Thursday, November 4, 2010

Abraham Lincoln

On this day, in 1842, Abraham Lincoln married the love of his life, Mary Todd. He went on to many great things, but I like to believe that this date ranks as one of the best days of his life. Today's freebie presents documents from the life of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) both through writings by and about Lincoln as well as a large body of publications concerning the issues of the times including slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and related topics.

Title: Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincolniana
Description: see above
Format: Web Site
Availability: Available to all requesters
Source: Library of Congress, American Memory

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Good Old Summertime

Wow, what a summer it has been! Here in Wisconsin we have had record heat as have many other states in the U. S. Many a day has been too hot (and maybe a little too buggy) to have the good old fashion summer picnic. But I'm sure the ants are finding something else to do with themselves. Today's freebie is all about the characteristic visitor to the summer picnic--ANTS.

Title: Checklist of Kansas Ants
Description: Talks about the many species (over 8000) and indicates which of these species are found in Kansas.
Suggested Grade: 5-Adult
Format: Booklet
Order Number: Volume 40, No. 2
Availability: One copy to schools, libraries, and homeschoolers world-wide. May be copied. May also be downloaded from the web site.
Source: The Kansas School Naturalist
Deparment of Biology, Box 4050
Emporia State University
Emporia, KS 66801
Web Site:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

With Liberty and Justice for All

On this day in 1870 (June 22), the Department of Justice was formed. Today's freebie is a lesson plan that helps students learn more about the application of justice in many situations, not just legal ones.

Title: Justice, Is It Fair?
Description: Presents a hypothethical problem which students will try to solve through critical thinking skills.
Suggested Grade: 5
Format: Online Lesson Plan
Availability: Available to all requesters
Source: Phyllis Muranaka

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Suffering from Lack of Energy?

Doesn't that title sound like an infomercial that's selling some sort of product intended to boost your personal energy? The recent oil rig explosion and subsequent oil spill that is threatening wildlife gives rise to our use of petroleum in the US, and even the world--petroleum that is used for energy. This live-streaming video presents energy alternatives while exploring the vast amount of resources we exhaust daily--we are truly suffering from lack of energy.

Title: Heat
Description: A far-reaching investigation into America's energy landscape and what can be done to save our planet--and what it will take.
Suggested Grade: 7-Adult
Format: Live streaming video
Running Time: 120 minutes
Availability: Available to all requesters
Source: PBS

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How do you pronounce Eyjafjallajokull?

Volcano, that's how! This volcano, located in Iceland, is making aviation history--and not in a good way. As of this writing, airlines have lost 100 million dollars because they cannot fly since volcanic ash coming from the volcano damages or even kills jet engines. If it were not for this disruption, it might be one fascinating event. Today's freebie is a site dedicated to volcanoes--which also features some great video of the eruption of this unpronouncable volcano.

Title: Volcano World
Description: An assortment of articles, pictures, movies, games, and links relating to volcanoes.
Suggested Grade: All ages
Format: Web Site
Availability: Available to all requesters
Source: North Dakota and Oregon Space Grant Consortia

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Man cannot live on bread alone...

..and why would he want to when there are SO many good foods and good recipes that exist? On this day in 1930, the Twinkie was invented! Not a healthy food, but tasty nonetheless. Today's freebie is a site that has thousands and thousands of recipes. I have a large collection of cookbooks but I always find myself going to this site because the search engine makes it so easy to find just the recipe I need. Let the feast begin...

Title: All Recipes
Description: More recipes that you can possible imagine!
Suggested Grade: All ages
Format: Web Site
Availability: Available to all requesters

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Games People Play

Yes, it's that time of year again--March Madness--when basketball fans go wild following their favorite teams in the playoff. For me, it's my high school--the Randolph Rockets--who just yesterday won a state record 8th state championship (my boys were on five of those teams). As we celebrate the game, we remember that there are A LOT of other games peoples play. Today's freebie offers the rules for thousands of games--sports games, card games, board games, and more. Play on...

Description: Thousands of official rules for all types of sports and games.
Suggested Grade: All ages
Format: Web Site
Availability: All requesters

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

George Washington Carver--A Man with Vision

March is Black History Month. One of the countless African Americans who have contributed so very much is George Washington Carver--a scientist, botanist, educator and inventor. In addition to this work, his important accomplishments also include improvement of racial relations, mentoring children, poetry, painting, and religion. He is truly a man to be remembered during this month when we honor the accomplishments and contributions of EVERY African American.

Title: Carver's Boyhood
Description: Learn what forces shaped the life of this famous man.
Suggested Grade: All Ages
Format: VHS Videotape
Availability: Schools, libraries, homeschoolers, and nursing homes in the United States.
Terms: This excellent freeibe is for loan only. Borrower pays return postage. Return within 21 days after scheduled showing date via US Postal Service. Book 2-3 weeks in advance.
Source: George Washington Carver National Monument
5646 Carver Road
Diamond, MO 64840
Phone: 1-417-325-4151
Fax: 1-417-325-4231

Friday, February 12, 2010

It's More than Just a Game

This evening marks the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics. Athletes from countries far and wide will walk with their team and country flags with enormous pride as they compete for honors that not only recognize their personal achievement but their country as well. This freebie is all about these games which are far more than "just a game."

Title: Olympics Through Time
Description: Presents an overview of the Olympics and traces the history of these games.
Suggested Grade: 5-12
Format: Web Site
Availability: Available to all requesters
Source: Foundation of the Helennic World

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Show Me the Money

On this day in history, the first paper money in America was issued by the colony of Massachusetts. Today's freebie is all about that commodity--money--whether it's paper or coin.

Title: The Money Story
Description: Media kit to help intermediate grade children learn what money is, how it's made, spent, saved and collected.
Availability: Schools, libraries, homeschoolers, and nursing homes in the continental United States.
Suggested Grade: 5-8
Order Number: 63
Format: VHS videotape or DVD, includes a teacher's guide.
Running Time: 33 minutes
Terms: ORDER VIA WEB SITE. Borrower pays return postage. Return the day after scheduled use via Parcel Post, library rate. Book at least 2 weeks before preferred show date, and include alternate date. Requests should include title and requester's name, address, and daytime phone number. Also state number of viewers.
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Monday, January 18, 2010

Are YOU Earthquake Proof?

The devastating earthquake in Haiti is something that will, and should, remain on our minds for quite some time. The horror that is currently being faced by the thousands upon thousands of people there is quite unimaginable. As I look at the faces of the people shown on TV, I am reminded that we are all God's children and these people who are suffering so greatly are someone's child, parent, wife, husband, etc. Is is with deep sorrow that we witness this tragic event. Today's freebie is a resource providing information and maps of earthquakes across the world. When viewing it, you will also see how many terrifying aftershocks the people of Haiti face moment to moment.

Title: The World-Wide Earthquake Locator
Description: An incredible resource that provides up-to-date information and detailed dynamic maps of earthquakes across the world within a maximum of 24 hours of their occurrence.
Suggested Grade: 4-Adult
Format: Web Site
Availability: Available to all requesters
Source: Bruce M. Gittings

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Speed of Sound

Tomorrow, January 6, marks an astounding 171 years since Samuel Morse provided the first demonstration of the electric telegraph. Who would have ever thought there could be something as a telephone, let alone a cell phone that we take with us whever we go. Find out more about the evolution of telecommunicatins with today's freebie.

Title: Through the Wires: A Century of Telecommunications
Description: Covers the era from Samuel Morse and Alexander Graham Bell, to the explosion of the Internet.
Suggested Grade: 4-Adult
Format: Web Site
Availability: Available to all requesters
Source: Farhana, David, and Tiana