April 2023 Social Studies Newsletter

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Header: OK Social Studies

April 2023

Financial Literacy Month

Piggy Bank

Since 2004, April has been designated National Financial Literacy Month, intended to raise awareness on planning for a secure financial future. It is also a great time to reflect on our own financial situation. Ideas to consider:

Some financial literacy opportunities:

  • Oklahoma Council on Economic Education 
  • Jumpstart
  • Next Gen Personal Finance
  • EVERFI is hosting a free virtual workshop for 6-8th grade students - covering finance and economics with age-appropriate activities. The presenters will also get your students started on SmartEconomics and FutureSmart, digital resources you can use all year to reinforce key skills!
    • Who: 6-8th grade students
    • When: April 5th
    • Where: Virtually in classrooms
    • What: During a 45-minute session, students will enjoy a group financial literacy activity. Then they'll play through an interactive lesson of the SmartEconomics & FutureSmart resources that have been donated to your school. Register classes!  

Outstanding Economic Student Awards

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Oklahoma City Branch and the Oklahoma Council on Economic Education are pleased to invite you to nominate a student for the 13th Annual Outstanding Economic Student Awards.This award program recognizes outstanding students and highlights the importance of an economic way of thinking. The awards are part of the comprehensive economic education partnership of the Federal Reserve Bank and the Oklahoma Council on Economic Education.

Only one student per school may be nominated.

Here are a few things to help identify your student:

  • The student is an economic thinker.
  • The student has a desire to learn more about economics either directly or within another area of interest (ie. sports, fashion, business, etc.).
  • The student you recognize is a leader and inspiration to others on economic education at your school.
  • The student does not need to be in an economics class.
  • The student does not need to be able explain the GDP (but we commend those who can).

The honored student will be recognized in person at a dinner and program on Tuesday, May 2, 2023.Deadline to submit is Friday, April 14, 2023.

For more information and to receive the application packet, please click here.For questions, contact Angel Allen or call at 405-270-8603.

Teaching The Story Of April 19, 1995

OKC National Memorial and Museum Logo

A message from the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Musuem:

The 28th anniversary of the nation’s worst act of domestic terrorism is weeks away, and it is as important as ever that we remember what we lost and the strength and resilience of our community and nation.

On April 19, 1995, a truck bomb exploded in Oklahoma City, causing the partial collapse of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. It killed 168 people, injured thousands, and changed our nation forever. The Mission of the Memorial and Museum was adopted in 1996 and requires us to teach the brutality of the attack and the tenderness of the response in the aftermath of the bombing. The Memorial Museum has something for all ages to guide you through this important event in history and its lessons that are undeniably relevant today

In partnership with UCO’s W. Roger Webb Forensic Science Institute, we are proud to release the Following the Trail of Evidence Forensic Kit in time for April to help students dive deeper into the investigation. The work of forensic investigators honored those who were killed, those who survived, and those changed forever by bringing the perpetrators to justice. Investigators used many of the techniques in this kit, to piece together the truth that the criminals tried to conceal.

Bring lessons of remembrance, resilience, community, and hope into your classroom or home. Designed by educators for all ages and interest levels, our lesson plans are aligned to standards and ready to engage minds. Looking for something to introduce younger learners to the story of the bombing? Check out our most recent video lesson featuring George and Maggie, the children of OKC Mayor, David Holt. Also check out the virtual trunks.

April is National Poetry Month

Launched by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996, National Poetry Month is a special occasion that celebrates poets' integral role in our culture and that poetry matters. Over the years, it has become the largest literacy celebration in the world marking poetry's importance in our lives. Poetry can be intergrated into social studies easily. Here are some ideas:

  • Poetry can be used as a source from          the time period, especially using                song lyrics.
  • Incorporate poems like Moshe                    Szulsztein's "We Are the                                Shoes". 
  • Students can investigate primary                sources and then report out on the            information or perspective of the                primary sources using a poem and            then can have a historical poetry                slam.
  • Students could create a found poem          or a blackout poem.

Celebrate National Poetry Month by using poetry in your social studies classes!

National Poetry Month poster

U.S. History Item Writing Workshop

Cognia and the Oklahoma State Department of Education are hosting the 2023 U.S. History Item Writing Workshop. The goal of the U.S. History Item Writing Workshop is to provide attendees with training in assessment literacy, as well as, to give them some information in assessment construction as it relates to the state summative assessment and the Oklahoma Academic Standards. Items produced by the writers will go through editing by Cognia and the OSDE and will be used to build an item bank for U.S. History teachers. The workshop will take place in the Oklahoma City area May 22-24, 2023. Attendees will be paid a stipend and will be eligible to receive lodging or mileage. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be provided. Apply here. Deadline April 10.

2023-24 AP Materials Grant

The Oklahoma State Department of Education is offering a one-time materials grant for all AP educators. This grant is available to any teacher who teaches an existing AP course or who will begin a new AP course in the 2023-2024 school year. The maximum award for this grant is $25,000. 

The full Request for Proposals is available HERE

To apply, please complete your proposal at this link: https://airtable.com/shro2wI7BQXqAtpAG

A copy of the Assurances Statement must be signed and attached on the form. The Statement can be found HERE

Proposals are due April 21, 2023. Award announcements will be May 10, 2023. 

