Elementary Social Studies

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 Over time, they become outdated and go unchanged because lawmakers don't find it worth the effort to update them.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.

The Hopi Origin Story | Native America

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Many Native American peoples share a belief that they emerged from the Earth. The Hopi, the westernmost group of Pueblo Indians, is one of these peoples. The Hopi origin story has it that Hopis used to live beneath the earth. When it came time to emerge into the world, that Hopi met Maasaw, Caretaker and Creator of the Earth, and promised him they would help take care of the world as a trade-off for staying. The sacred story of Hopi origins includes a covenant that Hopi peoples will be stewards of the earth. After making this promise, Pueblo Indians began a sacred quest, under Maasaw’s order, to find "center spaces" and settle, and populations marked their settlements with spiral insignia as they found them. 

Daniel Goff: Revolutionary Soldier

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Daniel Goff was among the free African Americans who fought in the Revolutionary War. Goff served under George Washington at Valley Forge and fought in the Battle of Monmouth. After the war, Goff lived in Boone County, Kentucky, and worked on a local farm. Goff died in 1843, and a marker was placed to honor him in 2018.

Caustic Causes Lesson Plan

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In this lesson, to be used with the program The War of 1812, students will work in groups to study one of these causes of the war: impressment, the Chesapeake Affair, orders-in-council, First Nations, and the War Hawks. Students will then determine whether or not their one cause is enough to go to war over. Students will examine all costs that are involved in war - financial and human.

Learning Objective(s):

  • Students will work in groups to study one of these causes of the war: impressment, the Chesapeake Affair, orders-in-council, First Nations, and the War Hawks.
  • Students will identify reasons to go to war or not, and create a presentation to present to their classmates.

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