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: January 2013

A New Year in Nature

Wangari Maathai


Have you made any resolutions for the new year? One of mine is to live in greater harmony with nature. How will I do that? I’m going to take Wangari Maathai’s advice: “Look around during your daily life. See what needs doing and ask, ‘How can I help?’”


That’s just what Wangari did in her life, and by doing what was in front her she became the first environmentalist to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

In her Nobel Prize acceptance speech Wangari gave a call to action: “I would like to call on young people to commit themselves to activities that contribute toward achieving their long-term dreams. You are a gift to your communities and indeed the world. You are the hope and our future.”

The suggestions below may inspire your students to do something helpful for the environment.
Inside: The Tree Mother from Africa

Wangari Maathai’s life story takes her from a poor Kenyan village to the halls of Parliament. She inspired the planting of over 30 million trees to restore the natural environment of Kenya and help the country’s people. Listen to her telling one of her favorite stories on youtube.

EHWNS_StoreOlder children will enjoy this story and others when they read Earth Heroes: Champions of the Wilderness. And younger children will be delighted by the picture books about Wangari in Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai by Claire A. Nivola and Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya by Donna Jo Napoli.


Outside: Taking Action from the Heart

Before children are asked to take action to help nature, they must first love it. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As Tanaka Shozu said, “The question of rivers is not a question of rivers. It’s a question of the human heart.” Help children find an aspect of nature that touches their hearts. These ideas may get you started:

  • Put up a birdbath and watch the birds. Use a field guide to identify them.
  • Play “Ten Treasures” by collecting ten items in a category such as leaves, rocks, or shells.
  • Use a hand lens to get a closer look at bugs, beetles, and leaves.

More Fun and Facts with Nature

QUILT_COVER2Read about various habitats in Nature’s Patchwork Quilt and have children choose a habitat to explore for fully.




EHOC_StoreLearn about naturalists who have spent their lives helping the environment in the Dawn Publications biographies Champions of the Oceans, Champions of Wild Animals, and Girls Who Looked Under Rocks.



FOREV_StoreKids made a difference in the world when they helped establish the 54,000-acre Children’s Eternal Rainforest in Costa Rica. Read about it in The Forever Forest: Kids Save a Tropical Forest.