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The Object of History - Smithsonian National Museum of American History

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5 to 12
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The National Museum of American History contains some of the most beloved artifacts from US cultural and political history. This site highlights a handful of these artifacts, and uses...more
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The National Museum of American History contains some of the most beloved artifacts from US cultural and political history. This site highlights a handful of these artifacts, and uses them to teach students of history (both those in the desks and those at the front of the class) the power of artifacts to educate. For each of five artifacts, there is a Quick Time 360-degree look at the piece, and a number of context-setting resources associated with it. However, the most important aspect of this site is the section providing tips to teachers for how to use artifacts to add impact to a lesson.

tag(s): museums (49)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a mini lesson for yourself in the use of artifacts in the classroom. We are often called to make education more "hands on," and this is a prime example of how to do this effectively with history. Use the specific artifacts featured on this site (and project the 360 views on an interactive white board or screen for maximum punch), but consider how you could also bring artifacts into the classroom using the suggestions provided. They need not be priceless museum pieces; in fact, an academic discussion of the cultural impact of a familiar object like the iPod or the cell phone could be quite effective. Extend the activity by having students in small groups create an artifact collection on a wiki using digital pictures they take themselves. Document a local landmark, an era in your school, or even today's teen lifestyle through artifacts.

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The Search for Monsters of Mystery - National Geographic Kids

Grades
3 to 8
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Terrifically "scary," this website thrills students with information about various monsters. Students learn the geographic location and numerous facts about several famous "monsters"....more
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Terrifically "scary," this website thrills students with information about various monsters. Students learn the geographic location and numerous facts about several famous "monsters". The fascinating study includes Bigfoot, Nessie, Storsie, Yeti, Champ, and Mokele-Mbembe. Note: Some of the information on the monsters comes up in pop-ups. Turn off any pop-up blockers (this would include those that work as part of the Google or Yahoo toolbar).

tag(s): halloween (39), holidays (141)

In the Classroom

Use this website as a starting point for researching the history of famous monsters. This is a great way to teach about fact vs fiction and the information literacy skill of evaluating web site reliability, using a topic that students will love. After they collect facts, have a monster "trial" in your classroom "courthouse" where two teams try to prove that each monster is FACT or FICTION, using "evidence" from this site and further research. Differentiate the tasks by assigning some of your brighter students to conduct the questioning (and perhaps challenge the web sources). Then have a the class-member "jury" reach a verdict: Fact or Fiction?

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The Home Front - Snaith Primary School

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6 to 9
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This British website looks at life in London during World War II, with a focus on the Blitz. Written with younger students in mind, the site is easy to ...more
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This British website looks at life in London during World War II, with a focus on the Blitz. Written with younger students in mind, the site is easy to navigate and highlights the difficulty of rationing, living in fear of German bombing and the need for the entire family to contribute to the war effort. Middle School teachers planning lessons on World War II will find good resources here. Students may be amused by the subtle differences between British terminology and American English. The writing style is youth-oriented, and may be help U.S. students get a feeling for what it might be like to live in a war zone.

tag(s): england (56), world war 2 (140)

In the Classroom

Assign students to navigate the site with a partner on laptops or in a lab, making a list of things that changed for the people at home in Britain during the war. Have them orally share "surprises" they discovered about the experience or write a "blog entry" from the point of view of a Brit during the war.

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Way Back: Stand Up For Your Rights - WGBH for PBS

Grades
4 to 8
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Boost understanding of civil rights issues by reading the interviews and playing the games at this site. Choose answers from interactive games, then read biographies of civil rights...more
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Boost understanding of civil rights issues by reading the interviews and playing the games at this site. Choose answers from interactive games, then read biographies of civil rights leaders in various issues --from farm workers to black rights. An extensive interview by Melba Beals (one of the Little Rock Nine), articles on women's rights, and religious freedom round out this site on civil rights in America.

tag(s): civil rights (119), women (95)

In the Classroom

Students will enjoy competition from the interactive games when presented on the whiteboard. This site is a great starting place for reports or in-class investigations on the featured civil rights leaders. Start a "What's Right is Rights" wiki for students to share their new knowledge and connect it to their study of the Constitution.
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Way Back: Family Ties - WGBH for PBS

Grades
4 to 8
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Doing a unit on Family Ties or family history? Download the Family Tree Maker (or use the online vesion) so you can record your family's roots. Or, read ...more
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Doing a unit on Family Ties or family history? Download the Family Tree Maker (or use the online vesion) so you can record your family's roots. Or, read about the Still family who has one of the longest running family reunions in America. Take the interactive quiz about "Keeping in Touch," communication avenues through our history.

