Social Studies Tools:
Web Tools, Resources, and Apps to help expand your content and
help to motivate and engage your students.


Tequipment SOCIAL STUDIES specific Smartboard Resources

Google Image Swirl (Nonlinguistic Representation / Visual Searching / Differentiated Searching)

Mike's Social Studies Delicious Links

Teachers: Below you will find a collection of sites with resources for your content area. The challenge is to find something meaningful that will enhance what you're already teaching.

The first two links in this list are compendiums of bookmarks by other teachers that are teaching Social Studies and either found resources they could use immediately, or links that looked as though they were worth further exploration. I would encourage you to use the search box on the "Delicious" web site to search for Social Studies in general or your specific content within what you're teaching as the results will be much more focused than the same search on Google or Yahoo. You get links that real people added rather than a million sites that may just find the occurrence of the words you searched for!

The other links are largely from teachers that are using the tools/resources in their classes.

Because this is an open website, or wiki, you can add your own links here as well. To update the WIkipage, click on "EDIT THIS PAGE" up top, then use the Editor Bar that pops up. When the page is in "EDITOR" mode, you can type in this area just like you would in a Word Document. You can add additional links, information, pictures, video, etc.--anything that you think would be useful for you or the teachers you work with.

If you have any questions or need additional help, please email me.

***Also, please note that the bottom section of links (from Larry Ferlazzo's site) are hosted with a company called "edublogs." Edublogs has been sporadic in performance these last couple of weeks and if the links don't work today, they may work later if you try them again. Edublogs is aware of the issue and is working to correct it, but in the meantime, their services are in and out.

Tools / Apps:
  • RUBRIC Maker Online
  • WORDLE - Create comparative visual representations of text. Visual Word Clouds.
  • American Rhetoric - Online Speech Database
  • Southern Tier SS Teachers Delicious Bookmarks - Bookmarks collected from Social Studies teachers in the Erie 2 region that represent resources they either thought they could use with their classes or are already using.
  • More Social Studies Resources on Delicious
  • DBQ's and Essential Questions Page
  • Web Based Timeline Tool
  • Google Earth
  • Museum Box - This site provides the tools for you to build up an argument or description of an event, person or historical period by placing items in a virtual box. What items, for example, would you put in a box to describe your life; the life of a Victorian Servant or Roman soldier; or to show that slavery was wrong and unnecessary? You can display anything from a text file to a movie. You can also view and comment on the museum boxes submitted by others.
  • National Atlas
  • Historical Scene Investigation
  • : The world wide web is well known for providing students (and everyone else) around the world with access to millions of primary source documents. If you know where to look, that is! Sometimes the very best documents are kept under lock and key - they simply aren’t available on the web. In situations like that, you need a special resource. Today, we’re taking a look at one such resource, one of the best commercial providers of primary source documents - is a nifty web front-end to some of the most important documents in this history of the United States. Their partnership with the US National Archives gives them access to an incredible library of historically significant artifacts (as well as many that aren’t particularly significant but are nonetheless fascinating). It is a subscription based service, but fortunately, their free section is fully functional and loaded with important historical documents. What I like best about it is the interface:

It’s very slick, powered by Macromedia Flash, and allows users to annotate directly on stored documents. You can zoom in for detail, save images in your personal library, and even connect them to others, all with the free basic account. This is where you see the real power of this tool. Individuals can add to the body of knowledge - in this case, an image of the U.S. Constitution - by including links, helpful text, explanations and more. It’s all about the network; users have profiles that link them to their comments and to each other. It’s truly remarkable. With an interactive whiteboard, you could easily captivate an entire class with this thing! (from: )

Below From:

Current Events:

Breaking News English provides text and audio of the top news stories a few times each week for quite awhile. In addition, it has excellent lesson plans and follow-up activities that can be printed-out.
Audio Slideshow Gallery at Reuters. The photos are excellent, they have very short captions, and the narration, though it isn’t an exact recitation of the text, is accessible. They do an audio slideshow each week summarizing key news events.
International Herald Tribune. You click on a story, click on “Listen To Article,” and then you hear it. It works great, and you don’t have to listen to any ads.
Voice of America Special English News. These short articles, with audio, are accessible, timely, and numerous.
the BBC Learning English. Its design is much more attractive and has images.

