I spent a delightful hour with the Poindexter Park After School Club. I read my books, guided the students in making an instant book, and turned them loose to take macro photographs.
After just a few minutes of “practice” with private eye jewelers loupes, the students took turns taking photographs using the macro setting on my Canon elph. These are some of the best images. Others were blurry, but most of us have to take many, many images to get any useable ones. I look forward to seeing how the photography improves and to reading the books they’ll make.
I spent time yesterday morning with children at my neighborhood library, the Tisdale branch of the Jackson/Hinds Library. I read Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator, Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature, a work-in-progress titled “My New School,” and we all made instant books. Many students also used Private Eye loupes to look at snails.
The list of finalists for the 2011 Magnolia Children’s Choice Award is available. If you are a school or public librarian, you can get your students and young readers involved in this program. Read more about the voting here. Voting is open now and continues until April 30th.
1. Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School & Other Scary Things by Lenore Look
2. Dragonbreath by Ursula Vernon
3. Extra Credit by Andrew Clements
4. Gooney Bird is So Absurd by Lois Lowry
5. Hush Harbor: Praying in Secret by Freddi Williams Evans
6. Knucklehead: Tall Tales & Almost True Stories of Growing Up Scieszka by Jon Scieszka
7. Masterpiece by Elise Broach
8. Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel by Nikki Grimes
9. Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca
10. Redwoods by Jason Chin
11. The Secret World of Walter Anderson by Hester Bass. Read my post about this book here.
12. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
I love getting mail from readers. This week I received a letter from a second grader about Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature.
Here’s part of what he wrote:
“This is what I like about your book:
1) that I can read it,
2) the colorful photographs of nature,
3) learning about the Fibonacci numbers.
The photograph of the pinecone is my favorite.”
This student wrote because he read Growing Patterns for summer reading. In writing the letter to me about the book, he fulfilled a requirement. It’s nice that students have choices about how to engage with the books they read for summer reading.
A few days ago, I went to an exhibit that included some photographs taken by my son Douglas.
His art class completed a project on everyday life that was inspired by a photography exhibit by students in Montana. In addition to taking and printing photographs, the students in D’s class made prints inspired by their photographs. It was really fascinating to see how the students interpreted their photographs in another medium.
The students in Montana are part of a rural Hutterite community so the photographs of their daily lives were quite different from the ones of the Jackson students. D and his classmates completed this project last year, but there wasn’t time for an exhibit until this school year. I know D enjoyed his time in the darkroom and looks forward to more photography projects.
Audiences with a wide age range are always tricky. At Tisdale Library this morning, I had kids from age 2 to 12. And lots of them. I read Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator. Then the kids examined some snails I found in my yard this morning and other natural objects that I carry around in a basket. I thank Anne Sanders, branch manager, for the invitation and for taking the photographs that accompany this post.
I had a delightful time Saturday afternoon with some students at a summer camp provided by Mississippi Families as Allies. I read Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator and shared the story behind its publication. I appreciated the students’ interest and questions. Vera Powell, the camp’s director, played a game with the students after my presentation to determine who well they had listened. We were both gratified to hear them recalling facts about snails and tips from my journey as an artist. Several of these students want to pursue careers in creative fields. As one of the youth workers took this photograph, another one was setting up the hands-on creative activity for the day: making masks.
I will be doing story time at the Charles W. Tisdale Library on Tuesday at 10 a.m. Come see me.
I shared Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature during the Sunday School hour at Wells Memorial United Methodist Church. I used to teach Sunday School to many of these children so it was great to be back among them with a new book. I read and then we examined some Fibonacci related objects from my basket: pinecones, shells of a nautilus, and a sand dollar. We used regular hand-held magnifying lenses and some Private Eye jeweler’s loupes. In the photograph above, taken by one of the teachers, the Rev. Keith Tonkel joins us for a brief discussion.
A Year of Reading reviewed Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature. “Here’s another great pick for your mathematics library — a book about Fibonacci Numbers that is easy to understand! Campbell’s photos of single garden flowers whose petals follow the Fibonacci sequence, along with clearly stated text make this a book that can be shared with even very young children.”
Read the whole review here.
Here is a small sample of the wonderful packet of letters I got this week from students at the Martin Luther King Jr. Laboratory School in Evanston, Ill., a school I attended for a few months of second grade. Read about my visit and see photos here.