What is the first image that comes to your mind when you think of history? Boring dates, difficult names, and equally complex events. That’s why many students cringe at the name of History. That, too, for all the right reasons. History, as it is taught in a classroom setting, eventually becomes uninteresting. Perhaps this is why history is universally recognized as one of the most boring classes. But, as much as we admit the boredom element of history, we are also fascinated by the incredible tales that history has to tell us, do we not? Moreover, history also becomes one class that a lot of high school freshman-year students contemplate on opting for.
And what if I further tell you that there is an interesting way to learn history? One that would take you on an adventurous journey of tales of the past without making you lose your interest even once? Would you love to hear more about it? Obviously, you would.
Therefore, to accomplish the said task, in this blog, we have compiled a list of 10 History websites that will definitely make you fall in love with history.
Cool Websites For Fun History Lessons
By curating and contextualizing text, audio, and images, websites aim for accessibility, giving students tons of content likely to touch on topics they care about. The websites have a vast collection of primary resources coupled with intriguing lesson plans and activities that will also fuel your research mindset.
This website provides high-quality resources on topics such as geography, world history, biology, ecology, engineering, and current events. Classroom resources are divided into the Resource Library, Mapping resources, and Explorer Magazine.
The Resource Library includes activities, articles, collections, educator guides, encyclopedic entries, historical articles, ideas, images, interactives, games, lessons, maps, media, photos, unit studies, and videos. Each element of the Resource Library lists the topics and subtopics it addresses and designates the grades of the intended audience. Users can also search by subject grade, content type, and keyword.
The mapping resources are customizable by nature. Users can draw on the map to add different markers or add geographic cities, borders, and other items to be labeled. Explorer Magazine includes interactive visuals and audio, providing compelling content for younger students.
Funded by the US Department of Education, this website is free for all students. Although the site claims that it is designed for teachers and educators to improve U.S. history teaching in the classroom, the website makes history content, resources, and research easily accessible to high school students.
Quick links make it easier to navigate study material according to the grade level. Students will also find a specific link through which they can resolve their queries by consulting a historian, a digital historian, or a master teacher. Introductory videos, history quizzes, and digital classrooms are some of the website’s highlighted features, making it super engaging for the students.
Going beyond the history found in traditional textbooks and curricula, the Zinn Education Project has introduced students to a more accurate, complex, and engaging understanding of history. With an annual growth of 15,000 new registrants every year, the Zinn Education Project has become a leading repository of resources for teachers and students alike. The website offers free, downloadable lessons and articles organized by theme, time period, and grade level. Based on the approach to history highlighted in Howard Zinn’s best-selling book A People’s History of the United States, their teaching materials emphasize the role of working people, women, people of color, and organized social movements in shaping history.
Teaching American History is a free resource that combines primary documents, continuing education, and community for American history teachers and students. Primary documents present America’s story in the words of those who wrote it. When students read these documents, they have direct access to the minds of those, both great and humble, who shaped the nation’s history. They can see earlier generations’ challenges, examine their intentions, and join the great debates that guided their choices.
BBC’s History section contains an impressive selection of exhibitions, activities, games, photo galleries, and other resources. The materials listed under various grouped tags are very useful in boosting students’ research. The BBC Ancient History section focuses on Anglo-Saxons, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Vikings. Among the special attractions are examples of Roman art found in Britain, planning your own Viking raid, and discovering treasures from the ‘cradle of civilization.’
There are engaging sections entitled Multimedia Room, Historic Figures, Timelines, Programmes, Reading Room, Talk History, For Kids, and History Trails aimed at upper elementary and lower secondary students.
The website provides high-quality material for students, educators, and general history enthusiasts. Start with the Metropolitan Museum of Art Timeline of Art History, a chronological, geographical, and thematic exploration of the history of art from around the world. Each timeline page includes representative art from the Museum’s collection, a chart of time periods, a map of the region, an overview, and a list of key events.
The timelines, accompanied by world, regional, and sub-regional maps, provide a linear outline of art history and allow visitors to compare and contrast art from around the globe at any time in history.
Turning the Pages is an award-winning interactive display system developed by The British Library in collaboration with Armadillo Systems. The aim of the site is to increase public access and enjoyment of some of its most valuable treasures.
