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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   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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  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   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.
  7. Classroom Resources | Grades   9 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  October 9
    In 1940, musician and peace activist John Lennon was born.
    After listening to "Imagine," students reflect on the lyrics and answer questions. Then, they have a chance to write a stanza for their own song.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

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