Teaching the Civil Rights Movement

The Civil Rights Movement is a significant part of American History. What began in the late 1940’s and ended in the late 1960’s, had a profound impact on social justice and legal rights of African Americans.

Standing for Freedom Curriculum Package

Here at Studies Weekly, we strive to tell the real stories of history through primary source materials and multiple perspectives. In our new civil rights curriculum package, we incorporate the accounts of multiple civil rights activists. Join the Freedom Rides with Hank Thomas, sit at the lunch counters with Joan Trumpauer and cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge with Joanne Blackmon Bland.

The Standing for Freedom Curriculum Package includes: 

Standing for Freedom (30 copies + 1 teacher edition) – This magazine format guide is 30 pages of the people and events that helped change American History.

 

She Stood for Freedom (1 copy of each book) – The Amelia Bloomer Award-nominated books about the life of Joan Trumpauer Mulholland and her journey through the Civil Rights Movement.

 

An Ordinary Hero (1 copy) – The education version of the award-winning documentary about the life of Joan Trumpauer Mulholland and the Civil Rights Movement.

 

The Uncomfortable Truth (1 copy) – The education version of the Emmy-winning documentary about the history of institutional racism in America. It provides a solid understanding and unique perspective on American History (suitable for teachers and students middle school age and up).

 

History Matters Poster (1 copy) – The engaging mugshot that has come to symbolize the Freedom Rides and called one of the most famous in American History and is a great conversation starter for the classroom.

 

Interactive Map and Timeline – Expand the experience even further with exclusive interviews and artifacts found only on our map and timeline. Don’t just read about the Civil Rights Movement see where it took place and how the events are connected.

Whether you are teaching the Civil Rights Movement, need content for Women’s History Month, want your students to understand about civic engagement and civic responsibility or are looking for a unique way to teach anti-bullying, the Standing for Freedom curriculum package is the perfect addition to your classroom.

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.

Accessing Your Online Video Library

Here at Studies Weekly, we believe in engaging students by telling the stories of history. One way we are able to do this is through video. We have thousands of wonderful videos that you and your students will enjoy. They come with your subscription, so just log in to get started.

  • Log in to your online account

Videos Within The Articles

First things first: when accessing your publication online, each article is connected to numerous videos and bonus sources related to the topic at hand.

To find these videos, just click on the “Watch Video” or “Bonus Sources” button. It’s so easy to find the perfect video for your lesson when they are all in one place!

Almost every article within the week has a video attached to it. So, there is no shortage of videos within your account.

Searching for Videos

In addition to the videos in the publications, you can access any video in our collection by using the search bar. This comes in handy when you decide to teach a lesson that isn’t on the schedule for the week.

For example, if you decide to teach a lesson on the effects of 9/11:

  • Go to the Search area of the blue menu bar and type in 9/11
  • In the left-hand menu, click on Videos
  • To start exploring simply click on the video of your choice
  • Click play

Not only do we have videos on social studies but we have science videos as well! Our most popular science series is Project Time with Discovery Dan. In each episode, the audience follows Discovery Dan and his wacky experiments.

 

Studies Weekly Science VideosFrom primary source interviews to virtual field trips and more, we offer exclusive videos on just about anything you can think of regarding social studies or science.

So sit back, relax and prepare enjoy teaching and learning with your students!

Getting the Most Out of Your Studies Weekly Account

Did you know your Studies Weekly print publications already have a subscription to our online tool? We are always surprised to find out when teachers who have been using Studies Weekly print materials for years are not also taking advantage of the online side of their products!

Whether you are a parent, teacher, or even a student, Studies Weekly’s online format is user-friendly and thoughtfully designed. Here are some of the different functionalities available to you through Studies Weekly online for your respective role.

Teachers

Registering and logging in is easy. If you have a Studies Weekly print publication in your classroom, then your online account already exists; you just have to go in and register to “activate” it. You can find instructions on registering in this article.

