Homework Topics

Current Events

More current events resources. In addition, students will find a variety of information in the book series "Opposing Viewpoints" by Greenhaven Press. Each title focuses on a specific issue and includes both popular and unpopular views in a pro/con format. Search the library catalog to determine if your subject is one of the more than 145 topics covered.
  • Debatabase: A World of Great Debates
    Use this resource as a starting place to find arguments for and against a debate topic on subjects such politics, education, culture, law, economy and more. Each "motion" contains up to six points for acceptance and up to six points arguing for rejection. A bibliography contains the references used in the debate. Provided by the International Debate Education Association (IDEA).

  • Debate Central
    Provides high school students with multiple perspectives on debate topics, and includes links to resources, background materials and advice from experts. Maintained by the National Center for Policy Analysis.

  • Intelligence Squared US
    Watch videos of Oxford-style debates argued by leading authorities. You can read the transcripts, view the research used by the debaters and see the graphs showing pre- and post-debate voting results.

  • Politics1 — Hot Issues and Debates
    Links to organizations and publications representing a wide range of political ideologies, and to advocacy organizations.

  • ProCon.org
    This site offers pros and cons of controversial issues on various topics to "provide resources for critical thinking and to educate without bias." Arguments are presented in a straightforward format with links to references.

  • Public Opinion Polls and Surveys
    The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press publishes the results — and, in some cases, the methodology — of selected polls on political and social issues.

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  • About.com — Geography

  • Geography Dictionary and Glossary
    Definitions for more than 1400 terms covering physical and human geography and related disciplines. (Note that the dictionary uses British English spelling.)

  • Geography World
    An excellent collection of links on all aspects of geography: geology, weather, culture, environment and conservation, maps, time and much more.

  • Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
    Contains approximately 1.3 million names, arranged in hierarchies, including vernacular and historical names, coordinates and place types.

  • Maps

    • National Geographic Map Machine
      Hundreds of theme-based, customizable maps for all areas of the globe.

    • Outline Maps
      An educational site providing copyright-free outline maps.

    • Worldmapper
      A collection of nearly 700 color-coded world theme maps, where territories are "re-sized" according to the subject; for example, map displays showing the relative global distribution of natural resources, wealth, population, education, fuel, transportation, work, etc. Because Worldmapper is currently without funding, the maps on the site are not being updated. Some updated and new maps can be found on the Worldmapper-related research blog, Views of the World.

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  • Good Starting Points
  • Ancient
  • Discoverers and Exploration
  • Middle Ages
  • United States
  • Virginia

  • Good Starting Points
    • Best of History Web Sites
      Find information from prehistoric to modern times by browsing categories of history topics. A description accompanies each of the recommended 1200+ links. The site also contains history-related games, links for maps, and lesson plans and activities for teachers.

    • Calendars through the Ages
      Describes in detail human endeavors to organize time in calendar form according to Christian, Jewish, Chinese, Islamic, Mayan and other tenets. Includes an interesting "Timeline of Calendar Facts."

    • HyperHistory Online
      A color-coded tableau of clickable links covering 3000 years of world history, addressing significant people and events in science and exploration, technology, politics and war, literature, culture, theology and religion.

    • On This Day
      Designed to assist student in grades 3-12, this site offers highlights in history arranged by date, in some cases with links to articles about the subject of the day.

    • Rulers
      Frequently updated, this site offers country-by-country listings of heads of state, heads of government and foreign ministers "since 1700," plus a "chronicle of relevant events since 1996."

    • Teacher Oz's Kingdom of History
      Extraordinarily detailed coverage of world history from ancient to modern times, with sections devoted to topics as diverse as timelines, legends, religions, wars, fine arts, inventions, royalty, flags/maps, etc.

  • Ancient History

  • Discoverers and Exploration
    These links tie in with Virginia's Standards of Learning for eighth graders, but many of the sites are also suitable for older or younger students.

    • American Journeys
      Primary documents about the exploration of North America are offered in this digitized collection (including text and images) drawn from books from the 17th to the 20th century. Emphasis is on eyewitness accounts contained in original manuscripts, valuable geographic and cultural information and chronological listings of highlights. All material is searchable by keyword or can be refined by using drop-down topic menus.

    • Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga
      Images on this website are drawn from materials that were featured in a traveling exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History in the summer of 2000. The site presents information about the Norsemen by looking at archaeological artifacts, by studying their sagas and their history and by investigating clues from the environment. (Copies of the companion book, "Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga," by Fitzhugh and Ward, are owned by the library.)

  • Middle Ages
    • The Middle Ages
      Co-sponsored by the Annenberg Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, this educational site offers well-organized, introductory information on various aspects of daily life in the Middle Ages. There are sections on feudal life, health, clothing, homes, arts/entertainment, religion and more. The material, which is suitable for upper elementary and middle school students, includes text as well as images, plus links to more information.

  • United States History
    See also Virginia history.
    • America's Story
      Brought to you by the Library of Congress, this site provides selective images and highlights from American history. It is not designed for in-depth research, but would be suitable for elementary school students needing brief, straightforward coverage of milestones, eras or themes in our country's past.

    • Black History Month
      The LearningNetwork has compiled a rich collection of facts and diverse themes for study through timelines, headlines, biographies (over 400 brief sketches) and milestones in black history. The material is authoritative, though condensed, offering good starting points for report writing.

    • Centuries of Citizenship: A Constitutional Timeline
      Explore people, events and issues that helped shape the US Constitution through this timeline from the National Constitution Center. The timeline covers more than 200 years of history and uses images, audio and video clips to highlight key dates and events.

    • Civil War@Smithsonian
      Civil War images and artifacts from the Smithsonian's extensive collections are the basis for this presentation produced by the National Portrait Gallery.

    • Documenting the American South
      Primary sources from the 19th century including diaries, memoirs, autobiographies and narratives on slavery.

    • Early America

      • Archiving Early America
        Look at historical documents or pages from 18th-century newspapers and almanacs, view a portrait gallery or read the original text of selected early American biographies.

      • Colonial Hall: A Look at America's Founders
        Over 100 biographical sketches are offered here of individuals involved in American history as signers of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation or the US Constitution. The material is drawn from 19th-century resources, with slight editing to "modernize" language usage and spelling.

      • Salem Witch Trials
        An electronic collection of primary source material, including transcriptions and images of original court documents, historical maps and biographical profiles of notable people.

      • Thanksgiving Interactive
        Become a history detective and find out what really happened in the fall of 1621. See how the harvest celebration was viewed from the perspectives of the Wampanoag and the English colonists.

    • Historical Documents and Images

      • 100 Milestone Documents
        Three organizations (National Archives and Records Administration, National History Day and USA Freedom Corps) have joined in a cooperative initiative to present this online collection of documents representing significant milestones in American history between 1776 and 1965. Scanned images of the original documents enrich the text; each document is transcribed and accompanied by an annotation placing it in historic context.

      • Chronology of US Historical Documents
        This collection features selective material from pre-colonial times to the 21st century. Contents include such key items as the Mayflower Compact, Virginia Charters, the Stamp Act, the Monroe Doctrine, Constitution of the Confederate States of America, inaugural addresses of the presidents, Japanese Surrender Documents of WWII and many more.

      • Native Americans
        Elementary school-age students can learn about the cultures of the Northeast Woodland, Southeast Woodland, Plains, Southwest, Great Basin/California and Northwest peoples. Try the quiz to see how much you know about the dwellings, plants, animals and clothing used by Native Americans.

      • New Perspectives on the West
        Sponsored by General Motors, and produced by PBS working in conjunction with Ken Burns, this site contains material based upon an eight-part documentary television series. Archival photos, biographical sketches and interactive maps are incorporated into a survey of people, places and events involved in the exploration and settling of the American West.

    • Immigration to the United States, 1789-1930
      This collection includes more than 2200 books and 7800 photographs documenting voluntary immigration to the United States. Browse topics by category or region, or search the collection by keyword. Provided by Harvard University.

    • Presidents

      • American President
        Sponsored by the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs, this site offers "Facts at a Glance" as well as essays on each US President. The essays include information on life before and after the presidency, campaigns and elections, domestic and foreign affairs, impact and legacy, and key events. There are also profiles of the first ladies and cabinet members. Material is geared toward high school students.

      • Library of Congress — Presidential Images

      • POTUS — Presidents of the United States

    • Shmoop — US History
      Study American history and be entertained at the same time. Developed and written by Ph.D. and masters students from top universities, Shmoop's mission is to make learning and writing more fun for high school and college students.

    • Supreme Court: The Oyez Project
      Using sound, text and panoramic graphics, the creators of this website have fashioned a comprehensive tool for accessing Supreme Court cases focusing on constitutional law. One can scan biographies of the justices, listen to oral arguments from 1968 to the current term, browse the Cases section to see listings of cases currently before the court, review abstracts of historic decisions and more.

    • Twentieth Century

      • America in the 1920s
        From the "Best of History" Web sites; coverage includes cultural, literary, economic and biographical material for the era.

      • America in the 1930s
        Audio and video clips of the period greatly enhance the effectiveness of this site, which offers coverage of art, film, radio, publishing, popular culture and a timeline of landmark events.

      • Digital History
        This site supports the teaching of American History in K-12 schools and colleges. First choose a subject in the Eras section and read an overview or the digital textbook on that topic. You can also view the text of key documents, see a timeline of events and discover important people, films and music of the era. From The College of Education at the University of Houston.

      • 1950s Summary and Analysis
        Coverage of the 1950s includes a focus on diplomacy, politics, economy, society, science and technology, and culture.

      • 1960s Summary and Analysis
        This site offers information on creating a new America in the 1960s and a look at the politics, economy, ideology, labor and culture of this decade.

      • We Shall Overcome: Historic Places of the Civil Rights Movement
        Based upon files in the National Register of Historic Places, several government agencies have collaborated to present a chronicle of the memorable civil rights events associated with over three dozen places.

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From the library's list of homework websites.

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