Posts Tagged ‘Bill of Rights’

Free K-12 History Lessons & free CD

August 20th, 2009

Recommended Website
AmericanHeritage.org

Age Range: 5-18 (Grades K-12)

This website, sponsored by the non-profit, non-partisan American Heritage Education Foundation, produces and distributes FREE K-12 lesson plans to teachers, students, and families in all 50 states.

As explained at the website, AHEF is “dedicated to the understanding and teaching of America’s factual and philosophical heritage to promote constructive citizenship and Freedom, Unity, Progress, and Responsibility among our students and citizens…AHEF is inclusive of individuals of every race and creed and every religious or non-religious persuasion.”

When you get to the website, you’ll see some explanatory text with hyperlinks to the lessons for elementary, middle school, and high school. Simply click on the link for the grade level of interest and a new page opens to a menu of lessons with activities that include:

  • FOR ELEMENTARY GRADES:
    • Colonial America
    • Declaration of Independence
    • U.S. Presidents
    • The Great Seal, Motto, Flag, etc.
    • The History of Thanksgiving Day
    • and more!
  • FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL:
    • Colonial America: American Revolution
    • U.S. Constitution
    • Bill of Rights
    • Gettysburg Address
    • What is an American?
    • and more!
  • FOR HIGH SCHOOL:
    • The Mayflower Compact
    • Federalist Paper Number 47
    • The First Amendment
    • Entrepreneurs in History
    • American’s Creed
    • and more!

Each lesson is available in English and Spanish. You can access it online through a downloadable pdf file. (You’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader that you can download for free at the site.) You can print the lessons out and use them offline as well.

You can also order a CD of these lessons absolutely FREE! Instructions are at the website.

Note: A binder of the lessons for each grade level is also available for a fee of $19.50.

These free AHEF lessons and activities can be enjoyed regardless of homeschool methodology.

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Are You The Parent of a Preschooler? You’ll Love Universal Preschool’s Learning Calendar! It’s chock-full of fun, easy activities & time-saving resources for learning with little ones all year long! Get your copy today.

DID YOU MISPLACE A ClickSchooling Review? Do you need to find an educational website – fast! Visit the ClickSchooling archives.

FREE E-Lessons on the Bill of Rights (CSAW)

April 30th, 2009

Recommended Website:
Bill of Rights Institute

Age Range: 11-18 (Geared for Middle School and High School, but it’s never too early or too late to learn these important concepts.)

A big THANK YOU to ClickScholar Beth Haynes for recommending this website that provides free e-lessons to boost students’ knowledge of their constitutional rights and America’s founding principles. Each e-lesson is delivered to your inbox and includes historical content, classroom activities, discussion questions, and suggestions for further reading. This is critical information every citizen should know.

When you get to the site you’ll see a description of the free e-lessons available and information on how to sign up to get them (simply enter your email address). There are three choices — and you can sign up for one or all three as follows:

  • Presidents and the Constitution — Once-a-month get an email that focuses “on the role of the Commander in Chief of the United States and how he has responded to the office as it pertains to the Constitution.” The topic for April was President Carter and the Panama Canal Treaty. In May, the topic will be Bush v. Gore (2000).
  • Landmark Supreme Court Cases And The Constitution — This monthly e-lesson spotlights prominent United States Supreme Court Cases past and present and highlights key constitutional issues and controversies. The topic for May will be “Skokie v. National Socialist Party (1978): Freedom of Speech/Assembly.”
  • Bill of Rights In The News — This twice monthly e-lesson “focuses on issues making headlines that directly relate to the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. It provides current online news articles, discussion questions, and related links and resources. One of the topics in April was “Federal Bailouts and the Constitution.” Here’s a synopsis from the website:

“For the last several months, Congress has responded to the financial crisis by passing a series of bills (commonly known as “bailouts”) providing money to insurance companies, banks, and other industries it believes have become ‘too big to fail.’ Car companies including General Motors and Chrysler have received billions of taxpayer dollars. They are now requesting more. The President has announced that in order to receive more federal money, GM and Chrysler must meet certain conditions. These events and their constitutional implications are explored in this eLesson.”

The Bill of Rights Institute offers a variety of educational resources — some for free, and some for a fee. The items mentioned above are FREE!

When you are through signing up to get these terrific resources, explore the rest of the site. You’ll find free classroom lessons that further the mission of the Bill of Rights Institute which is to educate young people about the words and ideas of America’s Founders, the liberties guaranteed in our Founding documents, and how our Founding principles continue to affect and shape a free society.

