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Thematic Mapping Engine - Bjorn Sandvik

Grades
6 to 12
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What is a .kmz file and how do you make one? A .kmz file, when opened, launches Google Earth and the files needed to view specific portions of the globe, ...more
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What is a .kmz file and how do you make one? A .kmz file, when opened, launches Google Earth and the files needed to view specific portions of the globe, map overlays, and other information. There are several ways to create a .kmz file to share with others for specific content to be learned. Thematic Mapping Engine provides you with a very simple way to create Google Earth .kmz files. This tool uses data from the United Nations to create maps of all types of development and environmental data. Follow the instructions in the yellow box along the right side of this tool. Select a statistical indicator category from the dropdown (for example, Life expectancy or population). Then, select a year or range of years, and the manner in which they would like the data displayed in Google Earth. Preview and download the .kmz file. Share this file on your blog, wiki, or web page. Click on and then download the file. Once the file is opened, Google Earth then opens and the data is seen within Google Earth. Note: Google Earth must be installed on student computers. Check with your technology department about the availability of Google Earth in your schools. See more information about Google Earth, reviewed here.

tag(s): climate change (64), diseases (66), earth (228), landmarks (26), news (261), population (60)

In the Classroom

Use this tool with Google Earth to discuss population changes, incidence of various diseases, or look at environmental data such as carbon dioxide emissions. Use this tool when discussing various countries and populations throughout the world, looking at the various factors that affect countries. Use this information to question the history and current state of various populations. Create more than one .kmz file to place on your class website. Provide time for student groups to look at one of the files and draw conclusions or report on their findings. Use class time to look at the information from all groups to obtain a snapshot of various regions, looking at populations, diseases, and more. For younger grades, use an interactive whiteboard or projector to show these files in Google Earth and compare what students know about the United States or other areas in unfamiliar countries. This tool would be perfect for gifted students to use to extend learning in a Science or History/World Cultures class to better understand the world around them.
 

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Trippin - Trippin

Grades
5 to 12
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Join Tripp and his brother Ping on a mission around the globe. Register for this site and view exciting travel videos designed to teach English! The videos clarify difficult words....more
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Join Tripp and his brother Ping on a mission around the globe. Register for this site and view exciting travel videos designed to teach English! The videos clarify difficult words. You can also see the city where you are traveling. After the short videos, answer questions about characters and words in the video. Listening activities include rehearing the text of the video and choosing the correct response. One activity demonstrates how underlined words are linked to a picture dictionary; the explanations for the words come orally. Although the changes to the next page are a bit slow, the game format motivates you to want to go on and find out what the next task is. The few free lessons on the site make it fun and useful.

tag(s): listening (91), virtual field trips (48)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Give your ESL/ELL students this activity when they are trying to learn directions. Going through the interactive requires them to use enough reading skills to justify the fairly small number of free trips available.

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Flavors - MOO Print Limited

Grades
9 to 12
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Create a simple and beautiful web page that acts like an RSS reader for all of your social networking sites! Your web page will open to a large beautiful background. ...more
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Create a simple and beautiful web page that acts like an RSS reader for all of your social networking sites! Your web page will open to a large beautiful background. This FREE (and ad free) account includes seven layouts and brings in your content from five other services (Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Wordpress, Typepad, Posterous, Netflix, Vimeo, YouTube, Flickr, Digg, Etsy, Foursquare, and others). Click "Start Your Website" to begin. Use the Edit panel along the right to begin adding information About you and adding Content from social media sources. Change aspects of the Design including layouts, backgrounds, colors, and more. Under Mobile, set the aspects of design that will be used for your page to show on mobile devices. To save your design choices, create an account and password!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (266), microblogging (44), social networking (112), video (254)

In the Classroom

Use social media in the classroom? Create a class page and connect the class or school social media accounts to display everything in one place! Create a group of advanced learners to set the design choices for the site. Then, connect the social media sites and create the account. Students can view all the information created for and by the class.

