A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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    Copyright © 2014 Linda Martin Andersen.

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The Cherry Blossoms in Washington, D.C. Remind Me of…

Posted by lindamartinandersen on April 9, 2014


 

“The Cherry Blossoms in Washington, D.C. Remind Me of…” by Linda Martin Andersen

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “A Writer’s Playground”–A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

March 20, 2014–April 13, 2014 is National Cherry Blossom Week.

The Cherry Blossoms in Washington, D.C. Remind Me of… A Family Vacation There.

Have you ever been to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C.?  Over thirty years ago, my family took a vacation there.  We arrived when the blossoms were at their peak.  We waited in line for a couple of hours.  Our sons passed the time by playing Frisbee on the lawn.  Then we climbed to the top of the Washington Monument. (897 steps)  Our younger son said that the view was the best part of our trip and that it was worth the wait.  Music to a mother’s ears.  I hope you’ll be able to see this view of cherry blossoms one day too.  Due to increased national security, no one is allowed to climb to the top today.  Instead, you may ride a glass-walled elevator to the top.  Hope that won’t disappoint you.  ;)  Check this link for more information

http://www.viator.com/Washington-DC-attractions/Washington-Monument/d657-a1100

Time for some Cherry Tree Trivia…

1.  Who was Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore?

2.  What was the Cherry Tree Rebellion?

3.  Name the places where cherry trees are planted in Washington, D.C.?

To answer these trivia questions,  check the sites below: 

Write your own trivia questions.  Please share them in the comment section.

http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/visitor-information/faq/

http://www.nps.gov/cherry/cherry-blossom-history.htm

http://www.history.com/news/the-drama-behind-100-years-of-washingtons-cherry-blossoms

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/gardeningpicturegalleries/9153916/100-year-old-Japanese-cherry-trees-blossom-in-Washington-DC.html

http://www.ecumenicalnews.com/article/the-national-cherry-blossom-festival-in-washington-d-c-22823

http://www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/progress/jb_progress_cherry_1.html

http://www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/progress/jb_progress_cherry_2.html

http://www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/progress/jb_progress_cherry_3.html

The Cherry Blossoms in Washington, D.C. Also Remind Me of…Kathy Burkinshaw. 

P1040817

Kathy Burkinshaw is a  friend I met in Charlotte, North Carolina.  She writes for children.  I’m so glad I’ve gotten to know her and I’d like for you to get to know her too.  After reading this interview, see if you can tell why I associate Kathy with cherry trees in Washington, D.C.  Please share your comments below.

Kathy, thank you very much for agreeing to speak with us at “A Writer’s Playground.”  Let’s start with an ice breaker:

Tell us three things  you like to write about.  Why?

Thank you Linda for inviting me to be your blog guest! 

Three things I like to write about:  History, Mystery, and Japan.  I have always been drawn to books that have a plot line one  could relate to with a splash of suspense.  And if it takes place in the midst of a historic event – that is a novel trifecta for me!  I love to research, in fact I am probably OCD about researching a topic or setting.  I am half Japanese so I love learning about traditions in my culture so that I can share it with my daughter. 

Why do you write for children?

I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to teach Christian youth classes to preschoolers and first graders, as well as being my daughter’s Brownie troop leader.   I love working with or presenting to students.

Please tell us about the writing contest you won.

I would be happy to!!  I was in blissful shock when I found out last July that I had won first place in the YA/MG Novel category of the SCBWI Carolinas 4th Annual Art and Writing Contest!

What is the topic of your winning manuscript?

My manuscript gives a non political manuscript glimpse into a 12 year old’s daily life in Hiroshima during the last year of World War II.  A shocking family secret is revealed and as she gets closer to the truth, a bright flash of light on a clear August day threatens to destroy her sense of what she cherishes most.

What can you share about the tentative title of your manuscript?

It is THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM.  One of my mother’s favorite memories is celebrating the cherry blossom festival with her Papa and her family.  Also, scientists originally said nothing would grow again on Hiroshima soil for many years.  Yet the cherry blossoms bloomed again the following spring.  The cherry blossoms endured much like the spirit of the people affected by the bombing in Hiroshima.

