Saturday, August 31, 2013

Michael Dooling Author/Artist/Teacher/Historian on TeachersPayTeachers!

I'm baaaack! What a crazy summer it's been! And of course, much too short. The days seemed very long with the sun setting around 8:30 on the longest day. Now, I hear the crickets' August chirps that always remind me of autumn. When we were kids, summers seemed endless!

Awhile ago, I introduced Michael Dooling, a well known author/artist/historian and teacher. He's had over 60 books published and has illustrated MANY books by other authors. What's really great is he has a TeachersPayTeachers store!  His books are very well known and you'll probably recognize the titles. What I love are the themes woven throughout the books. Courage, strength, determination, honesty, hard work and more. 

Michael created a FREE packet of activities aligned with the Common Core Standards (Informational and Literature) based on his book Young Thomas Edison. 

The packet has an article about the book with activities based on the article.

The activities are aligned with grades 4 and 5, but can be used with third and sixth grade students. Teachers, today, have wide ranges of reading levels in their classes and must have materials to meet their students' needs.

The student worksheets have images of Michael's original paintings that are so real looking, I thought they were photos at first. What's really amazing is the children and people in his paintings are his daughters and neighborhood children. 

Young Thomas Edison is about challenges young Edison faced when he was growing up. Did you know Edison had a hearing impairment? Yes! But despite his handicap, he persevered!

His teacher called him "addled" so his mother took him out of school and home-schooled him. I bet he was ADD or ADHD, but that long ago, there was no diagnosis or assistance in the classroom.

With hard work and determination, Edison reached for the stars and his dream of turning on lights around the world came true. I'm glad the lightbulb was invented because I really can't see myself reading by oil lamp lights.  :)

The article's ready to print worksheets also have pictures of his inventions. Kids today have no idea that many of the inventions they use are sophisticated updates of Edison's early inventions. The Kinectoscope is the ancestor of movies today. Can you imagine watching a movie by looking down into a wooden box? I'd end up wearing a neck brace!

Why am I excited about this free packet of ready to print student worksheets?

1) The youth of today, should be aware of Americans who set goals and worked hard to attain them.

2) Young people need good role models.

3) It will encourage young people to read other biographies and autobiographies.

4) Young people might relate to the challenges Edison faced as a young boy and learn there are ways to overcome them.

5) It encourages a love of history and science.

6)  It encourages young people to use their imaginations to create and build things. 

Click on the cover for this incredible FREE packet of activities. 

photo of Young Thomas Edison by Michael Dooling,, historical fiction, Common Core,  science, author

Michael's  latest packet, also aligned with the Common Core, is called George Washington's Army and  Me.  I must admit I'm very partial to stories about George Washington because I've taught the American Revolution for a number of years. My sister also lives in Washington Crossing, PA, a mile from where Washington crossed the Delaware River, on Christmas Eve, to attack the Hessian troops in Trenton, New Jersey.The Hessians were hired by the British to bolster their troops.

I've stood in the spot where Washington and his soldiers crossed the river and it takes my breath away. I close my eyes and see his exhausted troops struggling as they attempt to march in blizzard conditions. They had little food and didn't have the clothing we wear when there are severe weather conditions.

It makes me very proud and grateful to think they made the dangerous crossing because they were true to the cause and believed in freedom. What was it that made them so very brave that they were willing to lay down their lives for this country?

If only we could take a time machine ride back to that very day. To experience it, to hear the sounds of the sleet pummeling the trees, the raging river and the ice blanketing the soldiers who looked like ghostly apparitions. They barely had the energy to slip silently aboard the Durham boats, to make the crossing with the raging icy river growling and snarling at them. Did they they think about their fate or were they too numb mentally and physically?

This is the reason I was enthralled when I saw Michael's George Washington's Army and Me article on TeachersPayTeachers. Not only that, I learned something new!

Who would have thought the wives and children of the soldiers followed Washington's Army during the American Revolutionary War? It's unimaginable to think they just up and left their homes. The soldiers' wives were afraid of being left alone and feared they and their children might starve to death or be killed by the enemy.

Did they follow them to the Delaware and witness the crossing? What was it like to tell your children their father was marching off to war and they were going to follow the army? How does one feel about holding their children's fate in their hands, not knowing if they'd be injured or killed? 

The book centers around a young boy, Elijah, who brings the story alive! Kids connect with him as the story unfolds.

Just like Young Thomas Edison, the article about George Washington's Army and Me has activities  aligned with the Common Core. 

The pictures magnificently tell the story and are featured on the student worksheets. The 30 page packet also provides lessons to encourage students to examine the illustrations for details. It's great practice for students who are new to working with nonfiction text features.

What else does it offer? A map of The Thirteen Colonies with questions. This is a perfect way to integrate social studies with ELA. 

Little did I know that the children who lived during that time, played a game called "Draughts". Today we know the game as "Checkers" . 

Included in the packet is a ready to print checkerboard AND the checkers are King George III coins and George Washington Coins! Just cut out the checkerboard, paste to cardboard, laminate and students can play "Draughts".

Even if a state has opted out of the Common Core, the articles are aligned with the majority of state ELA and social studies curricula.

Click on the cover to see this great article and packet of activities! :)

photo of George Washington's Army and Me, PDF, Michael Dooliing,, Common Core Informational text

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