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Annenberg Learner Update

June 2011 




Advance excellent teaching with Annenberg Learner.

In the Spotlight for June


Current Events

Annenberg Learner Announcements

  • Remi Award and Telly Award for Invitation to World Literature
  • California's Education and the Environment Initiative
  • Print Catalog and Social Media

Annenberg Foundation Update


Curriculum Focus: Community Service and Citizenship


Connecting Learning with Special Days

  • Caribbean-American Heritage Month
  • Battle of Little Bighorn June 25, 1876
  • Babe Ruth, who retired June 2, 1935
  • First Roller Coaster in America Opens June 16, 1884

Notable June Birthdays

  • Josephine Baker June 3, 1906
  • Allen Ginsberg June 3, 1926
  • Gwendolyn Brooks June 7, 1917
  • Paul Gauguin June 7, 1848
  • Frank Lloyd Wright June 8, 1867
  • Maurice Sendak June 10, 1928
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe June 14, 1811
  • M.C. Escher June 17, 1898
  • George Orwell June 25, 1903

Distance Learning, Licensing, and Sales




Egypt Wants Queen Nefertiti Back


According to, the Egyptian minister for antiquities has requested that Germany return a 3,400-year-old preserved bust of Queen Nefertiti, housed in a museum in Berlin. Egypt also seeks the return of four other Egyptian artifacts currently scattered around the globe. Hear a discussion of Egyptian art that represents rulers including Nefertiti and the Pharaoh Akhenaten in Art Through Time, program 13, "The Body."  



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Humans versus the Environment

April and May this year have seen volatile weather -- widespread and devastating tornadoes, and the slow-rising Mississippi. Take a look at the following resources to help your students better understand these events.



The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is the government bureau that oversees the response to natural disasters. In Democracy in America, program 8, "Bureaucracy: A Controversial Necessity," see how FEMA was formed out of a public need and what it means to be a bureaucrat.  



Learn to identify the conditions that lead to dangerous tornadoes in the tornado chaser activity of the Weather interactive.  


River Flooding

Program 19, "Running Water I: Rivers, Erosion and Deposition," of Earth Revealed, shows characteristics of rivers, how they form landscapes, and aspects of flooding.  


Students can gain a deeper understanding of our dependence upon water and how water cycles from oceans, atmosphere, and land with The Habitable Planet, unit 8, "Water Resources." This unit also talks about how dams used to control water flow affect the surrounding environment.  


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Tree-Ring Records Can Improve El Niño Prediction


Science Daily reported that an international team of climate scientists discovered that tree-ring records from North America showing how the El Niño weather pattern can be used to improve predictions in climate models.


Click on Interactives, Collapse: Why Do Civilizations Fall? to find the meaning of dendrochronology and how tree rings provide information about past rainfall amounts. This information can be used to study how climates of the past might have affected life on Earth.  


Weather Interactive, The Water Cycle, explains the weather phenomenon, El Niño, which we blame for everything from flooding to droughts to crop shortages.   


The Habitable Planet, unit 3, "Oceans," section 5, "Ocean Circulation and Climate Cycles," includes information about El Niño and its sister weather event La Niña. Watch the video for unit 3 to see a case study of scientist, Mark Cane, who developed a widely used El Niño computer model.  


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Annenberg Learner Announcements

Telly Award 


Invitation to World Literature Two-Time Award Winner

We are excited to announce that Invitation to World Literature, which takes a fresh look at ancient and modern classics from The Odyssey to One Hundred Years of Solitude, has won a Telly Award and a Remi Award! The Telly Awards honor the very best local, regional, and cable television commercials and programs, as well as the finest video and film productions, and work created for the Web.  The Remi Awards are presented by WorldFest International Independent Film Festival, Houston. 


California's Education and the Environment Initiative

The California EPA is spreading the word about their Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI) Curriculum for California K-12 teachers. With State Board of Education approval of the EEI Curriculum last year, hundreds of California teachers are now implementing the EEI Curriculum in their classrooms. Annenberg Learner helped CalEPA produce discs of the curriculum for early adopters.


Find out more information about the EEI curriculum, or for specific questions, call (916) 341-6769 or send an e-mail to 


Print Catalog and Social Media

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!


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


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


Watch program previews and clips on the Annenberg Learner channel on YouTube. 


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Annenberg Foundation Update


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: Community Service and Citizenship


June 23 is United Nations Public Service Day. Celebrate the value and virtue of serving the community all month (and year) long and inspire your students to become involved in their local and global communities.


In Social Studies in Action, program 7, "Caring for the Community," follow along as Debbie Lerner engages her K-2 students through a community service project, from planning and fundraising to recruiting classmates to help.


Get college and high school students thinking about how they can support causes close to their hearts by looking at inspirational figures from the past. A Biography of America, program 8, "The Reform Impulse," highlights the Great Awakening, the women's movement, and the abolitionist movement, all fueled by injustices of the Industrial Revolution. 


America's History in the Making, unit 15, "The Progressives," also takes a look at reform movements that sprang up in the early 1900s as a result of the growing industrial labor market. This unit looks at how various reform movements sometimes clashed, having both democratic and anti-democratic structures.   


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Connecting Learning with Special Days


Caribbean-American Heritage Month

Use Caribbean music to illustrate the musical elements in Exploring the World of Music, program 1, "Sound, Music, and the Environment," program 5, "Rhythm," and program 8, Texture."


Art Through Time, part 4, "Ceremony and Society," takes a look at ceremonies such as Carnival in the Caribbean from sociological, cultural, and historical points of view.  


