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The Interactive Classroom
27 Siebrecht Place
New Rochelle, NY 10804
Each comprehensive book in the Exploring History series features a different period in history and includes: a detailed teacher's guide; differentiated student handbooks written at two reading levels; document-based assessments; one hundred rubrics; overhead transparencies; a multi-media CD of photographs, clip art, and other media; and bonus items such as cards, maps and manipulatives.
Students begin their understanding of China by deciphering poetic clues to locate major geographical features on a map. They categorize Taoist proverbs, study Confucian teachings, and evaluate typical judicial cases to determine the morality of Legalist laws. Students simulate a Buddhist meditative exercise for self-improvement and participate in a cultural fair that highlights the achievements of the Chinese dynasties. Taking on the role of peasants, students debate whether to follow the leadership of Mao Tse-tung or Chiang Kai-shek. Students conduct surveys to determine how well the 12 zodiacs describe their lives, with the unit coming to a close with the celebration of the Chinese New Year.
- Confucianism, Taoism, Legalism, Buddhism
- Chinese Dynasties
- Chinese Cultural Workshop
- Mao Tse-tung vs. Chiang Kai-shek
- The Zodiac
- Chinese New Year
Archaeology comes alive in a hands-on classroom dig. Students study cuneiform, make symbols, and design their own tablets. They take on the roles of litigants and appear before Babylonian judges who apply justice based on the Code of Hammurabi. Students compare the Babylonian Base 60 to our Base 10. They become acquainted with the world of Gilgamesh. Students chart the growth of the brutal Assyrian empire through the exploits of several great kings and commanders.
- Archaeological Dig
- Early Sumerian Writing: From Prehistory to History
- Babylonian Hammurabi Codes
- The Babylonian Base System of Numeration
- Gilgamesh, the King
- Assyrian Warfare
Students participate in a simulation recreating the decipherment of the Rosetta Stone. They learn hieroglyphic writing and create their own cartouche. Students embark on an Egyptian Scavenger Hunt and realize the impact that this ancient civilization has on modern-day cultures. Playing charades, using hand and body movements, students learn and understand the meaning of the artwork found in tombs and temples of the Nile River Valley.
- The Rosetta Stone
- Egyptomania Scavenger Hunt
- Walk Like an Egyptian - Deciphering Hieroglyphics
Ancient Egypt II
Pathology and forensics come to the classroom as students analyze MRI CAT scans of mummies to determine the cause of death. The class creates an Egyptian Museum Exhibit, touching all aspects and levels of daily life and culture. They advance to designing a book that describes the intricate process of preparing a cadaver for mummification. Students learn the art of bartering for goods in an Egyptian marketplace.
- The Rosetta Stone
- Egyptomania Scavenger Hunt
- Walk Like an Egyptian - Deciphering Hieroglyphics
Students kick off the unit with the creation of a brochure for a cruise around the Aegean Sea and ancient Greece. They participate in a simulation discussion and debate to determine if they will side with Athens or with Sparta during the Peloponnesian War. Students unlock the wonderful stories told in Grecian pottery and create their own architectural structure based on Greek principles. Taking on the role of Spartan boys, the class engages in a physical training exercise that highlights the rigors of growing up in Sparta. They participate in a Socratic Seminar and compete in the Olympic Games.
- Mythology and Legends
- Alexander the Great
- The Development of City-States
- Athens vs. Sparta
- Sparta Boys
- Hellenistic Life
- Pottery and Architecture
- Olympic Games
A winner of the Teacher Choice Award, this kit is packed with motivating activities. Students debate the advantages and disadvantages of abandoning the Roman alliance and joining Hannibal during the Second Punic War. They decide the merits of instituting Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire. Students lobby the Senate to build a road to their city. They conduct experiments to design a bridge and engineer an aqueduct. Students take on the role of the Jewish Zealots atop Masada, and defy the attacking Roman legions. They discuss how the continually increasing political, social, and economic problems that plagued the empire led to the eventual fall of Rome.
- Romulus and Remus
- Anthony and Cleopatra
- Hannibal and the Punic Wars
- Christianity Becomes the State Religion
- All Roads Lead to Rome
- Roman Engineering of Bridges and Aqueducts
- The Fall of Rome
Students identify famous people form the Medieval era. They explore the monastic life and the role of monks in creating calligraphy and illuminated manuscripts. Students assess and prioritize some of the decisions made by the Christian knights during the Fourth Crusade, which led to the destruction of Constantinople. They serve as Florentine council members who discuss how to deal with the ravages and horrors of the Black Death. Students act in a play about Joan of Arc, her impact on the concluding phase of the Hundred Years War, and then compare and contrast her life to other notable female activists.
