Learning at Home During the COVID-19 Crisis

In-home Learning with Detroit PBS KIDS

Effective Monday, March 30, 2020, Detroit Public TV is responding to the learning needs of families with children at home as a result of Michigan schools being closed because of the COVID-19 crisis by adjusting its entire daytime programming schedule.  DPTV will offer blocks of programming geared to specific age groups on its main broadcast channel (56.1), as part of a collaboration with Michigan’s public television stations and the national PBS system.

While Michigan schools are closed this school year, weekday programming will be as follows:

  • Current PBS KIDS programming (Ages 2-8 years old) – 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
  • Grades 4th-8th – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Grades 9th-12th – 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

View next week’s schedule.

Daily Newsletter

Detroit PBS KIDS (logo)

Detroit PBS KIDS

Daily Newsletter
In-Home Learning and Fun!

Time to clean out the junk around the house? Time to recycle!

App of the Day:

Daniel Tiger: Play at Home with Daniel
Meet Daniel Tiger, PBS’s newest neighbor. Playing is learning as you explore bedtime, music, bathtime and play pretend doctor at Daniel’s house.

Book of the Day:

Why Should I Recycle?

One in a series of “Why Should I” books. A story for children about why we should recycle.

Writing Prompt:

How do you help to take care of the Earth?

Infants and Toddlers:

Helping your 2 year old understand and manage emotion

Emotional self-awareness involves identifying and understanding one’s emotions – including “big feelings” that can sometimes overwhelm us.


What Does Recycle Mean? | Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood

Daniel learns that recycling means turning something old into something new. He imagines the recycling bins singing about cleaning up bottles, paper, and cans. Teach kids what it means to recycle and help them understand the importance of cleaning up.

Grades K-2:

What is Junk?

Exploring our world is fun! Abby Brown loves to help kids have fun while learning! In this segment, Abby invites kids to reuse their junk in new and creative ways and reminds us to recycle when you can find no more new uses for your junk!

Grades 3-5:

ReThink and ReUse Center Field Trip

At the ReThink & ReUse Center, Penny and the KidVision VPK Kids turn trash into learning treasures! They build mazes from tubes, structures from discarded materials, create games from bottle caps, and a sink and float activity using found trinkets.

Grades 6-8:

DIY Projects for Teens and Tweens
So before you shun crafting from your life as a teenager for good, check out the DIY projects for teens and tweens below and see if anything sparks your interest. You might even be inspired to come up with some of your own ideas.

Grades 9-12:

16 Genius Ways to Re-Purpose Trash From Around Your Home
Turn trash into treasure! Here are some fun and inspiring ideas on turning things you’d ordinarily toss in the trash into something useful! Saves money and the planet all at the same time! Many of these 16 ideas are easy to accomplish, too.


Movie workouts

Cigna has devised 5 workouts that you can while watching your favorite Disney movies. In fact, you have to be watching a Disney movie to do the workout. Intrigued?


12:00 p.m. – Nova: Why Sharks Attack
Are sharks developing a taste for human flesh? A rash of shark attacks off Hawaii spurs a team of researchers to track the predators’ elusive movements, and the scientists discover some surprising truths about the way sharks kill.
Resource: Shark Attack! The Hunt — Interactive

4:00 p.m. – Chasing the Moon: Earthrise
In this episode, the United States races to put men on the moon, while keeping a wary eye on the Russians.
Resource: The Road to Apollo: An Interactive Journey – Interactive and Support Materials


2:00 p.m. – Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet
Learn about the life of the Islamic prophet Muhammad based on historical records and on the stories of living American Muslims who call Muhammad the Messenger of God.
Resource: Finding the Prophet in His People


Helping Siblings Get Along When You Have to Stay Home

“This enforced togetherness is going to get on everyone’s nerves no matter who you are or what age,” Markham said. She recommends that we model staying calm and naming feelings. For example, you can say, “I know you’re upset with your sister for writing on your drawing. I would be upset, too.”


Black Lives Matter

Learn about the origins, objectives, and makeup of Black Lives Matter, an activist black youth-led movement that campaigns against police brutality and other forms of racism, in this video from Eyes on the Prize: Then and Now. The movement, which grew from “a love note to black people” that appeared on social media, attracts a broad range of social justice supporters. Includes teaching tips.


Good Night with Dolly: VIRTUAL Storytime
7:00pm – 7:30pm: “Goodnight with Dolly” is a weekly web series featuring Dolly Parton reading Imagination Library books all carefully chosen for their appropriate content at this moment in time.

Asking a lot of questions and persistence = future scientists!

App of the Day:

Play and Learn Science App

Play with shadows, control the weather, roll and slide objects down a ramp, choose the best materials for an umbrella – all while building science inquiry skills and learning core science concepts.

Book of the Day:

Scientist, Scientist, Who Do You See?

Written by Chris Ferrie, a physicist, mathematician and dad who believes it’s never too early to introduce big ideas to little kids!

Writing Prompt:

Do you think Science is cool? Why or why not?

Infants and Toddlers:

Video: Everyday Fun with Science

Young children, from birth to age five, are naturally curious about science. In the early years, children use scientific practices like: asking questions, describing animals and plants, natural processes like rainstorms, and predicting what will happen next in a process.


Cook Up Edible Slime

Explore the properties of different ingredients and how they can transform while creating tasty – and safe – edible slime.

Grades K-2:

5 Fun Science Experiments for Kids (with Grover!)

Our old pal Grover from Sesame Street stopped by the studio to conduct five fun science experiments you can do at home with everyday materials.

Grades 3-5:

Magic Milk
When food coloring and soap are added to whole milk, strange things happen.

Grades 6-8:

Make Ocean Zones in a Jar

There’s one big ocean and lots of things living in it! Make an Ocean Zones jar so that your child can clearly see the ocean layers and learn about liquid density in the process.

Grades 9-12:

Make a Super Bouncy Ball

Spark great conversations about the science behind elasticity with this chemistry and craft project rolled into one.


Think Like A Scientist – Blazer Fresh | The Scientific Method | GoNoodle

Observe, hypothesize, experiment, report, and analyze as you sing and dance to this scienterrific song!


11:00 a.m. – Life From Above: Changing Planet (Science)
Behold Earth as it’s never been seen before. Cameras in space tell stories of life on our planet from a brand-new perspective, revealing its incredible movements, colors, patterns and just how fast it’s changing.
Resource: Reforestation: Impact on Climate / Nature Works Everywhere – Video

3:00 p.m. – Civilizations: Paradise on Earth (World History)
Explore one of humanity’s deepest artistic urges: the depiction of nature. But landscape painting is seldom a straightforward portrayal of observed nature; it’s a projection of dreams, idylls, escapes and refuges–the elusive paradise on earth.

Resource: An Endless Tradition


2:00 p.m. – Asian Americans, Episode 1: Breaking Ground
Barred by anti-Asian laws, they become America’s first “undocumented immigrants” and yet build railroads, dazzle on the silver screen, and take their fight for equality to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Resource: The Chinese Exclusion Act


The world is in crisis. Keep Calm, Stay Wise & Be Kind

This Coping Calendar has 30 suggested actions to look after ourselves and each other as we face this global crisis together. Download it as an image for sharing or a PDF for printing. Pass on to others and help spread the word.


Protest and Politics

The stories from across America have been disturbing, with clashes between protestors and police.  Sadly, it’s not the first time protestors have raged against governments from democratic to autocratic–and in each case, the state raged back. This classroom resource provides background information about the Civil Rights movement in the U.S., the Vietnam War, societal shifts, the media, and events around the globe.


Far and Away Storytime with Canton Public Library
10:00-10:30 a.m. – Join for a librarian-led virtual storytime.

Robots are becoming increasingly sophisticated. How could a robot help you?

App of the Day:

Jet’s Bot Builder
Create, explore, learn and have fun building a robot with Jet and friends in Jet’s Bot Builder.

Book of the Day:

The Really Silly Robot

Visit the land of Stop-and-Go-A-Lot for a really silly adventure! You’ll have a blast dancing through the metal mountains to the Lake of Zig-Zag Falls, and you might even make a really silly friend before the day is done!

Writing Prompt:

If you could build a robot that could do one thing for you, what would you want it to do?

Infants and Toddlers:

Every Tuesday at 10 am PT, a Vroom Tip video on Facebook can help you add early learning into your new daily routines. Watch the #VroomTip video rolled out today about baby conversations and check back for a new video each week.


What are Robots?
Abby Brown loves to help kids have fun while learning! In this segment, Abby teaches kids that robots are used to do jobs like cleaning, homework, lifting heavy objects and keeping people safe.

Grades K-2:

Robotic Arm Challenge – Activity | Ready Jet Go!
Has your child ever left a toy in a place they couldn’t quite reach? In this activity from Ready Jet Go!, your child will use their engineering know-how to build a robotic arm, and then use it to solve an out-of-reach problem such as grabbing a toy that rolled under the couch or an object on a high shelf.

Grades 3-5:

SciGirls | Robot Body Language
Explore the psychology of expressions using this SciGirls activity challenging students to convey an emotion while their faces are hidden. These days social robots designed to interact with people are sold in stores as pets, house cleaners, and even healthcare assistants! To make these robots seem more humanlike, designers give them personalities using sounds, digital displays, and gestures.

Grades 6-8:

Robots in the Workplace
This interactive lesson examines the possible changes in the workforce due to technological advances in robotics. Topics covered include artificial intelligence, automation, and ethics.

Grades 9-12:

Mind-Controlled Robotic Arm
In this video excerpt from NOVA scienceNOW, find out how a paralyzed woman manipulates a robotic arm with her mind to successfully drink from a cup. Correspondent and New York Times technology columnist David Pogue explores this experiment conducted by the BrainGate research team of doctors, scientists, and engineers. BrainGate investigators explain the placement of a sensor on the brain of a stroke victim, how a person’s arm moves, and how complex the brain’s control of movement is.


Work Out Like an Avenger

Train like a superhero with these kickboxing exercises inspired by the popular Marvel characters.

10:00 a.m. – Magical Land of Oz: Ocean (Nature)
A natural history exploration of Australia’s magical coasts and islands where three oceans create the perfect environment for whales, giant cuttlefish and sharks.
Resource: Baby Sea Turtle Journey to the Ocean – Video

1:00 p.m. – Genius by Stephen Hawking: Where Are We? (Science)
Professor Stephen Hawking challenges a selection of volunteers to think like the greatest geniuses in history and solve some of humanity’s most enduring questions.
Resource: Eclipses / Crash Course Astronomy – Video

2:00 p.m. – 10 Modern Marvels That Changed America
A whirlwind tour of 10 engineering feats that made our civilization possible: from the Erie Canal and Eads Bridge, to the Holland Tunnel and Hoover Dam.
Resource: Building the Erie Canal


MSU Extension Extras Parenting Hour- RELAX: Alternative to Anger for Parents and Caregivers
This free series of parenting workshops will provide parenting guidance for parents of young children as they navigate the challenges and concerns of parenting in these new circumstances. Participants may register for as few or as many workshops as they wish.


5 Ways That Digital Portfolios Can Expand Learning Opportunities
If you are interested in giving your students the opportunity to have the most authentic learning experience possible, it all starts with creating a digital hub for their learning experiences to happen. – Jeffrey Bradbury, Educator, Speaker, Broadcaster, Teacher Cast Educational Network


Barbershop Books – Storytime
Enjoy the latest story from Barbershop Books Storytime.

Let’s Draw! Express your imagination, your feelings, and your hopes with a pencil, a crayon, or whatever is at hand.

App of the Day:

Scribbles and Ink on PBS KIDS Games App

Play the Scribbles & Ink game, watch videos, draw, paint, and do printable activities.


Book of the Day:

Harold and the Purple Crayon

One evening Harold decides to go for a walk in the moonlight. Armed only with an oversize purple crayon, young Harold draws himself a landscape full of wonder and excitement.

Writing Prompt:

If you could draw things that come to life, what would you draw and why?

Infants and Toddlers:

Toddlers Invent the Silliest Games (And 33 More Reasons To Let Babies Play Their Way)
A recent parent/toddler class vividly demonstrated the value of letting babies play their way.


Draw Your Feelings
You can have lots of different feelings when something difficult or unexpected happens. Drawing pictures is one way you can help yourself feel better. Draw a picture that shows how you are feeling today.

Grades K-2:

Paint-a-long – Peg + Cat | PBS KIDS Lab
Use this game with children to combine shapes to draw Peg, Cat, and all their friends. Peg can help children every step of the way as they use their paintbrush and different colors to draw snazzy shapes or colorful characters–or, she can leave them to make their own beautiful painting.

Grades 3-5:

Ready Jet Go! | How to Draw Sunspot! | PBS KIDS

This playlist features tutorials on how to draw your favorite PBS KIDS characters. Practice drawing characters from Let’s Go Luna!, Ready Jet Go!, and Scribbles and Ink.

Grades 6-8:

Art Basics with Dick Termes: Drawing | Cube Basic
Cube Basic: Artist Dick Termes introduces cubes and how to draw them in space with an artistic angle so that you can see dimensions. An animated video shows many examples of cubes in the real world.

Grades 9-12:

Graphic Novels with Thien Pham
Ever wondered how comics are made? How about how to draw your own? In this video, Thien Pham, a graphic artist from Oakland, CA, will show you step-by-step how to create your own comic, from writing the plot to drawing the four-panel itself.


Cosmic Yoga
Yoga is a great way to calm minds and strengthen bodies. Check out this YouTube channel for Cosmic Kids Yoga.


9:00 a.m. – History Detectives: Frank Zappa Collage; Beatles Autographs; Bob Dylan Guitar
A life-long art collector spotted a striking piece in a South Carolina thrift store, a graphic collage of percussion instruments. He snapped it up. The signature “FZ” especially piqued his interest. His research led him to an intriguing possibility: Rock and Roll legend Frank Zappa. Although he couldn’t find a work that matched this piece, he discovered that Zappa did dabble in art.
Resource: Frank Zappa on Fads – Video

4:00 p.m. – Reconstruction: America After the Civil War
Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s documentary series, Reconstruction: America After the Civil War, explores the transformative years following the American Civil War, when the nation struggled to rebuild itself in the face of profound loss, massive destruction, and revolutionary social change.
Resource: The 15th Amendment and African American Men in Congress – Video and Support Materials

2:00 p.m. – The Registry
During World War II, thousands of Japanese Americans volunteered for the Military Intelligence Service to serve as interpreters and interrogators; military scholars say these men shortened the war by two years.
Resource: Injustice at Home | The Japanese-American Experience of the World War II Era


Use Coping Cards to Control Anxiety and Pain
Coping statements are truthful positive statements used to replace the negative and untrue thoughts that take-over when you feel anxious, stressed, angry and/or when facing other overwhelming situations.


Great Lakes Learning: Resources for Remote Teaching
Great Lakes Now wants to help your students explore the Great Lakes. That’s why we’ve designed a collection of lesson plans that engage students with the science and study of the Great Lakes. Designed for middle school classrooms, these lessons will help students to become familiar with geologic, geographic, and environmental concepts about the Great Lakes, as well as provide them the opportunity to evaluate contemporary issues facing the lakes.


STEAM Stories at The Henry Ford

10:00 a.m. – Engage your little ones with specially themed storytelling and hands-on activities featuring materials that are easily found in the house.


Read-Along with PBS KIDS

12:00 p.m. – Actress Kristen Bell (“Anna” in Frozen, The Good Place) will read “Goodnight, Daniel Tiger.”  On the PBS KIDS Facebook page as well as on You Tube.


New PBS KIDS Series “Hero Elementary”

On Monday, June 1 on Detroit Public TV WTVS 56.2 at 11:00 a.m. and Tuesday, June 2 at 8:00 a.m. on WTVS 56.1 watch the premiere of Hero Elementary! Hero Elementary is a school for budding superheroes, where kids learn to master their innate powers, like flying and teleportation, while exploring science along the way. The series aims to give children ages 4 to 7 the tools to solve problems by thinking and acting like scientists and igniting their natural curiosity and empathy.

Music adds color and enjoyment to life. Participating in music helps grow children’s brains!

App of the Day:

Cyberchase 3D Builder
Bumbling bots Buzz and Delete accidentally zapped the houses in Botopolis totally flat. Help rebuild the town by turning 2D shapes into 3D structures.

Book of the Day:

The Sound of Music’s DO RE MI

The Broadway Baby series presents a song to learn so you can sing along, too!

Writing Prompt:

What is your favorite song? Describe how it makes you feel.

Infants and Toddlers:

The 9 Funniest Baby Songs for Infants (and Their Parents)
These songs will make your baby smile!


How Music Makes You Feel
Daniel Tiger makes believe about how different music makes him feel lots of different ways.

Grades K-2:

Peg + Cat Music Maker
Create awesome music in different places of the world with the help of Peg and Cat. There are no limits with this awesome and fun Music Maker for Kids.

Grades 3-5:

Music Arts Toolkit: Spoons
Folk singer Malcolm Dalglish shows how to play the spoons.

Grades 6-8:

Keeping the Music Alive
Learn how the skills needed to play traditional folk music are passed from generation to generation. What traditions have been passed down in your family?

Grades 9-12:

The Physics of Music | Crash Course
Music plays a big part in many of our lives. Whether you just like to listen or you enjoy playing an instrument, music is powerful. So what is music? How does it work? What are the physics of music? In this episode of Crash Course Physics, Shini talks to us about how music functions in terms of waves and how these waves interact with our ears.


I Gotta Feeling
We’ve got a feeling that you’re going to sing and dance to this super song again and again…and again!

1:00 p.m. – Polio Crusade: American Experience (US History)
In the summer of 1950 Wytheville, VA realized the nation’s worst medical fears. An outbreak of Infantile Paralysis, commonly known as Polio, swept through a small town of 5,500 in which 40 percent of residents had not yet reached their eighteenth birthday. Highly contagious, just in time for summer vacation, the devastating neurodegenerative disease had chosen its next target.
Resource: NOVA: Vaccines–Calling the Shots | Immunity & Vaccines

4:00 p.m. – Latino Americans: War and Peace (US History)

Moves into the World War II years and those that follow, as Latino Americans serve their new country by the hundreds of thousands — but still face discrimination and a fight for civil rights back in the United States.
Resource: Primary Source Set: Mexican Labor and World War II: The Bracero Program


12:00 p.m. – The Amazing Human Body: Grow
Learn how humans begin life as a single cell and, over the course of a lifetime, grow into beings of more than 37 trillion cells, and explore new discoveries that can help humans live longer, healthier lives.
Resource: Longevity Genes


Survey finds parents can influence kids’ musical tastes… before age 10
So if you want your child to favor The Pogues’ “Fairytale of New York” over Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” – or vice versa – get on it now, parents.



Teaching Music Online: How to Engage Students Through Your Virtual Classroom
Here are some of the best resources CUEDIN has found to help keep your students creating, performing and responding.


2:00 p.m. – Musical Tales: DSO Educational Watch Party
Tune in to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s weekly Educational Concert Series Watch Party on Friday at 2pm for Musical Tales, a 2015 performance that explores how composers use different musical tools to tell stories! Orchestral music, movie music, and even video game music all combine for an exciting and educational musical journey. An accompanying Resource Guide with lessons and activities is available here.


7:00 p.m. – Friday/Saturday/Sunday: Mini Molly of Denali Marathon on Detroit PBS KIDS
Get ready to sled into fun with Molly of Denali! Join Molly, an Alaska Native girl, her dog Suki, and friends Tooey and Trini on their adventures in epically beautiful Alaska. Along the way, Molly’s life is enhanced, kept on track, and flat-out saved by maps, guide books, websites, weather reports, and more.
Spend more time with Molly of Denali with these fun activities!

Island Escape!

App of the Day:

Splash and Bubbles for Parents
Splash And Bubbles For Parents is an app that provides families with conversation starters, videos, and activities to explore ocean science together.

Book of the Day:

Waldo and the Desert Island Adventure
Writing Prompt: Do you think you would like to live on an island? Why or why not?

Infants and Toddlers:

The Littlest Players
It may seem like babies do nothing but eat, sleep, cry, and repeat the cycle again! But babies actually spend large parts of their day trying to play and love any opportunity to engage with you. Here are some great ways to play with babies to help them learn and develop from the very beginning.


Whatever Floats Your Boat | The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!
Join Sally, Nick, and the Cat in the Hat as they go to the Floating Island and learn about why certain objects float and others sink!

Grades K-2:

Healthy Foods at Jungle Island
Penny and the KidVision VPK Kids learn all about healthy foods on a taste testing adventure to Jungle Island. Learn how to grow your favorite fruits and vegetables and enjoy cooking and eating with your friends and family.

Grades 3-5:

Plum’s Island Explorer: Land and Water
Navigate around the island to explore various landforms and water bodies in this interactive game from Plum Landing.

Grades 6-8:

Great Lakes Now: Island Life
Dozens of Great Lakes islands are home to year-round residents — not just places for summer visits.

Grades 9-12:

Great Lakes Now: Island Basketball
Traveling by bus, ferry, airplane, snowmobile and horse taxi, basketball teams from four Great Lakes island schools met on Mackinac Island for their second annual tournament.


NFL Play 360: Touchdown Dance
Increase your flexibility and coordination as you do the TOUCHDOWN DANCE with Ryan Kerrigan and Coach Terry!


10:00 a.m. – Supernature: Wild Flyers, Masters of the Sky (Nature)
Many animals take to the skies for a split second, but to stay there the planet’s strongest flyers have to push the laws of physics right to the edge. Explore the extremes of true flight: Power, acceleration, top speed, maneuverability and endurance.

Resource: Nature | Extraordinary Birds: Little Brain, Big Journey

1:00 p.m. – Genius by Stephen Hawking: Why Are We Here?

World-famous scientist Stephen Hawking sets three ordinary people a series of fun challenges to show them how to think like a genius. Can they work out why they exist at all? Is it destiny or pure chance?

Resource: Magic and the Brain

12:00 p.m. – Power Trip: The Story of Energy: Water
Learn how water and energy are interconnected and how we can make energy “less thirsty” and water less energy-intensive.
Resource: Hoover Dam and Hydroelectric Power


COVID 313 Town Hall
12:00 p.m. – Join the COVID313 Community Coalition for Families and Students for a Virtual Townhall focused on supporting parents, students, and families during the Coronavirus outbreak.


Great Lakes Learning: Freshwater science for the youngest learners – Part 2

At Great Lakes Now, we think the lakes provide a unique opportunity for learning about science, technology, engineering and math–even at a young age!


Ask the Astronomer with Grosse Pointe Public Library 3:30-4:30 (Registration required)

3:30-4:30 p.m. – Join the library for a virtual introduction to the Moon with astronomer, Dr. Ian Roederer, followed by Q&A where you can ask a real-life astronomer all your burning space questions. Great for space nuts ages 6+ and their curious adults. Registration will close 1 hour before the event, at 2:30 p.m.

When you do get a chance to leave the house, you’ll probably see lots of signs thanking the helpers among us. Today, you’ll have a chance to find out the different ways people help others.

App of the Day:

Word Girl Superhero Training

Put your vocabulary skills to the test and see if you have what it takes to be WordGirl’s sidekick! Create superhero avatars and train with WordGirl in this adventurous PBS KIDS app designed for kids 6 to 8.

Book of the Day:

Pete the Cat: Firefighter Pete – Kid Book Read Aloud – Children’s Story
Pete and his classmates are excited about their field trip to the firehouse. They get to slide down the pole, meet all the brave firefighters, and even try on their helmets and gear.

Writing Prompt:

Are you interested in being in a helping profession when you get older? What profession might you choose?

Infants and Toddlers:

Learning Through the Senses
From the moment they’re born, kids are little scientists, constantly observing and interacting with the world around them. Using their five senses (sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing), they gather information about their surroundings and learn from it.


Meet the Helpers | Doctors are Helpers: In-Depth
Dive deeper into a doctor’s career and find out how this Helper assists in emergency situations.

Grades K-2:

Meet the Helpers | 911 Operators are Helpers: In-Depth
Dive deeper into a 911 Operator’s career and find out how this Helper assists in emergency situations.

Grades 3-5:

Meet the Helpers | Paramedics are Helpers: In-Depth
Dive deeper into a paramedic’s career and find out how this Helper assists in emergency situations. Make A Plan: Download, print and complete these resources to practice emergency preparedness in your home or classroom.


Grades 6-8:

Kate Heckaman – Firefighter / Paramedic
Kate’s commitment to caring for hospital patients sparked a career change to firefighting.

Grades 9-12:

Coast Guard Belle Isle | Minute Updates | Great Lakes Now
In this video, the coast guard explains how they help to save lives.


Langston Galloway’s Jr. NBA at Home workout
Pistons Academy Basketball embodies the spirit of “Detroit Basketball” with emphasis on the importance of dedication, hard work and team play.

2:00 p.m. – The Great American Read: Fall Kick-Off (ELA)

Meredith Vieira returns as the Great American Read hits high gear. Tune in to see which books celebrities, authors, and other readers across the country are rooting for.

Resource: The Importance of Chicano Representation in Bless Me, Ultima | The Great American Read

5:00 p.m. – Ancient Skies: Finding the Center (World History)

In the 18th century China was the biggest economy in the world, and with that prosperity came a fabulously rich culture. From China’s favorite novel, to opera and storytelling houses, and all-women’s mosques, it’s an age full of surprises. But then came the fateful clash with the British in the First Opium War, the beginning of the end of the empire.

Resource: Galileo’s Telescope


1:00 p.m – NOVA: Killer Floods
See how seemingly small changes in habitat can have a large effect on wildlife and consider the challenges of balancing the needs of society and nature.
Resource: Killer Floods | Ancient Waterfalls


RELAX: Alternatives to Anger
RELAX: Alternatives to Anger Online is a self-paced course for adults to better manage anger and stress at home and in the workplace.


PBS LearningMedia Tools – Puzzle Builder
Create crossword puzzles and word searches using your own vocabulary words with PBS LearningMedia’s “Puzzle Builder!” Once created, you can send them to students to complete from anywhere!


Storytime with Salvador: VIRTUAL Storytime at the DIA

Kids and your grown-ups! Join the DIA’s Facebook page Wednesdays at 11 a.m. for the debut of Storytime with Salvador. DIA Director Salvador Salort-Pons will read a story weekly!

Was your most recent sewing project a face mask? Or did you have to ask someone else to do it for you? Give your kids a start with this household skill — and introduce them to some crafting opportunities with a needle and thread!

App of the Day:


The PBS KIDS Video app gives kids and parents access to thousands of free videos, including full episodes and clips from top PBS KIDS series. Stream the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel on the app for free (no subscription or login required). Tap the “LIVE TV” button to watch what’s airing on your local PBS station right now.

Book of the Day:

The Elves and the Shoemaker read by Chrissy Metz
The story is a simple one, of a poor shoemaker and his wife who suddenly find they are getting help from a mysterious source.

Writing Prompt:

Do you like to create things? What would you create if you were a master tailor or seamstress?

Infants and Toddlers:

Talking is Teaching
Wondering how you might improve your child’s language skills? Use these five-minute cards to support learning during everyday activities.


Pasta Necklaces
Playing with pasta can be an excellent way for your child to hone fine motor skills. Dying the pasta brings in science while sorting and counting build math skills. Finally, support your child’s sewing skills by threading macaroni onto yarn or string.

Grades K-2:

Sew much fun
Miss Penny and the KidVision Kids go to Sew Much Fun to learn how to sew. They investigate sewing patterns, explore different types of fabrics, and learn what sewing notions are. Sew Much Fun!!!

Grades 3-5:

Beanie Doll: Peg + Cat
For those not-so-savvy sewers out there, in order to make this Cat Beanie, you’ll just need a sock, needle and thread, and some scraps of material.

Grades 6-8:

A Beginner’s Guide To SEWING!
How to use a sewing machine

Grades 9-12:

31Easy Sewing Projects for Teens

Sewing is a handy life skill that has unfortunately fallen out of school lesson plans over the years. Knowing how to sew not only comes in handy when you tear your favorite clothes or need to repair a tent, but is a fun, creative hobby that encourages design thinking and problem-solving skills.


Suggest to kids that you go on a walk, but that it’s a special kind of walk that is all about the sounds we hear around us–a listening walk.

12:00 p.m. Nova: Prediction by the Numbers

Discover how predictions underpin nearly every aspect of our lives and why some succeed spectacularly while others fail.

Resource: The Transcontinental Railroad

3:00 p.m. The Story of China with Michael Wood: The Last Empire/The Age of Revolution (World History)

In the 18th century China was the biggest economy in the world, and with that prosperity came a fabulously rich culture. From China’s favorite novel, to opera and storytelling houses, and all-women’s mosques, it’s an age full of surprises. But then came the fateful clash with the British in the First Opium War, the beginning of the end of the empire.

Resource: Be the Historian: How do images function as symbols?


2:00 p.m. – American Experience: Chasing the Moon: A Place Beyond the Sky
A Place Beyond the Sky begins in 1957 and tracks the early years of the space race as the United States struggles to catch up with the Soviet Union.
Resource: Sputnik’s Launch Begins the Space Race | Chasing the Moon


Great Lakes Learning: Freshwater science for the youngest learners
Four ways as a parent that you can adapt the Great Lakes Learning lessons and activities to engage younger learners with the Great Lakes.


