PBS Learning Media has put together an impressive resource list to help teachers cover this moment in American history. In this collection educators will find:
33 video clips
7 support documents
3 audio clips
2 media galleries
5 lesson plans covering grades 4-12
The entire collection (as well as individual segments) come with a share button that includes a shortcut to easily post them directly to Google Classroom. Each video and audio segment comes with support materials and a list of the National History Standards that are connected to them.
Provided thanks to the non-profit group Internet Archive, the Television Archive contains over 909,000 video clips from news agencies in the United States and Great Britain. Search the database based on keyword and/or filter your results by number of views, title, date archived, or creator. Use the topic cloud down the right-side of the page to look up video clips from specific news agencies such as the BBC News, Mad Money, Frontline, Teen Kids News and more.
Once you make a selection, a film strip-like interface will load breaking down the video clip into 1-minute segments. Each segment will start out playing in a smaller window but can be expanded to play full screen. Many of the video clips also support closed captioning. Video segments can be shared via social media or embedded onto your website.
Videos are organized into topic categories including Business, Technology, Food, and more. The site also has videos organized by user-submitted topics such as Game Design, How It’s Made, Nature, and Spanish. Each video comes with tools to share on social media or get a direct link to the video. Sign-up is free but not required to use the site, although an account does allow you to star favorite videos for later.
Use these videos to spark class discussions or as writing prompts to open students to new possibilities.
If you don’t follow Richard Byrne’s blog Free Technology for Teachers then I strongly recommend you do so. In a recent post, Richard shared his discovery of episodes of Mathnet and Mathman, popular segments from the PBS television show Square One. For those who don’t know:
Mathnet is a spoof of Dragnet with the obvious theme of mathematics. Students follow “math” officers Kate Monday and George Frankly as they help unravel math mysteries involving numbers, patterns, geometry, algebra and more.
Mathman is a spoof of the popular game Pac-Man. Mathman must search out numbers according to the rule of the day (e.g. prime numbers, multiples of 5+2, shapes that are pentagons). If Mathman gets one wrong, the deplorable Mr. Glitch gets to eat him.
Below are sample videos from each show segment. I will also include links to a YouTube playlist of each show so that you can browse for episodes that could go with your lessons. And for more information, please check out Richard’s blog post on this topic at Free Technology for Teachers.
PBS Learning Media is an online platform created to help teachers “re-imagine classroom learning” and integrate rich multimedia into lessons and activities. Currently there are over 14,000 resources available and can be filtered by grade level (Pre-K to 12+), subject (8), media type (document, audio, video, etc.), language (5) and accessibility (text, audio description, display transformation, etc). Create a free account on the site to save/share content. Access to the complete multimedia database requires a school subscription.
Below is an interview with PBS president Paula Kerger who talks about PBS Learning Media (2:02):
In an effort to try to building on our understanding of how our brains work, scientists have turned to a group who has made a profession out of knowing how the brain perceives in order to deceive it: magicians. Watch as some well-known magicians share some (not all) of their secrets in order to try and understand how the brain processes visual information.
I found this video utterly fascinating and thought that teachers could use this, at the very least, to spark a class discussion about the brain and what we see (or don’t see). Science teachers could use this to talk about the importance of accurate observations of experiments and why lab partners don’t always observe the same things.
On this, the shortest day of the year, I point you to the NOVA episode Absolute Zero from PBS online. Watch as scientists trace the history of the study of “cold” from the invention of the thermometer to scientists making artificial cold to harnessing cold to allow us to survive in today’s cities in the middle of summer. You can watch the streaming video in its entirety (1:41:18 total length) or select one of the 10 chapter segments the episode is broken into.
Take a moment to look at the additional resources found beneath the video player window. Find resources on Absolute Zero, Temperature Scales, Milestones in Cold Research and a Matter of Degrees.
Snag Learning – Documentary films as educational tools (Gr. K-12)
An educational division of Snag Films, Snag Learning offers free access to documentary videos on a variety of topics. Snag has collected videos from such sources as National Geographic, PBS, Sundance and more. You can browse their archive of over 275 films by subject, grade level (kindergarten up to and including college level) and channel.
When you make a video selection, scroll down below the video to find a list of guiding questions that Snag Learning provides with all of its videos. Use these questions to ignite group discussions and/or to assess comprehension.
Because Snag Learning videos can be accessed over the web for free, students who are absent could access the videos from home.
NOTE: Keep in mind the reliability of your school network to stream these videos, especially when it comes to the longer films.
Cyberchase is a show about a group of tech-savvy kids who love to use technology to learn about the world around them. A key component of this group, known as the “CyberSquad,” is their ethical use of technology and the Internet to explore the information superhighway in a safe and secure way.
At pbskids.org/cyberchase, find a wealth of interactive games, adventures, and challenge quests for students to engage in.
The Parent/Teacher section contains materials to help maximize your use of the sites’ materials by way of a site tour, lessons and activities, a search-the-site tool, and upcoming Cyberchase news.
If you have difficulty accessing actual episodes of the show from the PBSkids website, you can find several episodes on their YouTube page. Go to YouTube.com and search PBS kids Cyberchase.
Scientists at the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences in Honduras, along with Cedana the dolphin, are working on a skill that we humans consider a sign of intelligence: reading. While Cedana attempts to “read” various symbols that instruct her to perform specific tasks, she must also keep a motherly eye on her daughter, Pigeon.
Create a story using only pictures with Keynote and/or iMovie.
Compare and contrast different types of reading. Using GarageBand, team up with a partner and record a radio broadcast where you debate the different types of reading.
Create a How-To guide for successfully performing a task, like reading, when there are distractions present.