ELA

Measure for Measure and the #MeToo Movement | Shakespeare Uncovered

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At a time when the #MeToo Movement and stories of sexual harassment and abuse by those in power dominate headlines, you might be surprised to discover that Shakespeare addressed this very issue 400 years ago in his play Measure for Measure. In these two videos from Shakespeare Uncovered, learn about this “problem play” and how Shakespeare’s Isabelle faces similar challenges as victims today in terms of consent and credibility, for “Who will believe thee, Isabelle?” Support materials engage students with contemporary connections through discussion questions and a background essay tying the #MeToo Movement to the world of Shakespeare.

Shakespeare Uncovered combines history, biography, iconic performances, new analysis, and the personal passions of its celebrated hosts to tell the stories behind the stories of Shakespeare’s greatest plays. To learn more and view full episodes, visit the Shakespeare Uncovered website and collection page.

Shoshone Buffalo Return | Wyoming's Native Americans

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Since 1885 the Shoshone people have been without buffalo on their land. After decades of effort beginning in the 1990’s a coalition of individuals and organizations have taken the first step in returning the North American Bison to their native lands. Nowhere is this action more culturally and ecologically significant than on the Wind River Indian Reservation in central Wyoming.

Julius Caesar and the American Experience | Shakespeare Uncovered

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Learn about the long-held American fascination with Julius Caesar in two videos from Shakespeare Uncovered. Brian Cox states, “Rome is not a place, but an ideal,” and that the play continues to resonate because it addresses issues that face any society that tries to uphold democratic principles. The videos and support materials explore the parallels between the play and the American experience. Since Abraham Lincoln’s assassination by John Wilkes Booth, an actor obsessed with Brutus, the play continues to hold a place in the political and cultural landscape of America.

Shakespeare Uncovered combines history, biography, iconic performances, new analysis, and the personal passions of its celebrated hosts to tell the stories behind the stories of Shakespeare’s greatest plays. To learn more and view full episodes, visit the Shakespeare Uncovered website and collection page.

Public Money | Short Film

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Across New York City, a bold experiment in participatory democracy is underway. Since 2012, the city council has steadily increased investment in a process called “Participatory Budgeting,” wherein community members gain a role in deciding how to spend part of a public budget. Following the process over one year in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park—a diverse neighborhood of Mexican immigrants, Chinese immigrants, and predominantly white gentrifiers—this quietly observed, verité documentary asks, what happens when community members come together to discuss and decide what development should look like in their neighborhood?

Why Sci-Fi is a Mirror on Society | It's Lit!

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While science fiction is associated with Mars, robots, and cyberpunk, its origin story is shaped throughout several centuries. Check out the origin of science fiction with Lindsay Ellis!

Forgiveness and Redemption | Les Misérables

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Explore the meaning of kindness, love, and forgiveness in this video excerpt from Les Misérables | MASTERPIECE. Based on the famous novel by Victor Hugo, the production tells the story of Jean Valjean, who emerges from 19 years in a forced-labor prison—where he was sent for stealing a loaf of bread for his hungry family. Angry and vengeful after his cruel treatment, he is suspicious and astonished when he encounters Monsieur Myriel, the Bishop of Digne, who offers him food, shelter, and the opportunity for redemption.

Find out more about MASTERPIECE on the series website.

Audre Lorde

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Examine the life and influence of Audre Lorde, a Black feminist lesbian poet who believed that naming our full identities was an essential part of radical social change.  Utilizing video from First Person: Classroom, discussion questions, and teaching tips, students will learn about intersectionality, and how to speak one’s own truth.

Note: We recommend teachers begin with "Teaching Tips" in the "Support Materials" section.

For more resources like this, see the rest of the Understanding LGBTQ+ Identity: A Toolkit for Educators collection.

Examining Cold War Policies and the War Powers Clause | Korea: The Never-Ending War

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Students will examine President Harry Truman’s decision to send U.S. troops to Korea without a declaration of war. 

Students will do the following:

  • Examine how North Korea’s invasion of South Korea challenged President Truman’s containment policy.
  • Analyze the U.S. Constitution’s separation of war powers between the executive and legislative branches. 
  • Examine President Truman’s decision to send U.S. troops to Korea without a Congressional declaration of war.
  • Evaluate President Truman’s decision to commit U.S. forces to the defense of South  

About the Author

Greg Timmons has been a social studies teacher for over 30 years. He has written lessons for several PBS productions, including The NewsHour; FRONTLINE; Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise; and various Ken Burns productions, such as The War, Baseball, The Central Park Five, The Roosevelts, Jackie Robinson, and The Vietnam War. He is the winner of the 2007 American Educational Publishers Award.

Lorraine Hansberry

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Explore the life of writer and activist Lorraine Hansberry and how her work helped pave the way for a new generation of writers, especially for people who identify as LGBTQ, Black, and progressive, in this video from First Person: Classroom. Using video, students learn about Hansberry’s lasting impact and the intersectionality that defined her life. Supporting educational materials include primary source documents, teaching tips, vocabulary, and discussion questions.

For more resources like this, see the rest of the Understanding LGBTQ+ Identity: A Toolkit for Educators collection.

Totalitarian Regimes and the Kims | Korea: The Never-Ending War

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In this lesson, students will learn how North Korea’s Kim Il Sung came to power. They will compare his actions to the tactics used by many authoritarian leaders and determine which tactics helped him achieve and maintain his power. In a writing assignment, students will identify and research other autocratic leaders (past or present) and identify the tactics they used to gain and sustain power. 

Students will do the following:

  • Understand the conditions in North Korea that led to Kim Il Sung’s rise to power.
  • Understand the tactics Kim Il Sung used to gain and maintain power in North Korea.
  • Describe how Kim Il Sung was able to mix ideology and authoritarian tactics to achieve political goals.
  • Analyze how other dynamic leaders have used authoritarian tactics to gain and maintain power. 


About the Author
Greg Timmons has been a social studies teacher for over 30 years. He has written lessons for several PBS productions, including The NewsHour; FRONTLINE; Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise; and various Ken Burns productions, such as The War, Baseball, The Central Park Five, The Roosevelts, Jackie Robinson, and The Vietnam War. He is the winner of the 2007 American Educational Publishers Award. 

 

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