What’s on TV: Grades 6-8

View educational shows airing on the Y2 channel for grades 6-8 and access links to lesson plans on PBS LearningMedia.

Animals with Cameras, A NATURE Miniseries

Animals with Cameras, A NATURE Miniseries

Specific episodes of the programs listed below were selected for the Y2 schedule to align with PA State Standards and the School District of Philadelphia’s Term 3 and Term 4 curriculum. For more free educational resources, visit WHYY Brings the Classroom Home.

Summoned: Frances Perkins and the General Welfare

Social Studies/US History

Francis Perkins

The first woman appointed to a U.S. Presidential cabinet, Frances Perkins created the social safety net that continues to shape the lives of Americans today. In her 12 years as Labor Secretary under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Perkins created the Social Security program, a federal minimum wage, the 40-hour work week and unemployment compensation, and ended the legal use of child labor. SUMMONED: FRANCIS PERKINS AND THE GENERAL WELFARE tells the story of Perkins’ life through rare archival recordings of her voice, and interviews with Nancy Pelosi, George Mitchell, David Brooks, Lawrence O’Donnell and Amy Klobuchar.

Watch Summoned: Frances Perkins and the General Welfare


Subject: Science


SciGirls has the bold goal of changing how millions of girls think about science, technology, engineering and math—or STEM. Each half-hour episode highlights the processes of science and engineering, following a different group of middle school girls who design, with the help of scientist mentors, their own inquiry-based investigations on a variety of topics. They also learn how rewarding and fun it is to work with their peers, and the shows’ female mentors offer girls a glimpse of exciting STEM career possibilities.

Watch SciGirls
View PBS LearningMedia activities for SciGirls


Subject: Science

NOVA: The Planets

NOVA brings you stories from the frontlines of science and engineering, answering the big questions of today and tomorrow, from how our ancestors lived, to whether parallel universes exist, to how technology will transform our lives.

Watch NOVA
View PBS LearningMedia activities for NOVA

Africa’s Great Civilizations

Subject: Social Studies

Africa's Great Civilizations

In his series, Africa’s Great Civilizations, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. takes a new look at the history of Africa, from the birth of humankind to the dawn of the 20th century. This is a breathtaking and personal journey through two hundred thousand years of history, from the origins, on the African continent, of art, writing and civilization itself, through the millennia in which Africa and Africans shaped not only their own rich civilizations, but also the wider world.

Watch Africa’s Great Civilizations
View PBS LearningMedia activities for Africa’s Great Civilizations

Art in the Twenty-First Century

Subject: Art


Art21 produces features focusing exclusively on contemporary visual art and artists throughout the world, including the Peabody Award-winning biennial series “Art in the Twenty-First Century.” Intimate footage allows the viewer to observe the artists at work and watch their process as they transform inspiration into art.

Watch Art in the Twenty-First Century

Wild Metropolis

Subject: Science/Changes to Ecosystems

Wild Metropolis

Discover the extraordinary animals adapting to life in the world’s most loved cities, and witness the remarkable ways they meet the challenges of surviving in the newest habitat on the planet.

Watch Wild Metropolis


Subject: Social Studies/US History/Civil Rights

American Experience: Jubilee Singers: Sacrifice and Glory

American Experience, the award-winning PBS series from WGBH Boston, brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that have shaped America’s past and present. Discover this country’s rich history in this collection of media-based resources from the series.

Watch American Experience
View PBS LearningMedia Activities for American Experience

Craft in America

Subject: Art

Craft in America

Use this collection of lessons, video clips, and images to explore America’s creative spirit seen through the language and tradition of the handmade. Students will learn about the artists, origins, and techniques of the American craft.

Watch Craft in America
View PBS LearningMedia Activities for Craft in America

Norman Mineta and His Legacy

Subject: Social Studies/US History and Asian American History

Norman Mineta

Meet the statesman who served as cabinet secretary for Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush. Imprisoned by the U.S. during World War II for his Japanese ancestry, Mineta rose to become the first Asian American to serve in a presidential cabinet.

Watch Norman Mineta and His Legacy

Independent Lens: Dolores

Subject: Social Studies/Women’s Rights and Labor Rights

Dolores Huerta

History tells us that César Chavez transformed the U.S. labor movement by leading the first farm workers’ union. But missing from this story is the equally influential co-founder, Dolores Huerta, who tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice alongside Chavez becoming one of the most influential feminists of the Twentieth Century. Like so many powerful female advocates, Dolores Huerta, her sweeping reforms and important contributions, were, and still are, largely overlooked and even dismissed in current day American History courses.

Watch Independent Lens: Dolores
View PBS LearningMedia Activities for Independent Lens: Dolores

Great American Read

Subject: English Language Arts/Central Idea vs. Theme

The Great American Read

The Great American Read was an eight-part series with viewer participation to select America’s favorite novel, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels. It investigated writers’ fictional worlds, how we as readers are affected by these stories, and what the 100 different books have to say about our diverse nation and our shared human experience.

Watch The Great American Read
View PBS LearningMedia Activities for Great American Read


Subject: Science/Introduction to Ecology

Nature: The Serengeti Rules

NATURE brings the beauty and wonder of the natural world into your home, becoming in the process the benchmark for natural history programs. Consistently stunning documentaries transport viewers to far-flung locations ranging from the torrid African plains to the chilly splendors of icy Antarctica. The show’s primary focus is on animals and ecosystems around the world.

View PBS LearningMedia activities for NATURE

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal