Free Printable Epiphany Activities, Twelfth Night Crafts

In many nations, especially southern and eastern Europe and South America, Christian religions celebrate Epiphany as the main gift-giving holiday. In the Catholic faith, Epiphany, which lands on January 6 is also called the Feast of the Three Kings (or Magi). It's a Catholic feast day of the Church. It's not a holy day of obligation, but it is an important day in the Octave of Christmas (Christmastide). On this day, we celebrate the visit of the wiseman to the Christ child in Bethlehem. Some cultures call this holiday Three Kings Day or Twelfth Night. If you celebrate Epiphay or would like to start, here are websites to with free printable epiphany crafts and lesson plans. Kids will particularly love these activities (plus it extends the Christmas holiday and that's always a perk for children!) Read more

Free Printable Jesse Tree Advent Devotional Crafts, Lesson Plans

'And a shoot shall spring forth from the stump of Jesse: a branch out of his roots.' Isaiah 11:1. This Biblical passage from the Old Testament prophet Isaiah is foretelling the coming of a new branch in the family tree of King David. Jesse was the father of David. David was the king of Israel during her Golden Age. After Solomon, David's son died, the kingdom fell to quarreling and heathen practices. The two kingdoms finally split and ultimately were carried off into slavery by a succession of eastern rulers from Assyria, Babylon, Media and Persia. Here are lesson plans and activities to explore the Bible story and make a Jesse Tree.  read more

Hanukkah FAQs: History, Celebration and Symbols

Hanukkah or Chanukah is the Jewish festival of lights, celebrated on Kislev 25 (Dec. 8-16 in 2012). Because Hanukkah begins in or near the month of December, it is sometimes mistakenly considered 'the Jewish Christmas'. Here are answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about Hanukkah. Note I inadvertently spelled Chanukah "Chanukkah" in this article. I think it is occasionally spelled that way, but not often. Follow up this article with free printable Hanukkah lesson plans in your home school (click tag "Hanukkah" for those links to printables) And Mazel Tov and Happy Hanukkah to all Hebrews out there! Here's a shout-out to all my Jewish friends. Ah Lichtige Hanukkah! Read more

Free Thanksgiving Lesson Plans--Pilgrims, Native American Indians, Science, History

I have happy memories of Thanksgiving homeschooling our four kids. I've taught in lots of other settings, too. And I always weave the holidays into lessons. Kids love it. Adults love it. Seniors love it! Here are free Thanksgiving Day printables and crafts that focus on fall harvest, native Americans and pilgrims. Click here for Thanksgiving-themed history lesson plans, social studies activities, art projects and even some nature science crafts! Why not make and share with senior neighbors. What a nice way to teach kids about thankfulness. Free Printable Thanksgiving Crafts and Activities

Printable Deepavali Activities, Rangoli Crafts for Diwali

Diwali, also called Deepavali and Divali, is a five-day Hindu new year "festival of lights." Diwali is also celebrated by Sikhs and Jains. Diwali honors the deities of Lakshmi (goddess of prosperity) and Ganesha, the elephant-headed goddess. Prayers and meditation, called puja are observed. Diwali 2012 is celebrated from November 13-17 in the western calendar. Diwali means "garland of lights" (or "row of lights") in Sanskrit. In the Indian calendar, Diwali is celebrated in late Ashwin (September-October) and ends in early Kartika (October-November). Here are lesson plans to explore this most sacred holy day.  Free Printable Diwali Lesson Plans, Rangoli Activities 

Free Printable "Frankenstorm" Lesson Plans--Hurricane Sandy, Earthquakes, Earth Science, Emergency Preparedness

"Frankenstorm" is the nickname meteorologists are giving to a trifecta of hurricane, snow and nasty weather, converging on the eastern seaboard of the U.S. This "perfect storm" mass, which includes the notorious Hurricane Sandy, is due to collide over NYC and New Jersey on October 31, 2012--Halloween (hence the name). What causes storms? How can families stay safe? Here are resources to help children learn more about earth science, weather, natural disasters and mostly importantly, emergency preparedness.  This article was written about earthquakes, but the resources are the same for storms and hurricanes. These resources can be printed and used in home schools and classrooms. If you're in Frankenstorm's path, please, avail yourself of these helps and get ready. Forewarned is forearmed. Read on Free Frankenstorm, Hurricane Sandy Lesson Plans, 

