Social Studies

ELA (X) - Social Studies (X) - WNET (X)

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.”

Chalk Sculpture | Art in the 21st Century: Paradox

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Artists Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla often begin a project by asking the question, "What are the meanings connoted by the use of certain materials?" For them, chalk is both an “ideological tool,” as something used in a classroom, and a geological substance found in the earth. Because of the nature of chalk, the artists decided to create a chalk sculpture in a public square. In this video segment from Art in the 21st Century: Paradox, see what happened when people in Peru were given the opportunity to write or create images with giant pieces of chalk in a public place and how this event addressed the topic of freedom of speech.

Maya Lin

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In this video segment from New York Voices, renowned architect Maya Lin talks about her work and identity as an American of Chinese descent. Lin has made valuable contributions to American architecture, one of the most popular and perhaps most controversial being the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Some protested her appointment as architect of the memorial because of her Asian heritage. Lin's parents immigrated to America from China to escape communism, but Maya Lin was born in Ohio. In this segment, Lin talks about a museum she is designing and how it will represent a timeline of the Chinese American experience. The museum aims to break down stereotypes of Chinese people and show their legacy of contributions as Americans.

The Gilded Age: Architecture for the Elite | Treasures of New York: "Stanford White"

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This series of videos from Treasures of New York: Stanford White presents the Gilded Age, an era of great wealth and remarkable architecture. Through video, discussion questions, and classroom activities, students explore how architecture, literature, and art reflect the issues and concerns of the time period, and how the era still resonates today.

What Does He Have to Say to Us Today?

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In this video segment from the documentary American Masters: Bill T. Jones: A Good Man, Bill T. Jones and his Associate Artistic Director, Janet Wong, turn to primary texts to learn more about Abraham Lincoln. In an effort to make Lincoln relevant in the performance piece, Jones and Wong begin their research but along the way discover surprising attitudes, ideas and statements reflective of the controversies that exist around Lincoln today.

A Community of People Now | American Masters: Bill T. Jones: A Good Man

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In this segment from the documentary American Masters: Bill T. Jones: A Good Man, the creative process continues for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in the creation of a dance-theater piece about Abraham Lincoln. Bill T. Jones notes the current trend of artists creating work independent of the restrictions of previous generations. In an effort to advance the performance while mirroring the trend, Jones decides to take away some of the focus from the Lincoln family story to include the personal stories of dancers within the company.

Introduction to the Smoking Section

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New York Voices looks at the battle over fresh air in bars and restaurants. For reasons concerning public health, states all over the country are beginning to ban smoking in public places. For example, in 2003, New York State became the third state to stamp out cigarette smoking in virtually all businesses. Legislation ended smoking in certain restaurants, bars and other public places. Smokers describe when they began to smoke and why, how they feel about smoking and how they are viewed as smokers by others. Learn more about the controversy regarding banning smoking in The Smoking Section, another video in this series.

The Smoking Section

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States across the United States are beginning to ban smoking in public places to protect people from the hazards of second-hand smoke. This video segment from New York Voices looks at the battle over fresh air in bars and restaurants. Multiple perspectives are presented. Smokers debate it should be their choice to smoke or not smoke. Some resent being told they cannot smoke. On the other hand, nonsmokers are bothered by the smoke and risk the dangers of inhaling second-hand smoke.

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.

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.

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.

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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