Documenting Your Personal Learning Journey

You’ve decided on a topic, designed your own study, and found great learning resources. Sometimes being able to take all the information in is satisfying enough. There are other times when you may want to begin documenting what you’re learning, the resources you used, the places you went, and where and how you learned what you know. You may also want to have a place to store your questions, knowledge, thoughts, and designs. There are a lot of enjoyable and creative ways to do that. 

Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

Keep a sectioned notebook or binder primarily for the topics you are currently learning about. Include the names of the books and periodicals you read, websites visited, videos watched, places you went, people you spoke to, pictures, designs, and any other information you deem important enough to include.

Start a word document. Open your word-processor and type in any information you want to include. Add pictures too!

Dedicate a file folder to your topic. Create and name a file folder on your computer, and add all the information you want to keep in that folder. Include: Pictures, videos, sound files, word files with thoughts, things learned, summaries of the things you read, new questions, etc..

Start a blog or a website. You can start a personal blog or website for free and keep it private, invite selected people to view it, or share it publicly. It’s a great place to keep the sites you’ve read, videos you’ve viewed or taken yourself, hold onto pictures, jot down notes, write book summaries, process your thoughts and opinions, and other information.

Create a vlog or video channel. Again you can keep it private or share it with others. Instead documenting your adventure via writing, you can create a video journal of your journey for the same reasons you may keep a blog or site. You can also create your own videos and keep them on your computer or in a cloud.

Draw or take pictures. In some cases it is easier to draw or document what you’re learning with pictures. Pictures and drawings can be uploaded to a computer and made into a digital scrapbook or a Power Point Presentation. 

Design a game based on the things you’ve learned. Games are a fun way to help you remember information and test your knowledge.

Make audio files. Document your journey using an audio device. This is a great way to record a quick note or reminder, capture a thought, event, sound, a feeling, or an observation.

Start a personal publication. There are many different types of publications you can start such as: A book, magazine, newsletter, pamphlet, a guide, etc. for your personal reference.

Some other ways include: Scrapbooks, portfolios, an efolio, fact/information cards, etc.. 

How something is recorded really depends on the topic and how compelled you feel about documenting your journey. Having or being able to refer to material later on may prove to be really valuable someday, so take a little time before, during, or after each learning session to document what you’ve learned in a way that appeals to you most.

In my next post, I’ll offer some tips about sharing your knowledge with others.

Thanks for reading!
Fran W.

If this topic interests you, I invite you to connect with me via email, Facebook – Twitter – Pinterest  Google+
If you have any questions, please leave me a comment and I’ll address it as soon as I can. You can also send me a message at

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Finding Informative Learning Resources

If you’re planning to design a personalized, one-of-a-kind study, you are going to need informative resources, and ways to gain the greatest understanding possible about your chosen topic. When you’re learning in ways that best suit your needs, the options are almost limitless!

Here’s a list of some of the resources you can use to design your study.

Observation – Observation is a very powerful tool and a great deal can be learned by watching something or someone. It can also lead to some excellent questions.

Books & Periodicals – Look for books, articles, magazines, newsletters, newspapers, journals, blogs, and any other written material available to you, about your chosen topic

Videos and Vlogs – If you want to learn about something, there’s bound to be a video about it somewhere on the Internet! Do a quick search and don’t forget to bookmark your favorites! If you can’t find what you are looking for, consider making your own, based on your own experiences. It will help you connect with others interested in your topic.

Personal Experiences – Experience IS the absolute best teacher, so if you can get some first hand knowledge about your topic, go for it. Consider volunteering, getting or making a job in that area, helping someone who’s already doing what you would like to do, or paying someone to show you the ropes. Depending on the topic, you can also go to museums, zoos, aquariums, science centers, take tours, attend classes, and any number of other opportunities can open up to you.

Attend Programs & Events – Check your local paper, community calendar, groups, websites of interest, museums, reenactment societies, cafes, adult education facilities, science centers, societies related to your topic, and friends in the know, about programs and events being held on your topic of interest, and attend as many as possible. You’ll begin making connections and finding new leads and directions to go in.

