Posts Tagged ‘social studies’

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.

Literature Studies for Middle & High School

January 19th, 2022

Glencoe Literature Library


Grades 6-12 approximately, with parental supervision

This website is a great place to get free and comprehensive literature study guides for a variety of notable books.

When you get to the site you’ll see an alphabetical menu of book titles. Simply click on the book of interest to you and a new page opens containing a brief synopsis of the book, related readings, and a link to the downloadable Study Guides (about 25-35 pages) in PDF format. Some of the book titles are:

  • Animal Farm
  • Beowulf
  • The Call of the Wild
  • Great Expectations
  • Jane Eyre
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • The Scarlet Letter
  • To Kill A Mockingbird
  • Where the Red Fern Grows
  • and many more!

Click on the “Study Guide” and the PDF file opens (it may take a minute to fully download). The Study Guide is comprehensive for each book and includes classroom activities that can be easily tweaked for individual use including:

  • A Focus Activity
  • Vocabulary Preview
  • Notes for Character Summarizations
  • Questions that Prompt Literature Analysis
  • Writing Assignments
  • Interdisciplinary Connections to Science, History, and Social Studies

All of this is neatly formatted so that you can print out the activity pages separately or as an entire unit. The beauty here is that you can pick and choose the items that help your students get the most out of their reading experiences.

Christmas Around The World!

November 29th, 2021

Woodlands Junior School: Woodlands Junior Advent Calendar


Grades 1-8, with parental supervision

At this United Kingdom website, you can access a free, interactive, educational Advent Calendar that provides information on how Christmas is celebrated in countries worldwide.

Math and social studies are combined here in an engaging presentation the whole family is sure to enjoy.

When you get to the site, you’ll see a brief introduction. Scroll down to the calendar and click on December 1st – the dates are jumbled on purpose we suppose so it can be used every year. A new page opens that begins an exploration of how Christmas is celebrated in….well, you’ll have to visit the site to find out!

Be sure to follow the instructions, answer the questions, and click on the links throughout the presentation to experience the full scope of what is offered here. Then, bookmark the site so you can return to it each day in December to see what the calendar unfolds.

Oh, and don’t miss the menu on the left side of the screen where you can learn all kinds of facts and trivia about Christmas traditions and customs.

Explore the History and Holiday of Thanksgiving

November 18th, 2021

Fran’s World: Thanksgiving Social Studies Activities!


Grades: All, with parental supervision 

Learning takes on a life of it’s own at this website created by veteran homeschool mom Fran Wisniewski who provides terrific Thanksgiving-themed activities that explore the history of the holiday and the symbols associated with it.

Get ready to have some fun!

When you get to the site you will land on the Thanksgiving category page. You can simply scroll down the page to read the entries or use the menu on the left side of the page that includes:

  • Wild Turkeys – Trace your hands and feet to create a turkey masterpiece.
  • The Three Sisters – Find out why Native Americans referred to corn, beans, and squash as the “Three Sisters” and do an art activity that combines all three!
  • Squash Pumpkins – Bake a pumpkin pie right in the pumpkin shell!
  • Beans – Make Bean Soup and grow a bean plant.
  • Corn – Make traditional cornbread.

Not only does Fran provide the complete instructions for how to do the activities at home, but she provides pictures of her family’s efforts that clearly illustrate the results you can expect. Plus you’ll find links to more web-based resources to further your learning experience.

Fran wrote “The Three Sisters: A Native American Curriculum for Thanksgiving” that is featured for free on It is chock-full of innovative ways to learn math, science, history, and art – all themed around Thanksgiving! The whole family will enjoy these educational activities.

Fran wrote, “In my world education is interesting, the choices are endless and everyone learns at their own pace, in a way that works for them.” Her website is a testament to her point of view. Don’t miss it!

Online Fun With Highlights Magazine!

November 6th, 2021 Highlights Magazine Fun!


Highlights Magazine sponsors this website that features free engaging stories and activities to build language arts skills while covering multiple subjects such as science, history, social studies, and more.

When you get to the site you’ll see some featured stories and activities. Use the menu at the top of the screen to access:

  • Stories
  • Jokes
  • Games
  • Explore
  • Share
  • Listen

This site is full of online adventure! You’ll enjoy it – and so will your kids!

Learn How to Manage Money with this Financial Literacy Course

September 13th, 2021

American Financial Services Association: MoneySKILL


Grades 7-college, with parental supervision

This website is provided by the American Financial Services Association (the national trade association for the consumer credit industry).

As explained at the website, MoneySKILL is a free financial literacy course to educate middle school, high school, and college students on basic money management fundamentals in the content areas of:

  • Income
  • Expenses
  • Saving
  • Investing
  • Credit
  • Insurance

The site further explains that “the high school and college course is designed to be used as all or part of a course in economics, math, social studies or wherever personal finances are taught. Students can access the modules in the classroom or at home. Built-in quizzes test students’ grasp of each concept. Two versions are available: High School/College and Middle School level.” The course is free, but registration is required to access them. Completion of the registration process can take up to 2-3 days – so, plan ahead.

When you get to the site, click on the “Try a Demo!” button to try it out. Basically, you’ll see the lesson text, hear an audio narration of it, and then be asked to answer multiple-choice questions to test your knowledge of the subject matter.

Again, the idea here is to provide students with money management skills that will last a lifetime.