Burkina Faso celebrates Republic Day. In 1958 the Republic of Upper Volta became a self-governing colony of France. Eventually the country changed its name to Burkina Faso and became independent of France. Slightly larger than the state of Colorado, this African country is landlocked. Its land is mostly flat, and its climate is tropical. Over eighteen million people live in Burkina Faso, and Ouagadougou is the capital.
United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was created in 1946 to help post-World War II children. Today UNICEF provides services, including education, vaccination, and nutrition, to children in 190 countries. Children can visit the UNICEF website at: http://www.unicef.org/.
Indiana became the nineteenth state of the United States in 1816. Indianapolis is the state capital, and the state’s nickname is the Hoosier State. Mound builders lived in the area around AD 1000. It is about 36,185 miles square, placing it thirty-eighth in area. It ranks fourteenth in population. Farming is a leading source of employment in the north, and rich coal deposits can be found in the southern parts of the state. It is the leading U. S. producer of limestone. Children could visit an Internet site at: Indiana. The Indianapolis 500 has been running since 1911. Children could make a board game about Indiana. The board could be a speed track. The students who knew the most about Indiana would win the game.
Aurora Borealis was first documented in North America in New England in 1719. Stories state that Cotton Mather observed the natural phenomenon and considered it an omen of evil. An aurora borealis (northern lights) occurs when charged particles from a solar wind interact with earth’s atmosphere. Children can visit the Library of Congress website with some great questions and answers about the aurora borealis: Aurora Borealis.
Annie Jump Cannon (born Dover, Delaware, 1863; died Cambridge, Massachusetts, April 13, 1941) was an astronomer. She did locate several hundred new stars. However, she is best known for cataloging and classifying more than 225,000 stars. She developed a system that used the letters O, B, A, F, G, K, and M. O=blue stars (the hottest stars), B=blue-white stars, A=white stars, F=yellow-white stars, G=yellow stars, K=orange stars, M= red stars (the coolest stars). Children could read Annie Jump Cannon, Astronomer, written by Carole Gerber and illustrated by Christina Wald.
Robert Koch (born Clausthal, Germany, 1843; died Baden-Baden, Germany, May 27, 1910) was one of the earliest bacteriologists. He discovered the specific bacteria that cause tuberculosis, anthrax, cholera, and other diseases. He also conducted experiments on sleeping sickness. He was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1905 for his studies regarding tuberculosis. Children could read Robert Koch and the Study of Anthrax by Kathleen Tracy. Perhaps a nurse could visit and discuss the importance of getting rid of bacteria.
Alexandr Solzhenitsyn (born Kislovodsk, USSR, 1918; died Moscow, Russia, August 3, 2008) was a Russian author, activist, and dissident. One of his best known works is One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. He was awarded the 1970 Nobel Prize for Literature.