October Activities


1847 - Maria (pronounced Ma-RYE-uh) Mitchell, America's first woman astronomer, discovered a comet by looking through a telescope. As the first person to make such a discovery, she later received a gold medal from the King of Denmark.
Armstrong, Mabel.  Women Astronomers: Reaching for the Stars.  Stone Pine Press, 2008.  Gr. 5-12
Burleigh, Robert.  Look Up!: Henrietta Leavitt, Pioneering Woman Astronomer.  Illus. by Raúl Colón.
Paula Wiseman/Simon & Schuster, 2013.  Gr. 2-4
Gerber, Carole.  Annie Jump Cannon, Astronomer.  Illus. by Christina Wald.  Pelican, 2011.  Gr. K-3
Gormley, Beatrice.  Maria Mitchell: The Soul of an Astronomer.  Eerdmans, 1995.  Gr. 6-10
Hopkinson, Deborah.  Maria's Comet.  Illus. by Deborah Lanino.  Atheneum, 1999.  Gr. K-3
McCully, Emily Arnold.  Caroline's Comets: A True Story.  Holiday House, 2017.  Gr. 2-4
McPherson, Stephanie S.  Rooftop Astronomer: A Story about Maria Mitchell.  Illus. by Hetty Mitchell.  Carolrhoda,
1990.  Gr. 4-6
Chrismer, Melanie.  Comets (Scholastic News Nonfiction Readers).  Franklin Watts, 2008.  Gr. 1-3
Check school and public library shelves for biographies of Maria Mitchell and nonfiction books about comets published in library editions.

Distinguished Women of Past and Present
A brief biography that summarizes Mitchell's acccomplishments in astronomy as well as her other interests.
Comet Facts, Myths, and Legends at Amazing Space
Very readable, illustrated history of comets with photos and information about the most famous comets.
Comets from Windows to the Universe
An overview of comets with a table of facts about known comets and photos. Written at three different reading levels.
Comets on StarChild
Describes how comets are formed and move. Includes a movie about comets.
Use today as a springboard for research about Maria Mitchell and other women associated with space, the work and accomplishments of astronomers in general, or the nature and history of comets. Students might want to sketch a comet and record their facts on their sketch.


1950 – Created by Charles Schulz, the “Peanuts” comic strip first appeared as a daily strip in seven newspapers. It initially appeared in Sunday newspapers on January 6, 1952.
Bruel, Nick.  Bad Kitty Makes Comics...And You Can Too!  Square Fish, 2015.  Gr. 1-3
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Musuem.  Designing with Pixar: 45 Activities to Create Your Own Characters,
Worlds, and Stories.  Chronicle, 2016.  Gr. 3 & above
Roche, Art.  Art for Kids: Cartooning: The Only Cartooning Book You'll Ever Need to Be the Artist You've Always
Wanted to Be.  Lark Books, 2005.  Gr. 3-8
Roche, Art.  Art for Kids: Comic Strips: Create Your Own Comic Strips from Start to Finish.  Lark Books, 2007  Gr. 3-8
Schulz, Charles M.  Cartooning with Charles M. Schulz.  HarperCollins, 1996.  Gr. 4-8
Sturm, James; Arnold, Andrew, & Frederick-Frost, Alexis.  Adventures in Cartooning: How to Turn Your Doodles
into Comics.  First Second Books/Roaring Brook, 2009.  Gr. 2-5.  Also: Adventures in Cartooning Activity Book (2010) and Adventures in Cartooning: Characters in Action (2013)
Zemach, Kaethe.  Ms. McCaw Learns to Draw.  Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, 2008.  Gr. 1-4
Check school and public library shelves for biographies of Charles Schulz published in library editions and for books about the how-to of cartooning.

The Official Peanuts Website
A must-visit site that includes a strip library featuring a daily calendar of Peanuts strips, a timeline, biographical sketches of Peanuts Gang members and “milestone” strips in their lives, games, and downloadable coloring book pages.
Charles M. Schulz Museum
A brief biography, a timeline, and Peanuts FAQs.

Read a short biography to students so they can learn how Charles Schulz got his start as a cartoonist and his inspiration for the Peanuts characters.
Make a display of “Peanuts Gang” books for students to read (there are hundreds!). Invite students to find a cartoon panel or strip they especially like and share it with the class.
Have students illustrate and write text for a three or four panel comic strip. Bind their work into a class book and place it in the classroom (or school) library. Gather a collection of drawing books that focus on cartooning to assist students in their drawing efforts.


1904 – Educator and civil rights leader Mary McLeod Bethune opened a school for African American children in Daytona, Florida. She had six students—five girls, aged 6-12, and her son Albert. The school became coeducational in 1923. It is now known as Bethune-Cookman University.
Books (related titles):
Alexander, Elizabeth & Nelson, Marilyn.  Miss Crandall’s School for Young Ladies & Little Misses of Color.  Illus. by
Floyd Cooper. Wordsong, 2007.  Gr. 6 & above
Bradby, Marie.  More Than Anything Else.  Illus. by Chris Soentpiet.  Scholastic, 1995.  Gr. K-3
Bridges, Ruby.  Through My Eyes.  Scholastic, 1999.  Gr. 3-8
Coles, Robert.  The Story of Ruby Bridges.  Illus. by George Ford.  Scholastic, 1995.  Gr. 1-4
Finkelstein, Norman H.  Schools of Hope: How Julius Rosenwald Helped Change African American Education.
Calkins Creek, 2014.  Gr. 5-8
Fradin, Dennis Brindell & Fradin, Judith Bloom.  The Power of One: Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Nine.  Clarion,
2004.  Gr. 6-10
Jurmain, Suzanne.  The Forbidden Schoolhouse: The True and Dramatic Story of Prudence Crandall and her
Students.  Houghton Mifflin, 2005.  Gr. 5-9
Kanefield, Teri.  The Girl from the Tar Paper School: Barbara Rose Johns and the Advent of the Civil Rights
Movement.  Abrams, 2014.  Gr. 5-8
Littlesugar, Amy.  Freedom School, Yes!  Illus. by Floyd Cooper.  Philomel, 2001.  Gr. 1-4
Lucas, Eileen.  Cracking the Wall: The Struggles of the Little Rock Nine.  Illus. by Mark Anthony.  Carolrhoda, 1997.
Gr. 3-5
Morrison, Toni.  Remember: The Journey to School Integration.  Houghton Mifflin, 2004.  Gr. 4-10
Rappaport, Doreen.  This School Is Not White!  Illus. by Curtis James.  Hyperion, 2005.  Gr. 2-5
Vaughan, Marcia K.  Up the Learning Tree.  Illus. by Derek Blanks.  Lee & Low, 2003.  Gr. 1-4
Weatherford, Carole Boston.  Dear Mr. Rosenwald.  Illus. by R. Gregory Christie.  Scholastic, 2006.  Gr. 1-4
Check school and public library shelves for biographies of Mary McLeod Bethune published in library editions.
“Mary McLeod Bethune, Educator” from Florida Memory, State Archives of Florida
Biographical information, photographs, and interview transcripts of Bethune.

Compare Bethune’s work with that of Booker T. Washington, another educator of the time.
The books listed here deal with the education and creation of schools for African American children. They offer a fiction and nonfiction perspective from the time of slavery into the Civil Rights Movement and provide opportunities for discussion and further research.


1862 – birthdate of Edward Stratemeyer, American author and publisher of series books for children. Through his “Stratemeyer Syndicate,” founded in 1906, he utilized a team of freelance writers to write novels which were published under a pen name. Among the series he made famous were Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, and The Bobbsey Twins, among others.
Check libraries and home bookshelves for copies of the mysteries about Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and the Bobbsey Twins series.
“Nancy Drew’s Father” by Meghan O’Rourke, article in November 8, 2004 issue of The New Yorker
Adult interest article on the work of Edward Stratemeyer and his literary creations.
The History of Nancy Drew
An overview of the history of the Nancy Drew series plus a timeline and cover art for the books over time
The Hardy Boys Unofficial Online Resource
History, FAQs, cover art of the books, biographical sketches of the characters, and much more

Have students ask older family members their recollections of reading books from the Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, or The Bobbsey Twins series. In an effort to arrive at the appeal of series books, compare those memories with the students’ opinions of their favorites from current popular series.
Divide the class into study groups, with each group working on a different contemporary (reading-level appropriate) series. Have the students analyze the series and record information such as: names and one-sentence bios of the main characters; series genre (e.g., mystery, fantasy, historical, etc.); common features across the books; setting (one or many?); title and copyright date of the first book in the series; author information; and any changes they notice in the characters across books. Encourage the groups to share their collected information in creative ways (e.g., written on a boxcar or in a treehouse). Possible series for this activity: A to Z Mysteries (Ron Roy), Amelia Bedelia (Peggy Parish), American Girls (different authors for each girl), Arthur (Marc Brown), Boxcar Children (Gertrude Chandler Warner), Encyclopedia Brown (Donald Sobol), Hank the Cowdog (John R. Erickson), Ivy & Bean (Annie Barrows), Junie B. Jones (Barbara Park), Judy Moody (Megan McDonald), Just Grace (Charise Mericle Harper), the “Little House” books (Laura Ingalls Wilder), Magic Tree House (Mary Pope Osborne), Nate the Great (Marjorie Weinman Sharmat), Redwall (Brian Jacques), Series of Unfortunate Events (Lemony Snicket), Spiderwick Chronicles (Holly Black), and Time Warp Trio (Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith). Students might think of other series they would like to study. Focusing on series which carry the same characters throughout allow more opportunities for character study.


