Awesome Authors kids’ book reviews are coming

I am excited to tell you the 2014 Awesome Authors will have kids’ book reviews published once again in the Grand Forks Herald.  Beginning this Sunday, July 20 and running the next several Sundays, we’ll feature these local reviews in the Sunday Accent section.

Awesome Authors is a summer school creative writing class offered, by the Grand Forks Public School District.  Laura Knox teaches the class, for students in Kindergarten through Second Grade.  Class members participate in writing projects, art projects, field trips, and a class blog, which can be found at: or by searching Laura Knox Awesome Authors.

Each summer, students in the Awesome Authors class, tour the Grand Forks Herald offices.  They visit with many Herald staff members to learn about their jobs. The Awesome Authors were invited again this year to write reviews of new and/or popular children’s books. They were thrilled to have this opportunity to share a writing project and the pictures they drew pictures to accompany their reviews.

Thank you Awesome Authors!  We look forward to seeing your published book reviews in the Grand Forks Herald.

July 4th Word Search, History Quiz and more!

Here are a few activities for you to enjoy this 4th of July holiday. Check out the word search you can download and print. Also be sure to test your knowledge with an American History Quiz from American Profile Magazine.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July holiday!

Download the word search puzzle by clicking HERE


How much do you know about American History? 

Take the quiz from American Profile by clicking here.  

Check out the blog posting called Independence Day By the Numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau.  It includes infographics with some fun facts to mark the holiday.

Oh Canada!

July 1 is Canada Day. Here are some fun facts from McClatchy Tribune that celebrate all things Canadian. Information was written and illustrated by Laurie McAdam, McClatchy Newspapers.

Did you know?

The name Canada dates back to the year 1535. The word “Kanata”, which is the Huron-Iroquois word for “village” or “settlement,” was used to describe what is now Quebec City. In 1557, French explorer Jacques Cartier, when claiming Kanata for France, simply repeated the word as Canada. The name stuck.

Canada’s birthday: On July 1, 1867, Canada’s provinces, territories and British colonies unified as one nation with a national government and law-making parliament.

Queen Elizabeth II is the Queen of Canada and head of state. The queen’s duties are carried out by the governor general.

The Canada goose has become the most common waterfowl species in North America.

The beaver is Canada’s national symbol and adorns the back of the Canadian nickel. It also is the largest rodent in North America and mates for life unless the mate dies.

A stetson worn by the Mounties is also called a campaign hat, drill sergeant hat, round brown, ranger hat, Scouts hat, Smokey Bear hat and lemon squeezer.

Canada has the longest coastline of any country in the world, with about 151,600 miles, and is the second-largest country in the world.

The Loonie: When Canada wanted to issue a gold-colored dollar coin, it was designed with an image of fur-trappers on the back. The master dies were lost by the courier before minting, so a new design was necessary to thwart the possibility of counterfeiting. The new design was a common loon, and Canadians embraced it. They affectionately refer to it as “the loonie” just as U.S. bills are nicknamed “greenbacks.”

Lucky Loonie: A Canadian icemaker at the 2002 Olympics froze a loonie at center ice as a mark for the dropped puck. Both the men’s and women’s Canadian hockey teams won gold that year. The coin was recovered from the ice and given to the Hockey Hall of Fame, and the legend of the lucky loonie began. Since then, players have gone to hiding the loonie on the opposing team’s nets or freezing the coins into the ice before games. This has led to teams checking the ice for coins before tournaments.

Names of actual places in Canada: Drumheller, Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Squamish, Blow Me Down, Saint-Louis-Du-Ha-Ha

Curling is a popular team sport in Canada with similarities to lawn bowling and bocce ball, but is played on ice. With the limitless possibilites of stone placement and shot selection, it is sometimes referred to as “chess on ice.”

Happy Canada Day to our northern neighbors!

4th of July

Information and activities are from KRP’s Ultimate Holiday Activity Guide from the NIE Institute.

It was on July 4, 1776, that the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence and officially declared the American colonies free and independent states. When the declaration was read, people responded by ringing bells, playing music, and rejoicing in the streets.

Today, America celebrates the Fourth of July in similar fashion. Fireworks, picnics, parades, patriotic concerts, and more each year help the nation commemorates its birthday.


1. Pretend you are a reporter living when the Declaration of Independence was created and you have the opportunity to interview one of the crafters of the declaration. Make a list of reporter’s questions you would have asked that person. Then conduct research to get the answers to those questions. Conclude by writing a newspaper story based on the information.

2. Watch for newspaper stories about festivities that celebrate the Fourth of July. Then analyze one of the events and the traditions behind it.

3. Compare American lifestyles today to those of Americans living during the Colonial period. During research, find five products or services advertised in the newspaper and find out if those or similar products existed during the time when America was born.


The safest way to enjoy fireworks is at a professional display. Some people light sparklers at home or even set off their own fireworks, but this is dangerous. Each year thousands of people are treated at hospital emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries. And almost half of those injured each year are kids under age 15. Some of the people hurt each year aren’t the ones setting off the fireworks, but people who are nearby.

