Technology Resources to Support the Teaching of Social Studies

Best of History Web Sites This site contains annotated links to over 1,000 history Web Sites. You'll also find links to hundreds of K-12 history lesson plans, teacher guides, Web quests, activities, games, quizzes, multimedia, and more. Content areas include pre- and ancient history, medieval, American, World War II, and current history.

Best of History Web Sites:MAPS This site has A WEALTH of RESOURCES on all historical periods and topics. This link will actually take you out to the MAPS section of the site, and it has links to outline maps, full-color maps, map collections, etc. These maps are wonderful resources for your interactive whiteboard, or for creating projects. Be sure to stay on the site and explore all it has to offer!

WORLD MAPS Speaking of MAPS, here's a great one for geography!

David Rumsey Historical Map Collection This collection contains more than 100,000 historical maps documenting places throughout the world. Search by area, time period, or cartographer. There is also a Google Earth layer for these maps available on the David Rumsey Map Collection site.

Old Maps Online This site allows you to search for historical maps of any location. It will use your location to find historical maps near you. You can search by a specific time period. You will find that this site indexes many historical map resources, including the British Library, the David Rumsey Historical Map Collection, Harvard Library, and many other libraries from around the world.

Historic Map Works This online resource is a gallery of hundreds of historical maps. The site is browsable by continent, country, state, and province. Downloading images is not free, but you can view many of the maps as Google Maps overlays using the site's free tool, "Historic Earth Basic."

TwHistoryThis site encourages students to learn about history, to make connections, discoveries, and to seek answers, and then to post their findings to TWITTER. Excellent way to encourage students to learn in a social environment and to build their own Personal Learning Network. SITE IS NOW WORKING!!

15 Places with Fun and Engaging Social Studies Games Whether you teach elementary, middle, or high school students, check out this list of fabulous games and simulations that will help your students experience history and Social Studies concepts as never before! You may need to override the filter to reach this blog post, but it's worth it!

HSI: Historical Scene Investigations Check it out! It's CSI for the History teacher!

Earth Knowledge This site uses geographical, environmental, and social data in a mashup with Google Earth in an aim to support Eco-decisionmaking. You'll need to install the Google Earth add-on before you can use the site, but it provides a powerful user interface with graphical representations of data that makes it well worth your effort.

My Wonderful World is an excellent resource for geography teachers and their students. It provides a host of great ideas, lesson plans, games, videos, and visual aids for teaching and learning geography. There are great links to resources about geocaching and earthcaching activities, preparation materials for the National Geography Bee, and free classroom maps for teachers. My Wonderful World also has a Youtube channel where teachers will find educational geography videos. The official kids' portal to the U. S. Government! Sites are grouped by age and subject, and there is a page for educators as well!

U. S. Census 2010 Here's a site for students in grades K-12 that will help you teach them all about the U.S. Census.

World Factbook Dashboard Data galore! This heavily stylized application contains various gauges, 3D column and pie charts, a radar chart, a treemap and a world map view, which are all coordinated and synced through some very smooth animated effects. The different views also allow for the dynamic, user-driven scaling of the color legend, while countries can be compared by those in their immediate neighborhood. You need to see this to believe it!

Social Studies for Kids Loaded with current events, cultural articles, interactives (great for whiteboard), games, and more. This site provides fun information, resources, and activities for upper elementary and middle school students.

My Heritage This family tree creator is also a social networking site. With a free account you can enter your family information and limited photos. Invite your family to join, and they can help you develop your geneaology.

Picturing Modern America Designed for middle- and high-school students, this site develops visual literacy and critical thinking skills while exploring life in the US from 1880 to 1920.

Primary Access Use this site to create movies, storyboards, rebuses, and more using only primary source images. You must create a teacher account (free) and select the images to be used in an assignment. Although a bit tricky to set up, the projects students can make will astound you.

xTimeline Creator Create your own timelines, and embed videos or other files for ease of presentation. You can also search thousands of timelines created by others. Signup is free.

Dipity Timeline creation tool that allows linking to any type of media, including video. Signup is free on this one, too.

