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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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Flag Day is Coming: Factoids to Share with Kids

Fun Facts about Flags:
1. A vexillologist is someone that studies flags!
2. Most flags have the colors red and white.
3. Only Vatican City and the country of Switzerland have square flags.
4. Most world flags are rectangle in shape. The flag of the country of Nepal is the only one which is not rectangular or square in shape.
5. When Sir Edmond Hillary and his Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay, summited Mt. Everest, the Union Jack, the flag of Great Britain, was placed.
6.The idea of a National Flag Day,a day to honor our flag, was started by Bernard J. Cigrand, in 1885.
7. There are currently 6 American flags on the moon.
8. The country of Bhutan has a white dragon on its flag.
9.From Old Saxon,"flaken", meaning "to fly or to float in the air", is where the word FLAG originated.
10.The largest American Flag is called the Superflag. It weighs 3000 pounds and is the size of 2.8 football fields.
11. A WHITE flag is the symbol of a truce or ceasefire.

1. Take this Flag quiz
2. Pretend you are an American flag on the moon or in a town, or on a mountain top. What do you hear, see, feel, etc. as you wave in the air? Remember...on the moon, there is no atmosphere so the flag wouldn't wave!
3. Write a haiku to describe the American flag. A haiku has 3 lines(5-7-5 syllables per line). Use descriptive words. Sentence structure isn't necessary. To check syllables, place your hand under your chin. Each time the chin drops is a syllable. For example: elephant. Three drops = 3 syllables.

Check out my Flag Webquest!

Check out a sample of four webquestions on Flags. Click here:

Note: Illustration from

Thursday, May 26, 2016

End of the School Year Letter to Students. Do You Write One?


Do you write an end of the year letter to your students?
If, so, please share.
Here is the one I used with my 6th graders.

To my students:
The end of the school year has passed so very quickly. It seems like we were just beginning to learn about the world in which we live AND a bit about each other, and, now, it is time for me to say goodbye to you as you continue to progress in school.

I'd like to leave you with some thoughts which I find useful in my life: "Know the true value of time, snatch, seize, and enjoy every minute of it. No idleness, no laziness , no procrastination, never put off till tomorrow what you can do today."(Chesterfield).

"Life is NOT a Spectator Sport."(Dick's Sporting Goods) Use every day to the fullest. Read, try to make someone smile, help someone, say a kind word to someone, dream things you'd like to do and work to make them possible. And, at the end of the day, be able to say, "Yes, I used the day, well."  Remember...YOU make your own HISTORY!

One last quote and it's an important one. "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men(and women) to do nothing." (Burke) It's not always easy to break from the "crowd", but speak up for someone you feel is being mistreated, don't stay silent, for it may be YOU that hopes for someone to speak up for you one day.

I've tried to interest you about the world in which we live during our year together. Think about opening up a bank account for a trip to visit Egypt, China, France, etc., one day. Place a couple of dollars away each month so that one day, you will be able to experience an exciting trip.  And, if you should ever take such a trip, I'd love to get a postcard from you.

Life is an adventure...enjoy the ride. I wish you much happiness as you travel down life's highway and hope you have few bumps along the way, but, perhaps, some interesting detours.

All the best,
Mrs. Hennessey
(The teacher who loved the color purple)

Illustration from

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Visiting a park? Look but Don't Touch!

I read with sadness about the baby bison that recently had to be euthanized at Yellowstone National Park. Seems some visitors to the park picked up the adorable calf, thinking it had been abandoned by its mom. They had first tried to get the baby bison off the road. They were unable to do so and with no cell phone coverage, the newborn calf was placed into their car and transported to the ranger station. Rangers released the calf  back into the wild. Unfortunately, the calf was ostracized by the rest of the herd, I guess because the newborn had human smells on its body. Additional attempts were made to find another herd of buffalo that would adopt the little tyke but were unsuccessful. Since the park has no way of caring for an abandoned calf, the calf was euthanized. It is an illegal act to interfere with the wildlife in a national park. I am sure the people in this situation had good intentions but, if you visit a park, please LEAVE all wildlife alone! 


Photograph from

Monday, May 2, 2016

Mt. Everest: Possible Interactive Notebook Activity

In 1923, English mountaineer George Mallory was asked,”Why do you want to climb Mt. Everest?” His response, “Because it’s there.” He would make three attempts at climbing the massive peak , which at that time was known as the Third Pole. On 1924, he and Andrew Irvine trekked up the mountain and never came down. On May 29th, 1953, Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa guide, Norgay Tenzing, became the first people to successfully summit Mt. Everest. 

What do you know about Mt. Everest?

In Tibet, Mt. Everest is called Chomolungma, meaning “mother goddess of the universe”

In Nepal, Mt. Everest is called Sagarmatha meaning  “forehead of the sky’.

Mt. Everest is called the “roof of the world”. It is located between Nepal and China.
About the size of 20 Empire State Buildings, Mt. Everest stands 29,028 ft. (some sources say it is now 29,035 ft.) That’s about 5 1/2 miles above sea level!

Originally called Peak 15, the mountain peak was named for Sir George Everest,

Did you know that marine fossils have been found on the mountain? This shows that at one time, the mountain was below sea level!  The first fossils were found by Noel Odell, in 1924.

Only the black jumping spider calls  Mt. Everest home. It can be found at 22,000 feet.

At times, the winds at the peak of Mt. Everest blow at gusts of 200 miles per hour.

Mt. Everest is growing at about .25 inches per year.

Formed in 2008, the Eco Everest Expedition is trying clean up the mountain. An estimated 50 tons of trash have been left behind by climbers. As of 2014, there is a rule that you must bring down 18 pounds of trash.

Mauna Kea is actually higher than Mt. Everest, if measured from the ocean floor.

If you reach the summit, you have reached the crusing altitude of a jet airplane!

Mt. Everest is about 60 million years old!

Kenton Cool, in 2011, sent the first tweet from the summit of Mt. Everest.

1. If you reached the summit,what would you take out of your bag to hold up in a photograph?

2. Check out this map of the base camp to summit of Mt. Everest:  Write a diary entry about your day of climbing the mountain. What are you thinking? seeing? hearing? Etc.

3.  George Mallory and Andrew IRvine were the first to attempt to climb Mt. Everest in 1924. Mallory's body was discovered, in 1999, on the North Face of Mt. Everest. Attempts, including one in 2010, to find Mallory’s Vestpocket Kodak camera, have yet been successful. The close to the summit did he and Irvine get back in 1924? If found, will the pictures on the camera give any clues? Did Mallory and Irvine reach the summit. Write a newspaper headline and paragraph on the discovery of the camera.

4. Test your IQ on Mt. Everest:

5. Many people believe a creature roams the Himalayan Mountains. Called the Yeti or Abominable Snowman, it is said to walk on two legs. Some climbers have found unusually large footprints in the snow. Could the Yeti actually exists? What might explain the size of the footprints?(melting snow making the tracks look larger than they were).Write a story pretending to find the Yeti. What does it look like? What sounds does it make? What does it smell like?  and 

6. Check out my informative webquest on Mt. Everest and Nepal.