Top 5 Virtual Field Trips in our Library

One major aspect that sets Studies Weekly apart from other textbooks is our vast library of videos.

Exploring Virtual Field Trips

Most of our videos are created here at Studies Weekly headquarters, but for special projects, we send our video team all over the U.S. to capture interviews and virtual field trips. Taking a virtual field trip can be fun and exciting for your class, so we are going to highlight five of our favorites.

1. National World War I Museum and Memorial

For our first virtual field trip, we take your class to Kansas City, Missouri to tour the National World War I Museum and Memorial. The Museum opened in 1926 and was designated as America’s official World War I Museum by the U.S. Congress in 2004.

In this field trip, we are led by Mike, one of the Museum directors, and taken through the history of World War I, or what was once called, “the war to end all wars.”

2. Fort Jefferson at the Dry Tortugas National Park

For this virtual field trip, we head down to the Gulf of Mexico at the end of the Florida Keys to visit Fort Jefferson at the Dry Tortugas National Park. The only way to get to Fort Jefferson is by seaplane or boat.

Ranger Mike of the National Park Services guides us along as we explore this amazing site. Fort Jefferson covers 16 acres and is made up of 16 million bricks. It was one of America’s greatest military assets, as it its location is right along the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

3. Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

For this field trip, we take you over to Collinsville, Illinois to visit one of the most sophisticated prehistoric native civilizations, the Cahokia Mound State Historic Site. Cahokia was the biggest American Indian site covering six square miles and had about 10 to 20 thousand people, called the Mississippians.

In this video, we take you on a tour with one of the lead in-house archeologists to learn more about the site and the people who lived there.

4. Virtual Field Trip: San Jacinto Monument

The San Jacinto Monument is located in Harris County, Texas. The historic site is dedicated to the heroes of the battle of San Jacinto. We explore the 567.31-foot-high monument, the museum and the USS Texas.

The USS Texas is noteworthy for being one of six remaining ships that served in both World Wars. It is over 100 years old and is the first battleship memorial museum in the United States.

5. NASA

In this virtual field trip, we take you to the Kennedy Space Center. The Kennedy Space Center incorporates about 700 different buildings which most people aren’t allowed in but we take a look at the Visitor Center with Discovery Dan.

These are just a few of the primary source interviews, micro-documentaries, hands-on activity videos, fun fact videos and virtual field trips we have here at Studies Weekly. To explore more, login to your account online, or visit our YouTube page.

 

Teaching with Primary Source in Social Studies

Teaching with primary source has become more prevalent within the classroom. Due to the internet, primary sources have become more accessible and have provided enhanced teaching opportunities within social studies.

Benefits of Primary Source

Evidence has proved that students do not retain memorized facts and dates very well. What they will remember are first-person accounts that emotionally connect them to the subject. Students remember what they find interesting. That retention can make all the difference.

Unfortunately, textbooks don’t provide an immersive experience, just details. Fact and figures do not provide meaning so students have a difficult time connecting with the information.

Without a primary source, there would be no credibility and false information would be presented as facts. Primary source provides opportunities to tell real accounts and stories from history. Without it, there would be a lack of multiple perspectives and viewpoints.

Finding primary sources can also be a time-consuming process and once found, can require intensive lesson planning. Common Core, C3 and other skills standards covering social studies instruction require students to view a variety of multimedia sources. Studies Weekly is unique in that we provide thousands of primary source materials ranging images, works of art, diaries, videos and more. Teachers can find all of our primary source materials on their online account.

Bringing History to Life

Not only do we lay out the facts, but we tell the stories of history. We let the people in history tell their own story through primary sources. As well, we paint a picture of each event so teachers can relate it to what students are doing today. As mentioned above, students remember information better when they are emotionally connected to the subject.

In addition to primary sources, we offer lesson plans and other resources to help teachers relay these stories. Using creativity in conjunction with primary sources can improve students’ conception of the event and time period. These activities, for example, could be creating a narrative or comic, acting out a skit, having a debate, or hosting a mock election.

Let us know how you use primary sources within your lessons in the comments below. For more information about primary sources, click here.

Using Your Teacher Supplement and Other Materials

Each of our publications has corresponding teacher materials designed for it, including a teacher supplement. Starting in the 2018-2019 School Year, Studies Weekly will include teacher materials on all orders of 10 or more student publications. The teacher supplement includes assessments, lesson plans, answer keys, etc.

The teacher supplement is also available online at www.studiesweekly.com/online. You will find many other amazing teacher materials online including; lesson plans, standards correlations, worksheets, primary source documents, teaching ideas, virtual field trips, and more.

