Annenberg Learner Update
      March 2015

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In the Spotlight for March

Curriculum Focus: The Arts: Using Photography in the Classroom

Current Events: Physician-Assisted Suicide Laws
Connecting Learning With March Topics
    Women's History Month
    Pi Day (March 14)
    World Folktales and Fables Week (March 16-22)

Annenberg Learner Announcements
    The Latest from Learner Log Blog
    Upcoming Conferences and New Series
    Professional Development 
Annenberg Foundation Update
    AltaSea and a Tribute to Executive Director Leonard Aube
Curriculum Focus 
The Arts: Using Photography in the Classroom

Photographs are more than works of art. While we can appreciate the aesthetic value of a photo and the artistry of the person behind the camera, photos also serve as windows into a moment from the present or past. They reveal evidence of both human and natural experiences. The following resources reveal ways you can use photographs to liven up your lessons.

Science in Focus:
                                              Shedding LightFirst, step behind the lens with four activities about light from Science in Focus: Shedding Light, "Lights, Camera, Action!" For example, in the Shadow Time activity, see if you can determine what time of day a photo was taken. In Making a Photogram, explore the photochemical effect that makes film work.

Whether you are teaching social studies, math, science, or language arts, the Focus In activity in Essential Lens: Analyzing Photographs Across the Curriculum provides the vocabulary you will need to talk about photographs with your students and illustrates the four steps for a deep analysis of photos. Watch photo historian Makeda Best model the Focus In strategy with teachers in "A Closer Look." 

                                              Multicultural LiteratureBuild on students' media literacy skills while helping them document their community using the Photography Project from Teaching Multicultural Literature, workshop 8, "Social Justice and Action."

According to Pete Daniel and Sally Stein in Official Images: New Deal Photography, the 1930s was one of the most photographed decades ever. Read about the reasons why in the Documentary and Film activity from American Passages, unit 12, "Migrant Struggle," and use the discussion questions with your students.

Current Events
Physician-Assisted Suicide Laws

The case of Brittany Maynard, who publicly announced that she would end her own life and did so last year, has sparked a debate over physician-assisted suicide. Washington and Oregon have legalized physician-assisted suicide, and other states are considering similar measures. Recently, Canada's Supreme Court overturned a 1993 ban on doctor-assisted suicide. While this difficult topic may seem foreign to young people, it encompasses many areas, including health care, religion, the law, and our core beliefs. Annenberg Learner resources feature a range of voices in this discussion.

Death: A Personal
                                            UnderstandingHear from a couple in deteriorating health who have filled out an advance health directive in program 5, "Fear of Death and Dying," of the series Death: A Personal Understanding. A man who helped his terminally ill wife die explains his motives in program 10, "The Good Death."

Oregon's assisted suicide law went through two ballot initiatives and a challenge by the U.S. Congress. During this process the state's U.S. senators found themselves questioning their own roles as decision-makers. Watch the segment "Constituents vs Conscience" (beginning at 09:23 mins.) in the unit 6 video of Democracy in America to see why.

The medical ethics and personal choice of end-of-life decisions based upon a hypothetical case study are debated by professionals from medicine, law, ethics, as well as members of the clergy in "Three Farewells: Medicine & the End of Life" from Ethics in America II. Also, find a discussion guide online.
Connecting Learning With March Topics
Women's History Month

Physics for the
                                                    21st CenturyMemoirs, biographies, and autobiographies are popular because they inspire us with personal stories of perseverance and accomplishment. These stories provide insights and help break down stereotypes. The theme of this year's Women's History Month is "weaving the stories of women's lives." The following resources tap into the stories of inspiring women who have defied the expectations of their time.

Harriet Jacobs told her own story of the exploitation and abuse she suffered in the Life of a Slave Girl, published in 1861. She wanted to raise public awareness of how enslaved women were treated. Read more about Jacobs in American Passages, unit 7, "Slavery and Freedom."

Astronomer Vera Cooper Rubin overcame the anti-female bias in the sciences and went on to make a significant discovery about dark matter. Read about her discovery in Physics for the 21st Century, unit 10, section 2, Initial Evidence of Dark Matter

Celebrated Mexican artist Frida Kahlo persisted in spite of being stricken by polio and a horrific bus accident that resulted in chronic pain and poor health. She expressed her pain and explored her self-image through the painting, The Broken Column, seen in Art Through Time, program 2, "Dreams and Visions." Note: The work depicts partial nudity.

