Web Resources | »

Data.gov,

Executive Branch of the Federal Government

This website is part of President Obama's Open Government Initiative. It provides free, open access to quanitative datasets created by the Federal government. Some state/local governments have also added data, but as yet Virginia is not one of them. Data sets include categories such as geography and environment, education and transportation. This data provides excellent primary source material, and offers many opportunities to create and interpret maps, diagrams, tables, charts, graphs, and spreadsheets.

Gapminder,

Gapminder Foundation

Gapminder provides free access to statistics (usually gathered from the United Nations) presented in moving data visualization charts. These statistics aren’t boring—data sets flow over time and offer surprising insights into public health, trade, and other issues. Users can select states such as Virginia and compare them to hundreds of countries throughout the world, including China, the United Kingdom, and Mexico. Statistics track a variety of indicators, including income, insurance “uncoverage,” immigration, and “best teeth.” Users can watch a video tutorial, as well as videos applying the information to real-world scenarios. This website is particularly useful for anyone learning about graphs, public policy issues, and the relationship between Virginia and the rest of the world.

Our Documents,

National Archives and Records Administration, National History Day, US Freedom Corps

This website highlights 100 primary source documents that shaped United States history. Documents include the Declaration of Independence, the Virginia Plan, the Civil Rights Act, and the Executive Order establishing the Peace Corps. Each source has detailed information about the document, an image of the original document, a document transcript, and high-resolution pdfs. The website also contains Tools for Educators, with guides on integrating these important documents into the classroom. Want to know what James Madison’s handwriting looks like, and why what he wrote was important? This is the place for you.

Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI),

University of Virginia Center for Politics

YLI is a nonpartisan unit of the University of Virginia Center for Politics. YLI is funded by the United States Congress, the Virginia General Assembly, and private donations. YLI develops free K–12 civic education resources designed to encourage student interest and participation in the American political process. Through this website, students may participate in mock elections, a mock congress and campaign simulations, and teachers may download civics and government lesson plans.

Oyate: a resource for teaching about Native Americans,

Oyate

Oyate is a Native organization working to see that Native American lives and histories are portrayed honestly. One function of the organization is reviewing books featuring Native American peoples, histories, and cultures, and providing a list of positive books and books to avoid. The website also offers teaching materials. Some materials are free, and others (such as books and DVDs) may be purchased from Oyate. Everyone can benefit from reading the Living Stories about the classroom experiences of some Native American parents and students.

United Kingdom Parliament Education Service,

Education Service, Houses of Parliament

This website was created by the British government to educate students about Parliament in the United Kingdom. It includes lesson plans, games, and resources for students of varying ages. It's also an interesting glimpse into another country's legislative branch. How does it work? How is it similar or different from our legislative branch?

Virginia Council on Indians: Resources,

Virginia Council on Indians

The Virginia Council on Indians (VCI) is a state advisory board to the Governor and the General Assembly. Some Council activities include conducting research, making recommendations regarding issues such as tribal recognition, and promoting education about Virginia's Indian tribes. This resource page provides links to such websites as the American Indian Studies department at Virginia Tech, as well as pdf downloads of teaching materials. Don't miss the rest of the VCI website, where there's information about Native Americans in Virginia, tracing your genealogy, and state recognition of Indian tribes. This website is also a great resource for anyone looking for an example of the implementation of public policy.

iCitizen Forum Video Library,

iCitizen Forum

The iCitizen Forum is a project created by Colonial Williamsburg that "promotes understanding of the balance between rights and responsibilities in a historical context." The video library contains a number of interviews with scholars and other public figures about democracy and government in the United States. Those who are particularly technologically inclined can also follow the project's YouTube channel.

Who’s My Legislator?,

Virginia General Assembly

The Virginia General Assembly has created a quick form to look up your state elected officials. By filling in your address, you can find who represents your interests in the Virginia Senate and House of Representatives, as well as in the U.S. Congress. The website also provides contact information for your legislators, as well as a convenient link to each legislator’s official website.

Local Virginia Newspapers,

US Newspapers List

This website provides a comprehensive list of local newspapers throughout the state of Virginia, from Alexandria to Wytheville. In addition to standard local papers, there is also a list of Virginia magazines and college newspapers. This index of local Virginia newspapers is an excellent jumping-off point for information about local communities and government.