Thanks to Education World for use of my Mrs. Waffenschmidt illustration.

Thanks to Education World for use of my Mrs. Waffenschmidt illustration.
Click on icon to go to my website:

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Kung Hei Fat Choy!

That's Happy New Year in Chinese. 2014 is the Year of the horse. On the Chinese calendar, called Yuan Tan,this new year is 4712. Chinese New year is not always held on the same day each year. It depends on when the second new moon of the winter solstice occurs.This year, Chinese New Year begins on January 31st. It is the beginning of a 15 day celebration.

Some of the following are good luck foods and customs:
Long, uncut noodles are a symbols of long life and friendship

Giving oranges and tangerines are symbols of wealth and good luck

Check out my website for teachers to see lots of interesting customs and information on Chinese New's FREE!  Click on the link below:

Check out my resource-Let's Explore China!  Notes, extension activities and links are included. This is a great time of year to introduce kids to the culture of China!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Fun New Year's Customs from Around the World/Webquest,too!

Happy New Year! 

Bonne annee(French)

Frohes neues Jahr(Germany)

Felice anno nuovo(Italian)

Gelukkig nieuwjaar(Dutch)

Gott nytt ar(Swedish)

Feliz ano nuevo(Spanish)

Shana tova(Hebrew)

Hauoli makahiki hou(Hawaiian)
Interesting Customs around the World forNew Year's.

In Russia, divers place a New Year’s tree into Lake Baikal, the world’s deepest river. 

Did you know that in Denmark, people like to throw old broken dishes at the front door of friends, at New Year’s Eve?

Did you know that eating 12 grapes as the clock strikes midnight  is considered good luck in Spain?

Christmas trees are made into bonfires to celebrate New Year’s Eve in the Netherlands. This custom is done to symbolize getting rid of the old and welcoming the new year.

Did you know that April Fool’s Day involved New Year’s Day?  People used to celebrate the new year  around March 25-April 1st. When the calendar changed the new year to January 1 st, pranks were played on those that continued to celebrate the New year on April 1.


1. New Year’s has been celebrated for over 4000 years. It began with which ancient culture?_________________They celebrated the beginning of the new year with the first new moon after the vernal equinox occurred. Their celebration lasted 11 days! In which month did New Year’s take place?_____________What important event always took placed during this time?_______________________Find the answers at this link:

Go to my website to see lots more interesting customs, extension activities and 4 more web questions.
It's FREE!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to All!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

History of Candy! Great way to show kids that even candy has a history.

What do you get with 7200 eggs, 3000 pounds of brown sugar, 1800 pounds of butter, 7200 pounds of flour,1,080 ounces of ground ginger and 22,304 candy pieces? That's the world's biggest gingerbread house! The 20.11 ft. tall and 60 ft by 42 ft. house is located in Bryan,Texas.  One issue that resulted from this massive gingerbread house is it attracted BEES who were loved all the sweets! Guinness World Records says the really sweet house is a record setter. All money raised by people visiting the massive gingerbread house will go to charity. 

Why not show your students that even candy has a history with this fun/informative web quest! Learn facts including marshmallows date back to 2000 BC and King Tut's Tomb contained licorice. Newly updated to include the history of lollypops and the world's largest gingerbread house! Did you know that candy canes were originally just WHITE or that they originated in the country of Germany? I also have included several additional resources and extension activities.  

Sample:  1. Marshmallows date back to 2000 BC and were first enjoyed by which ancient people?________________Which groups were able to eat marshmallows in this cultures?_________________The candy treat was made from which plant and what was added to it?___________________More than 90 million pounds of marshmallows are eaten each year by people in the USA, the largest consumer of marshmallows.Some people are afraid of marshmallows. What is this fear called?_______________. Find the answers at this link: There are 8 webquests packed with informative text!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Nelson Mandela, 95, statesman, activist has died. Mandela,of South Africa, worked to end apartheid in his country(laws that separated whites and black races) and spent 27 years in prison. He went on to become president of the country of the Republic of South Africa. He also won the Nobel Peace Prize(in 1993).  Mandela once said,"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."  Such a wonderful statement by a remarkable man!

Other words spoken by Nelson Mandela:

"No country can really develop unless its citizens are educated."

"A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination."

"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."

"It always seems impossible until its done."

"Where you stand depends on where you sit."

"May your choices reflect your HOPES, not your fears."

"There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living."

Extension activities:

Ask students to explain what they think one of the quotes mean.

Illustrate one of the quotes of Mandela. -Short bio for kids on Nelson Mandela  Have students read the bio and write 4 facts learned from the reading. -lots of information and video clips
Find 4 facts about what it was like living under apartheid.  WHY was Mandela arrested and put into prison?  Find three facts about what it was like in Robben Island prison for all those years?  Write a paragraph pretending to be Nelson Mandela and explain a day of your life in prison.(what did you do? what do you think about?  etc.)

* Photograph from

Sunday, December 1, 2013

World's oldest public toilet...for dinosaurs found in Argentina

Scientists say they have found what is being called the "world's oldest public toilet"...for dinosaurs. Thousands of fossilized droppings(called coprolites)have been uncovered in the country of Argentina,in a region called La Rioja Province. The dino poo is from a dinosaur called Dinodontosaurus, a herbivore(plant eater) that lived about 240 million years ago which was somewhat like the rhinos of today. 

It is thought that even dinosaurs didn't want to "go" where they lived and ate. And, scientists think there was another reason for a common toilet area. It made those creatures wandering into the toilet territory think that with so many droppings, there must be a large herd of dinosaurs in the area...and, they'd better keep on moving! 

Studying the droppings will provide information on the diet and possible diseases of the dinosaurs that left their poo behind.

1. Find three facts from the news article.
2. Write a paragraph pretending to be the scientists that made the discovery. What were you doing? What made you think you had found dinosaur droppings?  
3. Write a headline for this news story.
4. Write 2 Factual statements. Write 2 Opinion statements. Exchange with another students to determine which are the Fact statements and which are the Opinion statements.
5. See a drawing of a dinodontosaurus at this link: 
Write 3 descriptive sentences. Discuss metaphors and similes. Use these in your descriptions.  This link has information on metaphors and similes:

Note: Photograph from