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

Thanks to Education World for use of my Mrs. Waffenschmidt illustration.
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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Replica King Tut Tomb to Open To Help Preserve Real Tomb. What do you think?

Visitors have had negative effects on the famous tomb of KingTutankhamun,discovered in 1922. All the oohs and ahs of visitors as they walk inside the tomb have caused moisture to form onto the tomb's walls and its paintings. Mold is also growing on the walls. Add to this, body heat and electric lighting are also taking a toll. Remember, the tomb was not meant to be a tourist destination but a burial place for Tutankhamun.  Egyptologists think they have come up with a way to help preserve King Tut's tomb...make a replica tomb!  This will be the first such construction in the Middle East.Constructed began in 2009 and used high tech laser scanning and 3 D printers to collect data to create an exact copy of the original tomb. It is hoped that visitors will get a similar experience of  the tomb without actually going into the 3,300 year old tomb. Unlike the "real" tomb where visitors are kept behind a railing, in the replica tomb, visitors will be able to move around and look at things up close.Currently, to protect King Tut's tomb from continued deterioration, only 160 people are allowed inside each week AND there is a three year waiting list! The idea of creating replica structures is not new. In France, few people are allowed into Lascaux Cave. Instead, a replica cave was created for visitors to enter.  The King Tut  replica tomb is expected to open in May.

*What do you think of this idea of creating a replica cave? Why?
* Do you think mummies should be on display in a museum or left in their tombs for tourists to see? * Write a persuasive paragraph on your position. Include at least 2 reasons for your position.
* If you were a mummy, what are 5 things you’d pack away for the afterlife. Why would you place these items in your tomb?

Did you know?
* The oldest mummies haven't been found in Egypt but in Chile and Peru?
* A mummified lion was found in Egypt!
* A mummified gerbil(with some food for the afterlife) was found in Egypt.
* During the mummy making process, the brain was thought to be of no value and thrown away.
* The heart, believed to be the center of intelligence and caring, was wrapped and replaced back into the mummy. Other organs were saved in special containers called canopic jars.
* King Tut's tomb was found to have licorice root, watermelon seeds and a box with underwear!
* The mummy of Pharaoh Ramsees 2 has a passport! It was required when it went from Egypt to France.

Extension Activity:
* Write a day in the life of a mummy on display in a museum. What do you hear? See? Smell? Feel?

SEE:Learn about mummies and specifically King Tut with this fun/informative play:

Note:Photograph from:

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Kids' Effort to Help Elephants!

The ports of Hong Kong are where much of the illegal ivory arrives for distribution in Asia. The world's largest ivory destruction is set for May 15th, an amazing 30 tons of ivory. That's equal to  about 11,000 elephant killed for their tusks! The ivory stockpile being destroyed is largely due to school children who sent a petition(letter) to the government asking that this be done. A number of school children in Hong Kong have been writing letters to create awareness on just where ivory comes from and the damaging effect the illegal ivory trade is having on the remaining elephant population. One of these kids is Nellie Shute, 12, of Australia, who attends the Hong Kong International School. Her message, "no to ivory". She was able to convince her school to remove ivory carvings from a display case. Nellie then made gift cards which helped to raise $250 which was given to pay for the care of an orphaned elephant at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in the African country of Kenya. The students haven't stopped yet. Now, the students are spreading the word in hopes that  Hong Kong stores remove ivory products from their shelves.

Photograph of Nellie from

Fun Facts about Elephants:
•An elephant molar is about the size of a brick.
• An elephant can reach speeds of 24 miles per hour.
• An elephant's tusk can weigh 200 pounds and grow to 10 feet!
• When upset an elephant will blow dirt into the air or twirl its trunk.
• September 22 is Elephant Appreciation Day!
• Elephants have poor eyesight and poor hearing.
• An elephant can eat 495 pounds of food each and every day.
• The trunk of an elephant has 40,000 muscles(and no bones).
• Although the Indian elephant can be trained, the African elephant has yet to be domesticated.
• An elephant is one of the only mammals  unable to jump.
• Male elephants can weigh about that of a school bus!
• Elephants can be right or left tusked.
• Elephants have the largest brain of the animal world.

