Annenberg Learner

Annenberg Learner, a division of the Annenberg Foundation, uses multimedia and telecommunications to advance excellent teaching. Learner funds educational video series with Web and print
materials that help teachers increase their expertise in their fields and improve their teaching practice. Many programs are also popular for classroom use and with home viewers. Learner advances the Foundation's goal of encouraging the development of more effective ways to share ideas and knowledge.

Featured Resources

Reconstructing a Nation

This unit provides a backdrop for the social, political, and economic changes that accompanied the reconstruction amendments. A 30-minute video explains the events leading to reconstruction, and introduces three individuals who played different roles — an African-American U.S. Senator, a college educated former plantation mistress, and a former Union Army officer who went to work for the Union Pacific Railroad. All dealt with upheaval and opportunity during this tumultuous period.

Democracy in America

Democracy in America is a unique 15-part course for high school teachers to provide a deeper understanding of the principles and workings of American democracy. By combining compelling video stories of individuals interacting with American government, theoretical discussions of the meaning of democracy, and problem-solving, hands-on exercises, the course gives life to the workings of American democracy.

The Constitution: That Delicate Balance

Constitutional issues come to life in this Emmy Award-winning series. Key political, legal, and media professionals engage in spontaneous and heated debates on controversial issues such as campaign spending, the right to die, school prayer, and immigration reform. This series will deepen understanding of the life and power of this enduring document and its impact on history and current affairs, while bringing biases and misconceptions to light.

Creating Effective Citizens/Social Studies in Action Library

Watch lesson plans in the video, “Creating Effective Citizens,” from the Social Studies in Action Library, that teach students how to become active and effective citizens. Students participate in role-play and simulations that model civic action, discuss controversial laws about gender discrimination and individual rights, explore what it means to be a global citizen within a democracy, and engage students in local and national issues.

Dealing With Controversial Issues/Social Studies in Action Library

This program examines how social studies teachers in any grade level can encourage open and informed discussions with their students while dealing with controversial issues. Topics range from stereotypes and gender–based discrimination to the conflict in the Middle East. Through clearly identifying issues, listening to multiple perspectives, and formulating personal positions, teachers explore strategies that can be used to teach challenging issues such as these in their own classrooms.

“Story” from Essential Lens: Analyzing Photographs Across the Curriculum

Every photograph tells a story: Stories of struggle. Stories of beauty. Stories of community and culture. This video offers stories of three people and what compels them to do what they do. Hear from a high school teacher using the Protests and Politics photo collection from this resource (link to collection and big ideas on page), a National Geographic photo editor, and photographer Danny Wilcox Frazier who discusses his work, which focuses on marginalized communities across the United States.

Making Civics Real: Public Policy & the Federal Budget

Making Civics Real is a video workshop for high school civics teachers that includes eight one-hour video programs and a print guide for activities. The objectives of this program include: to understand the federal budget process and recognize the forces that influence budgetary policy; to identify factors that influence members of Congress when voting on the budget; to evaluate how the processes and forces affect the final budget.

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