Engage students. Inspire problem solving.

Poptential™ is a family of free high school social studies courses that pair pop culture media with engaging digital storytelling for effective, dynamic learning by today’s digital native students. Poptential™ is the evolution of Certell’s popular online curriculum used by more than 28,000 teachers in 50 states.

About the Curriculum

Bursting with pop culture digital media.

Every Poptential™ course includes reading assignments, video clips and audio excerpts that are digestible and instructive–and chock-full of pop culture. Taken from sitcoms, movies, animations, cartoons, late night shows and other sources, each digital clip has been specifically chosen to help students better understand and retain a specific concept.

Built for dynamic learning.

Poptential™ courses are designed so students can do the reading and consume the multimedia at home, then come to class ready for discussion.

The value of this hybrid learning method? Our digital tools can convey skills and knowledge, giving teachers the bandwidth to provide context, wisdom and motivation.

Standards based and developed by teachers.

You heard us right! Poptential™ is:

  • Standards based
  • Developed by teachers
  • Free for educators, including home schools
  • Compatible with classroom apps
  • Set to school calendars

Teachers using Poptential™ report:

Increased effectiveness in the classroom (90%)

Increased student engagement (71%)

All you need, all in one place.

Poptential™ courses include everything a social studies instructor needs to teach a subject, including lessons, e-books, bell ringers, quizzes and tests.

All content is available for free via our digital platform, which allows students to access lessons even in poor bandwidth environments. The platform also gives educators real-time analytics on student learning to help teachers refine lessons and better understand the progress of individual students.

Does Poptential™ include Critical Race Theory?

Teachers like Poptential™ because it is free from bias. Virtually every module of our World and American History curriculum includes topic-relevant mini-lessons on race, social organization (class) and other issues pertinent to that module’s topic. We believe this is the appropriate way to assure that our content addresses important and controversial subjects without becoming partisan or ideological.

How It Works

Sign up for free. It’s easy!

Simply click “Teacher Login” in the upper right corner of this website. You can either create a free account or sign in if you already have an account.

Search the dashboard for the e-book that suits you.

Sign in to your free account to access all content on our digital platform. Within the e-book library, simply select the subject and version you desire.

Share the student edition with your classroom.

The last step is as easy as the first. Next to the e-book of your choice, use the “Share With Students” button to generate a personalized digital link.

Subjects Available

  • Government

    Government

    Thomas Jefferson once said, “The government you elect is the government you deserve.” This is a very troubling thought. How did we arrive at the government we have now? How was it originally built, and how has it evolved—or devolved? Follow this e-book to all things US government—the Constitution, Federalism, checks and balances, powers of the three branches, civil rights and everything else the government now has a hand in. Then ask yourself (and your students): Do we really deserve this?

    14 modules; all modules are set to pace 1 per week
  • Economics

    Economics

    A caveman trades an animal pelt for a basket of berries—and bam! One millennium later, world economies ebb and flow in real time based on intricate market forces. This Economics e-book gives your students the short, understandable, common sense version of complex economic concepts like supply and demand, tariffs and free trade, the “invisible hand” and much more. Finally, a brilliantly simple explanation from the inimitable economist, Uncle Milton Friedman, shows how market pricing of a pencil works.

    15 modules; all modules are set to pace 1 per week
  • AmericanHistory_Volume1

    American History: Volume 1

    Land ho! From the first landing of Columbus to the tempestuous Constitutional Congress of 1787, then through Reconstruction after the Civil War, Volume 1 brings to life key points in America’s discovery and the birth of a nation founded on exceptional and experimental ideas.

    14 modules; all modules are set to pace 1 per week
  • AmericanHistory_Volume2

    American History: Volume 2

    Our action-packed Volume 2 guides eager students through the Industrial Revolution, two World Wars, and a Great Depression. Follow crazy political ebbs and flows all the way to the creation of SpongeBob Square Pants (who was edged out of this edition to make room for the presidency of Richard Nixon).

    15 modules; all modules are set to pace 1 per week
  • WorldHistory_VolumeOne

    World History: Volume 1

    Consider this the Cliff’s Notes version of everything that has happened to humankind. Starting 5,000 years ago even before the first loincloth was invented, Volume 1 is a whirlwind look at the civilizations and religions that humans have created since then.

    17 modules; all modules are set to pace 1 per week
  • WorldHistory_VolumeTwo

    World History: Volume 2

    Even after the Black Plague, the world kept spinning and humans kept finding new ways to invent, intellectualize, conquer, expand and revolutionize. Say hello to man’s little friend – gunpowder – and how it shaped empires, trade, society and even Charlton Heston. Thrill your students with tales of the Ottoman Empire, the Renaissance and the Ming Dynasty. Journey through American and French revolutions and into more recent global affairs – world wars, cold wars, proxy wars, fashion wars – and everything in between. All told in a clear, concise way that is sure to make even the reluctant student exclaim, “Whoa.”

    18 modules; all modules are set to pace 1 per week

When asked what they like most, teachers using Poptential™ said:

Ease of use

Lack of bias in content

Videos that stimulate class discussion

An overall support of critical thinking skill development

Our mission is to foster a generation of independent thinkers.

We believe the solution to our fractured society is to create avid lifelong learners who can process information thoughtfully. To succeed, we cannot teach the digital generation with analog methods. Our goal is to help educators teach students how to think–not what to think. The content is designed to give students a sensible, informed foundation so they can problem-solve and engage constructively with others.

Supplement your current lessons with free pop culture curriculum.