Yesterday I received an email from a 4th grade teacher named John Wessner. He wrote to share his read-aloud videos he recorded because one series is based on my book, “Take A Wetlands Walk”. John created the video to use during this time of #coronavirus and distance learning.
As soon as I saw John’s first video, I set up a Facetime session so John and I could meet in person. Authors rarely get the opportunity to see or hear their nonfiction in use. John demonstrates just how fun and interesting a Wetlands walk can be and in the spirit of being alone–together, John expressed an interest in sharing his videos with other teachers as a resource during #coronavirus quarantines.
Imagine a free teaching video and free books and you now have a free lesson plan! I bet that’s just what you can use about now. John and I are so pleased to offer you these free resources. I hope you find them useful. Please, share your experiences with us and let us know if we can help in any other way.
The books are applicable for any area of the US with the exception of very special ecosystems such as the desert.
John Wessner has worked for the past 16 years as a 4th grade teacher at Foot of Ten Elementary School in the Hollidaysburg Area School District in Eastern PA. He loves the challenge of bringing concepts to life and seeing the enthusiasm in the students when they are learning and discovering new ideas. To him, 4th grade is the perfect age due to the combination of independence and enthusiasm!
Here are his read-aloud videos:
I don’t know about you, but I’ve discovered that with Coronavirus comes Cabin Fever and if I don’t get outside, I’ll come down with Nature Deficit Disorder. These are real things, and this can happen to you and your kids. So, do something about it; now, today, take the opportunity to help your kids (and yourself) engage in nature.
Coronavirus is keeping us at home, but we don’t have to stay indoors. We can still take a short walk and explore nature in our backyards while following social distancing guidelines. Even in the rain you can observe nature from inside your house and watch your bird feeder or the pigeons on the buildings. The point is; more than ever, we need to connect with something other than ourselves and our screens.
Every day brings something new in nature—new animals, insects, birds, blooms, and even weather. A generous 10.2” of rain so far this year where I live has brought us a very green first of April. As I look outside, I can see gardens and yards with blossoms of Forsythia, Daffodils, and Tulips. I also see the trees with blooms such as Cherry, Magnolia, Viburnum. I know if I take a walk on the trail that passes through my yard, I might see ground covers and wildflowers such as Purple Dead Nettle, Mayapples, and Trout Lilly. I’m fortunate to be able to do that in a short distance and still be able to honor the social distancing rules.
So get outside. Take photos of what you see. Try to identify that plant or animal. Download one of my books for free to use as a guide and reference. And please; stay safe. Stay home. Stay informed
"Stay at home
Happy Spring! Scary spring, right? These are uncertain times for sure. I want to help my community in some way - to volunteer - to do something. But how can I help from six feet away? I'm stuck at home the same as you. Then it came to me; I have gifts and tools and ways to help parents quarantined with their children.
I have knowledge, experiences, passions, motivational stories, and the gift of gab. I have a series of award-winning nature discovery books for readers 8 and up. Books that, while no longer in print, are every bit as relevant and exciting today as the day I wrote them. You might find some outdated website addresses but that's what Google is for!
So I'm sharing my series of books with you for FREE. No strings attached except that they are for your personal use only; you can't sell, edit, distribute or reproduce them, but you may print them for your personal use. I own the copyrights; and many of the photos in the books were granted to me solely for the pages of the books and no other use.
Please download a book or two and go walk around your yard, sit on your deck or patio, and if you have no yard, walk in your neighborhood. Don't count your steps, don't look at your watch, don't text on your phone. But rather bask in the glory of nature and allow me to help you and your kids discover birds, flowers, trees, rocks, insects, sky, and more. Use your phone for photos or notes or to record yourself and your kids as you make new discoveries. Post videos on YouTube. Send me your links, show me what you find, and maybe I'll share your videos with my readers.
In these unusual and uncertain times, continue to "Stay at home (this doesn't mean indoors), shelter in place (this doesn't mean you can't take a walk), wash your hands (always), and don't touch your face (ever)".
While keeping your distance from others, take this opportunity to get closer to nature. I've always said, "Take a Minute to be in it - in nature!" So go for it and enjoy yourself.
Until we meet again in the outdoors, stay safe.