Grades5 to 10
In the ClassroomThis site is great way to review the amendments of the US Constitution. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Working in groups have a class competition to see who can win the most cases and achieve the most prestige points. Afterward, have a discussion about the process each group used to build their law firm. This site does not have a save feature so the teacher should set a duration for play. Built in help makes this site useful for students who might need some additional guidance. Use the final score printout to assign your students a grade.
To fully involve students in their "law firm," have them create a firm logo and "shingle" using an online graphics tool such as Supalogo, reviewed here. Print the logos for classroom decorations or have students upload them to law firm pages on on your class wiki.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse the site with an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work in cooperative groups and take part in the mock congress. They will develop critical thinking and collaboration skills as they research, draft, and pass original legislation. Use the downloadable campaign simulation software (free), and have your students role play and run a senatorial campaign.
br> If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.
Grades4 to 10
In the ClassroomThis site will fit perfectly into any social studies or history class. Have students explore this site independently or in small groups. If used independently put the site on a classroom computer and use as a center. Create a class job for a student called Historian. They can check the website to see what was happening that day and report it to the class. Have students choose an event from the site, find an image of Lincoln and upload it to Speechable, reviewed here. They can then have Lincoln "talk" about an important day of his life.
Grades9 to 12
tag(s): debate (45)
In the ClassroomUse this resource to view various viewpoints and information about topics in the public eye. Use to create subtopics to be investigated in a class debate. Use the process to delve deeper into debates created by the class. Create visualizations using organizational software to help students follow through on all aspects of a debate topic. If you are having students log-in, rather than using your personal or work email, create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as a cooperative learning activity during a lesson or unit on the events of September 11th or as part of a broader discussion on international relations, terrorism, or the role of government in balancing personal liberties and national security. Create a graphic organizer to guide students through the site (or have them create their own in small groups), highlighting what's most important and the important facts and details. For help creating easy graphic organizers, try using Holt Interactive Graphic Organizer, reviewed here, or bubbl.us, reviewed here.
Grades7 to 12
tag(s): sept11 (17)
In the ClassroomUse this site on the interactive whiteboard or projector to show students the context of the day. During a class discussion, display the timeline on a projector or interactive whiteboard for students to see and navigate together. Read the details aloud, or have student volunteers take turns reading the events aloud. Make sure that between each event you provide some sort of explanation, i.e. who the people mentioned are and what the significance was of each action. Include this discussion as you study the role of government in the protection of its citizens and balancing individual liberties with national security. Assign students to create multimedia posters using Lucidpress, reviewed here, or an infographic using Visme, reviewed here, showing the conflicting roles of government.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomInclude one or more of these sites as your observe September 11 in your classroom or make the link available on your class web site for students who ask about the events of this pivotal day. You will find many specific project or class activity ideas within the reviews themselves.
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): worksheets (62)
In the ClassroomUpload your test questions during the summer and feel free to add more as your school year progresses, but use this tool to save a bundle of time on test and quiz creation. Put your worksheet or activity sheet questions into the program and use the questions on quizzes.
Grades3 to 12
tag(s): currency (18)
In the ClassroomTake the quiz together as a class to learn about the features of the $100 bill. Research the reasons for changing from the old bill to the new style. Create and design a new bill that incorporates various security features and relevant symbols. You could also include this in your unit on national symbols and how they are used.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomThis is a great site to help students better understand what is happening with climate change. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. This site is a good way to bring in the topic of climate change and how it is effecting the entire globe. This is also a great way to discuss the topic of political popularity. When students have finished the simulation, have them choose a topic to do more research on. Have them each write a news article and create a class newspaper on climate change. Teachers be sure to check out the Science Behind Climate Change. It provides information and additional links about climate change.
