Archive for October, 2008


“The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.” CORNUPORIA


Franklin Delano Roosevelt (32nd President of United States from 1933 to 1945).

November can be a challenge. The change in clocks in some parts of the country and the shortening of the daylight hours seem to add to the gloom of the month. November is the start of the sun-less days of approaching winter solstice. This is the fourth month of the school year. The kids, as well as the teachers, are looking for the Thanksgiving Day break. It is an escape from the routine of school, albeit a long weekend but it heralds the Christmas (opps, winter) break- a full two weeks of no kids- no teachers- and NO BELLS!. This is also the beginning of the holiday season. Emotions run high and low! Some kids have great expectations of the holidays and family relationships while others dread the holidays and family gatherings. It can be a very stressful period. A word to the wise: Be sure to pack your plans with lots of activities. The tendency for the inexperienced teacher is to let up a bit. More fights and conflicts seem to occur at this time and in the spring. Keep them busy!

The Chrysanthemum,also called mums, stands for optimism and cheerfulness. This month has World Kindness Day, where you can encourage your pupils to do a random act of kindness, and Family week (Thanksgiving Week). Family togetherness and acts of kindness are overt expressions of hope and love. Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and the shredding of the old (symbolic with leaf loss) and the advent of the new in spring offer the ideas of hope and optimism. (Sites to check out and


A few tidbits of interest that you might find useful in the classroom (Bulletin Boards, fun things, ideas to build lessons upon, etc):

  • The United States Weather Bureau was established and began recording weather events in 1870.
  • King Tut’s tomb was opened in 1922.
  • The Louvre opened in Paris in 1793.
  • Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” was published in 1859
  • Mark Twain was born in 1835
  • Five US Presidents were born:
    • James K. Polk
    • Warren G. Harding
    • James A Garfield
    • Franklin Pierce
    • Zachary Taylor

A few activities for you to adapt:

Social Studies

  • Five US Presidents born
    • (another group project? Maybe this time: have each group thoroughly research their President. Then line groups in a row and ask questions common for each president, eg, birthday, year elected to office, most important piece of legislation passed, number of children, state lived in, etc. Make a fun activity but one that requires a team effort and work on topic.
    • One president died. John Fitzgerald Kennedy (35th President of the United States from 1960 to 1963) died at the hands of an assassin. The assassination of JFK brought the country to a standstill for several days.
    • How many presidents assassinated in office? Outside of office? How many died naturally? What Vice President replaced them? Did they get reelected?
  • Veteran’s Day discussion or projects:
    • US Wars
    • Geography: War locations
    • Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
  • Thanksgiving
    • European Settlers
    • Native Americans
      • “National American Indian Heritage Month, Signed into law in 1990 by President Bush has been a source of inspiration for many American Indians and non-Indians and a platform to celebrate the rich and diverse cultures of this great country.” Source:
  • American Education Week (Observed the full week prior to Thanksgiving.) see


  • Once again weather can bring sifts to cold and snow
  • Explore the weather records
  • Formation of snow flakes
  • Diseases to study
    • Diabetes
    • Alzheimer’s
    • Epilepsy
    • Deciduous trees losing leaves, weather changes, bird migration, animal hibernation, etc


  • Weather statistics (compare to baseball and good for reinforcement)
  • Measure the size of a snow flake (integrate with science)
  • Device a means of collecting snow flakes and then measuring them
  • Measurement of leaves from the same tree (integrate with science)
    • Explain the variation in size
    • Do other living things exhibit variation

Language Arts

  • American Education Week
  • Essays on School or teachers or best day
  • An act of Random Kindness
  • Do an act of kindness for someone and then write a report on the person’s reaction
    • Read and report on Native American nations that lived in area or that may have encountered the first Europeans

Fine Arts

  • Pumpkins
  • Cornucopia
  • Turkeys

Physical Education

  • National Disease Month
    • Diabetes Month
    • Epilepsy Month
    • Alzheimer’s Disease Month


Sites to explore on a snowy day: [lesson plans, ideas and worksheets] [You will need more than a single snow day]



October 11, 2008 at 3:24 am 2 comments


explorer shipRalph Waldo Emerson said it:

“Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.”

Home or School. All is in place. Routines are set. Classroom management plans are intact. The year trudges on. October is a great month! For teachers its the month of bees! This is a good month to test the classroom management plan.

Teachers have scoured the internet for plans and ideas for the month. Here are some ideas that may be of some use.

October is a month for exploration.

It’s Walk to school” Month
• “No Child Left Inside” is the theme
• Great opportunity for Physical Exercise- Walking as a leisure activity.
• Tie in with nature (observe change in leaves, birds, insects, collect leaves).
• Good reason to rationalize escape from NCLB drudgery and allow a little fun.
• Check out website:

October 5-11 Fire Prevention Week
• Change your batteries
• Fire drills

October 12-18 Earth Science Week
This site had ideas and lesson and activities

Columbus Day opens the idea of Exploration
• Social Studies projects galore this month
• List of explorers provide research opportunities for older aged pupils
Columbus, Erickson, DaGama, Magellian, Baboa, etc
• Geography (a loss elementary topic)
• Space and the ocean floor are the last frontiers to be explored. At least right now!

Great Science opportunities
• Autumnal Equinox, Change in leaf color, deciduous trees losing leaves, weather changes, bird migration, animal hibernation, etc

Baseball playoffs and World series
• Provide Physical education lessons
• Math: computing batting averages, ERA’s, and a host of other statistics

• What great prospects for art and geometry in math.
• Reading and writing tales of horror.

There were six US presidents born this month. Great topics for group research work.
• John Adams
• Theodore Roosevelt
• Dwight Eisenhower
• Chester Arthur
• Rutherford Hayes
• James Carter

Do you know
…. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1798? Abraham Lincoln changed Thanksgiving Day in 1863 to the fourth Thursday of November where it has been celebrated since.
…. The first World Series was played on October 1, 1903. Boston won the series.
…. Orson Welles created a panic with his radio broadcast of World of Wars.

Interesting questions for October:

Did Leif Erickson discover America before Columbus?
What was the uses for Stonehedge?
What causes leaves to change color?

Sites to explore this month


October 1, 2008 at 5:22 am Leave a comment

October 2008
« Sep   Nov »