One of the elements of engaging history studies is interactives. These days students can visit historical locations at the click of a mouse. Some interactives also put the student in the place of the participants of an event, facing the decisions they faced and providing a depth of understanding. Here are 12 favorite (and free) history interactives (in rough chronological order):
- Growth of a Nation
Free animated atlas showing the growth of the United States from the original thirteen colonies. Read our full review.
- Young George Washington’s Adventures
Interactive from the National Park Service covering Washington’s role as a soldier. Students face the decisions he had to make.
- Revolutionary War Animated Maps
Follow the battle first hand. Read our full review.
- George Washington’s World for Kids
Students step into the life and times of George Washington in this interactive from the Mount Vernon Ladies Association.
- Go West Across America with Lewis and Clark
Interactive from National Geographic that has you making the decisions throughout the trip.
- Hold the Fort
An interactive game of strategy from the National Park Service covering the War of 1812 where “The fate of Baltimore — and perhaps the United States — hinges on your actions!”
- The Battle of Waterloo
You can participate as Napoleon or Wellington, making battlefield decisions in this interactive from the BBC.
- Building a Sod House
Interactive from the Smithsonian where you are settling on the open prairie and need to build a house for you and your family. How will you do it?
- Killing Lincoln
Older students can learn about the conspiracy and plots against Lincoln that ultimately lead to his assassination. Despite the gruesome title, this is an excellent interactive presentation from National Geographic.
- Railroad Connections
Interactive from the National Park Service where students explore railroads and trains by solving two mysteries.
- Remembering Pearl Harbor: Attack Map
National Geographic interactive with a timeline look at events through photos, interviews, video clips, and more.
- Apollo 11: Walking on the Moon
Smithsonian interactive covering the race to space through photos, video clips, activities, and background information.