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Big Learning News 11-11-03

Big Learning News
Karen Cole's Guide to Real-World Learning with Kids
Issue 1:4 November 11, 2003

Table of Contents
Activity: Learn about Veterans Day
Activity: Make Paper Airplanes
Web site: Kid's Invent Invention Club
You (or Your Friends) Might Win a Book!

Activity: Learn About Veterans Day

Today (November 11) is Veterans Day. Learn more about the holiday by taking a kid-friendly quiz at:
http://www.familyeducation.com/quiz/0,1399,3-3830,00.html .

A more adult-level history can be found on the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) site at:
http://www.vfw.org/amesm/origins.shtml .

When you know the facts, call up a veteran you know to say you're thinking of him or her on Veterans Day.

Activity: Make Paper Airplanes

Got a dreary November Saturday on your hands? Might be a good day to make paper airplanes. Most designs are easy to make, and following the instructions for folding the planes helps develop kids' spatial reasoning abilities.  Once the planes are folded, you can hold flight contests, compare designs, or develop the perfect throwing technique. Or check out the physics of paper airplanes courtesy of the Exploratorium.

http://www.exploratorium.edu/exploring/paper/airplanes.html (it's a two-page article - click on the "next" button at the bottom to see the rest.)

Find cool paper airplane designs at Alex's Paper Airplanes (and I apologize for recommending a site with so many ads, but it's really a great site - even includes throwing tips for each design):


If you don't want to do quite so much folding, you might prefer Ken Blackburn's Home Page. Ken Blackburn holds the Guinness record for paper airplane time aloft (27.6 seconds). This site has color airplanes you can download, print, cut out, fold, and assemble. The site also has information about paper-airplane aerodynamics.


Web Site: Kids Invent Invention Club

Kids who like the idea of inventing will find lots to do on this site. The heart of the site is the invention engine, an interactive tool that helps kids dream up an invention from scratch. Leading kids through five stages (Dream it, Create it, Design it, Build It, and Test It), the engine helps kids come up with an idea and make it real.

If kids join the site's Kids Club, they can save their ideas and even build their own web page to display their creations. In my opinion the sign-up form collect more information than necessary, and their privacy policy is a little dicey. They say they might share e-mail addresses with third parties for kids over 13. I didn't feel confident we wouldn't end up on spam lists. You can enjoy almost the entire site without registering, though.

The site can be a little difficult to navigate - I sometimes found myself going around in circles to find something I remembered seeing before. But there's a lot to see while you're lost, such as famous inventors biography links and project ideas. The Parents section includes a great list of what to buy to make an invention lab at home. In the Educators section, teachers will find professional development resources for doing invention activities in their classrooms, and even whole inventing curriculums available for purchase by camps and after-school programs. The Educators section also has a nice resource that helps teachers show how inventing corresponds to state standards.

You (or Your Friends) Might Win a Book!

Big Learning News subscribers are automatically entered in a drawing to win a copy of Kids Make Music: Clapping and Tapping from Bach to Rock, reviewed in last week's newsletter ( www.biglearning.org/news031104.htm ).

Let your friends know that they can still subscribe in time to enter the contest before the drawing on Friday, November 14th, 2003.

Subscribe or browse through prior issues at www.biglearning.org/newsletter.htm .
To unsubscribe, go to go to https://ezezine.com/home/531 , or send a blank e-mail to off-531@ezezine.com .
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Big Learning News © 2003 Karen Cole
All Rights Reserved.



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