Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah, the eight-day “Festival of Lights” that commemorates the success of the Maccabees when they fought the Seleucids 2100 years ago. When the Maccabees knew they were victorious, they realized they had enough oil to light the menorah for only one night. However, the oil lasted for eight nights. Jews eat latkes, play games with dreidels, and light candles on the menorah every night. Tonight the shamash (the middle candle) and one more candle will be lit. Hanukkah will end the night of December 10. Children could read Alexandra’s Scroll: The Story of the First Hanukkah, written by Miriam Chaikin. Children could also visit a great website, loaded with activities, at: http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/hanukkah_for_kids.htm.
United Arab Emirates was formed in 1971 when seven sheikdoms united and formed one country that gained its independence from the United Kingdom. According to the CIA World Factbook, the country’s area is slightly smaller than the area of the state of Maine. About five million people live in this desert country. Abu Dhabi is the capital, and the UAE is known for its petroleum reserves.
Monroe Doctrine was established in 1823 in James Monroe’s address to Congress. He stated that the American continents were not to be further colonized by European nations. Older children could visit the State Department Historian website to understand more about the doctrine at: Monroe Doctrine. They can also read a transcript of the doctrine at: Monroe Doctrine Transcript.
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve was formed in 1980. Visitors can view tidewater glaciers and both brown and black bears at this 3.3 million acre park in Alaska. Children could visit the National Park website that provides outstanding etours, children’s activities, and even coloring sheets at: http://www.nps.gov/glba.
Denali National Park and Preserve was created in 1980. The six million acre park contains Mount McKinley, the highest mountain in North America at 20,320 feet. Children could visit the National Park website to see amazing panoramas and interactive activities at: http://www.nps.gov/dena. Denali is home to many kinds of animals. Children could research Denali and its inhabitants. Each child could make a postcard, featuring an animal, from the national park.
Peter Carl Goldmark (born Budapest, Hungary, 1906; died Westchester, New York, December 7, 1977) invented long-playing records and color television.
David Macaulay (born Burton-on-Trent, 1946) is a children’s author and illustrator. He wrote among other works Black and White (Caldecott Medal), 1990. Idea: Macaulay’s Motel of the Mysteries is great fun to read. He makes fun of archaeology. Enjoy the book with the children. Then see if they can think of other “artifacts,” draw and label them Motel of the Mysteries style. View his very interesting TED talk at: David Macauley.
Georges Pierre Seurat (born Paris, France, 1859; died Paris, France, March 29, 1891) was a painter who developed pointillism. Rather than painting with brush strokes, Seurat made dots of paint side by side. When the viewer stepped away from the artwork, images appeared. One of his most famous works is Sunday Afternoon on the Island of the Grand Jatte, painted in 1886. Children can view some of his works at: Georges Pierre Seurat. Children can make great pointillism works. Markers with angled tips seem to work best. Remember to place scrap paper under the art paper.
Don Lessem (born 1951) is a children’s author and dinosaur aficionado. Children could visit his website, loaded with information about dinosaurs, at: Don Lessem.