TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Sep 8, 2019

Here are this week's features. Clicking the tags in the description area of each listing will present a list of other resources with this topic. | Click here to return to the Featured Sites Archive

 

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Interactive Constitution - National Constitution Center

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn about the United States Constitution through discussions from constitutional experts and their thoughts on how the Constitution's history has implications for today. Begin by...more
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Learn about the United States Constitution through discussions from constitutional experts and their thoughts on how the Constitution's history has implications for today. Begin by selecting an article or amendment to view the wording contained in the Constitution, along with at least one feature discussing the specific impact of that piece. At the end of each article, go further in-depth with additional presentations titled Matters of Debate. These selections present two different interpretations about the legal applications of the specific portion of the Constitution within society.

tag(s): colonial america (111), constitution (94), philadelphia (13)

In the Classroom

Include this site with any lessons on the Constitution. Share on your interactive whiteboard to help students understand the meaning behind each article and amendment. Take your research into the Constitution a step further and have students compile bookmarks containing videos and online articles to use for research. Surfmark, reviewed here, is a bookmarking tool that allows students to collaborate through annotations and highlighting of text. It also has a browser bookmarklet to add to your toolbar for easy use. Have students or student groups create explainer videos to tell the history of the Constitution or explain articles or amendments. Modify classroom technology use by using a tool like Raw Shorts, reviewed here, to create animated short videos.

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What So Proudly We Hail - University of Pennsylvania, Amy Kass, and Leon Kass

Grades
K to 12
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What So Proudly We Hail offers more than 1200 free civics resources and lessons based on short stories, songs, and speeches. Choose the resources link to access and filter content....more
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What So Proudly We Hail offers more than 1200 free civics resources and lessons based on short stories, songs, and speeches. Choose the resources link to access and filter content. The many filter options allow you to choose by grade level, topic, state standards, and much more.

tag(s): branches of government (60), constitution (94), environment (320), ethics (20), immigration (63), primary sources (99)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many resources on this site for use with civics lessons, Constitution Day activities, and teaching about primary resources. Share documents found on this site on your interactive whiteboard and use the tools found in your software to highlight and explore specific parts of any document. Alternatively, enhance classroom technology use by having students use Edji, reviewed here, to highlight and comment the document. Instead of reading documents in class, have students use an online voice recording tool like Vocaroo, reviewed here, to share important portions on your class website. Have students create an annotated image sharing information about primary sources or civics lessons including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Instead of writing a book report, transform classroom technology use by asking students to create an animated video slide show using a tool like Powtoon, reviewed here, to recreate or discuss historical events.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Highlighting Our History: American Revolution Read-alouds PLUS for the Common Core - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This "Read-alouds PLUS" article will show you how you can infuse social studies content, specifically the Revolutionary Period, using the power of daily read-alouds. Practice Common...more
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This "Read-alouds PLUS" article will show you how you can infuse social studies content, specifically the Revolutionary Period, using the power of daily read-alouds. Practice Common Core Standards for the English Language Arts while helping your students understand our history and heritage. If you fear that social studies has taken a back seat to tested content, be sure to share this collection with your students. The article includes book suggestions as well as discussion questions and writing activities connected to CCSS Standards. Don't miss our other articles on implementing Common Core in elementary. Some of the book selections may not be ones that your students can read on their own, but they will work well as read-alouds in your social students curriculum.

tag(s): american revolution (89), book lists (127), commoncore (88), writing prompts (85)

In the Classroom

Mark this article in your Favorites and take the book suggestions with you to the school library (or search for interlibrary loans). Consider using this as part of a "Then and Now" or "Past and Present" focus in kindergarten or first grade, or with middle elementary students as part of a unit related to the Revolutionary War. Take a look at the suggestions for connecting the read-alouds to CCSS-aligned writing prompts or for short, focused research projects to include as follow-up.

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CurriConnects Booklist: By the People - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Find books about how our U.S. government works and how to take part in that process. These books include topics such as what it means to be a citizen, how ...more
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Find books about how our U.S. government works and how to take part in that process. These books include topics such as what it means to be a citizen, how our government works, and the tough decisions that people make -- both citizens and those who work in government. Discover civics-related topics such as voting, creating laws, enforcing laws, and the underlying principles of democracy. The collection includes both true and fictional tales about communities and government and books for all grade levels. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles''''® to match student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. For more on text complexity and Lexiles''''®, see this information from the Lexile Framework. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly. If your library does not have the books, try interlibrary loan!

tag(s): book lists (127), branches of government (60), congress (42), constitution (94), presidents (133)

In the Classroom

Encourage students to select independent reading from this list as part of a citizenship unit, as a focus for Constitution Day, or in a civics/government class.

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Center for Civic Education - Center for Civic Education

Grades
5 to 12
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The Center for Civic Education offers this site loaded with information and resources that support the democratic process. Choose the resources tab to take advantage of many lesson...more
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The Center for Civic Education offers this site loaded with information and resources that support the democratic process. Choose the resources tab to take advantage of many lesson plans for all grade levels on topics such as President's Day, voting, Women's History Month, and many more. Choose the More Lesson Plans link to see a list of all lessons sorted by grade levels from K-12. Another interesting portion of the site is found at the media tab. Choose from video or photo galleries or the 60 Second Civics option. 60 Second Civics is a daily podcast accompanied with a short question. Previous podcasts are archived for access at your convenience. Subscribe with iTunes or Podcast Alley or visit the page to listen.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): branches of government (60), civil rights (126), constitution (94), democracy (17), elections (76), electoral college (15), lincoln (83), martin luther king (37), presidents (133), sept11 (17), washington (31)

In the Classroom

Share a link to the podcasts via your web page or blog. Have students answer the daily question then respond with a short journal entry or with comments on your webpage. Use lesson resources to supplement your current curriculum or commemorate events such as 9/11, MLK Day, Presidents Day, or Constitution Day. View videos on your interactive whiteboard (or projector). Assign videos to groups of students to view then report to the class. Rather than a traditional report, challenge cooperative learning groups to collaborate on a topic found on the site using Netboard, reviewed here, to share ideas and information.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Constitution Day - ConstitutionDay.com

Grades
5 to 12
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Learn about the U.S. Constitution and the amendments. See the documents and short biographies of each of the founding fathers. Click links to images of the Constitution on the right...more
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Learn about the U.S. Constitution and the amendments. See the documents and short biographies of each of the founding fathers. Click links to images of the Constitution on the right side of the home page. Although this site is short on original content, the founding father biographies make it a worthwhile visit when studying the Constitution and figures in American History.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bill of rights (28), biographies (86), colonial america (111), constitution (94), philadelphia (13)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students as a resource for reading and viewing the Constitution. Challenge students to develop a fake social media presence about one of the founding fathers using Fakebook, reviewed here, or the Twitter Fictional Account Template, reviewed here. This is a great resource for Constitution Day!

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Teacher's Portal - American Bar Association

Grades
6 to 12
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Each year, teachers are asked to observe Constitution Day with special instruction on one of the United States' founding documents. This site provides sample lesson plans and resources,...more
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Each year, teachers are asked to observe Constitution Day with special instruction on one of the United States' founding documents. This site provides sample lesson plans and resources, for all grade levels, including some flash-enabled interactive lessons and activities on specific aspects of the application of the Constitution.

tag(s): bill of rights (28), constitution (94)

In the Classroom

Use the lesson plan suggestions to meet the mandate for instruction on Constitution Day, but be sure and check out the other resources for lessons on civics, government, current events and the Constitution itself. The section called "Dialogues" provides resources to engage students and community members in discussion of fundamental American legal principles and civic traditions.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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iCivics - iCivics Inc.

Grades
5 to 10
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iCivics is a web-based education project designed to teach students civics and encourage them to participate in the democratic process. The project is spearheaded by Justice Sandra...more
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iCivics is a web-based education project designed to teach students civics and encourage them to participate in the democratic process. The project is spearheaded by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and includes law professors and educators from around the country. iCivics.org provides detailed lessons designed for very specific judicial and constitutional concepts as well as for the executive and legislative branches. Some of the lessons have videos and links to other relevant websites. In addition to the lessons, iCivics features several engaging interactives on civics topics, democracy, branches of government, citizenship, elections and campaigns, and the constitution. Several include full teacher manuals (PDF) and a detailed report of student game performance -- very useful for assessment. There are webquests on civics topics, as well. In addition, iCivics.org has a useful feature that helps locate other websites with resources specifically correlated to your state standards. You can also search using grade level. The site continues to grow and add new materials and activities on an ongoing basis. Don't miss the interactive called "Cast Your Vote" to prioritize issues and evaluate candidates! Videos from iCivics reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): bill of rights (28), branches of government (60), congress (42), constitution (94), courts (16), democracy (17), elections (76), game based learning (152), presidents (133), supreme court (25)

In the Classroom

As you study the Constitution or U.S. government, have students participate in the activities, stopping to write blog entries as their legal character discussing the results they have achieved in court or in their role within other interactive simulations. Students can work individually or with a partner. Be sure to demonstrate the activities on an interactive whiteboard or projector so students understand how they work. Another option is to modify classroom technology use by having students create a multimedia guide to one of the constitutional rights learned in the games. Use a tool such as Canva Infographic Maker reviewed here, to make an interactive poster or infographic on each right.

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Centuries of Citizenship: A Constitutional Timeline - National Constitution Center

Grades
5 to 12
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This interactive timeline is a historical experience that explains the key events of the U.S. Constitution. The events begin with the Magna Carta in 1215 and continue to 2009. Use ...more
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This interactive timeline is a historical experience that explains the key events of the U.S. Constitution. The events begin with the Magna Carta in 1215 and continue to 2009. Use the broadband interactive timeline to give your students the ultimate experience. Students can explore primary documents, view maps and graphs, hear audio clips, listen to debates, read pertinent stories in the New York Times, and learn who had the right to vote during specific time periods. Be sure to also visit the Interactive Constitution. Search the Constitution by keywords, topics, or court cases. This website is definitely worth the visit!

tag(s): bill of rights (28), constitution (94)

In the Classroom

Use this website to engage your students to learn more about different eras of U.S. History. Challenge students to debate the issues found in "Point Counterpoint." Use the primary sources to discuss relevant historical issues or how the problems presented might be found in current events. Use the interactive U.S. Constitution to help with your Constitution Day activities. A link to a PDF file of the entire U.S. Constitution is available. Have students create a multimedia presentation using Thinglink, reviewed here. Thinglink allows you to narrate a picture and add multimedia. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report about the U.S. Constitution. Thinglink can be used for a variety of assignments in any classroom that is integrating technology as an enhancement, modification, or transformation
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Constitution Day Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about the United States Constitution and to plan projects and classroom activities...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about the United States Constitution and to plan projects and classroom activities so students can experience the Constitution as a "living document." Whether you spend one class in celebration of Constitution Day or an entire unit on the Constitution, the ideas included in the "In the Classroom" portion of reviews will launch discussions and projects your students will not forget.

tag(s): american revolution (89), bill of rights (28), branches of government (60), constitution (94)

In the Classroom

Use the resources in this collection to supplement a unit on the American Constitution. The resources on this site could be used for webquests, learning centers, lesson plans & the like. American History teachers will love this one!

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Constitution Day - National Constitution Center

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K to 12
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Happy Birthday To You.... U.S. Government. This fantastic site provides a large collection of lesson plans, interactives, resources for students, and more. All activities relate to...more
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Happy Birthday To You.... U.S. Government. This fantastic site provides a large collection of lesson plans, interactives, resources for students, and more. All activities relate to Constitution Day (celebrated in September). Visit the Educators link and search for activities by specific topics, or the Resource tab to find lesson plans, audio visual, activities, and more. There are also links for students, government & military, and community leaders.

tag(s): constitution (94)

In the Classroom

Before you start planning your Constitution Day activities, check out this FREE site. Since this site was created by the National Constitution Center, you can be sure that the material is of high quality. Share the audio and visual on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Take advantage of the lesson plans and more. Replace paper and pen by having students fill out an online graphic organizer as a pre and post assessment about what they know about the Constitution. A KWL chart works well for this. Find an interactive graphic organizer at Holt Graphic Organizers, reviewed here. Alternatively, modify classroom technology use by challenging students to create a multimedia poster or infographic about what they learned using Genial.ly, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Constitution Day - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
4 to 12
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for Constitution Day. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Constitution-related...more
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for Constitution Day. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Constitution-related vocabulary words. You will also find printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): constitution (94)

In the Classroom

Have students work in cooperative learning groups, divide up the vocabulary words, and have each group find the definitions for their assigned vocabulary words. Have the groups share their words and definitions in an online book, using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Have the groups share the online books on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If you don't have the time to complete online books, have students share the definitions using a class wiki. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. Be sure to also check out the interactive word puzzles!

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The Constitutional Convention

Grades
5 to 12
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Find interactives, podcasts, tool kits, lesson plans, original paintings from the Convention, and more at this great resource. ...more
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Find interactives, podcasts, tool kits, lesson plans, original paintings from the Convention, and more at this great resource.

tag(s): constitution (94)

In the Classroom

Look at this site before planning your unit on the Founding Fathers and the New Republic in an American History class. Lloyd has provided a new take on the convention, creating a 4 day drama that summarizes the main events. There are a lot of primary sources and fresh takes on the convention here, making this site extremely beneficial to planning ahead for your unit.

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