TeachersFirst's Resources related to Source Reliability/Checking Sources

As educators, we must teach our students how to make sure the resources they are using are reliable. This collection includes information and resources related to checking sources and determining if a source is reliable and credible. We have included resources for all grades. Remember, our "In the Classroom" suggestions give you ideas about using these tools in your classroom. 

   

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Deceptive Detective - Common Sense

Grades
2 to 12
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Deceptive Detective is a colorful poster available to download as a PDF that provides questions to ask when looking at news sources. Prompts encourage students to consider the source...more
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Deceptive Detective is a colorful poster available to download as a PDF that provides questions to ask when looking at news sources. Prompts encourage students to consider the source of information, its presentation, date of publication, and more. Select the link above the poster to view the file in its entirety. This poster is part of Common Sense's News & Literacy Toolkit, reviewed here.

tag(s): bias (17), computers (101), internet safety (110), journalism (67), media literacy (88), news (230), social media (44), STEM (227)

In the Classroom

Print this poster to display in your classroom or computer lab after discussing the information with your students. Use Padlet, reviewed here, to break down the questions found on the poster and share student findings. For example, begin by evaluating a website together as a class. Create a column on your Padlet for each question, then add students' responses in the appropriate column. As students become proficient at evaluating online resources, ask them to use Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here, to create infographics sharing the validity of websites and online news resources based upon the questions found on the Deceptive Detective poster. Extend learning by asking students to become the instructor through the use of podcasts. Use Buzzsprout, reviewed here, to create bi-weekly or monthly student-created podcasts sharing tips for evaluating websites, how to recognize fake news sources or suggestions for useful resources for student use.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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OK2Ask: Facts Are Facts...Aren't They? - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session is from July 2021. You can register and immediately view the archive of the session.

Can your students tell

...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session is from July 2021. You can register and immediately view the archive of the session.

Can your students tell facts from fiction? Do your digital natives suffer from "digital naivety"? They may be fluent enough with technology to create and post their own work but may not be aware that not everyone who posts online is credible. Teaching students to sift through multiple sets of information allows them to learn the difference between propaganda, advertising, and factual reporting. This is a skill that students need in order to be truly digitally literate. Join us to learn strategies to help your students determine if information is reliable. As a result of this session, teachers will: 1. Explore tools and strategies for teaching media literacy; 2. Learn strategies that promote critical examination of online resources; and 3. Plan a learning activity that fosters digital literacy. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): media literacy (88), professional development (304)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.

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Teachers' Guide to Cranky Uncle - John Cook

Grades
6 to 12
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How do you teach students to understand and build resilience against misinformation? Try using this game created by George Mason University scientist John Cook which uses cartoon personifications...more
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How do you teach students to understand and build resilience against misinformation? Try using this game created by George Mason University scientist John Cook which uses cartoon personifications of climate science denials. The game is available to play on any browser or download the app from the Apple Store or Google Play. By teaching how others use fake experts and cherry-picking information to spread disinformation, this game engages players as they employ critical thinking skills to build points and learn how to separate fact from myth. The Teacher's Guide features all you need to know to understand how to set up the game for your class, the basic premise and information found in the game, and classroom activities that accompany the game's features.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (134), digital citizenship (78), game based learning (158), internet safety (110), media literacy (88), social media (44)

In the Classroom

Add this game to your toolkit of lessons and activities when teaching Internet safety and media literacy skills. The Teachers' Guide already includes many ideas on integrating the game into classroom lessons and includes using technology to enhance and extend learning. Use these ideas as a starting point to build student engagement and help them understand the real-world applications for the information found in the game. For example, use the suggested Padlet, reviewed here, activity to compile quiz questions as suggested in Activity 5. After completing that activity, have students create their own videos, fake social media posts, or news articles that contain misinformation and create quiz questions for their peers to complete. Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education, reviewed here, is an excellent tool for students to use when creating websites, flyers, and infographics. As a final project, and to extend learning, have students share what they learned with others by producing podcasts using Buzzsprout, reviewed here, or digital books for younger students using Book Creator, reviewed here.

