Social Studies Video A Civics Lesson - Inspiring Students to Become Active Citizens
Students from a Chicago charter school traveled to the deep South to learn about the civil rights movement from those who, as children themselves, marched against segregation. But this was much more than a hands-on history lesson. It was designed to encourage the students to become active citizens themselves, to work to solve the problems they and their communities face today. Civics education like this is a key part of the curriculum at Polaris Charter Academy. As educator Francesca Peck told the students, “We are here to answer the question: How do members of a community affect change?” The message resonated. As one 6th grader told us, everyone has a voice and they need to be heard.
Social Studies Video Civil Rights Activists Bring History to Life for a New Generation
It was a moment that changed America. Fifty-five years ago this month, thousands of African-American children walked out of school and began a peaceful march in Birmingham, Ala., to protest segregation. They were met with attack dogs and water hoses. Janice Kelsey was 16 at the time and was arrested for participating in what became known as the Children’s Crusade. This year, she told her story to a group of visiting 5th and 6th graders from Polaris Charter Academy in Chicago, Ill. The students had traveled more than 600 miles to hear first-hand accounts from civil rights activists like Kelsey who were on the front lines of history. “Nobody can tell a story better than the person who experienced it,” said 5th grader Amari. The real-life lesson is in keeping with the school’s philosophy, which Polaris educator Francesca Peck said stresses “the power of immersion, and bringing history to life for our students.” Peck said the two-day visit to Birmingham was not a “field trip,” but was “field work,” with students acting as historians. For many of the students, the impact was powerful. As Amari put it, “This generation, they will have to decide whether they’re going to make a story like that generation did.”
Social Studies Video Using “Hamilton” in the Classroom
The Broadway musical “Hamilton” is not just a cultural phenomenon or a favorite soundtrack for kids, it has also become an inspiration for educators looking for new ways to connect with their students. Recently 400 New York City public school teachers, most chosen by lottery, won tickets to see the play. Afterward, workshops hosted by the city's department of education and the Fund for Public Schools helped teachers develop lessons about topics like the U.S. Constitution, the presidency, and our Founding Fathers.
Teaching Video Using America's National Parks as Classrooms
America's national parks have been called the country's "largest classroom," in part because they provide millions of hours in free educational programming every year. The National Park Service has worked to encourage "experiential learning" through the creation of hundreds of lesson plans, virtual resources for schools, and professional development for teachers. Their "place based" learning programs — in subjects such as ecology, history, and geology — have academic, developmental, and health benefits. Sustaining such programming takes on greater importance, parks advocates say, in the midst of ongoing funding challenges and a need to draw more and more diverse visitors to parks facilities and programs. In this PBS NewsHour segment, Education Week correspondent Kavitha Cardoza reports from the Golden Gate National Recreation Area near San Francisco.
Equity & Diversity African-American History Museum Gears Up for School Visits
Official school tours don't start at the national museum until 2017, but classes are already flocking to the museum and tapping its resources.
Teaching Opinion National Parks at 100: Outdoor Classrooms for Experiential Learning
Our national parks offer educational opportunities to narrow the "experience gap," write Milton Chen and U.S. National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.
Teaching Opinion In Praise of the Field Trip
What is a field trip's ultimate purpose? How will the students apply what they have learned? What are their takeaways? And--because these are the questions we hear most often in national policy discussion--was this content standards-based? Could it be delivered (and measured) more efficiently and effectively? Say, in a video or interactive computer game? I'm going to go ahead and answer that question: No.
Teaching How One School District Uses Virtual Field Trips to Save Lots of Time, Money
An administrator with Durham Public Schools plans more than 100 virtual field trips each year that take her district's elementary school students to places they could never afford to go to otherwise.
Curriculum With 'Local Control' Funds, Calif. District Buys Field Trips
New funding rules that put school spending decisions in the hands of local communities have spurred a renewed interest in field trips for students in Vallejo, Calif.
Student Achievement 4-H Club Expands College Prep Program to New York City's Hispanic Youth
The 4-H national youth organization is expanding an after-school dropout-prevention program for Hispanic high school students in New York City and two other cities with a $2 million grant from New York Life Foundation.
Classroom Technology White House Kitchen Opened to Students for Virtual Healthy Cooking Demo
Thousands of students across the country took a virtual field trip to the White House kitchen for a cooking demonstration and a lesson on healthy eating by White House top chef Sam Kass during a live-streamed, interactive webcast.
Student Achievement Programs Found to Stem Summer Learning Loss and Boost Achievement
An analysis of summer academic and enrichment programs operating in 13 states and the District of Columbia that were developed by the nonprofit Building Educated Leaders for Life, or BELL, found that students struggling the most in elementary and middle school showed the greatest gains in math and reading after going through the program
International Photo Essay Chicago Students Journey Through the Dominican Republic
Chicago freelance photographer Alyssa Schukar talks about her experience accompanying students from the Village Leadership Academy.