TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Aug 15, 2021

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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Rock Your World - Creative Visions

Grades
6 to 12
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This middle school and high school curriculum challenges students to think about issues and concerns faced in their communities and beyond, then develop campaigns to overcome the obstacles...more
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This middle school and high school curriculum challenges students to think about issues and concerns faced in their communities and beyond, then develop campaigns to overcome the obstacles found. Based upon Common Core Standards, the program includes over 70 lessons that begin engaging students through developing an understanding of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Lessons don't have to take place in the order offered; select lessons that fit the goals chosen for you and your students.

tag(s): civil rights (148), social and emotional learning (52), women (97)

In the Classroom

Include these free lessons in a variety of ways in your classroom. Use the content to help students understand social causes important to them and how to engage in their cause. This site offers various methods to create social issue campaigns, including music, film, and persuasive writing opportunities. Use this information to differentiate learning opportunities for students with activities that appeal to their interests. For students interested in coding, use Minecraft Education Edition, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Andrew Carnegie's Story - Carnegie Corporation of New York

Grades
7 to 12
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Learn about the life of Andrew Carnegie starting with his humble beginnings all the way through his rise to the richest man in the world with this interactive storytelling tool. ...more
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Learn about the life of Andrew Carnegie starting with his humble beginnings all the way through his rise to the richest man in the world with this interactive storytelling tool. Click About on the top menu bar and scroll down to Andrew Carnegie's Story to read about Carnegie's youth and explore the timeline of his business. Continue reading to learn about his philanthropic side, including the founding of over 2,500 libraries across the United States. Use links at the top of the page to view specific portions of the site without having to scroll through all sections. The video at the end is hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable.

tag(s): 1900s (50), biographies (86), business (44), railroads (10)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Include this resource with a study of the 19th Century, famous businessmen, or philanthropy. Have students create maps of libraries in your state funded by the Carnegie Foundation using MapHub, reviewed here. Students can add text, images, and location stops! Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about Andrew Carnegie and his peers. Use this site as a starting point to compare Andrew Carnegie to current businessmen and philanthropists such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.

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Charity Navigator - Charity Navigator

Grades
1 to 12
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Discover a database of charities that include a rating system done by financial analysts to help you make an informed decision about which charities to support. Top ten lists select...more
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Discover a database of charities that include a rating system done by financial analysts to help you make an informed decision about which charities to support. Top ten lists select charities based on most followed, celebrity related, relying on public contributions, top notch, low rated, a charity worth watching, as well as many more categories. Learn about charities formed to help recent events (Hot Topics) such as Earthquake & Hurricane victims, California Wildfires, Support Veterans and Active Duty Servicemembers, Immigration and Refugees, and many others. The Hot Topics change with the times, of course, so check back regularly. Learn tips for donating such as the Tax Benefits of Giving, a Guide to Volunteering, and the 5 Steps to Informed Giving includes giving in the workplace and questions to ask before donating.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): communities (31), problem solving (221), service projects (16)

In the Classroom

Inspire your students to find worthy causes to give back and help other people in need. Give character education programs real purpose by discovering the many ways people need help. Challenge students to become an active part of your community and help others. Each class can choose a favorite charity to support through time or donations. Throughout the year, find ways to volunteer, collect money, or make a difference. Keep a class blog documenting progress, plans, ideas, and experiences. Substitute pen and paper writing journals by having students create blogs sharing their experiences using Telescope, reviewed here. If you are teaching younger students and looking for an easy way to integrate technology and check for understanding, challenge your students to create a blog using Edublog, reviewed here. New to blogging? Check out TeachersFirst's Blog Basics. Challenge each class to enhance their learning by highlighting the journey of giving to your community through a video documentary using a tool like Adobe Spark Video Maker, reviewed here. Share videos using a tool like Schooltube, reviewed here.

Comments

This is a "gift" to those who are interested in having their students realize that where they donate can be researched. Furthermore it shows how many are working to improve the world across multiple categories. This helps foster critical analysis. My students will be selecting a charity and arguing for its support. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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Gift Cards for Good - Google Sites

Grades
1 to 12
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Gift Cards for Good collects gift cards with a "little" left on them and uses them to buy things for charities. This 501C3 tax-exempt organization, was created by a 10 ...more
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Gift Cards for Good collects gift cards with a "little" left on them and uses them to buy things for charities. This 501C3 tax-exempt organization, was created by a 10 year old. Explore the links to find out where to send your leftover gift cards. Find the links to various charities around the world. Find other ideas about how to help around your community (without gift cards).

tag(s): service projects (16)

In the Classroom

Capture your students passion, hearts, and interest in proving that kids can make a big difference. Use this resources as an inspiration for community service projects that can be done -- even by 10 year-olds! Encourage students to look for charities in your area and find out how they can help. Place this link on your class website to further the cause and show parents the power of kids! Include it in your units on character education and leadership. Use it as an example for project based learning, challenging students to write promotional materials and letters explaining their project.

