Learn More About Nelson Mandela

imagesWe have two videos about Nelson Mandela in our lending library that you might find of value.  One is The Long Walk of Nelson Mandela (I.D. 2185)  Frontline profiles the most widely known and revered political leader in the world, Nelson Mandela.  Credited with the reversal of apartheid in a South Africa controlled by two generations of stern Afrikaner leaders who enforced the ideology of racial separation, Mandela stands as an all-embracing giant who brought about his nation’s extraordinary peaceful transformation to democracy. DVD format. Continue reading

“Arthur’s Perfect Christmas” Perfect for the Season

arthurs-perfect-christmasHere’s a timely video for teaching the little folk about the multiple holidays that are celebrated this time of year. Plans are under way in Elwood City for the best holiday ever! Arthur Read, the world’s most famous aardvark, and his friends are making preparations for the perfect holiday season to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. But Arthur and his friends discover that holiday joy isn’t found in the artificial vision of “perfect”, but in the wonderfully messy imperfect world they live in. Borrow this delightful and informative DVD (Arthur’s Perfect Christmas), by clicking here.

” Life on Four Strings” – A Musician’s Touching Story and Real Treat

pPBS3-15630371regIf you’re into ukelele music, you most likely have heard of Jake Shimabukuro. If not, you’re in for a real treat. This video tells the heartfelt story of a musical sensation whose virtuoso skills on the ukelele have transformed all previous notions of the instrument’s potential as he touches the lives of the young and old who inspire his brilliance. The film captures the solitary life on tour: the exhilaration of performance, the wonder of newfound fame and the loneliness of separation from home and family.  The title of this video is “Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings” and the I.D. number is2394. Borrow it for a month by clicking here.

Granby Teachers Explore WGBY Educator Resources

Granby photo

Just one week ago, teachers from the Granby MA. Public Schools participated in WGBY workshops at the junior/senior high during their professional development day.  JoanVohl Hamilton, a dedicated ELA teacher there, was a great help in making these workshops happen.  (Here’s a photo of one group with Joan first in the top row and myself front row, fourth from left:).  These K-12 teachers came into the junior/senior computer lab enthusiastic to learn about the rich resources that WGBY’s Community Engagement and Education Department has to offer.  During our two afternoon sessions, they were able to sign up to receive WGBY’s Education Blog and learn about PBS TeacherLine online courses and WGBY’s Lending Library.  One teacher regretted that she had just asked her school librarian to purchase a Ken Burn’s film she could have borrowed for free, and another began checking off TeacherLine courses she can take to support her students’ needs and fulfill her PDP certification requirements.

But the highlight of each workshop was PBS LearningMedia with its now 34,000 — and growing — resources.  After seeing the site’s user-friendly functionality and registering for free, teachers were able to search resources by grade level, content area, standards, and collections.  Some teachers even began saving favorite videos, interactives, and lesson plans to later examine, share, and organize in folders.  While some had to contend with a few tech glitches such as slow computers and blocked sound, teachers’ feedback showed their appreciation for this hands-on opportunity, with many wishing we’d had more time to explore this vast resource!

Does the Constitution Still Work?

pPBS3-15580613regBreathing new life into the traditional civics lesson, Peter Sagal, host of a popular quiz show on PBS,  tours the country on his Harley to find out how the Constitution works in the 21st century. Sagal examines four areas: A More Perfect Union – explores the delicate balance between federal and state; It’s a Free Country – Examines the Bill of Rights and how current battles are still being waged about freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to privacy; Created Equal – Peter looks at the 14th amendment; Built to Last? – Peter examines the systems that have kept the Constitution healthy and the forces today that threaten to undermine the framers’ original vision. The DVD is called Constitution USA with Peter Sagal; borrow it for a month by clicking here.

Latino Americans – the 500 year legacy that shaped a nation

image_2230Latino Americans, which recently premiered on WGBY, is a documentary video of the gradual construction of a new American identify that connects and empowers millions of people today. The series chronicles Latinos in the U.S. from the 1500s to present day. It is the story of people, politics, and culture, intersecting with much that is central to the history of the United States while also going to places where standard U.S. histories do not tend to tread.

Borrow this 2-DVD set from the WGBY Collection at the Springfield Library.

Timely Video Captures the Syrian Civil War

imagesIn this highly charged documentary, filmmaker Olly Lambert lives on both sides of Syria’s sectarian frontline, witnessing the devastating effect of a religious feud that, regardless of the outcome of the war, is shaping Syria’s future. The video, from the Frontline collection, is titled, SYRIA – BEHIND THE LINES, (I.D. 2286) The video is in DVD format and runs 60 minutes. Borrow it for a month by clicking here.

Here are some related resources from PBS LearningMedia that you might also want to explore:

Lesson Plan for Syria (Grades 7-12)  This lesson introduces students to contemporary U.S.- International relations as well as provides a simulation to put students in the shoes of the important players in the Syrian Conflict.

The Light In Her Eyes:  Religion in Culture and Politics: Women’s Empowerment in Syria (Grades 9-13+):  In this lesson, students will explore the role of religion in society and politics in Syria.

Coping with Crisis (Grades 9-12) This video from Wide Angle explores the life of an Iraqi refugee in Jordan and examines the challenges faced by host countries Jordan and Syria.

Lesson Plans on Autism and Much More

welcome_to_jfkJohn F. Kennedy High School in Newark, N.J., provides an exceptional environment for students with special-education needs as seen in POV’s (documentaries with a point of view), Best Kept Secret, which airs on WGBY Monday, September 23, at 10pm.  In the film Janet Mino, who has taught a class of young men for four years, is on an urgent mission. She races against the clock as graduation approaches for her severely autistic minority students. Mino must help them find the means to support themselves before they “age out” of the system.  Watch a preview.

POV free resources for educators include 200+ online film clips connected to 100+ standards-aligned lesson plans, discussion guides and reading lists. Registered educators can use any of 80+ full-length films in the classroom for free through their documentary lending library.  Two POV lesson plans about autism are:

Neurodiversity:  Negotiating the World . . . Differently (Grades 9-12)  Students explore how people who are “differently wired” — or not “neurotypical” — negotiate, view and interact with the world. As students learn about autism through the lens of individuals with autism, they analyze the wide range of perceptions, reactions and means of engagement among those on and off the autism spectrum. They determine how to embrace neurodiversity, and how everyone might recognize and accept the diverse ways all people function in a norm-prescriptive society.

Medical Scene Investigators (Grades 6-8, 9-10, 11-12)  All or individually, three videos are used to follow an investigative pattern similar to the popular television show “CSI” (Crime Scene Investigators) with the title of the project being “MSI” (Medical Scene Investigators) who work with individual medical conditions — HIV/AIDS, autism, asthma and cancer —  that are revealed in the videos.

You can also search for resources on “autism” at PBS LearningMedia.

Fun Way for Pre-Schoolers to Learn Important Lessons

pPBS3-15684338regHere is a new DVD that contains six short, separate episodes, each designed to help pre-schoolers develop their understanding of some of life’s important lessons.

Big Kid Caillou – Caillou learns a lesson about the importance of not hiding who you really are;  Caillou’s Glasses — Caillou learns the importance of good vision after playing with a pair of pretend glasses; Caillou’s Dance Party — Caillou learns there’s more than one way to do things; Helping Mrs. Howard — Caillou learns that friendship is often the best form of help; Caillou’s Fun Run — Caillou learns that winning isn’t everything in a race; The New Girl — Caillou welcomes a new girl at preschool after remembering what it was like to be “the new kid.”

Borrow “Big Kid Caillou” for a month by clicking here.

Frontline: How the Fiscal Fallout Triggered a Global Crisis

indexThe TV series, Frontline examines America’s recent economic woes through five insightful programs. INSIDE THE MELTDOWN – investigates how the economy went so bad so fast; TEN TRILLION AND COUNTING — Tracks the politics behind America’s mountain of debt; BREAKING THE BANK  — looks inside Bank of America and its woes; THE WARNING — examines signs during the 1990s that trouble was ahead.  In the last, CLIFFHANGER, Frontline investigates the inside history of how Washington has failed to solve the country’s problems of debt and deficit as the nation faces another round of fiscal crises.  Borrow The Economic Meltdown (I.D. 2384) for a month by clicking here.