Earth Day is April 22nd. Check out this Earth Day Webquest

Arbor Day is April 29th. Check out this Arbor Day Webquest

William Shakespeare Day is 4/23. Check out this Reader's Theater Script on Shakespeare

National Pretzel Day is 4/26. Check out this Reading Passage on the History of the Pretzel!

Everything has a History, even TULIPS.Check out this Reading Passage on Tulips!

FAKE News!Can you Tell The REAL News?

New Book: Fashion Rules!

New Book:Mrs. Paddington and the Silver Mousetraps

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Reader's Theater Scripts(Biographies in Ancient History):
Reader's Theater Scripts (Biographies in US History)

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Is That FAKE News?

Anti-Bullying Resources

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Bell Ringers!

In the News!
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Mrs. Portulaca Purpilopilis

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The Wooden Cookie Box Story The Wooden Cookie Box

DBQ Activities!

Facts to Wow your Friends!

World Landmarks: Lots of fun things to use with your students!

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Geography Activities

Geography Ideas!

Purpleannie's Travels

Crossword Puzzles!

Short Reads of interest

Dive into Career Choices

Teaching Tips A-Z

Mrs. Waffenschmidt
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Gail Hennessey

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"Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

Eleanor Roosevelt

"If I can not do great things, I can do small things in a great way."Martin Luther King Jr.

"The school is the last expenditure upon which America should be willing to compromise."FDR

"If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest."(Ben Franklin)

"You must be the change you want to see in the world."(Mahatma Gandhi)

"School is a building that has four walls-with tomorrow inside."(Lon Watters)

"We know the future will outlast all of us, but I believe that all of us will live on in the future we make."(Senator Ted Kennedy)

"The purpose of life is a life of purpose." (Robert Byrne)

"The purpose of life is to amount to something and have it make some difference that you lived at all."(Dear Abby)

My latest article just came out in the January issue of Highlights for Children! I interviewed Sunniva Sorby and Hilde Falun Strom, two women Arctic Explorers(first female team to solo at the North Pole). After a brutal winter and having to extend their time at the pole due to the Coronavirus, Sunniva and Hilde returned home after 14 months. WOW,these two brave citizen scientists have since RETURNED to the Arctic for another winter at the Arctic to observe and collect data.

8/1/2020: My latest book, Fashion Rules!, my latest book from Red Chair Press, is now available for purchase:
Fashion Rules!

11/2020: Mrs. Paddington and the Silver Mousetraps has won another children's book award,a Northern Lights Book Award Winner! Thank you!

7/2020:Mrs. Paddington and the Silver Mousetraps won a 1st place Purple Dragonfly Book Award in the Picture Books 6 & Older category. Thank you, Story Monsters!

3/24/20:Excited to have my latest children's book, Mrs. Paddington and the Silver Mousetraps, chosen as a 2019 Story Monster Approved winner!

Check out Mrs. Paddington and the Silver Mousetraps which is available at and Mrs. Paddington and the Silver Mousetraps

History is full of fascinating stories of colorful characters, but some of the most interesting parts of history are really odd. You have probably seen scenes of government officials with their powdered white wigs, but in 1700s England and high-society in the American colonies, women created towering hairstyles. Decorations such as ships and flowers were sometimes added to their hairdos, especially if attending a big party. Taking hours to create, women used beef tallow and sugar-water to keep their hairdos in place. This fictional account explains a very real fashion trend and the problems it created for women trying to look stylish!

Highlighted FREEBIES for APRIL:

A. April Fools' Day Pranks:April Fools' Day Freebie. Spot the Fake Stories
B. Tulips: Tulips, Freebie
C. FAKE News: Fake News, A Freebie
D. TREES(great for Arbor Day) Interactive Notebook Activity: Trees, Factoids(INA)
E. Earth Day: Possible Interactive Notebook Activity: Earth Day Freebie
F. Holocaust Rememberance Day: 4/20 Holocaust Memorial Photograph Activity
G. World Book Day and National Library Day are in April: World Book Day Factoids
H. World Elephant Day is in April: Elephant Fun Fact Freebie
Hans Christian Andersen: Hans Christian Andersen Freebie

Highlighted Resources for APRIL:

1. Learn lots of fun facts with this Exploring the Ocean Blue: A Web quest.There are nine informative web questions. Fun Facts, comprehension questions, extension activities and links.Use as part of a unit on oceans or as an activity for a Friday or before a vacation break. Skills include:reading for information and using research/computer skills. National Week of the Ocean(May 3-5)Exploring the Ocean Blue, A Webquest

