U.S. History

Strange Fruit: A Song Born of Protest

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This video segment explores how the song Strange Fruit became one of the best known and most enduring songs of protest. In 1939, the legendary blues singer Billie Holiday performed the song as a daring criticism of the commonplace practice of the lynching of African-Americans. Civil rights groups such as the NAACP had made countless appeals, but it was Holiday’s haunting rendition that made it impossible for white Americans and lawmakers to ignore the widespread crime.

Hajj: Part II | Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

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Over two million Muslims from around the world travel to Mecca each year for the Islamic pilgrimage known as Hajj. How does this experience change their lives? This video from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly follows American Muslim Abdul Alim Mubarak as he experiences Hajj for the first time.

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!

Rhode Island State Parks | Colt State Park

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Colt State Park is located in Bristol, Rhode Island. The public was granted access to this land by its owner long before the state acquired the park in 1965. Each state park has its own unique history and identity. Use this video and related support materials to help Kindergarten-Grade 2 students connect the past to the present and consider their own experiences with state parks.

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.

What's in a Name

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Based on the WyomingPBS program What’s in a Name, students will view episodes of  the program to learn about how Wyoming towns got their names. In the introductory video Phil Roberts from the University of Wyoming introduces the PBS series entitled “Main Street Wyoming: What’s in a Name”. This introductory clip discusses how early explorers first named the rivers, streams, and mountain ranges and passes of Wyoming. Students will then work as a group to create a fictitious Wyoming town.

 

Know Ohio | Blind History

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Ohio has been a leader in educating the blind since 1837 when it established the first public school for the blind. Today, it is called The Ohio State School for the Blind, and there are other specialized schools around the state preparing the visually impaired for productive lives.

Know Ohio | Great Lakes Plains

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The Great Lakes Plains is one of four major land regions in Ohio. Located on the shores of Lake Erie, it is home to Ohio’s largest ports in Cleveland and Toledo which draw international shipping and trading. Conversely, the flat land created by glaciers in the Ice Age provides for outstanding agriculture.

Hamilton Disston - Kissimmee | Central Florida Roadtrip

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After the Civil War, Hamilton Disston contracted with the financially wobbly state of Florida to dredge the Kissimmee River and drain its southern lands, for which he would own half of all the land that he successfully drained. This deal made Disston the largest single landowner in the United States.

Know Ohio | Johnny Appleseed

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Johnny Appleseed is an Ohio legend. In the 1770s, he traveled from Massachusetts to the Midwest planting apple and peach trees in exchange for 100 acre tracts of land in the American frontier. Historic markers around Ohio tell the tale of his travels and adventures.

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