the classroom there is an increasing use of databases for teaching
purposes. Information in a data file offers students the opportunity
to query it for relationships which would
be difficult to establish in any other way. Take a look at an example
of a presidential
example, in a presidential database, the basic ability to sort
by "state" of birth yields some interesting comparisons between
Virginia and Ohio. This in turn leads to other questions concerning
the field "number." Why are so many presidents from each state
centered in a particular time period? This is a limited database,
but it can lead to higher level thinking skills. The comparison
of birth "state" with the field "number" can lead to an analysis
of circumstances in geographic/political areas and time.
to consider for an effective database:
records out of a potential of 1,000s leads to distortion;
what constitutes a "sufficient" amount?
might be interesting to know the eye color of the presidents
so that a candidate could play the odds with colored contact
lenses but perhaps knowing the religion of each would be more
DB needs to be updated at least every 4 years
and depth of information presented
construct a database presents one kind of challenge; using an
exiting database with students or for our own research presents
an entirely different kind of challenge. Here is a great site
that will help with both - Landmarks
for Schools, David Warlick's website. This is a site where
you will want to spend a lot of time. For our purposes today we
will concentrate on the section on Raw Data and how to publish
web assignments. Social Studies @Landmark
Locating a good database is becoming easier; finding interesting
and relevant lessons that use these databases for more than simple
information retrieval is the challenge.
- this represents a trial membership from ProQuest for "jersey."
Here we have the Art ImageBase from SF Fine Art Museums - http://www.thinker.org/
searchable, lesson plans there also and the Metropolitan Museum
of Art - searchable, create your own gallery - http://www.metmuseum.org/.
The lesson plan (http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/6875/)
is aimed at the Met but the idea could easily be adapted for the
SF site or another art database.
The NY Times maintains a wonderful database of lesson plans (http://www.nytimes.com/learning/teachers/lessons/archive.html)
and because the actual URL was far too long, I suggest that you
type in the keyword "database" and then select the subject
and grade. I used "Language Arts", 9-12 and found 9 great
lessons that ranged from creating a database to help with missing
persons, another one on the topic of National Identity cards, one
on Iceland's genetic pool, and one on Justice Harry Blackmun with
links to the databases on law and Supreme Court decisions.
Other related sites and ideas:
• Lesson Plan - Humanities - Uses database of images, Native
American culture - http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/54/
• The Perseus Project from Tufts - http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/
From this site you can head to various databases on Papyri, Greek
vases, the Renaissance, etc., etc. One of the site's best features
is the Tool area where I found the Atlas Tool. I typed in "Rome"
to search for all the cities in the world that had "Rome"
and found one of my favorites, City
of Rome Dark Swamp. You can then zoom in and in and in to learn
of Rome Dark Swamp is located in Pennsylvania, not far from
us! The information and map comes to us from yet another government
databse - the Tiger
Map Service and American Fact Finder.
a collection of Medieval Databases: Chaucer, music, poetry, the
Here is the database. Below is a lesson plan.
• http://www.gilderlehrman.org/ Classroom-tested Lesson Plans and Handouts Created by Master Teachers
History Data Service: a user friendly service,providing and preserving
computer-readable resources for research and teaching
Database, part of Library of Congress - THOMAS
database of the New Deal (and my personal favorite site of the moment),
part of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute (feri.org)
are links to only a selected number of U.S. and Texas government databases
that are available on the Web. The only databases included are those
which are considered substantial research sources; almost all have some
kind of search capability unless otherwise noted. Consult links on the
Government Information Home Page for additional sources of electronic
on how to find materials from the "Deep Web" or the "Invisible Web".
Use Google and other search engines to locate searchable databases
by searching a subject term and the word "database". If the database
uses the word database in its own pages, you are likely to find
it in Google. The word "database" is also useful in searching a
topic in Yahoo!, because Yahoo! used the term to describe searchable
databases in its listings. EXAMPLES for Google & Yahoo!: plane
crash database, languages database, toxic chemicals database
a database but too good to overlook even though it is from members.aol.com
of resources for undergraduates, graduates. Try the primary sources.
- Psychology, searchable by date or keyword