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Columbia River - National Geographic

Grades
5 to 12
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How has the damming of the mighty Columbia River changed the people and the environment around it? Follow the Columbia downstream to find facts and information about the dams, the ...more
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How has the damming of the mighty Columbia River changed the people and the environment around it? Follow the Columbia downstream to find facts and information about the dams, the Columbia, and its inhabitants. Choose between the full version or the light version of this site (the full version has motion animation throughout). Hover your mouse over items to read a preview. Click to expand and read information about how people have used the Columbia, threats throughout, and various animals found there. Click Downstream to shift the viewing frame to another section of the river. Click on Resources and Links at the bottom of the Interactive for links to more information.
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tag(s): ecosystems (88), electricity (89), rivers (21), watersheds (16)

In the Classroom

Show this interactive to the whole class on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Identify areas that are interesting, hovering over them and sharing the information. Take notes of the various impacts on the river system and how the dams have changed them. Use other resources such as Google Earth, reviewed here, to look at the Columbia River firsthand. As a project, research hydroelectric power and the advantages and disadvantages. Research and compare the uses of the Columbia River with others throughout the country. Identify problems with the rivers. For a history class, how have the uses of water changed throughout the years? Look locally at your own watershed. Research the history of the watershed and its uses throughout the history of your area. Create a multimedia project that showcases the information. Use one of the many TeachersFirst Edge Multimedia tools, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Beenpod for Education - Dave Yoon and Sang Shin

Grades
K to 12
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Beenpod is a tool to gather, share, and organize your favorite webpages. Create your own "beens" to create collections of websites, people, and ideas. Explore pages together with a...more
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Beenpod is a tool to gather, share, and organize your favorite webpages. Create your own "beens" to create collections of websites, people, and ideas. Explore pages together with a single colleague or entire class as you pause, resume, and chat together. Educator accounts for teachers, parents, and administrators offer the ability to create student accounts. Organize groups of students into groups as small or large as desired. Be sure to read through the FAQ and view videos for an overview of Beenpod's offerings.

tag(s): bookmarks (60), organizational skills (122), social media (16)

In the Classroom

Use the "surf together" feature to explore and discuss online information as a class, small group, or with a partner classroom. Use Been to create a bank of resources to use for each content unit within your subject or classroom. Share Beens with students and let them add to the ever growing lists. Use for web treasure hunts to learn or introduce any topic within your content area. Use comments to ask questions or give directions about each site. Collect links to informational texts for students to read "closely" a la CCSS. Have students create Beens as a place to store links for a project. Share Been as a tool older students may want to use while collaborating on a project from a distance. They can browse online TOGETHER at the same time to decide which sources they want to use for a project, for example.

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SchoolsWorld.tv - SchoolsWorld

Grades
K to 12
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Find a huge collection of educational videos for students and teachers at SchoolsWorld.tv. Select Pupils/Students or Education Professionals from the menu bar at the top, a list of...more
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Find a huge collection of educational videos for students and teachers at SchoolsWorld.tv. Select Pupils/Students or Education Professionals from the menu bar at the top, a list of levels will drop down. Since this is a British site, the levels are Early Years, Primary, and Secondary. The Teachers/Professionals section also includes a Special Education section. Once you have made your selection, click on the subject in the left menu bar and allow your mouse to hover there. Age ranges will appear. There are instructional videos, interviews with experts, mini-documentaries, and demonstration videos. Clicking on the video picture will take you to that video and a text description of the program. The Pupils/Students tab offers links to lesson plans. There are also PDFs, slides, and games to use with students, although they are not available for every video. The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): professional development (123), video (254)

In the Classroom

YouTube does not host these videos; you should not have a problem showing them at your school. There is no embed code. Have students go directly to the link supplied by you. While looking at your subject area on SchoolsWorld.tv, do not forget there are lesson plans under the Pupil/Student category and the Series tab. There is so much to find here that one may want to use a program like Zeeik, reviewed here, which creates collection boards for video resources. Review and choose videos to collect and curate on various boards. Share video resources or whole boards with others.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Free Tiiu Pix - Tiiu Roiser

Grades
K to 12
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Discover a large collection of free to use images for presentations, slide shows, reports, and more at Free Tiiu Pix. The creator of this site designed all images available. Go ...more
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Discover a large collection of free to use images for presentations, slide shows, reports, and more at Free Tiiu Pix. The creator of this site designed all images available. Go to the image gallery to browse images sorted by categories. The categories range from Architecture, Food, Animals, Insects, Plants and more. Right click to save images or choose optional links for different resolution sizes. In addition to the image gallery, be sure to check out the slide presentation gallery including visually appealing PowerPoint presentations on many topics. There is also a link to Learn How to Draw Your Own Clip Art with free clip art to use. These are FREE to use. However, be sure to read and understand the Terms of Use! Note: you must be 18 to use this site. So while this is an excellent site for teachers to find resources, this shouldn't be shared with students to use independently.
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tag(s): images (266), photography (160), slides (63)

In the Classroom

Bookmark Free Tiiu Pix to access images for any presentation. Create multimedia presentations for your subject or any presentation for staff or parents using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Be sure to share Free Tiiu Pix with other teachers on your campus.

