Photo by Tania Barricklo
What a day. We attended an award luncheon hosted by the John Burroughs Association, who’s mission is to enrich lives through nature by celebrating the legacy, writing, and natural world of one of the great American nature writers.
Not only did I finally meet the incredible illustrator of Salamander Sky Meg Sodano, in person, but we had a lovely lunch with Green Writers Press founder Dede Cummings, and a room full of nature advocates, writers, and their families.
Once I saw and hugged Meg, well, I could have gone home then. I cried great big happy tears. We worked for years together, but only met virtually, and sometimes across oceans.
Then, we saw our little salamander book with a great big silver medal on it, and we squealed like little kids. In the Yale Club. It seems like a place where people don’t really squeal.
via GIPHY. But seriously, the room had hand painted nature and park scenes on the walls, and we sat at a SALAMANDER TABLE. With moss. I was home there.
We have legions of new salamander defenders!
Lucky me: I have had the chance to visit several schools since the launch of Salamander Sky in March, from pre-kindergarten to grade 6. Kids big and small love learning about mysterious creatures that come out at night in their own backyards.
Last month I headed down to three schools in the Middlebury area. I met 400 new friends at the Mary Hogan School. The gym was full of kids excited to learn about these secretive creatures, to see recent pictures of the crossing, and to meet herpetologist Jim Andrews and Audubon salamander crossing guard Carol Ramsayer.
Then I headed to Beeman Elementary for a a inquistive group of about 60 kids ready to learn about salamanders. They were treated to Carol’s mini salamander crossing set up and helped me take care of Sky, my pet (fake) spotted salamander. Thanks so much to Susie Snow for hosting us, and for writing up this blog post about the event! Continue reading
I had the lovely opportunity to present to an inspiring, passionate group of educators and children’s book authors yesterday morning at the amazing Bear Pond Books. They came out to my workshop called Picture Books and Project Based Learning. It focused on how teachers can use picture books as a launching pad for engaging, exciting project based learning experiences with their students.
For the workshop and beyond, I created two new resources. One, is an Educator’s Guide to Project Based Learning. This resource details the science themes and the Next Generation Science Standards that can be met from the concepts presented in Salamander Sky, and a discussion guide with activities for pre-reading, during reading, and post reading, as well as additional media that can support learning.
For those teachers focused on project based learning, I created this website that features each stage of project based learning with ideas for how Salamander Sky can guide and inspire these projects. There are so many ways students can share their learning, tell a science story, and create original works that benefit the community and world.
Please feel free to be in touch with questions, ideas, or to share what you are up to with students!