You might be interested in my webquest on elephants: Check it out here:

Friday, April 18, 2014

What's YOUR favorite Number? Poll says we do have one...

A recent poll  asked the question,” What is your favorite number?”  The response with the most votes…the number 7. The number 7 is also MY favorite number(with 5 being a close second).  Got me thinking of all the things that have the number 7 related to them. Here is my list. You may want to ask your student this question and then brainstorm all the different things THEY can think of that have to do with the number 7. Might be fun to ask another question about numbers,” What is your least favorite number?” I think I would respond with the number 1. As Three Dog Night once sang, “One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.” 

* Ask students to give a reason for these selection of their favorite and least favorite numbers.

7 wonders of the ancient world
7 dwarfs in Snow White
7 continents
7 days of the week
7 years of bad luck breaking a mirror
7 hills of Rome
7 colors of the rainbow
Soda called 7 UP
7 reindeer of Santa
7 books in the Harry Potter series
7 foods in the food pyramid
7 openings in the human head
7 sided shape(called a heptagon)
7 notes on a scale
7 games in playoff series in NBA, NHL, MLB

7 seas
7 stars (main) in Big Dipper and Orion constellations.
7 objects that can be seen from space with the naked eye(sun,moon, Mars, Venus,Saturn, Jupiter and Mercury)

Note: Illustration from:

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Should Killer Whales be Banned from Marine Parks?

There is a bill before the California legislature to ban the use of killer whales at SeaWorld in San Diego. The bill would also ban the breeding of killer whales, also known as Orcas.If the ban becomes law,it will be the first of its kind in the United States. Many school children in the state have been involved in the efforts, helping to collect 1.2 million signatures in support of the bill, called AB2140, the Orca Welfare and Safety Act.

The killer whales are a very popular attraction at SeaWorld but many feel these very large mammals should not be kept in captivity.Others feel that important research is learned by studying and breeding the whales.At the current time, SeaWorld Park in San Diego has Orcas, six born at the park and four which were caught in the ocean.The California legislature this week decided to put on hold the decision to vote on the bill saying it needed more time to study the bill. Currently there are about 14 countries that have such bans on captive mammals such as Orcas, dolphins and other wild animals. These countries include Switzerland, Croatia and Chile. The country of Greece not only bans dolphins but all animals from entertainment activities including circuses. 

Fun Facts about Orcas:
Largest  of the dolphin family.
Can weigh 7-10 tons  and be 26 ft. long.(largest was about 30 ft.)
Travel in pods (large groups)led by the female.
Scare their prey by slapping the water with their fluke.
Extremely intelligent
Like the bat, the orca uses echolocation to help it search for food.
Ocras has the second largest brain of all marine mammals(only the sperm whale's brain is larger)
Photograph from nmfs.noaa.

Extension Activities:
•What do you think?
•If killer whales are banned, should elephants, tigers and other wild animals be banned from circuses?
•Write a short paragraph stating your opinion on this news story. Give 2 reasons to support your position.
• Draw/color a picture of an orca. Write a paragraph telling about a day in your life at a marine park.

Friday, April 11, 2014

I love books and I love the idea of a library. Going to a library ( or downloading books from my library service) brings the world to me. I can travel to remote destinations, explore the oceans, time-travel back in history to the Russian Revolution or the historic first flight of the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk. Books are wonderful. So, I am glad to see with all the different  holidays that day a year, we celebrate our library system. National Library Day is  April 15th. Make sure you take time to pick up a book or stop by your local library and reflect on what a wonderful place, the library is...Imagine,free books for the borrowing! And, if you are a teacher, this would be a great day to encourage all your students(if they don't already have one) to obtain a library card at their local library.

In addition to National Library Day on April 15th,  Library of Congress Day is April 24th. The Library of Congress is "our Nation's Library" and has over 33 million books. There are also over 12.5 million photographs and 6 million pieces of sheet music! 
I've developed a fun/informative web quest you might find of value to share with your students. Learn more about the Nation's Library with informative webquest. Great informational text/research skill activity or as a Friday or just before Spring Break activity!  

Check it out: