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Frameworks for America's Past
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America: The Story of US A three DVD set that tells the story of America's past with dramatic re-enactments. This production originally ran as a mini-series on the History Channel. Less than $20 for the 3-disc set. You can find many great classroom video segments in this set.
The Century: America's Time A great series produced by ABC News that can still be found on VHS tape (check amazon.com) or free on YouTube (look for the best quality uploads). It has many superb segments about the events and people of the 20th Century.
The World Wars This History Channel video series on DVD uses historical film and re-enactments to trace the people and events of World Wars One and Two. Look for appropriate segments that dramatize events such as trench warfare in World War I, the Versailles Treaty negotiations, Hitler's entry into the Nazi Party, and Churchill's famous "We will never surrender" speech as WWII began.
The Men Who Built America A two DVD set of the History Channel mini-series. Episode 2, "Oil Strike," for example, has a good dramatization of John D. Rockefeller's work building the Standard Oil Company. (The scenes of the Homestead Strike, however, are not all accurate to actual events.)
Dear America: So Far From Home Students love this well done dramatization of the story an Irish immigrant girl who takes a job in a textile mill in Lowell, Massachusetts. It's available on VHS from Amazon sellers (click on "See All Buying Options"), or as a digital video purchase, also on Amazon.
Dear America: Dreams in a Golden Country A dramatization of a family of Russian Jewish immigrants in New York City in 1903. You can quibble over some historical details, but the overall lesson of the story is very good and students really enjoy it. Available from Amazon sellers on VHS tape (Click on "See All Buying Options,"), or as a digital video purchase, also on Amazon.
Masses and Millionaires: The Homestead Strike From The Phoenix Learning Group, this is a good dramatization of the famous strike at a Carnegie steel mill in 1892. Consider skipping the opening scene at a zoo, however, and start instead with the deadly accident in the steel mill to get students right into story.
Miracle at Midnight This made-for-TV movie from Disney tells how Danish citizens risked their lives during World War II to save the Jews of Denmark from arrest and deportation to concentration camps. Based on true events.
In the Shadow of the Moon (PG) Not Hollywood make-believe, but the real film taken during the Apollo moon missions together with comments by the real astronauts. Rated "5 Stars" by viewers!
Remember the Titans (PG) This film tells the inspiring story of a high school in Alexandria, Virginia, when white and black students were brought together as public schools were integrated in the 1960s.