History

A Slave Among Slaves

A SLAVE AMONG SLAVES by Booker T. Washington (PDF ebook)

Here’s a great excerpt from Booker T. Washington’s autobiography on what it was like to be a child in a slave family in the 1860′s, and what kind of reaction families had to the news of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865. This is a short but wonderfully written and very moving piece of “Living History” to share with your kids.

To download this PDF ebook, RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save” to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key and click the link, then save to your mac.

Art Instruction

Learn to Draw Any Cartoon Character in 5 Minutes or Less

Okay, today’s resource is really short and sweet… but it works. Get your kids to try it.

Using the principles explained in this art teacher’s 5 minute video, you can teach your kids how to draw just about any cartoon character using a simple “mass drawing” technique. It may take a few tries, but once they get the hang of it… boom! Give it a spin!

Click here to go to the video on Archive.org.

Special Needs

SEN Teacher

SENteacher (SEN stands for “Special Education Needs”) offers dozens of downloadable resources for teachers working with children with special needs, including severe learning difficulties and autism. Resources are categorized in Language, Math, Science, Sensory Arts, and Communication and cover most basic skills. An extensive collection of printables as well as software, links, etc.

Click here to go to the site!

History

Cast Down Your Bucket Where You Are

CAST DOWN YOUR BUCKET WHERE YOU ARE
by Booker T. Washington

Here is one of the most famous and widely circulated speeches that Booker T. Washington ever gave – on using what you have, where you are, to make a difference in the lives of those around you. It is inspiring! (10 minutes)

To download the MP3 audio reading of this speech, RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save” to your computer.

To download a PDF transcript of this speech, RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save”.

Copywork, Manners

Civility Costs You Nothing

CIVILITY COSTS YOU NOTHING: Great Quotes on Manners (PDF ebook)

Many writers, observers and philosophers have written about the value of good manners throughout the ages. Their comments contain a wealth of insight, humor and wisdom, and have application for our kids even today.

This unique little compilation of great quotations can be used for penmanship and copywork practice, memorization, or to print out and stick some choice quotes on your refrigerator door! Check it out!

To download this PDF, RIGHT CLICK HERE then “save link” to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key then click the link and save to your Mac.

History

My Escape from Slavery

MY ESCAPE FROM SLAVERY
by Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass was an American abolitionist, women’s suffragist, editor, orator, author, statesman and reformer, and is one of the most  prominent figures in African American and United States history. In this Audio reading, he shares a story he held back for many years –  just how he escaped from his slave masters and gained his freedom. (38 minutes)

To listen to this reading online, CLICK HERE.

To download the MP3 audio reading of this story, RIGHT CLICK HERE then “save” to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key then click the link and save to your mac.

To download the PDF transcript of this story, RIGHT CLICK HERE then “save”.

Phonics, Reading

Parker Phonics

Author and educator Stephen Parker has written three books on teaching your child to read using his “Synthetic Phonics” system, and has made all three freely available on his website in PDF ebook format. Here’s what he has to say about his background and the techniques he uses to teach children to read:

I’m a life-long teacher of mathematics, computer science, and reading. After teaching my own 3 children to read by their third birthdays, I became interested in reading instruction in general. What I discovered in many schools baffled me: a method called Whole Language (since discredited) and now, in its place, Balanced Literacy.

There is no “balance” in Balanced Literacy. Essentially, it’s Whole Language with some ineffective phonics added in after the child starts “reading” based on memorized sight words. Balanced Literacy will not alter the scandalous fact that 2 out of 3 of our children never become proficient readers. 

A word can become meaningless when people start using it to indicate anything they want. This has happened to the word “phonics” in some educational circles where one hears talk of “analytic” phonics, “analogy” phonics, “embedded” phonics, and “onset-and-rime” phonics. 

None of the above are methods for teaching reading. They all rely heavily upon memorization of sight words and on guessing strategies. Genuine phonics, that is to say, synthetic phonics, is the only type of phonics that functions as a stand-alone method for teaching both reading and spelling.

Synthetic phonics uses neither sight words nor guessing strategies. It is employed right at the start of reading instruction – and the child is not expected to memorize any whole words. Instead, the child is taught, explicitly, to correlate individual sounds with individual letters. 

As soon as 5 – 8 such letter/sound correspondences are mastered, the child can begin authentic reading, that is, taking an unknown word and blending the sounds of its individual letters into a recognizable pronunciation – a process called decoding. 

It’s the only way to teach reading in a manner that respects the reasoning ability of the child. Children, like adults, need to understand what they’re being asked to do, especially if the task requires significant effort over an extended period of time. 

CLICK HERE to go to the download page!

Arts & Crafts

Tracing Great Art

Here’s a simple, short lesson plan from the terrific Practical Pages website that is full of neat ideas to make great works of art come alive for your kids — by tracing them!

Why would you want to have your student trace some famous artwork? Nadene shares a few ideas:

 

  • Create a reference to a famous work and add it to written biographies and narrations.
  • Apply techniques famous artists use
  • Learn to mix colours, do colour washes and paint in layers with details last
  • Make the art work “your own”
  • Focus on the original for clues and details
  • Use the original for some more contemporary art techniques (like a collage/ a mural/ coasters/place mats/ quilt designs/ build a 3D landscape, etc.)
  • Although many adults consider this just “colouring in”,  I encourage them to give it a try!  It is MUCH more difficult than it seems!

This is a great idea… give it a try.  CLICK HERE to go to the website!

 

Math

Dad’s Worksheets

Over the past 13 years, Dad’s Worksheets.com has created over 9000 printable math worksheets, logic puzzles and math games for students at every level — and makes them available free for printing or downloading on their website. Just about any mathematics topic you can think of can be found here, including all the core math skills, number patterns, measurement & conversions, word problems, geometry, rounding numbers, factorization, and on and on. All worksheets can be printed or saved to PDF.

CLICK HERE to go to the site!

Audio, Holidays, Just for Fun

Christmas Every Day

Christmas Every Day by William Dean Howells (MP3 audio)

This is definitely one of the funniest, laugh out loud, classic short stories you’ll ever hear. We guarantee the kids will love it. While this story, which originally appeared in St. Nicholas Magazine in the 1890s, is about Christmas, it is not exactly a Christmas story… it is more about unintended consequences and what might happen if wishes really did come true, and how some things – like Christmas – can be a bit overdone (you think?). A sheer delight for the whole family – HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Length: 14 minutes, MP3 Audio

To download this MP3 audio, RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save” to your computer!