Who or what planted the seed for your manuscript?

THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM is my mother’s story.  When my daughter was in 7th grade, she had asked me to come in and tell my mother’s story about the people under that famous mushroom cloud.  I was encouraged to write The Last Cherry Blossom when teachers inquired if I had a book to complement my discussion, one they could add to the class reading list.  I wanted to write this book not just to honor my mother and her family, but to honor all the people that suffered or died from the effects of the atomic bomb.

Recently, you were interviewed by your local newspaper.  Please tell about that.

A contributing writer to the Charlotte Observer, read about my award on my husband’s Facebook page.  I was thrilled and nervous when she asked to interview me about my mother’s story that lead to writing the manuscript.

I understand that you are represented by a literary agent.  Who is it?  How did you find representation?

In September I was signed by Anna Olswanger of the Liza Dawson Agency in New York!  She did a long distance critique of the first 20 pages of my manuscript at the 2012 SCBWI Carolinas conference.  In February 2013 I sent my revised manuscript to her.  We worked on several revisions and that September she offered to represent me.  I am not ashamed to admit that I yelped a “woohoo” and did a happy dance!

What are you writing about now?

I am in my research phase of a couple of historic scenarios for my next story.

What else would you like to share?

I have been presenting my mother’s story to middle school students for the past 4 years and love it. Also, I am so glad to have met you at the 2012 SCBWI Carolinas conference!

And I’m glad I met you too!  Thanks again for agreeing to this interview.  I wish you much future writing success.  You know I’m a big fan!

Readers, can you guess why Kathy Burkinshaw reminds me of cherry blossoms?  Please leave your answer in the comment section.  Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Please come again soon.  Bring a friend.

Children 13 years old or older may leave a comment–Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA)  See:  http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

Copyright © 2014 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments »

April Inspired a Poem

Posted by lindamartinandersen on March 31, 2014


“April Inspired a Poem…” by Linda Martin Andersen

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “A Writer’s Playground”–A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

Just for fun…Choose a month.  I chose April, which is National Poetry Month.  List the sequence of months that follow and let that inspire a poem.  Here’s mine:

April, May, June, July–

Decided to make an apple pie.

Baked, cooled, and sampled it.

Naughty me–didn’t share a bit.

Sharing about some favorite blogs…

  • Recently, I subscribed to a poet’s weekly blog post.  Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s blog is called The Poem Farm.  Visit her blog here:   

http://www.poemfarm.amylv.com/

  • When I was a child, my grandfather used to say that if the first words spoken in a new month were, “Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit,” you would have good luck.  Occasionally, I remembered.   When I read Tim Livingston’s recent post entitled “Forestry Friday…Otter, Otter, Otter,” the title’s repetition reminded me of the rabbit superstition.  Perhaps saying otter three times will bring you good luck or fun, fun, fun.  Tim’s blog is definitely, a fun site to visit.

http://theforesterartist.com/2014/03/28/forestry-friday-otter-otter-otter/

  • Another recent favorite is Mary Livingston’s blog.  She’s Tim’s wife.  See her terrific spring art here: 

http://thebackdoorartist.com/2014/03/28/stalking-butterflies/

  • To read more about saying “rabbit,” check out these sites: 

http://www.yankeemagazine.com/article/marysfarm/rabbit

http://geyserofawesome.com/post/15802168301/rabbit-rabbit-is-a-common-british-superstition

 

April brings…

Confederate History Month 

Jazz Appreciation Month

Keep America Beautiful 

Month of the Young Child

Math Awareness Month –Here are two math poems:

It’s Pi Day  http://www.poemfarm.amylv.com/2014/03/its-pi-day-celebrate-314159.html

http://www.poemfarm.amylv.com/2014/03/meter-stick-new-book-new-look-winner.html

Month of the Military Child 

National Child Abuse Prevention Month National

Card and Letter Writing Month

 National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month  As a child, this was one of my favorite things served in the school cafeteria.  What is one of your favorite dishes?

National Garden Month 

National Humor Month

National Kite Month  Have you ever flown a kite?  If not,  I hope you won’t let April slip past without trying it.

National Poetry Month   Enjoy Joy Acey’s reading of one of her poems:  “How Tall is the Boy?”  http://www.nowaterriver.com/portfolio/poetry-videos/

Straw Hat Month Describe your favorite hat and tell where you like to wear it.

Stress Awareness Month

 

Special Weeks in April…

Golden Rule Week: 1-7  Can you quote the golden rule?  What helps you keep it?

Bat Appreciation Week: 6-12 (First Full Week)

 National Library Week: 13-19 (2nd full week)

National Park Week: 19-27  How many can you name?  How many have you visited?

Bedbug Awareness Week: 20-26

Coin Week: 20-26 ( 3rd  Full Week) 

International Whistlers Week: 20-26  Check out music by Phyllis Heil, my favorite whistler.  http://www.thewhistlingwoman.com/

National Playground Safety Week: 21-25 

Special Days in April…

April Fools  or All Fools Day: 1

National Fun Day: 1  

National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day: 2 What flavor jelly do you like with your peanut butter?  Do you ever eat honey instead? 

Find A Rainbow Day: 3  I know where to see a rainbow any day.  Check Laura Renegar’s blog:  My Side of the Rainbow.  http://laurarenegar.blogspot.com/2014/03/a-pitmad-victory-winters-hibernation.html#comment-form

Pony Express Day: 3

Weed Out Hate: Sow The Seeds of Greatness Day: 3

“Sorry Charlie” Day: 6

Winston Churchill Day: 9 

D.E.A.R. Day (aka Drop Everything And Read): 12 What are you reading now?

National Dolphin Day: 14

Jackie Robinson Day: 15

Ellis Island Family History Day: 17

National Haiku Poetry Day: 17   Included here in memory of Maureen Wartski, a dear, departed friend who wrote haiku poetry and shared it with her readers:  http://maureenwartski.wordpress.com

Poem In Your Pocket Day: 17

 Earth Day: 22

Eeyore’s Birthday Day: 26  Do you know who Eeyore is?  Where does he live?  Name two of his friends.  Which one are you most like?  Why?  

Richter Scale Day: 26  What does this scale measure?  Why is it important?

Save The Frogs Day: 26  My husband loves frogs.  Do you?  Why do you think there is a day for saving the frogs?  Research to learn more.

Holocaust Remembrance Day: 27  What have you read that tells of this period in history?

Bugs Bunny Day: 30

*Thank you Brownie Locks.com for celebration information.  For more, check out: http://www.brownielocks.com/april.html

Let’s talk:  Choose one or more of the conversation starters above and leave a comment.  Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Please come again soon.  Bring a friend.

Children 13 years old or older may leave a comment–Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA) See:  http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

Copyright © 2014 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Sing Along

Posted by lindamartinandersen on March 21, 2014


“Sing Along…” by Linda Martin Andersen

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “A Writer’s Playground”–A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

March is Sing With Your Child Month. 

I am very fortunate that my maternal grandfather loved to sing silly songs.  I remember singing along with him.  Sometimes, our family sang songs like “On Top of Old Smokey,” as we traveled on vacation.  What memories do you have of singing along with an adult?  I hope you’ll share comments here.  Even better, go sing with someone.  Have fun!

History of Sing-along Songs:

Sing-along with Mitch Miller.  Check out early TV programs featuring the bouncing ball.  Notice that the singers stood still.  http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/shows/sing-along-with-mitch

Sing-along Collections:

Do you own a sing-along collection?  Here’s a Disney one.  http://www.amazon.com/Sing-Along-Songs-Disneyland-Fun/dp/B0009X75W4

Sing-along Songs I remember well:

Create Your Own Piggyback Songs (changing lyrics)

 Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Please come again soon.  Bring a friend.

Children 13 years old or older may leave a comment–Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA)  See:  http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

Copyright © 2014 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

March Is…

Posted by lindamartinandersen on March 2, 2014


“March Is…” by Linda Martin Andersen

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “A Writer’s Playground”–A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

Think:  March is…a noun and a verb.  Complete these statements:  March of __________.  March on __________.  What book titles can you name for these two open-ended statements?  What about spring book titles?  Favorite poems about spring?

