Web Resources


The World Wide Web has transformed both teaching and learning. I know, I began my teaching career without Internet. In the 1980’s we were only armed with the textbook, slide-tray and the school library. Today’s teachers have a gigantic array of text, visual, and video educational resources available at the tap of a keyboard and a click of a mouse. The current challenge is how to use them effectively with our students.

World Studies Resources 

With the advent of the Internet I worked hard to find high quality, accurate and engaging, educational websites for each of my courses.  For example, my sophomore World Studies students used the BBC’s Teach  - World War 1 site  along with their textbook. They read and listened to the  BBC’s Interactive programs commemorating WW 1 Armistice Day. Students also explored an Imperial War Museum website to answer the question: What things saved soldiers' lives in the trenches? 

My job was not just to put them on the sites, but to design handouts that would help guide students through the information.  I also wanted them to use what they had learned. My handout prompt asked, "Now it is your turn to write a letter home. Imagine that you were going "over the top” and into battle the next day. What would you want to tell your loved ones back home?” 

US History Resources 

As the Internet matured, more and more institutions were digitizing their content, putting it on the web. My US History classes could access excellent primary and secondary source material available at the The Library of Congress and the National Archives. Where our textbook might have one photograph of child labor at the turn of the century, The National Archives provided dozens of photographs in their Lewis Hine: Documentation of Child Labor web collection. You can read how I used these photo resources with my students on my Photos page in this website. 

Along with text and photographs, art, etchings, and political cartoons became abundant on the web, too. My students viewed the illustrations of Tom Feelings, whose work chronicles the horrors of the Middle Passage. They studied the debate over slavery, which was enhanced by examining the Gallery of Abolitionist and Anti-Abolitionist images, original source etchings and political cartoons created prior to the Civil War. Educational publishers also began to provide important Internet content. For example, the Scholastic Corporation created two sites useful in my US History classes, one on The Underground Railroad and the second An Interactive Tour of Ellis Island. The PBS website, Race the Power of An Illusion, which accompanied a film of the same name, provided a way to discuss both historical and contemporary issues of race. I helped students navigate this website by creating the Race the Power of Illusion search sheet

Now teachers have a wide variety of web-based video resources to use in their classrooms. For example, my US history students viewed the official newsreel produced by the US government during World War II on Japanese Relocation, and then watched Civil Wrongs and Rights: The Fred Korematsu Story, to hear first-hand what it was like for Japanese Americans in these same Internment Camps. In the spring when my US history students studied Civil Rights, they viewed video segments on the The Freedom Riders and the Voting Rights March to Selma. Teachers were no longer limited to the video collection in the school library. 

Economics Resources 

In the last decade, there have been an increasing number of interactive educational websites available. My senior economics students have been the beneficiaries. For example, Next 10 has created the Federal Budget Challenge, where students make a series choices about funding key budget priorities. They read pros and cons for each budget item, and they also are tasked with difficult deficit reduction decisions.  I’ve used Federal Budget Challenge, along with the National Priorities website and the New York Times Budget Puzzle, to have students grapple with tax and spending priorities of the federal budget. The Federal Reserve Banks have created some useful resources, such as the Chair the Fed: Monetary Policy game. In this game students must raise or lower the Fed Funds rate, depending upon the specific economic conditions presented each quarter in the scenario. It is a fun and engaging way to get students knowledgeable about the mysteries of monetary policy. 

A variety of government websites provide up-to-date information useful for our macroeconomic lessons. In one activity, students charted  GDP Growth over the last decade, using data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).  In another lesson, they looked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to trace current and historical unemployment rates. Along with helping students understand the theory of economics, the Internet also provides a plethora of websites that can help seniors with practical economic decision making. I’ve designed activities on: The Costs and Benefits of CollegeDoing Federal TaxesBuying a Good Used Car, and the Basics of Credit Cards, to name a few.

US Government Resources 

There are many engaging websites for US Government students, too, especially related to studying political behavior. A good lesson starter is to have your students take one of the Pew Research interactive quizzes, such as What do you know about the US government? or the Political Typology Quiz, which helps students situate themselves on the US political spectrum. In addition, the Pew Research Center has a huge amount of information on a variety of social and political topics, making it an excellent resource for student research.  In an election year, have your students use iSideWith, to determine how individual student’s political beliefs align with candidates. You can teach students to read polls on the Real Clear Politics or  FiveThirtyEightwebsites and have them follow the electoral map with 270 to Win. You might even have them visit a website I made for my students, A Trip to the Mall, to learn about some of our nation's most important government buildings, museums, monuments, and memorials in Washington DC. 

Web Based Research and Writing Tools

The web provides many excellent resources when students do research, but some challenges, too.  We must help students learn to search the Internet, discerning accurate and reliable resources. They need to know the difference between a website that is a .com versus an .edu. In addition, we need to teach them to look at an author’s credentials on a website or the organization sponsoring the information. 

When doing research, I required my students to use traditional books in our library, combined online resources. I know that our librarian has assembled an excellent collection of books, geared to high school students with a variety of skill levels. Secondly, on any given project, I try to identify high quality, accurate social science Internet sources for students to use, several of which I’ve shared above. 

For all their benefits, the personal computer and the Internet make student plagiarism much easier. Students simply cut and paste information from the Web when writing for our classes.  Sadly, some students see nothing wrong with taking other’s words, and they don’t realize they’ll never improve their writing without struggling to express their own ideas. Fortunately, there are writing sites like Turnitin and Easybib to identify and limit plagiarism. They have become widely used in our colleges. In addition, there are several free online grammar checkers like grammarcheck. These are very helpful. 

The Internet has changed the landscape of teaching. The World Wide Web, thoughtfully used by an accomplished teacher, provides powerful educational resources for our students. 

Web Resources

World Studies - World War 1 Trench Warfare Lesson 

US History Web Resources

  • “Home | Library of Congress.” Planning D-Day (April 2003) - Library of Congress Information Bulletin, Victor, www.loc.gov/.
  • “Educator Resources.” National Archives and Records Administration, National Archives and Records Administration, www.archives.gov/education.
  • “Teaching with Documents: Photographs of Lewis Hine: Documentation of Child Labor.” National Archives and Records Administration, National Archives and Records Administration, 14 Feb. 2017, www.archives.gov/education/lessons/hine-photos.
  • Juneteenth.com - The Middle Passage - Tom Feelings, www.juneteenth.com/middlep.htm.
  • “Abolition Images.” Images from the Abolitionist and Anti-Abolitionist Movements, utc.iath.virginia.edu/abolitn/abgall.html.
  • “The Underground Railroad: Escape From Slavery Student Activity | Scholastic.com.” How the Brain Learns Best, teacher.scholastic.com/activities/bhistory/underground_railroad/.
  • “Ellis Island Interactive Tour With Facts, Pictures, Video | Scholastic.com.” How the Brain Learns Best, teacher.scholastic.com/activities/immigration/tour/.
  • MaggieFick. “Japanese American Internment (U.S. Govt Propaganda).” YouTube, YouTube, 22 Jan. 2007, www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OiPldKsM5w.
  • “Civil Wrongs & Rights: The Fred Korematsu Story.” Vimeo, 22 Sept. 2018, vimeo.com/118490262.
  • SmithsonianMagazine. “The Freedom Riders History.” YouTube, YouTube, 23 Feb. 2010, www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zBY6gkpbTg.
  • RobertHJacksonCenter. “Selma to Montgomery March.” YouTube, YouTube, 9 Mar. 2013, www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM-tfj6lp6w.

US History Lesson - Race the Power of Illusion

Economics Web Resources

  • Next 10, Federal Budget Challenge, www.federalbudgetchallenge.org/pages/overview.
  • “National Priorities Project.” National Priorities Project, www.nationalpriorities.org/.
  • “Budget Puzzle: You Fix the Budget.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 13 Nov. 2010, archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/13/weekinreview/deficits-graphic.html?_r=1.
  • “Chair the Fed: A Monetary Policy Game.” FRB SF | 2014 Annual Report | Does College Matter?, sffed-education.org/chairthefed/default.html?startover=1.

GDP Growth

  • GDP Growth - Forrest handout pdf
  • “U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).” U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), www.bea.gov/.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)- Unemployment: Then and Now

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) - Forrest handout pdf
  • “U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov/.

Economics Lesson - The Costs and Benefits of College

Economics Lesson - Doing Federal Taxes

Economics Lesson - Buying a Good Used Car

Economics Lesson - Basics of Credit Cards

US Government Web Resources

  • Mitchell, Travis. “What Do You Know about the U.S. Government?” Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, 26 Apr. 2018, www.people-press.org/quiz/what-do-you-know-about-the-u-s-government/.
  • Suh, Michael. “Political Typology Quiz.” Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, 2 Dec. 2017, www.people-press.org/quiz/political-typology/.
  • Mitchell, Travis. “Nonpartisan, Non-Advocacy Public Opinion Polling and Demographic Research.” Pew Research Center, Pew Research Center, 20 Sept. 2018, www.pewresearch.org/.
  • “America's Most Popular Voting Guide for Elections, Political Issues, Candidates, and Poll Data.” ISideWith, www.isidewith.com/.
  • Hunt, Albert, et al. “RealClearPolitics - Opinion, News, Analysis, Video and Polls.” Video | RealClearPolitics, www.realclearpolitics.com/.
  • Jr., Perry Bacon, et al. “FiveThirtyEight.” FiveThirtyEight, FiveThirtyEight, fivethirtyeight.com/.
  • “2020 Presidential Election Interactive Map.” Split Electoral Votes in Maine and Nebraska, www.270towin.com/.
  • Forrest, David A. A Trip to the Mall, daveforrest.net/Mall/.

Dave’s Course Web Pages

World Studies Slideshow Lesson - Imperialism and Independence

Imperialism and Independence Slideshow Project -  Forrest handout pdf 

US History Oral History Project Website - Immigration

Community History Project Website - Union City

Database - Gale

  • Gale Subscription Database, Cenegage Company, https://www.gale.com/

Plagiarism Tools

  • “Home.” Home | Turnitin, www.turnitin.com/.
  • Staff, EasyBib. “The Free Automatic Bibliography Composer.” EasyBib, Chegg, 1 Jan. 2018, www.easybib.com/.

Grammar Checker

© Dave Forrest- 2018