For sites addressing specific social problems or current events and issues, see our
CURRENT EVENTS, ISSUES & CONTROVERSIES page
Allies and Aliens - 'It's 3065 and Earth needs you for an important mission. Do you have what it takes to help Earth make the right decision? Enter the world of Allies and Aliens and you'll find out!' Allies and Aliens is a fun way to learn about bias, stereotyping, misinformation and propaganda techniques found on the Internet and in other media. Middle school. (2005 Media Smarts, formerly Media Awareness Network)
Amazing Kids! - Stories of kids who are accomplishing amazing things in education, arts, science, athletics, and community service. New stories featured monthly. Now includes an online magazine with fiction, poetry, reviews, and articles about life in different parts of the world. (Non-profit organization)
American Life - A collection of articles, multimedia, and other resources exploring diverse aspects of U.S. life and culture; scroll past the 'We've Gone Social' banner to see the content. See also U.S. Life. (U.S. State Department)
Annenberg Classroom - Current events, articles, discussion, and media on the U.S. Constitution and its amendments; includes a weekly podcast. For high school students and teachers. (Annenberg Public Policy Center)
Anthropology [UPDATED LINK!] - Colorful lessons with lots of fun activities to help you learn about anthropology, 'the study of people everywhere - today, yesterday, and long ago.' There is a related page on Archaeology [UPDATED LINK!] , 'the study of past life through what's been left behind.' Middle school and up. (American Museum of Natural History).
Choices : Teaching with the News - Materials and ideas to help students and teachers explore the policy issues behind the news headlines of the day. High school; free registration required. (Brown University)
Congressional Award - 'The Congressional Award is a fun and interesting way to get more involved in something you already enjoy or something you would like to try for the first time. To earn the Award, you set goals in four Program Areas: volunteer public service, personal development, physical fitness, and expedition / exploration.' The program is open to all 14- to 23-year-olds, and is non-partisan, voluntary, and non-competitive. (Congressional Award Foundation)
Critical Thinking Web - Online tutorials, quiz, and other materials will help you understand what critical thinking is, why it is important, and how to develop your critical thinking skills (2004 - 2011, Dr. Joe Lau and Dr. Jonathan Chan, University of Hong Kong). See also Logic and Argument (1995, University of Victoria) and Top 20 Logical Fallacies (New England Skeptical Society; site includes advertisements). High school and up. See also Debating Skills, below.
Current Events from Holt McDougal - Short articles on current events and issues, with links to related information, plus a daily quiz, calendar of events, 'Today in History' and other features. For grades 6 through 12. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company)
Cyber Economics - 'A complete, online textbook for introductory economics. CyberEconomics is an easy-to-read approach to economics with a variety of interactive problems and questions.' For college or advanced high school students. (1998 - 2011; by Robert Schenk, Professor Emeritus of Economics at Saint Joseph's College - Indiana)
Debating Skills - This series of video lectures teaches you how to 'develop strong ideas, to present them effectively, to defend them skillfully, and to critically analyze opposing ideas'. High school and up (2008, Dr. Alfred Snider et al., University of Vermont). See also Critical Thinking Web and related links, above.
Dictionary of the History of Ideas - Four-volume e-text on selected central ideas in the history of western intellectual thought, covering topics such as nature, human nature, literature and the arts, history, economics, law, politics, religion, philosophy, and mathematics; high school and up. Click on 'Full Text view' for any volume; you can then browse the text alphabetically by subject, or search by keyword. (Text was written 1968 - 1973; e-text hosted at University of Virginia)
Dilemma Database - When faced with tough choices, what should you do? This website presents a variety of real-life ethical dilemmas in situations from the business world, education, and family life, encouraging you to think for yourself about how you might resolve them (Institute for Global Ethics). For related resources, see Applied Ethics (Santa Clara University), high school and up; and Upfront Ethics, middle school and up (2009 - 2011, New York Times and Scholastic, Inc.).
Encyclopedia of Philosophy - In-depth articles on philosophy and philosophers, arranged A to Z. High school and up (Stanford University). Philosopher Timeline is a chronological list of important philosophers with a one or two sentence summary of the work of each, plus additional information on 20 great philosophers (2005, British Broadcasting Corporation).
Everyday Sociology Blog - Jargon-free commentary by four sociologists and guest contributors 'on everything from politics, religion, race, and inequality to pop culture.' High school and up. (W. W. Norton & Company, book publishers)
Frontline - Online documentaries and related background materials explore and illuminate 'the tough, controversial, and complex issues that shape our times.' Includes video and audio podcasts. High school and up. (PBS; site includes advertisements).
