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TCI Free Lesson: April Fools Day

April Fools Day ThumbWhat are the biggest April Fools jokes of all time?

In this free lesson from TCI, students work in triads discussing and debating the best and biggest, historical April Fools jokes of all time. In a preview, students are given background on a fictional (unbeknownst to them) robot named “Boilerplate.” The story appears real and is complete with websites, images, and even a YouTube video.  Afterwards. students are assigned one of the biggest April Fools jokes in history. They learn a little about the background and must quickly present their findings to the class. The class will debate where to rank that prank against all the others presented.

Take advantage of this April Fools Day by using the day to explore some historical hijinx!  Download the lesson here: April Fools Lesson

St. Patricks Day Lesson

Irish eyes are smiling, and so are we at TCI.  For a little holiday fun in advance of March 17th, I have written a lesson to help students learn about Ireland’s most famous name.  This skill builder lesson utilizes an emerging tech trend as well, QR codes.  Now, have no fear if you’re not familiar with QR codes you can read a previous post on the blog:  Take advantage of the opportunity to have students learn about the life of St. Patrick and also get their geek on.  

St Patrick_Complete Lesson by

Get a Sneak Peek at Bring Science Alive! Coming Soon

TCI’s Nathan Wellborne gives you an insiders look at our exciting, upcoming Bring Science Alive program.  You’ll see how this program aligns to the NGSS and how it will super-charge your classroom.  Learn more about Bring Science Alive (K-5 available in summer 2014).


Bring Science Alive! See It – Grade 5 from TCI on Vimeo.

By George! It’s a President’s Day Lesson

Don’t miss out on your opportunity for students to learn more about George Washington and our other presidents with this fun lesson suitable for elementary or secondary classrooms. Everything you need to build the game along with a lesson is included.

By George! It’s a Presidents Day Lesson

Winter Olympic Activity

Looking for a Winter Olympic activity? This is just for you then! Download the activity directions for yourself, use the provided links on the document, and get your students invested not only in the sport, but in learning about the world.


Winter Olympic Activity

We’re Back: Subscriptions and Website

girl at desk

1/21/14 Update: Here are more details about yesterday’s outage. Yesterday our site was under a Denial of Service attack.That means bad guys were trying to take down our site. The attackers pointed a massive amount of traffic at our site, causing everything to slow to a crawl. We’d like to make sure you know that no data was compromised in any way. To resolve the issue, we have fine-tuned our firewall so that they cannot attack this way again.

1/20/14 Update: Our subscriptions and website are now back. We will continue to monitor the situation and will update this blog post when we know more information about why this happened and steps to help prevent this in the future.

In the meantime: a huge thanks to employees who had planned to have the day off for MLK but instead came in to make sure all teachers and students can have access before school resumes again tomorrow.

You can access subscriptions here:

TCI Symbaloo Webmix

Symbaloo has long been a favorite site of mine.  I love that users can aggregate the sites they most frequent.  Think of this as a visual bookmarking site that you can share and change over time.  Whether it’s our blog, our Facebook page, our Edmodo TCI User group, or Twitter….we examine many tools that can add to the great TCI programs you use in your classrooms.  Here is a Symbaloo webmix of some of those sites.


2014 State of the Union Activity

Many social studies teachers ask their students to watch the State of the Union address. It is an important civic function that, unfortunately, many do not exercise. TCI would like to encourage students to become active listeners during President Obama’s speech to the nation on Tuesday, January 28th, 2014. To help, teachers can use this activity sheet.  Download and print for your students before this Tuesday.


2014 State of the Union by

Dreams Progress: MLK Day Lesson

In this free lesson from TCI, students watch/listen to Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and answer questions. In a Social Studies Skill Builder, students are assigned an excerpt from the speech. Pairs work together to find an image to showcase that depicts progress (or lack of) towards that dream. Pairs then travel to see all the excerpts and images created. In a whole class debrief using a human spectrum, students evaluate the total level of progress. Individually, students then create a photo collage which brings to life one of the excerpts.

MLK Day Lesson by TCI

Free TCI Lesson: Creating iMovie Trailers

In November I discovered the embedded video below which was  produced and created by middle school US History students.  This was created using only an iPad and the iMovie app.  I started playing around with iMovie and have fallen in love.  It’s super easy to put together a great looking movie trailer using their templates, which this teacher used.  One of the things I did not find, however, was the procedures the teacher used to get his/her class to complete the assignment.  There are plenty of YouTube tutorials (that one’s about 4 minutes long) on how to create a trailer, which is great but let’s be serious…kids don’t read instruction manuals.  They play and figure things out.  The lesson though, that’s something that you would have to create in all that free time you have (note: heavy sarcasm) So, in true TCI fashion….I have created a free lesson (see below the video) that you can use with students to create iMovie trailers!  Enjoy!


iMovie LG

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