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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Monday, September 19, 2016

The International Day of Peace is September 21st.

Children are certainly not seeing the world demonstrating the concept of peace. Is there really anything we can do to foster the concept when our news continually shows just the opposite?

The International Day of Peace is held every year on  September 21st. Also called Peace Day, the first celebration was adopted by the United Nations in 1982. It would be in 2001, that nations of the world established September 21st as International Day of Peace. In 2016, the theme for the  International Day of Peace is “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace.”  At the United Nations, in New York City, the Japanese Peace Bell is rung to start the day. Made from coins collected by children from sixty countries,  the Peace Bell has the following words engraved on the bell, “Long live absolute world peace”.  There is a minute of silence at noon(at all time zones around the world).

Possible Activities for the International Day of Peace:
1. The dove is the international symbol of peace. Draw/ color a picture of a dove. Write a statement about the International Day of Peace.

2. Write an acrostic poem using the words PEACE.

3. Have students list some of the places in the world where there is conflict. Locate these places on a world map. Ask the students if they have any prior knowledge about the areas .

4. Alfred Nobel established the Nobel Peace Prize.  
Learn about some of the people that have been award recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize. The youngest was teenager, Malala Yousafzai.

5. Make a Peace Pole(“May Peace Prevail on Earth) and place in the lobby of your school.

6. Read Sadako Sasaki and her One Thousand Paper Cranes. Free online book:   Make an origami paper crane.

8. Have students illustrate one of these quotes: Write a short paragraph explaining what they think the quote means.
A. “ Peace begins with a smile. “ Mother Teresa

B. "You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.“ Indira Gandhi
C.  "If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.”  Nelson Mandela

D.  "An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”  Mahatma Gandhi
E.  “It isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it." Eleanor Roosevelt

F.  "While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.”  Francis of Assisi

G.  “If you want peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.”  Archbishop Tutu

9. Share with kids how to say "PEACE" in many different languages: Write Peace In Different Languages

10 . Check out my Purple Turtle story, Purple Meets Dovey, the Dove:

Note: Illustration from

World Rhino Day is September 22nd 
Possible Interactive Notebook Activity:

A crash is what you call a group of rhino

A Black rhino can run up to 40 mph...on its toes!

About 50 pounds of manure is produced by an adult white rhino EVERY day.

A white rhino isn't really WHITE. It's name comes from an Afrikaans word meaning wide(for its mouth). The word is wyd. White rhinos are really grey.
A black rhino isn't really BLACK. Also a grey/brownish color, it got its name for the dark wet mud that they often have covering their bodies.

Did you know that a rhino is a relative of the zebra, tapirs and horse?

The word, rhinoceros comes from the Greek words-rhino(nose and ceros(horn)

After the elephant, the white rhino is the largest land mammal. A white rhino can weigh up to 5000 pounds. 

Eating only plants, a rhino is a HERBIVORE.

The horn of a rhino is not ivory but keratin, a material found in fingernails.

Rhinos have VERY bad eyesight! They do have great hearing and a great sense of smell.

Rhino have wandered the earth for over 50 million years(and haven't changed much in their appearance)

Did you know that there are 5 species of rhino? (White, Black, Javan, Sumatran, Indian)


Ask students why the rhino is endangered. Have students make a list of 10 endangered species. If you can only save 3 on the list, which  would you work to save and why? Make a list of 3 factors that might go into why some creatures might be preferred to be saved over others. Possible answers: "cuteness", reputation, national symbol, if there are other similar species, impact on the environment, etc.

Use a world map and have students locate the areas of the world where rhinos live in the wild. (Rhino can be found in Africa countries including South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Tanzania,Kenya and Uganda. They can be found in  India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Burma, Nepal and Vietnam. Rhinos are found on the island of Java. There may still be rhino in  Sumatra and Borneo.

Write a Day in the Life of a rhino. What did you do? What did you see? Feel? Smell? 

Read a story about a rhino

Read an interview with a Rhino ranger/keeper: and  Pretend you work with rhinos and write a diary, including 3 facts learned about rhino.

Illustrate one of the Rhino Facts.

Photograph from 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

National Museum of African American History and Culture Opens September 24th

“I, too, am America.” 
by Langston Hughes

A new  eight story museum on the National Mall opens on September 24th and it was 100 years in the making.  Called the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the museum was first discussed back in 1915, when African American Civil War veterans called for a museum to highlight the accomplishments of African Americans.

Congress established such a museum, to be part of the Smithsonian Institution, in 2003.  Groundbreaking for the National Museum of African American History and Culture began in 2012.

The museum, the only national museum dedicated to African American history, shares the history of African Americas from the days of the slave trade through slavery in the United States. The timeline of history includes the struggles of African Americans seeking civil rights and equality and shares the contributions which African Americans have made which have helped shape our nation.

Some of the 36,000 artifacts on display include a slave cabin from the early 1800s and an 1835 bill of sale for a 16 year old African American girl.  On display are the eating utensils used by Harriet Tubman as well as one of her silk shawls and her hymnal.  Visitors can see the train car used during segregation(Jim Crow era) by African American passengers, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Woolworth’s lunch counter stools where four African American students held a sit-in, in 1960, when denied service, is on display. Jazz musician Louis Armstrong’s Selmer Trumpet as well as boxing equipment of Muhammad Ali and the tennis racket used by the first African American to win at  Wimbledon, Althea Gibson, can also be seen.There is also a training biplane used by the Tuskegee airmen during World War and a dress that dressmaker Rosa Parks was sewing on the day she refused to give up her seat after a day at work.

President Barack Obama will be on hand for the grand opening ceremonies.

Photograph from

Check out these resources: FREE: Possible Interactive Notebook activity: Factoids of contributions of African Americans: 

Check out this web quest on some of the contributions of African Americans who 
contributed to our country in arts, music,politics, tenchology, civil rights, sports and literature:


Sunday, September 4, 2016

National Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15-October 15th

National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated each year from September 15-October 15th. It was originally established, in 1969, as Hispanic Heritage Week, by President Lyndon Johnson. In 1988, it became a month long celebration. Some people say we don't really need an Hispanic Heritage Month, A Black History Month, A Womens History Month, A Native American Heritage Month and other such months to recognize the achievements of groups which have helped to make this nation great.  I believe we do since history books just cant address all the different accomplishments of all the people that have contributed to making our country what it is today. Here are some interesting facts to share with your students during National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Did You Know?
• Before colonists settled Plymouth Colony, there were people living in St. Augustine, Florida, and Sante Fe, New Mexico.
• Chinese(Mandarin) is spoken by the most people in the world. The second most spoken language is Spanish. A close third is... English.
• The majority of Hispanic people in the United States came from the country of Mexico.
• Pedro Flores was the first to mass-produce the yo yo in the United States.
• in 1989, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen became the first Cuban American to become a member of Congress.
• Learn some Spanish: gracias(Thank you), por favor) (Please)and adios(goodbye)
• Cinco de Mayo(May 5th) is a festive holiday. It celebrates the victory over the French in the Battle of Pueblo(1862). The Mexicans were outnumbered 3-1, yet they won the battle. 
• Have you ever played with a pinata at a birthday party? This is another activity that has its origins in Mexico.  

Check out my webquest, Histanic Heritage Month.