October 2020

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Header: OK Social Studies

October 2020

Monthly Virtual Meetings

  • Join other social studies educators in our monthly meet-ups the first Tuesday of every month at 4:00 p.m. The next meeting will be on December 1, 2020. This meeting is a recurring meeting so this Zoom link will work for all meetings. The password is 981251.
  • Geography teachers are invited to join the OSDE, the Oklahoma Alliance for Geographic Education, and teachers around the state for a Geography Virtual Meeting on November 10, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. The meet-up is geared for teachers of grades 4-12. Join using this Zoom link and the password is 092908.


Oklahoma Council for the Social Studies Virtual Conference

Save the Date: January 12, 19, and 26, 2021. The Oklahoma Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference will be virtual this year and will be held on January 12, 19, and 26, 2021. The theme this year will be Going Viral. Each date will have at least three sessions for attendees to choose from and all sessions will be recorded and posted after the conference. Registration is free and details will be released soon.

Women in American History and Politics Webinar Series

Study, through a collection of compelling original documents, the role and actions of women in our shared political heritage hosted by Teaching American History and the Oklahoma Council for the Social Studies. Through a series of three historical case studies, participants will explore the ideas and impact of women at the Founding, as part of the Abolition Movement, and in the mid-20th Century Civil Rights Movement. 

  • Session 1 - 3:50-5:00 CST - October 22
  • Session 2 - 3:50-5:00 CST - October 29
  • Session 3 - 3:50-5:00 CST - November 5

All attendees of this free seminar will be provided with a certificate for continuing education if they attend all three sessions and digital copies of the agenda and documents. Registrants will be sent WebEx login credentials before each session. Register here.


The Tulsa Race Massacre: History, Writing, and Reflection Workshop

Join the Oklahoma Alliance for Geographic Education (OKAGE) for a special half-day online professional development session on the Tulsa Race Massacre, October 28, 2020.

This session will feature a presentation from Professor Quraysh Ali Lansana from Oklahoma State University - Tulsa. Professor Lansana teaches a course on Black Wall Street: Greenwood's Evolution and Reawakenings. Professor Lansana, along with National Geographic Certified Educator and OKAGE Teacher Consultant, Taylor Woodard will be leading participants through the history of the Tulsa Race Massacre and will guide attendees through a variety of writing exercises centered around this topic which will be aligned with the Oklahoma Academic Standards. Participants who attend the live session are eligible for a $25.00 stipend. Register here.

United States Senate Youth Program

The 59th Annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP), established in 1962 by U.S. Senate Resolution, awards two student leaders from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity a week in Washington experiencing their national government in action. Delegates hear major policy addresses by senators, cabinet members, officials from the Departments of State and Defense and directors of federal agencies, as well as participate in a meeting with a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Each delegate is awarded a $10,000 College Scholarship for undergraduate studies. 

USSYP is limited to juniors and seniors who are currently serving in any one of the following student government offices:

   a. student body president, vice-president, secretary, or treasurer

   b. class president, vice-president, secretary, or treasurer

   c. student council representative

   d. national honor society officer

   e. student representative elected or appointed to a district, regional, or state level civic or educational organization                     

The USSYP Washington Week will be held online the week of March 14, 2021. The exact timeframe of the program is to be decided. Two students from each state will be selected to attend the online program and each will receive a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship. Students may qualify to apply through leadership positions they currently hold per the USSYP official criteria for the current 2020-2021 academic year. If students are unable to hold leadership positions this year due to the pandemic, they can submit the position they held during the 2019-2020 academic year. All student leadership qualifying positions are subject to the judgement of the state selection administrator and will be verified and confirmed. Access the USSYP Brochure here.

Oklahoma applications can be accessed here and are due by 5:00 p.m. on November 20, 2020. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. Finalists will be notified by December 31, 2020. Finalists will be required to attend a virtual interview the week of January 11-15, 2021. On the basis of the personal interview, essays, letter of recommendation, and application, judges will select two student delegates to represent Oklahoma and a first and second alternate. The two students chosen to represent Oklahoma as delegates and the two students chosen as alternates will be notified by the middle of February.

For additional information contact Brenda Beymer-Chapman

Election Resources

Election Day is November 3, 2020 and many teachers are planning for how to teach about the election process. The following are resources for having a structured lesson about the election process:

Celebrate Freedom Week

Celebrate Freedom week is state mandated and this year will fall on the week of November 9 -13, 2020. The first requirement is for schools to conduct and observe an appropriate program of at least one class period honoring veterans on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. Celebrate Freedom week includes the whole week around Veterans Day and requires as part of a social studies class instruction on the importance of the Declaration of Independence through history and the Constitution of the United States, including the Bill of Rights. Students in grades three through twelve should study the text below:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness...That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."

This year may look a little different in terms of having a Veteran's Day assembly. The following are ideas for how to honor veterans and study about the Declaration of Independence:

Grants for Social Studies, Culturally Sustaining and Responsive Teaching

OSDE is excited to announce a new grant opportunity for classroom teachers. Teachers can apply as individuals or as a team for $1,000 to $5,000 to be used for supplies, materials and/or equipment for their PK-12 classroom to support Social Studies and Culturally Sustaining and Responsive Teaching.

