My book Eat LIke a Bear comes out next Fall. It’s a picture book, for young ages, about grizzly bears. But I just read about a curriculum that might interest some educators who want to learn more about bears in order to create related curricula. It’s a STEM based study of bear biology: Curriculum Guide to the Bear Book. Eight lessons in science, math, and problem solving for high school ages. Perhaps it might be used/adapted for some younger students, as well? I have not seen it, but read about it in a NSTA publication. It’s done by Melissa Reynolds-Hogland, exec director of Bear Trust International. I am not very familiar with the various conservation organizations surrounding bear issues, including this one. So if any of you have experiences with the curriculum, and opinions about it that you’d like to share with me, feel free to contact me so I can update this post.
I listen to TED talks as I walk and as I do dishes. Time and again, I come across ones that I think might be inspiring or useful for educators. So I’m starting this post and updating as I come across ones that hit a chord. Here goes!
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I received this inquiry regarding my new book, GO, GO, GRAPES: A Fruit Chant:
Stars Beneath Your Bed: The Surprising Story of Dust is a natural for fulfilling the new science standards. That’s one of the things I learned when I attended NSTA and spoke on a panel of authors organized by Carrie Launius and hosted by Wendy Saul. Each of the educators at the conference gave activities to go with various books. Carrie worked with teacher to get them to consider how the book deals with cross-cutting concepts:
Cause and Effect: Mechanism and Explanation
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Jeff and I were first introduced to this fruit on a long guided bus ride through Ecuador. The driver stopped by a fruit stand, bought some cherimoya, cut it up and offered it to all the passengers. The flesh was white, creamy, sweet, and delicious. It was somewhere between a pudding and a banana in texture. I don’t know how good cherimoyas that arrive here in the states are. But they would be worth a try.
Their closest relatives in the U.S. are our native Paw Paw fruit. Both have creamy flesh. Here’s a little info about the fruit from the cherimoya page provided by rare fruit growers of California.
I have heard this fruit’s name pronounced both CHEER-i-moy-a and also CHER-i-moy-a.
Kids and educators intrigued by my book The Bumblebee Queen, there’s finally a truly great publication I can send you to for follow up. This has been on my wish-some-expert-would-write-this dream list for years. Hooray for USDA and all the authors involved! Fisheries biologist John Magee in NH, thanks for giving me the heads up on it.
The publication is a free, downloadable pdf, you can store it on your computer, ipad, iphone, whatever.
I had the pleasure of visiting Pioneer Elementary in March. Wow, the art teacher was a burst of creativity, working on such incredible projects with the kids. Many other teachers were doing amazing work, as well. See some of it below! Click on each photo to see it in greater detail.
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Durian, oh prickly one. Here’s a photo of the durian that the kind folks at Saigon Market allowed me to create in the back of their store. When I created this photo, it was in a stanza that involved crates. So I did a lot of durian hefting and rearranging. Yet we changed the stanza and ended up using a much earlier photo I took when I first saw durian in their store, side-by-side with persimmons.
The durian in the photo have been kept cool, even frosty, so they don’t have the characteristic durian stink. They are heavy, bigger than footballs, and tough on the hands if you handle them without the netting.
These fruit have the same kind of reputation as limburger cheese. The fruit is so stinky that there are signs on some trains in southeast Asia banning people from carrying durian onboard! My friends Candace and George bought one. Okay, so they kept it in their cool garage for several days. They’d go out, now and then, scoop out some fruit and eat it. They said it was delicious. But the thing was too stinky to have in their kitchen. My friends Andrea and Donnie who bought durian cookies, opened the package, and the smell that wafted out was so intense that they ran and threw the package outside their door.
Candace said she’d be happy to buy a durian fruit to bring to a launch party for Go, Go, Grapes: a Fruit Chant which comes out on May 22nd. I, on the other hand, would actually like some people to stay at the party so I’m vetoing the idea. Of course, we could put it out on the porch, I suppose…
The Huckleberry Confusion—is it a novel? No. It’s just that huckleberry is a slippery word. It refers to various berries of the Vaccinium genus. (Blueberries are also in the Vaccinium genus.) In the western U.S., folks call some wild blueberries “huckleberries.” There are cultivated huckleberries, which are a deep blue and taste a bit less sweet than regular blueberries. (Note that the sign in the picture says they are for cooking.) Some berries called “huckleberries” are red in color. Huckleberry is a common and confusing name—for sure. These may mostly be the same genus, but they are different species.
In between signings at American Library Association in 2011 I was thrilled to find huckleberries at a the Crescent City Farmer’s Market in New Orleans. Unfortunately, because of the rhyme they were in, I had to package them up to take home and combine with the other fruit in a photo for that page. Alas, with all the ALA festivities, I left those huckleberries in the hotel fridge and huckleberries aren’t available here at my market, so they did not make it into Go, Go, Grapes: a Fruit Chant. Sorry, huckleberry fans. Here’s my quick snaps of huckleberries in the New Orleans market.