With the holidays coming, we’ve got you covered with fun things to do. Here are a few things that may interest you, your students, or your own children.
1) On December 15th at 9:00 a.m. the online electronic field trip, Westward, will explore the story of the early days of American westward expansion. Daniel Boone recounts the exciting experiences and unexpected consequences associated with moving west. Learn about the risks and grueling personal hardships of creating new settlements. Pre-register for Westward at http://www.lpb.org/etrips.
2) To continue our effort to remind each other of sites that have inspired literary or musical works, we had emails that directed us to Hanau, Germany—the birthplace of the Brothers Grimm—who are responsible for the rather grim fairytales we may have read when we were younger. Want to see the Grimm Brothers statue? http://deutsche-maerchenstrasse.com/en/brothers-grimm/biographical-milestones/the-brothers-grimm-in-hanau.html. The Grimm fairytales are also the focus of a fun National Geographic site http://www.nationalgeographic.com/grimm/ and a collection by Professor Ashliman from the University of Pittsburg.
Did you read the Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo? Now you can learn more about its inspiration, the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris http://www.notredamedeparis.fr/spip.php?rubrique71
In honor of the season, you may want to check out the chapel where Silent Night was reportedly first played in Oberndorf, Austria http://www.sacred-destinations.com/austria/oberndorf-silent-night-chapel.
3) There is still time to nominate one of your students as a Louisiana Young Hero. A lot of attention is given to the young people who get into trouble or underachieve in school, but often the students who do exceptionally well in the classroom or make a huge difference in their community do not receive the recognition they deserve. The Louisiana Young Heroes Awards honor students in grades 7-12 who have excelled in the classroom, have served their community or have shown great courage in overcoming adversity in their own lives. Students must be enrolled in a Louisiana school or homeschooled and cannot be older than 19 years of age.
Nomination forms can be downloaded from the LPB website (http://www.lpb.org/heroes) or submitted through the online form. Letters of recognition and other supporting materials should be sent to support the nomination. Students who have been nominated in past years may be re-nominated for this year’s awards. Previous winners are not eligible. The deadline for entries is February 3, 2012.
Louisiana Young Heroes Day will be April 18, 2012. The Young Heroes will be treated to a day full of activities including lunch on the grounds of the Governor’s Mansion. The day will culminate in a banquet that night Baton Rouge. For more information, call Margaret Schlaudecker at (800) 272-8161, ext. 4276.
4) Just in time for the holidays we are going to remind you to eat a healthy diet and check out the healthy eating plans at http://www.lpb.org/stepitup! LPB has launched STEP IT UP! for teens and tweens, a website developed by LPB and funded by a grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, to help teens and tweens control and reduce their weight. It provides information from health professionals to motivate and encourage young people to get active and eat healthier. Handy excerpts from LPB’s program Kids: Trying to Trim Down and our series Step by Step: Kids Trimming Down can be accessed on the site. Students teachers and parents will be able to ask questions on the site that will be answered by health professionals. Tips will be provided to help tackle the problem of childhood obesity. You don’t have to be a teen to benefit. Everyone is welcome to log on to the free site http://www.lpb.org/stepitup and take part in the program. It might be great to start the new school year by doing something nice for yourself. We can all Step It Up!
5) If you are working on your holiday gift list, you might want to look at some of the great DVD and book specials this year with free shipping through December 23. Some Louisiana Features are Louisiana: A History series Native Waters: A Chitimacha Recollectio, Summer of Birds, or Atchafalaya Houseboat. With all the interest in sports you may want to review Forever LSU, The Golden Band from Tigerland, Treasures of LSU, or Louisiana Baseball Stories. Visit ShopLPB at lpb.org/shop or call 1-800-973-7246 to order.
6) April 2012 will mark the 200th anniversary of Louisiana Statehood. To commemorate the event the Bicentennial commission has prepared a Teacher Desk Reference, 200 years in the Making: Celebrating the Bicentennial of Louisiana Statehood that can be viewed and printed from the Bicentennial education site, crt.state.la.us/education. As the site develops it will also contain additional education items, history podcasts, and the Bicentennial timeline so be watching as the site grows. Teacher workshops will begin in January and run through March. The agendas and online registration are available at crt.state.la.us/education/teacherworkshops.aspx .
7) For you to enjoy during the holidays LPB offers music across the spectrum on LPB-HD.
