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: May 2013

Moms and Babies

BABY_StoreMother’s Day is next Sunday—a perfect time to celebrate the bond between mothers and their babies in the natural world. Fran Hodgkins does just that in her book If You Were My Baby: A Wildlife Lullaby.  You’ve been introduced to some of these mothers during the past month through the clues in the “Who Am I?” mystery contest. They’ve included a wolf, squirrel, bison, as well as last week’s mom—an opossum.

I always find it interesting to know how authors get their book ideas. Fran’s book grew out of a lifetime of love for wild creatures. She says that her mother taught her “how to watch and how to really see the squirrels, jays, sparrows, bugs, and worms….” One of her earliest memories was watching a garden spider build a web in her tire swing. She says, “I seem to remember staying put for hours just to see what would happen as the spider worked.”Spider_Web

When Fran became a mother, she shared her love of “watching and seeing” animals with her daughter, Rosie. “Rosie inspired the book through her questions about nature and animals,” Fran says. If You Were My Baby is the result of three generations of women nature lovers!

Which animals are the “best” and “worst” mothers? National Geographic features three short videos of their choices.

Inside: Creative Non-Fiction

Fran calls her writing “creative non-fiction because the facts are there but they don’t hit you over the head.” Have your students choose an animal and write their own creative non-fiction short story. Begin with the facts and then have them add their imaginations to present the facts in an interesting way. Good sources for animal facts include Creature Features on the National Geographic site and Ranger Rick (magazine or for iPad).

Outside: Schoolyard Homes

three juvies in tree stumpHave student pairs search the schoolyard for nests, spider webs, piles of rocks, holes in trees, and other places animals make their homes. They can use this Animal Homes print out from National Wildlife Federation to check off the homes they find. Ask them to draw any additional homes they find on the back of the page, along with drawings of animals or other interesting observations.


More Facts and Fun about Animals