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English Language Arts
Elements of Poetry (ELA - Middle School)

Elements of Poetry (ELA - Middle School)

In this interactive lesson, discover how literary techniques like figurative language, imagery, and symbolism contribute to the overall meaning of a poem. Explore how a poet establishes and builds on a theme. Learn how to tell the difference between tone and mood. Through a close reading of Maya Angelou’s famous poem “Caged Bird” (1983), practice unpacking the language of poetry while learning about some of the various tools a writer can utilize when writing a poem.

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Symbolism - Keely's Mountain (ELA - Middle School)

Symbolism - Keely's Mountain (ELA - Middle School)

In this blended lesson supporting literacy skills, students are introduced to Keely, who feels that her identity as a Nipmuc Native American is weakened because there is no strong Nipmuc community around her. The video Keely made when she was young and felt discouraged is countered by her positive thoughts about identity when she is older. Students develop their literacy skills through an English language arts focus on symbolism. During this process, they read informational text, learn and practice vocabulary words, and explore content through videos and interactive activities.

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How to Write an Argumentative Essay (ELA - Middle School)

How to Write an Argumentative Essay (ELA - Middle School)

Building an argument takes planning, skill, and a good topic. This engaging video demonstrates with clever illustrations and narrative coaching, the steps in building an exemplar essay, from creating a hook and analyzing evidence, to convincing the audience with an actionable conclusion.

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Video Production - Behind the Scenes with the Pros (ELA - Middle School)

Video Production - Behind the Scenes with the Pros (ELA - Middle School)

KET producer, writer, and host Renee Shaw discusses the importance of good writing skills in production. (Grades: 4-12)

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Reading Charts and Tables - Garden Spiders (Reading/ELA - 4th Grade)

Reading Charts and Tables - Garden Spiders (Reading/ELA - 4th Grade)

After watching a video about garden spiders, students will read a chart that reflects the information in the segment. They will then answer a series of questions using the information from the chart.

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What is a Hero? (Reading/ELA - 3rd Grade)

What is a Hero? (Reading/ELA - 3rd Grade)

Students watch a short video about Ping, a young hero who proves himself worthy to be the emperor of China. After hearing the story, students identify what makes Ping's behavior special by providing evidence found in the story. As an assessment, students identify and provide evidence of what makes their hero a hero.

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George Washington Carver (Reading/ELA - 2nd Grade)

George Washington Carver (Reading/ELA - 2nd Grade)

Learn about George Washington Carver with this video clip, printable biosketch reader, and support materials. In this clip, Yadina has a problem: she accidentally crushed a flower with a soccer ball. She wants to help the flower, so Yadina, Xavier, and Brad travel back in time to meet George Washington Carver.

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Busterfield Library - A-Z (Reading/ELA - 1st Grade)

Busterfield Library - A-Z (Reading/ELA - 1st Grade)

In this video segment from Between the Lions, Leon Redbone sings a fun alphabet song. In alphabetical order, each letter takes the stage along with a Between the Lions character or image that begins with that letter. Showing the letters and things they stand for helps build alphabet knowledge

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Letter Book (Reading/ELA - Kindergarten)

Letter Book (Reading/ELA - Kindergarten)

It's crafting time with your students! Introduce new vocabulary words to your students with this DIY letter book.

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Cupcake Math - Super Why (Reading/ELA - Kindergarten)

Cupcake Math - Super Why (Reading/ELA - Kindergarten)

Cooking with children is a great way to teach them about measurement and help them learn the language of math. This Super Why! inspired activity, uses the creation and completion of patterns to help them learn important problem solving and mathematical reasoning skills.

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Let's Tell a Story - Everyday Learning (Reading/ELA - Kindergarten)

Let's Tell a Story - Everyday Learning (Reading/ELA - Kindergarten)

This brief animation shares the story of a hamster as imagined by children. Hammie is a classroom hamster that finds new opportunity when his cage door is left open. Hammie does some exploring around the classroom and ultimately sneaks into a backpack looking for food. Three different children tell the story adding new parts and passing the story to another friend. When Hammie is in the backpack, the viewer is asked to tell what happens next.

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Change your Mind: Appeal to Emotion (ELA - Grades 8-10)

Change your Mind: Appeal to Emotion (ELA - Grades 8-10)

Students will be bombarded with persuasive techniques in all aspects of their life. They need to recognize the persuasive techniques that are being used to manipulate their thinking and how they can use these same techniques to influence others.

Appeal to Emotion considers the effects of emotional pleas on the audience. Whether using powerful new images or words in text or speech, appeals to emotion are powerful.

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Change your Mind: Appeal to Logic (ELA - Grades 8-10)

Change your Mind: Appeal to Logic (ELA - Grades 8-10)

Students will be bombarded with persuasive techniques in all aspects of their life. They need to recognize the persuasive techniques that are being used to manipulate their thinking and how they can use these same techniques to influence others.

Appeal to Logic shows how rational arguments and the use of facts, figures and statistics can help to support one’s position.

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Change your Mind: Appeal to Authority (ELA - Grades 8-10)

Change your Mind: Appeal to Authority (ELA - Grades 8-10)

Students will be bombarded with persuasive techniques in all aspects of their life. They need to recognize the persuasive techniques that are being used to manipulate their thinking and how they can use these same techniques to influence others.

Appeal to Authority shows how an expert can be used to provide credibility or importance to a product or service. The expert can be real or perceived.

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Change your Mind: Loaded Language (ELA - Grades 8-10)

Change your Mind: Loaded Language (ELA - Grades 8-10)

Students will be bombarded with persuasive techniques in all aspects of their life. They need to recognize the persuasive techniques that are being used to manipulate their thinking and how they can use these same techniques to influence others.

Loaded Language deals with the concept of purposely using connotations, or the meanings that words have beyond the dictionary definitions, to persuade or manipulate people’s thinking.

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Change your Mind: Bandwagon (ELA - Grades 8-10)

Change your Mind: Bandwagon (ELA - Grades 8-10)

Students will be bombarded with persuasive techniques in all aspects of their life. They need to recognize the persuasive techniques that are being used to manipulate their thinking and how they can use these same techniques to influence others.

Bandwagon shows how the need to be part of the group can be a very convincing tool of persuasion.

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Julius Caeser and the American Experience (ELA - High School)

Julius Caeser and the American Experience (ELA - High School)

Learn about the long-held American fascination with Julius Caesar in two videos from Shakespeare Uncovered. Brian Cox states, “Rome is not a place, but an ideal,” and that the play continues to resonate because it addresses issues that face any society that tries to uphold democratic principles. The videos and support materials explore the parallels between the play and the American experience. Since Abraham Lincoln’s assassination by John Wilkes Booth, an actor obsessed with Brutus, the play continues to hold a place in the political and cultural landscape of America.

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Woman and Gender Roles (ELA - High School)

Woman and Gender Roles (ELA - High School)

This resource focuses on the portrayal of women and gender in Great Performances: Much Ado About Nothing starring Danielle Brooks. Students will consider the meaning of gender in Shakespeare’s world and the contemporary milieu, and use video clips to engage in a critical analysis of the depiction of women and gender roles. In considering the way in which the production plays with ideas of gender and power, students will think about how Shakespeare’s plays endure over time.

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Supernatural Elements of Macbeth (ELA - High School)

Supernatural Elements of Macbeth (ELA - High School)

In this self-paced lesson, students explore how Shakespeare uses supernatural elements in Macbeth. The lesson begins with an exploration of beliefs about the supernatural and witchcraft in Shakespeare’s time as presented in a segment from Shakespeare Uncovered. Students turn to the text of Macbeth and analyze the action, imagery, characterization, and language of Act I, Scene iii (the scene in which Macbeth and Banquo first encounter the witches and hear their predictions). Then, students view another segment from Shakespeare Uncovered and explore key questions about the role of the witches in the action of Macbeth. Finally, they examine other supernatural episodes in the play and produce a paper exploring the impact and meaning of one of these episodes. This lesson is best used after a reading of Macbeth.

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Native American Mythology (ELA - High School)

Native American Mythology (ELA - High School)

The film Words from a Bear: N. Scott Momaday delves into the psyche behind the celebrated award-winning author and visually captures the essence of Momaday’s writings. Although his heritage is a central theme, Momaday’s work asks universal questions: what are our origins and how do we connect to them through our collective memories? This collection of resources from the film illuminates how Momaday grappled with these questions, his identity and the challenges of being a Native American artist in today's world.

