amwriting, books, children's writing, early chapter books, eifrig publishing, interactive story ideas, picture book author, picture book illustrators, teacher

An Owlish Point of View

I’m working on the final edits to the early chapter book sequel to Cleo’s Big Ideas: One Thing Leads to Another. The sequel is titled Cleo’s Big Ideas: Onward and Upward. I’m hoping to reveal the book’s cover soon.

The main character, Cleopatra W. Darby, is focused on the 3 R’s (Recycling, Renewing, and Reusing) just as she was in the first book. And, like in the first book, the sequel has instructions for STEM activities that readers can try out. Below is the Solar Oven in which Cleo made scrumptious Solar S’mores and the Gripper-Grabber she used to rescue the owlets.

Gripper-Grabber from
Cleo’s Big Ideas: One Thing Leads to Another
Cleo’s Solar Oven from
Cleo’s Big Ideas: One Thing Leads to Another

In Cleo’s first book she and her class were studying owls that had nested in a nearby pine tree. And in the second book Cleo’s school hopes to build an owl blind to observe the developing nestlings. The activity that follows that chapter is a project that lets readers explore how an owl sees.

Unlike humans owls can’t move their eyes. They have to move their heads to get a good look around. This week I was working on re-writing the steps on how to make owl specs, so kids can try them out and gain an understanding of the world around them from an owls point of view. Here are some pictures of the process.

Tomorrow I’m bringing the owl specs and Martin Waddell’s, OWL BABIES with me to my pre-school in order to share them with my students. One little guy in particular needs to work on his visual scanning skills, and I think the owl specs will be just the thing to encourage him to move his head from left to right to search his surroundings. I’m sure they’re going to be a hit with his friends too. So after reading OWL BABIES, he and his peers will have fun pretending they’re mommy owl in search of Percy, Sarah, and Bill. Should be fun for all!

Here’s to having an owl point of view!

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children's writing, creativity, interactive story ideas, picture book illustrators, story box, teacher, Uncategorized

Leaves are Falling

One of my pre-school students needs to work on using a left to right sequential visual scan, using both his eyes and his head, to locate landmarks and obstacles throughout his classroom and to make it fun we’re going to include his classmates in locating red, yellow, orange and brown felt leaves. They’ll have to look from low, to middling, to high to find them. With me as the pied piper of leaf peepers we will, with one hand over our brows like good explorers, search to find the hidden jewels of the fall. It’s going to be heaps of leafy fun.

We’ll identify the colors, sort them and count how many leaves are of the same color. We may even see if anyone knows the numeral that matches the amounts. And then to keep the fun going we’ll read Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert. I’ll bring along story box items to touch and feel. They match what is shown visually in the images. So far, I’ve got the leaves, the seeds, the root, the burlap, and a paper cut out of a squirrel. I’m still looking for a stuffed animal squirrel. Hopefully, I’ll find one before next Tuesday. I’ll let you know how everyone likes it.

Do you have any suggestions for ways to get children involved in stories? Please share them if you do. I’d love to hear your ideas. Also if you have any suggestions for good Fall picture books to share with my students I’d love to hear about them too.