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  1. Classroom Resources | Grades   9 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  February 21
    Humorist Erma Bombeck was born in 1927.
    Using lines from Bombeck's newspaper column, students identify allusive or satirical humor. Older students can rewrite the passages for a different audience.
  2. Classroom Resources | Grades   1 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  April 23
    In 1564, William Shakespeare was born on this day.
    Based on grade level, students learn about rhyming structure, experiment with the Shakespearean Insult Kit, or study scenes from Othello and watch an adaptation of that scene from the movie O.
  3. Classroom Resources | Grades   5 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  November 8
    In 1847, Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula was born.
    Students brainstorm the superstitions they know and small groups research one of the superstitions to determine its origin and meaning or purpose. Students can write about the superstition using the Mystery Cube interactive.
  4. Classroom Resources | Grades   7 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  August 15
    In 1870, the U.S. Transcontinental Railroad was completed.
    Students access the National Park Service website and look at the webpage "The Last Spikes." Students explore different accounts of what happened as the railroad neared completion and discuss the nature of ceremonies.
  5. Classroom Resources | Grades   9 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  February 27
    In 1902, John Steinbeck was born.
    Students brainstorm a list of the ills of society, research a topic of their choosing, and then prepare an annotated bibliography of texts that address the topic.
  6. Classroom Resources | Grades   3 – 8  |  Calendar Activity  |  February 3
    In 1927, Joan Lowery Nixon was born.
    As a class, a genre study of mysteries takes place and a chart is made about what makes a good mystery.
  7. Classroom Resources | Grades   7 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  April 4
    In 1928, Maya Angelou was born.
    After hearing Maya Angelou's poem, "On the Pulse of Morning," students infer information about the speaker and her feelings about America and reflect on how one's life and experiences can influence one's writing.
  8. Classroom Resources | Grades   7 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  January 15
    In 1929, Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on this day.
    Students study Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech and work in groups to create a mural that depicts Dr. King's vision of peace.
  9. Classroom Resources | Grades   3 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  February 18
    In 1931, Toni Morrison was born.
    After retelling a familiar fable, students discover the differences in one of Morrison's retellings of a fable.
  10. Classroom Resources | Grades   7 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  April 9
    In 1939, Marian Anderson was denied permission to sing at Constitution Hall.
    Students view Eleanor Roosevelt's resignation letter to the DAR in response to Andersen being denied permission to sing. Students write a letter to a newspaper editor about social injustice.

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