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Earth-Picker - The Great Street View Game - earth-picker.com

Grades
5 to 12
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Explore the world with this great online geography game using Google Maps (street view images). View the provided image, zoom in and out, and move around to explore the area ...more
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Explore the world with this great online geography game using Google Maps (street view images). View the provided image, zoom in and out, and move around to explore the area to find clues for the location. When you think you know the place, click the location on the map to place a flag then choose go. Compare how close you placed your flag to the actual location versus other players averages.

tag(s): cities (25), context clues (8), continents (49), countries (76), images (266), map skills (79), maps (287)

In the Classroom

Use Earth-Picker as an excellent lesson for using context clues to find information. Share on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) and demonstrate how to scroll in and out as well as how to move around for a 360 degree view of an image. Use on classroom computers as a center and challenge students to post scores after 5 rounds of playing. Share this on your class website for students (and parents) to try at home.

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Amazon Storybuilder - Amazon Studios

Grades
7 to 12
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Storybuilder is an online application to plan storyboards for plays, movies, and videos. Create cards to lay out on a virtual corkboard to arrange the order of your story. Add ...more
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Storybuilder is an online application to plan storyboards for plays, movies, and videos. Create cards to lay out on a virtual corkboard to arrange the order of your story. Add notes, images, and tags to organize and improve your story. Save and access your Storybuilder from any computer, tablet, or smart phone through your Amazon Studios account. Add contributors to any project who can view your work and add stickies with notes. Per the site's terms of use, it is not for use by children. You must be 18 to use the site.

tag(s): creative writing (166), digital storytelling (144), movies (65), plays (37), stories and storytelling (33)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate how to create a storyboard using Storybuilder on your interactive whiteboard or projector. As you and your students create a class story, show how to add and edit cards on your corkboard. Brainstorm together to create a storyboard for a video story as a final plan of a story, report, or poem. This is a highly engaging way to teach your students about story elements, dialogue, character development, etc. Create a storyboard of a book or short story recently finished in class as a review of the characters and story plot. Create storyboards as part of a World Languages class, and label images, or tell a story in the language they are learning. Work together to complete biographies of famous people. Tell the story of different famous events in history or explain their understanding of cell division using this easy program that produces entertaining results. Autistic or emotional support teachers can create storyboards demonstrating interpersonal behavior skills. Change your storyboard to Print view to view your cards in an easy to print and read format.

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edX - Anant Agarwal

Grades
8 to 12
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edX offers access to the best courses offered at top learning institutions - for FREE! Institutions include MIT, Harvard, and Berkley. Classes are available to complete for a Certificate...more
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edX offers access to the best courses offered at top learning institutions - for FREE! Institutions include MIT, Harvard, and Berkley. Classes are available to complete for a Certificate of Achievement or as an audit. Choose from courses with topics in many areas including computers, literature, and humanities. Each course listing offers a short description of the course, details about the university offering the course, estimated time involved, course staff, and available options for taking the course. Start any course at any time. Take the edX Demo course to get a good idea of how courses work and find out about the online learning experience.

tag(s): aeronautics (13), architecture (84), china (66), circuits (20), civil rights (117), computers (95), electricity (89), engineering (125), environment (317), evolution (100), folktales (65), greeks (30), magnetism (36), medicine (67), nutrition (154), poetry (228), psychology (64), religions (61), shakespeare (131), solar energy (38), speech (92), statistics (122), terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

Share with students on your interactive whiteboard and take the demo course together. This is perfect for use with gifted and advanced students as an option for college level courses and enrichment. Allow gifted students to enroll in courses that interest them or that provide enrichment beyond classroom content. Share with others, in your building, as a resource for professional development. Explore the topics yourself for some new, engaging topics to round out your own expertise. Allow students to enroll in a course that would fit into their career goals as an exploratory opportunity in that field.

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Help Lincoln Get to the White House - National Park Service

Grades
5 to 12
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This interactive timeline shows the route Lincoln took to become the President. Along the way, answer questions about his progress and life. ...more
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This interactive timeline shows the route Lincoln took to become the President. Along the way, answer questions about his progress and life.

tag(s): elections (75), lincoln (86), presidents (131)

In the Classroom

Have younger students create an online book of images and captions about Lincoln's life using Bookr, reviewed here, (Bookr uses Flickr images, so you must first upload or find the images on Flickr). For older students - challenge cooperative learning groups (or partners) to create a similar story about another president using pictures, themes, and other prompts generated by the site StoryBird, reviewed here. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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50 States Part 1 - PBS Learning Media

