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:

Monday, October 31, 2016

Are YOU ready for King Tut Day?

King Tut Day, yes there really is such a day on the calendar, is celebrated every November 4th. It was on November 4, 1922, that Howard Carter uncovered the tomb of Tutankhamen!

Interesting facts:
Lord Carnarvon was bitten by a mosquito, while in Egypt and died days later. It is said that the lights in Cairo, Egypt, went out when Carnarvon died. Also, back in London, his dog is said to have started to howl and, died.  When King Tut's mummy was unwrapped, a mark was found in the same location as the mosquito bit on Lord Carnarvon. It was around this time that the idea of a curse on those that went inside the tomb began to gain in popularity!

One of the discoveries in the tomb, in addition to golden statues and a golden throne, jewels and chariots, was a box of UNDERWEAR for King Tut to use in the afterlife.

Licorice was also found in King Tut's tomb.

Each of King Tut's toes were individually wrapped in gold!

Watermelon seeds were found in King Tut's tomb. 

With the discovery of the tomb, all things Egyptian became very popular. Women began to wear dresses with Egyptian patterns. Songs about King Tut were written,dances created and beauty products were advertised with Egyptian themes.  This popularity in all things  ancient Egyptian was  called "Tutmania".

Twenty-two pounds of gold were used to make the gold mask of King Tut.


Read my article, "Mummies Share Their Secrets at Science News for Students:

You may wish to check  out You Tube for a song done by comedian Steve Martin, "King Tut".(Review it first to  as there is one word which may not be appropriate). You could just share the lyrics and skip over the word.)

Check out coloring sheets to print on King Tut at this link:  coloring sheets to print on King Tut

A number of people that went into the tomb died under unusual circumstances. However, the person that discovered the tomb,Howard Carter, lived a long life. So, if there was a curse(as stated on the entrance of Tut's tomb), it didn't harm Carter. WHAT might explain why some people may have died from being in the tomb, opened for the first time in centuries?

When Howard Carter discovered the tomb, he waited weeks for Lord Carnarvon to travel by ship to be there for the opening of the tomb. He had guards stand watch at the entrance of the tomb. He did NOT go inside. He felt that since Lord Carnarvon had funded the expedition, he should be there for the "opening". Could you have waited?

Friday, October 28, 2016

Diwali is here!

This year, Diwali or Deepavali, begins on October 19th and lasts for 5 days.

It's a happy time of year and is the biggest holiday in the country of India.  Practiced mainly by people of the Hindu faith, many other people enjoy taking part in the festive holiday season,too. During the holiday, there will be gift giving,lighting lamps(Dipa lamps) special sweet treats including Laddus(sweet wheat balls with nuts and fruits inside) and Karanjis (flour fried dumplings with coconut and sugar), praying, getting together with family and friends and fireworks to help welcome the new year. Deepawali means "festival of lights". 

Fun Facts:
1. Diwali celebrates the end of the harvest season.

2. President Barack Obama was the first US president to participate in a Deepavali celebration in the White House, in 2009.

3. “Shubh Deepavali” means “Have an auspicious Diwali “and is a common greeting for this holiday time. 

4. Diwali marks the Hindu New Year. It is a national holiday in India.

5. Other countries which have Diwali celebrations include: Australia, Guyana, Trinidad, Nepal(called Tihar), Singapore, Japan, Thailand(called Lam Kriyongh) and the United States.

Learn more about Diwali at these links:

Learn about India at these links:

Make a Rangoli- Using colored rice flour and water, people decorate patterns on the ground outside their homes and place of worship. It's a way to honor the Hindu goddess Lakshimi and hope the goddess feels welcome in their homes. Use colored markers and create a colorful Rangoli pattern  See some pics:


Check out my reading passage(with fun facts and additional activities)on Diwali.There are 10 fun Facts in the complete reading activity on the holiday of Diwali. There is also a short paragraph reading with comprehension questions.  The Teacher Page has lots of extension activities and the key:



Saturday, October 15, 2016

Pumpkin Season is Here!

Learn about Pumpkins! 
Possible Interactive Notebook Activity

1. Pumpkins are thought to have originated in Central America, specifically Mexico. Some seeds found date back to 5500 B.C.

2. Top pumpkin growers are U.S. farmers, growing more than 1.5 billion each year.

3. The word pumpkin comes from the French word for “large melon”,
pompon. The English used “pumpion” and colonists used “pumpkin”.

4. The World’s Largest Pumpkin Pie was made in New Bremen, Ohio, in 2010. 1,212 lbs of canned pumpkin, 109 gallons of evaporated milk, 525
pounds of sugar, 14.5 pounds of cinnamon, 7 pounds of salt and 2796 eggs
were used. It weighed 3699 pounds.

5. Did you know that pumpkins are 90 percent water?

6. Some people used to believe that pumpkins could cure snake bites and help remove freckles!

7. In addition to orange, pumpkins can be green, yellow, tan, white,red and

8. The “Pumpkin Capital of the World” and home to Libby’s Pumpkins is Morton, Illinois.

9. The fibrous strands of string and seeds are called the “brains” of the pumpkin.

10. Carving pumpkins originated in Ireland using potatoes,rutabagas and
turnips. Irish immigrants to America started using pumpkins as they were
easier to carve and hollow!

11. Part of the squash and cucumber family(cucurbita), pumpkins are actually considered fruit!

12. Ohio, Illinois, California and Pennsylvania are the top pumpkin-growing

13. In 2013, Keene, NH, kept the record for the most lit pumpkins! 30,581. It holds the record in 2016, too.

14. Crowned the record heaviest pumpkin grown in North America(2016), a  Rhode Island man grew a pumpkin which weighed in at a whopping 2261.5 pounds.  
15. A pumpkin grown in the country of (2016) Belgium tipped the scale at a whopping 2623.5 pounds!

Pumpkin growers say that a 3000 pound pumpkin is possible in the near future!  It wasn't that many years ago that a 1000 pound pumpkin, now a light weight, would have been news worthy. The problem with growing such jumbos is that gravity often causes them to get smooshed and then they can't qualify for judging.

Need a writing prompt?  The record pumpkin has just arrived in a large truck to your home. What would you do with this pumpkin?  How would you describe it? 

Photograph from

Illustration from

• Illustrate a picture of one of the facts learned.
• Write a poem about a pumpkin.!• Pretend you are a pumpkin and write about your day in the

pumpkin patch, on a porch or waiting to be purchased at a farmer’s stand.

Try my webquest on Pumpkins: 10 web questions with several comprehension questions(lots of extension activities).                  

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Presidential Trivia: The 2016 Election is Coming! Possible Interactive Notebook Activity

Note: I will not be able to update my blog until October 15th.

Possible Interactive Notebook Activity

The Presidential Election is coming! What do you know about some of our previous Presidents?

1. Dogs, cats and birds  have often found a home in the White House. There have also been some unique pets such as John Quincy Adams’ pet alligator,Martin Van Buren two tiger cubs and James Buchanan’s elephant. President Coolidge had a wallaby and a pygmy hippo and Theodore Roosevelt had a lion, hyena, five bears, a piebald rat, and a zebra. Only Presidents Arthur, Fillmore and Piece had no pets.

2. President Washington was an avid spelunker,enjoying exploring caves. 

3. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the only president to be elected  four times.The constitution was later changed to allow only two four-year terms.

4. President Theodore Roosevelt named the Executive Mansion or President’s House, the White House.

5. Only President George Washington did  not live in the White House. It was opened in 1800.

6. The Star-Spangled Banner became the National anthem under President Herbert Hoover.

7. President William Henry Harrison only served one month after taking the oath of office, dying from pneumonia.

8. President Van Buren is said to have started the expression OK, signing paper with his “Old Kinderhook” nickname.

9. Left handed President James Garfield  could write with both hands at the same time and in different languages such as Greek and Latin.

10. President John K. Kennedy was the first president who had been a boy scout in his youth.

11. President George W. Bush was appointed President in 2000 by Supreme Court after the election results gave him more electoral votes but his opponent, Al Gore won the popular vote. John Quincy Adams, Rutherford B. hayes and Benjamin Harrison also won the presidency without the majority of the voters. 

12. The teddy bear was named after President Theodore Roosevelt. 

13. President Richard Nixon was the first president to resign his presidency over a scandal called Watergate.

14. President Taft became chief justice of the Supreme Court after leaving the White House, saying he preferred this job to that of being President of the United States 

15. Gerald Ford was the only president of the United States to not be elected by the people. He was appointed vice president by President Nixon and later assumed the office of president when President Nixon resigned.

