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.  

Change is in the Air

2-20-CommonCoreAppleThe “Next Generation Science Standards” were announced last month. What does that mean for you? They may  change the way you’ve been teaching science!

In general, the new standards go beyond science as simply a list of facts and ideas students are expected to memorize. Instead, they emphasize teaching “how” scientists actually investigate and gather their information. Teachers will be expected to focus more on concepts, giving students a deeper understanding of a topic.

One of the topics that students will gain a deeper understanding about is climate change—a concept that can’t be neglected from the curriculum any longer. The new standards recognize that climate change is a critical and timely topic of deep concern.


Inside: Glaciers and Greenhouses

imagesHow We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate (by Lynne Cherry and Gary Brasch) and my companion Teacher’s Guide are the perfect books to use with your older elementary and middle school students.

In an easy-to-understand format, students can read about and actually see the evidence scientists have gathered from flowers, butterflies, birds, frogs, trees, glaciers, and much more.

Use  two of the lesson plans from the Teacher’s Guide with your students: Disappearing Glaciers and Life in the Greenhouse.


Outside: Young Scientists

How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate  includes the important role “citizen-scientists” play in gathering data.

images-6For example, until 1975, butterfly scientists did not know where monarchs went on their fall migration south. People had seen them in Texas and along the Gulf Coast, but nobody knew where they went next.

Canadian scientist Dr. Fred Urquhart was the first to mark the butterflies with tiny tags to track them across the continent.

Thousands of citizen scientists helped him gather the data.  Monarch Watch is one of the many citizen science projects your students participate in. You can find dozens more citizen science projects for the classroom in the Teacher’s Guide.


More Facts and Fun about Climate Change

Climate provides K-12 teachers with the BEST interdisciplinary resources.

Young Voices for the Planet DVD, by author Lynne Cherry, presents inspiring and  replicable youth success stories showing kids “taking the reins.” They’ll encourage both children and adults  to embrace the seriousness of climate change and to take action.

Especially for Elementary Teachers: Explore the “Big Questions” about Climate Change at NASA’s Climate Kids website.