Social studies homework can be boring when it only consists of reading a textbook. It can also be boring and long when students are required to research or memorize geography. For these reasons, many students claim that they don’t enjoy the social studies. But, geography, history, civics, sociology, and political science can be very enjoyable when made interactive.
Many teachers are taking advantage of interactive assignments, activities, and documentaries in the classroom. Now, students can continue that interactive learning and studying at home while completing homework.
#1 World Atlas
Geography tends to be a difficult subject: memorizing countries’ placings and capital cities. And, if the teacher is very stringent, students must memorize countries’ flags as well. It’s a lot to learn and be expected to remember for teenagers. But, World Atlas has it all included in its maps. It even extends into human geography, giving information and tables on Olympic data, demographics, travel info, and weather info. It even includes a “street view” and a quiz mode.
#2 PBS Students
Rather than take up critical time during class to show documentaries, teachers can have students download the free PBS Students app. At home, instead of reading a boring textbook or above-reading-level article on a specific historical subject, students can use this app. Students can watch short videos, read relevant current event articles, explore historical resources such as primary sources and audio clips, and even create graphics and images for assignments. PBS Kids not only helps with social studies homework for students of all ages, but also can be used for math, science, and English classes.
#3 Constitution for iPad
One of the most daunting units of social studies for any student is the Constitution. Taking time to read this 250 + year old document and actually understand it is quite the task for teenagers. However, this app not only has the entire Constitution but also more in-depth information about the document. There is also the ability to take notes in the margins and interactive quizzes to make sure students understand the concepts in the Constitution.
#4 News-O-Matic School Edition
To keep students up to date, involved with current events and politics, teachers typically have students read and report on newspaper articles. This app provides articles at numerous reading levels and even has each article in Spanish. Another accommodation is that each article can fully be read aloud by a narrator. Images, videos, informative maps, and illustrations are included with many articles. Students can highlight articles when they are learning to annotate and save and print articles.
#5 Social Studies Friendzy
Catering to grades 1-8, Social Studies Friendzy has numerous games to complement the learning standards of social studies. There are videos and articles, as well as live tutors to help students learn more about states and capitals, US government and history, citizenship, and much more. Students can even play multiplayer games.
#6 The Pyramids
Every young student has an Egyptology unit in their elementary school experience. Pyramids are one of the most interesting parts of learning about ancient Egypt. Students can explore the pyramids in a 3-D interactive tour. They can also examine different artifacts typically found in pyramids.
One of the premier websites for civics and citizenship units, iCivics, Inc. now has its individual games as apps. Students can learn how to be a proactive citizen, how to run for the presidency, how to create an executive order, craft laws, win law arguments, and much more with these interactive, easy-to-understand, educational games.
#8 Oregon Trail
The famous and popular 80s/90s computer game for young students is now an app. Teachers can have students download this app when learning about the Oregon Trail and the migration West. Students learn about the tough choices and harsh experiences pioneers had as they blazed their way to Oregon. Totally interactive and full of information about famous landmarks, this game has a great replay value.
#9 National Archives DocTeach
Perfect for history research projects or practicing DBQ’s for AP history classes, this app has a ton of historical documents and primary sources. Students can read and analyze primary documents and engage in activities to them understand the document and its historical context. Teachers can even create a “classroom” of specific activities and documents for students to view.
#10 Geo Trainer HD
A fast speed game, Geo Trainer HD is the perfect app for Geography students to study for their tests. Students can focus on individual continents or the entire globe. There are even multiple choice questions about capitals, flags, and other information about different countries.
Now rather than dreading social studies homework, students can look forward to learning more with these apps. Social studies have become fun and interactive, bringing history and the world to live for students of all ages.
History & Social Studies
Ben’s Guide to U.S. Government for Kids
Ben’s Guide to U.S. Government for Kids is brought to the World Wide Web as a service of the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO). This site provides learning tools for K-12 students, parents, and teachers, and it will teach users how our government works.
CIA World Fact Book
CIA World Factbook provides information on various countries, including facts on its native people, types of government, and currency used. Information is provided by the Central Intelligence Agency.
World History Khan Academy
From the earliest civilizations to the modern world, geography, religion, trade, and politics have bound peoples and nations together — and torn them apart. Take a journey through time and space and discover the fascinating history behind the complex world we inhabit today.
US History Khan Academy
The United States of America is a nation with a rich history and a noble goal: government of the people, by the people, for the people. Its citizens’ struggle to achieve that goal is a dramatic story stretching over hundreds of years.
Fact Monster (Social Studies)
Fact Monster (Social Studies) is a free reference site for students, teachers, and parents. Users will be able to obtain homework help, and find facts on thousands of subjects, including social studies.
WhiteHouse.gov is the official web site for the White House.
Global Trek: Virtual Travel Around the World
With an educational twist, this amazing interactive site lets students plan travel itineraries to countries around the world without ever having to leave their home or classroom (a la Expedia or Orbitz).