Wir Junior Blog 2

The Week in Rap Junior: New & Improved for a New School Year

The Week in Rap Junior is back and better than ever! We’re kicking off the school year with a new and improved current events video suggested for grades 3-5. After hearing from teachers and administrators, we’ve made some requested changes that we think you’ll love.

This new Week in Rap Junior focuses more on current events. As a truncated version of the Week in Rap, each unit will present a more kid-friendly take on the week’s news, with tweaked visuals and lyrics.

What Can I Expect from the New Week in Rap Junior?

The Week in Rap Junior is like the Week in Rap, but aged down for elementary school students in grades 3-5. While it excludes any stories that aren’t appropriate for young students, the stories for Week in Rap Junior are picked according to the same general rubric:

  • Related to standards
  • Related to students’ lives
  • Ability to spark meaningful discussion and critical thought
  • A glimpse at the wider world
  • Major news

With the Week in Rap Junior, we never cover stories that relate to violence or sex. We exercise extreme caution when we cover any stories that involve death, terrorism or war, making sure that they’re presented in a way that is grade appropriate.  We also avoid stories that are overly complicated and would be very difficult to explain to a 4th grader.

When necessary, we make a few other changes to the Week in Rap to make it “Junior,” including:

  • Simplifying language
  • Presenting more background information
  • Sometimes covering an additional story that is geared toward young students

As with its older cousin, our goal with the Week in Rap Junior is to help students learn about the wide world, promote curiosity and make connections across the subject areas, all while building key literacy and critical thinking skills.

Our goal with the Week in Rap is to help turn students into global citizens with a curiosity not only for what is going on in the world, but why things happen the way they do, and what they can do to take part. We take seriously the responsibility of doing that in an unbiased and grade-appropriate way. When we cover stories, we make sure that we:

How Does Flocabulary Cover the Stories Chosen for The Week in Rap Junior?

  • Provide background information. We make sure to provide students with enough info to understand the topic, even if they’re not already familiar with it.
  • Avoid bias and opinion. We stick to verifiable facts and scientific evidence. When we quote opinions, we present multiple points of view on topics where people disagree.
  • Get at the “why?” We dig deeper than the surface layer of the story.
  • Get students thinking. We ask students challenging questions to get them thinking critically.
  • Use humor when appropriate (we are Flocabulary, after all).

Obviously it’s never possible for us to fully cover any story in the song itself, which is why we provide Lyric Notes (and assignable Read & Respond) for students to learn more about any given story.

We’re thankful for the input and feedback from our amazing Flocabulary users who helped us improve the Week in Rap Junior. Keep an eye out for this new approach starting Friday, August 5. As always, let us know what you think by dropping us a line at info@flocabulary.com or leaving comments in the “Feedback” widget, found on every page when you’re logged in.

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Image Credit: Getty Images

Emily Gover

Emily helps lead up Flocabulary's content marketing and community efforts. Outside of the Flocab office, she can be found listening to podcasts, watching Scrubs for the nth time in a row, blogging, traveling, tweeting, or belting out karaoke. She is fluent in memes and gifs, and her favorite Flocab video is "Dracula Junior."

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