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 2013

Nature’s Gifts

My wish for you during this holiday season is that you enjoy the gifts of beauty that nature offers you.


Yesterday I received the gift of seeing tens of thousands of snow geese rise up into the winter sky in unison. Truly an amazing sight!

But I almost didn’t receive this gift because I thought I was too busy to go outside.


Fortunately, I changed my priorities and put spending time in nature as the first item on my “to do” list. And I returned home renewed and energized!

 In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous. —Aristotle




Along with schools and classrooms across the country, this blog is taking a holiday break. I’ll be back in time for the new semester on January 6th.


May your heart be filled with the special joy that comes from spending time in nature. And when you get warm and cozy inside, I invite you to enjoy the following books with the children in your life:



The Christmas Bird Count is happening all across the America, and you can enjoy birds, too, in The BLUES Go Birding Across America. This books is informative and fun…mostly fun!


INSID_StoreInside All by Margaret Mason is a comforting bedtime book that will reassure little ones that they—every one of them—are connected to the world both physically and mystically. They belong, and are part of something meaningful.


AMY_StoreThe poetry in Amy’s Light by Robert Nutt follows the pattern of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, making this book a wonderful read-aloud. The photo-illustrations of the author’s daughter are lifelike yet dreamy.


BRIAN_CoverBecause Brian Hugged His Mother, written by David Rice, shows that kindness IS contagious when young Brian starts a chain reaction that brings a bit of joy to people he doesn’t even know. It all starts out one morning when Brian wakes up and gives his mother a hug.


BFB_COVER2For Baby, For Bobbie is a picture book illustrating a song about unconditional love by John Denver, featuring families and animals from around the world. It’s a wonderful teaching tool for young children of how parents—both human and non-human—love their children in very much the same way all over the world.

Brrr…It’s Cold Outside!

black-bear_233_600x450When temperatures drop, you can put on a jacket to stay warm or go inside and have a cup of hot chocolate. But what do animals do when it’s cold?

According to Planet Science, they’ve got three choices:


  1. Hibernate: Hibernation is like a very deep sleep. Animals, such as black bears, hide away in a den. Their body temperature and heart rate slow down. This helps them to save their energy. Hibernating animals wake up in spring when the weather is warmer and there is more food around.
  2. Adapt: Animals that adapt to the cold weather often change their appearance. They grow warmer fur or feathers and sometimes change color. Some animals, like the Snowshoe Hare,  change color to camouflage themselves against the snow. These animals can find food in winter, even though there isn’t much food around.
  3. Migrate: Would you like to go somewhere warm for the winter? That’s what migrating animals do. They fly, swim, or walk to a warmer place where they can find food.

HOME_COVER2INSIDE: The Mystery of Migration

Going Home: The Mystery of Animal Migration provides enough information for a whole unit about migration.

The featured species offer a broad representation of migration: loggerhead turtles, monarch butterflies, manatees, ruby-throated hummingbirds, Pacific salmon, Canada geese, California gray whales, caribou, Arctic tern, and emperor penguin.

Click here for a pdf of activities about migration from the National Science Teacher’s Association.

OUTSIDE: Over in the Arctic

ARCTI_COVER2Arctic Animals have adapted to a cold climate. Students singalong as they learn about arctic animals and their babies in Over in the Arctic Where the Cold Wind Blows.

Use this activities page to choose one of the outside activities under “Let it Snow.” Illustrations in the book are made from cut paper art. Use these suggestions for using decorative paper to make animal collages with your students.


More COLD Facts and Fun

  • Explore the effects winter weather and cold climates have on living things. Scholastic’s activities cover various student groupings, subjects and skills, grades, extension ideas, and assessment suggestions.
  • Ms. Frizzle has a lesson plan about keeping warm in winter with insulation. Use it as a stand-alone, or with the book The Magic School Bus in the Arctic.