Category Archives: Social Studies Enrichment

Social Studies Spark #50: All About Thanksgiving!

Next week is Thanksgiving! Did you know that Thanksgiving always falls on a Thursday? Thanksgiving has been an annual holiday in the United States since 1863. However, the First Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621. Here are five things we know about the First Thanksgiving!

1. More than 100 people attended
The Wampanoag Indians who attended the first Thanksgiving had occupied the land for thousands of years and were key to the survival of the colonists during the first year they arrived in 1620, according to the National Museum of the American Indian. After the Pilgrims successfully harvested their first crops in the fall of 1621, at least 140 people gathered to eat and partake in games, historians say. No one knows exactly what prompted the two groups to dine together, but there were at least 90 native men and 50 Englishmen present. They most likely ran races and shot at marks as forms of entertainment, Wall said. The English likely ate off of tables, while the native people dined on the ground.

2. They ate for three days
The festivities went on for three days, according to primary accounts. The nearest village of native Wampanoag people traveled on foot for about two days to attend. It took them so long to get there that it didn’t make sense for them to turn around and go home after the meal.

3. Deer topped the menu
Venison headlined the meal, although there was a healthy selection of fowl and fish, according to the Pilgrim Hall Museum, which cited writings by Plymouth leaders Edward Winslow and William Bradford. There was a “great store of wild turkeys” to be eaten, as well as ducks and geese, wrote Bradford, who was the governor. Winslow said Massasoit, the leader of the Wampanoag people, contributed five deer to the dinner.

4. It wasn’t called Thanksgiving
There’s no evidence that the 1621 feast was called Thanksgiving, and the event was not repeated for at least a decade, experts say. Still, it is said to be the inspiration behind the now traditional annual gathering and a testament to the cooperation of two groups of people.

5. The peace was short-lived
Early European colonizers and Native Americans lived in peace through a symbiotic relationship for about 10 years until thousands of additional settlers arrived. Up to 25,000 Englishmen landed in the New World between 1630 and 1642, after a plague drastically cut the native population by what’s believed to be more than half. The arrival of new settlers prompted a fight for land and rising animosity. War exploded in 1675, years after Massasoit and Bradford died and power fell to their successors. Many Native Americans have long marked Thanksgiving as a day of somber remembrance.

Click the link below to play a game that explores Wampanoag life prior to European settlement and the year leading up to the 1621 harvest feast, today known as the “First Thanksgiving.” The game investigates the interactions between the Wampanoag people of Patuxet and the earliest colonists known as the Pilgrims by exposing players to archaeological artifacts from the museum’s collections, primary source documents, and oral stories told from generation to generation.

CLICK HERE TO EXPLORE AND PLAY! 

Source: https://time.com/4577425/thanksgiving-2016-true-story/

Social Studies Spark #49: The Museum of the Fur Trade

This summer, my family & I took a trip to western Nebraska and visited the Museum of the Fur Trade in Chadron, Nebraska! I learned so many things about the Fur Trade!

If you’re not familiar with the fur trade, watch this quick video:

https://www.pbs.org/video/fur-trade-aqnxgy/

The Museum of the Fur Trade was created in Chadron, Nebraska because it is located on the original James Bordeaux trading post, which is an important historical site. This trading post (pictured above) was established in the fall of 1837 as a site for the American Fur Company to conduct business with the Native Americans who spent their winters in the area.

The trading post was reconstructed on its original foundation in 1956 & formally opened to the public later that year.

Learn more about the Museum of the Fur Trade by watching this video:

Finally, go check out the museum itself by clicking this link: https://www.furtrade.org/

What history did you learn about this summer?

Insert your experiences in the comments below!

Social Studies Spark #48: African-American Athletes in the Winter Olympics!

Source: https://news.yahoo.com/7-notable-black-athletes-made-184117774.html

February marks the beginning of Black History Month, and it is also the month when the Winter Olympics of 2022 kick off! This post honors both of those events.

