Old Keyboard — English

keyboard

We hit upon this idea totally by accident.  My daughter brought an old computer keyboard to me yesterday and asked how to spell my name.  I told her and then pointed out each letter in turn for her to push.  Why did I never think of teaching her letters using an old computer keyboard?!

She went on to ask how to spell her own name and those of other family members.  After typing in several names, there were a few letters which she recognized without my prompting.

The keyboard could also be used to teach a child their numbers (assuming it has a number pad), or even the different punctuation marks and symbols.  And if your child practices spelling, this would be a fun method for them to key in their spelling words!

If you have an old keyboard lying around, why don’t you pull it out and have some fun with it?

Nathan Hale: Revolutionary Spy by Nathan Olson

nathan-hale-rev-spy

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Here’s another book from my quest to find interesting graphic novels.  Nathan Hale: Revolutionary Spy is a book that can be digested in one sitting.

Premise:

Nathan Hale was a young man who lived in Connecticut immediately prior to the Revolutionary War.  He was a student at Yale and later taught others (even getting up early to teach girls for free).  Having grown up amid the colonists’ unrest due to British taxes, he volunteered to join the army.  Nathan’s willingness to serve as a spy and his refusal to betray his country are commendable.  Unfortunately, his life was cut short when he was only 21 years old.

My thoughts:

I think this book is a great beginner biography for elementary-age children.  They get a quick overview of Nathan’s life–just enough to pique their interest.  Once they’re at a higher reading level they can come back to Nathan’s story and read a book that is more in depth.

I enjoyed reading about Nathan and the defining moments in his life.  He sounds like a remarkable young man, and it’s a tragedy that his life was cut short.  I’m sure he would have gone on to do many more commendable deeds had he lived longer.  Particularly gratifying was his view on the importance of educating women.  He was truly ahead of his times!

The book is divided into four very short chapters: Student and Teacher, Soldier and Leader, Daring Spy, and War Hero.  At the end, you’ll find a section with more information about Nathan Hale.

I recommend this book to kids who enjoy graphic novels and would prefer to learn about history through that medium.  This particular book is best suited to elementary-age children.

Possible Objections:

  • Nathan is hanged (while we only see his silhouette, kids may still find it disturbing)

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