Back to School 2017

Get ready to go back to school with your trusted classroom partner, PBS! This collection features some of our favorite activities, games, lesson plans, and videos that you can use to spark conversation in the classroom. We've also mixed in professional development resources to help you get the year started on the right foot. Check them out below!

  • Back to School | All About the Holidays

    Prepare for 'back to school season' with this video to get your students prepared and excited for the new school year.

    Grades: K-4
  • Starting School with Daniel Tiger & Mister Rogers

    It's the beginning of the school year and there are so many new experiences coming up! Join Mister Rogers and Daniel Tiger as they prepare themselves for the first day of school. Through The Fred Rogers Company episodes, clips, activities and articles, help your children and students gain a much more thorough understanding of what school life will be like.

    For more parenting resources on understanding and improving your child's commencement of school, find more helpful resources at The Fred Rogers Company website here.

    Grades: PreK-2
  • Labor Day | All About the Holidays

    Learn the history of Labor Day in this quick video. Take your students on a look back to the Industrial Revolution and the establishment of Labor Day in 1894 to honor the unions who fought for the rights of the working class.

    Grades: K-4
  • Labor Day Lesson Plan

    This PBS NewsHour Extra Labor Day lesson plan provides information on the contemporary role of the unions and a simulation about the process of negotiations.

    Grades: 7-12
  • Rethinking Civilization | Crash Course World History

    Join host John Green to learn about the idea of civilization, some of the traditional hallmarks of so-called civilizations, and why some people would choose to live outside the civilization model. You'll hear about Mongols, Zomia, anarchy, and swidden agriculture. Finally, we'll discuss what makes a civilization - whether it is one we would traditionally regard as such or one that is far from our typical ideas of civilized life.

    Grades: 9-13+
  • I <3 Math: Unit Rates

    An introduction to the concept of unit rates. This I <3 Math episode defines unit rates and discusses their relationship to ratios.
    Grades: 3-8
  • Ecosystem Explorer | EARTH A New Wild

    Inspired by content from the upcoming PBS series EARTH A New Wild, the Ecosystem Explorer is a collection of videos, games, and infographics designed to take students deep into the ecosystems of three thrilling animals: vultures, wolves, and sharks.

    Use the related videos highlighted below to introduce each ecosystem and discover that the relationship between animals and humans is often much more complicated than we realize. Then, encourage students to play through the interactive and discover more exciting science about the ecology and conservation of these three worlds.

    Grades: 5-8
  • George Washington | 60-Second Presidents

    As far as Presidents go, none set more precedents than George Washington. From his leadership of the Continental Army, to his bold commitment to founding a strong nation, take a quick look back at the legacy of our very first leader. If you think you know everything about GW, think again!

    Explore more 60-Second President videos at the collection here!

    Grades: 4-12
  • I Wanna See the States

    Pop band HelloGoodbye sings about the 50 States of America. All 50 states are mentioned in one song that focuses on the people, culture, or geography of each region; use the lesson plan and worksheet attached below to bring this video into your classroom today!

    Grades: 2-6
  • 3-2-1 Snack - Peg + Cat | PBS KIDS Lab

    Use this game resource to help foster the skill of counting objects and comparing quantities. Cat is very hungry, and he needs you to feed him in a cool new way. Find the exact amount of food, and get the right number of chickens to help. Then watch them send the food flying through the air and into Cat’s mouth!

    Utiliza este juego para contar objetos y comparar cantidades. Cat está muy hambriento y te necesita para que lo alimentes de una manera nueva. Encuentra la cantidad exacta de alimento y el número de pollos para ayudar. Luego velos como le lanzan la comida al aire directo a la boca de Cat.

    Grades: PreK-K
  • American Stories: Teens and Immigration

    In this blended lesson supporting literacy skills, students watch documentary video about four teens who immigrated to the United States. Students develop their literacy skills as they explore a social studies focus on the factors that drive immigration and the challenges immigrants face in the United States, particularly in learning English. During this process, they read informational text, learn and practice vocabulary words, and explore content through videos and interactive activities. This resource is part of the Inspiring Middle School Literacy Collection.

    Students need to be signed in to complete this lesson. Go to "About This Activity" in "Support Materials" below or click here.

    Grades: 5-8
  • Blue Ribbon Readers: The Visualizing Game

    The Visualizing Game is part of WPSU’s Blue Ribbon Readers, a collection of seven interactive games designed to help elementary school students gain reading comprehension competences. Throughout the game students may practice creating and recalling mental images of the text. Some of the challenges involve static images and others use serial images—or "movies in the head."

    Grades: K-3
  • Mission US: Flight to Freedom

    Mission US is a multimedia project featuring free interactive adventure games set in different eras of U.S. history. The second game, "Flight to Freedom," takes place in northern Kentucky and southern Ohio, and begins in summer 1848. The game is divided into five parts, as well as a framing prologue and epilogue. Students play this interactive adventure game and assume the role of Lucy. As the game opens, Lucy is a young slave on the King family’s plantation outside of Lexington.

    Grades: 6-8
  • Comic Cam: Expressive Reading

    Jennifer Barber introduces the different characters she created for her stories when she was seven years old. She reads one of her stories using different voices to differentiate between the three characters. This resource teaches students the basics of character creation, narrative structure, and presentational reading.

    Grades: K-3
  • Transformer -h-

    This resource group teaches students all about how the letter "h" transforms the sound of different letters and changes the pronunciation of words.

    Grades: K-2
  • Educator's Guide, Vol. 1 | The Electric Company

    In this Educator's Guide, Vol. 1 from The Electric Company, educators will use easy-to-do activites to help build students' literacy skills. Educators will use word games, stories and songs, and language-building group activites to engage students. Feel the power as you learn specific strategies for integrating Electric Company content into your unique classroom setting.

    Grades: 1-3,13+
  • Educator's Guide, Vol. 2 | The Electric Company

    In this Educator's Guide, Vol. 2 from The Electric Company, educators will use easy-to-do activites to help build students' "mad, mad, super bad," literacy skills. Educators will use games, stories, and activites to engage students. Feel the power as you learn specific strategies for integrating Electric Company content into your unique classroom setting.

    Grades: 1-3,13+
  • Ratio Rumble

    Play a fast-paced video game involving reasoning about ratios and equivalent ratios. This game from Math Snacks focuses on using ratios to complete a potion recipe in order to defeat your foe.

    This resource is part of the Math at the Core: Middle School collection.

    Grades: 6-7
  • George Washington Carver | Scientist, Inventor, and Teacher

    George Washington Carver was a world-renowned American botanist who devoted his life’s work to helping farmers successfully grow their crops. A lover a nature, with a keen intellect and desire to help people better their lives, Carver used his knowledge to make American farms flourish, which helped the nation as a whole. By doing two primary source activities and watching a short video, students will explore the life of science and innovation led by George Washington Carver.

    Grades: 3-7,13+
  • Preparing to Teach a Lesson (The Cat in the Hat) | Teaching Tips

    Kindergarten teacher Allison Frometa demonstrates how she prepares for teaching a lesson using online educational games on an interactive whiteboard. She discusses why previewing the game, reviewing the educational goals and key vocabulary, determining children's partners in advance, and establishing a sequence for the lesson all play a role in helping students learn as much as possible.

    Grades: K-1,13+