January 2022

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Header: OK Social Studies

January 2022

Happy New Year

picture of a sparkler

Happy New Year and I hope you had a chance to take some time for yourself over the semester break. It is important to take care of yourself so that you can be there for your students. Please also remember to take time for yourself over the very busy spring semester you have started. January is National Thank You Month, so thank you for all you do. We appreciate all you do to support your students and hope you have a very healthy and productive 2022.

U.S. Naturalization Test Graduation Requirement FAQs

Beginning with the Class of 2025, Oklahoma students must take a 100 question test using the questions from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website. The law requires that students get at least 60 of the 100 questions correct in order to graduate. See House Bill 2030 (2021). Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS) have now been posted on the social studies page. 

OKC Thunder Black Heritage Creative Contest Presented by Sprite

Who inspires you? Students in grades 9-12 are invited to submit an original poster that describes or depicts an inspirational experience, moment or individual in Black history and how they have been personally inspired. All entries must be no smaller than 8.5" by 11", and no larger than 12" by 18" white copy or poster paper. All entries must be received by February 16, limit one entry per person. Details here.  Four winners will receive:

  • 4 tickets to Thunder game on February 28th
  • Thunder jersey, warmup jacket and sneakers
  • Team autographed item
  • A Black Heritage Creative Contest award plaque
  • Entry showcased on Thunder digital platform
  • Entry showcased in-Arena
picture of thunder graphic

National Center for State Courts Civics Education Essay Contest

National Center for State Courts logo

The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) wanted to share some exciting news about an educational, rewarding opportunity for students. NCSC is giving 3rd-12th graders a chance to express their opinion about which U.S. Constitutional Amendment they believe has made the biggest impact in American’s lives.

The official essay question: Which Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has made the biggest difference in people’s lives? Explain how and why.

What’s in it for students? NCSC is giving away a total of $3,000 in cash to the winners. Essays are due February 25, 2022. More details about contest guidelines, prizes and how to enter are available at www.ncsc.org/contest.

2022 If I Were Mayor Essay Contest

logo for If I were mayor contest

The Mayors Council of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Municipal League invite 8th graders from home, public and private schools throughout Oklahoma to participate in a statewide essay contest, "If I Were Mayor, I Would..." to tell others what they would do as mayor to make their city or town a better place to live. First place receives $250, second place receives $150 and third place receives $100. Essays due January 31, 2022. Contest information here.

The Bill of Rights Institute My Impact Challenge

logo for My Impact Challenge

On January 1st, the Bill of Rights Institute launched a national civics contest called My Impact Challenge. This contest is for students and teachers who are making an impact with citizenship projects in their communities. The contest will award $40,000 in total prizes, including a $10,000 student grand prize and teacher prizes! Applications must be submitted by May 16th, 2022.

Submission is open to US citizens and US based young people between the ages of 13 and 19 years old. 

Download this poster to share the contest in your classroom or community!

Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

picture of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Each year, we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one of America's most pre-eminent nonviolent leaders in world history. This important recognition holiday is celebrated the third Monday in January - this year falling on the 17th. 

Oklahoma Council for the Social Studies Membership

OCSS is asking everyone to fill out an updated membership form - even if you have been a member for many years. OCSS is trying to update member information as many people have moved schools. Membership is free! Update membership here.

Vets In Schools

In 2019, The American Legion started a program in the Oklahoma School System called “Vets in Schools”.  Speakers are available on just about any military subject, they can even arrange to have speakers in costume to speak on the War of Independence with the Help of The Sons of The American Revolution providing that the SAR has chapters available in the area. Other organizations that could be available in some areas include: The Daughters of The American Revolution and The Sons of the Union Veterans of The Civil War. For more information contact Ken Wyatt at ken@nwcd.net and place Vets In Schools and your school name in the email.  

Summer Teacher Seminars at the National WWII Museum

The Museum is hosting two free, weeklong Summer Teacher Seminars. Tied to Museum resources, these seminars provide teachers with new and innovative ways to teach World War II, access to noted scholars, and strategies to incorporate Museum curriculum into their classrooms. The best part of these seminars is that they are completely free for teachers who participate! 

