Annenberg Learner Update
      June - July 2014

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In the Spotlight for June and July

Curriculum Focus: Student Online Interactives

Current Events
    2014 World Cup (June 12-July 13)
Connect Learning with Summer Topics
    Great Outdoors Month (June)
    Independence Day (July 4)
Notable Summer Birthdays
    Octavia Butler (June 22, 1947)
    Rube Goldberg (July 4, 1883)
    Erno Rubik (July 13, 1944)

Annenberg Learner Announcements
    Civics Renewal Network Website Launch
    LearnerLog Blog Updates: Submit your lesson plans.
    Summer Graduate Credit and CEU Opportunities
    New to Learner.org

Annenberg Foundation Update
Annenberg Space for Photography’s Country: Portraits of an American Sound

Summer is here! This is our last update of the school year. We’ve packed it with fun resources and ideas to keep learning happening all summer. Watching the World Cup? Riding a roller coaster? Playing Mousetrap? We have a resource for that. Also, don’t forget to check out the summer professional development opportunities under the Annenberg Learner Announcements section (if you must work). Take a look below, enjoy, and we will see you again in your inbox August 4.

Curriculum Focus: Student Online Interactives

Student InteractivesAnnenberg Learner has 325 interactives that students can use to brush up their skills on many topics. They can search by grade level and/or subject. Here are just a few highlights of our most popular student interactives.
Are you really in danger when you are taking those hairpin turns and death-defying loops on a roller coaster? High school students can demonstrate their understanding of the laws of physics by attempting to build their own exciting but safe virtual roller coaster using the Amusement Park Physics interactive.

What’s happening to the ground under our feet during an earthquake? How are volcanoes formed? Middle school students can test their knowledge of the Earth’s structure and plate tectonics using the Dynamic Earth interactive

What makes a great story? Elementary age students can explore literary devices such as setting, characters, and conflict in Cinderella using the Elements of a Story interactive.

Current Events

Bridging World
                                              History2014 World Cup (June 12-July 13)

The biggest sporting event in the world kicks off June 12 in Brazil. Learn how sports such as soccer (or football as the rest of the world calls it) reflect global popular culture in unit 25 of Bridging World History. This unit reveals Brazil’s particular influence on soccer playing styles and includes photos of Brazilian soccer fans and retired Brazilian footballer Pele.

Connect Learning with Summer Topics

Great Outdoors Month (June)

There’s no doubt we all benefit from outdoor activities like hiking and kayaking. Leisurely strolls in woods and along the beaches, while observing nature, help us relax and inspire meditation. Physical activity also sends endorphins to our brains, warding off depression, and makes us fit and healthy. During Great Outdoors Month, get moving and explore some of the U.S.’s national parks and urban centers. The following resources offer some suggestions for appreciating the outdoors:

Ecosystems in National Parks

In any trip to a national park or forest you are likely to encounter flora and fauna that comprise an ecosystem. Get a better understanding of how all these organisms
predators, prey, and producersinteract and coexist. Try keeping an ecosystem in balance with the Ecology Lab from The Habitable Planet.

Yellowstone (Wyoming, Montana, Idaho)

                                                    ParkFind pictures of Yellowstone in the archives for America’s History in the Making, unit 13.  For example, see a painting done by Thomas Moran as part of a U.S. Geological Survey expedition. Moran’s watercolors of Yellowstone were later used to convince Congress to establish Yellowstone as a national park.

Central Park (New York City)

Escape the hustle and bustle of New York City by ducking into Central Park. Learn about how Central Park was designed in 1857 and the design’s influence on urban natural spaces throughout the United States thereafter in Art Through Time, program 10, “The Natural World.”

Independence Day (July 4)

ChemistryAs you are enjoying your holiday picnics, parades, and fireworks, reflect on the history and science behind Independence Day.

"Revolutionary Perspectives," of America's History in the Making, reveals the political wrangling that led up to the Declaration of Independence and other state constitutions.

Watch A Biography of America, “The Coming of Independence,” to see how English-loving colonists were transformed into freedom-loving American rebels. Program 5, “A New System of Government,” presents the outsized personalities that came together to hash out new systems of government for the American people.  

Do you know the lyrics for the Star Spangled Banner beyond the first stanza? If not, find the words and an audio clip in the American Passages Archives.

What causes the different colors of light in fireworks that make us ooh and aah? Find out in Chemistry: Challenges and Solutions, unit 3, “Atoms and Light.”  Click on the video link and start at 12:05 to see a colorful demonstration of various metals throwing off different colors of light when burned in The Flame Test segment.

Find even more resources related to summer activities such as growing a garden and playing baseball in the Monthly Update Archives for June/July 2013.

Notable Summer Birthdays

Octavia Butler (June 22, 1947)

Octavia ButlerBefore you delve into the science fiction worlds created by award-winning writer Octavia Butler, read about her life and works on the Teaching Multicultural Literature website. The site includes audio clips, an interview transcript, and details about her featured work, Parable of the Sower.  A list of works by and about Octavia Butler can be found here.

