Learning At Home Highlights [5/18 – 5/22]

As we continue to learn at home, check out this week’s Learning at Home highlights below! Watch these great programs and explore the PBS LearningMedia and web resources with your family to learn more.

Monday, May 18, 1 PM

NOVA: Polar Extremes

In this two-hour special, renowned paleontologist Kirk Johnson takes us on an epic adventure through time at the polar extremes of our planet. Following a trail of strange fossils found in all the wrong places—beech trees in Antarctica, hippo-like mammals in the Arctic—Johnson uncovers the bizarre history of the poles, from miles-high ice sheets to warm polar forests teeming with life. 

PBS LearningMedia related resources:

  • Glacial Retreat in Greenland: Polar Lab – Learn about glaciers and how they are the connection between global climate change and rising sea levels in this video from the NOVA Polar Lab.
  • NOVA Polar Lab – The interactive NOVA Polar Lab uses 360° videos, interviews with scientists, and mini-games to send students on an immersive quest to understand how the poles are key to understanding Earth’s climate—past, present, and future.
  • Adaptations to Changes in Temperatures | Polar Extremes – Explore the relationship between the traits of animals and changes in climate in these videos from NOVA: Polar Extremes.

Tuesday, May 19, 12 PM

Poetry in America: The New Colossus

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.

PBS LearningMedia related resources:

  • The New Colossus – This resource is part of the Poetry in America Collection and contemplates the physical—and figurative—journeys charted by all immigrants.
  • 20th Century Italian Immigration: America the Melting Pot…Or Not? – Explore the experiences of twentieth century American immigrants alongside renowned chef, Tom Colicchio, as he learns about his Italian ancestor’s arrival to America in this episode of Finding Your Roots.
  • Triangle Fire: Immigrant Workers and the American Dream – In the early 20th Century, European immigrants, mostly women and young girls, worked in the garment district of New York City to support their families. Excerpted from, American Experience: “Triangle Fire.”

Wednesday, May 20, 11:30 AM

SciGirls | Dolphin Dive

Izzie, Serena and Ceci bond with bottlenose dolphins, exploring their behavior at the Dolphins Plus Research Center.

PBS LearningMedia related resources:

  • Dolphins Plan Ahead – Learn about the cognitive abilities of dolphins in this video excerpt from NOVA scienceNOW: “How Smart Are Animals?” Correspondent Doug Hamilton meets with researcher Stan Kuczaj and dolphin trainer Teri Bolton to explore the intelligence of dolphins.
  • NOVA | Dolphin Reading Test – We know dolphins are smart, but can they read ? In this NOVA video animal trainer Teri Bolton, from the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences in Honduras, has trained Cedana the dolphin to perform specific actions when seeing certain two-dimensional symbols.
  • How Dolphins Echolocate and Imitate – Learn how dolphins use sound pulses to sense their surroundings in this video from NOVA: Inside Animal Minds: Dogs & Super Senses. To demonstrate this ability, researchers blindfold Tanner, a trained dolphin, and ask him to mimic a swimmer’s actions. Robbed of his vision, Tanner uses echolocation to copy the swimmer’s movements in the water.

Thursday, May 21, 2 PM

Big Pacific | Voracious

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.

PBS LearningMedia related resources:

  • Galapagos Marine Iguana | Big Pacific: Voracious – The Galapagos Islands are home to the only marine iguanas in the world, cold-blooded specimens uniquely adapted to thrive in the ocean. 
  • Nomura’s Jellyfish | Big Pacific: Voracious – In less than a year, the Nomura’s jellyfish grows from the size of a grain of rice to larger than a person. It is one of the largest species of jellyfish, spanning two yards across and weighing 450 pounds—as heavy as a full-grown grown lion!
  • The Urchin and the Otter | Big Pacific: Voracious – Underwater kelp forests remove 40 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere every year, and sustain a diverse range of organisms. Needless to say, the kelp is important. Yet hordes of sea urchins live in these pacific forests and eat the kelp, and would do so to depletion if left unchecked.