Social Studies

Social Studies (X) - Middle (X) - U.S. History (X) - Civics and Government (X)

Marie's Dictionary | Global Oneness Project

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At a rapid rate, indigenous languages around the world are becoming endangered. Individuals, linguists, and organizations are developing ways to preserve and rehabilitate native languages and cultures.

Students watch a 9-minute film, Marie's Dictionary by Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee, about a Native American woman who is the last fluent speaker of the Wukchumni language and the dictionary she created to keep her language alive. 

In this lesson, students participate in classroom discussions and explore the themes of identity, preservation of a culture, and endangered languages. Reflective writing prompts are also offered for students to demonstrate their understanding of the story.

Who Gets to Write History | Dolores

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This segment challenges the absence of civil rights leader Dolores Huerta from the historical record in the United States, and explores the sexism and racism behind this omission. Teacher Curtis Acosta recalls the controversy around including her in his Ethnic Studies curriculum. He and Angela Davis discuss the importance of writing women’s contributions to history.

Legacy | Dolores

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This segment begins with Dolores Huerta’s resignation speech, in Spanish, from the United Farm Workers, delivered at the UFW convention in 2002, and describes the difficulty she had stepping away. Since then, she received the Puffin/Nation award and founded the Dolores Huerta Foundation, which her daughter Camila Chavez directs, to continue the work of organizing young Latina women to fight for their rights. President Barack Obama gives her credit for coining the phrase, “Si se puede,” “Yes, we can.”

The Fourteenth Amendment - Part I

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By the end of the Civil War, the Union victory over the Confederate states marked a dramatic change in American history with the abolition of slavery and new amendments written into the U.S. Constitution. Passed in 1868, the 14th Amendment gave Congress special powers to protect and enforce the rights of former slaves in Southern states that adopted the greatest resistance to the new set of liberties afforded African Americans through citizenship. In this first of two video segments from The Supreme Court, learn how the nine justices evolved in their decisions to interpret the 14th Amendment as the nation moved forward after the war. To learn more, see “The Fourteenth Amendment - Part II.”

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.

Student Reporting Labs: Military Families

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This Daily News Story from PBS NewsHour Extra was created on November 11th, 2013.

On Veterans Day, most Americans think of the men and women in uniform. But military life also has a huge effect on their children.

Supreme Court Rules Against Abercrombie & Fitch in Religious Dress Case

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Learn about a Supreme Court decision regarding religious dress with this video and educational resources from PBS NewsHour from June 1, 2015.

Kentucky Clerk Sent to Jail for Refusing to Issue Marriage Licenses

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Learn why a Kentucky county clerk has gone to jail over her religious beliefs with this video and educational resources from PBS NewsHour from September 3, 2015.

Alexis de Tocqueville and the American Dream | Dream On

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Learn about Alexis de Tocqueville, his travels around the United States in the 1830s, and his book, Democracy in America in this video from DREAM ON. Tocqueville attempted to capture what it means to be an American and is credited with first exploring the idea of the American Dream. Through video, discussion questions, and teaching tips, students can further explore issues connected to being an American and how understandings of America have changed over time.

The White Picket Fence: Defining the American Dream | Dream On

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Explore symbolism connected to the American Dream in this video from the documentary, Dream On, and then check out the Teaching Tips to help students dig deeper into personal definitions and understandings of the American Dream through discussion questions, classroom activities, and projects. 

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.

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