Today I was part of a great panel at #nErDcampNJ, a literacy-focused “unconference” for teachers, administrators, and authors. Together with YA author Eliot Schrefer and nonfiction author Nancy Castaldo, I spoke about bringing science and English together through nature writing and reading, critical thinking, and interdisciplinary projects.
One of the magic aspects of #nErDcampNJ is that all session notes are available online. You can see the notes for my STEManities session here. There are lots of great ideas from both authors (for middle grade and high school students) and many ideas contributed by the teachers and administrators in the audience.
Authors Eliot Schrefer and Nancy Castaldo discussing the itnersection of science and English with me at #nerdcampNJ 5/20/17
The Green Earth Book Award is one of my favorite lists each year. Awarded to children’s and young adult books that promote a message of environmental stewardship, the Green Earth Book Award is much-needed today. As an English teacher who knows that books can be a gateway to the environment for many students, I love to peruse the award’s long list each year. While I can sometimes predict that certain books will make it on the list I love learning about new books when they are nominated.
This year’s qualifying list is no exception. I just added a number of books from the list to my TBR pile and I hope a few of them will be appropriate for my 9th grade curriculum.
- Be the Change: A Grandfather Gandhi Story, by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus, and illustrated by Evan Turk (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
- Circle, by Jeannie Baker (Candlewick Press)
- Did Tiger Take the Rain?, by Charles Norris-Brown (Green Writers Press)
- Finding Wild, by Megan Wagner Lloyd and illustrated by Abigail Halpin (Alfred A. Knopf BFYR, Random House Children’s Books)
- Follow the Moon Home, by Philippe Cousteau and Deborah Hopkinson, and illustrated by Meilo So (Chronicle Books)
- Gaia and the Golden Toad: A Tale of Climate Change, by Joan Muller (Mascot Books)
- Green City, by Allan Drummond (Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers/Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)
- Green Is Good, by Elizabeth Gorcey and illustrated by Kajiah Jacobs (Bowie Books, LLC)
- Greenling, Levi Pinfold (Candlewick Press)
- Jake the Happy Trash Truck, written by Yvonne Osborne and Scott Osborne, and illustrated by Corbin Hillam (Crystal Publishing LLC)
- Kenya’s Art, by Linda Trice and illustrated by Hazel Mitchell (Charlesbridge Publishing)
- Mr. King’s Machine, by Geneviève Côté (Kids Can Press)
- Mr. McGinty’s Monarchs, by Linda Vander Heyden and illustrated by Eileen Ryan Ewen (Sleeping Bear Press)
- Prairie Dog Song, by Cindy Trumbore and Susan L. Roth, and illustrated by Susan L. Roth (LEE & LOW BOOKS)
- Rainbow Weaver, Linda Elovitz Marshall and illustrated by Elisa Chavarri (Children’s Book Press/LEE & LOW BOOKS)
- Squirrels Leap, Squirrels Sleep, by April Pulley Sayre and illustrated by Steve Jenkins (Henry Holt Books for Young Readers/Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)
- The Lonely Giant, by Sophie Ambrose (Candlewick Press)
- This is My Dollhouse, by Giselle Potter (Schwartz & Wade, Random House Children’s Books)
- This Is the Earth, by Diane Z. Shore and Jessica Alexander, and illustrated by Wendell Minors (HarperCollins Children’s Books)
- Tokyo Digs a Garden, by John-Erik Lappano and illustrated by Kellen Hatanaka (Groundwood Books)
- Where’s the Elephant?, by Stephane-Yves Barroux (Candlewick Press)
- Ace, King of My Heart, by Lea Herrick and illustrated by Nora Howell, Krystal Colon, and David Herrick (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform)
- Maybe a Fox, by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee (Atheneum Caitlyn Dlouhy Books)
- Pax, by Sara Pennypacker and illustrated by Jon Klassen (HarperCollins Children’s Books)
- Saving Wonder, by Mary Knight (Scholastic Press)
- The Wolf Keepers, by Elise Broach and illustrated by Alice Ratterree (Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt Books for Young Readers/Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)
YOUNG ADULT FICTION
- Broken Wing, by David Budbill (Green Writers Press)
- Dig Too Deep, by Amy Allgeyer (Albert Whitman & Co)
- KABOOM!, by Brian Adams (Green Writers Press)
- Keep Her, by Leora Krygier (She Writes Press)
- Rescued, by Eliot Schrefer (Scholastic Press)
- Up from the Sea, by Leza Lowitz (Crown BFYR, Random House Children’s Books)
- A Home in the Biome: A Home in a Coral Reef, by Louise and Richard Spilsbury (PowerKids Press, Rosen Publishing)
- Ada’s Violin, by Susan Hood and illustrated by Sally Wern Comport (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
- Adventures in Nature: Creepy-Crawlies, by Cath Senker (PowerKids Press, Rosen Publishing)
- Adventures in Nature: Pond Wildlife, by Clare Hibbert (PowerKids Press, Rosen Publishing)
- After A While Crocodile: Alexa’s Diary, by Dr. Brady Barr and Jennifer Keats Curtis, and illustrated by Susan Detwiler (Arbordale Publishing)
- Animal Planet Chapter Books: Sharks!, by Lori Stein (Time Inc. Books)
- Because of an Acorn, by Lola M. Schaefer and Adam Schaefer, and illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon (Chronicle Books)
