National Bird a Wild Turkey?

Photo by Luke Robinson

Photo by Luke Robinson

Did you know that if Benjamin Franklin had his way, our national bird would have been the wild turkey? Yes, it’s true! After the 13 colonies voted for independence from Great Britain, the colonists decided they needed a national emblem or official seal.  Most of our founding fathers felt that the bald eagle represented freedom, spirit and integrity. At that time, tens of thousands of these magnificant birds lived in North America.

Benjamin Franklin was not a fan of the bald eagle however. He thought it was a bird of “bad moral character” because they were known for taking food from other birds! He didn’t think the eagle was a “proper emblem for the brave and honest.”

Instead….Ben Franklin thought the wild turkey offered a better choice. It is a respectable bird and an original native of American. “A bird of courage” he wrote.

Against Franklin’s views, the Second Continental Congress accepted the Great Seal of the United States with a bald eagle in its center, not a turkey.  Now, we see the bald eagle on coins, paper money, many US stamps, and military coins and pins.

Our third graders have been learning about national symbols and emblems. tony with kids comTo tie-in with that theme, Ms. Valenta’s 2/3  class did some bald eagle research in their library class. With the help from Mr. Monteith and Airman Anthony Hembree, US Air Force, the students were each assigned to research 3-5 facts about a specific part of the bald eagle. Then they recorded their facts and we made a movie using Microsoft Photostory3. You can view the movie below.

In the Seattle area, we are spoiled because hundreds of bald eagles call our area home. It is not unusual to see them perched high in the tops of trees or swooping down to the water to catch a salmon. 

 Recently, I found out about a live camera that shows a pair of bald eagles 24 hours per day from Mrs. Yollis’s Classroom Blog.  Her students have been viewing the eagles and making comments on her blog. If you click on this Live Eagle Camera link, it will take you to the eagle camera in Iowa. Please note that when you first click on the link, there is a 20-30 second advertisement, and afterwards, it switches to the live camera.

Live video chat by Ustream

There is also a live camera on a bald eagle nest on Lake Washington in the greater Seattle area. This camera is maintained by the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Click here to view the WildWatch eagle camera in Washington.

Have you ever seen a bald eagle in person?

What new fact did you learn from our Bald Eagle video?

Leave us a comment and let us know!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Dr. Joe Leads Ghana Lesson

Dr. Joe Appiah-Kusi, MD

Dr. Joe Appiah-Kusi, MD

On Friday, we were honored to have a special guest, Dr. Joe Appiah-Kusi, MD visit the Bulldog Library.  According to Dr. Joe’s website (as he likes to be called), a physician and international scholar was born in Ghana into the Bonwire Royal family. He was educated in Europe and the United States and is a Researcher, Professor, Educator, Storyteller, Historian and Humanist. He has been a resident of the Seattle area for twenty-five years.

Dr. Joe came to help one of our 6th grade classes learn more about his birth country. Ghana is a country in West Africa, bordered by the Ivory Coast on the west and  Togo to the east.

Google Map of Ghana

Google Map of Ghana

Ghana is home to over 23 million people. It has a rich culture and history. For many years, as a British colony, the country was known as Gold Coast because of the abundance of gold in the country. In 1957, Ghana became the first country in sub-sahara Africa to obtain its complete independence.
Dr. Joe explained that the three colors of the Ghana flag have special significance. The red symbolizes the blood of the people who died in the struggle for independence, the gold stands for the mineral wealth of the country and the green represents the country’s forests . The star represents African freedom.


Dr. Joe also helped us learn that the naming of a child in the Asante culture  is often dependent on the day you were born, your gender, and the order of your birth. For example, if you were born on a Monday, the Twi word for Monday is Edwoada.

However, your birth day name would be Kwadwo if you are a boy and Adwoa if you are a girl. The first president of Ghana, was named Kwame Nkrumah because he was born on a Saturday (Kwame) and he was the 9th child of the family, (Nkrumah).

After another  lesson on the signficance of women and family in Ghana, Dr. Joe helped us learn how to count to ten in Twi.  Here are the numbers from 1-10 in Twi.

One – baako

Two – mmienu

Three – mmiensa

Four – enan

Five – enum

Six – nsia

Seven – nson

Eight – nwotwe

Nine – nkron

Ten – edu

Watch the video, with Dr. Joe and Osei leading our volunteers as they learn how to count in Twi!


If you are interested in more information about Africa, we have a brand new series in the library: Celebrating the Peoples and Civilizations of Africa published by PowerKids Press. We also have other new books about African countries in the Letters from Around the World series.

africa c


AFR73Another worthwhile book to read is the Caldecott Medal winner, Ashanti to Zulu African Traditions by Margaret Musgrove.

This book introduces the readers to twenty-six African people by depicting a custom important to each. The author lived and studied in Ghana and completed extensive research in order to prepare her book with accuracy and detail.


The Bulldog Readers sincerely thank Dr. Joe for visiting our library and helping us learn about his beautiful country.

What did you find interesting about Ghana or its customs?

Have you ever traveled to Africa?

What country did you visit?

Leave us a comment and let us know!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Thank you 10,000 Visitors!


10,000 visitors!


Our visitors come from all over the world! 

map crop2


Thinking about all the visitors we have had since September, I wondered how we could illustrate our visitors “Bulldog Readers style”. 


Here are our visitors in books by continent!


North America


South America


Europe- England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland


Europe- Scandinavia












It’s a 21st century world. Google! Bing! Yahoo! The internet is available 24/7.

Yet, there is still a great use for books.

They bring the world to your finger tips!

What do you notice about our country books?

Have you ever traveled to any of these places?

Are you a visitor from one of these countries?

Tell us about it!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Mummies and their Mysteries- Student Review by Gavin

MUMMIES & their mysteries  By Charlotte Wilcox

Student Review by Gavin

          img65708  What is a mummy? The dead body of an animal or human that does not decay after dying is a mummy. Mummies are different from fossils and skeletons.

 Mummies have been found on every continent.  Egyptian mummies have been discovered deep inside pyramids. The Incan empire believed in life after death and that every one deserved to be mummified, so millions of mummies remain in baskets all along the west coast of South America. The flint Mammoth cave is located in the state of Kentucky where there is a message written on the cave wall left by a mummy looters. The four corners region of the U.S. is where ranchers found the first native basket makers mummy in 1889. Mummies have even been found preserved in the ice of the South Pole, northern Canada, Alaska and the Alps. These are the remains of sailors and explorers, hikers and nomads from ranging up to 2500 years ago. Scientists have discovered that China has some of the best preserved mummies in the world.    The mummies were wrapped in 20 layers of silk cloth, placed in 7 nested coffins, and surrounded by 5 tons of charcoal and 3 feet of clay.

Buddhist priests were known to go on a starvation diet for 3 years, and when he died his body would be embalmed, painted with ink or dye and placed in a barrel. But that’s not all, a huge number of mummies have been found in European Bogs. If you are on a quest to find a mummy, Denmark or Northern Germany are the places to go, more mummies are found there than anywhere else in the world. Today you can usually see mummies on display in museums or private homes in many places around the world.

I think mummification is kind of sad because of how the people died and what has been done to their bodies. The steps to making a mummy are rather strange to me.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email