A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Librarians and Teachers, Read This–A Giveaway Resource About Anne Frank

Posted by lindamartinandersen on April 21, 2015


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074“Librarians and Teachers, Read This–A Giveaway Resource About Anne Frank” by Linda Martin Andersen

This is a post you must see.  A giveaway for a teaching resource based on The Diary of Anne Frank.  Learn about Susan Moger’s book, Teaching the Diary of Anne Frank: An In-Depth Resource for Learning About the Holocaust Through the Writings of Anne Frank.  I’m sharing Carol Baldwin’s blog here so you won’t miss it.

http://carolbaldwinblog.blogspot.com/2015/04/teaching-diary-of-anne-frank-review-and.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FDtis+%28Carol+Baldwin%27s+blog%29

It is my pleasure to share great resources with you.  Thanks for visiting.  Come again soon and bring a friend.

Posted in History, Homeschool Activities, Social Studies, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Frogs, Poems, and a Princess

Posted by lindamartinandersen on April 18, 2015


 

Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074

“Frogs, Poems, and a Princess” by Linda Martin Andersen

April is Frog Month.  It’s also National Poetry Month.  And since Joy Acey is “The Princess of Poetry,” she seemed a natural for an interview that combines frogs, poems and a princess.  Thank you for accepting this invitation, Joy Acey.

Please give Joy a big Writer’s Playground welcome!

Q:  When did you begin writing poetry, Joy? 

A:I think I’ve always written poems and little rhymes.

I probably was pushed out of the womb on an iambic pentameter beat. In Junior High my English teacher encouraged me to enter a Scholastic writing contest and one sponsored by the American Red Cross. I didn’t win, but the rhyming was just a fun thing to do. I invented little songs and had fun experimenting. But I didn’t study poetry until I met Bernice Cullinan, editor of Wordsong, the poetry imprint of Boyds Mill Press. I was standing next to her waiting for a bus at Chautauqua while two other women chatted with her. Bernice turned to me and asked about the poetry I wrote. I hadn’t said anything about writing poetry to her, she somehow intuited we should talk about my writing. She took my poetry seriously and that made it OK for me to take it seriously too.

Q:  What a great way to come into the world.  I know you’re called “The Princess of Poetry.”  When were you dubbed with this title?

A:The “Princess of Poetry” title came when I was working with children in the Durham County Schools. We lived for a year in Great Britain and it was interesting to me how the locals were fascinated with the Royals. The citizens took responsibility for helping to raise the princes and princesses. So, I wanted the Durham students to know they could be princes and princesses too. All they had to do was try everyday to do their very best (so striving to be better becomes a habit.) As the Princess of Poetry, it was their job to help me try to do my very best. If I wasn’t doing something right, I needed their help to do better. Actually, once I accepted the title, I needed a tiara and I had a good time shopping for just the right one. I wore my tiara when I wrote. This turned out to be a really fun thing. I got several published articles out of the process.

Q:  Joy, I love that you invited your audience to be princes and princesses too.  I enjoy reading and following your blog post.  I am amazed that you write and post a poem daily at http://poetryforkidsjoy.blogspot.com/  How and when did “Poetry for Kids Joy” begin?

A:I really have to give credit to Bridget Magee for my blog. I had been thinking for a couple of years about starting a blog, but I just couldn’t get a handle on what I knew that would be of interest to someone else. Bridget was doing daily poems at that time at www.weewordsforweeones.blogspot.com

When I saw what she was doing, I realized I could do a blog for children’s poetry. I started on April 20, 2011. I named the blog Poetry for Kids Joy because I wanted poetry to make kids happy. The title still fits. In fact, you’ll find a little poem I wrote in third grade at that first post. I can’t believe I didn’t include an introduction or a welcome. There isn’t even an announcement for a new blog. I started the blog because I wanted to force myself to write a poem daily. I journaled daily, and now my journaling includes a poem and my poetry has gotten better with the practice.

I just checked the statistics on my blog and I’ve posted over to 1450 poems and have had over 180,000 page views. There are folks in Canada, England, Australia, Italy, France, Africa, Russia, China, South America and lots of places I’ve never been, who follow my blog. This is so much fun. I have met so many interesting people on my blog.

Q:  Impressive stats, Joy.  You’re so dedicated.  What poetry groups or workshops have inspired your writing journey and in what ways?

A:I’m a firm believer in professional growth. I’ve attended poetry workshops at The Frost Place, The Vermont Studio, Breadloaf, Wildacres, Georgia State College, NC State College, Pima Community College, Chautauqua, Highlight’s Educational Foundation. I made the decision early on that I wanted to focus on Poetry—Poetry for Children. In general, I skip the workshops that cover all genre because I don’t want the work watered down with fiction and nonfiction. Poetry is my thing.

Q:  Please name three favorite poems by current poets.

A:Poems, 1, 2, 3 are all in this year’s Newbery winner THE CROSSOVER written by Kwame Alexander. This is a brilliant book that includes wonderful poems and great life lessons for kids. If you haven’t read this book yet, you must.

Here’s a piece of trivia for you. What children’s poet collects frogs? The answer is Jack Prelutsky. Everything he’s written is worth reading.

Q:  I’ve got to read The Crossover.  Where have your poems been published?

A: I have poems in all of the POETRY FRIDAY ANTHOLOGIES. The most recent is the PFA for CELEBRATIONS. My poem “Camping”is for June’s National Camping Month. The Poetry Friday Anthologies are compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong for Pomelo Books. There are 115 poets and 156 poems presented in English and Spanish in the CELEBRATIONS Anthology. Just reading the Poetry Friday Anthologies is a great way to find out the current state of poetry for children. I’ve learned a lot from these books.

Q:  An anthology is a great addition to a home library.  Just for fun…Have you ever kissed a frog?  Have you considered it?  Have you been asked this before?

A:Actually I have kissed a frog (a lot of two legged toads too.) My daddy used to go frog gigging in the summer and I’d go with him occasionally. I’d play and joke with the frogs. If you pull the leg tendons you can make a dead frog kick. I tortured my sister with the dead frogs. I’d help my dad dress the frogs by pulling the leg skin off. No one has ever asked me this before.

Q:  Loved your sense of adventure.  Would you share a frog poem or two that you have written?

A: I can’t believe that I’ve written at least 10 frog poems posted on my blog. (Maybe I need to work on a collection of frog poems.) Poems aboutpoisonous dart frogs, about dancing frogs, or little boys with frogs in their pockets.But the post your readers might enjoy most (sorry, I can’t help myself) is one with lots of frog jokes posted on August 23, 2011. Or they might enjoy

Ribbet, Ribbet by Joy Acey copyright 2015

RIBBET, RIBBET

Ribbet, Ribbet,
    Sings a frog,
While he sits
     Upon a log.

He watches, listens

     and he sighs–
Out darts his tongue,
     Zapping flies.
         Ahhh!

Art and poem:  Copyright–Joy Acey

 Thank you for all you shared, Joy.  You’re one special lady and it’s always a pleasure to spend time with you.  A real JOY!  And as the frogs would say:  Ribbet-ribbet.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8Gkn9hvejY

Thanks for having me Linda.  This has been fun.

Please leave a comment of your own.  Thanks for visiting.  Come again soon and bring a friend.  Children 13 years old or older are invited to  comment.  See: http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

 

 

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Calendar Events, Homeschool Activities, Interviews, Monthly Activities, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments »

Drop Everything and Read. (D.E.A.R.) and Other April Celebrations

Posted by lindamartinandersen on April 1, 2015


  • A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “Drop Everything and Read.” (D.E.A.R.) and Other April Celebrations” by Linda Martin Andersen

April 12, 2015 is Drop Everything and Read. (D.E.A.R.)  If you’re a kid, make time to read this day, just for fun.  If you’re an adult, do the same!  If you still have items on your “To Do List” by late afternoon that day, can you put it aside and read something for pleasure?  Will you?  Warning:  don’t get so engrossed in reading that you forget to pick up your child, forget to do your homework, or walk out in traffic, but do make time to read.

