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SOESD / Technology & Media Services / Media Materials Library / Online Curriculum Resources / Online Curriculum Resources 2

Social Studies Curriculum Sites: Black History Month Sites, American History Sites, American Presidents Sites, Civics/Government/Politics Sites, Lewis and Clark Expedition Sites, Native American Resources Sites, Oregon Sites

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Social Studies: Black History Month, Civil Rights
  • Aboard the Underground Railroad    
    This is more of a travel site for people wanting to visit the Underground Railroad sites. It does have histories of the Anti-slavery movement, slave trade, the Civil War and the Underground Railroad. Also has maps which show the routes the slaves took to escape through this network.
  • Underground Railroad    
    The Underground Railroad site from National Geographic takes students on a harrowing virtual trip to freedom. The site also includes a timeline, brief biographies, and teaching suggestions
  • Fats Waller Forever    
    Jazz pianist and organist of extraordinary facile technique and seemingly limitless invention, Fats Waller perfected and expanded the style known as stride. This site includes essays on Waller's life and music, a discography, photos, and sheet music. Each page is ornamented with sound files of his music. From The Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers University Libraries.
  • Selected African American Artists at the National Gallery of Art    
    The National Gallery of Art presents selected items from its collection of work by African American artists. See an overview of the tour that shows thumbnail images of each work, or take the tour for in-depth descriptions of individual paintings.
  • Civil Rights Movement Veterans
    Many great pictures and heart-rending reminiscences from veterans of the movement, black and white, who were really there.
  • African American World    
    This PBS Web site features reports about noted African Americans, ranging from Dizzy Gillespie and Ice Cube to Michael Jordan and Zora Neale Hurston. Many of the segments are drawn from the News Hour interviews and include audio excerpts.
  • Our Shared History: African American Heritage
    This site tells about the Underground Railroad, African Americans in the Civil War, historic places of the civil rights movement, the Delta blues of the Lower Mississippi Valley and landmarks dedicated to Booker T. Washington, Martin Luther King Jr and Frederick Douglass. Also find classroom lesson plans and other resources to liven your discussions of the people, places and stories on the National Park Service’s (NPS) site.
  • The International Civil Rights Center & Museum
    The International Civil Rights Center & Museum is an archival center devoted to the international struggle for civil and human rights. The museum, which recently opened in Greensboro, North Carolina, celebrates the nonviolent protests of the 1960 Greensboro sit-ins that served as a catalyst in the civil rights movement. The museum is located in the former Woolworth building in which four 17-year-old freshmen at the all-black Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina arrived on February 1, 1960, sat down and ordered some food; and when they were refused because they were black, the four students continued to sit in mute protest. The original portion of the lunch counter and stools where the four students sat on February 1, 1960, has never been moved from its original footprint. Under the Explore History link on the Museum’s Web site, you will find the Greensboro Chronology (events and people), a timeline of the Sit-In Movement as well as a timeline of America’s Civil Rights.
  • Celebrate Black History Month
    A free online resource guide from Primary Source offers a new fact for every day of Black History Month. Facts also include links to additional information and resources. Navigate through the guide week by week using the tabs at the top of the web page.
    Black History Month Video Resources
    The History Channel has videos, audio clips, and photo galleries of important moments and people in African-American history.
    Black History Month resources
    A vast collection of resources on Black History.
    American Experience’s Civil Rights Video archive
    Contains about two hours of historic video footage of the civil rights era.

Social Studies: American History Sites
  • America on the Move
    From the National Museum of American History, this site helps students build chronology skills, develop a better understanding of change over time and discover how transportation has impacted the growth of American commerce, communities, landscape and people. In “Where’s Everyone Going?” students match a variety of vehicles with their destinations and time periods to learn how much transportation in America has changed over time. As they “Drive Through Time,” students decide how to get from here to there, while assembling they own photo album. And in “Be a Movie Director,” they find the right vehicles for a new movie from the America on the Move collection and then watch the movie they’ve created on the big screen.
  • Immigration: A Story of Yesterday and Today
    Scholastic recently released an interactive timeline of immigration to the United States. The timeline is divided into five eras: A New Land, Expanding America, The American Dream, A Place of Refuge and Building a Modern America. Each era has several subsections where students will find captioned images and videos that explain the significance of immigration in that particular era.
  • Freedom: A History of US    
    This is a companion site to the PBS special, Freedom: a History of US, where visitors can play interactive games, browse a photo gallery, or explore 16 webisodes ranging in topics from the American Revolution to the turmoil of the 1960s. Webisodes feature rich resources including text, photographs, and video images with sound. Teachers are provided with additional research aids such as timelines, glossaries, quizzes, and other related resources.
