Annenberg Learner Update
      August 2014

Follow Us:

Facebook  Twitter  Follow Annenberg Learner
                                          on Linked-In  Pinterest  Learner Log Blog  YouTube Google Plus
Advance excellent teaching with Annenberg Learner.

In the Spotlight for August

Curriculum Focus: Inquiry-Based Learning

Current Events
    U.S. and Latin American Immigration Issues
Connecting Learning with Historic Days
    American Artists Appreciation Month
    Erwin Schrödinger (b. August 12, 1887) 
    19th Amendment Ratified (August 18, 1920)

Note: Now look for Annenberg Learner Announcements, including new resources, the blog, and professional development opportunities, in the right column of the update.

Curriculum Focus: Inquiry-Based Learning

Inquiry-based learning is not about memorizing information. Students become life-long learners when they know how to ask questions, analyze the information and data they gather, and develop appropriate resolutions to problems. “So it's really understanding the origins and where that knowledge comes from that is profoundly important for the process, for children to learn… They need to learn to ask ‘how do we know if it's true’ and ‘is it true’ and ‘should we look at it another different way.’ ‘Where is the evidence?’ Without that, the factual knowledge is not very useful. – Karen Worth of the Educational Development Center, commenting in Learning Science Through Inquiry

So how do we teach our students to do just that? Here are some examples of building inquiry skills in science classrooms from Annenberg Learner:

Learning Science
                                              Through InquiryIn the workshops for Learning Science Through Inquiry, watch teachers guide students to explore their questions and find meaning and purpose in their science investigations.

Discover why providing students opportunities to use inquiry strategies is essential to learning, and view inquiry-based teaching strategies in Looking at Learning...Again, workshop 4.

Journey North’s Menu of Inquiry Strategies lists a variety of activities that allow students to pursue their intellectual interests. Students learn to think like scientists by developing hypotheses, planning experiments, asking questions, reviewing data, and considering implications.
In Essential Science for Teachers: Physical Science, the session 8 lesson plan, Electrostatics Exhibits; The Exploratorium, "Open Pathways," describes students examining the electrostatic properties of materials and asking questions that lead to further exploration of the topic.

Current Events

U.S. and Latin American Immigration Issues

President Obama met with leaders of Central American countries (Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala) on Friday, July 25th to discuss the ongoing problem of illegal immigration, especially the recent influx of children crossing the Mexican border into the United States. The New York Times reports that “An estimated 90,000 ‘unaccompanied minors’ are projected to show up at the U.S. border with Mexico this year, hoping to escape gang violence, poverty, and domestic abuse and join relatives in the United States.” This influx is taxing U.S. resources at the border and forcing politicians to reignite the immigration policy debate. Click on this graph,
Children 12 and under are fastest growing group of unaccompanied minors at U.S. border from the Pew Research Center for recent statistics.

Discuss borderland issues with the help of our resources:

The Power of PlaceWhy do people choose to make the often perilous journey to the U.S. and how does our government decide who stays? Students use primary and secondary sources to examine immigration trends of people from Latin American countries, including El Salvador and Guatemala, in Social Studies in Action, A Teaching Practices Library, K-12, program 24, “Migration From Latin America.”

Witness the personal struggles of a Mexican family in The Power of Place: Geography for the 21st Century, program 2, "Boundaries and Borderlands." This program shares the story of a mother who crosses the border to make a better life for her family.

Middle school students get a child’s eye view of the immigrant experience when reading “Me Llamo María Isabel/My Name Is Maria Isabel” by Alma Flor Ada. Watch the lesson and learn about the author in Teaching Multicultural Literature, workshop 7, “Social Justice and Action.” 

Connecting Learning with Historic Days

American Artists Appreciation Month

This August show your appreciation for lesser-known American artists. Examine with your students how different artists interpret and reimagine their physical and social environments.

Puerto Rican-born artist Miguel Luciano uses humor to explore the historical, political, and social relationships between Puerto Rico and the U.S. See Luciano's painting Pelea de Gallos (Fight of the Roosters) in Art Through Time, program 1, “Converging Cultures.”

In program 10, “The Natural World,” view the unspoiled beauty of the romanticized West in Albert Bierstadt’s painting Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point Trail.

Art Through TimeRevenge of the Goldfish is one of the elaborate dream-like sets that Sandy Skoglund builds and then photographs. Learn more about her work in program 2, “Dreams and Visions.”

Portrait painter Kehinde Wiley reinterprets old master paintings by replacing the European white elite figures with young African American men in their street clothes. The subjects of the paintings choose their own scenes from art books. Program 9, “Portraits,” includes Equestrian Portrait of the Count-Duke Olivares, based on a similar portrait of Don Gaspar de Guzmán by Velázquez.

To see the work of more American artists, browse the Art Through Time series by region.

Watch a lesson plan for younger students in The Arts in Every Classroom, A Video Library K-5, program 9, “Collaborating With a Cultural Resource.” Elementary students in New Orleans study art by local naturalist and painter Will Henry Stevens. They explore their cultural heritage while acquiring painting skills.

Erwin Schrödinger (born August 12, 1887)

In 1925, Nobel laureate Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger reasoned that since particles can behave like waves, there must be a wave equation for particles. Schrödinger's equation provided a method for understanding the structure of all matter called wave mechanics. See more on wave mechanics in Physics for the 21st Century, unit 5, “The Quantum World” and in Chemistry: Challenges and Solutions, unit 3, “Atoms and Light—Exploring Atomic and Electronic Structure.”

19th Amendment Ratified (August 18, 1920)     

Follow the Women’s Suffrage Movement Artifacts Pinterest board for teaching materials by Annenberg Learner and Newseum Education that support this topic. Find pictures of primary sources and online multimedia resources.  

Look for more connections to historical events and important days in August in the 2013 August update and in upcoming Facebook and Twitter posts.

Sign up to receive messages highlighting the news, events, and programming of Annenberg Learner, as well as ideas for using our resources in the classroom.

Join Mailing List

Professional Development

New for graduate credit this fall: Chemistry: Challenges and Solutions offered through Colorado State University. Enroll now through Oct. 13. Find other courses for graduate credit and CEU opportunities through PBS TeacherLine and Colorado State.

Sign up now for the National Geographic and Annenberg Learner Water: The Essential Resource MOOC offered online through Coursera. Next session begins October 15, 2014.

Learner Log Blog

Share and find lesson plans and activities at the Learner Log Blog.  Learner Log highlights teaching strategies and subject area resources from Learner.org and other educational organizations, and provides a forum to discuss them with your peers. Tell us what topics you would like to see in the blog at blog@learner.org.

Annenberg Learner Announcements

Get ready for Constitution Day by browsing the Civics Renewal Network website for a wide array of free civics education resources from a consortium of nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations including Annenberg Learner. Follow @CivicsRenewal on Twitter for announcements about a Constitution Day celebration on Sept. 17.

Stay tuned for three new series on photography, music, and reading and writing from Annenberg Learner to be released during the 2014-2015 school year.

Watch, read, and learn about Gilgamesh, the oldest known masterpiece of world literature, on the Invitation to World Literature: Gilgamesh multi-touch book for iPads. Purchase on iTunes for just $3.99.

For a copy of our full catalog, email order@learner.org. Be sure to include a mailing address in your request. Thank you!

Annenberg Foundation Update

Visit the Annenberg Space for Photography’s Country: Portraits of an American Sound Exhibit, now through September 28 in Los Angeles, CA. The free exhibit presents images of the pioneers, poets and icons of country music. Guided group tours are available.

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