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  1. Classroom Resources | Grades   3 – 6  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson
    The Houdini Box: What Did Houdini Hide? Writing Creative Endings
    Students are encouraged to understand a book that the teacher reads aloud to create a new ending for it using the writing process.
  2. Classroom Resources | Grades   4 – 8  |  Lesson Plan
    The Magic of Three: Techniques for the Writer's Craft
    Students learn to use tricolons—a writer's technique of putting words and phrases into groups of threes—to add rhythm and power to their writing.
  3. Classroom Resources | Grades   3 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  April 15
    The RMS Titanic sank on this day in 1912.
    Students use the Internet Workshop model to explore web links about the Titanic disaster.
  4. Classroom Resources | Grades   1 – 8  |  Calendar Activity  |  August 10
    The Smithsonian Institution was founded in 1846.
    After exploring an exhibit online, students use the information they learned to write "A Day in the Life" narratives that tell about a person, animal, or object they saw in the exhibit.
  5. Classroom Resources | Grades   3 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  January 28
    The Space Shuttle Challenger exploded in 1986.
    Students interview a parent or another adult about the Challenger and hypothesize about differences. Students can also write about the Columbia disaster in 2003.
  6. Classroom Resources | Grades   3 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  April 26
    The Spanish town of Guernica was bombed on this date in 1937.
    After showing students Picasso's Guernica, they are provided with background information, share their impressions, and write about Picasso's purpose in creating the painting.
  7. Classroom Resources | Grades   3 – 6  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson
    The Tale of Despereaux: Fact or Fiction?
    Using the book The Tale of Despereaux, students look a closer look at medieval times to see if the novel accurately portrays this time in history. Looking at key sections of the book, students will use the Compare and Contrast Guide and Map to help them decipher between fact and fiction.
  8. Classroom Resources | Grades   3 – 6  |  Calendar Activity  |  December 17
    The Wright brothers made their phenomenal flight!
    Students celebrate the Wright brothers' flight in 1903 by having a classroom celebration that includes a multimedia timeline and comparisons of the Wright Flyer to the planes we have today.
  9. Classroom Resources | Grades   1 – 6  |  Calendar Activity  |  January 17
    Today is Benjamin Franklin's birthday.
    Students discuss Benjamin Franklin's contributions to postal history, investigate the roles of the Postmaster General, and write letters to their classmates using the Letter Generator.
  10. Classroom Resources | Grades   3 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  March 5
    Today is Native American writer Leslie Marmon Silko's birthday.
    Students revive elements of the oral tradition by writing about something funny that happened to them recently, sharing with classmates, and discussing the changes that occur during the retelling of the stories.

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