Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

A teaching moment in filmmaking with my students.

Congratulations to the Authors, Illustrators, and Journalists (AIJ) Academy at Walker Elementary School. Our film, ZERO WASTE: RECYCLE, REUSE, AND REDUCE, received an official nomination from more than 400 videos submitted at the Innovative Video in Education (IVIE) Film Festival and Awards!


* Special thanks to Learning through the Arts Grant from SD Unified and Technology Dept.; Walker Elementary School, and Media Arts Center, Walker PTO, Walker Staff, AIJ Academy Students and Parents.


Coming Soon: Featured Educator in “Tackle Reading” Book to Promote Literacy

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

I’m excited to share information about ‪#‎TackleReading‬, a national movement that promotes quality reading instruction for all children. The TACKLE READING book is a reading resource written by over 45 NFL players, celebrities, literacy leaders, reading organizations, and fellow educators. This title has stories, tips, lessons, and activities to motivate children, support parents, and inspire teachers to love literacy!  It’s exciting to take part in the initiative!

The t-shirts became available today for purchase ( Each shirt purchased gives the gift of reading to a child in the United States! Choose from multiple colors and sizes for men and women. I’m among the featured educators in this spirit wear in the fall. Click on to the link to see the full lineup of writers for the TACKLE READING book!…/tackle-reading-lineup/

Children’s Books and Kohl’s Cares Summer Collection

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016


by Grace Nall

Are you looking for a summer reading book for your child?  Children’s book author Salina Yoon’s PENGUIN ON VACATION book, PENGUIN’S BIG ADVENTURE book, and PENGUIN soft toy are featured in Kohl’s Cares collection.  The books are specially priced at $5.   The Kohl’s Cares collection benefits nationwide children’s healthcare initiatives.  Other books are featured along with the PENGUIN books.   The book collections are available at the Kohl’s website and Kohl’s stores nationwide through the end of June 2016.


If you are a teacher or parent, make sure to click here to download the free EDUCATOR’S GUIDE I created for Salina Yoon’s PENGUIN AND PINECONE book.

Penguin coverPenguin and Pinecone-Educator Guide-4 Page Spread-Final



You may also want to click here to visit Salina Yoon’s website

and click here to visit

and click here to visit Business Wire



Greek and Latin Roots in the Common Core Standards

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

Greek and Latin Roots in the Common Core Standards

     Explore 300 Greek and Latin roots!  Wonderful resource for teachers, kids, and parents!  Author Edith Hope Fine’s GREEK AND LATIN FOR CRYPTOMANIACS! Workbook is now available.  Thanks, Edith, for including my “blurb” in the back cover.

     “Such a creative approach to supporting the Common Core State Standards!  Edith Hope Fine captures the essence of Greek and Latin roots in her workbook, engaging students to explore beyond her CRYPTOMANIA! book.”

Greek and Latin for Cryptomaniacs! - Book Cover

Cryptomania Book

IMG_4016 - Version 2-Edith Hope Fine-Greek and Latin for Cryptomaniacs







Visit Children’s Book Author Edith Hope Fine:

Greek and Latin for Cryptomaniacs! Workbook:


Common Core Standards 

English Language Arts Standards:     Language, Grade 4

4b “Use common grade-appropriate Greek and Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., telegraph, photograph, autograph).

Common Core Standards

English Language Arts Standards:  Language, Grade 8

8b “Use common grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., precede, recede, secede).


For more information, visit

Common Core Aligned Curriculum, Thomas Nast: Political Cartoonist

Thursday, November 27th, 2014


As we celebrate the holidays, we can research creative ways to include history.   Thomas Nast, Political Cartoonist, created two influential cartoons that depicted our nation’s challenging times.

“Uncle Sam’s Thanksgiving Dinner” (1869):  Portrait of former President Abraham Lincoln in the background.  “Uncle Sam carving turkey at large table surrounded by men, women, and children of different races . . . ”

Thomas Nast - Uncle Sams Thanksgiving Dinner-LOC cph.3b32401




Source: Library of Congress

and Author Lynda Pflueger’s E-book, Thomas Nast:  Political Cartoonist




Thomas Nast “Christmas Eve” (1889):  “Women kneeling, praying, and looking at moon, at foot of bed of her children; and soldier sitting under tree looking at photographs of his family.”

Thomas Nast - Christmas Eve






Source: Library of Congress

and Author Lynda Pflueger E-book, Thomas Nast:  Politcal Cartoonist





Author Lynda Pflueger’s E-book, Thomas Nast:  Political Cartoonist, describes how Nast “impacted American life through several presidential elections.  Nast’s legacy to future generations includes the symbols he made popular that are still recognized today:  Uncle Sam, the Democratic donkey, the Republican elephant, and Santa Claus.  He wrote for several publications, such as Harper’s Weekly.”

Nast CoverVisit Author Lynda Pflueger’s website:






Educator’s Guide by Grace Nall

Common Core Aligned Connections for the E-book, Thomas Nast:  Political Cartoonist

Educator Guide Cover-Thomas Nast-E-book-v1Final-c2014-GNall-Teaching Seasons


 Click here to view the Educator Guide by Grace Nall

for Author Lynda Pflueger’s E-book, Thomas Nast:  Political Cartoonist

Common Core State Standards Introduction for Children’s Book Authors and Illustrators

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

     Teachers, parents, and students across the United States are preparing for the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), which is a “a set of high-quality academic standards in Math and English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA).”  It provides a “clear and consistent framework for educators.”  CCSS is preparing students for College and Career Readiness.

     Children’s book authors and illustrators are interested in finding out how this impacts textbooks and reading materials in the classrooms and libraries.

     As co-presenter with Dr. Virginia Loh-Hagan at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) San Diego Chapter April meeting, we both had much to contribute in our fields of expertise about the Common Core State Standards.

      Forty-four statBooks and childrenes nationwide, the District of Columbia, four territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) have adopted the Common Core State Standards Initiative.  Since 2009, “the state school chiefs and governors that comprise the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association (NGA) Center coordinated a state-led effort to develop the Common Core Standards.”


     School curriculum is being “designed through collaboration among teachers, school chiefs, administrators, and other experts” to support the Common Core State Standards.  As a member of my school district’s curriculum design team, I’ve had an “inside look” into the long process in working on Units of Study for both ELA and Math.  It’s not an easy task.  We are using what we have in the classroom and supplementing new materials to support the transition.  It’s a change and learning process for teachers, students, parents, and the children’s book industry.      

     How does this affect authors and illustrators?  During the SCBWI presentation, I included examples of exemplary texts across the curriculum.  In addition, I also focused on text selections for lesson plans as an integral component.  The use of mentor texts to teach students valuable skills in ELA are needed to support CCSS. 

Find out more information from my presentation handout entitled, “Author Tips,” here:

Read my article on “The Common Core State Standards” published in the SCBWI Bulletin:

For more information: Visit

Myths vs. Facts:  Visit

Video:  Visit

Visit Dr. Virginia Loh-Hagan’s website:

California Council for the Social Studies

Monday, March 24th, 2014

 California Council for the Social Studies


     The California Council for the Social Studies (CCSS) held its 53rd Annual Conference from March 7 to 9, 2014!  The theme, “CCSS Wants You:  Dig in for the Challenge,”  commemorated the 100th anniversary of the “Great War.”  Thanks to the conference planning committee for a successful and well-organized conference.


      Among the highlights included keynote speakers:  Lalo Alcarez, Cartoonist; Sylvia Mendez, Presidential Medal of Freedom; Major General Patrick Brady (Ret); Mary Beth Tinker, Free Speech Activist; and Mike McGalliard, Imagination Foundation’s Executive Director.  Other highlights included the Common Core 2.0 Boot Camp, which included topics such as “Historical Thinking and the Common Core State Standards,” “Close Reading of Historical Documents,” and “Common Core and English Language Learners.” 

    My presentation was entitled  “Technology Matters.”  It explored teaching strategies and digital resources in social studies and technology to support the Common Core Standards.  The session showed how to captivate student interest and enhance historical inquiry by analyzing primary and secondary sources.”  Thanks to Simmi Kher (The Tony Blair Faith Foundation) for the positive “tweet” and to the teacher colleagues for attending the session.  Twitter at gn_teach.   Would love to share and hear about how you use technology in your classrooms.

     How wonderful it was to see  Dr. Priscilla Porter (Senior Author of Reflections Social Studies textbook series for K-6 at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Textbook Publishers), Matt Hayes (San Diego County of Education), and Micheline Wagner (San Diego Unified School District),  who have influenced my passion for social studies and literacy.  Visit Dr. Priscilla Porter’s website,, at California State University, San Bernardino.


