Advance excellent teaching with Annenberg Learner.


***  In the Spotlight for May ***                   

         Current Events
o    National Geographic Bee (May 24-25)

o    2011 Pulitzer Prize Winners Announced

o    Drug Resistance Gene Found in Superbug Strains

         Annenberg Learner Announcements

o    Webby Award Honors Art Through Time: A Global View

o    Print Catalog and Social Media

         Curriculum Focus: Psychology

         Annenberg Foundation Update

         Connecting Learning with Special Days

o    Spring Astronomy Day (May 7) & Spring Astronomy Week (May 2-8)

o    Brown vs. the Board of Education (May 17, 1954)

o    Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month

o    Latino Books Month

o    National Family Month (May 8 Mother's Day to June 19 Father's Day)

         Notable May Birthdays

o    Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803)

o    Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819)

         Distance Learning, Licensing, and Sales





National Geographic Bee National Finals (May 24-25)

Bees aren't the only things buzzing this spring. Students all over the U.S. are buzzing about geography! Every year students in grades 4 through 8 from 54 U.S. states and territories compete in the National Geographic Bee, hosted by National Geographic.

Use our resources to craft a geography game or competition right in your own classroom.

Find information about the world's many regions with programs that zero in on specific locales from Iceland to Cote d'Ivoire to Sao Paulo in The Power of Place: Geography for the 21st Century.

Teaching Geography features effective teaching at the middle and high school levels.

Find maps of the U.S. showing the changes in territorial boundaries between Pre-colonial America and contemporary times on our Biography of America Web site.

Additional geography teaching resources include:


Human Geography: People, Places, and Change   


2011 Pulitzer Prize Winners for Letters and Drama Announced

Eric Foner won a Pulitzer Prize for "The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery."  Two of his previous books on Reconstruction are listed in the resources for America's History in the Making, unit 10, "Reconstructing a Nation."

Bruce Norris received the Pulitzer Prize for his play "Clybourne Park," a comedy about race relations.  After reading "Clybourne Park," use the overview questions from American Passages, unit 14, "Becoming Visible," to talk about the American identity post World War II.  The 1950s saw the beginning of suburbia and the challenges facing shifting neighborhood demographics. 



Scientists Find an Antibiotic Resistance Gene in Superbug Strains


Discover Magazine reports that scientists are studying a drug-resistant gene found in bacteria responsible for cholera and dysentery. These bacteria have proven resistant to up to 14 antibiotics.


Rediscovering Biology provides an in-depth view of the genetics of diseases such as HIV, how bacteria become antibiotic resistant, and how infectious diseases emerge. Animations of an efflux pump and bacterial transformation aid visual learners.  Dr. Rita Colwell talks about dealing with cholera epidemics on the Rediscovering Biology Web site.


Get a primer on how bacteria pass their DNA and on drug resistant bacteria in Unseen Life on Earth: Introduction to Microbiology, program 5, "Genetic Transfer." 





Webby Awards Honors Go to Art Through Time: A Global View

The International Academy of Digital Arts has named Annenberg Learner and WNET/13's Art Through Time: A Global View an Official Honoree in The 15th Annual Webby Awards. 

The Official Honoree distinction is awarded to the top 10% of all work entered, which includes nearly 10,000 entries worldwide this year. Explore the rich Web resources, such as video programs, online textbook, and a gallery of more than 250 images.



Print Catalog and Social Media


Our new Annenberg Learner Catalog is ready!  To request a copy, please send an email to


If you haven't done so already, please take our social media survey to let us know the best ways we can use social media to reach you.  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.




Curriculum Focus: Psychology



In recognition of Mental Health Month, our curriculum focus is psychology. Learn more about topics such as death, aging, the brain and mind, and early childhood development.


The Whole Child: A Caregiver's Guide to the First Five Years highlights research about child development in these critical years.


Watch the documentary Minds of Our Own to see how children in grades K-12 learn and why many of our assumptions about student learning are incorrect.