Game Theory - Clearinghouse for educational materials on Game Theory, the study of how people interact and make decisions. 'Students may gain greater familiarity with the theory by browsing lecture notes, text books, a glossary of terms, or online evaluation aids. Then, see how the theory can be applied to games, business, and life.' High school and up. (2001 - 2006; Dr. Mike Shor, Vanderbilt University; site includes advertisements)
Glencoe Social Studies - Online learning center for New Jersey middle school and high school students, covering U.S. history, world history, world geography & cultures, government & civics, and other social studies topics. Also includes a separate section for teachers. (Glencoe McGraw-Hill)
Good Manners - Basic lessons explain the reasons for practicing good manners, and teach you what good manners look like at home, at school, at the table, on the phone, etc. For elementary and middle school students. (2011, Children, Youth & Women's Health Service, Government of South Australia). See also Emily Post Institute; all ages (site includes advertisements).
Greater Good Science Center - An interdisciplinary research center devoted to the scientific understanding of happy and compassionate individuals, strong social bonds, and altruistic behavior. Includes an online magazine. High school and up. (University of California)
High School Journalism - A variety of resources for journalism students (and teachers), including Journalism 101, links to useful sites, information on awards and scholarships, student opinions, skills test, and advice from professional journalists, as well as a weekly collection of stories from high school newspapers around the U.S. (2010, American Society of Newspaper Editors). See also Poynter's Tip Sheet for High School Journalists (2001 - 2011, Poynter Institute, a journalism school). The Student Press Law Center also has useful information for student journalists (non-profit organization). See also Training in Multimedia Reporting, below. Deception for Journalism's Sake 'collects many decades of high-impact, sometimes controversial, mostly U.S.-generated journalism that used undercover techniques.' Covers themes such as prison infiltrations, slavery, poverty, migrant workers, hospitals & nursing homes, gender / class / ethnic impersonations, and many more; high school and up (New York University).
Hot Topics - Links to information on controversial issues from affirmative action to welfare reform (2011, St. Ambrose University). Ethics Updates offers links to articles, surveys, court cases, multimedia, and other resources on issues such as abortion, animal rights, the death penalty, sexual orientation, and torture (2010, University of San Diego). Political Advocacy Groups provides links to education and advocacy groups from both sides of a variety of issues (2010, Washington State University). High school and up.
Kids' Vid - Lessons and tools for scripting, making, editing, and showing videos in the classroom; middle school and up. (2000 - 2009, ALTEC at the University of Kansas; site includes advertisements)
Landmark Supreme Court Cases - Summaries, excerpts, and analyses of major US Supreme Court cases such as Dred Scott, Miranda, and Brown v. Board of Education. Includes interactive activities. High school and up. (2010, Street Law and Supreme Court Historical Society)
Meaning of Food - An exploration of culture through food: the significance of what we consume, how we acquire it, who prepares it, who's at the table, and who eats first. Middle school through high school (2005, PBS; site includes advertisements). Another food-related site is Seeds of Trade, a searchable virtual book on the cultivation of plants, their history, uses, and impacts on our society. Middle school through high school (2007, Natural History Museum, London). Agropolis presents an online exhibition examining the history, geography and socio-cultural background of food and farming; middle school and up (2001 - 2008, Agropolis-Museum, Montpellier, France). Our Global Kitchen provides an overview of the production, trade, preparation, and consumption of food around the world - past, present, and future. Middle school and up (American Museum of Natural History). See also Fresh from the World : Where Your Food Comes From; elementary and middle school (University of Illinois Extension). In What's Cooking, Uncle Sam? you can learn about the history of the U.S. government's involvement in agriculture, food processing & labeling, and American eating habits (Foundation for the National Archives). Agriculture in the Classroom offers a variety of K - 12 teaching and learning resources about food & farming (U.S. Department of Agriculture et al.).
Media Smarts : Digital & Media Literacy - Resources for examining issues such as body image, diversity, violence, consumerism, gender roles, cyberbullying, marketing, privacy, video games, and much more. For K-12 students, parents, and teachers (MediaSmarts Canada; formerly Media Awareness Network). Media Literacy Online offers links to media education organization websites, mostly for teachers (2011, University of Oregon). Find more media literacy resources at Teen Health & the Media (University of Washington).
Mind Your Own Business - Helps you explore the challenges and rewards of being an entrepreneur, by walking you through five easy steps of setting up and operating a business (explore, decide, build, connect, succeed); use the menu bar to navigate. Includes teen business links and stories of teen entrepreneurs. (2010, U.S. Small Business Administration & Junior Achievement)
National Geographic Homework Help - Movies, articles, interactive presentations, and links on animals, people and places. Site is slow to load and navigate; high-speed internet connection recommended. For middle school students. See also National Geographic Explorer for grades 2 - 6. National Geographic also offers My Wonderful World a fun geography site for kids & teens, with games, quizzes, interactive adventures, links, and more. (National Geographic Society; sites include advertisements)
PBS NewsHour Extra - Current events articles and related learning materials for students and teachers, grades 7 - 12.
Oxfam's Cool Planet - Introduces you to the history, geography, environment, people and society of more than a dozen countries, including Afghanistan, Bolivia, Ghana, India, and Viet Nam. Also provides a map and basic data for each country. Cool Planet's Wake Up World stories show a typical 'day in the life' of children from Ghana, Brazil, Russia, and India; middle school and up (2007, Oxfam GB). More stories, letters, folk tales, and poems from Peace Corps Volunteers around the world are available at Worldwise Schools; you can browse the collection by grade, region, or subject (Peace Corps).
People & Places - Articles on a wide variety of subjects, both historical and contemporary, relating to different places and cultures around the world. High school and up. (Smithsonian Magazine; site includes advertisements)
Power of Place : Geography for the 21st Century - A video instructional series designed to teach students about the physical, human, political, historical, economic, and cultural factors that affect people and natural environments. Features case studies from 50 sites in 36 countries, with interviews, maps, animations, video footage, graphics, and academic commentary. High school and up. Free registration is required to view the videos. (Annenberg Media)
ProPublica - Investigative reports on a variety of current issues, including the economic stimulus package & bailouts, health care reform, Guantanamo detainees, natural gas drilling, and more. High school and up. (Independent non-profit organization)
Psychology: An Introduction - An online college-level psychology textbook (2008, by Dr. Russell A. Dewey, Georgia Southern University; site includes advertisements). Psychology Dictionary & Glossary for students offers definitions of terms, concepts and theories related to psychology and mental health; high school and up (2005 - 2011, ITS Tutorial School, Hong Kong).
Public Agenda Online - In-depth analyses including facts, policy alternatives, and public opinion on many current issues such as abortion, environment, immigration, poverty, health care, and many others. Choose an issue from the drop-down menu under 'Issue Guides' (A non-partisan public opinion research and education group)
Pulse of the Planet - A collection of two-minute sound portraits of Planet Earth, tracking the rhythms of nature, culture and science worldwide and blending interviews and extraordinary natural sound.
Responsibility Project - A collection of short films and other resources exploring 'what it means to do the right thing.' Website may be slow to load and navigate. Middle school and up. (Liberty Mutual).
Scholastic News - News articles for grades 3 - 8. Scholastic Kids Press Corps offers news by kids, for kids; for elementary & middle school (Scholastic.com; site includes advertisements). See also Time Magazine for Kids (grades K - 6; site includes advertisements), and Choices: Teaching with the News, above.
Service Learning Primer - A guide to the whys and hows of doing a community service project. Aimed at teachers, but material will also be useful to students planning a service project. Includes dozens of examples of projects for elementary through high school. Site has not been updated; expect broken links (2007, Live Wire Media, educational media producer). YouthSITE : Service Learning Resources for Kids & Teens offers videos and articles about service-learning project that other kids are doing, plus ideas for a service-learning project of your own; separate sections for elementary, middle, high school, and college students (National Service-Learning Clearinghouse). Check out Service Organizations for links to more information on community service and service-learning (Constitutional Rights Foundation Forum).
Social Science Glossary - Brief definitions of terms, arranged A to Z. High school and up. (2010, Dr. Frank Elwell, Rogers State University)
Social Studies Links - A directory of recommended websites on career exploration, civics and government, economics, geography, history, and other social studies topics. Mostly for teachers, though the 'Social Studies Activity Packs' include links to sites that will be useful to students; arranged by grade level, pre-K to high school, and by subject (PBS Teacher Source; site includes advertisements). Federal Resources for History & Social Studies offers links to a wide variety of learning resources on topics related to social studies, from many different government agencies. Arranged by subject. For grades K-12; age level varies for specific resources. History / Social Science Resources has thousands of annotated links to social science resources for elementary through high school, searchable by keyword or grade level; for students and teachers. Site may be slow to load and navigate (1996 - 2008, SCORE H/SS: Schools of California Online Resources for Education, History/Social Science)
Social Theorists - Bibliographies, PowerPoint lectures, links to primary sources and other materials on eight classical social theorists: T. Robert Malthus, Auguste Comte, Karl Marx, Herbert Spencer, Thorstein Veblen, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, and W. E. B. Dubois. There is also a related page on dozens of Modern Social Theorists. College or advanced high school students. (2002 - 2007, Dr. Frank Elwell, Rogers State University)
This I Believe - 'Americans from all walks of life share the personal philosophies and core values that guide their daily lives.' (2005 - 2009, NPR; site includes advertisements). Story Corps is a growing oral history archive of everyday Americans, interviews by a friend, neighbor, or family member — 'a WPA for the 21st Century.' Includes a Do-It-Yourself Instruction Guide on how to record your own interviews at home (Sound Portrait Productions, with NPR and Library of Congress).
Training in Multimedia Reporting - Online tutorials in reporting, video, audio, photography, web development, mashups, social media and more. (University of California).
Unicef Radio - Audio reports and in-depth programs on the world's children, advocating for the protection of children's rights, and promoting the equal rights of women and girls. Created for journalists; suitable high school and up. (United Nations)
Walk in My Shoes - Activities designed to help you understand what it feels like to grow older, what happens to our bodies as we age, and what is true and not true about aging and older people. (University of Illinois Extension)
Youthink! About Development - Information about critical global issues such as AIDS/HIV, conflict, environment, trade, and others. Includes complementary multimedia and stories. High school and up (World Bank). See also United Nations CyberSchoolbus .