TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jan 29, 2023

Here are this week's features. Clicking the tags in the description area of each listing will present a list of other resources with this topic. | Click here to go to the Featured Sites Archive

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Biographies with BrainPOP Jr. - Rosa Parks - BrainPOP

Grades
2 to 5
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Teach early elementary learners about civil rights activist Rosa Parks with this free BrainPop Jr. mini-unit. Easily incorporate reading and history standards with these engaging activities....more
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Teach early elementary learners about civil rights activist Rosa Parks with this free BrainPop Jr. mini-unit. Easily incorporate reading and history standards with these engaging activities. The site includes a short, engaging video, comprehension quizzes, an interactive mind map creator, as well as writing, drawing, and discussion topics.

In the Classroom

These activities would be great to supplement your reading and history lessons. First, using the wordplay section of the lesson, students learn five new vocabulary words by reading the word and definition, then using the interactive features to draw a picture, use it in a sentence, and act it out. Next, have your class work together using the interactive mind map to practice sequencing or to extend learning about the concepts learned in the video. When finished, mind maps, drawings, and writings can all be printed or saved as images.

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African American Artists - National Gallery of Art

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4 to 12
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Explore an extensive collection of African-American art provided by the National Gallery of Art. This collection includes a variety of mediums, including photography, sculpture, and...more
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Explore an extensive collection of African-American art provided by the National Gallery of Art. This collection includes a variety of mediums, including photography, sculpture, and paintings. Click any thumbnail to find a summary of the artwork to learn more about the artist.

In the Classroom

Include this collection with your other resources shared during Black History Week or as part of art lessons exploring types of media and art genres. Padlet, reviewed here is an excellent tool to curate and share resources with students. Use individual images for story starters or writing prompts. For example, share an image on Google Slides, reviewed here, then ask students to write a short story based on the image. As students explore artists and their work, have them share their learning by creating a website using Carrd, reviewed here. Carrd is a simple website creation tool that asks students to add images, information about artists, and their reflections on the artwork. Extend learning by turning the tables and allowing the students to become the teacher using Symbaloo Learning Paths, reviewed here. Ask students to create a Learning Path about their favorite artist or media that includes links to biographies, art displays, videos, quizzes, and more. Share Learning Paths with peers to provide a personalized learning experience about art.

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Gertrude 'Ma' Rainey - Ma Rainey's Black Bottom - Paramounr

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8 to 12
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Ma Rainey's "Black Bottom" is the theme song for August Wilson's play from 1982 and the Netflix movie from 2020 of the same name. The song, first recorded in 1927, ...more
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Ma Rainey's "Black Bottom" is the theme song for August Wilson's play from 1982 and the Netflix movie from 2020 of the same name. The song, first recorded in 1927, is still relevant today; it is set in the 1920s in Chicago and deals with themes of Black art and culture, racial tension, and power. This song resides on YouTube and may not be available in your classroom.

In the Classroom

Are you studying Black history or the Blues? Then your students need to know about Ma Rainey. Have them read Ma Rainey's biography, reviewed here, and then listen to one of Ma Rainey's most famous songs. Ask pairs or small groups to listen carefully and pick out phrases that would still apply to Black Americans today. Use a tool such as Padlet, reviewed here, to list the example phrases and research current topics that are relevant. With Padlet, students can post various resources such as videos, primary sources, and books.

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Freedom's Ring - Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute

Grades
5 to 12
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Freedom's Ring is an interactive website project created by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University. This site provides an immersive, multimedia...more
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Freedom's Ring is an interactive website project created by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University. This site provides an immersive, multimedia experience where students can take an in-depth look into the Civil Rights period of American History. Students may explore the speech by choosing to display Dr. King's written words, spoken words, or both while listening to the recording. Throughout the address, lines of text are highlighted and lead the reader to a more in-depth look at the time period or reasonings for particular words used. The multimedia player where the speech is displayed makes it easy for students to pause and play by using the spacebar and marking sections of the text that have links to further information with longer lines. The entire site is also indexed, so students may choose to read the entire speech and view the entire directory of supplemental materials.

In the Classroom

This resource takes a comprehensive look inside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous speech. Teachers may want to use this site to engage students by playing the address at the beginning of a lesson or by having students preview the oration by scrolling through and observing the pictures and graphics displayed throughout. Instruction can be enhanced by having the students view and analyze the supplemental materials and videos. Extend your student's knowledge by having them create their own video analyses using a tool such as Flip, reviewed here, to reflect on their learning and share with their peers. You may also want to ask students to comment on others' videos to compare similar and different viewpoints.