Here are some of the key features of your online account:

1. Give assessments

Each week, we provide assessments that correlate with the article. This can be accessed by clicking on the Reading tab and selecting the publication you’re using. You will then have the option to activate and edit the test, as shown:

When the test is activated, your students will be able to go in and take it. While testing, their responses will autosave every time a student types into a field or selects an answer.

2. Read along with students

We provide an auto-reader that will read aloud when you click the play icon. Each word is highlighted when read so that students can follow along with ease.

Not only does it help with student comprehension but it also comes in handy when your voice needs a break. We have a wide range of accents and characters to keep students entertained and engaged with the topic being discussed.

3. Get a picture of student progress

Studies Weekly online includes a robust reporting structure. Select your class from the right-hand side of your screen, to view your list of students. Just click on the Reports link in the top right corner to access the reports for your class:

Alternatively, you can access all of your reports for all of your classes by clicking on the Reports tab at the top of any page once you have logged into your Studies Weekly online teacher account:

For your reports, you have two tabs at the top: 1) SLI (Student Learning Index) Report; and 2) Utilization Report. You have the option to export student report data to Excel in CSV format or view in a browser by selecting Search. Either view of the report will give you a clear picture of what your students are working on and how they’re progressing.

4. Measure Students’ Engagement

With the new online student reporting tools within our Gradebook, you can see all of the students’ activities in each of your classes on one screen. This tool will give you a snapshot of which of your students are participating heavily and which ones might need a little more encouragement.

With this tool, you can also see which test questions students might be struggling with, and which answers they might have just skipped over.

5. Share Student Progress with Parents

Parents love to know how their child is doing in class. With the new online student reporting tools, you can export student data to Excel and share with parents individually. For a student who is struggling, seeing a snapshot of their engagement may be just what their parents need.

Furthermore, you can increase parent involvement with our Parent Accounts. This tool allows parents to closely monitor how their kids are doing and how they’re using Studies Weekly’s online resources.

6. Take advantage of professional development opportunities.

Once you have logged in to your teacher account on Studies Weekly, you’ll have instant access to all of our professional development articles and videos. The Professional Development Training link is front and center for your convenience. Start logging those hours!

The Professional Development Training link has moved to the top for easier accessibility.
The Professional Development Training link has moved to the top for easier accessibility.

Within the professional development tab, clicking on the module itself will launch right in your browser. Alternatively, we have provided a download link in the bottom right corner of each module so you can download and view later.

The Teacher Professional Development on Demand page has gotten a whole new look.
The Professional Development on Demand page has gotten a whole new look.

We make it easy to filter your results so you only see the type of media that you want to see. Under “Show only these types” at the top of the site, clicking these options will eliminate that option from your filter. Click on the other two options to narrow down your filter to the one you want.

You can perform a search using the search box on the upper lefthand side. Note that the search box in the upper right will search the entire Studies Weekly site. The one on the left will search Professional Development files only.

Students

Most classrooms in the U.S. are connected to the internet today. The internet can be a significant online learning tool in your classroom, but because different students learn at different speeds and in different ways, tools that teach using a variety of methods are extremely important.

To facilitate the best online learning, Studies Weekly designed and created Student Accounts. Student Accounts allow students to work through our online materials at their pace in the way that they understand it best. Here are a few key features of our Student Accounts that will keep students more engaged and improve their learning.

1. Bilingual Content

Students who are English Language Learners (ELLs) make up a large population of our nation’s schools. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Spanish is the primary language spoken at home for 3.7 million students or about 7.6 percent of students in grades K-12 in the United States. The percentage of ELL students in certain states such as California is as high as 25 percent.

With this in mind, and to serve our Spanish immersion classrooms that use Studies Weekly, our online reading sections and assessments are available in Spanish.

To view the Spanish language versions of the publications, click “Reading” at the top of the page and collapse the tab labeled “Leveled Readers.”

