January Activities

Jan
1

1735 - birthdate of Paul Revere
Books:
Adler, David A.  A Picture Book of Paul Revere.  Illus. by John & Alexandra Wallner.  Holiday House,
1995.  Gr. 2-4
Corey, Shana.  Paul Revere’s Ride (Step into Reading, 3).  Illus. by Chris O’Leary.  Random House,
2004.  Gr. 2-4
Fritz, Jean.  And Then What Happened, Paul Revere?  Illus. by Margot Tomes.  Putnam, 1973.  Gr. 3-5
Giblin, James Cross.  The Many Rides of Paul Revere.  Scholastic, 2007.  Gr. 4-8
Krensky, Stephen.  Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride.  Illus. by Greg Harlin.  HarperCollins, 2002.  Gr. 3-5
Lawson, Robert.  Mr. Revere and I.  Little, Brown, 1988.  Gr. 3-6
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth.  The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.  Illus. by Christopher Bing.
Handprint, 2001.  Gr. 3-8
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth.  Paul Revere’s Ride: The Landlord’s Tale.  Illus. by Charles Santore.
HarperCollins, 2003.  Gr. 3-8
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth.  Paul Revere’s Ride.  Illus. by Monica Vachula.  Boyds Mills, 2003.
Gr. 3-8
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth.  Paul Revere’s Ride.  Illus. by Ted Rand.  Dutton, 1990.  Gr. 3-8
Rinaldi, Ann.  The Secret of Sarah Revere.  Harcourt, 1995.  Gr. 7-10
Sullivan, George.  In Their Own Words: Paul Revere.  Scholastic, 2000.  Gr. 4-6
Winter, Jonah.  Paul Revere and the Bell Ringers (Ready-to-Read, Level 2).  Illus. by Bert Dodson.
Aladdin, 2003.  Gr. 1-3
Check public and school library shelves for the many biographies of Paul Revere from series published in library editions.

Weblinks:
Paul Revere Biography, from Paul Revere House
An overview of the life of Paul Revere
“Paul Revere: Messenger of the Revolution” from Archiving Early America
A brief video narrative, illustrated with archival artwork, overviews the story of Paul Revere’s ride.
“Virtual Midnight Ride,” from The Paul Revere House
Interactive map that includes links to quotes, information, and graphics related to places and people associated with Revere’s ride.
Revere Silver, from The Paul Revere House
Photos of some of Revere’s silver pieces accompany information about his work as a silversmith.

Activities:
The story of Paul Revere’s ride presents a unique opportunity for students to compare information about an event as described in several different genre of literature: fiction, nonfiction, biography, and poetry. Make a chart with print sources written along the side and categories of information across the top. As students read/listen to the literature, have them fill in the chart. Discuss their findings—they will likely find some differences, especially in the Longfellow poem.
Paul Revere was a silversmith. Have students research his work. They might also be interested in investigating other colonial occupations (e.g., baker, shoemaker, milliner, tavern keeper, barber/wigmaker, clockmaker, dame school mistress, glassmaker, printer, and others).
Paul Revere was not the only Patriot who rode. Have students research other riders on April 18, 1775 (e.g., William Dawes and Samuel Prescott), as well as riders who assisted the cause of the Revolution on other occasions (e.g., Sybil Ludington and Israel Bissell).

Jan
2

It’s National Soup Month!
Books:
Auch, Mary Jane & Auch, Herm.  Souperchicken.  Illus. by  Holiday House, 2003.  Gr. K-3
Brown, Marcia.  Stone Soup.  Atheneum, 1947.  Gr. K-2
Collins, Ross.  Alvie Eats Soup.  Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, 2002.  Gr. K-2
Compestine, Ying Chang.  The Real Story of Stone Soup.  Illus. by Stéphane Jorisch.  Dutton,
2007.  Gr. K-3
Cooper, Helen.  Pumpkin Soup.  Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1998.  Gr. K-2
Cooper, Helen.  Delicious!  Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2007.  Gr. K-2
Creech, Sharon.  Granny Torrelli Makes Soup.  HarperCollins, 2003.  Gr. 4-6
Davis, Aubrey.  Bone Button Borscht.  Illus. by Dušan Petričic.  Kids Can Press, 1995.  Gr. K-3
Davis, David.  Fandango Stew.  Illus. by Ben Galbraith.  Sterling, 2011.  Gr. K-3 (Stone Soup)
Donohue, Dorothy.  Veggie Soup.  Winslow, 2000.  Gr. Pre-2
Dooley, Norah.  Everybody Serves Soup.  Illus. by Peter J. Thornton.  Carolrhoda, 2000.  Gr. 2-4
Ehlert, Lois.  Growing Vegetable Soup.  Harcourt, 1987.  Gr. K-2
Evans, Cambria.  Bone Soup.  Houghton Mifflin, 2008.  Gr. K-3
Fleming, Candace.  Gator Gumbo: A Spicy Hot Tale.  Illus. by Sally Anne Lambert.  Farrar, Straus &
Giroux, 2004.  Gr. K-3
Forest, Heather.  Stone Soup.  Illus. by Susan Gaber.  August House, 1998.  Gr. K-2
Fullerton, Alma.  Community Soup.  Pajama Press, 2013.  Gr. K-2
Gershator, David & Gershator, Phillis.  Kallaloo!: A Caribbean Tale.  Illus. by Diane Greenseid.
Marshall Cavendish, 2005.  Gr. K-3
Hershenhorn, Esther.  Chicken Soup by Heart.  Illus. by Rosanne Litzinger.  Simon & Schuster,
2002.  Gr. K-3
Iwai, Melissa.  Soup Day.  Henry Holt, 2010.  Gr. K-2
Kadono, Eiko.  Grandpa’s Soup.  Illus. by Satomi Ichikawa.  Eerdman’s, 1999.  Gr. K-3
Kimmel, Eric A.  Cactus Soup.  Illus. by Phil Huling.  Marshall Cavendish, 2004.  Gr. K-3
Maddern, Eric.  Nail Soup.  Illus. by Paul Hess.  Frances Lincoln, 2007.  Gr. K-3
Muth, Jon J.  Stone Soup.  Scholastic, 2003.  Gr. K-3
Rodman, Mary Ann.  Surprise Soup.  Illus. by G. Brian Karas.  Viking, 2009.  Gr. K-3
Root, Phyllis.  Soup for Supper.  Illus. by Sue Truesdell.  HarperCollins, 1986.  Gr. K-2
Rylant, Cynthia.  Mr. Putter & Tabby Stir the Soup.  Illus. by Arthur Howard.  Harcourt, 2003.  Gr. K-2
Seeger, Pete & Jacobs, Paul Dubois.  Some Friends to Feed: The Story of Stone Soup.
Illus. by Michael Hays.  Putnam, 2005.  Gr. K-2
Stewig, John.  Stone Soup.  Illus. by Margot Tomes.  Holiday House, 1991.  Gr. K-3
Urbanovic, Jackie.  Duck Soup.  HarperCollins, 2008.  Gr. K-2

Weblinks:
Soup Customs from Around the World
Brief descriptions of customs regarding soup in different countries, plus proverbs and sayings associated with soup
Music & Songs: Food > Vegetables
Several songs about soup with lyrics set to familiar tunes
Soup Hoopla!
Interesting features of this site include: soup history, soup trivia (facts), a glossary of different types of soups, and a recipe index

Activities:
Have students research soups from different countries looking for ingredients that are not typically in the soups they eat and make a list (e.g., seaweed soup—Korea).
Compare cultural variants of the “Stone Soup” story. List titles along the side of a chart and points of comparison, such as location, who made the soup, ingredients, the special ingredient (i.e., stone, nail, cactus needle, etc.) across the top.
As a class, write a “Stone Soup” story. Decide on the special ingredient (e.g., a penny, a feather, a crayon, etc.) and who makes the soup (e.g., a storekeeper, a bird, a child, etc.) Decide on the actual soup ingredients and compose the story on a chart. Revise as a class. Divide the story into enough sentences so that each student can make an illustration (someone can make the cover, a title page, a “The End” page, and the like). Bind the story into a book for the classroom library.
The sequential nature of “Stone Soup” makes it a natural for retelling. Cut out a large flannel soup pot. Have students draw pictures of the ingredients for one of the versions of the story. Glue small pieces of sandpaper on the backs of the pictures. Hang the soup pot in a center. Invite students to use the pictures to tell “Stone Soup” as a flannel board story.

Jan
3

New Year’s Resolutions Week January 1-4
Books:
Erlbach, Arlene.  Happy New Year Everywhere!  Illus. by Sharon Lane Holm.  Millbrook, 2000.  Gr. 2-5
Friedman, Laurie.  Happy New Year, Mallory!  Illus. by Jennifer Kalis.  Carolrhoda, 2009.  Gr. 3-5
Lewis, Paul Owen.  P. Bear’s New Year’s Party: A Counting Book.  Tricycle Press, 1999.  Gr. K-2
Mercer, Abbie.  Happy New Year.  PowerKids Press, 2007.  Gr. 1-3
Miller, Pat.  Squirrel's New Year's Resolution.  Illus. by Kathi Ember.  Albert Whitman, 2010.  Gr. K-2
Moss, Marissa.  Amelia’s Must-Keep Resolutions for the Best Year Ever!  Simon & Schuster,
2006.  Gr. 4-6
Piernas-Davenport, Gail.  Shanté Keys and the New Year’s Peas.  Illus. by Marion Eldridge.
Albert Whitman, 2007.  Gr. K-3
Ziefert, Harriet.  Amanda Dade’s New Years Parade.  Illus. by S.D. Schindler.  Putnam, 2001.  Gr. K-2

Weblinks:
Saying “Happy New Year!” Around the World
How to say “Happy New Year!” in 35 countries (alas, no pronunciation key)
New Year’s Traditions
An overview of New Year’s traditions in other locations in the world; includes lyrics to “Auld Lang Syne”
Happy New Year!
A brief history of New Year’s Day, including traditions and activities that bring good luck (some advertisements on this site)

Activities:
Discuss the tradition of making New Year's resolutions, and ask students to give examples of resolutions people might make. Talk about realistic versus unrealistic resolutions and how easy or difficult it is to keep them for long periods of time. Brainstorm a list of whole class resolutions and write them on a chart. Focus on resolutions that will make the classroom and school a happier/safer/more cohesive community. Revisit the list periodically so the class can assess how they are doing.
Make New Year’s confetti pictures. Supply students with an assortment of confetti, glue sticks, and construction paper for a background. Encourage students to sketch their picture before they add the confetti. Direct them to apply the glue to one area at a time, sprinkle confetti on the glued portion, and gently shake the excess onto another piece of paper. Display completed pictures.
The beginning of a new year is a good time to make a class calendar. Obtain several different calendars to compare and review how they are organized. Discuss how picture calendars often have a common theme across the months. Note how calendars often have holidays and/or special events listed on the appropriate days. Divide the class into 12 groups and have each group draw the name of a month “out of a hat.” Give each group a blank calendar page. They need to add the name of the month, the names of the days of the week, and fill in the date for each day. They should also write in holidays and other special occasions, including students’ birthdays. Each group also needs to create a piece of artwork to accompany its month. Bind the calendar pages together and post it in the classroom for reference. Write important items on the calendar as needed.
The new year is an appropriate time to reflect on the previous year and to make plans for the new one. Give students a piece of 9 X 12-inch drawing paper. Invite them to draw two pictures: one that is a favorite memory from the past year (it might be a school or a home memory); the second picture should be a hope or a dream the student has for the coming year. Have them write captions for each picture. Display the pictures in the classroom.

Jan
4

1809 – birthdate of Louis Braille, the inventor of Braille, a system of reading and writing used by people who are blind or visually impaired.
Books:
Adler, David A.  A Picture Book of Louis Braille.  Illus. by John & Alexandra Wallner.  Holiday House,
1997.  Gr. 2-4
Alexander, Sally Hobart and Robert Alexander.  She Touched the World: Laura Bridgman, Deaf-Blind
Pioneer.  Clarion, 2008.  Gr. 4-8
Alexander, Sally Hobart.  Do You Remember the Color Blue?: And Other Questions Kids Ask about
Blindness.  Viking, 2000.  Gr. 4-8
Cottin, Menena.  The Black Book of Colors. Translated by Elisa Amado.  Illus. by Rosana Faria.
Groundwood, 2008.  Gr. All ages
Davidson, Margaret.  Louis Braille, The Boy Who Invented Books for the Blind.  Scholastic,
1991.  Gr. 4-6
Donaldson, Madeline.  Louis Braille.  Illus. by Tad Butler. Lerner, 2007.  Gr. 3-6
Freedman, Russell.  Out of the Darkness: The Story of Louis Braille.  Illus. by Kate Kiesler.
Clarion, 1997.  Gr. 4-6
Hall, Becky.  Morris and Buddy: The Story of the First Seeing Eye Dog.  Illus. by Doris Ettlinger.
Albert Whitman, 2007.  Gr. 2-4
Moore, Eva.  Buddy: The First Seeing Eye Dog (Hello Reader, Level 4).  Illus. by Don Bolognese.
Scholastic, 1996.  Gr. 2-4
Petrillo, Genevieve.  Keep Your Ear on the Ball.  Illus. by Lea Lyon.  Tilbury House, 2007.  Gr. K-3
Rau, Dana Meachen.  The Secret Code.  Illus. by Bari Weissman.  Children’s Press, 1998.  Gr. K-3
Rossiter, Nan Parson.  Rugby & Rosie.  Dutton, 1997.  Gr. K-3
Check public and school library shelves for biographies of Louis Braille from series published in library editions.

Weblinks:
Braille Bug, at the American Foundation for the Blind
Site includes information about Braille, a short biography of Louis Braille, games and puzzles
Louis Braille, at The Great Idea Finder
Presents some fast facts, a biography, a timeline of milestones in his life, a few “words of wisdom,” and several additional resources.
Guide Dog Puppy Raising Program, at Guide Dogs for the Blind
Students might enjoy this site that provides information about the training of guide dogs.

