US History Websites with the Common Core

Forty-five states have implemented the Common Core State Standards in ELA and Mathematics for every subject. These standards are not intended to drive history and other subjects away from the curriculum, but they are designed to encourage our students to be critical readers who can apply the knowledge they learned.  These standards are intended to engage students in the history curriculum and teach them skills needed to be successful. The websites listed below are useful  to supplement the curriculum and teach students the skills needed to be successful  21st century learners.

Under Common Core Student’s will be encouraged to: 

  1. Examine and analyze primary sources
  2. Use evidence to support an argument
  3. Understand historical context
  4. Read multiple accounts and perspectives
  5. Question: Who? What? Why? When? How? Where?
  6. Take a postion and defend it with evidence


  • Docs Teach: This website is a wonderful resource that has over Four Thousand primary documents from the National Archives. The website also has tons of resources and ready to use tools to enhance your instruction.
  • Gilder Lehrman Institute: This website offers a massive variety of resources to assist teachers and students. It offers professional development opportunities for educators, provides documents and exercises for classroom use, and encourages excellence in student writing with essay prizes.
  • Digital History: This website is another great resource that has tons of useful materials such as an alternative textbook, teaching ideas, primary documents, learning modules, and media rich lessons.
  • NROC: This is the website from the National Repository of Online courses that provides teachers with video clips on every unit, key readings, and so much more.
  • Teaching History: Teaching history is a website designed by the National History Education Clearinghouse. This website offers tons of history materials from “Ask a historian,” teaching materials, and best practices.
  • EDSITEment: EDSITEment is another wonderful website from the National Endowment from the Humanities. The website offers free resources and over 393 history lessons for teachers. These lessons stress primary source documents, critical thinking, and other common core skills.  The website is extremely easy to navigate and it has a plethora of valuable and easy to implement lessons.
  • Pearson Hall: This website has online educational materials FREE for educators such as vocabulary building activities, review games, interactive links, and assessments.
  • DBQ and Thematic Essay: Greece Public Schools in Greece, NY has a wonderful collections of Document Based Questions and Thematic Essays that have appeared on the New York State Assessment.
  • Eye Witness to History is a wonderful website to incorporate primary sources such as first-hand accounts, vintage photographs, and radio broadcasts into your classroom.
  •  Reading Like a Historian is a wonderful  curriculum to engage students in historial inquiry.  The Standford History Education Group produced over 75 Lesson Plans based on primary documents and activities to engage your students in the study of United States History.These lessons seems to align perfectly with the Common Core Standards of reading, analyzing, forming an opinion, and debating primary source materials. Students are not learning the material from a textbook or a teacher but engaging in real and meaningful historical inquiry. 



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