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Liberty Kids

What it is: Liberty Kids teaches about Colonial life in America through a variety of educational activities.  Students can explore the animated “Now and Then” segments which compare and contrast various lifestyles, cultural, technological, and health issues from the Revolutionary War period and life in the 21st century.  The Liberty News Maker lets students create newspapers that include headlines, stories, and pictures.  Students can engage in games and activities that allow them to discover important information about how the United States was founded.  The Revolution Archive allows students to learn more about historical figures of the Revolution.  Here students will find artists renderings and historical facts about important people, places, and events from the time period.  The site also includes a great teacher section that includes ideas for making the Colonial period relevant to your students, on and off line activities for students to complete, and scripts for short plays that students can perform where they will hear the voices of slaves and free men, American Indians, women, and a poor immigrant. How to integrate Liberty Kids into the classroom: My 5th grade students LOVE Liberty Kids.  They especially enjoy watching the “Now and Then” video clips together as a class.  (In fact, their homeroom teacher has started using these clips as a reward in her classroom.)  This site bring history to a kid level and helps them understand history as it relates to them.  Students get a great view of what life was like during the Revolutionary War as well as learn about key events, people, and places of the Colonial period.  Use the play scripts to connect your students to the lesser known voices during the Revolutionary War.  Let them explore the site individually on classroom computers or explore as a class with an interactive whiteboard or with a projector.  The animated video clips and Revolution Archive can be used with the whole class but the games are best for students to play individually on their own computer.  After students have a good understanding of Colonial Life, they can create and print out a newspaper cover that they create. Tips: There are some CBS advertisements on this site that will be very appealing to students. Make sure that they know which portions of the site are advertisements and which are part of the Liberty Kids website.  This is a great opportunity to teach students about how to spot an advertisement and why websites use advertising. Leave a comment and share how you are using Liberty Kids  in your classroom.

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Photo Booth/ Seenly

Posted by admin | Posted in Character Education, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Open Source, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 25-10-2007

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What it is: If you are lucky enough to have a newer Mac in your classroom, you are familiar with Photo Booth. Photo Booth is reminiscent of its name sake, it allows students to take pictures with the built-in iSight camera. If you have a pre-Photo Booth Mac or a PC you can now use a free Browser application called Seenly. Seenly lets students take pictures of themselves (even applying different effects like sepia tone or x-ray). Seenly can be used on older Mac’s or PC’s. The only requirement is a web cam. These are coming way down in price, $15-$25.

How to integrate Photo Booth or Seenly into the classroom: Photo Booth and Seenly can be used for a multitude of projects throughout the school year. My favorite project for using Photo Booth/Seenly is for character education development. I create a “How are you feeling today?” grid in Pages or Word and save as a template. Students take pictures of themselves displaying the different emotions and drag and drop onto the template. When they are finished we print them out and create a class book of emotions. This is a wonderful way to teach students empathy. Photo Booth/Seenly can also be used at the beginning of the year for a getting-to-know you project. Create a bulletin board with student pictures. Students could use Photo Booth/Seenly to star in their own stories. Teachers, take pictures of students throughout the year as you podcast students reading. The photos with the podcasts make an excellent end of the year gift for students and parents as they can see and hear students growth throughout the year. Create a classroom “dictionary” where students create definitions for themselves along with their pictures. When teaching action verbs, have students take pictures of themselves actually doing an action verb. You will find a hundred and one uses that you never expected when you bring a web cam into the classroom and pair it with Photo Booth/Seenly!

Tips: See the image below for an example of the “How are you feeling today?” templates I created in Pages. One template was created for kindergarten through second grades and the second template was created for third through fifth grades.

Comments (2)

What a great idea! You said it best. Photo Booth does have a 101 uses and then some. I really like the idea of using it for character education. Also, seeing the maturation of a reader doesn’t get any better than capturing it over the course of a year. Good stuff!

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