Social Studies

Social Studies (X) - Professional (X) - Elementary Social Studies (X) - Economics (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 | In Mid-continent and “The Holy Dog”

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Discover how transportation has affected every step of North Dakota history. North Dakota’s position in the center of North America has always made transportation a challenge with even the earliest peoples seeking ways to cover large distances of land. The arrival of horses to the Northern Plains had a radical effect on the Native American culture and way of life.

The History of the Bobcat

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Learn about how the Keller brothers from Minnesota invented the first Bobcat loader, and built it using scrap metal.

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | Road Improvement

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Learn how by the 1910s, state government began making an effort to improve roads by financially aiding counties, and the federal government began assisting with funding. The economic hardships of the 1930s meant less funds, but the state authorized the state patrol and began issuing drivers' licenses.

Rivers, Roads, Rails, and Air | Barnstorming

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Learn about early airplanes, and how they were a novelty and flying a source of entertainment for bystanders, but quickly became essential in the transportation of passengers and goods.

What Is Personal Information?

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Personal information identifies who we are, where we live, and how family, friends and others can find us to talk to us or come over and visit us. Personal information can help us communicate with others, but we have to be careful with that information when on the computer.

Blossom and Snappy Go to the Post Office | Count On It!

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Blossom and Snappy help Digit mail a surprise package to Robbie. They visit the post office and postal processing plant to see how it all works.

Shipping on the Great Lakes: Benefits and Consequences of Exporting Goods

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Learn how Lake Michigan is used for the shipping and exporting of goods. Lake Michigan is 118 miles at its widest point, 301 miles long and is the third largest Great Lake by surface area. Today Lake Michigan continues to be a major shipping route to and from the Midwest for freighters. 

The town of Singapore, founded in the 1830’s, was one of the first establishments on the Michigan side of Lake Michigan. This town started as an entrepreneurial town to rival Chicago or Milwaukee as a lake port. It quickly became known as a busy lumbering and timbering town.

White pine lumber was in great demand all over the Midwest until October of 1871. A couple of days after the Great Chicago Fire, a big forest fire burned the western side of Michigan near Singapore and depleted the timber supply. Singapore went bankrupt because of the weakened timber supply and became a ghost town.

With Singapore becoming a ghost town and no longer a Lake Michigan shipping port, timber and leather had to find a way to be shipped to Chicago and the Midwest. The town of Saugatuck became the nearest port on the Michigan side of Lake Michigan to ship goods across Lake Michigan to Chicago and the Midwest. 

With the decline of the timber industry, due to the forest fire, fruit farming was gaining popularity. Boats were needed to ship fresh fruit and leather across Lake Michigan.

With Lake Michigan becoming a major shipping route, this led to a decline in the fishing industry. 

The opening of the Welland Canal connecting the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean, via the St. Lawrence Seaway, had positive and negative effects on the ecosystems of Lake Michigan. 

Great States | North Dakota Economy

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From bison and fur trading in its early days to the growth of railroads, agriculture, energy, and tourism, North Dakota’s economy has continued to evolve and change with the times.

Great States | Iowa Economy

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Iowa’s natural resources gave rise to its early industries like lumber and coal mining. Discover how the real key to Iowa’s growth as a modern economy was transportation. Stagecoaches, freight wagons, steamboats, and trains were crucial to Iowa’s commercial development. 

Port Canaveral | Central Florida Roadtrip

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In addition to the space industry at Cape Canaveral, is the now growing cruise and cargo industry at Port Canaveral. To many it may seem like the Port has only been around for a few years, but in fact it is now over 60 years old.

Great States | Idaho Economy

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Trace the history of Idaho’s economy in this video. Starting back with the American Indians’ ways of trading, the industries of Idaho have continued to evolve and change with the times.

Great States | Oregon Economy

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Learn about the many different economies of Oregon, from the earliest hunter-gatherers to the industries of today. Find out how fur trading defined the early Euro-American economy in Oregon, while in the late 19th century, agriculture and forestry took center stage. Then, see what Oregon’s economy looks like today.

Great States | Montana Economy

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European fur-trappers, and later silver and gold prospectors, disrupted the lives of Montana’s Cheyenne, Crow, and Blackfeet Indian Nations. Learn how Montana’s economy has evolved since those early times to include timber, banking, high-tech industry, and tourism.