Five Fun Ways to Teach Halloween … Geographically!

‘Tis the season of All Hallows Eve(n). Did you know that the holiday name “Hallowe’en” comes from the Old English phrase “All Hallows Evening?” ” E’en is a shortened form of “even,” which is an abbreviation of “evening.” The commercialization of holidays often means that their historic and geographic origins all but disappear from the public consciousness … spooky! So channel your inner Jack-o-Lantern and … Continue reading Five Fun Ways to Teach Halloween … Geographically!

Educator Spotlight: Exploring History Through Reading and Writing

Kristi Barnes engaged her sixth-grade world history students in an exploration of reading and writing around the world. By supplementing a unit on ancient Japan with haiku writing exercises and the novel Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, she helped students make personal connections to the material. Continue reading Educator Spotlight: Exploring History Through Reading and Writing

What is Westward Expansion?

During the 19th Century, more than 1.6 million square kilometers (a million square miles) of land west of the Mississippi River was acquired by the United States federal government. This led to a widespread migration west, referred to as Westward Expansion. A variety of factors contributed to Westward Expansion, including population growth and economic opportunities on what was presented to be available land. Manifest Destiny … Continue reading What is Westward Expansion?

Fireworks! Fun, Facts and lots of Photos for the Fourth

July 4th has always been one of my favorite holidays. What’s not to love about sunny weather, backyard barbecues, parades, national spirit and—of course—fireworks?! FIREWORKS! While fireworks have long been a hallmark of Independence Day celebrations in the United States—the first was in Philadelphia in 1777—the explosive concoction is much older than our nation! The first fireworks probably originated in China nearly 2,000 years ago. … Continue reading Fireworks! Fun, Facts and lots of Photos for the Fourth