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Social Studies Resources

Curriculum - The Khan Academy (mostly math and science, but does have other content as well like history) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) with the mission of providing a world-class education to anyone, anywhere. Despite being the work of one man, Salman Khan, this 1600+ video library is the most-used educational video resource as measured by YouTube video views per day and unique users per month. We are complementing this ever-growing library with user-paced exercises--developed as an open source project--allowing the Khan Academy to become the free classroom for the World.

- Games for Change  (G4C) is a non-profit which seeks to harness the extraordinary power of video games to address the most pressing issues of our day, including poverty, education, human rights, global conflict and climate change. G4C acts as a voice for the transformative power of games, bringing together organizations and individuals from the nonprofit sector, government, journalism, academia, industry and the arts, to grow the sector and provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and resources. Through this work, Games for Change promotes new kinds of games that engage contemporary social issues in meaningful ways to foster a more just, equitable and tolerant society.

GamesiCivics is a web-based education project designed to teach students civics and inspire them to be active participants in our democracy. iCivics is the vision of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who is concerned that students are not getting the information and tools they need for civic participation, and that civics teachers need better materials and support.

Games/Simulations - Big Picture Small World is a  site has numerous games that teach students how small parts make up a bigger picture.  Examples are "The Peace Game", "The City Game", "Presidential Advisor Game"...The games in this site were all developed by and with Medard Gabel, the former executive director of the World Game Institute, a UN-affiliated NGO. He worked with Buckminster Fuller for 12 years where he learned the power and utility of whole systems thinking, global perspectives and a good sense of humor. Mr. Gabel has been designing, developing, and delivering experiential educational programs since 1970.

Games/Simulations - Online Interactive Simulations - The sites link to online simulations, interactive web sites, virtual museums and lessons for face-to-face simulations.  This list is constantly being added to and you can also check out the Video Games page here at Social Studies Central for more research, resources and sites for more complex video games.

Games/Simulations - Mission U.S. is a brand new multimedia adventure game site (currently a preview site) that is set to officially launch September 21, 2010.  The site will feature interactive adventure games that are set throughout U.S. history.  The first game, Mission 1: For Crown or Colony, is available for play now.  In For Crown or Colony, student play Nat Wheeler, a 14 year old printer’s apprentice in 1770 Boston.  As students explore Boston 1770, they will encounter merchants, soldiers, sailors, poets, Patriots, and Loyalists.  The game helps students virtually experience the rising tensions of 1770 and ultimately asks them to choose where their loyalties lie.  The website is extremely classroom friendly, teachers can use the teacher tools to manage classrooms and track student progress.  The teacher page is incredible, on it you will find everything from models of instruction, to a synopsis of each stage of the game, to additional tips and resources, and a downloadable version of the game.  From the looks of the site there are more great adventures in history to come!  How to integrate Mission US into your curriculum: Mission U.S. looks like it is going to be an amazing collection of adventure games that drop your students right in the middle of American history.  Students will really understand the history they are learning as they meet historical characters, learn about the conflicts of the day, and are asked to make decisions of loyalty.  A textbook just can’t provide this kind of up-close-and-personal experience with history.  Use the Mission U.S. game and resources to immerse your students in history.  Student progress can be tracked making it easy to use in the classroom as a center or in a lab setting.  Tips: Students can even play the pennywhistle in the mini game, Pennywhistle hero. 

Discussion Starters with Video Clips - Movie Segments for Warm Ups and Follow Ups is a blog that contains a series of movie segments to be used to brainstorm, warm up, follow up, and activate schemata, preparing the students for the topic that will be discussed in class. Here you will find the segments, the lesson plans, and varied topics to foster conversation. You may use the activities for a full two-hour class or they can be used separately to brainstorm or wrap up the topic, focusing on conversation, vocabulary and listening comprehension.

Justice System - Our Courts - In Supreme Decision the student plays a clerk to a supreme court justice and help decide a student's rights in school.

Justice System - Our Courts -In Argument Wars, you debate historical Supreme Court cases by advancing arguments and backing them up with supports.

Justice System - Our Courts - In Do I Have A Right? the student runs a law office and must match clients with the appropriate lawyer for the case.

Primary Sources/Timelines - American Memory Timeline -This resource was developed to help teachers and students use the vast online collections of the Library of Congress. The links to the right will lead you to sets of selected primary sources on a variety of topics in United States History. The sets are arranged by chronological period.  The primary source excerpts were chosen because they deal with important and interesting topics in U.S. history. Each excerpt is linked to the complete primary source in American Memory from which is has been drawn. The excerpts are thus also intended to help students and teachers delve more deeply into the primary sources provided online by the Library of Congress.

Primary Sources - Library of Congress - Ready-to-use materials that bring the Library’s primary sources into the classroom.

Resources/Presentations - HippoCampus is a project of the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education (MITE). The goal of HippoCampus is to provide high-quality, multimedia content on general education subjects to high school and college students free of charge.

Resources/Virtual Historical Figures -Virsona Educational Service is a collection of historical characters and public figures that have been built out by Virsona professionals and contain information pertaining to said characters personal life, achievements, quotes, and expressions.  All content in Virsona Educational Service is safe for classroom use.  Students can actually chat with virtual historical persons like Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Jane Austin, etc.

Videos - Next Vista for Learning - An online library of free videos for learners everywhere - our goal is to gather a set of resources to help you learn just about anything, meet people who make a difference in their communities, and even discover new parts of the world. Next Vista for Learning wants to post your educational videos online, too. Everyone has an insight to share and yours may be just what some student or teacher somewhere needs!

Videos - History for Music Lovers on YouTube is a resource created to explain historical events through music.  They took popular music and made a music video changing the lyrics to describe particular historical events.  This is a great way to open a lesson and capture student attention.
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