PBS Learning Media Tools – Folders

Have you explored PBS Learning Media’s “Folders” function? It’s a great way to organize your lessons and favorite resources and share them virtually with students and colleagues!


6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Bedtime Stories on Facebook with Dearborn Public Library

8:00 p.m. – MSU Extension Parenting Hour: Mindfulness for Children
Techniques of mindful awareness can help children learn to pay closer attention to their thoughts, feelings and emotions. Learn ways to help children reduce stress and anxiety to enhance their well-being. Extension Extras Parenting Hour is a free online series of parenting workshops that provides guidance for parents of young children as they navigate the challenges and concerns of parenting.

This is Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start of summer, typically marked with backyard barbecues, quick car trips, and time on Michigan’s lakes. Memorial Day looks a little different this year, and perhaps it’s a good time to return to its roots – a day to remember those we’ve lost.

Learn about Memorial Day with this look back at the holiday’s history.

Have a great weekend.

Theme Resource:

Presidential Armed Forces Full Honor Wreath-Laying Ceremony
Monday, May 25, 9:00 a.m. – The 152nd National Memorial Day Observance to honor America’s fallen military service members at Arlington National Cemetery will be live-streamed.

Family Fun:

4 Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day at Home
Enjoy the weekend and honor those who served our country by celebrating America and the time we have with our family.

Big Brother Daniel Story book
Come meet Daniel Tiger’s little sister Margaret in this read aloud story book.

Virtual Field Trips:

Virtual Field Trip: National World War I Museum and Memorial
Take a trip to the National World War I Museum and Memorial in this exclusive video from Studies Weekly.

Special Events:

The National Memorial Day Concert on DPTV (Channel 56)

Sunday, May 24 | 8:00 p.m.
Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise return to co-host the 31st anniversary broadcast of the annual concert honoring the men and women of the U.S. armed forces. The night of remembrance includes personal stories interwoven with musical performances as well as a tribute to workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

PBS Movie Night: Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Tiger Family Trip
May 22, 23, 24 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Daniel experiences new sights and activities and learns about the many exciting things to do and see when you’re on a trip with your family.

Downton Abbey Marathon on DPTV (Channel 56)
Immerse yourself in this popular series, which begins in 1912 and includes a glimpse at the 1919 influenza pandemic. Follow the Granthams and their family of servants through sweeping change, scandals, love, ambition, heartbreak, and hope.
Binge every episode of every season of the beloved hit series. Schedule: Friday, 5/22 8pm-12am. Saturday 5/23 all day. Sunday, 5/24 12am-8pm. Monday, 5/25 10am-6pm, 8pm-12am.

We’re heading into a holiday weekend. Time for making some sweet stuff!

App of the Day:

SUPER WHY! ABC Adventures
Are you ready to go around the world, on an ABC adventure? With the “SUPER WHY ABC Adventures: Alphabet” app, your child can do just that while playing a comprehensive collection of five interactive literacy games that help build strategies and skills to master the alphabet!

Book of the Day:


It’s dinnertime and Bad Kitty is hungry. What should she eat for dinner? Fish? Nope! Beef? Ew! Octopus? Gross! Bad Kitty knows exactly what she wants. Candy! And nothing will stand in her way.

Writing Prompt:

What’s your favorite sweet treat? Use your five senses to describe it.

Infants and Toddlers:

Create a Cardboard Kitchen
Turn a few cardboard boxes into a DIY kitchen playset for kids!


Skits and Martha Bake a Cake – Martha Speaks
Watch as Skits and Martha bake a cake for Helen.

Grades K-2:

Build Edible Nests
Some animals, like birds, build and inhabit amazingly durable nests from readily available materials in their environments. In this activity, build a one-of-a-kind nest and then snack on it afterwards!

Grades 3-5:

Making Rock Candy | Cyberchase
In this video segment from Cyberchase, Bianca helps her friend make rock candy and discovers some interesting shapes.

Grades 6-8:

The 10 best (and most fun) fudge recipes
Fudge is a fun and easy recipe to make with the kids when you want a sweet treat. Whip it up quickly with as few ingredients as possible or stew it slowly and enjoy a gooey taste explosion.

Grades 9-12:

Best Cookbooks for Teens- How to Get Teens into the Kitchen!
The Best Cookbooks for Teens have some great recipes… made with fresh ingredients… that teens will love.


SHAKE IT OUT by Playworks
Count down from five for this quick, easy stretch break.

1:00 p.m. – Polio Crusade: American Experience

In the summer of 1950 Wytheville, VA realized the nation’s worst medical fears. An outbreak of Infantile Paralysis, commonly known as Polio, swept through a small town of 5,500 in which 40 percent of residents had not yet reached their eighteenth birthday. Highly contagious, just in time for summer vacation, the devastating disease had chosen its next target.

Resource: NOVA: Vaccines–Calling the Shots | Immunity & Vaccines

3:00 p.m. – Secrets of the Dead: Teotihuacan’s Lost Kings

Follow a team of scientists exploring royal tombs beneath the ancient Mexican city of Teotihuacán. After decades of research, these imperial burial chambers may reveal clues about the long-lost Teotihuacán culture and its mysterious people. The film incorrectly states the city of Tikal is in Mexico when it is in Guatemala. Secrets of the Dead strives to get the facts correct and we regret the error.

Resource: The Teotihuacan Fire Ceremony | Native America



3:00 p.m. – American Masters: Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise
Journey through the prolific life of the “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” author and activist, who inspired generations with lyrical modern African American thought.
Resource: Maya Angelou


Advice for parents as their children move from teens to grown-ups
Download a free parent guide: how to help teens build life skills for success.


Great Lakes Learning: Freshwater science for the youngest learners – Part 1

Four ways that you can adapt the Great Lakes Learning lessons and activities to engage younger learners with the Great Lakes.


Let’s Play! DSO Classroom

Tune in to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Virtual Educational Concert Series for a concert that explores what it means to “play” music, featuring pieces by Andrew Norman and Steve Reich! Violins playing without strings? Music with no melody? You’ve never heard an orchestra play quite like this! Watch on Facebook every Friday.

4:00 p.m. – Cook-Along Classes with Raddish Kids: VIRTUAL Family Cooking Demos
Join Raddish Kids for virtual cooking demos specifically for kids.

Chairs. We use them all the time. We take them for granted. But why does one chair cost $20.00 and another cost more than $1,000.00? Let’s explore chairs.

App of the Day:

PBS KIDS Games app has more than 100 free games for your 2-8 year-olds. In this safe learning environment, kids learn science, math reading, creativity and more. Play mazes, puzzles, dress-up, coloring and more. The games feature their favorite PBS KIDS characters and help teach everything from the ABCs and shapes to reading and math.

Book of the Day:

Good Night with Dolly: VIRTUAL Storytime every Thursday at 7:00pm on Facebook or Youtube

Dolly reads select Imagination Library books, all carefully chosen for their appropriate content at this moment in time.

Writing Prompt:

Where is your favorite place to sit? What makes it special?

Infants and Toddlers:

The more words your little one hears in conversations with you, the more connections their brain makes about words and what they mean. Understanding lots of words makes all learning easier, so talk, read, and sing with your child!


Game of Chairs | Sesame Street
Learn about numbers through a silly game of musical chairs in this funny spoof.

Grades K-2:

Episode 103: The New Chair | Salsa
Will Goldilocks, Little Rat, and the Three Bears be able to fix Little Bear’s broken chair?

Grades 3-5:

Triangles: Designing a Newspaper Chair
The Zoom cast attempts to build a sturdy chair from…paper?

Grades 6-8:

Kid Designer: A Comfortable Cardboard Chair
Many people have never attempted to build their own furniture. But a young designer named Nick demonstrates a painless process for designing and constructing attractive, sturdy chairs from cardboard.

Grades 9-12:

Shaving Grace
Using the best chair-making traditions, Berea, Kentucky, craftsman Brian Boggs creates works of art that can be sat on.


VIRTUAL Kidz Bop Dance Break
Have a KIDZ BOP Dance Party in your living room to get the wiggles out! KIDZ BOP Dance Along videos are the best way to incorporate music + movement into your daily routine.

10:00 a.m. Spy in the Wild, A Nature Miniseries – The Poles

From penguin chicks to elephant seals and wolf cubs to polar bears, the spy creatures meet and observe the hardiest and most charismatic animals in the Arctic and Antarctic circles.

Resource: The Spy Penguin

3:00 p.m. Korea: The Never-Ending War

Shedding new light on a geopolitical hot spot, the film – written and produced by John Maggio and narrated by Korean-American actor John Cho – confronts the myth of the “Forgotten War,” documenting the post-1953 conflict and global consequences.

Resource: Mapping the Korean Peninsula | Korea: The Never-Ending War

12:00 p.m. – When Whales Walked: Journeys in Deep Time
Follow scientists from around the world on a global adventure as they follow clues from the fossil record and change what we thought we knew about the evolution of whales, elephants, and more.
Resource: When Whales Walked: Journeys in Deep Time


Taking Care of Your Mental Health in the Face of Uncertainty
Human beings like certainty. We are hard-wired to want to know what is happening when and to notice things that feel threatening to us. When things feel uncertain or when we don’t generally feel safe, it’s normal to feel stressed. This very reaction, while there to protect us, can cause all sorts of havoc when there is a sense of uncertainty and conflicting information around us.


Strategies to Build Engaging Digital Lessons for High School Students
“My charge for the foreseeable future is to help my students feel something normal – to learn and grow and feel supported…My lessons will focus on three things: Clarity, Choice, and Engagement.” Head to the @PBSTeachers blog to hear how one teacher is continuing to provide engaging lessons for his students, online.

3:30 p.m. – Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Celebration

PBS Books presents a live discussion with author Minh Lê and illustrator Dan Santat about their book Drawn Together in an interactive event. Spend an hour with us to learn about their collaboration and creative process.

3:00 p.m. – Home Safari with the Cincinnati Zoo

Join the Cincinnati Zoo for a Home Safari Facebook Live each weekday where they will highlight one of their amazing animals and include an activity you can do from home.

Reach for the stars!

App of the Day:

Ready Jet Go! Space Explorer
Kids can explore the solar system and visit planets, stars and constellations with Jet and his friends. Ready, Jet, Go, Excelsior!

Book of the Day:

Catching the Moon: The Story of a Young Girl’s Baseball Dream
Catching the Moon is the story of the girl who grew up to become the first woman to play for an all-male professional baseball team.

Writing Prompt:

Have you ever wished upon a star? What might you wish?

Infants and Toddlers:

Twinkle Twinkle | Sesame Street
An outer space twist to a classic nursery rhyme! This Twinkle Twinkle remix takes you on a space exploration of the stars.


Twinkle Twinkle Letter Stars
Astronomers, the scientists who study stars, have divided the night sky into 88 official constellations. A “constellation” is a group of stars that form a recognizable pattern when viewed from Earth. Now you can create constellations in your home — while also teaching alphabet skills!

Grades K-2:

The North Star and Big Dipper | Ready Jet Go!
Find that star! In this clip from Ready Jet Go!, Face 9000 tells Jet and his friends how to find the North Star using the constellation known as the Big Dipper.

Grades 3-5:

Why do stars twinkle and move? | Ask MIT
Second-graders in Missouri ask, “Why do stars twinkle instead of shine steady?” and “Do stars move at night or do they just look like they do because of the earth spinning?” Find out from Dr. Anna Frebel, professor of astrophysics at MIT!

Grades 6-8:

Cooking with the Stars

Listen in as students engage in a dialogue to learn how astronomers know what stars are made of and what we all are made of. How can astronomers study what makes a star?

Grades 9-12:

We Are All Made of Stars
Noted astronomer, author and TV host Carl Sagan’s once said, ‘We are all star stuff.’ Like humans, stars have a life cycle — they are born, live and die. Except for hydrogen and helium, nearly all of the elementsthat make up everything in the universe, even us, are created during the life of a star.


Set a timer and do each of these exercises for one minute. Still energized? Repeat as many times as you want.


9:00 a.m. – History Detectives: Notes in 1775 Almanac/Get Thin To Music Records/Andy Warhol’s Art

In this episode, the notes scrawled in the margins of this 1775 Almanac give us intimate insights into how loyalties strained families during the Revolution. Then a garage sale find ties a woman to the grandfather she never met. Was the phonograph the exercise guru of the 1920s? And did NASA unwittingly smuggle Andy Warhol art to the moon?

Resource: The Road to Revolution Game | Liberty! The American Revolution

11:00 a.m. – Food – Delicious Science: Food on the Brain

Food – Delicious Science is the scientific story of your next meal. Michael Mosley and James Wong celebrate the physics, chemistry and biology hidden inside every bite.

Resource: Can You Be Addicted to Sugar? | Braincraft



4:00 p.m. – Latino Americans, Episode 5: Prejudice and Pride
In the 1960s and 1970s, a generation of Mexican Americans, frustrated by persistent discrimination and poverty, find a new way forward through social action and the building of a new “Chicano” identity.
Resource: Teaching and Learning About “Latino Americans”


Sesame Street in Communities
Together with children, watch this video to see how Abby and her mom take deep belly breaths to calm down. After watching, ask children if they have been feeling worried like Abby. What other emotions can you help them name? Then, practice belly-breathing together.


Literacy Newsletter
A literacy resource site for educators.


Outdoor Adventure Center VIRTUAL LIVE Nature in Our Neighborhood
The Outdoor Adventure Center has been presenting the Nature in Your Neighborhood Series. In this collection of videos, the program staff provide fun activities, crafts and more! Keep an eye open for upcoming LIVE events!

Make your Tuesday volcanic, as we explore one of the most explosive and unpredictable features of our Earth.

App of the Day:

Kart Kingdom
Welcome to Kart Kingdom, where you can customize your own kart, create your own adventure and collaborate with other kids to complete community challenges and unlock rewards! Includes curriculum-based games with favorite PBS KIDS characters designed to help kids think strategically and solve problems.

Book of the Day:

My Mouth Is a Volcano (read aloud)
All of Louis thoughts are very important to him. In fact, his thoughts are so important to him that when he has something to say, his words begin to wiggle, and then they do the jiggle, then his tongue pushes all of his important words up against his teeth and he erupts, or interrupts others.

Writing Prompt:

Have you ever felt like you might erupt like a volcano? What happened and why did you feel that way?

Infants and Toddlers:

Talk, Read and Sing Together Every Day!
Play “Peek-a-boo” while getting your baby dressed. Ask, “Where’s (baby’s name)?” when you pull a shirt over your baby’s head. Then say, “There you are!”


Dinosaur Train: Eruption
In this Dinosaur Train clip, the Pteranodon family learns what volcanoes are and why they erupt. Later, Dr. Scott the Paleontologist discusses where volcanoes can be found, and the effects of eruptions on the environment.

Grades K-2:

Aloha Hawaii
Hawaii may be part of the United States, but it is very different from the rest of the country. Discover some of the characteristics that are unique to Hawaii, in this song from Postcards from Buster.

Grades 3-5:

Ruff Ruffman’s Ring of Fire Travel Guide
Learn about volcanoes in the Ring of Fire and their relationship to earthquakes and mountain ranges with this game featuring PBS KIDS character Ruff Ruffman. Students help Ruff verify information about volcanoes that he has gathered for his grandmother’s vacation.

Grades 6-8:

Tectonic Plates, Earthquakes, and Volcanoes
Volcanoes and earthquakes both result from the movement of tectonic plates. In this interactive activity produced for Teachers’ Domain with images from NASA, see the relationship between earthquakes and volcanoes and the boundaries of tectonic plates.

Grades 9-12:

NOVA: Deadliest Volcanoes

From Japan’s Mount Fuji to the “Sleeping Giant” submerged beneath Naples to the Yellowstone “supervolcano” in the United States, NOVA will travel with scientists from around the world who are at work on these sites, attempting to discover how likely these volcanoes are to erupt, when it might happen, and exactly how deadly they could prove to be.


Get-Moving Game

Invent an indoor game that gets everyone up and moving. Try your hand at invention and design in this activity from Design Squad Nation.

11:00 a.m. – Breakthrough: The Ideas That Changed The World – The Smartphone

Dial in to the fascinating history of the smartphone, from its roots in Morse Code to 2007, when Apple unveiled the first-ever iPhone. Plus, see how the next generation of smartphones will allow us to communicate through them just by thinking.

Resource: Inside Science | Turn your Smartphone into a Science Lab

1:00 p.m. – Wild Weather

Wild Weather introduces a global group of experts who risk their lives to demonstrate the power of wind, water and temperature, taking these simple “ingredients” and transforming them into something spectacular and powerful for everyone to understand.

Resource: Evidence of Wind

12 p.m. – Hotel Armadillo

Welcome to the “Hotel Armadillo,” where the giant armadillo digs a daily hole deep in the Brazilian rain forest and leaves behind a suite for 25 species of jungle clientele.
Resource: Benefits of Beaver Ponds and Lodges


MSU Extension Extras Parenting Hour

This free series of parenting workshops will provide parenting guidance for parents of young children as they navigate the challenges and concerns of parenting in these new circumstances. Participants may register for as few or as many workshops as they wish.


Helping Parents Manage Stress During COVID-19 Noon – 1 p.m. ET

Join this thirty-minute chat with Heather Forkey MD, FAAP to hear strategies for connecting and supporting families as well as ideas on how to conduct virtual well-being checks.


Virtual Vitamin Z at The Detroit Zoo
Tune in for live educational videos on Facebook every weekday at 11:00am.

Is one of your best friends furry with great big eyes and a warm tongue? We’re celebrating dogs and puppies today – with a little bit of cat thrown in for good measure.

App of the Day:

Daniel Tiger’s Storybooks
The Daniel Tiger’s Storybooks app offers a library of interactive stories narrated by Daniel Tiger. The stories show Daniel learning little life lessons, like sharing with friends and being a helper. Each book, available in English and Spanish, includes a familiar song, charming animations, and a simple game to encourage children to play about the theme of the story.

Book of the Day:

Clifford (the Big Red Dog) Goes to Dog School
Go old-school with this “Read Me a Story” video of an original Clifford book. Then check out the Clifford games and activities online at PBS KIDS!

Writing Prompt:

What games do you like to play with your favorite fury friends and why?

Infants and Toddlers:

Playtime Activities Sheet
Every moment together is an opportunity for role play – all it takes is imagination. While waiting at the doctor’s office, your child can play the doctor and you can introduce yourself as the patient. Pretend you have a stomachache or a headache and ask your child for a cure. You can encourage your child’s role play in many other settings like restaurants, grocery stores, and subways.


To help Pinky the puppy feel more at home, Pinkalicious® and her brother, Peterrific®, pretend to be dogs in this video excerpt from the PBS KIDS series PINKALICIOUS & PETERRIFIC®.

Grades K-2:

Animal Shelter Field Trip
Ms. Penny and the KidVision VPK Kids visit an animal shelter.

Grades 3-5:

Puppy Walker
In this segment from Zoom into Action, Brett trains puppies to be seeing-eye dogs.

Grades 6-8:

Sniffing Out Dogs’ Senses
Discover just how powerful a dog’s sense of smell can be in this video from NOVA: Inside Animal Minds: Dogs & Super Senses. Fern, a trained sniffer dog, is put to the ultimate test: Can she locate a canister of meat hidden 20 feet underwater?

Grades 9-12:

Driftwood the Dog
In this video from the PBS series NATURE, Tara Bayne and Devon Napier share the story of their border collie Driftwood, who has lost his hind feet.


Follow along with Dionne as she acts out different animals – big and small – using her body.


10:00 a.m. – The Mississippi: Rivers of Life
The Mississippi reaches far beyond the Deep South; its fingers stretch into nearly half of the USA. From the frozen north – where coyotes learn to fish in icy water – down through the nation’s agricultural heart and then to the mysterious, steamy southern swamps where alligators still rule. The many faces of the Mississippi unite a nation.

Resource: Taming the Mississippi – Media Gallery and Support Materials

12:00 p.m. – NOVA: Cat Tales

Worshipped as a goddess, condemned as satanic, and spun into a stunning array of breeds, cats have long fascinated humans. But did we ever really domesticate them? And what can science tell us about our most mysterious companions?

Resource: Cat tongues are covered in hundreds of body-cooling, moisture-wicking quill pens – Article

4:00 p.m. – The Greeks, Episode 1: Cavemen to Kings
Learn about the ancient civilization of the Greeks, from the very beginning of trade on the Greek Islands during the Bronze Age to the height of Athenian power. This resource contains material that may be sensitive for some students.
Resource: The Greeks


Sesame Street in Communities
Together with children, watch this video to see how Elmo’s mom helps him set up a video call with his friends. After watching, talk with children about other ways you can maintain friendships from afar.



When to Teach Online Classes Live and When to Let Students Learn on Demand

Dealing with this novel experience of hating your job? So many teachers are in the same place, so here are some things that are helping them cope.


Echo Live at MiSci: VIRTUAL LIVE Science Experiments

11:00 a.m – Belleville Area District Library Online Preschool Storytime
All children are invited to an on-line storytime on Facebook at 11:00 a.m. on Mondays with the Belleville Area District Library.

2:30 p.m. – Join the Michigan Science Center every weekday at 2:30 PM as their educators present live science experiments from the Distance Learning studio.

Weekend Edition, May 16-17

Weekend Theme: Resilience

Parenting: How Thinking About Thinking Can Help Kids Build Resilience

In order to thrive, kids need to be able to make the transition from the negative “I can’t” to the proactive “How can I?” As a parent, you can help them think about why they’re stuck, what’s frustrating them, what they would need to get unstuck. Help them think about their own thinking.

Self Care: Resilience During a Pandemic

One of the most frequently recommended tools for coping? Maintain structure in our lives. Such routines and rituals as getting up in the morning at a regular time and building routines around daily tasks. Check out even more tips for surviving our extended shelter-in-place.

Perspective: Rachel Hollis

Rachel Hollis is an American author, motivational speaker and blogger. In this episode from her Facebook video series, Rachel talks about what resilience looks like to her during these times.

Family Fun: Keep Trying! Create a “Tightrope” to Talk About Practice

Tightrope walkers have to keep on trying for a long time before they become good at their craft. Here’s an activity to help your child learn that “If you keep trying, you’ll get better!”

Virtual Field Trips: East Lansing Virtual Art Festival

Saturday, May 16, a full day of live-streaming art offerings will be hosted on the ELAF Facebook page. The offerings will include online musical performances, online artist demonstrations, online demonstrations for at-home children’s art activities, artist award announcements and more.

Special Events:

Detroit Preforms Sunday Brunch Music Series will feature Blue Llama

11:00 a.m. Sunday: Click in for some Jazz from the Blue Llama in Ann Arbor – from Detroit Public TV and WRCJ 90.9 FM.

PBS Family Movie Nights on Channel 56.2:

Nature Cat: Natural Wonders Mini-Marathon

Watch May 15, 16, 17 from 7 to 9pm: Explore the natural wonders of the world with Nature Cat! With the help of his animal friends, Nature Cat embarks on action-packed adventures full of nature investigation, “aha” discovery moments and humor, all while inspiring children to go outside and “play the show.”

PBS Family Movie Night themed activity: Nature Cat Scavenger Hunt

Other Resources:

Child Care Relief Fund from the Michigan Department of Education

The Child Care Relief Fund is a noncompetitive grant program that helps child care providers in Michigan cover costs during the COVID-19 state of emergency.

Have you started baking more while staying at home? Get the kids involved! Today’s topic is bread.

App of the Day:

Daniel Tiger for Parents
Designed with busy parents in mind, the app is simple, educational, and entertaining for caregivers and children. It features over two dozen Daniel Tiger songs, supporting videos from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and helpful hints for parents about the important skills children need to be ready for school and life.

Book of the Day:

The Gingerbread Man
The classic fairytale is animated in this online version.

Writing Prompt:

What is your favorite kind of bread and why?

Infants and Toddlers:

No Bad Kids — Toddler Discipline Without Shame
A toddler acting out is not shameful, nor is it behavior that needs punishing. It is a cry for attention, a shout-out for sleep, or a call to action for firmer, more consistent limits. It is the push-pull of our toddler testing his burgeoning independence. Explore some guidelines for dealing with the outbursts.


Imagination Moment: Baking Banana Bread | Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
Daniel learns the steps involved in baking banana bread and finds out that waiting for the bread to be done is the hardest part.

Grades K-2:

Making Bread
Visit a bakery with Anthony from Between the Lions to learn how bread is made!

Grades 3-5:

Peanut Butter Drop! | DragonFly TV Experiments
Conduct a free-fall experiment with peanut butter on bread. Learn how inertia effects which side lands on the floor.

Grades 6-8:

Slice-o-Scope | Exploratorium
Examine the molecular structure of bread under 2x and 100x magnification in this interactive feature.

Grades 9-12:

Secrets of Sourdough | QUEST
Breadmaking is both a science and an art. Learn about the science of fermentation and discover how the process of making sourdough bread is unique in this QUEST video from KQED.


Go Bananas | Dance Along | Pinkfong Songs for Children

Meet Pinkfong’s fun, educational videos that captured the hearts of millions of children around the world.

11 a.m. – Breakthrough, The Ideas That Changed The World: The Car

Meet the scientists working on the next assembly line-built Model T, and Go for a ride through the 9,000-year history of the car, from its roots in dogsleds to Henry Ford’s affordable and assembly line-built Model T, and meet the scientists working on the next generation of self-driving automobiles. Go for a ride through the 9,000-year history of the car, from its roots in dogsleds to Henry Ford’s affordable and assembly

Resource: Carbon-Fiber Car of the Future

4 p.m. – Latino Americans: Foreigners In Their Own Land

The opening program spans the period from 1565 to 1880, as the first Spanish explorers enter North America and the US expands into territories in the south west that had been home to Native Americans and English and Spanish colonies.

Resource: Stories of Arrival

3 p.m. – Poetry in America: Harlem / Edgar Allen Poe: Buried Alive

Langston Hughes’ question, “What happens to a dream deferred?” calls former president Bill Clinton, pianist and composer Herbie Hancock, poet Sonia Sanchez, and students from the Harlem Children’s Zone to interpret Hughes’ most iconic poem, “Harlem.” Then find out how Edgar Allen Poe, the inventor of the detective story, became his own greatest mystery.
Resource: American Masters: Edgar Allan Poe


Helping Siblings Get Along When You Have to Stay Home
“This enforced togetherness is going to get on everyone’s nerves no matter who you are or what age,” Markham said. She recommends that we model staying calm and naming feelings. For example, you can say, “I know you’re upset with your sister for writing on your drawing. I would be upset, too.”


I Love Teaching, But I Hate Whatever This Is

Dealing with this novel experience of hating your job? So many teachers are in the same place, so here are some things that are helping them cope.


2:00 p.m. – Photographer Joel Sartore is a man on a mission – he’s committed to taking portraits of every species living in the world’s zoos, aquariums, and wildlife sanctuaries (that’s more than 15,000 species)! Join us to learn about Joel’s recent escapades as the founder of the National Geographic Photo Ark – and be some of the first to learn about his newest addition to the Ark!

2:00 p.m. – DSO: A Symphony of Science
How do musical instruments produce sound, and how do our ears perceive it as music? All of the beautiful things you hear on a concert stage are actually rooted in science! Tune in to A Symphony of Science, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s 2018 collaboration concert with the Michigan Science Center, to explore the method behind the music! Accompanying lessons and activities are available at www.dso.org/learningresources.

Learn more about the most fascinating creatures on eight legs: Spiders!

Theme: Spiders

App of the Day:

Daniel Tiger’s Grr-ific Feelings
Children can play, sing, and learn about all kinds of feelings with their friend and neighbor Daniel Tiger from the hit PBS KIDS series, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.

Book of the Day:

The Very Busy Spider
Check out this animated version of a popular book for young children.

Writing Prompt:

If you were a spider on the wall at your house what would be the funniest thing you would see?

Infants and Toddlers:

7 Music Games for Practicing Self-Regulation
Fingerplays can provide little hands with something to do during moments that require waiting, like standing in line, riding the bus/driving in the car, or waiting for food at the table. Check out these books full of fingerplays and sing alongs!


Jim Parsons: Arachnid | Sesame Street
Teach language, vocabulary and listening comprehension with Celebrity Vocab clips!

Grades K-2:

Orbit Makes a Web – Wild Kratts
Use this video from Wild Kratts to teach children about spider silk, the toughest material made by any animal on the planet. Chris and Martin watch Orbit, the Spider, make a new orb web.

Grades 3-5:

Garden Spiders
In this video segment from Garden Insects, learn about six varieties of spiders that live in one garden.

Grades 6-8:

Spider Biologist | Great Job!
Look on as Dr. Blackledge, locates webs in the wild, then, follow him back to his lab where he demonstrates how to extract spider silk from a live spider, and test its strength.

Grades 9-12:

Lens of Time: Spider Seduction
For these jumping spiders, stayin’ alive requires all the right dance moves–and the perfect soundtrack, too.


Star Wars Jedi Workout
Begin your Jedi training with this series of workout videos.

12:00 p.m. – Nova: Dog Tales (Science)

Follow the epic journey of dog domestication and see what science says about dogs’ love.

