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NFL Play 60 Challenge - American Heart Association

Grades
4 to 9
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Attention Middle School Teachers! Get your students physically active! Be sure to check out NFL Play 60, a program from the American Heart Association and the NFL, designed to ...more
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Attention Middle School Teachers! Get your students physically active! Be sure to check out NFL Play 60, a program from the American Heart Association and the NFL, designed to get kids active in ALL areas of their life. This site (provides lesson plans in language arts, math, physical education, science and social studies. The lesson plans are very detailed, involve "getting moving", are easy to follow, and are correlated with standards.

In the Classroom

Join the site (free) and work together with your teaching colleagues or school administration to find activities and get kids moving and healthy. Even test scores rise when kids are healthy and active!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)

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K to 12
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The mission of National Council for the Social Studies is to provide leadership, service, and support for all social studies educators. ...more
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The mission of National Council for the Social Studies is to provide leadership, service, and support for all social studies educators.

In the Classroom

Within the Classroom Resources section of this website to look for free lesson plans and classroom activities. The lessons are organized by grade level, so be sure to pass it along to peers in other grade levels. Save this one as a favorite to allow for easy access and retrieval.

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The Big Wide World Webquest - The Museum of Television & Radio

Grades
2 to 6
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This site pulls together understanding of environment, geography, the earth and its setting in space, cultures, animals, and more. It forms a "core" for what social studies (and science)is...more
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This site pulls together understanding of environment, geography, the earth and its setting in space, cultures, animals, and more. It forms a "core" for what social studies (and science)is all about. To figure out how the "Big Wide World" works, students will work with partners to investigate one area of the world (globe, plants, people, cultures, language, animals) and come up with rules about how this area works. The individual areas join with other areas and determine how the areas relate to each other. A teacher guide included. Active X is required on some website links.

tag(s): animals (319), cultures (111), environment (321)

In the Classroom

Use this Webquest to introduce the connections between major social studies and science concepts. After students work in groups to investigate the different areas, bring the class together to share. Guide a class discussion to show how the different areas are linked and work together. Use the Relationship Wheel (see Teacher Guide) as a bulletin board to support understanding. The site information says it can be used in grades K-4, but non-readers cannot do the tasks without a reader! For independent workers, it is better suited (and quite applicable)for grades 2-6.

If you do this at the start of the school year, you can revisit the overarching connections as you begin study of each sub-area so you are connecting to prior knowledge every time. Teachers in later grades could even recall the overarching questions as they continue with the study of these topics. Be SURE to put the link on your teacher web page for students to revisit throughout the year.

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My Hero - My Hero Project

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K to 12
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Looking for an online project-based interactive website that encourages literacy and cross-cultural communication? Looking for an alternative culminating project or process writing...more
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Looking for an online project-based interactive website that encourages literacy and cross-cultural communication? Looking for an alternative culminating project or process writing project for your secondary classes? Trying to help your high school juniors and seniors create an interesting college "essay" or portfolio piece? Join other adults and children from around the world by adding your essay, artwork or video about a hero on this non-profit, ad-free web site. You and your students can use this site with basic word processing knowledge -- or take it further if you are more technically capable.Site registration is required. Site is available in Spanish. Flash, Acrobat Reader and Quicktime are required. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): gifted (80), heroes (24), writing (364)

In the Classroom

Be sure to visit the Teacher's Resource section for helpful hints and links. Use any word processing program to type essays, then copy and paste into the My Hero class page. Provide a link to the class page on your teacher web page so students, parents, and relatives can read the essays. As always follow your district policies regarding posting student work on the Internet. It is HIGHLY advisable to get written parent permission for such a project!

Very young students could work together as a class to write their entry. Older students and those with more technology available will definitely want to try the videos! If you know iMovie or Windows Moviemaker, this is a terrific project. It is well-suited for gifted students, as well.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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ReadyKids - U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Grades
2 to 6
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This unique site is all about being prepared for emergencies and was created by the Department of Homeland Security. The information is presented in a "Kid Friendly", non-scary manner....more
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This unique site is all about being prepared for emergencies and was created by the Department of Homeland Security. The information is presented in a "Kid Friendly", non-scary manner. Topics include "Creating a Kit", "Making a Plan", "Knowing the Facts", and a "Graduate" quiz. There are also interactive games and resources for students, teacher and parents. Specific emergency situations include tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, fires, floods and terrorism. Some of the activities require FLASH.

tag(s): fire (28), fire safety (15), floods (12), safety (90), sun (70), terrorism (45)

