Social Studies

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A Photographer’s View of Iceland | Icelandic Animals and Scenes and Gudmundson’s Photography

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An Icelander talks about the island nation’s animals and birds and Gudmundson about his photography. Travel to Iceland where the beautiful landscape and friendly people have inspired countless artists, including Wayne Gudmundson, to capture the sights and explore its volcanic majesty.

Contact, Disease, and Change | Children of the Amazon: Part 6

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Learn how infectious diseases impacted the Surui tribe after first contact in 1969 with colonizers and how this struggling community coped with the death and loss that followed. Children of the Amazon invites you to see through the eyes of these inspiring and remarkably resilient people whose lives are transformed by a road carved through their forest home by an outside world.

The Value of Grasslands: Video | Nature Works Everywhere

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Grasslands have grown to be a massively undervalued ecosystem, but a recent surge of ecotourism in grassland systems have given the land new value. In this video, explore the balance between ecotourism and environmental stability, and learn about how people all over the world are living together with grasslands. 

The following lesson plans support this video:

 

 

Rare Nebraska Featuring the Loess Canyon

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As a companion to NET’s The PlainStory podcast, NET has produced a set of immersive, experiential videos designed to give viewers a taste of rare Nebraskan habitats via 360 video and audio. We recommend viewing these using the Chrome browser and using headphones to get the full audio effect. We also recommend checking out The PlainStory podcast at plainstorypodcast.org, or wherever great podcasts are downloaded.

The Hunting Dogs of Papua New Guinea

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This video from Nature describes the history and uses of the dogs of Papua New Guinea. Men from the Akepangi tribe set out to hunt at dawn. They believe the dogs they take with them have supernatural abilities to track down prey. The dogs are called the singing dogs because they howl but do not bark. In the hunt, the dogs find an opossum in the canopy (upper layer of vegetation). The dogs are more valuable to the hunters than their bows and arrows. The tribe believes the dogs tell them where the evil spirits lie in the jungle.

Rare Nebraska Featuring the Indian Caves State Park

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As a companion to NET’s The PlainStory podcast, NET has produced a set of immersive, experiential videos designed to give viewers a taste of rare Nebraskan habitats via 360 video and audio. We recommend viewing these using the Chrome browser and using headphones to get the full audio effect. We also recommend checking out The PlainStory podcast at plainstorypodcast.org, or wherever great podcasts are downloaded.

Managing Salmon to Support Healthy Forests: Video | Nature Works Everywhere

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This video addresses the impact of unsustainable fishing practices and how salmon fishing risks harming much more than just aquatic ecosystems. Salmon runs are an important factor in cycling many nutrients from the ocean to the forest and beyond. Over-fishing salmon can reduce the forest's capacity for growth and regeneration. 

Find a lesson plan here to accompany this video. 

Rare Nebraska Featuring the Rainwater Basin

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As a companion to NET’s The PlainStory podcast, NET has produced a set of immersive, experiential videos designed to give viewers a taste of rare Nebraskan habitats via 360 video and audio. We recommend viewing these using the Chrome browser and using headphones to get the full audio effect. We also recommend checking out The PlainStory podcast at plainstorypodcast.org, or wherever great podcasts are downloaded.

Studying Elephants

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Award-winning filmmaker Martyn Colbeck has traveled to Africa to learn about and photograph elephants, in this video segment from Nature. From the first day Colbeck was introduced to Echo, the matriarch of the elephant family, he was fascinated by these giant creatures and their relationships with each other. He observes the gentleness of the elephant family when a newborn elephant, Ely, was having trouble walking. The elephants had to decide whether to stay with the disabled calf or to perhaps let it die from the heat and dehydration. Miraculously, the calf adapted to his disability and with the support of his family, survived.

Mahouts and Elephants | EARTH A New Wild

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The name Mahout is a traditional Hindi word used to refer to riders and tamers of elephants. In Sumatra, contemporary Mahouts work with trained elephants to protect farms and villages from wild elephants, which have been known to act aggressively towards humans that have been expanding into the local forest. Use this resource to educate students on the Sumatran culture and mutualistic relationships between humans and animals.

America's Grasslands: A Threatened National Treasure | Impact of Loss of Native Prairie

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In spite of being described as a “jewel, a national treasure,” America’s Northern Plains grasslands are being threatened by increasing pressures of agriculture. The area’s subtle beauty and ecological diversity and significance have not prevented large tracts of prairie from being cultivated for crops necessary to feed the nation. The key is finding the delicate balance between protecting what remains of original grasslands to preserve the ecological benefits they provide for wildlife, as well as clean air and water, and growing the crops that produce food for people all around the world.

Rhinoceros Release

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Due to unregulated hunting and poaching, the black rhinoceros has become an endangered species across the African continent. In an effort to preserve the remaining rhinos and repopulate the species, wildlife preserves have been created. The black rhinoceros now thrives in the South African National Park system. In order to spread the success of the South African preserve to other regions, rhinos from this sanctuary are being relocated to other preserves across the continent. In this video from Nature, learn about the factors taken into consideration to release the Black Rhino back into the wild.

Battle for the Elephants: The History of the Ivory Trade

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Explore the history of the ivory trade and the resulting devastation of Africa’s elephant population—from 26 million elephants in 1800 to fewer than one million today.

How Coral Grows

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The Andros Island Coral Reef Diorama at the American Museum of Natural History has been showcasing life below the ocean since the 1930s. This video from DIORAMA and SciTech Now takes a close look at coral polyps, the tiny animals that makes giant coral reefs. Meet dinoflagellates, algae that lives inside coral polyps. Footage from the 1920s and 1930s shows scientists and artists as they study, document, and even paint underwater in order to recreate this setting.

Analyze the environmental conditions that Coral reefs need to thrive using the Coral Distribution activity found in the Support Materials section below.

The Kaktovik Butcher a Whale | The Great Polar Bear Feast

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The polar bear is a special animal for the locals, and polar bears are considered to be relatives. The Kaktovik honor the bears by giving the remains of the whale to them and they watch the bears enjoy their meal from a safe distance. Around the time of the whale catch, polar bears gather one mile away from the town. They are solitary for most of the year, but gather together for the feast the Kaktovik provide.

Kaktovik is a village at the edge of the world and their traditions are essential for them. Citizens of Kaktovik are convinced that when they catch a whale there is a spiritual connection that links them to the whale.

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