Resource: Do Dogs Understand Fairness? – Video and Support Materials

3:00 p.m. – Civilizations – The Cult of Progress (World History)

This episode is about the “Progress” as an ideology, and how the “civilizing” project that arose from Enlightenment ideas was fraught with contradictions.

Resource: Art for Change Collection

1:00 p.m. – Climate Change: The Facts
Discover how the latest innovations and technology are posing potential solutions and what individuals can do to prevent further damage due to global warming.
Resource: Choosing Earth’s Climate Future


Why Are People Wearing Masks? Answering Your Child’s Questions
For young children, it’s best to answer their questions simply in language they understand. If children ask about people wearing masks or other face coverings, parents can explain:

  • Sometimes people wear masks when they are sick.
  • When they are all better, they stop wearing the mask.
  • Some people are wearing masks now as a way to prevent getting sick.


6 Current Teaching Trends We’ll Look Back On and Think WHAT?!
Following are the current teaching trends we believe we’ll look back on and ask ourselves, “What were we thinking?”


12:00 noon – Educational topics are on the agenda for this week’s COVID313 Town Hall. Watch here.

Thank You Thursdays! with Mo Willems
May is THANK-O-RAMA month with Mo Willems! As part of the monthlong celebration, Disney Publishing Worldwide is joining the Kennedy Center for a special video series, Thank You Thursdays! Tune in every Thursday in May any time after 1:00 p.m. ET to see who Mo (and viewers) will thank each week.

10:00 a.m – Moving Beyond ACES with Protective Factors, Healing and HOPE webinar

Learn from Cailin O’Connor, Senior Associate with the Center for the Study of Social Policy about this new research and how it relates to the Strengthening Families™ Framework.

Imagine. An 85-degree day. A lazy river. An innertube. We aren’t there yet, but today we are exploring rivers!

App of the Day:

Daniel Tiger’s Stop & Go Potty
With Daniel Tiger’s Stop & Go Potty app, children will practice stopping their play when they have to go potty and learn about their important bathroom routines at the potty and sink.

Book of the Day:

Famous actors, athletes and more are keeping busy at home by releasing videos of themselves reading J.K. Rowling’s famous tale aloud, and Daniel Radcliffe kicks off the series with the first chapter of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”

Writing Prompt:

Imagine that you spent the day canoeing down a river. Describe what you might see and how you might feel.

Infants and Toddlers:

Ten Best Ways to Encourage Toddlers To Talk
From the time our babies are born, they need to know that we not only tell them what’s happening (“I’m going to pick you up now”), but also that we pay attention to their non-verbal signals and listen to their sounds and cries. If we’re unsure, we wait before reacting. We ask, give the child time to take our question in, and listen again. We make every attempt to understand what our babies might be communicating. We won’t always be successful in the beginning, but we’ll improve with each try.


River Story
Follow along as Click the Mouse from Between the Lions reads the book The River.

Grades K-2:

Paws for a Minute | River Otter
Learn about the river otter–where they live in the wild, features of their habitat, and how their specific physical features and feeding behaviors help them survive

Grades 3-5:

Interconnections in the Okavango River Delta | Okavango: River of Dreams
Explore the impact elephants have on their native waterways in this fascinating video.

Grades 6-8:

Saving Crystal River
Find out the impact of invasive algae on the waterways of Florida, and what you can do to help.

Grades 9-12:

How Hydropower Dams Work
Explore how hydroelectric dams turn the power of water into electricity in our homes!


Two Ball Toss
Pistons Academy Basketball embodies the spirit of “Detroit Basketball” with emphasis on the importance of dedication, hard work and team play. On Facebook and Twitter.

9 a.m. – History Detectives: Airplane Engine Part, Metal Shavings, Yakima Saddle
In this episode, the history detectives investigate four stories from the American West.

Resource: Pearl Harbor the Attack

12 p.m. – Nova: Inside Animal Minds: Who’s the Smartest
What makes an animal smart? What forces of evolution drive brains to become more complex? Many scientists believe the secret lies in our relationships. Throughout the animal kingdom, some of the cleverest creatures–including humans–seem to be those who live in complex social groups, like dolphins, elephants, and apes.

Resource: Dolphins Plan Ahead – Video and Support Materials

1 p.m. – The Gene: An intimate History
Geneticists wrestle with the moral implications of groundbreaking new technologies that offer both promise and peril.
Resource: Genetic Case Studies


Kids Regressing? Help Them Cope with Stress During Coronavirus

How can parents help children who are showing signs of distress? “Number one: check in with yourself,” said Dr. Burke Harris. In fact, “That’s number one, number two, and number three. Our emotional wellbeing is the most important ingredient for our children’s emotional wellbeing.”


The Benefits of Quality Education and How to Make it Accessible to All Children

With policymakers paying increased attention to the importance of early education for all young children, HighScope and Detroit Public TV (DPTV) are partnering in this important livestream event.


10:30 a.m. – Detroit Public TV and HighScope present a virtual conversation with political leader and New York Times bestselling author, Stacey Abrams. Explore the importance of high-quality early childhood education to economic prosperity in the United States and what policymakers can do to create a cohesive education system for all young children. Watch live here.

Wednesdays at 1 p.m. – Impression 5 Science Center
Weekly Science Investigations via Facebook Live where one of the educators presents a live experiment you can follow along and do at home.

9:00 p.m. – NOVA: Decoding COVID-19 (Premiere) on Detroit Public TV (Channel 56)
How do you stop a contagious killer microbe? Scientists around the globe are racing to uncover the secrets of the coronavirus behind the COVID-19 pandemic – and using revolutionary techniques to develop lifesaving treatments and vaccines.

It’s time to fly, and perhaps see our world from a different angle!

App of the Day:

Wild Kratts World Adventure

Focusing on science, each game lets kids observe, explore and use creature power suits to complete missions and help the Kratt Brothers. As levels are completed, kids earn creature power “selfies,” habitat stickers and “Wow! Facts” that help further their animal science and natural history learning.

Book of the Day:

The Superlative A. Lincoln
PBS Books Storytime closes out National Poetry Month with The Superlative A. Lincoln by Eileen Meyer and illustrated by Dave Szalay. This book celebrates our 16th President in poetry.

Writing Prompt:

Would you ever consider going skydiving, why or why not?

Infants and Toddlers:

Songs & Fingerplays to Share
Learn a new song or fingerplay about flying!


Dinosaur Train | Pterosaur Plane
Learn how some dinosaurs were able to fly!

Grades K-2:

KidVision | Indoor Skydiving
Miss Penny and the KidVision Kids went to IFly to learn about indoor skydiving!

Grades 3-5:

Tracy Drain: Flight Systems Engineer
Follow Tracy Drain as she talks about her role as a flight systems engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Grades 6-8:

Allison Bolinger: Spacewalk Flight Controller and Trainer
NASA spacewalk flight controller and trainer Allison Bolinger teaches astronauts how to work outside their spacecraft in this video from Design Squad Nation.

Grades 9-12:

Pilotless Flight: Timeline of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
This interactive timeline from NOVA charts the evolution of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), from their earliest incarnations as bomb-dropping balloons and camera-equipped surveillance kites, to the development of highly engineered designs.


Train like a superhero with these kickboxing exercises inspired by the popular Marvel characters.

11:00 a.m. – Breakthrough: The Ideas That Changed the World: The Telescope
Meet the brilliant minds throughout history, from Galileo to Edwin Hubble, responsible for creating the telescope. Today, their invention allows humanity to reach the furthest limits of seeing — 13 billion light-years out. Resource: Hubble Telescope: Looking Deep

3:00 p.m. – Civilizations – Paradise on Earth
This episode explores how cultures have depicted the natural world in landscape painting throughout history. Then learn how artists have used photography to capture meaning in nature. Resource: Landscape Photography | Art in the 21st Century: “Investigation”

2:00 p.m. The Jazz Ambassadors
Discover how the Cold War and civil rights movement collided when America asked Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Benny Goodman to travel as cultural ambassadors and combat racially charged Soviet propaganda through their music. Resource: PBS LearningMedia Collection


4 Must-Read Tips From Dr. Harvey Karp’s “Happiest Baby on the Block”
Dr. Harvey Karp shares the most notable advice from his legendary book for new parents, “The Happiest Baby on the Block.”


Virtual Bitmoji Classrooms
Have you thought about building a virtual Bitmoji classroom? It’s fun, and helpful too! The interactive elements allow students to click through to see assignments, documents, and websites.


6:00 p.m. – Farm Zen: Old Spot Pigs & Virtual Trail Walks
Tour Virtue Cider’s 48-acre farm with Virtue Cider’s consumer experience manager, Johanna. We’ll hang out with everyone’s favorite Gloucestershire Old Spot Pigs, & find some surprises along the way.

Tomorrow – Wednesday, May 13, at 10:30 a.m., Detroit Public TV and HighScope present a virtual conversation with political leader and New York Times bestselling author, Stacey Abrams. Explore the importance of high-quality early childhood education to economic prosperity in the United States and what policymakers can do to create a cohesive education system for all young children. Watch live here.

It’s a new week. Time to use your imagination and invent new things!

App of the Day:

Daniel Tiger’s Day & Night
Learn about morning and bedtime routines with PBS KIDS’ Daniel Tiger. Help Daniel get ready for school in the morning and for bed at night through imaginative play and songs.

Book of the Day:

The Hungry Caterpillar
Mondays with Michelle Obama will be reading the book live at 12:00 noon on Monday.

Writing Prompt:
If you could invent anything, what would it be and how would it work?

Infants and Toddlers:

Toddlers Invent the Silliest Games
(And 33 More Reasons To Let Babies Play Their Way). A recent parent/toddler class vividly demonstrated the value of letting babies play their way.


Sid’s Amazing Invention | Sid the Science Kid
Learn all about levers with Sid the Science Kid!

Grades K-2: Inventions:

Itchy Martha | Martha Speaks!
Ever had a dog who had to wear a cone after seeing the vet? Then you’ll understand why Martha needs some inventive help when she has an itch.

Grades 3-5:

Inventions: Goldfish or M&Ms? | Science Trek
Meet a food scientist trying to find the perfect cupcake topping. Find out what some “experts” said about the “new” inventions we have come to rely on every day.

Grades 6-8:

Wilbur and Orville Wright: The Process of Invention | STEM in 30
Before they built airplanes, the Wright brothers built bicycles. Take a look at their bicycle shop in Dearborn and see how their fascination with solving the problem of human flight led to the invention of the airplane.

Grades 9-12:

Hedy Lamarr | Engineering and Invention
Discover Hedy Lamarr’s contributions as a woman in STEM in this video from the American Masters film, Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story.


Wall Sit Dribble

Pistons Academy Basketball embodies the spirit of “Detroit Basketball” with emphasis on the importance of dedication, hard work and team play. On Facebook and Twitter.

12:00 noon – Nova: Inside Animal Minds: Bird Genius
Problem-solving birds include a cockatoo that picks locks; a wild crow solves an eight-step puzzle; a raven solves a puzzle box so fast it is captured with high-speed photography.
Resource: Live Bird Cams and activities at Cornell

3:00 p.m. – Civilizations – Renaissances

Renaissance Italy and the Islamic empires experience an explosion of creativity and invention, as artists in the East and the West compete and influence each other.

Resource: Ottoman Culture under Suleyman the Magnificent


1:00 p.m. – The Forgotten Coast: Return to Wild Florida

Following in the footsteps of a wandering Florida black bear, three friends leave civilization and enter a lost American wilderness on a rugged thousand-mile journey by foot, paddle and bike. Traversing Florida’s vast and seldom seen “Forgotten Coast,” the expedition encounters stunning and rare wildlife including black bears, manatees, alligators, ancient river fish and endangered woodpeckers.

Resource: Florida’s Fountain of Youth – Life in Florida’s Spring


Time to Tell Parents the Truth about Helping their Kids with Reading
Research shows parents really can help their children to learn to read and that they often will … if asked, if encouraged, if supported. Here are three activities that literacy expert Tim Shanahan recommends.


Staying Calm During Crisis: 5 Tips for Self-Care
The PBS Teachers Lounge offers five ways to find your calm and get through digital school.


10:30 a.m. – Virtual Storytime with Miss Jessica
A daily half-hour storytime from the Romulus Public Library.

11:00 a.m. – Virtual Vitamin Z at the Detroit Zoo

In these uncertain times, The Detroit Zoo is working hard to spread some much-needed cheer. Since you can’t go to the Zoo, they are brining the Zoo to you!

It’s Mother’s Day Weekend. Being a mother in these times is one of the hardest jobs there is — taking care of family, your home, and making sure your kids are doing what their school asks. And that’s before you tackle what your paying job might require!

So here’s to you, Mom. And here’s hoping you have a chance for some “me” time this weekend!


“Thanks, daughter. This is helping.”: A Mother’s Day Reflection on Being Present

Importantly, the time we spend with our children and the relationships that result, show them how to treat others and how they should expect to be treated. In honor of Mother’s Day, here are a few strategies for turning everyday moments with our children into quality time.

How To Celebrate Mother’s Day 2020 On Zoom

If you’re used to treating mom out for dinner, taking her shopping, or even traveling to see her, your Mother’s Day plans will likely have to change due to the coronavirus pandemic. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still celebrate Mother’s Day on Zoom. Whether you’re celebrating your mother, grandmother, sister, or guardian this Mother’s Day, it’s important to remember that it’s about finding ways to spend time with this person that makes the day special.


Movie Workouts
Cigna has devised 5 workouts that you can while watching your favorite Disney movies. In fact, you have to be watching a Disney movie to do the workout.

33 Things to Do with Mom on Mother’s Day (Even if You’re Apart!)
From virtual brunches to online flower arranging classes, here’s how to get “together” even if you can’t.

“Mother May I?” Game-Rules and Variations
“Mother May I” is a game that has been played for years. Although usually played as a children’s game, variations make it fun for teens and even adults. The game requires no preparation or equipment and is safe for small children (as young as three), as there is no bodily contact.


Top 10 Video Games to Play with Mom

Moms want to spend time with their kids. Here are 10 games that may get your mom to start asking you to join a game.


Metropolitan Museum of Art
Bring the iconic New York museum into your home! Experience The Met online with any of the 26 online galleries, including Christian Dior: Ball Gowns and The Art of Music Through Time.


Sunday, 11:00 a.m. – The Michigan Opera Theatre Children’s Chorus performs Gilbert & Sullivan’s “HMS Pinafore” as recorded in April 2018. See the performance live on DPTV.org/arts, and then check out the educational resources designed especially for distance learning.

Sunday, 2:00 p.m. – Can’t hang with mom this Mother’s Day? Sit down separately but together and catch the Arab American National Museum’s program of short films directed by women, highlighting Arab American women making an impact. Even cooler? Directors of two of the shorts, Darine Hotait of “Like Salt” and Suha Araj of “Pioneer High,” will be on the line for a post-film talkback. The stream is free, but you must RSVP to get the link. All films are in English or Arabic with English subtitles.

Finally, if you are a fan of Masterpiece Theatre on PBS, you might want to revisit some great mothers from recent series like Downton Abbey and Victoria. Is a day of video binging overdue?

As we close Teacher Appreciation Week, we want to acknowledge that we are now in Nurse Appreciation Week. Mere thanks doesn’t seem enough for teachers and front-line medical professionals during this stressful time. Perhaps this musical bouquet – “Who Are the Brave?” – says it better. Thanks to the Michigan Philharmonic and the choirs from Madonna University and First United Methodist Church, Plymouth.

App of the Day:

Cyberchase Shape Quest 

Buzz and Delete are back in Botopolis for another fun-filled adventure. Play with them and their animal friends through three math-based games focused on geometry, spatial reasoning and problem solving.

Book of the Day:

Dragons Love Tacos

Today’s book is from Barbershop Books, an organization in New York that creates child-friendly reading spaces in barbershops to increase book access and out-of-school reading among young Black boys. They have live storytime every Tuesday and Friday at 11:00 a.m.

Writing Prompt:

Describe a baseball game from the baseball’s point of view.

Infants and Toddlers:

Why Your Child Should Be Playing with Balls
All children can benefit from (and will likely enjoy) rolling, catching, kicking, dribbling, and tossing a ball–an inexpensive, readily available, and versatile toy. Playing with balls improves kids’ motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and timing, which are important parts of the developmental progression of toddlers.


Imagination: I’m a Baseball Star! | Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
Daniel pretends that he is a famous baseball star and learns how important it is to practice!

Grades K-2:

Baseball Field Trip
Penny and the KidVision VPK Kids take you out to the ball game!

Grades 3-5:

Baseball Bats – Curtis Cruz and Becky O’Hara

Curtis Cruz and Becky O’Hara, 25-year-old engineers for Rawlings Sporting Goods, have a dream job that combines their passion for baseball with their love of math and science.

Grades 6-8:

GPS: Baseball
Baseball is Reed and Nick’s game! Learn all about the different types of bats and how you can find the “sweet spot” to really make the ball fly!

Grades 9-12:

Baseball Legends | Ken Burns: Baseball
Explore images of baseball legends and Hall of Famers featured in Ken Burns: Baseball.


Workout with Grover!
Work out your inner monster — Grover shows you the moves!

9:00 a.m. – History Detectives: Jackie Robinson All-Stars
Does a History Detectives fan hold a piece of baseball history? In a 1940’s Pittsburgh Pirates program, he found a scorecard for a game between two unusual teams: the Majors’ All Stars and Robinson’s All Stars. Jackie Robinson’s team is made up of both black and white players, yet this game appears to have occurred before Robinson became the first black major league baseball player in 1947. Could this game have been a test to find out how America would react to integrated baseball? Resource: Jackie Robinson 3-2-1 Strategy Chart

2:00 p.m. – Shakespeare Uncovered: The Merchant of Venice with F. Murray Abraham

Shylock is the ultimate outsider. What does Shakespeare’s play teach us about acceptance? Resource: Acceptance and the Merchant of Venice


3:00 p.m. – Great Performances: Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar meets Orange is the New Black Set in a women’s prison. Great Performances: Julius Caesar offers a powerful dramatization of the catastrophic consequences of a political leader’s extension of power beyond constitutional confines through an all-female lens. In this acclaimed Donmar Warehouse production directed by Phyllida Lloyd, Shakespeare’s famous discourse on power, loyalty, and tragic idealism is heightened against the backdrop of female incarceration. Resource: Behind the Scenes


The Lockdown is Making Me Feel Like a Bad Parent…
But nothing could be further from the truth. The coronavirus pandemic has forced me to loosen up on my parenting skills and allow my toddler to get away with things I normally would reprimand her for. Turns out I’m not alone and experts say easing up isn’t something to feel guilty about.


National Teacher Appreciation Day Freebies and Deals
More Freebies for Teachers!

2:00 p.m. – DSO Classroom: The Music of John Williams
Explore the powerful music of one of the most famous film composers of all time: John Williams! Students will learn about how music contributes to the characters, setting, and mood of a movie with a few of Williams’ best-loved scores. The concert will be virtually hosted by a DSO musician with facts and trivia throughout each piece. Accompanying activities are available here.

8:00 p.m. – American Portrait Premiere

PBS American Portrait, a national storytelling project aligned with PBS’s 50th anniversary celebration, invites America to participate in a national conversation about what it really means to be an American today. To answer this question, PBS and its partners have been collecting photos, videos and text submissions from across America to capture the state and spirit of our nation. Add your voice to this ongoing celebration.

Bee Ready! With the blooming trees and bushes, bees are back and are the buzz in today’s newsletter activities.

App of the Day:

PBS KIDS Video App
The PBS KIDS Video app has been expanded to give kids and parents access to thousands of free videos, including full episodes and clips from top PBS KIDS series. With this app, kids can watch their favorite PBS KIDS shows anytime, anywhere!

Book of the Day:

Miss Maple’s Seeds

“Mondays with Michelle Obama” continue as she reads “Miss Maple’s Seeds,” story and pictures by Eliza Wheeler.

Writing Prompt:
If you were a bumble bee and could fly anywhere, where would you go and why?

Infants and Toddlers:

Baby Bumble Bee Song
Learn the hand motions to this classic kid’s song.


All About the Bee | Education Through Puppetry
Bees pollinate flowers and the fruit and vegetables that we eat. They are vital to our planet, yet they are in danger! Learn how we can protect bees in this hilarious music video.

Grades K-2:

Busy Bees | Valley’s Gold
How does our food grow? Bees help! Find out how in this fun video.

Grades 3-5:

What’s Happening to All the Bees? | Things Explained
Bees are important! Find out what’s happening to them in this episode of “Things Explained.”

Grades 6-8:

SciGirls | Bee Haven 02: Research
The SciGirls want to start their own beehive to learn all about different types of bees!

Grades 9-12:

Why Are the Bees Dying? | It’s Okay to Be Smart
Bees, wild and domesticated, are in big trouble. Bee colonies are dying off at alarming rates, and the cause isn’t clear…if they disappear, could we be next?


B Buzz
Can you make two basketballs buzz like a bee? Give it a try, with this two basketball drill, from the Detroit Pistons.

10:00 a.m. – Spy in the Wild: A Nature Miniseries – The North
This “Spy in the Wild” episode explores how animals adapt to changing seasons, such as in Japan, where snow monkeys gather at steaming hot thermal pools. Meanwhile, Monarch butterflies migrate to find warmer places to spend the winter.

Resource: Migration of the Monarch

4:00 p.m. – Nova: Polar Extremes

Scientists uncover the bizarre history of the poles, from miles-thick ice sheets to warm polar forests. Go beyond the broadcast to learn more about the Arctic and the Antarctic in this collection of resources.
Resource: Polar Extremes Extras

1:00 p.m. – The Gene Doctors
See the treatments that scientists and doctors are devising to target the root causes of hereditary diseases, then check out Geniverse, a game-like environment that supports experimentation, critical thinking and writing about genetics.
Resource: Geniverse


PBS Newshour – Distance Learning and Special Needs
Roughly 14 percent of students enrolled in U.S. public schools receive special education services. As families across the nation grapple with home learning, what are the particular challenges the parents of these children face? Judy Woodruff talks to Selene Almazan of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, a nonprofit aiming to protect the rights of children with disabilities.


Students Salute Teachers
Since the educational world was turned upside-down, teachers have been … well, amazing. Students think so, too. Here are just a few who want to share how much they miss you.

2:30 p.m. – Join the Michigan Science Center on Facebook every weekday to learn something you didn’t know about science!

4:00 p.m. – Trying to figure out the next steps for your small business? Crain’s Detroit Business reporter Nick Manes is moderating a free webinar with pros from the DEGC, the Small Business Association of Michigan, TCF Bank, Invest Detroit Ventures, and Tech Town. Registration required.

Teacher Appreciation Week/Month continues, and the folks at StoryCorps are hoping you’ll take the challenge to capture the story of a teacher who has been influential in your life, which will be added to their collection in the Library of Congress. They even have an app to make it easy. Details here.

Today’s theme: Big Cats! Lions and Tigers…Oh My!

App of the Day:

Explore Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
Explore Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood encourages open-ended, imaginative play as children visit familiar places and create stories about their friend Daniel Tiger. It’s like playing in a digital dollhouse where you can turn the lights on and off, open and close doors, give Daniel and his family food to eat and much more. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is a land of make-believe – a place to explore and have fun!

Book of the Day:

Red Sky at Night
PBS Books Storytime presents Red Sky at Night written and illustrated by Elly MacKay.

Writing Prompt:

If I were a lion…

Infants and Toddlers:

Snack Hacks | Tiger Snack
Spend some quality time together while building science, reading, and math skills. This Tiger Snack stops tummies from growling!


Daniel the Adventure Tiger Goes Camping | Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
Daniel imagines that he is a brave and strong adventure tiger on a camping adventure! Teach kids that pretend play is fun and can help improve their confidence.

Grades K-2:

Different Tigers
Discover the differences between a real tiger and a paper puppet tiger.

Grades 3-5:

Wondering About the Tazzy Tiger | Wild Kratts
Go back in creature time with the Kratt brothers.


Grades 6-8:

Tiger That Wandered a Russian City Is Returned to the Wild

Found roaming an urban area in Siberia, this rare Amur tiger was rehabilitated and set free inside a national park.

Grades 9-12:

Infographic: All About Tigers | Nature: Siberian Tiger Quest
Learn more about the tiger, the largest member of the Felidae family.


Fit Kids
Watch these videos for your complete Lower Body and Agility Workout from Fit Kids.

8:00 a.m. – Wild Kratts: Cheetah Adopted

Learn about the amazing speed and hunting ability of the cheetah! Cheetahs are the fastest land animals and that their light body weight helps them to be faster than other animals!
Resource: Amazing Cheetahs! | Kratts Creatures

3:00 p.m. – Native America: Cities of the Sky

Cities of the Sky explores the creation of some of the ancient world’s largest and most splendid cities. Were people across Native America inspired by celestial phenomenon to build their communities?
Resource: The Inca’s Sacred City of Cuzco

1:00 p.m. – To Catch a Comet

Watch a compelling documentary that details the complexities and challenges of the 10-year, four-million-mile journey of the spacecraft Rosetta as it chased down and landed on the Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Resource: Why Study Comets?


Parent Engagement
This week, we are emphasizing partnerships between families and teachers, because they play an important role in how well students do in school. Find information about the importance of teachers and parents working together on behalf of kids, as well as examples of programs that specifically make the link between home and school.


More Free Stuff!
We found even more free stuff for teachers – available through Friday. Offers include everything from free pizza to discounted Costco memberships and cellphone plans in order to spread the love.


Meet Michigan’s 2020 PBS Digital Innovator All-Star
Abigail VanBuhler is a site coordinator for EMU Bright Futures’ 21st CCLC after school program at Ford Early Learning Center in Ypsilanti, MI. In her role at Ford, she serves a community of kindergarten and first grade youth and their families. As a PBS Digital Innovator All-Star, she’ll be working with Detroit PBS KIDS and PBS over the next two years, creating new ways to use technology in early childhood education. Meet Abigail and see the YouTube Channel she created for her students during the shutdown.

Today is Teacher Appreciation Day! And it’s Cinco de Mayo!

Along with soaring gratitude for our teachers, we are soaring with kites!

Families across the country are sharing their gratitude for teachers all month long! Add a message of thanks for the teachers in your life on social media using the hashtags #ThankATeacher or #TeacherDay2020.

Honoring a Detroit Teacher? Suggested tags: #DetroitAppreciatesYou #Teach313

The National PTA is hoping you’ll celebrate your teachers with emojis all week long.

App of the Day:

Daniel Tiger: Play at Home with Daniel
Meet Daniel Tiger, PBS’s newest neighbor. Playing is a learning activity as you explore bedtime, music, bathtime and play pretend doctor at Daniel’s house.

Book of the Day:

Bird Count
PBS Books Storytime presents “Bird Count” written by Susan Edwards Richmond and illustrated by Stephanie Fizer Coleman.

Writing Prompt:
If you could design a kite, what would it look like?

Infants and Toddlers:

Handprint Kite
Your little one may be too small to fly a kite on their own. But you can use their handprint to create a painted keepsake kite for the refrigerator!


Kites Field Trip
Learn about the shapes of kites, the parts of kites, kite safety, and how to make a kite!

Grades K-2:

Trash Bag Kites
Let’s go fly a kite! Build your own kite using plastic trash bags, wooden dowels, and string, and learn the name of each part.

Grades 3-5:


Join the SciGirls with competitive kite-flying and cool kite design activities you can do at home.

Grades 6-8:

Benjamin Franklin | Explore: Make A Kite
Make a kite like Ben Franklin did in this interactive resource.

Grades 9-12:

Career Spotlight: Kite Designer
Meet a kite designer for builds high-altitude kites that generate and collect more energy than conventional wind turbines.


Rhyme Time Challenge
Rhyme and bounce to get our minds and bodies charged up for the day!

11:00 a.m. – Impossible Builds: The Floating House
Follow the build to make living beneath the waves into a reality as a team in Dubai attempts to construct a floating house combining the best of land and marine design. Will they achieve the impossible?
Resource: Environmental Engineering: Adapting to Rising Sea Levels with Floating Buildings

3:00 p.m. – Norman Mineta and His Legacy: An American Story

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

1:00 p.m. – Nature – Bears
Follow the adventures of bears across the globe as they draw on their remarkable adaptations to survive in an ever-changing world.
Resource: Bears of the Last Frontier


Building Parent-Teacher Relationships
Children learn best when their parents and their teachers work together as partners. This article, from Reading Rockets, explains why and how to build a better relationship with your child’s teacher – and that’s even more important when learning is taking place remotely!


Freebies for Teachers!

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, many organizations are offering special discounts and freebies. Check them out!


2:00 p.m. – Virtual Salsa Party!

It’s Cinco de Mayo, and the Parent Coalition of Great Start Wayne is having a salsa party on Facebook! Learn how to make your own with authentic recipes from Southwest Detroit.

7:00 p.m. – Filmmaker Stanley Nelson – an exclusive live chat

Nelson will use clips from his award-winning documentaries to explore approaches and the ethics behind tackling big picture problems with learners. The conversation will also include ways to support students experiencing trauma and how educators can guide students in identifying problems and avenues for change.

