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April Learning Calendar with DVD Resources

by Diane Flynn Keith
Author of Carschooling

There are historic and important events to commemorate nearly every day of the year. This Learning Calendar will help you note events and people that impact our lives with recommendations for DVDs, CDs, books, and websites to further learning and boost your student's knowledge of the world. All of the DVD, CD, and book recommendations are available through our affiliation with Amazon.com -- just click on the links to make a purchase that allows us to continue to provide this resource for free.

Celebrate Earth Day — April 22nd, 2009

Celebrate Earth Day — April 22nd, 2010

Homefires' April Learning Calendar

  1. April Fools' Day/All Fools' Day. This day of practical jokes is a centuries old tradition in England, Scotland, France, and the United States. Miss Nelson Has A Field Day, based on the popular children's book, has a few funny surprises in store for your family.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  2. Hans Christian Andersen, Danish fairy-tale writer, poet, novelist, born 1805. Homefire recommends Hans Christian Andersen: My Life As A Fairytale, that weaves some of his most popular stories including The Little Mermaid, The Snow Queen, Princess And The Pea, The Ugly Duckling and The Nightingale into the lives of everyday people and events, creating a magical world of wonder and unforgettable characters.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  3. Washington Irving, who authored The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was born in 1783. Watch, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad features two family classics: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - a retelling of Washington Irving's story about a tiny New England town's new schoolmaster, Ichabod Crane; and a concise version of Kenneth Grahame's Wind In The Willows.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  4. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinated in 1968. Get this unique documentary titled, Dr. Martin Luther King: Historical Perspective, that tells the story of his extraordinary life. The video uses photos and rare film footage to explore the civil rights activist's ideas and numerous accomplishments before his tragic death.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  5. Booker T. Washington, founder of Tuskegee Institute for African-American students in Alabama, born in 1856. Take a Virtual Tour of The Tuskegee Institute. Of further interest is the remarkable story on DVD of The Tuskegee Airmen In 1941, the United States Army Air Force trained the first African-American fighter pilots in our nation's history at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  6. US. declared war on Germany, entering World War I, 1917. Watch The First World War - The Complete Series This definitive ten-part series offers insight and analysis to provide a coherent and strategic military narrative. Lasting from 1914-1918 and involving 68 million soldiers, WWI was the first modern war and set the historical course for the entire 20th century.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  7. Ravi Shankar, noted sitar player from India, whose music influenced The Beatles, was born in 1920. Watch this IMAX film, India Kingdom of the Tiger, documentary about Jim Corbett. Journey across India to explore its cultures, customs and traditions. Come face to face with the Bengal tiger and learn about the spectacular world of this majestic creature.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  8. Guatama Buddha, founder of Buddhism, born 563 B.C. Get the PG-rated, and 4-star awarded movie drama, Little Buddha. Keanu Reeves and Bridget Fonda star in this motion picture spectacular about an American boy and his family who are visited by Tibetan monks in search of their leader's reincarnation. Suddenly, their worlds meet, leading the Americans on an extraordinary adventure!

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  9. Appomattox Day. General Robert E. Lee of the Confederacy surrenders to General Ulysses S. Grant of the Union Army, ending the Civil War in 1865. The Last Days Of The Civil War, explores the remarkable succession of events leading from the fall of Richmond to Appomattox.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  10. John Madden, football coach and sportscaster, born 1936. There are many acclaimed football-themed films, sure to intrigue any budding football enthusiast. Our recommended titles include: Remember the Titans, Rudy, Rites of Autumn: The Story of College Football, and Friday Night Lights.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  11. Civil Rights Act of 1968. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights bill prohibiting racial discrimination in the sale/rental of housing. View Save Our History: Voices of Civil Rights and explore the tumultuous civil rights movement, which spanned two decades during the 1950s and '60s. You will find narration, interviews, photos and personal, firsthand reminiscences by people, black and white alike, who lived through the turbulent years when there were two very separate Americas.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  12. U.S. Civil War began in 1861 with the firing on Fort Sumter. The History Channel presents: Civil War Journal - The Conflict Begins. The DVD includes four programs hosted by actor Danny Glover that utilize interviews with historians, archival photographs, and re-enactments of battle scenes to provide intelligent presentations on important aspects of the Civil War. To provoke more thought and conversation on the topic of the Civil War, view Brother Against Brother: The American Civil War.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  13. Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the U.S. and author of the Declaration of Independence, born 1743. - The DVD musical 1776 is a delightful celebration of the founding of the United States of America based on the award-winning Broadway production. The story centers around the familiar historical characters (Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin) as they organize a movement for independence from England.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  14. President Abraham Lincoln assassinated by John Wilkes Booth at Ford Theatre in Washington, D.C. in l865. Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided explores Lincoln's marriage to Mary Todd, a woman of great mental frailty and First Lady during the Civil War. The final episode tells of the assassination of Lincoln and how it impacted his widow.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  15. Leonardo Da Vinci was born in 1452. Watch The Life of Leonardo Da Vinci and learn how this Renaissance artist painted Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, invented the diving bell, and designed an airplane, helicopter, parachute, and more.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  16. Wilbur Wright, U.S. aviation pioneer, born 1867. Watch Nova's Wright Brother's Flying Machine that tells the story of Orville and Wilbur Wright who designed, built, and successfully flew their own airplane at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on December 17, 1903, forever changing the world.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  17. "Houston, we have a problem," were the words astronaut James Lovell used to alert NASA to a malfunction in Apollo 13's mission to the moon. Get the critically acclaimed movie, Apollo 13, directed by Ron Howard and watch this incredible, true adventure story of courage and ingenuity. Can't get enough? Watch Apollo 13: To the Edge and Back

