Online Resources

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Social Science Education

American History

Archiving Early America
Archiving Early America is your window to early America. It provides primary documents as well as maps and newspaper articles from that time. This site also connects you to the lives of the people who lived in this era by providing portraits of memorable people and describing the main events that took place. It offers games, audio, and visual windows to thoroughly experience the life of early America. This site connects you to the past through the people, places, and events of early America.

This Day In History
This website provides students with information regarding events that happened on any particular day in history. It is a link sponsored by the History Channel's website and includes articles on a variety of topics throughout history. Students can search for events by day or by category. Many categories contain animated timelines that would be helpful in studying various people and events in history.

PBS Teacher
The website provides teaching resources and lesson plan ideas for teachers of all content areas and grade levels, but has standards based resources specifically for secondary social studies teachers. Subject areas within this section range from cultural studies, civics, American history, and world history. Teachers can choose from any of these social studies topics and then are provided with lessons, online activities, worksheets, and student project ideas dealing with each one.

America's Story
This website is presented by the United States Congress and is an ideal site to incorporate numerous aspects of America. It allows you to look at historical figures and the events that tells America's story. It also gives you the option to explore America on a state-by-state basis giving basic facts and links to stories about that state. Finally, it gives you a chance to explore the culture of America throughout history through the music and movies that have laid its social foundation.

American Memory: Historical Collections for the National Digital Library
This website is a part of the Library of Congress. It is an expansive archive of American History with maps, pamphlets, and sound recordings, some of which date back to the 1490's. The collection contains four million digital images, and it provides teachers with sample teaching assignments. This site provides teachers the opportunity to spruce up their presentations by adding digital images, and sound recordings. In addition, if students are doing a research project, teachers could recommend this site as a reference to their students.

The Digital Classroom
This site is a great resource for teachers. Teachers will find an assortment of activities, primary documents, lesson plans, and worksheets that meet the national history standards. The site includes twenty teaching activities that cover American History from the Constitutional Convention to Watergate. Teachers can use this site to find new ideas on how to teach American History, and also teachers are offered a chance to sign up for summer workshops.

Tennessee History
This is a resourceful website for teachers and students to access. It allows both to learn interactively. The History Channel's website lets individuals view video clips, play historical games, and download study guides. It really makes learning enjoyable for students and teachers. Teachers can also access the television guide from the website to see what is going to be on the schedule for the week. It is a great tool to use if wanting to plan a video for the class. Lastly, the History Channel website offers an online store for teachers to buy historical memorabilia and DVD's from any time in American History.

An excellent example of a technology centered history classroom
This website is the website of an 8th grade American History teacher. Not only does he detail what is going on each week for the students and parents, he also includes a blog for parents to go to directly, another blog where different students talk about what is going on in the class each day, and a final blog for him to discuss important issues in teaching history. For his students he publishes a podcast which reviews their test material and gives them an oral review of their review material to study, for his parents he also creates a weekly newsletter detailing what is going on each day in the class, and finally for history teachers he has uploaded his master lesson plans and materials for all of his lessons to teach 8th grade American History. This website is a great example of how possible it is to use 21st century technology to teach history, and a great resource for ideas in lesson planning, student engagement, and parent involvement.

Civil Rights Movement
The Teachers' Domain Civil Rights Collection is produced by WGBH Boston, in partnership with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and Washington University in St. Louis. Materials are free but you have to sign up. This site features an impressive array of audio, video, and text sources from Frontline and American Experience shows, Eyes on the Prize, and other sources. Also offers an interactive Civil Rights movement timeline and four lesson plans: Campaigns for Economic Freedom/Re-Examining Brown/Taking a Stand/Understanding White Supremacy.

The Library of Congress site
This site is a great resource on any topic dealing with American History. On this site students can easily find many primary source documents or photos ranging on everything from the Nation’s founding to places currently in the news today. The site is easy to navigate making it easy both for the students, but also for the instructor planning the lesson.

Digital History
This is a very detailed site on American History. It is very user friendly for both students and instructors. Students using the site will benefit from things such as online exhibits and an online textbook for extra help or understanding. The instructor will find a wealth of resources from lesson plans to excerpts from original sources to use in class without making the students read the entire thing.

The New Deal Network
This is a collection of documents and photographs about the Great Depression and the New Deal. It also includes lesson plans, so it is good for students and teachers. There is also a list of links to other history sites about the Depression era. The site is easy to navigate and has many great resources for a unit on the Depression. The site is a ".library" site sponsored by the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, so it comes with impeccable academic credentials. In addition, if you do not trust the government to analyze your history for you, it is mostly primary documents, anyway, so there is no "spin" on it at all. \

American Presidents
This website gives detailed information about each American president, and aligns itself with C-SPAN's television specials which focus on each individual president. The website includes at least two lesson plans for teachers about each president, as well as student directed activities. I think this would be an important tool in incorporating technology into the classroom, using an expert reference for engaging lesson plans, and promoting self-regulation in students through the activities provided.


Games Economists Play: Non-Computerized Classroom-Games for College Economics
What's the best way to teach Economics? By playing many games, of course. This site lists almost 200 economics games to demonstrate almost any economic principle you might want to teach your students. Principles are divided up between micro- and macro-economic and there's a table of contents that allows easy site navigation. While the site is designed for college classes, most of the games are simple enough to be used in high school. Be aware, though, a few of the internal links are expired and you might not be able to get information on a game you want. In addition, the locations of the game rules vary. The rules for simple games might be posted right on the website, while games that are more complex might require you to follow a link or track down a particular issue of the relevant Economics journal.

Economic Education Web
This handy little site is designed to help Economics teachers in Omaha, Nebraska with lesson plans and activities for their students. Fortunately, Nebraska is not that far away and state standards in Economics are similar everywhere. So you will have to do a little translation between Nebraska's objectives/standards and Tennessee's. Once you get past that, you will find about two dozen lesson plans to teach specific lessons. Some of it is weird stuff that you might not be able to use (the lesson on international trade and Nebraska obviously is not of much use to us here, and the lesson on prohibition might not fit into your overall curriculum plan), but many of the lessons are useful. There are lessons that are appropriate for any age group, so if you have remedial classes or need an economics lesson for a younger history class, there is still something there for you. The site also has plenty of helpful resources like dictionaries of economic terms and similar things.

General Reference

The History Channel
This site consists of a variety of resources for learning and teaching about history. This site is based on the TV channel the History Channel. There is so much information that can be found on this site. This site contains a variety of videos to watch on different eras of history as well as a background on a certain part of history that the user wants to learn about. This is extremely useful for both the educator as well as the student. For a teacher there are short video clips that he/she can use in the classroom. In addition, there are tons of useful resources that a teacher can buy to use on a part of history. For a student there is information they can use and find to help with various parts of history that they need information about or just curious. The History Channel is a great website for study history and presenting it in the classroom.

Social Studies Resources from the University of Indiana
This is a website maintained by the University of Indiana that has some useful and some less-than useful elements. The section about news sources is not especially innovative, but the section for Government was particularly interesting with links to websites about Supreme Court decision summaries as well as the full text of those decisions. There was also a link to a site of presidential profiles. The section of the website devoted to global/international studies had some interesting sites linked as well. All in all, it is a good general resource for U.S. History, Government, in particular.

Scott Foresman Social Studies Site
This site is geared toward elementary social sciences, but what really impressed me about it, is that there are two identical sites with activities and everything; one in English, and the other in Spanish. A teacher could use this for ELL students. Or use it themselves in case they had a student moderately proficient in English but perhaps needed a few Spanish words or concepts translated. One would assume that these materials correlate especially well with the textbook issued by the Pearson Prentice Hall Company for this age/subject. Perhaps not the first choice for teaching an ELL student, but if one was in a situation where resources were limited, or one did not know the Spanish well nor have a Para or a pull out program for the student, it is an option!

Digital History
This site is extremely useful for anyone who is interested in learning or teaching about history. There are many features on this website that can enhance the learning environment about history. It has many interactive sources that a person could use to learn about a certain time in history. There are timelines that can be extremely useful. For teachers they even have some lesson plans on certain eras in American history that can help in teaching a certain part of history that you would struggle with so they give ideas for you to expand on. It is very user friendly and has links to all kinds of resources that can be used to enhance the learning experience.

National Geographic
Everyone knows about National Geographic. Tons of information and resources can enhance the learning environment in a geography classroom. There are always current events around the world that shown on this website. A user can find information or find something that will strike their interests on this website. There are a variety of choices a person can make and you can even narrow it down to country if you so choose to. It is a good site for a geography class because you can have students look up and article or aspect of geography that they can learn and even write a short report or presentation. It is an excellent website to get your students interested in learning about geography.

The White House
This site provides the perspective outlook by the current presidency on many different topics concerning the United States of America. The multiple topics range from "Africa" to the "Environment" to "Iraq" to "National Security." The policies of the current administration are easy to navigate and provide a vast depth of knowledge on the various topics. This site would be great for using in the political science/U.S. government classroom to see the President and his administration's stance on the various topics that greatly affect the students themselves.

History Matters
This is a website that is full of various, detailed events/topics/eras of United States history. One of my professors in the history department readily used this site, as it provides access to a wealth of knowledge in the field of American history. This site would be great for users & students doing a research project/paper on any particular subject in US history. Teachers would be able to use different references provided by the website to enrich the learning environment with a resource other than the broader, standard textbook. Primary documents/sources, historian’s approaches to topics, and websites that have been reviewed & annotated are provided on the site.


State Government News
This website is a great source for up to the minute news on the activities of state governments. Students will be able to view headlines from across the nation on many different issues such as crime, the environment, education, budgets, and health care. Students can also search for news by state.

Project Resources

Classroom Clip Art!
This is a subsection of a site that contains an enormous amount of educational clipart. There are over 9,000 images pertaining to history alone. These icons are further subdivided into time periods, and then by subjects within the time periods. This would likely be useful to students doing any sort of digital project, perhaps a graphic organizer in any social studies class, especially in any history class. The accuracy of the site, or the categorization of some of the icons is a little bit uninformed, and the site is very obviously funded by a plethora of advertisements on the page itself. However, if one can stomach those, then there are many relevant, useful, and fun images for spicing up a project, PowerPoint presentation, or other digital work.


A Beautiful Mind
This website is for the film A Beautiful Mind. This film is based on the life of the mathematical genius, Professor John Forbes Nash, Jr. Early in his career, Mr. Nash began developing schizophrenia with paranoid and delusional episodes early in his life. This film shows the progression of schizophrenia and its effects on Mr. Nash as well as his family and friends. This movie is rated PG-13 for intense thematic material, sexual content and a scene of violence. Even though PG-13 movies are usually allowed without parental consent, you may want to send home a permission slip just in case due to the traumatic nature of the disorder.

The National Center for PTSD
This website, which focuses on the needs of veterans, is an excellent reference for PTSD sufferers. The site offers information, signs and symptoms, and resources that can be used to aid the sufferers. This website also shows ways to help victims of natural disasters and manmade disasters. This site is both informative for those who may have PTSD, and for those that work and care for them. I would recommend this site.

National Institute of Mental Health
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is the largest scientific organization in the world dedicated to research focused on the understanding, treatment, and prevention of mental disorders and the promotion of mental health. This site offers a wealth of information on the topics of mental disorders as well as helpful links to outside resources.

American Psychological Association
This website is the foundation the social science of Psychology. It gives a detailed account of all the major topics that are associated with Psychology.  It is home to the most recent research, documents, and medical findings available in the world of Psychology. It is also a place where career opportunities and future education can be explored. This site is more advanced but is very accessible to youth and allows them to see the scientific foundation that psychology has.

The Dr. C and Elwood Show
This website offers four webcasts with ADHD specialist Dr. Sam Caron and his ADHD puppet. I would recommend this site for both young viewers and as an introduction for people who do not know about the disorder. The show offers information, but in an entertaining and non-threatening way. The show is open to questions from viewers and has offers expert answers to these questions and concerns.

The American Psychological Association
Whether one is in a psychology class, or merely trying to learn things on their own, the American Psychological Association (APA), cannot be beat for a base source of information. With a variety of topics and articles written by experts, this site offers both new students and experts with sources and opinions that they can use in everyday life.

