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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Classroom Resources | Grades   9 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  July 20
    In 1969, the first human walked on the moon.
    As a class, students discuss Neil Armstrong's famous quote when he landed on the moon and explore the difference that one word can make, as well as the gendered language that Armstrong uses.
  5. Classroom Resources | Grades   3 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  July 4
    It's Independence Day! Or is it?
    Students consider why there are so many different dates associated with the Declaration of Independence and why the nation's birthday is celebrated on July 4.
  6. Classroom Resources | Grades   7 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  January 31
    Jackie Robinson was born on this day in 1919.
    Students read messages sent to the White House from Jackie Robinson and discuss his role as an athlete and a civil rights activist, as well as the role of athletes in society.
  7. Classroom Resources | Grades   5 – 8  |  Calendar Activity  |  November 6
    James Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball, was born in 1861.
    Students look at Naismith's original 13 rules for basketball and write about the rules and how they have changed in small groups.
  8. Classroom Resources | Grades   1 – 5  |  Calendar Activity  |  February 11
    Jane Yolen was born in 1939.
    Students read one of Jane Yolen's books, retell the story in the form of a puppet show, research animals in the book, and document their findings with the Animal Study interactive tool.
  9. Classroom Resources | Grades   3 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  June 3
    Jesse James robs the Obocock Bank in 1871.
    Students listen to folksongs and related information about Jesse James, and then research James' life and write new folk songs about James or another famous outlaw.
  10. 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.

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