A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

July 2015 and You

Posted by lindamartinandersen on June 30, 2015


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074  “July 2015 and You” by Linda Martin Andersen

 

Here are This Month’s Top Four Recipients: July 2015 and You Awards (selected by me for this site only)

I chose “July 2015 and You” as this month’s theme to remind us that we are individuals, as well as a part of the whole.  Days bearing the words “global and international” were spotlighted.  I encourage you to check the award list and celebrate one or more of these in a special way.  Be connected to the world, as well as to your little corner of it.

Special Days to Celebrate in July..

  • U.S. Postage Stamp Day: 1  What did postage stamps cost the year you were born?   Check here for answers to many questions about the postal service:

http://about.usps.com/

  • I  Forgot Day: 2  Name three important things you forgot.  For example, a homework assignment, a friend’s birthday, etc.  Did you apologize?  Did you try to make it up somehow?  List ways to help you remember key things.
  • Fourth of July or Independence Day: 4  Even if I don’t see fireworks on this day, I celebrate in my imagination.  If you live in the USA, what ways do you celebrate this holiday?
  • Father-Daughter Take A Walk Together Day: 7  Share about a special time  one-on-one with a parent.
  • Global Forgiveness Day: 7  What does this mean to you?  How can you experience this?
  • Simplicity Day: 12  Name a simple, kind act you can do for someone today.   Who will receive this?
  • International Town Criers Day: 13  I am writing a story which includes a child pretending to be a town crier.  What words might a town crier say?  How does his message usually begin?  What prop might he carry?  Research to learn more about town criers and their importance in history.  Do you see town criers today?  Why or why not?
  • Take Your Poet To Work Day: 15  If you don’t know any poets personally, how could you take one to work today?  Check here for ideas toohttp://makesyoumom.com/take-your-poet-to-work-day-is-coming-july-15/
  • Celebration of The Horse Day: 18-19  Do you read horse stories?  Read one to celebrate.  Visit horse stables in your area, a rodeo, or other events with horses.  Research horses. 
  • Toss Away the “Could Haves” and “Should Haves” Day: 18  What positive statements could you make instead?  For example:  I made a wise decision when I… I am proud that I….I made a positive difference when I…
  • Global Hug Your Kid Day: 20  Kids, I hope you receive lots of hugs today.  Adults, I hope you receive some also.
  • Moon Day: 20  What would you like to learn about the moon today?  Check  websites, books,  the night sky, visit a planetarium, study through a telescope.  Read picture book about the moon.  Share one with a child.    Carol Baldwin, a writer friend, shared a link to School Tube on her blog.  Kevin Costner and Jullian Estell read Catching the Moon:  The Story of a Young Girl’s Baseball Dream (Marcenia Lyle)by Crystal Hubbard and Randy DuBurke.  Enjoy.

http://www.schooltube.com/video/e57d1a4b476441ec8c02/Catching%20the%20Moon%20read%20by%20Kevin%20Costner%20and%20Jillian%20Estell

Did you know there are moon flowers? See here:  http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/vines/moonflower/growing-moonflowers.htm

  • Space Exploration Day: 20  Brainstorm space words.  Choose one as your space word of the day.   Draw, write, read about the word you selected.  Who can you share your experiences with? 
  • National Lollipop Day: 20 Would you like to see how Dum-Dums are made?  How many do you think are made a day?  See here:

