The day was originally chosen to celebrate both Washington and Lincoln's birthdays in American history. Find dozens of resources to use in honoring these two presidents, as well as many others. You will find videos, lesson plans, and presidential biographies. In addition there are resources that tie Presidents’ Day to cross-curricular activities. One of the math print-outs combines learning about proportions with drawing and social studies. Most of the information is geared to elementary and middle school aged students.
America’s Story is a great site that focuses on many different aspects of American history and is geared toward younger students. It is part of the Library of Congress site which always houses a vast amount of important information. On this site you can learn about the origins of Valentine’s Day, so you’ll be ready to celebrate this Saturday. Many of our celebrations have roots in early Roman times, and Valentine’s Day is no exception. Watch a short video called “The Kiss” that Thomas Edison produced in 1900. There is also a picture of a display window at a candy store in 1948 showing the same types of candies we can buy today for our special Valentine.
This site is a collaboration between the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and the Pennsylvania Heritage Society to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Part of this site offers an interactive portion that shows reenactments of twenty different infantry commands as well as a demonstration of how the artillery loaded and fired cannons. The process is shown in its entirety and also position by position to show the jobs individuals did to prepare the cannon for firing. See the uniforms of a captain and a sergeant by examining each part of the uniform to see its significance.
Got an astronomer bone hanging around in your body? Then this site is a great guide for those star gazers. Learn abut the solar system and universe along with other miscellaneous space information. The two levels of presentation target elementary through middle school students. The glossary also presents the vocabulary for those levels. Teachers can find links to activities and lesson plans, and students can find links to astronomy games. Learn about black holes while taking a short video journey into the middle of one. See how Aristotle’s and Copernicus’ maps of the universe changed the understanding of the center of the universe.
Here's an extensive site that will inform you of how Broadway musicals are made from the inception of the idea through the final production. You’ll find out about the elements of a musical. The musical score, a central part of the musical, is explained. Each main essay has several parts, so when investigating the score, there is information about the structure of show tunes, the types of songs that are most memorable, where songs should be placed within the musical, and and the effectiveness of rhyming or not rhyming the lyrics. There is so much to learn from this site that by the time you are finished exploring it, you may want to try your hand at creating one!
Get a closer look at the triangle and how the concept can be used in many different circumstances. At this site you'll find a multitude of sites dedicated to giving you a better investigative view of the ever versatile triangle. Review one of the proofs of the Pythagorean Theorem that uses squares constructed on each side of a right triangle. Use a man’s shadow to determine how far he is from the base of a tree. Dig for buried treasure based on information on a treasure map. These lesson plans are geared toward the middle school student, but can be great fun at any level.
Ever wonder what a soda can looks like at the atomic level? Learn about materials, science, and tools scientists use to examine the structure of aluminum material in a can. A materials scientist explains the smallness of an atom and speaks of the importance of the electron microscope for looking at the internal structure of the metal. Look at the structure of a crystal, a group of atoms, and find out why scientists need to understand crystals so they can understand the strength of certain metals. As you move up the scale, you’ll learn about the the properties of aluminum, why recycling it is important, and finally you’ll see the the whole object, made of millions of atoms, on a macro-scale.
Need a one stop shop for a few lesson plans for Black History month? The National Education Association has put together a comprehensive collection of links to lesson plans, resources, audio, and videos utilizing all grades to use during Black History Month. One powerful lesson from the American Association for the Advancement of Science explores the way people are often classified and defined as a particular group. Another is a link to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum that explores baseball before Jackie Robinson played in the major leagues. Students can listen to interviews with current African-American scientists who are working in a variety of fields today. Many of these resources can be adapted for any grade level to be used throughout the month.
When the end of Reconstruction surfaced, states across the South adopted what became known as the Jim Crow Laws. The first enacted in Tennessee was on January 7, 1881. By 1960 many of these laws were in effect. The Jim Crow Museum. which is in Big Rapids, Michigan, has collected the largest number of artifacts from the post-Reconstruction era through the Civil Rights era. Read through the questions of the month to read about black history and find discussions of various topics as well as extensive bibliographies. Be sure to watch the lengthy video that takes you on a tour throughout the museum.
Kids usually have a hole burning in their pocket ready to spend instead of saving the money they receive. This complete lesson plan helps students understand the benefits of interest on saving and borrowing. One component of this lesson is the emphasis on understanding how a bank works. You'll find out why people use banks and the importance of comparing the services offered by each. There is practical use of addition, percentages, and writing about how the calculations can affect the bank customer’s decision on where to stash the cash. Go on, try and get them into the savings mode.
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Valerie Bourbour is a certified educator and past Co-Director of The Academy of Ormond Beach. Ms. Bourbour has experience in online learning platforms and aims for student success.