Social studies grants by SRP 2017-18 recipients

This year, fourteen schools were selected through evaluators and the committee to receive an SRP grant in social studies. SRP will fund the following projects for a total of $27,530.

Elementary schools (6)

  • Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic School (Tempe) – $2,500.
    Project: Arizona/Southwest learning trunks and texts
    Grant funds will be used to purchase one set of text books and create learning trunks for the fourth-grade classes, which will focus on Arizona/Southwest history and culture. The trunks will contain hands-on manipulatives such as replica historic artifacts and photos, books, maps, music, and multi-media. Used in conjunction with new Arizona text books, these learning trunks will enable students to connect to the past, their present-day community, and their own place in human history. At the culmination of the project students will be able to define the major topics relating to Arizona; main geographic features, capital, climate, founder of state and major cities.
  • Patterson Elementary School (Gilbert) – $2,500.
    Project: Expeditions with virtual reality
    Sixth-grade students will experience virtual field trips, which will bring history and geography to life. The Arizona sixth grade history standards emphasize world history from its earliest cultures through the Enlightenment, including the early cultures of the Americas. Virtual reality viewers will bring locations studied like the ruins of ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, ancient Rome and the Great Wall of China to life. The SRP grant would enable the purchase VR headsets and the technology required to support the VR expeditions. Students will then develop a classroom museum that replicates and extends displays students observed on the field trip and will also create a short news report about what happened on the field trip. The news report will be shared on the different classroom web pages.
  • Playa del Rey Elementary School (Gilbert) – $2,050.
    Project: Connecting students with the world
    The implementation of a social studies resource lab will provide kindergarten through sixth-grade students at Playa del Rey Elementary School the opportunity to explore social studies concepts through cooperative learning activities. Grant funds will provide resources that encourage hands-on exploration with the use of realistic props such as a replica of the Liberty Bell, an authentically detailed totem pole, interactive maps and charts, and high-interest reading passages. With the help of engaging text kindergarten through sixth-students can learn about defining moments in American history. Magnetic map puzzles would let kids explore the United States hands on. These social studies resources would help students learn about geography and important state features, while boosting their geography knowledge.
  • St. Jerome Catholic School (Phoenix) – $2,050.
    Project: History – the making of us
    Fifth through eighth-grade students will utilize grant funds for history books to read and research about American history. They will then continue to build and discuss concepts they have learned by utilizing maps, primary source documents, government and explorers resource boxes. Students will further their understanding by completing assignments that will extend their learning. Grant fund will also assist with the culminating project where students will participate in “History-The Making of Us Fair.” Fifth-graders will create a diorama and research paper, sixth-graders will create travel brochures, seventh-graders will design a game, and eighth-graders will integrate math and science with their history project and create a 3D model. Each of these projects will be specific to their grade level standards. These projects will be viewed by all students and families of St. Jerome.
  • St. John Bosco Catholic School (Phoenix) – $2,000.
    Project: Wonders of Arizona
    Funds will be utilized for a school-wide program (grade K-8) for students to learn about Arizona through interactive projects. Students will improve their writing, reading and critical thinking skills. Grant monies will be used to purchase books, DVDs, project materials and maps. Specialized guest speakers will also present to the students about Arizona topics. Students will then create exhibits and decorate classrooms with scenes from their selected Arizona wonder.
  • Vista del Sur Accelerated Academy (Laveen) – $2,500.
    Project: Discovering my place on the map
    Students (grade K-8) will embark on a year-long adventure of discovery when they investigate how adults employ global competence in the workplace, experience difference and similarities between places and environments through a year-long Geography Bee, and engage their senses through the rich tapestry of new lands, different cultures, language, foods, artwork, music and story. Grant funds will provide books, globes, geography study materials, modeling material, geography games and hands-on maps and geography artifacts. Not only would these materials supplement the 2017-2018 gifted focus study, “Discovering My Place on the Map,” they would also become part of the Gifted Education Lending Library that is available to all grade level teachers to help support enrichment and hands-on experience in the social studies classroom.

