Below is a sample week from April 12-18
1877: James Tyng, a Harvard catcher, wore the first face protector in baseball.
His wire mask, called a “bird cage,” was designed by coach Frederick Thayer. It was patented and became a forerunner of today’s catcher’s mask.
- What other sports use protective gear?
- Why is it necessary?
- Do you have rules regarding safety while you’re playing (trampoline, bicycle, swimming, etc.)?
- What special safety issues exist in the area where you live? (extreme weather conditions, predatory wildlife, crime, etc.)
- How do these concerns affect your choices?
- How do they impact family’s rules?
- Design protective gear (Go ahead! Be impractical, silly, outlandish..) that would have saved you from some mishap you experienced.
This Week in History helps you “Inspire.”
Also on this date in history:
1961: First man in space.
Yuri Gagarin, a Soviet cosmonaut, became the first man in space. He made one orbit of the earth aboard the spacecraft Vostok I.
- Russian Archive: Gagarin’s life in picture and prose
- Soviet National Anthem
- Fan article on Gagarin
- Soviet propoganda brochure (Really cool cultural piece! It’s translated from Russian, so the English is sometimes a little awkward–but I think that’s part of the charm.)
- The First Man in Space (Days That Changed the World), Cullen
- First Space Encyclopedia (DK First Reference) (DK Publishing)
Ideas for discussion and research:
- What type of training and preparation do you think was required for Gagarin to go to space?
- This is an achievement for which the Russian people are justifiably proud. What is your impression of the “propaganda” brochure?
- Are you familiar with other historical propaganda from your own homeland? From other countries?
- How do they differ? How are they similar?
- What is propaganda?
- Do you identify with Gagarin’s feat as a human achievement, or as the special honor of a particular country? Why?
- What other countries have space programs?
- What advances in space technology are attributable to which countries?
- Our culture tends to celebrate “firsts”. Do you think the achievement of the second and sixteenth man in space is of lesser importance? Why or why not?
- Is there a dream you wish to achieve in your life that requires your preparation now?
This Week in History develops cultural literacy.
1743: Birthdate of Thomas Jefferson
Born in: Albemarle, Virginia
Occupation: Farmer, Lawyer, Public Official
U.S. President: 1801-1809
Died: July 4, 1826 in Monticello Virginia
- Spoke Latin, Greek, Italian, French and Spanish
- One of the authors of the Declaraion of Independence
- Founded Democratic-Republican Party
- Amateur scientist, architect, inventor, and book collector
During his terms:
- Ended much of the pomp and circumstance surrounding the presidency, including national celebration of presidents’ birthdays
- Authorized the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clarke expedition
- Helped plan Washington, D.C. building styles
- Tripolitan War against pirates in the Mediterranean concluded
- Protested British seizures of American ships and seamen
- Study sheets on political, social, intellectual, personal and religious freedom
- On writing the Declaration of Independence
- Love this one: A More Perfect Union: America Becomes a Nation, DVD
Books by and about Jefferson:
- Thomas Jefferson, Harness
- A Picture Book of Thomas Jefferson (Picture Book Biography), Adler & Wallner
- Thomas Jefferson: Architect of Democracy, Severance
- Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson
- The Jefferson Bible: The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, Jefferson
- The Life and Selected Writings of Thomas Jefferson (Modern Library Classics), Jefferson; edited by Koch and Peden
- The Declaration of Independence and Other Great Documents of American History 1775-1865 (Dover Thrift Editions) (Dover)
- The Declaration of Independence: The Story Behind America’s Founding Document and the Men Who Created It (Museum in a Book) Gragg
And DON’T miss this one:
- The Real Thomas Jefferson (American Classic Series), by Andrew Allison
- “A Delightful Recreation” What was Jefferson’s idea of a good time?
- Jefferson-style parlor games
- Thomas Jefferson and His Family Paper Dolls in Full Color, Tierney
- Thomas Jefferson Word Search
- Thomas Jefferson Crossword Puzzle
- Thomas Jefferson Word Scramble
- Study Sheet
- Printable Quiz
This Week in History develops research skills.
Also on this date:
1796: America saw its first elephant!
