Posts from the ‘history’ Category

HOW TO CUT THROUGH THE NOISE – TEACHING OUR CHILDREN TO BE CRITICAL THINKERS

About 64 million Americans get their news from social media. The reliance on newspapers, radio, and television news segments have been diminished or disappeared. Even broadcasts advertised as the “breaking news” rely on panels of “experts” to relay information. The days of a journalist simply reporting the facts without attaching opinions are gone.

Our children probably rely on social media to an even greater degree. How can we teach them to cut through the noise, sift through the mire, and uncover the objective truth? I have a few suggestions.

VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE

Make it a point to watch and listen to many different stations and social media outlets. Show your children how different outlets and reporters present information. Do they show both sides of an issue? Are certain people and groups ignored? Tell children they need to hear and see both sides of an issue before judging it authentic. Ask them if the information was reported fairly. Did they get the whole picture?

EVERY STORY HAS MANY ANGLES

Explain how different people look at the same situation differently. Use examples of how family members like different foods, play different sports, and choose different friends. Even mom and dad sometimes argue about preferences. The same applies to news issues. Adults can choose different media outlets and reporters to illustrate how there can be a multitude of different views about the same topic in the news.

IS THAT A FACT?

Use everyday situations to illustrate the difference between a fact and opinion. I am wearing a red shirt today. That is a fact. When you say, that red shirt is ugly, you are issuing your opinion. Facebook and Twitter are littered with opinions. What do people share or retweet? They share and comment on the opinions with which they strongly agree or disagree. Social media outlets do not report the news, they display the opinions of those followers who have decided to reject or endorse them. Children need to understand that reality does not coincide with the majority of social media opinion. Point of view on an issue does not necessarily make what is communicated true. In fact, the reality might be something completely different.

YOU BE THE JUDGE

Adults and children can have fun and learn a lot by analyzing the ads seen in print and on TV. Study that boring commercial and think deeply about the message that is being communicated. How are the actors dressed? What do their gestures tell you? What words do they use? Do they exaggerate the benefits of the product? How are they trying to manipulate you into buying something you don’t really need?

After doing this a few times, take what you learned and apply it to the commentators, reporters, and “expert panels” that you see reporting the news. You will learn a lot about how much opinion is introduced into what is being reported as factual news. This knowledge will go a long way in developing critical thinking skills that will benefit children as they mature and develop the life skills they will need in future careers.

SEEING IS NOT BELIEVING

It’s okay to be critical. In the world of modern technology in which we can press a button to order in minutes, see ourselves in virtual reality, and communicate with friends, family, and co-workers instantly, it has never been more important to be vigilant and careful. We worry about computer hackers, but often neglect to train our own brains to filter out the noise and the mixed messages that seek to distract and deceive us.

BE SMART AND RESPONSIBLE

Watch this quick video to learn how.

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#DorktalesStorytimePodcastBlogTour

Subscribe now to get in on the fun! See a preview of available episodes below.

Dorktales Storytime Podcast is classic children’s fairy tales told with a geek-ish twist! Jonathan Cormur is the host (and storyteller) of the family-fun podcast that featuring geeky-retellings of fairy tale classics and true tales about the Hidden Heroes of History. Think Fractured Fairy Tales meets Big Bang Theory and the History Detectives!

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3kSUJZQ

Overcast: https://bit.ly/dorktales-overcast

Amazon Music: https://bit.ly/dorktales-amazon-music

Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3iNgKHA

Stitcher: https://bit.ly/Dorktales-stitcher

Google Podcasts: https://bit.ly/dorktales-google

Find more on Podcast website: https://jonincharacter.com/dorktales/ You may recognize Jonathan from his work with his mom, Jodi, from Geek Club Books and Zoom Autism Magazine. His new podcast for kids, Dorktales Storytime Podcast, showcases his career as a successful voice actor who also happens to be on the spectrum.  

CURRENT EPISODES:

Dorktales Storytime Podcast EP1: What are Dorktales?

Jonathan Cormur introduces himself as the host and storyteller of the Dorktales Storytime Podcast and answers the question you may be pondering, “What ARE Dorktales?”

Episode webpage: https://jonincharacter.com/dorktales-podcast-introduction/ 

Dorktales Storytime Podcast EP2: Three Little Hogs?!
By Karen Simpson Gardiner

The Three Little…HOGS? Who’s heard of that? According to Mr. Redge, our Dorktales sidekick, it’s a classic tale from the fairy tale cannon! Come hear our storyteller recount the story of hedgehogs Porky, Percy and Peregrin, and their ultimate triumph over the dastardly wolf using a glue pot, rapier and a wheelbarrow. According to Percy, “It’s epic, man!”

Episode webpage: https://jonincharacter.com/dorktales-three-little-hogs/ 

Dorktales Storytime Podcast EP3: Little Red
By Karen Simpson Gardiner

La, la, la, la-la! Have you heard the tale of Little Red Riding Hood? You know, the one about the sweet, innocent little girl in the beautiful red cloak who out foxes the big bad wolf? Well forget that one and think ninja granny with a stealthy rescue plan and fierce tranquilizer dart skills.

Episode webpage: https://jonincharacter.com/dorktales-little-red/ 

Dorktales Storytime Podcast EP4: RumpleTaleSpin
By Amy Thompson

“Rump, who?” asks Mr. Redge as Jonathan spins the tall tale of Daphne, the Miller’s daughter, who must spin thread into gold for a greedy king. It’s an epic yarn involving a magical lawn gnome, a clever guessing game and a Wizard of Oz ending!

Episode webpage: https://jonincharacter.com/dorktales-rumpletalespin/ 

Dorktales Storytime Podcast EP5: Mary Golda Ross
Hidden Heroes of History
By Molly Murphy

The true tale of a woman who reached for the stars! Mary Golda Ross was one of the first women to rise in the ranks of engineering and one of the first Native Americans in the field. Her work in the early days of spaceflight was very important and is still to this day.

Episode webpage: https://jonincharacter.com/mary-golda-ross/ 

Dorktales Storytime Podcast EP6: The Prickly Duckling
By Amy Thompson

After the quacks and croaks of laughter from his siblings and bullying bullfrog, the poor little duckling waddles off through the marshes to find someone who will accept and love him. What about the gaggle of goslings? Or the brood of chicks? “No one understands me! I’ll never fit in,” he cries until he bumps into the best version of himself.

Episode webpage: https://jonincharacter.com/prickly-duckling/ 

Dorktales Storytime Podcast EP7: The Emperor’s New Quills
By Amy Thompson

Is the fancy fabric for the emperor’s new clothes really invisible to those who are not worthy? Or is this a case of double-dealing dupery by two wily weavers for the right boy to blurt out the naked truth.

Episode webpage   
https://jonincharacter.com/the-emperors-new-quills/

Dorktales Storytime Podcast EP8: Louis Armstrong
Hidden Heroes of History
By Molly Murphy

A tale of Mississippi river boats, parasol parades and breaking racial barriers! A man that built a music legacy and a legacy beyond music—Louis Armstrong transformed jazz music and became the beloved “Ambassador Satch” who performed all over the world! So much of his life was about a deep passion for music and using it to bring people together. 

Episode webpage: https://jonincharacter.com/louis-armstrong/  

Coming Soon!

  • Dorktales Storytime Podcast EP9: The Boy Who Cried Hedgewolf
  • Dorktales Storytime Podcast EP10: Ready, Set, Slow!
  • Dorktales Storytime Podcast EP11: Tenzing Norgay Hidden Heroes of History

Get the scoop on my latest release!

SHARE THE STORY OF AMERICA’S FOUNDING AND THE OLDEST FEDERAL CONSTITUTION IN EXISTENCE

TRACE THEIR FOOTSTEPS AT INDEPENDENCE HALL & The Museum of the American Revolution with Little Miss HISTORY as your guide.

GET A PREVIEW OF THE BOOK HERE:

https://askdavid.com/reviews/book/children-book/18216

Check out the reviews, videos and other books in this award-winning children’s nonfiction book series.

PURCHASE LINKS:

#HOTOFFTHEPRESS

BREAKING NEWS:

Little Miss HISTORY Travels to INDEPENDENCE HALL & The American Revolution makes its debut on the world stage.

No Fake News here….just the facts

The United States Constitution is the oldest federal constitution in existence. This document, along with the Bill of Rights, lays out the rights and responsibilities of its citizens. The Founding Fathers embraced the principles of the Enlightenment and a vision of liberty and justice for all. Trace their footsteps at Independence Hall and the Museum of the American Revolution.

Available in hardcover or paperback

AVAILABLE ONLINE OR ASK FOR IT AT YOUR FAVORITE BOOKSTORE

https://amzn.to/3cF9Li0

https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/barbara-ann-mojica-and-victor-ramon-mojica/little-miss-history-travels-to-independence-hall-the-museum-of-the-american-revolution/paperback/product-qjj2p7.html

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55282858

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/little-miss-history-travels-to-independence-hall-the-museum-of-the-american-revolution-barbara-ann-mojica/1137760525?ean=9781733067157

SLAVE OR FREE

Vengeance of a Slave

Written by V.M. Sang

Adelbehrd and his family live in the Roman provinces. Their simple life is suddenly turned upside down when Roman soldiers come to exact revenge for a rebellion in which they played no part.

They randomly choose men to be examples. Adelbehrd’s father is crucified. He and his sister are singled out to be sold as slaves because of their blond hair. Torn from their grieving mother, the two terrified children are carted off to a far-off villa to be enslaved.

For many years, their monotonous life continues. One day, Adelbehrd discovers that his sister is about to be sold. A friend tells him about a group of Britons who rescue slaves. Adelbehrd is determined to protect his sister and hatches a plan to escape. Will they be successful, or will they suffer the dire consequences?

The book appears to be well researched. The plot moves along and keeps the reader’s interest. I would recommend it to those who enjoy history and intriguing characters.

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CARIBBEAN CAPER

The Mystery of the Bermuda Triangle

Written by Paul Moxley

Amy, Sarah, and Joe, along with their friend Joe are with their guide Uti. Because their parents suddenly had to cancel, Uti is taking them to Oxley, a remote island on the outskirts of the Bermuda Triangle to see the exotic native animals.

Shortly, after their arrival, a sudden storm sweeps them out to sea before Uti can return to the wheelhouse. Alone and scared, the children are terrified when a ship crashes right into them. To their dismay, Captain Red, a pirate, is in command. Will the children survive the storm and escape from the pirates?

That is just the beginning of their adventures. A white gorilla, slithering reptiles, scary Natives, Will’s disappearance, aircraft, tunnels, and vampire bats are among the things the intrepid children will need to face.

The characters are nicely developed, the settings intriguing, and the action is nonstop, providing the perfect backdrop for a middle-grade or young adult thriller adventure.

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A DIFFICULT JOURNEY

Sagas of Anya

Written by Kirsten Mbawa

Anya is only thirteen. She lives in Cardiff, and her life has been difficult. Tad, her alcoholic father, has spiraled into alcoholism and depression. Unable to support himself and his daughter, he secures a position as a scullery maid in London for her.

Anya’s adventure begins with a train ride on a contraption she has never laid eyes on. When she disembarks at Paddington Station, the sights and smells of Victorian England surround her. She has no idea of what to expect. When she meets her boss, Mrs. Axton, her fears escalate.

But as Anya settles into a life of drudgery, more trouble looms before her. Anya has secured a few friendships, but she has also made many enemies. The novel traces her struggle to clear her name. This young Victorian girl is determined to obtain a measure of happiness and find a family to accept and love her.

The book is a fast-moving historical fiction adventure that is perfect for middle-grade readers.

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AN ADVENTURE FOR THE AGES

The Time Hunters and the Box of Eternity

Written by Carl Ashmore

Illustrated by Andrew Gaia

This is the second book in the series. Becky and Joe Mellon return home on school break to learn that nothing has changed at home. That home is as weird and unusual as ever. Saber-tooth tigers, a dodo, and a dinosaur share the home with the rest of the family. Things become more bizarre when an American named Bruce Westlake arrives. This time traveler has in his possession gold doubloons that contain magic powers.

In no time at all, Becky, and Joe, accompanied by their Uncle Percy and Will, find themselves time traveling to Victorian England, the 18th century Caribbean, and the city of Chicago in the 1920s. They will encounter gangsters, sharks and sea demons, and blood-thirsty pirates. What is their goal? Their quest is to find the elusive Pandora’s box.

This fantasy time-travel thriller will appeal to middle-grade, young adult, and adult audiences.

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A REELING REPUBLIC

Bodies in the Tiber: An Ancient Rome Political Thriller: The Sertorius Scrolls Book 3

Written by Vincent B. Davis II

Quintus Sertorius has just returned from five years of fighting for the Roman republic in the north. He is eager to return to Rome and pick up his life with a family that he is certain barely remembers him.

Davis has a fluid writing style. He bases his historical fiction on research, but he is adept at creating interesting and complex personal characters. It is the year 100 B.C. While Rome has been victorious, the republic has never been in greater danger. Sertorius has been writing a diary of sorts in his scrolls for the past year documenting history while also providing personal glimpses into his ambitions as well as his fears.

This is the third book in the series which begins seven years earlier when Sertorius loses his father and his rural village. In a struggle to survive and provide for his family, Sertorius leaves them and is thrust into the role of politician in a corrupt society.

The author uses his own military experience to enrich his story. An engaging and fascinating read for anyone interested in ancient history.

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AN EGYPTIAN ENIGMA

Mystery of the Egyptian Mummy: (Kid Zet Detective Book 4)

Written by Scott Peters

My first time reading a book in this series. Zet is a twelve-year-old boy living in the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes. He and his sister, Kat, run a pottery stall in the market to support their family. One night a mummy, guarded by a jackal, arrives at their home. Terrified, the siblings return to the market the next day to find that the whole town believes them to be cursed. Their business collapses. That makes them determined to solve the mystery.

What they discover is a much larger plot that will endanger the royal family and all of Egypt. As they artfully unravel clues to solve the mystery, readers learn a lot of information about ancient Egyptian history and culture.

Peters creates interesting characters and an engaging plot to keep middle-grade readers engrossed throughout the read. Educational and entertaining.

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