Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
1, 2011 - Volume 9 Number 4
by Paul and Vicki
San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians
The San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians is a federally
recognized American Indian tribe located near the city of
Highland, Calif. The Serrano Indians are the indigenous people
of the San Bernardino highlands, passes, valleys and mountains
who share a common language and culture.
Band Potawatomi Nation
As a sovereign Nation, we shall ensure self-sufficiency that
respects diversity and equality while working within a spirit
of cooperation and fairness for a high standard of living and
quality of life.
As a sovereign Nation we shall strive to provide an environment
of improved well-being for our people including education, health,
safety, and welfare while valuing our culture, traditions, and
As a sovereign Nation we shall accomplish this for all generations
with a system of value-based management to respect all views.
Plimoth Plantation, a bicultural museum, offers powerful personal
encounters with history built on thorough research about the
Wampanoag People and the Colonial English community in the
1600s. Our exhibits, programs, live interpreters, and historic
settings encourage a new level of understanding about present-day
issues affecting communities around the world.
In honor of April's appointment as National Humor Month, today's
topic is clean, funny jokes. National Humor Month was founded
in 1976 by author Larry Wilde, who chose April because of
its frequently bleak weather, the fact that it begins with
April Fool's Day and to counteract the stress of taxes being
due on the April 15.
"What do you get if you cross a spider and an elephant?
I'm not sure, but if you see one walking across the ceiling
then run before it collapses!" With an emphasis on animal
jokes, there are pages and pages of kid-friendly jokes and riddles
here at 101 Kidz. Visit for jokes about chickens, dinosaurs,
elephants, cats, insects, spiders and flies. A few of these
animals have their categories listed on the main joke page.
For the rest of the animals, you will need to page through the
Animal Jokes section, looking for the sub-categories.
Knock Knock Jokes!
As good comedians know, how a joke is presented is just as important
as the joke itself. I like the presentation at AzKidsNet because
the punchline is hidden until you make it appear. On the Knock
Knock Jokes pages, simply hover over "Who's There?"
to see the question, and then move over to "Answer"
to see the punchline. The other joke pages, such as Elephant
Jokes, Riddles and Brainteasers, use a variety of different
(but easy to use) click and hover techniques to keep the answers
hidden until you are ready for them.
Jokes: You Quack Me Up!
The navigation at Ducksters is simple, but it works. The jokes
and riddles are divided into twenty-nine categories and subcategories.
Some of the more unusual ones are Tree Jokes, Occupation Jokes
and Geography Jokes. "What has five eyes and is lying on
the water? The Mississippi River!" "Where do pianists
go for vacation? Florida Keys!" "What rock group has
four men that don't sing? Mount Rushmore!" Ha ha ha!
Does your name have its own knock knock joke? Mine does. "Knock,
knock. Who's there? Barbara. Barbara who? Barbara black sheep,
have you any wool?" Scatty's collection tops 12,898 jokes
in more than a dozen categories. Some topics are tried-and-true
favorites such as Riddles, Doctor Doctor and Knock Knock, while
others are novel categories such as Internet Jokes, Fairy Tale
Jokes, Boy Jokes and Girl Jokes.
Kids: Jokes & Humor
"What do you get if you cross a giraffe and a hedgehog?
A very tall toothbrush!" "What do you call a chicken
from outer space? An egg-straterrestial!" You can scroll
through Yahoo's 2110 jokes seven at a time, or choose one
of ten categories, and peruse them in smaller batches. To
find more joke sites in the Yahoo! Kids Directory, click on
any keyword in the tag cloud in the right-hand column.
Zoology is the branch of biology that studies animal life.
Whether you are looking for cute animal pictures to delight
your preschooler, or are researching a high-school biology
report, these animal kingdom sites should fit the bill.
Museum of Natural History: Ology: Zoology
The kids' section of the American Museum of National History
(for elementary and middle-school kids) covers all kinds of
"ology" including anthropology, marine biology, palenotology
and this zoology section. Visit to explore Extreme Mammals,
Butterfly Kingdom, or to make a horse gait flipbook. With quizzes,
sing-alongs, crafts projects, experiments and online games,
this engaging site is a sure hit.
The FieldGuides to more than 5,500 species of animals and plants
are the core content here at eNature. The species are searchable
by keyword, color, size, region and even zip code! For kid stuff,
mouse on over to Fun & Games, where you'll find quizzes
(Do you know scat?) and species flash cards to embed on your
own website. These flash cards are snippets of code you can
paste on your website or blog that will display a photo and
a description of an animal. Great for online school reports
or just for showing off your favorite animals.