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The Tell-Tale Heart (ELA - Middle School)

The Tell-Tale Heart (ELA - Middle School)

Explore Edgar Allan Poe’s famous short story, “The Tell-Tale Heart,“ in this video from the American Masters film Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive. Discussion questions, teaching tips, and a student handout ask students to analyze the work while also learning more about the art of writing a short story. Students are asked to consider why the story remains popular today, connections to music, and how Poe hooks readers from the very first sentence.

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Identifying Fake News (ELA - Middle School)

Identifying Fake News (ELA - Middle School)

What is “fake” news? How do we know it’s false? Use these resources from Common Sense Education to help students investigate the way information is presented so that they can analyze what they read and see on the Web.

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Who Was Alexander Hamilton? (ELA - Middle School)

Who Was Alexander Hamilton? (ELA - Middle School)

In this blended lesson supporting literacy skills, students learn about the early life of Alexander Hamilton and his achievements as an adult during the Revolutionary War and in the Washington administration. Students develop their literacy skills as they explore a social studies focus on how Hamilton’s role as an outsider shaped his beliefs about the powers of the federal government. During this process, they read informational text, learn and practice vocabulary words, and explore content through videos and interactive activities.

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Woolong's Pandas (ELA - 4th Grade)

Woolong's Pandas (ELA - 4th Grade)

Students compare and contrast information from three sources to determine the reasons that have contributed to the declining panda population. They begin by watching the video "Wolong's Pandas" and taking notes on the reasons for the decline. Then they read the print text and take notes on new ideas. They place a check mark beside the ideas that occur in both sources. They should note any contradictory information. Then they watch the video "Bamboo Mountains" and take notes. Finally, they write a paragraph, based on information from the three sources that draws conclusions about why panda numbers are declining.

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Oohhh Oobleck! (ELA - 3rd Grade)

Oohhh Oobleck! (ELA - 3rd Grade)

Jump in with both feet as you watch oobleck videos and learn about three states of matter: solids, liquids and gases. Learn to use captions and charts to make reading comprehension less messy and loads of fun.

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Martha Speaks - How to be an Inventor (ELA - 2nd Grade)

Martha Speaks - How to be an Inventor (ELA - 2nd Grade)

In this Martha Speaks interactive story, learn about how new devices are developed. After inventors come up with an idea to improve life, they need to try it out, make changes as needed, and then work to perfect it. When used as a part of Martha’s True Stories Buddies Program, buddy pairs engage with the interactive story, then talk and create an Inventor’s Workshop to describe their idea for a new invention that will solve an everyday problem.

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Friends

Friends (Reading/ELA - 1st Grade)

True friends come in all sizes! Enjoy a fresh take on an old story about a lion and a mouse. Learn to retell stories with a beginning, middle and end, and recognize characters, setting, major events, moral, and key details.

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Violet's Music (Reading/ELA - Kindergarten)

Violet's Music (Reading/ELA - Kindergarten)

In this video segment from Between the Lions, Cleo reads the Lion family a story of a little girl named Violet who loves music and searches for people just like her.

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A Tale of Two Soup Cans - Martha Speaks | PBS KIDS Lab (Reading/ELA - Kindergarten)

A Tale of Two Soup Cans - Martha Speaks | PBS KIDS Lab (Reading/ELA - Kindergarten)

In this Martha Speaks interactive story, students learn how the choices we make about our trash have different consequences for our environment. A discarded soup can can end up in a landfill, whereas a reused or recycled can could become something new! When used as a part of Martha’s True Stories Buddies Program, buddy pairs engage with the interactive story, then create an Advice Column that offers ways to reuse, repurpose, or compost old things.

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Upper and Lowercase (Reading/ELA - Kindergarten)

Upper and Lowercase (Reading/ELA - Kindergarten)

This video segment from Between the Lions stars an Elvis-like singer singing about upper- and lower-case letters. The song explains that upper-case letters start sentences and names and also that upper-case letters are larger than lower-case letters. This video segment provides a resource for Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Letter Knowledge Awareness, and Phonological Awareness.

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Exploring Music, Props, and Race | Great Performances: Much Ado About Nothing (Reading/ELA - High School)

Exploring Music, Props, and Race | Great Performances: Much Ado About Nothing (Reading/ELA - High School)

Great Performances: Much Ado About Nothing features an all-black cast as well as music and prop choices that represent important cultural touchstones in African American and American culture. Put students in the mind of the director to analyze why culturally-specific design choices may have been made for this modern production of Shakespeare’s classic play.

