First Friday Freebie #2

President’s Day is fast approaching. The Impossible Patriotism Project by Linda Skeers is one of my favorite books this time of year. As Caleb and his classmates discuss what patriotism means to them and create projects for parents’ night, your students can also be challenged to define and illustrate patriotism through their own eyes.

I enjoy using ABC books with my students. It’s a fun way to encourage discussion and collaboration and to assess where their understanding is on a subject. Plus they make fun additions to the classroom library and nice references for students throughout the year. Laminate the pages back-to-back (to create double-sided pages) and bind together, and they will be durable for extended use.


You can find my “Patriotism Is…” ABC book template here (First Friday Freebie #2). Enjoy!

Honoring All Who Serve(d)

With the presidential election tomorrow and Veterans Day fast approaching, I have decided to share some of my favorite patriotic alphabetic books. These can provide unique opportunities to help your students learn more about the United States as well as focus their attention on those who have and currently do serve our country.

Maybe your students will be inspired to create their own ABC book – a fun way for learners of all ages to dive in and learn more about topics that interest them.

A is for America: An American Alphabet, by Devin Scillian

America: A Patriotic Primer, by Lynne Cheney

A is for America, by Tanya Lee Stone

H is for Honor: A Military Family Alphabet, by Devin Scillian

additional resources:

Honoring those who serve(d)

Veterans Day: Remembering Our War Heroes, by Elaine Landau


H Is for Honor: A Military Family Alphabet, by Devin Scillian

The Wall, by Eve Bunting


For more information about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, visit the History Channel’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial: Infographic.


And to learn more about the history of Veterans Day, read my post here.


Thank you to those who have served our country!

Happy Fall!

It’s time to celebrate the season of colorful leaves, ripened pumpkins, hot spiced cider, bonfires, rain puddles, and so much more…

Here are a few resources to help bring the magic of autumn into your classroom:

A is for Autumn, by Robert Maass


Autumn: An Alphabet Acrostic, by Steven Schnur

Look What I Did with a Leaf! by Morteza E. Sohi     (I love this book!)


Every Autumn Comes the Bear, by Jim Arnosky


Time to Sleep, by Denise Fleming


Education World: Autumn Lesson Ideas

The Teachers Corner: Fall Activities and Lesson Plans

The Teacher’s Guide: Fall Lesson Plans and Ideas

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 – 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.

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.