Social Studies

Social Studies (X) - Middle (X) - Elementary (X) - Primary (X)

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | Water Communication

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Learn how rivers already provided an avenue for the movement of goods and people in 1803 when Lewis and Clark traveled up the Missouri River to look for a waterway to the West.

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | Individual Freedom

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Learn about the history of automobiles in North Dakota. The automobile age gave freedom of movement and choice for passengers and freight. With more people driving cars, the push came for better roads.

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | “A Reluctant and Homesick Pig”

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Learn about the history of steamboats on the Red River. Although its course meandered like a lost and homesick pig, the Red River of the North was a major artery for steamboats, which coordinated with stagecoaches from St. Paul to Fort Abercrombie.

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | Peerless Transportation

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Learn about the role of railroads in North Dakota history. In their time, railroads had no peer in their ability to move people and goods, although shipping costs were high. The railroad companies helped increase immigration to North Dakota by actively marketing the opportunities here to foreigners, especially Scandinavians and Germans from Russia.

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | Red River Oxcarts

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Learn about the Red River oxcarts that were the primary means of transporting goods from the Red River Valley to St. Paul.

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | Road Improvement

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Learn how by the 1910s, state government began making an effort to improve roads by financially aiding counties, and the federal government began assisting with funding. The economic hardships of the 1930s meant less funds, but the state authorized the state patrol and began issuing drivers' licenses.

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | Barnstorming

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Learn about early airplanes, and how they were a novelty and flying a source of entertainment for bystanders, but quickly became essential in the transportation of passengers and goods.

The White House: Inside Story | Kid's State Dinner

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Learn about the official Kid's State Dinner, an event that brings children with healthy recipes from around the country together at the White House to meet the First Lady and the President of the United States. 

Expedition 8 Crew Talks to Students in Japan

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Life aboard the International Space Station is very different from life on Earth. For example, astronauts experience a whole new perspective because they see Earth and space from above the atmosphere. In this video segment adapted from NASA, watch and listen as Expedition 8 crew members Mike Foale (Commander and NASA Science Officer) and Alexander Kaleri (Flight Engineer) are interviewed by Japanese students.

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

Harvesting Herring Eggs | EARTH A New Wild

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Using a method that goes back generations, fishermen in Alaska use an entirely natural method to harvest eggs from spawning herring. Use this resource to teach about sustainable farming and customs indigenous to Alaska and Canada.

I Am Ocean

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A first-hand account by indigenous storyteller Pua Case of the origin and significance of the mountain and ocean of Hawaii.

Okefenokee Swamp | Live Exploration

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Explore one of the last frontiers of true Georgia wilderness with GPB Education's live exploration of the Okefenokee Swamp. Hear from swamp experts, witness the power of the mighty alligator, and test your swamp knowledge!

Shipping on the Great Lakes: Benefits and Consequences of Exporting Goods

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Learn how Lake Michigan is used for the shipping and exporting of goods. Lake Michigan is 118 miles at its widest point, 301 miles long and is the third largest Great Lake by surface area. Today Lake Michigan continues to be a major shipping route to and from the Midwest for freighters. 

The town of Singapore, founded in the 1830’s, was one of the first establishments on the Michigan side of Lake Michigan. This town started as an entrepreneurial town to rival Chicago or Milwaukee as a lake port. It quickly became known as a busy lumbering and timbering town.

White pine lumber was in great demand all over the Midwest until October of 1871. A couple of days after the Great Chicago Fire, a big forest fire burned the western side of Michigan near Singapore and depleted the timber supply. Singapore went bankrupt because of the weakened timber supply and became a ghost town.

With Singapore becoming a ghost town and no longer a Lake Michigan shipping port, timber and leather had to find a way to be shipped to Chicago and the Midwest. The town of Saugatuck became the nearest port on the Michigan side of Lake Michigan to ship goods across Lake Michigan to Chicago and the Midwest. 

With the decline of the timber industry, due to the forest fire, fruit farming was gaining popularity. Boats were needed to ship fresh fruit and leather across Lake Michigan.

With Lake Michigan becoming a major shipping route, this led to a decline in the fishing industry. 

The opening of the Welland Canal connecting the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean, via the St. Lawrence Seaway, had positive and negative effects on the ecosystems of Lake Michigan. 

Welding in a Tunnel

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This Building Block video shot at the Big Dig project in Boston, Massachusetts, features two men in hardhats in a darkened tunnel. One of the men is welding some pipes, and red sparks fly everywhere.

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