Exploring The Far East

Exploring The Far East: Myers & Dalton Teams

Each year 7th grade students at MSK immerse themselves in the diverse cultures, people and customs that exist in countries and how they compare to life here in Kennebunk, Maine. So please join us as we journey to China, Japan and other countries to learn about what life is like on the other side of the globe – oh, and make sure you have your passport ready!

China Connections w/The Myers Team


East Asia Adventures w/The Dalton Team


If you’d like to see and hear more, please visit our school multimedia site here.

Website of the Week: Taking the Mystery Out of Copyright

Taking the Mystery Out of Copyright (Gr. 3-12)

Produced by the Library of Congress, follow detective Cop E. Wright as she investigates what is copyright, a timeline of how copyright laws developed, and how to register your own copyright electronically! Click the link just above the interactive window to see which academic standards this activity meets for your state. Click the link at the bottom of the window: “View a plain text version of this activity” for those who would like printed copies of the materials.


  • This is a pretty nifty site to use with students to not just teach about copyright laws but also what it means to be a good digital citizen.
  • Have students select a piece of digital work that they are especially proud of and go through the process of registering a copyright for that product.

Website of the Week: HistoryTeachers Channel

HistoryTeachers – History for Music Lovers (Gr. 6-12)

Created by two history teachers from Honolulu, Hawaii, HistoryTeachers has over 50 music videos that cover such topics as Napoleon, The French Revolution, Shakespeare, Pompeii, Vikings and more. Their YouTube channel has been going strong for almost 3 years now with new videos being uploaded about once a month. Below is their video about William the Conqueror and the Battle of Hastings. I will never forget the year 1066 again!


  • Use a video to help introduce a new unit and start a class discussion about the topic, the players involved, how it affects them personally, etc.
  • Obviously, if you don’t find a video on your topic then maybe you could ask your students to make their own music video!

Thanks to ktenkely for sharing this find!

Kid Politics – from TAL & NPR

From This American Life and NPR (National Public Radio), their January 14 episode entitled “Kid Politics”  investigates what happens when we turn over responsibility for governing and making the big decisions to kids. When a group of 5th graders take over the White House to re-enact the U.S.-led invasion of Grenada in 1983, will they make the same decisions that the Reagan Administration did? Or, will chaos ensue when students are given the power to call meetings and vote in or out all policies and rules at a school in Brooklyn, New York? An episode definitely worth listening to.


  • Use one or more of the topics discussed as a spring-board for starting a variety of conversations and/or debates with students.
  • Re-enactment can be a great mode for getting students to interact with lesson content. Find a current events topic that is of interest to you and your students and have them re-enact the events. Will they make the same choices and decisions as the adults did? Could they find a better way?

*Episode Synopsis
*Listen to Podcast

Website of the Week: Snag Learning

Snag Learning – Documentary films as educational tools (Gr. K-12)

An educational division of Snag Films, Snag Learning offers free access to documentary videos on a variety of topics. Snag has collected videos from such sources as National Geographic, PBS, Sundance and more. You can browse their archive of over 275 films by subject, grade level (kindergarten up to and including college level) and channel.


  • When you make a video selection, scroll down below the video to find a list of guiding questions that Snag Learning provides with all of its videos. Use these questions to ignite group discussions and/or to assess comprehension.
  • Because Snag Learning videos can be accessed over the web for free, students who are absent could access the videos from home.
  • NOTE: Keep in mind the reliability of your school network to stream these videos, especially when it comes to the longer films.

Documentary Video Archive

My thanks to FreeTech4Teachers for sharing this find.

The Center on Congress: YouTube Channel

The Center on Congress – YouTube Channel

Earlier this week I published a post highlighting the Center on Congress website that contains a collection of interactive “modules” that help students understand how the U.S. government functions. And now, with thanks to Richard Byrne at FreeTech4Teachers for the discovery, this group also has its own YouTube channel. Currently there are 25 videos uploaded and sorted into two main categories: “Facts of Congress” and “How Congress Works.”

The video below is shows a group of students demonstrating how a bill to raise the minimum wage becomes law.

Website of the Week: The Center on Congress

The Center on Congress – Interactive Learning Modules (Gr. 3-12)

From Indiana University comes a great site with a collection of interactive activities that help students understand how the U.S. government functions. There are a total of eleven activities that cover such topics as civic participation to the federal budget to how members decide to vote. The theme of many of these activities is for students to role-play and walk in the shoes of a congressional representative. Activities are accompanied by lesson plan ideas and possible assessment tools.
  • The next best thing to the real deal for students is to have them role-play. There are a number of ways students can document and reflect on their experiences. For example, students could write-up a blog entry describing the work they did “on the hill” that day for the benefit of their constituents.
The Center on Congress at Indiana UniversityThanks to Free Tech for Teachers for sharing this find.