GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomDiscover the many free social studies materials on this site to enhance your current lessons. Use the materials as a model to insert inquiry learning into any teaching activity. As you use teaching materials from this site, take advantage of technology to engage and extend learning. Use a teacher utility tool like ActivelyLearn, reviewed here, to build interactive lessons with text and video while receiving real-time assessments as students complete activities. Extend learning by asking students to create and share information about the materials learned. Provide a variety of multimedia options for students to choose from including ToonyTool, reviewed here, for creating cartoons or Minecraft Education Edition, reviewed here, to create their own learning game. Take advantage of the many ideas for implementing rubrics for assessment along with examples and online tools at TeachersFirst Rubrics to the Rescue here, as a guide for assessing student multimedia projects.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomInclude this interactive with any lessons on constitutional rights or when studying different nations. Create a Padlet, reviewed here, for your class to add and comment on constitutional rights around the world. Create columns on your Padlet by country or specific rights, then ask students to share information and articles detailing information on that right. Use an online news site like World News, reviewed here, for students to find news from around the world and search by regions. Challenge computer-savvy students to create a game using Scratch, reviewed here, that takes players around the world to learn about rights and freedoms found in different nations. Ask other students to create podcasts discussing current events and freedoms from around the world. Buzzsprout, reviewed here, is an excellent podcast creation tool and includes features for adding links and lists to shows, and allows users to schedule podcast releases for specific dates and times.
Grades7 to 12
tag(s): africa (162), alaska (25), anthropology (14), cross cultural understanding (142), cultures (117), india (34), middle east (44), native americans (81), psychology (66), scotland (7), south africa (13), south america (41)
In the ClassroomTake advantage of these free lesson ideas and videos to incorporate into any lessons on tolerance, culture, and to bring a personal touch to learning about nations around the world. Consider using the embed code found in each video and add the video to your class website for students to view at home before your lesson. Ask students to provide a short response to the video on an online bulletin board like Corkboard, reviewed here, then use these responses to guide your lesson. As part of students' ongoing research, share iCyte Education, reviewed here, to use as a browser add-on. iCyte Education allows you to save portions of online information and create the proper citation using just a couple of clicks. Enhance learning by using information learned to create infographics with Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here. Instead of a typical report or assessment at the end of your unit extend students' learning by having them use Story Maps, reviewed here, to build a virtual field trip to tell the story of students in other cultures. Include links to articles, videos, student-created infographics, and more.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomDemonstrate the basic concepts of the challenge on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then allow students to play on their own on the whiteboard or classroom computers, keeping a log of their actions and results. Have students share interactions from the game in comic form using ToonyTool, < a href="/single.cfm?id=17781">reviewed here. Ask students to use ToonyTool to create a conversation with the game's character trying to persuade an anti-Federalist or another opponent on the virtues of the Constitution. Use the game as inspiration for students to create their own history game using Scratch, < a href="/single.cfm?id=9202">reviewed here. For ideas and inspiration, use the search feature in Scratch to find examples of history games created by other users.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomTake advantage of these free investigations to incorporate into your current lessons or as a starting point to introduce the use of primary sources. Consider using the PBS activities as an alternative to a typical research paper by taking advantage of technology tools to enhance learning. Have students create a bibliography of sources using Google Docs or Microsoft Word. Share a citation tool such as RefMe, reviewed here, for students to use when citing and creating bibliographies of online documents. Encourage students to collaborate and discuss primary sources using Fiskkit, reviewed here. Copy the URL of an online resource into Fiskkit and share with students. Students then click on portions of the article to highlight and discuss relevant information found. Encourage students to delve further into any topic using Ted-Ed Clubs, reviewed here. This site allows you to create clubs with up to 50 members. Members participate in up to 13 sessions based on TED Talks by collaborating and discussing topics of interest.
