Take advantage of this month’s Learning at Home broadcast schedule – great for students engaged in hybrid or distance instruction, and families looking to spend some extra, quality time together!
After watching these fascinating programs, explore the PBS LearningMedia and web resources to learn more.
Monday, March 1
12 PM: Let’s Learn – What Sounds Do You Hear in Kids?
“Let’s Learn” helps children ages 3-8 with at-home learning. One-hour programs feature instruction by educators and virtual field trips. Launch balloon rockets, learn about shapes, read “Escargot”, blend and segment sounds, practice short i r, f, & final s.
In New York State, the epicenter for reform in the mid 1800’s, women began their battle for the vote. The movement’s success depended on these women, but today, many of their stories are absent from the history. Meet a few of the diverse suffragists who tirelessly navigated issues of religious intolerance, sexism, politics, and racism as they fought for the vote and for women’s equality.
Part of a multi-part series commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, No Going Back: Women and the War explores how the Civil War turned the home front into the frontline for many women in the Confederacy. As husbands departed, wives and daughters had to shoulder the full burden of daily life. Hardship and hunger forced changes in long held cultural and societal beliefs, breaking boundaries confining most women, while breaking chains for others.
Plunge into the Pacific with researchers and cinematographers and see the ocean’s rare and dazzling creatures in a way never before seen on television. Big Pacific examines an ocean that covers a third of the Earth’s surface. Man has explored land, the ocean’s surface, and large parts of the solar system, and in the 21st century we are just beginning to explore the depths of the Pacific Ocean. We yearn to unravel the mysterious Pacific – but she does not give up her secrets willingly.
Follow along as NASA launches the Mars 2020 Mission, perhaps the most ambitious hunt yet for signs of ancient life on Mars. In February 2021, the spacecraft will blaze into the Martian atmosphere at some 12,000 miles per hour and attempt to lower the Perseverance Rover into the rocky Jezero Crater, home to a dried-up river delta scientists think could have harbored life. Perseverance will comb the area for signs of life and collect samples for possible return to Earth. Traveling onboard is a four-pound helicopter that will conduct a series of test flights—the first on another planet. During its journey, Perseverance will also test technology designed to produce oxygen from the Martian atmosphere, in hopes that the gas could be used for fuel—or for humans to breathe—on future missions.
Violence is part of life in the Pacific and those that live here must choose whether to avoid conflict or rise to meet it. The Pacific Ocean is a hunter’s paradise. From the skies of Snake Island to the teeming tropics, animals are reinventing the delivery of death on a grand scale. Surrounded by the Ring of Fire, this ocean is the epicenter of natural mayhem.
The Danube River carves its way eastwards from the Black Forest in Germany to the black sea in the East, where it splits into hundreds of braided channels running across the Danube Delta. The river feeds a diversity of habitats, home to over 300 spectacular wetland birds, over 40 mammals, and hundreds of amphibians, fish and insects. Every year the delta advances into the Black sea, but its future depends on the efforts of conservationists working to preserve these unique and fragile habitats.
There is plenty of food in the Pacific Ocean, but it is the challenge of finding that food that drives all life in the Pacific. In the voracious Pacific we meet a destructive army of mouths, a killer with a hundred mouths and the biggest mouth in the ocean.
1 PM: Daring Women Doctors: Physicians in the 19th Century
Hidden in American history, all women’s medical schools began to appear in the mid 19th century long before women had the right to vote or own property. “Daring Women Doctors” highlights the intrepid, pioneering and diverse women who faced hostility and resistance in their pursuit of medical educations.
In the Pacific, the quest to multiply has spawned a stunning array of unusual behaviors and adaptations. There are forest penguins with a tenuous marriage, the secret rendezvous of great white sharks, and the tale of male pregnancy.
Bach’s Goldberg Variations continue to challenge pianists and fascinate audiences. Kevin Cornell’s illustrations tend to evoke childlike emotion, even in adults. Sculptor Michael Murphy’s installations are perceptual puzzles.
This episode brings together a group of interpreters who learned in prison to hear poetry’s “call.” Learn from Senator John McCain, playwright and activist Anna Deavere Smith, poets Reginald Dwayne Betts and Li-Young Lee, and four exonerated prisoners about poetry’s special resonance for those behind bars.