May the 4th be with you! Have Star Wars fans in your family? RaisingLifeLongLearners.com has assembled a list of creative activities for the mini Jedi or Sith in your family.

Meanwhile, in today’s activities, we’re talking HEROES!

App of the Day:

Word Girl Superhero Training
Put your vocabulary skills to the test and see if you have what it takes to be WordGirl’s sidekick! Create superhero avatars and train with WordGirl in this adventurous PBS KIDS app designed for kids 6 to 8.

Book of the Day:

Miss Maple’s Seeds
12:00 noon: Michelle Obama reads this book written and illustrated by Eliza Wheeler.

Writing Prompt:

Do you have a hero in your life? Who is it and why?

Infants and Toddlers:

Video-Everyday Fun with Science
Young children, from birth to age five, are naturally curious about science. In the early years, children use scientific practices like:

  • Asking questions
  • Describing animals and plants, and natural processes like rainstorms
  • Predicting what will happen next in a process


Who’s Super Brave and Strong? | Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
Daniel imagines that he is super brave, super strong, and isn’t afraid of anything! Remind kids to think of happy thoughts when they are scared.

Grades K-2:

Hero Maker | Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum
In this game, kids learn how everyday people can do amazing things. To get started, students choose from a wall of historical figures to learn more about them or create their own!

Grades 3-5:

Jackie Robinson | Athlete and Activist
Jackie Robinson was a sports hero who became a civil rights activist. When Jackie Robinson took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, he became the first African American to play Major League Baseball in the modern era. Demonstrating skill as a professional baseball player and consistent dignity both on and off the field, Robinson became an advocate for civil rights, as well as a role model.

Grades 6-8:

Your #ScienceWoman Heroes | It’s Okay to Be Smart
We teamed up with Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls to ask you who your #sciencewoman heroes are. Here’s what you told us!

Grades 9-12:

Media Gallery | Letters Home to Hero Street
The film outlines the story of Frank Sandoval, a Mexican-American solider in World War II. His story is told through the letters he sent home to his family in Silvis, IL. Sandoval was one of eight veterans of WWII and the Korean War killed in combat from the same block-and-a-half neighborhood, now called “Hero Street, USA.”


Cookie Boogie
Shake, get down, and boogie like a cookie!


11:00 a.m. – Secrets of the Dead: Building Notre Dame
Follow an investigation into the centuries-long construction of Notre Dame de Paris, uncovering the vast architectural, technical and human challenges experienced throughout the turbulent history of one of the world’s most celebrated buildings.
Related Resource: Triangles and Arches in Architecture – Interactive 

2:00 p.m. – The Great American Read: Other Worlds

Many novels on America’s list of 100 favorites take us to other worlds. From fantasy to science fiction, historical fiction to stories of spiritual realms, what do these books tell us about our own world?
Related Resource: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy


4:00 p.m. – The Greeks: Chasing Greatness
Discover how the ancient Greeks finally reached the peak of civilization -revolutionizing art, architecture, drama, philosophy, and government – and left a legacy that still points the way forward.
Related Resource: Chasing Greatness


Michigan Helpers
Mr. Rogers told us we should honor the “helpers.” The Detroit Free Press (and others) are starting to do that. Good reminder that not all of us are at home.


PBS Learning Media Tools – Search and Browsing
Search PBS LearningMedia by topic, grade or standards to find all of the resources you may need for virtual teaching!

10:00 a.m. – Music from Detroit’s Riverfront
Join Detroit Riverfront Conservancy for virtual Music Mondays. On May 4, they will stream a live performance with one of your favorite Reading and Rhythm on the Riverfront performers – Joe Reilly!

3:00 p.m. – Virtual Home Safari with the Cincinnati Zoo
The Zoo will highlight one of their amazing animals and include an activity you can do from home.

WEEKEND EDITION – May 2-3, 2020

Enjoy a spring weekend – with your favorite book.   Let’s get the kids reading this weekend!

SELF-CARE:   Taking Time For YOU!

Enjoy the weather of early May this weekend and take some time for yourself.  Some quiet time, your favorite music, some deep breaths, a chat with a friend – whatever will make you feel better as a parent and educator.

Need ideas?   Elmo can help!  

Michigan’s Family Well-Being Guide

The State of Michigan has assembled a guide featuring practical tips to support vulnerable families. It includes recommended questions to help understand the needs of potentially at-risk caregivers and children. It also provides statewide resources available to families who might have concerns about food, housing, mental health, finances or safety.

OUTDOOR READING:  10 Gorgeous Outdoor Reading Nooks (to inspire you)

We love a good reading nook. And, now that the weather is (in theory) warming up, it’s time for outdoor reading! But how do you get the perfect reading area outdoors, with the best combo of sun (to warm you up) and shade (so you can actually see your book/e-reader)?

VIRTUAL LIBRARY:  MeL Ebook K-8 Collection

Your local library is closed, but the Michigan e-Library is open!  With over 12,000 eBook titles available at your fingertips (including Diary of a Wimpy Kid!), it is easy to give students access to a wide range of books and have them access books digitally at home.

HELPING KIDS READ (AND WRITE):  Reading and Writing Quests

Daily reading and writing challenges for your kids are available for PreK and Kindergarten,  Grades 1 and 2, Grades 3-5, and Grades 6-9 from Scholastic.

FOR TEACHERS (AND PARENTS):  Literacy Essentials

All of us want children throughout Michigan to be successful. An important part of student success centers around proficiency in reading. That’s why a group of education experts developed new approaches for teachers to use in the classroom.  The Literacy Essentials provide research-proven, effective approaches to markedly improve literacy skills among Michigan’s youngest students.


If you have met one child on the autism spectrum, you have met one child with ASD. All children are unique and have different strengths and challenges. In order to truly help and encourage any child – and particularly a child with autism — get to know them and what makes them unique.


Saturday, 2:00 p.m.: Cameron Zvara Online Comedy Magic Show

On behalf of the Grosse Pointe Public Library, you are invited to Cameron Zvara’s LIVE Online Comedy Magic Show!  Get ready for mind blowing magic, comedy, juggling, music, and audience participation Free, but registration is required because slots are limited!

Sunday, 11:00 a.m.:  Michigan Philharmonic “Miniature Masterpieces”

Every year, the Michigan Philharmonic dedicates one concert to music designed for a small chamber orchestra, generally fewer than 20 musicians.   It’s a unique musical experience!

Anytime Virtual Field Trip:  360 Cities

Cities, mountaintops, underwater, or even skydiving!   Experience a new place by exploring this collection of 360-degree images!


The Child Care Relief Fund for Providers

Apply Now! The Child Care Relief Fund is a non-competitive grant program that helps childcare providers in Michigan cover costs during the COVID-19 state of emergency. The goal of the program is to help childcare providers stay in business and make childcare more affordable for Michigan families.

It’s the first day of May – traditionally a day for celebrating spring. Is there something electric in the air? There are some sparks in this newsletter!

App of the Day:

Play and Learn Science App
Play with shadows, control the weather, roll and slide objects down a ramp, choose the best materials for an umbrella — all while building science inquiry skills and learning core science concepts.

Book of the Day:

Let’s spend the first of May in Paris, with another adventure with Hudson the dog. PBS Books Storytime presents “Hudson and the Puppy: Lost in Paris (A Paris-Chien Adventure)” written and illustrated by Jackie Clark Mancuso.

Writing Prompt:

Tell us about how your family conserves energy and why it’s important.

Infants and Toddlers:

Helping Your 2-year-old Understand and Manage Emotions
Emotional self-awareness involves identifying and understanding one’s emotions — including “big feelings” that can sometimes overwhelm us.


Let There Be Light | Sid the Science Kid
Sid and his friends discover that light comes from both natural sources – like the sun, and manmade sources – like flashlights and light bulbs.

Grades K-2:

Make Electric Play Dough Circuits
Use this fun, interactive activity to talk about how conductive materials allow electricity to flow freely, while insulating materials make it slow down or stop.

Grades 3-5:

Fidget Power
Help Fidgetville by designing wind turbines that make electricity and keep the air and water clean.

Grades 6-8:

Testing for Static Electricity
In this video segment, viewers learn that rubbing certain materials together causes electrical charges to build up on the surface of one of the objects and that charge moves easily through conductors but not through insulators.

Grades 9-12:

Making Electricity at a Coal-Burning Plant
Learn the process of how electricity is made at a coal-burning plant in this video clip.


Clap It Out
Sing, dance, and clap out all the syllables in this catchy song.

8:30 a.m. – Molly of Denali: Tooth or Consequences
Molly panics about going to the dentist
Resource: Overcoming Fears Through Pretend Play – Parent Article

4:30 p.m. – Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World
Travel to nine countries and across 1,400 years of cultural history to explore the artistic riches of Islam.
Resource: Art in the Muslim World

3:00 p.m. – American Masters: Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart
Explore the life and work of the “A Raisin in the Sun” playwright and activist, who played a significant role in the civil rights movement.
Resource: Lorraine Hansberry: Writing, Politics, and Compassion


Everyone around us is experiencing some form of loss right now. The many difficult emotions you may be experiencing — sadness, disappointment, anger, guilt, frustration, or loneliness — are normal responses to abnormal conditions. We are grieving; and with grief, it is important to take a compassionate approach to ourselves and those around us.


Innovative Schools Find Lessons — and Opportunities — in Remote Learning
Some of the country’s most innovative schools–even ones flush with technology–are struggling with the transition to remote learning. Among the concerns of project-based and service learning-focused schools: setting routines, getting kids to participate and keeping the spirit of their missions alive.

10:00 a.m. – Outdoor Adventure Center VIRTUAL LIVE Nature in Our Neighborhood
In these videos, the Michigan DNR’s Outdoor Adventure Center in Detroit will provide fun activities, crafts and more! Videos are broadcast live on the Outdoor Adventure Center Facebook page.

1:30 p.m. – VIRTUAL Afternoon at Cranbrook Institute of Science
Since you can’t currently explore the Cranbrook Institute of Science, the CIS is coming to you. Hop on Facebook in the afternoons to learn about items in the collection and see live demonstrations.

2:00 p.m. – DSO Classroom: Storytelling through Music and Dance
Great dancing and great music often go hand in hand. Tune in to hear the DSO perform excerpts from two famous pieces used for dance: Igor Stravinsky’s ballet Petrushka and George Gershwin’s tone poem An American in Paris. The powerful melodies and exciting rhythms of each piece will show students how music can create a sense of place and drive a story forward without any words at all! The concert will be virtually hosted by a DSO musician with facts and trivia throughout each piece. Accompanying activities are available here.

8:00 p.m. – The UM Penny Stamp Lecture Series presents Bob Kramer, Bladesmith
Bob Kramer is an American bladesmith, widely considered the greatest American knifesmith working today. Some consider his kitchen knives to be “the best in the world.” At auction a new handmade knife by Kramer cost $30,000 in 2015, as much as 100 knives mass-produced with similar materials to his specifications.

Today, we encourage kids to get creative and invent something — with science, words, or poetry!

App of the Day:

The Cat in the Hat Invents
Build a robot and immerse your kids in STEM learning! The Cat in the Hat Invents engages your preschooler in engineering and problem solving. Join Nick, Sally and the Cat in the Hat as they explore the world of science, working through obstacles as they overcome various engineering challenges.

Book of the Day:

PBS Books Storytime presents Germs written by mom Lesa Cline-Ransome and illustrated by dad James Ransome. Author Lesa wrote the book to remind her four children to wash their hands!

Writing Prompt:

Tell us about something you would like to invent.

Infants and Toddlers:

How to Create a Literate Home: Baby and Toddler
Babies and toddlers need to explore books, letters and writing materials as they begin to figure out the special significance of these objects. What they need most, however, is for their parents to talk and listen to them. Through talking and communicating with their parents and caregivers, they build a strong language base, the ability to both understand and use language that will support their literacy development.


Potato Sprout People
Part science project and part cute craft, potato sprout people are simply potatoes with toothpicks decorated like boots, hats and gloves poked inside! Once decorated, you can make the potatoes sprout by placing them in water.

Grades K-2:

DIY Spongy Chia Pet
Use any color sponge and any shape to customize your child’s very own spongy Chia pet.

Grades 3-5:

Mars Egg Lander
How do you drop an egg without breaking it?

Grades 6-8:

Gum + Chocolate = ??? | Reactions
Have you ever needed to get rid of some chewing gum quickly but spitting it out would cause a scene? Not sure you wanna swallow the whole wad? Chemistry’s got your back. Find out why chocolate makes gum… DISAPPEAR!

Grades 9-12:

How to Grow Fluorescent Flowers | Reactions
Got a special someone you want to impress? Check out this life hack on how to turn white flowers into fluorescent masterpieces!


Chicken Dance
If you don’t want to be a chicken or a duck, then shake with Maximo in this funky Chicken Dance!

10:00 a.m. – Spy in the Wild, A Nature Miniseries — The Tropics
More than 30 animatronic spy cameras disguised as animals secretly record behavior in the wild in this “Nature” miniseries. The series captures rarely seen behavior that reveals how animals possess emotions and behavior similar to humans — including the capacity to love, grieve, deceive and invent.
Resource: Sloths in their Ecosystem

3:00 p.m. – Maya Angelou: American Masters
As a singer, dancer, activist, poet and writer, Maya Angelou inspired generations with lyrical modern African-American thought that pushed boundaries. Best known for her autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, she gave people the freedom to think about their history in a way they never had before.
Resource: The Poetry of Maya Angelou

12:00 p.m. – SciGirls: Turtle Mania
Izzie straps on her waders with Annie and her friends to make a local wetland more attractive to turtles.
Resource: Turtle Mania 01: Identify the Problem


Need to help your child with a tough math problem, but can’t remember how it’s done? Check out Photomath. The app allows you take a picture of a math problem and then steps you through the solution. Does not require wi-fi or data and covers basic arithmetic to advanced calculus and geometry.

How to Help Your Child Think Like a Scientist:

As parents and caregivers, we don’t need special training in science or engineering to help our child develop inquiry skills. Young kids love to experiment, explore, and figure out how the world works — and that is the heart of thinking like a scientist!


How to Talk to Little Learners
When talking to our youngest learners, who may be scared or anxious about coronavirus, remember that having hard conversations should be E.A.S.Y.:

  • Eye level
  • Age-appropriate language
  • Soft voice
  • Yield to allow children to share thoughts or ask questions.


12:00 noon – This week’s COVID313 Live Town Hall on Facebook will feature student-led interviews on distance learning plans, updates on health and coronavirus testing, art and self-care activities, as well as material health. On Facebook and at OneDetroitPBS.org.

4:00 p.m. – Our friends at PBS SoCal have launched a live read-along storytime on Zoom in Spanish. Register here.

Today’s activities include a number of projects designed to harness the energy of the sun in different ways.

App of the Day:

Ready Jet Go! Space Explorer
Go on a galactic journey with Jet, Sydney, Sean, Mindy and Sunspot from their backyard in Boxwood Terrace through space! Explore, paint, and play, as you learn about planets, stars and constellations.

Book of the Day:

PBS Books Storytime presents a Bike & Trike drawing activity by illustrator Brian Biggs.

Writing Prompt:

Write a poem about the Sun.

Infants and Toddlers:

20-Second Nursery Rhymes
Looking for more fun songs for your child to sing while washing their hands? @PBSKIDS has a whole playlist of fun, short nursery rhymes — all with a handy 20-second timer! In both English and Spanish.


See How Shadows Work
Discover the secret of shadows and why their length changes throughout the day.

Grades K-2:

Making S’Mores in a SOLAR COOKER
Harness the power of the sun with this simple homemade solar cooker! With just a few household items, see how solar energy creates enough heat to make a delicious melted snack.

Grades 3-5:

Solar Still, Part I: Salt Water
The water cycle is the process that moves water around Earth. In this video segment adapted from ZOOM, cast members use a homemade solar still to mimic this natural process, separating pure water from a saltwater mixture.

Grades 6-8:

Anatomy of the Sun
It might look like a solid object, but the Sun is very different from Earth. Find out what it’s made of, and how reactions inside the Sun generate all that energy and drive powerful solar storms.

Grades 9-12:

The Sun Is a Magnet!
As massive magnetic fusion reactors go, the sun is pretty awesome.


VIRTUAL Recess with Playworks
Playworks broadcasts VIRTUAL Recess live on Facebook at 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tune in for stretching and warm-ups, interactive games, cheers, and cooldown activities.

12:00 p.m. – NOVA, The Planets: Jupiter
Jupiter’s gravitational force made it a wrecking ball as it barreled through the early solar system, but it also helped shape life on Earth as it brought comets laden with water and possibly the asteroid that put an end to the dinosaurs.
Resource: Finding Life Beyond Earth: Io and Volcanism

3:00 p.m. – Native America: From Caves to Cosmos
New evidence indicates that the very First Americans spent millennia developing their unique culture and beliefs as a single community, before spreading rapidly across North and South America. Many groups, like the Aztecs, had special ceremonies honoring the sun.
Resource: The Teotihuacan Fire Ceremony

4:00 p.m. – Rick Steves: Luther and the Reformation
Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther kicked off the Protestant Reformation, which contributed to the birth of our modern age. In this one-hour special, Rick Steves visits key sites relating to the Reformation and explores the complicated political world of 16th-century Europe – from indulgences to iconoclasts.
Resource: Martin Luther and the Reformation | Teaching with Primary Sources


How Will Social Isolation During COVID-19 Affect Our Kids?
Kids are without playmates. Parents are disconnected from other adults who can help them cope. Loneliness may be amplified. There are myriad ways in which our national quarantine could affect kids but little research on it.


5 Ways That Digital Portfolios Can Expand Learning Opportunities
If you are interested in giving your students the opportunity to have the most authentic learning experience possible, it all starts with creating a digital hub for their learning experiences to happen.

7:00 p.m. – A Twitter Watch Party featuring Arthur!

This one-hour special, “The Rhythm and Roots of Arthur” will be available at pbskids.org and on the @PBSKIDS Video App. Tweet along using #ArthurWatchParty.

8:00 p.m. – Ceramics School: Play with clay

Turn your house into a pottery studio with Ceramic School’s free weekly community Zoom classes, Wednesdays at 8 p.m. They’re even supplying the materials – message them on IG and they’ll put out some clay in their yard in Hamtramck.

Dinosaurs rule this Tuesday, with lots of ways to engage kids of all ages in some learning fun! Plus, our Book of the Day features a delightful story about a dog’s visit to the south of France.

App of the Day:

Dinosaur Train Jurassic Jr.
Welcome to the Dinosaur Train Classic Jurassic, Jr.! Play through three math-based games focused on sorting, using a pan balance and counting to help Gilbert get Troodon Town ready for the big event!

Book of the Day:

Let’s continue our journey as PBS Books Storytime presents “Hudson in Provence (A Paris-Chien Adventure)” written and illustrated by Jackie Clark Mancuso.

Writing Prompt:

You wake up one morning and discover a dinosaur is in your backyard. What kind of dinosaur did you find and what did you do with it?

Infants and Toddlers:

Self-Control: How to Help Your Two-Year-Old Make Good Choices
Emotions influence behavior. Part of growing up is learning how to manage our emotions and exercise self-control so that we can treat ourselves and others with respect.


Make Dinosaur Footprints and Trackways
You can learn a lot just by looking at a dinosaur’s fossilized footprint! Scientists have a special name for a group of animal footprints: a trackway. Transform your child’s human footsteps into Tyrannosaurus rex trackways by painting and imprinting cardboard dinosaur feet.

Grades K-2:

Dinosaur Train
In this Dinosaur Train game, your child can learn about volume and displacement. Help your child find the right dinosaur to raise the water of the swimming hole to the right number.

Grades 3-5:

GPS: Dinosaurs
This DragonflyTV segment follows two girls as they learn about how paleontologists determine the age of fossils, and how they use fossils to learn about the creatures that lived together in an ecosystem. Available in both English and Spanish.

Grades 6-8:

What Killed the Dinosaurs?
This interactive activity from the Evolution Web site outlines the evidence gathered to explain what caused the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. It proposes four possible hypotheses and invites you to consider the evidence and come to your own conclusion.

Grades 9-12:

How Did Dinosaurs Get So Huge?
Part of why we’re so fascinated with extinct dinosaurs is it’s just hard for us to believe that animals that huge actually existed. And yet, they existed! From the Jurassic to the Cretaceous Periods, creatures as tall as a five-story building were shaking the Earth.


Meow Moo Moo
Sing, dance, and practice patterns with this super-funky Blazer Fresh song.

9:00 a.m. – History Detectives: Stories of Our Nation’s Beginnings
The History Detectives investigate four artifacts related to the birth of America.
Resource: Hamilton’s America – Blends history and scenes from the musical itself to create a vibrant and engaging film about the making of the musical and the preservation of Alexander Hamilton’s legacy.

2:00 p.m. – The Great American Read: Who Am I?
This episode of The Great American Read explores some of the most memorable characters in literature.
Resource: Character Study: Scout Finch from “To Kill a Mockingbird” – Video (4:18) and support material.


3:00 p.m. – Tiananmen: The People Versus the Party
On June 4, 1989, a violent and bloody pro-democracy demonstration ended, leaving thousands dead and laying the foundation for China’s future.
Resource: See a photo gallery from the demonstration.


Eye of the Hurricane Meditation
This meditation is part of “The Crisis Kit”, a free resource for helping clients through turbulent times.


Webinar series: Middle School Science Series Focusing on the Great Lakes With Gary Abud
On April 29, 7 pm EDT, award-winning teacher Gary Abud will present on his middle school science series focusing on the Great Lakes, a collaboration between Gary and DPTV’s Great Lakes Now initiative.

2:30 p.m. – Echo Live at MiSci: VIRTUAL LIVE Science Experiments
The Michigan Science Center shows off some of their biggest and most exciting large-scale science demos that you can tune into from home. Live daily on Facebook @Mi.Science.Center.

8:00 p.m. – MSU Extension Extras Parenting Hour: Setting the Stage-Social and Emotional Health
This free series of parenting workshops provide guidance for parents of young children as they navigate these new circumstances. Participants may register for as few or as many workshops as they wish.

Today’s theme is influential women!

App of the Day:

Peg + Cat Tree Problem
Tree alert! Cat is stuck in a tree and he needs your help to get down! The Tree Problem offers a series of games designed to encourage children to engage in creative problem solving and practice early math skills.

Book of the Day:
PBS Books Storytime presents Struttin’ with Some Barbecue: Lil Hardin Armstrong Becomes The First Woman in Jazz by Patricia Hruby Powell and illustrated by Rachel Himes.

Writing Prompt:

Write about an influential woman in your life. What qualities make her influential?

Infants and Toddlers:

Is it too early to begin reading to my 6-month-old?
The goal at this age is for your son to have pleasurable and positive experiences with books so that he wants to keep learning about them.


Song: Change the World | Sesame Street
An inspirational anthem that encourages girls to dream big! Girls can change the world and be anything they want to be. This resource teaches self-empowerment.

Grades K-2:

Zora Neale Hurston | Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum
Brad has a problem: he is nervous about sharing a story he wrote. He travels back in time to meet Zora Neale Hurston, a famous writer, to learn how she shared her stories.

Grades 3-5:

Women in Aviation
Ohio is the birthplace of aviation, home to the International Air and Space Museum, and many pioneering women aviators. Ohioans served as Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) in the World War II experimental military training program designed to train women to fly military aircraft. In more modern times, Ohio women have participated in NASA space initiatives and flights.

Grades 6-8:

Grace Abbott | Unladylike2020
This resource from Unladylike2020 examines the life and legacy of the health, labor and immigrant rights reformer Grace Abbott. Born into a progressive family of abolitionists and suffragettes in Nebraska, Abbott made it her life’s work to help those in need–focusing on fighting for the rights of children, recent immigrants, and new mothers and their babies.

Grades 9-12:

Anna May Wong | Unladylike2020
In this resource from Unladylike2020, learn about actress Anna May Wong–the first Chinese American Hollywood movie star, producer and one of the most influential style icons of her time. Throughout Wong’s career, she encountered racism and stereotyping in the roles she was offered, but in the end she found a way to flourish as an actor on her own terms starring in 60 films.


Jumping Jack Challenge
Doing jumping jacks helps your child build muscles and get his or her body ready for the day, and counting the jumping jacks builds math skills!

12:00 p.m. – NOVA, The Planets: Inner Worlds
Students investigate the origin of the elements, the process of planet formation, the evolution of life on Earth, and the conditions necessary for life as we know it. Related resource: Development of a Habitable Planet

3:00 p.m. – Get the Math: Explore Math in Fashion Design!
Following a profile of fashion designer and Project Runway winner Chloe Dao, students are prompted to alter garment designs, using their sense of style combined with their math skills to hit target price points. Related Resource: Math in Fashion

1:00 p.m. –  Sinking Cities: Miami
Discover how engineers and planners might protect Miami from rising seas and violent storms. Related resource: Climate Change and Sea Level Rise in Miami and New York City


What to Do Now That Kids Are ‘Back In School’
No matter how your child’s new “school” is structured, the first piece of advice is to reset any expectations about what learning “should” look like and just embrace the process. According to Cheryl Walker, a seventh-grade English teacher at Kingsview Middle School in Germantown, Maryland, teachers themselves are still adjusting to classes looking and feeling completely different. Now, instead of a 45-minute block of classroom instruction, a smaller daily dose of math or language skills seems adequate.


How I Navigate the Coronavirus as an Educator with Anxiety
In troubling and unstable times, students often look to the adults around them to see how we’re coping. As a teacher, I have to remind myself that my reactions can affect the anxiety levels of those I work with and serve.

10:00 a.m. – VIRTUAL Mondays: STEAM Stories at The Henry Ford
Engage your little ones with specially themed storytelling and hands-on activities featuring materials that are easily found in the house. On Facebook.

12:00 noon – Mondays with Michelle Obama!
As part of the PBS KIDS Read-Alongs on Facebook and YouTube, Michelle Obama will read some of her favorite children’s books. Today she will read “There’s a Dragon in Your Book.” The read-along will be available for viewing anytime afterward.

2:00 p.m. – Frederick Meijer Gardens Daily Videos
The gardens are closed to visitors, but you can experience them with daily educational visits, or watch the Butterfly Live Stream and learn more about butterflies.

With deaths mounting in Michigan and the extension of “Stay at Home,” we are all grieving. Acknowledging and supporting the grieving process is tough for most people, so we’re sharing some resources to help, along with some suggestions for family fun.

Grief Support Systems Have Been Wrecked by COVID-19
For people who are grieving a loss alone, a meditation or visualization practice is important for addressing the anger and anxiety that come with death. Even if you don’t have a professional guiding you, dozens of apps offer these services. People may also find meaning in journaling, altar-building, and private rituals, even when public rituals like funerals are off-limits.

Helping Your Toddler Cope with Grief and Death

Children under 3 need simple, straightforward, and truthful explanations about what has happened. Here are some guidelines for talking about the loss with your toddler.

Keeping Up Kids’ Mental Health During Coronavirus

Modeling is so important now, says Ty Hatfield, co-founder of the parenting program Parenting From the Heart. Kids learn from us how to manage stress and solve problems when things are difficult.

Soothing and Comforting

If you’d like some reminders about how to soothe and comfort your children, download this printable resource from Sesame Street.

Worldwide Online Art Show at the Anton Art Center in Mount Clemens

Calling all artists! The Anton Art Center is hosting a worldwide online art exhibit for three age groups: adult, teen, and youth. The entry deadline is Thursday, April 30th to see your art displayed in a May Online Art Show.

Moving the Group (and the Fun) Outdoors

Energetic kids and closed playgrounds? Not a great combo. Running out of outdoor activities? Unleash your inner PE teacher with these ideas.

National Aquarium

Enjoy a “self-guided” virtual tour of the National Aquarium.

Colonial Williamsburg: Governor’s Palace
Step back into history and take a 360-tour of the public rooms of the Governor’s Palace, home to seven royal governors and the first two elected governors in Virginia. The Palace was built to impress visitors with a display of authority and wealth.

Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – The ABC’s of Covid 19: A CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall for Kids and Parents
CNN and Sesame Street will host a special town hall for kids and parents that will tackle issues including education, anxiety, screen time and playdates.

On Demand: The Gathering Orchestra performing “Feed The Fire” by Geri Allen

The Gathering Orchestra is a two-year fellowship program, under the artistic direction of Rodney Whitaker. The 2019-21 cohort is the Carr Center’s second class of Geri Allen Fellows and is comprised of 3 seasoned jazz veterans and 19 emerging and highly talented early career musicians, ages 18 – 28.

7:00 p.m. – PBS KIDS Family Night on Detroit PBS KIDS (Channel 56.2)
WILD KRATTS: Amazin’ Amazon Adventure: When Aviva experiences an invention slump, the Wild Kratts team is determined to help. They take her down the mysterious Amazon River in search of inspiration from the amazing creatures that live there. Watch and join in on some fun learning activities.

Muslims across Southeast Michigan have now entered the holy month of Ramadan. Like observances of Passover and Easter earlier this month, Ramadan looks very different in Michigan this year. Learn more about this observance of faith and service, and how 2020 is different, in this article from MLive.

Do you live in Wayne County and need help finding emergency food for your family? Great Start Wayne has daily listings of food distribution sites.