  • The Learning Page    
    The Learning Page is a companion web site to the American Memory Collection. It is designed to help educators and students become more familiar with the American Memory collections and their relevance to U.S. history and culture.
  • Selected Design for the World Trade Center Site    
    This site presents the new World Trade Center site design, introducing its 1776-foot spire and the Gardens of the World. Includes dozens of slides of architectural plans from the firm Daniel Libeskind, as well as images of the Individual Elements. From the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC).
  •  Cowboy Photographer: Erwin E. Smith    
    This site is a tribute to early twentieth century photojournalist Erwin E. Smith, who worked as a cowhand and photographed American cowboy life. Visitors can view an online collection of over 750 photographs, which capture both the rugged realities and the romance of life on the open range. Includes a TEACHING GUIDE, glossary, and bibliography. From the Amon Carter Museum. THe teaching guide is geared for students in 4th-7th grades.
  • Where's George?    
    Traces the route of a dollar bill. From treasury through stores. Great to show where our money goes.
  • Tenement  Museum
    From Ellis Island to Orchard Street, an online exhibition produced by the Tenement Museum, allows students to play the role of an immigrant to New York City in 1916. Students will learn about the immigration experience by creating an identity and making decisions about earning a living in the Lower East Side. Video clips of an actress playing the role of an immigrant add context and give students helpful advice. Panoramic photographs of rooms in a tenement apartment give students a unique perspective into the lives of immigrants in the early twentieth century.
  • America by Air online exhibition
    Students can explore the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s America By Air online exhibition and experience flying from New York to San Francisco in different aviation eras. They simply choose a time period to begin: Early 1920s, 1930s, 1940s to 1950s, 1960s to 1970s, 1980s to present. After their journey, students can continue their exploration of aviation through 13 interactives, such as Travel Agent, in which students choose a destination (California and Bermuda) and decide how they’ll get there; Baggage Claim, in which they match baggage with passengers; and Around the World in 18 Days, in which they track a reporter’s journey around the world in 1936 and make a newsreel video of his journey.
  • Interactive Adventure Games for United States History
    Mission US, from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, is a multimedia project featuring free interactive adventure games set in different eras of United States history. The first game, Mission 1: For Crown or Colony?, puts the player in the shoes of Nat Wheeler, a 14-year-old printer’s apprentice in 1770 Boston. As Nat navigates the city and completes tasks, he encounters a spectrum of people living and working there when tensions mount before the Boston Massacre. Ultimately, the player determines Nat’s fate by deciding where his loyalties lie. Mission 2: Flight to Freedom, which focuses on resistance to slavery, is the next game to be launched. Other missions, as well as a broadcast special, are planned for release in 2012
  • The Price of Freedom : Americans at War
    Americans have gone to war to win their independence, expand their national boundaries, define their freedoms, and defend their interests around the globe. This exhibition examines how wars have shaped the nation’s history and transformed American society. It highlights the service and sacrifice of generations of American men and women.
  • Library of Congress Experience
    Recently the Library of Congress opened a new exhibit, called the Library of Congress Experience, at its historic Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington, D.C.—and online at a new Web site, Visitors to the exhibit are able to “flip” through books from Thomas Jefferson’s vast library, learn about the ornate artwork that adorns the Library’s Great Hall and view how founding documents, such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, morphed from draft to draft.
  • Heart Mount Museum
    One of the most recognized dates in modern U.S. history is December 7, 1941: the attack on Pearl Harbor. A far lesser known date is February 14, 1942, which, for some, had equally big consequences. On that day, President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. That order led to the detention of more than 100,000 Japanese Americans in internment camps around the country, for years. One of those camps was in Heart Mountain, Wyoming. At that time, it was surrounded by barbed wire. Today it’s a new museum that tells the story of the thousands of Japanese Americans imprisoned during World War II. Visitors to the Heart Mount Museum’s Web Site will find information about the events surrounding this period in our nation’s history. The sections include Coming to America, Before the War, Forced Removal and Life in the Camp. The site also includes a reading list and list of documentaries (under the Education tab).
  • Civil War Era National Cemeteries travel itinerary
    This online, developed by the National Park Service and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, offers several ways to discover and experience the historic places that shaped and illustrate the history and development of the National Cemetery system. Descriptions of each featured National Cemetery on the List of Sites highlight its significance and include photographs and other illustrations. Essays provide background on important themes in the development of the National Cemeteries during and after the Civil War and offer context for understanding historic places featured in the itinerary. Maps help visitors plan what to see and do and get directions to historic places to visit. A Learn More section provides links to relevant websites with information on cultural events and activities, other things to see and do, and dining and lodging possibilities. This section also includes a bibliography. View the itinerary online or print it as a guide if you plan to visit in person.
  • War of 1812
    The USS Constitution Museum has launched a K–12, interdisciplinary curriculum about the War of 1812. The curriculum brings interactive history lessons into classrooms and homes. The museum, located in the Charlestown Navy Yard, in Boston, across from “Old Ironsides,” built the curriculum to parallel the online game A Sailor’s Life for Me. This website invites students to join the fight for freedom on the high seas when they virtually enlist as sailors on board USS Constitution and travel back in time to engage in the War of 1812. The curriculum takes this history lesson one step further, offering 120 printable lesson plans and activities for the classroom that utilize history, science, math, social studies, art and language arts to explore Constitution and life at sea in 1812. Printable copies of primary sources and artifacts in the museum’s collections can be downloaded for free. With the approach of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, everyone anywhere can learn and share in this history.
  • Celebrate the Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement
    Songs were an integral part of the American civil rights movement. Singing inspired large groups of people at church meetings, street demonstrations and marches. Many of the songs were traditional hymns and spirituals with lyrics that had several layers of meaning and expressed a desire for freedom. Other hymns and spirituals were given new words to emphasize the struggle for more specific issues such as voting rights. The Gilder Lehrman Institute’s History Now website presents a jukebox with six songs that played an important role in the civil rights movement and reflect the defiant spirit of the time. Click on a song title for audio and printed lyrics.
  • The Historical Marker Database
    The Historical Marker Database is an illustrated searchable online catalog of historical information viewed through the filter of roadside and other permanent outdoor markers, monuments and plaques. It contains photographs, inscription transcriptions, marker locations, maps, additional information and commentary, and links to more information. Anyone can add new markers to the database and update existing marker pages with new photographs, links, information and commentary.
  • History Animated
    History Animated provides animations of the American Revolution, the U.S. Civil War, and the European and Pacific Campaigns in World War II. In each of the four series of animations, students will see the animated movement of armies displayed on a map. Each animation is accompanied by captions describing the strategies of the armies as well as the results and consequences of each battle. All of the animations are available for free viewing on the History Animated website.
  • Animated Atlas
    This “moving” map shows our nation from the beginning of the 13 states through the present. It includes the acquisitions from England and Spain, the slave states, the free states, a segment on the Civil War and some mentions of Central and South America. It also shows the Indian Nations as they were during the Indian Wars: Modac, Miwok, Mujave, Nez Perce, Flat Head, Crow, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Navajo, Apache, Dakota, Sioux, Kiowa, Wichita and Comanche. Be sure to turn on the sound, as the narration is a significant portion of the presentation. 
  • Bring to Life Pivotal Moments in American History
    History and social studies educators have free online access to a comprehensive, multimedia collection of teaching resources from the Pare Lorentz Center at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library. Pare Lorentz created groundbreaking documentaries for the New Deal agencies of the Roosevelt Administration, shedding light on environmental and social problems in the 1930s and 1940s. The resource collection includes an interactive timeline, distance learning opportunities, video curriculum guides and a film library containing filmmaker Lorentz’s body of works and other historical footage. The collection brings to life emergent themes and pivotal moments in American history, including the Great Depression; the New Deal Programs; Social Security; Conservation of Natural Resources; the Presidency and the Supreme Court; The Surprise Attack on Pearl Harbor; World War II; Japanese American Internment; The Tuskegee Airmen; creation of the United Nations; and the Legacy of Eleanor Roosevelt.
  • HistoryBuff
    HistoryBuff is a nonprofit organization that provides free primary source material for students, teachers and history buffs. The site focuses primarily on how news of major, and not so major, events in American history was reported in newspapers of the time. In addition, there is information about the technology used to produce newspapers over the past 400 years. The latest addition is a set of 15 narrated panoramic tours of interesting and significant historic sites around America. Some of the panoramas you will find in the collection include Davy Crockett’s childhood home, Appomattox Courthouse, Thomas Edison’s birthplace and Valley Forge.
  • Women of Our Time
    The online exhibition Women of Our Time highlights famous and influential American women of the twentieth century. The iconic images include studio portraits, glamorous publicity shots, press photographs, fashion photographs, advertising images and amateur snapshots.
  • Setting the Precedent : Four Women Who Excelled in Business
    Setting the Precedent is a virtual tour introducing four exceptional American women who succeeded in business in the twentieth century. The website features biographical information, timelines, games and historical background for each of the women.
