Hot Topics

Consumer-oriented and general interest web sites.


Government websites developed for students in grades K-12, parents, and teachers, covering topics in science, health, civics, finance, etc. Inclusion of a site below does not mean that OSU Libraries or The Ohio State University endorse the sites or the information they contain.

  • Ben's Guide to the U.S. Government. (Government Publishing Office) Information on the Federal Government including how laws are made, historical documents, the election process, etc. for ages 4 on, includes games.
  • Discover History. (National Parks Service) Primarily aimed at grades 6-12 has a few resources for Pre-K -2, and College. Materials cover social studies and science mostly.  Includes games, teacher resources, educational materials available for loan, distance learning, etc.
  • Ducksters.  (Technological Solutions) Fun and educational website geared towards children with information on history, geography, science, etc.  Certified by kidSAFE Seal Program.
  • EDSITEment!  (National Endowment for the Humanities)  Geared towards K-12, and teachers. Some of the topics covered include art and culture, foreign language, history and social studies, literature and language arts. Lesson plans and interactive activities are available.
  • Educational Materials.  (U.S. Department of the Treasury. Currency Education Program) Lesson plans, activities, Apps, games, etc. broken down into K – Grade 5, and Grades 6 – 8
  • Educational Resources from Government Agencies:  A GIC Guide.  (GODORT) Provides links to international, Federal, state and local government sites for K – 12 teachers and students.  Some links are longer functioning. 
  • Education Resources from the Library of Congress. (Library of Congress) Primary source materials in the fields of literature, history and science for grades 3-12.  Lesson plans.
  • Educator Resources:  Learn with Smithsonian.  (Smithsonian) Links to educational resources covering a broad array of topics for educators, caregivers, parents, and students. 
  • Educator Resources: Special Topics and Tools.  (National Archives) Primary source materials held by the National Archives, includes links to e-books, YouTube  and iTune segments, video and audio records, interactive maps, and more. Grades 6-12.
  • Environmental Education Resources.  (Ohio Department of Natural Resources) Links to natural resource education topics such as geology, wildlife, etc.  Includes links to related resources provided by outside agencies, etc.
  • ERIC – Educational Resources Information Center.  (U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Educational Sciences) Online digital library of education information including lesson plans, etc.  In many cases citations have a PDF attached.
  • Explore Search:  Educational Resources.  (USGS) Resources available for grades K-College.  Has videos, online lectures, lesson plans and classroom activities on topics in biology, geography, geology, water, and more.  Some of the materials referenced are available for purchase. 
  • Fun Stuff for Kids and Teens:  Learn with Smithsonian.  (Smithsonian) Based on the Smithsonian's collections but geared towards kids.  Some of the topics covered include, dinosaurs, weather, biology, history, astronomy, and so on.  Contains games and videos, hands one activities, virtual reality and 3-d experiences, coloring books, teacher resources, etc.
  • Games, Quizzes, and Videos about the Environment.  (EPA) Activities, videos, etc. for grades K-9 covering various aspects of the environment.
  • Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT).  (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) An assessment tool developed by the CDC in partnership with experts from state and local education agencies, schools, colleges and universities, and national organizations.  Based on the Characteristics of Effective Heath Education, it is aligned with the National Health Education Standards.  Contains instructional guides, webinars, plus more tools, etc. to aid the classroom teacher.
  • History for Kids - Funny & Educational Poems.  (  Games, jokes, worksheets geared for preschool through 8th grade.
  • iCivics.  (iCivics) Curriculum units, lesson plans, games, videos, etc. focused on various topics in civic education.  Can be searched by elementary, middle, high school level appropriate materials.
  •  ( The U.S. government's official web portal for Kids.  Geared towards K-8, parents and teachers.  Web pages provided by government agencies, schools, and educational organizations.  Pulldown menu of topics covered which cover topics in health, history, online safety, science, math, civics. Includes activities, worksheets, games and videos.
  • Learning Library:  Search Educational Resources.  (IXL Learning. Inc.) Online educational resources such as work sheets, games, hands activities, lesson plans, etc. for grades K – 8.  Searchable by grade level, topic, format, etc.  There may be a fee involved in the use of materials. 
  • (Federal Financial Literacy and Education Commission) Financial literacy thru games, videos, video games, lesson plans, etc.  Explore topics on personal finance, money, advertising, budgeting, etc.  Geared primarily to high school students, has some activities, etc. for lower grades.
  • National Geographic Kids. (National Geographic Partners, LLC.) Includes games, apps, videos geared to encourage kids to explore the world and how it works.
  • Nutrition and Food Safety Education.  (Department of Agriculture) Links to nutrition and food safety curricula, lesson plans, and activities for teachers and students Preschool – High School.  Some of the material provided is from outside agencies.
  • PubChem - Period Table of Elements. (National Library of Medicine).  Has information on each element and includes a game based on the Periodic Table.
  •  (usagov) Links to over 2,000 federal agencies, state, and local government websites.  Many of these agencies have materials geared specifically for parents, educators, teachers, children, kids, and teens.  Searchable by specific topic such as lesson plans.  Some contents are in Spanish.
  • Space to Learn. (NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration) NASA's STEM resources for teachers, and students K-College.
  • Understanding Government Information:  A Teaching Strategy Toolkit for Grades 7-12.  Connie Hamner Williams and Connie Williams.  Oxford:  ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2017.
  • U.S. Government Web sites for Kids. (Ben’s Guide) Intended for parents and educators lists resources from either published by the federal government or have topics relating to the Federal government. 
  • U.S. Mint Coin Classroom:  Educator Resources.  (U.S. Department of the Treasury) Lesson plans, games, videos, etc. pertaining to the U.S. Mint.  Resources can be browsed by K – 1st grade, 2nd – 3rd grade, and 4th – 6th grade.  Also has links to other related websites.