Thursday, December 06, 2007

What good is an Almanac?

The Eduhound's topic of the week is Almanacs, which makes me wonder just what value such a long printed book could have to schools?  Here are some of the ideas I came up with - do you have more?

Since Ben Franklin is synonymous with Almanacs and December marks the 275th anniversary of Poor Richard's Almanack. - lessons on quotes.  You can start with the Quotable Franklin.

lessons on history.  Here are some pages from a 1753 Poor Richard's.

Climate change is in the news everyday.  What better reference than the tables, rhymes and forecasts from the Old Farmer's Almanac?  See their kids site at

Other cultures are represented through their almanacs. Did you know that other countries also have had almanacs.  Some since ancient times?  On the left is a page from the Almanac for the Hindu year 1871-72.


Here are some further references from the Eduhound's article:

  • The World Almanac for Kids Online
    Offers games, quizzes, contests, and reference facts on topics like space, presidents, the environment, and animals.
  • Fact Monster - Almanac
    Find facts on thousands of subjects including sports, entertainment, technology, business, education, and health.
  • Infoplease - Daily Almanac
    Features birthdays, This Day in History, news, word quizzes, weather facts, crosswords, and more.
  • Baseball Almanac
    Features in-depth baseball facts, original baseball research, and baseball statistics not found anywhere on the Internet.

Could books like almanacs and access to the Internet for supporting documentation be a major resource to teaching?  I think so.

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