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, January 4
12 PM: Let’s Learn – Graph and Garden Start with “G”!
“Let’s Learn” helps children ages 3-8 with at-home learning. One-hour programs feature instruction by educators and virtual field trips. Make graphs with your toys, regrow plants from scraps, read “Strictly No Elephants,” turn your sneakers into tap shoes, learn how to Cool Down and Work Through Anger, predict with the poem “One Inch Tall.”
“Vernon Jordan: Make It Plain” explores Vernon Jordan’s rise from the segregated South, his tenure as the head of several civil rights organizations, and his current position as a partner at a corporate law firm and financial behemoth Lazard. Jordan is one of the most influential African American thought leaders in America.
1 PM: American Masters | Laura Ingalls Wilder: Prairie to Page
American Masters — Laura Ingalls Wilder: Prairie to Page presents an unvarnished look at the unlikely author whose autobiographical fiction helped shape American ideas of the frontier and self-reliance. A Midwestern farm woman who published her first novel at age 65, Laura Ingalls Wilder transformed her frontier childhood into the best-selling “Little House” series.
2:30 PM: A Harpist’s Legacy: Ann Hobson Pilot and The Sound of Change
A Harpist’s Legacy: Ann Hobson Pilot and the Sound of Change profiles the inspirational life and distinguished career of the revered harpist. This compelling documentary follows Pilot’s trailblazing journey as the first black female principal player in a major symphony orchestra and also as an international soloist, teacher, mentor and driving force behind music-education programs for underserved minorities. A Harpist’s Legacy uses her professional journey to explore the increasing racial diversity and shift in attitudes toward musicians of color in the classical music world.
12 PM: Let’s Learn – Can You Hear the Short “i” in Magic?
“Let’s Learn” helps children ages 3-8 with at-home learning. Make a tornado in a bottle, create scary sound FX, learn magic tricks, play shape shuffle, hear the story of “Corduroy,” read about insects.
2 PM: Secrets of the Dead | King Arthur’s Lost Kingdom
After four centuries of occupation and leadership, the Romans left Britain in 410 AD and the island’s fate was left hanging in the balance. History teaches that in the 5th century, the country descended into a tumultuous and violent period knows as the Dark Ages, leaving the nation vulnerable to invading Angle and Saxon hordes from northern Europe. In this special, uncover new archaeological evidence rewriting our understanding of the Dark Ages that might also explain the legend of King Arthur.
Join a journey through India to discover its rich culture and rare wildlife. Experience a ritual tiger dance and see lions, elephants and India’s only ape — the hoolock gibbon. Then climb to the Himalayas where the Ganges River begins.
Continue exploring India and meet a man who spent 30 years planting his own rainforest. On the way, encounter demoiselle cranes, tahr goats, one-horned rhinos, the tiny pika and lion-tailed macaques. Witness the mass hatching of olive ridley turtles.
12 PM: Let’s Learn – What’s the Sound of “cl” in Clap?
“Let’s Learn” helps children ages 3-8 with at-home learning. Play with a ramp and a catapult, try step dancing, hear illustrator Dan Santat read “Little Fox and the Wild Imagination,” write about This and That.
1 PM: Articulate | A Place at the Table, Tap into America, Music with Teeth
After her father George died, Mira Nakashima inherited his shop and set to work continuing the artistic legacy of a master craftsman in wood. Despite only occasional glimpses of the mainstream, tap dance remains an iconic American art form. With custom-composed pieces employing a staggering range of vocal styles, Roomful of Teeth makes music that can be difficult to define.
1:30 PM: Poetry in America: I Cannot Dance Opon My Toes
“I cannot dance opon my Toes – ” Emily Dickinson writes, “No Man instructed me.” Still, Dickinson makes the white page of the poem her performance space. This episode’s ensemble of interpreters not only discuss–they also act, play, and dance–their interpretations of Dickinson’s ravishing ballet-themed poem. Join actor Cynthia Nixon, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, dancer and choreographer Jill Johnson, and poet Marie Howe in an exploration of the challenges of art, and the price of audience, across time, space, and artistic medium.
2 PM: Great Performances | Now Hear This “Haydn: The King of Strings”
Explore the work of famed composer Joseph Haydn’s career with host Scott Yoo and featured guest artists as he discovers how Haydn borrowed folk music from Scotland, Hungary and Austria to create his famous “Emperor Quartet.”
12:30 PM: Rediscovering the Light: Restoring New York’s Capitol
After twelve years of restoration projects, the Capitol is once again the shining jewel of the Empire State. Witness the results of hundreds of skilled workers and artisans to illuminate areas that had been cloaked in darkness for over half a century.
1 PM: Let’s Learn – How Many Syllables are in Family?
“Let’s Learn” helps children ages 3-8 with at-home learning. Discover a secret hidden number, read “The Proudest Blue,” explore why families are important, learn about compound words, take a belly breath.
2 PM: Summoned: Frances Perkins and the General Welfare
The first woman appointed to a U.S. Presidential cabinet, Frances Perkins created the social safety net that continues to shape the lives of Americans today. In her 12 years as Labor Secretary under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Perkins created the Social Security program, a federal minimum wage, the 40-hour work week and unemployment compensation, and ended the legal use of child labor. Summoned: Frances Perkins and the General Welfare tells the story of Perkins’ life through rare archival recordings of her voice, and interviews with Nancy Pelosi, George Mitchell, David Brooks, Lawrence O’Donnell and Amy Klobuchar.
Predictions underlie nearly every aspect of our lives, from sports, politics, and medical decisions to the morning commute. With the explosion of digital technology, the internet, and “big data,” the science of forecasting is flourishing. But why do some predictions succeed spectacularly while others fail abysmally? And how can we find meaningful patterns amidst chaos and uncertainty?
On November 25th, 1915, Einstein published his greatest work: general relativity. The theory transformed our understanding of nature’s laws and the entire history of the cosmos, reaching back to the origin of time itself. NOVA tells the inside story of Einstein’s masterpiece. The story begins with the intuitive thought experiments that set Einstein off on his quest.
“Let’s Learn” helps children ages 3-8 with at-home learning. Make a flying star and paper from scraps, meet a porcupine, watch marching ants and sing about them, read “Don’t Touch My Hair,” learn about feelings and short “a.”
The squirrel family – from tiny chipmunks to big prairie dogs – is one of the most widespread on Earth. There are almost 300 species of squirrels that can glide through the air, outwit rattlesnakes, and survive the coldest temperatures of any mammal. Discover the secrets to their success.
Eagles dominate the skies. But what makes these predators so special? Researchers study one special bird—and stunning up-close footage reveals her exceptional strength, eyesight, and flying skills. With intimate access to a new bald eagle family, NOVA takes you into the nest to witness the drama of chicks struggling to survive.
12 PM: Let’s Learn – Can you Hear the Short “o” in Bog?
“Let’s Learn” helps children ages 3-8 with at-home learning. Listen to author Katrina Moore read “One Hug,” sing “Rattlin’ Bog,” have fun with counting, try partner juggling, learn about short “o” and sorting feelings.
Based on the book “The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies,” The Codebreaker reveals the fascinating story of Elizebeth Smith Friedman, the groundbreaking cryptanalyst whose painstaking work to decode thousands of messages for the U.S. government would send infamous gangsters to prison in the 1920s and bring down a massive, near-invisible Nazi spy ring in WWII. Together with her husband, the legendary cryptologist William Friedman, Elizebeth helped develop the methods that led to the creation of the powerful new science of cryptology and laid the foundation for modern codebreaking today
Throughout 1942, German U-boats were sinking hundreds of American ships in the Atlantic Ocean, effectively cutting the supply line to embattled ally England. In desperation, the United States Navy turned to the National Cash Register Company in Dayton, Ohio, to design and build code-breaking machines. The high-priority and highly classified project involved hundreds of civilians, Naval officers and one engineer of German descent whose insight and technical ability helped break the complex Enigma code. Dayton Codebreakers uncovers Joseph Desch’s role in helping end World War II, through interviews with eminent historians, scientists and honored war veterans.
1 PM: Articulate | Under Pressure, Moe Brooker, The Nature of Art
Performance anxiety is common even among the most accomplished professionals. Moe Brooker is rightly regarded as one of the greats of American abstract painting. By melding art and science, Brandon Ballengée promotes awareness of endangered species.
Edward Hirsch’s poem, “Fast Break,” captures a single slow-motion play on a basketball court. Join Hirsch, host Elisa New, NBA players Shaquille O’Neal, Pau Gasol, and Shane Battier, and a group of pick-up basketball players as they use basketball to understand poetry—and poetry to better understand the game of basketball.
2 PM: Great Performances | Now Hear This “The Schubert Generation”
Franz Schubert composed 1,500 works, but his genius wasn’t recognized until after his tragic death at 31. The Vienna native never found success in his hometown, then the world’s musical capital. Host Scott Yoo goes to today’s musical capitals to meet tomorrow’s most promising artists—all of them Schubert’s age during his career—to understand Schubert’s life through some of his greatest music and learn what it takes for a young classical artist to make it in the 21st century.
The yearly celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Plattsburgh, New York, moves online this year. Community leaders join together in song and words of inspiration to honor Dr. King’s life and legacy.
2 PM: Civil Rights: Then and Now ⎪ New York State Celebrates the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Few individuals have had such a profound impact on modern society as did Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In this one-hour tribute to the life and legacy of Dr. King, New York State invites you to learn more about the people and organizations in our great state who embody the principles of America’s greatest leader for social justice, freedom, and equality for all. This program focuses on New Yorkers who are making a difference by making positive influences on their communities.
12:30 PM: Let’s Learn – How Many “a’s” are in Tarantula?
“Let’s Learn” helps children ages 3-8 with at-home learning. Meet a tarantula named Rose and a drum named Jasmine, play rock’n’roll bingo, turn a cereal box into a science journal, read “Over the Ocean.”
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 Part One of the miniseries “The Alps”, enjoy the Alps in spring and summertime as newborn animals grow up to face the coming brutal winter.
A 33-year-old computer programmer named Tim Berners-Lee changed the world forever when he invented the World Wide Web in 1989. His visionary decision to make it a free and accessible resource sparked a global revolution in how we communicate and participate in public life. After 25 years outside the spotlight, Sir Tim Berners-Lee emerges to tell his story for the first time.
1 PM: Feeling Good About America: 1976 Presidential Election
Feeling Good About America: The 1976 Presidential Election chronicles the race between incumbent Republican President Gerald Ford and Democratic candidate and Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter, who stepped onto the national stage touting his outsider status and promising, “I’ll never lie to you.” The documentary explores Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon, the anti-establishment sentiment surging through the country, Carter’s primary strategy in a crowded field, and the challenge to Ford by Ronald Reagan for the Republican nomination.
“Statecraft: The Bush 41 Team” offers a unique look at the foreign policy legacy of President George H.W. Bush as told via the George H. W. Bush Presidential Oral History, the historical record and the accounts of the advisers who shaped it. Co-produced by VPM and the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia.
The ceramics of Roberto Lugo pay homage to their classical past but are firmly rooted in the realities of his inner city upbringing. Zaria Forman & Nick Pedersen are using art to reframe the climate change conversation. Composer Gerald Busby could not have guessed that after surviving heartbreak, HIV and drug addiction, he would experience an artistic rebirth in his twilight years.
Robert Hayden’s sonnet “Those Winter Sundays” offers a meditation on the fraught love between fathers and sons. Vice President Joe Biden, Inaugural poet Elizabeth Alexander, and psychologist Angela Duckworth join a chorus of working fathers and sons to reflect on Hayden’s moving poem.
2 PM: Great Performances | Now Hear This “Becoming Mozart”
Travel with host Scott Yoo and pianist Stewart Goodyear as they visit Yoo’s Festival Mozaic where Goodyear learns to direct an orchestra from the piano while improvising the solos of Mozart’s twentieth piano concerto.
Mr. Tornado is the remarkable story of the man whose groundbreaking work in research and applied science saved thousands of lives and helped Americans prepare for and respond to dangerous weather phenomena. Ted Fujita was a Japanese-American engineer turned meteorologist. He immersed himself in research on tornadoes and introduced the “Fujita Scale”, a six-point scale to classify degrees of tornado intensity.
In 2011, the worst tornado season in decades left a trail of destruction across the U.S., killing more than 550 people. Why was there such an extreme outbreak? How do such outbreaks form? With modern warning systems, why did so many die? Is our weather getting more extreme – and if so how bad will it get? In this NOVA special, we meet scientists striving to understand the forces at work behind the 2011 outbreak. We also meet people whose lives have been upended by these extreme weather events and and learn how we all can protect ourselves and our communities for the future.
A remarkable chance discovery is about to reveal secrets that have laid hidden for 200 million years. A super predator that ruled the ocean at the time of the dinosaurs was found in a crumbling cliff face. It’s an Ichthyosaur, a fish lizard. Older than dinosaurs, these fearsome predators had the very best characteristics of reptiles and mammals in one formidable package. Sir David Attenborough hosts this detective story, from the challenging onsite extraction of the fossils to the 3D reconstruction of the creature. He looks at evidence from animals across the world to try and piece together how this “sea dragon” lived.
Leonardo da Vinci was a Renaissance genius. Not only did he paint masterpieces of art, but he was an obsessive scientist and inventor, dreaming up complex machines centuries ahead of his time, including parachutes, armored tanks, hang gliders, and robots. On the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death, with the help of biographer Walter Isaacson, NOVA investigates the secrets of Leonardo’s success. How did his scientific curiosity, from dissections of cadavers to studies of optics, shape his genius and help him create perhaps the most famous painting of all time, the “Mona Lisa”?
Native America explores the world created by America’s First Peoples. The four part series reaches back 15,000 years to reveal massive cities aligned to the stars, unique systems of science and spirituality, and 100 million people connected by social networks spanning two continents. In this episode, combine ancient wisdom and modern science to answer a 15,000-year-old question: who were America’s First Peoples? The answer hides in Amazonian cave paintings, Mexican burial chambers, New Mexico’s Chaco Canyon and waves off California’s coast.
Explore the rise of great American nations, from monarchies to democracies. Investigate lost cities in Mexico, a temple in Peru, a potlatch ceremony in the Pacific Northwest and a tapestry of shell beads in upstate New York whose story inspired our own democracy.
12 PM: Let’s Learn – People and Purple Start with “p”!
“Let’s Learn” helps children ages 3-8 with at-home learning. Explore different places where people and animals live, learn about the letters O and P and how families are diverse, read “Red is a Dragon.”
Discover the cosmological secrets behind America’s ancient cities. Scientists explore some of the world’s largest pyramids and 3D-scan a lost city of monumental mounds on the Mississippi River; native elders reveal ancient powers of the sky.
Discover how resistance, survival and revival are revealed through an empire of horse-mounted Comanche warriors, secret messages encoded in an Aztec manuscript and a grass bridge in the Andes that spans mountains and centuries.
1 PM: Articulate ⎪ Sugar Tongue Slim, Bruce Metcalf, Fear of the Known
For STS, wordplay is a way of life; hip-hop lines his pockets, poetry feeds his soul. Fine art jeweler Bruce Metcalf refuses to use traditional metals and gems in his work. For generations, 20th century American writer H.P. Lovecraft has been terrifying readers.
Read two of Ginsberg’s most emotionally transporting poems, the “Hymmnn” from Kaddish, and the anti-war chant “Hum Bom!” with rock star Bono, former United States Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, and a chorus of clergy and religious practitioners. Hosted by Elisa New.
The documentary Daniel Sprick: Pursuit of Truth and Beauty examines the life and work of one of the greatest contemporary realist painters in the world, Daniel Sprick. His work has been internationally exhibited since the 1980s, and he remains today at the top of his form. The film includes the perspectives of curators, art historians, collectors and other art experts, and adds to our understanding not only of Sprick, but also helps to account for the persistent appeal of realism in contemporary art.