A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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Posts Tagged ‘book giveaway’

N is for Neighbors, Nests, and Notebooks

Posted by lindamartinandersen on April 16, 2016


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074

 

A Writer’s Playground–a place to find wordplay, writing prompts, reasons to celebrate, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart  “N is for Neighbors, Nests, and Notebooks” by Linda Martin Andersen

This month I’m sharing photos and blog posts from A-Z.  I’m excited about trying something new.  I hope you’ll stop by often throughout the month.

Check out the participants for the April (2016) Challenge.  There are plenty to choose from http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

N is for Neighbors

Do you live in a neighborhood in the city, country, along the shore, in the suburbs, or elsewhere?  My husband and I live down a dirt road in the country, although the road we live off is dotted with motels near the interstate.    Where we stay, deer and other wildlife are our neighbors.  The closest building to us is a church. We love where we live and appreciate that our human and animal neighbors are good to us.  How about you?

This blog post talks about revising your writing by searching for obvious needed changes and ones not so obvious.

https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/revising-obvious-needed-changes-and-ones-not-so-obvious/

Here is a photo of one of our neighboring motels.  Is there a need for change here?  If so, is it obvious or not so obvious?

Copyright 2015 Linda Martin Andersen

 

N is for Nests

Have you ever found a bird’s nest?  Where?  Every spring, a bird nest is built on our front porch.  Once a bird built in a wreath hanging on my front door.  We have found nests in large azaleas in our yard too.  One of the most fascinating bird nest stories and video I recall is shared on Mary Livingston’s blog.  Learn more about turkey vultures here:

https://sneakingbliss.com/2013/04/22/turkey-vulture-shift-change/

https://sneakingbliss.com/2013/05/14/eerie-sounds-from-the-vulture-chicks/

https://sneakingbliss.com/2013/06/01/down-the-vulture-hole/

N is for Notebooks

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater has a blog called “Sharing Our Notebooks.”  Stefanie Cole’s post about notebooks is awesome,  plus there’s a book giveaway.  Check it out here:  http://www.sharingournotebooks.amylv.com/2016/04/stefanie-cole-notebooks-are-important.html

I keep lots of notebooks.  Some contain writing tips, some organize health information, and another is a journal of things seen outdoors different days of the year.  My goal was to complete a year’s study, but I fell short.  There’s always another day.  Right?

What “N” words come to mind for you? I hope you’ll share why they’re special to you.

Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend. Please leave a comment.  Remember that children 13 and under need an adult to comment for them.  For more fun, sign up to follow my blog.  Thank you!

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Family Discussions, Homeschool Activities, humor, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments »

Virtual Entertainment At My Blog’s Birthday Party

Posted by lindamartinandersen on May 18, 2015


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074“Virtual Entertainment At My Blog’s Birthday Party” by Linda Martin Andersen

We’re still partying here at “A Writer’s Playground!”  Three years of blog posts to celebrate.  What fun!  I appreciate that many of you have shared how you’ll be traveling.  If you’re just joining in, please choose a virtual mode of transportation that allows you to arrive in style–in a style related to your writing.  For example, I’m arriving on elephant’s back because my current writing includes an elephant.  Enjoy the ride!

And now for the birthday blog entertainment…

After reading Laura Purdie Salas’ blog on Friday, May 15, I decided to re-blog her post as entertainment for this virtual party.

  • I can imagine Laura Purdie Salas arriving by train carrying an armload of picture books and asking each guest to choose one.  After reading, name another book title that is similar in some way.  Finally, share what these books have in common.  Laura calls these “Bookalikes–2 books with a connection.”  This is an activity fit for any age reader.
  • I can also imagine Laura asking each guest to write a poem based on the book.  Write a poem that summarizes the book or write something the book inspires.  Write rhyme, non-rhyme, or free verse.  Laura calls these poems  “Poetryaction–a poem in reaction to a book.”
  • Check out Laura’s recent post on train books and an example of Poetryaction and Bookalikes.  http://www.laurasalas.com/blog/for-teachers/all-aboard-pf/
  • Here’s a second sample for more inspiration:  http://www.laurasalas.com/blog/for-teachers/prxn-small/
  • Have fun reading, writing, and sharing!
  • Please post in the comment section.  I’m looking forward to reading your Bookalikes, Poetryactions, and general comments.

Laura Purdie Salas, thank you for providing our entertainment.  You know how to make a virtual birthday blog party very special!

Readers, if you’d like a chance at a book giveaway, follow the rules posted here:

https://lindamartinandersen.wordpress.com/2015/05/10/its-may-a-writers-playground-is-celebrating-3-years/

Please leave a comment.  Thanks for visiting.  Come again soon and bring a friend.  Children 13 years old or older are invited to  comment.  See: http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

 

 

Posted in Activities for teachers and parents, Games, Homeschool Activities, Reading, Writing, Writing Prompts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

No, to Underwear as a Gift. Yes, to Books About Underwear. Giveaway.

Posted by lindamartinandersen on December 7, 2014


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074“No, to Underwear as a Gift.  Yes, to Books About Underwear.  Giveaway.” by Linda Martin Andersen.

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day: 7

You may ask, “What does National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day have to do with underwear?”  Nothing, usually.  Unless you were a student at East Carolina University like I was and Dr. Farmer was your U.S. History professor.  On Pearl Harbor Day, Dr. Farmer told his personal story of the battle.  He concluded by saying that he should write a book about his adventures and call it A Day at Pearl Harbor or The Day I Was Caught Unaware in My Underwear.  I have never forgotten that–lots of history dates, but not that.  Thank you, Dr. Farmer for allowing your sense of humor to shine through even on the toughest of days.

Children’s writers know that kids gravitate toward books that mention gross stuff, underwear, and potty humor.  What kid, who can read, doesn’t know Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey?

http://www.pilkey.com/

In November of this year, I participated in PiBoIdMo on Tara Lazar’s blog.  I collected over 30 picture book ideas and I’m proudly displaying my badge.

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Guest bloggers continued to share tips for picture book writers into December.  I’d like to spotlight Laura Gehl, the author of One Big Pair of Underwear, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld.  Read Laura’s blog post here:    http://taralazar.com/2014/12/05/post-piboidmo-day-5-laura-gehl/  For more about Laura Gehl, check out her website and FB Author page:

www.lauragehl.com and http://www.facebook.com/AuthorLauraGehl.

onebigpairlauragehl

 

In the spirit of memories about underwear, I am giving away a copy of  One Big Pair of Underwear.  This picture book has received  great reviews.  To be entered in the drawing, leave a comment below and your email address, for contest contact purposes.  Contest ends on December 12, 2014 and the winning name will be announced shortly afterwards.

Please leave a comment and your email address, for contest contact purposes.  I can’t wait to hear your memories about underwear.  Thanks for visiting. Come again and bring a friend. 

Children 13 years old or older may leave a comment. Read more about the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA) See: http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

Posted in Calendar Events, Character Traits, Monthly Activities, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Lucky Winner Announced–Jennifer Larson’s Giveaway

Posted by lindamartinandersen on November 16, 2014


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074

“Lucky Winner Announced–Jennifer Larson’s Giveaway” by Linda Martin Andersen

Today, I announce the winner of the book giveaway.  But first, I’d like to share a recent observation that included shoes.   Last week near lunch time, my husband and I were riding down a busy highway and stopped for a traffic light.  A truck that serves prepared food was parked at an auto parts store on the corner.  People were standing near the window of the food truck, which was opposite our view.  All we could see was the truck and shoes underneath.  It was a humorous sight and reminded me of Jennifer Larson’s book called Lost Soles.  When did you pay attention to shoes this past week?  Comment about it below.

Thanks to all who visited “Have You Ever Found a Lost Shoe?  Book Giveaway!” and left a comment.  Those names were placed in a drawing for a free copy of Lost Soles by Jennifer Larson.  The names on cards, plus a plastic lucky frog foot, were shaken and my husband drew the winning name.

And the winner is Susan Williams.  Congratulations Susan.  Let’s give her a shoe-tongue flapping, double-knot tieing “Writer’s Playground” round of applause.  Susan Williams, would you please email me and provide your mailing address?  I will forward the information to  Jennifer who will send you a copy of Lost Soles.  Enjoy!

Jennifer, thanks for being a guest blogger here and for providing a giveaway.  It was great to have you. 

Readers, the next time you see a single lost shoe, think of Jennifer Larson.  Support her book launch by visiting http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Soles-Jennifer-Larson/dp/1492294179/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1416138105&sr=8-1&keywords=Lost+Soles+by+Jennifer+Larson

Book copies are available just in time for holiday giving.  To learn more about Jennifer Larson, please visit her website  at www.authorjenniferlarson.com.  She loves receiving photographs of lost soles from everywhere. And to keep up with her latest find, follow her blog at www.authorjenniferlarson.blogspot.com.

Any shoe sightings you’d like to share?  Any lone sole sightings?  Please leave a comment below.  Thanks for visiting. Come again and bring a friend. 

Children 13 years old or older may leave a comment. Read more about the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA) See: http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments »

Have You Ever Found a Lost Shoe? Book Giveaway!

