Into gardening? Check out our FREE activity sheets on garden beneficials to help kids identify and appreciate the good guys.

I’m writing a gardening module for my grandkids (as part of a study on self-sufficient living), and I’ve put together a little activity to introduce them to garden beneficials. Since many fellow homeschoolers are also interested in gardening—specifically using sensible, sustainable practices—I thought I’d share it with our online friends.

The Beneficials’ Bios page gives a brief description of some common garden helpers and how they work for us. You can refer to the pictures on the Beneficials Bingo sheet as you read about each one. When you’re finished, you’re ready to head outside for a scavenger hunt and a game of Beneficials Bingo. We’ve rearranged the pictures on the Bingo pages to create different versions for those who’ll have more than one student participating. Here are the different pages: Beneficials Bingo Card 1 Beneficials Bingo Card 2 Beneficials Bingo Card 3

This FREE Lilly the Ladybug Coloring/Activity Book from Earthbound Farms also makes a great introduction to the basics of organic farming.

And finally, if the height of summer has you fighting a losing battle with weeds and water loss, you might want to check out our previous post on recycling cardboard as garden mulch.

www.finders-keepers.net

“Give me liberty or give me death!” A study guide, a clip, and an appeal to parents.

The anniversary of Patrick Henry’s famous speech could not come at a more appropriate time.  As political lines are drawn and ideological fervor escalates, Americans are reexamining what liberty really means and which issues are worth contending over.  Politicians are scrambling to save their own hides, and citizens are uniting to ferret out untrustworthy leadership.  Regardless of our position on the political spectrum, recollection of Henry’s stirring appeal on the eve of revolution offers a much needed recalibration of our expectations of political leaders. 

Our children have much to learn from great Americans such as Patrick Henry, so we are appealing to parents to take a few minutes to introduce him to your students if you’ve not already done so.  Younger students may only be ready for a few basic facts, but older students can compare and contrast the political standards of the past with those of the present. To help start the conversation, we have created a brief study guide as well as a document featuring the text of the original speech.

They can be printed out at the following links:  STUDY GUIDE      SPEECH

Please pass this along to friends and family—especially those with children in public schools.  Patrick Henry’s legacy has slowly been chiseled out of many school textbooks, and they may not have another opportunity to get to know this key figure in America’s history.

Feeling ambitious?  Why not have your students stage a dramatic reenactment of the speech?  You could even capture a video clip and post it on Facebook or YouTube.

Speaking of YouTube, they offer several audio renditions of this speech for those who prefer to listen.  Here are a couple of examples: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W72tx_UW9TM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvJrSdr34co

www.finders-keepers.net