In the vicinity of New York’s Hudson River Valley, a group of American painters led by British born artist Thomas Cole forged an artistic vision of the wilderness. This was the first American school of landscape painting. Men with the names of Cole, Durand, Cropsey, Bierstadt, and Church would impress the world with their creative brilliance and wondrous vision. On canvas they would bring to life 19th century America.
1 PM: The Story of China with Michael Wood: Ancestors, Silk Roads and China Ships
In Ancestors, Michael Wood starts with a family reunion, when 300 relatives gather to worship their ancestors on ‘Tomb Sweeping Day,’ and explores ancient myths and archaeological sites to uncover the origins of the Chinese state. He examines the first Chinese writing, and tells the dramatic tale of the bloodthirsty First Emperor. In Silk Roads and China Ships Wood travels to the bazaars of the Silk Road in Central Asia, and on to India in the footsteps of the Chinese monk who brought Buddhist texts to China. He uncovers the coming of Christianity, sails the Grand Canal, and tracks the spread of Chinese culture across East Asia, an influence ‘as profound as Rome on the Latin West’.
1 PM: The Story of China with Michael Wood: Golden Age, The Ming
In the alleys of Kaifeng, the world’s greatest city before the 19th century, Michael Wood hears legends, samples the cuisine and explores printing. We see a huge working replica of an astronomical clock made by ‘China’s Leonardo da Vinci’, one of the inventions that made the Song a great era of science. And at a crunch Chinese Premier League match, we learn that the Chinese even invented soccer! Then, in Nanjing, Michael sees the building of a huge replica of a Ming ocean-going junk. In Suzhou, the ‘Venice of China’, he explores the silk industry, ceramics and lacquer-making, and visits one of China’s most beautiful gardens. And finally in Macao, we learn about the arrival of Jesuit missionary Matteo Ricci beginning China’s fateful modern exchanges with the West.
1 PM: The Story of China with Michael Wood: The Last Empire, The Age of Revolution
In the 18th century China was the biggest economy in the world, and with that prosperity came a fabulously rich culture. From China’s favourite novel, to opera and storytelling houses, and all-women’s mosques, it’s an age full of surprises. But then came the fateful clash with the British in the First Opium War, the beginning of the end of the empire. Then we follow as Michael Wood visits Hong Kong’s Peninsula Hotel, jewel of the Jazz age, and follows Mao on the Long March to Yan’an, the base of the communist revolution. He meets a survivor of the Japanese massacre of Nanjing, describes the communist victory, and ends with Mao’s death and the boom time of the last thirty years. The series ends as it began at home with the warmth of the Chinese family.
1 PM: Ahead of Time: The Extraordinary Journey of Ruth Gruber
For seven decades foreign correspondent and photojournalist Ruth Gruber didn’t just report the news, she made it. Born in 1911 to Russian Jewish immigrants, Ruth Gruber became the youngest Ph.D. in the world before becoming an international journalist at age 24. A fearless trailblazer who defied tradition to become the eyes and conscience of the world, she was the first journalist to enter the Soviet Arctic in 1935, traveled to Alaska as a member of the Roosevelt administration in 1942, escorted Holocaust refugees to America in 1944, covered the Nuremberg trials in 1946, and documented the Palestine-bound Haganah ship Exodus in 1947. Her relationships with world leaders, including Eleanor Roosevelt, President Harry Truman, and Israel’s Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, gave her unique access and insight into modern history.
Georgia O’Keeffe: A Woman on Paper, highlights the artist’s career while focusing on the little-known story of O’Keeffe’s time spent in Columbia, S.C., as an art instructor at Columbia College. The program follows O’Keeffe’s career through various artistic stages, ending permanently in New Mexico, where she created more realistic paintings with vivid color.
1 PM: Articulate | Ellen Harvey, Bharatanatyam: Indian Dance, Xenia Rubinos
Though she’s a successful visual artist, Ellen Harvey remains obsessed with failure. Bharatanatyam survived colonial oppression to embody Indian identity at home and abroad. Xenia Rubinos’ complex music is infused with simple messages about big ideas.