16. President John Quincy Adams liked to swims naked in the Potomac River the early morning.

Extension Activities:
Try this free web quest on the Presidents of the United States:

Pretend you are the President of the United States. Write a diary entry about a day in your life. Who did you meet in the Oval Office? What issue do you address? Etc.

Which president would you like to meet and why? What would you ask of this President?

What are FOUR characteristics you feel that someone who is President should possess? Why are these characteristics important?

Illustrate of of the factoids about the presidents. Write a caption to go with your illustration.

You may wish to check out these resources:

The 2016 Presidential Election! (A Webquest/Extension activities)Students will learn about the election process including who the candidates are, requirements to run for office, requirements to vote, the Succession Act, the Electoral College and more. There are 12 web questions, a Did You Know?Comprehension Questions, Teacher page with extension activities, key, links.

With the Presidential Election coming, this would be a great activity to use with your students. Do YOU Know Your Presidents is a series of three challenges. Each challenge worksheet has 25 questions(with 3 choices). The first challenge is the easiest with the third, the hardest.There is also a Presidential Did You Know?

Did You know that President John Quincy Adams had an alligator? Martin Van Buren had two tiger cubs and President McKinley's pet parrot could whistle, "Yankee Doodle". Did you know that President Franklin D. Roosevelt served HOT DOGS to the King of England? Did you know that President Garfield could write with both his right and left hand at the SAME time? Presidential Webquest/Extension Activities:

Learn about the White House with 10 informative web questions, comprehension and discussion questions and several extension activities.NEW:Check out all my resources(summaries) in one place:

NOTE: Click here for the user friendly version to give out to your students:

Anti-Bullying Month is October

October is National Bullying Prevention Month! 

Although highlighted in this month, anti-bullying awareness should be practiced every day of the year.  If you SEE bullying taking place, SPEAK UP!   Possible activities to use with students to discuss the topic of bullying.

1. Check out this short video at the Cartoon Network about joining the "I Speak Up" campaign.

2. Have kids read this short saying: "Sticks and stones may break your bones but names can never hurt you."  Is this a true statement? Explain your answer. Personally, I never thought this saying to be true. Words are very powerful and negative words can and do hurt....a lot!  

3. Discussion Questions to ask Students:
A. What is your definition of a bully?  What are some examples of bullying?
B. Why do you think some people are bullies?
C. If you see someone being bullied, what could YOU do?
D.  If YOU are being bullied, what could YOU do?
E. Have you ever been bullied? How did you feel? What did you do?
F. Have YOU ever bullied someone else? Have you ever been asked by others to join them in bullying someone else? How did you react to this? Take the "Are YOU Bulling Checklist":

G. How can you HELP someone that is being bullied. Make a list. Check with this site:

4. A great start to discussing bullying might be to read about Hans Christian Andersen, the author of "The Ugly Duckling". Hans was often teased as a boy. He was very tall and skinny. He was called "scarecrow" by neighborhood children. One day, he actually climbed a tree to get away from bullies who were chasing him. Then, he got tangled and stuck. His father had to come help get Hans out of the tree.  Check out my resource, a play on Hans Christian Andersen:

5. Have students make anti-bullying posters.

6. Have students make up a skit about bullying to share with the rest of the class.

8. Check out this link for lots of great information on Anit-Bullying:

9. Check out this site for "Bullying Myths and Facts". Have students discuss what they read:

10. Newspapers in Education has an online comic book story about bullying:

Other suggestions:
Using Literature to discuss the issue of bullying:
Read the story, the Ugly Duckling to start a discussion on bullying.

Another story to read is Goose Girl by the Brothers Grimm. Find the story
at this link:Best Children's Book(Goose Girl)
Still another story is Cinderella.Find the story online at this link:

There are also many contemporary books that deal with bullying. Here is a small sampling for elementary and middle school students:
1. Blubber by Judy Blume
2. The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
3. Thank you, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco
4. Bullies Are a Pain in the Brain by Trevor Romain and Elizabeth Vedick.
5. The Bully from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler with Jared Lee.
6. My Secret Bully by Trudy Ludwig
7. Roxie and the Hooligans by Phillis Reynolds Naylor
Find more books on bullying and read summaries at this link:

Read and listen to a short story about bullying online at this link:
(Ramone Sticks Up for Himself)


I hope you find this information of value to use with your students!
Gail Hennessey