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Where in the World and What in the World is Money? - International Monetary Fund

Grades
6 to 12
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A brief, fairly simplistic game that illustrates the different forms that money can take: gold, paper money, items of value, a promise to pay in the future. The ...more
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A brief, fairly simplistic game that illustrates the different forms that money can take: gold, paper money, items of value, a promise to pay in the future. The game involves a trip through time in which the player needs to choose various objects to use as currency. Wrong answers re-direct the user back to the list of choices. Right answers advance the user through the game.

tag(s): currency (19), money (182)

In the Classroom

This might make a nice kick off activity (10 minutes)to a unit on money--from an economic perspective rather than a counting perspective--or a unit about a country or society that uses a different form of currency.

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Brookfield Zoo: In Search of The Ways of Knowing Trail - Brookfield Zoo

Grades
3 to 8
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This animated site is amazing! The entire site is a journey throughout the African forest. Along the way, students have four African children offering advice. Their parents ...more
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This animated site is amazing! The entire site is a journey throughout the African forest. Along the way, students have four African children offering advice. Their parents include a researcher, forest ranger, farmer and more! The African characters' expertise helps the student to choose which way to go next. The site includes a forest fact book, information about African animals and forests. A special asset of this unique site is that it incorporates problem-solving skills. Hints are given, but the student has to choose which option would be best. The site requires FLASH! Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): africa (173), animals (292), environment (322), problem solving (286)

In the Classroom

Your students will need a good 15-30 minutes to complete this activity either as a class or individually. Don't forget to use an interactive whiteboard if you are doing this as a class activity. Students will want to visit again at home, so include the link on your teacher web page, as well.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Communicating With Gestures - Everything ESL: Judie Haynes

Grades
2 to 12
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Learn about gestures from other cultures and share the discussion through this lesson plan as part of your language class or as an activity to help students communicate with ESL/ELL...more
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Learn about gestures from other cultures and share the discussion through this lesson plan as part of your language class or as an activity to help students communicate with ESL/ELL peers. Gestures can have VERY differnet meanings in other cultures, so this site is a must before any foreign language trips abroad!

In the Classroom

ELL/ESL teachers will appreciate this free lesson plan hosted by everythingesl.net. Be sure to save it as a favorite on your classroom desktop to allow for easy retrieval later on.

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Multicultural Holidays Through Student Artwork - Everything ESL: Judie Haynes

Grades
2 to 8
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This lesson plan provides a way to encourage cultural awareness and make your ESL students' knowledge of their home culture a classroom asset. The lesson can be done in an ...more
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This lesson plan provides a way to encourage cultural awareness and make your ESL students' knowledge of their home culture a classroom asset. The lesson can be done in an all-ESL/ELL class or in a regular class as part of an investigation of cultures, part of a unit on research, or as an art lesson. It can also be adapted for use in a high school level world cultures class.

tag(s): holidays (151)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this free lesson plan during the end of the years content, using it as a means to review World History before the State standard exam. Students can each be assigned or select a country and complete the report, to be presented to their peers. This will allow the students to review and re-enforce the content. World History teachers will appreciate this one!

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My Wonderful World - National Geographic and partners

Grades
6 to 12
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After miserable results on a world geography test, National Geographic launched this site as part of a campaign to re-ignite interest and provide resources for students, teachers, and...more
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After miserable results on a world geography test, National Geographic launched this site as part of a campaign to re-ignite interest and provide resources for students, teachers, and parents to learn more about geography. The site is designed blog-style, with many places to comment or join into discussion. There are separate sections for educators (start a geography club, evaluate your school's program, etc.), parents, and kids. Be sure to try the Test Your Global IQ link. There are also many links for further materials and ideas to bolster your instruction in geography.

In the Classroom

Try putting the Global IQ Test up on a projector to "pretest" your class or include it on your teacher web page for extra challenge.