    Thanks to Children’s Book Author Alexis O’Neill who donated promotional posters and her historical-fiction book, THE KITE THAT BRIDGED TWO NATIONS:  HOMAN WALSH AND THE FIRST NIAGARA SUSPENSION BRIDGE, for my “Technology Matters” presentation.  View the book trailer for THE KITE THAT BRIDGED TWO NATIONS at  Visit Alexis O’Neill’s website at 


    Also, thanks to The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators ( the following children’s book authors who contributed to the historical-fiction and non-fiction resources list handed out at the presentation:  Dr. Virginia Loh-Hagan (; Edith Hope Fine (; Carolyn Marsden (; Andrea Zimmerman (; Nancy Johnson (;  Susan Traugh (; Debbie Vilardi ( and Selene Castrovilla’s ( .



     The Library of Congress  ( bookmarks in the handouts were provided by Meg Steele.    I also handed them out at “The Teaching with Primary Sources Session” at the San Diego County of Education where I co-presented with Dr. Nicole Gilbertson and Matt Hayes.


    The California Council for the Social Studies (CCSS)  is an affiliate of the National Council for the Social Studies.  Visit

Read Across America

Saturday, February 15th, 2014

Read Across America Highlights Reading

Read Across America continues its annual celebration of reading on March 3rd, just a day after Dr. Seuss’ birthday.  The combined “Seussical” and “whimsical” celebration for literacy will mark the NEA’s 17th year of Read Across America.  For some schools, it’s not a one-day activity, but a month-long of activites!  It’s among the busiest time of the school year.  As co-coordinator for our school’s Read Across America, I applied for a grant.  It’s not easy and it requires much thought and time.  Good news!  Walker Elementary School received a $1,000 Read Across America Event Grant from National Education Association (NEA) and it’s sponsor Renaissance Dental.  WE are grateful since the grant helps to partially cover our school’s Read Across America activities, such as Student V.I.P. Luncheon, Community Leaders as Readers, T-Shirts, school assembly, and children’s books from authors who have visited our school.  The books will be placed in our school library’s “Dr. Seuss/Read Across America” corner.  I started an Authors, Illustrators, and Journalists (AIJ) Academy, which is an after school literacy enrichment program.  Among our goals is to create a Read Across America newsletter and a “simulated” newscast.  For more information on the AIJ Academy, visit


Learn more about the National Education Association (NEA) and Read Across America by visiting  For information on sponsor Renaissance Dental and the importance of quality and affordable dental insurance, as well as good oral health, visit

Cat in the Hat-NEA Read Across America-2014-ArchRenaissance-Dental-300x93







The National Education Association’s (NEA) Read Across America began in May 1997 with the bright idea of “Let’s create a day to celebrate reading.”  This is the second year that NEA has teamed up with its sponsor Renaissance Dental to spread an import message:  “Pick up a book and a toothbrush.”


Several children’s book authors are helping our school to celebrate reading.  Children’s Book Authors:  Salina Yoon (, Randy Morrison (, Shannon Messenger (, Cindy Jenson-Elliott (, and Henry Herz and his sons (,  will be at Barnes and Noble Booksellers /Walker Family Fun Night Fundraiser on February 27, from 4 – 7 pm, in San Diego.  Here’s a link to Barnes and Noble.

Barnes and Noble-Walker Elem-Feb. 27-2014

Look at the Teacher Resources created for

1)  Children’s Book Author Salina Yoon at website and at website.

2)  Children’s Book Author Randy Morrison at and


Barnes and Noble-Feb. 27 - Author Book Signings

A Season of New Beginnings

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

The new year brings a time of reflection, hope, and bright beginnings.

Thankful for times with family, friends, colleagues, faith, good health, hope, peace, happiness, lessons learned, writing, teaching, and educational opportunities.  Most of all, teaching moments to involve our students as reflected in the following Native American/Indian Proverb.

Here’s hoping your new year is filled with many blessings.

Native American Proverb - A

Teaching Moments Helps With Changes

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Teaching Moments Helps With Changes

     Ever school year is different.  Our 4th grade students participated in what is known as “a wheel” approach by going to a different teacher for each academic subject, similar to middle school.  However, it didn’t quite work out.   In the best interest of our students, a different arrangement worked out better.  

     Teachers reflect on learning outcomes and opportunities to further student engagement.   With some faith and positive thinking, I recalled a memorable event last year in front of my classroom door.  My students and I were amazed to see a chrysalis attached to the outside of our classroom wall.  Even so, we were surprised to see a butterfly emerge in front of our eyes!  The metamorphosis was an enlightening experience.  We can learn from change by looking around us, having faith, and thinking positive.

Butterfly 1       Butterfly 2