TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Oct 21, 2018

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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Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes - Lowell Milken Center

Grades
5 to 12
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The Lowell Milken Center discovers, develops and communicates the stories of Unsung Heroes who have made a profound and positive impact on the course of history. Click Programs on the...more
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The Lowell Milken Center discovers, develops and communicates the stories of Unsung Heroes who have made a profound and positive impact on the course of history. Click Programs on the top menu and select Unsung Hero Projects to learn about everyday people who became heroes by standing up to adversity in their lives. Each project features information about the hero and the storyteller. Some projects include links to student-created web pages and videos. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. Start your own Unsung Hero project using the ten steps provided to include inspiration from start to finish.

In the Classroom

Share stories from the Unsung Heroes project on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Discuss traits that make a hero and find inspiration to search for heroes in your everyday lives. Use this site as a starting point for individual or group projects. All types of classes can complete a project about an unsung hero. P.E. classes can find out about veterans, surfers, or car accident victims who have lost limbs and used their challenges to make a difference. Math and science students can complete an Internet search for high school inventors. Students could also search through old Scholastic Scope magazines for articles about young people who have overcome adversity. Instead of a paper and pen written biography, extend students' learning by using Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a hero they have chosen. Modify student learning by challenging them to create an annotated image of a hero including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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History's Heroes - E2BN

Grades
4 to 12
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Discover some of history's real life heroes at History's Heroes. Learn the story of little-known people from history, explore their timeline, read and hear other's views and opinions,...more
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Discover some of history's real life heroes at History's Heroes. Learn the story of little-known people from history, explore their timeline, read and hear other's views and opinions, listen/view audio stories with more information, then decide for yourself if each person is really a hero using the interactive activity. There are also links to Encode a Message or Record Your Own Speech. Explore the teacher resources for lesson ideas and curriculum links. Heroes range from Anne Askew to Elizabeth Fry to Allen Turing and many others.

In the Classroom

Use History's Heroes as a resource for teaching about unsung or little known heroes. Share the information on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Highlight a "Hero of the Week" from this website. Have students view activities on their own. Challenge cooperative learning groups to use the information to write a story persuading others that this person is or is not a real hero. (Common Core asks for evidence in supporting written opinions!) This site is excellent for enrichment or for gifted. Include it on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class. Have students use Fakebook, reviewed here, to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about any person featured on this site. Challenge students to "find" and create projects to share about other unsung heroes. Looking for some engaging presentation tools? Check out the TeachersFirst Edge Multimedia tools reviewed here. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review):Visme, Adobe Spark, Plotagon, and My Simpleshow. As you study local history, have students discover and describe the unsung heroes of your community. In higher level literature discussions, talk about the definition of "hero" and how these real life heroes compare to those in literature.
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Vision of Humanity - Institute for Economics and Peace

Grades
6 to 12
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View interactive peace maps, reports, and news pertaining to peace around the world. A variety of qualitative and quantitative indicators are used to create a Global Peace Index. View...more
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View interactive peace maps, reports, and news pertaining to peace around the world. A variety of qualitative and quantitative indicators are used to create a Global Peace Index. View changes from 2008 to present. Choose various indicators to portray on the map and compare different countries. Click in the middle of the map on "About the GPI" (or other index you have opened) to read how it is calculated. Be sure to check out the Terrorism Index as well as a US Peace Index that compares each of the States in the United States. Hover over that State to view the actual rank. When the site introduces a new topic, that topic appears on the main page of this site. To get to the other topics, use the top tool bar.

In the Classroom

Use this tool to brainstorm questions about the various indicators shown on this site. Substitute a digital idea bin for paper and pen using lino, reviewed here, that allows for stickies, images, and commenting. What cultural, religious, and political forces affect each of the countries and their resultant scores? What factors can be changed in each of the countries to improve their scores? Debate various policy changes in your own or other countries. Explore possible changes the world can take in order to provide a better life for all citizens of the world. What are many of the differences that exist among the states in the United States? Consider adding this resource when students complete a study of an individual state or country.

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CurriConnects Book List: 100 Leaders - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This CurriConnects list offers books for student independent reading about leaders. This list of leaders includes a wide sampling from politics to literature and the arts to entertainment....more
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This CurriConnects list offers books for student independent reading about leaders. This list of leaders includes a wide sampling from politics to literature and the arts to entertainment. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL/ELL levels and Lexiles'® to match student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly. If your school or public library does not have the books, try an inter-library loan!

In the Classroom

Use this list as you study any topic that features leaders: the founding fathers, famous scientists, and much more. Encourage students to read about leaders in diverse fields - including the one you are studying - to compare and discuss what makes someone a successful leader and why people rise to the top among their peers across time, place, and circumstance. You could also form an afterschool book club around this list or use the nonfiction listings as practice with informational texts.

