Festive Fall Titles

Fall Holidays & Timely Topics

Autumn has a few holidays that work as wonderful introductions to interesting points in history. Use the following materials to introduce new information to students young and old! Also, elementary teachers may be interested in this flyer focusing on Native American module materials.

Daylight Savings Time Ends on 11/6

Now and Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin (020518)

DVD, PI, 13 min.

By Gene Barretta. What would you do if you lived in a community without a library, hospital, or fire department? If you were Benjamin Franklin, you'd set up these. He also designed the lightening rod, suggested the idea for daylight savings, and even invented bifocal, all inspired by his common sense and intelligence.

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Benjamin Franklin the Environmentalist

Modern Marvels: Ben Franklin Tech

Election Day

Holidays for Children: Election Day (021405)

DVD, PI, 23 min.

From campaigning and debates to rallies and voting, this program explains the exciting activities that precede Election Day. Children are shown how to construct their own patriotic windsock, while festive Dixieland music enlivens the Election Day spirit. Different levels of public office elections are reviewed along with the constitutional amendments that gave all groups of Americans the right to vote. Children also explore the history of voting and examine the attributes of a good leader by watching as a group of middle school students elect their class president.

National Observances (022488)

DVD, PI, 25 min.

Irene Bedard, the recognized voice of Disney's Pocahontas, narrates this journey through American history created especially for children. This program explains why we celebrate Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Independence Day, Election Day and the history of voting in America. Part of the American History for Children DVD Series, providing children with a balanced portrayal of U.S. history.

Schoolhouse Rock! Election Collection (021834)

DVD, PI, 42 min.

This collection includes 15 animated songs from the Emmy Award-winning series, focusing on U.S. history, government and the electoral process. Songs include "Shot Heard 'Round the World," "I'm Just a Bill," "I'm Gonna Send Your Vote to College," "Three-Ring Government" and more. This program also includes the new animated song "Presidential Minute," which features two surprise endings.

Duck For President (021349)

DVD, P, 14 min.

A duck decides to enter the world of politics in this animated adventure, based on the book by Doreen Cronin. Tired of doing his chores around the farm, Duck decides to hold anelection to replace Farmer Brown. But when he wins, he quickly tires of the hard work it takes to run the farm and so sets his sights on another political office. Narrated by Randy Travis, the story follows Duck's hilarious rise and fall from power.

Citizens Rule! How We Elect A President (020959)

DVD, PI, 13 min.

Children will learn about political "platforms" and "party "tickets", as well as interesting facts about former presidents that will stimulate classroom discussion. Students will come to understand the qualifications of a presidential candidate, political parties, how presidential caucuses and primaries work, the role of national conventions, the voting process itself.

United States History - Origins To 2000: U.S Politics (1980 TO 2000) (022155)

DVD, IJS, 28 min.

The 1980s and 1990s marked a time of dramatic economic and political change in the United States, a period also marked by the end of the Cold War, United States involvement in the Persian Gulf and the impeachment of a sitting president. The presidencies of Ronald Reagan, George Bush and Bill Clinton provide the backbone for this dramatic period in a program that traces the major figures and events that impacted the last 20 years of the 20th century. Through the use of vivid archival footage and interviews with renowned experts, students will grasp the legacy of the period -- touching on everything from Reagan's opposition to the Soviet Union's "Evil Empire" to the controversial presidential election of 2000.

The Presidency (750035)


As head of the executive branch of government, the President of the United States has one of the most influential jobs in the world today. But much has changed since George Washington was sworn in as our nation's first president on April 30, 1789 While Article ll of the Constitution provides a basic job description for the chief executive-including powers, qualification, terms of office, and the election process, the explanation of how the president is able to carry out these duties is surprisingly vague. The Framers of the Constitution left it up to the individuals elected president to determine their specific role in national and world affairs. But presidential powers are not unlimited. The legislative and judicial branches, through the system of checks and balances, also play an important part in defining the job of the president. This Focus Jackdaw traces the evolution of the Presidency from its beginnings to the present day.

The Electoral College (750043)


This Jackdaw portfolio will help students learn what the Electoral College is and how it works, the origin and history of the Electoral College, and the pros and cons of the Electoral college system. The historian uses primary source documents from as early as 1801 and as recent as 2000. Teachers and students alike will gain a better understanding of the Electoral College system by using this portfolio.

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Election Day

Dewey: Election Day 1948

How We Elect A President: U.S. Government

The 2000 Presidential Election

Hail to the Chief: Presidential Elections

National Conventions and Presidential Elections

Putting Roosevelt's Record on the Line and Election day

The Campaign Trail

Meet the Seasons: Fall

There are also many supporting materials available on the election process- make sure to check out the Historical Maps, Fact Sheets and Documents when searching for materials.

Veterans Day

Holidays for Children: Memorial Day / Veterans Day (021409)

DVD, PI, 23 min.

Memorial Day and Veterans Day are special holidays in America that honor the people who have served in the U.S. armed forces and commemorate all the service men and women who have died to preserve our freedom. Join the kids at the community center as they discover the true meaning of these important days and learn about their history through songs, stories, crafts and interviews with veterans. A visit to Arlington National Cemetery and a local community parade show how people pay their respects and celebrate these holidays.

