Social Studies

Social Studies (X) - ELA (X) - Middle (X) - U.S. History (X) - World History (X)

Striking a Balance Between New and Old in Havana

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Find out why the unique architecture of Havana may be threatened by new development with this video and educational resources from PBS NewsHour from June 16, 2015.

Edison: Boyhood and Teen Years

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Find out how young Thomas Edison’s curiosity got him into trouble, and how, during his teen years, he lost his hearing but gained confidence as an aspiring inventor, in this video adapted from AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: Edison. As portrayed through reenactments, we learn that Edison, who had just three months of formal schooling, grew up reading and conducting chemistry experiments. His job as a newsboy on a train inspired his fascination with the telegraph. After teaching himself Morse Code so he could send and receive messages, Edison took a job as a telegraph operator at the age of 15. Through his work, and despite premature hearing loss, he developed an understanding of how the telegraph system operated and how he might improve it. He began to think of himself as an inventor. This resource is part of the Thomas Edison Collection.

Click on the links below to download a customizable Student Handout, Student Reading and transcript for this resource.

Student Handout | Student Reading | Transcript

How Will Robots Affect Your Career Options?

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Find out how artificial intelligence could impact the future workforce with this video and educational resources from PBS NewsHour from May 20, 2015.

West Virginia | Three Rivers: The Bluestone, Gauley and New

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3 Rivers: the Bluestone, Gauley, and New documents the economic, social, and political impact of the rivers on Southern and Central West Virginia.  Included in Teachers Resources is a cross-curricular unit which addresses the West Virginia Content Standards and Objectives for 8th grade West Virginia Studies.  The video is divided into 4 chapters: Introduction, Bluestone, Gauley, and New.  Curriculum is available under the Resource tab by the content area.

Family History | History Detectives

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Family stories are a rich window on the past. They can paint pictures of an important period in history through the experience, perspective, and memories of people who lived during that time. These lesson plans and videos, based on artifacts and family heirlooms featured in History Detectives episodes, offer students opportunities to dig deeper into their own family history. Through activities that emphasize genealogical research and oral history interviews, students can begin to discover and access new information about themselves—as well as acquire the skills required to become history detectives in their own right.

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.

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.

Is Minecraft the Ultimate Educational Tool? | PBS Idea Channel

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Video games, like Minecraft, may be good for more than just fun. Some experts have brought Minecraft into the classroom, allowing teachers to customize lessons and students to engage with concepts in new ways. Minecraft has some unique advantages that could usher in a new direction in education. In the future, students across the world may spend their class time punching trees.

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)

Discovery of Catholic Artifact Raises Questions at Jamestown Settlement

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See what archaeologists uncovered at the historic Jamestown settlement with this video and educational resources from PBS NewsHour from July 29, 2015. 

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.

Why We Still Need Freedom Schools, 50 Years Later

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Update your students on the work that Freedom Schools are doing with this video and resource materials from PBS NewsHour.

Traces of the Trade: The History and Legacy of U.S. Slavery

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This lesson plan is designed to be used with the film, Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North, which shows one family's journey to come to terms with its roots as the largest slave-trading family in the history of the United States. Classrooms can use this lesson to explore the history and legacy of U.S. slavery and whether or not reparations should be made to the descendants of slaves.

New Muslim Cool: Interpreting Diverse Images of Muslim Life in the United States

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Help increase students' understanding of Muslim culture in the United States with this lesson plan, which incorporates clips from the POV film New Muslim Cool.

Will Fallout of 'Spying on Friends' Allegations Help Change U.S. Surveillance?

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This Daily News Story from PBS NewsHour Extra was created on October 25, 2013.

At a European Union summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel characterized the reported American monitoring of her cellphone as a "severe breach of trust."

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