Psychology-Learning Theories

This website introduces students to theories of human learning, contributing theorists, and their specific contributions to the field of learning. This site is recommended for undergraduate students but seems manageable for high-schoolers as well. The students will be able to learn and share information on seven types of learning theories after this activity.

Social Studies Webquest: Conflict in Darfur

Memories of the Lost Voices: Japanese Americans in World War II
Designed by Devon Foster from Pinole Valley High School, this WebQuest was designed for students to learn about what Japanese Americans had to go through during World War II. So many American History classes do not focus on this part of our history as much. This Webquest is a group activity that promotes interaction and discussion.

The Civil Rights Struggle
This WebQuest was created by Kate Bagby. It was designed to familiarize students with The Civil Rights Movement. The WebQuest is designed for the students to be placed into groups, and each student is given a specific job to do. This would be a great activity to include in a lesson about this critical time in American History.

United States House of Representatives

House and Senate
These are the sites for the US Senate and of the United States House of Representatives. The House site is easy to navigate and provides a wealth of knowledge on many different areas: the schedule of the House, the past roll calls of the House (to see who voted on specific items), the bills/amendments/laws passed by the House, etc. A teacher in the US government classroom would be able to specifically reference the bills, etc. passed by the House by visiting this website. In addition, the students can research their own Representative through the website (through names or can navigate by providing zip code-and if one does not know their whole zip code (zip code+4), the House link even provides a link to the USPS page that this information can be retreated).

Smithsonian Institution
Considering the Smithsonian has many interesting and factual museums, it is only necessary for them to have a great and informative website as well, in which they do. There is information for all ages, as a link for "Smithsonian for Kids" brings up a fun & colorful page that would easily facilitate learning in an elementary school environment. There is a link for "Smithsonian for Teachers" that provides information for various grade levels and a vast number of detailed subject areas. The Smithsonian website is a field trip for all, without having to take an actual trip to the museum.

The USGS site offers an interesting look into our planet, with links to all aspects of geo-sciences. New articles are linked in the page to interesting topics, such as weather pattern changes, the West Nile virus, and volcanoes. Many of these articles have detailed visuals to help viewers easily understand the presented concepts and can be readily used for classroom purposes. Students and teachers alike can find plenty of material here from satellite photos of Earth, to detailed geographical data about states and countries.

The Census Bureau
The Census Bureau's website presents a detailed look into population and population related trends for the U.S. Plenty of maps, charts and data are available for the classroom, allowing teachers and students to explore population trends, land use, and businesses from the local area to the country. A multitude of statistics, information and graphical data can be accessed from the historical to the present for use within the class.

National Park Services - History
The National Park Services runs a web site dedicated to the history of the U.S. both physical and cultural. It has helpful resources such as a portion of its site dedicated to kids, with activities such as archeology for kids. It also has a portion dedicated to teachers, with guides for lesson plans for the classroom, museums and other places of historic interest, while giving background information on historic events and people who have affected the U.S.

Virtual Jamestown
Jamestown has always been taught about in U.S. history, now with this website, students can see it virtually on their computer. The site also contains virtual tours and recreations of other structures and period items, such as an archeology dig for Native Americans, and have links and resources for classroom use. The site is still partially under construction, but still provides a great opportunity for students to explore a historic site while residing in the classroom.

World War II
This site is excellent for students to learn more about World War II. It has all kinds of resources for the teacher as well as the students. It has famous quotes and even equipment such as tanks that were used on each side. It also has a date by date of events that occurred before and during World War II. It is and excellent resource for studying World War II and has many interesting resources that are excellent for the classroom

This is the site for the Holocaust Museum located in Washington D.C. It is an excellent website for students to learn about the Holocaust. There are a lot of resources that they can use to better understand what exactly happened during the Holocaust. There are firsthand accounts that they can read and even videos of people that survived the Holocaust and talk about what they saw happen during that horrific time in history. It is a very powerful and moving website that I recommend using if you want your students to better understand the Holocaust.