Grades1 to 12
In the ClassroomUse the U.S. flag quiz on this site as a learning center or station during a Flag Day celebration or national symbol unit. Have students complete the quiz in cooperative learning groups, allowing them to assist each other when there is confusion.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse the interactive quiz on this site as a review tool before an assessment or to introduce a mini-unit on the flag. Introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard before allowing students to complete the quiz individually on classroom computers. Because of the amount of reading on the site, be sure to provide lower achieving readers with the vocabulary beforehand or a tool to help them look up complex words. Younger students would do better with partner readers or whole-class reading on an interactive whiteboard where they could highlight new words.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as a resource during Flag Day celebrations or a unit on national symbols. Use the site as an activity to help students better understand the significance of Flag Day, as well as the American Flag. Introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector before allowing cooperative learning groups loose on the site. Have students investigate the "story" of the flag, presenting the information in a multimedia presentation. Have cooperative learning groups or the whole class (younger students) create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the free lesson plans and classroom activities on this site! Be sure to save this site as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval later on. Students can select different aspects of oil spill cleanup and mitigation and play the role of experts in a mock blog post playing their role. Have students continue their role play by commenting on each other's posts.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as a springboard for discussions about the environmental impact of oil spills and, in a broader sense, of human activity in general. Share some of the text portions on a projectir or divide up the site among different student groups. Have student groups explore various aspects of oil spills and report to the class, perhaps sharing visuals from this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students create a multimedia presentation using UtellStory, reviewed here. This tool allows for to narrating and adding text to a picture. Challenge students to find a photo of the oil spill, and then narrate the photo as if it were a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as a springboard for current events or environmental science discussions about the environmental impact of oil spills and, in a broader sense, of human activity in general. Have student groups explore various aspects of oil spills and report to the class, perhaps sharing visuals from this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. As a class or in groups, collect oil spill information on a class wiki, Padlet (can be an online bulletin board), reviewed here, or a good, old-fashioned bulletin board.
Grades5 to 12
tag(s): house of representatives (10)
In the ClassroomThis site can be used in many ways. Use it on an interactive whiteboard or projector with the whole group to introduce the site and review the representative biographies. When using as a whole group, provide students cut out "thumbs up" and "thumbs down" signs for them to vote at their seats. The site can then be used as a center, for individual work in a computer lab or can be assigned as a challenge activity for advanced learners. Have students choose their local representative or one from a different political party. After the game, have students do more research on a particular representative using Kids in the House reviewed here and have them present a five minute monologue about their representative to the class.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as a springboard for discussions about the environmental impact of oil spills and, in a broader sense, of human activity in general. Use the map on the interactive whiteboard or projector to show students the physical location of the spill, as well as where the spill has had an immediate impact. For another view of the map, try this resource which allows you to superimpose the area effected onto your home town.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomYou must be able to copy and paste text or provide a url to a page of text as well as determine parameters of more advanced word clouds. Alternately, these word clouds can be kept very simple. After creating the word cloud, be sure to save the image (or use a screen capture) to share with others. Another idea, use the url of the cloud or embed into a place to share such as blog, wiki, or site.
This is a terrific visual tool to share on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Help students develop creative fluency by creating their own WordArt and ideas from scratch. Paste in a passage or URL for a political speech to visualize the politician's "message." Analyze advertising propaganda by visualizing the language used in TV or print ads. Create WordArt of historical texts of inauguration speeches as time capsules of the issues of the day. Use this site as a way to help students see and memorize text, especially visual learners. Use it also when writing poetry or reading passages of great literature to "see" themes and motifs of repeated words and images. Have students paste in their own writing to spot repeated (and monotonous) language when teaching lessons on word choice. Students will be surprised to see what words appear to be dominant. ESL and ELL students will eagerly use this site since word order will no longer be a problem for them. Have students work in groups to create word posters of vocabulary words with related meanings, such as different ways to say "walk" or "said" and decorate your classroom with these visual reminders of the richness of language. Collect thoughts about the class subject at the beginning of the year and then again at the end of the year to determine changes in thoughts about the subject matter.
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