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BouncyMaps - Mapping Worlds

Grades
5 to 12
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BouncyMaps provides maps from a different perspective than physical size, showing how large the map would be based on other criteria. Choose from the provided topics to see maps change...more
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BouncyMaps provides maps from a different perspective than physical size, showing how large the map would be based on other criteria. Choose from the provided topics to see maps change size proportionally to population, economy, religion, and more. Use the button to toggle back and forth between the regular and bouncy maps. Scroll down past each map to view a list of countries and data used to create the map.

tag(s): agriculture (46), maps (218), minerals (16), population (52), religions (57), visualizations (13)

In the Classroom

BouncyMaps is an excellent way to help students visualize large numbers and provide perspective to data. Use the embed code found on the site to share on your webpage or download images and data using the provided links. Start a discussion using one of the regular maps and hover over countries to show details. After reviewing a standard map, switch to the BouncyMap to show how it changes based on data. This site is an excellent one to share with students to explore during computer centers or at home. After allowing students time to look on their own, ask them to choose one map that surprised them and discuss their findings. Ask them to research the information further with the goal of trying to learn why there are such differences between countries. When finished, ask students to share their findings by creating an infographic using Canva Infographic Creator, reviewed here, or another free infographic creation tool. When teaching world history, these maps provide context when teaching about major conflicts. For example, when teaching about tensions in the Middle East, refer students to the religious maps to help them understand how different populations of Jewish people and Muslims within that area are key to the conflicts.

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Change Begins at School - Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility

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K to 12
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Morningside Center provides resources for K-12 educators that encourage social responsibility and help develop social and emotional skills. The site was created following 9/11 to help...more
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Morningside Center provides resources for K-12 educators that encourage social responsibility and help develop social and emotional skills. The site was created following 9/11 to help teachers address sensitive issues that arose in the aftermath of the tragedy. Select the Classroom Resources section to find and filter TeachableMoments lessons. Sort by topic area, subject, and grade level or search by keyword. Each lesson includes instructions and background information as well as links to supporting material. The site is constantly updated with lessons relating to current events. Many activities include links to YouTube videos, if your district blocks YouTube; then the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): bullying (52), climate change (67), conflict resolution (6), disasters (37), diversity (32), elections (74), holidays (130), politics (100), racism (58), religions (57), social and emotional learning (43), women (96)

In the Classroom

Engage students in any of the provided lessons by starting with a simple poll using Updwn, reviewed here. For example, ask students if they are familiar with the topic discussed, have experienced a similar emotion, or display an image on your whiteboard and ask students if they know what it represents. Enhance learning throughout any of the lessons by sharing additional resources using a curation tool such as Padlet, reviewed here. Add links to videos, articles, or online activities related to the lesson's content. As you complete lesson activities, extend learning by asking students to share their understanding by creating digital books using Book Creator, reviewed here, flyers made with Adobe Spark for Education, reviewed here, or infographics created with Canva Infographic Creator, reviewed here.

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Discussing Tragic Events in the News - Morningside Center

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K to 12
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Although tragic and difficult world events are challenging to discuss, it is important to understand that they are on students' minds as they come into the classroom. This article provides...more
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Although tragic and difficult world events are challenging to discuss, it is important to understand that they are on students' minds as they come into the classroom. This article provides specific questions and discussion formats that help support students during difficult times and fosters a sense of community. The five basic questions offer students opportunities to share their feelings and reflect upon ways to address similar problems in the world and their community.

tag(s): differentiation (55), disasters (37), social and emotional learning (43)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site to use as a resource for fostering productive class conversations as needed when discussing difficult events. Be sure to share this site with parents who are also dealing with students that are dealing with tragic events at home. After allowing time to reflect upon the events and your classroom discussions, some students may need additional time to process the information. Provide an additional outlet using Google Jamboard, reviewed here. Create a Jamboard that allows students to add sticky notes anonymously that share their feelings or solutions to difficult problems. Curate resources for students (and parents) that include age-specific information such as news articles, videos, and background information using a curation tool such as Wakelet, reviewed here. Consider creating a Wakelet for parents and guardians with information to use at home to support students in meaningful ways. Provide students a creative outlet to share their emotions by suggesting they create short videos, flyers, or websites using the free tools found at Adobe Spark for Education, reviewed here. Find more resources to help facilitate difficult conversations on this Special Topics Page.