Posted by lindamartinandersen on November 8, 2014


A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074

“Have You Ever Found a Lost Shoe?  Book Giveaway!”

Have you ever found a shoe when walking to the playground, riding down the road, walking on the beach, or somewhere else?  Not a pair of shoes, but one shoe?  One lone lost sole?  I have and I’m pretty sure you have too. I know someone who is on the lookout for lost shoes every day.  She takes pictures of them, and guess what…she has even written a book about them. Today, I’m honored to introduce this special lady to you. Please help me welcome Jennifer Larson, author of Lost Soles.  Let’s give her a shoe-tongue flapping, double-knot tieing “Writer’s Playground” welcome.  And here’s Jennifer…

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Thanks for having me here today.  My inspiration for Lost Soles began when I started noticing lone shoes in random places. There’d be a sandal in the median, a flip flop on the sidewalk, or a sneaker on the side of  the road.

 

Image 5Image 1

 

I began photographing these lone shoes ten years ago, creating a portfolio of boots, heels, cleats, and more.

Image 7                                   Image 13

I’ve even found a slipper. Then I started to wonder how these shoes had come to rest alone in such odd places. Where was their mate? How did they get separated from their other half?And that’s when I decided to tell the children’s story of a pair of flip flops, Flip and Flop, that get separated from each other after a day at the beach. Flip flies off the beach cart and gets left behind. He then embarks on a journey to find his way home in hopes of reuniting with his “sole mate.”

 

I decided to self-publish, and after two years and a lot of hard work, my first children’s picture book, Lost Soles, is coming out and will be available on amazon.com.FINAL COVER September 30 copy - Version 3 (2)

 

Over the years, I’ve photographed more than 100 lone shoes. I’m always on the lookout for the next one. If you have a lost sole find and want to share, please visit my website www.authorjenniferlarson.com. I love receiving photographs of lost soles from everywhere. And to keep up with my latest find, follow my blog at www.authorjenniferlarson.blogspot.com.

Jennifer, thanks for joining us today.  Love the book cover and story idea. 

Readers:   Jennifer is offering a free copy of Lost Soles to some lucky person who leaves a comment here by November 15.  The winner will be announced at “A Writer’s Playground” shortly afterwards. 

Don’t you love Jennifer’s way of taking cast off items and making them something special?  Show your admiration by visiting her photos and blog and by commenting here.  Thanks for visiting. Come again and bring a friend. 

Children 13 years old or older may leave a comment. Read more about the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA) See: http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments »

Winner of Giveaway for May Days and My Blog’s 2nd Birthday

Posted by lindamartinandersen on May 24, 2014


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Clip Art

“Winner of Giveaway for May Days and My Blog’s 2nd Birthday” by Linda Martin Andersen

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “A Writer’s Playground”–A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

Blow the horns, sing the verses, it’s time for “A Writer’s Playground” to celebrate its second birthday.  But before the candles could be blown out or a slice of cake could be cut, my internal critic said, “Beware the Terrible Twos.”  I am choosing to ignore that warning.  Instead of fearing growing pains, I’ve decided to embrace the number “two” in a special way…

For my blog’s second birthday, I’m giving away a book about twin girls who share many things.  It’s an easy reader by Grace Lin called Ling and Ting Share a Birthday.  cover_ltbirthday[1] Copyright Alexandre Ferron

The rules stated:  Register for the giveaway by posting the name of a book with twin characters or a book written or illustrated by a twin.  The birthday blog drawing will be May 22 (two twos) and the winner will be announced on or before the June 1 post.  

And the winner of this giveaway is….

Joan Y. Edwards

Congratulations, Joan.  I’m happy for you.  Your copy of Ling and Ting Share a Birthday will be coming to your house soon. 

Thanks to all who participated.  It was fun sharing my blog’s second birthday with you.

Copyright © 2014 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Calendar Events, Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

May Days and My Blog’s 2nd Birthday

Posted by lindamartinandersen on April 30, 2014


Clip Art

Clip Art

“May Days and My Blog’s 2nd Birthday” by Linda Martin Andersen

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “A Writer’s Playground”–A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

Blow the horns, sing the verses, it’s time for “A Writer’s Playground” to celebrate its second birthday.  But before the candles could be blown out or a slice of cake could be cut, my internal critic said, “Beware the Terrible Twos.”  I am choosing to ignore that warning.  Instead of fearing growing pains, I’ve decided to embrace the number “two” in a special way…

For my blog’s second birthday, I’m giving away a book about twin girls who share many things.  It’s an easy reader by Grace Lin called Ling and Ting Share a Birthday.  cover_ltbirthday[1] Copyright Alexandre Ferron

Register for the giveaway by posting the name of a book with twin characters or a book written or illustrated by a twin.  The birthday blog drawing will be May 22 (two twos) and the winner will be announced on or before the June 1 post.  Thanks for celebrating A Writer’s Playground’s second birthday with me.

