Site URL: www.gosocialstudiesgo.com
Content: This teacher resource site covers the topics of world geography, world religions, ancient history, and American history. For each subtopic within each of these areas (e.g., within world geography’s Africa section, there’s a rainforest topic), the site offers an interactive “book” whose pages turn with a mouse click. The site is clearly still a work in progress, since some subtopics are marked “coming soon.” Each topic book contains short facts in an appealing display—the rainforest book, for example, contains seven pages of text with a few paragraphs each, illustrations that can be enlarged by clicking on them, and a few YouTube video clips.
Design: The site is easy to navigate and well-designed for kids. Created by a social studies teacher looking to liven up his class, the site has an amateur but charming look. It would probably be a good fit for middle-school students. In addition, the About Us section contains Cool Websites, a short listing of other social studies sites that would be useful in the classroom.
Review: There’s no original content here, and a textbook-level research source this is not. If you’re looking for some brief multimedia factoids to stimulate student research, however, GoSocialStudiesGo can help. Teachers can access an occasional change-of-page activity to reinforce an aspect of the curriculum. With its carefully hand-picked video clips and cited sources, GoSocialStudiesGo also gives teachers a safe Web exploration option that avoids the dangers and wasted time associated with student online research.
Bottom Line: Perfect for Webquests and multimedia reinforcement of textbook topics, GoSocialStudiesGo provides a safe site where middle-school students can have a little fun with social studies.