Archive for the ‘social sciences’ category

In-Depth Tools for U.S. & World History

February 10th, 2022

The History Place


Grades 4-12, with parental supervision

At this site, you’ll find fact-based information on American and World history presented in a variety of ways.

This free, advertising-supported website was developed by historian Phillip Gavin. There are timelines, in-depth text, photo galleries, primary source documents, and real audio clips to enhance learning.

When you get to the site you’ll see the “Main Exhibits” featured that include topics such as:

  • American Revolution
  • U.S. Civil War
  • 20th Century Topics
  • World War II
  • Vietnam War
  • Presidents of the United States

Click on any topic to access the content. Use the menu on the left side of the screen to access featured selections such as:

  • Photo of the Week – See a photo and read the caption.

  • Speech of the Week – Read the text of an important speech, and hear an audio clip.

  • This Month In History – Peruse monthly calendars that list historical events that occurred on each day.

  • Points of View – Read commentary on various historical events from different perspectives.

  • Tourism Guide – This is pretty cool! Find out places of historical importance that you can visit in the U.S. and throughout the world!

  • Movie Reviews – Read reviews of movies that have historical or political themes. Find out which ones are based more on fiction than truth.

  • Personal Histories – Read real-life adventures and first-person accounts of historical moments.

  • Something Different – Fun! Explore this cache of historical songs, bloopers and blunders of politicians, fascinating trivia, slide shows and virtual tours.

  • And more!

This site has lots of great content – it’s just organized a little haphazardly. Bookmark it, as you’ll want to return several times to see it all.

All About the 50 U.S. States

February 3rd, 2022

The US50


All grades, children with parental supervision

This ad-supported website is a one-stop location for information about all of the 50 states.

When arriving at the site, use the map to locate the state of choice. When the page opens you can then use the links to find concise information about that state including:

  • Historic Figures
  • Information – State symbols, seal, flag, quarter, license plate, flower, stamp, and more
  • Geography & Maps
  • Outdoors – State parks, hiking, and more
  • Tourism
  • Governors
  • Cities
  • Colleges
  • And much more

There are even online trivia quizzes for each state to test your knowledge and links to other state-related websites. Also on the home page, scroll below the map to find links to an image of the Declaration of Independence, downloadable audio of the national anthem, and fast facts study guides which include printable outline maps of the states and mailing addresses to the state governors and tourism offices.

This site is bookmark-worthy and a great place to get general information for all of your state studies.

Adventure Through History with Liberty’s Kids

January 27th, 2022

YouTube – Liberty’s Kids


Grades 2-8, with parental supervision

YouTube has over 40 episodes of the historically-based cartoon series “Liberty’s Kids” that was aired on PBS Kids back in 2002 and 2003.

What do cartoons have to do with history? Plenty. The primary goal of the “Liberty’s Kids” animated television series was to provide 7-14 year olds with an engaging look at the years 1773-1789 in American history. Although the series ended, each 23-minute episode is on YouTube. When you get to the site, click on any show and the cartoon will begin to play.

Meet famous historical figures through the eyes of two young apprentice reporters named Sarah and James including:

  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Paul Revere
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • John Adams
  • Benedict Arnold
  • Baron von Steuben
  • Patrick Henry
  • and more!

Viewers of Liberty’s Kids will go on adventures in search of the real stories of the American Revolution.

NOTE: All of the videos are prefaced with advertisements, so parents (as always) must supervise Internet use.

Explore with Henry Hudson

January 20th, 2022

Ian Chadwick: The Life and Voyages of Henry Hudson


Grades 5 and up, with parental supervision

English navigator and adventurer Henry Hudson, his teenage son, and 7 crew members were set adrift by mutineers during a failed expedition to find a fabled route to the Indies. They were never seen or heard from again.

At this website, you can read a fascinating account of Hudson’s failed expedition to find the “Northwest Passage” as well as details about the mutiny, Hudson’s other voyages, his life as an explorer, and information on his times, contemporaries, and crew. This is a great way to integrate language arts with history and social studies!

When you get to the site, use the menu on the left side of the screen to learn about Hudson’s:

  • Early Years to 1607
  • First Voyage – 1607
  • Second Voyage – 1608
  • Third Voyage – 1609
  • Fourth Voyage – 1610
  • Aftermath – 1611-on
  • Maps of Voyages
  • Hudson Family Tree

It is helpful to read this account in chronological order.

Click on “Short Story” to read a piece of historical fiction about Hudson. It was written by Canadian writer Ian Chadwick, the creator of this website. He also offers a compilation of the “Sources & Links” he used to create this work. You can read his bio too.

There are also links to the author’s “Home” page and other websites, but we did not visit these pages, and they are not included in this review. Therefore, as always, parents should preview the site, determine the suitability of the content, and supervise Internet use.

Explore the History of Calendars

January 6th, 2022

WebExhibits: Calendars through the Ages


Grades 5-12, with parental supervision

Part of the larger WebExhibits online museum from the Institute for Dynamic Educational Advancement, this website examines the origins and history of calendars.

When arriving at today’s link, use the upper menu to decide what topic you would like to explore:

  • Years & Months – Learn about the astronomical events on which a calendar is based then use the sidebar menu to dig deeper into the astronomy of calendars, see a perpetual calendar, the phases of the moon within a given month, the history of our calendar, terms used, and more.

  • Various Calendars – Discover the differences in the Gregorian calendar (which most of us use) and the Chinese, Christian, Indian, Islamic, Jewish, Mayan, Roman, and other calendars past, present, and future.

  • Our Week – How did the 7-day week come to be? Where did the names of the days come from? What other connotations are associated with the days of the week? These questions and more are answered in this topic.

  • Timeline – Not your typical history timeline, this is a timeline of interesting calendar facts.

Visitors will also notice on the main menu “Node View”. From here you can navigate through a cloud map of the site to narrow your research.

With a new year upon us, this website provides an interesting look into the passing of time and a unique history study unit.

Kids Explore Christmas

December 23rd, 2021

Why Christmas?


All grades, with parental supervision

Created by James Cooper from the UK, this kid friendly website explores all things Christmas.

When arriving at this cheerfully colorful website, use the links in the upper menu to select from:

  • Christmas Traditions and Customs – Learn all about when the Christmas season is celebrated, the traditions of candles, candy canes, Christmas cards, carols, mistletoe, St. Nicholas, Santa Claus, and Father Christmas and so much more

  • Christmas Around the World – Discover how Christmas is celebrated in countries around the world

  • The Christmas Story – Read, listen, and/or watch the Christmas story. Includes a downloadable comic book version, an interactive visual version, and more

  • Christmas Fun and Activities – Activities include an online Christmas tree to decorate, a nativity scene to build either online or downloadable, word searches and a crossword puzzle, Christmas desktop wallpaper, and loads of other creative and fun activities

After browsing through all that is available, be sure to add to your fun by selecting the “Christmas Karaoke” image on the home page. You will be taken to another website ( where you and your family can sing along to over 50 Christmas Carols and songs.

Merry Christmas!