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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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NASA’s 50th Anniversary Flash Feature-best website ever!

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Evaluate, Interactive Whiteboard, Knowledge (remember), Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 19-04-2011

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Have I mentioned lately that I have the most AWESOME readers?  No?  Well it is true, you all are awesome and you keep me going even when I am running on low.  Thank you for that!  I’m currently working on starting a school (actually 3) in the next 2 years.  This is proving to be an exciting and, oh yeah, exhausting task.  Then I get encouraging emails and site suggestions from you all and it puts some major pep back in my step.  Thank you!  This website is one such recommendation.  You know you are a true geek when getting a cool website in your inbox revives you :)  Thank you Ryan!

What it is: NASA’s 50th Anniversary Flash feature is a website that is absolutely not to be missed.  Seriously, it won’t even hurt my feelings if you skip reading my post and just head right on over to dig in and check it out yourselves!  This interactive timeline highlights each decade in our space program from 1950 to 2000.  Until we get time travel sorted out, this is a pretty good substitute! The site encourages exploration and discovery as students move decade by decade through the site.  I love that this site goes so far beyond just space exploration.  While students explore, they will hear music representing each decade, see animations, listen to virtual radio broadcasts of actual news headlines (including NASA news and other news from the decade), original video, listen to speeches of the decade and even launch rockets.  I can’t tell you how happy it made me to hear Johnny Cash mixed in as I was playing on this site (in the upper left corner of the site you will be able to change songs on the jukebox, record, tape, CD or mp3 player).  First thing I heard when I clicked on the 80′s “Tonight on Dallas find out who shot J.R.”. *LOVE THIS SITE!*  This blog post took me about 2 hours because I got sucked right into exploring and playing.  The site reminds me of Epcot’s Tomorrow Land, complete with robot guide.  This is what online learning should look like, when I close my eyes and dream, this is the experience I imagine for kids.  Can you imagine if there was a site like this for history? How cool would that be?!

How to integrate NASA’s 50th Anniversary Flash Feature into the classroom: This is one of those sites that you could let kids loose on just for exploration.  Without any guidance from you they will learn plenty!  Ideally kids would explore this site in partners or on their own in a one to one computer lab setting.  If each student has a computer, headphones will be a necessity.  If individual exploration just isn’t in the cards, visit the site as a class with an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computers.  Invite students up to the computer (whiteboard) to take turns guiding the class.  The site has plenty of interactive content to give each student a chance at the computer (whiteboard).  Unless you have a good chunk of time dedicated to the site, this is one that I would stretch out over a week.  Each day students can explore a new decade.

The space exploration component of this site is amazing and could keep everyone plenty busy with learning.  With older students, discuss what the music of the decade reveals about that time in history.  What does the music tell them about people, community, values, events of the day?  Take it one step further and ask students to dig into other historical events in each decade, discussing their impact on space exploration, culture and where we are today.  One thing that I missed out on in history was all of the stories that make it so rich.  For me, history was reduced to names, dates and places.  Give your students the opportunity to put themselves into history and learn about how the events influenced each other.

NASA’s 50th Anniversary Flash Feature would be a great one to use in connection with We Choose the Moon.  If your students are like mine, they can’t get enough of this stuff!  Obviously I can’t get enough of it either.  Full disclosure, I have always loved space exploration.  When I was a kid I spent many summers at Black Rock Desert at LDRS (Large Dangerous Rockets) with my dad.  My dad built wooden model rockets- first wooden rocket on record to break sound barrier!  In answer to your next question: yes, I have always been a complete and total nerd. :P

Tips: What? Your still here? Go on, visit the site! (channeling my inner Ferris Bueller today).

Please leave a comment and share how you are using NASA’s 50th Anniversary Flash Feature thesauruses in your classroom!

Comments (3)

[...] site is a great one to use in connection with the NASA 50th Anniversary site I shared [...]

[...] launch.  Using a projector-connected computer or an interactive whiteboard, launch one of the shuttles here.  When you “land” on the moon, let students explore the surface together by [...]

[...] 8. NASA’s 50th Anniversary Flash Feature- Best. Website. Ever. An incredible interactive timeline that highlights each decade in the United States space program from 1950 to 2000. [...]

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