Social Studies

Social Studies (X) - High (X) - U.S. History (X) - World History (X)

Jumping on D-Day - Eugene Cook | WWII: Europe

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Eugene Cook recalls preparing for his jump on D-Day and the sensation of parachuting through the air.

Jewish Burial Practices

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This video from Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly uses a mannequin to demonstrate the time-honored Jewish ritual of tahara, in which the dead are washed, purified and dressed in traditional shrouds before burial. In keeping with the Jewish belief of a communal responsibility to bury the dead, Jewish communities throughout the ages have established burial societies, called Chevra Kadishas, whose sole function is to care for the deceased from the time of death until interment. In this video, a member of a Chevra Kadisha explains the process of tahara and why it is considered one of the greatest mitzvahs or commandments to be performed in Judaism.

David Kennedy on "The Great Depression" | American Creed

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David Kennedy shares how his father experienced the hardships of unemployment during the Great Depression.

Restoring the Torah | Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

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This video from Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly follows Neal Yerman, a sofer, or scribe, in Cherry Hill, New Jersey as he works on a Torah recovered from the Polish town of Ostrof, where 9,000 Jews were killed by Nazis over three days in 1941. The Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, is considered the holiest object in Jewish life.

Bella Vista: An Unseen View of WWII | Internment of Italian Civilians at Fort Missoula

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Bella Vista was a World War II internment camp at Fort Missoula, Montana and home to more than 1,000 Italian civilians. Seized eight months before Pearl Harbor, these men effectively became the United States' first-and perhaps the luckiest-causalities of war.

With these video and curriculum resources, students will define vocabulary words related to internment and analyze the impact of the United States’ wartime policies directed at Italian civilians and other cultural groups during WWII. 

Why So Many Migrant Children Are Braving the Journey Across the U.S. Border Alone

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Help students understand the motivations and consequences for the tens of thousands of young children migrating to the United States illegally with this PBS NewsHour video and educational resource from June 25, 2014. Many of the unaccompanied minors are making the dangerous journey, which has killed thousands of adults, because their parents believe they will get a free education and brighter future in the U.S.

Women Work to Change the Culture of the Free Online Encyclopedia “Wikipedia”

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Challenge students to think about why there are almost ten times as many male Wikipedia editors as female and how that might affect the definitions on the site with this PBS NewsHour video and educational resources from May 19, 2014. Wikipedia has come under scrutiny over a lack of female representation and participation on the website.

Shift in U.S. Policy Opens Cuba to American Tourists

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Find out why many people anticipate increased tourism in Cuba with this video and educational resources from PBS NewsHour from June 15, 2015.

Taking a Stand

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This activity focuses on the different faces of civic engagement by highlighting the many voices of protest against forced labor. Students will read and analyze primary source documents that argued against forced labor. They will also consider what is necessary to spark legislative change. Lastly, students are introduced to forms of modern day slavery and given the chance to develop public awareness campaigns.

A Fragile Trust | Film Trailer

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A Fragile Trust tells the shocking story of Jayson Blair, the most infamous serial plagiarist of our time, and how he unleashed the massive scandal that rocked The New York Times and the entire world of journalism. In 2003, Blair was caught plagiarizing the work of other reporters and supplementing his own reporting with fabricated details in dozens of different stories published in the Times. The Jayson Blair scandal at the most basic level is a character-driven narrative about an important chapter in the history of journalism, but also a complex story about power, ethics, representation, race, and accountability in the mainstream media.

A Fragile Trust | Film Clip 3

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After viewing this film clip from A Fragile Trust, students will consider the trust that journalists have with their readers, interview subjects, and the news organizations that employ them. Students will also examine the checks and balances that organizations must implement in order to prevent plagiarism by journalists.

Prairie Pulse: Dr. Jarret Brachman - Dr. Brachman's Background and Research on Terrorist Groups

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Brachman relates his education, early career with the CIA and at West Point, his current research, primarily online, at NDSU, and recent terrorist attacks. Host John Harris III discusses the background, education and career of North Dakota State University professor Dr. Jarret Brachman of the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute and NDSU’s Security Programs. A Fargo native, Brachman has spent his career with government agencies and in academia centered on research on terrorist groups, particularly al-Qaeda, understanding them and using that knowledge to prevent terrorist attacks.

Ethics and Laws

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Learn how Louis Dershowitz, grandfather of attorney Alan Dershowitz, helped relatives escape from Nazi persecution in this video from Finding Your Roots. As the Nazis spread their anti-Semitic policies in Europe, many Jews wanted to escape to safety. Immigration quotas enacted in the 1920s made it difficult for immigrants to enter the United States, so Louis Dershowitz submitted false documents to help his relatives enter the country. Use the “Teaching about Ethics and Laws” guide in the Support Materials section to help students understand ethical choices and how they relate to laws. 

Promised Land: This Land Is My Land, Not Yours

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In 1913, South Africa passed the Native Land Act, which prohibited black South Africans from owning land. The Act was the cornerstone of apartheid, which was instituted in 1948. In 2004, ten years after the end of apartheid, land remains an explosive issue in the country. White landowners and black claimants talk about the land reform process in South Africa.

A Fragile Trust | Film Clip 1

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In this film clip from A Fragile Trust, we learn how technological advances impacted news institutions like The New York Times, as they extended journalism across new platforms, such as the Internet, cable, and television.

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