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Biography Read-alouds - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This read-aloud collection is part of the Help I lost my library/media specialist series, written by an experienced elementary library/media specialist. Although nothing can...more
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This read-aloud collection is part of the Help I lost my library/media specialist series, written by an experienced elementary library/media specialist. Although nothing can replace the specialized knowledge of a teacher-librarian, this collection of biographies to read aloud and accompanying activities will teach information literacy skills about what biographies are while exciting students to read some on their own. If your library does not have the books you want from this list, try using the ISBN numbers to borrow them on inter-library loan from a public library nearby.

In the Classroom

Mark this read aloud in your Favorites for use when studying famous Americans or as a wonderful lead-in to Martin Luther King Day or Presidents Day.

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NobelPrize.org - Nobel Media AB 2011

Grades
4 to 12
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Nobelprize.org is the official website of the Nobel Prize. Here you find information about Alfred Nobel, the prizewinners, interviews, and photos. Videos of interviews of Nobel peace...more
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Nobelprize.org is the official website of the Nobel Prize. Here you find information about Alfred Nobel, the prizewinners, interviews, and photos. Videos of interviews of Nobel peace prizewinners, speeches, ceremonies, interviews, banquets, lectures, announcements, award ceremonies, and documentaries fill the gamut of all of the prizewinners. The Nobel prizes awards are in literature, chemistry, medicine, peace, economics, and physics. Varieties of educational games/activities help explain many of the Nobel Award winners' work. This site clearly explains and illustrates the purpose of the awards, the award winners, and their ideas. Videos give an insider look at each of the winners.

In the Classroom

Inspire your students to strive for excellence! Show students original, creative, thinking. Let students know they can understand the ideas awarded by trying the educational activities offered. Follow each year's announcements and award ceremonies. Use as an inspiration when beginning your own Nobel Prize winning awards competitions. Encourage students to use critical thinking skills to form opinions based on facts. Substitute pen and paper in your class by having students blog about what they are learning and understanding using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration. Extend learning by inviting pairs or small groups to use a tool like NoteJoy, reviewed here, to take notes and share links, documents, and images to organize for an interactive poster. Use Adobe Spark for Education, reviewed here, for the poster. Gifted programs can easily incorporate many of the ideas into the curriculum. Lead your students to Nobel Award winning thinking.
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America: The Story of Us - History Channel

Grades
6 to 12
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The History Channel's addition to the broad, sweeping genre of American history series is America: The Story of Us (don't miss the play on words: Us/US), airing over 12 hours, ...more
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The History Channel's addition to the broad, sweeping genre of American history series is America: The Story of Us (don't miss the play on words: Us/US), airing over 12 hours, two episodes at a time. Each episode is about 45 minutes in length. At the time of this review there were brief episode guides, video clips from episodes, a PDF version of a classroom study guide that can be downloaded for free, links to download episodes on itunes (for a FEE), and a number of other promotional links. You can also order the entire series on DVD. Some historians will turn up their noses as the History Channel attempts to cover the history of the United States in 12 hours, including commercials. Important issues will be missed, historic players will be overlooked, and complex topics will be over-simplified. However, it is precisely this sort of effort that can hook kids who aren't ordinarily interested in history in taking a second look.

In the Classroom

The History Channel is providing a lot of support for teachers who can use video clips for lesson introductions or reinforcement. At the very least, the teachers' study guide will provide you with some new ideas or resources! Share the relevant video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Or, have cooperative learning groups each view individual videos and do a little more research substituting pen and paper notes with online notes using SuperNotecard, reviewed here, that can then be used as a storyboard to create a presentation about their topic. How about extending student learning by challenging them to create an interactive online brochure highlighting the important facts learned from the video and their research? Use a site such as Sway, reviewed here, for this.
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Pennies for Peace - Central Asia Institute

Grades
K to 12
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Inspire students to believe they can make a difference in the world. "Pennies for Peace" is an international service-learning project that does not ask families to contribute large...more
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Inspire students to believe they can make a difference in the world. "Pennies for Peace" is an international service-learning project that does not ask families to contribute large sums of money. Author of the book "Three Cups of Tea," Greg Mortenson, and his young daughter Amira believe that by donating pennies children can help support education in Afghanistan and Pakistan while simultaneously promoting peace.

The project comes with an extensive toolkit that shows how to implement the campaign, provides background resources and curriculum materials. The toolkit is grouped by the grade levels, K-4, 4-8, and 9-12. The Pennies for Peace Curriculum directly links to grade level standards in social studies, math, and literacy. In order to participate schools need to register on-line. There is a page for "kids" that provides facts about a typical village and school and background information about Pakistan and Afghanistan. The tool kit contains videos and photographs as well as maps from National Geographic that are free for download. The videos will take participants through the steps of implementing the project to interviewing Greg Mortenson, possible classroom applications, and short clips to support sections of their curriculum. Address core subjects such as social studies, math, history, geography, science and language arts while enhancing cultural awareness in your students.

