Social Studies

Social Studies (X) - ELA (X) - Professional (X) - Elementary Social Studies (X)

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

50 States Part 2

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In this 3rd through 5th grade video, students combine psychomotor skills and geography as they travel from Montana to Wyoming. As students travel from state to state, they learn regional facts and state capitals. Students perform physical tasks highlighting regional activities unique to each state such as dancing like a Rockette in New York. 

50 States Part 1

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In this 3rd through 5th grade video, students travel virtually to 25 different states from Alabama to Missouri. While on their journey students explore geography, learn state capitals and interesting facts along the way. Movements are unique and incorporate highlights from each state such as surfing in California. This lesson incorporates social studies skills with psychomotor skills. 

Prankster Holiday | The Electric Company

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Learn about the vocabulary words hour, minute, year, inflate, and launch with The Electric Company in a holiday adventure. Other than Marcus, The Electric Company has left town for the 4th of July. Manny and Danny could not be happier - with everyone gone, they can pull the ultimate prank. They plan to launch a giant wordball balloon that reads, "The Electric Company doesn't like you." Marcus enlists his friend Emily and Paul the Gorilla to help him stop the pranksters and save The Electric Company's reputation.

Pourquoi Stories | Jakers!

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This video segment from Jakers features a storyteller who tells a Pourquoi story about a spider. Pourquoi is the French word for "why". Pourquoi stories try to explain in an entertaining way why something happens or why things are the way they are, especially in nature. This lively story is about Anansi the Spider, a popular character in African folklore. We hear an imaginary tale that tries to explain why the lowest part of a spider's body is so big. Could it really be because of the plan the greedy spider Anansi came up with to eat two feasts in one day?

Puppy Walker

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In this segment from Zoom into Action, Brett trains puppies to be seeing-eye dogs. He volunteers as a puppy walker for the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind. He is working with a puppy named Arty for one year. His job is to socialize Arty and teach him to follow commands. At the end of the year, Brett has to bring Arty back for more training so he will be ready to work with a person who has a visual imparity. Brett knows his work is for a very good cause. When it’s time to give up the puppy, he isn’t too disappointed.

Trackers

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This WILD TV segment introduces John Stokes, and some friends, who are a part of the Tracking Project in New Mexico. A tracker reads the prints on the ground made by an animal or person. Mr. Stokes teaches us how to be trackers in this clip. To be a tracker, you must move slowly, be very quiet, and stay downwind of whatever you are tracking. We also learn how to make a tracking stick, which can help get even more information.

Historic Relationships Between Dogs and Humans

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In this video segment from Nature, we learn that dogs were the first creatures to be domesticated. Ancient people thought of dogs as creatures of magic and as spiritual guardians. Dogs were often sacrificed and buried with people to protect them with their magical powers. In Mexico today, hairless Xolo (SHOW-low) dogs are believed to heal pain. Around the world dogs are useful to people for protection because of their bark, which acts as an alarm and can intimidate strangers. Barking dogs are a stronger deterrent for burglars than a burglar alarm.

The Sled Dogs of the Arctic Circle | Nature

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In this Nature video, we learn how the Inuits of the Arctic Circle rely on their dogs. Existing on a diet of snow and seal blubber (fat), these dogs pull the sleds of the Inuits and protect them from wild animals. Multiple dogs pull together to maintain the stability of the sled. Sled dogs sometimes run the equivalent of five marathons (5 x 26.2 miles = 131 miles) per day. They will be the first to fall through the ice if there is a crack, but they recover from the cold plunge quickly. The dogs have evolved to master the harsh environment.

Social and Historical Perspectives of Dogs

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In this video segment from Nature, learn about the evolution of dogs. More than 750 million people share their lives with dogs today. This video explores theories of how dogs became a domestic pet. One theory is ancient people tamed wild wolves. This theory is challenged by the idea that wolves evolved themselves into a different species. Biologist Raymond Coppinger believes human garbage heaps may have caused wolves to be drawn to feed on them. Competition among the wolves may have caused them to transform into "dogs,” that were not frightened of humans who came to the dumps.

A Garden Grows in Brooklyn

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In this Wild TV segment, a garden in Brooklyn brings a community together. Community gardens become “green spaces” in the city. The garden in this segment is a sanctuary in the neighborhood that offers peace in the midst of the city’s hustle and bustle. The garden offers people a place to share their lives with their neighbors. Many vacant lots have the potential to be developed into green spaces where neighbors can grow vegetables, relax with their neighbors and escape the fast pace of the city life for a little while.

Help students develop supporting ideas with the related lesson Developing Supporting Ideas - A Garden Grows in Brooklyn.

Shulayen

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This video clip from Jakers features a storyteller telling a Native American folktale. The storyteller uses music and movements as she shares a cultural story that was handed down from generation to generation. This story is about a sweet girl named Shulayen who is born with spots, or freckles, on her face. She grows to be a tender spirit, the storyteller tells us. When a young boy makes fun of Shulayen's spots, her grandmother helps her realize that she should not be ashamed of the spots. The spots make her special. We learn that we are all special in our own way, and we all have a special reason for being born.

Pearl Harbor Day (Grades K-5) | Wyoming Voices

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Students will learn about World War II and its impact on Wyoming as part of the Pearl Harbor Day observance.

Wyoming Day Grades K-5 | Wyoming Voices

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Students will learn about Wyoming's  territorial history in celebration of Wyoming Day.

Ben Hall of Sapelo Island

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This video segment from Egg: the arts show presents a glimpse of the last island-based Gullah/Geechee community located on Sapelo Island. The original Gullah/Geechee people were slaves. When slavery was abolished, the island was abandoned to the slaves. Ben Hall of the Sapelo Island Cultural and Revitalization Society speaks of his pride for the island and community. We learn the island is made up of some of the most valuable real estate in America, but its inhabitants have resisted the sort of development that has captured the other coastal islands off the shores of Georgia and South Carolina. For more about Sapelo Island, see "Ronald Johnson of Sapelo Island" and "Frankie Quimby of Sapelo Island."

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