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Judith Jango-Cohen

Nonfiction Author and Photographer

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Summer of the Glacier


Hiking on the Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park of Alberta, Canada
Hiking on the Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park of Alberta, Canada

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.

Matt stands with pick ax on the Athabasca Glacier. Note the snowmobile in the background--for less intrepid souls.
Matt stands with pick ax on the Athabasca Glacier. Note the snowmobile in the background–for less intrepid souls.
I am photographing the Athabasca Glacier we had been hiking on.

 

Here we stand before the angel Glacier on Mount Edith Cavell. the peak was named for the WWI heroine. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Edith_Cavell
Here we stand before the Angel Glacier on Mount Edith Cavell. The peak was named for the WWI heroine. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Edith_Cavell
We ventured to Opal Hills, where we had previously met a Mama grizzly bear and two cubs. No “luck” this year. :->
We met bears this year, but only from the car.
We met bears this year, but only from the car.
Photographing wildflowers is a lovely way to rest on a hot, steep trail.
Photographing wildflowers is a lovely way to rest on a hot, steep trail.
Arrowleaf Balsamroot
Arrowleaf Balsamroot

 

Fairy Slipper or Calypso Orchid
Fairy Slipper or Calypso Orchid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed your summer and I look forward to working with you this year.
You can view or download my school program brochure at:
AUTHOR PROGRAMS/VISITS BROCHURE
See our photography web site: http://www.agpix.com/cohen 

Hiker on Mt. Washington Summit, Appalachian Trail, New Hampshire

Science Snippet: Poison Power


Pygmy Rattlesnake
Pygmy Rattlesnake

From Snow White’s poisonous apple to Harry Potter’s venomous basilisk, storybooks are filled with poisonous brews and venomous beasts.

Pacific Poison Oak
Pacific Poison Oak
Poison Ivy
Poison Ivy
Scalycap fungus
Scalycap fungus

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.


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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.

To read the story go to http://magazines.scholastic.com/news/2014/05/Poison-Power .

For information about the exhibition go to http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/current-exhibitions/the-power-of-poison .

You can view or download my school program brochure at:
AUTHOR PROGRAMS/VISITS BROCHURE 

Hiker on Mt. Washington Summit, Appalachian Trail, New Hampshire

See our photography web site: http://www.agpix.com/cohen 

Macomber School Visit


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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!

 

You can view or download my school program brochure:
AUTHOR PROGRAMS/VISITS BROCHURE 

Hiker on Mt. Washington Summit, Appalachian Trail, New Hampshire

See our photography web site: http://www.agpix.com/cohen 

 

Adjective in Detail Poems


Author_visit_program_school_Mass_nonfiction_46.jpg.

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.     Dew laden Spider Web

GRACEFUL
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:

 

Hiker on Mt. Washington Summit, Appalachian Trail, New Hampshire

See our photography web site: http://www.agpix.com/cohen 

The Whales’ Voyage


Cape Ann Massachusetts Whale Watch, Tourboat and Humpback Whale,

Beneath the Atlantic Ocean, a humpback whale streaks skyward. It bursts into the air and then vanishes beneath the waves with a sparkling splash. Although whales are mammals, and not fish, they are comfortably at home in the water. But scientists have discovered something surprising about these water lovers . . . Their ancient ancestors lived on land. Here’s what the whales’ earliest known relative looked like:
Pakicetus attocki
Pakicetus attocki
By studying fossils and DNA evidence, scientists have learned much about the whales’ journey from land to sea.
They have also figured who the whales’ closest living relative is.
Do you think it's the beaver?
Do you think it’s the beaver?
Or is it the hippo?
Or is it the hippo?
Could it be the fur seal?
Could it be the fur seal?

You can find the answer in my Scholastic story, THE WHALES’ VOYAGE.

To get the fascinating facts, I interviewed  John Flynn, of the American Museum of Natural History. Flynn is  co-curator of the exhibition, “Whales: Giants of the Deep.”  The exhibition  leads visitors on adventures with models of these mighty creatures. Visitors can take a virtual dive with a sperm whale as it hunts for giant squid. Or they can crawl through a car-size replica of a blue whale’s heart. To learn more:  

 AMNH EXHIBITION

You can view or download my new school program brochure:

AUTHOR PROGRAMS/VISITS BROCHURE 

Hiker on Mt. Washington Summit, Appalachian Trail, New Hampshire

See our photography web site: http://www.agpix.com/cohen 

Strengthen your “CORE” Nonfiction Workout 2


Meteorte Slices

Meteorte Slices

Invigorating Vocabulary

Using  classroom science magazines is an effective and stimulating way to support the Common Core’s Reading Informational Text standards. It is also a way to help you meet the key anchor standards in Reading, Writing, Speaking & Listening, and Language. And of course,  your children will be learning about science and current events.

Here is a link to a story I wrote for Scholastic about the Picturing Science exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History.  The Art of Science

After your students have read the story, they can investigate the activities I have developed relating to Vocabulary Acquisition and Use, one of the Anchor Standards for Reading. I have also included an Art as Science activity.

Madagascan Cichlid
Madagascan Cichlid

Part One:

Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues 

Vocabulary word: DISSECT

The story explains, that instead of dissecting the fish to examine the tiny bones in their ears, Sparks uses a different technique. This technique allows him to keep all the parts that make up a fish’s ears intact. (together)

Since keeping all the parts that make up a fish’s ears intact is different from dissecting, what do you think dissecting means?

Look up the definition of dissecting. Write the meaning that best fits the word as it is used in sentence above.

Write three synonyms for dissect.

Glowing Coral
Glowing Coral

Vocabulary word: EMIT

The section on the Radiant Reef explains that fluorescent reef animals absorb blue light and emit green or red light. Another sentence says that these neon green and red creatures glow like aliens.

Since the fluorescent animals are glowing red and green, what do you think emit means?

Look up the definition of emit. Write the meaning that best fits the word as it is used in sentence above.

Write three synonyms for emit.

Part Two:

Vocabulary and Alliteration

Ladybird Beetles or Ladybugs
Ladybird Beetles or Ladybugs

Alliteration is the use of similar sounds at the beginning of words. For example,  Cichlids are a family of fish.

To make your own phrases using alliteration, look up synonyms for the word group. Choose three synonyms and write a phrase about a group of animals for each one. Here’s an example: a bunch of bugs

You can also add an adjective: a bunch of bustling bugs

Try another one.

In the story, I described the fluorescent reef animals as a dazzling display.

Look up synonyms for the word dazzling. Choose three synonyms and write a phrase using alliteration for each one. Here’s an example: shining ship

Juan Sebastian de Elcano Sailing Vessel at Night, Spanish Naval
Juan Sebastian de Elcano Sailing Vessel at Night, Spanish Naval

Part Three:

Art as Science

Find something from nature that has a pattern, such as a seashell, a turtle shell, a rock, an insect wing. Using a magnifying glass or a microscope, observe the pattern up close. Now fold a piece of paper in half. On one side draw a close-up picture of the pattern. On the other side draw the whole object. (Instead of making drawings, you can also take photos.) Post your close-up picture on a bulletin board with a piece of paper below for other students to write their guesses about what they think the object is. When everyone has made their guesses, open up up the paper and re-post it so your classmates can see if they’ve guessed correctly.

AUTHOR PROGRAMS/VISITS BROCHURE 


Hiker on Mt. Washington Summit, Appalachian Trail, New Hampshire

See our photography web site: http://www.agpix.com/cohen 

Art as Science


Armadillo Lizard
Armadillo Lizard
Get  in the mood for Halloween with scorpion heads, rodent teeth, and spider claws.  Fantastic photos of  these objects are part of the art show at New York’s American Museum of Natural History. The exhibition’s “artists” are the museum’s scientists. Their “artwork”—scientific pictures created with advanced imaging techniques. The exhibit features the work of:
John Sparks, who hunts for Madagascan cichlids in rivers crawling with crocodiles to study the fish’s hearing structures;
Madagascan Cichlid
Madagascan Cichlid

