Monday, March 25, 2013

January to March Holiday Resource Round-Up

These are a list of resources I've shared with my teachers over the last few months for different holidays and events.


Resources for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin's Big Words
Looking for ways to rejuvenate your discussion about Martin Luther King Jr? 

Here are a few resources I’ve come across over the last few weeks that might be useful:
Martin’s Big WordsThe video of the book read aloud is a Scholastic production found on YouTube.  You may be able to find it in the Scholastic as well.
Martin Luther King Jr. Freebies on Teachers Pay TeachersThis freebie is labeled for K-3 and includes an MLK graphic organizer, “I Have a Dream” writing paper, and a January month calendar sheet.
Martin’s Big Words: A Not So Wimpy Post From the Diary of a Not so Wimpy Teacher blog is a great explanation of how one teacher handles such a big topic.  It includes a few embedded videos and resources for teaching King’s “I have a Dream” speech.
Martin Luther King Junior: Everything you NeedFrom Scholastic.  There is a lot here to explore for every grade level.  You can find quick service learning lessons, a timeline activity, commentary by Maya Angelou, a slide show of MLK’s life, and resource for teaching American Black history.  Overall this is a very comprehensive resource.
America Rhetoricif you’ve never used this site, check it out! It’s one of my favorites to use for famous speeches.  Here you can find transcripts of many of King’s speeches.  To do this, click on “Site Search”, which is in small print at the top of the left side bar.  The site often includes audio, and sometimes video to go along with the speeches it has archived.
Books to check out
Martin’s Big Wordsby Doreen Rappaport ( Caldecott Honor Book)
A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr. by David Adler—picture biography
Martin Luther King, Jr. A great Civil Rights Leader by Jennifer Fandel—this is a graphic library book and details MLK’s life in graphic novel type format
My Dream of Martin Luther King by Faith Ringgold

Groundhog’s Day Resources

As we get closer to Groundhog’s Day, I’m sure the question burning in everyone’s mind  is “So, will the groundhog see a shadow or not?” Here are a few resources you might want to check out if you have extra time (or indoor recess) at the end of this week:
The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club has a page for FAQ, and a lesson plan page, an online groundhog game (under lesson plans).  There’s a lot to look at on this page, if you have time—if you’re short on time be sure to check out the About page, that’s where you’ll find the bulk of the information you might need.
Groundhog Day: 15 Fun Teaching Resources on Scholastic has a number of good lessons and pintables for Pre K-5, including a few good resources for animals that hibernate.
KET Encyclomedia has a number of resources if you search “Groundhog Day” - two that may be of interest are a 12 minute video “Holiday Facts and Fun: Groundhog Day” and a 3.28 minute clip “History of Groundhog Day”

Presidents’ Day Resources

Presidents’ Day Scholastic News—Click through a slide show to learn information about places associated with Washington and Lincoln. Be sure to check out the link on the left of the page for a feature article about Presidents’ Day.
If I Were President: 11 Presidents’ Day Activities - check out the “Chief’s Checklist” to learn about presidential jobs and “My Guide to the White House” for a few fun ideas.
Presidents’ Day Everything You NeedFor Kindergarten—don’t miss the link to “What was life like in George Washington’s Time”.  You will also find connections to math, and two interesting looking online learning activities: 1. 7 Hat Challenge: Master the roles of President—an interactive that allows students to learn about the roles and responsibilities of the president; and 2. Presidents Game 1: A History Mystery—which encourages students to solve a mystery about U.S. presidents.
Presidents’ Day Activities— check out any number of ideas here—from making a coin, to treat ideas, to creating a constitution.
Abe Lincoln’s Dream could make for a great compare/contrast  assignment
If you haven’t read  Abe Lincoln’s Dream by Lane Smith, it’s definitely worth a look, especially with President’s Day right around the corner.  In this book, the bewildered ghost of Abe Lincoln is found wandering the White House by Quincy, a young, modern visitor.  Abe is worried about the state of the Union, and Quincy takes him on a tour of the modern day United States to show him what’s up.
While younger students could certainly enjoy this book, it could make for an awesome compare/ contrast discussion for older students studying the Civil War era.  Consider pairing this text with a nonfiction text (maybe a chapter in your Social Studies Text) and asking students to complete a Venn Diagram that shows how things have changed and stayed the same between Abe’s time and our own.  The commentary provided by Quincy about how things are going today could also provide a point of class debate.
Here’s a link to an interview with the author and a separate activity sheet that might prove to be useful.

Black History Month

One Crazy Summer -
Need a new read aloud for your Intermediate grades?  For Black History Month, check out One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia. The story is about three sisters who travel to Oakland, CA from Brooklyn to spend time with their mother, a poet and printer.  The book touches on the Civil Rights movement and the Black Panthers.  Scholastic calls it a “A heartbreaking, funny tale of three girls in search of the mother who abandoned them.”
Spotlight on Rosa Parks
One way to celebrate Black History month is to take a look at the effect Rosa Parks had on the Civil Rights Movement. 
To get students interested, you might play this great song by the Neville Brothers—Sister Rosa
And share Nikki Giovanni’s book Rosaa 2006 Caldecott Honor book that details Mrs. Parks actions that led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
There are also a number of  good video clips for all grade levels available on KET Encyclomedia—search Rosa Parks.  Find cartoons, reenactments and live footage.

Read Across America

You probably already have a million ideas for celebrating Read Across America Week, but here are some celebrity videos you might want to check out.
Justin Bieber reading the Cat in the Hat
Tim Tebow and Green Eggs and Ham
A collection of West Virginians, including Brad Paisley, read "Oh, the Places You'll Go!"


Need an Activity for your Valentine’s Day Party?

At the blog Year of Many Firsts, A First Grade Blog, you can find a fun activity where students can interview each other to find friends who love certain things (cookies, chicken nuggets etc).  This might be a fun way to get the kids mingling.
Of course, you don’t want to miss the Scholastic Valentine’s Day: Everything You Need page.  There’s a great lesson there on Kindness. 
For those of you with iPads in the classroom, consider making a special Valentine QR Codes using the directions at Christy Crawford’s “Free Printable QR Codes for kids or Co-Workers You Adore” .  If you’re not sure how to create a QR code, follow Crawford’s link to QR Codes in the Classroom for some step by step directions.
To see how I gave this a try, click or QR code to the left to see a special Valentine’s Day message!  I tried out Popplet for my Valentine’s message. I realized too late that Popplet does require Flash, so it wouldn’t work for a SmartPhone or iPad—but they have an app on the way that I’ll be looking forward to checking out!


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