Annenberg Learner Update
      January 2014

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In the Spotlight for January

In the News
   A Teachable Moment: Returning Sacred Objects to Their Owners

Curriculum Focus: Geography - Teaching Global Awareness
Connecting Learning With Special Days
    New Year’s Resolutions
    Women’s Suffrage Amendment Introduced in Congress (January 10, 1878)
    Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January 20)
    International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27)  

Notable January Birthdays
    Isaac Newton (January 4, 1643)
    Edwidge Danticat (January 19, 1969)
    Édouard Manet (January 23, 1832)
    More January birthdays
Annenberg Learner Announcements
    Graduate Credit and CEU Opportunities
    Journey North Mystery Class Challenge begins January 31, 2014
    New Resources from Annenberg Learner
    2014 Print Catalog

Annenberg Foundation Update
    The Annenberg Space for Photography Celebrates 125 Years
        of National Geographic (Educator Tours and Guide)

In the News

A Teachable Moment: Returning Sacred Objects to Their Owners

Annenberg Foundation trustee Gregory Annenberg Weingarten has purchased sacred objects to return them to their Native American owners. Twenty-one of these items will be returned to the Hopi Nation in Arizona, and three artifacts belonging to the San Carlos Apache will be returned to the Apache tribe. Laurel Morales of Fronteras reports that “The Hopi call the ceremonial items friends and believe them to be living spirits.”

For a perspective of the importance of ceremonial items to the tribes they belong to, look to two resources from Annenberg Learner—the educational media arm of the Annenberg Foundation—that describe the ceremonial and cultural significance of native artifacts.

Artifacts &
                                              FictionIn session 8, “Ceremonial Artifacts,” of the workshop series Artifacts & Fiction, teachers pair items with literary texts when teaching students about different cultures and how those cultures change over time. Two intellectual products produced by members of different Native American tribes—two Pomo Indian gift baskets and Leslie Marmon Silko’s novel Ceremony—are used to help students better understand the beliefs and values of two distinct Native American cultures. 

The worldwide art history series, Art through Time, unit 4, “Ceremony and Society,” features an installation of religious items created by members of the Skokomish Indian Nation to conduct a soul recovery ceremony.  An explanation of the ceremony and items used begins at 20:00 in the video.  Use this video as a point of discussion with students about the importance of preserving these artifacts and how nations use the items for healing, teaching, and reconnecting with their communities.

Curriculum Focus: Geography - Teaching Global Awareness

As world populations become increasingly connected, teaching global awareness is becoming more important. Many jobs focus on issues that affect global communities and require mindfulness about the similarities and differences of life experiences around the world. Prepare your students for participation in our international community now by integrating global awareness into your lessons using Annenberg Learner resources. Teaching global awareness in your classroom should feel seamless, no matter what subject you teach.

Literature and Language Arts

Part of living in a global community is learning strong conversational skills that include valuing each other’s strengths, listening well, and explaining thinking clearly. Ms. Bomer models these behaviors as she guides her 5th graders in thoughtful discussions of the text they read. See Engaging With Literature, program 2, “Voices in the Conversation.” 

Find teaching strategies for reading works by American authors with diverse ethnic backgrounds in Teaching Multicultural Literature: A Workshop for the Middle Grades
Enhance students’ understanding of literary texts using cultural artifacts that provide background knowledge for the stories they read in Artifacts & Fiction.  For example, in workshop 6, “Cultural Geography,” students compare photographs and excerpts from Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street to understand cultural divisions in contemporary Chicago neighborhoods. 


Fourth graders in a bilingual classroom use a Valentine’s Day card exchange to work on mathematical concepts and problem solving skills in Teaching Math: A Video Library, K-4, program 42. The students respectfully communicate in Spanish and English during the lesson. Use the cards as an opportunity for students to share expressions in their native languages. 

Against All OddsTalk about genetic resistance as a global issue, and provide case studies. Against All Odds: Inside Statistics, program 29, “Inference for Two-Way Tables,” focuses on the research of the series host Dr. Pardis Sabeti. She uses statistical tools to examine possible genetic resistance to deadly Lassa fever in West Africa. 

Integrate global awareness into lessons exploring the mathematical concepts of connectivity and networks, from Mathematics Illuminated, unit 11. This unit provides insights into various ways life is connected, from social networks to ecosystems. The video starts with 16th century poet John Donne’s concept that “no man is an island entire of itself.”


Essential Science for Teachers: Life Science, session 7, is about energy flow in communities. Define community and examine energy flow within a community.  Take these lessons a step further by providing students opportunities to explore energy flow among organisms in communities around the world.

Read about our earliest common ancestors to learn what makes us all human in Rediscovering Biology, unit 9, “Human Evolution.” Anthropologist Ian Tattersall explains how modern humans developed and migrated from Africa to populate the globe.

Teach students how demographers study human population dynamics by tackling questions on how population growth affects the environment and whether or not urbanization is a threat to humans’ quality of life. Go to The Habitable Planet, unit 5, “Human Population Dynamics.” 

More resources from our collection that can be used to support global awareness in your lessons:

Art Through Time: A Global View

Invitation to World Literature 

Bridging World History 

The Economics Classroom, workshop 5, “Trading Globally” 

Economics U$A, unit 27, “International Trade” 

Human Geography: People, Places, and Change 

Social Studies in Action Library, grades K-12 

The Power of Place: Geography for the 21st Century 

Connecting Learning With Special Days

New Year’s Resolutions

Making Meaning
                                                    in LiteratureWe asked you for your New Year’s resolutions. One teacher expressed, “I'm still working on condensing 8th grade ELA into a semester-long course without feeling rushed/teaching to the test.” This is a common frustration: How do you fit in everything you want to teach while simultaneously helping students master the skills they need to pass standardized tests?