Accessing The Teacher Supplement Online

  • In the blue menu bar select the Reading tab  
  • Select your publication icon from the list available
  • You may also select the week you are working on. This provides more Resources to you than if you were simply on the publication.
  • Scroll down past all weeks to the Resources tab found at the bottom
  • Find the quarter you are interested in viewing
  • You may choose to View the file online or download it to your computer
  • PLEASE NOTE: All password protected PDFs will be encrypted with your login email address as the password.

What You’ll Find Inside

Within the teacher supplement, each week is laced with detailed descriptions, explanations and references in regards to the lesson. It provides a list of vocabulary words and theme words for the class to know. In addition, it suggests alternate literature and websites to browse for further information and resources. It even offers a summary of what students have learned prior and what they were taught the previous year.

The teacher supplement then lists the week’s objectives and provides guided questions for each section within the week. In some cases, teacher supplements can be overwhelming but we try to make it easy and straightforward. Our whole goal is to make sure teachers are spending less time planning and more time teaching.

Go ahead and login to view the teacher materials for yourself! Let us know what you think in the comments below. For further tips and resources, view here.

 

How to Assign and Edit Online Tests

After every weekly unit, there is an assigned test. These tests are located on our online version and can be accessed through the teacher’s profile. To help prepare students for the test, each article has comprehension questions listed at the end. Students can answer these questions and potentially earn coins which they can use in a few of our online games.

Refreshing Comprehension Questions

Some teachers who have multiple classes have the option of refreshing their answers so that a blank set is ready for the next class. You can do this by clicking the drop-down menu on the top right-hand corner and selecting “Clear Progress.”

From there, all you have to do then is refresh the page and you’re good to go! Once your students have completed the practice questions and have finished the week’s final lesson, then they are ready to take the test.

Accessing the Test

To activate the test, simply select the publication you are using. This will then take you to a page listing all of the weeks in order. Find the week you are working on. Each week will be accompanied by four options located on the right.

The first option will be “Activate Test.” Go ahead and click the button to change it from red to green. This will now give your students access to the test. No need to worry about students losing their progress while taking the test because their answers will be automatically saved. If you decide to edit the test, select the second option “Edit Test.”

Editing Tests

One of the first things you will see when you edit a test is an option to add a new question. When you select that button it will provide you with a drop-down menu that includes a list of options to choose from. Below is what those options entail:

Each question will also have an “edit” button below it. This enables you to change the question and answers. You can also determine which option will be the correct answer. If you decide to keep the original question instead, you can always click, “Reset Question.”

Allowing Retakes

If a student needs to retake a test, go back to the list of weeks. On the week they are working on, select the third option “Test Scores.” Make sure that the test is activated or else the student won’t have access.

When in the Test Scores tab, click on the student’s name on the left-hand side. Then click on the “Allow Retake” option below their name.

You also have the option of letting the whole class retake the test. If you select the checkbox left of the first name category, it will select every student. From there, select “Allow Retake.”

When students log into their online accounts and click on that week, they will find a test available for them to take, or specifically, to retake.

To check on how your students are doing with each passing week, you can monitor them with our online gradebook. For more information about our online product, read more on how to get the most out of your Studies Weekly account.

 

 

How to Utilize Our Game-based Learning Activities

There are two main methods used in educational games: gamification and game-based learning. Gamification consists of using game design elements in the classroom in order to engage students. For example, a teacher drawing hearts on the board for classroom management. Game-based learning is a strategy that utilizes games to produce specific learning outcomes. An example would be “The Oregon Trail.”

On Studies Weekly Online, we offer four game-based learning activities. Two of the games can be found on the left-hand side within each week’s reading.

First, you will find a crossword puzzle. In this tool, students read clues and type the correct answer into the puzzle.

Second, is a game called Misspilled. In this game, students sort their incorrectly spelled or correctly spelled vocabulary words into corresponding “laboratory vials.”

The last two games are in the form of a self-contained avatar character — one being Revere the Rat and his virtual habitat, the other being your own Studies Weekly Explorer and their treehouse. Students can earn coins and gems by answering questions correctly within the publication. These coins are then used to purchase accessories for their virtual avatar and their home.

The coins act as a monetary incentive and help motivate students’ interest. To answer the questions correctly, the student has to understand the reading. This, in turn, increases student comprehension.

Teachers

As a teacher, you may see how many coins your students are earning.

  • Log in to your online account
  • Go to studiesweekly.com/online
  • Enter username (email address)
  • Enter password
  • Click Login

  • Select the Classes tab
  • Click on Reports
  • Look beneath the Gems icon

Students

Students can access their avatar and see their progress the following way:

  • Log in to your online account
  • Go to studiesweekly.com/online
  • Enter username (email address)
  • Enter password
  • Click Login

  • In the upper right-hand corner click on the student profile picture
  • Choose either “My Rev Rat” or “Explorers”

 

 

 

 

 

Teachers, for more information on how to utilize different features within your online account, read this article.