Tonight marks the 150th anniversary of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. We were fortunate enough to visit the theater/National Park last month during our visit to Washington DC.
As a first grade teacher, Lincoln's death is a touchy subject as I naturally want to shield my students from the tragedy and sadness of the event. However, years of experience have taught me that they know "Lincoln was shot," and it is best to discuss the incident rather than gloss over it. Much like discussing 9/11, I feel that young students need to understand that there are individuals who have chosen to use actions instead of words to show their hatred and frustration. I believe that it is a good lesson for young learners about how things could have been handled differently.
To the right is the non-fiction book I purchase for my students every year on Abe's birthday as a learning tool. I highly recommend it!
It is fitting that the two Moffat photographs I have chosen were both taken in Virginia, after all, it it known as the "Mother of Presidents." During my visit there in 2013 to attend an NCHE conference, I was reminded of so many of the pivotal events in our nation's history that have happened in the state of Virginia. It is amazing to think that events from early colonization to the American Revolution to the Civil War all took place in this state.
Aside from the historical events that have taken place in Virginia, can you name the eight presidents that were born in Virginia? All eight of the presidents are represented in the rotunda in the Virginia State Capitol. George Washington was of course the first and has the center display.
Hint: The other presidents are the 3rd, the 4th, the 5th, the 9th, the 10th, the 12th and the 28th presidents. Watch the Youtube video below to see if you can name them.
I'm extremely excited to teach in the month of February! Between Black History Month, Mardi Gras, Presidents' Day and Laura Ingalls Wilder's birthday, we have a ton of great learning coming up!! I am thrilled every time I go to Google and they post one of their doodles. You never know when they will show up and they never fail to inspire me with the level of creativity in the piece.
I have been working very hard on some new products for my Teachers Pay Teachers store for Black History Month. Please take the time to look at African American History Characters Powerpoint and Timeline and Characters in African American History Timeline, Quotes and Primary Source Cards. Both products are appropriate for all elementary grades and offer information on a wide variety of people. Geography and math are easily incorporated for cross-curricular studies. Both products are on sale through February 3rd.
Below is a Youtube link to my favorite Jackie Robinson book. It is written by his daughter, Sharon, and illustrated by the talented Kadir Nelson. Enjoy!
As I have written before, I grew up listening to country music with my dad as a square dance caller. A little over a year ago, I came across a copy of the book "Coat of Many Colors" by Dolly Parton. At the same time, I acquired a copy of "Good Night Tennessee," part of the Good Night Our World series. As these two books came into my library, I started reading more and then listening to the many songs written by Dolly over her amazing career.
As an adult, I listened to the lyrics with an entire new perspective. Having gone through immense training on primary sources, her lyrics are such a storytelling gem. I also came across her DVD from her live concert in London from 2008. This clip below doesn't do her story justice (even though I can listen to the song over and over). Dolly's lead in story speaks about the love she felt in her family despite the fact that the roof leaked, there could be a lack of food, her father worked endless hours and her mother was busy raising 12 children.
What makes me even more appreciative of her is her dedication to early childhood education. Years ago, she started the Imagination Library to supply children with books from birth to age 5 so that they are ready for Kindergarten. Her father never had the opportunity to learn how to read and she is very proud that her father lived to see her start the Imagination Library. Kids fondly call her the "book lady."
I love reading the "Coat of Many Colors" to my students. We spend time reading the book and then writing about their own small moments. Today we celebrated her birthday as we learned about Tennessee.
Happy birthday to an amazing woman and great role model!
As an early childhood/primary educator my entire professional career, the fact that I share the EXACT same birthday with such an American classic as Sesame Street makes me rather happy. Today, Sesame Street and I are celebrating our 45th birthdays. It is rare to have a show that we watched growing up as a child still have such influence several decades later on our own children (although my children are grown). As a child, I can remember reading the book "The Monster At The End Of This Book" over and over and over. Needless to say, when I came across a copy of the book several years ago, I felt the need to replace my long lost childhood copy!
Currently, in my own classroom, we are learning about the American Revolution and discussing the qualities of a leader as we address civics standards. I love showing vintage Sesame Street clips about the Revolution. With the clips being available on Youtube, I have the ability to stop and engage the kids in a discussion about what what might be fact or fiction. For example, did Grover really show up wanting to throw a surprise party for the Hessians or did George Washington have a different kind of surprise in mind? As we are discussing the attributes of a leader, how did George Washington problem solve all of the passengers being on either one end or the other end of the boat when they were not listening to directions? I love adding this to a lesson to engage the students and get them to think!
As an adult, if you haven't spent some time watching a clip or two, I encourage you to do so. Sesame Street has influenced so many of us at one point and time in our life and for this I am thankful.
AND...since it is a Monday, I think I will close with a very current SS including another one of my new favorites...Kid President. Happy Monday and Happy Birthday to Sesame Street!