Teachers are always on the hunt for the best resources for our students. In fact, a good chunk of unit planning goes towards scouring the web for websites my kids can use or that I can incorporate into my lessons. Here are some of my favorite websites for teaching concepts in social studies:
1. iCivics - I LOVE this site! My kids actually beg me to play the games on this site - and with 18 games dealing with topics related to American government, there's something for everyone. The site also has resources for educators to use in their classroom. It's free to join and free to play. You don't have to create an account to play the games but my kiddos are so competitive, many asked their parents if they could create an account to keep track of their scores! The games and lessons are perfectly suited for upper elementary and middle school students.
2. Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) - Teachers can create free account to access lots of lessons designed to bring historical sources into the classroom. The FREE lessons include topics related to American History and World History. They're geared for students in middle school, however with a few adjustments, elementary and high school teachers could easily use these resources, too. New state tests are asking students to provide evidence to back up their claims. These lessons and documents are the ticket to preparing kids for these kinds of questions.
3. BBC - History for Kids - I've linked to the main page for BBC History for Kids so that you can peruse the different topics. I've used the websites in the "Ancient History" section. The site is kid friendly and you can design projects and activities dealing with the ancient Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, Vikings, and more! It's perfect for elementary-age students.
4. The CIA World Fact Book - Middle and High School students will find this resource exceptionally helpful when researching information about modern-day countries around the world. It has facts about the geography, government, people, military, economy, transportation, energy and use and more! Students can use the interactive map to travel to places around the world.
5. Google Earth - Google Earth is another resource my kids beg me to use! I've designed activities that help them practice latitude and longitude skills and use filters in the program to let them go on virtual field trips around the world! Our current favorite filter is called 360 cities. It lets you get a 360 degree view of famous sites around the globe!
Let me know if there are any other websites you use for teaching history! I'm always on the hunt for the latest and greatest resources.