Support WNED

Make an ongoing monthly donation to WNED|WBFO. Your Monthly Giving contribution continues uninterrupted for as long as you wish...

Read More...

Thank-you gifts are our way of showing our appreciation for your contribution.

Read More...

When you make your contribution, join the WNED|WBFO Monthly Giving program with a sustaining gift.

Your sponsorship represents a unique opportunity for your company to enhance its corporate image while demonstrating a commitment to the community.

Join the many volunteers who help make WNED come alive through station promotion, community outreach and fund-raising activities!

Wednesday, 05 November 2014 18:07

Reading Rainbow: The Importance of Storytelling

 

 Reading Rainbow: The Importance of Storytelling

Subject Areas:
English Language Arts, Social Studies, The Arts

Grades:
Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Duration:
Four 40 minute class periods

Essential Question:
Why is it important to tell stories?

Teacher Materials:
Reading Rainbow: Follow the Drinking Gourd Program Information
"Follow the Drinking Gourd" by Jeanette Winter
Art materials for book construction
"Amistad Rising - A Story of Freedom" by Veronica Chambers

Procedures:
Introduction
This lesson shows how African Americans escaping slavery used storytelling to communicate. It encourages students to write stories to be passed on.

Teacher Preparation
Listen to many different versions of the underground railroad folk song “Follow the Drinking Gourd.” Find what the lyrics mean.

Anticipatory Set
Ask students why they think people tell stories (for example, to entertain others, to provide others with important information, to teach a “lesson”) and have them discuss some of the different reasons for storytelling.

Project
Students should listen to the melody and read the lyrics (or listen to the teacher read the lyrics) of “Follow the Drinking Gourd.” Students should learn to sing the song (or the chorus if they are too young to read), accompanied by the computer music file the teacher downloaded or other instrumental accompaniment. Ask students if they think the song might tell a story. Why or why not?

Students should view segments of "Reading Rainbow: Follow the Drinking Gourd" and/or read the book, "Follow the Drinking Gourd" by Jeanette Winter. Afterward, engage students in a discussion about the important stories that were told in the song and book. Talk with them about the importance of telling stories in order to pass on the meanings, experiences and information of a family or a group of people.

To further enhance understanding of the “power of story,” students should write and illustrate their own story.

Students in grades K-3 may participate in the PBS KIDS Writers Contest by entering their stories. Visit the Contest Web Page to learn more.

Original stories may address any topic students feel the need to tell or pass on based upon important experiences or information.

Amistad Extension Activity
Storytelling is a powerful vehicle to convey the concept of freedom. Read "Amistad Rising - A Story of Freedom" by Veronica Chambers (grades 3-5) to your students.

After introducing Amistad to students, ask them the following questions:

  • How are the people in the Amistad story like the people in "Follow the Drinking Gourd?" How are they different?
  • Why is it important to tell the stories of those taken into slavery?
  • What does freedom mean to you?
  • What are some ways you could communicate your ideas about freedom to others?

Allow students to tell the story a story of freedom in their own way. Students could write a diary entry, story, poem or song. They could illustrate freedom or make a collage. Give students the freedom to tell a story of freedom.

Assessment:
Students will be assessed on grammar, punctuation and spelling. Students will also be asked to reflect on why they felt their story was important to tell.

Related Resources:
Websites:
Visit Story Arts for storytelling ideas, lesson plans, rubrics and other valuable resources.

Books:
"Shake It to the One That You Love the Best: Play Songs and Lullabies" by Cheryl Warren Mattox
"A Picture Book of Harriet Tubman" by David A. Adler
"Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt" by Deborah Hopkinson

 

Wednesday, 05 November 2014 17:43

Reading Rainbow: Follow the Drinking Gourd

 

 Reading Rainbow: Follow the Drinking Gourd

Runaway slaves journey north along the Underground Railroad by following directions in a song, “The Drinking Gourd.” Host LeVar Burton celebrates the road to freedom paved by the Underground Railroad, introducing viewers to the history, heroes, stories and music of the African American culture which emerged from slavery. An a cappella group, Sweet Honey In The Rock, perform and share their historical knowledge of slavery.

