Social Studies

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

Ronald Johnson of Sapelo Island

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This video segment from Egg: The Arts Show presents a glimpse of the last island-based Gullah/Geechee community located on Sapelo Island.The original Gullah/Geechee people were slaves. When slavery was abolished, the island was abandoned to the slaves. Ronald Johnson of the Sapelo Island Cultural and Revitalization Society speaks of his pride for the island community and the importance of preserving the Gullah/Geechee culture. A festival is held each year to bring people to the island to learn about the culture and foster interest in preserving the culture. For more about Sapelo Island, see "Ben Hall of Sapelo Island" and "Frankie Quimby of Sapelo Island".

City Horses Part I

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When you think of horses you don’t usually think of the city, but in this segment from Wild TV, Carolyne DeGrammont tells us about the Cedar Lane Stables in Queens, one of the five boroughs of New York City. People with different levels of skills with horses as well as people from all disciplines and backgrounds come to the stables. For Carolyne, going to the stables helps her find relief from the stresses of her fast-paced day. She can forget all of her troubles and feel happy. The atmosphere helps her feel connected to nature, too.

A Class Divided 2: Day Two

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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 changes the rules, and discriminates against students with blue eyes.

Mendez v. Westminster: Desegregating California's Schools

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In 1946, eight years before the landmark Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, Mexican Americans in Orange County, California won a class action lawsuit to dismantle the segregated school system that existed there. In this video segment, Sylvia Mendez recalls the conditions that triggered the lawsuit and her parents' involvement in the case.

Hiawatha | Weston Woods

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This Weston Woods segment is from the book Hiawatha, illustrated by Susan Jeffers, based upon Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's epic poem, "The Song of Hiawatha." Longfellow's poem was published in 1855. An epic poem is a lengthy narrative that includes heroic deeds that had a great impact on a culture. In this case, the poem is about the stories of many Native American Indian tribes, especially the Ojibway Indians of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. This video segment is about a Native American named Hiawatha and his grandmother, Nokomis. As a young boy, Hiawatha learns about all the animals in the forest.

Rosemary Wells

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Rosemary Wells is the author and illustrator of delightful books for youngsters. In this interview, Wells talks about creating books for children and their adult readers that will stand up to being read over and over again. Watch the interview, view the interview transcript, read a short biography on Rosemary Wells, or see a selected list of her children's books.

Benjamin Franklin | Writer, Inventor, and Founding Father Video

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At the height of the Age of Enlightenment, Benjamin Franklin accomplished great works in countless fields, including science, politics, and media, becoming one of America’s most prolific Founding Fathers. Through two primary source activities and a short video, understand how Franklin embodied Enlightenment values, and used his talent in writing and printing to have his opinions heard and help shape the world.

Click here for the Lesson Plan.

Thomas Paine | Writer and Revolutionary Video

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In January 1776, Thomas Paine published a document that sparked the American fight for independence from England. His political pamphlet, called Common Sense, showed the colonists that they could be free from the tyranny of a king by creating an independent nation where they could justly and fairly govern themselves. By watching a biographical video and engaging in two primary source activities, students will encounter the ideas, writings, and impact of Thomas Paine.

Click here for the full lesson plan.

Harriet Tubman | Abolition Activist Video

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In this lesson, students will learn about Harriet Tubman’s courage in the face of enormous risks. After watching a biographical video, students will examine a photograph of Tubman and read a letter written to her by Frederick Douglass. The lesson asks students to compare Harriet Tubman to modern-day women and girls who have similarly confronted great risks to help others.

View the full Lesson Plan.

Rosa Parks | Civil Rights Activist Video

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After the Civil War and through the Civil Rights era of the 1950s, racial segregation laws made life for many African Americans extremely difficult. Rosa Parks—long-standing civil rights activist and author—is best known for her refusal to give up her seat to a white bus passenger, sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Through two primary source activities and a short video, students will learn about Parks’ lifelong commitment to the Civil Rights Movement.

Read the Lesson Plan.

Walt Whitman | Journalist and Poet Video

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Walt Whitman was a progressive voice and innovative writer during a critical period of change in the United States. In the midst of the Civil War, his poetic and journalistic works, spanning topics from the personal to the political, marked the start of a new era for American literature. Whitman’s powerful poetry revealed his personality and depicted the United States as a place worthy of both high praise and sharp criticism. Through an examination of primary sources and watching a short video, students will learn about Whitman’s love for and criticism of the United States. 

View the Lesson Plan

Alexander Hamilton | Lawyer, Writer, and Founding Father Video

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Founding Father Alexander Hamilton fought at General George Washington’s side in the American Revolution, aided in the passage of the Constitution, and helped save the United States from financial ruin. A great leader, writer, soldier, and lawyer, Hamilton did not let his poor birthright stop him from achieving greatness. Through a short video and an analysis of two primary sources, students will examine the life of this important military and political leader.

Ninety Six: End Game | The Southern Campaign

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Ninety Six was a small frontier town near Greenwood, South Carolina—an essential part of the geography of British strongholds designed to seal off Charleston and the low country from French, Spanish, and Indian attack. At the “Star Fort” in Ninety Six, a band of Loyalists held their ground, waiting to see what would happen.  

On May 21, 1781, General Greene and approximately a thousand troops marched south towards Ninety-Six, to lay siege to the Star Fort.  It is was the longest field siege of The American Revolution. It lasted 28 days.

Kings Mountain: The Turn of the Tide of Success | The Southern Campaign

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Kings Mountain is a rocky wooded hill on the border of North and South Carolina. On October 7, 1780, a thousand Patriots surrounded and attacked the British troops and Loyalist soldiers. This battle would become a major victory and turn the tide for the Patriots.

Florida Footprints | Once Upon Anhaica (1513-1704)

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Before there was Tallahassee, there was Anhaica. This WFSU-TV documentary looks at the Big Bend area when the first European explorers arrived at Anhaica, the capital of the Apalachee people. From the culture of the Apalachee to the creation of Spanish missions to the community we know today, it all began "Once Upon Anhaica". 

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