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NewsFeed Defenders - FactCheck.org

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn how to find and deal with disinformation and misinformation through this news media literacy game. Players find and identify factual portions of a news story along with misinformation....more
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Learn how to find and deal with disinformation and misinformation through this news media literacy game. Players find and identify factual portions of a news story along with misinformation. Begin by choosing a topic of interest to start your mission. Your goal is to build up your integrity as much as possible throughout the game. Login to your free teacher account to access and print lesson plans and the teacher extension pack.

tag(s): journalism (67), media literacy (88), news (230)

In the Classroom

Include the NewsFeed Defenders game and lesson as part of your broader unit of teaching about online safety and media literacy. Engage studets by using Padlet, reviewed here, to share materials. Include links to videos, articles, and other materials for students to access. Ask them to add comments sharing their insights and information learned. Help students identify online disinformation by collaborating with Fiskkit, reviewed here. Change out paper and pen by sharing the URL of an article to discuss within Fiskkit, then have students highlight any area to discuss the information within the article. Enhance learning by encouraging students to teach others about media literacy using an online book tool like Book Creator (Chrome and iPad app). Book Creator, reviewed here. Book Creator can be used for a variety of assignments in any classroom that is integrating technology as an enhancement, modification, or transformation. Have students design and share a book that includes tips for spotting disinformation or bias using specific examples, including text, videos, and images, along with examples of factual, non-biased information.
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Media Literacy Clearinghouse - Frank W Baker

Grades
6 to 12
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Media Literacy Clearinghouse provides resources for teaching about media and media literacy using teaching standards and non-print, media texts. Browse through the site to find the...more
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Media Literacy Clearinghouse provides resources for teaching about media and media literacy using teaching standards and non-print, media texts. Browse through the site to find the latest information, or search by type of media or concepts. Use the teaching standards link to find content sorted by topics including health, math and science, art, and social studies.

tag(s): advertising (23), journalism (67), media literacy (88)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site as an excellent resource for planning for and teaching about media literacy. Include information from the Clearinghouse using lessons created with Actively Learn , reviewed here. Actively Learn offers tools for creating interactive, critical thinking lessons using materials found on their site and your own while providing you feedback on student responses and learning. As you continue with lessons on media literacy, collaborate with students on how to interpret online information using Fiskkit, reviewed here. Use Fiskkit to replace paper and pencil by sharing the URL of online articles and have students highlight and comment on any areas. Use this in lessons asking students to identify false or misleading information or to highlight areas that provide facts and information to support a claim. As students become familiar with online cues for understanding media, ask them to use Free Screen Recorder Online, reviewed here, to modify classroom technology use by creating a short video tutorial of their own sharing insights and information from an online article.
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Engaging Congress - Indiana University

Grades
5 to 12
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Engaging Congress is an interactive game that uses primary sources to help students evaluate information as they learn about the United States government. Download the app from Google...more
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Engaging Congress is an interactive game that uses primary sources to help students evaluate information as they learn about the United States government. Download the app from Google Play or the iTunes store, or select the webGL link to play on the web. Begin play by choosing a story, primary source, or pick a trivia challenge or practice. Use the Teacher Toolbox to find documents by era or topic, learning objectives matched to Common Core Standards, and compelling questions for use with each issue and story. Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the home page to find the link to request classroom giveaways to encourage play!

tag(s): branches of government (57), congress (37), DAT device agnostic tool (134), primary sources (99)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free games and materials on this site to use as a supplement to your current resources for teaching history and government. Instead of written notes, strengthen learning by having students use an online tool such as Holt Interactive Graphic Organizers, reviewed here, to create diagrams, mindmaps, and other visual graphic organizers. To compare and contrast information found in different primary sources, create a Venn Diagram. As students prepare to share their findings and summarize their learning, have them modify their learning by creating infographics using Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here, to visually represent facts and information. As a final assessment for your unit using these materials, ask students to form teams to debate different sides of the issues presented. Share their debates as a podcast using Anchor, reviewed here. Anchor is a simple to use podcasting tool offering several free options for creating, hosting, and sharing podcasts. As an alternative, ask other students redefine their learning and to create multimedia presentations using Sway, reviewed here to share text, videos, images, and more.
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Primary vs Secondary Sources - The Minnesota Historical Society

Grades
6 to 12
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Primary vs. Secondary Sources is an excellent YouTube video explaining the difference between these two types of sources. The video provides several examples of each type of source...more
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Primary vs. Secondary Sources is an excellent YouTube video explaining the difference between these two types of sources. The video provides several examples of each type of source and tells why it fits into that category. If your district blocks YouTube, then this video may not be viewable.

tag(s): primary sources (99), Research (61), video (243)

In the Classroom

Share this video with students as they begin any research project. Be sure to add a link to this site on your class website for reference at home. Have students create a simple infographic with examples of both types of resources using Easel.ly, reviewed here. Have students upload a photo they have taken of a source and add an explanation about why it fits into a particular category using a tool such as Add Text, reviewed here.