- The Magna Carta
- Calligraphy and the Illuminated Manuscript
- The Black Death
- Joan of Arc
- The Role of Woman
- The Printing Press
Students venture back in time to examine and experience the genius and talents of a true "universal man," Leonardo da Vinci. They become Venetian merchants purchasing goods in foreign ports, voyaging to return to Venice in the quickest time to reap the greater profits. Students read profiles of Renaissance women, comparing and contrasting the way they lived back then and how women live today. They write and act in a play about Martin Luther's defiance of a corrupt Renaissance Roman Catholic Church in the sixteenth century, and the coming of the Reformation. Students compare and contrast Medieval Art to the illusionary school of Trompe L'oeil, learn perspective, and enjoy the art of this enlightened period.
- Leonardo da Vinci
- Venetian Trade
- Renaissance Women
- Martin Luther's Reformation
- Medieval vs. Renaissance Art
- Brunelleschi's Dome
Age of Exploration
Students examine the value of spices, in Medieval times as well as today, and learn the role middlemen played plying goods from Asia to Europe by staging a spice trade play. They explore the world of the conquistadors by taking on their role and keeping a journal of their adventures. Students discuss the Spanish and Portuguese division of the world at Tordesillas. They debate if Columbus is still deserving of the national holiday or whether or not recognition should also be given to other explorers or groups.
- The World of Spices
- The Explorers
- The Treaty of Tordesillas
- Should We or Shouldn't We Celebrate Columbus Day?
The first migrations of Europeans to America's shores are studied, with students creating their own innovative agreements for governance and survival. They organize and build exhibits for a Native American museum that defines the cultures and civilizations of major tribal nations. Students design site plans for thriving communities in the wilderness of the New World using "birds-eye" contour perspectives. They sharpen their skills to bargain successfully for goods and produce in an environment where a money economy did not exist.
- Coming to America
- The Mayflower Compact
- Native American Museum
- Colonial Life
The American Revolution
Students create scripts and perform the various Acts of Parliament that eventually bring the colonist to open rebellion. They critique and analyze Tom Paine's "Common Sense," and openly debate the issues. Students organize battlefield tours of five sites that determined the successful course of the struggle for independence. They create a plan of government for 13 states that fear the power of a strong central authority they endured as colonies. Students examine two major accomplishments of an otherwise inept Articles of Confederation: the Land Act of 1785 and the Northwest Ordinance of 1787.
- Causes of the American Revolution
- Open Rebellion
- Battles of the American Revolution
- The Formation of a New Government
- Achievements of the Articles of Confederation Government
The Constitution and a New Government
Taking roles in a Constitutional Convention play, students learn how debate and compromise created a new powerful central government. They reenact the procedures for how a bill becomes law. Students debate the merits of Marbury's suit before the Supreme Court and how John Marshall established the principle of "judicial review." They analyze the beginnings of political parties centered on the policies of Hamilton Jefferson and negotiate treaties to resolve difficulties with France, England, and Spain.
- The New Constitution
- The New Federal Government
- Political Parties
- Foreign Treaties
The Oregon Trail comes alive as students participate in a fact-based simulation as they follow the footsteps of the "54' 40' or Fight" Americans heading west. They create posters and publicity broadsides offering opportunity on the public lands under the Homestead Act. Students write short stories and diaries detailing the struggle of people coming into the western regions. Students lobby the issue of fate of the Native American and the final disposition of the western lands.
- The Oregon Trail
- Life in the West
- Lakota Lobbyist Hearing
The Civil War
As the blue and the gray, students create multi-media presentations of two diametrically opposed ways of life. Students have a discussion on the merits of the Dred Scott case, venting the bitter animosity that would eventually bring secession and Civil War. They reenact Lincoln's cabinet and assist his decision to select a general who will command all Union armies. Students engage in a step-by-step reenactment of the Battle of Gettysburg. They take part in a dramatization of Andrew Johnson's impeachment while tried by the United States Senate.
- Documentary Television
- Vote for a General
- The Gettysburg Battle (AKA The Kaymat Battle)
- The Trial of Andrew Johnson
- Comparison of Pre and Post Civil War America
The Industrial Revolution
By writing exposès, students examine the cruelties of child labor, exploitation of women, and cheap immigrant labor. They become "muckrakers" and dig up dirt on the corruption and exploitation that currently exists. As striking workers, they fight to organize a union and clash with the bosses. Students take on the role of assembly line workers in a shirt factory and are pushed by management for higher productivity. They role play an inventive genius and go through the procedures of obtaining a patent. Students investigate the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1912.
