Posts Tagged ‘civics’

Fun Games & WebQuests Teach Civics! (CSAW)

January 27th, 2011

Hi!  It’s Thursday, January 27, 2011 and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Age Range: 9 -18 (about Grades 4-12, younger students may enjoy aspects with parental assistance)

Bookmark this site now! It’s a fun, interactive gateway into the realm of Civics! The brainchild of former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, this free education project teaches students about civics through engaging computer games in which the student “wins” by mastering knowledge of the U.S. Constitution and essential foundational principles of the nation.

When you get to the site you will see some featured games at the top of the page, and a menu of game “Topics” that include: 

*Citizenship and Participation – Play games that teach about immigration, citizenship, voting and more.

*Separation of Powers – Control all 3 branches of government to understand the parts of government and how they work.

*The Constitution and the Bill of Rights – Run your own firm of lawyers who specialize in constitutional law. Try out your persuasive skills by arguing a real Supreme Court case. Take a WebQuest to learn about how our Constitution was created and how it affects YOU.

*The Judicial Branch – Play “Court Quest” and guide people through the court system.

*The Executive Branch – Find out what it’s like to be a U.S. President over a 4-year term of office.

*The Legislative Branch – Become a virtual legislator and try to meet the needs of your constituents.  Play “Law Craft” and find out what members of Congress must do to prepare, write, pass, and enact laws.

In addition to the multi-media games and webquests, you’ll find lesson plans and handouts for teachers and parents that go with the games to enhance learning.

This site wins a ClickSchooling Award for excellence in combining education and technology on the Internet.



Diane Flynn Keith
for ClickSchooling

Play History!

November 4th, 2010

Hi!  It’s Thursday, November, 4, 2010 and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:
Playing History

Age Range: 8-18 (Mostly Grades 4-12, younger children and non-readers will need assistance. Parents must preview for suitable content.)

ClickScholar Cie pointed out this website that offers an archive of links to over 100 free, interactive, digital games and simulations about U.S. and World History, civics, and geography. Many of these educational games were created by foundations and universities and combine academic knowledge with the latest digital technology.

When you get to the site you’ll see some of the featured games. You can use the search engine or simply click on the small horizontal menu tab at the top of the page that says, “Browse Games.”  A new page opens with a smorgasbord of choices such as:

*Franklin’s Interactive Lifetime – Learn about Benjamin Franklin and his interests in communication, science, politics and diplomacy

*Argument Wars – Debate historical U.S. Supreme Court cases.

*Oregon Trail – Journey by covered wagon across 2000 miles of plains, rivers, and mountains.

*The Adventure Train – Take a cross-Canada tour of railroad history.

*Inca Investigation – Discover what life was like for the people of the Huánuco Pampa.

*Discover Babylon – Explore three periods of Mesopotamian history.

*Build Your Own Parthenon – Learn about ancient Greece and architecture.

Click on any one and a new page opens with a screenshot of the game. In many cases you’ll see reviewer comments in the “Recent Ratings & Reviews” by those who register at this site. (It’s not necessary to register to access the games.)  Some of the comments are helpful; some not so much. It is unclear to me if these comments are monitored by the site owners, so parents should preview to determine suitability of content.

In addition to games, this site links to educational and trivia quizzes. I found a “Place The State” geography game too. A couple of games led to broken links such as a game called, “How Weird Are You?” from the History Channel. 

Some of the titles seem a bit odd or cover topics that are controversial.  Therefore, I’ll say it again, PARENTS, AS ALWAYS, SHOULD PREVIEW AND SUPERVISE USE OF THIS SITE.

Free DVDs – Stossel in the Classroom

October 21st, 2009

Recommended Website:
Stossel In The Classroom

Age Range: 11 and up (middle school, high school, and college level)

A big THANK YOU to ClickScholar Nancy Hogan for recommending this website “Stossel in the Classroom.” Sponsored by the Center for Independent Thought (a non-profit educational foundation) it offers a free DVD each school year that is a compilation of John Stossel’s television programs and specials, along with a teacher guide with lesson plans and ideas for complementary activities. A new DVD is produced each year and, along with the associated resources, is free to teachers (including home educators).

When you get to the site you’ll see John Stossel’s smiling face and learn how to register (free) to get the new “2010 Edition” DVD, as well as an accompanying downloadable “Teacher’s Guide” containing lesson plans, activity suggestions, handouts, and vocabulary. Not only that, but past titles from previous years are available for free as well.

In addition to getting the free DVD and resources, you can use the menu at the top of the home page to watch a “Streaming Video” from Stossel on a thought-provoking topic. A new video is posted to the website each month and teacher resources are available too. Past videos are archived at the site covering a variety of categories including business, college, consumer issues, healthcare, law, privacy, and more. You can also search the videos by subject including:

  • Agriculture
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Civics
  • Drama
  • Economics
  • Engineering
  • English Language Arts
  • Government
  • Health
  • Journalism
  • Marketing
  • Parenting
  • Political Science
  • Science
  • Sociology
  • US History
  • World History
  • ~and much more!

