Rob James, Studies Weekly Illustrator

Creating Studies Weekly's Curriculum: A Look Behind the Scenes

Aug. 6, 2019 • Studies Weekly

As the month of August rolls on and the dog days of summer slowly start to come to an end, the promise of cooler weather and a new school year approaches. Teachers around the U.S. are preparing for the upcoming school year, and with it comes the never-ending work of planning.

From scopes and sequences, curricular maps and standards alignment, to daily lesson plans and grading, Studies Weekly aims to help you so your students can succeed. We provide teachers with everything you need to engage students with standards-based content.

But what is the process behind this?

Mapping Out Content

The Editorial and Curriculum team at Studies Weekly works hard to create a quality textbook that engages students while meeting core curriculum standards. Part of our planning process includes mapping out each publication’s scope and sequence based on state curricular maps to ensure product alignment. Our Editorial and Curriculum Specialists also align each weekly unit with state standards.

Studies Weekly Edna Cruz
Edna Cruz, dual-language editorial curriculum specialist, poses for a portrait, Aug. 7, 2019.

After this initial publication “blueprint” is created, the team maps out each unit by selecting articles that meet the standards covered in it. We first check our extensive database, which has standards-based articles that cover many topics: from U.S. and World History to Economics and Civics. If no article exists for a specific curriculum or standard, we enlist our team of writers — many of them teachers or former teachers — to write the article to specific guidelines that correlate with the required standards.

In addition, a state-specific publication requires even more customization, so we require our writers to write to the standard. Some states also require additional frameworks, like C3 or ELD, that we also incorporate into our curriculum during this planning phase.

After this planning process is complete, our editors create the Student Edition of the publication. They ensure the content in each unit is engaging, accurate, current, inclusive and at the appropriate reading level.

For Studies Weekly, it is important to include multiple perspectives in our social studies products. Students need to learn the importance of analyzing different sides of a story, which is why we strive to include different points of view. Teaching about the history of colonization and slavery is not complete if we don’t include the voices of those who were oppressed during those events.

Likewise, we want our product to be a reflection of our nation’s diverse demographics. We want students to learn about people who made a difference in history across different multicultural groups.

Studies Weekly Social Studies
Thomas Xavier, Studies Weekly designer, Photoshops an image for a social studies publication, Aug. 7, 2019.


Once the content is ready, it passes to the design team, where they make each Studies Weekly unit come to life by adding primary source documents, images and illustrations of our beloved characters, Steven, Natalia and Rev the Rat, among others.

Building a Student Edition is not the end of the line for product development — we also provide teachers with a comprehensive and user-friendly Teacher Resource booklet. Our teacher-writers create day-to-day lesson plans that include Lesson Tasks, Teacher Questions, Differentiated Instruction, Worksheets, Assessments and Writing Prompts. Our writers understand the need to provide engaging and quality planning to elevate students’ learning to a higher level. Editorial Curriculum Specialists work with them to connect each lesson plan with state standards and other state-required framework before it goes to design and print.

Studies Weekly social studies
Sandy Taylor, web content specialist, correlates a Studies Weekly Online article with its print version, Aug. 7, 2019.

Why we do what we do

Creating a Studies Weekly publication requires great team effort from start to finish. Our product development teams work hard to develop a product that both teachers and students will love. We strive to create a quality product starting from the curriculum design process to the moment it ships out to you.

It is our hope that at the end of this school year you feel your students had fun learning with Studies Weekly, while also expanding their skills and achieving success.