From primary sources to interactive simulations to video clips, the internet can improve any lesson by tweaking the smallest detail or overhauling the learning objectives. These are some of the websites I turn to when my social studies lesson is missing that certain something.
- Eyewitness to History
From a firsthand account of a U-Boat attack to the first use of a baseball glove, Eyewitness to History can supplement any lesson with quotes and emotions from those who experienced it.
- Teach with Movies
Movie clips are an essential tool to illustrate the gravity of events that are often difficult to convey through words. There is a fee to use their worksheets and lessons, but this site can also be used as a resource to find the right clip from the right movie to complement your lesson. Also check out How to Use Hollywood Movies in the Social Studies Classroom to find more ideas for teaching with movies.
- PowerPoint Palooza
This site contains over 200 teacher created PowerPoint presentations on almost every conceivable history topic. Each PowerPoint is downloadable and easily edited to suit your specific needs.
- Teachable Moment
Social studies is a great tool to improve thinking skills. Teachable Moment provides lesson plans on how to use themes and topics of social studies to teach critical thinking skills and social responsibility.
- Econ Ed Link
This site contains a huge library of economics lessons. Some lessons are traditional with readings and notes, some are innovative with simulations and experiments, and some are topical using current national and international financial events to explain basic economic concepts. A searchable database makes it easy to find the lesson you need.
- BBC History for Kids
Combine colorful, interactive and easy to read materials with the typical intelligence and sophistication of the BBC and what do you get?: A wonderful set of historical resources for elementary aged children.
- BBC Interactive Content
View animations that explain history, such as how the Roman Coliseum was constructed. Play a game to make money as a factory owner. Take a virtual tour of a World War I trench.
- Internet Ancient History Sourcebook, Medieval History Sourcebook, and Modern History Sourcebook
This is the largest online collection of historical texts and primary sources I have ever seen.
- School History
This site from the UK has lesson plans, worksheets, links, and great ideas to improve your lesson. I often use their worksheets for inspiration and adaption to fit the needs of my lesson and my students.
- Mr. Donn
An expansive treasure trove of links to lessons, PowerPoints, and websites that can fill any void in your lesson.
For more resources to use in the Social Studies Classroom, look to Help Teaching’s list of 10 YouTube Channels for the Social Studies Classroom and don’t forget the offline resources such as our Social Studies Summer Reading Suggestions.
Got your own favorite web sites or resources to add to the list above? Feel free to share your links with others in the comments section!