You may view these episode segments with Windows Media Player (for Windows or Mac)
Field Trip Segment: LeVar Burton introduces us to the history, heroes, stories, and music of the African American culture which emerged from slavery.
Feature Book Segment: "Follow the Drinking Gourd" by Jeanette Winter. Due to copyright restrictions, this segment is not available for download.
Music Segment: Members of the a capella group, Sweet Honey in the Rock, perform and share their knowledge of slavery.
Book Reviews Segment: Discover other great books about African American culture, history, and music.

Curriculum Enrichment Ideas:
Reading Rainbow: The Importance of Storytelling Lesson Plan

This lesson shows how African Americans escaping slavery used storytelling to communicate and it encourages students to write stories to be passed on.


Follow the Drinking Gourd Teachers Guide PDF

Follow the Drinking Gourd Teachers Guide - Social Studies PDF

Family Activities:
Follow the Drinking Gourd Family Activities PDF

Student Activities:
American Past Word Search PDF
Students Bill of Rights Activity PDF
Songs of Freedom Activity PDF

Related Resources:
Feature Book: "Follow the Drinking Gourd" by Jeanette Winter
Underground Railroad: The William Still Story - WNED production with lesson plans, video and other resources
Footsteps to Freedom A delegation of educators from Southern California retraced the treacherous trails followed by fugitive slaves seeking freedom in Canada in the years before the Civil War. During the journey, which took them through Buffalo, NY, they posted daily entries, photos, and reflections.
PBS: Africans in America

Local Resources:
African American History of Western New York
Reform, Religion, and the Underground Railroad in Western New York
Motherland Connextions
Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society

 

Wednesday, 05 November 2014 17:20

Reading Rainbow: Freedom to Become

 

 Reading Rainbow: Freedom to Become

Subject Areas:
The Arts, English Language Arts, Career Development and Occupational Studies, Social Studies

Grades:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Duration:
Three to five 40 minute class periods

Essential Question:
How do we achieve the goal of becoming what we want to become?

Student Materials:
art materials
simple musical instruments (triangle, tambourine, kazoo)
word processing, graphics software and electronic keyboard or midi software for technology integration options

Teacher Materials:
Reading Rainbow: Ruth Law Thrills a Nation Program Information
Freedom to Become Rubric PDF

Procedures:
Anticipatory Set
Ask students what they want to be when they grow up. Each student will respond verbally in turn. Tell students that they are going to watch a segment of "Reading Rainbow: Ruth Law Thrills a Nation" in which 17-year-old high school student, Lizann Neptune, fulfills her dreams to become a pilot. While viewing the segment, students should focus on what Lizann has to do to make her dream come true.

View
Students will view the Field Trip Segment of Reading Rainbow: Ruth Law Thrills a Nation (requires Windows Media Player (for Windows or Mac).

After viewing the video, students will share what they thought Lizann had to do to make her dream a reality. Make a list of all the things that could have prevented her from becoming a pilot.

Explain that sometimes people have to fight for the right to be what they want to be. Women and African Americans had to work long and hard to become pilots.

Have students discuss the following questions: What is a road block and what are some of the road blocks people face? How would you feel if someone told you that you could not be what you wanted to be?

Project
Students will then choose one of the learning styles projects and work in collaborative pairs. See the project descriptions below. All pairs will share their projects with the class.

Closing
Ask students to answer the following questions: What did you learn about yourself and your classmates? What did you learn about overcoming road blocks and attaining your goals?