2. The Library of Congress, called our Nation's Library has over 33 million books. Learn more about the Nation's Library with this fun and informative webquest. Skills include:reading for information and using research/computer skills. National Library Day April 15th and Library of Congress Day, April 24thLibrary of Congress, A Webquest
3. Save the Elephant day is April 16th Did you know that every 15 minutes a poacher kills an African elephant?Kenya had about 170,000 elephants 30 years ago-now it's 30,000! Did you know that the elephant has the largest brain of the animal world?This informative webquest has extension activities, additional trivia and the key. Skills include:reading for information and using research/computer skills.Elephants, A Webquest

4. History of Candy. Licorice Day is April 12th. Great for a Friday or before a vacation...Show your students that even candy has a history! Learn facts including marshmallows date back to 2000 BC and King Tut's Tomb contained licorice. Several additional resources and extension activities, too. Skills include:reading for information and using research/computer skills.History of Candy, A Webquest
Also, learn about the history of Marshmallows!History of Marshmallows!

5. Earth Day! Learn about the history of Earth Day and, our planet, EARTH, with this informative web quest. There are 15 web questions as well as comprehension questions and a Did You Know? fun fact section. The teacher page includes extension activities, the key, and additional links. Planet Earth, A Webquest

6. Studying the ocean? Looking for a resource for Earth Day or World Ocean Day? Introduce your students to Jacques Cousteau with this informative Reader's Theater Script. Oceanographer, photographer, scientist, inventor, writer and filmmaker, Cousteau spent his life studying the oceans and the marine life that lived in the oceans. Part of Ms. Bie Ografee Talk Show Series(extensions/comprehension questions, Did You Know?, key):Jacques Cousteau, A Reader's Theater Script

7. April 23rd is William Shakespeare's birthday. Considered to be the greatest writer of the English language, learn about William Shakespeare with this fun/informative play. Shakespeare introduced about 3000 words to the English language . It is said that next to the Bible, his works are the most quoted! Great for Language Arts, study on the Renaissance or on a Friday or day before a holiday when you'd like to introduce your students to famous people with a biography activity.The fun/informative play uses the format of Shakespeare being a guest on a talk show and the studio audience asks questions about his life. Part of my Ms. Bie Ografee's Talk Show Series. Also includes: Comprehension/Did You Know?section, LOTS of extension activities/links/key: William Shakespeare, a Reader's Theater Script

8. Arbor Day is 4/30: Learn about the history of Arbor Day and all about trees with this web quest. There are 11 web questions, a Did You Know? section, comprehension questions and a teacher section with keys, additional links and lots(11 extension activities). This could also be something to use with EARTH DAY, when you are studying TREES and, of, course, for ARBOR DAY. Arbor Day, A Webquest

9. Learn about Rachel Carson: A Biologist and marine zoologist, Carson's books shared her love of nature, especially the ocean and its inhabitants. Her book, Silent Spring, sparked concern in how chemical pesticides were harming our environment. Carson helped to start the environmental movement in our country, which led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This Reader's Theater Script could be used as a STEM biography any time of year or especially during the time of Earth Day or Arbor Day.Rachel Carson, A Reader's Theater Script

10. April 26th is National Pretzel Day! Use this reading passage to show students that everything has a history, even pretzels! The resource includes a reading passage, a Did You Know? section of fun facts about pretzels. For example: Baldies are what saltless pretzels are called! There is also a short map skill activity to show students the location of where pretzels originated. There are comprehension questions and a teacher page with extension activities and links. Everything Has a History, Even Pretzels(Reading Passage)

11. Hans Christian Andersen's birthday is 4/12: Students in grades 4 and up will have fun acting out their parts and learning some interesting facts about fairy tale writer, Hans Christian Andersen. Comprehension questions, discussion questions, extension activities and resources are included.Hans Christian Andersen, A Reader's Theater Script

12. History of Tulips: With spring, comes the sprouting of tulips. Tulips have a very interesting history. Sharing information about the history of the tulip is a great way to show kids that EVERYTHING has a history. Reading passage, Did You Know? fun facts, comprehension questions, Mapskill activity, Teacher page with extension activities and key. History of Tulips(Reading Passage)

READINGS on Famous Women:Phillis Wheatley(poet),Aida De Acosta(first woman to fly a powered aircraft), Sojourner Truth(abolitionist, women's rights activist, author), Joan of Arc,Caroline Herschel, Mary Annings,Aglaonike(Greek Astronomer), Hypatia(First Known Woman Mathematician), Agnodice(First Female Doctor?), Enheduanna(First Known Poet), Sophie Brahe(Astronomer and Horticulturist of the Renaissance), Hildegard of Bingen (first musical play, write/abbess of the Middle Ages), Artemesia(Female Naval Commander-Persian War)