1959 – birthday of author/illustrator David Shannon, whose No, David! was named a Caldecott Honor Book in 1999. Shannon wrote and illustrated his first version of No, David! when he was five years old.
Books (a selection):
Author and illustrator:
How Georgie Radbourne Saved Baseball.  Blue Sky/Scholastic, 1994. Gr. K-4
A Bad Case of Stripes.  Blue Sky/Scholastic, 1998. Gr. K-3
No, David!  Blue Sky/Scholastic, 1998.  Gr. Pre-2 (also: David Goes to School and David Gets in Trouble)
The Rain Came Down.  Blue Sky/Scholastic, 2000.  Gr. K-2
Duck on a Bike.  Blue Sky/Scholastic, 2002.  Gr. K-2
Alice the Fairy.  Blue Sky/Scholastic, 2004.  Gr. K-2
Good Boy, Fergus!  Blue Sky/Scholastic, 2006.  Gr. K-2
Too Many Toys.  Blue Sky/Scholastic, 2008.  Gr. K-2
It's Christmas, David!  Blue Sky/Scholastic, 2010.  Gr. K-2
Jangles: A Big Fish Story.  Blue Sky/Scholastic, 2012.  Gr. K-3
Bugs in My Hair.  Blue Sky/Scholastic, 2013.  Gr. K-3
Duck on a Tractor.  Blue Sky/Scholastic, 2016.  Gr. K-2
Robertson, Robbie.  Hiawatha and the Peacemaker.  Abrams, 2015.  Gr. 2-5
Scieszka, Jon.  Robot Zot!  Simon & Schuster, 2009.  Gr. K-3
Scieszka, Jon. "Trucktown" series. Simon & Schuster.  Gr. P-1
Long, Melinda.  How I Became a Pirate.  Harcourt, 2003.  Gr. K-3 (also: Pirates Don’t Change Diapers)
Martin, Rafe.  The Shark God.  Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, 2001.  Gr. 1-3
Wood, Audrey.  The Bunyans.  Blue Sky/Scholastic, 1966.  Gr. 1-3
Yolen, Jane.  The Ballad of the Pirate Queens.  Harcourt, 1995.  Gr. 3-5

David Shannon
Short biography of David Shannon with lists of his books written and/or illustrated, an art gallery, and more
Video interview from Reading Rockets
David Shannon Biography, from Scholastic
A short biography plus a video interview in which he explains how he made the illustrations for Too Many Toys

Enjoy the humor in David Shannon’s books. Discuss his distinctive style of illustration that is apparent across all of his books. His primary choice of medium is acrylics with details in colored pencil.
Students might enjoy writing another adventure for the David character.


October is National Pizza Month!
Auch, Mary Jane.  The Princess and the Pizza.  Illus. by Herm Auch. Holiday House, 2002.  Gr. K-2
Barbour, Karen.  Little Nino's Pizzeria.  Harcourt, 1999.  Gr. K-3
Castaldo, Nancy F.  A Pizza for the Queen.  Illus. by Melisande Potter.  Holiday House, 2005.  Gr. K-3
Dobson, Christina.  Pizza Counting.  Illus. by Matthew Holmes. Charlesbridge, 2003.  Gr. 2-4
Gemignani, Tony.  Tony and the Pizza Champions.  Illus. by Matthew Trueman.  Chronicle, 2009.  Gr. K-3
Holub, Joan.  The Pizza That We Made.  Illus. by Lynne Avril Cravath. Viking, 2001.  Gr. K-1
Iwai, Melissa.  Pizza Day.  Henry Holt, 2017.  Gr. Pre-2
Khalsa, Dayal Kaur.  How Pizza Came to Queens.  Clarkson Potter, 1989.  Gr. 1-3
Kovalski, Maryann.  Pizza for Breakfast.  Morrow, 1990.  Gr. K-3
Maccarone, Grace.  Pizza Party!  Illus. by Emily Arnold McCully. Scholastic Cartwheel, 1994.  Gr. K-1
Morgan, Mary.  Dragon Pizzeria.  Knopf, 2008.  Gr. K-2
Rotner, Shelley & Hellums, Julia Pemberton.  Hold the Anchovies!: A Book about Pizza.  Orchard, 1996.  Gr. K-2
Rubin, Adam.  Secret Pizza Party.  Illus. by Daniel Salmieri.  Dial, 2013.  Gr. K-3
Steig, William.  Pete's a Pizza.  Joanna Cotler, 1998.  Gr. K-3
Sturges, Philemon.  The Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza).  Illus. by Amy Walrod.  Dutton, 1999.  Gr. K-3
Walter, Virginia.  "Hi, Pizza Man!"  Illus. by Ponder Goembel.  Orchard, 1995.  Gr. K-1
Wellington, Monica.  Pizza at Sally's.  Dutton, 2006.  Gr. K-3

Pizza Facts
Information on the history of pizza, plus facts and how to make different pizzas
12 Facts about Pizza from How Stuff Works
Pizza statistics including some pizza records (some advertisements)
Pizza Fun Facts
Collection of trivia and fun facts about making and eating pizza

Check the Poetry Nook for a "Pizza Song."
Have students complete this sentence: "The most important part of a pizza is _________________ because _____________________________." Illustrate the sentences with pictures of pizza or pizza slices that students find in magazines or newspaper advertisements. Display the sentences. Make a graph of students' favorite parts of a pizza (e.g., crust, sauce, cheese, different toppings they might mention).
Have students write original pizza recipes using the pizza paper. Discuss what is included in a recipe, such as the ingredients, directions for preparation, and cooking time and temperature. Bind the recipes into a book for the classroom or school library.
Write acrostic or concrete poems about pizza or the parts of a pizza. Visit the Poetry Nook for examples of both types of poems. Brainstorm pizza words and pizza toppings before beginning writing.
View the "Reading Rainbow" episode of Little Nino's Pizzeria. Check out the teacher's guide for several pizza-related activities across the curriculum.


October is National Popcorn Poppin' Month
Asch, Frank.  Popcorn.  Parents Magazine Press, 1979.  Gr. K-2
dePaola, Tomie.  The Popcorn Book.  Holiday House, 1978.  Gr. 1-4 (includes facts)
Landau, Elaine.  Popcorn!  Illus. by Brian Lies.  Charlesbridge, 2003.  Gr. 2-5 (includes facts)
Low, Alice.  The Popcorn Shop.  Illus. by Patricia Hammel. Scholastic, 1994. Gr. K-2
McCully, Emily Arnold.  Popcorn at the Palace.  Harcourt, 1997.  Gr. 1-4
Moran, Alex.   Popcorn.  Illus. by Betsy Everitt.  Green Light Readers/Harcourt, 2003.  Gr. K-1
Sandburg, Carl.  The Huckabuck Family: And How They Raised Popcorn in Nebraska and Quit and Came Back.
Illus. by David Small.  Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1999.  Gr. 1-4
Thayer, Jane.  The Popcorn Dragon.  Illus. by Lisa McCue.  HarperCollins, 1989.  Gr. K-2

Links to the history of popcorn, facts, and recipes.
All-purpose site about the science of popcorn (including a video), history, industry facts, nutrition information, games, recipes, and crafts with popcorn.

Check the Poetry Nook for a poem about popcorn.
Have students consult the books about popcorn or search the websites to locate a fact about popcorn and write their fact on the popcorn shaped paper. Cut out the popcorn shape and display the facts on a large popcorn "bucket."
For some math fun, make popcorn and involve students in estimation and prediction with the following activities: 1) measure a half cup of unpopped kernels and predict how many cups of popped corn it will make; 2) estimate the length of time that passes before they hear the first "pop," record the estimates, and use a stopwatch (or the classroom clock) to verify the actual time; 3) predict the number of "old maids" there will be after popping (go back to the books and websites to find out why some kernels do not pop); 4) using the popcorn shaped paper and a nut cup of unpopped kernels, estimate the number of kernels that will fit left-to-right across the popcorn shape at its widest point; place the kernels on the paper shape to verify estimates.


1930 – birthdate of author/illustrator Faith Ringgold, whose book Tar Beach was named a Caldecott Honor Book in 1992. A celebrated quilt artist, she is best known for her story quilts which are on permanent exhibit in a number of museums.
Tar Beach.  Crown, 1991.  Gr. K-3
Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky.  Knopf, 1992.  Gr. 2-5
Dinner at Aunt Connie’s House.  Hyperion, 1993.  Gr. 2-4
My Dream of Martin Luther King.  Knopf, 1995.  Gr. 1-4
Bonjour, Lonnie.  Hyperion, 1996.  Gr. 2-4
The Invisible Princess.  Crown, 1998.  Gr. 3-5
If a Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks.  Simon & Schuster, 1999.  Gr. 2-5
Cassie’s Word Quilt.  Knopf, 2002.  Gr. K-1
Harry Ossawa Tanner: His Boyhood Dream Comes True.  Bunker Hill Publishing, 2011.  Gr. 1-4
Harlem Renaissance Party.  Amistad/HarperCollins, 2015.  Gr. 2-4
We Came to America.  Knopf, 2016.  Gr. K-3
Brooks, Gwendolyn.  Bronzeville Boys and Girls.  Amistad/HarperCollins, 2006.  Gr. 1-5
Hurston, Zora Neale (Auth.); Thomas, Joyce (Adapt.).  The Three Witches.  HarperCollins, 2006.  Gr. 2-4
Ringgold, Faith; Freeman, Linda, & Roucher, Nancy.  Talking with Faith Ringgold.  Crown, 1996.  Gr. 3 & above
Turner, Robyn Montana.  Faith Ringgold (Portraits of Women Artists).  Little, Brown, 1993.  Gr. 2-6
Venezia, Mike.  Faith Ringgold (Getting the Know the World’s Greatest Artists).  Scholastic.  Gr. 3-5

Faith Ringgold
Official site includes a biography, book list, places where her art is on display, a chronological list of reproductions online, and a story for students to illustrate.

As a class, decide on an event that everyone has enjoyed together, e.g., a field trip, a school-wide activity, a special classroom celebration, etc. Brainstorm sentences that make up a story about the chosen topic. Depending on the number of sentences, assign students to draw pictures to accompany the text. Assemble the pictures and sentences into a “story quilt,” using the design of Faith Ringgold’s story quilts as examples. Her story and pictures often make up the border of her quilts with another design in the center. For the center of their quilt, students could use digital pictures that were taken as part of the event. Display the quilt in the classroom or hallway.


