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A Word from Pat Scales

February: A Month of Birthdays

January 30, 2012

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.