Resources

Celebrate February


Black History Month: What began as Negro History Week in 1926 is now Black History Month. An extensive resource for older students (parents may want to preview content) can be found at InfoPlease. For the younger set, look to Enchanted Learning for biographies, activities, and a timeline of African-American History.


Dental Health Month: Is there anything quite as nice as a friendly smile? During this month when kids are sure to be eating Valentine's candy, a little encouragement in proper dental hygiene can't hurt. The American Dental Association (who else?) offers lots of free help through classroom ideas and resources.


Library Lovers Month: Can it be that there's a special month for loving your library? While most of us love our library year-round, this could be the perfect time to donate books to your library, join Friends of the Library, write a thank-you note to your librarian, or teach your kids how to use the Dewey Decimal System. Or just lounge around the library for the afternoon and lug home giant armloads of books!


Groundhog Day (Feb. 2): According to German tradition, if the sun comes out on Candlemas (the forerunner to Groundhog Day), the hedgehog will see its shadow and six more weeks of winter will follow. German settlers in Pennsylvania continued this tradition, using groundhogs instead of hedgehogs. The first Groundhog Day was held in 1886. For Groundhog Day lesson plans and activities, go here.


Inventor's Day (Feb. 11): Inventor's Days are celebrated around the world. In the U.S., it's held in conjunction with the birthday of Thomas Edison, inventor of the lightbulb. From here, you can get to the National Inventor's Hall of Fame (check out their contests for students!), find inventions mini-unit studies, learn about different inventors, and more.


Valentine's day (Feb. 14): Check out the History Channel online for, yes, the history of Valentine's Day, and much more. Includes Valentine's facts (parents may want to screen first) and stories about some of history’s most romantic couples, including Harry and Bess Truman, Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Jackie and Rachel Robinson.


President's day (Feb. 20): George Washington's birthday has been officially observed since 1796 and Abraham Lincoln’s since 1865. Now Americans hold a joint birthday party for these two beloved heads-of-state on the third Monday of February. For ideas on how you can celebrate, go to the lesson plans (for grades 6-12) at Patriotism.org or check out Kids Domain.