Golden Retrievers Play a Homemade Whack-A-Mole Game
Adorable golden retrievers Hugo and Huxley are determined to win this homemade whack-a-mole game.

We close Earth Week with a couple of other notable science milestones. The Hubble Telescope was placed in space 30 years ago today. There’s a rocket launch scheduled today and you can check what Hubble saw on your birthday!

We’re also marking the anniversary of the mapping of the human genome with a special library-based special event. Meanwhile, send your kids back in time for a fossil hunt!

App of the Day:

Wild Kratts World Adventure

Children ages 4 to 8 can tilt and tap their way through multi-level games that encourage exploration of habitats around the world. As levels are completed, kids earn creature power “selfies,” habitat stickers and “Wow! Facts” that help further their animal science and natural history learning.

Book of the Day:

“Flight School” draw-along
Author and illustrator Lita Judge presents a drawing activity related to the book Flight School for PBS Books Storytime.

Writing Prompt:

Fossils preserve the earth’s historical record going back millions of years. If you could choose something to preserve until the end of time, what would it be and why?

Infants and Toddlers:

Baby Talks: Parent Coronavirus Questions Answered
Q: I know it would be ideal if we could spend our time at home due to coronavirus playing with our children all the time, but it’s just not possible. How do I get my little ones to play on their own for a little while when I need do other things (work/prepare food/etc.)?


Dinosaur Train’s Fossil Finder game
Your child can dig for fossils in this game while learning about deep Earth creatures and fossilized animals.

Grades K-2:

Hal’s Big Dig
Hal needs help finding the treasures he buried under ground. Your child will learn about fossils and soil consistency in this game.

Grades 3-5:

Fossil Hunting | Outdoor Nevada
Join host John Burke as he hunts for fossils at Tule Springs, near Las Vegas.

Grades 6-8:

Becoming a Fossil
The remains of the vast majority of organisms that die are eaten by scavengers or decompose beyond recognition before they can be preserved. The conditions under which fossils can successfully form are unusual, and the odds that a fossil will then be exposed at the surface again, and discovered, are smaller still.

Grades 9-12:

The Most Useful Fossils in the World
For decades, one of the most abundant kinds of fossils on Earth, numbering in the millions of specimens, was a mystery to paleontologists. But geologists discovered that these mysterious fossils could basically be used to tell time in the deep past.


Clap Stomp Jump
Clap, stomp, jump, and dance, dance, dance to this high-energy Zumba song!

1:00 p.m. – Great Lakes Now: Sand, Sinkholes & Science
Travel with Great Lakes Now to the remote Canadian research station where scientists are working to understand — and protect — freshwater. Go deep into Lake Huron to see mysterious sinkholes, and watch as some homeowners try to save their Lake Michigan coastal homes while the waters wash away the beaches below them. Related resource: A Freshwater Oil Spill Cleanup Simulation

2:00 p.m. – Margaret Mitchell: American Masters
One of America’s best-loved books is Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind. But it’s not an easy novel to understand or discuss. Filled with romance and nostalgia, Scarlett O’Hara’s journey does not address the problems of slavery and can be painful to read. Yet this book prevails as a tale of gumption, courage, and of course, love. Related resource: Scarlett O’Hara’s True Love in Gone with the Wind


12:00 p.m. – The Farthest Voyager in Space
Launched in 1977, NASA’s epic Voyager missions revolutionized our understanding of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and their spectacular moons and rings and ushered humanity into the interstellar age. Related resource: Voyager: Humanity’s Farthest Journey


You’re Doing Great!
Don’t believe it? Would Elmo’s father lie to you?


5 Ways to Support Students with Complex Support Needs
In these unique times, everything about this new version of “virtual learning” is new to us. Teachers are scrambling to figure out appropriate platforms to use in virtual learning and exploring what type of instruction and assessments will work for their students. Learners in the classroom may have support needs that are very complex or unique, therefore, the struggles go beyond issues of instruction and assessment. Dr. Paula Kluth shares some advice in this webinar with the Florida Inclusion Network, available until April 30th only.


1:00 p.m. & 3:00 p.m. – Michigan State University Extension Listening Sessions
To understand how they can help children, teachers, and families during this period, MSU Extension has launched a series of listening sessions. Michigan children, youth and those who support them, including parents and caregivers, as well as agencies and other organizations, are encouraged to join these sessions and share their thoughts. Please note that each session is focused on different communities.

  • 1:00 p.m. – Focus on Southeast/South Central Michigan (Hillsdale, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, Monroe, Washtenaw counties)
  • 3:00 p.m. – Focus on Metro Detroit (Oakland, Macomb, Wayne counties)

2:00 p.m. – DSO: Look.Listen.Connect., produced in collaboration with the Detroit Institute of Arts, explores the inspiration behind creative works. How can music and art inspire one another? How have different histories and cultures shaped the development of music and art? Students will learn to connect what they see with what they hear and start searching for the deeper meanings behind creative works. Accompanying activities available.

2:00 p.m. – In Celebration of National DNA Day this week, PBS Books and partnering libraries nationwide will bring you an interactive event targeted at 4th to 9th graders. Drop in for animated shorts, a conversation with experts, DNA origami, activities from the Smithsonian and more!

Starting at 9:30 p.m. – Hubble Anniversary Rocket Launch. On the 30th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope into space, NASA plans to launch the Progress 75 cargo ship to the International Space Station.

Warm. Cold. Snow. Wind. Rain. We’ve had it all in Michigan this week. And that inspired today’s activities to learn about weather!

App of the Day:

Dinosaur Train A to Z
All Aboard! The ultimate dinosaur app for your child from the hit PBS KIDS show Dinosaur Train! This essential dinosaur collection helps build reading skills and encourages the exploration of life science and natural history through discovery, play and reading!

Book of the Day:

No More Monsters Under Your Bed
Read by the author, Jordan Chouteau and illustrated by Anat Even Or.

Writing Prompt:

Which type of weather best describes your personality and why?

Infants and Toddlers:

Early Addition
Here’s an easy way to think about introducing addition: group like things together, then add them up. Say, “Let’s put all your red blocks in one pile and your blue ones in another. Now, let’s count how many blocks there are all together.” Be sure to use easy concepts and small numbers, and whenever possible, use familiar objects as examples rather than numbers.


Track Your Daily Weather Calendar
Help kids learn about weather by having them track their daily weather on this printable calendar.

Grades K-2:

Exploring Weather
Does your child like to splash in rain puddles or watch the clouds as they move across the sky? You can help your child learn about weather by making a simple weather chart together and observing the weather with all their senses!

Grades 3-5:

Kid Meteorologist
People benefit from the work of meteorologists on a daily basis. Weather forecasts enable you to plan everything from what you’ll wear to whether weekend activities should be indoors or outdoors. But when severe weather approaches, meteorologists serve what is perhaps their most important function in society.

Grades 6-8:

The Forest & The Weather
Forests reduce flooding and rainfall runoff. Trees affect the weather. Weather affects trees. Natural disasters — tornadoes, hurricanes and fire — can be good for forests.

Grades 9-12:

Severe Storms
Learn about the development of storms, such as thunderstorms, blizzards, and hurricanes. The formation of powerful storms is a more extreme version of the process that creates clouds. Severe storms require three conditions to develop: an energy source, moisture, and unstable air. The warmer the ground or ocean is below a storm, the more energy that can be transferred to the storm. Large amounts of water vapor produce precipitation and transport energy, fueling the storm. Differences in temperature fuel storms as well. The greater the temperature difference between a storm cloud and its surroundings, the more intense the storm will grow.


Huddle Up and Get Moving!
Follow along with NFL Players as they get your students’ blood pumping with fun physical activity to PLAY 60 every day!

11:00 a.m. – H2O: The Molecule That Made Us
H20: The Molecule that Made Us is a landmark, three-part series that tells the human story through our relationship to water. We find out how our success is intimately connected to our control of the molecule, but that the growth of our civilizations has also created a dangerous dependence on a precious resource. One that may be about to run out. Related resource: Compound Basics

1:00 p.m. – Great Lakes Now: Finding Impacts
In this episode of Great Lakes Now, search for a meteorite on the bottom of Lake Michigan. Learn how a little striped fish might help us understand the health impacts of industrial chemicals on people and see how a Milwaukee community is UN-developing a river to improve the environment and water quality. Related resource: Restoring Rivers of the Great Lakes

1:00 p.m. – NOVA: Building the Great Cathedrals
Discover how medieval builders, drawing from hidden formulas in the Bible itself, reached such spectacular heights. Related resource: Building Big | Arch Bridge


7 Ways for Kids to Learn Empathy Through Acting
We teach our young children things like letters and numbers to help give them a leg up in school, right? But how often do we teach them about their emotions?


Phone Calls Become Crucial Tools for Teachers to Stay in Touch with Students
When schools closed in Fall Creek, Wis., because of the coronavirus, the district staff got an unusual message. Don’t worry for now about assignments or quizzes, Superintendent Joe Sanfelippo told them. Instead, “I want you to call people. And I want you to ask them two questions: How are you doing? And do you need anything?”

1:00 p.m. Monday-Friday – James Dean (Pete the Cat series) reads from his picture books, as well as providing drawing lessons and other interactive activities (Instagram @petethecatofficial)

2:30 p.m. – Virtual Science Lessons with the Michigan Science Center

7:00 p.m. – Bedtime Stories with the Macomb Great Start Parents Coalition on Facebook

EARTH DAY: Scientists are reporting that air pollution levels have dropped recently – one of the side-effects of sheltering at home from COVID-19.

Today is the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day – a day to encourage sustainability and is best celebrated by having fun out of doors. To get you in the spirit, check out this episode of the PBS KIDS series “Nature Cat”! Then follow Fred the Cat’s lead in having fun outside!

App of the Day:

Earth Challenge 2020
Join citizens scientists around the world to collect billions of data points about the health of the Earth. Start collecting valuable data on air quality and plastic pollution with more topics to come throughout 2020! All you need is a mobile device and this app.

Book of the Day:

Roll With It by Jamie Sumner
“Roll With It” tells the story of Ellie, an irrepressible girl with cerebral palsy whose life takes an unexpected turn when she moves to a new town.

Writing Prompt:

Imagine the Earth could talk to people, what do you think it would say and why?

Infants and Toddlers:

Sing Say Point and Play
This short video from the Oakland County Great Start Collaborative outlines some easy ways to build word skills with your child.


What Does Recycle Mean?
Daniel Tiger encourages your child to “Clean up, pick up everyday!” and learns a bit about reusing materials.

Grades K-2:

Bye-Bye, Bottle
What happens to recyclables after the truck picks them up? In this short video, follow a plastic bottle from the recycle bin through the recycling process.

Grades 3-5:

Earth Day Overview
April 22 is the day we celebrate Earth Day, and think about how many of our great modern innovations like trains, planes, and factories often create pollution and waste, and what we can do to change that.

Grades 6-8:

Hot Mess
Hot Mess is a show about how climate change impacts all of us, and about how we can create a better future for our planet and ourselves.

Grades 9-12:

A Citizen Science Initiative
Earth Challenge 2020 will help fulfill our goal of engaging millions of global citizens while integrating billions of data points from new and ongoing citizen science projects. See the App of the Day, which is part of this effort.


Go Noodle Great Big Moose
Sing and dance because the great big moose drank some juice and now he’s on the loose with Mother Goose!

11:00 a.m. – Wild Weather
Nature takes simple ingredients like wind, water, and temperature and transforms them into something spectacular and powerful. Wild Weather reveals exactly how this happens. Related resource: Evidence of Weather – Background Reading, Activity and Teaching Tips

12:00 p.m. – Nova: Rise of the Superstorms
In just one devastating month, Houston, Florida, and the Caribbean were changed forever. In summer 2017, three monster hurricanes swept in from the Atlantic one after another, shattering storm records and killing hundreds of people. NOVA takes you inside the 2017 superstorms and the cutting-edge research that will determine how well equipped we are to deal with hurricanes in the future. Related resource: Warmer Oceans, More Frequent Hurricanes?

1:00 p.m. – Great Lakes Now: In the Waters
Politics, economics, recreation and science are all part of the latest episode of Great Lakes Now. Go underwater in the five lakes with a group of women who dove them all in 24 hours and learn more about the controversy about controlling water levels in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence. Get aboard a commercial fishing boat on Lake Huron, and meet Dr. Katfish, who wants you to know that Great Lakes fish can be fun and festive. Related resource: Lake Ontario Shoreline Flooding


1:00 p.m. – Kingdoms of the Sky: Andes
Experience the astonishing natural life found in the world’s longest mountain range, where pumas hunt guanaco, shape-shifting frogs hide in remote cloud forests, and descendants of the Inca build bridges of grass. Related resource: The Grass Bridge


When a Child’s Emotions Spike, How Can a Parent Find Their Best Self?
It’s easy to be triggered when a child’s emotions run high. But by observing and understanding emotions, parents can take a deep breath and try to replace “fight or flight” with “stay and help.”


When to Teach Online Classes Live and When to Let Students Learn on Demand

SYNCHRONOUS V. ASYNCHRONOUS: As professors and K-12 teachers adjust to the sudden move to online teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic, one question keeps coming up: How much of class time should be done live – known as “synchronous” teaching–and how much should be done so that students can do the work at their convenience – or “asynchronous” teaching. Here’s some advice from education leaders.

#50/50 Earth Day Challenge

Take action to protect our home waters for Earth Day (April 22) even though we are all social distancing right now. To celebrate Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary while being safe, the Huron River Watershed Council is asking you to go outside and pick up 50 items of trash. Jump in any day on or around April 22, whatever day/time works for you. If you take proper precautions (gloves and a face mask) this social distance-friendly 50 for 50 activity is a great way to get outside, breathe fresh air, and make the world a better place.

10:00 a.m. – To mark Earth Day, the Michigan Office of the Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy is hosting a livestream event with EGLE Director Liesl Clark and EGLE Office of Climate and Energy Adviser Brandy Brown, who will both talk about ways Michigan students can take steps to help protect the Earth. They also will recognize EGLE’s student poster and school service award winners. Join the livestream here.

8:00 p.m. – The Detroit Public Television prime time schedule has three Earth Day themed programs: “Climate Change”, “H20: The Molecule that Made Us”, and “Killer Floods.”

Stand by for showers…and snow…and all the other ways water affects our world.  And top off your night with a great meteor shower!

App of the Day:  

Prankster Planet

The Pranksters are reversing all the words on Earth with their dastardly Reverse-a-Balls! Complete a series of eight quests to turn off all of the Reverse-a-Ball machines and save the words on Earth!

Book of the Day: 

Old MacDonald Had a…Zoo?

PBS Books Storytime presents Old MacDonald Had a . . . Zoo? Written, illustrated, and read by Iza Trapani.

Writing Prompt:

What are some ways that you and your family can save water at home?

Infants and Toddlers: 

Patterns Are Everywhere!

A pattern is as easy as something that repeats more than once – like red, blue, red, blue, red, blue. Thinking about patterns helps children make sense of math and helps them predict what will happen. After just a bit of practice, you’ll be amazed at how often your child will find patterns that you don’t even see!


Water, Water Everywhere | Ready Jet Go!

Join Jet and his friends as they discover all the different places in which they can find water!

Grades K-2:  

What is Water?

Exploring our world is fun! This segment teaches all about the different states of water, as well as the water cycle.

Grades 3-5:

Earth to Blorb: Water!

Learn the age of Earth’s water supply (it’s really old!). There is no new water being made on the Earth – water is constantly reused through the water cycle -meaning that the water that we drink is the same water dinosaurs drank millions of years ago.

Grades 6-8: 

Race to Save Water

Two families compete to see which can conserve the most water over one week, in this video from PLUM LANDING. They calculate and record how much water they use in their daily activities, such as showering, brushing their teeth, and flushing the toilet, and talk about ways to use less water for these and other activities.

Grades 9-12: 

Waters Restored

Floating islands on the Chicago River are creating habitats for fish, turtles and birds inside the city waterway, while up north in Lake Superior, scientists are working to protect a rocky reef from legacy mining pollution. In this Great Lakes Now program, see what happened after a fast-growing western Michigan community started running out of drinking water.


Go Noodle

Build those dance moves.  Jump, jump, break it down, all the way, now touch the ground and turn, turn, turn to this awesome beat!


10:00 a.m. The Great Yellowstone Thaw: Winter

Learn how research on animal hibernation may lead to the successful development of drug therapies for humans. Related resource: Inspiration from Hibernation – Discussion Questions

1:00 p.m. Great Lakes Now: Waters Infected

Discover how ordinary household activities affect the quality of water in the Great Lakes. Related resource: Fatberg Ahead!


4:00 p.m. Africa’s Great Civilizations: The Atlantic Age
Explore the impact of the Atlantic trading world which gave rise to powerful new kingdoms but also to the transatlantic slave trade. Related resource: The Aksum Kingdom: Trade and Ancient Africa


How Parents Can Help Their Kids While Managing Distance Learning

Parents thrust into the role of distance learning guide are struggling in their new positions. Here are some ways they can find some balance and more understanding for their kids.


Great Lakes Learning: Resources for Remote Teaching

Great Lakes Now wants to help your students explore the Great Lakes, especially this week in honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.  That’s why DPTV has designed a collection of lesson plans that engage students with the science and study of the Great Lakes. Designed for middle school classrooms, these lessons will help students to become familiar with geologic, geographic, and environmental concepts about the Great Lakes, as well as provide them the opportunity to evaluate contemporary issues facing the lakes.


11:00 a.m. West Bloomfield Parks

West Bloomfield Parks naturalist Lauren leads a half-hour session every Tuesday to teach about nature. Lauren will be answering your questions and giving families activity ideas to do outdoors for Earth Day.

1:00 p.m. Play-Well with Legos

Pull out your LEGOS and put your engineering skills to work with Play-Well TEKnologies on Facebook Live on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

8:00 p.m. Raising Young Readers is the topic of this week’s MSU Extension’s Parenting Hour.  Free, but space is limited. Register here.

Overnight:  Annual Lyrid Meteor Shower

The annual Lyrid meteor shower peaks Tuesday night into Wednesday, with some 18 meteors per hour expected to streak across the night sky in dark spots. Of course, the performance actually features particles from a comet rushing Earth’s atmosphere at 27 miles per second.

Welcome to Earth Week in Michigan! The first Earth Day was 50 years ago this week. At Detroit Public TV, we’re celebrating by offering earth-themed activities this week and broadcasting Great Lakes Now – our signature program on Great Lakes life and science – every day at 1:00 p.m. on Channel 56.

Today, we’re saying “oh, so cute!” about baby animals.


App of the Day:

Wild Kratts Baby Buddies
The Wild Kratts need your help taking care of baby animals in the African Savannah! Take care of a baby elephant, cheetah, crocodile, zebra and aardvark!


Book of the Day:

The Gruffalo” by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler


At 12:00 noon Monday, join former First Lady Michelle Obama for the first of four weekly read-alouds on the PBS KIDS YouTube Channel. Upcoming books in the series include:

  • April 27: “There’s a Dragon in Your Book” by Tom Fletcher, illustrated by Greg Abbott
  • May 4: “Miss Maple’s Seeds” by Eliza Wheeler
  • May 11: “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle

Writing Prompt:

Which animal, in your opinion, is the best at parenting and why?

Infants and Toddlers:

Early Math
Here’s an easy way to think about introducing addition: group like things together, then add them up. Say, “Let’s put all your red blocks in one pile and your blue ones in another. Now, let’s count how many blocks there are all together.” Be sure to use easy concepts and small numbers, and whenever possible, use familiar objects as examples rather than numbers.



Mole and the Baby Bird
In this story from Between the Lions, Mole discovers the best way to help a baby bird that has fallen out of its nest.


Grades K-2:

The Baby Elephant’s Trunk | Kratts Creatures
Learn about the one of the best natural tools that an elephant has: the trunk! The Kratt brothers explain that an elephant trunk can hold up to three gallons of water which can be blown into their mouth.

Grades 3-5:

Survival of the Cutest | Kratts Creatures
Join the Kratt brothers as they explain the power of being cute and the positive impact that it has on the survival of infant animals.

Grades 6-8:

These Crazy Cute Baby Turtles Want Their Lake Back
Turtles grow up without parents, which might sound lonely. But for threatened baby turtles raised in a zoo it’s an advantage: they can learn to catch crickets all by themselves.

Grades 9-12:

Saving A Species: Penguins
Take a deep dive into what makes penguins special creatures and the challenges they face as their homes in icy waters are changing.



Old-Fashioned Jump Rope Songs and Rhymes
While jumping to this rhyme, jumpers must mime the actions mentioned.


Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,
Turn around.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,
Touch the ground.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
Touch your shoe.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
That will do.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,
Go upstairs.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,
Say your prayers.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear,
Turn out the light.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
Say good night!”



8:00 a.m. – Wild Kratts: Amazin’ Amazon Adventure
It’s a special hour-long movie from the Wild Kratts, with an Adventure Passport printable activity.

1:30 p.m. – Curious Crew: Polymers
Have some gummie bears in the house? They’re made with gelatin – a polymer. Find out what happens when gummies are soaked in various solutions made with things you have at home.


12:00 noon – POV Shorts: Earthrise
Hear the story of the first image captured of the Earth from space in 1968 as told by the Apollo 8 astronauts. That image is credited changing our perspective on our planet, leading to the first Earth Day in 1970. Related resource: Global Oneness Project



Supporting Your Child’s Social And Emotional Needs During School Closures
Allow time to talk about feelings with your child. In these uncertain times, children can feel a variety of emotions. It is important to allow space for conversations about their feelings to take place. This can be especially difficult if parents and children are adapting to considerably different schedules. However, you don’t have to have a formal sit-down discussion to accomplish this, and it shouldn’t feel forced. It might be something as simple as a quick check-in, a chat while making dinner together, or while cuddling on the couch.



Indiana Teachers Provide Guidance on Distance Learning
With weeks of e-learning ahead for educators across the country – including for some who will try this for the first time – the old playbook is out the window, say long-time digital learning advocates from Indiana. Instead, they offer a few pieces of advice for those just getting started and urge all educators to be flexible and forgiving of themselves during these unusual circumstances.

10:00 a.m. – STEAM Stories with the Henry Ford (Pre K to Grade 2)
Explore Agriculture and the Environment in this week’s webcast

11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. – Virtual Vitamin Z with Detroit Zoo Educators
A 15-minute video lesson will help you learn more about the animals at the Zoo.


Be sure to check out their live webcams, so you can virtually visit the penguins, the prairie dogs, otters, monkeys, and a falcon sitting on her next – baby falcons soon!

Did a friend send this to you?  Have this newsletter delivered to your own inbox. Scroll down, and you can catch up on all earlier newsletters and other resources from Detroit PBS KIDS.

“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”
– Maya Angelou



“We are in this crazy-making situation…(As parents) we’re finding ourselves having to do a lot of flexible problem-solving, and that is wearing.” Find some comfort and ideas about coping in the One Detroit team’s interview with Dr. Erin Hunter from the Center for the Child and the family at the University of Michigan.


Exhausted and Grieving: Teaching During the Coronavirus Crisis
“By the fourth day, I started to have a panic attack. I hadn’t slept. I was feeling like the walls were coming in on me.” Education Week shares the stories and stress of teachers across the country adapting to the new world of distance learning in a pandemic.


How Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood can help kids with COVID-19 questions
Tips include managing emotions, making hand washing fun, and maintaining a routine.



21 Easy Home Projects to Tackle While You’re Hunkered Down Without Buying Anything New
There’s only so much TV to binge-watch before restlessness kicks in, so this extended time indoors is a good opportunity to tackle those long-avoided home projects. Of course, now is also not the time to flock to the stores for nonessential items, so we’ve gathered a list of ways you can upgrade your space with things you probably already have at home.


13 Easy Magic Tricks for Kids

Magic tricks for kids can be a ton of fun and are a great way for parents and nannies to keep the family entertained. After all, who doesn’t love a bit of magic and delight?

Join the world’s largest treasure hunt. There are millions of geocaches hidden around the world – there are probably some near you right now. Get the free Official Geocaching app and start finding…

How To Play Pyramid Solitaire
Some parents are telling us that playing cards – with real cards – has been a big discovery for kids during the shut-down. Here’s a video tutorial for another patience game.


Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
Tour this popular museum without crowds – virtually – and get up close to dinosaur bones and other natural wonders.

Saturday, 11:00 a.m. – Saturday Morning Science Talk
Nerd out on a little thing called LIFE with some nifty virtual sessions through the Michigan State University Science Festival and MSU Extension, meant to connect you with science in your everyday life. Good for all ages, this week’s talk is about plants and gravity. On Facebook.

Saturday, 3:00 p.m. – Mystery writer James Patterson has joined a show encouraging kids to be creative called “Kid Stew.” Check out the Virtual Premiere Screening event of Kid Stew with South Florida PABS and James Patterson himself answering questions. The event is free but pre-registration is required, and be sure to check out the technical needs described on the signup page.

Sunday, 11:00 a.m. – The Detroit Performs Sunday Brunch Music Series takes us back to the Detroit Performs Live concert from 2015 featuring the great R&B vocalist Bettye LaVette; Flutist Alexander Zonjic; Detroit singer/songwriter Jessica Hernandez; The Motor City Horns; country singer Ty Stone; Detroit crooner Ben Sharkey and others.

Learning Activities for April 17, 2020

It’s Family Friday as we head toward the weekend.   We encourage you to explore the history of your family with your kids.

App of the Day

Outdoor Family Fun with Plum

Does your family have a few minutes to play outside? Try a mission from Plum and start building a healthy habit! Spending time outdoors has many benefits and nature is all around you just have to look!

Book of the Day

“No More Naps

PBS Books Storytime presents No More Naps by Chris Grabenstein, illustrated by Leo Espinosa.

Writing Prompt

Write a letter to a relative.  Find out what it was like being a kid when they were your age.

Infants and Toddlers

Talking is Teaching:  Kitchen Time

Your kitchen is rich with fun and yummy ways your child can learn the basics, and here are some easy ways to start.


Family Bonding

Families come in all shapes and sizes, and each is unique in its own way. But one thing all families have in common is love. Everyone benefits from spending quality time with family. With little ones, that usually involves plenty of silly play! Here are resources and activities with simple, everyday ways to live, love, learn, laugh, and create lasting memories together.

Grades K-2

Create a Family Tree

This is a wonderful project to help your preschooler think about family members and how we are related … as well as having them use their amazing creativity to come up with how they want to construct their trees.

Grades 3-5

Introduce Your Child to Genealogy
Encourage your child to explore family history with this family tree activity. He or she can learn how to structure a tree, research the meanings of names, and more when making a creative poster.

Grades 6-8

Finding Your Roots: The Seedlings

Get an introduction to genealogy and genetics with “Finding Your Roots” series host Henry Louis Gates, Jr.  There are multiple episodes if you get “hooked.”

Grades 9-12

Charissa Joy Los’s Genealogy

Meet Charissa Joy Los, a college student from Detroit, Michigan, who was born to a white mother and a black father and was adopted at 2 days old. Using census records and an 1860 slave schedule, genealogist Kenyatta Berry connects Los’s father’s family to the history of the Great Migration in the early 1900s.


Cosmic Yoga

Yoga is a great way to calm minds and strengthen bodies. Check out this YouTube channel for Cosmic Kids Yoga.


2:00 p.m. Joe’s Violin: POV Shorts

At the end of World War II, Holocaust survivor Joseph Feingold was in a German displaced persons camp awaiting passage to America when he found a violin for sale in a local market. Joe’s Violin charts the 70-year journey of Feingold and this violin from postwar Europe to a middle school in the Bronx, where his donated instrument helps him forge an unlikely friendship with 12-year-old musician Brianna Perez.Joe’s Violin: Healing Through Cross-Generational Friendships

Featured Resource: Joe’s Violin

5:00 p.m. The Gene: An Intimate History

Students will explore how a cell uses information from genes in DNA to produce the proteins that help determine the traits of an organism.

Featured Resource: How Protein Synthesis Helps Pick Your Nose


1:00 p.m.:  Nature’s Miniature Miracles

This film tells the epic survival stories of the world’s smallest animals, from a tiny sengi, the “cheetah” of the shrew world, to a small shark that walks on land.

Featured Resource: The World’s Smallest Bird


Use Coping Cards to Control Anxiety and Pain

Coping statements are truthful positive statements used to replace the negative and untrue thoughts that take-over when you feel anxious, stressed, angry and/or when facing other overwhelming situations.


How to Get Your Students Chatting – Productively – In Online Lessons

Great Lakes Learning has distilled some of the best ideas around into some helpful principles for what can be done in remote teaching environments to help students have better conversations with each other.


9:00 a.m. – Online Storytime with Detroit Notables

Detroit City Councilwoman Raquel Castañeda-López, state Sen. Stephanie Chang and U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib host a Facebook, Zoom and call-in story hour with some of their favorite children’s books.

2:00 p.m. – Detroit Symphony Orchestra Classroom Edition: Happy, Sad, Silly, Scary

Music can be happy, sad, silly, scary. Learn more in this weekly webcast from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Join the DSO on a musical journey as they explore feelings and emotions through music.

5:00 p.m. – COVID-19 and Our Children: Worry Now or Worry Later?