Learning Styles Project Descriptions

Create a Big Book
You and your partner will create a Big Book, using the large construction paper for the pages. Before beginning the project, share with each other what you want to become. Design a cover which shows both of you doing what you want to do. You will be the characters in your Big Book. Your cover needs a title. Make sure that you have one complete sentence per page. The pictures should show:

  • each of you dreaming of becoming something
  • each of you trying to become something
  • each of you coming across a road block in becoming what you want to become
  • how each of you get over the road block
  • each of you succeeding at making your dream come true

Write a Story
You and your partner will write a story. If you choose this option, make sure you write neatly, spell correctly, and use complete sentences. Before beginning your project, share with each other what you want to become. Think of a title for your story. Each of you will be a character in your story. The story should have:

  • each of you dreaming of becoming something
  • each of you trying to become something
  • each of you coming across a road block in becoming what you want to become
  • how each of you get over the road block
  • each of you succeeding at making your dream come true

Act it Out
You and your partner will act out a play for the class. Before beginning your project, share with each other what you want to become. Each of you is a character in this play. What is the title of your play? The play should have:

  • each of you dreaming of becoming something
  • each of you trying to become something
  • each of you coming across a road block in becoming what you want to become
  • how each of you get over the road block
  • each of you succeeding at making your dream come true

Build It
You and your partner will build two shoe box scenes. Before beginning your project, share with each other what you want to become. You may plan your scenes as storyboard sketches using paper and pencil or the appropriate software. Each of you is a character in each shoe box scene. The first shoe box scene should include:

  • each of you trying to become something
  • each of you coming across a road block in becoming what you want to become

The second shoe box scene should include:

  • how each of you get over the road block
  • each of you succeeding at making your dream come true

Sing a Song
Your and your partner will write and sing a song. Before beginning your project, share with each other what you want to become. Each of you is a character in the song. You need to have musical accompaniment (as simple as clapping, a tambourine, triangle, kazoo, or an electronic keyboard or midi software) to go with your song. Your song needs to tell a story with the following elements:

  • each of you dreaming of becoming something
  • each of you trying to become something
  • each of you coming across a road block in becoming what you want to become
  • how each of you get over the road block
  • each of you succeeding at making your dream come true

Assessment:
Students will be evaluated based on their participation in group discussion, ability to speak in turn, ability to listen and ability to watch the video quietly. Teachers will use the Freedom to Become Rubric to assess the learning styles projects.

 

Wednesday, 05 November 2014 16:13

Reading Rainbow: Ruth Law Thrills a Nation

 

 Reading Rainbow: Ruth Law Thrills a Nation

This true story describes the record-breaking flight of a daring woman pilot, Ruth Law, from Chicago to New York in 1916. LeVar takes viewers on a trip through time from the barnstorming days and flying machines of Bessie Coleman, the first African American woman to get her pilot’s license, to modern aviation machines and female pilots. Viewers will also see a teenage pilot who takes to the air for the first time, following in the footsteps of the great women who went before her. (This segment of the program is available for download and viewing - see below.)

Field Trip Segment Watch as teenage pilot, Lizann Neptune, takes to the air for her first solo flight. (Requires Windows Media Player for Windows or Mac).

Curriculum Enrichment Ideas:
Reading Rainbow: Freedom to Become Lesson Plan

Students will watch an online video segment about a high school student who fulfills her dream of becoming a pilot, then work together to learn about overcoming road blocks and attaining goals.

Create a Transportation Book Teachers Guide PDF

Math Guide PDF

Social Studies Guide PDF

Teachers Guide PDF

Activity: Accomplishing a difficult task is usually more meaningful than completing an easy one. Have students describe something that was difficult for them to do (or learn to do) and how they managed to succeed. Have students compare an easy task they completed with one that was more difficult to accomplish.

Family Activities:
Family Activities PDF

Student Activities:
Famous African American Research Activity PDF
Freedom Activity PDF
Once I Wanted To...Activity PDF

Related Resources:
Feature Book: "Ruth Law Thrills a Nation" by Don Brown

 

 

 Reading Rainbow: Is There Such a Thing as a "Good" Microbe?

Subject Areas:
Science, Health

Grades:
4, 5

Duration:
One 40 minute class period

Essential Question:
Can microbes be beneficial?

Student Materials:
Notebook

Teacher Materials:
Reading Rainbow: Germs Make Me Sick
microscope
flexcam or digital microscope
prepared slides of microorganisms
microscope slides
slip covers
eye dropper
pond water

Procedures:

Description
There are microorganisms everywhere in our world. Some of these microorganisms cause disease and are classified as germs. Many are beneficial and are necessary for healthy plants and animals. In this lesson students will learn about microbes (good & bad) and get a handle on the fact that microbes are necessary for our living environment.

