General History Web Sites and Resources
EDSITEment is a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Trust for the Humanities that offers free resources for teachers, students, and parents searching for high-quality K-12 humanities education materials. All websites linked to EDSITEment have been reviewed for content, design, and educational impact in the classroom. They cover a wide range of humanities subjects, from American history to literature, world history and culture, civics, language, art, architecture, and archaeology, and have been judged by humanities specialists to be of high intellectual quality.
TedED provides a generous repository of short animated videos on subjects ranging from the Vestal Virgins to the Cuban Missile Crisis. The videos are accompanied by guided discussions and short quizzes.
Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History ★★★★★
Gilder Lehrman offers Lesson Plans, Primary Source Documents, Online Exhibitions featuring engaging images, and other content to enrich at-home learning, organized by time period and topic.
Center for History and New Media ★★★★★
CHNM produces historical works in new media, tests their effectiveness in the classroom, and reflects critically on the success of new media in historical practice. CHNM provides links to their excellent online history resources, such as Eagle Eye Citizen–an interactive site for learning about the constitution–and History Matters, a site with U.S. History articles and lesson plans. Resources are designed to benefit professional historians, high school teachers, and students of history.
Digital History ★★★★★
A great new site that includes: a U.S. history e-textbook; over 400 annotated documents, primary sources on slavery, Mexican American and Native American history, and U.S. political, social, and legal history; short essays on the history of film, ethnicity, private life, and technology; multimedia exhibitions; reference resources that include a searchable database of 1,500 annotated links, classroom handouts, chronologies, glossaries, an audio archive including speeches and book talks by historians, and a visual archive with hundreds of historical maps and images. The site’s Ask the HyperHistorian feature allows users to pose questions to professional historians.
TimeMaps allows students to view maps of world cultures and civilizations, contextualize them on a timeline with their contemporaries, and get a broad understanding of their rise and fall. Maps are annotated and link to encyclopedic entries. See TimeMaps’ teacher section for more details. A must-see resource!
Spartacus: History ★★★★★
Run by a small educational publishing company, this website provides free online materials for major history curriculum subjects. Visitors can sign up for a free monthly e-mail newsletter covering web reviews and using technology in the history classroom.
Stanford History Education Group ★★★★★
An excellent website for educational history content, Stanford History Education Group offers a plethora of lesson plans, discussion modules, online articles, other publications. A major focus of the site is raising students’ ability to critically parse both historical documents and online news articles, and this is reflected in their content. The group also offers a “Civic Online Reading” curriculum to further this goal.
Big History Project ★★★★★
Big History Project is a free, online, multimedia life history course designed for classroom use. From the Big Bang to the present, it focuses on the broad themes and essential questions that address the emergance of life on our planet, the evolution of advanced species, and the development of human civilizations.
World History for us All ★★★★☆
Presents world history curricula broken into manageable units. Plenty of lesson plans and discussion question pdfs are available for download.
Discovery Channel Social Studies Techbook ★★★★☆
Discovery Education’s “Techbook” is a collection of multimedia resources designed to supplement history lessons. It isn’t free, but you can request a demo on their website.
BBC: History ★★★★☆
BBC’s History section offers an impressive array of exhibitions, activities, games, photo galleries and other resources. Major categories include: Ancient History, Archaeology, Church and State, Science and Discovery, Society and Conflict, War and Culture, and Family History. There are also sections entitled Multimedia Room, Historic Figures, Timelines, Programmes, Reading Room, Talk History, For Kids, and History Trails.
House of European History ★★★★☆
Offers five lesson plans on broad topics such as identity, borders, and race.
PBS Online ★★★★☆
PBS has a great source for information on a myriad of historical events and personalities. PBS’s assorted and diverse web exhibits supplement specific individual television series and generally include a resume of each episode, interviews (often with sound bites), a timeline , a glossary, photos, and links to relevant sites. Categories include American History, World History, History on Television, and Biographies. Go to the PBS Teacher Source for lessons and activities.
Digital Public Library of America ★★★★☆
The DPLA provides a searchable database of million of primary sources. It has also sorted the best of its collection into “Source Sets” around a certain theme, such as Women in the Civil War, Environmentalism in the Progressive Era, and Negro League Baseball. Each source set is supplemented with discussion questions, lesson plans, and a study guide.
History Teacher ★★★★☆
An impressive, award-winning site from a New York high school teacher. Features many research links and curriculum resources for Global Studies, U.S. AP History, US European History, and American History and Government. Also has quizzes, news links, and more.
History Channel ★★★★☆
A companion to the television channel, this commercial site contains a myriad of features and highlights for educators and students alike. Key offerings include: study guides and activities, ideas from teachers, special exhibits, speech archives, discussions, and “This Day in History.” Also, try the UK site at www.thehistorychannel.co.uk and student site: www.historystudystop.co.uk
The History Place ★★★★☆
This informative site features worthwhile exhibits (eg. American Revolution, Holocaust, Civil War),special presentations, essays, homework aids, and a guide to historic American areas.
National Council for the Social Studies ★★★★☆
National Council for the Social Studies offers support for social studies educators. Links are categorized by themes of the Curriculum Standards for Social Studies. Teachers share classroom experiences at the site and on the NCSS listserv.
Academic Info: History ★★★★☆
Academic Info is a gateway to educational resources; the History Gateway provides links to World History Resources, Country and Regional Histories, Topical Histories, European History, and Additional Sites of Interest.
Smithsonian Learning Lab ★★★★☆
The Learning Lab offers content to educators, parents, and students after the creation of a free account. The database is keyword searchable and features lesson plans — many pertaining to history.
Teacher Oz’s History Page ★★★★☆
An extensive and up-to-date list of humanities-related web sites covering: Ancient History, United States History and Government, The World, Wars, and Info, Military History Middle Ages, Renaissance, and The Enlightenment, England, France, and Russia, Biographies, Religion, Cultures, and Women and much more. Sites are usually not described or rated, however
Voice of the Shuttle: History Page ★★★★☆
Part of an extensive guide to humanities resources that provides numerous links to feature sites, teaching resources, electronic journals, course syllabi, and much more
History Net ★★★★☆
Offered by the National Historical Society, this well-organized site covers a diverse set of topics in World and American history. Noteworthy features include a picture gallery, archives, links to full-text historical magazines, eyewitness historical accounts, special features and book reviews
WWW-VL The History Index ★★★★☆
The Central Catalogue provides direct links to network sites through its index and maintains a large number of files of pointers for countries, periods, and subject for which there is not yet a member site. A diverse and broad site with links to a multitude of topical historical areas. The scope of the listed categories is impressive, but some topics have a longer reach than others. Maintained by Lynn Nelson, Department of History, University of Kansas
Education World ★★★★☆
This worthwhile commercial site contains lesson plans, special features, and is divided into 20 sub-categories including: Documents, Famous People, Women, Classical/Ancient History, Preservation, and more. They have reviewed over 700 web sites and have formulated yearly “Best Of” lists.
Scholars’ Guide to WWW ★★★★☆
An extensive and well-organized guide to using the Web for general academic ends. Has an impressive set of history links.
Education Index ★★★★☆
An annotated guide to the best education-related web sites. Reviews of historical sites are useful and comprehensive, though no distinction is drawn between American and World history. Well organized and reliable
World History: HyperHistory ★★★★☆
Hyper History Online covers 3000 years of history through timelines, lifelines, maps and graphics. Much is under construction but the site holds promise
School History is a bountiful online history site that offers huge numbers of freely download-able resources, interactive and entertaining history games and quizzes, interactive online lessons together with comprehensive links to online resources.
The History News Network ★★★★☆
The HistoryNewsNetwork was created in June 2001 and features articles by historians on both the left and the right who provide historical perspective on current events. HNN exists to provide historians and other experts a national forum in which to educate Americans about important and timely issues, and the only web site on the Internet wholly devoted to this task . HNN is a nonprofit publication run by George Mason University, is updated daily, and averages roughly 1.5 million hits a month. Those of you who have visited the U.S. History landing page in Best of History Web Sites may have noticed that I link to HNN articles in the U.S. History in the Classroom section.
The site for history fans, enthusiasts and students, eHistory consists of over 130,000 pages of eHistory.com – the site for history fans, enthusiasts and students. eHistory consists of over 130,000 pages of historical content; 4,500 timeline events; 800 battle outlines; 300 biographies; and thousands historical content; 4,500 timeline events; 800 battle outlines; 300 biographies.
