CURRICULUM RESOURCES, PART XI
Compiled from EIN Newsletters (1/08 – 6/08)



NEW BOOKS FOR LLI COURSES

Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community and War, by Nathaniel Philbrick. This was chosen by the NY Times as one of the ten best books of 2006.
The Mayflower Papers: Selected Writings of Colonial New England, edited by Nathaniel and Thomas Philbrick.
Both of these books were published in paperback by Penguin in spring, 2007.
In My Blood: Six Generations of Madness and Desire in an American Family, by John Sedgwick. This extensively researched, highly readable “family biography” interweaves the author’s own story with that of his once-eminent Massachusetts family.
Are We Rome? The Fall of an Empire and the Fate of America, by Cullen Murphy. Murphy looks at how the Roman Empire confronted a number of key challenges – or failed to, gleaning important lessons for our own “empire.”

Thanks to the OMNILORE program at California State University in Dominquez Hills for the following book ideas:
A Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion. This is a remarkable piece of nonfiction describing the author’s reactions and emotions after the sudden death of her husband. She shares her thoughts and her search for understanding.
A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini. The setting is Afghanistan. The book is about love and friendship and the meaning of family ties during a time of invasion and tyrannical governance. Most of all, it is a shocking revelation of the treatment of women throughout those years.
The World is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century, by Thomas J. Friedman. The books shows the “surprising advances and ubiquity of the computer revolution in the world at large.” Think of “flat” as meaning “connected.” The author offers facts one can’t ignore, and Friedman is definitely a writer one can’t ignore either.
White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era, by Shelby Steele. The title says it all, indicating that white guilt has been exploited, resulting in a lack of progress in black achievement. A controversial book of prose that raises a number of questions.
Dawn?, by Elie Wiesel. The book is a night-to-dawn narrative centered on Elisha, a young holocaust survivor and Israeli freedom fighter, who is scheduled to assassinate an English officer in retribution for a British execution. What dilemmas does conflict bring us to? One reads the book feeling the same anguish and torn feelings as Elisha and the officer.

Thanks to the OMNILORE program at California State University in Dominquez Hills for the following suggestions.
Grayson, by Lynne Cox is a true-life account of an extraordinary ocean adventure. When the author was 17, she trained for marathon swimming off the coast of Seal Beach. A lost baby whale (she named him Grayson) became her underwater companion. This is the story of her determination to reunite the baby with his mother.
Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations, by Georgina Howell, makes use of letters, diaries and Bell’s publications to tell the story of one of Britain’s most famous travelers. Bell’s life covered 1868-1926, and in that life she was known as an explorer, travel writer, translator of Sufi verse, scholar and spy.
Mother Tongue, by Bill Bryson, provides insight into both British and American English, showing how the language evolved with uncertain grammar, spelling, and pronunciation.

Thanks to the McGill Learning in Retirement program in Montreal for these suggestions.
The Door, by Margaret Atwood is her latest book of poetry.
Murder in Amsterdam, by Ian Buruma, a highly respected journalist.
How Doctors Think, by Jerome Groopman, an important book.
The Omnivore’s Dilemma, by Michael Pollan forces us to think seriously about the food we put on the table.
The Judgement of Paris, by Ross King is a detailed and meticulous art history that explores the decade that gave birth to Impressionism.

Thanks to the Omnilore program at California State University in Dominquez Hills for the following contributions:
The Whistling Season, by Ivan Doig is set in rural Montana, beginning in the fall of 1909. The narrator, an aging state superintendent of schools, must decide the fate of the remaining rural schools in Montana. He is a product of those schools, and relates the experiences of his seventh grade, his motherless family, and the hard life in the rural environment.
The Birth of Venus, by Sarah Dunant is a delightful piece of historical fiction taking place in 15th Century Florence. The Medici Family, Savonarola, and the city’s culture are highlighted through the eyes of the daughter of a wealthy fabric merchant. In the course of the action, the reader sees how the church, the diseases, and the political events effect individual lives.
Autobiography of an Elderly Woman, by Anonymous is a tricky book to classify. Is it fiction or nonfiction? Originally published in 1911, it is written from the perspective of an elderly woman who bemoans her existence because of the hovering of her adult children. The book was actually the work of 37-year-old Mary Heaton Vorse, a Greenwich Village bohemian and radical journalist who wrote it in the voice of her mother.
The Fabric of America, by Andro Linklater, reveals how Andrew Ellicott (self-educated astronomer, mathematician, and surveyor), commissioned by President Washington, delineated the boundaries of the capital of the new nation. Later he surveyed and mapped much of the northern and southern boundaries of the country and established principles used in cartography.
The End of Faith, by Sam Harris, with a subtitle, Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason offers a good summary of the content. The author contends that faith is the most dangerous element of modern life. He indicates that faith, as contrasted with reliance on evidence, has proved to be a cure worse than the disease. He also proposes alternate approaches to the mysteries of life, and has a comprehensive bibliography for those who wish to pursue this fascinating topic.

Thanks to the Omnilore Program at California State University, Dominquez Hills for the following suggestions.
The Zookeeper’s Wife: A War Story, by Diane Ackerman, is a true story of wartime Poland, based on the diaries of Antonia Zabinski, the wife of Jan Zabinski who ran the Warsaw Zoo. This courageous couple sheltered over 300 Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto, constantly risking the lives of themselves and their family.
War in Val D’Orcia: An Italian War Diary-1943-1944, by Iris Origo presents a daily record of living in Tuscany during the war. The author’s personal account gives a day to day picture of life in rural Italy.
Nation of Secrets: The Threat to Democracy and the American Way of Life, by Ted Gup. His premise is that secrecy in the federal government, on college campuses, in courts and in the corporate world, is generally undercutting a central condition necessary in a democracy – the ability to know.

NEW WEB SITES FOR LLI COURSES

REVISING HIMSELF: WALT WHITMAN AND "LEAVES OF GRASS"


An exhibition from the Library of Congress American Treasures commemorating the publication of "Leaves of Grass" in 1855. It traces the different occupations and preparations that led Whitman to become the author of 'Leaves of Grass,' as well as his subsequent evolution as a poet.. Features a biography, with images of books, letters, manuscripts, photographs, and related items. Includes letters from individuals such as Oscar Wilde and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

10TH PLANET DISCOVERED


Article about the July 2005 discovery of a new planet in the outer solar system. ... The planet, which hasn't been officially named yet ... [is located] more or less in the Kuiper Belt, a dark realm beyond Neptune where thousands of small icy bodies orbit the
sun. Includes photos, an artist's concept of the planet, and audio of the story. From the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).


AAAS EVOLUTION RESOURCES


A site promoting the scientific robustness of the contemporary theory of biological evolution. It seeks to engage the religious communities in support of research on and education about evolution. Includes discussions of dissenting views, such as intelligent design and creationism. Also find full-text versions of related major federal court decisions. Developed as part of the Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, DIVISION OF PALEONTOLOGY


This museum has one of the largest and most significant paleontology collections in the world. This collection contains an estimated five million fossil specimens, including over three hundred thousand fossil vertebrates, collected over 125 years. This site features more than 8,000 images of the specimens and more than a thousand images of old photographs, letters, and field notebooks.

BBC EDUCATION: EVOLUTION


4000 million years of evolution crammed into one website. Includes the full text of Darwin's Origin of Species, with an illustrated guide, and essays on Darwin and his findings, including dissenting views to his ideas. Also find a brief bibliography, a transcript of a debate on Darwin, an artificial life game called Biotopia, and transcripts of BBC television documentaries on evolution.

THE SHOT HEARD ROUND THE WORLD: DEVELOPMENT OF THE SALK POLIO VACCINE


This illustrated timeline presents events surrounding the development of the polio vaccine by Dr. Jonas Salk. Discusses early history of polio, the first major U.S. polio epidemic in 1916, the research of Salk and others to develop a polio vaccine, the March of Dimes polio vaccine fundraising campaign, and the drop in polio incidence since the first widespread use of Salk's vaccine in 1955.

PABLO PICASSO: OFFICIAL WEB SITE


Charming website for 20th century artist Pablo Picasso, known for his development of cubism, his blue and pink period works, his "Guernica" painting, and more. Features an illustrated timeline, a genealogy (showing his many loves), material about his studios (in France, Spain, and elsewhere), and illustrated essays about selected works. Also includes a list of exhibitions around the world.

ELECTION 08 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION


News and analysis about the 2008 presidential election. Features material about candidates (with links to stories, photos, video and audio clips, and related websites), and the "Democratic Candidate Mashup," in which users build their own debate by selecting video clips from different candidates on topics such as Iraq, health care, and education. Also includes fundraising data, and a summary of where each candidate stands on selected issues. From Yahoo News.



ADOLPH SAX


Biographical material about Adolph Sax, the Belgian-born inventor of the saxophone. Describes his "agitated childhood" (which included many serious accidents), how his father manufactured musical instruments, his move to Paris, his invention of the saxophone, and the importance of the saxophone to jazz music. From the city of Dinant, Belgium, birthplace of Sax.

AFRICANS IN AMERICA: PEOPLE & EVENTS: BENJAMIN BANNEKER, 1731-1806


Biographical essay about Benjamin Banneker, author, scientist, mathematician, farmer, astronomer, publisher and urban planner [who] was descended from enslaved Africans, an indentured English servant, and free men and women of color. Discusses accomplishments and key events in his life, and includes a related essay on Banneker's "Almanac," and letters to and from Banneker and Thomas Jefferson. Part of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) "Africans in America" website and TV series.

THE CONQUEST OF MEXICO


This presentation, originally created by a history professor for an entry-level university course, has the goal of providing a "learning environment for students to learn historical thinking skills while studying one of the most important events in world history, the conquest of Mexico" by the Spaniards. It includes material for teachers and students, maps, primary sources documents, and a brief timeline (1492-1521). Part of the American Historical Association's teaching and learning materials collection.

OXFORD SCIENCE WALK


This walk takes you to some of the most important and interesting scientific sites in Oxford [England], from the time of the founding of the University in the 13th century ... to advancements in modern science such as the development of penicillin. Click on the map to learn about the work of such people as Edmond Halley (of Halley's comet) and Stephen Hawking. From the Museum of the History of Science, University of Oxford.


IMAGINING OURSELVES: A GLOBAL GENERATION OF WOMEN


This online exhibition, based on a project begun in 2001, features "film, photography, music, poetry, and personal essays -- all responding to the question 'What Defines Your Generation of Women?'" Explore the exhibit by selecting a theme such as love, money, war and dialog, motherhood, and image and identity. Also includes material about activism opportunities. Available in several languages. From the International Museum of Women.



THE GREAT SALMON RUN: COMPETITION BETWEEN WILD AND FARMED SALMON


This 2007 report "examines economic and policy issues related to wild and farmed salmon in North America." Two trends are considered: "the rapid and sustained growth in world farmed salmon" and "a steep decline in the value of North American wild fisheries." Includes a summary and the full report, which cover topics such as salmon hatcheries, farming, consumption, marketing, and outlook. From the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

BACKGROUND: SALMON


Information about salmon and salmon fishing from the organization that is responsible for fisheries off the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington. "Chinook and coho salmon are the main salmon species managed." Topics include the fish, fishery and gear, and the current salmon season. From the Pacific Fishery Management Council.



FINANCIAL CRIMES ENFORCEMENT NETWORK


Website for this government agency whose mission is "to safeguard the financial system from the abuses of financial crime, including terrorist financing, money laundering, and other illicit activity." Provides program background, information about the Bank Secrecy Act (administered by the agency), regulatory notices, a FAQ about money laundering and related topics, and speeches, testimony, correspondence, and other documents from the program. From the U.S. Department of the Treasury.



THREE MILE ISLAND: THE INSIDE STORY


Presentation about "America's worst accident at a civilian nuclear power plant [which] occurred on March 28, 1979" on Three Mile Island, near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Diagrams, photos, and essays recount the details of the incident and its aftermath. Companion to a physical exhibit created for the 25th anniversary (in 2004) of the accident, from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.



THE FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: MONETARY POLICY


Brief questions and answers about "monetary policy [which] refers to the actions undertaken by a central bank, such as the Federal Reserve, to influence the availability and cost of money and credit as a means of helping to promote national economic goals." Includes answers to question about the federal funds rate, the discount rate, and how the Federal Reserve maintains the stability of the U.S. financial system. From the Federal Reserve Board (FRB).

ARTHUR C. CLARKE: THE SCIENCE AND THE FICTION


An article and interview with science fiction author, futurist, and rocket enthusiast Arthur C. Clarke commemorating his 1945 predictions in his article "Extra-Terrestrial Relays: Can Rocket Stations Give World Wide Radio Coverage?" The article, published in the magazine Wireless World in 2005, describes how Clarke's "prediction of satellite communications has come true in ways.

ARTHUR C. CLARKE


This 2000 article discusses the career of Arthur C. Clarke and considers how "for decades, the author of the science-fiction classics '2001: A Space Odyssey' and 'Childhood's End' has exhibited an uncanny ability to see the future." For example, the article notes that "in 1945 ... 12 years before Sputnik, Clarke predicted a global relay system of radio and television signals using geosynchronous satellites." From Salon.com.

TRAVELERS IN THE MIDDLE EAST ARCHIVE (TIMEA)


This is "a digital archive that focuses on Western interactions with the Middle East, particularly travels to Egypt during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries." Searchable; or browse material by title, place name, creator, type (such as texts and maps), date, or subjects such as daily life and customs, travel and transportation, and religion and festivals. Also includes educational modules and project background. From Rice University.

THE ANCIENT AMERICAS


This exhibition "takes you on a journey through 13,000 years of human ingenuity and achievement in the western hemisphere, where hundreds of diverse societies thrived long before the arrival of Europeans." Features an exhibition overview, a FAQ about culture and the Americas, essays (about topics such as the Ice Age), interactive features, links to related collections, educational resources (including a glossary and reading materials), and more. From the Field Museum, Chicago.




I WANT TO LEARN ABOUT ...

in

or

from:
 
 
Add price, activity level and more.
Tell a friend about Road Scholar and this month you could win a $1,000 gift certificate!
Congratulations to our latest winner, Diane S.
signup top
and receive your
FREE E-Newsletter &
E-Photo book:


Top 10 Learning Experiences
Around the World





GO
signup bottom