Annenberg Learner Update
      November 2012

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In the Spotlight for November

In the News

        2012 Nobel Prizes Announced

Connecting Learning With Special Days
    Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos (November 1-2)
    Veterans Day (November 11)
    President Lincoln Gives the Gettysburg Address (November 19, 1863)
    U.S. Thanksgiving Day: Historical Perspective (November 22)
Curriculum Focus: Geology
Notable November Birthdays
    Walker Evans (November 3, 1903)
    Chinua Achebe (November 16, 1930)
    José Clemente Orozco (November 23, 1883)
    More November Birthdays
Annenberg Learner Announcements
    New LearnerLog Blog Posts
    Exciting Changes to Learner.org
    Distance Learning
Annenberg Foundation Update
    The Annenberg Space for Photography: New Exhibit
        and Teaching and Learning Resources
    Explore.org Animal Cameras Focus on Polar Bears
    More Foundation News

In the News

It’s Nobel prize season, when dedicated scientists, economists, and writers are awakened in the wee hours of the morning by a phone call from Sweden with exciting news. If you are intrigued but bewildered by the work that has merited these Nobel prizes, visit learner.org to get the basics on the winners’ areas of study.

David WinelandPhysics: Prize to Serge Haroche and David Wineland "for ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems."  Physics for the 21st Century features a case study of Wineland’s work at NIST Boulder in unit 5, “The Quantum World.”  Learn how physicists manipulate individual atoms by laser cooling and trapping them. Try trapping a few simulated Ytterbium atoms with our interactive simulation

Physiology or Medicine: Prize to John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka “for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent." Read an interview with genetics researcher Fred Gage at the Salk Institute that explains the difference between stem cells that are pluripotent and totipotent. See Rediscovering Biology, unit 10, “Neurobiology.”

Chemistry: Prize to Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka “for studies of G-protein-coupled receptors.” The online text of unit 2 of Rediscovering Biology, “Proteins and Proteomics,” discusses the structure of proteins and how they bind to cells.  View the video for an overview of the field of proteomics

Literature: Prize to Mo Yan “who with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history, and the contemporary.” Mo’s work has been compared with Western writers William Faulkner and Gabriel García Márquez. Investigate those comparisons in American Passages, unit 13, “Southern Renaissance,” featuring Faulkner’s depiction of the American South, and Invitation to World Literature, unit 11, “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” discussing this masterwork’s influence on Latin American literature.
Economics: Prize to Alvin E. Roth and Lloyd S. Shapley for “the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design.” Their work is grounded in game theory, a field of mathematics discussed in unit 9, “Game Theory,” of Mathematics Illuminated. The online unit includes a link to the video, text chapter, and interactive activity, which models common game theory scenarios including prisoner’s dilemma and hawks vs. doves. 

Learn more about Nobel laureates and the history of the Nobel prizes. 

Connecting Learning with Special Days

Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos (November 1-2)

Art Through TimeArt Through Time, unit 6, “Death,” shows how different societies interpret death. For example, during El Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), the Mexican people honor the dead with both artistic humor and sacred practices.  Also, read about La Calavera de la Catrina, an iconic Day of the Dead image by José Guadalupe Posada (Mexican, 1852–1913). 

A traditional belief is that monarch butterflies are the souls of ancestors returning to Earth for their annual visit. Students participating in the Journey North monarch migration program learn about these fascinating butterflies and the traditions of the people who live near the monarch butterfly sanctuary region in Mexico, the last stop on the insects’ southward journey.  This Day of the Dead slideshow in Spanish and English gives a glimpse into how students and their families celebrate the Day of the Dead.  A lesson plan for teachers is also included. 

Veterans Day (November 11)

On Veterans Day, we honor and thank those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. The Department of Veterans Affairs includes a 2012 Teachers Guide with useful materials for teaching about Veterans Day

Also, use the following Annenberg Learner materials in your classroom:

Professor Donald Miller gives a personal view as he describes what life was like for soldiers and their families in program 22, “World War II,” of A Biography of America.  

Psychiatrist Daniel Shay connects the experiences of American soldiers returning from war to the return of Odysseus to Ithaca following the Trojan War in Invitation to World Literature, program 3, “The Odyssey.” 

America's History in
                                            the Making"Postwar Tension and Triumph," unit 19 of America's History in the Making, takes a look at the realities that veterans faced when they returned home from World War II. 

Hollywood has used war as propaganda both in favor of and against the use of American troops in foreign conflicts. See the role of government and media in how combat films have evolved in American Cinema, program 6, "The Combat Film."

President Lincoln Gives the Gettysburg Address (November 19, 1863)

President Abraham Lincoln presented his Gettysburg Address at the dedication of the National Cemetery of Gettysburg, PA on November 19, 1863 with the intent of explaining to the American people why fighting the Civil War mattered: to protect and advance constitutional liberty and human equality.

A Biography of America, program 12, “Reconstruction,” looks at the aftermath of the battle of Gettysburg and Lincoln’s delivery of the Gettysburg Address, including his allegiance to the idea that all men are created equal. 

The author activities in American Passages, unit 7, “Slavery and Freedom,” ask your students to think about how Lincoln grapples in his address with the scope and nature of Gettysburg as a national tragedy.

U.S. Thanksgiving Day: Historical Perspective (November 22)

The first Thanksgiving was celebrated by Pilgrims and their Native American neighbors and allies in 1621. While today, the holiday is depicted as emblematic of the American experience, historical records tell a different story about relations between native peoples, European settlers, and colonial groups.

The Context Activities section of American Passages, unit 3, “Utopian Promise,” provides video and text on how Puritans and Quakers interacted with different Native American communities.  After reading the material, involve your students in problem-based learning (PBL) projects, cooperative learning groups that solve real world problems.  The three problems presented here ask students to walk in the shoes of Puritan and Quaker missionaries.

Also, search “Thanksgiving” in the American Passages archives for images related to this topic. 

Under Author Activities for William Bradford, compare Bradford's account of the Puritans' "Arrival at Cape Cod" and "First Thanksgiving" with contemporary ideas about the landing at Plymouth Rock and the Thanksgiving holiday. 

The first theme in America’s History in the Making, unit 3, “Colonial Designs,” delves into the period between the 1580s and 1680s when European nations and trading companies competed to establish colonies in North America and define colonial relationships to Native American tribes. 

For resources on National French Week (November 8-14), America Recycles Day (November 15), National AIDS Awareness Month, and American Indian Heritage Month, check out last year’s update

Curriculum Focus: Geology

You search, we listen. “Rocks” is one of the most frequent search terms on learner.org, so we are highlighting resources for teaching about rocks in this curriculum focus.

Rock CycleStudents discover different types of rocks and how rocks change with the Rock Cycle Interactive. Students build geological vocabulary, name the different parts of the rock cycle, and take an assessment at the end. This activity is great for independent study in the classroom and at home.  

Students learn how melting rock deep inside the earth forms volcanoes with the Volcanoes Interactive. They practice raising and lowering the temperature of rocks to experience how rocks respond to temperature inside the earth.

The Habitable Planet, unit 1, “Many Planets, One Earth,” section 3, Reading Geologic Records, explains how scientists use rocks and fossils to define geologic time phases in Earth’s history on a geologic time scale. Rocks and fossils tell the story of Earth’s animal and environmental history.

What are igneous rocks and how are they formed? Earth and Space Science, session 3, “Journey to the Earth’s Interior,” compares extrusive and intrusive igneous rocks, and relates lava to the movement of tectonic plates. This workshop includes an activity for teachers to identify young students’ ideas about the structure of the earth, ideas that help inform science lessons. 

More resources for teaching about rocks:

Essential Science for Teachers: Earth & Space Science, session 2, “Every Rock Tells a Story” 
Session 5, “When Continents Collide” 

Earth Revealed, program 10, “Geologic Time” 
Earth Revealed, program 14, “Intrusive Igneous Rocks” 
Earth Revealed, program 17, “Sedimentary Rocks: The Key to Past Environments”
Earth Revealed, program 18, “Metamorphic Rocks”

Notable November Birthdays

Art Through TimeWalker Evans (November 3, 1903)

The Resettlement Administration of the U.S. Department of Agriculture hired Walker Evans to document the poverty of people living in rural America during the Great Depression. His photo “Bud (William) Fields, Lily Rogers Fields, and Lilian Fields” tells the bleak story of sharecroppers in the American South during this era. See Art Through Time, program 7, “Domestic Life.”
Chinua Achebe (November 16, 1930)
People often resist change, but what if your whole way of living was suddenly threatened by a group of outsiders? Okonkwo, the protagonist of Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart faces the imminent influence of British values on his Nigerian community. View expert commentary about this novel and dramatic readings from a variety of readers in Invitation to World Literature, program 10, “Things Fall Apart.” 

