Best Christmas Movies,Literature-based Holiday Classics

Must-See Christmas Holiday Themed Movies in All Genres Christmas movies and holidays classic films are a huge part of our holiday festivities. There are several movies that I have to see each year or it won't feel like Christmas. Here is that quintessential list of holiday classics. There's a debate in the movie viewing world between two Christmas movie megaliths: Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Miracle on 34th Street."

Now call me un-American or Grinchy, but I don't get the thrill of "Miracle on 34th Street", not the 1947 with Maureen O'Hara or the 1995 with Sir Richard Attenborough. "It's a Wonderful Life" then, gets my vote of the two films. However for absolute best all-around, must holiday film my favorite is Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol" 1984 with George C. Scott). The soundtrack alone should be enjoyed at least once every holiday season. Since the writing of the article, I rediscovered "Night of the Meek," in which Art Carney plays a drunken, compassionate Santa Claus. I highly recommend it. Here's a link to a more modern version. "A Homecoming Story" (The Waltons) with Patricia Neal, is beautiful, too. To finish reading this article, click here.

Free Printable Cut and Color Leveled Reader Booklets

Free Printable Cut and Color Leveled Reader Booklets Your new reader has just mastered her phonics lessons; she's reading with some fluency. But summer vacation is here. She won't have access to classroom readers. Do you buy a set of classroom readers to keep up her momentum? You can but you don't need to; there are free printable reading, phonics, spelling, vocabulary and grade leveled readers right here on the internet. These vocabulary-boosting books will also build phonics, spelling and fluency skills, in a fun, hands-on way. Click here...

Book to Movie Films for World War 1 History Lesson Plans

Book to Movie Films for World War 1 History Lesson Plans World War One is probably the most overlooked, least explored war in American history classes. Europeans know more about WWI because many countries such as France, England and Germany were involved in conflict for a longer period of time. Ironically most historians agree that World War One, called then the Great War, and 'the war to end all wars' was the catalyst for WWII. Read more

Vampire, Horror Fiction Books for Twilight, Eclipse Lovers

Best Young Adult Vampire Fiction Books for Twilight and Eclipse Lovers Stephanie Meyer's didn't invent vampire romance fiction with her Twilight book series. Modern vampire fiction has enjoyed a cult following for several decades now. For fans of vampire fiction who've consumed Twilight looking for fresh reads, look here. Here are vampire books you can sink your teeth into. Vampire Plagues: Book One- London, 1850, Book Two- Paris, 1850, Book Three- Mexico 1850. History-mystery lovers will devour Sebastian Rooke's trilogy, set in the Victorian era. Middle School and up. Click for more recommendations...

Free printable Shel Silverstein activities

Maurice Sendak, Shel Silverstein Publish Books Two beloved children's authors, Maurice Sendak ("Where the Wild Things Are") and Shel Silverstein ("The Giving Tree") have new books out. Silverstein's "Every Thing on It" was published posthumously, while Sendak's "Bumble-Ardy" is raising hair and hackles. Silverstein died in 1999. He had a colorful history and raised a few eyebrows. He is as well-known for his drawings as he is for poetry. After joining the armed services and serving in the Korean War, Silverstein became a cartoon illustrator for "Playboy" magazine. Silverstein was a folk singer and guitarist. He wrote what would become Johnny Cash's only silly song: "A Boy Named Sue." Read more.

Banned Books Week- Check out these Children's, Teen Authors and Literature

Most Banned Books? Authors of Teen, Children's Literature This week, Sept. 24 to Oct.1, celebrates the 30th anniversary of the ALA Banned Book Week. BBW celebrates authors who broke convention to write books about touchy subjects. Here are stats about most oft-censored children and teen authors and literature. Would you believe that most of these are required reading in most high schools? Most of these statistics hold true for adult literature as well. Read on...

Henry Winkler Awarded OBE for Services to Dyslexic Children - "Hank Zipzer" Books

Henry Winkler Awarded OBE for Services to Dyslexic Children Every girl loves the Fonz, even Queen Elizabeth II, it seems. The Queen awarded Henry Winkler (aka Arthur Fonzarelli of "Happy Days") the Most Excellent OBE (knighthood). Winkler was honored for services to dyslexic and special needs children. Notable is Winkler's "Hank Zipzer" kids book series. Read more...

Free Printable Plant Science Books and Activities for Fall Nature Unit

This article is part of a series of six articles comprising six lessons in a science unit on plants. It has applications and adaptations for grades K-10 and addresses biology, math, social studies, writing (research and creative writing), literature, art, music and physical activities. The lessons are interactive and multisensory. You'll find lessons, printables, games, projects, web resources and literature connections. This article covers lesson two; we will explore the seeds of the plant. As always I'll begin with unit scope and sequence. Cross Curricular, Hands on Plant Science Unit

Free Printable medieval castle models, heraldry designs, coat of arms patterns

Free Printable Castles: Cut and Paste Activities Cut and paste activities make ideal educational tools. Students, need a project to submit for a reading response, literature, history or social studies assignment? If you teacher allows it, why not make a model or 3D diorama? Here is a complete castle model that you could make for an assignment. Use for literature response if you are reading about about fantasy, medieval life, fairy tales, Shakespeare. For more info Click here

Best War History Books and Movies for Memorial Day

Best War History Movies for Memorial Day Memorial Day, the last Monday in May was designated to remember our beloved dead and especially to honor those killed in war or in the line of duty. Not sure how to commemorate Memorial Day? Why not watch one of these movies? Most of these films are based on literature connections. Read more...

Free Printable City of Ember Lesson Plans

The "City of Ember" is a utopian/dystopian futuristic book series by Jeanne DuPrau that is used in many middle school classes. The books were made into a cool movie in 2008. Here are free printable lesson plans from the book and movie. read on for free printable City of Ember lesson plans

Free Printable Shel Silverstein Lesson Plans, Activities

Shel Silverstein gave us "The Giving Tree," "A Light in the Attic," "Where the Sidewalk Ends," "Runny Babbit" and many poems and cute stories. Here are free printable activities from Shel Silverstein. I can never decide if I like the whimsical illustrations or his endearing verse better. Here's the best of both in free printable activities. Read more

Free Printable Kevin Henkes Activities

Kevin Henkes writes adorable childrens stories: "Kitten's Full Moon", "Lilly's Plastic Purse", "Owen", "Wemberly Worried" and more. My personal favorite it "Shelia Rae, The Brave" about a bombastic older sister who finds that a little sister can be a big help when courage fails. Here are free printable crafts, lessons, activities and coloring pages from Kevin Henkes books. Read on

Free Printable Series of Unfortunate Events Activities

Free Printable Series of Unfortunate Events Activities Activities from the book series and movie with Jim Carrey. Lemony Snicket is a cool author. In the early days, no one knew just who Lemony Snicket was (Daniel Handler). That added to the fun. These books are must-reads for young literati! Book games, free printable literature lesson plans, movie activities, reading response journal activities, crafts and more. This is a great read aloud for Readers Theater lesson plans. Read on

Free Printable Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Activities

Before there was a movie "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs", there was a book; not a lot like the film, but also cute, nevertheless. I read it to my students when I taught Montessori in the 1980s. I shared with my kids now-grown kids when I homeschooled them. Here are free printable coloring pages from book and movie. read on

Free Dr. Seuss Read Across America Activities

From the Jungle of Nool to the top of Mt. Crumpet, Dr. Seuss offers wisdom in verse, common sense in a spoonful of fun. March ushers in Dr. Seuss's birthday, Read Across America and National Reading Month. I know we're a good way into National Reading Month, but hey, it's never to late to celebrate reading! Here are free activities to do that. Use for Readers Workshop, Readers Theater and reading response journal lesson plans. Read more

Free Printable Eric Carle "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" Activities

Eric Carle is a beloved childrens' illustrator and author of dozens of books about insects and animals. Here are free printable cut and paste crafts, games, activities, lessons, puzzles and coloring pages from Eric Carle's best-loved book "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." You'll find printables from other Eric Carle favorites such as "The Very Busy Spider" and others. Click here

Stieg Larsson "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" Book to Movie 2011 Adaptation

Stieg Larsson is a man whom controversy follows, even after death. Larsson is the Swedish author of the Lisbeth Salander series "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" (2005), "The Girl Who Played with Fire" (2006) and the "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest", called collectively "The Millennium Trilogy". How will Hollywood handle Stieg Larsson's 2011 "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" book to movie? Read on...

Books, Literature and Movies for Black History Month

During Black History month we need not only to explore the tragedies of Black American struggles, but celebrate the contributions to our society. Here are a list of  literature based movies to explore. I've listed the movie, the companion book, biography or historical source. If the title of the book is the same as the film, I've only noted the author's name. This article is meant to be a tribute to the artistic achievement of the actors and performers who have portrayed these roles so beautifully over the years. To an extent, this is a timeline as well. Read more...


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Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education. 

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