Television: Pick of the week

23rd January 2004 at 00:00
Seven Journeys in the American West

BBC2, Thursday, January 29, 4-5am

A fascinating new programme for key stage 4 history about the pioneer days in American history. Based on eyewitness accounts by seven prospectors, ranchers, homesteaders and others of their journeys into the West - not forgetting their contacts with those who already inhabited the land, the Native Americans, whose history came to a tragic climax in the aftermath of the Battle of the Little Big Horn river. This broadcast, for overnight recording, is preceded by two repeated programmes for 11 to14-year-olds on 20th-century history, a five-parter on the First World War (2-3.40am) and a short history of the Weimar Republic (3.40-4am); and it is followed by a repeat of the one-hour film about the Arab-Israeli conflict (5-6am).

How We Used to Live: All Change

C4, January 26-30, 11.15-11.35am

Tony Robinson does the commentary on these five 20-minute programmes for primary schools, which use home movies to illustrate aspects of everyday life in Britain during the period 1945-1970. Subjects include work, home, travel and leisure. The guiding theme, as the title suggests, is the impact of social and technological change.

The Writing House

C4, January 26-30, 10.40-10.55am

The first five programmes in this strand for five to seven-year-olds helps them cope with a variety of writing tasks: signs and labels, rhymes, instructions, speech bubbles and recipes. The characters in the stories find themselves in humorous situations where they have to get words on paper, and the series may be particularly helpful to less confident or less experienced learners.

Teen Big Brother

C4, January 26-February 6, 9.30-10am (rpt February 9-27, 11.30-12noon)

This is an edited, and slightly less sensational version of last year's Teen Big Brother, which has been designed to support citizenship and PSHE.

There are eight assorted teenagers in the Big Brother House: Caroline, Hasan, Jade, James, Paul, Shaneen, Tommy and Tracey. They have to find out how to pass the time together and not bitch about one another; and, week by week, they will need to reduce their number by voting fellow-contestants out, as well as analysing their own choices. They also have various tasks to complete, beginning with a blocked lavatory, so the series can provide the starting-point for a lot of work on relationships, problem-solving and co-operating with others. The accompanying website (www.channel4.comteenbigbrother) provides background to the programmes and should offer some hints on how they can be used.

Holocaust Memorial Day

The History Channel

Tuesday, January 27, 9-10pm

Leo Lowy is a retired businessman in Vancouver; he is also a survivor of the Holocaust and one of the pairs of twins who were the subject of notorious experiments at Auschwitz by Josef Mengele. This moving documentary follows him as he returns with his wife and three sons to the village in the Ukraine from which his family originated, then to Auschwitz where he was imprisoned and Budapest where, after the war, he was reunited with his twin sister. It also describes the background to Mengele's experiments, with the help of expert commentators and archive film.

For full listings go to:;NIPgt; shtmlwww.channel4.comlearningmainprogrammestv_schedule.htm

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