As blue hydrangea blooms are making way for golden oak leaves, I wanted to share another “look-alike” plant post with you. Previous Post.
As before, six “look-alike” plants are pictured below. After studying their shapes and colors, try to guess their names. Then click on the photos for the answers–and for information about these intriguing plants.
Here are two other fun activities:
Write a fairy tale that explains one interesting fact about a “look-alike” plant.
Perhaps the trumpet creeper was once a small girl who annoyed a wicked witch. Every morning she would wake the witch up by blowing her horn, so the witch turned her into a trumpet creeper flower. The spell can be reversed if a hummingbird comes and drinks from her blossom. (Hummingbirds are attracted to trumpet creepers because of their red color.)
Make up your own “look-alike” flower.
Name it after one of the following:
favorite dessert, favorite pet, or favorite sport
Draw a picture.
Label the different plant parts: roots, stems, leaves, flowers.
Here’s an innovative way to delve into nonfiction writing. Have your students create their own websites. After my visit to a third grade class, the inventive teacher, Mrs. Braham did just that.
Her students drew on their own experiences, choosing topics from sewing to soccer to computers to cats. Then, with the technical support of their media specialist, Mr. Pirollo, the children got going on their websites. Their results are showcased on http://weebly.com .
I was amazed at the great work of Mrs. Braham’s students! They honed their nonfiction writing techniques, exercised their creativity, and as Mrs. Braham says, learned how to integrate technology into the curriculum.
Congratulations, children! Thank you for sharing your work! Below is a brief note for each of you. Hope you have lots of reading and writing time this summer.
Zachary: Thank you for teaching me about Chromebooks. Vincent: Hope you and your Dad have fun wrestling this summer. Katie: I love your video about the homeless dog who was rescued. Maeve: Excellent advice about not overfeeding and not tapping the fish tank–common mistakes.
Nadia: Great job: narrative opening, lots of cat information, fun captions, and adorable videos. Caroline: Hope you and your “gaga” have fun “sewing with compassion” this summer. Richard: What an exciting opening to your homepage. I see you’re a soccer whiz. Lauren: I loved the section about emotions and the picture of the retrievers hugging.
Maeve: Great simile for explaining how to hold the violin bow. Have fun practicing this summer. Joseph: Thanks for teaching me about all those wrestling moves. But I will take your advice and not try them at home. Jonathan: I’m glad you didn’t give up after your first year playing basketball. Keep having fun.
Elizabeth: Great job with the Do’s and Don’ts of cat care.
Ismael: Now I know why dogs sniff so much. Have fun with your two pups this summer.
Hayden: You created an interesting introduction, with your narrative and steam train video.
Rebecca: I loved your photos of the snow monkeys hugging and the baby eating the banana.
Hawa: Wow! After reading about hero dogs I was “blown away.”
Morgan: I hope you keep “doing your best” practicing gymnastics and writing stories.
Paul: That was a hilarious video of the black lab chasing the bubbles.
Vanessa: Excellent job explaining about gymnastic clothing and equipment.
Christopher: Great simile–comparing the wrestler, Triple H, to a bulldozer.
Thanks again, children and Mrs. Braham. Maybe one day I will be reading your books!
You can view my school program/author visit video at:
Previewing a program before an author visits is not always possible. In order to give teachers and parents a better idea of my programs, I am adding a short movie to this blog. So break out the popcorn and hope to see you soon!
When I walked through the doors of the Dennett Elementary School for an author visit, my first sight was a colorful display case filled with my photographs and books. I immediately felt welcome.
The Librarian, Geri O’Reilly, showed me the creative response projects her students had written after viewing the photos on my blog.What a clever way to to stimulate her students’ imaginations and to prepare them for the program.
Working with the Dennett School community was fun and inspiring, as we delved into nonfiction, writing, and science. Thank you to the teachers, custodian, principal, and students who gave me the gift of a delightful day!
This summer, our family discovered that hiking on a glacier is a thrilling way to stay cool. Our destination was the Canadian Rockies–a wonderland filled with glaciers, mountain trails, wildflowers, and wildlife.
Now that autumn is near, and we’ve begun the school year, we have memories to savor of our Summer of the Glaciers. Here are a few photos of our adventures.
From Snow White’s poisonous apple to Harry Potter’s venomous basilisk, storybooks are filled with poisonous brews and venomous beasts.
People are fascinated by poisons, toxins, and venoms, says Mark Sidall, of the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Sidall is curator of the exhibition “The Power of Poison,” which will be on display until August 10, 2014. The exhibition explores poison’s roles in nature, myth, and human health. Visitors will discover how poison may be used as a defense against predators, a source of strength, or as a lethal weapon-turned-lifesaving treatment.
Recently I had the opportunity to speak with Mark Sidall for Scholastic’s SuperScience magazine. The resulting story introduces three pairs of predator and prey facing off in toxic arms races. It describes how, over generations, these competitors’ defenses have become more extraordinary and their chemical weapons more extreme.
On a recent author visit to the Macomber School, I was greeted with this beautiful display of reports on some of my nonfiction books. Thank you to the teachers, secretaries, principal, and students for warmly welcoming me, participating enthusiastically, and singing sweetly. I had lots of fun with you all!
After a recent author program, the third grade teacher invited me to his classroom to read some of the writing his children were doing. That is when I discovered Adjective in Detail Poems. The formula is simple.
First pick your adjective and then write:
1) What your adjective is NOT
2) Three examples that show what your adjective is
3) Two examples of what your adjective sounds like
4) Another word for your adjective
5) One thing about your adjective
Here’s the poem I wrote.
Graceful is not a clackety-clanking crash.
Graceful is a silky-swirling scarf.
Graceful is a dainty-tiptoeing dancer.
Graceful is a sparkly-spinning skater.
Graceful sounds like smooth-soothing music.
Graceful sounds like the whisper of floating snow. Another word for graceful is elegant. One thing about graceful is it makes your heart sing.
Now try your own!
You can view or download my school program brochure: