Elementary Social Studies

Native Voices | Social Issues

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The Narragansett have lived on the same land since time immemorial. Today, they continue to face the ongoing social issues that are a result of historical trauma.

Native America | Episode 1: From Caves to Cosmos

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Native America: From Caves to Cosmos traces ancient knowledge and cutting-edge science to answer a 15,000 year-old-question — Who were America’s First People? The answer hides in Amazonian cave paintings, Mexican burial chambers, and on the waves off California’s coast. New evidence indicates that the very First Americans spent millennia developing their unique culture and beliefs as a single community, before spreading rapidly across North and South America. Together, they set Native America in motion, continents apart and untouched by influence from Europe, Asia and Africa.

A Gift of Corn to the Choctaw | Native America

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Choctaw traditions link their mounds with their ancestors, corn, and the sky. The story defining these connections describes a moment long ago during which two hunters came upon a mysterious woman standing on a mound. She was hungry, so they offered her a hawk, and she promised to repay the kindness as she disappeared into the sky. When the hunters returned to the mound later, corn had grown in her place. And so the Choctaw regard this unknown woman as the reason they have corn. 

What is Liberty? | Ken Burns: The Statue of Liberty

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David McCullough, James Baldwin, Jerzy Kosiński, Carolyn Forché, Barbara Jordan, and Milos Forman discuss liberty. The statue is a symbol of who has gone before us to achieve liberty. Liberty is the absence of constraints and barriers. It is freedom to be one's self.

Activity Starter | Native American Boarding Schools

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Learn about Native American boarding schools and complete an interesting activity. This video is part of Activity Starters, which is an animated video series. In each episode an animated character introduces a concept and an activity. 

Visit the Activity Starters website to learn more!

City of Gold: The Story of South Pass City | Wyoming Gold Rush

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Learn about the Wyoming gold rush that occurred in South Pass City, and explore the varied perspectives of the people who experienced the gold rush in the 1840’s-1860’s.

In the accompanying lesson plan (found in the Support Materials), students will watch a video that introduces the gold rush and the people who were impacted by it, and then hold a discussion to understand the multiple perspectives. Then, the students take part in a creative writing activity in which they create a piece of text from one of the perspectives.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES: 

  • Students will develop grade level appropriate speaking and listening skills, as described by the standards.
  • Students will learn how to write a fictional narrative based on nonfiction resources, following a set of parameters.
  • Students will understand the motivations and perspectives of various people during the Wyoming gold rush.

Know Ohio | Wacky Laws and Why Don't They Change?

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Laws are meant to protect and keep people safe. Over time, they become outdated and go unchanged because lawmakers don't find it worth the effort to update them. Consequently, old laws seem quite funny in today's society. Learn about some Ohio examples which include topics such as parading a duck and walking a cow down the street!

Forgotten Neighbors: Idaho's Chinese Immigrants | Idaho Experience

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Chinese immigrants came to Idaho in the tens of thousands. They helped build its infrastructure. Then almost all of them returned home, leaving little more than traces. Join Idaho Experience as we piece together those fragments to tell the story of these anonymous Chinese immigrant workers.  

Please refer to the accompanying Facilitator Guide (found in the Support Materials section) for the Idaho Content Standards associated with this resource.

Ben, an Enslaved Miller | In Their Own Words

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Ben, an enslaved miller at Mount Vernon, discusses freedom. Thinking aloud, he considers what his life might be like if he runs away from Mount Vernon and gains his freedom as compared to his current life as George Washington's miller. Special thanks to George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate, Museum & Gardens.

Native Voices | Tomaquag Museum

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Founded in 1958, the Tomaquag Museum is Rhode Island’s only indigenous museum. In this video, see the rich cultural heritage, stories, and artifacts that are preserved for current and future generations to enjoy and understand.

Learn more at the Tomaquag Museum website.

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