Making Meaning in Literature, workshop 8, “Planning and Professional Development,” suggests teachers plan at the beginning of the school year with the end in mind. With the big picture in mind, teachers are more prepared to adjust their daily planning to meet students’ needs that crop up during the school year. Start at 30:00 in the video. This workshop also highlights the importance of building strong professional networks so that teachers can learn and grow with each other.

Workshop 9, “Starting in September,” advises teachers to set up a clear classroom structure and value system in September that will allow students to focus on their learning throughout the year. Students will be more engaged and you will waste less time on disciplinary action. 

Find more New Year’s resolutions in the December 2012 update.
Women’s Suffrage Amendment Introduced in Congress (January 10, 1878)

The 19th Amendment to the Constitution was introduced in January of 1878 but took until 1920 to be passed by Congress and ratified. Teach your students about the suffrage movement and how to use newspapers as primary sources. Story 3 of the interactive, Historical and Cultural Contexts, Newspapers includes an article on the Suffrage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
A Biography of America, program 19, “A Vital Progressivism,” guides you through civil struggles during the turn of the 20th century, including women’s right to vote.
Our blog post, “Thank you, suffragists, for my daughter’s right to vote,” on Learnerlog.org, includes more resource ideas for this topic. 

The January 2013 update includes resources and ideas for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January 20), International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27), and other January topics and milestones. 

Notable January  Birthdays

Isaac Newton (January 4, 1643)

Newton’s laws of motion were written more than 300 years ago and they are still in force. But how do you teach them so they have impact on students, who often seem inert? Find ideas and resource connections on our blog. 

Edwidge Danticat (January 19, 1969)

                                                    LiteratureThe experiences of fictional Celiane, from Behind the Mountains, mirrors Edwidge Danticat’s own experiences as a Haitian immigrant child in New York City. The novel touches on the themes of migration, assimilation, and separation, and the fluidity of the American identity. Teacher Kathryn Mitchell Pierce uses Danticat’s work to teach her sixth-grade students about issues of historical and contemporary immigration in Teaching Multicultural Literature, workshop 4, “Research and Discovery.”  

Édouard Manet (January 23, 1832)

Édouard Manet stirred up the art world by creating paintings that parodied the traditional art of his predecessors. He treated objects and people with similar importance and painted modern everyday people of the cities. Commentary in Art of the Western World, program 7, “A Fresh View — Impressionism and Post-Impressionism,” explains some of his earlier pieces. Start at 10:55 in the video.  

Édouard Manet’s painting The Execution of Emperor Maximilian in Art Through Time, program 12, “Conflict and Resistance,” is not quite what it seems. Speculate why closer inspection reveals that the artist does not take a definitive stance when portraying this political event. 

For more January birthday connections, click on our 2013 monthly update and like our Facebook page.

Annenberg Learner Announcements

Graduate Credit and CEU Opportunities

Advance your career, sharpen your teaching skills, and update content knowledge in the subjects you teach with the following graduate credit and CEU opportunities for Annenberg Learner courses from PBS TeacherLine and Colorado State.

PBS TeacherLine provides certificates of completion and partners with many colleges to offer graduate credit for five Annenberg Learner professional development courses. Search Annenberg Learner to see what is available.  For general information, including pricing, see the main PBS TeacherLine site

In addition to offering graduate credit for Annenberg Learner professional development and content courses, Colorado State University (CSU) offers continuing education units (CEUs) for 10 math and science courses with more rolling out this spring. Register for either graduate credit or non-credit continuing education units on Colorado State’s Online Plus Web site

Journey North Mystery Class Challenge begins January 31, 2014

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. 

New Resources from Annenberg Learner

                                                          with EnglishThe newly updated Against All Odds: Inside Statistics for high school and college-level instruction is here!  This series features 32 10-minute videos showing people from all walks of life using statistics in their work, a coordinated new Web site, 3 online interactive tools, and faculty and student guides. To order a copy on DVD, call 800-LEARNER. 

Keep your eyes on our news page for updates about upcoming releases such as Chemistry: Challenges and Solutions and the Connect with English web site.  If you have any questions about new releases, write [email protected].

Print Catalog

For a copy of our full catalog, send an email to [email protected]. Be sure to include a mailing address in your request. Thank you!

Annenberg Foundation Update

The Power of Photography: National Geographic 125 Years exhibit offered free to the public at the Annenberg Space for Photography

The Power of Photography: National Geographic 125 Years is on display at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles, California, through April 27, 2014. Organized in collaboration with National Geographic magazine, the exhibit celebrates the iconic publication’s 125 year anniversary. From iconic images to portraits, landscapes to natural history, the exhibit offers a wide range of photographic genres and themes.

In addition to the print and digital exhibition, several documentary videos are presented. Through interviews, images and behind-the-scenes footage, along with commentary from National Geographic editors, the films offer insights into the creation of inspiring images and speak the power of photography. Guided and self-guided tours of the exhibit are available for school groups. Click here to learn more about tours and the Guide for Educators. 

Power of
Photo Credit – Photo by Paul Nicklen │ National Geographic

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