Annenberg Learner Update
      September 2013

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In the Spotlight for September

In the News
     The Olinguito Is Discovered
    Government Surveillance: What’s Constitutional? (Constitution Day)

Curriculum Focus: Foreign Languages - Presentational Communication Standard
Connecting Learning With Special Days
    National Hispanic Heritage Month
    Banned Books Week (September 22-28)
    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Month
    Treaty of Paris Signed (September 3, 1783)
    Remembering 9/11

Notable September Birthdays
    Russell Leong (September 7, 1950)
    Sandy Skoglund (September 11, 1946)
    William Faulkner (September 25, 1897)
Annenberg Learner Announcements
    Journey North’s Mystery Class & Tulip Test Gardens
    California Teachers: Free Environmental Education Professional                
        Development Opportunity
    New Courses and Professional Development Opportunities

Annenberg Foundation Update
    Annenberg Space for Photography New Exhibit:
        The Power of Photography: National Geographic 125 Years
    Annenberg Foundation

In the News

The Olinguito Is Discovered

For the first time in three decades, scientists have discovered a new carnivorous mammal species in the Americas, the olinguito. The raccoon-like tree dweller lives in cloud forests of Ecuador and Colombia. Kristofer Helgen, curator of mammals at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and his team presented anatomical and DNA evidence to confirm the existence of this species. See the news in Smithsonian Magazine.  Open lessons on species classification, identification, and biodiversity with the olinguito’s intriguing story.

Life ScienceHow do scientists identify and catalog the world’s animals and plants? Learn how to distinguish between different life forms and how to classify life forms into biological groups in Life Science, session 2, “Classifying Living Things.”  Understanding the definition of “species” helps explain why the olinguito went undetected in plain sight for so long. DNA sequencing influences species identification; see how in session 6, “Evolution and the Tree of Life.”

Why do we catalog the world’s animals and plants? Rediscovering Biology, unit 12, “Biodiversity,” examines the question.  The Habitable Planet, unit 9, “Biodiversity Decline,” section 10, Why Biodiversity Matters, also looks at both moral and practical reasons to preserve biodiversity.

Government Surveillance: What’s Constitutional? (Constitution Day, September 17)

The news is buzzing about NSA’s Prism program to collect personal data on citizens and journalists. Constitution Day, September 17th is a good time to look at what is and isn’t an acceptable balance between upholding citizens’ constitutional rights and maintaining national security.

Ethics in America IIWatch leaders in government, academia, and business discuss the hypothetical case of a journalist investigating a possible illegal government phone tap in Ethics in America II, program 2, “War Stories: National Security & the News.” 

The Constitution, program 8, “National Security and Freedom of the Press,” looks at the issue from a slightly different perspective. Do U.S. citizens have the right to know about national security issues and does the press have the right to inform citizens on all matters of security?

The original Ethics in America, program 3, “Public Trusts and Private Interests,” looks at the relationship of trust between the government and its people, jumping off from our founding fathers’ idea that our system of government is a public trust: of the people, by the people, for the people.

For an extensive list of more resources for Constitution Day see the September 2012 monthly update

Curriculum Focus: Foreign Language Standards - Presentational Communication Standard

If you’re a foreign language teacher, you’re probably very familiar with the five Cs (Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, Communities) of the National Foreign Language Standards. This month, we focus on presentational communication skills. Note: All of the videos mentioned are from the Teaching Foreign Languages Library and are subtitled so that teachers of any language can find useful information and teaching strategies.

Teaching Foreign
                                            Languages Library Watch Barbara Pope Bennett’s Spanish III students dramatize scenes from Dos Caras (Two Faces), by Sabine Ulibarri, and create alternate endings to the story i
n program 29, “Interpreting Literature,”
In program 16, “Exploring New Directions,students practice a variety of presentational skills in a mixed-level Mandarin Chinese class, from describing restaurants and providing directions, to creating a dramatic representation of poems.

Middle school students communicate their likes and dislikes about sports activities in a beginning Mandarin class in program 11, “Communicating About Sports.”

Yo Azama’s high school Japanese class begins planning a promotional video to attract tourists to Japan in program 23.

Use this nifty chart in Teaching Foreign Languages, which shows the level of difficulty, standards connection, and teaching strategies for each video lesson.

Connecting Learning With Special Days

National Hispanic Heritage Month

                                                    Foreign Languages
                                                    K12 LibraryAccording to the 2012 U.S. Census, over 16% of our population is of Latino or Hispanic origin. Each year the U.S. celebrates the history and culture of citizens whose ancestors came from Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Spain. Use Annenberg Learner resources to help you prepare lessons on the history and culture of Hispanic Americans.

Approach the topic of dual heritage using literature. For example, author Judith Ortiz Cofer felt caught between her father’s desire to assimilate into mainland U.S. culture and her mother’s desire to hold onto their island heritage and customs of Puerto Rico. She is featured in Teaching Multicultural Literature, program 2, “Engagement and Dialogue.” 

Students compare out of school activities with Mexican peers in Teaching Foreign Languages K-12 Library, program 14, “Hearing Authentic Voices.”

More resources for Hispanic Heritage Month:

America's History in the Making, unit 1, "Pre-Columbian America" and unit 2, "Mapping Initial Encounters"

Out of the Past, program 1, “New Worlds” 

The Expanding Canon: Teaching Multicultural Literature in High School: writers Pat Mora, Rudolfo Anaya, Graciela Limón, Tomás Rivera

Teaching Multicultural Literature: A Workshop for the Middle Grades: writers Alma Flor Ada, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Francisco Jiménez, Pam Muñoz Ryan

Destinos: An Introduction to Spanish

American Passages: A Literary Survey, units 1, 2, 12, and 16

Teaching Foreign Languages K-12, A Library of Classroom Practices, Spanish

Banned Books Week (September 22-28)

Since 1982, over 11,000 books have been challenged by school and community libraries for reasons of questionable or controversial content. Banned Books Week celebrates all books and the freedom and right to read. 

