Social Studies

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When a Town Runs Dry | Global Oneness Project

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This short film, When a Town Runs Dry, documents life in Stratford, a small town in California's Central Valley. A farming community for over a hundred years, Stratford is suffering from a drought that is severely impacting the community, land, and residents' daily lives.

Currently in its sixth year of drought, the Central Valley is home to the country's most productive agricultural region, containing more than half of all the fruits, vegetables, and nuts grown in the United States. Some farmers are selling land and cutting back on farmed acreage, while others dig deeper wells to maintain crop yields. Groundwater in the area has significantly diminished due to over-use and according to the Los Angeles Times, the water table below Stratford fell 100 feet in two years. Residents are living without running water.

This film explores the drought through the eyes of three Stratford residents—a farmer, a shopkeeper, and a high school football coach. All three men prepare for an uncertain future.

In the accompanying lesson, students explore the effects of environmental change and consider the ways those changes impact community.

Gerrymandering: Is Geometry Silencing Your Vote? | Above the Noise

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Fair elections are at the heart of American democracy, but many people argue that politicians have been undermining this American ideal through the practice of what is called gerrymandering. Gerrymandering has been described as the process of politicians picking their voters instead of the voters picking their politicians. In order to really understand this concept, you need to know how voting districts work. In this episode of Above the Noise, host Myles Bess breaks down gerrymandering, and how politicians on both sides of the aisle use sophisticated software to rig the voting system in their party’s favor.

Why Can't Anyone Agree on the Crime Rate? | Above the Noise

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The news media is chock-full of contradictory stories about crime in the United States. Are murders on the rise, or at remarkable lows? A skim of the headlines might not give you a clear answer. So why is there room for disagreement about what should be a very basic statistic? The answer isn’t really about the data itself, but how we slice and dice that data. It’s about how we determine trends, what we’re comparing, and sometimes, what answer we want to find. In this Above the Noise video, host Shirin Ghaffary looks into why the crime rate in America can be such a confusing, and often misleading, topic to read and write about.

Top 4 Tips To Spot Bad Science Reporting | Above the Noise

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In an era of sensationalized news and “alternative facts” it can be hard to figure out what to believe or not. And this is especially true when it comes to science and health news. Crazy claims and sketchy science reporting dilutes the public’s understanding of science, which can have some big consequences, especially when it comes to our health and environment. How can we make solid decisions--like how to vote, what to buy or what can make us sick, if our science news is hyped? Host Myles Bess helps you get above the noise by sharing tips on how to spot bad science reporting. This resource is part of the News and Media Literacy Collection

Illinois Tornadoes | PBS Newshour

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An outbreak of tornadoes blasted the Midwest over the weekend, leaving at least eight people dead and leveling entire neighborhoods. The most powerful storm cut through Washington, Illinois, Sunday afternoon with winds of almost 200 miles per hour. This Daily News Story from PBS NewsHour Extra was created on November 19th, 2013.

 

Record Snowfalls Hit Boston

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See the effects of record-breaking snowfall on Boston's communities with this video and educational resources from PBS NewsHour from February 18, 2015.

Water Worries, California’s ‘Water Cop’ Urges Residents to Take Drought Seriously with Mandatory Restrictions

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California is now in the third year of its worst drought since the 1970s. Help students explore the scale of the problem with this PBS NewsHour video and educational resource from July 17, 2014. Despite a drought emergency, consumption actually rose in May. But under new rules starting August 1, people who waste water on lawns and car washing could be fined up to $500 a day.

Voices from the March for Science | Above the Noise

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The March For Science attracted participants from all over the world who voiced their support of evidence-based policy and the impact of scientific research on everyday life. Thousands of people of all ages participated in marches for science across the country on April 22. But some scientists feel that marches like these are a mistake and risk politicizing science. In this special report, host Shirin Ghaffary speaks with young participants at the San Francisco march.

Teens Sue Oregon to Stop Climate Change

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Find out why two teens are suing their state to help prevent climate change with this video and educational resources from PBS NewsHour from April 19, 2015.

Cambodian Lake Faces Uncertain Future

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Discover the cultural and environmental importance of Cambodia's Tonle Sap Lake with this video and educational resources from PBS NewsHour from June 26, 2014.

What’s Next for Nepal’s Earthquake Recovery?

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Look at Nepal's efforts to recover from a major earthquake with this video and educational resources from PBS NewsHour from April 29, 2015.

Nepal Devastated by Deadly Earthquake

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Hear the latest updates from the site of an earthquake in Nepal with this video and educational resources from PBS NewsHour from April 26, 2015.

National Aquarium Dolphins Move to Seaside Sanctuary | PBS NewsHour

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Find out why the National Aquarium has decided to end its dolphin program by 2020 with this video and educational resources from PBS NewsHour from June 14, 2016.

West Virginia | Three Rivers: The Bluestone, Gauley and New

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3 Rivers: the Bluestone, Gauley, and New documents the economic, social, and political impact of the rivers on Southern and Central West Virginia.  Included in Teachers Resources is a cross-curricular unit which addresses the West Virginia Content Standards and Objectives for 8th grade West Virginia Studies.  The video is divided into 4 chapters: Introduction, Bluestone, Gauley, and New.  Curriculum is available under the Resource tab by the content area.

ReadyFor Breakout Edu Kit

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The Breakout EDU kit includes everything you need to play over 350 games created for the classroom environment. The kit includes access to the new BreakoutEdu Platform to be used while using the kit.

Grade Level: 
Primary
Elementary
Middle
High
Professional
Content Area: 
ELA
Math
Social Studies
Science
Fine Arts
LOTE
Computer Science
Special Education
Family/Consumer Science
Business/Technology
Library
Other
Play Time: 
30 min.
ReadyFor Breakout Edu Kit

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