Below is a listing of useful social studies links that I have either used in my own classrooms or I have discovered through research. By no means is this a complete list of relevant social studies links; however, I will continue to update the list as I discover new websites. If you know of a website that I do not have listed here, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lesson Plan Databases
These sites offer searchable databases of social studies lesson plans. On most of them, you can adjust the age/grade level and search for specific topics:
National Council for the Social Studies
PBS Teacher Resources
Social Studies Classroom.com
World History for Us All
Mr. Donn (for lower-middle grades)
Games, Films, and Other Tools
Dr. Journell's Guide for How to Download YouTube Videos
Following these steps will allow you to download YouTube videos so that you can play them without the Internet
A free website that allows you to convert files into other file types
Digital Tool Kit From the Smithsonian
This isn't aimed specifically at social studies; rather it is a comprehensive listing of all sorts of free software found online that can be used for various instructional purposes, such as making videos, podcasts, screencasts, managing information, etc.
A collection of games, simulations, lesson plans, and other resources pertaining to European and ancient history
The History Channel
A collection of videos and lessons relating to all aspects of history
A site that allows you to create word clouds from large amounts of text. A unique way of looking at historical speeches and other text.
A very cool resource that uses social data and then maps it. Great to show social changes over time and across the globe, which could be used in a variety of social studies contexts (e.g., history, sociology, geography, economics)
A free website that allows you to splice YouTube videos into the exact length and content you need for the classroom!
Films on Demand
Licensed through UNCG, this is a repository of thousands of films that you can use in your classroom. There is a search engine so that you can find films applicable to your needs. If the link above doesn't work for you, go to the UNCG Library's home page, click on "databases" and then search for "Films on Demand"
Bubbl Graphic Organizer Software
This is a free, open source software that acts very similar to Inspiration. You can create graphic organizers of material and save up to three of them.
A collection of videos for the history/social studies classroom.
This site allows students to make online posters using a variety of graphic tools. Great for visual interpretations of content. You do need to register, but it is FREE.
A website that allows for the creation of visual presentations. The presentations are similar to PowerPoint in that they can include graphics and text, but Prezi allows for presentations to zoom in and out for a unique visual experience. You can sign up for free, and if you sign up using your UNCG or school account, you can get even more space for free!
A website that allows you to make interactive timelines
Another website that allows for the creation of digital timelines
A site that allows you to use students' cell phones in class to respond to questions anonymously. Great for talking about controversial events or when you want to get non-talkative students involved in class discussions. The site is free for classes of under 30 people.
A site that functions similar to Poll Everywhere that allows students to take quizzes and respond to question using cell phones or the Internet
This website offers a variety of academic rap songs (many of which are social studies related) that can be purchased for a nominal fee.
A website that links to a variety of PowerPoint applications that allow you to easily make review-type games (e.g., Jeopardy, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, etc.)
A free website that allows you to make animations for class
This site allows for the creation of fake Facebook pages of historical figures and other famous people.
Short, 15 minute videos that provide a crash course in various topics in U.S. History. Great for review exercises.
A site that allows you to upload pictures and then give those pictures a "voice" by providing them audio dialogue for them to "say"
A website that offers a searchable database for popular music--great for finding songs about specific historical eras and events.
Open-Source Software Applications
A free, open-source word processing system (basically like a free version of Microsoft Word)
A widely-used, free sound editor. Useful for mixing/splicing audio and making podcasts (for a screencast on how to make a podcast using Audacity, click here)
A free image creator/editor
A free software that allows users to program their own video games
A free image editor
A free, virtual 3D sculpting tool
Primary Source Databases
Worksheets for Primary Sources:
American Memory of the Library of Congress
The best collection of primary sources relating to American history found on the Internet. The site contains historical documents, oral histories (available in audio), art, music, literature, and other primary artifacts relating to American history and culture
Also operated by the Library of Congress, this contains a variety of historical maps of the U.S. and individual states
Political Cartoon Database
Operated by the Library of Congress, this is a searchable database of political cartoons from all stages of American history
American Memory Timeline
A timeline of American History with relevant primary sources
A collection of historical pictures that are royalty free
A site sponsored by UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education that aligns primary source resources to the NC Standard Course of Study. Choose a grade level in social studies to find topics and resources.