All certified educators employed under OCAS Job Class Code 210: “Teacher” or Job Class Code 213: “Resource Teacher,” are eligible. 

Applications are due by 5 p.m. Oct. 30, 2020. Awardees will be announced during the week of Nov. 16 both by email and through the EngageOK Educators newsletter (sign up here).

Learn more about the application process at https://sde.ok.gov/classroom-grants-teachers.  

The Public School Classroom Support grant program was established by 70 O.S.§ 1-123 with funding available in the Public School Classroom Support Revolving Fund. 

Oklahoma Public School Resource Center Geography Grant

The Oklahoma Public School Resource Center is seeking social studies educators to participate in the Oklahoma Geography Funding Program through the National Geographic Society. This program will recruit teachers to create K-12 educator training. In partnership with the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE), we will work with local teachers to create K-12 professional learning content using assets from the National Geographic Resource Library, with a specific focus on the Oklahoma Academic Standards. 

OPSRC and OSDE will identify and partner with Oklahoma geography teachers to develop  asynchronous virtual training modules teachers across the state can access. This training content will be housed in OPSRC’s learning management system, which has 8,617 current active users. Additionally, OPSRC and OSDE will collaborate to deliver both synchronous virtual training events and in-person professional development opportunities that will expand on the content provided online.  

Academic All-State Awards

The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, a nonprofit organization that recognizes and encourages academic excellence in Oklahoma’s public schools, is seeking nominations for its 2021 Academic All-State Awards.

Scholarships totaling $100,000 will be presented at the foundation’s 35th annual Academic Awards Banquet on May 15, 2021, at the Cox Business Convention Center in Tulsa.  In addition, the foundation will recognize five innovative public school educators who were selected in 2020 as Medal for Excellence winners but were unable to be honored last spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Academic Awards Banquet, which has been described as the “Academy Awards for public education in Oklahoma,” is typically attended by nearly 1,000 guests and is broadcast statewide on public television.

“The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Academic Awards Program is the Oklahoma’s premiere awards program honoring academic achievement, innovation and leadership among students and educators in our public schools,” said Executive Director Emily Stratton. “By working together to give outstanding students and educators the recognition they deserve, we send a strong message to our state and to the nation that Oklahomans value academic excellence.”

Academic All-State Award nominations are being accepted through an online portal at www.ofe.org. The award honors 100 public high school seniors with a $1,000 merit-based scholarship. To qualify, students must meet at least one of the following requirements: a composite ACT score of at least 30; a combined SAT evidence-based reading & writing and math score of at least 1370; or be selected as a semi-finalist for a National Merit, National Achievement or National Hispanic Scholarship. Eligibility must be verified by the district superintendent or high school principal. Academic All-State nominations must be submitted by 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3.

The foundation will not be doing a selection process for Medal for Excellence Awards for educators this year so that it may honor the 2020 Medal winners, whose recognition was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Academic All-State Award recipients are chosen by an independent selection committee, chaired by retired Tulsa attorney Teresa B. Adwan, and comprised of business, education and civic leaders, as well as former Academic All-Staters and Medal for Excellence winners. Since 1987, the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence has awarded more than $5 million in academic awards and scholarships.

For more information, visit the foundation’s website at www.ofe.org or call (405) 236-0006.

2020 First Amendment Congress: Flex Your Rights

The 2020 First Amendment Congress: Flex Your Rights presented by Freedom of Information Oklahoma will be virtual and held October 28, 2020 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The First Amendment Congress is a day designed for high school students, college students, educators, and anyone interested in helping young people understand the First Amendment. The schedule is below:

9:00 a.m. - First Amendment Rights of High School students

10:00 a.m. - Generation Citizen

11:00 a.m. - Know Your Voting Rights, a primer for first time voters

Register: FOIOklahoma.org

2020 Zach Taylor First Amendment Essay Contest

Oklahoma High School students grades 9-12 are invited to enter the 2020 Zach Taylor First Amendment Essay Contest, sponsored by Freedom of Information Oklahoma. Pick on of the freedoms guarenteed in the First Amendment (speech, press, religion, assembly, or government petition) and write about its imporatnce to our way of life. Students are encouraged to do factual research on the topic, but to write creatively and personally rather than write a report. Enteries should be about 500 words, typed, and double-spaced. All entries must be received by October 22, 2020. Each entry must include the following:

  • Student's name
  • Name of student's school
  • Name of student's teacher
  • Name of student's principal
  • Student's mailing address
  • Student's contact phone number
  • Studen'ts personal email

Email entries to or share google document with Laura Eastes Akers - lauraeastes@gmail.com

Cash prizes will be awarded to winning essays. First prize is $300, 2nd place is $200, third place is $100, and seven students will receive honorable mentions and gift certificates. Winners will be announced at the virtual 2020 First Amendment Congress on October 28, 2020.