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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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halloween is coming:MUMMY FACTS to Share with your Students.

With Halloween around the corner, you may find these MUMMY FACTS of interest to share with your kids.

Many  mummies, male and female, were buried with extra hair wigs for the afterlife.

Mummies of pharaoh (kings) had onions place in the eye sockets for eyes.

With Halloween around the corner, perhaps, you may find these MUMMY FACTS of interest to share with your students.
Many mummies, male and female, were buried with extra hair wigs for the afterlife.
Mummies of pharaoh (kings) had onions place in the eye sockets for eyes.
Some mummies were wrapped in 20 layers of linen.

The oldest mummies are not Egyptian. Found in what is now Chile and Peru, the Chinchorro mummies date to 5000 BC.(Egytians date back to 2500 BC)

The Takla Makan Mummies are 3000 year old mummies found in China. Interestingly, their features are NOT Chinese!

Egyptians didn’t just mummify people.Mummified gerbils, birds, cats, dogs, fish, snakes, baboons,crocodile,hippo and even a lion have been found!

During the 70 day mummification process, ancient Egyp- tians removed the brain through the nostrils using a hook shaped instrument. Believing it had no value, the brain was thrown away.

The center of intelligence and caring, the ancient Egyp- tians kept the heart, wrapping it and replacing it back into the mummy.Other organs were placed in special contain- ers called canapic jars.

Believing mummies had healing powers, for almost 500 years, mummies were ground up and used to treat stom- ach aches and other ailments.Yuck! 

During Victorian times, mummies being unwrapped after dinner was popular entertainment for the guests!

Believing you could take possessions into the next life, King Tut was found with licorice root,watermelon seeds as well as chariots, games, weapons and furniture and a change of underwear. 

One mummy actually has a passport! When Ramses 11 went from Egypt to France, a passport was issued! 

Extension Activities:

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?

Draw/color a mummy coffin. Write 5 facts learned about mummies on your drawing in complete sentence form.

Write a day in the life of a mummy on display in a mu- seum. What do you hear? See? Smell? Feel?

Do you think mummies should be on display in a museum or be left in their tomb? Write a persuasive paragraph on your position. Include at least 2 reasons for your position. 

Try my Resource: All Things Halloween!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Amazing Jump! Bell Ringer Activity

Google computer scientist Alan Eustace has just broken a record held by Felix Baumgartner for the the highest altitude jump. Eustace used a helium ballon to reach 26 miles above the earth(or about 135,000 ft.) and then...jumped! Wearing a specially designed suit, Eustace hit speeds of 830 mph, actually traveling the speed of sound, in his 15 minute descent back to Earth. Baumgartner, in 2012, jumped from 128,100 ft. As for the amazing jump, Eustace said that he could see the layers of the atmosphere, the darkness of space and that it was an amazing experience.  
What would you be thinking as you hurled back toward earth in such an altitude jump?
What are three character traits of someone such as Eustace or Baumgartner?
Write a headline for this news event.
Write 3 descriptive sentences to describe your jump.

photograph from


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pumpkin Smashes Record in 2014

The world record (North America) for heaviest pumpkin has been smashed once again! Last year,Guinness World Records crowned Tim Mathison, Napa, California,with the record for his 2032 pound pumpkin.This year's gourd , grown by John Hawkley, was weighed at a pumpkin contest in California. It tipped the scales at 2058 pounds! That's the size of a small car. Amazingly, Hawkley also had another pumpkin that was over 2000 pounds(that's ONE ton!). 

Photograph from

Friday, October 17, 2014

Philae will be first man-made object to land on a comet-Name the landing site contest!

You might find this of interest to do with your students.

You have until October 22nd to submit a name for the Rosetta Mission's Landing Site.  On November 12, a European Space Agency hopes to land a space probe, Philae, onto a comet.  If successful, it will be the first landing of a man-made object onto a comet. The mission is known as Rosetta and was launched in 2004. This past August, the probe arrived at the comet. It is hoped that much information will be learned as the probe orbits along with the comet around the sun. Scientists also hope that the  landing of the smaller probe onto the comet's surface will help them learn  more about the composition of a comet. The comet is called 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.  You are asked to suggest a name(not a person) and give a short explanation for your selection as to why you think SITE J should be the best choice for the location. Go to this link to learn more. The winning name will be announced on November 3rd. 

The "selfie" of the Rossetta is from

Learn more about comets:


Friday, October 10, 2014

Congrats to Malala Yousafzai!

Wonderful news! Malala Yousafzai, of Pakistan, becomes the youngest to ever win the Nobel Peace Prize(17 years old). She shares the award with Kailash Satyarthi, of India. Shot by Tailiban members two years ago for her efforts to allow girls to get an education, Malala continues to work toward that goal. She said of her attackers,
The extremists were, and they are, afraid of books and pens. She said that books and pens are the most powerful of weapons. Congrats to Malala...she is an inspiration!

"Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world". Malala Yousafzai

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Chewing Gum Facts and Extension Activities

Chewing Gum Facts!

Need an activity for a Friday or a substitute? Have small groups read over some of the facts about chewing gum.  Have small groups make 5-7 True or False questions to exchange with another group to answer. Regroup and discuss and then have students do one of the extension activities.

What is 7,400 ft. long? (That’s about 1 1/2 miles) The answer, the longest gum wrapper chain ever made. It took Cathy Ushler of Redmond, Washington from 1969-1992 to make!

Do you like chewing gum?  You’re not alone. About 100,000 tons of gum are chewed every year!

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, in 1994, Susan Montgomery blew the largest bubble on record. It was 23 inches in diameter. 

Did you know that chewing gum on an airplane will keep your ears from popping? Gum chewing  makes your salivary glands produce 250% more saliva than normally, so you swallow more. That helps to balance pressure in your head.

The USA has the most gum chewers. 

Some studies suggest that chewing gum helps improve memory.

If you chewed a wad of gum for one hour, you would  burn 11 calories.

Americans chew enough gum in one year that if ONE stick of gum was made, it would be 3.5 million miles long or the distance from the Earth to the Moon and back seven times. Another way to see the amount of gum chewed in the USA is a stick of gum that could circle the Earth at the equator 150 times!

Purchasing chewing gum in the country of Singapore is illegal, except for medical purposes.

More gum is chewed by those ages 12-24 than any other age group.

Frank Henry Fleer invented the first bubble gum in 1906. He called it Blibber-Bubber.  It was very sticky and Walter Diemer, developed Double Bubble, twenty-two years later and is created with inventing the first “real” bubble gum.

John Curtis, made the first commercial chewing gum. The year was 1848. State of Maine Pure Spruce Gum was the name for his gum.It had a very strong taste of spruce and wasn’t very popular.

Spearmint, peppermint and cinnamon are the most popular flavors of chewing gum today.

The first bubble gum was pink as that was the only food coloring available when Walter Diemer was working in the lab. Pink is still the most popular coloring for bubble gum.

Prehistoric people chewed on lumps of black tar. Examples of “gum”(with teeth marks) have been found in bog areas in Germany, Sweden and Finland.

The ancient Greeks chewed mastiche, a resin from the mastic tree, the Mayas used a natural gum from the sapodilla tree,Native Americans munched on a resin cut from the black spruce tree and early colonists chewed on a combination of tree sap and beeswax.

The oldest “gum” is about 5,000 to 6000 years old.

Extension Activities:
Do you think kids should be allowed to chew gum in school? Why, why not?

Illustrate one of the facts about chewing gum. Write your fact on your drawing.

Pretend you are a wad of bubble gum. What flavor are you? Tell about a day in your life on the pavement, underneath a desk or waiting in a wrapper to be popped into someone’s mouth.

Some people swallow their gum. How do you get rid of gum after it no longer is of use?

Have you ever made a chewing gum chain? Here are directions.

Illustration is from:

Some sources for Teachers:

Monday, October 6, 2014


In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue, discovering America for me and you. We have all heard this little poem.First of all, he didn't "discover" North America as indigenous people were living on North America before he ever set foot on land across the "Ocean Sea" from Spain. And, the Vikings may have gotten to North America almost 500 years before Columbus made his sailing. St. Brendan, the Irish monk, may also  have actually sailed to North America... even before the Vikings. Lastly, a Chinese explorer, Zheng Ho, may have reached the Pacific shore of North America, too!

One important achievement for Columbus is that he voyages interested other people in exploration and he began what would be called the time known as the Age of Exploration.  The Age of Exploration would change the world in many positive and some negative ways. Culture contact between groups would be made and ideas and products would be exchanged. Cultures would changed and others would be destroyed.

Learn about Columbus with this informative play. There are comprehension questions, discussion questions and extension activities:

Thought question: In Seattle, there is a vote on October 6th to vote on changing the name of Columbus Day to Indigenous People's Day. What do you think of this idea?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Free College Tuition In Germany...why not here?

I was watching a recent episode of The Middle(If you haven't watched the show, I'd recommend it!). Their daughter, Sue,a senior, was very excited about applying to college. Not an athlete, Sue didn't have any possibility of getting a scholarship to college. Of, course, the teenager had no concept of the cost of college in the United States. She set her goals on expensive private schools. Her parents didn't have the heart to tell her, not only didn't they have the money for a private ivy-league college of her dreams, but that even a state-school, would be difficult to afford with their incomes. A usually humorous sit-com, the show had an impact on the seriousness of college for many families in this country.

Then, today, the news stated that the country of Germany would be offering FREE tuition for all students to attend college!  When I was in Norway and Denmark this summer, I learned that college is free for young people in their countries, too. In fact, much of the European countries offer free tuition to college to their young people.

That makes me wonder. WHY can't the United States offer the same?  Why should college be more and more for wealthy families in our country?  OR why, should college leave so many of our young people with huge college loans? My thinking is that any student that succeeds in maintaining a C average, should be offered free tuition to at least a two year  state college. Students with Bs and higher, could be offered free tuition at a four-year state college. This might also help kids do BETTER in middle/high school as I would think the incentive would also insure that some parents better monitor their kid's school performance to help make the end goal, free college tuition, a reality in their family.  We give millions and millions in moneys to other countries. Perhaps, we should look first at our own country and the future generations of this land and see education should not be just for those that can afford it, but is something that would benefit all of us living in the United States. 

I am getting off my soap-box.