TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Dec 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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Primary Sources Resources - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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This curated list includes resources for all grades, compares primary to secondary sources, and countless other topics. Primary sources offer direct (firsthand) accounts about events,...more
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This curated list includes resources for all grades, compares primary to secondary sources, and countless other topics. Primary sources offer direct (firsthand) accounts about events, people, works of art, and more. Remember our "In the Classroom" suggestions give you ideas about how to use these tools in your classroom.

tag(s): primary sources (100), Research (20)

In the Classroom

Use these tools to help students to understand primary sources, research, and more. Find tools for students to use to research when doing projects or studying for an exam.

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That's Your Right - Annenberg Classroom

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5 to 12
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Learn about the Bill of Rights by playing this challenging card game. Click start to view the tutorial and choose to play from the single or multiplayer options. Choose from ...more
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Learn about the Bill of Rights by playing this challenging card game. Click start to view the tutorial and choose to play from the single or multiplayer options. Choose from three different levels of difficulty to begin play. The goal of the game is to gain freedom by collecting and matching scenario cards to features of the Bill of Rights as you play.

tag(s): bill of rights (28), branches of government (60), constitution (93), game based learning (150)

In the Classroom

Include this game with any lessons on the Bill of Rights. Challenge students to compete against each other and move up through the different levels of difficulty. Include the site with your other resources on a bookmarking site like SearchTeam, reviewed here. SearchTeam includes the option to add and share notes with bookmarks, add teaching notes for your future use or if sharing with students, ask them to add tips into the comments section. Upon completion of your unit, enhance learning by having students create animated videos using Powtoon, reviewed here, to share their understanding of the Bill of Rights.

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Retouching the Canvas: The Creation of the Bill of Rights - Teaching America History

Grades
6 to 12
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Use this interactive to see the creation of the Bill of Rights and ratification of the United States Constitution. Begin with Delaware, the first state to ratify, and follow links ...more
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Use this interactive to see the creation of the Bill of Rights and ratification of the United States Constitution. Begin with Delaware, the first state to ratify, and follow links to view records of debates, a timeline, and a map of voting history in the state. Continue along the interactive to see the progression of ratification of the Bill of Rights through completion in 1791 with Virginia's approval providing the 2/3 majority required. The timeline continues through to Rhode Island's ratification of the constitution.

tag(s): american revolution (88), bill of rights (28), constitution (93)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore it independently or in small groups. After exploring the site, enhance learning by creating a class newspaper detailing events from the time period using a tool such as the Printing Press, reviewed here. Extend student learning by challenging them to make timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Timeline JS, reviewed here, to demonstrate ratification of the Bill of Rights or the Constitution.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Wright Brothers - Who Were Wilbur & Orville? - Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum

Grades
K to 12
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Learn how two ordinary bicycle mechanics changed the world with this in-depth look at the life of Orville & Wilbur Wright. Follow the timeline beginning in 1630 to learn about ...more
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Learn how two ordinary bicycle mechanics changed the world with this in-depth look at the life of Orville & Wilbur Wright. Follow the timeline beginning in 1630 to learn about the first American Wright, Samuel, as he arrived in Massachusetts with the Puritans. Continue learning about the Wright family's settlement in Ohio and their work with bicycles leading on up to their famous flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903. Be sure to check out the interactive experiments, classroom activities, and lesson plans linked near the bottom of the page.

tag(s): aviation (37), flight (30), wright brothers (19)

In the Classroom

What a perfect addition to a lesson about the Wright brothers or a science unit about aviation (physics and more)! Have students work in cooperative learning groups and research a specific topic found at this site. Enhance learning by having students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about one of the Wright brothers or as a spectator viewing one of the first flying machines. Be sure to take advantage of the free experiments and activities available on the site.

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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 (88), book lists (128), commoncore (90), writing prompts (77)

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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Battle Tactics - Animated History

Grades
5 to 12
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This complex history lesson about the Revolutionary War shows the battlefield. It goes on to explain various aspects both orally and in text. Click anywhere on the screen (picture)...more
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This complex history lesson about the Revolutionary War shows the battlefield. It goes on to explain various aspects both orally and in text. Click anywhere on the screen (picture) to learn more about that specific area (or topic). You can also click on the "Choose an item from the menu" in the upper right corner. There you will find information about weaponry, tactics, descriptions of both armies involved, and information about the soldier himself. There is an option to print the spoken/printed text. This site is not compatible with Chrome.

tag(s): american revolution (88)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site as a way to review what students are learning about the Revolutionary War. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students create their own comics to illustrate and expand on what they have learned. Use a comic-creation tools from the TeachersFirst collection.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Timemapper - Open Knowledge Foundation Labs

