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, February 1
12 PM: Let’s Learn – Theatre and Ten Start with “t”!
“Let’s Learn” helps children ages 3-8 with at-home learning. One-hour programs feature instruction by educators and virtual field trips. Celebrate an owl’s birthday, read “Bodega Cat,” try playwriting, learn about coding, making maracas, and the letters T and U.
The grandson of Alabama slaves, Percy Julian met with every possible barrier in a deeply segregated America. He was a man of genius, devotion, and determination. As a black man he was also an outsider, fighting to make a place for himself in a profession and country divided by bigotry—a man who would eventually find freedom in the laboratory. By the time of his death, Julian had risen to the highest levels of scientific and personal achievement, overcoming countless obstacles to become a world-class scientist, a self-made millionaire, and a civil-rights pioneer.
12 PM: Let’s Learn – World and Weather Start with “w”!
“Let’s Learn” helps children ages 3-8 with at-home learning. Dress paper dolls to learn math/science, read “Wide Big World” and “When Mama Braids My Hair,” clap along with syllables, learn letters V, W, X.
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.
The Horse Relative explores the historic art of horse regalia and how the tradition is being revived and reinterpreted by Dakota communities for a new generation. Interviewees discuss the sacred relationship between the horse and the Dakota people, and the centuries-old tradition of dressing horses for ceremonies and celebrations. The film also looks at the efforts of artists, educators and community leaders to preserve and restore the Dakota language, cultural traditions and lifeways.
12 PM: Let’s Learn – Year and Young Start with “y”!
“Let’s Learn” helps children ages 3-8 with at-home learning. Learn how snakes and lizards are alike and different, explore shapes, do a freeze dance, read “It’s Bath Time Baby,” practice identifying syllables and writing Y and Z.
In Europe’s highest mountain range, discover how Alpine lynx, griffon vultures, ibex, crocuses, marmots and more face extreme seasonal fluctuations, from volatile thunderstorms and landslides of summer to avalanches and frozen temperatures of winter. In the second and final part of NATURE’s miniseries “The Alps,” experience the hostile and bitter cold ecosystems of the Alps, shaped by snow blizzards and avalanches.
Discover the wildly disparate yet fatefully entwined stories of an assassin, James Earl Ray, and his target, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., against the backdrop of the seething and turbulent forces in American society that led these two men to their violent and tragic collision in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968.
12 PM: Let’s Learn – What’s the First Sound in Friend?
“Let’s Learn” helps children ages 3-8 with at-home learning. Do a float/sink experiment, have a picnic inside to learn math, read “Color Dance” and mix colors in water, play “Feed the Fish” to identify initial word sounds, learn about feelings and friends.
“Let’s Learn” helps children ages 3-8 with at-home learning. Discover how to stop apples from browning, learn a song from Cuba, listen for alliteration, read “A New Home” and “Still a Family: A Story About Homelessness.”
1 PM: Articulate | Scents and Sensibility, Found in Translation, Elizabeth Streb
Conducting opera may be classical music’s toughest job. Fabio Luisi does it with grace. Scholarly translations are a battle between literal accuracy and literary interpretation. Elizabeth Streb may well be the most fervently anti-dance choreographer you’ve ever met.
Travel back to 1914—when Chicago’s skyscrapers and Chicago’s poets were defining modernist reach and audacity. Elisa New considers the rise of the skyscraper—and the emergence of the modernist poem—in an episode featuring celebrated architect Frank Gehry, Chinese visionary and real estate developer Zhang Xin, poet Robert Polito, and student poets from around the United States. And what about today? Can a building, as Sandburg asserts, have “soul,” and who gives it that soul?
2 PM: Songs to Keep: Treasures of an Adirondack Folk Collector
Follow the musical trail of folk collector Marjorie Lansing Porter as we explore gorgeous American vistas. In the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s, Porter tirelessly recorded folk songs that were on the brink of disappearing. Now, contemporary singers and musicians honor her collection by re-recording these traditional tunes in Songs to Keep: Treasures of an Adirondack Folk Collector.