How will social distancing impact children? How can we use online learning to facilitate education? How can we prepare for the next epidemic? How do we effectively communicate information to our children without increasing or generating fear? Michigan State researchers and scholars are investigating the impact living through a pandemic may have on our children.  You are invited to join them for a virtual conversation – the At Home Edition of Brews and Views.  Registration is required, but you do not have to reveal your name in the discussion.

8:00 p.m. – UM Penny Stamps Speaker Series: Pussy Riot and Zona Prava

The University of Michigan Penny Stamps Speaker Series this week features the art collectives Pussy Riot and Zona Prava.

It’s Artsy Thursday!  Children develop creativity, social skills, and fine muscles with open-ended art projects that let them make choices, use their imaginations, and create with their hands.

App of the Day

 Plum’s Creaturizer

Go on a nature adventure with Plum’s Creaturizer! Kids and families can build wild creatures, then head outdoors to photograph them right in their own backyard. It’s part of PLUM LANDING, a PBS KIDS project that helps kids develop a love for this amazing, beautiful, and dramatic planet we call home.

Book of the Day

Just Like Me

PBS Books Storytime celebrates National Poetry Month with a read aloud video of Just Like Me by author and illustrator Vanessa Brantley-Newton.

Writing Prompt

Choose a piece of art and describe how it makes you feel using your five senses (smell, taste, touch, hear, see).

Infants and Toddlers

Talking is Teaching

Your young child has a natural ability to understand shapes—but needs your help to learn what each one is called. So talk it up! Look around— you’ll find shapes everywhere. Encourage your child to use a finger to trace around the edges of different objects. Children learn best by touching objects of different shapes.


Mess-Free Art

This activity is a super-simple way to let your child finger paint without dealing with the mess! Enjoy making art without the clean-up afterward.

Grades K-2

Salty Glue Art

Salty glue art requires only two ingredients and facilitates discussions about dimensions with older children. What does three-dimensional mean? Are the lines of the salted glue art raised or smooth? For smaller children, this activity has a great sensory component with the sprinkling of the coarse salt.

Grades 3-5

Let’s Draw Arthur

Let’s Draw Arthur includes simple step-by-step instructions for drawing the world’s most famous aardvark. Develop drawing skills, with this activity from Arthur.

Grades 6-8

Lettering Artistry

San Francisco artist and author Jessica Hische has designed everything from chocolate lettering to Wes Anderson movie title sequences. Here she takes us into her design studio with a demo on custom lettering from pencil sketch to vector paths.

Grades 9-12

Sidewalk Chalk Artists

Be inspired by the amazing art drawn on sidewalks with chalk by students in Florida, for their annual “Spirit of the Arts” festival.



Yoga for Kids | Breathe with Me

Kira Willey’s Breathe with Me series is a compilation of instructive meditative breathing exercises meant to help students focus, relax, and feel energized. These videos are part of her mindfulness work that helps students learn to self-regulate and make good choices.



9:00 a.m. History Detectives: 1775 Almanac, Exercise Records, Moon Museum

The researchers examine a family diary from the American Revolution.

The Road to Revolution Game – Interactive

2:00 p.m. The Story of China with Michael Wood: Ancestors and Silk Roads and China Ships

Learn about the Shang who lived over 3,000 years ago and were the first Chinese people to invent writing.

Can You Read Shang? – Interactive



1 pm: NOVA: Decoding the Great Pyramid

Stunning new archaeological evidence provides clues about the Egyptians who built the Great Pyramid of Giza — and how they did it.

Related Resource



This has been a trying time if you have an exceptional student.   In this video from DPTV’s One Detroit team, Christy McDonald talks with Special Education Director, Dr. Lanissa Freeman, about how Southfield Public Schools is meeting the needs of special education students and their families when it comes to distance learning during the COVID-19 crisis as well as reintegration plans for June.

Watch Now



Pre-K to 12 Resources for Distance Learning from PBS Learning Media

With distance learning launching in most school districts in Southeast Michigan next week, here’s a new resource for teachers from PBS Learning Media to help you find lesson ideas and printable resources that can help your students.

Recursos de PreK-12 para Cierres de Emergencia.



12:00 noon  The COVID313 Community Coalition Virtual Townhall

The COVID313 Community Coalition for Families & Students will be sharing information in their weekly townhall.    Feeds are available in multiple languages.

7:00 p.m. Senators Town Hall:  U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters answer questions about the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic.  From unemployment, healthcare and safety to virus testing, small businesses and what’s next. This live virtual town hall meeting full of life-saving information is made possible by a partnership between Detroit television stations.  Airing on all stations, including Detroit Public Television.

7:30 p.m. Teaching Social-Emotional Skills

CARE of Southeastern Michigan is offering a free workshop “Teaching Social-Emotional Skills” for parents and caregivers of young children ages five and under.  The hour-long call will take place on Zoom.   Meeting ID: 990 0782 7541   Password:  648045

It’s Work Together Wednesday! When children build together they experience teamwork and develop their social and early literacy skills. Grab some materials and create!

App of the Day

The Cat in the Hat Builds That
Do you want a science app? The Cat in the Hat gives you that with a tap! Kids play and learn in their backyard, to see how science is fun, not hard!

Book of the Day
“Fred’s Big Feelings: The Life & Legacy of Mister Rogers” by Laura Renauld and illustrated by Brigette Barrager
Author Laura Renauld reads the book on Facebook, courtesy of PBS Books.

Writing Prompt

If you could build anything, what would it be and why?

Infants and Toddlers

Math Words
Your child is beginning to develop an understanding of math–even before she can say number words out loud. Once she can say number words, she can begin to match the words to set size and then count the set. For example, “Look at the spoons. There are three! One, two, three.” You can help her do this by counting out loud together.


Planning and Building a Structure for a Favorite Toy
Build a structure for a special object such as a stuffed animal or toy car.

Grades K-2

STEM Challenge: Build a Cardboard Box Ball Track
Here’s a fun STEM challenge — combine cardboard boxes with Hot Wheels track to make a really awesome ball track! Elementary kids will enjoy this building challenge, and preschoolers will love it too, if someone older helps build the track.

Grades 3-5

5 Makerspace Projects for Kids
Makerspace or STEM projects for kids don’t have to be complicated or expensive. In fact, some of the best projects use recycled or repurposed items like cardboard or soda bottles which means nothing to buy. Learn how to make a boat out of a soda bottle, create a car from cardboard and many more.

Grades 6-8

Launch It!
Build an air-powered rocket that can hit a distant target, using stuff around the house.

Grades 9-12

How To Make A Cool Penny Battery
This is a really cool instructable that shows you how to make a battery from pennies. It really works!


The Body Coach TV
Choose from more than 250 free workouts and get moving with millions of people around the world!

11:00 a.m. Breakthrough: Ideas that Changed the World “The Robot”

What is it like to be a Robotics Engineer? Check out this video.

2:00 p.m. Cities of Light: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain
After watching the show, get a crash course in the history of Islam with “Islam, the Quran, and the Five Pillars“.

1:00 p.m. NOVA: Pluto and Beyond
Join the mission as the New Horizons spacecraft attempts to fly by NASA’s most distant target yet. Related activity: Exploring Pluto’s Surface.


At Home with Makerspaces
The maker movement is clearly having its moment in the education world. Whether you call them makerspaces, hackerspaces, or DIY labs, the idea is the same–they’re places where kids can tinker, invent, and build to their heart’s content. They are great for fostering creativity and hands-on learning. Bring the fun into your home with your own box of maker tools and materials. A selection that includes both everyday and unexpected materials helps children’s imaginations run wild!


Over 30 Tech Tutorials for Teachers
Need some help providing distant, tech-based instruction to your classroom? The public television stations in Ohio have a number of videos to help you out.


1:00 p.m. VIRTUAL Innovation Journeys Live with The Henry Ford
Learn about the actions and habits of innovators through a story from the collections at The Henry Ford that will help you to understand and apply the concepts to real-world situations. Students will be encouraged to build their own innovation journey and share with others. Grades 3 – 8.

It’s “Tasty Tuesday” for the Week of the Young Child. We’re suggesting that you let kids into the kitchen to learn some math and science while whipping up some tasty treats!

Pinkalicious Party
It’s a Pinkalicious Party! In this Pinkalicious & Peterrific app, children use their imagination and creativity to plan and design a party with Pinkalicious and her friends.

Alis the Aviator“: Illustrator Kalpna Patel talks about her process for using paper art to create the images for “Alis the Aviator.”

Arthur’s New Puppy“: Join Arthur author and illustrator Marc Brown in a very special read along to his book, Arthur’s New Puppy!”

Would you like to get messages like these in a text? If your kids are between 0-8, you can receive parenting tips, activities and local event info by text, sign up for Bright By Text through DPTV.

Describe the kind(s) of food you can cook — or food you enjoy baking with your parents. Describe the way it is prepared and if your family members enjoy it. With your caregiver’s permission, share your work with Tara at Detroit Public Television on Facebook.

Talking is Teaching
Babies need to hear lots of words. So talk, read and sing with your little ones, it’s the best way to boost their brain power! It’s also a great way to love them!

Sunflower Biscuit Bones | Martha Speaks
Follow the instructions to bake dog biscuits for your pet with Martha Speaks. This interactive story focuses on measuring ingredients and choosing the right temperature for your recipe. After the story, children can answer review questions in the interactive quiz.

Snack Hacks/Bagel Pizzas
Snack Hacks are fun healthy recipes to make with your child that provide positive experiences with healthy foods. Spend some quality time together while building science, reading, and math skills. Add your favorite toppings to these Bagel Pizzas!

Super Easy No Bake Cookies
With just five ingredients, a little patience, and a bit of help from an adult, these cookies are fun to make and ready to eat in no time!

Proportional Relationships and Slope
Explore the role that proportions play in the design of cakes composed of several tiers and considering why the cake designer maintains that cakes in proportion are pleasing to the eye.

How to Cookie with Science | Reactions
Chocolate chip cookies are nearly universally adored. People like them in all sorts of textures, sizes and tastes. So how can you make your perfect cookie? Using science, of course.

Southeast Michigan Trails
#natureisopen. Friends of the Rouge River has a new initiative to encourage people to go outside as a family and enjoy nature with a good hike. A great list complete with 360-degree photos of Southeast Michigan trails from SEMCOG is here. Don’t forget to stay six feet away from non-family friends.

11:00 a.m. Breakthrough: Ideas that Changed the World “The Airplane”
Take to the sky with the dreamers whose work gave humans the ability to fly. From Leonardo da Vinci’s “flying machines” to the modern commercial plane, without these inventions, we may have never left the ground. Resource: Wilbur and Orville Wright: The Process of Invention

4:00 p.m. Reconstruction: America After the Civil War “Part 1”
The twelve year period after the Civil War (1865-77) witnessed a seismic shift in the meaning and makeup of our democracy, with millions of former slaves and free black people seeking out their rightful place as equal citizens under the law. Resource: The Black Codes

3:00 p.m. D-Day at Pointe-Du-Hoc
D-Day at Pointe-Du-Hoc tells the remarkable story of the U.S. Army’s 2nd Ranger battalion. Led by Lt. Col. James Earl Rudder, the soldiers scaled the 100-foot cliffs of Pointe-du-Hoc in Normandy on June 6, 1944 to destroy six German cannons situated halfway between Omaha and Utah Beaches. Resource: Fallen WWII Soldiers Teach Students About Sacrifice

12:00 p.m. Thrive with Your Family
Experts from Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan are launching a webcast series with candid conversations about parenting, child behavior, mental health, relationships and the difficulties families face during the ever-changing environment of our current global pandemic. Topics including maintaining a sense of hope and understanding.

To Engage Young Kids in Remote Learning, Start Simple
How do you engage students as young as 5 in remote learning? Make them feel seen and heard by acknowledging their contributions with the class. That suggestion, from a kindergarten teacher, was just one of many insights on a recent EdSurge-ISTE webinar on how educators are working with families of young kids to spark learning during a difficult time.

7:00 p.m. Primetime Special ‘Sesame Street: Elmo’s Playdate’ to Offer Families Connection in Challenging Times
Celebrity guests Anne Hathaway, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Tracee Ellis Ross join Elmo and friends for a half-hour “virtual playdate” on PBS KIDS (Channel 56.2).

8:00 p.m. Week 2 of MSU Extension’s Extras Parenting Hour is titled “The Resilience Toolbox.”
This free series of parenting workshops will provide parenting guidance for parents of young children as they navigate the challenges and concerns of parenting in these new circumstances. Participants may register for as few or as many workshops as they wish.

It’s the national “Week of the Young Child” — a celebration of young children and their families with hands-on, collaborative activities encouraging movement and healthy lifestyles. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) suggests a number of activities this week.

In celebration of the week, the Detroit PBS KIDS newsletter is debuting a new “Infants & Toddlers” section for the youngest children among us!

SUPER WHY! Power to Read
Super Why and the Super Readers are here to help your child with the critical skills they need to learn to read (and love to read!) These Super Readers need YOUR help in each literacy game, empowering your child with the power to read.

PBS Books Storytime presents “Mario and the Hole in the Sky: How a Chemist Saved Our Planet” by Elizabeth Rusch and illustrated by Teresa Martínez. Read by the author!

Since April is also National Poetry Month today’s writing prompt is to write a poem. With your caregiver’s permission, share your work with Tara at Detroit Public Television on Facebook.

Tips for Families
It’s Music Monday! We encourage you to talk, read and sing together every day! Singing songs that have basic counting or rhyming patterns also helps children learn basic math skills. “One, two, buckle my shoe. Three, four, open the door.”

Sons of Poetry | Sesame Street

The Sons of Poetry circle their bikes to find the perfect rhyme. Explore poetry and practice rhyming with this parody video.

List Poetry

Kids can easily write a list poem using their powers of observation. This is a GREAT way to start kids on writing poems. Especially if children are intimidated by poetry.

Limericks: Silly 5-line Poems
The Limerick is a 5-line poem with a specific rhyme pattern: AABBA, with each line having a specific number of syllables: 8 – 8 – 5 – 5 – 8. Limericks are often funny and are always guaranteed to make you smile.

Our Favorite Videos for Teaching Poetry in Middle and High School

Basic poetic elements are explained as well as several examples of figurative language and different types of poems.

Blackout Poetry

Blackout poetry is like a treasure hunt since you find hidden meanings and secret messages in unlikely places. It also creates a beautiful “night sky” — with words as the twinkling stars of your poem.

Exercise, Rhyme and Freeze with Jack Hartmann
Rhyme with Jack and each time the words rhyme exercise with Jack. If the words don’t rhyme freeze each time. This is a fun 3-minute freeze and exercise song with rhyming words.

10:00 a.m. – Africa’s Great Civilizations: Origins
The origins of humanity can be traced back to Africa, with Homo sapiens found in Africa’s Great Rift Valley about 200,000 years ago. All humans share a common direct maternal ancestor known as Mitochondrial Eve. Mitochondrial DNA found in our cells is the genetic signature that passes from mother to child. Mitochondrial Eve was a woman who lived 200,000 years ago who had enough daughters in a continuous chain that her Mitochondrial DNA survived. Related activity: Mitochondrial Eve and Homo Sapiens in Africa’s Great Rift Valley

1:00 p.m. – The Woman in White
Explore the many historical, social, and geographical factors that influenced the city of Buffalo, New York and led to the building of the Buffalo State Hospital. Related activity: Mapping the Asylum | Reimagining a Buffalo Landmark

2:00 p.m. – American Experience: The Gilded Age
Learn about the rapid economic leap that occurred in the late 19th century as America transformed into an industrial powerhouse, and the impact it had on the nation’s collective self-identity. Related activity: Defining the Era | The Gilded Age

Using Praise to Encourage Good Behaviors
“Praise is a simple but effective discipline strategy that increases good behavior. Pointing out when your child is following the rules or telling him that you appreciate his compliance will motivate him to keep up the good work.”

National Poetry Month April 2020
Now, as we face an unprecedented circumstance, National Poetry Month has taken on new meaning and importance. More and more people are turning to poetry at this moment, because poetry and inspiring language can help bring solace and needed strength.

Bored at home? NASA’s showing you what the Hubble Space Telescope captured on your birthday. It’s part of the countdown to Hubble’s 30th anniversary on April 24th.

Bright By Text: Virtual high five, fellow parents! There’s no right or wrong way right now. Keep teaching your kids to be flexible and kind. You’ve got this. If your kids are between 0-8, you can receive parenting tips, activities and local event info by text, sign up for Bright By Text through DPTV.


9 Ways To Stay Positive During The Coronavirus Pandemic
In times of constant negative messaging, you need an antidote so that you can keep your positive attitude and march forward with determination and hope. Be deliberate in activities that are positive, heartwarming, stress reducing and laughter inducing! Together, we’ll get through this.

3 Insanely Cool Egg Experiments
These kids’ science experiments use one egg and a few simple kitchen items for some seriously egg-citing results. The three sequential experiments are super simple to complete but are jam packed with learning. Kids will LOVE watching their egg “magically” transform!

Card Game Tutorial
SPEED – A fun and easy card game.


Egg Farm
Since 2012, the American Egg Board has partnered with Discovery Education to bring modern egg farms into today’s classrooms through Virtual Egg Farm Field Trips. Join America’s egg farmers in exploring their farms!


11:00 a.m. Sunday – M-PRIZE Competition from the University of Michigan
Enjoy a replay of the 2016 M-PRIZE competition from the University of Michigan. Three amazing chamber music groups — The Yarn/Wire Piano & Percussion Quartet; The Calidore String Quartet; and The Kenari Wind Quartet — compete for a $100,000 cash prize.

We’re winding up the week with some math brain teasers for kids and some self-care suggestions for grown-ups as we head toward the weekend.

App of the Day: Odd Squad Blob Chase
In Blob Chase, kids can have fun practicing core math skills throughout each of the 75 levels of games. Kids (5-8) help to recover the blobs by using gadgets to add, subtract, halve or double passageways throughout Odd Squad headquarters or in spooky Blobsylvania.

Book of the Day: It’s Okay to be a Unicorn by Jason Tharp
An inspiring picture book, It’s Okay To Be A Unicorn! features a unicorn pretending to be a horse–until he learns to embrace his true self. Even better, author Jason Tharp reads it for you and PBS Books.

Preschool: Peg + Cat: Magical Shape Hunt
Use this game resource to help children count and recognize 3-D shapes. They can join Peg the Bold, Sir Cat, and Ramone on a quest to save The Mermaid’s lost jewels from the Raging River.

Grades K-2: Cyberchase: Shape Quest (App Download)
With this Cyberchase app, help children recognize 2D and 3D shapes and solve puzzles using spatial visualization. They can play with Buzz and Delete and their animal friends through three games focused on geometry, spatial reasoning and problem solving.

Grades 3-5: Pattern Recognition | Cyberchase
Identify the patterns using addition, subtraction and geometry to solve the puzzle and crack Hacker’s code in this Cyberchase game.

Grades 6-8: The Belly Buster Pizza Puzzle
Doubling something isn’t always easy! See if you can figure out why if Tito sells his new pizza for $19.99 he’ll be in trouble.

Grades 9-12: Names of Quadrilaterals
Rectangles, parallelograms, rhombi, oh my! Learn the names of all the special quadrilaterals with this interactive video.

Use math to get moving! Play Action Dice!
Get practice with low number counting and addition using action dice. Write activities like jump, clap, or stomp on a small wooden block, then roll it along with a pair of dice. Kids add up them up (you could do this with subtraction too) and complete the activity the number of times shown.

10:00 a.m. – Medicine Woman
She was America’s first Native doctor, breaking barriers of race and gender to heal her traumatized people. A century later, Native women from many tribes follow in the footsteps of Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte. Resource: Medicine Woman Background Essay

3:00 p.m. – Howard’s End: Part 4
Howards End is the story of two independent and unconventional sisters and the men in their lives seeking love and meaning as they navigate an ever-changing world. Resource: Literary Elements and Techniques | Symbolism

4:00 p.m. – African-Americans Many Rivers to Cross: Making a Way Out of No Way (1897-1940)
During the Jim Crow era, a steady stream of African Americans migrated away from the South in what’s called the Great Migration. Resource: The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow

If you like a little nudge each day to take better care of yourself, you’ll like the Coping Calendar. It has 30 suggested actions to look after ourselves and each other. Download it as an image for sharing or a PDF for printing. A perfect size for the refrigerator door.

Are you anxious? Fearful? Worried? Overwhelmed? Sad? Those were the top five words over 5,000 teachers used to describe their feelings during the COVID-19 crisis. They also things to get a lot more stressful in coming weeks. In this column from EdSurge, two researchers at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence lay out steps that educators and school leaders can take to support their own mental health and well-being during this critical time.

8:00 p.m. – The Penny Stamps Speaker Series at DPTV.org features filmmaker Ken Burns, talking about his lifetime work telling the stories of American History.

8:00 p.m. – Family Movie Night on PBS KIDS: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. on Detroit PBS KIDS (Channel 56.2). The first feature this weekend is “Peg + Cat Save the World.” The president of the U.S. asks Peg and Cat to investigate when strange signals come in from outer space. Nature Cat follows at 9:00pm with “The Return of Bad Dog Bart.” Nature Cat and his pals race to locate Bad Dog Bart’s stolen loot of cat toys.

App of the Day: Splash and Bubbles for Parents
Splash and Bubbles for Parents is an app that provides families with conversation starters, videos, and activities to explore ocean science together. When synced with a Splash and Bubbles episode, the app provides information about relevant animals, environments, and science themes.

Book of the Day: Fox and Raccoon (Juniper Hollow)
Meet Fox and Raccoon. They are best friends. They live next door to each other, and they spend every day together. Except for today! Fox is so busy she doesn’t have time to play. But never fear – Raccoon is here to help! Author Lesly Ann Green will read it to you, courtesy of PBS Books.

Preschool: Make a Bubble Bottle Fish
We can all do something to help keep our oceans healthy. In this activity, kids use materials that are commonly discarded into the sea to make their own plastic bottle fish.

Grades K-2: Make an Upcycled Jellyfish
Recycling benefits land and oceans. Rather than throwing away plastic bags, kids can creatively reuse them to create this mesmerizing jellyfish in a bottle.

Grades 3-5: Baby Sea Turtle Journey to the Ocean
Join the Wild Kratts as they follow the journey of a baby sea turtle to the ocean while avoiding many predators along the way. Will they make it to the water?

Grades 6-8: Shark Hunt
The OCEARCH STEM Curriculum enables students to learn STEM skills while following the real-time data on the movements of their favorite sharks.

Grades 9-12: Coral Interactive | Living Oceans
Take a closer look at coral by exploring this interactive animation of a polyp in the wild. Point and click at the different anatomical structures of a coral polyp for more information on what it is and what it does.

The one thing we can’t do is go swimming right now. Pools are closed. But you might check out Dry Land Swimming. It’s a way of building your strength and exercising your body in a way that helps improve your swimming skills. There are lots of links online. This one is particularly kid-friendly.

11:00 a.m. Plants Behaving Badly: Murder & Mayhem
Welcome to the world of killer tomatoes and murderous potatoes. Get acquainted with the more well-known carnivorous plants — sundews, flytraps, and pitchers. Resource: Gross Science – Four Deadly Carnivorous Plants

5:00 p.m. Surviving the Dust Bowl: American Experience
As the Great Depression sets in, farmers on the Great Plains begin to feel its effects. A combination of natural and man-made factors begins to turn the profitable farming land into a vast wasteland. Resource: A Man-Made Ecological Disaster

4:00 pm – John Lewis — Get in the Way
Follow the journey of civil rights hero, congressman, and human rights champion John Lewis. Resource: Educational Guide

Get the latest information on COVID-19 and ask questions of experts at Thursday’s virtual town hall at noon. The COVID313 Community Coalition for Metro Detroit Families and Students is a coalition of more than two dozen community organizations, including Detroit Public Television, who want to make sure everyone in Metro Detroit has the information and access to the resources they need. The town hall is conducted in English, but alternate channels in Spanish and Arabic are available. Participate on Facebook or watch live at OneDetroitPBS.org.

Do you like your water less salty? The team at GreatLakesNow.org has nearly two dozen lessons on Great Lakes biology, ecology, and history at Great Lakes Learning. The lesson plans were written by Gary Abud, a Michigan Teacher of the Year and award-winning science educator.

2:00 p.m. Explorer Challenge | Pristine Seas
The ocean covers 70 percent of the planet and shelters an incredible diversity of life. It gives us food, jobs, and more than half the oxygen we breathe. Join Enric Sala to explore and preserve the last wild places in the ocean.

The 2020 Science Without Borders® Challenge
The theme for this year’s Science Without Borders® Challenge is “Take Action: Conserve Coral Reefs.” Throughout the world, coral reefs are threatened by a variety of factors – both natural and man-made. For this year’s contest, the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation is asking students to use their artistic talents to create a piece of art that illustrates one or more of the different actions that can be taken to preserve coral reefs. The Challenge is open to primary and secondary school students 11-19 years old, with scholarships of up to $500 awarded to the winning entries. The deadline to enter the 2020 Science Without Borders® Challenge is Monday, April 20, 2020.

App of the Day: PBS KIDS Scratch Jr.
Learn to code games and activities by connecting blocks to build an adventure for some of your favorite PBS KIDS characters.

Book of the Day: Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks
Author Suzanne Slade reads her own book about the celebrated poet — the first black person to win a Pulitzer Prize. Available on the PBS Books Facebook page for a limited time.

Preschool: Super Silly Coding Activity with Chalk (No Screens!)
This is a super fun (and silly!) activity to get kids thinking about the problem-solving skills needed to code. Preschoolers and early elementary school kids can start to apply the basic concepts of programming. This activity is great for kids age 4+!

Grades K-2: Getting Started in Coding
Tynker offers a series of self-paced courses for kids ages 5+ with a variety of themes and characters.

Grades 3-5: Digital Citizenship
The award-winning suite of six interactive games teaches critical digital citizenship skills that help students learn to use technology responsibly to learn, create, and participate. Games are available in Spanish.

Grades 6-8: Minecraft Tutorials
Minecraft is back with a brand-new activity! Journey through Minecraft with code.

Grades 9-12: Intro to App Lab
Create your own app in JavaScript using block-based programming. Or take your skills to the next level with text-based programming.


Getting Loopy (Create Your Own Loop): This lesson introduces the programming concept of loops (repeated instructions) through a dance activity. Students will learn simple choreography, then be instructed to repeat it.


7:00 a.m. – Curious George: Auctioneer George/Sock Monkey Opera
Make your own sock puppet and stage a play! Related activity: Sock puppet crafts

5:00 p.m. – Latino Americans: Empire of Dreams
Involuntary deportation images and writing prompts.


4:00 p.m. – Shakespeare Uncovered: Julius Caesar with Brian Cox
Brian Cox looks at Shakespeare’s most revered political play “Julius Caesar” to analyze what can be learned about freedom and tyranny today. In the related resource, find out why “Julius Caesar” has particular relevance for the United States.


Beyond K-12: While the kids are developing code, you could build your own skills. Code.org has great options to learn computer science at any age.


The Easiest Way to Teach Coding!: Tynker is used by educators around the world. During the COVID-19 crisis, they’ve dropped charges on their premium level courses.

1:00 p.m. – Code.org wants to build the world’s largest, live interactive classroom. Join special guest and actor Ashton Kutcher as he joins the Code.org team to engage kids of all abilities in weekly challenges.

2:00 p.m. – Composer Antonín Dvořák was inspired by a trip across America in the late 1800s, which led to his “New World” Symphony. Discover the stories and melodies of Dvořák’s new world and join the watch party with the conductor. A teacher’s guide is available.

9:00 p.m. – Worried that being at home full-time is adding to your waistline?   Then you might want to settle in for a new NOVA:  “The Truth About Fat” on Detroit Public TV Channel 56.  Scientists are coming to understand fat as a dynamic organ – one whose size may have more to do with biological processes than personal choices. Explore the mysteries of fat and its role in hormone production, hunger, and even pregnancy.

App of the Day: Wild Kratts Rescue Run
Run, jump, fly, and swim through 24 action-packed levels, rescue animals to unlock information about each one in the Creaturepedia, and face-off against villains to keep the animals safe from harm.

Book of the Day: Madeline Finn & the Library Dog
The team at PBS Books has assembled a group of books for young readers – all read by their authors.  Look for a new book each day on the PBS Books social media channels.  Information on the books and how to find them here.  We’ll also include them daily in this newsletter for the next two weeks.  The initial book in the series “Madeline Finn & the Library Dog,” read by author and illustrator Lisa Papp.

Preschool: Go Birdwatching With DIY Binoculars!
Transform a pair of toilet paper rolls into DIY binoculars by using a little duct tape and some imagination!

Grades K-2: When Animals Are Thirsty
Animals can’t run a tap, so they have to look around when they want a drink. Luckily, it turns out there are lots of hidden places to find water in a city–it’s pooling in drains and window ledges and hiding in crevices and nooks!

Grades 3-5: Backyard Birdfeeders
To attract birds for viewing, and to contribute to their welfare, it is important to understand their needs and behaviors. seeds and suet can provide birds with the energy they need to fly.

