Social Studies

Science (X) - Social Studies (X) - WNET (X)

Faces of America | Migration Sensations

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This video segment from Faces of America follows the routes of human migration through the haplogroups. We learn that all humans have their origins in East Africa. Over time they migrated from Asia to Europe and later to North and South America. Historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr. examines the haplogroups of Elizabeth Alexander, Kristi Yamaguchi and Meryl Streep.

Faces of America | A Piece of the Pie

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In this video from Faces of America, historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr. examines how DNA can communicate ethnic identity in a manner that genealogy can’t always articulate. Gates meets with Joanna Mountain from the genetic ancestry firm 23 and Me to complete an admixture test. The test reveals not only ancestral geographical origins over a number of centuries, but also illustrates ethnic breakdown. Gates reveals the ethnic breakdown (in the form of a pie chart) of his guests including Meryl Streep, Stephen Colbert, Eva Longoria and Elizabeth Alexander.

What is "Race"?

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Learn about the relatively recent invention of “race” and judge how well the concept applies to people today in this video from Finding Your Roots. Geneticist David Altshuler describes how people in the 19th Century developed a concept of race that had more to do with the social interactions and hierarchies of that time period than with biological differences. But even while the concept of race was forming, human relationships showed that race was less rigid than it was believed to be. In the video, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick learns about the relationship between two of his ancestors, a relationship that demonstrates that people made connections that defied stereotypes. Genetic analysis reveals that people are far more similar than they are different.

Pourquoi Stories | Jakers!

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This video segment from Jakers features a storyteller who tells a Pourquoi story about a spider. Pourquoi is the French word for "why". Pourquoi stories try to explain in an entertaining way why something happens or why things are the way they are, especially in nature. This lively story is about Anansi the Spider, a popular character in African folklore. We hear an imaginary tale that tries to explain why the lowest part of a spider's body is so big. Could it really be because of the plan the greedy spider Anansi came up with to eat two feasts in one day?

Puppy Walker

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In this segment from Zoom into Action, Brett trains puppies to be seeing-eye dogs. He volunteers as a puppy walker for the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind. He is working with a puppy named Arty for one year. His job is to socialize Arty and teach him to follow commands. At the end of the year, Brett has to bring Arty back for more training so he will be ready to work with a person who has a visual imparity. Brett knows his work is for a very good cause. When it’s time to give up the puppy, he isn’t too disappointed.

Trackers

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This WILD TV segment introduces John Stokes, and some friends, who are a part of the Tracking Project in New Mexico. A tracker reads the prints on the ground made by an animal or person. Mr. Stokes teaches us how to be trackers in this clip. To be a tracker, you must move slowly, be very quiet, and stay downwind of whatever you are tracking. We also learn how to make a tracking stick, which can help get even more information.

Animal Shelter Photographer

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In this video segment from WILD TV, meet Joyce Faye, an animal photographer. She visits animal shelters in the Albuquerque, New Mexico area to photograph the homeless animals awaiting adoption. There are 26,000 dogs picked up every year in Albuquerque. Faye volunteers her time and expertise taking photographs of the dogs and cats and displays them on her web site. She hopes that people will rescue an animal from the shelter and make it a pet. Faye encourages us to do what we can to make the world a better place. Even small gestures make a difference.

Coming Outta Queensbridge: Nas and Hip Hop

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In this video from Finding Your Roots, host Henry Louis Gates Jr. interviews acclaimed rapper Nas. The clip demonstrates how the hip-hop scene in New York City’s Queensbridge housing projects influenced the artist as a young man.