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        Annenberg Learner Update
      January 2012

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In the Spotlight for January

Curriculum Focus:  U.S. Geography

Current Events
    Search Narrows for the Higgs Boson Particle
    New Habitable Planet Found

Connecting Learning with Special Events
    Financial Wellness Month
    League of Nations Founded (January 10, 1920)
    Women’s Suffrage Amendment Introduced in Congress (January 10, 1878)
    International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27)
    Challenger Space Shuttle Explosion (January 28, 1986)

Notable January Birthdays
    Signers of the Declaration of Independence (January)
    Alma Flor Ada (January 3, 1938)
    Joan of Arc (January 6, 1412)
    Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929)
    Isaac Newton (January 4, 1643)
    Carl Sandburg (January 6, 1878)
    Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809)
   
Annenberg Learner Announcements
    Invitation to World Literature at the Rubin Museum in NYC
    Google+
    Print Catalog
     

Annenberg Foundation Update
    Space for Photography, Digital Darkroom


Curriculum Focus: U.S. Geography

Students often associate geography with simply memorizing place names and locations on a map. But geography has a much wider scope and covers all subject areas – civics, literature, culture, and history, to name a few. This month, we focus on using geography to help us understand where the U.S. has been and where it is going.

Interactive, United States History Map
Students can wend their way through topics such as Native American tribes, European colonial settlements, and United States topography and land use with the interactive “United States History Map.” 

Biography
                                                          of AmericaEach program of A Biography of America includes a corresponding map. For example, program 13, “America at the Centennial,” shows states, territories, and battles in 1876. 
     
Teaching Geography, workshop 3, “North America,” includes segments on four U.S. cities: Boston, Denver, Chicago, and San Antonio. Students in the featured classes explore urban growth and its implications within their own cities. 

In Power of Place, unit 10, “North America,” program 24, “Cityscapes, Suburban Sprawl,” case studies look at the ethnic make-up of Boston and changes of land use along the outer edge of Chicago.   Program 26, “Regions and Economies,” examines Oregon and the Midwest from an economic point of view, focusing on Japanese auto plants and water distribution. 

Human
                                                          GeographyHuman Geography, program 5, “Alaska: The Last Frontier?” and program 7, “Water Is for Fighting Over,” underscore how uses of wilderness lands by Native Americans is often in conflict with the demands placed on the lands by urban populations.

Cultural geography studies the spaces around us and how we use those spaces, and provides a backdrop to historical and geographical settings in literature. In Artifacts & Fiction, workshop 6, “Cultural Geography: Session Activities,” an expert demonstrates how the use of photos of a Chicago neighborhood can enhance the reading of Sandra Cisneros’s, “The House on Mango Street.” 


Current Events

Search Narrows for the Higgs Boson Particle

Physics
                                                          for the 21st
                                                          CenturyOn December 13, scientists from CERN (the European Center for Nuclear Research) announced that they found “intriguing hints” leading to finding evidence of the Higgs boson particle, as reported by Scientific American.   Scottish theorist Peter Higgs postulated that particles acquire mass by scattering off of a particle that fills all space, eponymously named the Higgs boson. Physics for the 21st Century, unit 1, "The Basic Building Blocks of Matter," section 8, "The Origin of Mass," explains more about the search for this particle.  Unit 2, “The Fundamental Interactions,”  introduces two CERN scientists who scour through the data from the LHC to determine at what energy level the Higgs may be found. Search the site’s images, glossary, text, and animations to learn more about this fascinating topic. 


New Habitable Planet Found

Kepler
                                                          22-bUsing the Kepler space telescope, astronomers have confirmed the existence of a planet called Kepler 22-b.  What characteristics make Kepler 22-b an Earth-like planet? View The Habitable Planet, unit 1, "Many Planets, One Earth" to make the comparison.

 


Connecting Learning with Special Events

Financial Wellness Month

Teaching students life skills such as managing money and credit is important. The Math in Daily Life interactive, “Savings and Credit,” provides essential information and activities.

Empower students to make sound financial decisions. In The Economics Classroom, program 4, “Learning, Earning, and Saving,” classroom activities debunk myths about becoming a millionaire and develop students’ understanding of how interest and investment (in stocks and education) work.


League of Nations Founded (January 10, 1920)

Bridging
                                                          World HistoryThe video segment, “International Peace Movements,” of Bridging World History, unit 22, “Global War and Peace,” discusses peace groups created in response to global conflicts. After World War I, President Woodrow Wilson conceived of and campaigned for the creation of the League of Nations. While the League of Nations was not successful in its mission to ensure world peace, it inspired the creation of the United Nations. 

Republican Senator Henry Cabot Lodge objected to the U.S. joining the League of Nations, a sentiment expressed by many in Congress who wanted the U.S. to stay out of European politics. Read his speech to the U.S. Senate in the resource archive of America’s History in the Making.


Women’s Suffrage Amendment Introduced in Congress (January 10, 1878)

Historical
                                                          and Cultural
                                                          ContextsThe 19th Amendment to the Constitution was introduced in January of 1878 but took until 1920 to be passed by Congress and ratified. Teach your students about the suffrage movement and how to use newspapers as primary sources. Story 3 of the interactive, Historical and Cultural Contexts, Newspapers includes an article on the Suffrage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. 

A Biography of America, program 19, “A Vital Progressivism,” guides you through civil struggles during the turn of the 20th century, including women’s right to vote. 
 