- The Rise of Industrialization
- The Rise of Monopolies
- The Assembly Line
- Industrial Revolution Exposes
- Poor Factory Conditions
- The Creation of Labor Unions
Learning about immigration, students interview family members or friends, tracing roots and ancestry. They simulate the Ellis Island experience, taking on the roles of immigrants, while the government bureaucracy processed them through this gateway for better opportunity and freedom. Students examine the "myths" of the immigration experience and compare them to the brutal realities that to a certain degree still exist today.
- Immigration Portfolios
- Oral History Interviews
- Ellis Island Simulation
- Post-Immigration: Immigrant Investigation
World War I Era
Appearing before a congressional committee, student's lobby either for or against a declaration of war against Spain. They engage in a debate to determine if President Roosevelt was morally justified in seizing and building the Panama Canal. Students participate in a play that portrays how the entangling alliances led to World War I. They become doughboys in an attack on an impossible objective, and learn the odds of survival in the trenches. They examine the role of women in the Jazz Age to see the levels of difference that existed between the Flapper and the Gibson Girl. Students compare Wilson's original Fourteen Points to the Treaty of Versailles that was finally imposed on Germany and the Central Powers.
- The Spanish American War and the Yellow Press
- The Panama Canal
- The Start of World War I
- Life in the Trenches
- The Flapper vs. The Gibson Girl
- Wilson's Fourteen Points
The Roaring Twenties and the Depressing Thirties
Students invest in the stock market, analyze the flapper and the Gibson girl, take part in a "whodunit" prohibition scandal, bring famous people to life during the heyday of radio, experience the loss of worldly goods in a stock market crash that puts them on a Breadline during the Depression, and compete during the Dust Bowl in a supply and demand strategy.
- Investing in the Current Stock Market
- The Flapper and Women's Rights
- Radio Alive
- The Breadline
- The Depression: Assets and Liabilities Game
- The Dust Bowl
The book begins with the study of anti-Semitism and tolerance. Students examine the role of Hitler, create memorial museum exhibits, and take on the roles of fugitives seeking a safe haven in Nazi Occupied Europe. The class experiences the heartbreak and anguish of the Judenrat, and take part in a reading of survivors' testimonials. The unit ends with the examination of the Nuremberg Trials, the death toll, and the emergence of Israel as a nation.
- Understanding Anti-Semitism and Learning Tolerance
- The Rise of Hitler
- A Holocaust Memorial Museum Exhibit
- Judenrat and Deportation
- The Testament of Survivors
- The Nuremberg Trials
- The Death Toll of the Holocaust
- Israel Becomes a Nation
World War II
Students participate in a congressional hearing to determine whether or not President Roosevelt knew about the events that led to the attack on Pearl Harbor. They explore the expanded role of women and "Rosie the Riveter" in the work force on the home front. Students compare the treatment of Jews in a German concentration camp with that of an Italian detention center. As television newscasters, they report the news of the Battle of Stalingrad, a major turning point of WWII. The class becomes the president's cabinet, advising whether or not to use the atomic bomb against Japan. Students examine the testimony that will decide the guilt or innocence of a Nazi war criminal.
- The Rise of Hitler
- Concentration Camps
- Pearl Harbor
- Normandy Invasion
- The Code War
- Rosie the Riveter
- The Battle of Stalingrad
- The Atomic Bomb
- The Yalta Agreement
- The Nuremberg Trials
Social Studies Strategies for Active Learners
The strategies in this book challenge and stimulate the intelligence of 5-12th graders by making students active participants in their own learning. Teachers will learn how to stage simulations. Debate formats and discussion strategies are outlined for easy implementation. Various language art techniques and young adult literature circles are explained that equalized instruction for the low level learner as well as the gifted student. Teachers will be amazed how easy it is to utilize inquiry-based learning as they are given simple formats for analyzing primary source documents. Various performance charts are included to hold students accountable for their daily performances and a bank of over 100 rubrics are offered for teachers to cut and paste right on their own personal computer. The CD-ROM that is included allows for easy manipulation of the information covered so that teachers can customize the lessons and assessments for their classrooms.
- Debate Formats
- Discussion Strategies
- Language Art Integration
- Art Integration
- Primary Source Documents
- Assessment Charts
- Rubric Bank for Teachers
Using Literature and Simulations in Your Social Studies Classroom
A guide to hundreds of young adult literature books, classified according to a particular historical age or epoch, and encompassing a variety of reading levels. The guide offers teaching strategies and simulations for differentiating the curriculum, so the teacher can meet the needs of various abilities and groupings using the new "flexogeneous grouping" practices.
- Collection of Publications
- Flexogeneous Grouping Practices
For more information about Exploring History, please contact us today!