USATestprep Blog

In Focus: Social Studies Websites

In doing some Social Studies authoring this summer, we ran across a few interesting websites. We kept tabs of them and even found a few more along the way. Here are a few of them that represent some of the disciplines.

US History and Government
The Annotated Declaration of Independence
Just as the name implies, the text of the Declaration is interlaced with links to explanations about key passages. This could provide some welcomed insight for students reviewing for tests, either for class or for the end of the course.

US Presidents: Lists and Records
Even though this is more of a “laundry list” of facts, it can still be rather engaging for students. It covers such potential trivia- or bonus point- questions about the birthplaces, religions, military experiences, occupations, and “firsts” for all of the Presidents.

World History & Geography
Modern Internet History Sourcebook
Ok, so this isn’t really anything new. Yours truly used this for most of his years in the classroom, but this treasure trove of primary sources is a must have for any history teacher. And don’t forget: you can access other historic eras and topics at the top of the home page.

National Geographic- The Urban Clan of Genghis Khan
The Mongols are a fascinating, often poorly characterized empire. This article from a recent issue of National Geographic bridges the Mongolian past with the present. A great read with, of course, some amazing photography. And since we’re on the issue of Mongolia‚Ķ

National Public Radio- A New Beat Gives Young Mongolia A Voice, Identity
If you’re like us, you can’t get enough of modern Mongolian techno-rap music. What? You haven’t heard? Well, not only does this NPR article tell you about the movement- if you can call it that- but you can hear the interview and the music, too. Students will probably find this pretty cool.

Economics
The Inflation Calculator
So this one is just for the teachers, really. This site allow you to input a dollar amount for a source year and compare it to any other year. This is absolutely perfect if you wanted to put a dollar amount in US History in a contemporary context. $3.5 million for the Louisiana Territory in 1803? How about that same land costing $50 million in 2010 dollars? Still a good deal, even if you wanted to pay that for a condo in New York City.

Global Rich List
With all the talk of the “1%” and “99%”, this website puts things in a world perspective. Enter in a yearly income in Dollars/Euros/Pounds/Yen and see where that stacks up on average with the other billions of people in the world. If students want to see perspective, this site can do it.

This is a tiny list, but we feel there is some darn good stuff on it. At the very least, these links can get a conversation going. Let us know what you think, or share some links of your own.

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