Once there was an elephant,
Who tried to use the telephant.
No! No! I mean an elephone
Who tried to use the telphone.
(Dear me! I am not certain quite
That even now I’ve got it right.)
However it was, he got his trunk
Entangled in the telephunk,
The more he tried to get it free,
The louder buzzed the telephee–
I feel I’d better drop the song
Of elephop and telephong!
–Laura E. Richards
- Elephant Fun Facts (I thought it was really interesting how similar their vital statistics are to humans’.)
- Be an Energy Star with Horton the Elephant!
- Elephant Coloring pages
- Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived,Helfer
- But No Elephants (Once Upon a Time), Smath
- Horton Hears a Who! (Dr. Seuss Classics)
This Week in History brings you and your students Face to Face with Greatness.
Also on this date in history:
1902: Birthdate of Marguerite Henry
[Henry was one of the authors that most influenced my early life–and who continues to do so today. Even now I’m in the middle of reading “Brighty of the Grand Canyon” to my little girls! -rd]
Marguerite Henry’s many children’s books, the most famous of which are about horses, have won both awards and admirers for decades. They include the 1949 Newbery Award winner, King of the Wind, and Misty of Chincoteague (1947), both illustrated by Wesley Dennis; and Mustang, Wild Spirit of the West, illustrated by Robert Lougheed (1971).
Have you heard or read a story by Marguerite Henry? Today is a good day to begin a read-aloud from one of the following titles that are sure to be found in your local library:
- Misty of Chincoteague, Henry
- Stormy, Misty’s Foal, Henry
- Misty’s Twilight, Henry
- Sea Star: Orphan of Chincoteague, Henry
- King of the Wind: The Story of the Godolphin Arabian, Henry
- Justin Morgan Had a Horse, Henry
- Born to Trot, Henry
- Black Gold, Henry
- San Domingo: The Medicine Hat Stallion, Henry
- Brighty of the Grand Canyon, Henry
Many of these are novelized accounts of actual horses. I think I must have read every one of these a dozen times as a girl!
This Week in History exposes your child to new ideas and areas of learning.
1828: American Dictionary of the English Language
On this date Noah Webster completed the American Dictionary of the English Language after more than 20 years of work. The original dictionary contained nearly 70,000 entries, including 12,000 words that had never appeared in a dictionary before.
- Noah Webster: Master of Words (Sowers), Collins
- American Dictionary of the English Language (1828 Facsimile Edition) (you gotta have one of these!)
- 1828 Dictionary online
Ideas for discussion and activities:
- Dictionaries come in many types with a variety of emphases and styles. What do you suppose is the difference between a “descriptive” dictionary and a “prescriptive” dictionary?
- People consult a dictionary for a variety of reason. Can you think of five? (e.g.: spelling, syllable breaks for hyphenization, parts of speech, pluralization, word origin, pronunciation, synonyms/antonyms, usage in a sentence, etc.)
- Read the introductory pages to a dictionary.
- Compare the entries of five words in two different dictionaries. What differs? What is the same?
- Play “Liar’s Club”: have a “judge” select an obscure word from the dictionary. Three panelists receive a slip of paper with the word. Only one paper also includes the definition. The panelists then tell their version of the definition, and a “jury” votes on who has the correct one.
- In a large (the 1828?) dictionary, analyze three entries, and label in order the bites of information the entry provides, and their purpose.
- Fun online vocabulary game
– See more at: https://tjed.org/2013/04/apr-12/#sthash.vdgf7pbW.dpuf
This Week in History helps you mentor your students in the classics.
Also on this date in history…
1865: Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
John Wilkes Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln on this date.
- What motivates assassins?
- President John F. Kennedy, Senator Robert Kennedy, Governor George Wallace and President Ronald Reagan were all victims or would-be victims of assassins in recent history. Why do you think such violence was directed at these men?
- Clip one on “assassins” (where did the word come from?)
- Clip two on “assassins” (why do they want to kill us?)
