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Canku Ota
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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Favorite Sites
collected by Paul and Vicki

The San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians
The San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians is a federally recognized American Indian tribe located near the city of Highland, Calif. The Serrano Indians are the indigenous people of the San Bernardino highlands, passes, valleys and mountains who share a common language and culture.

Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation
As a sovereign Nation, we shall ensure self-sufficiency that respects diversity and equality while working within a spirit of cooperation and fairness for a high standard of living and quality of life.
As a sovereign Nation we shall strive to provide an environment of improved well-being for our people including education, health, safety, and welfare while valuing our culture, traditions, and all resources.
As a sovereign Nation we shall accomplish this for all generations with a system of value-based management to respect all views.

Plimoth Plantation
Plimoth Plantation, a bicultural museum, offers powerful personal encounters with history built on thorough research about the Wampanoag People and the Colonial English community in the 1600s. Our exhibits, programs, live interpreters, and historic settings encourage a new level of understanding about present-day issues affecting communities around the world.

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Kids Jokes
In honor of April's appointment as National Humor Month, today's topic is clean, funny jokes. National Humor Month was founded in 1976 by author Larry Wilde, who chose April because of its frequently bleak weather, the fact that it begins with April Fool's Day and to counteract the stress of taxes being due on the April 15.
101 Kidz: Jokes
"What do you get if you cross a spider and an elephant? I'm not sure, but if you see one walking across the ceiling then run before it collapses!" With an emphasis on animal jokes, there are pages and pages of kid-friendly jokes and riddles here at 101 Kidz. Visit for jokes about chickens, dinosaurs, elephants, cats, insects, spiders and flies. A few of these animals have their categories listed on the main joke page. For the rest of the animals, you will need to page through the Animal Jokes section, looking for the sub-categories.
AzKidsNet: Knock Knock Jokes!
As good comedians know, how a joke is presented is just as important as the joke itself. I like the presentation at AzKidsNet because the punchline is hidden until you make it appear. On the Knock Knock Jokes pages, simply hover over "Who's There?" to see the question, and then move over to "Answer" to see the punchline. The other joke pages, such as Elephant Jokes, Riddles and Brainteasers, use a variety of different (but easy to use) click and hover techniques to keep the answers hidden until you are ready for them.
Ducksters: Jokes: You Quack Me Up!
The navigation at Ducksters is simple, but it works. The jokes and riddles are divided into twenty-nine categories and subcategories. Some of the more unusual ones are Tree Jokes, Occupation Jokes and Geography Jokes. "What has five eyes and is lying on the water? The Mississippi River!" "Where do pianists go for vacation? Florida Keys!" "What rock group has four men that don't sing? Mount Rushmore!" Ha ha ha!
Does your name have its own knock knock joke? Mine does. "Knock, knock. Who's there? Barbara. Barbara who? Barbara black sheep, have you any wool?" Scatty's collection tops 12,898 jokes in more than a dozen categories. Some topics are tried-and-true favorites such as Riddles, Doctor Doctor and Knock Knock, while others are novel categories such as Internet Jokes, Fairy Tale Jokes, Boy Jokes and Girl Jokes.

Yahoo! Kids: Jokes & Humor
"What do you get if you cross a giraffe and a hedgehog? A very tall toothbrush!" "What do you call a chicken from outer space? An egg-straterrestial!" You can scroll through Yahoo's 2110 jokes seven at a time, or choose one of ten categories, and peruse them in smaller batches. To find more joke sites in the Yahoo! Kids Directory, click on any keyword in the tag cloud in the right-hand column.

