Monday, May 20, 2019

Posts Tagged ‘Birds’

December Bird 2011

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

There’s a blue one, a green one, and this one. The two parts of its common name rhyme. I photographed this bird in Yellowstone. It stashes pine nuts. Sometimes finds food from careless campers. It is in the Corvidae (crow) family. Still stumped? Find its identity here.

September Animal

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

What is this creature scratching an itch? This animal can hold 3 gallons of water in its mouth.  I photographed it in Monterey, CA, on the docks before I took a whale watch trip. Click photo for answer.

March Animal Rhymes With “Cackle”

Monday, March 29th, 2010

This beautiful bird puffs up and looks hilarious sometimes. It visits us each March in Indiana. People sometimes think of it as a black bird. But look more closely. It has gorgeous iridescent feathers.  Starts with a “g.”

Got it? It’s a gr____.

Liberty Union-Thurston Elementary’s Creativity

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

I am excited to share with you a few of the creative educational activities at Liberty Union-Thurston Elementary School in Baltimore, Ohio. These projects were done in relationship to my books in advance of my 2-day visit to their schools. They’ve had some great authors, including Ron Hirschi, who did stream walks with them some years ago. (In DECEMBER, they said. Cold toes but worth it.) It seems they have an ongoing nature and stream study in this school. Hooray! Kids will learn so much from seeing nature and science in action.

Ah, the halls were festooned with beautiful bumblebees and flowers. A shiny paper mirror said “Look here to see the author.” How wonderful for each student to see a young author in themselves.  We had some of the first art celebration of He’s a Howler: a howler paper quilt. Beautiful!

Many of the students were studying geography. They had done drawings and short writing pieces about the features of continents to go with my continent books.

One classroom did a hilarious counting riff on One is a Snail, Ten is a Crab. They did counting by eyes.

One class analyzed and classified the information in Bumblebee Queen.

Another class created new versions of the fish chant but with ocean fish. They created fish cutouts, wrote reports about features and behavior. Then they drew a fanciful sea/town scene where the fish swam. It was nonfiction with a visual fiction twist, in the spirit of Trout, Trout, Trout. Hooray!

One of my favorites was the bird poetry written by the fourth graders. Using Vulture View as a model, the teacher had created a form with key words and phrases from Vulture View. Students each drew a bird species and filled in what that bird would or would not eat and how it would move. Brilliant.

A highlight of my visit was two small sessions with young authors and illustrators. I will never forget my discussions with them! I hope that Reading Rainbow Book entry goes well.

This is a fine school with energetic educators and students that are excited to learn. The students were well prepared for my visit and worked well together in the assembly setting. The faculty welcomed me. Students and staff have much to be proud of; together they have made an environment for learning. As an author, it was a pleasure to visit.

Thank you, librarian Ms. Brown, for bringing me in to share this joyful place with you.

Inspiration at Seven Hills-Lotspeich in Cincinnati, Ohio

Monday, 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.

February: What Animal Is This?

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

IMG_7345Jeff took this photo in our driveway.

I could have featured this creature in November.

Want to know the answer? Click on the photo!

Vulture View Flies in Portland, Oregon

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

Imitating Vulture Wings“We LOVE your stories. I am obessed with the story Vulture View, and built a whole lesson around it, teaching kids all sorts of weird stuff about the adaptations of vultures. We even built our own models of carrion and hid them around the forest while the vultures (my co-teacher and I) hunted for them! It was one of the best lessons we’ve taught and really stuck with the kids.”

This quote is from Chrissy Larson, the teacher Balsam of the Nuts about Nature Preschool run by the   Portland Environmental Education Department. She wrote to me this week. Below are some photos she took of her activities. (more…)

January Animal: the Bark Bird

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Brown Creeper on trunkYes, I know it’s hard to see. Click here to see it larger. This is one of my all time favorite birds, the brown creeper. Talk about camouflage! It looks like bark. It walks on bark. Sometimes it nests on bark that has slightly pulled away from the tree. I photographed this one December 2009, here in Indiana.

December blues

Friday, December 11th, 2009

bluejay on snowy day

bluejay on snowy day

I snapped this blue jay photo today, December 11th. Many of our bluejays know how to make a hawk call. This scares away the other birds. Then the bluejays can swoop down and gobble all the seed at the feeders. If you’re still wondering about last month, that was a red squirrel tail.

About Me
April Sayre

April Pulley Sayre is a photo-illustrator and award-winning author of over 65 books including Bloom Boom, Warbler Wave, Full of Fall, and Thank You, Earth.  Her read aloud picture books, known for their lyricism, playful voice, and scientific precision, have been translated into Korean, French, Dutch, Japanese, Chinese, and Arabic. Sayre’s ten photo-illustrated books include the classic Rah, Rah, Radishes and Raindrops Roll, which was both an ALA Notable and a NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor Book. Best in Snow received four starred reviews and was on many 2016 best book lists.  Learn more…


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