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50 Great Sites For Social Studies Teachers (I)

The Finding Dulcinea people always have great stuff. I probably don’t use their site enough but I do like browsing through their helpful Web Guides, especially the SweetSearch Social Studies page.

And they occasionally post useful History / Social Studies articles. Several months ago, they put together a very nice list of 101 Social Studies sites for Social Studies Teacher – I’ve  edited the list down to 50 and broke it into a couple of parts.

Here’s Part One with a focus on government stuff, speeches and oral histories:

The Library of Congress is a great source to find historical documents, photos, art, maps, audio and video, artifacts and other items. The American Memory section organizes items based on topics, time periods and places of American history. The World Digital Library, a cooperative project with UNESCO, includes rare documents from around the world.

The National Archives and Records Administration has a massive collection of material on U.S. history that can sometimes be overwhelming to search through. The Resources for National History Day Research page guides students on where to find material in the archives.

PBS has a wide range of resources including the companion Web sites for the American Experience documentary series. Also visit the American Masters series for biographies of historical figures.

George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media has created a range of Web sites designed for the needs of students and teachers. It includes basic surveys of U.S. and world history, sites that teach students to use primary sources, and sites that provide lesson plans and ideas for teachers.

The Smithsonian Institution has a wide variety of exhibitions and collections on American history and culture. It also offers lesson plans searchable by grade level, type of resource and historical topic.

Our Courts offers civics lessons created by former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. The page offers great resources for middle school students and their teachers including writing assignments and online games.

The Constitutional Rights Foundation offers a wide array of resources, including lesson plans and enrichment texts, on constitutional issues.

The National Archives’ Charters of Freedom explains the making of and impact of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights. It includes images of the documents, biographies of the framers, and fun facts.

The University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs is the best resource for studying U.S. presidents.

The Center on Congress at Indiana University offers interactive simulations that explain how Congress operates. It includes video and audio from congressmen and others.

The Library of Congress’ A Century of Lawmaking provides the records of the Continental Congress, Constitutional Convention and first 43 sessions of Congress (1789-1873).

The Oyez Project at Northwestern University allows you to listen to the Supreme Court justices as they deliberate cases, providing a complete source of all audio recorded since the installation of a recording system in the Court in 1955.

University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law professor Douglas Linder has compiled research pages for more than 50 of the most famous trials in history, each page includes a detailed account of the events, court documents, trial excerpts and other primary documents such as newspaper accounts and letters.

The Library of Congress’ Chronicling America displays images of late 19th and early 20th century American newspaper pages.

American Rhetoric is dedicated to archiving American speeches, lectures, sermons, interviews and “other important media events.” Its “Online Speech Bank” contains full text, audio and video for more than 5,000 speeches.

History and Politics Out Loud is a searchable multimedia database documenting and delivering authoritative audio relevant to American history and politics.

Historical Voices is a fully searchable online database of spoken word collections spanning the 20th century.

Michigan State University’s Vincent Voice Library is home to over 40,000 hours of audio from more than 100,000 “political and cultural leaders and minor players in the human drama,” dating back to 1888.

The Library of Congress’ “Voices from the Days of Slavery: Former Slaves Tell Their Stories” features audio of 20th century interviews of 23 former slaves.

The Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement features testimony of members of Civil Rights organizations such as CORE, NAACP, SCLC and SNCC, who submit stories about their experiences or write commentary on the movement and current events.

Letters of Note offers a digital copy of an historic handwritten note each day, along with a transcript.

The University of Virginia’s “The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War” chronicles two counties, Augusta County, Va., and Franklin County, Penn., contrasting their experiences from John Brown’s Raid to the end of Reconstruction.

The University of Michigan’s “Spy Letters of the American Revolution” featutres spy letters written by both American and British forces. It includes maps of the routes they traveled and biographies of those who sent and received the letters.

Archiving Early America presents a wide array of primary source material on 18th century America, such as newspapers, maps, writings and portraits.

EyeWitness to History features first-person accounts of prominent events in U.S. and world history, along with a simple explanation of the event’s importance.

Part Two coming Monday with a focus on primary sources, geography and economics.

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6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Thanks for sharing…Here are a few others that I have been using recently:

    Civil War 150:

    Inside World War II:


    June 2, 2011
    • glennw #


      Thanks for the extra links! I’m always adding new sites to my list. And I really like NewsMap – it does take some getting used to. Thanks again!


      June 2, 2011

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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  2. 50 Great Sites For Social Studies Teachers (Part Deux) « History Tech
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