Extra Credit

By Jay Gestwicki, Amy Sandmeyer, Sara Sklaroff & Christy J. Zink — May 01, 1993 19 min read


Following is a list of selected resources on world cultures, politics, and geography that teachers and their students may find useful.

United Nations

The United Nations has prepared a series of seven educational units that explore the various aspects of the U.N.’s work. Each unit of the series, titled About the United Nations, includes a teaching guide and documentary video featuring student reporting. The subjects are peace-keeping; human rights; Palestine; Africa recovery; environment and development; decolonization; and literacy. The series is appropriate for social studies, history, and civics classes at the secondary level. Cost: $29.95 per subject. Contact: United Nations Publications, Sales Section, Room DC2-853, Department 337, New York, NY 10017; (800) 253-9646.

Stories For Peace

“Although the river is broad, there are times when boats collide,” a Chinese Proverb cautions. Peace Tales: World Folktales to Talk About, a 128-page paperback offered by Shoe String Press, is full of such simple wisdom. The book includes a number of traditional sayings and folktales that show how conflicts and arguments can be turned into peaceful dialogue. The stories come from all over the world and are particularly suited for classroom storytelling and discussion. Cost: $13.95. Contact: Linnet Books, Shoe String Press, 925 Sherman Ave., Hamden, CT 06514; (203) 248-6307.

Cooking And Culture

Oryx Press has published The Multicultural Cookbook for Students, a 312-page paperback with recipes from 120 nations. In addition to telling students how to prepare such dishes as Calalou (an eggplant and okra stew from the Ivory Coast) and Canadian Blueberry Corn Fritters, the book also teaches students about other cultures. Cost: $25.95. Contact: Oryx Press, 4041 N. Central, Phoenix, AZ 85012-3397; (800) 279-6799 or (602) 265-2651.

World Folklore

Oryx Press also offers A Knock at the Door, a 184-page paperback that gives students a taste of international folklore. Every story in the book starts when a dangerous character knocks at the door, pretending to be a friend. Each of the 35 cultures represented in the volume has a different take on what happens next. These tales come from every part of the globe—from Cameroon to Jamaica—and can be used to teach social studies and language arts. Cost: $23.50. Contact: Oryx Press, 4041 N. Central, Phoenix, AZ 85012-3397; (800) 279-6799 or (602) 265-2651.

Soviet Studies

The Southern Center for International Studies offers “The End of the Soviet Union,” an educational package that includes a video and an instructional guide with information and activities designed to give students insight into the events surrounding the breakup of the Soviet Union. Cost: $30. Contact: The Southern Center for International Studies, 320 West Paces Ferry Road, N.W., Atlanta, GA 30305.

Reference Atlas

Kingfisher Books offers The Kingfisher Reference Atlas: An A-Z Guide to Countries of the World. The 216-page hardback, arranged alphabetically from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, includes a wide range of maps and political, historical, and cultural information. The atlas has been revised to reflect the changing face of the world. Each entry also includes the national flag, population and climatic charts, and fact boxes on currency, religion, and exports. Cost: $19.95. Contact: Kingfisher Books, 95 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016; (800) 497-1657 or (212) 686-1060.


The popular geography program Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, which has students become detectives and chase villains around the world, is now available in CD-ROM format. This new incarnation contains twice as many villains and clues, more countries, location graphics created from National Geographic slides, and folk music selections from Folkways Recordings. Cost: $89.95 for a single workstation license. Contact: Online Computer Systems, 20251 Century Blvd., Germantown, MD 20874; (800) 832-2722.

Gulf War

Griffin-Wirth Associates offers a “media literacy workshop kit,” designed to help students look critically at the way the media covered the Persian Gulf War. The kit includes a video about the war titled “Lines in the Sand,” a teacher’s guide, and masters for student handouts. Cost: $37.95 for the entire kit; $21.95 for video only. Contact: Griffin-Wirth Associates, 168 Parkway Drive, Syracuse, NY 13207; (315) 476-3396.


Following is a list of application deadlines for grants, fellowships, and honors available to individuals. Asterisks (*) denote new entries.

