Grades5 to 10
tag(s): bill of rights (28), branches of government (49), congress (32), constitution (88), courts (15), democracy (13), elections (73), game based learning (138), presidents (123), supreme court (24)
In the ClassroomAs you study the Constitution or U.S. government, have students participate in the activities, stopping to write blog entries as their legal character discussing the results they have achieved in court or in their role within other interactive simulations. Students can work individually or with a partner. Be sure to demonstrate the activities on an interactive whiteboard or projector so students understand how they work. Another option: Have students create a multimedia guide to one of the constitutional rights learned in the games. Use a tool such as Piktochart, reviewed here, to make an interactive poster or infographic on each right.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this in addition to other research resources in projects. Be sure to discuss the fact that authors are not always identified and have a class pro/con discussion about the reliability of web pages where many people contribute. How would YOU select writers for such a site? Or assign students to read specific articles and discuss them via the class wiki space. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomPlan virtual field trips for your students, or put the research in their hands and have them create their own online field trips. Have them post their trip to the classroom wiki. Follow up by requiring students to try out other students trips. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Or, have students view online exhibits from the site, and then have them create their own exhibits.
Grades6 to 9
tag(s): photography (155)
In the ClassroomThis website would be an excellent resource for researching in American History courses. Challenge students to take the information beyond plain vanilla. Try having students create an online tour of places along the Oregon Trail or a tour of mining towns of the gold rush. Have students use a mapping tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here, to create a map of the historic locations (with audio stories and pictures included)! Or challenge students to narrate an image using Thinglink, reviewed here. Thinglink site allows users to narrate a picture.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomStudents will love this site for reviewing and preparing for exams. Share this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom. Take advantage of the FREE study guides. Why not have cooperative learning groups investigate specific topics relative to your current unit of study and create multimedia presentation. Create podcasts, using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Have students create a Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report about the event or topic. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here. Teachers can also use this site to differentiate between the typical lectures used to teach a US history project. Use the images on this site to create a "picture walk" in your classroom, introducing any one of the topics offered. Select 10-15 of the more powerful and diverse images, hanging them up in different locations around your classroom. Have students rotate around the classroom every 30-45 seconds, jotting down what they observe and infer about each image until the entire class has completed the circuit. After the class is back in their seats, have a class discussion based on what they observed and what this says about the topic.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse the resources in this collection to supplement a unit on the American Constitution. The resources on this site could be used for webquests, learning centers, lesson plans & the like. American History teachers will love this one!
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomShare this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. View clips relevant to your topics of study. Use this website to contrast a documentary with the facts that are being taught. Use this site as a point-counterpoint to other perspectives available on the web as part of a discussion of bias. Compare and contrast analysis of the materials versus the known facts is one good use for this website. A short documentary could be shown during class as a launch point for students to create their own documentary style video projects. Share the videos using a site such as Teachers.TV (explained here). Teachers of gifted and high achievers will great possibilities for challenging critical thinking using this site.
GradesK to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomYou need to know how to browse and upload a file from your computer or find the URL of an image already on the web (one you can legally use, of course!).
Make sure students are aware of copyright laws. Use this site to encourage proper use of photographs that students have the authorization to use. Model including appropriate photo credits on the posters.
Younger students can use this tool together as a whole-class activity or simply enjoy the posters their teacher creates. Have students create a picture about what has been studied with a caption of what has been learned. For example, create posters about predators and prey or classifications of animals. Students can create a poster of a study skill or learning activity that helps them learn. Create a caption that explains how the student learns the best. Every subject area can use this resource to create interesting presentation posters for display or as springboards to talk about what was learned. For example, in Biology, students could create a poster about a cell part with a clever caption about the importance of the job. In Literature or History, students can create posters about the perspectives of others in the story or at that time of history. Rather than a traditional research project. Have cooperative learning groups use this site to show their knowledge in any subject area. Ask students to apply concepts such as constitutional rights by illustrating them in poster images with captions. Teachers can create bulletin board images, as well. Have a classroom motivation poster competition to start off the school year! Share the winners on your class wiki or in a PowerPoint presentation at back to school night/open house. As special occasions approach, have students bring in or take a digital picture they can make into a poster as a family gift with their own inspirational saying.
Grades1 to 12
In the ClassroomVirtual field trips from this website could be used on the interactive whiteboard or projector as a whole class activity. A better use could be to create a question sheet that mirrors the trip and have students work through the field trip at their own pace in lab, either with partners or individually. Follow up by challenging student groups to create an interactive guidebook to their topic using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. With younger students, make a class book together.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomExplore the timeline on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a class or ask students or groups to explore it on their own, looking for key points and terms that help them better understand this complex crisis. Ask student "guides" to trace and elaborate on trends they find or to highlight key moments as they explain orally to the class. Have students respond to a single image using an online tool to narrate an image such asThingLink, reviewed here, or in a blog post. Find an event to which they can connect from their own personal or family perspective. Compare these vignettes with others from the Great Depression photos of great photographers. Keep the link to this interactive timeline on your class web page or wiki as a reference or as a venue for sharing students responses.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomTeachers do not need to start from scratch to develop the themes, nor do they need to be using Boorstin's book to use these activities. Use these handouts and themes to prompt traditional debates or challenge student teams to prepare position videos or multimedia presentations using resource images and texts both from these files and from public domain files and other resources from the Library of Congress. Invite your students to choose from the many multimedia tools on the web to present their position. See the TeachersFirst Edge for reviewed suggestions including ThingLink, SchoolTube. or TeacherTube for videos, or (Podomatic for audio-only arguments. Embed the products on your class blog or wiki and let classes vote on the debate "winners."