This is a great way to implement the advice issued by President John Adams in 1789: “Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom.”

This site earns a ClickSchooling Award (CSAW) for excellence!

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Are You The Parent of a Preschooler? You’ll Love Universal Preschool’s Learning Calendar! It’s chock-full of fun, easy activities & time-saving resources for learning with little ones all year long! Get your copy today…

DID YOU MISPLACE A ClickSchooling Review? Do you need to find an educational website — fast! Visit the ClickSchooling archives.

Social Studies Reports, Projects and So Much More!

April 17th, 2008

Recommended Website:
ClassBrain.com: Reports and Projects

Age Range: 8-17 (Due to the extensive material at this site, parents should preview the site to determine suitability of content.)

The “Reports and Projects” section of the ClassBrain website provides a remarkable archive of information to help students write reports and develop projects about history, government, geography and social studies. The multi-media sources are engaging and include print-outs and worksheets along with links to other sites for further research and study.

When you get to the landing page, you’ll see a menu of topics to choose from that includes:

  • State Reports – Click on the state of interest and find info and resources on history, agriculture, geology, economy, natural resources, tourism, festivals and fairs, culture and arts, music, maps, recipes, state quarters, stamps, the capital city, famous people, state motto, flower, symbols, etc.
  • Country Reports – Get information on every country from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. Learn about the history, culture, language, economy, geography, government and more. You’ll find worksheets and maps to print out and color.
  • Defining Documents – This section offers primary sources for the documents that defined the United States of America including Acts, Bills, Presidential Executive Orders, Supreme Court Decisions, The U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, important writing and papers, proclamations, and even links to video and audio of memorable speeches.
  • Mission Reports – For anyone studying California history, this will be a “must visit” section of the site with tons of information accompanied by illustrations and photos of California missions.
  • Biographies – Read the biographies of people with historical importance to U.S. history from Abigail Adams to Woodrow Wilson. The brief biographies include a picture of the individual along with “Learning Links” to other websites with additional information, as well as a suggested reading list.
  • Freedom Files and Kid’s Freedom Files – This description from the website says it all, “We have September 11th resources including slideshows, timelines, video footage, tributes, historic moments in the aftermath, and much more.”

You can see that the content here is pretty exhaustive. But that’s just the beginning of the ClassBrain website and its mission “to assist students from 1 through 101 to explore the universe, to be inspired by the work of others around the world, to become excited about their own endeavors, and to embrace the education process.”

If you decide to explore the menu at the top of the screen you’ll find all kinds of resources for the education of parents, teachers, kids and teens. The content is extensive and some of it may be controversial or objectionable to some – that’s why it is IMPERATIVE THAT PARENTS PREVIEW THE SITE and provide guidance to their children.

The above caveat is especially true for the topics covered in the “Parents and Teachers” section (that includes lesson guides for a “Movies In The Classroom” feature at the site) and in the “CB Teen” section. The ClassBrain website provides various rating systems to assist you, but stresses that it is ultimately up to parents to decide the appropriate level of exposure to controversial or objectionable content for your own children.

That said, it is very worthwhile for parents to explore the amazing array of educational content here in every subject and topic. Keep what works, and leave the rest. :)

DID YOU MISPLACE A ClickSchooling Review? Do you need to find an educational website – fast! Visit the ClickSchooling archives at: http://www.homefires.com/clickschool/archive.asp.

Early American History Movies and More!

October 4th, 2007

Recommended Website:
Archiving Early America

A message from ClickSchooling list member Sharon Jacksack, convinced me to feature this website again. We had previously reviewed it in 2002, and it has been updated substantially since that time. Sharon wrote, “This Website is a new discovery for me. They have free Flash movies of major milestones of the American Revolution that are really quite good. Plus, they have maps, portraits, and documents to really flesh out a study of the American Revolution.”