Social Studies in Action: Grades 9-12, program 24, "Migration from Latin America," shows students in a tenth grade class exploring why people emigrate from their homeland. Individual groups of students focus on different Latin American countries, including Haiti, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic.  


Battle of Little Bighorn June 25, 1876

Find out which plains tribes engaged in the Battle of Little Bighorn using the social studies interactive United States History Map.  


James Welch, who wrote "Killing Custer: The Battle of the Little Bighorn and the Fate of the Plains Indians," is one of the featured authors in The Expanding Canon: Teaching Multicultural Literature in High School, session 1. Watch as teachers and students use the Reader Response strategy, which emphasizes the reader's role in interpreting texts, to discuss Welch's works.  


Spring and Summer Fun: Baseball and Roller Coasters

Summer is almost here and baseball is in the air. What can students learn from the sport? In the spirit of Babe Ruth, who retired June 2, 1935, let's play ball!


In American Passages, unit 14, "Becoming Visible," read about the role of baseball in American culture. What also made baseball a great topic for literature in the second half of the 19th century?  


Watch a baseball-themed lesson on creating a density curve in program 4, "Normal Distributions," of Against All Odds: Inside Statistics. High school students learn why baseball players today are less likely to achieve a .400 batting average.  


Social Studies in Action: A Teaching Practices Library K-12, program 14, "Understanding Stereotypes," helps students understand stereotyping and its impact on our lives. Students research the Negro Baseball Leagues and write a persuasive letter to convince publishers of why they should include information about the leagues in publications.


First Roller Coaster in America Opens June 16, 1884

In Science in Focus: Force and Motion, workshop 5, "Keep on Rolling," first grade students build on their prior experience with rolling objects as they design, build, and experiment with roller coaster models. After watching, try out the activity in your own classroom. 


The interactive Amusement Park Physics not only gives middle and high school students information about the history and physics of roller coasters, it also provides students a chance to design their own while considering both fun and safety.  


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Notable June Birthdays


If we invited our June birthday celebrants (including a singer/actor, beat poet, architect, and abolitionist) to dinner, it would make for some interesting conversation this month.


Allen Ginsberg (June 3, 1926)

Allen Ginsberg, a poet from the Beat Generation, was a major voice in the 1960s, writing prose-like poetry about living on the fringes of society. He is one of the featured poets in American Passages, A Literary Survey, program 15, "Poetry of Liberation."  


Gwendolyn Brooks (June 7, 1917)

American Passages, unit 14, "Becoming Visible," includes activities and artifacts for reading Gwendolyn Brooks's work. Her poetry and prose offer great insight to and commentary on African-American life, ethnicity, and identity during the 20th century.  


Frank Lloyd Wright (June 8, 1867)

In Art Through Time, program 7, "Domestic Life," read about how Frank Lloyd Wright was inspired by both form and function in nature. See a photo of the stunning Fallingwater home Wright built for the Kaufmann family in Bear Run, PA in the '30s.  


American Passages provides a rich archive of material for studying American literature. Look at the archive for unit 10, where Wright's interest in Japanese architecture is discussed. And see a photograph of Wright's home and studio near Chicago for an example of how he used Orientalism in his architecture.  


Maurice Sendak (June 10, 1928)

In Arts in Every Classroom: A Workshop for Elementary School Teachers, program 4, "Creating a Mult-Arts Performance Piece," watch as teachers create a performance piece based on Cirque de Soleil's "Quidam," and then follow the lesson plan instructions to create your own performance piece for "Where the Wild Things Are."  


More June Birthdays to Celebrate:

Josephine Baker (June 3, 1906)

American Passages, unit 10, "Rhythms in Poetry"  

American Passages, unit 11, "Modernist Portraits"  


Paul Gauguin (June 7, 1848)

Art Through Time, part 13, "The Body"  


Harriet Beecher Stowe (June 14, 1811)

American Passages, program 7, "Slavery and Freedom"  

Artifacts & Fiction: Workshop in American Literature, workshop 3, "Social History"  


M.C. Escher (June 17, 1898)

Interactives, Math in Daily Life  

Teachers' Lab: The Science of Light, Funhouse Mirrors Background  


George Orwell (June 25, 1903)

Making Meaning in Literature Grades 6-8, workshop 4, "Diversity in Texts"  

Developing Writers: A Workshop for High School Teachers, workshop 7, "Learning from Professional Writers"  


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Distance Learning, Licensing, and Sales


Consumer Alert: Please be aware of other vendors selling Annenberg Learner materials. Buying product that is not sold directly through Annenberg Learner is not guaranteed, nor authorized, and cannot be returned for credit.


Reminder: Summer 2011 licenses due now.


New video: Economics U$A is in the process of being updated and will be available for Winter 2012 licensing. Our new Neuroscience and the Classroom: Making Connections will be available late fall 2011 for viewing and winter 2012 for licensing.


If you would like to nominate a course to be updated or have an idea for a new course, let us know. Send your ideas to


Digital Downloads:  Courseware content in (wmv) digital file format is now available for purchase through our shopping cart. For more information, visit our FAQ. Select courses are now available.


FREE DL License Opportunity: License our newest courses at no charge in place of, or in addition to, courses in the same discipline area for one semester. This offer covers The Habitable Planet in earth sciences, Physics for the 21st Century, Invitation to World Literature in language arts, and Art Through Time. Email and request a free preview DVD that includes a series overview.


We want to welcome Linda Hellman as our newest sales representative. Linda brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the K-20 educational market and is ready to assist you. Her territory includes NY (except for NYC) and Michigan.  Linda may be contacted at: 

(800) 399-3240

(914) 603-3094 fax


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