History Lesson Resources
Teacher Materials & Resources
History is such an important subject ~ what we can learn about the past will help us no doubt in the future. To be honest, I never liked studying history or social studies. It seemed way too boring to learn about old dead people ~ who they were, where they went, what they did, when they did it, why they did things, and how they did it! "Who cares?" I thought. Then I matured a wee bit and discovered not only how beneficial it is to know about the past, but that it could also be quite interesting and fun!
The famous words from Miss Frizzle of the Magic School Bus encourage me ~ "Take chances, class. Get messy! There's only one way to find out!" ~ Doing hand-ons activities, learning by doing, visiting historic places, and making interactive projects and lapbooks are the ways I find the most fun, but I'm constantly looking for fresh, thorough, interesting resources for teaching history. Here are some places and things we enjoy in our studies!
General History Resources
- History & Science
Kidipede has many history and science pages for middle school aged kids.
- American History
US History from Pre-Columbian to the New Millennium at USHistory.org
- United States History Topics
Lessons, activities, power points, games, kids and teachers sections, and links to materials from Mr Donn ~ Sections on Creating a Nation, Western Expansion, The Nation Grows, and Other Topics
- EyeWitness to History
19th Century, Civil War, Old West, Photos, Listening Excerpts, Films
- History's Happenings!
Kid Safe Web Sites
- HyperHistory Online
Lots of information and resources.
- American History Curriculum
Guest Hollow Website used to be known as "Our Los Banos". Great stuff!
- History Central
Many history topics!
- The History Channel
Movies, lessons, and resources to use.
- History Section of National Geographic
Educational Videos and Articles, Historical Photos, World History News, Atlases, and Games.
- Turn Back the Clock through the History of America
A nice webquest about Native Americans, Pilgrims, Pioneers, Explorers, States, Wars of the Country, Great Depression, Women's Right to Vote, Treaties and Agreements, America Today, Quiz
History Unit Studies and Materials
All of the following are history unit studies that I have researched and created for my own children over the past several years. New materials and links are always being added as I find them. Most of them contain links to my favorite educational sites, webquests, educational games, worksheets, lapbooks, lesson plans, videos, projects, and many other things that I have found interesting in my online travels. Since my budget is limited, most of the things listed are free or low cost with the exceptions of book lists and materials that we have found to be helpful - many of which may be found at your local libraries. Some, like the Constitution unit, is complete in itself while others are simply a listing of the best sites that I could locate. No, I have not used every single resource on the pages, but have used many in the past and hope to use others in the future.
Some of the lapbook pieces, notebook pages, games, and worksheets that I have created may be found on my page at Homeschool Launch - others are stored at my homeschool blog, J.O.Y. Christian School. They are all free for anyone to use, all I ask is for you to leave me a comment if you decide to use any of them. (My stats from multiple pages tell me that tens of thousands of people have visited them, but only a few comments. It just would be nice to meet you. =D It inspires me to take the time to download others that we have created and used if I know they are helpful!)
Civics Education - United States Government
US Constitution Unit Study
As young future American voters, children need to learn about forms of government, laws, and choices we can make in America. The following is a unit my child...
Election Unit Study
Presidential election years are exciting in the United States because we have the honor of selecting the people we feel are best suited to guide our country....
United States Presidents
Learning about the leaders of a country help one to know the history and character of a people. As we study the presidents, we not only learn about the peopl...
Patriotic Music Lesson
A country's music can tell you much about the country. Music can shape one's emotions, sense of nationalism, and give a feeling of pride of one's home. Our l...
Hands on learning is one of my favorite ways to teach! Students will remember a concept more if they can touch and feel it or think of it fondly with a game or learning tool. This pyramid block set is one such example of cool learning! Add some action figures and sand to act out a story or time period you are learning about.
Geography & Maps
- Outline Maps of the World
Find all sorts interesting maps to print out for your students along with online games for study.
- Mapping Tool
Teaching Latitude & Longitude ~ place a city, state, or zip code in the search box to find the exact latitude and longitude of a location.
- *Growth of a Nation (1790 - 2000)
Cool! ~ It's a history movie, interactive map, and timeline. Listen to it as a full movie, as sections, or stop to explore the year, place, or event you want. A larger version is for sale, but this one may be used for free!
- Geography & Maps
Worksheets, books, games, flashcards, and dictionary of geographical terms from Enchanted Learning
Study Atlas for Kids
Kingfisher is a publisher name that is known for its history education resources. Now, elementary aged children can extend their geographic knowledge with this 80 page book full of information.
Social Studies Games - Playing games to learn and reinforce are fantastic!
- Canadian History
- Star Spangled Banner Game
Answer questions about the poem Jeopardy style!
- Presidential Pathways
66 page teacher guide about presidents - include a fun game called "Presidential Pathways" that the children enjoyed!
- Games on History
Game resources from the History Channel - you may want to preview them ahead of time for your students.
- Interactive History Games
Many Ancient History Games at School History
- Social Studies Games
Online games from Gamequarium ~ Game Categories ~ Olympics, Economics, Canada, US Geography, Black History, Australia, World Geography, Africa, Egypt, American History, Presidents, Women's History
- Games & Activities
from Colonial Williamsburg Kid's Zone
- History Mystery
Games in several categories from Scholastic
- Quia Web
Make your own personal games or quizzes in the teacher section, or, play a game from the student section.