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Believe It or Not? - NewseumED

Grades
8 to 12
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Use the lessons, discussion questions, and news articles provided by NewseumEd to help young adults understand what media literacy is and to tell the difference between good and bad...more
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Use the lessons, discussion questions, and news articles provided by NewseumEd to help young adults understand what media literacy is and to tell the difference between good and bad information. Though the lessons seem to center around a visit to Newseum and their galleries, there is a lot to be learned just by examining and discussing the materials presented here. There are discussion questions, media issues to think about, suggested in-class activities, and worksheets. Find a Unit plan with lessons that are standards aligned and Common Core compatible. The Unit plan and worksheets are available in both PDF and Word document formats. You must be a registered NewseumEd member to access this resource; however, membership is free.

tag(s): media literacy (88), news (230)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lessons, discussion questions, sample articles, and worksheets offered for use in your classroom. Divide students into small groups and assign different discussion questions and activities to each group. Allow all older students to have a voice (and engage their interest) in the small group by using a chat service like Flock, reviewed here. Enhance learning by challenging the small groups to create a slide presentation using the free Microsoft PowerPoint Online, reviewed here, demonstrating information learned. With the online PowerPoint students can add videos, images and documents making them all interactive. Note: with Flock students can also start planning the presentation and keep the plan for 30 days. If you cannot make a field trip to the Newseum for the Gallery Guide Handout, you can do a Google search for Who Controls the News and find many free resources.
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21things4students - Regional Educational Media Center Association of Michigan.

Grades
6 to 9
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This free interactive site is an extensive digital literacy curriculum that improves technology proficiency, builds information literacy and digital citizenship skills, and provides...more
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This free interactive site is an extensive digital literacy curriculum that improves technology proficiency, builds information literacy and digital citizenship skills, and provides 21st century and project-based resources online. The 21 Things are 'big ideas' in technology and learning such as Visual Learning, Global Collaboration, Powerful Presentations, Search Strategies, Digital Footprint, and many others. The student activities use free web resources designed to address the ISTE National Educational Technology Standards for Students, and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. The non-sequential Things, delivered as project-based Quests, provide links, resources, and activities for students to earn badges and awards. Registration for teachers is required and gives access to teacher resources and a downloadable Moodle version of the site; Moodle is not required to use this site. To access certain external activities and tools, students may need to register with an e-mail. Each Thing contains a Teacher Lesson Guide, Student Checklist, Learning Objectives, and links to various web resources and apps. Things and Quests have roadmap documents for students to use for tracking progress. A Quest includes an introduction (frequently as a short animated video), vocabulary, directions, tutorials, standards, apps, and a student checklist. Extensive teacher resources and support are provided. Assessments are through multiple-choice quizzes at ProProf with a provided password.

tag(s): careers (133), computers (101), consumers (14), cyberbullying (44), digital citizenship (78), digital storytelling (131), game based learning (158), internet safety (110), media literacy (88), organizational skills (91), social media (44), social networking (81), thinking skills (12), webquests (22)

In the Classroom

Use the complete curriculum or selected Quests. Assign students individual Things to complete in school or at home as part of blended learning or flipped classrooms. Have students begin with the Basics and progress through selected skills. Use parts of the site to teach a particular skill to the whole class. Have students complete their work through an electronic portfolio Pathbrite, reviewed here, but not included on the site. There are links to some ideas and samples on the Student Showcase page. Extensive teacher resources and support provided.
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Comments

Tons of resources for all grades, love it! Ladisha, VA, Grades: 9 - 12
Lots of other links for using technology resources in the classroom. Ruth, AB, Grades: 0 - 12

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NewseumED - NewseumED.org

Grades
6 to 12
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Make history relevant to the world today and learn more about First Amendment issues at the same time. Find lesson plans, a multimedia collection of primary sources and artifacts, interactive...more
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Make history relevant to the world today and learn more about First Amendment issues at the same time. Find lesson plans, a multimedia collection of primary sources and artifacts, interactive tools, and worksheets. These are searchable by type, topic, and time-period. The focus of the lessons is historical connections, media literacy, and civics and citizenship. There are several EdCollections with titles like "Election 2016: Stumped!?," "Making a Change," "Women, Their Rights and Nothing Less," and "Freedom in the Balance." The latter focuses on teaching and learning about 9/11 and the attacks in Paris, France 2015, and adhering to the First Amendment freedoms and concerns for safety and the public good. All of this is free with an email sign up. Check back frequently to see NewseumEd's newest EdCollections.

tag(s): civil rights (167), elections (75), freedom of speech (12), media literacy (88), politics (101), primary sources (99), sept11 (17), terrorism (40), terrorist (12)

