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Today in History - Library of Congress

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4 to 12
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The Library of Congress offers this daily look at historical events - mostly American. There is typically more than one event listed per day, and the text integrates cultural, literary,...more
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The Library of Congress offers this daily look at historical events - mostly American. There is typically more than one event listed per day, and the text integrates cultural, literary, and political trends into the daily reporting. This makes this daily nugget far more than just a collection of "factoids."

tag(s): history day (24)

In the Classroom

This site provides excellent historical research! For a classroom-ready activity each day to build understanding of historical events in the context of your students' prior knowledge, also try TeachersFirst's Dates That Matter. Include both links on your teacher web page for instant access by students both in and out of class. Maybe start a class wiki for your own "This Day" collection and assign student groups a day of their own. Add to it from year to year. Or have students write blog responses on class or individual blogs as they choose an event for the day from several sources and react to it.

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Today In History - Cowles

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6 to 12
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A very good site for the history buff or those struggling to understand historical events. The story links have real depth and are well written for easy comprehension. Pictures make...more
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A very good site for the history buff or those struggling to understand historical events. The story links have real depth and are well written for easy comprehension. Pictures make the history come alive and support the information given. There are links to particular events of the day, a daily quiz, and a picture of the day. Be aware: some dates do not have any information and other dates provide a very brief list of "happenings."

tag(s): expository writing (40), history day (24)

In the Classroom

This site would be ideal for research projects. For a classroom-ready activity each day to build understanding of historical events in the context of your students' prior knowledge, also try TeachersFirst's Dates That Matter. Include both links on your teacher web page for instant access by students both in and out of class. Maybe start a class wiki for your own "This Day" collection and assign student groups a day of their own. Add to it from year to year. Or have students write blog responses on class or individual blogs as they choose an event for the day from several sources and react to it.

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Modern Languages - Learning Space Open University

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8 to 12
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This site offers free courses with a great deal of depth on topics featuring modern European languages and English. It is a not a site for beginning language learners or ...more
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This site offers free courses with a great deal of depth on topics featuring modern European languages and English. It is a not a site for beginning language learners or low-level ESL and ELL students. Courses explore language topics, mostly with textual readings. Some of the featured units follow language textbooks. In addition to language topics, there are several offerings in business English. Students can choose what to study in a variety of ways: by topic, time of course, and course number or code.

You can put this in your RSS reader. Some of the activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): business (59)

In the Classroom

Introduce your AP language and world culture students to the materials on this site. Gifted students or those seeking independent language study could also use these courses.Older ESL and ELL students interested in business careers may also find it useful.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Foreign Languages and Literature - MIT Open Courseware

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8 to 12
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This site offers free comprehensive, interactive language and literature courses developed by MIT staff as part of their open course ware program. All courses include a regular syllabus...more
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This site offers free comprehensive, interactive language and literature courses developed by MIT staff as part of their open course ware program. All courses include a regular syllabus that features assignments, interactive activities, and other resources such as videos and slideshows. There is a wide range of language offerings; the cultural courses complement the language instruction and include topics such as popular culture, history, economics, media , and thinking skills. There are courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): chinese (50), french (91), german (66), india (32), japan (60), japanese (45), latin (22), spanish (111)

In the Classroom

AP history, language, and economics students may find MIT's online course materials useful. MIT has committed to putting its entire curriculum on the web, and these early offerings include syllabi, reading materials, and a variety of subject-specific class notes. Before using these pages, students and parents should all be aware of what Open Courseware is and is not. Teachers at smaller schools may welcome the availability of language alternatives. Teachers of gifted who are looking for acceleration options will also find these courses valuable, though you will need to develop a means of doing assessment if your students are to earn credit for them.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Ethnologue - SIL International

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6 to 12
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This site is an index to languages of the world, including lesser known ones. There is also some reference information provided for most locations. Teachers and students can click on...more
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This site is an index to languages of the world, including lesser known ones. There is also some reference information provided for most locations. Teachers and students can click on a map of the world to come up with a list of continents and then a list of countries. Each country, no matter how obscure, displays a list of its languages and dialects and a short description of the location where the language is spoken. For example, the tiny West African country of Liberia lists over 30 languages and dialects, many of which are spoken in no locations outside this country.

In the Classroom

Use this site when social studies students are doing reports on world cultures. Check out your own state (or country) and see what you can learn. ESL and ELL students may enjoy sharing the information displayed here about their individual countries and languages with American students who might have no idea of the cultural differences among members of the same country. Use this map as a discussion starter I your world cultures class about migration patterns and the power of a common language to encourage cross-cultural pollination.

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TESL/TEFL/TESOL/ESL/EFL/ESOL Links - ITESLJ

Grades
1 to 12
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This compilation of sites is a standard source for ESL and ELL teachers and contains links to whatever type of vocabulary enrichment activity you might be looking for. Although this...more
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This compilation of sites is a standard source for ESL and ELL teachers and contains links to whatever type of vocabulary enrichment activity you might be looking for. Although this site is "plain vanilla" and not high-tech, it has been around for a long time and offers a comprehensive list of sites to use with ESL and ELL students. English/language arts teachers will also find the vocabulary development options helpful for any student, especially those who may need extra learning support.

Be sure to check out "What's New" for recent additions. Go to "Main Page" and try the search box; it's a good place to try to find the links you remember from awhile back but have lost track of.

tag(s): holidays (140), idioms (45), sight words (36), vocabulary (319)

In the Classroom

Provide this link on your class website. Use this site for vocabulary ideas with your ESL and ELL students AND in your world language classes or mainstream language arts classes. The variety at this site offers something for every classroom learning English or another language.

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Beeline TV - Beeline Software Express

Grades
1 to 12
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This online TV resource offers instant streaming of TV news, sports, music, and cultural programs from up to 400 different countries in many languages. With a Windows Media Player or...more
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This online TV resource offers instant streaming of TV news, sports, music, and cultural programs from up to 400 different countries in many languages. With a Windows Media Player or other player (downloading directions given at the site), teachers can have television on classroom computers instantly. Foreign language teachers can show programs featuring their language group. English language TV comes from the U.S. and the U.K. Some examples of "TV" places include Dubai, France, Jordan, Kuwait, Japan, Korea, China, Poland, Denmark, Russia, and countless others.

Be sure to preview stations and programs to be certain the offerings are appropriate for your classrooms and student ages. International students will enjoy the opportunity to check out news and other events from their original countries. Some of the European TV sites offer bilingual programming; English language summaries often accompany the news in many languages.

tag(s): news (260), sports (100)

In the Classroom

Add interest to a foreign language class by checking out the news in your target language using this site. Supplement language study with cultural opportunities by using the music sites. During major world events, compare news coverage from different English-speaking sites to see the different angles provided from different cultures. As you read stories or study customs from other lands, use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to share a taste of the world with your elementary students. If your school has a student handbook or special supplement for international students, recommend this site as a way to check the news and cultural happenings from their first countries. All students will enjoy coverage of international sporting events.

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Happy Ramadan - kiddyhouse.com

Grades
K to 5
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This site includes basic information about Ramadan. The site features some catchy background music, and lots of reference information about Ramadan and fasting. There are also links...more
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This site includes basic information about Ramadan. The site features some catchy background music, and lots of reference information about Ramadan and fasting. There are also links for teachers, students, coloring pages, Ramadan songs, crafts, e-cards, and other features. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): ramadan (9)

In the Classroom

Get an interactive whiteboard or projector, turn up the volume, and introduce your students to Ramadan. This is a very practical and fun site created especially for children. Use this site to teach your students about the history of the holiday, the traditions, the music, and more!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Gapminder World - Gapminder

Grades
6 to 12
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Use Gapminder World (with no login required) to see how countries vary and change over time in economics, health, and environment. Click the MAP tab as a good place to ...more
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Use Gapminder World (with no login required) to see how countries vary and change over time in economics, health, and environment. Click the MAP tab as a good place to start. Follow all trends and click play to animate the country bubbles through a timeline. Click on a specific bubble (country) to follow through time. Each axis of the graph can be customized for a large number of combinations. Video tutorials and a pdf of directions are available. Share your chart through the use of a link or take a snapshot of your screen using print screen functions. There is also this page of help and ideas specifically for teachers. Be patient. This site has a lot of information to load, so you may have to wait a bit!

tag(s): countries (81), environment (323)

In the Classroom

Be sure you and your students begin by "playing" with the controls to figure out the many tools available on this dynamic site. Be sure to peruse by this page of ideas specifically for teachers. Use this site to generate questions from students for continued research in health, environmental, and civics topics that students will relate to. Manipulate each axis (using pulldowns) to create a dynamic graph and follow all or a few of the countries (bubbles). Questions resulting from the graph can be used to define research leading to further understanding. Have students obtain background information that can lead to further research on social issues in the U.S. and around the World or use this tool as part of oral/visual presentations comparing countries and cultures. Be sure to use your interactive whiteboard or projector.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Cosmeo Atlas - Discovery education

Grades
6 to 12
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This interactive world map shares information in video format about culture, government, history, or the natural world. To view the information you may either click on the location...more
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This interactive world map shares information in video format about culture, government, history, or the natural world. To view the information you may either click on the location on the map, or use the Select a Location toolbar. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): climate (94), countries (81), environment (323)

In the Classroom

Students can be divided into groups and assigned a country. Each student can use the videos to create a snapshot of the country based upon the culture, government, history, and the natural world. Students can create their own videos outlining the information, a blog post to share with others, newsletters, or any other project that makes a comparison between cultures. Offer this as one of several resources for student research. Your learning support and ESL students will find it easier to follow this information in video than to use text-based resources.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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American Heritage Education Foundation, Inc. - The American Heritage Education Foundation

Grades
K to 12
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Social studies, history, and government teachers - be warned - this site may be the best FREE gift you receive this year. To sum it up in one word - ...more
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Social studies, history, and government teachers - be warned - this site may be the best FREE gift you receive this year. To sum it up in one word - WOW! The highlight of this site is ready-to-go lesson plans (with standards) divided by age level (elementary, middle, and high school). These FREE lesson plans are available online via a PDF file or you may order a FREE CD (they say it is a $150 value).

The elementary topics range from Colonial America to U.S. Presidents (with a focus on George Washington) to the History of Thanksgiving to The Pledge of Allegiance and MANY others. The middle school topics include the Declaration of Independence, Our National Documents, The Gettysburg Address, Religious Expression in School, and several others. The high school topics vary from the Mayflower, to Federalists 47, the First Amendment, and more. Each grade level also includes lessons on character education.

In addition to the wonderful lesson plans, the site also highlights the four themes of the foundation: Unity, Progress, Freedom, and Responsibility. There are also links to some fantastic social studies sites and a wealth of research information about America. Some of the lesson plans and printables require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): colonial america (108), constitution (88), gettysburg (26), gettysburg address (18), presidents (123), thanksgiving (34)

In the Classroom

Obviously, the lesson plans are useful for all grade levels. Take advantage of these free resources. Many include printable activities for your students to try out. Although the site isn't highly interactive, it does have some great ideas to incorporate into your class to bring history alive.

Make the lesson plans more "technologically advanced" by having students create a wiki or blog entry. Have your high school students complete the lesson on the First Amendment and then have them have a virtual debate about the First Amendment via a class wiki. Have your elementary students complete the lesson on U.S. Presidents and then have each student write a blog entry pretending to be one of the presidents (a great mini-research project). Have your middle school students complete the lesson on the Gettysburg Address and then try to create their own "Address" to talk about the current state of our nation. Have them share their "Address" on a video using YouTube or or TeacherTube (explained here).
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Wanderlust: GOOD traces the most famous trips in history - GOOD magazine

Grades
5 to 12
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Visually interesting, this site offers brief (3--5 stop) illustrated trips reflecting a combination of real-life and fictional journeys, including those by Amelia Earhart, Captain Ahab,...more
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Visually interesting, this site offers brief (3--5 stop) illustrated trips reflecting a combination of real-life and fictional journeys, including those by Amelia Earhart, Captain Ahab, Magellan, Marco Polo, Jack Kerouac, Pizarro, and Phileas Fogg. The site opens with a world map with each of the journeys traced and keyed to the name of the journey. Clicking on a journey brings up photographs, literary illustrations, or drawings from the time period showing highlights of the trip. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): columbus day (8), explorers (68), lewis and clark (15), literature (270), marco polo (5)

In the Classroom

The individual journeys are brief, but would provide a nice accompaniment to a lesson, either in literature or history. When introduce Hudson the explorer, share his voyage as an anticipatory set or activator for the lesson. They would be particularly effective on an interactive whiteboard or projector. As your students read other literature or study other events in history, challenge them to create similar "maps" of the journeys in Google Earth.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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6th Grade Home Page - Kidport

Grades
5 to 7
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This site, created by Kidport for sixth grade students, offers links to lessons and activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library....more
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This site, created by Kidport for sixth grade students, offers links to lessons and activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library. Some of the subject areas only offer one or two activities, while others offer several. Some examples of topics include adding and subtracting decimals, angles, human body (heart, bones, muscles, and more), vertebrates, invertebrates, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, the structure of the U.S. government, U.S. constitution, presidents, homophones, contractions, drawing, and others.

This site offers a variety of interactive elements (online quizzes, interactive maps and diagrams, and other learning exercises). Some of the pages do have advertisements, but they are not distractive. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): angles (88), constitution (88), decimals (124), egypt (65), grammar (210), greece (26), presidents (123), rome (24)

In the Classroom

Check out the unique mix available at this website. Share it with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for enrichment, learning stations, or as a whole class activity. List this site on your class website for students to use for additional practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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7th Grade Home Page - Kidport

Grades
6 to 8
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This site, created by Kidport for seventh grade students, offers links to lessons and activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library....more
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This site, created by Kidport for seventh grade students, offers links to lessons and activities in math, science, social studies, language arts, creative arts, and a reference library. Some of the subject areas only offer one or two activities, while others offer several. Some examples of topics include adding and subtracting decimals, angles, human body (heart, bones, muscles, and more), vertebrates, invertebrates, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, the structure of the U.S. government, world geography, U.S. constitution, presidents, kinds of verbs, kinds of nouns, sentence structure, drawing, and others.

This site offers a variety of interactive elements (online quizzes, interactive maps and diagrams, and other learning exercises). Some of the pages do have advertisements, but they are not distractive. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): angles (88), constitution (88), decimals (124), grammar (210), presidents (123)

In the Classroom

Check out the eclectic mix of activities available at this website. Share it with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this site for enrichment during certain units, learning stations, or as a whole class activity. List this site on your class website for students to use for additional practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Web Poster Wizard - 4Teachers.org

Grades
K to 12
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Use this terrific online tool for your students to create posters or short reports in a poster format. Create lessons, worksheets, or class pages and instantly publish them online using...more
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Use this terrific online tool for your students to create posters or short reports in a poster format. Create lessons, worksheets, or class pages and instantly publish them online using this free Web Poster Wizard. The teacher sets up an account (for free), and follows simple directions so students can upload images and write about their project or pictures. The site even includes management tools so you can keep separate classes of students and see their work by class.

Plan to spend some time reading through the directions and trying out this tool before you assign it to students. Teachers and students must register and login each time they use this tool. Students can share the URL for their posters with grandparents or parents to show off their good work!

Students will need to know how to locate and upload a file for an image (such as a digital picture) to place it in their poster. If you allow them to use images from the web, the tool asks them to give information on their image source, as well (hooray for ethical use of the Internet!). If you use digital pictures of students, be SURE that you do NOT use full names on the site. You should get parent permission for uploading any student images, even if anonymous.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): posters (41)

In the Classroom

Some uses for this simple tool: book reports (take a digital photo of the book cover), biographical posters of famous people (images from the web), "all about me" posters, posters about community members such as veterans of World War II whom students interview and photograph, author posters, fictitious character studies, science posters on processes or terms with accompanying digital pictures to illustrate, etc. The possibilities are endless. Once students know the tool, they can use it over and over.

Teachers, make sure you select the archive option to keep student projects live online for more than a month. Use the Teacher Feature option to create one web page of your class' archived projects. You will want to put your created web page link prominently on your class homepage.

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Animalia - PBS Kids GO!

Grades
K to 5
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Join your child guides, Zoe and Alex, as they travel to Animalia (an interesting world of talking animals). This CGI-animated series is based on the best-selling children's book by...more
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Join your child guides, Zoe and Alex, as they travel to Animalia (an interesting world of talking animals). This CGI-animated series is based on the best-selling children's book by Graeme Base. At the Parents and Teachers link the site explains that Animalia teaches creativity, cooperation, persistence, world cultures, and language arts. Take a tour of Animalia, go to the Games and Activities link to find writing activities, art fun, creativity builders, and even mystery codes. There are also links to watch video clips! This interactive site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): creativity (117), literature (270)

In the Classroom

Use this site to spruce up language arts class! Take a tour of Animalia together on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work on individual computer to watch video clips and try the interactives. Have students write the story or "crack the code" at the Games and Activities link. Save this site in your favorites on your classroom computers so students can visit during language arts class or when work is complete. Use this site to help your ESL and ELL students further familiarize themselves with the English language. Gifted student respond well to this book. Consider extending your study of animals or writing by creating your own books modeled on Animalia.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Peace Corps Challenge - Peace Corps

Grades
4 to 12
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This site helps students make the global connections that we are all human and must help each other. The challenge is to help the people in the tiny village of ...more
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This site helps students make the global connections that we are all human and must help each other. The challenge is to help the people in the tiny village of Wanzuzu. Narina (your Peace Corps guide) will lead students throughout the many challenges of this website. Students meet up with the mayor to discuss the water contamination (and ways to fix the problem). Many natives meet up with students along the way to offer help and tips. Students learn about the overall health and health care by visiting the clinic. Many other points of interest are visited during the journey.

The site includes eight detailed lesson plans with standards, video clips, online stories and games, and much more to enhance the lessons. Teachers, click on the Teachers link on the main page to access all of the lesson information. The actual activity opens in a new window, so you can easily go back to the lesson plans at any time throughout the journey. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): agriculture (60), environment (323), water (134)

In the Classroom

Use the ready-to-go lesson plans to take your students on this life-changing journey to Wanzuzu. The interactive tour and activities would work well on an interactive whiteboard or projector. However, if individual computers are available, have students work with a "Peace Corps Partner" to navigate the site together. The lesson plans and activities can be used in language arts classes, social studies, geography, health, and science class. Use this site to help students think globally not just locally.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Google Lit Trips - Google Earth

Grades
3 to 12
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Google Lit Trips collects annotated maps on Google Earth to illustrate the travels found in great works of literature. The site presents the work of teachers and others and continues...more
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Google Lit Trips collects annotated maps on Google Earth to illustrate the travels found in great works of literature. The site presents the work of teachers and others and continues to add maps and content. Literary works are divided by grade level. Each map also provides links to other online material related to the work illustrated, and some trips are accompanied by related podcasts.

"Lit trips" can be reviewed by users so teachers can see comments left by other users. This site uses Google Earth which must be downloaded first. Find full info on Google Earth in the TeachersFirst review, including the link to download.

tag(s): earth (224), literature (270), maps (294)

In the Classroom

Each "lit trip" is extensively annotated and linked to further content, making this an incredibly rich resource for teachers to use in conjunction with teaching works of literature. Students can see graphically the travels of such characters as the Joads in The Grapes of Wrath , or Odysseus in Homer's Odyssey . Using these lit trips on an interactive whiteboard or projector will greatly enhance a class study of the associated work of literature. Alternatively, students might be encouraged to explore these lit trips independently, at home, or in a computer lab, so they can follow links that are of particular individual interest. As a really ambitious project, make it a class task to create a lit trip for a work of literature you are studying, assigning student groups to choose locations and create the placemarkers, then submit it to the Lit Trips site.

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Olympics Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Winter or summer, the Olympics provide teaching opportunities across the curriculum for students of all ages. Browse these options for curriculum connections to light the Olympic flame...more
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Winter or summer, the Olympics provide teaching opportunities across the curriculum for students of all ages. Browse these options for curriculum connections to light the Olympic flame in your classroom.

tag(s): china (63), olympics (52)

In the Classroom

Use these Olympics resources to plan an entire unit during the Olympics or make them available as links from your teacher web page for enrichment if the Olympics fall during school breaks. Not enough time for an Olympics unit? Perhaps students can use these links to generate ideas and projects to share on an Olympics extra credit wiki. Teachers of gifted will find many ways to spark new projects usig these links.

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Stories to Grow By - Whootie Owl Productions

Grades
1 to 6
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This site has free stories, mainly fairy tales and folk tales, indexed by topic. Highlights include various holidays, international stories of all types, free reader's theater pieces,...more
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This site has free stories, mainly fairy tales and folk tales, indexed by topic. Highlights include various holidays, international stories of all types, free reader's theater pieces, and free online recorded stories (click "Stories on CD" to access free downloads). All stories are "kid-tested" and uplifting. Students are able to make comments (and read other viewers' comments). They are able to search for stories by age (ranging from age 6-14), theme, type of story, and location.

Be aware: this site does include some advertising. This site requires Quicktime. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): air (146), folktales (48), listening (85)

In the Classroom

Check with your administrator about students submitting their own names or making comments about the stories. You may want to give the students a classroom name so their identities remain anonymous. Use this site to find stories that represent cultures of the students in your classroom, whether they are ESL or students with different ethnic backgrounds. Use this site also to find stories for various school holidays. Play a story aloud on your speakers, then allow students to record their own stories with musical backgrounds.

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