Other Special Days in April:

  • April Fools  or All Fools Day: 1  Do you have little brothers or sisters?  Teach them to tell an April Fool’s joke, if they don’t know how.  Demonstrate for them and then  let them practice on you before trying it out on someone else.  Have fun!
  • International Pillow Fight Day: 4  Would you rather have a pillow fight with a foam pillow, a feather pillow, or a bean bag pillow?  Why?
  • Passover: 4  Who celebrates this religious holiday?  Why is it remembered?
  • Easter: 5  Why is this religious holiday important to Christians?  Name three of your family’s Easter traditions?  Which one is most special to you and why?
  • International Whistler’s Day: 5  Name a time that someone tried to whistle and couldn’t.  Name a time someone whistled so loudly that people turned to see what was happening.  Can you whistle?  Who taught you?  If you’d like to hear a champion whistler visit Phyllis Heil, The Whistling Woman, on YouTube here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbrbCcNxRf4
  • International Beaver Day: 7 Have you ever seen a beaver?  What was he doing?  Have you ever seen a beaver dam?  How can beaver dams be harmful to property?  Research to learn about beavers, their dams, trappers, and more.
  • National Farm Animals Day: 10 Have you ever been to a Barnyard birthday party? I haven’t, but I know someone who organized one for her triplets’ birthday party.  What fun those kids must have had.  If you attended a barnyard party, what animals would you expect to see?  Name one or two you would be willing to pet. 
  • Safety Pin Day: 10  Have you ever seen a safety pin?  Have you ever used one on your clothing?  What is its purpose?  Have you ever seen jewelry made with safety pins?  You might want to try making some of your own.  Here is a step-by-step process for a safety pin bracelet:  http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Bracelet-out-of-Safety-Pins
  • Bicycle Day: 15 What did your first bicycle look like?  What tricks can you do on your bike?  Ask a friend to take a brainstorming contest with you.  Name as many types of bikes as you can in one minute.  What are some jobs that are done on a bicycle? 
  • Ellis Island Family History Day: 17  If you are an American, can you trace the way your family came to the USA?  How would you have liked to come? 
  • National Haiku Poetry Day: 17 Choose a nature topic for April.  Write a three-lined haiku poem of 5 syllables, 7 syllables, and 5 syllables.  I’ll share one of mine if you will. 
  • Movie Theatre Day: 23  Do you love to go to the movies?  Who takes you?  How often do you go?  Name a movie you have seen several times.  Why did you agree to watch it so often?
  • World Penguin Day: 25  Have you ever seen a penguin?  Where were you? Was he taller or shorter than you
  • International Dance Day: 29  Is there an international folk festival in the area where you live?  What country’s dance would you like to learn? What dance costume would you like to wear?  What country could your family represent?  How can you find out? Describe that country’s flag.
  • International Guide Dogs Day: 29  Name a time and place you saw a guide dog or  a service dog.  What should you remember when you approach a service dog?  Do you know anyone who trains these animals?  Research to learn more. 
  • World Wish Day: 29  Name three wishes you would make for the world.  Why these?
  • Zipper Day: 29  When did clothing first use zippers?  Name something you own with multiple zippers.  A backpack, a purse, a suitcase, etc.  Do you know how to fix a zipper that gets stuck?  Can you sew zippers in clothing?  If so, you’d probably be called a seamstress.  What name can you make up that seems more appropriate for those who sew zippers? 
  • National Honesty Day: 30  “Honesty is the best policy.” Read Being Frank for a funny look on honesty.  It’s written by Donna W. Earnhardt and illustrated by Andrea Castellani.  http://www.flashlightpress.com/Being_Frank.html

  • Poem In Your Pocket Day: 30  Do you have a favorite poem you could carry in your pocket on this day?  Who is the poet?  How did you find out about him/her?  Share one of your own poems with others. Special Weeks in April: 
  • National Robotics Week: 4-12  Where have you seen robotics at work?  Where did you learn about this?  If you could create your own personal robot, what chores would you program it to do?
  • Explore Your Career Options: 5-11  What grade do you select a career path in your school? What career do you plan to follow?  Have you ever observed someone in this line of work?  What skills are needed?  How many years of education? 
  • National Blue Ribbon Week:  5-11  In Fair Cow by Leslie  Helakoski, Petunia the pig, a blue ribbon winner at the fair, tries to coach Effie the cow so she can be a winner too.  A fun read. 

