Archive For The “History, Politics & Geography” Category

Madame Marie Curie

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Women’s Scientific Pioneer by Mark Spalding

I was thinking the other day that there must be some interesting things happening in November other than Thanksgiving (that’s an easy one that I’ll talk about in a later post). I was wondering if any interesting people were born in November and just so happened to have Madame Curie pop into my head. And lo and behold, her birthday falls in the month of November! So, without further ado….

Madame Marie Curie was born Maria Salomea Sklodowska in Warsaw, Poland on November 7th, 1867. Her life and work have been catalogued and retold in various forms over the last century, to include biographies, television biopics, various paintings and sculptures, as well as theatrical dramas. She is one of the pioneers in the field of Radioactivity and received numerous awards and accolades for her work in this regard despite the general misogynistic tendencies of the time. Case in point, shortly after receiving her doctorate from the University of Paris, and a few months before receiving her first Nobel Prize, Marie and her husband Pierre were invited to give a speech at the Royal Institution in London. But upon arriving she was informed that she would not be allowed to speak as she was a woman. Marie endured many hurdles due to her gender during her lifetime, but never allowed these obstacles to hinder her research.

Marie CurieWhile performing her work on radioactivity and its various sub fields, Marie managed to raise two daughters on her own (as Pierre had been killed in a roadside accident in 1906). She wasn’t completely alone in raising her children however, as she had the help of a Polish governess. Marie was adamant that the girls learn their native language as well as its customs. Eventually one of her daughters, Irene Joliot-Curie, won a Nobel Prize as well for work on the discovery of artificial radioactivity.

While I could retell much of what I have learned doing my research for this article, I thought I would just provide some highlights of Madame Curie’s life and then give you some helpful links to find out more.

Notable Accomplishments:

  • First woman to achieve a PHD degree from a French university
  • First Woman to become a professor at the École Normale Supérieure (1900) & the University of Paris (1906)
  • First woman to win the Nobel Prize
  • Won for both her theories on Radiation (1903) as well as Chemistry (1911)
  • First person to win the Nobel Prize in two different categories
  • Coined the term “Radioactivity”
  • Discovered the elements Radium & Polonium for which she won her second Nobel Prize
  • Developed techniques to isolate radioactive isotopes
  • Pioneered discoveries in radiation therapy for cancer
  • Created the Radium Institute in Paris to further research in the field of Radioactivity

Interesting Tidbits:

  • Ran a mobile x-ray unit at the front during WWI. An estimated 1 million French soldiers were treated by her during this time.
  • Carried small vials of radioactive isotopes (usually radium) on a regular basis in her coat pocket. She would show them to curious onlookers during her PR trips around the U.S.in the 1920s.
  • The “curie” is the international standard for radioactive emissions so named for Marie & Pierre’s work
  • Her research papers (and even her cookbook) are considered too dangerous to handle due to their being highly radioactive. They are stored in lead containers! Protective clothing must be worn in their presence.

Links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_Curie – a very good, not too long description of her life and work.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEV4KJBJvEg – a good “bullet point” type quick hit video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4jCTiGSuwU – very good, but the language is geared to teens more than preteens.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWAsz59F8gA – Same guy as above, less bad language, more sciencey. It might be an expansion of the conversation if your child is interested in learning more. I really like the CrashCourse channel on youtube. Lots of information in short, edible chunks of videos ranging from history to science to literature and beyond.

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Celebrating Chinese New Year Tradition and other World Cultures

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103_1799What is “World Culture”? In our global society it has never been more important for our children to learn about and embrace the cultures of our world.

This past weekend, my family and I had the great pleasure of celebrating the Chinese New Year at The Penn Museum in Philadelphia. It was a day full of music, crafts and history. We were transported to another country through demonstrations and hands on activities. In a few words I would describe the Chinese culture as Colorful, Spirited, Traditional and full of exquisite Talent. This annual celebration of 33 years included a complimentary themed menu, intriguing sword and fan dances, an informative Tang Horse presentation celebrating The Year of the Horse and a calligraphy instruction, among many other events and activities.

Our absolute favorite part was witnessing and participating in Chef Joseph Poon’s humorous and extremely talented food carving art demonstration. He created beautiful and intricate art from fruits and vegetables that were truly too good to eat. My daughter was mesmerized by his craft and storytelling. Chef Poon is a terrific entertainer – capturing the entire audience for an engaging performance. See our video below for a glimpse of his presentation.

Please find our short videos highlighting the Eastern vs. Western Music Demonstration and our overall experience at the Penn Museum. This was sure an event not to be missed but in case you have, there are some additional upcoming events and ways that you and your family can celebrate the Chinese New Year and Chinese culture.

Here are some of those upcoming Chinese New Year festivities in the Philadelphia area:

January 30, 2014 – Chinatown, Philadelphia, PA

Midnight Lion Dance Performance
Fireworks and lion dance parade beginning 10th and Race Streets running through Chinatown.

January 31, 2014 – Chinatown, Philadelphia, PA
Chinese Lunar New Year 4712 Banquet at Rising Tide Restaurant
Experience Chinese culture tradition through a ten course banquet.

February 1, 2014 – Wilmington, DE

Chinese New Year Celebration

Held at the Delaware Art Museum and Hanlin Chinese Culture Association from 11 AM to 3 PM

February 2, 2014 – Chinatown, Philadelphia, PA

Martial Arts Performance

Takes place at 10th and Arch Street

February 2, 2014 – Chinatown, Philadelphia, PA
The Philadelphia Suns Lion Dance Parade
Parade to include martial arts performances and fireworks. It begins at 10th and Spring Streets at 11AM.

February 5th – Chinatown, Philadelphia, PA

Chinese Lunar New Year 4712 Banquet
Place:Located at the Sang Kee Peking Duck House from 6-9 PM. Ten course banquet fully immersed in Chinese culture and tradition.

February 7, 2014 – Philadelphia, PA

14th Annual Lunar New Year Celebration

Held at the International House of Philadelphia at 7PM

February 9, 2014 – Philadelphia, PA

The Tet Festival

From 11 AM to 7 PM at Boat People SOS – Delaware Valley

February 12, 2014 – Philadelphia, PA

Chinese Folk Tales, Dance, Music & Lion Dance

Held at the Philadelphia Free Library – Independence Branch at 12:30 PM

April 25-27, 2014 – Philadelphia, PA

Shen Yun 2014

Merriam Theater

Elegant and mesmerizing Chinese live production with a live orchestra using ancient Chinese instruments. This is a breath-taking, colorful, extraordinary experience taking the audience through dynasties and into another world.    103_1786

Whether you partake in any of the above, you can also engage your children with these additional resources. (Disclosure: We are happily partnered with Barefoot Books who offers an amazing line of children’s books and games. We are also affiliated with Amazon.) Lin Yi’s Lantern is a fictional story about a boy who wants a lantern for the Chinese Moon Festival (includes educational notes on Chinese culture and the Moon Festival). Also by Barefoot Books, please find The Great Race, a book about the Chinese zodiac. Little Leap Forward – A Boy In Beijing is a fictional chapter book option discussing the culture of China. Additionally, Exploring Chinatown: A Children’s Guide to Chinese Culture is a great resource with insight on Chinese tradition. For those looking for lessons on Chinese instruments should consider meeting with Kurt Jung and Qin (Nancy) Qian, the musical performers from the Chinese New Year Celebration at Penn Musuem. They can be reached via email: nancyqinerhu2013@gmail.com and by Ms. Qian’s website www.qinqianerhu.com for more information on classes.

Penn Museum is a great launching pad for any discussion or lesson on world culture, whether your children are learning about a specific country in school or you are exploring as a family. Penn Museum has Mummies at The Penn Museummany upcoming events in addition to their on-going exhibits. Some of these include the Annual Celebration of African Cultures on February 8th and Native American Voices exhibition opening on March 1st from 11 AM to 4 PM. A great friend of mine from Jersey Family Fun had just spent the night at Penn Museum with their 40 Winks with the Sphinx program. I’ll link her blog review here shortly but the next opportunity to participate in this overnight program is on February 28th.

Penn MuseumRoman ExhibitGreek Exhibition

Disclosure: This was a sponsored post in that we were compensated or offered complimentary product/tickets for review purposes. The opinions expressed herein are strictly my own.

