• Welcome! Log in or Register Now for a free ProTeacher account!

Social Studies text evaluations



Hello. Our school is trying to select textbooks or other instructional materials for our middle school curriculum. We do Western hemisphere geography in Grade 6, Eastern hemisphere geography in Grade 7, and US History in Grade 8.

Where does one go to find good resources beyond the textbook publishers? Is there a site that reviews resources? I'm chairing our evaluation committee and I'm dying for help.

My problem is, how do I know what's good? There is so much out there, it seems, but I don't want to waste my time.



Senior Member
I am having a terrible time trying to find good Western and Eastern Hemisphere books. Prentice Hall is OK, but I feel as if I have to reinvent the wheel with the resources evailable.

For US History we are going with History Alive. It matches our state objectives and is highly interactive. Unfortunately, their Geography books do NOT meet the objectives.

Here is a general form:


MS Teacher


I like Prentice Hall for US History. They have a variety of supplemental resources to add to lessons. They are also very comprehensive. My second choice is Glencoe. Not as comprehensive but does include ideas for engaged learning, if that is a focus at your school.

I haven't seen a lot of geography publishers, but I do like Glencoe's world history books. They have a large variety and one may include geography more than others. I do believe each series starts with a world geography unit, then goes into the history of each region/hemisphere.



Many companies will send you a free sample book if you want to preview their product. I would suggest doing that if you would like to judge the product. Also, if you find websites for the books you are interested in, sometimes they have sample lessons and you can view a few pages. They also list the chapters so you can see what is covered. Another suggestion is to call other schools in your area and see what they use. Ask them what they think of it, and see if you can even stop by and page through a book to see if you like it. I'm sure people will post on here with feedback for you as well! Good luck!