Sounds Around & the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)

Last month I was in San Antonio, Texas presenting at the Texas Council for the Social Studies conference. I had a great time, met great people and ate some great food. I had never been in Texas and that weekend was a beautiful introduction to the culture and the food. Plus ComicCon was going on at the convention center next door and I got to see some freaky people dressed up in some seriously freaky costumes a few days before Halloween!

Texas Council for the Social Studies

At the conference, I was able to speak with many generous people who are so very passionate about teaching social studies, and who are looking for new ways to engage their students. Even before I presented, and within a 20 minute period, I meet a sales rep and then a social studies coordinator for a district. What I learned was invaluable from both. 

First, the sales rep was super generous with her enthusiasm for the game. She taught me further about the industry and how to continue connecting the game to the education standards and to teachers needs.  

Second, the social studies coordinator shot me down right on the spot when she learned that I had not correlated the game specifically to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills Standards also known as the (TEKS). I did have the national standards correlated on a very easy to read chart, but it wasn't good enough. As she walked away, I knew I had more home work to do. 

Correlating To The TEKS

When I got back to my hotel room that night I started looking over all the social studies standards for Texas. I found that Sounds Around The World's program supports the following courses: Social Studies in Grade 6, World History Studies, and World Geography Studies, the latter two in high school. 

Under each of these courses, Sounds Around  supports and enhances multiple educational goals under each of the following "Knowledge and Skills" categories of the TEKS:

  1. Geography
  2. History
  3. Social Studies Skills
  4. Culture 

First We Must Engage

The first aim of Sounds Around The World is to engage students. Because without student buy-in, they won't learn the material that has been so clearly outlined in the standards. We can't simply pour information into their heads. We must create opportunities for them to become curious, to explore, and to wonder about the world into which they are just beginning to emerge.  

Here are some of Sounds Around's objectives. 

  1. Engage students’ curiosity about their interconnected world by integrating world music with specialty maps.
  2. Utilize the specially designed Geo-Musical™ map with its color-coded continents and clearly organized sub-regions and countries.
  3. Teach students how to locate the relative and specific location of a continent, region and country on a map by its cultural sound and musical characteristics.
  4. Locate the relative and specific location of a continent, sub-region and country on the Geo-Musical™ map and then transfer that knowledge to a geo-political map.
  5. Listen and compare music between and within different continents and regions.
  6. In a group, listen, imagine and discuss the origins of the given musical examples.
  7. As a group, decide the appropriate answer. 

The Whole Student

Sounds Around The World engages the whole student—physically, mentally, emotionally, socially—and gets them excited to learn about their world. It’s at once incredibly easy to facilitate and exceptionally fun to play. Whether the student has learning difficulties or excels academically, Sounds Around The World is a fun, engaging and highly interactive way for young people to develop the skills, knowledge, and self-confidence required to thrive in the global era.

TEKS/ Sounds Around Correlation Chart

To see our chart that correlates the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills Standards to Sounds Around The World, please click here.

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