Featured Resources

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Celebrate the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

In the 1950s and ’60s, the civil rights movement brought sweeping reforms to nearly all facets of American life. With historical photographs and videos, Rosen Publishing’s Spotlight on the Civil Rights Movement records the 20th century’s most significant moments in the struggle for equality.

Monroe One BOCES School Library System has purchased all 13 books from this ROSEN ebook series and offers them for free to all of its school libraries.

Titles are:

  • Affirmative Action
  • Brown v. Board of Education
  • Freedom Riders
  • Lyndon B. Johnson and the Civil Rights Act
  • Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott
  • Sit-Ins and Nonviolent Protest for Racial Equality
  • The Black Power Movement and Civil Unrest
  • The Life and Death of Malcom X
  • The Life and Death of Martin Luther King Jr.
  • The Little Rock Desegregation Crisis
  • The March on Washington
  • The Murder of Emmett Till

Each ebook includes lesson plans, inquiry and project-based learning activities, primary sources – including historical documents and photos, biographies of key individuals, correlation to national and state standards, and an easy-to-use planning guide. These are incredible resources.

If you need the access information, please contact Liesl or Katie.


WXXI has also made some great resources available for grades 3-7 about Martin Luther King Jr, just in time to celebrate his national annual holiday. These include a five minute video aligned to History and Civics standards, and a Lesson Plan. These are available in Spanish and are housed on PBS Learning Media, which is free for New York Educators.

Take advantage of these valuable resources today!

Featured Videos: Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is coming up on January 20th. We have some great resources for you!

There are a number of great videos for all grade levels in Safari MONTAGE. Click on the titles to view the videos in Safari MONTAGE. (Some videos are embedded below and viewable if you are signed into our Safari MONTAGE account already.)

Martin Luther King, Jr. Song (Grades K-4)

This video from NUMBEROCK presents a song about the life of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. This video is hosted on YouTube and offered through Safari MONTAGE.

Martin Luther King, Jr: Our top 5 fun facts (Grades 3-8)

This video from Educational Videos for Students presents a brief biography of civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. and five facts about him that you may have never heard before. This video is hosted on YouTube and offered through Safari MONTAGE.

History Kids: From Selma to Montgomery-Marching with Martin Luther King Jr. (Grades 5-8)

By watching this program, students will discover what led to the civil rights protests in Selma, Alabama, in 1965. What were the events of Bloody Sunday? What did Martin Luther King Jr. do in its aftermath? How did the official march from Selma to Montgomery on March 21, 1965, unfold? What were the effects of this march? The answers to all of this are covered in depth with detailed graphics, diagrams, and historic video. On-screen multiple-choice reviews at the end of each segment reinforce important concepts. This video is offered through our Learn360 service.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: The Dream (Grades 9-12)

The video, embedded below and linked in the title, opens with a clip from his most famous “I Have a Dream” speech, and moves into the nation’s reaction and the aftermath of his death. It is a thorough examination of Dr. King’s legacy. This video is offered through our Learn360 service.

King in the Wilderness (Grades 9 – Adult)

From award-winning director/producer Peter Kunhardt, King in the Wilderness follows Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the volatile last three years of his life, from the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 to his assassination in April 1968. Drawing on revelatory stories from his inner circle of friends, the film provides a clear window into the civil rights leader’s character, showing him to be a man with an unshakeable commitment to peaceful protest in the face of an increasingly unstable country. Illuminating and poignant, the documentary – which is tied to the 50th anniversary of King’s death – reveals a conflicted leader whose successes were punctuated in his final years by an onslaught of criticism from both sides of the political spectrum, whether the Black Power movement, who saw his nonviolence as weakness, or President Lyndon B. Johnson, who viewed his anti-Vietnam War speeches as irresponsible. With compassion and clarity, King in the Wilderness unearths a stirring new perspective into Dr. King’s character, his radical doctrine of nonviolence, and his internal philosophical struggles prior to his death, inviting a sense of penetrating intimacy and insight into one of the most profound thinkers of our time.

This is An HBO Production offered through our Learn360 service.

Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise: Out of the Shadows (Grades 9 – Adult)

In ”Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise,” Henry Louis Gates, Jr. embarks on a deeply personal journey through the last 50 years of African-American history. The first episode of the series begins at a turning point in American history: the Selma marches and Watts riots, which marked a new phase in the African-American struggle. Gates explores the rising call for Black Power, which redefined American culture, politics and society. This program contains strong language. This is a PBS production available through Safari MONTAGE.


13 Books for Tweens (by SLJ)

Last month, School Library Journal published an article titled 13 Books for Tweens by Kathy Hershberger (November 1, 2019). You can find it here, and read Kathy’s reviews. It turns out we have 9 out of the 13 featured books in our Student Overdrive Reading App.

