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Social Sciences Resources

Welcome to the Social Sciences Resources Page

Teacher Updates

The Oregon Social Sciences Teacher Update is a monthly e-newsletter that provides teachers and other educators with information about professional development opportunities, teacher and student competitions and awards, and lectures, concerts, and exhibitions. Distributed by listserv, the current issue and past issues are posted here. Subscribe to the Social Sciences Teacher Update

See the Social Science Teacher Updates Archives link below for additional past issues of the Newsletter.

2016 Teacher Updates

Curriculum & Instruction

Education in the social sciences aims to help students develop as rational, humane and productive citizens in a democratic society. Four elements of social studies education are necessary to help develop such citizens-knowledge, skills, values and participation. Democratic values, such as freedom, equality and due process, are the core of our national experience. Students should be involved in the thoughtful examination of ideas, viewpoints,

Standards-based Resources

Educator Resources

Educating the Heart: Lesson Plans for the Peace Study
These lesson plans were developed for the Educating the Heart Youth Summit to promote the study of peace and of Nobel Peace laureates. 

Educator Resources - By Subject

Please note that inclusion of the following external web links does not imply endorsement of either the reliability of the information presented or its suitability for a particular age group or grade level.

Agencies, Museums, and Libraries

  • Library of Congress: The Library of Congress is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution and serves as the research arm of Congress. The Library's mission is to make its resources available and useful to the Congress and the American people and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations.
  • Oregon Historical Society: The Oregon Historical Society's mission is preserving and interpreting Oregon's past in thoughtful, illuminating, and provocative ways.
  • Smithsonian Institution: The world's largest museum complex and research organization composed of 19 museums, 9 research centers, and the National Zoo. Visit the Smithsonian in person or online and you will see why it represents for so many the treasured icons of our past, the vibrant art of the present, and the scientific promise of the future.
  • U.S. Holocaust Museum: A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum stimulates leaders and citizens to confront hatred, prevent genocide, promote human dignity, and strengthen democracy.


  • Center for Civic Education: The Center specializes in civic/citizenship education, law-related education, and international educational exchange programs for developing democracies. Programs focus on the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights; American political traditions and institutions at the federal, state, and local levels; constitutionalism; civic participation; and the rights and responsibilities of citizens.
  • Classroom Law Project: Helps students at all grade levels learn to be informed and active citizens who can foster, sustain, and preserve a free democratic society.
  • Kids in the House: This site is designed to give middle school students valuable legislative and historical information.
  • National Student Parent Mock Election: Makes students and parents aware of the power of their ballot by actively involving them in a full-fledged campaign and national election. In 2004, the last presidential election year, over 4 million students, parents and teachers participated in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and 14 countries/territories around the world where Americans have schools. Over 40 million have participated since the project began.
  • Street Law: Street Law is practical, participatory education about law, democracy, and human rights. A unique blend of content and methodology, Street Law uses techniques that promote cooperative learning, critical thinking, and the ability to participate in a democratic society.
  • USA for UN Refugee Agency: Teaching about Human Rights, Tolerance, and Refugees. Builds support in the United States for the humanitarian work of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Our mission is to inform Americans about the plight of refugees and advocate for their protection. We want to give individual Americans, frustrated by the growing refugee crisis and their own inability to do something to help, a way to put action behind their words.

Current Events

  • Beyond Blame: Reacting to the Terrorist Attack - A dedicated to the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11th and their families—as well as to everyone who has participated in the rescue efforts.
  • War and Terrorism: Global educators respond to the possibility of war with Iraq by having students: learn up to date historical, political, economic, and geographic background of the conflict; recognize stereotypes and misinformation they may have about Iraqis and other people in the region; examine issues that led to U.S. policy decisions and research possible outcomes of a war; understand how accepted knowledge and perspectives of relevant countries (U.S., Turkey, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, etc.) is shaped by its history, cultures, politics, and economics; analyze primary sources from diverse world regions on the issues and events; interact with people from the region who can share insider information; synthesize and debate the issues based upon all these learning experiences.


  • Understanding the Financial Crisis - Educator version: The financial crisis of 2008 is only the latest in a string of financial crises that have hit the world economy. This discussion provides a brief introduction to a very complex subject with the hope of shedding some light on the current crisis.
  • Understanding the Financial Crisis - Student Version: The financial crisis of 2008 is only the latest in a string of financial crises that have hit the world economy. This discussion provides a brief introduction to a very complex subject with the hope of shedding some light on the current crisis.
  • Consumer Jungle: We've got information for you on everything you need to know to survive in the real world. Our content is packed with tips, advice, and direction on how to navigate the consumer jungle.
  • Federal Reserve: Here you can find links to instructional materials and tools that can increase your understanding of the Federal Reserve, economics and financial education.
  • Federal Reserve Education: This site is a resource where you will find information regarding the financial crises, the Fed's response, and the road ahead.
  • Jump Start - Oregon: The Oregon Jump$tart Coalition is a statewide, all volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to improving the financial literacy of Oregon’s youth. We are a coalition, comprised of individuals, non-profit and governmental agencies and the corporate sector. The Coalition believes that all youth must have the financial literacy necessary to make informed financial decisions.
  • National Council on Economic Education: A nationwide network that leads in promoting economic literacy with students and their teachers. NCEE's mission is to help students develop the real-life skills they need to succeed: to be able to think and choose responsibly as consumers, savers, investors, citizens, members of the workforce, and effective participants in a global economy.

Electronic Democracy

  • CNN - Politics: Political news, opinion, and analysis from CNN.
  • Project Vote Smart: Americans young and old volunteer their time, take no money from special interest groups, and have committed themselves to an extraordinary effort that, if successful, will provide their fellow citizens with the tools for a reemergence of political power not known for half a century. Their idea is one you may have thought of yourself. It is a deceptively simple concept but enormously difficult to achieve and would not be possible without the collaboration of citizens willing to lay their partisan differences aside for this one crucial task.


  • National Council for the Social Studies: Social studies educators teach students the content knowledge, intellectual skills, and civic values necessary for fulfilling the duties of citizenship in a participatory democracy. The mission of National Council for the Social Studies is to provide leadership, service, and support for all social studies educators.


  • National Council on Geographic Education: Since 1888, we've traveled the Earth, sharing its amazing stories with each new generation. National Geographic's Mission Programs support critical expeditions and scientific fieldwork, encourage geography education for students, promote natural and cultural conservation, and inspire audiences through new media, vibrant exhibitions, and live events.
  • Virtual Tourist II World Map: Real Travelers, Real Info


  • American Memory Lesson Plans: Use these resources to learn more about constructing lessons with primary sources.
  • Archiving Early America: You will discover a wealth of resources — a unique array of primary source material from 18th Century America. Scenes and portraits from original newspapers, maps and writings come to life on your screen just as they appeared to this country's forebears more than two centuries ago.
  • Declaration of Independence - Exhibit: This special exhibition is the second in a series of public previews of unique documents from the collections of the Library of Congress. These previews will culminate in the permanent exhibition, "Treasures of the Library of Congress."
  • Exploring the West from Monticello - Lewis & Clark Exhibit: In 1995 the University of Virginia Library produced the exhibition and accompanying catalogue of Lewis and Clark maps entitled "Exploring the West from Monticello: A Perspective in Maps from Columbus to Lewis and Clark.”
  • From American Revolution to Reconstruction: A Hypertext on American History from the colonial period until Modern Times.
  • History Matters!: Designed for high school and college teachers and students, History Matters serves as a gateway to web resources and offers other useful materials for teaching U.S. history.
  • National Center for History in the Schools: The mission of the National Center for History in the Schools [NCHS] is to improve history education in K-12 schools via its challenging, yet easy to use, curricular materials and assisting with the professional development of K-12 history teachers.
  • National Council for History Education: We believe that the social sciences and current issues, both domestic and global, are best studied in historical context and perspective. We believe that historical study is the precondition for intelligent political and personal judgment and that, in turn, such judgment is the absolute precondition for the political power of the citizen, and the private self-fulfillment of the person. Familiar notions, no doubt, but their implications call for a fundamental reordering of the American curriculum from grade school to graduate school.
  • The Civil War Through a Child's Eye: This lesson focuses on the use of historical fiction and primary sources to expand students' perceptions of the Civil War era. Literature and photographic images reflect, communicate, and influence human perspectives of historical events. Specifically, the unit helps students to view the Civil War era through a child’s eye, rather than from an adult perspective.
  • The Historical Text Archive: The HTA publishes high quality articles, books, essays, documents, historical photos, and links, screened for content, for a broad range of historical subjects. It was founded in 1990 in Mississippi and is one of the oldest history sites on the Internet. This site is dynamic with regular additions to its contents and its link collection.


Professional Organizations

Oregon Professional Organizations

National Professional Organizations

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