Look below at what March brings.  Research, read, or do something this reminds you of.  For example, March is National Craft Month.  It’s a windy month and so I decide to make a kite.  Since it’s also National Kite Month, I’ll fly it when it’s finished.  Now, look at the list of special days and weeks in March.  Do something special to remember one or more of these.  I hope you’ll share your thoughts here.

March brings…

American Red Cross Month or Red Cross Month

National Craft Month

National Kite Month (3/29-5/3)

National March Into Literacy Month

National Nutrition Month

Poison Prevention Awareness Month

Sing With Your Child Month

Youth Art Month

Special Weeks in March…

National Cheerleading Week: 1-7

National Write A Letter of Appreciation Week: 1-7

National Pet Sitters Week: 2-8

National Severe Storm Preparedness Week: 2-8

National Words Matter Week: 2-8

National Rattlesnake Roundup: 7-9 (2nd Weekend)

Act Happy Week: 17-23 (Starts on 3rd Monday)

Wildlife Week: 17-23

World Folktales & Fables Week: 17-23

National Cherry Blossom Festival: 20-4/13

Tsunami Awareness Week: 23-29

Special Days in March…

World Compliment Day: 1

Dr. Seuss Day: 2

Princess Day: 3

Cereal Day: 7

World Day of Prayer: 7  (Always First Friday)

 National Day of Unplugging: 7-8 (First Friday)

Daylight Savings Time Begins: 9 (One hour ahead

*St. Patrick’s Day: 17

Poetry Day: 21

Make Up Your Own Holiday Day: 26

*Thank you Brownie Locks.com for March celebration information.  For more, check out: http://www.brownielocks.com/march.html

Let’s talk:  Choose one or more of the conversation starters above and leave a comment.  Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Please come again soon.  Bring a friend.

Children 14 years old or older may leave a comment.  Thanks for adhering to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA)  See:  http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

Copyright © 2014 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Guest Blogger at Never Give Up Blog

Posted by lindamartinandersen on February 10, 2014


“Guest Blogger at Never Give Up Blog” posted by Linda Martin Andersen

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “A Writer’s Playground”–A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

Lucky me!  I am a guest blogger at Never Give Up Blog.  Thanks so much for asking me, Joan Y. Edwards.  You can find my interview here:

http://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/interview-and-great-writing-tips-from-author-linda-martin-andersen/

Hope to see you there!

Children 14 years old or older may leave a comment.  Thanks for adhering to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA)  See:  http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

Copyright © 2014 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

February–XXOO or XOXO and the Winner of a Giveaway

Posted by lindamartinandersen on February 1, 2014


“February–XXOO or XOXO and the Winner of a Giveaway…” by Linda Martin Andersen

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “A Writer’s Playground”–A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

Announcing the Winner of Imagine That!:  Imagery Stories and Activities by Janis Silverman…

Congratulations, Diane Mentzer.  Please email your address to landersen74@yahoo.com.  Thanks to all who participated.

Think:  What does the word “February” bring to mind?  XXOO, XOXO, blowing kisses, Valentine’s cards, candy, and flowers, Cupid, Ground Hog Day, spring or winter weather, hearts,  lace, red, pink, chocolate, and love.  

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

Help me with this…

If X= Kiss and O=Hug–

What is XXOO?  Kiss, Kiss, Hug, Hug?

What is XOXO?   Kiss, Hug, Kiss, Hug?

Which do you write–XXOO or XOXO?  Do you say it’s hugs and kisses or kisses and hugs?

Which of these special dates deserve hugs and kisses or kisses and hugs?  Give them an “O.”  Give them an “X.” Give them XXOO or XOXO.  Share your favorites.  Tell why.

