Gordon Parks

Film Director, Photographer, Writer, Composer
Birthplace: Ft. Scott, KS

Gordon Roger Alexander Buchanan Parks excelled in many artistic fields, and he used his creative genius to influence the world around him. Parks attended a segregated elementary school and an integrated high school, although it maintained discriminatory policies toward black students. Parks is prolific in four fields – photography, writing, film making, and composing. He published 12 books, composed orchestral music and film scores, and wrote a ballet, Martin, about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was the first African-American photographer to work at Life and Vogue magazines, the Office of War Information, and the Farm Security Administration. Parks was also the first African American to write, direct, and produce a film for a major motion picture company. His film The Learning Tree was among the 25 films placed on the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress in 1989.
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Celebrate the Festival of Lights in your classroom! Hanukkah begins at sundown December 6.

December Calendar of Events
December is full of events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum. Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event, including: World AIDS Day (12/1), International Volunteer Day (12/6), Hanukkah (begins at sundown 12/6), Handwashing Awareness Week (12/6-12), Computer Science Education Week (12/7-13), Human Rights Day (12/10), Winter Solstice (12/22), Christmas (12/25), Kwanzaa (begins 12/26), Visit the Zoo Day (12/27), and New Year's Eve (12/31). Plus, celebrate Bingo's Birthday Month, Universal Human Rights Month, and Write to a Friend Month all December long!

Hour of Code
Introduce your students to basic coding and computer science! Celebrate Computer Science Education Week from December 7-13, 2015 with our Top 5 Free Coding Tools for Kids, Top 5 Free Coding Tools for Teens, or the Hour of Code resources provided by Code.org®

Interested in using different types of media in your classroom? We have a growing collection of videos, with related activities, for holidays and events, including: slavery & the Civil War, American History, U.S. Presidents, handwashing awareness, the Common Core, women's history, Memorial Day, the American Revolution, and the environment. Enjoy!

Teaching with Comics: Galactic Hot Dogs
Reach reluctant readers and English-language learners with comics! Our original teaching guides to the Galactic Hot Dogs comic series (chapters 1-4 and 5-8), as found on Funbrain.com (and now in print!), will take students on a cosmic adventure while engaging their creative minds. Plus, find even more activities for teaching with comics, featuring many other classic stories.