May 212024

Sue, the skeleton of a T Rex

Dinosaur Day is today! Celebrated on the third Tuesday in May and on June 1, the day can be filled with all things dinosaurs: facts about dinosaurs, songs about dinosaurs, posters about dinosaurs. Children could make plaster of Paris dinosaur eggs or footprints. Foodies could make dinosaur-shaped cookies. Children could learn more at:

May 212024

Michelangelo’s Pieta

Michelangelo’s Pietá was damaged in 1972 in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City when Lazlo Toth, a geologist, attacked the sculpture. Using a hammer, Toth shattered Mary’s left arm, her nose, her left eye, and her veil. The damage was repaired. Michelangelo had completed the sculpture around 1498 to 1499, and it is the only sculpture that bears his signature.

May 212024

Mary Anning

Mary Anning (born Lyme Regis, Dorset, England, 1799; died Lyme Regis, Dorset, England, March 9, 1847) was a paleontologist who changed the scientific community’s views of dinosaurs. Because she was a woman, she was given little recognition for her scientific work. She always struggled with poverty, even though she risked her life to collect her fossils. Children could read Jurassic Mary: Mary Anning and the Primeval Monsters by Patricia Pierce.

Bonnie Bryant (born Barbara B. Hiller in New York, New York, 1946) writes books for children. She has written at least 100 Saddle Club books, six Pony Tails books, and two Pine Hollow books.

Albrecht Durer (born Nuremberg, Germany, 1471; died Nuremberg, Germany, April 6, 1528) was a Renaissance artist. Children could visit the Met website at: Albrecht Durer. Idea: Durer did a great deal of engraving. Children could research the process. They could make potato prints to get the feel of engraving.

Beverley Naidoo (born Johannesburg, South Africa, 1943) has written at least twelve books for middle schoolers and at least nine picture books. Her books often focus on apartheid and South Africa. She has twice received the Jane Addams Award, in 2002 for The Other Side of Truth and in 2004 for Out of Bounds: Seven Stories of Conflict and Hope. Children can visit her website at: Beverly Naidoo.

Rousseau Self-Portrait

Henri Julien Felix Rousseau (born Laval, Mayenne, France, 1844; died Paris, France, September 10, 1910) was an artist. Children could learn more at: Rousseau. Idea: Rousseau was deemed a primitive painter because he had no formal training. Students could view some of his work and compare him to other painters.

Andrei Sakharov (born Moscow, Russia, 1921; died Moscow, Russia, December 14, 1989) was a Soviet physicist and dissident. He developed the atomic bomb for the Soviets, but he later spoke out against the government. He was exiled to Gorky, Russia, for a number of years. He was appointed to the Soviet Congress of Peoples Deputies a few months before he died. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975. Older children could read a short autobiography at: Autobiography.

Erica Silverman (born Brooklyn, New York, 1955) has written at least 20 books for children. Her books include On Grandma’s Roof and Big Pumpkin. Children can visit her website at: Erica Silverman.