2. Highlighting

Students are able to highlight passages of text. Teachers make this tool even more valuable when they incorporate highlighting into their lessons.

For instance, you can have students highlight the verbs as they see them in their reading, or highlight all of the proper nouns they see throughout the copy. This fulfills many of the ELA standards while teaching students essential social studies concepts.

3. Assessments

To administer assessments to your students, just go into your Teacher Account and activate the test for the section you are working on. The reading sections prepare students for the questions at the end of the unit.

One of the benefits of the assessments is that they utilize a variety of question types: drag and drop, fill in the blank, true or false, multiple choice, etc. We have closely assessed the standards to make sure that both our digital and print materials adhere closely to the standards for each state.

4. Rewards

Parents and teachers know that the best way to motivate children is through rewarding positive behavior. As students complete their reading or listening to the text, they earn virtual coin rewards. Students will also have to search the site to earn some of the rewards. (Don’t worry, we give pretty good clues!)

Students can redeem their rewards for items for a virtual pet.

Many of the reading sections also include games. Students can play developmentally appropriate games such as MisSpilled, a game that helps students identify misspelled and correctly spelled words. There are also crossword puzzles that incorporate ideas and vocabulary from the reading.

5. Online Learning Progress Tracking

As a kid, few things are quite as frustrating as not being able to track progress. (Ever been on a road trip with a 6-year-old? Do the words “Are we there yet?” set off any alarms?)  With our online tool, students can track their own progress. Students will get through the material and retain more of it when they can see their progress nearing the finish line.

6. Audio & Visual Features

The content in our online component is identical to the print publications you receive in your classroom each week. With the online tool, however, the content has sound and visual components as well. We also have thousands of videos, and most likely, at least one that correlates with each topic.

We understand you often need to cater to your students’ unique personalities and learning styles. That’s why we’ve included these options to help you.

To start setting up your Student Accounts, register or login to Studies Weekly online.

 

Employee Profile: Ed Rickers, Company CEO

Before taking command of the Studies Weekly ship, Ed was heavily entrenched in sales as a door to door salesman. Studies Weekly began as a project with its first operations in his garage in the late 90s.

Now, two decades later and fueled by Diet Coke and immense passion, Ed has grown his garage project into a successful multimillion dollar company (and we work in a building now, please don’t worry about us).

When I first stepped into Ed’s office, he asked me why I think his office is the biggest one. In my head, I thought, “Because you’re the most important person here?” but I knew Ed wouldn’t say that. He laughed a little and said, “They give it to the person with the most room for improvement.” Because that’s the kind of guy Ed is. Humility is his trademark and every step of the way there is always something that can be done better, and there is always, always room for a higher, loftier goal.

From Humble Beginnings to Company CEO

Ed started out as a door to door salesman in college and realized after he graduated that his part-time summer sales job was far outpacing his full-time job. So he graduated, quit his full-time job, and was a professional door-to-door salesman for over a decade. There was no way he could have known 20 years later that he would be a company CEO of his own making, running a million dollar education empire, and that he would have such an immense passion for aiding in children’s learning.

From a tiny garage to a beautiful building at the base of the Rocky Mountains, Studies Weekly has undergone changes more than just in size, although our physical growth is impressive. Studies Weekly began as a print product in just Utah and Texas. It has grown to be officially adopted by 7 states, and 1 in 7 students in the U.S. use Studies Weekly every day.

Our publications are not just in print anymore, either. Millions of students across the country at many types of schools are using the Studies Weekly online component. In addition to the online learning tool, we have nearly 4,000 original videos on virtually every imaginable topic.

A Friendly and Passionate Heart

As Ed and I talked about where he wants to go with his company and about the things that he most wants his team members to learn, it struck me profoundly how much he cares. That may be just the quality that is most impressive about Ed Rickers. It would be difficult to find someone who cares a fraction as much about their company as he does.

And it’s not just about the job for him. It’s not only about career growth. If you happen to cross paths with Ed during the work day, expect him to spend some real time with you. One thing he loves about what he does here is spending time with people around the company. He likes to hear about what they’re doing, how they feel, and what’s going on in their lives. In a company of over 100 people, making each one feel noticed is no easy feat. But he pulls it off.

 

I love having the opportunity to make a meaningful difference for so many kids. When you can make a product and publish it, and see millions of kids benefitting from it, that’s really satisfying.

Ed Rickers, President and CEO

Studies Weekly

Career Advice

Ed’s advice to anyone interested in a career at Studies Weekly (and why wouldn’t you be?) is to get to know the product. Go out into the warehouse and talk to the people working there. Read the product. Ask the graphic designers and illustrators what they’re working on. Go and watch some of the videos that our robust video department has created. Ed encourages all of his team members to do this, to ultimately “be a product of the product.”

Global-Sized Goals

Ed Rickers’s father-in-law, Paul Thompson, published the first Studies Weekly publication in 1984. Thompson produced the first issue after realizing there was no adequate textbook available to teach his fourth grade class. With the same will and determination that Ed has now, he set up Studies Weekly as a family business. As company CEO, Ed expanded Studies Weekly to Florida, Arizona, and  gradually began building other state-specific publications.

Find out what your real purpose is and do it. Everyone’s purpose is different. People find meaning and purpose in lots of different ways. However you do it, do it. Whatever your meaning is, your purpose in life, just follow it. Put it into action and operationalize it. For me, it’s all about making a difference through education.

Ed Rickers

In case you wondered, Ed’s ambition is not restricted to the United States. He’s not the type to ground himself in his too-large office waiting to improve. Oh, no. Ed dreams of an international product provided at low- or no-cost to developing countries all over the world. And nobody here doubts that he can do it. Ed Rickers makes it clear: with a big heart, bright mind, and a lifelong passion, there is no end to what you can do.

Veterans Day Video: An Exclusive Virtual Assembly

veterans day videoTeaching students about Veterans Day is no easy task. Even some of the most seasoned teachers struggle with teaching kids heavy topics such as war. Our goal at Studies Weekly is to make teaching these key topics a positive experience for educators and students. This is why we have partnered with Canines with a Cause to create an exclusive Veterans Day video assembly. This event will highlight the importance of Veterans Day in a format that appeals to all audiences.

Veterans Day Video Exclusive

Veterans Day can be a difficult topic to teach elementary-age students. For 30 years, Studies Weekly has been providing classrooms nationwide with free lesson plans, interactive online learning experiences, and helpful videos.

In addition to these tools, we have created a virtual Veterans Day video assembly to honor our nation’s veterans. On November 10, 2017, this exclusive virtual video assembly put together by award-winning director Loki Mulholland will be available for you at our Veterans Day website.

Working and training service dogs has proven to be very beneficial to veterans. The bond created by the training process can lessen stress and help veterans deal with the invisible scars of war. Dogs provide confidence, love and comfort to transform lives.

— Canines with a Cause

About Our Partner

Canines with a Cause LOGOWe have partnered with Canines with a Cause to put together this video for your students. Among other things, this virtual assembly will address several questions including What do dogs have to do with veterans?

Canines with a Cause answers this question and others every day. They provide veterans and rescued dogs opportunities to work together and support each other. See their website for more information on their fostering, emotional support, and training programs.

Many Veterans won’t talk or share their experiences… They fear the judgement, rejection, and even the lack of empathy to what they are going through. But a dog…is better than any medication that can be prescribed.

Dustin Gladwell, Charlie Mike

 

Visit Studies Weekly Online for additional information on this Veterans Day video assembly. Here you will find free Veterans Day lesson plans and can view the exclusive trailer and a countdown for the virtual assembly. Come see us later in November at NCSS 2017.