Free Printable Eastern Orthodox Catholic Coloring Activities

 September 1 marks the Eastern Orthodox Church's new liturgical year. The Christian Orthodox church, whose branches include Russian, Ukrainian, Slavic, Slavonic and Greek Orthodox, is linked to the Byzantine Church. The eastern rite churches follow most of the same practices as the Christian Catholic church, such as veneration of saints, icons, holy relics and martyrs. Here are free printable coloring pages, activities and lesson plans on Orthodox Chrisitianity. Free Printable Eastern Orthodox Catholic Coloring Activities

Free Printable American Literature Lesson Plans and Activities

American literature is a prerequisite class for graduation across the US. Everyone has to get through American lit either by struggling, strolling or striding. A basic grasp of literary constructs is necessary for almost any job or career. For the teacher who struggles to impart wisdom, meaning and life lessons in literature, it may be a matter of swimming upstream. How about some free printable American literature lesson plans to help? Read on  Free Printable American Literature Lesson Plans and Activities

Free Printable Animal Habitats Coloring Pages from Jim Arnosky

Jim Arnosky has been a favorite author/ illustrator in our family for two decades. I remember our oldest daughter reading in her baby lisp from Arnosky's "Raccoons and Ripe Corn." She was five and making a story tape Christmas present for a brother. Since writing "Raccoons and Ripe Corn," Jim Arnosky has written and illustrated over 50 books about animals and nature. He also has an endearing series called The Crinkleroot Books, about a lovable naturist with a handsome grey beard (Mr.Arnosky's alterego?). It is evident that Jim Arnosky's loves nature and wildlife from every biome. Jim Arnosky has explored many habitats and shares his knowledge with us. Here are free printable animal coloring pages from Arnosky (I'm chagrined that in this article, I spelled "raccoon" wrong. Some teacher, eh? I must have been thinking of the Latin spelling (not!). Anyway, apologies. Use these coloring pages for the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi (patron saint of animals) lesson plans. His feast day is October 4. You could coordinate them with a Blessing of the Pets! Here's Arnosky's alligator page. I recently tracked gators in Louisiana visiting our now grown daughter (the story reader). Free Printable Animal Habitat Lesson Plans

Free Printable Native American Indians Lesson Plans

Many schools teach Native American Indian history; around Thanksgiving in the autumn is a popular time to explore native themes. Here is a cross-curricular lesson plan and craft to make Native American costume from a paper bag. Perfect for Halloween. Free printable native American Indian crafts.

Free Printable September 11 Lesson Plans

How can we teach children about September 11, 2001? How do you explain to children what happened at the World Trade Center, on Flight 93 and in the Pentagon attacks? How do you discuss war and terrorism with kids? How do you commemorate an event what they never experienced? Here are free lesson plans to help.  911 Lesson Plans, Memorial Activities for Kids

Free Printable Solar System Activities, 3D Models, Crafts

Understanding earth science concepts can be challenging for students, particularly when the material is presented only in textbook form. Kids often struggle to understand ideas if they only read, see or hear about them. Providing hands-on, interactive, student-directed activities can make lessons come alive. Here are links for free printable earth science booklets, coloring pages, dioramas and 3D models. Topics includes astronomy, solar system, earth's poles and magnetism, earth's sun, earth's moon and other relevant lessons. These printable activities work well for teachers, homeschoolers and scout leaders (for various science badges).  Free Printable Earth Science, Solar System Activities, Lessons 

Helping high school kids with first-day back-to-school jitters

Transitioning from middle school to high school is a lot like starting kindergarten--there are similar woes and worries. So is switching from home school to public school or institutional school. Kids worry about a myriad of issues. Will I make friends? Will my old friends meet new people and ditch me? Do I look okay? Will I get lost? Where's my locker and how the heck do I get it open? Here are parenting tips to help kids cope with back-to-school senior high jitters.  Helping high school kids with first-day back-to-school jitters

Free Printable Preschool Crafts, Early Childhood Activities

 Looking for free printable preschool and elementary cut and paste paper crafts for holidays, patriotic celebrations, religious themes, school themes, math activities, social studies and science crafts and lesson plans? Check out Making Learning Fun.

