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.
Attention, Parents! Our District is holding virtual trainings on Digital Well Being that can help you navigate the waters of the digital world with your children. Click here for more information.
Summer Reading has started at the Wichita Public Library!
More information at the NEW Library page on the left called "Summer Reading"
New Additions: Livecams from around the world under E for Explore.org ... Harry Potter at Home ... Virtual National Parks ... be a Code Breaker (or Maker) ... Geocaching ... Experiments ... Write.Right.Rite. ... Apollo 13th 50th Anniversary resources under NASA ... the Inverted Q and more sculpture on the WSU campus ... Be creative with Oreo Art and the Getty Museum Challenge ...
Art ... Audio Books ...
Many art museums have at least part of their collections available online. One of my favorite museums of all time is the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art in KC. Check out the link below look at YouTube videos, learn about works of art, and create (coloring pages for you to print). The link here takes you to Collection Highlights.
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.
Feeling creative? Take the Getty Museum Challenge to "recreate your favorite art" by using people and things at your home! Read more about it at the link here, then post your creations on Twitter, FaceBook or Instagram. You can find art to recreate at the Getty Center site below.
Also, you could try Oreo art! Just search for it online or on Instagram or Twitter to see some for inspiration, or watch this how-to video.
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? You can checkout ebooks from the Wichita Public Library with your library card. Don't have a card? Call them at 316-261-8500 from 10 am to 6 pm Monday to Saturday and they can issue you an e-card over the phone. They also have a new service through the app Flipster to read magazines for free once you have a card!
Also, see how to access free ebooks from the State Library under E below!
One of our family's favorite books of all time is Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola, who passed away just last month. Hear Tomie talking about Strega Nona here and learn more about him at the website 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.
Code Breaking ...
Want to send messages in code to your friends? Or figure out the messages they sent? Go to the Bletchly Park Museum site to learn how to use a Caesar Wheel. You can also learn about the history of Code Breaking and World War II at this museum where early computing was developed as mathematicians worked frantically to decode the Nazi Enigma codes.
Dance ... Disney ...
Take dance lessons with Debbie Allen. Early lessons are archived at the link below. New ones are coming out on her Instagram.
Check out the Disney Books YouTube Channel with fun videos, author interviews, and more!
EBooks ... Experiments ... Explore.org
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) & 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 here for State Lib ebook instructions. The collection of books for teens is large and varied! Links on the left side of the page below will give you more infomation about how to access & read them with whatever device you use.
Try some experiments with Stay at Home STEM from Exploration Place. Like Exploration Place on FaceBook or subscribe on YouTube.
Learn more about nature by watching these livecams @ Explore.org.
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.
Geocaching ... Great Plains Nature Center ...
Geocaching is a fun outdoor treasure hunt. You use GPS, an app and your map skills to find hidden "caches." Read more about it in this article from the Wichita Eagle.
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.
Hogwarts ... History ... Hoops ...
J.K. Rowling has been working to cast a "Banishing Charm of boredom!" Find the result with trivia, quizzes, puzzles, crafts and more at Harry Potter at Home.
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.
No, there are no live game links here, or articles on the Big Dance. But check out this video of Stephen Curry interviewing Dr. Anthony Fauci.
International Space Station ...
You can track the location of the International Space Station or find spotting opportunities to see it in our sky at this NASA link.
AND, find lots of other cool stuff about space at NASA.gov
Harry Potter fans, checkout Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross Station. With a little app magic, you could even past yourself into a photo heading for Hogwarts!
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! Go to Write_On for letter writing ideas, how-tos, and more. Hover over "Resources" on the page for more.
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), extraterrestrial - Clker-Free-Vector-Images, sun - DavidRockDesign
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.
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.
NASA ... National Parks ...
April 11 marks the 50th anniversary of NASA's Apollo 13, " 'a successful failure' that saw the safe return of its crew in spite of a catastrophic explosion." Check out this link to a wealth of resources online to explore this fateful mission. If you have Amazon, Hulu or Netflix, watch the Tom Hanks movie for more.
Celebrate National Parks Week & the 50 Anniversary of Earth Day virtually with cool activities at this link.
Click here to learn more about the National Parks and find virtual Park activities.
Or take a virtual tour of some National Parks, courtesy of Google Arts and Culture.
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).
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.
the Inverted Q ...
View the Inverted Q by Claes Oldenburg and more of the Martin H. Bush Outdoor Sculpture Collection on the WSU campus. Download the free Ulrich Museum of Art mobile app with self-guided tours, interactive maps and more to guide your visit. And remember, you can take your family, but be sure to practice social distancing if you encounter any other people on campus!
You can also find other "Museum from Home" resources at the Ulrich Museum of Art site.
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.
Symphony ... Shakespeare ...
Enjoy the Wichita Symplony at home at 7 pm on Fridays in April. Radio Kansas will broadcast favorite concerts from the past 10 years, with commentary with Maestro Daniel Hege. Listen on 90.1 FM or online at radioKansas.com
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. Also, listen to Patrick Stewart (aka Captain Picard of Star Trek: Next Generation) reading a Shakespeare sonnet a day on Twitter at #ASonnetADay.
Celebrate the Bard's birthday on Thursday, April 23rd with the Folger Shakespeare Library.
TeachingBooks ... Theater ...
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.
If you're interested in theater and architecture, this article is a virtual tour of currently closed Broadway theaters.
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."
WriteRightRite ... Wichita Art Museum ...
WriteRightRite, an initiative by Jason Reynolds, encourages you to write by posting new and creative prompts on Tuesdays and Thursdays. See the video prompts, find cool writings and share your writing at #WriteRightRite on Twitter or Instagram. Read Jason Reynolds' blog and watch a video about the initiative here. Read more about Jason Reynolds at Y for Young People's Literature below.
Read a blog by Jason Reynolds about how he learned to deal with the dark here.
Visit the Wichita Art Museum virtually and find cool activities you can do at home at the WAM Learning page.
Extraterrestrials, anyone? Learn more about Area 51 from Britannica.
Young People's Literature ...
Meet Jason Reynolds, National Ambassador for Young People's Literature!
Learn more about Jason Reynolds: click here to read an article from the Washington Post.
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!
Occupational Outlook Handbook
user name: marshall & password: usd259
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.