A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Archive for October, 2013

Jump on the November Writing Bandwagon! Get Ideas from Calendar Events.

Posted by lindamartinandersen on October 31, 2013


Jump on the November Writing Bandwagon!  Get Ideas from Calendar Events.” by Linda Martin Andersen

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

Jump on the November Writing Bandwagon. 

What is a bandwagon?  http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bandwagon 

Why would I say that there is a November writing bandwagon?  Because it’s true.  Read this article from 2012 for ideas shared about this writing movement.  http://thepaperwait.blogspot.com/2012/09/time-to-jump-on-nanowrimo-bandwagon.html  When I did a Google search, this article was first on the list.  I follow this particular group’s blog; so I chose it for a link.   Go Paper Wait group!

Those of you in the USA, what do you think of when you hear “November?”  My guess is that Thanksgiving would be the number one response.  If you’re a writer and you’d like to write a novel in a month (50,000 words),  you probably think of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) when someone says “November.”  Join others here:  http://nanowrimo.org/

If you prefer to write shorter works, but would still like to be part of a group, consider joining Tara Lazar’s program for Picture book writers called Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo).  The goal:  to record one picture book idea per day for the month of November.  http://taralazar.com/2013/10/01/piboidmo-logo-badge-and-guest-bloggers/

Here’s the badge I proudly display to show I am registered for PiBoIdMo.  Learn more below.

piboidmo2013-slogan-490x301[1]

Julie Hedlund has posted a video as a promo for PiBoIdMo. http://taralazar.com/2013/10/27/pre-pibo-day-3-julie-hedlund/ She describes this as “the most wonderful time of the year.” 

Julie designed her own program to encourage writers to turn 12 picture book ideas into 12 manuscripts.  She suggests beginning with PiBoIdMo.  See here:  http://www.juliehedlund.com/12-x-12/

I have decided to comb the following November activities for picture book manuscript ideas.  Maybe you’d like to join me.  If not, consider celebrating one or more of the events mentioned here to add “spice to your life.” For the meaning of this expression, check here:  http://www.idiomquest.com/learn/idiom/spice-up-your-life/  By the way, many people add spices to holiday cooking, and it’s fast becoming that time of year!

Special Days in November:

  • National Authors’ Day:  1  Who is your favorite author(s)?  Have you read a biography or website/blog notes about the person?  Are there facts you’d like to share with a friend?
  • Cookie Monster Day:  2  How do you think this character got his name?  Research to see if you’re correct.
  • Cliche Day:  3  What is a cliche?  http://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-cliches.html   Share one with someone and see if he/she knows what it means.  Listen for cliches this month.  Where did you hear them?  Who do you know who loves to use them?  Who do you know who says claims to hate them?  Why?
  • Jellyfish Day:  3  http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/kids/animals-pets-kids/invertebrates-kids/jellyfish-kids/
  • Sandwich Day:  3  Check out the history of the sandwich:  http://www.kidzworld.com/article/26495-history-of-the-sandwich
  • Fill Our Staplers Day:  4  Have you ever been asked to get the stapler for your teacher?  Did she run out of staples before finishing her project?  Should this job be added to the Helpers Chart in classrooms?  Why or why not?
  • International Tongue Twister Day:  10  What is your favorite tongue twister?  Listen for tongue twisters this month–ones that are well know and words or phrases that people have trouble saying and have to slow down to get right.  Can you write one of your own?
  • Origami Day:  11  I received an origami gift from a friend.  It was an origami wreath.  Children at a local school made origami cranes and sold them to help a charity event.  A friend decorated her Christmas tree with origami ornaments.  Tell other ways origami brings joy. 
  • Veterans Day:  11  Who is a veteran in your family?  In your neighborhood?  What organizations in your area serve veterans?   Does your church do anything special for the military?  Have you ever participated?
  • World Kindness Day:  13  List ways to show kindness.  Choose one or more to do on this day.  Who will you show kindness?  Can you show kindness to someone who is not a friend?  How?
  • Loosen Up, Lighten Up Day: 14  What does this message mean?  Who might need to hear this message?  Why? 
  • National American Teddy Bear Day:  14  Have you owned more than one teddy bear?  Make a drawing that includes some details from each one.  For example:  A wind-up key from one, a large red bow from another, and a favorite shirt from another.  Part of the bear might be brown, another part dark brown, and another part white.  Tell your parents what you remember about your favorite teddy bears.  Learn the jump rope chant about a teddy bear.  Recite it to your bears.
  • I Love to Write Day:  15  I love to write and I love learning to be a better writer.  What do you enjoy writing?  Do you like to text, pass notes, write in a diary, do research reports, etc.  Ask a friend what he/she likes to write. 
  • International Day for Tolerance:  16  What does tolerance mean?  http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tolerance  List things that come to mind when you hear this word.  Pick a cause from your list.  How can you show more tolerance?
  • National Button Day:  16  Have you ever sorted buttons, played with the buttons on a push button phone?  What other memories do you have with buttons?
  • National Day of Play:  16  What was the last time you did really silly, playful things?  What were they?  Who do you know who would never try something silly.  Challenge them to play today.  After all, it’s the perfect day for it. 
  • Name Your PC Day:  20  You give a pet a name, maybe even a stuffed animal.  How about your PC or Mac computer?  Ask your friends for suggested names.  Pick one.  Is it a nickname?  Do you know what a nickname is?  Would you want to choose one for your computer? 
  • Universal Children’s Day:  20  If you could meet a child from somewhere else in the world, where would you want the person to be from?  Why?  What three things would you choose to share with the person?  What would you ask the person?  What do you think you might be asked?
  • Great American Smokeout:  21  Research and learn more about this day.  Who do you know that is a smoker?  What new fact could you share after reading here?  http://www.cancer.org/healthy/stayawayfromtobacco/greatamericansmokeout/
  • World Television Day:  21  Check your TV guide and see how many programs about other countries are scheduled for today.  Which ones interest you?  Why?  What things in our country might interest viewers from elsewhere?  Why?
  • Family Volunteer Day:  23  What volunteer programs has your family participated in?  What programs would you like to add?  Many families get involved at Christmas.  Would that interest you?  Discuss volunteer project ideas with your family.
  • Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day:  24  What would you say is your unique talent?  How are you developing your talent so it improves?  How do you feel when you are actively using your talent?  Give an example.  How can you use your talent to help others? 
  • Mother Goose Day:  24  Name as many Mother Goose rhymes as you can.  How many can be sung?  Find a copy of the book and share a few rhymes with a younger sibling or read them to your parents.  See if they will act them out with you. 
  • National Day of Listening:  27  What do you enjoy listening to?  What is it difficult to listen to?  Why?  What can you do to be a better listener when it is difficult to do so?  Why is this important to learn?
  • Stay Home Because You’re Well Day:  30  When I read this one, it made me chuckle.  Why? It’s an example of irony.  What is irony?  See here.  http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/irony  Write an example of something ironic. 

Special Weeks: 