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Veterans Day

The Story Of Veterans Day

Armistice Day and Veteran's Day

Veteran's Day Ceremonies and Events

A Veteran in the Family

Veterans and the Freedoms They Protect

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day (021699)

DVD, P, 6 min.

Children will learn about the rich history, traditions and customs of Thanksgiving in this iconographic program, based on the book by Gail Gibbons. The program tells the story of the Pilgrims and the Native Americans, and the large feast that they shared together on the first Thanksgiving. Viewers will explore how people celebrate this fall holiday with food, family and friends.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (021313)

DVD, PIJS, 25 min.

This sweet, heartwarming 1973 offering from the Peanuts gang (and Charles Schulz) once again shows Charlie Brown in a pickle, as his erstwhile friends impose upon the hapless would-be-host to provide a memorable and traditional Thanksgiving feast. And as much as Charlie Brown would rather forget the whole thing, he just can't help but try for fear of being labeled a failure. Ultimately it's up to Snoopy and Woodstock to save Charlie from certain embarrassment, and it falls to Linus to impart to all assembled the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

Holidays For Children: Thanksgiving (021395)

DVD, PI, 23 min.

Thanksgiving is a time to remember how much we rely upon and are grateful for the earth's bounty. Children learn the story behind the first Thanksgiving celebration, traditionally the American harvest holiday, and they visit Plimoth Plantation. Nanticoke tribe dancers re-create the sense of excitement and wonder the Pilgrims must have felt upon meeting the Native Americans. Children learn an Abnaki tribe myth on the origin of corn that teaches the importance of sharing resources, and a craft demonstration presents how to make a miniature Mayflower from walnut shells.

Thanksgiving Shared: Native Americans (021698)

DVD, IJS, 17 min.

Using historicval period locations, sets and costumes, as well as acting and language reflecting the American Colonial era, this program explores the events and social history that let to the formation of the United States. Clear narration bridges and unifies the dramatic sequences. Using actors in period costumes, this is a historical re-creation of the founding of Plymouth Plantation. It also tells the story of the First Thanksgiving from a unique perspective which emphasizes the Native Americans' contribution to this national holiday.

Thank you, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving (022040)

DVD, P, 12 min.

We the people of the United States… almost LOST Thanksgiving? Yes,

that’s right! Way back when “skirts were long and hats were tall” Americans were

forgetting Thanksgiving, and nobody seemed to care! Thankfully, Sarah Hale

appeared. More steadfast than Plymouth Rock, this lady editor knew the holiday

needed saving. But, would her recipe for rescue ever convince Congress and

the presidents?

Early Settlers (022479)

DVD, PI, 25 min.

Irene Bedard, the recognized voice of Disney's Pocahontas, narrates this journey through American history created especially for children. This program recounts the story of the Pilgrims and the voyage of the Mayflower to Plymouth Rock, the Mayflower Compact, Squanto and the first Thanksgiving, and life in colonial Williamsburg. Part of the American History for Children DVD Series, providing children with a balanced portrayal of U.S. history.

Giving Thanks (021283)

DVD, P, 8 min.

Known as the Thanksgiving Address, this Native American good morning message is based on the belief that the natural world is a precious and rare gift, from the moon and the stars to the tiniest blade of grass. Narrated by Chief Jake Swamp in English and in the Mohawk language.

William Bradford (Animated Hero Classics) (021318)

DVD, PI, 30 min.

William Bradford fled with the Pilgrims to the new world, where he discovered that the price for religious freedom was hunger, sickness and death. As a peacemaker, he befriended the Native Americans who taught struggling Pilgrims how to survive. William Bradford became Governer of the new land. After their first critical harvest, he set aside time for the Pilgrims and their new Native American friends to feast together and express their thanks to God. Thus, William Bradford became the Father of Thanksgiving Day.

Colonial Life for Children: Plimoth Plantation (021387)

DVD, PIJ, 23 min.

Tracy and Greg, wondering what life for the Pilgrims was really like, blast back in time to the original Plimoth Plantation of 1620, the first colonial settlement in southern New England. Follow along as they learn about daily life and culture, the roles of Pilgrim men and women, the voyage of the Mayflower and the importance of the Mayflower Compact. They begin to understand that thanksgiving for the Pilgrims was a daily practice, not just a feast held once a year. A Wampanoag Indian woman also teaches the kids about the food, shelter and customs of the region's Native American people.

Pilgrims and the Mayflower (750074)


The striking contrast between the Pilgrim’s story as taught in schools and the true-life adventure of persecution, a harrowing voyage, and a desperate struggle to survive will capture your students interest. An Admiralty appraisal of the ship, Mayflower, a suggested list of provisions for the would-be-settlers to bring from England, and a contemporary account of the landing in New England provide vivid details. The contents of this Jackdaw feature Broadsheets: To Dwell Among Crystal Rivers, Sixty-Six Days, Why Settle in the Wilderness?, The New Colony, Timeline: The Mayflower Pilgrims, 1492-1622 Historical Documents: Booklet: The Pilgrims and Their England. The Pilgrims’ request to settle in Leyden, 1609 Hubbard map: first map of New England from the New World, 1677. The Plimoth Patent granted by King James I to the settlers, 1621.

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Celebrating Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Traditions

A Short History of Thanksgiving

Squanto and the First Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Shared: Native Americans

How Many Days to America? Thanksgiving Story

Holiday Facts & Fun: Thanksgiving, 2nd Ed.

Plymouth Colony

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