Middle School Social Studies: Resources for Students, Teachers and Parents
On the Internet you can explore faraway countries, discover the history of the world, learn about the U.S. government and even find ways to become more familiar with your own city or state. Use the sites below to find student resources for middle school studies.
- Some sites may look boring on the surface but don’t be fooled: Just because a site isn’t flashy doesn’t mean it can’t be helpful or offer a fun challenge.
- Some sites you have to pay to use, so be sure to check with your parents first. One example is BrainPOP, which has simple and entertaining short movies explaining many social studies concepts. Some of the videos are free, so check out the free stuff before you ask your parents to pay for the others.
There are so many fantastic social studies resources online that your biggest problem may be choosing which to use in your classroom. Whether your class is studying ancient cultures or following the election process, you’ll find great teaching resources for middle school social studies using the sites below.
- Don’t get fooled into paying for resources. Museums, government entities, universities and well-known broadcast media all offer excellent resources at no charge. A great example is the Library of Congress “Teachers” Web site, which links to lessons, documents and even a game or two.
In the middle grades, important social studies concepts include what it means to be a good citizen, what it means to be a member of your nation and culture, and how personal beliefs relate to the beliefs of others. The parent resources for middle school social studies, below, can help parents play an active role in the social studies education of their children.
- There are many ways that parents can integrate social studies into their children’s lives outside school. Taking trips to museums (real or virtual), discussing current events, encouraging curiosity about the world, exploring your city and state—these can all benefit your child’s development.
- In general, be wary of sites that offer games. Many games have nothing to do with either critical thinking skills or social studies content and many sites use games as a portal to slick advertisements that will have your child begging you to buy something. The sites selected below offer games with a purpose, rather than just pure entertainment.
- Sit with your children while they surf the Web. Although it may seem like this isn’t a time for conversation, there are often many topics that come up while using the Internet that provide “teachable moments.”
- One of the best ways to help your child is to ask your child’s teacher what the class is studying and supplement those subjects at home. The previous sections of this guide will be of interest to many parents and can provide inspiration for ways to get your child interested in social studies. And the librarian at your local library can be a good source of recommendations for reading material.
- For more ideas about ways to bring social studies into your home, take a look at some of the sites in our findingDulcinea Homeschooling Web Guide.