http://www.dumdumpops.com/games-videos/videos/how-dum-dums-are-made

  • International Cake Day: 20  What if everyone in the world ate cake today or at least some bread?  We’d all have that much in common.  What else do you think you might have in common with everyone else?  What type cake would you nominate for this day?  If you know people in other countries, invite them to celebrate with cake on this day. 
  • Tell An Old Joke Day: 24  What’s the oldest joke you know?  One about a chicken and a road?  A knock-knock joke?  Want to know some more old jokes?  See here:  http://lajollamom.com/kid-friendly-knock-knock-jokes/
  • Carousel Day or Merry-Go-Round Day: 25–How old were you when you rode your first Merry-G0-Round?  Where were you?  Did you pick your seat or was it assigned?  Can you describe the animal you rode?  Did you ride alone or with an adult by your side?  Have you ridden a Merry-Go-Round since that day? 
  • National Dance Day: 25  Name your favorite dance.  Have you ever taken dance lessons?  Have you attended a dance recital? Whose?  Have you participated in a dance recital?  Teach someone a dance step or two or earn a dance step or two yourself. 
  • National Day of the Cowboy : 25  Brainstorm cowboy words.  Name an actor who plays a cowboy.  What movie or TV show was he in?  Do you have a favorite Western movie or TV program?  Ask your parents to name theirs. 
  • Video Games Day: 25  What games do you play?  Tell about a day when you played video games with a friend?  What happened? 
  • Walk on Stilts Day: 27  Have you ever seen anyone walk on stilts?  Where were you? Have you ever read a book about performers?  Check the library for books about circus performers.  Check for information about stilts.   
  • International Day of Friendship: 30  Do you have any friends in other countries?  How do you know them?  How do you keep in touch?  Have you been to your friend’s country?  What keeps your friendship going? 
  •  Paperback Book Day: 30  How many paperback books do you own?  Do you prefer hardback books or paperbacks and why?  Pull out one of your favorite  paperback books and read it today. 

 

Special Weeks in July…

National Zoo Keeper Week: 19-25  A big shout out to my favorite zoo keeper:  Melissa Barr.  Learn about her here:  https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/meet-melissa-barr-a-zookeeper-at-north-carolina-zoological-park/

World Lumberjack Championships: 23-25  Have you ever been to a lumberjack championship?  What events would you expect to see?  Research to learn more.  To see an earlier guest blog post by Tim Livingston featuring some lumberjack events check here:  https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/2013/07/27/timber-sports-lumberjack-skills-in-axetion/

 

July is…

National Grilling Month

National Ice Cream Month

National Hot Dog Month

National Parks & Recreation Month

Sandwich Generation Month

Name your favorites for each of these categories or name an example you’ve never experienced and why you’d like to try it. 

For a broader list of special days to celebrate,  visit:  http://www.brownielocks.com/july.html

I hope you’ll leave a comment.  Thanks for stopping in.  Come again soon and bring a friend.  Please remember that children 13 and under need an adult to comment for them. Thank you!

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Calendar Events, Family Discussions, Games, Homeschool Activities, Monthly Activities, Reading, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

With Love Up to Your Chin

Posted by lindamartinandersen on February 8, 2015


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074

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

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

Enjoy!

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

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

copyright by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater 2015

copyright by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater 2015

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

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

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

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

February–How do you pronounce it?

Posted by lindamartinandersen on January 31, 2015


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

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

February is

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

 

 Special Weeks in February

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

 

Special Days in February

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

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

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

Activities for August

Posted by lindamartinandersen on July 31, 2013


“Activities for August” 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 “August” bring to mind?  Hot summer days.  Last minute family vacations before school starts back. 

Other things we remember in August:  Steam rising from asphalt after an afternoon rain shower.  Record breaking temperatures.  Listening for the ice cream truck driving through the neighborhood.  Summer reading assignments due when school starts back.

Special Days in August: 