Junior high/Middle schools (3)

  • Kino Junior High School (Mesa) – $1,900.
    Project: Literature makes history accessible
    Students in the eighth-grade will critically analyze historical fiction through the lens of four middle school protagonists who are all experiencing the same world-altering event of 9-11. The students will examine literature and primary/secondary source documents to explore the essential idea of interconnectedness between people and nations. Grant funds will be utilized to purchase hard copies of the novel "nine, ten: A September 11 Story."  The students will read the novel in a whole group setting. Primary source documents will be studied throughout the novel.  Secondary sources, including documentaries, interviews, and excerpts from news outlets will be included. The students will independently research anthems from nations around the world. All sources will be analyzed for literary and historical purposes. The students will record their analyses of the anthems on the attached document, and will draw from it themes which they want to include in the creation of their own anthem. The students will use a planning guide and rubric for their final product. All activities will align to both ELA and social studies standards.
  • Rhodes Junior High School (Mesa) – $2,500.
    Project: Stories of honor and service
    Grant funds will be used to purchase maps which are an essential tool to help students visualize the areas they are learning about. Cartographers help us visualize the great planet we are on and inspire teachers to use more than a textbook to teach. Students make observations from the maps and use them as a reference when completing multiple classroom activities.
  • South Valley Junior High (Gilbert) – $2,500.
    Project: U.S. map set
    Grant funds will be used to purchase maps which are an essential tool to help students visualize the areas they are learning about. Cartographers help us visualize the great planet we are on and inspire teachers to use more than a textbook to teach. Students make observations from the maps and use them as a reference when completing multiple classroom activities.

High schools (4)

  • Academy with Community Partners (Mesa) – $2,500.
    Project: Finding your voice and truth
    Freedom Writer students in eleventh and twelfth-grade study, practice, and evaluate the means of "Finding One's Voice and Truth" by way of analyzing the historical content of the Holocaust and the American Civil Rights Movement. Students will analyze historical texts that document the human experience and the voice that cries out for change and people's truths to be heard. Students will write their own reflective poems, and stories to share at a poetry slam. Funds will be utilized to purchase a class set of content related books (on the Holocaust, the American Civil Rights Movement, and on race by Baldwin, Coates, and Ward) and content related DVD's and music.
  • Dobson High School (Tempe) – $650.
    Project: Moral courage in the Holocaust
    Grant funding will be used to purchase “Two Among the Righteous Few” for the twelfth grade class who will explore the Holocaust. Students will read and discuss the book. They would then discuss the book with the author. As a final assessment, they would write a research paper, looking at others who have been named Righteous Among the Nations, and analyze how these people made the choice to help or save others, including the definition of moral courage, the risks people took, the dangers they faced, and what they were willing to do to help others. Students would also connect the stories to their own lives, researching organizations they might like to volunteer for or help in some way.
  • Red Mountain High School (Mesa) – $2,500.
    Project: Refugees, genocide and never again
    Funding from the grant will support a moderated Film/Book Series at Red Mountain High School throughout 2017-2018. The goal of this program is to increase student awareness on human rights issues in the area of refugees and historical and contemporary genocides. In addition, it will examine the preponderance of post-Holocaust evidence that refutes the romanticized notion of “Never Again” and engage students in authentic interactions with individuals who are genocide survivors, children of survivors, or former refugees. There will also be an opportunity to engage with individuals who work with agencies devoted to genocide education or refugee advocacy and assistance and journalists, authors, film-makers and academics who have researched and have expertise in genocide or refugee fields.

    A series of book talks and film screenings with post-film Q&A sessions would feature presentations on the history, geopolitics, and human rights perspectives of genocide, both historical and contemporary, and refugees. This would occur in classrooms during the school day and/or evening events open to the entire community.
  • Westwood High School (Mesa) – $600.
    Project: Free trade entrepreneurship project
    Students will receive inexpensive goods in a brown paper bag and rate those goods on a scale of one to five. They will have an opportunity to trade goods and rate and trade with bigger and bigger groups of students until finally having an opportunity to trade with anyone in the class. The class will most likely experience that through free trade, goods become more valuable as they trade up for goods that they prefer. The activity relates to the objectives and standards for economics students.