  • Betwixt Folly and Fate
    Betwixt Folly and Fate is an immersive 3-D role-playing game that places players in 1774 Williamsburg as one of four characters: Chloe, an enslaved house servant; Henry, a free black carpenter; Mary, a midwife’s assistant; and George, a young gentleman. In each role, players face the challenges of daily life in early America while learning about the social classes and customs of the time. As players pursue their characters’ goals, they explore a large portion of eighteenth-century Williamsburg, Virginia, roaming the streets and meeting people in shops, taverns, the courthouse and private homes. The town is populated with dozens of characters, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry. Players may also bargain for goods with shopkeepers and try their skill at several colonial games.
  • Civil War Sesquicentennial
    National Geographic has stunning photos and gripping stories about Civil War themes.
  • The Civil War Trust
    A downloadable Civil War curriculum with animated maps, primary resources, suggested reading, lesson plans and activities for middle-grade students.
  • Timeline: The Civil War and American Art
    This interactive timeline, from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, displays how artists have portrayed the Civil War. Webcasts of presentations from a symposium entitled Effects of the Civil War on American Art examine the impact of the Civil War and Reconstruction on American landscape and genre painting, along with the period’s new medium of photography. The webcast took place on November 16, but is archived for future viewing.
  • Backstory with the American History Guys
    BackStory with the American History Guys is a nationally distributed, weekly, one-hour public radio program produced by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and hosted by three historians who explore the historical contexts of current events. On each show, US historians Ed Ayers, Peter Onuf and Brian Balogh tear a topic from the headlines and plumb its historical depths. Over the course of the hour, they are joined by fellow historians, people in the news and callers interested in exploring the roots of what’s going on today. Together, they drill down to colonial times and earlier, revealing the connections (and disconnections) between past and present.
  • Complete Study of the 50 states 
    Lesson plans and activities to help students learn about the United States.
  • Authentic History Center  
    The Authentic History Center is comprised of artifacts and sounds from American popular culture. It was created to teach that the everyday objects in society have authentic historical value and reflect the social consciousness of the era that produced them.
  • A Guide to the War of 1812 : Library of Congress Web Guide
    "The digital collections of the Library of Congress contain a wide variety of material associated with the War of 1812, including manuscripts, broadsides, pictures, and government documents. This guide compiles links to digital materials related to the War of 1812 that are available throughout the Library of Congress Web site. In addition, it provides links to external Web sites focusing on the War of 1812 and a bibliography containing selections for both general and younger reader."
    Underground Railroad : Escape from Slavery
    Scholastic has developed a new series of interactive lessons about the Underground Railroad. “The Underground Railroad: Escape from Slavery” takes students on a virtual trip from a southern plantation to freedom in Ohio. The trip is divided into four sections: On the Plantation; Escape; Reaching Safety; and Reaching Freedom. In each section, students listen to short narrated stories and browse through slideshows. Each section of “The Underground Railroad: Escape from Slavery” has a teacher’s guide and writing activities for students to complete. The interactive lessons are appropriate for grades 3–6 and are optimized for use on interactive whiteboards.
    A miniature historical rooms game
     The Art Institute of Chicago has an online display of the Thorne Miniature Rooms showcasing different periods of U.S. history. There is A game that moves you from room to another.
    First Ladies' Contributions to Political Issues and the National Welfare

    From the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
    Constitution Day Resources
    A vast collection of resources for the study of the Constitution and for Constitution Day on Sept. 17th.

Social Studies: American History Colonies, Revolutionary War Sites
  • George Washington Interactive Portrait​​
    The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden examines the job of a president, the balance of power with the Supreme Court and Congress, and ways presidents have communicated with the public. Features include the battle sword of George Washington, the lap desk on which Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and the top hat worn by Abraham Lincoln the night he was assassinated.
  • Recreations of Revolutionary War Battles
    A site that has animated recreations of major battles.
  • Finding Dulcinea : American Revolution Content
    An amazing amount of sites on all aspects of the Revolution. 
  • Recreations of Revolutionary War Battles
    A site that has animated recreations of major battles.
  • The Paul Revere House
    On the Web site for The Paul Revere House, in Boston, Massachusetts, students can take a virtual tour of the route Paul Revere took on his Midnight Ride, April 18 and 19, 1775, learn the true details of Revere’s famous ride and separate fact from fiction. They can also meet re-enactors who portray Paul Revere and other Revolutionary characters, watch artisans demonstrate colonial crafts, hear performers play early American music—and more.​
  • American Founders Online : An Annotated Guide to Their Papers and Publications : Library of Congress Web Guide
    "The digital resources described in this guide provide online access, in varying degrees, to the personal papers and/or publications of the major founders of the American Republic-that is, those men who served in roles of national political leadership between 1765 and 1815-and members of their families."

