Ribbit, ribbitt, ribbitt…

Budding writers and artists at Deer Isle Stonington Elementary School welcomed spring in with author Kim Ridley and illustrator Rebekah Raye. IRW’s Jan Coates gives us a peek at the day.

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 A chorus of wood frogs, rain drops and peepers was heard coming from the library at the Deer Isle Stonington Elementary School on Wednesday, March 19, 2014. Just one day away from the equinox, students were simulating the sound of a vernal pool waking up after a very long winter and the coming of spring.

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The story of The Secret Pool by Kimberly Ridley and Rebekah Raye was the centerpiece of a yet another memorable and productive school visit with Island Readers & Writers. Both the author and illustrator of this beautiful book introduced the writing and illustrating process and vernal pool ecology. They then led two separate workshops for grades 4 and 5.

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Eager hands shot up in the air when Kim asked for volunteers to share their writing based on each of the four writing prompts offered. After the students wrote their stories, the next step was to illustrate them. The young writers then transitioned to the art room for a hands-on workshop with illustrator/artist Rebekah Raye.

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What a fantastic day! In addition to workshops, an assembly presentation on the “story behind the story” was given with 190 students and teachers attending. Teachers reported that the conversation and curiosity about vernal pools extended well beyond the assembly for younger learners (K-1) and resulted in art projects that were proudly displayed on corridor walls.

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Vernal pools line the drive to the school. Guess where these children will be as the weather warms and the sounds of peepers and wood frogs invite them to explore.

All photographs by Anna Travers.

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