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Unpublished Black History - The New York Times

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6 to 12
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Browse through unpublished images from The New York Times archives published daily during February's Black History Month recognition, including short background information about the...more
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Browse through unpublished images from The New York Times archives published daily during February's Black History Month recognition, including short background information about the picture's subject. Email signup isn't required; scroll past that portion at the top of the page to browse the content. Images include well-known entertainers, sports, political figures, and pictures commemorating everyday events. In addition, each entry has a link to a New York Times article.

In the Classroom

This page is perfect for sharing with students to explore and find people and events of interest. The page is quite lengthy; if looking for specific information such as an event in a particular city or a person, use the search for text feature on your computer to find that information. On a Mac, use "Command+F"; on a Windows device, use "Ctrl+F"; another method for easier viewing is to click on the magnifying glass found on the bottom, left-hand corner of an image. This option allows viewers to scroll through a slide show of the images that include a short description of the activity. As students find information to research further, use the Wikipedia Timeline Generator found at Class Tools, reviewed here, to view a chronological list of events related to that person or event. Use other templates found in class tools to extend learning further. For example, use the Venn Diagram generator to organize and understand overlapping events and people involved or ask students to use the Fakebook generator to create a fictional social profile for one of the people featured on the New York Times page. Extend learning by asking students to become reporters and write news articles about current or past Black History events not found in this article. Consider using a simple web-publishing tool like Telegra.ph, reviewed here, to create and share articles that include student-created text along with images and web links.

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The Freedom Riders and the Popular Music of the Civil Rights Movement - EDSITEment!

Grades
8 to 12
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This fascinating lesson plan includes six teaching activities that focus on how civil rights activists used the power of song to share their message of equal justice under the law ...more
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This fascinating lesson plan includes six teaching activities that focus on how civil rights activists used the power of song to share their message of equal justice under the law for all. The lesson begins with guiding questions and stated learning objectives aligned to Social Studies and Common Core literacy standards. Then, students listen to several songs from the 1960s and analyze the lyrics to understand the civil rights messages during their study of the materials. This lesson includes links to all media and music referenced within the activities.

In the Classroom

Integrate this lesson into your teaching about civil rights, Freedom Fighters, or the 1960s to engage students in learning about this period through music. Enhance learning by dividing students into groups to analyze different songs, then ask them to share their findings with the class by sharing a presentation created using one of the tools found at Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education, reviewed here. After viewing the presentations, encourage students to look for similarities within each message. Use Answer Garden, reviewed here, to post a question and ask students to post responses to create a word cloud. For example, ask each group to share important words or concepts from their song, then view the word cloud to understand overlapping content. As a final activity, extend learning by asking students to create interactive timelines that include important civil rights events, 1960s music, and highlights of civil rights leaders' activities. Use a timeline creation tool such as Time Graphics Timeline Maker, reviewed here, or the timeline feature found in Padlet, reviewed here. Using either option, ask students to include links to videos, recordings, and discussions of the civil rights events.
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Black History Month - Library of Congress

Grades
6 to 12
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Black History Month features events and resources provided by the Library of Congress. Begin by visiting the "Read More" link in the introductory paragraph to find information about...more
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Black History Month features events and resources provided by the Library of Congress. Begin by visiting the "Read More" link in the introductory paragraph to find information about the site along with several additional Black History Month Resources. The featured activity is a lesson plan that explores the role of artists and artwork in the Civil Rights movement. In addition, the lesson activities feature many primary source documents for use as the basis for learning activities. Further down the page are Black History Month event highlights. Finally, follow the links on the events to register or view activities throughout the month, including photo research of African-Americans in the Military and A House Built by Slaves: African-American Visitors to the Lincoln White House.

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site to use as a supplement to your current resources for teaching about Black History. Engage students through the use of primary documents within Google Jamboard, reviewed here. Add a document to a Jamboard slide and ask students to add sticky notes with information learned throughout your lesson activities. As you continue through your lessons, enhance student understanding using visual organization tools like Workona, reviewed here. For example, create a dedicated space or your template for your current class project with tabs, docs, and links. As a final extended learning activity, ask students to interview local historians and Black activists to understand their first-hand experiences as a Black person in America. Share students' research using the storytelling tools found at Knight Lab, reviewed here. Tools include story maps, timelines, and Storyline - a tool for sharing the story behind numbers.

