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, July 29, 2018

A Very BIG YUCK. Warning, Don't Read While Eating!

Using the News in the Classroom.
An Egyptian burial chamber with a large sarcophagus was recently found in Egypt. Inside the sarcophagus were the remains of several skeletons. The remains are in a pool of liquid. A group of people have signed a petition to be allowed to drink the red liquid! Yes, you read correctly. For some reason, the 2000 year old liquid is believed to have magical powers. Scientists disagree. It is believed that sewer leakage got inside the black sarcophagus and that those wanting to drink the the liquid mixed with carbonated water(sarcophagus soda) are foolish.

Your Turn
1. What do you think of this news story?
2. Would you believe over 10,000 people wanted to get the antiquities ministry to allow them to drink the liquid? Saying the "juices are not an elixir for life", but sewage water, they will not allow the request. Do you think that the minister did the correct thing to say NO to the petition? Why, Why not?
3. Has anyone ever asked you to do something foolish? Did you feel pressured to do it? 
4. Why was this such a foolish thing to want to do?

* Photograph from Egyptian Antiquities Ministry.

Check out this freebie on MUMMIES:

Learn about King Tut: Learn lots of fun facts about mummies and specifically the discovery of King Tut's tomb with this play based on the To Tell the Truth Game Show Format. To Tell the Truth was a popular television show which has returned with host Anthony Anderson(of Blackish). Three guests all claim to be the real guest being interviewed by a panel. The real guest must tell the truth where the other imposters do not have to do so. Kids must be "truth detectives" to determine just who is the REAL King Tut. Directions and a suggested YouTube Clip to show the idea of the game, comprehension questions, discussion questions and extension activities(and resources) are included.

Internet Activity on all things Mummy! 
Mummies aren't just found in ancient Egyptian culture. Mummies have been found all over the world! In fact, the oldest man-made mummies are found in the country of Chile! Mummies can be naturally created or man-made. This web quest includes the different types of mummies and has 12 web questions including information on Bog Mummies such as Tollund Man, the Inca Mummies,the Taklamakan Desert Mummies of China, Otzi, the frozen mummy, the Chinchorro Mummies of Chile, the Egyptian mummies... and more. There are comprehension questions, a Did You Know? section, a teacher section with extension activities, additional links and the key. Great for a Friday activity, at Halloween time, or if you are studying ancient Egypt.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Using the News in the Classroom: NASA planning on Live-in Moon Station within 10 Years!

Using the News in the Classroom:

Astronauts may be back on the moon within a decade and they will be taking up housekeeping.  NASA is planning on a live-in moon station. Called the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway facility, it is from the moon where manned mission into outer space will eventually take place. Without gravity, it would be a much easier launch. Such a permanent facility would also make commercial opportunities, such as mining the moon for resources, much easier to do. After a number of Apollo missions to the moon, manned missions from the USA stopped back in 1972. In recent years, water sources have been discovered on the moon which would help in establishing a moon station. Did you know that it was 1969, when the Apollo 11, landed on the moon, and the very first human walked on the moon? 

Photographs from

Did You Know?
  1. Did you know that we only see one side of the moon?

2. Did you know that in Japan, instead of the "man in the moon", it is the "rabbit in the moon”?

3. US Astronauts have left six American flags on the moon.

4. The scientist, Galileo Galileo, was the first person to make maps of the moon.
5. Notice the moon getting smaller and smaller in the sky? This is called waning.  When the moon appears to get larger and larger in the night sky, this is called waxing.

6. Scientists say the moon is moving away from the Earth at about 3.8 cm (or 1 1/2 inches) each year!

7. Only 12 people have ever walked on the moon, starting with Neil Armstrong, in 1969. All were American astronauts.

8. With no wind, any footprints made will last forever, unless walked over by further visitors to the moon.

Your Turn:
1. What are 3 character traits which you would give to an astronaut and why?

2. If you were on a moon mission which would be a long term stay at a lunar station, what would be three things you’d want to bring along?(Remember, they would need to be light in weight)

3. What would be one thing you’d want to see if you were stationed on the moon?

4. What might be two fears you would face if you were on the moon?

5. What are three things(other than friends and family) that you would most miss being away from Earth?

Before giving the students this worksheet, ask students to share any prior knowledge they may have on the moon.
  1. Have students discuss what they wrote down for the “Your Turn” section of the worksheet.
  2. Have students illustrate one of the facts they found most interesting.
  3. Write a poem about the moon.

Resources for Teachers:

Check out my internet activity on Space. 
Learn about the history of space with this informative web quest.

There are 12 web questions, comprehension questions and extension activities.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Thank you, Highlights for Children!

I was just informed that my article, "Art for the Sea", published in Highlights for Children's June, 2018, was awarded the Pewter Plate Award. Thank you very much for this honor!

As soon as I saw Angela Haseltine Pozzi’s amazing artwork, I thought kids might find it interesting to learn about this artist. As with Pozzi, I also hoped that the work, would draw young people(and not so young people) to look more deeply at the works of art to see just what was used in its creation. Plastics are all around us and are getting into our oceans, negatively effecting the marine life that calls the oceans their home. I hope that the article will spark kids to think twice about the plastic that they use and grow up to be better stewards of the earth than previous generations have been!

Learn more about Angela's Washed Ashore efforts:

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Cool Ice Cream Facts for National Ice Cream Month(July). Possible Interactive Notebook Activity!

COOL facts about Ice Cream
Did you Know that JULY is National Ice Cream Month  in the USA? It was established by President Ronald Reagan, in 1984. National Ice Cream Day is the 3rd Sunday in July. Learn some fun facts about ice cream!

• One scoop of ice cream needs about 50 licks to finish.

• The Chinese were making a type of ice cream with milk,rice and snow, about 2000 BC.

• The average American eats 48 pints of ice cream each year.

• To make one gallon of ice cream, you need 12 pounds of milk. A dairy cow can produce enough milk for about 9000 gallons of ice cream in its lifetime.

• The USA is the world's leading producer of ice cream.

• Alexander the Great liked nectar and honey flavored snow.

• National Ice Cream Month is in July.

• Yes...vanilla is the most popular ice cream flavor(followed by chocolate and strawberry).

• An ice cream tester for Dreyer's Ice Cream actually insured his tongue for $1 million dollars!

• Dolly Madison served strawberry ice cream at the second inaugural ball of her husband, President James Madison, in 1812.

• Sunday is the day of the week when the most ice cream is sold in the United States.

• Did you know that one of the main ingredients in ice cream is ....AIR.(makes it lighter and gives it  smoothness)

• During WW2, the U.S. Navy(1945) built a floating ice cream parlor   for our sailors fighting in the Pacific.

• More ice cream is sold in the WINTER months in Canada than the summer months.

• Strange ice cream flavors? Jalapeno, dill pickle ice cream, garlic ice cream, bacon ice cream,blue cheese and shallots, squid ink and curry carrot ice cream might be flavors to include in this list.

• The world's largest ice cream cone weighted 2204 pounds. It was 13 feet tall. It was made in Gloucester, UK, in 2012.

• The world's largest ice cream sundae was created in Kingston, NY, in 2014. It  was 1606 ft. tall.

• Ever get a brain freeze from eating ice cream?  The top of the mouth has lots of nerves. When cold ice cream comes into contact with these nerves, it causes blood vessels in the brain to dilate, giving the short headache also known as an ice cream headache.

* During World War 2, Mussolini banned ice cream in the country of Italy. He thought it was too American!

• Thomas Jefferson loved ice cream. See his recipe for Vanilla Ice Cream at this link:

Extension Activities:

* Write a haiku poem on ice cream.

* If you had to describe ice cream to an alien from outer space, what would be 3 descriptives you'd use to explain the treat.  Write a paragraph about your encounter sharing ice cream with an alien.

* Draw/color a picture of an ice cream sundae. Exchange your drawing with 3 others and have them write descriptive words to describe what they see. When your drawing is returned, write a paragraph using the comments about your ice cream sundae.

* There is a saying, " A picture is worth a 1000 words. Illustrate/color one of the facts about ice cream which conveys the fact.

