Length: 25 min.
Kindegarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Professional Development
A multicultural look at American government and society, My America combines elements of traditional civics and social studies curricula with techniques and activities that encourage children to participate actively in their schools and local communities, and to experience the democratic process. The series innovatively explores the basics of American government: the legislative process, ideals of a democratic government and the rights and responsibilities of citizens in a democracy. The underlying theme, that a democracy works best when everyone participates, emphasizes that a single vote and voice matters. America is defined not as the traditional melting pot but as a country rich in diversity and community.
Each program features children giving thought-provoking opinions, documentaries for historical context, and classroom modeling lessons demonstrating cooperative learning to help students realize the educational objective.
1. What Is an American? – Students explore different cultures, languages and heritages that make up this great land. They learn that immigrants came here for religious freedom, economic opportunity, and freedom from persecution. (Grades 2-6)
2. How Our Laws are Made – Students learn about local, state and national laws. Senator Barbara Boxer and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg answer questions about the government. (Grades 3-6)
3. What Is A Democracy – The history of democracy is told in this program. Students learn how is compares to aristocracy, theocracy, monarchy and oligarchy. They also find out how it is used today. (Grades 3-6)
4. America in Its Own Words - The delicate balance our founders struck between protecting the common good and protecting the rights of individuals is echoed in our post 9/11 America. Students learn about how America’s ideals, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, are goals we still strive to meet today. (Grades 3-6)
5. What Is A Flag – The history of our flag and what it means is shown to students. They will learn how flags unite people and even how they are made when they visit a flag-making factory. (Grades K-2)
6. A Pledge is A Promise - By going word by word through the Pledge of Allegiance, students learn the true meaning of the promise they make to be loyal and care for their country. They also learn the meaning of pledges and oaths and how they commit themselves to each. (Grades K-2)
7. The Story of the National Anthem – Go behind the lyrics of the National Anthem. Learn how it came about by Francis Scott Key after he witnessed the famous battle at Fort McHenry in 1812. (Grades K-4)
8. Symbols of Freedom and Justice - Travel across the country to visit historic monuments and memorials that symbolize the ideals of freedom and justice for all Americans. From the Supreme Court Building and Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC to the Statue of Liberty in New York. Learn each monument’s significance in this fascinating program. (Grades 2-6)
9. Becoming an Active Citizen - This program shows students that every person, whether they’re a citizen by birth or by choice, can effect change by becoming actively involved in our government. You will follow twelve 9/11 widows and they work towards justice. (Grades 3-6)
10. Neighborhood and Community - Learn that a country can become a tight-knit community. After a hurricane, Iowans help the people of Florida who return the favor a few years later when the Mississippi floods its banks in Iowa. (Grades K-2)
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