Other Things May bring…

ALS Awareness Month   (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease)  Who was Lou Gehrig?  Have you ever known someone with this disease?  What are some of the symptoms?  What is  the treatment?  Research to learn more.

American Wetlands Month  Where are wetlands in your area?  If none, research to learn about this ecosystem.  What wildlife lives there?   

Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month Do you know a child or young person with this disease?  What are some of the symptoms?  What is the treatment?  What is the life expectancy?    Research to learn more. 

Fibromyalgia Education and Awareness Month  Do you know anyone with this disease?  What are some of the symptoms?  What is the treatment?  Research and tell someone what you learned. 

Get Caught Reading Month  What are you reading at this time?  Read something for pleasure.  Read a different genre.  Tell someone about a favorite.   

Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection & Prevention Month  Have you ever known someone with this disease?  What are some of the symptoms?  What is the treatment?  Research to learn more.

Allergy/Asthma Awareness Month  Have you ever known someone with these diseases?  What is the difference between them?  Which is more serious?  Why?  What are the symptoms?  What is the treatment?   

National Inventors Month What does it mean to invent something?  What would you like to invent?  Research to learn inventions kids have made. 

(World) Lyme Disease Awareness Month  How do you contact Lyme disease?  Where might you get it?  What can you do to prevent it, if anything?  What are the symptoms of the disease?  What is the treatment? 

National Smile Month How many different ways can you smile?  Big smile, slight smile, showing teeth, showing no teeth, etc.  Try each one.  Ask someone to play along. 

National Stroke Awareness Month 6/16)  What is a stroke?  Do you know anyone who had one?  Did it cause any permanent damage?  Describe the damage.  What other damage can a stroke cause?  What are the signs that a person is having a stroke?  Research for more information. 

 

Special Weeks in May..

 Be Kind To Animals Week: 4-10 Do you have pets?  Brainstorm ways to be kind to them.  Place a check beside all the kind things you do. 

National Family Week: 4-10 How many are in your family?  Brainstorm things your family likes to do together.  What is one thing you could do from your list without spending any money?

National Post Card Week: 4-10 Have you ever sent someone a postcard?  Were you on vacation, at camp, or somewhere else?  Did the postcard arrive before or after you returned home?  Share a postcard memory with someone.

Teacher Appreciation Week: 4-10  Brainstorm a list of things students give teachers.  Write a poem naming at least three of these.  Write a note to your favorite teacher or share your poem.

National Transportation Week: 11-17 Name your most unusual mode of transportation.  Where were you going?  How did you get there?

National Etiquette Week: 12-16 Brainstorm etiquette rules used by families today.  What are some Victorian etiquette rules?  Which are more strict?  Tell why.

National Tourism Week: 12-17 What tourist locations would you suggest to someone visiting your town?  Have you been to them?  Which was your favorite and why?

National Stuttering Awareness Week: 13-19  Do you know someone who stutters?  Is this a child or an adult?  Research this disease, its symptoms, and how to treat it.

National New Friends, Old Friends Week: 18-24     Name old friends you have and name new friends made this year.  Where did you make new friends?  What did you do together?

National Backyard Games Week: 19-26 Do you and your friends play outdoor games?  Teach your friends games you know and ask them to teach you games they know.  Have a lot of fun playing outdoors.

Hurricane Preparedness Week: 25-31 Do you have hurricanes near where you live?  Do you know where you can get a hurricane tracking map?  Where can you get a list of emergency supplies to have on hand?

Special Days in May…

Mother Goose Day: 1 Who is your favorite Mother Goose character?  What is your favorite nursery rhyme?

International Space Day: What space events have you seen?  Which ones would you liked to have participated in?  What space events do you think will happen in your lifetime?

National Two Different Colored Shoes Day: 3 What color shoes could you match for this day?  What do you wish you could wear? Why?

World Laughter Day: 4 Can you recognize someone’s laughter from another room?  Whose laughter do you recognize?  Can you recognize some actors’ laughter?  Whose?  How do you spell the sound of laughter in stories?  What other ways sound like laughter?

National Babysitters Day: 10 Have you ever had babysitters?  Can you name all of them?  What is your favorite game to play with a babysitter?  Do you have a favorite book you ask to have read? 

National Miniature Golf Day: 10 Do you know how to play miniature golf?  Do you have a favorite shot?  Describe it.

National Train Day: 10 What’s your favorite movie with a train, book with a train, song with a train?  Do you have a favorite train photo?  See steam trains in pen and ink by Tim Livingston at The Forester Artist blog:  http://theforesterartist.com/pen-and-ink/

National Windmill Day: 10 Do you know the name Don Quixote?  Why is he mentioned with windmills?  http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/donquixote/summary.html

Do you know the meaning of “tilting at windmills?”  http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/tilting-at-windmills.html

Eat What You Want Day: 11  Make a list of what you’d like to eat today, if you could have anything.  Predict how you’d feel at the end of the day if you ate as much as you wanted of these foods?  Have you ever done something similar to this?  Tell about it.

Mother’s Day: 11 Do you buy your mom a card or make one for her?  Are there other traditions you do for this day?  Tell about one of them. 

Limerick Day: 12  What is a limerick?  Where can they be found?  Read a limerick and then read it to someone else.  Can you write a limerick of your own?

Frog Jumping Day: 13  Do you like to watch frogs jump?  Where can you do this?  Who can you get to join you?  Will you and your friend(s) jump too?

National Chocolate Chip Day: 15  Have you ever eaten white chocolate chips?  Which type chocolate do you prefer?  My son likes to make white chocolate chip pancakes with fresh strawberries.  Sweet!

Straw Hat Day: 15  What does a straw hat remind you of?  Do you have one?  Where have you worn it?

Bats Day: 16-18 How many words can you rhyme with “bats?”  How many words can you rhyme with “day.”  Research bats.  Make statements about bats.  Ask friends if they are facts or myths.  Be sure you can explain the answers. 

NASCAR Day: 16 Have you ever been to a NASCAR race?  A NASCAR museum?  Have you ever met one of the drivers, someone from the pit crew?  Research NASCAR.  Pass on trivia you learn.

International Museum Day: 18  Visit a nearby museum.  Ask about special events coming up.  Subscribe to the museum’s newsletter or mailings.  What are three things you learned on your last museum tour?  Tell someone else about them.  

International Jazz Day: 24  Research famous jazz musicians.  Name as many jazz musicians as you can.  Listen to jazz.  Read picture books about jazz.  Research the history of jazz. 

International Tiara Day: 24 Do you know anyone who won a tiara?  How?  Have you ever entered a contest that gave away tiaras?  Where might you see someone wear a tiara?  Name a book character who has a tiara.  How do you think it would feel to wear one in a parade? 

Morse Code Day: 24 Research Morse Code.  Send a message to someone.  Give them the code to translate their message.  Have them send you a message so you can translate it too.

Cookie Monster’s Birthday: 25  Research Cookie Monster.  How old is he?  Why do you think he loves cookies?  What food  are you crazy about?  What would you do for some?

National Tap Dance Day: 25 Name someone who is famous for tap dancing.  Watch an old movie, a You Tube video, or other information about tap dancing.  Do you know a child who takes lessons?  Have him or her share with you.

Memorial Day: 26  When is Memorial Day observed?  Why is it observed?  Who can you honor on this day?  Why? 

*Thank you Brownie Locks.com for May celebration information.  For more, check out: http://www.brownielocks.com/may.html

Let’s talk:  Choose one or more of the conversation starters above and leave a comment.  Don’t forget to enter the contest by naming a book by a twin author or illustrator or naming a book with twin characters.  Thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Please come again soon.  Bring a friend.

Children 13 years old or older may leave a comment.  Read more about the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA)  See:  http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

Copyright © 2014 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Calendar Events, Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

Imagine That! An Activity Book Giveaway by Janis Silverman, Guest Blogger

Posted by lindamartinandersen on January 22, 2014


“Imagine That!An Activity Book Giveaway by Janis Silverman, Guest Blogger” posted by Linda Martin Andersen

A Writer's Playground Fotosearch_u17996074 “A Writer’s Playground”–A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

Did you know that January 25, 2014 is National Seed Swap Day?   When I read this, I thought:  Swap/trade a Seed.  Plant a Seed.  What does the expression to “plant a seed” mean?  http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/plant+a+seed defines “plant a seed” as “to do something that will develop more in the future.” 

I immediately thought of an author I know who encourages children to develop their imaginations.  I contacted Janis Silverman, author of  Imagine That!:  Imagery Stories and Activities and other book titles and she agreed to be a guest blogger here.  Learn more about Janis Silverman at these links:

Copyright Janis Silverman.  2014

Copyright Janis Silverman. 2014

Here is a link to her Amazon Books page http://www.amazon.com/Janis-L.-Silverman/e/B001K8HEEQ

Here is a link to her Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/JanisLSilvermanAuthor

Welcome Janis Silverman!

