Kendall Hunt Publishing

PROGRAM FEATURES


Students as Social Science Investigators (SSIs)

VLS creates experiential learning by turning students into Social Science Investigators (SSIs).  By putting students in the role of SSIs, they instantly become active learners.  Students learn how to ask questions, discover facts, evaluate data, identify the chain of events, collaborate and draw logical conclusions. The assignments also require students to develop multi-media communication skills and an ability to advocate a point of view.

 

Specific Skills Targeted

The VLS curriculum is designed to develop key life skills and core disciplines, including the ability to:

  • Read and write
  • Communicate in multi-media formats
  • Ask questions and conduct interviews
  • Discover information and evidence
  • Think critically
  • Think logistically
  • Collaborate
  • Reach a conclusion
  • Develop perspective, make an argument and advocate a position
  • Take informed action
  • Understand financial and economic decisions

First European Settlements – The Courageous Life of Early Pioneers

Separate Fact from Fiction in How the English, French and Spanish Put Down Roots in America and Set the Stage for the Democracy We Enjoy Today

Students will discover daily life for families who settled our nation when it was called the New World.

Unit Objectives:

  1. Students will view a student-narrated video that delivers a compelling history of the Lost Colony at Roanoke Island, St. Augustine, Jamestown and Plymouth Colony with a gripping narrative and eye-catching graphics.

  2. Students will solve the mystery of what happened to settlers who vanished from Roanoke Island.

  3. Students will determine the truth behind the popular takes of Pocahontas, Plymouth Rock, the first Thanksgiving and the relationships between Pilgrims and Native Americans.

 

Ellis Island and Immigration – A Gateway to Liberty and Opportunity

Investigate the Bravery, Hardships and Other Experiences of Immigrants Seeking the American Dream and How their Legacy Affects Us Today

Students will explore the stories and photos behind the mass immigration through Ellis Island that occurred in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Unit Objectives:

  1. Students will view a student-narrated video that delivers a captivating history of Ellis Island with an absorbing storyline and powerful visuals.
  2. Students will develop a timeline on the construction of the Statue of Liberty.
  3. Students will interview family members and identify the role immigration played in their own history, and determine how our shared history as a nation of immigrants impacts society today.

 

History of Labor Unions in the U.S. – A Fight for Better Wages and Working Conditions

Examine the Brutal Life on a Factory Floor in the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries and the Role Organized Labor Played in Raising Pay, Curbing Child Labor and Making Work Safer for Everyone.

Students will explore the gripping stories of working-class hardship and shocking photos of child labor. They also will trace the rise of the nation’s labor movement to bring humane treatment and fairness to the factory floor. 

Unit Objectives:

  1. Students will view a student-narrated video that delivers a riveting look into the factory floor life, strikes and street battles of the time.
  2. Students will research the experiences of young female workers in the textile mills of Lowell, Massachusetts.
  3. Students will identify key labor leaders and determine which laws supported unions and their right to organize and strike and which laws hurt their cause.

 

The Great Chicago Fire –Turning Tragedy into Triumph

Explore How Urban Planners, Business Leaders and Residents Rebuilt the Fastest-Growing City in the World after Fire Turned it to Ash in 1871.

As a result of this massive 1871 tragedy, national attention was on Chicago as a leader of determination, innovation and spirit when rebuilding the city. Lessons learned resulted in the invention of the first skyscraper. From this ruble, Chicago grew into a national transportation hub, an international finance district, a publishing capital, a technology industry information leader, and a world-wide cultural center, all driven through the will and spirit of its citizens.

Unit Objectives:

  1. Students will use inquiry research to write an article for the school newspaper about the time period just before the Chicago Fire of 1871.
  2. Students will use digital resources and identify possible explanations for the onset of the great fire and investigate how the fire started along with possible extenuating factors that were involved.
  3. Students will locate information about the city’s investigation into the onset of the fire, outline the results of the investigation, and present their information.
  4. Students will review the eyewitness accounts and other evidence chronicling the events surrounding the Great Chicago Fire.
  5. Students will analyze multiple perspectives on the impact of the fire on Chicago society in 1871, using a variety of primary sources from this seminal period in American urban history.
  6. Students will evaluate primary sources germane to the period to determine why the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 was so destructive and the magnitude of damage so expansive.
  7. Students will formulate research questions about the aftermath of the Great Chicago Fire.
  8. Students will evaluate primary sources germane to the period following the Great Chicago Fire.
  9. Students will construct a presentation using primary sources conveying their conclusions about the effects of the Great Chicago Fire.

