Interactive U.S. History

J. Galbreath, B. Gasior; Gifted Resource Specialists

Instructional simulations and interactive websites have the power to engage students in "deep learning" that leads to an understanding of how facts fit into historical knowledge.

Teaching Historical Thinking

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This Thinking Like a Historian poster by the Wisconsin Historical Society is a wonderful way to help get your students thinking deeply about history. Any of these question stems will lead students into a more complex understanding of history.

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Comprehensive History Resources

Mr. Nussbaum History Website

The Mr. Nussbaum History website is one of the most comprehensive history resources for kids on the internet. Each of the links below leads to an entire interactive curriculum for each section

Children and Youth in History

Children & Youth in History is a world history resource that provides teachers and students with access to sources about young people from the past to the present.

Digital History

Digital History enhances history teaching and research through primary sources, an online textbook, extensive reference resources, and interactive materials.

Best history sites

Here are links to the Best History Sites.

9/11 Memorial

The 9/11 Memorial site has a wealth of information to teach about 9/11. There are interactive tours of the museum and ready to use lessons correlated to CC at all grade levels.
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Early Exploration

Interactive Map: Exploration

This interactive map shows the routes of Early European Explorers who came to North American.

Early Voyages of Exploration

Early Voyages website explores voyages from 1492 to 1609.

John Smith-Voyages of Exploration

Virtual Jamestown was able to reconstruct John Smith's voyages into this interactive map.
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The Jamestown Settlement

The early years of the colonies were nearly a total disaster. Almost half of the settlers died due to poor choices in settlement location, management of resources, and quarrels with the indigenous Powhatan Indians. Can you do any better than the real colonists in this Jamestown Settlement simulation?

A Colonial Family and Community

Be a history detective. Go back in time and investigate the daily lives of the Daggetts, a colonial family from northeastern Connecticut. Collect clues to uncover answers to seven questions about colonial life in the 1700s. Then prove your skills as a history detective by discovering "What's wrong with this picture?

Thanksgiving Interactive: You are the Historian

What really happened at the First Thanksgiving celebration in 1621? Become a history detective and find out! Along the way, you will read a letter written by an eyewitness to the event, learn about Wampanoag traditions of giving thanks, and visit Pilgrim Mary Allerton’s home.

Colonial House

The Colonial House explore the houses and the land with 360-degree views of the Colony.
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American Revolution

Videos- Archiving Early America

The short educational films in the ‘Famous Moments’ Series highlight true stories of historical significance, providing students with a better understanding of the people, places and events of Early America.

Mission US

  • Mission US engages students in the study of transformational moments in American history.
  • Each mission consists of an interactive game and a set of curriculum materials that are aligned to National Standards and feature document-based activities.
  • The game immerses players in rich, historical settings and then empowers them to make choices that illuminate how ordinary people experienced the past.

Liberty- Chronicle of the Revolution

This timeline of the American Revolution was developed by PBS.
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Founding Documents

Interactive Consitutition

Interact with the Constitution of America on this site. Constitutional experts interact with each other to explore the Constitution’s history and what it means today. For each provision of the Constitution, scholars of different perspectives discuss ideas about which they agree or disagree.

Congress for Kids

The Congress for Kids website provides students with an in-depth look at the development of the constitution from beginning to end.

Founding Documents

Learn more about the history and explore the content in depth about the three founding documents on display in Constituting Liberty: From the Declaration to the Bill of Rights.

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Virtual Field Trips - United States Presidents

George Washington - Mount Vernon

This Mount Vernon Virtual Tour explores the mansion, outbuildings, library, stables, slave memorial, gardens and more. Photos, videos and information about primary documents are included. Very interactive.

Abraham Lincoln - Ford Theater

The Ford Theater Interactive Tour is a comprehensive site that explores not only the theater but the history, people and events of of the time period and those leading up to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. This site would be a great study for students reading Chasing Lincoln's Killer. Here is a tour of Lincoln's Springfield Home.

Thomas Jefferson - Monticello Explorer

Monticello Explorer takes students on a tour of the plantation, the house, gardens and grounds and general domestic life of the times. Students can gain insight into the life of Thomas Jefferson from this interactive journey through Monticello.

