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    Welcome to the Virtual Library,

    a place for reading, learning, thinking & growing!

    I know some of you are experiencing cabin fever - tired of being in the same place, seeing the same things, talking to the same people - you're bored!  You are NOT ALONE - I'm feeling the same way.  

    My challenge?  To find a way to help, to spice up our days, to give our minds, which crave interesting things to think about, something to think about.  And thus an idea was born. 

    Surviving Boredom: A Primer from Art to Zoos

    Check back here regularly for links to cool stuff to see, hear, think about and do.


    Welcome, April!  Hello, National Poetry Month and National Letter Writing Month!

    Check the Primer below for a Poem a day, other Poetry sources, and more about writing Letters, a perfect pasttime for today's situation.

Surviving Boredom

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    Art ... Audio Books ...

    Visit the Wichita Art Museum virtually and find cool activities you can do at home at the WAM Learning page.


    The Art Institute Chicago posts links on Twitter (@artinstitutechi) and has virtual tours and allows you to explore their collection online at their website.  Here's the link to my favorite period, Impressionism.

    art institute impressionism


    Audible has full length audio books available to listen to online.  Click the link for a list and to start listening.




    Books ... Bird Watching ...

    Need something new to read?  See how to access free ebooks from the State Library under E below!


    Bird watching, or anything you can do outside, can help take your mind off of staying home all day.  Check out the article below from the New York Times about watching geese, then go on outside - maybe your yard, Minisa park, or down by the river and see what birds you can see.  Ducks &geese for sure, egrets & herons soon, robins, an occasional hawk, and probably lots more.




    "Comic Book Tutorials for Those Staying at Home During Coronavirus"

    Check out this article from The New York Times, or go to these links from the article, then start writing and/or sketching!

    by Will Sliney "Artist Will Sliney ... began using his Twitter account last week to encourage kids to draw. 'I’m going to set an art challenge each day and I’d love to see the drawings that people do,' he announced on the first day, on which he asked participants to draw Spider-Man. On Tuesday, the challenge was to draw a favorite Irish person."

    "If writing is more your cup of tea, check out Paul Allor  ... on Twitter. Allor, the writer of a G.I. Joe series for IDW, is offering some free comics and also “Free Script Critiques During Social Distancing,” with a focus on beginners."

    Gail Simone, who has written for DC, Marvel and just about every other company, is offering #comicsschool on Twitter — five days of lessons on writing comics. Those lessons, which end on Wednesday, are being archived so new students can catch up at any time.


    Check out the Disney Books YouTube Channel with fun videos, author interviews, and more!

    Disney Books


    EBooks ... 

     Ebooks (digital books) are available for free from the Kansas State Library.  All you need is a State Library card.  Don't have one?  Email me at school (kfrederick@usd259.net) & I can set you up!  Include in the email:  First Name, Middle Initial, Last Name and Birthdate (mm/dd/yyyy).  Once you have your 6 digit Kansas State Library Card, click this link to check out.  The collection of books for teens is large and varied!  Links on the left side of the page will give you more infomation about how to access & read them with whatever device you use.

    State Library



    Fiona the Hippo ... 

    Follow the Cincinnati Zoo on YouTube for videos of Fiona, who became a video star as the smallest hippo born ever to survive.  You can also find cool videos of other animals at this zoo.




    Great Plains Nature Center ...

    In this time of self-isolation, the fabulous staff at GPNC has created "Isolation Station," where you can find information about, and recordings of, live talks, journaling and virtual hikes.  You can also find out more about their weekly Podcast That's My Favorite.




    History ...

    The history of our place, Wichita and Sedgwick County, is fascinating.  Old Cowtown Museum is posting videos from its new "History Alive" series on the museum's Facebook page, facebook.com/OldCowtownMuseum.










    Library of Congress ... Letter Writing Month ... 

    You can find Primary Sources, original documents from photographs to maps to newspaper clippings, at the Library of Congress.  This link takes you directly to Primary Source sets on a variety of interesting historical topics from Alexander Hamilton to baseball to Jamestown to women's sufferage.  Or use the link below to go to the LOC Homepage with so many interesting possibilities, including a link to more information about National Poetry Month and the U.S. Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo.


    April is National Card & Letter Writing Month!  With our Stay-at-Home orders, some of you may only be contacting your friends through social media or phone calls.  Try writing an old school letter for a change of pace, a way to reall show you care!  Imaging receiving one yourself when the mail is delivered!  Join me in a letter writing challenge.  Keep track of how many cards or letters of snail mail you send this month, then share it in the Google Library Classroom for your grade.  The top writers in each grade will win a prize when we start back to school next fall - a packet of letter writing materials.


    Special Thanks for the following Pixabay artists for the letters used in this Primer:  

    Agzam, Artsy Bee, Bulba 1, Clker-Free-Vector-Images, Elisa Riva, Gerd Altmann, Gordon Johnson, Janet Gooch, Lisa Johnson (elljay), Lumpi, MR1313, Prawny, Ractapopulous (JL B), Tatutati, Pete Linforth (TheDigitalArtist), Tookapic, Victorian Lady,  zlbitgwe, 953968

    And to these artists for link picture art:

    Flying Goose - hansbenn, Pacman – Eric Perlin (Perlinator)

A Primer

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    Mars ...  Magic ... Maps ...  

    NASA's Curiosity Rover landed on Mars in 2012 and has been sending data, images and video back to Earth ever since.  Click on Access Mars for video, or this link to learn more about Mars and the Curiosity Rover.


    Want to do Magic to impress your family in person or your friends virtually?  Read "How to Do 2 Simple Magic Tricks" from the New York Times to learn how.

    Magic Tricks

    Are you fascinated by Maps?  The Library of Congress has a huge archive of maps from the modern day to the ancient world.  Search the LOC to find interesting maps like this one from 1841.

    LOC map


    National Parks ...

    Can't get outside today?  How about taking a virtual tour of some National Parks, courtesy of Google Arts and Culture?

    National Parks vtours

    Or click here to learn more about all of our National Parks


    Otters, Penguins and more ...

    Follow the Shedd Aquarium on Twitter to see where Wellington the Penguin is now, and lots of other cool videos from this Chicago museum (@Shedd_Aquarium).

    Shedd Aquarium



    Poetry ... 

    It's April, so it's National Poetry Month!  Check out the links below for wonderful poems, and maybe connect by participating in #ShelterinPoems.

    "New York, NY (March 20, 2020)— In this time of uncertainty and great concern, many people are turning to poems to seek words of wisdom, uplifting ideas, and language that prompts reflection and centers us mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. In response to this need and to help our readers stay connected in the weeks ahead, the Academy of American Poets invites the public to join in a new initiative called Shelter in Poems."

    To participate, choose a poem that gives you hope, and share why on social media with the hashtag #ShelterinPoems.  You can find poems to read, enjoy and share at the Academy of American Poets or any of these other poetry sites.

    I've created a place on the Library Resource page for Poetry.  I'll post our favorite poems, or poems you've written.  To submit a favorite poem or your own poem, go to the Google Library Classroom for your grade.

    Finally, check out "30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month" from the Academy of American Poets.


     Poetry Foundation

    Poetry Out Loud







    Read Riordan ... 

    Do you love the mythical worlds of Rick Riordan?  Visit this site to see how much you know with quizzes, find articles about the books and characters, and listen to story times.

    Read Riordan                   



    Shakespeare ...

    At the Folger Shakespeare Library, you can read any of the Bard's plays, learn more about his life and times. and listen to 7 complete plays.




    TeachingBooks ...

          Check out the TeachingBooks "Book and Reading Engagement Kit" to find author read alongs from fabulous books, author interviews, and over 1,000 complete audio books for your listening pleasure.




    Under the Sun ...

    You all know I love nature, and I think it's even more important for us to get out into it right now!  Go catch some sun rays!  Sunny day?  Find the sunniest spot in your yard and go sit in it - meditate, bird watch, nap, or READ (my favorite)!  Or, go out for a walk, a run, or a bike ride.  The exercise and the sun together is a great mood booster.


    Video Games ...

    Check out this article from the New York Times if someone in your life keeps telling you that you shouldn't be playing video games.  You might find a few good arguments to use.

    "It’s a Perfect Time to Play Video Games. And You Shouldn’t Feel Bad About It."








    Young People's Literature ...


    Meet Jason Reynolds, National Ambassador for Young People's Literature!

    Jason Reynolds

    Learn more about Jason Reynolds:  click here to read an article from the Washington Post.



    Zoos ...

    First, check out our own Sedgwick County Zoo!  They are broadcasting virtual tours live weekdays at 11 am and 2 pm on Facebook, where you can also find cool videos.  View their webcams of the penguins and the elephants here.


    Under F, you'll find information about that famous little hippo, Fiona!

Library Links

  • Destiny


    Wichita Public Library


    State Library




    W Eagle  



    Lrning Ntwk


    Occupational Outlook Handbook





    user name: marshall & password: usd259


    Teaching Books


    Lit   Let's Get Lit! write a digital review - or an old school paper one!

    Once you've joined the Library Classroom for your grade, you'll be able to record books you've read by adding titles to the screen shown below and submitting ONE of the following:  a Haiku, a BookSnap, a FlipGrid Review, a Six Word Memoir, or a Tweet Review.  Be sure to come to the Library to collect your prizes!

    Go to the Library Resources page for HOW-TOs for Tweets, Haiku and Six Word Memoirs. 

    Let's Get Lit! Digital