Teachers FAQs

  • Teachers Frequently Asked Questions

    The following are answers to the most frequently asked questions.  If you cannot find an answer you are looking for, please contact us and we will be happy to answer your questions.  Please review questions below and click on + sign to see the answers.


  • When do I start preparing and how?

    Review your booklet as soon as you receive it. Allow at least three weeks for preparation, memorization, and creative ideas from students. Each program is the result of many years of practical classroom experience in hundreds of schools. Be sure to assign all parts and double up on some if you do not have enough students.

    I have never participated in a Walk Through program. How should I prepare?

    First of all, congratulations on having the chance to experience a Walk Through! The most helpful tool in your planning is the Teacher Preparation Booklet. The first few pages feature checklists that outline all the steps needed to make your program great! Prepare your students by encouraging costumes, memorization and acting. Inviting parents can also be a key component to a successful event. Please do not hesitate to contact our office with any questions.

    Do my students need to know all about the subjects of the presentations to have the program?

    It is not necessary for your students to be versed in the material before the presentation. Programs work at the beginning of the year as an introduction, mid-year when the students are in the ‘thick of it’ and at the end as a celebration of their learning. They will, however, need to know the information in the Teacher Preparation Booklet that you assign to them, such as Expert Cards or Character Cards. This kit is sent to you well in advance of the presentation.

    What if I have a combination class?

    If you have a combination class, you will need an alternate plan for those not participating. This is special time reserved for those in your class who are participating. We ask that additional students not be allowed to observe the presentation.

    What if I have more than 36 students?

    Presentations are designed for 36 students or less. If you have a conflict with student numbers, please contact our office.

    My class is very small. How can I make the presentation work best?

    We understand there is more responsibility for students in a smaller class, as every card needs to be assigned to a student. After reading this FAQ, if you have further questions, please feel free to email the field manager at programs@californiaweekly.com

    On the day of the presentation, students should bring every card assigned to them to the presentation. Walk Through California will have a total of 36 expert cards assigned. Walk Through American Revolution will have a total of 48 cards assigned: 27 character cards, 6 American Experiment cards, and 15 expert cards. Walk Through Ancient World will have a total of 48 cards assigned: 30 character cards and 18 expert cards. When assigning cards for either Walk Through the American Revolution or Walk Through the Ancient World, teachers can utilize our order of presentation list to ensure a student isn’t assigned cards that are called directly after one another. This can be found on our site under “Teachers” and “Helpful Resources”

    For Walk Through the American Revolution, there are six American Experiment cards. Each card should be assigned to a different student. This will help the reading of the Declaration of Independence go smoothly.

    For Walk Through California, let students know that they need to look up the answers to the question on each card assigned. Teachers should check their answers using the answer sheet provided in the Teacher Preparation Guides. Students can write the answers on the back of each card to bring up with them when the expert card is called. It is up to each student how many of the cards assigned they want to memorize.

    For Walk Through the American Revolution and Walk Through the Ancient World presentations, students can choose at least one character card and one expert card to memorize. They need to be familiar with reading the other cards out loud. For students assigned multiple character cards who choose to wear a costume, they need only to dress in one costume as we do not have time for costume changes. Let students know they can bring the prop (assigned on the bottom of each character card) for each character and can add a costume piece such as a coat or headpiece but will not have time to change a complete costume. In Walk Through the American Revolution, students do not change costumes for the battle scenes (we are used to seeing students playing female characters in skirts portray soldiers ;).

    For classes with under 20 students, here are suggestions for dividing your class into teams:

    Walk Through California: Divide the class into 3, instead of 4 groups. Regardless of the number of students on each team, the number of cards per team should be as equal as possible in order to maintain a fair distribution of points for the “friendly competition.”

    Walk Through the American Revolution: Divide the class into two groups (Red Team and Blue Team). Assign the characters & experts to each team and then split the characters and experts on the White Team between the two teams in order to maintain a fair distribution of points for the “friendly competition.”

    Preparing the BATTLE SCENES:

    Option A: re-enact two battles and read the other. When your students prepare for the battle scenes, the BLUE team can do the Battle of Lexington/Concord and the RED team can do Yorktown. Break up the narration of Trenton/Valley Forge to one strong reader on the blue team and one strong reader on the red team. One student can read the Trenton portion and the other can read the Valley Forge portion. The presenter will award points for the reading of the narration.

