Common Sense


Best Websites and Apps for Lessons About the American Revolution

Students can explore diverse perspectives on the American Revolution with this collection of engaging apps, games, and websites. From clever animations and hip-hop songs to interactive time lines and primary source documents, these resources can help personalize the United States' struggle for independence and add depth to your history lessons.

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Schoolhouse Rock meets Tupac in this delightful hip-hop-based platform

Bottom line: Flocabulary has the goods: It's savvy enough to keep kids focused, and teachers will be tapping their toes to the unorthodox learning method.

Ansel and Clair: Paul Revere's Ride

Charming play brings American Revolution to life in ways that stick

Bottom line: History lessons package content with style and interactivity to help kids connect with Paul Revere's story.

Library of Congress

Visit our largest library's online collection of multimedia goodies

Bottom line: The Library of Congress delivers the best of America's past and present, but it's a little tricky to navigate.

America's Story from America's Library

Kid-friendly tidbits of history are fun; site feels dated

Bottom line: Somewhat engaging mini-encyclopedia of American history gives kids a jumping-off point to discover more about the past.

BrainPOP Featured Movie

Incredibly engaging cartoons on a wide range of topics draw kids in

Bottom line: These short videos are undeniably valuable as a teaching tool for elementary and middle school kids.

American Revolution by KIDS DISCOVER

Interactive textbook includes diverse perspectives on U.S. history

Bottom line: This interactive textbook is a fine supplement to your U.S. history curriculum, but it won't replace a primary text and in-depth learning activities.


Clever animated hosts Tim and Moby masterfully tackle complex topics

Bottom line: Cartoon videos in this extensive collection break down ideas in clever and thoughtful ways.

American Revolution Interactive Timeline for iPad

Give students up-close, detailed access to rare objects and artifacts

Bottom line: A great companion to a real-life museum visit, and a neat resource for exploration in a history class.

National Archives

Access U.S. history with treasure trove of docs, genealogy, and other resources

Bottom line: NARA's website wasn't designed for kids, but they can definitely use it to research and learn about history, genealogy, and the U.S. population and government.

Mission US: For Crown or Colony?

First-person journey through pre-Revolutionary War America

Bottom line: This online game immerses kids in history by letting them make the choices people living in the 1770s would have made.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Stellar history website, gateway to cool PD and scholarship

Bottom line: In class, a good resource for U.S. history; beyond, a great website for free teacher PD and some great in-depth exploration of primary sources.


A slick way to share knowledge via interactive timelines and stories

Bottom line: With a super simple design, interactive features, and an imaginative personal approach, it's an easy and flexible tool for all kinds of classrooms.

Zinn Education Project

Resources, lessons help teach a more inclusive version of U.S. history

Bottom line: Free downloadable resources encourage critical thinking and active learning in search of a more accurate picture of American history.

The Idea of America

High-quality digital history curriculum encourages debate

Bottom line: A dynamic collection of resources and instructional strategies to enhance the teaching of U.S. history.

Reporting the Revolutionary War

Lessons, videos, and historic newspapers help bring history to life

Bottom line: A helpful resource for U.S. History teachers looking to integrate more primary-source documents into their curriculum.

Stanford History Education Group

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

Bottom line: A gold mine of CCSS-aligned lessons for U.S. and world history teachers; encourages reading, analysis, and collaboration.

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