K-12 News

KET videos bring state Capitol and civics to students

The Kentucky State Capitol has been closed to in-person tours because of the coronavirus pandemic since March 2020. However, students can now take a virtual trip there, thanks to new video tours from KET.

But the new resources don’t stop there. KET is also publishing new materials each month for Social Studies Shorts, a new collection for grades 4-8.

The Kentucky Field Trips to the Capitol and Social Studies Shorts, plus teacher resources, are available free online in PBS LearningMedia.

Students’ guide in these videos is Kelsey Starks, the host of KET’s weekly News Quiz program. Starks uses KET resources herself as a parent. “As a mom of three kids all doing virtual learning at home, I understand the importance of these resources on a whole new level,” she said. “I regularly use KET Education resources at home to supplement their NTI.”

Field Trip to the Kentucky Capitol

Starks and KET cameras were allowed in parts of the Capitol late last year–with safe social distancing—to create a new Field Trip to the Capitol. The three short videos cover the history of state government, the art and sculpture of the Capitol, and the architecture of the Capitol. Built in 1910, the Capitol houses the General Assembly, Kentucky Supreme Court, and the governor’s office. Students will get a closeup look at the Rotunda, the State Reception Room, the legislative chambers, the First Ladies in Miniature doll collection, and more.

Social Studies Shorts

The videos in Social Studies Shorts explore social studies and civics topics, from here in Kentucky to the nation and the world. The videos are 2-3 minutes long, making them easy to integrate into teacher lessons.

“I love the concept of Social Studies Shorts,” said Starks. “They are short, simple and packed full of great information. I learn something new every time we shoot one!”

Additional videos, one of which will be about Kentucky, will launch each month on PBS LearningMedia. Videos about the presidential inauguration, the Kentucky legislature and the Kentucky governor were published in January. Future topics include the United Nations, influential women in state history, and the economy.

Each video comes with a printable quiz, discussion questions and writing prompts, and a vocabulary list of terms used in the video. Learning activities help students explore topics in more depth. Plus, there are handy tips for integrating technology like Adobe Spark and PBS LearningMedia Storyboard into lesson plans.

Starks believes teachers and parents will be impressed with the new resources from KET Education. “Before I turned into a ‘pseudo-teacher’ with my kids at home this past year, I never realized how much KET offered online,” she said. “I’m so grateful to have had the resources this year. I don’t know what we would do without it!”