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.  

Jane and the Cranes

images-1Most people know Jane Goodall as the “chimp lady.” Her ground-breaking research with chimpanzees at the Gombe Preserve in Africa in 1960 revolutionized the way scientists view animals. Jane’s mission has expanded beyond Africa, and since 1986 she has worked tirelessly to support worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats.

One of Jane’s favorite species is the Sandhill Crane. Every year she goes to Nebraska to watch the cranes gather along the Platte River during their annual spring migration. With over half a million congregating at one time in mid-March, this is the largest gathering of Sandhill Cranes in the world (80% of the world population). Jane calls it one of greatest natural wonders in the world.

This year I joined her, along with a dozen other people, as part of the Jane Goodall Institute’s Crane Viewing Tour. It was truly awe-inspiring to watch hundreds of thousands of cranes fill the sky at dawn and dusk. As their rattling trumpet-like calls echoed over snow-covered fields, it was easy to imagine that this prehistoric bird species has been taking this migration route for 2.5 million years.


Inside: Chimps and Cranes

images-2Although Jane Goodall’s work began with chimpanzees, she sees similarities between cranes and chimps. They’re both highly social animals, form tight family units, have suffered habitat loss, and rely on human intervention for protection.

Have your students find the similarities between two different species of animals, including their behaviors and habitats.


Outside: Do It For Yourself

Jane Goodall watching cranes along the Platte River in Nebraska.Jane Goodall travels over 300 days a year, speaking to large groups and sharing her message of hope, peace, and conservation. Her yearly trip to Nebraska to watch the crane migration is a time for her to “recharge her batteries.” She told me that her spirit is renewed as she listens to the sounds of the cranes returning to the river each evening. As teachers and parents, we need to find ways to renew and recharge ourselves, too, so we have the energy to share our inspiration with children. This week, renew yourself in nature doing an activity that recharges you.


More Facts and Fun with Jane and the Cranes

  • Jane Goodall’s youth organization is called Roots & Shoots. Find out how you can organize a group at your school.
  • According to Japanese legend, anyone who folds 1,000 origami cranes will be granted one wish. Children of all ages enjoy making origami cranes. Follow the directions provided by the International Crane Foundation.
  • Read stories about Jane Goodall’s life in Earth Heroes: Champions of Wild Animals.