A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

  • Copyright Notice

    Copyright © 2014 Linda Martin Andersen.

    Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this
    material without express and written permission
    from Linda Martin Andersen is strictly prohibited.

    Excerpts and links may be used, provided that
    full and clear credit is given to Linda Martin Andersen
    with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Read Aloud Memories

Posted by lindamartinandersen on March 4, 2015


 

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “Read Aloud Memories” by Linda Martin Andersen

Happy World Read Aloud Day!–March 4, 2015.  To learn more about this day, check here:  

http://www.litworld.org/wrad/

The theme:  Read Aloud.  Change the World.

Copyright 2015 LitWorld.org

Copyright 2015 LitWorld.org

Some of my favorite read aloud memories include:

  • a teacher who read aloud daily sharing an event that happened that day in history.  As the school year progressed, the teacher permitted students to read from her book.  If you enjoy reading about historical events, consider this website:  http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.  A shout out for Joyce Moyer Hostetter who introduced me to this site.  She writes historical fiction for children.  See here:  http://joycemoyerhostetter.info/
  • my mother reading Heidi and other books to us.
  • poetry readings sponsored by our local public library.  Today’s library offers storytelling programs as a regular part of programming for children.
  • another teacher led my class in choral reading of displayed poems on chart paper.  I can still hear “There was a little turtle.  He lived in a box….” by  Vachel Lindsay 1879–1931.  I wonder if the author or my teacher would ever have dreamed that people would still be reciting this poem in 2015?  “The Little Turtle” is available in song and finger plays too.                  http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/173885
  • Sunday School teachers and Vacation Bible School teachers read Bible stories and discussed them.

A BIG thank you to all those who shared read aloud moments with me!  I created a poster in your honor.

Read-Aloud-and-Create[1]

Poster created at Quozio.com

What about you?  What favorite read aloud memories do you have? 

Do you read aloud to others?  Perhaps you could volunteer to read aloud to children.

Please leave a comment.  Thanks for visiting.  Come again soon and bring a friend.

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

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Calendar Events, Games, Homeschool Activities, Monthly Activities, Reading | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

March Calendar Events–Spring Bursts on the Scene

Posted by lindamartinandersen on March 1, 2015


 

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “March Calendar Events–Spring Bursts on the Scene” by Linda Martin Andersen

My sister asked me to redo a floral arrangement I had made for her several years ago.  It needed a pick-me-up.   I finished the changes on February 24, a snow day in Fayetteville, NC.  Even though I love the occasional snow here, I was glad to see spring burst on the scene, even if it was in my foyer.

I hope something from the March calendar events will put you in a creative or playful mood.  Enjoy!

Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

 

March is…

American Red Cross Month or Red Cross Month–Name a time the Red Cross helped someone.  What did they do?  Do you know any Red Cross volunteers?  Research and learn more about this organization.

Deaf History Month (3/13 to 4/15)What books have you read with a character who is deaf?  Does the character speak and sign?  Are any of your friends hearing impaired?  Do you know any students who have someone who signs for them?  Where can you learn sign language?

Expanding Girls’ Horizons in Science & Engineering Month–Why is this called “expanding girls’ horizons?”  Why do you think girls might need this?  Discuss this with others.

Mad for Plaid MonthName three things you usually find in plaid.   Are you mad for plaid or do you dislike it?  Why? 

Music In Our Schools Month–If you could choose the music for your music class what would you choose?  Why?  What is your favorite instrument?  Favorite musician?  Favorite type of music?

