For social studies and history educators, finding the perfect edtech tools and virtual learning resources can be difficult. There seem to be many new, innovative tools for other subjects, but finding great social studies websites can often be a challenge. With this post, we are doing our best to fix that!
Below, you will find a list of the best social studies websites and resources for teaching about history, geography, civics, and government. If you would like to save the list for future reference, add the webmix on Symbaloo or follow our Education Webspace.
In search of other great edtech tools? Symbaloo has listed the best websites and resources across multiple subjects. Take a look at our other posts for the best of ELA websites, mathematics, science, virtual learning resources, and even education podcasts!
Smithsonian’s History Explorer helps K-12 educators and students locate standards-aligned resources for learning. It includes lessons, activities, and interactives organized by resource type, grade level, and historical era.
Smithsonian Learning Lab is a free, interactive platform that gives visitors access to the educational resources of the world’s largest museum. Use the site to easily find resources, create collections, and share them with others.
Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) provides free lessons, assessments, and high-quality teaching tools to educators. The research and development group comprises of Stanford faculty, staff, and associated scholars.
Teaching American History provides document-based seminars, document collections, a web-based library, and other resources to educators. It aims to bring the documents and debates of America’s past into the present.
EDSITEment offers free, high-quality K-12 resources in the areas of history, social studies, arts, literature, and culture. The site includes specialist-approved lesson plans, teacher guides, student activities, and more!
Teachinghistory.org helps K-12 history teachers find materials and educational content to improve learning in the classroom. Access lesson plan reviews, teaching guides, history quizzes, website reviews and more.
Voices of Democracy is an oratory project focused on the study of great speeches and debates from U.S. history. It features scholarly articles, lesson plans for middle and high school, and well-organized analyses for educators.
OER Project features free, online history courses for middle and high school classrooms. It includes an interactive mix of activities, articles, and videos to help educators teach social studies and world history to students.
World History Matters acts as a portal to other useful websites to serve high school and higher education world history learners. Educators can use the keyword-based search to find primary sources, case studies, and more.
Best of History Web Sites is a portal containing annotated links to over 1200 history and social studies websites, organized by subject. The site also includes K-12 lesson plans, teacher guides, student activities, games, and quizzes.
NeoK12 features videos, lessons, and activities across a variety of subjects, including history and social studies. Most resources indicate targeted grade levels, making it easy for teachers to find appropriate content for students.
Google Earth is an amazing tool that uses satellite imagery to provide a comprehensive view of the entire globe. Available on any device, it allows users to explore, learn and share in a number of different ways.
NASA Climate Kids is designed to introduce upper-elementary aged learners to Earth’s systems, climate, and environment. It includes games, activities, videos, and articles to make climate science accessible and engaging.
National Geographic Education is where education meets exploration. It brings geography, social studies, and science to life by providing classroom resources and professional development for Pre-K to 12th grade educators.
GeoGuessr is an online geography game that puts players somewhere in the world and challenges them to guess their location, based only on visible clues. There are multiple game types and it’s a fun way for anyone to learn.
Lizard Point Quizzes features hundreds of free, interactive maps-based quizzes to help students learn about the world around them. Educational quizzes include topics like countries, states, cities, rivers, flags, and more.
Seterra is a map quiz game where players can quickly learn about world geography. Fun quizzes can help familiarize students with countries, capital cities, flags, rivers, lakes, and notable geological features.
American Panorama is a historical atlas of United States history. It combines 21st century research with interactive maps to help educate and aid understanding of information in a unique, interesting way.
playGeography.com was created to help users discover the world through a variety of fun games. Their colorful map quizzes can teach students about different countries, flags, capitals, and provinces.
WorldAtlas has been educating visitors for over 25 years! The website includes well-researched and entertaining content about geography, science, current events, the environment, and more.
Curriki provides free open educational resources to help K-12 educators transform content into an engaging digital learning experience for students. Materials are provided by the community and peer-reviewed for quality.
Kids Discover is an educational publisher and online platform that provides an all-access library and reading materials for grades 3-8. It has a variety of standards-aligned resources for science and social studies education.
TIME for Kids provides real, age-appropriate news and information for young learners. The engaging content is tailored to grade and reading levels and meant to inspire kids to develop a lifelong interest in world events.
Newsela is an online platform that delivers real content to K-12 students from trusted providers. Educators can find articles that match the reading level of their students and include questions that align with common core standards.
PenPal Schools uses project-based learning to connect students from 150 countries around the world. Educators can select from over 50 different topics and students can safely collaborate, make friends, and learn together.
iCivics was founded by retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor! It provides free lesson plans and games to encourage civic education among students. It also offers plenty of free resources to assist educators.
Ben’s Guide is a free educational website provided by the Government Publishing Office (GPO). It helps to inform students of all ages about the Federal Government through games, articles, and other educational resources.
The Center for Civic Education aids students in understanding the principles, values, institutions and history of constitutional democracy. The site provides teaching resources, lesson plans, professional development, and more.
Learning for Justice, formerly Teaching Tolerance, provides free resources for reducing prejudice and systemic injustice. The site includes lesson plans, classroom resources, and professional development for educators.
Facing History and Ourselves provides professional development and educator resources aimed at combating bigotry and hate. It takes lessons from history to create a meaningful dialogue to help address current issues.
Classroom Law Project works to equip students with the knowledge, essential skills, and motivation to participate in our democracy. It provides classroom resources and information for all grade levels across a variety of topics.
PBS KIDS Social Studies games help young learners to learn about the world while having fun! Games also include recognizable characters from popular PBS shows like Sesame Street, Let’s Go Luna, or Molly of Denali.
BrainPOP Social Studies features a large variety of educational material across many different topics related to history, geography, civics, and social studies. The site includes videos, quizzes, worksheets, games, and more.
The National Geographic Kids website offers games, videos, and other educational resources to help young learners find amazing facts about history, geography, animals and more.
MetKids is an extension of The Metropolitan Museum of Art – made for, with, and by kids. The website includes educational videos, a map of interesting treasures, and a time machine for finding art from different eras and areas.
The Google Arts & Culture site features high-resolution images and videos of artwork and cultural artifacts from over 2,000 leading museums and archives. It also has games, virtual tours, and guides to educate and entertain visitors.
The Library of Congress is the official research library of the United States Congress and the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. It includes a wide range of information, digital collections, workshops, and more.
The Gilder Lehrman Institute promotes the study of American history, serving both students and educators. The site includes archives with over 70,000 items and a database of resources across many topics and time periods.
Symbaloo is the perfect platform to save, organize, and share the best history and social studies websites for your students. Use tiles to save your favorite online resources into a grid-like structure called a “webmix”. Then, share that webmix in any number of ways!
(See the webmix at the top of this page for an example of what you can do!)