Grants and Fellowships

May 1. Humanities

The National Endowment for the Humanities offers the Teacher-Scholar Program. The program supports an academic year of full-time independent study in a humanities subject to help educators gain an in-depth understanding of a topic they teach. Approximately 30 recipients each may receive up to $30,000 and a $500 honorarium for a mentor in their field of study. Eligible are full-time precollegiate humanities teachers and librarians who teach at least half of the school day. Contact: Teacher-Scholar Program, Division of Educational Programs, Room 302, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20506; (202) 606-8377.

May 1. Humanities

The National Endowment for the Humanities offers fellowships to support six to 12 months of full-time, uninterrupted study and research for significant contributions to the humanities. NEH fellowships can be used to work on books, monographs, series of articles, and interpretive catalogues to accompany exhibitions. Approximately 200 applicants will receive up to $30,000 each for work beginning no earlier than Jan. 1, 1994, and no later than April 1, 1995. Eligible are independent scholars, scholars in colleges and universities, and scholars associated with institutions such as museums, libraries, and historical societies. Contact: Division of Fellowships and Seminars, NEH, Room 316, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20506; (202) 606-8466.

* May 15. Environmental Education

The Four Corners School of Outdoor Education offers “Teaching Environmental Ethics,” a course that gives teachers ideas on how to teach environmental issues in the classroom. The one-week course will be held June 19-26 and July 17-24. Teachers will work on a ranch, raft on the San Juan River, and meet with environmentalists and other guest speakers. All teachers are eligible. Ten to 15 full or partial scholarships are available, as is graduate or undergraduate credit. Contact: Janet Ross, Four Corners School, Box 1029, Monticello, UT 84535; (801) 587-2156.

* June 8. Math And Science

The Annenberg Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting offer grants in two categories totaling $3.5 million for projects aimed at reform in math and science education. Applicants for Initiative I grants will use the money to create visual aids highlighting needed changes in science education that can be used in courses and workshops for K-8 teachers. Applicants for Initiative II grants will use the money to create on-line services that connect rural teachers to math and/or science networks and resources. Eligible are teams of K-12 teachers, librarians, and administrators, as well as school and business partnerships and organizations. Contact: Annenberg/CPB Math and Science Project, Attention: Guidelines, Initiative I or II, 901 E St., N.W., Washington, DC 20004-2006; (202) 879-9658.

September 1. Geography

The National Council for the Social Studies, in cooperation with the George Cram Co., a map publisher, offers its Geography Grant. A $2,500 award is given to the applicant who submits the best proposal for enhancing geographic literacy at the classroom, district, or state level. Eligible are individuals involved in social studies education. Contact: Geography Grant, NCSS, 3501 Newark St., N.W., Washington, DC 20016; (202) 9667840.


May 1. Teacher Education

The Association of Teacher Educators accepts submissions for the 12th annual Distinguished Dissertation in Teacher Education Award. The award aims to encourage, recognize, and promote exemplary doctoral-level research on teacher education. The winner will be recognized at the association’s annual convention held Feb. 1216, 1994, in Atlanta. Contact: Gerald Krockover, Purdue University, School of Education, 1443 Matthews Hall, Room 106, W. Lafayette, IN 47907-1443; (317) 494-5580.

May 20. Social Studies

The National Council for the Social Studies, in conjunction with Social Issues Resources Series Inc., invites nominations for its Defense of Academic Freedom Award. The award recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to the preservation of academic freedom in social studies education. The winner will be honored at the NCSS annual meeting and receive a $1,500 cash award. NCSS membership is not required. Contact: NCSS, 3501 Newark St., N.W., Washington, DC 20016; (202) 966-7840.

May 31. Writing

Writer’s Digest invites authors of original, unpublished manuscripts to enter the 1993 Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. Categories include articles, short stories, poems, and scripts. The grand-prize winner receives an expense-paid, professional networking trip to New York City and a commemorative plaque. The first-place winner in each category receives $250 and a 1993 Writer’s Market; additional prizes vary. Contact: Writer’s Digest, 1993 Writing Competition, (Category), 1507 Dana Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45207; (513) 531-2222.

* May 31. Indian Education

The Native American Scholarship Fund invites any individual or school serving Indian students in the United States to apply for its Excellence in Indian Education Awards. Two $5,000 scholarships will be awarded to applicants who provide documentation of projects that significantly improve the education of American Indians. Contact: NASF, 8200 Mountain Road, N.E., Suite 203, Albuquerque, NM 87110; (505) 262-2351

June 1. Educational Contribution

The publishing company McGrawHill offers the Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize. Up to three winners receive $25,000 each for their contributions to the advancement of knowledge through education. Eligible are individuals involved in some aspect of American education; candidates must be nominated in the areas of teaching, administration, policy planning, business, government, publishing, or adult education. Contact: The Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education, McGraw-Hill, 1221 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020.

June 1. Social Studies

The National Council for the Social Studies invites nominations for the Outstanding Social Studies Teacher of the Year Awards. A $2,500 award is given to a classroom teacher at the elementary, middle, and secondary levels. Only NCSS members of at least two years are eligible. Contact: NCSS, 3501 Newark St., N.W., Washington, DC 20016; (202) 966-7840.

July 15. Economics

The National Council on Economic Education and the International Paper Co. Foundation sponsor the National Awards for Teaching Eco- nomics. The program honors innovative classroom economics projects implemented between July 1, 1992, and June 30, 1993. Four winners in each of five grade categories—K-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12, and open—receive plaques and cash awards ranging from $100 to $1,000. Eight honorable mentions in each category also receive plaques. Contact: NCEE and IPCF, 432 Park Ave. S., New York, NY 10016; (212) 685-5499, ext. 796.

* August 1. Teacher Education.

The Association of Teacher Educators invites any person involved in research in teacher education to submit papers for its Distinguished Research in Teacher Education Award. Submissions must have been prepared or published within the last two years and must contribute new knowledge to teacher education. The entry must not exceed 30 double-spaced pages. Up to two winners will be recognized at the association’s annual convention held Feb. 12-16, 1994, in Atlanta. Contact: Brenda Stallion, Department of Teacher Education, Western Kentucky University, Tate Page Hall, Room 311, Bowling Green, KY 42101; (502) 745-2924.

August 15. Educational Contribution

The National Council for the Social Studies, in conjunction with Social Studies School Service, invites nominations for the Spirit of America Award. The award recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution that exemplifies the American democratic spirit. The winner receives a cash award. Contact: NCSS, 3501 Newark St., N.W., Washington, DC 20016; (202) 966-7840.

* November 15. Science

The National Science Teachers Association invites applications for its Science Teaching Achievement Recognition Awards. Sponsored by the American Gas Association, the annual awards program recognizes K-12 and university science educators who have created a novel approach that improves precollegiate science education. The program must have been implemented at the time of application for the award. Three winners in two categories—K-12 educators and university educators—will receive cash awards of $1,000, $750, and $500, respectively. Winners will receive the award at the NSTA convention held March 30-April 2, 1994, in Anaheim, Calif. Contact: STAR Awards, NSTA, 1742 Connecticut Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20009; (202) 328-5800.


July 1. Cognitive Assessment

The South Padre Island International Conference on Cognitive Assessment of Children and Youth in School and Clinical Settings, to be held Nov. 2627 on South Padre Island, Texas, seeks papers, demonstrations, videotapes, or films about cognitive assessment of children, especially from a cultural and linguistic viewpoint. All papers presented at the conference will be published in a monograph. Papers can be submitted in English or Spanish. Contact: James Magary, University of Texas-Pan American, Department of Educational Psychology, 1201 E. University Drive, Edinburg, TX 78539; (210) 381-3463.


The Dolores Kohl Education Foundation announced the recipients of the 1993 Kohl International Teaching Awards. The $1,000 cash awards are given to full-time classroom teachers who demonstrate innovation, commitment, sensitivity, and courage. The winners also join the Kohl International Academy of Outstanding Educators, which serves as an advisory body to other teachers. The recipients are:

Karen Blatt of James Conant High School in Hoffman Estates, Ill.; Legertha Butler-Walton of Kozminski Community Academy in Chicago; Barry Elmore of Edgar Allan Poe Classical Elementary School in Chicago; Carol Rancifer Gearring of George Washington Carver Area High School in Chicago; Shirley Hopkinson of Brightwood Elementary School in Washington, D.C.; Kenneth Klopack of Funston Elementary School in Chicago; Dale Nelmes of Elk Grove High School in Elk Grove Village, Ill.; Jim Price of Molloy Educational Center in Morton Grove. Ill.; Priscilla Smith of Orrington School in Evanston, Ill.; Lois Ellis Wolfe of Mount Zion Elementary School in Jonesboro, Ga.


Following is a list of free or inexpensive resources that teachers can order.

Community Service

StarServe, a nonprofit education organization, offers free materials and technical assistance to enable teachers and students to begin or expand community-service projects. Contact: StarServe, Department TEA, 701 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 220, Santa Monica, CA 90401; (800) 888-8232.

Civil Rights

Teaching Tolerance, an educational project funded by the Southern Poverty Law Center, offers “America’s Civil Rights Movement,” a free multimedia kit for secondary classrooms. The kit includes: A Time for Justice, a 38-minute documentary film by Charles Guggenheim; a 104-page text, Free at Last: A History of the Civil Rights Movement and Those Who Died in the Struggle; and a teacher’s guide. Teaching Tolerance will only send one kit per school but encourages teachers to make copies of the video. School principals must request the kit in writing. Contact: Teaching Tolerance, 400 Washington Ave., Montgomery, AL 36104.

Famous Women

The National Women’s History Project, a nonprofit educational corporation, offers an oversized poster featuring 12 women from U.S. history. The poster is designed to be colored by elementary students. Each of the 12 multicultural portraits is accompanied by a short description of the woman’s life and contribution. Cost: $4, plus $3 shipping and handling. An activity booklet, designed for grades 2-6, is also available for $4.50. Contact: National Women’s History Project, 7738 Bell Road, Windsor, CA 95492; (707) 838-6000.

Geography Books

Essential Learning Products, a division of Highlights for Children, offers a six-book series in geography called “It’s Our World.” The series is structured around five themes of geography developed by a committee of the National Council for Geographic Education and the Association of American Geographers: location, place, relationship within places, movement, and regions. Each book includes activities to do at home and a bibliography of suggested materials. Cost: $2.95 per book; the sixth book is free. Contact: Essential Learning Products, P.O. Box 2607, Columbus, OH 432162607; (800) 255-9517.

Magazine For Kids

Money magazine offers a free annual magazine for disadvantaged students called Money for Kids. The magazine is designed to show students the advantages of staying in school. The publication offers games, comics, puzzles, and stories of real-life role models. Send $1.50 for postage and handling to: Money For Kids, P.O. Box 30626, Tampa, FL 33630-0626.


The U.S. Congress offers a free 1993 color calendar to all constituents. To request a calendar for your classroom, write to your particular congressional representative, U.S. Congress, Washington, DC 20515.

Grant Handbook

The National Foundation for the Improvement of Education offers Writing for Grants, a handbook to help teachers apply for education grants. Cost: $4. Contact: NFIE Publications, 1201 16th St., N.W., Washington, DC 20036; (202) 822-7840.

Energy Education

The Conservation and Renewable Energy Inquiry and Referral Service offers suggestions and a list of low-cost and free materials for elementary and secondary teachers to use in lessons about energy. Contact: CAREIRS, P.O. Box 8900, Silver Spring, MD 20907; (800) 523-2929.

Travel Tips

Free copies of Student Travels, a new biannual magazine with tips about traveling abroad, are available to students. To order, contact: Council on International Educational Exchange, 205 E. 42nd St., New York, NY 10017; (212) 661-1414, ext. 1108.


The Educational Testing Service, an educational measurement and research organization, has issued a free report to help high school teachers combat cheating among students. Test Security—Assuring Fairness for All advises teachers on test-giving, scrambling exams, and seating assignments. Contact: Communication Services, Mail Stop 50-D, Educational Testing Service, Rosedale Road, Princeton, NJ 08541-0001.

Mathematics Guide

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics offers “How to Use Children’s Literature to Teach Mathematics,” a guide that helps teachers use children’s books to demonstrate the role mathematics plays in everyday life. The book offers examples of the kinds of lessons envisioned in the NCTM’s highly regarded curriculum standards. Cost: $8.50. Contact: The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 22901; (800) 235-7566.