In the Classroom

Launch this campaign together as a school-wide effort or keep it to your classroom. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. The toolkit gives very concrete lesson plans to follow fully or just in parts. One example is for younger students to examine a map of the area in which they live and then compare that to where children in Pakistan live. Essential questions such as "How does where we live effect how we live?" and "What are the similarities and differences between these places?" Ask students to visit the site and supplement their learning by creating an interactive book using a tool like Ourboox, reviewed here, or Book Creator, reviewed here, about both geographic locations. Older students can extend their learning by creating an interactive map with a tool like MapHub, reviewed here. Use the printable images from this site for your bulletin boards. Older students can participate in book clubs that read either Greg Mortenson's original book "Three Cups of Tea" or his new book "Stones to Schools". There is a version of his book for Younger Readers, "Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Journey to Change the World...One Child at a Time" which includes photos and illustrations and a children's picture book "Listen to the Wind" that may be useful for introducing the project.
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What Makes a Hero? - ARTSEDGE and DoDDS

Grades
9 to 12
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This lesson plan enables students to identify characteristics that are common to heroes, recognize heroes from many diverse cultures, and discuss how heroes can be any type of person...more
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This lesson plan enables students to identify characteristics that are common to heroes, recognize heroes from many diverse cultures, and discuss how heroes can be any type of person who has accomplished an inspiring action. It offers this in nine 45-minute class lessons. The instructional objectives make it easy to pick and choose which lessons you want to do in the order in which you want to do them. It offers a great, classic base of Aristotelian hero qualities while also enabling you to bring the idea of hero forward into modern times.

In the Classroom

The links on the site itself offer ways to let students investigate on the web themselves at safe sites. Integrate technology in your class by sharing the links as part of a web treasure/scavenger hunt using TrackStar, reviewed here, and asking students to collect characteristics of heroes on their own and put them in a collaborative graphic organizer like Mindomo, reviewed here. What a great start to a heroes unit---one that you can revisit and add to throughout the unit. At the end of the unit, let them use the class organizer as the basis for their own "design a hero" challenge instead of a test.
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Dates That Matter - TeachersFirst

Grades
5 to 12
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Dates That Matter provides a new perspective on history by placing each day-in-history event in a broader context and explaining its long-term impact. History is a fabric woven of many...more
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Dates That Matter provides a new perspective on history by placing each day-in-history event in a broader context and explaining its long-term impact. History is a fabric woven of many events, and Dates That Matter helps students see the full tapestry. The dates display on a projector-ready screen: A single sentence reveals something about the date. You then click to see a sequence of thought-provoking questions to guide students to a greater understanding of interrelationships as they try to guess the actual event. When the historical event finally shows on screen, a further explanation, Why does it matter?, fills in the remaining context and offers reviewed links to learn more. Teachers who work with low readers might try using these daily clues to teach the reading strategy of connecting what you read with prior knowledge to place new learning in context. A full, annotated version of each date is available from the Teacher page at the end so you can plan for student responses and have hints for guiding the discussion. You can also preview upcoming dates to choose those you may want to put in your weekly plans.

In the Classroom

Begin your social studies class once or twice a week by sharing a Date That Matters on a projector or interactive whiteboard to foster broader understanding of the connections that form world history. Or use the links at the end as an extra credit or enrichment opportunity or for gifted students to investigate more. Focus class attention as everyone enters by projecting the date and starting sentence. Make this one a link on your teacher web page for students (and parents) to access outside of school. Substitutes will also appreciate this meaningful and engaging way to connect today with students' prior history knowledge for more than an isolated factoid. It's a lesson ready to go!
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Comments

This is a terrific site for daily writing and "Do Nows" for my ELA classes. In addition, the site can be used for Morning Meeting/Advisory. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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Like Father, Like Son: Presidential Families - National Endowment for the Humanities

Grades
K to 2
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This short unit examines America's only two father-and-son presidents - John Adams and John Quincy Adams, and George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. Students investigate the role and...more
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This short unit examines America's only two father-and-son presidents - John Adams and John Quincy Adams, and George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. Students investigate the role and responsibilities of the presidency while comparing and contrasting each father-son pair. Includes suggested activities and links to online material about the presidents. The lesson plans are aligned to standards.

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this "ready to go" unit with lesson plans, discussion questions, and activities, perfect for a President's Day celebration. Most of the activities are paper and pen or oral discussion. Consider using an online tool and integrating technology into this unit and your classroom. As a substitution for pen and pencil drawing activities try doodle.ly, reviewed here. Expand discussions by having students give their answers and allowing them to comment on others' answers using Flipgrid, reviewed here.

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