Showing posts with label American Culture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label American Culture. Show all posts

Monday, November 19, 2018

An Interactive Timeline of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade

Watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade is a tradition that millions of Americans share. This year will be the 92nd edition of the parade. What started out as a relatively simple affair has grown into an hours-long production. You and your students can see how the parade has evolved through the decades by exploring the interactive timeline on Macy's Parade History. You can select any decade on the timeline to view 360 interactive images of the parade. Each decade on the timeline also includes some video clips. Scroll through the decades and you'll see that the parade reflects the popular culture of each decade.

History offers the following short video about the history of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.



The Next News Network also offers a nice, concise summary of the history of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The History of Macy's Thanksgiving Parade

For millions of Americans watching Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thanksgiving morning is as much a tradition as watching football after the turkey dinner. The Macy's Parade is 90 years old this year. It has evolved quite a bit since its early days. Macy's Parade History offers an interactive timeline of the parade's history. You can select any decade on the timeline to view 360 interactive images of the parade. Each decade on the timeline also includes some video clips. Scroll through the decades and you'll see that the parade reflects the popular culture of each decade.

History offers the following short video about the history of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.


The Next News Network also offers a nice, concise summary of the history of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Monday, January 26, 2015

NASA Is On SoundCloud - Listen to Audio from Missions and More

Whether you have an interest in NASA from a scientific standpoint or a cultural standpoint, NASA's SoundCloud channel has something for you. On NASA's SoundCloud channel you will find audio from Apollo, Mercury, and Discovery missions. You'll also find audio of rocket sounds and space sounds. The set of recordings of most interest to me is the set of three audio recordings of President Kennedy which includes his famous "We Choose the Moon" speech.


Applications for Education
NASA's SoundCloud channel could be a good place to find audio to support lessons on the development and evolution of the space program. The recordings are in the public domain. You and your students can download the recordings to re-use in video productions about space. I might have students use the Kennedy recordings in a video project about American culture and the Cold War in the 1960's.

If you cannot access SoundCloud in your school, most of the recordings are also available on the NASA Sounds website.

H/T to Open Culture.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Brain Pickings - A Daily Bit of Culture and Thought

As I've mentioned numerous times in the past, Open Culture is one of my favorite blogs for interesting and academic videos, ebooks, slideshows, and stories. Recently, I started reading another blog that is similar to Open Culture. That blog is called Brain Pickings. These are a couple of posts on Brain Pickings that I enjoyed this week: Elevator Group Think and The Hidden Beauty of Pollination.

Applications for Education
If you're a social studies teacher or literature teacher looking to bring a quick bit of culture or a thought-prompt into your classroom, Brain Pickings might have what you need. If not, it's just a cool blog for your own intellectual enjoyment.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Resources for Teaching and Learning About American Thanksgiving

American Thanksgiving is just one week away. I'm sure some readers are looking for a few resources to use in delivering short lessons on the history and traditions associated with the holiday. If you're one of those readers, here are some resources that I've collected over the last few years.

Where Does Thanksgiving Grow? is a neat data set produced by Linda Zellmer at Western Illinois State University. The data sets contain information about where the main ingredients in Thanksgiving meal come from. The data sets are displayed on maps showing you which states produce the most and least of each ingredient. For example, click on the turkey production data set and you will see that in 2007 Minnesota and North Carolina were the leading producers of turkeys. You can access the data sets individually or as a comprehensive PDF poster.

If you're looking for a writing activity to do with the students in advance of Thanksgiving, National Geographic Kids offers a Mad Libs-like story writing activity. Funny Fill-In generates a funny Thanksgiving story based on the words that kids write in response to Thanksgiving prompts. Quiz Your Noodle is another fun Thanksgiving game available on National Geographic Kids. 

James Hollis at Teachers Love SMART Boards has developed an excellent list of Thanksgiving lessons that can be done using a SMART Board or other interactive whiteboard.

ABC Teach has numerous free lesson plans, coloring pages, and offline games that are designed for elementary school use.


 History.com has a dozen videos related to the origins and history of Thanksgiving as well as video about current Thanksgiving traditions. Below I've embedded History of Thanksgiving, but I also recommend watching Mayflower Deconstructed.


The Year We Had Two Thanksgivings tells the story of Thanksgiving 1939. In 1939 Thanksgiving was going to fall on the last day of November which caused merchants to be worried about a shortened shopping season. In response to this concern President Roosevelt proclaimed that Thanksgiving would be moved up one week. Some states chose to ignore this proclamation and celebrate Thanksgiving on the last day of the month anyway. The conflict was finally resolved in 1941 when Congress passed a law stating that Thanksgiving would always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month. The Year We Had Two Thanksgivings is supported by ten primary source documents. Included in those documents are letters from merchants appealing to FDR to change the day of Thanksgiving and letters opposing the change.

PBS Teachers has two lesson plans/ sets of activities about Thanksgiving that correspond to a classroom viewing of the American Experience series We Shall Remain. You can watch individual episodes or the entire series here.

Last, but certainly not least, Larry Ferlazzo has an extensive list of Thanksgiving lesson resources. In general, if there is a holiday in the US, Larry has a list for it.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Thousands of Old Time Radio Programs

Image Credit: The Rocketeer
Before televisions appeared in every household in the US, children like Ralphie were huddled around radios to listen to their favorite programs. Long ago those programs stopped being broadcast, but you can still listen to them. The Old Time Radio Network is an online collection of more than 12,000 old radio shows. The catalog is organized alphabetically by program title. Next to each program title you'll find the number of episodes available online. To get started have a listen to Hopalong Cassidy or Abbot and Costello.

Applications for Education
Visit the Old Time Radio Network and check out a recording or two for your next lesson on 20th Century history and culture.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Pop Culture History Lesson

I hate to remind anyone of his or her age, but since I was reminded by Open Culture I thought I'd remind you too, MTV turned 30 today! Back then they played music videos not Jersey Shore or Real World (which never seemed real even in the early seasons of the show when I was a teenager). I can't think of any use for the video below other than as a short introduction to a lesson on American culture in the 1980's. Enjoy a trip down memory lane.