Making Learning Fun is a comprehensive website with hundreds of free printable activities, crafts, scissor cutting skills crafts, cut and paste activities, lesson plans, math games, coloring pages, reading games, social studies activities, puzzles, science lessons and so much more. There are hundreds of free printable themed activities. Free for homeschool kids. Perfect for ECSE and special needs kids. Read more Free Printable Cut and Paste Preschool Themes, Crafts, Lessons and Activities 

Free Printable Ramadan Activities, Eid Lesson Plans

For Muslims, Ramadan is holy season marked by prayer, fasting and abstinence. Ramadan, in the Islamic calendar is a month-long observance, falling roughly in the month of August. In 2012, Ramadan began July 21. The period of fasting ends with the celebration of Eid (also called Lesser Eid and Eid al Fitr). In 2012, Eid falls on August 19. To wish someone good Ramadan, say "Ramadan Mubarak!" Here are free printable activities to help children explore Ramadan. Islamic friends, you'll find links for printable dua and online prayers. Arabic speakers, there's a translator tool on this blog if you need it. Free Printable Ramadan and Islamic Activities for Children

Free Printable Summer Olympics Lessons, Activities

The 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremonies took place in London, England on July 27, 2012. The Olympic Games will run until August 12. If you're a parent, teacher, sports enthusiast or just like following the Olympics, here are free printable lesson plans to help kids and students learn more about this historic, international event. Use these lessons in homeschool, summer camp, summer school or at home. Kids will get a richer, more complex picture of the 2012 Olympic events as they unfold and also a historical framework in which to fit the experience.  Free Printable Summer Olympics Lessons, Activities

Best Movies for Summer, Winter Olympics and Sports History

 Many high schools are offering courses in sports history. The Winter Olympics and Summer Olympics make great subject matter to explore in sports classes. Here are better sports and Olympics movies to show in the classroom or homeschool. When I wrote this article, I'd not yet seen "Miracle." This retells the victory of the American hockey team over Russia in the 1980 Olympics (despite the fact that I despise hockey, I watched these games as a teen in 1980--what a time!) Best Classroom Movies for Sports and Olympics History 

Things Parents Need to Home School Successfully

I remember fondly my 10 years homeschooling our four kids. I admit that time has probably glossed over some the challenges. I t was difficult to lose my income and homeschooling hurt my later career opportunities, but my husband and I have never regretted our choice. If you're considering homeschooling, here are some things you'll need to be successful. Read more at Things Parents Need to Homeschool Successfully. 

Teaching kids to understand and express emotions safely

Let your kid act up in public and you can be sure that some supposedly well-meaning (irritating) citizen will comment on how you can't control your child.  Maybe it's because people just need their daily dose of schadenfreude. Maybe it's that they've seen so many monstrously-behaved kids.

Homeschool kids (and parents) seem to come under heavier criticism (at least back when when I was homeschooling). Homeschoolers tend to take their children with them more often. And let's face it, by homeschooling  we're saying we're better fit to teach our kids than anyone else. We've set ourselves up on pedestals to some extent. Should people expect that our kids will be better behaved? I think they do. I think we do owe it to society to keep our kids in line.

Having said that, I'll be the first to admit that corralling a naughty kid, homeschooled or otherwise ain't easy. Short of gagging and hog-tying, a parent can't force an unruly child into submission. The ground work has to be done within the family. Children have to learn self-control. The best way is to do this is to teach kids how emotions work and how to manage them. Here are tools and feeling-facts for kids (and parents who love them).  Teaching kids to understand and express emotions safely 

Reasons Parents and Kids Should Cut Back on Facebook

Over a third of Facebook users are spending less time on the social network, says a recent study in Reuters. I'm not surprised. Though I still used my account for networking, I've avoiding Facebook for general use. Here's why.

Yes, I know, I probably sound like an out-of-touch old curmudgeon (can women be that? maybe it's curmudgeoness?). It's not that I've got a problem with socializing or online activities. Much of my work is done online. It's just that Facebook use (and to be fair other social network use) is mushrooming out of control. It's taking over healthy face-to-face dialog and replacing it with shallow, unfulfilling interaction. It's taking its toll on families and relationships. Not only kids, but parents are spending way too much time connected to the net and disconnected at home. Here are some considerations. Seven Reasons I'm Logging Out of Facebook 

Facebook Boredom is Inevitable Result of Cyber Life

Well, it looks like the Facebook social juggernaut may finally be losing steam. And none too soon, I say. Amanda Crum of WebProNews did a rather good analysis of a Reuters poll from earlier this week that showed a drop-off in Facebook use. The poll found that few people actually buy the products advertised on Facebook. That's not surprising. I think most of us are pretty saturated with Internet ads in general. And as for those silly little "like" buttons for products and keywords -- I'm not motivated to buy Ragu because six of my friends like it. I doubt "likes" translate to much in terms of buying. Facebook Boredom is Inevitable Result of Cyber Life

Tips to transition from school to summer schedule

Raise your hands, parents, if there are parts of summer vacation that you secretly dread. For kids, it's three months of freedom. For parents, summer break often means less structure, child care difficulties, work-play juggling, added responsibilities and all the headaches those entail. Here are ways to peacefully transition from school to summer break schedules. Read more at  Tips to transition from school to summer schedule 

Free Printable Weather Activities and Coloring Pages

Speaking as a veteran teacher and homeschooler, I have found that children learn best when they are actively engaged. One of the best ways to make lessons interactive is with printable coloring pages. Planning a unit on weather, science or safety? Here are free printable coloring pages and activity booklets from the National Weather Service. Click here Free Printable Weather Activities and Coloring Pages 

Free Printable Poetry Writing Guide-- Free Verse Poetry

 Poetry gives voice to the soul. Writing poetry is like singing;it should flow from the spirit, as a lament, a rhapsody or an aria. Unlike tangible things poetry is not so easy to dissect, critique or explain. There are some devices that poets employ to create poems. Having created some poetry myself and taught courses in poetry in creative writing, I'll try to distill the essence of poetry in this guideline. Poetry Wrting Guide: How to Write Free Verse Poetry

Free Printable Lent Coloring Pages

 For Catholics and Christians, Easter is about more than just bunnies and candy. Easter is about the Passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Here are free printable stations of the cross, rosary, saints and Easter bible story coloring pages. The Catholic and Orthodox churches, and some protestant Christian churches, observe the season of Lent for forty days before Easter. Lent "follows" Jesus's during forty days of fasting in the desert when He was tempted by Satan. in preparation for His sacrifice on the cross. During Lent, we pray, fast and do acts of mercy, almsgiving and penance to imitate Jesus. We follow the "Way of the Cross" or Stations of the Cross and pray the rosary. Free Printable Lent and Catholic Easter Coloring Pages

How To Write an Introduction

Have you ever walked in on the middle of a play or movie?  You generally have no idea what is going on and unless someone explains it to you, you often never really understand the plot.  That is what happens when an author leaves out the introduction of a piece of writing. An introduction serves several purposes. Read more at How To Write an Introduction

Free Printable Lorax Lesson Plans from Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss's The Lorax is obviously an indictment against corporate waste, pollution and lack of environmentally friendly or green practices. What may be less obvious for teachers and homeschoolers is exactly how to implement Dr. Seuss's book The Lorax into a science curriculum. Here are several literature-based text to text connections, lesson plans and activities using Dr. Seuss's The Lorax. These lesson plans and activities are useful across the grade levels. As always, I include lessons plans that meet the different learning modalities. I also tie in material from many subject areas. Explain that The Lorax is like a parable or allegory. Characters represent ideas or people. As you read the Lorax ask students to decide who these characters represent:Read more at Free Green Lesson Plans: Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Romney, Santorum Example of How Not to Debate

In another battle of wits (figuratively speaking), GOP frontrunners Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have embarrassed both themselves and our nation, once more. In Arizona, says Real Clear Politics, each had his barbs tipped and both managed to speak very much, say very little and accomplish nothing more than to give viewers a collective brain ache. Their behavior is juvenile and a bad example to kids about how to debate or even interact with each other. Read more at In Arizona Debates, Romney and Santorum Represent Juvenile Posturing

Free Printable Election Lesson Plans Voting, Super Tuesday

U.S. General Election Day is always the first Tuesday in November. I remember in 1972, our school was immersed in the Nixon-McGovern election. We staged debates and mock elections, explored voting booths and campaigned for our candidate. It was a great hands-on learning experience.  42 years later, we have technology and the internet to help us teach voting, elections and politics. Here are free lesson plans, puzzles, quizzes, games, writing prompts and coloring pages to explore. 
Ed Helper has free printable Super Tuesday lesson plans. Click around for election, history and social studies unit themes. Print vocabulary, timelines, issues, electoral college, Inauguration Day and more. 
ABC Teach features election day lesson plans that are free to print. Click for printable voting lessons too. Print KWL charts, voting graphics, math graphing activities, creative and response writing, comparison/contrast (candidates and past elections), history and literature connections, mock election forms, debate rubrics, student senate formats, issues awareness. Look for graphic organizers on foreign policy, how to vote, timeline of voting rights, constitution, branches of government, political parties and other election-related subjects.
Education World offers a sophisticated, multicultural look at the political system. Check out the interactive election activities, maps and timelines available. 
A to Z Teacher Stuff provides a compendium of free printable voting and election lesson plans. Scroll through till you find what you need for your classroom grade and student population. 

Special needs teachers, you'll appreciate these interactive election lesson plans. Hands-on activities help disabled children learn in ways that are suited to their abilities. 

Free Printable Valentines Day Lesson Plans Activities

Valentines Day represents a party, candy and cards for children, but for teachers, it may not have such positive images. Kids overloaded with yet another sugar rush, another missed day of instruction time and a messy classroom when the bell rings at 3:30. And for parents, the dark days of February can mean another snow day and bored kids. How about some free printable Valentine's Day coloring pages, cut and paste, games, lessons, puzzles and activities to keep the kids at home or students in school engaged and productive? Read more at Free Valentine Lesson Plans and Activities

Free Printable Black History Month Lesson Plans and Activities

Carter G. Woodson created the idea of Black History Month in 1926, but it wasn't until 50 years later when the first February Black History Month was celebrated during the United States bicentennial. Here are free printable black history lessons. Black History Month explores the history, culture, struggles and contributions of the Aftrican diaspora (displaced or forced immigration population) in the US, Canada and UK (they observe African-American history month in October). Use these activities in your classroom or homeschool. Read more here: Free Printable Black History Month Lesson Plans and Activities

Free Printable Dragon Lesson Plans for CNY

 Chinese New Year begins today. The Chinese zodiac is distinguished by 12 animals. 2012 is the Year of the Dragon. Here are activities and ideas for teachers and parents to explore Chinese tradition. You'll find recipes, history, culture, free printable dragon and paper lantern crafts, games, coloring pages and literature connections. Chinese New Year for Parents and Kids

Free Printable Chinese New Year Party Planner

Chinese New Year Party Planner The Chinese New Year, Year of the Dragon begins January 23, 2012. Ring in CNY with a party for your classroom, home-school group, scout troop, 4-H club or any other venue you have to explore diversity and culture. A cultural celebration can spark some light in a stale, dragging school year. This party planner includes the elements of a good lesson as well as a good party: food, free printable coloring, music, games, crafts, social studies activities and literature connections. Read on...

Free Printable Chinese New Year Coloring Pages, Crafts and Activities

Free Printable Chinese New Year Coloring Pages, Crafts and Activities I confess that as a child and into adulthood I've always delighted in Chinese culture. As a teacher, I like to immerse my students in the celebrations, artifacts, food, religion, music, crafts and customs of other lands. Chinese New Year is a great opportunity to do just that. CNY begins late January or early February. Check the Chinese zodiac on the left to see which animal year it is. (Ahem, dragons rule!) Here are free printable crafts, coloring and activities to celebrate the Chinese New Year with students, family, homeschool and scouts. These websites have Chinese zodiac crafts, animal crafts, party decorations, Chinese New Year greeting cards and coloring pages galore. Click here

Pinners, welcome!

Follow Me on Pinterest