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Happy 200th Birthday, Abraham Lincoln!

Abraham_Lincoln This February 12 marks the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birthday. Try these 16 activities to honor our 16th President, including three reader's theaters, "The Faces of Abraham Lincoln" slideshow, and more.

Print out a free Abraham Lincoln Mini-Book, Abraham Lincoln: A Great President, a Great American, or sing a classroom song about President Lincoln.

Use these great grab-and-go lessons and books in your classroom tomorrow in celebration of Abraham Lincoln's birthday.

Send a Valentine to Clifford

Clifford_Be_Big_logo Join Clifford's national campaign to BE BIG! It's only takes a little to be big!TM

Everyone, big and small, can help raise awareness for how Clifford’s BIG Ideas (Share, Help Others, Be Kind, Be Responsible, Play Fair, Be a Good Friend, Believe in Yourself, Respect Others, Work Together and Be Truthful) can make the world a better place.

Send Clifford a Valentine Kids can participate this month by sending Clifford a Valentine.

From now until February 28th, for every Valentine's Day Card received, Scholastic will donate $1.00 to the BE BIG Fund at HandsOn Network. HandsOn Network is the largest volunteer management organization in the nation which equips, mobilizes, and inspires people to take action that changes the world. 

Top Ten Student Activities for February

Check out Scholastic.com's most popular interactive, multimedia units so far this February. Share these amazing activities for Black History Month with your students.

  1. The Top Ten African-American Inventors
  2. The Underground Railroad: Escape From Slavery
  3. Clifford Interactive Storybooks in English & Spanish
  4. Immigration: An Interactive Tour of Ellis Island
  5. Building Language for Literacy
  6. Story Starters
  7. Math Hunt: Black History
  8. Computer Lab Favorites
  9. New! Lincoln's Bicentennial
  10. Rosa Parks: How I Fought for Civil Rights

Find our Top Ten All-Time Favorite Student Activities here.

Presidential Games & Activities for Students

7_hats_startJust in time for the Barack Obama's Presidential Inauguration, Scholastic is happy to announce two new interactive activities that will help your students master the seven roles of the President and the timeline of U.S. Presidents.

The 7 Hat Challenge: Master the Roles of the President
It's 2044, and the student player has just won the Presidency of the United States. As President-elect, the student has a short time to learn the ropes. Thanks to a top-secret time machine, the student can train with former Presidents to master all 7 roles of the Presidency.

7_hats_finale With the help of Presidents from the past, students will be able to identify and describe the seven major responsibilities of the American President:  Chief Executive, Commander in Chief, Head of State, Director of Foreign Policy, Political Party Leader, Guardian of the Economy, and Legislative Leader.

After taking "The 7 Hats Challenge," students can research another President from the past and decide how his actions correspond to the seven hats and record findings on the "Which Hat?" printable.


Presidential Portrait Gallery By Kids
This past September, we asked kids across the country to choose their favorite president and draw a portrait of him for Scholastic Book Clubs first-ever "Picture a President" Drawing Contest. Nearly 12,000 students sent in drawings of U.S. Presidents -- from George Washington, to Franklin Pierce, to President-elect Barack Obama.

We've created a showcase of the winning portrait and the finalists, in addition to a portrait for each U.S. President. Watch the slideshow as a whole group activity and ask your students if they can name all 44 Presidents.

Continue reading "Presidential Games & Activities for Students" »

Compare & Contrast Christmas, Hanukkah, & Kwanzaa

484x235_holiday Around the world, communities celebrate many different holidays to honor their histories, beliefs, and cultures. Introduce students to holiday customs and traditions that may be unfamiliar to them and help them recognize the similarities among these celebrations.

Explore our new Celebrate Winter Holidays interactive activity to learn more about Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.

Christmas Teaching Resources

Interactive Christmas Scrapbook

Christmas Crafts & Lessons

Hanukkah Teaching Resources

Interactive Hanukkah Scrapbook

Teaching About Hanukkah

Teaching About Kwanzaa & Other Multicultural Celebrations


Interactive Kwanzaa Scrapbook

Celebrating Winter Holidays in the Classroom

Festive Tales for the Holiday Season

Compareholiday_3 As a culminating activity, students can choose two holidays and use this free printable chart to compare & contrast the holidays.

Print out this flyer for our Celebrate Winter Holidays interactive unit to share with other teachers.

For more holiday ideas, check out:

Best Teacher Ideas for the Holidays

Parent Guide for Happy Holidays

Top 5 New Teaching Resources for December

Gg_ecards_1030_2 Celebrate Winter Holidays Online Activity
Celebrate the season by learning about winter holidays from around the world. Explore interactive scrapbooks about Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. Send holiday eCards, listen to holiday songs, and share your holiday stories.

Tf_familyheritage_1124 Exploring Family Heritage
Encourage your students to explore their family heritage and find out how their families are part of America's cultural diversity. Students will have an opportunity to interview relatives and create their own family tree.

39clues_teachertout_484x235 Gordon Korman Is Our December Author of the Month
Watch the December 1 live webcast interview with Gordon Korman at 1 p.m. ET to learn more about One False Note, Book 2 of The 39 Clues series. Start an author study with these teaching resources about Gordon Korman and The 39 Clues series.

Tf_teachadvisors09_080728 Cross-Curricular Math Units From Our Teacher Advisors
Our Teacher Advisors share strategies on how to bring the real world into the classroom and create opportunities for students to interact with each other and integrate math into authentic learning situations.

Tf_talking_science_fossils Talking Science: Fossils Interactive Unit
Join paleontologist Ross MacPhee on the hunt for fossils in Antarctica. Extend tbe learning with a video interview, photo slideshow, and related resources.

Top Thanksgiving Lessons & Books

Illustrating_stories_2 If you are looking for last-minute Thanksgiving lessons and books, check out how our Teacher Advisors are celebrating Thanksgiving in their classrooms.

In Andrea Spillett's ELL classroom, students work in pairs to retell and draw their own version of the Thanksgiving story. [Strategies for English Language Learners]

In Tech Tutor Gayle Berthiaume's classroom, her students use these "Giving Thanks" online resources for writing and creating projects around the topic of being thankful.

In Jennifer's 1st Grade classroom, she adds a language arts twist to the art project of turning a student's handprint into a turkey. Jennifer asks her students to write on conversation bubbles glued around the turkey handprint. Students can reinforce what they have learned about quotation marks by writing what they have learned about turkeys, favorite parts of a book, things that they are thankful for or things they would like to thank their friends or family for. Read her Thanksgiving Activities blog post for even more great ideas.

Check out these Kid Lit Kit blog recommendations for Thanksgiving books:

I am counting down the days to Thanksgiving: great food, family hijinks, and a few days off. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

The First Thanksgiving Reader's Theater Ideas & More Thanksgiving Activities

Tf_thanksgiving_0806 Bring the First Thanksgiving to life by using these interview transcripts as inspiration for Thanksgiving reader’s theater.

Conducted with expert historical interpreters from Plimoth Plantation, these interviews are a creative entry point into life in 1621. Plimoth Plantation is a living museum of 17th-century Plymouth that showcases the Wampanoag People and the Colonial English community in the 1600s.

Get started with these ideas:

  • Break each interview into short sections and assign small groups to perform the interviews.
  • Have students write a letter as a character portrayed in one of the interviews.
  • Use the interviews as research starters and have students write their own original readers theater skits. Then, stage a Thanksgiving play with your students in the roles of the Pilgrims or Native Americans.

Your students can also conduct original research and participate in live chats tomorrow with a present-day Native American and a Pilgrim interpreter representing a young Pilgrim boy from Plimouth Plantation. Join us for one or all of three live chats tomorrow,  Thursday, November 13 at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 4 p.m. ET. Your class can submit your questions in advance, and then come back tomorrow to ask more questions in real time.

Here are additional lessons, activities, and books to help you teach about Thanksgiving:

Teaching Resources for President-Elect Barack Obama

Tf_barackobamabooks_20081105 Introduce your students to the new President-elect by sharing these biographies about Barack Obama for grades K-12. Learn more about Obama's journey to the Oval Office. Then, ask your students to write a biography about America's first African-American president.

Upfront_obamas_challenge_111708 With the economy in crisis, the nation at war, and America's image tarnished, Barack Obama has his work cut out for him. Teach your students about the challenges that President-elect Obama faces. [The New York Times Upfront magazine].

Put Obama's victory in historical context using this "From Slavery to The White House" timeline.

Obama_timeline_ro New! Barack Obama Timeline Poster (PDF)
Grab scissors and tape to make a classroom poster about Obama’s life from this PDF created with Timeliner XE! Or, use the ready-made Timeliner XE file of Obama’s life as a jumping off point for discussion of his path to the presidency (Timeliner XE required).

Prepare for Barack Obama's historic Inauguration with these grade-specific Inauguration Day printables and lessons.

Find more teaching resources for Barack Obama here.

Top 5 New Teaching Resources for November

Tf_parentteacher Reporting on Student Progress
Make tracking student progress easy with rubrics and portfolios, which can then be shared with parents during parent-teacher conferences. For first-year teachers, check out our Insider's Guide to Writing Report Cards.

Ba_cfunke_aom Cornelia Funke Is Our November Author of the Month
Watch our video interview to learn about Inkdeath, the final installment of the Ink World Trilogy. Cornelia Funke herself will join us to answer some of your questions! Your students can post their questions here.

Ba_kwaters Kate Waters Author Study
Make the study of history vibrant and relevant to your students. Use these book-based activities and lessons to have fun with Waters' unique historical perspective on Thanksgiving. Kate Waters is the author of Giving Thanks: The 1621 Harvest Feast, On the Mayflower, and Sarah Morton's Day.

Sn_econ_special_report Economy For Kids Special Report (For Grades 3-8)
This Scholastic News Special Report helps your students make sense of the economy, how it works, and what makes it such a vital part of our lives. Our collection of teaching resources includes advice on how to talk to your students about the financial crisis.

484x235_holiday Holidays Around the World -- New Interactive Unit for Grades 2-8
Students explore interactive scrapbooks to learn more about Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. Make a scrapboook of your students' holiday traditions using free clip art images. Students can also read about many other holidays throughout the year and around the world.

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