National Craft Month–Do you own a craft box?  What type craft supplies are inside?  What  projects do you enjoy?  Where do you get your ideas?  Do you share them with friends and family?  My daughter-in-law gets lots of ideas from Pinterest.  She recently showed me photographs of benches made from old bed frames.  A friend, Joy Acey, makes Poetry Boxes and shares them with family and friends.  See her blog post about poetry boxes and photographs too:  http://poetryforkidsjoy.blogspot.com/search?q=Poetry+Boxes

Copyright 2015 Joy Acey

Copyright 2015 Joy Acey

Copyright 2015 Joy Acey

Copyright 2015 Joy Acey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Kite Month (3/28-5/3)Maybe you’d like to fly a kite this month.  When did you last do this?  Where were you?  Was it during March?  If so, was it a “lamb” or “lion” day?  What do I mean by that?  What does it mean when you tell someone to “go fly a kite?”  Draw a kite design and a setting that hints about your day.  Think Charlie Brown, kite, and a tree.  Do you remember what Charlie Brown called that tree?

National March Into Literacy Month–What does it mean to “march” into something?  What does “literacy” mean?  How are you “marching into literacy?”

National Nutrition Month–Name as many healthy foods as you can in a minute.  What healthy substitutions could you make in your diet?  For example, substitute water for soft drinks.  Will you try one healthy substitution for a week?

Optimism Month–What is optimism?  Which of your friends would you call optimists?  Would they call you an optimist?  What helps you have a positive outlook?  How can you share it?  Joan Edwards, a dear friend of mine and a true optimist, has a blog called “Never Give Up.”  Check it out here:  https://joanyedwards.wordpress.com/

Sing With Your Child Month–Think of something you like to do with a friend.  What is a song that fits that experience?  Try singing it next time you’re doing this together.  For example:  When out boating, you could sing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”

Women’s History Month–Who is a famous woman in history that you admire?  What did you admire about her?  What do you have in common with this person?   How would you like to be remembered?

Youth Art Month–Name places where youth art would be on display in your area.  Where could you go to see more?

Special Weeks in March…

Celebrate Your Name Week: 1-7–Do you know anyone with the same name as someone famous?  Surely, there’s another Michael Jordan around. 

Edgar Allan Poe is a famous author’s name.   The 1897 Poe House, a part of the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex in Fayetteville, NC.  was owned by Edgar Allan Poe, but not the author.   This historical house shows what life was like in 1897.  See here:

http://www.ncdcr.gov/ncmcf/1897PoeHouse.aspx

What do you know about your name?  Are you named for a relative or someone famous?  Who chose your name?

National Pet Sitters Week: 1-7–Have you ever worked as a pet sitter?  If so, what were your duties?  How would you rate your pet sitting skills on a scale from 1-10?  Why?  Would you rather pet sit or baby sit?  Why?

National Procrastination Week: 1-7–What is procrastination?  It is usually seen as a problem.  When have you procrastinated?  Any tips for someone with this problem?

Return The Borrowed Books Week: 1-7–Do you have any overdue library books?  Have you ever paid an overdue fee?  Have you ever lost a library book and had to pay for it?  What are ways to prevent this from happening?  Can you renew books online?  Where do you place borrowed books when you take them home?  Is there a better place for them?

Save Your Vision Week: 1-7–Does your school regularly check students’ vision?  This could help detect vision problems.  What are other ways to save your vision?  What are some things that can damage vision? 

Severe Weather Preparedness Week: 1-7–What severe weather preparations does your family make?  Have you ever gone without electricity or water for a long period of time?  Do temporary shelters open in your area?  Have you ever stayed in one?

Women in Construction Week: 1-7–A friend of mine is getting a new house built.  A woman is her construction contractor.  What women do you know in the construction field?  What construction work can you do? What construction work would you like to learn?  Who could you ask to help you?

Women of Aviation Worldwide Week: 2-8–What is an aviator?  Whose name comes to mind when you hear women aviators?  What deed is she best known for?  Check your facts.  Add a few more to your memory bank.  Ask family members the same questions.  Have them check their answers and add to their knowledge. 

National Agriculture Week: 8-13–What agricultural products is your state or area known for?  Have you ever worked on a farm?  Have you raised any of your own food?  Have you ever picked fresh corn or selected a pumpkin from a farm.  I grew up gathering things from our family vegetable garden.  Last year, I had a dairy farm treat.  I ate ice cream produced fresh at  Maple View Farm in Hillsboro, NC.  Learn more here.

  http://www.mapleviewfarm.com/about.php

Girl Scout Week: 8-14–Say “Girl Scouts” and most people think…cookies.  I know I do.  Do you?  Are you a Girl Scout?  Have you been?  What’s your favorite Girl Scout cookie?