In the Classroom

If you teach or even discuss civil rights, the First Amendment and its freedoms and ideals, current events, or the presidential elections be sure to look at the lessons provided here. The lessons will also help you show students how to tell facts from opinions in current events. Use ideas from the lesson plans to supplement your current teaching materials. Enhance learning and challenge small groups of students to create an infographic sharing their learning from the notes they took during a lesson. Use Infogram, reviewed here, to construct the infographic. If you plan on using one of the EdCollections ask students to enhance and extend their learning and develop a multimedia presention using Presentious, reviewed here, or an interactive poster with a tool like Genial.ly, reviewed here, for one of the suggested Extension Activities.
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turnitin - Source Educational Evaluation Rubric (SEER) - turnitin

Grades
6 to 12
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Find an interactive rubric for evaluating the quality of Internet sources students use in academic writing and projects. Fill out a short registration form to have immediate free access...more
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Find an interactive rubric for evaluating the quality of Internet sources students use in academic writing and projects. Fill out a short registration form to have immediate free access to the rubric as a PDF. The criteria for the rubric includes Authoritative, Educational Value, Intent, Originality, and Quality. Below the rubric see an example of three popular sites evaluated with SEER and the scores given for each criterion. Download the rubric to your computer. Once filled in save it to your computer and print.

tag(s): evaluating sources (13), media literacy (88), rubrics (30)

In the Classroom

Share this rubric with middle and high school students with your projector or on an interactive whiteboard. Ask students to suggest a popular site for referencing in papers and projects. Use the rubric together and evaluate the site. Break students into small groups and have them evaluate several sites. Make these sites you have already evaluated, and then have the students evaluate them until you know most students agree on what makes a Highly Creditable site compared to a Creditable or Discreditable site. At the end of the activity give a quick assessment. This way students who do not feel sure about evaluating a site have the opportunity to let you know. Consider using Quiz Socket, reviewed here, for a quick assessment or Quizalize, reviewed here, for a more in-depth assessment.
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Teachers - Primary Source Sets - Library of Congress

Grades
4 to 12
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This collection of primary sources from the Library of Congress is organized around key topics and themes in American History. View Primary Source Set titles in alphabetical order from...more
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This collection of primary sources from the Library of Congress is organized around key topics and themes in American History. View Primary Source Set titles in alphabetical order from Abraham Lincoln through Women's Suffrage. Choose any topic to view Teacher's Guides and analysis tools including graphic organizers for students. Sort information to find materials meeting Common Core Standards, State Standards, or national organization standards.

tag(s): 20th century (48), authors (100), black history (96), civil war (127), constitution (85), hispanic (21), jefferson (17), lincoln (58), new deal (5), primary sources (99), Research (61), segregation (16), thanksgiving (24), veterans (20), washington (23), westward expansion (36), womens suffrage (35), wright brothers (18)

In the Classroom

When introducing a new unit, show students photos from the era (on the left menu) and have them describe what they see and what period they think it is. Find plenty of questions and activities (including a blank analysis organizer for students) in the Teacher's Guides. Also look at Library of Congress: for Teachers, reviewed here. Encourage your students to use this tool for projects. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted for reproduction), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. Have students create a multimedia presentation using Google Slides, reviewed here. Google Slides allows you to narrate a picture (choose Insert from the top menu, then audio) modifying student learning. Include this site on your class webpage for students and parents to access as a reference.
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Ask for Evidence - askforevidence.org

Grades
8 to 12
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Ask for Evidence steps in to find the facts behind product claims. Browse through stories for information on questions such as "Should we be Worried about 'Dirty' Stethoscopes?" or...more
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Ask for Evidence steps in to find the facts behind product claims. Browse through stories for information on questions such as "Should we be Worried about 'Dirty' Stethoscopes?" or "Claims about Cancer Fighting Foods." Click Guides from the top menu to find topics. Create an account to ask your own questions. Be sure to view the "Understand Evidence" part of the site to find invaluable resources about how to find and understand reliable evidence. Find "Activity Packs," "Lesson Plans," and more under Resources on the top menu. The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from American English. Note: topics included may not all be classroom appropriate. Select and share specific articles if you are sharing this site with young people.

tag(s): advertising (23), critical thinking (104), evaluating sources (13), media literacy (88), politics (101), propaganda (9), questioning (30)

In the Classroom

Use this site when discussing political or advertising claims with your students. Build critical thinking and questioning skills. Share specific articles with students as young as upper elementary. Share the "Understand Evidence" portion of the site with students before they begin any investigational reports or persuasive writing pieces. Use specific articles rather than the full site with less mature students. This site will give them experience reading informational text on claims they wonder about. Partner weaker readers with others who may be able to help them read the text-heavy articles. Enhance student learning by having students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Venngage, reviewed here. Perhaps show your students a sample infographic from the Resources menu at the top.

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Historical Thinking Interactive Poster (Secondary) - National History Education Clearinghouse

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn to think like a historian. See how we know about the past by using this interactive poster. All you have to do is hover your mouse over one of ...more
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Learn to think like a historian. See how we know about the past by using this interactive poster. All you have to do is hover your mouse over one of the quadrants and click. More information, activities, and links will appear. Each of the quadrants also has additional teaching resources. On the far left column you will find links to "What Is Historical Thinking?" a video, "What are Primary Sources?" and "What are Secondary Sources?"

tag(s): civil rights (167), history day (22), infographics (52), primary sources (99)

In the Classroom

Use your projector or interactive whiteboard and teach your students how to think like a historian. There are some interesting links here for you and your students to investigate. For instance, there are links for exploring the modern civil rights movement, primary sources to look at diary entries from other time periods, examining lithographs, using and reading multiple perspectives, and several more. You may want to go through each quadrant with the entire class, or you might want to assign groups to become "specialists" in a quadrant and have them present it to your class. Challenge the groups to create presentations using Prezi (reviewed here).

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Historical Thinking Interactive Poster (Elementary) - National History Education Clearinghouse

Grades
3 to 7
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Think like a historian using this interactive poster! Consider how your life would have been different if you were born as a slave, an immigrant, living in the city, etc.. ...more
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Think like a historian using this interactive poster! Consider how your life would have been different if you were born as a slave, an immigrant, living in the city, etc.. Think about how your wardrobe would be different. All you have to do is hover your mouse over one of the quadrants and click. More information, activities, and links will appear. Each of the quadrants also has additional teaching resources. On the far left column you will find links to "What Is Historical Thinking?" a video, "What are primary sources?" and "What are secondary sources?" This site is content RICH and definitely worthy of your time. Some of the video clips require Flash.

tag(s): history day (22), primary sources (99)

In the Classroom

Use your interactive whiteboard or projector and teach your students how to think like a historian. There are some interesting links here for you and your students to investigate. For instance, there is a link to discover how different the lives of kids were in the past. View the primary sources to look at what nineteenth century kids read, what their toys were, and how the clothes looked. There are also links for using primary sources, and surfing the net successfully. You may want to go through each quadrant with the entire class, or you might want to assign groups to become "specialists" in a quadrant and have them present it to your class. Have students create online posters on paper using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here.

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AllSides - John Gable

Grades
4 to 12
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Look at political, national and international issues from all sides: left, right, and center. Colored banners identify the perspective. Current content focuses on political discussions,...more
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Look at political, national and international issues from all sides: left, right, and center. Colored banners identify the perspective. Current content focuses on political discussions, but as the site evolves the plan is to include other topics such as health care, finances, and parenting. Find other specific topics by choosing the issues tab, then choosing from keywords such as energy, taxes, or violence in America. Choose from different tabs to view issues, bias, and the site's blog. Especially interesting is the bias section. Users rate their own bias on several issues to determine their bias toward left, center, or right. Email signup is available to become involved with the site but isn't necessary to access all of the articles and content.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): elections (75), media literacy (88), politics (101)

In the Classroom

This is an excellent site to easily find topics presented from various points of view. Use articles with students to demonstrate point of view in writing, bias in media, or for students to use as points for debates. Use an online tool such as Interactive Three Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to create a visual comparison of different points of view.

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Historical Thinking Matters - Center for History and New Media

Grades
9 to 12
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This site teaches teachers and students to critically view and read historical documents. The site will help students find and view primary sources critically as they decipher the past....more
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This site teaches teachers and students to critically view and read historical documents. The site will help students find and view primary sources critically as they decipher the past. The site is broken down into student investigations and teaching materials and strategies. There are maps, videos, activities, and more. Although there are some portions of the site that still include Flash which is no longer supported, much of the information is still available and is worth using.

tag(s): critical thinking (104), primary sources (99)

In the Classroom

This site can be used in several different ways. View the introductory movie from the the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then use some of the teaching strategies to prepare students for an upcoming history lesson. Use the student section with individual or pairs of students in a lab or as a center. Have them use their new skills to review historical documents. Break students into four groups and assign them one of the four student investigations to complete. When done have groups share what they learned with the rest of the class. Challenge students to create a video and share using a site such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).

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