ELA Middle School
Literature has the power to influence our lives. In this audio story, several fifth graders at Anne Frank Elementary School in Philadelphia reflect on the lessons they have learned from reading Anne Frank’s innermost thoughts in "The Diary of a Young Girl." Their fifth grade class is diverse, with kids from many countries and cultures all over the world. You will hear many students explain how they can relate in different ways to the sentiments Anne Frank expresses in her diary. Listen to learn more about the ways these students think Anne Frank’s diary brings us together, gives us hope, and inspires us to never repeat the horrors of the past.
Current Event December 11, 2017
The Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum recently opened with the help of former Texas Senator, Florence Shapiro. Shaprio is a first-generation American whose family faced tragedy throughout the Holocaust. As she grew up, Shapiro continued to hear more stories about her relatives who lived in Berlin throughout the 1930s. She has made an effort to share this history with her children. Listen to hear how opening the museum carries on her father’s legacy and has allowed Shapiro to educate people of all ages about the Holocaust.
ELA High School
Nigerian author Chinua Achebe published the novel "Things Fall Apart" in 1958. His story of a Nigerian man whose village and culture are overtaken by British colonial forces in the 1890s sold millions of copies and was translated into 50 languages. The novel was one of the first bestsellers written by an African author as African nations gained independence from European rulers. It was also one of the first works to tell the story of colonialism from an African perspective. Listen to this radio story to hear about the author’s lasting influence on writers and literature.
ELA High School
Alfred Tennyson, better known as Lord Tennyson, was Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland for 42 years during the reign of Queen Victoria. His short lyrical poems appealed to the people of the 19th century, many of whom couldn’t read. One of this most famous poems “The Charge of the Light Brigade” describes a real event during the Crimean War. This charge, during the Battle of Balaclava in 1854, became the most well-known action of the war thanks to Tennyson’s poem, even though the poem wasn’t entirely accurate. Listen to learn more about the Crimean War, the real charge and how Tennyson’s words brought this event to life for the British people.
Current Event June 9, 2015
Since the end of World War II, the United States has served as a dominant military and political power in Asia. The enormous economic growth of China has some former U.S. diplomats worried. When China’s economy shifted from pure government control to a more mixed model they widened their international impact and their scope of interest. Should we continue to see China as a solid ally in the region or as a powerful potential rival? Listen to hear why to former diplomats argue that China is a threat.
Current Event May 27, 2015
During the Cold War the United States and the Soviet Union were in an espionage and arms race. From spying to building weapons and planes, the military and diplomatic corps were always working. Captain Roger Moseley was part of one of the most secret programs during the period, the development of the Stealth F-117 airplane. This airplane could avoid Soviet detection, allowing the planes to spy. Moseley wasn’t an obvious choice for such an important project, but an inflammatory speech made him attractive to the U.S. government spying program.
Current Event May 6, 2015
Forty years ago the Vietnam War came to an end. The Paris Peace Accords led to the withdrawal of American troops from South Vietnam, allowing the communist forces of the north, led by Prime Minister Ho Chi Minh, to retake South Vietnam and reunify the country. The final days of American occupation of South Vietnam was particularly tense in the South’s largest city, then known as Saigon. As troops left they also engaged in a huge evacuation effort, extracting American civilians and some South Vietnamese. Listen to learn more about these tense last days from Marines who were there.
Current Event April 26, 2015
Great Britain has a long history as a global power. From colonies around the world to diplomatic leadership, Britain has been a powerful leader through history. But the United Kingdom’s involvement and influence has waned in recent years. Since Britain’s involvement in the military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the British people and their politicians in Parliament have withdrawn from the world stage and turned their attentions inward. Listen to learn more about the causes and effects of Britain’s surprising absence from the world stage.
Current Event April 19, 2015
In the wake of the Holocaust during World War II, the word “genocide” was coined, accepted and recognized as a crime. However, the Holocaust may not have been the first modern genocide. Looking back to the World War I, it seems clear that the Ottoman Empire perpetrated a form of genocide against the Armenian population through mass relocation and massacres 100 years ago. Listen to learn more about the Turkish Ottoman Empire during WWI and this dark period of Armenian history.
Current Event April 12, 2015
The United States, Iran and five other world powers have agreed on the basic principles of a nuclear accord. This agreement is being presented as a victory in the U.S. and Iran but the two sides are offering different stories on some of the key points of the deal, including when economic sanctions will end. Listen to learn more about how these differing narratives may lead to problems finalizing the deal.
Current Event April 8, 2015
Social media is used to post pictures, follow others, and communicate with friends and family. But it can also be used to share pictures of everyday life with people across the globe, changing perspectives and worldviews. This happened when Ugaaso Abukar Boocow, a Somali refugee living in Canada, returned to Somalia to explore her home country and spend time with her mother. The media often focus on civil war, violence and poverty that has plagued Somalia since the early 90’s, but Ugaaso is exposing the world to the beauty and small moment of everyday life in the Somali capital Mogadishu through her Instagram feed.
Current Event March 31, 2015
Last Tuesday, March 24, 2015, a German plane flying from Barcelona, Spain to Dusseldorf, Germany was crashed on purpose by Andres Lubitz, its 27-year-old co-pilot. All 150 people on board were killed. When the pilot went to the bathroom, Lubitz locked the cockpit and took the plane off auto-pilot, leading to a 8-minute direct descent into the mountainside. Authorities have uncovered evidence that helps explain what happened, but doesn’t identify the co-pilot's motives. Listen to learn how this tragedy is changing the airline industry.
Current Event March 4, 2015
When the Nazi Party expanded its power and displaced Jews in Germany and other European countries, Nazis confiscated their belongings. Before becoming a politician and leader of the Nazi party, Adolf Hitler was an aspiring artist, so art was a particular target for him. He had plans to build his own personal museum after World War II, using 14 pieces of art owned by Baron Rothschild of Vienna. Listen to learn how the art, jewelry and rare books of the Rothschild family made it from the Nazi’s possession to an art museum in Boston.
ELA High School
George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” was published in 1945. Its message was explicitly political as a statement and a satire against Stalinism and the dictatorial socialism of the Soviet Union. Understanding this allegory gives deeper meaning to the talking animals who take control of their farm. Seventy years later, does this message of failed revolution resonate in a communist nation with a similar revolution and trajectory? Listen to learn how a later theatrical adaptation of the book is being understood in modern day China.