There have been some big moments for Black athletes in the Winter games. Of course, the Winter Olympics is not historically known for its racial diversity, but that hasn’t stopped a few superstars of color from making their mark, like figure skater Debi Thomas, who became Team USA’S first Black athlete to win an Olympic medal! It was in 1988 in Calgary that she took home the bronze.

And it wasn’t until 2002, just 20 years ago, that Vonetta Flowers became the first Black athlete from any country to win gold in the Winter Olympics. She was a Team USA bobsledder at the Salt Lake City games.

In Beijing, keep an eye out for Erin Jackson, who is back at the Olympics after becoming the first Black woman to qualify for the US Olympic Long Speed Skating Team four years ago.

And one of my personal favorites, the Jamaican four-man bobsled team, they’re back at Beijing– this time around, their first Winter Olympics in more than 20 years. And if folks recall, “Cool Runnings” may have an opportunity for a comeback.

As you watch the Olympics this month, who do you think is an outstanding athlete of color?

Comment below!

Social Studies Spark #47: A 2,500-year-old shipwreck!

In 2017, researchers off the Bulgarian coast discovered the oldest intact shipwreck ever found! This ancient Greek vessel was not only nearly 2,500 years old, but was just one of 65 shipwrecks found at the bottom of the Black Sea in remarkable condition. So, why does the Black Sea contain so many well-preserved shipwrecks? Helen Farr and Jon Adams dive into the depths of the unique body of water.

Click below to watch the video!

Once you’ve watched the video, click here to take a quiz!

Feel free to comment with your score below!

Social Studies Spark #46: A Raindrop’s Journey

You may think every drop of rain falling from the sky, or each glass of water you drink, is brand new, but it has always been here, and is a part of the water cycle.  At its most basic, the water cycle is how water continuously moves from the ground to the atmosphere and back again.  As it moves through this cycle, it changes forms.  Water is the only substance that naturally exists in three states on Earth – solid, liquid, and gas.

Over 96% of total global water is in the ocean, so let’s start there.  Energy from the sun causes water on the surface to evaporate into water vapor – a gas.  This invisible vapor rises into the atmosphere, where the air is colder, and condenses into clouds.  Air currents move these clouds all around the earth.

Water drops form in clouds, and the drops then return to the ocean or land as precipitation, often rainfall.   When it rains, the raindrops fall to the ground, and run off into a lake or river, which flows back into the ocean, where it starts the process again.

Have you ever thought about the journey a raindrop takes?

When you click on the link below, you will see a map of the continental United States.

This website allows for you to click anywhere on the map to drop a raindrop and follow its journey to the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic or the Pacific Oceans! Once you click, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the path the raindrop takes!

Try it out! Then comment below with something that surprised you!

https://river-runner.samlearner.com/?fbclid=IwAR0W9pISldvvUF9tx6l8RoYLwiz1fITqa1j4aiHTy8htV5bTFIXvkqB45dc

 

Social Studies Spark #45: Map for Time Travelers

                                                                          Source: IFL Science

The Internet has a new favorite interactive map system!

ORBIS, the Stanford geospatial network model of the Roman world, allows you to check how long it would take you to travel from location to location during Roman times.

It’s customizable too! In the unlikely event that you were transported back to 200 BCE and yet somehow the 4G network traveled back in time with you, thanks to these maps you’d be able to calculate how long it would take you to get from Londinium to Corinthus by ox, or Augusta Treverorum to Alexandria as part of a military march.

As well as time, the map, which is of course based on historical evidence, shows you how much each journey would cost.

“Conventional maps that represent this world as it appears from space signally fail to capture the severe environmental constraints that governed the flows of people, goods and information,” Stanford wrote at the time of the release of the first version of ORBIS. “Cost, rather than distance, is the principal determinant of connectivity.”

We thought we’d have a look at how long it would take us to get from Londinium to Ierusalem, to ask them a few questions about what made them eventually change the I in their name to a J.

We gave the parameters that we would be traveling by donkey (as well as boat where necessary) and during the winter. According to Google, if we floored it and didn’t need things like sleep, we could arrive by car in 52 hours, or a much nicer 6-8 hours by plane. But, we know that that the journey would take a lot longer in Roman times:

“The Fastest journey from Londinium to Ierusalem in January takes 53.5 days, covering 5,433 kilometers [3,375 miles]. Prices in denarii, based on the use of a faster sail ship and a civilian river boat (where applicable), and on these road options:

Per kilogram of wheat (by donkey): 22.74
Per kilogram of wheat (by wagon): 27.45
Per passenger in a carriage: 1897.51″

If you were to select the cheapest route, it would take you 98.4 days to complete a 6,129-kilometer (3,303-mile) journey. However, you would save yourself nearly 1,000 denarii per passenger, and 7 denarii per kilogram of wheat. And is it really a holiday if you aren’t shipping a wagonload of wheat back with you as a souvenir?

Check out the map for yourself, it’s pretty cool to play with!

In the comments below, let us know what you discovered!

Social Studies Spark #44: The Breathtaking Courage of Harriet Tubman

Image from biography.com

February is Black History Month. I can think of almost no one more heroic in Black history than Harriet Tubman.  The more you discover about Tubman, the more you realize she had to be a superhero to pull off exploits it would be an understatement to say were daring.

This tiny woman who could neither read nor write now has not one, but two national parks dedicated to her story, plus the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center on the eastern shore of Maryland, where she was born Araminta Ross – Minty for short – around 1822.

Her parents were enslaved on different plantations, hours apart. She and her mother were owned by Edward Brodess, who made $60 a year renting her out, starting when she was six.

In 1849, she escaped from a place called Poplar Neck, in Caroline County, Maryland, when word reached her that she was going to be sold South.

Look at a map, and imagine Harriet, in her 20s, running away, alone, on foot. She managed, with the help of the Underground Railroad, to make it a hundred miles to the Pennsylvania border, and freedom.

But then Tubman went back – 13 times over 10 years – leading more than 70 people to freedom.

Click on the link below to watch this TEDED on the life of Harriet Tubman.

https://ed.ted.com/lessons/the-courage-of-harriet-tubman-janell-hobson

Social Studies Spark #43: Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today, January 18th of 2021, is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Celebrated on the third Monday in January, Martin Luther King Day is a national holiday that honors the United States’ most famous civil-rights activist.

King was an influential civil rights leader – best known for his work on racial equality and ending racial segregation in the United States. His life and achievements are remembered and celebrated on this day.

Dr. King’s peaceful struggle against racial discrimination came to national attention in 1955, when he led a boycott protesting laws that required blacks and whites to sit in separate sections on buses. In 1956 the Supreme Court declared such laws unconstitutional.

In 1963, King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech before a quarter million people during the peaceful March on Washington, D.C. The next year he became the youngest man, at 35, to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. He continued fighting for civil rights and against poverty until an assassin’s bullet ended his life on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee.

The Lorraine Motel, in Memphis, Tennessee, where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, is now the National Civil Rights Museum.

Click on the video below to take a virtual tour of this museum. In the comments please state how you can honor Dr. King on this day. What small act of kindness can you share?

 

 

 

Social Studies Spark #42: Top 7 Famous Firsts in World History

Click on the video above to learn about 7 famous firsts in world history.

Each famous first is briefly highlighted – not much information is given. The idea is to spark an interest in you to know and learn more.

Which of the 7 events do you want to learn more about?

Do your research and share what you learned in a creative way – feel free to utilize iMovie, Keynote, Google Slides, etc.

Share with your EY Coordinator when you’re finished!

 

Social Studies Spark #41 – Forever Ago Podcasts

Forever Ago® is a history show for the whole family! Every episode explores the origin of just one thing — like sandwiches, video games, clocks and more — while teaching listeners to think critically about history.

Step 1 – Watch this brief video about the Forever Ago podcasts.

Step 2 – Choose 1 episode from the list below.

Step 3 – Record a Flipgrid to tell others what you learned! Use the Flipgrid Review Planner to organize your thoughts before recording. Visit the Flipgrid below to submit your review!

  • https://flipgrid.com/b44c5ddb