If you are interested in hiring a guest speaker to talk to the youngsters in your classroom,
consider Alaska authors. Children’s writers know how to speak to kids in a fashion that is
easy to understand.
As an educator, you surely know how important it is to help your students learn about the
world in which they live. There are a number of methods you can use to expand
youngsters’ knowledge bases. One option is to hire a guest speaker. If you decide to do
this, Alaska authors make excellent presenters. They understand how to engage an
audience and how to state their ideas clearly. Children’s writers are especially good at
relating to students in elementary school classrooms. This website features information
that you can use to hire a guest speaker to visit your school.
picture books will take your students across 1100 miles of Alaskan
wilderness by dog sled, put them on the summit of the world's highest
peaks and show them that indeed, their dreams can come true. Students
will meet new heroes, imagine new possibilities and experience new
responsibilities as you lead them down the trail to rip-roaring
addition to the Wilderness Adventure Series in my catalog you will find
the first two in a series of expeditionary curricula.
These are hands-on expanded units that cover science, math, geography,
language arts, music, fine arts, social studies -- in short the whole
gamut -- but in the context of a rousing
adventure. These materials were created by teachers who use my books in
the classsroom. Take them back to your students and HAVE FUN!
Looking for ideas for activities to incorporate
into your curriculum?
are some suggestions that coordinate specifically with each of the
stories available through , or that can be used separately. Each
category is separated in terms of the story and then subject matter
(science, geography, art, etc.).
of all, they promote active learning.
author visits are most successful when the exposure of the students to
the author and the book is extended beyond reading into creative
Teacher's Resource Guide
the map of North America available to locate how far and how big Alaska
a map to use that has Alaska attached to Canada, so that children can
see how much bigger Alaska is than Texas, and how far away it is.
Globes are also useful for this.
students research: Arctic Circle, Arctic Ocean, Kodiak Harbor, Nome,
* cranberry bog * crowberries * mossberries * musky * piercing * portly
* schist * shale * sulks * trill * tufted * vast
the plants in the book: fireweed * devil's club * reindeer moss *
willows * spruce * birch * cranberry bog.
a variety of animal tracks; make them out of vegetable prints.
to students about schist and shale.
animals: Arctic (White) fox * black bears * brown bears * caribou *
collard lemmings * lynx or "link" kittens * marmots * musk oxen * polar
bears * sea otters * silver or coho salmon * snow geese * snowshoe hare
* tufted puffin * wolverines/wolves.
MotherGoose rhymes or recite ones that students know from memory.
"new" Alaska Mother Goose rhymes after learning about Alaska.
and illustrate Mother Goose rhymes about your school, neighborhood,
town or city using the format in Alaska Mother Goose.
and sing a "piggy back" to a nursery rhyme.
a nature/discovery walk around outside and take sensory notes. How does
the grass smell, the wind feel, etc. Then use notes to write a rhyme.
a class poem by adding on to a poem in the book such as "spruce for
breakfast"...using what animals eat.
a chalk pastel for your favorite illustration.
out about the Northern Lights/ create an illustration with pastels on
dark blue or black construction paper.
an Alaska Mother Goose stick puppet show; have students make a
character and use it to retell the rhyme.
a paintbrush computer software program to create an Alaskan Mother
concept of species. Look at classification.
a species of an animal and write a "Three______" story. Include some of
the facts found through research.
animal tracks. Each student could become an authority on one set of
tracks. Go to a nature area to look for tracks or make up a track story
using potato print tracks and mural paper.
family names of animals besides boar, sow and cub. Cut out animal and
write name on each; display on classroom wall.
danger of extinction that bears face. Tongass in Alaska, loss of
habitat in United States; investigate ways that kids can help save the
bear...see Emmy Award winning video THE BIGGEST BEARS
by Daniel Zatz.
on a "bear hunt"...ask students to bring in pictures, facts, articles,
books and any information they can find on the topic; spend some time
each day allowing students to be on the hunt; at the end of the reading
ask what they "captured" in the way of interesting facts.
