If you like a good adventure and aren’t afraid of learning some history, check out this virtual tour of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Author David Baldacci, as part of the 39 Clues Reading Club, teamed up with historians to bring history to life. One of the video segments discusses the pottery of David Drake sometimes known as Dave the Potter. I have featured the award winning book Dave the Potter in school and previously shown students clips of PBS’s series History Detectives. Happy learning!
Curious about the 57th Inauguration? Ever wonder what happens when it falls on a Sunday? Get answers to your Inauguration questions on the senate website http://www.inaugural.senate.gov/. There is also video footage of the actual events.
This month my classes will again be traveling to Paris to compare our neighborhoods with those in other cities. We have been inspired to visit the Eiffel Tower after reading Madlenka’s Dog by Peter Sis. Madlenka lives in New York City where she dreams of having a dog of her own. With her imaginary dog she walks around her block meeting neighbors. Each neighbor imagines what her dog looks like and fondly remembers their own childhood dog.
Teaching Thanksgiving lessons can be so predictable… the Pilgrims and the Native Americans ate a feast together and that is why we have turkey, cranberries etc. This year I shared 2 stories with students and teachers. The first is the virtual tour of the Mayflower. Scholastic and the Plimoth Plantation do a nice job bringing history to life.
Another great story is the one of Sarah Hale. I shared Thank you Sarah by Laurie Halsie Anderson with 2nd graders and all of them had never heard of the school teacher who requested that Thanksgiving be made a national holiday. She also was a writer and penned Mary Had a Little Lamb. To see her national holiday request letter to President Lincoln, visit the following link to the Library of Congress.
As our 4th grade students read The Diary of Anne Frank, I am compelled to share the Anne Frank timeline and website. http://www.annefrank.org/en/
There is an interactive timeline with plenty of primary sources and connections between Anne’s letters and what was happening in the world. Additionally, you can take a 3D tour of Anne’s house that is recreated from actual photos.
The author’s works are written at the fifth grade reading level, but can be enjoyed by a much broader audience with the use of illustration and as a read aloud.
Another option is to download Google Earth for free and take a tour of Paris. If you have Panoramio clicked under the Photos layer on the left toolbar, you can enter panoramic photos and get a sense of being in the location. Bonjour!