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Random Acts of Kindness - Random Acts of Kindness Foundation

Grades
K to 12
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Inspire people to practice kindness and empathy and pass it on to others. The Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Foundation is a non-profit organization founded upon the powerful belief...more
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Inspire people to practice kindness and empathy and pass it on to others. The Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Foundation is a non-profit organization founded upon the powerful belief in kindness. It is dedicated to providing resources and tools that encourage acts of kindness. Discover inspirational quotes, videos, stories, and posters. They also have a new program titled Kindness at Home and a new High School Curriculum. Explore lesson plans, classroom materials, projects, ideas for courses, and RAK clubs. Find research, videos, and stories about random acts of kindness. Sign up for the newsletter, daily texts, or join the blog.

tag(s): character education (64), classroom management (141), emotions (44), empathy (26), service projects (16)

In the Classroom

Become a "RAKTIVIST" and start a kindness raid on unsuspecting communities, classes, or schools! Give children power and voice through their actions. Partner this with character education programs to make a difference in all the lives you touch. For example, you may want to use the Ripples of Kindness activity included in the Empathy videos at the Big Ideas Video Series, reviewed here. During social studies, find ways kindness has changed the world. Look for times in which kindness was thwarted, such as during civil wars, dictatorships, or wars. Start a research project on world leaders who have changed the world through nonviolence, education, or generosity. Explain the power of nonprofit organizations and all the lives affected. Look into your own community and school to find needs that are waiting for active, caring participants. Create school or classroom rules to promote the power of kindness. Show your students how to embed media transforming their work and enhance their learning by challenging students to create "kindness" commercials and share their knowledge with their peers in a multimedia presentation using Adobe Spark for Education, reviewed here. Alternatively, students could create a video using Typito, reviewed here. Share them using a tool such as SchoolTube, reviewed here. Emotional Support or Autistic Support teachers may find some of the ideas here helpful for talking about how others feel and ways to show kindness in a very deliberate way.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Florence Nightingale Museum - The Florence Nightingale Museum

Grades
6 to 12
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The Lady With the Lamp, Florence Nightingale, is best known as the inspiration for the International Red Cross. Find out more about her life, and see some of the clothing ...more
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The Lady With the Lamp, Florence Nightingale, is best known as the inspiration for the International Red Cross. Find out more about her life, and see some of the clothing and accessories she wore. View items that she used in her career as a nurse during the 19th century. There is a searchable collection and a comprehensive biography. The best information for educators and students are the Learning and Resource tabs on the top menu.

tag(s): biographies (86), character education (64), heroes (19), medicine (53)

In the Classroom

Florence Nightingale is a favorite subject for biographies, particularly during Women's History Month. The biography and digital artifacts from her life will be useful to students who are researching the impact she made on modern medicine and nursing. Use this research information to create a simple infographic about Nightingale, using Easelly, reviewed here or Venngage, reviewed here.

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Biography Read-alouds - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
3 Favorites 1  Comments
 
This read-aloud collection is part of the Help I lost my library/media specialist series, written by an experienced elementary library/media specialist. Although nothing can...more
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This read-aloud collection is part of the Help I lost my library/media specialist series, written by an experienced elementary library/media specialist. Although nothing can replace the specialized knowledge of a teacher-librarian, this collection of biographies to read aloud and accompanying activities will teach information literacy skills about what biographies are while exciting students to read some on their own. If your library does not have the books you want from this list, try using the ISBN numbers to borrow them on inter-library loan from a public library nearby.

tag(s): biographies (86), famous people (20), independent reading (105)

In the Classroom

Mark this read aloud in your Favorites for use when studying famous Americans or as a wonderful lead-in to Martin Luther King Day or Presidents Day.