Act Happy Week: 16-22–What do you think “Act Happy Week” should include?  What if you don’t feel happy all the time?  What can you do?  What else?  When I needed someone to help me feel happy, Stephanie Green, a children’s book author volunteered to show me around town and visit with me.  Thanks, Stephanie.  She is finishing the 12th and final book of her Princess Posey series.  Check out her books here:

http://stephaniegreenebooks.com/books/books.html

Wildlife Week: 16-21–What wildlife have you seen in your backyard?  On road trips?  Other places?  Have you ever seen posted signs asking you not to…feed the ducks or other animals?  Why do you think that is a rule there?  Should you respect the request?  Why or why not?

World Folktales & Fables Week: 16-22–What old stories do you like to hear?  Can you tell any of the Aesop Fables without having to read them?  Try it.

International Tree Climbing Days: 21-22–Do you have a favorite tree for climbing?  Do you read, write, or draw while in the tree?  Do you have a tree house or know someone who does?  What about a tree swing?  If you have no place to play in trees, use your imagination to take you there.  Oh and be careful about tree climbing.  Do it with parents’ permission and always with landowner’s permission.

Tsunami Awareness Week: 22-28–What is a tsunami?  Describe its power and the damage it can cause.  How would you prepare for a tsunami?

American Crossword Puzzle Days: 27-29–Do you solve crossword puzzles?  Do you find them online, create your own, or buy crossword puzzle books? 

National Week of the Ocean: 29-4/4–What would you like to see or do in the ocean?  Have you ever been on the ocean?  What were you riding on?   A motor boat, a yacht,  a cruise ship, etc.

 Special Days in March…

Dr. Seuss Day: 2–Thank goodness Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel), didn’t give up even after 27 rejections.  We like to hear his silly stories again and again.

http://www.npr.org/2012/01/24/145471724/how-dr-seuss-got-his-start-on-mulberry-street

National Grammar Day: 4–Do you have an ear for grammar errors?  What grammar errors do you often hear?  Do you have an eye for grammar errors?  What words trip you up?  What can you do?

Toy Soldier Day: 4–When I hear ” Toy Soldier,” I recall the dance from the “Nutcracker Ballet.”  What do you think of when you hear “toy soldier?”  What books, movies, etc?

World Read Aloud Day:  4–Check out Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s poem called “Reading Aloud.”  Also read “This Home” inspired by a child who makes a paper house for her toy turtle and classmates join in the fun. 

http://www.poemfarm.amylv.com/2015/02/struck-by-tiny-paper-home.html

World Day of Prayer: 6 (Always First Friday)Is there prayer at the flag pole at your school on this day?  What do wish all the world would pray for?

National Cereal Day: 7–What are some of your favorite TV commercials for cereal?  What are some of your favorite cereals?  Which of the cereals you eat do you think is probably the healthiest?  How did you decide?

Daylight Savings Time Begins: 8 (One hour ahead)–If you get confused about whether to move ahead or behind an hour, here is a saying to help you remember:  “Spring forward.  Fall back.”  Have you ever been late on the morning following the change in Spring?  Have you ever been an hour early in the Fall?

International Ask A Question Day: 14–What job/career encourages a person to ask lots of questions?  Any others?  Ask someone else this question and see if your answers are the same.

Awkward Moments Day: 18–What are some awkward times you remember? Share them with someone.  Maybe the whole family will join in.  When I was a teenager, I remember some TV commercials products made me feel awkward if my boyfriend was over. 

World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People: 20–Have you ever been in a play or other production before an audience?  What about a program at school?  Does your area host summer theatre camps for children?  Do churches in your area put on productions?  Would you like to perform?  Where can you find out about acting?

