What’s On This December and Learning Resources

See what we're airing this month and find learning resources to use along with them.

See what monthly themes we’re highlighting, find something to watch, and extend the learning with activities from PBS LearningMedia.

Read a New Book Month - Starts December 1

American Masters Episode 3503: The Adventures of Saul Bellow

December 8 at 11:00pm

Explore Nobel Prize winner Saul Bellow’s impact on American literature and how he navigated through issues of his time, including race, gender and the Jewish immigrant experience. Featuring interviews with Philip Roth, Salman Rushdie and others.

Beyond the Canvas Episode 201: World Of Writers

December 9 at 12:30am

Finding one’s voice as a writer takes dedication, courage and a willingness to re-imagine the world through words on a page. Novelist Margaret Atwood, playwright Danai Gurira and others talk about finding meaning in the writing life.

Extend the Learning

Exploring First-Person Narrative | The Great American Read – Students explore the power of narrative voice in storytelling and in particular the first-person point of view. They engage with text through a shared reading exercise and view a video segment from The Great American Read. Finally, students analyze text to identify how authors use language and voice to channel the emotions and experiences of characters.

Career Exploration and Awareness Month - Starts December 1

Roadtrip Nation: Changing Gears

December 12 at 8:00pm

Ride along for a supercharged adventure as Alexandra, Dylan, and Michael—aspiring auto technicians—discover the growing possibilities in the automotive tech field. As they speak to 3D car printers, 4×4 builders, Fast and the Furious effects specialists, and more, they learn that the grease monkey stereotype is outdated; being a technician means driving the future of human movement forward.

Extend the Learning

Career Spotlight Career Spotlight includes videos focusing on science careers in biotechnology and renewable energy.

Careers in Demand Careers in Demand is ideal for high school students trying to determine which career pathway is right for them. The collection provides a snapshot of what a career in one of Kentucky’s high-demand industries might look like, including education and experi­ence needed to get these jobs, salary ranges, work environment, and the projected number of job openings over a five-year period.

Hanukkah - Starts December 7

Great Performances Episode 4808: Leonard Bernstein's Kaddish Symphony

December 6 at 10:00pm
Recorded in July 2022, Bernstein protege Marin Alsop conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Bernstein’s “”Kaddish”” Symphony at the Ravinia Festival. Creating a musical meditation wherein women’s voices are the tether to the highest powers, and examining the essential, eternal questions of humanity and faith, also featured are soprano Janai Brugger and Jaye Ladymore as narrator, along with the Chicago Children’s Choir. “

Great Performances Episode 4514: The Magic of Horowitz

December 6 at 9:00pm
Experience legendary pianist Vladimir Horowitz’s 1986 Russian homecoming for a sold-out concert of personal favorites, featuring commentary from former manager Peter Gelb and virtuoso pianists Martha Argerich, Daniil Trifonov and Sophie Pacini.

Extend the Learning

Eight Days of Hanukkah | Peg + Cat Albert Einstein sings a song with Peg, Cat and their friends about the number that Hanukkah is all about: eight!

Christmas - December 25

Anthony Williams' Urban Nutcracker

December 9 at 11:30pm

Anthony Williams’ Urban Nutcracker, a celebration of multi-cultural communities, puts a modern spin on the 19th-century fairy tale and transports viewers to an enchanted world not unlike their own. Drawing upon classical ballet, urban tap, hip-hop, swing, flamenco, step and jazz, the performance uniquely retells a Christmas classic. As viewers enter the world of the URBAN NUTCRACKER, the smooth sounds of Duke Ellington blend with the gentle glow of neon lights driven by the heartbeat of Tchaikovsky. The program is a fusion of modern, multi-cultural, and classical dance, presenting an organic interpretation brought about by a unifying of cultures.

Mary Berry's Highland Christmas

December 22 at 9:00pm
Mary Berry spends Christmas in her mother’s homeland of Scotland to enjoy a winter break soaking up her Scottish heritage and enjoying traditional festive delights with familiar faces, as well cooking up some of her own indulgent dishes.

Extend the Learning

Oh Christmas Tree Students learn how scientists are studying what effect a warming climate will have on North Carolina’s Christmas tree industry. NC ranks 2nd in the country in Christmas tree sales. There are 1600 growers producing 50 million Fraser fir Christmas trees.  It’s a $75M industry.

Kwanzaa - Starts December 26

American Masters Episode 3211 - Buddy Guy: The Blues Chase the Blues Away

December 27 at 9:00pm
Dive into the career of the legendary blues guitarist, a pioneer of Chicago’s West Side sound and major influence on rock titans like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. Featuring new performances and interviews with John Mayer, Carlos Santana and more.

Extend the Learning

Is Blues the Mother of All Modern Music? | Sound Field Explore where the blues came from and how it went on to influence many modern genres of music. From Delta Blues pioneers like Robert Johnson and Son House to Chicago Blues icons like Muddy Waters and B.B. King. Break down how this genre can be heard in everything from heavy metal to country music.

Gullah Music: Got the Blues Students will understand traditional blues form that contains three four-measure phrases that follow the pattern AAB. Let Reverend Leroy show you how to express your sad feelings by composing a blues song.