Hopefully you know that I keep my eyes open for television programs that I think might be useful in the classroom. Most times, the programs I recommend are the same documentary-style shows that we order from catalogs such as an AE Biography or a National Geographic presentation. Sometimes the programs are a little off the beaten path like a UFO investigation or a Mythbuster episode (I’m trying to highlight the awesome might of the scientific method in action against the craziness of superstition and lazy thinking). In any case, I tape some of these programs for myself and have compiled a chronological list for you, should you like to view any of them. You won’t find these titles in our library catalog, but if any program is deemed useful and class worthy, I will purchase a copy to include in our collection. The program descriptions are lifted (mostly) from the show’s websites and reviews.
- Humanzee (DC): Aired 08/20/06. The story of Oliver, a chimpanzee with aberrant morphological traits and the habit of walking around on two legs. For years Oliver was at the center of controversy as people wondered if he was a chimera of some kind. Scientific exploration into this question ended all speculation.
- Seconds from Disaster: Montserrat (NG): Aired 03/07/07. The tiny island of Montserrat suffers a fright in 1995 when its Soufriere Hills Volcano erupts for the first time in over 300 years. On June 25, 1997 it erupts again, expelling tons of lava, killing 19 people and devastating several villages.
- True Life: I Have Autism (MTV) Aired 03/16/07: This program introduces viewers to Jeremy, Jonathan and Elijah, three high school students whose autism is now old hat to themselves and their families. No one cries when talking about it. Instead they plan new approaches, sigh as old problems resurface and laugh often.*
- Ted Koppel reports Breaking Point: America’s Prisons (DC): Aired 10/07/07. In this two-hour broadcast, Ted Koppel examines how California got to where it is and presents an inside view of the crisis through in-depth interviews with inmates, guards and prison officials at California State Prison Solano in Vacaville.
- Six Degrees Could Change the World (NG): Aired 02/10/08. This program visualizes the devastating ecological impact that each single degree increase in temperature could have on our planet over the next century.
- Birth of Civilization (NG): Aired 03/04/08. Trace the rise of man back more than 12,000 years as NGC takes an in-depth look at the turning points that shaped our journey.
NG = National Geographic, DC = Discovery Channel
Thanks for reading and enjoy!
© henry toromoreno