Classroom teachers can choose from 2-3 of the following hands-on activities. These sessions are limited to no more than 25 students and last approximately 30 minutes.
Going to Bat for Bats!
This grade-level workshop focuses on my songbook, B-B-B-Bats. Its purpose is to expand the book’s content: skeletal structures, origins of the song/book, micro-bats, mega-bats, insectivores, fruit eating bats and pollination. A real bat skeleton, a bat house, a little brown bat, and a 6-foot bat costume representing a Mega Bat is fitted onto one of the students. A change of attitude towards this frequently misunderstood mammal is another focus of the workshop. The target audience would be 2nd or 3rd graders, and this session lasts approximately 45 to 60 minutes.
Becoming Lyricists with Bear Facts
This grade-level workshop begins with my songbook, Bear Facts. Its purpose is to guide students to become lyricists, applying previously learned content knowledge. A web and song sheets used review: adaptations, nouns, adjectives, syllables/beat, and cause and effect. If you are looking for a unique way for students to demonstrate what they’ve learned about how animals adapt to their environment, this is it! The target audience would be 2nd through 4th graders, and this session lasts approximately 45 to 60 minutes.
Differentiating Instruction with Busy Bees
This grade-level workshop begins with my songbook, Busy Bees. The students will be introduced to the queen and worker bees, and identify character traits for each. The session shifts to another genre, poetry, using Paul Fleischman’s Newberry Medal winner, Joyful Noise, Poems for Two Voices. The students do choral reading while taking on the roles of queen or worker bees using Fleischman’s unique structure. A third genre, an internet article on King George III of England and the American colonists is shared. Students are asked to create a T-chart and synthesize their notes into a “poem for two voices.” The target audience would be 4th or 5th graders, and this session lasts 60 to 90 minutes.
Migrating With Monarchs
This grade-level workshop focuses on my songbook, Munch, Munch, Munch. Its purpose is to illustrate the migration of the Monarch butterfly and takes the students on a journey to the Transvolcanic mountain belt in Mexico where the Monarchs winter. I will share my magical firsthand experience through a slideshow. A follow-up activity is also offered resulting in a persuasive piece of writing. Students are asked to consider whether they would support ecotourism over indigenous people of a region making a living off the land. They are presented with both sides of the issue and encouraged to present their opinion based on the facts. The target audience would be 3rd or 5th graders, and this session lasts approximately 45 to 60 minutes.
Discovering, Digging and Displaying Dinosaurs!
This grade-level workshop focuses on my songbook, Dig A Dinosaur. The students will learn all about the topic from my firsthand experiences while on a paleo-dig in Montana and visit to the Museum of the Rockies prep labs via a slideshow. A follow-up activity will invite students to use constructivism in order to discover the relationship between circumference and diameter when recreating a balloon model of a dinosaur egg. The target audience would be 4th or 5th graders, and this session lasts approximately 45 to 60 minutes.
Earth Changes – Bad or Good?
Changes looks at how we view change, specifically changes to the earth’s surface. So often we’ve been told that change is good; but if you’ve ever experienced a volcanic eruption, forest fire, flood, earthquake or severe beach erosion, you may view these changes as bad. Are they merely disasters, or could some good result from the natural course of events? After hearing about the change connected with various events, students are asked to go beyond the text with articles from the internet and asked to explore some positive outcomes.
Kids Affecting Change through Endangered Species
The second song, Endangered examines real issues that will invite students to make text-to-world connections. While working alongside researchers on an International Wildlife Coalition vessel off the coast of Cape Cod, I witnessed images of some unfortunate whale/human encounters. Upon returning to the shore I was compelled to create this second song. The issue of “Becoming Animal Advocates” was added as I noted it in the IWC’s logo, and reflected upon my own life’s passions as a part-time New York State Wildlife Rehabilitator. This song illustrates how we can affect change through moratoriums, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, forest management techniques, and sharing scientific knowledge/medicines with other nations. A writing activity after the song invites students to apply what they’ve learned to similar scenarios. As they become lyricists, their solutions celebrate compassion for all creatures!