Open Courses – The Internet is filled with formal and informal courses on a wide variety of topics. Search for what you need or ask someone if they have any leads. If you want to go at your own pace, look for courses that don’t have any time constraints.

Trial & Error – Good old trial and error will have you knowing the ins and outs and dos and don’ts in no time flat.
Note: Please stay safe. Get to know the safety rules and laws before hand if your chosen area is potentially dangerous.

The Internet is one excellent place for finding learning resources, but don’t forget your local library and their inter-library loan programs. 

Look for apps in your favorite app store as well.

In my next post, I’ll offer some tips about documenting your personal learning journey.

Thanks for reading!
Fran W.

If this topic interests you, I invite you to connect with me via email, Facebook – Twitter – Pinterest  Google+
If you have any questions, please leave me a comment and I’ll address it as soon as I can. You can also send me a message at

Note: If this, or any other post on Fran’s World of Discovery, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where
it can be found! Thank you!

Create A Comic

“Famous Funnies 1933” by “Famous Funnies”
– Carnival of Comics

A really creative and fun way to play with language is to use pictures to communicate an opinion, thought or story. Comics can be used to do this, and the great thing about them is that they can be as short as one box, fill a strip of boxes, or an entire book!

What would you like to say using pictures and maybe some words? There’s no end to how creative you can be while making one of your own comics!

To make your own comic you will need…

A ruler, plain paper, a sharpened pencil or fine tipped pen/marker

Optional items: Colored pencils, colored makers

What to do…

Use a ruler to make a box or a series of boxes on plain paper. Then draw your comic with a sharpened pencil, a fine tipped pen or marker, and color in your picture with colored pencils or markers if you want to.

You can also use Make Beliefs Comixto create a comic of your own online.

If you need some inspiration, look for comics in the newspapers, or comic books and graphic novels in book stores or the library. 
Tim Hunkinused comics to show how to do a variety of science experiments. 

There are all kinds of comic book heroes that may inspire you into making your own as well. Read some comics through before you begin your own if you need to.

Comic Book + has a large collection of Golden and Silver Age comics that are legal and FREE to read online, although registration is required to download them. They also have comic strips, pulp fiction, pamphlets and other publications.

Famous Funnies – American’s first comic. Preview old copies online or download digital copies.

There have been many famous comics over the years! 
Here are some popular ones…

Marvel Comics offers visitors the chance to design a comic strip or book right on their site, and provides heroes and villains to place in the comic. Registration is required if you want to use the save option.

Comic history

Websites can change at any time! Child supervision is suggested when viewing the sites provided.

Printable Templates

Printable Pages: Comic Templates

Select a language, then make a comic using the items available.
Click on the printer located at the top right-hand corner of the page for a variety of printable pages.

Related posts on Fran’s World of Discovery…

Building Writing Skills – Activities that build writing skills, naturally. 

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Note: Has this or another activity on Fran’s World of Discovery inspired you or someone else in a positive way? Have you featured this activity in a blog post? I invite you to comment and link back to where your post can be found or tell me what you or your family enjoyed about the post! Thank you!

Bean Resources

Mixed Beans by Fran W.

Click on the link to go to the site…

The Imagination Tree: Grow a Bean Plant on Cotton Balls – Instructions and illustrations.

Oklahoma 4H: A Bean is a Seed – Life cycle of a plant – classroom activities.

Kean University: Bean Plant Activities – Site offers various activities.

University of Hawaii: We’ve Bean Growing – PDF – Anatomy of Germination

Buzzle: Life Cycle of a Bean Plant – Site offers diagrams of various stages of a beans life cycle and offers explanations for each one.

Wikipedia: Bean – Site offers general information about beans, including cultivation and history.

Fran’s World of Discovery: Three Sisters: Beans – Bean soup recipe and bean activities offered on this site.

Cook’s Thesaurus: Dry Beans – This is a excellent resource for anyone interested in learning about various types of beans.

Enchanted Learning: Bean Diagram – Printable and ready to label. Word bank and answers available.

Kiddie Gardeners: Make a Bean Tee-pee – Instructions for making a bean tee-pee in your backyard.

Teaching Ideas: Bean Activities – Site offers bean activities for active young people.

Artists Helping Children: Seed and Bean Projects – Bean box, noise makers, crafts and other projects.

Bright Hub EducationPreschool Science Fun with a Lima Bean: Grow a Plant!

Wellness Proposals: Children’s Learning Activities Using Dry Beans – Activities for very young children.

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Note: Has this or another activity on Fran’s World of Discovery inspired you or someone else in a positive way? Have you featured this activity in a blog post? I invite you to comment and link back to where your post can be found, or tell me what you or your family enjoyed about the post! Thank you!

Lizard Resource Page

Lizards by Fran W. Photo by Teri Agiga

This lizard resource page has been created to serve as a companion to a research/activity guide for lizards, written and developed by Fran Wisniewski, for anyone who would like to learn about them…
  • Independently.
  • As a family/group project.
  • As a casual study.
  • In a classroom.
The guide can also be used to…
  • To create a study/writing project. 
  • To develop programs for libraries and educational institutions.
Please feel free to use and share this resource page with others. 

If you find a broken link or have a lizard link to share, please leave me a comment so the page can be updated.

Lizards in the News

Reptile Magazine: Lizards – Information about lizard: Species, pet care, gallery, breeding, wild lizards, information & news

Science Daily: Frogs and Reptiles – News and information

National Geographic SocietyBlind, Legless Lizard Discovered—New Species – Article.

New Scientist: Lizards Poisonous Secret is Revealed – Informative article about lizard venom.

General Information

FactZoo: Types of Lizards – Brief information about a variety of lizards.

Sheppard SoftwareLizards – Take a quiz to see what you know and learn about a variety of lizards.

WikipediaHerpetology – General Info.

WikipediaLizard – General Info.

Animal-World: Lizard Classification – Find out about the different classes of lizards.

Animal World – Venomous Lizards – Find out about venomous lizards.

Animals: About: Lizards – Basic information about lizards.

State Symbols USA: List of State Reptiles and Amphibians USA – List of “official” state reptiles, include lizards. 

Anatomy and Health

Learn the names of a lizard’s bones – Unlabeled and Labeled photo offered.

ClipArt etc.Reptile Anatomy: This site offers 61 illustrations of reptile anatomy, including lizards, in various sizes. 

Lizard LoungeLizard Tongue – Learn how various lizards use their tongue to smell, hunt and keep their eyes clean.

WikiVet: Lizard Anatomy – Systems of the lizard, including Lizard EyeLizard Ear and Taste and Smell

Reptile Hunter 3520: Lizard Anatomy and Physiology – Learn about the digestive, reproductive, respiratory, and nervou
s system, in addition to how a lizard’s senses work.

Disorders and Diseases of Reptiles – Learn about the different diseases reptiles can get; includes lizards.

Popular Lizards Noted for Their Medicinal Uses – Article about what lizards are used as medicine and the types of illnesses they are used for.

The Lizard LoungeParietal Eye – Find out what the parietal eye is and where it is located. Learn about their limbscirculatory system, tail and tongue. Learn lizard terminology and look through an a-z list of lizard photos in the gallery.

About: Exotic Pets: Metabolic Bone Disease – Learn about the disease and how it can be diagnosed and treated.

WikiVet: Lizard Cardiovascular System – Basics of a lizard’s cardiovascular system.

NY Times: One Reason Lizards Have Ears: To Eavesdrop – Article about a study that found out what lizards are listening for.

Science Daily: Why Does Gecko, A Chinese Traditional Medicine, Have Anti-Tumor Effects? Article about the effects of gecko powder on tumor growth. This site also has an article about a neon blue-tailed tree lizard that glides from branch to branch.

The Reptile Hunter’s Lair – Learn about lizard: Digestive system, reproductive system, nervous system, senses, respiratory system, autotomy, and life span. This site also offers a care sheet for a variety of lizards. (There is a lot of valuable information on this site, but there are pop-ups too.)

Venomous Lizards – Read about the various types of venomous lizards and what venom they carry.

LLLReptile: Reptile Brumation – Some cold-blooded animals go into a hibernation-like state. Learn more about it here.

NCBI: Evolution of Anolis Lizard Dewlap Diversity – Find out what is known about the dewlap.


Scientific American: How is the gender of some reptiles determined by temperature? – Article.

Pawnation:  List of Lizards That Bear Live Young -Find out what lizards give birth rather than lay eggs.

BioExpedition: Lizard reproduction – Facts and information about egg and live baring lizards.

Scientific American: No Sex Needed: All-Female Lizard Species Cross Their Chromosomes to Make Babies – An article about asexual lizards.

Live Science: Female Komodo Dragon has Virgin Births – Article about a captive komodo dragon that lays eggs not fertilized by a male dragon.

Scientific American: Strange but True: Komodo Dragaons Show That “Virgin Births” are Possible – Article about captive komodo dragons that lay eggs not fertilized by male dragons. This article is bit more informative than the other article and talks about 2 female dragons who produce asexually and how the process happens.


AnimalHospitals-USA Lizard Diseases – Find out what diseases lizards can get, there causes, signs and symptoms to look for and in some cases, what can be done.

CDC: Reptile, Amphibians and Salmonella – Informative article issued by the CDC (Center for Disease Control).

NCBI: Viruses in Reptiles – The US National Library of Medicine: National Institute of Health: Information about viruses in reptiles; includes lizards.

Around the World

Reptile Data Base – Get the latest stats about reptiles around the world.

Prehistoric Connections

The ScientistAncient Pigments Unearthed – Article about how fossilized skin reveals the colors of three extinct marine reptile… mentions monitor lizard.

Science Codex: UI researcher and colleagues discover new species of ancient Asian lizard

Scholastic: Dinosaur Evolution – Question and Answer article. What are dinosaurs?

Extinct Lizards

WikipediaList of recently Extinct Reptiles – List of a few extinct reptiles; includes lizards.

MongaBayThe World’s Most Endangered Lizards – Offers a list of extinct lizards and ones that are in endangered.

Endangered Lizards

KidzWorld: Wild Things: Endangered Reptiles – Read about a few endangered reptiles; includes lizards.

The Conversation: Australian Endangered Species Christmas Island Forest Skink be sure to check out other information by putting the word: Lizard in the search box in the upper right-hand side of the site.

Endangered Species InternationalReptiles – How to help save reptiles.

ExtinctAnimalEndangered Reptiles – List of endangered reptiles.

Wikipedia Monitor lizards Find out why monitor lizards are endangered.

LiveScienceMonitor Lizards Threatened by Pet Trade, Fashion Industry – Article about how the monitor lizard has become threatened. 

Science CodexModern dragons in danger – the relentless exploitation of Asian giant lizards revealed – Article about monitor lizards.

Wikipedia: St. Croix Ground Lizard – General information with picture.

MongaBayThe World’s Most Endangered Lizards – Offers a list of extinct lizards and ones that are in endangered.

Reptile/Animal Societies

American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists

Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

IUCN Red List – List of threatened species. (International Union for Conservation of Nature)

Lizard Sounds

Lizard Sounds

Gecko Sounds


Scientific AmericanHow Do Chameleons Regenerate Lost Body Parts? – Article that explains regeneration.

KidsWorldColors of a Chameleon – Article offer some reasons why chameleons change color.

Marine Iguana

Smithsonian Ocean Portal
: Podcast about a Marine Iguana 5:21

The Animal FilesMarine Iguana – General information.

Wikipedia: Marine Iguana – General information.

Misc Lizard Information & Resources

Aggressive Display and Territorial Fighting in the Green Anole – Info about behavior. Includes diagram of brain.

Enchanted LearningFrilled Lizard – Information and lizard printout offered. More lizard info can be found here on the site.

National Geographic: Why Do Mysterious Lizards Have Green Blood? – Find out why one species of lizard has green blood.

How Stuff Works: Are Komodo dragons’ mouths deadlier than cobras’ venom? – Article about a komodo dragon’s bite.

Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles: How to be a Herpetologist – Find out what you need to do to have a career working with lizards.

Encyclopedia of Life: There is an impressive database (over 4500 entries) of lizard information on this site. Listen to a podcast about Anole lizards. Scientific study.

Wild Florida: Lizards – Offers a list of native and non-native lizards living in Florida. Pictures and brief description offered for most lizards.

FLMNH: Check list of Florida Lizards – Florida Museum of Natural History offers A-V list of native and non-native lizards that can be found in Florida with pictures.


Lizard Coloring Pages, Activity Suggestions  and Craft Ideas

AMNHLizards & Snakes: Alive! Coloring Book – Sampling of pages.

DLTK: Gecko Paper Craft, Gecko Scissor Skills CraftChameleon Crafts and 

Activities – Offers lizard related crafts.

First School: Reptile Coloring pages – Includes: Chameleon, Chuckwalla, Gecko, Gila Monster, Iguana, Komodo Dragon and more.

Coloring Pages 101: Lizards – Large variety of lizard coloring pages that can be printed or colored online.

Super ColoringLizards – A variety of serious and fun coloring pages.

Enchanted LearningLizard Printouts: Basilisk, blue-tongued skink, frilled lizard, komono dragon, veiled chameleon and more.

Squidoo: Lizard Garden – Get some ideas on how you can make a lizard garden.

Artists Helping ChildrenLizard Crafts – This site offers a variety of lizard crafts that link up to other

*Look in the YouTube section below for lizard origami projects.

Lizard Videos

San Diego ZooBlue Tongued Skink 1:47

National GeographicFrilled Lizard on the run. 

YouTube Videos

Educational Resources

Lizards and Snakes Alive for-educators 

Herpetology at the University of Texas at Austin

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Testing To Comply

Preparing for state tests while using an alternative learning method…

If you educate your children at home and your state requires testing, but you have chosen to use an alternative learning method, testing may become a concern for you.

How can you prepare for a state required test while staying true to your chosen educational method?
When I homeschooled in a state that required testing, I sat down and talked to my daughter about the things we needed to do in order to be able to stay compliant with our state’s regulations, and offered her the following choices:
  1. She could practice for the test by using various websites and/or worksheets to gain an understanding of what would be on the test, and how they would want answers to be entered.
  2. She could take the test and do the best she could without being familiar with the information they were asking on the test.
  3. She could fill in the bubbles randomly and hope to obtain the state’s minimum requirement in order to stay compliant so we could continue our home instruction program.
She decided to prepare for the test, so we used various websites to gain an understanding of the material that would be on it. Since we were able to chose the test, we went through SetonTesting Services and decided on the CAT E for her grade level. When we received the test, I read it through and it encouraged the educator to prepare the student for the test 1 month before taking it, but the student wasn’t supposed to look at it before test day. Knowing what was on the test, I put each testing area into the search engine, viewed the various sites for what they had to offer and gave it to her to work on. When she felt ready to move on, she did. It was up to her to retain the information and do the best she could. By testing standards, she did very well and never had to test again because we moved to state that didn’t require testing!
The other options…
Taking the test without knowing the information is completely up to each individual family, but getting an idea of what’s on it won’t hurt if it is taken from a perspective of curiosity. Finding ways to cover the information may be fun, especially if your state doesn’t require the test to be submitted, only retained for records. If the state does not require a specific percentile, does it really matter what the grade is? Once the test has been taken, the student is in compliance. If other parents within your homeschool group use an alternative education method, ask them how they handle testing.
If the test doesn’t matter to you in the least, but you must take it to stay compliant, then fill in the bubbles any way you like, submit the test, put the results away w/o looking at them and throw them away when they are no longer needed.
If your state’s requirements say that a certain percentile needs to be submitted, and you want to use an alternative learning method throughout the year, then you have some decisions to make. The percentiles are usually ridiculously low, and there is often an probationary period of one year, and a chance to retest if things don’t work out, but you can always retest before submitting your year-end paper work to make sure there is a passing grade. Only send the information you have to and never more then you need to.
Things to consider…
If your child is going to go to college, they may be interested in taking a minor test before they take an SAT-type test or GED. There are test prep books and sites you can use for practice if needed. Some libraries offer online test prep to their patrons for free.
If you are planning to take the test in truth, take the time to talk about: how to take the test, how to eliminate answers, how to look for tricky questions, to move on when stumped and to stay alert because the answer to one question may be in the question of another.
If you are required to take the test and are not worried about the results, consider invalidating the test in some way: give extra time, make the test a group effort, purchase a test for a lower grade, fill in the bubbles randomly, or some other creative way.
Keep in mind that testing re
ally doesn’t prove anything, and that the results do not need to be taken seriously because they do not show how intelligent a person is, nor do they prove understanding.
If you live in a state that does not require testing, consider this question: Why test if you don’t have to?
Catpin Productions offers a bubble test generator to practice with.
Scholastic: Preparingfor Standardized Test – get tips and suggestions for test taking.
Placement test for LanguageArts/English – Download
Placement test for Math– Download
For more test prep resources, check with your local library. Most libraries offer their card-holding patrons free access to practice materials.

