PBS Digital Innovators: Favorite Resources


  • 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
  • Resources to Honor the Life of Poet Maya Angelou

    Renaissance woman and civil rights activist Maya Angelou has died at the age of 86. Use these educational resources from PBS NewsHour Extra to help your students honor the life of poet Maya Angelou.

    Grades: 7-12
  • Who Owns a Sound?

    In this blended lesson supporting literacy skills, students learn about the debate over electronic sampling in music and look at how copyright law affects people on both sides of the issue. Students develop their literacy skills as they explore a social studies focus on gathering information to form an opinion. 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
  • TED Talks Education: "Build Relationships with Your Students."

    “We’re educators. We’re born to make a difference,” says Rita Pierson, who has spent 40 very dedicated years as an educator. The difference she refers to is not only helping students learn, but being a positive force in their lives. In her TED Talk, she calls on teachers to build relationships with their students, no matter how challenging that may be. Pierson shares examples of gestures large and small to bolster students’ self-esteem, down to how she marked a quiz that a student had failed.

    Grades: 13+
  • NOVA Elements

    Learn about chemical elements and molecular structure in this interactive activity from NOVA. Explore an interactive periodic table to learn more about each element, including its properties, uses, and other interesting facts. Build an atom in the atomic sandbox where you can experiment with atomic structure and determine how many electrons, protons, and neutrons you need to construct an element based on its atomic number and weight. Construct elements and molecules found in everyday objects, such as a cup of coffee, in the "Essential Elements" game. In addition, watch the full episode of NOVA: "Hunting the Elements," a two-hour program hosted by David Pogue, New York Times technology columnist.

    Click on the links below to download the app.

    Mac Desktop App | PC Desktop AppiPad App | Windows App

    Grades: 6-12
  • The Beauty of Space Photography | Off Book

    Off Book explores how images of space display the grandeur of the universe. Space presents a fantastic mystery to human life. Unfathomably large with characteristics that defy our understanding, the stars have perplexed and amazed humanity for millennia. In the present, astrophysicists and astronomers are aggressively studying the universe in an attempt to solve critical scientific and philosophical questions.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Is Code the Most Important Language in the World? | Off Book

    The ability to code allows people to mold interactions between humans and computers. Coders have become the gatekeepers of how our culture uses technology. Because of this, many people now preach that everyone should learn how to code, saying that knowledge of programming languages is akin to reading and writing. But is it reasonable to assume that everyone will learn how to code?

    Grades: 6-12
  • Timeline | Slavery and the Making of America

    Key milestones in the history of slavery in America. Slavery and the Making of America is a four-part series documenting the history of American slavery from its beginnings in the British colonies to its end in the Southern states and the years of post-Civil War Reconstruction.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Mission US: For Crown or Colony?

    Mission US is a multimedia project featuring free interactive adventure games set in different eras of U.S. history. The first game, "For Crown or Colony?," puts the player in the shoes of Nat Wheeler, a 14-year-old printer's apprentice in 1770 Boston. As Nat navigates the city and completes tasks, he encounters a spectrum of people living and working there when tensions mount before the Boston Massacre. Ultimately, the player determines Nat's fate by deciding where his loyalties lie.

    Grades: 6-8
  • The Evolution of Slavery in Colonial Virginia | The African Americans

    This video from The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross traces evolution of slavery in Colonial Virginia through the life of Anthony Johnson, an African American who lived in Jamestown, Virginia. Johnson owned a 250 acre tobacco farm until the booming tobacco industry in Virginia transformed slavery into a system based on race.

    Grades: 7-12
  • Reporting from Multiple Sources - The Roles of Dogs in Three Societies

    While watching three videos on dogs' roles in various places on Earth, students will take notes.  They will later use these notes to write an essay.  They will spend time revising and correcting the essay.

    Grades: 5-8, 13+

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