Black History Month - Civil Rights

Posted by Reine L. on Feb 6, 2017 11:25:00 AM

Was John F. Kennedy a civil rights hero, or was it Lyndon Johnson? One of the most important things to communicate to students about the Civil Rights Act is why it was needed. Legislation focusing not only on public acts of discrimination, but also on private prejudice. The comprehensive civil rights bill won the endorsement of House and Senate Republican leaders, but it was not passed; however, before 22 November 1963, when President Kennedy was assassinated. The bill was left in the hands of Lyndon B. Johnson. Before becoming vice president, Johnson had served more than two decades in Congress as a congressman and senator from Texas. He use his connections with southern white congressional leaders, and with the assistance of Robert Kennedy’s Justice Department and the outpouring of emotion after the president’s assassination, the Civil Rights Act was passed as a way to honor President Kennedy.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Integration Ideas, Literacy

Writing a Legacy: Celebrating Black History Month

Posted by Rashawnda Atkinson on Feb 3, 2017 12:33:00 PM

How does a culture survive through the ages?  The written word's impact on politics, faith, education, science, history, and more certainly demonstrates why it's a critical component to sustaining any culture.  Black American poets, playrights, authors, composers, and philosophers contributed many works throughout American history, so we at Big Universe want to recognize some of those who, through their talents and words, captured the essence of their times and diversified the perspectives of African American culture.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Integration Ideas, Literacy

28 Ways to Celebrate Reading

Posted by Teresa Marchant on Jan 31, 2017 11:59:00 AM

February is affectionately called "I love to Read" or "Book Lovers" Month. Every day in February can be made special by completing a reading related activity. Here is a list you and your students will LOVE!

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Writing, Literacy

Xin Nian Kuai Le: Celebrating Chinese New Year

Posted by Rashawnda Atkinson on Jan 27, 2017 12:01:00 PM

The phrase "Xin Nian Kuai Le"  is Happy New Year in Mandarin.  The new moon closest to the start of spring dictates the beginning of the year in their culture, and each year i)s combined with elements of the earth (gold, wood, water, fire, earth) with twelve animals (rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig/boar).  This is the year of the fire rooster, and here at Big Universe, we want to give you some idea as to ways you can use to help in celebrating this popular time for so many people around the world.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Reading Lists, Literacy

3 Brain-Based Benefits to Classroom Writing

Posted by Rachel Tapling on Jan 26, 2017 11:13:00 AM

We all know that writing is good for learning. But, did you know how good it is for your student's brains?

Here are 3 ways that writing benefits your brain! 

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Writing, Literacy

Activities for National Opposite Day

Posted by Teresa Marchant on Jan 24, 2017 11:15:00 AM

I love quirky holidays and celebrations! On January 25th, set your sights on a day filled with National Opposite Day activities. Research done by Robert Marzano, Debra Pickering, and Jane Pollock (2001) have created discussions on the benefits of comparing and contrasting. This concept provides the basis for effective instruction. I have included fun activities to boost students reading and writing skills in the classroom for National Opposite Day while still meeting the demands of your standards.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Common Core, Writing, Technology, Literacy

National Kid Inventors Day

Posted by Kristie J. on Jan 17, 2017 12:02:00 PM

National Kid Inventors Day is celebrated on January 17 each year. It honors the original kid inventor, Benjamin Franklin, who designed the first swim flippers at only twelve years old! National Kid Inventors Day exists to encourage creativity in our youngest members of society. As anyone knows, kids can come up with the darndest things! Of course, some of it may be outlandish, but children have a unique perspective of not being burdened down with the details that adults can’t help but acknowledge. The best thing about National Kid Inventors Day is that it can be celebrated school-wide. Inventions occur every day. From new building materials to applications, even the sky is no limit! Here are some ways to encourage your students’ creativity:

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Technology, Literacy

Oxford's Storytelling Schools

Posted by Reine L. on Jan 16, 2017 12:17:00 PM

The digital phenomenon and technology has an extraordinary effect on people, but little research has been done in the field of educators that gives an implicit message so that students are able to communicate and relate to other human beings and not just their gadgets. Stories lead to learning, and according to the curators of the Story Museum Storytelling Schools programme, “Storytelling is the ‘something’ I and others have all been looking for, for a long time. It’s good because it’s cross-cultural and it’s accessible; it’s about being human and it’s deep.” The tools we have acquired to enhance teaching are important, but what is even more valuable is teachers who provide literacy education in the classroom that gives each child personal power as we guide, motivate, entertain, educate, inspire and influence others through the artful use of story.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Literacy

More than a Dream: Using King’s Legacy to Foster Civil Responsibility In Students

Posted by Rashawnda Atkinson on Jan 13, 2017 11:55:00 AM

In just a few days our nation will celebrate Martin Luther King Day, which recognizes the contributions that famed Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. made to advancing racial equality through non-violent means.  Since 1986, the third Monday in every January people take part in various activities--speeches, marches, community service projects, or visiting sites that highlight King's life and legacy.  As educators seeking to create independent, conscious thinkers, how can we get them to use their words and knowledge to affect change in their schools?  As King wrote as a junior at Morehouse College, “...Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction" (as cited in The Seattle Times, n.d.).  I'll share with you some ways to get your students and school to maximize the day's significance.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Reading Lists, Writing, Literacy

Teach Your Students Cuneiform (and Other Ideas): Primary Sources Across the Curriculum Pt. 3

Posted by Rachel Tapling on Jan 12, 2017 11:43:00 AM

I won’t ever forget watching one of my most struggling students light up when he showed me that he had written a simple story in cuneiform, using the few glyphs that were included in the social studies book. “It's like I’m a time traveler!” he’d said.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Literacy

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