  • Respect for Parents:  1  Brainstorm things your parents have done for you.  Now brainstorm things you could do for them.  Decide how you’ll show them respect today. 
  • Spiderman Day:  1  Name qualities you admire about Spiderman.  How many of the qualities do you possess?  Name one you’d like to strengthen.  Set a goal.  How will you accomplish it?  Check yourself each month to see if you’ve met your goal or if you need to reset it. 
  • World Wide Web Day:  1  How do you think this day should be celebrated?  Would you want to visit your favorite web sites?  Before you begin, seek parental permission, if you are a child.  Would you want to visit 3-5 new sites?  Name the countries you have visited while on the web.  Do you email people in other countries?  What are good memories you have from internet use?  What is one problem you have had while on the web?  How did you resolve it?
  • Friendship Day:  4  Who is your best friend?  What do you like to do together?  What special thing can you do for this friend today? 
  • National Doll Day:  4  Visit a toy store or toy department.  Look at the variety of dolls for sale.  If you could buy one, which one would you choose and why?  Which one reminds you the most of yourself?  Why?  Which one reminds you the most of your best friend?  Why?
  • Hiroshima Day:  6  List what you know about Hiroshima Day.  Research and check your list of facts.  Were you right?  Find at least one new fact to add to your list.  Check your library for books on this topic.  Are they fiction, nonfiction, or some of both?
  • Lighthouse Day:  7  Count the number of lighthouses you have visited in your life.  How many have you toured?  How many have you climbed ?  Which was your favorite?  Why?  Name as many lighthouses as you can.  Which is your favorite name?  What are some lighthouse facts?  Research for additional ones.
  • Smithsonian Day:  10  Where is the Smithsonian located?  Have you ever visited it? If so, what exhibits were your favorites?  What other sites could you visit in this area? 
  • International Youth Day:  12  How old is a “youth?”  What things have you done with other youth?  What are some service projects youth participate in?  Have you ever gone out-of-state on a mission project?  Tell someone about things you have done to help others.  It is not essential that it all be out-of-state or country.  Many service projects can be in your own hometown.  Be sure to attend with an organized group or with a parent.
  • International left-hander’s Day:  13  If you are right-handed, spend an hour today doing things  as if you are left-handed.  What was fairly easy to do?  What was extremely difficult?  How did you feel while you were trying things?  How did you cope?  If you are left-handed, try these suggested activities with your right hand.  Discuss your feelings with someone. 
  • National Navajo Code Talkers Day:  14  What war used Navajo Code Talkers?  How did they help?  Research to learn more.  http://www.natgeoeducationvideo.com/film/835/war-code-navajo
  • Look for a copy of Navajo Code Talkers by Andrew Santella or other books on the topic.

Navajo Code Talkers

  • National Relaxation Day:  15  What do you picture when you hear the word “relaxation?”  Do you picture sleeping in, swinging in a hammock, sunbathing, or other scenes.  Describe it.  What other things are in the scene?  Name something in the scene for each of your five senses:  taste, touch, smell, hearing, and sight.   
  • Serendipity Day:  18  What does “serendipity” mean?  http://www.thefreedictionary.com/serendipity  Is serendipity usually good or usually bad?   Give an example of serendipity in your life.  Name three events that could form an example of serendipity.
  • Cupcake Day:  19  If you could dip your cupcake in any type topping you wanted, what would it be?  Think beyond icing.  Maybe you’d like hot fudge or ice cream, et.  What would you sprinkle on top?  Name your cupcake variety.  Ask a friend to try this activity and then describe your creation to each other.  The public library in my area sponsored a workshop called “Beyond Sprinkles” which demonstrated ways to decorate cupcakes.  Consider taking a baking class or gather with friends for one of your own.
  • Poet’s Day:  21  Who is your favorite poet?  Have you ever seen one of the poet’s poems dramatized?  Have you ever seen a play about the poet?  Have you ever read a book of poetry by this poet?  How would you like to honor your favorite poet, if you could?  What about a poem for them?  After all, they like poetry.
  • Senior Citizen’s Day:  21  How old is a senior citizen?  Ask three other people and see if they give the same age.  What benefits do seniors get?  What are some ways seniors are discriminated against?  How can you show a senior citizen respect today?
  • National Second-hand Wardrobe Day:  25  Have you ever worn hand-me-down clothes?  Were you ever embarrassed because of it?  Today, consignment shops and thrift stores are popular places to shop.  There was a time when people were teased for owning hand-made clothing.  Now, having something sewn for you would most likely be considered a treat.   Why do you think  attitudes have changed? 
  • National Dog Day:  26  Create a poster of three or more countries and assign a dog you think would make a good national  choice for each one.  Tell why.  Encourage a friend to join you.  If you’d prefer, create a poster for several different states in the USA.
  • Slow Art Day:  27  What picture comes to mind when you read this:  Slow Art Day?  What could you create to represent this?  Would it be a project that is slow to finish or something that reminds you of a slow/lazy day?  Will you give away your project or keep it to remind you of “slow art?”  My family recently bought a new lawnmower.  It’s control shows a turtle for slow speed and a rabbit for fast speed.  I wonder if that makes the turtle the lawnmower company’s “slow art design.”  Would that make the rabbit a “fast art design?”  Thoughts, anyone?
  • Radio Commercials Day:  28  When I was a child, a local grocery store used to advertise livers and gizzards for sale.  My brother and sisters got the silly giggles late one night and recited the store’s commercial, but said that they sold lizards and gizzards.  Every time we were corrected, we repeated our chant.  Do you recall a radio or television commercial or jingle that “stuck in your head” or left you with special memories?  Will you share? 
  • National Toasted Marshmallow Day:  30  How do you like your marshmallows toasted?  Over a camp fire?  In the oven over a sweet potato casserole?  Will you eat them burnt?  Have you ever used a coat hanger to roast them over fire?  How many did you put on your hanger or stick at a time?  Did you let the marshmallow catch fire?

Special Weeks in August:

  • Simplify Your Life Week: 1-7
  •  Look around your bedroom. What things seem cluttered or unorganized? Is there one thing you’d like to simplify?  Make a chart listing things that need improvement and a suggested way to fix it.  Here are some suggestions.
 Needs Improvement             Way to Fix It
 Shoes covering the floor  Shoe caddy or shoe rack
  Not enough drawers  Stackable,labeled plastic tubs with lids
  • Old Fiddler’s Week:  4-10  What is a fiddle?  Have you ever been to a fiddler’s convention?  Do you know anyone who owns a fiddle?  Can the person play it?  Research the names of fiddlers.  What trivia did you learn?  Share with someone you know.
  • National Bargain Hunting Week:  5-11 If you could set up a bargain hunting experiment to do with family members or friends, describe what you would do.
  • Weird Contest Week:  11-17  Give an example of a what you consider a weird contest.  Tell about a time you entered a contest or read about one.  On a weirdness scale from 1-10 (Ten being super weird) how would your rate the contest?  What could have made it have a higher ranking?  Share your contest results with a friend.  Do you know anyone who attended a game show on television?
  • National Aviation Week:  15-21  Who do you know who works for the airlines?  What is the person’s job?  What other jobs are available with the airlines?  Make a list.  Have you ever flown on an airplane?  Tell about going to meet someone at the airport or any another flight story you have.  In November 17, 2012, I spotlighted an airline pilot who is a children’s author.  If you’d like to learn about Mike Downs, check here:  https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/2012/11/17/meet-a-pilot-who-is-also-a-childrens-author-mike-downs-the-spotlights-on-you-for-aviation-history-month/
  • Little League Baseball World Series:  18-24  Do you know Little League trivia?  Research and share trivia with someone you know.  Congratulate any Little League player you know for playing ball.  Ask a player to share a favorite story about one of their games.
  • National Safe at Home Week:  26-30  Check around your house for things that could be done to make it a safer place.  Make a list.  Share those suggestions with your parents. 

August is…

  • American Artists Appreciation Month  I have chosen to spotlight Pete Lupo, a North Carolina wood carver I know.  I hope you enjoy his work as much as I do.  http://www.petelupo.com/index.html
Copyright by Pete Lupo

Copyright by Pete Lupo

Even the basket is carved of wood.  Pete’s carving is so realistic, people touch it to be sure it’s wood.

  • Cataract Awareness Month  Research cataracts.  Do you know anyone who has had cataract surgery?  Ask them about it.
  • Children’s Vision and Learning Month  Have you had your eyes checked recently?  What habits do you have that help you to be a good learner at school?
  • Happiness happens Month  What can you do to make happiness happen?
  • National Runaway Prevention Month  If a friend is thinking about running away from home, what can you do?

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

I hope you’ll leave a comment before you go.  Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.” Please come again soon and bring a friend. 

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

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

Meet Julie Bowe, Author of “Friends for Keeps” Series. Book Giveaway

Posted by lindamartinandersen on August 4, 2012


 

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

It’s Friendship Day, August 5, 2012.  

Here to celebrate with us is Julie Bowe, author of “Friends for Keeps” Series. Pull up a chair or sit under a tree.  You’re in for a real treat.  Are there any fourth graders reading this?  Is there anyone out there who has had a friend for more than a year?  Two years?  More than two?  How many years? 

Let’s hear what Julie Bowe has to say about fourth grade Ida May and her friends from “Friends for Keeps” Series.

 Welcome Julie Bowe!

1.  Julie, what was your fourth grade school year like?  How was it the same as the characters in “Friends for Keeps?”  How was it different? 

