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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Classroom Resources | Grades   1 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  September 5
    In 1952, Paul Fleischman was born on this day.
    Some of Fleishman's memories in his essay "My House of Voices" are shared with the class. Students then write a descriptive essay that gives a tour of the voices in their homes, school, etc.
  7. Classroom Resources | Grades   7 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  January 4
    Jacob Grimm, one of the Brothers Grimm, was born today.
    Students compare different versions of the fairy tale Cinderella and then rewrite a lesser-known Grimm story and explain the changes they made.
  8. Classroom Resources | Grades   7 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  July 31
    J.K. Rowling and her Harry Potter celebrate birthdays today.
    Students are encouraged to think about why people challenge Harry Potter books, do a Web Quest that allows them to research the issue, and decide whether the books should be banned from the public library.
  9. Classroom Resources | Grades   7 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  January 3
    John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on this day.
    Students compare the film versions of The Lord of the Rings and Tolkien's novels. Students then imagine how a scene in a current novel that they are reading would be filmed.
  10. Classroom Resources | Grades   K – 8  |  Calendar Activity  |  September 8
    Jon Scieszka was born in 1954.
    Students review Scieszka's tips for encouraging young people to read and then create their own, sharing ideas with adults in their community through a letter.

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