Annenberg Learner Update
      January 2013

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In the Spotlight for January

Annenberg Learner Announcements
    Read Our Update, Win a Samsung Tablet!
Journey North Mystery Class Challenge begins January 28, 2013
Curriculum Focus: Geography: Human Migration

Current Events
    First Photo of Double Helix Taken

Connecting Learning with Special Days
    Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January 21)
    International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27)

Notable January Birthdays
    Zora Neale Hurston (January 7, 1891)
    Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809)
    Isaac Newton (January 4, 1643, per the modern calendar)
    Carl Sandburg (January 6, 1878)
    Even More January Birthdays
Annenberg Foundation Update

Annenberg Learner Announcements

Read Our Update, Win a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Tablet!

                                                          GiveawayFor being a loyal reader of our monthly update, you are eligible to win a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Tablet  in our tablet contest beginning in January and running through March 31, 2013. You can spread the word about our newsletter to your friends and colleagues so they can sign up to receive monthly highlights of news, events, and programming of Annenberg Learner. All eligible contestants must be signed up by January 31, 2013 and remain on the mailing list through the end of March for a chance to win. Current members of this mailing list who are still on the list through March 31, 2013 are automatically entered. We will be giving away tablets to two lucky readers

Legal info: Contests found on Learner.org are open only to residents of the United States over 18 years of age. The contest is subject to all federal, state, and local regulations. Offer void where restricted or prohibited. The Foundation will not be responsible for payment of taxes on the value of any prize awarded.  For full contest rules, visit our legal policy page.

Journey North Mystery Class Challenge begins January 28, 2013

You and your students can be a part of the big mystery with Journey North! Students use clues related to sunlight change (photoperiod) to find ten mystery locations around the world. In the process, they learn how seasons affect life on Earth and practice geography skills. 

Curriculum Focus: Geography: Human Migration

Why don’t humans stay in one area? The following resources look at the causes of both early and more recent human migrations related to climate, economics, and cultural and political conflict.

                                                          World HistoryLet’s start from the beginning with Bridging World History, unit 3, “Human Migrations.”  What do archeological and linguistic studies tell us about how early humans moved across Africa, Eurasia, and the Americas?

See this animation that explains Human Migration Hypotheses in Rediscovering Biology, unit 9, “Human Evolution.”

Teaching Geography looks at population growth and how cooperation and conflict influence movement across the Earth.  For example, workshop 5, “Sub-Saharan Africa,” features case studies on human migration in Kenya and South Africa.  Workshop, 2, Latin America, looks at how both cultural conflict and physical geography influence migrations across Guatemala, Mexico, and Ecuador. 

The Power of Place includes several programs on human migration throughout the world. Unit 1, “Introduction: Globalization and World Regions,” Boundaries and Borderlands asks you to consider how the physical location of border towns, economic development, and U.S. border policy help shape human migration between the U.S. and its neighbor Mexico. Unit 10, “North America,” Cityscapes, Suburban Sprawl examines why Boston is full of different ethnicities and how the middle class flight from inner city to suburbia has affected farmland around Chicago. 

The full list of regions covered in The Power of Place can be found on the Web site homepage.

Current Events

DNA’s Double Helix Structure Photographed

In 1953, when physicist Francis Crick and biologist James Watson described the double helix model of the DNA super molecule, they worked from an x-ray refractive image captured by chemist Rosalind Franklin. Since that time, scientists have sequenced an entire human genome, but not until recently was an actual photograph of the DNA helix structure able to be made.  Refresh your understanding of the role of DNA in our genetic makeup and follow how its shape and purpose have come into focus over the last 60 years.

View a historical timeline of the work leading up to the isolation of DNA starting from the study of microorganisms in our DNA Interactive. 

It wasn’t Chubby Checker that made the molecule do the twist. It results from the molecule’s “chirality,” described as its handedness. Physics for the 21st Century, unit 9, “Biophysics,” describes this and other features of DNA in section 3 of the online text, The Emergent Genome.  Here you will get a closer look with still illustrations and animations linked to the text and also compare DNA with its twin RNA.  For a more basic discussion, read the online description in Essential Science for Teachers: Life Science, session 5, “DNA, Chromosomes, and Genes.”

                                                          History in the
                                                          MakingWhat have we been able to do with the information contained in the DNA molecule? A molecular anthropologist discusses using DNA evidence to trace Native American origins in America’s History in the Making, unit 21, “Global America.”  For a broader discussion of genomics look through Rediscovering Biology.

Finally, for those who like to do the math, Mathematics Illuminated, unit 2, “Combinatorics Counts,” provides a hands-on interactive on DNA sequencing in the Shotgun Sequencing Interactive. You can read up on the technique in the online textbook.

Connecting Learning with Special Days

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January 21)

Martin Luther King, Jr., a champion of human rights in the United States and also an inspiration for nonviolent protest across the globe, was born January 15, 1929. Congress designated the Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday as a national day of community service. Martin Luther King, Jr. encouraged Americans to use nonviolent protest to help solve social problems. 