International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27) 

Teaching
                                                          "The
                                                          Children of
                                                          Willesden
                                                          Lane"The Children of Willesden Lane, by Mona Golabek, is a memoir about her mother’s experiences in the Kindertransport rescue mission during the Holocaust. The course Teaching ‘The Children of Willesden Lane’ includes information on historical events, explanations of race and anti-Semitism, musical selections from the book, and videos showing effective classroom instruction.

While reading the memoir, students think about themes, such as what it means to feel like an outsider, discussed in program 12, “Gaining Insight Through Poetry.” 





Death: A
                                                          Personal
                                                          UnderstandingIn Death: A Personal Understanding, program 3, “Facing Mortality,” people discuss how they prepare when facing their own death or the death of a loved one. This program includes a segment on a Holocaust survivor who confronted the possibility of her death and the death of her family. 

Art is a powerful tool for students who have trouble finding their voice. In Connecting with the Arts: A Teaching Practices Library Grades 6-8, program 12, “Finding Your Voice,” students analyze meaning in art that represents history and social injustice, including a painting about the Holocaust by Samuel Bak. Also, students learn how to use art to express themselves.


Challenger Space Shuttle Explosion (January 28, 1986)
 
Challenger
                                                          Space ShuttleThe tragic Challenger Space Shuttle explosion impacted American society on multiple levels from national mourning to the examination of the insular nature of NASA. Read how engineers involved with the launch tried to stop it.  Consider the emotional impact of this kind of personal and national tragedy by watching “Sudden Death” from Death: A Personal Understanding, which examines the 1995 bombing in Oklahoma City.

In A Biography of America, program 25, “Contemporary History,” scholars debate how we interpret historical events that have happened in our lifetime, and especially how those events are shaped by the media.


Finally, take a mathematical view of the probability of events occurring.  In program 3, “Exponents and Radicals,” of Algebra: In Simplest Terms, Sol Garfunkel uses a discussion of the Challenger Space Shuttle’s O-ring failure to demonstrate how to use the rules for exponents to determine probability.



Notable January Birthdays


Signers of the Declaration of Independence

Several signers of the Declaration of Independence have January birthdays: Benjamin Franklin (Pennsylvania, January 17, 1706), Philip Livingston (New York, January 15, 1716), Richard Henry Lee (Virginia, January 20, 1732), John Hancock (Massachusetts, January 12, 1737), Joseph Hewes (North Carolina, January 23, 1730), Richard Henry Lee (Virginia, January 20, 1732), Benjamin Rush (Pennsylvania, January 4, 1746), William Whipple (New Hampshire, January 14, 1730), Robert Morris (Pennsylvania, January 31, 1734). Revisit the historical document with Primary Sources: Workshops in American History, “The Declaration of Independence.”


Alma Flor Ada (January 3, 1938)

Alma Flor
                                                          AdaAlma Flor Ada, featured in workshop 7, “Social Justice and Action,” of Teaching Multicultural Literature: A Workshop for Middle Grades, wrote “My Name Is María Isabel,” a book about the immigrant experience. In the video, students use the reading to discuss immigrant expectations and realities.  This program includes an interview with Alma Flor Ada, born in Cuba and an immigrant to Peru and the United States.  



Joan of Arc (January 6, 1412)
The interactive, The Middle Ages, features Joan of Arc in “The Role of Women.” What was Feudal life like for women, including Joan of Arc?  

The Western Tradition, program 24, “The National Monarchies,” details what made Joan of Arc a powerful symbol of French resistance.  


Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929)

A Biography of America, program 24, “The Sixties,” explores the Civil Rights Movement, including Martin Luther King, Jr. The “Key Events” timeline provides a clear picture of how the electric events of the 1960s fit together. 

Engaging
                                                          with
                                                          LiteratureIn program 8, “Finding Common Ground,” of the video library Engaging with Literature, fifth graders learn to appreciate literature by reading books, such as “Martin Luther King” by Ed Clayton, about going through social struggles.


More January birthdays:

Isaac Newton (January 4, 1643, per the modern calendar)
The Mechanical Universe...and Beyond, program 6, "Newton's Laws"
Physics for the 21st Century, unit 3, “Gravity” 

Carl Sandburg (January 6, 1878)
American Passages, unit 10, “Rhythms in Poetry” 

Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809)
American Passages, unit 6, "Gothic Undercurrents"  
Artifacts & Fiction, discipline tutorial, “Domestic Architecture,” slide 11, “The Gothic Home

Annenberg Learner Announcements

Invitation to World Literature at the Rubin Museum in NYC

Join comedienne Faith Salie (CBS Sunday Morning and NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me) and filmmaker Joshua Seftel for a screening of Invitation to World Literature: The God of Small Things and a post-screening discussion. This screening is part of the Rubin Museum of Art's Lunch Matters program and takes place on January 11, 2012 at 1PM. The cost is $10 and free to members of the museum.

Google +Are you using Google+? Follow Annenberg Learner on Google+ for updates on events, highlights, and discussions about using Annenberg Learner materials. Share your favorite Annenberg Learner resources and click +1 to recommend our posts and start conversations.


Print Catalog

To request a copy of our Annenberg Learner full catalog or our subject catalogs in Science and Math, Humanities, Literature and Language Arts, and Social Studies, please send an email to order@learner.org. Be sure to include a mailing address in your request. Thank you!


Annenberg Foundation Update



The Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles currently presents “Digital Darkroom, An Exploration of Altered Realities,” featuring the work of 17 artists from around the world. Compare their images created using Photoshop with more traditional paintings and sculptures of dreamscapes and personal fantasies by artists from aboriginal artists to surrealists in program 2, “Dreams and Visions,” of Art Through Time

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