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Annenberg Learner Update

July 2011 




Advance excellent teaching with Annenberg Learner.

In the Spotlight for July


Current Events

  • Volcanic Activity

Annenberg Learner Announcements

  • Print Catalog and Social Media

Annenberg Foundation Update


Curriculum Focus: Summer Professional Development


Connecting Learning with Special Days

  • Machu Picchu Discovered July 24, 1911
  • Independence Day, July 4
  • Bastille Day, France's National Holiday, July 14

Notable July Birthdays

  • Rube Goldberg July 4, 1883
  • Erno Rubik July 13, 1944
  • Nelson Mandela July 18, 1918




Volcanic Activity

Earth and Space Science 

Puyehue Volcano in Chile erupted on June 4, 2011 after being inactive for 51 years. Volcanoes in Iceland and Ethiopia also have been active in May and June. Volcanoes can be disruptive, dangerous, and fascinating. Learn about the systems within the earth's crust that drive them and how humans on the surface deal with their explosive nature.

Earth Revealed, program 13, "Volcanism," not only details the features of volcanoes, it also shows how volcanoes provide clues to what is happening inside our Earth.

See how the small fishing island of Heimaey, Iceland saved its port from an erupting volcano in 1973. Watch the second half of program 6, "Challenges in the Hinterlands" from The Power of Place.

Geographers study Tungurahua, a volcano in Ecuador, in order to prevent future tragedies from eruptions. Watch this case study in the second half of workshop 2, "Latin America," of Teaching Geography.

Check our more resources on volcanoes:
Planet Earth, program 1, "The Living Machine"
Earth and Space Science, session 4, "The Engine that Drives the Earth"

Interactives, Volcanoes
Interactives, Dynamic Earth

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Annenberg Learner Announcements



Print Catalog

To request a copy of our new Annenberg Learner catalog, please send an email to Be sure to include a mailing address in your request. Thank you!


Social Media

If you want to see the most recent connections of Annenberg Learner resources and current articles and events, subscribe to our social media resources:

*New* Subscribe to our YouTube channel to see and share course and workshop previews and clips.

"Like" us on Facebook for updates on events, highlights, and discussions about using Annenberg Learner materials.

"Follow" @AnnLearner on Twitter for daily postings that highlight our Web site content and special events.


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Annenberg Foundation Update

Beauty Culture

The Annenberg Space for Photography presents BEAUTY CULTURE, a daring, provocative, and at times, controversial exhibition that presents diverse viewpoints on beauty as it has evolved through the 20th and 21st centuries.

The series Art through Time: A Global View is a complimentary resource to the BEAUTY CULTURE exhibit. Part 13, "The Body," explores how the body has been used for creative expression throughout time and cultures. 

Keep up with news and information about the Annenberg Foundation by subscribing to one or more of the Foundation newsletters.

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Curriculum Focus: Summer Professional Development



                                                          Reading K2

                                                          WorkshopFor many teachers, summer is a great time to reflect about the past year and prepare for the new year ahead. Maybe you want to learn more about an area of your field, discover new activities to do with your students, or just refresh your current knowledge and practices. Annenberg Learner's extensive Web site ( houses free materials (videos, interactives, print guides, etc) to help you fulfill professional development requirements or create your own informal professional learning group. You can also start working towards fall graduate credit through Colorado State University. Look at the enrollment dates, deadlines, and credit availability dates online.


Here are some options by grade level. For a full list of all professional development workshops and courses visit this page.  


Elementary School Workshops
Use Teaching Reading K-2 to study critical topics for teaching reading by understanding how literacy research undergirds effective classroom organization and teaching.

Study multiple art forms and design a multi-arts unit, whether you are a classroom teacher or arts specialist teacher, with The Arts in Every Classroom.

Guide your students to become interactive readers with Engaging with Literature.
Middle School Workshops
In Making Meaning in Literature, learn techniques to help students become engaged and enthusiastic readers.

Teaching Multicultural Literature introduces you to diverse American writers and the teaching strategies for bringing their work into your classroom.

Write in the Middle demonstrates effective practices for writing instruction.

High School Workshops and Courses
Bridging World History looks at history as a whole, exploring themes and global patterns across time and place.

Artifacts & Fiction: Workshop in American Literature teaches the use of artifacts within multiple sub disciplines in the study and interpretation of literature.

Mathematics Illuminated explores major areas of mathematics, from humankind's earliest study of prime numbers, to the cutting-edge mathematics used to reveal the shape of the universe.


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Connecting Learning with Special Days


Bridging,, World HistoryMachu Picchu Discovered July 24, 1911
On July 24, 1911, Hiram Bingham discovered Machu Picchu, the ancient Incan ruin. In Bridging World History, unit 8, "Early Economies," learn about the Inca Empire and view pictures of Machu Picchu.   To better understand how archaeologists reconstruct social hierarchies from finds at ancient sites, view the program "Realms" from Out of the Past.

Independence Day, July 4
In unit 4,"Revolutionary Perspectives," of America's History in the Making, examine the events leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence and other state constitutions.

Watch A Biography of America, program 4, "The Coming of Independence," to learn about important events such as the Boston Massacre, the American Revolution, and the signing of the Declaration of Independence.   Program 5, "A New System of Government," presents the minds that came together to create new systems of government for the American people.
Other resources for Independence Day include:

The Western Tradition, program 37, "The American Revolution" and program 38, "The American Republic"
American Passages: A Literary Survey, unit 4, "Spirit of Nationalism: Declaring Independence, 1710-1850"
American Passages archive
Bastille Day, France's National Holiday, July 14 
For background about the French Revolution look at The Western Tradition, programs 39 and 40, which discuss the collapse of the monarchy in France as it skidded into the Reign of Terror.

Immerse yourself in the French language with our popular series, French in Action. Learn how to start conversations about the weather, your health, and entertainment, among many topics.
Teaching Foreign Languages K-12 Library presents eight French language classrooms from beginning through advanced that serve as models for crafting effective teaching environments.  For example, in "Chicken Pox" you will see French immersion kindergarteners demonstrate their knowledge of body parts as they read Marc Brown's story, "Arthur a la varicelle" (Arthur has the chicken pox), consolidating the vocabulary with a song about the chicken pox.


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Notable July Birthdays

Rube Goldberg July 4, 1883
Rube Goldberg is a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist, sculptor, and author known for his drawings depicting complicated and comical contraptions that perform simple tasks. In workshop 3, "Transfer and Conversion of Energy," of Science in Focus: Energy, for elementary and middle school teachers, see if you can tell where the energy comes from as you move through different stages of the Cat-Traption, a Rube Goldberg-style machine.  Have your students create their own Cat-Traption as part of a STEM learning project.

Erno Rubik July 13, 1944
Erno Rubik is the Hungarian inventor of the Rubik's cube. Physics for the 21st Century, unit 9, "Biophysics," section 5, "Free Energy Landscapes," explains hierarchical states using a Rubik's Cube. In biology, the distance between these states can explain, for example, how far two species are apart on the evolutionary tree.

Nelson Mandela July 18, 1918

Historical and Cultural Contexts

In the Historical and Cultural Contexts Interactive, look at the language and tone of speeches and what speeches can tell us about historical context. The three highlighted speeches include one by Nelson Mandela. 

Invitation to World Literature, program 5, reviews themes in the Bhagavad Gita, some of which inspired the philosophy of civil disobedience of Nelson Mandela.


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