Amazing Paper Toys

Marilyn Scott Waters, author of The Toymaker: Paper Toys You Can Make Yourself, has created an entire page of free printable toys. Waters created the projects to "help grownups and kids spend time together making things." The result is a huge resource for storytelling, puppets, gifts,
and toys.Also, check out Waters'
holiday page for fun seasonal printables.

Images from thetoymaker.com


"First day of school..."

I received this funny cartoon by Walt Carr via email. The first day of school always means struggling through a new list of names. Perhaps someday amidst the culturally significant, the passed-down-through-generations, the purely invented, and the celebrity-inspired names that grace student rosters, there will be a Treybama.


Anatomically Correct Heart Valentine

This year, let your students study biology as they create Valentines for their friends or parents.

With this anatomical heart card template from Cheeky Magpie, your students can cut and fold a real heart shape into a Valentine card.

Images from Cheeky Magpie and my collection.


Inauguration Day

Tomorrow is the United States Presidential Inauguration Day. This historically-steeped ceremony is germane in almost any Social Studies curriculum and will give your students a first-hand view of an important American first.
C-Span will be providing live coverage of the day from 6 a.m. to 12 midnight at their Inauguration Hub.
You and your students can explore and compare other inauguration firsts at the Library of Congress Presidential Inaugurations page and at the official Inauguration page's Facts & Firsts list. If your school does not block access to YouTube, you can show this compilation of past inaugurations.
Explain that presidents can be "sworn in" on a Bible or "affirmed" on another book as Franklin Pierce chose in 1853. Your students can read and learn about Inaugural traditions like the Inaugural Ball and the Inaugural Address at the official Inauguration website's History section.
The American Federation of Teachers and National Education Agency created an entire page of inauguration lesson plans. And, at the Kaboose Inauguration Day 2009 page, you can even find inaugural art connections in their "Yes We Can" Can and the Paper Plate Obama Symbol crafts.
Images from C-Span Inauguration Hub, Miller Center American President database, Senate Inaugural Ceremoniespage, and Kaboose Inauguration Day page.


Then and Now - Depression Images from the Library of Congress

Lately, lots of people have been making comparisons between today's tough economic situation and the American Great Depression. You can let your students find similarities and differences between the 1930s & 40s and their own lives through photos.
The Library of Congress has created a flickr collection of 171,000 colorized photos of 30s & 40s American life.
By flipping through the thumbnails, students can get an idea of how people had fun during the Great Depression and how their lives compare to the life in the 30s and 40s. The photos are searchable and are marked with tags like "Christmas" or "barbeque," so you or your students can sort through the photos to find the activities you want to compare.

Images from the Library of Congress 1930-40s in Color flickr group.