When you get to the landing page, you will see an introduction to this website that uses primary source materials to provide insight into the people and events that shaped early American history. You’ll also see a list of the most popular resources archived on the site. Use the menu on the left side of the screen to explore:

  • Freedom Documents – The Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
  • World Of Early America – Find out how America got its name, meet some of the notable women of the era, and read some obituaries of notable characters of the time.
  • Lives of Early Americans – Read the biographies of Benjamin Franklin, Daniel Boone, Paul Revere, and more.
  • Maps – See maps of the 13 colonies as well as battlefields and other settlements.
  • Milestone Events – Learn about The Whiskey Rebellion, Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense,” The Louisiana Purchase and other defining events in early American history.
  • Portraits – Read about the lives of people who were prominent in early American history including Samuel Adams, Benedict Arnold, King George III, Thomas Jefferson, and more. The pictures here are of engravings made from original paintings.
  • Games – Test your knowledge of early American history with quizzes and crossword puzzles.
  • Music – Listen to the music and read the lyrics of songs that were popular during The French and Indian War, The Revolutionary War, The War of 1812, and more.
  • Movies – Watch a series of films that highlight notable people and historic events including the lives of George Washington and Molly Pitcher.

There is a wealth of material in these archives — a real treasure trove for those with an interest in early American history.

Constitution Day is September 17th!

September 13th, 2007

Constitution Day is September 17th!

Get a head start on the celebration with these websites…

Recommended Websites:

Age Range: 10 and up (middle school/high school)

Constitution Day

This site claims to be the “official” Constitution Day website. When you get to the site, it offers the history of how Louise Leigh founded Constitution Day in 1997. The rest of the site is not as informative as the treasure trove of educational materials you’ll find at the next website…

Bill of Rights Institute: Constitution Day

The Bill of Rights Institute offers educational materials to help young Americans appreciate constitutional principles that define the United States of America. When you get to the site you’ll see a link to the full text of the Bill of Rights and a downloadable free sample lesson about the Bill of Rights. Then, click on “Celebrate Constitution Day” and a new page opens. Click on the link for “teachers” and a new page opens with a variety of educational resources. Unfortunately, the very first link to activities in acrobat-adobe doesn’t work. Don’t despair.

To get to the goods, scroll down the page — past the tabloid section — to the “Online Module Section.” You’ll need flash to do these activities that include:

  • Take a trip back in time to the Constitution Convention.
  • Play an interactive consitution-themed crossword puzzle.
  • Match the quotes to the Founding Fathers who said them.

For those who don’t have Flash — never fear! Scroll down the page past the Online Module to find FREE downloadable Constitution Day lesson plans for Middle School and High School.

When you’re through exploring this section, click on “Instructional Materials” on the main menu to find all kinds free learning materials, including the Founding documents that includes the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, The Bill of Rights, and Other Amendments. Here is the direct link to the free founding documents.

Take a Virtual Constitution Tour of Philadelphia

Once you’ve read the U.S. Constitution, take a virtual tour of historical sites in the city of Philadelphia. It includes the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the Betsy Ross house, and more!

U.S. Constitution for Kids

September 21st, 2006

Recommended Website:
U.S. Constitution For Kids

List member Maren Cooke suggested today’s website that makes information about the U.S. Constitution more accessible to kids. It breaks down the information by grade range (K-3, 4-7, and 8-12), although the navigation is a bit confusing, so let me try to explain…

Grades 8-12 — When you get to the website you will be on the page designated for grades 8-12. It provides a basic introduction to the Constitution, its history, and controversial elements about it. Scroll down the page to the Menu where you can click on links for in-depth information on everything from the Constitutional Convention to the Bill of Rights, to the workings of the various branches of government. This is text-intensive with links to primary source documents and other resources — great for those interested in a serious exploration of the U.S. Constitution.

Grades 4-7 — At the top of the landing page, you will see a link to “The Constitution for Kids: 4th Through 7th Grade.” Click on it and a new page opens with a general overview of the history of the Constitution along with pictures and illustrations that makes the information more inviting to younger students. You could use just this page to provide a general overview. You can also click on some of the links provided in the text for more information, or use the menu below the overview for a more in-depth investigation of the Constitution.

Grades K-3 — At the top of the landing page, you will see a link to “The Constitution for Kids: Kindergarten Through 3rd Grade.” Click on it and a new page opens with a very simple overview of the history of the Constitution along with illustrations to provide a kid-friendly read for young children. This page is provided as a general overview for youngsters. Taking into account the typical course of study for kids in this grade range and ability to comprehend the information, it intentionally does not include resources for further learning. (Of course, the beauty of homeschooling is that if you have a child who is curious or eager to learn more you can explore the other grade levels as desired.)

This is a great reference guide for a wide range of ability levels. You may want to bookmark it and use it as a resource when needed.

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