To help you find them faster, we’ve compiled the titles that we own in our Overdrive account already linked to the records in SORA:

Summerlost (ebook) by Ally Condie

New Kid (ebook) by Jerry Craft

Blended (ebook) by Sharon Draper

Blended (audiobook) by Sharon Draper

Ghost (ebook) by Jason Reynolds

Ghost (audiobook)  by Jason Reynolds

Long Way Down (ebook) by Jason Reynolds

Long Way Down (audiobook) by Jason Reynolds

Steelheart (ebook) by Brandon Sanderson

Unwind (ebook) by Neal Shusterman

Guts (ebook) by Raina Telgemeier

Front Desk (audiobook) by Kelly Yang

Enjoy your reading!

New Titles in Learn360

Learn360 updates its content on an ongoing basis. About once a month, we import these new titles into our Safari MONTAGE catalog.

Here, we will highlight some of these new titles for you. This month, Learn360 added almost 350 new titles from eight different publishers. We’ve created some playlists to help you better navigate these titles:

Featured Playlists at the High School Level:

Applied Pyschology

Behind the Scenes of Respectful Relationships

Working in the Hospitality Industry

BBC WorldWide Learning (Middle/High School Level)


Featured Playlists at the Elementary Level:

Hooked on Phonics Level 2

Hooked on Phonics Level 3

Hooked on Phonics Level 4

Hooked on Phonics Level 5

Hooked on Phonics Level 6

Hooked on Phonics Level 7

Hooked on Phonics Level 8


Featured Professional Playlists:

Inside Writing Communities


Resources through SLS

Did you know that Monroe One BOCES School Library System offers librarians a chance to try out different learning kits?

We offer these through a program called We Buy It, You Try It. Over the course of the next few days/weeks, we’ll use this blog platform to highlight some of our learning kits and show you how to borrow them.

*Some of these may require training in advance, so be sure you contact Liesl to schedule some time together, or attend one of our regularly held workshops if available.

A list of kits is available in our SLS LibGuide on a page called “Physical Library” under the Home tab. This page lists our kits, as well as the kits available through the Model Schools service.

Some things to know:

  • All of our districts are able to borrow the Model Schools kits. These are available to teachers and librarians alike, as Model Schools serves all educators in the building.
  • Our SLS kits are only available to school librarians. We purchase these for research and development purposes specifically for librarians. We lend these so that librarians can test out a kit before deciding to spend their library budget on it. We also hope that it will encourage collaboration between teachers and librarians.
  • Instructions for borrowing these kits are at the bottom of the LibGuide page.
  • If you have something you’d like to try that we don’t have, let us know. While we can’t promise, we may be able to purchase it.
  • If you have any technical difficulties, contact Liesl or Sally.

UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Today is the annual observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Proclaimed in 1992, the goal of this day is to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in society.

For more information, see the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities website: https://www.un.org/en/observances/day-of-persons-with-disabilities

Share these videos with your students:

NOVA scienceNOW: Marine Geologist Sang-Mook Lee

Sang-Mook Lee, a professor of marine geology and geophysics at Seoul National University, is paralyzed from the neck down. But that hasn’t stopped him: he continues to teach and pursue his research on tectonic plates and the formation of the world’s oceans. Outside his academic work, he also has launched a new career teaching others with disabilities and advocating for the rights of disabled people.

Helen Keller

(1880 – 1968) A severe illness as an infant left Helen Keller blind and deaf, but she refused to let these disabilities prevent her from making her mark and becoming one of the most remarkable women in history. She proved to the world that strength, determination and patience can make any obstacle surmountable, and her success as a scholar and lecturer inspired many. Part of the American Women of Achievement Video Collection, paying tribute to the lives and accomplishments of American women, past and present.

Exploring Our Nation: Equal Protection and Extending Rights

”Exploring Our Nation” discusses topics in United States history related to the founding of the country, the U.S. government and the U.S. Constitution. This clip features a discussion of equal protection in the United States from Reconstruction to the present.

Extraordinary Women: Maria Montessori

In a remarkable life spanning eight decades, Maria Montessori challenged convention to pioneer a radical new system of education that focused on the child as an independent learner and spread to all corners of the world, affecting the schooling of millions. As a young woman in 19th-century Italy, Montessori defied social convention to study medicine and become one of Europe’s first female doctors. She campaigned tirelessly for the rights of women, children and the disadvantaged. In the 1930s, Montessori was forced to flee her homeland when she dared confront Mussolini. Her works were later burned by Hitler and she became a nomad, traveling the world and spreading a message of peace through education. Featuring archival footage, interviews and dramatic re-enactments, ”Extraordinary Women” reveals the stories of exceptional women who overcame all adversities to emerge as icons of the 20th century.

PBS NEWSHOUR Daily News Story

You should already know that PBS and WXXI have curated FREE, standards-aligned videos, interactives, lesson plans, and more for teachers to use with their classes. All of these are housed at www.pbslearningmedia.org.

