Social Studies

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

Hamilton's America | Lin-Manuel Miranda, Shakespeare, and Hip Hop

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Explore the inspiration behind Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit musical Hamilton, Miranda’s connection to Shakespeare, and the influence of hip hop in Miranda’s storytelling in this media galley from GREAT PERFORMANCES: “Hamilton’s America.”

Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise | The Impact of "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings"

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In this video from American Masters | Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, learn about the lasting impact of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and why it’s such an important piece of American literature. Students answer discussion questions, analyze text from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and write a short essay to gain a deeper understanding of Angelou’s work and why it’s so impactful.

Interview Tips with Steve Inskeep | The Great Thanksgiving Listen

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Here are some resources to improve your interviewing and listening skills.

Eyes on the Stars | The Great Thanksgiving Listen

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On January 28, 1986, NASA Challenger mission STS-51-L ended in tragedy when the shuttle exploded 73 seconds after takeoff. On board was physicist Ronald E. McNair, who was the second African American to enter space. But first, he was a kid with big dreams in Lake City, South Carolina.

An Introduction to StoryCorps from Our Founder Dave Isay | The Great Thanksgiving Listen

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Dave Isay, the founder of StoryCorps, talks to his nephew about the origin of StoryCorps, the importance of listening, and reminds him that everyone has a story to tell.

Dave Isay's 2016 TED Talk | The Great Thanksgiving Listen

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Isay recaps the success of the 2015 Great Thanksgiving Listen, shares clips from interviews and expresses his excitement for the ways TGTL will grow.

Is To Kill a Mockingbird Still Relevant Today?

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This video from American Masters: Harper Lee: Hey, Boo highlights the social climate in the South when To Kill a Mockingbird was first published and a few years later, when the film premiered. The video highlights the reactions to the issues presented in the story. The account by Diane McWhorter, a classmate of Mary Badham (the actress who played Scout in the movie), is given special attention.

Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise | The Power of Words

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Explore the power of words in this media gallery from American Masters | Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise. Using video, discussion questions, and teaching tips, students assess the persuasiveness of Maya Angelou’s argument that words have power. Students also perform a tableau representing a tense and intimate moment between Angelou and Tupac Shakur.

The Nature of War | The Great Thanksgiving Listen

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In 2005, Specialist Justin Cliburn deployed to Iraq with the Oklahoma Army National Guard. While serving in Baghdad, Justin formed an unlikely friendship with two Iraqi boys who lived nearby. At StoryCorps, Justin speaks with his wife, Deanne, about the lasting impression the boys left on his life.

Hamilton's America | Hamilton and the Election of 1800

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Explore how the American presidential election of 1800 became a heated contest between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr and how Alexander Hamilton influenced the election in this video from GREAT PERFORMANCES: “Hamilton’s America.” Read a letter from Alexander Hamilton to Harrison Gray Otis expressing his opinion, “Jefferson is in every view less dangerous than Burr,” in an attempt to sway his vote. Built upon years of conflict, Hamilton’s relationship with Burr hits a low point during the election and never recovers, eventually leading to their infamous duel.   

Undocumented Immigrants, Education, and the American Dream | Dream On

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Explore issues connected to immigration, undocumented immigrants, and education in this video from the documentary, Dream On. Keny Murillo was brought to the United States as a child and only knows America as his home. Although here illegally, should he receive help in obtaining a college degree? Should he be sent home? Does he have a right to pursue the American Dream? Students are asked to think critically and broaden their understanding of undocumented immigrants through discussion questions, classroom activities, and research.

No More Questions | The Great Thanksgiving Listen

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Kay Wang was a strong-willed grandmother who was brought to StoryCorps by her son and granddaughter. Though Kay was reluctant at first, she still had stories to tell—from disobeying her mother and rebuffing suitors while growing up in China to late-life adventures as a detective for Bloomingdale’s department store. Kay passed away just weeks after that interview, and her son and granddaughter returned to StoryCorps to remember her gentler side, which she kept to herself.

The Icing on the Cake | The Great Thanksgiving Listen

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Blanca Alvarez and her husband risked crossing the border to immigrate into the United States and then struggled to make ends meet. They hoped to shelter their children from these harsh realities, but Blanca’s daughter Connie reveals how much children can really see of their parents’ lives—and the inspiration they draw from their struggles.

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