Part II – Primary Sources

A)Britannica Online Encyclopedia

This is a complete source of historical events which span all of the ages.  Students can go on-line and put in a subject they want to gather information about.  The information is readily available to them, to read, download, or print.  I would use this in my classroom to supplement any facts I would need in preparing lessons plans.   Britannica also has a site specifically for kids.  This is set up for younger grades and has great graphic and choices for students.  For the NETS standards, this would go along with the research and information fluency requirement.  Students would have to locate, evaluate, and analyze information for a variety of sources, this being one of them.


This is a widely used source for information about anything and everything.  Using the NETS-t standard for digital age work and learning, I would show the students how to use this tool, stressing this is only one tool of many in which to gather information from.  I would explain how it is set up, allowing anyone to add to the information represented on each page(s).  Another NETS-t standard expressed would be using the design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments.  Students could expand their learning and creativity by incorporating this digital tool into information gather from the web.

Oregon Trail

In 4th grade the Oregon Trail is studied.  I would use different primary sources from many of the interpretative centers built alone the actual trail.  They each have excerpts from pioneer diaries which talk of the traveling on the trail, from the beginning to what they found at the end of the trail.  I would have students find as many of the diary entries as they could, compare them and work in groups to discuss their findings.  These are a great source for information about the subject.  The NETS-s standards being put into practice would be almost all of the requirements.  There would be creativity and innovations by apply existing knowledge and generating new ideas.  Research and information fluency would be met by planning strategies which would help guide their inquiry, learning to process the data the report the results.

Oregon School Library Information System

This is a great resource to be able to have handy.  It is set up for elementary and secondary.  Then it is broken into sections for the student and educator plus going even more in-depth by asking what you want to do  – Learn to research, Find Information, or Cite My Sources.   The site has sections on tutorials in how to use the system, newspapers, InfoTrac Junior, and L-net where students can chat with a Librarian.  I can see using this for both my own gathering of information and having the students use this as a tool.  I especially like the site broken down into student and educator.    For NETS standards, it would a positive use of all the requirements for both students and teachers.

Government for Kids

This site is full of information about our government, how it is set up, how it works, about presidents, government job, plus other information.  It is set up into two different sections for grades K-5 and secondary.  There are parts for teachers and parents.  Since this is one of the subjects tested on for the OAKS testing it would be a good resource.  NETS standards would met is all areas for both students and teacher.


I am really excited about this website!  It is a great resource for grades 1-8.  It is all broken down into Grade Level Help, Links for k-12, Technological Tutorials, Assessment Assistant, Daily Dose of the Web,  and On-Line Practice Modules.  Then when it will further break it down by subjects – Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Ask An Expert.  It is just full of information, resources, blogs, subject matter, information about topics by months and archives for past months.  The NETS-t standards are being played out in this site especially by design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments, model digital age work and learning by using tutorials, and engage in professional growth and leadership.

Sites of  Teachers

This is a clearing house for all manner of different websites which could be of use to teachers.  Then there is a link to those specific sites with a mere click.  Under is subtitle there are many more links broken down even further into different websites.  Since I am being somewhat dragged into the 21st century with all of technology available, it is very exciting to me to find a website which is helpful and useful to have as a resource in teaching.  One teacher said she knows there is a lot of information on the web but she does not have the time to study it and learn about it will all of the things she is supposed to teach.  I think as a future teacher I can embrace these website in a way that will be beneficial and a real time saver to me as a teacher.  NETS-t standards are being carried out again in the same way as the prior website did.

B) Flickr

Flickr is a great place to display videos, photographs, getting photos, maps and other visual media.  Then it can be share, reused and/or remixed as we learning in the video about creative commons.  Many of the class projects could be shared with other students globally and students could see what is being done elsewhere.  Many of the NETS-s standards would be met and especially communication and collaboration, critical thinking and digital citizenship.  Skills would need to be taught and supervised with elementary level and reinforced as the year played out.