Activities:
Set up a center with copies of the Braille alphabet. A printable copy may be found at Braille Bug (see “Weblinks”). Have students use a hole punch to punch dots from construction paper and glue them to an index card to create a Braille version of his or her name. Place the cards in a box at the center, so students can practice “reading” each other’s names.
Students might be interested in learning about the role of guide dogs in providing assistance to visually impaired people. View the segment about the training of guide dogs for the blind in the “Reading Rainbow” episode, Best Friends. Invite a guest speaker involved in working with guide dogs (either as a trainer or puppy raiser) into the classroom.
Carol Castellano, author of Making it Work: Educating the Blind/Visually Impaired Student in the Regular School (Information Age Publishing, 2005) does not recommend blindfolding students to simulate blindness. Instead of fostering understanding, this activity may make students feel that blindness is frightening and sad and that they should feel sorry for their visually impaired friends. Instead, she suggests inviting a blind guest to the classroom.
Focus the awareness of students on their remaining senses. For example, take listening walks inside and outside the school and note sounds. Put familiar objects (e.g., a plastic fork and spoon, toothbrush, comb, etc.) in paper bags and have students use their sense of touch to figure out what they are. Set up an experiment with small margarine tubs (with lids) containing items that have distinctive smells (e.g., lemon, orange peel, banana, pine needles, chocolate, coffee, dirt, onion, peppermint, pencil shavings, potato chips, etc.) for students to identify. Punch holes in the lids so they can smell, but not see, the contents.

Jan
5

George Washington Carver Day, in commemoration of the death of the scientist and inventor in 1943. Most of his work was devoted to products using peanuts and sweet potatoes. Born a slave, his exact date of birth is unknown, though it is believed he was born in January, 1864.
Books:
Adler, David A.  A Picture Book of George Washington Carver.  Illus. by Dan Brown.  Holiday House,
2000.  Gr. 2-4
Aliki.  A Weed Is a Flower: The Life of George Washington Carver.  Simon & Schuster, 1988.  Gr. 1-3
Bolden, Tonya.  George Washington Carver.  Abrams, 2008.  Gr. 4-8
Doeden, Matt.  George Washington Carver.  Illus. by Tad Butler.  Lerner, 2007.  Gr. 3-6
Driscoll, Laura.  George Washington Carver: The Peanut Wizard.  Illus. by Jill Weber.  Grosset &
Dunlap, 2003.  Gr. 2-4
Grigsby, Susan.  In the Garden with Dr. Carver.  Illus. by Nicole Tadgell.  Albert Whitman, 2010.  Gr. 1-4
Harness, Cheryl.  The Groundbreaking, Chance-Taking Life of George Washington Carver and
Science & Invention in America.  National Geographic, 2008.  Gr. 4-8
Krensky, Stephen.  A Man for All Seasons: The Life of George Washington Carver.  Illus. by Wil Clay.
Amistad, 2008.  Gr. 2-4
Marzollo, Jean.  Little Plant Doctor: A Story about George Washington Carver.  Illus. by Ken Wilson-Max.
Holiday House, 2011.  Gr. K-2
Mitchell, Barbara.   A Pocketful of Goobers: A Story about George Washington Carver.  Illus. by Peter E.
Hanson.  Carolrhoda, 1986.  Gr. 3-5
Moore, Eva.  The Story of George Washington Carver.  Scholastic, 1990.  Gr. 4-6
Nelson, Marilyn.  Carver: A Life in Poems.  Front Street, 2001.  Gr. 6 & above
Check public and school library shelves for the many biographies of George Washington Carver from series published in library editions.

Weblinks:
George Washington Carver National Monument
Includes biographical information, a photo gallery, and downloadable materials for teachers
“Meet Amazing Americans: Scientists & Inventors: George Washington Carver” at America’s Library from the Library of Congress
Reader-friendly stories from the life and work of George Washington Carver
George Washington Carver, at The Great Idea Finder
Presents some fast facts, a biography, a timeline of milestones in his life, a few quotes, and additional resources.

Activities:
Read a biography of Carver so students will have some idea of his accomplishments. Research lists of products he developed using peanuts and sweet potatoes.
Brainstorm what students know about peanuts, peanut products, and different ways peanuts are used in foods. Research peanuts (they are not actually “nuts;” they are legumes). The following websites may be helpful: the National Peanut Board, and Peanutty Information. For classrooms where there are no peanut allergies, bring in peanuts in the shell for students to crack open and examine. Discuss what they notice and tie it into the information they find on the websites. Snack on the peanuts and let students use the shells for creative art projects of their own design.
Brainstorm what students know about sweet potatoes. Visit the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission for fun facts, information, and activities. Bring in uncooked sweet potatoes for students to examine. They can be cooked in a microwave unpeeled. Cut into small pieces for students to taste.

Jan
6

1878 – birthdate of Carl Sandburg, American writer, best known for his poetry and winner of two Pulitzer Prizes (one for poetry and one for his biography of Abraham Lincoln)
Books:
Bolin, Frances Schoonmaker (Ed.).  Poetry for Young People: Carl Sandburg.  Illus. by Steven Arcella.
Sterling, 1995.  Gr. All ages
Hopkins, Lee Bennett (Ed.).  Rainbows Are Made: Poems by Carl Sandburg.  Illus. by Fritz Eichenberg.
Harcourt, 1982.  Gr. All ages
Niven, Penelope.  Carl Sandburg: Adventures of a Poet (With Poems and Prose by Carl Sandburg).
Illus. by Marc Nadel.  Harcourt, 2003.  Gr. 3-7
Sandburg, Carl.  Never Kick a Slipper at the Moon.  Illus. by Rosanne Litzinger.  Holiday House,
2008.  Gr. K-2
Sandburg, Carl.  The Sandburg Treasury: Prose and Poetry for Young People.  Illus. by Paul Bacon.
Sandpiper, 2000.  Gr. 4-8
Sandburg, Carl.  From Daybreak to Good Night: Poems for Children.  Illus. by Lynn Smith-Ary.  Firefly,
2001.  Gr. 2-4
Sandburg, Carl.  The Huckabuck Family: and How They Raised Corn in Nebraska and Quit and Came
Back.  Illus. by David Small.  Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1999.  Gr. 1-4
Sandburg, Carl.  Grassroots.  Illus. by Wendell Minor.  Harcourt, 1998.  Gr. 3-8
Sandburg, Carl.  Arithmetic.  Illus. by Ted Rand.  Harcourt, 1993.  Gr. 3-6
Sandburg, Carl.  Rootabaga Stories.  Illus. by Michael Hague.  Harcourt, 1988.  Gr. 3-6
Check public and school library shelves for biographies of Carl Sandburg from series published in library editions and for other collections of his poetry and excerpts from the “Rootabaga Stories.”

Weblinks:
Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site
Students’ page has biographical information, a timeline of Sandburg’s life, a photo gallery, and an interactive “train ride” that explores some of his poetry; there is also a link to a teacher’s page with recommended activities.
Carl Sandburg’s Life
Biography by Penelope Niven of Sandburg’s life that is detailed but not difficult to read.
Writer Hero: Carl Sandburg, from the “My Heroes” Project
Easy-to-read biography, including excerpts from poems, illustrated with two photographs

Activities:
Use today as an opportunity to introduce students to the poetry (and short stories) of Carl Sandburg. Make some collections of his poetry available for students to peruse. Read selections aloud. Provide a variety of art supplies (pastels, watercolors, construction paper, colored pencils, markers, sketching pencils, etc.) and invite students to illustrate a poem by Sandburg.

Jan
7

Old Rock Day!
Old or new, rocks are fascinating to young people. They are fun to collect and great for examining and doing experiments.
Books:
Anston, Dianna Hutts.  A Rock Is Lively.  Illus. by Sylvia Long.  Chronicle, 2012.  Gr. 2-5
Banks, Kate.  A Gift from the Sea.  Illus. by Georg Hallensleben.  Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2001.  Gr. 1-4
Baylor, Byrd.  Everybody Needs a Rock.  Illus. by Peter Parnall.  Scribner’s, 1974.  Gr. 1-4
Bingham, Caroline.  Rocks and Minerals.  DK, 2004.  Gr. 2-5
Christian, Peggy.  If You Find a Rock.  Illus. by Barbara Hirsch Lember.  Harcourt, 2000.  Gr. 1-4
Cole, Joanna.  The Magic School Bus inside the Earth.  Illus. by Bruce Degen.  Scholastic, 1987.
Gr. 1-4
Frazier, Sundee T.  Brendan Buckley’s Universe and Everything In It.  Delacorte, 2007.  Gr. 4-6
Gans, Roma.  Let’s Go Rock Collecting.  Illus. by Holly Keller.  HarperCollins, 1997.  Gr. 1-3
Harshman, Marc & Collins, Bonnie.  Rocks in My Pockets.  Illus. by Toni Goffe.  Dutton, 1991.  Gr. K-3
Hurst, Carol Otis.  Rocks in His Head.  Illus. by James Stevenson.  Greenwillow, 2001.  Gr. 1-4
McGuirk, Leslie.  If Rocks Could Sing: A Discovered Alphabet.  Tricycle Press, 2011.  Gr. 1-4
Meister, Cari.  I Love Rocks.  Illus. by Terry Sirrell.  Children’s Press, 2001.  Gr. K-2
Pellant, Chris.  The Best Book of Fossils, Rocks, and Minerals.  Kingfisher, 2000.  Gr. 3-5
Pellant, Chris.  Rocks and Fossils.  Kingfisher, 2003.  Gr. K-3
Ricciuti, Edward R.  National Audubon Society First Field Guide: Rocks and Minerals.  Scholastic,
1998.  Gr. 5 & above
Smithsonian Institution.  Extreme Rocks and Minerals!: Q & A.  Collins, 2007.  Gr. 3-6
Wallace, Nancy Elizabeth.  Rocks! Rocks! Rocks!  Marshall Cavendish, 2009.  Gr. 2-4
Check public and school library shelves for nonfiction books about rocks published in library editions.

Weblinks:
Rocks for Kids
Fabulous site that includes facts about rocks and minerals, an extensive glossary, a discussion of uses of rocks and minerals, an outstanding photo gallery, idioms about rocks, and much more!
Rocks and Minerals for Kids
Links to an extensive collection of websites related to rocks that includes information, experiments, and lesson plans
Rock Hounds
Includes information (some animation) about sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks; a photo gallery, puzzles, and a quiz

Activities:
Invite students to bring in rocks from their own collections (it is very possible that these will not be organized or labeled). Display the rocks in a center so that everyone can examine them, and let the owners stipulate which rocks may be handled. Place rock identification handbooks in the center as well. Have magnifying glasses available to allow close inspection. Details for students to notice: size, color, shape, special markings, luster, hardness, etc. Set up some simple experiments in the center. For example, students can test for hardness by trying to scratch the rock with their fingernail, the edge of a penny, or a nail. Experiment to find out how certain rocks are affected by water. Choose three different types of rocks and weigh them. Soak them in water overnight and weigh them again. Are they heavier? Is there sediment left in the water? Did the color change? Do the same experiment with vinegar and discuss the results.
Brainstorm a list of ways people use rocks, such as building materials, roads, monuments, gravestones, fences, jewelry, etc. Add to the list as the students see other uses of rocks in their daily lives.
Rocks that are smooth or flat are fun to paint. Have students create a rock character, give it a name, and write an adventure for it.

Jan
8

1935 – birthdate of Elvis Presley, legendary singer known as the “King of Rock and Roll”
Books:
Couloumbis, Audrey.  Love Me Tender.  Random House, 2008.  Gr. 6-8
Denenberg, Barry.  All Shook Up: The Life and Death of Elvis Presley.  Scholastic, 2001.  Gr. 5-10
Edger, Geoff.  Who Was Elvis Presley?  Illus. by John O’Brien.  Grosset & Dunlap, 2007.  Gr. 4-6
Hampton, Wilborn.  Up Close: Elvis Presley.  Viking, 2007.  Gr. 7-12
Littlesugar, Amy.  Shake Rag: From the Life of Elvis Presley.  Illus. by Floyd Cooper.  Philomel, 1998.
Gr. 1-4
Pearsall, Shelley.  All Shook Up.  Knopf, 2008.  Gr. 6-9
Stamaty, Mark Alan.  Shake, Rattle & Turn That Noise Down!: How Elvis Shook Up Music, Me & Mom.
Knopf, 2010.  Gr. 2-4
Check public and school library shelves for biographies of Elvis Presley from series published in library editions.

Weblinks:
Elvis Presley, at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Presents an overview and a detailed timeline of Elvis’s music career along with interviews and articles
Elvis Presley
Biography of Elvis illustrated with photographs
Elvis Presley’s Graceland
Though this site is based in Australia, it is the most comprehensive look at Graceland (with photos) with the least amount of advertising.

Activities:
Invite students to ask older relatives and friends about their Elvis memories and why he was (and still is) called the “King of Rock and Roll.”
Play music by Elvis Presley and compare it to popular music of today. Enlist the assistance of the music teacher for this discussion.
Obtain a video clip of a live performance of Elvis singing. Discuss his performance style, the audience reaction, and who he might be compared to today. (Use caution with YouTube videos, as the advertisements and bloggers’ comments might not be appropriate for children.)

Jan
9

1913 – birthdate of Richard M. Nixon, 37th president of the United States
Books:
Search school and library shelves for biographies of Richard Nixon in library editions.
Weblinks:
POTUS, Presidents of the United States at the Internet Public Library
Facts, both personal and political, links, and related information
Richard Nixon, at The White House
Basic biographical information, much of it relating to his presidency
American Presidents
Facts and trivia about Richard Nixon

Activities:
On the “Meet-the-Presidents” timeline, have someone take the responsibility for adding Richard Nixon, using the fact recording sheet. An important fact for students to note is that Nixon is the only president to have resigned.

