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  1. Classroom Resources | Grades   7 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  April 2
    Hans Christian Andersen was born on this date in 1805.
    Students write a brief summary of one of Andersen's stories, and then read the original story and compare the two versions of the tale with the Venn Diagram tool.
  2. Classroom Resources | Grades   5 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  June 27
    Helen Keller was born in 1880.
    In the spirit of Helen Keller, students explore the American Sign Language Browser from Michigan State University and try using a few signs.
  3. Classroom Resources | Grades   1 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  July 12
    Henry David Thoreau was born in 1817.
    Students make mental "snapshots" of a natural setting, then capture the details of their setting by writing and then creating a class booklet of the nature walk.
  4. Classroom Resources | Grades   5 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  September 15
    Hispanic Heritage Month begins today.
    Students brainstorm all the various aspects of Hispanic culture and compile topics to research. Groups then research topics and present their information to the class.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

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