Social Studies Resources

Katherine Senecal

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General Social Studies Resources

National Council for the Social Studies This website includes links to resources, standards, current publications, and research for teaching social studies.

NCSS List of Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People The NCSS has compiled the best trade books for teaching social studies themes since 2000. This link leads to the yearly compilation. Trade books are an excellent way to enhance social studies understanding while still teaching reading skills.

Library of Congress This link leads straight to the online collections. The Library of Congress has a plethora of resources for you to search through!

Tinkercad Tinkercad is a design program for 3D printers. The possibilities are endless on this program. Students can design ancient pyramids, artifacts, and more OR engineer ancient technologies. No 3D printer needed!

Zinn Education Project History is often a matter of perspective. Howard Zinn has worked to make the perspectives of the people clear in American history. This link leads to teaching materials to counter many mainstream beliefs. Lessons available for elementary through high school. Resources include lessons, videos, books, and more.

IEEE Reach This program is bringing technology, engineering, and society to life in the classroom. They excite and engage students with inquiry units that explore the history of technology and address its social, political, economic, and cultural effects. While these lessons are designed for high school, they can easily be scaled back. The link leads to inquiry units, multimedia units, hands-on units, and primary sources. One example is a lesson on navigation for early explorers. Students work through the trouble the explorers would face without being able to see the stars. In the end, the students design compasses!

ReadWorks This webpage allows you to print expository articles on history, some current events, science, and more. Adjustable for reading levels K- 12, you can do an article a day to incorporate science and social studies background knowledge WHILE building reading skills!

Reading Vine With a free account, you can access several reading passage sets on a subject or individual passages that work beautifully for building background knowledge in science and social studies (while building fluency and comprehension!). Reading levels reach from Kindergarten to high school.

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Primary Sources: Resources and Lessons

DOCSTeach This is a free resource, but you must register. This site is an online tool for teaching with primary sources. You can explore primary sources, teach with existing projects, or create your own using online tools. You get access to thousands of letters, photos, speeches, posters, political cartoons, maps, and much, much more. Activities can include analyzing documents, mapping, interpreting data, and more! It is linked to the National Archives.

One History This website has several resources for teachers including primary sources, visual literacy activities, multicultural history, copies of speeches, and more.

Library of Congress Teacher Page This link goes straight to the teaching resources including premade activities with primary sources, primary source analysis worksheets, and strategies to teach with primary sources.

Colorado Primary Sources for Elementary School Collaborative This resource includes primary source lessons that include the primary sources, the analysis worksheets, and lesson plans for grades K - 6! Lessons include American Symbols, A History of the American Bison, Building a New Nation, and more!

National Archives This link leads to our Nation's historical archives. The archives has an amazing amount of resources on historical subjects!

Arizona Geographic Alliance This link leads to an excellent resource to create your own primary source analysis tools with adjustable student worksheets. It also includes some ready-made lessons with resource links embedded.

World Digital Library The World Digital Library is a worldwide collaborative project that brings together primary sources from 193 countries between 8000 BCE and 2000 CE.

Chronicling America Chronicling America is a searchable and interactive database of historic newspapers from 1836-1922.

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Montana History Resources

Montana Memory Project- This link allows you to explore primary sources in Montana. The collections include powerpoints on the different tribes of Montana (educational resources) as well as documents and historical photographs.

Montana Historical Society- This link leads to fantastic lesson plans with pre-made resources as well as a list of trunks that can be borrowed from MHS for free (if you are willing to drive it to Helena when you are done!)

National Archives and Montana History- This link leads to a document with primary sources for Montana history and additional links are embedded!

Montana Memory Project- This link allows you to explore primary sources of Montana history. The collections include power-points, maps, documents, and historical photographs.

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Geography and Mapping

Arizona Geographic Alliance With geography in mind, this link leads to several geography lessons that are integrated with literacy, STEM, social studies, and primary sources.

GeoInquiries are short, standards-based inquiry activities for teaching map-based content. This link leads to teacher training for the free mapping software. (software was ordered)

Norman B. Leventhal Map Center This link leads to you pre-made map collections. You only need to give your grade level (available K-12) and your subject matter! You can also create your own map sets! You can also georeference maps (add spatial coordinates) and overlay a historic map on top of a modern map.

National Geographic Society The National Geographic Society is chartered in Washington, D.C. as a nonprofit scientific and educational organization "for the increase and diffusion of geographic knowledge."

Map Skills for Elementary Students This link leads to a collection of activities for developing children's spatial thinking and map skills across grades Pre-K to 6th. All activities are created by the National Geographic Society.

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Archaeology Education Clearinghouse This link leads to resources K - 12 on how to bring archaeology into the classroom. They include premade lessons, information, and videos on how to create your own dig; go on virtual tools; and visit online museum exhibits.

Project Archaeology Project Archaeology is a joint program of Montana State University and the Bureau of Land Management. A great resource for IEFA as well as deep inquiry into the field of archaeology.

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Current Events

CNN 10 Daily ten minute news reel that can be used in the classroom.

Newsela This link leads to a resource full of articles, primary sources, and more. The great thing about this resource is that you can take one article and adjust the Lexile range so that all students can read the same content at their own reading level. Furthermore, you can assign the reading on Google Classroom.

Student News Daily This link leads to current articles, but also has tips for students to identify bias and the detestable "fake news".

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