Grades3 to 8
In the ClassroomUse this Scholastic site as a starting point for lessons in the Underground Railroad, slavery, and the Civil War. Make it easy for students to find all of your lesson resources in one place by using a bookmarking tool like Symbaloo, reviewed here. As students become familiar with events, use the timeline tool found on Class Tools, reviewed here, to help them visualize the sequence of activities. Help students focus on keywords and content found in the text by copying and pasting the text into a word cloud using TagCrowd, reviewed here. Save and revisit your word cloud throughout the unit to identify common themes throughout all materials used. If you teach older students, modify classroom technology use by asking them to create an animated timeline using History in Motion, reviewed here, including links to web resources, time-period maps, and videos. Have younger students create digital books using Book Creator (Chrome and app), reviewed here, to tell the story of the Underground Railroad in their own words. Book Creator also includes tools for adding images, videos, and drawings and can be used for a variety of assignments in any classroom that is integrating technology as an enhancement, modification, or transformation. Share student-created books as part of your digital class library on your class website.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site for many different purposes in history and geography classrooms. Data found on these maps only go up through 2010, ask students to research data through the current year. Create and annotate your own charts using ChartAccent, reviewed here, to demonstrate population changes in your state or community. Take advantage of a large amount of data and information found on this site to use as a starting point for student research projects. Ask them to transform their learning by creating and presenting their information through a multimedia platform such as History in Motion, reviewed here. Use this tool to add texts, images, maps, and more to tell the story of changes over time within a community.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomReplace some of your current written Native America resources with the genuine artifacts and stories available for viewing on this site. Introduce the site to students on your interactive whiteboard to demonstrate the different features available and how to find them. After students have time to explore, create groups to do in-depth research within the four different featured areas. Create a Padlet, reviewed here, with four columns for students to share web and video resources found during their research. Instead of written or oral presentations, ask student groups to create quizzes for their classmates using a quiz-creation tool like Baamboozle, reviewed here. Baamboozle is a quick and easy resource for creating and sharing quizzes for teams of two. As a final project, transform student learning by using Book Creator, reviewed here, to create class books sharing information about Native Americans. Book Creator is a digital book creation site offering the ability to add images, text, video, and more. Be sure to share student-created books on your class website or blog after publication.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the free games and materials on this site to use as a supplement to your current resources for teaching history and government. Instead of written notes, strengthen learning by having students use an online tool such as Creately, reviewed here, to create diagrams, mindmaps, and other visual graphic organizers. To compare and contrast information found in different primary sources, create a Venn Diagram using Creately. As students prepare to share their findings and summarize their learning, have them modify their learning by creating infographics using Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here, to visually represent facts and information. As a final assessment for your unit using these materials, ask students to form teams to debate different sides of the issues presented. Share their debates as a podcast using Anchor, reviewed here. Anchor is a simple to use podcasting tool offering several free options for creating, hosting, and sharing podcasts. As an alternative, ask other students redefine their learning and to create multimedia presentations using Sway, reviewed here to share text, videos, images, and more.
Grades4 to 12
tag(s): african american (99), american revolution (88), black history (61), civil rights (125), civil war (147), colonial america (110), colonization (17), constitution (92), politics (106), primary sources (100), slavery (67), virginia (16), virtual field trips (58), washington (27), world war 1 (57), world war 2 (143)
In the ClassroomBookmark this site to use for lesson planning and student research if you teach Social Studies in any state. Take advantage of the virtual tours on the site to provide a real look at historic sites that go beyond the pages of textbooks. Instead of reading stories found in textbooks, ask students to browse the site to find interesting events during the period being studied. Use these ideas as the basis for student research projects. Encourage students to imagine themselves as a participant in events in history. Ask students to extend learning by using this Headline Generator, reviewed here, as a story starter to retell and analyze moments in history. Share the site's podcasts in listening centers or as an option for flipped learning. Use the podcasts as models for students to create their own podcasts for retelling events in history through the perspective of someone alive during that time. Podcast Generator, reviewed here, will enhance learning and provides free tools for creating and sharing podcasts.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce your unit on the American Revolution. Follow the instructions to create a multiplayer game for your classroom using small groups. Instead of written reports, extend student learning by asking students to research the different points of view provided by advisors within the game. Then modify learning by having them create a website either individually or in small groups using Carrd, reviewed here, to share information backing up their final decision within the game including links to research sites and their supporting writing activities. As a class project, use student research to modify learning and create an interactive book using Book Creator, reviewed here. Have students enhance their learning by using Be Washington as a model to create podcasts using Anchor, reviewed here, to reenact the challenges faced by George Washington.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomDownload and share the database provided on the site as a starting point for many different history projects. Enhance student learning and begin your project by having students choose a famous woman and personalizing a dollar bill with her image using Festisite Money,reviewed here. As students continue researching famous women, share our TeachersFirst History Month Resources located here, as a starting point for finding information. Instead of just creating a list of online resources for student research, extend learning by creating interactive learning activities using a tool like InsertLearning, reviewed here. InsertLearning is a Chrome browser extension that allows you to highlight, add comments, and add sticky notes including video to any web page. Students reply directly within the page and add their own notes. As a final project, expand learning by asking students to use a timeline tool like History in Motion, reviewed here to share information about their research and add context with other historical events of the time.
In the ClassroomCreate quizzes to correlate with current history lessons. Use your quiz to introduce any new time period or series of events as a pre-assessment, then continue sharing with students for use throughout your unit and as a review for your final assessment. Although created for use with dates, this site can also be modified to create quizzes for the order of events in stories and novels. Extend classroom technology use and student learning by having students create their own quizzes then share with peers as a review tool. Use the URL link and embed codes created to transform class tech use by including student-created quizzes within multimedia projects created using a presentation tool like Sway, reviewed here. After students create their quizzes, modify class tech use and learning by asking students to use a timeline creation tool like History in Motion, reviewed here, to add images, videos, and text to tell the entire story. Choose from other timeline creation tools located here.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark this site to reference throughout the school year. Use the keyword search option to find ideas for specific units or technology tools to use. Use a bookmarking tool like Wakelet, reviewed here, to collect and share information from this blog along with your other resources. As you gather lesson ideas and create your unit, use Symbaloo Learning Paths, reviewed here, to create differentiated lesson activities for your students.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUse the materials found on this site to supplement your lessons on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. Find additional Lincoln and Civil War materials at Actively Learn, reviewed here. Lessons on Actively Learn include embedded questions correlated to Common Core Standards for developing reading and comprehension skills. Organize your entire Lincoln unit and share materials (including videos with embedded questions) with students using Edmodo, reviewed here. Create an entire learning path with all of your materials using Symbaloo Learning Paths, reviewed here. Symbaloo Learning Paths includes options for embedding videos, texts, quizzes, and more. In addition, Symbaloo Learning Paths allows the creator to create optional paths for users to follow allowing for differentiation of activities. Modify older students learning by having them create their own Learning Path as an alternative to a research project to share information they learned and create quizzes for fellow students.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomInclude this website with your Civil War unit, President's Day, or Abraham Lincoln lessons. Instead of gathering information from textbooks to learn about Lincoln's death, ask students to be the investigators and gather and analyze facts on their own. Begin by sharing the questions found on this site using Padlet, reviewed here. Create a column for each question in your Padlet, then have students add evidence found on this site and others to support their answer. To enhance learning and help students organize their thinking, use a timeline creator from ReadWriteThink, reviewed here, to understand the order of events. Transform student learning as a final activity, by asking students to share their findings including evidence in an explainer video created with Biteable, reviewed here.
Grades5 to 8
In the ClassroomSince the topic of immigration can be a sensitive issue in any American classroom today, you may want to use the lessons in From Provocative to Productive, reviewed here, to introduce how to have a respectful discussion (and develop critical thinking skills along the way). Once you feel students are versed a bit in diplomacy, use Immigration Nation as an introduction making sure students know the facts about becoming a citizen in the United States. Share the game on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector. In order to assure your students know the requirements before participating in a discussion of this hot political issue, you may want to play with the entire class first, reminding students they need to learn the facts before they can effectively debate the issues. Then allow students to play on their own on the whiteboard or classroom computers, keeping a log of their actions and results. Once students know the facts, you could set up a discussion using Socratic Smackdown, reviewed here, to practice their discussion and argument strategies. With older students, a next step might be to take the debate public using Virtual Debate, reviewed here, which has online examples and resources for conducting virtual debates.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomIf your students have a school email address use this information to sign individuals up to create their own plot. View examples on this site to get inspiration for creating plots in several different ways. Create family trees of story characters to help visualize family legacies, have students create a hierarchy chart representing government leaders, or have students research their own family tree. After completing timelines, ask students to use the information learned to enhance their learning by creating an explainer video sharing their timeline or hierarchy details. Biteable, reviewed here, is a very easy to use video creation tool.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomInclude this game with any lessons on the Bill of Rights. Challenge students to compete against each other and move up through the different levels of difficulty. Include the site with your other resources on a bookmarking site like SearchTeam, reviewed here. SearchTeam includes the option to add and share notes with bookmarks, add teaching notes for your future use or if sharing with students, ask them to add tips into the comments section. Upon completion of your unit, enhance learning by having students create animated videos using Powtoon, reviewed here, to share their understanding of the Bill of Rights.
Grades6 to 8
tag(s): black history (61), civil rights (125), constitution (92), democracy (17), elections (75), freedom of speech (12), immigrants (24), immigration (63), media literacy (78), politics (106), Research (20), world war 2 (143)