This Social Studies resource page is intended to assist State Operated Programs’ teachers and education staff find quality resources and lesson ideas on the web. The following links and documents have been provided to meet the needs of the specific population and classroom environments found within Virginia’s State Operated Programs’ education centers.


Click me for additional resources –> Social Studies 2.0 Websites

  1. Current Events—All the major networks offer news videos at no cost-
  2. Primary Source Document Collections by Era
  3. Many free historical videos available for live streaming.
  4. Challenging and engaging group activities that get students to role play solutions to contemporary and historical problems/issues. Most units cost money but many are free.
  5. Educational videos—many school systems subscribe. *

Teaching with Primary Sources:

  1. Reading Like a Historian & Historical Thinking Matters
  2. “A ringside seat to history…” is the tag to the website.   Pictures, quotes, and voices…from Prehistory to the 20th Century, history seen through the eyes who lived it.
  3. The Library of Congress offers digital resources to America’s classrooms to enhance the need of using primary resources for compelling historical arguments.   The library includes perspectives in wildlife, folk life, the Veteran’s perspective, and through poetry.
  4. Constitution The Founder’s Constitution (1986). Offers a perspective through 19th century documents, retrospectives of both 18th and 19th century philosophers and advocates, it is considered a ‘valuable aid’ in understanding our nation.

 Teacher Resource Directories

  1. Enjoy using Pinterest and get interesting perspectives and ideas by simply looking around.
  2. (Library of Congress Teacher Materials) *
  3. Excellent, up-to-date statistics and history for all the countries of the world.
  4. Online Quizzes – pre-made and custom– many school systems subscribe.
  5. National Archives (Resources)
  6. If you have struggling readers (or reluctant) readers, this website is filled with high-interest reading with challenging vocabulary application.   It is completely free.
  7.   This is a paid website, approximately $40.00 yearly.   It is well worth the price if you teach a multitude of content areas and need various readings on various reading levels.

United States History:

  1. * Holocaust Museum Website
  2. This is a great site that has content for US History I and US History II as well as Civics.  Designed around middle school curriculum but can be adapted for high school students.  Physical printouts available for purchase through website or

World History:

  1. British Imperial War Museum (Resources) *
  2. Holocaust Museum Website
  3. A multitude of resources dedicated to World Studies—from Prehistory to some Modern Era (World Wars) topics.  His worksheets generally have Cloze passages based on the readings and higher-level thinking questions to answer.

World Geography:

  1. This is one of the best geography sites on the web.  Great for learning and review, includes activities for US and world geography from very easy to extremely difficult so there is something for everyone.
  2. Excellent Geography drill website *
  3. Excellent Geography drill website (as well as many other subjects)
  4. Huge outline maps to print and color!
  6. – Geography game that utilizes Google Maps.  Do need an account.

Civics, Government and Economics Resources

  1. Completely free!   Free resources, tools, lesson plans, games, even court cases for students to explore our nation’s government.
  2. Center for Civic Education.    A resource/organization dedicated to Civics education and the importance of teaching the Constitution of the United States in our nation’s classrooms.
  3. A great website for presidential information that also includes speeches and recordings.
  4. * Official US House of Representatives website
  5. Official US Senate website
  6. * Presidential Campaign Commercials 1952-Present *  This is an EXCELLENT website with a treasure trove of commercials going back to the first.  Good for teaching about propaganda, bias, dissecting content.
  7. Interesting questions matching Presidential Candidates to student views on 25 issues.
  8. Great website for teaching about elections.  Under “President” tab can click “Historical Elections” for past electoral maps and election results.
  9. Quiz to help kids see where their views fall on the political spectrum.
  10. Another quiz to help kids see where their views fall on the political spectrum.

Presentation and Digital Storytelling Tools

  1.  Step away from stagnant PowerPoints and welcome to the 21st century of Prezi!   Yes, you can even place PowerPoint presentations into Prezis!  
  2. An interactive scrapbook! I have used it quite a bit for presentations!—Elizabeth McGrath
  3.   I haven’t been on Glogster in quite a while since it changed its policy on free educational accounts.   I am reevaluating the quality of a standard educational account and its features to enhance teaching and learning.   There is a new feature:      Here is an example of a Glogpedia project by a student: –Elizabeth McGrath
  4. Interesting application for student learning by combining slides, multimedia tools, assessment items in real time and integrating technology.  Comparable to all software platforms.  It is also word of mouth too, by the way.   The more friends you suggest through email, the more upgrades earned (
  5. Digital platform software for teachers to create lessons and view/share digital resources.
  6. Paid resource ($59 yearly for teacher license only).   Create your own educational videos to use in your classroom.
  7. – Ridiculous talking pictures/create your own talking heads. Good for project-based learning and application of learned material.  Here is an example of a lesson of Mesopotamia.

 Cloud Storage and Web-Based Tools

  1.  Elizabeth McGrath is a huge fan of Dropbox.   It is a lifesaver!   It is a cloud storage for documents, photos, etc.   Dropbox subscribers are offered 2 gigabytes of space for a free account.   By word of mouth (mention my email—, both you and the reference receive additional space.   I have 52.8 GB!
  2. Google Drive.   Personally, I am learning more about using Google Drive, but it is a very useful resource, especially for collaborative purposes.   It is also cloud storage based, good for files and collaboration.   Imagine Tidewater teachers collaborating with a Southwestern VA teacher one afternoon at the same time over a lesson plan simultaneously?   It can happen!
  3. Diigo is an organizational tool for people who see a resource but want to return to it later.  
  4. – File Conversion Software. It gives the user the ability to convert files into a multitude of formats without the software!   It is absolutely free!
Digital Student Portfolios / Social Learning – Video discussion platform. Free! – Student-driven digital portfolios


Graphic Organizers, Rubrics, and Forms

  1. Graphic Organizers –  From bellwork, telling time, graphic organizers—this resource page has it all!
  2. Rubrics –  Need a rubric for various assignments?    This is a page where you can create a custom rubric for anything!

 Subscription Services

  1. BrainPOP If you are fortunate to have this service, use it!   A school subscription is approximately $1700!   Brain Pop has a vast collection of topics, from social studies to math.   There are questions, vocabulary words, even assessments based on the films.
  2. Flocabulary: A number of educators have raved about the program!  Flocabulary is an online library of educational hip-hop songs and videos for grades K-12.  Unfortunately, it is a paid site and costly if a classroom teacher invests in the program.

Assessment and Review

  1. Instant classroom engagement, personalization and real-time assessment via desktop and mobile application.
  2. Calling itself  “The new generation of historical assessments,” the website coordinates sources from both the Library of Congress and “Historical Thinking Matters” from Stanford University’s History Education Group (SHEG) for students to apply history in action.
  3. There is an option: free and a paid account.   Elizabeth McGrath has an account (MrsMcGrath23607).   I personally like this site to create word wall vocabulary, quizzes, even little pocket vocabulary and definitions.

YouTube Videos

  1. Crash Course History Series with John and Hank Green. LOVE this guy, he is so energetic, knows his stuff and he does it for World I, World II, and VUS. I also like that he has closed captioning. From Astronomy to World History, the two cover a lot of material!
  2. “Brains the Marble Store” have two art-inspired, geographically specific content videos:
    1. The Around the World Song.   A really GREAT way of introducing the world’s regions and countries!
    2. The United States and Capitals Song.   The artwork is very detailed and may inspire conversation as a lesson opener (VUS, GEO)—use of symbols, why?