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Apollo 11 - 35 Years Later - NASA

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4 to 12
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It's July 20, 1969 and millions of Americans are glued to their television watching Neil Armstrong take that first historic step on the surface of the moon. This multimedia NASA ...more
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It's July 20, 1969 and millions of Americans are glued to their television watching Neil Armstrong take that first historic step on the surface of the moon. This multimedia NASA site recreates that Apollo 11 mission, from its launch to its splashdown. Students can view vintage photographs, listen to the mission's audio recording, browse news articles, and tour the video gallery.

tag(s): moon (76)

In the Classroom

Use the video clips over the interactive whiteboard to supplement the text in discussing the Apollo missions. The clip of the first landing would be a great way to introduce the topic, putting all students at the same level of understanding before beginning a lecture or class discussion. Great resource for a US history classroom!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Gold Rush - PBS

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4 to 8
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This kid-friendly site takes students on an unforgettable journey with the "forty-niners" as they leave their homes and families to seek their fortunes in California. The resource explains...more
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This kid-friendly site takes students on an unforgettable journey with the "forty-niners" as they leave their homes and families to seek their fortunes in California. The resource explains the sweeping gold fever of 19th century America and introduces some famous people - like Levi Strauss and Phillip Armour - whose lives were forever changed by the event. A helpful guide for teachers provides useful tips on using this site in class.

tag(s): california (26), gold rush (19)

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Separate is Not Equal - National Museum of American History

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4 to 12
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The 50th anniversary of the historic Brown vs. the Board of Education decision is commemorated in this site that traces the history of segregation, the battle for education, and the...more
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The 50th anniversary of the historic Brown vs. the Board of Education decision is commemorated in this site that traces the history of segregation, the battle for education, and the events leading to the Supreme Court decision. Visit the teacher's guide (click on Resources) to find downloadable unit and lesson plans (aligned to national standards) which address the time period from Reconstruction to the Civil Rights movement. Teacher briefing sheets and student handouts are included - in fact, nearly everything required for an engaging and purposeful learning experience is there! This site is an online companion to a Smithsonian National Museum of American History exhibit. If you can't take your students to Washington, take them to the computer lab or project this site in class, and spend some time with this outstanding resource.

tag(s): africa (163), african american (106), segregation (16)

In the Classroom

Access the section on the homesite entitled "resources." On that page there is a section entitled "Teacher Guide," which has an abundance of free lesson plans that range topics of segregation, racism, and the civil rights movement. Take advantage of the guides and use them to address the more difficult subjects of race in recent American History.

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Civil War Through a Child's Eye - Library of Congress

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4 to 8
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This lesson plan from the Library of Congress helps students develop an understanding of the Civil War as they study primary sources and works of historical fiction. Students begin...more
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This lesson plan from the Library of Congress helps students develop an understanding of the Civil War as they study primary sources and works of historical fiction. Students begin by viewing a multimedia slide show, then examine and interpret photographs of Civil War-era children. Finally, students are asked to read several literary selections, and discuss the various war-time perspectives that are represented. A well-organized teacher's guide, links to on-line resources, and complete lesson plans aligned to national standards are provided.

tag(s): civil war (140)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this free lesson plan offered by the Library of Congress. The lesson plan has a nice interdisciplinary twist, so it could be utilized in either an English or History class.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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h.i.p. Pocket Change - US Mint

Grades
1 to 6
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This outstanding, incredibly creative site is truly a "treasure" for elementary classroom teachers! Information about coins, the U.S. Mint, and American history are presented in a...more
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This outstanding, incredibly creative site is truly a "treasure" for elementary classroom teachers! Information about coins, the U.S. Mint, and American history are presented in a fun and interactive format with many choices for visitors! For teachers, there are extensive resources including lesson and unit plans, an on-line community for idea-sharing, and a large selection of project ideas for the classroom. Students can follow links to games and interactive cartoons, step into a time machine (coin operated, of course) to learn about significant coin-related events in our nation's history, and join Camp Coin - an online camp where kids can learn about coin collecting. The site also includes information on National Coin Week (did you know there was one?), the new nickel, and the coin of the month.

