The Fifth Lincoln-Douglas Debate

In 1858, the race for the Illinois seat of the United States Senate was between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas. They held a series of seven debates throughout the state, but the fifth one is considered by many scholars to be the turning point in Lincoln’s political career. Using a combination of colorful storyboards, along…

John Chapman, Beyond the Legend of Johnny Appleseed

True or false: Johnny Appleseed was a real person. Well, the answer is both. It is true there was a man who was called Johnny Appleseed, but his real name was John Chapman. It is false because the story of Johnny Appleseed has grown into a legend, and in some important ways that legend is…

The Spinning Wheel and the Daughters of Liberty

It was the 1770s, and the Daughters of Liberty were determined to make their political viewpoints clearly understood. With this online course, you’ll discover what they did and how they did it. There’s a lot in here! Full color storyboards with voice-over narration give students the opportunity to read along with the compelling story. Videos…

Finding the Fun in History Class

Nuggets of history teaching gold await you in this on-demand video course for educators (homeschool or classroom). This isn’t a simplified list of how to make history fun. It is a course about exploring and discovering resources and ideas that are already a part of history so that your classes will be fun and engaging…

Copyrights, Public Domain, and Fair Use

This may not be a topic every one wants to learn, but it is important that they do. Violating copyright laws can have serious consequences for students and parents. Flowcharts and resource pages teach the basics of United States copyright for middle school and up, including product creators. Printable charts make reference fun and very…

My Family In History

Enrollment is now open! Limited class size. Class begins October 5, 2021. Course Overview The story of America is more than a timeline in a history book. It is the story of millions of families over hundreds of years and thousands of miles. Join author and history storyteller Gail Masinda as she guides you on…

Books About Horses

In a recent email, I told my readers a bit about my childhood obsession with horses and asked them to share titles of some of their favorite books about horses. Some of their titles were on my list, too. Others prompted a forehead smacking how-did-I-forget-that-one response. Here are the 5 most frequently mentioned books, plus…

Spring (close enough) Cleaning

Greetings, all. My website (gailmasinda.com) and all associated Maestro Heights postings are getting a major overhaul and update. If I understand what I think I know (!) those of you who get email notifications when I publish a new post could get multiple notices as some items are converted from one format to another. Yeah,…

Music Room Skill Sets 1-5

The first five Music Room Skill Sets are now available! The story line running through the entire series is based on my actual students, past and present. Their questions, situations and gentle humor are very real making it easy for students to relate to the Music Room characters. I have lost track of how many…

Mini Course: The Story of the Pipe Organ

It’s the story of one of the oldest instruments and, until relatively recently, the mankind’s most complex machine. A great printable lesson is available. No previous music is needed for this unit study. A complete lesson plan is provided. Videos provide additional audio and visual support for the lesson and required to complete some of…

Mini-Course: How Do Organ Pipes Work?

“Why are there so many pipes?” “But how come you sit over here and the sound comes out over there?” “Why are those pipes so big?” “Why are those pipes so tiny?” “Why are some of the pipes made from metal and others are made from wood?” “How long do pipes last?” Right after the…