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomDemonstrate this site (or the portions useful in your classroom) on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use data related to population such as birth, death, marriage, etc. as well as other social data such as energy and utilities and education. As you teach about data manipulation in math class, use "real world" examples that students will find interesting. Geodata includes data sets such as Biology and Geology, political boundaries, and Atmosphere and climate. As a problem solving activity, allow students to access any data of interest, develop a useful graph, and create a statement or set of questions about the data. Looking for an online graphing tool? Check out Chartgo (reviewed here). Students should develop reasonable hypotheses about the data, find relevant information that leads to further understanding, and potential solutions for understanding the problem. Class discussions can lead to the complexity of most problems and associated issues. Students can create elevator pitches that propose solutions or reasons to be concerned about issues or related blog posts that follow the conversations about the data. Create a dialogue with scientists, government officials, or other experts in understanding data, issues, and solutions. Use data as evidence for debates.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): constitution (88)
In the ClassroomBefore you start planning your Constitution Day activities, check out this FREE site. Since this site was created by the National Constitution Center, you can be sure that the material is of high quality. Share the audio and visual on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Take advantage of the lesson plans and more. Have students fill out a graphic organizer as a pre and post assessment about what they know about the Constitution. A KWL chart works well for this. Find an interactive graphic organizer at Holt Graphic Organizers, reviewed here. Alternatively, challenge students to create a multimedia poster or infographic about what they learned using Genial.ly, reviewed here.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site is ideal for your interactive whiteboard or projector, learning station, or on individual computers (with headsets). Use this site to keep your students up to date on current events. Have students compare the different versions of the same news stories to try and ferret out the facts and the way points of view affect reporting. Project the scripts on an interactive whiteboard to have students highlight language choices that provide a certain slant. ESL/ELL students will benefit from listening to the short news clips and being able to see the transcript of the report. Have your ESL/ELL students write their own comprehension questions and answers based on the podcast to check their own comprehension and to exchange with classmates. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to compare the differences in two newspapers' versions of the same news. Have ESL/ELL students present the news from a newspaper familiar to them if possible by having them prepare an introduction and questions. Learning support students can use the transcripts and videos in combination to understand and report weekly current events assignments for social studies class.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomAssign students various countries within a data set to make comparisons. Tie the data to biological, geographical, cultural, and social issues that exist in the world. Bring a greater understanding to economic and environmental issues currently a problem in many countries throughout the world. World language classes can see this data to help students understand the cultures of the countries where the language is spoken. Have students use an online graphing tool such as Chartgo, reviewed here, to display results. Compare specific attributes of two countries using an online Venn Diagram, such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here. Another idea: have cooperative learning groups use this resource to create online books about the country using a resource such as Bookemon, reviewed here. How about having students research using this site and then create a project using Zeemaps, reviewed here. Zeemaps allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place.
Grades4 to 10
tag(s): presidents (123)
In the ClassroomHave students work in cooperative learning groups, divide up the vocabulary words, and have each group find the definitions for their assigned vocabulary words. Have the groups share the meaning of a few of their words, by narrating a political picture using ThingLink, reviewed here. Have the groups share the pictures/stories on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to also check out the interactive word puzzles! They are of varying difficulty levels.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomSearch for your state and see what this site has to offer. Looking for a specific topic (i.e. Civil War or Pearl Harbor), search using topics. Take advantage of these ready to go lesson plans. Infuse your lessons with technology by creating a class wiki about the lesson/topic being discussed. Maybe make a wiki guidebook to your state. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Save this site in your favorites, and check back as you plan throughout the year.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): presidents (123)
In the ClassroomStudents might consider how the role of the Vice-President has changed over the course of US history. While the duties of the Vice-President are actually fairly limited, several of these Vice-Presidents became Presidents as a consequence of the death or assassination of the President. Students doing research on any of these fourteen former Presidents might find the information about their Vice-Presidencies useful. The images from this site would also be helpful projected on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia presentations to share with the class. Use a site such as ThingLink, reviewed here. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): inauguration (11)
In the ClassroomShare the puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work with a partner to try out the puzzles on their own. Have students (or groups) create their own word puzzles to share as a class challenge as a student-run interactive whiteboard activity or share them on a class wiki.
Grades9 to 12
tag(s): politics (97)