Social Studies

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

Henry David Thoreau | Author, Philosopher, and Abolitionist Video

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No one could have predicted the modern relevance of the teachings of transcendentalist author and philosopher Henry David Thoreau. At a time when slavery was still commonplace and new technologies, like the telegraph and the railroad, promised a radical change in the ways people worked and traveled, one man demanded freedom for all and cautioned against reliance on material possessions for fulfillment. By watching a short video and engaging in two primary source activities, students will explore the philosophy, writings, and impact of Henry David Thoreau.

Read the full Lesson Plan

Frederick Douglass | Orator, Editor, and Abolitionist Video

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After escaping from slavery in 1838, Frederick Douglass went on to become a prominent writer, orator, and abolitionist in the years leading up to the Civil War. This video is a part of a lesson plan including two primary source activities and a short video: understand how Douglass stood firm in his beliefs and rose to prominence, and explore the importance of literacy in his life. 

Read the full Lesson Plan.

George Washington Carver | Scientist, Inventor, and Teacher Video

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George Washington Carver was a world-renowned American botanist who devoted his life’s work to helping farmers successfully grow their crops. A lover of nature with a keen intellect and desire to help people better their lives, Carver used his knowledge to make American farms flourish, which helped the nation as a whole. By doing two primary source activities and watching a short video, students will explore the life of science and innovation led by George Washington Carver.

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The First Official Thanksgiving

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The First Official Thanksgiving offers evidence that the story of the Pilgrims having the First Thanksgiving is more myth than historical fact.

Martin Luther King Jr. | Civil Rights Leader Video

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In the second half of the 20th century, racial tensions rose in the US as African Americans began to challenge unjust laws that supported discrimination and segregation. This movement found its leader in the patient and inspiring minister, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Students will watch a short video and engage in two primary source activities in order to explore how King’s deep-seated commitment to nonviolence contributed to the expansion of social justice in the United States, particularly for African Americans.

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Muhammad Ali | Boxer and Civil Rights Activist Video

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Muhammad Ali, considered one of the greatest boxers of all time, fought not only within the boxing ring but also as a vocal advocate for civil rights and other causes. Ali earned the world heavyweight championship three times, despite being banned from boxing for three years for his resistance to serving in the military which he felt served only White interests. By watching a short video and engaging in two primary source activities, students will examine the career of this tenacious champion.

View the Lesson Plan.

Cowpens: A Brilliant Victory | The Southern Campaign

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General Daniel Morgan’s battle plan at Cowpens was considered a masterpiece of military strategy and tactics. In Fall of 1780, General Nathaniel Greene sent a portion of his men under Morgan to fight the British in western South Carolina. 

In response, Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton was sent to chase after Morgan's army. Tarleton met Morgan's men on January 17, 1781 at the Battle of Cowpens.

Morgan learned a lot from the mistakes of Waxhaws and Camden. Because he understood his troops’ capabilities and the landscape of the battlefield, he was able to layout a plan that would change the entire plan of the Southern Campaign.

Texas Statehood and National Parks

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In the United States, public lands belong to different kinds of governments. Some are federal lands owned by the United States government. Some public land is owned by the states. Other public land is owned by counties or cities. Public land can have many different uses. It might hold a courthouse or state capitol building. It might be a city playground or pool. Public land might be the site of a school or a university. Military bases are on public land. National Parks are also public land, owned by the federal government.

Florida Footprints | Once Upon Anhaica: De Soto's Winter Encampment

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Juan Ponce de León may have discovered Florida for Spain, but Conquistador Hernando de Soto and his men were the ones who really first explored this part of La Florida. This story explores how archaeologists discovered where de Soto traveled and why what is now the state capital of Florida was a perfect place for him to stop for the winter.

 

Sanford Zoo | Central Florida Roadtrip

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Most of us are familiar with the Central Florida Zoo in Sanford, but what you may not know is that it all got started in the Old Sanford Fire Department.

Walt Disney l Central Florida Roadtrip

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Interstate I-4 stretches from Tampa to Daytona Beach, and cuts right through the heart of downtown Orlando and completed back in 1967. That I-4 completion was very timely, because In the mid-1960s, a man named Disney changed Orlando’s future forever.

Jay Barbree - Space Reporter | Central Florida Roadtrip

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NASA and the space program in the Cocoa Beach area has been around since the 1950’s and one reporter has been there to witness it all, first-hand. For almost six decades now, Jay Barbree has been keeping us all informed about what’s going on at the Cape.

Space Race | Central Florida Roadtrip

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It was the nation’s Space program in the 1950’s that set Cocoa Beach, and in fact most of Brevard County, on the road to unprecedented growth. The space industry weaved its way into every aspect of life in Cocoa Beach.

Rosa Parks

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This interview with civil rights activist Rosa Parks describes her role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. On December 1, 1955, Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Her refusal sparked a massive bus boycott that lasted 381 days, ending on December 21, 1956, after the United States Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation on city buses was unconstitutional.

A Class Divided 1: The Daring Lesson

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When the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered in April 1968, Jane Elliott taught her third-grade class a daring lesson in discrimination. The third time she taught the lesson, cameras were present.In this video segment from FRONTLINE: "A Class Divided,"Elliott divides her class into two groups — those with blue eyes and those with brown eyes — and discriminates against those with brown eyes.

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