Social Studies

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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.

Welcome (中国欢迎您) from the First Lady

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Join First Lady Michelle Obama as she discusses her upcoming trip to China and invites students to follow her journey.

Debating Slavery

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This video segment adapted from Africans in America explores the division among the state delegates to the Constitutional Convention about the issue of slavery. Although some states had already begun to abolish slavery, other states held that the right to own slaves should remain protected by the federal government. What resulted was a debate about the right to personal liberty and the right to own property, which for many included slaves.

Somali Muslims in Maine | Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

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In recent years, more than 1,000 Somalis have moved to Lewiston, Maine. At first, Lewiston's mainly white, working class residents were accepting of their new neighbors, but as more and more Somalis streamed into the former mill town, tensions began to flare between longtime residents and the new immigrants. This video from  Religion & Ethics Newsweekly looks at this controversial migration and its impact on the community.

Ramadan Observance | Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

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Afeefa Syeed, the mother of three boys in Sterling, Virginia, states, “Ramadan is considered a visitor that comes once a year, so you open your doors and you let the visitor come in and basically take over your life.” This video from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly follows Syeed and her family as they observe the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Ramadan Moon | Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

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For Muslims around the world, Ramadan is the holiest month in Islam, a time of prayer and daily fasting, as well as celebration. The start of Ramadan is signaled by the sighting of the crescent moon (hilal). This video from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly follows the process of sighting the new moon for Muslims in America.

Muslims in America | Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

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Since September 11th, Muslims across the nation have faced numerous new challenges and opportunities as they continue to define their community in America. One of the key challenges has been differentiating themselves from terrorists in the eyes of the government and the public. This video from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly examines both the internal and external challenges facing American Muslims in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

West Virginia | Road to Statehood

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Explore the events leading to statehood for West Virginia. The five lesson plans provide a guided viewing graphic organizer, primary source documents, maps, and activities to engage students in the study of the presidential election of 1860, the issues of the time, and individuals who played a role in the movment.

Eid al-Fitr

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Eid al-Fitr is the Islamic celebration that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, a time of fasting, spiritual renewal and reflection. This video segment from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly looks at Ramadan and how American Muslims observe it in a non-Muslim culture.

Islamic Celebrations | Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

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Muslims around the world end their month long observance of Ramadan with a celebration known as Eid Al-Fitr, the "Feast of Breaking the Fast." In this video from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, members of the Islamic Center of Washington, DC discuss the religious and spiritual significance of these annual religious events.

Hajj: Part I | Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

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One of the five requirements or pillars of Islam is the pilgrimage to Mecca, in Saudi Arabia, also known as the Hajj. The journey is taken by thousands of Americans each year. This video on the Hajj from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly begins with a look at one American Muslim preparing for his first trip to Mecca.

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.

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.

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)

Indian American Comedian Discusses Humor and Race

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Explore how one comedian uses humor as a strategy to discuss race with this PBS NewsHour video and educational materials from July 31, 2014. In an interview with Hari Sreenivasan, comedian Hari Kondabolu discusses how he uses humor to tackle the topics of racism and colonialism in his standup act.

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