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WorldWise Schools Lesson Plans - Peace Corps

Grades
2 to 12
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This site is a much-expanded remake of the Peace Corps collection of lesson plans and activities for cross-cultural understanding around the world. Teachers can search for lesson plans...more
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This site is a much-expanded remake of the Peace Corps collection of lesson plans and activities for cross-cultural understanding around the world. Teachers can search for lesson plans by topic, region of the world, grade level, or academic subject. All readings and materials are included (many as pdf - Acrobat Reader files). Many lessons include readings that would also work well for teaching reading comprehension, espceially for your less-than-proficient readers. Simply choose the area of the world, subject, and/or grade level for which you want a lesson plan, and you will see quite a list.

tag(s): cultures (111)

In the Classroom

Search for lessons on a specific region as you teach about it or use these selections as general readings for comprehension. They may also be helpful in getting to know students who enter your classroom from other cultures. The lessons would be very helpful in developing background knowledge to understand cross-cultural literature selections in a language arts class.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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NOW for Educators: Global Warming - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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This site, affliated with the PBS program NOW, offers a lesson plan on global warming. There are a variety of materials available, including a good Venn-diagram style worksheet (requires...more
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This site, affliated with the PBS program NOW, offers a lesson plan on global warming. There are a variety of materials available, including a good Venn-diagram style worksheet (requires Acrobat Reader) that helps students organize the arguments for and against global warming, a list of possible projects which illustrate both sides of the argument. There is a link to transcripts of a NOW segment on global warming and discussion questions, or you can purchase a tape of the program.

tag(s): climate (91), environment (322)

In the Classroom

The site includes a link to a great slide show with Flash animation that explains the science of global warming, suitable for middle school students, which would make a good stand-alone mini lesson for teachers with a SmartBoard or projector.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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In Search of Shakespeare - PBS - Folger Library

Grades
6 to 12
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In Search of Shakespeare is a 4 part video series shown on PBS. Though the series is quite good, you are likely to "lose" lower level students with it. If ...more
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In Search of Shakespeare is a 4 part video series shown on PBS. Though the series is quite good, you are likely to "lose" lower level students with it. If you own it, in conjunction with this site, you can't miss. But you don't have to use the video series to use the site effectively. The site contains a multitude of sources, lesson plans, supplementary materials--almost anything you want to teach in a basic through high academic course on Shakespeare is here. The site is divided into 4 parts: the investigation, for educators, the playwright game, and the show. Clicking on any of those links takes you to a specific site within PBS that digs deeply into the Bard's life, Elizabethan times in both Stratford and London, Folger Library lesson plans, creative writing assignments for students, plus actual summaries and guides for the series itself if you should choose to use it.

tag(s): elizabethan (16), england (55), shakespeare (112)

In the Classroom

Decide what you want your students to know and where you want to begin. Involving them in 16th century politics is fun, especially if you assign them roles to play such as Elizabeth, her sister Mary, the Spanish consul, etc. There are infinite ways to make these times come alive by talking about bear-baiting, cock-fighting, and theatre--the main sources of entertainment among the common people. You might assign different pieces of the site to different students or groups of students and have them report back to the class on what they discovered, using the website itself as a teaching tool. The possibilities of using this site are almost endless.Requires Real Player for video portions

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The Cultures and History of America - Library of Congress

Grades
6 to 12
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This site accompanies an exhibition of 4,000 rare books, maps, documents, paintings, prints, and ojects focused on the early Americas from the time of the indigenous people of Mexico,...more
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This site accompanies an exhibition of 4,000 rare books, maps, documents, paintings, prints, and ojects focused on the early Americas from the time of the indigenous people of Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean through the period of European contact, exploration, and settlement. The site showcases two interactive artifacts: A 3-D view of the Tortuguero box, a seventh-century Mayan object, and a seventeenth-century book, The Buccaneers of America. The book features a page-by-page examination of the book along with written and audio translations of its contents. There is a nice picture gallery of other exhibits and a comprehensive bibliography.This site provides some nice visuals for a unit on indiginous peoples of the Americas. The picture gallery has some lovely maps from the Francis Drake expedition, and the information about buccaneers would provide a nice balance to the "Pirates of the Carribean" fantasy depiction of pirates. Some of the interactive features require FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): aztecs (9), explorers (63), mayans (13), spanish (109)