International Day of Forests and The Tree: 21–A tree farm grows in front of my house.  I would like to know more about forests.  If we are lucky, a guest blogger will share a bit of his knowledge with us this month.  Stay tuned!

National Common Courtesy Day: 21–Define common courtesy.  Check here: 

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/courtesy

What manners do you call your strengths?  Which ones need some improvement?  How can manners be improved?   Where can you practice?

National Quilting Day: 21–Where have you seen people quilting?  Was it on TV, video, a movie, or at a craft festival?  Do you have a handmade quilt?  Do you know anyone who donates homemade quilts for church raffles or gifts?  Where did early quilters get fabric for sewing?  What is quilt art?  I have a lovely art quilt given to me by Maureen Wartski.  It is called “Moon Magic.”  See other samples of Maureen’s art work here, shown in her memory.  I miss you, dear friend.  https://maureenwartski.wordpress.com/art/

Poetry Day: 21–Write or read poetry today.  Find seasonal poems, poems about animals, poems about school.  Choose other topics.   Read poems by three favorite poets.  Read poems you haven’t read before.   Look for a poems by a poet you do not know.   Do you have a new favorite?

International Goof-off Day: 22–What is a “goof-off?”  When have you been one?  What day of the week would you say you might be the most likely to goof-off?  Why?

Tuskegee Airmen Day: 22Who are the Tuskegee airman?  Why are they honored with a special day?  When was this group formed?  Why?  Have you ever seen a movie or special program about the Tuskegee Airmen?  Where were you?  Share something you learned.

Please leave a comment.  Come again soon and bring a friend.

For more March celebrations visit  http://www.brownielocks.com/march.html

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

 

 

 

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Calendar Events, Homeschool Activities, Monthly Activities, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

100 Reasons to Be Thankful–reblogged

Posted by lindamartinandersen on February 23, 2015


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “100 Reasons to Be Thankful”–reblogged from Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s post.  Thanks Amy!

Have you ever seen a display made by kindergarten students, with a little help from parents, to celebrate their 100th Day of School?  If not, you are missing a treat.  Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s post centers on that topic.  Enjoy!

http://www.poemfarm.amylv.com/2015/02/100-reasons-to-be-thankful.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+amylv%2FGmZc+%28The+Poem+Farm%29

Amy also shared an npr interview with Tarak McLain, a kindergarten student in 2009.   I can only say, “Out of the mouths of babes.”  This I Believe

What would be one of your top ten beliefs?  Please leave a comment.  Come again soon and bring a friend.

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

 

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Family Discussions, Interviews, Uncategorized, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Sometimes My Revisions Take So Long That if I Were Cinderella…

Posted by lindamartinandersen on February 15, 2015


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074

“Sometimes My Revisions Take So Long That If I Were Cinderella…” by Linda Martin Andersen

Looking for help with revision skills?   Meg Miller can help.

Have you heard of ReviMo?  Every January, Meg Miller organizes a revision challenge for writers.  She follows up with more posts in February.

http://megmillerwrites.blogspot.com/p/revimo-2015.html

For more revision help, check out Jennifer Swanson’s Petite ReviMo February post below.   Want to be entered in a drawing for a free picture book critique? 

http://megmillerwrites.blogspot.com/2015/02/petite-revimo-february-with-jen-swanson.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FuUaxQ+%28Meg+Miller+Children%27s+Book+Writer%29

Here’s the comment I left at this blog about my revision skills: 

“Sometimes my revisions take so long, that if I were Cinderella, my gown would be too small to wear to the ball.”

How about you? 

What book character can you use in an analogy to describe your revision process?

What is an analogy? http://examples.yourdictionary.com/analogy-examples-for-kids.html

http://examples.yourdictionary.com/analogy-examples-in-literature.html

What is your favorite part of revision?

Please leave a comment.  Come again soon and bring a friend.

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

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

National Donor Day

Posted by lindamartinandersen on February 12, 2015


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074“National Donor Day” by Linda Martin Andersen

My Motto for Today:  Good information.  Pass it on!

