We at the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh are always looking for ways to help out our students and teachers learn more about the world. In that vein, we have put together a list of some of our favorite online educational resources. These links include a wide range of information, including facts, photos, videos, podcasts, books, discussion boards, and lesson plans.
We have identified some general international resources at the top of the list. After the break, you’ll find information and resources relating to Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.
CIA World Factbook An excellent compilation of country facts (i.e. population, geography, etc.).
CNN for Teachers and Students Spotlights the day’s current events and offers printable quizzes, discussion questions, and maps.
National Geographic Kids A variety of resources are present on this website, including an online atlas with road, satellite, physical, and theme maps (population density, weather, and natural resources) as well as country profiles and pictures from around the world.
New York Times for Teachers and Students This blog highlights the day’s events, but also offers everything from lesson plans for teachers and comment boxes for students.
Outreach World This website offers a wealth of information for teaching students about the world. Under ‘Download Instructional Materials,’ it is possible to search for lesson plans by region of the world and age group.
PBS for Teachers Exclusively for teachers, this site acts as a network for lesson planning, programming, and resource guides.
PBS News Hour for Teachers and Students Offers lesson plans for teachers, but is also a great resource for students looking to comment on and follow world events.
Peace Corps World-Wise Schools Also provides lesson plans and resources created by Peace Corps volunteers around the world.
Time for Kids Interactive and informative, and is applicable to teachers and students. The site has sections with age-specific material.
Region-specific resources can be found after the jump.
Smithsonian Natural History Web: African Voices The Smithsonian Natural History Museum provides a comprehensive webpage that provides information to users. Tabs include History of Africa (broken into time periods), Themes (including wealth in Africa, working in Africa, living in Africa, etc.), and a Learning Center.
PBS: Explore Africa PBS has created an interactive website where teachers and students alike can go and access information on Africa depending on region. Each region then has links for a general overview, people, eco-life, slideshows, and related clips from PBS shows.
Asia 1-2-3! Provided by the University of Pittsburgh’s Asian Studies Center, this publication provides many activities for children and provides cultural context and background on the activities as well.
Asia for Educators Provides resources and classroom materials on Asia, primarily China, Japan, and Korea. Materials are searchable by subject area, file type, and time period.
Asia Society The Asia Society’s Education page provides students and teachers with resources on more than thirty Asian countries. The materials range from early civilizations to current events, including topics such as art, education, policy, business, countries, and lifestyle.
Association for Asian Studies The Association for Asian Studies is a scholarly, non-political, non-profit professional association open to all people interested in Asia. The AAS website provides information on publications, links, and resources pertaining to Asia.
Southern Center- The World in Transition The eight-part World in Transition series from the Southern Center includes resources on South and East Asia. Information includes background essays, an accompanying videotape, and extensive lesson plans. These materials can be borrowed from the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh free of charge.
East-West Center The East-West Center is an education and research organization established by the U.S. Congress in 1960 to strengthen relations and understanding among the peoples and nations of Asia, the Pacific, and the United States.
Europe in Twelve Lessons These lessons are accessible online, or a paper version of this resource can be ordered from the EU Delegation to the United States in Washington, D.C. This resource can be adapted to virtually any education level.
The European Union: A Guide for Americans A paper version of this resource can be ordered from the EU Delegation to the United States in Washington, D.C. A link is provided for the 2011 online edition.
European Union Center of Excellence (EUCE) Resources The EUCE at UNC-Chapel Hill provides educational content, including lesson plans. This includes a comprehensive guide to EU related resources for a K-12 environment. Where applicable, this website lists which educational goals are accomplished through a particular lesson.
“Let’s Explore Europe!” This is a comprehensive introduction to Europe and the European Union for 9-12 year olds. Students can explore a wide range of topics such as the environment, history, languages, geography, and the European Union. Available materials include photos, games and online quizzes.
Center for Latin American Studies, University of Pittsburgh As a National Resource Center on Latin America, CLAS’ Outreach Program plays a pivotal role in sharing information and expertise on Latin America to educators at the college/university level and K-12 levels as part of its Educational Public Service (Outreach) mission. It provides school visits as well as access to its resource library.
Latin American Network Information Center This resource, provided by the University of Texas, has sorted resources by both subject and region. They also provide links to various databases and full-text collections.
Latin American Studies and Educational Resources LASER is a web site for middle and high school teachers and students who are learning about Latin America in social sciences and humanities classes. This site offers information on Latin American and Caribbean countries, as well as sample lesson plans, materials, and resources for teaching about the region.
Library of Congress Resources for Teachers: Latin America This website has a variety of websites and topics that are listed alphabetically with everything from interactive tours of the Amazon to art exhibits to organizations tackling health problems in these areas.
Smithsonian Education: Hispanic Heritage Teaching Resources Educational information, activities and resources on Hispanic heritage for educators, families, and students. Educational materials emphasize inquiry based learning.
Institute on Religious and Civic Values (formerly the Council for Islamic Education) Provides resources on Islam and Muslims, including background information, lesson plans, glossaries, and guides to teaching about religion.
In Perfect Harmony: Cultures, Dialogue, and the Heart Created by the University of Arizona Center for Middle Eastern Studies, this website provides resources and curriculum companions for middle and high school classes learning about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
PBS Teachers: Middle East Social Studies Resources This website provides lesson plans, projects, videos, and interactive projects on the Middle East designed for students in grades 6-8
Harvard University: Center for Middle Eastern Studies The Outreach Center aims to promote a critical understanding of the diversity of the Middle East region for educators and the general public through professional development programs, online resources and public events. This includes: prepared curriculum resources such as Celebrating Ramadan and Celebrating Nowruz, online webinar based learning, and a resource-rich blog.
We’ll continue to update this list as we find additional resources that may be of use to you. If there are any websites that you particularly like for lesson plans (or photos, video or audio, multimedia, etc), please share in the comments!