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How the States Got Their Shapes
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this hour-long series, which explores the history of the United States from a unique standpoint, encourages curiosity about the country's origins. There is very occasional language ("crap," "hell," "damn"). While the show's content may only be of interest to older kids, it is generally appropriate for younger children as well.
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What's the story?
The big, bold strokes of American history are common knowledge from grade school history classes. HOW THE STATES GOT THEIR SHAPES dives deeper into the country's rich story to spotlight the unique combination of people, events, and nature that created the boundaries of the 50 states. On-the-street interviews, computer graphics, and visits to historical locations keep the show fast-paced and light.
Is it any good?
Did you know there's a restaurant where the border between Tennessee and Georgia cuts through the building? You can eat in one state and use the bathroom in another.
These are the kind of stories host Brian Unger shares on How The States Got Their Shapes. It's amazing how many fascinating tidbits there are to be found in how each US state came to rest within its current boundaries. While the show doesn't innovate (if you've seen one History Channel show, you're familiar with the format ), the use of computer-generated illustrations and on-the-street interviews keeps things moving. Unger is an amiable and eager host, willing to try almost anything -- he spends part of one episode being attacked by Asian carp in Illinois and gets the laughs and scars to prove it. There's plenty of material to explore in regional American history, and this series explores it well.
Talk to your kids about ...
For kids who love travel and history
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.