A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Posts Tagged ‘geography’

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

Posted by lindamartinandersen on October 31, 2013


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

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

Jump on the November Writing Bandwagon. 

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

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

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

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

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

piboidmo2013-slogan-490x301[1]

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

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

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

Special Days in November:

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

Special Weeks: 

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

November is…

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

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

November 2012–Calendar Activities for Kids

Posted by lindamartinandersen on November 1, 2012


“November 2012–Calendar Activities for Kids” 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 “November” bring to mind?

Thanksgiving, Veteran’s Day, Election Day, Black Friday, Christmas shopping.  What else happens in November?  Choose one of the conversation starters below and leave a comment.

Special Days in November:

  • Give Up Your Shoulds Day: 1 Listen for all the times you hear someone say “should” today.  Write down what is said.  Discuss why it might be a good idea to  give up “shoulds.”

  • National Authors’ Day:  1  Interview each member of your family.  Ask their top three favorite authors.  Does anyone repeat a name?  Learn something new about at least one of these authors.

  • Cookie Monster Day:  2  Make up a trivia sheet about Cookie Monster.  Quiz family or friends.  Who knew the most correct answers?  Make blue icing by mixing blue food coloring in white canned icing.  Spread on cookies for treats today. 

  • Cliche Day:  3  Research cliches.  What is your favorite?  Finish these:  egg on my _____, don’t look a gift horse in the _____, passed with flying _____, eat _____(bird), mind your Ps and _____, chip on your______, chip off the old _______, and crocodile _______.

  • Sandwich Day:  3  What is your favorite sandwich?  Is it made with loaf bread or a bun?  Is it toasted, with sesame seeds, or plain?  Write the steps for making your sandwich.  Let someone follow your directions.  Did it turn out correctly?

  • Use Your Common Sense Day:  4  Give an example of using your common sense.  Have you ever heard someone say, “He has book learning but no common sense?”  What does that mean?

  • Election Day:  6  How old must you be to vote in national elections in the United States?  What is absentee voting?  Who might use it?  Did your school have an election for students?  Does your school have Student Government or Class Officers?

  • National Parents as Teachers Day:  8  Name something your parents have taught you to do.  Thank them for it today.  Is there something else you would like them to teach you, such as how to make cupcakes?  Ask if they can teach you this week.

  • X-ray Day:  8  Have you ever had an x-ray?  Where you at the dentist, or the hospital?  Have you ever broken a bone?  Write a story that includes someone who has an x-ray.

  • Domino Day:  9  Do you have any dominoes?  Have you ever lined them up and tapped one which began a chain reaction?  Try it again today.  Learn to play the game of dominoes if it is new to you.  Research other chain reactions. 

  • International Tongue Twister Day:  11 Look for books listing tongue twisters.  Find someone who will try saying some of these with you.  Examples:

    “She sells seashells by the seashore.”

    “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.”

  • Origami Day:  11 Would you like to learn to fold paper and create origami objects?  Books contain instructions for making easy and difficult items such as jungle animals, ones under the sea, Christmas decorations, and others.

    Have you read any fiction books about origami?   Some suggestions include:  The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger and Lissy’s Friends (picture book) by Grace Lin. 

    Lissy’s Friends by Grace Lin. Used with permission

  • Veterans Day:  11  How will you remember veteran’s today?  Will there be a parade in your town?  What other special events are scheduled?

  • World Kindness Day:  11  Brainstorm ways to show kindness.  Underline the ones you’d like to have happen to you.  Choose one of these to do for someone else.

  • Veteran’s Day (observed):  12  See November 11.

  • National American Teddy Bear Day:  14  Do you have a teddy bear?  What is the bear wearing?  Do others have teddy bears in your house?  Write an adventure about the teddy bears in your house.  Do you know the origin of teddy bears?  Research and see.

  • America Recycles Day:  15  Name products that can be recycled.  Research products that are made from recyclables.  Find a nonfiction book about recycling.  Tell someone something you learned.

  • Great American Smokeout:  15  What is this day?  Research and see.  Create a poster that shows what this day stands for.  Where can you display it?

  • Guinness World Record Day:  15  Research Guinness World Records.  What are three Guinness world records you’d like to read about?  What is the most unusual record you saw?  Tell someone about it. 

  • I Love to Write Day:  15  What do you love to write?  Jokes, riddles, poems, short stories, letters?  Write one and give it to someone you love.

  • Homemade Bread Day:  17  Name the types of homemade bread you’ve eaten.  Which is your favorite?  Have you ever made bread?  Was it baked in a loaf pan, a biscuit pan, or something else?  Name three or more of the ingredients.  Have you ever used a rolling pen?  Write the steps for baking bread or write a story about baking.

  • National Unfriend Day:  17  Why would you unfriend someone?  Why is this day celebrated?  Where can you unfriend someone?  Would you like for someone to unfriend you?

  • National Day of Play: 17  Name things you like to play.   Number these in order of most liked to least liked.  Which is number one?  Which is last?  Star the ones you play with friends.  Do you play more with others or alone?

  • Mickey Mouse Day:  18  What facts do you know about Mickey Mouse?  Who is Minnie Mouse?  Where can you learn more about Mickey Mouse?  What is the Mickey Mouse Club?  Research about it.

  • Push-button Phone Day:  18  When did phones begin to have push-buttons?  What was used before push-buttons?  What can you do to celebrate this day?  Look for photographs of old phones.

  • Thanksgiving Day:  22  Read Thank You, Sarah:  The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving by Laurie Halse Anderson and illustrated by Matt Faulkner.

  • Buy Nothing Day:  23-24  What does it mean to “window shop?”  Have you ever done it?  Research if you do not know the meaning of the expression.  What do you think about “Buy Nothing Day?”  Would you be pro (for) celebrating?  Why or why not?  Why do you think it is celebrated?

  • National Day of Listening: 23.  Sometimes it is listed as Nov. 27.  Make a list of people you listen to.  Place a check beside the ones you listen to well.  Who could you listen to better?  How?

  • Cyber Monday:  26  What is Cyber Monday?  How do people celebrate?  Why?

Special Weeks in November:

  • American Education Week:  11-17  How is this week celebrated?  Have you ever made a school project for this week?  If so, what was it?  Where did you display it?  How is education in American different from other countries.  Where did you find your information?  What educational advantages do you have? 

    Do you know what this is?  How is it used?  How is it gathered?

    Fall 2012. Close up. Copyright Linda Andersen

    Fall 2012. Copyright Linda Andersen

  • Geography Awareness Week:  11-17  Can you spell geography?  Here is a mnemonic device for spelling this word:

    G-George, E-eats, O-old,  G-gray,  R-rats, A-and, P-paints, H-houses, Y-Yellow.

    This memory device reminds me of Curious George and the man with the yellow hat.  The author of the Curious George series by H.A. Rey and Margaret Rey.  Find these locations on a world map or globe: Germany, France, and Massachusetts. 

    Name another book title this memory device reminds you of such as Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien.  Research places the author lived and locate them on a world map or globe. 

    Here are two more memory devices for spelling geography: 

    G-General, E-Eisenhower’s, O-oldest, G-girl, R-rode, A-A, P-pony, H-home, Y-yesterday. 

    G-George, E-Emerson’s O-old, G-grandmother, R-rode, A-a, P-pig, H-home, Y-yesterday. (Several different last names were listed with this one) 

    What other ones do you know?

  • World Kindness Week:  12-18  Name an act of kindness for an animal.  Name an act of kindness for a younger child.  Name an act of kindness for an older neighbor.  Name an act of kindness for a friend.  Name an act of kindness for a parent.  How many of these can you do today?

  • National Bible Week:  18-24  Do you have a Bible?  Do you have favorite Bible stories?  Do you know one with children?  Who could you tell this story?

  • National Family Week:  18-24  What is something fun your family does together?  Our family has an annual hayride.  Tell about a fun outing you had with your family.  Look at a family photo album.  Find three of your favorite memories. 

     

November is…

  • Aviation History Month  What facts stand out in aviation history? Develop an aviation history timeline.  If you could interview someone living or deceased, who would it be?  What books would you recommend to a friend about aviation?

  • Family Stories Month  Share your favorite family stories.  Consider recording them or writing them down.  A night of stories by the fireplace or a campfire would make the event extra special.

  • Military Family Appreciation Month  Do you know families who are military?  Are there children in the family?  Does your school have a club for children who have parents in the military?  Does the school have Military Appreciation events?  What do you do to make children in this family feel welcome?

  • National Adoption Month  Have you  ever wondered if you were adopted?  Have you ever thought you’d like to adopt children?  Do you know adults who have traveled to other countries to adopt a child or children?  Do you know people who are adopted?  Have you ever read a book about a character who is adopted?  Was it fiction or nonfiction?  Look for books about adoption at the library.

  • National Family Caregivers Month  What is a family caregiver?  What are some of the duties of a caregiver?  What are some ways a child can help care for others.  Look for books at the library.

  • National Native American Heritage Month  Read books about Native Americans and Native American cultures.

  • National Novel Writing Month  Some adults sign up for NaNoWriMo to write a novel in the month of November.  Maybe you could write a book review or report for your favorite book or write a paragraph about a favorite book character.  Make a list of your favorite books.  Ask a friend to suggest book titles. 

  • National Peanut Butter Lovers Month  What is your favorite peanut butter food?  Do you know anyone allergic to peanuts?  Have you ever been in a classroom that was peanut-free?

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

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

Copyright © 2012 Linda Martin Andersen

 

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

 
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