North Carolina History
A specific subset of Learn NC, it focus just on resources pertaining to NC History
Documenting the American South
A site run by UNC-Chapel Hill that provides information and sources about the history of North Carolina and the American South
Full Text, MP3 audio, and video of the most famous historical, political, and cultural speeches given in U.S. History.
Operated by the University of Houston, a searchable database of American history primary sources.
From Revolution to Reconstruction (and beyond)
A timeline of American history complete with primary sources.
The Oyez Project
Operated by Northwestern University, a searchable database of U.S. Supreme Court decisions
The Hanover Historical Texts Project
A extensive collection of primary sources related to Ancient, European, and American history.
A site sponsored by Fordham University, it contains a plethora of resources and websites for teaching about the Middle Ages, the Crusades, and other topics of that time period.
UVA Historical Census Browser
Operated by the University of Virginia, this site allows users to search census data from 1790 to 1970 for the United States and individual states/counties and allows for manipulation of variables such as slave populations, education, literacy, etc.
The National Archives
A collection of lesson plans and resources from the National Archives
A searchable database of American historical political cartoons
A list of the 100 most influential documents in American history
Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
A collection of resources and documents relating to American History
National Humanities Center
Primary Resources in U.S. History and Literature
The Gutenberg Project
A collection of full text novels and other literature that has been entered into the public domain
Historical Thinking Matters
A site created by Sam Wineburg and operated by George Mason and Stanford Universities, it explains how teachers should best use primary sources in the classroom.
Benchmarks of Historical Thinking
A site that discusses and provides resources on historical thinking and what historical information students should be able to know in primary and secondary education.
Teaching With Documents
An archive of articles from Social Education, which is published by NCSS, that details how to use primary sources in a teaching context
A website devoted to the work of the late Howard Zinn. Contains free material for educators.
WWII Multimedia Database
Website with a ton of primary sources in the form of pictures and other multimedia formats
An interactive website that has many famous primary sources and allows students to see them and compare them with other sources.
An interactive, animated map that shows the history of Africa and African nations
Virtual Tours and Simulations
A collection of games, simulations, lesson plans, and other resources pertaining to European and ancient history
Virtual Vietnam Wall
Website where you can search all names on the Vietnam War Memorial. Biographical data is given for each name and names can be filtered by state and hometown.
Hiroshima Virtual Museum
Gives pictures and information about Hiroshima before and after the nuclear bomb attacks of 1945
History of Philadelphia
An interactive history of the city of brotherly love
Virtual Tour of the U.S. Capitol
A virtual tour of the U.S. Capitol building
Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology
Site run by the University of Memphis pertaining to Egyptian art and archaeology
Ancient Egyptian Pyramids
Virtual tours and other interactive tools related to the pyramids of Egypt. Site is sponsored by PBS.
A history and virtual tour of Easter Island.
Inca Trail/Machu Pichu
A virtual tour and photographs of Machu Pichu and the Inca Trail
A virtual tour of the Taj-Mahal
Science and Technology of WWII Timeline
A very cool timeline that goes over the major scientific/technological advancements that occurred during the WWII era
Civil War 150
A site run by The History Channel all about the Civil War. Tons of interactive material about weaponry, how soldiers died, who fought, etc.
Links Promoting Diversity
An excellent site that has exhibits, video testimonials from Holocaust survivors and more. (Most museums throughout the world have websites that offer similar features; a Google search is the easiest way to find most of them)
North Carolina Council on the Holocaust
Resources for North Carolina teachers on the Holocaust
Collection on African Americans from American Memory
Several collections of primary sources related to African-American history and culture throughout all stages of American history
International Civil Rights Center and Museum
A website for the museum created to commemorate the students from North Carolina A&T who ushered in the sit-in movement by refusing to leave the F.W. Woolworth building in Greensboro
African-American History Across North Carolina
A timeline of events in African-American history in NC
Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project
Operated by the Library of Congress, this collection contains the written and audio testimony of former slaves as recorded by workers in the Federal Writers' Project, which was created as part of the New Deal legislation to put Americans back to work and combat the Great Depression
Voices from the Days of Slavery
Another collection from the Federal Writers' Project, this collection contains real audio testimonies of former slaves still living in the South in the 1930s.
Indian Education For All
A website operated by the Montana Department of Education in coordination with their Indian Education for All initiative offering lesson plans and activities related to the teaching of American Indians, as well as over 100 video interviews with members of American Indian tribes in Montana on a variety of topics related to tribal life.
Native American/American West
A list of great resources about Native Americans, including links to various tribal websites.
Cradleboard Teaching Project
A website dedicated to teaching about Native American culture. Includes resources for teachers.
The Museum of the American Indian
A website hosted by the Museum of the American Indian, which is operated by the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.
Japanese-American National Museum
A site dedicated to the history and recognition of Japanese-Americans
National Women's History Project
A website hosted by the National Women's History Project, which provides information and resources relating to women in American history.
Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network
An organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Offers tips on how to make schools safe for LGBT students and provides websites relating to LGBT issues.
The World Bank
Information about low socioeconomic areas in the world and strategies about how to help impovrished areas
Academy of Achievement
Interviews, primary sources, and biographical information related to high-profile leaders throughout American history, many of whom are from traditionally marginalized groups.
Women in World History
A site with primary and secondary sources related to women in world history
Resources for Civics/Government
House of Representatives
270 to Win
An interactive Electoral College map of the United States. Users can look at historical breakdowns of past elections as well as manipulate the Electoral College as a way of predicting future elections.
Popular and Electoral College Data Results, 1789-2008
Interactive site shows historical election results by year and state
A web-based civic education project inspired by former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. The focus is on providing students with information and tools needed to participate in American democracy.
Landmark Supreme Court Cases
Resources and Lesson Plans relating to landmark Supreme Court decisions
National Constitution Center
A site offering resources to teach students about the Constitution
An educational website dedicated to teaching Supreme Court cases
Center for Civic Education
Resources pertaining to civics and civic education
Pros and Cons of Controversial Issues
Lists over sixty controversial issues and a neutral, non-partisan comparison
Census Data Maps
Sponsored by the New York Times, this website allows students to visually look at census data
Another interactive map that allows students to visually see census data and how race is distributed in the United States
This website generates city maps based on the most recent census data and provides information related to race, household income, and poverty levels.
The Living Room Candidate
A large collection of presidential advertisements/commericals from 1952-2008.
Project Vote Smart
Gives voting decisions and other information about candidates and elected officials.
Annenberg Political Fact Check
A non-partisan organization that assesses the accuracy of a candidate's information in ads, speeches, and debates
Library of Congress: Thomas (as in Jefferson)
A site maintained by the Library of Congress that provides up to date information on bills, treaties, and nominations that are moving through Congress.
Cagle Political Cartoon Database
A collection of daily political cartoons from major newspapers throughout the United States
A collection of polling data from all of the major polling companies
PBS Current Events
A site devoted to teaching students about current events.
Teaching with the News
Another site devoted to teaching students about current events--more emphasis on international news
Youth Leadership Inititative
Civics lessons and other activities aimed at getting students involved in government and social issues
United Nations Cyber School Bus
Information and activities about the UN and nations around the world
International Documents Collection
A site sponsored by the Northwestern University Library that contains governmental and geographic data from all nations in the world
Deliberating in a Democracy
An organization dedicated to encouraging deliberation in the classroom. Resources, activities, and lessons on controversial public issues can be found, alongside research done in each of the Deliberating in a Democracy sites throughout the world
A site sponsored by the University of Richmond that provides drafts of constitutions from nations throughout the world
A website that gives statistics and election results for current elections throughout the world
The Drudge Report
Although content usually has a conservative spin, the site links to all major newspapers in the United States, as well as major political pundits from both sides of the aisle.
News and Statistical Data from the United States and around the world
Leading source for international news
A collection of essays and other resources on many of the world's major global issues and problems
A website devoted to the issue of whether teenagers should be tried as adults when committing crimes
Government Agency Pages for Kids
This website provides links to the student pages for various government agencies, such as the CIA, FBI, EPA, NASA, the Census Bureau, and more.
A website that lists liberal and conservative talking points and data for controversial political/social issues
Resources for Geography
CIA World Factbook
A comprehensive site that gives demographic and physical data about every country in the world
Nation Background Notes
Part of the State Department website that gives economic, political, and geographic data about every country in the world
Profiles of every country in the world
A collection of lessons and resources related to geography
A site operated by National Geographic, contains interactive features for students.
My Wonderful World
A site containing lessons related to geography and conservation
Games designed to help students learn the locations of states, capitals, etc.
A site run by UNC-Chapel Hill that educates students on globalization and their role in living in an increasingly interconnected world
Piedmont Environmental Center
A site for local environmental education
African Mask Website
A website that provides many examples of African masks, including background on the culture behind the masks. Students can also look at features of masks and make their own.