How is the poet’s eye like–or unlike–that of the scientist, the photographer, or of the small child first rambling around the natural world? In this environmentally-themed, visually splendid episode, Elisa New is joined by evolutionary biologist E.O Wilson, poet Robert Hass, environmental photographer Laura McPhee, naturalist Joel Wagner, and kids at a Mass Audubon Society summer camp on Cape Cod in a wide ranging discussion of Galway Kinnell’s “The Gray Heron.”
2 PM: The Hudson River School: Cultivating a Tradition
In 19th century, artist Thomas Cole and engraver Asher Durand established an artistic movement that became The Hudson River School. The next generation expanded their palette with a technique that was immersed in light. This artistic innovation was later hailed as, “The Luminist Movement.” This film tells the story of these artists who became the greatest landscape painters in the world.
12 PM: Let’s Learn – Can You Hear the Short “i” in Little?
“Let’s Learn” helps children ages 3-8 with at-home learning. Code without a computer, make groups of objects equal, breathe deeply, read “Big Papa and the Time Machine,” review short I, o, u, w, j, y, and v.
1 PM: Shakespeare Uncovered: “Much Ado About Nothing” with Helen Hunt
“Much Ado About Nothing” is one of 13 plays that Shakespeare set in Italy, a country that was warm, sensuous and inviting for any 16th-century Englishmen writing about lovers. Claudio and Hero are the conventional lovers, too tongue-tied to speak to each other; Beatrice and Benedick are the skeptics, too busy insulting each other to realize how much they are in love. Hunt explores this exquisite comedy of comparison and contrast, as well as what the ultimate “ado” about “nothing” really means.
2 PM: Shakespeare Uncovered: “The Merchant of Venice” with F. Murray Abraham
Shakespeare probably never met a Jewish person. Three centuries before “The Merchant of Venice” was written, England became the first country in medieval Europe to expel its Jewish population. Abraham addresses the ubiquitous anti-Semitism that characterized Europe in Shakespeare’s time. Comparing Shylock to the stock Jewish villain of the day, the episode looks at the efforts over the years to interpret him as both villain and victim.
1 PM: Shakespeare Uncovered: “Measure for Measure” with Romola Garai
“Measure for Measure” takes an astonishingly timely look at sexual morality, hypocrisy and harassment. Shakespeare asks us to “measure” the price of liberty against the moral and social cost of libertinism. It’s a play about vice, the law and sexual corruption at the highest levels and, for nearly two centuries, it was considered too racy to be produced on the English stage. Garai explains why there is no light-hearted happy ending in this play, but something much darker and more complex — truly a sexual tale for our time.
2 PM: Shakespeare Uncovered: “Julius Caesar” with Brian Cox
Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” is a play that upholds liberty against tyranny. But what is tyranny? And who decides? Shakespeare doesn’t make it simple. In order to preserve the freedom of the Roman Republic, Julius Caesar, an “over-mighty” leader, is assassinated by Roman Senators led by Caesar’s friend Brutus. Caesar wanted to become an emperor. Is Brutus a traitor or a great hero and defender of liberty? Brian Cox explores how “Julius Caesar,” for many years, was seen to represent the American experience: the birth of a Republic. The play explores how easy it is for a free republic to fall into corruption. More than that, the play challenges us to think about who or what to trust and what values we want to live by — and to look inside and wonder how well we even know ourselves.
1 PM: Shakespeare Uncovered: “The Winter’s Tale” with Simon Russell Beale
A “winter’s tale” was Jacobean slang for something fanciful and unreal — a campfire story. Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale,” written during the period 1609-1611, is classified as one of his late romances. This is a play driven by passion and obsession, by the uncontrollable jealousy of King Leontes, who recklessly rejects his wife’s love and accuses her of an affair with his old friend. The play’s second half, something of an idyllic comedy despite the stark and brutal first half of the play, returns the people Leontes thought he lost through one of the greatest theatrical coups of all time — a magic trick that uses no magic. Beale shows that in this play Shakespeare offers something for which everyone longs: to reverse time, to make amends for an irreversible mistake.
2 PM: Shakespeare Uncovered: “Richard III” with Sir Antony Sher
Shakespeare’s Richard III is one of the most infamous villains of all time — and one of the most relished. Sher explains how Shakespeare created both a loathsome and brilliant manipulator, as well as a real man. Shakespeare’s history play is at least as much play as history. They hinge on character, on strength and on frailty, and explore what humans will resort to in order to achieve power. While historians still debate the merits and vices of the real King Richard, there is no truly reliable evidence that he was the villain Tudor historians described; but Shakespeare’s character is larger than life and for this reason stands for all times.
Historian Dr. Helen Castor explores the mysteries surrounding Shakespeare’s burial place. Will the first-ever scientific investigation discover why his tombstone’s only inscription is a curse against any man who “moves my bones?”
From first read through to final performance, this program takes a behind-the-scenes look at a summer of Montana Shakespeare in the Parks and tells the story of Shakespeare in Montana. Meet professional actors, some veterans and some fresh out of school, who have their lives changed by the people and places of Montana.
1 PM: Articulate | Feminist Fatale, Matthew Neenan, Modigliani, Luis Cruz Azace
Carsie Blanton uses an old musical form to help change the way women are perceived today. From a very young age, life has been a dance for choreographer Matthew Neenan. Amedeo Modigliani died a broken man, but his art has endured. Cuban-American artist Luis Cruz Azaceta reflects on modern society’s great tragedies.
Multi-platinum hip hop artist Nas has a global reputation as one of the greatest emcees and lyricists in his contemporary art form. But what about within the history–and canon–of American poetry? Learn alongside host Elisa New as Nas, music executive Steve Stoute, scholar Salamishah Tillet, and a chorus of hip hop heads, rappers, and fans break down the breakbeats and rhymes–and explore the searing vision–of Nas’s iconic track “N.Y. State of Mind.”
History teacher Mike Zahs uncovers a trove of 19th century showreels of one of America’s first motion picture impresarios, William Franklin Brinton. Zahs sets out to restore these showreels and present them to today’s audiences. In this portrait of an unlikely Midwestern folk hero, SAVING BRINTON offers a meditation on the legacy of illusionist Frank Brinton, and the magic of living history.
Explore the untold story of how Indigenous women influenced the early suffragists in their fight for freedom and equality. Mohawk Clan Mother Louise Herne and Professor Sally Roesch Wagner shake the foundation of the established history of the women’s rights movement in the US joining forces to shed light on the hidden history of the influence of Haudenosaunee Women on the women’s rights movement.
Ohero:kon – Under the Husk follows the challenging journey of two Mohawk girls as they take part in their traditional passage rites to becoming Mohawk Women. Kaienkwinehtha and Kasennakohe are childhood friends from traditional families living in the Mohawk Community of Akwesasne that straddles the U.S. / Canada border. They both take part in a four-year adolescent passage rites ceremony called Ohero:kon “Under the Husk” that has been revived in their community. This ceremony challenges them spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. It shapes the women they become.
2 PM: Animal Babies: First Year on Earth ⎪ First Steps
See the challenges young animals can face in their first year, whether fighting for survival in the wild or learning to coexist with humans. In First Steps, the babies learn to understanding their surroundings in environments ranging from Africa to Sri Lanka to Iceland. The most basic tools for survival must be learned in their first three months to thrive and ultimately survive.
Since the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947, these fragile parchment relics have intrigued scholars, religious leaders, and profiteers alike. The 2,000-year-old scrolls include the oldest-known versions of the Hebrew Bible and hold vital clues about the birth of Christianity. While certain scrolls have survived intact, others have been ravaged by time — burnt, decayed, or torn to pieces — and remain an enigma. Now, scientists are using new technologies to read the unreadable, solve mysteries that have endured for millennia, and even discover million-dollar fakes.
2 PM: Europe’s New Wild: The Land of the Snow and Ice
The wilds of Lapland have served as a home for the Sami people and their reindeer for thousands of years. But with the modern world threatening their traditional way of life, the Sami are working with conservation groups to protect and rewild one of Europe’s most extreme wildernesses. Now, Lapland is witnessing wildlife spectacles return to the land of ice and snow.
Hawaii, the most remote island chain on Earth, offers sanctuary for wildlife that has reached its tropical shores. From humpback whales to waterfall-climbing fish, it’s home to an extraordinary wealth of wildlife.