I attended a small school, like Ida and her friends.  We had just one classroom of fourth graders, so I knew all my classmates well.  I experienced much of the same friendship drama Ida experiences.  There were rifts between the girls, and the boys always did their best to annoy us. 🙂  Like Ida, I had to deal with a bully for awhile–a boy who called me names and harassed me in other ways.  Ida’s dad talks about this boy during one of their conversations in My Last Best Friend.

2.  What friendship skills did you learn in fourth grade?

Well, that was a long time ago so my memory is a little rusty!  In general, I learned that words can harm, but they can also heal.  I learned that friendship can sneak up on you.  I learned that holding hands with your BFF is the best feeling in the world.

3.  What friendship skills did your book characters learn in fourth grade?  Did they learn any of them the hard way?

I’m not sure that anything worth learning ever comes easy so, yes, Ida and her friends learn things “the hard way” throughout the series.  And that’s okay.  I think people spend way too much time trying to avoid the hard stuff.  Life is much more interesting when we dive in and get whirled around a bit.  What specific friendship skills the Friends for Keeps characters learn?  You’ll have to read the books to find out! 😉

4.  What friendship skills did you learn while writing “Friends for Keeps” series?  Could you give an example?

Be a friend to yourself and other writers–set realistic writing goals; pat yourself on the back when you meet a goal; offer words of encouragement and honest critiques to your writing friends.

5.  What advice would you give concerning making friends? 

Accept people for who they are and where they’re at.

6.  Ida May has a friend who moves away in your book  series.  Did you ever have a good friend move away or hurt you in some way?  Did you take a risk to make things right afterwards?  What did you do?

I didn’t have a best friend move away like Ida does in My Last Best Friend, but when I visit schools, I’m always amazed by the number of students who have had such an experience.  Books can be so grounding for kids, especially when their lives are uprooted by a move and/or shifting friendships.  Connecting with a good book feels like coming home!

7.  As an author, what are some risks you have taken? 

I think authors risk scrutiny when they put words on paper and then pass them around for everyone to see.  They risk having those words misunderstood or, more often, read in ways they hadn’t envisioned.  But that’s the beauty of stringing words together.  Everyone experiences them in different ways. 

8.  Julie, did you ever hear Ida May’s voice helping you write your story?  Tell about it.

When I’m working on a story, I listen for my characters’ voices throughout the day while I’m doing the dishes, shopping for groceries, etc.  I cut up copies of my old drafts and use the slips of paper for jotting down story ideas and snippets of conversations I hear between the characters.  Then, later, I’ll sit down at my computer and add the bits and pieces to the draft.

 9What advice would you recommend to a young writer?

Read a lot!  Books. Magazines.  Cereal boxes.  Your sister’s diary. (Hee!–maybe not that last one.)  Write a lot!  Write for the pure fun and joy of creating something new.  Try not to worry if your writing is ” good enough” to get published.

10.  Do you plan to write another series about friendship?  If so, tell us about it.

I’m working  on the first book in a new series for young readers.  Like the “Friends for Keeps” series, the new series will revolve around a group of fourth grade friends.

Time for cheers and a giveaway.

Thank you Julie Bowe for making Friendship Day 2012 an extra special one. 

*APPLAUSE! 

Okay readers,  leave a comment and you’ll be entered in a giveaway for a signed copy of the final book in “Friends for Keeps” series entitled:  My Extra Best Friend.  Please consider following this blog.  If you want to be entered in the giveaway and you’re not a follower, include your email address.  Entries are open to residents of USA and Canada.  Contest closes on August 8, 2012 at midnight.  The winner will be announced by August 10.Good luck! 

Look for the entire “Friends for Keeps” series at your local book store.  Remember to celebrate Friendship Day and your friendships.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Friends-for-Keeps-by-Julie-Bowe?keyword=Friends+for+Keeps+by+Julie+Bowe&store=allproducts&iehack=%E2%98%A0

  • To learn more about Julie Bowe visit her at her website:  http://www.juliebowe.com/
  • For another blog post about Julie Bowe, read an interview at From the Mixed-Up Files by Jacqueline Houtman on June 15, 2012. 

http://www.fromthemixedupfiles.com/2012/06/15/meet-julie-bowe-friends/

Copyright © 2012 Linda Martin Andersen

Do you know the order of the “Friends for Keeps” Series?  The answer will be listed in the next post.  Stay tuned to see if you’re correct.

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Interviews, Monthly Activities, Reading, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

 
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