Free Music Archives

This site is a great place for finding music to incorporate into classroom projects, videos, and any presentation to put together for a lesson.  It is set up by music genres, then goes to specific types of music, and then has different listing of songs under each heading.  I have always wondered where many of the music is gotten for different presentations and now I know where to begin at least.  I can see using this site in my classroom to at a touch of professionalism to visual media presentations I want to give to the students.  Music has always help me when I am learning something new and it makes it easier to remember.  NETS-t standards would be used in the model digital age work and learning, and developing learning experiences.

Photo Pin

This is site is set up for free photos to use for anyone to use.  You put in the type of images you are looking for, subject and then it will show all that is available.  It also tells of the licensing – commercial or non-commercial usage which is helpful in making a decision on your use of the images.  In the classroom this would be useful in making my own multi media presentations and also having students use for their projects.  This is an area where I do not know a lot about, but an interested in learning more about.


This is another site which would be extremely helpful with audio lessons and presentations.  I could see using this, again, to make a multi-media video.  It is a data base of sounds of just about everything, multi-media software and tools, Christmas & Halloween loops plus other uses.  I would need to study this site more to understand the full use of it.  But the possibilities are fun to think about the different uses for it in the classroom.

NASA Images

This site shows all of the images NASA has taken throughout the years.  It has listing for by What (which planets), Where (on what date something happened), Who (people part of NASA), and When (specific times).  You can also search catalog data by subject.  I can see this being a great help when teaching science and the solar system.  Using original, real pictures would be helpful in getting across the different aspects of the unit.  Plus I could see it being a site students would want to explore for themselves. NETS-s standards would be met by creativity and innovation, research and information fluency, critical thinking, and problem solving.

Free Federal Resources for Educational Excellence 

This site is set up by the government has loads of information available on it.  It is set up under these main topics – Art/Music, Health & Phy. Ed, Language Arts, Math, Science, World Studies, US Time Periods, and US History.  Under each main topic there lots of sub topics to choose from.  Then there are four heading types to choice information about – Animations, Primary Docs, Photos, and Videos.  It has links to websites for further information also.  This is a large data base and covers all areas of teaching, with upper elementary and secondary being the most useful for.  Here again is a site which kids could get fired up about different subjects by being able to gather information on the web.  The NETS standards are being met by both students and teachers alike

Academic Skill Builders

This site is a good tool for elementary grades 1st – 6th in learning different types of skills such as: Math skills, Spelling, Word Relationships, Time, Geography, Typing for older grades and others.  The idea is kids like to play video games and this site combines gaming and practising skills.  It is set up so students can work it individually or with partners.  They like to do it and are not thinking about learning a new skill in the process.

Teacher Resources – Library of Congress

This site is set up for the use by teachers.  There are lesson plans and classroom material.  It has primary sources set up by State and show how to use these sources in the classroom.  There is professional development available, information on Elections and drafting of the Constitution.  It is a great source for studying history and historical events.  Then it breaks it down into how to use this information in lesson plans.  The NETS-t standards are being met by engaging in professional growth and leadership, facilitate and inspire student learning and creativity, and designing digital age learning experiences and assessments.

Google Advanced

This site allows for you to be specific about your searching.  From the advanced search options it will allow you to restrict it to CC licensed items.  This can save time in searching for websites which you will not need to purchase the item to use.  I was unfamiliar with this resource but can see the use of it in being more specific in what I am looking in terms of media for the classroom.  The ability to restrict the search to only CC licensed items is a positive one.

Free Technology for Teachers

This is a site set up by a teacher who wanted to make  a resource of the different websites available to teachers looking for CC and Public Domain images.  There are these websites: Morguefile for free photos to remix, Wylio designed to help find CC images quickly; EduPic Graphical Resources provide free drawings and photos for teachers and students to classroom use; The World Images Kiosk offers 75,000 images for teachers and students to use; Image Base is set  up by professional photographer, David Niblack, has release as public domain images and offers 100 free power point templates; Photo 8 is good place to find thousands of public domain images; then Google Images and Yahoo Images round out the nine sites.  I can see using these all in gathering images for presentations, projects and visual media done in the classroom.



About Jan Rue

Hi, I am a graduate student at Western Oregon University working towards a masters in teaching with an endorsement in reading. I am not currently teaching but hope to be able to teach in the elementary level.
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