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

Special Days in February…
Ice Cream For Breakfast Day: 1
Robinson Crusoe Day: 1
Take Your Child To The Library Day: 1 (First Saturday)
Groundhog Day: 2
Hedgehog Day: 2
Super Bowl XLVIII: 2
Popcorn Day: 2
World Play Your Ukulele Day: 2
World Wetlands Day: 2
Weatherman’s [Weatherperson's] Day: 5
Western Monarch Day: 5
Ballet Day: 7
Boy Scout Anniversary Day: 8
National Stop Bullying Day: 9
Read in the Bathtub Day: 9
Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day: 11
Get Out Your Guitar Day: 11
Make A Friend’s Day: 11
National Shut-in Visitation Day: 11
Extraterrestrial Visitor Day: 11  (2nd Tuesday)
Lincoln’s Birthday: 12
Paul Bunyan Day: 12 (Born Feb. 12, 1834 in Bangor, ME)
Ferris Wheel Day: 14
Frederick Douglass Day: 14
National Donor Day: 14
Valentines Day: 14

My Way Day: 17
Presidents Day: 17
Cow Milked While Flying In An Airplane Day: 18
Single Tasking Day: 19
Love Your Pet Day: 20
International Tongue Twister Day: 22
George Washington’s Birthday: 22
National Cupcake Day (Canada): 24
National Tooth Fairy Day: 28

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

Special Weeks in February…

Children’s Authors & Illustrators Week: 2-8 (First Full Week)
International Networking Week: 3-7
International Friendship Week: 3-7
National School Counseling Week: 3-7
Winter Olympics: 7-16
Random Acts of Kindness Week: 9-15
                                               Great Backyard Bird Count: 14-17

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

February brings…

American Heart Month

Bake for Family Fun Month

International Boost Self-Esteem Month

International Expect Success Month

Library Lovers Month

Love The Bus Month

National Bird Feeding Month

National Black History Month

National Children’s Dental Health Month

National Haiku Writing Month

Youth Leadership Month

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

*Thank you Brownie Locks.com for February celebration information.  For more, check out: http://www.brownielocks.com/february.html

Let’s talk:  Choose one or more of the conversation starters above and leave a comment.  Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Please come again soon.  Bring a friend.

I appreciate any children who visit this site, but if you are 14 or under, do not leave a comment. It’s against the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA)  See:  http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm  Perhaps an adult would comment for you.

Copyright © 2014 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Imagine That! An Activity Book Giveaway by Janis Silverman, Guest Blogger

Posted by lindamartinandersen on January 22, 2014


“Imagine That!An Activity Book Giveaway by Janis Silverman, Guest Blogger” posted by Linda Martin Andersen

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “A Writer’s Playground”–A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

Did you know that January 25, 2014 is National Seed Swap Day?   When I read this, I thought:  Swap/trade a Seed.  Plant a Seed.  What does the expression to “plant a seed” mean?  http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/plant+a+seed defines “plant a seed” as “to do something that will develop more in the future.” 

I immediately thought of an author I know who encourages children to develop their imaginations.  I contacted Janis Silverman, author of  Imagine That!:  Imagery Stories and Activities and other book titles and she agreed to be a guest blogger here.  Learn more about Janis Silverman at these links:

Copyright Janis Silverman.  2014

Copyright Janis Silverman. 2014

Here is a link to her Amazon Books page http://www.amazon.com/Janis-L.-Silverman/e/B001K8HEEQ

Here is a link to her Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/JanisLSilvermanAuthor

Welcome Janis Silverman!

Thank you for agreeing to share one free activity from Imagine That!:  Imagery Stories and Activities on this post.  Is everybody ready?  Janis is…

Think Green!

You may be ready for spring, but it is still January!

You can imagine spring with the following guided imagery story, “Evergreen Spring.”

You will relax and connect with nature, the beauty of spring and be more open to the world around you.

Read “Evergreen Spring” aloud, very slowly, or ask an adult to read it to you.

 

Evergreen Spring 

Close your eyes and think of spring.

Green is everywhere.

Trees and shrubs bud and leaves appear.

The grass is a blanket of green underfoot.

Vines hang on arbors, sprouting new glossy green leaves and flowers.

Winter is gone, replaced with new plant life of amazing beauty.

You are dazzled with the wonder of spring.

You feel energized and hopeful.

You look forward to months of gorgeous green

Followed by summer fun.

See your connection with nature and life.

You feel alive and excited about each new day.

(Pause; sit a few minutes and picture spring.)

When you are ready, open your eyes.

Remember the beauty and wonder of spring.

You, too, are part of each spring.

