Power nouns and verbs were abundant in the stories created by the students of Lubec Consolidated School on Tuesday. Guided by writing prompts from science writer and author Kim Ridley, the children selected a vernal pool creature to write about drawing on their imaginations and research.
We met a salamander named Bob, a wood frog that was thawing after a winter encased in ice, and a fairy shrimp with eggs that were over 15 years old. Imagine! Words like slithery, slimy and dark as coal described one critter, can you guess which one?
Kim stewarded the kids through three steps in their story development, calling upon volunteers to share his/her writing after each step. As each child shared, others listened intently. The teachers had prepared their students well for the writing workshop and for the all school assembly presentation that happened earlier.
Artist and book illustrator Rebekah Raye then guided the children in illustrating one sentence from their story. This culminated in a gallery walk where all had a chance to view the illustrated passages and to comment on one another’s work.
A great day! Thank you to all the teachers and students for the wonderful efforts done before our visit with the worksheets, related reading, research of vernal pools, and the reading and book discussions. It made for a wonderful day and deeper learning for all.
Thanks also to our friends at the Lubec Memorial Library for the warm welcome and for arranging a delicious potluck supper before the public presentation by Rebekah and Kim on their book, “The Secret Pool. “ Several members of the audience were southerners, so Rebekah, who hails from Tennessee, felt right at home.
We also made a new friend, Becky Lee from Downeast Coastal Conservancy, who is interested in collaborating with IRW as part of our Literary Links to Science programs. She observed all day and her help was greatly appreciated.
All children in grades pre-k to 6 received an autographed copy of “The Secret Pool.” We hope they will use it as a field guide as they look for vernal pools in their neighborhoods and discover for themselves the wonders of the natural world.