Ballet was performed for the first time in America in 1827. The Bowery Theater in New York City hosted a performance of The Deserter by Madame Francisquy Hutin and her troupe. Idea: Invite a ballet student to visit the class and demonstrate some basic ballet moves.
Grenada celebrates Independence Day. Although it became free of British rule in 1974, it still recognizes Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. Carib Indians inhabited the island, located in the Caribbean, in the 1600’s. St. George’s is the capital. The 108,000 inhabitants depend a great deal on tourism. Nutmeg and mace are leading exports. Idea: Children could learn how nutmeg and mace are grown. Are nutmeg and mace different?
Stardust was launched by NASA in 1999. Scientists sent it into outer space to collect samples from comets. So how did Stardust collect those samples? It contained plates of aerogel, a type of sticky stuff that attracted and kept the comet materials. It traveled three billion miles before returning to earth January 15, 2006, with samples it took from comet Wild 2. Children can have a great time exploring the Stardust NASA site for kids at: Stardust.
Shonto Begay (born Kayenta, Arizona, 1954) is a children’s author and illustrator. He illustrated The Mud Pony, published in 1988.
Eubie Blake (born Baltimore, Maryland, 1883; died Brooklyn, New York, February 12, 1983) was a pianist and composer. He wrote almost 1000 songs, including I’m Just Wild about Harry.
Charles Dickens (born Portsmouth, England, 1812; died Gad’s Hill, England, June 9, 1870) was an English novelist. His works include A Christmas Carol and Oliver Twist. He is buried at Westminster Abbey. Children can read his works at: Project Gutenberg. They could learn more about him at: Charles Dickens.
Fred Gipson (born Mason, Texas, 1908; died Mason, Texas, August 14, 1973) wrote books and screenplays. His most famous work is Old Yeller, which received a 1957 Newbery Honor Award.
Sinclair Lewis (born Harry Sinclair Lewis in Sauk Center, Minnesota, 1885; died Rome, Italy, January 10, 1951) was a novelist. His works include Main Street. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1930. Young adults can read many of his works at: Project Gutenberg.
Laura Ingalls Wilder (born Pepin, Wisconsin, 1867; died Mansfield, Missouri, February 10, 1957) was an author. She wrote nine novels called the “Little House” books. The works are somewhat based on actual events from her life and that of her husband, Almanzo Wilder. Works include Little House in the Big Woods and Farmer Boy. Five of her books were named Newbery Honor Books: On the Banks of Plum Creek (1938), By the Shores of Silver Lake (1940), The Long Winter (1941), Little Town on the Prairie (1942), and These Happy Golden Years (1944).
Natasha Wing (born Milford, Connecticut, 1960) writes books for children. She has written a series of books called The Night Before… Children can visit her website at: Natasha Wing.