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YA Eco Mysteries, Memoirs, Novels & Travel

Outdoor Education

Connecting to Nature with Apps

Green Apps for Outdoor Classroom Adventures

If you are an environmental educator — teacher, nature guide, or parent— you will find this lesson plan,
Eco Detective Nature Hunt, exciting. In my Eco Mystery series, The Adventures of The Sizzling Six, six feisty teens solve an intriguing eco mystery in order to save an endangered species. Now students can create their own eco mysteries with the new “green” apps. These inspire kids to go outside and observe nature closely. In other words, outside time and screen time do not have to be mutually exclusive. Instead of battling to keep kids away from gadgets, why not use technology to encourage kids to explore outdoors? In this blog I outline a way to use nature-based apps that enhance kids’ experience outdoors, and then arouse their curiosity to learn more through reading and research. 

Read More...

Connecting to Nature with Apps

Green Apps for Outdoor Classroom Adventures

If you are an environmental educator — teacher, nature guide, or parent— you will find this lesson plan,
Eco Detective Nature Hunt, exciting. In my Eco Mystery series, The Adventures of The Sizzling Six, six feisty teens solve an intriguing eco mystery in order to save an endangered species. Now students can create their own eco mysteries with the new “green” apps. These inspire kids to go outside and observe nature closely. In other words, outside time and screen time do not have to be mutually exclusive. Instead of battling to keep kids away from gadgets, why not use technology to encourage kids to explore outdoors? In this blog I outline a way to use nature-based apps that enhance kids’ experience outdoors, and then arouse their curiosity to learn more through reading and research. 

Read More...

Macro and Floral Photography

Hydrangea Fest & Flora Photography

lanark Hydrangeas


On a mellow summer Saturday surrounded by lovely woodlands, we enjoyed the Hydrangea Fest & Flora Photography at Lanark Nature Center in Millbrook, Alabama. To kick off the day, professional photographer, Quincey Banks, shared tips for creating successful macro and flora photography.

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How Teachers Can Use Enhanced eBooks

Teaching with Enhanced eBooks

In the previous blog, I provided an overview of the advantages of using Enhanced eBooks for the general readers
Advantages of Enhanced eBooks. In this blog, I’ll focus on the benefits of Enhanced books for teachers with examples that you can download and use in your classrooms. While thoughtfully Enhanced eBooks can indeed enhance your students learning and appreciation, finding examples I considered worthwhile was not as easy as I anticipated. Read More...

Outdoor Classroom Expo

Outdoor Classrooms Inspire Students to Apply Common Core Skills

Back in the 1990s, with only a vague idea of how to go about it, I decided that my students and I would create a nature trail on the grounds of the middle school where I taught. It was easy to do—if I discount the time I nearly got run over by a truck hauling gravel, the backbreaking work of dragging wheelbarrows filled with gravel onto the trail, the misery of being attacked by poison ivy, and the difficulty of finding funds for the project. After battling on our own for months, the neighborhood association generously provided funds for the completion of the trail, and the Extension Service built a small amphitheater that students could use as an outdoor classroom.  Read More...

Citizen Scientist Eco Mysteries

For many kids, science class means slogging through textbooks, memorizing the discoveries of others, and performing pretested experiments that come with preconceived answers. Citizen science projects can offer kids the chance to study and to participate science outside the confines of the classroom.

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Wildflowers Art Education

Art on ‘R Mountain

What a perfect spring day for the Ruffner Mountain art show. The budding trees and bright wildflowers melded together beautifully with the colorful arts and crafts.  Read More...