Astronomy Day is celebrated twice annually (also on April 29, 2017)
Aguilar, David A.  11 Planets: A New View of the Solar System.  National Geographic, 2008.  Gr. 5-8
Armstrong, Jennifer.  Wan Hu Is in the Stars.  Illus. by Barry Root.  HarperCollins, 1995.  Gr. 1-3
Asch, Frank.  The Sun Is My Favorite Star.  Harcourt, 2000.  Gr. Pre-2
Barner, Bob.  Stars! Stars! Stars!  Chronicle, 2002.  Gr. K-2
Benson, Michael.  Beyond: A Solar System Voyage.  Abrams, 2009.  Gr. 5-9
Berger, Melvin & Berger, Gilda.  Do Stars Have Points?: Questions and Answers about Stars and Planets.
Scholastic, 1998.  Gr. 3-6
Branley, Franklyn M.  The Sun: Our Nearest Star.  Illus. by Edward Miller.  HarperCollins, 2002.  Gr. 1-3
Burleigh, Robert.  Look Up!: Henrietta Leavitt, Pioneering Woman Astronomer.  Illus. by Raúl Colón.  Simon &
Schuster, 2013.  Gr. 2-4
DiSiena, Laura Lyn & Eliot, Hannah.  Saturn Could Sail ("Did You Know?" series.)  Illus. by Pete Oswald & Aaron
Spurgeon.  Little Simon, 2014.  Gr. K-3
Florian, Douglas.  Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars.  Harcourt, 2007.  Gr. 2-5 (poetry)
Gibbons, Gail.  Galaxies! Galaxies!  Holiday House, 2007.  Gr. 2-4
Gibbons, Gail.  The Planets.  Holiday House, 2008.  Gr. 1-3 (new edition)
Goble, Paul.  Her Seven Brothers.  Bradbury, 1988.  Gr. 2-5
Hopkins, Lee Bennett (Sel.).  Sky Magic.  Illus. by Mariusz Stawarski.  Dutton, 2009.  Gr. 2-6
Jenkins, Alvin.  Next Stop Neptune: Experiencing the Solar System.  Illus. by Steve Jenkins.  Houghton Mifflin, 2004.
Gr. 2-4
Kudlinski, Kathleen V.  Boy, Were We Wrong about the Solar System!  Illus. by John Rocco.  Dutton, 2008.  Gr. 2-4
Leedy, Loreen & Schuerger, Andrew.  Messages from Mars.  Holiday House, 2006.  Gr. 3-5
Leedy, Loreen.  Postcards from Pluto: A Tour of the Solar System.  Holiday House, 2006.  Gr. 3-5 (revised edition)
Macy, Sue.  Sally Ride: Life on a Mission.  Aladdin, 2014.  Gr. 4-7
McNulty, Faith.  If You Decide to Go to the Moon.  Scholastic, 2005.  Gr. 1-4
Mitton, Jacqueline.  Zoo in the Sky: A Book of Animal Constellations.  Illus. by Christina Balit.  National Geographic,
1998.  Gr. 1-4
Mitton, Jacqueline.  Once Upon a Starry Night: A Book of Constellations.  National Geographic, 2003.  Gr. 1-4
Mitton, Jacqueline.  The Zodiac: Celestial Circle of the Sun.  Illus. by Christina Balit.  Frances Lincoln, 2004.  Gr. 2-4
Oughton, Jerrie.  How the Stars Fell into the Sky: A Navajo Legend.  Illus. by Lisa Desimini.  Houghton Mifflin, 1992.
Gr. K-3
Monroe, Jean Guard & Williamson, Ray A.  They Dance in the Sky: Native American Star Myths.  Illus. by Edgar
Stewart.  Houghton Mifflin, 1987.  Gr. 4-8
Peddicord, Jane Ann.  Night Wonders.  Charlesbridge, 2005.  Gr. 2-4
Ray, Mary Lyn.  Stars.  Illus. by Marla Frazee.  Beach Lane, 2011.  Gr. K-3
Sasaki, Chris.  Constellations: The Stars and Stories.  Illus. by Joe Boddy.  Sterling, 2002.  Gr. 6-9
Scott, Elaine.  When Is a Planet Not a Planet?: The Story of Pluto.  Clarion, 2007.  Gr. 3-6
Simon, Seymour.  Our Solar System.  Collins, 2007.  Gr. 3-6 (revised edition)
Sisson, Stephanie Roth.  Star Stuff: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos.  Roaring Brook, 2014.  Gr. 2-4
Sklansky, Amy E.  Out of This World: Poems and Facts about Space.  Illus. by Stacey Schuett.  Knopf, 2012.  Gr. 3-6
Taylor, Harriet Peck.  Coyote Places the Stars.  Simon & Schuster, 1993.  Gr. 1-4
Wallace, Nancy Elizabeth.  Stars! Stars! Stars!  Marshall Cavendish, 2009.  Gr. K-3
Search school and public library shelves for nonfiction books about astronomy and space published in library editions.

Facts about many aspects of space objects and exploration, games and activities, and much more (advertisements)
Nine Planets for Kids
Modified from the "Nine Planets" website to be more child friendly, this site contains facts about the planets and other space objects; some photos and video included; Pluto is a dwarf planet (advertisements)
Ask an Astronomer for KIDS
Fairly lengthy collection of questions with easy-to-understand answers organized into categories according to space topic
The Space Place, at NASA
Games, activities, and information in these categories: "Space," "Sun," "Earth," "Solar System," and "People & Technology;" section for educators and parents included
Astronomy, at Kid Info
Excellent resource for students doing research that contains links to information on just about any topic associated with astronomy

See Activities Calendars for additional books, weblinks, and activities for related topics: the moon (September 16), comets/Maria Mitchell (October 1), and astronaut Mae Jemison (October 17).
Discuss the fascination that people have always had with space. Ask students if they could go anywhere in space, where they would go and why.
Students can make a matrix of planet facts on a large chart. List the planets along the side of the chart (they might want to add the dwarf planets, including Pluto). Across the top of the chart, list categories such as: distance from the sun, number of moons, hot/cold temperatures, length of orbit, physical description, and other "interesting facts." Leave one column for a photo that they can download from the internet.
After students have completed their research, take a field trip to an observatory or planetarium, if possible.
Read some of the traditional pourquoi tales (invented stories that explain natural phenomena) about constellations and other space objects. (Collections and individual tales are listed in the book list above.) Discuss why these stories might have originally been told. Compare the explanations in the stories with scientific facts gathered from research.
Brainstorm a list of questions that students would like to ask an astronomer. These should be questions that have not been answered in their research. Try one of the online sites for communicating with an astronomer, such as Ask an Astronomer from the Lick Observatory or Curious about Astronomy? Ask an Astronomer from Cornell University. Guidelines for submitting questions are posted on each site.


1888 – The Washington Monument opened.
Check school and public library shelves for nonfiction books about the Washington Monument. Many have been published in library editions.
Roy, Ron.  Mystery at the Washington Monument (Capital Mysteries #8).  Random House, 2007.  Gr. 2-4

Statues and Memorials: The Washington Monument from Ben’s Guide to U.S. Government for Kids.
Basic facts about the Washington Monument.
The Washington Monument, a lesson plan from Scholastic
Materials include an article for students to read and a downloadable cut-out of the Washington Monument

Research famous American monuments and memorials. Have students collect basic information about each one, including the location, the designer, physical features and dimensions, important dates associated with the monument, and unique facts. Have students create a three-slide PowerPoint presentation about their monument, as follows: Slide 1: a picture of the monument, its title, the location, and dates; Slide 2: physical features/dimensions; Slide 3: other interesting facts. Assemble all of their slides into a presentation about monuments and memorials.


1942 – birthdate of author/illustrator James Marshall, whose Goldilocks and the Three Bears was named a Caldecott Honor Book in 1989. In 2007, Marshall was named recipient of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, given by the American Library Association to an author or illustrator whose books make a “substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children” (Association for Library Service to Children, ALA, 2008).
Books (a selection):
Allard, Harry.  Miss Nelson Is Missing.  Houghton Mifflin, 1977.  Gr. K-3 (also: Miss Nelson Is Back and Miss Nelson
Has a Field Day)
Allard, Harry.  The Stupids Step Out.  Houghton Mifflin, 1974.  Gr. K-3 (also: The Stupids Have a Ball, The Stupids
Die, and The Stupids Take Off)
George and Martha.  Houghton Mifflin, 1972.  Gr. K-3 (also: George and Martha Encore, George and Martha Rise
and Shine, George and Martha One Fine Day, George and Martha Tons of Fun, George and Martha Back in Town, and George and Martha Round and Round)
Yummers!  Houghton Mifflin, 1973.  Gr. K-3 (also: Yummers Too: The Second Course)
The Cut-Ups.  Viking, 1984.  Gr. K-3 (also: The Cut-Ups Cut Loose, The Cut-Ups at Camp Custer, The Cut-Ups
Carry On, and The Cut-Ups Crack Up)
Fox and His Friends.  Dial, 1982.  Gr. K-2 (also: Fox in Love, Fox at School, Fox on Wheels, Fox All Week, Fox on
the Job, Fox Be Nimble, Fox on Stage, and Fox Outfoxed)
Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  Dial, 1988.  Gr. K-3
Hansel and Gretel.  Dial, 1990.  Gr. K-3
Red Riding Hood.  Dial, 1987.  Gr. K-3
The Three Little Pigs.  Dial, 1989.  Gr. K-3
Space Case.  Dial, 1980.  Gr. K-3
And many more! Some of James Marshall’s books identify “Edward Marshall” as the author. There was no Edward—the author was James.

Picture Books Author of the Month: James Marshall, at Greenville, RI, Public Library
Biography plus list of books and links to other resources
Featured Author: James Marshall
Biographical sketch plus activity suggestions for several of his books
Celebrating James Marshall and Humor in Children’s Books
Video of a panel (David Wiesner, Susan Meddaugh, Anita Silvey, and Roger Sutton) tribute to the work of James Marshall

Read and laugh together! Use James Marshall as a mentor author and study his stories and illustrations to determine how he injects humor into his books. Work with examples from his different “series,” such as George and Martha, the Stupids, the Cut-ups, Miss Nelson and Viola Swamp, and the fairy tales. As a class, make a large chart with the titles you read listed along the side and columns for “funny elements in the text” and “funny elements in the illustrations.” Keep this chart to refer to when students are trying to add humor to their own writing.


1884 – birthdate of Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and First Lady, 1933-1945.
Adler, David A.  A Picture Book of Eleanor Roosevelt.  Illus. by Robert Casilla.  Holiday House, 1991.  Gr. 2-4
Cooney, Barbara.  Eleanor.  Viking, 1996.  Gr. 1-4
Fleming, Candace.  Our Eleanor: A Scrapbook Look at Eleanor Roosevelt’s Remarkable Life.  Atheneum, 2005.
Gr. 5 & above
Freedman, Russell.  Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery.  Clarion, 1993.  Gr. 5 & above
Harness, Cheryl.  Franklin and Eleanor.  Dutton, 2004.  Gr. 3-5
Kimmelman, Leslie.  Hot Dog! Eleanor Roosevelt Throws a Picnic.  Illus. by Victor Juhasz.  Sleeping Bear Press,
2014.  Gr. 2-5
Kulling, Monica.  Eleanor Everywhere: The Life of Eleanor Roosevelt.  Illus. by Cliff Spohn.  Random House, 1999.
Gr. 2-4
Rappaport, Doreen.  Eleanor, Quiet No More.  Illus. by Gary Kelly.  Hyperion, 2009.  Gr. 3-8
Ryan, Pam Muñoz.  Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride.  Illus. by Brian Selznick.  Scholastic, 1999.  Gr. 1-3
Thompson, Gare.  Who Was Eleanor Roosevelt?  Illus. by Nancy Harrison.  Grosset & Dunlap, 2004.  Gr. 4-6
Check school and public library shelves for numerous biographies of Eleanor Roosevelt published in library editions.

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt at The White House
Biographical sketch that discusses her contributions during her husband’s presidency
Biography of Eleanor Roosevelt, at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum
Short, readable biography illustrated with black-and-white photos, including a chronology and “Fast Facts”

Provide an opportunity for students to get to know Eleanor Roosevelt as one of the most influential people of the 20th century. Read a short biography and look at some photos. Focus on her accomplishments as a civil rights activist and advocate for women’s rights, her dedication to social justice for workers, and her commitment to human rights worldwide.


Week of October 9-15 is National Fire Prevention Week.
Abramson, Andra Serlin.  Fire Engines Up Close.  Sterling, 2008.  Gr. 3-5
Austin, Mike.  Fire Engine No. 9.  Random, 2015.  Gr. P-1
Cuyler, Margery.  Stop, Drop, and Roll.  Illus. by Arthur Howard.  Simon & Schuster, 2001.  Gr. K-3
Demarest, Chris.  Firefighters A to Z.  McElderry, 2000.  Gr. K-2
Demarest, Chris.   Smokejumpers 1 to 10.  McElderry, 2002.  Gr. K-2
Demarest, Chris.  Hotshots!  McElderry, 2003.  Gr. K-2
Desmini, Lisa.  Dot the Firedog.  Blue Sky/Scholastic, 2001.  Gr. K-2
Elya, Susan Middleton.  Fire! Fuego! Brave Bomberos.  Illus. by Dan Santat.  Bloomsbury, 2012.  Gr. K-3
Godwin, Laura.  This Is the Firefighter.  Illus. by Julian Hector.  Hyperion, 2009.  Gr. Pre-1
Harper, Jamie.  Miss Mingo and the Fire Drill.  Candlewick, 2009.  Gr. K-2
Hubbell, Patricia.  Firefighters: Speeding! Spraying! Saving!  Cavendish, 2007.  Gr. K-2
Jacobs, Paul DuBois & Swender, Jennifer.  Fire Drill.  Illus. by Huy Voun Lee.  Henry Holt, 2010.  Gr. K-2
Krensky, Stephen.  Spark the Firefighter.  Illus. by Amanda Haley.  Dutton, 2008.  Gr. Pre-2
Miller, Edward.  Fireboy to the Rescue! A Fire Safety Book.  Holiday House, 2010.  Gr. K-2
Murray, Laura.  The Gingerbread Man Loose on the Fire Truck.  Illus. by Mike Lowery.  Putnam, 2013.  Gr. K-2
Nolan, Janet.  The Firehouse Light.  Illus. by Marie Lafrance.  Tricycle Press, 2010.  Gr. 1-3
Ochiltree, Dianne.  Molly by Golly!: The Legend of Molly Williams, America's First Female Firefighter.  Illus. by
Kathleen Kemly.  Calkins Creek, 2012.  Gr. 1-4
Osborne, Mary Pope.  New York's Bravest.  Illus. by Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher.  Knopf, 2002.  Gr. K-3
Pendziwol, Jean.  No Dragons for Tea: Fire Safety for Kids (and Dragons).  Illus. by Martine Gourbault.  Kids Can,
1999.  Gr. K-2
Reed, Lynn Rowe.  Fireman Fred.  Holiday House, 2013.  Gr. K-2
Simon, Seymour.  Fighting Fires.  SeaStar, 2002.  Gr. K-2
Whiting, Sue.  The Firefighters.  Illus. by Donna Rawlins.  Candlewick, 2008.  Gr. P-2
Zimmerman, Andrea.  Fire Engine Man.  Illus. by David Clemesha.  Henry Holt, 2007.  Gr. K-2
Zimmerman, Andrea & Clemesha, David.  Fire! Fire! Hurry! Hurry!  Illus. by Karen Barbour.  Greenwillow, 2003.
Gr. Pre-2
Check school and public library shelves for books about fire safety published in library editions.

Fire Prevention Week Kids
Information about Fire Prevention Week and links to Sparky the Fire Dog activities
Fire Safety for Teachers, U.S. Fire Administration
Links to sites and materials related to fire safety

Read a book to initiate discussion about fire safety at home.
Take a field trip to a fire station or invite the firefighters to school (with their truck) to do a demonstration.
Have students make fire safety posters and display them around the school.
Two "Reading Rainbow" episodes contain segments about firefighters. You can access the teacher's guides for Max and A Chair for My Mother online.


1754 – birthdate of Molly Pitcher, legendary heroine at the Battle of Monmouth on June 28, 1778, who carried water to soldiers in battle.
Rockwell, Anne.  They Called Her Molly Pitcher.  Illus. by Cynthia von Buhler.  Knopf, 2002.  Gr. 3-6
Search school and public library shelves for biographies of Molly Pitcher published in library editions.

Molly Pitcher: An American Heroine from Archiving Early America
A brief video narrative, illustrated with archival artwork, overviews the story of Molly Pitcher.

Tie into a study of the American Revolution (see On the Shelves for an annotated bibliography). Discuss the controversy about her actual identity as well as possible embellishments of her actions on the battlefield.


National School Lunch Week is October 10-14
Greenberg, David.  The Great School Lunch Rebellion.  Skylar, 1989.  Gr. 2-4
Kelley, True.  School Lunch.  Holiday House, 2005.  Gr. K-2
Kirk, Daniel.  Lunchroom Lizard.  Putnam, 2004. Gr. K-3
Lasky, Kathryn.  Lunch Bunnies.  Illus. by Marylin Hafner.  Little, Brown, 1996.  Gr. K-3
Park, Barbara.  Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch.  Illus. by Denise Brunkus.  Random House, 2003.  Gr. 1-3
Preller, James.  Jigsaw Jones: The Case of the Food Fight.  Scholastic, 2005.  Gr. 2-4
Strasser, Todd.  Help! I'm Trapped in My Lunch Lady's Body.  Scholastic, 1999.  Gr. 4-6
Thaler, Mike.  The Cafeteria Lady from the Black Lagoon.  Illus. by Jared Lee.  Scholastic, 1998.  Gr. K-3

School Lunches at KidsHealth
Contains 10 tips for a healthy school lunch.

Have students write thank-you notes to the cooks and cafeteria workers in appreciation of all they do.
Brainstorm a short list of questions that students have about school lunches. The time of cafeteria workers is generally tightly scheduled so an interview might be difficult to arrange. As another possibility, compose a class letter and ask the questions.
Make posters of appreciation and hang them in the cafeteria.
Conduct a survey about favorite school lunches, graph the results, and post them in the cafeteria for all to see.


1860 – Eleven-year-old Grace Bedell wrote a letter to Abraham Lincoln suggesting that he might look better if he grew whiskers because his face was too thin.
Roop, Peter & Roop, Connie.  Grace’s Letter to Lincoln.  Illus. by Stacey Schuett.  Hyperion, 1998.  Gr. 2-4
Trump, Fred.  Lincoln’s Little Girl: A True Story.  Boyds Mills, 2000.  Gr. 4-8
Winnick, Karen B.  Mr. Lincoln’s Whiskers.  Boyds Mills, 1996.  Gr. 1-3

Letters of Note
Photostats and transcripts of both Grace's letter and Lincoln's reply
Abraham Lincoln Meets Grace Bedell
Newspaper accounts of Grace's meeting with Lincoln

Writing letters can make a difference. Abraham Lincoln made a change in his appearance because of Grace’s letter. The letter writing of Sarah Josepha Hale (October 24) resulted in the designation of Thanksgiving as a national holiday. Discuss reasons why people write letters and how e-mail has changed letter writing behavior.
Involve students in an authentic letter writing experience, such as a letter to an author/illustrator (include a self-addressed stamped envelope to increase the chances of getting a timely response), a letter requesting brochures or information (to accompany a unit of study), a letter to the newspaper (concerning an issue the students feel is important), and others.
See On the Shelves for a list of books in which the stories are told in letters and a list of books in which letters are an important part of the story.