tag(s): family (59)

In the Classroom

Make sure your students use the downloadable family tree maker, since the online version erases data when you click off the site. Check out the Teachers and Parents section for more family ties activities. This site could also be an effective adjunct to literature study of books about family. You might even want to create family trees of characters from books students are reading or famous families from history in a biography unit.
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September 11,2001 documentary project - Library of Congress

Grades
7 to 12
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From the Library of Congress' American Memory project, this site links to a large collection of audio, video, text, and artwork related the events of September 11, 2001. Users ...more
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From the Library of Congress' American Memory project, this site links to a large collection of audio, video, text, and artwork related the events of September 11, 2001. Users can search by media, by topic or by title.

tag(s): new york (26), sept11 (17), terrorism (45)

In the Classroom

This site would be most useful to students doing research on the 9/11 attacks, but also could provide teachers with supplemental material for a lesson on the events of that date. Although teachers will remember the day vividly, most students were young enough when it occurred that their memories will be clouded. Another use for this site is as an example of the power and necessity of primary sources in documenting any event. Compare these resources to accounts we have of Pearl Harbor and other major events as you ask student to conduct an interviewing project of their own, perhaps of local history.

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September 11 Digital Archive - Center for History and New Media

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7 to 12
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A good start for accessing a wealth of information related to the events of September 11, 2001, this site provides links to research databases, first person accounts and photo and ...more
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A good start for accessing a wealth of information related to the events of September 11, 2001, this site provides links to research databases, first person accounts and photo and sound galleries. For most teachers, 9/11 is a very recent event and is fresh in our minds. However, for students, the details of that terrible day may be fuzzy either because they were young when it happened, or because they were shielded from much of the news coverage. This site can help present the account. Among the "Special Collections" is a link to an innovative sound memorial site that provides a montage of voices and sounds recorded on September 11. Although the main site does not, some of the linked sites require Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): new york (26), sept11 (17), terrorism (45)

In the Classroom

Preview carefully for younger students. Use the site in your discussions of current events and terrorism-related topics or share it as a resource for high school students doing research projects. As politicians talk about Sept 11, this site can help fill the gaps in your students' background. You can easily demonstrate primary and secondary sources with these engaging examples.
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Alphabet Organizer - Read Write Think (Iron Monkey Interactive)

Grades
K to 12
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This Alphabet Organizer makes learning words and terminology exciting-- and organized. All levels may use this--from primary students learning the alphabet to secondary students learning...more
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This Alphabet Organizer makes learning words and terminology exciting-- and organized. All levels may use this--from primary students learning the alphabet to secondary students learning advanced vocabulary. On the interactive keypad, key in the beginning letter of a word. Key in the rest of the word on the blanks provided. You also have the option of typing in the word's meaning. When your list is entered, you may choose a booklet or a chart format for the presentation of your information. Studying content-area words or vocabulary meanings have never been so easy.

tag(s): alphabet (86), vocabulary (320)

In the Classroom

Think outside the 'box' when considering this application. Teachers may opt to teach the elements of the story through entering character traits, setting, plot events, etc., then printing a chart to teach those concepts. Special Ed or ESL/ELL teachers and teachers will love using this organizer to help students organize new words they must learn. If students use a three-ring notebook, new words can be added over time. Mark this tool as a favorite on your classroom computer for students to access as needed.
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firstfind.info - Westchester Library System

Grades
3 to 8
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This site offers a quick way to find basic information on many topics written in very simple English. There are 9 major topic areas which users can choose from ...more
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This site offers a quick way to find basic information on many topics written in very simple English. There are 9 major topic areas which users can choose from and each area has a variety of inside divisions. Of particular interest to K-12 students would be Government, History, Travel (includes maps), and Health. Especially useful for ESL students are the online magazines written in simplified language and the dictionary link.

In the Classroom

Suggest this site to your students from other countries when they are assigned a research project. Keep this one in Favorites on your teacher web page or classroom computers for ESL students to use the Dictionary or find simplified information on your government, history and health lessons. Special Ed teachers with students of low reading ability can also find adapted resources here.

