Students get more excited about history when they actually experience some of its drama. Back in the day games like Oregon Trail were the absolute best when it came to computer simulations, so it's incredible to see how many free, online games have become available since then. Below is just a small sampling of what's available.
Move It challenges students to use trains, ships, and wagons to move goods across 1850s England, with limited time and money.
If you're studying transportation, economics, or even math, this is a cool site to explore. (Check out a previous post for some financial literacy simulations).
Building a Sod House
Building a sod house is just one of the many interactives available from the Smithsonian Institute (see the Use Technology section at bottom).
A great activity for classes studying the history of the Great Plains through either a novel or social studies.
Design a Room
Design a room for one of three different historical time periods.
Like Virtual Village below, this site can be used to create an original illustration for a story. After the student sets the scene, a simple application such as Greenshot can be used to clip it and save it.
In this World War I simulation, guide your private through the trenches to deliver a crucial message to the commander, all the while avoiding the perils of trench life. I needed four tries to do it! I'm sure your students could do better!
Okay, not nearly as sophisticated as the Sims-type games that are out there, Virtual Village still allows students to create a cool little village using a number of buildings and landscape elements. One of my students used it to create a village scene which she then copied and pasted as an illustration into an original short story.
If you were evacuating World War II era London, which items would you need? This is actually a pretty cool site to investigate in connection with not only WWII era novels, but also The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
Need more sites?
For some American Revolution interactives, check out the Crossroads of the Revolution post at my Teach with Picture Books site.
Please leave a comment below for your colleagues describing your favorite interactive history site.
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