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Partner Station Educational Content

Whether your students are learning in the classroom or at home, a broad variety of educational content from our PBS partner stations can be accessed here.

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From Our Great Lakes-Region Partners: PBS Station Educational Content

CITIZEN SCIENCE WITH WXXI

From WXXI-TV in Rochester, New York

Various Grades

Invasive species, nature-oriented activities, volunteer data collection and other community science work are all part of this education effort. Find videos and guides for activities for classrooms or at-home learning as well as collections of lesson plans from other organizations.

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EXPLORE THE WILD AND WONDERFUL WORLD OF WATER

From Twin Cities PBS, Minneapolis, Minn.

Various Younger Grades

As part of the “Summer of Learning,” which could apply to other seasons, these virtual “camp activities” let learners watch, play and explore along the theme of water. Explore the magical world of bubbles, read about the Mississippi River, and make a bubble wand, an ice sculpture, and a pond.

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MAKING IT UP NORTH

From WDSE-TV, Duluth, Minn.

Grades K-12

This PBS station series brings stories of the arts and entrepreneurship with many linked to Great Lakes economics, culture and history. Find lesson plans and activities guides for birch bark drawings, learning about the Sax Zim Bog Owl, painting Anishinaabe art styles, making felted agate necklaces, and developing a business plan for your own Great Lakes enterprise.

Access them all through the home page.

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NATIVE REPORT

From WDSE-TV, Duluth, Minn.

Grades 8-12

Now in its 16th season, this news and cultural program focuses on Indian Country. Find the “Teachers” tab in the menu bar for links to lesson plans and activities related to the Great Lakes region. Design clothing and host an Anishinaabe fashion show, connect to the “Ojibwe People’s Dictionary,” and learn the art of making Ojibwe lacrosse sticks.

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THE WAYS: GREAT LAKES NATIVE CULTURE & LANGUAGE

From PBS Wisconsin

Grades 6-12

This series of stories from Native communities features videos, interactive maps, and digital media exploring contemporary Native culture and language with learning activities. The project, produced by PBS Wisconsin, supports educators in meeting the Wisconsin statutory requirement that the history, culture and tribal sovereignty of American Indian nations in the state are part of classroom instruction. 

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THE MAKING OF MILWAUKEE

From Milwaukee PBS

Grades 1-12

This television series, based on the book by John Gurda with the same title, is a five-hour video of people who came to live in this city on Lake Michigan. “From civic saints to scoundrels, industrialists to Socialists, Potawatomi to Hmong, The Making of Milwaukee tells the story of our city,” the website reads. The multidisciplinary online curriculum from the tv series includes interactive lessons, stories and an image library.

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COOL TEACHER CHALLENGE

From WGVU-TV in Grand Rapids, Mich,

Grades PreK-12

OK, this isn’t lesson plans. There are zero aligned standards or learning outcomes. BUT…it’s a site where a bunch of teachers are celebrated in a Great Lakes state so we thought it was worth including here. Find one-minute videos featuring teachers who were nominated by their students. In the clips, educators share their humorous, poignant and inspiring stories about their classrooms which, of course, offer lessons for other teachers, parents and anyone working with kids. The students’ testimonials will remind you why you love this profession … or should.

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INNOVATION CHALLENGE

From WGVU-TV in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Grades PreK-12

If you have an individual or a group of students who need some friendly competition to get inspired, this might be the initiative you’re looking for to get them motivated for a creative project. Limited to Michigan but open to any school or home-school setting, entries are to be the ideas and work of students. Categories include performing arts, STE(A)M, writing and visual arts. If you’re not part of the competition or miss the 2022 deadline, check out the library of past projects for inspiration.

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NEWSDEPTH

From Ideastream in Cleveland, Ohio

Grades 4-6

This weekly interactive digital series breaks down the biggest news stories from this Ohio PBS station into teachable lessons for students. Find a helpful newsletter, a weekly poll, and a variety of teacher AND parent resources. As a virtual library, the learning modules offer a variety of approaches and multidisciplinary resources. A Slideshow in the Teacher Resource Center explains more about what to find and how to use it.

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KNOW OHIO

From Ideastream in Cleveland, Ohio

Various Grades

This series is part of the NewsDepth initiative and features videos and some learning activities around a variety of historical and contemporary topics relevant to Ohioans and their neighbors. The index page organizes the dozens of videos by topic, ranging from African American History to Geology and Land Regions to Nature to State Symbol. A few of the segments are about the Great Lakes including “Canals and Railways Speed up Our State” and “Island Life in Ohio?”

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CLIMATE WISCONSIN: STORIES FROM A STATE OF CHANGE

From PBS Wisconsin

Grades 6-12

Produced to support the teaching and learning about climate change in Wisconsin, this series of 10 videos and one interactive is an online educational multimedia project. With background essays and teaching tips, Climate Wisconsin includes stories of personal observation and experience along with science and research about climate change. Clicking on each photo tile on the homepage opens to an article, teaching tips, citizen science opportunities and additional resources. 

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WISCONSIN FIRST NATIONS: AMERICAN INDIAN STUDIES IN WISCONSIN

From PBS Wisconsin and Other Partners

Grades PreK-12

PBS Wisconsin is one of the partners in this project, which was launched to assist educators in requiring a state statutory requirement that all school districts provide instruction in the history, culture and tribal sovereignty of the American Indian nations in the state. Explore the searchable collection of dozens of multidisciplinary resources HERE. 

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STEAMSHIP AMERICA: A NORTH SHORE LEGEND

From WDSE-TV, Duluth, Minn.

Grades 5-12

Before cars and roads, a fleet of vessels and steamers carried mail, fish, freight and passengers to communities along Lake Superior. This documentary about one of the fleet’s stars blends oral histories, new and vintage photos, and newspaper accounts to tell the story of the Steamship America. All lesson plans are  a multi-day sequence. Younger students begin the lessons imagining life in the early 20th century and continue learning through comparing historical newspapers, writing articles and fact sheets and learning about shipwrecks. Older grades’ lessons include more historical thinking and economic reasoning … even comparing Lake Superior ships to Amazon drone delivery for consumer goods.

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MINNESOTA’S LOST MINING TOWNS

From WDSE-TV, Duluth, Minn.

Grades 6-12

Although there may only be photographs, memories and a few foundations remaining of some northern Minnesota mining towns, this documentary captures what’s left. Learning activities have middle school students learning national and local history, geography, digital media skills, language arts and art relative to the documentary. Additional high school-level work centers around migration patterns, how transportation and communication played a role in the development of cities, and using writing and students’ own lives to explore cycles of boom and bust and feelings of community loss.

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LOST IRON RANGE

From WDSE-TV, Duluth, Minn.

Grades 5-8

From the United States’ iron mining capitol in northern Minnesota, this story of the history of people, places and industry and includes recounting the region’s role in building the nation and winning two world wars. Lesson plans include writing informative and explanatory texts, identifying cause-effect relationships, geography and human systems, collecting and analyzing Census data, and writing creatively.

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FIRES OF 1918

From WDSE-TV, Duluth, Minn.

Grades 6-12

A century after the great Minnesota fires, this documentary tells the stories of horror and hardship. Learning activities ask students to focus on the human experience of this disaster and others by researching, writing and interviewing survivors. Using primary sources for research is part of the work as well as mapping the fire and discussing life after it.

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HISTORIC TRAILS OF NORTHERN MINNESOTA

From WDSE-TV, Duluth, Minn.

Grades 4, 6, 8

After “hiking” and otherwise traveling along some of Minnesota’s oldest trails, students can learn more about their histories, local economies and the current widespread outdoor recreation opportunities on them. Learning activities include locating and describing the physical features in Minnesota, modeling people’s settlements, and researching how land and trade routes were used during different time periods historically ranging from Native American and fur traders to the timber and iron ore industries. Modern tourism is also part of the film.

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