Jan
10

January is National Hobby Month
Books:
Armstrong-Ellis, Carey.  Prudy’s Problem and How She Solved It.  Abrams, 2000.  Gr. K-3
Banks, Kate.  Max’s Words.  Illus. by Boris Kulikov.  Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2006.  Gr. 1-3
Bunting, Eve.  Anna’s Table.  Illus. by Taia Morley.  NorthWord Press, 2003.  Gr. K-3
Carlson, Nancy.  Bunnies and Their Hobbies.  Carolrhoda, 1997.  Gr. K-2
Jocelyn, Marthe.  Hannah’s Collections.  Dutton, 2000.  Gr. K-3
Kleven, Elisa.  The Puddle Pail.  Dutton, 1997.  Gr. K-3
Murphy, Stuart J.  Dave’s Down-to-Earth Rock Shop.  Illus. by Cat Bowman Smith.  HarperCollins,
2000.  Gr. 1-3
Ruzzier, Sergio.  The Room of Wonders.  Frances Foster, 2006.  Gr. K-3
Wahl, Jan.  The Art Collector.  Illus. by Rosalinde Bonnet.  Charlesbridge, 2011.  Gr. K-3

Weblinks:
Hobbies and Collecting
A fairly thorough discussion that includes history and how-to for the following hobbies with appeal for young people: stamp collecting, coin collecting, Lego building, photography, scrapbooking, collecting trading cards, collecting Barbies, and collecting American Girl dolls (some advertisements)

Activities:
Brainstorm a list of the students’ hobbies on a chart. With a different color of marker, brainstorm additional hobbies that people might have. Discuss what it means to have a “hobby” and what is involved. Draw the conclusion that having a hobby entails having information about something, researching something and/or knowing its history, devoting time to something one enjoys doing (practice), and the like.
Make arrangements with the school library media specialist for the class to visit the library and search for books about a hobby they already have or a hobby that interests them. Allow time for students to browse the information in books they find. Also have the media specialist work with students on how to search the internet efficiently for information about an interesting hobby.
Many students collect items as a hobby. Have a Hobby Fair in the classroom and invite students to bring in sample items from their collections to place on display. (If bringing in items is not possible, suggest that students bring in pictures.) Establish rules (e.g., what can be handled). Provide time for each student to tell the class about her/his collection.
Invite people from the community to come to the classroom as guest speakers and share their hobbies (e.g., collectors of stamps, coins, trading cards, memorabilia of different types, etc.)

Jan
11

National Eye Care Month
Books:
Brown, Marc.  Arthur’s Eyes.  Little, Brown, 1979.  Gr. K-3
Calvert, Pam.  Princess Peepers.  Illus. by Tuesday Mourning.  Marshall Cavendish, 2008.  Gr. K-3
Headley, Justina Chen.  The Patch.  Illus. by Mitch Vane.  Charlesbridge, 2007.  Gr. K-2
Heling, Kathryn & Hembrook, Deborah.  I Wish I Had Glasses Like Rosa.  Illus. by Bonnie Adamson.
Raven Tree, 2009.  Gr. K-3
Hest, Amy.  Baby Duck and the Bad Eyeglasses.  Illus. by Jill Barton.  Candlewick, 1996.  Gr. K-2
Lyon, George Ella.  The Pirate of Kindergarten.  Illus. by Lynne Avril.  Atheneum, 2010.  Gr. K-2
McKinlay, Penny.  Bumposaurus.  Illus. by Britta Teckentrup.  Dial, 2003.  Gr. K-2
Newman, Barbara.  Glamorous Glasses.  Boyds Mills, 2012.  Gr. K-3
Park, Barbara.  Junie B., First Grader (at last!).  Illus. by Denise Brunkus.  Random House, 2001.
Gr. 1-3
Raskin, Ellen.  Spectacles.  Aladdin, 1988.  Gr. K-3
Saltzberg, Barney.  Arlo Needs Glasses.  Workman, 2012.  Gr. K-2
Smith, Lane.  Glasses, Who Needs ‘Em?  Viking, 1991.  Gr. K-3
Thomas, Charlie.  I Need Glasses.  Illus. by Jennifer P. Goldfinger.  Children’s Press, 2005.  Gr. K-2
Search school and library shelves for nonfiction books about eye care published in library editions.

Weblinks:
See All You Can See, from the National Eye Institute
Designed for young people, includes diagram of parts of the eye, optical illusions, information about eye safety, and printable materials
Eye Safety, at Neuroscience for Kids
Safety tips for eye care

Activities:
See Louis Braille (January 4) on the Activities Calendar for additional related sources.
Print a diagram of the eye and have students label the parts and provide a brief definition of each part.
Brainstorm a list of safety tips for eye care. Using a digital camera, take a picture of just the eyes of each student. Make a display of the photos entitled “Eyes on Safety” along with the brainstormed list of safety rules.
Use the basic eyeglasses pattern and have students design a pair of glasses, cut them out, and “model” their eyewear.

Jan
12

1908 – birthdate of José Limόn, a pioneer of modern dance and choreographer. Let’s dance!
Books:
Allen, Debbie.  Dancing in the Wings.  Illus. by Kadir Nelson.  Dial, 2000.  Gr. K-3
Ancona, George.  Olé! Flamenco.  Lee & Low, 2010.  Gr. 3-5
Ancona, George.  Let's Dance!  HarperCollins, 1998.  Gr. K-3
Barasch, Lynne.  Knockin’ on Wood: Starring Peg Leg Bates.  Lee & Low, 2004.  Gr. 2-4
Bernier-Grand, Carmen T.  Alicia Alonso: Prima Ballerina.  Illus. by Raúl Colón.  Marshall Cavendish,
2011.  Gr. 5-8
Bernstein, Richard.  A Girl Named Faithful Plum: The True Story of a Dancer from China and How She
Achieved Her Dream.  Knopf, 2011.  Gr. 5-8
Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker.  Ballerino Nate.  Illus. by R.W. Alley.  Dial, 2006.  Gr. Pre-2
Brisson, Pat.  Tap-Dance Fever.  Illus. by Nancy Cote.  Boyds Mills, 2005.  Gr. K-2
Caswell, Deanna.  First Ballet.  Illus. by Elizabeth Matthews.  Hyperion, 2009.  Gr. K-2
Cofer, Judith Ortiz.  A bailar! Let's Dance!  Illus. by Christina Ann Rodriguez.  Piñata Books for Children,
2011.  Gr. K-3
Cooper, Elisha.  Dance!  HarperCollins, 2001.  Gr. 3-5
Cunxin, Li.  Dancing to Freedom: The True Story of Mao’s Last Dancer.  Illus. by Anne Spudvilas.
Walker, 2008.  Gr. 3-5
Dillon, Leo & Diane.  Rap a Tap Tap: Here’s Bojangles—Think of That!  Scholastic, 2002.  Gr. K-2
Durango, Julia.  Under the Mambo Moon.  Illus. by Fabricio Vanden Broeck.  Charlesbridge, 2011.
Gr. 3-5
French, Jackie.  Josephine Wants to Dance.  Illus. by Bruce Whatley.  Abrams, 2007.  Gr. K-2
Gauch, Patricia Lee.  Tanya and the Red Shoes.  Illus. by Satomi Ichikawa.  Philomel, 2002.  Gr. K-3.
See also: Dance, Tanya (1989); Bravo, Tanya (1992); Tanya and Emily in a Dance for Two (1994); Tanya and the Magic Wardrobe (1997); Presenting Tanya, the Ugly Duckling (1999)
Geras, Adéle.  Time for Ballet.  Illus. by Shelagh McNicholas.  Dial, 2004.  Gr. Pre-2. Also: Little Ballet
Star (2008)
Gladstone, Valerie.  A Young Dancer: The Life of an Ailey Student.  Photographs by José Ivey.
Henry Holt, 2009.  Gr. 3-8
Greenberg, Jan & Jordan, Sandra.  Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring.  Illus. by Brian Floca.
Roaring Brook, 2010.  Gr. 2-5
Hest, Amy.  Mabel Dancing.  Illus. by Christine Davenier.  Candlewick, 2000.  Gr. Pre-2
Howe, James.  Brontorina.  Illus. by Randy Cecil.  Candlewick, 2010.  Gr. K-2
Hudson, Cheryl Willis.  My Friend Maya Loves to Dance.  Illus. by Eric Velasquez.  Abrams, 2010.
Gr. K-3
Isadora, Rachel.  On Your Toes: A Ballet ABC.  Greenwillow, 2003.  Gr. K-2
Isadora, Rachel (Adapted & Illus).  Firebird.  Putnam, 1994.  Gr. 2-4
Keeler, Patricia A.  Drumbeat in Our Feet.  Illus. by Julio Leitao.  Lee & Low, 2006.  Gr. 2-5
Kuklin, Susan.  Dance! With Bill T. Jones.  Hyperion, 1998.  Gr. 1-4
Lee, Jeanne M.  Silent Lotus.  Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1991.  Gr. 1-3
Lord, Michelle.  Little Sap and Monsieur Rodin.  Illus. by Felicia Hoshino.  Lee & Low, 2006.  Gr. 2-5
Maccarone, Grace.  Miss Lina's Ballerinas.  Illus. by Christine Davenier.  Feiwel and Friends, 2010.
Gr. K-3 Also: Miss Lina's Ballerinas and the Prince (2011) and Miss Lina's Ballerinas and the Wicked Wish (2012)
Mayhew, James.  Ella Bella Ballerina and the Sleeping Beauty.  Barron's, 2008.  Gr. 1-3.
Also: Ella Bella Ballerina and Cinderella (2009), Ella Bella Ballerina and Swan Lake (2011), and Ella Bella Ballerina and the Nutcracker (2012)
Murphy, Liz.  A Dictionary of Dance.  Blue Apple, 2007.  Gr. K-3
Nathan, Amy.  Meet the Dancers: From Ballet, Broadway, and Beyond.  Henry Holt, 2008.  Gr. 5-9
Nelson, Marilyn.  Beautiful Ballerina.  Photographs by Susan Kuklin.  Scholastic, 2009.  Gr. 1-4
Newman, Leslea.  Miss Tutu's Star.  Illus. by Carey Armstrong-Ellis.  Abrams, 2010.  Gr. K-2
Numeroff, Laura & Evans, Nate.  The Jellybeans and the Big Dance.  Illus. by Lynn Munsinger.
Abrams, 2008.  Gr. Pre-2
Orgill, Roxane.  Footwork: The Story of Fred and Adele Astaire.  Illus. by Stéphane Jorisch.  Candlewick,
2007.  Gr. 2-5
Pilobolus.  The Human Alphabet.  Photographs by John Kane.  Roaring Brook, 2005.  Gr. 1-4
Pinkney, Andrea Davis.  Alvin Ailey.  Illus. by Brian Pinkney.  Hyperion, 1993.  Gr. 1-4
Reich, Susanna.  José! Born to Dance.  Illus. by Raúl Colόn.  Simon & Schuster, 2005.  Gr. 2-4
Singer, Marilyn.  Tallulah's Tutu.  Illus. by Alexandra Boiger.  Clarion, 2011.  Gr. K-2  Also: Tallulah's Solo
(2012)
Smith, Cynthia Leitich.  Jingle Dancer.  Illus. by Cornelius Van Wright & Ying-Hwa Hu.  HarperCollins,
2000.  Gr. 1-4
Stringer, Lauren.  When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky: Two Artists, Their Ballet, and One Extraordinary Riot.
Harcourt, 2013.  Gr. 2-4
Tallchief, Maria & Wells, Rosemary.  Tallchief: America’s Prima Ballerina.  Illus. by Gary Kelley.  Viking,
1999.  Gr. 2-4
Thompson, Lauren.  Ballerina Dreams.  Photographs by James Estrin.  Feiwel & Friends, 2007.
Gr. 1-4
Willems, Mo.  Elephants Cannot Dance!  Hyperion, 2009.  Gr. Pre-1
Witte, Anna.  Lola's Fandango.  Illus. by Micha Archer.  Barefoot Books, 2011.  Gr. K-3
Yep, Laurence.  Angelfish.  Putnam, 2001.  Gr. 5-8
Yolen, Jane & Stemple, Heidi E.Y.  The Barefoot Book of Ballet Stories.  Illus. by Rebecca Guay.
Barefoot Books, 2004.  Gr. 3-7
Young, Amy.  Belinda Begins Ballet.  Viking, 2008.  Gr. K-3. Also: Belinda the Ballerina (2000), Belinda
in Paris (2005), Belinda and the Glass Slipper (2006)
Search school and library shelves for nonfiction books about dance and biographies of dancers published in library editions.

Weblinks:
A History of Social Dance in America
Lengthy article that deals with types of dance, related customs, fashion, origins, and other topics; includes many primary source graphics
Free to Dance, from “Great Performances” on PBS
A documentary on African American dancers and choreographers that includes a timeline of dance, biographical sketches, a resource list, and lesson plans

Activities:
For additional resources related to dance, see information about the first performance of “The Nutcracker” ballet (December 18) on the Activities Calendar.
Brainstorm a list of dances with which students are familiar (e.g., ballet, bunny hop, clogging, hip-hop, hula, line dance, polka, square dance, tap dancing, waltz). The Types of Dances Word List provides many more that they may recognize. Invite students to discuss any experiences they might have with learning to dance.
Students can research famous dancers, in addition to José Limόn, of the past and present. Possible subjects include: Anna Pavlova, Mikhail Baryshniknov, Martha Graham, Maria Tallchief, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Rudolf Nureyev, Twyla Tharp, Ginger Rogers, Margot Fonteyn, Alvin Ailey, José Greco, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, and many more.
To get students started on their research, Love to Know Dance lists dancers by the type of dance they do and includes biographical sketches.
Contact local cultural centers for information about traditional dances and dancers who might make school visits to talk about dance and give a demonstration.
Collaborate with the music and physical education teachers on a dance unit in which students can learn steps to traditional dances from the United States and other countries.

