Scholastic Offers a Live Virtual Author Visit and a Thanksgiving Virtual Field Trip to Bring History to Life in Classrooms

Free webcasts allow students to experience historical events and places -- including the first Thanksgiving — without leaving the classroom

New York, NY, September 23, 2011 — This fall, Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL), the global children’s publishing, education and media company, is hosting two free virtual classroom events designed to give students everywhere a chance to visit the past and help make our history come to life. Students in classrooms nationwide will be able to take part in online virtual experiences to learn about life in earlier times including the first Thanksgiving at the Plimoth Plantation, World Wars I and II and the Civil Rights Movement.

Dear America: History Speaks: Wednesday, October 26th at 1 p.m.

This live virtual author visit, for grades 3 and up, invites students to experience life through the eyes of three young people during three turbulent times in history – WWI (1918), WWII (1941) and the Civil Rights Movement (1954). The webcast will feature live discussions with award-winning authors of the Dear America® historical fiction books including: Lois Lowry, Like the Willow Tree: The Diary of Lydia Amelia Pierce; Kirby Larson, The Fences Between Us: The Diary of Piper Davis and Andrea Davis Pinkney, With the Might of Angels: The Diary of Dawnie Rae Johnson. Students will have the opportunity to ask questions of the authors and learn about the art of writing historical fiction including how to conduct research, develop characters and craft a compelling story told in diary form. Teachers can visit to register to participate and access free classroom discussion guides, and whiteboard-ready slides and activities created in collaboration with the Library of Congress.

Written by an array of award-winning and bestselling authors, the popular Dear America series has more than 14 million copies in print. The books are presented in diary format from the perspective of young girls living during different periods in American history.

The First Thanksgiving: Wednesday, November 16th at 1 p.m.

"The First Thanksgiving" is a virtual field trip that takes students to the Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Mass. where they will meet Colonial and Wampanoag interpreters and learn what life was like during the first Thanksgiving. In addition, students will take an exclusive virtual tour through the home of the Pilgrims and the home of the Wampanoag Tribe to see how they lived. Teachers can visit to access the webcast and free classroom discussion guides, activities and book lists. The virtual tour of the home of the Pilgrims can be viewed on November, 2nd and the Wampanoag Home virtual tour can be viewed on November 9th.

"Using webcasts as part of a classroom lesson plan is a great way for teachers to make the learning experience more engaging for students – especially considering how many schools are facing steep cuts to their field trip budgets," said Francie Alexander, Chief Academic Officer of Scholastic. "These special webcasts give students lessons in some of the most important and interesting time periods in history and, thanks to technology, they don’t have to leave the classroom."

For more information about Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL), visit our Media Room at


Yanique Hart 212 343-6901