A “The Best…” list about New Orleans is timely for two reasons. One, obviously, is because of Hurricane Gustav. The other is because the first unit we teach in our ninth-grade mainstream English classes is on Natural Disasters and the second is on New Orleans.
You might also want to check-out The Best Sites To Learn About Mardi Gras & Carnivals and The Best Short Video Clips About Hurricane Katrina.
You might also want to look at The Best Websites For Learning About Natural Disasters.
As usual, I’ve only included resources that are accessible to English Language Learners.
Here are my choices for The Best Websites For Teaching & Learning About New Orleans (not ranked in any particular order of preference):
NOLA and the Times-Picayune have a great multimedia site on Mardis Gras.
The New York Times recently posted a slideshow about the famous and historical Zulu Krewe Mardis Gras.
The Times-Picayune is also an excellent site for accessible interactive graphics, slideshows, and videos about anything related to New Orleans.
National Geographic has a good site called New Orleans: Hurricane Aftermath.
The BBC has a special report on Katrina.
Jeepers Creepers is a sited developed by teenagers about New Orleans’ cemeteries.
PBS’ Jazz Greats has a short biography of Louis Armstrong, the greatest American jazz musician.
Yearbook 2006 is an online documentary about high school seniors displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
A.D. New Orleans After The Deluge is an amazing and extensive retelling of Katrina in comic book form.
U.S.A. Today has an interactive map comparing the population of New Orleans’ neighborhoods now and pre-Katrina.
A Brief History of Mardi Gras is a new slideshow from TIME Magazine.
Here’s a good Internet Scavenger Hunt on New Orleans.
Here’s a quiz about Louisiana specifically developed for English Language Learners.
ESL Pod has a simple explanation of Mardi Gras.
ESL Holiday Lessons has a simple Mardi Gras quiz.
EL Civics has a Mardi Gras Lesson.
Here’s a downloadable PowerPoint on Mardi Gras.
The Wall Street Journal has a slideshow about 2009′s Mardi Gras Celebration, including violence that occurred.
Mardi Gras is a series of photos from the Sacramento Bee.
New Orleans, Then and Now is a good slideshow from the Wall Street Journal.
Katrina: After The Storm is an incredible feature from CNN. It has tons of resources about what is happening in New Orleans.
Finally, I would not say this is one of the “best” sites out there, but you might be interested in an audio slideshow I very quickly put together after my family and I visited New Orleans a few months ago.
The city of New Orleans went wild after their football team, the New Orleans Saints, won the 2010 Super Bowl. Here are some links to see the celebrations:
Improbable Win Sends New Orleans Into a Frenzy is a Wall Street Journal video.
GOOD Magazine had a contest inviting readers to contribute infographics about New Orleans. You can see all the submissions here.
Open Sound New Orleans is a fun Google Maps “mashup” with sounds from different areas of the city — ranging from music to birds.
Teaching The Levees is a website set-up to support teachers using Spike Lee’s film, “When The Levees Broke.” It has a ton of useful resources and lesson plans, and is supported by Teachers College, Teachers College Press, and the Rockefeller Foundation.
“5 Years Later: Hurricane Katrina” is an impressive new multimedia feature from USA Today.
Hurricane Katrina in Pictures is from The Telegraph.
Post-Katrina, Graffiti Said It All is a slideshow from NPR.
Katrina: Five Years Later is a special multimedia feature from CNN.
Hurricane Protection in Louisiana is a slideshow from The New York Times.
New Orleans, Post-Katrina is a photo essay from the PBS News Hour.
New Orleans: Five Years Later is an Associated Press interactive.
5 Years Ago: Hurricane Katrina is another interactive.
Hurricane Katrina five years later is a series of photos from The Sacramento Bee.
Hurricane Katrina Aftermath is a good infographic.
Katrina: The Fifth Anniversary is a slideshow from Newsweek.
Hurricane Katrina: Then and Now is an MSNBC slideshow.
Remembering Katrina, Five Years Ago is a series of photos from The Big Picture.
Destroy This Memory is a slideshow from TIME Magazine.
A Katrina Photographer Returns to New Orleans is another TIME slideshow.
A sobering look back five years after Hurricane Katrina comes from the LA Times.
Katrina: Five Years Later is a Wall St. Journal interactive.
Storm Damage: Katrina’ Wake is a Wall St. Journal slideshow.
Then and Now: Five Years After Katrina is another slideshow from the Wall St. Journal
Obama Visits New Orleans is a slideshow from the Wall Street Journal.
Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans, Then and Now is a great collection of resources from The New York Times Learning Network.
Five Years Later: Hurricane Katrina is an impressive interactive from USA Today.
The Christian Science Monitor has published an excellent slideshow on New Orleans.
Travelistic has many short videos about New Orleans.
Travel To New Orleans is a nice video exercise.
New Orleans celebrates Mardi Gras is a slideshow from The Los Angeles Times
Tempest In The Crescent City is an online game about Katrina.
Vast Defenses Now Shielding New Orleans is a New York Times article and map.
Healing Histories is a nice interactive about New Orleans recovering from Hurricane Katrina.
Five myths about Hurricane Katrina is from The Washington Post.
New Orleans since Katrina is from The Associated Press.
As usual, feedback and additional suggestions are always welcome.
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