Students in the K-12 setting experience immense developmental changes, socially, emotionally, and academically. All the while, they go through dreaded awkward stages—braces, bad haircuts, first crushes—and experience greater demands from parents, teachers, and community members.
In the summer of 1381, working people in England were enraged, and for two months they made their voices heard by forming armed groups, marching on several towns and London, destroying the property of hated government officials, and burning tax records.
Funding for public education can be a tricky topic to comprehend fully. As the process is complex, federal funding can bring up a myriad of questions, and new educators may not know how to make sense of it all.
Urban legends, referred to by folklorists as contemporary legends, are fictional stories claimed to be true. Myths and legends from throughout history often contain an underlying warning about a potential danger to avoid.
Across the country and the world, people are rallying behind the Black Lives Matter movement to enact change in a system that has historically been unjust to people of color. Our company recognizes the struggles African Americans have faced throughout history and think now is the time to elevate the voices of the unheard.
Participatory citizenship is the act of citizens actively participating through community and political life to build a democracy that respects human rights. Currently, members and allies of the Black Lives Matter movement are partaking in their First Amendment right to protest, aiming to enact change for police reform and civil rights, which offers a unique teaching opportunity to encourage active citizenship. How can we find other ways to help our students understand the importance of becoming an active citizen today?
FEAR. That was the only emotion I felt when I first saw yet another viral video of an African American citizen being senselessly murdered in broad daylight. Fear that when people see me, they don't see someone's son, someone's brother, someone's teammate... they see a threat. I am stripped of my identity and instead reduced down to the color of my skin.
Contemporary literature gives readers a look at progressive writing styles that often reflect the world in which the works were written. Although often reserved for English or writing courses, recent novels can also be used in secondary social studies classrooms to teach about current events, political themes, economics, sociology, or even history.
Etymology, the study of the origin of words and how the meanings of words change over time, is just as relevant in social studies as it is in English classes. When words appear in a language, how words evolve and change, and when words are discarded tell a wider social, political, economic, or cultural story. For students learning social studies, the benefits of learning these words can be immense, and serve to build essential skills.
Cartoons can sometimes make a serious point. Benjamin Franklin’s 1754 “Join or Die” began the use of political cartoons. These visuals have been important in history by informing illiterate citizens and conveying a point of view on a political issue. Cartoonists, with a single picture, could insult enemies, celebrate allies, change people’s minds on important issues, and be humorous enough to make an impact on the public’s view. Political cartoons bring humor and exaggeration to past and current issues. I tell my students political cartoons are pictures with a point. We can provide students with the tools and questions they can use to decode and understand political cartoons.