A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Posts Tagged ‘Brownie Locks.com’

June Weddings and Other June Celebrations

Posted by lindamartinandersen on June 1, 2014


“June Weddings and Other June Celebrations” 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.

June is a popular month for weddings.  Do you know anyone who was married in June?  Thinking about weddings reminded me of this saying:  “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.”  Do you know its meanings?  Do you know how it became a popular?  Advertising.  Check here if you’d like to know more.  

http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2012/11/listerine-popularized-the-phrase-always-a-bridesmaid-never-a-bride/

How would you finish this statement?  June is the month of ________.  Check the list below, if you’d like some ideas.  Share your answers in the comment box. 

Other June Observances:


Dairy Month  Brainstorm about a dairy, dairy products, and manufacturing dairy products.  What would you like to learn more about?  How can do that?  Are there dairy documentaries, dairy books, dairy farms in your area to tour, etc.?  What about a family vacation to a dairy state? 

National Camping Month  Have you ever been camping?  Did you stay in a tent or a camper?  Did you stay with family or friends?  Was it a week away from home at summer camp?  Have you ever been a camp counselor?

National Smile Month  Create a poster for National Smile Month.  Suggestion:  Draw a smile across  an outline of your country. 

National Zoo and Aquarium Month  Visit a zoo or an aquarium in your area.  Which would you rather visit?  What is your favorite animal there?  What is a favorite book about this animal?  If you could work at a zoo or an aquarium, which would you choose and why?  What job would you want to do there?

 

Special Weeks in June..

Lightning Safety Awareness Week: 22-28  Do you know where to be to keep safe in a thunderstorm?  Where is a safe place to be inside?  Outside?  Where can you learn more about lightning safety?  Who could you ask?

Watermelon Seed Spitting Week: 26-29 What techniques do you think might increase the distance a person spits seeds?  Consider having a seed spitting contest with friends.  Chart seed spitting distances on a graph.  What could make the contest more challenging?  What other contests could you have with watermelons?  Describe them. 

Water Ski Days: 28-29 (Last Full Weekend)  Can you water ski?  Do you know people who can?  Would you like to learn?  Consider writing about water ski stories.  Ask people to share a story about water skiing.  Are they funny?  Sad?  Adventure stories?  Fiction?  Fantasy? 

 

Special Days in June…

National Go Barefoot Day: 1 How often do you go barefoot?  Where?  Does going barefoot make your feet wider?  Where can you research this question?  Do you wear water shoes?  Flip flops?  Which do you like best?  Name a book character or television or movie character who goes barefoot.  Is this person stereotyped as poor, ignorant, or uncivilized?  What do you think about this image and going barefoot?  Do you agree with the stereotypes?  why or why not?

Oscar The Grouch Day: 1 What program is this character from?  What habits does this character have that show he’s a grouch?  Name another character who is considered to be a grouch.  Tell  why. 

Say Something Nice Day: 1 Make a list of nice things you could say to someone.  How many of these can you use today?  Which ones were easy to say?  Which ones made you uncomfortable to say?  Why?  What was the other person’s reaction to your nice comments?  Will you tell them what you were doing?  Why or why not?

Hot Air Balloon Day: 5 Illustrate a scene with one or more hot air balloons.  Where will you display your drawing?  Where have you seen hot air balloons used in advertising, products, etc.  Check clip art images and count the number of hot air balloon designs you see.   Decorate a hot air balloon design.  What shapes or designs did you include?

National Running Day: 5 Are you a runner?  If so, how often do you run a week?  Draw a route you would like to run.  What would you  like to see along the way?  Do you participate in organized runs?  What experiences would you like to share with others about running?

World Environment Day: 5  Name ways you can protect the environment in your area.  Do you know of any endangered species?  Research for more information.  What can you do to help?

National YoYo Day: 7 (Always on the Birthday of Donald Duncan)  A yo yo is a fun name for a toy. Its name repeats a word.  What toy, game, sport, etc.  could you  rename for fun? Think of a word that you could repeat.   Example:  Zip zip for zip line.

Multicultural American Child Day: 8 What does multicultural mean?  What are multicultural books for children?  Name some book titles with multicultural characters.  Why are these important? 

Ball Point Pen Day: 10  Name a ball point pen maker.  Look for old advertisements for these products.  Can you find the price for ball point pens ten or more years ago.  What color ink do these pens come in?  Which is your favorite color?  What color ink was traditionally used by teachers for marking students’ papers?

Father’s Day: 15  Do you know someone whose father is deceased?  Could you interview this person about their father.  Discuss things your dad and this one have in common. 

Nature Photography Day: 15  Do you have access to a camera on a phone?  What nature photos could you take?  Did you take pictures of animals, plants, scenery, etc.  Do you know a photographer?  Could you ask him for photography tips?  Where do you like to view great animal photos or programs?

 Worldwide Day of Giving: 15 Name three things you could give someone that don’t cost any money.  Choose one of these and give it to someone special. 

Eat Your Vegetables Day: 17 Today, no matter what vegetables you are served, eat them without complaining.  Try a vegetable that’s new to you.

Recess At Work Day: 19  Just for fun, plan a recess at work day for your parent(s).  What kind of things could your mom or dad do at work that would be like recess?  For example, they could have a water cooler relay.  Ask them for ideas.

National Flip Flop Day: 20  How many pairs of flip flops do you own?  Survey your friends.  Have a flip flop party.  Think of events to play while wearing flip flops.

World Handshake Day: 21  What custom do people use as greetings in addition to handshakes?

Pink Flamingo Day (Lawn Ornaments): 23 Flamingo is a word I like to hear roll off my tongue.  It’s fun to say.  How many syllables are in the word “flamingo?”  Choose other fun words with the same number of syllables and write a description or story of a pink flamingo using  words from your list.  Share your writing with a friend.  Ask a friend to write with you.  Research flamingos to learn more about them. 

International Fairy Day or Faerie Day: 24  If you were a fairy for a day, what would you like to do?  Write or draw about it.

Great American Backyard Campout: 28 Do you like to camp out?  Have you ever camped out in your backyard?  This is the day to give it a try if your parents give permission.  Here’s a poem you might enjoy called “The Tent” by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater  http://www.poemfarm.amylv.com/2014/05/this-tent-poetry-calendars.html  Visit this website for many other great poems. 

Log Cabin Day: 29 Have you ever stayed in a log cabin?  Was it an old one or a fairly modern one?  Would you rather stay in a cabin, a tent, or in a motel?  What area of the country do you think of for log cabins?  Why?

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

Let’s talk:  How did you finish this statement:  June is the month of _________.  One internet site’s response:  weddings,  roses, love.  Did you choose any of these?   Something different?  Share your thoughts here.  Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Please come again soon.  Bring a friend.

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

Copyright © 2014 Linda Martin Andersen

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

February–XXOO or XOXO and the Winner of a Giveaway

Posted by lindamartinandersen on February 1, 2014


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

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

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

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

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

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

Help me with this…

If X= Kiss and O=Hug–

What is XXOO?  Kiss, Kiss, Hug, Hug?

What is XOXO?   Kiss, Hug, Kiss, Hug?

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

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

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

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

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

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

Special Weeks in February…

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

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

February brings…

American Heart Month

Bake for Family Fun Month

International Boost Self-Esteem Month

International Expect Success Month

Library Lovers Month

Love The Bus Month

National Bird Feeding Month

National Black History Month

National Children’s Dental Health Month

National Haiku Writing Month

Youth Leadership Month

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

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

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

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

Copyright © 2014 Linda Martin Andersen

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

January 2014 Brings…

Posted by lindamartinandersen on January 1, 2014


“January 2014 Brings…” by Linda Martin Andersen

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

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

Microsoft Clip Art

Microsoft Clip Art

Microsoft Clip Art

Microsoft Clip Art

Microsoft Clip Art

Microsoft Clip Art

Special Days in January…

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

 Special Weeks in January… 

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright © 2014 Linda Martin Andersen

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

Show and Tell for All Ages…

Posted by lindamartinandersen on December 29, 2013


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

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

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

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

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

Thank You!

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

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

Perhaps an adult would comment for you.

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

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

Haiku for You

Posted by lindamartinandersen on December 22, 2013


“Haiku for You” by Linda Martin Andersen

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

On my December 1 blog post, I made these comments about National Haiku Poetry Day:  National Haiku Poetry Day:  22 What is a haiku poem?  What is the formula?  Where can you find this information?  Now that you know how write a haiku, pick a winter topic and write one of your own.

I love haiku poetry and so I invited some of my favorite haiku poets to discuss this art form, share their work, and inspire you to write your own.

It is my pleasure to present three guest poets.  Please join me in welcoming … Maureen Wartski, Joy Acey, and Robyn Black.  

Maureen will introduce us to the history and form of haiku, followed by haiku poetry about winter or Christmas.

Guest #1:  Maureen Wartski

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Have you suddenly stopped  whatever you were doing because you saw or felt something that caught your attention and made you suddenly aware ? That awareness is  a ‘haiku moment,’ an instant when you want to somehow express your perception and share it with others. For example, a simple observation written by the great Basho many years ago allows us to feel and understand what the poet saw so many years ago:

 First snow

falling

On the half-finished bridge.

Basho

Haiku has its roots in Japan’s Heian period (700-1100) when a knowledge and appreciation of Chinese poetry was de rigeur in high society. Eventually, a poetic form called the tanka, a 5-7-5 triplet followed by a seven syllable couplet, took hold.  Nobles who sat around viewing cherry blossoms while drinking sake elaborated on the tanka, but by the mid sixteenth century ordinary folk developed a ‘peasant’ poetry that was truly Japanese. Called haikai, this ‘peasant’ poem consisted of a beginning triplet called hokku followed by a linked poem. Eventually in the 17th  century, Basho shed the linked poem. The hokku, which needed a seasonal word and an ‘aha’ moment at the end became known as an independent poem called haiku.  

I have always enjoyed reading and writing haiku. When I was a little girl in Japan, I used to put together (very bad) haiku in my head. Later, I continued to enjoy the  sparse and elegant form of this poetic form. Short, quick, sometimes surprising, haiku goes to the heart of any experience. It paints a picture, offers an observation. And often the triplet of 5-7-5—or, occasionally 7-7-5 syllables stays in the heart or the mind for a long, long time.

As for the season word needed in a haiku, they needn’t be complicated. For winter, this can be as simple as ‘cold, cool, north wind, snow, sleet, etc. ’ or delve deeper with ‘withered garden, cough, frozen butterfly, holly berry, etc.’  I’ve used a lot of season words because I have been writing a haiku a day for some time, culling them at the end of the year into a work called ‘A Year of Haiku’. Here are a couple of winter poems from Volume Three, Echoes.

 Here are poems by Maureen Wartski:

Frostbitten flowers

Curl their petals inward

Guarding memories.

 ————————————-

Maybe up for rent…

Abandoned bird’s nest on that branch

Is covered with snow.

—————————————————- 

And the last one of the year, written on New Year’s Eve:

The year is ending

Memories of hours past

Are gentle echoes.

I invite you to visit Maureen’s blog where she shares life experiences through conversation, haiku, and art quilts.  Lovely!

http://maureenwartski.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/meeting-a-grateful-man/

 

 Guest #2:  Joy Acey

tshirt


Since I will be in Kauai, Hawaii  for the holiday–

Cook Island pine trees

swish with tropical breezes

Mele Kalikimaka

The Cook Island pines are about the only pine tree one will see in the
islands.  They were brought to Hawaii when Captain Cook came to the
islands.  They are tall and quick growing.  Since the Captain sailed on
masted ships, it was thought the Cook Island pine would work for mast
replacement if the main mast got broken in a storm. In the last line,
the Hawaiian “Merry Christmas” is more than 5 syllables, but it is the
perfect way to end this haiku, so I bent the rules.

But I do live in the desert, so Christmas means artificial trees. (Live
trees have a hard time withstanding our heat.  They drop their needles
too quickly.)

stacking tumbleweeds

three high to spray with white paint

making a snowman

————————————-

round sweet naval orange

hangs heavily in the toe

of your Christmas sock

—————————————-

collected pennies

gone from the glass Mason jar

a happy Christmas

Every day, Joy Acey posts a poem for children at http://www.poetryforkidsjoy.blogspot.com/2013/12/smile.html It is one of my favorite places to visit.  She encourages children to write poetry too.  Joy shares a variety of poems.  Some are haiku.
 

Guest #3:  Robyn Hood Black

Robyn Black--Haiku poet

In a recent blog post, Robyn hosted Haiku Society of America President, David G. Lanouse.  He shared poems by Issa, haiku poet of Japanese tradition.  http://www.robynhoodblack.com/blog.htm?post=938974

blooming

with butterflies

the dead tree.