Social Studies: American Presidents Sites
  • The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden
    The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden examines the job of a president, the balance of power with the Supreme Court and Congress, and ways presidents have communicated with the public. Features include the battle sword of George Washington, the lap desk on which Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence and the top hat worn by Abraham Lincoln the night he was assassinated.
  • Presidential Baseball    
    Presidential Baseball is a multiple choice quiz in which one or more players test their knowledge to identify the baseball personalities that best parallel the careers of the presidents of the United States of America. Interesting links, a bibliography related to both baseball and the presidents, and a high score section are included. Requires Macromedia Flash Player.
  •  The American Presidency Project
    "The American Presidency Project (, was established in 1999 as a collaboration between John Woolley and Gerhard Peters at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Our archives contain 88,674 documents related to the study of the Presidency."
  • Jefferson’s Autobiography
    Life and Liberty: Reflections on the Pursuit of Happiness is Jefferson’s autobiography. On this website, you’ll find the complete text, divided into sections for easy access. The autobiography includes Jefferson’s original draft of the Declaration of Independence with the changes that Congress made noted thereon.
  • The JFK Presidential Library and Museum
    The JFK Presidential Library and Museum website has interactive exhibits for learning about John F. Kennedy and his presidency. For example, We Choose the Moon is an interactive exploration of the Apollo 11 mission. The exhibit covers everything from Kennedy’s first proclamation that the United States would put a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s to the moon landing itself. The White House Diary is an interactive flipbook of Kennedy’s schedule while in office. Students can flip through it page by page to see what he did on each day or pick a specific date from the calendar. Many of the pages include video clips and/or images from that day. The JFK Timeline is an interactive timeline of Kennedy’s presidency. The timeline features cultural and world events as well as political events in the United States. Finally, in the Virtual JFK Museum Tour, students can view exhibits and artifacts in the museum. The tour is narrated, and in some cases students will hear Kennedy’s voice. The tour is divided into major themes and events of Kennedy’s presidency, including his campaign, the Peace Corps and the Space Race. The tour also includes some information about Bobby Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy.
  • Great Communicator Files
    President Ronald Reagan was known as the Great Communicator. But what goes on behind the scenes in making a great speech? In the Great Communicator Files, students can explore the primary sources from the speech files from three of President Reagan’s most famous speeches: Pointe du Hoc and Remarks at Omaha Beach, both World War II commemorative speeches, and his address to the nation after the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion. Free, downloadable Teacher Resources and Documents focus on the speech-making and speech-writing process. Hard copies of the speeches, along with a DVD of President Reagan giving the speeches, are available on request.
  • George Washington Encyclopedia
    George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, Museum & Gardens Launches New George Washington Encyclopedia. 
  • Abraham Lincoln practiced arithmetic problems in a sum book made of folded paper and stitched in the middle. Historians believe that Lincoln practiced the problems shown on this Web page in 1824, when he was 15 years old. Note the verse in the lower left corner of Illustration 1: Abraham Lincoln / his hand and pen / he will be good but / God knows when. In Illustration 2, Lincoln assigned himself the problem of multiplying 342,435 by 342. Attempt to solve this problem. Once you have your answer, try to check it the same way Lincoln checked his answer.
  • The Lincoln Learning Hub
    The Lincoln Learning Hub is where students can learn about Abraham Lincoln, his cabinet members and the movement to end slavery. The site includes a timeline that traces the period from Lincoln’s first election as president to the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment. In the What Would Lincoln Do? section, students consider how Lincoln may have responded to political, social, economic and military crises of times that were not his own: Would Lincoln issue the order to drop the bomb on Hiroshima? Would Lincoln give all former male slaves the right to vote? Would he urge Congress to include women in the Fifteenth Amendment? Would he assume broad military powers and suspend the writ of habeas corpus in the aftermath of 9/11? In considering these and other questions, students read debate points—along with Lincoln’s words—and decide for themselves. Then they can compare their thoughts with what prominent historians believe Lincoln would do. A guide for educators appears in the Resources section of the site.
    Abraham Lincoln Research Site
    "The Abraham Lincoln Research Site is intended for use by students, teachers, schools, and anyone with an interest in introductory information on Abraham Lincoln."
    George Washington Interactive Portrait
    Great site for students to use for informational text.​
    George Washington Encyclopedia
    George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and the Museum & Gardens provide an encyclopedia of all things George Washington. ​
Social Studies: Civics/Government/Politics Sites
  • Congress for Kids    
    Uncle Sam takes you on a tour through American history, the important documents and their creation, and the branches of government. Links to important government sites are also included.
  • First Gov    
    The government search engine, with links to international, state, local resources.
  • Policy Agendas
    As noted in the Chronicle of Higher Education: "this interactive online database... lets users track a wide range of national political issues with detailed data on congressional hearings and voting records, press coverage, and public opinion data. Visitors to the free database can download full data sets or use Web-based software to instantly generate trend graphs." 
  • White House Interactive Tour
    Thousands of visitors tour the White House each day, and now you and your students can take the new interactive White House tour. With behind-the-scenes photos from the Photo Office and “Inside the White House” videos, students can do everything from cook with the New Orleans Saints in the White House kitchen, peek inside the Situation Room, watch the Jonas Brothers perform in the East Room, tour the first ever beehive on White House grounds with beekeeper Charlie Brandt—and a lot more.
  • 1forAll
    Teach the First Amendment lesson plans on the 1forAll Web site are drawn from materials prepared by the Newseum and the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University. The lessons are intended to draw young people into an exploration of how their freedoms began and how they operate in today’s world. Students will discuss just how far individual rights extend, examining rights in the school environment and in public places. The lessons may be used in history and government, civics, language arts and journalism, art and debate classes. They may be used in sections or in their entirety. Many of the lesson plans indicate an overall goal for the lesson, offer suggestions on how to teach the lesson and list additional resources and enrichment activities.
  • Basic Readings in U.S. Democracy
    Basic Readings in U.S. Democracy is a collection of 73 historical documents representative of the way American history, culture and political thought have been shaped throughout the centuries. Each of the documents is presented with a brief introductory essay, chosen to illustrate “the essential idea of American democracy, that of many peoples seeking to find common ground.” The term document is interpreted broadly; traditional documents, such as court decisions and legislation, are supplemented by letters, essays and speeches. The selections are arranged by topic: Creating a Government, The Crisis of Union, On the Road from Slavery to Freedom and Cold War Issues.
  • Architect of the Capitol
    The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., is a symbol of the American people, a showcase of history and the meeting place of the nation’s leadership. The Capitol also houses an important collection of American art, and it is an architectural achievement in its own right. Visit the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) Web site to learn the story of the Capitol and its architect. In the Capitol Campus Multimedia section of the site, you can enter the Virtual Capitol, take an interactive look at Capitol Hill and view stunning 360º views of the Hill. You can also view videos on the AOC’s YouTube channel. Among the featured videos are Sustainability at the Capitol, a Capitol Campus Flyover, Sunset at the Capitol, the Capitol Building and the Jefferson Building Murals. This section of the Architect of the Capitol Web site also offers downloadable, high-quality digital images in JPEG format. The images are in the public domain.
  • Philip Reid and the Statue of Freedom
    The Statue of Freedom stands at the very top of the dome of the Capitol. This statue was designed in the mid-1850s, as arguments between Northern and Southern states reached a zenith. The statue was raised to the top of the Capitol dome in 1863, during the Civil War. Nestled within the history of this statue is a curious item: In 1859, at a crucial moment in its construction, a dispute brought everything to a halt. The responsibility of resolving the crisis fell to an enslaved black man named Philip Reid. The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) has made available a lesson entitled “Philip Reid and the Statue of Freedom” to help students learn about this enslaved American and his key role during the construction of the Statue of Freedom.
  • History and Politics Outloud
    Hearing a speech can be fundamentally different from simply reading the text. History and Politics Out Loud helps make that difference concrete by providing audio recordings of hundreds of important political speeches in a searchable archive.
  • Senate Art
    The art in the Senate wing of the U.S. Capitol and the Senate office buildings has been acquired principally for its public, patriotic and commemorative characteristics. The Senate’s art is intended to commit to posterity the persons and events of our national history, centered on the institution of the Senate and the founding of the Republic. This Web site presents paintings spanning over 200 years of American history by some of the country’s preeminent artists; a sculpture collection that celebrates the great figures of our national history; and more than 1,000 graphic images that document the Senate, the Capitol and American political history. The site also features online exhibits about the Senate’s history, as seen through its art and historical collections, and specialized collections, including presidential inaugural memorabilia.
  • Senate Glossary
    Glossary of terms—from act to yield time—related to the Senate and its responsibilities.
  • Commander in Chief
    Commander in Chief is an economic and geopolitical simulator game for PC. Players become the head of state or government (president, monarch, prime minister) of a country they select and may control all the following activities: the economy, social issues, the military, government agencies, interior policy, foreign diplomacy, ecology, culture and others. Every country in the world is featured along with its unique features and data, with more than 400 actual data and figures per country updated as of January 2009. Players have more than 1,000 different actions to perform—for example, legislation, taxes, economic contracts, meetings and military operations.
