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Multiple Literacies & Web 2.0

ShaZam! Multiple Literacies in the 21st Century School Library

US History & Government

U.S. History & Government

 Zinn Education Project The Zinn Education Project offers free, downloadable U.S. History lessons and articles organized by theme, time period and reading level.

Thousands of historical documents from the National Archives. Plus, ready-to-use activities to pair with the documents. Search by historical era or make your own activity.

 America in the 20th Century
Program clips and teacher resources for the Progressive Era, World War I, The Great Depression, Vietnam, Cold War, Civil Rights movement and more.

These historical and political cartoons make great discussion starters or classroom warm-ups for U.S. history lessons.

Digital Vaults
View digital versions of the nation’s most important historical documents. Historical Documents
Use the easy-to-read text versions of the United States’ most important documents to familiarize your students with the words that shaped the government and culture of their country.

 Finishing the Dream
Over one hundred Civil Rights Era clips from the NBC News archive including segments like Separate is Not EqualBuses and BoycottsFreedom Fighters and We Shall Overcome.

 100 Milestone Documents
These 100 documents chronicle United States History from 1776 to 1965. You can view a digital copy of each document and also read an excerpt that gives background information about the document.

 StreetLaw Landmark Cases
A full range of activities and resources to support the teaching of landmark cases such as Marbury v. Madison, Brown v. Board of Education, Dred Scott v. Sanford and more

 The Library of Congress
An enormous collection of historical memories, prints, photographs, newspapers, sound recordings, films, maps, manuscripts and more.

 Charters of Freedom
Charters of Freedom is another website that allows you to view digital versions of the nation’s most important historic documents.

 Picture History
This collection of images from American History includes the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The majority of photographs are of presidents, the White House, iconic people and events from our nation’s past

 Oyez Project
A database on major constitutional cases heard by the United States Supreme Court, with multimedia resources including digital audio of oral arguments.

 Chronicling America
Search through pages of America's historic newspapers from 1836-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published from 1690 to the present

 American Rhetoric
American Rhetoric is an index of over 5,000 textual, audio and video versions of public speeches, sermons, legal proceedings, lectures, debates, interviews and more.

 WYZANT HPOL archive database
History and Politics Out Loud is a searchable multimedia database that contains important audio clips from American history and politics.

 Constitution Facts
Did you know that the U.S. Constitution has only 4,400 words? It is the oldest and shortest written Constitution of any major government in the world. Find out more interesting facts at Constitution Facts!

 United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Online Exhibitions
An online version of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s exhibitions on Rescue and Resistance, Anti-Semitism, Propaganda, Persecution, Camps, the Aftermath and more.

 Chronicle of Revolution
Chronicle of Revolution provides students with a detailed look at the events that contributed to the start of the American Revolution by reading newspaper articles from key cities.

 Mission U.S.
Mission U.S. is home to two free, interactive U.S. history games. One focuses on the American Revolution, the other focuses on a slave’s quest for freedom.

 American History Demographic Chart Book
A demographic history of the United States dating back to the first census in 1790. It includes maps, information on population growth and distribution, ethnicity, age, home ownership, education, occupation and more.

FedFlix features the best videos produced by the United States government, from training films to historical documentaries.

 Civil War 150
An interactive map/timeline/infographic hybrid that is packed with cool facts about the Civil War. It’s got over 2,000 likes on Facebook!

This website is an online collection of historical military records. There are millions of images and documents that can be searched and annotated with additional information. Everything is categorized by war which makes it easy to fit into a history lesson plan.
 Law Focused Education
Entertaining games and animations covering topics including checks & balances, federalism, popular sovereignty, separation of powers, Bill of Rights, Preamble of the Constitution, American symbols and more.

