j0189229.gifCool Tools for Social Studies

There are many tools available on the Internet that support the science curriculum. Some of these tools are to help reduce your planning time, engage the students, and create products and projects quickly. Let's get surfing!

Marco Polo

Marco Polo is a great site to start with. You can search in Marco Polo which will search all its subgroups or your go dive into the subgroup that fits you subject you are teaching. To search the entire Marco Polo site, select SEARCH MARCO POLO in the upper right hand corner. Type in a topic that you will be teaching soon, select your grade bands, and then select search.


is home to the US National Geography Standsards and to thousands of ideas, tools, and interactive adventures that bring them to life. You can search quality lesson plans, activities, hundreds of printer-friendly maps, the Xpedition Hall, and the Geography standards.

Google Alert

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The web's leading solution for monitoring your professional interests online. Track the entire web for your topics and receive new results by daily email. Using the free service, Google will send you daily e-mails of up to three topics of your choice. They can be general topics such as earth science or specific topics such as global warming. New information is brought to you rather than you searching the web for hours trying to locate new information. I suggest you create a folder in Outlook named "Google Alert" so that you can save all the e-mails in that one folder for easy reference at a later time.

United Streaming

United Streaming is a site sponsored by Discovery Education where you can engage your students with rich video and online teaching resources that are free. If you haven't already set up your username and password, you will need to e-mail me and let me know what school you are at. I will send you your passcode which will allow you to register at United Streaming. Once you are logged in to United Streaming, you can search for videos by subject or grade. After locating a video play the video segments by selecting the green circle with the white arrow in it to find the segments you want to download. You never want to rely on watching a video segment directly from the Internet because the Internet may be extremely slow at that time or be experiencing technical difficulties. To download a video segment select the blue disk that is to the right of the play button. Download the video to a file in your My Documents folder in another folder that is specific to your topic. For example, you would not want all of your videos going to the My Video folder. This would make it too hard to locate a specific video quickly if you have multiple videos. You would want to create a file for say "Global Warming" and place the video in that folder. Also, this folder could hold your unit plan, worksheets, etc. for teaching Global Warming.

Education Podcast Network

The Education Podcast Network is an effort to bring together into one place, the wide range of podcast programming that may be helpful to teachers looking for content to teach with and about, and to explore issues of teaching and learning in the 21st century. Most of the producers of these programs are educators, who have found an avenue through which they can share their knowledge, insights, and passions for teaching and learning and for the stories that they relish and teach. The directory will grow as more people come forward with their stories and ideas, and we hope that you will start to share your ideas with the larger education community by producing your own program.

Blogging in the Social Studies classroom

Blogs are a means in which students can leave comments to questions asked by the teacher or by other students. Blogs are also being used as virtual notes for lessons and activities within the classroom. For more information, visit the blog page.
Room 613 Talk
Class Weblog and Podcasts for Mr. Hetherington’s 6th Grade Social Studies Class in Connecticut, USA

Google Earth - Explore, Search and Discover

Want to know more about a specific location? Dive right in -- Google Earth combines satellite imagery, maps and the power of Google Search to put the world's geographic information at your fingertips. You will need to complete a WORF to have Google Earth downloaded. However, this tool is well worth the time and effort! You and your students will be amazed at how close you can zoom into a location. I was even able to clearly see my parent's pool! It is amazing!


PowerPoint is so much more than bulleted lists of information. There are many templates for review games in PowerPoint format. Explore some of these examples!
Interactive Games
Listed below are templates where you can add your own questions and answers or can use a game that already has questions for your topic.

Power Point Games
Jeopardy, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, 20 Questions, Wheel of Fortune, Weakest Link, etc.

Who wants to be a millionaire
Millionaire template - from Cascade Union. Elementary School District.
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire Student - by Jennifer Wagner
Millionaire Template by MarkDamon
Who wants to be a Millionaire? - from Fayette County Public School
Jeopardy PowerPoint
3rd Grade SOL Review - Jeopardy game prepared by Sherri Miller, T. C. Walker Elementary teacher (.ppt format)
Ag Lesson Plans has a Jeopardy template that is totally blank (except for the game board amounts).
Jeopardy Games for the Classroom - The following games have been created by Hardin County Teachers for use in their classrooms. Each will reflect the curriculum area and the Exit Expectation that the game addresses
Easy Jeopardy Template - Elaine Fitzgerald's template. Easy to adapt
Jeeparty template - 69 slides
Jeopardy Template - 141 slides
Jeopardy Template - 58 slides
Geometry Jeopardy - a Geometry review using a 58 slide PowerPoint show
Jeopardy Games created by teachers
Hollywood Squares
Hillsborough Squares template - by Mark E. Damon
Battle Graph - teach your students about graphing on a coordinate plane. A PowerPoint show designed by Sarah Grabowski, University of Georgia, July 9, 2003 with the title “BattleGraph”
Baseball Challenge – an extremely creative 5th Grade Social Studies Test Practice written by Mrs. Leigh Daley
Happy Game
Famous African-Americans - some of the hyperlinks don't work right, but this is a very cute game.
Sunken Millions
People in our Past - divers vs surfers
The Way West - divers vs surfers
Other Games
Classroom Ideas and Game Templates - Use with caution, there are some dead links there.
Templates for Homemade PowerPoint Games - It's better because it's homemade!
PowerPoint Activities - The following links include templates and examples of Jeopardy, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and Hollywood Squares games and other lesson ideas that were created using PowerPoint. Posted by Fayette County Public Schools in Lexington , Kentucky
From a New Nation to a Divided Nation by Sherry Woods, Caywood Elementary School Lexington, TN – interesting technique used in this show to eliminate wrong answers