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Using the Calendar as a Basis for Research, Creative Writing and Correlation in Other Subjects

Madeline Lupoli Carloni

Contents of Curriculum Unit 79.04.03:

To Guide Entry

In preparing a curriculum for the middle school age group we must always keep in mind the word “motivation.” Our students have to be motivated so that as teachers we can be successful.

The students are very confused about many things, but they do get excited about anything that is directed to them. Birthdays are one of the most important dates in anyone’s life; therefore, I believe that the teacher can use that information as the starting point for a study which can be extended to whatever length that he or she wants. My purpose is to combine various ideas for teaching research and writing, and for correlating other subjects besides English and Language Arts, by using the calendar and its events.

In this research the students in Grades Seven and Eight will learn how to work independently and in groups to collect information which can be used for learning and for pleasure. They will learn how to study without supervision, to be on their own, and to think things through, The students should not have to go to the teacher when they come to the first stumbling-block in their assignment. They want to feel grown up. They know what they want (or think they know), but it is up to the teacher to expand their outlook.

One way which will add interest to and be beneficial in starting the new school year is to have an attractive room. In creating the calendar project, which will include all subjects, the teacher should see that the room has well-decorated bulletin boards with charts, diagrams, pictures, vocabulary, and photographs pertaining not only to English but to Mathematics, Social Studies, Science, and other subjects. It is also important to have an attractive library area well-stocked with fiction and nonfiction books to suit a variety of interests and reading levels; it should also contain magazines and newspapers. Another area should be set aside for reference materials—an encyclopedia, dictionaries, an atlas, and an almanac—which will be at the disposal of the students whether or not they are at work on the calendar project.

Advertise the books you have. Decorate a bulletin board with book jackets and displays. The children will be made to understand that you expect the books to be used and that they will be taught to use the reference materials properly. You want them to gain personal enrichment from their reading.

I have discovered that an inexpensive way to supplement reading material is to order from Book Clubs such as Scholastic, Tab and Troll. Since the books will have been selected by the students, they will read them with interest and benefit from the well-chosen vocabulary sections. The important thing to keep in mind is to add to the collection throughout the year. When children see that the teacher takes such an interest in reading these books, a desire to read good material can be developed. Once the calendar project has begun—and even after it has been completed-the names of the authors, inventors, musicians, doctors, athletes, and other figures mentioned in the unit will be familiar to the students. The classroom should also have books about them for the students to peruse. Children are elated when they can identify an individual mentioned this year.

In this unit of study the students will become familiar with many kinds of reference materials—namely, the encyclopedia, biographical dictionaries, the almanac, the atlas, and the card catalog—which will help them find information on questions given. They will use the knowledge of library skills in gathering information on individuals born, and events and world achievements which have happened in their months of birth. As the students are acquiring knowledge of working with reference materials, the teacher will notice that they are also learning how to cooperate with each other, how to respect each other, and how to work effectively in a group.

Teachers are to keep this overview in mind when the school year begins. The early weeks of school are the “getting to know one another” time when the teacher gets important information for school records, including the student’s birthdate. (This is necessary not only to verify school records and to use in this curriculum but also to fill out standardized test forms and statistics.) The students’ birthdates are put aside temporarily and at a later date will be written on a chart for room display. The chart will be used to designate the groups the students will be working in.

Several weeks after the start of the school year, this study or part of it can begin. In order to determine what information the students know about their birth month ask them:

1. In which month they were born?

2. Do they know of any holidays in their birth month?

3. Do they know of any famous person born in their birth month?

4. Do they know of any historical events in their birth month?

5. What do they know about their astrological sign? Their birthstone?

Follow with a general discussion of the calendar itself. The word calendar comes from the Latin word, calendarium, an account-book, from calendar, the first day of each month, the calends, the day the monthly interest was due to the money-lenders; root in calo, Greek word kalein, to call. Ask the students:

1. Why are there twelve months in a year?

2. What do the names of the months mean?

3. How many days in each month?

4. Is it important to have a calendar? Why?

5. How did the astronomers’ computations affect the calendar year?

A calendar is not just an arrangement of numbers put together to give us days, weeks, and months. Nor is it just a chart for a wall or an index for a desk. It is the threshold of all the events which have happened, are happening, and will happen. The calendar should not be thought of as something we get at Christmas time from the neighborhood store, but as a record of years of life and work, and as a source of recipes, planing guides, interesting facts, and stories. It is important for everyone to have a calendar; farmers must know when to plant seeds, fishermen must know about the tides, and we must know about vacations and our birthdays. To get answers to these we must know how to use reference materials. We can read about the rotation of the earth on its axis and learn about the days, the revolution of the moon around the earth and learn about months, and revolution of the earth around the sun and learn about years. The calendar can help us discover the days and years gone by. Every day becomes a reminder of important people, historical happenings, memorable events, and holidays. And when we know our own traditions, customs, and celebrations, we can appreciate our culture.