David Gruber, whose photos of neon green and red  fluorescent  reef creatures glow like aliens;

Glowing Coral
Glowing Coral

Ebel Denton,  who blasts meteorites  with electrons. Denton is curious about the composition of these space rocks, which were wandering through our solar system for billions of years before crashing to Earth;

Meteorte Slices
Meteorte Slices

Read the story I wrote for Scholastic about the exhibition at: Art as Science

The museum exhibition webpage is at:   AMNH Exhibition

View or download a new brochure: AUTHOR PROGRAMS / VISITS BROCHURE

Hiker on Mt. Washington Summit, Appalachian Trail, New Hampshire

See our photography web site: http://www.agpix.com/cohen 

Strengthen your “CORE” Nonfiction Workout 1


Author_visit_program_school_Mass_nonfiction_26

 Nonfiction
Mix-in

As a science teacher for nine years, and a nonfiction author, I am delighted with the new emphasis on nonfiction in the Common Core State Standards. Incorporating nonfiction into your curriculum is a fun and effective way to teach literacy skills while integrating content subjects like science, social studies, math, and English language arts.
In light of this, I will begin creating posts that introduce literacy skills and are linked to Teachers Pages  featuring related classroom activities. The first installment is below. Have fun!

Making Music with Alliteration

Alliteration is a literary technique that adds a lyrical touch to writing with the repetition of initial consonant sounds. “Making music” is an example. In Why Does It Rain I used alliteration to add a poetic touch to a scientific topic: the water cycle. There are seven examples in this excerpt below. To check your findings and for related classroom activities see the Teachers Page: Making Music with Alliteration  .

Wrapped in Water
Can you tell when it is going to rain?
What are the clues?
Sometimes the wind
whisks through the grass
or sweeps up swirls of dirt.
Tree limbs creak and sway.
Their leaves flutter as if they might fly away.
Gray clouds shade the sun.
The dark of dusk comes during the day.

Then the rain falls.
It may plop down in plump drops
like pounding feet.
Or it may drizzle in drips like little tiptoes.
When the rain ends,
the air smells cool and clean.
It seems as though
a window has opened in the sky.

Sego Lily, Nuttall's Mariposa Lily, Calochortus nuttallii

Dew laden Spider Web

To check your findings and for related classroom activities see the Teachers Page: Making Music with Alliteration  .

View or download a new brochure: AUTHOR PROGRAMS / VISITS BROCHURE

See our photography web site: http://www.agpix.com/cohen

See our photography web site: http://www.agpix.com/cohen 

Authorfest School Visit


Once again I was honored to present programs for the Greenwood  School Authorfest. Thank you to the Authorfest Committee for organizing this fascinating week of activities. For details and photographs of the other authors who visited the school, see Colleen Guida’s story in the WakefieldPatch and visit Greenwood’s Authorfest Facebook page.

A special “Hello” to Zach, whom I happened to meet at the market. Glad you enjoyed the program!

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Author_visit_program_school_Mass_nonfiction_23_2
Students discover that octopuses are weird but wonderful.

Author_visit_program_school_Mass_nonfiction_21

Here’s is the real thing–a friend I photographed on a visit to the New England Aquarium, while I was researching the book, Octopuses.

Author_visit_program_school_Mass_nonfiction_24

View or download a new brochure: AUTHOR PROGRAMS/VISITS BROCHURE 

See our photography web site: http://www.agpix.com/cohen

See our photography web site: http://www.agpix.com/cohen 

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Mindy’s Writing Wonderland

For authors, parents, teachers & everyone who loves children’s books.

The Blabbermouth Blog

Literary Agent Linda Epstein's Yakkety Yakking

Marie Lamba, author

Some thoughts from author and agent Marie Lamba

Mrs. Jennifer Cimini, M.Ed.

Positively passionate 4th grade teacher, mom, being myself and helping others!

Sam Kane's Corner

Educating for an interconnected world one story at a time

NESCBWI Kidlit Reblogger

A service of New England SCBWI. All opinions expressed belong to the individual bloggers and commenters who are solely responsible for their content.

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