Before you and your students plan your day of service activities, revisit the life and history surrounding Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Egalitarian America," unit 20 of America's History in the Making, looks at the struggle for civil rights in the U.S. from the 1940s to the 1970s.

                                                          of AmericaLearn about the social movements of the 1960s and the work of Dr. King with A Biography of America, program 24, "The Sixties."  This program covers King's leadership in both the Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam War protest.

Use literary circles like Latosha Rowley does with her 4th-, and 5th-grade students to read literature about Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement. See Engaging with Literature: A Video Library, program 6, "Building Community."

How can you encourage students to be involved in their communities?

Students in Bill Mittlefehldt’s high school Human Geography class work on a project to improve the quality of their community.  Students explain examples of ways they get involved and make connections in Making Civics Real, workshop 6, “Civic Engagement.” 

In Social Studies in Action: A Teaching Practices Library, K-12, elementary teacher Cynthia Vaughn shows how the concepts of equality and fairness can be incorporated into a general social studies lesson in the session "Leaders, Community, and Citizens." Also, the session "Unity and Diversity" introduces ways of teaching students to overcome their differences and develop a sense of community. 

International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27)

                                                          LaneHave your students already read The Diary of Anne Frank? Another book to explore with your students is ‘The Children of Willesden Lane,’  by Mona Golabek. This engaging memoir follows her mother’s experiences in the Kindertransport during the Holocaust. Find the history of the events, explanations of race and anti-semitism, musical selections from the book, and videos showing effective classroom instruction on the Teaching ‘The Children of Willesden LaneWeb site.

Watch Holocaust survivor Ibi Gabori talk about facing the possibility of her own death and the death of her family. Shuttle to 10:05 in the video Death: A Personal Understanding, program 3, “Facing Mortality.”

In Connecting with the Arts: A Teaching Practices Library Grades 6-8, program 12, teacher Rachael Hoffman-Dachelet has middle school students analyze meaning in art by Samuel Bak, who painted images from the Holocaust. 

For resources to teach about Financial Wellness Month, Women’s Suffrage, and the Founding of the League of Nations, see the January 2012 monthly update.

Notable January Birthdays

Zora Neale Hurston (January 7, 1891)

                                                          PassagesZora Neale Hurston is a featured author, along with William Faulkner, in video for American Passages, unit 13, “Southern Renaissance.”  Hurston wrote to show "racial health - a sense of black people as complete, complex, undiminished human beings, a sense that is lacking in so much black writing and literature." She was unappreciated by her peers Langston Hughes and Richard Wright, whose writing underscored the oppression of African Americans. 

In In Search of the Novel find a lesson plan to develop students’ understanding of basic literary devices while exploring racial issues as they relate to class, economics, and education. Students use the Socratic seminar to discuss readings of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and How It Feels To Be Colored Me by Zora Neale Hurston, among others. You can find her essay, “How It Feels to Be Colored Me,” here.  This link provides all you need to know about holding a Socratic seminar. 

Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809)

Edgar Allan Poe’s work focused more on the different states of consciousness than on recording aspects of American culture and history. Read about Poe’s life and the dark, sometimes supernatural, tendencies of his writing in American Passages, unit 6, "Gothic Undercurrents."  The Author Activities ask students to explore Poe’s use of setting. 

View artist James Carling’s rendering of the room described in “The Raven,” and discuss with your students the gothic characteristics of setting popular in 19th century America. See Artifacts & Fiction, Discipline Tutorial, “Domestic Architecture,” slide 11, “The Gothic Home.” 

Encourage your students to respond to what they read. Find an example of a Think Aloud Response activity to Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” in Conversations in Literature, workshop 2, “Envisioning.” 

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” 

Learner Log Blog Post, “Teaching Newton’s Laws of Motion” 

Carl Sandburg (January 6, 1878)

American Passages, unit 10, “Rhythms in Poetry” 

Follow this link to see resources for the following birthdays:  

Alma Flor Ada (January 3, 1938)
Joan of Arc (January 6, 1412)
Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929)
Signers of the Declaration of Independence January Birthdays

Annenberg Foundation Update

“No Strangers” Exhibit at the Annenberg Space for Photography and Learner.org Connections

See "No Strangers: Ancient wisdom in a modern world," curated by Wade Davis, at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles now through February 24, 2013. This photo exhibit is about world cultures and indigenous people and a good fit for social studies, photography, and art instruction. 

©Brent Stirton/Getty Images
along the Omo River in Ethiopia

One of the themes explored in this exhibit is endangered cultures. Overpopulation and the exploitation of resources are two reasons ancient civilizations have fallen or declined. Out of the Past, program 8, “Collapse” examines the collapse of Copán and other ancient civilizations.  Students can participate in an archeological learning activity that looks at the fall of Copán in Honduras, Mashkan-shapir in Mesopotamia, and Mali and Songhai in West Africa. See Collapse: Why do civilizations fall

Teachers in the Los Angeles area – The Annenberg Space for Photography will be hosting An Evening for Educators at the end of January to introduce our school tour program as well as our educational materials and resources, including learner.org.  To receive an invitation to this free event, please sign up for our enewsletter.  Please be sure to check the box indicating that you’d like to receive education-related newsletters.

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