tag(s): coins (7), money (184)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite on classroom computers and use it as a learning center or station! There are word games, time machines, and art projects that can all be done on this site. Some of the games can also be printed out if that technique works better in your classroom. This is an excellent site to accompany any unit on currency or the Treasury Department in the United States.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Building a Sod House - National Museum of American History

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2 to 5
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Visitors to this on-line activity are immediately engaged by the scenario. "Imagine that you're a settler on the open prairie." Using logic, background knowledge, and a few helpful...more
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Visitors to this on-line activity are immediately engaged by the scenario. "Imagine that you're a settler on the open prairie." Using logic, background knowledge, and a few helpful hints, students are challenged to construct a virtual sod house. After the successful construction, students become "darkroom detectives" as they analyze historic photographs and reconstruct the sights, smells, and feel of life in a house on the prairie more than a century ago.

tag(s): air (144), homes (11), prairie (12)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite and use it as a class activity on the interactive whiteboard OR as a learning center or station. It doesn't take too long, but it is a great review tool of how settlers picked their homesteads and why location was so important. This would be a great resource in an American history class.

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Our Story in History - National Museum of American History

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2 to 6
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This small but creative collection of activities spans a diverse range of topics from American history and taps into the imaginative minds of elementary students. Visit the "Try It...more
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This small but creative collection of activities spans a diverse range of topics from American history and taps into the imaginative minds of elementary students. Visit the "Try It At Home" section to learn about great women of the past, WWII Japanese interment camps, or slave life and the Underground Railroad. Each topic includes background information, links to related children's literature, and ideas for hands-on activities. The "Try it On-Line" section provides interactive activities that immerse students in creating Native American buffalo hide paintings, building a sod home, and looking at life through the eyes of an historian.

tag(s): underground railroad (11), women (99), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite and use it as a learning center or station during a US history class!

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White House Historical Association

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1 to 12
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This entertaining and informational site about that famous residence on Pennsylvania Avenue is filled with something for everyone. Younger students can focus on the colors and shapes...more
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This entertaining and informational site about that famous residence on Pennsylvania Avenue is filled with something for everyone. Younger students can focus on the colors and shapes found throughout this historic home while meeting some "first kids" and famous "first pets." Older students can listen to audio clips of presidents during the last century, take several outstanding White House tours, and discover many historic treasures located throughout this famous home. Elementary and Middle School students will love the informational and interactive "Bird Watching Expedition," led by Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, Teddy Roosevelt and several other animated presidential personalities.

tag(s): presidents (124), white house (15)

In the Classroom

Use this site to provide background information for a unit on 19th and 20th century American history, to form the basis of a lesson or unit on the American presidency, or as a stand-alone enrichment activity for your history classroom. Lesson plans in printable PDF formats are available for all grade levels
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Lessons from the Land - Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre

Grades
4 to 12
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Expand a unit on Native American culture with this interactive, multimedia site that takes visitors on a virtual journey of Canada's Northwest Territories and provides cross-curricular...more
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Expand a unit on Native American culture with this interactive, multimedia site that takes visitors on a virtual journey of Canada's Northwest Territories and provides cross-curricular connections. The searchable site focuses on topics such as birch bark canoes, fishing, caribou hunting, and burial practices. Elementary students can participate in the illustrated on-line storybook that includes activities and games. Secondary students can explore the historical and cultural significance of eight sites on a traditional aboriginal trail.

tag(s): native americans (78)

In the Classroom

A teacher's guide and a downloadable lesson plan package are available.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Future - PBS

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2 to 6
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Catch a glimpse of the future through the perspective of the 1950s. Elementary students can find out what kids in the '50s predicted about the future; compare job possibilities then...more
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Catch a glimpse of the future through the perspective of the 1950s. Elementary students can find out what kids in the '50s predicted about the future; compare job possibilities then and now; and discover the amazing substance that came into its own during the 1950s - plastic. After learning about the various types of plastic and tracking how frequently it is found in their everyday lives, students can create virtual plastic products online in the Multi-Functional Plastics Production Lab. Try some original "plastic" experiments in the classroom with downloaded recipes for making slime and silly putty.

tag(s): 1950s (10), plastics (9)

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Travel Back to Colonial Times

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4 to 6
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If you have never used a WebQuest before, take the plunge and try this one! Faced with the task of discovering what information a time traveler to colonial America ...more
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If you have never used a WebQuest before, take the plunge and try this one! Faced with the task of discovering what information a time traveler to colonial America would need, students are asked to think creatively, work cooperatively, analyze information, and create a graphic organizer to represent their findings. Teacher notes, resources, and an assessment tool are provided. Created by Melissa Warren.

Note: 2-3 of the links are not working anymore, so teachers using the site should find replacements before using the webquest.

tag(s): colonial america (107), webquests (26)

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History Mystery - Scholastic

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4 to 8
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Turn a history lesson into an interactive investigation! Students can strengthen their skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, and Internet research as they become historical...more
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Turn a history lesson into an interactive investigation! Students can strengthen their skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, and Internet research as they become historical sleuths and work their way through these entertaining activities. Select from dozens of topics relating to American and world history. Some of the sleuthing activities require students to uncover the identity of a personality. Others send students on trails to discover a particular era or geographic location. This site can be used to introduce a unit, review important concepts, or enrich and expand regular classroom activities.

tag(s): webquests (26)

In the Classroom

Select one of the many mysteries and use it as a classroom activity to close up and review the content! Teachers can use this as a learning center or have cooperative learning groups complete it at the end of the unit/lesson. There are a LOT of mysteries here including series for US and World history, so be sure to pass it on to any other social studies peers who can use it.

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Seeds of Change Garden - Smithsonian

Grades
2 to 7
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Take your students on a delightful trip back to the year 1492. As students move forward and backward in time, they will gain a fresh view of history as ...more
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Take your students on a delightful trip back to the year 1492. As students move forward and backward in time, they will gain a fresh view of history as observed through the evolution of food! Agriculture and cuisine from around the world and across centuries are examined. This site can be used as an entertaining computer-based station in the classroom for independent exploration, or as a foundation for more in-depth study. The strength of this site is truly in its incredibly creative, hands-on activities that explore history, cultural diversity, and gardening. Created by the Smithsonian Institute.

tag(s): agriculture (57)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite on classroom computers and use it as a learning center or station in your classroom. One way to guide students through the site is to have students complete a follow along as they navigate the pages. Another way is to have students in pairs and have them create an online poster summarizing what they think the main points are. Use an online poster creator, such as Padlet (reviewed here).

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March Into Spring - Education World

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1 to 6
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The month of March is filled with special events to commemorate. Use the many teaching resources on this site to develop activities for Women's History Month, National Nutrition Month,...more
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The month of March is filled with special events to commemorate. Use the many teaching resources on this site to develop activities for Women's History Month, National Nutrition Month, Youth Art Month, Music in Our Schools Month, and the Iditarod. Lesson plans, online projects, hands-on activities, and book reviews are provided. Created by Education World.

tag(s): iditarod (5), nutrition (157), women (99)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite on your classroom computer to allow for easy retrieval of information. This is a really helpful resource for any elementary school teacher.

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History Interactive - Michigan Epic

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1 to 12
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While it is a work in progress, Michigan Epic's flash-based K-12 world history and social studies offerings promise to be a wonderful addition to social studies teachers' inventory...more
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While it is a work in progress, Michigan Epic's flash-based K-12 world history and social studies offerings promise to be a wonderful addition to social studies teachers' inventory of lesson materials. Standards referenced and thoughtfully designed, these presentations will engage students while offering significant content. The precise approaches vary by topic and grade level, so there's always something new around the next corner. This one's a real winner.

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and resources concerning a variety of US history events. The resources include everything from simple lesson plans, to primary sources and web quests. Be sure to take a look at the site before you begin any unit to see what you can add to your classroom.
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Gullah Net - South Carolina ETV

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4 to 8
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Gullah is the unique culture of African Americans living on and along the coastal waters of South Carolina and Georgia. This site offers a look at the traditions, customs, and ...more
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Gullah is the unique culture of African Americans living on and along the coastal waters of South Carolina and Georgia. This site offers a look at the traditions, customs, and folk tales of the Gullah people in a treatment that students will find both respectful and entertaining. Try it as an example of a regional American culture, or as part of a study of African American history.

tag(s): africa (163), african american (106), georgia (4)

In the Classroom

Use the stories and materials on this site as a writing prompt. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector before allowing students to explore it individually. Allow students to listen to the stories in groups or individually on classroom computers. Once students have explored the Gullah Tales, have them create their own stories on the website. The stories students can create on the site have pre-determined story titles and themes, making them more appropriate for lower-level readers. However if there are a lot of advanced students in your class, use a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. This allows them to be a little more creative and put more work into designing their books. An interesting site for English class!
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America on the Move - Smithsonian Institution

Grades
4 to 12
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Here's an extremely well-designed site about the history of American transportation that really moves. Users can approach the content in several ways: an eighteen part chronology filled...more
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Here's an extremely well-designed site about the history of American transportation that really moves. Users can approach the content in several ways: an eighteen part chronology filled with images, thematic presentations on immigration, technology, etc., or a sizeable collection of reproducible lessons and teaching materials. Middle schoolers should handle the writing level adequately, and the site is sufficiently visual that upper elementary users will follow the presentation. This one should be a welcome addition to anyone's transportation unit.

tag(s): air (144), railroads (11), transportation (47)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities hosted on this site! Most detail specific ways to use the site itself in a lesson & would compliment a unit based on transportation and the effect of technologies such as railroads and the automobile.
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Constitution for Kids - Constitution Center

Grades
4 to 12
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Philadelphia's new Constitution Center offers a full collection of online information and activities for students. Both format and quality vary, but the Flash activity about the Bill...more
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Philadelphia's new Constitution Center offers a full collection of online information and activities for students. Both format and quality vary, but the Flash activity about the Bill of Rights is a good start. Click elsewhere to learn lots more about the Constitution, how it was created, and what it means today. Requires FLASH.

tag(s): bill of rights (28), constitution (89)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on the constitution and the creation of the bill of rights. This would be a great tool to use for a review session, and could break up the monotony of a study guide. Very useful for a US history course.
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Railroad Pictures

Grades
4 to 12
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This searchable collection of old railroad photos could be a useful reference for a student doing a research paper on American history, industrialization, transportation or commerce....more
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This searchable collection of old railroad photos could be a useful reference for a student doing a research paper on American history, industrialization, transportation or commerce. While the site permits very specific searches, most students will likely find even a general search returns useful images.

tag(s): railroads (11)

In the Classroom

Use the images from this site to supplement a lecture on transportation and the railroads. They are extremely detailed images and can be searched to find those that meet the time period being studied.

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Tall Ship Rose

Grades
4 to 12
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Though no longer used as a training vessel, this site about the Rose continues to show how sailing ships functioned as military vessels. There are several 360 degree quicktime images,...more
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Though no longer used as a training vessel, this site about the Rose continues to show how sailing ships functioned as military vessels. There are several 360 degree quicktime images, a "ropes" quiz, and a variety of text to explain how it all fit together. Tie this one into a discussion of explorers, the growth of international commerce, or the American clipper ships and gold rush.

tag(s): navy (9)

In the Classroom

Use the virtual tour on the interactive whiteboard to explore what ships were like in the early 18th century and before. This would be a great resource during a discussion of the military resources Americans had during the Revolution - the site can also be used as a learning center through incorporating the quizzes on classroom computers. A very cool site for a US history class!
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