  • National Library Week: 12-18   The library has a calendar full of free fun events for people of all ages.  What programs will you attend this month? 
  • National Park Week: 18-26  This fall, all 4th graders in the US will receive a one-year free pass for families to the US National Parks.  The program is called “Every Kid in a Park.”  Now that’s a great gift! See here:  http://www.nationalparks.org/ook/every-kid-in-a-park
  • National Playground Safety Week: 20-24  Have you ever found a loose bolt on a piece of playground equipment?  Have you ever torn your clothes on a piece of equipment?  Who services the playground equipment in your area?  Do volunteers help keep the grounds clean?  What can you do?

April is…

  • Celebrate Diversity Month  Let’s celebrate how we are alike and how we’re different.  How can we do that? 
  • Child Abuse Prevention Month  Every child should have a safe home environment.  Some do not.  Why? 
  • Frog Month  My husband loves frogs and he has an April birthday.  Good reason to spotlight him.  He has frogs that are stuffed animals, ceramic, and metal.  Frogs can be found throughout our house.  Who has a special collection at your house?  Do you?  What is it?
  • Jazz Appreciation Month–I’m taking a workshop this month called “Picture Books and All that Jazz.”  Does the word “jazz” in the  workshop title mean the same as “Jazz” here?  What is the difference, if any?  What is Jazz appreciation?  What does that mean? 
  • Keep America Beautiful  Lately, I’ve noticed more and more paid workers picking up litter along the roadsides.  What can be done to build up community pride to keep America beautiful? 
  • Month of the Military Child  Do you know a child with a parent in the military?  How many times has this child moved in his/her life?  Why do you think there is a month to celebrate the Military Child?
  • National Kite Month  Which would you rather ride:  a kite, a hot air balloon or a magic carpet?  Have you ever flown a kite with a group of people?  On the beach?  in an open field?  On a school yard?  What experiences can you recall  about flying a kite?
  • National Pet Month  Name the type pets you’ve had.  Which was your favorite?  Which one got in the most trouble?  What did he do?
  • National Poetry Month  What is your favorite type of poem?  Do you like poems that rhyme better than ones that don’t.  What could you write a poem about today?  Any special reason?  Write another poem tomorrow, and the next day, and perhaps  the next.  I have a friend who posts a poem every day on her blog.  Please visit Joy Acey who writes “Poetry for Kids Joy.”  See here:  http://poetryforkidsjoy.blogspot.com/2015/03/having-fun.html

For more ways to celebrate this month, see here:  http://www.brownielocks.com/april.html 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 Calendar Events, Homeschool Activities, Monthly Activities, Reading, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Specialty Schools We Wish Existed

Posted by lindamartinandersen on March 27, 2015


Originally posted on EMU's Debuts:

MomSchool

Can you tell that Rebecca Van Slyke’s newly released MOM SCHOOL gets an A+ for Absolute Adorableness? Trust me, it does. As the story goes, the little cutie-pie kiddo imagines that her mother learned all of her wonderful mom-like skills in Mom School. There might be a few things she wished her mom didn’t learn, too. Well, it got us EMUs imagining different kinds of wacky specialty school ideas.

So, here ya go. Specialty schools we wish existed:

Rebecca Van Slyke, our spotlight debut author, would choose a specialty school sure to save marriages and general sanity:             “I would so sign up for a remote control school. On our coffee table we have—no lie—SEVEN remote controls. Here’s my husband “teaching” me how to start a movie:         

                  “Okay, it’s really easy. All…

View original 909 more words

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Forests Call to Me

Posted by lindamartinandersen on March 26, 2015


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “Forests Call to Me” by Linda Martin Andersen

Last night,  some family members gathered for dinner at my sister’s new house.  My fifteen-year-old niece decorated her bedroom with a forest theme–her idea.  I’ve enjoyed watching her room transform.   She selected her own bedspread, which is printed in an artistic tree pattern.  She also chose the room’s accessories.  My favorite is a lit bare-branched tree, several feet tall, with an owl (stuffed animal) perched on a limb.  Obviously, the forests call to my niece.