  • Cameras in the Court?
    Why can’t we watch U.S. Supreme Court proceedings on C-Span? Cameras in the Court? is an introduction to the U.S. Supreme Court on a topic that students can immediately relate to in this age of instant and universal video. There is a smiling photo of each Justice (with dates of birth and appointment to the Court) along with brief quotes about his or her views on opening the Court to cameras, based on public statements. (Most are against the “proposition.”) The website is welcoming to struggling readers. For students who are ready for more challenging material about cases that the Court has heard or will soon hear, a host of resources (video and links to readings) are included in the C-SPAN series America and the Courts.
  • Running for Office
    Running for Office is an online exhibit of the political cartoons of Clifford Berryman. Berryman is probably best known for his cartoon featuring Theodore Roosevelt having compassion for a bear cub. That cartoon inspired the creation of the Teddy Bear. Berryman drew political cartoons for Washington newspapers for more than 50 years. The National Archives has put together the 52-page online exhibit of Berryman’s cartoons. The cartoons chronicle the process of choosing the President. The exhibit also includes cartoons about running for Congress. The meaning and historical context of the cartoons are explained as well. Almost all of the cartoons in the exhibit can be downloaded for free.
  • Win the White House
    iCivics, the organization founded by retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, is marking the countdown to Election Day 2012 with the launch of its latest free online video game, Win the White House. In this game, students take on the role of a presidential candidate from primary season through Election Day, making tough choices about the party platform and vice presidential selection as well as where to fundraise, poll and spend valuable campaign dollars on appearances and advertisements. News coverage recaps their successes and failures as they campaign for their 270 electoral votes. Students also have to make decisions about the kind of campaign they will run: will they focus on their platform or on attacking the stances of their opponent? Win the White House prepares young people for meaningful citizenship by helping them see the value of voting and different candidates’ reasons for choosing different strategies for engaging the public. The iCivics Politics and Public Policy Curriculum Unit also offers a broad array of resources for educators, including lesson plans, additional games and game guides. iCivics content is designed by educators and is standards aligned.
  • The Congressional Timeline 1.0    
    From The Dirksen Congressional Center. Includes: Major laws -- more than 200 examples -- passed by Congress from 1933 to the present;The partisan composition of each Congress, along with the presidential administration and the congressional leaders; The session dates of each Congress;   Measures of legislative productivity, such as the number of bills introduced and passed;   Information about women and African-Americans serving in Congress; Examples of documents and audiovisual materials related to legislation;The ability to add information to the timeline by using the "wiki" feature.    
  • Commons --- Digital Town Square
    Created in 2009 by former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, iCivics recently partnered with EverFi on a new initiative, Commons – Digital Town Square, which is offered free to all K–12 schools. The focus of Commons – Digital Town Square is to provide schools with standards-based educational gaming, aligned to the Common Core State Standards, with social components. Students who play iCivics games move along at their own pace; adaptive-pathing techniques as well as evidence-based practices help guide each student differently as he or she learns. In addition to the adaptive feature, Commons – Digital Town Square has a variety of media, including simulations and animations as well as pre- and post-assessments and behavioral surveys that “measure changes in students’ attitudes and behaviors regarding a variety of civic matters.” Students interact not only with one another in their virtual classroom, but also with other classrooms across the country. Commons – Digital Town Square leverages many standards in its design of instruction and assessment, from existing state standards to Common Core. 
  • Budget Hero
    A free, challenging online game makes civics and economics accessible and fun for students. Budget Hero lets students try to balance the federal budget. First students choose one to three “badges” that reflect their political values. Then they try to earn these badges by choosing from more than 70 policy options. The game is built on the Congressional Budget Office model, which incorporates pro and con arguments for each policy, drawn from dozens of sources and vetted to ensure the game is nonpartisan. Players make their own decisions about health care, military spending or environmental protection. In the end, students can see how long it takes before their budget goes bust and share their results with friends via Facebook or Twitter. To date, the game has been played more than one million times. Budget Hero was created by the Woodrow Wilson Center and American Public Media.
  • Life Without the Bill of Rights
    Life Without the Bill of Rights is a simulation of what daily life would be like without various aspects of the Bill of Rights. 
  • Founders' Quiz
    Which Founder Are You? Allows students to discover which of the 55 founding fathers’ personalities were most like their own.
  • Constitution Duel Quiz
    Constitution Duel Quiz has questions about the U.S. Constitution, Supreme Court cases, historic documents, and famous people in history.
    iCivics: “We the Jury” interactive educational game
    iCivics recently released its seventeenth interactive educational game for students. The new game, We the Jury, includes two civil cases—one that relates to a dispute over baseball memorabilia, and the other to a dispute at a car dealership. In the game, students become one of six jurors at a trial, during which they hear the facts of the case, along with closing arguments from the plaintiff and the defendant. Then they go off to the jury room where they deliberate for up to five days before handing down their verdict. During deliberations, students examine evidence, listen to the opinions of other jurors and try to reach a unanimous decision. Throughout the process, students are reminded of the roles of jurors and are cautioned to stick to only the evidence and arguments permitted by the judge. In addition to the interactive game, the iCivics website includes a free downloadable Game Guide for teachers and reproducible Evidence sheets for students.
    Exploring Time
    The Center on Congress from Indiana University,  examines key legislation in our nation's history that impacts our lives today.

Social Studies: Lewis and Clark Expedition Sites
  • The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition    
    Thanks to the sponsorship of University of Nebraska Press, the Center for Great Plains Studies, and the UNL Libraries Electronic Text Center, you can now access The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Exp ion Online. Initially offering almost two hundred pages from volume four, this website will eventually feature the full text of the journals--almost five thousand pages in all. Also included is a gallery of images as well as audio files of acclaimed poet William Kloefkorn reading selected passages. The text of the celebrated Nebraska edition of the Lewis and Clark journals, edited by Gary E. Moulton, is searchable and easily navigated. 
  • National Geographic: Lewis and Clark    
    How did the adventures of Lewis and Clark shape the United States? This site features timelines, maps, journal entries, historic photographs, and drawings.
  • Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation    
    Contains several informative articles, with a particularly interesting article about Sacagewea.
  • Lewis & Clark Bicentennial in Oregon    
    Includes self-guided tours, links to sites along the route, and Oregon events.
  • Lewis and Clark    
    Companion site to the film by Ken Burns.
  • On This Day With Lewis and Clark    
    On This Day With Lewis and Clark Looking at historic maps of the West, students can begin to appreciate the immensity and mystery of the mission Lewis and Clark accepted.
  • Rivers, Edens, and Empires; Lewis and Clark and the Revealing of America    
    Library of Congress site. Great images, but the text maybe too difficult for elementary students.
  • Discovering Lewis and Clark    
    Navigate around this site to find maps, journals, natural history, and other fascinating facets on the exp ions of Lewis and Clark. Great site for student research.
  • Go West Across America With Lewis and Clark    
    Students can participate in this online adventure from National Geographic by making decisions along the journey and clicking on their response in order to continue. They will also be able to read journal excerpts and historical facts on, Did You Know?

Social Studies: Native American Resources Sites 
  • Coast Salish Villages of Puget Sound    
    A collection of maps of the Seattle and Puget Sound areas of Washington state showing native village sites circa 1800 plus native names and village descriptions. Scroll midway down the opening page for a link to a map of Duwamish/Snoqualmie Storytelling Sites with locations of about 50 sites mentioned in old stories and myths, with links to brief summaries of the stories.
  • Native Americans Children's Literature Site    
    This site includes children's literature information related to Native Americans and advice on how to present the topic to elementary school children.
  • Pilgrim Hall Museum    
    Visit the Pilgrim Hall Museum in the center of historic Plymouth, Massachusetts to learn more about the lives of the Pilgrims and Native Americans. Exhibits contain a wide variety of historic documents and pictures.
  • Native    
    Site with links to sources on a variety of subject areas. Not limited to Native Americans.
  • Indians of the Midwest
    “ This site addresses this question by highlighting recent research of scholars who have provided new insights about the cultures and histories of Indian peoples in the Midwest.”
  • Native Languages of the Americas: List of Native American Indian Tribes and Languages
    “A compendium of online materials about more than a thousand Native American tribes of the Western Hemisphere and the indigenous languages they speak.”
Social Studies: Oregon Sites 
  • If You Were a Pioneer on the Oregon Trail    
    As a class, students create an imagined travel experience and then compare it with the actual experiences of 19th-century pioneers.
  • On the Oregon Trail    
    Work with primary documents and latter-day photographs to recapture the experience of traveling on the Oregon Trail.
  • Oregon Historical Society / Oregon History Project
    Many articles, images relating to Oregon and historical figures and events.
  • Oregon Encyclopedia  
    From their own description: 
    The Oregon Encyclopedia, a partnership of Portland State University, the Oregon Council of Teachers of English, and the Oregon Historical Society, and a project of the Oregon Sesquicentennial Celebration, is a comprehensive and authoritative compendium of information about Oregon's history and culture. The Encyclopedia grows each week.

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