High school, college, and adult learners can explore the many areas of psychology with these video series:


Learn about different ways people cope when facing death or losing a loved one in Death: A Personal Understanding.


Discovering Psychology and its accompanying Web site covers topics from sensation and perception, to language development, and complexities of culture.


Take a fresh look at the experience of aging with the instructional series Growing Old in a New Age


Seasons of Life is an introduction to psychological development from birth to old age.


The World of Abnormal Psychology looks at the mind's role in illnesses such as substance abuse and depression.


A Private Universe is a documentary on education that brings together psychology and learning theory.


Annenberg Foundation Update

Premiering May 21, 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. BEAUTY CULTURE compellingly illustrates the power of the still image in shaping cultural ideals and expectations of feminine beauty — and photography's undeniable influence on conceptions of the Self.


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.


Be the first to receive news and information about the Annenberg Foundation by subscribing to one or more of the Foundation newsletters.


***Connecting Learning with Special Days***


Spring Astronomy Day (May 7) & Spring Astronomy Week (May 2-8)

The Private Universe Project in Science explores the challenges of teaching science. Workshop 1 looks at how teachers learn to elicit ideas from students, with astronomy as the main topic. 

What causes the phases of the moon? Think you know? Test your scientific knowledge with A Private Universe Project, Teachers' Lab interactive, and learn about why different people might have assumptions that lead them to the answers they choose.

Take a look at Cosmology and Beyond, units 10, "Dark Matter," and 11, "Dark Energy," of Physics for the 21st Century.   On the extensive Web site, the interactive lab, Evolution of Large Scale Structure in the Universe, helps teachers and students understand concepts relevant to physics on a cosmic scale.


Additional resources on astronomy include:


Planet Earth, program 4, "Tales from Other Worlds," and program 6, "The Solar Sea"


Earth Revealed, program 2, "The Restless Planet"


Essential Science for Teachers: Earth and Space Science, program 8, "The Solar System: Order out of Chaos."


Brown vs. the Board of Education (May 17, 1954)

In 1954, a legal team led by Charles H. Houston and Thurgood Marshall persuaded the United States Supreme Court to decide in favor of Brown in Oliver L. Brown et al v. the Board of Education of Topeka (KS) et al., which helped end racial segregation in schools and other public facilities.

Predating Brown vs. the Board of Education, Mendez v. Westminister (1945) was a federal case that challenged the segregation laws of California public schools.  Find out about this case in America's History in the Making, unit 20, "Egalitarian America."

A Biography of America, program 24, "The Sixties," is a portrait of a decade with characters that include Lyndon Johnson, Stokely Carmichael, and Fanny Lou Hamer. This program also addresses the civil rights of women.

Delve deeper into civil rights issues by looking at Democracy in America, program 5, "Civil Rights: Demanding Equality." 


Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month

Explore Annenberg Learner resources to discover the rich history, cultural heritage, and personal stories of Americans of Asian and Pacific Island descent.

The Power of Place: Geography for the 21st Century offers information about Asia and the South Pacific.  Programs 9 through 18 cover topics such as rural and urban contrasts, changing landscapes, and participation in the global economy.  The Web site includes discussion questions and ideas for extension activities.

Read about the experience of Asian immigrants in America in the articles (PDF) "Early Chinese Immigration and the Process of Education" and "Asian Immigration to the United States" from the National Center for History in the Schools. These resources are found on the Web site for America's History in the Making.

For additional references to Asian history and culture, look at these resources:

Bridging World History, unit 26, "World History and Identity"

Teaching Multicultural Literature: A Workshop for the Middle Grades

The Expanding Canon: Teaching Multicultural Literature in High School, session 8, "Critical Pedagogy: Abiodun Oyewole and Lawson Fusao Inada"

American Passages: A Literary Survey, unit 12, "Migrant Struggle," features author Carlos Bulosan and unit 16, "Search for Identity," features author Maxine Hong Kingston. 



