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, February 27, 2019

March is Women's History Month

Women’s History Month(March)

"Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent." 
—Eleanor Roosevelt  
In 1978, a school district in  California, organized a “Women’s History Week”. By 1981, Congress passed a resolution establishing a National Women’s History Week and in 1987, Congress created a month, March, to honor the contributions of women and to promote the teaching of women’s history. 

The following information may be helpful  for Women’s History Month. The 2019 theme for Women’s History Month is “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace and NonViolence”.

At one time, women weren’t able to do many things because of their gender. Here are some women trailblazers.  Being the first, made it easier for other women to follow in their footsteps. Every year, new firsts continue to be made by women. Here is just a sampling of firsts made by women.

Lucy Brewer
First woman Marine

Elizabeth Blackwell
First woman to receive a medical degree

Amelia Jenks Bloomer
Publisher/editor of first prominent women's rights newspaper

Harriet Tubman
First woman to run underground railroad to help slaves escape

Lucy Hobbs
First woman to graduate from dental school

Arabella Mansfield Babb
First woman admitted to the bar to practice law

Frances Elizabeth Willard
First woman to become a college president (Evanston College)

Victoria Chaflin Woodhull
First woman to be presidential candidate

Helen Magill
First woman to receive a Ph.D. degree (Boston University)

Belva Ann Lockwood
First woman to practice law before U.S. Supreme Court

Clara Barton
Founder of the American Red Cross

Suzanna Madora Salter
First woman mayor (Argonia, Kansas)

Marie Curie
First women to win  a Nobel Prize AND first person awarded TWO Nobel Prizes(as of 2016)
1903 AND 1911

Mary McLeod Bethune
First woman to establish secondary school that became 4-year accredited college

Blanche Scott
First woman to fly an airplane

Jeannette Rankin
First woman U.S. House Representative (Montana)

Bessie Coleman
First African American Female pilot in USA and first AMERICAN to receive an international pilot’s license

Hallie Ferguson
First woman governor of U. S. state (Texas)

Amelia Earhart
First woman to be a passenger on an airplane across the Atlantic Ocean (1928)
and first woman to fly  across the Atlantic Ocean

Jane Addams
First American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize

Hattie Wyatt Caraway
First woman elected to U.S. Senate

Amelia Earhart
First woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean

Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova
First woman to fly in space, aboard Vostok 6

Mary Clarke
First woman to be named major general in U.S. Army

Sandra Day O'Connor
First woman to become a Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court

Sally Kristen Ride
First American woman to reach outer space.

Ann Bancroft
First woman to walk to North Pole

Christa McAuliffe
First woman citizen passenger on a space mission(teacher)

Lt. Col. Eileen Collins
First American woman to pilot a Space Shuttle

Madeleine K. Albright
First woman Secretary of State and highest ranking woman in the U.S. government

Condoleezza Rice
First African-American woman to be appointed Secretary of State

Nancy Pelosi
First woman to become Speaker of the House

Hillary Clinton 
First FIRST LADY to become a senator(from NY).First woman to be in a presidential primary and caucus in every state. She would go on to be the first female candidate for President for a major political party(Democratic Party)

Michelle Obama 
First African American First Lady

Kathryn Bigelow
First woman to win the Best Director Award

Mary Barra 
First female CEO of General Motors

Allowed to compete in ski jumping events at the Winter Olympics for the first time

Katie Higgins 
First female pilot of the Blue Angels(US Navy Flight demonstration squad)

Megan Brennan
First female United States Postmaster General

Carla Hayden
First woman(and African American woman) to become the 14th Librarian at the Library of Congress

Susan Polgar
First woman in history to achieve the Grandmaster title in chess

Peggy Whitson
Most days spent in space by a NASA astronaut!

Vanessa O'Brien
First woman to successfully summit the 2nd tallest mountain, K2

Gina Haspel
First woman to head the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency)as its director

Carla Provost
First woman to become the Chief of the United States Border Patrol

First ALL Women spacewalk
On March 29th, Christina Koch and Anne McClain will go outside the ISS and participate in the first all female space walk, part of Women's History Month.

  1. Are there any areas in which women still have yet to make a contribution?
2.  What are 3 character traits of women who have been trailblazers? What would you list as 3 of your best character traits?

3.  There is a Hispanic Heritage Month, a Native American Month, a Black History Month and a Women’s History Month. Why do you think such months were established? Do you think there is a need for such months to highlight different groups? Why, why not?

