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Monthly Feature Archive

November 2007: iTunes U
Energize your classes with Minnesota Public Radio content — now easier than ever to browse, preview and download from iTunes U, a free, dedicated area of the iTunes Store featuring educational content.

May 2007: Is the High School Obsolete?
Is The High School Obsolete? When Minnesota's governor and the world's wealthiest man say, "Yes", people listen. For May, Sound Learning wraps up the school year by exploring Minnesota Public Radio's feature "Is The High School Obsolete?" Through this month's feature, your class can examine the debate swirling around the American high school by comparing arguments made by Governor Tim Pawlenty, Bill Gates and a broad cross-section of Minnesota high school students.

April 2007: Global Warming Documentaries
For April, Sound Learning recognizes Earth Day by featuring the American RadioWorks documentaries "Reports from a Warming Planet" and "Climate of Uncertainty." No longer a question of "if" but of "when," the issue of global warming is now at the forefront of the global consciousness, these documentaries mirror the findings from the February 2007 report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

March 2007: American Mavericks
For March, Sound Learning showcases American Mavericks, a groundbreaking radio and Internet series produced by American Public Media. American Mavericks features the iconoclastic, tradition-breaking composers who shaped the development of American music — from Charles Ives, Henry Brant, Harry Partch, Laurie Anderson, Steve Reich and more. Included with this month's feature are lesson templates and selected resources to assist you in teaching your students how to think critically about music and even compose their own music works.

February 2007: Oh Freedom Over Me
This month's feature includes a series of questions and activities to help you use the documentary in a class discussion about race relations during and after Freedom Summer. Also included are lesson templates for using the documentary to practice reading comprehension and resources to help your students develop a National History Day presentation. All activities correlate with the Minnesota Graduation Standards in language arts or social studies and are adjustable to fit within your schedule.

January 2007: Logging on and Losing Out
Thanks to the glamorous presentation of championship poker on television and the proliferation of online gambling sites, poker is now becoming more than just a friendly game for high school and college kids. For January, Sound Learning explores the sudden rise in gambling addiction among adolescents and young adults with the American RadioWorks documentary "Logging on and Losing Out."

December 2006: Word for Word
Looking for an interesting and timely speech on a hot topic to use with your students? Do you need compelling content with which your students can practice note-taking skills? For December, Sound Learning features Word for Word to give your students a chance to listen to and analyze newsmakers at length while they practice skills crucial to academic success.

November 2006: The Soul of War
Since September 11th, 2001 over 1.3 million men and women have served in Afghanistan and Iraq. Nearly 1 million have returned to their civilian lives. For November, Sound Learning acknowledges the service of these and all veterans by featuring an interview with Chaplain Major John Morris about the "Soul of War" and his program to assist returning Guard and Reserve soldiers adjust to civilian life, Beyond the Yellow Ribbon.

October 2006: Campaign 2006
On November 7th, Minnesotans will go to the polls to choose a Governor, an Attorney General, United States House Representatives and a United States Senator. Voters will also decide races for seats in the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate. This month, Sound Learning helps you and your students keep track of it all by featuring MPR's Campaign 2006 coverage, news archives, and interactive features.

September 2006: RSS Feeds, Blogs and Podcasts
Looking for ways to broaden your student's exposure to the arts or bring current events into your classroom? This month, Sound Learning kicks off the school year with a variety of news feeds, weblogs, and podcasts from Minnesota Public Radio. Even if you thought podcasting was a new fishing technique, this month's webpage includes lesson templates that will help you quickly connect your students with vetted, up-to-the-minute information on a wide-range of topics.

May 2006: Composers Datebook
Passion, vanity, and beauty. For May, Sound Learning features the program Composers Datebook from American Public Media. Each day, Composers Datebook presents a wealth of information about a specific composer and historic musical events.

April 2006: The Writer's Almanac
In April 1996, the Academy of American Poets began National Poetry Month, which brings together writers, publishers, booksellers, libraries, and schools around the country to promote poetry in American culture. Thousands of businesses and literary organizations support National Poetry Month by hosting readings, festivals, workshops, and other events. To celebrate National Poetry Month, Sound Learning features The Writer's Almanac from American Public Media.