It’s Dictionary Day, commemorating the birthdate of Noah Webster in 1758, noted wordsmith and author of the “Blue-Backed Speller,” the best-selling textbook of the early 1800s, which taught reading, spelling, and word pronunciation to American school children for nearly 100 years. In 1806 Webster published A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language, the first truly American dictionary. Even more notable was his An American Dictionary of the English Language, which took him more than 20 years to write. He published it in 1828 at the age of 70, but it sold only 2500 copies. It contained 70,000 words, 12,000 of which had never previously appeared in a dictionary. In 1840, he published a second edition in two volumes. At the time of his death, he had received relatively little recognition for his dictionary work.
Banks, Kate.  Max’s Words.  Illus. by Boris Kulikov.  Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2006.  Gr. 1-4
Bryant, Jen.  The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus.  Illus. by Melissa Sweet.  Eerdmans, 2014.  Gr. 2-5
Clements, Andrew.  Frindle.  Simon & Schuster, 1996.  Gr. 4-6
DeGross, Monalisa.  Donovan’s Word Jar.  Illus. by Cheryl Hanna.  HarperCollins, 1994.  Gr. 2-5
Fern, Tracey.  W Is for Webster: Noah Webster and His American Dictionary.  Illus. by Boris Kulikov.  Farrar, Straus
& Giroux, 2015. Gr. 2-4
Ferris, Jeri Chase.  Noah Webster and His Words.  Illus. by Vincent X. Kirsch.  Houghton Mifflin, 2012.  Gr. 1-3
Frasier, Debra.  Miss Alaineus: A Vocabulary Disaster.  Harcourt, 2000.  Gr. 2-5
Maurer, Tracy Nelson.  Noah Webster's Fighting Words.  Illus. by Mircea Cotusanu.  Lerner, 2017.  Gr. 3-5
Newman, Leslea.  The Boy Who Cried Fabulous.  Illus. by Peter Ferguson.  Tricycle Press, 2004.  Gr. 1-3
Reef, Catherine.  Noah Webster: Man of Many Words.  Clarion, 2015.  Gr. 7-10
Salinger, Michael.  Well Defined: Vocabulary in Rhyme.  Illus. by Sam Henderson.  Boyds Mills, 2009.  Gr. 7-12
Schotter, Roni.  The Boy Who Loved Words.  Illus. by Giselle Potter.  Schwarz & Wade, 2006.  Gr. 1-5

Your Dictionary.com
Dictionaries and thesauri; links to translations in hundreds of languages; also links to specialized dictionaries; audio pronunciations, “Word of the Day”
Word Central from Merriam Webster
This very child-friendly source has students in mind. Includes the following: dictionary, thesaurus, rhyming dictionary, games, daily word, and other features.

Some of the titles above suggest activities. After reading Max’s Words, have students look through magazines and newspapers for words to categorize or use in composing sentences or stories. Like Donovan, start a word jar of interesting words. After reading Miss Alaineus, plan a Vocabulary Parade.
This is a great day for playing word games of all sorts! Celebrate National Dictionary Day has links for many different games, both printable and online.


1956 - birthday of Mae Jemison, first African American woman astronaut
Black, Sonia W.  Mae Jemison.  Mondo, 2000.  Gr. 3-6
Blue, Rose.  Mae Jemison: Out of This World.  Millbrook, 2003.  Gr. 3-6
Jemison, Mae.  From Where the Wind Goes: Moments from My Life.  Scholastic, 2001.  Gr. 5 & above
Check school and public library shelves for biographies of Mae Jemison published in library editions.

Explorer Hero: Mae Jemison from the My Hero Project
Reader-friendly essay about the life of Mae Jemison.
Biographical data from the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Meet a Super Scientist from NASA: Challenging the Space Frontier at Scholastic
Easy-to-read article about Jemison is featured on a timeline of space events including "Top 25 Space Firsts".

Use the “Top 25 Space Firsts” at the Scholastic site above to research “firsts” by women in space. Create a timeline of their accomplishments. Be sure to include women from countries other than the United States.


1867 – This day marks the anniversary of the transfer of the Territory of Alaska from Russia to the United States. The purchase price was $7.2 million. Secretary of State William H. Seward wanted to expand the holdings of the U.S., but many people considered this a foolish idea, calling it “Seward’s Folly.”
Bania, Michael.  Kumak’s Fish: A Tall Tale from the Far North.  Alaska Northwest Books, 2004.  Gr. K-2
Also: Kumak’s House (2002) and Kumak's River (2012)
Blake, Robert J.  Swift.  Philomel, 2007.  Gr. 2-4
Bodett, Tom.  Willawaw!  Knopf, 1999.  Gr. 4-7
Crane, Carol.  L Is for Last Frontier: An Alaska Alphabet.  Illus. by Michael G. Monroe.  Sleeping Bear Press, 2002.
Gr. 2-4
Dagg, Carole Estby.  Sweet Home Alaska.  Nancy Paulsen/Penguin, 2016.   Gr. 4-8
Dwyer, Mindy.  Aurora: A Tale of the Northern Lights.  Alaska Northwest Books, 1997.  Gr. 1-4
Fowler, Susi Gregg.  Circle of Thanks.  Illus. by Peter Catalanotto.  Scholastic, 1998.  Gr. K-3
George, Jean Craighead.  Nutik, the Wolf Pup.  Illus. by Ted Rand.  HarperCollins, 2001.  Gr. K-3  Also: Nutik and
Amaroq Play Ball (2001)
Gill, Shelley.  Prickly Rose.  Illus. by Judy Love.  Charlesbridge, 2014.  Gr. K-3
Gill, Shelley.  Up on Denali: Alaska’s Wild Mountain.  Sasquatch Books, 2006.  Gr. 3-5
Hill, Kirkpatrick.  Bo at Ballard Creek.  Illus. by LeUyen Pham.  Henry Holt, 2013.  Gr. 4-6  Also: Bo at Iditarod Creek
Hill, Kirkpatrick.  The Year of Miss Agnes.  McElderry, 2000.  Gr. 4-6
Miller, Debbie S.  Big Alaska: Journey across America’s Most Amazing State.  Illus. by Jon Van Zyle.  Walker, 2006.
Gr. 2-5
Miller, Debbie S.  Arctic Lights, Arctic Nights.  Illus. by Jon Van Zyle.  Walker, 2003.  Gr. 3-6
Miller, Debbie S.  River of Life.  Illus. by Jon Van Zyle.  Clarion, 2000.  Gr. 2-4
Rand, Gloria.  Prince William.  Illus. by Ted Rand.  Henry Holt, 1992.  Gr. 1-4
Vanasse, Deb.  Under Alaska’s Midnight Sun.  Illus. by Jeremiah Trammell.  Sasquatch Books, 2005.  Gr. 1-3
Several of the authors listed above have written multiple books with settings in Alaska; check library shelves for additional titles by Robert J. Blake, Mindy Dwyer, Jean Craighead George, Shelley Gill, Kirkpatrick Hill, and Gloria and Ted Rand.
Check school and public library shelves for nonfiction books about Alaska from series about the 50 states published in library editions.

Alaska, from A to Z Kids
Basic state facts and history, famous Alaskans, links to information about the aurora borealis, printable pages.
Online materials about Alaska Native history, education, languages, and cultures.
Alaska at 50states.com
Just about everything anyone wants to know about Alaska may be found (or linked to from) here.

Get to know the 49th state! Set up small research groups on different topics: animals of Alaska, Native peoples, geography, important historical events (e.g., the purchase of Alaska, the Klondike Gold Rush), the Iditarod, and basic facts. Have each group locate facts and pictures using both print and internet resources. Allow each group to decide how it wants to share its information, and encourage them to be creative, using art, writing, technology, displays, dramatics, and other ideas they may have. After the research is completed, “tour” Alaska by visiting the projects of each group.


October is National Stamp Collecting Month!
Brown, Craig.  Mule Train Mail.  Charlesbridge, 2009.  Gr. K-3
Day, Alexandra.  Special Deliveries.  Illus. by Cooper Edens.  HarperCollins, 2001.  Gr. K-2
Harness, Cheryl.  They’re Off!: The Story of the Pony Express.  Simon & Schuster, 1996.  Gr. 2-4
Jonath, Leslie.  Postmark Paris: A Story in Stamps.  Chronicle, 2005.  Gr. 3-6
Kerby, Mona.  Owney, the Mail-Pouch Pooch.  Illus. by Lynne Barasch.  Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2008.
Gr. 1-4
Price, Pamela.  Cool Stamps: Creating Fun and Fascinating Collections.  Checkerboard Books, 2006.
Gr. 3-6
Tunnell, Michael O.  Mailing May.  Illus. by Ted Rand.  HarperCollins, 1997.  Gr. K-3
United States Postal Service.  The Postal Service Guide to U.S. Stamps (35th ed.).  Collins, 2008.
(reference source - Gr. 3 & above)

Just for Kids from the American Philatelic Society
Information for beginning stamp collecting, activity pages, fun facts, a glossary of terms, and other information for young stamp collectors.
Stamp Collecting from the National Postal Museum
Site includes three online videos: “Why Stamps Were Invented,” “Printing Postage Stamps,” and “Stamps: an American Journey.”
"The Art of Stamp Collecting," downloadable brochure
Basic information about stamp collecting from getting started to maintaining a collection

View the “Reading Rainbow” episode of Hail to Mail. Check out the teacher’s guide for activities.
If possible, take a field trip to a post office so students can see the different workers at their jobs and the machinery that is used.
Research the requirements for a person or object to be placed on a stamp. As a class, brainstorm possible ideas for a new set of commemorative stamps. For example, the focus might be the work of a favorite author or illustrator. Using the stamp outline, have students design stamps for a new set.
Contact a local stamp dealer or search online for inexpensive bags of used postage stamps. Use these stamps for a variety of activities: sort and classify the stamps into categories, match stamps with their value in coins, or link stamps to research activities (using stamps depicting animals, American monuments, famous artists and musicians, inventions, etc.).


