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PBS LearningMedia Illuminates Native American History and Culture

November 4, 2015 - Posted in Education

In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, PBS LearningMedia spotlights resources that illuminate various aspects of Native American history and culture.

First People – The Native Americans

The story of America doesn’t start when the English colonized the country in 1607 – in fact, they weren’t the first Europeans to arrive, or even the first people to live here. That stake in history belongs to the Native Americans.

In this lesson from “Crash Course,” John Green teaches students about the complicated history that followed the arrival of the English in what is now the United States. He covers the first permanent English colony at Jamestown, Virginia, the various theocracies in Massachusetts, the feudal kingdom in Maryland, and even a bit about the spooky lost colony at Roanoke Island. This lesson also explores the motives behind why the English came to America – profits being one of the main ones. He notes that trouble growing food and trouble with the natives kept the early colonies from success. WATCH: http://to.pbs.org/1LStlBN

Cherokee Language and Culture

The Cherokee believe everything in the environment, from crops and animals to creeks, mountains and even the wind – all have an intelligent spirit and play a central role in daily life. The Cherokee do not view themselves as separate from the environment. Rather, they see themselves as part of it. Their language reflects that. “Language is the core to any culture because it is what that culture expresses itself with and it is the dynamic mechanism through which that culture continues,” says Tom Belt, Coordinator of the Cherokee Language Revitalization Program at Western Carolina University.

In this lesson from UNC-TV, students learn about the link between Cherokee language and culture, how it was almost lost to history, and how Western Carolina researchers are working with the Eastern Band of Cherokee to study, preserve and grow the language once again. WATCH: http://to.pbs.org/1LYh823

Supported by ETV, PBS LearningMedia offers teachers more than 100,000 videos, images, interactives, lesson plans and articles drawn from critically acclaimed PBS programs and from expert content contributors like The National Archives and NASA. Educators in South Carolina are invited to sign up at http://scetv.pbslearningmedia.org.

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