Social Studies

Computer Science (X) - ELA (X) - Social Studies (X)

Primo Cubetto Playset

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Cubetto is the friendly wooden robot that will teach your child the basics of computer programming through adventure and hands-on play. Montessori-approved, LOGO Turtle inspired.

Breakout Edu Kit

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The Breakout EDU kit includes everything you need to play over 350 games created for the classroom environment. The kit includes access to the new BreakoutEdu Platform to be used while using the kit.

Grade Level: 
Primary
Elementary
Middle
High
Professional
Content Area: 
ELA
Math
Social Studies
Science
Fine Arts
Health/Phys. Ed.
LOTE
Computer Science
Special Education
Family/Consumer Science
Business/Technology
ELL
Library
Other
Play Time: 
30 min.
Breakout Edu Kit

Up the Yangtze

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Nearing completion, China's massive Three Gorges Dam is altering the landscape and the lives of people living along the fabled Yangtze River. Countless ancient villages and historic locales will be submerged, and 2 million people will lose their homes and livelihoods. The Yu family desperately seeks a reprieve by sending their 16-year-old daughter to work in the cruise ship industry that has sprung up to give tourists a last glimpse of the legendary river valley. With cinematic sweep, Up the Yangtze explores lives transformed by the biggest hydroelectric dam in history, a hotly contested symbol of the Chinese economic miracle.

Are Videogames About Their Mechanics? | PBS Idea Channel

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As we play video games over and over again, we spend a lot of time getting pretty good at the mechanics and gameplay - but at what expense? Each shot fired and potion consumed engrosses us more and more, but does that engrossing nature work against the story, the narrative, and maybe the bigger picture of what the game is (supposedly) about? Do we care more about what we do, instead of what happens? And should the interaction be more important than the message? Watch the episode and tell us what you think!

Why Were People & Critics So Infatuated With Frozen? | PBS Idea Channel

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There isn't much to say about Frozen that hasn't already been said, so we're going to talk about the fact that so much has been said about Frozen. People love analyzing and critiquing this movie. It has inspired dozens of think-pieces, covering everything from its portrayal of gender roles, to cultural appropriation, to the definition of true love. Frozen, and its complexity, has touched something in viewers. Could it be its morphing of traditional fairy tale tropes?

Did HIMYM Earn Its Ending? | PBS Idea Channel

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Are you a fan of How I Met Your Mother? Beware for spoilers! This show is a popular sitcom that has been running for nine years, teasing its audience the whole way with the riddle of the identity of "The Mother." But, with its recent finale and the mystery resolved, the reaction was mixed. Did Ted end up with who he was meant to all along? Or, did the creators pull a fast one and produce an ending that was unearned? With TV audiences notoriously fickle, TV producers must consider a responsibility to the fans and balance that with making the show they want. Was the ending of HIMYM ultimately a success or failure? Watch the episode to find out, and tell us what you think!

What is Fiction? (ft. War of the Worlds) | PBS Idea Channel

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What is fiction? That's the question that popped into our minds when thinking about Orson Welles' radio War of the Worlds performance, which set off a public panic of listeners who thought NJ was truly being attacked by aliens. Those aliens didn't really exist, since it was all pretend. But, on the other hand, they did (and do) exist in a way. They can be described, referenced, and can have as much veracity to people as physical objects. And the worlds created in fiction can contain real things - cars, people, New Jersey. Can something both exist and not exist? 

Does It Matter What Evangelion's Creator Says? | PBS Idea Channel

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Neon Genesis Evangelion may be the ultimate anime. More than just Mecha, NGE is dark and emotional, taking on serious topics such as depression, free will and a host of other intense material. But, creator, Hideaki Anno says that we're all reading way too much into it. Are his words the final say on this piece of media? Or, are the author's ideas of his own work equal to the interpretations of anyone else?! 

How Mighty is Taylor Swift's Pen? | PBS Idea Channel

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Join us for a discussion about Taylor Swift. The mega-popstar seems to be at the top of the music industry lately, with her killer new album 1989, her decreeing of Spotify's deficiency, and her general awesomeness and authenticity. Connected to that authenticity, much has been noted about Swift writing her own music. Could her power of the pen be the very source of her industrial power? 

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

NOVA: Percy Julian: Forgotten Genius | Getting an Education

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Learn about the education of chemist Percy Julian. Julian's early educational years paralleled an educational movement that prepared African Americans for industrial jobs, the growing white supremacist movement, and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan. Julian would eventually move north, and finally to Europe to earn his Ph.D. Explore more about this topic, from the NOVA program Percy Julian: Forgotten Genius.

This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.

Preserving the Forest of the Sea

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The University Herbarium at the University of California - Berkeley boasts one of the largest and oldest collections of seaweed in the United States, dating back to the time of the U.S. Civil War. Kathy Ann Miller, a curator at the herbarium, leads a massive project to digitize nearly 80,000 specimens of seaweed collected from the west coast of North America. When the project is finished, researchers from around the world will be able to go online and see the digital photographs along with collection information and a map of where the seaweeds were originally collected. 

Consumers Speak Up on Net Neutrality

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Discover how the net neutrality debate could affect consumers with this video and educational materials from PBS NewsHour from September 15, 2014.

Scientists Develop Ebola-fighting Robots

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Dive into the technology scientists are developing to fight viruses with this video and educational resources from PBS NewsHour from March 26, 2015.

What Can We Learn from Cuba’s Organic Farms?

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See why Cuba's organic agriculture sets an example for the rest of the world with this video and educational resources from PBS NewsHour from June 19, 2015.

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