Another opportune time to begin the study of the calendar would be in January since you would already have taught the more basic skills, and could start the new year with something different. Remark to the class that you know they have learned many research skills and that this year they will learn many more and, you hope, use what they have learned in many interesting and different ways.

The students are to use their research skills in seeking information about people born in their birth months, and also about events, inventions, and holidays to be selected because they happened in that month. The teacher might ask which books can be used. Responses might be the encyclopedia and almanac. At this point, the teacher will find out which reference materials have been taught previously. Tell the students they will learn how to use the books they mentioned and others (for example, the atlas, biographical dictionaries, and the card catalog in the library) to get more information from other books. The ways in which these materials are used for English will be applied to reports they will have to do in other subjects, but it is important to start in the English class.

Discuss the reference materials on display in the classroom. If it is impossible to have room copies of these books, borrow them from the school library. Point out the kinds of dictionaries, the encyclopedia, the atlas, and the almanac. Briefly give the significant parts of each. Explain that the dictionary is to be used for definitions, correct spellings, parts of speech, etymology, and phonetical spellings; that the atlas is for selected map work; that the almanac is for finding quick facts and events for a given year.

State the differences between the dictionary and the encyclopedia. The dictionary is a book used for words as just stated, with guide words at the top of each page; the encyclopedia gives us general information on many subjects. The encyclopedia can be contained in a set of many volumes as well as one book. A trip to the library will be a reinforcement of your teaching of reference materials, but it is necessary that you arrange one or more lessons with the librarian.

The general plan is to have the students work in groups arranged by their birth months. They will write about which famous people were born, which historical events happened, which inventions were patented, and which holidays fall in that month. To do the work I just outlined, students will be given lessons in the classroom and in the library on reference materials and the card catalog.

After the lessons and several reinforcement lessons on the encyclopedia and almanac (by which the teacher knows that most of the children understand the basic skills learned and practiced, namely, alphabetizing, how the books are organized, and what key words to use in looking up something), another reference book can be reviewed—the dictionary. Weekly spelling assignments will strengthen skills in using the dictionary for alphabetizing, using guide words, and for finding phonetical spellings, parts of speech, syllabication and definitions. A weekly test is a check, but I also have made it a practice to give a five-week test of twenty-five words taken from their five-week study. This last test is an influence on their grade for spelling for the particular marking period. Several times during the calendar project spelling words incorporating reference materials and the calendar are assigned. Students will be responsible for applying dictionary skills studied. The vocabulary list would include such words as:

calendarhistoricalspecific continuum
astronomyencyclopediasolar celebration
besides the months of the year and the names of books.

This practice helps the students in concentrating their efforts in other classes. In the past several years I have been fortunate in working well with my colleagues in Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science. In our combined efforts and assignments the students were given double grades for their work. For example, the Social Studies teacher assigned each division of the three classes in our period certain areas in the world. The students were to select a country in the specific area for their division and write about it. General questions were given, and at a particular date the assignment had to be finished and turned in or a failure was given. The students were given some time during English period to use the reference books which were in the room. I gave lessons in the use of the encyclopedia, the almanac, the atlas, and the thesaurus. The Social Studies teacher used his class time to check whether students understood the material they had written about and whether information was copied directly out of a book. When the reports were completed they were graded in Social Studies on content, and in English on capitalization, sentence structure, punctuation, synonym usage, margins, general neatness, and penmanship. In many cases, the English grade was significantly lower than the Social Studies grade.

Two other reports were combined in Social Studies and English. The report due the first week in June was to have been that student’s best work. Many reports were! The students did so well because of their improved knowledge of basic skills of English and Social Studies. For a report to be accepted, proof of research was important. The students compared their three reports. We all could see the progress made, even in the covers, title pages, outlines, and writing.

