The Friday Five Returns – Its About Time…

Our classrooms don’t have clocks. Well, not unless the teacher in that room brings one. While I try to don a watch each day and the clock in my menu bar usually saves me if I forget, from time to time I need more.  The following resources are helpful and fun to project too. The Online Clock/Online Alarm Clock offers digital and analog clocks, alarm clocks, some alarm clocks, and a goofy but fun world clock. The Online Stopwatch continues to be a reliable go-to if we need to time group or station activities.

Time is also in our curriculum, not just in a supportive role. Looking for a good interactive whiteboard activity to help younger students learn to tell time? ABC ya! has a series of interactive games focused on telling time on both digital and analog clocks. World clock resources may be helpful in a geography class at any level. The Poodwaddle World Clock has not only a track of current international times, but gives data on food, energy, births, deaths and more.

Happy Friday, the clock says it is almost the weekend!

Editorial Cartoons and More

Today’s “Friday Five” explores five resources from the Dirksen Congressional Center, a nonpartisan, non-profit organization focused on improving civic engagement and understanding of Congress. Educators of most age groups will find helpful material for teaching US Government and US History here. There is also a beautiful online book (#4 in the list) that would be great for art and architecture!  And now to the Friday Five:

One:  the “Congress for Kids” site is aimed more at that K-8 crowd. With colorful visuals and illustrations aimed at young students, Congress for Kids looks at the Constitution, each of the Branches of Government, Elections and Citizenship with a couple of quizzes too.

Two:  “Congress in the Classroom Online.” Congress in the Classroom Online utilizes a moodle aimed at helping instructors understand today’s Congress and strategies to teach about it. With more than a dozen individual units looking at things like the membership of Congress, lawmaking and more, this looks like a great resource and well worth the few minutes to set up a free account.

Three: the Dirksen’s Political Cartoon Collection has 80 or so political cartoons collected form the late 1950’s to the late 1960’s. Each cartoon has a lesson plan to support it. A great way to learn about presidential appointments, the law making process, party politics, and more.

Four: The Library of Congress: As An Embodiment of the American Identity. An 80-page e-book investigating the beautiful and historic art and architecture of the Library of Congress. An informative and beautiful resource.

Five: An interactive Civil Rights Timeline. Explore the years of 1963-1965 through a timeline that combines facts with primary source documents and additional links and biographical information.

The Dirksen Congressional Center has more resources than those listed above, but I hope these are a great springboard to new material and ideas.

Happy Friday!

The Friday Five: Images

Who doesn’t like to explore art and what students don’t gravitate toward images? Today’s “Five” include five great image collections, I hope you find something of interest to you.

Thanks to Christie Burke, our new Library Specialist, I learned about the first resource, Minnesota Reflections, a collection of nearly 31,000 images and documents “shared by more than 95 cultural heritage organizations across the state. This site offers a broad view of Minnesota’s history for researchers, educators, students, and the public.”

Second, thinking regionally, is the Arts Collection, part of the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections.  The Arts Collection “brings together, in digital form, primary and secondary materials relating to the creative arts.” Here you can search a growing collection of art including images of pottery, architecture, and other artifacts.

Third, yes, it has appeared here before, but I use it so often, I couldn’t imagine an article on images without it!  The morgueFile is a great place for educators and students to find quality images for just about anything.

Fourth, part of the Pics4Learning is a free image library intended for educational use. Teachers can also submit their photos to be included in the collection. (An “Advanced Search” for photographer is an easy way for students to find their teacher’s photos.) If you submit your images, you retain your copyright but grant your permission for them to be used for education. FYI, it does take a couple of days for the images to be approved by Pics4Learning.

Finally, images from Craig Blacklock. Not able to be downloaded but beautiful to explore, Craig’s Lake Superior images are wonderful.

Happy Friday!

Spending the Friday Five at the Supreme Court

Today’s Friday Five is brought to you by  Justice David Souter’s announcement of  retirement and my general interest in the Supreme Court. Recognizing that we have only had 110 Supreme Court Justices, it is quite an elite group. The following five resources are useful in teaching about the Court.

1.  This TIME for Kids website was designed for Justice Alito’s confirmation, it includes small biographies of recent justices, a look at Landmark Cases, some Supreme Court basics, and a quiz over the content.

2. An outstanding resource for Landmark Cases comes from Street Law and the Supreme Court Historical Society: This collection of readings (3 different reading levels) and activities surrounding each case is a great resource for a wide age range. (If you are an educator and would like the link to the answer site for, please send me an email!)

3. A 2-for-1!  SCOTUS Blog and SCOTUS Wiki are a pair of related sites which do a tremendous job watching the current Court. Contributors publish statistics on the actions of the Justices, update on daily news from the Court, give excellent reports on specific cases and decisions, a great pair of current resources.

4.  PBS created a wonderful resource to support its Supreme Court series. With an interactive history of the Court, there is also a great educators site with lesson plans, a day in the life, a memory game (can be tricky), and other supportive links,  definitely a rich resource on the Court.

5. The National Constitution Center has an interactive Constitution which is searchable by Supreme Court case, a different approach than some for studying the way the Supreme Court works with the Constitution.

Happy Friday!