Black History Month printables, worksheets, lesson plans, book activities - Grand Rapids Holidays |

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is celebrated in the U.S. on the third Monday in January, Jan. 19 in 2015. Black History Month is observed in February, in the US. Schools usually offer special programming and lesson plans on issues and events that are significant to African Americans. Students explore biographies and contributions of famous black Americans. They read books written specifically about or by African Americans. Students of all backgrounds benefit from such activities. Here are free printable Black History Month worksheets and lesson plans  Black History Month printables, worksheets, lesson plans, book activities - Grand Rapids Holidays |

Free printable 2015 calendars, online organizers, personal planners

It's a new year, 2015. How long does it take you to switch gears from the old year and remember the correct one? If it you're still writing 2014 on dates and forms, maybe you need a new calendar to help you recall? Or maybe you just need to get organized. Either way, you need a calendar. Here are free 2015 calendars to download and print online.Free printable 2015 calendars, online organizers, personal planners

Free printable Catholic O Antiphons prayers, crafts count down to Christmas

dvent, a penitential season in Catholic and Orthodox Christian churches, begins four weeks before Christmas. During that time, the faithful pray, give alms, fast and perform acts of sacrifice. It's a lesser Lent. Starting Dec. 17, says Benet Vision, the church counts down the last week till the Octave of Christmas, praying the Magnificat or O Antiphons (names for Jesus) litany. Here are  Printable Catholic Advent O Antiphons prayers, crafts count down to Christmas

Free printable World War I lesson plans for Veterans Day, Armistice Day

Veterans Day is also Armistice Day, which commemorates the end of World War One, November 11, 1918. 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI in Europe says First World War Centenary. It lists Veterans Day 2014 events beginning November 10, to honor that centennial. Armistice Day is also called Remembrance Day. Here are free printable WWI lesson plans to help kids remember this epic epoch in history. There are lessons on America in conflict in World War II, Vietnam, Korea and Persian Gulf, too.Free printable World War I lesson plans for Veterans Day, Armistice Day

Free printable pagan and Wicca sabbat crafts for Samhain

Much is known about religious and national holidays. But the least known holidays--and ironically some of the oldest--are pagan or Wiccan. Here are free printable Wicca crafts, coloring pages and resources for pagan holidays (sabbats).Free printable pagan and Wicca sabbat holiday crafts 

Free Crafts and Printables from Martha Stewart

 I maintain several highly-performing niche blog, the most popular ones involving printable crafts for children. Internet searchers are always seeking freebies and crafts. Click this link for loads of free printable holiday themed crafts. Look for free printable crafts for fall holidays: Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot, Diwali, All Saints Day, Halloween, Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos), Thanksgiving, Christmas, Winter Solstice, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year's Day, Epiphany. Perfect for lesson plans.Free Crafts and Printables from Martha Stewart 

Day of the Dead Lesson Plans and Printable Activities to Celebrate Dia de los Muertos

Halloween, or All Hallow's Eve, originated as a pagan celebration preceding the Catholic church's observance of All Saints Day (a holy day honoring canonized saints) on November 1. It is followed by All Souls Day on November 2 which remembers the beloved dead.   Day of the Dead Lesson Plans and Printable Activities to Celebrate Dia de los Muertos

Free Printable Marco Polo, Kublai Khan, Silk Road Lesson Plans

 Marco Polo is probably the most curious and exciting of world travelers. He set out on a world quest in an age when travel within a small radius alone was perilous. The medieval Polo expedition went far beyond Europe to the Mongol Empire (where we get the term Mongolian) to meet the fabled mongol leader Kublai Khan (son of Genghis Khan).

Another unusual feature is that Marco Polo mission seemed to be motivated not by a desire to dominate, exploit or convert, but to experience another culture. Note that in this, probably the most common photo of Polo, he is shown wearing traditional Tartar dress. Tartars were considered pagan, barbaric infidels.At the time, Christian Crusaders were at war Seljuk Turks--a group similar to the Tartars (at least in western minds).  Polo, a Christian, seems happy enough to assimilate with the "enemy."

