As I have started to create this blog I of course think back to how different things are now compared to when I was a student. The ability to work with primary documents, take virtual tours of sites and museums, listening or watching important speeches, and being able to collaborate or communicate with different experts around the world are just the tip of the iceberg as to the tools that students now have at their fingertips.
I decided to look at just a couple of sites that are out there and talk about what I like about them.
The Smithsonian was the first site that I really decided to check out. Whats great about this site, is that it covers just about any part of U.S. history you can think of and is very easy for anyone to navigate using their very simple search function. The information come from a trusted source, and is full of pictures and documents. They have uploaded quite a bit onto the site so that students can get virtual tours, and also easily map out and plan a day if they will be in DC and want to go to the museum.
Another site that I looked at was Civil Rights Movement Veterans website. The site has first hand stories of people that were involved in the civil rights movement. To me anytime that students can see and hear first hand accounts of a event it will be much more powerful then just reading about it in a book. Students can read these stories and see these pictures from people who lived out this event and get a better understanding of just how powerful of a change was coming with the movement.
The third site that I looked at was Harp Week, which is a site that has political cartoons from the 19th century that span over different issues that were impacting American life. For me this a valuable site as I like to use political cartoons in lessons because I feel they do a excellent job of breaking down events or debates into a simple form. This can allow for students to quickly get the basic idea of what was transpiring and then build on that base to understand the complexities of the full event or issue.
I want to thank the staff at findingDulcinea for putting together a great list that has 101 total sites and links that can be used in social studies classes. In this day where teachers have to compete with so many other things to get students attention, tools like these can help to make a students learning fun and exciting while getting to explore new things.
So what sites have you used on their list? Are there sites that you use all the time that are not listed?