Welcome Friends of NBC Learn!

“Autumn…. The year’s last, loveliest smile.”

William Cullen Bryant

November marks the season of giving and thanks, and there is no better place to encourage giving than in the classroom. Jump into this month’s newsletter to hear stories of compassion, caring, and the joy to be gained by helping others. As an example of how meaningful giving back can be, many of the videos we are highlighting feature everyday people who do small acts of kindness that pay off in priceless ways. Everyone can give back this holiday season, and we hope these videos will inspire you and your students to take action.

Also, be sure to join our Twitter Chat on November 9th to learn more about how NBC Learn and your school can work with Media Specialists and Librarians to get the most out of our resource.


The NBC Learn Team

National Adoption Month

November is National Adoption Month and NBC Learn wants to highlight a story of cross-continental generosity this giving season. Follow the journey of the Lumpkins, a tight-knit family from Kentucky who had a pleasant surprise last winter when they came across a Facebook post featuring a young girl with special needs in search of a loving home. Bearing a striking resemblance to their adopted Chinese daughter with similar special needs, the Lumpkins wondered if the girls might be related. After convincing the girl’s orphanage to conduct a DNA test, they were able to prove the girls were sisters. Through an expedited process, and a five month journey filled with strenuous checkpoints and ‘what-ifs’, the Lumpkin family returned from China with one more reason to be thankful this Thanksgiving season.

Giving Back

The 2016 tropical storm season was unrelenting for coastal states in the United States, and in particular, disastrous for Haiti. During this month of giving, we encourage you to share the story of Britney Gengel, a missionary who devoted her life to helping orphaned and underserved children all over Haiti. Britney did not survive the Haiti Earthquake of 2010, but her dreams of a better Haiti will continue to live on, for a long time. Britney’s parents, along with the parents of her fellow peers lost in the quake, made it their mission to open the Haitian orphanage of Britney’s dreams. Their foundation, Be Like Brit, houses 33 boys and 33 girls who are not up for adoption, but rather cared for and invested in by the caretakers, with the spirit that they can become their country’s next generation of leaders. 

Veterans Day

Friday, November 11th is Veterans Day. We want to remind educators everywhere that small acts of kindness go a long way in thanking the brave men and women who have fought to protect our freedom. To see just how large of an impact small actions can have on military veterans and their families, consider the story of Captain Zac Fike, a Vermont National Guardsman who wanted to make a difference. Having found a handful of Purple Hearts in local areas such as landfills and antique shops, Captain Fike was shocked to find out that so many veterans’ families do not have their loved one’s most honorable award. His plan was to return lost Purple Hearts to the families of the veterans who earned them. Inspire your students to give back this holiday season through the lens of a veteran who is giving back to his own community.

Chronicles of Courage

Speaking of military veterans, the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor – the event that propelled the United States into World War II – is fast approaching this December 7th. In honor of this important anniversary, NBC Learn will be launching a new educational film series called, “Chronicles of Courage: Stories of Wartime and Innovation.” The series will take viewers on a journey through World War II, as told by pilots, experts, and other aviation veterans from the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Russia and Japan.

Produced in partnership with Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions, the series highlights STEM concepts and innovation in many legendary WWII aircraft. It features airplanes like the American P-51 Mustang, the British Spitfire, and the Japanese Zero - which have been meticulously restored to their original flying condition by the Flying Heritage Collection - a premier destination for aviation, military vehicles and other conflict era artifacts – located in Everett, Washington and founded by Paul G. Allen.

This 20 short film series is designed for middle and high school students. It is aligned to the Common Core and other national and state education standards. Each film is less than six minutes long, and will be accompanied by lesson plans and classroom activities developed by the National Science Teachers Association.

You and your students will especially love the first person accounts of bravery and daring adventures as told by military veterans. Episodes feature stories about Pearl Harbor, the Doolittle Raid, the Flying Tigers, the Tuskegee Airmen, the female pilots of the WASP program, and many other inspiring tales that pay tribute to the men and women who served during World War II. 

Chemistry of Changing Leaves

Look around and you’ll notice that fall foliage is here! You and your students can explore the science behind the changing colors with NBC Learn’s original mini-collection, “Chemistry of Changing Leaves,” produced in partnership with the National Science Foundation.

How can organic materials like plants and leaves replace fossil fuels like natural gas and petroleum? Are there countries already replacing their non-renewable energy with these alternative sources? Why do leaves in the Northern Hemisphere change from summer green to autumn reds and oranges? Find the answers to these and dive deep into many other environmental science topics with this exciting video collection. The signature video of the series, “Chemistry of Changing Leaves,” includes a supplemental activity as well! All you have to do is open the video, and click on the “Activity” tab. 

Decision 2016

November 8th is Election Day. Not only will the country be voting to elect their 45th President, but we will also be deciding which major political party will control Congress. Some political analysts wonder if enough Senate and House sets are in play to make 2016 a “wave election,” when one political party makes major gains in Congress. Here’s a fascinating look at some local races in lean-Republican races across the country that could be vulnerable. 

November Twitter Chat

Looking for tips about using digital resources in the classroom? Connect with librarians and media specialists during our November Twitter Chat using #NBCLearnChat.

Week of Giving Toolkit

Join Parent Toolkit & NBC Learn for a Week of Giving! With Thanksgiving just around the corner, what better time to highlight the importance of giving with your students and families? Tune into the Parent Toolkit blog & newsfeed for an original article each day starting Sunday, November 20th. They’re featuring stories of inspiring kids making a difference in their Goal to be Greater campaign as well as tips from parents and educators for teaching kids the value of giving at any age. Also, get your class inspired with our Making a Difference videos on NBC Learn, including stories of a 15-year-old who inspired us all by building his kid brother with cerebral palsy a playground. It’s never too late, or too early, to inspire our students to make a difference in the lives of others. 

Subscriber Spotlights

This month we feature Kim Duhe, a religious studies teacher and educational technologist at Mount Carmel Academy in Louisiana. See how Kim uses NBC Learn in her own classroom as well how she uses the resource to help support STEM teachers across the school. 

How are you using NBC Learn as a teaching and learning resource? E-mail us at with examples of NBC Learn videos that especially engaged your students or summaries of your lessons.  We may feature you in a future K-12 or Higher Ed Subscriber Spotlight!

Want to read more Subscriber Spotlights? On the Home page of NBC Learn K-12 or NBC Learn Higher Ed, look under the heading NBC Learn in the Classroom.

Follow NBC Learn on Social Media:

NBC Learn FacebookNBC Learn TwitterNBC Learn EdmotoNBC Learn Google+

NBC Learn
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112
(877) NBC — 7502