Jan
13

1910 – first radio broadcast to the public, in which the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City transmitted performances of several opera singers including Enrico Caruso
Books:
Avi.  Who Was That Masked Man Anyway?  Scholastic, 1992.  Gr. 4-6
Barasch, Lynn.  Radio Rescue.  Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2000.  Gr. 3-5
Dorros, Arthur.  Radio Man/Don radio.  HarperCollins, 1993.  Gr. 1-4
Finkelstein, Norman H.  Sounds in the Air: The Golden Age of Radio.  Atheneum, 1993.  Gr. 6 & above
Malam, John.  Great Scientists: Guglielmo Marconi.  Heinemann Library, 2008.  Gr. 3-6
McCarthy, Meghan.  Aliens Are Coming!: The True Account of the 1938 War of the Worlds Radio
Broadcast.  Knopf, 2006.  Gr. 2-6
Van Steenwyk, Elizabeth.  One Fine Day: A Radio Play.  Illus. by Bill Farnsworth.  Eerdmans, 2003.
Gr. 4-6
Wickham, Martha.  A Golden Age: The Golden Age of Radio.  Illus. by Dan Brown.  Soundprints,
1996.  Gr. 2-5
Check public and school library shelves for nonfiction books about the invention of the radio and biographies of Marconi published in library editions.

Weblinks:
Old Time Radio: The Golden Years
Includes a timeline of radio milestones plus a comprehensive list of radio shows by year; soundbytes are available for some of the programs
Antique Radio Collection
For students who would like to see what old radios looked like, some great color photographs (a few mouse clicks required to get to the individual pictures)
Early Radio Pictures
For older students, a lesson that poses questions using photographs of people (mostly families) listening to the radio in the past

Activities:
Discuss circumstances in which people might listen to the radio instead of using other technology as means of communication.
Invite a radio broadcaster into the classroom to talk about her/his work, or if possible, take a tour of a radio station.
Listen to some old radio shows and discuss the appeal they had for people of all ages before they had televisions in their homes. Encourage students to use their imaginations to visualize characters and events.

Jan
14

January is Staying Healthy Month
Staying healthy includes many aspects. The resources below focus on illnesses caused by bacteria or viruses and how we can prevent them.
Books:
Berger, Melvin.  Germs Make Me Sick!  Illus. by Marylin Hafner.  HarperCollins, 1995.  Gr. 1-3
Brandenberg, Franz.  I Wish I Was Sick, Too!  Illus. by Aliki.  Mulberry, 1990.  Gr. K-2
Brown, Laurie Krasny & Brown, Marc.  Dinosaurs Alive and Well: A Guide to Good Health.  Little, Brown,
1992.  Gr. K-4
Capeci, Anne.  The Giant Germ (Magic School Bus Chapter Book).  Scholastic, 2001.  Gr. 3-5
Cherry, Lynne.  Who’s Sick Today?  Sandpiper, 1998.  Gr. K-2
Collins, Ross.  Germs.  Bloomsbury, 2004.  Gr. K-2
Demuth, Patricia Brennan.  Achoo! All About Colds (All Aboard Reading).  Grosset & Dunlap, 1997.
Gr. 1-3
Gelman, Rita Goldman.  Body Battles.  Illus. by Elroy Freem.  Scholastic, 1992.  Gr. 2-4
Gretz, Susanna.  Teddy Bears Cure a Cold.  Illus. by Alison Sage.  Four Winds, 1984.  Gr. K-2
Katz, Bobbi.  Germs! Germs! Germs! (Hello Reader, Level 3).  Illus. by Steve Bjorkman.  Scholastic,
1996.  Gr. 2-4
Maccarone, Grace.  I Have a Cold (Hello Reader, Level 1).  Illus. by Betsy Lewin.  Scholastic, 1998.
Gr. K-2
MacLachlan, Patricia.  The Sick Day.  Illus. by Jane Dyer.  Doubleday, 2001.  Gr. K-3
Nadler, Beth.  The Magic School Bus Inside Ralphie: A Book about Germs.  Illus. by John Speirs.
(Based on the books by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen).  Scholastic, 1995.  Gr. 1-4
Rabe, Tish.  Oh the Things You Can Do That Are Good for You!: All About Staying Healthy.  Illus. by
Aristides Ruiz.  Random House, 2001.  Gr. 1-4
Rice, Judith Anne.  Those Mean Nasty Dirty Downright Disgusting but...Invisible Germs / Esos
desagradables detestables sucios completamente asquerosos pero... invisibles germens.  Illus. by Reed Merrill.  Redleaf Press, 2002.  Gr. 2-4
Romanek, Trudee.  Achoo!: The Most Interesting Book You’ll Ever Read about Germs.  Illus. by
Rose Cowles.  Kids Can Press, 2003.  Gr. 2-5
Rosenberry, Vera.  When Vera Was Sick.  Henry Holt, 1998.  Gr. K-2
Ross, Tony.  Wash Your Hands!  Kane/Miller, 2006.  Gr. K-2
Rowan, Kate.  I Know How We Fight Germs.  Illus. by Katharine McEwen.  Candlewick, 1999.  Gr. K-2
Rylant, Cynthia.  Mr. Putter & Tabby Catch the Cold.  Illus. by Arthur Howard.  Harcourt, 2002.  Gr. K-2
Rylant, Cynthia.  Henry and Mudge Get the Cold Shivers.  Illus. by Sucie Stevenson.  Simon & Schuster,
1989.  Gr. K-2
Wells, Rosemary.  The Germ Busters.  Illus. by Jody Wheeler.  Hyperion, 2002.  Gr. K-2
Wilson, Karma.  Bear Feels Sick.  Illus. by Jane Chapman.  McElderry, 2007.   Gr. Pre-2
Yolen, Jane.  How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon?  Illus. by Mark Teague.  Scholastic, 2003.  Gr. Pre-2

Weblinks:
Scrub Club
A team of “soaper-heroes” uses animation and facts to teach about the germ “villains” and how to prevent illness; includes songs and games; clever and captivating site
What Are Germs? from Kids Health
Easy-to-read information about types of germs and how to protect oneself from them
Everyday Illnesses and Injuries, from Kids Health
“I Feel Sick” section contains detailed information about common childhood illnesses

Activities:
Brainstorm a list of places where germs are likely to be found.
Have students make posters advocating how to stay germ free and hang them around the building.
Invite the school nurse into the classroom to talk about the importance of washing hands and to demonstrate proper handwashing techniques.
View the “Reading Rainbow” episode of Germs Make Me Sick.
Sing the “Clean Hands Song” in Rosemary Wells’s book, The Germ Busters.

Jan
15

1929 – birthdate of civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Books:
Adler, David A.  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Illus. by Colin Bootman.  Holiday House, 2001.  Gr. K-3
Adler, David A.  A Picture Book of Martin Luther King.  Illus. by Robert Casilla.  Holiday House,
1989.  Gr. 2-4
Bolden, Tonya.  M.L.K.: The Journey of a King.  Abrams, 2007.  Gr. 5-8
Bray, Rosemary L.  Martin Luther King.  Illus. by Malcah Zeldis.  Greenwillow, 1995.  Gr. 2-5
Bunting, Eve.  The Cart That Carried Martin.  Illus. by Don Tate.  Charlesbridge, 2013.  Gr. K-3
Farris, Christine King.  March On!: The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World.  Illus. by London
Ladd.  Scholastic, 2008.  Gr. 2-5
Farris, Christine King.  My Brother Martin: A Sister Remembers Growing Up with the Rev. Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr.  Illus. by Chris Soentpiet.  Simon & Schuster, 2003.  Gr. 2-4
Flowers, Arthur.  I See the Promised Land: A Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Illus. by Manu Chitrakar.
Groundwood, 2013.  Gr. 7 & above
King, Martin Luther, Jr.  I Have a Dream.  Illus. by 15 Coretta Scott King Award-winning illustrators.
Scholastic, 1997.  Gr. All ages
King, Martin Luther, Jr.  I Have a Dream.  Illus. by Kadir Nelson.  Schwartz & Wade, 2012.  Gr. All ages
(includes CD of speech)
Kurtz, Jane.  Martin's Dream (Ready-to-Read, Level 1).  Illus. by Amy June Bates.  Simon Spotlight,
2008.  Gr. K-2
Livingston, Myra Cohn.  Let Freedom Ring: A Ballad of Martin Luther King.  Illus. by Samuel Byrd.
Holiday House, 1992.  Gr. 1-4
Marzollo, Jean.  Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King.  Illus. by J. Brian Pinkney.  Scholastic, 1993.
Gr. K-2
McNamara, Margaret.  Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Ready-to-Read, Level 1).  Illus. by Mike Gordon.
Aladdin, 2007.  Gr. K-2
Michelson, Richard.  As Good as Anybody: Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel’s
Amazing March to Freedom.  Illus. by Raúl Colόn.  Knopf, 2008.  Gr. 2-5
Myers, Walter Dean.  I’ve Seen the Promised Land: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Illus. by
Leonard Jenkins.  HarperCollins, 2004.  Gr. 2-4
Pastan, Amy.  Martin Luther King, Jr.  DK Children, 2004.  Gr. 5-8
Patrick, Denise Lewis.  A Lesson for Martin Luther King, Jr. (Ready-to-Read, Level 2)  Illus. by Rodney
S. Pate.  Aladdin, 2003.  Gr. 1-3
Pinkney, Andrea Davis.  Martin & Mahalia: His Words Her Song.  Illus. by Brian Pinkney.  Little, Brown,
2013.  Gr. 2-5
Rappaport, Doreen.  Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Illus. by Bryan Collier.
Hyperion, 2001.  Gr. 1-5
Ringgold, Faith.  My Dream of Martin Luther King.  Crown, 1995.  Gr. 2-4
Ruffin, Frances E.  Martin Luther King, Jr. and the March on Washington (All Aboard Reading).  Illus. by
Stephen Marchesi.  Grosset & Dunlap, 2000.  Gr. 1-3
Swain, Gwenyth.  Riding to Washington.  Illus. by David Geister.  Sleeping Bear Press, 2008.  Gr. 2-4
Watkins, Angela Farris.  My Uncle Martin's Big Heart.  Illus. by Eric Velasquez.  Abrams, 2010.  Gr. K-3
Check public and school library shelves for the many biographies of Martin Luther King, Jr. from series published in library editions.

Weblinks:
The King Center
Includes a biography and chronology of Dr. King, audio excerpts from speeches, a statement about his legacy by Coretta Scott King, an explanation of the King holiday, and much more
Martin Luther King Day, from Education World
Links to lesson plans for all ages related to King, the holiday, and tolerance
MLK Classic Images from Life magazine
13 photos (captioned with date/location/event) and a link to 6 cover photos
“I Have a Dream” speech, at American Rhetoric
Video and print text of the speech on August 28, 1963

Activities:
The internet contains numerous suggestions for lessons and activities for all ages—see the Education World site listed above for websites.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream. Ask students about their dreams for the world. Give each student a word bubble on which to write their dream. Also, have each student draw a self-portrait (use 8-1/2 X 11-inch paper) from the neck down. Using a digital camera, take a photo of each child’s face, size it proportionally, and print it. Have them cut out their faces and glue them atop their bodies and then glue on their word bubbles. Make a display of the students and their dreams.

Jan
16

1932 – birthdate of Dian Fossey, American zoologist who spent many years studying gorillas in Rwanda
Books:
Gibbons, Gail.  Gorillas.  Holiday House, 2011.  Gr. 1-3
Hatkoff, Juliana; Hatkoff, Isabella; Hatkoff, Craig, & Kahumbu, Paula.  Looking for Miza: The True Story
of a Mountain Gorilla Who Rescued One of Their Own.  Scholastic, 2008.  Gr. 3-5
Kane, Karen.  Mountain Gorillas.  Photos by Gerry Ellis.  Lerner, 2001.  Gr. 2-5
Matthews, Tom L.  Light Shining through the Mist: A Photobiography of Dian Fossey.  National
Geographic, 1998.  Gr. 4-6
Milton, Joyce.  Gorillas: Gentle Giants of the Forest (Step into Reading, 3).  Illus. by Bryn Barnard.
Random House, 2003.  Gr. 2-4
Nichols, Michael & Carney, Elizabeth.  Face to Face with Gorillas.  National Geographic Children's
Books, 2009.  Gr. 3-5
Ottaviani, Jim.  Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas.
Illus. by Maris Wicks.  First Second/Roaring Brook, 2013.  Gr. 6-10
Schott, Jane A.  Dian Fossey and the Mountain Gorillas.  Illus. by Ralph L. Ramstad.  Carolrhoda,
1999.  Gr. 2-4
Simon, Seymour.  Gorillas.  HarperCollins, 2000.  Gr. 3-6
Sobol, Richard.  Breakfast in the Rain Forest: A Visit with Mountain Gorillas.  Candlewick, 2008.  Gr. 3-6
Thomson, Sarah L.  Amazing Gorillas!(I Can Read, Level2).  HarperCollins, 2006.  Gr. 1-3
Turner, Pamela S.  Gorilla Doctors: Saving Endangered Great Apes.  Houghton Mifflin, 2005.  Gr. 4-8
Check public and school library shelves for biographies of Dian Fossey and nonfiction books about gorillas published in library editions.

Weblinks:
The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International
Biography of Fossey, considerable amount of information about gorillas (including video), games and activities at this impressive site (as to be expected, there is quite a bit of promotional material)
Mountain Gorilla, at African Wildlife Foundation
Detailed information about mountain gorillas along with a photo gallery and some video
Mountain Gorillas, at National Geographic Kids
Easy-to-read information and a photo slide show (some advertisements)

Activities:
Research other women who have devoted their lives to work with primates, such as Jane Goodall, Francine (Penny) Patterson (taught human sign language to Koko), and Amy Vedder.
Research primates and make an illustrated dictionary. Include the following: chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, gibbons, baboons, mandrills, marmosets, tamarins, spider monkeys, howler monkeys, and lemurs. (Students will locate additional types within these categories.) Use the dictionary page for facts and a picture; bind the pages into a book.