Additional Web Links

  • Center on Congress @ IU
    A good collection of interactive, role-playing activities for learning about how the United States' government functions
  • Open Culture: History
    Links to some of the best educational media on the web, this particular page is for history topics
  • History Teacher
    Many, many links to various history web sites
  • Open Culture: Economics
    Links to some of the best educational media on the web, this particular page is for economics
  • Open Culture: Politics
    Links to some of the best educational media on the web, this particular page is for politics
  • Open Culture: Free Online Courses
    Links to free online courses from top notch national universities, include links to courses in economics, geography, history, philosophy, political science, psychology and sociology
  • Snag Learning: Documentary Films
    Offers free access to high quality documentary films from notable producers like National Geographic and NOVA. Snag Learning categorizes documentaries by grade level and content area. Additionally, Snag Learning offers a series of guiding questions for each film.
  • Teachers Domain: Social Studies
    Teachers' Domain is a free digital media service for educational use from public broadcasting and its partners. You’ll find thousands of media resources, support materials, and tools for classroom lessons, individualized learning programs, and teacher professional learning communities.
  • 10 X 10
    Every hour the top 100 news stories from around the world are linked to images on a ten by ten grid. The stories are ranked according to current popularity and importance. Clicking on an image in the grid will provide you with more information including links to more articles about the story. (You must allow pop-ups for the article links to work).
  • UNdata
    International economic and social statistics
  • World Bank
    Free gateway to a braod collection of international statistics. Search by country, topic or indicator.
  • Letters of Note
    Web site collects letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos and includes scans/photos of the correspondence when possible. You can browse by topic or date. It’s a great place to find fun, quirky primary source material to use in your classes.
    thanks to Edina High School

Sites for Teaching Current Events

If You Teach Current Events.....Try These 30 Websites for Ideas

The list below covers grades K-12. Some specify the grade and others can be adapted for your students.
BBC News Online
CNN- news clips, video clips; excellent site
The CNN Challenge- take an interactive quiz to see how much you know about current events
Current Events Printables- from TeacherVision; by grade level
FOX News- known to be more conservative
Frontline- PBS program
Google Directory- with 8 categories to search, including natural disasters, politics and breaking news
Google News Archive Search- search the world or by country
Guzzle- customize your page to receive hundreds of feeds
HeadlineSpot- comprehensive listing for all types of news
Issues and Causes- from the Yahoo! Directory; long list includes climate change, race and racism lesson plans for current events are updated daily
Mapeas- world news on a map
Morning Rush!- Top 5 morning show moments are updated daily
News Currents- covers grades 4-12
News in Pictures- list of close to a hundred sites of news galleries, including ABC News, MSNBC and Reuters
Newseum- "814 front pages from 78 countries"
Newsmap- visual display of daily news shows larger type for more important stories; choose from 15 countries
NewspaperMap- choose your language from a world map; directly link to the website for that paper 
Student News Daily- wonderful site
This Day in History- History Channel
The Week in Rap from Flocabulary- at a cost of $5/month, students will love the connection to music
This post first appeared on the blog "A Media Specialist's Guide to the Internet


Practical Money Skills
Practical Money Skills is an online resource for educators, parents and students focused on financial literacy and education.
 Econ Ed Link
Sort economics and personal finance lessons by grade level, lesson type, concept, or standard covered. Econ Ed Link includes accounting, banking, budgeting, debt, inflation, interest, investing, risk and more.
Numbeo is a website that allows you to compare information about the cost of living from different areas of the world.
 Living Wage Calculator
Use the Living Wage Calculator, developed by Penn State University, to calculate the approximate living wage of your area. The calculator lists typical expenses, the living wage and typical wages for the selected location.


Political Corruption: A Timely Topic: 22 Places to Find Resources

Former Illinois governor Rod Blagjovich reported to prison in Colorado to begin serving a 14 year prison term. He might be the current corrupt politician in the news, but he's hardly the only one with a colored past. If you teach history or political science, here are a list of resources. search "political corruption" and you'll get results from all over the world

Chicago Times Articles on Political Corruption

Daryl Cagle's Political Corruption Cartoons- many cartoonists represented here from all over the country

Government Statistics- chart shows corruption by country

Infoplease Encyclopedia

Newsweek Magazine- articles on political corruption 

N.J. Corruption- my state has been in the news a lot lately...