Rube Goldberg (July 4, 1883)

Rube GoldbergDid you know that the original Mousetrap (published in 1963) board game was inspired by Rube Goldberg? The Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, sculptor, and author was known for his drawings depicting complicated and comical contraptions that perform simple tasks. In workshop 3, “Transfer and Conversion of Energy,” of Science in Focus: Energy, see if you can tell where the energy comes from as you move through different stages of the Cat-Traption, a Rube Goldberg-style machine. Try making your own Cat-Traption at home. 

Erno Rubik (July 13, 1944)
Erno Rubik
Erno Rubik is the Hungarian inventor of the Rubik’s Cube. Physics for the 21st Century, unit 9, “Biophysics,” section 5, Free Energy Landscapes, explains hierarchical states using a Rubik’s Cube. In biology, the distance between these states can explain, for example, how far two species are apart on the evolutionary tree.

Annenberg Learner Announcements

Civics Renewal Network Website Launch

The Civics Renewal Network (CRN) is an alliance of 26 organizations, including Annenberg Learner, that are working together to raise the visibility of civics education, improve the quality of classroom resources, and strengthen civic life in the United States. In June, the CRN will launch its new website. Teachers can find a wide array of free civics education resources. The network is organizing a Constitution Day celebration on Sept. 17 in Washington, DC, and across the nation. Follow @CivicsRenewal on Twitter for announcements.

LearnerLog Blog

                                                          Lesson PlansIn May, we added an Ideas From Your Classrooms section to our blog (Learnerlog.org), providing educators a space to share their lesson plans and activities using Learner resources. Our first submission came from high school social studies teacher Karen Marshall and her colleagues at Francis Parker School in San Diego. They developed a thematic art lesson using the Art Through Time series.

Do you have lesson plans and activities to share? Here is how you can submit your own ideas.  Or stop by the blog to get ideas from others. We post every Tuesday.

Also, on the blog, we want to write about topics and point you to resources that will help your teaching practice. What do you find the most challenging about teaching? Is it finding resources on a specific topic? Is it classroom management? Is it keeping up with education trends? Send your thoughts to blog@learner.org.

Enroll in June for Graduate Credit and CEUs This Summer

Summer is a great time to recharge your intellectual battery with self-paced courses from Annenberg Learner and Colorado State University. Register now to earn 2 or 3 graduate-level credits. See the full list of courses here

If you’re looking for continuing education units (CEUs), you have a choice of 15 of our most popular courses. CEU course options range from 1.5 to 3 units per course with 10 professional development hours per unit, (e.g., 1.5 CEUs = 15 hours) and cost just $50 per unit. For more information on CEUs visit the Learner website.

New Resources From Learner.org

NEW! Introduction to World Literature: Gilgamesh Multimedia Book

Go mobile with Gilgamesh! Watch, read, and learn about Gilgamesh, the oldest known masterpiece of world literature. This eBook for iPads, available now on iTunes, is adapted from the series Invitation to World Literature. It features a new introduction by Dr. David Damrosch and video segments aligned with each chapter. Purchase in the iTunes store today for just $3.99.

                                                          with English
Connect with English

Our Connect with English series, for English as a second language instruction, now has a website with grammar, dictation, and comprehension activities and quizzes to go along with the series videos.

Against All Odds Newly Updated

The newly updated Against All Odds: Inside Statistics for high school and college-level instruction is streaming free online and available for purchase on DVD now! Visit the course online or call 800-LEARNER to order a copy on DVD.

Chemistry: Challenges and Solutions

Check out our new course Chemistry: Challenges and Solutions, produced by the Science Media Group of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, online now. This multimedia course for introductory high school and college chemistry teaches general concepts using large-scale challenges in energy, materials development, biochemistry, and the environment. To purchase a DVD copy of the videos with a bonus disc of lab demonstrations, call 800-LEARNER.

Print Catalog

For a copy of our full catalog or our new Science and Mathematics discipline catalog, send an email to order@learner.org.

Annenberg Foundation Update

Annenberg Space for Photography’s Country: Portraits of an American Sound Exhibit is Open

Los Angeles-Area Educators: This summer, be sure to visit the Annenberg Space for Photography’s latest exhibit, Country: Portraits of an American Sound, which runs from May 31 through September 28. The exhibit presents images of the pioneers, poets and icons of country music. Guest curators are Shannon Perich of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, and Tim Davis and Michael McCall of the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum.  Country: Portraits of an American Sound uses historical and contemporary photographs to explore how images shape the public identity of country music performers and of the genre itself. Celebrated performers such as Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Keith Urban and Hank Williams—as well as deejays, fans, executives and musicians—are seen in the works of photographers who documented multiple generations of this popular history. In addition to over 110 prints, the exhibit features an original half-hour documentary produced by Arclight Productions, country album covers and film posters, archival stage costumes and a jukebox playing country hits and classics. Admission is always free. Guided group tours are available. Visit www.annenbergspaceforphotography.org for more information.

Annenberg Space for Photography

© Les Leverett  This photo shows Paul Warren, Earl Scruggs and June Carter on the set of the Flatt & Scruggs Grand Ole Opry Show, 1961.

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