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  18. Clarence Darrow, US lawyer who defended John Scopes in the defense of evolution "monkey" trial was born 1857. Inherit The Wind, with Spencer Tracy and Fredric March as the attorneys who argue the controversial subject of evolution versus creation in one explosive courtroom battle. Attorney Clarence Darrow (Tracy) faces off against fundamentalist leader William Jennings Bryan (March) in a small Tennessee town where a teacher has been brought to trial for teaching Darwinism.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  19. Elliot Ness, born in 1903, U.S. government agent who headed investigation leading to the arrest and conviction of Al Capone, notorious gangster. Get A&E Studio's Mafia: The History of the Mob in America and meet legendary figures like Al Capone and Lucky Luciano through rare photos, footage and period accounts.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  20. Adolph Hitler, German leader of the National Socialist Worker's (Nazi) Party born 1889. Triumph of the Will, filmed during the 1934 Nazi Party Rally in Nuremberg, Germany, as an exercise in propaganda for the Nazi regime. Considered by many to be one of the most important and controversial films ever made.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  21. Charlotte Brontë, British author of Jane Eyre, born 1816. Jane Eyre a moving story of the improbable love between a young governess and her mysterious and tragic employer -- one of the towering classics of English literature. Considered by many to be the best adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's romantic classic, this BBC miniseries is true to the original story, with dialogue taken directly from the novel.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  22. Earth Day. Also Arbor Day. In Latin "Arbor" means "tree". The first Arbor Day was celebrated in 1872. Gather up the little ones and watch The Little Rascals: Arbor Day. Then travel through the complex interactions of wildlife to the unique environment of the Galapagos Islands, depicted in Ecology of the Galapagos, which provides an excellent study of the principles of ecology. The Galapagos archipelago is made up of thirteen main islands and more than sixty other islets, rocks and reefs. Sitting at a confluence of four major ocean currents, the islands are actually the summits of vast undersea volcanoes, and are steadily on the march. Learn more at: Galapagos Education.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  23. William Shakespeare was born in 1564. Celebrate his birthday by viewing one of a selection of films on DVD portraying his inspiring works. Including: King Lear, Romeo & Juliet, The Tempest, and The Taming of the Shrew.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  24. Barbara Streisand, popular singer and actress, born 1942. She sparkles in her role as 1930s comedian Fanny Brice in the musical Funny Girl, one of the most popular movie musicals ever made (winning an Oscar for Streisand). [Rated G]

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  25. Daniel Defoe's fictional work The Life and Strange Adventures of Robinson Crusoe is published in 1719. The book is about a shipwrecked sailor who spends 28 years on a deserted island. The movie Robinson Crusoe, starring Pierce Brosnan in this classic story of high adventure!

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  26. John James Audubon, father of American ornithology (study of birds), born 1785. The critically acclaimed DVD, Winged Migration, is an awe-inspiring documentary! Follow a rich variety of bird migrations through 40 countries and each of the seven continents. Cinematographers used planes, gliders, helicopters and balloons to fly alongside, above, below and in front of the world's most amazing birds. The film begins with spring in North America and the migration to the Arctic. Once in the Arctic, it's family time: courtship, nests, eggs, fledglings, and first flight.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  27. Ulysses S. Grant, 18th U.S. President, and commander-in-chief for the Union during the Civil War, born 1822. The multi-hour DVD, American Experience: Ulysses S. Grant, Warrior President, is a biography of one of America's most paradoxical leaders. The greatest hero of the Civil War -- as President, Grant lacked the political skills to deal with the issues of reconstructing the South and managing the nation's economy.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  28. Harper Lee (a.k.a. Nelle Harper), the author of To Kill A Mockingbird, was born 1926. Watch the gripping film, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that won Gregory Peck an Oscar for best performing actor.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  29. William Randolph Hearst, newspaper publisher whose life inspired the movie, Citizen Kane, was born in 1863. Arguably the greatest of American films, Orson Welles's 1941 masterpiece, made when he was only 26, still unfurls like a dream and carries the viewer along the mysterious currents of time and memory to reach a mature (if ambiguous) conclusion: people are the sum of their contradictions, and can't be known easily.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  30. U.S. purchases Louisiana Territory from France for $15,000,000 in 1803. Our DVD Library has Tell Me Why: Americana that answers questions such as: "What was the Louisiana Purchase?" "Who was the first President to live in the White House?" "What was the original name of New York City?"

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

Do you have young children?

Check out the Preschool Learning Calendar!

Going on a Road Trip?

Carschool on your next trip! If you like this calendar, you'll love the Carschooling Calendar for learning history on the go! You can get it delivered to your email inbox every month by subscribing to the Carschooling Ezine — it's free! Sign up now by clicking here.

More April DVD Selections