Just when we were getting ready to begin our 2020 author visits in March, the COVID-19 virus struck. Schools suddenly closed and programs were canceled. Soon, spring and summer fairs followed suit. We’ve missed seeing the smiling faces of the classes we visit regularly, and hearing your interesting stories as we meet old and new friends at the fairs.
We’ll be back when things return to normal, but in the meantime, we’re working on a brand new illustrated children’s book about a hermit crab and her swirly new shell, that also features another favorite of mine, an octopus! So stay tuned. We’re working behind the scenes and will be ready to launch our new book soon.
Back by Popular Demand This Year for Four Year Old Through Second Grade Classes
An author visit includes an enthusiastic reading of our three popular illustrated, children’s books, Did You Make the Hole in the Shell in the Sea?, Something’s Tugging on My Claw!, and The Bumpy, Lumpy Horseshoe Crab.
Between the reading of each book, children will learn about the main characters in our stories and behaviors they exhibit in their habitat. A molted shell of a horseshoe crab and “Loki” the lobster, as well as a moon snail shell, moon snail eggs, and a clam shell with a hole in it will be presented to bring these concepts to life. Questions concerning the sea creatures in our stories, as well as the process of writing and illustrating a book, will be taken at the end of each presentation. This is a great program for kindergarten through second grade classes. It combines literacy, as well as science, and covers many of the Common Core requirements for both subjects.
Each session lasts for 35 minutes. There is a maximum of 28 students per session.
Janice Petrie has earned her Masters and Bachelor of Science degrees in the field of education, and is Massachusetts State Certified to teach grades K-8, as well as reading, all levels. Through her work as a marine educator for Seatales Educational Company, as well as having been an Outreach Specialist for the New England Aquarium, Ms. Petrie has presented outreach programs to school groups throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire for many years.
Petrie earned her Bachelor of Art degree in Art with a concentration in graphic design in 2008, and has published three illustrated children’s books, The Bumpy, Lumpy Horseshoe Crab, Did you Make the Hole in the Shell in the Sea?, and Something’s Tugging on My Claw!, as well as an historical true crime for young adults and adults, Perfection To A Fault: A Small Murder in Ossipee, New Hampshire, 1916. Her latest book is an historical fiction, Bay State Skye, that combines actual events and interviews with fishermen and processors to tell an authentic tale about challenges faced by those who make their living by going down to the sea.
Introducing a Story for the First Time
How do you introduce a story where a lot of the information included in the book may be new to children listening? Create a well thought out introduction that will help children to understand the story. This video was recently recorded at a Barnes & Noble Storytime, and is a suggestion of one way to introduce the book, Something’s Tugging on My Claw! We’d love to hear your suggestions of other successful ways you’ve used to introduce a new story to your children or class.
Did You Make the Hole in the Shell in the Sea? – An Introduction
If you’re a reading teacher, you know how important it is to activate prior knowledge and build background information before reading a new story. This is an introduction that I presented for my book, “Did You Make the Hole in the Shell in the Sea?” to a group of children in a Storytime at Barnes & Noble Booksellers. It was lots of fun being a part of Barnes & Noble’s “Finding Dory” event. Enjoy!
The Fall is a Great Time to Study Tidal Flat and Tidepool Sea Life
Most teachers choose to study marine life in the Springtime, with Summer on it’s way. But did you know that the Fall is an even better time to learn about fascinating coastal marine life?
- As educators, we know how important it is to activate prior knowledge and background information when teaching students. In the Spring, the ocean and beach are distant memories for many students, especially the really young ones. But in the Fall, most students have spent at least a day or two at the beach while on Summer break, leaving them with a fresh impression of what the sea is like. They may have found some sea animals or shells while walking along the water’s edge. This creates invaluable building blocks for teachers to use as a foundation, making additional information more meaningful and better retained.
- And if a visit to the tidal flats or tidepools is on the field trip agenda, the Fall is full of sunny, warm days, and the ocean water is at its warmest in the Fall. Planning a trip to the shore in the Spring can be tricky, with many cool, raw days, and the ocean water usually topping off somewhere in the 50 degree range.
- There’ll still be plenty of time to pick apples and carve pumpkins, and a study of the sea could be cleverly integrated with a Christopher Columbus or Thanksgiving theme. Did you know that Pilgrims often ate lobsters when food was scarce, and even fed them to their pigs at times? Lobsters, clams, and mussels made an appearance at the first Thanksgiving dinner, according to the Smithsonian. Did you also know that Native Americans taught the new settlers how to grind horseshoe crab shells to make fertilizer for their gardens? Native Americans also used horseshoe crab telsons or tails as spear tips, ate horseshoe crabs, and bailed their boats with horseshoe crab shells.
As you can see, the Fall is the perfect time to study about coastal marine life. If there’s any wiggle room in the timing of your curriculum, you may want to consider sea and marine life as a Fall unit this year.