A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Archive for June, 2012

Congratulations to Janice Green, winner of the CD giveaway

Posted by lindamartinandersen on June 21, 2012


Janice Green, you are the winner of the CD giveaway entitled, “I’ve Got Joy” performed by Phyllis Heil, The Whistling Woman.  Congratulations!  Please reply to the email I sent offline.

Thanks again, Phyllis Heil, for the interview.  A special thanks to all who visited “A Writer’s Playground” and left comments for this contest.  I appreciate you! 

Don’t forget to look for my story about Phyllis Heil in the November issue of Guide magazine.  Phyllis and I thank you.

 

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“A Writer’s Playground” Welcomes Phyllis Heil, The Whistling Woman, and Offers a CD Giveaway

Posted by lindamartinandersen on June 8, 2012


Raise your hand, if you can whistle.  Keep your hand raised if you ever entered a whistling contest.  Continue to hold your hand up if you won a whistling contest.  Congratulations whistlers! 

Now, put your hands together and give a loud clap or whistle if you’d rather, to welcome a champion whistler.  Well recognized on the stage of the International Whistlers Convention http://www.whistlingiwc.com/, I’m proud to introduce Phyllis Heil from Hickory, North Carolina.

My first opportunity to hear Phyllis whistle was at a patriotic celebration.  So, I’ve invited her to “A Writer’s Playground” in honor of Flag Day, on June 14.  Today, she’s here to whistle “The Grand Old Flag.” 

Here’s Phyllis…

http://www.thewhistlingwoman.com/sounds/grand_old_flag.mp3

International Whisting Champion

http://www.thewhistlingwoman.com/ 

Welcome Phyllis.  Thank you for agreeing to an interview at “A Writer’s Playground.”

1.  Phyllis, how old were you when you learned to whistle? Around 7 or 8.  Who taught you?  One of my older brothers.   What instructions did you get? To insert my little finger (pinkie) into my mouth, tighten my lips around my finger, pull my finger out of my mouth (holding the round opening it made) and blow.

2.  Who did you share your new whistling skill with and what was the person’s reaction?  I whistled for my mom and she said, “A whistling woman and a crowing hen always come to some bad end.” So out of respect for my  mom,  I didn’t whistle in public for many years.

3. Years later, when you whistled in public who was it  for and what was the reaction? The first public whistling was at a funeral where I was also singing with a quartet. The mourner’s became calm as they listened to me whistle.  How did the reaction change things for you? As my husband was working in the sound booth that day, we both realized that there was a use for whistling and that it has great power to calm people.

4.  Describe the different types of whistling.  Pucker whistling, teeth whistling, hand whistling, throat whistling and probably other styles I don’t even know about.

5.  Are your whistling instructions for a beginner different than the ones you were first given?  If so, how?  No, except I observe the pupil’s position of the lips and chin.  Sometimes I can have the person move his/her chin forward, if it appears the “air” coming out needs a better direction.

 6.  What are some simple tunes you would suggest for a beginner?  “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Amazing Grace, Jesus Loves Me, theme from Mayberry or some song easily recognized.

 7.  Phyllis, I know you’re not one to brag, but please share some of your whistling accomplishments.  Count your plagues, trophies, and ribbons.  It’s time to shine.  Mention special appearances, also. 

 

  • Placed in Grand Championship at my first competition in 2004 and again in 2005. 
  • Named International Whistling Entertainer of the Year (female) in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2010.
  • I have competed in the Unifour Senior Games, Silver Performing Arts, received the first place gold medal several times, was once chosen as Best in Show to represent Western NC at state level, where I received the gold medal for my whistling.
  • I appeared/whistled on “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno. I have been asked to whistle on stage at two Gaither Homecoming Friends concerts. Have been on several TV shows, radio shows and online “shows.”
  • I have performed at many churches, seniors & ladies events, benefits, High Point University (four times in 2012), Andy Griffith Playhouse in Mt. Airy, and traveled from Pennsylvania to Florida performing.
  • Our State magazine, WNC magazine (May, 2012), and “Old Farmer’s Almanac” (New Hampshire)
  • I have been asked by three families to whistle for a relative who was being cared for by Hospice.  I was honored to be a part of that time in the life of a family.

 8. Where is the International Whistlers Convention held?  Founded and held in Louisburg, NC since 1973, except for 2 years when it was held in Japan and China.  What competitions exist for children? Teens and children may compete in the same categories as adults.  Those age groups perform their music on Saturday.  When is the next International Whistlers Convention?  April 2013.

 9. What advice would you give children who want to compete as whistlers?  Find a song you enjoy whistling; get a good, but simple soundtrack for accompaniment and practice, practice, practice. Practice sometimes in front of a mirror to see how you present yourself on stage.

10.  Who do you credit for your ability to whistle?  God and my family who always sang when I was growing up and instilled in me the love of music.

11.  Why do you whistle?  It comes from the joy within and also to uplift those who hear me.

12.  How has whistling brought joy to others?  It seems to have touched many hearts through the years as I’ve observed tears, smiles, and sometimes received standing ovations at the end of concert.

 13.  How did you get your nickname as “The Whistling Woman?”  The manager at a local grocery store used to say, “There comes the whistling woman” when I would be in the store shopping. I often am not aware that I am whistling.  I do it subconsciously.

 14.  What did you want to be when you grew up?  Everything from a nurse to a hair dresser.  What career did you choose?  I was in retail management for many years; then I worked in medical offices and business offices at a local furniture manufacturer.

Thank you, Phyllis, for joining us and for sharing your whistling experiences. 

Readers, did you know that most present and future adults will hold more than one career in their lifetime.  I’m so glad Phyllis decided to include whistling as one of hers.   Aren’t you?  Phyllis gives “Whistle While You Work” a new twist.  She works while she whistles. 

New CD

Click on the link below to hear Phyllis Heil whistle a tune that’s available on the giveaway prize.  http://www.thewhistlingwoman.com/sounds/great.mp3 

Here’s a contest everyone can enter, whether you can whistle or not:

A complimentary copy of Phyllis Heil’s CD entitled I’ve Got Joy (Still Whistling His Praises) is being offered as a giveaway to one lucky follower. 

 To enter: 

  • For contact purposes, please list your email address if you are not a follower.
  • Leave a comment about whistling.  Name a tune you can whistle or tell about a whistling experience. 
  • If you are a child, or registering for a child, mention that information and you will receive an extra entry. 
  • Please let me know if you post this contest to Facebook, Twitter, your blog, etc.  You will receive an extra entry.
  • International entries will be accepted in honor of the international whistling competition.
  • Contest ends at midnight, June 20, 2012.  The winner will be announced on June 22.  Thank you for participating.

I am pleased to announce that Phyllis Heil’s story, written by Linda Martin Andersen (that’s me), will be published in the November 10, 2012 issue of Guide magazine (Christian Fun for Kids—ages 10-14).  All stories in this magazine are nonfiction.  Visit http://www.guidemagazine.org for more information about Guide magazine.  I hope you will on the lookout for the story about Phyllis Heil. 

Phyllis’ story is something to crow about.  Even the hens think so.  Listen. 

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=crowing+hens&view=detail&mid=7FB48989A58087B3F4697FB48989A58087B3F469&first=0&qpvt=crowing+hens

One last thing to crow about… a new series of books by McFarland and Company called Joining the Military, written for teens and young adults who are considering a military career.  Snow Wildsmith, the author, is interviewed on Carol Baldwin’s blog where she is offering a set of the books to be donated to a library.  Learn more at  http://carolbaldwinblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/gift-your-librarian.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FDtis+%28Carol+Baldwin%27s+blog%29  Enter the contest now.

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Interviews, Monthly Activities, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments »

June 2012 Activities

Posted by lindamartinandersen on June 1, 2012


“June 2012 Activities” by Linda Martin Andersen

  “A Writer’s Playground”

A place to find word play, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.

Think:  What does the word “June” bring to mind?

June bug—beetle, nickname for NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Mitch Capel, better known as “Gran’daddy Junebug,” a storyteller from Southern Pines, North Carolina.   Listen to one or more story segments.  Consider “Opportunities” and “The Colored Soldiers” by Gran’daddy Junebug at http://gjbug.com/Store.php.

June bride–many couples choose this month for their weddings.  Read a book about a child who is in a wedding or attends one.  Write about something that went wrong at a wedding.  For example, the groom’s ring nearly rolled into a storm drain at my wedding.

Summer vacation, summer camps, Summer Reading Club at public libraries, etc.  Are there science, math, or history camps in your area?  Try something new.

Father’s Day–cards, gifts, and cookouts.  Offer to find a new recipe and cook it for Father’s Day.  Make gift receipts for chores you will do for dad, such as wash his car.

What else happens in June?

Special Days in June:

  • National Go Barefoot Day:  1
  • National Running Day:  2
  • Do-Dah Day (Salute to Silliness) :  4
  • D-Day:  6
  • Flag Day:  14
  • National Flip Flop Day:  15 (3rd Friday)
  • Father’s Day:  17
  • June Solstice:  20
  • Log Cabin Day:  24
  • International Fairy Day: 24
  • Tour De France:  30

Special Weeks in June:

  • Old Time Fiddlers Week:  18-25 (3rd Week)
  • Watermelon Seed Spitting Week:  21-24 (Last Weekend Thursday-Sunday)

June is…

  • National Camping Month
  • National Rivers Month
  • Great Outdoors Month
  • National Smile Month
  • Vision Research Month
  • Adopt a Shelter Cat Month

*Thank you Brownie Locks.com for June celebration information.  For more June observances check out:  http://www.brownielocks.com/june.html. While visiting her site, look for foods, activities, and topics to research:  Why not cook fudge on Fudge Day (16).  Try a new activity such as juggling (16).  Research a topic such as eagles for American Eagle Day. (20)

Let’s talk:  Choose one or more of the conversation starters below and leave a comment…

1.  When you think of June, think of “summer reads.”  What books would you like to read just for fun?  Will you join a summer reading club at your local library?  Some give prizes.  Challenge your whole family to participate.

2.  School gets out in June.  Now that’s something “worth whistling about.”  What does that expression mean?  Now that you  have more time at home, will you keep your room “clean as a whistle?”  If you leave a mess, will your little brother or sister be a “whistleblower?” Have you heard this one? “A whistling woman and a crowing hen always come to some bad end.” (Choose one of these expressions and comment about it.)

3.  Do you have a bicycle?  Describe it.  Does it have speeds?  How many?  Is it a mountain bike or a racing bike?  Tell about a time you raced on your bike.  Research racers and their speeds in the Tour De France.

4.  Describe a time you went barefoot and you wished you had shoes.  For example:  Stepped on sandspurs.  Describe a time when you went barefoot and you’re very glad you did.

5.  In honor of National Running Day, research a runner.  Read a picture book about a fictional character who ran such as The Gingerbread Man.  Find a nonfiction book about a track-and-field athlete such as Jesse Owens.  Search for books about other runners.

6.  Name three ways to salute silliness on Do-Dah Day.  For example:  wear two different colors of socks or a silly hat like mine.  Have someone push you in a wheelbarrow.  Watch out, you may get dumped.

7.  Name famous Americans who lived in log cabins.  Locate a log cabin in your area that provides tour.  Research vocabulary words for log cabin construction.  For example:  chinking.

8.  Name a favorite fairy character.  Name different types of fairies.  For example:  flower fairies.  Draw a design for a fairy costume, book bag design, fairy zone sign, and enchanted fairy garden.  What are brownies?  Name a book with fairies or brownies.

9.  When did you attend a festival that served watermelons.  What contests were held?  Create an original festival contest.  Tell of a time you were in a contest at an outdoor event.

10. Do you know the name:  Doc Watson?  If not, research him.  What type events do you think are part of “Old Time Fiddlers Week?” What event would you want to attend?  Why?  Do you play a musical instrument?  If so, what?  What would you like to learn to play?

11.  Is there a walking path near a river in your hometown?  Have you ever traveled on a river?  How did you travel?  Write an advertisement for a trip on the river.  What information would you include?  What information would you not include?  Why?

12.  If you were a vision research scientist, what disease would you want to treat?  Why?  Do you know someone who has a disease of the eyes?  Which one?  What causes it?  Does your area have a center for the blind?  What are some of their services?

13.  Do you own a pet?  What kind?  Did you get your pet from the store or from the animal shelter?  Why do cities encourage animal lovers to adopt pets?  Tell about an adventure with your pet.

14.  Summers are for cookouts.  Have you ever roasted a hotdog over an open fire?  Have you toasted marshmallows?  Do you like yours golden brown or charcoal black?  What ghost stories can you tell?  Tell some by a campfire, with parent supervision. Check out additional ghost stories at the library.

15.  Create a special Father’s Day card (Grandfather/Uncle/Foster father).  Write a message about a special Father’s Day memory or thank your father for something he has done for you.  Remember that glitter and stickers make dads smile too.

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

*Resources:  http//vertex42.com (calendar)

http://www.brownielocks.com/june.html (calendar observances)

Coming next post:  Meet a whistler.

Copyright © 2012 Linda Martin Andersen

 

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

 
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