Grades
3 to 5
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Explore geography, learn state capitals, and find interesting facts with this video alphabetic tour of states from Alabama to Missouri. Choose the accompanying lesson plan to incorporate...more
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Explore geography, learn state capitals, and find interesting facts with this video alphabetic tour of states from Alabama to Missouri. Choose the accompanying lesson plan to incorporate motor skills into the learning process.

tag(s): capitals (24), states (162), video (254)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students choose a state to research then have them create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here. Have students create maps using Animaps, reviewed here. Students can add text, images, and location stops! Share with your ESL/ELL students so they can learn more about the states in the United States.
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Common Sense for Common Core - Scholastic Inc

Grades
K to 12
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See these free Common Core resources and materials, sample lesson plans, and book lists to help you implement the Common Core Standards with success! English Language Arts, Math, Social...more
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See these free Common Core resources and materials, sample lesson plans, and book lists to help you implement the Common Core Standards with success! English Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, and Science lesson plans span K-12. Detailed plans include teaching nonfiction within integrated content areas. Find detailed book lists by grade level, literature titles, or professional development areas. News and Resources include articles describing a variety of concerns teachers face in today's classroom including, using one iPad in a classroom, reaching every reader, math Common Core tips, and much more. Get answers to some frequently asked questions involving Common Core. Get back to the basics of Common Core through the explanatory sites. Expert videos highlight important aspects of using Common Core Standards. The Editor's Corner gives full units that span the range of the grades with titles such as War Stories, Poetry; Explore the Power of Words, and Life, Death, and Stories in Between. Still have a burning question? Submit your question and get an emailed response. Join the conversation with educators discussing different aspects of Common Core. A parent Common Core Area uses the Common Core Basics, News and Resources, and a list of books to use by grade level. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
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tag(s): assessment (100), commoncore (94), questioning (31), test prep (96), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site on your computer! Find answers to all of your questions with resources to challenge your students. Share in your professional learning communities with a different area each meeting. Document your professional development growth for your evaluation. Need to explain Common Core to parents? Begin here!
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The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle - Glenco

Grades
5 to 12
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Welcome to the 1800's and The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi. Find a ready-made unit (PDF from Glencoe) with information about the author and ideas for introducing...more
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Welcome to the 1800's and The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi. Find a ready-made unit (PDF from Glencoe) with information about the author and ideas for introducing the novel. In this unit, the novel is divided into several sections, and each section has, a Before You Read, Vocabulary Preview, and Active Reading activities. Towards the end, you will find suggested companion novels and short stories with ideas and questions that relate back to The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle.

tag(s): literature (275), literature circles (5), novels (24), reading comprehension (116)

In the Classroom

Decide on the introduction activities, and possibly a companion story, you wish to use with The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. Of course, you do not have to complete them all, but it is nice to have choices and a backup. For students who have read The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle more than once, you may want them to read one of the companion novels in its place. If you do have students reading a different story, the class discussion could become very interesting comparing the elements and characters of each novel as a class. If you would like even more information about teaching The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle see the Shmoop unit for the same book. Shmoop Literature is reviewed here. You may want to offer your literature circle groups ready-made activities based on The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. This is an excellent book to read in a history class when studying the 1800's.
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Cubing and Think Dots Strategy - Eulouise Williams

Grades
3 to 12
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This PDF explains the teaching strategies of Cubing and Think Dots. Cubing is an instructional strategy that asks students to consider a concept from different perspectives. Use ideas...more
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This PDF explains the teaching strategies of Cubing and Think Dots. Cubing is an instructional strategy that asks students to consider a concept from different perspectives. Use ideas from the site to understand how to use cubes to differentiate teaching for various groups of students. Similar to cubes, Think Dots incorporates the idea of students constructing the meaning of concepts through the use of activity cards correlated to the roll of a dice. The PDF starts with an overview of Bloom's Taxonomy and its revision.

tag(s): blooms taxonomy (9), differentiation (47), learning styles (19), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Use ideas from this PDF to differentiate and offer a variety of learning opportunities to students. Share this site and the strategies with peers during professional development sessions. Have students create cubes or think dots of their own for use when reviewing material for tests and quizzes.
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Technology Tailgate - Karla @ Technology Tailgate

Grades
K to 6
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Technology Tailgate is a collaborative blog network for users to collaborate, share ideas and show ways to incorporate technology into primary classrooms. Specifically designed to meet...more
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Technology Tailgate is a collaborative blog network for users to collaborate, share ideas and show ways to incorporate technology into primary classrooms. Specifically designed to meet Common Core Standards through technology, entries offer viewers ideas for infusing technology in everyday lessons. Use the keyword search bar to find specific information, scroll through daily posts, or click on tags for subject-specific posts. Search through archives dating back to 2012 for earlier posts.