Remember all of the images of Evergreen Spring.

Return to these images any time you want

To imagine spring time.

 

Discussion Questions:

1. How is spring important to you?

2. Try writing an analogy to spring or another season. Ex. Spring: green: Winter: white

3. How does the very beginning of spring make you feel?

4. Would you ever return to Evergreen Spring in winter? Explain.

Optional Activity: Leaf Collage

Materials: You will need two pieces of art paper, real or paper leaves made from colored construction paper, two pieces of lined paper, markers, glue  and a pencil.

Select a green leaf. Either trace the leaf or draw one. Cut it out of paper or cloth. Draw and cut out several more leaves, or use a variety of fresh leaves from outdoors to create a leaf collage. Arrange the leaves and glue them to the colored paper.

Follow-up Writing Activity: Write about how spring makes you feel in your journal, or write three to six words about spring on the collage. Share your collage and ideas with a friend.

To Be Registered to Win a copy of Imagine That!:  Imagery Stories and Activities, participate in the following activity: 

Living Plant Alliteration Activity: Think about the trees, shrubs and flowers that will soon bloom in your yard. Choose one of these plants. Write an alliteration sentence about this living plant. (Alliteration repeats the beginning sound of the plant).

Example: Red roses rise up the arbor.  or

Lily loves luscious light.   or

Maple makes miles of marvelous leaves.

 If you’d prefer, you may write a short poem about a living plant.

GIVEAWAY: Submit your alliteration sentence or short poem in the comment section of this blog.

If there are several submissions, Janis will draw a name for the winner on January 30, 2014. The winner of Imagine That! : Imagery Stories and Activities by Janis L. Silverman will be announced by February 1, 2014.  

You can find more of Janis Silverman’s books at her website   http://www.janislsilverman.com  and Amazon Books.  Here’s a title many parents, teachers, and counselors recommend:  

 Help Me Say Goodbye:  Activities for Helping Kids Cope When a Special Person Dies.  

A final message from Janis:  I hope you enjoyed “Evergreen Spring” and the activities. Think Green! Spring will be here soon!

Janis L. Silverman, author

Thanks again, Janis.

As always, I thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Please stop by again soon and bring a friend.  

*Thank you Brownie Locks.com for January celebration information.  For more, check out: http://www.brownielocks.com/january.htm 

Children 14 years old or older may leave a comment.  Thanks for adhering to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA)  See:  http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

Copyright © 2014 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

January 2014 Brings…

Posted by lindamartinandersen on January 1, 2014


“January 2014 Brings…” by Linda Martin Andersen

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “A Writer’s Playground”–A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

Think:  What does the word “January” bring to mind?  New Year’s resolutions, organizing, goal setting, cold weather, winter, all things snow.  Study drawings of snowflakes.  Remind yourself of your unique qualities and beauty.  

Microsoft Clip Art

Microsoft Clip Art

Microsoft Clip Art

Microsoft Clip Art

Microsoft Clip Art

Microsoft Clip Art

Special Days in January…

  • New Years Day: 1  What will you eat today?  Can you name foods that people eat in hopes of good luck?  Ask friends what traditions they follow for this day.
  • Polar Bear Plunge or Swim Day:  1  This article states that Polar Bear plunges may be extra polar this year.  What does that mean?http://www.pressherald.com/news/NewYearspolarbearplungescouldbeextrapolarthisyear.html
  • Do you know anyone who has ever participated in the Polar Bear Plunge?  Why?  What countries and what states in the US participate in this event?  
  • Bean Day:  5  Do you eat dried beans?  Canned ones?  Frozen ones?  Have you ever picked beans in a garden or field?  Name a story with a bean(s) in it.  Make a list of every variety of bean you can name. Visit a grocery store.  How many more beans can you add to the list?  Consider trying one you’ve never tasted.
  • Bubble Bath Day: 8 Name three things that make bubble baths fun.  When was the last time you had one?  Did you sing in the bathtub? 
  • Learn Your Name in Morse Code Day: 11 http://www.brownielocks.com/learnyournameinmcday.html  Find library books about Morse Code.    Is Morse Code used any more?  Why or why not?
  • Religious Freedom Day: 16 Name religious holidays.  Name different religions.  Select a street in your hometown.  How many places of worship are on this street?  Has there been any crime at one of these churches?  If so, tell about it.  Why do you think someone would target a church with violence?  What books can you find about this topic?
  • Cable Car Day: 17  Have you ever ridden a cable car?  Where?  Name a book or movie with a cable car in it.
  • Kid Inventors’ Day:  17  What invention would help you most at school?  What would you like to invent?
  • Thesaurus Day: 18  What is a thesaurus?  Name three ways a thesaurus could help you with homework assignments.  What websites could you use?  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PeterMarkRoget
  • Martin Luther King Day: 20   In Martin Luther King’s famous speech, he says, “I have a dream.”  What is “the dream?”  How can you do to help “the dream” come true?  
  • Popcorn Day: 19 Popcorn is my favorite snack.  What’s yours?  Have you ever popped corn on the stove, in a popper, over a fire?  Ask your friends.  What favorite memory includes eating popcorn?
  • Penguin Awareness Day: 20  Have you ever imagined that penguins were in your yard? I have.  What would you do if it were true?  Research penguin facts to make your tale more accurate, even though it’s fiction.  Check here:  http://www.insideseaworld.com/celebrate-penguin-awareness-day-seaworld-san-diego Tell your story to someone.  Enjoy being a story teller.
  • Inauguration Day: 21 What does the word “inauguration” mean?  Will you watch it on television?  Pretend you are attending in person.  How would you get there?  Where would you sit/stand?  What would you wear?  Research and learn more about the day.
  • National Hugging Day: 21 What is a “bear hug?”  What is a “tree hugger?”  Name a song, poem, story, or novel with a hug mentioned.  Who will you hug today?  Research the origin of this day:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Hug_Day
  • National Compliment Day: 24  Do you thank the person who compliments you?  Name a compliment you gave recently.  Should a compliment be sincere?  Is there ever a time when it’s okay to give a “white lie?”
  • National Seed Swap Day: 25 (Last Saturday)  What is a seed swap?  Where would you think a seed swap would be held?  Why would this be celebrated?  What type seeds do you imagine are swapped? Check here for one event:   http://mcg.metrocreativeconnection.com/publish/sections/calendar-details.php?National-Seed-Swap-Day-1078
  • Auschwitz Liberation Day: 27 Link  What is Auschwitz famous for?  Have you read books on this topic?  Have you seen documentaries or visited museums with special exhibits on this topic?  Research to learn more.  Share what you learned with someone.
  • National Kazoo Day: 28 Link  Have you ever played a kazoo at school, at home, or with a choir?  Read Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss and change the words to say where you will or will not play a kazoo.  Have fun.

 Special Weeks in January… 

  • New Year’s Resolutions Week: 1-4  Do you make New Year’s Resolutions?  Do you have success keeping them?  If not, do you know anyone who makes resolutions and keeps them?  Ask them how they do it.
  • National Vocation Awareness Week: 13-19  What jobs do you know of that didn’t exist ten years ago?  Make a list.  Do you know someone in this line of work?  Perhaps a Career Day could be planned for your class at school.  
  • Bald Eagle Appreciation Days: 18-19  Where can bald eagles be found in the world?  Have you ever watched one on a webcam?  Here is a mother bald eagle on a nest in the snow.  http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/41377241/highlight/442450
  • I know someone who set up a webcam to watch turkey vultures in a hollow of a tree.  Check here to see:
  • http://thebackdoorartist.com/2013/04/22/turkey-vulture-shift-change/ 
  • No Name Calling Week: 20-24 Do you have a brother or a sister?  Have you ever tried to go a whole day without calling each other names?  Were you successful?  If so, what helped?  Discuss this with others.  Share techniques that work.  
  • National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Week: 27-2/1  Any idea how this week got started?  I can imagine cowboys sitting by the camp fire swapping tall tales, but not poetry.  What is “cowboy poetry?”  Check out David Harrison’s  cowboy poems.  Read an interview here:  http://poetryforchildren.blogspot.com/2012/04/5q-poet-interview-series-david-harrison.html
  • US National Snow Sculpting Week: 29-2/8 Have you ever had someone forward you an email with snow sculptures?  Have you ever made a snow sculpture?  What was it?  Check this site for photographs:  http://www.squidoo.com/national-snow-sculpting-week
  • January brings…

