Tuesday, July 21, 2009

To The Moon!

In 1969 at the age of 4 I was one of a billion people watch the moon landing on television. My memory of that is of sitting in the early morning hours on the floor watching the tv screen. Not much else. But I'm still proud to have experienced such a momentous occasion.

In today's world, where space travel, personal communicators and computers that fit in your pocket have become commonplace, it can be difficult to teach your children the importance of this event. But I've come across some free resources to help.

The National Archives has placed several films on Youtube! I loved it in school when we had a film and now you can recreate that feeling in your own home! Seriously, if you're close to my age you'll find these quite nostalgic. These films also offer glimpses of presidents at the time and their speeches. Here is a list of some about the moon landing.

The Eagle Has Landed - Through television, motion picture and still photography, this film provides an "eye-witness" perspective of the Apollo 11 mission that put a human on the moon.

The John Glenn Story 1963 - A film biography of Astronaut John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962. A salute to an American hero. I particularly like the pictures of New Concord, Ohio in this video. Small town America as it used to be! As a past Theatre teacher, I did cringe a bit at the prepared line readings! If this gets to you, just skip to the halfway point where more specific information is given about his space flight.

America in Space: The First Decade 1968 - A look at America's first decade chasing the stars.

Assignment Shoot the Moon 1967 - How did unmanned spacecrafts get a man on the moon? Find out in this historic video from 1967.

Within This Decade: America in Space 1969 - This film traces the principal accomplishments of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in aeronautics and space research from 1959 until the eve of the first lunar landing in 1969.

Debrief Apollo 8 1969 - This film portrays the story of man's first journey in orbit around the Moon with comments on the significance of the Apollo 8 flight by several prominent Americans.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Awesome Audio Freebie!!!

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine on Facebook just alerted it's "fans" to this incredible freebie. "We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident" is a reading by Max McLean of four great works in American history: The Declaration of Independence, The Preamble to the Constitution, The Gettysburg Address, and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address. And right now it's available completely free!!

Another freebie on this site can be found under the "free downloads" tab on the left side of the site. Max McLean reading "Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God" the famous sermon written by Jonathan Edwards.

For those of you who don't know Max McLean his narrations of the Bible are stunning. This work is equally well crafted and professionally rendered. What an excellent way to share these documents with your children or to reacquaint yourself. I urge you to check it out but hurry!!! It's only free until July 6th.

Friday, July 03, 2009

How to be a Patriot

Every child in America should be acquainted with his own country. He should read books that furnish him with ideas that will be useful to him in life and practice. As soon as he opens his lips, he should rehearse the history of his own country.
Noah Webster, On the Education of Youth in America, 1788

I agree with Mr. Webster that every child in the United States should understand the privilege of being a US citizen. Like the holidays in the Bible, patriotic days are a great time to remind your children of the past, where we have been and how we got where we are. In this country we have a common heritage of music and heroes that should not be forgotten. Here are some resources to help you do that.

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine has a series of informative and helpful newsletters. One of those is called Freebie Fridays. This Friday's newsletter contained several links to help educate children on our heritage.

Learn Out Loud is a collection of audiobooks for sale and for free. They have a daily newsletter that let's you know what's free and it often touches on the current holiday or events. This week there have been several American History audios highlighted that are free. On their kid's page scroll down and under "most popular" you'll find audios of The Declaration of Independence, documents of the Founders, biographies of famous Americans, The Bill of Rights and several important speeches.

Amazon gives away several mp3s on their site everyday. I downloaded Documentary Recordings Presents Patriotic Music . Another great source of copyright free music is one of my favorite blogs Music You (Possibly) Won't Hear Anyplace. Wednesday's post contained a link to 78's For A Fourth of July Mood, a collection gathered by the blog's author. It's a great collection of music from the early part of the twentieth century. A teachable moment for kids on how we used to listen to music as you explain the scratchy sounds in the music! If you want more of this kind of music check this blog's archives for patriotic holidays. There are some real treasures here.
I hope you enjoy your weekend and spend some time teaching your children!