Extreme Survivors with Kimberly Ridley kicks off at Pembroke

Kimberly Ridley‘s latest book, Extreme Survivors: Animals That Time Forgot, is the focus of a program students at four Washington County students have been participating in since earlier this fall. First, they ventured out on a field trip with their teachers and IRW staff to learn about ice ages and explore traces and indications of glacial movements in their own backyard.

Kimberly visited Pembroke Elementary School last week to kick off IRW’s Extreme Survivors week of visits, and talk about her new book and how the ten creatures she writes about are connected to the ice ages of our earth’s past. She shared with them that they were the very first kids in the whole world to read her book and how exciting that was!

She tied in the Ice Age Trail and how now she was zooming in, zooming in, zooming in. The kids were incredibly eager with questions and facts they had learned and wanted to share with Kim. She shared how much she loves being a reporter and how, while doing research with other scientists and looking for tardigrades in the moss they collected, they referred to it as a “tardi party.”

She encouraged kids to “observe, ask questions, and research” as she turned them into ACE Reporters (Accurate/Creative/Edited). “How is an Ace Reporter like a Jedi Knight?” she asked them. “Focused” yelled one kid, “Determined,” said another. She helped them think about reliable websites and sources, telling them, “May the force source be with you.”

“Research is exciting,” she shared. If a comb jelly can grow a new brain and scientists can blend up sponges only to have their cells reunite, that is proof that no subject is boring!

During workshops, kids wrote a “News Flash” for their community, practicing their newly acquired Ace Reporting skills. “An Amazing Animal Lives in Our Town,” they began and used facts paired with creativity to “hook” their readers. During a final Q&A session questions ranged from inquiries about the writing process, “Is it harder to write for adults than kids?” to more scientific in nature, “Can comb jellies be fossils?”

What a great day! Next up with Extreme Survivors? Whiting Village School!

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