Thank you for agreeing to share one free activity from Imagine That!:  Imagery Stories and Activities on this post.  Is everybody ready?  Janis is…

Think Green!

You may be ready for spring, but it is still January!

You can imagine spring with the following guided imagery story, “Evergreen Spring.”

You will relax and connect with nature, the beauty of spring and be more open to the world around you.

Read “Evergreen Spring” aloud, very slowly, or ask an adult to read it to you.

 

Evergreen Spring 

Close your eyes and think of spring.

Green is everywhere.

Trees and shrubs bud and leaves appear.

The grass is a blanket of green underfoot.

Vines hang on arbors, sprouting new glossy green leaves and flowers.

Winter is gone, replaced with new plant life of amazing beauty.

You are dazzled with the wonder of spring.

You feel energized and hopeful.

You look forward to months of gorgeous green

Followed by summer fun.

See your connection with nature and life.

You feel alive and excited about each new day.

(Pause; sit a few minutes and picture spring.)

When you are ready, open your eyes.

Remember the beauty and wonder of spring.

You, too, are part of each spring.

Remember all of the images of Evergreen Spring.

Return to these images any time you want

To imagine spring time.

 

Discussion Questions:

1. How is spring important to you?

2. Try writing an analogy to spring or another season. Ex. Spring: green: Winter: white

3. How does the very beginning of spring make you feel?

4. Would you ever return to Evergreen Spring in winter? Explain.

Optional Activity: Leaf Collage

Materials: You will need two pieces of art paper, real or paper leaves made from colored construction paper, two pieces of lined paper, markers, glue  and a pencil.

Select a green leaf. Either trace the leaf or draw one. Cut it out of paper or cloth. Draw and cut out several more leaves, or use a variety of fresh leaves from outdoors to create a leaf collage. Arrange the leaves and glue them to the colored paper.

Follow-up Writing Activity: Write about how spring makes you feel in your journal, or write three to six words about spring on the collage. Share your collage and ideas with a friend.

To Be Registered to Win a copy of Imagine That!:  Imagery Stories and Activities, participate in the following activity: 

Living Plant Alliteration Activity: Think about the trees, shrubs and flowers that will soon bloom in your yard. Choose one of these plants. Write an alliteration sentence about this living plant. (Alliteration repeats the beginning sound of the plant).

Example: Red roses rise up the arbor.  or

Lily loves luscious light.   or

Maple makes miles of marvelous leaves.

 If you’d prefer, you may write a short poem about a living plant.

GIVEAWAY: Submit your alliteration sentence or short poem in the comment section of this blog.

If there are several submissions, Janis will draw a name for the winner on January 30, 2014. The winner of Imagine That! : Imagery Stories and Activities by Janis L. Silverman will be announced by February 1, 2014.  

You can find more of Janis Silverman’s books at her website   http://www.janislsilverman.com  and Amazon Books.  Here’s a title many parents, teachers, and counselors recommend:  

 Help Me Say Goodbye:  Activities for Helping Kids Cope When a Special Person Dies.  

A final message from Janis:  I hope you enjoyed “Evergreen Spring” and the activities. Think Green! Spring will be here soon!

Janis L. Silverman, author

Thanks again, Janis.

As always, I thank you for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Please stop by again soon and bring a friend.  

*Thank you Brownie Locks.com for January celebration information.  For more, check out: http://www.brownielocks.com/january.htm 

Children 14 years old or older may leave a comment.  Thanks for adhering to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. (COPPA)  See:  http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm

Copyright © 2014 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Games, Interviews, Math, Monthly Activities, Reading, Science, Social Studies, Uncategorized, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Winner of Island Sting by Bonnie Doerr

Posted by lindamartinandersen on February 18, 2013


“Winner of Island Sting by Bonnie Doerr” by Linda Martin Andersen

“A Writer’s Playground”–A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

I hope you enjoyed National Green Week from February 11-17. 

Bonnie Doerr, our guest blogger this week, did a great job of listing ways to make a difference and keep “all things green.” 

Today, we announce the winner of the giveaway.  This lucky person will receive a copy of Bonnie Doerr’s book, Island Sting.

Island sting new cover small 

And the winner is…June Baker

Congratulations  June. Your prize will be mailed on March 1 or shortly there after.  To all others, please look for Bonnie Doerr’s books for your reading pleasure.