Following is a list of contests, scholarships, and internships for students organized by application deadline. Asterisks (*) denote new entries.

* Open. Getting Published

Kids Copy, a national newspaper for students in grades 4-8, invites submissions of original poetry, short stories, essays, editorials, cartoons, and reviews of books, movies, games, or music. Selected works will be published in the newspaper, and the authors will receive $5. Eligible are students 13 and younger whose work appeals to children ages 8-13. In addition, Kids Copy seeks news about community-service projects involving children. Students are invited to send an article about their project, along with their name, photograph, and phone number. Selected articles will be published in the newspaper’s “Good Works” column, and the newspaper will donate $25 to the organization the project benefits. Contact: Kids Copy, P.O. Box 42, Wyncote, PA 19095; (215) 635-3603 or (800) 3525444.

Open. Student Publication

The Write Stuff, a desktop publishing firm, invites students in grades 7-12 to submit original works of fiction and nonfiction, photography, cartoons, poetry, reviews, editorials, or humor. Chosen entries will be published in a new national tabloid written for students by students, called U.X. Press. Project organizers have completed the publication’s pilot issue and are hoping to gain corporate sponsorship to distribute the newspaper free of charge to junior and senior high schools. For more information or for a free copy of the pilot issue, call: (800) 822-9762.

May 1. Student Authors

Landmark Editions, a children’s book publishing company, invites students ages 6-19 to enter its 1993 National Written & Illustrated By...Awards Contest. Participants must submit a book they have both written and illustrated. One author in each of three age categories—6-9, 10-13, and 1419—is awarded a publishing contract, royalties, and an expense-paid trip to Landmark’s offices in Kansas City, Mo. Entry fee is $1. For a copy of the guidelines, send a self-addressed, business-sized envelope, stamped with 58 cents postage, to: Contest, Landmark Editions, P.O. Box 4469, Kansas City, MO 64127.

May 1. Essay Contest

The Vegetarian Resource Group invites students to enter its Vegetarian Essay Contest. Awards are given in three age categories—8 and younger, 9-13, and 14-18. Applicants must write a two- to three-page essay on any aspect of vegetarianism. Essays may be based on research, personal opinion, or interviews. One winner in each age category receives a $50 savings bond. Contact: VRG, P.O. Box 1463, Baltimore, MD 21203; (410) 366VEGE.

June 1. Essay Contest

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation invites all high school students to apply for its 1993 Swackhamer Prizes. Applicants must submit a 1,000- to 1,500-word essay on the topic “How Can the United Nations Be Persuaded to Adopt a Bill of Rights for Future Generations?” First-, second-, and third-place winners receive $1,500, $1,000, and $500, respectively. Contact: NAPF, 1187 Coast Village Road, Suite 123, Santa Barbara, CA 93108; (805) 965-3443.

* September 15. College Scholarship

The Native American Scholarship Fund invites all college-bound American Indians, or those already enrolled in a four-year institution, to apply for tuition scholarships. Several $500 to $2,000 scholarships are awarded annually to students who are at least one-fourth Native American by blood and who major in mathematics, engineering, science, business, education, or computers. Scholarships are awarded according to academic merit. The application deadline is for aid for the 1994 spring semester. Contact: NASF, 8200 Mountain Road, N.E., Suite 203, Albuquerque, NM 87110; (505) 262-2351.

* November 1. Entomology

The Coleopterists Society, an international organization of individuals interested in the study of beetles, invites students in grades 7-12 to apply for its Youth Incentive Award. Up to two winners in two grade categories— 7-9 and 10-12—will receive grants of up to $125 each for creative and educational proposals that focus on the study of beetles. Grants might go toward a field trip to collect beetles, a visit to an entomology or natural history museum, or a study of beetle biology. The winners also receive a certificate of recognition and a one-year subscription to the society’s journal, The Coleopterists Bulletin. Contact: David Furth, Department of Entomology, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge, MA 02138; (617) 495-2464.

A version of this article appeared in the May 01, 1993 edition of Teacher as Extra Credit