Grades
6 to 12
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This free tool maps dates, information, and locations specified on a loaded spreadsheet into a timeline format. See the Examples on the middle portion of the page to see the ...more
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This free tool maps dates, information, and locations specified on a loaded spreadsheet into a timeline format. See the Examples on the middle portion of the page to see the results! You need a Google Docs/Drive account to create a timeline. Work anonymously or log in using your Twitter account. Click "Get Started Now" to read the details and create your spreadsheet, using a template Google Doc spreadsheet available by clicking where it says, "this template." Read the 1-2-3 steps AND the FAQ lower on the page to understand the steps and the reasons why you might want to create a free account using your Twitter login (not required). Once published with the url loaded into the Timemapper form, data from the spreadsheet is displayed in Timemapper in a slide style format. Data can include images, citations, locations, and more. Move along the timeline at the bottom of the screen or advance through the screens. Locations are pinpointed on a map that displays alongside the timeline. Click on individual locations or see them highlighted as you advance through the screens. Use the embed code to place the Timemapper in your wiki, site, or blog. You can also share it by url. Note: Timemappers cannot be made private.

tag(s): timelines (60)

In the Classroom

Create Timemapper timelines to introduce material in any subject. If your school uses Google Apps or Docs/Drive, your students (or groups) can create their own very easily. Map specific battles in history (World War II or the Revolutionary War, perhaps?) Map significant scientific discoveries in the progress of understanding about cell theory or genetics. Follow the works of various writers, artists, or musicians. Follow the life of famous people or noteworthy events such as elections, the Olympics, or even local history!

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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 (128), branches of government (60), congress (44), constitution (93), presidents (130)

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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History for Kids - history-for-kids.com

Grades
K to 6
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Join lyrical rhyming adventures of history in poetry! Find poems summarizing famous people or periods from history. Explore the topics in the left sidebar: Ancient History, Middle Ages,...more
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Join lyrical rhyming adventures of history in poetry! Find poems summarizing famous people or periods from history. Explore the topics in the left sidebar: Ancient History, Middle Ages, British History, American History, Myths & Legends, and Pirates. The American History poems include: The California Gold Rush, The Statue of Liberty, The Moon Landing, The Voyage of the Mayflower, The Boston Tea Party, and a few others. Each poem includes additional facts about the event or people, along with drawings submitted by students. You will also find coloring pages, interviews, jokes, and more. Be aware: this site does include a lot of advertisements. At the time of this review, all advertisements were completely "kid-appropriate." However, it may be wise to advise students not to click on any of the links/pictures.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): boston (13), california (26), dinosaurs (51), england (57), gold rush (20), greece (29), myths and legends (25), olympics (52), romans (37), vikings (12)

In the Classroom

Make history (and mythology) come alive in your classroom with a little rhythm and rhyme! Use the poems to supplement your instruction while even adding tambourines, clapping, tapping, or toe tapping reaching all learners. Share the actual poem on your projector or interactive whiteboard. If you want students to have a hard copy of the poem (to use as a study guide), print it out. Otherwise, save paper and share the link on your class website. If you can't find the history or mythology topic you are studying, it is time for your students to make their own rhymes. Have students create poems for photos and images using UtellStory, reviewed here. This tool allows narrating and adding text to a picture.To find Creative Commons images for student poems (with credit, of course), try PhotoPin, reviewed here. Have a poetry day featuring what you have studied in history. Be sure to add your students' projects to your class website or blog. Gifted students will enjoy the challenge while struggling learners will enjoy the reinforcement of the main ideas.

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Mission US - Thirteen

Grades
4 to 8
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Mission US is a free online interactive US History adventure. Mission US offers amazing interactives that are set throughout US History. The first activity Mission 1: "For Crown or...more
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Mission US is a free online interactive US History adventure. Mission US offers amazing interactives that are set throughout US History. The first activity Mission 1: "For Crown or Colony?" has players becoming a 1770 14-year-old printer's apprentice named Nat Wheeler. As players move through the activities they meet characters from all walks of life and must choose where their loyalties lie. This site does require a log-in and password, but no email address is required.

tag(s): american revolution (88), evolution (106)

In the Classroom

This is a must for any social studies or US History class. Start by checking out the teachers area so you can follow the progress of your students. Use the demo game on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector to introduce it to your students. Once classes are set up have your students work in cooperative groups and work their way through the activities. There are wonderful teacher resources available including models for instruction, tips, instructions and student handouts. Resources are available in both PDF and Word so you can customize the worksheets for your students. This feature is great for differentiating materials for various student levels. When all students are done have a class discussion about what side they chose and why?
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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H.S.I. - Historical Scene Investigation - College of William & Mary School of Education