Top Social Studies Sites:
As in my other lists, a few of these sites were around prior to 2007. However, since I didn’t post about them until this year, I’m including them in this year’s rankings.
I have not included any Web 2.0 applications here. Many of those sites are also useful in Social Studies, and you’ll have to go to those previous lists to find them.
Since I’m covering such a broad area of topics under the title of “Social Studies,” this selection is a little longer than my other ones. I was a able to get it down to nineteen sites, with a tie for first place.
Number eighteen would be a lot higher, but, since it has a history of not being accessible a lot of the time, I’m putting it last on my list. It’s the Holt, Rinehart Winston Social Studies Home Page. It has great free online activities to support their textbooks. Here are two examples. Click on any of the textbooks, then click on any of the chapters, and then go to “Interactive Features” to see the best online exercises. The site has been functioning for the past few weeks, so check it out before it stops working again.
Brainpop is the seventeenth site. It’s made one of my other lists, and it’s only one of two sites I’ve written about that costs money. They have great animated movies and follow-up activities on lots of subjects, including Social Studies. It’s worth the cost. They have various services at various prices. It costs us a few hundred dollars a year.
Number sixteen is DirectGovKids. It’s a very colorful site that, through audio, animation, and text, explains the role of government in the United Kingdom. It’s great for students here in the United States who want to learn how another country’s government works.
The fifteenth-ranked site is the Social Studies page of IKnowThat. Their free map games and quizzes are a hit with both my ESL and mainstream students.
Number fourteen is Wikijunior’s resources on Ancient Civilizations. It’s part of Wikibooks, which is collaboratively developing open source textbooks online.
Hot Shot Business is number thirteen. This is a site from Disney where students participate in stimulations of starting businesses. It provides some good basic economics information, and is very well-designed.
Number twelve is an activity called Consumer Consequences. It’s a pretty sophisticated interactive designed for users to determine their ecological “footprint” and to help them reflect what they could do to reduce it.
The Field Museum’s site called Maps: Finding Our Place In The World is number eleven. The wonderful online activities it offers are too numerous to mention. Just be sure to explore all the links on its “sidebar.”
Number ten is the Geography Challenge from a magazine called Mental Floss. It has a series of good map games that are a little more challenging than the ones on IKnowThat.
Number nine is called Nations Illustrated. It has over 7,000 photos from all over the world. They’re categorized by country, and they’re free to use for non-commercial purposes. One of the neat features it has is allowing any photo to easily be made into an E-Card.
The Zero Footprint Kids Calculator is eighth on the list. It would be difficult to develop a more accessible web tool for people to figure out their own ecological footprint.
Number seven is The Traveler IQ Challenge. This series of geography games is the hardest on my list, and the best.
The next site on my list is designed for use by realtors and people looking to purchase or rent an apartment/house. It’s also a great research tool for students. HotPads is number six. It allows you to identify cities and neighborhoods on a map, and then lets you choose key demographic data. It then shows the data visually on a shaded map, along with a map key.
Number five is The Greatest Race On Earth. It’s another very well-designed and thought-out sight that details the specific environmental consequences of many work, transportation, home, and leisure activities.
Learn About Congress is a site sponsored by Indiana University and is ranked fourth on my list. It has several videos and animations designed to show how the United States Congress works (or,at least, how it’s supposed to work).
Number three is an extraordinary research site called ZIPskinny. All you have to do is type in a zip code for anywhere in the United States, and you immediately get information from the 2000 Census, along with a map of the area. Not only that, you can also compare the data with neighboring zip codes.
The second-ranked site is Awesome Stories. Awesome Stories has been a great source of information, particularly about history, for students since it began in 1999. It has thousands of very accessible stories about countless subjects. It’s also made it on this year’s list because it’s just started to provide audio narration to its content.
And, now, for the two sites that tied for the number one ranking this year:
One is HippoCampus. It has great (and complete) online and accessible textbooks for many subjects, including History and Government. Their resources include extraordinary multimedia presentations.
HippoCampus tied for first place with The Virtual Smithsonian. It’s a fantastic multimedia window into the artifacts, and their stories, held by the Smithsonian Institution.

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