YA Eco Mysteries, Memoirs, Novels & Travel
A dozen pairs of eyes fix me, challenging me to do something really interesting.
And so I begin, "How would you like to go on an amazing adventure that will last for your entire life?"
Hands shoot up, wave in the air.
“Great! Then I'm going to show how to become an Eco Detective.”To launch the program, I present the students with eco mysteries to solve. Read More...
Tagged Female Diamondback Terrapin (photo by Boris Datnow)
Here’s a seemingly random question: can you guess what animal I chose as the focus for book seven of the eco mystery series, The Adventures of the Sizzling Six? I’ll provide a few clues.
Can you name this once popular gourmet dish offered on the menus of formal state dinners? Presidents Theodore Rosevelt, James Buchanan, and Milliard Fillmore included it on their menus for presidential dinners. John Adams ate it several times during the Continental Congress. It was William Howard Taft’s favorite food. Mrs. Taft hired a special cook to prepare the dish, which the president preferred to consume with champagne. Even Dwight Eisenhower served it on special occasions. Read More...
"To sunshine, clear water, and sparkling skies and to the kids who are cleaning up the Earth.” Jean Craighead George
How can educators launch a PROJECT-BASED LEARNING project that will inspire students to do in-depth investigation and to apply what they have learned to make a difference in the real world? Here’s how I launched projects about eco mysteries for Melissa Foster’s third graders at Creek View Elementary in Maylene, Alabama, and Robin Gillespie’s fifth and sixth graders, at Oak Mountain Intermediate School in Decatur, Alabama.
To arouse the students’ curiosity, I planned the event to be novel and dramatic. My presentation encouraged students to generate questions that plunge them into an intriguing ecological mystery they must solve in order to help save an endangered species. To begin, I dressed up as Mrs. Margarita Mariposa, a character in The Adventures of The Sizzling Six: Monarch Mysteries (Book Six in the series). I donned a striking mask with flowers and butterflies and tossed a paper monarch butterfly into the air.
For decades scientists have puzzled over of how monarch butterflies navigate over 2,500 miles from breeding sites across the eastern United States to overwintering sanctuaries in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico. Now researchers at UMass Medical School and Worcester Polytechnic Institute seem to have solved the puzzle. Monarchs use a magnetic sun compass in their antenna to help them make find their way home! As the fall progresses monarchs will start to migrate south from Canada on their way to Mexico —so watch out for Monarchs in your area.