    Option B: re-enact all three battles. Assign the BLUE team LEXINGTON/CONCORD, the RED team YORKTOWN and BOTH TEAMS will re-enact TRENTON/VALLEY FORGE together (the Trenton/Valley Forge battle is naturally in two sections already so one team can re-enact Trenton and the other team can re-enact Valley Forge.

    Walk Through the Ancient World: Divide your students into two teams of Egypt & Greece rather than three. Divide the Roman characters & experts evenly between students in Egypt & Greece.

    Preparing DAILY LIFE SKITS: You might opt to leave out the Daily Life skits. This will not impact the overall presentation as it is an additional activity included to cover standards for group work & speaking skills.

    If you decide to have your students prepare a Daily Life Skit, the Egyptian team will prepare a skit on daily life in Ancient Egypt and the Greece team will prepare a skit for daily life in Ancient Greece. See the instructions in your teacher guide book.

    For extremely small classes you can have both teams work together to share a daily life presentation on ONE civilization of their choosing, Egypt, Greece, OR Rome.

    Please let your presenter know the day of your presentation if your class will be presenting daily life skits and which civilizations they will be presenting.

    Can I re-use my booklet from last year?

    No, please do not re-use booklets. We continually update booklets, and your class may miss out on important changes and updated information if you are using last year’s materials.

    We have had your programs for years. Is it still a good idea to look at the teacher preparation booklets when we receive them?

    Yes. Frequently we change the contents of the programs. There may be new characters or words or preparation instructions. Always use the materials from the current teacher preparation booklet you received.

    What happened to the Yankee Doodle Sing-off in Walk Through the American Revolution?

    Our newest Walk Through the American Revolution booklet does not include the Yankee Doodle Sing-off. We cut this aspect of the program because of teacher feedback, as well as to make time for our two new female Character Cards. Continuing the Yankee Doodle Sing-off is an option. Please contact the office before the program because the presenter must know in advance to accommodate the song.

    How can I help my students who have special needs?

    Please advise the presenter before the presentation about any students who require modifications or other help. Our presenters are trained to work with all students. Our expert cards are of varied difficulty, which you match to the students’ needs. Please feel free to call the office with any additional questions or advice.

    If we use a classroom for the programs can our students be in the room while it is set up?

    To maintain the element of surprise and create a feeling of anticipation, please find another location for the students to assemble before the presentation.

    Is it necessary for the teacher to be present throughout the programs?

    Yes, a school staff member must be present during the presentation. Also, teachers love to watch all the fun their students are having!

    Why are name tags so important in this program?

    Nametags help our presenters to easily connect with and engage your students. Unlike many school assemblies or field trips, your students will all actively participate throughout the program. It is essential that our presenter be able to call on students by name. Please be sure to have the pinned name tags on the students when they line up for the program. Each team should be identified with a different light colored tag. Get more information on our Nametag Instruction/Template Page

    Are costumes a good idea?

    We have found that even simple costumes enable students to get enthused about their participation. We encourage the use of costumes. It is up to the families whether they rent, purchase or make their costumes. Some of our favorite costumes have been ones that students made themselves! See this website for more costume ideas.

    How should teams be organized?

    Teams should be of mixed ability and gender. If certain students are talkative when together, you may want to split them into different teams. Select the leader for his/her ability to lead and generate enthusiasm among team members.

    What should I do to assure that my students get the most from their presentation?

    Prepare them in advance. Help them get enthused about the big event! Invite parents! Encourage costumes. Announce the event with a classroom or office poster! Invite the press to cover the excitement. (Many newspapers and even television news have covered our programs all over California and Oregon.) Place it on the school web site!

    Do the students need to memorize the cards?

    It is best if the students DO memorize the cards they are given. It makes the presentation run smoothly and makes it more fun. Also, it will enable your students to practice oral presentation skills and they will receive more points for their team if they have their card memorized.

    If the students memorized their cards, do they need to bring them to the presentation?

    Yes, sometimes students get a little nervous and need to peek at their card when they present. It also helps the presentation run smoothly as students have immediate access to cards if they forget their lines.

    Should I have copies of the cards ready on the day of the presentation?

    Yes, there is an additional set of cards in your Teacher Booklet in the “Backup Material for Teacher” section. Before going into the presentation ask students if any need a copy and have them ready to hand out during the presentation as well.

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