Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Economics Lessons Using Planet Money Podcasts

Planet Money is a production of NPR covering the global economy. One of the services Planet Money offers is regular podcasts containing news and lessons about the economy. Patrick Black recently emailed me to share a link about Planet Money's podcasts being used in a high school economics class.

Economics teacher Heather Hanemann has developed lesson plans using Planet Money podcasts. Two of the lessons are about banks and bank regulators. The other lessons "Everyday Economics" provides listening comprehension worksheets to use with a half dozen Planet Money podcasts.

Applications for Education
In my Civics class I recently wrapped-up a unit on banking in the United States. Ms. Hanemann's lessons using the Planet Money podcasts would have made a nice addition to the resources that I used. The resources that I used included Investing Money in Plain English and Understanding the Financial Crisis.

Darwin, A Naturalist's Voyage - Virtual Journey

Darwin, A Naturalist's Voyage is an outstanding virtual tour of Charles Darwin's nearly five year journey on the Beagle. Darwin, A Naturalist's Voyage has fourteen segments chronicling Darwin's voyage from start to finish. Through the tour viewers will see sketches from the journey, hear readings from Darwin's journals, and learn about the journey as a whole. The virtual tour is not limited to just Darwin's work as a naturalist. Darwin, A Naturalist's Voyage explores social issues of the time such as slavery.

Applications for Education
If you teach any lessons regarding Darwin and his work, this virtual journey could be a great resource for students to use to learn about Darwin's voyage to the Galapagos Islands and back.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Galapagos Rap
Free EBooks of Classic Titles

PicLits - Inspired Picture Writing

PicLits is an interesting website that aims to provide inspiration for writing short stories. PicLits tries to accomplish this goal by providing users with images upon which they can build their writing. To get writers started, PicLits provides a list of words which can be dragged and dropped into sentence form. If you don't need a word list, you can select the "freestyle" option to begin free-form writing.

The idea of PicLits is not to write a full story within the images, but rather to use the images as the inspiration for longer pieces. Users of PicLits can create a free account in which to save their work.

If you like short personal narratives, make sure you read the about page on PicLits.

Applications for Education
PicLits could be a good source of inspiration for the reluctant writers in your classroom.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Imagination Prompt Generator
Two Sources of Writing Prompts
Write Rhymes Provides Fun Times

Films for Veterans Day Courtesy of Snag Films

Tomorrow is Veterans Day therefore schools across the US will be closed. If you're looking for films related to Veterans Day to use in your high school classroom either today or on Thursday, Snag Films has put together a collection of films for your consideration. I've embedded one of their featured films, Arlington: Field of Honor, below.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
30+ Alternatives to YouTube
Snag Films Solves Two Problems for Me
Two Ways to Watch National Geographic Online