DelaWISE – Project Manager
Delaware Department of Education
According to the needs assessment conducted by the Delaware
Social Studies Education Project during the 1999-2000 school
year, two-thirds of the teachers indicated that they needed
“improved access to current instructional materials and resources
that meet the state standards.” One tool available to most teachers to find
standards based resources is the Internet. The purpose of
this article is to provide teachers some of my ideas on how
the Internet can be used to locate resources specifically
aligned to the state social studies standards.
Experience has led me to the conclusion that
taking the time to be specific about what you are searching
for before you begin using the Internet can significantly
improve your chances of knowing whether you will or will not
find what you are seeking.
Most people begin with search engines of various types
when they are seeking some specific information.
Considering that the Internet can provide you various
means of searching for information, it is critical to take
the time to determine which means of searching would be the
Let’s begin with a few focusing questions:
What is the content target?
Am I seeking general resources on the content
target, or do I want to find a specific lesson, unit, or web
To find a general resource related to a content
target you could use several resources that provide various
levels of specificity when you do your search.
For example, you could use a Meta Search Engine that
searches several other search engines for you.
My favorite is http://www.go2net.com/. Or you could go to a
site where a teacher has organized a list of resources for
you under course titles.
One example would be Abby’s Site http://www.alltel.net/~abbysresources/socialstudies.htm. Another general resource would be to go to
a generic resource archive such as http://www.bigchalk.com
that allows you to search by grade clusters and content.
There are several states including Delaware
that are attempting to create lesson plan databases, sample
assessment item banks, and resources for teachers directly
aligned to their respective state standards.
These sites such as http://www.glc.k12.ga.us/ will be very useful
as they identify more and more resources specifically targeted
to content standards by grade.
To find a specific lesson or unit on a specific
content target, you will need to make sure that you start
with an Internet site that is set up to do this for you. For
example, let’s say I want to find a lesson on supply and demand
that supports the teaching of Delaware’s grade 5 end of cluster
expectation for the microeconomics standard. This end of grade cluster expectation states: “By the completion
of grade 5, students will be able to understand that prices
in a market economy are determined by the interaction of supply
and demand, with governments intervening to deal with market
failures.” An excellent starting point would be http://www.economicsamerica.org:/
or http://www.econedlink.org/. In this case the second site has a lesson on
supply and demand for fifth grade at
To determine if a web quest has been created
for a specific standard, knowledge of sites that list web
quests is required. With this information you can review the sites
and then know if any of the web quests would support your
instruction of a specific standard.
A couple of places to look would be http://edweb.sdsu.edu/webquest/matrix.html,
or http://www.kiko.com/wqst/showcase.jsp. When searching through web quests you will
soon see that they are usually problem-based and research-
oriented. They often require the students to interact
with web pages to support the learning of specific content
What should you do if you tried the strategies
mentioned in this article and you still haven’t been able
to locate the information you are seeking?
I would suggest that you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I have been collecting resources from the web
for the past five years.
I would be glad to share these resources with you.