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Social Studies Resources

Page history last edited by Margaret Herrick 7 years ago

The following social studies resources cover a broad spectrum of topics, and content areas. 



Teaching History (TeachingHistory.org)

Reading in the History Classroom  http://teachinghistory.org/issues-and-research/research-brief/25421 

Need some assistance or just have questions on how to begin to put the CC literacy standards into practice?  Check out the Teaching History website for great ideas, lessons, explanations on disciplinary reading, and research in the social studies. 

Four Reads: Learning to Read Primary Documents http://teachinghistory.org/teaching-materials/teaching-guides/25690 is a guided process for assisting students in reading primary documents and increasing reading comprehension.


Teaching Channel

The Reading Like a Historian series follows three teachers as they use a research-based curriculum developed by the Stanford History Education Group. 

First, take a look at this overview of the Reading Like a Historian series, then move on to the three videos below. 


Reading Like a Historian: Sourcing

Follow along as students study original documents to determine whether the source is believable.



Reading Like a Historian: Contextualization

See how the teacher scaffolds learning as students develop their understanding of context.



Reading Like a Historian: Corroboration

Students use books, documents, and images to determine Reliability and bias.


Stanford History Education Group


Reading Like a Historian program, Stanford History Education group. Look under curriculum at http://sheg.stanford.edu/?q=node/45 for specific curriculum and lessons The Reading Like a Historian Curriculum features dozens of document-based lessons that teach the skills of historical thinking while improving students' reading comprehension.”  


http://sheg.stanford.edu/?q=node/47 In 2009 Stanford was named West Coast partner of the largest library in the world, the Library of Congress. The Library's Teaching with Primary Sources Program connects educators with an extensive collection of digitized primary sources. The Stanford center shows how to use primary sources in middle and high school history classrooms through professional development partnerships with Bay Area schools, web-based resources, and teacher education initiatives. Our aim is to give teachers the support and materials they need to develop and assess their students' historical understanding”.  “Our projects range from the newest ways to use digital technologies in history instruction to how students collaborating across national borders formulate broader interpretations of the world.”

Teaching with Primary Sources (Library of Congress) http://www.loc.gov/teachers/tps/

Teaching with Primary Sources (Stanford) http://tps.stanford.edu/ 


Thinking Like a Historian:

 Turn of the century child, a project with resources from the Library of Congress (LOC).

Direct link to the lesson is http://www.noodletools.com/debbie/projects/20c/turn1.html.

This is a lengthy unit as written and contains all of the links necessary to analyze images and create a scrapbook of a turn of the century child. This is an example of using complex texts, analyzing multiple sources, using technology, constructing knowledge, and creating text dependent writing, all of which are emphasized in the Common Core State Standards. LOC has numerous other resources and lessons available at no cost to educators.

NOTE: Teachers should preview all photos, images, and text for suitability in the classroom prior to using.



Primary sources are firsthand evidence and artifacts of the past. They may include letters, photographs, maps, government documents, diaries, oral accounts, pamphlets, or leaflets. Some may be published, others not. Read attentively, primary sources can give us multiple perspectives on history and open up a vast array of issues and concerns.


Historians read primary sources skeptically and critically. Typically, they consider where, when, and why something was created. They also look for bias, considering what the document's author thought happened and how it compares with other documents or artifacts of the period. 


Print the following questions* and use them to guide students' reading of primary source documents:

1. Who created the source and why? Was it created through a spur-of-the-moment act, a routine transaction, or a thoughtful, deliberate process?

2. Did the creator have firsthand knowledge of the event, or did the creator report what others saw and heard?

3. Was the creator a neutral party, or did the creator have opinions or interests that might have influenced what was recorded?

4. Did the creator produce the source for personal use, for one or more individuals, or for a large audience?

5. Was the source meant to be public or private?

6. Did the creator wish to inform or persuade others? (Check the words in the source. The words may tell you whether the creator was trying to be objective or persuasive.) Did the creator have reasons to be honest or dishonest?

7. Was the information recorded during the event, immediately after the event, or after some lapse of time? How large a lapse of time?


When reviewing visual images, print the following questions* to guide students:

1. What was the creator's purpose?

2. Why this pose, perspective, and framing?

3. Why this subject?

         4. What objects were included and excluded? What clues do they provide about the conditions and attitudes of the day? 




A Chronology of  US Historical Documents 


provided by the University of Oklahoma College of Law



Do you need resources and technology?


K-12 Tech Tools wiki social studies page may have what you need 

Elementary (K-5)Middle Grades (6-8)Secondary School (9-12) 



C-SPAN’S Presidential Libraries http://presidentiallibraries.c-span.org 


Clinton Library and archives. Actual speeches (primary sources) are available for students and faculty working on everything from reports to research projects and dissertations. These archives are part of the Clinton School's public service commitment to enhance the educational opportunities for others.  Clinton school speaker series http://www.clintonschoolspeakers.com/



Asia Society 

Has compiled a list of several Web resources containing ideas on what reading, writing, and communications in the 21st century means, and how it can be applied in the social studies classroom.


Library of Congress   contains thousands of free resources for teachers including primary source documents and lessons already developed and ready for use in the classroom.  Check them out today. 


Annenberg Learner.  


Free Resources for Educational Excellence  http://free.ed.gov/subjects.cfm



Public Domain and Copyright Information for teachers (resources from The ResourcesforHistoryteachers wiki page – main page link is http://resourcesforhistoryteachers.wikispaces.com/

http://resourcesforhistoryteachers.wikispaces.com/Public+Domain+and+Copyright+Information+Resources link directly to the page containing information on public domain and copyright info.  Many resource links provided.



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