For questions, please contact Leah Murphy, Director of AP at leah.murphy@sde.ok.gov.


Oklahoma Elementary Ed Chats

Ed Chat picture of all the directors

Oklahoma Elementary Ed Chats are quarterly virtual meetings hosted by the OSDE Elementary Curriculum Directors. The goal of the OK Elementary Ed Chats is to support Oklahoma elementary teachers and administrators that teach or support a variety of content areas. The OSDE Elementary Ed Chat Notes and Resources document includes information about previous OK Elementary Ed Chats. 

Our next OK Elementary Ed Chat will be Monday, May 1, 2023. Join us to learn about what will be new for 2023-2024 school year in standards, assessment, and textbooks with the OSDE Elementary Curriculum Directors.

Register to attend at either 4pm or 7pm using the links below. 

4:00 pm Zoom  

7:00 pm Zoom 

The First Amendment and You! The Bill of Rights For Elementary Educators

Thursday, April 20, 6:00-7:00 pm CT - Webinar for TeachersExplore how to engage elementary students with primary sources from the holdings of the National Archives that demonstrate the power of student voices. During this Civics for All of US online teacher workshop, you will connect with resources for teaching the Bill of Rights in the elementary school classroom, including interactive distance learning programs, graphic organizers, and DocsTeach activities. Register today 

2023 Eva K. Unterman Conferences

2023 Eva K. Unterman Conferences Flyer

Register here.

Echoes and Reflections Workshop

Echoes and Reflections June 9 Flyer

Register here.

WWII Propaganda and Cartoons Student Webinar

Join The National WWII Museum for this student webinar on how cartoons played a role in propaganda on the Home Front. A Museum educator will examine different pieces of wartime propaganda that were aimed at students during the war, including two artworks by Disney. Students will be able to understand the purpose of propaganda and see how propaganda would have impacted their lives if they had grown up during World War II.  April 6, 2023 12:00-1:00 PM CT. Register here.

WWII Museum's Manufacturing Victory Electronic Field Trip

Join The National WWII Museum April 25th to learn more about the inspiring story of the American Home Front effort that brought victory to the Allies and brought the country out of the Great Depression. Get your whole class involved with this live broadcast by submitting questions in real time to the student reporter and expert! Test your history knowledge against the rest of the country by participating in the polls throughout the Electronic Field Trip. Get inspired as you hear the untold stories of how women and people of color came together to bring the United States to the forefront of manufacturing during World War II.

Session 1: 9:00 a.m. CT & Session 2: 1:00 p.m. CT

Watch live from your classroom on Tuesday, April 25, 2023!

Can’t join the session live? Select “Watch Later” when registering! After the Electronic Field Trip has aired on April 25, you will receive a link to view the recording and utilize in your classroom at your convenience.


Students who view this program will have the opportunity to explore galleries within The National WWII Museum and macro-artifacts from their collection, as well as WWII sites that still exist today across the United States. 
Designed for grades 6–12.

National Constitution Center's Constitution 101

Constitution 101 is a 15-unit asynchronous, semester-long curriculum that provides students with a basic understanding of the Constitution’s text, history, structure, and caselaw. Drawing on primary source documents from the Constitution Center's new, curated online Founders’ Library—containing over 170 historical texts and over 70 landmark Supreme Court cases selected by leading experts of different perspectives—students will study the historical and philosophical foundations of America’s founding principles from a range of diverse voices. The curriculum guides students to think like constitutional lawyers—cultivating the skills necessary to analyze all sides of constitutional questions. Each module includes detailed materials for classroom educators, as well as opportunities for guided discovery and practice and tools to check for understanding. Check out Constitution 101 here.

Oklahoma City Zoo Art Contest

OKC Zoo Art Contest poster

Calling all Oklahoma educators, the Oklahoma City Zoo invites your students, K-12, to get creative for conservation and a chance to win wild prizes including having their design on a Pepsi vending machine at the Zoo by entering the Pepsi Vending Machine Art Contest!

Now through April 23, students can enter their original designs inspired by the contest theme, “Make Oklahoma Litter Free for Wildlife”.

Students are encouraged to share their ideas about how to keep Oklahoma clean and green!

Illustrations must be submitted on an official contest entry form found here.

Entries are due Saturday, April 22, 2023. Learn more at www.okczoo.org/pepsicontes

Celebrate Earth Day with these ideas from the Oklahoma City Zoo.

Arab American Heritage Month 2023

Celebrating the rich and diverse culture and contributions of the diverse population of Arab Americans, National Arab American Heritage Month has been observed during the month of April since 2017.

An estimated 3.7 million Americans have Arab roots, according to the Arab American Institute, with ancestries traced to 22 countries in the Middle East and North Africa, including Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Palestine, Morocco, Iraq, Jordan, Yemen, Bahrain, Tunisia, Algeria, Sudan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and others. Learn more and find resources at the History Channel and Arab American Foundation.

Scottish American Heritage Month 2023

During April, Scottish American Heritage Month is recognized. Scots were some of the first Europeans to settle in North America. An estimated 20-25 million Americans claim Scottish descent today. Did you know that 35 of our U.S. Presidents have been of Scottish descent and Smith is the most common last name in Scotland?