Social Studies

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

Campaign Manager 2008

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A modern U.S. presidential campaign is one of the most amazing organizational endeavors undertaken by man. In 2008, John McCain and Barack Obama collectively spent $2.4 billion dollars on their efforts to be elected President of the United States.

Grade Level: 
Middle
High
Content Area: 
Social Studies
Play Time: 
30 min.
Campaign Manager 2008

Strange Fruit: A Song Born of Protest

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This video segment explores how the song Strange Fruit became one of the best known and most enduring songs of protest. In 1939, the legendary blues singer Billie Holiday performed the song as a daring criticism of the commonplace practice of the lynching of African-Americans. Civil rights groups such as the NAACP had made countless appeals, but it was Holiday’s haunting rendition that made it impossible for white Americans and lawmakers to ignore the widespread crime.

Please Stand for the National Anthem Lesson Plan

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This lesson plan, to be used with the program The War of 1812, has students explore what Nationalism means as well as the symbolic features of a nation such as a national anthem and a flag. Students will learn the story of Francis Scott Key and create their own anthems.

Scottsboro Boys Stamp | History Detectives

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THE DETECTIVE: Gwen Wright.

THE PLACE: Scottsboro, Alabama.

THE CASE: What is the connection between an inconspicuous black and white stamp purchased at an outdoor market and a landmark civil rights case? “Save the Scottsboro Boys” is printed on the stamp, above nine black faces behind prison bars and two arms prying the bars apart. One arm bears the tattoo “ILD.” On the bottom of the stamp is printed “one cent.” The Scottsboro Boys were falsely accused and convicted of raping two white girls in 1931 on a train near Scottsboro, Alabama. It took several appeals, two cases before the United States Supreme Court, and nearly two decades before all nine finally walked free. History Detectives delves into civil rights history and consults with a stamp expert to discover how a tiny penny stamp could make a difference in the young men’s courageous defense effort.

Our Nation's Capitol

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Join student reporters as they uncover the history, art and architecture that define America’s living symbol of democracy and freedom, the Capitol Building.

Prairie Churches | Hope and Prayer

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Learn about the Viking Lutheran Church in Maddock, North Dakota. Dedicated in 1909 it was at that time the largest Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church between the Twin Cities and Seattle.

Prairie Churches | A Hammer and a Nail, A Shovel and a Pail

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Learn about Father Phillip Ruhe, self-taught architect, who was responsible for the building of over 40 churches, including the elaborate Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception at Cooks Creek, Manitoba, built over 22 years by volunteer hand labor.

Civil Rights in the Classroom | Georgia Stories

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Art like "Freedom School" shows how far we have come, provoking the viewer with its images and symbols to ask questions about that time in history. Mabel Cochran describes the school she attended and how students made do with battered and worn textbooks handed down from white schools. She states that white people fought school integration because they knew education would change a person's world. "If you can't read or write, think or figure, than someone else will control you. Education will free you," she said. Today's schools are very different with many races and nationalities represented in classrooms.

Stop and Frisk: The High School Senior

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Students will learn about the controversial "Stop and Frisk" policy as well as how to effectively use infographics in this video and lesson from PBS NewsHour Extra. 

Juan's Story: Bullying | The Graduates Film Module

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This film module spotlights Juan’s story and the value of arts programs in building self-esteem and community. Students will look at how bullying can be an obstacle to Latino youth, especially with regards to immigrant, undocumented, racial, socioeconomic, and LGBTQ groups. They will explore how the arts can be a powerful way to bring different voices into dialogue, and how they can be tools for increasing self-esteem and combating stereotypes and negative images.

Is Over The Garden Wall About Having Faith? | PBS Idea Channel

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Our viewers really enjoy the Over the Garden Wall series on Cartoon Network, as indicated by all the comments and tweets. We do too! Wirt and Greg's journey to find their way home through The Unknown makes for not just a great show, but a great exploration into the idea of faith in the face of fear. The show and its two central characters seem to perfectly illustrate cynicism and optimism. So what can we learn from the brothers, as well as Beatrice and their frog, about faith and facing the impossible?

Teachable Moment: Who is Salmon P. Chase? | Fast Forward

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Learn more about Salmon P. Chase, Secretary of the Treasury from 1861 to 1864.

Environmental Justice: Opposing a Toxic Waste Landfill

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In this video segment, adapted from Earthkeeping: Toxic Racism, learn about the beginning of the environmental justice movement. Meet various experts and leaders who describe the issues of environmental racism and justice, and learn about the watershed event—the controversy over the location of a toxic landfill in Warren County, North Carolina—that brought the issues to national attention in the early 1980s. See footage of the residents protesting the transport of PCB-contaminated soil to their community, and hear about how the incident triggered further investigations into the relationship between communities of color and toxins.

Geospatial Revolution | Political Aspects

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As geospatial technologies become more advanced, the information that is collected is used by a wider variety of groups, including political candidates and those involved in their campaigns. In this video clip from Penn State Public Broadcasting’s Geospatial Revolution project, the Obama campaign’s use of geospatial information systems (GIS) is briefly profiled.

Connection Challenge: Building Stronger, Safer Communities | PBS NewsHour

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Inspired by Parkland students, three schools across the U.S. participated in the Connection Challenge as a way to step out of their comfort zones and connect with other young people at school with whom they wouldn’t normally interact. PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs teamed up with Snapchat on April 20th, the day of the National School Walkout, to cover the event.

Watch the video and answer the discussion questions in our support materials below. Your class or school may want to hold its own Connection Challenge. Check out the extension activity linked below under Follow Up.

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