  • World Communication Week:  1-7  Are you able to communicate with people in other parts of the world?  How?
  • Health Information and Technology Week:  3-9  What are ways to gain health information and technology skills?  Which of these have you done?  Did you find it helpful?  Why or why not?
  • Give Wildlife a Brake! Week:  4-8  Why do you think “brake” is spelled this way?   Check here for ideas to make this a special time.  http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/give_wildlife_brake.html
  • Dear Santa Letter Week:  7-23  Why is it fun to write Santa?  Who else do you like to write letters?  Have you ever written thank you notes and sent them in the mail?  Have you ever made a special thank you card?  Do you have relatives in other states who you could write?  Maybe you could find a pen pal cousin.
  • Pursuit of Happiness Week:  7-13  What is the pursuit of something?  What do you pursue?  If you decide to pursue happiness this week, how will you go about it?
  • Geography Awareness Week:  10-16  What would be a meaningful way to study world geography?  Find places on a map where family members and friends live and places they visit. Keep the map posted for a year and see how the flagged spots grow.  What other things could you do for geography awareness?
  • National Farm-City Week:  22-18  Are you from the country, farm, city, suburbs?  What do you see when you make short trips to buy groceries, go to school, etc.?  A pen pal told me about her home in Sweden and I told her about my home in North Carolina.  It was fun.  What could you do?
  • National Game & Puzzle Week:  24-30  What games do you play with your family, with friends, with classmates?  How many pieces are in the puzzles you complete?  Do you like to put puzzles together alone or with others?  My mom sets up a card table and leaves the puzzle out until it is finished.  What do you do?

November is…

    • American and National Diabetes Month
    • Aviation History Month
    • Historic Bridge Awareness Month
    • Lung Cancer Awareness Month
    • National Adoption Month
    • National Novel Writing Month
    • National Family Literacy Month
    • National Peanut Butter Lovers Month
  • Choose one or more of these events and decide how to make it a special part of your month.  For example, several bridges are being repaired or replaced in my hometown.  I could read articles about these local projects.  I could also read nonfiction picture books about bridges or read a back issue of Cobblestone magazine about The Brooklyn Bridge.  Here is the teacher guide I wrote to accompany this particular magazine.  https://cobblestonepub.com/pdfs/COB/COB1003.pdf  I could  watch a documentary about The Brooklyn Burns by Ken Burns.. 

What will you celebrate this month?  What will you research?  What will you read about?  I look forward to reading your comments.

*Thank you Brownie Locks.com for November celebration information.  For more November observances check out: http://www.brownielocks.com/NOVEMBER2013.html

Please note:   Children 14 and under are not allowed to leave comments. It’s against the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA)  See:  http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

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

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

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Visit a Cemetery Day: Oct. 29

Posted by lindamartinandersen on October 28, 2013


“Visit a Cemetery Day:  Oct. 29” by Linda Martin Andersen

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

When was the last time you visited a cemetery?  Was it to visit a loved one’s grave, to take a tour, to tell ghost stories, to enter on a dare, to disprove a superstition or myth, to clean up the area, or other reasons?

More about cemeteries…

Tours of cemeteries: 

Historical cemeteries are often included with tourist sites.  Here are a few.

Arlington National Cemetery:         http://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/arlington_national_cemetary/index.3.html

Some tours are arranged especially for Halloween: 

Example:  Hallows Eve Cemetery Walk–The city historian will lead a one-hour walking tour through the city cemetery.   Proceeds to go to historic revitalization.

Historical Congressional Cemetery in Washington DC:  Guided tour:  http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/10/26/congressional-cemetery-ghosts-goblets/2994609/

Myths about cemeteries: 

There is a myth about New Orleans about burials above ground.  Learn more here:  http://www.tour-new-orleans.com/cemetery-tours.html

“Saved by the bell” and other stories about being buried alive:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safety_coffin

Epitaphs:

I hope you enjoy reading these:  http://www.svmemorials.com/?page_id=73  Do you have favorites of your own?

Vandalism in Cemeteries: 

http://www.cemeterydepot.com/Cemetery-Vandalism-information.php  What can be done?  Where I live, a tall fence was placed around the historic section of the city cemetery.  Some cities are adding cameras and other security.  Funds were raised to repair some of the vandalism in our area. 

Cleaning up Cemeteries:

Volunteers help:  http://www.moultonadvertiser.com/news/state/article_4d16ea80-4b54-5e1a-a3dd-9d7143fcf7ea.html

How to organize a cleanup:  http://www.oregon.gov/oprd/HCD/docs/heritage_bulletins/hb_13_cleanup.pdf

There are many books that mention cemeteries. 

