America's Story from America's Library

Common Sense Media says

Quirky stories bring history to life.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Kids will leave America's Story with a new sense of their place in history, and an understanding of the highlights of this country's past.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

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

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • reading
  • reading comprehension

Social Studies

  • cultural understanding
  • geography
  • historical figures
  • history
  • timelines

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • collecting data
  • deduction
  • solving puzzles

Communication

  • asking questions
  • listening

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

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.

Learning Approach

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.

Support

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 kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • reading
  • reading comprehension

Social Studies

  • cultural understanding
  • geography
  • historical figures
  • history
  • timelines

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • collecting data
  • deduction
  • solving puzzles

Communication

  • asking questions
  • listening

Kids can learn the breadth of American history from 1492-present, including geography, cultural milestones, and important people. America's Story breaks down this historical information into sections like "Join America at Play." They can jump around to find subjects they like; under the "Play Ball" heading, kids can learn all about baseball in a historical context. After making discoveries about America's past, kids can use critical thinking skills to make sense of it. America's Story is a mini-encyclopedia of American history that lets kids have a little fun while learning.

This Learning Rating review was written by Polly Conway

Parents say

Kids say

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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?

QUALITY
 

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?

Website details

Genre:Educational
Topics:History
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free

This review of America's Story from America's Library was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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