Hawaiiana examines the enduring legacy of Winona “Aunty Nona” Beamer, a venerated educator, storyteller, composer and hula expert who dedicated her life to preserving and celebrating traditional Hawaiian culture. In her 20s, Aunty Nona formed a Hawaiian dance troupe that toured the U.S., eventually performing at Carnegie Hall and bringing the ancient art of hula to the wider public. Later, as a teacher at the Kamehameha Schools, she became a pivotal force in bringing Hawaiian culture back into the classroom, coining the term “Hawaiiana” to represent a curriculum that included the best of Hawaiian culture, history and knowledge. Weaving together archival music and dance performances with past interviews and footage of Aunty Nona and her sons Keola and Kapona Beamer, Hawaiiana offers a profile of a pioneering woman whose wisdom and life story continue to spread the message of aloha around the world.
The oldest island on Earth, Madagascar has been isolated longer than any other place in the world. Life here has had time to evolve in strange and unique ways, resulting in more unique wildlife than possibly any other island on the planet.
Borneo, the third largest island on Earth, may seem like a paradise but its harsh landscape proves a struggle to survive. These challenges are the secret to the island hosting a greater diversity of life than almost any other island.
1 PM: Articulate | Daniel Handler, Lisa Hannigan, Nina Chanel
The Very Fortunate Daniel Handler is better known as Lemony Snicket, author of the popular children’s book series, A Series of Unfortunate Events. After a decade of non-stop creativity, singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan confronted and overcame the dreaded “blank page.” Nina Chanel Abney’s gift was obvious from an early age. These days, her work is in such high demand that even SHE has to wait for a painting.
While The New Colossus once welcomed immigrants into New York Harbor from its perch on the Statue of Liberty, this episode brings the discussion of poetry and immigration into our current moment. Host Elisa New rediscovers the freshness and the still-potent charge of Emma Lazarus’s iconic sonnet alongside singer-songwriter Regina Spektor, activist and co-founder of United We Dream Cristina Jiménez, President of the American Federation of Teachers Randi Weingarten, financier and philanthropist David Rubenstein, and poet Duy Doan. This episode contemplates the physical—and figurative—journeys charted by all immigrants.
Black Ballerina is a story of passion, opportunity, heartbreak and triumph of the human spirit. Set in the overwhelmingly white world of classical dance, it tells the stories of several black women from different generations who fell in love with ballet. Sixty years ago, while pursuing their dreams of careers in classical dance, Joan Myers Brown, Delores Browne and Raven Wilkinson (the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo’s first black ballerina) confronted racism, exclusion and unequal opportunity in segregated mid-century America. In 2015, three young black women also pursue careers as ballerinas, and find that many of the same obstacles their predecessors faced are still evident in the ballet world today. Through interviews with current and former ballet dancers along with engaging archival photos and film, Black Ballerina uses the ethereal world of ballet to engage viewers on a subject that reaches far outside the art world and compels viewers to think about larger issues of exclusion, equal opportunity and change.
Go beneath the surface and meet Africa’s river giants, the hippos. Discover an unexpected side of these aquatic mammals that can’t even swim as hippos protect their families, face their enemies and suffer in a drought. Narrated by David Attenborough.
2 PM: Animal Babies: First Year on Earth ⎪ Testing Limits
Learn the new challenges baby animals face once they can get around on their own. Every day brings new trials and tribulations, like searching for food, surviving in harsh environments and bonding with family members.
Discover the evolutionary secrets of some of the world’s most majestic creatures. From voracious crocodiles and acrobatic birds to stupendous whales and majestic elephants, When Whales Walked follows top scientists from around the world on a global adventure as they follow clues from the fossil record and change what we thought we knew about the evolution of iconic beasts.
The Dead Sea is dying: Since 1976, its level has dropped more than 100 feet, leaving its coastline pockmarked with thousands of sinkholes. But after more than a decade of research and debate, scientists, engineers, and political leaders have come up with a daring plan: connect the Red Sea to the Dead Sea by way of a massive desalination plant. If it’s successful, the project could not only revive the sea, but also help ease political tensions and water shortages in the region. NOVA follows this unprecedented endeavor—perhaps the world’s largest water chemistry experiment—as scientists race to save the Dead Sea and bring water to one of the driest regions on Earth.
Discover how a new awareness of nature is helping to restore ecosystems from Panama to China to Mozambique. See how innovative actions are being taken to repair man-made damage and restore reefs, rivers, animal populations and more.