Getting students to dig into the ideas presented in literature is often a challenge for teachers. Watch Engaging with Literature, a video library, grades 3-5, program 3, “Starting Out,” to see effective ways to get kids productively discussing books together.

Things Fall
                                                    ApartMany books that are challenged and banned are also award-winners and on recommended reading lists.  In In Search of the Novel educators and writers discuss ways to encourage students to read, comprehend, discuss, and enjoy novels. Several of the featured novels in this series, including "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," "Bridge to Terabithia," “Things Fall Apart,” and "To Kill a Mockingbird," have appeared on the American Library Association’s list of most frequently challenged books.  Workshop 5 provides answers to the age-old question: “Why do I have to read this book?

How can you facilitate productive and respectful conversations about controversial topics raised in literature? Social Studies in Action, program 31, “Dealing with Controversial Issues,” shows how students can learn to identify controversial issues, listen to their peers, and provide their own perspectives in a safe environment.

For resources for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Month, the signing of the Treaty of Paris on September 3, 1783, and remembering 9/11, follow this link to the September 2012 Monthly Update.

Notable September Birthdays

                                                      CanonRussell Leong (September 7, 1950)

Chinese American writer Russell Leong tackles the struggle to balance his heritage with the culture of the United States, a common experience for many Americans. Leong is featured in The Expanding Canon: Teaching Multicultural Literature in High School, session 6, “Cultural Studies: N. Scott Momaday and Russell Leong.”  Find a cultural studies lesson plan that immerses students in Asian American culture by reading and discussing Leong’s poem “Aerogrammes.”

Art Through
                                                      TimeSandy Skoglund (September 11, 1946)

Sandy Skoglund builds elaborate sets and then photographs them, creating dreamlike works of art. See her surreal Revenge of the Goldfish shown in Art Through Time, program 2, “Dreams and Visions.” Use her work to inspire your students to experiment and represent the unremarkable in new and surprising ways.

William Faulkner (September 25, 1897)

William Faulkner captured the post-Civil War South in his writing. He defended the rural agrarian traditions of the South and eschewed industrial modernity while confronting the embedded racism. Read about Faulkner’s life in American Passages, unit 13, “Southern Renaissance,” and learn about his influences in the video.  

For resources on the following writers, follow this link to the September 2012 Monthly Update.

Leslie Feinberg (journalist, author, activist) September 1, 1949
William Carlos Williams (pediatrician, poet) September 17, 1883
Gloria Anzaldúa (writer) September 26, 1942

Annenberg Learner Announcements

Join Journey North’s Mystery Class Challenge and Fall Planting

                                                          NorthYou and your students can investigate the big mystery! One of our favorite activities of the Journey North program is Mystery Class. Students use clues related to sunlight change to find nine locations around the world, and, in the process, learn how seasons affect life on Earth while practicing geography skills. Cathie Plaehn of Boyceville, Wisconsin says, "You can't bottle the excitement of Mystery Class. You start with nothing more than a sunrise and sunset, and you end up with an exact location. When the students discover where it is, it's as if they are the first explorers there."   The countdown to Mystery Class 2013 starts September 1. Don’t miss it!

Now is the time to start planning your fall planting for spring activities. Your students can join students across the northern hemisphere as they track change in seasons and global climate using Journey North Tulip Test Gardens. Children plant tulip bulbs in the fall, watch the plants emerge and bloom in the spring, and announce that spring has arrived in their part of the world.

California Teachers: Free Environmental Education Professional Development Opportunity

Join a statewide community of educators for the first-of-its-kind massive online professional development experience that will include Annenberg Learner and National Geographic resources, live interactions with National Geographic Explorers and scientists, and new insights into using Google tools. Framed around California's Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI) curriculum for educators, Water: The Essential Resource will focus on ocean and freshwater systems and incorporate strategies for teaching environmental topics in grades 4-8.

This innovative professional development course will allow you to interact any time of the day, 24/7 from the convenience of your own home. You will have access to exciting resources from National Geographic and Annenberg Learner to develop an understanding of the importance of water in Earth’s natural systems. Working collaboratively with educators from across the state, you will explore the EEI curriculum, implement a peer-reviewed lesson plan in their classrooms, and reflect on these experiences with your colleagues.

This course will begin in early October, 2013, and will run for 8 weeks. If you are a California teacher and are interested in participating in this professional development opportunity, register here.

New Courses and Professional Development Opportunities

Click on the August update for information on new courses coming out this 2013-2014 school year and for information on how teachers can earn CEUs and graduate credit through Colorado State University and PBS Teacherline.

Annenberg Foundation Update

National Geographic Photos Headline at Annenberg Space for Photography

Coming to the Space for Photography in Los Angeles this October is the exciting exhibit The Power of Photography: National Geographic 125 Years. Organized in collaboration with National Geographic magazine, this special print and digital show commemorates the iconic publication's 125 year anniversary. The exhibit opens on October 26, 2013 and runs through April 27, 2014.

The Power of Photography will include mosaics of more than 400 images documenting the history of National Geographic photography from 1888 to the present time. In addition, an extensive digital installation will showcase 500-plus images. The exhibit will feature an original short documentary film that profiles six renowned photographers whose work appears in the October National Geographic issue: Lynsey Addario, Marcus Bleasdale, David Guttenfelder, Abelardo Morell, Joel Sartore and Martin Schoeller.

Photo by Joel Sartore © 2008 National Geographic

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