Here are two suggestions for you.  The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman http://www.neilgaiman.com/works/Books/The+Graveyard+Book/ 

and 43 Old Cemetery Road series.  Dying to Meet You is the first in this series by Kate Klise and M. Sarah Klise.  What are some of your favorites? 

What are your thoughts about honoring the dead?  How have you shown them respect? 

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Please note:   Children 14 and under are not allowed to leave comments. It’s against the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA)  See:  http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

Thanks for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon.  Bring a friend.

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Interviews, Monthly Activities, Reading, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Think Color! Which One or Ones?

Posted by lindamartinandersen on October 24, 2013


“Think Color!  Which One or Ones?” by Linda Martin Andersen

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

This time of year, people talk fall color.  They might ask, “Did you get to the mountains in time for the fall color?” or “Were the leaves at their peak?” (best color)

What other things come to mind when you think color?

One day this month, our newspaper came in pink.  Why?  I bet you know–National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October).

Think Pink–

http://www.thinkpink.org.au/

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month:  http://www.nbcam.org/

It’s October and a beautiful pink blossom has opened in our yard.  It’s from a Confederate Rose, a gift from someone.  Pink is not usually a color I associate with fall, and yet there it is.  Read more about this plant here:  http://thedailysouth.southernliving.com/2009/11/18/confederate-rose-will-rise-again/

Confederate Rose bush Oct. 2012

Color is a big part of our world.  Just talking about color brought this song to mind:  “Colour My World” by Chicago:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PL2prMmPmQ4

Have you ever had someone compliment your clothing by saying, “That’s your color.”  Here’s more about a color analysis:  http://www.thatsyourcolor.com/

What do you think of with each of the basic colors?

Here are a few of my thoughts.  What are some of yours?

Think Blue–

One connection is based on San Diego’s Storm Water Pollution Prevention Campaign:  http://www.sandiego.gov/thinkblue/

I thought of a favorite book by Joyce Moyer Hostetter entitled Blue: 

http://joycemoyerhostetter.info/

http://joycemoyerhostetter.blogspot.com/

A blue bird just fluttered across my yard.  Maybe you have them in your area too.   Tim Livingston does and he photographed one:  “Bird on a Wire”  http://theforesterartist.com/2013/10/24/bird-on-a-wire/

Think Purple–

The Color Purple–described as “the musical about love” http://www.colorpurple.com/

Lavender, a shade of purple, is often requested as the paint color for a girl’s room. 

Think Black– 

A color often worn to funerals http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black  It is also worn for formal function:  black dress, black tux.

This also made me think of B&W (black-and-white)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black-and-white B&W reminds me of old photographs.  Ansel Adams comes to mind.  See the link to The Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite National Park:  http://www.anseladams.com/

If I think white

(not a basic color)–I dream of snow, although this southern girl is more likely to see cotton fields. 

Fall 2012. Close up.  Copyright Linda Andersen

Fall 2012. Close up. Copyright Linda Andersen

Fall 2012. Copyright Linda Andersen

Fall 2012. Copyright Linda Andersen

Think Brown– 

For me, literature comes to mind:  Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/book/brown-bear-brown-bear-what-do-you-see

and “How now, Brown Cow.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_now_brown_cow

Think Yellow–

(Yellow lettering wasn’t easily read) One finding:  http://blog.theberrycompany.com/blog/berry-marketing/think-yellow-go-green-kicks-off-in-lincoln-ne  I think of sunshine, smiley faces, and sunflowers.  How about you?

Think Green– 

Sitting in the grass, watching pines sway, and seeking summer shade under trees thick with leaves.  “Going green” means caring about the environment by recycling, etc.  Read about waste management:  http://www.wm.com/thinkgreen/index.jsp

Think Red–

Think red for a healthy heart.  Ruby red reminds me of Dorothy’s slippers in “The Wizard of Oz” and “Seeing red” means being angry,  That reminds me of Joy Acey’s poem called “My Anger.” http://poetryforkidsjoy.blogspot.com/search?q=anger

Product DetailsRuby is a red gem and also a girl’s name.  Ruby the Copycat, by Peggy Rathmann, is a picture book gem. 

