School Improvement in Maryland

Bookmarks to Useful Sites, Grades 4-5

Grades 4-5 - Primary Sources

Our Documents

A National Initiative on American History, Civics, and Service sponsored web site. The Our Documents initiative is a cooperative effort among National History Day, The National Archives and Records Administration, USA Freedom Corps, and The Corporation for National and Community Service. You can download Adobe files of each document, read transcripts, access the teacher source book with lesson plans using the documents, and links to the National History Day web site.

The National Archives and Records Administration

The following Web sites contain additional information about primary sources and links to digitized images and documents.

NARA's Digital Classroom

The Digital classroom has links to Teaching with Documents lesson plans, copies of primary sources, links to, document analysis worksheets, and details about professional development workshops offered to teachers and school systems.

National Security Archive

The University of Oklahoma Law Center: A Chronology of US Historical Documents

Documents from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention (1774-1789)


Kids @

Yahooligans! Around the World

A great site for elementary students to search for regions, countries and cultures around the world.

The Math of Maps

A lesson that helps to make that relationship between math and maps clear. Students analyze the use of map scales and map coordinates in existing maps and create pamphlets to help others understand.

American Rivers

This site explores and studies rivers, especially those needing protection.

Map of the census data - 2000

"Census database"

Search this database of materials related to the U.S. Census. Maps and Tables are available for quick reference or you can do a comprehensive search for materials relating to your region, state, county, city, etc.

Population Clock

This website uses real census data to make population projections. Lots of graphs and maps.

Growth of Cities 1790-2000

PDF-formatted maps of the growth of cities in the United States from 1790 to 2000.

Statistical Maps

Site of a variety of statistical maps for the United States or any of the fifty states.

Political Science

Project Vote Smart

This web site is a collection of the process of government in easy explanations. Students can conduct group research using this site.

The American Presidency

This site has a collection of information about the Presidents and their First Ladies including audio clips and primary documents.

Center for Civic Education

This is an excellent site with lessons at every grade level to answer the basic question, Why do we need rules and a government? Related resources and publications are available.

In Congress Assembled: Continuity and Change in the Governing of the United States

Lesson plans and activities that use primary resources to examine "continuity and change in the governing of the United States." One lesson asks to grapple with the issues from the first Congress. Another asks elementary students to conduct a national holiday.

Electing a President

This site will get students involved in voting and to help them understand the process of electing a president. Also includes teachers' guides, vocabulary and links to other related web sites.

Declaring Independence: Drafting the Documents

Library of Congress- Includes a chronology of events June 7, 1776 to January 18, 1777, a transcript of Thomas Jefferson's original rough draft of the Declaration of Independence and an 1826 letter declining to attend the fiftieth anniversary of the document.

The History Place

The History Place's collection on impeachment, both the process and the history

Historical election results 1789-1996

Vote Smart

This web site is a collection of easy explanations about various processes of government. Contents include: How a Bill becomes a law, information about Congress, Congressional leadership, the President, the Constitution, Elections, Campaign Finance, the Federal Budget (statistics) and State Government.

National Constitution Center

Educational Resources including lesson plans, teaching aids and events.


NOVAOnline/Secrets of Making Money

This site will give students the history of money and how it is made. There is a game and a teacher guide for activities.

Story of Money

An interdisciplinary lesson using the Internet that helps students understand the logic behind currency and coinage and how currency and coins are made. They graphically present their findings.

Web Quest on Democracy and the National Debt

This simulation called: "Look who's footing the bill" encourages student team to draft letters to their Congressional representatives and senators presenting their case on how the budget should be allocated.

American History

Declaring Independence: Drafting the Documents

Library of Congress- Includes a chronology of events June 7, 1776 to January 18, 1777, a transcript of Thomas Jefferson's original rough draft of the Declaration of Independence and an 1826 letter declining to attend the fiftieth anniversary of the document.

Archiving Early America

This is a great site for the students to use to view primary documents. Teachers can teach their students to become archivists by clicking on "How to Read a 200 year old Document."

Plimoth Plantation

Useful web site with links from an electronic field trip to current information about the area.

Donner Online

This online cooperative learning activity uses the content of the Donner Party tragedy on the Oregon Trail to teach the skills of historical research.

The Oregon Trail

This is an introduction to the Oregon Trail for elementary students. Students can read about the life on the trail and complete the activities.

Flags of the American Revolution

Students can take a colorful tour through time by viewing the flags that have represented us over time. This important symbol can tell the story of history through its appearance.

Jim Janke's Old West Page

This site links to a number of sites that revolves around the life of a cowboy in the old west.

Lewis and Clark: Inside the Corps

This great site links to many other related topics. Students can read about Lewis and Clark and their goals or information on Native American tribes.

America's Homepage

Students can compare the past and present of Plymouth, Massachusetts on this interactive web site. Links to the Plymouth Plantation and tour of the Colonial town are included.

Colonial Williamsburg

Teachers can use this a good site to gather lesson plans. This site also doubles as a virtual field trip. There are also many student focused lessons include.

American Memory Collection

A wonderful resource to search for any document, sound, movie or picture in the collection of the Library of Congress. Teachers and students can use this site as a research tool.

Anonymous Account of the Boston Massacre

Eyewitness statements from the Boston Massacre provided by HistoryWiz.

The History Place: The American Revolution

This site is organized in chronological order of events that lead up to the American Revolution and those that followed.

Benjamin Franklin: Glimpses of the Man

This is a great web site for elementary students to study one of first great American heroes and all his accomplishments.

The American Revolution: On-Line

This is a great site for students who are doing research on the American Revolutionary War.

Native American History Archive

This site is very complete from the elementary students' studies of Native Americans to the older students. The categorized lists make it easy to use.

The Trail of Tears

This site contains the history of the Cherokee Indians and their historic march. Students can follow the movement and the effects on the people.

World History

United Nations CyberSchoolBus

Great lessons related to the United Nations and world issues are collected in this elegant, professionally done treasury. Excellent lessons for all grade levels. May need to be modified for elementary classes.

Rabbit in the Moon: Mayan Hieroglyphic Writing

Discover why Mayans continue with some of their age-old traditions. Try your hand and reading and writing in Mayan Hieroglyphics.