“Every child in America should be acquainted with his own country. He should read books that furnish him with ideas that will be useful to him in life and practice. As soon as he opens his lips, he should rehearse the history of his own country.” ~Noah Webster, On the Education of Youth in America
Mission US (American history) – A free-to-play interactive role-playing adventure in which students can experience different eras in American history. As players progress through each period, they are given an understanding of the cultural climate at the time through the viewpoint of various characters. Throughout the game, players must take care of various tasks while learning about various cultural ideologies and facts. The first level of the game takes place in Boston in the year 1770 and leads up to the events that caused the Boston Massacre, an incident that spawned a revolution throughout the British American colonies. As a young print maker’s apprentice, the player learns various “smartwords” which represent key ideas and terms relevant to the time period. Interactions with characters challenge players to choose a side in each conflict present in that game’s chapter. The decisions you make in conversation affect which side of the story you hear, giving players the opportunity to discover history from all angles. Recommended for ages 10-14 (5th-9th grades). The Mission US game and its educator guides are available at www.mission-us.org.
Memorable Places American History – This free history curriculum was originally written for the target age of eight to nine (3rd grade) but can easily be used and adapted for other grades and ages. The easiest grades to adapt for and use our curriculum in are 2nd-6th grades. It is also an excellent supplement to any other history curriculum (for a variety of ages) with plenty of “gravy” like worksheets, printables, links, extra reading, crafts, activities and more. This American history curriculum uses a literature approach; and whenever possible ties in other (optional) disciplines such as science, language arts and more. Although the curriculum is mean to be used over the course of a year or so, you can also easily independently use each individual topic as a unit study or to supplement any other curriculum that focuses on American History.
United States Charters of Freedom – For children ages 8-12.
Memoirs of the Oregon Trail – This site provides examples of literary nonfiction in the form of memoirs of journeys made by pioneers on the Oregon Trail in the 1800s.
A collection of American History links, based on state standards for Middle School students.
American War of Independence 1775-1783 – Internet Gateway to the American Revolution.
United States Constitution
A New Nation
Digital History – An interactive, multimedia history of the United States from the American Revolution to the present. This is an educational and non-commercial website designed specifically for history teachers and their students. The site enhances history teaching and research through primary sources, an online textbook, classroom handouts, extensive reference resources, historically significant movies, historical music, and interactive materials. Grade Level: High School (9-12)
A Biography of America – A video instructional series on American history for high school and college classrooms and adult learners; 26 half-hour video programs, coordinated books, and website. A Biography of America presents history not simply as a series of irrefutable facts to be memorized, but as a living narrative. Prominent historians — Donald L. Miller, Pauline Maier, Louis P. Masur, Waldo E. Martin, Jr., Douglas Brinkley, and Virginia Scharff — present America’s story as something that is best understood from a variety of perspectives. Thought-provoking debates and lectures encourage critical analysis of the forces that have shaped America. First-person narratives, photos, film footage, and documents reveal the human side of American history — how historical figures affected events, and the impact of these events on citizens’ lives. Produced by WGBH Boston in cooperation with the Library of Congress and the National Archives and Records Administration, and with the assistance of Instructional Resources Corporation. 2000.
American History Part I & II – Parallel Alternative Strategies for Students (PASS) volumes written by Florida educators are free, ready-to-use resources in PDF format that may be reproduced or used as a workbook. The student volumes are presented in an easy-to-understand format for students seeking a standard diploma.
America’s History in the Making – A video course for middle and high school teachers; 16 half-hour video programs, faculty guide, online textbook, and website. This course for middle and high school teachers uses video, online text, classroom activities, and Web-based activities to explore American history from the Pre-Columbian era through Reconstruction. The video programs are divided into three segments: Historical Perspectives, an overview of the historical era; Faces of America, in which biographies of individuals illustrate larger events; and Hands-on History, a behind-the-scenes look at how history is studied, documented, and presented. Additional units introduce methods to strengthen teachers’ knowledge of American history, while reviewing content. The online text, facilitator guide, and website supplement the video content. Produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting. 2007.
The American Revolution – A free online course from the University of Washington.
The American Civil War – A free online course from the University of Washington.
World War II – A free online course from the University of Washington.
History Matters – Designed for high school and college teachers and students of U.S. history, this site is a U.S. History survey course that serves as a gateway to web resources and offers unique teaching materials, first-person primary documents, guides to analyzing historical evidence, and other useful materials for teaching U.S. history.
Key Terms in American History – A chronological list of important events, people, and movements in American history. Students who have a strong understanding of these terms will be acquainted with most of the significant elements of the history of the United States. (What a term list like this does not cover well are the intellectual, cultural, and literary influences on American life and history.)
U.S. History Review Sheets – Also, scroll down to the bottom of the page for American History Topic Summaries: one-paragraph summaries of the key topics in American history, prepared as a supplement to The American Nation by Mark Carnes.
U.S. History Practice Quizzes – Quiz questions have been assembled from a variety of texts, including supplementary volumes issued to accompany Norton’s A People and a Nation, Current’s American History, and Boyer’s Enduring Vision.
Advanced Placement U.S. History – Includes one-page outlines of historical eras and topics with notes, review terms, essay questions, sample tests, and additional resources.
Advanced Placement World History – Online test preparation for teachers and students. Includes unit outlines, regional/thematic outlines, maps, timelines, key terms with definitions, multiple choice tests, essay questions, and writing assistance.
Have Fun With History – An online resource full of streaming videos, activities, links and resources for students, educators and all lovers of American History – because history is fun! Explore American History documentaries, TV shows, movies and more. Choose a person or event of historical interest, or choose a social studies subject or unit study topic from the Subject List – great for supplementing your history lessons!
Over the Top – An interactive web module that tells the story of what life was like for Canadians fighting in the trenches during the First World War. Over the Top is based on the eyewitness accounts of Canadians that actually served in the trenches during the First World War. Well-researched and documented, the module offers a historically accurate portrayal of frontline conditions and borrows many words and expressions that were common at the time. Most of the illustrations that appear are based on original photographs of trench landscapes as well as image plates and artifacts from the Canadian War Museum’s collections. History buffs will appreciate the attention to detail that is evident in many of the illustrations. Over the Top is suitable for users of all ages, although it was designed specifically for youth audiences. The use of animated illustrations, realistic sound effects and first-person perspectives, were all designed to render the experience of the front line soldier more palpable and relevant to the user. A separate “For Teachers” section contains downloadable classroom activities.
Playing History: Historical Games – There are tons of free historical games, interactives, and simulations on the web. Many of these are high quality educational games developed by universities and foundations, grounded in current academic knowledge and at the forefront of the digital technologies, but relatively unknown to the general public. Playing History aggregates info on these resources in a simple, searchable database making it easy to find, rate, and review historical games.