A writer inspired by nature and human nature

Archive for the ‘Children’s Activities’ Category

Write a Spring Haiku & Get the Kids Writing Too!


Celebrating International Haiku Poetry Day!

As I wandered out into the garden with my trusty camera early this morning, much to my surprise, an icy blanket at the edge of the rock garden had melted and a family of opening jonquils greeted me with their smiles. Being the first blooms of the season, they simply made my day and inspired me to write “A Spring Concerto,”  a haiku (Japanese-inspired, non-rhyming three-line: 5-7-5 syllable poem).

A Spring Concerto
HAIKU by Bette A. Stevens

Jonquils awaken

Shaking their heads in wonder

A spring concerto

Personally, I love designing  posters to go with my poems and often use photos I have taken. As a former teacher (now retired) in grades four through eight, I know that kids of all ages love writing poetry and they enjoy illustrating their poems too. It’s simple and it’s so much fun to tell a story in the three short lines of Haiku. Of course, you can write as many stanzas as you wish. Today’s a perfect day for you to give it a try.

Get out your pen, get outdoors in nature, get inspired…and get the kids writing haiku too!

~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator

(Haiku: m)

haiku

noun hai·ku \ˈhī-(ˌ)kü\

plural

haiku

  1. :  an unrhymed verse form of Japanese origin having three lines containing usually five, seven, and five syllables respectively; also :  a poem in this form usually having a seasonal reference — compare tanka

 

Discover more about how to write haiku and other poetry:

Find out more about International Haiku Poetry Day

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HOLIDAY SALE! Amazing Matilda by Bette A. Stevens—Only 99¢—Limited Time


Looking for that perfect gift—for a special child in your life?

am-limited-time-offer-bas-2016AMAZING MATILDA by Bette A. Stevens
This 5✰ award-winning children’s book (Ages 4-11) about a Monarch butterfly inspires kids to be all they can be.
ONLY 99¢ at YOUR AMAZON http://bit.ly/19Qr3Y0 through December 26, 2016

Book Summary

When Matilda emerges from her egg on a milkweed leaf, she stretches and yawns and wants to fly. Sparrow tells her to follow her dreams. Toad and Rabbit laugh at a creature without wings who wants to fly. You’ll be just as amazed as Toad and Rabbit are when you follow Matilda’s adventure from egg to imago. Science, art and wise lessons for children—they’re all wrapped up in a tale the kids will want to read/hear again and again!

  • Readers and listeners (age 4–11) simply adore Matilda. Adults are sure to fall in love with this amazing Monarch butterfly too.
  • Friendship, patience and persistence are among the lessons learned in this gem of a tale featuring AMAZING MATILDA. This award-winning picture book adventure follows the Monarch’s life cycle as caterpillar Matilda embarks on a quest to make her dream of flying come true.

AMAZING MATILDA by Bette A. Stevens ONLY 99¢ at YOUR AMAZON http://bit.ly/19Qr3Y0 Limited Time Offer

PLUS there’s more…

  • AMAZING MATILDA by Bette A. Stevens is also available in paperback ($9.49). If you order the paperback from Amazon, the Kindle version is always free via “Matchbook”

About the author

Inspired by nature and human nature, author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys reading, writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy and for the conservation of Monarch butterflies—an endangered species (and for milkweed, the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat).

Stevens is the author of AMAZING MATILDA, an award-winning picture book; The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!, a home/school resource  incorporating hands-on math and writing; and PURE TRASH, the short story prequel to her début novel, DOG BONE SOUP, a Boomer’s coming-of-age story set in 1950s and 60s New England.

Find out more about the author and her books at http://viewauthor.at/BetteAStevens

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AMAZING MATILDA Finger Puppets #FREE Download


Finger puppets not only provide a great way for children to enjoy retelling a story, they offer the perfect opportunity for children and adults to talk about books. In AMAZING MATILDA, readers and …

Source: AMAZING MATILDA Finger Puppets #FREE Download

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Have Fun Writing Haiku & Get the Kids Writing Too!


Write a Halloween Haiku & Get the Kids Writing Too!

black-cat-halloween-haiku-bas-2016Midnight—my fabulous furry feline—inspired me to write BLACK CAT, a Halloween haiku (Haiku: a Japanese-inspired three-line: 5-7-5 syllable poetry form) and design a poster to go with the poem. Kids love illustrating their poetry.

What’s inspiring you this Halloween?
Brainstorm your list and get writing.
Have fun—don’t forget to get the kids writing too!

Here are some writer’s tricks (literary devices found in every writer’s toolbox) I used to create BLACK CAT. These tools can set a mood— they make writing and reading memorable and fun.  Check them out and see if you can discover where I used them in my poem.

Read on to find out more about these literary devices.

Black cat waits, watches…
Stalking tricksters in their web.
Spiders are her treats!

Three Writer’s Tricks (Literary devices) used in writing poetry and prose

Assonance
Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in nearby words.

Consonance
Another literary device used by writers and poets is consonance. It is the repetition of the final consonant sounds, usually in the more important words or in the accented syllables.

Alliteration
You put your alliteration tool to work when words that start with the same sound are used close together in a phrase or sentence. The sound is usually a consonant and the words don’t have to always be right next to one another.

Finding “just the right words”
Abundant resources are available in print as well as through online searches. Listed below are the two resources I had readily available in the classroom for my students (Grades 4-8). Paperbacks are inexpensive enough to have multiple copies available, and in my opinion, they are indispensable.

  • The Scholastic Rhyming Dictionary by Sue Young
  • Webster’s Thesaurus for Students by Merriam-Webster

                        Happy Writing and Reading Haiku

                                    & Happy Halloween!

                     ~ Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator

 

  • Find out more about how to write haiku and other poetry at Reference.Com

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Write a Limerick!


SPIDER Limerick 3 BAS 2016

 Write a limerick?

Why not! I thought it would be fun to share a limerick this week and invite you to write one too. Mine is about me and a spider.

When teaching (grades 4-8), I found that starting a new school year by writing poems and sharing them was an exciting way get students hooked on writing. I must admit it—limericks are so much fun! In the classroom we learn about using some of the tools in our writer’s tool box—tools like assonance (repeating vowel sounds) and consonance (repeating consonant sounds) to create a musical message. And of course, we had Scholastic rhyming dictionaries and thesauruses close at hand. It’s always exciting to discover alternative words (synonyms) that have just the right sounds and syllables to perfect our poems.

Whether you’re a teacher, a parent or simply want to share the love of reading and writing, get the kids together and give it a try. Read on to discover what inspired me to write my spider limerick and have lots of fun writing and reading with the kids!

Click the link to find out all about it How to Write a Limerick http://www.poetry4kids.com/blog/lessons/how-to-write-a-limerick/

More about Bette’s Spider Limerick

Before I wrote this limerick, I had been watching several spiders weave their webs on the outside screens of our back porch all during the spring and summer. Spiders are fascinating creatures to watch from a safe distance. But, up close and personal they frighten me. The photo for the limerick was taken by me (safely inside the screen). Nature and my own human nature inspired me to write this one:

There once was a tall timid writer
Who spotted an intrepid spider
She jumped up and screamed
Then she suddenly beamed
“Why, I’ll write a fine book about spiders!”

~ Bette A. Stevens

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Encourage a Young Writer Day


#EncourageAYoungWriterDay every day! ~ Bette Stevens, Maine author/illustrator http://www.4writersandreaders.com

Annette Rochelle Aben

EAYWD

It has been said, that on every April 10th, we celebrate National Encourage a Young Writer Day, funny thing is, I’ve been unable to track down the origins of this auspicious day. Oh sure I found celebrations dating back to 2013, 2014 and 2015, yet nothing to indicate who started this tradition So guess what? This gives us the opportunity to initiate a tradition of our own right here and now!

It IS up to us to encourage young writers and not just for a day but each and every day.  Young writers have an illustrious history of contributing to our literary world. After all, Anne Frank was a mere 13 years old when she penned her poignant diary, giving us a glimpse into a world many of us, thank goodness, would never experience.  And Stephen King, it is reported, sold his first story for the…

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AMAZING MATILDA, A Monarch Butterfly’s Tale by Bette A. Stevens


AM Celebrate Autumn DROP SHADOW 2015 bas

Missed Matilda’s October Monarch
Butterfly Migration Celebration?

No worries…

AMAZING MATILDA, an award-winning picture book written and illustrated by Bette A. Stevens, is a brilliant bargain any time—eBook ($3.99) Paperback ($9.49) OR purchase the paperback and download eBook for FREE! http://bit.ly/19Qr3Y0

Children of all ages will be able to relate to monarch’s plight in some way… “This story is a true gem and one that will inspire children for years to come.” Renee Hand, award-winning adult and children’s books author. Hand reviews for the New York Journal of Books.

Find out more about our amazing monarch pollinators and take a “Look inside” of Bette’s award-winning picture book today!

“Science, adventure and wise lessons for kids!”

Monarch butterflies are a near-threatened species. The Center for Biological Diversity and the Center for Food Safety filed a legal petition requesting Endangered Species Act protection for the monarch and its habitat.

About the book

AM cover with MonarchAMAZING MATILDA by Bette A. Stevens (Ages 4-11 + grownups love it too) Friendship, patience and persistence are among the lessons learned in this gem of a tale featuring an amazing monarch butterfly. This award-winning picture book adventure follows the monarch’s life cycle as Matilda embarks on a quest to make her dream of flying come true. Matilda emerges from her egg on a milkweed leaf—she stretches and yawns and knows she wants to fly. Sparrow tells her to follow her dreams. Toad and Rabbit laugh at a creature without wings who wants to fly. You’ll be as amazed as Toad and Rabbit are as you follow Matilda from egg to imago. Science, art and wise lessons for children—all wrapped up in a tale the kids will want to read/hear again and again!

  • Bette A. Stevens received her B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Maine at Orono before embarking on graduate courses in Curriculum Studies at Chapman University in California. She has taught in elementary and middle school classrooms in California and Virginia. Stevens is the author of AMAZING MATILDA, an award-winning picture book; The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!, a home/school resource incorporating hands-on math and writing; and PURE TRASH, the short story prequel to her début novel, DOG BONE SOUP, a Boomer’s coming of age novel published in January 2015.

Eighth-generation (2015) monarch butterflies in the US and Canada migrate south each fall. Destination—Mexico and California’s coast where they over-winter before mating to create the first generation of monarchs for the northern migration that begins the following spring.

Inspire the kids in your life with AMAZING MATILDA today and find out more about all of Bette’s books! http://viewauthor.at/BetteAStevens

Love monarch Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ butterflies?

FREE: Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ FUN & LEARNING WITH MONARCH BUTTERFLIES  (FREE pdf) from Bette
Monarch FactsColoring PagesCraftsGardeningVideo: How to Make an Origami Butterfly
Butterfly Teacher Guide and more…Find out how you can help protect our Amazing Monarchs at https://4writersandreaders.com/fun-learning-with-monarchs-2/

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