John F. Kennedy Library and Website

While exploring The John F. Kennedy Library Virtual Tour At each stop on the virtual tour, students can hear the words of JFK in relation to that portion of the tour. The JFK Library website offers an even deeper look into the life and times of JFK - lots of primary sources and interactive activities about historical events and people.

Mount Rushmore

This Interactive Mount Rushmore Tour offers a nice view of the park - especially for students who will not have the opportunity to travel and visit. Descriptions are limited but students can take a virtual walk through the park to view Mount Rushmore.

Time for Kids Mount Rushmore, the National Park website and this Mount Rushmore Student Guide can offer more information.

The White House

Take and interactive Tour of the White House and explore this website Inside the White House for a first hand look at how and where our presidents have lived as they serve the United States of America.
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Going West

Lewis and Clark

Learn about Lewis and Clark and their venture Westward! Be a reporter, test your packing smarts, and relive their adventure!

Growth of the United States

Listen and watch the growth of our country on this animated map.

Go West with Lewis and Clark

Go West Across America with Lewis and Clark. This great American expedition will include wild rivers and rugged mountains. Students can explore an unknown continent and help Lewis and Clark on this incredible adventure.

Encountering the West

Learn about the flora, fauna, and landscape of the Lewis and Clark Journey.

Interactive Map: Westward Expansion

The United States did not always own all of the land that makes up the country today. Much of the nation's land, such as Florida, Texas, and Oregon, was once owned by other countries. This Westward Expansion Interactive Map shows the United States growth throughout the 1800's.

Oregon Trail Interactive Trail

The Oregon Trail Website provides a virtual tour of landmarks along the historic trail. Visitors to the site can see both a modern map and a 19th century map of the trail. Landmarks can be clicked on the map to lead the visitor through paintings, drawings and photographs of trail sites

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War of 1812

A Sailor's Life for Me is an interactive journey aboard the USS Constitution during the War of 1812. It is part of the Eduweb project that has many other quality online interactive activities for students. This one includes an extensive teacher resource and lesson plan section.

Civil War and Slavery

Civil War Webranger

Civil War WebRanger is an interactive journey for children into the lives of Civil War soldiers.

Battle of Gettysburg Animated Map

Watch this animated map of the Battle of Gettysburg, produced by Wide Awake Films. Learn more about this important Civil War battle in Pennsylvania.

The Battle of Gettysburg-The United States Army

The U.S. Army has developed an impressive interactive of the most singular events in American history, the Battle of Gettysburg.

Escape from Slavery

Follow one of these slaves along the Underground Railroad through a secret network of hiding places and learn about the brave people who helped runaway slaves reach freedom.

Pathways to Freedom

Travel back to the 1800s and become an eyewitness to history. Students become a young slave who must make some important and life-changing decisions along the Pathway to Freedom.
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Ellis Island Interactive Tour

Follow in the immigrants' footsteps by taking this Ellis Island Virtual Tour. Students hear first-hand stories told by people who came through Ellis Island; see historical photographs and films; read fascinating facts; and discover the central role this station played in the story of American immigration.

New York Times - Remade in America

With this Interactive Immigration Map students can see how foreign-born groups settled in their area and across the United States from 1880 to 2000.

150 Years of Immigration

Unlike other interactive maps that simply animate data or offer hover-over statistical revelations, these maps allows students to dig deep into the immigration history of a specific area.

Immigration Patterns

In this activity investigate patterns in immigration through data tables and data maps. It focuses on students designing graphs to view information in alternative ways. The website Our Story: Coming to America accompanies the lessons.

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Mexican American War

The US Mexican War Interactive Story

The U.S. Mexican War (1846-1848) tells the dramatic story of a war in which Mexico lost almost half of its national territory to the United States.

Mexican American War

The American annexation of Texas made war with Mexico inevitable. The Mexican American War website explores the battles through video and text.
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Time and Place

National Geographic Mapmaker

This National Geographic Mapmaker site is great for creating maps and adding layers of information.

Interactive World Geography

This Interactive World Geography site has several activities to teach map skills and geography.

The Price of Freedom

Examine the Price of Freedom as you explore Americans at war.

Animated Timeline of Earth's History

This 3-minute Animated Timeline of Earth's History will get students thinking about their perceptions of time.

The Time Compass

If you subscribe to Hulu, check out this Time Compass series. The Time Compass series lets students Journey in time through the great cultures and civilizations of human history.

Animated Timeline

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