December 12th at 9 p.m. Buddy Holly: Listen to Me. On what would have been Buddy Holly’s birthday, an all-star tribute was held at The Music Box in Hollywood with an incredible line-up of performers including Stevie Nicks, Chris Isaak, Lyle Lovett, Raul Malo and Graham Nash. A host of superstar guests appear such as Paul Anka, Boz Scaggs, Shawn Colvin, Patrick Stump, Cobra Starship’s Gabe Saporta and Victoria Asher.
December 12th at 7 p.m. Human Nature Sings Motown with special guest Smokey Robinson. This special features Australia's #1 selling vocal group, the four member Human Nature, presented by Smokey Robinson. The group is backed by a nine piece band and a full stage production evocative of the Motown period. The four singers tell the stories of the Motown songs while wearing the classic wardrobes which characterized the legendary Motown acts. They perform the greatest hits of Motown.
December 12th at 8:30 p.m, is the smooth voice of Johnny Mathis: Wonderful, Wonderful!
December 14th at 7 p.m. Straight No Chasers - Songs of the Decades: Holiday Edition.
December 17th at 9 p.m. laugh through the Victor Borge: Comedy in Music including recently re-discovered funniest and most memorable. If you can remember Andy Williams and Perry Como, then you will enjoy the rare archival footage from their classic shows.
December 31st at 11 p.m. is Cold Play New Year’s Eve – An Austin City Limits Special. Modern rock giants Coldplay ring in the New Year with this Austin City Limits special highlighting their hits and songs from their newest LP, "Mylo Xyloto."
December 31st at 9 p.m. Live from Lincoln Center: Bernstein and Gershwin. The New York Philharmonic's New Year's Eve concert kicks off with Bernstein's Overture to Candide and promises to delight with more Bernstein (Symphonic Dances from West Side Story) and two Gershwin masterpieces: his Piano Concerto in F with guest artist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Rhapsody in Blue.
8) Prefer stage performances? On Friday, December 23, PBS Arts from San Francisco: The Little Mermaid from San Francisco Ballet premieres at 9:00pm. (Note: An encore presentation airs on Saturday, December 24 at 4:00pm.)
December 21st at 7 p.m. Live from Lincoln Center: George Balanchine’s the Nutcracker. This is a production that has become the heart of New York City's year-end holiday season. From the moment the lights dim, you will be transported to a magical place filled with adorable children, marching toy soldiers, a glowing one-ton Christmas tree that seemingly grows forever, mischievous mice, crystalline waltzing snowflakes, the Land of Sweets and some of the most glorious dancing on earth.
9) Do you mark the season with the National Christmas Tree Lighting? You can watch the 89th celebration on December 22 at 7 p.m. This one-hour special from President's Park in Washington, D.C. features performances and readings by top musical artists and actors. The evening’s festivities will be capped off with the ceremonial lighting of the National Christmas Tree.
10) If holidays mean food to you, then plan to enjoy Lidia Celebrates America Holiday Tables & Traditions which premieres at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday December 20th. You can also sharpen your basic culinary skills with the legendary Chef Jacques Pepin and his daughter Claudine on Essential Pepin on December 31st at 1:30 p.m. As they cook great dishes, they also demonstrate his impeccable technique, from chopping an onion or peeling a softly boiled egg to breaking down a leg of lamb. The series encourages novices to take their first culinary steps and entices seasoned home chefs to try something new.
11) Across the country and around the world, the traditions of Christmas share a common thread while keeping special qualities that are unique to their own part of the globe. Louisiana is no different. December 20th at 7:30 p.m. LPB producer Charlie Whinham takes A Louisiana Christmas around the state to showcase time-honored holiday events and traditions, some dating back two centuries ago.
12) On December 15th at 9 a.m. you may want to join your children to watch Saints quarterback Drew Brees make an appearance on Sesame Street.
13) Love Downton Abbey? December 25th will be encore presentations of episodes 1-3 of Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey from 6:00-10:30 p.m. Episode 4 will air on January 1st at 8 p.m. The seven-episode Season 2 begins on Sunday, January 8th at 8 p.m.
I hope you find something to enjoy. We at LPB wish you and your family a great holiday season!
Ellen Wydra, Ph.D.
Director, Educational Television and Technology
Louisiana Public Broadcasting
(800) 272-8161, ext 4453