4.  If you could interview a woman trailblazer(past or present), who would it be and why? What might be 2 questions you would ask of that person?

5. Illustrate one of the women’s history facts.

For Teachers:

Sites of interest for additional materials:

3.   Statues built to honor woman 

4.   Quiz your women’s history knowledge(women adventurers)   Quiz your women’s history knowledge (women leaders)

5. Check out the National Women’s Hall of Fame, opened in 1979, in Seneca Falls, NY.    Check out the inductees to the National Women’s Hall of Fame:

6. Another great source of women past and present 

1. Women’s History Month: A Webquest on 12 women that made a difference:

2. Women History: A Bundle of TEN  Reader's Theater Scripts on Women in History:

3. Readings on TEN Famous Women in History:
5. Check out my TpT Store for Reader’s Theater Scripts on Famous women in history, science and literature: Susan B.Anthony, Elizabeth Blackwell, Hillary Clinton, Bessie Coleman, Michelle Obama, Edith Bolling Wilson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart,Dolly Madison, Abigail Adams, Florence Harding, Lady Bird Johnson, Sacagawea, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Marian Anderson, Katherine Johnson and Rachel Carson:  I also have a Reader's Theater Script on WW2 Pilots(part of the WASP) and a Reader's Theater Script on Women Soldiers during the Civil War. I also have a Reader's Theater Script on Revolutionary War Female Spies.
Note: Photographs from of Elizabeth Blackwell:public domain)
  • Left to right: Harriet Tubman, Amelia Earhart, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Blackwell

Sunday, February 17, 2019

International Polar Bear Day is February 27th

International Polar Bear Day is February 27th. It is also called National Polar Bear Day. Polar bears are in great trouble. With the warming of the Arctic waters, there are less ice sheets for polar bears to use to  hunt seals. On this day, people are asked to try and reduce their carbon footprint. 

In the News: Polar Bears Come to Town!

Last week, residents of Guba, Siberia,had a group of unwelcome visitors. The community of 2000 had 52 polar bears come to town. The huge polar bears were searching open garbage dumps for food. With global warming, there is less ice for the polar bears to use to search for food, their favorite being seals, so the bears migrated into Guba. The polar bears have gotten into several office buildings pushing doors and windows to gain entrance. The polar bears have also been spotted near the local schools. Noise and dogs are being used to try and scare the large group of polar bears. The residents are also trying stun grenades. Thus, far, nothing has worked. A Russian law forbids the killing of polar bears.

Photograph from 

Your Turn:
1. What might be a way to get rid of the polar bears?
2. What would you do if you came upon a polar bear?
3. What are TWO facts you know about polar bears(not found in the paragraph above)?
4. Draw a picture of a polar bear and write a paragraph pretending to be a polar beard tell about what you see, hear, smell, etc. as you walk around Guba, Siberia.
5. Use a world map and locate the country of Russia and specifically the area called Siberia. Write 4 facts learned about Russia from the world map.

Fun Facts about Polar Bears:
1. Ursus maritimus is the correct term for polar bears. They are carnivores and the world's largest LAND carnivores? What does this mean?
2. Greenland, Norway, Canada, the United States and Russia are countries which have polar bears.
3.  Polar bears have 42 VERY sharp teeth!
4.  Very intelligent, polar bears can smell food 20 miles away! 
5. Polar bears are very good swimmers and spend much of their time in the water.
6. Underneath their white fur, a polar bear has BLACK skin which helps absorb heat and helps them stay warm.
7. A male polar bear can stand 10 ft. tall!  Polar bear, which can weigh over 1200 pounds, can also run 25 mph.
8. A polar bear can stay underwater for about 1 minute.
9. Polar bears can swim up to. six miles per hours.
10. Polar bears do NOT hibernate like other bears. 

Learn about polar bears with this internet activity:

Friday, February 8, 2019

Presidents' Day is Coming. Possible Interactive Notebook Activity


1. Dogs, cats and birds  have often found a home in the White House. 

2. 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.

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

4. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

11. President John K. Kennedy was the first president who had been a Boy Scout in his youth.

12. 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. 

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

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

15.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 

16. 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.

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

1. 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.

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

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

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

2. Have students illustrate a Presidential Factoid.

3. Have students share some of their responses from YOUR TURN.

You may wish to check out these resources:

The Election Process! (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.

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:

I also have internet activities for students to learn about the IMPEACHMENT process and its history, INAUGUARATION DAY and its history and the history of the STATE of the UNION ADDRESS.