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Ringing In The Chinese New Year

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LionDancer2Hello 2014! January is well on it’s way and many of you have probably made (and perhaps broken) new year’s resolutions. For me the start of a new year is the opportunity to refresh my perspective – in many regards. It is a time for self reflection and certainly a time for setting goals (personal goals, business related ones and definitely family goals). For me a new year is an extension of the Christmas spirit and warmth. So much time is spent in December setting the stage for Christmas, preparing our hearts and homes for the coming of Christ. Efforts are made to make hand-made gifts, provide meals for elderly neighbors and donate toys for the less fortunate. People have a tendency to hold the door for strangers and offer warm greetings around every corner. More than gifts and twinkling lights – I love the warmth and sincerity that surrounds the holiday season. And I ask aloud – why should this end when the tree ornaments get packed away and the children start back at school. January should be a time to celebrate cultures around the world – after all we all experience the turn of the year and celebrate what is to become of the next year. As you are making or trying hard to keep your new year’s resolutions, consider exploring how other countries take in the new year, traditions and resolutions that are part of those cultures. It’s January half way across the world, so what makes it different than ours and better yet what is celebrated the same?

MeiMei1And speaking of world cultures and celebrating the new year… we are very excited to be attending the Penn Museum’s Chinese New Year Celebration on January 25th. This is sure to be an exciting day-long family event in one of the most amazing museums on the East Coast. The celebration begins at 11AM and offers a variety of demonstrations, exhibits, food and fun and you don’t want to miss the Lion Dance Finale. The celebration is free with museum admission and in honor of the Year of the Horse (1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014), guests born on the Year of the Horse (or expectant moms due in 2014), can gallop on in for free—when you bring at least one non-Horse paying guest with you!

PCDC2

Celebration activities are as follows and additional information can be obtain by visiting the Penn Museum website.

CHINESE NEW YEAR CELEBRATION 2014 SCHEDULE
11:00 am – 12:30 pm – Calligraphy Drop-in Workshop
11:30 am – 12:15 pm – MeiMei Dance Performance & Pennsylvania Chinese Dance Club Performance
12:00 pm – 12:30 pm– East vs. West Chinese Music Demonstration
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm – Language Class
1:00 pm – 1:30 pm – Ba’z Tai Chi Demo & Workshop
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm – Gallery Talk: Tang Horses
2:00 pm – 2:30 pm – East vs. West Chinese Music Demonstration
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm – Tangram Workshop
2:30 pm – 3:00 pm – PennYo A Cappella Performance
3:00 pm – 3:30 pm – Falun Gong Demonstration
3:15 pm – 4:00 pm – Kung Fu Demonstration and Lion Dance Finale

Photo Credit: Penn Museum

Disclosure: This was a sponsored post.  We were either compensated or given product/passes for review.  The opinions expressed herein are strictly mine.

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150th Anniversary of Gettysburg

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Guest post by Mark Spalding

With the festivities of the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg almost upon us, I felt it would be a great time to let you know a little more about the place and time that shaped who we are as a country today.

I’ve been going to Gettysburg off and on since I was a teenager some twenty years ago. Our boy scout troop would make an almost annual trip to the park to hike the “North” and “South” trails of this sprawling National Park and I absolutely loved it. It was hands down my favorite place to hike around and explore. To see Devil’s Den, Little Round Top, The Wheat Field and of course the site of Pickett’s Charge is an emotional thing to behld (even for a 12 year old boy).

It’s difficult know what it was like to be a soldier in those times. What it was like to march over a mile of completely open ground, shoulder to shoulder with your brothers in arms, moving at a parade pace with cannon fire bursting in every direction, bullets whizzing by your head and decimating your friends and comrades, only to finally be able to cut loose and run at the enemy with less than a hundred yards separating you and them. But you may at least have an understanding if you are there, walking that same stretch of land yourself. Gettysburg is like a full access pass to history!

Gettysburg 150th Anniversary, Gettysburg Address, LincolnMuch is made of the battle itself (over 51,000 casualties, more than the entire Revolutionary War and any other battle fought by U.S. soldiers until the Vietnam War), but it is what happened after the battle which solidified a nation. Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is the gold standard that all other American oratory is compared to. This is in large part due to the eloquence of his words ( a svelte 268), but also the circumstances in which they were spoken. While fighting an unpopular war, mired in a debate with his enemies and his allies alike about the need to emancipate slaves and mourning the death of his young son, Lincoln managed to put into words what it means to be American. His words, spoken at the dedication of the Soldier’s National Cemetery in Gettysburg four months after the battle ended, galvanized a weary north and gave them the strength to persevere through 2 more years of bloody combat.  Gettysburg 150th Anniversay, Lincoln, Gettysburg Address

As with many great events, it was the little things that made the difference at Gettysburg. Here are just a few quick points about the battle which turned the tide of the war;

  • General Robert E. Lee’s right hand man, “Stonewall” Jackson, died in May, shortly before the battle at Gettysburg. His Corps (pronounced “Core”) was split in two and given to A.P. Hill & Richard Ewell. On the first day of battle, the Rebel army could have easily overtaken the Union lines and had the high ground at the north end of the battlefield for the coming days, but miscommunication between the new commanders and General Lee stopped the advance. This allowed the Union forces to be reinforced and entrench overnight and is considered by many scholars to be a critical and costly mistake by the south.

