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Teaching Tools

NOTE: Unless specifically noted, all of the teaching tools listed below are free.

The Black Vault


The Black Vault is the largest online Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) document clearinghouse in the world. The research efforts here are responsible for the declassification of hundreds of thousands of pages released by the U.S. Government & Military.

The Brain


Digital mind-mapping software that has a free and a paid version.

Center for New History and Media

We create websites and open-source digital tools to preserve and present the past, transform scholarship across the humanities, advance history education and historical understanding, and encourage popular participation in the practice of history. It provides online resources for teachers; online collections, exhibits and collecting sites; open-source software; and forums to develop knowledge and build community among those in the humanities working with digital technology.


The CK-12 Foundation is a California-based non-profit organization which aims to increase access to low-cost K-12 education in the United States and abroad. CK-12 provides free and customizable K-12 open educational resources aligned to state curriculum standards.

Classroom Law Project

The Classroom Law Project brings vital and engaging civics education programs into schools, teaching students at all grade levels the values and skills essential to participating in our democracy.


The Constitutional Sources Project (ConSource) connects hundreds of thousands of American citizens of all ages annually to our nation's constitutional history by creating a comprehensive, easily searchable, fully-indexed, and freely accessible digital library of historical sources related to the creation, ratification, and amendment of the United States Constitution. Our team not only curates important digital collections of historical materials, but also creates free research reports and educational resources — including downloadable lesson plans — to meet the specific needs of scholars and authors, legal practitioners and government officials, educators and students, journalists and the general public.

Digital History

An in-depth digital library of primary digital resources for the social sciences from pre-1492 to the present.

Four Worlds of History Database


An educational outreach project sponsored by USC’s College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, The Four Worlds of History Database (4WH) is an adapted analytical model that distinguishes aspects of society – political, economic, social, and cultural – as social science factors.  The frame is used to illustrate relationships between factors; it enables students to compare societies, past to present.  The model focuses on determining lessons of history, evaluating continuity and change in the human condition, and applying its relevance to personal and policy choices today.


The Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History

The institute maintains a web site to serve as a portal for American history, to offer educational material for teachers, students, historians, and the public, and to provide up-to-the-minute information about the institute's programs and activities. The web site offers learning modules on major topics in American history, podcasts from noted historians discussing their work, online exhibitions of primary source documents, and information about the institute's programs.

Google Scholar

A freely accessible web search engine that indexes the full text or metadata of scholarly literature across an array of publishing formats and disciplines. The index includes most peer-reviewed online academic journals and books, conference papers, theses and dissertations, preprints, abstracts, technical reports, and other scholarly literature, including court opinions and patents.

History Commons


The website is a tool for open-content participatory journalism. It allows people to investigate important issues by providing a space where people can collaborate on the documentation of past and current events, as well as the entities associated with those events. The website can be used to investigate topics at the local, regional, or global level. The data is displayed on the website in the form of dynamic timelines and entity profiles, and is exportable into XML so it can be shared with others for non-commercial purposes.


Justice Sandra Day O'Connor founded iCivics in 2009 to reimagine civic education. Her vision was clear and ambitious: To cultivate a new generation of students for thoughtful and active citizenship. Civic knowledge is a prerequisite for civic participation. Yet for decades, civic education had largely disappeared from school curricula and the repercussions are undeniable. iCivics offers a range of practical, dynamic, and standards-aligned resources tailored to the needs of classroom teachers focused on civics education. They are free and accessible to all.

The Inclusive Historian's Handbook

A reference source supports inclusive and equity-focused historical work in public settings by sharing a knowledge base that invites more people to engage in history projects. This handbook provides concrete examples of how to make history work more relevant. It centers on equity, inclusivity, diversity, and public service while offering accessible windows into the many ways public historians work.

Internet Archive


Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, and more. The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded to build an Internet library. Its purposes include offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format.

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is the research library that officially serves the United States Congress and is the de facto national library of the United States. It is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. The Library of Congress is one of the largest libraries in the world. Its "collections are universal, not limited by subject, format, or national boundary, and include research materials from all parts of the world and in more than 450 languages."


A screen recorder that is free for educators that can help with creating online and distance learning programs.


National Archives

An independent agency of the United States government charged with the preservation and documentation of government and historical records. It is also tasked with increasing public access to those documents which make up the National Archive. It is responsible for maintaining and publishing the legally authentic and authoritative copies of acts of Congress, presidential directives, and federal regulations, and also transmits votes of the Electoral College to Congress.

The National Endowment for the Humanities

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is an independent federal agency of the U.S. government, established by the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965, dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. 


Smithsonian Learning Lab

The Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access created the Smithsonian Learning Lab to inspire the discovery and creative use of its rich digital materials—more than a million images, recordings, and texts. It is easy to find something of interest because search results display pictures rather than lists. Whether you've found what you were looking for or just discovered something new, it's easy to personalize it. Add your own notes and tags, incorporate discussion questions, and save and share. The Learning Lab makes it simple.

Stanford History Education Group (SHEG)

SHEG seeks to improve education by conducting research, working with school districts, and reaching directly into classrooms with free materials for teachers and students. SHEG’s Reading Like a Historian curriculum and Beyond the Bubble assessments have been downloaded more than 9 million times. SHEG's current work focuses on how young people evaluate online content. SHEG has created a Civic Online Reasoning curriculum to help students develop the skills needed to navigate our current digital landscape.

Students of History

A paid service that provides complete curricula for World History, US History, and Civics. They also have free teaching resources.

Teachers Pay Teachers

A paid service where teachers sell complete lesson and unit plans on all topics.

The Teacher's Corner

Create free customized worksheets, puzzles, and crosswords.

Teaching American History sponsors a variety of resources, courses, and programs to help classroom teachers improve their knowledge of American history, government, civics, and ideas through the use of primary documents.  programs and courses are unique in that they are all rooted in primary documents only, and are created and conducted by university scholars who are experts in their respective fields.


Teaching Channel


Teaching Channel is a multi-platform service delivering professional development videos for teachers over the Internet and on television. In addition to showcasing inspiring teachers in videos, Teaching Channel also hosts a community for educators to share ideas, best practices and enhance their knowledge.


Teaching History​ (National History Education Clearinghouse) is designed to help K–12 history teachers access resources and materials to improve U.S. history education in the classroom. With funding from the U.S. Department of Education, the Center for History and New Media (CHNM) has created with the goal of making history content, teaching strategies, resources, and research accessible

Teaching Tolerance

Teaching Tolerance provides free resources to educators—teachers, administrators, counselors and other practitioners—who work with children from kindergarten through high school. The program emphasizes social justice and anti-bias. The anti-bias approach encourages children and young people to challenge prejudice and learn how to be agents of change in their own lives. The Social Justice Standards show how anti-bias education works through the four domains of identity, diversity, justice and action.


A user-friendly video editing tool that also allows you to cut videos that have been posted on YouTube, Facebook, Google Drive, Dropbox, or Vimeo, and create discussion questions that are queued to specific parts of a video.

World History For Us All

World History for Us All is a powerful, innovative model curriculum for teaching world history in middle and high schools.​ World History for Us All is a national collaboration of K-12 teachers, collegiate instructors, and educational technology specialists. It is a project of the National Center for History in the Schools, a division of the Public History Initiative, Department of History, UCLA. World History for Us All is a continuing project.

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