Social studies was one of my favorite subjects in school. I actually ended up graduating high school with roughly eleven credits in the subject, when only four were necessary. And with the year about to end, these are the best social studies sites of 2013.
#1. Perfect Storms
Part of social studies is seeing the social effects of disasters – whether it be in history, like the assassination of a president, or even natural ones. Perfect storms allow the students to “see” the events in history happen through computer art. It also allows you to create your own perfect storm, where you put in an address of your choice and watch the destruction ensue.
#2. The Poverty Line
Want to see or share with your students what it’s really like to live in poverty? Even in other countries? BCC states that they “…calculate[s] how much money people living at the poverty line have to spend on food each day.” Right now, it’s actually inspiring me to spend “a dollar a day” on food. I know other people have done that type of fast in order to understand the poverty culture better.
#3. Knotted Line
An interactive website on the struggle for American freedom. Definitely the most modern-artsiest social studies site I’ve seen so far. At first the site was confusing – I actually had to click the “About Us” page to figure out that clicking and dragging the knotted line was what I needed to do.
If you’re ever teaching or wanting to know about Lincoln’s assassination, this has to be one of your go-to stops. It’s run by National Geographic – and goes through the conspiracy theories, the assassination, and the aftermath. It teaches some really cool stuff – for example, if you didn’t know, Lincoln was almost assassinated in August of 1864.
#5. History of Information
This site is basically an online encyclopedia of history. Dating from 2,500,000 BC to the present, it’s pretty interesting. Although I’m very disappointed that one of the biggest things in history for 2013 is the youngest developer created a mobil game app. Sigh, technology is alright but there is way too much of it these days.
#6. Q&A: Teaching Social Studies
This is just an article, but it’s worth a look. It links to other articles that may help you out – with subjects such as dealing with history myths. The thing about social studies in middle and high school is that you have more room to branch out and really get to know your students – which you might not get with a math or science course as much. It’s a perk, and the Q&As should involve not only questions on how to teach, but how to socialize with your students and create a happy classroom environment.