  • A friend shared this announcement on Facebook.  To learn more check this website:

http://www.giftofhope.org/

  • This same friend recently posted this newspaper article on Facebook.  Thanks, Mona!

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-organ-transplant-years-saved-20150129-story.html.

Here are some of the share lines from the Los Angeles Times article:

  • Organ donors’ generosity added 2,270,859 years to the lives of transplant recipients, study says
  • Heart transplant patients got an extra 4.9 years of life, on average, thanks to organ donors
  • Study shows that kidney and pancreas transplants don’t merely extend lives, they save them.”

A fact from the article I’d like to emphasize:  ” All of this good news was tempered by one statistic, however: only 48% of patients sick enough to be put on the UNOS waiting list are able to get new organs, according to the study.”

If you’d like to know more about National Donor Day, check out these sites:

http://www.donoralliance.org/events/2015/2

Statistics: 

http://donatelife.net/statistics/

Today’s a great day to research organ, eye, tissue, and blood donation.   Need some general information?  Check here:

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/organ-donation-facts

http://www.organdonor.gov/becomingdonor/index.html?gclid=CLHl8_LzysMCFdNj7Aodtw8AdA

Follow up with a family discussion.  Kids:  What are your questions?  Adults:  What are yours?  Consider having a follow-up discussion in a few days or a week.  It takes time to process serious information.

Now what?

Please leave a comment.  Come again soon and bring a friend.

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

 

 

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Calendar Events, Family Discussions, Science, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

With Love Up to Your Chin

Posted by lindamartinandersen on February 8, 2015


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074

“With Love Up to Your Chin” by Linda Martin Andersen

Yes, this is the month of love.  After reading Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s latest blog post, I wanted to share about her recent school visit.  Just reading it, made me want to curl up with a word blanket.

Enjoy!

http://www.poemfarm.amylv.com/2015/02/friendship-writing-from-words-writing.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+amylv%2FGmZc+%28The+Poem+Farm%29

Imagine being a visiting author and seeing this upon arrival!  Children from Wealthy Elementary School in East Grand Rapids, MI and their art teacher, Peri denDulk made the word blanket below.  Isn’t it breathtaking?

copyright by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater 2015

copyright by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater 2015

The theme for this word blanket is friendship.  If you were planning a word blanket creation, what theme would you base the project on?  Have you ever made a class quilt with students?  I know a teacher who did.  A parent volunteer sewed the squares for them.  The finished quilt was lovely and hung on the wall of the classroom.

Thanks for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  I hope you’ll leave a comment here or on Amy’s blog post. 

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

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

Jump Back Jack

Posted by lindamartinandersen on February 2, 2015


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074“Jump Back Jack” by Linda Martin Andersen

February 2, 2015 is World Wetlands Day.  In recognition of this day, I’d like to share a story about a severe rainstorm that flooded my backyard last month.  (My brother took the photo below on an earlier date.  Thanks, Jim!)

Copyright Jim Martin

Copyright Jim Martin

We live on a creek which sometimes overflows its banks and fills an area that used to be a mill pond.  Thank goodness our house sits on a hill and flood waters have never reached it.  Although flooding is not desirable, it increases nature sightings.  Here’s one my husband observed:

A crow stood on the outside perimeter of our flooded yard.  Something jumped out of the water and the crow jumped back.  “Jump back Jack!” (my response)  The crow stood still for a second, maybe to regain his breath, and then flew away.

What about you?  Do you stand on the outside perimeter, “Jump back Jack,” or dive on in?  Words to Think On.

When I hear the words, “Jump Back Jack,” I am reminded of Mitch Capel, a storyteller, known as Grandaddy Junebug  http://www.gjbug.com/

He has his audience repeat this line, “Jump back Honey, jump back.”  What do the words, “Jump back” make you think of?

Please leave a comment below.  Thanks for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  I hope you’ll return soon and bring a friend.  I also encourage you to research mill ponds and visit one near you. 

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

 

 

Posted in Calendar Events, Monthly Activities, Science, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

February–How do you pronounce it?

