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Resources I Love: Old Sturbridge Village

Yesterday I took advantage of the sunny weather to head over to Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Massachusetts to pick up some of their heirloom seeds for school.  I haven't visited in about a year or two and was thrilled to see the additions they've made.   The place was filled with hands-on exhibits for children with weaving, butter churning and wood stacking being just a few of the activities.

The gardening exhibit, "Taking Root: The Growing Business of Gardening in Pots in the Early 1800s" was super.  Guide books were on hand to help engage children in the exhibit and a "Taking Root" pamphlet was available for purchase.  With quotes and information taken from documents like The Green-house Companion (London 1825) and the Annual Catalogue of the Agricultural Warehouse and New England Seed Store (Boston 1836) I had to snap up a copy as a resource for the classroom.  (You can contact Christie Higginbottom at chigginbottom@osv.org to order a copy.)

If you'd like to order seeds, there is quite a collection.  I stuck to beans for my students.  Wren's Egg Pole Bean, Low's Champion Bush Bean and True Red Cranberry Bean will find their way into our school garden this year.

Unglazed plant pot

I could keep raving about the museum but I want to get back to planning our gardening lessons.  A quick heads up, the gardening exhibit won't be up much longer, so plan to make the trip soon.  And don't forget to pick up a redware plantpot.

Resources I Love

Yes folks, it's time for another edition of Resources I Love.  And to kick it off, what could be better than the ability to locate the other side of the world?  Pop on over to Antipodr, where you can plug in your location and see where you'd end up if you tunneled through the Earth.  It makes for a fun activity as you're teaching geography.  

If you're in more of a poetic frame of mind you need to check out Wordle.  As their website states, 
Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.

What a super way to create an original bulletin board display.  Have students create their word cloud, print out the work and hang them up.  To add to the visual impact, they can illustrate their work.

And last, but certainly not least, it seems as if Lego is about to launch cell phones and cameras made out of everyone's favorite plastic brick toy.  This probably doesn't count as a true resource yet but I haven't been this excited since the special edition Mr. Potato Head, "Darth Tater."  

While the phone may turn out to be a hoax, we do know, "The company has formed a partnership with Las Vegas firm Digital Blue to manufacture a range of Lego-based electrical goods which are a world away from its traditional toy bricks.  The fully functioning range of gadgets also includes alarm clocks and a so-called 'boom box' - an all-in-one CD and radio player."

I hope you find these helpful folks, or at least fun, and look forward to hearing about what resources YOU are using in the classroom.

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