Newly-launched news program connects younger students with age-appropriate news
Flocabulary, creator of educational hip-hop videos, activities and assessments, is launching The Week in Rap Junior, a weekly program that engages elementary students in cross-curricular learning through age-appropriate news stories.
With a new video, standards-based exercises and an interactive creative challenge each week, the dynamic series provides a unique platform to teach core subjects through real-world news and promote the development of important skills like reading, writing and critical thinking.
“We have learned that helping students make connections to the broader world around them is a powerful way to bring the core curriculum to life and get kids actively participating in the learning process,” says Flocabulary CEO Alex Rappaport.
The Week in Rap Junior is a spin-off of The Week in Rap, Flocabulary’s program for grades 5-12. All units in the new series start with an educational hip-hop video, offering students a selection of news stories, and emphasizing age-appropriate vocabulary pertinent to each story. With an emphasis on creating connections to elementary science and social studies curricula, the program draws on global and domestic news to build on students’ existing knowledge while introducing new themes and concepts, from countries and cultures, to innovations and discoveries.
Activities included in each edition are inspired by stories highlighted in the week’s video, and provide opportunities to develop core skills like reading, writing and critical thinking. Each weekly unit also includes a contest with an interactive challenge to engage students in the creative process. A winner will be chosen each week and featured in an upcoming video. Educators new to Flocabulary can sample the first editions of the The Week in Rap Junior series free at flocabulary.com. The series starts weekly production in early September.
“In the process of developing the program, elementary educators we spoke with were enthusiastic about a resource that naturally integrates social studies and science content into their curriculum,” says Emily Helfgot, Curriculum Director at Flocabulary. “We also know that there is a huge push to get students writing and creating, and we built each Week in Rap Junior offering with activities that ask students to form opinions, organize their thinking, and produce work that is thoughtful and original.”
Beyond The Week in Rap Junior, Flocabulary continues to create new content across subject areas, while building out entirely new subjects for 21st-century learners. Last month, the company announced the release of auto-graded assessments and data tools to help educators use Flocabulary for planning, differentiation and intervention.
Material from a press release was used in this report.