Posted by lindamartinandersen on January 31, 2015


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “February–How do you pronounce it?” by Linda Martin Andersen Think of February, and you’ll probably think of Valentine’s Day and love.  What is love?  Ask 10 people and you’ll probably get 10 different answers.  But that’s not all, we can’t even decide how to pronounce the month of love–February.  Oh my! According to  Merriam-Webster.com, two pronunciations are listed for February: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/February I found several different pronunciations for February on You Tube sites. One thing I can say for sure, there are lots of things to celebrate in February.  I hope you’ll plan fun things to do on many different days.

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

February is

  • American Heart Month–Just recently, a friend told me that someone she knew had received a pacemaker.  Do you know anyone with one?  Or someone who has had heart bypass surgery?  A heart transplant?  What heart healthy tips do you know and follow?
  • Bake for Family Fun Month–What do you and your family cook/bake together?  Ask friends what they prepare together.  Try something new. 
  • Dog Training Education Month–Has one of your pets attended obedience school?  What did he learn? What did you learn?
  • International Expect Success Month–My parents always expected success in my schooling.  What are some ways this is shown?
  • Library Lovers Month–Check out a stack of library books. Choose a picture book author you haven’t read and binge on their words.  No need to worry about calories either!
  • Love The Bus Month–I used to drive a school bus when I was a high school student.  Would you want to be a bus driver?  What would be something good about it?  Not so good? 
  • National Bird Feeding Month–What kind of birds are seen in your area this time of year? 
  • National Black History Month–Check a library’s display and find a book on this topic that you haven’t read.  Read it and share what you learn with someone.  Attend special planned events in your area. 
  • National Cherry Month–I displayed artificial cherries in a container for a table centerpiece before I even knew this was national cherry month.  Eat cherry products this month.  What will you choose to eat that contains cherries?
  • National Children’s Dental Health Month–Is it time for a new toothbrush, dental floss, mouth rinse, etc?  Do you need to make an appointment with the dentist.  Don’t delay!
  • National Haiku Writing Month–Thanks to all who write and post poems! 
  • National Hot Breakfast Month–My grandson made pancakes for his mom.  Now that’s sweet.  What hot breakfast has someone made for you?
  • National Mend A Broken Heart Month–How would you suggest mending a broken heart?  Whatever you do, don’t send all the kings’ horses and all the kings’ men.  We all know that doesn’t work. 
  • National Time Management Month–Do you often say, “I didn’t have enough time?”  Is there anything that can be done about it?  What time management skills are your strengths? What skills need improvement?  Who or what can help?
  • National Women Inventors Month–Can you name three women inventors in a minute?  Ask a friend the same thing.  If the answer is “No,” research.  Set a goal to learn about at least three woman inventors and what they invented. Which one inspires you and why?
  • Plant the Seeds of Greatness Month–What are seeds of greatness?   What seeds of greatness are you growing?
  • Youth Leadership Month–Name a youth leader you admire.  Tell why?

 

 Special Weeks in February

  • Boy Scout Anniversary Week: 1-7 Thank a Boy Scout and any troop leader for their dedication to the scouting program.
  • Children’s Authors & Illustrators Week: 1-7 (First Full Week) Buy or check out books by an author you haven’t read or an illustrator you don’t know.  Look for their website, with parent permission.
  • National School Counseling Week: 2-6 Do you have a school counselor?  Introduce yourself to this person if you haven’t already.  Ask about her job or thank the counselor for what she does.  Can you name one or more of her duties?
  • Random Acts of Kindness Week: 9-15  Think of some kind act you can do for several people.  Challenge yourself by choosing someone other than a friend.
  • International Friendship Week: 9-13  Think about the character traits of your friends?  Do they all have one or more in common?  What traits are these? 
  • National Pancake Week: 15-21  What’s your favorite variety? How could you decorate pancakes for a friend or a family member? 
  • Texas Cowboy Poetry Week: 27-28  What is cowboy poetry?  Have you ever read any?  Do you have to live in Texas to write cowboy poetry? 

 

Special Days in February

  • G.I. Joe Day: 1  Who is G.I. Joe?  Why do you think he was popular?  Is he still popular?  How do you know?
  • Popcorn Day: 1  What is your favorite brand of microwave popcorn?  Have you ever tried an experiment to see which brand pops the most kernels?  It makes a fun science project. 
  • Robinson Crusoe Day: 1  If you could meet Robinson Crusoe, what would you invite him to do and why?  Do you think he’d enjoy his day?
  • Super Bowl XLIX: 1  Can you read this numeral?  What kind of numeral is it?  What others do you know?
  • Groundhog Day: 2  Which would you rather see:  a groundhog or a sled dog?  Where might you find each one?
  • Sled Dog Day: 2  Name ways sled dogs are used.  Have you ever seen a sled dog or watched a television program about sled dogs?
  • World Play Your Ukulele Day: 2  What does a ukulele look like?  Have you heard one played?  Where could you hear one?
  • World Wetlands Day: 2 Have you ever been in an area declared as a wetlands?  What does that mean?
  • Weatherman’s [Weatherperson’s] Day: 5  Does your family watch the weather, read forecasts in the newspaper or online?  When has the weatherman’s forecast helped you plan for your day?
  • Canadian Maple Syrup Day: 6 Check your syrup.  Is it Maple Syrup?  Is it Canadian Maple Syrup?  What is your favorite way to eat syrup? 
  • National Doodle Day: 6 What do you like to doodle?  What do you doodle?  Do you doodle while you take notes in class?  Why or why not?
  • Bubble Gum Day: 6 Ask your friends to name their favorite flavors of bubble gum.  Favorite brands too.  Do you prefer chewing gum or bubble gum?  Why?
  • Girl Scout Cookie Day: 6 What is your favorite flavor Girl Scout cookie?  Have you ever given these as a gift? 
  • Give Kids A Smile Day: 6  Adults:  Can you make a child smile?  Kids:  Can you make an adult smile?  Why do we sometimes try to hold in a smile?
  • Ice Cream For Breakfast Day: 7  If you were going to have ice cream for breakfast, what breakfast food flavor would you like to have?
  • Ballet Day: 7  Name a favorite ballerina book.  What animal would you like to see star as a ballerina in a book?  Draw the scene you are imagining.
  • Autism Sunday: 8 Do you know anyone who has autism?  Name things that are difficult for this person.  Have you ever helped another student in class?
  • Take Your Child To The Library Day: 7  When was the last time you went to the public library?  What is your favorite section there?  How many books do you usually check out?
  • National Stop Bullying Day: 9 Do you think there is more or less bullying today?  Why?  What do you think would help stop bullying?
  • Read in the Bathtub Day: 9 What’s better than bubbles in the tub?  Books of course!  That is, if the tub is dry or you’re extra careful one!  What type books do you think would be just right for reading in the bathtub?  Why?
  • Extraterrestrial Visitor Day: 10 Can you imagine yourself as a friend to an extraterrestrial?  What do you think you might both enjoy? 
  • Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day: 11  What do you think this expression means? Ask an adult.  Think of it when you pour your milk.
  • Get Out Your Guitar Day: 11  Can you play guitar?  Do you wish you could play in a band?  What instrument would you like to play?  Have you ever taken lessons?
  • National Shut-in Visitation Day: 11  Who is a shut-in?  Do you think all people in nursing homes are shut-ins?  Why or why not?
  • Lincoln’s Birthday: 12 Describe Abraham Lincoln to someone and see if the person can name him from your clues.  Which clue do you think was best?
  • Paul Bunyan Day: 12 (Born Feb. 12, 1834 in Bangor, ME) Read a book about Paul Bunyan  today.    Describe the setting for his stories.  Why do you think Paul Bunyan tales are still told today?
  • Blame Someone Else Day: 13 Name a time when someone else blamed you for something you didn’t do?  Can you also name a time when you blamed someone else for something you did?  Why do you think people do this?
  • National Donor Day: 14  My husband is a lung transplant recipient.  Do you know what that means?  Do you know about organ donation?
  • Valentine’s Day: 14  Smile every time you wish someone Happy Valentine’s Day.  Will you make cards or give gifts today?
  • World Whale Day: 14 What does it mean to make today “a whale of a day?”  Do you have favorite whale books or stories?  Share them today.
  • National Hippo Day: 15 Why do you think we call a hippopotamus a “hippo?”  What does it mean to say someone looks like a hippo?  Is that a compliment or an insult?  Why?
  • Presidents Day: 16  How can you celebrate George Washington and Abraham Lincoln today?  Other presidents?  Perhaps you’d like to research one of them. 
  • My Way Day: 17  If you could have your way all day today, what would that look like?  Would it make you happy?  Would it make others happy too?
  • World Thinking Day: 22 What can you think on today about our world?  Are there any changes you are willing to make?  What are they?
  • George Washington’s Birthday: 22  Where do you see this person’s picture?  What comes to mind when you hear his name?
  • Inconvenience Yourself Day: 25 Why would anyone be willing to inconvenience themselves?  Name a way you are willing to do this today.
  • For Pete’s Sake Day: 26  What do you think “for Pete’s sake” means?  Ask an adult.  Have you ever heard it said?  Why do you think someone said this instead of something else?
  • National Tooth Fairy Day: 28  What is the most money the tooth fairy ever left you?  Do you have any loose teeth?  Tell about a time someone helped you pull a loose tooth. 

