Sunday, October 26, 2014

reptiles & amphibians

Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out! in Family Magazine

August 14th, 2013

Good review of Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out! and related books in and Ocean Alive Section of Family magazine and also on the website of reviewer Meribeth Shank. Hooray! Nice to be in good company. 

Sea Turtles and StoryWalk at Essex

May 21st, 2013

It’s been such a busy year that I’m only now getting around to reporting on some of the terrific places I’ve visited. In February I was greeted by giant sea turtles at Essex Elementary in VT, where I met a kindred spirit, librarian Carol Scrimgeour.

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Dig, Wait, Listen: A Desert Toad’s Tale Resource

December 18th, 2011

Just found this great account of folks looking for various species of toads in the Sonoran Desert.

 

Sea Turtle News and Online Kids Club

August 7th, 2011

Kids ages 7-18 who are seriously interested in conservation can join a new online club for young sea turtle fans, run by the Sea Turtle Conservancy.  Sea turtle AdvoKids  http://www.iseaturtle.org/ The Sea Turtle Conservancy’s “Tour de Turtles” starts August 15th. Classrooms can track migration, learn, and enjoy the race.    www.tourdeturtles.org

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Sea Turtle Science News and Helpers

February 21st, 2011

Scientists may have unlocked how sea turtles navigate! Check out this BBC news piece. 8th graders were  featured on CNN for selling sea turtle art to help these endangered animals. Yes, I’m still following sea turtle news because they’re one of my favorite animals. A newly revised, newly illustrated edition of Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out! came out last year!

Seven Hills-Doherty An Author’s Dream School

March 8th, 2010

SEVEN HILLS-DOHERTY

I’d just been to Seven Hills-Lotspeich. How could another school day be just as fun? Well, if you’re at the other Seven Hills Campus—Doherty. It can! This Cincinnatti school just percolates with life. If I were going to be a teacher, I’d want to work in one of the Seven Hills Schools.

Why? Because excellent schools need faculty that care for one another, that lunch together, that chat and exchange ideas.  This school has it on both campuses. Education can be joyous when staff share that passion for helping students. But left alone in classrooms, teachers can grow isolated, like stay-at-home moms who love their kids but need some grownup time now and then. Staff development makes it sound all technical. That is helpful. But the core of the best schools I have seen is a caring staff community: community that nurtures creative teachers and does not squash them. You could see it at work, hear it at work during my lunch with some of the Doherty teachers.

Seven Hills also has another community that uplifts the place. The parents. Wow. They pitch in for all kinds of things. At the whirling center of joy is librarian Linda Wolfe who I had the pleasure of spending the day with.

She is a dynamo who knows children’s literature inside out. She created wonderful activities to go with my books. Just look at what they did with Vulture View. She found some kind of scratch paper that is black with silver underneath. The students cut out vultures and scratched through to make the beautiful silvering of the feathers.

She describes how she introduces Trout Are Made of Trees to her students. To celebrate the book, she used a scale/math/art activity. She gave kids large photos of the aquatic insects. Then the children had to draw them, as accurately as possible, on the tiny pieces of paper. It’s a good thinking project. You can just imagine how many neurons fire when trying to duplicate but shrink an image.

In the halls were more art projects to celebrate If You Should Hear a Honey Guide; Dig, Wait, Listen; and other books. Penguins for Antarctica. Maps of South America. There was art of many kinds.

Among my favorites was an organizational project done by Mr. Schmidt’s class. They took my books and graphed them in various ways to show the content and relationships in the books. It’s a good way to prepare for writing books of their own.

I saw and experienced all of this in one short school day at Seven Hills Doherty. Just imagine what a student could learn in a school year of being with these hard working, creative educators.

Inspiration at Seven Hills-Lotspeich in Cincinnati, Ohio

March 8th, 2010

I was greeted by a parking sign, marching ants, and the wonderful Marcia Snyder, librarian at Seven Hills—Lotspeich in Cincinnati, Ohio. The classrooms had done dioramas of undersea scenes for Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out! and even made a 3-D pasta machine and listed their own desired “suprpwrs” in celebration of Noodle Man: the Pasta Superhero.

This was the first time I’d seen activities for the new Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out. There were turtle shape poems which looked like ancient, beautiful style art. What about these wild pine cone birds for Bird, Bird, Bird? Extraordinary.

What a lovely school. The science teacher, Ms. Wildfong, showed me the science building. They have lots of animals. It really feels like a science-in-action place.

The music teacher, Ms. Wilson, shared the use of Bird, Bird, Bird: a Chirping Chant. She was teaching kids the half and quarter notes and how to use the staff by getting them to sound out and choose among a few notes to set this book to music.

The art teacher, Ms. Knoop was a wonder. Love her! She’s made a creative space, complete with old plastic toy color wheel, great supply drawers, and projects galore. She partners with another teacher to do a whole big unit on fibers. Ms. Knoop brings in wool from her sheep and they dye it with natural plant dyes and spin it. Wow. Hands on science and history and art all at the same time.

Thanks, Seven Hills, for an inspiring day. Your students and staff are great! Lunching with with these joyful, dedicated educators was a pleasure. Their ideas popped like popcorn. Really, it was like being in some of the great creative meetings I had at National Geographic. You walk away uplifted and refreshed.

Having fun with scale!

December 14th, 2008

One of the things I talk about a lot in presentations is scale. Here’s a fun art project to look at crocodile scale. Oh, and the food is not for the crocodile. The Hamilton students were collecting food for the hungry. They were stacking around the length of the building in order to reach their goal. 

 

 

Crocodile in full scale!

Crocodile in full scale!

Crocodile Listens art

September 9th, 2008

Harrison School, South Bend

About Me
April Sayre

April Pulley Sayre is an award-winning children’s book author of over 55 natural history books for children and adults. Her read-aloud nonfiction books, known for their lyricism and scientific precision, have been translated into French, Dutch, Japanese, and Korean. She is best known for pioneering literary ways to immerse young readers in natural events via creative storytelling and unusual perspectives.

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