A great site that allows you to manipulate maps of the world based on demographic and geographic factors.
Another great site that allows you manipulate maps of the world based on demographic and geographic factors.
Resources for Economics
Econ Ed Link
A site with lessons and resources for teaching economics
Economic Education Web
A site run by the University of Nebraska--Omaha that has a collection of internet resources pertaining to economics
A site dedicated to helping students better understand finances.
Lemonade Stand Game
A game that uses the idea of a lemonade stand to simulate capitalism. Students can adjust prices due to demand or other factors that influence the market in an effort to maximize their profit.
A website sponsored by the University of Kentucky and the College of William & Mary with tons of podcasts for the economics classroom
TV for Economics
A website made by economics instructors who provide examples of popular television episodes that can be used to explain economic concepts
The Economics of Seinfeld
A website with clips from Seinfeld that illustrate economics concepts
Movies for Economics
A website with a list of popular movies and a guide for using them to teach economics concepts
Stock Market Simulation
A stock market simulation where students can register "money" for stocks and chart their progress
Wall Street Survivor
Another stock market simulation
National Priorities Project/Federal Budget Trade-Offs
An interactive website where you compare programs in the federal budget with each other
New York Times Budget Puzzle
An interactive site where students are in charge of the nation's finances
GEN I Revolution
A game sponsored by the Council for Economics Education that gets students to help people who need "economic help"
The free educational website that offers online tutorials for a variety of subjects, but especially for math, science, and economics
Resources for Psychology
A website from the University of Utah that shows how drugs affect the brain.
A website devoted to many of the major scientific breakthroughs in world history, including many for psychology. Has games that allow students to experiment with the different theories. Specifically, a few are Split Brain exercises, Pavlov's Dog, Nerve Signaling, and the Human Ear
BBC Human Body and Mind
A great resource for a variety of psychological and personality tests that you can use with your students.
Neuroscience for Kids
A website created by faculty at the University of Washington that explains psychology concepts related to neuroscience in a kid-friendly fashion
A website sponsored by Acadia University that provides general resources and teaching aids for personality psychology.
Social Psychology Network
A huge search engine devoted to social psychology
Teaching High School Psychology Blog
A blog where high school psychology teachers can post strategies that have worked in their classrooms. As with any other type of blog, don't assume that what is posted actually works. Rather, use it to get ideas for your classroom.
Clips for Class
A website devoted entirely to video clips that can be used in the psychology classroom.
American Psychological Association Teacher Resources
A list of teacher resources from the largest psychological organization in the United States
Encyclopedia of Psychology
A listing of terms and activities related to all areas of psychology
An online version of the classic personality test that suggests possible career paths for students
An online version of the classic reading inference test
Selective Attention Test
The famous selective attention test from researchers at the University of Illinois
Stanford Prison Experiment
A website devoted to the famous experiment
A Class Divided
A PBS special devoted to the famous diversity experiment conducted by Jane Elliott
North Carolina Social Studies Links
North Carolina Social Studies Standard Course of Study
A listing of the standards for secondary social studies in North Carolina
North Carolina Standard Course of Study Resource Documents for Secondary Social Studies
A list of support documents with standards, essential questions, essential content, and resources for U.S. History, World History, Civics, and Economics
North Carolina Civic Education Consortium
A site on civic education run by the UNC-Chapel Hill school of Government
North Carolina Center for International Understanding
A site dedicated to increasing education and awareness among North Carolinians about international issues
North Carolina Council of Economic Education
Dedicated to the economic education of K-12 students in North Carolina
North Carolina Geographic Alliance
A site dedicated to improving the teaching and learning of geography in North Carolina schools
The North Carolina Humanities Council
An organization dedicated to research and preservation of North Carolina culture. Has resources for educators.
State Museums and Park Websites:
Levine Museum of the New South
North Carolina Museum of Art
North Carolina Museum of History
North Carolina Museums Council (listing of museums in North Carolina by county)
North Carolina Office of Archives and History
National Parks in North Carolina
North Carolina State Parks
Local Museums and Historical Collections:
African-American Atelier Inc. (promoting art by African-American artists)
Preservation Greensboro Inc.
Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum
Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art
Greensboro Children's Museum
Greensboro Historical Museum
Mendenhall Plantation (example of a Quaker home in Jamestown)
High Point Museum