User's Guide

Classroom Setting or Independent Study?

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants "Teach & Learn" Black history curriculum is specially designed for the classroom or independent study. If you are using the curriculum for independent study, feel free to utilize the Teaching Guides and take the daily quizzes for each class to test your knowledge. You may also complete the paper assignments for your own satisfaction, and engage others in discussion of what you are learning for a more enriched educational experience. 

Curriculum Format & Class Structure (for classroom instruction or independent study)

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants "Teach & Learn" curriculum currently consists of a short Intro Unit and Unit 1: Ancienct Africa - The Cradle of Civilization. Each class features the following five components: 1. Class Overview, 2. Learning Objectives, 3. Homework Assignment, 4. Teaching Guide and 5. Study Guide.

First, Educators and students should read the Class Overview and Learning Objectives together to get a firm understanding of the content and purpose for each class. Next, complete the Homework/Class Assignment using the Study Guide as a resource. The approximate time it takes to complete a homework assignment is listed next to the assignment in parenthesis. The Class Overview should be read aloud to a parent, relative, or friend!

For every class there is supplemental material that may include 
People to KnowFree E-Books, Supplemental Documentaries, Related Articles or other additional information. This material appears on the right sidebars of selected pages. While this material is not mandatory, students should be encouraged to review it as it supports the core lesson. Teachers may also assign supplemental material for extra credit or use in class to support the core lesson. 

Class Quizzes (for classroom instruction or independent study)

There is a short quiz for each class contained in the passsword protected 
Teaching Guide for that class (the password for the Teaching Guide is in the email that contains your Username and Password). The purpose of the quiz is to provide a platform for educators to engage students in discussion around the class material to ensure that they comprehend what they have studied.

Each class should begin with the Class Quiz, which is based on the Homework Assignment for that particular Class. Students should receive a reasonable amount of time to complete the quiz based on the length of the quiz (15-30 minutes should be sufficient). Allow the quizzes to be "open book" or open book for a portion on the quiz time to ensure for a lively quiz discussion. If you are studying the curriculum independently, use the quizzes to test your knowledge!

Once the quiz is over, the Teacher reviews the answers during the Quiz Review, which consumes the remainder of the class period (approx. 30-45 minutes). The Quiz Review constitutes the "discussion" component of our learning model, giving students a voice in the classroom and allowing them the opportunity to be active participants in their education. If time remains after the Quiz Review, students have the opportunity to continue with an expanded discussion of the class material. Or students/teacher can discuss some of the non-assigned supplemental material related to the class or review the vocabulary words. 

Papers (for classroom instruction)

For each Unit EFLA provides one or more suggested paper topics and guidelines based on Common Core ELA Writing Standards. We strongly suggest assigning one paper for each Unit of the curriculum. The ability to effectively express one’s ideas in written form is a critical component of education.

Teachers should provide a lesson on how to write a scholarly essay prior to assigning the paper using the excellent Writing Manual and Style Guide developed by the Howard County Pubic School System. This detailed manual provides a comprehensive guideline for writing at the high school and college level. 

Class participation (for classroom instruction or independent study)

Class participation and open discussion is a critical component of our curriculum. The class quizzes are structured to spark deeper discussion of the course material and should be utilized each class. We recommend that teachers grade for class participation and that independent study students ask family or friends to quiz them to spark discussion. 

Keys To Success!
  • Start the curriculum from the beginning, with the Intro Unit and Unit 1 first.​​
  • Create a consistent class schedule to stay focused, for ex., commit to every M,W,F; every Tu,Thurs, or once a week.

  • Do the Homework Assignments! They are all very engaging and only take 60-90 minutes to complete.

  • Study with friends or family or teach a sibling or mentee for maximum benefit.

  • Complete each Unit of the Curriculum! 

  • Study the unassigned supplemental material on the sidebars (including the free e-books!); it will greatly enhance your understanding of the material.

Suggested Grading Rubric
Daily Quizzes (40%)

Papers (40%)

Class Participation (20%)

Extra Credit (10% max)
Learning Tools
Learn how to write like a pro with the Howard County Public School System Writing Manual & Style Guide! 

Writing Guide