Social Studies

Social Studies (X) - Professional (X) - U.S. History (X) - Human ecology (X) - Geography (X)

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | The Decline of Railroads and Streetcars

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Discover how the building and use of railroads declined due to the popularity of automobiles and trucks. One effect was the development of regional and short line railroads that served smaller communities. Several larger cities used local electric streetcars until the automobiles took over.

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | “A Reluctant and Homesick Pig”

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Learn about the history of steamboats on the Red River. Although its course meandered like a lost and homesick pig, the Red River of the North was a major artery for steamboats, which coordinated with stagecoaches from St. Paul to Fort Abercrombie.

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | Red River Oxcarts

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Learn about the Red River oxcarts that were the primary means of transporting goods from the Red River Valley to St. Paul.

Earth System: Drought and Air Quality

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Droughts claim more victims each year than any other natural disaster. Depending on where it occurs and how long it persists, the cost of a drought can run into the billions of dollars. Droughts cause more than economic hardship, however. As this video segment adapted from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center demonstrates, droughts have a complex web of impacts that also affect us socially and environmentally.

This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.

Lewis and Clark Minutes | Learning Expedition

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Hear NDSU Professor Mark Harvey who describes what Lewis and Clark would have experienced when first coming to the grasslands.

Great States | Idaho History

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From the Ice Age to the Civil War, learn the story of how Idaho became the 43rd state.

Great States | Oregon

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A state on the edge of a continent, Oregon’s first inhabitants first arrived 15,000 years ago. But it wasn’t until 1805 that explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark established Fort Clatsop, paving the way for newcomers who would help shape the state of Oregon into what we know today. Learn how the unique geography, economy, and culture of Oregon earned the state its name—the Pacific Wonderland.

Great States | Idaho Culture

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Learn fun facts about all things Idaho! Find out about the diverse groups of people who have come together to add to the cultural fabric of this “Potato State.”

Great States | North Dakota

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Named for the Dakota Indians who lived there, the state of North Dakota at the edge of the Great Plains is home to wide open spaces, rough-hewn Badlands, and hearty people. 

Great States | Montana Culture

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Today, Montana is largely made up of people of northern European descent. But American Indians make up more than six percent of the state’s population. Learn about these and other cultures that make up the Montana of today.

The Pilgrims: Mayflower Descendants

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Learn about John Howland, a Mayflower passenger and indentured servant, whose numerous descendants include Ralph Waldo Emerson and both George Bushes, in this video adapted from AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: The Pilgrims. During the Mayflower’s Atlantic crossing, Howland was thrown overboard in a storm. He managed to grab hold of a line and was rescued by the crew. Although he nearly died that day, he would later thrive in New England. He married Elizabeth Tilley, and together they had 10 children. More than two million Americans would descend from them, among them U.S. presidents and Hollywood actors.

Click on the links below to download a customizable student handout and a video transcript.

Student HandoutTranscript

See Support Materials for Teaching Tips and links to related materials. This resource is part of the American Experience: The Pilgrims collection.

The Blizzard of '49 | Operation Haylift & Snowbound

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The Storm of the Century: The Blizzard of 49 is a WyomingPBS documentary.  This documentary tells the story of the worst series of storms in Wyoming's history.  But for all the tragedy and loss, suffering, and death, there was hope and heroism, unselfish sacrifice, and generosity. Students will learn about the Blizzard of 1949 and the emergency actions taken by the United States government in response.

The resource videos are based on this documentary and include associated lesson plans.  There are two video clips. Clip one starts at the beginning and ends at 3:25 minutes, Clip two begins at 3:40 minutes and ends at 8:02 minutes. 

 

 

Students will learn about the Blizzard of 1949 and the emergency actions taken by the United States government in response.

Mannahatta 1609

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This video from Dutch New York explores the diverse ecosystem that Henry Hudson encountered when he arrived at “Mannahatta,” the name given by the native Lenape people to the island now known as Manhattan. Dr. Eric Sanderson, Director of the Mannahatta Project, explains that Manahatta's ecosystem was more diverse than Yosemite or Yellowstone National Parks and describes the landscape, flora and fauna of the island in Henry Hudson's day.