We arrived for our first-ever visit to new IRW partner Indian Township Elementary School on a chilly October morning with author Kimberly Ridley, who greeted children as they entered the gym for the all-school presentation. A delight of extreme creatures and ultimate survivors from prehistoric times was presented along with information on vernal pools and all the wonderful creatures therein.
Kim’s first workshop was with the 7th and 8th grades, where they were encouraged to be “ACE Reporters” — to observe, ask questions and research. She told them that all good reporters start with a catchy first sentence and they were let loose to give reporting a shot by choosing one of the creatures in her book, “Extreme Survivors,” for inspiration.
Younger students were happy to pretend they were at a secret pool, to close their eyes and listen to the sounds. One lucky child heard dinosaurs breathing! The pre-k and kindergarten students laughed to hear that fairy shrimp swim upside down and breathe through their feet.
The 3rd-6th graders were given a writing prompt and shown video of a tardigrade magnified. Some were thrilled at how cute the “zombie bears,” as Kim calls them, are and others thought it was super gross. One teacher exclaimed, “I can’t believe they are ALL writing!” as the children jumped right in to their assignments.
We had lunch with the 4th graders while they happily showed us the projects they had been working on around Kim’s book, “Secret Pool,” including amazing posters of their favorite creatures complete with life cycles.
After spending the afternoon in workshops in the beautiful library, Kim was whisked away to the 6th grade classroom to see their wall mural of a goblin shark, another extreme survivor.
We left the school with a chorus of “woliwon,” which means “thank you” in Passamaquoddy. Woliwon to all in Indian Township School from Island Readers & Writers — we are so glad to be partners with you.