Grades 6-8: Squirrel Rehabilitation
Mia’s mother is a state licensed animal rehabilitator. In the segment, Mia helps her mother take care of orphaned or injured wildlife with the goal of returning them back to the wild when they are healthy and old enough to survive on their own.

Grades 9-12: Career Video: Andy Caven — Wildlife Biologist
Learn what a wildlife biologist does to manage ecosystems for biological diversity. His job includes land acquisition and restoration, prescribed burning and grazing, seed collection, long-term monitoring of plants and animals, and working closely with communities, farmers, ranchers, and citizen scientists like you.

Staying home doesn’t necessarily mean staying in the house. Walking in a park or in your neighborhood can break up your day as long as you practice good social distancing from other people. A walk also allows your child to see animals where they live in your community. Here’s some suggestions for helping to find and observe animals from Peep and the Big Wide World.


10:00 a.m. Native America: Nature to Nations
Learn how growing corn helped the Haudenosaunee develop a confederated government. Related Resource: Agriculture as the Foundation of Early Native Governmental Structures

12:00 p.m. Nova: Inside Animal Minds “Dogs and Super Senses”
Canine smell is so acute because a dog’s nose splits the flow of incoming air into separate streams–with one dedicated solely to smell. A dog’s brain is also specially configured to make sense of the olfactory information it receives.
Related Resource: Background Reading and Discussion Questions

DPTV is now providing five additional hours of content for grades 7-12 on the World Channel (56.4) from noon until 5:00 pm. The broadcast schedule and all resources are available online.

1:00 p.m. NOVA: Look Who’s Driving
Find out how driverless cars work, how they may change the way we live, and whether we will ever be able to entrust them with our lives. Related Resource: Driverless Vehicles Yield to Complex Issues


Staying active is one of the most effective ways to stay mentally healthy and to cope with worry, sadness, and isolation. During this uncertain time, physical activity is especially important for all children and teens but making it possible may require creativity right now.

Help your child brainstorm ways to stay active that work for your family setting. Some ideas might include:

  • Going outside for a walk, jog, or bike ride
  • Trying an online fitness workout or workout with a friend over the phone
  • Playing hopscotch
  • 30 minutes of family fitness (jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups)
  • Dancing to a favorite playlist
  • Walking up and down staircases

If your family is not used to being physically active or if you have health conditions that make it difficult, this coping skill may feel hard. It’s okay if you can do only a little bit. Setting and tracking goals for physical activity can help and achieving even small goals can be empowering. Also, try to notice if your own feelings of worry, hopelessness, or despair feel a little bit better during or after physical activity, and help your child notice, too. (Courtesy UM Trails Program)


Trying to figure out how to keep your high school students engaged in distance learning?  Educator Dave Olson shares how he provides guidance to students from a distance, including tips for creating digital assignments and a framework for teaching in a digital environment.


Vroom!  Every Tuesday at 1pm, we’re sharing a Vroom Tip video on Facebook to help you add early learning into your new daily routines. Watch the #VroomTip video they rolled out last Tuesday about baby conversations and check back for a new video each week.

Parenting Hour:  MSU’s Extension Educators are premiering a new series, the “Parenting Hour” every Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m.  This series provide guidance for parents of young children as they navigate the challenges and concerns these new circumstances.   The hour includes an open conversation for parents to share their experiences.   It’s free, but pre-registration is required.

App of the Day: Nature Cat’s Great Outdoors
Cat’s Great Outdoors is the on-the-go toolset that will inspire your child to explore nature – in the backyard, at a local park or even looking out the window. Every day, Nature Cat has a set of new daily adventures that lets kids use tools to record and share their observations in fun, creative ways!

Preschool: Grow Seedlings in an Egg Carton
No starter pots?  No problem. Growing seedlings in an egg carton is a great way to teach your child about plants.

Grades K-2: Make a Miniature Garden
Learn how seeds and plants grow and build observation skills with this hands-on garden activity. First create your miniature garden and then track plant growth with the Nature Cat plant journal.

Grades 3-5: How do plants “drink” water?
You may know that you have to water plants to keep them alive, but how do plants get water from the soil into the parts they need? Try this experiment to learn how!

Grades 6-8: A Year in the Garden
This video tells the story of a traditional summer garden over the course of a year. Learn how to prepare for a garden starting in January through early spring by composting, starting seeds, and mapping the location of plants. See students in school gardens prepare their gardens for planting in the spring by measuring and creating pathways, and then watch as they tend to their gardens all summer by watering, weeding, and harvesting. Finally, learn how to get a garden ready for winter, and then start all over again!

Grades 9-12: Building a Garden in a Day: Video
Believe it – you can build a garden in a single day.. By following these guidelines, you will build a productive and healthy garden from the ground-up in just a few hours.  While you are on the site, check out the activity guides and the How-to-Garden video series.

Too cold or too rainy to be outside? Here are a few ideas for indoor games to burn some young energy!

Looking for someone else to get the kids moving? Every weekday — three times a day — Playworks leads kids in exercise, games and fun. Find them on Facebook @MakeRecessCount.


9:00 a.m. History Detectives: Jackie Robinson All-Stars
In 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first black player in Major League Baseball and experienced harassment both on and off the field.  In this activity, students will examine an instance of the harassment Robinson experienced on the field, analyze how he dealt with it, and explore ways aggression, prejudice, and bullying can be addressed. Related activity: Racism and Exclusion in Jackie Robinson’s Early Career

2:00 p.m. A More or Less Perfect Union
Rules above the ruler – In 1215, the Magna Carta was signed by King John, making him accountable to his Barons. From this seed, a tradition of English liberty grew. Related activity: Magna Carta | A More or Less Perfect Union


MSU Extension Gardening in Michigan
Need some help deciding what to grow at your house?   Whether you are new to gardening or a veteran, our vegetable gardening tip sheet will help you be successful from planting to harvest. Check out the “How to Grow” series in the Resources section for more information on growing specific vegetables.


Gardening engages kids by providing a dynamic environment to observe, discover, experiment, nurture and learn. Gardens are living laboratories where lessons are drawn from real life experiences and fueled by a child’s innate curiosity and enthusiasm, resulting in an environment that encourages them to become active participants in the learning process.


Make art with the DIA! The DIA’s Art-Making Studio Team is designing fun and engaging art projects you can do from home! This week, create free-standing geometric sculptures inspired by Alexander Calder’s Young Woman and her Suitors, a giant stabile on the DIA’s front lawn. All you need is cardstock and scissors for this DIY project!

School isn’t over — it just transformed.

Governor Whitmer’s order on education only ended the prospect of face-to-face education through the end of the school year.

What’s different is that now your local school district and your child’s teacher(s) will be directing instruction and will relieve you — the parent — of leading instruction in the home. Someone from your school should be reaching out to you in the next couple of weeks.

Your responsibility will be to make sure your child and his or her teacher are connecting — by phone, Facetime, or other means — and that the child is following up on the work assigned. How much time a child will need to spend each day on learning will vary with the age of the child and which school they attend.

In the meantime, Detroit Public Television and Detroit PBS KIDS will continue to provide our daily newsletter and educational broadcast schedule to supplement their learning and to promote engaged family time.

This weekend, though, is a time to prepare, plan and continue to build positive family memories!



Scheduling Learning Time:

Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan: Good planning can relieve stress for both children and parents. Check in with your kids about their plans and help them develop a written schedule not only for the day, but for the week as a whole. Help them prioritize and learn to create goals, tasks, and deadlines, just like adults do when they go to work.

We’re All in This Together: Remember that you’re not alone in this journey. Check in with other parents to see what they’ve found effective or to ask if they need help. Share your concerns and useful hints. If you need contact information for other parents or resources, reach out to the PTA or your child’s school. For more, go here.

Build a Schedule Want to build a schedule electronically?  This site has some models and allows you to customize to your own needs.

Meeting the Needs of All Students: Sesame Street’s “See the Amazing in All Children” campaign is adding additional resources, videos, and games to help parents and children cope with change.

Household Chores for Every Age Chart: Teaching kids how to do household chores is a meaningful part of growing up. They teach practical life and academic skills, as well as foster a sense of responsibility and community. Use this checklist for age-appropriate chores to do with your family.


“Me Time”: Fill your cup. Get a nice big glass of water and find a comfy spot to sit. Let your child know, “I’m just going to sit and (read/think/breathe) while I drink this glass of water.” Explain that you’ll be available once the glass is empty. Children have difficulty keeping track of time–this is a concrete way to help them understand that you are taking a few minutes to yourself.

Feed Your Spirit: April is a significant month for the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faith traditions. Sunday starts Holy Week for Christians, Passover begins Wednesday evening, and Ramadan will begin the evening of April 23rd. The Interfaith Leadership Council of Metro Detroit is compiling a list of services that you can join online.

Connecting with Older Adults: “Our brains are not wired to handle social isolation. Please find ways to spread joy to your neighbors or family members who are older adults. There are ways to do this and still maintain social distance.”


Our Family Memories: Celebrate the family time you spend together! Talk about everyday moments, special activities, traditions, and more. Parents and older children can write about family memories, and younger children can draw pictures about them.


For most families in Michigan, this weekend was originally the end or the start of Spring Break. Feeling the need to get away? Lose yourself in some extraordinary resources online. But first:

  1. Make a moment of it. You would schedule time for a museum visit or a concert, right? Do the same for your virtual version. Find a place or time with minimal interruptions so you can get the most out of the experience.
  2. Class it up. OK, you don’t need to get glammed up (you could, though!). But a little pour of wine or tea and a plate of snacks will help set the mood.
  3. Choose a theme. If museum jaunts are your thing, plan out your dream art tour across the world, or pick a city, like Washington, D.C., and load up all the local cultural experiences you can.
  4. Involve the kids. Plenty of zoos and museums are offering cool programs for kids while they’re out of school, like animal spotlights and virtual safaris.

Here are some of our favorites:

The Sistine Chapel: Vatican CityThere are a lot of museum collections to explore on the Vatican’s virtual site. But first, go straight to zooming in on all of the detail in the Sistine Chapel.

Ancient Egypt: You don’t need a time machine! Discovering Ancient Egypt has a ton of free resources, but it’s the interactive pyramid map and 3D temple reconstructions that really give it a field trip feel.

The Louvre Museum: Everyone wants to go to Paris! But you don’t need a passport to see at least some of the exhibits at the world’s most famous art museum. Check out the current virtual tours: Egyptian antiquities, Galerie d’Apollon, and what we think will be the biggest hit with kids–the remains of the Louvre’s moat!

Farm Fresh 360: The classic preschool field trip goes online! Farm Fresh 360 allows you to immerse yourself in Canadian farm and food tours–from raising pigs to making milk and cheese.


Detroit Performs: Sunday Brunch Concert
As concert halls are closed and events canceled, we’re pleased to introduce “Detroit Performs: Sunday Brunch Music Series” from 90.9 WRCJ FM. This Sunday, April 5, at 11am, we’ll take you to downtown Detroit for a 2014 concert by rising stars in the world of jazz. Tell a friend and thanks for your support.

Game of the Day: Sid the Science Kid Read & Play
Sid the Science Kid Read & Play is packed with stories and fun activities aimed at developing early science exploration. It features two story books, jokes, games, sing along music videos, coloring pages and more!

Preschool: What Does Recycle Mean? | Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood
Daniel learns that recycling means turning something old into something new. He imagines the recycling bins singing about cleaning up bottles, paper, and cans. Teach kids what it means to recycle and help them understand the importance of cleaning up.

Grades K-2: What is Junk?
Exploring our world is fun! Abby Brown loves to help kids have fun while learning! In this segment, Abby invites kids to reuse their junk in new and creative ways, and reminds us to recycle when you can find no more new uses for your junk!

Grades 3-5: ReThink and ReUse Center Field Trip
At the ReThink & ReUse Center, Penny and the KidVision VPK Kids turn trash into learning treasures! They build mazes from tubes, structures from discarded materials, create games from bottle caps, and a sink and float activity using found trinkets.

Grades 6-8: DIY Projects for Teens and Tweens
So before you shun crafting from your life as a teenager for good, check out the DIY projects for teens and tweens below and see if anything sparks your interest. You might even be inspired to come up with some of your own ideas.

Grades 9-12: 16 Genius Ways to Re-Purpose Trash From Around Your Home
Turn trash into treasure! Here are some fun and inspiring ideas on turning things you’d ordinarily toss in the trash into something useful! Saves money and the planet all at the same time! Many of these 16 ideas are easy to accomplish, too.


Playworks Michigan: Play at Home
Kids need play to stay active and engaged with one another, and to support families and teachers. Playworks Michigan wants to share its expertise to help keep kids engaged in play during this time. Click here to see the latest Playworks Play at Home Playbook!


10:00 a.m. Ancient Skies: Our Place in the Universe
A cast of scientific pioneers reshapes our view of the solar system and promotes a better understanding of our growing universe.
Related Resource: How Big is Our Universe? – Interactive

2:00 p.m. Northanger Abbey
The heroine in this Jane Austin novel has a penchant for sensational Gothic novels and that leads to misunderstandings in the matters of the heart.
Related Resource: Gothic Tales: Edgar Allen Poe – Discussion Question


First and foremost, as a parent, it is not your responsibility to be the teacher. It is helpful for you to encourage your child to continue exploring questions and keep up a reading practice. Support them as they attempt to solve problems- but it is most important that you provide them space to connect, feel, wonder, try, and find refuge in these uncertain times.

That means being fully in the moment for children — to listen hard and help them label their feelings.

It means taking time every day to talk with your child, read with your child, and sing with your child. These simple activities ARE learning activities.
It’s also helpful — if you haven’t already — to create a flexible but predictable routine.

  • What time to wake up? What time to go to bed?
  • When are meals?
  • When is it time to do schoolwork?
  • When is it time to play?
  • When (and how long) is screentime — tablets, computers, and TV?

Developing a routine — and looking forward to tomorrow’s plans at bedtime — helps build a psychological sense of safety for children.


Teacher Resources While Social Distancing
There’s so much available online to help educators, families and students optimize their learning amid so many unknowns, but information overload isn’t helping any of us bring our stress levels down. This article suggests teachers need to make this experience as student-centered as they can to empower learners (from KnowledgeWorks).


MSU Extension 4-H Money Smarts Contests
Join Michigan 4-H as we hold fun contests and workshops leading up to National Financial Literacy Month and Michigan Money Smart Week. Expand your knowledge and compete with other youth across Michigan to earn prizes for money management challenges.

Game of the Day: Old Maid
Have a deck of cards? You’re ready to play Old Maid — a game for 2 to 4 players. Click here if you need a refresher on how to play.

Preschool: Cook Up Some Edible Slime
Explore the properties of different ingredients and how they transform while creating tasty — and safe — edible slime.

Grades K-2: DIY Bird Feeders | Nature Cat
Feed your local birds with handmade bird feeders using pinecones, sticks and recycled paper rolls! Learn how to make three separate bird feeders using different materials found in nature.

Grades 3-5: Magic Milk
When food coloring and soap are added to whole milk, strange things happen.

Grades 6-8: Make Ocean Zones in a Jar
There’s one big ocean and lots of things living in it! Make an Ocean Zones jar so that your child can clearly see the ocean layers and learn about liquid density in the process.

Grades 9-12: Make a Super Bouncy Ball
Spark great conversations about the science behind elasticity with this chemistry and craft project rolled into one.


12:00 noon:  NOVA:  Why Sharks Attack
Will analyzing the hunting instincts of this endangered predator reduce deadly attacks? Related activity:  Shark Attack! The Hunt – Interactive

3:00 pm:  Shakespeare’s Tomb
Historian Dr. Helen Castor explores the mysteries surrounding Shakespeare’s burial place. Will the first-ever scientific investigation discover why his tombstone’s only inscription is a curse against any man who “moves my bones?” Related activity:  Shakespeare: The Intersection of Art and Life – Interactive

7:00 pm:  Governor’s Town Hall – see Special Events, below


Family Drawing Game
Doodling is making a comeback. It’s easy to see why — it’s fun and there are no rules. Plus, it doesn’t have to be good or fancy to have pretty significant impacts on learning.


Bone Up on the Great Lakes
At 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 8, the National Network of State Teachers of the Year is hosting a Facebook Live event featuring former Michigan Teacher of the Year Gary Abud. Gary has been working with DPTV’s Great Lakes Bureau to create classroom materials on the Great Lakes. Learn about the lesson collection, which includes standards-aligned activities and tasks, that can be integrated into any middle-grades science program to add a Great Lakes focus to the STEAM teaching already happening in your classroom. In this webinar, you will learn how to utilize the interactive, digital and hands on activities to explore the physical features of the Great Lakes, as well as some of the contemporary issues facing their ecosystems, with your students.


Jump Rope
If you watched this week’s American Experience on the 1919 Influenza pandemic, a repeating moment in the show featured girls jumping rope to an “in flew Enza” rhyme. Jumping rope continues to be advocated by fitness experts as an aerobic activity. This site will give you some throwback rhymes to fuel the game.

Music and Movement Ideas
There are lots of different ways to move, including crawling, creeping, walking, running, jumping, hopping, galloping, sliding, rolling and climbing. If you lead, your child will follow. Challenge your child to move softly like a floating feather, stiff like a robot, flopping like a ragdoll, jiggly like a bowl of gelatin or shivery like a cold person.


Tonight –Thursday night at 7:00 p.m., all the television stations in Southeast Michigan — and most of the stations statewide — will simultaneously air a town hall with Governor Gretchen Whitmer, taking questions from citizens about the pandemic in Michigan, the state’s response, and plans for the rest of the school year. The Town Hall will also be available on DPTV.org as well as streaming platforms such as Roku, Amazon (Fire) TV, Apple TV, Android TV and Facebook Live.

Today’s activities focus on robots. What they can do is increasingly amazing!

App of the Day: Jet’s Bot Builder
Design and build a robot and travel through space with Jet Propulsion and his friends. Each planet has a new challenge for your robot. Kids can build new parts and swap them around to find the best way to solve each level, learning critical thinking and problem-solving skills as they do.

Preschool: What are Robots?
Abby Brown loves to help kids have fun while learning! In this segment, Abby teaches kids that robots are used to do jobs like cleaning, homework, lifting heavy objects and keeping people safe.

Grades K-2: Robotic Arm Challenge – Activity | Ready Jet Go!
Has your child ever left a toy in a place they couldn’t quite reach? In this activity from Ready Jet Go!, your child will use their engineering know-how to build a robotic arm, and then use it to solve an out-of-reach problem such as grabbing a toy that rolled under the couch or an object on a high shelf.

Grades 3-5: SciGirls | Robot Body Language
These days social robots designed to interact with people are sold in stores as pets, house cleaners, and even healthcare assistants! To make these robots seem more humanlike, designers give them personalities using sounds, digital displays, and gestures.

Grades 6-8: Robots in the Workplace
This interactive lesson examines the possible changes in the workforce due to technological advances in robotics. Topics covered include artificial intelligence, automation, and ethics.

Grades 9-12: Mind-Controlled Robotic Arm
In this video excerpt from NOVA scienceNOW, find out how a paralyzed woman manipulates a robotic arm with her mind to successfully drink from a cup. Investigators explain the placement of a sensor on the brain of a stroke victim, how a person’s arm moves, and how complex the brain’s control of movement is.


11:00 a.m. The Amazing Human Body: Grow Explore the biological processes that keep you alive – and growing

1:00 p.m. When Whales Walked: Journeys in Deep Time A deep dive into the evolutionary history of whales, elephants, crocodiles and birds.


With the addition of educational programs for older students on Channel 56, you may be wondering how to maximize the programs for learning.  Each program has a learning activity, and you can find them here. But you can also do some non-tech things, by posing some questions about the content, having the student take notes, or think like a TV producer about why the show was made.  Click here for some more ideas here.


If you are a teacher, technology-based learning can be daunting, but can also allow you to engage with your students in new ways.   If you’d like to understand some of the tools designed for teachers, and how to use them, our friends in public television in Ohio can help.   Check out this You Tube channel, where you’ll find instructional videos on all kinds of common platforms used by teachers


It’s been cold and wet so far this week, so it isn’t the most pleasant weather to play outside.  Here’s some recommendations for fun games to get kids moving indoors so they can get the wiggles out.


Virtual Field Trip:  Mars
No, really! You can absolutely “go” to the red planet – with the help of a robot! With Access Mars, you can see the actual surface of Mars, recorded by NASA’s Curiosity rover. Trust us – don’t skip the intro.

Every Tuesday at 10 am PT, we’re sharing a Vroom Tip video on Facebook to help you add early learning into your new daily routines. Watch the #VroomTip video we rolled out this Tuesday about baby conversations, and check back for a new video each week.

Music has a way of bringing us all together. And it can be a lot of fun — to listen to, dance to, or play!

Get your day jump-started with the Farmington Community Band and this performance of “Slava!”

App of the Day: PBS Parents Play & Learn
A PBS app designed specifically for parents, PBS Parents Play & Learn, provides more than a dozen games parents can play with their kids, each themed around a familiar location — including the new “In the Garden” game, plus the grocery store, a restaurant, the kitchen, and many more.

Preschool: How Music Makes You Feel
Explore emotions with your preschooler with this Daniel Tiger video.

Grades K-2: The Addition Expedition | Sesame Street
LL Cool J and Elmo are headed on an addition expedition. They count and add the different birds singing in the bushes. Then they find two frogs and two rabbits hopping, making four total animals hopping.

Grades 3-5: Pitch: Making Guitars
Vibrations are the basis for all sound. Controlling the frequency of sound-producing vibrations is the key to creating and playing musical instruments. In this video, two cast members from ZOOM demonstrate how to make guitars out of boxes and rubber bands, as well as how the sounds these instruments make can be manipulated.

Grades 6-8: DragonflyTV | Hip Hop Mix
All music has a beat, and the number of bpm (beats per minute) affects the ability of hip-hop dancers to bust a move. Kyla and Jenna work with a DJ to mix the hip-hop tracks, and learn that accommodating their moves to particular tracks makes for better dancing performances.

Grades 9-12: Hip-Hop Sampling
This resource from the Independent Lens film “Copyright Criminals” teaches students about sampling and how it came to be widely used in the early days of hip-hop music. It also explores the socio-economic conditions that gave rise to hip-hop as a form of cultural expression, and introduces the seminal work of the rap group Public Enemy.


10:00 am: “Navajo Math Circles
Hundreds of Navajo children in recent years have been collaborating mathematicians from around the world. The students using a model called math circles, where the students are in charge of exploring mathematics to their own joy and satisfaction, with potentially long-lasting results. Education for Native American children hasn’t always been so positive. Explore more with this resource.

4:00 pm: “Chasing the Moon”
In part one of three, Chasing the Moon tells the story of how the Russian satellite Sputnik launched the space race. The film details the early days of the Mercury and Gemini missions, played out against the backdrop of the cold war.


Some of your kids have distance-learning with their school district. Some don’t. If you’re one of the tens of millions of parents nationally who are now essentially homeschooling your kids, NPR has some tips to help you keep your kids engaged and everyone sane. And just to make it fun, it’s a comic: “How to turn your home into a school without losing your sanity.”


Wrestling with technology to stay in touch with your students? Trying to upgrade your tech skills for whatever comes next? DPTV has compiled some great PBS Resources to help you with PBS Learning Media, Google Classroom, and Remind.


Hip Hopscotch
Hop along and you’ll learn the importance of exercise to blood circulation.


The lineup for the Detroit Jazz Festival 2020 has been announced. The annual festival — now in its 41st year — is scheduled for September 4th through the 7th. For a little flavor, check out this clip from an episode of American Black Journal last August.

App of the Day: Sesame Street Alphabet Kitchen
Let your preschooler “bake” without the mess! Cookie Monster and Elmo help them build words on some virtual cookies. Get a preview in this video. NOTE: This app is NOT free; it has a small fee.

Preschool: Ideal Jobs for Preschoolers in the Kitchen
The key is to give kids 3-5 jobs that match their skill level and that they will enjoy. Some suggestions:

  • If your child loves to pound, bring out the bread dough and let your preschooler pound away
  • Stirring pancake batter
  • Tearing lettuce for salad
  • Adding ingredients
  • Assembling a pizza

Grades K-2: Pancake Science
Work on some serious math and science lessons while making pancakes.

Grades 3-5: Cooking with Kids
These recipes kid-friendly recipes from PBS cooking shows are not only a great learning experiences, but also food that everyone will have fun making!

Grades 6-8: Tweens in the Kitchen: Cooking with Your Big Kid
Help 10- to 13-year-olds gain confidence in the kitchen with skills, techniques, and recipes compiled by Epicurious.com — just right for the tween set.

Grades 9-12: 13 Super Easy Meals Teens Can Make Themselves
Give the family cook a night off and let the teens take over the kitchen with these recipes from Martha Stewart.


These activities to be done in conjunction with DPTV’s new At-Home Learning programming schedule:

7:30a – Nature Cat: “Cook” for birds in this animated game.
12:00n – NOVA: Bigger than T-Rex: What foods did dinosaurs eat?


One note: while we have grade-level suggestions for our content, do allow your child to pursue anything that interests him or her. Allowing the child to follow their own interests can result in very rich learning experiences.

Learning does not have to be highly structured, as this article points out.


Did you know that PBS has a special site just for teachers? PBS.org/education is all about the art and practice of your career. The Teacher Lounge is a great way to connect with award-winning educators from all over the country.

For example, Kristen Harris from Atlanta has some advice about staying calm and taking care of yourself in this time of uncertainty.

If you are trying to figure out or prepare for distance learning, Kara Williams, from Lowell, Massachusetts, has shared her experience with distance learning at all grade levels.


Playworks Michigan wants to keep kids engaged in play while they are home. They will be broadcasting #PlayAtHome Recess live on Facebook at Noon, 2pm, and 4pm. Monday through Friday. Tune in for stretching and warm-ups, interactive games, cheers, and cooldown activities. Check out this one-minute sample called “Morning Stretch” to start your day!


Little Guide Detroit: Spirit Week
Our partner Little Guide Detroit wants to lift everyone’s spirits. They’ve declared this week of March 30th to April 3rd as Spirit Week. Monday is “Superhero Day,” and they’d like you and your kids to power up for the week ahead and dress up as your favorite super hero! Snap a photo, share it on social media with the tag @littleguidedetroit, and lift everyone’s spirits!


It starts with taking care of yourself.

There is no doubt we are in a time of great uncertainty. That’s one reason we are emphasizing self-care and taking time as an adult for your own needs during this period.

It’s important to remember that we are not helpless in light of current news events. We can always choose our response. If you are struggling, here are some things you can do to take care of your mental health in the face of uncertainty:

  1. Separate what is in your control from what is not.
  2. Do what helps you feel a sense of safety.
  3. Get outside in nature–even if you are avoiding crowds.
  4. Challenge yourself to stay in the present.
  5. Stay connected and reach out if you need more support.

Learn more at Taking Care of Your Mental Health in the Face of Uncertainty.



Want to play cards? If it’s been a while, here’s a refresher for playing Crazy 8s.

Looking for a new card game? The people who make Bicycle cards has games for all ages on their website — along with the rules (just in case an argument breaks out!).

A news story this week reported there has been a big run on jigsaw puzzles from online retailers. As an alternative, you could try a game of Balance Building. Pick uneven or unstable objects such as cards, paper cups, or rocks and challenge your kids to build as high as they can or in various shapes. The kids will be learning to solve problems, but you don’t have to tell them that!

Need a variation on HopScotch? Try playing “Letter Hopscotch” and build some reading skills. A little bit of sidewalk chalk required.



Is somebody in your household mourning the delay of the 2020 baseball season? So was Ken Burns, so he’s released his multi-part history of “Baseball” for the sports fans in your family. All episodes can be viewed for free on the free DPTV App, the PBS Video App — also free — which is available for Roku, Apple, and other cord-cutting devices, as well as on your mobile phone or tablet.

Not to be outdone, Antiques Roadshow has a collection of baseball and sports memorabilia on their website, including a Joe DiMaggio bat valued at more than $80,000. Check out the vintage 1940 Michigan Wolverine football helmet!


On Thursday, a group of more than 20 community organizations in Detroit held a virtual town hall to help spread information about the coronavirus and resources in the city. Because of a simultaneous internet and Facebook outage, the event did not reach everyone who wanted to see it. DPTV recorded the COVID313 virtual town hall, and you can view it here.

Are you an emergency worker looking for child care? The state has set up a referral and placement system for the young children of emergency workers. The information is available in multiple languages. Get more information and apply here.


App of the Day: PBS KIDS Games App:  Scribbles & Ink
The PBS KIDS Games App is free and has a lot of different games. One of them — Scribbles & Ink — encourages children to draw. Get some additional help from the creator of Scribbles & Ink in these videos.

Preschool: Draw Your Feelings
You can have lots of different feelings when something difficult or unexpected happens. Drawing pictures is one way you can help yourself feel better.

Grades K-2: Paint-a-long with Peg + Cat
Use this game with children to combine shapes to draw Peg, Cat, and all their friends. Peg can help children every step of the way–or, she can leave them to make their own beautiful painting.

Grades 3-5: Ready Jet Go! | How to Draw Sunspot
This playlist features tutorials on how to draw your favorite PBS KIDS characters. Practice drawing characters from Let’s Go Luna!, Ready Jet Go!, and Scribbles and Ink.

Grades 6-8: Art Basics with Dick Termes: Drawing Cubes
Artist Dick Termes introduces cubes and how to draw them in space with an artistic angle so that you can see dimensions. An animated video shows many examples of cubes in the real world.

Grades 9-12: Graphic Novels with Thien Pham
Ever wondered how comics are made? How about how to draw your own? In this video, Thien Pham, a graphic artist from Oakland, CA, will show you step-by-step how to create your own comic, from writing the plot to drawing the four-panel itself.


If you ever watched the movie Fame! then you know Debbie Allen who played the dance teacher Lydia Grant. She’s now the Artist in Residence for Dance at the Carr Center in Detroit – who shared these videos from her storied career. We encourage you to watch with your kids and then try to copy her moves!


Drawing and coloring can be very relaxing. Some members of the Detroit PBS KIDS education team have become addicted to mobile apps that are tech-y versions of paint-by-number pictures. There are lots of options online and in the app stores.

To close out the week, we also wanted to share with you this interview that DPTV’s One Detroit team recorded earlier this week with Dr. Erin Hunter, a clinical psychologist with the Center for Child and Family at the University of Michigan. Her key message: Relax. “We are not going to be perfect. We are going to make mistakes (as parents).”


If you’ve been watching DPTV, you’ve probably seen promotions for an upcoming special series called “American Portrait.” PBS Education is offering a four-part virtual professional learning series for teachers to help engage students in the project. The goal: Calling on people across the country to use photos, videos, and words to tell their own stories about what it really means to be an American today. More details and registration information here.


If you have a child with special needs, the Autism Alliance of MI provides a number of resources on their website, including Henry Ford Health System’s weekly webinar on Wednesdays called Autism Parent Survival Kit: Entertaining Your Child During the COVID-19 Lockdown. The first one is Wednesday, April 1, at 1pm. Find this and other helpful resources here.

FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT: This weekend, Arthur is the featured star of Family Movie Night on Detroit PBS KIDS. It will be back-to-back hours of Arthur!

  • At 8pm, it’s “Arthur: D.W. and the Beastly Birthday.” D.W. runs away to the island of Ukubonga after her fifth birthday doesn’t go according to plan, while Arthur’s school trip to the planetarium magically transports him four years into the future.
  • Then at 9pm, it’s “The Rhythm and Roots of Arthur.” Arthur’s family and Buster take a trip to the Read family farm where they learn about traditions and family.

Both shows are available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings.


App of the Day: Molly of Denali | An Alaskan Adventure
Designed for young readers ages 4-8 to explore information text sources, Molly’s life and adventures are enhanced by using and creating books, online resources, field guides, indigenous knowledge from elders, maps, charts, posters, photos, and more.

Preschool: Daniel Tiger’s Storybooks
Read, play, and learn with Daniel Tiger’s Storybooks — a collection of favorite stories from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood! Stories are available in English and Spanish.

Grades K-2: Rhyme Time Bingo
Play this Super WHY! game, Rhyme Time Bingo, to practice rhyming your way to a prize! Students are challenged to pick which word rhymes with the given word and with each correct rhyming pair, a portion of a picture is revealed!

Grades 3-5: Storytelling with Words and Pictures
Create your own comic book story, and along the way learn the basics of how stories are structured, gain vocabulary about storytelling elements, and explore how the arts, specifically drawing, can be a valuable way to tell stories.

Grades 6-8: NOVA | Dolphin Reading Test
We know dolphins are smart, but can they read ? In this NOVA video animal trainer Teri Bolton, from the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences in Honduras, has trained Cedana the dolphin to perform specific actions when seeing certain two-dimensional symbols. It appears that Cedana has learned to read, another sign of intelligence.

Grades 9-12: Playing with Shakespeare’s Language
In this lesson drawn from the PBS Series Great Performances, you’ll see how the Public Theater transformed Shakespeare’s language for a contemporary performance of Much Ado About Nothing.

Freeze Dance Rhyme Dance
Crank the tunes and let the dancing begin. Unlike the regular game though, when the music stops, a designated person calls out a word. If the other dancer(s) can’t respond with a word to rhyme with it within a designated time period (say five to 10 seconds), that person is out!

Time to shop? The shelves at grocery stores aren’t as bare as they were before the school closings, but the supply chain is still adjusting to keep up with the unprecedented demand. A lot of the shortages have been driven by families stockpiling staples. But sustainability expert Shelie Miller at the University of Michigan says there’s no reason to believe groceries will not be available. She offers these tips if your pantry is running low:

  • Create a meal plan and shopping list, being sure to plan for snacks and treats.
  • Stick to your shopping list.
  • Only buy food that you actually expect to eat.
  • Remember that the shelf life of fresh fruits and vegetables can vary from a few days to several weeks.
  • Plan to eat, prepare and/or freeze perishable items before they spoil.
  • Be mindful of how much storage you have. If you plan to freeze ingredients or make meals ahead to freeze, make sure you have enough space in your freezer.
  • Be creative with pantry items and other foods you have on hand to reduce the number of overall grocery trips you need to make.

As long as everyone only purchases what they can reasonably expect to eat, there will be less stress on grocery stores to meet demand.

If you are an essential worker and need child care please click here.

Student voice is also important in this election year. The folks at KQED Learn in San Francisco are working with the PBS Newshour to help turn Election 2020 into a powerful educational tool for middle and high school students. The goal is to empower students to share their take on issues that matter to them. Learn how your students can create and publish audio or video commentaries for a national audience. The Election 2020 media challenge has a number of free toolkits to support this standards-aligned program co-hosted by the National Writing Project and PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs.

Words carry important meanings, and for Americans, the words at the National Constitution Center are particularly important. The center calls itself the “center for civic education” about our federal government. Check out the Interactive Constitution section and be sure to watch the virtual tour.

Feeling overwhelmed? In need of answers? The Detroit COVID313 Community Coalition of Families, Parents and Students has organized a virtual townhall. The town hall will provide an opportunity for you to receive information and resources to cope with the COVID-19 crisis. Topics will include education, public health, childcare and securing basic needs. Scheduled participants include DPSCD Superintendent Nikolai Vitti, Michigan Superintendent of Schools Michael Rice, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Chief Medical Executive, State of Michigan, and Denise Smith, Implementation Director for Hope Starts Here.

Call in to 646-876-9923 (then dial 334 719 351), join a Zoom session or visit the Detroit Public TV Facebook page this Thursday, March 26th from noon-2 p.m. to learn more and ask questions.


App of the Day: Cyberchase 3D Builder
Bumbling bots Buzz and Delete accidentally zapped the houses in Botopolis totally flat. Help rebuild the town by turning 2D shapes into 3D structures.

Preschool: Building Bridges | The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!
Join Nick, Sally, and the Cat in the Hat as they learn about bridges and what makes them work!

Grades K-2: Building is a Breeze | The Ruff Ruffman Show
Explore structural science as Ruff Ruffman helps kids looking for a way to keep their mini-golf tower from tipping over in the wind. Will cutting holes in the tower keep it from falling?

Grades 3-5: Building a Fence | Cyberchase
Harry needs to put up a fence in his grandmother’s backyard, but there are no instructions and each piece of fence is a different length. How will Harry solve the problem?

Grades 6-8: Design: Building a House
Have you ever wondered how a house is constructed and where its building materials come from? This collection of images depicts the multi-step process of building a house made from wood and another from bricks.

Grades 9-12: Hot Shots & Hot Jobs: Engineering Solutions
Why is Engineering a Hot Job? Learn why three students went into Computer Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Electrical Engineering. Check out the resources and see if Engineering is the career path for you.

Not everything is shut down by the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order. You can still go to the grocery but should limit your trips and plan your meals. Most stores how have limits on how much you buy to discourage hoarding. Some stores offer delivery.

You can also get prescriptions refilled, but you may be asked to wait in your car while someone brings it to you.

You can order food from a restaurant but be sure to follow instructions about how to receive the food. Delivery may not be available to your home, and pickup may require you to stay in your car.

Playdates and sleepovers are discouraged by officials and by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), who says social distancing only works if we stay — well — distant from each other. But connecting kids by Facetime, Zoom, or other video chatting can help them stay in touch with their friends and family members.

If you are worried about the amount of time your kids are on screens, the AAP does have some ideas for making screen time a fun whole family activity.

A number of education organizations are posting resources for educators to use for distance learning. Here are a few we found:

CAN I GO OUTSIDE? Yes. Take a walk. A run. A hike. Just keep your distance from other people — at least six feet. Keep your kids off playground equipment, which could spread germs. Most dog parks are closed, but you can walk your dog — on a leash — on the trails of a Michigan State Park, which remain open for the moment with no park pass required.

TIME MY MOVE: Choose a move and see how long your child can perform it while another person uses a timer to measure. How long can they balance on one foot? How long will it take to run a certain distance? How long can they keep up a balloon?

This virtual field trip from Great Lakes Now has three components: coastal wetlands, algae, and lake sturgeon. Each video is a quick five minutes. Lesson plans on the Great Lakes are available at GreatLakesNow.org.

Want more Great Lakes? The Michigan Sea Grant and University of Michigan film series Lake Effects has moved online to GreatLakesNow.org. You will need to download the Zoom app to your device, then you can join the call on Thursday at 7:00pm. This week’s topic is Invasives, a discussion of species — both plant and animal — that were not originally part of the Great Lakes ecology. It’s the second in a four-film series on Thursdays touching on different Great Lakes topics.


App of the Day: PBS KIDS Measure Up!
Your child will learn early math concepts focused on weights and measures, length, width, height, and capacity while going on an adventure through Treetop City, Magma Peak, and Crystal Caves.

Preschool: Pizza Math!
This video features “Many Ways,” a song written and performed by Mr. Steve from PBS KIDS. Math concepts like part, whole, half, quarter, and fractions are introduced in this song using familiar examples. Don’t forget to check out the real pizza activities here too.

Grades K-2: Bathtub Splash | Peg + Cat
How many buckets of water will it take to fill the tub for Peg and Cat? First, make an estimate. Don’t worry, it’s just a guess. Then let’s try it to find out! Dump the containers of water into the tub as Peg counts aloud, and watch it get sudsier and sudsier until it’s full and super-sudsy!

Grades 3-5: Catch the Centigurps | Odd Squad
This game from Odd Squad will help children with counting up to 100 by 1’s, 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s. They can help the Odd Squad team capture Centigurps in this fast-paced game!

Grades 6-8: The Hunger Games: Probability
Connect probability to popular literature. This activity teaches about statistics using the lottery system featured in The Hunger Games.

Grades 9-12: Real-Life Math | Baseball
Watch and listen as the assistant general manager of a major league baseball team explains how he uses math in this video from Arizona PBS.

The news that we’re being asked to stay home longer than originally planned is likely to be as hard on your kids as it is on you. The team at Zero to Thrive at the University of Michigan reminds us that kids are watching everything, especially how we adults react to the news. They have a number of suggestions about talking with your kids and developing a “family purpose” for these weeks.

With the extension of stay-at-home time, many teachers are being asked by their districts to shift to distance learning. PBS can help. PBSLearningMedia.org has a wealth of lesson plans on all topics and all grade levels, tied to state standards. Many tie directly to PBS broadcast shows like NOVA, Masterpiece, and American Experience. Detroit Public Television has a distance-learning resource list online here.

Need a refresher on using your PBS LearningMedia account, or need to create one? Until the end of March, our partners at public media station KQED are providing a twice-daily, 15-minute walkthrough via Zoom, with the opportunity to ask questions at the end. 10:30 and 6:30 ET (note that on the sign-up page, these are presented in Pacific time.)

Happy Healthy Kids | Stretchy Self
In this episode of Happy Healthy Kids, kids can turn environmental and animal attributes into stretching poses. Physical activity helps kids build muscles, bones, and brain cells!

Received your census form yet? The Census has provided a virtual field trip to turn this every-ten-year event into a learning experience. Kids can learn about the upcoming 2020 Census and how census data is collected and used. This virtual field trip also features interviews with subject matter experts and an interactive challenge.

At the Kennedy Center in D.C., Artist-in-Residents Mo Willems invites you into his study every day at 1:00 p.m. for LUNCH DOODLES. Grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons and join Mo to explore ways of writing and making together.


App of the Day:  Ready Jet Go! Space Scouts
Earn your Space Scout badges by designing, building rovers on the Moon and guiding a spaceship through the solar system; Kids also have to figure out how to grow vegetables on Mars.

Preschool: Ready Jet Go! Flashlight Constellations
Be inspired by this short video of a father and his child working together to create their very own constellation! Craft information included.

Grades K-2:  Sky Patterns: Sun, Moon, and Stars
The Sun, Moon, and stars have predictable patterns.  Interact with the animated storybook to observe and predict patterns in the sky.

Grades 3-5: Space Hygiene: Showering in Space
Astronaut Mike Fossum demonstrates how to shower in space in this video from NASA.

Grades 6-8:  Why Isn’t There an Eclipse Every Month?
Students will work with a variety of models of the Earth–Sun–Moon system to understand and explain why solar and lunar eclipses are rare.

Grades 9-12: Is There Life in Space?
Learn the various techniques scientists use to find planets and other astronomical bodies. Then you will compare whether those planets might have water, what kind of atmosphere it has, and whether you could actually live there — or meet someone who already does.

Sesame Street is encouraging all of us to care for others in these tough times. Visit the site with your preschoolers to get a virtual hug from Elmo!

Still trying to find a routine that works in your home? The early childhood experts at High Scope in Ypsilanti have some advice about ways to reduce stress and conflict with children.

Want to use this time to build your skills? Up to 5 SCECHs are available by completing the FREE online literacy education modules available through MAISA and the Early Literacy Task Force (ELTF). Get more information at LiteracyEssentials.org.

Over the weekend, public health officials closed playground equipment and fitness equipment structures because of concerns about transmission of the coronavirus. Most parks remain open for walking on trails, biking, and other outdoor activities — so if the weather allows — get out there!

In the meantime, MSU Extension continues to offer a daily family Yoga class on Facebook at #MiStrongerFamily. Class starts Monday through Friday at 9:30a for a half hour.

Many local organizations have gone virtual during this period, scheduling performances, visits, and other activities on Facebook, Instagram, and online. Here are a few to check out:

We’re hoping that you’ll carve out some “ME” time for self-care and connecting with your “village” this weekend!

VIRTUAL HAPPY HOUR, ANYONE? Emotional connections are important. physical distancing has become necessary. Social distancing also creates emotional distance. Psychology Today has some ideas for connecting with others during this time.

CREATING A RELAXING SPACE: Need a space to get away within your own home. The Blissful Mind has seven suggestions for making your bedroom or corner a space that will encourage relaxation and mindfulness.

This weekend might be a good time to bring the whole family together to talk about what worked and what didn’t work in your daily routines this past week, and plan adjustments for the week ahead.

ESTABLISHING ROUTINES: For most of us, life feels anything but normal right now with the COVID-19 pandemic, schools closed and working from home. But you can create a new normal for your family by having consistent routines.

Have a little one? Sesame Street has suggestions just for you.

CAN WE ALL JUST GET ALONG? Found yourself refereeing the latest he said-she said debate? PBS KIDS For Parents has some suggestions.

EVERYONE NEEDS A JOB: The word “chore” might sound like drudgery. But teaching kids how to do household chores is a meaningful part of growing up. That doesn’t mean it can’t be fun!

As a family, make a list of things you’d like to do during this period of time. Display the list, and then cross things off as you do them.

Is there something your child is passionate about doing? Have them teach the adults how to do what they do! Caution: some laughing is likely.

Train the dog. Fido is probably delighted to have folks around the house all day. Now’s a good time to teach him new tricks and correct bad behavior. Here’s some tips from the American Kennel Club.

Leave your own four walls behind with some activities and links that will take you to new places and experiences:

Learning Resources and Activities

App of the Day: PBS KIDS Scratch Junior
PBS KIDS Scratch Jr. lets kids create their own interactive stories and games. Learn coding by programing games and activities featuring characters from hit PBS KIDS shows like Wild Kratts, Nature Cat, WordGirl and Peg + Cat. PBS has prepared a number of games, puzzles, and learning plans for parents and kids to play together, and for teachers to teach science and math concepts.

Experiment with different instruments, sounds, and rhythms with this PINKALICIOUS & PETERRIFIC® online game. After choosing a drum set, xylophone, or harp, children make changes in order to create their own unique musical instrument, and then play along with the Pinkalicious & Peterrific characters in a musical performance.

Grades K-2:
Animals and Plants Can Live in a City!
Guide students as they explore how animals and plants meet their basic needs in a city, with help from Plum and her friends from PLUM LANDING. In this interactive lesson, students learn that animals need air, food, water, and shelter, while plants need air, sunlight, and water. Students watch videos and engage with drawing and sorting activities to reinforce their learning. This lesson is designed for teachers to present to students.

Grades 3-5:
Feed the Dingo: An Ecosystem Game
Players strive to create a balanced desert ecosystem in which each animal has enough food to survive over a period of 12 days, in this interactive game from PLUM LANDING. Players see how the different species of plants and animals in a desert depend on one another. They also experiment with how changing the amount of one resource affects the whole ecosystem.

Grades 6-8:
Newton’s Triple Play: Baseball Science
In this lesson, students watch a video and animations that relate Isaac Newton’s three laws of motion to baseball and apply what they’ve learned about these laws to another sport or other real-life situation. During the lesson, students complete three formative online assessments – one for each law – and a summative review, in which students fill out a chart by matching descriptions to each law. At the end of the lesson, students produce a media project and write an essay that demonstrates their understanding of these fundamental physical science principles.

Grades 9-12:
NOVA Polar Lab
The interactive NOVA Polar Lab uses 360° videos, interviews with scientists, and mini-games to send students on an immersive quest to understand how the poles are key to understanding Earth’s climate–past, present, and future.

Frustrated? Overwhelmed? Kids getting handsy? Grab a cardboard box, pop bottles, cans, discarded cereal or cracker boxes, shipping packaging bubbles, anything around the house that can be destroyed. Pile it up, have the kids write or draw words or ideas about their feelings on the items (we drew the Coronavirus germs – the little one just scribbled. Also fine!) then take them outside and have a SMASH PARTY! Jump, punch, kick yell, slam and smash your way to a more peaceful self. For added relief, label those feelings by their physical attributes and yell them out! (“I HAVE SMASHING FEELINGS!! I HAVE PUNCHING FEELINGS”) Be sure to set up some important rules for safety. Make sure the surface you are smashing on is something like grass or carpet. Have children go one at a time or set them up with separate piles to ensure they don’t get hurt. Parents, definitely get in on this one. It will feel better than you expect and you’ll be modeling mental health for your kids while helping yourself to feel better and be more emotionally available to your kids.

A Symphony of Science
Take a music break! The thought of Spring brings thoughts of birdsong and joy. Beethoven’s iconic Ode to Joy from his Ninth Symphony is part of A Symphony of Science from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. This DSO Concert video features music that you and your children will recognize. The DSO worked with the Michigan Science Center to provide a guide for educators (and parents), all free online.

Here at Detroit PBS KIDS, we are frequently asked by educators what our programs are teaching. Here’s a chart (in English and Spanish) that tells you the academic focus of each PBS KIDS program and the age it is designed to serve.

These programs are designed very carefully, reviewed by expert educators, and tested with children to make sure they are engaging and “doing their job” as TV programs. For instance, University of Michigan Professor and national literacy expert Dr. Nell Duke was the principal advisor on one of our newest shows, Molly of Denali¸ which not only celebrates Native American Culture, but also teaches informational literacy.

Thursday night, the PBS NewsHour team provides in-depth coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, answering questions from citizens around the country. Tune in for this special broadcast on Detroit Public Television at 8:00 p.m. There’s additional materials available online here.

Meanwhile, FRONTLINE’s reporters are working on a series of documentary reports in the coming weeks – with the first one scheduled to air April 21st.

Learning Resources and Activities:
App of the Day:

The Sesame Street App
Come spend time on Sesame Street with video clips and games featuring Elmo, Cookie Monster, Abby Cadabby, and more of your favorite, furry friends. Sing along with Sesame Street music videos, learn your ABCs and 123s, and just have fun! These educational videos and games were designed to teach your child school readiness skills while delivering on Sesame Workshop’s mission to help kids grow smarter, stronger, and kinder.

Sink or Float? The Ice Block Science Experiment
Get your child thinking about why some things float and some sink with this easy activity that freezes toys into an ice block. Your child can observe which items stick out on top of the ice, and which items get frozen on the bottom.

Grades K-2:
Proud Pictures, Drawing What We Learned
Discuss accomplishments: Tell your child about a skill you learned that made you feel different. Invite your child to share how he felt when he learned to do something new, like tie his shoes, pour juice or write his name. You may want to define new words for him, such as “proud.”

Grades 3-5:
Create and Crack Codes for Pattern Practice
Spotting tricky patterns and cracking secret codes is the only way to solve some of the oddest cases that land at Odd Squad Headquarters, and now it’s training time for agents everywhere. Only with careful practice can agents hone their pattern-sleuthing skills to put things right every time – and potentially become a Patternista like their fearless leader, Ms. O.

Grades 6-8:
Mission US: For Crown or Colony
Mission US is a multimedia project featuring free interactive adventure games set in different eras of U.S. history. The first game, “For Crown or Colony?,” puts the player in the shoes of Nat Wheeler, a 14-year-old printer’s apprentice in 1770 Boston. As Nat navigates the city and completes tasks, he encounters a spectrum of people living and working there when tensions mount before the Boston Massacre. Ultimately, the player determines Nat’s fate by deciding where his loyalties lie.

Grades 9-12:
Ocean Circulation in the North Atlantic
Students explore the ocean’s role in redistributing the Sun’s energy on Earth in this interactive lesson from WGBH. Students are introduced to factors influencing global ocean circulation, with a focus on the significant North Atlantic region. Through data visualizations from NASA, students investigate how factors such as sea surface temperature, density, winds, and various types of ocean flows interact in the transport of heat from equatorial regions northwards in the North Atlantic.


We’re relying on technology a lot to get us through the day – whether adults on their phones or computers, and kids in front of the television.   Let’s not turn into SCREEN-POTATOES!   Find some time to exercise with PBS KIDS and Arthur!


Feeling like you should be spending more time reading with your kids, but work and chores keep calling you away?   Several of our education partners have recommended Storyline Online. On this site, a number of familiar actors and actresses read stories to kids — many in dramatic fashion!

And if part of your “me” time is binging episodes of The West Wing, there are at least TWO stars of the show reading books on this site!

Has “distance learning” become the phrase-of-the-month in your world? Have questions? Check out this page at DPTV.org for resources assembled by PBS and others to help you get up to speed with Google Classroom, Remind, and other resources.

It’s not too late to learn about the resources PBS has for the classroom. Join the virtual workshop tonight with the PBS Education team, to learn about PBSLearningMedia.com and how it might help you. There are materials for students of every age, from Pre-K to 12 and beyond.



Want to understand more about coronavirus, COVID-19, and the measures public health officials are encouraging us to take? Frontline will have a broadcast special Confronting Coronavirus Thursday at 8:00 p.m. on Detroit Public Television. This program will focus on public and personal health, as well as the economic impact on the United States and around the world. The program will feature a virtual town hall with questions from people across America. Learn more about the coverage in this online letter from Frontline Executive Producer Raney Aronson.

Learning Resources and Activities:
App of the Day: Play and Learn Science App from PBS (free on iOS and Android devices) offers learning games for the family. Play with shadows, control the weather, roll and slide objects down a ramp, choose the best materials for an umbrella — all while building science inquiry skills and learning core science concepts.

Pigeon Trouble from Sesame Street
Learn to follow directions by helping Bert to clean up his house. Put objects in, next to or on other objects to help things look tidy. (This game is only compatible with desktop computers.)

Grades K-2:
Fish Camp Game | Molly of Denali
Use this “Molly of Denali” digital game to extend and expand students’ use of informational text as well as their knowledge of Alaska Native culture. In the game, Molly, her friend Trini and Trini’s dad use an informational book and its features, such as the table of contents, labeled diagrams and pictures with captions, in order to find out how to “catch” salmon with a traditional Alaska Native fish wheel or a canoe, rod and reel. Narrated by Molly, the game is accessible for readers and nonreaders alike.

Grades 3-5:
St. Patrick’s Day | All About the Holidays
You don’t have to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and Irish culture and heritage. There might not be as many festivals and parades this year, but you can still wear green and learn all about St. Patrick (who wasn’t, incidentally, born in Ireland) and all the traditions that go along with his special day from this fun video.

Grades 6-8:
Digital Adventure 360° Interactive Experience: Penguins
Detroit Public TV and the Detroit Zoological Society take teachers and students on a virtual field trip inside the habitat of penguins. The interactive experience explores new and innovative approaches to learning and teaching by using 360-degree technology.

Grades 9-12:
Moon Formation and Earth | Interactive Lesson
Students learn about the giant impact hypothesis for the moon’s formation, and how the Apollo moon rocks have contributed to scientists’ understanding about our closest solar system neighbor. Students evaluate how key pieces of data support the giant impact hypothesis and provide insights into Earth’s early history. A computer simulation helps students visualize the moon-forming impact.

Was Monday tough? With Michigan schools closed and many people working remotely until at least April, we’re all trying to figure out how to cope.

You may find some of the resources on this page helpful, as you and your family settle into new routines. Thanks to our partners at the Macomb ISD for sharing this with us!

One way to cope — MOVE! MSU is offering a family yoga class at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday through Zoom and through their Facebook page.

Need a refresher on using your PBS LearningMedia account or need to create one? Until the end of March, our partners at public media station KQED are providing a twice-daily, 15-minute walkthrough via Zoom, with the opportunity to ask questions at the end. 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. ET (note that on the sign-up page these are presented in Pacific Time).

Haven’t used PBS Learning Media? Sign up for a free webinar to learn all the tricks. Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. ET.

St. Patrick’s Day
Tuesday is St. Patrick’s Day, a day for “wearing of the green.” Take time for a “find the green” game:

    • What will you wear that is green today?
    • How many green things are in your house?
    • What green foods do you like to eat?

What kind of food do they eat in Ireland? Share some time preparing a meal as a family. Check out these recipes and put a little Irish in your St. Patrick’s Day menu.

Things that make you smile:
Want more Penguins?
With Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium closed to people, a penguin named Wellington had a chance to see what the aquarium looks like on the other side of the glass.

Learning Resources and Activities

App of the Day: PBS KIDS Games
PBS KIDS Games app has more than 100 free games for your 2-8 year olds.  In this safe learning environment, kids learn science, math reading, creativity and more.   Play mazes, puzzles, dress-up, coloring and more.  The games feature their favorite PBS KIDS characters and help teach everything from the ABCs and shapes to reading and math.   Free for iOS and Android devices in the app store, and no in-app purchases required.

Preschool to Grade 2: Make a Boat
Will a toy car float?  How about a tin pie plate?  In this short video from The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That! Nick and Sally test some objects in their backyard wading pool (a bathtub makes a good substitute), to see what will float and what won’t.

Grades 3-5:  Measuring Length Precisely
In this video segment from Cyberchase, the CyberSquad must remove a voice box from a giant statue without touching the laser alarms that protect it.  They need an exact measurement, and your student will be asked to help!   A ruler is needed.

Grades 6-8:  Dunk Tank!
In this interactive math game, learners explore mean, media, mode, range and how to recognize which central tendency best represents a set of data.

Grades 9-12: Making Cents
This video series teaches teens and pre-teens how to manage their money and foster an entrepreneurial spirit.

If you are a teacher preparing to guide student learning online, DPTV and the PBS Education team have compiled an extensive list of curriculum-aligned resources online. PBS LearningMediais a Google Classroom friendly collection of videos, interactives, lesson plans and more.

PBS LearningMedia is hosting the webinar, Distance Learning With PBS LearningMedia for educators of all ages on Wednesday, March 18. This one-hour virtual learning event, hosted by PBS master trainers and educators, will highlight a variety of tips, from student activities to digital tools and PBS LearningMedia hacks. Featuring insights applicable to elementary, middle and high-school classrooms, the session will focus on skills, tips, and techniques that educators can apply immediately to prepare for successful distance learning, whether working with students in person or sharing lessons online.  Register for the webinar

SPECIAL EVENTS: Women’s History Month
March is Women’s History Month and DPTV is offering programming and resources to celebrate.

On Monday, March 16, Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum will premier a new episode, “I am Madam President.”  Instead of going back to the past, Xavier, Yadina and Brad will go the future.  What will they see?

Airs on Detroit PBS KIDS (56.2) at 7:30am and 7:00pm Monday, March 16th, and available on demand Tuesday through the PBS KIDS app.

And check out these tips for Raising a Self-Confident Girl.  (They work great for boys, too!)

How to speak to your kids about the Coronavirus

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As you plan for a variety of scenarios in response to the global COVID-19 health crisis, we wanted to share a few tips, tricks, and resources you can use to support distance learning.

View Distance Learning Resources

If you want to catch up on what is happening with COVID-19 in your own community, we’ve provided links to county, state, and national resources with trusted information.

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