Chinua Achebe eschews trends in English literature and writes by embracing the African oral tradition. Use the Chinua Achebe biography page from In Search of the Novel, Ten Novelists, to give your students background on the author and his writing style.  The Ten Novels page provides more information on Things Fall Apart

In Teaching Multicultural Literature, workshop 8, “Social Justice and Action,” author Joseph Bruchac talks about his friendship with Achebe and how Achebe influenced his writing. See question “What drives your prodigious output?” 

Art Through TimeJosé Clemente Orozco (November 23, 1883)

Sometimes, it’s okay to paint pictures on the walls. José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros were hired to paint murals on public buildings in Mexico. Art Through Time, unit 11, “The Urban Experience,” explains the images and themes in “The Working Class,” painted on the third floor of the National Preparatory School in Mexico City in 1926. Orozco depicted the hardships of the working class in his work. 

Follow this link to see resources for the following birthdays:
Marianne Moore, American poet (November 15, 1887)
Martin Scorsese, film director (November 17, 1942)
Edwin Hubble, astronomer (November 20, 1889)

Keep an eye on our Facebook page for more November birthday connections, such as Martin Luther, Stephen Crane, and Mark Twain. 

Annenberg Learner Announcements

This Month on LearnerLog Blog

Check out LearnerLog.org for new blog posts. We will provide information and ideas for teaching about the record ice melt in the Arctic and the art of debating.
New from Annenberg Learner
We have added exciting new ways to explore our Web site, Learner.org.  You can now browse over 400 interactives and search our lesson plan finder for over 100 lesson ideas.  You can also view discipline specific pages like this one with video previews.  

Science Discipline page

Upcoming Conferences

Virginia Association of Science Teachers Conference November 8-10, Williamsburg Hotel, Williamsburg, VA 
National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention, booth #137, November 16-18, MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada

Distance Learning

Join Annenberg Learner as we acknowledge National Distance Learning Week (NDLW), Nov 5-9, 2012 sponsored by the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA). Go to the distance learning page of our Web site to find out more information on using Annenberg Learner courses with a distance learning license.  For more information about NDLW, contact the USDLA at 1.800.275.5162.

Annenberg Foundation Update

New “No Strangers” Exhibit at the Annenberg Space for Photography

"No Strangers: Ancient wisdom in a modern world," a new photography exhibit at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles, is about world cultures and indigenous people. A good fit for social studies, photography, and art instruction, it explores the ways cultures express a shared humanity and navigate the circle of life. It poses a fundamental question: What does it mean to be human and alive? "No Strangers" is curated by esteemed anthropologist, author, and photographer Wade Davis. The exhibit also features an original short documentary with additional photographs, interviews, and behind the scenes footage with exhibit photographers, indigenous people, and experts. See "No Strangers" at the Annenberg Space for Photography from November 17, 2012 to February 24, 2013.

no strangers

The Annenberg Space for Photography is now offering school group visits and educational materials for its exhibits, including "No Strangers."  Student groups are guided through exhibitions by our staff, who are trained in the relevant curriculum content standards for both visual arts and social studies. Printed curriculum guides provide teachers with background information and pre/post visit activities related to the exhibition.

Reservations are required for all school visits. Both guided and self-guided tours are available. Our Educator Resource Guide includes information about the current exhibit’s educational themes, related curriculum content standards, and suggested questions and activities for students-including connections to Annenberg Learner resources where relevant. To learn more about planning a school visit, bus funding, and to see the Educator Resource Guide for our current exhibit, please download our School Visit Guide.

The Annenberg Space for Photography will also host an Evening for Educators on January 30, 2013. This event will allow educators time to see the "No Strangers" exhibit after hours and learn about the upcoming exhibit "War/Photography." 

Explore.org Animal Cameras Focus on Polar Bears

Watch live coverage during polar bear migration in Churchill, Manitoba on the new Explore.org live cam. The bears come to land when the Arctic sea ice breaks up. Like a walking hibernation, the bears fast until they can access their prey again when the ice refreezes. Warmer arctic temperatures are affecting the bears' feeding patterns. Less time on the ice means less time to hunt. Students can use this and other Explore.org animal cams on the Journey North Web site to discover how animals around the globe respond to seasonal change.

Other Annenberg Foundation News

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