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Social Studies for Kids

Grades
1 to 8
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This is a general "go-to" website all about social studies. There is information about current events, culture, holidays, languages, religion, economics, geography, maps, government,...more
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This is a general "go-to" website all about social studies. There is information about current events, culture, holidays, languages, religion, economics, geography, maps, government, U.S. presidents, timelines, and many other social studies topics. The highlight of this website is the Current Events segment. This is an easy way to incorporate age-appropriate current events in your classroom.
Note: an annoying audio ad plays when you first enter the site. Turn OFF your sound!

tag(s): holidays (141), maps (298), presidents (123), renaissance (32), timelines (58)

In the Classroom

Use the current events segment as weekly discussion starter or assignment in your social studies class. Share this link on your teacher web page for students to access outside of class. To really build a stronger sense of current events, start a class year-long current events "log" on a wiki and have a differnet student write a "week in review" each week throughout the year, based on the current events provided here or others he/she may know about. Reading teachers may also want to use the articles on this site to teach informational text reading skills on an interactive whiteboard. Reading levels are challenging for grades 1-3. Teachers will need to provide help by reading aloud or partnering readers.

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Big Apple History - PBS Kids

Grades
5 to 9
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PBS has created this wonderful website that presents the history of New York City. The history goes back as far as before the 1600s and runs through the 1960s. The ...more
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PBS has created this wonderful website that presents the history of New York City. The history goes back as far as before the 1600s and runs through the 1960s. The main topics of the website include New York Living, Business and Politics, Arts and Entertainment, Building the Big Apple, Early New York, and Coming to America. The topics each include an interactive timeline that can be used to share historical information with students. As you scroll across the timeline small descriptions appear at the bottom. If you click on the text you are directed to a mock news article about the topic. Lesson plans are also accessible by clicking on the "Parents and Teachers" link (find this link at the very bottom of the page). There are well over 30 excellent lesson plans (most include interactive elements). Some examples of the lesson plan topics include "History or Mis-Story", "Engineer a Solution", "United we Stand?", and "Get Rich Quick". There is even a link to learn more about the history of your own city (see the "Parents and Teachers" link). This website requires Flash, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): great depression (27), harlem (8), jazz (16), new york (26), stock market (14), timelines (58)

In the Classroom

Get your interactive whiteboards ready for this timeline adventure! Don't forget to utilize the FREE lesson plans. What an excellent way to teach the history of New York City, the stock market, and economics all in one lesson (see "Get Rich Quick")! If you teach about local history, inspire your students by sharing this site first, then have them create a wiki about your town!
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World News - WN Network

Grades
4 to 12
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This is a wonderful compilation site of news from all over the world. Users can read the home page or search news of a specific geographic region. An ...more
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This is a wonderful compilation site of news from all over the world. Users can read the home page or search news of a specific geographic region. An excellent plus here is the ability to choose to read the news in a variety of languages. World Photos today, multimedia, global weather, and sports are just a few of the many attractive sections that add to this site's appeal.

tag(s): news (260)

In the Classroom

Share this site with your school's foreign language teachers. Have students do comparisons between English and foreign language versions of the news. If you teach writing, you can find controversial topics as writing prompts for persuasive writing among the articles, as well, and have students find facts to support their positions. Make this site available from your teacher web page for current events assignments. Reading teachers will want to use the articles on an interactive whiteboard to teach main idea and summarizing: highlight key words to use in a main idea or summary sentence you write together below the article.

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American Centuries ...view from New England - Memorial Hall Museum Online

Grades
4 to 12
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There is so much to explore on this site, you will need to place limitations on it! Digital Collections of everything from clothing to chronology, turns of the century exhibits, ...more
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There is so much to explore on this site, you will need to place limitations on it! Digital Collections of everything from clothing to chronology, turns of the century exhibits, in the classroom activities, curricula, New England architecture and tools, manuscripts from people who lived in the time-- this site is truly a museum on the web made student-friendly. The activities section is full of ways to involve students with real objects from history. Students can actually hear some of the artists and writers reading their own words -- which is remarkable. If you teach American literature or history or are interested in artifacts from the past, this is a great site. If you choose, you or your students can create a login and save to "my collection." Many sections require Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): colonial america (108), england (56), slavery (67)

In the Classroom

If you plan to share objects as part of a lesson "collect" them in a personal collection so you can pull them up easily. Challenge secondary students to use the activity labeled "Create a chronology" to group artifacts from the collections to illustrate a concept, such as slavery, clothing, or background of an author, artist, or historical event. With younger students, use one or more of the activities on an interactive whiteboard or projector or design a simple scavenger hunt within YOUR collection of objects for students to find out about colonial life and times. If you turn them loose on the entire site, you will never get them back.
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Hyper History Online - The World History Project

