Learning Abilities Books banner image

Home Dolch Lessons Toys Games ESL Articles Amazon Associates L A B Orders Catalog

1776 and More

There is a renewed interest in the events of 1776 in North America, The Boston Tea Party, The Declaration of Independence, The US Constitution, and in the appreciation of the rights of citizens of the USA. More people are becoming active, well-informed voters. More parents are taking an active role in visiting schools and being involved in their children's education. Patriotic feelings are stirred when audiences hear Celtic Woman singing, Oh America.

13 white stars in a blue background with a red border

Ability to Take Action Get contact info for elected officials, etc.
Get Free Copies of the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence.
Please visit American Patriotic Music and Books for Children.

Ability to Take Action

We need to take action on so many issues. The truth of an Aesop's fable still applies: united we stand, divided we fall.

    The Heritage Guide to the Constitution
      Regardless of party affiliation, this book is a valuable guide. Scroll down on this page to get your own free copy of the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence along with lesson plans.

Many people have expressed concern about how the American news media presents news. You might like to join people who are sending emails and letters to news people and to political leaders. Resist the temptation to send copies to more than one address at a time. These are often not read. Address each email or letter to the specific person. Include your name and address.
Fox News: Email Contacts for Specific Shows Search the internet for other networks.

Influence your Federal Senators and Representatives to represent your values. It helps if you are in the politician's voting district!
Phone the Senate Message Center 1-800-282-5803 and
House Message Center 1-800-282-5800.
Email senators at http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm .
Email representatives at http://www.house.gov/ .
Contact your state, county, and city governments. They need respectful reminders that we, the taxpayers, have hired them to work for US. It also helps to give them a word of thanks when we feel they are making the right decisions!

Newspaper editors prefer for you to include your name, address, and a daytime phone number. They generally honor your request that your full name not be used or you may use your initials with your last name. It doesn't hurt to let them know if you are a subscriber to their paper!

You can go to Vote.com to let your position be known on many current issues. You can enter your zip code (without your name) so that your senators and representatives see how people in their districts feel.


Get Free Copies of the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence

The US Constitution gives us many freedoms which we cherish, but freedom requires responsibility and good judgment. So what does the US Constitution actually say? Do you wish you, your students, or your family had your own copy?

At Heritage Foundation, get pocket book sized copies of the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution.

The Constitution Center has the complete US Constitution and Declaration of Independence online along with lesson plans for studying them. Get free pocketbook copies.

Some encyclopedias have the complete US Constitution in them.

School administrators, teachers, and others are often forced into the position of trying to please everyone. This can be a noble goal, but there are major problems with this. The greatest drawback is that it simply can't be accomplished. Someone will object somewhere and somehow.

When peer pressure strikes kids or parents and other educators, here is something to keep in mind. For centuries, people have struggled with pleasing others and/or standing up for themselves and their values. Our main problems occur when we aren't sure of what we believe; we hope to get away with being deceptive; we are afraid; or we are so eager to please that we can't take any stand. Regardless of our motivation, we can get ourselves into a mess as shown in Aesop's fable: "The Man, the Boy, and the Donkey."

Let's remember that fables were not originally for children. Often they were political statements. This is a good character building story to share with children and to heed ourselves.

In case some of you don't recall the fable, I'll give you a short version. I have a longer and funnier version in my book, A Funny Dolch Word Book #3.

The Man, the Boy, and the Donkey

The man led his donkey to market as his son walked beside him. They passed someone who said, "You don't lead a donkey! You ride him" So the man smiled and put the boy on the donkey.

Feeling good about this solution, they passed someone who said, "Look at that selfish boy. He rides while the poor old man walks." Being eager to please, they changed places.

They felt this must be the right thing to do until they passed someone who said, "Look at that mean man. He rides like a king while the poor little boy walks." Being eager to please, they both rode.

Who could object to this solution?

Soon, they passed someone who said, "That man and boy are so cruel! The poor little donkey must carry both of them!"

So they got off and tried to figure out what to do. They decided to tie the donkey's legs to a pole and carry him.

Everyone who saw them pointed and laughed. The man and boy kept walking.

The strong little donkey didn't mind the other arrangements, but he didn't like this at all! He squirmed and brayed! As they crossed a bridge, he got one leg free. He kicked the boy making him drop his end of the pole. The poor donkey slid into the river and drowned.

Moral: When we try to please all, we please none especially ourselves.

In many versions of the fable, the donkey drowns. In my book, I just let him fall into the water while the men, women, and children laugh.

"Your donkey knows more than you!" This old Spanish put-down is shouted by one onlooker in my book.

Feel free to copy or embellish this online version of the fable. Of course, you could enjoy a better version in my book, A Funny Dolch Word Book #3.