Middle School Social Studies Apps, Tools, and Resources That We Love

Are you looking for middle school social studies, apps, tools, and resources that you can use with your students? If so, we have you covered. Check out our list below. Let us know if there are any that we missed.

Stack the States– With information about state capitals, flags, shapes, and more, Stack the States teaches students about the United States in a fun and engaging way. The app includes 50 state fact cards, an interactive map, high-resolution images of state landmarks, and hundreds of state questions. As students successfully complete levels, they collect random states to unlock hidden content, including four additional games: MapIt!, Pile Up!, Puzzler, and Capital Drop. Stack the States is an interactive addition to the elementary or middle school social studies classroom.

Win the White House – This is a game that lets young Americans experience a presidential campaign firsthand and understand the process it takes to run a campaign successfully. The game starts with the user choosing a political party and five issues they will represent. Users get to manage elements of a presidential campaign such as winning their party’s nomination, selecting a running mate, raising funds, polling voters, launching media campaigns, and making personal appearances. Meticulous planning and wise spending are encouraged.

GeoGuessr – GeoGuessr is a web-based geographic discovery game that uses a semi-randomized Google Street Views and requires players to guess their location in the world using only the visible clues. Players can use any of the information included in each picture, such as the weather, language on signs, and environment to guess the location. It is compatible with Android and iOS devices.

Papers, Please – Papers, Please is a game in which students play the role of the immigration officer of Arstostka. As immigration officers, players decide who goes into the country and who goes out. Players are drilled on making the best decisions, which determine different outcomes in the game. The plot unfolds and reveals a lot of challenging activities for players to complete.

Fate of the World: Tipping Point – This is a turn-based strategy game in which players decide on the resources made available to a population. The players’ actions influence the areas they are playing for. Nine missions are up for grabs, and there are conditions for success and failure in each stage. Players must learn to manage societal pressures and resources to beat the game.

Stack the Countries– A valuable addition to social studies, geography, and world history classes, Stack the Countries is a stacking and collecting game that teaches students about capitals, landmarks, major cities, and more. For each successfully completed level, students earn a random country to add to their world map with the goal of collecting all 193. With more than 1,000 questions and 193 fact cards, Stack the Countries is a wealth of information. Students have the option to play with the entire world or selected continents depending on prior knowledge or as required by the assignment. Stack the Countries also comes with two bonus games: MapIt! And Pile Up!

Brain POP: Featured Movie– Learn something new every day from animation movies. Test yourself after every lesson with intensive free tests. The in-app purchases unlock over 750 science, math, art, and music subjects that you can access from your smartphone. All movies come with closed captions for people who might need them.

Sites in VR– Sites in VR allows students to explore famous landmarks from the classroom or their own home. This app primarily focuses on Islamic temples, tombs, and ancient cities; however, there is also an outer space component. Landmarks from Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Morocco, Kuwait, Yemen, Macedonia, Holland, Belgium, France, Italy, and Greece are included. If you’ve always imagined your history or social studies students touring through the pyramids of Egypt or the Colosseum in Rome, this app can fulfill that wish. Sites in VR includes more than 1,000 high-quality panoramic images and promises that “you will feel as if you are there…”

Smarty Pins– Well suited for history, geography, or social studies courses, Smarty Pins, was created by Google engineers as a fun way to brush up on map skills and review trivia. There are six main categories that students can choose from: March Madness, Arts & Culture, Science & Geography, Sports & Games, Entertainment, and History & Current Events. Once a category is selected, the student is asked a trivia question and prompted to find the location on the map that provides the answer. Bonus points are awarded for quick thinking! If a student finds themselves stumped, hints are provided as the remaining time to submit an answer runs out.

Study Island– Study Island is an all-in-one practice website for students to work on literacy, math, science, and social studies skills. It is built specifically around state standards, so regardless of your school’s location, you can rest assured that the content and practice provided on the website will align with your classroom teaching. Study Island is a great tool to use for high stakes testing preparation and provides real-time progress monitoring for teachers and parents. Beyond simple practice, Study Island can also be incorporated into classroom lessons for formative assessment and differentiation. It even allows teachers to import NWEA MAPassessment information for individual students and calculates a targeted learning path to fill in knowledge gaps!

TapQuiz Maps World Edition Perfect for the geography or social studies classroom, TapQuiz Maps World Edition lets students learn the countries of the world in a game show environment. Simply tap the correct answer for each country on the map and track your progress mastering country names through the statistics page. Regions included in this app: U.S. States, Canadian Provinces, Mexico and Central America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Australia and Oceania. There are two modes: Tap and Type and Discovery Mode. In Tap and Type, students are prompted to type in the name of the country, state, or province. In Discovery Mode, students can tap a country, state, or province to brief1.   

The Hidden World of Our National Parks– Using 360° video, students can virtually follow park rangers into National Parks around the country and explore. From kayaking through icebergs to see a receding glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park to flying with thousands of bats through a cave in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, students can explore and discover fascinating corners of the U.S. National Parks system. Rangers provide facts and figures about each National Park as students move through the videos, so the website is both educational and engaging. It would be a good fit for any social studies or science class.

TripLingo– Designed as a tool for international travelers, TripLingo can also be used with success in the classroom. With the ability to instantly translate voices in 42 languages, TripLingo can assist new students who are still struggling with English or allow teachers to give directions in multiple languages to ensure that all students understand. The app has an essential phrases section with lots of slang that can be used to supplement introductory-level language classes. There is also a crash course on local culture, customs, and etiquette for over 100 countries that can make a useful addition to a social studies world history course.

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