Our Education Blogger is a public school teacher with over a decade of experience. She’s an active NEA member and enjoys writing about her experiences in the classroom.
Are you struggling to find additional instructional materials to teach social studies? Textbooks don’t always cover all standards, so to supplement your instruction, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite, free social studies resources. We’ve made it easy for you by breaking them down by topic: Civics/Government, History, Economics, and Geography.
iCivics – Free lesson plans and games for learning civics. Don’t just learn civics – play civics! Run for president. Pass new laws. Argue real cases. Play. Find free resources, tools, and support for informed and engaging civic learning!
Ben’s Guide to the U.S. Government – Ben’s Guide to the U.S. Government, a service of the Government Publishing Office (GPO), is designed to inform students, parents, and educators about the Federal Government, which issues the publications and information products disseminated by the GPO’s Federal Depository Library Program. It is our hope that Ben’s Guide to the U.S. Government fulfills that role.
Digital History – Make American history come alive with this free collection of historical documents, timelines, images, and textbook passages. Check out the classroom handouts, lesson plans, guides, and quizzes.
Big History Project – By sharing the big picture and challenging middle and high school students to look at the world from many different perspectives, we hope to inspire a greater love of learning and help them better understand how we got here, where we’re going, and how they fit in.
Hip Hughes History – HipHughes History is run by Keith Hughes who offers students and teachers free video history lectures. View over 300 instructional videos on topics including U.S. History, World History, The Constitution, Current Events, Elections, Politics, and even Teaching and Learning videos for educators.
Econedlink – EconEdLink provides a premier source of classroom-tested, Internet-based economic and personal finance lesson materials for K-12 teachers and their students. With over 435 lessons to choose from, teachers can use as many of the lessons as they would like and as often as they would like.
We The Economy – Using animation, music, comedy and more, 20 acclaimed filmmakers demystify important aspects of the economy in this engaging collection of shorts. Be sure to sign up for Program and Discussion Guides.
TerraFly – TerraFly is a large database of digital aerial and satellite images of the entire United States provided by the U.S. Geological Survey.
National Geographic – Classroom materials are designed in a modular system, with activities as the base unit. An activity will fill one class period, while a lesson (a collection of activities) can fill up to a week of class time. Units (collections of lessons) are designed for longer periods of time. Explore games, create maps, and become immersed in GeoStories.
General Social Studies
Crash Course – Crash Course is an educational YouTube channel started by the Green brothers, Hank Green and John Green, who are notable for their VlogBrothers channel. A variety of educational topics are represented, including U.S. History, World History, Big History, Economics, Government, and Politics.
We want to hear from you! If you have a favorite, free social studies resource, let us know! Use the comment section to share.