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.  

Happy Birthday Aldo Leopold!

Celebrate Aldo Leopold’s birthday this week! He was born January 11, 1887.

AL&tree_duo_smWho’s Aldo Leopold? He’s the “Father of Wilderness Conservation,” founder of the science of wildlife management, and author of the classic environmental book A Sand County Almanac. He was the first university professor to teach about “ecology”—a commonly understood concept today, but a revolutionary new idea in the 1930s when he began teaching about food webs and the importance of habitat preservation.

Because his interest in the natural world began at an early age, Aldo Leopold is a wonderful role model for children. As an elementary school student, he spent hours outside in nature observing, journaling, and sketching what he saw. He even used his grandmother’s opera glasses to go bird watching because he didn’t have any binoculars.

As an adult, his ethics of nature and wildlife preservation had a profound impact on the environmental movement. He has inspired many to see the natural world “as a community to which we belong.”

INSIDE: Icy Experiments

images-3In A Sand County Almanac Aldo Leopold wrote about his observations of nature month-by-month. For many people, this month’s most significant nature experience is ICE. Get your students interested in the scientific properties of ice by amazing them with levitating ice cubes. Read a description and watch a demo of this icy experiment before doing it with you class. Then do these other icy science experiments.

OUTSIDE: Create an Almanac

AlmanacAn “almanac” is an annual calendar containing important dates and statistical information. For the month of January, Aldo Leopold wrote about animal tracks in the snow in his Sand County Almanac. In March, he wrote about the “music” made by returning geese. And in October he wrote down his observations of fall leaves.


Create an ongoing nature almanac with your students by taking a few minutes each day to write down observations of the natural world. Be prepared to “jump start” this process by providing your own observations. After a few days, they’ll get the hang of it. Be sure to encourage using a variety of senses: sight (snowflakes), sound (bird calls), and feel (cold wind).


Read about Aldo’s life in Earth Heroes: Champions of the Wilderness. It’s written to engage middle school students, but many of the stories about his life are also entertaining when told to younger children.

Exploring the Outdoors with Aldo Leopold is a CD that features a hands-on activity guide for educators designed to teach observation skills, plant and animal identification, natural history, land stewardship, and outdoors skills. Each activity is based on an essay from Aldo Leopold’s classic book, A Sand County Almanac.