Social Studies Resources

Top free resources for teaching and learning Social Studies 


The Library of Congress  – Resources in “for teachers” page include ready-to-use materials that brings the Library’s primary sources aligned with state standards into the classrooms, online modules to build teacher skills with the Library’s professional development curriculum  (Library of Congress Learning Page “The Learning Page is designed to help educators use the American Memory Collections to teach history and culture. It offers tips and tricks, definitions and rationale for using primary sources, activities, discussions, lesson plans and suggestions for using the collections in classroom curriculum.”)


American Memory from the Library of Congress – American Memory provides “free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience.


The National Archives’ Digital Classroom – is an online teaching tool from the US National Archives for teachers to find and create interactive learning activities with primary-source documents that promote historical thinking skills in 21st century classroom.


history resource, teaching history


Digital Vaults – Photos, documents, and popular media from the National Archives provide resources and interactive opportunities for users to access materials on endless U.S. historical topics and themes. The user can then organize the resources in any number of ways to relate to our country’s history and tell a story.  (from 2011 ALA Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning)


Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History have a wealth of digital resources that illuminate American history.


The World Digital Library (WDL) whilst in Qatar. The WDL makes significant primary materials from countries, and cultures around the world, available on the Internet, free of charge, in many languages. is a website that collects history resources and materials and provides support for K-12 history teachers through funding from the U.S. Department of Education. The site contains videos, links to resources, and materials that teachers can use in their classrooms.


National Council for the Social Studies has membership service about professional development and  support on various resources; without membership you still can access to rich teaching resources and links here.


C-SPAN Classroom – free primary source materials for social studies teachers, including lesson ideas, video library, constitution clips, by C-SPAN; tutorials for teachers are available.


Center for History and New Media (CHNM) at George Mason University has used digital media and computer technology to preserve and present history online, each year CHNM’s many project websites receive over 16 million visitors, and over a million people rely on its digital tools and resources to teach, learn, and conduct research.


History Departments Around the World is a searchable database linking to roughly 1,200 history departments around the world.


US News Map—A geotagged, searchable archive of American news stories from 1836 to 1925. Search for key terms and phrases to see a heatmap of how often those terms appeared in news stories throughout the states during your chosen time period.


The University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC) hosts more than 300 outstanding digital collections, containing over 7 million pages of unique manuscripts and letters, antique mapsrare children’s literature bookstheses and dissertations, newspapers, historic photographs, oral histories, and more. The University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC) enables users to find unique and rare digitized materials held at the University of Florida and partner institutions. With UFDC, remote and local researchers have free, open access to the full content of the resource. This is a constantly growing collection of resources.


EDSITEment  indexes nearly three hundred other websites at the current time! This wealth of material is provided by a partnership consisting of the National Endowment for the Humanities,Verizon Foundation, and the National Trust for the Humanities.Calisphere – A world of primary sources for teaching and exploration, from more than 150 archives, libraries, and museums. A free service of the University of California.


Smithsonian’s History Explorer is a standards-based online resources for teaching and learning American history, developed by the National Museum of American History. (Affiliated Organization: Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History)


Primary Source is a non-profit educational resource center, in partnership with teachers, scholars, and the broader community, Primary Source provides learning opportunities and curriculum resources for K-12 educators. It has specially focused on learning about China.


TeachingAmericanHistory is a list of letters, speeches, documents, web sites, books, and articles on significant people and events in American political thought and history. Find primary source docs organized by time period & person.


Historic Newspapers is the world’s largest original newspaper archive, have put together free of charge educational resources using past newspapers to give insight into historical events. Newspapers are a fantastic way to discover the cause and consequence of historical events.


Google Life Archive is a wonderful resource of historical images. It features millions of searchable photographs from the Life photo archive stretching from the 1750s to the present day. Most of these images were never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of Google and Life magazine. (Search tip : Add “source: life” to any Google image search and search only the LIFE photo archive. For example: computer source:life)


The Google Cultural Institute digitally archives historical documents, photos, and other media from institutions all over the world.


MapMaker Interactive (a tool from National Geographic) – Explore your world with map themes, data, and tools for customizing your map, looking for downloadable, black-and-white maps of the world, continents, countries and states? Try the MapMaker 1-Page Maps.


MapMaker Interactive, national geographic


The Oyez Project at Chicago-Kent is a multimedia archive devoted to the Supreme Court of the United States and its work. It aims to be a complete and authoritative source for all audio recorded in the Court since the installation of a recording system in October 1955. The Project also provides authoritative information on all justices and offers a virtual reality Tour of portions of the Supreme Court building, including the chambers of some of the justices. is a free-to-use, video-rich, award-winning history resource for students, teachers and life-learners.  The resources include the history of Britain, smallpox through time, the America West… All text resources on the site may be reproduced freely without payment, but please credit the site as appropriate. It also launched a new exciting site for users of tablets and mobile devices. The new site also contains timelines for ‘Nazi Germany’, ‘USA 1900-45’ and ‘The Edwardians’.


history learning resource – your must-have site for history resources, including teaching materials, TV shows, videos, games…… over 3 million fans are following on its facebook


Internet History Sourcebooks Project is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted historical texts presented cleanly (without advertising or excessive layout) for educational use.


Digital History is a new Web resource that aims to cover the latest trends in digital history and to keep up with the state-of-the-field. Doug Seefeldt and William Thomas are the co-editors. It contains a Directory of Digital Historians, an Index of Digital Scholarship, information on the National Endowment for the Humanities Digital Humanities Start-up Grant, Digital History project reviews, and new media tool reviews(CitelineExhibitGoogle EarthTimelineTokenX). The site is licensed under Creative Commons.


For more social studies resources click here.