Interactive Social Studies Websites for Every Classroom

The use of technology to engage students actively in learning has naturally exploded in recent years. It only makes sense as many children learn best through an interactive engagement with technology. This is primarily due to the times in which we live. We are in the prime of the digital age. A time where children are exposed to and bombarded by all forms of technology from birth. Unlike previous generations, where the use of technology was a learned behavior, this generation of students is able to use technology instinctively.

Teachers and students are able to utilize technology to enhance learning and to investigate critical concepts actively. Teachers must be willing to include technology-based components within every lesson to help students bridge gaps. There are many interactive social studies websites available that teachers can introduce to their students allowing them to make those critical social studies connections. Here, we explore five terrific social studies websites that actively engage students across the social studies genre including geography, world history, United States history, map skills, etc.

interactive social studies websites
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This downloadable program allows users to travel virtually anywhere in the world via the Internet. It is astounding to think that a person living in New York can travel to Arizona to see the majestic Grand Canyon or to Paris to visit the Eiffel Tower with the simple click of a mouse. The 3D satellite imagery associated with this program is outstanding. Users can visit virtually any place near or far at any time through this program. Want to visit Easter Island? You can be there in seconds. The program offers tutorials for users, but the features are remarkably easy to use and applicable to students from 1st grade and up. More »

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This is a fun, interactive tool probably best suited for users in middle school or higher. This site allows you to build a historical "box" around a particular event, person, or period. The 3D "box" can include text, video files, audio files, pictures, word documents, website links, etc. It can be used to build presentations for class much like a PowerPoint presentation. The "box" has six sides, and each side can be customized with a variety of key information that a teacher wants to present. You can create your own "box," or you can view and use boxes created by other users. This is a terrific tool that classroom teachers can use for a variety of purposes including the introduction of a lesson, test review, etc. More »

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This is a terrific website loaded with fun, interactive games devoted to learning about civics-related topics. Those topics include citizenship & participation, separation of power, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the Judicial Branch, the Executive Branch, the Legislative Branch, & budgeting. Each game has a specific learning objective in which it is built around, but users will love the interactive storylines within each game. Games such as "Win the White House" allows users a simulated opportunity to manage their campaign strategically to become the next president by raising funds, campaigning, polling voters, etc. The site is probably best suited for middle school aged students and up. More »

A comprehensive collection of historical data on United States history. This site has it all and includes online textbook, interactive learning modules, timelines, flash movies, virtual exhibits, etc. This site is dedicated to using technology to enhance learning and is the perfect compliment to extend learning for students. This site would be beneficial for students in 3rd grade and up. There is so much information on this website that users could spend hours upon hours and never read the same piece or do the same activity twice. More »

This is a fun and engaging website designed for students grades 3-6. However, older students would also benefit from the activities. This site has over 50 interactive social studies activities and games over topics such as geography, current events, ancient civilizations, the environment, U.S. history, & U.S. government. This terrific collection will have users actively engaged in learning key social studies concepts while having fun too. More »