"A new age demands a new paradigm!"
-Walter McKenzie

Fall Themes
Volume 7, Issue 3- October 2004

presented by
Walter McKenzie
The One and Only Surfaquarium

Surfaquarium Online Courses
Written by Walter - Led by Walter!

Registering Now for Classes beginning October 11th:
Be done with your classwork before the holidays!

Take a course for your own benefit, for recertification hours, or
for graduate credits through the University of California, Fullerton:

Inexpensive ~ Completely Online ~ Project-Based ~ Built for Success!

I originally did a Fall Themes issue five years ago - it's time to update the links! Below are several popular themes often used in the classroom throughout the Autumn of the school year. Be sure to share them with colleagues and spread the wealth!

My Digital Dozen Newsletter has completed it's first month of publication, presenting issues on JAVA Math applications, ADHD, best online projects and blogging. This weekend's edition is on the thirteen colonies. Subscriber Linda Hill wrote to me this week to say:

"The Digital Dozen is great! I swear each issue is so timely."

If you would like to receive the best online resources on a theme every weekend, the Digital Dozen Newsletter is meant for you: no advertisements, easy to print out or save digitally, ready to use in the classroom! Please visit http://surfaquarium.com/DD/ to see upcoming topics, peruse a sample issue and subscribe.

The last round of Surfaquarium Online Courses for the Fall is set to begin October 11th: MI Immersion: A Survey of Nine Intelligences and Ways of Knowing: Multiple Intelligences and Technology. You'll be done with your course work and have your credits to turn in to your school district before the holidays! Register for one course by October 8th and get registration in a future section of the second course free! Register today at http://surfaquarium.com/MI/Courses/ !

Both the Digital Dozen Newsletter and Surfaquarium Online Courses are now accepting credit card payments using PayPal! Simply go to the subscription or registration page of each service and select the credit card button to make a convenient payment right online. Ofr course, you can still pay be check as instructed on the subscription and registration pages.

Having moved back to my native New England, I revel in the cool Fall days and crisp Fall nights. The autumnal foliage is beautiful as the hillsides begin to sparkle in sunlit crimsons and golds. Fall is a celebration of the harvests in life and of the preparation for the winters yet to come. Wherever you may be, I wish for you a wonderful Fall season. Happy Fall, everyone!


Wonderful Halloween recipes: cakes, cookies, pies and breads; easy to follow directions in a nicely formatted page ready to print out and enjoy with your class.

Days of the Dead
Great presentation of the Mexican holiday which is celebrated every Autumn as monarch butterflies return from northern North America; great cultural comparisons and contrasts with Halloween.

Halloween Activities from NASA
Stories, games, greeting cards and recipes from NASA for Kids. Includes a Make a Black Hole Game, a land on Mars simulation and EL Nino Pudding. Uses JAVA to make the games interactive.

Halloween Safety Game
The West Michigan White Caps Baseball Team offers this collection of baseball history and terminology broken down by Math, Science, History and English. Foreign Language is said to be in the works. Lots of good meat for a baseball unit.

Little Shop of Patent and Trademark Horrors
The U.S. Office of Patent and Trademarks presents this collection of eerie inventions which have been awarded patents. See the electrified tablecloth, the air-powered web slasher, a cranial prosthesis and more!


Cyber Space Farm
Virtual experience takes you and your students to a Kansas farm and learn about the life of a farm family, the crops and creatures they tend, and and kids' playground to extend learning.

How We Make Maple Syrup
Ransom Farm in Connecticut offers this nice step-by-step guide on how to tap the trees, boil the maple sap and then finally bottle the delectable nectar; a New England tradition to share with your students.

The Inside Scoop on Farms
This 2003 ThinkQuest entry covers different kinds of farms and the work and equipment used on each of them. The Farm Fun link includes mazes, puzzles and games. The glossary and citations add to the site's content.

Virtual Farm House
This Flash-based tour of a classic L-farmhouse, so-named because the two rectangles of the original house and kitchen addition form an L shape. Dig further into the site to learn more about homes on the prairie.

Wheat Mania!
Wonderful site celebrating life on the farms of Kansas; discusses everything from planting to harvest with special emphases on wheat and prairie skyscrapers - very upbeat and chocked full of information.


Autumn Leaf Scrapbook
Nice look at deciduous trees, their colors and how to identify them as they fall to the ground this time of year; ideal for students making a leaf collection by species and color.

Fall Foliage
The Weather Channel offers this timely page on the changing of leaves throughout the country with a special emphasis on peak times and the science behind the process; interesting study for classes considering the impact of the dry summer on nature.

Fall Foliage Puzzles
Five different online jigsaw puzzles, each with an easier version (less than 20 pieces) and a more difficult version (50 pieces or more). Uses JAVAscripts to make the puzzles pieces easy to manipulate.

Tree Identification
The Cornell Sugar Maple Research and Extension Program presents this study of sugar maple, silver maple, red maple, black maple and boxelder, including their bark, leaves, twigs and fruit.

Why Do Fall Leaves Change Color?
Users can search by any date in a calendar year or the entire site by keyword. If you're studying World War II for example, you can bring up significant events that occurred within the context of baseball.


How to Grow Great Atlantic Pumpkins
Turns out Linus was on the right track - you can have the Great Pumpkin in your patch this Halloween (or more likely, next Halloween), and this page gives you everything you need to proceed.

The Pumpkin Patch
Ignore the error message and delve into a great collection of pumpkin facts, trivia and activities! Imagine the possibilities using Pumpkin World Records and How Big Is It? in your Fall Math classes!

Pumpkin Patch Poetry
Susan Silverman's collection of children's poetry on the grand gourd from school's across North America; excellent starting point to get students to respond and create their own verse.

Pumpkins & More
University of Illinois site presenting history, facts, varieties, folklore, recipes and all the how-tos for growing your own pumpkins - handy to have!

Swan Pumpkin Farm
Swan's Pumpkin Farm in Racine, Wisconsin offers this online tour of their facility, along with learning activities and games to help supplement your pumpkin study.


Thanksgiving Clip Art
Nice set of clip art from Kid's Domain, not exhaustive but good quality images perfect for use in school related publications and web pages.

Investigating the First Thanksgiving
From the official web presence of historic Plimouth Plantation in Massachusetts; helps clarify what occurred at the first Thanksgiving so students can separate historical fact from the traditions we have all come to know and love.

Pocahontas, John Rolfe, Jamestown and Virginia
Extensive collection of online resources looking at the colonists and Powhatans as they first learned to live with one another during the difficult history of Jamestown, Virginia; serious materials here for historical study.

Teaching About Thanksgiving
Comprehensive lesson plans, for studying Thanksgiving at the elementary level, including study/discussion questions, enrichment activities, tips on how to avoid stereotypes, recipes, and the story of the corn husk doll.

Thanksgiving on the Net
All kinds of history, background, activities, music and more to help you further develop your observance and celebration of this most American of holidays; check out the virtual turkey!


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©2004 Walter McKenzie