TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Dec 18, 2022

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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Official NORAD Santa Tracker - North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)

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K to 6
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The NORAD Santa Tracker is much more than a resource for tracking Santa's travel around the world on Christmas Eve; it is also an area to play games, watch movies, ...more
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The NORAD Santa Tracker is much more than a resource for tracking Santa's travel around the world on Christmas Eve; it is also an area to play games, watch movies, and learn about NORAD during the holiday season. This site is only available for a limited time each year during December but is part of a tradition that began in 1955. Roll your cursor over the buildings to select the library to learn about Santa, his sleigh, and holiday traditions. Visit the music stage to listen to traditional holiday music or choose the Theater to watch movies about Santa and NORAD. Be sure to return on December 24 to begin tracking Santa's journey around the world. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.

tag(s): christmas (38), holidays (136)

In the Classroom

Include this site as a center activity during any December teaching unit on holiday celebrations around the world. Use the site to introduce a unit on Holidays Around the World and for a final project to enhance learning and have students use Google My Maps, reviewed here, to create a virtual field trip around the world featuring some of Santa's stops and local traditions. Browse through the TeachersFirst Christmas Resources Special Topics Page, found here, to find additional holiday season resources to include in your unit. Create a class book together using Book Creator, reviewed here, to share holiday celebrations and traditions from around the world.

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Kwanzaa - Sandbox and Co.

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K to 8
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Enjoy the many ideas and activities for learning about and celebrating Kwanzaa at this site. Learn the terms used about this holiday through an interactive quiz, make a pasta necklace...more
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Enjoy the many ideas and activities for learning about and celebrating Kwanzaa at this site. Learn the terms used about this holiday through an interactive quiz, make a pasta necklace or chain, and see 10 decorations to put you in the mood for Kwanzaa.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (149), holidays (136), kwanzaa (13)

In the Classroom

Introduce your students to Kwanzaa by taking the quiz to see how much they know about Kwanzaa. Then in pairs or small groups, have students research the terms. As students research, substitute paper and pen journals by asking younger students to create a blog using a tool like Penzu, reviewed here, to share what they are learning with fellow students. A great blogging tool for older students is Telegra.ph, reviewed here. With Telegra.ph have students click on an icon to upload related images, add YouTube or Vimeo, or Twitter links. Engage older students, by having them create a poster about Kwanzaa using a tool like DesignCap, reviewed here, and then upload the poster to their blog about the terms and what they've learned about this December holiday.

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Kwanzaa Activities and Fun Ideas for Kids - Child Fun, Inc.

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3 to 6
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Discover a little about the history, principles, and traditions of Kwanzaa and enjoy the activities on this site. You'll find suggested activities for each principle and several others...more
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Discover a little about the history, principles, and traditions of Kwanzaa and enjoy the activities on this site. You'll find suggested activities for each principle and several others about dress and food.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (149), holidays (136), kwanzaa (13)

In the Classroom

Add this site to your activities to use for Kwanzaa and to help children from all backgrounds understand the different holidays celebrated in December. Introduce simple activities on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Bookmark this site on your classroom computers to use during center time. Share this link on your class website for families to access at home.

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Kwanzaa History - History.com

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6 to 12
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Use the short video The Story Behind Kwanzaa as an introduction to Kwanzaa (click the image to start). On this...more
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Use the short video The Story Behind Kwanzaa as an introduction to Kwanzaa (click the image to start). On this History.com page, you'll find information on the history of Kwanzaa, descriptions, and instructions for Kwanzaa observances, and other information about this holiday. Learn about the seven principles and the seven symbols of Kwanzaa.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (149), holidays (136), kwanzaa (13)

In the Classroom

Add this site to your activities to use during December and to help students from all backgrounds understand the different holidays celebrated in December. Introduce this site using the colorful video, then have small groups research a different principle and symbol of Kwanzaa and present their findings to the class. Use an engaging bookmarking tool such as Wakelet, reviewed here. With Wakelet students can make their wakes distinctive by adding a cover image or symbol for their Kwanzaa topic, a background, and choose the layout. As a culminating activity enhance learning by having each student compare Kwanzaa to Chanukah and Christmas using the Interactive Three Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here.

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All About the Holidays - PBS Learning Media

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K to 12
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Learn about the history and significance behind many holidays through this video collection from PBS Learning Media. Begin browsing by choosing from fall, winter, spring, or summer...more
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Learn about the history and significance behind many holidays through this video collection from PBS Learning Media. Begin browsing by choosing from fall, winter, spring, or summer holidays. Each section includes short videos explaining the history of the holiday. Learn about holidays such as Yom Kippur, Oktoberfest, Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos), Kwanzaa, Juneteenth, Father's Day, and many others! Each selection also includes links to standards along with additional links to supporting materials such as lesson plans or printable items. Not seeing a holiday you want such as 100 days of school? Use the search bar at the top!

tag(s): back to school (63), chinese new year (5), christmas (38), cinco de mayo (10), easter (9), elections (75), fathers day (8), fire prevention (16), flag day (6), halloween (31), hanukkah (12), hispanic (25), holidays (136), july 4th (10), kwanzaa (13), labor day (6), martin luther king (40), mothers day (9), new years (5), pi (26), presidents (116), rosh hashanah (8), st patricks day (11), thanksgiving (24), valentines day (11), veterans (20), womens suffrage (36), yom kippur (9)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site to use as a resource for teaching material during holidays throughout the year. For each holiday use a bookmarking site such as Wakelet, reviewed here, to organize and share lesson materials, videos, and game sites for your students. Instead of worksheets or written reports, enhance student learning by asking them to create infographics sharing information about any holiday. Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here, is a very easy to use tool that includes pre-made templates. Don't keep student learning to yourself, share their knowledge through holiday podcasts for your entire school and community to hear. Anchor, reviewed here, features many kid-friendly tools to get you started with creating and sharing podcasts.

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Santa's Village and Tracker - Google

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K to 6
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Google's annual Santa's Village features a Santa Tracker for Christmas Eve along with an many educational and entertaining games full of surprises. Find featured holiday games and educational...more
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Google's annual Santa's Village features a Santa Tracker for Christmas Eve along with an many educational and entertaining games full of surprises. Find featured holiday games and educational resources like coding games and a visit to the North Pole. Start checking this site on December 1 to find the latest goodies offered!

tag(s): christmas (38), cross cultural understanding (149), cultures (122), holidays (136), maps (212)

In the Classroom

Share a link to the Santa's Village on your class website and classroom computers. Allow students to explore and try options offered each day. Replace paper and pencil and have students share information from the daily activities on a blog using Edublog, reviewed here. Include images and videos of activities with blog posts. Use the site to introduce a unit on Holidays Around the World and for a final project enhance learning and have students use Google My Maps, reviewed here, to create a virtual field trip around the world featuring some of Santa's stops.

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Torah Tots - torahtots.com

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K to 6
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Torah Tots teaches young children all about Jewish traditions and holidays through games, coloring pages, and music. Select holidays to take an adventure based on holidays such as Chanukah,...more
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Torah Tots teaches young children all about Jewish traditions and holidays through games, coloring pages, and music. Select holidays to take an adventure based on holidays such as Chanukah, Yom Kippur, Passover, or Rosh Hashanah. Other sections teach about the Jewish Calendar, Jewish history, and offer traditional Jewish music.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): hanukkah (12), holidays (136), jews (23), puzzles (142), religions (69), rosh hashanah (8), yom kippur (9)

In the Classroom

Keep this site in mind as an easy place to find lists of the Jewish months, Jewish symbols, information about Judaism, and plenty of information about Jewish holidays. Classes studying world cultures, the Hebrew language, and/or international holidays can learn from this site and also use it as a model to create similar games and projects for other cultures and languages. Select music for students to listen to while completing coloring pages and puzzles. Engage students and replace paper and pencil and use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast traditional Christmas activities with Hanukkah events.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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HanuKat: Celebrate Hanukkah and Passover with the Kids - HannuKat.com

Grades
K to 6
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This site offers stories, activities, "entertaining" songs, and more to teach students about Hanukkah and Passover. The "Activities" portion of the site contains many different crafts...more
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This site offers stories, activities, "entertaining" songs, and more to teach students about Hanukkah and Passover. The "Activities" portion of the site contains many different crafts such as Design Your Own Dreidel, coloring pages, and origami. The "About Hanukkah" section gives a brief history of the holiday and describes how it is commonly celebrated today. There is also a large recipe section offering recipes for many different types of latkes and candle cupcakes. The educators section includes questions to use with the stories on the site. Some of the videos (for example Hanukat Montana Rocks Out the Show, don't offer much educationally and are more for pure entertainment.) .

tag(s): hanukkah (12), holidays (136)

In the Classroom

Use this site to provide background information to students on the history and traditions of Hanukkah. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to create a visual comparison of Hanukkah celebrations and students' traditional holiday celebrations.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Jewish - Holidays - Chanukah - Jacob Richman

Grades
K to 12
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This hotlist of Chanukah/Hanukkah sites has everything you might want to learn about the holiday, Jewish culture, and traditions. In addition to sites in English, there are sites in...more
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This hotlist of Chanukah/Hanukkah sites has everything you might want to learn about the holiday, Jewish culture, and traditions. In addition to sites in English, there are sites in Hebrew, Russian, and other languages, all about the holiday. You can even find sources for Chanukah/Hanukkah clip art. Although TeachersFirst does not normally review "hotlists," this collection is comprehensive and updated regularly as a "labor of love."

tag(s): hanukkah (12), holidays (136)

In the Classroom

Make this treasury a starting point for multicultural study of holidays around the world or for a more in depth study of Jewish traditions. Assign student groups to learn about specific aspects of the holiday and share their findings on a class wiki holiday guide. Not familar with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. With younger students, share specific links on a projector or interactive whiteboard and give students a chance to share and compare their own holiday traditions with the ones mentioned. Use a tool like Padlet, reviewed here, to keep track of the comparisons. You could even use some of these resources in upper elementary or middle school as reading comprehension exercises during the holiday season: write a summary or formulate a statement of a text-based site's main idea.

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Christmas/Holiday Traditions - 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 Christmas traditions. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Christmas...more
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for Christmas traditions. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Christmas 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): christmas (38), holidays (136), vocabulary (232), vocabulary development (91)

In the Classroom

Share the puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector or make them available as links on your teacher public page. Have students (or groups) create their own illustrated dictionaries of terms using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. As you add more vocabulary lists during the year, have them select their favorite 6-10 terms from each list to add to their "book."

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Kwanzaa - The Holiday Spot

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K to 8
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A great resource for anything you ever wanted to know about Kwanzaa. The site delves into Kwanzaa history in detail and describes the meaning of its symbols. There are links ...more
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A great resource for anything you ever wanted to know about Kwanzaa. The site delves into Kwanzaa history in detail and describes the meaning of its symbols. There are links to wallpaper, greetings (e-cards), music, recipes, books, symbols, details about the Seven Days, history, and the Feast.

tag(s): holidays (136), kwanzaa (13)

In the Classroom

Use this source to teach your students about Kwanzaa. Divide your class into several groups. Have each group research one of the links at this site and present their findings to the class using an engaging bookmarking tool such as Wakelet, reviewed here. With Wakelet students can make their wakes distinctive by adding a cover image or symbol for their Kwanzaa topic, a background, and choose the layout. If your class is learning about Kwanzaa along with Chanukah enhance learning by having them compare these holidays using the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, if the comparison includes Christmas use the Interactive Three Circle Venn Diagram. Another project idea would be to extend learning by challenging students to create an interactive, multimedia infographic using Visme, reviewed here.

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The Dreidel Game - Education World

Grades
K to 8
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This site provides a detailed lesson plan linked to national standards. Follow this simple set of instructions for making dreidels - traditional Hanukkah toys. Download the dreidel...more
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This site provides a detailed lesson plan linked to national standards. Follow this simple set of instructions for making dreidels - traditional Hanukkah toys. Download the dreidel pattern, assemble as directed, and organize students into small groups for the dreidel game (rules included). Students learn about the history of the dreidel, Hanukkah crafts and recipes and more!

tag(s): hanukkah (12), holidays (136)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plan hosted on this site! This would be a useful resource for a World History class studying various religions or for a more inclusive holiday celebration come winter break!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Chanukah - Hanukkah - Chabad.org

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3 to 8
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A Hanukkah site with lots of resources, information, and activities. There is also content to teach students the origin and meaning of this Jewish festival. ...more
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A Hanukkah site with lots of resources, information, and activities. There is also content to teach students the origin and meaning of this Jewish festival.

tag(s): hanukkah (12), holidays (136)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector around the holiday season. Allow students to peruse the site on their own to gain a better understanding of the holiday. In addition to Christmas activities, recreate some of the Hanukkah activities in the preceding days before winter break. Alternatively, create small groups and have each group research a different aspect of Chanukah and present their findings to the class. Use an engaging bookmarking tool such as Wakelet, reviewed here. With Wakelet students can make their wakes distinctive by adding a cover image or symbol for their Chanukah topic, a background, and choose the layout. As a culminating activity enhance learning by having each student compare Chanukah and Christmas using the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, if your class is also learning about Kwanzza, use the Interactive Three Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here.

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Christmas Resources - TeachersFirst

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3 to 12
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Our own collection of Christmas resources concentrates on Christmas customs in other countries and time periods. Lots of resources for an interesting exploration of how the Christmas...more
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Our own collection of Christmas resources concentrates on Christmas customs in other countries and time periods. Lots of resources for an interesting exploration of how the Christmas holiday developed.

tag(s): christmas (38), holidays (136)

In the Classroom

Try our Giving Tree lesson with your elementary students.

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