Additional Links:

2. Timeline on the history of ice cream.



FREEBIES! Check out these highlighted Freebies at my TpT Store.

Highlighted FREEBIES at my TpT Store.
Check out some of my FREE resources, including many which can be used as an interactive notebook activities. I have several others, too, posted at my TpT Store.

6. Doing a Fall unit on apples? Looking for an activity during a study of pioneers? Doing a unit on folk hero? Doing a biography on Johnny Appleseed? This interactive notebook on Apples has several activities and 17 interesting fun facts about apples:

9. Learn about 4 famous pranks done on April Fools' Day.
Also great to begin a discussion on REAL and FAKE News.

Feedback always appreciated.


Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Using the News in the Classroom: Flamingo Spotting in Texas!

In the News
Flamingo Spotting!
Wildlife officials in south Texas spotted a flamingo. It’s a rare sighting as flamingos are not native to the United States. This flamingo has a name, Number 492, and went missing from a zoo in the state of Kansas thirteen years ago! Seems a captive flamingo can’t fly if its wings are clipped as a baby. However, 492, which is the bird’s leg band number, came from the country of Tanzania and was an adult. Not having had its wings clipped, officials need to cut its feathers on a regular basis. Otherwise, the feathers regrow and flying is possible. Number 492 flew the coup at the Sedgwick County Zoo, in Kansas, with another flamingo, named 347, who hasn’t been seen in years. Wildlife official say the flamingo is about 23 years old and can live in the wild for close to 40 years.

Did You Know?
1. Flamingos get their color from the algae and food they eat(such as shrimp crustaceans and plankton). Flamingos are omnivores as they eat both animals and plants.

2. Flamingos like to stand on one leg with the other tucked into its feathers.

3. Flamingos are very social creatures and like living with other flamingos. Called colonies, the largest flamingo colony is found in East Africa. About 1.5 million flamingos gather here!

4. A flamingo can fly at up to 37 mph.

5. The oldest flamingo in captivity lived in the Adelaide Zoo in Australian until the age of 83.

6. Did you know when a flamingo sits down, it bends its legs backwards?

7. The pink plastic flamingo many people place in their yards was invented by Don Featherstone.

8. In order to fly, a flamingo needs a running start. With their 3 webbed toes, flamingos actually can run on water(for a short time)!

9. When it is time to eat, flamingos turn their heads upside-down and collect water which they strain out of their bills to catch food.

10. Interestingly, groups of flamingos can demonstrate an unusual behavior.  They “march” in one direction and suddenly will all suddenly change direction! 

11. The word flamingo comes from a Spanish and Latin word “flamenco” meaning “fire”.

12. There are 6 species of flamingo. The largest, the “greater flamingo” can measure 5 ft. tall! They only weigh about six pounds.  The “lesser flamingo” is the smallest of flamingos and is about 3 feet tall.

Your Turn:
1. Pretend you are a flamingo and tell about a day in your life.

2. To you, what  is the most interesting thing about a flamingo?

3.  Review the news story. What are 3 specific facts learned from the reading?______________  _____________ _____________.

4. Try and create 5 words(3 words or more) from the word flamingo.

5. Draw/ color a fact about a flamingo. Share one fact you found of interest on your drawing.

Teacher Page:
Before giving the students the handout, ask the students to share any prior knowledge they have about the flamingo.

Extension Activities:

2. Listen to a story about a flamingo:

3. Have students circle and correct any mistakes in the following news story.

Wildlife officials in south Texas spotted a flamingo. Its a rare sighting as flamingos isn’t native to the United Staes. This flamingos has a name, Number 492, and went missing from a zoo in the state of Kansas thirteen years ago! Seems a captive flamingo can’t fly if it’s wings are clipped as a baby. However, 492, which is the birds leg band number, came from the country of Tanzania and was an adult. Not having had it’s wings clipped, officials need to cut its feathers on a regular basis. Otherwise, the feathers regrow and flying is possible. Number 492 flewed the coup at the Sedgwick County Zoo, in Kansas, with another flamingo, named 347, who hasn’t been seen in years. Wildlife official say the flamingo is about 23 years old and can lives in the wild for close to 40 year.

Gail Hennessey

Illustration from