Take advantage of this week’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.
Highlight of the Week
Koko – The Gorilla Who Talks
Wednesday, November 18, 2 PM
Explore the story of Penny Patterson and Koko the gorilla. In 1971, Penny Patterson, a graduate student at Stanford University, met Koko, a new-born gorilla in San Francisco Zoo. Penny had grown up wanting to communicate with animals and decided to teach Koko sign language in the hope of finally crossing the boundary between animals and humans.
Learning at Home
Week of 11/16 – 11/20
Monday, November 16
1 PM: NOVA: Petra: Lost City of Stone
More than 2,000 years ago, the city of Petra rose up in the bone-dry desert of what is now Jordan. Petra was a thriving metropolis of temples, markets, and spectacular tombs carved into cliffs, built by wealthy merchants whose camel caravans transported incense and spices from the Arabian Gulf. But how did Petra’s architects supply running water to this bone-dry canyon for bathhouses, fountains and pools? Now, in a daring experiment, an archaeologist and sculptors team up to carve an iconic temple-tomb to find out how the ancient people of Petra built their city of stone. Meanwhile, scientists using remote sensors and hydraulic flumes uncover the vast city and its sophisticated water system.
- Program page
- PBS LearningMedia: Building Wonders | Hydraulic Engineering in Ancient Petra
2 PM: NOVA: Dead Sea Scroll Detectives
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.
- Program page
- PBS LearningMedia: Using X-Ray Technology to Read the Unreadable | Dead Sea Scroll Detectives
Tuesday, November 17
1 PM: Secrets of the Dead: Nero’s Sunken City
Beneath the turquoise waves of the Bay of Naples lies an extraordinary underwater archeology site, the ancient Roman city of Baiae. From the first century to the third century AD, Baiae was the exclusive playground for the rich and powerful among Rome’s elite. What made Baiae such a special place? What really went on there? And why did it disappear? Now, archaeologists are mapping underwater ruins and piecing together what life was really like.
2 PM: Shakespeare’s Tomb
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?”
- Program page
- PBS LearningMedia: Shakespeare: The Intersection of Art & Life Timeline
Wednesday, November 18
1 PM: NATURE: Primates | Family Matters
Family is everything for primates. They have the most complex social lives of any animal group on the planet. Meet devoted monkeys’ uncles, playmate apes and tender troops.
2 PM: Koko – The Gorilla Who Talks
In 1971, Penny Patterson, a graduate student at Stanford University, met Koko, a new-born gorilla in San Francisco Zoo. Penny had grown up wanting to communicate with animals and decided to teach Koko sign language in the hope of finally crossing the boundary between animals and humans.
Thursday, November 19
1 PM: American Masters | Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind ‘Little Women’
American Masters | Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind ‘Little Women’ is the first film biography about the celebrated author and reveals a remarkable woman, ahead of her time, who was much more than a writer of children’s books. Raised among reformers, iconoclasts and Transcendentalists, the intellectual protégé of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, Alcott was actually a free thinker, with democratic ideals and progressive values about women.
2:30 PM: Orchard House: Home of Little Women
Orchard House: Home of Little Women is a captivating new documentary that transports viewers to a 350-year-old home in Concord, Massachusetts with literary and historical significance unlike any other. It is here that the classic novel, Little Women, was written and set. With a nurturing, talented family as owners and literary giants Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Nathaniel Hawthorne as neighbors, Orchard House uniquely inspired Louisa May Alcott to write Little Women. The documentary uncovers a fascinating piece of living history — a pilgrimage site for scholars and fans alike.
Friday, November 20
1 PM: Making a New American Nutcracker
Join narrator Neve Campbell and the creative team behind The Joffrey Ballet’s new production of Christopher Wheeldon’s “The Nutcracker,” a bold re-imagining of the Christmas classic that places Marie in the humble home of a 19th Century immigrant family where she falls asleep and dreams of a journey through the Chicago World’s Fair.
2 PM: Getting to the Nutcracker
Getting to the Nutcracker is a behind the scenes look at what it takes each year to produce the Nutcracker Ballet from auditions to final performance, following the Los Angeles based, Marat Daukayev Ballet Theatre, led by the former Kirov star. Boys and girls, ages 3-18 are profiled; passionate people who, with their families, make incredible sacrifices of time and money, just so that they may dance. The audience follows the dancers through the auditions, the rigorous hours of training and rehearsals, and shares the joy of landing a principal role and the pain of losing one.