Add Stake Out to your list of books to read. 

small Stakeout_cover_web2

Both books are available on Amazon in traditional and Kindle formats. Island Sting: http://amzn.to/WsYmTc  and Stake Out: http://amzn.to/11ZgXNw. To learn more about Bonnie visit www.BonnieDoerrBooks.com. A click on the Teacher Page button will take you to activities and links to lesson plans for a variety of disciplines.

Thanks for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon.  Bring a friend.

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Interviews, Monthly Activities, Reading, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

All Things Green and a Book Giveaway

Posted by lindamartinandersen on February 11, 2013


“All Things Green and a Book Giveaway” by Linda Martin Andersen

“A Writer’s Playground”–A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

National Green Week is February 11-17. 

To celebrate, Bonnie Doerr has agreed to be our guest blogger.  Bonnie writes tween fiction and has two books with characters who care for our world and “all things green.”

Join me in providing a warm welcome for Bonnie Doerr.

*Applause*

Linda, I’m super happy to help celebrate National Green Week with you. Isn’t it wonderful how many young people are beginning to care about the health of our beautiful Earth? Much credit must be given to their teachers for organizing activities to promote going green and to their parents for setting good examples.

Importance of “green” in my writing:

Though I hadn’t considered this before, I realize that this oversimplified term green is the basis for most of my work. To me, being green begins with a deep respect, reverence, and appreciation for the natural world. These qualities fuel a passion to protect our environment and are reflected in my writing. If I were not closely surrounded by trees, plants, wildlife, and open sky, I would feel incomplete— mentally and emotionally unhealthy. It would be difficult for me to function. It’s likely I wouldn’t be writing at all if I couldn’t interact daily with the natural world.

As a child, I…

was awestruck by nature in all its manifestations—animal, vegetable, mineral—long before I had the tiniest clue that my life was somehow connected to nature, in fact, dependent upon it.

My tween adventure/mystery novels, Island Sting and StakeOut…

feature endangered species struggling to survive in a sensitive environment. In the course of protecting these creatures, the teen characters learn about the many human behaviors that both directly and indirectly threaten animal survival. The teens’ experiences lead them to becoming environmental stewards.

For example, in StakeOut, Kenzie rescues a sea turtle that is choking on a grocery bag. This incident inspires her crusade against the use of plastic bags. Though Kenzie begins this campaign in order to save sea turtles, reducing the production of petroleum based plastics has a far reaching effect on the overall health of our planet. There is a connection between the survival of one creature, the health of its habitat, and the survival of the human race. Kenzie’s experience is a perfect example of how living green begins with an appreciation of the natural world.

Sadly, there are many children who live what Dr. Jane Clark (University of Maryland) calls a “containerized” life…

a life spent mostly within walls. How can these children experience nature? Can we expect nature-deprived children to care much about something with which they are unfamiliar? How then will they ever connect environmental health with their own well-being?

Could a virtual outdoor experience help make this connection?

Reading outdoor adventures or mysteries may provide the taste of a genuine experience. A taste that could crack those restrictive walls allowing a glimmer of natural light to leak in and spark interest in the world outside. Even if this outside world stretched no farther than a backyard habitat, a vacant lot, or a community park, it would be a start toward valuing nature.

Picture books with ecological themes abound. But often older readers aren’t introduced to such fiction. Tweens in particular are at a critical age where values are being formed. Reading action-packed stories with environmental themes impacts readers subtly. When readers care about the characters in books, they will cheer for the hero’s success. Literary environmental heroes can inspire real world action. I know this for a fact. I’ve heard from an Island Sting reader who was inspired to become a park ranger and a StakeOut reader who raised funds to support a sea turtle hospital. I learned another reader formed an environmental club at school.

There are many fun environmentally inspired reads for tweens and teens.

Books by Jeanne Craighead George remain popular. I recommend anything by Ginny Rorby and all of Carl Hiaasen’s children’s books. Other great reads are Operation Redwood by S. Terrell French and Sammy Keyes and the Wild Things, by Wendelin Van Draanen.

An excellent resource for ecologically themed books is the Green Earth Award list:

http://www.newtonmarascofoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Full-List-of-GEBA-Winners-2011.pdf. I’m proud that StakeOut was a finalist for this award in 2012.

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of children spending time outdoors if they are to become genuinely invested in living a green life. For an in depth discussion of this critical relationship between children and nature refer to Richard Louv’s well-researched Last Child in the Woods, Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder.

Now, Linda, on to your second request.

How can students live a more sustainable lifestyle?

Because I write for tweens and young teens, my suggestions target this age group, though younger children can adapt many of these ideas for their use or encourage their family to do so.

