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PBS LearningMedia Integrates “Scary” Themes into Math, ELA and Science!

October 26, 2015 - Posted in Education

This week’s featured resources offer teachers an easy way to integrate Halloween themes into their math, language arts, and science lessons all week long!

Meet Mary Shelley’s Famously Frightful Novel!

“It’s aliiiiive!” That memorable line was in “Frankenstein” the movie, but it wasn’t in the book. And many think of Frankenstein as the stiff-armed, fabricated monster, but that was actually the doctor’s name. In this episode of “Crash Course,” John Green introduces your class to Mary Shelley's famously frightful novel.

Students will learn about the Romantic movement in English lit, of which “Frankenstein” is a GREAT example, and how “Frankenstein” might just be the very first SciFi novel. As it often does, literature comes down to just what it means to be human. John will review the plot, take the class through a couple of different critical readings of the novel, and discuss the final disposition of Percy Shelley's heart. WATCH:


NASA Tests Portrayed as “Chamber of Horrors”

Scientists and engineers often work on the same teams and think about similar questions, but they are guided by different (but related) processes. As such, the Scientific Process has an engineering analog - the Engineering Design Process. When engineers design a system or an object, the process will always include some kind of testing, much like scientists do, and the results will feed back into ongoing phases of design improvement - until the product is optimized for use.

This NASA video explores the engineering and performance tests NASA spacecrafts undergo prior to launch. Topics include g-forces, vibration, acoustic power, physical load, tension, EM waves and thermal fluctuations – all presented in a playfully spooky tone that portrays the battery of tests as a “chamber of horrors.” WATCH:

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


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