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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  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   5 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  June 14
    June 14 is Flag Day in the U.S.
    Students consider how America, Americans, and the flag are represented in different patriotic songs and hypothesize about the reasons for their differences.

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