  • On the second day, a small Maine regiment, led by Joshua Chamberlain, held off an advance by a much larger Rebel force on Little Round Top that would have flanked the Union line and given the South the high ground at the south end of the battlefield. They did it without any bullets in their guns! Note: To see how this happened, a good resource is the “Gettysburg” movie (1994).

  • On the third day, Pickett’s Charge did accomplish one thing. For the span of a few seconds, the Southern army was at the furthest point north that it had ever gone in the war. After this battle they would never venture further into the north than they had that day.

    Gettysburg battlefield, 150th anniversary Gettysburg, Civil War

    Gettysburg Battlefield

    Gettysburg Battlefield, 150th anniversary Gettysburg, Civil War

I could go on for pages about this subject, but I don’t want to cause too many TLDRs. 🙂 If you’re interested in knowing more about the Battle of Gettysburg or the Civil War in general, let me know in the comments. There are thousands of resources and ways to get information,  including our Homeroom At Home website section on the Civil War.

Gettysburg BattlefieldMy most recent trip last fall provided my family and I the opportunity to visit all the museums and venture out into the battlefields via double-decker tour bus.  Thanks to the Gettysburg Tours, Inc. and Gettysburg Group Reservations, we had plans that suited each of us in our party. Gettysburg Battlefield, Civil War Gettysburg Group Reservations helped us (a family of four, not a school trip) with our destination needs and can provide the same assistance to your family, highlighting the hot spots or giving tips for traveling with young children, special needs members or older folks.  Gettysburg 150th anniversary, Civil War, Battlefield Tour Our day started with a Battlefield Bus Tour and was perfect for laying the foundation of the land and battle.  We made stops at the Hall of Presidents & First Ladies, the Jennie Wade House Museum and Ghostly Images Legends & Showroom (an indoor ghost experience vs the ghost walking tours) all booked through Gettysburg Tours, Inc.

Civil War, Battlefield of Gettysburg

On the Gettysburg Battlefield Tour

Gettysburg Battlefield, Civil War, 150th Anniversary GettysburgThe other highlights of our trip included the Gettysburg Diorama & History Center and the Lincoln Train Museum with a simulator train ride.  Please visit http://www.gettysburgfoundation.org as an additional resource to plan your visit to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.

Gettysburg 150th Anniversary, Civil War, Battle of GettysburgGettysburg 150 Anniversary, Civil War, Battle of GettysburgGettysburg Battle, Civil WarDisclosure:  Thank you to  Gettysburg Tours Inc. for providing a media pass to several of the mentioned attractions.  We were not compensated for this post and as always the opinions expressed here are strictly ours.
Gettysburg 150th Anniversary, Battle of Gettysburg

Soldiers National Museum, Gettysburg, PA

Battle of Gettysburg, Civil War

Hall of Presidents & First Ladies

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Pirate & Privateer Festival in Tuckerton, NJ

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Turning Princesses into Pirates isn’t an easy task… but we managed and had an amazing time at the Tuckerton Seaport Museum’s Pirate and Privateer Festival. All decked out we consulted the map to start our voyage… affordable vendors, dancing, a boardwalk and boat making demonstration were just the start.

We enjoyed demonstrations from privateers and pirates including a very loud cannon firing. They also provided entertainment with sword and dual fighting, photo ops and discussions about pirating. They were so realistic – it was very authentic and entertaining. Inside, children enjoyed crafts, the surf museum and a climb to the lighthouse. Live music and plenty of food options rounded out our experience and we definitely look forward to joining these pirates again in the future.

Tuckerton is located on the Jersey Shore just 30 miles north of Atlantic City. This family friendly resort provides many accommodations including sign language and wheelchairs among other accommodations for programs and events. Please call 609-296-8868 at least two weeks prior to your visit.

They have a full calendar of events planned for this year – so pull out your planner because you’re not going to want to miss these. For a list please refer to our previous Tuckerton Seaport Museum article or their website  for more information.

I encourage you to expand your pirate adventures with games, books and role playing.  Homeroom At Home will be offering a full segment on pirates for Fall 2013.  In the meantime check out our own pirate day activities from last summer with the below videos.