World Geography

The CIA World Factbook
This website is a great resource for geography students. It allows you to choose any country and lists geographic information and statistics on that country. It includes a map of the location chosen as well as information on the economy, government, and demographics of the country. The website also highlights physical geographic features of the country and provides links to photographs of the selected country. It is maintained by the CIA and includes links to sites with further information on selected countries.

Test Your Geography Knowledge
This is a great resource for students. It offers online quizzes that serve as a great way to review your knowledge on World Geography. Teachers may also enjoy this website because it is addicting. Once you take one quiz, you will want to take another. Quizzes on all seven continents are offered, as well as the World's Oceans. Major cities and capitals are also offered as quizzes.

This site is a great tool for geography teachers, as it contains full color physical maps, political maps, as well as key facts and statistics on countries of the world. The site also has a school resources section that contains additional school and homework resources for teachers and students.

Africa Map
This site is better suited for more advanced geography students. Students locate African countries on a map and drag them to their respective locations on the map of Africa. If a question is missed, the program highlights the correct location of the country on the map. Students can use this website to study where particular African countries are located and how their location relates to the countries around them.

World History

Mr. Donn's Ancient History Page
Mr. Donn's page is supposedly an ancient history resources page. However, some of the topics, such as "Vikings" and "Middle Ages" are not strictly ancient history and would be useful in a general world history class. There are plenty of topics to choose from, and most of the topics catch plenty of resources under their umbrella including a selection of free PowerPoint presentations about the cultural or historical group in question. The PowerPoint’s vary in quality, but they are all better than anything that I might make myself. The extra resources are not always educational, but they will be interesting for high school kids. For example, after studying Vikings, kids can follow a link to discover their own Viking name. There is also a section of miscellaneous material with the amusing title of "Mrs. Donn's Special Sections."

The Renaissance: Leonardo da Vinci
A great site for students (grades 7-9) by the Boston Museum of Science, Exploring Leonardo is organized into four major learning areas and a resource center and offers engaging lessons in science, art, history, and language arts. Inventor's Workshop focuses on some of Leonardo's futuristic inventions, Leonardo's Perspective introduces Leonardo's way of looking at the world and explores Renaissance techniques for representing the 3D world on 2D surfaces, What, Where, When? Is a concise biography of Leonardo da Vinci, and Leonardo: Right to Left explores Leonardo's penchant for writing in reverse. Cool interactive elements help students explore Size and Distance, Linear Perspective, Aerial Perspective and Gadget Anatomy. The site also has five lesson plans for hands-on classroom activities and three opportunities for students to communicate their ideas electronically.

Martin Luther: A Reluctant Revolutionary
Martin Luther is the tale of the great Protestant revolutionary who challenged the all-powerful Catholic Church and reshaped Europe. In this interactive PBS you learn about Luther's confrontation with the great powers of Europe and meet characters from his time. Among the interesting parts of the site are Luther trivia, 10 Things You Didn't Know, Day in the Life of a Monk, and Martin Luther v. Martin Luther King. There are two lesson plans as well.

BBC History
This site is run by the BBC but is a great starting point for students researching historical topics. The site is set up similar to an encyclopedia and covers many topics throughout World History. Many topics are presented in an exhibit format which is easy for students to follow and receive the information they need. This site would make a great website for teachers planning a lesson using the internet.

The Six Wives of Henry VIII
This website contains information on the six wives of Henry VIII. The site allows the view to click on the name of each wife and provides a biography of each wife, including their marriage to Henry VIII and their deaths. The site also includes portraits of each wife and links to primary and secondary sources on each wife. This website would be useful in studying the relationship between Henry VIII and the Catholic Church as well as the creation of the Church of England. It provides background material on the factors leading to the establishment of the Church of England as well as information on each of Henry VIII's wives. A World History classroom could make much use from this website.

"PowerPoint Palooza"
While, yes, the title seems a bit odd, the resource of this website is amazing. It includes roughly 140 PowerPoint presentations, made by teachers and students, covering topics such as American History, European History, Global Studies, Map Skills, and Early European Civilization. Not only will this site prove to be useful in lesson planning, it shows projects made by students, which can bring about new ideas for projects in your own classroom.