First Friday Freebie #3: weather here or there

On the Same Day in March: A Tour of the World's Weather, by Marilyn Singer

On the Same Day in March: A Tour of the World’s Weather, by Marilyn Singer is another one of my favorite books. It can help broaden students’ perspectives as they “journey” around the world exploring the various types of weather and events that can all occur on the same day. It is amazing how varied that one day can be, depending upon where you are on the globe.

To give your students an opportunity to explore this same concept, use the interactive map I put together (click here for pdf file).


By following the links embedded in the map, your students can go on their own adventure around the world to compare the weather in various places on the same day in March.

Create a chart of the findings and/or have students use the data from the webcams to illustrate their own pages of a book based on Singer’s text.

additional resources:


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I’ve also added another set of Daily Visual Challenges to my TpT store. First person to contact me gets a free copy. Happy almost spring! 🙂

DVC: March

Dot to Dot

Have you seen the Census Dotmap? It’s a pretty amazing visual of the North American population… 454,064,098 dots. Which one are you?

If you zoom in, you can see me in this section. 🙂

Want to know more? View the who, what, and why here.

Happy President’s Day


Looking for a new way to introduce more visuals into the classroom? Try You can get started by “recycling” one of the many vhemes (visual themes) provided or build your own. There are many graphics, icons, and fonts to choose from, too, as you create and customize your own infographic.

Have fun creating and picturing information in new ways!

p.s. I have another freebie available here (Book Response Task Cards: President’s Day Theme).

The activities included on the task cards are based on the stories and illustrations in the following books (and aligned to CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.1, 3.3, & 3.7):

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!

Over the River and Through the Woods

Want to learn more about the history of transportation in America? Visit the National Museum of American History’s exhibit America on the Move. You’ll find a timeline of the various modes of transportation used over the years and information about the changes these brought to our cities and economy. You can also browse the Smithsonian’s collection and continue your exploration with “tours” through the various themes related to transportation.

The interactive games “Drive Through Time” and “Where’s Everyone Going?” add unique opportunities to further explore modes of transportation, connect your new knowledge to historical settings, and learn more about the changes that transportation has brought about in the United States.


Looking for more info? Check out these books:

Illustrated Timeline of Transportation, by Kremena Spengler


Transportation Then and Now, by Robin Nelson

The Transcontinental Railroad, by John Perritano


Straphanging in the USA: Trolleys and Subways in American Life, by Martin W. Sandler


From the Model T to Hybrid Cars: How Transportation Has Changed, by Jennifer Boothroyd

Giving Thanks

Although many years have passed since the Pilgrim’s first Thanksgiving feast in 1621, you can still “journey back” and take a glimpse at this experience thanks to Scholastic’s site The First Thanksgiving. Virtual tours, videos, slideshows, games, activities, and printables await!

Looking for more? View the Smithsonian’s collection of images Thanksgiving in North America: From Local Harvests to National Holiday. Learn more about the holiday from some Native  American perspectives. And check out the resources I wrote about here.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Changing the World… one courageous act at a time

On November 14, 1960, Ruby Bridges first took the courageous walk to her new school. I wonder if that six-year-old girl had any idea of the historical importance of her actions that day?
Over the past fifty-two years, our country has continually changed and grown, but we still face issues of rights and problems with bullying. Much can still be learned from a brave girl’s actions and the legacy Ruby Bridges Hall continues to leave today. Your students can learn more about her life and involvements here and in the following books:

Through My Eyes: Ruby Bridges, by Ruby Bridges

The True Story Of Ruby Bridges, by Robert Coles

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Last spring, some 4th graders at a local elementary school were inspired by Ruby Bridges’ life and decided to write letters to thank her for her courage. Read more about their story here and see some of their letters here, here, and here.

What would you say to Ruby if you wrote her a letter?


extension activities:

  • Create a timeline of Ruby’s life. Check out the following timelines for inspiration or to check the accuracy of your own: brief visual timeline and a detailed timeline.
  • Listen to an interview with Ruby Bridges Hall (PBS, 1997) and then view a print of Norman Rockwell’s 1964 painting “The Problem We All Live With.” What details did the artist use to show fear of the new law? What details did the artist use to illustrate bravery? Draw/paint your own picture to illustrate how you stand up for what you believe.
  • Write a letter to someone who has inspired you.
  • Learn more about the Civil Rights Movement with the following texts:

A Taste of Colored Water, by Matt Faulkner

Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down, by Andrea Davis Pinkney

The Other Side, by Jacqueline Woodson

Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by Doreen Rappaport


additional resources: