Well, here we are on the brink of another holiday and what better time than the present for social studies resources? As with the other subject area resources we have presented, we invite you to open your mind to the possibilities with cross-curricular resources and how they can be of use to your students in the classroom. Here we go!
Docsteach.org is as the title suggests a historical document archive. However, it has curated lesson plans and activities surrounding many of the articles. Simply click on the activities link at the top of the page and then search for a topic. The activities give directions, a synopsis of the activity and even Bloom’s Taxonomy levels for the activity. Each activity is not only a description, but a basic interactive activity that pulls the activity into a new window and allows the students to proceed through with directions. Very cool for higher level history students.
Archiving Early America – (Now part of varsitytutors.com) is a website devoted to a specific area of history, but certainly invaluable. A quick search on the site rendered a digital copy of the local publication in Pennsylvania for July 8, 1776. The publication pronounced, in its aged parchment, that the Declaration of Independence was signed only 4 days before by members of the continental congress. The website gives many historical documents through simple searches and also gives fun facts for this day in history. This site is similar to docsteach in that it provides good document resources however has several ads on it even though the historical content is free.
Eyewitnesstohistory.com is a collection of historic articles that are given by witnesses to the historical event described. Obviously there are limitations to a resource that is presented in this manner, but I have found myself attracted to the authenticity of the articles and stories. Hearing historical events from the first person point of view provides a really interesting perspective that is different from how I learned about them. On the Spotlight articles section I found an eyewitness account from Edward Winslow that had been curated from other sources. Winslow described what it was like on the first Thanksgiving near present day Plymouth Massachusetts.
CNN.com/studentnews is all about current events in the world. There are 10 minute current events videos created each day for a middle and high school student audience. The videos are commercial free and are curated on the website as an archive that can be searched and watched later. iReports are student created video reports that can be sent to CNN and aired on the website. Teacher resources are also included free that correlate to the video of the day. This is a great way for students to be active in creating national news reports!
Mission-US.org is an interactive immersion game designed to teach US history to elementary students. In the website, you can choose from three different games based around different historical times. There are interactive quizzes that can be useful as formative assessments.
- http://www.50states.com/ – US geography website
- http://playinghistory.org/ – History games