Slavery in the United States became illegal in the 1860s. Before that, many slaves found their way north by following the Big Dipper, or the Drinking Gourd as they called it. Our story begins in 1880 with Old Ellie and Old Sam, two escaped slaves who share their brave story along the path to freedom called the Underground Railroad.
La Llorona (The Crying Woman) is a sad and haunting tale from Mexico. Parents have told the story for hundreds of years to misbehaving children and to guard against vanity. Some say the story is about Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés and a native Mexican woman who served as his translator. Her loss can be compared to the loss of native Mexican culture after the Spanish conquest.
In the early 1800s, white settlers and missionaries were intent on bringing the English language to the illiterate Native Americans. Sequoyah was intrigued by these leaves of paper with strange marks that talked. Doing what no one had ever done before, Sequoyah set about creating a written Cherokee languagehelping preserve the tribe's history and culture even today.
In 1845, Frederick Douglass's first autobiography became a bestseller. Many readers could not believe that such a brilliant writer was ever a slave. When Douglass wrote the book, slavery had not yet ended so he kept secret how he escaped from Maryland. By 1881, the Civil War had ended slavery and Douglass felt the time was right to reveal how he escaped. This play is adapted from Douglass's own words from The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass.
Most people take it for granted: riding a bike. In the late 1800s, the bicycle first came to the United States from Europe. This new "steel horse" was wildly popular. But for women, who either worked in factories or stayed at home, the bicycle liberated them like nothing ever has. One two-wheeled invention changed fashion, opened doors, and led to a movement in women's rights still felt today.
Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is a quote from the U.S. Constitution most Americans know by heart. The right to have a healthy peacetime life-- to be free from want, hunger, disease -- is one of the rights that defines happiness. Read why this right is important for young people today. Learn how societies around the world fare in providing freedom from want to all people. And discover ways to help deliver critical basic needs to others.
When World War II broke out in Europe, it was the beginning of a race to build bombs and war machines. Following the war, a new "arms race" began between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Today, nations continue to build dangerous weapons. Read why the freedom from fear is still important more than 70 years after President Franklin Roosevelt spoke of it. And learn about ways people are working to eliminate the arms of war and ensure freedom from fear around the world.
Protected by the Bill of Rights, the freedom of speech and expression is one of the most cherished rights possessed by citizens of the United States. Explore why this right is important to young people today. Read about ways the freedom of speech protects the media. And learn how this critical freedom is challenged around the world.
The North American colonies were a safe haven for Pilgrims seeking the freedom to worship in their own way. The freedom to worship, or not, is a sacred right protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Explore why this right is still debated today. And learn how the freedom to express one's religious beliefs continue to be a source of conflict around the world.
Energy is all around us. Food and sleep are the fuels our bodies use to create the energy we need to move, talk, and think. But scientists tell us some of the fuels that keep our homes and businesses running, power our transportation, and keep us safe are hurting Earth. Learn why energy companies are working to come up with cleaner ways to supply oil and gas, how fuels in the future will be safer for Earth, and what you can do now to use energy wisely. Book features: Table of Contents; Glossary; For More Information including books and web sites; Index; photos and captions; charts and graphs; source notes.
You know the 3Rs: reduce, reuse, and recycle. But what does it really mean and why is it important to cut back on waste? Each year, businesses and homes in the United States throw away enough garbage to equal 251 million elephants. Where would we keep that many elephants? More to the point, where does all that garbage go? Discover why waste is creating problems for Earth and how you can reduce, reuse, and recycle now. Book features: Table of Contents; Glossary; For More Information including books and web sites; Index; photos and captions; charts and graphs; source notes.
How many places do people go in a day? People are always on the go between school, work, shopping, and activities. But how we go can be just as important as where we go. Learn about different ways people move from one place to another, how transportation affects our air, land, and water -- and how you can get there green now to make a difference for Earth. Book features: Table of Contents; Glossary; For More Information including books and web sites; Index; photos and captions; charts and graphs; source notes.
Have you thought about where your food comes from? Do you know the difference between organic and nonorganic foods, and is organic always a more healthful choice? Some farmers have opened their farms to the local community to help grow and pick crops. In this book, you'll read why community-supported agriculture is growing fast and how the choices you make at the grocery store can make a big difference in Earth's health as well as your own. Book features: Table of Contents; Glossary; For More Information including books and web sites; Index; photos and captions; charts and graphs; source notes.
The quiet nature of trees hides the fact that trees are always working for us and for Earth. Trees give us goods to meet our basic needs. Trees are home to animals, insects, and birds. But their biggest and most important job is playing a role in making Earth and our environment healthy. Learn some of the ways trees help, why they are in danger, and what you can do to help protect them now. Book features: Table of Contents; Glossary; For More Information including books and web sites; Index; photos and captions; charts and graphs; source notes.
Think about grass, trees, flowers -- even the dirt and weeds -- all around you. Did you know these are the habitats or natural homes for insects, birds, and other animals? Not only are the plants important to Earth's animals, the health and safety of Earth's many different animals are important to your health. Learn why biodiversity is important, how the natural homes of various animals are being threatened, and what you can do now to preserve and protect our natural environment. Book features: Table of Contents; Glossary; For More Information including books and web sites; Index; photos and captions; charts and graphs; source notes.