I had every intention of posting this yesterday and just didn't get that far. However, I was so excited to celebrate this birthday, that I figured a day late is better than nothing. This upcoming year, one of my themes is going to be focused on immigration and the many gifts that ALL humans add to our world. As an introduction, I am going to be looking at the individuals connected to building the Statue of Liberty.
Two weeks ago, my husband and I held the "golden tickets" to go on an adventure up into the crown of the Statue of Liberty. I have to admit that this was a HUGE item on my bucket list. It was a thrill to be some of the few people that have experienced the long climb up 354 steps into her crown. Despite the many challenges that our country is facing, I do believe that she is a symbol of optimism and hope and I want to share her wonder to my students.
Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi is known for his design of "Liberty Enlightening the World" otherwise known as the Statue of Liberty. She was designed to commemorate the friendship between France and the United States. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in October 1886. She is 151 feet, 1 inch tall and sits on Bedloe's Island in New York Harbor.
The classroom calendar is a perennial wall hanging in almost every elementary classroom across the country. Many are decorated with seasonal pattern cut-outs such as red apple, yellow apple, green apple (can you tell I taught Kindergarten?) or fall leaves in various color patterns. Teachers use the calendar as daily tool to show holidays, school events, a way to count to the 100th day of school, and classmates' birthdays. However, for so many of us, the challenge of carving out time is an ever present battle during instruction.
A couple of years ago, while I was teaching timelines in class, I realized that I needed to be more intentional with my calendar time and could incorporate quality literature while connecting them to the classroom calendar and the larger timelines that I teach in class. I have streamlined my calendar design and added new history makers for students to learn about. I have tried to share not only my favorite grade level books, but some other strong pieces of literature for upper grades. I use these books as part of our regularly scheduled read aloud time. Additionally, I have MANY Youtube cues that I continue to add to for each month (I will share more later).
If you are interested in using this in your classroom, the August file can be found on my Teachers Pay Teachers site for FREE for the month of August. Additionally, if you are interested in any of the book recommendations, please click on the images below to go to my Amazon Affiliate store.
Landing on the Moon-50 Years Later
Be honest...when you were a kid, how many of you thought it would be cool to be an astronaut? If you didn't, you certainly had a friend who did. The picture above was taken in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History's gift shop while on an adventure with my nerdy history friend Jessica. I couldn't resist. My kids are going to love it, particularly as we have a year long space theme (among other themes) going on in class this upcoming school year. I am busily researching STEAM projects we can explore in class.
So much of my social studies instruction is based upon teaching timelines that having a focused theme on space exploration will be a timely touch. I have to admit that I am a bit partial this year as I am celebrating the same number. I am still searching for the perfect t-shirt to add to my collection for teaching history. I'll keep you posted.
As always when teaching timelines, I LOVE finding new children's literature to support our studies. Whenever there is a big anniversary celebration coming out, authors are quick to think ahead and write for the event. Recently, I have become obsessed with the new line of Little Golden Books of historical events/characters. I recently picked up the new Statue of Liberty on our last visit. I was pleased to see a new one focusing on the first moon landing. Additionally, if you are unfamiliar with Chris Gall, he published a book on America The Beautiful that has incredible illustrations to use with your students and I am excited to get my hands on Go For The Moon. Admittedly, I don't have either book YET, but have added them to my Amazon cart. Please click on the images below if you would like to order from Amazon as well. I am Neil Armstrong is a new addition to Brad Meltzer's series.
As I mentioned earlier, almost all of my social studies teaching centers around teaching timelines. I have discovered over the last many years that students find great success when given the ability to organize people and events via a master timeline. I have many mini-timelines that merge into my GIANT anchor chart and the history makers from this mini timeline are then embedded into the larger. Please enjoy the images below as a small sample of the MEGA pack that can be found on Teachers Pay Teachers if you are interested.
I truly can't think of a better way for me to start the new year and a weekly post that I have been wanting to start for awhile than with one of my heroes, Dolly Parton. Tomorrow, January 4, the Grand Ole Opry will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Dolly's membership at the Grand Ole Opry. Fifty years! That simply goes to show the talent and determination Dolly shows both in her career and her life. Dolly will also be celebrating her birthday on January 19th.
Three For Thursday will feature a timely book, a primary source/artifact, and a Moffat postcard(s). These items can be used together as a lesson in the classroom or a fun inspiration for home studies. I hope you find this inspiring.
Moffat has a truly magical life, one that many of us want, as he travels from place to place learning along the way. This time, Moffat hitched a ride with my good friend Jill and her family, as they got to explore Dollywood during the holidays. I have to admit that I am a bit jealous as I DREAM of going there. I want to explore the park and take in Dolly's museum, Chasing Rainbows. Someday...
The photograph below is Dolly's loved and iconic "coat of many colors" that is the real life artifact that inspired her favorite song "Coat of Many Colors" in 1971. At that time she wrote the lyrics, she was traveling with Porter Wagoner. Unable to find paper, she wrote the lyrics on the back of a dry cleaning ticket!
What's Your Favorite Book?
For several weeks now, I have been watching friends tag other friends while posting the cover to their favorite books. In the midst of this, I was tagged by a good friend, and until now, have yet to respond.
I have been wanting to start this segment of my blog for awhile. I incorporating a strong piece of literature with a Moffat photograph and a primary source document in as many of my lessons as I can. It's hard to go wrong when you have the primary source and a Moffat photograph!
Moffat was fortunate enough to view the painting of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.
In 1814, James Madison was the president of the United States and the US was once again at war with the British during the War of 1812. President Madison left the White House to visit troops, advising his wife, Dolley, to be ready to leave the White House at a moments notice. On August 23, when she received word for evacuation, she ordered the Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington to be saved. The frame was broken (it was bolted to the wall) and the canvas was rolled and evacuated before the British troops occupied and burned the White House. Due to the damage, the Madisons were never able to reoccupy the White House again.
National American Eagle Day
American Eagle Federation Information
It is rather challenging (no pun intended) to photograph Moffat with a real bald eagle, so when I came across this beauty in Franklin Square in Philadelphia, I was very excited! Today is National American Eagle Day, a day to remember the importance of one of our national symbols and raise awareness to continue to care for the once close to extinct species. The bald eagle was chosen by our Founding Fathers during the Second Continental Congress on June 20, 1782 to be our national emblem.
Today, the bald eagle represents freedom and democracy. Young learners can study more about bald eagles in the children's book "Challenger" by Margot Theis Raven. Challenger is cared for by the American Eagle Federation that has its headquarters at Dollywood in Tennessee (Dolly is one of my own personal heroes).
If you would like to learn more about General WIlliam Jackson Palmer's Glen Eyrie, click the link below.
On This Day...