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Zoology is the branch of biology that studies animal life. Whether you are looking for cute animal pictures to delight your preschooler, or are researching a high-school biology report, these animal kingdom sites should fit the bill.
American Museum of Natural History: Ology: Zoology
The kids' section of the American Museum of National History (for elementary and middle-school kids) covers all kinds of "ology" including anthropology, marine biology, palenotology and this zoology section. Visit to explore Extreme Mammals, Butterfly Kingdom, or to make a horse gait flipbook. With quizzes, sing-alongs, crafts projects, experiments and online games, this engaging site is a sure hit.
The FieldGuides to more than 5,500 species of animals and plants are the core content here at eNature. The species are searchable by keyword, color, size, region and even zip code! For kid stuff, mouse on over to Fun & Games, where you'll find quizzes (Do you know scat?) and species flash cards to embed on your own website. These flash cards are snippets of code you can paste on your website or blog that will display a photo and a description of an animal. Great for online school reports or just for showing off your favorite animals.
National Geographic: Animals
Being a cat person, the first feature that grabbed my attention was Little Kitties for Big Cats. Want to see your little kitty featured on the site? Share a snapshot of your cat, along with a minimum $5 donation to National Geographic's Big Cats Initiative. Cute, cute ,cute, and all for a good cause! Other worthwhile sections include Animals A-Z (quick fact pages) and the animal photo gallery.
National Zoo
Meet the animals at the National Zoo by visiting the Photo Galleries, Live Cams or the virtual Exhibits. The Photo Galleries are organized in a variety of ways, some by species (Giant Pandas), and others by topic (Backyard Biology) or geography (North America.) The twenty Live Cams are a perennial favorite, but remember you need to visit during E.S.T. daylight hours. Here's a short list of a few of animals you'll find on the webcams: pandas, sloth bears, naked mole rates, orangutans, tigers, gorillas and lion cubs.

University of Michigan: Animal Diversity Web
"Animal Diversity Web (ADW) is an online database of animal natural history, distribution, classification, and conservation biology at the University of Michigan." It includes a comprehensive, searchable encyclopedia, a virtual museum, and a parallel site for upper-elementary students called BioKIDS. To reach BioKIDS, click on Teaching / Resources for K-12 and then follow the link in the opening paragraph. Other worthwhile links at ADW include Spinning Skulls (QuickTime VR movies of mammal skulls) and Frog Calls. "Advertisement calls are the loud calls that male frogs make to attract females. These are the familiar calls most people are familiar with."

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Opera is a form of musical theater that started in Italy at the end of the sixteenth century, and differs from modern dramas in that all the words are sung, instead of spoken. The opera's story is told through the libretto (the lyrics), the musical score, and acting as well as dancing. Armed with just a little knowledge, an opera doesn't have to be intimidating.

Creative Kids Education Foundation: Hansel and Gretel: Learning about Opera!
This wonderfully illustrated interactive activity walks us through an opera experience, and is my pick of the week. First comes the program, the overture, and then dance music that "sounds like happy kids jumping!" You become the choreographer as you control Hansel and Gretel's dance steps, or a set designer choosing a backdrop. After the opera, go backstage for teacher resources, an operatic glossary, fairy tale resources, and a voice studio where you'll learn about vocal range.

An Introduction to the Metropolitan Opera
This one-page summary tells the history of New York's Metropolitan Opera, and in the left-hand sidebar, you'll find an illustrated, audio timelime of the famous opera house. But my favorite clicks (also found in the sidebar) are Sounds of the Met and Stories of the Operas. Sounds of the Met is a collection of more than 200 audio clips, some dating back to the late nineteenth century. Stories of the Operas is a database of operatic stories (with performance video clips), listed by title and composer.

Opera for Everyone!
Once available only as a four-CD set, "Opera for Everyone by Ira Ross" is now available as a free download. Each album features a different opera: The Barber of Seville, La Traviata, Carmen and Madama Butterfly. "Each CD tells the story in two ways, first with words and then with music. Ira Ross begins each CD with an introduction to the opera and to the overture. He then describes the action of the first major episode and suggests what to listen for in the related music. This is followed by the music. This sequence is repeated for each additional major episode in the opera: narration - music - etc."

Opera Mania: Short Guide to Learning and Loving Opera
With simple advice on how to "learn" an opera and a short list of recommended first operas, this one-page guide serves as a beginner's introduction to opera. Opera Mania recommends starting with a summary of the story line, and then reading the libretto. "Once you are familiar with the plot, it is time to hear the music. Let yourself go by the feelings it arises, without going through a rational analysis yet."

Opera San Jose: Study Guide
"Opera is an art form similar to a play in which a story is being told to an audience. In opera, however, the entire story, including the dialogue between characters and sometimes even the inner thoughts of those characters, is sung, not spoken." Download this PDF study guide from the Opera San Jose to learn a little about how opera singers project their voices for up to three hours without any amplification, and about the six ranges of operatic voices: soprano, mezzo-soprano, contralto, tenor, baritone, and bass.
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St. Patrick's Day Crafts
For a wee bit of green fun in celebration of St. Patrick's Day, here's a roundup of creative craft projects. Most are easily made with materials you already have at home or in the classroom, and many are simple enough for the tiniest of leprechauns.

