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Using The Web As A Teaching Resource

With classroom budgets being slashed every year, in many cases it's the parents' responsibility to ensure their children have well-rounded educations. Fortunately, the Web is full of educational materials -- if you're savvy about searching for them. And because kids are so hip, using the Internet for teaching is natural for them. I watched my 4-year-old nephew navigate YouTube looking for space shuttle launch videos and footage of tornadoes, so it should be a piece of cake for older children.

You can often find learning opportunities in unusual places, such as in the world of vintage art. Digital versions of antique advertising, postcards, greeting cards, posters and other ephemera contain a wealth of historical information that's quite revealing. The following are just some of the online vintage images you can use for teaching:

Vintage Travel Memorabilia

Kids can learn a lot about their world from vintage travel art. These glimpses into the past instruct not only about the destinations themselves, but how different cultures were perceived.

Old Sailing Ships Photos and Paintings

There's a lot of fascinating information to be discovered when studying historic sailing ships. From sloops-of-war to caravels like Columbus sailed, stories abound of life at sea.

Vintage Historical Figures Postcards

There were quite a few postcards printed that featured American presidents, statesmen and even strong female role models. In fact, these used to be all the rage. From vintage Abraham Lincoln images to greeting cards with images of John Adams and Betsy Ross to fictional American icons like Uncle Sam, the Internet is full of antique pictorial references. Many tell stories along with the pictures, making them a great source of mini history lessons.

Reverend William Archibald Spooner's Tales

Authentic spoonerisms originated in the early- to mid-20th Century, created by Rev. William Archibald Spooner and made famous by Frederick Chase Taylor, a radio comedian, performing under the name Colonel Lemuel Q. Stoopnagle. These twisted fables swap letters or sounds in unique ways. Authentic examples from Spooner himself include "cattle ships and bruisers" for "battleships and cruisers" and "a blushing crow" for "a crushing blow". Besides being entertaining, these mangled mash-ups also give children the chance to play with words.

Victorian Costumes

Studying fashion doesn't have to be frivolous or only for children who want to go on to become fashion designers, if it reveals something about the way people used to live. Looking at Victoriana how different life was almost two centuries ago. With any luck, they'll get a better perspective on just how good their lives are now!

And there are also plenty of current topics that can be studied. You just have to make sure the materials, or at least your presentation of them, is impartial. Kids are like sponges, so you want to make sure they get balanced information. That impartiality will make a big difference to them later on in their lives.

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