With the calendar project interdisciplinary skills are important, Basic studies on the calendar with reference to Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science will be correlated. By learning the skills in English class, the students should be able to work on any reports assigned by other teachers. Learning how to make a bibliography is important. Turning in a good report which is the product of research and which is written in their own words rather than copied from a book is an enormous accomplishment for students in the middle grades.

No matter what type of English lesson is being taught, the teacher is still to continue to review lessons on reference materials whenever he or she can. The instructions are time-consuming and repetitious; but this is how many of our students learn, so it is important to repeat. Differences in students’ maturity should be considered. The students with less ability to learn but greater physical abilities can participate in group activities which stress their special capabilities. The less capable readers share the work of researching the report and providing illustrative material for the completed booklet.

In the following account of the unit, I have used June as an illustration of what will be done in the unit for every month. The history of our calendar has been told by many different people. Several of the books I have used and recommend are listed in the Bibliography.

The chart made earlier in the year is to be put on display. The students are to check their birth month to see which classmates they are to work with. A problem may arise if no student in the class was born in a particular month. If this is the case, the teacher will take that month, assign it to a volunteer, or make it an additional assignment for extra credit.

As yet, no written work is to be attempted. The children should understand that this is a group assignment and they have to be made comfortable in their group. They are not grouped academically (by reading levels) or in any other achievement-oriented way. With middle school children it may be necessary to spend several lessons discussing the importance of working together to make the group a success. Everyone will be doing the same kind of reference work; the only differences will be in the specific names and events assigned.

Children can be mean to their peers. They may openly say they do not want a particular classmate to work with them. But since one of the objectives of this unit is harmonious cooperation, such objections should be discouraged. Students will have to be told that they must learn to share their time, materials, and ideas. They must also develop feelings of mutual respect and group responsibility.

The general plan using the encyclopedias may begin. The students are asked to sit in their groups. Move chairs and tables around if necessary so the groups can share the books. Books about the calendar and its monthly events are distributed and examined. Use books such as: any edition of Chase’s Calendar of Annual Events; Douglas, The American Book of Days; Millgate, The Almanac of Dates; Mirkin, When Did It Happen?; and any edition of The World Almanac.

After a time the groups can exchange books to look for differences. Keep a general discussion going about all the things that are noted in the books. This might be all you can do for the first session. Begin the next meeting in a similar way. In addition, have the members of each group elect a secretary to keep a record of the people, holidays and events which the group decides to treat. The teacher should check the groups’ lists for variety and later ask the following questions:

1. Who were some of the people born in your birth month? How long ago did they live?
2. If still living, where are they living? Are they continuing the work that has made them famous?
3. Tell something about their work. What did these people do? How can they be remembered?
4. If an author, what books did he or she write? Have you read any? If a sports figure, in which sport? Was he or she in a Hall of Fame? Why? If an inventor, tell something about the invention. How has the invention benefited mankind? If a musician, why should he or she be remembered?
5. What holiday is in your month? How and why did it become a holiday? What is its origin? Do all states celebrate it? What ceremonies are held for this holiday?
6. What historical events have taken place in your birth month? Why are these events especially remembered? What is the background of these events? Are they turning points in our history? Who was involved in these events?
7. What is the sign of the zodiac for your month?
When the lists of names, holidays, and events have been compiled, class time is to be set aside for the groups to decide who is to look up the various items on the list. The teacher should check the lists and the group’s division of the assignment, and make any necessary adjustments. The encyclopedias can be used. Each group is responsible for writing about the following:

1. Any five individuals born in their birth month.
2. Any three historical events or accomplishments which have occurred in that month.
3. A holiday, legal or state.
4. General information, which is to include the following:
a) the month’s name
b) birthstone
c) zodiac sign
Each group is to meet whenever a problem arises. Remember, the teacher is to meet with the groups from time to time and ask how the work is coming along, and if they have had any problems using the reference books. The papers of each group can be kept in folders in the classroom where students have easy access to them. (The teacher could also see them at any time to check and comment on them.) Inform the groups that at some time they will be given class time to present their results.

The World Book Encyclopedia and The New Book of Knowledge are two sets I would recommend for the middle grades. Both are well written and easy to understand. The sets are made up of several volumes; the volume number and letter of the alphabet contained are on the book’s spine. To find information needed they are to look under the last name of the individual. If the individual’s name is not a main entry in the volume they have, in what other way may the encyclopedia be used? The teacher is to teach the purpose of the index. The index may be found either at the end of each volume, or in a separate volume at the end of the set.

Among the many valuable dictionaries to use for reference are: Dictionary of American Authors, Dictionary of American History, Dictionary of American Biography, Dictionary of American Names, Nicknames, and Surnames, Webster’s Biographical Dictionary, and Webster’s Geographical Dictionary.

In writing about a person, the following outline would be kept in mind:

I. The individual
A. Birthdate and birthplace
B. Brief description of the individual
C. Family
D. Education
E. Important facts about his or her life
II. The kind of person he or she was
A. Kind of work he or she did
B. Hobbies
III. What he or she did to become famous
A. Accomplishments
B. Gifts to us
IV. Death
The following list includes only a small minority of people who were born in June, my birth month; this is a representative rather than exhaustive selection:

Date In

JuneIndividualWhy Famous
5Mme. Chiang Kai-shek(Mayling Soong)Husband’s chief adviser
8Giuseppe Antonio GuarneriusViolin- maker
6Nathan HallAmerican soldier and patriot, spy in the Revolutionary War
6John TrumbullPainter
8Frank Lloyd WrightAmerican architect, writer
12John Augustus RoeblingAmerican engineer, born in Germany, pioneer in the building of suspension bridges: Niagara Falls and Brooklyn Bridges
13Fiesta de San Antonio of PaduaPreacher and teacher
13Harold (Red) GrangeAmerican football player, record is a legend
14Harriet Beecher StoweAuthor from Litchfield, Conn.
19Henry Louis (Lou) GehrigBaseball star, first baseman, N.Y. Yankees
22Anne Morrow LindberghAmerican author, aviator
24E.I. DuPontFinancier
26Pearl S. BuckNovelist
27Helen Adams KellerLecturer, writer, blind and deaf from infancy
27Paul Laurence DunbarNegro poet, son of slaves
28Alexis CarrelFrench experimental biologist and surgeon in America
29George Washington GoethalsAmerican army engineer, builder of the Panama Canal
29George Ellery HaleAmerican astronomer, astrophysicist, writer. Inventor of the spectroheliograph and other basic astronomical instruments
The following list includes only a small number of historicalevents:
Date in

JuneWhat Happened
3, 1888“Casey at the Bat”, baseball classic written by Ernest L Thayer, is published for the first time in the San Francisco Examiner
3, 1948The world’s largest telescope is dedicated at Mount Palomar Observatory, California
6, 1944Allied Expeditionary Force landed in Normandy
9, 1897Connecticut State Flag adopted
12, 1939Baseball centennial celebration of the invention of the game at Cooperstown, N.Y.
13, 1927750,000 pounds of paper showered auto of Charles Lindberg during his New York ticker-tape parade
14, 1777“Stars and Stripes” adopted as United States Flag
15, 1752Franklin demonstrated the identity of electricity and lightening by use of a kite
17, 1775Bunker Hill Day
19, 1962Tiros 5 weather satellite launched
19, 1963Tiros 7 weather satellite launched
20, 1782Great Seal of the United States adopted by Congress
21. Summer begins
24, 1947First “Flying Saucer~ reported
26, 1284The Pied Piper of Hamelin, Germany, lures 130 children of the town into oblivion
The outline previously mentioned is a guide for writing about the individuals the groups have selected. The next presented class lesson is on the use of the card catalog. Information about the kinds of catalog cards for library books may first be presented in the classroom; then the class should go to the library to actually see the catalog.

In using the catalog we look up the individual’s last name. The information may be found on an author card, a title card, or a subject card. Discuss the differences in the cards and the information contained on each card. Discuss the fiction books (stories) and the nonfiction (true and factual). Discuss the call numbers for the nonfiction books and explain Dewey Decimal System, invented in 1876 by Melvil Dewey to classify his own books. All the books on the same subject are placed together within the ten main categories of the system.

Students by this time are using the encyclopedias, biographical dictionaries and the card catalog to write about individuals born in their birth month. Apply the same strategy to look up historical events, and/or inventions, and holidays. Continue to give reinforcement lessons. Repetition and more repetition will never be time wasted. Remind the students to check indexes if the information they are looking for is not in the body of the book; otherwise they will become discouraged. Have the students ask questions; feel free to ask questions yourself. Remember, children have a lot to learn, and even teachers can learn from children.

In every month we can find at least one patriotic event which has taken place, so the lesson for Flag Day, June 14, could be transposed to another holiday in another month for each group to pursue.

