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Week of June 29-July 3 Learning Materials

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We know it isn't easy keeping an at-home routine of educational lessons and activities and we are here to help!

Each weekday from 12pm-6pm on WMHT WORLD, watch a robust suite of PBS programs with your family - right at home. After viewing programs, ranging from NOVA to American Masters, you can utilize the supplemental PBS LearningMedia materials below. Learn about Africa's Great Civilizations with Henry Louis Gates Jr. the Reconstruction period, African natural history, and more.

Click here for the June 29-July 3 Home Classroom Schedule [PDF]

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WMHT Reflection Questions for Parents, Families, Educators and Students [PDF]


Natural Resources of West Africa
Students will explore a physical map of West Africa that includes the location of natural resources, main transportation routes, and most populous cities.

Effective Use of Resources: Crossword Puzzle Activity
Review the activity on economic resources, and then try to complete this crossword puzzle.

Global Trends Quiz
This interactive quiz from NOVA tests users' knowledge of humanity's present-day consumption behavior and living conditions.

Women in Islam
Multiple part lesson plan and materials
Explore basic beliefs and practices of Islam and examine the different views of women's roles in Islam and modern American society in this lesson.

The Five Pillars of Islam
In this lesson, students explore and understand the basic beliefs of Islam as well as the Five Pillars that guide Muslims in their daily life: belief, worship, fasting, almsgiving, and pilgrimage.

The Berlin Conference of 1884-1885
Lessons plans to be used in tandem with hour six of Africa's Great Civilizations.

The Three Questions of Economics
Students will read and take notes on the three main questions of economics. These are what to produce, how to produce it, and who to produce it for. Students will then apply what they've learned to three scenarios.

Africa: Teacher Tools: Exploring African Culture
Students will explore the role of oral tradition in African cultures. They will read articles about the daily lives of people in several African countries, and create a mock interview based on the information.

Wonders of the African World
Every culture has its own special identity, demonstrated through its music, clothing, religion, food and social customs. Throughout our African journey, take a closer look at the rich and unique traditions of the people.

Religion: Three Religions, One God
Three of the world's major religions -- the monotheist traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam -- were all born in the Middle East and are all inextricably linked to one another.

African Masks
Artist Maude Alexander shows some of the African masks in her collection and talks about how African masks are more than aesthetic artifacts.

Manjani: West African Dance
The Imani Dance and Drum Company perform the Manjani, a West African dance that celebrates an important event such as the harvest (as in this performance), a wedding, or a naming ceremony.


Reconstruction: The 15th Amendment and African American Men in Congress
After the war was over and slavery abolished, Reconstruction was underway. Although there were challenges ahead, African Americans were filled with unprecedented hope.

Reconstruction: The Black Codes
The end of the Civil War brought about the freedom of four million slaves. The era of Reconstruction that followed the war sought to remedy the inequities of slavery while readmitting the Southern states back into a reunified nation.

Reconstruction: Ida B. Wells- Pioneer of Civil Rights
Ida B. Wells, a journalist and owner of the Memphis newspaper Free Speech and Headlight spent a lifetime working for civil rights and women’s suffrage. She helped to launch the National Association of Colored Women and was one of the founding members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Reconstruction: America After the Civil War
Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s documentary series, Reconstruction: America After the Civil War, explores the transformative years following the American Civil War, when the nation struggled to rebuild itself in the face of profound loss, massive destruction, and revolutionary social change.


Forecasting Earthquakes
Find out how researchers are improving earthquake forecasts in this video from NOVA scienceNOW: "What's the Next Big Thing?"

Earthquake Prediction
Earthquake prediction has never been an exact science or an easy job. In 1923, the debate between two Japanese seismologists over whether or not a large earthquake was imminent and the citizens of Tokyo should be warned ended in tragedy.

NOVA: Earthquakes The Seismograph
In 1755, a deadly earthquake struck the city of Lisbon. At the time, scientists had little understanding of what could cause the ground to shake as it did.


Chasing Tornadoes
This video segment adapted from NOVA follows some of the scientists who study these violent storms and highlights what they've learned about the storms and what they still want to know about the conditions that cause them.

How Do Tornadoes Form?
This video segment adapted from NOVA describes the challenges of studying tornadoes and shows how computer simulations are helping researchers observe what they can't possibly see in a real storm.

How Drones Could Help Predict Tornadoes
Learn why scientists think drones could save lives with this video and educational resources from PBS NewsHour from February 6, 2016.


Reducing the Impacts of Flooding
Engage in the iterative design process to build a fictional flood-resistant city, using a defined amount of funds and building materials in this PBS KIDS game. Then analyze an image of a real location to evaluate how well it has been designed to reduce the impacts of flooding.

Killer Floods Ancient Waterfalls
Examine how telltale landforms that appear in a dry northwestern landscape are evidence that the area was once covered by a vast amount of flowing water, in this video from NOVA: Killer Floods.

NOVA online Natural Flood Protection
Landscape architect Kate Orff believes that cultivating the blue mussel and other native shellfish could be a solution to prevent flooding in New York City.


Tools for Hurricane Forecasting Rise of the Superstorms
Learn about tools that scientists use to collect data and forecast hurricane paths and strength with this pair of videos from NOVA: Rise of the Superstorms.

Warmer Oceans, More Frequent Hurricanes? Rise of the Superstorms
Learn how climate change is influencing the frequency and severity of hurricanes in this video from NOVA: Rise of the Superstorms.

Reconstructing a Storm Interactive
Investigate the role that clouds play in severe tropical storms, in this interactive from the NOVA Cloud Lab.


Spy in the Wild Nature
In the most innovative production Nature has ever presented, this five-part series employs more than 30 animatronic spy cameras disguised as animals to secretly record behavior in the wild. These “spycams” reveal animals as having emotions and behavior similar to humans: specifically, a capacity to love, grieve, deceive, and invent.

Engineering Robotic Cameras to Observe Animals in Nature
Learn how filmmakers use the engineering design process to make animatronic spy cameras in this video from the NATURE mini-series Spy in the Wild. The cameras are disguised as animals to secretly record behavior in the wild.


Interconnections in the Okavango River Delta- Okavango: River of Dreams
The waters of the Okavango River in Southeastern Africa create a huge river delta before finally disappearing into the Kalahari Desert. This video from the Nature miniseries Okavango: River of Dreams illustrates how elephants impact this river delta ecosystem. Support materials include discussion questions, teaching tips, vocabulary, and a citizen science project to help students explore local rivers and streams.

Nocturnal Animal Adaptations Okavango: River of Dreams
Nocturnal animals have special adaptations that help them survive in the dark. This clip from the Naturemini-series Okavango: River of Dreams shows how the Southern Lesser Galago, also known as a Bushbaby, is well-suited for life in the night.

Nest Thieves Okavango River: River of Dreams
A pair of squirrels collect discarded materials to build their nest, but neighboring birds have a different nesting strategy. This video from the Nature miniseries Okavango: River of Dreams shows how two species of thieving birds benefit from the squirrels’ hard work.


End of the Big Beasts
Who or what killed off North America's mammoths and other megafauna 13,000 years ago? Find out more in this article from NOVA Online.

Permian- Triassic Extinction
Geologist Peter Ward shows rock layers laid down during the Permian and Triassic periods, in this video segment from Evolution:Extinction! The Permian layers contain abundant animal fossils and fossilized traces of animals, while the Triassic layers are almost devoid of fossils, suggesting a mass extinction event occurred 250 million years ago, at the end of the Permian.

The Most Useful Fossils in the World
For decades, one of the most abundant kinds of fossils on Earth, numbering in the millions of specimens, was a mystery to paleontologists. But geologists discovered that these mysterious fossils could basically be used to tell time in the deep past.


Abdul-Rahman ibn Ibrahima Sori was an African-American nobleman and governor who was captured in West Africa and sold to slavers in the United States.


Charley Pride became the first African American artist to record a #1 country record, and he overcame significant social and political barriers in order to do so.
Sensitive: This resource contains material that may be sensitive for some students. Teachers should exercise discretion in evaluating whether this resource is suitable for their class.


Materials That Change History
From ceramics to steel, paper to plastics, certain basic substances have long propped up civilization. Find out more in this article from NOVA Online.

The Value of Copper
In this video excerpt from NOVA: "Hunting the Elements," New York Timestechnology columnist David Pogue visits the New York Mercantile Exchange to learn about copper's essential role in human civilization.

Picturing America The Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge was hailed as a marvel of American engineering ingenuity. When it was built in 1883, its two towers were the tallest structures in the Western Hemisphere. Photographer Walker Evans turned its bold form and sweeping lines into a classic American image, both an icon of modernity and a monument that belongs to history.

