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Friday, April 17, 2015

Patriots' Day - April 20

Patriots' Day commemorates the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the Revolutionary War. Those battles were fought on April 19, 1775. Interestingly, April 19 also marks the 1st bloodshed of the Civil War in the Baltimore Riot of 1861. Since 1969, this holiday has been celebrated on the 3rd Monday of April. Do not confuse the day with that which remembers 9/11/2001. That day is Patriot Day.  

It seems that Patriots' Day is most celebrated in Mass. and Maine. However, across the U.S., teachers and students are encouraged to recognize the day. To that end, you may enjoy these activities . . .

Patriotic Squares Critical Thinking (a.k.a. Latin Squares) are square arrays in which items fill the cells in such a way that no item is used more than once in each row and column.  (Think Sudoku)

Use these squares to exercise deductive reasoning while disguising it as fun. It includes 4 levels of difficulty ranging from a 3x3 array to a 6x6 array. The 3x3 array has 12 possible solutions; the 4x4 array has 576 permutations! Thus, this activity will challenge even the most gifted and talented students, allows for differentiation with ease, and works perfectly in centers and for fast finishers.  It is appropriate for all elementary grade levels. I've even had reports of adults becoming entranced by the puzzles.

Scrattle: Patriotic Edition is a FREE resource that combines word work with computation; individual effort with competition. This SCRAbble baTTLE also provides 3 levels of difficulty, thereby facilitating differentiation. It, too, spans the abilities of students in K-5 classrooms. Use it in a math or literacy center, as an anchor activity, and/or for fast finishers. Students use a set of letters to create as many words as they can, then compute the worth of their words using Scrabble (TM) values. The battle portion invites them to compare their words' worth to a friends' using simple addition, multiplication, or complex equations with mixed operations.  

Inasmuch as every president is a patriot, you may also be interested in Presidential Trivia Task Cards. These 20 task cards will exercise your students' research skills, both digitally and traditionally.  Use them in a research center, as an anchor activity, for enrichment, and/or as a challenge for fast finishers.

Enjoy Patriots' Day!

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