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34 Highly Influential African-American Scientists - Interesting Engineering and Christopher McFadden

Grades
6 to 12
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This list shares information about 34 African-American scientists and their contributions to many different fields of science. Scroll through to learn about a pioneering ophthalmologist,...more
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This list shares information about 34 African-American scientists and their contributions to many different fields of science. Scroll through to learn about a pioneering ophthalmologist, a woman physicist who advanced the field of telecommunications, and a physician who developed a tool for use with gastric biopsies, among others. Each entry includes short biographical information along with a summary of their accomplishments.
This site includes advertising.

In the Classroom

Include the information and scientists named in this article as a starting point for many different classroom uses. During Black History Month, feature one of the scientists included on the list each day. Share this list with students to use as a starting point for researching influential Black leaders or learning about career options. Engage students in understanding these African-American scientists' accomplishments using Google Jamboard, reviewed here. Create a slide for each scientist, then ask students to add a sticky note with information learned about their career as they research their work and accomplishments. Ask students to create simple blogs using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. Telegra.ph is a no-fuss blog creation tool that makes it easy to create and share visually appealing blogs that include images, links, and text.

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Black History Milestones: Timeline - History.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn about important events in Black history in the United States, starting with the arrival of 20 enslaved people brought into the British colony of Virginia in 1619 and continuing...more
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Learn about important events in Black history in the United States, starting with the arrival of 20 enslaved people brought into the British colony of Virginia in 1619 and continuing through present times. This timeline updates frequently and includes the latest and most relevant milestones related to Black history. Each entry consists of images or videos along with a summary of the event; many also have links to additional information and resources.

In the Classroom

Include this timeline with your Black history and civil rights resources. Share with students using Padlet, reviewed here, along with other resources including videos, weblinks, and reading suggestions. Other considerations for using Padlet are to use the column feature in Padlet to sort information by dates or use the timeline option to build a visual timeline of the events shared in this timeline and additional ones taught in class. Ask students to share their understanding by creating timelines using the templates found at Canva Edu, reviewed here or Knight Lab, reviewed here.

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Do's and Don'ts of Teaching Black History - Learning for Justice

Grades
K to 12
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This easy-to-follow list of do's and don'ts provides an excellent start to understanding the basics of teaching Black history throughout the year. Adapted from lessons created by Pat...more
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This easy-to-follow list of do's and don'ts provides an excellent start to understanding the basics of teaching Black history throughout the year. Adapted from lessons created by Pat Russo at SUNY Oswego, these simple ideas offer guidelines that ensure Black history lessons are meaningful and relevant.

In the Classroom

Bookmark and use the information provided in the article as a guideline for teaching Black history, not just during Black History Month but throughout the year. Find many Black History resources at the TeachersFirst Black History Special Topics page, found here, or within many of the Reading Treks, found here. The Reading Treks share virtual field trips of resources based upon literature and include many Black history selections. Celebrate your students' learning throughout the year using digital tools to create virtual field trips using Google My Maps, reviewed here, or creating interactive infographics using Canva Infographic Templates, reviewed here.

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The Sojourner Truth Project - Leslie Podell

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8 to 12
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The Sojourner Truth Project explores the different versions and background behind changes in Sojourner Truth's 1851 "Aint I a Woman?" speech. The most well-known version of the speech...more
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The Sojourner Truth Project explores the different versions and background behind changes in Sojourner Truth's 1851 "Aint I a Woman?" speech. The most well-known version of the speech was modified in 1863 that misrepresents the original words and intentions of the speech. Select the link to compare the two versions that include highlighted differences. Listen to readings of the speech in a variety of videos in contemporary dialects. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.

In the Classroom

Include information from this site as part of lessons on women's rights and slavery. Create an online course using eduflow, reviewed here, to guide students through their exploration of the work of Sojourner Truth. Include additional information for students to use for comparison, guide students through their comparison of the two texts, and add videos for students to view. eduflow offers tools for in-app recordings to use for student discussions. Use Edpuzzle, reviewed here, to add comments and questions into the videos to guide student thinking and focus on important areas within the speeches. Challenge students to explore and research other examples of revisions to history and share their findings through a multimedia presentation. Examples of presentation tools include Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education, reviewed here, and Genially, reviewed here.