Gail Hennessey

Monday, February 4, 2019

Chocolate Fun Facts. Interactive Notebook Activity

Chocolate Fun Facts
Gail Skroback Hennessey
Do you love chocolate? If you do, you may want to hide a few bars away for a future date. Seems that chocolate may be running out and, in the not so distant future. Researchers says that chocolate, which comes from cacao beans, may be a thing of the past in less than 40 years! The reason, the warming of our planet is making for less and less places for the bean to thrive. Additionally, the demand for chocolate is growing, especially in places such as China where people are  developing a “sweet” tooth. More and more people are also especially sweet on dark chocolate, which requires more cocoa than other types of chocolate. Still another problem is that a fungus is attacking the cacao beans as they grow on the trees. Let’s hope that we can solve the chocolate problem, so we can all continue to enjoy its yummy taste! 

Click here for the free downloadable version of this Interactive Notebook Activity:

Chocolate Factoids:
1. Now THIS is a chocolate bar. Weighing 12,770 pounds when made, it earned the title of world's largest! A ton is 2000 pounds. Approximately, how many tons of chocolate was this bar? _______________

2. To make one pound of chocolate, you need about 400 cocoa beans.

3. Did you know that one of the things sold in Ben Franklin’s printing shop was chocolate? Write TWO facts you know about Ben Franklin:_____________and___________

4. Do you like white chocolate? Actually, it doesn’t have any cocoa and really isn’t chocolate!

5. Montezuma, the Aztec emperor, is said to have had 50 cups of a chocolate drink every day. He drank out of a golden goblet.

6. Originally, hot cocoa was served without sugar and was a very bitter drink.

7. An amazing 23 million Hershey kisses candies are made every day.

8. Milton Hershey had tickets for the maiden voyage of the Titanic but cancelled due to a meeting. Do you know anything about the Titanic? _________________

9. At one time, people in Meso-America(Central America) used cacao beans as money. What might be two problems using cacao beans as money?____________ and ___________

10. “Chocolate” comes from the word, “xocolatl, a Mayan word for “bitter water”.

11. If you have a cough, you may wish to try eating chocolate to get rid of a cough. Seems to work!

12. Chocolate is very dangerous for dogs and cats!

13. For a time in 2013, the country of Belgium made a stamp which had a chocolate flavor.

14. The candy M and Ms were developed as a treat for soldiers during World War 2. The hard shell kept the chocolate from melting too quickly.

15. The chocolate chip cookie was first baked by Ruth Wakefield. The year was 1930. In exchange for a lifetime of chocolate, she gave her recipe to the Nestle’s Company.

16. Did you know that two countries in Africa produce half the world’s chocolate? Those countries are Ghana and the Cote d’Ivoire.

17. On Columbus’ fourth visit, he is credited with bringing back  to Europe the first cocoa beans(1502-1504)

Your Turn:
1. What do you think this saying means? "Life is like a box of never know what you're gonna get.”( From the movie, Forrest Gump.)
2. What is your favorite chocolate treat? Write a descriptive paragraph describing your favorite chocolate treat to a Martian who has never experienced the treat.
3. Illustrate one of the chocolate factoids.
4. Using a world map, locate the countries mentioned in this information.
5. Find 7 nouns. Find 7 verbs. Find 4 pronouns.

Teacher Page:
  1. Before reviewing the facts on chocolate, ask the students to share any prior knowledge they may have on chocolate.
  2. Have students review the factoids on chocolate and do the Your Turn section. Put the handout away and ask the students to write 5 facts they remember from the list.
3.  Review the responses to the Your Turn section.
Check out these resources:
The first in my series, Everything Has a History, check out my History of Candy Internet activity. Why not show your students that even candy has a history with this fun/informative web quest! Learn facts including marshmallows date back to 2000 BC and King Tut's Tomb contained licorice. I also have included several additional resources and extension activities. Great for a Friday, a day before a vacation activity or just when you'd like to share with kids that...everything has a history!

Candy and chocolate are very popular on Valentine’s Day. Check out this resource. Valentine’s Day is February 14th. The symbol of the holiday is a heart. What do you know about the human heart and the Valentine’s Day holiday? Grab a red pencil and use this web quest to find out some very interesting facts about the human heart and the holiday of Valentine’s Day!There are 9 web questions, a 20 All things Red Activity, lots of fun facts and 9 extension activities:

Illustration from: