Grades3 to 8
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In the ClassroomUse this activity as practice with states state capitals, or state shapes. Your visual and kinesthetic learners will benefit from this different approach. This site is accessible to ESL and ELL students; provide them with a map of the states and they can use this activity to familiarize themselves with state names, pronunciation, shape, location, etc.
This site is "interactive whiteboard ready." Try the activity as a class challenge (at the beginning of social studies class). Have students take turns "drawing" the state, and then use the "quiz" questions a class (or team) activity. Once students are familiar with this site, allow them to explore on their own. Have students create their own dot to dot state papers and quizzes to share with the class.
Grades9 to 12
tag(s): world war 2 (139)
In the ClassroomThe film is embedded in the site as a link to YouTube, so systems that block YouTube access may not be able to access this without a work-around.
While there is no real content to this site other than the film itself, it would be a great addition to a modern U.S. history course or a discussion of current world politics. However, teachers will need to set the context carefully and provide discussion questions afterwards. Watching pretzels and bratwurst mow down a line of matzo, or hamburgers flattening a hundred sushi will spark laughter; it is our responsibility to translate that into a discussion of the Holocaust or the use of atomic weapons. Younger students will just giggle, but older students, with prodding, will find the film thought provoking. You might want to use it mid-unit after mastering the basic facts of WWII so you can raise the level of discussion to a more nuanced approach.
Grades3 to 12
"Lit trips" can be reviewed by users so teachers can see comments left by other users. This site uses Google Earth which must be downloaded first. Find full info on Google Earth in the TeachersFirst review, including the link to download.
In the ClassroomEach "lit trip" is extensively annotated and linked to further content, making this an incredibly rich resource for teachers to use in conjunction with teaching works of literature. Students can see graphically the travels of such characters as the Joads in The Grapes of Wrath , or Odysseus in Homer's Odyssey . Using these lit trips on an interactive whiteboard or projector will greatly enhance a class study of the associated work of literature. Alternatively, students might be encouraged to explore these lit trips independently, at home, or in a computer lab, so they can follow links that are of particular individual interest. As a really ambitious project, make it a class task to create a lit trip for a work of literature you are studying, assigning student groups to choose locations and create the placemarkers, then submit it to the Lit Trips site.
Grades1 to 12
In the ClassroomWith younger grades, use an interactive whiteboard or projector to learn the states' locations with the entire group. This simple site would be great to use in your computer center for individual learning or for some indoor recess enrichment fun. Secondary teachers looking for more than the basics will want to supplement this site with other resources. There is a link for parents and teachers, be sure to take a look!
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomTeachers with interactive whiteboards or projectors will find these maps a natural companion to lessons involving history, geography, and cultural changes. Sometimes seeing a map drawn at the same time as the event under discussion can lend a whole new understanding of the culture of the people being studied. It's far more dramatic to imagine sailing into the unknown on a voyage of discovery while you look at the only maps available to those aboard.
Be sure to have students use the whiteboard tools to draw in their own "corrections" or annotations showing the movement of people or strategies used in battles. Since thee resources are in the public domain, you are allowed to copy them into your whiteboard software and keep the student annotations atop the maps, as well. The maps also make good visuals for "mock" blog entries by historical figures!
Grades6 to 12
The National First Ladies' Library, located in Canton, Ohio, is dedicated to teaching others about the contributions of the First Ladies of the United States, as well as other notable women in U.S. History. In fact, the library is housed in the former home of Ida Saxton McKinley, the wife of President William McKinley. The Library is both a physical resource, but also a comprehensive virtual library of information. The site contains biographies of US First Ladies, lesson plans, and a searchable timeline. There is an online catalog of the many resources available in the library itself; those who do not live nearby could still use the catalog to identify resources associated with former First Ladies. This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomThese resources might be useful to those doing First Lady biographies for Women's History Month or other famous Americans reports. Students doing more in-depth research for History Day projects will find the online catalog helpful. Check out the link to facts and trivia for a good First Ladies Trivia page.
Grades4 to 9
In the ClassroomSave this site in your favorites and use it as a jumping off point for research or lessons on the various topics offered at this site. If you have a history buff in your class, share this site with him/her as a place to spark an individual project, even in world language classes where history and culture are part of the curriculum.
Grades9 to 12
To use many features of the site, you must create a membership (requires email). There are many "social" features within the site that make it a potential safety issue if all students are allowed to use it on their own. See ideas for handling these concerns below.
tag(s): news (258)
In the ClassroomTry this site as a regular part of your secondary discussions on current events or choose selected "games" that connect with your current curriculum topic. For example, explore stories from African nations as you study world cultures in Africa.
Classroom teachers will want to start by conducting this activity using a whole-class account (use your "extra" email account to create a single account, monitored by you). Use the game to facilitate discussion and build students' global citizenship by allowing them to make choices and see the results. Be sure to talk about the line between fantasy and reality: which parts of these games have actually happened and which are part of the "game" hypotheses. Include the link on your teacher web page for students to access both in and out of class if you believe they are ready to handle it on their own. Check your school policies on allowing students to participate in online decision making and sharing, and obtain written parent permission before individual students are allowed to log on. As an alternative for students who may not have permission, you can pose some of the same questions and provide newspaper and news magazine articles for background. But you know which tool your students will prefer!