1950 – birthday of Nikki Grimes, recipient of numerous awards for her poetry and novels for young people
Books (a selection):
One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance.  Bloomsbury, 2017.  Gr. 6 & above
Garvey's Choice.  Wordsong, 2016.  Gr. 4-8
Poems in the Attic.  Illus. by Elizabeth Zunon.  Lee & Low, 2015.  Gr. 2-5
Chasing Freedom: The Life Journeys of Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony, Inspired by Historical Facts.  Illus.
by Michele Wood.   Orchard, 2015.  Gr. 3-5
Words with Wings.  Wordsong, 2013.  Gr. 3-6
Planet Middle School.  Bloomsbury, 2011.  Gr. 5-8
Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel.  Illus. by R. Gregory Christie.  Putnam, 2009.  Gr. 2-4  Also: Rich (2009),
Almost Zero (2010), and Halfway to Perfect (2012)
Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope.  Illus. by Bryan Collier.  Simon & Schuster, 2008.  Gr. K-4
Oh, Brother!  Illus. by Mike Benny. Amistad, 2007.  Gr. 1-4
When Gorilla Goes Walking.  Illus. by Shane Evans.  Orchard, 2007.  Gr. K-4
The Road to Paris.  Putnam, 2006.  Gr. 4-7
Thanks a Million.  Illus. by Cozbi A. Cabrera.  Greenwillow, 2006.  Gr. K-4
Dark Sons.  Hyperion, 2005.  Gr. 6-9
Danitra Brown, Class Clown.  Illus. by E.B. Lewis.  Amistad, 2005.  Gr. 1-4.  Also: Meet Danitra Brown  Illus. by
Floyd Cooper (1994) and Danitra Leaves Town Illus. by Floyd Cooper (2001)
Talkin’ about Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman.  Illus. by E.B. Lewis.  Orchard, 2002.  Gr. 3-6
Bronx Masquerade.  Dial, 2002.  Gr. 5-8
A Pocketful of Poems.  Illus. by Javaka Steptoe.  Clarion, 2001.  Gr. 1-5
Shoe Magic.  Illus. by Terry Widener.  Orchard, 2000.  Gr. 1-5
My Man Blue.  Illus. by Jerome Lagarrigue.  Dial, 1999.  Gr. 1-5
Jazmin’s Notebook.  Dial, 1998.  Gr. 6-9

The Poetry Zone - Nikki Grimes
A biography, information about her books, and writing tips; Grimes reads aloud excerpts from some of her books.
Video interview from Reading Rockets
Grimes discusses her childhood, the power of poetry, the presentation of cultures in books, and ways to present poetry.

Read and enjoy Grimes’s poems. Some of her poetry tells a story (e.g., the Danitra Brown books, Oh, Brother!, and the book about Bessie Coleman), and other books are a collection of poems around a theme (e.g., shoes, being thankful).


1917 – birthdate of legendary jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, who is credited as a major developer of the bebop style (along with Charlie Parker) and modern jazz.
Related books:
Christensen, Bonnie.  Django: World’s Greatest Jazz Guitarist.  Roaring Brook, 2009.  Gr. 1-4
Cline-Ransome, Lesa.  Benny Goodman & Teddy Wilson: Taking the Stage as the First Black-and-White Jazz
Band in History.  Illus. by James Ransome.  Holiday House, 2014.  Gr. 2-5
Dillon, Leo & Diane.  Jazz on a Saturday Night.  Blue Sky/Scholastic, 2007  Gr. 1-4
Ehrhardt, Karen.  This Jazz Man.  Illus. by R.G. Roth.  Harcourt, 2006.  Gr. 1-5
Golio, Gary.  Bird & Diz.  Illus. by Ed Young.  Candlewick, 2015.  Gr. 2-4
Gollub, Matthew.  The Jazz Fly.  Illus. by Karen Hanke.  Tortuga, 2000.  Gr. K-2
Ingalls, Ann & Macdonald, Maryann.  The Little Piano Girl: The Story of Mary Lou Williams, Jazz Legend.  Illus. by
Giselle Potter.  Houghton Mifflin, 2010.  Gr. 1-4
London, Jonathan.  Hip Cat.  Illus. by Woodleigh Hubbard.  Chronicle, 1993.  Gr. K-3
Myers, Walter Dean.  Jazz.  Illus. by Christopher Myers.  Holiday House, 2006.  Gr. 4 & above
Orgill, Roxane.  Skit Skat, Raggedy Cat Ella Fitzgerald.  Illus. by Sean Qualls.  Candlewick, 2010.  Gr. 3-5
Orgill, Roxane.  Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph.  Illus. by Francis Vallejo.  Candlewick, 2016.
Gr. 4 & above
Parker, Robert A.  Piano Starts Here: The Young Art Tatum.  Schwartz & Wade, 2008.  Gr. 1-4
Pinkney, Andrea Davis.  Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa.  Illus. by Brian Pinkney.  Jump at the Sun/
Hyperion, 2004.  Gr. 2-5 (also Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra)
Raschka, Chris.  Charlie Parker Played Be Bop.  Scholastic, 1992.  Gr. K-3 (also: Mysterious Thelonious and
John Coltrane’s Giant Steps)
Shange, Ntozake.  ellington was not a street.  Illus. by Kadir Nelson.  Simon & Schuster, 2004.  Gr. 3-6
Taylor, Debbie A.  Sweet Music in Harlem.  Illus. by Frank Morrison.  Lee & Low, 2004.  Gr. 2-4
Weatherford, Carole Boston.  Before John Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane.  Illus. by Sean Qualls.
Henry Holt, 2008.  Gr. 1-3
Weatherford, Carole Boston.  The Sound That Jazz Makes.  Illus. by Eric Velasquez.  Walker, 2000.  Gr. 3-6
Winter, Jonah.  Dizzy.  Illus. by Sean Qualls.  Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, 2006.  Gr. 2-6

Chuck Vanderchuck's Jazz Explosion
Intended for children, this site discusses the development and sound of jazz with the help of some groovy characters.
Jazz Academy, from Jazz at Lincoln Center
A series of videos designed to teach students about jazz music and jazz history.

Listen to some jazz and discuss with students how it makes them feel. How does it make them want to move?
Listen to jazz played by different musicians. Work with the music teacher to help them notice how jazz is interpreted differently among musicians.
Get to know some jazz musicians by reading the books above and listening to their distinctive styles of music. Older students may want to conduct research on some of these individuals. (Other names to add to the research list, who are not the focus of the titles recommended above, include: Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Bessie Smith, Miles Davis, Count Basie, Jelly Roll Morton, Wynton Marsalis, and others.)
Get out some art supplies and have students create a piece of art while they are listening to jazz. Later, discuss the images and colors the music evoked.
See birthdate of Duke Ellington (April 29) on the Activities Calendars for additional resources.


It’s National Color Day!
Check ON THE SHELVES for a bibliography of books about color.
Coloring pages, lesson plans, and other educator resources
What Colors Mean
History and use of different colors around the world. Beware of ads at this site.
Types of Colors
Many definitions associated with color with actual pieces of art as examples. Beware of ads at this site.

Discuss how feelings or moods are often associated with colors.
Write three-clue color riddles. For example: I am the color of the ocean. I am the color of a noisy bird. I am the color of some people’s eyes. What am I?
Using small squares of paper in different colors, make a bar graph of students’ favorite colors.
Make rainbows. Hold a crystal or prism in sunlight to cast a rainbow on a light-colored wall. Put a mirror in a pan of water and set it in the sun so that the light reflects off the mirror onto a light-colored wall. Pour a little cooking oil in a shallow dish of water, set the dish in the sunlight, and look for colors on top of the water.
Connect to a study of how animals use colors in nature as camouflage.


1940 – birthday of Brazilian soccer great, Pelé
Alexander, Kwame  Booked.  HMH, 2016.  Gr. 5-8
Bloor, Edward.  Tangerine.  Harcourt, 1997.  Gr. 6-9
Boelts, Maribeth.  Happy Like Soccer.  Illus. by Lauren Castillo.  Candlewick, 2012.  Gr. K-3
Brown, Monica.  Pelé, King of Soccer/Pele, El rey del fútbol.  Illus. by Rudy Gutierrez.  HarperCollins,  2008.  Gr. 1-3
Buckley, James.  Pelé.  DK Children, 2007. Gr. 4-7
Cline-Ransome, Lesa.  Young Pelé: Soccer’s First Star.  Illus. by James Ransome.  Schwartz & Wade,  2007.
Gr. 2-4
Downing, Erin.  For Soccer-Crazy Girls Only: Everything Great about Soccer.  Feiwel & Friends, 2014.  Gr. 4-7
Elliott, Laura Malone.  Hunter & Stripe and the Soccer Showdown.  Illus. by Lynn Munsinger.  HarperCollins, 2005.
Gr. K-2
Esckilsen, Erik E.  Offsides.  Houghton Mifflin, 2004.  Gr. 6-9
Foreman, Michael.  Wonder Goal!  Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2002.  Gr. 1-3
Gibbons, Gail.  My Soccer Book.  HarperCollins, 2000.  Gr. K-2
Greene, Stephanie.  Owen Foote, Soccer Star.  Illus. by Martha Weston.  Clarion, 1998.  Gr. 3-5
Gutman, Dan.  The Million Dollar Kick.  Hyperion, 2001.  Gr. 4-6
Hamm, Mia.  Winners Never Quit!  Illus. by Carol Thompson.  HarperCollins, 2004.  Gr. K-2
Herzog, Brad.  K Is for Kick: A Soccer Alphabet.  Illus. by Melanie Rose.  Sleeping Bear Press, 2006.  Gr. 2-4
Javaherbin, Mina.  Goal!  Illus. by A.G. Ford.  Candlewick, 2010.  Gr. 2-4
Javaherbin, Mina.  Soccer Star.  Illus. by Renato Alarcão.  Candlewick, 2014.  Gr. K-3
London, Jonathan.  Froggy Plays Soccer.  Illus. by Frank Remkiewicz.  Viking, 1999.  Gr. Pre-1
Lupica, Mike.  Shoot-Out.  Philomel, 2010.  Gr. 5-8
Maccarone, Grace.  Soccer Game!  Illus. by Meredith Johnson.  Cartwheel, 1994.  Gr. K-1
Mammano, Julie.  Rhinos Who Play Soccer.  Chronicle, 2001. Gr. 1-4
Nevius, Carol.  Soccer Hour.  Illus. by Bill Thomson.  Marshall Cavendish, 2011.  Gr. K-3
Pelé.  For the Love of Soccer!  Illus. by Frank Morrison.  Hyperion, 2010.  Gr. K-3
Pinkney, Brian  On the Ball.  Disney Hyperion, 2015.  Gr. K-3
Rockwell, Anne.  Morgan Plays Soccer.  Illus. by Paul Meisel.  HarperCollins, 2001.  Gr. K-2
Sís, Peter.  Madlenka Soccer Star.  Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2010.  Gr. K-2
Taylor, Sean.  Goal!  Photos by Ciao Vilela.  Henry Holt, 2014.  Gr. 1-4
Wallace, Rich.  Game-Day Jitters.  Illus. by Jimmy Holder.  Knopf, 2011.  Gr. 2-4

Kids Play Soccer
Basic soccer rules

Invite soccer players from a high school or university team to visit the classroom and talk with the students about the game, including training, demonstrations and tips for playing, and sportsmanship.
The biographies of Pelé (Young Pelé: Soccer’s First Star) and Mia Hamm (Winners Never Quit!) above reveal a never-give-up attitude about the two sports stars. Read these stories to students and compare them to similar stories from the childhoods of other famous athletes. Possibilities include: Wilma Rudolph, Wilma Unlimited by Kathleen Krull (Harcourt, 1996, Gr. 2-5); Michael Jordan, Salt in His Shoes by Deloris Jordan and Roslyn M. Jordan (Simon & Schuster, 2000, Gr. K-3); Satchel Paige, Satchel Paige by Lesa Cline-Ransome (Simon & Schuster, 2000, Gr. 1-4); Roberto Clemente, Roberto Clemente: Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates by Jonah Winter (Atheneum, 2005, Gr. 1-3), and the books by Tiki and Ronde Barber, By My Brother’s Side (Simon & Schuster, 2004, Gr. 1-3); Game Day (Simon & Schuster, 2005, Gr. 1-3); Teammates (Simon & Schuster, 2006, Gr. 1-3); Kickoff! (Simon & Schuster, 2007, Gr. 4-6), and Go Long! (Simon & Schuster, 2008, Gr. 4-6).


1788 – birthdate of Sarah Josepha Hale, writer and poet and author of the nursery rhyme, “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Sarah influenced the lives of women for nearly 50 years, first as editor of Ladies’ Magazine (1827-1836) and later as editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book, retiring in 1877. She was an advocate of several causes: education for women, abolition of slavery, and preservation of the Union. She was largely responsible for making Thanksgiving a national holiday. She wrote letters to five presidents, but had no success until she wrote to Abraham Lincoln who supported her cause.
Anderson, Laurie Halse.  Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving.  Illus. by Matt   Faulkner.
Simon & Schuster, 2002.  Gr. 2-4
Dubois, Muriel L.  To My Countrywomen: The Life of Sarah Josepha Hale.  Illus. by Lisa Greenleaf.  Apprentice
Shop Books, 2006.  Gr. 4-8
Hale, Sarah Josepha.  Mary Had a Little Lamb.  Illus. by Tomie dePaola.  Holiday House, 1984.  Gr. Pre-2
Hale, Sarah Josepha.  Mary Had a Little Lamb.  Photographs by Bruce McMillan.  Scholastic, 1990.  Gr. Pre-2
Hale, Sarah Josepha.  Mary Had a Little Lamb.  Illus. by Salley Mavor.  Orchard, 1995.  Gr. Pre-2
Hale, Sarah Josepha.  Mary Had a Little Lamb.  Illus. by Laura Huliska-Beith.  Marshall Cavendish, 2011.  Gr. Pre-2
Trapani, Iza.  Mary Had a Little Lamb.  Charlesbridge, 1998.  Gr. Pre-2 (expanded version)

Godey’s Lady’s Book
Of interest to older students, glimpses at portions of the magazine including stories and fashion. Excerpts from Sarah’s writings about making Thanksgiving a national holiday are included for several years.
Sarah Josepha Hale, from Domestic Goddesses
Biography of Sarah, focusing on her literary accomplishments.

Read Anderson’s book (see above) about Sarah Josepha Hale. Discuss the power of writing in Sarah’s life and her persistence in having Thanksgiving declared a national holiday.
Recall the words to “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” The Afterword in Bruce McMillan’s version (see above) contains the text of the original poem, as it was first published in 1830 under the title “Mary’s Lamb.” In 1834, the words were set to music and published by Sarah in her School Song Book. In 1877, the rhyme became the first words of recorded human speech when Thomas Edison made a phonograph recording of the verse.


1881 – birthdate of artist Pablo Picasso
Anholt, Laurence.  Picasso and the Girl with a Ponytail.  Barron’s, 1998.  Gr. 1-3
Bernier-Grand, Carmen T.  Picasso: I the King, Yo el rey.  Illus. by David Diaz.  Amazon Children's Publishing, 2012.
Gr. 8-12
Kelley, True.  Pablo Picasso: Breaking All the Rules.  Grosset & Dunlap, 2002.  Gr. 2-5
Kulling, Monica.  Lumpito and the Painter from Spain.  Illus. by Dean Griffiths.  Pajama Press, 2013.  Gr. K-3
Leal, Brigitte, et al.  The Ultimate Picasso.  Abrams, 2000.  (reference source featuring hundreds of reproductions
of his work, Gr. 7 & above)
Maltbie, P. I.  Picasso and Minou.  Illus. by Pau Estrada.  Charlesbridge, 2005.  Gr. K-3
Penrose, Antony.  The Boy Who Bit Picasso.  Abrams, 2011.  Gr. 2-5
Winter, Jonah.  Just Behave, Pablo Picasso!  Illus. by Kevin Hawkes.  Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, 2012.  Gr. 2-5
Search school and public library shelves for the many biographies of Picasso published in library editions.

The "Links" section includes links to biographical information and articles and to galleries of Picasso's work (set up to go directly to his specific area of the museum) (advertisements)
Pablo Picasso, at Olga's Gallery
Extensive biography and more than 200 of Picasso's works

In a get-to-know-the-artist activity, engage students in an age-appropriate analysis of Picasso’s work. Using a projector or SMART board, compare a painting from early in his career with a painting from his later years. Most of his work prior to 1905 was not done in the cubist style. Discuss their overall impressions of the two works. What materials do they think he used? Do the paintings evoke any feelings or emotions? Discuss the visual elements of the paintings, such as color, line, shape, texture, and composition. What do they prefer—his earlier works or his later paintings?


1941 – birthday of Steven Kellogg, author and or illustrator of more than 100 books for children
Books: (a selection):
Written and illustrated:
Chicken Little.  Morrow, 1985.  Gr. K-3
Best Friends.  Dial, 1986.  Gr. K-3
The Three Little Pigs.  Morrow, 1997.  Gr. Pre-2
A-Hunting We Will Go!  HarperCollins, 1998.  Gr. Pre-2
The Three Sillies.  Candlewick, 1999.  Gr. K-2
Give the Dog a Bone.  SeaStar, 2000.  Gr. Pre-2
The Pied Piper's Magic.  Dial, 2009.  Gr. K-3
Jack and the Beanstalk (retold).  Morrow, 1991.  Gr. K-3.  Also: Paul Bunyan (1984), Pecos Bill (1986),
Johnny Appleseed (1988), Mike Fink (1992), and Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett (1995)
Pinkerton, Behave!  Dial, 1979.  Gr. K-3.  Also: A Rose for Pinkerton (1981); Tallyho, Pinkerton! (1982);
Prehistoric Pinkerton (1987); and A Penguin Pup for Pinkerton (2001)
Guarino, Deborah.  Is Your Mama a Llama?  Scholastic, 1989.  Gr. Pre-2
Haseley, Dennis.  The Invisible Moose.  Dial, 2006.  Gr. K-2
Kinerk, Robert.  Clorinda.  Simon & Schuster, 2003.  Gr. K-2  Also: Clorinda Takes Flight (2007) and Clorinda
Plays Baseball (2012)
Krauss, Ruth.  And I Love You.  Orchard, 2010.  Gr. Pre-2
Lindbergh, Reeve.  The Day the Goose Got Loose.  Dial, 1990.  Gr. K-2
Mahy, Margaret.  The Green Bath.  Arthur A. Levine, 2013.  Gr. K-3
MacLachlan, Patricia.  Snowflakes Fall.  Random House, 2013.  Gr. K-3
McNulty, Faith.  If You Decide to Go to the Moon.  Scholastic, 2005.  Gr. 1-4
Noble, Trinka Hakes.  The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash.  Dial, 1980.  Gr. K-2. Also: Jimmy’s Boa Bounces Back
(1984), Jimmy’s Boa and the Big Splash Birthday Bash (1989), and Jimmy’s Boa and the Bungee Jump Slam Dunk (2003)
Nodset, Joan L.  Come Back, Cat.  HarperCollins, 2008.  Gr. Pre-2
Ryder, Joanne.  Big Bear Ball.  HarperCollins, 2002.  Gr. K-2
Schwartz, David M.  How Much Is a Million?  Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1985.  Gr. 2-4. Also: If You Made a Million
(1989) and Millions to Measure (2003)
Williams, Suzanne.  Library Lil.  Dial, 1997.  Gr. K-3
See the article by Steven in Artist to Artist: 23 Major Illustrators Talk to Children about Their Art  (Philomel, 2007)

Steven Kellogg
A biography, beloved characters, and gallery of his books.
Webcast from the 2003 National Book Festival
Kellogg tells the story and illustrates The Island of the Skog.