Jan
17

1706 – birthdate of Benjamin Franklin
Books:
Adler, David A.  B. Franklin, Printer.  Holiday House, 2001.  Gr. 5-8
Adler, David A.  Benjamin Franklin—Printer, Inventor, Statesman: A First Biography.  Illus. by Lyle
Miller.  Holiday House, 1992.  Gr. 3-5
Adler, David A.  A Picture Book of Benjamin Franklin.  Illus. by John & Alexandra Wallner.  Holiday
House, 1990.  Gr. 2-4
Ashby, Ruth.  The Amazing Mr. Franklin, Or, The Boy Who Read Everything.  Peachtree, 2004.  Gr. 3-5
Barretta, Gene.  Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin.  Henry Holt, 2006.  Gr. 2-5
Byrd, Robert.  Electric Ben: The Amazing Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin.  Dial, 2012.  Gr. 4-6
Dash, Joan.  A Dangerous Engine: Benjamin Franklin, from Scientist to Diplomat.  Illus. by Dušan
Petričic. Frances Foster, 2006.  Gr. 7 & above
Fleming, Candace.  Ben Franklin’s Almanac: Being a True Account of the Good Gentleman’s Life.
Atheneum, 2003.  Gr. 5-9
Freedman, Russell.  Becoming Ben Franklin: How a Candle-Maker's Son Helped Light the Flame of
Liberty.  Holiday House, 2013.  Gr. 5-8
Giblin, James Cross.  The Amazing Life of Benjamin Franklin.  Illus. by Michael Dooling.  Scholastic,
2000.  Gr. 3-5
Harness, Cheryl.  The Remarkable Benjamin Franklin.  National Geographic Society, 2005.  Gr. 3-5
Jango-Cohen, Judith.  Ben Franklin’s Big Shock.  Illus. by Kevin Lepp.  Millbrook, 2005.  Gr. 1-3
Krensky, Stephen.  Ben Franklin and His First Kite (Ready-to-Read, Level 2).  Illus. by Bert Dodson.
Aladdin, 2002.  Gr. 1-3
Krull, Kathleen.  Benjamin Franklin ("Giants of Science" series).  Illus. by Boris Kulikov.  Viking, 2013.
Gr. 4-7
McDonough, Yona Zeldis.  The Life of Benjamin Franklin: An American Original.  Illus. by Malcah
Zeldis. Henry Holt, 2006.  Gr. 2-4
Murphy, Frank.  Ben Franklin and the Magic Squares (Step into Reading, 4).  Illus. by Richard Walz.
Random House, 2001.  Gr. 2-4
Schanzer, Rosalyn.  How Ben Franklin Stole the Lightning.  HarperCollins, 2003.  Gr. 2-4
Schroeder, Alan.  Ben Franklin: His Wit and Wisdom from A - Z.  Illus. by John O'Brien.  Holiday House,
2011.  Gr. 2-5
Check public and school library shelves for the many biographies of Benjamin Franklin from series published in library editions.

Weblinks:
Benjamin Franklin, from Ben’s Guide to U.S. Government for Kids
An easy-to-read overview of Franklin as a printer, librarian, inventor, and statesman, plus a timeline
Benjamin Franklin: An Extraordinary Life, an Electric Mind, at PBS
Lots of interactivity at this site that includes enormous amounts of information related to Franklin’s contributions to his community (with a virtual tour of his town), “wit and wisdom,” an “A to Z” section that lists his many roles, a timeline, and so much more. This fascinating site to explore also has a set of downloadable lesson plans.
The Electric Ben Franklin
Quite a bit of information here: biography, timeline, recounting of the kite experiment, quotes, photo gallery of artists’ renderings, “Fun and Games” including experiments and activities.
Ben Franklin FAQ, from The Franklin Institute
39 questions about Franklin’s life answered simply and directly

Activities:
Benjamin Franklin is noted for his wise and humorous sayings. Discuss meanings behind some of his most famous quotes. Introduce the term “proverbs.” Have students select a few of Franklin’s sayings to post in the classroom.
Along with his work as a printer, statesman, and Founding Father, Franklin is credited with many inventions and the creation of services that altered history. As a class, compile a list of his accomplishments. (The list should be of sufficient length that each student has a topic.) Have individual students research their topic and write a few sentences that summarize Franklin’s contribution. Also, have them create a picture to accompany their writing. This picture might be a drawing or a collage of images taken from the internet, scans of pictures, or magazines. Compile all of their work into a large timeline of Franklin’s life.
Benjamin Franklin published Poor Richard’s Almanack (view pages of the 1753 version).
Discuss the purpose of almanacs and types of information they contain. To explore a variety of information, check out the almanac links on FactMonster.

Jan
17

1942 - birthday of Muhammad Ali, world boxing champion and social activist, named "Sportsman of the Century" in 1999 by Sports Illustrated magazine
Books:
Bolden, Tonya.  The Champ: The Story of Muhammad Ali.  Illus. by R. Gregory Christie.  Knopf, 2004.
Gr. 2-5
Garrett, Leslie.  The Story of Muhammad Ali (Level 4).  DK, 2002.  Gr. 2-4
Haskins, Jim.  Champion: The Story of Muhammad Ali.  Illus. by Eric Velasquez.  Walker, 2002.  Gr. 3-5
Myers, Walter Dean.  The Greatest: Muhammad Ali.  Gr. 6-10
Myers, Walter Dean.  Muhammad Ali: The People's Champion.  Illus. by Alix Delinois.  Collins, 2009.
Gr. 2-4
Shange, Ntozake.  Float Like a Butterfly.  Illus. by Edel Rodriguez.  Jump at the Sun, 2002.  Gr. 1-4
Smith, Charles R., Jr.  Twelve Rounds to Glory: The Story of Muhammad Ali.  Illus. by Bryan Collier.
Candlewick, 2007.  Gr.
Winter, Jonah.  Muhammad Ali: Champion of the World.  Illus. by Francois Roca.  Schwartz & Wade,
2008.  Gr. 3-6

Weblinks:
Ali: The Official Site of Muhammad Ali
Biography, timeline, photo gallery, videos, and much more (commercial site)
Muhammad Ali Center
Dedicated to diversity and multiculturalism, the Center is based on six core values of Ali; includes a biography, videos, and resource materials

Activities:
Muhammad Ali is considered a pop culture icon. His life has been subject to considerable controversy, and he has been awarded many distinctions beyond his expertise as a boxer. Students can research aspects of Ali's life and discuss both the positive and negative impact that some of his decisions have had on his life.
Ali is famous for his quotes. Some pertain to boxing; others, to life. Students can find some of his quotes at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/m/muhammad_ali.html and discuss their significance.
To truly get to know Muhammad Ali, students need to watch video clips of his interviews with the press.

Jan
18

It’s Pooh Day!
Celebrate the occasion of author A. A. Milne’s birth in 1882 by having fun with stories about Christopher Robin and all of his friends from the “100 Aker Wood.”
Books:
Make sure you have on hand copies of the original versions of Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne, illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard. Search shelves at public, school, and home libraries for books about Pooh and friends. Invite students to bring in their books and stuffed animals from the series. Make a display of books and animals for everyone to enjoy.
Weblinks:
Just-Pooh.com
History of Milne and his books, rather complete descriptions of the characters, pictures, stories, and games
Disney’s Winnie the Pooh Official Site
Lots of color and animation highlight games and activities, an introduction to the characters, and an opportunity to create a story online featuring Pooh characters (advertisements on this site)
Celebrate 75 Years of Winnie-the-Pooh at Dutton Children’s Books
From the publisher, online games, recipes, classroom activities, and audio clips
Christopher Robin’s Winnie-the-Pooh Character Guide
Descriptions of the characters, lots of pictures, a mystery to solve, and a “Poohsonality” Test (advertisements)

Activities:
Invite students (and the teacher too!) to wear Pooh clothing items they might have.
Read some stories from the original versions of the books. Share the illustrations and discuss the differences between those and the more recognizable Disney illustrations.
Have students make bookmarks featuring their favorite Pooh character. After Pooh Day, place the bookmarks in a container in the classroom for future use.
The real Winnie the Pooh toys are on display at the New York Public Library. Look at the pictures online and check out the "adventures" section for a timeline and fun facts about them.
Play some of the online interactive Pooh character games.
Conduct a survey of favorite Pooh characters and graph the results.
Have students make stick puppets of Pooh characters and write a puppet play to perform. The faces of Pooh characters on lunch-size paper bags also make good puppets.
A “Three Cheers for Pooh!” chant can be easily adapted from the “Anxious Pooh Song” in Winnie the Pooh. For example:
    “3 cheers for Pooh!
    (For who?)
    For Pooh.
    3 cheers for Bear!
    (For where?)
    For Bear.
    Oh, listen, do!
    I am talking of Pooh.
    (Of who?)
    Of Pooh!”
Play “Find Pooh’s Honey.” Set up a series of clues (4 or 5 for younger children) in familiar places around the school for students to follow. Write the clues on yellow paper cut as splashes of honey. At the site of the last clue, students should find the honey treat (Bit-o-Honey mini candy bars or Teddy Grahams) for a snack. (The school library is a great place for the last clue!) Possible game: Introduction: A friend has been here! His name is Pooh. He can’t find his honey and needs help from you. So read all the clues. They’ll show you the way to a bit o’ honey for Pooh today. Clue 1: You run and jump and play here too! But don’t go outside to find the next clue! Clue 2: Here’s a place where you pick up your tray. There’s no bit o’ honey, but it’s on the way. Clue 3: He (or she) runs our school. She is our friend. You can find a clue there, but it’s not the end. Clue 4: It’s a place for books you can read a lot. Look carefully for a bit o’ honey in a pot!
Enjoy a honey snack on toast or English muffins or make a treat from a recipe that calls for honey.

Jan
19

1839 – birthdate of French artist Paul Cézanne, a post-Impressionist painter whose work is said to serve as a bridge between Impressionism (the result of Pisarro’s influence on his work) and Cubism (because of his interest in the geometry of objects and his tendency to paint them from two perceptual views).
Books:
Anholt, Laurence.  Cézanne and the Apple Boy.  Barron's, 2009.  Gr. 2-4
Burleigh, Robert.  Paul Cézanne: A Painter’s Journey.  Abrams, 2006.  Gr. 4-8
Connolly, Sean.  The Life and Work of Paul Cézanne.  Heinemann, 2005.  Gr. 2-4
Mis, Melody S.  Paul Cézanne (Meet the Artist).  PowerKids, 2007.  Gr. 2-4
Morpurgo, Michael.  Meeting Cezanne.  Illus. by Francois Place.  Candlewick, 2013.  Gr. 2-4
Venezia, Mike.  Paul Cézanne (“Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists”).  Children’s Press,
1998.  Gr. 3-5
Check public and school library shelves for biographies of Cézanne from series published in library editions.

Weblinks:
Paul Cézanne, from WebMuseum, Paris
Biography of Cézanne illustrated with several of his paintings
Paul Cézanne, at Olga’s Gallery
A display of 108 paintings (which can be enlarged for viewing) plus a biography (some advertisements)

Activities:
Introduce students to the work of Paul Cézanne by projecting a few of his paintings on a large screen or SMART Board. Discuss with students what materials they think he used? Do the paintings evoke any feelings or emotions? Discuss the visual elements of the paintings, such as color, line, shape, and composition. In particular, focus on perspective and depth perception.

Jan
20

Inauguration Day - In 2013, the official swearing-in day will be Monday, January 21. Since 1933 (and the ratification of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution), the president of the United States has been inaugurated on this date.
Books:
Goodman, Susan E.  See How They Run: Campaign Dreams, Election Schemes, and the Race to the
White House.  Illus. by Elwood H. Smith.  Bloomsbury, 2008.  Gr. 4-8
Granfield, Linda.  America Votes: How Our President Is Elected.  Illus. by Steve Bjorkman.  Kids Can
Press, 2003.  Gr. 4-6.
Sobel, Syl.  Presidential Elections: And Other Cool Facts.  Barron’s, 2001.  Gr. 4-8
See President’s Day (February 18) on the Activities Calendar for additional resources regarding the presidents.

Weblinks:
The American Presidency Project
Full text of every inaugural address
Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States
Full texts plus some brief introductory material that tells who administered the oath and interesting facts about the event.
“I Do Solemnly Swear…” Presidential Inaugurations, from the American Memory Collection at the Library of Congress
A collection of digitized files that includes diaries and letters of presidents and of those who witnessed inaugurations, handwritten drafts of inaugural addresses, broadsides, inaugural tickets and programs, prints, photographs, and other materials.

Activities:
Have students locate some basic facts about the history of the presidential inauguration:
When did the inauguration of the first president take place?
Who was the first president inaugurated in Washington, D.C.?
What president gave the shortest inaugural speech? The longest?
On what date was the inauguration of the president originally set? Why was that date so long after the election?
When was inauguration day set for January 20? By what “law?”
Who was the first president to be inaugurated on January 20?
Where is the oath of office traditionally administered?
At what time does the president-elect become president?
What song is played after the president takes the oath of office?
The presidential oath of office is one sentence—what is that statement?
After they have found the information, have them work in small groups to prepare a newsletter or flyer containing the facts that can be shared with other classrooms. Each group’s product should be illustrated, and it is likely that they will look different. If possible, have them create their newsletters on the computer and use clip art for illustrations.
Older students might look at the well-known inaugural speeches of Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and John Kennedy, all of whom addressed situations of the economy or international conflict that have something in common with what Barack Obama is facing. Locate President Obama’s inaugural speech and compare the ways he addressed those issues with ways Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, and Kennedy addressed them.

Jan
21

It’s Squirrel Appreciation Day! Founded in 2001 by Christy Hargrove, a wildlife rehabilitator from North Carolina, as a day to enjoy our tree-climbing, nut-gathering wild friends.
Books:
Avi.  The Mayor of Central Park.  Illus. by Brian Floca.  HarperCollins, 2003.  Gr. 3-6
Bowers, Tim.  A New Home.  Harcourt, 2002.  Gr. K-2
Bynum, Jane.  Nutmeg and Barley: A Budding Friendship.  Candlewick, 2006.  Gr. Pre-1
Chichester Clark, Emma.  Will and Squill.  Carolrhoda, 2006.  Gr. K-2
Ehlert, Lois.  Nuts to You!  Harcourt. 1993.  Gr. K-2
Ernst, Lisa Campbell.  Squirrel Park.  Bradbury, 1993.  Gr. 1-3
Freeman, Don.  Earl the Squirrel.  Viking, 2005.  Gr. K-2
Glaser, Linda.  Hello Squirrels!: Scampering through the Seasons.  Illus. by Gay W. Holland.  Millbrook,
2006.  Gr. K-2
Harper, Charise Mericle.  The Trouble with Normal.  Houghton Mifflin, 2003.  Gr. 1-3
Hurwitz, Johanna.  Squirrel World.  Illus. by Kathi McCord.  Chronicle, 2007.  Gr. 2-4
Jacques, Brian.  Rakkety Tam.  Illus. by David Elliott.  Philomel, 2004.  Gr. 5-9
Kindley, Jeff.  Scamper’s Year.  Illus. by Laura Rader.  Gareth Stevens, 1999.  Gr. K-2
Lithgow, John.  Micawber.  Illus. by C.F. Payne.  Simon & Schuster, 2002.  Gr. K-3
Moser, Lisa.  Squirrel’s World.  Illus. by Valeri Gorbachev.  Candlewick, 2007.  Gr. 1-3  Also: Squirrel's
Day of Fun (2013)
Ray, J. Hamilton.  Squirrels on Skis (Beginner Books series).  Illus. by Pascal Lemaitre.  Random
House, 2013.  Gr. K-2
Raye, Rebekah.  The Very Best Bed.  Tilbury, 2006.  Gr. K-2
Rubin, Adam.  Those Darn Squirrels!  Illus. by Daniel Salmieri.  Clarion, 2008.  Gr. 1-4  Also: Those
Darn Squirrels and the Cat Next Door (2011) and Those Darn Squirrels Fly South (2012)
Rylant, Cynthia.  Gooseberry Park.  Illus. by Arthur Howard.  Harcourt, 1995.  Gr. 3-5
Shore, Diane Z. & Alexander, Jessica.  Look Both Ways: A Cautionary Tale.  Illus. by Teri Weidner.
Bloomsbury, 2005.  Gr. K-2
Sloat, Teri.  Sody Sallyratus.  Dutton, 1997.  Gr. K-3
Stein, David Ezra.  Ol' Mama Squirrel.  Nancy Paulsen/Putnam, 2013.  Gr. Pre-2
Tafuri, Nancy.  The Busy Little Squirrel.  Simon & Schuster, 2007.  Gr. Pre-1
Watt, Mélanie.  Scaredy Squirrel.  Kids Can Press, 2006.  Gr. K-3  Also: Scaredy Squirrel Makes a
Friend (2007); Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach (2008); Scaredy Squirrel at Night (2009); Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday Party (2011); Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Christmas (2012); Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Halloween (2013), and Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping (2013)
Wiles, Debbie.  One Wide Sky.  Illus. by Tim Bowers.  Harcourt, 2003.  Gr. Pre-1
Check public and school library shelves for nonfiction books about squirrels published in library editions.

Weblinks:
The Squirrel Place
Just about everything associated with squirrels can be found here: facts and trivia, how to build a nesting box, care of infants, FAQs, and a photo gallery of squirrel species from around the world
Squirrel, from National Geographic
Facts, a photo gallery, and an audio clip of an Eastern gray squirrel

Activities:
Squirrels are rodents. Have students research common rodents (e.g., mice, rats, chipmunks, porcupines, beavers, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, prairie dogs, groundhogs) and make a chart comparing different attributes, such as size, diet, habitat, physical features, etc. Leave space on the chart for pictures.
Brainstorm what students know about squirrels and make a list. Three categories of squirrels live in the United States: ground squirrels, tree squirrels, and flying squirrels. Match these categories with the list (some of the items on the list might fit more than one category of squirrel). Use the books and internet resources to verify the items on the list. Have students star accurate information, modify some items on the list, and mark anything they want to delete with an “X.” Invite them to start a second list with newly acquired information.

Jan
22

Get ready for the 100th Day of School!
This day is different depending on your school calendar, but now is a good time to begin preparations.
Books:
Adler, David A.  Young Cam Jansen and the 100th Day of School Mystery.  Illus. by Susanna Natti.
Viking, 2009.  Gr. 1-3
Capucilli, Alyssa Satin.  Biscuit’s 100th Day of School.  Illus. by Mary O’Keefe Young.  Harper, 2006.
Gr. Pre-1
Carlson, Nancy L.  Henry’s 100 Days of Kindergarten.  Viking, 2004.  Gr. K-2
Cuyler, Margery.  100th Day Worries.  Illus. by Arthur Howard.  Simon & Schuster, 2000.  Gr. K-2
Franco, Betsy.  Counting Our Way to the 100th Day: 100 Poems.  Illus. by Steven Salerno.  McElderry,
2004.  Gr. K-4
Harris, Trudy.  100 Days of School.  Illus. by Beth Griffis Johnson.  Millbrook, 1999.  Gr. K-3
Haugen, Brenda.  The 100th Day of School.  Illus. by Sheree Boyd.  Picture Window Books, 2004.
Gr. K-2
Goldstone, Bruce.  100 Ways to Celebrate 100 Days.  Henry Holt, 2010.  Gr. K-3
Kasza, Keiko.  The Wolf’s Chicken Stew.  Putnam, 1987.  Gr. K-2
Laminack, Lester L.  Jake’s 100th Day of School.  Illus. by Judy Love.  Peachtree, 2006.  Gr. K-2
McNamara, Margaret.  One Hundred Days (Plus One) (Ready-to-Read, Level 1).  Illus. by Mike Gordon.
Aladdin, 2003.  Gr. K-2
Medearis, Angela Shelf.  The 100th Day of School (Hello Reader! Level 2).  Illus. by Joan Holub.
Scholastic, 1996.  Gr. K-2
Milord, Susan.  Happy 100th Day!  Illus. by Mary Newell DePalma.  Scholastic, 2011.  Gr. K-2
O’Connor, Jane.  Fancy Nancy: The 100th Day of School (I Can Read!, Level 1).  Illus. by Robin Preiss
Glasser.  HarperCollins, 2009.  Gr. K-2
Pinczes, Elinor J.  One Hundred Hungry Ants.  Illus. by Bonnie MacKain.  Houghton Mifflin, 1993.
Gr. 1-3
Rockwell, Anne.  100 School Days.  Illus. by Lizzy Rockwell.  HarperCollins, 2002.  Gr. K-2
Slate, Joseph.  Miss Bindergarten Celebrates the 100th Day of Kindergarten.  Illus. by Ashley Wolff.
Dutton, 1998.  Gr. K-2
Wallace, Nancy Elizabeth.  Ready, Set, 100th Day!  Marshall Cavendish, 2011.  Gr. K-3
Wells, Rosemary.  Emily’s First 100 Days of School.  Hyperion, 2000.  Gr. K-2

Weblinks:
Math/100th Day, from Mrs. Alphabet
MANY activities for the 100th day, suggested by classroom teachers
100th Day of School
A few rhymes and words to several songs about the 100th day, sung to familiar tunes
50 Ideas to Celebrate the 100th Day of School
Just what the title of the page states (some advertisements)
100 Days of School
Activity suggestions, links to other internet resources, book recommendations (includes a downloadable bookmark)

Activities:
Check the websites listed above for at least a hundred ideas for lessons and activities!

Jan
23

It’s National Pie Day!
Books:
Best, Cari.  Easy as Pie.  Illus. by Melissa Sweet.  Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2010.  Gr. K-3
Birney, Betty.  Pie’s in the Oven.  Illus. by Holly Meade.  Houghton Mifflin, 1996.  Gr. K-2
Dunn, Carolyn.  A Pie Went By.  Illus. by Christopher Santoro.  HarperCollins, 2000.  Gr. K-3
Ehlert, Lois.  Pie in the Sky.  Harcourt, 2004.  Gr. K-3
Garland, Michael.  The President and Mom’s Apple Pie.  Dutton, 2002.  Gr. 1-3
Lindsey, Kathleen D.  Sweet Potato Pie.  Illus. by Charlotte Riley-Webb.  Lee & Low, 2003.  Gr. 1-4
Martin, David.  All for Pie, Pie for All.  Illus. by Valeri Gorbachev.  Candlewick, 2006.  Gr. Pre-1
Munsch, Robert.  More Pies!  Illus. by Michael Martchenko.  Scholastic Cartwheel, 2002.  Gr. K-2
Munson, Derek.  Enemy Pie.  Illus. by Tara Callahan King.  Chronicle, 2000.  Gr. K-3
Priceman, Marjorie.  How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World.  Knopf, 1994.  Gr. 1-4
Priceman, Marjorie.  How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the U.S.A.  Knopf, 2008.  Gr. 1-4
Reiser, Judy.  Cherry Pies and Lullabies.  Greenwillow, 1998.  Gr. K-3
Sierra, Judy.  Thelonius Monster’s Sky-High Fly-Pie.  Illus. by Edward Koren.  Knopf, 2006.  Gr. K-3
Thayer, Jane.  The Blueberry Pie Elf.  Illus. by Seymour Fleishman.  Purple House Press, 2008.
Gr. K-3
Thompson, Lauren.  The Apple Pie That Papa Baked.  Illus. by Jonathan Bean.  Simon & Schuster,
2007.  Gr. K-2
VanHecke, Susan.  An Apple Pie for Dinner.  Illus. by Carol Baicher-McKee.  Marshall Cavendish,
2009.  Gr. K-3
Weeks, Sarah.  Pie.  Scholastic, 2011.  Gr. 4-6
Wheeler, Lisa.  Ugly Pie.  Illus. by Heather Solomon.  Harcourt, 2010.  Gr. Pre-2
Winnick, Karen.  Cassie’s Sweet Berry Pie: A Civil War Story.  Boyds Mills, 2005.  Gr. 2-4
Wood, Audrey.  Sweet Dream Pie.  Illus. by Mark Teague.  Scholastic, 1998.  Gr. K-3

Weblinks:
History of Pie
A fairly detailed history in timeline form
National Pie Day, from the American Pie Council
A shorter, more readable overview of the history of pie
Pie Trivia
Fun facts about pie (some advertisements here)

Activities:
Only Florida and Vermont have official “state pies” (key lime pie and apple pie, respectively).
Have students plan an advertising campaign in support of a state pie for their state. Brainstorm a short list (no more than 3-4) of candidates. Divide the class into small groups with each group in support of a specific pie. That group is responsible for creating a campaign for its pie by making posters, developing public service announcements, writing slogans, writing persuasive pieces, and the like. At the end of the campaign, have a school wide vote for “state pie.” Have students research what is entailed to have an official state pie designation.
Graph favorite pies. Compare the graph to national statistics regarding favorite pies.
Have students research the meanings of these familiar expressions containing the word “pie:”
as easy as pie, pie in the sky, apple-pie order, as nice as pie, (wanting) a piece of the pie, as American as apple pie, eat humble pie, cutie pie, (having) a finger in every pie.
Eat pie! If parent volunteers are available, make the pies at school.

Jan
23

National Handwriting Day celebrates John Hancock, whose signature on the Declaration of Independence is the largest and most noticeable.
Books:
Adler, David A..  A Picture Book of John Hancock.  Illus. by Ronald Himler.  Holiday House, 2007.
Gr. 2-4
Borden, Louise.  The John Hancock Club.  Illus. by Adam Gustavson.  McElderry, 2007.  Gr. 2-4
Cleary, Beverly.  Muggie Maggie.  Morrow, 1990.  Gr. 2-4
Fritz, Jean.  Will You Sign Here, John Hancock?  Illus. by Trina Schart Hyman.  Putnam, 1997.  Gr. 3-5
Pulver, Robin.  The Holiday Handwriting School.  Illus. by G. Brian Karas.  Simon & Schuster, 1991.
Gr. 1-3
Search school and library shelves for biographies of John Hancock in library editions.

Weblinks:
John Hancock Was Born: Colonial America: America’s Story from America’s Library at the Library of Congress
View a close-up of John Hancock’s signature on the Declaration of Independence as well as a view of the entire document in which his name is prominent.