The flag as a symbol of our country is important because it stands for the American people and their history. Better knowledge of the flag and its history is necessary to the development of respect for our country and the inculcation of democratic ideals, The flag is a symbol of all our privileges, and is our hope and salvation. When the world sees our flag, it also sees our heritage and our democratic ideals.

For many years there were no laws or rules to observe for the care and proper display of the flag. On June 14, 1923, under the auspices of the American Legion, more than sixty-five patriotic organizations assembled in Washington, DC to draw up and adopt a flag code. Rules were approved and revised in 1924, and are generally accepted today.

The rules and customs pertaining to the display and use of the flag were passed and approved by Congress as Public Law Number 623 on June 22, 1942. Included are the customs of the use of the flag in times of bad weather, in parades, in funerals, with other flags, and prohibited uses of the flag. Discuss the following:

1. The history of the American flag

2. Famous flags in American history

3. Different names for the American flag

4. How flags are made

5. Respect which the flag should be given

Information in the nest two paragraphs is taken from the World Almanac.1

Technically there are no national holidays in the United States’ each state has jurisdiction over its holidays, which are designated by legislative enactment or executive proclamation. In practice, however, most states observe the Federal legal public holidays, even though the President and Congress can legally designate holidays only for the District of Columbia and for Federal employees.

Federal legal public holidays are New Year’s, Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Other reports on this aspect can be rewritten for Social Studies lessons. Oral taIks on this information can be presented to the class.

The teacher is to continue to meet with the groups end start them thinking about how they might want to complete their study. Then shift to something which is a refreshingly personal part of this unit—the horoscope. Millions of people ~ have had their horoscope drawn up and believe in them, but many astronomers are convinced that astrology is nothing but superstition. Teaching the Zodiac and its symbols becomes a challenge for the teacher.

The Zodiac is an imaginary belt of twelve constellations divided into twelve equal spaces of thirty degrees each: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpios, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces. These star groups circle the sky close to the earth’s orbit around the sun. The change of constellations seen Just before sunrise or after sunset confirms that the sun seems to move through the zodiac constellations each year.

The assignment for this interesting study will be Joyously accepted by all the students. They would have to answer for their group:

1. What is your sun sign?

2. What does it mean?

3. What does the star constellation represent?

4. How did it get its name?

5. Draw the animal

One member of the group should also write something about the history of the month’s name, its flower, its birthstone, Discuss answers to:

1. What the name means. Its origin.

2. If there is a special flower, what is it?

3. Though Retail Jewelers of America, Inc. have given precious stones or gems to each month. Write a description of your stone or gem,
For those students who are more interested in science, an arrangement can be made to discuss the seasons, the revolution of the earth around the sun, and the rotation of the earth on its axis.

The study of the calendar relates to Mathematics, also. For this purpose I ask all my students to learn the following anonymous rhyme:

Thirty days hath September,

April, June and November;

All the rest have thirty-one;

February twenty-eight alone —

Except in Leap Year, at which time

February’s days are twenty-nine

Using this rhyme the students not only learn how to spell the names of five months, but also work on mathematical problems. Endless combinations can be given, but I generally start off with easier questions.

1. How many days are in the months September, October, November?

2. How many days in January, February, March?

3. How many days in January, February, March in a Leap Year?

4. What is Leap Year? How often does it occur? Why?

5. How many days are in the month in which we have Thanksgiving?

6. How many days are in the month in which we have Labor Day?

7. Labor Day is always on which day of the week?

8. How many days in the months of winter? (Dec., Jan., Feb.)

9. If today were Memorial Day, how many days is it until Flag Day?

10. Which month has Halloween and how many days are in the month?

The time spent on these and similar questions depends on how weak or strong the students are in Mathematics. The teacher’s interest and time spent with the groups and in private conversations with the students can begin to unfold. In group meetings suggest that each group think about assembling the papers for a booklet. Someone in each group can work on an attractive cover. Besides making a booklet, what other ways can the students exhibit their work?

1. Would they like to write a play and present an assembly for the school? (They could honor a holiday or historical event.)
2. Would they like to hold a panel discussion in class on some aspect they read about?
3. What could they think of that they could perform for parents?
4. Would they like to make a mural showing some phase of their work?
5. Will they now show a development of democratic behavior and of ability to organize material?
Whatever work is turned in should be put on display in the classroom for anyone—other students, teachers and parents—to read.

Each group is given a deadline for the termination of the project. It is important that you do not change the due date. Remember, children can waste a lot of time; setting a deadline and keeping to it is a step in teaching them responsibility.