He was a merchant, so of course interested in commerce. He brought back exotic spices, jade, silk and strange beasts (elephants) to the western world. His travels ushered in the Silk Road and Spice Road trade systems. Polo wrote about his travels in "Il Milione" or "The Travels of Marco Polo." Netflix is airing an original mini-series based on "Il  Milione" late in 2014. Here are free printable lesson plans on Marco Polo, Kublai Khan and the Mongol Empire Free Printable Marco Polo, Kublai Khan, Silk Road Lesson Plans 

Free Printable Leaf and Tree Identification Charts for Science Lesson Plans

One of my favorite fall lesson plans is to assign students to make a leaf and tree identification booklet. Here are free printable leaf and tree identification charts, cards and games to help you plan your nature science study. Have students collect (fallen) leaves and press them or make leaf rubbings. Students should identify and label leaves. Use free printable leaf and tree identification charts to help. identification activities.Free Printable Leaf and Tree Identification Charts, Lesson Plans and Activities 

Free Printable Poetry Frames, Poem Patterns and Creative Writing Prompts

Poetry is arguably the most expressive and unfettered form of creative writing. Writing poetry can be daunting for beginners, though. Teaching creative writing, I loved empowering kids to discover their inner poet. Here are Free Printable Poetry Frames, Poem Patterns and Creative Writing Prompts (click that link) to help unlock writer's block and set that bard free!

Free Printable Chronicles of Narnia Lesson Plans Unit

 Teaching a Chronicles of Narnia literature study unit? I loved the books as a kid and watched the PBS Wonderworks movie versions. The new movies The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010) were awesome too! Here are free printable Chronicles of Narnia lesson plans, games, puzzles, crafts and coloring pages to augment your book study.

Free printable Narnia coloring pages and lesson plans Free teacher and homeschool resources and educational activities. Here are more free Narnia activities on the news page. Printable maps, online games and more.

And free printable Chronicles of Narnia coloring pages featuring the Pevensee children Edmund, Peter, Susan and Lucy, their cousin Eustace, Prince Caspian, Reepicheep, Drinian, Rince, the Dragon, Aslan and others.

Click here for more printable Narnia coloring pages detailed, realistic images from Prince Caspian, and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe movies.

Activity Village has free printable Narnia crafts galore! Word search games (great for book study guides and tests) from each book in the Chronicles of Narnia series:
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Prince Caspian
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Magician's Nephew (the first book chronologically in the series)
The Silver Chair
The Horse and His Boy
The Last Battle.

There are is also a free printable mouse mask for Reepicheep, free printable dragon crafts and coloring pages (no spoilers, but SOMEONE--I'm not saying who--turns into a dragon in a wonderful allegorical twist!

There's a Many-Coloured Sugar recipe (such as Caspian ate at the feast), a shield craft, sword craft and a castle craft which could be Cair Paravel.

Free Printable Nelson Mandela Day Lesson Plans and Black History Month Activities

July 18 is Nelson Mandela Day. In the US, Black History Month is observed in February. Here are free printable Black History Month lesson plans to use in Nelson Mandela Day observances. Teach children about this hero.

To get lessons, visit Shmoop. There are 25-plus pieces of content available free on Black History Month. I couldn't find one page with all the offerings. So I linked to the American History 1850-2014 page. From there you can navigate to the 1450-1849 page, photo archive and AP history helps. Here's a link for free Nelson Mandela lesson plans. Here's the link to the free literature lessons page. Look there for reader guides on books of note in black history. Some lesson subjects you'll find:

  Jazz Age and Harlem Renaissance
  Jim Crow
  Civil Rights
  "Black Power"
  Famous court cases impacting slavery, integration and civil rights
  Race issues in US wars: Revolutionary, Civil, WWII
  Ku Klux Klan and racial tensions
  Civil War
  Antebellum America
  FDR's New Deal
  Race in music history: jazz, blues, rock & roll
  Desegregation in schools, sports
  Woolworth lunch counter and bus boycotts


There are teaching guides for poetry and books of Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, Phillis Wheatley, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Richard Wright, Lorraine Hansberry, Fredrick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Mark Twain and Harper Lee.

  Scholastic offers an extensive collection of Black History Month lessons on a spectrum of subjects. There are online activities, free printable worksheets, simulation games, book lists, study guides. Scholastic provides materials for students Pre-K to grade 8. I linked to the complete list and you can refine your search by grade and activity type. Use these to help students of all backgrounds explore these integral parts of U.S. history.

  The photos attached were taken on our family visit to Henry Ford Museum in Detroit. We sat on the actual bus Rosa Parks rode. We looked at the "whites only" drinking fountain and the eerie KKK robe. Even though we're all history buffs, it gave us a new perspective, from the inside out, on black history. Whenever possible, as educators, we need to provide kids with living history experiences like this so they can learn in hands-on, multisensory ways.

Free Printable Science Chemistry Biology Lesson Plans

Teaching science, biology, life science, earth science, physics or chemistry? Need free printable science worksheets and lesson plans? Here are science games, activities, vocabulary cards and puzzles free!

