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.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Weren't We Her Forever Home?

This last week we babysat two year old, Misty, a black Labrador.  Her
pet-parents were driving to California to watch their granddaughter’s
dance competition. this would be the first time she had been
away from her pet-parents.

Our two dogs, Baby and Tank held a diverse opinion about her early
presence in our house.  They both were convinced she was staying forever.
Baby, our 8-1/2 year old black Labrador was tolerant
but not thrilled.  Baby thought it was past time for her to leave. During the
first couple of days. Baby would come to me with her eyes and ask,
" When is Misty going home?"

Tank, our black Lab/Dane cross, loved to run and play with her.  However,
if she got too close to Dan, Baby or me he would step in front of her
and move her to a different area of the room.  Dan and I noticed that the
last couple of days Baby had started playing more with Misty.

Misty’s pet parents called and told us they would be over in about 20
minutes.  When they walked through the doors she went topsy turvy.  
She kept trying to jump on her people.  Tank began to growl
at Jim.  Tank did not like him pushing her away.  

Jim laughed and said: “You fell in love, she’s your baby. You want to protect her.”

When they left Tank looked so forlorn.  He watched out our picture
window as she walked away.  His friend had left.  

Tank finally left the window, head hanging low. He didn’t understand why his
friend had walked away. How do you comfort someone who has watched their
friend walk away?

Baby came over to me and looked really sad; as if to say: “Why
did she leave?  Aren’t we her forever home?”

Challenges, #SOL Day 1

I re-read the post on this month’s Slice-of-Life Challenge for the umpteenth time.  I have always enjoyed the writing and commenting.  So why the hesitancy?  I am juggling to many things and from time to time I hear those balls turn into water balloons and go splat as they fall to the ground.

My friends keep telling me I need to say no.  I have been responding I have been
saying “no”.

Martha said, “Ruth I want evidence of this.”

You know they don’t believe me when they say things like that.

It has been a busy year.  It has also been filled with many opportunities to learn and grow.  
Like all such opportunities it comes with setbacks, struggles, and self doubt.

I am a “History Geek”.  I have been a member of the TPS Teachers Network since 2013.  
TPS stands for teaching with primary sources.  The Network is housed and run from
Denver and is one of the Library of Congress projects.  Anyone can join you just need
to register .   There are a number of groups
that you can join, everything from Civil Rights to See, Think, Wonder:  Primary Sources
in Early Childhood.  The TPS Teachers Network started in 2012 and has
been steadily growing.

People post about primary sources they have found, lessons they are working on,
questions they have, things they are looking for.  It is a great place to network
and grow as a learner.  This fall I had the opportunity to go through some
training to become one of their newest Mentors.  
It was a humbling experience as I quickly learned how much I didn’t know.  

This morning someone linked a source for Elementary Lessons and Primary Sources
from Colorado

If you know of other great resources I would love to hear about them.