March 2006: American RadioWorks: No Place for a Woman
In 1970, nearly half the women in the United States had paying jobs, but most women worked for low pay. But by the mid-70s, women began taking jobs running shovels, driving trucks, and operating enormous machines in Minnesota's ore processing plants while facing blatant harassment. This month Sound Learning observes Women's History Month by featuring the American RadioWorks documentary "No Place for a Woman."

February 2006: Living Longer. Living Better
Experts have shown that for the first time in living history, our children will live shorter lives than we do. The culprit? Childhood obesity. This month Sound Learning dedicated its feature to the Blue Zones Challenge, a program that teams students, parents, and teachers in an effort to alter four key behaviors that impact childhood obesity.

January 2006: Religious Passion, Pluralism, and the Young
British youth detonate bombs in the London Underground. Palestinian youth walk into discothèques and pizza parlors to detonate bombs in their backpacks. What compels young people, including young Muslims, to commit such acts of violence? This month Sound Learning explores this question by featuring an interview and resources from American Public Media's Speaking of Faith.

Think GlobalDecember 2005: Think Global!
Included in this month's feature are selected resources and lesson templates to help you connect globalization to your curriculum. Use the documentary and annotated transcript to foster class discussion about the global flow of goods. Create lessons with the "Think Global!" news special that assess your students' reading comprehension as they learn why people from all over the world immigrate to Minnesota. All activities are correlated with the Minnesota graduation standards.

Revisiting VietnamNovember 2005: American RadioWorks' Revisiting Vietnam
Just over thirty years ago, the last American solders pulled out of Vietnam. November's Monthly Feature, Revisiting Vietnam from American RadioWorks, helps your students observe Veteran's Day by highlighting the experiences of some of the nearly three million Americans who served in the war.

Marketplace MoneyOctober 2005: Marketplace Money's "A Day in the Work Life" series
October's Sound Learning feature is the series "A Day in the Work Life" from American Public Media's "Marketplace Money" program, on air every weekend.

This month's Sound Learning page contains lesson templates and selected resources to help you quickly use "A Day in the Work Life" for practicing listening and note-taking skills. Social studies or economics teachers as well as career counselors will find timely and engaging content to add to their curriculum. Each lesson template correlates with the Minnesota graduation standards.

Morning EditionSeptember 2005: Morning Edition
Of particular interest to teachers and students of Current Events, Civics and Social Studies.

Morning Edition's Web site provides text and accompanying audio segments on the top issues of each day as well as archived regional stories dating back to 1997. This month, Sound Learning supplies lesson templates to help you quickly integrate audio and text news stories into your classroom teaching. Use the templates to establish a current events routine in your classroom or add real-world issues to your language arts instruction. All lesson templates correlate to the Minnesota Graduation Standards.

Mirror on MoralityMay 2005: A Mirror on Morality
Of particular interest to teachers and students of Political Science, Civics and Social Studies.

Since the November, 2004 election, much has been said about moral values. Many people say their beliefs don't just play an important role in their life, but also in how they vote. Conservative Christians voted in large numbers, helping to re-elect President Bush.

National Poetry MonthApril 2005: National Poetry Month
Of particular interest to teachers and students of English/language arts and creative writing.

The Writer's Almanac is a good resource for introducing poetry into our daily lives. It can be heard each day on public radio stations throughout the country. Each program features a poem, read by Garrison Keillor, and historical notes about literary figures.

Moral Man and Immoral SocietyMarch 2005: Moral Man and Immoral Society: The Public Theology of Reinhold Niebuhr
Of particular interest to teachers and students of religious studies, political science, sociology and civics.

This month, we explore the ideas and present-day relevance of 20th century theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, an influential, boundary-crossing voice in American public life. Niebuhr challenged American Christians as often as he consoled them, and was taken seriously by both religious and secular Americans. Exploring his wide appeal, Sound Learning discusses the insights he brings to the political and religious dynamics of today.

Say it PlainFebruary 2005: Say it Plain: A Century of Great African American Speeches
Of particular interest to teachers and students of American history, political science, and civics.

When the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s I Have a Dream speech is broadcast each February to mark Black History Month, the magnetic cadence of his words is almost impossible to resist. King was a remarkable orator, but he was hardly alone. He was nurtured in a centuries-old African American tradition of spoken narrative and oral persuasion. Sound Learning's February feature takes this tradition and puts it in an academic context, illuminating students to the profound effect African American oratories have in our shared history.