Being a cat person, the first feature that grabbed my attention
was Little Kitties for Big Cats. Want to see your little kitty
featured on the site? Share a snapshot of your cat, along with
a minimum $5 donation to National Geographic's Big Cats Initiative.
Cute, cute ,cute, and all for a good cause! Other worthwhile
sections include Animals A-Z (quick fact pages) and the animal
Meet the animals at the National Zoo by visiting the Photo Galleries,
Live Cams or the virtual Exhibits. The Photo Galleries are organized
in a variety of ways, some by species (Giant Pandas), and others
by topic (Backyard Biology) or geography (North America.) The
twenty Live Cams are a perennial favorite, but remember you
need to visit during E.S.T. daylight hours. Here's a short list
of a few of animals you'll find on the webcams: pandas, sloth
bears, naked mole rates, orangutans, tigers, gorillas and lion
of Michigan: Animal Diversity Web
"Animal Diversity Web (ADW) is an online database of
animal natural history, distribution, classification, and
conservation biology at the University of Michigan."
It includes a comprehensive, searchable encyclopedia, a virtual
museum, and a parallel site for upper-elementary students
called BioKIDS. To reach BioKIDS, click on Teaching / Resources
for K-12 and then follow the link in the opening paragraph.
Other worthwhile links at ADW include Spinning Skulls (QuickTime
VR movies of mammal skulls) and Frog Calls. "Advertisement
calls are the loud calls that male frogs make to attract females.
These are the familiar calls most people are familiar with."
Opera is a form of musical theater that started in Italy at
the end of the sixteenth century, and differs from modern
dramas in that all the words are sung, instead of spoken.
The opera's story is told through the libretto (the lyrics),
the musical score, and acting as well as dancing. Armed with
just a little knowledge, an opera doesn't have to be intimidating.
Kids Education Foundation: Hansel and Gretel: Learning about
This wonderfully illustrated interactive activity walks us
through an opera experience, and is my pick of the week. First
comes the program, the overture, and then dance music that
"sounds like happy kids jumping!" You become the
choreographer as you control Hansel and Gretel's dance steps,
or a set designer choosing a backdrop. After the opera, go
backstage for teacher resources, an operatic glossary, fairy
tale resources, and a voice studio where you'll learn about
Introduction to the Metropolitan Opera
This one-page summary tells the history of New York's Metropolitan
Opera, and in the left-hand sidebar, you'll find an illustrated,
audio timelime of the famous opera house. But my favorite
clicks (also found in the sidebar) are Sounds of the Met and
Stories of the Operas. Sounds of the Met is a collection of
more than 200 audio clips, some dating back to the late nineteenth
century. Stories of the Operas is a database of operatic stories
(with performance video clips), listed by title and composer.
Once available only as a four-CD set, "Opera for Everyone
by Ira Ross" is now available as a free download. Each
album features a different opera: The Barber of Seville, La
Traviata, Carmen and Madama Butterfly. "Each CD tells
the story in two ways, first with words and then with music.
Ira Ross begins each CD with an introduction to the opera
and to the overture. He then describes the action of the first
major episode and suggests what to listen for in the related
music. This is followed by the music. This sequence is repeated
for each additional major episode in the opera: narration
- music - etc."
Mania: Short Guide to Learning and Loving Opera
With simple advice on how to "learn" an opera and
a short list of recommended first operas, this one-page guide
serves as a beginner's introduction to opera. Opera Mania
recommends starting with a summary of the story line, and
then reading the libretto. "Once you are familiar with
the plot, it is time to hear the music. Let yourself go by
the feelings it arises, without going through a rational analysis
San Jose: Study Guide
"Opera is an art form similar to a play in which a story
is being told to an audience. In opera, however, the entire
story, including the dialogue between characters and sometimes
even the inner thoughts of those characters, is sung, not spoken."
Download this PDF study guide from the Opera San Jose to learn
a little about how opera singers project their voices for up
to three hours without any amplification, and about the six
ranges of operatic voices: soprano, mezzo-soprano, contralto,
tenor, baritone, and bass.
