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  1. Classroom Resources | Grades   3 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  October 3
    Gwendolyn Brooks published Bronzeville Boys and Girls in 1956.
    After students have read and discussed several poems from Brooks' collection, they create a poetry anthology for their own family, neighborhood, or classroom.
  2. Classroom Resources | Grades   1 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  July 12
    Henry David Thoreau was born in 1817.
    Students make mental "snapshots" of a natural setting, then capture the details of their setting by writing and then creating a class booklet of the nature walk.
  3. Classroom Resources | Grades   5 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  November 8
    In 1847, Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula was born.
    Students brainstorm the superstitions they know and small groups research one of the superstitions to determine its origin and meaning or purpose. Students can write about the superstition using the Mystery Cube interactive.
  4. Classroom Resources | Grades   7 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  April 4
    In 1928, Maya Angelou was born.
    After hearing Maya Angelou's poem, "On the Pulse of Morning," students infer information about the speaker and her feelings about America and reflect on how one's life and experiences can influence one's writing.
  5. Classroom Resources | Grades   1 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  September 5
    In 1952, Paul Fleischman was born on this day.
    Some of Fleishman's memories in his essay "My House of Voices" are shared with the class. Students then write a descriptive essay that gives a tour of the voices in their homes, school, etc.
  6. Classroom Resources | Grades   7 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  July 31
    J.K. Rowling and her Harry Potter celebrate birthdays today.
    Students are encouraged to think about why people challenge Harry Potter books, do a Web Quest that allows them to research the issue, and decide whether the books should be banned from the public library.
  7. Classroom Resources | Grades   7 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  January 3
    John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on this day.
    Students compare the film versions of The Lord of the Rings and Tolkien's novels. Students then imagine how a scene in a current novel that they are reading would be filmed.
  8. Classroom Resources | Grades   9 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  November 30
    Jonathan Swift was born on this day in 1667.
    Students explore satire and parody in television and film, advertising, and journalism and create a display that highlights their findings.
  9. Classroom Resources | Grades   7 – 12  |  Calendar Activity  |  November 29
    Louisa May Alcott was born in 1832.
    Students brainstorm important events and people that might serve as the beginning of an interesting piece of writing. They then use the Bio-Cube to plan their writing and write an essay about a memorable person.
  10. Classroom Resources | Grades   3 – 8  |  Calendar Activity  |  July 9
    Nancy Farmer, three-time Newbery honoree, was born in 1941.
    Students write original short stories in the science fiction genre based on some of Farmer's works and society's most hotly-debated issues, such as cloning, toxic waste, and brain implants.

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