Grades4 to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomTour Ancient Mexico as a whole class activity with an interactive whiteboard or projector. If students have access to computers, let groups delve into selected topics and create interactive travel posters and brochures using a tool such as Sway, reviewed here, as their research projects. Students can look at the cities in ruins, explore architectural styles and ceremonial uses of the buildings, and find contemporary examples.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomUse the online lessons to introduce historical topics in whole class activities with an interactive whiteboard or projector. Offline lessons can be used where there is not student access to computers and can be printed and reproduced for classroom use. Students can choose a topic to research, write, and present to the class using the wonderful documentation and photographic collections of the California State Archives.
Grades7 to 12
Teachers can present a sweeping historical overview with any of the nine Big Eras in a few class periods or delve into an era in deeper detail with their students. Each of the nine Big Eras of world history, plus the History, Geography, and Time and the Past and Future sections, offers one Panorama Teaching Unit with a PowerPoint Overview presentation. Panorama units address very large-scale developments in world history through landscape teaching units and close-up teaching units.
Besides helping teachers meet state and national standards, this site offers teachers fabulous research-based curricular activities and makes history into a manageable content area for instruction. The site includes a clickable "Curriculum at a Glance" overview feature that takes you to the standards, teaching units, three essential questions, and seven key themes. This site requires Flash and Adobe. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..
In the ClassroomWorld History for Us All provides teachers pedagogical support to develop both a curriculum and a mindset to present history in a manner that engages students and elicits their curiosity. Complete units are available as web pages or downloadable PDF documents. The PowerPoint presentations can be viewed online or downloaded into PowerPoint on classroom computers. This informational, user-friendly site is a must for new teachers to help augment their adopted textbook. Consider spending an inservice day with your history department exploring the site together.
Grades3 to 12
tag(s): civil rights (121), congress (36), courts (16), first ladies (3), immigration (61), inventors and inventions (89), lewis and clark (16), presidents (124), primary sources (92), slavery (67), womens suffrage (26), world war 1 (57), world war 2 (139)
In the ClassroomUse this site as an anticipatory set for a unit in history or on inventions. Share a collection of images or invention drawings on a projector or whiteboard and ask what the invention will do. Or use the site as the starting point for individual or group projects. After demonstrating on an interactive whiteboard or projector, have students use laptops or lab computers to "collect" resources related to their assigned inventor, decade, or era in American history. Check your school policy regarding accessing student email. If students cannot have their own email accounts, consider using a "class set" of GMail subaccounts (managed by you), explained here. This tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. This would provide anonymous interaction within your class. Students can use their log-ins to collect resources.
Since the documents are in the public domain (are not copyrighted), students may also download and use the files as part of other projects, such as video compilations, Powerpoint presentations, or multimedia of any sort. To access the resources in non-Flash format, click the small link to "research this record in ARC" in the detailed view of the item. You can then view and Save As for use elsewhere. Be sure you teach students about copying the URL and relevant information from this ARC page to cite the source and give credit in any presentation they make. This site is excellent for enrichment or projects for the gifted, as well. Include it on your teacher web page for students to access both in and out of class for students who are working in History Day projects or other assignments for your class.
Grades4 to 10
In the ClassroomUse this website as a resource for a research project about inventors. Share the timeline on an interactive whiteboard or projector during a unit about inventors, engineers, or aviation.
Grades3 to 8
In the ClassroomShare this site as a way to review before tests. Have students create their own PowerPoint game shows to review concepts learned in class. Share the PowerPoint presentations on an interactive whiteboard or projector.
Grades4 to 12
Teachers can register for a teacher area to create assignments for classes, review the available lesson plans, or build your own, and save your favorites on your personal Monticello Classroom web page. Each class has its own log-in and password and students are able to submit their completed activities to the teacher for review.
In the ClassroomThis site can serve a a hub for your unit on colonial life, Jefferson, or even inventors. If you wish your students to register for accounts, be sure to check the students' acceptable use policies or get parent permission in writing. Instead of students using their real first and last names, have students create their own colonial names for registration. Be sure to keep a list of these names to be able to review and assess student work. Give a class introduction to the Monticello Classroom using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to help your weaker readers and ESL and ELL students by sharing the vocabulary words prior to reading, either on a handout or by projecting on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Highlight the vocabulary words in the text as you come to them. Search the lesson plans, and teachers will find a few that will be particularly helpful for Black History month!
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse this website to create personalized quizzes and tests for your students. You could also ask students to design their own tests for each other to review using your teacher log-in or appoint a student "quizmaker" each week for the content your class has covered, making this an assignment that each student does once per semester.
Grades3 to 12
tag(s): literature (267)
In the ClassroomTeach Internet safety by having students create a mock profile to use on social networking sites. Printing out those profiles makes editing in small groups a breeze. Yearbook or newspaper staff may want to use this Profile Publisher to gain more information about people of interest. History comes alive when you profile historical figures or interview veterans and generate profiles of local heroes. Imagine students creating a blog entry by George Washington. Or ask students to profile a type of cell, an endangered animal, or a science concept such as climate change. With this tool and some creative thinking, anything is possible.
Be SURE to warn students to PRINT before closing. The site does NOT save work. You may want them to draft their work in a saved document before pasting it into the profiler, just in case work is interrupted by a fire drill or the bell.