Disclosure:  Homeroom At Home is proud to partner with Tuckerton Seaport Museum to support the Stronger Than The Storm initiatives.  This post was a sponsored post by which Homeroom At Home was compensated.  The thoughts and opinions expressed here are strictly mine.

Check out these other articles from this fun filled day at Tuckerton with Delco Deal Diva, Whatever Works, A Girl Gone Mom and Couponing 4 a Difference.  We had a wonderful time hanging out with Kelly, Cindy, Heather and Denise and their families.

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The Croods: A Family Film with Educational Value

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A great kid’s movie can lead to even greater learning discussions. We are always looking for ways to fold in a little learning into our already busy home lives and the movies this Spring gave us just the chance with The Croods (and check out our review on Epic).

The Croods, which may be leaving the theaters soon but certainly worth the Amazon or Red Box rental if you missed it, is an amazingly cute animated story centered on a prehistoric family and their adventures in finding a new and safe dwelling due to massive earthquakes and seismic plate shifts. On their journey they encounter exotic creatures, befriend a nomad, are introduced to fire and discover there is a whole world waiting to be explored. It was a really cute movie with some pros and cons like any other but our interest and purpose here is in the opportunity for discussing and exploring the reality of the stone-age.  Hop over to my friends at Jersey Family Fun for a more traditional and in-depth review.

Just to be clear… I’m not suggesting that you pause the movie or whisper tid-bits in your child’s ear but instead allow the film, however whimsical and fiction-filled, to ignite a curiosity of our natural world. By allowing them to fall in love with the characters and story you have the perfect backdrop for later expanding their factual knowledge without the associations of traditional learning. So enjoy the movie for what it is – a humorous family film with elements of survival and family bonding.

So then what? Well take advantage of the drive home or find a small pocket of time later to highlight things like why The Croods had to find a new cave or what it must have been like living in one. Ask your son or daughter what affects does he/she think discovering fire had on society. Maybe they can sketch their own comic strip. Then simply (and perhaps gently) explain that some parts of the movie were fictional for the sake of making the film humorous, relatable to current times and more interesting, then give a couple of interesting examples (language/slang being a simple example from the movie) making sure to highlight the equally interesting factual truths. The below documentary might prove helpful but I advise that parents preview it before sharing with children for appropriateness or simply select an appropriate clip to demonstrate your point or highlight your lesson.

Take your discussion offsite… The Penn Museum in Philadelphia offers many amazing exhibits, including one on human evolution. It is fascinating to learn about the different stages of human development. Early on Hominids had much smaller brains and longer faces in closer resemblance to the primate family. This exhibit will walk your family through the differences between Homo erectus (walking upright) and the Homo habilis (working with tools) as well as many other stages of evolution. Check out their online learning tools here, where I learned that as humans evolved with larger brains the structure of the skull had changed significantly over time to accommodate.

Another discussion point might be around earthquakes and continental drifts. This again is fascinating stuff. Here’s one website to offer some insight – it gets heavy, so do your homework and know exactly what you are going to highlight beforehand. Maybe grab a couple of YouTube videos for demonstrative purposes. (Homeroom At Home will be offering a full section on Earth Science in the future.)

The Croods was a clever movie adding more dimension than other kids prehistoric films of the past… allowing great opportunity for spin-off conversations of true value. Enjoy the film over and over again and embrace the learning opportunities that lie within.  DreamWorks through the official The Croods website has some additional downloads, coloring sheets, printable activities and games… worth checking out.

Disclosure:  I was not paid for this review nor were tickets compensated.  My family and I enjoyed this film and the ideas and opinions expressed here are strictly mine.

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Celebrating Presidents' Day Weekend With Fun Facts

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Entertain your youngsters this Presidents’ Day weekend with some trivia-filled fun. Kids love pets, so what better way to help them relate to our current and former Commander in Chiefs, than to expose them to some of the adorable (and in some case most unexpected) pets of the White House. Here are six crazy tales of White House animal dominance:

1. Theodore Roosevelt’s son and daughter had a liking for snakes. His daughter would carry her snake “Emily Spinach” in her purse during formal parties. One day Miss Emily Spinach got into a rather large spat with the other snakes in the Oval Office. What a sight!
2. After Abraham Lincoln was gifted a live turkey for a Thanksgiving Feast, his son befriended the feathered creature and the family kept it as a pet.
3. John Quincy Adams had a two-month long visiting pet alligator that resided in the East Room of the White House. More than a few wandering guests were greeted by this toothy visitors.
4. With having over 40 pets, it is no surprise that the Roosevelt family made our list twice. In an attempt to cheer a sick sibling, the Roosevelt brothers sneaked in a pet pony through the White House mirrored elevator, only to find that the beloved pony fell in love with his own reflection. It took quite a doing to pull him out of the elevator.
5. Rebecca, Calvin Coolidge’s pet raccoon had free roam for the White House and in fact found a hobby in unscrewing light bulbs. She was another intended Thanksgiving meal whose fate was forever changed.
6. Former President Thomas Jefferson was gifted two grizzly bear cubs by explorers Lewis and Clark. Jefferson built them an outdoor cage and often walked them around the White House garden. He also had a favorite mockingbird “Dicky” who was free to fly about the President’s office.

For more stories on the wildest and funniest pets that have roamed the White House, be sure to check out Wackiest White House Pets by Gibbs Davis. The examples above came from this delightful book. Learn stories about mice, Zsa Zsa the trumpet playing rabbit, Billy the opossum, goats, cows and of course lots of Presidential cats and dogs.

Yes, it’s true that a lot of kids are super picky eaters – but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t enjoy learning of our Presidents’ favorite bites. Take Franklin Roosevelt for instance – his all time favorite was Grilled Cheese – what kids couldn’t relate to that? Not to mention his love for scrambled eggs and hot dogs. For more White House favorites check out this Food & Wine article: “Presidential Food Obsessions“. Before you go… guess which former President enjoyed ketchup and cottage cheese – oh yum!

Silliness is an excellent learning tool. So I wanted to include another favorite book on Presidents – that definitely appeals to the school-aged group. What Presidents Are Made Of by Hanoch Piven is a personal favorite of mine with amazing illustrations. It’s kinda part puzzle, part abstract art whereby the pictures are portrait compilations of everyday items. Take a look below – I love this book. Each President is featured with a title, a portrait and then just enough wording to briefly summarize. It’s a fun, quick read to keep learning light and easy.

Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are strictly mine. I was not compensated in any way for this post or material.

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Honoring Black History Month at Home

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Black History Month (February) is highlighted and taught in schools across the country – but as parents we can take advantage of this nation-wide theme to include lessons on love, acceptance, patience and diversity. We can also introduce our children to African American role models and influence that perhaps aren’t emphasized in school. As much as it is important to tell the stories of Martin Luther King Jr and Rosa Parks – there are so many others worthy of an honorable mention as well.

Consider these four amazing African Americans from our culture. They offer inspiration and positive influence with their diverse backgrounds, accomplishments and passions.

Ella Fitzgerald

Ms. Fitzgerald was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. She was also awarded with 13 Grammies. Click below for a taste of Ella’s jazzy magic. Here’s the official website for fun facts and bio: http://www.ellafitzgerald.com/

Fredrick Douglas

Mr. Douglas was a former slave, an escaped slave who’s life’s work was devoted to human rights and the abolitionist movement.  He led the first all black regiment, 54 MA Infantry, was an published in 1845, and public speaker for anti-slavery.  There’s so much more to his bravery and story.  Watch the clip below to learn more or visit http://www.biography.com/people/frederick-douglass

Lonnie Johnson

Mr. Johnson invented the Super Soaker.  He was influenced by another famous and important scientist and inventor, George Washington Carver.  Mr. Johnson’s story is interesting for children because of his curiosity to learn how things worked and interest in toys – his father taught him to make his own toys.  Here’s more on Lonnie Johnson’s career as an inventor:  http://www.blackinventor.com.  Click here for a coloring sheet on Lonnie Johnson and other inventors.

Mae Jemison

This woman has almost done it all… a doctor, a dancer and an orbit into space.  Dr.  Mae Jemison is  former NASA astronaut and in 1992 she was part of the crew to go into orbit on Space Shuttle Endeavor. She’s held a television career and remains a large inspiration for our young generation and parents alike.  Here’s a quick bio on the never-bored, truly inspiring Dr. Jemison.

And here’s another well worth the 26 minutes… she really touches on the ways parents can influence and encourage children. She says creativity and exploration are key. “When we ask how do we get our children to find that – it’s really we have to keep them from losing it.” She speaks about ways to foster the inner scientist in our children. Attached here is an interactive coloring page for your children to enjoy and here is an informative print out coloring sheet.

Lastly check out this cool online Black History Quiz.  Enjoy celebrating diversity and some of the most amazing contributors to humanity.

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