Sunday, January 20, 2013

Should We Use TV Shows to Teach?

We must remember that this generation of children is growing up quite differently than we did.  They are driven by electronics in a way that we never will be.  I'm not saying I'm ready to shut up and show movies, but I do think that short, well chosen segments are certainly worth your time.

So I'm watching History Channel this afternoon because, yes, I am that big of a nerd. Have you ever seen How the States Got Their Shape? What a cool show for geography.
The website, History Channel: How the States Got Their Shapes, has full episodes and clips for many of the states.  Maine?  Nevada?  California?  All there!  Did you know that California drew their own state lines to include the gold filled Sierra Nevada Mountains?  Sure did!  Nevada was extended south to reach the Colorado River.  Smart move!  Most of the clips are less than 4 minutes long.  What a great way to bring in history, geography and technology!  Check it out.

I especially like their sly references to slavery, the transcontinental railroad and other features that fall in our social studies curriculum!


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