What special things will you choose to do this month?  Please leave a comment below.  Thanks for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Children 13 years old or older may leave a comment. Read more about the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA) See: http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Calendar Events, Games, History, Monthly Activities, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments »

What is a steam donkey?

Posted by lindamartinandersen on January 27, 2015


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074“What is a steam donkey?” by Linda Martin Andersen and inspired by Tim Livingston’s blog.

Do you love nature?  Forests?  History?  Photography?  Art? Education?  Preservation?  A steam donkey?

Yes, a steam donkey!

Do you know what a steam donkey is?  Is it a donkey letting off steam?

Not a chance.  But here’s your chance to learn what it is.

Tim Livingston’s got a story to share, photography, and artwork too.  I hope you’ll follow his blog so you can catch each segment of the steam donkey story.

In February, there’s a Forestry Education Fundraising Auction.  Try saying that ten times fast.  After a while, you’ll sound like you’re rolling along on steam.  Tim’s a part of this event too.

Do you want to learn more?

All followers shout:  Yes, we do! Steam donkey, steam donkey, steam donkey now!

Take it away, Tim Livingston.

http://theforesterartist.com/2015/01/23/forestry-friday-steam-donkey-wip/

Please leave a comment below.  Thanks for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  I hope you’ll return soon and bring a friend.

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

 

Posted in Careers, History, Interviews | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Top Ten Day Maker

Posted by lindamartinandersen on January 13, 2015


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074“Top Ten Day Maker” by Linda Martin Andersen

Be-a-Top-Ten-Day[1]

Poster making program compliments of Quozio.com

 

Recently, I wished a friend a Top Ten Day. 

What would you consider a Top Ten Day?

It dawned on me that I should live each day as if it is a Top Ten Day.

Better yet, I should be a Top Ten Day Maker–for others.

What could I do for others that would make their day? If we all lived that way, we’d be Top Ten Day Makers.

What would that look like?  What would our world look like?

Name one thing someone did for you recently that made your day.

Name one thing you did for someone else hoping to make their day?  Did you spend any money?  Is that essential?

January 24 is National Compliment Day.  Mark your calendars.  Please pay someone a sincere compliment on that day.  Who will it be?  Better yet, Be a Top Ten Day Maker.  You have time to plan ahead.  I hope that helps!

I’d love to hear your comments.  Thanks for visiting. Come again soon and bring a friend. 

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 22 Comments »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 87 other followers

%d bloggers like this: