Happiness — For a Bhutanese Child and Seattle Teens

Tonight at 10:00 WGBY airs Independent Lens Happiness, which looks at how television may affect Peyangki, a Bhutanese child, when his remote village is connected to electricity.  How will the images coming from access to 46 television stations for 13 hours every day shape him?  A PBS NewsHour classroom resource looks at how poetry Continue reading

PBS LearningMedia: Summer of Literacy

24b7b99b-a754-4d22-8abc-8d59591328cb_thumbPBS LearningMedia’s summer of literacy continues! Explore this special collection of resources designed to expand vocabulary, strengthen reading comprehension, and expose students to authors behind famous works:

American Authors in the 19th Century Grades 9-12 | Primary Sources | Authors:  Introduce students to five prominent American authors with this collection of primary source documents  Whitman, Dickinson, Longfellow, Stowe, and Poe.

Great Expectations: Happily Ever After? Grades 9-13+ | Video + Essay | Elements of a Story:  This video excerpt from PBS’ adaptation of Great Expectations  enhances lessons on 19th century literature and the work of Charles Dickens.

The Use of Soliloquy Grades 8-12 | Media Gallery | Literary Devices:  Shakespeare may be the author best known for his use of soliloquy. Engage students in a discussion about this literary device with resources from Shakespeare Uncovered.

Poem by Emily Dickinson Grades 7-12 | Animation | Poetry:  This resource for upper-level students illustrates Dickinson’s use of literary devices such as capitalization, personification, and rhyming.

Meet the Author Grades 2-7 | Media Gallery | The Writing ProcessIntroduce students to children’s author Rosemary Well’s background, career, and thoughts on the writing process.

Consonant Digraphs Grades 1-3 | Media Gallery | Vocabulary AcquisitionIntegrate these resources from The Electric Company into your next lesson plan to familiarize students with the consonant digraphs “gh” and “ph.”

Find these resources and more in the Gone Readin’ Summer Literacy Collection designed to support literacy from PreK through 12th grade.

Lesson Plan Feature: Letters to Poets

Academy of American PoetsPBS NewsHour Extra offers this wonderful lesson for grades 7-10 from The Academy of American Poets, which presents a series of activities for the classroom that allow students to explore and interact with poetry by writing letters to poets.  Aligned with the Common Core Standards, activities address the three literacy areas of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. You can use the series of activities one right after the other, or separate them as you integrate poetry with other areas of your curriculum. The activities are designed to reach diverse learners, but if you need to adapt them further, you can feel free to do so.

Sections include video, pre-activities, whole class, as well as individual/small group activities, and vocabulary.  Here’s a sample of objectives just for Activity 1:  Selecting Favorite Poems from Historical Poets of Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, Robert Frost, Pablo Neruda and William Carlos Williams

Students will:

Identify poets whose poetic voices speak to them

Select one of these poets and his or her poem to consider more deeply

Provide verbal explanation/evidence about why they have chosen this poem and poet to their peers

As an added bonus, in conjunction with the Academy’s celebration of letter writing and correspondence this National Poetry Month (April 2013), you are invited to submit your students’ letters to the Dear Poet project for a chance to receive handwritten responses from poets.

From American Masters: Carl Sandburg

American Masters’ website  provides you with WGBY’s recent broadcast film, The Day Carl Sandburg Died, along with  rich classroom resources.  You can:  watch the film and see extended video interviews with the likes of Pete Seeger and the late and great Studs Terkel; hear Sandburg perform and sing in video and audio web features; read curated selections of his writing; plus more – Sandburg’s words and world visualized in a series of digital posters, essays, and a photo exploration of the Sandburg archives.  Here’s a glimpse of the trailer from the film:

Just a few of the many links you’ll find to connect students to this great American poet:

Studs Terkel: Sandburg Packs a Wallop  Author of Hard Times, Working, and The Good War, Terkel offers his last thoughts on Carl Sandburg and the America Terkel documented and recorded his whole life.

Pete Seeger: Little Teaspoons  Bringing the song “We Shall Overcome” to the forefront of causes for American workers in the 1940s and later to the Civil Rights Movement in the 50s and 60s, Seeger and his songs have always been about we, the people.  He remembers Sandburg’s poetic anthem, The People, Yes and what it means to the American underdog even today.

Education: Last Thoughts on Carl Sandburg  In a series of filmed interviews,  Dr. Penelope Niven, author of Carl Sandburg: A Biography and Carl Sandburg: Adventures of a Poet, talks about the life and times of Sandburg.

Poems and Poets for All Times

Referenced in a recent post about GIFs (one of the web’s oldest image formats now widely used for its innovative potential),  PBS Arts is the core of an online strategy for strengthening arts awareness, appreciation and education in America.  To spark a resurgence of the visual, cultural and performing arts, this PBS Arts Online concept brings audiences directly into the creative process, fosters individual artistic expression and promotes experimentation.

You can browse a broad and diverse range of  genres such as dance, theater and film, and with April being poetry month, you might especially want to explore writing, where you’ll find these videos and more:

Five Good Answers from a Shakespeare Scholar, Dr. Gail Kern Paster, director of the Shakespeare Folger Library and renowned Shakespeare scholar who collaborated with PBS Teachers to help educators bring Shakespeare into the classroom.

Patrick Stewart:  What We Learn from the Bard , an interview of Emmy- and Grammy-nominated actor of “Star Trek” and “X-Men” fame, who explains what young people can learn from Shakespeare and why Shakespeare remains relevant.

“Mother’s Day” by Daisy Zamora, one of Nicaragua’s most distinguished poets, who eloquently expresses the dilemma of being a mother today, especially one who makes unconventional choices

“One Boy Told Me” by Arab-American poet Naomi Shihab Nye, who uses her unique perspective as his mother to transform a boy’s everyday chatter into a work of art that perfectly captures the magical thinking of children.

POETRY EVERYWHERE Celebrates National Poetry Month

Poetry is everywhere during the month of April!  Poetry Everywhere with Garrison Keillor returns to public television and the Web with new poems and unique voices.  Produced in association with the Poetry Foundation, the project offers short poetry films that air during unexpected moments on public television and that can be used in the classroom.  Poetry Everywhere also provides links to biographies, articles and more, such as related poems for a thematic approach to poetry.  You’ll also find a link to Animated Poetry with 34 animated films created by students working with the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee’s creative writing program.  Here’s an animation of Emily Dickinson’s poem “I Started Early”.

New to the project this season is the Poetry Everywhere collection on Teachers’ Domain, an online library of free media resources for classroom use.  The collection features a diverse group of 35 poets.  Each entry includes a short introduction intended to spark student interest and desire to read the poem, questions for classroom discussion and other teaching tools.  Here’s a sampling of what you’ll find:

  • Exploring Selected Haiku by Issa (grades 7-12) — A media-rich, comprehensive lesson examines the format, humor, and nature of Japanese haiku poet, Issa, and allows students to analyze various haiku and write their own
  • Aunties, by Kevin Young (grades 7-12) — Video segment, accompanied by discussion questions and standards, where the poet  gives life to memories steeped in the Deep South.
  • I started Early – Took My Dog by Emily Dickinson (grades 7-12) — Video segment uses animation to illustrate this  poem about the sea and includes links to a background essay, teaching tips and standards.

We’d love to receive your comments about this site or a favorite site you’d like to share with teachers.