Grades
5 to 12
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H.S.I. or Historical Scene Investigation takes the work out of locating primary sources, and provides you with an interesting way for students to "investigate" history. This site presents...more
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H.S.I. or Historical Scene Investigation takes the work out of locating primary sources, and provides you with an interesting way for students to "investigate" history. This site presents "case histories" for "Dropping the Bomb," "Antonio the Slave," "Children in the Civil War," "The Boston Massacre" and many others. For each "case" there is a student view and a teacher view. The teacher view is a lesson plan with a list of objectives, additional contextual information and resources as well as instructional strategies, and suggestions for such things as age group and further questions to explore. The student view is set up as a mystery to solve. Students are presented with the situation and given a question to guide their inquiry. There are three steps for students to follow "Investigating the Evidence" where students are provided links to appropriate digital primary sources, "Searching for Clues" where students are provided with a set of questions to guide their analysis of the evidence, and "Cracking the Case" when students give their answers and cite the evidence they found to support their answers. This site is definitely the C.S.I for history!

tag(s): american revolution (88), atomic bomb (11), civil rights (130), civil war (150), constitution (93), jamestown (10), mysteries (22), primary sources (100), slavery (68)

In the Classroom

You might want to do the first investigation as a class using your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students help analyze and annotate the information they are learning from the primary sources, using Fiskkit, reviewed here. This way you can also point out different points of view on the topic so students will know to look for this in other investigations. In your blended or flipped classroom, have students complete investigations before beginning any complementary unit. You, your gifted, or more technology inclined students could use these investigations as a model to enhance learning and create inquiries into any unit of study. Use a tool like Webs, reviewed here, a free and easy web maker, to share a project such as this. Have students "become one of the people" in the historical event and put together a web page or online poster using a site such as Webs, reviewed here, portraying that person and justifying their point of view. This could be done in small groups where each student, or partners, portrays a different (or opposing) character in the event and tells the story from their point of view, citing the evidence to justify that point of view.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Man Soars Into Flight - Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
1 to 12
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This collection of flight-related resources was originally featured in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers historic 1903 accomplishments in Kitty Hawk. This collection...more
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This collection of flight-related resources was originally featured in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers historic 1903 accomplishments in Kitty Hawk. This collection provides many angles on the Wright brothers, flight, and the science and major figures involved in manned flight.

tag(s): famous people (21), flight (30), inventors and inventions (85), wright brothers (19)

In the Classroom

Use this collection as a starting point for flight-related investigations by student groups. This project could also be an option during a broader unit on invention or the lives of scientists or famous Americans. Ask students to create a multimedia "poster" depicting some aspect of the Wright Brothers' work or a principle of aerodynamics that made it all possible. Use a simple software tool such as PowerPoint or a rich, online tool such as Sway, reviewed here, to create and share the projects.

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The First Amendment: What's Fair in a Free Country? - National Endowment for the Humanities

Grades
3 to 6
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The cherished right of Freedom of Speech is carefully analyzed in this thoughtful unit plan that illustrates the delicate balance between rights and responsibilities in a free society....more
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The cherished right of Freedom of Speech is carefully analyzed in this thoughtful unit plan that illustrates the delicate balance between rights and responsibilities in a free society. A series of six lessons guides upper elementary students through an authentic scenario in which the expressive rights of individuals are in question, provides connections to constitutional interpretations, and analyzes related Supreme Court cases. Aligned to Standards.

tag(s): bill of rights (28), freedom of speech (12), speech (86)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this free lesson plan about the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights! To help ELL students, share the vocabulary with them beforehand OR make and print out easy to understand definitions of words that these students may have trouble with. Be sure to save this site as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval later on.

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Wright Brothers Aeroplane Company

Grades
6 to 12
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Billed as a virtual museum, the site is divided into "wings." There is an enormous amount of information on this site! The History "wing" includes biographies of the Wright Brothers,...more
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Billed as a virtual museum, the site is divided into "wings." There is an enormous amount of information on this site! The History "wing" includes biographies of the Wright Brothers, information about the history of flight and some little known facts in an area called "aviation's attic." Along the side are links to music files with music of the early 1900s such as the Wrights might have listened to. The Adventure "wing" looks at models of airplanes and the science of flight, and includes more music files. The "Information Desk" includes news about local Dayton, Ohio commemorations of the centennial of flight. No lesson plans and no areas specifically for educators, but lots of facts and pictures spread out all over the site.

tag(s): aviation (37), flight (30), wright brothers (19)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an introduction to a lesson on the Wright Brothers and their impact on flight. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Assign each group a "wing" or subsection to read and research with the intent being for them to present their findings to their peers. Enhance learning by having students create a multimedia presentation using UtellStory, reviewed here. This site allows you to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report that their classmates know virtually nothing about. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try PhotoPin, reviewed here. This makes the most sense if the reports and presented chronologically so students can piece together the history of the Wrights brothers.

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