DLTK: St. Patrick's Day Crafts for Kids
These fun and easy St. Patrick's Day crafts are listed by subject, including leprechaun, pot of gold, shamrock, and rainbow. Each illustrated craft recipe includes a recommended minimum age, a materials list, and (of course) instructions. Most include printable templates in both color and black and white (for those who wish to color their own crafts.) And, best of all, the instructions are available in a printable format (look for the highlighted link at the bottom of each craft page.)

Family Fun: St. Patrick's Day Crafts & Recipes Gallery
"You don't need luck to find great St. Patrick's Day crafts and recipes." The photos here are gorgeous, and every craft and cupcake simply jumps off the screen. You can peruse the gallery by clicking through the photo slideshow, or find the tiny View All icon. More St. Patrick's Day fun, including games and printables, can be found in the St. Patrick's menu on the left.

First-School: St. Patrick's Day Activities and Crafts
For preschool and kindergarten kids, First School provides printable crafts (and lesson plans) for St. Patrick's Day and Irish American Heritage Month. In addition to the craft instructions, the activities include reference links to articles about shamrocks, the history of St. Patrick's Day, and other related topics. "Shamrock: (three leaves) is the national emblem of Ireland. Lucky Four-Leaf Clover: when a rare four leaflet occurs in a clover it is said to be lucky and the leaves represent hope, faith, love and the fourth one, luck."

Free Kids Crafts: St. Patrick's Day Crafts
Shamrock Man with googly eyes, Paper Plate Leprechaun, and St. Pat's Rainbow Loops are just a few of the thirteen illustrated craft projects listed at Free Kids Crafts. Additionally, on the second page of the St. Patrick's Day section, they have a collection of links to St. Patrick's Day crafts at other sites. Looking for a steady stream of new craft ideas? On the front page of the site, Free Kids Crafts features a new craft every day. Click on the calendar for an archive of previous crafts.|_st_paddys_day_-t119.html

Kaboose: St. Patrick's Day Crafts
With both video instruction and illustrated how-to articles, Kaboose has St. Patrick's Day crafts covered! In addition to the crafts showcased on this page, you'll find party ideas, recipes, printables and a St. Patrick's Day quiz by following the link to the main St. Patrick's Day page (in the opening paragraph.) My favorite click is Wearable Crafts, where you'll find instructions for Shamrock Rings, a Felt Leprechaun Hat and a Paper Chain Shamrock Necklace.

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T. Rex
The Tyrannosaurus rex, affectionately called T. rex, was one of the largest land-based carnivores of all time. It weighed about six tons, stood fifteen feet tall, had a nose-to-toe length of about forty feet and lived during the late Cretaceous period.

Field Museum: SUE
SUE, on display at the Field Museum in Chicago, is the largest and most complete dinosaur skeleton ever discovered. She was discovered in 1990 at a dig in South Dakota, by amateur fossil hunter Sue Hendrikson. Although T. rex SUE is often referred to as "she" (because of her name), paleontologists have not yet determined her gender. Best educational clicks are found in Explore More (photo and video galleries) and Behind the Scenes (All about SUE and Science of SUE.)

Scholastic Teachers: Dinosaurs: T. Rex
Dinosaur expert Don Lessem answers two dozen T. rex questions posed by elementary students. "How many teeth did T. rex have?" "Could an allosaurus kill and eat a T. rex?" "How do we know that the Tyrannosaurus rex was the meanest dinosaur?" Below the Q&As, you'll find links to an online dinosaur activity, related articles, and a lesson plan titled "If You Meet a Dinosaur" (based on the book "If You Meet a Dragon" by Joy Cowley.)

Science Netlinks: Was T. Rex a Slow Poke?
In the popular sci-fi movie Jurassic Park, a T. rex is seen running as fast a Jeep could drive. But in real life, how fast could a Tyrannasaurus actually run? This audio podcast (and transcription) describes how scientists have tackled the issue of T. rex speed. "The bigger you are, the more leg muscle mass you need to run fast. But all that extra leg muscle can weigh you down, which in turn makes it harder to run. In other words, the math starts working against you ... Despite this, many scientists have estimated that the enormous T. rex could run at speeds up to 45 miles per hour."

University of California Museum of Paleontology: The Tyrant Lizards
"A current topic in paleontology that has received much popular press is the question of whether T. rex (or other Tyrannosauridae in general) were predators or scavengers. Let's explore this issue." This one-page overview from the paleontologists at UC Berkeley, provides a summary of what is known about these huge dinosaurs, and introduces current issues. The museum has a dinosaur speed page (linked to from within this article) that explores evidence that is helping scientists determine how fast these huge beasts might have run.

University of Kentucky: Draw T. Rex
"The instructor and students will use the appearance of modern animals to reconstruct what an ancient animal, a Tyrannosaurus rex may have looked like when it was living." Created by Stephen F. Greb, of the Kentucky Geological Survey at University of Kentucky, this fun science lesson (for grades four and up) demonstrates "how scientists determine what prehistoric animals looked like based on their bones." It includes four PDF worksheets, including a skeleton sketch of a dinosaur head to be used to draw a Tyrannosaurus rex. At the bottom of the page, you'll find half-a-dozen links to more online resources.

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Commonly Confused Words
When your sheep's wool is long and curly, do you sheer it or shear it? When tired, do you lay down or lie down for a nap? Even native English speakers can be confused by homonyms and words that some teachers call "confusables."
About: Grammar: Index of Commonly Confused Words's Grammar and Composition Guide, Richard Nordquist, defines over 200 sets of commonly confused words. From A ("A, An, And") to Y ("Your, You're"), each word is defined, an example provided, and a few practice fill-in-the-blank sentences included. Don't miss The Big Quiz, which tests 50 sets of "confusables." To view the quiz without any ads (or to print it), use the Print icon in the upper right-hand corner.
Daily Writing Tips: Misused Words
"If most people's employment of the word 'literally' doesn't drive you mad, you're probably guilty of a few misuses yourself. It's one of the most common complaints of the grammar-savvy." Daily Writing Tips is a delightful blog about writing skills. This particular page is an index to all their posts about misused words. It is full of treasures such as "Epiphany or Mere Realization", "Hordes of People Shouldn't Hoard", and "Literally the Worst Mistake You Could Ever Make." Related categories (listed in the left-hand menu) include Spelling, Vocabulary and Grammar 101.
Grammar Book: Confusing Words and Homonyms
Jane Straus, author of "The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation," provides four pages of words that frequently cause confusion. Some words are simply defined, but others include grammar rules, sample sentences, and the occasional usage chart. The site also includes two interactive ten-question quizzes on the subject. To find them, click on FREE Online Quizzes in the left-hand nav menu, and look for More Confusing Words and Homonyms Quiz 1 and Quiz 2.
Merriam-Webster: Top 10 Commonly Confused Words
Designed as a slide show in ten parts, each word or phrase pair is presented as a question. "If you treat convention with disdain, are you flouting or flaunting the rules?" "If you receive an appropriate punishment, did you get your just deserts or just desserts?" Other amusing Top 10 lists are displayed at the bottom of each page. Be sure to check out Top 10 Most Frequently Searched Words on "Although certain definitions spike in our search results based on current events (see Trend Watch), this list presents the eternally vexing words that remain among the most looked up over time."
Newsroom 101: Confusable Words Practice
Created by a newspaper journalist and a journalism professor, these thirteen practice quizzes are organized alphabetically. By default the questions are displayed one at a time, but in the right-hand corner there is an option to display all questions at once. Each question is a sentence with a choice of two words to fill-in-the-blank. "Edit your work carefully to ENSURE, INSURE accuracy." "She is a DISCREET, DISCRETE person, known for her tact."
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Grimms' Fairy Tales
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were nineteenth-century Germans who set out to preserve their country's oral folk tales by writing them down. The stories were often cruel, but once the brothers saw how popular the tales were with young readers, they started making them softer, sweeter and more moral.

Google Books: Grimm's Fairy Tales
Google Books brings us a 367-page online ebook reproduction of "Grimm's Fairy Tales" edited by Frances Jenkins Olcott, illustrated by Rie Cramer, and published by The Penn Publishing in 1927. Because the original book was scanned, the type isn't as sharp (or as easy to read) as an HTML page, but there is something endearing about reading this ninety-year old book online. It includes classics such as Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White and Rumpelstiltskin.

Grimm Fairy Tales
Perfect for preschoolers and early elementary grades, this site features Flash books with pages that turn with a mouse click, and audio narration that can be turned on or off. "Read and hear interactive, narrated, animated stories. ... Grimm Brothers cartoon characters present a biography of Jacob Ludwig Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm. Online books link to e-learning, coloring downloads, arts, flash games, and other kidstuff."

National Geographic: Grimms' Fairy Tales
"Looking for a sweet, soothing tale to waft you toward dreamland? Look somewhere else! The stories collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in the early 1800s serve up life as generations of central Europeans knew it capricious and often cruel. " National Geographic serves up a graphically-rich adventure into twelve "unvarnished" Grimm fairy tales, some of which include audio. Click on the treasure box for a biography, resource links, and a kid's activity page.

Storynory: Brothers Grimm
Storynory storyteller Natasha Gostwick reads sixteen Grimm fairy tales, for your enjoyment at the computer, or for downloading to your MP3 player. "Our stories have brought harmony in place of strife on the back seats of cars all over the world. Next time you travel with the family, take Storynory with you." Each illustrated story page includes both the audio version and a transcription, so your early reader can read along, or you can read to your preschooler.

SurLaLune Fairy Tales: Household Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
SurLaLune's collection of 200 Grimm stories (translated by Margaret Hunt in 1884) include several unique features. First, each fairy tale includes extensive notes by the Grimm brothers (also translated by Hunt), and many of the tales also have a hyperlinked annotated version on a separate page. In the Annotated Tales section of the site, the editor recommends "reading the entire story before exploring the annotations, especially if you have not read the tale recently."

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Abraham Lincoln
America's sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 - April 15, 1865) is revered for ending slavery, and preserving the Union by winning the Civil War. But perhaps he is best known for his Gettysburg Address of 1863 and being the first assassinated U.S. president. Learn more at these top Lincoln sites.

Abraham Lincoln Institute
The Lincoln Institute, funded by The Lehrman Institute, publishes seven educational sites about the sixteenth president, including Mr. Lincoln's Whitehouse, Mr. Lincoln and Freedom, and Mr. Lincoln's Classroom. You can see the entire list under Projects (from the main horizontal nav menu.) The sites include extensive quotes from many primary sources, but also list easier-to-find secondary sources in the bibliographies for students wanting to dig deeper. Do you "like" Abe Lincoln? Join in the Institute's plan to get 10 million Facebook fans for Lincoln by liking their Facebook page.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum: Timeline
Although there are other educational resources at the Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum, this one is my favorite for students. It is an interactive timeline of Lincoln's life, starting with his birth on February 12, 1809 outside of Hodgenville, KY, and ending in with his burial in Springfield, IL on May 4, 1865. To traverse the timeline, start with the decades in the upper menu, then look for the years and months in the lower menu. "1856: Lincoln joins the Republican Party. The party adopts an anti-slavery platform, which has become an important issue to Lincoln."

Abraham Lincoln Research Site
Roger Norton begins with this introduction, "I am not an author or a historian; rather I am a former American history teacher who enjoys researching Abraham Lincoln's life and accomplishments." A great site for both middle-school and high-school students researching school projects, it is organized into three sections: Lincoln's Assassination, Abraham Lincoln Research Site and Mary Todd Lincoln Research Site. All of the interior pages have a Jump To menu in the upper-left, which I found to be the best way to discover the all the nooks and crannies of these three sites.

History Place: Abraham Lincoln
This single page illustrated time line of Lincoln's life begins in 1637 when Lincoln's ancestors arrived from England to settle in Hingham, Massachusetts. Easy to read, it is peppered with personal tidbits such as "1817 - In February, Abraham, age seven, shoots a wild turkey but suffers great remorse and never hunts game again," and "1841 - January 1, breaks off engagement with Mary Todd. Has episode of depression."

Library of Congress: Gettysburg Address
In 1863, David Wills, a Pennsylvania judge, was given the task of "cleaning up the horrible aftermath of the [Civil War] battle" at Gettysburg. Wills acquired seventeen acres for a national cemetery and three weeks before its dedication, invited President Lincoln to "formally set apart these grounds to their sacred use by a few appropriate remarks." Lincoln's brief remarks at the cemetery on November 19, 1863 became one of the most memorable presidential speeches ever given. Can you recite it? "Four score and seven years ago . . ."

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Students And Teachers Against Racism announces their new website that offers insight into the Native American perspective to teachers and educators.
Changing Winds Advocacy Center
Through presentations, classroom sessions, curriculum, fund raising, charitable works, and multi-media efforts, we seek to raise public awareness of the stereotyping, discrimination, racism and other unique situations facing Native Americans.
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Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.
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