Richard of Jamestown

Richard of Jamestown by James Otis (PDF ebook) – A wonderful, highly readable chapter book by James Otis, chronicling the adventures of Richard, a young boy who sails to the new world with the colonists who founded Jamestown. His stories of the hardships and adventures faced by the Jamestown settlers, told from the viewpoint of a young boy, make this great reading for the Fall season. Don’t miss this!

from the foreword:

The purpose of this series of stories is to show the children, and even those who have already taken up the study of history, the home life of the colonists with whom they meet in their books. To this end every effort has been made to avoid anything savoring of romance, and to deal only with facts, so far as that is possible, while describing the daily life of those people who conquered the wilderness whether for conscience sake or for gain.

That the stories may appeal more directly to the children, they are told from the viewpoint of a child, and purport to have been related by a child. Should any criticism be made regarding the seeming neglect to mention important historical facts, the answer would be that these books are not sent out as histories—although it is believed that they will awaken a desire to learn more of the building of the nation—and only such incidents as would be particularly noted by a child are used.

Surely it is entertaining as well as instructive for young people to read of the toil and privations in the homes of those who came into a new world to build up a country for themselves, and such homely facts are not to be found in the real histories of our land.

To download this PDF ebook, RIGHT CLICK HERE and “save” to your computer!

Awesome Infrared!

Screen shot 2014-10-11 at 9.23.01 AMWhat is Infrared?

Infrared is a form of light that falls just outside the visible spectrum… light that we can not see with our eyes, but that we can sometimes feel on our skin as heat.The world around us looks remarkably different in infrared light. People become luminous objects as we see things by the glow of their heat rather than the light that falls upon them.

The Cool Cosmos website from Cal Tech University explores the many fascinating ways infrared light and photography is used in astronomy, medicine, and day to day life. There are complete lesson plans, printouts and other teaching resources here too. Be SURE to check out the “Infrared Gallery”. Fascinating!

Click here to go to the site

and Click here to go to the Lesson Plans page

- suggested by Lorraine Goulet(thanks, Lorraine!)

Sound City Reading

Kathy Davis of Sound City has developed a great phonics program based on her 20+ years teaching and tutoring students in early reading skills.  She gave the name  “Sound City Reading” to the phonics materials she developed because she added roofs to the first letter charts to make them look like a row of houses in a city. The entire course – with dozens of printable ebooks, charts and activity sheets – is available for free on her site.

Click here to go to the site!

- submitted by Allison Lemaster (thanks, Allison!)

Five Minute Lessons

Here’s an extensive collection from Education World of Five Minute mini-lessons you can drop into your daily schedule whenever you want to break things up a bit and do something different. These five-minute lessons are for the most part quite fun, and cover a wide variety of topics, including comprehension, spelling, math, time, computation skills, critical thinking, research skills and more!

Click here to go to the site!

- suggested by Misty Nordyke (thanks, Misty!)

Music Games & Activities Printables

Tamsyn Spackman of Teaching Children has put together this wonderful 61-page PDF e-book with ten different printable music games and learning activities. Instructions for the activities are on the first few pages of the PDF, and they are then followed by the actual printables on the remaining pages.

These are VERY good and would be helpful learning tools for young students learning about music. Highly recommended!

Here’s what Tamsyn says about this collection:

Music Games and Activities is a 61-page activity book with 10 different games/activities to print out and do with your children or students. I have made YouTube videos for a few of them, as referenced in the instructions. For convenience, I have listed them on this page as well.  I hope you enjoy them!  “Rainbow Castle” is my children’s favorite, it’s a note-reading game similar to Candyland.  “Piano Chord Wheel” has been the most popular, and a favorite for piano teachers.  One teacher printed them out on different colored pieces of paper to make piano flowers.

We would love to make many more materials like these- I’ve got lots of ideas!  If you like what you see, please consider supporting our KickStarter campaign.

If you have any questions on how to use the printouts, please feel free to contact me.  I’m here to help!

You can download this PDF ebook here!

Soil Critters Field Guide

Screen shot 2014-10-10 at 3.31.01 PMHere from the Field Museum is a neat illustrated “field guide” for kids to help them identify the many organisms and little creatures you find in soil… including invertebrates, arthropods and insects. Fun and full of information on the creatures living just a few inches below your feet!

To download this PDF ebook, RIGHT CLICK HERE and save to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key then click the link and save.

- submitted by Becky Dobbs (thanks, Becky!)

Exploring History at the Birmingham Museum

Screen shot 2014-10-03 at 5.00.32 PMThe Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in the UK has a neat site with fun activities from several different historical eras: Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, the Victorian Age and World War II. Each has a short lesson, an interactive game & additional learning activities.

Click here to go to their site!

BONUS RESOURCE: They also have another quirky but fun interactive learning site for kids that is also worth a visit: ALIEN ADVENTURES

- suggested by Stan Wright (thanks, Stan!)

Learning Style Inventory Self-Test

Are your kids VISUAL, AUDITORY OR TACTILE learners?

To gain a better understanding of your child as a learner, you need to evaluate the way they prefer to learn or process information. By doing so, you will be able to develop strategies which will enhance their learning potential. This online self-test is a short, quick way of assessing a person’s learning style. Its main benefit is to get you to think about yourself, to consider learning alternatives; not to rigidly classify you. You probably already have a good idea which way your child learns best, but this is a great way to confirm it.

Click here to go to the online testing page

- suggested by Doris Rodriguez (thanks, Doris!)

George Washington at Home… and more!, the official site of the home of George Washington, has a bunch of neat freebie resources that make any study of our first President and his times come to life for students. Here’s some of the highlights:


On this page, you can take a virtual tour of MountVernon. Washington’s entire adulthood is reflected in these rooms. By looking carefully at the furnishings and decorative features, you can find clues to Washington’s character, tastes, and accomplishments, as well as his aspirations for a fledgling United States.

Click here to go to the virtual tour


On this page, you can download lesson plans and activity sheets for Primary, Middle School and High School age students about Washington, his influence, and the early years of our nation:

Click here to go to the Lesson Plans page


Here are downloadable full-length versions of the museum’s excellent video programs on Washington and his era, including “The Real Martha Washington”, “The Music of Washington’s World,” “George Washington and the American Revolution”, “Slavery at Mt. Vernon”, and several others:

Click here to go to the video download page

Oh, and did we mention you can request a FREE portrait of Washington like the one in the photo above? Cool!

- suggested by

The Wonder of the Day

Screen shot 2014-10-03 at 5.18.16 offers a great daily resource called  the “Wonder of the Day”. Each day, a new question is posed, then answered in a mini-lesson (often with a video, activity or experiment). They are great curiosity generators for kids. Recent questions posed include “Why do people still smoke cigarettes?” “Who invented the microwave oven?” “Why does reading make you sleepy?” and “How many breaths do you take each day?”.

You can see the current “wonder”, then scroll back through past questions as well as subscribe to the site for daily updates. This is fascinating stuff, sure to spark the interest of young students.

Click here to go to the site!

- submitted by Cori Sanders (thank you Cori!)