Wednesday, July 29, 2020

ODE TO LIBRARIANS

I was cleaning out my files recently and discovered this poster created by the Pennsylvania School Librarian"s Association for School Library Media Week, March 31 to April 4, 1986. Note the electronics filling the shelves--televisions, desktop computers, fax machines, tape recorders, and for some reason, fans!
Along with many other children's book authors, I was asked for a quote about what libraries mean to me. The Author quotes were printed on the back of the poster. Here is what I said:

Libraries are full of wonderful books, magazines, newspapers, encyclopedias and more; but, best of all, libraries are home to librarians, those helpful people who always seem to know how to find the exact book or periodical which has the information I need to know.




Wednesday, July 22, 2020

THE GEOGRAPHY BOOK: Perfect for Stay at Home Fun STEAM Activities

Get to Know the Earth's Many Forms with Dozens of Fun and Easy Projects in The Geography Book by Caroline Arnold.
From finding directions by the stars, to mapping your neighborhood,to making an earthquake in a box, you'll have a great time learning about the world with The Geography Book. You'll find out how to determine location on the Earth, how maps can provide us with a wide range of information, how different land forms were created,how water has helped shape the Earth, and much more.

Using simple materials you'll be able to find around the house or in your neighborhood, you'll be able to create things like a giant compass rose, a balloon globe, a contour potato, a map puzzle, and a tornado in a jar. So get ready for a fascinating trip around the globe. (Amazon)


The Geography Book: Activities for Exploring Your World (Wiley, 2001), my book for children that is filled with projects related to learning about geography and earth science, has been selling steadily for almost twenty years and is especially popular with home schoolers. Now, at a time when many children are at home and doing distance learning, this is the perfect book to have on hand to inspire fun projects that can be done with easily available supplies.

The Geography Book, paperback
The Geography Book, ebook

Here are a few samples of projects in the book:
Project: The Salty Sea: Making Salt Crystals

Project: Time Zones of the World, Make a "World Clock"

Project: Icebergs and Sea Level
 

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

EL NINO: Stormy Weather for People and Wildlife, Now available as an E-Book

My book, El Niño: Stormy Weather for People and Wildlife is now available as a Kindle book on Amazon. For readers age 10 and up.

Drought in Southeast Asia, brutal storms in Australia, and spring-like temperatures in the northeastern United States--all of these seemingly unrelated events are caused by El Niño. Disrupting weather all over the globe every three to seven years, El Niño is second only to the change of the seasons in its influence on the climate.
El Niño is the name given to the unusual increase in ocean temperatures along the Peruvian and Ecuadorian coasts that is part of a larger pattern of changes in wind and weather throughout the Pacific region and beyond. With El Niño come violent storms and upsets in the global food chain that dramatically affect both humans and wildlife.
With the use of photographs, charts and maps, this updated edition of El Niño: Stormy Weather for People and Wildlife makes clear how this remarkable weather pattern is formed, how scientists track it, what its effects are, and why following its path is of such importance.

Originally published by Clarion Books as a hardback book in 1998, El Nino: Stormy Weather for People and Wildlife is an Accelerated Reader book. You can look for it in your library.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

STEAM Activity: Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? A chicken lays an egg, a chick grows inside, hatches, grows to be a chicken--that lays another egg.  And so on, and so on.

There are many ways to illustrate the repeating process of a chicken's life cycle. In one classroom of second graders at a school in California, the children made a mixed media presentation using packing material to represent the chicken’s nest, real feathers on the growing chick, a hand-print to make an adult chicken, markers for drawing, and googly eyes for all. With black arrows indicating the circular process, it is a dramatic and colorful presentation.

To do this project you will need:
White poster board or heavy paper cut into a large egg shape.
White paper for the eggs.
Yellow paper for the chick.
Colored markers.
Googly eyes.
Feathers.
Packing material for nest.
Red poster paint.

Use the picture above as a guide.
Have fun!

Learn about a chicken's life cycle in my book HATCHING CHICKS IN ROOM 6.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

STEAM Project: The Egg is Hatching!

When a chick is ready to hatch, it uses its beak to poke a hole in the shell. In my book, Hatching Chicks in Room 6, you can see photos of real chicks in the process of hatching. In this art project ou can create your own hatching chick.

