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Canku Ota
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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Favorite Web Sites
collected by Paul and Vicki
Giraffe Heroes Project
The mission of the Giraffe Heroes Project is to move people to stick their necks out for the common good, and to give them tools to succeed. We find and honor “Giraffe Heroes”—men, women and young people sticking their necks out to help solve significant public problems, including poverty, injustice, corruption, gang violence, crimes against women, assaults on the environment and much more. We then tell the stories of these amazing people over both traditional and social media. Others see and hear these inspiring stories and are motivated to take action too.
Alutiiq Museum
The Alutiiq Museum’s work spans the globe, but we have a deep commitment to the Kodiak Archipelago — the museum’s home and the geographic center of the Alutiiq world. We work diligently to involve people of all heritages in educational programming and original research – archaeological studies, language documentation, and collections investigations. By engaging everyone in the celebration of Alutiiq heritage, we reduce cultural isolation, reawaken cultural traditions, build intergenerational ties that broaden cultural understanding, and create a welcoming environment for discovery.
Minnesota Wildflowers: a field guide to the flora of Minnesota
Our mission is to educate Minnesotans on our native plants, raise awareness on threats like invasive species, and inspire people to explore our great state, appreciate its natural heritage, and become involved in preserving it.
Tomaquag Museum
Tomaquag Museum was first founded as the Tomaquag Indian Memorial Museum by archaeologist Eva Butler and Narragansett/Pokanoket Wampanoag historian and educator Mary E. Glasko, also known as Princess Red Wing of the Seven Crescents, first opening in 1958 in Tomaquag Valley, a hamlet in Ashaway Rhode Island.
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Beatrix Potter
Beatrix Potter (1866 – 1943) was an English author, illustrator, and conservationist best known for her children’s books featuring Peter Rabbit and other animal characters. The first draft of “The Story of Peter Rabbit” was based on a letter she wrote to a little boy sick in bed, the son of a favorite governess who had cared for Potter in her childhood.
Literary Traveler: Beatrix Potter - More Than Just Bunnies
"A product of Victorian times, she [Beatrix Potter] far surpassed societal expectations of women of her era and class. She was an accomplished botanical illustrator, a sheep breeder and farmer, a wife, and a conservationist greatly devoted to her home, the Lake District of England." Visit Literary Traveler for a terrific Beatrix Potter bio. Other authors in their Children's Literature section include E.B. White, Faith Ringgold, and Lewis Carroll.
MentalFloss: 15 Things You Might Not Know About Beatrix Potter
Wow! Not only was she an illustrator, author, and conservationist, Potter also understood merchandising. "In 1903 Potter, recognizing the merchandising opportunities offered by her success, made her own Peter Rabbit doll, which she registered at the Patent Office. A Peter Rabbit board game and wallpaper were also produced in her lifetime."
Peter Rabbit: About Beatrix Potter
This official Peter Rabbit site from Penguin Books is my Beatrix Potter pick of the day. The Beatrix Potter section covers her life and her art, including a display of several pages from her childhood sketchbooks. For oodles of activities that will charm young Peter Rabbit fans, click on over to Play for printable downloads. Visit Animation for videos starring Peter and all his friends.
Project Gutenberg: Beatrix Potter
Project Gutenberg hosts twenty, free Beatrix Potter e-books in three formats: HTML with original illustrations, plain old ASCII text, and Plucker for use on a Palm device. There are also two audio books ("The Tale of Peter Rabbit" and "Great Big Treasury of Beatrix Potter") in MP3. Project Gutenberg is a non-profit organization and even donations of "pennies, nickels and dimes" are appreciated.

Women Children's Book Illustrators: Beatrix Potter
"Beatrix Potter was considered an amateur artist by some because of her lack of training, but her natural affection for animals and rich imagination made up for any deficiencies she may have had and manifested themselves through her illustrations." Created for college credit by illustrator Denise Ortakales, this Beatrix Potter biography is part of her Women Children's Book Illustrators site. It includes a chronological list of Potter's books and a gallery page of sketches and illustrations.

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Apollo 11
I remember that summer night, July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon. I tell my kids this story, and I know that for them, it is a story from another lifetime. They grew up knowing that man can walk on the moon, explore the surface of Mars, and that a computer is something you carry in your pocket, or wear on your wrist.
Contact Light
This web site offers "a nostalgic and personal look back at man's first voyages to the Moon, not from the perspective of a participant, nor from that of a historian, but instead from my own perspective as a young teenager and avid follower of the space program and Project Apollo." Kipp Teague recalls his thirteenth birthday. He remembers the embarrassment of the singing Black Angus waitresses as they delivered a cupcake topped with a sparkler, and the thrill of watching the "black & white images as Armstrong and Aldrin hopped about on the moon." "At about 1 a.m., I switched off the TV. July 20, 1969 had come to an end, and along with it had also ended my first day as a teenager."
NASA: Apollo 11
"The primary objective of Apollo 11 was to complete a national goal set by President John F. Kennedy on May 25, 1961: perform a crewed lunar landing and return to Earth." This NASA site is my Apollo 11 pick of the day. It includes mission overviews, an archive of stories, a photo gallery, audio, and HD videos. "An estimated 530 million people watched Armstrong's televised image and heard his voice describe the event as he took ' small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind' on July 20, 1969."
Smithsonian Air and Space: Apollo Lunar Module
"The Apollo Lunar Module (LM) was a two-stage vehicle designed by Grumman to ferry two astronauts from lunar orbit to the lunar surface and back." Explore this online exhibition with seventeen annotated photos (top of the page), and then scroll down for more articles. "President Kennedy challenged the United States to get to the Moon, and it was up to the staff of the Apollo Program to figure out how to do it."
We Choose the Moon
From the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, We Choose the Moon tells the dramatic story of Apollo 11 with animation, photos, video and mission audio. Move through the eleven stages of the mission using the Mission Tracker or navigation tabs. Make sure your speakers are on, and for the best effect, click the "full screen" icon in the upper right-hand corner. At the end of your journey (after returning to Earth) you can personalize and print a certificate of completion.

Where Were You?
"The first dusty footprints left by men on the moon were also indelible footprints left on the hearts and imaginations of the human race." Where Were You? is a collection of first-person stories submitted by readers about where they were when Apollo 11 landed on the moon on July 20, 1969. The stories are categorized into eight chapters that are listed in the left-hand navigation menu. Do you (or someone else in your family) have a good story to add? Just follow the instructions on the "Send us Your Story" page.

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To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee published her first novel in 1960, at the age of thirty-four. It won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction the following year. “To Kill a Mockingbird” tells two stories at once: one about attorney Atticus Finch’s defense of a black man accused of rape, and the second about his young daughter’s coming of age.
CliffsNotes: To Kill a Mockingbird
CliffsNotes does a bang-up job with their literature study guides. Visit for a book summary, Harper Lee biography, character analysis, a handful of critical essays, famous quotes, and a chapter-by-chapter summary. They also include a glossary ("obstreperous: noisy, boisterous, or unruly, esp. in resisting or opposing"), a fifteen-question interactive quiz, and five ideas for "To Kill a Mockingbird" projects. "Select a song that represents one of the themes in To Kill a Mockingbird. Play the song for your class and discuss your choice and the theme it represents."
NEA The Big Read: to Kill a Mockingbird
The Big Read is a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) program addressing the decline of reading for pleasure by bringing together communities to read and "celebrate books and writers." "To Kill a Mockingbird" is one of about twenty books already on their website, with more "coming soon." For readers, the The Big Read gives us discussion questions, an author biography, and a short piece about the Jim Crow South for historical context. For teachers, they provide lesson plans, project ideas, and essay topics.
PBS Thirteen: To Kill a Mockingbird: Book Club Discussion
With a nod to the New York Public Library, PBS Thirteen has "put together a list of questions to help guide both first-time and re-readers through the major themes of the novel." Who was the mockingbird? How was the mockingbird killed?
Reading Group Guides: To Kill a Mockingbird: Discussion Questions
Whether for a book club or a classroom, these nine questions are sure to generate discussion. "What elements of this book did you find especially memorable, humorous, or inspiring? Are there individual characters whose beliefs, acts, or motives especially impressed or surprised you?" Look in the left-hand vertical menu for links to a PDF reading guide, a book excerpt, and critical praise.

SparkNotes: To Kill a Mockingbird
SparkNotes covers all the bases with a plot overview, character analysis, chapter summaries, and a discussion of themes, symbols, and motifs. "Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, or literary devices that can help to develop and inform the text's major themes." They also explain five key quotations, suggest ten questions/essay topics, and provide a reading list of five books of literary criticism. And for those of you who like quizzes, their's is a doozy with twenty-five multiple-choice questions.

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World Population
World population surpassed seven billion in 2011. And even though population growth rate is declining,at the moment, projections show continual growth ahead. What does this mean for our future? What should we do about it? Learn more with these population resources.

Annenberg Lerner: Human Population Dynamics
This population course is part of Annenberg Learner's The Habitable Planet multimedia environmental science course for teachers and other adult learners, providing access to "content and activities developed by leading scientists and researchers in the field." It includes nine lessons (from Introduction to Further Reading), videos, a PDF textbook, and an interactive lab.

National Geographic: Calculating Population Density
"Where are the greatest concentrations of people in the United States?" This population activity from National Geographic Education is a forty-five minute exercise for middle-school and high-school students. Using recommended web resources, "students calculate population density in the United States and describe some of the patterns in the results" on a downloadable worksheet. Below the interactive exercise, you'll find instructions for teachers, links to additional activities, and a glossary.

PRB: World Population Data
"Every year, Population Reference Bureau (PRB) provides the latest demographic data for the world, global regions, and more than 200 countries." Explore the data in an interactive map or with charts and tables. There is also a PDF data sheet and lesson plan for teachers. "PRB Projects World Population Rising 33 Percent by 2050 to Nearly 10 Billion"

U.S. Census: Current Population Clock
These two population clocks (one for the U.S. and one for the world) are updated continuously for the first minute you stay on the page. "The populations displayed on the clock are not intended to imply that the population of the world is known to the last person. Rather, the clock is the Census Bureau's estimate of the world population size and an indication of how fast it is growing." To view the calculations behind the current rate of population growth, follow the links below the counters.

World of 7 Billion
"While humans have walked the Earth for 200,000 years, it has only been in the last 200 years that our numbers have soared." World of 7 Billion is a K-through-12 curriculum developed by Population Connection, a non-profit advocacy organization. The site contains teacher resources for middle-school and high-school classrooms that include a Quick Trip to 7 Billion wall chart.

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Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000 - 2017 of Vicki Williams Barry and Paul Barry.
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