Worksheets 4 Teachers dozens of free printable science matching games, puzzles, word scrambles and worksheets. Make memorization and study guides fun and interactive. Use games as tests. Use word puzzles to teach vocabulary and spelling of terms.  hundreds of free printable middle school science lesson plans on earth science, chemistry, life science, biology, animals, motion, electricity, ecology, habitats, energy, forces and motion, simple machines, air and flight, fluids, water system, space, planets, cells, anatomy, biodiversity and more. operates the Neurology for Kids website with dozens of free printable science games, cut and paste science crafts, puzzles, activities and worksheets about the brain.

Chemmy Bear has entire sets of free printable pdf chemistry vocabulary cards. Use for AP and general chemistry classes. Subjects include Periodic Table of Elements, Covalent Bonding, ionic bonding, molecular structure and more. free printable lesson plans and worksheets for AP and general chemistry. .

Free Printable Toddlers Activities and Games

Need to occupy a toddler or preschooler? Here are 15 safe, school approved websites for young children. These sites are child-friendly, family-oriented and have lots of educational games and free printable activities for young learners.

  National Geographic - Kids This site has science games, recipes, crafts, puzzles and activities about animals and their habitats. Here's another NG site for the littlest learners: NG Little Kids. This site has a video link that is like a zoo field trip right at home. Your child will love watching jellyfish, tapirs, spider monkeys and lots more educational, engaging animal videos.

  American Girl You'll find all kinds of quality girl activities. My favorite link on the page is the historical characters site. It contains cultural and historical pictures, information, games, puzzles, maps featuring the AG girls, Felicity, Addy, Samantha, Molly, Kirsten, Julie, Kit, Kaya and Josephina. This is a superb site for American history and social studies activities.

  Creative Kids at Home Sign up to receive newsletters free printable activities. CKAH features science and crafts especially. Your kids can enjoy the activities with little supervision. There are online activities for children as well.

  Starfall Educational, school approved website. Features free printable activities and online lessons and games. Pre-reading, reading, phonics, spelling, math, counting, shapes and lots more preschool activities are available free at Starfall and More Starfall.

  Poptropica Cute, engaging, educational and school-approved. Children create a character and play free. Parents should help children navigate to get started.

  Everything Girl This is Mattel's site for Barbie, Polly Pocket, My Scene, Divastarz, and more. This site takes while to load, but it has some cute games, music, printables and online activities for girls of all ages. For a 'commercial' site, it doesn't focus on selling quite as much as I would expect.

  Wondertime Check this site for free printable activities, cut and paste and crafts. Your child can color, cut, paste and assemble all sorts of learning craft activities. There are many holiday and early childhood themes. Your child can make a clock for practice, a barn diorama and a fishing game, just to name a few. Some activities can be played online also.

  Nick Jr. Come play with all your favorite Nick Jr. television characters. Lots of free printable coloring pages and activities.

  JumpStart Kids will recognize these characters from preschool and school activities. This site requires registration, but once a parent completes and signs, children may play in this virtual world free. Great learning games. Free printable activities and coloring, too.

  Crayola Free printable coloring pages, free online coloring, learning games for all ages.

  Family Fun From the magazine, this website has an nice clean layout that children will love. There are plenty of games, free printables, crafts, recipes and safe entertainment for kids.

  PBS Kids On this site, your children can visit with all their favorite characters from PBS. Sesame Street, Arthur, Cyberchase, Curious George, WordWorld, Teletubbies. Each site features games, recipes, crafts, free printables and lots of online activities. PBS is educational and perfect for all ages including the very young.

  The Kidz Page This site has educational free printable activities and online puzzles, toy creators, music and more.

  Dover Publications Awesome site for free printables and online coloring, puzzles, mazes, cut and assemble, and much more. Features vintage art from all parts of the globe and time periods. Sign up for a free samples delivered to your email address.

  These sites should keep your little ones busy for a good long time. Who knows? When your work is done, you may be the one to hear, 'Not now Mom, I'm busy.' For more free children's activities, visit my linked blogs.

Free Printable 4th of July Crafts History Lesson Plans for Kids

 Looking for educational 4th of July holiday lesson plans and crafts for kids? Here are free printable patriotic American history activities, craft recipes and real-life learning experiences for all ages, children to grown-ups. Make these budget-friendly, recycled, homemade crafts and watch history come alive! Lots of recipes for science crafts too--Moon Sand, silly putty, play dough, sidewalk chalk, edible dough, Slime, Gak Splat (those last two go back a long way to the Nickelodeon days of TV), Educational 4th of July Arts and Crafts, Holiday History Lessons for Kids

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Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education. 

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