Grades
6 to 12
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This comprehensive history/culture resource is the mother of all timelines with over 3000 years of history available in "synchronoptic" form, that is, in parallel timelines. Users...more
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This comprehensive history/culture resource is the mother of all timelines with over 3000 years of history available in "synchronoptic" form, that is, in parallel timelines. Users can view by searching year, event, people, stories, subjects, events, political movements, and maps. Constant updates to the events section and additional "people" lines ensure the timeliness of this amazing site. (The site does NOT include people who are still alive). The span of the timelines and people, events, and cultures is extensive. Timeline elements are clickable for more information. We recommend the site for grades 6 and up purely because of the level of exposure necessary to appreciate all the information and because of the reading level.

tag(s): biographies (91), politics (97)

In the Classroom

Use this site for context regarding what was going on all over the world at any given time, especially as you launch class discussion of a new topic or time period. Help students see relationships between what they know and what else was occurring at the same time. Use it to pose questions about how events and people may be related, as well. This site will work very well on a projector or interactive whiteboard.

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Paper Toys - PaperToys.com

Grades
3 to 10
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This crafty website provides students (and teachers) with directions to create paper toys. The patterns are printables on the web page. The website provides instructions for approximately...more
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This crafty website provides students (and teachers) with directions to create paper toys. The patterns are printables on the web page. The website provides instructions for approximately 100 unique models. The types of models vary from monuments (such as the Chrysler Building or the Eiffel Tower) to holiday creations. There are printable instructions provided for each model. This website is a refreshing activity for art classes, social studies classes or any class seeking a creative method to use to re-create famous monuments and other objects or buildings.

tag(s): architecture (85), paper folding (4)

In the Classroom

The paper folding activities would work well with cooperative learning groups. For example, during a unit on architecture or structures, have each group recreate a different monument or architectural design. Then teach about the various concepts of architecture by using the groups' models. Ask gifted/talented students to analyze how the paper fold-ups work then design a model of your school. Some of the options are purely entertainment oriented. You may want to print the paper patterns yourself instead of sending students to the site.

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Radio Days: A Webquest - Cynthia Matzat

Grades
6 to 10
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This is a simple webquest to introduce students to many of the techniques used in radio that are still used in film production today. It also familiarizes students with the ...more
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This is a simple webquest to introduce students to many of the techniques used in radio that are still used in film production today. It also familiarizes students with the era of radio -- an important experience for those trying to understand history of the first half of the twentieth century. The webquest is almost deceptively simple. The age of your students and the sophistication with which they approach the task can determine the level you want to teach. It includes the elements of typical webquests from introduction through evaluation in an easy, step-by-step manner.

tag(s): 1930s (13), 1940s (12), decades (10), radio (26), writing (367)

In the Classroom

Although this was written for 6-8th graders, it is a lesson easily adaptable to older students. The list of resources is very good, and the kinds of embellishments you can make on the tasks are limitless. It is a great project for students to work on in small groups, allowing students of all abilities an opportunity for success.

If you ever considered podcasting, this webquest is the perfect lead-in. Your social studies(or language arts) students will love actually producing their scripts for "broadcast" on the web. Bring the 1930s to life in your classroom!

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Elizabethan Theatre: The Dawn of Modern Drama - William Eyerly

Grades
7 to 12
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Constructed by a practicing teacher, this webquest is simple, but very good. It takes students through a series of searches that lets them think about the difference between society...more
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Constructed by a practicing teacher, this webquest is simple, but very good. It takes students through a series of searches that lets them think about the difference between society and theatre of that time. While Mr. Eyerly has constructed the quest in such a way as to take the place of or significantly augment a unit plan (covering 45 days) on Elizabethan drama, with the culminating project being a student film, many parts of this are adaptable to shorter periods and less ambitious outcomes.

tag(s): elizabethan (16)

In the Classroom

There are many ways you can use this webquest to assist in teaching the beginning of modern drama, Elizabethan theatre, or Shakespeare. He goes through the quest process of introduction, task, process, and evaluation, but he also includes a teacher page with tips and ideas that is useful to the classroom teacher. If you have never done a complete webquest, why not consider trying ONE per year to see the benefits of a project-based approach, especially if someone else has already created the project for you. A grading rubric is includede in the Student Pages.

To assist in script editing and peer review, consider having students write and turn in their scripts on Google Docs, reviewed here. This can allow you an easier opportunity at giving timely feedback, and make it easier for groups to work in separate locations if need be - great for those with busy schedules.