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Note: Has this or another activity on Fran’s World of Discovery inspired you or someone else in a positive way? Have you featured this activity in a blog post? I invite you to comment and link back to where your post can be found, or tell me what you or your family enjoyed about the post! Thank you!

Apple Resources

Mixed Apples by Fran W.

General Information & Facts About Apples & Apple History

Vermont Apples

Washington Apples
Varieties of apples

Apples and More
University of Illinois – Apple facts

Nutritional Information about Apples

Whole Foods: Apples

Apple and Johnny Appleseed Crafts

Apples and Johnny Appleseed Crafts and Coloring

Apple Lesson Plans

Michigan Apple Committee: Teacher Resources
Site offers a downloadable PDF

Apples, Apples, Apples Lesson Plan
Scholastic – Most activities do not require the book

Apple Craft
First School

Apple Activities

How to Pick Apples offers tips for picking apples.
Apple Videos

If you have apple resources to share, please leave me a comment and I’ll add it to the post! Thank you in advance for helping to make this post better!

Please share this resource with others!

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Note: If this, or any other post on Funschooling and Recreational Learning, has inspired you in a positive way, or you have featured it in a blog post, please comment and link back to where it can be found! Thank you!

Castle Resources

Bodiam Castle from Wikipedia

The following resources were put together to go with: 
Fran’s World of Discovery: Castle Research Project

Castles Around the World

29 Gorgeous Castles Around the World

Website dedicated to castles. Site has information on over 500 castles, castle ruins, and other fortifications in Europe and beyond. 

Prague Castle

Prague Castle Guide

Wikipedia: Prague Castle

Dragsholm Castle

Wikipedia: Dragsholm Castle

Centuries of History and Ghosts Haunt Denmark’s Dragsholm Castle

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle | Royal Collection Trust
An exhibition of paintings and drawings by the Royal Family.

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and the Official Residence of Her Majesty The Queen.

Wikipedia: Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is a royal residence at Windsor in the English county of Berkshire.

Conwy Castle

Look through some amazing pictures of this castle while learning about it.


Learn about Conwy Castle and about other areas of Wales.

Conwy Castle

Short article about Conwy Castle.

Castles of the Middle

An article about Crac des Chevaliers in Western Syria.

More Castle Information

This site has an extensive list of castles that can be found all around the world. There is a section for kids on this site as well. Click on the words if the picture is not available. There is a section that allows you to tour a castle – the outside, inside and the people. Coloring pages are offered under “activities”.

If you run through the pages you will find a page for: An overview, history of castles, castle features, castle defenses, inside the castle, castle construction, Medieval sieges, decline of castles and more.

What is a castle, features, history, construction, and social centre.

Inspiring Sleeping Beauty’s Castle

Learn about the history of the castle that inspired, Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty’s Castle” and look at a few of the interior pictures.

Location, design concept, construction, and learn a little about the owner: Ludwig II of Bavaria.

Brief history of the castle.

