Image of monastery in Mexico

When Worlds Collide

This PBS website looks at how the Old and New Worlds mixed after Columbus landed on Hispaniola in 1492. The 90-minute documentary and website trace milestone events during the 16th century and illustrates how both the New World and the Old were radically transformed by contact. The extensive resources for teachers and students include a timeline, scholarly essays and lesson plans.


  • Washington and the Whiskey Rebellion

    Created October 6, 2010
    Washington and the Whiskey Rebellion: Washington

    Weigh the choices Washington faced in the nation’s first Constitutional crisis by following events through his private diary.

  • What is History? Timelines and Oral Histories

    Created October 5, 2010
    What is History? Timelines and Oral Histories

    This lesson plan addresses the ways people learn about events from the past and discusses how historical accounts are influenced by the perspective of the person giving the account. To understand that history is made up of many people’s stories of the past, students interview family members about the same event and compare the ifferent versions, construct a personal history timeline and connect it to larger historical events, and synthesize eyewitness testimony from different sources to create their own "official" account.

  • Learning the Blues

    Created September 30, 2010
    Learning the Blues: Blues

    Take a virtual field trip to Memphis, Tennessee, and explore the history of the blues.

  • Mapping Our Worlds

    Created September 28, 2010
    Mapping the Past: mapping_past

    Students explore the world of maps and learn how to view the world around them in a two-dimensional format.

  • My Piece of History

    Created September 28, 2010
    My Piece of History: Making a Phone Call in 1946

    Students examine pictures of household objects from the late 20th century, gather historical information about them from older family members, and then create an in-class exhibit of historical objects from their own homes.

  • Music from Across America

    Created September 28, 2010
    Music from Across America: Zydeco musician

    Students listen to a variety of popular, traditional, and ethnic American music, from the evocative sounds of Native American drumming to the lively sounds of zydeco music from Louisiana.

  • Mapping the Past

    Created September 28, 2010
    Mapping the Past: mapping_past

    Find out what ancient maps can tell us about the aspirations of those who made them.

  • Eyewitness to History

    Created September 28, 2010
    Eyewitness to History: Eyewitness-Apollo 11

    Explore connections between family history and the history of the world around us.

  • Under the Deep Blue Sea

    Created September 27, 2010
    Under the Deep Blue Sea: Barnacles

    This lesson gives students the opportunity to explore oceans and ocean life. Students will listen to stories and poems with oceanic settings and learn about the forms of sea life featured in each.