Thursday, March 26, 2020

Learning During Covid-19: Day 2 writing prompt

Essential Question
What are the benefits of keeping a historical journal?

Background Reading:

Journaling during the pandemic, for  yourself and the historians By Matt Berg

Student writing prompt:

Use the 2 links and read the articles about schools

being closed in 1918 and in 2020. 

Answer these 4 questions as you read and

compare the two articles?

 D - What disturbed you?

 I  - What Interested you?

C - What confused you?

E -  What enlightened you? What entertained you?

Library Challenge:

Interview family and friends.  When they were attending
school were the schools ever closed?  Why and how long?

Friday, March 20, 2020

Learning During Covid 19

Earlier this week Justin King, Our PE and Health teacher, shared via his mom the journals his great grandfather kept during the influenza. This lead to the idea to try and collaborate on some lessons we will use with the 4th and 5th graders in Google Classroom. I am very excited at the possibilities.

I will post the information we create with the students on this blog. Holly King gave me permission to use and share the journal entries. If you try some of thee ideas please come back and share your experiences.

First lesson going out next week:

Believe in the Power of Your Own Story:  Connect Your Story to America’s Story

Earlier this year I met author, Chris Latray.  The author of a book called the
“One-Sentence Journal”.  I was captivated. I loved the simplicity and vowed to try it. 
I didn’t. Like many powerful ideas it held on to me. When school was closed because
of the Coronavirus/Covid 19 Crisis.  I again thought of the “One-Sentence Journal”.

Mr King recently shared his great grandfather’s journals with me.  Earl Henson wrote
about what he did, what he saw.  He wrote about what he experienced during the
Influenza pandemic of 1918.

How do you keep a journal?
Memorable moments
Thoughts and reflections
A pet
A conversation
Something funny

“Each night, I write one sentence (well, actually, usually it’s three or
four sentences, but by calling it a “one sentence journal” I keep my
expectations realistic) about what happened that day to me, the Big Man,
and the girls.”  Gretchen Rubin

I was reading “Create Your Own Primary Source” by Mrs Reader Pants.  Several lines
stood out to me that I want you to think about:
Primary Sources help us witness history through the eyes of people who experienced it.
I know it seems impossible, but your experiences, thoughts, and daily life
right now could be incredibly valuable to people in the future.
This may sound surprising, but you are living through an historical event!
Help those future people understand what daily life was like for someone your age
living in this time.

“My hope is that, years from now, when I’m trying to remember what life was
like at this point, I can look back at my one-sentence journal.” Gretchen Rubin

Library Challenge:

For the next two weeks keep a daily one sentence journal and
submit it to Mr King and myself in google classroom. 
Don’t turn in until we request it. It’s ok to keep a paper and pencil
draft of your one-sentence journal entries.

This is the example of a one-sentence entry. I created this on google slides.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Jigsaw Puzzles and the Little Bighorn Battle

Using primary sources as jigsaw puzzles are a fun way to closely examine a photo or painting.

Here are some puzzles that Kathi Hoyt and I created to use with some poetry activities.

The first two puzzles is Ledger Art created by Daniel Long Soldier. His prints can be
ordered from Greenwich Workshop and  Ashley Art .

preview35 pieceFears Nothing

preview48 pieceBuffalo Calf Road Woman

preview35 pieceBattle of the Little Bighorn

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Lump Lump and the Blanket of Dreams

A Read Your World Book Review

This book captivated me.  The written prose painted a rich tapestry of words.  The vivid illustrations are an integral part of the story. 

This paragraph is a great example of the word paintings in the book.

"Now that they had gathered the white light of morning and the red light of evening,  Mother Bear and Lump Lump had to wait until it rained so they could catch the falling rain.  But each morning when Lump Lump poked his head out of the den, the ground was spotted with early light.  And each night after Blue Bird finished telling stories and Lump Lump lay nice and snug next to Mother Bear in the den, all he heard was the click-click of the branches and the soft rustle of the autumn leaves."

I appreciated the information that the author provided about who she worked with to make this book accurate.
-     Barbara Teller Ornelas, 6th generation Navajo weaver.
-     Cathy Notarnicola, Curator Museum of Indian Arts and Culture.
-     Dr Paul Apodaca, Associate Professor of Sociology and American Studies at Chapman University
-      Darrell and Lorna Smith, longtime biologists and carnivore specialists

As a librarian I believe this book will be a favorite of my students.

Further Resources

C is For Chickasaw

January 25th was Multicultural Children's Book Day.  I received 5 books to review.  Each book will receive it's own post.   Check out books reviewed by other readers 

C is for Chickasaw by Wiley Barnes   Illustrations by Aaron Long

These two companion books blew my socks off.  The first book uses the alphabet to tell the Chickasaw story, in a very concise way.  I really liked that the author not only include the "Old Time" history, but included "contemporary" history and the people involved.  The author shows that the Chickasaw culture is a living and growing culture.


  • History told via the alphabet.
  • Glossary (English and Chickasaw)
  • Activity and Discussion Questions.

 The companion book, is a coloring book by the same author and illustrator.  I think using the two books together will provide the reader with many opportunities to learn about the Chickasaw nation.

I wanted to also mention that there is an app available. On Google Play, Amazon, and Apple for IOS and Android devises. 

Sunday, March 4, 2018

It's Snowing in Montana

Today a friend and I left Billings, MT about 6:00 am to head for Helena, MT for a conference.  
The drive is usually a 4 hour drive.  Today it took more than 6.  There were long
stretches where you couldn’t see where the road was.  We passed many semi’s that had
gone off the road. I posted this picture on facebook via my phone. It was much later when
I read the comments.

Family and friends thank you for your love and concerns. It touched me. We arrived safely.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Writing a Memory, Day 3 #SOL18

Instructions:  Think about a memory.

It was our wedding day.  I had just come out of the bathroom and he was across the
room.  I was wearing my wedding dress and a hat with a short veil.  When he saw me
I saw his eyes soften and such love.  It was also the first time he had ever
seen me in a dress.  I remember the roses I was carrying.  The stems were
covered with a beaded cylinder.  I remember feeling the hard floor as I
walked towards him.  

We went into the kitchen area. Balloons hovering, kissing the ceiling.
Strings dancing.  The whirring fan. Food ready to put out. Carol was taking
pictures.  Through the window we could see people arriving.  A white faced Dan,
asked: “Are all those people coming here?”

We walked out holding hands, our friends and family standing.  Smiling.  

I had asked Angela for a short wedding ceremony.  From the time we
walked out and said I do - 9 minutes had passed. We weren’t the only
ones that were nervous.  Angela forgot to tell the guests to sit down.  
So they stood standing throughout the wedding ceremony.

Hailey, my new granddaughter stood eyes just above the table.  Little hands
reaching for the cake.  Her brother just beside her.  I kept moving her
hands away from the cake, while we waited for the knife.