RSS

Category Archives: Websites

Tutankhamun: Anatomy of an Excavation

Tutankhamun: Anatomy of an Excavation

The Griffith Institute at Oxford University has put together the definitive database of artifacts recovered from the tomb of Tutankhamun in Egypt in an exhibit called Anatomy of an Excavation.  From its discovery in 1922, the tomb of “King Tut” has fascinated the world because of the unprecedented completeness of the tomb, the fact that it lay undisturbed by tomb robbers and archaeologists alike for over 3000 years, and that because of both of these gives us the most complete picture of Ancient Egyptian funeral rites and practices.

Browse the Anatomy of an Excavation‘s database through either the catalog cards or through the original photographs of the artifacts, both in situ and after their removal from the tomb.  This photography and cataloging was also unprecedented in a time when archaeology was more of a treasure hunt than a scientific endeavor.  Also available are the scanned journals and diaries of Howard Carter, the head of the excavation and the discoverer of the tomb.

Anatomy of an Excavation is a treasure trove (pun intended) of information for studying archaeology, Ancient Egypt, or funerary practices around the world.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 15, 2013 in Websites

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Show Off Random Activity Generator

Random Activity Generator

Are you bored?  Looking for something to do?  Do you want to learn or try some new and fun skills?  If so, check out this cool little site — Show Off.

Show Off is the promotional site for a book by the same title that is a “how-to” book for kids.  They promote over 208 pages with 1500 illustrations that walk you step by step through some interesting activities that can easily alleviate boredom and teach you some new life skills at the same time.  I clicked through a few times and got activities like building a solar compass, learning how to skip a stone, how to dry and press flowers, and how to encode secret messages.

Each “lesson” in Show Off is about 4-5 panels long and even though the activities look easy, you will spend a good deal of time practicing and perfecting each one.  So, what should you do today?

 
1 Comment

Posted by on May 7, 2013 in Tips & Tricks, Websites

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

America in 1607 – Interactive Jamestown

America in 1607:  Jamestown and the Powhatan

On April 26, 1607 English settlers set foot on dry land for the first time in five months on what is now Cape Henry, Virginia.  They would continue to explore around the Chesapeake Bay and then up the James river, eventually choosing Jamestown Island as the site for their settlement on May 14, 1607.  What did they face and what were the conditions like for these first settlers?  America in 1607 from National Geographic helps to explain that.

America in 1607 is a fantastic interactive lesson and exploration of not only the original Jamestown Fort and subsequent residential colony, but also of the surrounding area called Werowocomoco and the native Powhatan people.  Students can explore both areas in depth with America in 1607 learning about the daily life in the fort and in Werowocomoco as both developed and adapted to new neighbors.  They can continue learning about  the subsequent archaeology to discover the sites and modern perspectives on Indian relations and the impact of the Jamestown Colony.

America in 1607 provides many excellent images and videos that explain the histories of Jamestown Fort and Werowocomoco thoroughly.  In addition, there are external links for more sites and potential webquest stops for you to build off of.

Also of Interest:

On the Trail of John Smith – An interactive adventure game from NatGeo Kids for younger students.  Short cartoon videos tell the story of John Smith and each is accompanied by a mini-game to play such as a puzzle to build the fort, a matching game with Pocohantas, and a boat race.

Historic Jamestowne – This is the official website of the modern archaeological site.  Learn about events at the site as well as updates on the ongoing excavations of the fort and settlement areas.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 26, 2013 in Websites

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Moby Dick Big Read Project

Moby Dick — Big Read

I came across this site through Open Culture which is a fantastic repository of all kinds of great free history and pop culture.  The Moby Dick Big Read Project was an enormous undertaking to record all 135 chapters of the novel into an audiobook format with each of the chapters read by a different voice.  Combining the voices of the known and unknown but all important this project has injected new live into one of the greatest American novels.

You can listen to the audio on the Big Read site itself, through iTunes, or through SoundCloud.

H/T to both Open Culture for the original post and Book Riot for pointing me their way.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 11, 2013 in Blogs, Websites

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Culturally Authentic Picture Lexicon

Culturally Authentic Picture Lexicon

The Culturally Authentic Picture Lexicon (CAPL) is a great site to use in classes to help students find pictures that are both authentic and appropriate from other cultures and countries.  All the photographs held in the database were taken by natives of the culture and are organized by language and also by region.  You can either browse or search the CAPL to find great photos from around the world.

One of the great benefits of the CAPL in education is that it can be used by teachers outside of simply being another repository for photos.  Each picture is cataloged by language and region and contains both an English description and foreign language translation.  This is an excellent way to infuse your world language curriculum into searching and project creation.

Another way many educators use the CAPL is to have students use the photos as writing prompts in world history and cultures classes, to recreate the images in art classes, to identify plants and animals in science, or to address cultural differences in Social Studies classes.  The CAPL is a perfect accompaniment to a Project-Based Learning environment with endless cross-curricular possibilities.

Last, but not least, check out the Pictolang Tab on CAPL as well.  This will take you to a sister site where students can play four different games that use the CAPL’s photos:

  • Visual Word Trainer – Turns the photos into flash cards so students can practice or learn vocabulary
  • Picture Match Game – Given 8 images, students choose the photo that matches the word or phrase caption and are given immediate feedback.
  • Word Match Game – Students see one image and find the appropriate caption or vocabulary word from 8 choices, again with immediate feedback
  • Analyst Game – Students are given one image and then match the corresponding culture from 8 choices.

I highly recommend giving CAPL a try for both your world language classes, as well as social studies can history classes where you are looking for fun, exciting ways to incorporate real world images and examples for students that infuse and are steeped in modern culture.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 6, 2013 in Tips & Tricks, Websites

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Playing History — A Source for Historical Games

Playing History

If you’ve been looking at ways to try livening up your lessons, some alternate assessments, or if you have some of that ever elusive spare time in your lesson planning, you might want to take a peek at Playing History.

Playing History advertises itself as a source for historical games, but you’re not going to find old versions of Pong, Pac-Man, Mario, or even Final Fantasy here (thought you can still die of dysentery in the original Oregon Trail!).  All the games on Playing History are centered on key events or concepts in history – primarily American and British – with the other social sciences mixed in throughout.

Close to 130 games are available and the front page of Playing History allows you to pinpoint areas of interest through a prominent tag cloud or you could search and/or browse all the games to find something appropriate for your classes.  A free registration allows you to rate and review the games as well, but these are not limited to educators so take them with a grain of salt.

Make sure that you test any of the games on Playing History before using them with class to ensure they are appropriate for your students and that they will work on your systems.  Just remember that any flash-based games will not work on Apple products like an iPad.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 26, 2013 in Websites

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

FutureMe — Time Travel Through e-mail

Dear Future Me,

What would you tell the future you if you had a chance?  Is there something you need to remember?  Some sage advice you might have? Do you want to be nostalgic?  What do you think your students would say? If you have ever wanted to do this but never had the chance, or if you’re looking for a fun, quick creative activity with your students, try FutureMe.

All you need to take advantage of FutureMe is access to the Internet and a valid e-mail address that you have now and will keep long enough to get your letter.  Have students write something to themselves at some future date – maybe freshman writing to themselves as seniors or graduating seniors writing to their future selves going to a five year reunion – the possibilities are endless!  What would they write?

With FutureMe, you can sample the students’ writing before they send it, and tailor it to be a reflective, persuasive, or creative piece.  You can even gauge the reaction of students to their letters if they were to send it to themselves while still in school.  Simply collaborate with a future teacher and have students write a response or reaction to their past selves letters.

FutureMe can be a fantastic tool for gauging student growth, both personally and academically and they will love the quasi time-travel aspect of the project (no TARDIS required).

Heads-up:  There is an option that letters can be shared publicly (but anonymously) and these appear in a sidebar on the right of the window.  Some may contain language inappropriate for school so determine whether or not your students can handle this (or preview the site the day you plan on using it).

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 14, 2013 in Tips & Tricks, Websites

 

Tags: , , , , , ,