Now, thanks to PBS NewsHour, you can explore lesson plans to tie current events into every subject with the PBS NewsHour Daily News Story.

Directed at grade levels 6-12, the media in this collection is gathered to educate students about the latest top news stories, and designed to make them think about how they may be impacted by what is going on in the wider world. The latest in the collection includes lessons on Greta Thunberg and Climate Change, Gun Rights and Gun Massacres in America, the College Admissions Scandal, the Mueller Report, and more.

Down the left side of the page, you will find a filter list so you can narrow your topic.


Free Speech: Challenge of Our Times

This first paragraph (in quotes) is taken VERBATIM from the WXXI Television Highlights —

“Free speech is a fundamental element to a democracy. In America, it’s sometimes taken for granted. Free Speech: Challenge of Our Times, presented by Arizona State University’s School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership and Arizona PBS, takes a deep look into this constitutional right and how we as Americans can protect it. The programs pull a diverse spectrum of viewpoints from academics, politicians and free speech thought leaders.”

These ten programs are online for your students to watch at any time. While some may seem a little dry, they bring up important points for our students to think about. These programs would be especially valuable to social studies classes, journalism students, and libraries – champions of intellectual freedom!

Program 1 features former US Senators Tom Daschle, D-S.D. and Jon Kyl, R-Arizona, as they discuss disagreement and the role of civil dialogue in American politics and culture. (27m 40s)

Program 2 highlights First Amendment lawyer and author Floyd Abrams, who represented The New York Times in the landmark Pentagon Papers Supreme Court case, where he explains why free speech must be protected.

Program 3 features Jonathan Haidt, author of “The Righteous Mind” and co-founder of Heterodox Academy, explores “America’s Escalating Outrage” and its impact of universities in America.

Program 4– Scholars Robert P. George and Cornel West discuss the importance of open dialogue in pursuit of civil discussion and the serious and respectful exchange of ideas, on university campuses and in American society.

Program 5 features Middlebury Professor Allison Stanger and Reed Professor Lucia Martinez Valdivia as they examine issues that surround free speech on campus when protests turn extreme.

Program 6 is a student panel discussion about ‘Why Do Students Need Free Speech on Campus?’ It is part of the “Free Speech and Intellectual Diversity in Higher Education and American Society” series sponsored by SCETL and co-sponsored by the Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law at ASU.

Program 7 – Bret Weinstein, evolutionary biologist; Heather MacDonald, the Thomas W. Smith fellow at the Manhattan Institute; and Ulrich Baer, professor of German and Comparative Literature at New York University; talk about negotiating controversial speakers on campus.

Program 8 Professor Geoffrey Stone of the University of Chicago, who authored the school’s statement of principles on free expression, discusses the appropriate limits on free speech in institutions of higher learning.

Program 9 Experimental psychologist and Harvard University Professor Steven Pinker explores the fundamental right of free speech.

Program 10 Steven Hayward of Powerline and University of California, Berkeley, presents the intellectual suicide of American universities and the causes and remedies associated with it.

Frontline Films Online

Do you ever happen to see something on FRONTLINE that would work perfectly with your students?

FRONTLINE films are investigative, journalistic documentaries that often air on PBS. These films cover current events, and uncover stories that are often untold. They’ve won 91 Emmy awards and 22 Peabody awards. They have also posted over 200 of their films online for you to watch FOR FREE whenever you want.

Find them at: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/

A few of their listed titles are:

  • Fire in Paradise
  • In the Age of AI
  • Flint’s Deadly Water
  • Documenting Hate: Charlottesville
  • Documenting Hate: New American Nazis
  • The Trouble with Chicken

… And So Much More!!!

Veterans Day

Veterans Day is coming up on Monday. Originally called, Armistice Day, it commemorated the end of the fighting of World War I, when the Allies and Germany put an armistice into effect on the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month”. It was a day to honor veterans of World War I. However, World War II happened, and then the Korean War after that. In 1954, it was renamed Veterans Day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Since World War I was an international conflict, this is a day that our allies also celebrate. Britain, Canada, and Australia all celebrate “Remembrance Day” on or around November 11.

Lange, Katie. “5 Facts to Know About Veterans Day.” U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 5 Nov. 2018,

We have lots of resources for you and your students about Veterans Day.



Armistice Day and Veteran’s Day

Woodrow Wilson declared November 11th Armistice Day to honor the veterans of World War I. Later Dwight D Eisenhower changed the name to Veteran’s Day to honor all veterans.



What is Veterans Day?

A time machine accidentally takes most of the Sharp Wits back in time to 1918 to help them understand what Veterans Day is. They learn the Veterans Day began as Armistice Day, November 11, 1918, the day that World War I ended.


There are many more videos available in Safari Montage and Learn360 on this topic.