Patrick's Day Crafts
For a wee bit of green fun in celebration of St. Patrick's
Day, here's a roundup of creative craft projects. Most are
easily made with materials you already have at home or in
the classroom, and many are simple enough for the tiniest
St. Patrick's Day Crafts for Kids
These fun and easy St. Patrick's Day crafts are listed by
subject, including leprechaun, pot of gold, shamrock, and
rainbow. Each illustrated craft recipe includes a recommended
minimum age, a materials list, and (of course) instructions.
Most include printable templates in both color and black and
white (for those who wish to color their own crafts.) And,
best of all, the instructions are available in a printable
format (look for the highlighted link at the bottom of each
Fun: St. Patrick's Day Crafts & Recipes Gallery
"You don't need luck to find great St. Patrick's Day
crafts and recipes." The photos here are gorgeous, and
every craft and cupcake simply jumps off the screen. You can
peruse the gallery by clicking through the photo slideshow,
or find the tiny View All icon. More St. Patrick's Day fun,
including games and printables, can be found in the St. Patrick's
menu on the left.
St. Patrick's Day Activities and Crafts
For preschool and kindergarten kids, First School provides
printable crafts (and lesson plans) for St. Patrick's Day
and Irish American Heritage Month. In addition to the craft
instructions, the activities include reference links to articles
about shamrocks, the history of St. Patrick's Day, and other
related topics. "Shamrock: (three leaves) is the national
emblem of Ireland. Lucky Four-Leaf Clover: when a rare four
leaflet occurs in a clover it is said to be lucky and the
leaves represent hope, faith, love and the fourth one, luck."
Kids Crafts: St. Patrick's Day Crafts
Shamrock Man with googly eyes, Paper Plate Leprechaun, and
St. Pat's Rainbow Loops are just a few of the thirteen illustrated
craft projects listed at Free Kids Crafts. Additionally, on
the second page of the St. Patrick's Day section, they have
a collection of links to St. Patrick's Day crafts at other
sites. Looking for a steady stream of new craft ideas? On
the front page of the site, Free Kids Crafts features a new
craft every day. Click on the calendar for an archive of previous
St. Patrick's Day Crafts
With both video instruction and illustrated how-to articles,
Kaboose has St. Patrick's Day crafts covered! In addition
to the crafts showcased on this page, you'll find party ideas,
recipes, printables and a St. Patrick's Day quiz by following
the link to the main St. Patrick's Day page (in the opening
paragraph.) My favorite click is Wearable Crafts, where you'll
find instructions for Shamrock Rings, a Felt Leprechaun Hat
and a Paper Chain Shamrock Necklace.
The Tyrannosaurus rex, affectionately called T. rex, was one
of the largest land-based carnivores of all time. It weighed
about six tons, stood fifteen feet tall, had a nose-to-toe
length of about forty feet and lived during the late Cretaceous
SUE, on display at the Field Museum in Chicago, is the largest
and most complete dinosaur skeleton ever discovered. She was
discovered in 1990 at a dig in South Dakota, by amateur fossil
hunter Sue Hendrikson. Although T. rex SUE is often referred
to as "she" (because of her name), paleontologists
have not yet determined her gender. Best educational clicks
are found in Explore More (photo and video galleries) and
Behind the Scenes (All about SUE and Science of SUE.)
Teachers: Dinosaurs: T. Rex
Dinosaur expert Don Lessem answers two dozen T. rex questions
posed by elementary students. "How many teeth did T.
rex have?" "Could an allosaurus kill and eat a T.
rex?" "How do we know that the Tyrannosaurus rex
was the meanest dinosaur?" Below the Q&As, you'll
find links to an online dinosaur activity, related articles,
and a lesson plan titled "If You Meet a Dinosaur"
(based on the book "If You Meet a Dragon" by Joy
Netlinks: Was T. Rex a Slow Poke?
In the popular sci-fi movie Jurassic Park, a T. rex is seen
running as fast a Jeep could drive. But in real life, how
fast could a Tyrannasaurus actually run? This audio podcast
(and transcription) describes how scientists have tackled
the issue of T. rex speed. "The bigger you are, the more
leg muscle mass you need to run fast. But all that extra leg
muscle can weigh you down, which in turn makes it harder to
run. In other words, the math starts working against you ...
Despite this, many scientists have estimated that the enormous
T. rex could run at speeds up to 45 miles per hour."
of California Museum of Paleontology: The Tyrant Lizards
"A current topic in paleontology that has received much
popular press is the question of whether T. rex (or other
Tyrannosauridae in general) were predators or scavengers.
Let's explore this issue." This one-page overview from
the paleontologists at UC Berkeley, provides a summary of
what is known about these huge dinosaurs, and introduces current
issues. The museum has a dinosaur speed page (linked to from
within this article) that explores evidence that is helping
scientists determine how fast these huge beasts might have
of Kentucky: Draw T. Rex
"The instructor and students will use the appearance
of modern animals to reconstruct what an ancient animal, a
Tyrannosaurus rex may have looked like when it was living."
Created by Stephen F. Greb, of the Kentucky Geological Survey
at University of Kentucky, this fun science lesson (for grades
four and up) demonstrates "how scientists determine what
prehistoric animals looked like based on their bones."
It includes four PDF worksheets, including a skeleton sketch
of a dinosaur head to be used to draw a Tyrannosaurus rex.
At the bottom of the page, you'll find half-a-dozen links
to more online resources.
When your sheep's wool is long and curly, do you sheer it
or shear it? When tired, do you lay down or lie down for a
nap? Even native English speakers can be confused by homonyms
and words that some teachers call "confusables."
Grammar: Index of Commonly Confused Words
About.com's Grammar and Composition Guide, Richard Nordquist,
defines over 200 sets of commonly confused words. From A ("A,
An, And") to Y ("Your, You're"), each word is
defined, an example provided, and a few practice fill-in-the-blank
sentences included. Don't miss The Big Quiz, which tests 50
sets of "confusables." To view the quiz without any
ads (or to print it), use the Print icon in the upper right-hand
Writing Tips: Misused Words
"If most people's employment of the word 'literally' doesn't
drive you mad, you're probably guilty of a few misuses yourself.
It's one of the most common complaints of the grammar-savvy."
Daily Writing Tips is a delightful blog about writing skills.
This particular page is an index to all their posts about misused
words. It is full of treasures such as "Epiphany or Mere
Realization", "Hordes of People Shouldn't Hoard",
and "Literally the Worst Mistake You Could Ever Make."
Related categories (listed in the left-hand menu) include Spelling,
Vocabulary and Grammar 101.
Book: Confusing Words and Homonyms
Jane Straus, author of "The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation,"
provides four pages of words that frequently cause confusion.
Some words are simply defined, but others include grammar rules,
sample sentences, and the occasional usage chart. The site also
includes two interactive ten-question quizzes on the subject.
To find them, click on FREE Online Quizzes in the left-hand
nav menu, and look for More Confusing Words and Homonyms Quiz
1 and Quiz 2.
Top 10 Commonly Confused Words
Designed as a slide show in ten parts, each word or phrase pair
is presented as a question. "If you treat convention with
disdain, are you flouting or flaunting the rules?" "If
you receive an appropriate punishment, did you get your just
deserts or just desserts?" Other amusing Top 10 lists are
displayed at the bottom of each page. Be sure to check out Top
10 Most Frequently Searched Words on M-W.com. "Although
certain definitions spike in our search results based on current
events (see Trend Watch), this list presents the eternally vexing
words that remain among the most looked up over time."
101: Confusable Words Practice
Created by a newspaper journalist and a journalism professor,
these thirteen practice quizzes are organized alphabetically.
By default the questions are displayed one at a time, but in
the right-hand corner there is an option to display all questions
at once. Each question is a sentence with a choice of two words
to fill-in-the-blank. "Edit your work carefully to ENSURE,
INSURE accuracy." "She is a DISCREET, DISCRETE person,
known for her tact."
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were nineteenth-century Germans who
set out to preserve their country's oral folk tales by writing
them down. The stories were often cruel, but once the brothers
saw how popular the tales were with young readers, they started
making them softer, sweeter and more moral.
Books: Grimm's Fairy Tales
Google Books brings us a 367-page online ebook reproduction
of "Grimm's Fairy Tales" edited by Frances Jenkins
Olcott, illustrated by Rie Cramer, and published by The Penn
Publishing in 1927. Because the original book was scanned,
the type isn't as sharp (or as easy to read) as an HTML page,
but there is something endearing about reading this ninety-year
old book online. It includes classics such as Rapunzel, Hansel
and Gretel, Snow White and Rumpelstiltskin.
Perfect for preschoolers and early elementary grades, this
site features Flash books with pages that turn with a mouse
click, and audio narration that can be turned on or off. "Read
and hear interactive, narrated, animated stories. ... Grimm
Brothers cartoon characters present a biography of Jacob Ludwig
Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm. Online books link to e-learning,
coloring downloads, arts, flash games, and other kidstuff."
Geographic: Grimms' Fairy Tales
"Looking for a sweet, soothing tale to waft you toward
dreamland? Look somewhere else! The stories collected by Jacob
and Wilhelm Grimm in the early 1800s serve up life as generations
of central Europeans knew it capricious and often cruel. "
National Geographic serves up a graphically-rich adventure
into twelve "unvarnished" Grimm fairy tales, some
of which include audio. Click on the treasure box for a biography,
resource links, and a kid's activity page.
Storynory storyteller Natasha Gostwick reads sixteen Grimm
fairy tales, for your enjoyment at the computer, or for downloading
to your MP3 player. "Our stories have brought harmony
in place of strife on the back seats of cars all over the
world. Next time you travel with the family, take Storynory
with you." Each illustrated story page includes both
the audio version and a transcription, so your early reader
can read along, or you can read to your preschooler.
Fairy Tales: Household Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
SurLaLune's collection of 200 Grimm stories (translated by
Margaret Hunt in 1884) include several unique features. First,
each fairy tale includes extensive notes by the Grimm brothers
(also translated by Hunt), and many of the tales also have
a hyperlinked annotated version on a separate page. In the
Annotated Tales section of the site, the editor recommends
"reading the entire story before exploring the annotations,
especially if you have not read the tale recently."
America's sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln (February 12,
1809 - April 15, 1865) is revered for ending slavery, and
preserving the Union by winning the Civil War. But perhaps
he is best known for his Gettysburg Address of 1863 and being
the first assassinated U.S. president. Learn more at these
top Lincoln sites.
The Lincoln Institute, funded by The Lehrman Institute, publishes
seven educational sites about the sixteenth president, including
Mr. Lincoln's Whitehouse, Mr. Lincoln and Freedom, and Mr.
Lincoln's Classroom. You can see the entire list under Projects
(from the main horizontal nav menu.) The sites include extensive
quotes from many primary sources, but also list easier-to-find
secondary sources in the bibliographies for students wanting
to dig deeper. Do you "like" Abe Lincoln? Join in
the Institute's plan to get 10 million Facebook fans for Lincoln
by liking their Facebook page.
Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum: Timeline
Although there are other educational resources at the Lincoln
Presidential Library & Museum, this one is my favorite
for students. It is an interactive timeline of Lincoln's life,
starting with his birth on February 12, 1809 outside of Hodgenville,
KY, and ending in with his burial in Springfield, IL on May
4, 1865. To traverse the timeline, start with the decades
in the upper menu, then look for the years and months in the
lower menu. "1856: Lincoln joins the Republican Party.
The party adopts an anti-slavery platform, which has become
an important issue to Lincoln."
Lincoln Research Site
Roger Norton begins with this introduction, "I am not
an author or a historian; rather I am a former American history
teacher who enjoys researching Abraham Lincoln's life and
accomplishments." A great site for both middle-school
and high-school students researching school projects, it is
organized into three sections: Lincoln's Assassination, Abraham
Lincoln Research Site and Mary Todd Lincoln Research Site.
All of the interior pages have a Jump To menu in the upper-left,
which I found to be the best way to discover the all the nooks
and crannies of these three sites.
Place: Abraham Lincoln
This single page illustrated time line of Lincoln's life begins
in 1637 when Lincoln's ancestors arrived from England to settle
in Hingham, Massachusetts. Easy to read, it is peppered with
personal tidbits such as "1817 - In February, Abraham,
age seven, shoots a wild turkey but suffers great remorse
and never hunts game again," and "1841 - January
1, breaks off engagement with Mary Todd. Has episode of depression."
of Congress: Gettysburg Address
In 1863, David Wills, a Pennsylvania judge, was given the
task of "cleaning up the horrible aftermath of the [Civil
War] battle" at Gettysburg. Wills acquired seventeen
acres for a national cemetery and three weeks before its dedication,
invited President Lincoln to "formally set apart these
grounds to their sacred use by a few appropriate remarks."
Lincoln's brief remarks at the cemetery on November 19, 1863
became one of the most memorable presidential speeches ever
given. Can you recite it? "Four score and seven years
ago . . ."
Students And Teachers Against Racism
announces their new website that offers insight into the Native
American perspective to teachers and educators.
Winds Advocacy Center
Through presentations, classroom sessions, curriculum, fund
raising, charitable works, and multi-media efforts, we seek
to raise public awareness of the stereotyping, discrimination,
racism and other unique situations facing Native Americans.