The Scout Report for Social Sciences (Wisconsin) ★★★★☆
Here you’ll find bi-weekly reports that cover select Internet sites in the social sciences.
Classroom Connect ★★★★☆
A respected source for educational resources such as web-linked activities. Has a popular newsletter on educational technology. Offers lesson plans for children aged 3-5.
This non-profit, teacher-to-teacher site is a guide for high school teachers of world history and geography, although much of the content is suitable for teachers of other social studies subjects as well. Content includes fundamental information about history teaching, resources, a concise alternative textbook and lesson plans.
Conversations With History ★★★★☆
In this UC Berkeley site distinguished men and women from all over the world talk about their lives and their work. They reminisce about their participation in great events, and they share their perspectives on the past and reflect on what the future may hold. Guests include diplomats, statesmen, and soldiers; economists and political analysts; scientists and historians; writers and foreign correspondents; activists and artists.
Understanding the World Today ★★★★☆
Understanding the World Today is supported by The International Consortium for the Advancement of Academic Publication. It features links to free resources about long-term changes in social, political and economic systems. It also links to online history books and lectures. This site also includes several reports about sociodemographic changes in the 20th century, and very long term historical world population and economic changes.
TeacherServe (National Humanities Center) ★★★★☆
This site is designed to deepen course content by providing convenient access to scholarship tailored to classroom use. TeacherServe consists of a series of instructional guides on important topics in the humanities on the secondary level.
History Central.com ★★★★☆
History Central is offered by MultiEducatory, one of the earliest producers of multimedia software.
Clash of Steel ★★★★☆
A small team of military historians has put together this site to further the study of military actions throughout history. This team is building a database of military engagements and commanders which can be searched for specific entries. It also powers a ‘Battle of the Day’ feature to which visitors can subscribe. This will e-mail daily information completely free on the anniversaries of actions and engagements. Visitors are also invited to contribute to discussion groups, or to add information and entries to the database itself.
National History Day ★★★★☆
An organization dedicated to making history come alive for students, the website offers lesson materials, presentations, and media to support curriculum.
Social Studies Central ★★★★☆
Lesson plans, presentation materials, and online resources to support social studies curriculum.
The Concord Review ★★★★☆
The Concord Review is a respected quarterly journal that has since 1987 published 550 high school history papers by students from 42 states and 34 countries. Its web site offers 51 sample essays, including all the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize (now $3000) winners from the last eight years. The National Writing Board, founded in 1998, offers independent assessment of high school history papers from 22 states, and sends each author a three-page report, with scores and comments. Both the Concord Review and National Writing Board have received much praise from high school and university educators and administrators.
AwesomeStories.com is free, non-commercial educational web site for educators (as the basis for lesson plans) and students. Stories link to organized primary and secondary source materials found principally at U.S. and other worldwide national archives, museums, libraries, universities, news organizations and government websites. The purpose of the site (including its eight separate, stand-alone channels) is to take visitors on a virtual guided tour of relevant on-line source materials.
Federal Resources for Educational Excellence(FREE): ★★★☆☆
More than 30 Federal agencies formed a working group in 1997 to make hundreds of Federally supported teaching and learning resources easier to find. The result of that work is the FREE web site. Although the main FREE web site was retired in 2015, it retains a short list of lessons plans and resources about yearly holidays and remembrances, such as MLK Day or Women’s History Month.
On This Day ★★★☆☆
Daily historical facts, events, famous birthdays, world history, United States history and music history.
CNN 10 ★★★☆☆
CNN 10 provides teachers with instructional materials for integrating current events across the curriculum. A student section keeps students in grades 6-12 aware of the latest news of interest to them. Lesson plans, background material, profiles, links to useful Internet sites, and forums for interaction with other teachers are also included. Formerly known as CNN Student News.
Ask ERIC Virtual Library ★★★☆☆
Produced by the Education Research Information Center (ERIC) this site is an information clearinghouse on 16 specific subject areas. Of special note is its collection of thousands of lesson plans for varied grade levels and subject areas.
Kathy Schrock’s Guide for Educators ★★★☆☆
A well organized and comprehensive guide for educators searching to make the best use of the web. Has good links under the EdTech Blogs and EdTech Passion sections.
History in Focus: What is History? ★★★☆☆
Focus highlights books, reviews and web sites which examine the nature of history and assess the changes in historical method and practice.