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Velma, TX, Grades: 5 - 8

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Inspire My Kids - Mike Stutman and Kevin Conklin

Grades
K to 12
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Find inspiring, age-appropriate, real-life stories, videos, and projects to share with children and teens. The site hopes to help these students take positive actions and become the...more
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Find inspiring, age-appropriate, real-life stories, videos, and projects to share with children and teens. The site hopes to help these students take positive actions and become the best people they can be. Stories offer great examples of values like courage, determination, honesty, humility, kindness, responsibility, and tolerance. The stories range from incredible kids inspiring other kids, to amazing animals demonstrating admirable qualities, to the invention of inspirational social causes. Stories are searchable in several ways - by values, topics, age range, and format. Formats include articles, podcasts, reference, and videos. You can also sign up for the site's newsletter including updates and new article information.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): behavior (43), bullying (52), character education (64), disabilities (26), diversity (30), identity (24), school violence (13), service projects (16), tolerance (9)

In the Classroom

Share stories from the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector when learning about character traits such as sportsmanship, perseverance, and responsibility. Use the site as a resource when problems arise in the classroom such as bullying, intolerance, or special needs awareness. Have students use resources from the website as models for writing their own articles or expand learning with the challenge to create a podcast. Use a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here. Use the stories as models for writing activities and essays. Your students could also draw inspiration from this site to create values comics. Have students create printed comics (or rough drafts) using Printable Comic Strip Templates, reviewed here, or exchange paper for a digital online comic with one or two characters. Use ToonyTool, reviewed here. Students can create an online comic strip by using Write Comics, reviewed here.

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Humanitarian News - UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Grades
8 to 12
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The Humanitarian, formerly IRIN, brings news and analysis on current humanitarian efforts in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. As you help students evaluate and sift through the huge...more
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The Humanitarian, formerly IRIN, brings news and analysis on current humanitarian efforts in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. As you help students evaluate and sift through the huge volume of news content available to you, you can use sites like this to help students focus on specific issues and geographic areas. Much of what is found here will never appear on their Yahoo or Google news feed; that does not diminish its importance. Sort by Conflict, Environment and Disasters, or Migration from the top menu, or scroll the page to sort content based on themes like Current coverage, Editor's picks, Most popular, and Latest videos.

tag(s): africa (136), asia (68), cross cultural understanding (145), cultures (97), media literacy (85), middle east (37), news (235)

In the Classroom

If you focus on current events or on the history or culture of "non-Western" countries, this site should be among your bookmarks or favorites. Encourage students to consider news sources outside of the major US networks or internet based aggregators. Enhance classroom technology use and student learning by asking them to create a simple web page sharing their learning and understanding using using Jimdo, reviewed here. Transform classroom technology use and challenge students or student groups to create an online, interactive, multimedia poster using Genially, reviewed here, to deliver information about a topic they researched. With Genial.l.ly you could allow students to choose the type of interactive media they want to develop.

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Shmoop: Biographies - Shmoop

Grades
6 to 12
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Shmoop, the study site created by Stanford grad students, now has an entire section of biographies of famous people, and they are not just famous authors! Click on the tabs ...more
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Shmoop, the study site created by Stanford grad students, now has an entire section of biographies of famous people, and they are not just famous authors! Click on the tabs at the top to read a summary, biography, or even a resume. You don't need to have an account to see the information on Shmoop. However, signing up (for free) gives you the ability to "clip" files and keep them in a folder. Registration does require an email address. Tip: rather than using your personal or work email, create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

tag(s): biographies (86), famous people (20)

In the Classroom

Introduce any of the authors biographies before reading a literary work or studying that famous leader or scientist. You could have the students go through the tabs and take notes on interesting facts, trivia, etc. Then have a class game where all students stand and the first student reads a fact from their notes and crosses it out. All other students have to cross that fact out, too. Then the next person states a different fact and every one else has to cross the fact out. Proceed in this manner until there is only one (or however many you want) students left standing. They are the winners. Another idea: Have your students create an interactive online poster about an individual using Lucidpress, reviewed here.

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Taking It Global - takingitglobal

Grades
8 to 12
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By signing up for a free membership, high school students have an opportunity to enter a network of students from around the world. Even without a membership, students can find ...more
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By signing up for a free membership, high school students have an opportunity to enter a network of students from around the world. Even without a membership, students can find basic information about countries of the world, articles relevant to international youth, places to submit opinion pieces, and opportunities to learn about projects being undertaken by youth to support social justice and humanitarian concerns. Be sure to click Global Issues on the top menu to find global problems to solve and a Guide to Action. A membership to the offerings of this site is a wonderful open door to tolerance and world awareness for young people around the globe. After signing up, members can also have a classroom platform for use in developing collaborative projects, and see sections for educators. There is an abundance of information to learn from here; only the games use Flash.

tag(s): collaboration (80), cross cultural understanding (145), environment (218), Problem Based Learning (9), service projects (16)

In the Classroom

In the interest of safety, you may want to join as the teacher and have students use your account. Never allow students to set up individual accounts on any site in your classroom without parent permission or the support of your school administration. Assign your world cultures, government, or world language students to steep themselves in the problems and issues of another country or plan a community action project to share as a class.

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