  • Book Blitz Month  Ask everyone in your family to participate in “Book Blitz Month.”  Check out a stack of books each and read, read, read.  If one title is read by everyone in the family, you could hold a book club of your own this month.  
  • Get Organized Month  After Christmas, many stores have sales on storage boxes and organizers.  Think what you’d like to organize.  I bought an inexpensive weekly planner for my writing projects.  I’m excited about trying things a little differently.
  • National Soup Month  What if you try a different kind of soup this month?  I’ve heard of people who take labels off soup cans and choose one to eat.  Would you be a good sport and eat it no matter what it was?  Are you familiar with Andy Warhol’s soup can art?  See here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campbell%27s_Soup_Cans
  • Here’s the Campbell’s Soup Company website:  http://www.campbellsoup.com/
  • International Brain Teaser Month  What is a brain teaser?  There are many kinds.  My grandfather used to ask riddles that challenged my brain.  What type brain teasers have you tried?  Have you ever invited friends over for brain teaser games?  It might be fun on a cold winter day with no snow.  Here’s an article about creating crossword puzzles:  http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/235734051.html
  • International Creativity Month  Choose a January calendar date listed here and celebrate using your own choice of activities.  

*Thank you Brownie Locks.com for January celebration information.  For more, check out: http://www.brownielocks.com/january.htm 

Let’s talk:  Choose one or more of the conversation starters above and leave a comment.  Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Please come again soon.  Bring a friend.

I appreciate any children who visit this site, but if you are 13 or under, you must not leave a comment. It’s against the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA)  See:  http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm  Perhaps an adult would comment for you.

Copyright © 2014 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Show and Tell for All Ages…

Posted by lindamartinandersen on December 29, 2013


“Show and Tell for All Ages…” by Linda Martin Andersen

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “A Writer’s Playground”–A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

Have you ever played “Show and Tell?”  It is a favorite in most lower elementary grades. “The Remaining Gift” by Starr Ayers is a devotion that shares a variation of this game.  What a lovely holiday tradition.  Check here:

http://christiandevotions.us/tag/starrayers/

Let’s talk:  What item could you bring for “Show and Tell” this year?  I’d share a stack of cards sent to my husband and me during his illness.  I’d say a big thank you to all who have sent prayers and best wishes our way.   

Thank You!

I encourage you to let this game impact your New Year’s Resolutions for 2014. Visualize the “Show and Tell” you’d like to share at the end of 2014.  Then set your goal(s).  What tangible object will remind you of your goal(s)?

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Please come again soon.  Bring a friend. I appreciate any children who visit this site, but if you are 13 or under, you must not leave a comment. It’s against the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA)  See:  http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm 

Perhaps an adult would comment for you.

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Winner of Fallen Prey by Ann Eisenstein

Posted by lindamartinandersen on December 22, 2013


“Winner of Fallen Prey by Ann Eisenstein” by Linda Martin Andersen

“A Writer’s Playground”–A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

The drawing was held and a winner was selected.  A copy of Fallen Prey by Ann Eisenstein goes to…

Tracy Campbell.  Congratulations, Tracy!  You’ll love your prize.

Microsoft Clip Art

Microsoft Clip Art

For more about what gingerbread houses and Ann Eisenstein’s mystery stories have in common, check here:  http://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/2013/12/11/detective-stories-and-gingerbread-houses/

Ann-Eisenstein

                                  Hiding-Carly-by-Ann-E.-Eisenstein-235x300[1]  FP-Front-11.7.13[1]

Thanks for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Congratulations to Tracy Campbell, the winner of Fallen Prey by Ann Eisenstein.   Come again soon.  Bring a friend.

I appreciate any children who visit this site, but if you are 13 or under, you may not leave a comment. It’s against the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA)  See:  http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm  Perhaps an adult would comment for you.

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Interviews, Monthly Activities, Reading, Writing | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

 
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