Teacher Review for PBS LearningMedia: The African Americans -- Many Rivers to Cross

Explore Years of African American History in Hi-Def

Rachelle W.
Digital Learning Specialist
Fort Settlement Middle School
Sugar Land, United States
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My Subjects English Language Arts
My Rating
Learning Scores
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time More than 15 minutes
Great for Homework
Knowledge gain
Small group
Teacher-led lessons
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
How I Use It
I would use this product in a flipped learning environment. For example, with the Calculated Acts lesson , there are electronic documents with images that students will analyze and answer. I would use it as a part of a collaborative group activity in class prior to viewing the lessons or videos. With images, videos, and discussions students are able to explore the concepts and perspectives deeply and with primary source documents. Students may enjoy a debate or six thinking hats activity around the various issues and perspectives. The supporting documents and lesson plan guides teachers with a variety of activities surrounding the video segments.
My Take
The quality and modern storytelling and interviews are very well done. The media in this series truly allow students to dive deeper into the African American experience over a large time period. No matter what era of history you are learning, there is a section of media lessons that might relate. My only concern is a teacher can get overwhelmed with the variety of content and instructional resources, so it is best to review the lesson content with a goal in mind. I think the lesson content is great for whole class, but it an also be great for collaborative groups when in a 1:1 or shared devices learning environment. However, I think with some curriculum time limits I would definitely include this kind of content to extend students learning and would be ideal if a teacher was flipping her classroom. There are no limits to how this media can be used in a classroom.