Resources for High School Social Studies Brendan McGovern

Planet Money

Planet Money is a podcast and blog produced by NPR. The podcast began in September 2008 to cover the housing crash and financial crisis. The twice weekly podcast now has now posted over 760 original episodes. Each episode is between 15-25 minutes long. Episodes explore economic theory as well as historical and current events through stories and interviews. The episodes do a great job of making abstract topics like monetary police feel accessible.

Project based learning by Planet Money

11 episode series that follows every step of the creation of a Planet Money t-shirt. Touches on all aspects of production from the cotton fields to garment workers in low wage countries to import tariffs and practices. This could probably be recreated on a smaller scale as an example of Project based learning as a project throughout the year.

Voices across time

An incredible resource created and maintained by the University of Pittsburgh Library system. This archive provides dozens of lesson plans that use music and song as a primary source. Lessons cover 1760- up to the present day. Student plans are thorough and well designed. They even note if the lesson covers any Pennslyvania or Common Core Standards. Lesson plans have multiple guiding questions per song which would be a great chance for reciprocal instruction.

“Strange Fruit”, "Freedom Road", "We Shall Overcome", "People Get Ready"

Fix the budget

Interactive tool that puts you in charge of the federal budget. Provides dozen of examples of the impact spending and tax changes would have on the budget deficit. Gives students a great way to visualize what are actually the big drivers of spending and taxes. Would be interesting to pair with this article from the Washington Post that explores the misconceptions of how the government spends money.

270 to win

270 to Win is an App and website that lets users view the electoral college outcome going back to 1796. Users can also create their own map to see what states add up to 270. There are also resources that explain how the electoral college works and how election outcomes would change under different voting (Popular Vote, proportional, votes awarded by district, etc.) Viewing the electoral college over time allows students to visualize how political movements (New Deal Coalition, Southern Strategy, Conservative Revolution) shape the outcome of elections.

Google public data

The Google Public Database Explorer is an online tool that can quickly provide access to large amounts of data in ways that are easy for you and students to understand. The Data Explorer uses a variety of data sets from places like the World Bank, the US Center for Disease Control, International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, and over 100 different sources. Great way to track demographic, migration, and economic indicators over time. Would be very useful for cross over assignment with Science or Statistics class

my maps by google

Google's My Maps feature allows users to create their own custom maps by adding markers, directions, drawings, and photos to a map. One can imagine almost limitless possibilities for the uses in a history class. Students can mark different spots on the map based on historical incidents or create a route followed by ancient settlers. My Maps also gives users the ability to share their map as well as adding custom maps as layers on other maps. Students could for example be assigned states and asked to add map important historical moments that took place there during the civil war. The teacher could then all these maps together creating a historical map for the entire country.

Social explorer

Social explorer is a tool that allows users to view maps overlayed with different demographic, financial, government and environmental data. One of the big benefits of this tool is that you can view how this information changes over time. This would be great for viewing migratory patterns in the United States. This has a lot of the same data as Google Public Data so they could possibly be paired together in a lesson. Alternatively it could be used in conjuction with

Tableau public

Tableau is a data visualization tool primarily used in business. There is also a library of great visualizations that could be used in a World History, US History, or Civics course. The visualizations are engaging and interactive . You can also challenge your students to come up with their own visualizations to tell stories in a social studies setting.

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.