Political Cartoons- democracy and corruption

Political Corruption in American History- this timeline covers 1760-2010

Political Corruption Lesson Plans- from the Lesson Planet 
Presidential Scandals

Rage Against the Machine- N.Y.Times lesson plan compares Blagjovich scandal with a Times article about machine politics from 1876.

Rod Blagjovich- Illinois Governor who was impeached for trying to sell Obama's vacated senate seat

TeacherVision Resources on Political Corruption 

Time Magazine- articles on political corruption

Timeline for Scandals in American History- from Google; covers 1900-2009

Nat Geo - Civil War Battlefield Art

Eyewitness Exhibits from the National Archives

Teaching the Middle East

Teaching the Middle East: A Resource for Educators

World History

Collaborate using social technologies to delve into the past, present or future of city spaces. View architectural maps of some of the world’s most famous cities from different time periods and overlay important structures.

View some of the most interesting and thought-provoking photographs through time to stimulate discussion in your classroom.

 European Virtual Museum
The European Virtual Museum is an online collaboration between twenty-seven prestigious European museums and showcases historical artifacts from all over the world.

TimeMaps is an all-inclusive look at world history that combines maps, timelines and chronological narratives.

 Spartacus Educational
This online encyclopedia focuses on historical topics and figures from England, the United States, Russia, Germany and France. All of the articles are easy-to-digest and are written for students.

 Online Hieroglyphics Translator
Type in a phrase and see what it looks like when it’s translated to Egyptian Hieroglyphics. This is a cool activity to do if you’re covering Ancient Egypt.

 Women in World History
Over 200 primary source materials about women in world history including photographs, propaganda, commentary and more. These materials are great discussion and essay starters.

While HyperHistory’s design is reminiscent of websites from the 1990’s, it covers 3000 years of world history including culture, religion, politics and historical figures.

300 informational narratives and 10,000 events in a searchable database. HistoryWorld is great for conducting preliminary research for papers and projects.

 EyeWitness to History
EyeWitness to History is home to first-hand accounts of historical events, vintage photographs, original radio broadcasts and more.

 Wikibooks – Ancient Civilizations
Easy to understand descriptions of some of the world’s most influential civilizations including the Babylonians, Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks, Vikings, Persians, Romans and more.

 Simple English Wikipedia - World History
The history of the world—according to Wikipedia—told in plain English. Videos
Watch video clips from the History Channel on a variety of topics including the American Revolution, American Civil War, World War II, the Titanic, Black History Month, Ancient Civilizations and more.

 Go Social Studies Go
A modern-looking website dedicated to world religions, history and world geography. Each topic includes a separate page with information, images and links to relevant websites. Some pages even have videos.

 The Avalon Project
A collection of historical documents in law and diplomacy from 4,000bce to the present. It includes documents such as the Athenian Constitution, Magna Carta, Articles of Confederation, Civil Rights Act of 1964 and more.

 Playing History
Playing History aggregates all of the free history games on the web into a simple, searchable database.

 Snag Learning

Free documentaries produced by well-known educational publishers, including PBS and National Geographic. The available titles cover topics like the Battle for Midway, Alexander the Great, Pearl Harbor and more.


World History for Us All (added 4/20/2012)
World History for Us All offers teaching units, lesson plans and resources for middle school and high school world history teachers. It is a collaboration between K-12 educators, collegiate instructors and educational technology specialists.

Bridging World History (added 4/20/2012)
26 thematic world history units include videos, an audio glossary and a database of over 1,500 images and maps. Use Bridging World History to teach your students about the ties that bind historical events together.

World History Connected (added 4/20/2012)
The best online journal for world history. Plus, it's free!

Crash Course YouTube Channel (added 4/20/2012)
Crash Course's YouTube Channel currently has 13 quality videos that cover topics in world history such as the fall of Rome, Alexander the Great, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Mesopotamia and the Agricultural Revolution. If you're unfamiliar with this YouTube channel, you should definitely check it out! FYI - some of the narrator's humor may be unsuitable for younger students.

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