  • July 10–15

          Voices from the Pacific War:

         Teaching the Untold Stories of World War II

         During this seminar, teachers will gain a better understanding of the war in the                     Pacific and the best strategies to use museum resources including our expansive                   oral history collection to teach about the Pacific theater.

  • July 17–22

         The Power of Propaganda:

         Teaching Media Literacy Through World War II

         Designed as an interdisciplinary professional development for English Language                   Arts teachers, media library specialists, and Social Studies teachers, The Power of                 Propaganda provides educators with an in-depth seminar on teaching media literacy           through the analysis of World War II propaganda.

To learn more about each of these seminars and the application process, visit our website. The applications are open now and close on February 4th!

National Council for History Education: The Rural Experience in America, Community Civics through Historical Inquiry

Funded by a grant from the Library of Congress teaching with Primary Sources program, the National Council for History Education (NCHE) is proud to announce a 3 part colloquium for teachers focusing on Rural America.

  • March 5, 2022 - Introduction to Rural America with presenters Joseph Anderson with Mount Royal University, Al Wood with Michigan State University, and JoAnn Wood formerly with the Georgia Department of Education
  • April 2, 2022 - Environmental History/Geography of Rural America with presenters Julia Courtwright with Iowa State University, Al Wood with Michigan State, and JoAnn Wood formerly with the Georgia Department of Education
  • May 7, 2022 - Childhood in Rural America with presenters Megan Birk with the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, All Wood with Michigan State, and JoAnn Wood formerly with the Georgia Department of Education.

Registration information here.

National Council for the Social Studies 100th Anniversary Virtual Conference

NCSS is offering a limited amount of scholarships to first-time NCSS conference attendees. If you have always wanted to attend the conference but do not have the funding support, now is the time to take advantage of this opportunity to attend the 100th Anniversary Conference: Democracy Ready for free!

Apply now to receive a complimentary registration to the 100th Anniversary Conference: Democracy Ready and you will also receive one NCSS comprehensive individual membership. You'll gain access to high-quality social studies professional learning during the conference featuring spectacular keynote speakers and webinar sessions, plus year-round access to multiple NCSS member benefits designed to help you in your daily social studies role. Apply here.

2022 White House History Teacher Institute

The 2022 White House History Teacher Institute will be offered in two different formats: in-person and virtual!The White House is an enduring symbol of the United States. The structure serves multiple roles as a home, office, museum, and stage. For over 200 years, many individuals have influenced the space including first families, enslaved individuals, foreign visitors, curators, and the American public.At the White House History Teacher Institute (WHHTI), you will discover the wider history of this iconic building and explore how you can use these stories to enhance your classroom.The 2022 Teacher Institute offers two ways to participate: the in-person Institute is a five-day immersive teacher professional development program in Washington, D.C. hosted by the White House Historical Association. The in-person Institute features discussions with historians, local site visits, inquiry-based learning activities, special speakers, exclusive access to resources, and networking with fellow educators from across the country.The virtual Teacher Institute offers greater capacity and accessibility and by participating, educators will hear from special speakers, gain access to exclusive resources, and participate in interactive sessions with colleagues from across the nation. Both formats are open to all K-12 educators.

                        In Person Program Dates:                       Session 1: July 11-15, 2022                       Session 2: July 18-22, 2022                       Session 3: July 25-29, 2022.


Participants are selected for the in-person institute through an application review process. To apply, you must complete an online application that details how this program will enhance your teaching along with the submission of your current resume and a letter of recommendation from a supervisor.

Applications for the in-person program are due by Sunday, February 27 at 11:59pm EST.

Breakfast, lunch, hotel lodging, and a $500 stipend will be provided to all accepted participants. Aside from a $50 registration fee once accepted, there is no cost to attend the Institute.Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, current accepted participants from 2020 have been deferred to 2022. Educators accepted in 2020 will attend the in-person Institute either July 11-15 or July 18-22. There will be very limited openings during these first two weeks. New, 2022 accepted applicants should plan to attend the in-person Institute during the week of July 25-29. Thirty educators will attend per session.
Apply for the In-Person Program here!