Every teacher has their personal favorites when it comes to websites and resources online that help them hone their craft. As a social studies teacher who is always trying to improve his lessons and courses, I’ve come to rely on a few websites that are definitely worth checking out:
USHistory.org – This is a free collection of online textbooks for social studies. There is a U.S. History, Ancient Civilizations and American Government textbook. I use it mainly for my online courses and tutoring, however, I can also see how this website would be useful in a traditional setting when students go to their school library or use technology in the classroom & do research for a project.
UH – DigitalHistory – This website from the University of Houston provides an extraordinary collection of primary sources, digital stories, public domain images, timelines, lesson plans and more for both teachers and students. There are written historical overviews for every major American historical era since the first Americans (pre-Columbus), and each era contains links to and passages about the documents, events, people, music, film, and images that are related. It’s the motherlode of social studies content!
Quizlet – When I’m short on time, but need to be ready for an upcoming lesson, I use Quizlet and its myriad of both teacher and student created flashcards. It helped me remediate my civics students in Virginia, and it allows students to take the learning into their own hands when you provide iPads in a small group setting.
It contains a pretty intuitive set of activities: learn, flashcards, matching, write, spelling and test. It does contain one hiccup: when using the learn or test activity, student answer choices can become quite obvious, e.g. What’s the distance a Phoenician ship could say in a day? A) 30 miles, B) Carthage, C) King Minos, or D) 60,000? However, that aside, it’s a priceless resource for social studies teachers.
That’s all for now. I’ll continue to update this post as more great resources are added to my repertoire. Have any suggestions? Leave a comment below, and sign up for our free newsletter to receive more social studies teaching tips.