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Archive for January, 2012

January 30, 2012

February: A Month of Birthdays

All students and library patrons expect to celebrate the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Their minds will be filled with American History projects in the weeks leading up to Presidents Day. But there are a host of other birthdays to celebrate during the month of February. There are writers and poets, musicians and dancers, inventors, and sports and television personalities.
• Make a birthday calendar and display in the library or classroom. Include the following people:

  • Feb. 1 Langston Hughes
  • Feb. 2 James Joyce
  • Feb. 3 Norman Rockwell
  • Feb. 4 Betty Friedan
  • Feb. 5 Hank Aaron
  • Feb. 6 Tom Brokaw
  • Feb. 7 Garth Brooks
  • Feb. 9 John Williams
  • Feb. 10 Mark Spitz
  • Feb. 11 Paul Bocuse
  • Feb. 12 Judy Blume
  • Feb. 13 Chuck Yeager
  • Feb. 14 Gregory Hines
  • Feb. 15 Matt Groening
  • Feb. 16 John McEnroe
  • Feb. 17 Michael Jordan
  • Feb. 18 Vanna White
  • Feb. 19 Smoky Robinson
  • Feb. 20 Gloria Vanderbilt
  • Feb. 21 Charlotte Church
  • Feb. 22 Drew Barrymore
  • Feb. 23 Paul Tibbets
  • Feb. 24 Steven Jobs
  • Feb. 25 George Harrison
  • Feb. 26 Levi Strauss
  • Feb. 27 Marian Anderson
  • Feb. 28 Linus Pauling
  • Feb. 29 Herman Hollerith

• Ask readers to identify as many of these people as they can. Then allow them to work in groups to find out why each individual is noteworthy. Have each group divide the names into career categories. For example, sports, artist, music, dance, theater, television or movie, inventor, writer or poet, fashion, and military.
• Ask readers to select at least 5 personalities and design and write a full-page newspaper or magazine tribute to them on their birthday.
• Introduce fiction and nonfiction works that may connect to each personality in some way. Books from Random House include:

• Ask older readers to write a essay that makes the connection between a book they read and one of the birthday personalities.


January 10, 2012

Universal Human Rights Month

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 10, 1948. The need for this document grew out of the human tragedy of World War II, and represents the first global expression of human rights.

  •    Ask readers to talk about the purpose of the Preamble.  Read the first  sentence. Discuss the meaning of the “foundation of freedom, justice and  peace in the world.”  Why is this an important first sentence in the Preamble?
  • Introduce the following picture books and ask readers to apply their meaning to the discussion of human rights:

Let There Be Peace on Earth by Jill Jackson & Sy Miller & illus. by David  Diaz (all ages)

People by Peter Sis (all ages)

The Long March by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick (ages 4-8)

 Somewhere in the World Right Now by Stacy Schuett (ages 4-8)

We Planted a Tree by Diane Muldrow & illus. by Bob Staake (ages 4-8)

  • Have readers identify members of the United Nations on a world map.  Where is the United Nations located?
  • Younger readers may enjoy making a flag (on a 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper) for each of the member nations. Display the flags, along with books about the country, in the library.
  • Ask readers to research Eleanor Roosevelt’s contribution to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Then have them write a poem or a song that pays tribute to her.
  • Have readers find books in the library that are set prior to World War II and the passage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and represents the need for the document.  Titles from Random House include:

Ashes of Roses by Mary Jane Auch  (ages 12-up)

Black Radishes by Susan Lynn Meyer (ages 8-12)

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (ages 12-up)

Counting on Grace by Elizabeth Winthrop (ages 8-12)

 Eyes of the Emperor by Graham Salisbury (ages 12-up)

A Faraway Island by Annika Thor & translated by Linda Schenck (ages   8-12)

Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne and James D. Houston (ages 12-up)

Honey Cake by Joan Betty Stuchner & illus. by Cynthia Nugent (ages 6- 9)

Nightjohn by Gary Paulsen (ages 12-up)

Sylvia and Ali by Winifred Conkling (ages 9-12)

Ties That Bind, Ties That Break by Lensey Namioka (ages 12-up)

  • Have readers follow current events in newspapers and news magazines for the month of December.  Ask them to collect articles that both celebrate and violate human rights.   At the end of the month, sponsor an essay contest called “Human Rights: The State of the World.”
  • Ask readers to make a bibliography of books that best represent each of the thirty articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Encourage them to include books fro all ages.  Post the bibliography on the school or public library’s website so that others might join in the celebration.   To get them started, introduce the following books from Random House and ask them to discuss which article applies:

As Good as Anybody by Richard Michelson & illus. by Raul Colon (ages  6-10)

Autumn Winifred Oliver Does Things Different by Kristin O’Donnell   Tubb (ages 8-12)

Children of the River by Linda Crew (ages 12-up)

Fish by L.S. Matthews (ages 10-up)

Goodbye, Vietnam by Gloria Whelan (ages 8-12)

Half and Half by Lensey Namioka (ages 8-12)

Heaven Eyes by David Almond (ages 10-up)

How the Children Stopped the Wars by Jan Wahl (ages 8-up)

How Tia Lola Learned to Teach by Julia Alvarez (ages 8-12)

Mambo Point by Kurtis Scaletta (ages 9-14)

The Red Umbrella by Christine Gonzalez (ages 10-up)

Waiting for Biblioburro by Monica Brown & illus by John Parra  (ages 4-6)