Again, all of this is provided for FREE — they simply request that you send them your feedback on the website and products to share with fellow teachers/educators.

When you register at the site, you will automatically receive the quarterly e-newsletter with convenient links to order the latest free DVD, play the free monthly streaming video clips, and access the featured teacher resources.

Free, Daily, Current Events Lesson Plans

March 5th, 2009

Recommended Website:
New York Times Learning Network

Age Range: 11-18 (grades 6-12)

ClickScholar Anne McEwan recommended this website sponsored by “The New York Times” that provides teachers with FREE daily lesson plans based on current events reported in stories published in the newspaper. The lessons incorporate multiple subjects that are covered on specific days of the week as follows:

  • Monday: American History and Civics
  • Tuesday: Science and Health
  • Wednesday: Global History and Geography
  • Thursday: Technology, Math and Economics
  • Friday: Language Arts and Fine Arts

When you get to the site you will see:

  • The current lesson of the day – Click on it and a new page opens with the complete Lesson Plan (designed for classroom teachers that can be tweaked for home use) including links to all of the resources (such as worksheets) needed to complete the lesson. You can access the news stories and related lessons for free, and no registration is required.
  • Lesson Plan Archive – Browse the full collection of lesson plans.
  • Lesson Plan E-Mail – Get a daily current events lesson delivered to your inbox.
  • Other Features, Resources – Find out what happened on this day in history, take a daily news quiz, or try a crossword puzzle themed around an historic event. As Anne wrote, “They also have a ‘Student Connections’ section, links to their quarterly publication ‘Education Life,’ and ‘Newsmagazine’ a joint publication by Scholastic and NY Times for Teens.”

Additionally, Anne enthused, “My efforts were directed to short lessons and exercises on current events. I was thrilled with Forty Ways to Teach the Times! Literally 40 ways with beautiful worksheets on fun and easy ways to engage kids in Current Events.”



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Teaching Kids About Veteran’s Day

November 9th, 2006

Recommended Website:
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs:
Kids Page

Veteran’s Day is in November, a day of national observance with commemorative expressions and programs.

List member Dora Moreland suggested this website (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) that teaches students about Veteran’s Day.

When you get to the site you will see a menu with three choices:

VA Kids, K-5 – Read a brief history of the VA, learn the VA motto, discover the origin of the VA seal, read some cool facts about veterans, find out about the history of the American flag and how to display it properly, play some flash games and activities that include online, interactive coloring pages, match games, etc. There are also links to other U.S. government sites for kids.

VA Kids, 6-12th Grades – Provides in-depth information about the history and purpose of the Department of Veterans Affairs, rehabilitative services, information about famous veterans and memorials commemorating veterans’ bravery, and excerpts from student essays about veterans. In addition, you’ll find info about the American flag, links to resources, and even VA volunteer opportunities for students, as well as scholarship info.

VA Kids, Teachers’ Page – JACKPOT! Contains a FREE, 38-page Resource Guide that you can download in pdf and/or print out with classroom activities and interesting projects (for grades 4-7 and 8-12) that can be tweaked for the homeschool. You’ll also find links to other websites with veteran-themed lessons and projects including the “Veterans History Project.” (The Library of Congress invites students to collect audio- and video-taped oral histories, along with documents such as letters, diaries, maps, photographs, and home movies, of America’s war veterans and those who served in support of them during World War I, World War II, and the Korean, Vietnam, and Gulf Wars.) You can even find a VA facility locator in order to send cards and letters to veterans. There is also info on where to find and how to use the National Park Service’s “National Register of Historic Places” to enliven history, social studies, geography, civics, and other subjects.

History of the IRS – Lesson Plans & Online Activities

April 15th, 2004

Recommended Website:
Internal Revenue Service: Understanding Taxes

It’s April 15th – the deadline for U.S. citizens to file their income tax returns. The I.R.S. provides 6 lesson plans at their website that explains income taxes, the history of the I.R.S., and features important historical figures in U.S. tax history. There is a PowerPoint presentation that provides an overview of the lessons and some fun, interactive quizzes that let you test your knowledge of the IRS. These lessons seem geared for older students – middle school and up.

When you get to the site, you will see a menu that provides the educational standards, objectives, and curriculum areas covered by this lesson plan including history, social studies, technology, economics, and civics/government. There is background information and instructions on how to present the lessons.

Look under the “Materials” section of the menu to click on the PowerPoint presentation. You will also find the first lesson and three interactive activities to test your knowledge of the material covered in the lesson, accompanied by downloadable and printable worksheets.

Scroll to the bottom of the landing page to find links to all 6 lessons provided at the website.

The lesson plans at this site were developed for classroom use – but much of the information can be adjusted to accommodate home learning.

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