Think Orange– 

A juicy citrus fruit and the source of orange juice (OJ).  A Halloween color.  The color of shiny, round pumpkins.  Pumpkin fields remind me of the Peanuts characters in “The Great Pumpkin.”  Some say that orange is “the new black.”  What do you think?  What do you think that means?

bonfire 2012 010  A fall bonfire with leaping flames. 

Thanks for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Leave a comment that tells what each basic color reminds you of.  Or choose a favorite. Come again soon.  Bring a friend. 

Please note:   Children 13 and under are not allowed to leave comments. It’s against the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA)  See:  http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Interviews, Monthly Activities, Reading, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Did You Know That Friday is Now Forestry Friday?

Posted by lindamartinandersen on October 18, 2013


“Did You Know That Friday is Now Forestry Friday?” by Linda Martin Andersen

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

Have you read any good alphabet books lately?  Have you read any interesting blog posts about forestry?  If not, why not combine these two interests?  You will not want to miss this.  Visit “Forestry Friday…W is for Wildlife” by Tim Livingston. 

http://theforesterartist.com/2013/10/18/forestry-friday-w-is-for-wildlife/

Tim Livingston is a photographer and an artist.  He’s a forester who loves wildlife; so of course “W” is for Wildlife.  I look forward to learning more about forestry each Friday.   I hope to see you there.

Thanks for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Leave a comment if you’d like.  Come again soon.  Bring a friend. 

Please note:   Children 13 and under are not allowed to leave comments. It’s against the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA)  See:  http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Interviews, Monthly Activities, Reading, Writing | Tagged: , , , | 13 Comments »

World Smile Day: Oct. 4

Posted by lindamartinandersen on October 3, 2013


“World Smile Day:  Oct. 4” by Linda Martin Andersen

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

Can you match these famous smiles to their owners?

Word Bank:  a.  Mona Lisa  b.  🙂  c.  Harvey Ball. d. Mother Teresa  e.  Tom Cruise

_____1.  Emoticons 

_____2.  Famous art painting

_____3.  An actor with a big smile

_____4.  “Peace begins with a smile.”

_____5.  Creator of the smiley face drawing

Famous smiles in art: 

http://ww31.1800flowers.com/blog/delivering-smiles/famous-smiles-in-art/

Actors/Actresses with famous smiles:

http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-500398_162-5045611-3.html

Sing Along and Celebrate World Smile Day:

Did you know there’s a Smiley Face Song? 

It’s the Ballad of Harvey Ball. Check it out today or you’ll miss out.  http://worldsmileday.com/

Harvey Ball’s Foundation:

What were you drawing in 1963?  If you weren’t born yet, ask your parents or grandparents.  Harvey Ball was drawing a smiley face.  Simple things can make a big splash!  http://www.worldsmile.org/

Arts and Crafts with Smiley Faces:

Brainstorm what makes you smile.  Thumbprint Art.  Enjoy playing the Smiley Face Photo Hunt… http://craftsandartforchildren.blogspot.com/2012/03/smiley-face-crafts.html

Smile quotes: 

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/smile

Emoticons Chart: 

Find the smiley face.  How many others do you know?  http://www.wikihow.com/Type-Emoticons

What makes you smile?  Write a comment about it.  Have a Happy World Smile Day!

Please note:   Children 13 and under are not allowed to leave comments. It’s against the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA)  See:  http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

Thanks for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon.  Bring a friend.

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Interviews, Monthly Activities, Reading, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

October’s Activities–This Month’s Calendar Events

Posted by lindamartinandersen on October 1, 2013


“October Activities–This Month’s Calendar Events by Linda Martin Andersen

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074“A Writer’s Playground”

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

What do you think of when you hear “October?”  My guess is that Halloween would be the number one response.  Why wait until the last day of the month to celebrate?  Check here for additional special days, weeks, and month-long celebrations. 

Special Days in October:

  • International Day of Older Persons:  1  How would you define an older person?  Name one older person you admire who lives in your area.  Name one person you admire who lives in another country.  How do you know this person?  Do these people know you admire them?  How do they know?
  • Techie’s Day:  1  What is a “techie?”  Are you one?  Would you want to be?  Why or why not?  How do you think a “techie” spends a typical day?
  • Balloons Around the World Day:  2  Brainstorm things with the balloon in their name.  Research balloon floats, how to make balloon animals, hot air balloons, balloon surgery, etc.
  • World Farm Animals Day:  2  What farmer’s name comes to mind when you think of an animal farm?  What are the first three animals that come to mind?  Have you ever lived on a farm?  What kind of farm work do you think would be the dirtiest job? 
  • Blessing of the Animals Day (aka Blessing of the Pets Day, World Pet Day):  4  Do you know an animal that has been blessed at church?  What kind of animal?
  • World Smile Day:  4  Smile.  Pass it on.  Smile.  Pass it on.  Smile.  Pass it on.  Keep going!
  • World Card Making Day:  5  When was the last time you made a card?  Who did you give it to?
  • World Teachers Day:  5  What is your favorite subject in school?  What is your least favorite class?  Who was your favorite teacher for each?  Give these teachers a big “Thank You!”
  • Intergeneration Day:  6  What does intergeneration mean?  Give an example.
  • Child Health Day:  7  Where could you go and what could you do this day to improve your health?
  • You Matter To Me Day:  7  Name three people you would say this to.  Why do these people matter?  Tell them.
  • National Face Your Fears Day:  8  Name a fear you have.  Find at least one book that addresses this fear.  Read it.  Did you find this reading helpful?  Why or why not?  Would you be willing to try this with another fear? 
  • International Newspaper Carrier Day:  20  Does your family subscribe to a local paper?  Do you ever read it?  What section do you choose to read?
  • International Day of the Girl:  11  Name a girl you admire and tell why.  What positive qualities does this girl have?
  • Columbus Day:  12  What year was his discovery?  What were the name of his ships?
  • Spider Man Day:  14  What do you admire about Spider Man?  What positive qualities does he have?
  • I Love Lucy Day:  15  Do you find these programs funny?  What makes some of the scenes funny?
  • National Grouch Day:  15  Who are some famous grouch characters in movies, books, television, and real life.  What causes the characters to be grouchy?
  • Dictionary Day:  16  Survey family and friends.  Ask:  How old is your dictionary?  How often do you use it?  Do you use an online dictionary?  How often?
  • National Fossil Day:  16  Research fossils.  Consider visiting a museum with fossils.  Have fossils been found in your area?  What kind?  Read a nonfiction book about fossils.  What do we call someone who hunts for fossils?  Read about one of them.  Read a fiction book about fossils. 
  • Fossil (Eyewitness Books Series)                                                                              After the Dinosaurs: Mammoths and Fossil Mammals (I Can Read Book Series: Level 2)Ivy and Bean Break the Fossil Record (Ivy and Bean Series #3)
  • Wear Something Gaudy Day:  17   What does gaudy mean?  Where did you look it up?  Have you ever heard someone describe an outfit as gaudy?  Did you agree or disagree?  Why?
  • Information Overload Day:  20  What does it mean to have information overload?  Do you think a computer can experience this? Have you ever experienced it?  Write what a person might say who is experiencing this.
  • Celebration of The Mind Day:  21  What would be a great way to celebrate this day?  Name three things you are glad that you remember.  What does this expression mean:  Mind over matter? 
  • International Stuttering Awareness Day:  22  Research the cause of stuttering, what sounds are often stuttered, and ways to overcome stuttering.  People who pick on/bully a person who stutters might do this.  What?  How do people usually react to someone being picked on?  What will you do the next time you witness this?
  • United Nations Day:  24  What does it mean to be united?  Name an example of something good this organization has accomplished.  http://www.un.org/en/
  • International Bandanna Day:  25  What is a bandanna?  Who wears them?  Name two places on a body these are usually worn.  What gangs are known for wearing colors?  What colors?  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerchief  What is a Psalm 91 bandana?  Do you know?  Who might wear one?
  • Make a Difference Day:  26  How have you made a difference?  What else would you like to do to make a difference?  Who would say you have made a difference?  Who would you like to thank for making a difference in your life? 
  • National Forgiveness Day:  26  What is your definition of forgiveness?  Who do you need to forgive?  Who will you ask to forgive you?
  • National Chocolates Day:  28  Make a list of your favorite chocolates.  Who manufactures the kind of candy you like?  Research and see what other products they make. 
  • St. Jude’s Day:  28  What is St. Jude’s mission?  Do you know anyone who has spent time there?  Why?  Who founded St. Jude? 
  • http://www.stjude.org/stjude/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=f87d4c2a71fca210VgnVCM1000001e0215acRCRD
  • Internet Day:  29  Name three wise uses of the internet.  Name three uses that are not wise.  What are some illegal uses of the internet?  Do you know anyone abusing the internet?  What can you do about it?
  • Visit a Cemetery Day:  29  Have you ever visited a family member’s grave?  Was a special message engraved?  Was there a marker?  A tombstone?  What is the difference?  Have you ever placed flowers on a grave?  Was the cemetery a private one, a church one, or a city owned one?  Is there vandalism in cemeteries in your area?  What has been done about it?  What else can be done?
  • Halloween:  31 Do you participate in Trick-or-Treat?  Do you wear a costume?  Do you hand out candy?  Do you decorate your home and/or yard for Halloween? Do you go to costume parties?
  • National Knock-Knock Jokes Day:  31  Find copies of joke books.  Ask a friend to join you.  Take turns looking for knock-knock jokes and sharing them.  Have fun!
  • National Magic Day:  31  Do you know any magic tricks?  Check out books on magic tricks or books about magicians.  If you found a magic lamp, what would you wish for?

Special Weeks: 

  • Universal Children’s Week:  1-7 Name famous children in movies or TV.  Name children who have made a difference in sports or mission work, etc.  Name children you know who you admire?  Why? 
  • World Space Week:  4-10  Brainstorm space words.  Research at least one of them.  What movie, TV show, or book comes to mind when you think “space?” Perhaps you could have a “Space” family night.  Each family member selects a favorite DVD or TV program to watch.  Space documentaries could be viewed too.
  • Fire Prevention Week:  6-12  My last post was about chimney safety and fire prevention.  Check here if you missed it.  I hope you’ll try writing a riddle of your own.  https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/what-if-firefighters-teamed-up-with-santa-for-national-chimney-safety-week/
  • Great Books Week:  6-12 Name a great children’s book you would recommend to someone your age.  What was a great one from when you were a very young child?  Have a discussion with friends at the lunch table or on the playground about a favorite book.  Ask about theirs.
  • Mystery Series Week:  6-12  Do you read mysteries? Name some famous ones.   Look for them at the library.  Ask a friend for a suggestion.  Ask a librarian. 
  • Astronomy Week:  7-13  What astronomy questions come to mind?  For example, About how many stars are there?  Research your question. Did you find the answer?  If not, who can you ask for help?
  • Kids’ Goal Setting Week:  7-11  What goals do you have set for yourself?  Would you like to add others?  What steps will you take to reach your goals.  Talk to your parents about goal setting. 
  • World Rainforest Week:  7-13  Read about the rainforest.  Watch a documentary.  What animals live there?  Are any endangered?  What would you like to know?  Research it.
  • Earth Science Week:  13-19  Brainstorm earth science topics.  Which would you like to learn more about?  Do it.
  • National School Lunch Week:  14-18  Do you eat school lunch?  Which is your favorite?  What is one of your favorite items served?  Do people who bring their lunch sit together at your school or may they sit anywhere?  What food would you like to see served more often?  Less often?  Name children’s books that show cafeteria ladies or cafeteria scenes.
  • The Cafeteria Lady from the Black Lagoon                                                                                 
  • National Character Counts Week:  20-26  Brainstorm a list of character traits.  What do you think is the most important character trait?  Why? 
  • National Forest Products Week:  20-26  What are national forest products?  List the ones you know.  Research to learn more products.  Why are some forests preserved as National Parks?  Name one.
  • National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week:  20-26  What is lead poisoning?  Is this still a threat?  In what ways?  Research.
  • Red Ribbon Week:  20-26  What is Red Ribbon Week?  Why is it celebrated?  Does you school celebrate?  How?
  • National School Bus Safety Week:  21-25  Check here for a link to North Carolina Bus Safety information.  Enjoy tips and games:  http://www.ncbussafety.org/ncbussafety.html  Research to learn about bus safety in your area.

October is…

  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month Think Pink!  Have you ever participated in a walk to raise funds for cancer research?  What other ways can you show support?
  • Bullying Prevention Month  Who can you talk with about bully prevention or bully problems?  What programs are in place at your school to keep you safe?
  • Blindness Awareness Month  What eye diseases cause impaired vision or blindness?  Have you ever known a child who had to have large print materials for school?  Do you know any adults who need large print?  Do you know anyone with a service dog?  Did you know that many public libraries carry machines that enlarge printed material?  What other tools are available?
  • Celebrating The Bilingual Child Month  What is bilingual?  Do you know someone who is bilingual?  What books can you name that are intended for the bilingual market?   
  • Children’s Magazine Month  When you get a chance to browse in the library, which is your favorite children’s magazine?  What do you enjoy most about it?  Do you receive any magazine subscriptions?  If so, which ones?  What would you recommend for someone younger than you?  Why?  Talk magazine talk with a friend this month.
  • Down Syndrome Awareness Month  What is Down Syndrome?  Do you know someone with this?  Does the person attend regular classes or Special Education Classes?  Does the person live at home or in a Group Home?  What questions do you have about Down Syndrome?  What  more would you like to learn about Down Syndrome? 
  • Dyslexia Awareness Month What is dyslexia?  Do you know anyone who has this?  How does it affect his/her learning?    
  •  National Popcorn Poppin’ Month  Serve popcorn with a movie.  Do you pop your own?  What flavor do you prefer?  Have you ever seen popcorn growing?  Research to learn more. 
  • National Reading Group Month Does your school have reading groups, whole class reading, book clubs, independent reading and tests on books read?  What do you read for fun?  How could you increase the amount of reading you do?
  • National Roller Skating Month  Do you roller skate?  Is there a night each month for beginners?  Consider a family skate night.
  • Photographer Appreciation Month Who is a photographer in your family?  Would it be possible to have this person teach you a few tips? 
  • Pizza Month  How could you celebrate this month without eating pizza every day? 
  • Positive Attitude Month Name a way to turn a “frown upside down.”
  • Squirrel Awareness Month Watch squirrels closely this month.  What new fact did you learn?  Research for more.
  • Tackling Hunger Month  How would you tackle hunger?  Is that being done?  Research to see what else is being done.  Read about “Stop Hunger Now.” http://www.stophungernow.org/
  • Talk About Prescriptions Month Check with your parents about the proper use of prescription drugs. 
  • Vegetarian Month  What is a vegetarian?  Are you one?  Who do you know who is? How does a vegetarian get the protein needed in a diet?

What will you celebrate this month?  What will you research?  What will you read about?  I look forward to reading your comments.

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

Please note:   Children 13 and under are not allowed to leave comments. It’s against the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA)  See:  http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

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

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

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