Columbus Day is a week away! I will delve into that topic in detail a little further on, but first, I want to go over your weekend with you.
Apple Betty Day
I have my October Idea for Everyday Calendar posted and I am trying to be better about celebrating each day along with you. I figured, I ought to follow my own advice, right? So, on Sunday I printed out a recipe for Apple Betty. Which I plan on making tonight. I promise to share the recipe if it turns out well. If you don’t see the recipe…well… you’re welcome for that too.
Mad Hatter Day
Yesterday was Mad Hatter Day. I don’t actually own Alice in Wonderland, so I searched all the streaming applications available (to me) and found Through the Looking Glass on Amazon Prime. It stars Kate Beckinsale and successfully transported me into the Alice’s fantasy land that I was looking for. No, it didn’t have the Mad Hatter, but it still contained enough imagination to spark creativity.
I jotted down quotes, thought of learning ideas and made an Inner Beauty Day connection:
Conceit is a disease. To cure it, tie a yellow handkerchief around your neck.
(paraphrased from Through the Looking Glass)
One of the learning ideas I thought of is time sensitive, and I am not sure if I'll be able to get it out in a timely manner, so thought I'd share my idea with you right now so you can stew on it. The idea surrounds the poem Jabberwocky and is inspired by my childhood art teacher. Every year, around Halloween time, he would read us this poem from Through the Looking Glass and have us draw what we saw. Maybe you could work this into your classroom festivities also. The Jabberwocky would be great for teaching part of speech, decoding, creative writing, and context clues.
Be on the lookout for more Alice inspired activities here at Wolfe Stew, and if you have any of your own to add to the pot, you’re welcome to add your flavor. Just email them to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will happily post them here for you (with due credit, of course). Or, if it’s an idea that you’d like me to develop, head on over to the Made-to-Order page and fill out your order form.
National Inner Beauty Day
Today, on National Inner Beauty Day, I hope you took the chance to remind your littles that it’s what is on the inside of a person that truly matters. And, I hope in reminding them, you reminded yourself of that. It’s easy to get caught up on our reflection and worry about the outer part we present to the world, but remember, it’s the internal part that is eternal. If you need a reminder that it is your inner beauty that makes you so special, and it does matter, I’m glad you’re here today. I pray these words settle into your soul:
That’s right. God looks at your heart. He looks at you and sees your inner beauty. He calls you His beloved. So, let go of all that self-criticism, worldly judgement, and doubt. Rest in the truth. You are wonderfully made and marvelous are the works of your creator.
Christopher Columbus Day
I promised I’d get there, and the time has finally arrived. We get to start thinking about Christopher Columbus Day!
I know there are mixed emotions that surround this day. Some people are truly hurt by events that transpired following the discovery of America by Columbus and think it should not be celebrated. And, while not trying to belittle the feelings of those who hurt because of the events, I still believe it should be celebrated. I would even go so far as to say it is one of the most important days to celebrate in October. It is an important day because it is a pivotal moment in history. It marks a shift in events. Had Columbus not “re”discovered America, Europeans would not have begun settling here. I wouldn’t be here today. It’s part of my history. It is part of everyone’s history. We cannot change events just because we don’t approve of the choices that were made. No, we teach the events that happened, as unbiasedly as possible, to our learners and let them form their own opinion about them. This is the job of a great social studies teacher, in my opinion.
However, because it is a defining moment in the history of the world, it is a moment that should not be forgotten, that should not be erased, and I think it is unfair to slander the name of Christopher Columbus because of choices made based on our current world views. He came from a different world. A different time. A different set of values. And, he had some positive characteristics that should be celebrated, championed, and taught to our learners. Was he perfect? Ha! Far from it. But no one is. I’m not saying that we should idolize him, but we shouldn’t blot him from the historical record.
So, should you choose that Christopher Columbus Day is a day worth celebrating, I support you. I thank you for choosing not to alter history, but instead to see this day for what it is - an opportunity to learn about important events in history. And, if you still cannot get behind honoring the man, would you consider at least honoring the spirit of the day? Tenacity. Adventurism. Hope. Ideals it would hurt no learner to embrace.
As, evidenced on the October Idea for Everyday Calendar, I believe this day should be handled differently for various age brackets. In PreK-1st keep it light. Make crafts, go on a scavenger hunt, or read books that honor the spirit of the day. For 2nd-3rd graders, consider poetry, map skills or treasure hunts. 4th and 5th are ready to start delving into the true history behind the day. Try to remember to remain unbiased. Present reasonable facts. You know the right balance for your learners. For 6th and up, head full on into the debate. Study both sides. Lead a debate on the topic. Allow learners to explore the emotions of both sides.
Last year, my niece and I did a cross-curricular, project-based learning unit on Christopher Columbus. I do not have the entire unit spruced up and ready to share with you, but I thought you might be able to use this math sheet I whipped up. Your learner will use metric conversion for distances relevant to Christopher Columbus’ story. It was designed for 5th Grade.
However you choose to honor Christopher Columbus Day, I hope you remember every life can teach a lesson, no life is perfect, and there is beauty in everyone. Happy Inner Beauty Day, Leaders! Let’s make a pledge to try to look past outer appearances and find the beauty waiting inside.
With Love from the Kitchen,
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