12 PM: Let’s Learn – What’s the Last Sound in Clap?
“Let’s Learn” helps children ages 3-8 with at-home learning. Make new crayons from old ones, practice counting, have fun with body percussion, listen for the sounds at the end of words, read “A Place to Stay: A Shelter Story.”
Travel to the mountains of Chile to discover the secrets of the puma, the area’s biggest and most elusive predator. Discover how this mountain lion survives and follow the dramatic fate of a puma mother and her cubs.
Explore the resurgence of iconic wildlife and natural processes across Europe’s most breathtaking landscapes, from the Arctic Circle to rich river wetlands, from deep forests to rugged mountain peaks. Across the Iberian peninsula, food chains and ecosystems are being restored allowing a host of endangered animals, including the Iberian Lynx – rarest cat in the world – to flourish once again. In Portugal’s Coa Valley, the introduction of ancient species is transforming the landscape and heralding the return of the region’s top predators.
12 PM: Let’s Learn – What’s the Last Sound in Special?
“Let’s Learn” helps children ages 3-8 with at-home learning. Learn about samba and why we need to use soap, watch hippo zoolympics, read “It’s Okay to be a Unicorn,” play I Spy to find final sounds in words, take a belly breath.
Just about every solid, liquid, or gas in the world as we know it begins with reactions between individual atoms and molecules. Host David Pogue dives into the transformative world of chemical reactions, from the complex formula that produces cement to the single reaction that’s allowed farmers to feed a global population by the billions—a reaction that when reversed, unleashes the powerful chemistry of high explosives.
Earth is alive because of water, and humanity’s relationship with this simple molecule is everything. H2O, The Molecule That Made Us dramatically reveals how water underpins every aspect of our existence. Pulse opens on the rock and ice of Greenland, where geologist Stephen Mojzsis shares a new theory on how water first arrived on Planet Earth. See the world’s longest insect migration, and meet the Munoz family, who use cutting edge time-lapse rigs to show the rare spectacle of deserts around the world exploding from barren wastelands into rich carpets of flowers. But the pulse is under threat.
1 PM: Reconstruction: America After the Civil War ⎪ Part 1 – Hours 1 & 2
The aftermath of the Civil War was bewildering, exhilarating and terrifying. African Americans had played a crucial role in saving the Union and now, as the country grappled with the terms and implications of Reconstruction, they struggled to breathe life into their hard-won freedom. The result was a second American Revolution. Post-Civil War America was a new world. For African Americans living in the former Confederacy, Reconstruction was what historian W. E. B. Du Bois once described as their “brief moment in the sun.” But support for the social, economic, and political gains they achieved didn’t last long. A controversial presidential election in 1876 deals Reconstruction a grievous blow.
12 PM: Let’s Learn – What’s the Middle Sound in Look?
“Let’s Learn” helps children ages 3-8 with at-home learning. Play a fast and slow game to learn about shapes and numbers, read “Priya Dreams of Marigolds and Masala,” make paper flowers and string drawings, blend sounds to make words.
1 PM: Reconstruction: America After the Civil War ⎪ Part 2 – Hours 3 & 4
Hour three of the series examines the years 1877-1896, a transitional period that saw visions of a “New South” set the stage for the rise of Jim Crow and the undermining of Reconstruction’s legal and political legacy. While some African Americans attempted to migrate, the vast majority remained in the South, where sharecropping, convict leasing, disfranchisement, and lynchings drew a “color line”. In hour four, learn how the turn of the century is known as the ‘nadir’ of race relations, when white supremacy was ascendant and African Americans faced both physical and psychological oppression. Racist imagery saturated popular culture and Southern propaganda manipulated the story of the Civil War and Reconstruction. But African Americans found ways to fight back, using artistic expression to put forward a “New Negro”
1 PM: Articulate | Watsky on How to Ruin Everything, All the World’s a Stage, Dindga McCannon
Spoken word poet-turned-rapper Watsky pulled no punches in his first collection of essays. If life is itself a performance, what can theatre teach us about how to be ourselves? Dindga McCannon helped pioneer art quilting, a fresh approach to a traditional medium.
“What happens to a dream deferred?” Langston Hughes’s question calls President Bill Clinton, pianist and composer Herbie Hancock, poet Sonia Sanchez, and students from the Harlem Children’s Zone to interpret Hughes’s most iconic poem, “Harlem.” Together with host Elisa New, the President and other guests, explore the poem’s rhythms and rhymes, interpret its images, and discuss its enduring call for justice.
Celebrate 10 years of friendship, memories and music with international superstars Il Volo in concert from Matera, Italy. The beloved trio performs stunning new arrangements of their greatest hits and songs from their new album.
“Let’s Learn” helps children ages 3-8 with at-home learning. Play a shopping game, move to the rhythm of your name, blend sounds to make words, make a mandala in nature, read “Zero Local: Next Stop Kindness.”
In the Carpathian mountains and other wildlife strongholds, nature is being given a helping hand. The reintroduction of European bison and the spread of the gray wolf across the continent signal a wildlife comeback which is benefiting not only other animals but humans as well.
Glass so strong you can jump on it, rubber so tough it protects a clay pot dropped from 50 feet, endless varieties of plastic. Scientists and engineers have created virtually indestructible versions of common materials by manipulating the chains of interlocking atoms that give them strength—but have they made them too tough? Host David Pogue explores the fantastic chemistry behind the everyday materials we depend on, and how the quest for durability can be balanced with products’ environmental impact.
2 PM: H20: The Molecule That Made Us ⎪ Civilizations
Civilizations turns our ‘water lens’ on human history. Starting in Ancient Egypt, it charts the critical role water plays in history, and around the world we see the birth of civilizations on the banks of the great rivers: Nile, Tigris and Euphrates, Indus and Yellow. We end by asking if we can guarantee water supplies of the future?
“Let’s Learn” helps children ages 3-8 with at-home learning. Race to the top floor, play “Simon Says” to blend sounds, learn about our community, read “After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again.”
1 PM: American Masters | Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise
Distinctly referred to as “a redwood tree, with deep roots in American culture,” Dr. Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928-May 28, 2014) led a prolific life. As a singer, dancer, activist, poet and writer, she inspired generations with lyrical modern African-American thought that pushed boundaries. Best known for her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Random House), she gave people the freedom to think about their history in a way they never had before.
On Easter Sunday, 1939, contralto Marian Anderson stepped up to a microphone in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Inscribed on the walls of the monument behind her were the words “all men are created equal.” Barred from performing in Constitution Hall because of her race, Anderson would sing for the American people in the open air. Hailed as a voice that “comes around once in a hundred years” by maestros in Europe and widely celebrated by both white and black audiences at home, her fame hadn’t been enough to spare her from the indignities and outright violence of racism and segregation. Voice of Freedom interweaves Anderson’s rich life story with this landmark moment in history, exploring fundamental questions about talent, race, fame, democracy, and the American soul.
1 PM: Articulate | The Cutting Edge of Stained Glass, Bodies of Work, Eric Owens
For more than thirty years, Judith Schaechter has been applying avant-garde sensibilities to a once traditional art form; stained glass. In the past century or so, tattoos have gone from being a mark of the outsider to a more socially accepted expression of self. With a voice and stage presence as big as his personality, Eric Owens is among the most celebrated bass-baritones in the opera world.
With Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, with journalist and ethicist David Brooks, and with poet, professor, and painter Peter Sacks, ponder W.H. Auden’s World War II era reflections on suffering in “Musée des Beaux Arts.” How are ordinary people to regard, and respond to, suffering they have not caused? Who can help us find the way? The statesman, the journalist, the poet, the painter?
The Art of Home: A Wind River Story tells the stories of two indigenous artists who create new works reflecting on their tribal homelands, the Wind River Indian Reservation. Ken Williams (Arapaho) is a Santa Fe art celebrity, and Sarah Ortegon (Shoshone) is an up-and-coming actress in Denver. Both artists travel to Wind River Reservation to reconnect with their ancestors and present their art work to a somewhat isolated community.
1 PM: NATURE: Equus “Story of the Horse” ⎪ Origins
The relationship between man and his noble steed is almost as old as civilization itself, allowing our species to explore, conquer and flourish side by side with the horse. NATURE traces this revolutionizing partnership with anthropologist Niobe Thompson in this two-part series. In “Origins,” explore the fascinating evolutionary journey of the horse, from its tiny forest-dwelling ancestor called the Dawn Horse to the modern steed. Encounter scientists unlocking the genetic basis of horsepower and decoding their emotional intelligence.
Without the chemistry of photosynthesis, ozone, and a molecule called Rubisco, none of us would be here. So how did we get so lucky? To find out, host David Pogue investigates the surprising molecules that allowed life on Earth to begin, and ultimately thrive. Along the way, he finds out what we’re all made of—literally.
Crisis examines how the planet’s changing water cycle is forcing us to change our relationship with water. An increasingly, globalized agricultural industry is turning precious water reserves into profit, “mining” water faster than it can be replaced. As Chairman Emeritus of Nestle, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe says, “…. the water issue is more urgent than the climate issue.”
Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet tells the story of a man who changed the world 1,400 years ago and now lives in the United States through the lives of the millions of Americans who practice Islam and regard him as God’s prophet. It travels in the footsteps of the founder of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad to the Arabian Desert and the holy city of Mecca where Muhammad’s story unfolded. But the film does not just stay in the past.
While George Washington Carver’s rise from slavery to scientific accomplishment has inspired millions, time has reduced him to the man who did something with peanuts. This documentary uncovers Carver’s complexities and reveals the full impact of his life and work.
Talking Black in America follows the unique circumstances of the descendants of American slaves and their incredible impact on American life and language. Speech varieties from the African American community reflect the imprint of African language systems, the influences of regional British and Southern American dialects, and the creativity and resilience of people living through oppression, segregation and the fight for equality. Filmed across the United States, Talking Black in America is a startling revelation of language as legacy, identity and triumph over adversity.
1 PM: Articulate | It Takes Two, Krimes and Punishment, Stephen Costello’s Most Valuable Friend
Tango is a complex improvised form that’s danced the world over. Jesse Krimes describes his six years in federal prison as a kind of “artist residency.” Celebrated opera tenor Stephen Costello has been both blessed and betrayed by his voice.
What is a cherished garment made of? What is a poem made of? Labor and raw materials, tradition and innovation, influences both local and global and–art–are stitched into both. At New York Fashion Week, host Elisa New catches up with fashion designer Johnson Hartig, Bergdorf Goodman’s Betty Halbreich, shoe designer Stuart Weitzman, and design and poetry students from the New School to discuss Robert Pinsky’s “Shirt.” Back in Boston, poet Robert Pinsky helps trace the intricate history of the garment and the poem.
2 PM: Kindred Spirits: Artists Hilda Wilkinson Brown and Lilian Thomas Burwell
Kindred Spirits explores the unique relationship between an African American aunt and niece who became accomplished artists and educators despite the hardships of the Great Depression and the inequities of racial segregation. The story of their lives, their works of art and sources of inspiration are presented against the backdrop of a segregated society.
Spotlight Special: Fulton Fryar’s Closet tells a relatively unknown story of racial inequality in 1950’s Adirondack culture, and how memories of it resurfaced recently when a building at Seagle Music Colony faced demolition. The building housed a young singer named Fulton Fryar, the first African American singer to study at the colony, and whose sleeping quarters in 1957 were kept separate from those of the other singers on the campus. Learn what role architectural experts, museum curators and concerned citizens are playing to make sure Fryar’s story will be remembered.