Saturday, February 10, 2018

#nf10for10 - Inspiring Future Scientists

I've been away from blogging for a while, only checking in when I'm writing with my poetry sisters. Now that the spring semester is well underway, I'm trying to get back in the swing of things. Since it's February 10th and I love book lists, the nonfiction 10 for10 seemed a good way to start.

This academic year (17-18) I've been fortunate to go back to teaching a stand alone science methods course. This means I have 14 full weeks to spend with preservice teachers thinking about best practices in teaching elementary science. One of skills we develop is in keeping a scientist's notebook. In addition to using it for close observations, wonder questions, experimental data, nature observations, and more, we are using it to compare our work to the work found in the notebooks of naturalists and scientists. In doing this, I've been sharing a number of books about scientists. Here are just a few of my favorites. I hope you consider sharing these with your future scientists.

written by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by‎ Raúl Colón

written by Matthew Clark Smith and illustrated by Giuliano Ferri 

written by Suzanne Slade and illustrated by Jessica Lanan 

written by Jim Ottaviani and illustrated by‎ Maris Wicks 

written by Julia Finley Mosca and illustrated by‎ Daniel Rieley 

written by Jess Keating and illustrated by Marta Alvarez Miguens 

written and illustrated by Stephanie Roth Sisson  

written by Jeannine Atkins  

written and illustrated by Rachel Ignotofsky  

written by H. Joseph Hopkins and illustrated by‎ Jill McElmurry  

This is just the tip of the iceberg, but I'm sticking to 10, though I do want to cheat and throw in a few more. I guess that just means I'll need to revisit this topic.

You can read more about nf10for10 at It's Coming: February's Nonfiction Picture Book Event.

Friday, February 02, 2018

Writing Tanka With My Poetry Sisters

Last month we wrote sonnets on any subject. This month Laura challenged us to write in response to those sonnets in the form of a tanka. Tanka is a form of Japanese poetry that has been practiced for more than 1000 years. Tanka is generally defined as a poem composed of 31 syllables in a 5-7-5-7-7 format, though varying syllable lengths are allowed as long as the general from of short-long-short-long-long is followed. Most tanka focus on a single event of some significance.

My challenge was to respond to Laura's poem about the comfort offered to us by animals, in this case, a horse named Mae. Laura's poem was so vivid, I could see myself approaching Mae in the cold and snow, eventually taking in her warmth. You can read Laura's poem at Mae's Wall of Warmth.

I generally do better with these monthly exercises when I have a form and/or topic, and this time I had both. Honestly, if you look at these pictures of me from childhood, you'll understand why I was thrilled to write in response to Laura's poem.
This poem brings back so many happy memories.

Midnight haunts my dreams
my brother's sturdy pony
walking through the snow
bridle-led he carries me
from barn to field and back again.

Poem ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2018. All rights reserved.

Here's a picture of my brother and his pony, and one of me and Midnight.
You can read the tanka written written by my poetry sisters at the links below. 
I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Donna at Mainely Write. Happy poetry Friday friends.