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Mary McLeod Bethune - Learning for Justice

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6 to 12
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Using an excerpt from an interview of Mary McLeod Bethune, this lesson guides students through an exploration of Bethune's life and comparisons to their life experiences. Through the...more
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Using an excerpt from an interview of Mary McLeod Bethune, this lesson guides students through an exploration of Bethune's life and comparisons to their life experiences. Through the use of the provided list of essential questions, students use critical reading skills to build knowledge and make connections. This lesson also includes additional extension activities and prompts.

In the Classroom

Use the provided link to import this lesson into your Google Classroom account. This lesson is part of a four-part series, use the other lessons to build your unit on black history or famous women. As you add additional resources to your lesson, enhance student learning by using Kami, reviewed here, as a collaborative discussion tool. Fiskkit includes tools for highlighting and adding notes to online articles to facilitate peer discussions. Further, enhance learning by helping students highlight important information from within articles using a word cloud creation tool like Wordsift, reviewed here. Copy and paste any text into Wordsift to highlight and enlarge frequently used words. Use this information to guide students toward significant portions of text. Ask students to use a digital annotation tool such as Image Annotator, reviewed here, to add notes, links, and additional information to images. Extend student learning by encouraging them to learn more about Mary McLeod Bethune and other feminists and then creating and sharing podcasts. One easy introduction to podcasts is through the use of Acast, reviewed here. Have students use Acast to give a "You Are There" presentation sharing events as they happened during Bethune's life, or to share their takeaways of the importance of Mary McLeod Bethune's contributions to women's rights.
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Celebrating Black History Month - Collection - Poetry Foundation

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7 to 12
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For Black History Month, the Poetry Foundation has put together this excellent collection of poems, articles, and podcasts that will help you discover African American history and culture....more
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For Black History Month, the Poetry Foundation has put together this excellent collection of poems, articles, and podcasts that will help you discover African American history and culture. Find poems and podcasts from Langston Hughes, Nikki Giovanni, Maya Angelou, Rita Dove, Gwendolyn Brooks, and many others. Also, discover Educational Resources (by scrolling down the page) that include biographies. Scrolling down to the bottom menu find Poem Guides.

In the Classroom

Share several poems with students and then have them create similar poet and poem podcasts. Start your own classroom collection to be shared digitally on your website. Exchange the physical whiteboard or chalkboard by creating a digital, collaborative board using a tool such as Lino, reviewed here, for the collection ideas. Enhance learning and augment classroom technology use by using a site such as podomatic, reviewed here, for students to present their poems to their classmates. Post the podcasts to your class website for students and parents to enjoy at home.

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National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection Stories - National Museum of African American History and Culture

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4 to 12
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These Collection Stories look at the personal feelings and interpretation of the objects staff members have cataloged in the Museum. These stunning short stories focus on items from...more
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These Collection Stories look at the personal feelings and interpretation of the objects staff members have cataloged in the Museum. These stunning short stories focus on items from historical events and famous people. Click the Explorers tab from the top menu and select either Search the Collections or Stories. Example story categories are Our American Story, Five Things, Power of Place, and others. Use the search bar to find title like Dress for the Occasion; view the first day of school dress worn by Carlotta Walls as she entered Little Rock Central High School in 1957 as part of the Little Rock Nine's integration efforts. Other stories take a look at Muhammed Ali, Carl Lewis, The Wiz: The Super soul Musical 'Wizard of Oz,' and the watches that survived a brutal assassination of an NAACP leader and his wife (Moments Captured in Time). The Story Collections are updated constantly so be sure to click Learn and Explore from the top menu. The National Museum of African American History and Culture is part of The Smithsonian Institution. These stories reside on a Smithsonian URL site, so don't be confused when you get there.

In the Classroom

Share stories from this collection to provide a personal look at events from African-American history in the United States. Use stories as an example, and ask students to find additional artifacts from the National Museum and research to discover the story behind the item. Have younger students use Kiddle, reviewed here, a kid-friendly search engine to find documents about their particular object. Younger students could bring an item from their home to tell the story of its history. For either of these ideas, enhance student learning by encouraging them to create online books for sharing the stories using a tool such as Ourboox, reviewed here. Ask students to find local residents with knowledge of historical events to come talk to your class about the "behind the scenes" story, or set up a Zoom meeting with an African-American leader. Use these stories for informational reading in your Language Arts classroom, and as a wonderful resource to use for covering the informational reading standards required with the CCSS.

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