With Family and Friends the Fun Never Ends

Whether it involves a trip across the country, a walk down the street, or opening your own home to guests, visiting family and friends can be another kind of summer adventure. Sharing time, and experiences, and stories is  a great way to connect with others and broaden our own view of life.

The following stories can remind us of the power of these connections and hopefully bring to mind some of our own summer adventures…


The Relatives Came, by Cynthia Rylant

Bigmama’s, by Donald Crews

Grandfather’s Journey, by Allen Say

The Keeping Quilt, by Patricia Polacco

All the Places to Love, by Patricia MacLachlan

Hello World!

Summer adventures can also provide opportunities to explore the natural wonders of the world.

From coasts,

Hello Ocean, by Pam Munoz Ryan

to rivers,

Where the River Begins, by Thomas Locker


Great Lakes, by Kimberly Valzania


When I Was Young in the Mountains, by Cynthia Rylant


If You’re Not from the Prairie, by David Bouchard

and everything else in between, our country is full of natural diversity and eye-catching sites.

Whether you choose to explore close to home,

B is for Beaver: An Oregon Alphabet, by Marie and Roland Smith

visit a state or national park,

M is for Majestic: A National Parks Alphabet, by David Domeniconi

or journey into the “unknown,” you are in for an adventure.


What a Capital Idea!

For a realistic (virtual) tour of something closer to home, use these books and links to visit our nation’s capital:

We’re There! Washington, DC, by Elizabeth Skinner Grumbach

Capital!: Washington D.C. from A to Z, by Laura Krauss Melmed

Journey Around Washington D.C. from A to Z, by Martha Day Zschock

TheCapitol.net – pictures, maps, sites to see, and more

The Wall, by Eve Bunting

Underground Train, by Mary Quattlebaum

And if you have a chance to visit Washington, D.C. in person, check out the free walking tours to learn more about the background, layout, and historical importance of this place. This was one of the highlights of my trip a few years ago.

Art in Action – Scholarship Opportunity

Looking for opportunities and/or support to incorporate more art into your classroom activities? Then visit the Art in Action website for more info and access to the online scholarship application.

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Birthday, America, by Mary Pope Osborne

Ready for some time travel? Explore the following books and resources to visit our nation over 200 years ago:

Give Me Liberty!: The Story of the Declaration of Independence, by Russell Freedman


The Declaration of Independence (True Books: American History), by Elaine Landau


The Declaration of Independence from A to Z, by Catherine Osornio


The Declaration Of Independence, by Sam Fink


Fight for Freedom: The American Revolutionary War, by Benson Bobrick


George vs. George: The Revolutionary War as Seen by Both Sides, by Rosalyn Schanzer


Revolutionary War Days: Discover the Past with Exciting Projects, Games, Activities, and Recipes (American Kids in History Series), by David C. King

One of my own travels took me to Washington, D.C. a couple of years ago. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History contains some interesting objects from this time period. Among them are Jefferson’s portable desk he used when writing the Declaration of Independence and George Washington’s uniform and camp chest.

Seeing the Declaration of Independence in person was also an amazing experience. Visit the National Archives website for more pictures and information about this and other important documents from our nation’s history.

We Choose to Go to the… Moon!

Looking for an adventure a little more out of this world? Then check out these books and resources:

Destination: Moon, by James Irwin

Nasa Space Vehicles: Capsules, Shuttles, and Space Stations (Countdown to Space), by Michael D. Cole

The International Space Station: An Orbiting Laboratory, by Devi Nipaul

Exploring the Solar System: A History with 22 Activities, by Mary Kay Carson

Visit NASA Kids’ Club for games and activities; NASA’s student page for informational stories, pictures, news, and more; and NASA’s Cassini Solstice Mission: Kids Space site for information about Saturn and the mission.

Kidsastronomy.com and kids-and-space.com also have lots of games and activities and information about astronomy, our solar system, and more.

And don’t miss this… amazing science videos for kids at Science Kids.