Social Studies

ELA (X) - Social Studies (X) - Middle (X) - U.S. History (X)

Picturing Japanese American Internment: Dorothea Lange

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This media gallery explores the government-issued Japanese American internment that occurred during World War II using two videos from the American Masters film Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning. Dorothea Lange, a documentary photographer hired by the government, captures the plight of internees forced to leave their lives and homes behind. Learn about Lange’s struggle to document the reality of internment and the censorship she faced for not doing the exact job she was hired to do. The related materials draw on the videos and focus mainly on visual literacy (the ability to interpret, negotiate, and make meaning from information presented in images) as it relates to Japanese internment.

Talk with Your Students about Aretha Franklin: They All Know the Queen of Soul | PBS NewsHour

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Read the summary below, first. Then watch the video and answer the discussion questions in our support materials. 

Teaching tip: To help students follow along, have them read the story's transcript. To learn more about Aretha Franklin's life, read this story and check back for updates in the coming days.

Summary:

On August 16, 2018, legendary singer Aretha Franklin, the ‘Queen of Soul,’ died of cancer at her home in Detroit, Michigan, at the age of 76. Over the course of a seven-decade music career, Franklin won 18 Grammy awards and had 17 top hits with songs like Respect, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman and Say a Little Prayer. Franklin fought for civil rights throughout her life and was given an award by Martin Luther King in 1968. She sang at King’s funeral just two months later. In 1987, she became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In November 2015, NewsHour’s Gwen Ifill (who passed away in November 2016) interviewed Franklin after an event at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. Franklin had just been awarded the “Portrait of a Nation” prize. 

August 16, 2018 video and resource materials from PBS NewsHour.

Maya Lin

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In this video segment from New York Voices, renowned architect Maya Lin talks about her work and identity as an American of Chinese descent. Lin has made valuable contributions to American architecture, one of the most popular and perhaps most controversial being the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Some protested her appointment as architect of the memorial because of her Asian heritage. Lin's parents immigrated to America from China to escape communism, but Maya Lin was born in Ohio. In this segment, Lin talks about a museum she is designing and how it will represent a timeline of the Chinese American experience. The museum aims to break down stereotypes of Chinese people and show their legacy of contributions as Americans.

The Gilded Age: Architecture for the Elite | Treasures of New York: "Stanford White"

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This series of videos from Treasures of New York: Stanford White presents the Gilded Age, an era of great wealth and remarkable architecture. Through video, discussion questions, and classroom activities, students explore how architecture, literature, and art reflect the issues and concerns of the time period, and how the era still resonates today.

Stop and Frisk: The High School Senior

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Students will learn about the controversial "Stop and Frisk" policy as well as how to effectively use infographics in this video and lesson from PBS NewsHour Extra. 

The Master of the Pause | Ken Burns: Mark Twain

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Twain was a genius of the stage. He had a long drawl and used silence to his advantage. The pauses were the preludes to a cascade of humor.

Hello Kitty, Minimalist Icon? | PBS Idea Channel

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With her cute pink bow and huge noggin, Hello Kitty is one of the most recognizable characters in the world. She sells billions of dollars worth of merchandise, but what is it about this simple cartoon cat that makes her such a beloved piece of pop culture? Ahead of her time when first created in 1974, we think that Hello Kitty used minimalism's bag of tricks to become the world's best salesgirl.

MN Original | Rapper Tall Paul

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Watch now: Born and raised in inner-city Minneapolis, Paul Wenell, better known as Tall Paul, connects to his Ojibwe heritage in his clever and poignant hip hop music.

For more MN Original resources, click here.

MN Original | The Telling Project - Theater

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The Telling Project, a performing arts non-profit, uses theater to help deepen understanding of veterans’ experiences. Racheal Robinson is a wife, mother and Staff Sergeant currently serving in the Minnesota Air National Guard. With The Telling Project team Racheal delves into her story of service and, along with five other veterans, step on The Guthrie Theater stage to tell their stories in their own words.

 

For more MN Original resources, click here.

Edison: Boyhood and Teen Years

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Find out how young Thomas Edison’s curiosity got him into trouble, and how, during his teen years, he lost his hearing but gained confidence as an aspiring inventor, in this video adapted from AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: Edison. As portrayed through reenactments, we learn that Edison, who had just three months of formal schooling, grew up reading and conducting chemistry experiments. His job as a newsboy on a train inspired his fascination with the telegraph. After teaching himself Morse Code so he could send and receive messages, Edison took a job as a telegraph operator at the age of 15. Through his work, and despite premature hearing loss, he developed an understanding of how the telegraph system operated and how he might improve it. He began to think of himself as an inventor. This resource is part of the Thomas Edison Collection.

Click on the links below to download a customizable Student Handout, Student Reading and transcript for this resource.

Student Handout | Student Reading | Transcript

NOVA: Percy Julian: Forgotten Genius | Getting an Education

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Learn about the education of chemist Percy Julian. Julian's early educational years paralleled an educational movement that prepared African Americans for industrial jobs, the growing white supremacist movement, and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. Julian would eventually move north, and finally to Europe to earn his Ph.D. Explore more about this topic, from the NOVA program Percy Julian: Forgotten Genius.

This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.

What Can We Learn from Cuba’s Organic Farms?

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See why Cuba's organic agriculture sets an example for the rest of the world with this video and educational resources from PBS NewsHour from June 19, 2015.

How Will Robots Affect Your Career Options?

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Find out how artificial intelligence could impact the future workforce with this video and educational resources from PBS NewsHour from May 20, 2015.

Spread the Word to End the Word Campaign | Move to Include

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Spread the Word to End the Word is an educational campaign to increase awareness for the need to respect and inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The initiative is supported by Special Olympics and Best Buddies and numerous other organizations. It promotes using people first accepting language in schools and in the community.

Visit the Move to Include collection for more resources. 

Rikers Island Announces Reforms Following Death of Former Inmate

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Learn why Kalief Browder became the face of prison reform at Rikers Island with this video and educational resources from PBS NewsHour from June 23, 2015. 

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