Earlier this month, Tim Livingston shared a guest post on March 21 for International Day of Forests.  Tim is a forester artist.  He manages forests and photographs, sketches, and paints its beauty.  Forests and art are two of his passions.  See here:

https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/2015/03/21/march-21-international-day-of-forests/

 

In 2013, Clarion Books published a poetry book called, Forest Has a Song, by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, one of my favorite poets.  It is also obvious that Amy hears the forests’ song.  See here:  http://www.amyludwigvanderwater.com/BOOKS.html

 

Forest has a song

Like my niece, Tim Livingston, and Amy Ludwig VanDerwater,  forests call to  me.  How do I know?  One way–the house where my husband and I live is off the highway, down a private dirt driveway, and  surrounded by trees.  We love seeing deer, foxes, hawks, and other wildlife in our yard.

Forests call to me.  Do they call to you?  In what way?  Please share your thoughts here.

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 Calendar Events, Careers, Monthly Activities, Science, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 18 Comments »

March 21–International Day of Forests

Posted by lindamartinandersen on March 21, 2015


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “March 21–International Day of Forests” with guest blogger, Tim Livingston.

I can’t think of anyone I’d rather hear discuss International Day of Forests than Tim Livingston.  He’s the forester artist who blogs here:  http://theforesterartist.com/

Here’s Tim with lots to share…

International Day of Forests

image002

International Day of Forests is a day designated by the United Nations to promote the importance of trees and forests in our lives.  A worthy cause in my book for sure.  In the United State we’re fortunate to have a mature forestry profession.  I feel blessed to be a part of it.

image004

In contemplating what this day means to me, I reflect back on experiences that I’ve had. I have only practiced forestry in the United State, but I’ve had opportunities to interact with forestry professionals from other countries a few times during my career.

image006

Once, we were visited by a group of forestry professionals from Mexico. They toured our facilities and our woods operations. It was a positive experience for them and I hope they gained knowledge from us that they were able to put to good use. I’ve also had opportunity to tour a Mexican manufacturing facility during my tenure. It has been enlightening to see how things are done by our southern neighbor.

image008

We were also visited by a New Zealand forester who came to instruct us in the fine art of pruning conifers to enhance wood quality. It sounds simple enough, but the New Zealanders had developed pruning to a fine art. We learned a lot that we put into practice in our own forests.

Sharing forestry knowledge across borders benefits us all. Even when we think we are ones teaching, we are also learning.

image010

I was at Humboldt State University as a student when I had my most memorable international forestry moment. We were visited by a forestry exchange student from a Central American country. He was taking forestry classes for one quarter at HSU. I can’t remember which country he was from, but he had never been this far north. It was a cold December day when a student walked into the Forestry Building lounge and announced it was snowing. Our exchange student bolted for the door. Snow doesn’t fall in Arcata very often. It’s a low elevation coastal town. We students got up to go see the snow. When we stepped outside, here was our exchange student standing in the middle of the street spinning around with his arms and tongue out catching snowflakes. He was so excited and told us he had never seen snow before. It was a moment. The moment really had nothing to do with forestry, except that it was forestry that brought us all together.

 

image012

It’s International Day of Forests, so hug a tree. Then tell it thank you for all the wonderful things trees provide for us. The world would be a lot less comfortable and beautiful without trees.

Thanks so much, Tim Livingston for all you do to keep our forests healthy and beautiful.  Happy International Day of Forests, everyone!

Readers, if you’ve ever observed forests in other countries, I hope you will comment on how they are like your own and how they are different.

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, Careers, Interviews, Monthly Activities, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , | 16 Comments »

Making Dog Friends

Posted by lindamartinandersen on March 14, 2015


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074

“Making Dog Friends” by Linda Martin Andersen

Do you have a dog?  A cat?  Another kind of pet?  Do you wish you did?  Do you like greeting pets you meet? 

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater posted a How to…”Make A Dog Friend” (Teaching Poem).  She shared steps to follow when greeting a strange dog and its owner.  Please pass these along to children you know.  Thanks for the great advice, Amy.

Try writing your own teaching poem-directions set in a poem.  I like that combination.  Do you?

Read Amy’s poem here:

http://www.poemfarm.amylv.com/2015/03/teaching-poems-what-do-i-know.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+amylv%2FGmZc+%28The+Poem+Farm%29

Before-you-pet-a-strange[1]

poster created at Quozio.com

Tell about your pet or the pet you wish you had. 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, Family Discussions, Homeschool Activities, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 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 »

 
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