Social Studies

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

Author Wes Moore Explores Where Two Lives Diverge

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One name, two starkly different lives - that's the real-life scenario at the heart of author Wes Moore's new book, which explores how his life diverged from that of another boy with the same name who grew up in the same inner city Baltimore neighborhood.

The Principal Story: Principles of Leadership

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This lesson plan is designed to be used with the film, The Principal Story, which follows the activities of two school principals, one a veteran and one a novice, during the course of a school year. Classrooms can use this film and its companion website resources to explore the nature of leadership.

Olympics Spur Protests Against Russia

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Help students understand the human rights issues surrounding the Sochi Olympic Games with this PBS NewsHour video from February 5, 2014. With the start of the 2014 Winter Games only days away, the president of the International Olympic Committee insisted that all countries respect the neutral, apolitical nature of the competition. That statement comes in the wake of international furor over a recently adopted Russian law that bans so-called gay propaganda. For a unit with four lesson plans on this topic please click here.

Obama Gets Personal in Effort to Help Young Men of Color

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Use this PBS NewsHour video and teacher's guide from February 28, 2014 to engage students on the important topic of supporting young men of color.

Discontent and Transformation

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In this lesson, students will analyze the reasons many women of the 1950s and early 1960s felt discontent with their position in society and how they experienced difficulty and resistance when they tried to improve themselves. Students will also analyze the issues behind gender discrimination and examine several potential gender discrimination scenarios to determine if laws had been broken.

Henry "Box" Brown

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This resource group derived from the program, Underground Railroad: The William Still Story, will introduce students to the concepts of courage and creativity, utilized during this movement in the pursuit of freedom. Separated from his family, Henry "Box" Brown became determined to escape slavery. Enlisting the help of friends, Brown arranged to be shipped in a small box to the Philadelphia Anti-Slavery Society. Although his voyage was rough, he remained determined to succeed. Henry "Box" Brown's escape to freedom became a well known story and inspiration to others.

The Civil Rights Movement Goes National | The March

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Learn about A. Philip Randolph’s early union organizing, role in the creation of the Fair Employment Practice in Defense Industries Act, and contribution to organizing The March. As an early ally to both MLK Jr. and Bayard Rustin, the "Dean of the Civil Rights Movement" was integral in organizing prominent demonstrations in Washington D.C.

The Accidental Operative | James Baker: The Man Who Made Washington Work

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Learn about some of the significant events in Baker's career that led to his transition from an attorney to a politician. One day, following a period of grief after his first wife's death, Baker received a call from his tennis partner George H. W. Bush. Bush was planning to run for one of Texas' senate seats, and he wanted Baker to help him run his campaign. Bush lost that senate campaign, but Baker got his first taste of politics and was hooked. This experience helped Baker work for President Ford, and even attempt his own political campaign.

First Women Ever Graduate from Army Ranger School

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Find out why two women graduating from the U.S. Army Ranger School is significant with this video and educational resources from PBS NewsHour from August 18, 2015. (Note: Students only need to watch the first 1:40 of the video)

Experiences of Vietnam Veterans Returning Home from War | Iowans Remember Vietnam

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When veterans returned home from Vietnam, some were treated well but many were treated poorly. This segment from Iowa Public Television's Iowans Remember Vietnam documentary includes archival footage and first-person accounts from several veterans who share their experiences of returning home from the war.

It Was My Duty to Serve | On Two Fronts: Latinos & Vietnam

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This educational module adapted from the film On Two Fronts: Latinos & Vietnam examines the long tradition of Latino military service in the United States. Nearly half a million Latinos fought in World War II, and over 80,000 Latinos fought in the Vietnam War. This module weaves together several veterans' personal stories to explore the reasons why so many Latinos have enlisted in the armed forces before, during, and after the Vietnam War. The module shows what military service means to Latinos who have experienced multiple generations of discrimination and barriers to full citizenship. The module also reflects on how our society recognizes military service and the sacrifices war veterans have made.

Film Trailer | On Two Fronts: Latinos & Vietnam

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On Two Fronts: Latinos & Vietnam examines the Latino experience during a war that placed its heaviest burden on working class youth. Framing the documentary are memoirs of two siblings, Everett and Delia Alvarez, who stood on opposite sides of the Vietnam War, one as a POW and the other protesting at home.

Resources to Honor the Life of Poet Maya Angelou

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Renaissance woman and civil rights activist Maya Angelou has died at the age of 86. Use these educational resources from PBS NewsHour Extra to help your students honor the life of poet Maya Angelou.

Earth Days: Environmentalists Enter Politics

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After the success of the first Earth Day, environmentalists targeted the 1970 re-election campaigns of congressmen with the worst environmental records. They scored several victories, including the defeat of Representative George Fallon. This led to many political advances in the environmental sphere, as seen in this video from American Experience: “Earth Days.”

Rebecca Latimer Felton: Senator for a Day | Georgia Stories

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The first woman to serve as a United States Senator was from Georgia. Her name was Rebecca Latimer Felton. She was a writer, a lecturer, a campaigner for women's rights, and a politician. Felton's rise to senator in 1922 occurred through peculiar circumstances.

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