Common Sense


10 Best Social Studies Tools for High School

At the high school level, social studies classrooms become a forum for understanding the past, processing the present, and designing the future. Social studies helps students engage in in-depth discussions and analysis of pivotal events, grapple with systems of government, learn about important historical figures, and develop deeper understandings of society and culture. With innovative, project-based activities and great support for all learners, these top tools will get students developing thinking and analysis skills, becoming more critical and active citizens, and building the necessary knowledge to fight for a more equitable future.

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Learning for Justice

Thought-provoking classroom resources support diversity education

Bottom line: It's an invaluable teacher tool to help reduce prejudice and encourage tolerance in schools, as well as within society as a whole.

Digital Public Library of America

Organized digital library features piles of useful primary resources

Bottom line: DPLA is at the top of the list of high-grade, online primary source collections if teachers make effective use of what's on offer.

Annenberg Classroom

Civics website makes teaching the Constitution manageable, meaningful

Bottom line: Go for the videos, stay for the lessons: Annenberg Classroom saves teachers' prep time when teaching the Constitution, current events, or other civics lessons.

Facing History and Ourselves

A wealth of resources explore racism, prejudice, and anti-Semitism

Bottom line: These valuable materials empower students to understand and address difficult ethical choices -- past and present.

Common Sense Selection

Google Arts & Culture

Well-curated art and history site inspires curious learning

Bottom line: A beautifully presented one-stop shop for compellingly curated and contextualized art, history, and culture resources, but it's lacking educator supports.

Digital Civics Toolkit

Superb, timely civics lessons focus on social media and student voice

Bottom line: For teachers looking to make civics relevant to students, there's nothing else out there as extensive or relevant.

Data USA

Elegant treasure trove of data could fuel lessons and projects

Bottom line: An efficient research tool that makes it easier to incorporate stats into a host of lessons or projects focusing on the U.S.

Stanford History Education Group

High-quality, document-based lessons spark stellar historical inquiry

Bottom line: A gold mine of cross-curricular literacy lessons that encourage sound, research-backed strategies for reading, analysis, and critical thinking.

Model Diplomacy

Students become foreign policy experts in this real-world simulation

Bottom line: This impressive program has ready-to-use and expert-vetted content that'll help advanced students engage meaningfully with foreign policy issues and processes.

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