The benefit of being laid up with a cold and cough is the time one has to play on the Internet and read without feeling guilty. So I managed to find quite a few resources for this Monday Morning Roundup. Enjoy.
1. Go Social Studies Go! – This site is pretty cool. Right now, it covers World History, United States History, World Geography and World Religions. It could be very useful for middle schoolers and 9th and 10th grades. Students can read short essays that come with pictures, videos and maps. There are also links to outside resources like games. After each essay, there are questions to consider. This could be a good way of introducing a topic by assigning the essay and questions for homework, allowing the teacher to go deeper in class the next day once the students have the basics. FREE.
2. ePals – I can’t recall if I’ve already mentioned ePals or not, but even if I have, it’s well worth another look. ePals allows students from K-12 to collaborate with students from around the world. Teachers and students can join projects that others have created or start their own. These projects can range from 2 weeks to several months. They can cover any subject or topic. FREE.
3. Geosense – Some of my social studies colleagues and I have recently been bemoaning the lack of geographical awareness our students have. One way to help students learn the countries and cities of the world might be with this free online game. Students can play alone or against someone else. You can pick between world geography, European geography, or U.S. geography. FREE.
4. VoiceThread – I think I’ve mentioned VoiceThread before this, but I thought of a new application for it. With VoiceThread, you can embed a picture, video, or document. Then, students can leave a voice message or written response. Other students can then listen to or read these messages before responding themselves. I thought this might be a way to have kids debate a topic or discuss an issue in a different way. FREE.
5. Simple Booklet – This is another way to create electronic books. Students can upload PDFs, and create their own flippable book. Then, they can share their work with others. FREE.
6. Glossi – Similar to Simple Booklet, Glossi allows users to create digital magazines, another creative way of doing research and presentations. It’s in it beta phase right now, and you have to sign up for an invitation. FREE.
7. History Today Historical Dictionary – From the site itself: “The dictionary is a compendium of facts, figures, mini-biographies and definitions of historical terms. It covers people, places, key events and epochs. Each entry is concise and expertly written, and the dictionary is ideal as a study tool or to improve your knowledge of history.” FREE.
8. Teaching Kids News – This site is so great for lower and middle school students, especially given the Common Core’s emphasis on reading comprehension and nonfiction texts. News stories are presented using appropriate-level vocabulary. Along with the news stories, there are questions and activities to get the students working with the material. FREE.
9. Timelines.tv – Most of the timelines on this site focus on British history, although there are some timelines covering medical and American history. The site began in 2010, and is constantly growing. Timelines include textual information along with embedded short videos. I could see these videos being used as the introduction to a unit. The site also is available on mobile devices. FREE.
10. Living Lung – This is a free iPad app that shows the anatomy of a lung at work. FREE.
11. TimesMachine – TimesMachine is an online catalogue of every issue of The New-York Daily Times from Volume 1, Number 1, on September 18, 1851, through The New York Times of December 30, 1922. “Choose a date in history and flip electronically through the pages, displayed with their original look and feel.” FREE.
12. Classroom Aid – This site hosts a list of tons of resources for teaching social studies. FREE.