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Setting in To Kill a Mockingbird

Setting in To Kill a Mockingbird (Reading/ELA - 8th Grade)

In this interactive lesson, students explore the importance of setting in literature and apply their learning to the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Students are introduced to the three main components of setting: time, place, and the social conditions in the story. Using these three components as a framework, students gain a deeper understanding of setting in To Kill a Mockingbird by learning about the 1930s. A final writing assignment asks the students to write an essay synthesizing their knowledge of the time period and the book. This lesson works for students who are already engaged in studying the novel and have read at least the first two chapters.

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Literary Elements and Techniques | Figurative Language

Literary Elements and Techniques | Figurative Language (Reading/ELA - 7th Grade)

Discover how authors use figurative language to enhance their writing and explore the differences between similes and metaphors in this animated video. Discussion questions below help students to further apply their understanding before analyzing a text.

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Literary Elements and Techniques | Tone and Mood

Literary Elements and Techniques | Tone and Mood (Reading/ELA - 6th Grade)

Explore the difference between tone and mood in this animated video from WNET through definitions and examples from poetry and prose. Discussion questions below help students to further apply their understanding before analyzing a text.

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Building the Pyramids of Ancient Egypt

Building the Pyramids of Ancient Egypt (Reading/ELA - 5th Grade)

In this blended lesson supporting literacy skills, students learn how historians think the pyramids were built and why they were built—as doorways to the afterlife for the pharaohs. Students develop their literacy skills as they explore a social studies focus on ancient Egyptian society and how those at the top organized the rest of the population in order to build these amazing structures.

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The Case of the Smelly Backpack | Take the Stage

The Case of the Smelly Backpack | Take the Stage
(Reading/ELA - 2nd Grade)

When Detective Bentley cannot figure out why his backpack is smelly, he retraces the events in his day to find clues. Taking on the role of detectives, the viewers act out the events of Bentley’s day and use textual clues to solve the case.

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Friends

Friends (Reading/ELA - 1st Grade)

True friends come in all sizes! Enjoy a fresh take on an old story about a lion and a mouse. Learn to retell stories with a beginning, middle and end, and recognize characters, setting, major events, moral, and key details.

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Reading Foundational Skills

Reading Foundational Skills

Reading Foundational Skills provides resources for emerging readers and teachers of emerging readers. Lesson plans include best practices for teaching print concepts, such as the parts of a book and sentence structure. Phonological awareness is explored through several interactive games aimed at pre-kindergarten through second grade students. A "cootie catcher" activity can be used to encourage reading and writing sight words. Vowel combinations, phonics and decoding, and speech and reading accuracy are also examined in Reading Foundational Skills.

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Reading for History and Social Studies

Reading for History and Social Studies

The resources in Reading in History and Social Studies investigate fiction and nonfiction texts pertaining to history, geography, economics, and political science. Students are encouraged to analyze primary source documents (such as newspaper accounts of Jesse James) to form their own hypothesis. Important fictional stories in history, such as Cinderella, are explored from a variety of cultural perspectives. Additional resources challenge students to examine how journalism is distinct from other types of storytelling. Text structure, point of view, and reasoning are among the additional topics covered in Reading in HSS.

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Reading in Science and Technical Studies

Reading in Science and Technical Studies

Reading in Science & Technical Subjects investigates texts and other resources that encourage reading on topics ranging from animal rehabilitation, to energy transfer, to careers in nanotechnology. Help students improve their note-taking strategies as they observe a high school biology class. Encourage students to explore careers in advanced technology through a self-paced interactive lesson from the Cool Careers in Science collection. Even promote healthy eating through a series of videos that takes students through family gardens, food desserts, and even the first State Dinner. Evidence and inference, public health, and the forces of gravity and air are also explored in Reading in Science & Technical Subjects.

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Speaking and Listening

Speaking and Listening

The subject of Speaking and Listening is separated into two categories. Resources in Comprehension and Collaboration include lesson plans that encourage analyzing and comparing perspectives, as well as writing a rap with story elements. In Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas, students can explore how to map their ideas and find suggestions on how to communicate in a professional environment. Digital media, rhetoric, and conversations are additional topics covered in Speaking and Listening.

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