Issa

—————————————————-

Robyn shares some of her haiku below:

winter moon

branch lines crisscross

the grass

©Robyn Hood Black

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winter chill

turkey vultures circling

one of their own

©Robyn Hood Black, The Heron’s Nest, June 2012

———————————————————–

winter rain

the fine print

smaller each year

©Robyn Hood Black, Chrysanthemum, April 2012

I met Robyn at a poetry workshop for writers that she organized.  Thanks to Robyn, I have a poetic license, along with everyone else who attended.  How fun!

For more about Robyn, check these links.  http://www.robynhoodblack.com  Haiku Page Link:  http://www.robynhoodblack.com/haiku_113533.htm  Blog Link http://www.robynhoodblack.com/blog.htm (Check for a series completed on Dec. 20 called “We Haiku Here,” featuring speakers from the recent Haiku Society of America Southeast Region conference):  Twitter:  @artsyletters  Art blog:  artsyletters.com  Etsy store features her original gifts for readers and writers & “literary art with a vintage vibe”: https://www.etsy.com/shop/artsyletters

Maureen, Joy, and Robyn, thank you being guests here today and for sharing your poems. Happy National Haiku Poetry Day.  Thanks for making this day very special.  

Please leave a comment about one or more of the haiku poems above or share one of your own.  Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Please come again soon.  Bring a friend.

I appreciate any children who visit this site, but you must be 14 or older to leave a comment according to Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA)  See:  http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm  Perhaps an adult would comment for you.

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

 

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Wrap up the Year with December Activities

Posted by lindamartinandersen on December 1, 2013


“Wrap up the Year with December Activities” by Linda Martin Andersen

December 1, 2013

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074  Before we get started, I’d like to announce the winner of the “Mother Goose on the Loose” contest.  Thanks to all who participated.  And the winner is….Tracy Campbell.  Congratulations!  Your song book should arrive soon.

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

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

Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. What else?  Check the list here and choose an activity that wraps up the year and keeps the kids busy while out for the holidays.  

 Special Days in December:

  • Civil Air Patrol Day:  1  Civil Air Patrol (CAP) was founded in 1941 to spot enemy submarines in WWII.  It is a volunteer patrol auxiliary for the US Air Force.  Today it provides inland search and rescue missions and promotes aerospace education for youth.  Where can you learn more?

  • Rosa Parks Day:  1  Read a short biography about Rosa Parks.  Think of five or more trivia questions based on your reading.  Ask your parent/teacher/friend your trivia questions.  

  • National Mutt Day:  2  Do you love dog books?  What’s a favorite story or book about a mutt?  Do you know this song?  “How Much is That Doggie in the Window?” by Patti Page http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AkLE4X-bbU

  • Special Education Day:  2  Do you know any students in special education classes?  How can you show them respect?  

  • National Cookie Day:  4  What’s your favorite cookie?  Can you bake some?  Have you ever doubled a batch?  Have you ever been out of an ingredient and made a substitution? What are some common substitutions?  Can you find a list of substitutions in a cookbook or online?

  • Microsoft Clip Art
  • Microsoft Clip Art
  • World Wildlife Conservation Day:  4  What comes to mind when you hear wildlife conservation?  In what ways can you make a positive difference for wildlife?

  • Bathtub Party Day:  5  Explain to each family member what day it is.  Do you have a rubber ducky at your house?  If so, use it in a bath.  Pass the rubber ducky along to other family members, even the adults.  After their baths, ask if anyone sang or played with the duck. Why do you think this might happen? 

  • Microsoft Clip Art

    Microsoft Clip Art

  • Miners’ Day:  6  Ask your parents if they ever had a relative who worked in a coal mine?  Where?  Do they know any stories about working there?  If not, research coal mining.

  • National Pawnbrokers Day:  6  Look in the yellow pages of a phone book.  How many pawn shops are listed?  Ask your parents if the number of pawn shops is on the rise or decline in your area.  Why do you think this could be true?  Discuss it with your parents.

  • National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day:  7  Why is Pearl Harbor Day remembered?  What makes it different from other war battles?  

  • National Cotton Candy Day:  7  What color cotton candy have you seen and eaten?  Would color would you order?  Why?  What does cotton candy cost in your area?  Where can you buy it?  What are the ingredients?  Is it a health food?  Why or why not?

  • Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day:  8  Name a movie where a character traveled in time. Which way would you like to travel in time–to the past or future?  Why?  What would you want to do when you arrived?  Which of your favorite foods do you think might be available?  Why?

  • Dewey Decimal System Day:  10  What is the Dewey Decimal System?  Tell how things are different in libraries today than when there was a card catalog?  If you do not know, ask your parents.

  • Human Rights Day:  10  Name a group of people who had their human rights taken from them.  Did they get them back?  If they did, how?  

  • Gingerbread House Day:  12  Have you ever eaten gingerbread?  Was it cake, cookies, or a house?  Name things that might decorate a gingerbread house.  See how many items you can list in one minute.  

  • Microsoft Clip Art

    Microsoft Clip Art

  • Monkey Day:  14  Pretend to have a pet monkey today.  What would you feed it?  How would you keep it safe?  Where would it sleep, etc.  Describe your day to someone.  

  • Bill of Rights Day:  15  What is the Bill of Rights?  Name three places where you can read about it.  

  • National Chocolate-covered Anything Day:  16  If you could spread chocolate on one thing that’s not normally chocolate, what would it be?  Who would you share it with?

  • Wright Brothers Day:  17  If you were writing a book about the Wright Brothers, what title would you choose?  Research the Wright Brothers and create two more titles.  Now, which is your favorite?  Why?  

  • International Migrants Day:  18  Ask your parents if anyone in your family has ever been a migrant worker.  What is a migrant worker?  

  • Crossword Puzzle Day:  21  Do you like crossword puzzles?  Do you buy books to complete?  Create your own crossword puzzle about December or a special day this month.  Use www.puzzlemaker.com or other sites for your creation. 

  • Humbug Day:  21  What does it mean to say, “Humbug?”  What book or movie character have you heard use this expression?  When have you been a humbug?  Why? 

  • World Peace Day:  21 Research the reason for this day.  How is it remembered?  With ribbons? Candles in the window?

  • National Haiku Poetry Day:  22  What is a haiku poem?  What is the formula?  Where can you find this information?  Now that you know how write a haiku, pick a winter topic and write one of your own.

  • Christmas:  25  Why is this day celebrated by Christians?  What traditions, if any, do you participate in at this holiday? Do you exchange gifts?  Do you attend church services? 

  • National Thank-you Note Day:  26  If you received gifts this holiday season,  will you send thank-you notes?  Will you design them yourself?  Will you email or send it through the postal service?

  • Pledge of Allegiance Day:  28  Where do you hear this recited?  Who leads it?  What books have you read that mention the flag of a country?  What are ways countries honor their flags?

  • Tick Tock Day:  29  What does this remind you of?  What songs, rhymes, animals, and things come to mind?  How do you think this day should be celebrated?  Name two words that rhyme and go along with this theme.  

  • Make Up Your Mind Day:  31  What does it mean to be “sitting on the fence or straddling the fence?”  What can you do when you can’t make up your mind?

  • New Years Eve:  31  Have you set any New Year’s resolutions?  Is there something you’d like to learn to do or an improvement you’d like to make?  Tell about it.

  • No Interruptions Day:  31  Name one or more interruptions you could avoid today.  How will you do it?  At the end of the day, share with someone what you hoped to do and tell if it worked or not.  Explain why.

  • Universal Hour of Peace Day:  31 Celebrated from 11:30 p.m. on December 31, 2013 to–12:30 a.m. January 1, 2014.  The goal is to create peace throughout the planet though peaceful thoughts and actions.  http://www.peacedome.org/UniversalPeaceCovenant/UniversalHourPeace/UHPStory.html

  • World Peace Meditation Day: 31 What is mediation?  How is it different from prayer?  

Special Weeks in December:

  • Cookie Cutter week:  1-7  Do you have a favorite cookie cutter?  Tie it to your Christmas tree. Consider making cookies to hang from your tree or simple paper designs such as stars and hearts.  

  • Tolerance Week:  1-7 What does it mean to be tolerant?  What words come to mind when you hear this spoken?  Name positive examples of tolerance in your town, school, and home.  What improvements could be made?  What could you do?

  • National Hand washing Awareness Week:  1-7  During cold and flu season, it is especially important to follow good hand washing.  How do you do that?  What steps do you need to improve?  Where can you learn more about this?

  • Human Rights Week:  10-17  See the post below for Universal Human Rights Month. 

  • Kwanzaa:  26–1/1  This holiday celebrates African-American and Pan-African communities.  The official website is here:  http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/index.shtml

December is…

  • Bingo’s Birthday Month  What is the history of this game?  What types of Bingo have you played?  Alphabet, multiplication, rhyming words?  Others?

  • National Tie Month  Have you ever bought your father a tie for a gift?  Did he wear it?  Tell a tie story.  I have one:  Once a neighbor came to our front door and asked if my husband was home.  The neighbor was wearing a necktie around his neck.  He was going to a wedding later that day and did not know how to tie a necktie.  He had noticed that my husband wore ties to work.  My husband tied the man’s necktie so he could go to the wedding well dressed.

  • Universal Human Rights Month  What are universal human rights?  How can you learn more about this? Please visit the United Nations website below to view the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was adopted in 1948 following WWII.   

  • http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr

*Thank you Brownie Locks.com for December celebration information.  For more December observances check out:  http://www.brownielocks.com/DECEMBER2013.html

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

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

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

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

It’s February. Don’t You LOVE It?

Posted by lindamartinandersen on February 1, 2013


“It’s February.  Don’t You LOVE It?” 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.

Think:  What does the word “February” bring to mind?  Cupids, bows and arrows, valentines, chocolates, flowers, sweethearts, romance, etc.  Check the listing below for many more ways to remember February.

Special Days in February:

  • Bubble Gum Day:  1—-Smack your gum.  Blow a bubble.  Read Bubble Gum by LisaWheeler and learn what happens when toad gets stuck in gum.  For activities and an except check the author’s site here:  http://www.lisawheelerbooks.com/LW/bubblegum.html9780316988940_p0_v1_s114x166[1]

  • Have a contest for… the biggest bubble, chewing one piece all day long (honor system), or naming 10 different flavors in 10 seconds.  

  • Survey your friends.  Categories:  Favorite flavors, those who can blow a bubble, or those who can rub their belly and chew at the same time.   What other categories can you name? 

  • Picture book writers, check out Lisa Wheeler’s Boot Camp at www.lisawheelerbooks.com

  • Give Kids a Smile Day:  1  Kids, remind adults all day that it’s “Give Kids a Smile Day.”  Count the number of smiles you get.  Be sure to give one back.

  • Groundhog Day:  2  In or out?  Spring or winter?  Shadow or no shadow?  Which do you wish for?  Why?

  • Have you read Punxsutawney Phyllis by Susanna Leonard Hill?  I hope you will.   Check out the author’s website at http://www.susannahill.com/punxsutawneyphyllis.html

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  • Picture book writers, Susanna Leonard Hill conducts online writing courses.  Check it out at www.susannahill.com

  • Sled Dog Day:  2  Create writing prompts about sled dogs and dog sled races.  Place each prompt on a slip of paper and share them with your teacher.  Perhaps your class will use one or more of these today or later this month.

  • World Wetlands Day:  2  What is a wetland?  Where have wetlands been drained?  Is draining wetlands recommended today?  Why or why not?

  • Ballet Day:  7  Have you ever attended a ballet?  Have you ever taken ballet class?  Have you been in a recital or performance?  Do a subject search on your public library or school library site and see how many books are in their collection about ballet.  Which genre had the largest collection?  Look for one that interests you.   

  • Laugh and Get Rich Day:  8  What do you think this special day is all about?  Do you know the expression “laugh all the way to the bank?”  What do you think that means?  Discuss your ideas with a parent.

  • National Stop bullying Day:  9  Tell about a time you were afraid of a bully.  What do these terms mean:  bully, victim, and bystander?  What can you do to prevent or stop bullying?

  • Read in the Bathtub Day:  9  Have you ever read in the bathtub?  Have you ever played with toys in the bathtub?  Tell a bathtub story you know.

  • National Shut-in Visitation Day:  11  What is a shut-in?  Do you know one?  When have you visited someone who is shut-in?  Tell about it.

  • Lincoln’s Birthday:  12  Pretend you were asked to do a photo shoot of Lincoln and Washington.  What backgrounds would you use?  Why?  What prop would you have each to hold?  Are the images you see of these presidents on bulletin boards the same cardboard headshots you’ve seen for years?  Get creative this year.  Research images, books, online sites.  Make a collage.  Learn facts  about Lincoln and Washington while you look for photographs.

  • Paul Bunyan Day:  12  If you were to run into Paul Bunyan, who would mostly likely be with him?  What would they be doing?  Read a book about this folk hero.  Tell how you are like him.  How are you different. 

  • Ferris Wheel Day:  14  Ferris wheels–Do you love ’em or hate ’em?  Have you ever ridden a double ferris wheel?  Pinpoint the states where you’ve visited amusement parks.