Click here:Gail's TpT Store

Bookmark Bios!Great for a bell ringer activity for Women's History Month.Click here to purchase:Bookmark Bios! Women in Modern Times(1700s on)
Check out FREEBIE of TWO Bookmark Bios:Sample of TWO Bookmark Bios

Use my THINGY letters to have kids write spelling words, vocabulary words or as an art activity! Have students try and guess what some of the THINGY Letters are.(also have Black/White option):ClipArt: Alphabet Thingy Letters!

Check out my series of Children's Books from Aadarsh Publishing!

  • Colour Fairies: Go Go's Flying Lesson
  • Colour Fairies: Yay Yay Gets Her Wand

  • Check out my blog on Education World: Click here:EducationWorld Blogger

    My Latest Reader's Theater Scripts:Go to the link and click "Preview" to see a sample of the Reader's Theater Script you may find of interest:
  • Louisa May Alcott, A Reader's Theater Script
  • Galileo Galilei, A Reader's Theater Script
  • Moon Landing!A Reader's Theater Script
  • Wright Brothers: A Reader's Theater Script
  • World War 2 FEMALE Pilots(WASP)
  • Frederick Douglass
  • Edgar Allan Poe
  • Civil War: Women Soldiers, A Reader's Theater Script
  • Mathew Brady, A Reader's Theater Script
  • Crusades
  • Sir Isaac Newton, A Reader's Theater Script
  • Lewis and Clark: A Reader's Theater Script
  • The Vikings: A Visit with Erik the Red and Leif Eriksson:A Reader's Theater Script
  • Constitution: A Visit with James Madison, "Father of the Constitution: A Reader's Theater Script
  • A Visit with Joshua Crabtree,An American Revolutionary War Tory: A Reader's Theater Script
  • Charles Dickens: A Reader's Theater Script
  • Johnny Appleseed:A Reader's Theater Script
  • Albert Einstein: A Reader's Theater Script
  • Rachel Carson: A Reader's Theater Script
  • Katherine Johnson:Scientist/Mathematician
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • George Washington Carver: The Peanut Man
  • Thomas Edison, A Reader's Theater Script
  • Marie Curie,Scientist
  • Jacques Cousteau, A Reader's Theater Script
  • Revolutionary War Spies(Culper Spy Ring).A Visit with Female Agent 355
  • A California Gold Rush Prospector!
  • Elizabeth Blackwell, First Woman Doctor
  • Susan B. Anthony
  • William Shakespeare
  • Bessie Coleman,Aviator
  • Marian Anderson
  • Leonardo da Vinci,"Renaissance Man!"
  • Michelangelo!
  • Sacagawea
  • Sequoyah
  • Tuskegee Airman!
  • The Bus Ride That Changed History(A Visit with Rosa Parks)
  • Harriet Tubman

  • Simon,A Victim of the Black Death
  • Marco Polo
  • Abraham Lincoln

  • Love Brewster,Interview with a Pilgrim

  • McSean, the Leprechaun, A Reader's Theater Script


    I remember the saying "Sticks and stones may break your bones but names can never hurt you". Personally, I never thought this to be true. Words are very powerful and negative words can hurt-a lot! Each day, thousands of young people experience some sort of bullying, either in words and/or actions. These two sites have great resources which might be of help to classroom teachers, parents and young people:
    Stop Bullying!
    Click here to learn more about Anti-Bullying Activities to use in the classroom.Stand up to Bullying!

    To any young people visiting my website. Please,if you are being bullied, seek help...SPEAK TO AN ADULT today!And, if you SEE something that looks like bullying-SAY something to an adult!

    Check out my Pinterest page to see all my resources in one easy place!Click here to learn more:Gail's Social Studies Emporium(and More)

    IN THE NEWS: 4/15/2020:

    A "Pizzly Bear" is a bear whose parents are a grizzly bear and a grizzly. Due to climate change, there are less and less polar bears and the two types of bear have been mating with one another. With an elongated nose and off-white fur, the pizzly was first stopped in 2006. Since then, additional sighting have been found in Wyoming and Idaho. The offspring of a grizzly and a polar bear are better adapted for warmer climate.

    Photograph from News18

    A city founded by King Tutankhamun's grandfather (King Amenhotep 111) has been unearthed in Luxor, Egypt. Called the "lost golden city", the city dates back 3500 years ago. Archaeologists have begun to unearth Aten, the name of the city, that included roads, a bakery (with ovens and kitchen equipment), workshops and homes. Many artifacts are being discovered at the city including seals with Amenhotep's name, jewelry and pots. Like the Roman city of Pompeii, destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, which when rediscovered shared a wealthy of information on the life of people living in 79 AD, it is believed this ancient city will be sharing much about ancient Egyptians and their way of life. It is hoped that tombs, with mummies and their treasures, will also be unearthed.

    Photograph from BBC

    UPDATE: THIS historic flight has been rescheduled for the week of April 29th.April 11th may be an out-of-this-world historical day. A helicopter on the planet Mars is scheduled to do the first ever flight on another planet! The 4 pound battery powered helicopter "survived" the brutal night temperatures at ,Jezero Crater, site of the flight (-90C or -130F) The worry was such cold temperatures could damage the helicopter named Ingenuity. The flight, dubbed the "Wright Brothers moment on Mars", is expected to hover for about 30 seconds, take some photographs, turn and return to the ground. Interestingly, a small piece of fabric from the Wright Flyer(1903) made the journey from Earth to Mars and is on the Ingenuity helicopter.

    Photograph from NASA

    A most unusual parade in Cairo, Egypt, happened on Saturday, to honor 22 very important mummies(18 kings and 4 queens), including Ramses 2 and Queen Hatshepsut (first female ruler of ancient Egypt). The royal mummies, dating back more than 3000 years in age, made their way through the streets, at sunset, each in specially made golden colored carriages, with their names spelled out in Arabic, English and Hieroglyphics. The processional started with the oldest first, to the youngest mummy. Each mummy was placed in nitrogen capsules for protection and special shock absorbers were installed on the vehicles to prevent a bumpy ride. The parade, called the "Pharaohs' Golden Parade" started with a 21 gun salute to honor the famous mummies. War chariots, pulled by horses were also part of the parade escorting the mummies to their new home. Military music was also played during the parade. Due to the Covid virus, spectators were asked to watch on television and not attend the parade route. The mummies were given the special parade to move them from their current resident at the Egyptian Museum to the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilization.

    Photograph from

    In North Carolina, a stray dog (called Sisu) wanted a buddy. It went into a local Dollar General and tried to take a stuffed purple unicorn. He did this several times(5) before being stopped by animal control. The official took the pooch(and purchased the purple unicorn) to an animal shelter. A photograph of the dog and its fluffy companion was posted on social media and the dog(and his unicorn)soon found a home!

    Photograph from CNN

    You have heard about people finding a message in a bottle, thousands of miles from where the bottle was placed. This week, a bright green surfboard was found, having traveled over 1700 miles from where its owner last rode a wave. Danny Griffiths lost his board four years ago while surfing off the coast of Tasmania. After resurfacing from the water, he couldn't spot his surfboard. Two fishermen, off North Queensland (Australia), found the board, covered in barnacles, took it home and cleaned it up. Griffiths will be getting his board back. It is believed that the ocean currents took the surfboard around New Zealand and to Queensland.

    Photograph from CNN

    About Gail:

    I have retired from teaching after 33 1/2 years in the classroom. Of that time, I taught Grade 6 Social Studies teacher for 31 1/2 years.I earned my BA in early secondary education with a concentration in social studies from SUNY Oneonta, New York, and my MST in social studies education from Binghamton University in New York. In 1988, I was awarded the Outstanding Elementary Social Studies Classroom Teacher of the Year Award from the New York State Council for the Social Studies. Additionally, in 1988, I was also awarded the Outstanding Elementary Social Studies Teacher of the Year Award by the National Council for the Social Studies. I am the author of 8 books for teachers and over 30 books for children(Purple Turtle Series by Aadarsh Publishing). In 2019, my new series of three books, "Odd History" will be published by Red Chair Press.

    My work has appeared in most children's publications including:
    Appleseeds,Scholastic's Super Science,Scholastic's Science World,Highlights for Children,Jack and Jill,National Geographic World, Ranger Rick, Cobblestone, Faces, Muse Magazine,Contact Kids, US Kids,Action Magazine(Scholastic),Girls' Life,Boys' Life,American Girl, Instructor,Creative Classroom,Middle Years,Time for Kids,Scholastic News,Scholastic News Zone, Time for Kids , Ask Magazine, Dig,Calliope, Cobblestone, FACES, Studies Weekly, Glo Adventurer, and more.

    * Special thanks to EducationWorld for letting me use this image of my "alter ego" as Mrs. "Waffenschmidt!