Social Studies

Social Studies (X) - Health/Phys. Ed. (X) - High (X) - U.S. History (X)

A Place in the Middle

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Learn about the native Hawaiian approach to gender diversity, the power of cultural heritage, and the true meaning of aloha – love, honor and respect for all – in this short film about an eleven year-old girl who dreams of leading the all-male hula troupe at her school in Honolulu. She's fortunate that her teacher understands the traditional Hawaiian embrace of māhū - those who are “in the middle” between male and female. Together they set out to prove that what matters most is what's inside a person's heart and mind. For further background and materials to support student understanding of the issue see the Classroom Discussion Guide.

No Bigger Than a Minute

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For forty years, four-foot-tall filmmaker Steven Delano has lived his life as a reluctant celebrity, disavowing his dwarf deviance and avoiding both the benefits and potential traumas of real self-discovery. In making this film Steven uses his license-of-stature and a healthy dose of irreverent humor to show first-hand how a genetic mutation marks a person for life. This resource group includes three clips associated with the film, as well as a related activity.

Is Piracy Helping Game of Thrones? | PBS Idea Channel

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If you're like us, you love watching Game of Thrones, but you may not have cable. In this case, how are we watching this amazing show on HBO, which is stuck behind a pay wall? A huge number of viewers are downloading the show illegally. But, despite being the most pirated show of 2012, the Game of Thrones DVDs are top sellers, breaking HBO's own sales records! Could it be that piracy is actually helping the show? 

'Theater of War' Brings Hope to Wounded Soldiers

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A new concept that uses acting and the theater to help unlock the inner grief and suffering that many soldiers bring back from war zones is catching on.

How Does Steven Universe Expand Our Ideas of Family? | PBS Idea Channel

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We love Steven Universe, but what makes it so great? Is it more than just a story of mismatched characters trying to save the world? Could Steven Universe really be about family and how it's impossible to define it universally? What else, or who else, can we call family? Are fandoms family? Can things be family? 

How Is Technology Changing TV Narrative? | PBS Idea Channel

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Watching our favorite TV shows is one of the most fundamental ways we entertain ourselves. For most of TV history, these stories were simple and episodic: you could watch one episode when it aired, and it was a self-contained story. However, now that we have the ability to find the whole back- catalogue of a show online, is it changing the way TV show are created? Not only can people catch up without waiting for a DVD release, but entire seasons are also released and consumed in a single weekend. How might that be changing the types of stories we're being told?

Are the Titans from Attack on Titan Evil? | PBS Idea Channel

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The titans, from the anime series "Attack on Titan," are most definitely the bad guys. But can we call them evil? If you're unfamiliar, the titans are huge beings that devour humans, but their motivation is a little unclear. Is it just hunger? Do they hate humans? Are they just dumb? And with all this doubt, what's the use in the label of evil anyway? Nietzsche, Kant, and Jung all weigh in, but you should probably watch the episode and find out! Tell us what you think!

Is YouTube Making Us Smarter? | PBS Idea Channel

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Did you know there's a place where you can learn just about anything you'd like? It's true! It's called YouTube! Sure, YouTube has hundreds of thousands of hours of deliciously time-wasting content, but it's much more than just a black hole of pet videos and funny clips. If you know where to go, YouTube has some of the best educational content on the planet! Although watching Kahn Academy all day might be a bit dry, the creativity of YouTube creators has allowed "education" to be transformed in a variety of amazing and engaging ways. YouTube probably won't replace schools anytime soon, but it's a pretty awesome alternative. 

As Long as I Remember: American Veteranos | PTSD and Art as Therapy: Media Gallery

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AS LONG AS I REMEMBER: AMERICAN VETERANOS examines the steep personal toll and enduring legacy of the Vietnam War on three artists from south Texas: visual artist Juan Farias, author Michael Rodriguez and actor/poet Eduardo Garza. Through the personal histories and experiences of these Chicano veterans, the film reveals the important role art plays in sorting their memories, celebrating their culture, and treating the long-term impact of their military experience including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Through these film clips and lesson plan, students will understand what PTSD is and about its prevalence in the general population, especially among combat veterans. They will also discuss how the specific social and political experiences of Latino veterans interviewed in AS LONG AS I REMEMBER: AMERICAN VETERANOS contributed to their experience of PTSD, and the benefit of art-based therapy in Vietnam Veterans' lives and the lives of veterans of modern warfare.

AS LONG AS I REMEMBER: PTSD AND ART THERAPY EDUCATOR GUIDE AND LESSON PLAN

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.

Will Allen, Urban Farmer | MacArthur Fellows Program

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In this interview, 2008 MacArthur Fellow Will Allen explains why future generations of farmers will be found in our ever-expanding cities. Allen is an urban farmer who is transforming the cultivation and delivery of healthy foods to underserved, urban populations. Growing Power, which Allen co-founded and directs, offers internships and workshops that engage youth in producing healthy foods for their communities. The organization also provides intensive, hands-on training to those who are interested in establishing similar farming initiatives. This resource is part of the MacArthur Fellows Program Collection.

Are You A Hipster? | PBS Idea Channel

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Hipsters aren't the most likeable people, right? They seem so smug and arrogant, with their ray bans, scarves, and ironic t-shirts. Even those who clearly are hipsters still recoil at the label. Embracing irony over earnestness, the key to hipsters is not just what they enjoy, but how they enjoy it. Borrowing from other subcultures, hipsters reappropriate these fashion elements as their own. But don't we all do that? Our own fashion came from somewhere and certainly has been refined. Do we all have a little bit of hipster blood in us? Watch the episode and tell us what you think!

The Experience of Being Trolled | PBS Idea Channel

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In a very special episode, Mike rethinks his approach to hosting. Most of you have heard the phrase "Don't Feed the Trolls," but do trolls actually serve a purpose? Found in every place people converse online, their combative rhetoric can be annoying, even harmful. Can a valid argument be made for the value of trolls? 

Why Are You Ignoring My iMessages?? | PBS Idea Channel

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Why are you ignoring my messages? Are read receipts amazing or infuriating? When you check iMessage on your iPhone, iWatch, iMac, or iPad and see a little note that says your friend saw your message, but they aren't responding, don't you wonder why they're ignoring your texts? 

Why Makeup Isn't Superficial | PBS Idea Channel

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When someone puts on makeup, there is no easy way to know why they've done it or why they made the decisions they did about their makeup. Answers to those questions might not even be clear to the makeup-wearers themselves! After a very long history of putting stuff on our bodies to accentuate our features, cosmetics - both the products and the idea of them - have taken on a good amount of baggage. So, its tough to know... Is it for the person wearing it? Is it for the people who are going to see the person wearing it? Is it for one by way of the other? This episode of Idea Channel approaches some of these questions, inspired by beauty and makeup tutorials found on YouTube and the tradition of person-to-person sharing of makeup knowledge. 

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