What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that America's Story from America's Library is a colorful, engaging website that offers a peek into American history using text, video, and photographs to illustrate the past. The site is clear but doesn't go in-depth into subjects; kids may have questions about the more difficult parts of history that you can address in discussion or further research at the library or online. The site isn't as flashy or modern as some other online resources, but it's still fun enough to keep young history buffs engaged.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- following directions
- reading comprehension
- cultural understanding
- historical figures
Thinking & Reasoning
- collecting data
- solving puzzles
- asking questions
Engagement, Approach, Support
This fun site does its best to engage kids in American history. However, the games and quizzes don't invite repeated play. And while lots of information is available here, kids may absorb what they're interested in, then move on.
The kid-friendly info should be easy for kids to digest; they can read short historical summaries, play games, take quizzes, and watch video and sound clips, all the while picking up tidbits of American history.
Each game offers easy-to-understand instructions but doesn't save data for the next visit. The site contains photos, video, sound, and text, which make the historical info accessible for a variety of learning styles.
What's it about?
The Library of Congress presents a window into its extensive collections with the view focused on kids' interests. The site is divided into five major sections: \"Meet Amazing Americans,\" \"Jump Back in Time,\" \"Explore the Capitol,\" \"Join America at Play,\" and \"See, Hear, and Sing.\" In the famous Americans section kids can read about Thomas Jefferson's penchant for pasta. \"Jump Back in Time\" gives kids a peek into New York's Radio City Music Hall and takes them to an interesting story about a car designer. Kids can experience information in a variety of formats, including text, voiceover, video, and games.
Is it any good?
There's not a tremendous amount of content on AMERICA'S STORY FROM AMERICA'S LIBRARY, but what's included is quirky, educational, and fun. Presenting information in several different formats caters to kids' different learning styles, and the interactivity will keep them engaged. Kids will like the ability to explore their favorite parts of history, and may find themselves interested in the unexpected as well. America's Story could use a visual update (it's a bit clunky and dated) as well as some new ways for kids to interact, but the content is accessible and clear to kid visitors. It would be nice if the games had a little more substance and presented more of a continued challenge.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about little-known American history. How do games, stories and activities help bring the past to life?
Have your kids create a timeline of their own history from birth to the present.
Ask your kids to imagine which era they'd like to visit if time travel existed. What would they do there? Who would they meet?