Beethoven's Journey Still CaptivatesJanuary 2005: Beethoven's Journey Still Captivates
Of particular interest to teachers and students of Arts and culture, music, and art history.

What is it that makes this man's music so universally popular? The connoisseurs have always revered his music - the greatest musicians and scholars, but the common man loves Beethoven's work, too - the fellow who can recognize the Fifth Symphony on the radio and hum along with the great tune at the end of the Ninth - Beethoven's his man, too. What gives this music the power to reach so many different sorts of people?

The Education Achievement GapNovember 2004: The Education Achievement Gap: Minnesota's Embarrassment
Of particular interest to teachers and students of American history, political science, and civics.

The percentage of minority public school students in Minnesota has doubled in the past 14 years, and projections show no slowdown in that increase. Meanwhile, minority students perform less well than white students by 20 percent on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment Test. That gap is considerably larger for Hispanic and black students.

Thurgood Marshall: Before the CourtOctober 2004: Thurgood Marshall: Before the Court
Of particular interest to teachers and students of American history, political science, and civics.

This month we revisit an American RadioWorks documentary on Thurgood Marshall. Before he was on the U.S. Supreme Court, he was an effective litigator. In this capacity, Thurgood Marshall won a significant victory with Brown v. Board of Education, which effectively made school segregation illegal. This feature examines Marshall's impact on civil rights as a litigator and activist—before he was on the Supreme Court.

Whose Democracy Is It?May 2004: Whose Democracy Is It?
Of particular interest to teachers and students of American history, political science, and civics.

We revisit some special Marketplace reports on money and politics, examining the evolution of political marketing and image-making; the role of donors and their money in elections; and the challenges of fundraising.

National Poetry MonthApril 2004: National Poetry Month
Of particular interest to teachers and students of English/language arts and creative writing.

The Writer's Almanac is a good resource for introducing poetry into our daily lives. It can be heard each day on public radio stations throughout the country. Each program features a poem, read by Garrison Keillor, and historical notes about literary figures.

American Maverick MusiciansMarch 2004: American Maverick Musicians
Of particular interest to teachers and students of music, history, and social studies.

Many of America's maverick composers have become inventors. The cultured music we inherited from Europe, and even the musics that have been brought here from Asia and Africa, have not always been sufficient for the needs of democratic, commercial, noisy, fast-paced America. Musicians such as Harry Partch, Ben Johnston, and John Cage were pioneers of invention. The effect of American musical innovation has rendered composers self-sufficient and free from institutions, establishing the maverick image.

Remembering Jim CrowFebruary 2004: Remembering Jim Crow
Of particular interest to teachers and students of English/Language Arts and history/social studies.

For much of the 20th Century, African Americans in the South were barred from the voting booth, sent to the back of the bus, and walled off from many of the rights they deserved as American citizens. Until well into the 1960s, segregation was legal. The system was called Jim Crow. In the American RadioWorks documentary Remembering Jim Crow, Americans—black and white—remember life with Jim Crow.

The Fight Against FatJanuary 2004: The Fight Against Fat
Of particular interest to teachers and students of English/Language Arts, History/social studies, and Health/Wellness. There are also stories that may be useful in Biology, Economics, or Current Issues classes.

American obesity is on the rise. More people eat too much, get too little exercise, and suffer a variety of health problems as a result. With the prevalence of "super sized" fast-food meals, sedentary lifestyles, quick-fix weight loss plans, and confusing—sometimes conflicting—information about exercise and nutrition, American society seems to be stacking the deck against those who are trying to fight the fat.

The Legacy of the African-American SpiritualDecember 2003: The Legacy of the African-American Spiritual
Of particular interest to teachers and students of music, history, and social studies.

The spiritual, born in the American South, created by slaves, is the source from which gospel, jazz, blues and hip hop evolved. The organizing concept of this music is not the melody of Europe, but the rhythm of Africa. And the theology conveyed in these songs is a mix of African spirituality, Hebrew narrative, Christian doctrine, and an extreme experience of human suffering.

Korea: The Unfinished WarNovember 2003: Korea: The Unfinished War
Of particular interest to teachers and students of English/language arts, history/social studies, and current events.

"Korea: The Unfinished War" explores how the Korean War launched an American military build-up that has lasted to the present day, led to a policy of containment and limited war rather than direct confrontation with the enemy, and hastened the racial integration of the nation's armed forces.

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