Use the day to enjoy Steven Kellogg’s books. Have lots of books available for students to peruse. Kellogg puts so many humorous details in his illustrations that it is difficult for listeners to see all of them during the reading of one of his books. Discuss characteristics that students notice his illustrations have in common across books.


1858 – birthdate of Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president of the United States
Adler, David A.  Colonel Theodore Roosevelt.  Holiday House, 2014.  Gr. 5-8
Armstrong, Jennifer.  Theodore Roosevelt: Letters from a Young Coal Miner (Dear Mr. President).  Winslow, 2000.
Gr. 6-9
Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker.  The President’s Daughter.  Delacorte, 2004.  Gr. 4-6
Brown, Don.  Teedie: The Story of Young Teddy Roosevelt.  Houghton Mifflin, 2009.  Gr. 2-4
Fritz, Jean.  Bully for You, Teddy Roosevelt!  Putnam, 1991.  Gr. 5-8
Gayle, Sharon.  Teddy Roosevelt: The People’s President.  Illus. by Bob Dacey & Debra Bandelin.Aladdin, 2003.
Gr. 2-4
Harness, Cheryl.  The Remarkable Rough-Riding Life of Theodore Roosevelt and the Rise of Empire America.
National Geographic, 2007.  Gr. 5-8
Harness, Cheryl.  Young Teddy Roosevelt.  National Geographic, 1998.  Gr. 3-5
Jackson, Ellen.  My Tour of Europe: By Teddy Roosevelt, Age 10.  Illus. by Catherine Brighton.  Millbrook, 2003.
Gr. 2-4
Keating, Frank.  Theodore. Illus. by Mike Wimmer.  Simon & Schuster, 2006.  Gr. 3-6
Kerley, Barbara.  What To Do about Alice?: How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World,
and Drove Her Father Teddy Crazy!  Illus. by Edwin Fotheringham.  Scholastic, 2008.  Gr. 2-4
Kimmelman, Leslie.  Mind Your Manners, Alice Roosevelt.  Illus. by Adam Gustavson.  Peachtree, 2009.  Gr. 1-3
Kraft, Betsy Harvey.  Theodore Roosevelt: Champion of the American Spirit.  Clarion, 2003.  Gr. 5-9
Rappaport, Doreen.  To Dare Mighty Things: The Life of Theodore Roosevelt.  Illus. by C.F. Payne.  Hyperion,
2013.  Gr. 2-5
Rosenstock, Barb.  The Camping Trip That Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and Our National
Parks.  Illus. by Mordicai Gerstein.  Dial, 2012.  Gr. 2-4
St. George, Judith.  You’re on Your Way, Teddy Roosevelt.  Illus. by Matt Faulkner.  Philomel, 2004.  Gr. 2-5
Wadsworth, Ginger.  Camping with the President.  Illus. by Karen Dugan.  Boyds Mills, 2009.  Gr. 3-5.
Search school and library shelves for numerous biographies of Teddy Roosevelt published in library editions.

POTUS, Presidents of the United States at the Internet Public Library
Facts, both personal and political, links, and related information
Theodore Roosevelt, at The White House
Basic biographical information, much of it relating to his presidency
Theodore Roosevelt Association
Informative site that discusses the following aspects of Roosevelt's life: as president, soldier, conservationist, hunter, author, family man, and naval strategist. Within each category, there are additional informational links, including the "real teddy bear story"
American Presidents: Life Portraits, from C-SPAN
Facts and trivia about Theodore Roosevelt must scroll down the drop-down menu of presidents to find Roosevelt
American Presidents at the Miller Center
Extensive information on all aspects of the presidents' lives, including a photo gallery, speeches, presidential recordings, and more. Excellent for research

On the “Meet-the-Presidents” timeline, have someone take the responsibility for adding Teddy Roosevelt, using the fact recording sheet.


1886 – The Statue of Liberty is dedicated on this date.
Bunting, Eve.  A Picnic in October.  Illus. by Nancy Carpenter.  Harcourt, 1999.  Gr. 1-3
Curlee, Lynn.  Liberty.  Atheneum, 2000.  Gr. 3-6
Drummond, Allan.  Liberty!  Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2002.  Gr. 1-3
Eggers, Dave.  Her Right Foot.  Illus. by Shawn Harris.  Chronicle, 2017.  Gr. 1-4
Glaser, Linda.  Emma's Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty.  Illus. by Claire A. Nivola.  Houghton Mifflin, 2010.
Gr. 2-4
Hochain, Serge.  Building Liberty: A Statue Is Born.  National Geographic, 2004.  Gr. 3-6
Maestro, Betsy.  The Story of the Statue of Liberty.  Illus. by Giulio Maestro.  HarperCollins, 1986.  Gr. 1-4
Penner, Lucille Recht.  The Statue of Liberty.  Illus. by Jada Rowland.  Random House, 1995.  Gr. 2-4
Rappaport, Doreen.  Lady Liberty: A Biography.  Illus. by Matt Tavares.  Candlewick, 2008.  Gr. 3-8
Ross, Alice & Ross, Kent.  The Copper Lady.  Illus. by Leslie W. Bowman.  Carolrhoda, 1997.  Gr. 2-4
Shea, Pegi Deitz.  Liberty Rising: The Story of the Statue of Liberty.  Illus. by Wade Zahares.  Henry Holt, 2005.
Gr. 2-4
Stevens, Carla.  Lily and Miss Liberty.  Scholastic, 1992.  Gr. 2-4
Stevenson, Harvey.  Looking at Liberty.  HarperCollins, 2003.  Gr. 2-4
Yolen, Jane.  Naming Liberty.  Illus. by Jim Burke.  Philomel, 2008.  Gr. 1-4

The Light of Liberty at National Geographic Kids
A bit of history and “fast facts” about the statue.
The Statue of Liberty, at the National Park Service
History and a chart of detailed statistics about the statue’s dimensions
Statue of Liberty at hangout, nj
Easy-to-read history of the Statue of Liberty, including statue statistics

Have students research statistics regarding the dimensions of the Statue of Liberty. So that they may better understand the magnitude of Liberty’s size, go to the playground or gym floor with their facts, measure the features of her head, and draw a chalk outline. Measure the head from ear-to-ear, top to the bottom of the chin, her eyes, nose, and mouth.


1945 – The first ballpoint pens went on sale at Gimbels Department Store in New York City at a cost of $12.50 each. Gimbels sold its entire stock of 10,000 pens on the first day.
Clements, Andrew.  Frindle.  Simon & Schuster, 1996.  Gr. 4-6
Cobb, Vicki.  Writing It Down.  Illus. by Marylin Hafner.  Lippincott, 1989.  Gr. 2-4
Myers, Christopher  My Pen.  Disney Hyperion, 2015.  Gr. 1-4
Snyder, Zilpha Keatley.  The Bronze Pen.  Atheneum, 2008.  Gr. 5-7

History of Pens and Writing Instruments
Articles about how pencils and pens were invented, fountain pens, and the ballpoint pen. (Some ads on this page.)
Ballpoint Pen, at The Great Idea Finder
Article about the invention of the ballpoint pen, plus additional links.

Have students assemble a collection of all different kinds of pens for the purposes of comparison. Encourage them to ask grandparents and other older relatives about the pens they used in school. Discuss which pens work the most efficiently.
The pen is a great invention for school use. Brainstorm other inventions that are great for students. Research the origins of some of these inventions. Debate which of these inventions is the most useful for school.


1735 – birthdate of John Adams, the second president of the United States
Harness, Cheryl.  Revolutionary John Adams.  National Geographic, 2003.  Gr. 3-6
Hopkinson, Deborah.  John Adams Speaks for Freedom.  Illus. by Craig Orback.  Aladdin, 2005  Gr. 2-4
Kerley, Barbara.  Those Rebels, John & Tom.  Illus. by Edwin Fotheringham.  Scholastic, 2012.  Gr. 2-4
Krensky, Stephen.  Dangerous Crossing: The Revolutionary Voyage of John and John Quincy Adams.  Illus. by
Greg Harlin.  Dutton, 2004.  Gr. 2-4
Lakin, Patricia.  Abigail Adams: First Lady of the American Revolution.  Illus. by Bob Dacey & Debra Bandelin.
Aladdin, 2006.  Gr. 2-4
St. George, Judith.  John & Abigail Adams: An American Love Story.  Holiday House, 2001. Gr. 5-9
Wallner, Alexandra.  Abigail Adams.  Holiday House, 2001.  Gr. 2-4
Search school and library shelves for additional biographies of John Adams in library editions.

POTUS, Presidents of the United States at the Internet Public Library
Facts, both personal and political, links, and related information
John Adams, at The White House
Basic biographical information, much of it relating to his presidency
John & Abigail Adams, from “American Experience” at PBS
Fairly detailed article about the Adams family.
American Presidents: Life Portraits, from C-SPAN
Facts and trivia about John Adams must scroll down the drop-down menu of presidents to find Adams
American Presidents at the Miller Center
Extensive information on all aspects of the presidents' lives, including a photo gallery, speeches, and more. Excellent for research

On the “Meet-the-Presidents” timeline, have someone take the responsibility for adding John Adams, using the fact recording sheet.


Go Batty! for Halloween
Check ON THE SHELVES for a bibliography of books about bats.
Bats at KidZone
Facts, photos, and activities intended for children.
Bats at Defenders of Wildlife
Easy-to-read article with numerous facts about bats
Bats Bats Everywhere at Bats4Kids
Facts about bats, additional links, and bat-themed games.

Research bat facts and record them on the bat cutout. Hang these in the classroom, upside down. (Make sure students write their facts upside down on the bat!)
Make origami bats and hang them. Have older students assist younger children is needed.
Watch the “Magic School Bus” episode “Going Batty.”
View the segment with Merlin Tuttle, the founder of Bat Conservation International, in the “Reading Rainbow” program Stellaluna.


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Last updated 06/22/17

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