Activities:
Students might enjoy looking at signatures of famous people. Purple House Press has a fascinating collection of 634 signatures of authors that includes presidents (e.g. Carter, Reagan, Hoover, Nixon); children’s authors (e.g. Judy Blume, E.B. White, J.K. Rowling, Marc Brown, Beverly Cleary, Roald Dahl, Dr. Seuss, Chris Van Allsburg, Maurice Sendak, Shel Silverstein, and many more); recognizable names (e.g., Thomas Edison, Rosa Parks, Walt Disney, Eleanor Roosevelt, Hillary Clinton, Mark Twain, Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, and many more). They might also enjoy Famous Artist and Illustrator Signatures, not because they recognize the names, but because the signatures are very unique. Invite students to experiment with creating a unique signature for themselves. Discuss “autographs” and why we ask people to sign an autograph. Ask students if they have any autographs and the circumstances under which they acquired them. Explain how people a long time ago had autograph books in which their friends (mostly from school) wrote messages. Share some of those messages. Make a class autograph book. Use half sheets of 8-1/2 X 11-inch paper for the pages. Take a digital photo of every student’s face. Set up a page of thumbnail photos (each photo about 2 X 1-1/2 inches) that includes everyone in the class plus the teacher. Photocopy the page (black and white is fine) so that each student has a copy. Have students cut out the pictures (one at a time!) and glue them on the book pages so that everyone in the class will be represented in the autograph book. Students can design their own construction paper front and back covers. Bind the autograph books and let students start collecting autographs. (Students should sign the page on which their picture appears.) Older students might enjoy analyzing their handwriting or that of a classmate. The handwriting analysis site has several steps and follows through to a final “personality” report. (Some advertisements)

Jan
24

1848 – The California Gold Rush began on this date with James Marshall's discovery at Sutter’s Mill in California.
Books:
Blumberg, Rhoda.  The Great American Gold Rush.  Bradbury, 1989.  Gr. 5-9
Brown, Don.  Gold! Gold from the American River!  Flash Point/Roaring Brook, 2011.  Gr. 4-6
Cushman, Karen.  The Ballad of Lucy Whipple.  Clarion, 1996.  Gr. 5-8
Derby, Pat.  Away to the Gold Fields!  Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2004.  Gr. 6-9
Gregory, Kristiana.  Seeds of Hope: The Gold Rush Diary of Susanna Fairchild.  Scholastic, 2001.
Gr. 5-8
Kay, Verla.  Gold Fever.  Illus. by S.D. Schindler.  Putnam, 1999.  Gr. 2-4
Ketchum, Liza.  The Gold Rush.  Little Brown, 1996.  Gr. 5 & above
Krensky, Stephen.  Striking It Rich: The Story of the California Gold Rush (Ready-to-Read, Level 3).
Illus. by Ann DiVito.  Simon & Schuster, 1996.  Gr. 2-4
McMorrow, Catherine.  Gold Fever! (Step into Reading, 4).  Illus. by Michael Eagle.  Random House,
1996.  Gr. 3-5
Rau, Margaret.  The Wells Fargo Book of the Gold Rush.  Atheneum, 2001.  Gr. 4-8
Roop, Peter & Roop, Connie.  California Gold Rush.  Scholastic, 2002.  Gr. 3-5
Schanzer, Roslyn.  Gold Fever!: Tales from the California Gold Rush.  National Geographic, 1999.
Gr. 3-6
Check public and school library shelves for books about the California Gold Rush published in library editions.

Weblinks:
The Gold Rush, from “American Experience” on PBS
In addition to a transcript of the film, there is a map, timeline, a discussion of people and events, and more
The California Gold Rush (1848-1859), from Kidport Reference Library
Well-organized information by topic, readable, sufficient detail for research
California Gold Rush Stories
An entertaining collection of more than 80 stories about different aspects of the Gold Rush

Activities:
As students research the Gold Rush, they will learn that miners traveled by different means to get to California. Many of them walked the entire distance. Have students figure out approximately how many steps they would have to take to travel from their current hometown to Placerville, California. To do this, they will need to start by determining the length of one of their normal steps in inches (measure from the heel of their forward foot to the heel of their back foot). Next, they divide the number of inches in a mile (63360) by the length of their step. This figure gives them the number of steps they would take in a mile. Finally, multiply the number of steps by the distance to Placerville from their hometown.
Have students use a map to plan the fastest route to the gold fields from their home state. Is it by land or by water? What current states would they travel through? What kinds of terrain would they encounter?
Assuming there would be very few, or no, places to stop for supplies along the way to California, brainstorm what they would need to take along with them from home. Consider both overland (by wagon and on foot) and water trips.
Towns often emerged very quickly near the sites of gold mines. Discuss the types of businesses and services that would be needed immediately in town. What would the miners and their families eventually need if the town were going to become permanent?

Jan
25

1890 – American journalist Nellie Bly completed an around-the-world trip in 72 days, setting a world record for circling the globe. The exact time of her trip was 72 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes and 14 seconds.
Books:
Blos, Joan W.  Nellie Bly’s Monkey.  Illus. by Catherine Stock.  HarperCollins, 1996.  Gr. 2-4
Butcher, Nancy.  It Can’t Be Done, Nellie Bly!: A Reporter’s Race around the World.  Illus. by Jen L.
Singh.  Peachtree, 2003.  Gr. 3-6
Christensen, Bonnie.  The Daring Nellie Bly: America’s Star Reporter.  Knopf, 2003.  Gr. 2-5
Knudsen, Shannon.  Nellie Bly.  Lerner, 2005.  Gr. 3-5
Krensky, Stephen.  Nellie Bly: A Name to Be Reckoned With.  Illus. by Rebecca Guay.  Aladdin,
2003.  Gr. 3-5
Macy, Sue.  Bylines: A Photobiography of Nellie Bly.  National Geographic Children’s Books, 2009.
Gr. 4-6
Phelan, Matt.  Around the World.  Candlewick, 2011.  Gr. 4-8
Check public and school library shelves for biographies of Nellie Bly published in library editions.

Weblinks:
Around the World in 72 Days, from PBS
A map of Nellie Bly’s trip, with captions about various cities in her own words
Nellie Bly, Daredevil Reporter, from Scholastic
Very readable biography that highlights Bly’s accomplishments
Nellie Bly, from PBS
A more detailed biography of Bly’s life

Activities:
Discuss the work of a journalist. Invite a woman newspaper, radio, or television reporter into the classroom to talk about her work.
Older students might compare Nellie Bly to women journalists of today. In particular, discuss how they “get a story,” how technology has changed reporting, and “fame” and public image.
Nellie Bly traveled around the world by train, boat, and burro. Discuss with students how they might travel around the world today and mathematically estimate how long the journey might take them.
“Nellie Bly” is a pen name. Discuss what it means to use a “pen name” and how Nellie Bly acquired hers.

Jan
26

It’s Australia Day!
The official national day of Australia commemorates the landing of the “First Fleet,” 11 ships which sailed from Great Britain to New South Wales to establish the first European colony (a convict settlement) there.
Books (a selection):
Arnold, Caroline.  Australian Animals.  HarperCollins, 2000.  Gr. 1-3
Arnold, Caroline.  Uluru: Australia’s Aboriginal Heart.  Photographs by Arthur Arnold.  Clarion, 2003.
Gr. 4-8
Baker, Jeanne.  Where the Forest Meets the Sea.  Greenwillow, 1988.  Gr. 1-4
Base, Graeme.  My Grandma Lived in Gooligulch.  Abrams, 1990.  Gr. 2-5
Bishop, Nic.  Nic Bishop Marsupials.  Scholastic, 2009.  Gr. 2-5
Cobb, Vicki.  This Place Is Lonely.  Illus. by Barbara Lavallee.  Walker, 1991.  Gr. 3-5
Eversole, Robyn.  Flood Fish.  Illus. by Sheldon Greenberg.  Knopf, 1995.  Gr. 1-3
Eversole, Robyn.  The Gift Stone.  Illus. by Alan Garns.  Knopf, 1998.  Gr. 1-3
Factor, June.  Summer.  Illus. by Alison Lester.  Viking, 1987.  Gr. K-3
French, Jackie.  Diary of a Wombat.  Illus. by Bruce Whatley.  Clarion, 2003.  Gr. K-2
French, Jackie.  How to Scratch a Wombat: Where to Find It…What to Feed It…Why It Sleeps All
Day.  Illus. by Bruce Whatley.  Clarion, 2009.   Gr. 4-6
Germein, Katrina.  Big Rain Coming.  Illus. by Bronwyn Bancroft.  Clarion, 1999.  Gr. K-3
Lester, Alison.  Are We There Yet?: A Journey around Australia.  Kane/Miller, 2005.  Gr. 1-4
Lester, Alison.  Ernie Dances to the Didgeridoo.  Houghton Mifflin, 2001.  Gr. K-2.
Lumry, Amanda & Hurwitz, Laura.  Outback Odyssey (Adventures of Riley).  Scholastic, 2009.  Gr. 1-4
Markle, Sandra.  Finding Home.  Illus. by Alan Marks.  Charlesbridge, 2008.  Gr. K-2.
Marshall, James Vance.  Stories from the Billabong.  Illus by Francis Firebrace.  Frances Lincoln,
2009.  Gr. 2-6
Morpurgo, Micheal.  Wombat Goes Walkabout.  Illus. by Christian Birmingham.  Candlewick, 2000.
Gr. K-2
Napoli, Donna Jo & Furrow, Elena.  Ready to Dream.  Illus. by Bronwyn Bancroft.  Bloomsbury, 2009.
Gr. 2-4
Oodgeroo.  Dreamtime: Aboriginal Stories.  Illus. by Bronwyn Bancroft.  HarperCollins, 1994.  Gr. 2-6
Ormerod, Jan.  Lizzie Nonsense.  Clarion, 2005.  Gr. K-2
Reynolds, Jan.  Down Under.  Lee & Low, 2007.  Gr. 4-6
Roth, Susan.  The Biggest Frog in Australia.  Simon & Schuster, 1996.  Gr. K-3
Shields, Carol Diggory.  Wombat Walkabout.  Illus. by Sophie Blackall.  Dutton, 2009.  Gr. K-2
Trinca, Rod.  One Woolly Wombat.  Illus. by Kerry Argent.  Kane/Miller, 1985.  Gr. K-2
Vaughan, Marcia K.  Wombat Stew.  Illus. by Pamela Lofts.  Silver Burdett, 1984.  Gr. 1-3
Wolkstein, Diane (Adapted).  Sun Mother Wakes the World: An Australian Creation Story.  Illus. by
Bronwyn Bancroft.  HarperCollins, 2004.  Gr. 2-4
Check public and school library shelves for nonfiction books about Australia and its animals published in library editions.

Weblinks:
Unique Australian Animals
Comprehensive site with considerable information and photos of each animal, organized alphabetically and by category
Aussie Clue Cracker
Explores 24 national days, weeks, symbols and emblem; includes teacher's manual and activities
Australia Day Student Resources
For older students, an overview of Australia Day and information about indigenous peoples, Australian currency, the flag, and the national anthem
Australia at National Geographic
Information about locations in Australia accompanied by a photo gallery
Recipes for Australia Day, from DLTK
Recipes for several Australian treats (some advertisements)

Activities:
Visit Australian author Mem Fox (March 5) on the Activities Calendar for additional book titles and resources.
Post a chart of some Australian vocabulary terms and use them at appropriate times.
Possible words:
  mate—friend
  up a gum tree—in a difficult situation
  to have a Bo-Peep—to have a look
  kick on—continue
  in strife—in trouble
  hard yakka—hard work
  offsider—helper, assistant
  stickybeak—an inquisitive person
  camp—sleep
  crook—something not good (e.g., as in “crook” weather)
  dinkum (fair dinkum)—true, honest, real
  dog’s breakfast—confusion, a mess
  drag the chain—be slow, lag behind
  dunny—restroom
  good oil—correct information
  grouse—good or excellent
  hooray—goodbye
  have a lash at—try a task
  munga—food
  tucker—food
  my oath—yes, of course, certainly
  shivoo—celebration or party
  sheila—young girl
  go walkabout—wander aimlessly
  bonzer—great, terrific
Words that students encounter in stories, such as “billabong” or “damper,” might also be added to the list.
Sing “Waltzing Matilda,” a very popular and legendary Australian song. The NIEHS website has words to the version familiar in America as well as the authentic Australian version by Banjo Paterson, plus an explanation of Australian terms in the song.
Print an outline flag of Australia for students to color.
Have students do research on aspects of Australian culture, geography, and wildlife and share their findings by making an alphabet book. Many possibilities exist for individual letters, and students will find examples of their own. Starter list: a—Aborigine; b—boomerang; c—Canberra; d—didgeridoo; e—echidna (or emu); f—flag of Australia; g—Great Barrier Reef; h—holidays celebrated in Australia (e.g., Boxing Day); i—island continent (map); j—jackaroo/jillaroo; k—koala (or kookaburra); l—lamington; m—money of Australia; n—Nambung National Park; o—Outback; p—platypus; q—quokko; r—‘roo (kangaroo); s—Sydney; t—Tasmania; u—Uluru; v—vegemite; w—“Waltzing Matilda” (or wombat); x—“marks the spot” (an intriguing place in Australia of students’ choice); y—yabby; z—zoos of Australia.

Jan
27

1756 -- birthdate of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, composer of more than 600 works, and who, by the age of five, could read and write music and play the piano and violin with proficiency
Books:
Brighton, Catherine.  Mozart: Scenes from the Childhood of the Great Composer.  Doubleday, 1990.
Gr. 2-4
Costanza, Stephen.  Mozart Finds a Melody.  Henry Holt, 2004.  Gr. K-3
Downing, Julie.  Mozart Tonight.  Simon & Schuster, 1991.  Gr. 1-4
Gatti, Anna (Adapted).  The Magic Flute.  Illus. by Peter Malone.  Chronicle, 2005.  Gr. 4-6
Isadora, Rachel.  Young Mozart.  Viking, 1997.  Gr. 1-4
McDonough, Yona Zeldis.  Who Was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart?  Illus. by Carrie Robbins.  Grosset &
Dunlap, 2003.  Gr. 4-6
Sís, Peter.  Play, Mozart, Play!  HarperCollins, 2006.  Gr. K-3
Stanley, Diane.  Mozart, the Wonder Child: A Puppet Play in Three Acts.  Collins, 2009.  Gr. 3-5
Check public and school library shelves for biographies of Mozart from series published in library editions.

Weblinks:
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Composer, from DSO Kids (Dallas Symphony Orchestra)
A “quick facts” overview of Mozart’s life with the opportunity to listen to three musical clips
Wolfgang Amadé Mozart
A readable biography, gallery of paintings of Mozart, audio clips of some of his works, and more

Activities:
Collaborate with the music teacher, who can share information about Mozart with the students along with some of his music.
Listen to different selections by Mozart. Encourage students to form pictures in their mind based on the music and brainstorm lists of words that represent these images. Have students compose a poem inspired by one of the musical selections. A good way to start is with a list poem.

Jan
28

1912 – birthdate of abstract artist Jackson Pollock, known for his technique of pouring and dripping paint
Books:
Bennett, Leonie.  The Life and Work of Jackson Pollock.  Heinemann, 2005.  Gr. 2-4
Greenberg, Jan & Jordan, Sandra.  Action Jackson.  Illus. by Robert Andrew Parker. Roaring Brook
Press, 2002.  Gr. 2-5
Venezia, Mike.  Jackson Pollock (“Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists”).  Children’s Press,
1994.  Gr. 3-5
Check public and school library shelves for biographies of Jackson Pollock from series published in library editions.