CUSTOMIZED SHOPPING FOR:

History

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How to Pass a Bill – Laws in the Making

Using Illinois As an Example, Take a Virtual Walk Inside the Illinois State Capitol to Understand Why It’s Important to Vote and See How Elected Officials Create Legislation that Impacts Us As Citizens

Students will explore the roles played by the Illinois House of Representatives and the Illinois Senate in submitting ideas that get turned into laws. They’ll also examine how the Governor can approve (sign) or reject (veto) a bill, and why it’s important to vote. 

Involvement in our student’s future, and an on-going life lesson, is the key message in this unit: LEARN, PARTICIPATE, VOTE.

Unit Objectives:

  1. Students will identify the leaders of each branch of Illinois state government.
  2. Students will list duties of each branch of Illinois state government.
  3. Students will construct a presentation using the information gathered about the three branches of Illinois government.
  4. Students will examine the roles and responsibilities of the Legislative and Executive Branches of the State of Illinois.
  5. Students will be able to identify the participants in the lawmaking process and the steps that are needed to submit a bill and go through the process to become law.
  6. Students will use electronic sources, as well as the Official Website for the State of Illinois (2014) and use a graphic organizer to identify key players in the lawmaking process.
  7. Students will select a bill, find out who sponsored the bill, read the full text, identify dates and actions taken, identify in which chamber the bill currently resides, research the reason for creating the bill, and follow and record the progress through the lawmaking system.
  8. Students will draft a bill and go through the lawmaking process in their school.
  9. Students will read the Illinois Constitution, Article IV and identify the steps needed to submit a bill to become law.
  10. Students will survey the school’s population, draft a bill, create a Senate, House of Representatives, and elect a Governor and proceed through the steps of a bill becoming a law as they argue the positives and negatives of the bill.

CUSTOMIZED SHOPPING FOR:

Government

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Grand Canyon – Exploring a Natural Treasure

Survey One of the “Seven Natural Wonders of the World” and Discover Why More than 5 Million People Visit Each Year

Students will explore the geology, ancient history and massive size of The Grand Canyon.

Unit Objectives:

  1. Students will view a student-narrated video that takes a virtual trip to the Grand Canyon, tells the story of how it got its name and explores its awesome beauty.
  2. Students will examine primary and secondary sources to chronicle the different Native American societies that formed in the Grand Canyon region.
  3. Students will review evidence chronicling European and U.S. exploration of the Grand Canyon, and compare and contrast their goals and accomplishments/contributions.
  4. Students will analyze multiple perspectives on the different peoples that settled, and societies that formed, in the Grand Canyon region, using a variety of primary and secondary sources.
  5. Students will evaluate primary and secondary sources in an effort to examine the role of geographical location and challenges, as well as geological features and resources of the Grand Canyon in the settlement of the region.
  6. Students will formulate compelling and supportive research questions about the history and geography of the Grand Canyon.
  7. Students will construct a presentation using primary sources conveying their conclusions about the history and geography of the Grand Canyon.
  8. Students will identify ways in which they can preserve and protect the Grand Canyon and other historical and/or natural resources in their community.

CUSTOMIZED SHOPPING FOR:

Geography

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The New York Stock Exchange – A Look at the World’s Largest Securities Exchange

Examine the History of the Ups and Downs of the Financial Markets on Wall Street.

Students will explore the New York Stock Exchange and the relationship between the nation’s economy and the stock market.

Unit Objectives:

  1. Students will view a student-narrated video that uses photos, graphics and clips from the floor of The New York Stock Exchange to deliver a history of the exchange and track the major milestones of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which is a basket of the nation’s top companies.
  2. Students will use electronic resources and identify possible explanations for the Panic of 1893 and investigate how this compares with other economic crises that impacted the New York Stock Exchange.
  3. Students will locate information about the founding of the New York Stock Exchange, including the Buttonwood Agreement, outline the results of the investigation, and present their findings.
  4. Students will describe the impact of the stock market on the U.S. and global economy.
  5. Students will collect, interpret, and evaluate evidence chronicling the events surrounding the Stock Market Crash of 1929.
  6. Students will analyze from multiple perspectives the relationship between the New York Stock Exchange and the economic crises that faced the nation over the course of the past 125 years, using a variety of primary and secondary sources from these seminal periods in American economic history.
  7. Students will formulate compelling and supportive research questions about the role of the New York Stock Exchange in the economic history of the United States.
  8. Students will construct a presentation using primary sources conveying their conclusions about the effects of the Dot Com Boom and Bust.
  9. Students will trace the growth of the Dow Jones Industrial Average index from the late nineteenth century to today.

CUSTOMIZED SHOPPING FOR:

Economics

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