Castles Activities for Kids

Storm The Castle
Creativity and lots of projects you can make!
Creativity in fantasy, how to write, make video games, play classical guitar and do creative things.

Rhymes, crafts and printables…membership may be required for some printables.

Fantasy and Medieval Crafts for Kids
Free printable templates and instructions for fantasy and medieval themed crafts for kids.

Castles and Medieval Life
Note: Some of the activities will take you off site.

  • Castle and knight related activities such as “Dress a Knight” “Castle Construction”
  • Links to other castle sites.
  • Labeling foods, castles, things people wore during Medieval times.

Haunted Castles

Haunted castles of Ireland, England, Scotland, the UK and Europe.

Extensive list of haunted castles.

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Dolphins – Research Resource

Dolphin Photo by Fran W.

Dolphin Resources Across the Curriculum

Animal Planet: Dolphins
This site offers The Ultimate Guide to Dolphins a series of 9 videos that talk about echolocation, strandings, cousins and more.

Facts about Dolphins

Animals: About offers a series of facts about dolphin anatomy and family info.

National Geographic: Dolphins

Find out where dolphins can be found, listen to dolphin sounds, and get quick facts such as weight, size and life span.

Science for Kids: Fun Dolphin Facts for Kids
Short list of dolphin facts.

Bottlenose Dolphins
Sea World offers general and environmental information about dolphins. It also offers an Info-Book Index filled with lots of information about dolphins and Classroom Activities in PDF format.

Dolphin Activities and Crafts

First-school offers printable pages, facts, crafts and an online puzzle.

Learning about Dolphins

Homeschooling: About offers links to dolphin facts, word activities (puzzles, games, etc.), coloring pages, dolphin themed paper and more.

Wild Animal Watch: Dolphins

Scholastic has put together a dolphin information site that talks about wild and captive dolphins, and offers a Teacher’s Guide. This site also offers information about Winter, the dolphin with the prosthetic tail, from the movie, Winter’s Tale. Winter lives at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, located in Clearwater, FL. Watch Winter & Hope’s Cam. Check this Winter/Hope Cam too.

Dolphins at Daybreak – Lesson Plan

A full lesson plan for the The Magic Tree House book: Dolphins at Daybreak by Mary Pope Osborne

Dolphin Tale 2 (Movie)
The Homeschool Movie Club offers a curriculum about dolphins. You will need to register to download the pdf files and movies.

Navy Dolphins

Learn how dolphins help the Navy.

Wikipedia: Dolphins

Wikipedia offers information about dolphins and includes a list of dolphins that can be learned about.

The Guardian: Pink Dolphin – ArticleRare pink bottlenose dolphin surfaces in Louisiana lake.

If you have a dolphin resource you would like to share, please leave me a comment with the link.

Dolphin Anatomy

Dolphin Anatomy

The Dolphin Research Center offers labeled pictures of the inside and outside of a dolphin.

Dolphin Anatomy – Label Me!

Enchanted Learning offers a printable dolphin that can be labeled. Outside view only.

Dolphin Anatomy – Interactive

This site offers an interactive view of the inside and outside of a dolphin. Move the viewing circle to the parts you want to look at, and the name of the area being viewed can be found under the dolphin.

Dolphin Anatomy – Various views

Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network offers various labeled pictures of a dolphin including: The outside, the organs and the skeletal structure. It also provides close up pictures of the bones of the fins in comparison to the human structure and other informative pictures.

Dolphin Anatomy – Video

Ocean Today offers a 3:00 minute video about dolphin anatomy. Narrated.

Dolphin Cams

Dolphin Research Center
Offer a webcam from 9:00am – 4:30pm daily. Click on the button “Web Cams” located in the menu to the left.

Dolphin Cam Featuring Winter and Hope

Ustream tv offers a Winter/Hope Cam and archived videos of Winter, her adoptive mother, Panama and Hope.

Dolphin Videos

Video Name/Time
1. Dolphins Help Young Seal 2:29
2. Nova Science Now: How Smart Are Dolphins? 10:51
3. CNN: Dolphins See Themselves in Mirror 5:09
4. Wild Dolphin “Asks” Divers to Help Free Itself from Hook 8:32 
5. NOVA – Private Lives of Dolphins 55:41
6. Dolphin Soldiers: Documentary on the U.S. Navy’s Dolphin Program 51:30
7. Nat Geo Wild: Dolphins: The Wild Side 55:12
8. SeaWorld’s Old “Dolphin Discovery” Show (in HD) 10:54
9. Incredible Dolphin Birth at Dolphin Quest Hawaii 3:30
10. Denise Herzing: Could we speak the language of dolphins? 14:38
11. Thinking dolphin: Diana Reiss at TEDxSanJoseCA 2012 19:23
12. Dolphin Bubbles: An Amazing Behavior 3:25
13. Drones Over Dolphin Stampede and Whales off Dana Point and Maui 5:17

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Washington Irving – Research Project

Washington Irving was a successful writer and editor, born April 3, 1783, in New York City, New York, and is best known for his short stories which include, ‘Rip Van Winkle’, and ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’.

Irving was America’s first internationally best-selling author who encouraged American authors – Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Henry Wadsworth, Longfellow and Edgar Allen Poe, and was admired by European writers including, Sir Walter Scott, with whom he was friends, Lord Byron, Thomas Campbell, Charles Dickens and others. Irving believed writing should be considered a legitimate profession and promoted the cause. He advocated for tougher laws to protect American writers from copyright infringements, but the legislation did not pass.

Did you know…

  • Washington Irving was named after General George Washington, the first president of the United States of America.
  • Irving was privately educated in his youth and was a self-taught adult.
  • In addition to being an author, Irving was an essayist, biographer, and a historian.
  • Irving had many pseudonyms that he wrote under.
  • Irving studied law and passed the bar.
  • Irving served as an ambassador to Spain from 1842 to 1846.
  • Washington Irving died November 28, 1859.

Research Questions

  • Where did Washington Irving grow up?
  • Where did Washington Irving get his inspiration to write ‘Rip Van Winkle’ and ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’?
  • What did Washington Irving nickname New York City, and what does it have to do with Batman?
  • What pseudonyms did Irving write under?
  • How is Irving remembered? (Memorials, City’s Named after him, Stamps, etc.)


    Bio: Washington Irving

    Brief biography about Irving.

    Wikipedia: Washington Irving

    A longer biography about Irving

    About: 19th Century History: Washington Irving

    Long biography about Washington Irving.

    Written by Washington Irving

    The Literature Network 
    Washington Irving
    Read a brief biography about Washington Irving, and some of his works, located on the left hand side of the page.

    Rip Van Winkle
    Read Irving’s classic short story
    Listen to this classic story on LibriVox: Rip Van Winkle

    The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

    Download and read Irving’s classic short story of the Headless Horseman & Ichabod Crane (aka The Legend of Sleepy Hollow)
    Listen to one of these versions of the classic story on LibriVox: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, or The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow Part 1 by Washington IrvingThe Legend Of Sleepy Hollow Part 2 by Washington Irving

    Old Christmas: From the Sketch Book of Washington IrvingThis is a LibriVox recording.

    Videos to Watch and Places to Visit on the Web

    Rip Van Winkle (Illustrations)

    Look at images from Arthur Rackham’s illustrations to Rip Van Winkle.
    Scroll down a little and click on the image you would like to look at.

    The Museum of Washington Irving

    Find out more about Washington Irving.

    1. Wishbone: Digging Up the Past part 1 9:58

    2. Wishbone: Digging Up the Past part 2 10:01

    3. Wishbone: Digging Up the Past part 3 7:01

    4. Wishbone – The Legend of Sleepy Hollow 54:43 

    5. Irving Documentary Jayme Smith 8:54

    6. Washington Irving: Biography, Works and Style 5:42

    7. The Haunted Pumpkin Of Sleepy Hollow(2003) 47:26 

    Related posts on Fran’s World of Discovery…

    Bram Stoker author of “Dracula

    Edgar Allan Poe author of “The Raven“, “Tell-Tale Heart” and others

    Mary Shelley author of “Frankenstein

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