In the Classroom

Get an interactive whiteboard (or use a projector) and help your class prepare for severe weather, terrorism and more. Most activities are interactive, educational and fun! Replace paper and pen journal and enhance learning by having students to write blogs sharing information learned using a site like Edublog, reviewed here. Edublog offers tools for creating class and individual blogs. Check out the "Parents and Teachers" link for lesson plans, standards, activities and more.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Create your own R.A.F.T.S. Prompts for Social Studies - Northern Nevada Writing Project

Grades
4 to 12
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Looking for writing prompts that are fun and geared toward social studies? Trying to reinforce content knowledge using writing? Look no further! This web site offers a great ...more
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Looking for writing prompts that are fun and geared toward social studies? Trying to reinforce content knowledge using writing? Look no further! This web site offers a great way to create writing prompts simply by clicking on an icon and receiving the luck of the draw. The teacher chooses the subject and by random selection, the web site chooses the Role, Audience, Format, Topic and Strong Verb. Students can also create their own, though it may be tricky for lower grades (might require several walk-throughs). Great for students who struggle with brainstorming writing topics.

tag(s): writing (364), writing prompts (91)

In the Classroom

Use this for literature contracts or guided reading assignments. It is also helpful for teachers who are having writer's block! Great way to tie social studies to language arts.

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Flash Earth

Grades
K to 12
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You may be familiar with Google Earth but may not have the ability to install their free software on your computer, either because you are not permitted to or because ...more
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You may be familiar with Google Earth but may not have the ability to install their free software on your computer, either because you are not permitted to or because your computer is not powerful enough to handle it. Try Flash Earth for a simpler tool to explore the earth as you teach geography to any age from kindergarten to seniors. Perhaps you just want to quickly show which way the Conestoga wagons crossed the U.S., or maybe to show where in the world a current events story is taking place. This simple tool, on a projector or interactive whiteboard, is just the trick. Note: You MUST have FLASH on your computer.

tag(s): globe (17), maps (292)

In the Classroom

Use a projector or whiteboard to share a location as art of the background knowledge for a lesson. Be sure to add this link to your teacher web page as a reference tool, as well. Be aware that some world locations have much "fuzzier" satellite images than others. Always preview before your lesson to be sure you can show the features you want students to see. Show elementary students where their "neighborhood" is, perhaps even their streets!

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Biography Timeline Templates - National Geographic

Grades
2 to 8
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Biography TimeLine Templates are back-to-basics download files for creating simple timelines. With the user-friendly format for entering information, this site could be a great method...more
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Biography TimeLine Templates are back-to-basics download files for creating simple timelines. With the user-friendly format for entering information, this site could be a great method by which to begin timeline introduction lessons as well as for organizing and writing informational pieces. The timeline capability could be utilized for either autobiographies or biographies. Be prepared for the simplicity of this site. It does not contain a variety of editing options.

tag(s): time (139)

In the Classroom

Perfect for an interactive white board demonstration of time lines. A great add-on to informational pieces as an appendix, supplemental material or visual explanation. Include the time line activity as part of a social studies unit on family history or as part of research projects on authors or famous people.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Trading Card Maker - BigHugeLabs.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Create photo trading cards using images you upload or store on Flickr. Imagine having your students create study aides about famous people using images they draw and scan or photos...more
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Create photo trading cards using images you upload or store on Flickr. Imagine having your students create study aides about famous people using images they draw and scan or photos of themselves impersonating the famous people, such as presidents, explorers, authors, and more. If you celebrate reading by having an "author's tea," why not follow up by asking students to make trading cards for the authors they "met"? Use a similar approach for famous historical figures or even for geometric shapes you photograph with the digital camera. If students write their own "biographies" of the shapes to study from, they will learn for sure! They can even trade each other for favorites.

tag(s): book reports (36), famous people (23), images (279)

In the Classroom

Upload and tag your photo, type information, and print cards. Download finished card to your computer. Use for book reports for literature circles with each student in the group making a card for a different character in the book. This is also an excellent idea for special occasions for special people: mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, school nurse, school secretary, school custodian, favorite aunt, or anyone else! Be sure to print onto cover stock and laminate (if possible). What fabulous (and memorable) gifts. Check out the Big Huge Labs educator account. Easily pre-register students to avoid creating logins, view and download their creations, and view the site advertisement free. You will find information about the Educator Account here.

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Totem Poles - Pat Kramer

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4 to 8
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Learn the basics and debunk the myths about totem poles using the site created by a "transplant" to the Pacific Northwest. Although the write is also selling a book, ...more
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Learn the basics and debunk the myths about totem poles using the site created by a "transplant" to the Pacific Northwest. Although the write is also selling a book, there is significant information, and the photos are helpful in understanding the iconography of totem poles.

In the Classroom

If you use the site with elementary children, you may want to let them partner-read some of the longer text portions. Use this site as part of a unit on indigenous peoples of the Americas, then have the students create their own totems in an authentic way. Art teachers may want to use this as an inspiration for a totem-like project in clay, wood, or other materials. The connections to oral history are fascinating and can lead to lengthy discussion in a history class about how we "know" what we say happened before written history.

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Native American Nations - Lisa Mitten

Grades
3 to 12
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Find Native American nations' own sites and information in this alphabetical index by tribe(with notes as to most recent updates). ...more
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Find Native American nations' own sites and information in this alphabetical index by tribe(with notes as to most recent updates).

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource for research papers and projects. Students can search for information about specific tribes or for information that the tribes themselves have put forward. This would be a great resource for a US history class.

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History of the Cherokee - Ken Martin and others

Grades
4 to 12
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This straightforward informational site provides history and images of the Cherokee nation, including important figures, Cherokee law, maps, and events from before European settlers...more
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This straightforward informational site provides history and images of the Cherokee nation, including important figures, Cherokee law, maps, and events from before European settlers until now. The site creator is himself a mixed blood Cherokee.

In the Classroom

Steer clear of the genealogy links. They are either selling something or they do not work. This is a great site for basic background information, such as you could seek with a scavenger hunt.

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Native Tech: Native American Technology and Art - Tara Prindle

Grades
3 to 12
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This site features art and cultural information of native Americans, focusing especially on the Eastern Woodlands region. There is information on , Birds & Feathers, Clay & Pottery,...more
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This site features art and cultural information of native Americans, focusing especially on the Eastern Woodlands region. There is information on , Birds & Feathers, Clay & Pottery, Leather & Clothes, Metalwork, Plants & Trees, Porcupine Quills, Stonework & Tools, and Weaving & Cordage. Some of the text passages may be a bit lengthy, but there are also interactive ways for students to get a "hands on" feel, such as with the beadwork interactive game. The sections under Special Features are certain to make the culture come alive for elementary and middle school students.

In the Classroom

Give students a scavenger hunt to learn the basics about the culture you are studying, then allow them to try some of the interactive games, ass based on the content of the site. This would be a great way to build background knowledge while studying American history or literature that deals with Native Americans.

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Indigenous Peoples Literature - Glenn Welker

Grades
4 to 12
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This site is a wealth of resources on indigenous peoples of the Americas, including both North and South America. You can find poetry, artwork, daily wisdom, information about languages...more
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This site is a wealth of resources on indigenous peoples of the Americas, including both North and South America. You can find poetry, artwork, daily wisdom, information about languages and leaders, and much more. Be sure to scroll down within the frame set or you will miss most of the content. The maps of the native languages are especially interesting if you teach about westward expansion in the U.S. This site would also provide excellent background for reading of any literature about life among the native Americans, such as A Light in the Forest.

In the Classroom

Use this site to build background knowledge and understanding as part of literature, social studies, or art units. Share portions on a projector.There are times when the frame set of the site is annoying. If it gets in your way, go back on click and RIGHT click on the link you want, choosing "open in new window" to escape the box!

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Yahooligans News - Yahoo

Grades
2 to 8
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Children see the latest news stories (Sports, Entertainment, Top Stories, Animals, Science and Nature, and Grab Bag) organized into slide slows so there is minimal reading and a new...more
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Children see the latest news stories (Sports, Entertainment, Top Stories, Animals, Science and Nature, and Grab Bag) organized into slide slows so there is minimal reading and a new photo for each focus item. In addition, there is another link to the most important story, for a recent movie, and an opportunity for children to vote on a news question.

tag(s): movies (69), news (258)

In the Classroom

Share a current events story on a projector or interactive whiteboard as a day-starter while children trickle in from the bus. Note: if you send students to this site on their own, they may be distracted by numerous "fun" offerings from Yahooligans (music videos, celebrity info, etc). You may want to give them specific guidleines about where they are permitted to go.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Laura Ingalls Wilder - Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society

Grades
K to 6
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This informative site offers a blog with a few pioneer recipes, comparisons between the book and the TV show, and information about the people and places in Laura's life. ...more
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This informative site offers a blog with a few pioneer recipes, comparisons between the book and the TV show, and information about the people and places in Laura's life. There are photos of the people and places with explanations.

tag(s): authors (119)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to introduce your students to the lovely Laura Ingalls Wilder. After introducing the site, ask students to read the blog in pairs or small groups. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students replace pen and paper and create their own blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Loose Leaves, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration. If you are teaching younger students and looking for an easy way to integrate technology and check for understanding, challenge your students to replace pencil and paper and create a blog using Seesaw, reviewed here.. Take this a step further with older students and modify student learning by asking them to use their blog entries to create an interactive timeline of Laura's life using Knightlab's multimedia timeline creator, reviewed here.

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Thanksgiving Writing Prompts and More - ABC Teach

Grades
1 to 5
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On this webpage you will discover reading comprehension activities (for primary and upper elementary), coloring pages, interactive activities for most subject areas, and writing prompts...more
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On this webpage you will discover reading comprehension activities (for primary and upper elementary), coloring pages, interactive activities for most subject areas, and writing prompts all based on a Thanksgiving theme.

tag(s): reading comprehension (129), thanksgiving (33), writing (364)

In the Classroom

Use the entertaining prompts to start your class blog entries or journal writing activities for Thanksgiving. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, exchange pen and paper and have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Pen.io, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration. If you are teaching younger students and looking for an easy way to integrate technology and check for understanding, replace pencil and paper and challenge your students to create a blog using Seesaw, reviewed here. After completing a couple of the writing prompts, challenge older students to choose one and create a script for their story; then, stretch their learning and put it into a Thanksgiving podcast. Use a tool like Buzzsprout, reviewed here.

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Thanksgiving History - Fourth World Documentation Project

Grades
3 to 5
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This simple, text-based site includes a narrative about Thanksgiving, recipes, and more. The narrative provides an excellent resource for a unit that examines the first inhabitants...more
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This simple, text-based site includes a narrative about Thanksgiving, recipes, and more. The narrative provides an excellent resource for a unit that examines the first inhabitants of the Plymouth region (the Wampanoag), their culture, and the impact of the arrival of the Pilgrims upon their lives. The site describes the establishment and eventual deterioration of friendships between the early colonists and the Wampanoag. A study guide and discussion questions are included, along with ideas for enrichment. This is more than the usual cute Thanksgiving story and seeks to debunk many myths.

tag(s): thanksgiving (33)

In the Classroom

Use this site as background for your pre-Thanksgiving lessons or create a scavenger hunt using the questions from the More Information for Teachers section. Have students wok in teams to create a booklet or PowerPoint presentation from a different angle: A Virtual Tour of the First Thanksgiving or a Guide for European Settlers to Life Among the Wampanoags.

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You are the Historian Investigating the First Thanksgiving - Plimouth Plantation

Grades
3 to 6
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Investigating the First Thanksgiving - What was it really like?? Plimoth Plantation museum offers a Flash-based Thanksgiving lesson that will introduce students to the cultures and...more
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Investigating the First Thanksgiving - What was it really like?? Plimoth Plantation museum offers a Flash-based Thanksgiving lesson that will introduce students to the cultures and customs of both the Pilgrim and Wampanoag peoples. This presentation blends information about lots of everyday activities and customs with a look at what the actual "first Thanksgiving" might have looked like. Requires Flash. A message on the site warns that traffic near Thanksgiving can make the site very sluggish and offers directions to download it to your local computer.

tag(s): pilgrims (17), thanksgiving (33)

In the Classroom

A complete teachers guide gives you ideas for using this resource in the classroom. Use a projector or interactive whiteboard to introduce the site, then assign students to complete the investigation in small groups or with a partner. You can spread the activity over several days at a computer cluster in your classroom or do it all at once in a lab.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The First Thanksgiving - Scholastic

Grades
2 to 8
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This informative and interactive website introduces students to the first Thanksgiving. The three main areas of this site include Voyage of the Mayflower, Daily Life, and The Thanksgiving...more
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This informative and interactive website introduces students to the first Thanksgiving. The three main areas of this site include Voyage of the Mayflower, Daily Life, and The Thanksgiving Feast. There are video and audio clips, compare/contrast activities and more. This site required FLASH.

tag(s): pilgrims (17), thanksgiving (33)

In the Classroom

Get an interactive whiteboard and take your students back to the 1600s! Teachers can utilize the comparing and contrasting activities to help their students have a better understanding of the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags. After completing the activities, challenge your students to put themselves back in time and become either a Pilgrim or a Wamphoag and create journals entries for the days leading up to this year's Thanksgiving holiday. Use a tool like Penzu, reviewed here. With Penzu you can add images or your own artwork as illustrations. Another idea would be to have students create a moov on moovly, reviewed here, to show comparisons of Thanksgiving now and then. Be sure students give credit for any images them may use from the Internet. A good tool to make sure this gets done is to require they use a Creative Commons tool such as Photo Pin, reviewed here. Study history not false information. Check out the Teacher's Guides and the More Teaching Ideas.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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