The From Many Lands website is a great resource for reading and social studies at the elementary and middle school levels. Easily navigated by young students, the site pulls together engaging stories, interesting photos, and some basic information about each country. The games and activities section is also popular with kids. The site includes over 140 pages representing 84 countries, 26 US states, and 6 Canadian provinces.
The heart of each page is an original story about a specific figure. The stories include important details about the history or culture of the referenced country. Most of the passages are between 300 and 600 words. A handy table lists each passage by reading level making it easy for teachers to find passages of appropriate difficulty for individual students. There are 3 passages at the second grade level, 7 at third grade, 40 at fourth grade, 59 at fifth grade, 24 at sixth grade, and 10 at seventh grade.
Over 40 games focus on languages, folk dances, music, animals, flags, maps, currency, sports, education, religions, etc., of world cultures. Students can select from several types of games (Battleship, Concentration, Millionaire, Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, jigsaw puzzles, tic-tac-toe, etc.). Each game provides 10-15 items with immediate feedback. The difficulty level ranges from easy drag-and-drop puzzles suitable for the youngest students to more difficult knowledge questions that will send students searching back through the site for answers.
Each of the doll pages on the site contains a link to the high-resolution versions of the photos over on FCIT’s ClipPix ETC website. A special collection page there allows users to view the doll photos by categories such as accessories, age group, classic characters, gender, head covers, historical figures, figure construction materials, or occupation.
The From Many Lands website was created by Ann Barron, a former FCIT Director. Dr. Barron collected many of the miniatures in her frequent travels abroad during her tenure an instructional technology professor at USF. Most of the dolls were handmade by local artisans. Some were gifts from her graduate students. Now retired, Dr. Barron continues to add to the website each month. Visit often to see what is new!
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