tag(s): blogs (88)

In the Classroom

Subscribe to this blog using your feed reader or via email to stay up to date with the latest entries. Search the site throughout the year to take advantage of the free lesson plans and ideas offered by the Technology Tailgate "Coaches".
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Been Here So Long - Slave Narratives - New Deal Network

Grades
8 to 12
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Read seventeen of the more than 2,000 first-person accounts of what it was like to live in bondage. These seventeen narratives, told by aging African Americans during the New Deal ...more
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Read seventeen of the more than 2,000 first-person accounts of what it was like to live in bondage. These seventeen narratives, told by aging African Americans during the New Deal era in America, are remarkable and are accompanied by teaching resources, photos, and suggested projects.

tag(s): 1930s (15), african american (113), black history (59), narrative (24), new deal (6), primary sources (86), roosevelt (16), slavery (72)

In the Classroom

There are lessons and projects for the narratives, many of which take four or more class periods. Try something that won't eat up so much time: Choose one of the narratives and use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share it with your class. Then, as suggested in the lesson plans, have "a discussion about the strengths and limitations of using the ex-slave narratives and other oral histories as primary sources in the study of history." Have students break into small groups and have each group read two of the narratives. Have them make comparisons of those two narratives and the one shared with the entire class, using an online tool such as the Interactive Three Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here. Then have the class share out and find commonalities for all the narratives (other than they were all slaves). Use this site in an American History class studying the New Deal and the 1930s or in any language arts or social studies class during Black History Month. These narratives are about the "regular" people, not the famous people usually read about.

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WikiWand - Lior Grossman & Ilan Lewin

Grades
5 to 12
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WikiWand is a browser add-on to enhance the look and use of Wikipedia. Follow links to add the extension to Chrome, Safari, or Firefox. Once installed, WikiWand adds an easy ...more
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WikiWand is a browser add-on to enhance the look and use of Wikipedia. Follow links to add the extension to Chrome, Safari, or Firefox. Once installed, WikiWand adds an easy to use table of contents to the side of the screen, easier to read typography and a handy preview-on-hover feature. Personalize your screen by changing fonts and size of fonts.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (199), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Install WikiWand on classroom computers to improve student viewing of Wikipedia. Share on your interactive whiteboard to demonstrate and view features for student use. If you do recommend Wikipedia as a source for research, be sure to have the discussion about its unknown authorship and usefulness as a general information tool but not as a "scholarly" resource. As a challenge to your better writers, consider asking them to write entries that you can submit to this encyclopedia on classroom topics in simpler English. They will have to analyze their own language and writing style with far greater scrutiny than ever before. Or have the class create a two version wiki glossary of your own on curriculum topics in any discipline, using this as a model for the "easy reading" side.

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Interactive Sites for Education Thanksgiving - Weebly

Grades
K to 3
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Gobble up this collection of entertaining Thanksgiving activites. Challenges include a historical perspective, word search, logic games, word finds, and simple review games. ...more
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Gobble up this collection of entertaining Thanksgiving activites. Challenges include a historical perspective, word search, logic games, word finds, and simple review games.

tag(s): holidays (147), thanksgiving (37)

In the Classroom

Add this site to your lesson plans to use for Thanksgiving. Introduce activities on your interactive whiteboard. Bookmark these games at your classroom computers to used during center time. Use as an incentive to promote positive behavior. Post a link on your class webpage for students to use at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Exposure - Luke Beard and Kyle Bragger

Grades
K to 12
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Create beautiful photo stories with Exposure. Create an account to begin, and then drag and drop photos to begin a narrative. Add headers and body text above and between photos ...more
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Create beautiful photo stories with Exposure. Create an account to begin, and then drag and drop photos to begin a narrative. Add headers and body text above and between photos to tell your story. Follow prompts to add photo groups, full-width pictures, or embed Vimeo or YouTube videos into your narrative. Publish and share your story using the URL or with social networking links; embed into any website or blog using the provided embed code. Free accounts allow users to create up to three Exposure narratives.

tag(s): digital storytelling (144), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Have students create an Exposure account to share poetry, writing projects, or as a student portfolio. Challenge groups of students to create photo stories featuring information about landforms, states, or demonstrating steps of a science experiment. Please remember, it is always best to use caution with image searching. Provide students with clear guidelines and expectations. Use Exposure to share field trips and class activities with parents.

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