All the group work comes together. The students have compiled necessary and useful information, and have had fun doing it; they will thus remember the calendar. From January’s New Year’s Day to December’s New Year’s Eve, the year has passed. Because television competes for students’ attention, the teacher must be able to make reading attractive and fascinating. Middle school age children should spend time reading to learn, but many of them have to learn to read first. Give them a definite purpose to read better books and they will become better persons. If they can learn to use and share reference materials, listen to reports and carry on discussion, and become better and more knowledgeable citizens, the time in school was not wasted.

The experience in using a month of the year to exercise the skills learned is, I think, very rewarding. It would not be possible to discuss all the information about people, history, and science that could be studied with this method in one year.

Oral reports, discussions, panels, booklets, and assemblies will prove that teaching basic skills does not have to be monotonous or tedious. Children have to be taught what is right and acceptable in many situations; working in small groups affords many opportunities in which to develop. The students will learn responsibility by completing what they start, taking care of valuable resource materials, and having their assignment ready at the scheduled time. As John Holt has said, “ Since we can’t know what knowledge will be most needed in the future, it is senseless to try to teach it in advance. Instead, we should try to turn out people who love learning so much and learn so we11 that they will be able to learn whatever needs to be learned.”2

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Culminating Activities


1. Prepare a speech explaining the history of your birth month.
2. Write and produce a play.
3. Write a letter about what you learned to someone in another state, observing the skills for good letters: correct punctuation, and capitalization, proper use of the five parts of a friendly letter: (heading, salutation, body, closing, signature), and writing legibly and neatly
4. Prepare a speech explaining your present way of life and your hopes for the future.
5. Read as much as you can about your heritage,

Social Studies

1. What would (someone you researched) think of our world as it is today? What might he or she like about it? What would he or she criticize?
2. Show pictures of early flags.
3. Discuss the American flag of today:
a) What do the stripes mean?
b) Why are there stars in the flag?
c) Discuss the colors—red, white, blue
4. Draw a mural stressing our flag’s history.
5. Visit museums in the community.
6. Someone you looked up was an excellent leader. If you were electing or appointing a ruler, what people and what personality traits would you consider?
7. Discuss the days of the week:
a) What is the origin of each name?
b) Why are there seven days?
c) What do the names mean?

1. Design a book cover for your birth month project.
2. Draw pictures of the flower and birthstone of your month.
3. Make historical charts.
4. Make puppets and dress them in clothes of early America.
5. Make puppets and dress them as characters in a story written by an author in your birth month’
6. Learn to recognize paintings of a famous painter born in your birth month.
7. Illustrate flag terms and expressions,
8. Design an invitation to the principal, another class, or parents for a particular program.
9. Paint a mural to illustrate a famous historical event from your birth month.
10. Draw your zodiac sign,


1. Study the story of the earth
2. Study creation of plants, animals. and people, noting that without creation by God, nothing has value or meaning,
3. Make a simple horoscope.
4. Make a perpetual calendar.
5. Study the many different kinds of bridges.
6. Study the tides.
7. Look up the making of violins.
8. Study weather forecasts,
9. Look up planting tables for your birth month
10. Study Daylight Saving Time and Eastern Standard Time.

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Assignments Based on the Month of June

Card catalog

The cards in the card catalog are arranged in alphabetical order. If you want a book by a certain author, look under the author’s last name. If you are looking for a specific title, look for the first word of the title unless the word is A, An, or The, in which ease the card is filed by the second word in the title. subject cards are filed alphabetically by the first word in the subject.

All books have author and title cards. Nonfiction books have subject cards as well.

Fiction books (stories made up by the author) are arranged alphabetically by the authors’ last names. Nonfiction books are arranged according to subject.

For practice in using the card catalog:

1. Give each student slips with the following topics; have him or her write down the author, title, and call number of one book about:
a) Suspension bridges
b) Baseball Hall of Fame
c) Astrology
d) Violins
e) Flags
f) United States History—Colonial Period
g) Telescopes
h) Dog—-Training
i) Blindness
j) Calendar
2. Give out slips with the following authors’ names on them; have students write the titles of all books in the library by each author:
a) Harriet Beecher Stowe
b) Pearl S. Buck
c) Helen Adams Keller
d) George Ellery Hale
e) Anne Morrow Lindbergh
For practice in using the encyclopedia: Which volume of the encyclopedia would you use to look up:

1. Anne Morrow Lindbergh

2. Saint Anthony of Padua

3. Mme. Chiang Kai-shek

4. Giuseppe Antonio Guarnerius

5. E.. I. DuPont

For practice in using Who’s Who in America

1. Are the following persons listed in the most current issue?
2. When you have found out, write one interesting fact learned about each. If not listed, write not listed.
a) Paul Laurence Dunbar

b) George Ellery Hale

c) Frank Lloyd Wright

d) Nathan Hale

e) John Trumbull

f) John Augustus Roebling

g) Harold Grange

h) Henry Louis Gehrig

i) Anne Morrow Lindbergh

j) Helen Adams Keller

For practice in using the dictionary: 1. What entry word must I locate when the given word is not in its base form?

a) astronomical

b) legendary

c) culminating

d) lecturer

e) experimental

2. What are the guide words for these:

a) calendar

b) rotation

c) surgeon

d) revolution

e) horoscope

For practice in identification of reference books: State briefly what types of information is to be found in:

a) The New Book of Knowledge

b) an atlas

c) Webster’s Biographical Dictionary

d) an almanac

e) Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature

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Part One

Locate and circle the Morning and Evening Stars


Part Two

Locate and circle the abbreviations for the months of

the year

Figure available in print form

Find the underlined celebrations in this puzzle and circle them

Memorial DayMothers Day Easter
Flag DayMartin Luther King DayFourth of July
New Years DayAsh WednesdayLincoln’s Birthday
Labor DayVeterans DayGood Friday
Valentine DayWashington’s BirthdayHalloween
On the other side of your paper write the month in which the celebrations occur.

Figure available in print form

Using Reference Materials

To solve this puzzle you must have the same total horizontally and vertically. Match Column 1 with Column 2, write the number answers in the proper letter square and its answer on the lines below the puzzle,

Figure available in print form.

Column 1Column 2
A, Book of facts in detail 1. dictionary
B. Book of maps 2. magazine
C. True and factual books 3. zodiac
D. Book of definitions 4, Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature
E. Annual printing of quick facts 5. nonfiction
F. Author, title, subject cards 6. graph
G. Round model of the earth 7. atlas
H. Pictorial representation 8. almanac
I, Reference for magazine articles 9. encyclopedia
10. fiction
11. globe
12. card catalog


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1. The World Almanac & Book of Facts (New York s Newspaper Enterprise Association, Inc., 1978), p. 792.

2. John Holt, How Children Fail (New York: Pitman Publishing Corporation, 1969), p. 177.

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Bibliography for Teachers—-Periodicals

Anderson, J. P, “Reading and Writing Can Be Fun for the Underachiever!” English Journal, 59 (November 1970), 1119-21.

Carlock, L. L. “Junior High Teaching Needs Enthusiasm,” Business Education Forum, 25 (November 1970), 11-12.

Correll, M. “Early Time Measurements,” Physics Teacher, 15 (November 1977), 476-479.

Donelson, K. L. “Some Responsibilities for English Teachers Who Already Face an Impossible Job,” English Journal, 66 (September 1977), 27-32.

Edgington, Ruth. “Dividends from Calendar Work,” Academic Therapy, 6 (Fall 1970), 84-89,

Johnson, Terry. “Language Experience: We Can’t All Write what We Can Say,” Reading Teacher 31 (December 1977), 303- 307.

La Rocque, G, E. “Developing Special Skills for Reading the Genres, Reading Improvement 14 (Fall 1977), 182-186.

Meisterheim, M. “Rx for Helping Johnny Write Better,” Elementary School Journal, 78 (September 1977), 4-8.

Reed, G. “Is the Planetarium a More Effective Teaching Device than the Combination of the Classroom Chalkboard and Celestial Globe?” School Science & Math 70 (June 1970), 487-492.

Sager, Carol. “Improving the Quality of Written Composition in the Middle Grades,” Language Arts, 54 (October 1977),

Wagner, Tony. “Learning Democratically,” English Journal, 66 (September 1977), 33-37.

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Bibliography for Teachers—-Books

Burrows, Alvina, Doris C. Jackson, and Dorothy O. Saunders. They All Want to Write. 3rd ed. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, Inc., 1964.

Chase, William D. Chase’s Calendar of Annual Events 1979. Flint, Michigan: Apple Tree Press, 1978,

Douglas, George William. The American Book of Days. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1965.

Fader, D.N. and E.B. McNeil. Hooked _ Books: Program and Proof. New York: Putnam, 1968.

Fader, Daniel with James Duggins, Tom Finn and Elton McNeil. The New Hooked on Books. New York: Berkley Publishing Corporation, 1976.

Fitch, Henry, The Perfect Calendar for Every Year of the Christian Era. New York: Funk and Wagnalls Comapny, 1938.

Hazeltine, Mary Emogene. Anniversaries and Holidays: A Calendar of Days and How to Observe Them. Chicago: American Library Association, 1944.

Holt, John. How Children Fail. New York: Pitman Publishing Corporation, 1967.

Sumner, William Graham. The Forgotten Man’s Almanac. Selected by A. G. Keller. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1943.

The World Almanac & Book of Facts 1979. New York: Newspaper Enterprise Association, Inc. 1978.

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Bibliography for Students

Achelis, Elisabeth. The Calendar for Everybody. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1943.

Adler, Irving. Time in Your Life. Illustrated by Ruth Adler. New York: The Johy Day Company, 1955.

Asimov, Isaac. The Clock We Live On. London: Abelard-Schuman, 1965.

Bendick, Jeanne. The First Book of Time. New York: Franklin Watts, Inc, 1964.

Watts, Inc. 1964.

Bowman, Margaret E. Romance in Arithmetic: a History of Our Currency, Weights and Measures, and Calendar. London: University of London Press, 1960.

Chase, William D. Chase’s Calendar of Annual Events 1979. Flint, Michigan: Apple Tree Press, 1978.

Galt, Tom. Seven Days from Sunday. Illustrated by Don Freeman. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1956.

Irwin, Keith Gordon. The 365 Days. Illustrated by Guy Felming. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1963.

Kettelkamp, Larry. Astrology: Wisdom of the Stars. Illustrated by

the author. New York: William Morrow and Company, 1973.

Krythe, Maymie R. All About American Holidays. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1962.

Lipkind, William. Days to Remember: An Almanac. Illustrated by Jerome Snyder. New York: Ivan Obolensky, Inc. 1961.

Millgate, Linda. The Almanac of Dates: Events of the Past for Every Day of the Year. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1977.

Mirkin, Stanford M. When Did It Happen? New York: Ives Washburn, Inc. 1957.

Nichol, William T, Ed, D. How Reference Resources Help Us. Illustrations by John Faulkner. Chicago: Benefic Press, 1966.

Parlin, John. Patriots’ Days: A Holiday Book. Illustrated by Robert

Doremus. Illinois: Garrard Publishing Company, 1964.

Tannenbaum, Beulah and Myra Stillman. Understanding Time, The Science of Clocks and Calendars. New York: McGraw Hill Book Company, Inc. 1958.

The World Almanac & Book of Facts 1979. New York: Newspaper Enterprise Association, Tnc,, 1978

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Books for Classroom Library

Adams, Florence and Elizabeth McCarrick. Highdays & Holidays. Decorated by Emma L. Brock. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc. 1955.

Adler, Trving. Time in Your Life. Illustrated by Ruth Adler. New York: The John Day Company, 1955.

Burnett, Bernice, The First Book of Holidays. Pictures by Marjorie Glaubach. New York: Franklin Watts, Tnc. 1955.

Chase, William D. Chase’s Calendar of Annual Events 1979. Flint, Michigan: Apple Tree Press, 1978.

Cousins, Frank W. Sundials: The Art and Science of Gnomonics. New York: Pica Press, 1970.

Hazeltine, Alice I. and Elva S. Smith. The Year Around: Poems for Children. Decorations by Paula Hutchinson. New York: Abingdon Press, 1956.

Ickis, Marguerite. The Book of Patriotic Holidays. With drawings by Miriam F. Fabbri. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1962.

Johnson, Lois S. Happy Birthday Round the World. Illustrated by Genial Chicago: Rand-McNally & Comapny, 1963.

Krythe, Maymie R. All About American Holidays. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1962.

Nichol, William T. How Reference Resources Help Us. Illustrations by John Faulkner, Chicago: Benefic Press, 1966.

Thomas, Robert B. The Old Farmer’s Almanac, 1976. Dublin, N.H Yankee, Inc, 1975.

The World Almanac & Book of Facts 1979. New York: Newspaper Enterprise Association, Inc. 1978.

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Contents of 1979 Volume IV | Directory of Volumes | Index | Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute

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