History Animated If a picture is worth a thousand words, a good animation is worth ten thousand. After reading book after book about the US Civil War and finding only complicated maps with dotted lines and dashed lines crisscrossing the pages, we decided to depict the key naval and land battles using animation technology. Site includes Revolutionary War, Civil War, and Battles in the Pacific during WWII. Links to valuable teaching resources appear on each page.

Eyewitness to History Primary sources abound in this site devoted to various time periods in history.

Our Courts: 21st Century Civics. Created by Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, this site is devoted to teaching students about playing a part in our country's government. There are three interactive games on the cite: Do I Have a Right? Argument Wars, and Supreme Decision. The games are appropriate for Middle and High School students.

Oyez: US Supreme Court Media Archived Supreme Court arguments and decisions, and digitized decisions since 1955.

National First Ladies Library Serves as a resource for patrons from school children to serious scholars. Located in Canton, OH, the library also maintains a robust Web site that features biographies, curriculum materials, an educational timeline, audio-visual resources, and more. The library includes America's newest first lady, Michelle Obama.

Quilt Square Master for Family Member (printout) Students can learn about quilts in history, then create their own quilt blocks that make a statement about personal identity, or their family's identity (visit Entire Family Square). Or, go to Old State House Museum Design a Quilt Square for patterns and printable quilt grid to design your own.

Beyond the Fire Tells true stories of 15 teenagers (all now U.S. residents) and their experiences in 7 war zones. If you had to leave your home in five minutes, what would you take? Where would you go if your country was no longer safe? Click a photo on the world map to hear each teen share his or her personal story. Lesson plans, timelines, and transcripts are available for educators.

Department of Justice Kids Page Begin with Inside the Courtroom, a fascinating glimpse of the law in action. Read a description of a federal prosecutor's job. Do students know there are 93 U. S. Attorneys? Learn how the selection process takes place, and read about an actual FBI case that involves bullied children.

Archiving Early America This wonderful, well-established site uses primary sources to present the history of the U.S. Materials are organized into categories such as Freedom Documents, Early America Review, Lives of Early Americans, Maps, Portraits, Town Crier Forums, Pages from the Past, Games, Music, and Movies. Go to World of Early America for information on Notable Women, Famous Obituaries, and an article on how to read a primary source document. Milestone Events features George Washington's Journal, the Louisiana Purchase Treaty, and the Northwest Ordinance.

Don Bain's Virtual Guidebooks This site features nearly 5,000 QuickTime panoramic photos. The 360-degree views will astound and delight students. Click on the map, or search the thematic list to find World Heritage Sites, National Parks, Lighthouses, California Missions, and Waterfalls. Geographic lists are organized by state and region. Students can use the full-screen versions to plan a virtual vacation or highlight social studies presentations.

NatGeoEd is home to the U.S. National Geography Standards—and to thousands of ideas, tools, and interactive adventures that bring them to life.

NationMaster is a vast compilation of data from such sources as the CIA World Factbook, UN, and OECD. Using a form, you can generate maps and graphs on all kinds of statistics. You can also view profiles of individual countries including their maps and flags, use correlation reports and scatterplots to find relationships between variables, and refer to a fully integrated encyclopedia with over one million articles.

EconEdLink A premier source of classroom tested, Internet-based economic lesson materials for K-12 teachers and their students, this site provides lesson plans, web links, economic data, current events, cyberteaching strategies, standards, and more.

United Nations Cyberschoolbus This award-winning site is updated daily and presents 20 enticing options on the home page. It provides thorough curriculum material, including reading material, suggestions for weeks-long units on over a dozen topics, including "Cities of Today", "Cities of Tomorrow", "Human Rights", "World Hunger", "The Oceans", and "Peace." There is information on the history and work of the UN, as well as live and archived Webcasts of communities, events, and conferences. There is a "Model UN" simulation that culminates in real conferences throughout the country. Students can share their art and writing about peace and other topics. Quizzes and games help reinforce the material in various formats.

Ancient Greece The British Museum has compiled wonderful resources from the Acropolis to the war between Greece and Persia. Students can explore the events, cultural celebrations, and timeless architecture of Greece. Each detailed guide to Athens, Daily Life, Festivals, Georgaphy, Gods, and Sparta includes a story, an exploration, and a challenge.

Lower East Side Tenement Museum Journey back to 1874 and the Lower East Side tenement of Nathalie Gumpertz, a German immigrant who makes dresses in her apartment to support her daughters. This is just one stop on this virtual tour site. Students can visit 5 families who lived at 97 Orchard Street over the span of 70 years. Audio and text guides help students learn about the area's change of ethnicity as waves of immigrants entered America. Students will learn about the cultures and traditions of the families and the development of social welfare in the United States.

Explore PA History Experience the wonderful Pennsylvania history resources available on This website includes stories, video clips, graphics, maps and sound files which help Pennsylvania history come alive for students and history buffs. PA standards-based lesson plans are also offered for K-12 classrooms.

Library of Congress for Teachers The Library of Congress offers classroom materials and professional development to help teachers effectively use primary sources from the Library's vast digital collections in their teaching.
Find Library of Congress lesson plans and more that meet Common Core standards, state content standards, and the standards of national organizations.

My Wonderful World The National Geographic Society, with support from partner organizations, started this site to expand global geographic knowledge at home, in schools, and in the community. Download and assemble a free, poster-sized world map. Students can also play games, enter contests, and participate in treasure hunts!

Ellis Island This is a virtual exhibit hosted by the History Channel. Begin the tour with the timeline. Then visit the gateway for archival images and interesting descriptions of the Great Hall, Stairs of Separation, medical exams, and dormitories.

The 1900 House Did you know that having a bathroom in your house in 1900 was something only the wealthy could afford? Take a tour of this 1900 house and see what home life was like through the eyes of a family who actually lived in it. Sponsored by PBS.

America's Story Take a fun and educational look at the stories of America's past, brought to you by the Library of Congress, the largest library in the world.

Collapse: Why do Civilizations Fall? Throughout history, civilizations have gone through periods of growth and decline. This site explores the collapse of four ancient societies and lets you search for clues and come to your own conclusions as to why the Maya fell.

Hyper History Online People, history, events, and maps are presented through an easy-to-use graphical time-line. This excellent site contains over 1,600 files covering 3,000 years of world history.

The Library of Congress Historic articles, documents, photographs, movies, maps and sound recordings. A great source for a look at America's history.

Odyssey Explores ancient Near Eastern, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman cultures. Includes museum objects, puzzles, games, worksheets, more.

The Real Story of the Ancient Olympic Games How closely do we recreate the atmosphere of the original Olympic games in our Olympics today? Were the ancient games better than ours? More about sports and less about money? More fair and square? Visit this site and decide for yourself!

Historical Treasure Chests Combine a lesson on primary and secondary resources with a little US History and a bit of personal history added. The inital activity identifies some primary and secondary sources, within which the student looks for similarities and differences. Activity two lets students work in teams to discover information contained within primary source documents. The extension activity allows students to investigate their family's own primary source materials and display them online.

U.S.S. Monitor Center (Mariner's Museum) Interactive story of the Monitor allows students to experience life aboard an Ironclad ship and to explore the events, characters, and places integral to the ship's history.

Audio Artifacts So you’re teaching a unit about Women of Courage and want that little extra something to really make an impact on your students. How about incorporating audio artifacts? Wouldn’t it make an impression if your students could listen to the actual voices of Rosa Parks and Amelia Earhart? It’s not out of your reach. Check out sample lessons and find out how meaningful audio artifacts can be.

Freedom: A History of US (PBS) Come along on an exciting journey through Joy Hakim's story of freedom in America. Explore a webisode and see why the promise of freedom has attracted millions of people from all over the world to come to America. Hear for yourself why generations of men, women, and children have lived for, sacrificed for, and died for that freedom.

Secrets of Egypt National Geographic takes you on an interactive adventure to explore the Pyramids!

Thomas Jefferson This companion site to Ken Burns' PBS film provides students with a collection of important documents and interviews conducted for the documentary. Picturing the Pursuit of Happiness is an exploration of the meaning of Jefferson's phrase from the Declaration of Independence. Enlightenment in the Classroom reviews Jefferson's thoughts about the five basic freedoms (political, religious, social, intellectual, and personal) and critical Supreme Court cases that helped define the constitution.

Today in History This outstanding site presents each day's important events with links to The Library of Congress and its "unparalleled collections of historical documents, moving images, sound recordings, and print and photographic media."