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OK2Ask: TeachersFirst Tech Tools Smackdown (Global Citizenship Edition) - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session is from July 2020. You can register and immediately view the archive of the session.

There are many technology

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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session is from July 2020. You can register and immediately view the archive of the session.

There are many technology tools available for classroom use, but which ones are teachers' favorites? This session will share and compare some of the TeachersFirst contributors' favorite resources. Help us decide which tool is the session winner of our Smackdown! As a result of this session, teachers will: 1. Learn about and compare some of TeachersFirst contributors' favorite technology tools; 2. Evaluate uses for one or more tools for classroom use; and 3. Share ideas for using resources with other participants. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): professional development (236)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.

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FANschool - FANschool

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6 to 12
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Engage students in learning and staying involved with current events through a fantasy-sports type of games and challenges. Students draft teams of states, countries, events and earn...more
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Engage students in learning and staying involved with current events through a fantasy-sports type of games and challenges. Students draft teams of states, countries, events and earn points when their choice is mentioned in the news. Select from several games, including FANpolitics, to draft states or legislators and follow current news and legislation. Choose FANgeopolitics to draft countries and compete against classmates. At FANspecies players can earn points by selecting animals and researching species to find those most commonly observed in the wild. Sign up for your free account to begin. Free accounts allow one commissioner with up to 35 players. Follow the prompts to choose your game and options, including start and end dates. Invite players by sharing your league's URL or the token provided after creating your league.

tag(s): branches of government (54), cross cultural understanding (139), elections (74), game based learning (161), media literacy (82), politics (100), social media (43)

In the Classroom

FANschool is an incredibly interesting way to engage students in current events and is relatable to students who already participate in fantasy sports leagues. Create a league for your class that lasts for a set time, such as a semester or 9-week grading period. Continue with the fantasy sports theme by asking students to create weekly podcasts using Buzzsprout, reviewed here, to provide updates on the latest news and information. Be sure to read some of the suggestions on FANschool for how other educators use this tool to explore media bias methods, raise awareness of global citizenship, and involve students in understanding political issues.

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60-Second Civics - Center for Civic Education

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5 to 12
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Listen to daily 60-second podcasts to learn about the United States government. Themes explored include constitutional issues related to today's headlines, presidential powers, and...more
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Listen to daily 60-second podcasts to learn about the United States government. Themes explored include constitutional issues related to today's headlines, presidential powers, and more--most episodes pertain to current events topics. In addition to the podcast, there is a daily quiz to check your knowledge of civics-related issues. Scroll down the page to find archives of recent topics, or use the keyword search to find podcasts related to any subject.

tag(s): branches of government (54), constitution (86), democracy (16), elections (74), electoral college (18), house of representatives (8), politics (100), senate (10), supreme court (24)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this podcast to use as a quick class-starter to review and discuss civics topics. If you don't have time to listen daily, consider setting aside 15-20 minutes a week to listen to podcasts from the week and to discuss the daily questions. Engage students in any topic by creating a Google Jamboard, reviewed here, that contains any of the daily questions. Ask students to share their thoughts and response using the sticky note tool. Extend learning by asking students to choose a topic of interest to research. Ask them to share their findings using one of the multimedia tools found at Adobe Spark for Education, reviewed here. Options found at Adobe Spark include options for creating videos, graphics, webpages, and more.