In the Classroom

Use portions of this site on a projector in class or spend a day on a "web hunt" with students answering questions you give them to find within the site. There is plenty to explore.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Calendars through the Ages - Institute for Dynamic Educational Advancement

Grades
6 to 12
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This information-packed site focuses on calendars through the ages. It includes sections on the astronomy of calendars (e.g. moon cycles), the history of calendars, differences among...more
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This information-packed site focuses on calendars through the ages. It includes sections on the astronomy of calendars (e.g. moon cycles), the history of calendars, differences among various international calendars, derivation of the names of the months, and loads of other trivia about calendars.

tag(s): calendars (46)

In the Classroom

Lots of great stuff for "did you know?" discussions or as an extension of a study of timelines and other graphic organizers of information. A few interesting visuals, but the strength of this site is in its information. Might be a good source for monthly bulletin boards or an enrichment area for gifted students.

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Adventures in the Past- Virtual Site Visits - US Bureau of Land Management

Grades
3 to 12
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"Archaeological, historic, and fossil sites are unique portals to the past," declares this site as it invites you to visit locations around the U.S. as ways to learn about archelogical...more
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"Archaeological, historic, and fossil sites are unique portals to the past," declares this site as it invites you to visit locations around the U.S. as ways to learn about archelogical finds, natural formations, and historical preservation sites that teach about the early U.S. and its Native American predecessors. Many of the virtual visits are created by BLM, and those that are not warn you before you leave the site. The locations included spread across most of the western U.S. and Alaska.

tag(s): archeology (32), fossils (44)

In the Classroom

Take your class on a "field trip" without leaving the classroom. Give them a list of things to find out as they explore a location on their own computers or "travel" together on a projector. Younger students will need help with text passages.

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New Years Resolutions - developingteachers.com

Grades
3 to 8
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This detailed lesson plans gives high beginning and intermediate ESL students or general social studies classes opportunities to learn about American New Year's customs, share experiences...more
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This detailed lesson plans gives high beginning and intermediate ESL students or general social studies classes opportunities to learn about American New Year's customs, share experiences about their cultures' New Year's practices, practice skimming for answers, practice asking questions and responding to other students' oral descriptions. Although the plan can be easily adapted for students just beginning to learn about English and American culture, plenty of vocabulary and listening practice about a topic that's interesting to every culture ensures everyone will learn something!

tag(s): holidays (151), listening (93), new years (11), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Students can improve listening skills while learning about American holiday customs. Use this lesson as an opportunity for the class to find out about New Year customs in other cultures.

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Weaving Art Museum

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6 to 12
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See annotated details of ancient and more recent weavings from many cultures using the interactive "exhibits" of the museum. See work from Egypt, Kashmir, Persia, and many more. Decode...more
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See annotated details of ancient and more recent weavings from many cultures using the interactive "exhibits" of the museum. See work from Egypt, Kashmir, Persia, and many more. Decode some of the iconography in Asian carpets. Some exhibits are text-heavy, while others offer many plates and details for your art students to study and use as references. World cultures classes will be able to envision ancient times by looking at the beautiful images on this site.

tag(s): archeology (32)

In the Classroom

Include this on your classroom computer Favorites when students are beginning a weaving or printmaking unit so they can find inspiration in the graphical patterns and story-telling elements. This would also be a great way to introduce a weaving unit or a unit on ancient Asian civilizations on a projector.

