Top Pick

Great Social Studies Apps and Websites

From world geography to U.S. government, this collection of resources covers key social studies topics for all grades. Browse our editors' picks, and try a new tool for your next unit. 

For Elementary Classrooms

BrainPOP Jr.: Social Studies Visit Website: http://www.brainpopjr.com
Charming civics videos, high-energy history, and more pump up the fun
Grades Pre-K-5
Type Website
Price From $175
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Homes by Tinybop Publisher: Tinybop
Explore homes -- and cultures -- around the world in exquisite detail
Grades K-3
Type App
Price $3.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Google Earth
Cool geographical exploration tool has endless classroom applications
Grades K-12
Type App
Price Free
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Globe Smart Education 1 Publisher: Round by Design
Engaging stories, activities introduce kids to peers around the world
Grades K-4
Type App
Price $19.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 5
News-O-Matic for School, 2015-16, Nonfiction Reading Publisher: Press4Kids
Flexible, interactive daily stories for elementary school students
Grades 2-5
Type App
Price $4.99
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Ansel and Clair: Paul Revere's Ride Publisher: Cognitive Kid, Inc.
Charming play brings American Revolution to life in ways that stick
Grades 1-5
Type App
Price $4.99
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 5
Barefoot World Atlas Publisher: Touch Press
Visually stunning 3-D globe piques students' interest in world facts
Grades 1-5
Type App
Price $4.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 2
News-2-You Publisher: AssistiveWare
Draw kids into weekly news with powerful symbols and voice narration
Grades 2-6
Type App
Price Free to Try, Paid
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 5
Stack the Countries Publisher: Dan Russell-Pinson
A whole world of facts, maps, and fun waiting to be stacked
Grades 2-6
Type App
Price $1.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Windows Phone, Apps for Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3
BrainPOP Featured Movie Publisher: BrainPOP
Incredibly engaging cartoons on a wide range of topics draw kids in
Grades 2-8
Type App
Price Free
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Chrome, Apps for Windows
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Oddizzi Visit Website: http://www.oddizzi.com/
Kids travel the world, cultivate global curiosity and responsibility
Grades 3-8
Type Website
Price Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
BrainPOP: Social Studies Visit Website: http://www.brainpop.com
Charming videos let kids explore the many facets of society
Grades 3-12
Type Website
Price From $220
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
ePals Visit Website: http://www.epals.com
Students learn together in well-rounded, collaborative global classroom
Grades 4-7
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
The Oregon Trail Publisher: Gameloft
Strong pioneer simulation game with secondary emphasis on history
Grades 4-8
Type App
Price $.99
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 3

For Middle and High School

Smithsonian's History Explorer Visit Website: http://historyexplorer.si.edu
Lessons, activities, artifacts, artfully presented by the Smithsonian
Grades K-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Teaching Tolerance Visit Website: http://www.tolerance.org/
Thought-provoking classroom resources support diversity education
Grades K-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
PBS LearningMedia: Soldiers, Veterans, and War in American Life Visit Website: http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/
High-quality resources offer empathetic intro to controversial topic
Grades 2-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
EDSITEment Visit Website: http://edsitement.neh.gov/
Extensive humanities resource offers deep well of great content
Grades 3-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
National Archives Visit Website: http://www.archives.gov/
Access U.S. history with treasure trove of docs, genealogy, and other resources
Grades 4-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Flocabulary: Social Studies Visit Website: http://www.flocabulary.com/
“Don’t know much about history” no longer applies with these rhymes
Grades 5-12
Type Website
Price Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
The Pyramids Publisher: Touch Press
Tap into students' inner archaeologists as they discover Ancient Egypt
Grades 5-12
Type App
Price $6.99
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Facing History and Ourselves Visit Website: https://www.facinghistory.org/
A wealth of resources explore racism, prejudice, and anti-Semitism
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
HSTRY Visit Website: http://www.hstry.co/
Create and explore interactive timelines, bring history to life
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
iCivics Visit Website: http://www.icivics.org/
Assortment of exceptionally well-designed games demystifies government
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 5
Teacher Rating 4
The Knotted Line Visit Website: http://knottedline.com/
Unique, artistic timeline lets kids explore freedom in U.S. history
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Listenwise Visit Website: https://listenwise.com
Bring real-world stories from public radio into the classroom
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free to Try, Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
PBS LearningMedia: Civil Rights Visit Website: http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/
Compelling resources capture voices and events of the Civil Rights era
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Think Like Churchill Publisher: Touchpress Limited
Stunning visuals, thoughtful feedback bring critical decision points to life
Grades 6-12
Type App
Price $3.99
Platforms iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Timeline World War 2 with Robert MacNeil Publisher: Ballista Media
Vast interactive multimedia resource makes history come alive
Grades 6-12
Type App
Price $9.99
Platforms iPad
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating Not Yet Rated
Zinn Education Project Visit Website: https://zinnedproject.org/
Resources, lessons help teach a more inclusive version of U.S. history
Grades 6-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
IWitness Visit Website: http://iwitness.usc.edu/SFI/
Explore survivor testimony with lessons, video on teacher-geared site
Grades 7-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
National WWII Museum Visit Website: http://nationalww2museum.org/
High-quality resources and activities offer an in-depth study
Grades 7-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Cuba's Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis Publisher: Flight of the Mobile
Make historic decisions in this absorbing choose-your-own adventure
Grades 9-12
Type App
Price $.99
Platforms Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
Global Oneness Project Visit Website: https://www.globalonenessproject.org/
Dynamic multimedia resources explore life experiences around the world
Grades 9-12
Type Website
Price Free, Paid
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4
NPR: Borderland Visit Website: http://apps.npr.org/borderland/
Illuminating, up-close-and-personal visit to the U.S.-Mexico border
Grades 9-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 5
Parable of the Polygons Visit Website: http://ncase.me/polygons/
Dynamic interactive helps classrooms explore topics of bias, diversity
Grades 9-12
Type Website
Price Free
Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating 4