Social Studies

ELA (X) - Social Studies (X) - Elementary (X) - High (X) - U.S. History (X)

MN Original | Librettist & Composer Dominick Argento

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Watch now: In 1962, the Walker Art Center commissioned Dominick Argento to compose an opera for Center Opera, now known as Minnesota Opera. More than 50 years later, Minnesota Opera continues to emphasize new works by contemporary librettists and composers, including a 2014 revision of Argento’s “The Dream of Valentino,” which premiered in 1993 at the Kennedy Center.

Among the many awards to his name, Argento has a Pulitzer Prize and a National Opera Association Lifetime Achievement Award. He is also Composer Laureate for the Minnesota Orchestra.

For more MN Original resources, click here.

Frankie Quimby of Sapelo Island | EGG: The Arts Show

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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 were slaves. When slavery was abolished, the lands on the island were abandoned to the slaves. Frankie Quimby of the Georgia Sea Island Singers speaks of her pride for the island community and the importance of preserving the Gullah/Geechee culture. She also tells how the songs of the slaves also served as escape songs. For more about Sapelo Island, see “Ben Hall of Sapelo Island” and “Ronald Johnson of Sapelo Island.”

Nebraska History Moments in Language Arts and Fine Arts

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Nebraska fun facts that are historical, arts related, science and literature based. This content falls under Nebraska State standards for Social Studies, Science, Fine Arts and Language Arts.

Spread the Word to End the Word Campaign | Move to Include

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Spread the Word to End the Word is an educational campaign to increase awareness for the need to respect and inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The initiative is supported by Special Olympics and Best Buddies and numerous other organizations. It promotes using people first accepting language in schools and in the community.

Visit the Move to Include collection for more resources. 

Historical Document Research | History Detectives

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History Detective Tukufu Zuberi investigates a letter which indicates that thirty years before John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln, Booth’s father threatened to kill another sitting president, Andrew Jackson. The letter to Jackson reads, “You damn’d old scoundrel… …I will cut your throat whilst you are sleeping.” It’s signed “Junius Brutus Booth.” The writer insists Jackson pardon two men who were sentenced to death. Why did the fate of these two men enrage such fury? Was the Booth letter a hoax? Or does assassination run in the Booth blood?

Animal Shelter Photographer

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In this video segment from WILD TV, meet Joyce Faye, an animal photographer. She visits animal shelters in the Albuquerque, New Mexico area to photograph the homeless animals awaiting adoption. There are 26,000 dogs picked up every year in Albuquerque. Faye volunteers her time and expertise taking photographs of the dogs and cats and displays them on her web site. She hopes that people will rescue an animal from the shelter and make it a pet. Faye encourages us to do what we can to make the world a better place. Even small gestures make a difference.

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."

Ronald Johnson 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. Ronald Johnson of the Sapelo Island Cultural and Revitalization Society speaks of his pride for the island community and the importance of preserving the Gullah/Geechee culture. A festival is held each year to bring people to the island to learn about the culture and foster interest in preserving the culture. For more about Sapelo Island, see "Ben Hall of Sapelo Island" and "Frankie Quimby of Sapelo Island".

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.

Historical Research | History Detectives

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By the middle of the 19th century, a vast new territory from New Mexico all the way to California beckoned settlers and homesteaders. But as their wagon trains rumbled west from Missouri, along major arteries such as the Santa Fe Trail, they cut through the heart of Indian country and came under frequent attack. More than a century and a half after these violent events, History Detectives takes a closer look at an old paper that shows President Millard Fillmore engaged in what appears to be an unusual act for the time - sparing the life of a Native American convicted of murder. In the paper the President commutes the death sentence to life in prison for a solitary Native American named See-See-Sah-Mah, convicted of murdering a St. Louis trader along the Santa Fe Trail. Fillmore’s pardon saved See-See-Sah-Mah’s life, but why?

Lived History: The Story of the Wind River Virtual Museum | Wyoming's Native Americans

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'Lived History' documents the making of the Wind River Virtual Museum, a high definition archive of Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho ancestral artifacts. From the time when Europeans first traveled in North America, they took collectors' interest in the arts, weaponry and attire of Native Americans. Sometimes they purchased artifacts, sometimes they stole them, and sometimes they killed for them. Over the years, pipes, war bonnets, cradle boards and parfleches accumulated in museums. The method of acquisition was often forgotten; exact historical documentation was often difficult. Many of the artifacts have perished or deteriorated over time. Many ancient artifacts remain in the vaults and display cases of museums far from their place of origin or the people who might best explain and appreciate them.

"Lived History" documents the creation of the 'Wind River Virtual Museum'—an archive of high definition images of ancestral artifacts created with guidance from Wind River tribal elders. Items like nineteenth century amulets, bags, drums, ceremonial headdresses and robes, everyday clothing, medicine related objects, hunting apparel, moccasins, and other meaningful objects were brought out of storage and displayed for the elders. Their commentary becomes part of the precarious and precious transmission of oral culture that the people of Wind River strive to honor and preserve, for future generations. 

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.

Symbolism in "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" | A Walk Through Harlem

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This segment from A Walk Through Harlem presents the poem, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” written by Langston Hughes in 1922.  Hughes traveled to New York City by the 1920s to become a part of an exciting arts and culture movement called the Harlem Renaissance.  He later became known as the "poet laureate of Harlem." Hughes was one of the first African American writers who wrote about the authentic experiences of his people reflecting their pain, suffering, humor, creativity, and joy. Hughes made substantial artistic contributions to the Harlem Renaissance and holds an important place in American literature.  

Quoting Abraham Lincoln

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This excerpt from the PBS series Looking for Lincoln, features clips of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Barack Obama quoting Lincoln's oratory-not always accurately-to lend his historical weight to their own speeches.

Black Hawk and Catlin: Native Americans Then and Now

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Explore issues connected to representation and point of view in depictions of 19th century Native Americans by George Catlin and Black Hawk in this video from Picturing America On Screen. Catlin’s paintings provide testimony not only to the country’s fascination with American Indians but also to the artist’s ambition to document disappearing frontier cultures. Black Hawk’s work provides invaluable visual testimony to the nation’s Native American heritage and reveals intriguing details of the Lakota people—from manner of dress to social customs. In doing so, he captures a way of life that was fast disappearing as settlers moved West in increasing numbers and tribes were moved to reservations.

Support material challenges students to define culture and asks them to consider how Native Americans see themselves today. While it may be valuable to look to history to help understand Native American culture, tribes are still very much alive today and have redefined themselves as a living culture. Students are asked to think about stereotypes held about Native Americans and to research and learn more about a Native American tribe today.

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