Inventors and Inventions

REVIEW from a homeschooler:
This book was very comprehensive. It sparked interest in my children to invent something that the world could use. Excellent reference to inventors and inventions throughtout the years! Excellent activities to get the kids thinking. I just ordered one for my sister, who is a homeschooler as well. We loved doing a unit study with this book as our guide. We highly recommend it.

Interested in Elephant Conservation?

Read my white paper for the Center for Elephant Conservation (CEC), funded and operated by the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus, on the state of Asian elephants in the world.

Feld Entertainment (the parent company) announced in March 2015 that they will be phasing out circus elephants by 2018 and the retirees will live out their days at the conservation center.

Just a Joke

Q. How far would Julius Caeser's team get in the NCAA basketball tournament?
A. To the final forum.

Q. How do pirates repair broken iPads?
A. With iPatches, of course.

Q. What did the monk say to the hot dog vendor?
A. Make me one with everything.

Social Studies Games, Plays, and Other Activities

Great American History Games

I teamed up with my sister Louise Hopping, a veteran middle school social studies teacher, to create and thoroughly test these American history games. All the games include easy–to–copy and assemble boards, cards, rules, and other components. There's also a two-sided poster with a colorful Courageous Colony game board and historical photo game. For grades 4 to 8.

Students keep asking to play these games:

  • Passport to America Immigration Guessing Game

  • Famous Quotation Bingo Game

  • State Capitals Map Search Game

  • West Quest A Timeline Game

  • Hear Ye! A News Story Relay Race (American Revolution)

  • North or South? A Civil War Fact Mastery Game

  • Courageous Colony board game (early Virginia), including a poster-sized, full-color game board

  • Muckrackers Board Game (Progressive Era), also including a poster-sized game board

15 Primary Source Activities

Louise and I wrote this second activity–packed American history book by starting with primary sources—narratives, eyewitness accounts, photos, statistics, maps—and weaving them into 15 creative, ready-to-go activities, including plays, readings, a TV broadcast, movie story boards, graphing activities, and more.

A few of our favorite activities:

  • Freedom in a Box News Broadcast (a script for small or large groups based on a slavery narrative by Henry "Box" Brown)

  • Coming to America Dramatic Reading (true immigrant stories woven into a powerfully emotional stage reading)

  • Boston Tea Party Story Boarding Activity (kids plot a comic book or movie story board of this event based on eyewitness accounts)

  • Factories on Trial Industrial Revolution Plays (three plays for small or large groups, using actual transcripts from child labor hearings)

  • Connect the Depot Dots Map and Data Study (transcontinental railroad)

  • Million Mile March (using data to map and calculate slavery escape routes)

There's a preview of some of the pages at Google Books.

Inventors and Inventions

This jam-packed, cross-curricular activity book explores inventors and inventions of the past and present, inventive thinking skills, and how inventions are made and marketed. I was thrilled when the book received a rave review from Scope, the social studies teacher magazine. For grades 4 to 8.

Interactive Geography Kit:
Polar Regions

Kids love extremes! The top and bottom of the Earth are about as extreme as our world gets. These engaging activities cover history, geography, science, language arts, and math. For grades 3 to 6.

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