High schoolers are able to virtually “turn” the pages of manuscripts in a realistic way, using touch-screen technology and animation. There are currently thirty-six treasures on display in Turning the Pages including: the Lindisfarne Gospels, the Diamond Sutra, the Sforza Hours, the Leonardo Notebook, the Golden Haggadah, the Luttrell Psalter, Blackwell’s Herbal, the Sherborne Missal, and Memoirs of Babur.
The Internet History Sourcebooks have an amazing collection of public domain and copy-permitted historical texts for educational use by Paul Halsall of Fordham University. The Internet Ancient History Sourcebook is a companion to the Internet Medieval Sourcebook and the Internet Modern History Sourcebook.
The Internet Ancient History Sourcebook contains hundreds of well-organized sources; the main sections are Human Origins, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia, Israel, Greece, the Hellenistic World, Rome, Late Antiquity, and Christian Origins. The Ancient History Sourcebook also includes links to visual and aural material, as art and archeology play a prominent role in the study of Ancient history. The major emphasis of this initiative is on easy access to primary source texts for educational purposes.
Perseus Project is a digital library rich with Greek and Classical resources from the Classics Department at Tufts University for primary and secondary source scholarly works that cover the history, literature, and culture of the Greco-Roman world. The collection contains extensive and diverse resources, including primary and secondary texts, site plans, digital images, and maps.
Works are listed by author and you can browse the Greco-Roman Collection or use the search engine. Art and archaeology catalogs document a wide range of objects: vases, sculptures and sculptural groups, coins, buildings, and gems. The site also has FAQs, essays, a historical overview, an extensive library of art objects and other resources.
EDSITEment is a website that offers lesson plans and online resources in the subject areas of literature and language arts, foreign languages, art and culture, and history and social studies. It’s a collection of content from all over the Web, but all the links have been vetted for quality by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
High schoolers can search content by type, subject area, or state standard, or they can browse the front page to see features like “How to do a close reading of the Gettysburg Address” and a calendar of notable historical and cultural events, like the 1942 premiere of Casablanca.
Other helpful tools
Thanks to the vast resources available on internet, you can even use other tools to accelerate your history studies. Some of these tools are:
- Apps: In most cases, apps are basically the user-friendly version of the website. It makes navigating through the features easier for the user. Plus, the gamified approach used in the apps makes studying interesting and immersive. Our top recommendation includes these two apps:
- Google Art and Culture: This app helps students learn more about the world’s cultural heritage. 360° videos, virtual reality tours into the world museums, interactive games, Street View to explore famous sites, and guided tours curated by experts are some of the most highlighted features of this app.
- World History Trivia Quiz: The best app to test your knowledge about world history. The quiz covers topics from World Wars, ancient Egypt, Chornobyl, American history, and many more.
- Books: If you would rather flip through the contents of books than refer to other tools, then here is our book recommendation for you.
- Mike Maxwell The Student’s Friend Concise World History: Parts 1 & 2: As the title itself suggest, this book excludes superficial facts and condenses world history into 127 pages of only the most important information.
- Prentice Hall World History Book: Laid out in an easy-to-understand manner, this book offers color-coded terms, main ideas, people, and places. The short answer sections available throughout the book help students revise the information they just learned.
- History channels: History channels on television are interesting because they provide varied information based on varied contexts. These channels do not limit itself to covering the history of one specific geographical location, so you end up collecting a rich repository of information.
- Talking to elders: Nothing compares to the strong impression we get from learning about history through a conversation. Therefore, talk to your elders and ask about their history. Sometimes, talking with different people lets you uncover a different perspective towards looking at a certain history.
- Forums: Being a part of a forum that discusses forums is very helpful and enriching. It gives you a space to be a part of rich discussions and debates, fosters a sense of community, and encourages peer-to-peer interaction that eventually improves learner engagement.
- Magazines: It’s the richly illustrated blend of style and story that makes magazine a rich tool for classroom studies. You can make use of this tool to unearth some interesting historical events that aren’t generally included in your coursebooks.
Websites can be useful tools and resources that can be supremely beneficial for young learners. At the same time, these free history websites can be used by high schoolers intrigued by historical topics. Moreover, kids finding some or other difficulty in some history topics and concepts can also take the help of these websites in overcoming difficulties and making the process more facile for themselves.