I highly recommend the episode of TV series West Wing that aired a few days after the 9/11 attack: “Isaac and Ishmael”. (Currently available on Netflix streaming, as well as on Amazon Instant Video – free to Prime members.) It’s some thought-provoking commentary on the issues at the heart of much of the terrorist threats today. Whether you are religious or secular, liberal or conservative, I think there is great benefit in considering the dialog in this absolutely stunning presentation. Probably heavier than a small child needs, but great for children who enjoy discussing with you on important, real-world topics.
Also on this date in history:
1890: Pan American Day
On this date, all the independent countries of the Western Hemisphere resolved to form an organization dedicated to peace and cooperation. Known as the Organization of American States (OAS), it is today the oldest international organization the world. Pan American Day, first observed in 1931, provides students with an opportunity to learn about countries in the western hemisphere.
- Make a flag display
- Explanation and declaration of Pan American Day
- OAS children’s page
- Student’s Pledge on Pan American Day, by Gabriela Mistral
- Make a meal with elements from various countries of the OAS
- Prepare an OAS geography trivia game
This week in history instigates discussions and projects that expand your child’s wisdom, understanding and application of the things she learns.
1452: Birthdate of Leonardo da Vinci
“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing.
Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
Being willing is not enough; we must do.”
When the name Leonardo da Vinci comes up, one immediately thinks of his great achievements as a painter and sculptor.
The portrait of Mona Lisa, which hangs in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France,
The Last Supper, a fresco, in Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy.
But da Vinci’s interests ranged widely. As a scientist he is famous for anticipating important discoveries about blood circulation, the special functions of the brain, and several modern inventions such as the airplane, tank, submarine and canon.
He was born in the mountain village of Vinci, near Florence. He died on May 2, 1519.
- Fun LdV website with tons of resources
- Leonardo the paleontologist and biologist
- Collection of paintings by LdV
- Leonardo da Vinci, Stanley
- Who Was Leonardo da Vinci?, Edwards
- Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions You Can Build Yourself (Build It Yourself series), Anderson
- Leonardo da Vinci for Kids: His Life and Ideas, 21 Activities, Herbert
- Da Vinci math experiment
Also on this date in history:
1912: The sinking of the Titanic
The Titanic, a large, lavish, “unsinkable” boat, sank after hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic, kiling 1,517 passengers because the ship had not carried enough lifeboats.
On September 1, 1985, the Titanic appeared again in the headlines, when a French-American expedition led by Dr. Robert Ballard discovered the legendary lost ship sitting proudly upright on the ocean bottom, 2.5 miles below the surface.
- Encyclopedia Titanica (website with lots of categorized information)
- Inside the Titanic (A Giant Cutaway Book), Brewster
- The Story of the Titanic As Told by Its Survivors, Winocour
- Titanic – The Complete Story, McCallum
Ideas for writing or discussion:
- Have you ever had an accident or problem that you weren’t prepared for (even though you were warned)?
- Why do we sometimes prefer to believe that the things we’re warned about aren’t likely to happen?
- What types of things do people do to prepare for things that are unlikely to happen?
- Why do they do these things?
- When is worry helpful?
- When is it unhelpful?
- Is there anything you or a family member does differently now than before some misfortune or accident?
- Why the change?
This Week in History saves you time and frustration, and builds your mentoring confidence.
No Spoiler Here. I’ll tell you what today is after we’ve solved the riddle:
Though it can take years off a life
and affect the heart,
I can turn everything upside down while making it right.
I am deadly contagious;
Everyone wants to see me…
What is “it”? What am I? (The “it” is defined here; stay tuned for the “I”!)
Today is National Stress Awareness Day!
(Not coincidentally, the day after taxes are due…)
- What is stress?
- What stresses affect you personally?
- Individual members of your family?
- How do you cope with stress?
- Can you think of three healthy ways to deal with stress, and three unhealthy ways?
- What illnesses and other risks are related to stress?
- Do something today to relieve stress–yours, or somebody else’s
- Enjoy this 16 minute award winning movie “Validation” – sure to put the concerns in perspective, put a smile on your face and a spring in your step. And remember…SMILE!
Are you feeling stressed today? If so…
Now, the “I”:
First get into a comfortable position.
Get a healthy treat.
Now contemplate your blessings: you could be doing this…
We all miss our mark somedays…