You will need:
Yellow construction paper, about 12 by 18 inches.
Brown construction paper, about 12 by 18 inches.
A small piece of orange construction paper, about 4 inches square.
Pencil.
Scissors.
Glue.
Black marker.

1. Draw a large egg shape on the yellow paper. Cut it out. Use the pencil to trace around it to make another egg shape on the brown paper. Cut it out. Make a small hole in the middle of the brown paper.
2. Spread glue around the edge of the yellow egg. Put the brown egg on top and press to fasten the two pieces of paper together.
3. Carefully tear the paper around the hole, pulling the pieces back to reveal the yellow paper underneath.
4. Use the marker to draw two black eyes.
5. Fold the orange paper in half to make a triangle. Fold under two corners and glue on to make a beak.

Your chick is ready to hatch!


Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Writing Exercise: USING THE FIVE SENSES, 2

I recently cleaned out my files and found various materials that I had used when teaching my class in writing for children in the UCLA Writer’s Program. Here is another version of my writing exercise called “Using the Five Senses.”
 
Most of us have no trouble writing visual descriptions, but we often forget to include our other senses in our writing. This exercise focuses on using all five senses to make your writing come alive.  Choose an object, place, person, or animal, and write five sentences about it, one sentence (or two) for each sense-- sight, sound, touch, taste and smell.  The following examples are from my book Fox (Morrow Junior Books) now available as an ebook on Amazon.
  • Sight: When most people think of foxes, they picture the red fox, with its large white-tipped tail and brilliant flame-colored fur.
These large pointed teeth cut against each other like the blades of scissors and are good for ripping and tearing.
  • Sound: These high-pitched sounds, called ultrasounds, are made by many of the rodents that are the foxes’ prey.
Foxes bark or growl as warning to one another or to predators that come too close. If a fox is trapped or cornered, it makes croaking noises.
  • Touch: Each month-old pup weighs about a pound, and its short newborn coat is covered with soft light-colored fur.
  • Smell: One sign of a fox’s readiness to mate is a strong skunk-like odor in its urine.
Like other canids, a fox has a scent gland underneath its tail that produces a strong musky odor.
  • Taste: When the pups are about two weeks old, their first teeth come in. About a week later, they begin to suck and chew at the pieces of meat their parents have brought back to the den.
You can write more complex descriptions if you like.  The important thing is to immerse yourself in the scene and use all your senses to convey the essence of that scene to your reader.  To find out if you are using sensory descriptions in your writing, go through one of your stories with a highlighter, and mark each time you use one of your senses.  Note which sense you use most often!

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Writing Exercise: USING THE FIVE SENSES, 1

I recently cleaned out my files and found various materials that I had used when teaching my class in writing for children in the UCLA Writer’s Program. Here is a writing exercise called “Using the Five Senses, 1.” (Another example of this exercise will post next week.)
 
Most of us have no trouble writing visual descriptions, but we often forget to include our other senses in our descriptions.  This exercise focuses on using all five senses to make your writing come alive.  Choose an object, place, person, or animal, and write five sentences about it, one sentence (or two) for each sense-- sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. 

Here are some examples from my book A Walrus’ World.
  •     Sight: The baby walrus’ plump body is covered with short fur.
  •     Smell: The mother walrus sniffs her baby and rubs his back with her whiskers.
  •     Sound: Splash! He tumbles into the water. Splash! His mother dives in too.
  •     Touch: Using her whiskers, she feels a clam.  Then she grabs the shell with her lips and sucks out the meat.
  •     Taste: Their sleek bodies slide through the cool, salty water.  (From A Killer Whale’s World.)
You can write more complex descriptions if you like.  The important thing is to immerse yourself in the scene and use all your senses to convey the essence of that scene to your reader.  To find out if you are using sensory descriptions in your writing, go through one of your stories with a highlighter, and mark each time you use one of your senses.  Note which sense you use most often!

A Walrus’ World and A Killer Whale’s World are in my series Caroline Arnold’s Animals published by Picture Window Books (Capstone.) 
Illustration by Caroline Arnold from A Killer Whale's World