Pi Day (March 14)
Celebrate the value of pi, approximately 3.14, with the following resources:

We usually consider pi to be a universal constant, and it can be, but that depends on which universe we are talking about. Mathematics Illuminated, unit 8, "Geometries Beyond Euclid," explains why in a discussion on curvature and higher-dimensional space. 
Session 7, "Circles and Pi," of Learning Math: Measurement investigates the properties of pi and its relationship to the measures of a circle. 
What do carpets have to do with pi? See practical applications of pi in the Math in Daily Life interactive. This section of the interactive demonstrates its value in home decorating.
Elementary students use string and tape measures to approximate the value of pi in the lesson "Round About Pi."   

World Folktales and Fables Week (March 16-22)

Folktales connect us to the past. They blend cultures and time periods, as tales transform in the retelling like a shape-shifting creature. Teachers use these qualities of folktales to engage students in a range of content from geography to language arts.

The Cinderella story provides young students material to dissect the key elements of fiction from setting and character to exposition and resolution. In the student interactive Elements of a Story, early readers can listen to the story as they read the simplified text, and then can test their new knowledge. 

                                                    Foreign Language
                                                    LibraryFolktales are connected to places. Jane Shuffleton skillfully blends Russian city names, their origins, and group work pairing native and beginning Russian speakers to create folktales in "Russian Cities, Russian Stories." Watch this program from the Teaching Foreign Languages Library to learn about Russian geography and guiding multi-level classroom discourse.

Travel the world with epics, folktales, and creation myths in Invitation to World Literature. The world's oldest work of fiction, The Epic of Gilgamesh; the Mayan creation story, Popol Vuh; and tales of Arabia and Persia, captured in the Thousand and One Nights are among those explored by scholars, artists, and other lovers of story and myth.  

Find other multi-disciplinary connections to folktales in these resources:

Students revise an Indian folktale in the classroom video "Revising for Clarity" of the Teaching Reading 3-5 Workshop

African, Asian, Native American, and Mexican folklore in sessions 5 and 6 of The Expanding Canon: Teaching Multicultural Literature in High School is taught from a cultural studies perspective. 

A Biography of America program "Slavery" discusses the significance of animal trickster tales. 

Search the American Passages archive for artifacts related to the Mexican folktale La Llorona and Uncle Remus stories.

A Cajun folktale lays the foundation for a lesson in Francophone culture in Teaching Foreign Languages K-12: A Library of Classroom Practices.  

Middle school students create a culture and transform folktales in Connecting With the Arts: A Teaching Practices Library, 6-8. See "Folktales Transformed," "Breathing Life Into Myths," and related units. 

Look for additional connections to historical events and important days, such as Brain Awareness Week (March 16-22) and National Grammar Day (March 4), in our Facebook and Twitter feeds and in the March 2014 update.
Annenberg Learner Announcements
The Latest From Learner Log Blog

Catch up on the latest posts on Learner Log Blog. Consider ways to create a high-performance classroom, and bring light to your science classrooms during UNESCO's International Year of Light

Upcoming Conferences and New Series

Essential LensWe'll premiere our new courses Reading and Writing in the Disciplines (Spring 2015) and Essential Lens: Analyzing Photographs Across the Curriculum at these upcoming conferences:

National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), March 12-14, Chicago, IL, booth 791.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), April 16-18, Boston, MA, booth 344.  

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

Professional Development

Enroll now for courses for graduate credit and CEU opportunities through PBS TeacherLine, Colorado State, and San Diego State.

Annenberg Foundation Update
AltaSea and a Tribute to Executive Director Leonard Aube

On February 11, members of the Los Angeles community gathered to enjoy a special preview of AltaSea, a new public-private endeavor that brings together science, business, and education to generate innovative solutions to the global challenges of sustainability. Wallis Annenberg announced a $20 million matching grant for the ocean science campus, and our Executive Director Leonard J. Aube was honored with the street dedication of "Leonard Aube Way" for his visionary leadership. 


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

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