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The Cave of Lascaux - France Ministry of Culture and Communication

Grades
4 to 12
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Take virtual tour of the famous cave paintings of Lascaux in France, read about their discovery, learn to interpret the drawings, and find out fragile environment of the caves. ...more
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Take virtual tour of the famous cave paintings of Lascaux in France, read about their discovery, learn to interpret the drawings, and find out fragile environment of the caves. The site itself is beautiful to explore, letting you experience the caves with a virtual "flashlight" as you enter.

tag(s): archeology (32), painting (66)

In the Classroom

Use a projector to introduce the site, if you must, but allow your students to navigate this one alone or with a partner. The thrill of discovery through the site's design is more than worth any management challenges. Give the students a specific set of questions to answer and things to find, if you are concerned that they may not stay on task. Compare these primitive drawings to those found in other cultures and continents as you discuss common themes in religion and mythology.

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Alexander Palace Time Machine - Bob Atchison

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

tag(s): eggs (6), evolution (101), russia (37), russian (29)

In the Classroom

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

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North Korea - CIA FactBook - CIA

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6 to 12
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The CIA's Factbook is pretty dry reading, but this site does provide some of the history of Korea, including the post-World War II division into North and South. There are ...more
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The CIA's Factbook is pretty dry reading, but this site does provide some of the history of Korea, including the post-World War II division into North and South. There are other facts about culture, government, and economy, but North Korea remains one of the world's least-known and least-understood nations. Could be a useful reference for discussion of current events or a research source for projects on countries.

tag(s): korea (15)

In the Classroom

Include this in your supplemental teacher links pages during a unit on Asia or Korea.

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World Geography Quizzes - Sheppard Software

Grades
3 to 12
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With such poor results as a nation on geography testing, we all should try these geography games to build student knowledge of U.S. and world geography. Students can click on ...more
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With such poor results as a nation on geography testing, we all should try these geography games to build student knowledge of U.S. and world geography. Students can click on the region of the world and practice at different levels of difficulty. Even adults can find a challenge. Offered in a "dial up version" for those accessing the sites from a slower connection. Note: the non-dial-up pages require FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): capitals (25), continents (49), countries (80), maps (292)

In the Classroom

Be sure to put a link for these online games and quizzes on your teacher web page for the summer and throughout the school year. Students can use them to practice for your geography quizzes or as extra challenges. The different levels of dificulty will allow you to differentiate your instruction easily.

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Blues Classroom - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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A true American art form, "the Blues" makes a great interdisciplinary study, and this site's lesson plans provide a well-researched foundation for that study. Our only regret is that...more
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A true American art form, "the Blues" makes a great interdisciplinary study, and this site's lesson plans provide a well-researched foundation for that study. Our only regret is that sites on this subject so rarely include sound files for the music they're describing.

tag(s): africa (173), african american (112), blues (18), jazz (15), songs (52)

In the Classroom

If you elect to use this site, talk with your school's music teacher about resources that will let students hear samples of the music.

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FIFA World Cup - FIFA

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6 to 12
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The international soccer association's site includes more than 750 player profiles, score reports, video highlights, and more from the 2006 World Cup. The site includes live game updates...more
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The international soccer association's site includes more than 750 player profiles, score reports, video highlights, and more from the 2006 World Cup. The site includes live game updates and all the bells and whistles that well-connected sports fans demand. There's a great world cultures lesson in this site, since not all the competitors are from the usual "big name" nations.

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World Cup 2006 - German Republic

Grades
6 to 12
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Soccer - what the rest of the world calls football - is truly the world's sport, so the World Cup is big news internationally. It's also a great time to ...more
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Soccer - what the rest of the world calls football - is truly the world's sport, so the World Cup is big news internationally. It's also a great time to link sport and world cultures. This site from the host country, Germany, offers games to play, background on the host country, and a sampling of the action from a German perspective.

tag(s): german (67)

In the Classroom

If in need of a fun game during a lesson on International sports OR more information about Germany, be sure to check this site out. For the former there is an interactive game, "dribble king," that students could play on classroom computers. For the latter, there is ample information about German industries, business, soccer culture, and even travel destinations. Though its a bit text heavy, this could be great brush-up material for teachers before teaching a lesson on some aspect of German culture. Foreign language teachers could incorporate this into student research projects or during a lesson discussing vocabulary centered around sports.
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