Grades 5 & 6 | November 27, 2009 In This Issue: A Presidential Pardon; Black Friday; Flu-Fighting Santas
One Lucky Turkey In the Thanksgiving tradition, President Barack Obama officially pardoned Courage the turkey on Wednesday. Some say the historic gesture dates back to 1865, when President Lincoln freed a fowl that his son, Tad, took pity on. Others say the tradition started with President Truman. Compare fact vs. fiction in the painting "Washington Crossing the Delaware" and compare Paul Revere's real ride with Longfellow's poetic version.
ASK: Why might an artist or writer exaggerate or make up details about historic figures?
Have your child research and create a short list of stories, a few true and a few false (encourage him or her to make some up!); then quiz other family members or friends to see if they know the truth.
Buy, Buy Friday Three percent of consumers have finished their holiday shopping. As for the rest of us, our days are numbered: Black Friday kicks off the Christmas countdown. Armchair shoppers can find deals online and avoid the pain and suffering that comes with dragging kids from store to store. To shop smart—on your smartphone—check out these toy-safety tips.
Have your child make two lists—his or her holiday wish list and gift ideas for others.
Santa, Sanitized Lest you have an encounter with a busy mall Santa, don't fret: A new tradition may ease some H1N1 fears. At least one of the red-suited organizations has decided to make hand sanitizer a part of the lap-sitting, wish-granting ritual. Learn more about this jolly germ-free holiday plan and get flu facts.
ASK: What are important ways to protect ourselves from the flu?
DO: Create a flu-fighting to-go kit for the family.
Musical Notes Find something for everyone—or at least something for everyone to argue about with NPR's "The Decade's 50 Most Important Recordings." If you traveled for Thanksgiving, consider this moving playlist.
DO: Have your child poll family members or friends on the first five or 10 songs on NPR's list. Then chart the data.
Create a family playlist, incorporating family members' favorite songs.