Objectives:
After this lesson, students should be able to:

  • understand that microbes are everywhere.
  • understand that there are microbes that cause disease (germs).
  • understand that we are dependent on microbes to fight disease, grow healthy food, and do many other beneficial functions in our environment.
  • understand how plants and animals, including humans, depend on each other and the nonliving environment.
  • describe the factors that help promote good health and growth in humans.
  • understand that a microscope is a tool that helps us to study microorganisms.

Teacher Preparation
Before class begins write two questions on the board.

1) What are microorganisms?

2) Are all microorganisms harmful?

Leave room to add student answers. Also prepare a microscope slide with pond water and make sure you can see some microorganisms as examples. Hook –up the flex cam so students can see the slide on the TV or computer. Do not show the students the microorganisms until after the first video clip as written below.

Activating Prior Knowledge
As class begins ask the students to copy the questions onto a blank piece of paper (or into their science journal), making sure to leave plenty of room for notes (suggest that one question be written at the top of the page and the second near the middle of the page). Have students write down an answer based on what they already know.

View and Do
When students are done, show the Mystery Germs portion of Reading Rainbow: Germs Make Me Sick. After the clip is over, have students revise the answers to the questions based on what they just saw. While students revise their answers, set-up the microscope to make sure the slide is visible.

Introduce the microscope. Talk about the various parts. Take the microscope slide and show the students the microorganisms either using the pond water or the professionally prepared ameba or hydra slide. See if they can identify the creatures on their own.

Ask the question. “So, are all microorganisms harmful?” Let students share their answers but ask them if anyone knows of any good microorganisms. Show the students the second clip called Visit the Medical Lab but only to the 4 minute 20 second mark. Ask the questions again and allow students to revise their previous answers. If available, show a slide of good bacteria using the microscope. Talk about the good bacteria.

Now ask “Can anyone think of an example of bacteria being used for a positive use?” Write down student answers and then show the students the final clip called Visit the Farm. After the clip is over, have students list the ways that microorganisms can be beneficial.

Now ask the students “Based on what we did today, did you find anything out about microorganisms that you think was really surprising?” Write this down on your question paper or in your journals. What measures can we take to avoid germs (harmful microorganisms)? Have students record these ideas on their paper or in their journals.

Homework:
Answer the two questions

  1. Name some ways to protect yourself from germs.
  2. Describe some ways that microorganisms benefit our lives.

Extension:
If you have a classroom set of microscopes, have students look for microorganisms from other sources. Be careful to monitor the items so students do not use potentially harmful substances.

Assessment:
In addition to teacher observations of student work on questions paper or journal entries and responses to the class discussion, students will answer the 2 homework questions:

  • Name some ways to protect yourself from germs.
  • Describe some ways that microorganisms benefit our lives.

Also, students should be able to answer the following questions, either as part of a class discussion or a written assessment:

  • What are microorganisms?
  • Are all microorganisms harmful?
  • Can anyone think of an example of bacteria being used for a positive use?
  • Based on what we did today, did you find anything out about microorganisms that you think was really surprising?

Related Resources:
BrainPop – Bacteria Movie
KidsHealth – What are Germs?
Squigly’s Game – Compost Quiz
Environmental Education for Kids (EEK) – Recycling and beyond

 

Supporting WNED ǀ WBFO

 

When you make your membership contribution, consider becoming a WNED ǀ WBFO Studio Partner. Your contribution becomes an automatic monthly withdrawal on your credit card or bank account.  Set it and forget it! It takes little effort, and your dollars will go a long way to support the programming you love on WNED ǀ WBFO. When completing your pledge click on the box to automatically renew your pledge annually. WNED ǀ WBFO does not sell, rent or trade its membership lists with political organizations. WNED ǀ WBFO does on occasion exchange its membership list with like-minded not-for-profit organizations, to reach new audiences and potential members. For more information, please review our official List Exchange Policy.