Picturing America The Chrysler Building
The competitive climate of 1920s Manhattan drove the creation of the Chrysler building, which ultimately surpassed even the Eiffel Tower in height. William Van Alen made it distinctive through inventively applied Art Deco design, using machine-age motifs such as hubcaps and radiator caps, and American eagle heads in place of traditional gargoyles.

Funding the Statue of Liberty Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People
The Statue of Liberty was given to the United States as a gift from France, however the statue was given without a pedestal to support it. Discover how newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer helped start a campaign to fund a pedestal for the Statue of Liberty in this video from the American Masters film Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People.

Calculating Volume: Tunnel Construction
Investigate some of the mathematical challenges Boston engineers had to deal with during the Central Artery Tunnel Project (the "Big Dig").

NOVA scienceNOW: Smart Bridges
This video segment adapted from NOVA scienceNOW features two engineering innovations designed to improve structural safety in bridges.


Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in America’s Inner Cities
Learn how an innovative start-up is trying to reduce the 70% of New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions that come from buildings in this video from PERIL & PROMISE.

Water: The Lifeblood Collaboration Between Cities and Industry to Share Water
Once the water is used by a city, the water must be treated before it goes back into the river because that water will move downstream to another city. The city of Mankato, Minnesota partnered with Calpine (an electric utility) to meet local environmental and energy needs.

Underwater Tunnels Connect Mainland to New York City
Discover how the Pennsylvania Railroad engineered underwater tunnels to bring the railroad service to Manhattan, in this video excerpt from American Experience.


Combat and War
The experience of combat is perhaps the ultimate test for human beings. No other human activity creates such heightened emotions. No other human activity is so potentially final in its results. Humans often have a paradoxical relationship with combat and war; sometimes it is revered and other times despised. We use its euphemisms in describing athletic events (check out the headlines on any sports page). We see it glorified in our literature and condemned in our political speeches.

Sensitive: This resource contains material that may be sensitive for some students.

Just War Theory and FDR’s Declaration of War
This lesson introduces students to the principles of just war theory, the basis of international agreements such as the Geneva Conventions that regulate the conduct of nations in wartime. The lesson asks students to consider the six principles of jus ad bellum, or what makes a war just, as applied to World War II. Students read Roosevelt’s Joint Address to Congress Leading to a Declaration of War Against Japan (the "day that will live in infamy" speech) in order to assess whether or not Roosevelt spelled out the case for a just war.
Sensitive: This resource contains material that may be sensitive for some students


The National Parks Of Texas
The National Parks in Texas -- a diverse mix of sites where visitors can climb rugged peaks, kayak beautiful waterways, discover the state’s rich history and experience an endless choice of adventures. In many ways, the story of Texas parks is the story of the state itself. These special places preserve all of our natural resources and they speak of our collective history, beginning with a reef that dates back more than 260 million years and ending with an intimate look at 20th century politics.

This is America Lesson Plan
In this lesson, students will examine the challenges these individuals faced, their contributions and the personal qualities they each possessed. Then they will consider issues and problems at a national park near them and develop an action plan to address those or other community needs.


NOVA: Australia's First Four Billion Years- The Evolution of Kangaroos
Learn about the evolutionary history of the kangaroo, the only large mammal that hops, in this video excerpt from NOVA.

NOVA: Australia’s First Four Billion Years- Megafauna in Ice Age Australia
Find out about some of the giant prehistoric animals that existed during the last ice age in Australia in this video excerpt from NOVA. Host and scientist Richard Smith visits Victoria Fossil Cave to learn about the large collection of Australian megafauna fossils that were discovered there.

NOVA: Australia’s First Four Billion Years- Ancient Sea Reptiles
Find out about plesiosaurs—giant marine reptiles that lived about 100 million years ago—in this video excerpt from NOVA.


Country Music a film by Ken Burns collection
Country Music is a 16-hour series that chronicles the history of a uniquely American art form that rose from the experiences of remarkable people in distinctive regions of the United States. Through archival footage, photographs, and intimate interviews with musicians and scholars, the series offers the opportunity to explore key events in 20th century history, including technological changes, the Depression, and tensions around race and Civil Rights, all through the eyes of people who lived through them and the music they created.


Explore educational materials from the series Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise, clips, lesson plans and more.