- Conservation of Endangered Species: Saving the American Bald Eagle, by Therese Shea (Britannica Educational Publishing)
- Conservation of Endangered Species: Saving the Endangered American Alligator, by Jeanne Nagle (Britannica Educational Publishing)
- Conservation of Endangered Species: Saving the Endangered Blue Whale, by Simone Payment (Britannica Educational Publishing)
- Conservation of Endangered Species: Saving the Endangered Gray Wolf, by Shalini Saxena (Britannica Educational Publishing)
- Conservation of Endangered Species: Saving the Endangered Green Sea Turtle, by Sarah Machajewski (Britannica Educational Publishing)
- Conservation of Endangered Species: Saving the Endangered Grizzly Bear, by Justine Ciovacco (Britannica Educational Publishing)
- Deep Roots: How Trees Sustain Our Planet, by Nikki Tate (Orca Book Publishers)
- Every Breath We Take: A Book About Air, by Maya Ajmera and Dominique Browning (Charlesbridge Publishing)
- Grow! Raise! Catch!: How We Get Our Food, by Shelley Rotner (Holiday House)
- Growing Peace, by Richard Sobol (Children’s Book Press/LEE & LOW BOOKS)
- Journey, by Emma Bland Smith and illustrated by Robin James (Little Bigfoot, an imprint of Sasquatch Books)
- Maggie the One-Eyed Peregrine Falcon: A True Story of Rescue and Rehabilitation, by Christie Gove-Berg (Adventure Publications)
- Otters Love to Play, by Jonathan London and illustrated by Meilo So (Candlewick Press)
- Pocket Change: Pitching in for a Better World, by Michelle Mulder (Orca Book Publishers)
- Science Comics, Coral Reefs: Cities of the Ocean, by Maris Wicks (First Second/Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)
- Sea Otter Rescue, by Suzi Eszterhas (Owlkids)
- Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea, by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Raúl Colón (Simon & Schuster Paula Wiseman Books)
- The Tragic Tale of the Great Auk, by Jan Thornhill (Groundwood Books)
- Welcome to New Zealand: A Nature Guide, by Sandra Morris (Candlewick Press)
YOUNG ADULT NONFICTION
- Hopping Ahead of Climate Change—Snowshoe Hares, Science, and Survival, by Sneed B. Collard III (Bucking Horse Books, distributed by Mountain Press)
- Inside an Osprey’s Nest, by Teena Ruark Gorrow and Craig A. Koppie (Schiffer Publishing)
- Journey: The Amazing Story of Or-7, the Oregon Wolf That Made History, by Beckie Elgin (Inkwater Press)
- The End of Life as We Know It: Climate Change, A Threat to All Life on Earth, by Lisa A. Wroble (Enslow Publishing)
- The End of Life as We Know It: Drying Up, Running Out of Water, by Lisa A. Wroble (Enslow Publishing)
- The End of Life as We Know It: Starving, by Lisa A. Wroble (Enslow Publishing)
- The Great White Shark Scientist, by Sy Montgomery and photographed by Keith Ellenbogen (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
- The Story of Seeds, by Nancy Castaldo (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Kudos to the small presses (and sometimes self-published authors, too!) doing the work to get these stories out there to kids and teenagers. Take note, major publishers: we want and need books about environmental stewardship!
How was I not already aware of Authors for Earth Day? What an amazing concept!
Authors for Earth Day (A4ED) is a grassroots coalition of award-winning children’s authors and illustrators who directly mentor young readers by giving them “an authentic research project with real-world impact.”
Wow! The list of authors is available on their website and it’s a great list. Visits are available year-round and visits costs the same as a regular author visit. The difference is that in this case the author donates at least 30% of their fee to a non-profit conservation organization as chosen by the students. Their website has lots of information and all genres are represented. I’d love to see some more YA authors on the list, but right now there are over 100 participating authors and they’ve done visits all over the world.
This would be a great way to encourage collaboration between different subject areas and to build enthusiasm for literacy and conservation. It’s a win-win situation!
I’m very excited to share the latest episode of the Voices from the Middle podcast. I was lucky enough to be a guest on this episode.
The NCTE Voices from the Middle Podcast is a radio show featuring middle level ELA teachers from across the United States, practitioner-leaders in our field, YA and middle grades authors, and other surprise guests. Some podcasts tie to specific issues of the print publication Voices from the Middle, published by the National Council of Teachers of English. Music by Lee Rosevere.
Access the episode by clicking on the audio player below. You can also subscribe to the free podcast in the iTunes Store.
For more information, follow Voices from the Middle @VoicesNCTE
In this episode, young adult author Eliot Schrefer shares his experiences with school visits. I was happy to join Eliot to talk about how my students and I prepared for Eliot’s visits to our school (he’s visited twice) and the impact he has had on my students. Readers of this blog might remember that I interviewed
Eliot a few months ago about his ape quartet books, which are perfect for interdisciplinary work between science and English class.