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Mayflower History - Caleb Johnson

Grades
2 to 12
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The Mayflower comes alive as you explore the passenger list with accompanying personal history and genealogy. Click on the Pilgrim History link for a history of Thanksgiving and other...more
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The Mayflower comes alive as you explore the passenger list with accompanying personal history and genealogy. Click on the Pilgrim History link for a history of Thanksgiving and other Mayflower-era topics, including authentic recipes.

tag(s): genealogy (7), pilgrims (17), primary sources (93), thanksgiving (34)

In the Classroom

Only a visit to a far away museum could get any better than having the full-text primary sources which are available with a click on the left menu. The Mayflower experience would come to life as students fictitiously become one of the voyagers. Perhaps students could adopt a Mayflower 'ancestor' and write how they are alike or unlike. Around Thanksgiving, teachers may want to try some of the original recipes for an authentic Mayflower 'flavor' to their lesson plans.
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Beacon Learning Center: Student Web Lessons - Beacon Learning Center

Grades
K to 12
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This website, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, provides an enormous collection of "web lessons" (interactives) for all grade levels. There are lessons in language...more
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This website, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, provides an enormous collection of "web lessons" (interactives) for all grade levels. There are lessons in language arts, math, science, social studies, and health. There are too many lesson plans to count - and all are projector, laptop, or whiteboard-ready. Just to give you an idea of some of these unique lessons, some of the titles include "Where is Japan?", "Walrus World", "Piece of Pie", "Medians", "Fence Me In", and "Critter Craze". On the main page, a brief description is provided for each lesson plan. Click Teacher Solutions > Lesson Plans to search by subject or grade level.

tag(s): charts and graphs (198), evolution (101), expository writing (40), industrial revolution (26), native americans (79), primary sources (93), probability (141), symmetry (51), writing (367)

In the Classroom

If you want ready-to-go lessons guaranteed to work well on your interactive whiteboard, this collection is a winner. You simply open the activity on the whiteboard and have students tap and drag their way through as you talk with the class. (Invite your most "active" student to be "Vanna White" for a great behavior management solution). Many lessons would work well on laptops or on a computer cluster center, as well.

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Panoramas.dk

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 2  Comments
Have a high speed Internet connection? (Most schools do)The you MUST visit these 3D virtual tours of beautiful sites all over the world with your students. Read the Welcome message...more
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Have a high speed Internet connection? (Most schools do)The you MUST visit these 3D virtual tours of beautiful sites all over the world with your students. Read the Welcome message on the home page for directions and details, then explore the current features and several years of archives for 3D virtual tours from major world capitals to true "experiences" such as Times Square and white water rafting. Even the tour of a Banyan tree will amaze you. Bring the world into your classroom for geography, landforms, world cultures, foreign language study, or literary settings. Be in the midst of festivals or atop the Sydney Bridge. The site requires Quicktime. The Welcome section can help you troubleshoot. Or you can get Quicktime from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.. Just be sure to share in full screen (high band) view , if you can! Click the FULL SCREEN QTVR FEATURE > ARCHIVE to find more choices. There is also a link to Arounder, a collection of European Capitals in 3D tours.

tag(s): images (279), landforms (49)

In the Classroom

Use a projector--or better yet, an interactive whiteboard--to take students atop the Eiffel Tower, to the high Sierras, or aboard a Mars explorer. Allow student to navigate on the whiteboard. Nte that Shift and Ctrl keys alow you to zoom, as well. Be sure to click at the top of the 3D view to Read More about the image. These tours will make landforms real, culture come alive, and science a visual art form. As you introduce terms and place, use images! You could even use a tour as a writing prompt for poetry or descriptive writing. Include the link on your teacher web page for students to "tour the world" outside of class or feature one location a week to broaden class horizons on a classroom desktop.

Comments

What a GREAT idea! Thank you. I found one with mountain biking and vistas. I'll put it up early in the period and come back to it in the end and have them write their exit cards about it. Then I will revisit it in a week or two when we start talking about metaphorical language. Shirley, CA, Grades: 6 - 12
I plan to use this as a way to start the school year with my sixth grade G/T kids. I will display a panorama on an interactive whiteboard-- one of mountains with peaks and valleys. I will ask, "Why would I show you this and say that this is our classroom this year?" The students will write down an idea on a slip of paper, guessing why I might use this as an introduction to my class. They will most likely introduce all of the classroom conduct and learning environment issues that I want to touch upon that first day: peaks and valleys during the year, some rugged terrain, studying mountains and geography, some amazing views (everyone's opinions), and more. It will also get them thinking in analogies and allow me to see how quickly some of them do this and how literal others are. Thinking, PA, Grades: 5 - 10

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