculture (59), environment (322), water (130)

In the Classroom

Use the ready-to-go lesson plans to take your students on this life-changing journey to Wanzuzu. The interactive tour and activities would work well on an interactive whiteboard or projector. However, if individual computers are available, have students work with a "Peace Corps Partner" to navigate the site together. The lesson plans and activities can be used in language arts classes, social studies, geography, health, and science class. Use this site to help students think globally not just locally.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Google Lit Trips - Google Earth

Grades
3 to 12
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Google Lit Trips collects annotated maps on Google Earth to illustrate the travels found in great works of literature. The site presents the work of teachers and others and continues...more
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Google Lit Trips collects annotated maps on Google Earth to illustrate the travels found in great works of literature. The site presents the work of teachers and others and continues to add maps and content. Literary works are divided by grade level. Each map also provides links to other online material related to the work illustrated, and some trips are accompanied by related podcasts.

"Lit trips" can be reviewed by users so teachers can see comments left by other users. This site uses Google Earth which must be downloaded first. Find full info on Google Earth in the TeachersFirst review, including the link to download.

tag(s): earth (230), literature (273), maps (294)

In the Classroom

Each "lit trip" is extensively annotated and linked to further content, making this an incredibly rich resource for teachers to use in conjunction with teaching works of literature. Students can see graphically the travels of such characters as the Joads in The Grapes of Wrath , or Odysseus in Homer's Odyssey . Using these lit trips on an interactive whiteboard or projector will greatly enhance a class study of the associated work of literature. Alternatively, students might be encouraged to explore these lit trips independently, at home, or in a computer lab, so they can follow links that are of particular individual interest. As a really ambitious project, make it a class task to create a lit trip for a work of literature you are studying, assigning student groups to choose locations and create the placemarkers, then submit it to the Lit Trips site.

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Olympics Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Winter or summer, the Olympics provide teaching opportunities across the curriculum for students of all ages. Browse these options for curriculum connections to light the Olympic flame...more
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Winter or summer, the Olympics provide teaching opportunities across the curriculum for students of all ages. Browse these options for curriculum connections to light the Olympic flame in your classroom.

tag(s): china (63), olympics (49)

In the Classroom

Use these Olympics resources to plan an entire unit during the Olympics or make them available as links from your teacher web page for enrichment if the Olympics fall during school breaks. Not enough time for an Olympics unit? Perhaps students can use these links to generate ideas and projects to share on an Olympics extra credit wiki. Teachers of gifted will find many ways to spark new projects usig these links.

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Map Collections Home Page - Library of Congress

Grades
6 to 12
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The Library of Congress offers this searchable database of historical maps, which includes a large collection of city maps, maps of military battles and campaigns, maps related to transportation...more
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The Library of Congress offers this searchable database of historical maps, which includes a large collection of city maps, maps of military battles and campaigns, maps related to transportation and communication, and maps focused on exploration and discovery. Within each category, you can search geographically or by time period. Each map accessed can be navigated using a zoom feature for better viewing. Maps cover a wide range of national and international subjects.

tag(s): battles (20), environment (322), maps (294), transportation (42)

In the Classroom

Teachers with interactive whiteboards or projectors will find these maps a natural companion to lessons involving history, geography, and cultural changes. Sometimes seeing a map drawn at the same time as the event under discussion can lend a whole new understanding of the culture of the people being studied. It's far more dramatic to imagine sailing into the unknown on a voyage of discovery while you look at the only maps available to those aboard.

Be sure to have students use the whiteboard tools to draw in their own "corrections" or annotations showing the movement of people or strategies used in battles. Since thee resources are in the public domain, you are allowed to copy them into your whiteboard software and keep the student annotations atop the maps, as well. The maps also make good visuals for "mock" blog entries by historical figures!

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Kid's Past - kidsknowitnetwork

Grades
4 to 9
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This online history textbook provides a good reference source for a vast amount of world history told from different perspectives. History that's often missed by K-12 curricula includes...more
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This online history textbook provides a good reference source for a vast amount of world history told from different perspectives. History that's often missed by K-12 curricula includes chapters on Islam, Asia before and after the Middle Ages, Civilization in China, and Africa, for example. In depth coverage of commonly studied topics adds detail and provides research possibilities. Although the main part of the material is text-based, online history games motivate students to review learned materials. Another interesting feature is a list of hundreds of historical and contemporary people and their famous quotes. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): famous people (23), greek (41), greeks (32), renaissance (31), romans (35)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites and use it as a jumping off point for research or lessons on the various topics offered at this site. If you have a history buff in your class, share this site with him/her as a place to spark an individual project, even in world language classes where history and culture are part of the curriculum.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Visual Geography - Boris Kester and Nana Bj?rnlund

Grades
5 to 12
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This site offers rich geographical information visually: through photographs. Students select a continent to investigate. (Note: all continents except Antarctica are included.) After...more
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This site offers rich geographical information visually: through photographs. Students select a continent to investigate. (Note: all continents except Antarctica are included.) After viewing pictures of one country on that continent, they can click for a more in-depth examination and more pictures, listen to the native language of that area, click on another country to make a comparison, and take a quiz on that information. They can also select certain categories to learn more about transportation, education, religion, people, etc.

tag(s): climate (94), continents (49), countries (80)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a world cultures or geography unit or lesson on an interactive whiteboard or projector. This site offers a visual approach to studying and comparing other countries and interesting research information to use for independent projects. This site is also excellent for enrichment. Include it on your teacher web page for students to access both in and out of class. Use this site to introduce the countries your ESL and ELL students represent. Have your ESL and ELL students guide the interactive picture tour for the class. World language teachers can use this site as part of their cultural studies.

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Ancient Mexico -The Art, Culture and History of Ancient Mesoamerica - Patrick Oliveras

Grades
4 to 12
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Take your students on a lively and colorful exploration of ancient Mexico! This visually stunning site leads explorers through the pantheon of Mayan Gods, the fall of the Aztec empire,...more
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Take your students on a lively and colorful exploration of ancient Mexico! This visually stunning site leads explorers through the pantheon of Mayan Gods, the fall of the Aztec empire, a clickable Mesoamerican time line and a wonderful interactive map. View the ruins of the cities of Pre-Columbian Mexico by clicking on their names on the map! Watch the conquest of Mexico as a flash animation of ancient drawings and music. Read the words of the Spanish explorers in the primary source documents of Mexico. Although Ancient Mexico is a commercial site, the advertising is limited to the books and DVD's for sale on the topic of Mesoamerica and some history-related Google ads.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): aztecs (9), mayans (13), mexico (35), spanish (111)

In the Classroom

Tour Ancient Mexico as a whole class activity with an interactive whiteboard or projector. If students have access to computers, let groups delve into selected topics and create interactive travel posters and brochures using a tool such as Sway, reviewed here, as their research projects. Students can look at the cities in ruins, explore architectural styles and ceremonial uses of the buildings, and find contemporary examples.

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