History Reference Materials
- World Factbook & Reference
from Yahoo Kids!
- Dictionary, Thesaurus, & Encyclopedia
Great source to look up vocabulary, check spelling, enhance writing, and research numerous topics.
- Bible Gateway
Search for a passage, verse, or word with several versions to choose from.
- Historical Dictionary
Look up history terms here.
- History Reference Sources
A Student's Online Guide
- Kids Online Resources
Kindergarden to College
- Atlas, Encyclopedia, Dictionary, Thesaurus, Timelines, Countries ...
from Info Please
- Facts Encyclopedia - Kid's Stuff
Alphabetical list of research areas
- Fact Monster
Online Almanac from Information Please
I know this looks like a normal globe, but it is actually a puzzleball! This puzzle takes you and your students beyond putting the right pieces in the right place and challenges with both geography and geometry!
There are so many types of geographic puzzles that are beneficial to learning that come in world maps or specific countries. Have some fun with them!
Historical Movies & Videos Online
- History in the Movies
Find Ancient, Medieval, & Modern Movies ~ Names of videos related to historic events - links to purchase. (I use this resource to give me suggestions what to rent at the library.)
Take a Virtual Field Trip! - Did you say, "Field Trips"? Whaaa hooo! (Remember, think 'Miss Frizzle'!)
Living History Exhibits, Hands-Ons Workshops, and Reinactments make textbook information jump out of the page! Check out your local historic places and events. Or, if you cannot physically go where you would like to, take a virtual tour. Many places have online tours, activities to do at home, and curriculum guides.
History Pockets Are So Cool! - Another way of hands-on learning!
Each pocket book gives basic information on the topic and about 10 or so 'pocket" units. Pockets may contain maps, timelines, mini books, art projects, "Fast Facts", backround of the subject or time period, and just plain fun ways to help learn and remember topics! History Pockets come in many different topics such as Ancient Civilizations; Ancient Egypt; Ancient Greece; Ancient Rome; Colonial America; The American Revolution; Native Americans; and Moving West.
- Jamestown Settlement & Yorktown Victory Center
Relive history, learn hands-on about corn grinding, soldiers outfits, canons, and more!
- Plimouth Plantation
1627 English Village ~ It is wonderful here! Walk among the villagers as they demonstrate what daily life was like in the 1600's colony.
- Colonial Williamsburg
Feel like you are in the 1700's! See the sights, buildings, and people ~ taste the food ~ wear the clothing ~ hear the music ~ make it come alive!
Visit Philadelphia's Historic District - Independence National Park, The Liberty Bell, Benjamin Franklin's Home, and many more historic places!
- Boston, Massachusetts
National Historic Park
- Valley Forge
National Historical Park - museum center, movies, tours, activites, costumed actors, online study materials and teacher resources.
- National Constitution Center
Learn about the history and meaning of the United States Constitution.
Take a virtual 3-D tour of old historic Philadelphia and the surrounding area! This was fantastic while studying the Colonies, the American Revolution, and Early America!
- Philadelphia 360
Explore Independence Mall with a 360 degree view!
- Gettysburg National Military Park
Civil War Page for Kids
- Midnight Rider Virtual Museum
We really enjoyed this one! Read the famous poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, check out vocabulary, compare the real ride of Mr. Revere with the poetic version, and more. There are 5 "Halls" to explore, each with information to research and documen
- Rome, Italy
Take a virtual trip through the city!
These are always exciting to do! There are all kinds of formats for these quests, but most of them give tasks for the students to research. The information will either be listed on that site, related links, or book resources. Some include worksheets, graphs, projects, quizzes, and rubrics.
The coolest ones are where you can travel to a certain time or place, or be a detective searching for clues to a mystery!
- Recommended Webquests & Thinkquests for History
From the Center for Teaching History with Technology
- US History Webquests
From London Towne School, Fairfax Country, VA
- Social Studies Webquests
3 Categories ~ High School, Middle School, and Elementary Listings
- List of Webquests
Several in history and science ~ Also contain information about how to create your own webquest.
- World History Webquests & Internet Projects
Created for AP World History classes by Mrs.Ruland
- United States History Webquests & Internet Projects
Several wonderful projects also collected by Mrs. Ruland
God's History ~ His Story ~The Bible
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth" Genesis 1:1
The primary incredible source of world history is the Bible. It is the most reliable, the oldest, and contains amazing stories of life, death, people, countries, kings, relationships, wars, romance, poetry, and of God's sacrifice of his Son to show us His love for you and I! If you are not familiar with the Bible, please consider reading some of it, or finding a friend to talk about it with. :) I will be praying that all who visit here will learn of God's history and His future for believers! :D
History in the Arts
Art, Architecture, Music, Literature, and Dance are important influences and reflections of culture. A great way to understand a culture, country, or time period is to study the art forms that surround it. They will tell you much about the people and their thinking. My high school child used this book to learn about art history from the beginning to modern styles. You may want to consider also adding a bit of music history and the other arts to your history curriculum to help students understand more about the culture and people of a time period.
- Biographies of Classical Composers
Short simple biographies