Teacher’s lesson featured in PBS LearningMedia

An Eagle Hill Middle School teacher’s lesson was recently featured in support of a new PBS documentary.

The documentary, The Power of Media in Shaping Americans’ Beliefs and Actions During the Holocaust, is a collaborative work between PBS documentarian Ken Burns and eighth-grade social studies teacher Mary Kate Lonergan whose lesson was crafted to support the documentary.

“It’s truly a highlight of my career,” Lonergan said.

The lesson Lonergan crafted in support of the documentary focuses on how media shapes beliefs, opinions and actions. During the documentary and lesson, students will examine how Americans consumed media about WWII and the Holocaust as the events happened. The learning experience is designed to teach students how information on the events was reported and how it contributed to what Americans knew.

Last spring Lonergan began drafting the curriculum by picking and naming clips, writing summaries of the clips, and crafting the lesson, which then went through several rounds of feedback.

The documentary is geared toward students in grades 6-12 and can be downloaded to Google Classroom or viewed in the PBS LearningMedia library.

“It’s super exciting to see it live on the website,” Lonergan said.

Lonergan previously earned her Media Literacy Educator certification from PBS. She also shared a lesson with PBS LearningMedia on Benjamin Franklin in collaboration with another Burns documentary, How Benjamin Franklin’s “Join, or Die” Imagery Has Been Remixed, Reused, and Reappropriated.