mystery The answer to the clues may be found at the bottom of this column.    Teachers and Parents: Enter to win an entire set of Dawn’s nature books of one title for your home or classroom. It's fun and easy!
Just read the clues below. They describe an aspect of nature—a plant, animal, mineral, habitat, or natural process.
When you're ready to make your guess about who or what I am, click ENTER NOW.
Who Am I?
spacerglass1 Clue 1:  I'm a member of the "dog family."
glass1 Clue 2:  I live throughout North America in deserts, prairies, forests, and even in towns and cities.
glass1 Clue 3:  You might hear me howling at night to communicate with my pack.
glass1 Clue 4:  Don't let me trick you—I am NOT a wolf.
Do you think you know who I am? ENTER NOW.
Entries should be submitted no later than noon on Friday.
If you guessed correctly, you’re automatically entered into the monthly drawing for a set of nature books from Dawn Publications.
A contest winner will be announced at the end of September.
Throughout the school year, clues for a new Who Am I are posted no later than Sunday night, so you can use them with your class on Monday morning.Good luck!
The answer to last week's mystery was: SEASHELLS Although Inside Outside Nature blog is changing it's focus, this weekly "Who Am I?" will remain the same! Teachers, click here to get ideas about how to use the contest with your students.  

Monthly Archives: December 2012

Water, Water Everywhere

Get yourself a glass of water. Now, before you drink it, ask yourself: “How old is this water?”

Even though you may have just gotten it from the tap a few moments ago, the truth is that your water is older than the dinosaurs.

That’s right. In fact, it’s as old as the Earth itself. It’s been constantly recycled for millions of years through the processes of evaporation, condensation, and precipitation.

I’m especially thinking about precipitation right now because I’m in the midst of a several days of heavy rain. Coincidentally, I also just recorded the audio narration of A Drop Around the World, soon to be Dawn Publications’ newest e-book.

Because of all the rain, I’m going to focus on clouds for my class this week. Below are some of the indoor and outdoor activities I’ll be doing that you might like to do too!


Inside: Create a Water Wheel

Use music, movement, and a hands-on project to introduce the water cycle to your students.

Immediately engage your students by showing a youtube video of the Water Cycle by the Banana Slug String Band. The energetic  song and movements will get them up out of their seats!

If you teach the movements and vocabulary to your students before showing them the video, they’ll be able to participate with the band like the kids shown in the audience.

Then read aloud A Drop Around the World by Barbara Shaw McKinney. It’s a richly-illustrated picture book which follows and ever-changing drop of water—from liquid to solid to vapor. As you read, have students identify the stage in the water cycle the main character “Drop” is experiencing, as well as the habitats where Drop travels.

Finally, have students create a Water Wheel using the directions from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.


Outside: Cloud Maker


Cloud watching is a great way to introduce a science lesson that dovetails into a poetry lesson. All learners can get off to a successful start with this lesson because there’s no one right answer when it comes to the question, “What does that cloud look like to you?”

Take students outside to observe the clouds and ask them sketch several clouds in their nature journals. Back inside, instruct them to use their drawings as the basis for a vertical poem. Click here for complete directions.

This “Cloud Maker” activity is taken  from A Teacher’s Guide for A Drop Around the World. It describes a creative way to do cloud watching inside the classroom if you’re not able to go outside.

Whether you do this activity outside or inside, you can supplement it with interesting photos of clouds from Prof. Richard Carlson’s website.


More Fun and Facts About the Water Cycle


If you’re doing a comprehensive lesson on the water cycle, I suggest my book A Teacher’s Guide for A Drop Around the World. It includes 15 lessons plus maps and information about the world’s eight major habitats.


The Weather Wizkids website presents an introduction to the various types of clouds along with several water cycle experiments to try at home or school, including lesson plans and science experiments.

The Kid’s Crossing website presents simple, easy-to-understand descriptions of clouds and directions for making a cloud in a bottle.

The Wonderful Water Cycle WebQuest, designed by a fifth-grade teacher has great links for excellent information and activities