Latino Books Month

Learn about less well-known Chicano authors including Gloria Anzaldúa, Americo Paredes, and Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca in American Passages: A Literary Survey.

The Expanding Canon: Teaching Multicultural Literature in High School gives teachers ideas for teaching strategies such as reader response, inquiry, and cultural studies. Featured authors include Rudolfo Anaya, Pat Mora, and Esmeralda Santiago.

Middle school teachers, take a look at Teaching Multicultural Literature. Resources include a Web site, videos, and instructional strategies centered around multicultural authors and their works including Alma Flor Ada and Julia Alvarez.

Program 11 of Invitation to World Literature showcases "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia MÁrquez. Teachers may watch for their own professional development and enjoyment, as well as share the program with high school and college students.



National Family Month (May 8 Mother's Day to June 19 Father's Day)

During National Family Month, we want to help you think about ways that you can use the Annenberg Learner site to create fun AND educational activities that your family can do together.  Please feel free to share your own inspired ideas by posting them on our Annenberg Learner Facebook page.

For middle and high school children, choose any of the content courses with Web sites and create a scavenger hunt.  Write questions and have the family search for the answers. (Look for a sample scavenger hunt on our Facebook page.) Time each person and reward the first person to finish with all the correct answers. Good resources for this activity include:


American Passages: A Literary Survey

Mathematics Illuminated

Earth Revealed

Physics for the 21st Century

America's History in the Making

The Power of Place: Geography for the 21st Century

Voices and Visions


Gaze at the Moon and keep a journal. Use the Moon Journal activity from Looking at Learning …Again to track changes in the moon's appearance. The pages include questions, materials, and instructions for the activities.


Follow the migration of monarch butterflies and report your local sightings on the Journey North site.  Kids have their own page where they can watch videos of monarchs hatching and other natural phenomena.


Learn and practice French or Spanish with the family by watching French in Action or Destinos.


Document your family's history and then create a family history quilt as an art project.  The library Arts in Every Classroom, program 12, "Borrowing from the Arts to Enhance Learning," shows a classroom where students create these quilts. Go to about 22 minutes into the video.


Play a board game to help kids learn fractions.  You can recreate the Fraction Tracks game shown in program 5 of Teaching Math: A Video Library 5-8.


Solve the Eric the Sheep puzzle in this interactive from Learning Math: Patterns, Functions, and Algebra.




Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819)

American Passages, unit 5, "Masculine Heroes," includes a profile on revolutionary poet Walt Whitman. Read about how he changed American poetry with a novel style and themes.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803)

In American Passages, unit 4, "Spirit of Nationalism," learn how the optimism expressed in the writer's poetry contrasted with the tragedies he experienced in his life.




*** Distance Learning, Licensing, and Sales ***


NEW: Courseware content in (wmv) digital file format is now available for purchase through our shopping cart. For more information, visit our FAQ. Top courses are now available.
FREE DISTANCE LEARNING 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.


As you plan your curriculum for fall 2011, keep in mind that we now offer the flexibility to license our traditional course or professional development collection by the program or full series, or by the entire Annenberg Learner collection.


REMINDER: Summer 2011 licenses are now due.

UPDATE IN PROGRESS: Economics U$A will have updated content, a refreshed look, and a full Web site available for licensing January 2012 and available for preview fall 2011.  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

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. Her territory includes NY (except for NYC) and Michigan. Linda may be contacted at:

Linda Hellman Cuniberti
3065 High Street
Mohegan Lake, NY 10547
(800) 399-3240         

(914) 603-3094 fax



Maryland Library Association, May 4-6, Ocean City, MD.

USDLA, Join our session May 4 from 8 to 9 a.m. in Salon G at Hilton at the Ballpark, St. Louis, MO. "Annenberg Learner: Media and Open Sources at"  We will explore the wealth of open source materials available at



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