a zoo...make arrangements to have one of the zookeepers come and talk
to the class about the care and handling of the bear; let kids send
their questions to the zoo in advance of the trip so that Resource
person will be prepared.
out how the constellation of the bear was developed; read the story to
the class; have them create a bear constellation; use dark paper and a
paper punch or gold stars; use terms Ursa major and Ursa minor.
a list of famous bears (Goldilocks' three, Smokey, Winnie the Pooh,
Gentle Ben, etc.). Have kids add to the list throughout the year.
the bear in myths and legends. How did different cultures view the bear
through time? How did they use it or protect themselves against it?
geographic locations of the different bears; cut out small examples and
place on world map to show habitat.
did people perceive the bear throughout history? Did it affect the way
the bear was treated?
laws are there to protect bears? What evidence can students find that
shows the mistreatment of this animal?
the Venn diagram to compare and contrast facts about three bears in a
story (what each eats or how they get their food).
data from the book to teach children about graphs. Double bar graphs
can be used to show information about height and weight of three bears.
students keep a chart of the facts they learn abut the three different
kinds of bears.
To coordinate with Swimmer:
different kinds of salmon: Chinook or king, humpy or pink, chum or dog,
silver or coho, sockeye or red.
fish camps; set one up outside the classroom.
a pizza cardboard to draw pictures for the life cycle of a salmon;
compare to life cycles of other animals.
a salmon calendar to show what happens each month.
a fish hatchery.
a fish store.
a scenario that deals with the future of the salmon species; students
portray one of the following roles and must make a decision that
affects salmon: logging, dam construction, irrigation, destruction of
wetlands, industrial pollution, commercial fishing.
a salt flmy map of Alaska; put in the Yukon, Bering Sea, Caribou Creek
and other locations.
to fishing companies to determine amounts taken and legal limits.
to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources.
about different Native Alaskan tribes and customs.
an ancient prayer to an animal.
test different ways of cooking salmon: smoked, dried, salted, canned.
a cardboard story knife and use it to retell a story in the sand.
the Northern Lights; do a watercolor painting.
the "circle of Life" song from The Lion King to tell the story of
a diorama from a scene of the story.
symbols of Native Alaskans to tell a story.
Swimmer out of watercolors, pastels, or crayon; make a border around
students locate Anchorage and Nome on the map.
the children research the Iditarod, including its history. What are the
rules? Who can enter? How do they train the dogs?
the children research dog sledding.
does the term "as the crow flies" mean?
the game show "Jeopardy" to learn facts about the Iditarod and Alaska
them measure the distance of the race. Using the scale, see how close
they can come to the actual 1049 miles that the race runs. How much are
the dog sleds be able to run on a straight line, like the students drew
between the two cities? Why/why not?
your own dog sled race either as an obstacle cmyse or as a
seventeen-day jmyney of reading- students must read/be read to a
certain number of minutes for each of the seventeen days to "complete"
To coordinate with Mammoth
Magic and Will's Mammoth:
the likenesses and differences in the two titles.
mammoths and discuss the similarities between the two in these books.
have there been sightings of mammoths?
dinosaurs and prehistoric animals.
might they have become extinct ?
is the true meaning of Christmas (and other holidays) to students?
them write their own stories describing this.
and Match game (small picture or cards to match book titles with
What Happened? game. Put pieces (events from a book) in chronological
a magazine ad.
one of the characters in the book and perform skits, plays, pantomimes.
an article for the school/town newspaper.
a panel discussion or debate. "Interview" characters from the books.
a poem about something from a book.
an encyclopedia article with the author's style of presenting facts.
a special song or cheer to perform for the author.
thank-you notes as a follow-up.
a special cake and decorate it.
your camera the day of the author's visit; get candid snaps for a
a burlap wall hanging with felt appliqués (make it re-usable
for other author)
a stuffed animal or character - felt makers on a piece of white sheet -
cut out, stitch and stuff. (Small ones make a great mobile).
a large prop into the classroom to stimulate interest.
the day "author's name Day" - have an official proclamation signed by
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