It’s best to stay away from areas where nonprofessionals are setting off fireworks. Fireworks can cause serious eye injuries, including blindness, if the eye tissue gets damaged or torn. Other common injuries from fireworks include burns to the hands and face, which can leave scars. Someone could even lose one or more fingers if fireworks go off the wrong way. Fireworks can also start fires, which can hurt even more people.

For more information on fireworks safety

July 4th Craft Ideas

Charles Schiller

Check out these July 4th Craft ideas from Country Living. (Some of the craft items use newspaper!)

Inspired by turn-of-the-century celebrations, these seven joyful tributes to red, white, and blue harken to a time when impromptu hats were folded from leftover newspapers, and marching bands, firecrackers, and lawn games marked the day. By Bethany Lyttle.

July 1 is Canada Day

Canada Day is celebrated every year on July 1 in honor of the formation of the Canadian federal government on July 1, 1867 (the British North America Act). If it falls on a Sunday, the next day is considered a legal holiday. This holiday was called Dominion Day until 1982.

Canada Day is celebrated much like our Independence Day, with picnics, parades, festivals, and of course fireworks.

To learn more about Canada download the NIE tab “O Canada” from the NIE Institute by clicking here

Note:  if you are going to print this pdf, make sure to adjust your print setting to “fit on page”.  The pdf is bigger than 8.5 x 11 (normal print size.)

2014 World Cup from Time for Kids and MCT

Did you know that World Cup Soccer is one of the world’s most popular sporting events? It’s a month long tournament that is held every four years.  Read all about the 2014 FIFA World Cup happening now from Time for Kids and MCT.  For more information visit

UPDATE:  U.S. beats Ghana in World Cup, 2-1  Read more at:

Father’s Day

Father’s Day, a holiday which honors fathers worldwide, is celebrated in the United States on the third Sunday of June. It originated in the United States in 1910, a few years after the country began celebrating Mother’s Day. Father’s Day became an official U.S. holiday in 1972. (Information is from

ACTIVITY (From the NIE guide, “A Plan for All Seasons” from the NIE Institute) Use your newspaper to search for ways to have a special celebration for Father’s Day.  Look for examples of ways that this day can be celebrated other than giving gifts. Try to come up with at least three unique ideas that your family has never tried before.

WORD SEARCH (MCT) Click here to download Father’s Day word search

Flag Day – June 14

Flag Day
In memory of the day in 1777 when the Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the United States, the president proclaims June 14 as Flag Day every year. Americans respond by displaying the flag and holding other patriotic demonstrations.

The most widely known symbol of a nation is its flag – a piece of cloth with a picture or design that represents something special about that nation. In the United States, that flag, of course, is the Stars and Stripes.

Every part of the flag’s design represents an American ideal. The red, white, and blue colors are symbolic of the American spirit – red for hardiness and valor, white for purity and innocence, and blue for perseverance and justice. The 13 red and white stripes stand for the original 13 colonies. And the stars represent the 50 states.

For more than 200 years, the Stars and Stripes has flown over the United States in good times and in bad. Created during the Revolutionary War, the flag has changed as the nation has changed, but the ideals for which it stands have not.

Honoring the Stars and Stripes 

In 1942, Congress adopted the Flag Code – a set of rules governing the use and treatment of the U.S. flag. The code is based on the principle that the flag should be honored and respected as a symbol of the nation it represents. Here are just a few of the rules to give you an idea of how we are to treat our national flag:

Flag Etiquette

The U.S. flag should be displayed every day except when weather conditions might damage it. It is customarily displayed from sunrise to sunset but can be flown 24 hours a day. It should be raised briskly and lowered slowly and ceremoniously.

When flown with a group of flags other than national flags on separate staffs, the U.S. flag must be in the center and higher than the others.

If there are other national flags being displayed, they should be flown on separate staffs of the same height and of the same size as the U.S. flag.

During times of mourning, raise the flag to its peak then lower it to half-mast. Raise it to peak again before lowering it at the end of the day.

When the flag is used to cover a casket, it should be placed with the union at the head and over the left shoulder. It should not be lowered into the grave or allowed to touch the ground.

At no time should the U.S. flag touch the ground, the floor, or anything beneath it.

The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard.

The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.

The flag should never have placed on it, or attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind.

The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.

When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.

Discarding the flag

When a flag is no longer usable, the most dignified way to destroy it is to burn it. But burning a flag that is still fit for display is considered a sign of political protest. It’s also the subject of much debate. Research the issue of flag-burning. Then write a newspaper opinion piece, editorial, letter to the editor, editorial cartoon, column that summarizes your thoughts about this issue.

Here is a great interactive site for you to check out:

Information and activities are from KRP’s Ultimate Holiday Activity Guide and Patriotism tab distributed by the NIE Institute.