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Learn With News - Learn With News

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3 to 9
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Learn With News is a site from the United Kingdom that shares current event articles, each written at three different reading levels. Each article also highlights difficult words and...more
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Learn With News is a site from the United Kingdom that shares current event articles, each written at three different reading levels. Each article also highlights difficult words and features correlating activities, including vocabulary practice, conversation questions, some with videos, and more. If searching by specific levels, use the tabs on the page to sort resources into any of the three levels. Scroll through the home page to view the articles starting with the most recent or use the search feature to find information using specific terms. Because this site is from the UK, some words will contain spelling that is different than the United States version.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): differentiation (55), journalism (65), news (237), politics (100)

In the Classroom

Although created with English language learners in mind, this site is a valuable resource for any current events lessons and as a resource for non-fiction reading materials. Bookmark this site for use with any current events lessons and as a resource for finding fact-based information to use to help understand modern history. Use technology tools to help students organize their thinking and share their questions and responses. Engage students by asking them to share their opinions and encourage discussions using FlipGrid, reviewed here. Ask students to respond to the discussion question within Flipgrid using their fact-based research. Use Flipgrid's comment feature to encourage collaboration and student discussion. Extend learning by asking students (or student groups) to research information found in the articles, then share their findings through a multimedia presentation that includes student writing, videos, maps, and infographics. Have students use a presentation tool such as Sway, reviewed here, or Adobe Spark for Education, reviewed here, to share their final projects.

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Teachers' Guide to Cranky Uncle - John Cook

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6 to 12
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How do you teach students to understand and build resilience against misinformation? Try using this game created by George Mason University scientist, John Cook, that uses cartoon personifications...more
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How do you teach students to understand and build resilience against misinformation? Try using this game created by George Mason University scientist, John Cook, that uses cartoon personifications of climate science denials. The game is available to play on any browser or download the app from the Apple Store or Google Play. By teaching how others use fake experts and cherry-picking information to spread disinformation, this game engages players as they employ critical thinking skills to build points and learn how to separate fact from myth. The Teacher's Guide features all you need to know to understand how to set up the game for your class, the basic premise and information found in the game, and classroom activities that accompany the game's features.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (167), digital citizenship (70), game based learning (161), internet safety (112), media literacy (82), social media (43)

In the Classroom

Add this game to your toolkit of lessons and activities when teaching Internet safety and media literacy skills. The Teachers' Guide already includes many ideas on integrating the game into classroom lessons and includes using technology to enhance and extend learning. Use these ideas as a starting point to build student engagement and help them understand the real-world applications for the information found in the game. For example, use the suggested Padlet, reviewed here, activity to compile quiz questions as suggested in Activity 5. After completing that activity, have students create their own videos, fake social media posts, or news articles that contain misinformation and create quiz questions for their peers to complete. Adobe Spark for Education, reviewed here, is an excellent tool for students to use when creating websites, videos, flyers, and infographics. As a final project, and to extend learning, have students share what they learned with others by producing podcasts using Buzzsprout, reviewed here, or digital books for younger students using Book Creator, reviewed here.

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Rock Your World - Creative Visions

Grades
6 to 12
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This middle school and high school curriculum challenges students to think about challenges faced in their communities and beyond, then develop campaigns to overcome the obstacles found....more
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This middle school and high school curriculum challenges students to think about challenges faced in their communities and beyond, then develop campaigns to overcome the obstacles found. Based upon Common Core Standards, the program includes over 70 lessons that begin engaging students through developing an understanding of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Lessons don't have to take place in the order offered; select lessons that fit the goals chosen for you and your students.

tag(s): civil rights (142), social and emotional learning (43), women (96)

In the Classroom

Include these free lessons in a variety of ways in your classroom. Use the content to help students understand social causes important to them and how to engage in their cause. This site offers various methods to create social issue campaigns, including music, film, and persuasive writing opportunities. Use this information to differentiate learning opportunities for students with activities that appeal to their interests. For students interested in coding, use Minecraft Education Edition, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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World's Largest Lesson - Project Everyone

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K to 12
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World's Largest Lesson provides resources for educators that teach students about 17 Global Goals created by the leaders of the 193 countries of the United Nations. Visit the Resources...more
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World's Largest Lesson provides resources for educators that teach students about 17 Global Goals created by the leaders of the 193 countries of the United Nations. Visit the Resources portion of the site to browse through the many activities. Narrow your search using the provided filters to locate information by grade level, topic, type of activity, and more. Downloadable lessons include complete directions, printable worksheets, and key questions highlighted during the lesson. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (139), earth (180), energy (144), engineering (108), environment (232), inequalities (23), maps (218), STEM (214)

In the Classroom

Discover the many free educational resources found on this site to include with your lessons about global cultures, the environment, health, and technology. Use the activities and lessons found on the World's Largest Lesson to engage students in understanding and processing information related to serious global issues. Have students use a collaborative whiteboard tool such as Jamboard, reviewed here, to brainstorm solutions to problems using the sticky note feature or to create mind maps and flow charts to organize further research. Enhance learning by asking students to create an interactive, choose your own adventure story using StoryLab, reviewed here. Ask students to use information learned from their lessons to create a story that tells what happens if the earth continues on its current course vs. what happens when suggested changes are implemented.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Earth Project - The Earth Project

Grades
7 to 12
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The Earth Project is a global project that promotes sustainable Earth stewardship. Use the links found on the site to learn about current global challenges and current projects designed...more
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The Earth Project is a global project that promotes sustainable Earth stewardship. Use the links found on the site to learn about current global challenges and current projects designed to bring about future changes. Of special interest to educators is the Young Ambassador's Earth Project Discussion Series. This area features a series of video interviews conducted by students asking experts and policymakers about environmental issues.

tag(s): climate change (67), environment (232), pollution (53)

In the Classroom

Include The Earth Project with your other resources when teaching about the environment or as part of lessons conducting interviews. Be sure to look at the Global Challenges section of the site to share when highlighting global tipping points due to climate change, pollution, and other issues. Ask students to choose one global issue to research in-depth either in groups or as an individual project. Use an organizational tool such as Draft, reviewed here, to help students collaborate and manage information. Engage students by using Popped, reviewed here, to create a social media feel to their work. Popped mimics the texting experience and converts information to a script. Have students choose from a variety of presentation tools such as Sway, reviewed here, Powtoon, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here, to share their findings and analysis with you and their peers.

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A Starting Point - Chris Evans, Mark Kassen, and Joe Kiani

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6 to 12
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A Starting Point is a bipartisan channel to create video communication channels that connect Americans with their elected officials. The website is divided into three main areas - Starting...more
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A Starting Point is a bipartisan channel to create video communication channels that connect Americans with their elected officials. The website is divided into three main areas - Starting Points, Daily Points, and Counterpoints. Starting Points provide two-minute answers to common questions asked of elected officials. Daily Points provide officials the opportunity to share their point of view through two-minute videos. Counterpoint offers the point of view from both sides of the aisle to the shared topics. This portion guides viewers through the opposing viewpoints that are then wrapped up with closing arguments.

tag(s): branches of government (54), civil rights (142), elections (74), foreign policy (11), immigration (57), politics (100)

In the Classroom

Share information from this site with students to demonstrate how to share different viewpoints on current events. This site also provides an opportunity to model how to use facts and information to present ideas and persuade others to consider opposing viewpoints. As students use these videos to compare and contrast viewpoints, use a curation tool such as Padlet, reviewed here, to share information from both sides. Use the shelf feature in Padlet to create columns to add content based on each side's viewpoint or use the map feature to add content found from different locations.

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Close Up - Close Up Foundation

Grades
6 to 12
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Close Up provides non-partisan civics resources for high schools and middle schools. Chose from options that include podcasts, videos, lesson plans aligned to Common Core Standards,...more
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Close Up provides non-partisan civics resources for high schools and middle schools. Chose from options that include podcasts, videos, lesson plans aligned to Common Core Standards, Discussion Issues, and more. The content covers a broad range of topics, including campaigns and elections, coronavirus, and social issues. Use the filters found on the resource page to choose items by topic or type of resource. Some materials on the site are for purchase; use the checkbox to narrow resources to only free items.

tag(s): civil rights (142), congress (37), constitution (86), elections (74), environment (232)

In the Classroom

Use materials from Close Up to supplement your current civics lessons. Assign groups of students different articles or podcasts to analyze and share with peers. Enhance learning using edpuzzle, reviewed here, to add comments and questions to videos for student consideration. Use Wakelet, reviewed here, to curate resources including articles and podcasts to share with students. Upon completing your teaching unit, ask students to use Wakelet as a multimedia presentation tool to create and share their learning by including written work, images, and links to reference materials.

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A Looming Plague: The Fight to Contain a New Locust Invasion - Tara John and Bethlehem Feleke, CNN

Grades
6 to 12
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Explore the reasons locusts threaten food security in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia with this CNN interactive. Scroll through to learn how the coronavirus pandemic is hampering the region's...more
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Explore the reasons locusts threaten food security in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia with this CNN interactive. Scroll through to learn how the coronavirus pandemic is hampering the region's ability to implement efforts to fight the impending maturation of locusts that reproduce quickly and devastate crops. The interactive also takes viewers through a timeline of extreme weather events leading to the threat to African crops.

tag(s): africa (137), climate change (67), insects (66), weather (171)

In the Classroom

Include this interactive with lessons about African countries, climate change, weather, or insects. Engage students by exploring this site together using Microsoft Whiteboard, reviewed here, or Google Jamboard, reviewed here, to add notes, images, or create diagrams sharing students' thoughts. For older students, have them explore the site independently and share ideas on a collaborative whiteboard. Ask students to research the problems faced due to locusts and include information from previous infestations. As students conduct their research, use a collaborative site like Milanote, reviewed here, for groups to share articles, images, and brainstorm ideas. Extend learning further by asking students to become the problem solvers and share their suggestions for solving the problem both long term and short term. Provide options for groups to present their findings through various methods of digital media. For example, ask a group to use Google Tour Creator, reviewed here, to create a virtual tour of the problem areas and add images and notes with their suggestions. Have another group use tools found at Genially, reviewed here, to create a presentation that includes interactive images, infographics, and videos using templates found on the site.

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Resources to Develop a Positive Self-Identity - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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Encourage your students to develop positive self-identities based on their membership in various groups in society. Help your students to feel confident to express pride and healthy...more
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Encourage your students to develop positive self-identities based on their membership in various groups in society. Help your students to feel confident to express pride and healthy self-esteem about their own self-identity, without devaluing the dignity of those that may be different than they are. The resources shared in this section help teachers to enable students to recognize that people have multiple identities and are members of multiple groups within our society, creating complex and unique individuals.

tag(s): bias (15), difficult conversations (37), identity (21)

In the Classroom

Find resources to educate yourself and your students about various topics related to self-identity. This collection includes lesson plans, blogs, book suggestions, and interactives too. Share these resources with your colleagues and families.

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Resources Related to Difficult Conversations - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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As teachers, we frequently tackle uncomfortable subjects in the classroom, but polarizing public conversations or events in the news can sometimes make these subjects downright difficult...more
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As teachers, we frequently tackle uncomfortable subjects in the classroom, but polarizing public conversations or events in the news can sometimes make these subjects downright difficult to discuss with students. The resources in this collection will give you ideas on how to start and facilitate tough conversations about topics like inequality, injustice, and politics sensitively while still accomplishing learning goals. You'll also find lessons and activities to encourage respectful conversation, inclusivity, empathy, and understanding.

tag(s): difficult conversations (37), empathy (24), racism (58)

In the Classroom

Explore this collection to use to engage in difficult conversations in your classroom. Learn more about difficult conversations and empathy for others in some of the informational readings.

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Understanding Empathy - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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Empathy is our desire and ability to understand and share another person's feelings and use that information to guide our actions. It's the foundation of respect and inclusivity and...more
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Empathy is our desire and ability to understand and share another person's feelings and use that information to guide our actions. It's the foundation of respect and inclusivity and is an essential component of relationship building, resolving interpersonal conflicts, and understanding cause and effect. In this collection, we share resources that will help you create lessons and experiences that cultivate empathy in your students and informational websites about this important topic.

tag(s): empathy (24), perspective (11), racism (58)

In the Classroom

Help your students to develop empathy for others. Share these resources with your colleagues and school parents by emailing the page or sharing the link from your school web page or on your school's LMS.

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Resources on Racism and Discrimination - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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As educators, it's our duty to teach our students to respect people of all races, genders, orientations, and cultures, both in our classroom and in the outside world. Racism, sexism,...more
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As educators, it's our duty to teach our students to respect people of all races, genders, orientations, and cultures, both in our classroom and in the outside world. Racism, sexism, and orientation discrimination can be difficult topics to broach in the classroom but are essential to discuss as students find their voices and form their understanding of the world. In this collection, we share resources about combatting racism, lesson plans about the human cost of discrimination, and additional activities to spark meaningful discussion and encourage students at all grade levels to treat all people with respect.

tag(s): black history (81), empathy (24), racism (58)

In the Classroom

Find resources to educate yourself and your students about various topics related to racism and discrimination. This collection includes lesson plans and interactives too. Share these resources with your colleagues and families.

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Civics in Real Life - Florida Joint Center for Citizenship

Grades
6 to 12
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Expand civic literacy with weekly updates and resources from the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship. Each week the center adds civics concepts related to the current news. View topics...more
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Expand civic literacy with weekly updates and resources from the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship. Each week the center adds civics concepts related to the current news. View topics by date and title, then click to download. The downloads are one page PDF documents containing a short overview of the relevant topic along with a "To Think and To Do" activity.

tag(s): constitution (86), courts (19), elections (74), electoral college (18), holidays (130), politics (100), presidents (114), supreme court (24)

In the Classroom

Because this site offers weekly downloads, it is a great addition to use in any social studies classroom for civics lessons or providing ongoing civics discussions throughout the school year. Engage students by creating groups to explore concepts even further throughout the year. For example, divide your class into four or five groups, then have each group rotate throughout the month to take the information from a weekly update and conduct further research. Use Padlet, reviewed here, to curate and share each of the activities for students to revisit and review the content. Take advantage of tools such as Google Slides,reviewed here, to focus student groups on learning activities. Create a slide template that includes students' areas to answer questions, reflect upon finding, and share resources used. Extend learning using podcasts as a final project for students to discuss and share their researched topic. Buzzsprout, reviewed here, is an excellent option for podcasting in the classroom because of the free features that include adding links and lists to podcasts and the ability to schedule podcasts release for your chosen date and time. Want to learn more about using podcasts in education? Watch the archive of the July 2018 OK2Ask professional learning session, Engage & Inspire: Podcasting in the Classroom, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Fake News - Real News vs. Fake News - Pace University

Grades
4 to 12
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This helpful page provides information to help users understand how to verify news resources for research purposes. This resource guides the readers through suggested tips on how to...more
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This helpful page provides information to help users understand how to verify news resources for research purposes. This resource guides the readers through suggested tips on how to stay alert and recognize fake news. It also shares suggestions on how to avoid disinformation by identifying the use of techniques such as sensational headlines. Be sure to check out the Breaking News Consumer's Handbook located at the bottom of the website that includes eleven ways to identify and recognized fake news stories and resources.

tag(s): digital citizenship (70), internet safety (112), journalism (65), media literacy (82), news (237)

In the Classroom

Include this article with your other resources for teaching how to navigate online information. Include this website within a learning management system such as ActivelyLearn, reviewed here, to build a complete learning unit that includes articles, videos, and assessments that fully immerse and engage students in the learning activities. Enhance learning throughout the school year using Padlet, reviewed here, to curate and organize online information. For example, create a Padlet that includes a column for each of the four categories of fake news mentioned on this website, then ask students to share examples found during online use. Extend learning by asking students to become the teacher through presentations on how to recognize and avoid fake news. Provide a variety of options for student presentations including a comic creation tool like ToonyTool, reviewed here, Biteable, reviewed here, to create simple video explainers, or use Minecraft Education Edition, reviewed here, and have students create a game to teach the hazards of disinformation.

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