The best thing anyone can do to protect the environment is to set a good example.

Be strong enough to ignore anyone who thinks it’s cool to toss trash out of a car window. Something as small as a piece of discarded chewing gum means death to animals that swallow it. Food may be biodegradable, but if tossed out the window, it draws hungry small animals. These critters attract predators. Then the predators are often struck by cars. Remember that old saying “Stash your trash.” It’s easy to carry a litter container in the car and empty it in a container outside any retail establishment.

Use fun fabric bags for all shopping instead of accepting plastic bags to carry purchases. Plastic bags often blow out of trash containers and garbage trucks, creating ecological havoc. Reducing garbage roadside not only makes for a more pleasant visual environment (hopefully contributing to neighborhood pride) but also protects wildlife and prevents the blockage of storm drains. You wouldn’t believe the amount of trash we clear off our bridge after high water. Most of it is washed from roadsides during heavy rains. Not only do cups, bottles, and bags pose a danger to wildlife, but chemicals in waste pollute our water.

It costs nothing to simply to pick up a few pieces of litter each day, whether you dropped them or not, and put them in a trash container. Make a green pledge to leave a place better than you found it.

It’s free and can be a fun social experience to join an environmental group online or in person. Check out http://www.teensturninggreen.org/ .

Teens can reduce their carbon footprint with creative takes on fashion.

Instead of buying new clothes that travel thousands of miles using scads of energy, teens can hold fashion swap parties. Partiers brings clothes they’re tired of, trade or combine separates into new looks or alter pieces in creative ways. A fashion show makes a grand finale.

But what would life be like without a new outfit once in a while? When buying a mood booster, choose an outfit that doesn’t require dry cleaning. Not only is taking clothes to the cleaners a hassle, but it’s expensive. If dry cleaning is an absolute must (not only is dry cleaning not really *dry*, but it often isn’t needed even though the label says so), try to find a shop that uses greener methods (wet-cleaning or liquid CO2) to reduce its toxic load. Check out http://www.nodryclean.com/ to find a green cleaner near you.

For more information on green cleaning visit this site: http://ecohearth.com/eco-zine/home-and-renovation/973-green-dry-cleaning-find-green-dry-cleaner.html

Teens can support companies like Patagonia. Patagonia helps reduce the load on our planet by collecting worn-out clothes and rebuilding them into new garments. http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_34/b3998431.htm

Why not become a smart label shopper? By reducing your use of petroleum cosmetic products, you can help reduce the effects of climate change.  Petroleum (in the form of paraffin oil, propylene glycol, and ethylene) is found in products like lip balm, lotions, lubricants, and many plastic covered products.  Choose products containing beeswax, cocoa butter, and vegetable oils instead. Visit http://greenbeautyteam.com/answers-advice/teens-tweens-sprouts/tween-beauty-queen-party/ for ideas on holding a green-tween-beauty-queen party

Packing a waste free lunch is an easy way to help the planet. A typical American student can generate 67 pounds of school lunch packaging waste per school year. Wash and reuse all containers. When possible, stay away from any throwaway containers. http://www.ecomall.com/greenshopping/wastefree.htm

Students can also do what Kenzie and her friends are planning in my work in progress. They are encouraging their school cafeteria to go green. Here is a resource for ideas: http://www.ehow.com/how_6554419_go-green-school_s-cafeteria.html

The hardest part of becoming a better environmental steward is establishing new habits.

Any time you remember to engage in a green habit, no matter how insignificant you think it is, it sets a positive example and takes you another step closer to mastering the habit.

Linda, thanks for inviting me to join you here at A Writers’ Playground. It’s been fun to be a part of your mission.

Check out how to order Bonnie Doerr’s books here:

Island sting new cover small                                small Stakeout_cover_web2

Educators can order Island Sting and StakeOut from Follett and most other distributors. Both books are available on Amazon in traditional and Kindle formats. Island Sting: http://amzn.to/WsYmTc  and StakeOut: http://amzn.to/11ZgXNw. To learn more about Bonnie visit www.BonnieDoerrBooks.com. A click on the Teacher Page button will take you to activities and links to lesson plans for a variety of disciplines.

Bonnie, thanks so much for being our guest blogger!  If you would like to ask Bonnie questions or make comments, please do.  Those who leave comments before midnight on February 17, 2013 will be included in a drawing for a copy of Island Sting.  Please include your email for contact purposes.  The winner will be announced on February 18 and the prize will be mailed on March 1 or shortly there after.

Thanks for visiting “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon.  Bring a friend.

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

Posted in Careers, Character Traits, Interviews, Monthly Activities, Reading, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments »

 
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