  • National Donor Day:  14  What is an organ donor?  Research to learn more.  What organ is most frequently donated?

  • Valentines Day:  14  What is your favorite valentine symbol?  Why?  What would be your ideal Valentine’s Day celebration?  Tell about a special Valentine’s Day memory.

  • National Hippo Day:  15  What hippo book characters do you know?  Do a title search at your library and read fiction and nonfiction hippo books. 

  • National Gum Drop Day:  15  Do you eat gum drops?  Have you ever used them to create craft projects?  Name what you made.  I’ve made  gum drop trees for Christmas.  Have you?       

  • My Way Day:  17  Name five things you would ask for if it was “My Way Day.”

  • Battery Day: 18  Survey friends and family for their favorite “toy” that uses batteries.  What size does it require?

  • Cow Milked While Flying In an Airplane Day:  18  Just for fun name an animal, an action, and a mode of transportation.  Make it a special day to celebrate.  Please leave your creation in the comment section.

  • Pluto Day:  18  Brainstorm the word “Pluto.”  Which is your favorite use for the word?  Why?

  • Presidents Day:  18  Which presidents are celebrated this day?  What will you do to celebrate?  See the suggestions above for Lincoln’s birthday on Feb. 12.

  • World Thinking Day:  22  What are three key things that the world needs to think about? 

  • George Washington’s Birthday:  22  What picture comes in your mind when someone mentions George Washington’s name?  Research to learn three important facts you did not know about George Washington.  Would you rather have known him when he was a child, a general, or a president?  why?

  • International Sword Swallowers Day:  23  Have you ever seen a sword swallowers perform?  Look for books and research about sword swallowers.  Locate jokes and riddles about them too.  Check for performances on videos or dvds. 

  • For Pete’s Sake Day:  26   What does this expression mean:  For Pete’s Sake.  When do people use this saying?  Have you ever heard it?  When?

  • Inconvenience Yourself Day:  27  What does it mean to inconvenience yourself?  Why would you do that?  Look for ways to show respect for others, self, and things.

  • National Tooth Fairy Day:  28 Book Titles  What story can you tell about leaving a tooth for the tooth fairy?

Special Weeks in February:

  • Children’s Authors & Illustrators Week:  3-9  Who is your favorite author?  Who is your favorite illustrator?  Tell a friend and ask who is his/her favorite.  Consider reading something by that author or illustrator.  Visit an author or illustrator’s website.  Check out their published books.  Look for a title you’d like to read.

  • International Coaching Week: 3-9  Who is your favorite coach.  Make a card and send it.  Bake a plate of cookies and deliver it.

  • International Friendship Week:  4-8  Who is your best friend?  Do you have a friend in another state or country?  Think of something you can do for your friend.  Do it!

  • National School Counseling Week:  4-8  Does your school have a counselor?  Name three or more things the counselor does for students.  Have you ever talked with him/her?  What can you do to recognize this person?

  • Jell-O Week: 10-16  What is your favorite flavor?  Do you like fruit  in your jello?  Do you eat it with whipped topping?  Ask your parents if you can help make some.  Eat jello with your family.  Just for fun, create ways to eat it.  For example, tap it with a spoon and count to three.  Is it still wiggling?

  • National Pancake Week:  10-16  Can you name pancake varieties from A-Z?

  • Random Acts of Kindness:  10-16  Who could you do something nice for without telling them your plans ahead of time?

  • National Green Week:  11-17  What does “green” mean to you? What ways do you practice being “green?”  Please visit again on February 11, 2013 for a guest blog by tween author Bonnie Doerr about “being green.”

  • Great Backyard Bird Count:  15-17  Have you ever participated in this event?  Learn more about it.

  • Read Me Week: 21-25  How will you celebrate?  Do you have a book on a shelf you’ve never read or one you haven’t read in a year or more?  Read anything you like, just read!

  • Peace Corps Week:  25-3/3  Research about the Peace Corps.  Do you know anyone who has volunteered for this group?  What things has the Peace Corp done to assist others?  Name at least three things.

February is…

  • Heart Month  What celebrations are going on in your community?  Read a nonfiction book about the heart.  Read a fiction book with “heart” in the title.  Name heart healthy exercises.

  • Bake for Family Fun Month  What will you and your family bake for fun?  Try doubling a recipe.  Learn a substitute for a food ingredient.  These are included in many cookbooks.

  • Dog Training Education Month  What kind of trainings are there for dogs.  Research and see.

  • From Africa to Virginia Month  Do some globe or world atlas studies.  Study and learn the names of locations.  Check your public library for a data base on world cultures.  Learn about somewhere you’ve never been.

  • International Boost Self-Esteem Month  Joan Edwards, a friend of mine likes to say, “Do something to celebrate you.”  I hope you will take her advice.

  • International Expect Success Month  Name a success you have had recently.  Name one you expect to have this month.

  • Library Lovers Month  Please tell a librarian something you love at the library.  Try something new there this month.

  • National Black History Month  Research two African American heroes who are lesser known.

  • National Children’s Dental Health Month  Who is your dentist?  Call him/her and say, “Thank you.”  How can you improve your dental health habits.

  • National Time Management Month  How can you spend your time more wisely?  Share your ideas with your parents.  Set a goal for one of these areas.  Good luck!

  • Youth Leadership Month  Name one or more youth leaders who has made a difference in your life.  What ways has this person helped you to be a better person?  Thank them for that improvement.

  • Lent:  What is Lent?  How is it celebrated?  Have you ever given up something for lent?  What does that mean?

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

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

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

Coming soon:  A guest blog by Bonnie Doerr for National Green Week (Feb. 11-17)

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Calendar Events, Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

January 2013 Activities

Posted by lindamartinandersen on January 1, 2013


“January 2013 Activities” 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.

Think:  What does the word “January” bring to mind?  New Year’s Resolutions, winter wonderlands, snow days with snowmen and snowball fights, icicles, frozen ponds, ice skating, coats, hats, scarves, mittens,and gloves.  Warm fires and hot chocolate.  What else?  Check the lists below and expand your thoughts about January.

Special Days in January:

Copyright Law Day: 1  What are some examples of copyright violation?  Have you ever been unsure whether something was a copyright violation?  What did you do?  How could you check?  Who could you ask? 

Ellis Island Day: 1  Where is Ellis Island?  Why is it famous?  Do you know of ancestors in your family who passed through there?  Do you know why they came to America?  Do you know when?

Global Family Day:  1  A day of peace and sharing.  Families often share food with the needy.  What way can you and your family celebrate with peace and sharing?

New Year’s Day:  1  What traditions does your family observe on January 1–New Year’s Day?  Do you eat certain foods for good luck?  What foods do you eat?  Research New Year’s traditions in other countries.  Is New Year’s on a different day?

National Motivation and Inspiration Day:  2  Does setting goals or celebrating victories motivate you?  What inspires you?  Does someone you know encourage you to keep going?  Do you have a strong personal drive to reach your goals even when nobody is urging you on?  Can motivation and inspiration be the same? Why or why not?

Drinking Straw Day:  3  Have you ever used a silly straw, a flexible straw that bends, a straw from a fast food restaurant?  What color straws have you used?  Have you ever made bubbles with a straw?  Have you ever used one as a pea shooter or to blow food around on your plate?  Time to confess.  Nobody’s perfect.  We’ve all been at least a “little bad” before.  Finish these expressions about “straw.” 1. _______ or final straw  2. Straw that broke the _______’s back.  3. _______or clutch at straws.

National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day:  3  When I was a child, all the grandchildren got a box of chocolate covered cherries and a couple of dollars taped on top as a present from a grandmother.  Have you ever gotten chocolate covered cherries?  Have you ever given them?  As a teacher, I received boxes from students occasionally.  Do you like chocolate covered cherries or are they too sweet for you?  What would you expect this day to be like? 

Tom Thumb Day:  4  What country is this fairy tale from?  How long ago was it written?  What details can you tell about Tom Thumb’s clothing and his size?  Was he popular or unpopular?  Why?  Look for a copy of this story.

World Braille Day:  4  Name places you have seen words in braille.  Do you know anyone who reads braille?  Research and locate at least one school that teaches braille.  Research organizations that help serve the blind.  Name books written about a character who is blind.  Can you name a nursery rhyme with blind characters?

Three Kings Day:  6  What holiday is this associated with?  Why?  What is another name for these kings?  Locate their story.  Where did you find it?

Harlem Globetrotter’s Day:  7  Have you ever been to a Harlem Globetrotter’s basketball game?  If not, I’d recommend it.  Perhaps you’ve watched them on television.  What tricks do you remember?  If you’d like to see some videos of their plays check here:  http://www.harlemglobetrotters.com/   What’s their theme song?

Bubble Bath Day:  8  Have you ever taken a bubble bath?  Draw a cartoon with one bubble talking to another.  What might they say?  Would you be willing to share your conversation below?

Rubber Duckie Day:  13  Do you know the Rubber Duckie song?  Have you ever floated rubber ducks in bath water?  Have you ever played Pick Up Ducks at the fair or carnivals?  Have you ever been to a Rubber Duckie charity race down a river?  How else could you enjoy a rubber duckie?

Dress Up Your Pet Day:  14  Have you ever dressed up a pet?  If so, what type pet and how was it dressed?  How about at Halloween?  See Tracy Campbell’s blog post that’s a tribute for a dragon dog (Halloween) here:  http://tracycampbell.net/blog/?p=2217  Be sure to check out Tracy’s art for sale too. 

Appreciate a Dragon Day:  16  Name a book with a dragon character that you’ve read.  I’d like to recommend Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin.  Tell about a favorite dragon scene. Have you ever tried to draw a dragon?  Look for dragon images or check out drawing books to help, if needed.  What would you take with you if you had to slay a dragon?  Who would win–you or the dragon?  How?

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Cable Car Day:  17  Have you ever ridden in a cable car?  Where were you?  What city do you think of when someone mentions cable car?  Do you know any rice advertisements that have included a cable car?  Pinpoint a cable car location on a map or globe.

Kid Inventors’ Day:  17  This date was Benjamin Franklin’s birthday.  He was an inventor, even as a boy.  At 12, he invented swim fins for his hands.  What would you like to invent and why?  Research kid inventors. 

Winnie the Pooh Day:  18  Where is the setting for Winnie the Pooh stories?  Who is the boy who is a friend of Pooh?  How many other characters can you name from the series?  Which is your favorite?  Which one are you most like?  Which one are you least like?  Would your recognize the music for the theme song without the words?  Name an expression Pooh says.

Thesaurus Day:  18  Have you ever used a thesaurus online?  Do you own a hard copy of one?  When might a thesaurus be helpful.  If you have one, turn to an entry and see what it says.  What would you tell others about it?

Popcorn Day:  19  Have you ever seen popcorn grow?  What do you know about it?  Will any kind of corn pop or only certain ones?  Research and share what you learn.  Which do you think is more popular:  popcorn or potato chips?  Research to find out.  Baseball games, Cracker Jacks, and a song have a special connection to popcorn.  Do you know the song?

Inauguration Day:  21  Will you watch the inauguration?  If so, is it a school assignment or something of interest to you? Name a special inauguration event/happening.  How do you think this one will be remembered?

Martin Luther King Day:  21  Will you attend any special festivities for this day?  If so, what kind?  What fiction books have you read about the years of Civil Rights marches?  What nonfiction ones have you read?  I recently read We’ve Got a Job by Cynthia Y. Levinson.  I’d recommend it.

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National Pie Day:  23  Can you name a kind of pie for most letters in the alphabet?  Which is your favorite?  Do you want it topped with ice cream, whipped topping, or plain?  Have you ever seen someone get a pie in the face?  Where were you?  Could you tell us about it in the comment section below?

Belly Laugh Day:  24  When have you had a belly laugh?  Who do you think is more likely to bring one on:  a friend, a comedy act, a silly movie, a pie in the face, or a funny face?  Others?  Finish these expressions:  1.  Laughter is the best _______ 2.   Laughed so hard you nearly _______ a gut?  (What does this mean?)  3. Laughed so hard I almost _______my pants. 4.  Laughed until I _______ (tears).

National Compliment Day:  24  What was one of the nicest compliments you ever received?  What was one of the nicest ones you ever gave?  Do you think you give or receive more compliments?  Do you ever pass on compliments you hear others make?  Why or why not? 

A Room of One’s Own Day:  25  Have you ever had a room of your own?  If you could re-decorate with a hefty budget what would you change about your room?  If you must share a room, think of a way to make it more “your own” without taking over.  What would you change?

Holocaust Memorial Day:  27  Name books you have read about the Holocaust.  What other titles would you like to read?  Have you visited a Holocaust memorial?  Is a traveling one coming to your area?  The Anne Frank exhibit will be in my hometown of Fayetteville, North Carolina from March 18-April 21, 2013.  http://www.visitfayettevillenc.com/blog/liberty-point-blog/2012/10/23/fayetteville-is-the-east-coast-destination-for-national-traveling-anne-frank-exhibits/ Other events are coordinated with this special exhibit.  Check and see if your area is holding similar events.

National Puzzle Day:  29  Do you love puzzles?  Which type?  Crossword, word search, jigsaws, others?  How many jigsaw puzzle pieces do you prefer?  Have you ever put a puzzle together online?  Check this out:  http://thejigsawpuzzles.com/Puzzle-of-the-Day/Bern-Switzerland-jigsaw-puzzle

Seeing Eye Dog Day:  29  Do you know anyone with a seeing eye dog?  Do you know anyone who trains service dogs?  Do you know of other services for the blind such as reading to them?  The Lions Club provides services in my hometown.  What about yours?

Inspire Your Heart with Art Day:  31  How could you inspire your heart with art?  Do you visit art museums regularly?  What about exhibits at colleges in your area or local festivals.  Artists have blogs and websites that you might enjoy visiting.  What about receiving a poem a day from a poet?  I subscribe to Joy Acey’s blog post. You might like to also.   See here:  http://poetryforkidsjoy.blogspot.com/  Search for art that inspires your heart.

Special Weeks in January:

New Year’s Resolution Week: 1-4:  Will you make at least one?  I resolve to…

Universal Letter Writing Week:  8-14:  Write a letter.  Will you write a business letter or a friendly letter?  Look for a template.  Maybe you have one on your computer programs or you can Google a sample.

National Vocation Awareness Week: 14-20:  What career would you like to learn more about?  Research it or interview someone who holds that job. 

Hunt for Happiness Week: 20-26:  Finish this expression:  1. _______ (gems) hunt  2. _______(employment) hunt 3.  _______ _______(Spring holiday) hunt (outdoors).  Give examples of how to hunt for happiness.

No Name Calling Week: 21-25:  Why do you think we call others names?  What could we do instead?  Do you have a brother or sister?  How long do you think the two of you could get along?  Would you be willing to test yourself?  What could you do to reward yourself, if you do not call names for a set period of time?

World Leprosy Week: 27-2/2:  Do you know what leprosy is?  Do you know how you get it?  Do you know how to get well?  Name countries where this disease has been found recently.  Name a book which mentions leprosy. 

National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Week:  28-2/2:  If you’d like to read a book of cowboy poetry, I recommend you take a look at this one:  Cowboys by David L. Harrison and illustrated by Dan Barr.  List three cowboy words you would include in a poem of your own.

Cowboys

US National Snow Sculpting Week: 1/30-2/3:  Have you ever made snow sculptures? What shape would you attempt?   See photographs from Colorado here:  http://www.gobreck.com/events/international-snow-sculpture-championships/2012-image-gallery  What other states have snow sculpture competitions?  What other countries?

January is…

  • Be Kind to Food Servers Month.  Consider making cards for school cafeteria workers.  Make a card for a favorite waitress or waiter. 
  • Book Blitz Month.  How many books can you read this month for pleasure?  Consider reading the same title as a good friend and discuss it afterwards. 
  • Get Organized Month.  Name one organizing goal you can set for yourself or one project you can accomplish this month.
  • International Brain Teaser Month.  What do you think of when you hear brain teaser?  Check out this link at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences:  http://kids.niehs.nih.gov/games/riddles/index.htm
  • National Child-Centered Divorce Awareness Month.  Do you have a friend whose parents are going through a divorce?  Are your parents?  What can you do for someone who is sad about a divorce in their family?  Have you ever read tips in a health book? Ask a librarian for suggested books on this topic. 
  • National Clean Up Your Computer Month.  Do you know how to defrag your computer?  Ask a parent or teacher to show you how.  Do you know how to create folders?  Do you know how to empty your trash bin?  What other ways can you clean up your computer? 
  • National Hot Tea Month.  What country to do think of when hot tea is mentioned?  Do you know any hot tea etiquette from Victorian Days?  Here is a site that discusses Victorian rules of etiquette for different occasions.  http://www.logicmgmt.com/1876/etiquette/atteas.htm
  • National Mentoring Month.  What is a mentor?  Have you ever had someone mentor you?  What mentoring experiences have you had?
  • National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.  Does this exist today?  Discuss this topic with an adult.  Ask for safety tips you should know.
  • National Poverty in America Awareness Month.  What examples of poverty in America have you seen?  In what ways can you help those in poverty or those who are homeless?  In what ways do you help?
  • National Skating Month.  What kinds of skating can you name?  What kinds have you tried?  Consider a different type this month.
  • National Soup Month.  Brainstorm different types of soup.  How many letters of the alphabet did you name?  Have you ever eaten alphabet soup.  What words did you spell in your bowl?
  • Self-Love Month.  What ways can you show self-love?  Define narcissist.  What is the difference in these two?
  • Shape Up US Month.  What do you think this month is about?  Is it about about getting physically fit or taking care of things that need to be done?  Could it be both? 

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

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

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

Coming soon:  A guest blog by Joyce Hostetter, children’s book author.

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Calendar Events, Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments »

December 2012 Activities

Posted by lindamartinandersen on December 1, 2012


“December 2012 Activities” 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.

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

Pearl Harbor Day, Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. What else happens in December?  Choose one of the conversation starters below and leave a comment.

 Special Days in December:

  • Civil Air Patrol Day:  1  Civil Air Patrol (CAP) was founded in 1941 to spot enemy submarines in WWII.  It is a volunteer patrol auxillary for the US Air Force.  Today it provides inland search and rescue missions and promotes aerospace education for youth.  Where can you learn more?

  • Rosa Parks Day:  1  How can you celebrate this day?  What can you do for someone else today?  Research facts about Rosa Parks.  Consider reading a biography about her. 

  • National Mutt Day:  2  What kind of animal is sometimes called a mutt?  What does it mean to be a mutt?  Some people claim mutts make the best pets. What do you think?

  • Special Education Day:  2  Do you know any students in special education classes?  If so, do any of them attend your school?  Are they mainstreamed?  What does that mean?

  • Bathtub Party Day:  5  Before planning Bathtub Party Day, get permission from your parent(s).   Would you fill the tub with water?  Would you sit in the tub?   Who would be invited?  What activities would you do at the party?  Would you have a rubber ducky race?

  • Miners’ Day:  6  What natural resource(s) is mined?  Why is it used? Research the location of coal mines.  Find photographs.  Read about the dangers of working in mines. 

  • National Pawnbrokers Day:  6  What is a pawnbroker?  What does it mean to pawn something?  Have you  ever been to a pawn shop? 

  • National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day:  7  What happened at Pearl Harbor?  Where is Pearl Harbor?  Which war was this?  Why was the attack a surprise?

  • National Cotton Candy Day:  7  Have you  ever watched cotton candy being made?  What ingredients are used?  What color cotton candy have you seen?  If you got a choice between cotton candy and a candied apple, which would you choose?  Where can you usually find both of these treats?  Where else have you seen cotton candy?

  • Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day:  8  If you could travel to another time, what year would you visit?  Why?  Where would you like to visit?  Why?  Draw a picture of you visiting this time and place.

  • Dewey Decimal System Day:  10  What is the Dewey Decimal System ?  How is it used and where?  What is the card catalog?  What is used now instead?

  • Human Rights Day:  10  What are human rights?  Name one.  Why is this day celebrated?  Name two or more people who have helped guarantee human rights.  How?  Where can you learn more about these people?

  • Gingerbread House Day:  12  Cities often have contests for gingerbread houses in December.  Some may be in craft shops, art displays, public libraries, or schools.  Have you ever been to a gingerbread house contest?  Have you ever entered one yourself?  Name two decorating techniques you would use if you were decorating.

  • Monkey Day:  14  Use Survey Monkey on the computer or conduct a survey by hand.  Ask your friends if they ever had a stuffed monkey.  What was the monkey’s name?  Was the monkey a sock monkey, Curious George, a monkey given a name, or not given one?

    Finish these expressions about monkeys:  (Stop) monkeying _______.  Monkey see, monkey _______.  Stop all that monkey _______(opposite of pleasure).  Playground equipment:  monkey _______.

  • National Salesperson Day:  14 (always 2nd Friday)  Years ago, there were many door-to-door salesmen.  What were some of the items these individuals sold?  Why are there less door-to-door salespersons today?  What other ways are company products sold?  Have you ever sold items?  What method did you use?  How did you keep safe?

  • Bill of Rights Day:  15  For videos and even activities for a smartboard, check out this site:  http://billofrightsinstitute.org/resources/educator-resources/bill-of-rights-day/

  • National Chocolate-covered Anything Day:  16  If you could spread chocolate on one thing that’s not normally chocolate, what would it be?  Who would you share it with?

  • Wright Brothers Day:  17  What two states claim the Wright Brothers?  What state were the Wright Brothers from?  Where was their first flight made?  Have you ever read a book about the Wright Brothers?  Have you read other books about early flight?  Were they fiction or nonfiction?

  • Crossword Puzzle Day:  21  Do you like crossword puzzles?  Do you buy books to complete?  Create your own crossword puzzle about December or a special day this month.  Use www.puzzlemaker.com or other sites for your creation. 

  • Humbug Day:  21  What does it mean to say, “Humbug?”  What book or movie character have you heard use this expression?  When have you been a humbug?  Why? 

  • Underdog Day:  21 (3rd Friday)  Underdog!  TV Program.  Have you ever seen it?  What is an “underdog?”  Do you ever cheer for one?  Give an example.

  • World Peace Day:  21 Research the reason for this day.  How is it remembered?  With ribbons? Candles in the window?

  • Christmas:  25  Why is this day celebrated by Christians?  What traditions do you participate in at this holiday? Do you exchange gifts with anyone?  Do you make some of your gifts?  Where do you get your ideas?

  • National Thank-you Note Day:  26  Who do you want to send a thank you note?  Could you make one yourself?  Will you email or send it through the post office?

  • National Whiner’s Day:  26  Define a whiner.  Make a list of things a small child, a teenager, and an adult  might whine about during a day.  For example:  I didn’t get _______(list a popular toy that might have been requested).  How would you suggest that a whiner get over it?

  • National Chocolate Day:  28 &29  Check out this website  www.thestoryofchocolate.com.  Learn facts like this…”Did you know?  It takes two-four days to make a single-serving chocolate bar?”

  • Pledge of Allegiance Day:  28  Where do you hear this recited?  Who leads it?  What books have you read which mention the flag of a country?  What are ways countries honor their flag?

  • Make Up Your Mind Day:  31  What does it mean to be “sitting on the fence or straddling the fence?”  What does decisive mean?  Explain pro, con, neutral.  What are goals you have set?  What can you do when you can’t make up your mind?

  • No Interruptions Day:  31  List things that interrupt you when you are trying to concentrate.  What can you do to lessen these interruptions?  List your ideas.  Ask others for suggestions, if needed.  Try your strategies.  Are you able to complete more in less time? 

  • Universal Hour of Peace Day:  31 Celebrated from 11:30 p.m. on December 31, 2012 to–12:30 a.m. January 1, 2013.  The goal is to create peace throughout the planet though peaceful thoughts and actions.  http://www.answers.com/topic/universal-hour-of-peace

  • World Peace Meditation Day: 31 What is mediation?  How is it different from prayer?  How is it different from devotions?  Where is meditations used?  By whom?  Name a way to connect the Univeral Hour of Peace Day with this observation. 

Special Weeks in December:

  • Cookie Cutter week:  1-7  What personal memories do you have that include a cookie cutter?  What books?  What can you create using this theme?  Cookie cutters make special sandwich cut-outs, provide a chance to bake and share your treats, become ornaments for your Christmas tree, create a special holiday display (see mine below), and provide writing prompts about a baking experience.  What creativity will it stir in you?  Here’s a twist–sometimes the expression “cookie cutter” is used to suggest that something is not creative.  Have you ever heard someone use it like this?  See here: 

  • http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/cookie-cutter.html

    Cookie Press, biscuit cutters, cookie cutters. Copyright 2012 Linda Andersen

  • Tolerance Week:  1-7 What does it mean to be tolerant?  What words come to mind when you hear this spoken?  Name positive examples of tolerance in your town, school, and home.  What improvements could be made?  What could you do?

  • Recipe Greetings For the Holidays Week:  2-8  Share a treat and its recipe with someone.  Create a recipe for friendship, love, the Christmas season or other topic. 

  • National Handwashing Awareness Week:  2-8  During cold and flu season, it is especially important to follow good handwashing.  How do you do that?  What steps do you need to improve?  Where can you learn more about this?

  • Human Rights Week:  10-17  See the post below for Universal Human Rights Month. 

  • Kwanzaa:  26–1/1  This holiday celebrates African-American and Pan-African communities.  The official website is here:  http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/index.shtml

December is…

*Thank you Brownie Locks.com for December celebration information.  For more December observances check out:

http://www.brownielocks.com/DECEMBER2012.html

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

*Resources:  http//vertex42.com (calendar) and http://www.brownielocks.com/DECEMBER2012.html (observances)

Copyright © 2012 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments »

 
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