Teacher’s Toolbox for Back to School

In teachers lessonsTeacher’s Toolbox, you will find a host of lesson plans for all subjects, printables to use in the classroom, websites like Teachers Notebook and a lot more! So when you need ideas for lesson plans take a look at Teacher’s Toolbox,


Spotlight on Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

asian pacificMay is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month – a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. A rather broad term, Asian-Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island).

Like most commemorative months, Asian-Pacific Heritage Month originated in a congressional bill. In June 1977, Reps. Frank Horton of New York and Norman Y. Mineta of California introduced a House resolution that called upon the president to proclaim the first ten days of May as Asian-Pacific Heritage Week. The following month, senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga introduced a similar bill in the Senate. Both were passed. On October 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a Joint Resolution designating the annual celebration. Twelve years later, President George H.W. Bush signed an extension making the week-long celebration into a month-long celebration. In 1992, the official designation of May as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month was signed into law.

The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

The Library offers many resources to learn more about Asian-Pacific culture here are a few resources to get you started.

Go Wild! It’s National Parks Week, Let’s Celebrate!

national parksCelebrate National Park Week April 19th – 27th and discover the natural, historical, and cultural treasures in America’s 400+ national parks.

Did You Know…

*   Sequoias, the largest trees in the world, can be as tall as a 26-story building.

*   There are more than 4,900 caves in our national parks.

*   Black bears eat up to 20,000 calories a day.

We’ve attached an interesting infographic<http://nationalparks.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=5afde58f4003970150342ac26&id=78270d379d&e=9764dd1d1a> that showcases fun facts like the ones stated above about our great national parks. Don’t forget to visit your local national park during this week for special events.

Teachers, check out the Library’s Hot Topic – Animals, Birds, Fishes and More!  On the Animals page find a new lesson plan about Bears and the new film Disneynature Bears.


Lesson Plan: Should Bilingual Education be in U.S. Shcools?

bilguinal edStudents will watch a video and form a position about dual language education, write a persuasive essay on U.S. citizenship requirements and complete a project tracking the pros and cons of having a bilingual nation.

View the video Bilingual Education in U.S. Schools by Voice of America

Discussion Guide

Lesson Plan 1- Dual Language Education

Objective:  Students will watch a video and form a position on dual language education programs

Lesson Plan 2- Persuasive Writing

Objective:  Students will conduct research and write a persuasive essay on U.S. citizenship requirements

Lesson Plan 3- Pros and Cons of a Bilingual United States

Objective:  Students will collect news articles supporting or criticizing a bilingual United States

21st Century Core Content
Government and Civics

21st Century Themes
Global Awareness
Civic Literacy

21st Century Skills
Think Creatively
Work Creatively With Others
Reason Effectively
Use systems thinking
Make Judgments and Decisions
Solve Problems
Communicate Clearly
Use and Manage Information
Analyze Media
Work Independently
Be Self-directed Learners
Interact Effectively with Others
Produce Results
Guide and Lead Others
Be Responsible to Others

Additional Resources:
National Association of Bilingual Education
Mayor’s Push for Bilingual City by the Associated Press
Bilingual Education by the University of Michigan
The Bilingual Advantage by the New York Times
Federal Government Orders Bilingual Ballots by Fox News

Additional Resources from the Library :
Bilingual Education
Immigrants and Immigration
Developing Countries and Education
United Nations Millennium Goals

The Olympics: Lesson Plan for Grades 3-12

olympic snow ringsThe Olympics

Subject(s): Social Sciences, History
Grade Level(s): 3-5, 6-8, 9-12


Students will gain a better understanding of the history of the Olympic Games and of how they can be impacted by political and cultural attitudes.


Copy and distribute the printable Resources section below. Have students read the essay for background information and consult any or all of the encyclopedia articles that follow it to learn more about the topic.


Essay: The Olympic Games as we know them are an international sports festival. The Games originated as a way for the ancient Greeks to salute their gods, but the modern Games salute the athletic talents of citizens of all nations.

The Olympic Games occur every four years and consist of both summer and winter events. The Summer Games are scheduled for 2008, 2012, 2016, and so on, while the Winter Games will take place in 2010, 2014, 2018, and so on. Standard events in the Summer Games include basketball, boxing, gymnastics, soccer, swimming, track and field, and many other sports. Winter Game highlights include ice hockey, figure skating, skiing, and bobsledding. Nowadays, extensive television coverage of the Olympic Games brings them to millions of viewers all over the world. As a world event with political undertones, the Olympics have had their share of controversy. Nazi Germany, for example, hosted the Games in 1936 and used the event to propagandize its cause of Aryan racial superiority. A black American track star, Jesse Owens, helped thwart those intentions by winning four gold medals and being mobbed by the public wherever he went in Germany. In 1972 in Munich, 11 Israeli athletes were murdered by Palestinian terrorists, casting a pall over great performances by a number of athletes. The Games have been boycotted and disrupted in other ways as well, but they are most memorable when they do what they set out to do: celebrate the athletes of all nations through fair competition among the best from around the world.

World Book Online Encyclopedia articles:

Olympic Games

World book for kids articles:

Olympic Games


boycott A concerted action to isolate economically or socially an individual, group, or nation to express disapproval or to coerce change.
gold medal The award won by the best individual or team in an Olympic competition. A silver medal is awarded to the second best, and a bronze medal to the third.
propaganda The systematic attempt to manipulate the attitudes, beliefs, and actions of people through the use of words, gestures, slogans, flags, and uniforms. Ideas, facts, or allegations are spread to further a cause or to damage an opposing cause.


Read the World Book Online Encyclopedia or World Book for Kids article on the Olympic Games. Pay particular attention to the names of the sports played at the Summer and Winter Games. Choose a sport you’re not very familiar with. Research that sport, using a variety of resources. If possible, learn how to play the game yourself. Write a summary of your findings about the sport: how it is played, how many people play it, where it is most common, and so on.

For Discussion

If you have ever watched the Olympics on television, what is the greatest or most exciting event or moment you can recall having seen?


Go further by researching one of the following topics:

  • The history of the ancient Greek Olympic Games, including the nature of the competition and the reasons behind the cessation of the games
  • How athletes are chosen to perform in the Olympics and the amount of preparation an individual or team goes through to compete.
  • The U.S. Olympic Committee: structure, function, controversy
  • Great Olympians and what made them great

    See Hot Topic – Sports – Olympics page for additional resources for going further.


Write a statement explaining the purpose of the Olympic Games.