Weblinks:
Jackson Pollock by Miltos Manetas
Very interesting site! Moving the mouse allows the user to create a Jackson Pollock type of painting. Enter at the arrow. A left click changes the color. Space bar clears the artwork.
The Complete Jackson Pollock
A selection of his paintings (can be enlarged)
Jackson Pollock, from WebMuseum, Paris
Biography of Pollock illustrated with several of his paintings

Activities:
Introduce students to the work of Jackson Pollock by projecting a few of his paintings on a large screen or SMART Board. Before doing any research on his technique, discuss how they think he achieved the look of his work and the materials he used. Do the paintings evoke any feelings or emotions?
Allow students to visit the first site listed in the Weblinks to create their own Pollock painting. Print their paintings in color and make a display along with some facts they have researched about Pollock’s life.

Jan
29

1943 – birthday of children’s book author and illustrator Rosemary Wells
Books (a selection):
Max and Ruby series:
Max’s Christmas.  Dial, 1986.  Gr. Pre-2
Max’s Chocolate Chicken.  Dial, 1989.  Gr. Pre-2
Max’s Dragon Shirt.  Dial, 1991.  Gr. Pre-2
Max and Ruby’s First Greek Myth: Pandora’s Box.  Dial, 1993.  Gr. K-3
Max and Ruby’s Midas: Another Greek Myth.  Dial, 1995.  Gr. K-3
Bunny Cakes.  Dial, 1997. Gr.  Pre-2
Bunny Money.  Dial, 1997. Gr.  Pre-2
Max Cleans Up.  Viking, 2000.  Gr. Pre-2
Bunny Party.  Viking, 2001.  Gr. Pre-2
Ruby’s Beauty Shop.  Viking, 2002.  Gr. Pre-2
Max’s ABC.  Viking, 2006. Gr.  Pre-2
Max Counts His Chickens.  Viking, 2007.  Gr. Pre-2
Max’s Bunny Business.  Viking, 2008.  Gr. Pre-2
Max & Ruby's Bedtime Book.  Viking, 2010.  Gr. Pre-2
McDuff series:
McDuff Moves In.  Illus. by Susan Jeffers.  Hyperion, 1997.  Gr. Pre-2
McDuff Comes Home.  Illus. by Susan Jeffers.  Hyperion, 1997.  Gr. Pre-2
McDuff and the Baby.  Illus. by Susan Jeffers.  Hyperion, 1997.  Gr. Pre-2
McDuff’s New Friend.  Illus. by Susan Jeffers.  Hyperion, 1998.  Gr. Pre-2
McDuff Goes to School.  Illus. by Susan Jeffers.  Hyperion, 2001.  Gr. Pre-2
McDuff Saves the Day.  Illus. by Susan Jeffers.  Hyperion, 2002.  Gr. Pre-2
McDuff’s Wild Romp.  Illus. by Susan Jeffers.  Hyperion, 2005.  Gr. Pre-2
Yoko & Friends School Days series:
Be My Valentine.  Illus. by Jon Nez.  Hyperion, 2001.  Gr. K-2
Mama, Don’t Go!  Illus. by Jody Wheeler.  Hyperion, 2001.  Gr.K-2
The School Play.  Illus. by Jody Wheeler.  Hyperion, 2002.  Gr. K-2
The Germ Busters.  Illus. by Jody Wheeler.  Hyperion, 2002.  Gr. K-2
Read Me a Story.  Illus. by Jody Wheeler.  Hyperion, 2002.  Gr. K-2
Practice Makes Perfect.  Illus. by Jody Wheeler.  Hyperion, 2002.  Gr. K-2
When I Grow Up.  Illus. by Jody Wheeler.  Hyperion, 2003.  Gr. K-2
Yoko series:
Yoko.  Hyperion, 1998.  Gr. K-2
Yoko's Paper Cranes.  Hyperion, 2001.  Gr. K-3
Yoko Writes Her Name.  Hyperion, 2008.  Gr. K-2
Yoko's Show-and-Tell.  Hyperion, 2011.  Gr. K-2
Yoko Learns to Read.  Hyperion, 2012.  Gr. K-2
Kindergators series:
Hands-Off, Harry!  Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins, 2011.  Gr. K-2
Miracle Melts Down.  Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins, 2012.  Gr. K-2
Get Set for Kindergarten! series:
Adding It Up.  Illus. by Michael Koelsch.  Viking, 2001.  Gr. Pre-1
Discover and Explore.  Illus. by Michael Koelsch.  Viking, 2001.  Gr. Pre-1
How Many? How Much?  Illus. by Michael Koelsch.  Viking, 2001.  Gr. Pre-1
Letters and Sounds.  Illus. by Michael Koelsch.  Viking, 2001.  Gr. Pre-1
Ready to Read.  Illus. by Michael Koelsch.  Viking, 2001.  Gr. Pre-1
The World Around Us.  Illus. by Michael Koelsch.  Viking, 2001.  Gr. Pre-1
Other titles:
Mary on Horseback: Three Mountain Stories.  Illus. by Peter McCarthy.  Dial, 1998.  Gr. 3-5
Tallchief: America’s Prima Ballerina (with Maria Tallchief).  Illus. by Gary Kelley.  Viking, 1999.  Gr. 2-4
Timothy Goes to School.  Viking, 2000.  Gr. K-2
Wingwalker.  Illus. by Brian Selznick.  Hyperion, 2002.  Gr. 3-6
My Kindergarten.  Hyperion, 2005.  Gr. Pre-1
The Miraculous Tale of the Two Maries.  Illus. by Petra Mathers.  Viking, 2006.  Gr. 2-4
The Gulps.  Illus. by Marc Brown.  Little, Brown, 2007.  Gr. K-3
Red Moon at Sharpsburg.  Viking, 2007.  Gr. 6-9
Otto Runs for President.  Scholastic, 2008.  Gr. K-3
My Havana: Memories of a Cuban Boyhood (with Secundino Fernandez).  Illus. by Peter Ferguson.
Candlewick, 2010.  Gr. 4-6
On the Blue Comet.  Illus. by Bagram Ibatoulline.  Candlewick, 2010.  Gr. 5-7
Love Waves.  Candlewick, 2011.  Gr. P-1
Following Grandfather.  Illus. by Christopher Denise.  Candlewick, 2012.  Gr. 1-3
Ivy Takes Care.  Illus. by Jim LaMarche.  Candlewick, 2013.  Gr. 4-6
Time-Out for Sophie.  Viking, 2013.  Gr. P-1
Sophie's Terrible Twos.  Viking, 2014.  Gr. P-1
Stella's Starliner.  Candlewick, 2014.  Gr. K-3
See the article by Rosemary Wells in Artist to Artist: 23 Major Illustrators Talk to Children about Their Art
(Philomel, 2007)
Check public and school library shelves for many other titles written and/or illustrated by Rosemary Wells.

Weblinks:
The World of Rosemary Wells
The author’s home page includes a biography, book list, games with Max and Ruby, and a message for parents and teachers about the importance of reading to children.
A Video Interview with Rosemary Wells, from Reading Rockets
A print transcript of the interview is also available.
Rosemary Wells-Biography, from Scholastic
A biographical sketch of the author plus a link to an author study of several of her titles
Rosemary Wells, at TeachingBooks.net
Excellent interview regarding the motivation behind several of her books

Activities:
Make a display of books by Rosemary Wells. Choose some for reading aloud and leave the others for independent reading.
Some of Rosemary Well’s books have been adapted for children’s television. “Max & Ruby,” a half-hour animated series based on the series of books, airs on Nick Jr. The website (some advertisements) features an interview with Rosemary Wells, along with games, printables, crafts, and recipes. Some of the programs are available in book form.
Have students make Max and Ruby stick puppets and write a puppet play to perform. There are puppet patterns on the Nick Jr. website, or students can make their own.
As a class, write another adventure for McDuff. Brainstorm the ideas, focus on sequence, and revise. Type the sentences so that each student has one to illustrate. Someone will need to do the cover and title page. Place the book in the classroom or school library.
Use Well’s books as mentor texts to introduce or reinforce the concept of story “character.” The characters in her books tend to have distinctive personalities that are consistent across a series. Good examples are Max and Ruby, McDuff, and Yoko and her school friends.
Rosemary Wells is a strong proponent of family literacy. Her book, Read to Your Bunny (Scholastic, 1998), is an invitation to children to read, but it also carries an important message for parents. An essay, “The Most Important Twenty Minutes of Your Day,” and the cover art from the book are available for use in literacy initiatives. Both of these items may be found on Well’s website (see above).

Jan
30

1882 – birthdate of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States
Books:
Bolden, Tonya.  FDR's Alphabet Soup: New Deal America 1932-1939.  Knopf, 2010.  Gr. 6-9
Freedman, Russell.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  Clarion, 1990.  Gr. 5-8
Harness, Cheryl.  Franklin and Eleanor.  Dutton, 2004.  Gr. 3-5
Krull, Kathleen.  A Boy Named F.D.R.: How Franklin D. Roosevelt Grew Up to Change America.
Illus. by Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher.  Knopf, 2010.  Gr. 2-5
St. George, Judith.  Make Your Mark, Franklin Roosevelt.  Illus. by Britt Spencer.  Philomel, 2007.
Gr. 2-5
Soctomah, Donald & Flahive, Jean.  Remember Me: Tomah Joseph’s Gift to Franklin Roosevelt.
Illus. by Mary Beth Owens.  Tilbury House, 2009.  Gr. 2-5
Van Steenwyk, Elizabeth.  First Dog Fala.  Illus. by Michael G. Montgomery.  Peachtree, 2008.  Gr. 2-4
Winthrop, Elizabeth.  Franklin D. Roosevelt: Letters from a Mill Town Girl.  Winslow, 2001.  Gr. 5-7
Wood, Douglas.  Franklin and Winston: A Christmas That Changed the World.  Illus. by Barry Moser.
Candlewick, 2011.  Gr. 4-6
Check school and public library shelves for biographies of Franklin Roosevelt published in library editions. There are several included in series about the presidents.

Weblinks:
POTUS, Presidents of the United States at the Internet Public Library
Facts, both personal and political, links, and related information
Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum
Biography, timeline, puzzles and activities, ample photos (and an old report card!), numerous primary source documents (audio and video clips, fireside chats, etc.), a “Roosevelt Rap,” and even a guide to doing research. Very comprehensive site.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, at the White House
Basic biographical information, much of it relating to his presidency

Activities:
On the “Meet-the-Presidents” timeline, have someone take the responsibility for adding Franklin Roosevelt, using the fact recording sheet. In particular, students should note that he was the only president elected to office four times and the only one to serve more than two terms.
Franklin Roosevelt made some of the most famous speeches in American history. Older students may wish to listen to excerpts. The Presidential Speech Archive contains several of his speeches including some of his “fireside chats.”

Jan
31

1919 – birthdate of Jackie Robinson, first African American Major League baseball player
Books:
Adler, David A.  A Picture Book of Jackie Robinson.  Illus. by Robert Casilla.  Holiday House, 1994.
Gr. 2-4
Burleigh, Robert.  Stealing Home Jackie Robinson: Against the Odds.  Illus. by Mike Wimmer.  Simon &
Schuster, 2007.  Gr. 2-4
Denenberg, Barry.  Stealing Home: The Story of Jackie Robinson.  Scholastic, 1990.  Gr. 4-6
Golenbock, Peter.  Teammates.  Illus. by Paul Bacon.  Harcourt, 1990.  Gr. 2-4
Gutman, Dan.  Jackie and Me.  HarperCollins, 1999.  Gr. 4-6
Gutman, Dan.  Jackie Robinson and the Big Game (Ready-to-Read, Level 2).  Illus. by Elaine Garvin.
Aladdin, 2006.  Gr. 1-3
Isadora, Rachel.  Luke Goes to Bat.  Putnam, 2005.  Gr. K-3
Lorbiecki, Marybeth.  Jackie’s Bat.  Illus. by Brian Pinkney.  Simon & Schuster, 2006.  Gr. 2-4
Prince, April Jones.  Jackie Robinson: He Led the Way (All Aboard Reading, 2).  Illus. by Robert
Casilla. Grosset & Dunlap, 2007.  Gr. 1-3
Robinson, Sharon.  Testing the Ice: A True Story about Jackie Robinson.  Illus. by Kadir Nelson.
Scholastic, 2009.  Gr. 1-4
Robinson, Sharon.  Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America.  Scholastic, 2004.
Gr. 3-6
Robinson, Sharon.  Jackie’s Nine: Jackie Robinson’s Values to Live By.  Scholastic, 2001.  Gr. 6-8
Uhlberg, Myron.  Dad, Jackie, and Me.  Illus. by Colin Bootman.  Peachtree, 2005.  Gr. 2-4
Walker, Sally M.  Jackie Robinson.  Illus. by Rodney S. Pate.  Carolrhoda, 2002.  Gr. 2-4
Check school and public library shelves for the many biographies of Jackie Robinson published in library editions.

Weblinks:
The Official Site of Jackie Robinson
Considerable amount of information here, including a biography, photos, quotes, achievements, awards, stats, “fast facts,” and much more (some commercialization)
Jackie Robinson, from the National Baseball Hall of Fame
Short biography, nice photo gallery, and some video and audio clips

Activities:
Have students research Jackie Robinson’s life and make a timeline of important events.
Robinson started out in the Negro Leagues. Have students locate information about other players whose early careers began in the Negro Leagues. Some went to the Major Leagues; others did not. Some are also in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Negro League Baseball Players Association website will be very helpful. Based on their research, have students create baseball cards for some of these players.
Jackie Robinson was often quoted about baseball and other aspects of life. Discuss with students the points that he was trying to make with the following statements:
"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives."
“I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me... all I ask is that you respect me as a human being."
"Life is not a spectator sport. If you're going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you're wasting your life."
"The right of every American to first-class citizenship is the most important issue of our time."
"There's not an American in this country free until every one of us is free."

 

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Last updated 11/30/14

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